Monday, September 26, 2016

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1639 (starts 9/28/16)

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    You Really Got Me
Source:    Mono LP: You Really Got Me
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1964
    You Really Got Me has been described as the first hard rock song and the track that invented heavy metal. You'll get no argument from me on either of those points

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    The Sound Of Silence
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Sounds Of Silence)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The Sound Of Silence was originally an acoustic piece that was included on Simon and Garfunkel's 1964 debut album, Wednesday Morning 3AM. The album went nowhere and was soon deleted from the Columbia Records catalog. Simon and Garfunkel themselves went their separate ways, with Simon moving to London and recording a solo LP, the Paul Simon Songbook. While Simon was in the UK, producer John Simon, who had been working with Bob Dylan on Highway 61 Revisited, pulled out the master tape of The Sound Of Silence and got Dylan's band to add electric instruments to the existing recording. The song was released to local radio stations, where it garnered enough interest to get the modified recording released as a single. It turned out to be a huge hit and prompted Paul Simon to move back to the US and reunite with Art Garfunkel.

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    Dark Side
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Rogers/Sohns
Label:    Dunwich
Year:    1966
    Dark Side, written by guitarist Warren Rogers and singer Jim Sohns, is probably the quintessential Shadows of Knight song. It has all the classic elements of a garage rock song: three chords, a blues beat and lots of attitude. Oh, and the lyrics "I love you baby more than birds love the sky". What more can you ask for?

Artist:    Them
Title:    Just One Conception
Source:    LP: Time Out! Time In! For Them
Writer(s):    Them
Label:    Tower
Year:    1968
    Most of the songs on Them's second album without founder Van Morrison, Time Out! Time In! For Them, were written for the band by the wife and husband team of Sharon Pulley and Tom Lane. There were, however, a couple of exceptions, including Just One Conception, which was credited to the band itself. The track, which opens with massive sitar, shows just how deep into the psychedelic pool the original Irish punk band had dived by 1968.

Artist:    Johnny Winter
Title:    Rollin' And Tumblin'
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: The Progressive Blues Experiment)
Writer(s):    McKinley Morganfield
Label:    United Artists (original label: Sonobeat/Imperial)
Year:    1968
    Johnny Winter's first album, The Progressive Blues Experiment, was originally released in 1968 on the Texas-based Sonobeat label. A ctitical success, it was picked up and reissued on the Imperial label a year later. Most of the songs on the album are covers of blues classics such as Muddy Waters's Rollin' And Tumblin'.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Don't Pass Me By
Source:    LP: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Richard Starkey
Label:    Apple
Year:    1968
    Although it was the first song Ringo Starr ever wrote, Don't Pass Me By did not get released until 1968, when it was inserted between George Harrison's Piggies and Paul McCartney's Why Don't We Do It In The Road on what became known as the White Album. Don't Pass Me By is, to my knowledge, the only song written by Ringo to appear on a Beatles album.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    (At The) Woodchopper's Ball
Source:    European imort CD: Ten Years After (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Bishop/Herman
Label:    Deram
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 2015
    The first Ten Years After actually did better in the US than in the band's native England, prompting the band to set up their first US tour. Understandable, their record label wanted the band to have a new album out to promote on the tour itself. The problem was that, due to extensive gigging, the band hadn't spent a whole lot of time in the studio since releasing their first LP, and only had about half an album's worth of material recorded. The solution was to rent a place called Klook's Kleek for a night and record the entire performance, releasing it as the band's second album, Undead. Of course this left half an album's worth of studio tracks unreleased for several decades, until Deram put them on a bonus disc when they reissued the first Ten Years After album. As you can hear, their studio version of Woody Herman's signature tune, (At The) Woodchopper's Ball, sounds very much like the version heard on Undead.    

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Just Like Me
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dey/Brown
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1965
    Just Like Me was the first top 10 single from Paul Revere And The Raiders, a band that deserves much more credit than they are generally given. The group started in the early part of the decade in Boise, Idaho, when Revere (his real name) hooked up with saxophonist Mark Lindsay. Like most bands at the time, the Raiders' repertoire consisted mostly of instrumentals, as PA systems were a luxury that required more space than was generally allotted to a small town band. It wasn't long before the Raiders relocated to Portland, Oregon, where they became a popular attraction at various clubs. After a hiatus caused by Revere's stint in the military, the band resumed its place as one of the founding bands of the Portland music scene. They soon made their first visit to a recording studio, recording Richard Berry's Louie Louie at around the same time as another popular Portland band, the Kingsmen. Due as much to superior promotion efforts from Wand Records as anything else, the Kingsmen's version ended up being a huge hit while the Raiders' version was virtually ignored. Undeterred, the band continued to grow in popularity, recording another single in 1964 (Like Long Hair) and going on tour. It was while playing in Hawaii that the band was noticed by none other than Dick Clark, who hired them to be the house band on his new afternoon TV show, Where The Action Is. He also got them a contract with Columbia Records, at the time the second-largest record company in the world. The Raiders were Columbia's first rock band, and they paired the band up with their hippest young producer, Terry Melcher. It was a partnership that would lead to a string of hits, starting with Steppin' Out in 1965. The next record, Just Like Me, was the first of a string of top 10 singles that would last until early 1967, when rapidly changing public tastes made the band seem antiquated compared to up and coming groups like Jefferson Airplane. Just Like Me, despite some rather cheesy lyrics, still holds up well after all these years. Much of the credit for that has to go to Drake Levin, whose innovative double-tracked guitar solo rocked out harder than anything else on top 40 radio at the time (with the possible exception of a couple of well-known Kinks songs).

Artist:    Leaves
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Billy Roberts
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mira)
Year:    1966
    In 1966 there were certain songs you had to know how to play if you had any aspirations of being in a band. Among those were Louie Louie, Gloria and Hey Joe. The Byrds' David Crosby claims to have discovered Hey Joe, but was not able to convince his bandmates to record it before their third album. In the meantime, several other bands had recorded the song, including Love (on their first album) and the Leaves. The version of Hey Joe heard here is actually the third recording the Leaves made of the tune. After the first two versions tanked, guitarist Bobby Arlin, who had recently replaced founding member Bill Rinehart on lead guitar, came up with the idea of adding fuzz guitar to the song. It was the missing element that transformed a rather bland song into a hit record (the only national hit the Leaves would have). As a side note, the Leaves credited Chet Powers (aka Dino Valenti) as the writer of Hey Joe, but California-based folk singer Billy Roberts had copyrighted the song in 1962 and had reportedly been heard playing the tune as early as 1958.

Artist:     Blues Magoos
Title:     Take My Love
Source:     Mono LP: Electric Comic Book
Writer:     Gilbert/Scala
Label:     Mercury
Year:     1967
     The Blues Magoos were one of the most visible bands to wear the label "psychedelic". In fact, much of what they are remembered for was what they wore onstage: electric suits. They were also one of the first bands to use the term "psychedelic" on a record, (their 1966 debut album was called Psychedelic Lollipop). Unlike some of their wilder jams such as Tobacco Road and a six-minute version of Gloria, Take My Love, from the band's sophomore effort Electric Comic Book, is essentially garage rock done in the Blues Magoos style. That style was defined by the combination of Farfisa organ and electric guitar, the latter depending heavily on reverb and vibrato bar to create an effect of notes soaring off into space.

Artist:    Bubble Puppy
Title:    Hot Smoke And Sassafras
Source:    European import CD: A Gathering Of Promises
Writer(s):    Prince/Cox/Potter/Fore
Label:    Charly (original US label: International Artists)
Year:    1969
    Bubble Puppy was a band from San Antonio, Texas that relocated to nearby Austin and signed a contract with International Artists, a label already known as the home of legendary Texas psychedelic bands 13th Floor Elevators and Red Crayola. The group hit the national top 20 with Hot Smoke and Sassafras, a song that was originally intended to be a B side, in 1969. Not long after the release of their first LP, A Gathering Or Promises, the band relocated to California and changed their name to Demian, at least in part to disassociate themselves with the then-popular "bubble gum" style (but also because of problems with International Artists).

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Love In The City
Source:    European import CD: Turtle Soup
Writer(s):    The Turtles
Label:    Repertoire (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1969
    One of the most overlooked songs in the Turtles catalog, Love In The City was the last single released from the album Turtle Soup in 1969. At this point the band had gone through various personnel changes, although the group's creative core of Howard Kaylan, Mark Volman and Al Nichol remained intact. Still, as good as Love In The City was, it had become clear that the Turtles had run their last race. After releasing one more single (a rather forgettable balled called Lady-O), the band called it quits. Kaylan and Volman would end up joining the Mothers of Invention, appearing on the legendary Live At Fillmore East album before striking out on their own as the Phlorescent Leech (later shortened to Flo) And Eddie.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Oh! Baby (We Got A Good Thing Goin')
Source:    Mono LP: The Rolling Stones Now!
Writer(s):    Barbara Lynn Ozen
Label:    London
Year:    1965
    There was one song on the US-only compilation album The Rolling Stones Now that had not yet appeared in the band's native England. That song was a cover of Barbara Lynn's Oh! Baby (We Got A Good Thing Goin'), which would be included on the UK version of their next LP, Out Of Our Heads. The song was written by Barbara Lynn Ozen, whose story is quite remarkable in its own right. For one thing she was a female R&B artist that wrote her own material at a time when the assembly-line produced Motown sound was coming to dominate the soul charts. Even more unusual, Ozen was a guitarist as well as a vocalist. To top it off, she played left-handed! Her best knows song was You'll Lose A Good Thing, which went all the way to the top of the R&B charts and was later covered by the San Francisco band Cold Blood. Using the stage name Barbara Lynn, Ozen remains active in her native Beaumont, Texas.

