Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: The Last Time
Source: Out Of Our Heads
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
Released in late winter of 1965, The Last Time was the first single to hit the top 10 in both the US and the UK (being their third consecutive #1 hit in England) and the first one written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Despite that, it would be overshadowed by their next release: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, which went to the top of the charts everywhere and ended up being the #1 song of 1965.
Artist: Chocolate Watchband
Title: Psychedelic Trip
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Year: Recorded 1966, released 2012
Psychedelic Trip is essentially an early instrumental version of what would eventually become the title track for the Chocolate Watchband's debut album, No Way Out. Although Psychedelic Trip was a creation of the entire band, producer/manager Ed Cobb (the Ed Wood of psychedelic music) took sole writing credit for the song No Way Out.
Title: Doctor Doctor
Source: Mono Canadian import CD: Magic Bus-The Who On Tour (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): John Entwhistle
Label: MCA (original label: Decca)
Keeping an accurate chronology of recordings by the Who in their early years can be a bit difficult, mainly due to the difference in the ways songs were released in the US and the UK. Since the British policy was for songs released on 45 RPM vinyl not to be duplicated on LPs, several early Who songs were nearly impossible to find until being released on compilation albums several years after their original release. One such song is Doctor Doctor, a John Entwhistle tune released as the B side to their 1967 hit Pictures Of Lily. The single was released on both sides of the Atlantic, but only received airplay in the UK, where it made the top 10. In the US the record failed to chart and was out of print almost as soon as it was released. The song was included on the early 70s LP, Magic Bus-The Who On Tour. However, that album has never been issued in the US on CD (although it is available in Canada). Finally, in 1993, Doctor Doctor was included as a bonus track on the CD version of the Who's second album, A Quick One.
Artist: Blue Cheer
Title: Out Of Focus
Source: Dutch import LP: Vincebus Eruptum
Writer: Dickie Peterson
With the possible exception of the Grateful Dead (when they were using the Owsley-designed sound system), the loudest band to come out of San Francisco was Blue Cheer. The album Vincebus Eruptum, highlighted by the band's feedback-drenched version of Eddie Cochrane's Summertime Blues, is considered by some to be the first heavy metal album ever recorded. Out Of Focus, which opens side 2 of the LP, was issued as the B side of Summertime Blues and got some airplay on progressive FM radio.
Artist: Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title: Cinnamon Girl
Source: CD: Decade (originally released on LP: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere)
Writer(s): Neil Young
My favorite Neil Young song has always been Cinnamon Girl. I suspect this is because Sunn, the band I was in the summer after I graduated from high school, used a re-arranged version of the song as our show opener (imagine Cinnamon Girl played like I Can See For Miles and you get a general idea of how it sounded). If we had ever recorded an album, we probably would have used that arrangement as our first single. I finally got to see Neil Young perform the song live (from the 16th row even) with Booker T. and the MGs as his stage band in the mid-1990s. It was worth the wait.
Artist: Grand Funk Railroad
Title: I Don't Have To Sing The Blues
Source: CD: Closer To Home
Writer(s): Mark Farner
Capitol Records may not have had the most artists on their roster in the 60s and early 70s, but they did have some of the biggest names. In the early 60s the Beach Boys were undisputably the most successful surf group in the world. Then came the Beatles. In the early 1970s it was Flint, Michigan's Grand Funk Railroad, who, despite being universally panned by the rock press, consistently sold out the largest venues in the history of rock music, pretty much single-handedly creating arena rock in the process (they were too loud to play anyplace smaller than sports arenas). The power trio of Mark Farner (guitar), Mel Schacher (bass) and Don Brewer (drums) hit their commercial stride in 1970, when all three of their studio albums (the first two of which were released the previous year), as well as their first live album, went gold in the same year. The last of these was Closer To Home, which included their first bonafide radio hit, I'm Your Captain. Among the other notable tracks on Closer To Home is I Don't Want To Sing The Blues, a song whose lyrics incurred the ire of feminists everywhere. The band, of course, took the criticism in stride, having learned early on that bad press is better than no press at all.
Artist: Led Zeppelin
Title: Since I've Been Loving You
Source: CD: Led Zeppelin III
The Yardbirds were Britain's premier electric blues band, featuring the guitar work of first Eric Clapton, then Jeff Beck and finally Jimmy Page (who had already established himself as an in-demand studio guitarist by the time he joined the band). As the 60s came to a close, the band began shedding members until Page found himself the only member left. With new vocalist Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John-Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham, the group continued for a short while as the New Yardbirds before settling on a new name: Led Zeppelin. The group's repertoire was a mixture of original tunes and blues covers arranged to showcase the individual members' strengths as musicians. This mixture served as the template for the band's first two albums. By the third Led Zeppelin album the group was moving away from cover songs and from the blues in general. One notable exeception was Since I've Been Loving You, a slow original that is now considered one of the best electric blues songs ever written.
