Artist: Beacon Street Union
Title: Blue Avenue
Source: LP: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union
Writer(s): Wayne Ulaky
One of Boston's most popular bands, the Beacon Street Union, had already migrated to New York City by the time their first album, The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union (produced by the legendary Tom Wilson), made its debut in February of 1968. The band itself was made up of Boston University dropouts John Lincoln Wright (lead vocals), Paul Tartachny (guitar, vocals), Robert Rhodes (keyboards, brass), Richard Weisberg (drums), and Wayne Ulaky (bass). Ulaky wrote what was probably the band's best-known song, Blue Avenue. The tune was particular popular in the UK, where it was heard on the Top Gear program. The Beacon Street Union, however, fell victim to hype; in this case the ill-advised attempt on the part of M-G-M records to market several disparate bands as being part of the "boss-town sound". After a second LP, The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens (produced by future Partridge Family impressario Wes Farrell) failed to equal the somewhat limited success of their debut LP, the Beacon Street Union decided to call it quits.
Title: Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Source: LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Label: Parlophone/EMI (original US label: Capitol)
The top album of 1967 was the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was also the first US Beatle album to have a song lineup that was identical to the original UK LP. As such, it was also the first Beatle album released in the US to not include any songs that were also released as singles. Nonetheless, several tracks from the LP found their way onto the playlists of both top 40 AM and "underground" FM stations from coast to coast. Among the most popular of these tracks was John Lennon's Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, which shows up on just about everyone's list of classic psychedelic tunes.
Artist: Blues Project
Title: The Flute Thing
Source: CD: Projections
Writer(s): Al Kooper
Label: Sundazed (original label: Verve Forecast)
The Blues Project was one of the most influential bands in rock history, yet one of the least known. Perhaps the first of the "underground" rock bands, the Project made their name by playing small colleges across the country (including Hobart College, where Stuck in the Psychedelic Era is produced). The Flute Thing, from the band's second album, Projections, features bassist Andy Kuhlberg on flute, with rhythm guitarist Steve Katz taking over the bass playing, joining lead guitarist Danny Kalb and keyboardist Al Kooper for a tune that owes more to jazz artists like Roland Kirk than to anything top 40 rock had to offer at the time.
Artist: Joan Baez
Title: Daddy You Been On My Mind
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s): Bob Dylan
Although I had heard songs like Where Have All The Flowers Gone and Blowin' In The Wind on the radio and around campfires, I did not actually own a folk record until early 1966, when I picked up a brown paper "grab bag" of four singles at a discount price at the Post Exchange at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Aurora, Colorado. Among the records in the bag was a single by Joan Baez that featured a Phil Ochs song on one side and a Bob Dylan song on the other. Being a twelve-year-old kid, I had never heard of Baez or Ochs, although the name Bob Dylan was vaguely familiar to me. Still, I was intrigued by this new kind of music, that was a bit similar to songs I had heard on the radio like Where Have All The Flowers Gone, but yet had a kind of exotic strangeness that set it apart. I ended up wearing out the grooves on that 45, but years later found a promo copy of the same single at a radio station I worked at. Since that station was no longer playing vinyl I of course helped myself to the record and am happy to share it with you this week. Enjoy!
Title: Turn! Turn! Turn!
Source: Simulated Stereo CD: The Best Of 60s Supergroups (
Writer(s): Pete Seeger
Label: Priority (origina label: Columbia)
After their success covering Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man, the band turned to an even more revered songwriter: the legendary Pete Seeger. Turn! Turn! Turn!, with lyrics taken directly from the book of Ecclesiastes, was first recorded by Seeger in the early 60s, nearly three years after he wrote the song.
Title: The Little Black Egg
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Lee; re-released by Kapp in 1966)
The Nightcrawlers were formed by a group of high school kids from Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1965. Led by Chuck Conlon, the group caught the attention of local music publisher Robert Quimby, who also owned Lee Records. The label released two singles by the band, the second of which was The Little Black Egg. The song went to the top spot on local radio station WROD, doing well on other Florida stations as well. This led to Kapp Records picking up the record for national distribution in late 1966 (after doing a complete remix from the master tape).
Artist: Missing Links
Title: You're Driving Me Insane
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in Australia as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Baden Hutchins
Label: Rhino (original label: Philips)
Long before AC/DC emerged from down under, the Missing Links were known as "Australia's wildest group". The name Missing Links was first used in 1964 by a group that released only one single in 1964. The following year an entirely new lineup made up of friends and associates of the original group began using the name, releasing three singles (the first of which was You're Driving Me Insane) and an album before disbanding in April of1966.
