Monday, January 15, 2018

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1803 (starts 1/17/18)


    This week's show has its share of ups and downs, no doubt, but maintains a steady high when Johnny Winter takes the stage at Woodstock (supplemented by a track from his 1968 studio debut, The Progressive Blues Experiment).

Artist:      Beatles
Title:     And Your Bird Can Sing
Source:    British import LP: Revolver
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone
Year:     1966
     At the time the Revolver album was being made, the Beatles and their producer, George Martin, worked together on the mono mixes of the songs, which were always done before the stereo mixes. In fact, the stereo mixes were usually done without the participation of the band itself, and generally were less time consuming. This led to a rather odd situation in June of 1966. Final mono mixes had been made for three of the songs on Revolver at this point, and the band's US label, Capitol, was ready to release a new Beatles album. The problem was that they did not have enough new material for an entire album. Their solution was to use their Duophonic fake stereo process on the mono mixes and include them on the album, which was titled Yesterday...And Today. As a result, when Revolver was released in the US in the fall of 1966, it had three fewer songs than the original British version of the album. One of those three songs was And Your Bird Can Sing, which was not available in the US in true stereo until the 1980s.

Artist:    Tomorrow
Title:    My White Bicycle
Source:    Mono British CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road-1965-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Hopkins/Burgess
Label:    EMI (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1967
    Along with Pink Floyd and the Soft Machine, Tomorrow was among the most influential of the British psychedelic bands that popped up in the wake of the Beatles' Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's albums. Evolving out of the In Crowd, a popular British R&B group in the mold of the Spencer Davis Group and the early Who, Tomorrow featured a young Steve Howe (who go on to stardom as a founding member of Yes) on lead guitar and Keith West on vocals. The group was slated to appear in the film Blow-Up, but ultimately lost out to the Yardbirds, who had just recruited Jimmy Page as a second lead guitarist. Unfazed, Tomorrow went into Abbey Road studios and cut My White Bicycle, a song inspired by the practice in Amsterdam of providing free bicycles to anyone who wanted to use one as long as they turned it back in when they were done with it.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Born To Be Wild
Source:    CD: Easy Rider Soundtrack (originally released on LP: Steppenwolf)
Writer(s):    Mars Bonfire
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    Born To Be Wild's status as a counter-cultural anthem was cemented when it was chosen for the soundtrack of the movie Easy Rider. The popularity of both the song and the movie resulted in Steppenwolf becoming the all-time favorite band of bikers all over the world.

Artist:      Grand Funk Railroad
Title:     Mr. Limousine Driver
Source:      CD: Grand Funk
Writer:    Mark Farner
Label:     Capitol
Year:     1969
     When Grand Funk Railroad first appeared on the scene they were universally panned by the rock press (much as Kiss would be a few years later). Despite this, they managed to set attendance records across the nation and were instrumental to establishing sports arenas as the venue of choice for 70s rock bands. Although their first album, On Time, was not an instant hit, their popularity took off with the release of their second LP, Grand Funk (also known as the Red Album). One of the many popular tracks on Grand Funk was Mr. Limousine Driver, a song that reflects the same attitude as their later hit We're An American Band.

Artist:    Janis Joplin
Title:    Move Over
Source:    CD: The Pearl Sessions
Writer(s):    Janis Joplin
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1971
    1970 had been a good year for Janis Joplin. She had disbanded the disappointing Kozmik Blues Band and was nearing completion of a new album (Pearl) with a new group (the Full Tilt Boogie Band) and a new producer (Paul Rothchild), who was entirely supportive of her musical abilities. Unlike previous bands, Joplin's new group spent considerable time in the studio working on material for the album, often developing the arrangements with the tape machines running, much like Jimi Hendrix was known to do. The resulting album was musically far tighter than her previous efforts, with a mixture of cover songs and original material such as the opening track, Move Over, written by Joplin herself. Sadly, Joplin's problems ran deeper than just musical issues and she did not live to see her final album completed.

Artist:     Jethro Tull
Title:     Jeffrey Goes To Leicester Square
Source:     LP: Stand Up
Writer:     Ian Anderson
Label:     Chrysalis (original US label: Reprise)
Year:     1969
     Jethro Tull incorporated traditional Indian instruments on Jeffrey Goes To Leicester Square, one of a pair of tunes named for future Tull bassist Jeffrey Hammond by the band's primary songwriter, Ian Anderson.

Artist:     Nazz
Title:     Open My Eyes
Source:     LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Nazz)
Writer:     Todd Rundgren
Label:     Rhino (original label: SGC)
Year:     1968
     The Nazz was a band from Philadelphia who were basically the victims of their own bad timing. 1968 was the year that progressive FM radio began to get recognition as a viable format while top 40 radio was being dominated by bubble gum pop bands such as the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Ohio Express. The Nazz, on the other hand, sounded more like British bands such as the Move and Brian Augur's Trinity that were performing well on the UK charts but were unable to buy a hit in the US. The band had plenty of talent, most notably guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Todd Rundgren, who would go on to establish a successful career, both as an artist (he played all the instruments on his Something/Anything LP and led the band Utopia) and a producer (Grand Funk's We're An American Band, among others). Open My Eyes was originally issued as the A side of a single, but ended up being eclipsed in popularity by its flip side, a song called Hello It's Me, that ended up getting airplay in Boston and other cities, eventually hitting the Canadian charts (a new version would become a solo hit for Rundgren five years later).

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    No Time Like The Right Time
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Al Kooper
Label:    Rhino (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:    1967
    The Blues Project were ahead of their time. They were the first jam band. They virtually created the college circuit for touring rock bands. Unfortunately, they also existed at a time when having a hit single was the considered a necessity. The closest the Blues Project ever got to a hit single was No Time Like The Right Time, which peaked at # 97 and stayed on the charts for all of two weeks. Personally, I rate it among the top 5 best songs of the psychedelic era.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    No Escape
Source:    LP: The Seeds
Writer(s):    Saxon/Savage/Lawrence
Label:    GNP Crescendo
Year:    1966
    Following up on their 1965 Los Angeles area hit Can't Seem To Make You Mine, the Seeds released their self-titled debut LP the following year. The album contained what would be the band's biggest (and only national) hit, Pushin' Too Hard, as well as several other tracks such as No Escape that can be considered either as stylistic consistent or blatantly imitative of the big hit record. As Pushin' Too Hard was not yet a well-known song when the album was released, I tend to lean more toward the first interpretation.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Source:    CD: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Mantz
Label:    Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    Only a handful of tunes make virtually everyone's list of "psychedelic" songs. The Electric Prunes' I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) so well defines the genre that Lenny Kaye himself chose it to be the opening track on the original Nuggets album.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine
Source:    CD: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    While not as commercially successful as the Jefferson Airplane or as long-lived as the Grateful Dead (there's an oxymoron for ya), Country Joe and the Fish may well be the most accurate musical representation of what the whole Haight-Ashbury scene was about, which is itself ironic, since the band operated out of Berkeley on the other side of the bay. Of all the tracks on their first album, Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine probably got the most airplay on various underground radio stations that were popping up on the FM dial at the time (some of them even legally).

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Born Cross-Eyed
Source:    CD: Anthem Of The Sun
Writer(s):    The Grateful Dead
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1968
    After cranking out their first LP in a matter of days, San Francisco's Grateful Dead took a full six months to record, edit and mix the follow-up album, Anthem Of The Sun. Most of the tracks on the album run together and feature an experimental mix of live and studio material. The sole exception is Born Cross-Eyed, which has a running time of barely over two minutes. As near as I can tell, it is also the only actual studio track on the album. Although the song is credited to the entire band, Bob Weir's lyrics are rumoured to be autobiographical in nature.

