Monday, June 26, 2017

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1726 (starts 6/28/17)

This week Advanced Psych returns in a big way, with a full hour of tunes from the 80s and beyond, including two tracks from the new Country Joe McDonald album, 50!

Artist:    Them
Title:    Baby, Please Don't Go (with Robin Williams intro)
Source:    Mono 12" single (reissue)
Writer:    Joe Williams
Label:    A&M
Year:    1964
    Belfast, Northern Ireland was home to one of the first bands that could be legitimately described as punk rock. Led by Van Morrison, the band quickly got a reputation for being rude and obnoxious, particularly to members of the English press (although it was actually a fellow Irishman who labeled them as "boorish"). Their first single was what has come to be considered the definitive rock and roll version of the 1923 Joe Williams tune Baby, Please Don't Go. Despite its UK success, the single was never issued in the US. Oddly enough, the song's B side ended up being the song most people associate with Them: the classic Gloria, which was released as Them's US debut single in 1965 but promptly found itself banned on most US radio stations due to suggestive lyrics. Them's recording of Baby, Please Don't Go gained renewed popularity in the 1980s when it was used in the film Good Morning Vietnam.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Ballad Of A Thin Man
Source:    CD: Highway 61 Revisited
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Bob Dylan himself plays piano on Ballad Of A Thin Man, from his controversial 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited. Up to that point in his career, Dylan had recorded mostly acoustic material, usually accompanying himself on guitar with little or no other instrumentation. On Highway 61 Revisited, however, he was joined by a full complement of electric musicians, including guitarist Mike Bloomfield (of the Butterfield Blues Band) and Al Kooper (who would go on to be a star in his own right as a member of the Blues Project and later as the founder of Blood, Sweat And Tears). Ballad Of A Thin Man itself was, according to Dylan, based on a real person, or an amalgam of real people who had crossed Dylan's path. The subject of the song, Mr. Jones, as referred to in the song's refrain "Something is happening here/ But you don't know what it is/ Do you, Mr Jones?" was based on the various establishment types who were virtually clueless when it came to understanding the youthful counter-culture that was developing in the mid-1960s. The following year the Grass Roots scored a regional hit in Southern California with their cover of the song, retitled Mr. Jones (A Ballad Of A Thin Man).

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Paint It, Black
Source:    LP: Through The Past, Darkly (originally released on LP: Aftermath)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1966
    The 1966 Rolling Stones album Aftermath was the first to be made up entirely of songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The opening track of the LP, however, was not included on the British version of the album. That song, the iconic Paint It, Black, had already been released in the UK as a single, and would go on to become one of the Stones' defining recordings of the era.

Artist:     Love
Title:    A House Is Not A Motel
Source:    Australian import CD: Comes In Colours (originally released on LP: Forever Changes)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Raven (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1967
    Arthur Lee was a bit of a recluse, despite leading the most popular band on Sunset Strip in 1966-67. When the band was not playing at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go Lee was most likely to be found at his home up in the Hollywood Hills, often in the company of fellow band member Bryan McLean. The other members of the band, however, were known to hang out in the most popular clubs, chasing women and imbibing all kinds of substances. Sometimes they would show up at Lee's house unbidden. Sometimes they would crash there. Sometimes Lee would get annoyed, and probably used the phrase which became the title of the second track on Love's classic Forever Changes album, A House Is Not A Motel.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Shine On Brightly
Source:    LP: Shine On Brightly
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    A&M
Year:    1968
    Although it was never released as a single, the title track of Procol Harum's second album, Shine On Brightly, is probably their most commercially viable song on the album. Opening with power chords from organist Matthew Fischer and augmented by guitarist Robin Trower, the song quickly moves into psychedelic territory with some of Keith Reid's trippiest lyrics ever, including the refrain "my befuddled brain shines on brightly, quite insane." One of their best tracks ever.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Wednesday Morning 3AM
Source:    LP: Wednesday Morning 3AM
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1964
    The first Simon And Garfunkel album, Wednesday Morning 3AM, was not an immediate success. In fact, the album did not sell many copies at all and was soon deleted from the Columbia Records catalog. Discouraged, Paul Simon moved to London to make a go of it as a solo artist, and Art Garfunkel stayed in college. The album's producer, Tom Wilson, was not entirely ready to give up on the duo, however. In early 1965, following the completion of sessions for Bob Dylan's groundbreaking Highway 61 Revisited album, Wilson talked some of the same studio musicians who had worked on that album to "electrify" one of the songs on Wednesday Morning 3AM: The Sound Of Silence. The new version retained the original vocal and acoustic guitar tracks, however, and became a huge hit, prompting Simon to return to the US and reunite with Garfunkel to quickly record a new album to capitalize on the success of the single. One of the tracks on the new album was also a remake of a song from Wednesday Morning 3AM. In fact, it was a reworking of the title track itself, retitled Somewhere They Can't Find Me. Lyrically it was virtually the same song, set to an entirely different musical background using an entirely different melody. The change somehow managed to shift the emphasis of the song as well. Whereas Wednesday Morning 3AM seems to be about the protagonist's regret at having to leave his lover in the middle of the night, Somewhere They Can't Find Me focuses more on the reason for leaving in the first place: the protagonist has just robbed a liquor store and is on the run from the law.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Somewhere They Can't Find Me
Source:    LP: Sounds Of Silence
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The first Simon And Garfunkel album, Wednesday Morning 3AM, was a fairly traditional type of folk LP. The album was originally released in late 1964, but due to lackluster sales was soon deleted from the Columbia catalog. In 1965 Paul Simon relocated to London, releasing a solo LP called the Paul Simon Songbook there. Before leaving the country, however, he and Art Garfunkel recorded two new songs in a more upbeat style that remained unreleased until 1966, when the duo reunited for a new album, Sounds of Silence. One of those two new songs was Somewhere They Can't Find Me. The song was, lyrically, a reworking of the title track of Wednesday Morning 3AM, but with entirely new music inspired by a Bert Jansch tune called Anji. As a tribute Simon included his own recording of Anji on the album immediately following Somewhere They Can't Find Me.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Benedictus
Source:    LP: Wednesday Morning 3AM
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Simon/Garfunkel
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1964
    Not every song on the first Simon And Garfunkel album, Wednesday Morning 3AM, was written by Paul Simon. In addition to the handful of cover songs, the album contained an a capella piece called Benedictus, based on a motet by Orlande de Lassus. The lyrics, sung in Latin, translate as "Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Ironically, the duo's next LP, Sounds Of Silence, would include a Simon original called Blessed.

Artist:     Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:     Purple Haze
Source:     Dutch import LP: The Singles (originally released in the UK as a 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Jimi Hendrix
Label:     Polydor (original label:Track)
Year:     1967
     Purple Haze has one of the most convoluted release histories of any song ever recorded. Originally issued in the UK on the Track label and in Europe on the Polydor label as a single, it scored high on the British charts. When Reprise got the rights to release the first Hendrix album, Are You Experienced, in the US, they chose to replace the first track on the album with Purple Haze, moving the original opening track, Foxy Lady, to side two of the LP. Purple Haze next appeared on the Smash Hits album, which was released pretty much everywhere. The song's next appearance was on a European double LP release on Polydor called The Singles, which collected all the tracks that had previously appeared on 7" vinyl anywhere, including posthumous releases. This was the way things stayed until the early 1990s, when MCA acquired the rights to the Hendrix catalog and re-issued Are You Experienced with the tracks restored to the UK ordering, but preceded by the six non-album sides (including Purple Haze) that had originally been released prior to the album. Most recently, the Hendrix Family Trust has again changed labels and the US version of Are You Experienced is once again in print, this time on Sony's Legacy label. This means that the song has now been released by all three currently existing major record conglomerates.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Red House (1969 studio version)
Source:    CD: Valleys Of Neptune
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy
Year:    1969
    There have been many versions of Red House recorded over the years. The earliest version, recorded in late 1966, featured Noel Redding playing his bass line on a slightly detuned acoustic guitar rather than an actual bass guitar. That version was released on the original 1967 European release of Are You Experienced, but left off the US version of the LP. Two years later an alternate take from the same sessions, remixed into stereo, was included on the US version of the Smash Hits album. That same year (1969) the Jimi Hendrix Experience entered the studio to record an entirely new version of the tune. This version, done without any overdubs, runs far longer than any other studio recording of Red House, clocking in at over eight minutes. It was also one of the last recordings made by the original Experience, at a time when tensions within the group (particularly between Redding and Hendrix) were interfering with the creative process.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    3rd Stone From The Sun
Source:    Dutch import LP: The Singles Album (originally released on LP: Are You Experienced?)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Polydor (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Jimi Hendrix once stated that he was far more comfortable as a guitarist than as a vocalist, at least in the early days of the Experience. In that case, he was certainly in his element for this classic instrumental from the Are You Experienced album. Many of the sounds heard on 3rd Stone From The Sun were made by superimposing a slowed down recording of the following conversation between Hendrix and producer Chas Chandler over the music:
    Hendrix :   Star fleet to scout ship, please give your position. Over.
    Chandler : I am in orbit around the third planet of star known as sun. Over.
    Hendrix :   May this be Earth? Over.
    Chandler : Positive. It is known to have some form of intelligent species. Over.
    Hendrix :   I think we should take a look (Jimi then makes vocal spaceship noises).
    One of the more notable spoken lines that plays at normal speed on the recording, "To you I shall put an end, then you'll never hear surf music again", was Hendrix's reaction to the news that famed surf guitarist Dick Dale had been diagnosed with a possible terminal case of colon cancer and was meant to encourage his friend's recovery. As heard on the 2007 album The Jimi Hendrix Experience: 1966–1967, Hendrix's original overdub included two more sentences "That sounds like a lie to me. Come on, man; let's go home." that were not used on the final recording. The train sequence at the end of the track, incidentally, was done entirely on guitar.