Artist: Eric Burdon And The Animals
Title: Sky Pilot
Source: CD: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals (originally released on LP: The Twain Shall Meet)
Label: Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
After the original Animals lineup disbanded in late 1966, lead vocalist Eric Burdon quickly set out to form a "New Animals" group that would come to be called Eric Burdon and the Animals. Their biggest hit was 1968's Sky Pilot, a song that was so long it had to be split across two sides of a 45 RPM record. The uninterrupted version of the song was included on the group's second album, The Twain Shall Meet.
Artist: Eric Burdon and the Animals
Source: CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Twain Shall Meet)
Label: BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: M-G-M)
One of the first appearances of the New Animals on stage was at the Monterey International Pop Festival. The experience so impressed the group that they wrote a song about it. The song was issued both as a single and on the LP The Twain Shall Meet. The single used a mono mix; the LP version, while in stereo, was overlapped at both the beginning and end by adjoining tracks, and was missing the first few seconds of the single version. The version used here was created by splicing the mono intro onto the stereo main portion of the song, fading out at the end a bit early to avoid the overlap from the LP. This process (called making a "cut down") was first done by a company called Drake-Chenault, which supplied tapes to radio stations using the most pristine stereo versions of songs available. Whether Polydor used the Drake-Chenault version or did the cut down itself, the version is the same.
Artist: World Column
Title: Lantern Gospel
Source: Mono British import CD: My Mind Goes High (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Warner Strategic Marketing (original label: Atco)
World Column was actually an R&B band from the midwest that, for some unknown reason, decided to change styles and record a song which has since become a psychedelic classic. Lantern Gospel, released in the summer of 1968, appeared on a dozen bootleg compilation albums before finally being officially released on the Rhino Handmade CD My Mind Goes High, which is now available in the UK through Warner Strategic Marketing.
Source: CD: Present Tense
Label: Sundazed (original label: Columbia)
Sagittarius started as a spare time project by Columbia Records staff producer Gary Usher, who had established himself as the king of surf music during the genre's heyday, working with people like Brian Wilson, Bruce Johnston and Terry Melcher, as well as the Wrecking Crew (the unofficial name given to the L.A. studio musicians that played on the records he produced). Usher had been in complete creative control of his projects during the surf years and was finding out that working with people like the Byrds and Simon And Garfunkel, while financially lucrative, was creatively stifling for him, as those artists had their own creative visions and he did not want to force his own ideas on them. In early 1967, inspired by his friend Brian Wilson's Good Vibrations, Usher began working on what would become Sagittarius over the weekends and late at night when the Columbia studios were not in use. Access to the studios were not an issue (he had his own keys), nor was access to L.A.'s top studio musicians such as drummer Hal Blaine and bassist Carol Kane, who were more than happy to help out the man who had provided them so much employment over the years. The first production to be released under the Sagittarius name was a single called My World Fell Down, a piece featuring Glen Campbell on vocals that rivaled Good Vibrations itself in complexity. Usher soon took on a partner in the project, producer Curt Boettcher, who had made a huge impression on both Usher and Wilson in early 1966 when he was a producer for Our Productions, working in the same building as Wilson and Usher. Boettcher brought considerable energy and a wealth of material to Sagittarius, and in one case even a lead vocalist. Craig Brewer, a friend of Boettcher's, reportedly just happened to wander in during the recording of Glass and was drafted to provide lead vocals to the song, which had previously been recorded by the Sandpipers, a middle-of-the-road vocal combo.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Gypsy Eyes
Source: Dutch import LP: The Singles (originally released on LP: Electric Ladyland)
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
Label: Polydor (original label: Reprise)
The last album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience was a double LP mixture of studio recordings and live jams in the studio with an array of guest musicians. Gypsy Eyes is a good example of Hendrix's prowess at the mixing board as well as on guitar.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Ain't No Tellin'
Source: CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
Label: MCA (original label: Reprise)
Possibly the closest thing to a traditional R&B style song in JImi Hendrix's repertoire, Ain't No Tellin' was also, at one minute and 47 seconds, one of the shortest tracks ever recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The tune appeared on the Axis: Bold As Love album in 1967.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Highway Chile
Source: Dutch simulated stereo import LP: The Singles
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
The Jimi Hendrix Experience already had three hit singles in the UK before releasing their first LP, Are You Experienced, in May of 1967. The following month the band made its US debut at the Monterey International Pop Festival. The gig went over so well that Reprise Records soon made arrangements to release Are You Experienced in the US. To maximize the commercial potential of the LP, Reprise decided to include the A sides of all three singles on the album, even though those songs had not been on the British version. The B sides of all three singles, however, were not included on the album. Among those missing tracks was Highway Chile, a somewhat autobiographical song that was originally paired with The Wind Cries Mary.
