This week, due to problems associated with the recent bad weather in the Northeastern US, we are running a previously unaired backup show recorded this past December. Other than the B10 reference, it's a fairly typical episode of Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, with a total of 31 tracks (six of which have never been played on the show before) by 31 artists (two of which are making their debut).
Artist: Paul Revere and the Raiders
Title: Steppin' Out
Source: CD: Greatest Hits
1965 was the year that Paul Revere and the Raiders hit the big time. The Portland, Oregon band had already been performing together for several years, and had been the first rock band to record Louie Louie in the spring of 1963, getting airplay on the West Coast and Hawaii but losing out nationally to another Portland band, the Kingsmen, whose version was recorded the same month as the Raiders'. While playing in Hawaii the band came to the attention of Dick Clark, who was looking for a band to appear on his new afternoon TV program, Where The Action Is. Clark introduced the band to Terry Melcher, a successful producer at Columbia Records, which led to the Raiders being the first true rock band signed by the label. Appearing on Action turned out to be a major turning point for the band, who soon became the show's defacto hosts as well as house band. The Raiders' first national hit in their new role was Steppin' Out, a song written by Revere and vocalist Mark Lindsay about a guy returning from military service (as Revere himself had done in the early 60s, reforming the band upon his return) and finding out his girl had been unfaithful. Working with Melcher, the Raiders enjoyed a run of hits from 1965-67 unequalled by any other Amercian rock band of the time.
Title: An Invitation To Cry
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Columbia)
In the late 1960s Columbia emerged as one of the top rock labels, with bands such as Blood, Sweat & Tears, Moby Grape and Chicago selling millions of copies of their LPs. It may come as a surprise, then, that just two years before the release of the first Moby Grape album, Columbia had not signed a single rock act. Prior to 1965, Columbia had established itself as a leading force in Jazz, Classical, and what had been known as popular music as personified by such middle of the road acts as Mitch Miller, Anita Bryant and Percy Faith. In addition, Columbia had a virtual lock on Broadway show soundtrack albums, but, other than Bob Dylan, who had originally been signed as a pure folk artist, the label had nothing approaching rock and roll. That began to change, however, with the label's signing of Paul Revere and the Raiders on the West coast and a Greenwich Village based band called the Magicians on the East. While the label turned to staff producer Terry Melcher for the Raiders, they instead went with the management/production team of Bob Wyld and Art Polhemus, who would later find success with the Blues Magoos. The Magicians, however, were not so successful, despite the presence of band members Gary Bonner and Alan Gordon, who would go on to write major hits Happy Together and She's My Girl (among others) for the Turtles, as well as songs for other artists. It was Gordon, along with non-member James Woods, that wrote the Magicians' first single, An Invitation To Cry, which was released in November of 1965.
Artist: Small Faces
Title: My Mind's Eye
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Decca)
One of the biggest British hits of 1965 was All Or Nothing, a tune by the Small Faces that topped the charts that fall. In an effort to keep the band's chart momentum going in time for the Christmas rush, the shirts at Decca decided to release a rough demo of a Steve Marriott/Ronnie Lane composition called My Mind's Eye as a follow up. It turns out the band's manager, Don Arden, had given the label to go-ahead to release the song without the band's knowledge or permission, leading to the band's decision to leave both Arden and the Decca label early in 1966 to sign with Rolling Stones' manager Andrew Loog Oldham's new Immediate label.
Title: Sunshine Of Your Love
Source: CD: Disraeli Gears
Label: Polydor (original label: Atco)
Only a handful of songs can truly be described as "iconic". Sunshine Of Your Love, with its often-imitated signature riff, the line-by-line trading off of lead vocals by Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton and one of the best-known lead guitar solos in rock history, certainly qualifies.
Title: Plastic People
Source: Mono CD: A Deadly Dose Of Wild Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): F. Colli
Label: Arf! Arf! (original label: Magnum)
Stockton, California's Wildwood only released two singles, both in 1968. The first of these, Plastic People, takes a somewhat cynical view of the Flower Power movement, which had by 1968 pretty much run its course. Musically the track owes much to Sean Bonniwell's Music Machine.
