Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1317 (starts 4/25/13)

    This week we catch up on requests, present three Jethro Tull tracks that have never been played on the show before and ask the question: "How can you be in two places at once when you're not anywhere at all?". Plus we manage to fit in over half a dozen more tracks making their Stuck in the Psychedelic Era debut this week (including three artists never heard here before). Not bad for a two-hour show. Our first request for was some Blue Cheer:

Artist:    Blue Cheer
Title:    Summertime Blues
Source:    CD: Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Vincebus Eruptum)
Writer(s):    Cochrane/Capehart
Label:    Priority (original label: Philips)
Year:    1968
    European electronics giant Philips had its own record label in the 1960s. In the US, the label was distributed by Mercury Records, and was known primarily for a long string of hits by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. In 1968 the label surprised everyone by signing the loudest band in San Francisco, Blue Cheer. Their cover of the 50s Eddie Cochrane hit Summertime Blues was all over both the AM and FM airwaves that summer.

Artist:     Human Beinz
Title:     Nobody But Me
Source:     LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as a 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Ron Isley
Label:     LP: Rhino (originally released on Capitol)
Year:     1968
    The Human Beingz were a band that had been around since 1964 doing mostly club gigs in the Youngstown, Ohio area as the Premiers. In the late 60s they decided to update their image with a name more in tune with the times and came up with the Human Beingz. Unfortunately someone at Capitol misspelled their name (leaving out the "g") on the label of Nobody But Me, and after the song became a national hit the band was stuck with the new spelling. The band split up in 1969, but after Nobody But Me was featured in the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill: Vol.1, original leader Ting Markulin reformed the band with a new lineup that has appeared in the Northeastern US in recent years.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Burning Of The Midnight Lamp
Source:    CD: Electric Ladyland
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Burning of the Midnight Lamp was the fourth, and at the time most sophisticated single released by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, coming out in mid-1967 between Are You Experienced and Axis: Bold As Love. By this time, Reprise had changed its policy and ended up releasing the Axis album with the same song lineup as the UK original, which left Midnight Lamp a kind of orphan. Hendrix, though, having put a lot of work into the song, was not content to let the mono single release be the last word on the cut, and created a new stereo mix from the original tapes for inclusion on Electric Ladyland the following year.

Artist:    Cyrkle
Title:    Big, Little Woman
Source:    Red Rubber Ball
Writer(s):    Danneman/Dawes
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The Cyrkle rose to prominence with a pair of hit singles in 1966: Red Rubber Ball and Turn Down Day. Both those tunes were included on their first LP for Columbia, which also included several tunes written by members of the Cyrkle. Among those was Big, Little Woman, a solid example of the light pop the Cyrkle did so well. Unfortunately for the band, the maturing baby boomers that made up the bulk of the top 40 audience in 1966 were starting to look for heavier stuff, and the Cyrkle soon fell out of favor.

Artist:    Love
Title:    My Little Red Book
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Bacharach/David
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1966
    The first rock record ever released by Elektra Records was a single by Love called My Little Red Book. The track itself (which also opens Love's debut LP), is a punked out version of tune originally recorded by Manfred Mann for the What's New Pussycat movie soundtrack. Needless to say, Love's version was not exactly what Burt Bacharach and Hal David had in mind.

Artist:    Mothers Of Invention
Title:    How Could I Be Such A Fool
Source:    LP: Freak Out!
Writer(s):    Frank Zappa
Label:    Verve
Year:    1966
    Historically, rock music and waltzes have been pretty much mutually exclusive. There are exceptions, however, and many of those were written by Frank Zappa. Perhaps the earliest of these was How Could I Be Such A Fool from the Mothers Of Invention's Freak Out album, which in many ways is one of the most conventional compositions Zappa ever came up with. I can almost picture some mid-60s mainstream and/or jazz singer releasing it as a single.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    Back Door Man
Source:    LP: Special Disc Jockey Record (originally released on LP: Live At The Cafe-Au-Go-Go
Writer:    Dixon/Burnett
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1966
    Original Blues Project vocalist Tommy Flanders only stayed with the group long enough to record one album. At the release party at the L.A. Hilton for Live At The Cafe-Au-Go-Go, however, in a scene right out of Spinal Tap, Flanders's girl friend had an all-out blowup with the rest of the band members that resulted in her announcing that Flanders was quitting the band to go Hollywood. As a result by the time the album actually became available in record stores Flanders was no longer with the group. The Blues Project's cover of Howlin' Wolf's classic Back Door Man is a good example of Flanders performing in his element.