Artist:    Uniques
Title:    You Ain't Tuff
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Henderson/Puckett
Label:    Rhino (original label: Paula)
Year:    1965
    The Uniques were a band operating out of Western Louisiana that recorded several singles in Tyler Texas for the Paula label. You Ain't Tuff, released in 1965, is a classic example of mid-60s garage rock, an ironic fact considering that lead vocalist Joe Stampley went on to become a major Country star in the 1980s.

Artist:    John Mayall with Eric Clapton
Title:    Ramblin' On My Mind
Source:    Mono LP: Blues Breakers
Writer(s):    Robert Johnson
Label:    London/Sundazed
Year:    1966
    After leaving the Yardbirds, guitarist Eric Clapton joined up with the dean of the British blues scene, John Mayall. Mayall was known for giving the members of his band, the Bluesbreakers, room to strut their stuff, even if they themselves were a bit shy about being in the spotlight. The first Mayall album to feature Clapton did just that: the LP itself was billed as John Mayall with Eric Clapton, and Mayall even convinced a reluctant Clapton to sing on their cover of Robert Johnson's classic Ramblin' On My Mind. Although Clapton had contributed vocally to some Yardbirds recordings, this was his first recorded solo vocal performance.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Dance The Night Away
Source:    Mono Russian import LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    Lilith (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    With the album Disraeli Gears, Cream established itself as having a psychedelic side as well as their original blues orientation. Most of the more psychedelic material, such as Dance the Night Away, was from the songwriting team of Jack Bruce and Pete Brown. Bruce provides the melody line on vocals, with guitarist Eric Clapton singing harmony throughout the piece.

Artist:    Penny Peeps
Title:    Model Village
Source:    Mono British import CD: Insane Times (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Alexander
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1967
    Although the British psychedelic era was considerably shorter (only about two years long) than its American counterpart, there are a surprisingly large number of British psych-pop singles that were never issued in the US. Among those was a somewhat forgettable song called Little Man With A Stick, released in 1967 by a band called the Penny Peeps. The band took its name from the risque coin-fed viewers at Brighton Beach (apparently London's version of Coney Island). Emulating his American counterparts, producer Les Reed (who wrote Little Man), allowed the band itself to come up with its own B side. The result was Model Village, a track that manages to convey a classic garage-rock energy while remaining uniquely British.

Artist:    Country Joe McDonald
Title:    Sadness And Pain
Source:    CD: 50
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Rag Baby
Year:    2017
    50 years after the Summer Of Love, Joe McDonald has released an album called 50. The songs, while recorded up to modern production standards, reflect the same sort of social awareness and activism that have always characterized McDonald's work. Case in point: Sadness And Pain, which carries a timeless message.

Artist:    Splinter Fish
Title:    Mars
Source:    LP: Splinter Fish
Writer(s):    Chuck Hawley
Label:    StreetSound
Year:    1989
    One of my favorite bands on the late 80s Albuquerque music scene was Splinter Fish, a group that didn't quite fall naturally into any specific musical genre. They certainly had things in common with many new wave bands, but also touched on world music and even hard rock. One of their most popular tracks was Mars, which itself is hard to define, thanks to many sudden tempo and even stylistic changes, even though the entire track runs less than three minutes in length. Guitarist/vocalist Chuck Hawley now leads his own band, while fem vocalist Deb-O performs with a variety of Albuquerque musicians in several different combos.

Artist:    Dada
Title:    Dorina
Source:    CD: Puzzle
Writer(s):    Calio/Gurney
Label:    IRS
Year:    1992
    In the early 1990s I found myself within listening range of a Virginia Beach radio station that called itself The Coast. Unlike other radio stations in the area, each of which had a tight playlist determined by extensive audience research, The Coast was a relatively free-form station that played an eclectic mix of classic, modern and alternative rock. Among the bands that got airplay on The Coast was a new three-piece band from California called Dada. Consisting of guitarist Michael Gurley,  and bassist Joie Calio (who shared lead vocals) along with drummer Phil Leavitt, Dada made their recording debut with the 1992 album Puzzle. The first single released from the album, Dizz-Knee Land, got a lot of airplay on more mainstream rock stations, but it was the album's opening track, Dorina, that really grabbed my attention when I heard it on The Coast.

Artist:    Romeo Void
Title:    I Mean It
Source:    LP: Itsacondition
Writer(s):    Iyall/Zincavage/Woods/Bossi
Label:    415
Year:    1981
    Formed in 1979 at the San Francisco Art Institute by vocalist Deborah Iyall and bassist Frank Zincavage, Romeo Void also included saxophonist Benjamin Bossi, guitarist Peter Woods, and a (shades of Spinal Tap!) succession of drummers. Their first LP, Itsacondition (sometimes referred to as It's A Condition) was released in 1981. I first ran across this album while doing a contemporary alternative rock show called Rock Nouveaux on KUNM in Albuquerque in the early 1980s. Although most of the album was fast-paced and punkish in nature, it was I Mean It, the haunting closing track from side one, that stood out from just about everything else that was happening musically at the time. I'm glad to get a chance to play it as part of our Advanced Psych special edition this week.

Artist:    Smithereens
Title:    Blood And Roses
Source:    CD: Blown To Smithereens (originally released on LP: Especially For You)
Writer(s):    Pat DiNizio
Label:    Capitol (original label: Enigma)
Year:    1986           
                In 1986 I was the host of a show called Rock Nouveaux on KUNM in Albuquerque, NM. Once a month we would feature an entire album from up and coming bands such as R.E.M., Killing Joke, Skinny Puppy and other groups that would come to be labeled "alternative rock", but at that time were part of a new musical underground. Among the albums that most impressed me was an LP called Especially For You from a band from New Jersey calling themselves the Smithereens. The album, produced by Don Dixon, had a decidedly 60s retro feel to it, especially on tracks like Blood And Roses, which has appeared in several movie and TV soundtracks in the years since its initial release.

Artist:    Country Joe McDonald
Title:    Black Fish
Source:    CD: 50
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Rag Baby
Year:    2017
    The first track that really jumped out at me on Country Joe McDonald's 2017 album 50 was a tune called Black Fish. As is characteristic of McDonald's work, the song is both musically interesting and lyrically savvy. Good stuff!

Artist:    Mumphries
Title:    Wishing And Wondering
Source:    CD: Thank You, Bonzo
Writer(s):    Stephen R Webb
Label:    WayWard
Year:    1989
    The last track to be completed by the Mumphries, an Albuquerque, NM band made up of Jeff "Quincy" Adams (bass, guitar and vocals), Suzan Hagler (guitar, keyboards), John Henry Smith (drums) and Stephen R Webb (guitar, bass, vocals) was Wishing And Wondering, a song about man's mistreatment of his home planet. The track was intended to be submitted to various environmentalist organizations, but somehow that never happened. If you know of anyone interested, however, feel free to recommend it. That said, I'm not sure which feels weirder: playing one of my own songs or talking about myself in the third person. Nonetheless, there it is. Hope you enjoy it.

Artist:    Liquid Scene
Title:    In My Water Room
Source:    CD: Revolutions
Writer(s):    Becki diGregorio
Label:    Ziglain
Year:    2014
    As the final track on the Liquid Scene's 2014 debut album, Revolutions, In My Water Room is an elaborate production that showcases the talents of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Bodhi (becki digregorio), guitarist Tom Ayers, bassist/keyboardist Endre Tarczy and drummer/percussionist Trey Sabatelli.