Artist:    The Doors
Title:    Wild Child
Source:    LP: The Soft Parade
Writer(s):    Jim Morrison
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1969
    Although The Soft Parade is generally considered the weakest of all the Jim Morrison era Doors albums, it did have a couple of notable songs on it. Touch Me was a major hit for the band, and its B side, Wild Child, has long been a fan favorite. In fact, the band even made a video for Wild Child, something not commonly done for a B side.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Eight Miles High (RCA Studios version)
Source:    CD: Fifth Dimension (bonus track) (originally released on LP: Never Before)
Writer(s):    McGuinn/Crosby/Clark
Label:    Columbia/Legacy (original label: Re-Flyte)
Year:    Recorded 1965, released 1987
    In December of 1965, while Turn! Turn! Turn! was the number one song in the nation, the Byrds booked time at RCA Studios in Los Angeles to record a pair of songs, Eight Miles High and Why, which were intended to the be the band's next single. Columbia Records, however, had a policy prohibiting the use of a rival's studios (especially RCA's) and insisted that the Byrds re-record both songs, which were then issued as a single and included on the album Fifth Dimension. Meanwhile, the original recorded version of Eight Miles High remained unreleased until 1987, when it was included on an album of early unreleased Byrds recordings on the Re-Flyte label called Never Before. Both David Crosby and Roger McGuinn have said that they actually prefer the earlier version to the well-known Columbia recording.   

Artist:    Barbarians
Title:    Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl
Source:    CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ron and Doug Morris
Label:    Rhino (original label: Laurie)
Year:    1965
    The Barbarians were formed in Boston in 1963, and got their big break when they were picked for a slot on the T.A.M.I. show in 1964. The group was somewhat unusual in that the lead vocalist, Vic "Moulty" Moulton, was also the drummer. The fact that Moulty wore a hook only made the band stand out even more. In 1965 they hit the charts with Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl, a satirical song based on a rather snide question that was often heard coming out of the mouths of conservative types (and greasers) that saw the current trend toward longer hair on boys (inspired by the Beatles) as being a threat to their way of life.
       
Artist:     Vejtables
Title:     Anything
Source:     CD: Love Is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:    Bob Bailey
Label:    Rhino (original label: Autumn)
Year: `1965
     As with any music scene, some of the early San Francisco acts fell by the wayside before the scene really took off. Such was the case with the Vejtables, who got a contract with local label Autumn Records and released a single called I Still Love You in 1965. The B side of that record, a tune called Anything, has proved more durable than its flip over the long haul. Lead vocalist and drummer Jan Errico would later join the Mojo Men in time for their 1967 cover of Buffalo Springfield's Sit Down I Think I Love You.

Artist:      Fairport Convention
Title:     Tam Lin
Source:      LP: Leige and Leaf
Writer(s):    Trad. arr. Swarbuck
Label:     A&M
Year:     1969
     Fairport Convention was hailed as England's answer to Jefferson Airplane when they first appeared. As Tam Lin, from their 1969 album Leige And Lief shows, they soon established a sound all their own. Sandy Denny, heard here on lead vocals, is probably best known to US audiences for her backup vocals on Led Zeppelin's The Battle of Evermore from their fourth LP.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Early Morning Cold Taxi
Source:    CD: The Who Sell Out (bonus track originally released on CD box set: 30 Years of Maximum R&B)
Writer(s):    Langston/Daltry
Label:    MCA
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1994
    Early Morning Cold Taxi is an outtake from the 1967 sessions for the Who's third LP, The Who Sell Out. The track, co-written by vocalist Roger Daltry, sat on the shelf for years, finally being released as part of the 30 Years Of Maximum R&B box set in 1994.

Artist:    Johnny Winter
Title:    Leland Mississippi Blues
Source:    CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm
Writer(s):    Johnny Winter
Label:    Rhino
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 2009
    Johnny Winter had just released his first album for Columbia in 1969 when he was invited to play the Woodstock festival. Along with his band, which at that time included his brother Edgar on keyboards, future Double Trouble member Tommy Shannon on bass and Uncle John Turner on drums, Winter played a set that included Leland Mississippi Blues, one of the three original compositions on his Columbia debut LP.

Artist:    Johnny Winter
Title:    Black Cat Bone
Source:    LP: The Progressive Blues Experiment
Writer(s):    Johnny Winter
Label:    Imperial
Year:    1968
    Johnny Winter was already a veteran recording artist by the time he released his first LP, The Progressive Blues Experiment, in 1968. His earlier work, however, was much more pop oriented, having an almost Tex-Mex flavor. With his new backing band of Uncle John Turner on drums and Tommy Shannon (later to work with Stevie Ray Vaughan as a member of Double Trouble) on bass, Winter put together an album mixing blues classics and original tunes such as Black Cat Bone. The critical success of the album led to Winter signing a multi-year contract with Columbia Records the following year.

Artist:    Johnny Winter
Title:    Mean Town Blues
Source:    CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm
Writer:    Johnny Winter
Label:    Rhino
Year:    Recorded: 1969; released: 2009
    1969 was a breakthrough year for Texas blues guitarist Johnny Winter, driven primarily by live performances at large venues such as the Dallas International Pop Festival and of course the Woodstock Performing Arts Festival, where this ten-plus minute track was recorded.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Go To Her
Source:    LP: Early Flight
Writer(s):    Kantner/Estes
Label:    Grunt
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1974
    Nearly every major artist acquires a backlog of unreleased songs over a period of time, usually due to lack of space on their official albums. Eventually many of these tracks get released on compilation albums or (more recently) as bonus tracks on CD versions of the original albums. One of the first of these compilation albums was Jefferson Airplane's Early Flight LP, released in 1974. Of the nine tracks on Early Flight, five were recorded during sessions for the band's first two LPs, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off and Surrealistic Pillow. One song originally intended for Surrealistic Pillow was Go To Her, an early Paul Kantner collaboration. At four minutes, the recording was longer than any of the songs that actually appeared on the album, which is probably the reason it didn't make the final cut, as it would have meant that two other songs would have to have been deleted instead.

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

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

Artist:     Vanilla Fudge
Title:     You Keep Me Hangin' On (includes Illusions Of My Childhood part one and two)
Source:     LP: Vanilla Fudge
Writer(s):     Holland/Dozier/Holland
Label:     Atco
Year:     1967
     The Vanilla Fudge version of You Keep Me Hangin' On was originally recorded and released in 1967, not too long after the Supremes version of the song finished its own run on the charts. It wasn't until the following year, however, the the Vanilla Fudge recording caught on with radio listeners, turning it into the band's only top 40 hit. The original album version was considerably longer than the single, however, due in part to the inclusion of something called Illusions Of My Childhood, which was basically a series of short psychedelic instrumental pieces incorporating themes from familiar nursery rhymes such as Farmer In The Dell and Ring Around The Rosie.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Hush
Source:    LP: Purple Passages (originally released on LP: Shades Of Deep Purple)
Writer(s):    Joe South
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Tetragrammaton)
Year:    1968
    British rockers Deep Purple scored a huge US hit in 1968 with their rocked out cover of Hush, a tune written by Joe South that had been an international hit for Billy Joe Royal the previous year. Oddly enough, the song was virtually ignored in their native England. The track was included on the album Tales Of Deep Purple, the first of three LPs to be released in the US on Tetragrammaton Records, a label partially owned by actor/comedian Bill Cosby. When Tetragrammaton folded shortly after the release of the third Deep Purple album the band was left without a US label, and went through some personnel changes, including adding new lead vocalist Ian Gillan (who had sung the part of Jesus on the original Jesus Christ Superstar LP) before signing to Warner Brothers and becoming a major force in 70s rock. Meanwhile, original vocalist Rod Evans hooked up with drummer Bobby Caldwell and two former members of Iron Butterfly to form Captain Beyond, releasing two fine LPs before fading from the public view.

Artist:    Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title:    Running Dry (Requiem For The Rockets)
Source:    LP: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    For his second post-Buffalo Springfield LP, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Neil Young found a local Los Angeles band called the Rockets and convinced guitarist Danny Whitten, bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina to join him, renaming them Crazy Horse in the process. One member of the Rockets that was not part of Crazy Horse was violinist Bobby Notkoff, whose eerie style gave the band a distinctive sound. Notkoff can be heard on one track of Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Running Dry, which is subtitled Requiem For The Rockets as a tribute to the original band. The Rockets themselves had previously recorded one self-titled LP, but only 5000 copies were ever pressed.

Artist:            Easybeats
Title:        Friday On My Mind
Source:    CD: Battle Of The Bands-Vol. Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Vanda/Young
Label:    Era (original label: United Artists)
Year:        1966
       Considered by many to be the "greatest Australian song" ever recorded, the Easybeats' Friday On My Mind, released in late 1966, certainly was the first (and for many years only) major international hit to emerge from the island continent. Rhythm guitarist George Young, who co-wrote Friday On My Mind, would go on to produce another Australian band featuring his two younger brothers, Angus and Malcolm.