Artist:     Firesign Theatre
Title:     How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All?
Source:     CD: How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All?
Writer:     Proctor/Bergman/Austin/Ossman
Label:     Columbia/Legacy
Year:     1969
     Tonight's longest request (by far) is the entire first side of the second Firesign Theatre album, How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All? The group, consisting of Phil Proctor, Peter Bergman, Phil Austin and David Ossman, pioneered a type of "counter-culture comedy" that would be followed up on by such stars as Cheech and Chong, George Carlin, and the Credibility Gap (with Harry Shearer and Michael McKean), as well as the National Lampoon Radio Hour (featuring Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Christopher Guest and others).

Artist:    Iron Butterfly
Title:    Soul Experience
Source:    LP: Evolution (originally released on LP: Ball)
Writer(s):    Ingle/Bushy/Brann/Dorman
Label:    Atco
Year:    1969
    Following up on the success of the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida album, Iron Butterfly released the Ball album in 1969. It was an immediate commercial success, despite none of its tracks getting extensive airplay on either top 40 AM or progressive FM stations. The first single released from the album was Soul Experience, which peaked at the #75 spot on the charts. The song has an unusual rhythm that is strikingly similar to that of the 1983 Hall and Oates hit Say It Isn't So. Hmmm.

Artist:    Warlocks
Title:    Early Morning Rain
Source:    CD: Birth Of The Dead
Writer(s):    Gordon Lightfoot
Label:    Rhino
Year:    1965
    The earliest known recordings by the Grateful Dead were made for Autumn Records in late 1965, but not released until 2001 as part of the twelve-CD box set The Golden Road (1965-1973). Among those early recordings was a cover version of a Gordon Lightfoot tune, Early Morning Rain. Although the band was still calling itself the Warlocks at this point, the tape box itself is labeled The Emergency Crew.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    A Well Respected Man
Source:    CD: 25 Years-The Ultimate Collection (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    PolyTel (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
     The Kinks were one of the original British Invasion bands, scoring huge R&B-influenced hits with You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night in 1964. The hits continued in 1965 with more melodic songs like Set Me Free and Tired Of Waiting For You. 1966 saw Ray Davies's songwriting take a satiric turn, as A Well Respected Man amply illustrates. Over the next few years the Kinks would continue to evolve, generally getting decent critical reviews and moderate record sales for their albums. The title of one of those later albums, Muswell Hillbillies, refers to the Davies brothers hometown of Muswell Hill, North London.

Artist:    Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:    Incense And Peppermints
Source:    Mono CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Carter/Gilbert/Weitz/King
Label:    Rhino (original label: Uni)
Year:    1967
    Incense and Peppermints is one of the iconic songs of the psychedelic era, yet when it was originally released to Los Angeles area radio stations it was intended to be the B side of The Birdman of Alkatrash. Somewhere along the line a DJ flipped the record over and started playing Incense And Peppermints instead. The song caught on and Uni Records (short for Universal, which is now the world's largest record company) picked up the Strawberry Alarm Clock's contract and reissued the record nationally with Incense And Peppermints as the A side.

Artist:    Flamin' Groovies
Title:    I'm Drowning
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Sneakers)
Writer(s):    Roy Loney
Label:    Rhino (original label: Snazz)
Year:    1968
    An anomoly among San Francisco bands, the Flamin' Groovies were in a sense a throwback to the early days of the local SF music scene, with an emphasis on basic rock and roll rather than extended jamming of psychedelic experimentation. Although they eventually ended up signing a contract with a major label, it was their self-issued 10" mono LP (or maybe EP) Sneakers that captured the essence of the band. I'm Drowning was written by original lead vocalist Roy Loney, who would be gone by the time the band made their major label debut.