Artist:    Psychedelic Furs
Title:    Sister Europe
Source:    LP: The Psychedelic Furs
Writer(s):    Psychedelic Furs
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1980
            Initially consisting of Richard Butler (vocals), Tim Butler (bass guitar), Duncan Kilburn (saxophone), Paul Wilson (drums) and Roger Morris (guitars), the Psychedelic Furs were formed in 1977 under the name RKO. They soon began calling themselves Radio, then did gigs under two different names, the Europeans and the Psychedelic Furs. By 1979 they had settled on the latter name and expanded to a sextet, adding guitarist John Ashton and replacing Wilson with Vince Ely on drums. The Furs' self-titled debut album, released in 1980, was an immediate hit in Europe and the UK, but airplay in the US was limited mostly to college radio and "alternative" rock stations. The second single released from the album was Sister Europe, a tune that was also  the band's concert opener in the early days of their existence. The Psychedelic Furs' greatest claim to fame, however, is probably the song Pretty In Pink. Originally released on their second album, Talk Talk Talk, in 1981, the song was re-recorded for the John Hughes film of the same name in 1986.

Artist:    Tears For Fears
Title:    Sowing The Seeds Of Love
Source:    British import CD single
Writer(s):    Orzabal/Smith
Label:    Fontana
Year:    1989
    Although generally not considered a psychedelic band, Tears For Fears managed to effectively channel George Martin's Magical Mystery Tour production techniques (e.g. I Am The Walrus) on their most political recording, 1989's Sowing The Seeds Of Love. Written in response to Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party's winning of a third consecutive term in office in June of 1987, the track reflects Roland Orzabal's working-class sensibilities with lines like "Politician granny with your high ideals, have you no idea how the majority feels?"

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1726 (starts 6/28/17)

Got not one, but two entire album sides for your listening pleasure this week, plus a few other tasty tracks to fill out the hour. Check it out!

Artist:    Who
Title:    Amazing Journey
Source:    British Import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Tommy)
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Polydor UK (original US label: Decca)
Year:    1969
    After achieving major success in their native England with a series of hit singles in 1965-67, the Who began to concentrate more on their albums from 1968 on. The first of these concept albums was The Who Sell Out, released in December of 1967. The Who Sell Out was a collection of songs connected by faux radio spots and actual jingles from England's last remaining pirate radio station, Radio London. After releasing a few more singles in 1968, the Who began work on their most ambitious project yet: the world's first rock opera. Tommy, released in 1969, was a double LP telling the story of a boy who, after being tramautized into becoming a blind deaf-mute, eventually emerges as a kind of messiah, only to have his followers ultimately abandon him. One of the early tracks on the album is Amazing Journey, describing Tommy's voyage into the recesses of his own mind in response to the traumatic event that results in his "deaf, dumb and blind" condition.

Artist:    Eagles
Title:    Lyin' Eyes
Source:    LP: Greatest Hits
Writer(s):    Henley/Frey
Label:    Asylum
Year:    1975
    The Eagles got one of their biggest hits in 1975 with Lyin' Eyes, the second single released from their One Of These Nights album. The song nearly hit the top of the pop charts, peaking at #2, and, surprisingly, went to the #8 spot on the country charts as well. It would take the Eagles over 30 years to again hit the country top 40. The single version of the song was heavily edited to get it down to near the four-minute mark in order to insure top 40 airplay. The Eagles Greatest Hits album, however, uses the original LP version of the song, which runs well over six minutes.

Artist:    Genesis
Title:    It's Yourself
Source:    British import 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Collins/Rutherford/Banks/Hackett
Label:    Charisma
Year:    1977
    One of the rarest Genesis tracks, Its Yourself was originally slated to be included on the 1976 album A Trick Of The Tail, but time limitations forced the band to instead hold the song back and release it as the B side of Your Own Special Way the following year. That single was never released in the US, however, and the song has not been included on CD versions of any regular Genesis albums, even as a bonus track. Why is a bit of a mystery to me, since Its Yourself is an outstanding track worthy of greater exposure.

Artist:    Moody Blues
Title:    On The Threshold Of A Dream (side two)
Source:    CD: On The Threshold Of A Dream
Writer(s):    Hayward/Thomas/Edge/Pinder
Label:    Deram
Year:    1969
    Ever since their 1967 album Days Of Future Passed, the Moody Blues have had this annoying habit of letting all the songs on their albums run into each other, making it difficult to impossible to play an individual track on the radio. As a result, I play the Moody Blues sparingly, essentially playing an entire album side about one sixth as often as I might play just one song. This time around it's side two of their third concept album, On The Threshold Of A Dream. The side begins with Justin Hayward's Never Comes The Day, which leads into Ray Thomas's Lazy Day followed by Hayward's Are You Sitting Comfortably. The rest of the side, known collectively as the Voyage Suite, starts with Graeme Edge's The Dream (recited by Mike Pinder), followed by Pinder's Have You Heard (part 1), The Voyage and Have You Heard (part 2). The side wraps up with a sound effect that continues on into the inner groove of the original LP and fades out after a few seconds on CD and tape versions of the album.

Artist:    Nektar
Title:    A Tab In The Ocean
Source:    LP: A Tab In The Ocean
Writer(s):    Nektar
Label:    Passport
Year:    1972
    On the surface it seems like a story you've heard before: a group of young British musicians go to Hamburg, Germany to hone their craft, building up a cult following in the process. But this story is not about the Beatles. It is about Nektar, formed in 1969 by Roye Albrighton on guitars and vocals, Allan "Taff" Freeman on keyboards, Derek "Mo" Moore on bass, Ron Howden on drums, and Mick Brockett and Keith Walters on lights and special effects. Nektar's early style is well represented on the title track of their second LP, A Tab In The Ocean, which takes up the entire first side of the album. Nektar would eventually become closely associated with the progressive rock movement of the early to mid 1970s. Like fellow prog-rockers Genesis and Gentle Giant, Nektar began to commercialize their sound with shorter songs containing fewer time and key changes; unlike those other bands, however, Nektar did not become more popular because of the changes. Indeed, by 1978, the band had decided to call it quits, although two of the members reformed the band briefly the following year, releasing one album in 1980 before disbanding again in 1982.

Artist:     Uriah Heep
Title:     Blind Eye
Source:     LP: The Magician's Birthday
Writer:     Ken Hensley
Label:     Mercury
Year:     1972
     This week's closing number is from Uriah Heep. The single Easy Livin' from the album Demons and Wizards was a top 40 hit, giving the band some momentum for their follow up album, The Magician's Birthday. Both albums were certified gold. Blind Eye, the second single from The Magician's Birthday, barely made a dent in the charts, but by 1972 album sales were considered a more important measure of success anyway. Both albums were notable for their cover art by Roger Dean, who also did cover art for Yes during their most popular period.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1725 (starts 6/21/17)

The big one this week is the Grateful Dead's performance of Dark Star at Woodstock, which, for one reason or another, remained unreleased until 40 years after the fact. Of course, there are 23 other tracks as well...

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:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    Baby Blue
Source:    Mono British import CD: Melts In Your Brain, Not On Your Wrist (originally released in US as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Uptown)
Year:    1967
    Many artists have covered Bob Dylan songs over the years, but few managed to do it with as much attitude as the Chocolate Watchband on their version of It's All Over Now Baby Blue. The song appeared in late 1966 as the B side of the Watchband's first "official" single, Sweet Young Thing. As good a track as Sweet Young Thing was (and it is indeed a good one), Baby Blue, being a bit more recognizable, may have been a better choice for a potential hit single. We'll never know.
Artist:     Buffalo Springfield
Title:     Broken Arrow
Source:     CD: Retrospective-The Best Of Buffalo Springfield (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again)
Writer:     Neil Young
Label:     Atco
Year:     1967
    The most experimental track ever to appear on a Buffalo Springfield album, Broken Arrow is basically a Neil Young solo piece arranged and co-produced by Jack Nitzsche. The track uses extensive editing and studio effects to highlight Young's highly personal lyrics.

