Monday, November 13, 2017
Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1746 (starts 11/15/17)
Get ready to boogie...with Canned Heat, Jethro Tull, Blues Image and more, including the Beatles and the Stones. Not to mention Black Sabbath.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Jigsaw Puzzle
Source: CD: Beggar's Banquet
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
Jigsaw Puzzle, the longest track on the Beggar's Banquet album, comes across as a wry look at the inner workings of a rock and roll band like, say, the Rolling Stones. Founder Brian Jones's only contribution to the recording is some soaring mellotron work toward the end of the song. Not long after the track was recorded, Jones was fired from the band.
Artist: Jethro Tull
Title: Beggar's Farm
Source: LP: This Was
Although Jethro Tull would eventually come to be considered almost a backup band for flautist/vocalist/songwriter Ian Anderson, in the early days the group was much more democratically inclined, at least until the departure of guitarist and co-founder Mick Abrahams. In addition to providing a more blues-based orientation for the band, Abrahams shared songwriting duties with Anderson as well, including collaborations such as Beggar's Farm from the band's 1968 debut LP, This Was.
Title: Getting Better
Source: LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Following their 1966 North American tour, the Beatles announced that they were giving up touring to concentrate on their songwriting and studio work. Freed of the responsibilities of the road (and under the influence of mind-expanding substances), the band members found themselves discovering new sonic possibilities as never before (or since), hitting a creative peak with their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, often cited as the greatest album ever recorded. The individual Beatles were about to move in separate musical directions, but as of Sgt. Pepper's were still functioning mostly as a single unit, as is heard on the chorus of Getting Better, in which Paul McCartney's opening line, "I have to admit it's getting better", is immediately answered by John Lennon's playfully cynical "can't get no worse". The members continued to experiment with their instrumentation as well, such as George Harrison's use of sitar on the song's bridge, accompanied by Ringo Starr's bongos.
Artist: Canned Heat
Title: Refried Boogie (part 1)
Source: British import CD: Living The Blues
Writer(s): Canned Heat
Label: BGO (original label: Liberty)
Canned Heat's third album was a double LP released in 1968 under the title Living The Blues. The first disc was a collection of studio recordings that included their hit single Going Up The Country and an experimental audio collage called Parthenogenesis. It was the second disc, however, that made rock history, as it consisted of a 41 minute live performance of their trademark jam, Refried Boogie, spread out over both sides of the LP. This week we are presenting the first half of that performance (which was side three of the original LP).
Artist: Blues Image
Title: Take Me To The Sunrise
Source: LP: Blues Image
Writer(s): Blues Image
Formed in Tampa, Florida, in 1966, Blues Image originally consisted of singer-guitarist Mike Pinera, singer-drummer Manuel "Manny" Bertematti, singer-percussionist Joe Lala, keyboardist Emilio Garcia, and bassist Malcolm Jones. They were later joined by keyboardist Frank "Skip" Konte when Emilio Garcia left the band to become a pilot. The band relocated to Miami in 1968, where they became the house band at the legendary club Thee Image. While performing at Thee Image, the members of Blues Image became friends with members of several bands that played there, including Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and the Grateful Dead. It was Hendrix that convinced them that a move to Los Angeles would be to their benefit, and sure enough the Blues Image landed a contract with Atco shortly after their arrival there. Their debut album, which starts off with the track Take Me To The Sunrise, was released in February of 1969. After two more albums and one hit single (Ride Captain Ride), Blues Image split up in 1970, although several of the band's members stayed active for many years.
Artist: Black Sabbath
Title: A Bit Of Finger/Sleeping Village/Warning
Source: LP: Black Sabbath
Label: Warner Brothers
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 US 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: Atomic Rooster
Title: A Spoonful Of Bromide Helps The Pulse Go Down
Source: Russian import CD: In Hearing Of
Writer(s): Vincent Crane
Label: Castle (original label: Elektra)
Atomic Rooster began as a fairly typical British progressive rock band, but by their third LP, In Hearing Of, were starting to move into new territority as a progressive jazz/rock/funk fusion band. Guitarist John Du Cann had been asked to leave the band following the release of their second album, leaving keyboardist Vincent Crane as the architect of the band's sound. A good example of that sound is the instrumental track A Spoonful Of Bromide Helps The Pulse Go Down.