Artist:    Tommy James And The Shondells
Title:    Ball Of Fire
Source:    CD: The Best Of Tommy James And The Shondells (originally released on LP: Greatest Hits and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    James/Vale/Sudano/Wilson/Naumann
Label:    Rhino (original label: Roulette)
Year:    1969
    From a modern perspective it seems obvious that the only thing keeping Roulette Records going in the late 60s was the string of hits on the label by Tommy James and the Shondells. Oddly enough, Tommy James was one of many acts that initially tanked on the label. It was only when a Pittsburgh DJ began playing a two year old copy of Hanky Panky he had rescued from the throwaway pile in 1966 that the band's career took off. By then, however, the original Shondells had long-since disbanded and James found himself suddenly in demand with no band to back him up. He soon found a new group of Shondells and began cranking out an amazing streak of hits, including I Think We're Alone Now, Mony Mony, Crystal Blue Persuasion and Crimson and Clover among others. One of those others was Ball Of Fire, a tune recorded specifically for the band's Greatest Hits album and subsequently released as a single in 1969. It was, at the time, an innovative way to introduce a new song, although the practice would become fairly common in the 1980s.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Got Love If You Want It
Source:    Australian import CD: Over, Under, Sideways, Down (originally released in UK on LP: Five Live Yardbirds)
Writer(s):    James Moore
Label:    Raven (original label: Columbia UK)
Year:    1964
    The first Yardbirds LP was a live album released only in the UK in 1964 called Five Live Yardbirds. Although some of the tracks on the LP would appear in the US on side two of Having A Rave Up With The Yardbirds, the band's cover of Slim Harpo's Got Love If You Want It was not among them. The song was recorded when Eric Clapton was still the band's guitarist and is a good example of the early Yardbirds live sound.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    The World Turns All Around Her
Source:    LP: Turn! Turn! Turn!
Writer(s):    Gene Clark
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    In their early days, the Byrds were known more for their reworking of other writers' material, such as Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man and Pete Seeger's Turn! Turn! Turn! than for the songs they wrote themselves. Eventually, Jim (Roger) McGuinn, David Crosby and Chris Hillman would all develop into outstanding songwriters, but before they did, Gene Clark was considered the band's top composer. The World Turns All Around Her, from their second album, Turn! Turn! Turn!, shows why.

Artist:    Oxford Circle
Title:    Foolish Woman
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Yoder/Patton
Label:    Rhino (original label: World United)
Year:    1966
    The Oxford Circle was one of those bands that had a reputation for being the opening band that blew the headliners off the stage, yet never was able to make it big itself. Originally from Sacramento, California, the group appeared frequently in and around San Francisco in 1965 and 1966, but disbanded before the scene started getting national attention, with many of the members moving on to greater fame with other bands. Drummer Paul Whaley was the first to get national attention as a founding member of Blue Cheer. Oxford Circle leader Gary Lee Yoder would eventually join Blue Cheer as well, after a short stint with his own band, Kak. Also of note was bassist Jim Keylor, who was in an early incarnation of Roxy and went on to form BSU studios, where the Dead Kennedys recorded. For all that, the Oxford Circle made only one single, Foolish Woman, which was released on the independent World United label in 1966.

Artist:    Sound Sandwich
Title:    Apothecary Dream
Source:    Mono LP: Ain't It Hard (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Johnny Cole
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Viva)
Year:    1967
    One of the more successful record producers in mid-60s Los Angeles was Snuff Garrett, whose credits include hits by Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Cher and others. For a while Garrett even had his own record label. Viva Records was only around for a couple of years, but during that time they turned out some of the best-produced psychedelic records ever made. One example is 1967's Apothecary Dream, a tune written by producer Johnny Cole and performed by local L.A. band the Sound Sandwich. The band cut a second single the following January before Viva folded.

Artist:    Standells
Title:    Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Ed Cobb
Label:    Tower
Year:    1966
    The Standells were probably the most successful band to record for the Tower label (not counting Pink Floyd, whose first LP was issued, in modified form, on the label after being recorded in England). Besides their big hit Dirty Water, they hit the charts with other tunes such as Why Pick On Me, Try It, and the punk classic Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White. Both Good Guys and Dirty Water were written by producer Ed Cobb, who has to be considered the most prolific punk-rock songwriter of the 60s, having also written songs for the "E" Types and Chocolate Watchband (both of which he also produced).