Artist:    Savage Resurrection
Title:    Thing In "E"
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    John Palmer
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1968
    Like many areas across the US during the mid-1960s, Contra Costa County, California (say that a few times fast) was home to a thriving local music scene, particularly in the city of Richmond. In 1967 members of several local bands got together to form a sort of garage supergroup, calling themselves Savage Resurrection. The band, consisting of lead vocalist Bill Harper, lead guitarist Randy Hammon, rhythm guitarist John Palmer, bassist Steve Lage and drummer Jeff Myer, was quite popular locally despite the relative youth of its members (Hammon, for instance, was all of 16 years old), and soon signed a management contract with Matthew Katz, who also managed such well-known San Francisco bands as Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape and It's A Beautiful Day. Katz got the band a contract with Mercury records, and their first and only LP came out in 1968. Thing In "E" was the single from that album, which is still considered one of the best examples of psychedelic garage rock ever recorded. Touring soon took its toll, however, and Harper and Lage left the band soon after the album was released. The rest of the band continued with new members for a few months, but by the end of 1968 Savage Resurrection was little more than a footnote to the San Francisco music story.

Artist:    Moby Grape
Title:    Murder In My Heart For The Judge
Source:    LP: Great Grape (originally released on LP: Wow)
Writer(s):     Don Stevenson
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    Moby Grape was one of those bands that probably should have been more successful than they were, but were thrown off-track by a series of bad decisions by their own support personnel. First, Columbia damaged their reputation by simultaneously releasing five singles from their debut LP in 1967, leading to accusations that the band was nothing but hype. Then their producer, David Rubinson, decided to add horns and strings to many of the tracks on their second album, Wow, alienating much of the band's core audience in the process. Still, Wow did have its share of fine tunes, including drummer Don Stevenson's Murder In My Heart For The Judge, probably the most popular song on the album. The song proved popular enough to warrant cover versions by such diverse talents as Lee Michaels, Chrissy Hynde and Three Dog Night.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Still Raining, Still Dreaming
Source:    LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer:    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    Still Raining, Still Dreaming, from the third Jimi Hendrix Experience album Electric Ladyland, is the second half of a live studio recording featuring guest drummer Buddy Miles, who would later join Hendrix and bassist Billy Cox to form Band Of Gypsys. The recording also features Mike Finnegan on organ, Freddie Smith on tenor sax and Larry Faucett on congas, as well as Experience member Noel Redding on bass.

Artist:     Traffic
Title:     Pearly Queen
Source:     CD: Traffic
Writer:     Winwood/Capaldi
Label:     Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:     1968
     The second Traffic LP was less overtly psychedelic than the Mr. Fantasy album, with songs like Pearly Queen taking the band in a more funky direction. When the band reformed in 1970 without Dave Mason (who had provided the most psychedelic elements) the songwriting team of Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi, who had written Pearly Queen, continued the trend.

Artist:     Who
Title:    Magic Bus (alternate version)
Source:      Simulated stereo LP: Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:     1968
     Magic Bus was originally released as a single in 1968 and ran about three and a half minutes. At the time it was recorded an alternate take was also made that ran almost four and a half minutes. This alternate version was electronically rechanneled for stereo and included on the 1971 album Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy. When the album was reissued on CD in the 1980s it was discovered that there were no unaltered copies left of the longer version, so rather than to put a "fake stereo" version on the CD, the shorter mono single version was used. This is that longer version, never issued on CD.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Valleri
Source:    Nuggets-Classics From The Psychedelic 60s (originally released on LP: The Birds, The Bees, And The Monkees)
Writer(s):    Boyce/Hart
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1968
    The last Monkees top 10 single was also Michael Nesmith's least favorite Monkees song. Valleri was a Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart composition that the group had first recorded for the first season of their TV show in 1966. Apparently nobody was happy with the recording, however, and the song was never issed on vinyl. Two years later the song was re-recorded for the album The Birds, The Bees And The Monkees and subsequently released as a single. The flamenco-style guitar on the intro (and repeated throughout the song) was played by studio guitarist Louie Shelton, after Nesmith refused to participate in the recording.

Artist:    Canned Heat
Title:    Boogie Music
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Living The Blues and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    L.T.Tatman III
Label:    United Artists (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1968
    Canned Heat was formed in 1966 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area blues purists. Although a favorite on the rock scene, the band continued to remain true to the blues throughout their existence, even after relocating to the Laurel Canyon area near Los Angeles in 1968. The band's most popular single was Going Up the Country from the album Living the Blues. An edited version of Boogie Music, also from Living the Blues, was issued as the B side of that single. This is a stereo mix of that version, featured on a United Artists anthology album released in 1969.

Artist:     Animals
Title:     Inside Looking Out
Source:     Mono LP: Animalization
Writer:     Lomax/Lomax/Burdon/Chandler
Label:     M-G-M
Year:     1966
     One of the last songs recorded by the Animals before their first breakup, Inside Looking Out (a powerful song about life in prison) was covered a few years later by Grand Funk Railroad, who made it one of their concert staples. This has always been one of my all-time favorite rock songs, no matter who recorded it.

Artist:    Love
Title:    7&7 Is
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Rhino (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1966
    The first rock band signed to Elektra Records was Love, a popular L.A. club band that boasted two talented songwriters, Arthur Lee and Bryan MacLean. On the heels of their first album, which included the single My Little Red Book and one of the first recordings of the fast version of Hey Joe, came their most successful single, the manic 7&7 Is, released in July of 1966.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    A Well Respected Man
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Eric (original label: Reprise)
Year:    Released 1965, charted 1966
    The Kinks were one of the original British Invasion bands, scoring huge R&B-influenced hits with You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night in 1964. The hits continued in 1965 with more melodic songs like Set Me Free and Tired Of Waiting For You. 1966 saw Ray Davies's songwriting take a satiric turn, as A Well Respected Man (actually released in late 1965) amply illustrates. Over the next few years the Kinks would continue to evolve, generally getting decent critical reviews and moderate record sales for their albums. The title of one of those later albums, Muswell Hillbillies, refers to the Davies brothers hometown of Muswell Hill, North London.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Nothing Is The Same
Source:    CD: Closer To Home
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1970
    Grand Funk Railroad's fans continued to defy the rock press by buying copies of the band's albums throughout 1970, despite universally negative reviews. In fact, the band was awarded no less than three gold records that year, including their third studio LP, Closer To Home. The album includes some of their best recordings, including Nothing Is The Same, a hard rocker that includes both tempo and key changes, as well as some of Mark Farner's best lead vocals.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    Fire Engine
Source:    CD: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators
Writer(s):    Hall/Sutherland/Erickson
Label:    Collectables (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1966
    In the summer of 1971 the band I was in, Sunn, did a cover of Black Sabbath's War Pigs as part of our regular repertoire. For the siren effect at the beginning of the song we used our voices, which always elicited smiles from some of the more perceptive members of the audience. Listening to Fire Engine, from The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators, has the same effect on me, for pretty much the same reason. The main difference is that the Elevators actually did it with the tape rolling on one of their own original songs, something Sunn never got the opportunity to do.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Sympathy For The Devil
Source:    LP: Beggar's Banquet
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1968
    When I was a teenager I would occasionally hear some adult make a comment about how rock and roll was the "Devil's music." This only got more ridiculous in 1968, when the Rolling Stones released Sympathy For The Devil as the opening track on their Beggar's Banquet album. Mick Jagger, who wrote the lyrics, was actually somewhat mystified by such reactions, as it was, after all, only one song on an album that also included such tunes as Prodigal Son (based on a Bible story) and Salt Of The Earth, a celebration of the common man. There is no doubting, however, that Sympathy For The Devil itself is a classic, and has been a staple of the band's live sets since the late 1980s.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Doncha Bother Me
Source:    British import LP: Aftermath
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richard
Label:    Abkco (original US label: London)
Year:    1966
    Aftermath was an album of firsts. It was the first Rolling Stones album to consist entirely of original compositions by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It was the first Rolling Stones album released in true stereo. It was the first Rolling Stones album to be recorded entirely in the US. Finally, it was the album that saw Brian Jones emerge as a multi-instrumentalist, leaving Richards to do most of the guitar work. At over 50 minutes, Aftermath was one of the longest albums released by a rock band up to that point, and it features one of the first rock songs to run over 10 minutes in length (Goin' Home). Although Jones (and bassist Bill Wyman) did a lot of experimenting with new (to them) instruments, several of the tracks, such as Doncha Bother Me, are classic Stones material in the vein of the Chicago blues that was such a major influence on the band's style.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    No Expectations
Source:    LP: Beggar's Banquet
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1968
    After the heavy dose of studio effects on Their Satanic Majesties Request, the Rolling Stones took a back-to-basics approach for their next album, Beggar's Banquet, the first to be produced by Jimmy Miller (who had previously worked with Steve Winwood in Traffic and the Spencer Davis Group). No Expectations, the second track on the album, uses minimal instrumentation and places a greater emphasis on Mick Jagger's vocals and Brian Jones's slide guitar work. Sadly, it was to be Jones's last album as a member of the Rolling Stones, as heavy drug use was already taking its toll (and would soon take his life as well).