Artist:    ? And The Mysterians
Title:    96 Tears
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    The Mysterians
Label:    Abkco (original label: Cameo)
Year:    1966
    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:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Morning Dew
Source:    LP: The Grateful Dead
Writer(s):    Dobson/Rose
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1967
    One of the most identifiable songs in the Grateful Dead repertoire, Morning Dew was the first song ever written by Canadian folk singer Bonnie Dobson, who came up with the song in 1961 the morning after having a long discussion with friends about what life might be like following a nuclear holocaust. She began performing the song that year, with the first recorded version appearing on her 1962 live album At Folk City. The song was not published, however, until 1964, when Fred Neil decided to record his own version of the song for his album Tear Down The Walls. The first time the song appeared on a major label was 1966, when Tim Rose recorded it for his self-titled Columbia Records debut album. Rose had secured permission to revise the song and take credit as a co-writer, but his version was virtually identical with the Fred Neil version of the song. Nonetheless, Rose's name has been included on all subsequent recordings (though Dobson gets 75% of the royalties), including the Grateful Dead version heard on their 1967 debut LP.

Artist:    Crow
Title:    Gonna Leave A Mark
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Larry Weigand
Label:    Amaret
Year:    1969
    Crow was formed in 1967 as South 40, using that name in their native Minneapolis until signing a contract with Amaret Records in 1969.   
Although it was a hit in 1970, Crow's most famous song, Evil Woman (Don't Play Your Games With Me), was actually released in 1969 on the band's debut LP, Crow Music. Like many of the band's tunes, the B side of that single, Gonna Leave A Mark, was written by bassist Larry Weigand. Other members of the band included Weigand's brother Dick on guitar, David Wagner on vocals, Kink Middlemist on keyboards and Denny Craswell on drums.

Artist:    Philisteens
Title:    Dead And Gone
Source:    12" EP: Turn Up The Music
Writer(s):    Otis/Neil/Glover
Label:    RFA
Year:    1982
    I have to admit that until the early 2000s I didn't even know that the Philisteens had recorded an EP called Turn Up The Music as a follow-up to their debut LP. I also have to admit that I've known guitarist Larry Otis (mainly through his brother Jeff...Hi Jeff!) since high school, so I can't claim to have an unbiased opinion of his work (which I consider outstanding). I ran across the EP when going through a stack of albums that had been sitting in a storeroom on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus for at least ten years (since WEOS vacated its original basement studios for a free-standing house on the edge of campus that didn't have as much shelf space). So, for your listening pleasure we have, Dead And Gone, a track that I know for sure hasn't been played since at least 1998.

Artist:    Chesterfield Kings
Title:    You're Gone
Source:    LP: Don't Open Til Doomsday
Writer(s):    Babiuk//Prevost/O'Brien/Cona/Meech
Label:    Mirror
Year:    1987
    Formed in the late 1970s in Rochester, NY, the Chesterfield Kings (named for an old brand of unfiltered cigarettes that my grandfather used to smoke) were instrumental in setting off the garage band revival of the 1980s. Their earliest records were basically a recreation of the mid-60s garage sound, although by the time their 1987 album, Don't Open Til Doomsday, was released they had gone through some personnel changes that resulted in a harder-edged sound on tracks like You're Gone.    

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)
Year:    1967
    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:    The Great Banana Hoax
Source:    Mono CD: The Complete Reprise Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lowe/Tulin
Label:    Real Gone Music/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    After three consecutive singles written by professional songwriters Annette Tucker, Nancie Mantz and Jill Jones, the Electric Prunes were finally given a chance to test the top 40 waters with their own material in late 1967 with the release of The Great Banana Hoax. The song, which had already appeared as the opening track from the band's second LP, Underground, failed to make a dent in the charts and, after one more unsuccessful single, the band's autonomy was usurped by producer Dave Hassinger, to whom the band had signed away the rights to their own name as part of their original contract.
Artist:    Doors
Title:    Love Me Two Times
Source:    CD: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Although the second Doors album is sometimes dismissed as being full of tracks that didn't make the cut on the band's debut LP, the fact is that Strange Days contains some of the Doors' best-known tunes. One of those is Love Me Two Times, which was the second single released from the album. The song continues to get heavy airplay on classic rock stations.

Artist:    Left Banke
Title:    She May Call You Up Tonight
Source:    LP: Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina
Writer(s):    Brown/Martin
Label:    Smash/Sundazed
Year:    1967
    Unlike their first two singles, Walk Away Renee and Pretty Ballerina, She May Call You Up Tonight failed to chart, possibly due to the release two months earlier of a song called Ivy Ivy, written by keyboardist Michael Brown and marketed as a Left Banke song. The song was in reality performed entirely by session musicians, including lead vocals by Bert Sommer, who would be one of the acoustic acts on the opening afternoon of the Woodstock festival a couple years later. The resulting fued between Brown and the rest of the band left a large number of radio stations gun shy when came to any record with the name Left Banke on the label, and She May Call You Up Tonight tanked, despite being a fine tune in its own right.

Artist:    Tomorrow
Title:    Why
Source:    Mono British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road
Writer(s):    McGuinn/Crosby
Label:    EMI
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1998
    One of the most overlooked bands on the British psychedelic scene was a group called Tomorrow. The group was formed in 1966 when vocalist Keith West and guitarist Steve Howe joined forces with bassist Junior Wood and drummer Twink Adler. One of the highlights of the band's stage performances was their cover of the Byrds' Why, which often featured extended solos by Howe. A studio version of Why was recorded, but was not released while the band was still together. In fact, the tape was misplaced for many years, finally surfacing in time to be included on EMI's Psychedelia At Abbey Road collection in 1998. By then Howe had become a major rock star as the guitarist for Yes during their most popular period.

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    A Bit Of Finger/Sleeping Village/Warning
Source:    LP: Black Sabbath
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osbourne/Butler/Ward
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    According to Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, the band's debut LP was recorded in one day, in a marathon 12-hour session, and mixed the following day. Most of the tracks, including the 14-minute long Warning, were done in one take with no overdubs. The tune itself is listed on the album cover as three separate tracks, even though it is the same continuous piece that appeared on the original UK version of the album. The reason for this is probably so the band could get more in royalties for three compositions than they could for just one. The Grateful Dead did essentially the same thing on their 1968 album Anthem Of The Sun with the 18-minute long track That's It For The Other One. Both albums appeared in the US on the Warner Brothers label.

Artist:    Kak
Title:    Bryte 'N' Clear Day
Source:    British import CD: Kak-Ola (originally released on LP: Kak)
Writer(s):    Yoder/Grelecki
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Epic)
Year:    1969
    The origins of the band called Kak are a bit on the strange side. Gary Lee Yoder's popular Oxford Circle had just broken up when a guy named Gary Grelecki walked up to the singer/songwriter/guitarist and introduced himself, telling him how much he liked the Oxford Circle and adding that he could get him a record deal with CBS. Yoder, somewhat naively, gave Grelecki his phone number, and a couple months later received a call from Grelecki saying he had landed him a contract with the Epic label. Yoder, not quite knowing whether the offer was for real or not, nonetheless recruited his former bandmate Dehner Patton to play lead guitar. Patton, in turn, brought in percussionist Chris Lockheed, who already knew Yoder from doing some TV production work. In early 1968 they recruited drummer Joe-Dave Damrell, and Kak was born (the name coming from college professor Dan Phillips, who had come up with the concept of Kak as being something like a joker in a deck of cards that could mean anything you want it to. Around this time Yoder learned that Grelecki's father was in the CIA, and actually did have contacts at Columbia Records, using record distribution outlets in the Far East as fronts for various covert activities. The new band got to work on their debut LP, releasing it in 1969. Yoder wrote all the band's material, mostly by himself, but sometimes in collaboration with Grelecki on songs such as Bryte 'N' Clear, a tune that sounds like it could have come from a 70s Texas boogie band like ZZ Top.