Title: Come Together
Source: LP: Abbey Road
After the Beatles released their 1968 double LP (the so-called White Album), they went to work on their final film project, a documentary about the band making an album. Unfortunately, what the cameras captured was a group on the verge of disintegration, and both the album and the film itself were shelved indefinitely. Instead, the band went to work recording an entirely new group of compositions. Somehow, despite the internal difficulties the band was going through, they managed to turn out a masterpiece: Abbey Road. Before the album itself came out, a single was released. The official A side was George Harrison's Something, the first Harrison song ever to be released as a Beatle A side. The other side was the song that opened the album itself, John Lennon's Come Together. In later years Come Together came to be Lennon's signature song and was a staple of his live performances.
Artist: Ultimate Spinach
Title: Baroque # 1
Source: LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer(s): Ian Bruce-Douglas
Of the six major US record labels of the time, only two, Decca and M-G-M, failed to sign any San Francisco bands. Decca, which had been bought by MCA in the early 60s, was fast fading as a major force in the industry (ironic considering that Universal, the direct descendant of MCA, is now the world's largest record company). M-G-M, on the other hand, had a strong presence on the Greenwich Village scene thanks to Jerry Schoenbaum at the Verve Forecast label, who had signed such critically-acclaimed artists as Dave Van Ronk, Tim Hardin and the Blues Project. Taking this as an inspiration, the parent label decided to create interest in the Boston music scene, aggressively promoting (some would say hyping) the "Boss-Town Sound". One of the bands signed was Ultimate Spinach, which was led by keyboardist Ian Bruce-Douglas, who wrote all the band's material, including the instrumental Baroque # 1.
Title: Straight Arrow
Source: CD: Spirit
Writer(s): Jay Ferguson
Spirit was born when high school students and garage rockers Randy California, Jay Ferguson, Mark Andes and John Locke started jamming with California's stepfather, jazz drummer Ed Cassidy. The result was one of the earliest examples of jazz-rock, although the jazz element would be toned down for later albums. Unlike the later fusion bands, Spirit's early songs tended to be sectional, with a main section that was straight rock often leading into a more late bop styled instrumental section reminiscent of Wes Montgomery's recordings. Vocalist Jay Ferguson wrote most of the band's early material, such as Straight Arrow from their 1968 debut album.
Artist: Crescent Six
Title: And Then
Source: Mono CD: A Heavy Dose Of Lite Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Gregory Ferrera
Label: Arf! Arf! (original label: Rust)
One of the earliest psychedelic tracks was a single called And Then by New Jersey's Crescent Six. Virtually nothing else is known about the record, which was released on New York's Rust Records label.
Artist: Mouse And The Traps
Title: Maid Of Sugar-Maid Of Spice
Source: Mono British import CD: The Fraternity Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Big Beat (original label: Fraternity)
Mouse (Ronnie Weiss) was, for a time, the most popular guy in Tyler, Texas, at least among the local youth. His band, Mouse and the traps, had a series of regional hits that garnered airplay at stations all across the state (and a rather large state at that). Although Mouse's first big hit, A Public Execution, had a strong Dylan feel to it, the band's 1966 followup single Maid Of Sugar-Maid Of Spice, has come to be considered a garage-rock classic.
Title: Thoughts And Words
Source: CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s): Chris Hillman
In addition to recording the most commercially successful Dylan cover songs, the Byrds had a wealth of original material over the course of several albums. On their first album, these came primarily from guitarists Gene Clark and Jim (now Roger) McGuinn, with David Crosby emerging as the group's third songwriter on the band's second album. After Clark's departure, bassist Chris Hillman began writing as well, and had three credits as solo songwriter, including Thoughts And Words, on the group's fourth LP, Younger Than Yesterday. Hillman credits McGuinn, however, for coming up with the distinctive reverse-guitar break midway through the song.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: How Suite It Is
Source: CD: After Bathing At Baxter's
Label: RCA/BMG Heritage
The second side of After Bathing At Baxters starts off fairly conventionally (for the Airplane), with Paul Kantner's Watch Her Ride, the first third or so of something called How Suite It Is. This leads (without a break in the audio) into Spare Chaynge, one of the coolest studio jams ever recorded, featuring intricate interplay between Jack Casady's bass and Jorma Kaukonen's guitar, with Spencer Dryden using his drum kit as enhancement rather than as a beat-setter. In particular, Casady's virtuoso performance helped redefine what could be done with an electric bass.