Artist: We The People
Title: Mirror Of Your Mind
Source: Mono CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Thomas Talton
Label: Rhino (original label: Challenge)
We The People were formed when an Orlando, Florida newspaper reporter talked members of two local bands to combine into a garage/punk supergroup. The result was one of the most successful regional bands in Florida history. After their first recording got airplay on a local station, they were signed to record in Nashville for Challenge Records (a label actually based in Los Angeles) and cranked out several regional hits over the next few years. The first of these was Mirror Of Your Mind. Written by lead vocalist Tom Talton, the song is an in-your-face rocker that got played on a number of local stations and has been covered by several bands since.
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Otis Redding
Label: Rhino (original label: Atco)
Sounding a lot like the Rascals, the Vagrants were a popular Long Island band led by singer Peter Sabatino and best remembered for being the group that had guitarist Leslie Weinstein in it. Weinstein would change his last name to West and record a solo album called Mountain before forming the band of the same name. This version of Respect is fairly faithful to the original Otis Redding version. Unfortunately for the Vagrants, Aretha Franklin would release her rearranged version of the song just a few weeks after the Vagrants, relegating their version of the tune (and the Vagrants themselves) to footnote status.
Artist: Chambers Brothers
Title: Time Has Come Today
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: The Time Has Come)
Writer(s): Joe and Willie Chambers
Label: Rhino (original label: Columbia)
One of the quintessential songs of the psychedelic era is the Chambers Brothers' classic Time Has Come Today. The song was originally recorded and issued as a single in 1966. The more familiar version heard here, however, was recorded in 1967 for the album The Time Has Come. The LP version of the song runs about eleven minutes, way too long for a 45 RPM record, so before releasing the song as a single for the second time, engineers at Columbia cut the song down to around 3 minutes. The edits proved so jarring that the record was recalled and a re-edited version, clocking in at 4:57 became the third and final single version of the song, hitting the charts in 1968.
Title: Unhappy Girl
Source: LP: Strange Days
Writer(s): The Doors
After the success of their first album and the single Light My Fire in early 1967, the Doors quickly returned to the studio, releasing a second LP, Strange Days, later the same year. The first single released from the new album was People Are Strange. The B side of that single was Unhappy Girl, from the same album. Both sides got played on the jukebox at a neighborhood gasthaus known as the Woog in the village of Meisenbach near Ramstein Air Force Base (which is where I was spending most of my evenings that autumn).
Artist: Circus Maximus
Title: Short-Haired Fathers
Source: LP: Circus Maximus
Writer(s): Bob Bruno
Circus Maximus was formed in Greenwich Village by guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Bob Bruno and guitarist Jerry Jeff Walker in 1967. The group originally wanted to call itself the Lost Sea Dreamers, but changed it after the Vanguard Records expressed reservations about signing a group with the initials LSD. Of the eleven tracks on the band's debut LP, only four were written by Walker, and those were in more of a folk-rock vein. Bruno's seven tracks, on the other hand, are true gems of psychedelia, ranging from the jazz-influenced Wind to the proto-punk rocker Short-Haired Fathers. The group fell apart after only two albums, mostly due to the growing musical differences between Walker and Bruno. Walker, of course, went on to become one of the most successful songwriters of the country-rock genre. As for Bruno, he's still in New York City, concentrating more on the visual arts in recent years.
Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on LP: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) and as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Reprise)
The Electric Prunes biggest hit was I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), released in early 1967. The record, initially released without much promotion from the record label, was championed by Seattle DJ Pat O'Day of KJR radio, and was already popular in that area when it hit the national charts (thus explaining why so many people assumed the band was from Seattle). I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) has come to be one of the defining songs of the psychedelic era and was the opening track on both the original Lenny Kaye Nuggets compilation and Rhino's first Nuggets LP.
Artist: Mystery Trend
Title: Johnny Was A Good Boy
Source: Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Verve)
The Mystery Trend was a bit of an anomaly. Contemporaries of bands such as the Great! Society and the Charlatans, the Trend always stood a bit apart from the rest of the crowd, playing to an audience that was both a bit more affluent and a bit more "adult" (they were reportedly the house band at a Sausalito strip club). Although they played in the city itself as early as 1965, they did not release their first record until early 1967. The song, Johnny Was A Good Boy, tells the story of a seemingly normal middle-class kid who turns out to be a monster (without actually specifying what he did), surprising friends, family and neighbors. The same theme would be used by XTC in the early 1980s in the song No Thugs In Our House, one of the standout tracks from their landmark English Settlement album.