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Moonlight Drive
Source:    CD: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Much of the second Doors album consisted of songs that were already in the band's repertoire when they signed with Elektra Records but for various reasons did not record for their debut LP. One of the earliest was Jim Morrison's Moonlight Ride. As was the case with all the Doors songs on their first three albums, the tune was credited to the entire band.

Artist:    John Mayall
Title:    Long Gone Midnight
Source:    LP: Blues From Laurel Canyon
Writer(s):    John Mayall
Label:    London
Year:    1968
    In spring of 1968 John Mayall decided to disband the Bluesbreakers, the band that had brought fame to a variety of British blues musicians, including Eric Clapton, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Peter Green. He then embarked on a holiday (vacation in US terms) to southern California, where he hung out with members of Canned Heat and met a famous groupie. He then returned home to England and wrote a series of songs about the trip. Those songs became one of Mayall's strongest albums, Blues From Laurel Canyon. The 1968 LP features guitarist Mick Taylor, who would soon leave the band to replace Brian Jones in the Rolling Stones. Long Gone Midnight in particular showcases Taylor's prowess.

Artist:    Kim Fowley
Title:    Bubblegum
Source:    Import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released on LP: Outrageous)
Writer(s):    Cert/Fowley
Label:    Zonophone UK (original label: Imperial)
Year:    1969
    Like a hip Hollywood Forrest Gump, Kim Fowley kept popping up in various capacities throughout the 60s and 70s on records like Alley Oop (co-producer), Nut Rocker (writer, arranger) and the first three Runaways albums (producer and guy who introduced the band members to each other), working with such diverse talents as Gene Vincent, Helen Reddy and Kiss. He has also managed to rack up an impressive catalog as a solo artist, with over two dozen albums to his credit. The most successful of these was his 1968 LP Outrageous, which includes the song Bubblegum (also called Bubble Gum). Despite the title, the track has nothing in common with bands like the 1910 Fruitgum Company. In fact, the song is sometimes cited as one of the first glam-rock recordings.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Living In The Past
Source:    CD: Stand Up (bonus track) (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol (original UK label: Island)
Year:    1969
    By the end of the 1960s most UK labels had abandoned the British tradition of not including singles on LPs. One notable exception was Island Records, who continued to issue mutually exclusive Jethro Tull albums, singles and EPs into the early 1970s. Among those non-LP tracks was the 1969 single Living In The Past, which would not be included on an LP until 1972, when the song became the title track of a double LP Jethro Tull retrospective. The song then became a hit all over again, including in the US, where the original single had not been issued at all.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Sossity; You're A Woman
Source:    CD: Benefit
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol
Year:    1970
    The third Jethro Tull album, Benefit, saw the group take a much darker tone than on their previous LPs. One example of this is Sossity; You're A Woman, which closes out side two of both the US and UK versions of the original LP.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Back To The Family
Source:    CD: Stand Up
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol
Year:    1969
    The second Jethro Tull album, Stand Up, shows a band in transition from its roots in the British blues-rock scene to a group entirely dominated by the musical vision of vocalist/flautist/composer Ian Anderson. Back To The Family is sometimes cited as an early example of the style that the band would be come to known for on later albums such as Thick As A Brick.

Artist:    W.C. Fields Memorial Electric String Band
Title:    Hippy Elevator Operator
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Caldwell/Zinner
Label:    Rhino (original label: HBR)
Year:    1966
    Sometime in 1966, Redondo Beach, California band the Bees decided to start calling themselves the W.C. Fields Memorial Electric String Band. The new name was interesting enough to attract the attention of HBR, also known as Hanna-Barbera Records, a company owned by the TV animation studio that was famous for characters like Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear and the Flintstones. Unfortunately for the band, DJs tended to not take records on the label too seriously, and after a short recording career that culminated in a single called Hippy Elevator Operator, the band faded off into obscurity (followed shortly thereafter by HBR itself).

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