Artist:    Phil Ochs
Title:    The Highwayman
Source:    CD: There But For Fortune (originally released on LP: I Ain't Marching Anymore)
Writer(s):    Noyes/Ochs
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1965
    Phil Ochs switched from journalism to songwriting just in time to be at the forefront of the anti-Vietnam war movement. His hit single, I Ain't Marching Anymore, became an anthem of the movement in 1965. Ochs followed the song up with an album of the same name. Included on that album were songs that, although coming from a similar political direction as I Ain't Marching Anymore, actually cover a broader range of subjects. The Highwayman, for example, resembles nothing more than a traditional English folk song, with its themes of romance and tragic death. Not long after the album was released, Ochs decided to move out to the West Coast, which in turn signalled a shift in his music to a more experimental style that added elements of jazz and classical music to his folk-based compositions.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    5D
Source:    LP: Fifth Dimension
Writer(s):    Roger McGuinn
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The second single from the Byrds' third LP, Fifth Dimension, suffered from the same problem as its predecessor. Both 5D and Eight Miles High were branded as drug songs by people who had no clue as to what the songs were really about, which had the effect of discouraging the more conservative radio programmers from playing the songs. In the case of 5D, the song was, according to songwriter Roger McGuinn, an attempt to explain Einstein's theory of relativity in layman's terms. In a 1966 interview McGuinn had this to say about the song: "It's sort of weird but...what I'm talking about is the whole universe, the fifth dimension, which is height, width, depth, time and something else. But there definitely are more dimensions than five. It's infinite. The fifth dimension is the threshold of scientific knowledge." Despite McGuinn's attempts to explain the song, many people insisted on believing it was about an LSD trip, and the single died quickly after being released in late 1966.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I Am The Walrus
Source:    CD: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    I once ranked over 5000 recordings from the 1920s through the 1990s based on how many times I could listen to each track without getting sick of hearing it. My original intention was to continue the project until I had ranked every recording in my collection, but after about ten years of near-continuous listening to 90-minute cassette tapes that I would update weekly I finally decided that I needed a break, and never went back to it. As a result, many of my favorite recordings (especially album tracks) never got ranked. Of those that did, every song on the top 10 was from the years 1966-69, with the top five all being from 1967. Although I never returned to the project itself, the results I did get convinced me that I was indeed stuck in the psychedelic era, and within five years I had created a radio show inspired by the project. Not surprisingly, the number one recording on my list was I Am The Walrus, a track from the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour that is often considered the apex of British psychedelia.

Artist:    Five Americans
Title:    Peace And Love
Source:    LP: Now And Then
Writer(s):    Michael Rabon
Label:    Abnak
Year:    1969
    Formed as the Mutineers in Durant, Oklahoma in 1962, the Five Americans are best known for their 1967 hit Western Union. Their first single (as the Mutineers) was released in 1963, an instrumental called Jackin' Around. With the advent of the British invasion, the group began adding vocals to their repertoire, and, perhaps more importantly, acquired a Vox Continental electric organ. By then the band had relocated to Dallas, playing regularly at a club called the Pirate's Nook. It was there that they came to the attention of John Abdnor, who signed them to his Abnak label. Now known as the Five Americans, the band had their first national hit in 1966 with I Saw The Light, a song that was originally released in 1965. The group charted even higher with Western Union, following it up with a few more charted singles over the next year or so. Throughout this period Abdnor had control of the band's finances, a situation that did not favor the band members themselves. By 1969 it was all falling apart, and after a final double LP called Now And Then (which included several tracks that had previously appeared as singles) the Five Americans were no more. One of the more interesting tracks on Now And Then (which was actually billed as Mike Rabon and the Five Americans, after the band's lead guitarist and front man) is a song called Peace And Love that may actually qualify as the most psychedelic song the band ever recorded.

Artist:     Grateful Dead
Title:     Dark Star
Source:     Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm
Writer:     Hunter/Garcia
Label:     Rhino
Year:     Recorded 1969, released 2009
     The most legendary of all the songs in the Grateful Dead performing repertoire was Dark Star. The extended jam often ran for a full hour or more. Thanks to the band's policy of allowing (even encouraging) fans to bring their own recording equipment to the band's concerts, there are literally hundreds of recordings of Dark Star being performed over the years, some of them taped directly from the band's own sound board. The band's performance of Dark Star at Woodstock was marred by technical difficulties, and at the request of the band members remained unreleased for 40 years.

Artist:    Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title:    Fortunate Son
Source:    LP: Willy And The Poor Boys
Writer(s):    John Fogerty
Label:    Fantasy
Year:    1969
    John Fogerty says it only took him 20 minutes to write what has become one of the iconic antiwar songs of the late 1960s. But Fortunate Son is not so much a condemnation of war as it is an indictment of the political elite who send the less fortunate off to die in wars without any risk to themselves. In addition to being a major hit single upon its release in late 1969 (peaking at #3 as half of a double-A sided single), Fortunate Son has made several "best of" lists over the years, including Rolling Stone magazine's all-time top 100. Additionally, in 2014 the song was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1725 (starts 6/21/17)

This time around we have 11 tracks from some of the greatests artists in rock history, including a 14-minute long version of the Who's My Generation, from the Live At Leeds album. Good stuff!

Artist:    Neil Young
Title:    The Loner
Source:    LP: The Big Ball (originally released on LP: Neil Young)
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    The Loner could easily have been passed off as a Buffalo Springfield song. In addition to singer/songwriter/guitarist Neil Young, the tune features Springfield members  Jim Messina on bass and George Grantham on drums. Since Buffalo Springfield was functionally defunct by the time the song was ready for release, however, it instead became Young's first single as a solo artist. The song first appeared, in a longer form, on Young's first solo album in late 1968, with the single appearing three months later. The subject of The Loner has long been rumored to be Young's bandmate Stephen Stills, or possibly Young himself. As usual, Neil Young ain't sayin'.

Artist:    Taste
Title:    Born On The Wrong Side Of Time
Source:    British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single and in US on LP: Taste)
Writer(s):    Rory Gallagher
Label:    Polydor (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1969
    Formed in Cork, Northern Ireland, in 1966, Taste, led by guitarist/vocalist Rory Gallagher, quickly established themselves as the area's premier power trio. By 1967 the group, which by then consisted of Gallagher, drummer John Wilson, and bassist Richard McCracken, was one of the hottest bands in the UK, opening for such bands as Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and Cream (including Cream's farewell appearances at Royal Albert Hall in 1968). The group released their debut LP in 1969, supporting the album by opening for Blind Faith on their US tour. The band released one more LP before Gallagher decided to pursue a solo career in the 1970s.

Artist:    Who
Title:    My Generation
Source:    LP: Live At Leeds
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Decca
Year:    1970
    The official title of the track was My Generation, but this fourteen and a half minute long performance from the Who's Live At Leeds album incorporates excerpts from many more Pete Townshend compositions, including the Seeker and several of the tunes from the rock opera Tommy. The album itself has cited by many critics as the best live rock recording of all time.

Artist:    Free
Title:    Be My Friend
Source:    CD: All Right Now-The Collection (originally released on LP: Highway)
Writer(s):    Fraser/Rodgers
Label:    A&M
Year:    1971
    Free was at the peak of their popularity when they went into the studio to record their fourth LP, Highway. This proved to be a mixed blessing, however, as lead guitarist Paul Kossoff found the band's newfound fame (brought on by the success of their single All Right Now) difficult to deal with. Calling All Right Now "frivolous", Kossoff later said he much preferred the more serious and weighty songs like Be My Friend that characterized Highway. Unfortunately, the record buying public on both sides of the Atlantic saw things differently, and the lack of commercial success for the album exacerbated Kossoff's drug-related problems, causing tension within the band itself. The lack of success also led to a rift between the band's two principal songwriters, Andy Fraser and Paul Rodgers, which in turn led to the band's eventual demise.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Tumbling Dice
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM promo single
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Rolling Stones
Year:    1972
    The lead single from what is sometimes cited as the Rolling Stones' greatest album, Exile On Main Street, Tumbling Dice was a top 10 single on both sides of the Atlantic, hitting #5 in the UK and #7 in the US. The song started off as a piece called Good Time Woman, but was reworked on August 4, 1971, with a new intro riff and a bass track played by Mick Taylor (Bill Wyman being away from the studio at the time the track was recorded).