Title: She Comes In Colors
Source: CD: Da Capo
Writer(s): Arthur Lee
Arthur Lee was an enigma. His band, Love, was generally accepted as the top band on the Strip in L.A., yet Lee himself was a bit of a recluse living up on the hill overlooking the scene. With one notable exception, his songs were not hits, yet he was critically acknowledged (especially in the UK) as a musical genius on a par with his friend Jimi Hendrix. Stylistically, his songs varied from intensely hard rock (Stephanie Knows Who, 7&7 Is), to softer, almost jazzy tunes such as She Comes In Colors, the latter of which caused some critics to compare Lee to Johnny Mathis.
Artist: Music Machine
Title: Advise And Consent
Source: Mono CD: Ignition (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Sean Bonniwell
Label: Sundazed (original label: Bell)
Year: Recorded 1967, released 1969
The last record to be released by the Music Machine (until CD compilations began to appear in the 1990s) was a single on the Bell label called Advise And Consent. Released in February of 1969, the song had actually been recorded in 1967, probably by the band's original lineup.
Title: Run Run Run
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Dave Menten
Soma Records was a small regional label based out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, best known for the Castaways hit Liar Liar. Soma did not have the resources to properly promote or distribute a national hit, which is a shame, as the Gestures' (originally the Jesters until someone discovered the name was already in use) Run Run Run was a fine effort, sounding a lot like the early Who several months before the Who themselves first hit the US airwaves.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Manic Depression
Source: CD: The Ultimate Experience (originally released on LP: Are You Experienced?)
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
Label: MCA (original label: Reprise)
After miraculously surviving being shot point blank in the head (and then bayoneted in the back for good measure) in the Korean War (and receiving a Silver Star), my dad became somewhat of a minor celebrity in the early 50s, appearing on a handful of TV and radio game shows as a kind of poster boy for the Air Force. One result of this series of events was that he was able to indulge his fascination with a new technology that had been developed by the Germans during WWII: magnetic recording tape. He used his prize winnings to buy a Webcor tape recorder, which in turn led to me becoming interested in recording technology at an early age (I distinctly remember being punished for playing with "Daddy's tape recorder" without permission on more than one occasion). He did not receive another overseas assignment until 1967, when he was transferred to Weisbaden, Germany. As was the usual practice at the time, he went there a month or so before the rest of the family, and during his alone time he (on a whim, apparently) went in on a Lotto ticket with a co-worker and won enough to buy an Akai X-355 stereo tape recorder from a fellow serviceman who was being transferred out and did not want to (or couldn't afford to) pay the shipping costs of the rather heavy machine.The Akai was pretty much the state of the art in home audio technology at the time. The problem was that we did not have a stereo system to hook it into, so he bought a set of Koss headphones to go with it. Of course all of his old tapes were in storage (along with the old Webcor) back in Denver, so I decided that this would be a good time to start spending my allowance money on pre-recorded reel-to-reel tapes, the first of which was Are You Experienced by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The Akai had an auto-reverse system and I would lie on the couch with the headphones on to go to sleep every night listening to songs like Manic Depression. Is it any wonder I turned out like I did?
Artist: Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band
Title: Ah Feel Like Ahcid
Source: British import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released on LP: Strictly Personal)
Writer(s): Don Van Vliet
Label: Zonophone (original label: Blue Thumb)
Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band did a bit of label hopping before finally settling down with Frank Zappa's Straight Records in 1969. After cutting a few tracks for A&M in 1966 (only two of which were released), the band recorded Safe As Milk, the first LP to be issued on the new Buddah label in 1967. After Buddah passed on the band's next recordings, another new label, Blue Thumb, signed the group, issuing the album Strictly Personal in 1968. The band was still transitioning from its early slightly twisted take on the blues to its later avant-garde phase that they would become famous for. Ah Feel Like Ahcid is a solid example of that transitional sound.
