Artist: Jimi Hendrix
Source: Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
Year: Recorded 1968, released 2013
Although the Jimi Hendrix Experience did not officially disband until 1969, Hendrix himself was spending more and more time working with musicians outside the band as early as mid-1968. The Electric Ladyland album itself features guest appearances by the likes of Steve Winwood, Buddy Miles and Chris Wood, among others, and for years there have been even more recordings by non-Experience members rumored to exist. Among those legendary tracks is Somewhere, a piece that features Miles on drums, and, unusually, Stephen Stills on bass. In addition to a special 45 RPM single release, Somewhere is available on the 2013 album People, Hell and Angels. According to engineer Eddie Kramer, this is the final collection of unreleased studio tracks to be issued by the Hendrix family estate.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Long Hot Summer Night
Source: LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
With such classics as Voodoo Chile, Crosstown Traffic and Still Raining Still Dreaming on the third Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Electric Ladyland, it's easy to overlook a song like Long Hot Summer Night. Once you hear it, however, you realize just how strong Jimi Hendrix's songwriting had become by 1968. Keyboardist Al Kooper, himself in the process of making rock history with his Super Session album, makes a guest appearance on piano.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix (Band Of Gypsys)
Title: Power Of Soul
Source: Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
Year: Recorded 1970, released 2013
1969 was a strange year for Jimi Hendrix. For one thing, he did not release any new recordings that year, yet he remained the top money maker in rock music. One reason for the lack of new material was an ongoing dispute with Capitol Records over a contract he had signed in 1965. By the end of the year an agreement was reached for Hendrix to provide Capitol with one album's worth of new material. At this point Hendrix had not released any live albums, so it was decided to tape his New Year's performances at the Fillmore East with his new Band Of Gypsys (with drummer Buddy Miles and bassist Billy Cox), playing songs that had never been released in studio form. As it turns out, however, studio versions of many of the songs on that album did indeed exist, but were not issued until after Hendrix's death, when producer Alan Douglas put out a pair of LPs (Crash Landing and Midnight Lightning), that had some of the original drum and bass tracks (and even some guitar tracks) re-recorded by musicians that had never actually worked with Hendrix. One of those songs is Power Of Soul, which has finally been released in its original Band Of Gypsys studio version, with background vocals provided by Cox and Miles.
Artist: Country Joe and the Fish
Title: Section 43
Source: LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer: Joe McDonald
In 1966 Country Joe and the Fish released their original mono version of an instrumental called Section 43. The song was included on a 7" EP inserted in an underground newspaper called Rag Baby. In 1967 the group recorded an expanded stereo version of Section 43 and included it on their debut LP for Vanguard Records, Electric Music For The Mind And Body. It was this arrangement of the piece that the group performed live at the Monterey International Pop Festival that June.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: Don't Slip Away
Source: LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Label: RCA Victor
Don't Slip Away, from the first Jefferson Airplane album, released in 1966, could probably have been a hit if it had been released as a single. It wasn't, however, and the band remained mostly unknown outside of the immediate San Francisco Bay area for several months after the release of Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. This gave the group the opportunity to make a pair of key personnel changes that resulted in Grace Slick and Spender Dryden becoming Airplane members in time to record the group's breakthrough LP, Surrealistic Pillow. On the strength of Slick's vocals in particular, the Jefferson Airplane became a national phenomena in 1967.
Title: Softly To Me
Source: Australian import CD: Comes In Colours (originally released on LP: Love)
Writer: Bryan McLean
Label: Raven (original label: Elektra)
Before the signing of Love in 1966, Elektra was a folk and ethnic music label whose closest thing to a rock band was the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, which was at that time very much into creating as authentic Chicago blues sound as possible for a band from New York. Love, on the other hand, was a bona-fide rock band that was packing the clubs on the Sunset Strip nightly. To underscore the significance of the signing, Elektra started a whole new numbering series for Love's debut album. Bryan McLean's role as a songwriter in Love was similar to George Harrison's as a Beatle. He didn't have many songs on any particular album, but those songs were often among the best tracks on the album. The first of these was Softly To Me from the band's debut LP.
Artist: Derek And The Dominos
Source: CD: Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs
Label: Polydor (original label: Atco)
Derek And The Dominos was originally an attempt by Eric Clapton to remove himself from the solo spotlight and work in a larger group setting than he had with his previous bands, Cream and Blind Faith. Such was Clapton's stature, however, that even among talents like Jim Gordon, Carl Radle and Bobby Whitlock, Clapton was still the star. However, there was one unofficial member of the group whose own star was in ascendancy. Duane Allman, who had chosen to stick with his own group the Allman Brothers Band, nonetheless played on eleven of the fourteen tracks on Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs. His slide work is especially noticeable on the title track and on the song Anyday, which remains one of the most popular songs on the album.