Artist:    Count Five
Title:    Double Decker Bus
Source:    Mono LP: Psychotic Reaction
Writer(s):    John Byrne
Label:    Bicycle/Concord
Year:    1966
    With Count Five's single Psychotic Reaction rocketing up the charts in late 1966, Double Shot Records rushed the band into the studio to record a full-length LP, called (naturally) Psychotic Reaction. The key word here is "rushed", as band members later complained that they were not given the time to fully develop their original material, most of which was written by guitarist John "Sean" Byrne. Nonetheless, the album contains nine original tunes (along with two covers of Who songs tossed in as filler), all of which are classic examples of what has come to be called garage rock. Double Decker Bus, which opens the album, is a good example of Byrne's original material. Count Five was never able to duplicate the success of their hit single, however, and after the song's popularity had run its course the group, consisting of Kenn Ellner on lead vocals, tambourine and harmonica, John "Mouse" Michalski on lead guitar, John "Sean" Byrne on rhythm guitar and vocals, Craig "Butch" Atkinson on drums and Roy Chaney on bass guitar, disbanded so that its members could pursue college educations.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1803 (starts 1/17/18)



I really wanted to do this kind of theme thing around various means of transportation, but lost interest after a couple of songs. So instead we have a short trip through the years, a visit to 1970 and a little prog rock with a Hendrix chaser.

Artist:    Alice Cooper
Title:    Under My Wheels (remix)
Source:    CD: Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Killer)
Writer(s):    Bruce/Dunaway/Ezrin
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    Under My Wheels was the first single released from Alice Cooper's Killer album, generally considered to be the high point of the band's creativity. Producer Bob Ezrin shares a rare writing credit for the song.

Artist:    David Bowie
Title:    Soul Love
Source:    CD: The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
Writer(s):    David Bowie
Label:    Ryko (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1972
    The second song on the album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, Soul Love is an often overlooked gem from the David Bowie catalog. This partial obscurity may be due in part to the fact that Bowie seldom performed the song live. In fact, he only performed it twice on his Ziggy Stardust tour, and then not again until years later.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Place In Line
Source:    Japanese import CD: Who Do We Think We Are
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1973
    The final album from the second, and most popular Deep Purple lineup was 1973's Who Do We Think We Are. The album title was a direct response to critics that had voiced the opinion that the band was getting a bit too big for their britches. Despite internal problems that would lead to the departure of vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover shortly after the album's completion, Who Do We Think We Are was one of the band's most popular albums. Although Deep Purple was not usually considered a blues-rock band, the song Place In Line certainly fits in with other examples of the genre, starting off with a plodding Muddy Waters kind of beat, then transitioning to a faster boogie for the remaineder of the piece.

Artist:    Steely Dan
Title:    Any Major Dude Will Tell You
Source:    LP: Pretzel Logic
Writer(s):    Becker/Fagen
Label:    MCA (original label: ABC)
Year:    1974
    For a while it looked like Steely Dan would, like many other early 70s bands, start strong and then slowly fade away. Their debut single, Do It Again, got a lot of airplay on AM top 40 radio, which actually worked against them when it came to the more album-oriented FM stations that were starting to pop up all over the US. Despite the fact that their second LP, Countdown To Ecstacy, was much more suited to FM, it was pretty much ignored by FM rock stations at the time. However, it all came together for the group with the release of their third LP, Pretzel Logic, in 1974. In addition to a big hit single (Rikki Don't Lose That Number), Pretzel Logic included several FM-friendly tunes, such as Any Major Dude Will Tell You, and was a favorite of the rock press.

Artist:    Stuff
Title:    Looking For The Juice
Source:    LP: Stuff
Writer(s):    Edwards/Tee
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1976
    The first time I heard Stuff was on an episode of Saturday Night Live, where they appeared first backing up Joe Cocker, and then later in the show performing as an instrumental act. I was immediately impressed by the jazz-funk band's tight musicianship, so much so that I went out and bought a copy of their album. All the tracks on their first LP were instrumentals, including my own favorite track, Looking For The Juice. The band was originally formed as The Encyclopedia Of Soul, and was made up of a highly respected group of studio musicians, including Gordon Edwards (bass), Richard Tee (keyboards), Eric Gale (guitar), Cornell Dupree (guitar), and Chris Parker (drums). Stuff recorded three albums in the late 1970s, each of which went gold.

Artist:    Blues Image
Title:    Fugue U/Parchman Farm/Wrath Of Daisey
Source:    CD: Open
Writer(s):    Blues Image/Allison
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Atco)
Year:    1970
    Despite drawing decent crowds in Florida (and, later, Los Angeles) and getting rave reviews from the rock press, as well as their fellow musicians, Blues Image was never able to sell a lot of albums. This is a shame, as almost all of their material was as good or better than anything else being recorded in 1969-70. A classic example is the medley of Fugue U (emulating J.S. Bach), a jazz-rock arrangement of Mose Allison's Parchman Farm and the latin-rock instrumental Wrath Of Daisey). Guitarist Mike Pinera went on to replace Eric Brann in Iron Butterfly the following year.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    The Witch's Promise
Source:    CD: Benefit
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1970
    The remastered version of Jethro Tull's third album, Benefit, includes several songs that were released as singles in the UK, but did not appear in the US until the 1973 anthology album Living In The Past. Among those is Witch's Promise, recorded just weeks before the sessions for Benefit began.

Artist:    Guess Who
Title:    Humpty's Blues/American Woman (Epilogue)
Source:    CD: American Woman
Writer(s):    Bachman/Cummings/Peterson/Kale
Label:    Buddha/BMG (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1970
    Guitarist Randy Bachman of the Guess Who was, in the words of lead vocalist Burton Cummings, "chomping at the bit" to use some new guitar effects equipment he had acquired (fuzz boxes and Herzog sustain pedals, mostly). So the rest of the band obliged him by coming up with a Led Zeppelin style blues number called Humpty's Blues. Cummings's lyrics for the song were about the band's drummer, Garry Peterson, who had somehow acquired the nickname "Humpty Mix". The finished song ended up being the longest track on the album, which, combined with a short reprise of the opening section of American Woman, closes out the Guess Who's most popular album.

Artist:    Renaissance
Title:    The Black Flame
Source:    LP: Turn Of The Cards
Writer(s):    Dunford/Thatcher
Label:    Sire
Year:    1974
    Formed in 1969 by former Yardbirds Jim McCarty and Keith Relf, Renaissance was one of the first bands to merge rock, classical and jazz into a coherent whole. By 1974 the band was incorporating excerpts from classical pieces (mostly from the Romantic period) into what was otherwise progressive rock, with very few jazz elements remaining. The lineup had also changed, with a greater emphasis being placed on the vocals of Annie Haslam, who had joined the group in the early 1970s. Black Flame, from the band's fifth LP, Turn Of The Cards, is fairly representative of Renaissance at its most popular.

Artist:    Genesis
Title:    Get 'em Out By Friday
Source:    CD: Foxtrot
Writer(s):    Banks/Collins/Gabriel/Hackett/Rutherford
Label:    Rhino/Atlantic (original label: Charisma)
Year:    1972
    Although Genesis is rightfully acknowledged as one of the pioneer bands of the art-rock movement of the early 1970s, they were also the inheritors of a musical form pioneered by (of all people) the Who: the rock mini-opera. One excellent example of this approach is the track Get 'em Out By Friday, from their 1972 LP Foxtrot. The piece, sung entirely by Peter Gabriel, includes sections sung from the point of view of a variety of colorful characters, including John Pebble of Styx Enterprises, Mark Hall (aka The Winkler), Mrs. Barrow (a tenant) and even Joe Ordinary, a local pub denizen.

Artist:     Jimi Hendrix
Title:     In From The Storm
Source:     LP: The Cry Of Love
Writer:     Jimi Hendrix
Label:     MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1970
     Although nobody knows for sure what the final track lineup would have been for Jimi Hendrix's first studio album since 1968's Electric Ladyland, most everyone associated with him agrees that it would have been a double LP and that In From The Storm would have been included on it. The song was first released on The Cry Of Love, the first posthumus Hendrix album, and subsequently was included on Voodoo Soup, Alan Douglas's first attempt at recreating that legendary fourth album. The song also appears on First Rays Of The New Rising Sun, the CD that has replaced Voodoo Soup in the Hendrix catalog. The recording features Hendrix on guitar, Mitch Mitchell on drums and Hendrix's longtime friend Billy Cox on bass.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1802 (starts 1/10/18)



Well, let's see. Opening progression? Check. 1967 L.A. set? Check. Quiet and cool set? Check. Rolling Stones set? Check. More progressions, both up and down? Yep. Guess it's all there. Enjoy!