Artist: Mandrake Paddle Steamer
Title: Strange Walking Man
Source: Mono British import CD: Insane Times (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Zonophone (original label: Columbia UK)
Mandrake Paddle Steamer was the brainchild of art school students Martin Briley and Brian Engle, who, with producer Robert Finnis, were among the first to take advantage of EMI's new 8-track recording equipment at their Abbey Road studios. The result was Strange Walking Man, a single released in 1969. The track includes a coda created by Finnis by splicing a tape of studio musicians playing a cover version of an Incredible String Band tune, Maybe Someday.
Title: Ball Of Confusion
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Label: Motown Yesteryear (original label: Gordy)
By 1970 an interesting situation had developed at Motown Records. Various production teams had achieved a degree of autonomy not usually seen in the record industry, resulting in a variety of styles coming from the label, each of which was identified with a particular team. The psychedelic branch of the label was run by Norm Whitfield and Barrett Strong, whose work mostly appeared on the Gordy label. Their stable of artists included Edwin Starr, the Undisputed Truth and the Temptations, the latter of which had gone through several lineup changes that left them without original lead vocalist David Ruffin. Whitfield and Strong used this situation to their best advantage by splitting the lead vocals among several group members within each song. One of the first songs to take this approach was Ball Of Confusion, released in 1970. A longer version of the song, using a less edited version of the same Funk Brothers instrumental track, was released by the Undisputed Truth as a B side.
Artist: Eire Apparent
Title: The Clown
Source: CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released on LP: Sunrise)
Label: BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Buddah)
Eire Apparent was a band from Northern Ireland that got the attention of Chas Chandler, former bassist for the Animals in late 1967. Chandler had been managing Jimi Hendrix since he had discovered him playing in a club in New York a year before, bringing him back to England and introducing him to Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, who along with Hendrix would become the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Despite Eire Apparent having almost no recording experience, Chandler put them on the bill as the opening act for the touring Experience. This led to Hendrix producing the band's first and only album, Sunrise, in 1968, playing on at least three tracks, including, most obviously, The Clown.
Title: Good Times
Source: CD: More Nuggets (originally released in UK and Australia as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Parlophone)
The Easybeats were Australia's most popular band in the sixties. Formed in 1964 at a migrant hostel in Sidney (all the members came from immigrant families), the band's earliest British Invasion styled hits were written by rhythm guitarist George Young (older brother of AC/DC's Angus and Malcolm Young) and lead vocalist "Little" Stevie Wright. By 1966, however, lead guitarist Harry Vanda (originally from the Netherlands) had become fluent in English and with the song Friday On My Mind replaced Wright as Young's writing partner (although Wright stayed on as the band's frontman). Around that same time the Easybeats relocated to England, although they continued to chart hits on a regular basis in Australia. One of their most memorable songs was Good Times from the 1968 album Vigil, featuring guest vocalist Steve Marriott. Young and Vanda later moved back to Australia and recorded a series of records under the name Flash and the Pan that were very successful in Australia and Europe. Stevie Wright went on to become Australia's first international pop star. The song Good Times became a hit for another Australian band, INXS, in the 1980s when it was used in the film The Lost Boys.
Title: Break On Through (To The Other Side)
Source: CD: The Best Of The Doors (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Doors)
Writer(s): The Doors
The first Doors song to be released as a single was not, as usually assumed, Light My Fire. Rather, it was Break On Through (To The Other Side), the opening track from the band's debut LP, that was chosen to do introduce the band to top 40 radio. Although the single was not an immediate hit, it did eventually catch on with progressive FM radio listeners and still is heard on classic rock stations from time to time.
Artist: ? And The Mysterians
Title: 96 Tears
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s): The Mysterians
Label: Abkco (original label: Cameo)
Although his birth certificate gives the name Rudy Martinez, the leader of the Mysterians had his name legally changed to "?" several years ago. He asserts that he is actually from the planet Mars and has lived among dinosaurs in a past life. Sometimes I feel like I'm living among dinosaurs in this life, so I guess I can relate a little. The band's only major hit, 96 Tears, has the distinction of being the last top 10 single on the Cameo label before Cameo-Parkway went bankrupt and was bought by Allen Klein, who now operates the company as Abkco.