Artist:    Steve Miller Band
Title:    Lucky Man/Gangster Of Love/ You're So Fine
Source:    CD: Sailor
Writer(s):    Peterman/Watson/Reed
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1968
    The Steve Miller Band's second album, Sailor, was the last to feature original members Jim Peterman and Boz Scaggs. The album is less overtly psychedelic than its predecessor, Children Of The Future, instead shifting the focus to more of a blues-rock sound. This can be heard on the medley of tunes heard on side two of the album. Lucky Man is a Peterman original, while Gangster Of Love came from Johnny "Guitar" Watson. The final part of the trilogy was Jimmy Reed's You're So Fine. Miller made an in-song reference to Gangster Of Love a few years later in his hit tune The Joker.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor
Source:    CD: Over, Under, Sideways, Down (originally released in US only as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:    Jim McCarty
Label:    Raven (original label: Epic)
Year:    1967
    By 1967 the Yardbirds had moved far away from the blues roots and were on their fourth lead guitarist, studio whiz Jimmy Page. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor shows signs of Page's innovative guitar style (such as using a violin bow) that would help define 70s rock with his next band, Led Zeppelin. 

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1639 (starts 9/28/16)

Artist:    Steeleye Span
Title:    London
Source:    LP: Rocket Cottage
Writer(s):    Trad. lyrics, music by Steeleye Span
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1976
    The term "folk-rock" meant something entirely different in the UK in the 1970s than it had in the US in the 1960s. Whereas American folk-rock was basically the electrification of the folk music boom that had swept the country in the late 50s and early 60s (instigated by Bob Dylan in 1965), the British folk-rock was based on an English folk music tradition that dated back centuries. Most of the British folk-rock bands drew heavily on material they had learned as schoolchildren and that had long been in the public domain. One of the most popular of these British folk-rock bands was Steeleye Span. The group released nine albums over a five-year period starting in 1971. Unfortunately for the band their ninth album, Rocket Cottage, came out just as punk-rock was taking over the British music scene; bands like Steeleye Span, along with progressive rock bands such as Yes, were soon being referred to as "dinosaurs" by the British rock press. As it turned out, Rocket Cottage would be the last Steeleye Span album to feature founding members Peter Knight and Bob Johnson, although Maddy Prior would continue with the band into the 1980s. Like most of Steeleye Span's material, London, the opening track of Rocket Cottage, combines the lyrics from an old English folk tune and new music from the band members themselves.

Artist:    Love Sculpture
Title:    Blues Helping
Source:    British import CD: Blues Helping
Writer(s):    Williams/Edmunds/Jones
Label:    EMI (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1968
    When the name Dave Edmunds comes up, it is usually in association with an early 70s remake of the classic Fats Domino tune I Hear You Knockin'. What many people are not aware of, however, is that Edmunds was a major force on the late 60s British blues scene with his band Love Sculpture. The title track of that band's debut LP, Blues Helping, showcases Edmunds's prowess as a guitarist (as does the rest of the album).

Artist:    Blues Image
Title:    Lazy Day Blues
Source:    LP: Blues Image
Writer(s):    Blues Image
Label:    Atco
Year:    1969
    Formed in Tampa, Florida in 1966, Blues Image made a name from themselves in 1968 after they moved to Miami, becoming the house band for the legendary club Thee Image. The band moved to Los Angeles in 1969 and signed with Atco Records, releasing their first LP that same year. Although the album did not produce any hit singles, it managed to achieve a respectable peak in the #122 spot on the Billboard album charts, thanks to solid musicianship, as can be heard on the acoustic ballad Lazy Day Blues.

Artist:    James Gang
Title:    Ashes The Rain And I
Source:    CD: James Gang Rides Again
Writer(s):    Joe Walsh
Label:    MCA (original label: ABC)
Year:    1970
    For their second LP, James Gang Rides Again, the band decided to devote the entire second of the LP to some new acoustic tunes that guitarist Joe Walsh had been working on. The grand finale of the album was Ashes The Rain And I, a tune that embellishes Walsh's guitar and vocals with strings tastefully arranged by Jack Nitzsche.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Going To California
Source:    LP: Led Zeppelin IV
Writer(s):    Page/Plant
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1971
    The fourth Led Zeppelin album is known for the band's return to a harder rock sound after the acoustic leanings of Led Zeppelin III. There were, however, a couple of acoustic songs on LZ IV, including Going To California, a song that vocalist Robert Plant has since said was about Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. The tune features Plant on vocals, Jimmy Page on acoustic guitar and John Paul Jones on Mandolin.

Artist:    Emerson, Lake And Palmer
Title:    From The Beginning
Source:    CD: Trilogy
Writer(s):    Greg Lake
Label:    Atlantic (original label: Cotillion)
Year:    1972
    Although his primary function in Emerson, Lake And Palmer was to provide lead vocals and play bass lines supporting Keith Emerson's keyboard work, Greg Lake generally got to include one of his own ballads on each ELP album. Usually Lake played acoustic guitar on these tracks, with synthesizer backup from Emerson and little or no drumwork from Carl Palmer. For the band's third LP, Trilogy, Lake provided From The Beginning, one of most melodic tunes in the group's catalog. The song ended up being the band's highest charting single, peaking at # 39.

Artist:    Steely Dan
Title:    Pretzel Logic
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Becker/Fagan
Label:    MCA (original label: ABC)
Year:    1974
    Steely Dan's third album, Pretzel Logic, was almost universally praised by the rock press, including NME magazine, which named it the 1974 album of the year, and Village Voice critic Robert Christgau, who ranked it at the top of his own annual list. The title track, according to co-writer Donald Fagan, is actually about time travel, and includes references to Napoleon Bonaparte and travelling minstrel shows.

Artist:     Jerry Garcia
Title:     Sugaree
Source:     45 RPM promo single
Writer:     Garcia/Hunter/Kreutzmann
Label:     Warner Brothers
Year:     1972
     In 1972 Warner Brothers gave the individual members of the Grateful Dead to record solo albums. Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir and drummer Micket Hart took them up on the offer. Garcia's effort was unique in that he played virtually all the instruments on the album himself (except for the drum parts, which were played by Bill Kreutzmann). One of the best known songs from that album is Sugaree, which was soon added pretty much permanently to the Dead's concert repertoire.

Artist:    Starcastle
Title:    Lady Of The Lake
Source:    LP: Starcastle
Writer(s):    Tassler/Luttrell/Strater/Schildt/Stewart/Hagler
Label:    Epic
Year:    1976
    The first track of the first Starcastle album established beyond any question that the Champagne, Illinois band was firmly rooted in the progressive rock movement that had produced bands such as Yes and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Unfortunately for Starcastle, that whole genre was already starting to wane in popularity when their album came out. Nonetheless, Lady Of The Lake, with it's complex musical arrangement and Arthurian lyrical theme, is a fine example of the progressive rock genre that sounds as good now as it did in 1976.

Artist:    Premiati Forneria Marconi
Title:    Celebration
Source:    Italian import CD: Photos Of Ghosts
Writer(s):    Mussida/Pagani/Sinfield
Label:    RCA
Year:    1973
    The most popular song in the PFM catalogue, Celebration is a re-recording of a song called E Festa from the band's 1971 debut album, Storia di un minuto. The 1973 Photos Of Ghosts recording of Celebration features all new lyrics by Peter Sinfield, who was also working with Emerson, Lake And Palmer, who had signed PFM to their Manticore label for their US releases. Photos Of Ghosts was the first of those releases, and became the first album by an Italian band to crack the Billboard 200 album chart.

Artist:    Frank Zappa
Title:    Zoot Allures
Source:    LP: Zoot Allures
Writer(s):    Frank Zappa
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1976
    When Frank Zappa went to work on his 22nd album he originally intended it to be a two LP set. Disputes between Zappa and his manager, Herb Cohen, however, led not only to the album being reduced to a single disc, but to it being released on the Warner Brothers label rather than Zappa's own Discreet label. Furthermore, two tracks, including the instrumental Zoot Allures, were not even on the original tracklist for the album. Naturally, the album ended up being named for that instrumental.