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Good Vibrations
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Wilson/Love
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    Although I had originally discovered top 40 radio in 1963 (when I had received a small Sony transistor radio for my birthday), it wasn't until 1966 that I really got into it in a big way. This way due to a combination of a couple of things: first, my dad bought a console stereo, and second, my junior high school went onto split sessions, meaning that I was home by one o'clock every day. This gave me unprecedented access to Denver's two big top 40 AM stations, as well as an FM station that was experimenting with a Top 100 format for a few hours each day. At first I was content to just listen to the music, but soon realized that the DJs were making a point of mentioning each song's chart position just about every time that song would play. Naturally I began writing all this stuff down in my notebook (when I was supposed to be doing my homework), until I realized that both KIMN and KBTR actually published weekly charts, which I began to diligently hunt down at various local stores. In addition to the songs occupying numbered positions on the charts, both stations included songs at the bottom of the list that they called "pick hits". These were new releases that had not been around long enough to achieve a chart position. The one that most stands out in my memory was the Beach Boys' Good Vibrations, a song I liked so much that I went out and bought it the afternoon I heard it. Within a few weeks Good Vibrations had gone all the way to the top of the charts, and I always felt that some of the credit should go to me for buying the record when it first came out. Over the next couple of years I bought plenty more singles, but to this day Good Vibrations stands out as the most important 45 RPM record purchase I ever made.
   
Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Rock And Roll Woman
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Buffalo Springfield did not sell huge numbers of records (except for the single For What It's Worth). Nor did they pack in the crowds. As a matter of fact, when they played the club across the street from where Love was playing, they barely had any audience at all. Artistically, though, it's a whole 'nother story. During their brief existence Buffalo Springfield launched the careers of no less than four major artists: Neil Young, Richie Furay, Jim Messina and Stephen Stills. They also recorded more than their share of tracks that have held up better than most of what else was being recorded at the time. Case in point: Rock and Roll Woman, a Stephen Stills tune that still sounds fresh well over 40 years after it was recorded.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Jennifer Juniper
Source:    British import CD: The Hurdy Gurdy Man
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    EMI (original label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    Donovan's British label, Pye, chose not to release 1967's Wear Your Love Like Heaven as a single. As a result, Donovan had no current singles on the British charts in January of 1968, when he recorded Jennifer Juniper. The song was an instant British hit when released the following month, going to the #5 spot on the charts. The song did not do as well when it was released a month later in the US, however, stalling out at #35. The song was later included on the 1968 LP The Hurdy Gurdy Man.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Come Together
Source:    LP: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:    1969
    After the Beatles released their 1968 double LP (the so-called White Album), they went to work on their final film project, a documentary about the band making an album. Unfortunately, what the cameras captured was a group on the verge of disintegration, and both the album and the film itself were shelved indefinitely. Instead, the band went to work recording an entirely new group of compositions. Somehow, despite the internal difficulties the band was going through, they managed to turn out a masterpiece: Abbey Road. Before the album itself came out, a single was released. The official A side was George Harrison's Something, the first Harrison song ever to be released as a Beatle A side. The other side was the song that opened the album itself, John Lennon's Come Together. In later years Come Together came to be Lennon's signature song and was a staple of his live performances.

Artist:      Guess Who
Title:    Talisman
Source:      CD: American Woman
Writer(s):    Bachman/Cummings
Label:    Buddha/BMG (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:     1970
     Often dismissed as lightweights, the Guess Who nonetheless put out a classic with the American Woman album. The only track on side one that was not released as a single was Talisman, a moody ballad that features Randy Bachman on acoustic guitar and Burton Cummings on vocals. The track includes a piano coda played by Cummings.

Artist:    Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:    Incense And Peppermints
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Carter/Gilbert/Weitz/King
Label:    Rhino (original label: Uni)
Year:    1967
    Incense and Peppermints is one of the iconic songs of the psychedelic era, yet when it was originally released to Los Angeles area radio stations it was intended to be the B side of The Birdman of Alkatrash. Somewhere along the line a DJ flipped the record over and started playing Incense And Peppermints instead. The song caught on and Uni Records (short for Universal, which is now the world's largest record company) picked up the Strawberry Alarm Clock's contract and reissued the record nationally with Incense And Peppermints as the A side.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Double Yellow Line
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
    One of the Original Sound singles that also appeared on the Warner Brothers LP Bonniwell Music Machine, Double Yellow Line features lyrics that were literally written by Bonniwell on the way to the recording studio. In fact, his inability to stay in his lane while driving with one hand and writing with the other resulted in a traffic ticket. The ever resourceful Bonniwell wrote the rest of the lyrics on the back of the ticket and even invited the officer in to watch the recording session. He declined.

Artist:     Leaves
Title:     Twilight Sanctuary
Source:     British import CD: All The Good That's Happening
Writer(s):    Pons/Arlin
Label:     Grapefruit (original label: Capitol)
Year:     1967
     The Leaves were one of those groups that never really caught on outside the L.A. area, despite maintaining a full schedule of gigs from 1965-67 and appearing in a handful of low budget films. In fact, low budget seems to be the operative term when it comes to the Leaves. After having minor success on the national charts with their first album for Mira, the group was signed to Capitol. The band only recorded one LP for Capitol, and it has to be considered one of the most inconsistent LPs ever recorded. A first listen to All The Good That's Happening leaves one with the impression that the album was recorded by several different bands, none of which really seemed to gel. The opening track, Twilight Sanctuary, manages to encapsulate that entire concept in one song, as somehow the vocals just don't seem to really fit with the instrumental track.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
Source:    Mono LP: Bringing It All Back Home
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Sundazed/Columbia
Year:    1965
    I recently saw a picture of Bob Dylan sitting alone in a theater with the caption "Bob Dylan sitting with everyone that's a better songwriter than he is". While I may not go quite that far, I have to admit that you would have to search far and wide to find any song with lyrics equal to It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding). The song was first performed in October of 1964 and recorded in January of 1965 for inclusion on his album Bringing It All Back Home. Famous lines from the song include "Money doesn't talk, it swears," and "He not busy being born is busy dying." Dylan himself has repeatedly cited the song as one of his songs that means the most to him, and he has continued to perform it throughout his career (an estimated 772 times as of 2015).

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    For Emily, Whenever I Might Find Her
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released on LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    Art Garfunkel's vocals were in the spotlight on For Emily, Whenever I Might Find Her, a track from the duo's third LP, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme. Other than the vocals, the only other instrument heard on the track is Paul Simon's guitar. Garfunkel has called the piece, which is still in his solo repertoire, "one of the most challenging" to perform, due to its somewhat free-form structure. A live version of the song was released as a single in 1972, making it to the # 53 spot on the charts. This was actually the second time the song appeared on 7" vinyl, as the studio version was used as the B side for the late 1966 single A Hazy Shade Of Winter.

Artist:    Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:    The Black Plague
Source:    British import CD: Winds Of Change
Writer(s):    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    Repertoire (original US label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    One of the most interesting recordings of 1967 was Eric Burdon And The Animals' The Black Plague, which appeared on the Winds Of Change album. The Black Plague is a spoken word piece dealing with life and death in a medieval village during the time of the Black Plague (natch), set to a somewhat gothic piece of music that includes Gregorian style chanting and an occasional voice calling out the words "bring out your dead" in the background. The album itself had a rather distinctive cover, consisting of a stylized album title accompanied by a rather lengthy text piece on a black background, something that has never been done before or since on an album cover.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)
Source:    CD: Electric Ladyland
Writer:    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)/Moon Turn The Tides (Gently, Gently Away) from the Electric Ladyland album is the longest work created purely in the studio by Jimi Hendrix, with a running time of over 16 minutes. The piece starts with tape effects that lead into the song's main guitar rift. The vocals and drums join in to tell a science fiction story set in a future world where the human race has had to move underwater in order to survive some unspecified catastrophe. After a couple verses, the piece goes into a long unstructured section made up mostly of guitar effects before returning to the main theme and closing out with more effects that combine volume control and stereo panning to create a circular effect. As is the case with several tracks on Electric Ladyland, 1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)/Moon Turn The Tides (Gently, Gently Away) features Hendrix on both guitar and bass, with Mitch Mitchell on drums and special guest Chris Wood (from Traffic) on flute.