Artist:    Graham Nash
Title:    Prison Song
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Graham Nash
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1973
    Graham Nash's Prison Song is one of those songs that by all rights should have been a huge hit. It was by a name artist. It had a catchy opening harmonica riff and a haunting melody. I can only surmise that once again Bill Drake (the man who controlled top 40 radio in the 60s and early 70s) decided that the lyrics were too controversial for AM radio and had the song blacklisted, much as he had done with the Byrds Eight Miles High a few years earlier. Those lyrics center on a subject that is unfortunately still relevant today: the utter absurdity of drug laws and the unequal sentences for violation of those laws in the US and its various states.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Speed King
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    The live version of Speed King, a song that originally appeared on the album Deep Purple In Rock, was taken from a 1970 performance on the BBC series In Concert. The album Deep Purple In Concert itself was not released until 1980, but an edited version of Speed King was issued as the B side of the Black Night single in the US in 1970. The song's lyrics, the first written for Deep Purple by vocalist Ian Gillan, reference several Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Elvis Presley songs.

Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Queen Of Torture
Source:    CD: The Collection (originally released on LP: Wishbone Ash)
Writer:    Upton/Turner/Turner/Powell
Label:    Spectrum/Universal (original label: Decca)
Year:    1970
    One of the first bands to use dual lead guitars was Wishbone Ash. When Glen Turner, the band's original guitarist, had to leave, auditions were held, but the remaining members and their manager couldn't decide between the two finalists, Andy Powell and Ted Turner, so they kept both of them. Queen Of Torture, from their 1969 debut album, shows just how well the two guitars meshed.

Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:     Cobra
Source:     British import CD: Just For Love
Writer:     John Cipollina
Label:     BGO (original label: Capitol)
Year:     1970
     Quicksilver Messenger Service was able to do something in 1970 that no other band had been able to accomplish. It managed to sign up the world's most famous session man, keyboardist Nicky Hopkins, as a full member. If that wasn't enough, they also rounded up former early member Dino Valenti, newly released from jail in time to participate in the recording of the band's most successful album, Just For Love. Valenti, for various reasons, was fond of using an alias; in fact "Dino Valenti" itself was one, Valenti's birth name actually being Chet Powers. For the Just For Love album, Valenti created yet another alias, Jesse Oris Farrow. Most of the songs on the album are credited to Farrow, although there are a pair of tracks by Valenti under his own name as well. One of those two is Cobra, a collaboration with founding member and co-lead guitarist John Cipollina. The entire album, incidentally, was recorded in Hawaii. Maybe that's how they managed to entice Hopkins to join them.

Artist:    Black Sheep
Title:    Payin' Yer Dues
Source:    LP: Black Sheep
Writer(s):    Grammatico/Mancuso/Crozier/Rocco
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1975
    Black Sheep was a Rochester, NY band that released a pair of album on the Capitol label in the mid-1970s. The group was fronted by Louis Grammitico, who went on to greater fame after shortening his name to Lou Graham. Payin' Yer Dues, from the first Black Sheep album, is a good example of the band's sound. Guitarist Don Mancuso has more recently been performing as a member of the Lou Gramm Band.

Artist:    Tommy Bolin
Title:    Lotus
Source:    Japanese import CD: Teaser
Writer(s):    Tesar/Bolin
Label:    Sony (original label: Nemporer)
Year:    1975
    Tommy Bolin's debut solo LP, Teaser, was released at around the same time as his first album as a member of Deep Purple, Come Taste The Band. Because of touring commitments with Deep Purple, Bolin was unable to effectively promote Teaser, and sales suffered. The album did get good reviews, with critics praising Bolin's versatility on tracks like Lotus, which closes out the LP.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era $ 1724 (starts 6/14/17)

Following a 1969 opening set, we have a lot of 1966 and 1967 this week, as well as a Who set and a rather long track from the first incarnation of Renaissance, back when they were fronted by ex-Yardbird Keith Relf.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    You Can't Always Get What You Want
Source:    LP: Let It Bleed
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1969
    When the Rolling Stones called for singers to back them up on their recording of You Can't Always Get What You Want, they expected maybe 30 to show up. Instead they got twice that many, and ended up using them all on the recording, which closes out the Let It Bleed album. An edited version of the song, which also features Al Kooper on organ, was orginally released as the B side of Honky Tonk Women in 1969. In the mid-1970s, after the Stones had established their own record label, Allen Klein, who had bought the rights to the band's pre-1970 recordings, reissued the single, this time promoting You Can't Always Get What You Want as the A side. Klein's strategy worked and the song ended up making the top 40.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Lalena
Source:    LP: Deep Purple
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Tetragrammaton
Year:    1969
    In their original incarnation Deep Purple was known mostly for their restyling of other artists' songs, such as Joe South's Hush and Neil Diamond's Kentucky Woman. Indeed, their first LP only had three original songs on it, and only one of those, Mandrake Root, got any kind of airplay. Their eponymous third LP, however, released in 1969, was made up almost entirely of original material. The lone exception was a cover of Donovan's Lalena, which the band said was done in a way that they thought Donovan himself would have liked.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Love In The City
Source:    CD: 20 Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: Turtle Soup and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Kaylan/Volman/Nichol/Pons/Seiter
Label:    Rhino (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:     Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:     One Rainy Wish
Source:     LP: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer:     Jimi Hendrix
Label:     MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1967
     In the summer of 1967 my dad (who was a Sergeant in the Air Force), got transferred to Lindsay Air Station in Weisbaden, Germany. The housing situation there being what it was, it was several weeks before the rest of us could join him, and during that time he went out and bought an Akai X-355 reel to reel tape recorder that a fellow GI had picked up in Japan. The Akai had small speakers built into it, but the best way to listen to it was through headphones. It would be another year before he would pick up a turntable, so I started buying pre-recorded reel to reel tapes. Two of the first three tapes I bought were Are You Experienced and Axis: Bold As Love, both by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. As I was forced to share a bedroom with my little brother I made it a habit to sleep on the couch instead, usually with the headphones on listening to Axis: Bold As Love. I was blown away by the stereo effects on the album, which I attributed (somewhat correctly) to Hendrix, although I would find out years later that much of the credit belongs to engineer Eddie Kramer as well. One Rainy Wish, for example, starts off with all the instruments in the center channel (essentially a mono mix). After a few seconds of slow spacy intro the song gets into gear with vocals isolated all the way over to the left, with a guitar overdub on the opposite side to balance it out. As the song continues, things move back and forth from side to side, fading in and out at the same time. It was a hell of a way to drift off to sleep every night.

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    Dark Side Of The Mushroom
Source:    CD: No Way Out
Writer(s):    Cooper/Podolor
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    Just who played on Dark Side Of The Mushroom is lost to history. What is certain, however, is that it is not the Chocolate Watchband, despite its inclusion on that band's debut LP. Producer Ed Cobb apparently had his own agenda when it came to the Watchband, which included making them sound much more psychedelic on vinyl than when they performed onstage (in fact it is doubtful that Cobb ever actually attended any of the band's live gigs). To accomplish his goal, Cobb enlisted the help of songwriter/musician Richie Podolor, who would later go on to produce Three Dog Night's records. Podolor put together the group of anonymous studio musicians that recorded Dark Side Of The Mushroom, which, despite its shady history, is a decent slice of instrumental psychedelia.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Penny Lane
Source:    LP: Rarities (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1967
    Here's a little known fact: the true stereo recording of the Beatles' Penny Lane was not released in the US until 1980, when the song appeared on an album called Rarities. The original 1967 single was mono only, while the version used on the US Magical Mystery Tour LP was created using Capitol's infamous Duophonic process. A true stereo mix that had previously been available only in Germany was used on Rarities, but modified to include a series of trumpet notes at the end of the song that had previously only appeared on promo copies of the single sent to radio stations in the US and Canada.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Hope I Never Find Me There
Source:    CD: Heaven Is In Your Mind (originally released in UK on LP: Mr. Fantasy)
Writer(s):    Dave Mason
Label:    Island
Year:    1967
     Traffic is usually thought of as Steve Winwood's band, as he was the lead vocalist for most of the band's recordings. In the early days of the group, however, he shared the spotlight with singer/songwriter Dave Mason, who wrote several of the song's on the band's 1967 debut LP, Mr. Fantasy. When the album came out in the US in early 1968  however (under the title of Heaven Is In Your Mind), two of Mason's songs were left off the LP to make room for a pair of tunes that had been issued as singles in the UK, but not included on the European version of Mr. Fantasy. One of those deleted songs was Hope I Never Find Me There, which is now included on the CD reissue of Heaven Is In Your Mind as a bonus track.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Papa Gene's Blues (alternate mix)
Source:    CD: The Monkees
Writer(s):    Michael Nesmith
Label:    Rhino
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2006
    Despite the best efforts of Don Kirschner and others to exclude the four members of the Monkees from the actual process of making records (other than to provide vocal overdubs for the finished instrumental tracks), Michael Nesmith was able to use what little clout he had to insist on producing at least a couple tracks for use on the group's first LP. One of those tracks was Papa Gene's Blues, a Nesmith composition that stands as one of the earliest examples of what would come to be called country-rock. The original tracks were laid down on July 7, 1966, and featured an array of studio musicians, including band member Peter Tork on guitar. Nesmith handled the lead vocals, with all four of the Monkees providing backup vocals.
The tracks were mixed on July 16th, but Kirschner insisted that the backup vocals be recut on July 31st, using only Mickey Dolenz. The original mix sat on the shelf until 2006, when it was included as a bonus track on the CD reissue of The Monkees.