Artist:      Grand Funk Railroad
Title:     Feelin' Alright
Source:      CD: Survival
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:     Capitol
Year:     1971
     The first three Grand Funk Railroad albums had a total of one cover song between them (the Animals' Inside Looking Out on Grand Funk). The band's fourth studio effort, Survival, had two.  One of those was Feelin' Alright, a Dave Mason song that had appeared on the second Traffic album. Grand Funk Railroad's version ended up being released as a single in late 1971. Mason himself released his own solo version of the tune later in the decade.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1638 (starts 9/21/16)

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Revolution
Source:    CD: Past Masters-Volume Two (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1968
    Although it was the first version to be released, the fast version of John Lennon's Revolution was actually the last to be recorded. The song was originally recorded in June of 1968 as a ten-minute long album track, and included a long experimental section that would become the basis for Revolution 9. At some point Lennon decided to divide the two parts, with Revolution 1 (the first four minutes or so of the original track) being considered for release as a single. Both Paul McCartney and George Harrison, however, thought the song's pace was too slow for a single. Lennon, however, was not ready to give up on the song, and the band got to work on a faster and louder version in mid-July. This faster version was issued as the B side of Hey Jude the following month (although in some markets, including Australia, the record was released as a double A side), the first record to appear on the Apple label.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Good Day Sunshine
Source:    CD: Revolver
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1966
    When the Beatles' Revolver album came out, radio stations all over the US began playing various non-single album tracks almost immediately. Among the most popular of those was Paul McCartney's Good Day Sunshine. It was in many ways an indication of the direction McCartney's songwriting would continue to take for several years.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
Source:    Mono CD: Past Masters-vol. 2 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1970
    Basically a studio concoction assembled by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) was originally intended to be released as a 1969 single by the Plastic Ono Band. The track was the result of four separate recording sessions dating back to 1967 and originally ran over six minutes long. The instrumental tracks were recorded around the same time the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in Spring of 1967. Brian Jones added a saxophone part on June 8th of that year. In April of 1969 Lennon and McCartney added vocals, while Lennon edited the entire track down to slightly over four minutes. The single was readied for a November release, but at the last minute was withdrawn. The recording was instead released as the B side of the Let It Be single the following year.

Artist:     Rolling Stones
Title:     Child Of The Moon (rmk)
Source:     CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Jagger/Richards
Label:     Abkco (original label: London)
Year:     1968
    Child Of The Moon was originally released as the B side to the Stones' 1968 comeback single, Jumpin' Jack Flash. The song is now available as part of a box set called Singles Collection-The London Years. This track, which is in stereo, has the letters rmk (lower case) following the song title, which leads me to wonder if maybe it is a remake rather than the original recording. I do have a copy of the original 45, but its condition is such that I would rather not use it if I don't have to. As was the case with many of the Stones' 60s recordings, the band is joined by keyboardist Nicky Hopkins on this one.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    She's A Rainbow
Source:    LP: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    The only song from the Rolling Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request album to get significant airplay in the US was She's A Rainbow, released as a single in the fall of '67.  Oddly enough it was the single's B side, 2,000 Light Years From Home, that charted in Germany. Another song from the album, In Another Land, had been released in the US a week before the album came out and was marketed as the first Bill Wyman solo song (with a Rolling Stones B side), but only made it to the #87 spot on the Billboard singles chart. This perhaps is a reflection of the uncertainty surrounding the Rolling Stones' role in the world of rock at the time. That uncertainty would soon be dispelled when the band hired a new producer, Jimmy Miller, the following year and released Jumpin' Jack Flash, an undisputed classic that helped define the band for years to come.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    We Love You
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
     After the less than stellar chart performance of the LP Their Satanic Majesties Request, the Stones decided to pull out all the stops with a double 'A' sided single. We Love You was their most expensive production ever, and included a promotional film that is considered a forerunner of the modern music video. Oddly enough, the other side of the record, Dandelion, ended up getting more airplay, at least in the US.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    All Day And All Of The Night
Source:    Mono CD: 25 Years-The Ultimate Collection (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    PolyTel (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1964
    Following up on their worldwide hit You Really Got Me, the Kinks proved that lightning could indeed strike twice with All Day And All Of The Night. Although there have been rumours over the years that the guitar solo on the track may have been played by studio guitarist Jimmy Page, reliable sources insist that it was solely the work of Dave Davies, who reportedly slashed his speakers to achieve the desired sound.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    You Really Got Me
Source:    CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    K-Tel (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1964
    You Really Got Me has been described as the first hard rock song and the track that invented heavy metal. You'll get no argument from me on either of those.
Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Lola
Source:    Mono Canadian CD: 25 Years-The Ultimate Collection (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Polygram/PolyTel (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1970
    By 1970 the Kinks were all but forgotten in the US and not doing all that much better in their native UK. Then came Lola. I guess I could stop right there. Or I could mention that the song was based on a true story involving the band's manager. I could even say something about Dave Davies' claim that, although his brother Ray is credited as the sole songwriter of Lola, Dave actually came up with the music and Ray added the lyrics. But you've probably heard it all before. This is Lola, the most famous transvestite song in history, we're talking about, after all.

Artist:     Troggs
Title:     Wild Thing
Source:     Mono CD: Nuggets-Classics From the Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Chip Taylor
Label:     Rhino (original label: Fontana)
Year:     1966
    I have a DVD copy of a music video (although back then they were called promotional films) for the Troggs' Wild Thing in which the members of the band are walking through what looks like a train station while being mobbed by girls at every turn. Every time I watch it I imagine singer Reg Presley saying giggity-giggity as he bobs his head.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    Simulated stereo British import LP: Smash Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Billy Roberts
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1966
    The first track recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience was Hey Joe, a song that Hendrix had seen Tim Rose perform in Greenwich Village before relocating to London to form his new band. Hendrix's version is a bit heavier than Rose's and leaves off the first verse ("where you going with that money in your hand") entirely. The song itself was copyrighted in 1962 by California folk singer Billy Roberts and a much faster version by the Leaves had hit the US charts in early 1966.

Artist:    Association
Title:    Along Comes Mary
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:    Tandyn Almer
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Valiant)
Year:    1966
    The Association are best known for a series of love ballads and light pop songs such as Cherish, Never My Love and Windy. Many of these records were a product of the L.A. studio scene and featured several members of the Wrecking Crew, the studio musicians who played on dozens of records in the late 60s and early 70s. The first major Association hit, however, featured the band members playing all the instruments themselves. Produced (and possibly co-written) by Curt Boettcher, who would soon join Gary Usher's studio project Sagittarius, Along Comes Mary shows that the Association was quite capable of recording a classic without any help from studio musicians.

Artist:    Easybeats
Title:    Sorry
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):    Wright/Young
Label:    Rhino (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1966
    While Beatlemania was sweeping the northern hemisphere, a similar phenomena known as Easyfever was all the rage down under. Formed in the migrant hostels on the edge of Sydney, the Easybeats signed with Parlophone in 1965, and hit the top of the Australian charts with their second single. From that point on, the Easybeats were the # 1 band in the country, cranking out hit after hit, including Sorry from 1966. Like all the band's early hits, Sorry was written by the team of vocalist Stevie Wright and guitarist George Young. Not long after the release of Sorry, the Easybeats would decide to relocate to England. At around the same time lead guitarist Harry Vanda replaced Wright as Young's primary writing partner; together they wrote the international smash Friday On My Mind. The Easybeats continued to record into the early 70s, but with only moderate success. Eventually Young returned to Australia, where he was instrumental in helping his younger brothers Angus and Malcolm find success with their own band, AC/DC.

Artist:    Iron Butterfly
Title:    My Mirage
Source:    LP: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Writer(s):    Doug Ingle
Label:    Atco
Year:    1968
    One thing about Iron Butterfly's In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida album is that almost nobody remembers any of the songs from the other side of the album. That's a bit of a shame, because there are a couple of really good tunes on there, such as My Mirage, a Doug Ingle composition that helped lay the groundwork for the progressive rock movement of the 1970s.

Artist:    Tangerine Zoo
Title:    Trip To The Zoo
Source:    Mono British import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Smith/Benevides
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1968
    Not all Boston area bands in 1968 were part of the overly hyped "bosstown sound" perpetrated on an unsuspecting public by executives at M-G-M Records. One of the bands that did not participate in the hoax was the Tangerine Zoo from nearby Swansea. The Zoo, consisting of Tony Taviera, Wayne Gagnon, Ron Medieros, Bob Benevides and Donald Smith, were discovered by Bob Shad while playing a gig in Newport, Rhode Island. Shad was so impressed with the band that he immediately signed them to his Mainstream label. The Tangerine Zoo ended up recording two albums for Mainstream; the first of these, which included Trip To The Zoo, took all of 13 hours to record and mix. The shortened version of the song heard here was issued in March of 1968 as the B side of the band's first single for the label.

Artist:    George Harrison
Title:    In The Park
Source:    CD: Wonderwall Music
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple
Year:    1968
    George Harrison first played sitar on the Rubber Soul album, released in late 1965. Over the next two years he would release three songs that were virtually dominated by the Indian instrument: Love You To (Revolver LP), Within You Without You (Sgt. Pepper's album), and The Inner Light (the B side of Lady Madonna). When the double-LP called The Beatles (aka the White Album) came out in 1968, however, there was not a trace of sitar on the entire album. So what happened? My own theory is that after recording the soundtrack for the Joe Massot film Wonderwall Harrison had simply had his fill of the instrument and had decided that in the future, if he needed sitar on a record he would call on the acknowledged master of the instrument, Ravi Shankar, to play it. As is obvious from listening to In The Park, from the Wonderwall Music album, Harrison played a lot of sitar that year.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Happenings Ten Years Time Ago
Source:    Mono CD: Roger The Engineer (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dreja/Relf/Page/McCarty/Beck
Label:    Great American Music (original label: Epic)
Year:    1966
            Following the release of the 1966 LP The Yardbirds (aka Roger The Engineer), bassist Paul Samwell-Smith decided to leave the band to pursue a career as a record producer. The group recruited studio guitar whiz Jimmy Page as his replacement, with Page joining Jeff Beck as co-lead guitarist and Chris Dreja switching from rhythm guitar to bass. The first recording by the new lineup was a single, Happenings Ten Years Time Ago. Dreja, however, was not yet comfortable on bass, so a colleague of Page's, John Paul Jones, was brought in for the sessions, with Dreja playing rhythm guitar. Despite the wealth of talent on the recording, Happenings Ten Years Time Ago was not a major hit, peaking at # 30 on the US charts. It did even worse in the UK, where it only made it to the # 43 spot. Beck and Page would play together on two more Yardbirds recordings before Beck left the group under somewhat mysterious circumstances.