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Catch Me Baby
Source:    CD: Live At The Carousel Ballroom-1968
Writer(s):    Albin/Andrew/Gtez/Gurley/Joplin
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 2012
    When it comes to music, Owsley "Bear" Stanley is best known for his association with the Grateful Dead, but he also worked with other groups from time to time. Among those other bands was Big Brother And The Holding Company, whom he captured on tape performing live at San Francisco's Carousel Ballroom in June of 1968. Bear's recording was not intended for public consumption, however. Instead, he deliberately recorded songs like Catch Me Baby for a very specific audience: the band itself. His technique was to feed the audio from the PA system (which in those days meant vocals with a bit of bleedover from the drums) onto one channel and everything else onto the other. This makes for an odd listening experience when the speakers are set up in a standard stereo configuration, but was an excellent way for the band members to assess their own performance. You might want to line the speakers up directly in front of you for this one, with the vocal speaker in the foreground and the instruments behind it. You'll then hear the performance pretty much the way the crowd at the Carousel Ballroom did on that June evening in 1968.
   
Artist:     Rolling Stones
Title:     Lady Jane
Source:     European import LP: Aftermath (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:     Jagger/Richards
Label:     Abkco (original label: London)
Year:     1966
     One of the best early Rolling Stones albums is 1966's Aftermath, which included such classics as Under My Thumb, Stupid Girl and the eleven-minute Goin' Home. Both the US and UK versions of the LP included the song Lady Jane, which was also released as the B side to Mother's Little Helper (which had been left off the US version of Aftermath to make room for Paint It, Black). The policy at the time in the US was for B sides that got a significant amount of airplay to be rated separately from the A side of the single, and Lady Jane managed to climb to the # 24 spot on the Hot 100 (Mother's Little Helper peaked at # 8).

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    I'm Free
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released in UK on LP: Out Of Our Heads and in US as 45 RPM single B side and on LP: December's Children)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original US label: London)
Year:    1965
    My 1965 the songwriting team of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards was in high gear, cranking out hit after hit with tunes like The Last Time and Satisfaction. The follow-up to Satisfaction was Get Off My Cloud, which included an excellent B side, I'm Free, that had already appeared in the UK as the last track on Out Of Our Heads. The song was left off the US version of the album, and would later appear on a US-only LP called December's Children (And Everybody's).

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Under My Thumb
Source:    CD: Aftermath
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1966
    With the exception of certain Beatle tracks, pretty much every popular song from the beginning of recorded music through the year 1966 had been released as a single either on 45 or 78 RPM records (and for a while in the 1950s, on both). With Under My Thumb, from the Aftermath album, the Rolling Stones proved that someone besides the fab four could record a classic that was available only as a 33 1/3 RPM LP track. In a sense, then, Aftermath can be considered the very foundation of album rock, as more and groups put their most creative energy into making albums rather than singles in the ensuing years. Thanks, Stones.

Artist:    Love
Title:    Signed D.C.
Source:    Mono CD: Love Story (originally released on LP: Love)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1966
    One of the most striking tunes on the first Love album is Signed D.C., a slow ballad in the tradition of House of the Rising Sun. The song takes the form of a letter penned by a heroin addict, and the imagery is both stark and disturbing. Although Lee was known to occasionally say otherwise, the song title probably refers to Love's original drummer Don Conka, who left the band before their first recording sessions.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
Source:    CD: The Grateful Dead
Writer(s):    Sonny Boy Williamson
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1967
    As long as there has been a music called "blues" there have been instances of one artist "borrowing" ideas from another, both lyrical and musical. Because of this it is often difficult to know the origins of many well-known tunes. One such song that has a rather confusing pedigree is Good Morning Little Schoolgirl. Part of the confusion is that there are actually two different songs that use the title, as well as many of the same lyrics. Adding to the mess is the fact that there are also multiple versions of the song's writer, Sonny Boy Williamson, as well. The earliest known version of the song was first recorded in 1937 by the original Sonny Boy Williamson in 1937 under the title Good Morning, School Girl and released on the Bluebird label. The melody itself, however, has been traced to a 1934 song called Back And Side Blues by Son Bonds. A 1948 recording of the song by Leroy Dallas used the title Good Morning Blues; Smokey Hogg's version, which reached number five on the Billboard R&B chart in 1950, was called Little School Girl. The first electric version of the song was released in 1953 by Joe Hill Louis, sporting the title Good Morning Little Angel. Several more versions of the song were released throughout the 1950s and early 60s by a variety of artists, including John Lee Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Muddy Waters, Doctor Ross, Junior Wells and Buddy Guy. Meanwhile, in 1961, Don Level and Bob Love, recording as Don And Bob, recorded an Everyly Brothers styled song called Good Morning Little Schoolgirl that used several of the same lyrics but had an entirely different melody and chord structure. This version was picked up by the Yardbirds for their second single, released in 1964. Most later rock versions of Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, including the one heard on the first Grateful Dead album, are based on the Sonny Boy Williamson original.

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

Artist:      Jefferson Airplane
Title:     Good Shepherd
Source:      CD: The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane (originally released on LP:Volunteers)
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Kaukonen
Label:    BMG/RCA
Year:     1969
     Jorma Kaukonen is given credit for arranging the traditional tune Good Shepherd for the fifth Jefferson Airplane album, Volunteers. The song is a good example of how much the group's sound had changed over a three year period, moving in several different directions at once.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Crawling King Snake
Source:    LP: L.A. Woman
Writer(s):    John Lee Hooker
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1971
    Although it had been part of the Doors' stage repertoire for several years, Crawling King Snake was actually recorded on the last day of sessions for their sixth studio album, L.A. Woman. Jim Morrison had designated the final day of recording for the album to be "blues day". Of the three songs recorded that day, Crawling King Snake was the only actual blues cover song, the others being Doors originals. The song itself was a 1949 R&B hit for John Lee Hooker, who was given songwriting credit for the piece, although earlier versions of the tune, dating back to the 1920s, are known to exist. L.A. Woman was the final Doors studio album to feature Morrison on vocals, and the singer expressed pleasure in being able to finally record a blues album with the band.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Morning Will Come (alternate mono mix)
Source:    CD: Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus
Writer:    Randy California
Label:    Epic/Legacy
Year:    1970
    When Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus was released, the band members told Rolling Stone magazine that if the album did sell significantly better than their previous couple of LPs, the group would probably disband. As it turned out, the album did reasonably well. Despite this vocalist Jay Ferguson and bassist Mark Andes left the band soon after to help form Jo Jo Gunne. In the years since, Twelve Dreams has come to be regarded as a landmark album, bridging the gap between the psychedelic era and the progressive rock movement of the early 1970s. Several tracks were considered for single release, including Morning Will Come. This alternate mono mix of the song puts a greater emphasis on the horns and vocals than the album version.

Artist:    Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band
Title:    Steal Softly Thru Snow
Source:    CD: Trout Mask Replica
Writer(s):    Don Van Vliet
Label:    Reprise (original label: Straight)
Year:    1969
    Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet), is one of the most controversial figures in modern music. Starting off covering blues standards such as Diddy Wah Diddy, the Captain quickly began taking on avant-garde qualities, which in turn led to frequent personnel changes in his Magic Band. Adding to the controversy is the question as to whether Beefheart actually composed the songs he took sole credit for, or whether, as claimed by some band members, he simply gave his musicians general guidelines and let them work out the details. Regardless, the third Beefheart album to be released was the first one in which he was given total artistic freedom, thanks to his old high school friend Frank Zappa being in charge of Straight Records. The result was Trout Mask Replica, a double album that is still considered an avant-garde rock classic. One of the more fun aspects of the album are the musician credits, which include Zoot Horn Rollo on glass finger guitar and flute, Antennae Jimmy Semens on steel-appendage guitar, Captain Beefheart on bass clarinet, tenor sax, soprano sax and vocal, The Mascara Snake on bass clarinet and vocal, Rockette Morton on bass and narration and Drumbo on, of course, drums. The album was produced by Zappa himself, who wisely kept his mouth shut and let the Captain do what he wanted on tracks like Steal Softly Thru Snow, whether Zappa thought it was right or wrong. The result was one of the most memorable releases of the psychedelic era.