Title: Hey Bulldog
Source: British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Label: EMI (original label: Columbia)
Fans of Uriah Heep may recognize the names Ken Hensley, Joe Konas, John Glascock and Lee Kerslake as members of the legendary 70s British rock band at various phases of its existence. What they may not realize is that these four members had already been bandmates since early 1968 as members of the Gods. The band made it's recording debut with a song called Baby's Rich, which led to a concept album called Genesis. 1969 saw the release of a powerful cover of the Beatles' Hey Bulldog, along with a second album, before the group morphed into a band called Toe Fat, with Hensley soon departing to form Uriah Heep.
Title: Touch Me
Source: Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s): Robby Kreiger
The fourth Doors album was a departure from their previous work. No longer would the entire band be credited for all the tracks the band recorded. In addition, the group experimented with adding horns and other studio embellishments. Nowhere is this more evident than on Touch Me, the only hit single from the album.
Artist: Rupert's People
Title: Reflections Of Charles Brown
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): Rob Lynton
Label: Rhino (original label: Columbia)
First off, Reflections Of Charles Brown was not actually recorded by Rupert's People. In fact, at the time the record was released there was no band called Rupert's People. The track was actually the work of another British band, Les Fleur De Lis, who had been paid by producer Howard Conder to record the song that Rob Lynton had written while Procol Harum's A Whiter Shade Of Pale was at the top of the charts (although Lynton claimed to have never heard of Procol Harum. Once the recording was finished, the band decided that they hated the song and refused to allow their name to be used. Conder, undaunted, simply invented the name Rupert's People and released the record anyway. This would have been the end of it if the record had been a complete flop. As it was, however, Reflections Of Charles Brown started getting airplay on Radio Luxembourg and BBC 1, which made it necessary for an actual band to be formed for live performances. After one early attempt at forming a band that included the Gurvitz brothers (who would almost immediately leave to form their own band, Gun), a final lineup was set in place to record further singles, showing that the blatant exploitation of young musicians was not the exclusive province American producers.
Title: Inside Looking Out
Source: Mono LP: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals (originally released as 45 RPM single)
One of the last songs recorded by the Animals before their first breakup, Inside Looking Out (a powerful song about life in prison) was covered a few years later by Grand Funk Railroad, who made it one of their concert staples. This has always been one of my all-time favorite rock songs.
Title: Captain Soul
Source: CD: Fifth Dimension
During recording sessions for their Fifth Dimension album, the Byrds decided to take a break and loosen up by jamming instrumentally on Lee Dorsey's Get Out Of My Life Woman (which had just been released by the Butterfield Blues Band on their East-West album as well). Bassist Chris Hillman suggested the title Captain Soul for the resulting recording, which won the approval of drummer Michael Clarke, who had been pushing the idea of recording something soul-oriented.
Title: Mrs. Gillespie's Refrigerator
Source: Mono British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Grapefruit (original label: Reaction)
Sands got their big break when they were observed playing at a place called the Cromwellian Club by Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Liking what he heard, Epstein got the band signed to his NEMS management company. His partner at NEMS, Robert Stigwood, had recently formed his own label, Reaction Records, and released Sands' only single in September of 1967, a song called Mrs. Gillespie's Refrigerator that was written by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, who also recorded for Reaction. Unfortunately, Epstein died less than two weeks before the record was released, and the single got virtually no promotion as a result.
Artist: Blues Magoos
Title: (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released on LP: Electric Comic Book and as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Mercury)
The Blues Magoos (original spelling: Bloos) were either the first or second band to use the word psychedelic in an album title. Both they and the 13th Floor Elevators released their debut albums in 1966 and it is unclear which one actually came out first. What's not in dispute is the fact that Psychedelic Lollipop far outsold The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. One major reason for this was the fact that (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet was a huge national hit in early 1967, which helped album sales considerably (of course the fact that they were on Mercury Records, one of the "big six" labels of the time, didn't hurt). Despite having a unique sound and a look to match (including electric suits), the Magoos were unable to duplicate the success of Nothin' Yet on subsequent releases, partially due to Mercury's pairing of two equally marketable songs on the band's next single without indicating to stations which one they were supposed to be playing.
Artist: Simon And Garfunkel
Title: Voices Of Old People/Old Friends/Bookends Theme
Source: LP: Bookends
Writer(s): Paul Simon
Voices of Old People is a sound collage featured on the 1968 Simon And Garfunkel album Bookends. It was recorded on tape by Art Garfunkel at the United Home for Aged Hebrews and the California Home for the Aged at Reseda and then edited by the duo in the studio. On the album the piece leads directly into a Paul Simon composition, Old Friends, a musically experimental song about longtime friends nearing the end of their lives. The album side finishes with the Bookends Theme, which continues the reflective theme of the previous tracks.
Artist: Grateful Dead
Title: Dark Star (single version)
Source: Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Warner Brothers)
Studio recording. Single version. Shortest Dark Star ever.