Artist:    Bloodrock
Title:    D.O.A.
Source:    CD: Bloodrock 2
Writer(s):    Cobb/Grundy/Hill/Pickens/Rutledge
Label:    One Way (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1970
    Bloodrock gained infamy in 1970 with the inclusion of D.O.A. on their second LP, a song reputed to be the cause of more bad acid trips than any other track ever recorded. Although the origins of the song are popularly attributed to a plane crash that killed several student atheletes in October of 1970, the fact that the album was already in the hands of record reviewers within a week of that event makes it unlikely that the two are related. The more likely story is that it was inspired by band member Lee Pickens's witnessing of a friend crashing his light plane a couple years before. Regardless of the song's origins, D.O.A. has to be considered one of the creepiest recordings ever made.

Artist:      Grand Funk Railroad
Title:     Sin's a Good Man's Brother (edit)
Source:      Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:     1970
     A rare promo pressing of Sin's A Good Man's Brother, the opening track from Grand Funk Railroad's third album, Closer To Home. This edited version cuts the original running time of 4:35 down to slightly over three minutes in length.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Who Needs Ya
Source:    CD: Born To Be Wild-A Retrospective
Writer(s):    Byrom/Kay
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1970
    It's no secret that there are often clashes between members of talented bands. Sometimes these clashes turn pretty ugly, as was the case between Steppenwolf guitarist Michael Monarch and lead vocalist John Kay. On at least one occasion Monarch got so angry with Kay that he stopped playing in the middle of a performance. Finally it got to the point where one of them had to go. Since Steppenwolf was basically Kay's band, Monarch was the one to leave. He was replaced by Larry Byrom, who was a member of the Los Angeles band T.I.M.E. Byrom stayed with with the band for the next two years, co-writing the tune Who Needs Ya, which was released as a single in October of 1970 and appeared on the album Steppenwolf 7.

Artist:    Steve Miller Band
Title:    Seasons
Source:    LP: Anthology (originally released on LP: Brave New World)
Writer(s):    Miller/Sidran
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    The third Steve Miller Band album, Brave New World, saw the first of many personnel changes the band would undergo over the years. Both Boz Scaggs and keyboardist Jim Peterman left following the release of the band's second album, Sailor, with Ben Sidran brought in to replace Peterman. Sidran had no problem fitting into the band, however, and is credited as co-writer on four of the album's nine tunes, including Seasons.

Artist:    Melanie
Title:    Momma Momma
Source:    Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm
Writer(s):    Melanie Safka
Label:    Rhino
Year:    1969
    Melanie Safka released her first album, Born To Be, in 1968. Although it was not a major seller at the time, it got good reviews from the rock press, including the influential Billboard magazine, which hailed her as a "new talent to be reckoned with." The following year she appeared at the Woodstock festival, making a strong impression with the crowd, who held up candles (or lighters, as the case may be) during her performance, inspiring her later hit Candles In The Wind. Although her performance was not included in the film or soundtrack album, Melanie's star was definitely on the rise. One of the songs she performed at the festival was a tune from her first album called Momma Momma. The Woodstock version of the song remained unreleased for 40 years, however, until it was included on Rhino's box set 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm.

 Artist:     Frijid Pink
Title:     House Of The Rising Sun
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     Trad., arr. Alan Price
Label:     Parrot
Year:     1969
     Frijid Pink was a hard rocking blue collar band out of Detroit, Michigan. After releasing two singles on the Parrot label that went nowhere, they band scored big with their feedback-drenched version of House Of The Rising Sun, the song that had made the Animals famous six years earlier. The follow-up single, Sing A Song Of Freedom, barely dented the charts, however, and the group never made any inroads with the new progressive rock stations springing up on the FM dial. As a result, Frijid Pink has been known ever since as one-hit wonders.

Artist:    Jerry Garcia
Title:    Love Scene
Source:    LP: Zabriskie Point (soundtrack)
Writer(s):    Jerry Garcia
Label:    4 Men With Beards
Year:    1970
    Pink Floyd did a lot of soundtracks for so-called art films in the early 1970s. The Grateful Dead, however, did not, making this bit of noodling (titled simply Love Scene) by Jerry Garcia a bit of a curiousity. As for the actual film Zabriskie Point, the less said the better.

Artist:    Mad River
Title:    Wind Chimes
Source:    Mono British import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released on LP: Mad River)
Writer(s):    Mad River
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1968
    When Mad River's debut LP was released, the San Francisco rock press hailed it as "taking rock music as far as it could go." Indeed, songs like Wind Chimes certainly pushed the envelope in 1968, when bubble gum was king of top 40 radio and progressive FM stations were still pretty much in the future. One thing that helped was the band members' friendship with avant-garde poet Richard Brautigan, who pulled whatever strings he could to get attention for his favorite local band. Still, the time was not yet right for such a band as Mad River, who had quietly faded away by the early 1970s.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Look (Song For The Children)/Child Is Father To The Man
Source:    LP: The Smile Sessions
Writer(s):    Wilson/Parks
Label:    Capitol
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2011
    In 2004 Brian Wilson released Smile, the culmination of a project that went back nearly 40 years. Smile had begun as the projected follow up to the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album, with recording for the new album beginning in 1966. Due to a number of reasons the project was suspended in 1967, and a much less ambitious LP called Smiley Smile appeared in its place. For the rest of the 20th century Smile was little more than a legend, surrounded by rumours concerning the disposition of the material that had been recorded before the project was dropped. In the early 1990s some of the tapes resurfaced and were issued as part of the Beach Boys 30th anniversary box set. Still, these were only fragments, without any real sense of how they were meant to be presented on the original album. Finally, with the release of Brian Wilson's all new recordings of much of the same material, there was a template that could be used as a guideline for assembling the original album. Some elements, such as Carl Wilson's backing vocals on tracks like Child Is Father To The Man were actually recorded after the project itself was cancelled and used on later Beach Boys albums. Nonetheless, The Smile Sessions is probably the closest thing we'll ever hear to the original Smile album.

Artist:    Love
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    Mono LP: Love
Writer(s):    Billy Roberts
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1966
    There are contradictory stories of the origins of the song Hey Joe. Some say it's a traditional folk song, while others have attributed it to various songwriters, including Tim Rose and Dino Valenti (under his birth name Chet Powers). As near as I've been able to determine the song was actually written by an obscure California folk singer named Billy Roberts, who reportedly was performing the song as early as 1958. The song circulated among West Coast musicians over the years and eventually caught the attention of the Byrds' David Crosby. Crosby was unable to convince his bandmates to record the song, although they did include it in their live sets at Ciro's on L.A.'s Sunset Strip. One of the Byrds' roadies, Bryan Maclean, joined up with Arthur Lee's new band, Love, and brought Crosby's version of the song (which had slightly different lyrics than other, more popular versions) with him. In 1966 Love included Hey Joe on their debut album, with Maclean doing the vocals. Meanwhile another L.A. band, the Leaves, recorded their own version of Hey Joe (reportedly using misremembered lyrics acquired from Love's Johnny Echols) in 1965, but had little success with it. In 1966 they recorded a new version of the song, adding screaming fuzz-drenched lead guitar parts by Bobby Arlin, and Hey Joe finally became a national hit. With two other L.A. bands (and Chicago's Shadows Of Knight) having recorded a song that David Crosby had come to regard as his own, the Byrds finally committed their own version of Hey Joe to vinyl in late 1966 on the Fifth Dimension album, but even Crosby eventually admitted that recording the song was a mistake. Up to this point the song had always been recorded at a fast tempo, but two L.A. songwriters, Sean Bonniwell (of the Music Machine) and folk singer Tim Rose, came up with the idea of slowing the song down. Both the Music Machine and Tim Rose versions of the songs were released in 1966. Jimi Hendrix heard the Rose recording and used it as the basis for his own embellished version of the song, which was released as a single in the UK in late 1966 (although it did not come out in the US until the release of the Are You Experienced album in 1967). Yet another variation on the slow version of Hey Joe was released by Cher in early 1967, which seems to have finally killed the song, as I don't know of any major subsequent recordings of the tune (unless you count the Mothers Of Invention's parody of the song, Flower Punk, which appeared on the album We're Only In It For The Money in 1968).