Title: Passing The Time
Source: Wheels Of Fire
Label: RSO (original label: Atco)
Although Jack Bruce is generally acknowledged as the member of Cream that provided the most psychedelic material that the band recorded, drummer Ginger Baker gave him a run for his money on the studio half of their third LP, Wheels Of Fire. Perhaps the best of these was Passing The Time, which alternates between a slow, dreamlike section notable for its use of a calliope and a fast section that rocks out as hard as anything the band performed live in concert.
Source: LP: Wheels Of Fire
Although the songwriting team of Jack Bruce and Pete Brown are best known for providing Cream with its more psychedelic songs such as White Room and Swlabr, they did occasionally come up with bluesier numbers such as Politician from the Wheels Of Fire album. The song quickly became a staple of Cream's live performances.
Source: Wheels Of Fire
Writer(s): Robert Johnson
Label: RSO (original label: Atco)
Robert Johnson's Crossroads has come to be regarded as a signature song for Eric Clapton, who's live version (recorded at the Fillmore East) was first released on the Cream album Wheels Of Fire.
Artist: Canned Heat
Title: Catfish Blues
Source: LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Canned Heat)
Writer: Robert Petway
Label: United Artists (original label: Liberty)
Like many other US cities in the 1960s, San Francisco had a small but enthusiastic community of collectors of blues records. A group of them got together in 1966 to form Canned Heat, and made quite an impression when they played the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967. This led to a contract with Liberty Records and an album consisting entirely of cover versions of blues standards. One standout track from that album is Robert Petway's Catfish Blues, expanded to over six minutes by the Heat.
Artist: Johnny Winter
Title: Leland Mississippi Blues
Source: CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm
Writer(s): Johnny Winter
Year: Recorded 1969, released 2009
Johnny Winter had just released his first album for Columbia in 1969 when he was invited to play the Woodstock festival. Along with his band, which at that time included his brother Edgar on keyboards, future Double Trouble member Tommy Shannon on bass and Uncle John Turner on drums, Winter played a set that included Leland Mississippi Blues, one of the three original compositions on his Columbia debut LP.
Title: Five To One
Source: CD: Waiting For The Sun
Writer(s): The Doors
Despite the fact that it was the Doors' only album to hit the top of the charts, Waiting For The Sun was actually a disappointment for many of the band's fans, who felt that the material lacked the edginess of the first two Doors LPs. One notable exception was the album's closing track, Five To One, which features one of Jim Morrison's most famous lines: "No one here gets out alive".
Artist: Jigsaw Seen
Source: CD: Old Man Reverb
Writer(s): Dennis Davison
The Jigsaw Seen has been around since 1988, when it was formed by Dennis Davison, formerly of the United States Of Existence. The group's first single, Jim Is The Devil, was released by Get Hip Records in 1989, with their debut LP Shortcut Through Clown Alley appearing the following year on the New Jersey based Skyclad Records. The band's latest release is an album called Old Man Reverb that manages to combine elements of Americana, art-rock, psych and garage-rock on tunes like Abide.
Artist: Liquid Scene
Title: In My Water Room
Source: CD: Revolutions
Writer(s): Becki diGregorio
As the final track on the Liquid Scene's debut album, Revolutions, In My Water Room is an elaborate production that showcases the talents of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist becki digregorio, guitarist Tom Ayers, bassist/keyboardist Endre Tarczy and drummer/percussionist Trey Sabatelli.
Title: The Red Telephone
Source: CD: Forever Changes
Writer(s): Arthur Lee
Love's Forever Changes album, released in late 1967, is known for its dark imagery that contrasted with the utopian messages so prevalent in the music associated with the just-passed summer of love. One of the tracks that best illustrates Arthur Lee's take on the world at that time is The Red Telephone, which closes out side one of the album. The title, which refers to the famous cold war hotline between Washington and Moscow, does not actually appear in the song's lyrics. Instead, the most prominent line of the song is a chant repeated several times that refers to the repression of youth culture in the US, particularly in Los Angeles, where the city had enacted new ordinances that had virtually destroyed the vibrant club scene that had given rise to such bands as the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, the Doors and of course Love. The chant itself: "They're locking them up today, they're throwing away the key; I wonder who it'll be tomorrow, you or me?" expresses an idea that would be expanded on by Frank Zappa the following year on the landmark Mothers Of Invention album We're Only In It For The Money.
Artist: West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title: Delicate Fawn
Source: LP: Volume II
The members of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band made it a point to emphasize the fact that they had complete artistic control of their second LP for Reprise, Volume II. The album itself lives up to the band's name, as many of the songs are indeed quite experimental. The song Delicate Fawn is creepily prophetic, as lyricist Bob Markley would find himself repeatedly on the wrong side of the law over issues involving underage girls in the 1970s.
Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: Try Me On For Size
Source: CD: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Label: Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Songwriter Annette Tucker struck gold when producer David Hassinger selected I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), a song she had co-written with Nancie Mantz, to be the new single by the Electric Prunes. The song was so successful that Hassinger picked up half a dozen more Tucker songs to be included on the Prunes' debut LP for Reprise. Most of those were co-written by Mantz, but a couple, including the band's next single, Get Me To The World On Time, carried a Jill Jones co-writing credit. The other Tucker/Jones collaboration on the album was a song called Try Me On For Size, a track that could be interpreted as an invitation to the kinds of activities rock musicians would become famous for during backstage parties in the next decade.
Title: Busy Day
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s): Larry Weigand
Crow started off as a Minneapolis band called South 40, a name they used until they began releasing records nationally in 1969. Their first LP, Crow Music, was released in 1969 and did fairly well on the charts, thanks in large part to the success of the song Evil Woman (Don't Play Your Games With Me), which made the top 20. The follow-up single, Cottage Cheese, was released in advance of their second album, Crow By Crow, in 1970. As no other tracks from that LP were available for the B side, a tune from Crow Music, Busy Day, was included instead. The song was written by bassist Larry Weigand, who had been listed as co-writer on both A sides.
Title: Within You Without You
Source: LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s): George Harrison
George Harrison began to take an interest in the Sitar as early as 1965. By 1966 he had become proficient enough on the Indian instrument to compose and record Love You To for the Revolver album. He followed that up with perhaps his most popular sitar-based track, Within You Without You, which opens side two of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Harrison would record one more similarly-styled song, The Inner Light, in 1968, before deciding that he was never going to be in the same league as Ravi Shankar, whom Harrison had become friends with by that time. For the remainder of his time with the Beatles Harrison would concentrate on his guitar work and songwriting skills, resulting in classic songs such as While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Something and Here Comes The Sun.
Source: CD: Rubber Soul
Label: Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Some people think Girl is one of those John Lennon drug songs. I see it as one of those John Lennon observing what's really going on beneath the civilized veneer of western society songs myself. Your choice.
Title: Fixing A Hole
Source: LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The first Beatle album to appear with the same tracks in the same order on both US and UK versions was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The only differences between the two were a lack of spaces in the vinyl (called "banding") on the UK version and a bit of gobbledygook heard at the end of the record (but only if you did not have a turntable that automatically lifted the needle out of the groove after the last track). Said gobbledygook is included after A Day In The Life on the CD as a hidden track if you really want to hear what it sounds like.
Artist: Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title: (I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone
Source: LP: Midnight Ride
Before the Monkees, there was Paul Revere And The Raiders. Like the latter group, the Raiders found success on TV as well as vinyl, and scored several top 10 hits. Unlike the Monkees, however, Paul Revere And The Raiders had a long history as a performing group that predated their commercial success by several years. One more thing the two groups had in common, however, was a song by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart called (I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone. The Raiders recorded the song first, including it on their album Midnight Ride, released in May of 1966, and as the B side of their hit version of Kicks. The Monkees included the song on their debut LP later the same year, and released it as the B side of I'm A Believer as well. Although the original Raiders version was not originally included on the band's greatest hits album, it has been added to the CD reissue of Paul Revere And The Raiders' Greatest Hits as a bonus track.
Artist: Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title: Incense And Peppermints
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Uni)
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: Music Machine
Title: Time Out (For a Daydream)
Source: Mono CD: Beyond The Garage (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Sean Bonniwell
Label: Sundazed (original label: Warner Brothers)
Following the success of Talk Talk in 1966, Sean Bonniwell and the gang spent the next couple of years touring while grabbing any opportunity to get into a recording studio that presented itself. By 1968 the Music Machine was an entirely different band (except for Bonniwell himself). It was this new lineup that booked studio time somewhere in the midwest late at night after a gig and recorded this little ditty that ended up being released as the band's final single.
Artist: Savoy Brown
Title: Made Up My Mind
Source: British import CD: A Step Further
Writer: Chris Youlden
Label: Deram (original label: Parrot)
To coincide with a US tour, the fourth Savoy Brown album, A Step Further, was actually released in North America several months before it was in the UK, with Made Up My Mind being simultaneously released as a single. Luckily for the band, 1969 was a year that continued the industry-wide trend away from hit singles and toward successful albums instead, at least among the more progressive groups, as the single itself tanked. Aided by a decent amount of airplay on progressive FM radio, however, the album (the last to feature lead vocalist Chris Youlden) peaked comfortably within the top 100.
Title: World Of You
Source: CD: Insane Times (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Zonophone (original label: Parlophone)
Originally from St. Louis, Mo., the Aerovons were such big fans of the Beatles that they moved to England in hopes of meeting their idols. They had enough talent in their own right to get a contract with EMI, recording an album's worth of material at Abbey Road in 1969. Although only two singles from those sessions were originally released (on Parlophone, the same label that the Beatles' records were on), the Aerovons finally got some recognition many years later when an acetate of their unreleased album was discovered and remastered for release on the RPM label. Perhaps more important for the band members, they got to meet the Beatles while recording at Abbey Road.