Artist: Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title: Running Dry (Requiem For The Rockets)
Source: CD: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer(s): Neil Young
For his second post-Buffalo Springfield LP, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Neil Young found a local Los Angeles band called the Rockets and convinced guitarist Danny Whitten, bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina to join him, renaming them Crazy Horse in the process. One member of the Rockets that was not part of Crazy Horse was violinist Bobby Notkoff, whose eerie style gave the band a distinctive sound. Notkoff can be heard on one track of Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Running Dry, which is subtitled Requiem For The Rockets as a tribute to the original band. The Rockets themselves had previously recorded one self-titled LP, but only 5000 copies were pressed.
Artist: West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title: Eighteen Is Over The Hill
Source: LP: Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil
The contributions of guitarist Ron Morgan to the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band are often overlooked, possibly due to the fact that Morgan himself often tried to distance himself from the band. Nonetheless, he did write some of the group's most memorable tunes, including their best-known song, Smell Of Incense (covered by the Texas band Southwest F.O.B.) and the opening track of what is generally considered their best album, A Child's Guide To Good And Evil. Unfortunately, the somewhat senseless lyrics added by Bob Markley detract from what is actually a very tasty piece of music.
Artist: Immediate Family
Source: Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on CD: What A Way To Come Down)
Label: Rhino (original label: Big Beat)
Year: Recorded 1967, released 1997
The members of the Immediate Family hailed from the city of Concord, a conservative suburb east of San Francisco bay. They didn't actually make music in their hometown, however. Instead they practiced at the home of organist Kriss Kovacs's mother Judy Davis (the vocal coach to the stars who numbered such diverse talents as Grace Slick, Barbra Streisand and even Frank Sinatra among her pupils). The band was able to get the backing to lay down some tracks at Golden State Recorders (the top studio in the area at the time), but reportedly lost their record deal due to emotional instability on the part of Kovacs. The song Rubiyat is an adaptation of the Rubiyat Of Omar Khayyam. Ambitious to be sure, but done well enough to make one wonder what it could have led to.
Artist: Simon and Garfunkel
Title: A Hazy Shade Of Winter
Source: CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bookends)
Writer: Paul Simon
Year: 1966 (first stereo release: 1968)
Originally released as a single in late 1966, A Hazy Shade Of Winter was one of several songs slated to be used in the film The Graduate. The only one of these actually used was Mrs. Robinson. The remaining songs eventually made up side two of the 1968 album Bookends, although several of them were also released as singles throughout 1967. A Hazy Shade Of Winter, being the first of these singles (and the only one released in 1966), was also the highest charting, peaking at # 13 just as the weather was turning cold.
Title: Last Time Around
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Dennis Dahlquist
Label: Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
The Del-Vetts were from Chicago's affluent North Shore. Their gimmick was to show up at a high school dance by driving their matching corvettes onto the gymnasium dance floor. Musically, like most garage/punk bands, they were heavily influenced by the British invasion bands. Unlike most garage/punk bands, who favored the Rolling Stones, the Del-Vetts were more into the Jeff Beck incarnation of the Yardbirds. The 'Vetts had a few regional hits from 1965-67, the biggest being this single issued on the Dunwich label, home of fellow Chicago suburbanites the Shadows of Knight. In retrospect, Last Time Around may well be the very first metal death rock song ever recorded.
Artist: Pink Floyd
Title: Astronomy Domine
Source: CD: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (originally released in UK and Canada)
Writer(s): Syd Barrett
Label: Capitol (original label: EMI Columbia)
When the US version of the first Pink Floyd LP, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, was released on the Tower label, it was missing several tracks that had appeared on the original British version of the album. Among the most notable omissions was the original album's opening track, Astronomy Domine, which was replaced by the non-LP single See Emily Play. Astronomy Domine is a Syd Barrett composition that was a popular part of the band's stage repertoire for several years. The piece is considered one of the earliest examples of "space rock", in part because of the spoken intro (by the band's manager Peter Jenner) reciting the names of the planets (and some moons) of the solar system through a megaphone.
Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: Get Me To The World On Time
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released on LP: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) and as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Reprise)
With I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) climbing the charts in early 1967, the Electric Prunes turned to songwriter Annette Tucker for two more tracks to include on their debut LP. One of those, Get Me To The World On Time (co-written by lyricist Jill Jones) was selected to be the follow up single to Dream. Although not as big a hit, the song still did respectably on the charts (and was actually the first Electric Prunes song I ever heard on FM radio).
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 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.