Artist:     Music Machine
Title:     Astrologically Incompatible
Source:     Mono British import CD: My Mind Goes High (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Sean Bonniwell
Label:     Warner Strategic Marketing (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:     1967
     While touring extensively in 1967 the Music Machine continued to take every possible opportunity to record new material in the studio, while at the same time working to change record labels. The first single to be issued on the Warner Brothers label was Bottom Of The Soul, released in late 1967. The B side of that record was Astrologically Incompatible, one of the first rock songs to deal with astrological themes, albeit in a slightly tongue-in-cheek manner.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    Baroque # 1
Source:    Mono LP: Ultimate Spinach (promo copy)
Writer(s):    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1967
    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.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1638 (starts 9/21/16)

Artist:      Jethro Tull
Title:     Hymn 43
Source:      LP: Aqualung
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Reprise
Year:     1971
     The 1971 Jethro Tull album Aqualung saw Ian Anderson taking on the religious establishment with tunes like Hymn 43. He had already fired the first shot a couple years before with Christmas Song, but this time he had an entire album side to work with, and he did not pull any punches with his scathing criticism of what he perceived as rampant hypocrisy within the Anglican church.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    A Passion Play- Edit #8
Source:    LP: "M.U." The Best Of Jethro Tull (originally released on LP: A Passion Play
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1973
    On the 1971 album Aqualung, Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson took on the religious establishment. The following year the band broke new ground by releasing Thick As A Brick, a single track that took up both sides of a conventional LP record. Both were commercial successes with generally favorable reviews from the rock press. The band's next studio LP, A Passion Play, was another story. Like Thick As A Brick, A Passion Play was one long piece stretched out over an entire album. The problem was that Thick As A Brick was actually a satirical piece that worked on more than one level, while A Passion Play took itself far more seriously. Although commercially successful at first, the album got mostly negative reviews from the rock press, and is generally considered to be the beginning of the band's decline in popularity. As a way of making the album more radio-friendly, a special pressing was sent to stations dividing the piece into 10 numbered edits, with #8 also issued as a single. When it came time for the band to issue a greatest hits album, A Passion Play edit #8 was selected for inclusion. Personally I would have gone with #9, which was issued as the B side of the single. Shows what I know.

Artist:    Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
Title:    Out Of The Roundabout
Source:    LP: Chocolate Kings
Writer(s):    PFM
Label:    Asylum
Year:    1975
    Premiata Forneria Marconi (English translation: The Award Winning Marconi Bakery) was the first Italian rock band to place albums on the British and American charts. Part of the reason for this is the fact that, beginning in 1973, they began to reissue their original albums with new English lyrics overdubbed over the original Italian. This made their material more accessible to English-speaking audiences, although their appeal was mainly due to their complex progressive rock arrangements (and the fact that they were proficient enough on their instrumentst to play those arrangements). In 1975 they attempted to take it a step further by adding a new lead vocalist, Bernardo Lanzetti, and actually writing the original lyrics for their album Chocolate Kings in English (as opposed to using translations of the original Italian lyrics). In some cases, such as Out Of The Roundabout, the change was for the better, although overall the group was still perceived as being weak in the vocals department.

Artist:    Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
Title:    Nothing's The Same/Traccia II
Source:    LP: Banco
Writer(s):    DiGiacomo/Nocenzi/Morrow
Label:    Manticore
Year:    1975
    Progressive rock was a bigger deal in Europe than in the US in the 1970s. I'm not sure exactly why that is, but it's a fact that bands like Nektar (from Germany) and Gentle Giant (UK) really had no American counterparts. One hotspot of popularity for the genre was Italy, where, for a couple of years, the most popular band in the country was Emerson, Lake And Palmer. In fact, it was ELP's label, Manticore, that brought two of Italy's most popular local bands, PFM and Banco, to the attention of the English-speaking world. In Banco's case, their first US release contained several songs that had been issued on their three Italian albums, but newly-recorded with English lyrics. The climax of the self-titled Banco album was a ten minute long piece called Nothing Is The Same, which leads directly into a short reprise of Traccia, the album's opening theme. The piece showcases the band's strengths, not the least of which are the operatic vocals of Francesco Di Giacomo.

Artist:    Yes
Title:    Astral Traveller
Source:    CD: Yesterdays (originally released on LP: Time And A Word)
Writer(s):    Jon Anderson
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    The original lineup of Yes (Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Bill Bruford, Peter Banks and Tony Kaye) only recorded two albums. The second of these was Time And A Word, released in 1970. Most of the tracks on the album included orchestral backing; this was done at the insistence of vocalist Jon Anderson, who wrote much of the band's material. Guitarist Peter Banks was against the idea of using strings, and ended up leaving the band not long after the release of Time And A Word. One of the few tracks without any orchestral backup is a song called Astral Traveller, which was included on the 1975 compilation album Yesterdays. It's also pretty much the best early Yes track I've heard, which leads me to believe that Anderson may have been using the orchestra on the other songs as an attempt to salvage relatively weak material.

Artist:     James Gang
Title:     Walk Away
Source:     LP: The Best Of Joe Walsh (originally released on LP: Thirds)
Writer:     Joe Walsh
Label:     ABC
Year:     1971
     The third James Gang album was the last for Joe Walsh, who left the band to pursue a solo career for a few years before hooking up with the Eagles. One of his best known songs, Walk Away, leads off the album. The recording uses multi-tracking extensively toward the end of the song, with multiple guitar parts cascading into what Walsh himself called a "train wreck".

Artist:    Mott The Hoople
Title:    Sweet Jane
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Lou Reed
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1972
    After four only moderately successful albums, England's Mott The Hoople was on the verge of disbanding when David Bowie stepped in to help the struggling band, first by giving them All The Young Dudes to record, then by producing the album of the same name. The LP itself only contained one other cover song besides the title track: Lou Reed's Sweet Jane, which had come out on the Velvet Underground's Loaded album in 1970. Sweet Jane ended up being the third single from All The Young Dudes, but, oddly enough, the single was not released in the band's home country.

Artist:    Doobie Brothers
Title:    Ukiah/The Captain And Me
Source:    CD The Captain And Me
Writer(s):    Tom Johnston
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1973
    Following up on the success of their second LP, Toulouse Street, the Doobie Brothers quickly went to work on their third LP, releasing The Captain And Me in March of 1973. The longest track on the album was the title track itself, which closes out the second side of the LP. The track is made even longer by the fact that Ukiah, the song that precedes it, crossfades into The Captain And Me for a combined running time of nearly eight minutes. Although neither song was released as a single, Ukiah received a fair amount of airplay on progressive rock radio stations in the 1970s and was a concert favorite.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Sail On, Sailor
Source:    CD: Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys (originally released on LP: Holland)
Writer(s):    Wilson/Kennedy/Almer/Rieley/Parks
Label:    Capitol (original label: Brother/Reprise)
Year:    1973
    By late 1972 the Beach Boys had all but abandoned their surf roots, with their name itself being the main link with the past. At the same time they were starting to regain favor with the rock press, which had been highly critical of the band's early 1970s material. For their 19th studio album they sent an entire recording studio to the Netherlands from Californian and reconstructed it there in the village of Baambrugge. The album was submitted to Reprise Records in October of 1972, but was rejected by the label for lacking a potential hit single. Lyricist Van Dyke Parks, who had been working with Brian Wilson since the aborted Smile project of 1966-67, hastily conferred with executives at Warner Brothers Records (owners of Reprise), and came up with a plan. He and Wilson had recently completed a demo of a song called Sail On, Sailor, which he then played for the label. The shirts liked the tune, and convinced the band to record the song in the studio as a replacement for what the label saw as the weakest track on the original version of Holland, a song called We Got Love. By the time the track was completed, several other people, including the band's manager, had claimed co-writing credits on the song, and Sail On, Sailor was added to Holland. The album was released and Sail On, Sailor became the most successful Beach Boys single of the decade. Surprisingly, the song did even better on progressive rock radio, becoming a staple of the format.