Artist: Procol Harum
Title: Lime Street Blues
Source: Mono British import CD: Procol Harum
Label: Salvo (original label: Deram)
Anyone expecting more of the same when flipping over their new copy of A Whiter Shade Of Pale got a big surprise when they heard Lime Street Blues. The song, reminiscent of an early Ray Charles track, was strong enough to be included on their first greatest hits collection, no mean feat for a B side.
Artist: Neil Young
Title: Southern Man
Source: CD: After The Gold Rush
Writer: Neil Young
Neil Young stirred up a bit of controversy with the release of the album After The Gold Rush, mostly due to the inclusion of Southern Man, a scathingly critical look at racism in the American South. The song inspired the members of Lynnard Skynnard to write Sweet Home Alabama in response, although reportedly Young and the members of Skynnard actually thought highly of each other. There was even an attempt to get Young to make a surprise appearance at a Skynnard concert and sing the (modified) line "Southern Man don't need me around", but they were never able to coordinate their schedules enough to pull it off.
Artist: Iron Butterfly
Source: LP: Evolution (originally released on LP: Ball)
Writer(s): Erik Brann
Although his tenure as guitarist for the band was relatively short, Erik Brann is generally regarded as THE Iron Butterfly guitarist. This is probably because the two albums he recorded with the band, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida and Ball, are by far their best-known work. Brann, along with bassist Lee Dorman, joined keyboardist/vocalist Doug Ingle and drummer Ron Bushy after the original band split up shortly after the release of their first LP, Heavy. He quickly integrated himself into the band, co-writing several tunes with primary songwriter Ingle, and even providing one (Belda Beast from the Ball album) without any help from Ingle.
Title: Pressed Rat And Warthog
Source: LP: Wheels Of Fire
The opening track of side two of Cream's third album, Wheels Of Fire, is one of those songs you either love or hate. Personally I loved Pressed Rat And Warthog the first time I heard it but had several friends that absolutely detested it. As near as I can tell, Ginger Baker actually talks that way. Come to think of it, all the members of Cream have pretty heavy accents.
Artist: Third Bardo
Title: I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time
Source: Mono British import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Zonophone (original label: Roulette)
The Third Bardo (the name coming from the Tibetan Book of the Dead) only released one single, but I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time has become, over a period of time, one of the most sought-after records of the psychedelic era. Not much is known of this New York band made up of Jeffrey Moon (vocals), Bruce Ginsberg (drums), Ricky Goldclang (lead guitar), Damian Kelly (bass) and Richy Seslowe (guitar).
Title: All Night Stand
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Ray Davies
Label: Rhino (original label: Planet)
One of the most important persons in the 60s British music industry was producer Shel Talmy, who, in addition to producing the Who, the Kinks and other popular bands was involved in the book publishing business. One of the writers Talmy worked with was Thom Keyes, whose first novel, All Night Stand, dealt with the adventures of a fictitious British beat band. To help promote the book (and possibly lay the groundwork for a motion picture adaptation), Talmy commissioned the Kinks Ray Davies to write a title song for the book, which Talmy then gave to a band called the Thoughts that he had just signed to his Planet Records label. For their part the Thoughts made their living mostly by backing up local singers such as Paul Dean and the duo John And Johnny, with All Night Stand being their only record under their own name.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Source: Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
When the Rolling Stones' most expensive single to date, We Love You, got only a lukewarm response from American radio listeners stations began to flip the record over and play the B side, Dandelion, instead. The song ended up being one of the band's biggest US hits of 1967.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Under My Thumb
Source: LP: Aftermath
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
With the exception of certain Beatle tracks, pretty much every well-known song from the beginning of recorded music through the year 1966 had been released as a single either on 45 or 78 RPM records (and for a while in the 1950s, on both). With Under My Thumb, from the Aftermath album, the Rolling Stones proved that someone besides the fab four could record a classic that was available only as a 33 1/3 RPM LP track. In a sense, then, Aftermath can be considered the very foundation of album rock, as more and groups put their most creative energy into making albums rather than singles in the ensuing years. Thanks, Stones.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Source: Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): Nanker Phelge
Label: Abkco (original label: Decca)
The second Rolling Stones single, from November of 1963, was slated to be their first US release, but was cancelled by the shirts at London Records, who objected to the record's B side, an instrumental jam called Stoned, on "moral grounds." The track is credited to Nanker Phelge, a fictitious name created for the purpose of making sure all the band members, as well as producer Andrew Oldham, shared royalties from the song equally (not that there were any royalties to be made from a B side anyway). The record's A side, I Wanna Be Your Man (a song given to the Stones by John Lennon and Paul McCartney), was eventually issued as the B side of the Stones' next single in March of 1964, but Stoned remained unavailable in the US (except as a hard to find import) for several years.