Artist:    James Gang
Title:    Stone Rap/Collage
Source:    CD: Yer' Album
Writer(s):    Walsh/Cullie
Label:    MCA (original label: Bluesway)
Year:    1969
    Sometime in early 1969 (more or less) three students from Kent State University (yes, that one!) travelled to New York to record an album at the Hit Factory. Apparently they had been continually confronted by fans who kept asking them "when is yer' album coming out?", so when it came time to come up with a name for the LP, the natural choice was Yer' Album. That LP launched the careers of two legends: first, the band itself, the James Gang, who would (with an ever-changing lineup) release a total on nine studio albums (and one live LP) before finally disbanding in 1976. The second legend was lead guitarist/vocalist Joe Walsh, who would go on to have a highly successful solo career before becoming an even bigger star as a member of the Eagles. Walsh wrote about half the songs on that first album, including Collage, a collaboration with his friend Patrick Cullie. Although Yer Album was released in 1969, the James Gang had actually been in existence since 1966. Led by drummer Jim Fox, the band's original lineup also included bassist Tom Kriss, who would leave the group after the release of their first LP.

Artist:    Sorrows
Title:    The Makers
Source:    British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution (originally released in Italy on LP: Old Songs, New Songs)
Writer(s):    Chuck Fryers
Label:    Grapefruit (original label: Miura)
Year:    1968
    The Sorrows were originally formed in 1963 as one of many British R&B-styled groups (think early Who and Kinks). They signed with Pye records the following year, releasing several singles and one album before disbanding relocating to Italy in 1967, where they went through several personnel changes. In 1968 that had a hit with their Italian language version of the Hollies' Listen To Me on the Miura label. This led to an album for the label called Old Songs, New Songs, which combined cover versions of current British hits and Sorrows originals. The best of the original tracks was The Makers, penned by new member Chuck Fryers.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1802 (starts 1/10/18)


    Two sets this time. Following a Traffic classic, we run through the years 1970-73...in reverse. From there it's all 1969, from the Beatles to Led Zeppelin.

Artist:     Traffic
Title:     Feelin' Alright
Source:     CD: Smiling Phases (originally released on LP: Traffic)
Writer:     Dave Mason
Label:     Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:     1968
     Dave Mason left Traffic after the band's first album, Mr. Fantasy, but returned in time to contribute several songs to the band's eponymous second LP. Among those was the classic Feelin' Alright, which would become one of the most covered songs in rock history.

Artist:    Rick Wakeman
Title:    Catherine Of Aragon
Source:    LP: The Six Wives Of Henry VIII
Writer(s):    Rick Wakeman
Label:    A&M
Year:    1973
    Rick Wakeman left the band Strawbs in 1971 to replace keyboardist Tony Kaye in the more successful Yes. Kaye had been asked to leave Yes over his reluctance to use synthesizers. By the end of the year Wakeman had signed a five-year deal with A&M Records as a solo artist, although he continued to perform as a member of Yes as well. His first album for A&M, released in 1973, was The Six Wives Of Henry VIII, a series of instrumental pieces that Wakeman described as "my personal conception of their characters in relation to keyboard instruments." The opening track, Catherine Of Aragorn, actually started off as a possible track for the album Fragile, the first Yes album to feature Wakeman on keyboards. When the tune wasn't used for Fragile, Wakeman reworked it for his solo project. The track features fellow Yes members Steve Howe on guitar and Chris Squire on bass, along with percussionist Ray Cooper from Strawbs.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Lazy
Source:    LP: Machine Head
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1972
    The longest track on Deep Purple's most popular album, Machine Head, Lazy was long a concert favorite, often running over 10 minutes in length. The original studio version starts with a Jon Lord solo on a heavily overdriven Hammond organ. This leads into the first instance of the song's main riff, played by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. The two of them continue to trade licks as the rest of the band comes in, building to one of the hardest rocking songs ever recorded.

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    Embryo/Children Of The Grave
Source:    CD: Master Of Reality
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osbourne/Butler/Ward
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    One of the spookiest experiences in my life was crashing at a stranger's house after having my mind blown at a Grand Funk Railroad concert in the fall of 1971. A bunch of us had ridden back to Weatherford, Oklahoma, from Norman (about an hour's drive) and somehow I ended up separated from my friends Mike and DeWayne, in whose college dorm room I had been crashing for a couple of days. So here I am, lying on the couch in this room with black walls, a black light, a few posters and a cheap stereo playing a brand new album I had never heard before: Black Sabbath's Master Of Reality. Suddenly I notice this weird little tapping sound going back and forth from speaker to speaker. Such was my state of mind at the time that I really couldn't tell if it was a hallucination or not. The stereo was one of those late 60s models that you could stack albums on, and whoever had put the album on had left the stereo in repeat mode before heading off to bed, with no more albums stacked after the Sabbath LP. This meant that every twenty minutes or so I would hear Children Of The Grave, with that weird little tapping sound going back and forth from speaker to speaker. Trust me, it was creepy, as was the whispering at the end of track. No wonder Ozzy Ozbourne called Children Of The Grave "the most kick-ass song we'd ever recorded."

Artist:    Faces
Title:    Flying
Source:    LP: The Big Ball (originally released on LP: First Step)
Writer(s):    Stewart/Wood/Lane
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    Although credited to the Small Faces in North America, First Step was actually the debut album of Faces, a group combining the talents of Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood (from the Jeff Beck group) with what was left of the Small Faces (Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan) following the departure of bandleader Steve Marriott. Unlike later Faces albums, First Step featured songwriting contributions from all five band members, including Stewart, Wood and Lane collaborating on the album's centerpiece, Flying.

Artist:     Beatles
Title:     Abbey Road Medley #2 (Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End)
Source:     LP: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:     1969
     The Beatles had been experimenting with songs leading into other songs since the Sgt. Pepper's album. With Abbey Road they took it a step further, with side two of the album containing two such medleys. The second one consists of Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight and The End, with Her Majesty (not included on this week's show) tossed in as a kind of "hidden" track at the end of the album. The End is somewhat unique in that it features solos by all three guitar-playing members of the band, as well as the only Ringo Starr drum solo to appear on a Beatles album.

Artist:    Shy Limbs
Title:    Love
Source:    Mono British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    John Dickenson
Label:    Grapefruit (original label: CBS)
Year:    1969
    The volatile nature of the late 60s British rock scene is clearly illustrated by a band called Shy Limbs. Formed by songwriter John Dickenson and vocalist Greg Lake, both former members of a band called Shame, the band also included guitarist/bassist Alan Bowery (from a band called the Actress) and drummer Andy McCulloch. The B side of the band's first single, a song called Love, featured guest guitarist Robert Fripp, who was in the process of forming his own band, King Crimson, at the time. Before the single was even released, Lake had left to join Fripp's band, and Shy Limbs released a second single without him before disbanding, at which time McCulloch replaced Michael Giles in King Crimson. By then, however, Lake had left King Crimson to co-found Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Love In Vain
Source:    LP: Let It Bleed
Writer(s):    Robert Johnson
Label:    London
Year:    1969
    Starting with the 1966 album Aftermath, the Rolling Stones largely abandoned doing cover songs in favor of recording original material (the exception being the US-only 1967 Flowers album, which included several outtakes from earlier sessions). With the 1968 release of Beggar's Banquet, however, the band began to once again record cover tunes, but in a style much more consistent with their own material. This trend continued with the 1969 LP Let It Bleed, which included (as its second track) an old Robert Johnson song called Love In Vain. Truth to tell, for a long time I thought it was written by Mick and Keith.