Artist:    Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come
Title:    Spirit Of Joy
Source:    British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Journey)
Writer(s):    Kingdom Come
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1973
    One of the great innovators in British rock history, Arthur Brown is best known for his 1968 hit Fire, which topped the charts in several countries. After his original band, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown disbanded in 1969, Brown formed a new group, Kingdom Come, which released three albums in the early 1970s. The third of these, Journey, is notable for being the first rock album to use a drum machine exclusively for its percussion parts. In fact, the entire album is now considered to be an early classic of the electronic rock genre, as can be plainly heard on the track Spirit Of Joy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era #1637 (starts 8/14/16)

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Drive My Car
Source:    CD: Rubber Soul (originally released in US on LP: Yesterday...And Today)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1965 (not released in US until 1966)
    Capitol Records repeatedly got the ire of the Beatles by omitting, adding and rearranging songs on the US versions of their LPs, especially in 1966, when the band was starting to put considerable time and effort into presenting the albums as a coherent package. At the root of the problem were two facts: albums in the UK had longer running times than US albums, and thus more songs, and UK singles stayed in print longer than their US counterparts and were generally not included on albums at all. This resulted in albums like Yesterday and Today that didn't even have a British counterpart. Drive My Car, for example, was released in the US in 1966 on the Yesterday...And Today LP. It had appeared six months earlier in the UK as the opening track of the Rubber Soul album. Oddly enough, despite being one of the group's most recognizable songs, Drive My Car was never issued as a single.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall
Source:    LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Sundazed/Columbia
Year:    1966
    Although most of the songs on the third Simon And Garfunkel album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme, were new compositions, there are a couple of exceptions. The international hit single Homeward Bound had appeared on the British version of their previous LP, Sounds Of Silence, but had been left off its US counterpart. Another tune, Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall, had already appeared as the B side of yet another single, I Am A Rock. The song itself starts and ends slow, with a faster middle section that almost sounds like bluegrass.

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)
Year:    1967
    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.

Artist:    Frumious Bandersnatch
Title:    Cheshire
Source:    British import CD: The Berkeley EPs (originally released on untitled EP)
Writer(s):    Jack King
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Muggles Gramophone Works)
Year:    1968
    The longest track on the Frumious Bandersnatch EP (taking up the entire second side of the record), was a tune called Cheshire. Although the recent British CD issue of The Berkeley EPs credits Bob Winkleman as the writer of the piece, the liner notes of the same CD make it clear that Cheshire is actually the work of drummer Jackson King; in fact, the song dates back to the band's earliest days with its original lineup. Like the band name itself, the title of the track reflects King's intense interest in the works of Lewis Carroll.   
Artist:     Seatrain
Title:     Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Lady
Source:     CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Sea Train)
Writer(s):    Gregory/Roberts
Label:     Rhino (original label: Edsel)
Year:     1969
     Following the breakup of the Blues Project, two of the members, bassist/flautist Andy Kuhlberg and drummer Roy Blumenthal, relocated to San Francisco. They hooked up with Richard Greene (violin, keyboards, viola, vocals), John Gregory (guitar, vocals), Don Kretmar (bass, saxophone) and vocalist Jim Roberts to form Seatrain. Their first album, Sea Train, appeared in 1969 on the obscure Edsel label.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Lady Jane
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer:    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1966
    One of the best early Rolling Stones albums is 1966's Aftermath, which included such classics as Under My Thumb, Stupid Girl and the eleven-minute Goin' Home. Both the US and UK versions of the LP included the song Lady Jane, which was also released as the B side to Mother's Little Helper (which had been left off the US version of Aftermath to make room for Paint It, Black). The policy at the time was for B sides that got a significant amount of airplay to be rated seperately from the A side of the single, and Lady Jane managed to climb to the # 24 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 (Mother's Little Helper peaked at # 8).

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Sunny Afternoon
Source:    Mono LP: Face To Face
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1966
    My family got its first real stereo (a GE console model with a reel-to-reel recorder instead of a turntable) just in time for me to catch the Kinks' Sunny Afternoon at the peak of its popularity. My school had just gone into split sessions and all my classes were over by one o'clock, which gave me the chance to explore the world of top 40 radio for a couple hours every day without the rest of the family telling me to turn it down (or off).

Artist:    Troggs
Title:    Gonna Make You
Source:    Mono CD: Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Pagel/Fletcher
Label:    Fontana/Atco
Year:    1966
    The Troggs hit the British music scene in a big way in 1966, with the international smash Wild Thing. They followed it up with a string of top 10 singles, including the controversial I Can't Control Myself. In the US, the song was released by two competing labels (apparently due to confusion caused by the Troggs switching labels in the UK), Fontana (which had released Wild Thing) and Atco. The B side of the single, Gonna Make You, is a solid example of what the Troggs were all about musically.  
Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Pushin' Too Hard
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on LP: The Seeds and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1965
    Pushin' Too Hard was originally released as a single in 1965 (under the title You're Pushin' Too Hard), but did not make an immediate impression. The following year, however, the tune started getting some local airplay on Los Angeles area stations. This in turn led to the band recording their first album, The Seeds, which was released in spring of 1966. A second Seeds LP, A Web Of Sound, hit L.A. record stores in the fall of the same year. Meanwhile, Pushin' Too Hard started to get national airplay, hitting its peak position on the Billboard charts in February of 1967.

Artist:     Beach Boys
Title:     Let's Go Away For Awhile
Source:     45 RPM single B side (originally released on LP: Pet Sounds)
Writer:     Brian Wilson
Label:     Capitol
Year:     1966
     Although the Beach Boys are known primarily as a vocal group, their catalog is sprinkled with occassional instrumental pieces, usually featuring the youngest Wilson brother, Carl, on lead guitar. By 1966, however, the band was using studio musicians extensively on their recordings. This was taken to its extreme on the Pet Sounds album with the tune Let's Go Away For Awhile, which was made without the participation of any of the actual band members (except composer/producer Brian Wilson, who said at the time that the track was the most satisfying piece of music he had ever made).
To give the song even greater exposure, Wilson used the track as the B side of the band's next single, Good Vibrations.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    White Rabbit
Source:    CD: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer:    Grace Slick
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1967
    The first time I heard White Rabbit was on Denver's first FM rock station, KLZ-FM. The station branded itself as having a top 100 (as opposed to local ratings leader KIMN's top 60), and prided itself on being the first station in town to play new releases and album tracks. It wasn't long before White Rabbit was officially released as a single, and went on to become a top 10 hit, the last for the Airplane.

Artist:    Amboy Dukes
Title:    Scottish Tea
Source:    British import CD: Journey To The Center Of The Mind
Writer(s):    Ted Nugent
Label:    Repertoire (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1968
    Between the first two Amboy Dukes albums, the group underwent a couple of personnel changes, with bassist Greg Arama and keyboardist Andy Solomon joining founders John Drake (vocals), Steve Farmer (rhythm guitar), Dave Palmer (drums) and the inimitable Ted Nugent (lead guitar). The second Dukes LP, Journey To The Center Of The Mind, was actually two mini-albums, with songs composed mainly by Nugent on side one and Farmer on side two. One of the Nugent songs was an instrumental named Scottish Tea. While not exactly politically correct, the track is a showcase for Nugent's already prodigious abilities as a guitarist.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Soul Sacrifice
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Santana)
Writer(s):    Brown/Malone/Rolie/Santana
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    Of all the bands formed in the late 1960s, very few achieved any degree of popularity outside of their local community. Fewer still could be considered an influence on future stars. Most rare of all are those who managed to be both popular and influential while maintaining a degree of artistic integrity. One name that comes immediately to mind is Santana (both the band and the man). It might be surprising, then, to hear that the first Santana album, released in 1969, was savaged by the rock press, particularly the San Francisco based Rolling Stone magazine, who called it boring and repetitious. It wasn't until the band performed Soul Sacrifice (heard here in its original studio version) at Woodstock that Santana became major players on the rock scene.

Artist:     Blues Image
Title:     Pay My Dues
Source:     LP: Open
Writer:     Blues Image
Label:     Atco
Year:     1970
     Originally from Tampa, Florida, the Blue Project migrated south to Miami and quickly established themselves as the house band at the legendary club Thee Image. Their first LP, Blues Image, was a critical success, although commercially it stalled out in the lower half of the Billboard 200 albums chart. The band's second album, Open, actually charted even lower, despite (or possibly because of) the inclusion of the hit single Ride Captain Ride. The B side of Ride was Pay My Dues, also from Open, which the band I was in at the time immediately learned.

Artist:    Wildflower
Title:    Jump In
Source:    British import CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers
Writer(s):    Ehret/Ellis/McCausland
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
    In early 1966, independent producer and record label owner Bob Shad decided to travel across the US looking for acts to sign to his Mainstream and Brent labels. One of the first places he visited was San Francisco, where he held auditions at various locations, including Gene Estribou's loft studio in Haight-Ashbury. He signed two of the bands he heard at the small facility: Big Brother And The Holding Company and The Wildflower. Shad then instructed the various bands that he had signed (with the exception of Big Brother, who were about to hit the road to Chicago) to come down to Los Angeles and record a few tracks each at United Studios. The Wildflower recorded a total of four tracks, two of which were issued as a single in late 1966. The remaining two tracks, including Jump In, appeared the following year on an album called With Love-A Pot Of Flowers on Shad's Mainstream label.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Veruska
Source:    CD: Spirit (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Randy California
Label:    Ode/Epic/Legacy
Year:    1967
    As is often the case, Spirit recorded more material for their first album than they could actually fit on two sides of LP vinyl without sacrificing sound quality. As a result, there were several unused tracks laying around for many years. In fact, it wasn't until the 1990s that some of these songs would finally be released as bonus tracks on the CD reissue of the first Spirit album. Among these "new" tunes is a Randy California composition called Veruska, a tune that starts off quietly, then gets very heavy before turning quiet again.