Artist:     Byrds
Title:     I See You
Source:     LP: Fifth Dimension
Writer:     McGuinn/Crosby
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1966
     The Byrds third LP, Fifth Dimension, was the first without founding member Gene Clark. As Clark was the group's primary songwriter, this left a gap that was soon filled by both David Crosby and Jim (Roger) McGuinn, who collaborated on songs like I See You.

Artist:    Caravelles
Title:    Lovin' Just My Style
Source:    Mono LP: Pebbles Vol. 8 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    The Caravelles (original label: Onacrest)
Label:    BFD
Year:    1966
    In the mid-1960s it seemed like every local music scene had one guy who could do a dead-on impression of the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger. In Phoenix, Arizona, that guy was John Fitzgerald, although, as can be heard on the Caravelles' Lovin' Just My Style, there was more than a touch of the Yardbirds' Keith Relf in his approach as well. The band itself was managed and produced by Hadley Murrell, a local DJ who is better known for the many Phoenix soul bands he produced. Although more than one member of the Caravelles went on to become associated with more famous bands such as Alice Cooper and the Tubes, it is unclear whether any them were members of the group in 1966, when Lovin' Just My Style was recorded.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet
Source:    CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released on LP: Psychedelic Lollipop)
Writer(s):    Gilbert/Scala/Esposito
Label:    BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1966
    The Blues Magoos (original spelling: Bloos) were either the first or second band to use the word psychedelic in an album title. Both they and the 13th Floor Elevators released their debut albums in 1966 and it is unclear which one actually came out first. What's not in dispute is the fact that Psychedelic Lollipop far outsold The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. One major reason for this was the fact that (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet was a huge national hit in early 1967, which helped album sales considerably. Despite having a unique sound and a look to match (including electric suits), the Magoos were unable to duplicate the success of Nothin' Yet on subsequent releases, partially due to Mercury's pairing of two equally marketable songs on the band's next single without indicating to stations which one they were supposed to be playing.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Sunny Afternoon
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1966
    My family got its first real stereo just in time for me to catch this song 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 through decent speakers for a couple hours every day without the rest of the family telling me to turn it down (or off). Unfortunately, Denver's first FM rock station was still a few months off, so the decent speakers were handicapped by being fed an AM radio signal.

Artist:    Guess Who
Title:    It's My Pride
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in Canada as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Randy Bachman
Label:    Rhino (original label: Quality)
Year:    1967
    The Guess Who were formed in 1962 in Winnipeg, Manitoba as Chad Allen and the Reflections, changing their name to Chad Allen and the Expression in 1964. The group recorded a cover of a Johnny Kidd song, Shakin' All Over, in 1965. The record was not released under the band's actual name, however; in a bid to get more airplay for the song, the record was credited to "Guess Who?". This was during the peak of the British Invasion, and the producers hoped that DJs might assume it was some well-known British band and give the record a shot. Of course, such a thing could never happen these days, as commercial radio DJs are not allowed to choose what music to play. The ploy worked so well (the song was a hit in both the US and Canada) that the band decided to keep the name Guess Who, and continued to crank out hit after hit in their native Canada, although they would not hit the US charts again until 1969. In 1966 the group picked up a second vocalist, Burton Cummings, and within a few months founder Allen left the band, leaving Cummings as the group's front man. One of their better songs was It's My Pride, a B side written by guitarist Randy Bachman and released as a single in 1967. Bachman would soon team up with Cummings to write a string of hits, including These Eyes and American Woman, before leaving the Guess Who in the early 70s to form his own band, Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

Artist:    Action
Title:    Favourite Days
Source:    British import CD: Mighty Baby
Writer(s):    Ian Whiteman
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Head)
Year:    1968
    The Action was one of the more popular bands on the London scene during the heydey of the Mods, but by 1968 they found themselves being left behind by the more progressive bands that were coming into vogue. Adding to the confusion, original lead vocalist and primary songwriter Reg King had left the band at the end of 1967, leaving multi-instrumentalist Ian Whiteman to take over both roles. Whiteman soon developed his own sound, as can be heard on Favourite Days. The Action would eventually change their name to Mighty Baby, releasing their only LP in 1969. Favourite Days, as well as the other 1968 Action demo tapes, are now available as bonus tracks on the CD reissue of the Mighty Baby album.

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:     Pink Floyd
Title:     Arnold Layne
Source:     CD: Cre/ation-The Early Years 1967-1972 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Syd Barrett
Label:     Columbia (original label: Tower)
Year:     1967
     The very first record released by Pink Floyd was Arnold Layne, a song about a guy with a particular brand of deviance. Like all early Floyd recordings, the song was written and sung by the mercurial Syd Barrett.

Artist:     Who
Title:     The Kids Are Alright
Source:     Mono CD: Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy (originally released on LP: The Who Sings My Generation)
Writer:     Pete Townshend
Label:     MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:     1966
     When the Who Sings My Generation album came out in the US in 1966, it featured several songs that had originally been issued as singles in the UK, including this early Pete Townshend number. Probably the most Beatle-sounding of all Who songs, the song was one of the group's first charted hits in 1965.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Rael 1
Source:    CD: The Who Sell Out
Writer:    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1967
    The Who Sell Out, released in December 1967, was the last album by the group before their 1969 rock-opera Tommy. The last track on the LP, Rael, is itself a mini-opera that tells the story of a wealthy man who has taken on the role of a crusader, out to free his ancestral homeland from its current occupiers. He tells the captain of his ship to come back for him on Christmas Day to see if he is ready to return. If not, he tells the captain, the boat is yours. Of course the captain has no intention of returning, as he declares soon after putting back out to sea. The piece then goes into an instrumental passage that would be copied pretty much note for note on the Tommy album as part of the Underture. The track ends with a repeat of the owner's instructions to the captain. The events surrounding the recording of Rael have become the stuff of legend. The band spent an entire day recording and mixing the song, and were apparently so exhausted at the end of the session that they left without securing the multi-track master in a safe place. The cleaning woman came in the next morning and tossed the tape into the waste basket. She then emptied the ashtrays and other trash into the same waste basket. When the band came in around noon the recording engineer who had found the tape had the unenviable task of telling them what had happened. Pete Townsend was in a rage, and the engineer tried to placate him by saying "these things happen". Townshend then proceeded to throw a chair through the glass wall separating the studio from the control room, informing the engineer that "these things happen".