Artist:    Mountain
Title:    Blood Of The Sun
Source:    CD: Woodstock 2
Writer(s):    West/Pappalardi/Collins
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    There are conflicting stories concerning this recording of Mountain's Blood Of The Sun. The producers of the anniversary edition of the Woodstock 2 album insist that it was indeed recorded at the legendary rock festival in the summer of 1969. The four-disc Rhino Records collection Back To Yasgur's Farm, however, contains a noticably different recording that, according to that collection's compilers was the actual Woodstock performance of the song. The liner notes for that collection go on to say that the performance used on Woodstock 2 was actually recorded somewhere else and used at the band's insistence rather than the actual Woodstock performance. As this version, which has a slightly slower tempo, giving it a "heavier" feel, is technically a stronger performance of the song, this second story is probably closer to the truth.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix
Title:    Stone Free
Source:    CD: Valleys Of Neptune
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 2010
    The 1969 version of Stone Free actually exists in many forms. The song was originally recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1966 and issued as the B side of Hey Joe in Europe and the UK, but not in the Western hemisphere. As Hendrix always felt that this original version was rushed, due to financial restraints, he resolved to record a new version following the release of Electric Ladyland. The band went into the studio in April of 1969 and recorded a new, much cleaner sounding stereo version of Stone Free, which eventually appeared on the Jimi Hendrix box set. This was not the last version of the song to be recorded, however. In May of 1969 Hendrix, working with drummer Mitch Mitchell and his old friend Billy Cox on bass, created an entirely new arrangement of the song. These new tracks were then juxtaposed with the lead guitar and vocal tracks from the April recording to make the version heard on the 2010 CD Valleys Of Neptune.

Artist:    Zephyr
Title:    Cross The River
Source:    CD: Zephyr
Writer:    Candie and David Givens
Label:    One Way (original label: ABC Probe)
Year:    1969
    The Boulder, Colorado band Zephyr featured the vocal talents of Candie Givens, who had a multi-octave range that would not be equalled until Mariah Carey hit the scene years later. Also in the band was lead guitarist Tommy Bolin, who would go on to take over lead guitar duties with first the James Gang and then Deep Purple before embarking on a solo career. Unfortunately that career (and Bolin's life) was permanently derailed by a heroin overdose at age 28. The rest of this talented band consisted of Robbie Chamerlin on drums, John Faris on keyboards and David Givens (who co-wrote Cross The River with his wife Candie) on bass.

Artist:     Led Zeppelin
Title:     Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman)
Source:     CD: Led Zeppelin II
Writer:     Page/Plant/Bonham/Jones
Label:     Atlantic
Year:     1969
     For years album (now called classic) rock radio stations have been playing Led Zeppelin's Heartbreaker and letting the album play through to the next song, Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman). Back when Stuck in the Psychedelic Era was a local show being played live I occassionally made it a point to play Heartbreaker and follow it with something else entirely. These days I tend to waffle a bit on the whole thing; currently I'm in favor of just playing the two songs together as they appear on the album. Next time, who knows?

Monday, January 1, 2018

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1801 (starts 1/3/18)


This week's show starts and ends with '69 in San Francisco. We open with Sly and the Family Stone performing one of the all-time greats and close with an entire album side from one of the original jam bands, Quicksilver Messenger Service. Happy Trails, everyone!

Artist:    Sly And The Family Stone
Title:    I Want To Take You Higher
Source:    CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Stand and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Sly Stone
Label:    Priority (original label: Epic)
Year:    1969
    Sylvester Stewart was a major presence on the San Francisco music scene for several years, both as a producer for Autumn Records and as a popular local disc jockey. In 1967 he decided to take it to the next level, using his studio connections to put together Sly And The Family Stone. The band featured a solid lineup of musicians, including Larry Graham, whose growling bass line figures prominently in their 1969 recording of I Want To Take You Higher. The song was originally released as a B side, but after the group blew away the crowd at Woodstock the recording was re-released as a single the following year.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    What A Bringdown
Source:    CD: Goodbye Cream
Writer(s):    Ginger Baker
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1969
    Right around the time that Cream's third LP, Wheels Of Fire, was released, the band announced that it would be splitting up following its upcoming tour. Before starting the tour the band recorded three tracks, each one written by one of the three band members. Both Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce worked with collaborators on their songs, while drummer Ginger Baker was given full credit for his tune, What A Bringdown (which was sung by Bruce). As it turned out those would be the only studio recordings on the final Cream album, Goodbye Cream, released in 1969, which in addition to the three new songs had several live tracks from a 1968 performance at the Los Angeles Palladium.

Artist:    Mother Tucker's Yellow Duck
Title:    One Ring Jane
Source:    British import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released in Canada on LP: Home Grown Stuff)
Writer(s):    McDougall/Ivanuck
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1969
    Sometimes called Canada's most psychedelic band, Mother Tucker's Yellow Duck was formed in British Columbia in 1967. After recording one unsuccessful single for London, the Duck switched to Capitol Records' Canadian division and scored nationally with the album Home Grown Stuff. After a couple more years spent opening for big name bands such as Alice Cooper and Deep Purple and a couple more albums (on the Capitol-owned Duck Records) the group disbanded, with vocalist/guitarist Donny McDougall joining the Guess Who in 1972.

Artist:     Kinks
Title:     Sunny Afternoon
Source:     Mono Canadian import CD: 25 Years-The Ultimate Collection (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Face To Face)
Writer:     Ray Davies
Label:     Polygram/PolyTel (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1966
     1966 was the year that Ray Davies's songwriting began to take a sardonic turn. Sunny Afternoon, using a first person perspective, manages to lampoon the idle rich through mock sympathy. Good stuff, and the Kinks' last song to make US top 40 charts until 1970, when the international hit Lola gave the band a much needed career boost.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    I'm Not Like Everybody Else
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1966
    One of the most popular songs in the Kinks' catalog, I'm Not Like Everybody Else was originally written for another British band, the Animals. When that group decided not to record the tune, the Kinks did their own version of the song, issuing it as the B side of the 1966 hit Sunny Afternoon. Although written by Ray Davies, it was sung by his brother Dave, who usually handled the lead vocals on only the songs he himself composed. Initially not available on any LPs, the song has in recent years shown up on various collections and as a bonus track on CD reissues of both the Kink Kontroversy and Face To Face albums. Both Davies brothers continue to perform the song in their live appearances.

Artist:     Kinks
Title:     Dead End Street
Source:     Mono Canadian import CD: 25 Years-The Ultimate Collection (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:     Polygram/PolyTel (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1967
     The last major Kinks hit in the US was Sunny Afternoon in the summer of 1966. The follow-up Deadend Street, released in November, was in much the same style, but did not achieve the same kind of success in the US (although it was a top five hit in the UK). The Kinks would not have another major US hit until Lola in 1970.

Artist:     Procol Harum
Title:     She Wandered Through The Garden Fence
Source:     Simulated stereo LP: Procol Harum (stereo bonus track)
Writer(s):     Brooker/Reid
Label:     Deram
Year:     1967
     The first Procol Harum LP, although recorded using 4-track equipment, was originally mixed in monoraul only. In the US, however, where mono LPs were being phased out, the album was electronically re-channeled to simulate stereophonic sound. This practice was largely abandoned by 1970, although there were still a few exceptions, usually among reissues of older recordings. If you really want to know how this "fake" stereo sounds, we have She Wandered Through The Garden Fence, from one of those original 1967 US pressings of the album. 

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star
Source:    Mono LP: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    Hillman/McGuinn
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    By early 1967 there was a building resentment among musicians and rock press alike concerning the instant (and in many eyes unearned) success of the Monkees. One notable expression of this resentment was the Byrds' So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star, which takes a somewhat sarcastic look at what it takes to succeed in the music business. Unfortunately, much of what they talk about in the song continues to apply today (although the guitar has been somewhat supplanted by the computer as the instrument of choice).

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Turn! Turn! Turn!
Source:    Simulated Stereo CD: The Best Of 60s Supergroups (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Turn! Turn! Turn!)
Writer(s):    Pete Seeger
Label:    Priority (origina label: Columbia)
Year:    1965
     After their success covering Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man, the band turned to an even more revered songwriter: the legendary Pete Seeger. Turn! Turn! Turn!, with lyrics taken directly from the book of Ecclesiastes, was first recorded by Seeger in the early 60s, nearly three years after he wrote the song. The song was never mixed in true stereo, forcing the band's record label to use a simulated stereo mix on stereo copies of the LP. Once monoraul albums were phased out in the late 1960s, this "fake" stereo version remained the only one available for many years, appearing on various compilations before a mid-1990s remaster of the Turn! Turn! Turn! album used the original mono mix.