Artist:     Yardbirds
Title:     Heart Full Of Soul
Source:     45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:     Graham Gouldman
Label:     Epic
Year:     1965
     The Yardbirds' follow-up single to For Your Love was a huge hit, making the top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic in 1965. The song, the first to feature guitarist Jeff Beck prominently, was written by Graham Gouldman, whose own band, the Mockingbirds, was strangely unable to buy a hit on the charts. Gouldman later went on to be a founding member of 10cc, who were quite successful in the 1970s.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Shapes Of Things
Source:    Mono CD: Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame-Volume VII (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    McCarty/Relf/Samwell-Smith
Label:    Legacy (original label: Epic)
Year:    1966
    Unlike earlier Yardbirds hits, 1966's Shapes Of Things was written by members of the band. The song, featuring one of guitarist Jeff Beck's most distinctive solos, just barely missed the top 10 in the US, although it was a top 5 single in the UK.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    For Your Love
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Graham Gouldman
Label:    Epic
Year:    1965
    The last Yardbirds song to feature guitarist Eric Clapton, For Your Love was the group's fist US hit, peaking at the # 6 slot. The song did even better in the UK, peaking at # 3. Following its release, Clapton left the Yardbirds, citing the band's move toward a more commercial sound and this song in particular as reasons for his departure (ironic when you consider songs like his mid-90s hit Change the World or his slowed down lounge lizard version of Layla). For Your Love was written by Graham Gouldman, who would end up as a member of Wayne Fontana's Mindbenders and later 10cc with Kevin Godley and Lol Creme.

Artist:    Tim Rose
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    LP: Tim Rose (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Billy Roberts
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966 (stereo version: 1967)
    The folk music revival of the late 50s and early 60s is generally thought of as an East Coast phenomena, centered in the coffee houses of cities such as New York, Boston and Philadelphia. California, though, had its share of folk music artists, especially in the San Francisco area, where the beatniks espoused a Bohemian lifestyle that would pave the way for the Hippy movement centered in the city's Haight-Ashbury district. Among the California folkies were Billy Roberts, who copyrighted the song Hey Joe in 1962, and Tim Rose, who (along with the Music Machine's Sean Bonniwell) came up with a slower version of the song. Rose's version, released as a single in mid-1966, got considerable airplay on San Francisco radio stations and was the inspiration for the more famous Jimi Hendrix version of the song that made the British top 10 toward the end of the year. Rose's version was not widely available until 1967, when his debut LP for Columbia was released. By then, however, the Hendrix version was all over the progressive FM airwaves in the US, and the Rose version (now in stereo) remained largely unheard.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Masculine Intuition
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Ultimate Turn On (originally released on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    Following the success of Talk Talk, Sean Bonniwell's band, the Music Machine, picked The People In Me, a track from their debut LP, as a followup single. The B side of that single was another track from the album called Masculine Intuition, which, in typical Sean Bonniwell fashion, takes a common concept and turns it inside out. Unfortunately the single itself tanked, thanks in no small part to mismanagement on the part of both Original Sound Records and the band's own manager.
Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Mellow Yellow
Source:    Mono LP: Mellow Yellow
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Epic
Year:    1966
    Although the Mellow Yellow album came out in early 1967, the title track had been released several months earlier as a followup to Donovan's breakthrough US hit Sunshine Superman. Ironically, during Donovan's period of greatest US success none of his recordings were being released in his native UK, due to his ongoing contract dispute with Pye Records.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    Parchman Farm
Source:    CD: The Blues Project Anthology
Writer(s):    Mose Allison
Label:    Polydor
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1997
    Autumn of 1965 was a busy, and quite productive, time for the Greenwich Village based Blues Project. The band had added keyboardist Al Kooper in mid-October. At around that same time they signed with MGM's Verve Forecast label and got a steady gig at Howard Solomon's Cafe Au Go Go, on Bleeker Street in the Village. By early November they were playing to a full house every night, prompting Solomon to organize a Thanksgiving weekend bash to be called the Blues Bag. In addition to the Blues Project, the playbill included John Lee Hooker, Son House, Bukka White, Geoff Muldaur, Eric Anderson and several electric bands, including Buzzy Linhart's Seventh Sons. Solomon managed to get Verve Folkways to not only record the Blues Project's portion of the show, but to finance the entire weekend gig. The tracks recorded at the Blues Bag were to be used for the Blues Project's debut LP, but in January a huge problem caused everyone involved to rethink their plans. Lead vocalist Tommy Flanders had a girlfriend who convinced him that he was the band's big star and as such, should get special treatment from pretty much everyone. When the rest of the band took exception to this idea Flanders walked out, never to return. For obvious reasons, nobody wanted to release an album featuring a lead vocalist who was no longer a member of the band; the solution was to set up another live recording session, again at the Cafe Au Go Go. Ultimately, some of the tracks with Flanders were used on the album, with the remaining tracks remaining unreleased until 1997, when  the Blues Project Anthology was released. Among those unreleased tracks was the band's take on the old Mose Allison tune, Parchman Farm.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Light My Fire
Source:    LP: The Doors
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Once in a while a song comes along that totally blows you away the very first time you hear it. The Doors' Light My Fire was one of those songs. I liked it so much that I immediately went out and bought the 45 RPM single. Not long after that I heard the full-length version of the song from the first Doors album and was blown away all over again.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    The Masked Marauder
Source:    LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Perhaps more than any other band, Country Joe and the Fish capture the essence of the San Francisco scene in the late 60s. Their first two releases were floppy inserts included in Joe McDonald's self-published Rag Baby underground newspaper. In 1967 the band was signed to Vanguard Records, a primarily folk-oriented prestige label that also had Joan Baez on its roster. Their first LP, Electric Music For the Mind and Body had such classic cuts as Section 43, Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine, and the political parody Superbird on it, as well as the mostly-instrumental tune The Masked Marauder. Not for the unenlightened.

Artist:    Joint Effort
Title:    The Third Eye
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Callins/Mathis/Ullareal
Label:    Rhino (original label: The Joint Effor)
Year:    1967
    The Joint Effort somehow managed to release three or four singles to the Los Angeles market, no two of which were on the same record label. In fact, The Third Eye, from 1967, was actually released on a label called The Joint Effort. All of the band's singles, from what I can tell, were recorded at the same place with the same producer, making the whole thing seem somewhat suspicious.

Artist:    Action
Title:    Shadows And Reflections
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):    Marks/Almer
Label:    Rhino (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1967
    Motown billed itself as "the music of young America", but by the mid-60s the phase "music of youth everywhere" would have been more accurate, especially in the United Kingdom. The problem was that, with a few exceptions, the artists that recorded for Motown only performed live in the United States. To fill this demand for Motown music to dance to, cover bands popped up all across the British Isles. One of the most popular of these was the Action. The group released several singles over a period of a couple years, the last of which was a decidedly non-Motown tune co-written by Tandyn Almer, the legendary Los Angeles songwriter whose credits included the Association's first hit, Along Comes Mary. Shadows And Reflections was produced by George Martin for Parlophone Records, and shows the band moving into new territory. The Action would continue to evolve in a more progressive direction, eventually changing their name to Mighty Baby.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Turn! Turn! Turn!
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Turn! Turn! Turn!)
Writer(s):    Pete Seeger
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1965
    After their success covering Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man, the Byrds 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.

Artist:    Love
Title:    My Little Red Book
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released on LP: Love)
Writer(s):    Bacharach/David
Label:    Rhino (original 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 a 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:    Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Title:    I'll Search The Sky
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Ricochet)
Writer(s):    David Hanna
Label:    Rhino (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1967
            The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band released two albums in 1967, about four to five months apart. Part of the reason for this may have been that their label, Liberty Records, was finding it difficult to get any of their releases to show up on the Billboard album charts; in fact, the first Dirt Band album was one of only two LPs on the label to accomplish that feat that year. The second LP by the group, Ricochet, was not able to duplicate the feat, however, despite fine tracks like I'll Search The Sky and the band was in danger of fading off into obscurity by the end of the year. The group persisted, however, switching over to the United Artists label when it bought Liberty in the early 1970s, and eventually hit it big with their version of Jerry Jeff Walker's Mr. Bojangles. The band continued to gravitate toward country music over the next decade, eventually emerging as one of the top country acts of the 1980s.
Artist:    Cream
Title:    Those Were The Days
Source:    LP: Wheels Of Fire
Writer(s):    Baker/Taylor
Label:    Atco
Year:    1968
    Drummer Ginger Baker only contributed a handful of songs to the Cream repertoire, but each was, in its own way, quite memorable. Those Are The Days, with its sudden changes of time and key, presages the progressive rock that would flourish in the mid-1970s. As was often the case with Baker-penned songs, bassist Jack Bruce provides the vocals from this Wheels Of Fire track.