Artist: Guess Who
Title: Guess Who Blues
Source: Mono CD: Wheatfield Soul (bonus track originally released in Canada as 45 RPM single B side)
Label: Iconoclassic (original label: Nimbus 9)
The Guess Who had already had a successful run of Canadian singles dating back to 1965 when they signed with Jack Richardson's Nimbus 9 Productions in early 1968. The group then went into Hallmark Studios in Toronto to cut a pair of singles for Nimbus. The first of these was an early version of a song called When Friends Fall Out, which was backed with a studio jam titled Guess Who Blues. Both songs were released in Canada in May of 1968. Not long after the release of the single, Richardson took out a second mortgage on his house to take the band to New York to record what would become their US debut LP, Wheatfield Soul, featuring the single These Eyes. The rest is history.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: My Obsession
Source: LP: Between The Buttons
My Obsession, from the 1967 album Between The Buttons, is the kind of song that garage bands loved: easy to learn, easy to sing, easy to dance to. The Rolling Stones, of course, were the kings of this type of song, which is why so many US garage bands sounded like the Stones.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: I Just Wan't To Make Love To You
Source: 45 RPM single B side (reissue)
Writer(s): Willie Dixon
Like most British bands in the early 60s, the Rolling Stones recorded a lot of blues cover songs, including most of their early UK singles. The first original tune from the band to chart was Tell Me (Your Coming Back Again), which was also their first release to crack the US top 40. The Stones weren't quite done with blues covers however. The flip side of Tell Me was an old Willie Dixon classic, I Just Want To Make Love To You.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Source: LP: Between The Buttons
The Rolling Stones' 1967 album Between The Buttons was made amidst growing problems for the band, both with their manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, and guitarist Brian Jones, whose heavy drug use was beginning to take its toll. Exascerbating the problem was the band's increasing frustration with the limitations of four-track technology, which often necessitated bouncing tracks from one machine to another to make room for more tracks, resulting in a loss of overall quality. In fact, Mick Jagger has called the entire album "garbage" (with the exception of one song that was only included on the British version of the LP), due to the poor audio quality of the finished product. Still, some of the songs, like Complicated, are good representations of where the band was musically at the time the album was recorded.
Title: The Wind Blows Her Hair
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
The Wind Blows Her Hair is actually one of the Seeds' better tracks. Unfortunately, by the time it was released the whole concept of Flower Power (which the Seeds were intimately tied to) had become yesterday's news and the single went nowhere.
Title: I Want You
Source: Mono British import CD: Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Label: Spectrum (original label: Fontana)
The Troggs are best known in the US for their 1966 hit Wild Thing, a song that is still recognizable to most Americans today. In reality, though, the Troggs were one of England's most successful and long-lived bands, charting several hit records and remaining active until the death of lead vocalist Reg Presley in 2013. Among their most popular songs in the UK was I Want You, which was released as the B side of With A Girl Like You, the follow up to Wild Thing and the Troggs' only #1 record in the UK. (Wild Thing stalled out at #2 in the UK, although it did top the US charts).
Title: Lazy Old Sun
Source: CD: Something Else By The Kinks
Writer: Ray Davies
Although the Kinks had major hits on both sides of the ocean from 1964-66, by 1967 their success was limited to the UK, despite fine singles such as Dead End Street and Waterloo Sunset. Their 1967 LP, Something Else By The Kinks, continued the band's expansion into slightly satirical explorations of sociopolitical issues. At the same time, the album also shows a more experimental side musically, as Lazy Old Sun, with its staggered tempo and unusual chord progression, demonstrates. The song also shows a willingness to experiment with studio effects, as Something Else was the first Kinks album to be mixed in stereo.
Title: (Roamin' Thro' The Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen
Source: LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM B side and on LP: Traffic)
Label: United Artists
The second Traffic album saw the band taking in a broader set of influences, including traditional English folk music. (Roamin' Through The Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen, originally released as the B side to the Dave Mason tune No Face, No Name, No Number, combines those influences with the Steve Winwood brand of British R&B to create a timeless classic.
Title: Abbey Road Medley #1
Source: CD: Abbey Road
Much of the second side of the last album to be recorded by the Beatles, Abbey Road, is taken up by (depending on whose view you take) either one long medley or two not-quite-so-long medleys of songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Personally I take the former view, as there is just a bit too much quiet space at the end of She Came In Through The Bathroom Window for me to consider it linked to the next song, Golden Slumbers. Regardless, the whole thing starts with You Never Give Me Your Money, a Paul McCartney composition reputed to be a jab at the band's second (and last) manager, Allen Klein. This leads into three John Lennon pieces, Sun King, Mean Mr. Mustard and Polythene Pam, ending finally with another McCartney piece, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, that was inspired by a real life break-in by an overzealous Beatle fan.
Artist: Ten Years After
Title: 50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain
Source: CD: Cricklewood Green
Writer: Alvin Lee
Label: Chrysalis (original label: Deram)
Alvin Lee mentions going to every planet in the solar system during this nearly eight-minute track from the 1970 Ten Years After album, Cricklewood Green. The album itself was the band's most successful until they changed labels and released A Space In Time, an LP that included their best known song, I'd Love To Change The World.