Artist:    Who
Title:    Substitute
Source:    CD: Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA (original label: Atco)
Year:    1966
    In the spring of 1967 my dad, a career military man, got word that he was being transferred from Denver, Colorado to Weisbaden, Germany. By the end of  summer, our entire family had relocated to a converted WWII Panzer barracks called Kastel that was serving as a housing area for married US military personnel and their families. It was probably the smallest housing area in all of Europe, consisting of only eight buildings. Needless to say, there were not many other American kids my age living there, which actually ended up working to my advantage. You see, in Denver I had been playing first chair violin in the Smiley Junior High School orchestra; a position that looked good to the adults in the room but was the kiss of death to a 14-year-old trying desperately to fit in with his peers. So, naturally, as one of only half a dozen or so teenaged boys in the Kastel Housing Area, I jumped at the chance to learn how to play the guitar (a much cooler instrument than the violin to a 14-year-old). There were two guys at Kastel who a) had a guitar and b) were willing to put up with an obnoxious Freshman long enough to teach him a few chords. The first was was a Sophomore named Darrell Combs, who went by the nickname Butch (his older sister Darlene being responsible for that one). The other was a Junior named Mike Davenport, who had been in Germany longer than the rest of us and had his own amp. Mike also had a collection of records that had been popular on Radio Luxembourg, the US-styled top 40 station that was aimed at a British audience and played mostly songs from the UK charts. Among those records were several singles by the Who, including their chart-topping 1966 UK hit Substitute. Mike and Butch had been trying to figure out the chords to Substitute, but had not been able to get beyond the intro of the song. After listening to the record once or twice (yes, I'm bragging) I was able to figure out the rest of the song. Not long after that I was able to talk my parents into buying me a guitar and a small amp as an early Christmas present (that ended up doubling as my 15th birthday present as well). With three guitarists, two amps, and a drummer named Zachary Long in our arsenal, we formed a band called The Abundance Of Love (hey, it was 1967, OK?), which soon got changed to the Haze And Shades Of Yesterday and finally just The Shades. One of the first songs we learned to play was (you guessed it), Substitute by the Who. The Shades ended up lasting until the summer of 1968, at which time my dad got transferred again, this time to Ramstein AFB, Germany.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Dreaming
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Jack Bruce
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    Although Cream recorded several songs that bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce co-wrote with various lyricists (notably poet Pete Brown), there were relatively few that Bruce himself wrote words for. One of these is Dreaming, a song from the band's first LP that features both Bruce and guitarist Eric Clapton on lead vocals. Dreaming is also one of the shortest Cream songs on record, clocking in at one second under two minutes in length.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    There Is A Mountain
Source:    CD: Sunshine On The Mountain (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Sony Music Special Products (original label: Epic)
Year:    1967
    1967 was a year that saw Donovan continue to shed the "folk singer" image, forcing the media to look for a new term to describe someone like him. As you may have already guessed, that term was "singer-songwriter." On There Is A Mountain, a hit single from 1967, Donovan applies Eastern philosophy and tonality to pop music, with the result being one of those songs that sticks in your head for days.

Artist:    Bohemian Vendetta
Title:    Riddles And Fairytales
Source:    Mono British import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Camp/Cooke
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1968
    Originally formed as the Bohemians in 1966, the Bohemian Vendetta hailed from New York's Long Island. Like their fellow Long Islanders Vanilla Fudge and the Vagrants, the Bohemians were known for doing heavy versions of popular songs like (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction and House Of The Rising Sun, both of which appeared on their self-titled album in 1968. The band, consisting of Brian Cooke (organ, lead vocals), Nick Manzi (lead guitar), Randy Pollock (rhythm guitar), Victor Muglia (bass) and Chuck Monica (drums), released their first single, a one-off called Enough, on the United Artists label in 1967. The following year they signed with Bob Shad's Mainstream label, releasing a single ahead of the album. The B side of that single, Riddles And Fairytales, got some airplay on the East Coast, but Mainstream's reputation as a cheap exploitation label kept the album itself from being taken seriously.

Artist:      Renaissance
Title:     Innocence
Source:      LP: Renaissance
Writer(s):    Relf/McCarty/Hawken/Cennamo
Label:    Elektra
Year:     1969
 Many people remember Renaissance as the progressive rock band of the 70s that featured Annie Haslam on vocals and borrowed heavily from classical music, particularly of the Romantic period. What's not as well known, however, is that the band was originally formed by former Yardbirds Keith Relf and Jim McCarty and had an entirely different lineup. Nonetheless, it is technically the same band, and much of the classical influence they were famous for is present on this first album.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Bluebird
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    When it comes right down to it Buffalo Springfield has one of the highest ratios of songs recorded to songs played on the radio of any band in history, especially if you only count the two albums worth of material that was released while the band was still active. This is probably because Buffalo Springfield had more raw songwriting talent than just about any two other bands. Although Neil Young was just starting to hit his stride as a songwriter, bandmate Stephen Stills was already at an early peak, as songs like Bluebird clearly demonstrate.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon
Source:    CD: After Bathing At Baxter's
Writer(s):    Paul Kantner
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1967
    The first Jefferson Airplane album (the 1966 release Jefferson Airplane Takes Off) was dominated by songs from the pen of founder Marty Balin, a few of which were collaborations with other band members such as Paul Kantner and Jorma Kaukonen. The songwriting on the group's second LP, Surrealistic Pillow, was fairly evenly balanced between the three above and new arrival Grace Slick. By the band's third album, After Bathing At Baxter's, released in the fall of 1967, Kantner had emerged as the group's main songwriter, having a hand in over half the tracks on the LP. One of the most durable of these was the album's closing track, a medley of two songs, Won't You Try and Saturday Afternoon, the latter being about a free concert that band had participated in in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park earlier that year.

Artist:    John Mayall's Bluesbreakers
Title:    I Can't Quit You Baby
Source:    LP: Crusade
Writer(s):    Dixon/Rush
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    I Can't Quit You Baby is one of many blues classics written by legendary songwriter/producer/arranger Willie Dixon. Dixon wrote the song specifically for Otis Rush to record as his debut single for the Cobra label in 1956 (Dixon later said that Rush was in a "preoccupied" relationship at the time). As was common among blues artists at the time, Rush would record the song many times over the subsequent years. The most significant of these recordings was for a compilation album called Chicago|The Blues|Today! Vol. 2, which came out on the Vanguard label in 1966. On this version Rush added an extra chord after each turnaround, half a step above the original chord itself, creating a kind of climbing effect after each line. It was this arrangement that Led Zeppelin famously used on their own debut album in 1969. Two years before Led Zeppelin recorded the song, however, British bluesmaster John Mayall recorded the tune, using the same basic arrangement, on the album Crusade. This album, credited officially to John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, was the recording debut of a then teenaged guitarist by the name of Mick Taylor. Taylor, of course, would go on to replace Brian Jones in the Rolling Stones for what many consider that band's peak period.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Original Sound, stereo LP version released on Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
     The Music Machine was by far the most advanced of all the bands playing on Sunset Strip in 1966-67. Not only did they feature tight sets (so that audience members wouldn't get the chance to call out requests between songs), they also had their own visual look that set them apart from other bands. With all the band members dressed entirely in black (including dyed hair) and wearing one black glove, the Machine projected an image that would influence such diverse artists as the Ramones and Michael Jackson in later years. Musically, Bonniwell's songwriting showed a sophistication that was on a par with the best L.A. had to offer, demonstrated by a series of fine singles such as The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly. Unfortunately, problems on the business end prevented the Music Machine from achieving the success it deserved and Bonniwell eventually quit the music business altogether in disgust.

Artist:    First Crew To The Moon
Title:    The Sun Lights Up The Shadows Of Your Mind
Source:    Mono British import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jerry Milstein
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Roulette)
Year:    1967
    Originally known as the Back Door Men, and later the Bootleggers, Brooklyn, NY's First Crew To The Moon signed with the Roulette label on the recommendation of legendary songwriter Doc Pomus. Unfortunately for the band, their only record for Roulette, a song called Spend Your Life With Me, was released just as the label's entire promotional budget was being spent on the latest single by labelmates Tommy James And The Shondells, a tune called I think We're Alone Now. To add insult to injury, Roulette misspelled the band's name on both sides of the record, inadvertantly rechristening them First Crow To The Moon, a name that actually fits the record's B side, a psychedelic masterpiece called The Sun Lights Up The Shadows Of Your Mind, quite well. As it turned out, none of this really mattered, as the band soon disbanded following the death of lead guitarist Alan Avick of leukemia. Perhaps the group's greatest legacy, however, was to serve as inspiration to their friend Chris Stein, who several years later would team up with Deborah Harry to form a group called Blondie.

Artist:     Love
Title:     Revelation (excerpt)
Source:     CD: Da Capo
Writer:     Lee/MacLean/Echols/Forsi
Label:     Elektra
Year:     1967
     The undisputed kings of the Sunset Strip were Love. Led by Arthur Lee, the band held down the position of house band at the Strip's most famous club, the Whiskey A-Go-Go, throughout 1966 and much of 1967, even as the club scene itself was starting to die off. Love liked being the top dog in L.A., so much so that they decided to forego touring to promote their records in favor of maintaining their presence at the Whiskey. In the long run this cost them, as many of their contemporaries (including one band that Love itself had discovered and introduced to Elektra producer Paul Rothchild: the Doors) went on to greater fame while Love remained a cult band throughout their existence. One of the highlights of their stage performances was a 19-minute jam called Revelation, a piece originally called John Hooker that served to give each band member a chance to show off with a solo. Although the band had been playing Revelation throughout 1966 (inspiring the Rolling Stones to do a similar number on one of their own albums), they did not get around to recording a studio version of Revelation until 1967. By that point they had added two new members, Tjay Cantrelli (sax) and Michael Stuart (drums), whose solos take up the last six minutes or so of the recorded version of the tune. The Harpsichord solo at the end of Revelation is played by "Snoopy" Pfisterer, who had switched from drums to keyboards when Stuart joined the group.