Artist:    Ragamuffins
Title:    Two Much
Source:    Mono CD: Ignition (Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Sundazed
Year:    Recorded 1965, released 2000
    In the early 1960s guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Sean Bonniwell left the Wayfarers (a folk group that recorded for the RCA Victor label) to embark on a musical journey that would eventually lead to the formation of the Music Machine in 1966. His first step in that direction was to put together a three-piece band called the Ragamuffins, with bass player (and future bigtime record producer) Keith Olsen and drummer Ron Edgar, himself an early folk-rocker. The group recorded a few demos in 1965, including the British-influenced Two Much. Within a year the group would expand with the addition of organist Doug Rhodes and lead guitarist Mark Landon to form the Music Machine, known for the intense two-minute long punk classic Talk Talk.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Lovin' You
Source:    LP: Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful
Writer(s):    John Sebastian
Label:    Sundazed/Kama-Sutra
Year:    1966
    The Lovin' Spoonful hit their creative peak with their third album, Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful, in 1966. The LP included four hit singles, plus a couple of songs that became hits for other artists. One of those tunes was the album's opening track, Lovin' You, which Bobby Darin took into the top 40 that same year and Dolly Parton later covered for her award-winning album Here You Go Again.

Artist:    Left Banke
Title:    Desiree
Source:    Mono CD: More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Brown/Feher
Label:    Rhino (original label: Smash)
Year:    1967
    For a while it looked as if the Left Banke would emerge as one of the most important bands of the late 60s. They certainly got off to a good start, with back-to-back top 10 singles Walk Away Renee and Pretty Ballerina. But then bandleader Michael Brown and Smash Records made a serious misstep, issuing a Brown solo effort called Ivy Ivy utilizing studio musicians and trying to pass it off as a Left Banke record. The other band members refused to go along with the charade and sent out letters to their fan club membership denouncing the single. The outraged fans, in turn, threatened to boycott any radio stations that played the single. Brown and the rest of the band, meanwhile, managed to patch things up enough to record a new single, Desiree, and released the song in late 1967. By then, however, radio stations were leery of playing anything with the words Left Banke on the label, and the song failed to chart, despite being an outstanding single. Brown left the Left Banke soon after.

Artist:        Randy Newman
Title:        Last Night I Had A Dream
Source:      Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:        Randy Newman
Label:        Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:        1968
        Randy Newman has, over the course of the past fifty-plus years, established himself as a Great American Writer of Songs. His work includes dozens of hit singles (over half of which were performed by other artists), nearly two dozen movie scores and eleven albums as a solo artist. Newman has won five Grammys, as well as two Oscars and Three Emmys. Last Night I Had A Dream was Newman's second single for the Reprise label  (his third overall), coming out the same year as his first LP, which did not include the song.

Artist:     Savoy Brown
Title:     Made Up My Mind
Source:     British import CD: A Step Further
Writer:     Chris Youlden
Label:     Deram (original US label: Parrot)
Year:     1969
     To coincide with a US tour, the fourth Savoy Brown album, A Step Further, was actually released in North America several months before it was in the UK, with Made Up My Mind being simultaneously released as a single. Luckily for the band, 1969 was a year that continued the industry-wide trend away from hit singles and toward successful albums instead, at least among the more progressive groups, as the single itself tanked. Aided by a decent amount of airplay on progressive FM radio, however, the album (the last to feature lead vocalist Chris Youlden) peaked comfortably within the top 100.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    House Of The Rising Sun
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of The Animals (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    trad., arr. Price
Label:    Abkco (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1964
    Sometimes, to use a baseball analogy, you hit a home run in your first time out fo the box. Such was the case with the Animals recording of the traditional folk song House Of The Rising Sun. The record, released in 1964, went to the top of the charts virtually all over the planet and the song itself has long since come to be identified specifically with the Animals, despite its 19th century (some say even earlier) origins. In fact, Bob Dylan, who recorded the song years before the Animals, removed the song from his own repertoire when he was accused of stealing it from the latter band. Dave Van Ronk, who taught the song to Dylan in the first place, has claimed that the Animals were actually using his arrangement of the song. Regardless, the fact remains that if you were going to play guitar in a rock and roll band in the mid-60s you had to know how to play the Animals version of House Of The Rising Sun. It helped if you had the stamina in your chord hand to still be playing it six verses later.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    You Told Me
Source:    CD: Headquarters
Writer(s):    Michael Nesmith
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1967      
            After Don Kirschner got himself fired from Colgems for issuing the album More of the Monkees without the band's knowledge or permission (as well as a subsequent single that was sent out in promo form to radio stations and almost immediately rescinded), the band members insisted on having greater artistic control over what was being issued with their names on it. The end result was the Headquarters album, the only Monkees LP to feature the band members playing virtually all the instruments (with a few exceptions, notably producer Chip Douglas playing bass guitar). Although the Michael Nesmith composition You Told Me starts off side one of the LP, it was actually the third and final Nesmith track to be recorded for Headquarters. Peter Tork plays banjo on the song, which was sung by Nesmith himself.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Truckin'
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Hunter/Garcia/Lesh/Weir
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    The nearest thing the Grateful Dead had to a hit single before 1986 was Truckin', a feelgood tune sung by Bob Weir from the American Beauty album. I actually have a video clip on DVD of the band doing the song live on some TV show.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Come Together
Source:    CD: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1969
    After the Beatles released their 1968 double LP (the so-called White Album), they went to work on their final film project, a documentary about the band making an album. Unfortunately, what the cameras captured was a group on the verge of disintegration, and both the album and the film itself were shelved indefinitely. Instead, the band went to work recording an entirely new group of compositions. Somehow, despite the internal difficulties the band was going through, they managed to turn out a masterpiece: Abbey Road. Before the album itself came out, a single was released. The official A side (green Apple label) was George Harrison's Something, the first Harrison song ever to be released as a Beatle A side. The other A side (Apple core label) was the song that opened the album itself, John Lennon's Come Together. In later years Come Together came to be Lennon's signature song and was a staple of his live performances.

Artist:     Merry-Go-Round
Title:     Listen, Listen!
Source:     Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):     Emmitt Rhodes
Label:     Rhino (original label: A&M)
Year:     1968
     In 1968, drummer/vocalist Emmit Rhodes was on the verge of branching out on a solo career. One of the last songs released under the Merry-Go-Round banner was a tune called Listen, Listen! The track shows a strong Beatle influence, although it tends to rock out a bit harder than the average Beatle song.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Red House
Source:    Mono CD: Blues (originally released in UK on LP: Are You Experienced)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (original UK label: Track)
Year:    1967
    One of the first songs recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Red House was omitted from the US version of Are You Experienced because, in the words of one recording company executive: "America does not like blues". At the time the song was recorded, Noel Redding was not yet comfortable using a bass guitar, and would work out his bass parts on a slightly-detuned hollow body six-string guitar with the tone controls on their muddiest setting (I learned to play bass the same way myself). The original recording of Red House that was included on the UK version of Are You Experienced features Redding doing exactly that. A second take of the song, with overdubs, was included on the 1969 Smash Hits album, but the original mono version heard here was not available in the US until the release of the Blues CD in 1994.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Pet Sounds
Source:    Mono LP: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Brian Wilson
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    Originally titled Run James Run, Brian Wilson's instrumental Pet Sounds was intended for a James Bond film, but instead ended up as the title track of the Beach Boys' most celebrated album (although it actually appears close to the end of the album itself). The track somewhat resembles a 60s update of the Tiki room recordings made by Martin Denny in the 1950s, with heavily reverberated bongos and guiro featured prominently over a latin beat. Although credited to the Beach Boys, only Brian Wilson appears on the track (on piano), with the remainder of the instruments played by various Los Angeles studio musicians collectively known as the Wrecking Crew.

Artist:    Grass Roots
Title:    You're A Lonely Girl
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Sloan/Barri
Label:    Dunhill
Year:    1966
    In late 1965 songwriters/producers P.F. Sloan (Eve of Destruction) and Steve Barri decided to create a series of records by a band called the Grass Roots. The problem was that there was no band called the Grass Roots (at least not that they knew of), so Sloan and Barri decided to recruit an existing band and talk them into changing their name. The band they found was the Bedouins, one of the early San Francisco bands. As the rush to sign SF bands was still months away, the Bedouins were more than happy to record the songs Sloan and Barri picked out for them. The first single by the newly-named Grass Roots was a cover of Bob Dylan's Mr. Jones (Ballad Of A Thin Man). The B side was You're A Lonely Girl, a Sloan/Barri composition. The Bedouins would soon grow disenchanted with their role and move back to San Francisco, leaving Sloan and Barri the task of finding a new Grass Roots. Eventually they did, and the rest is history. The Bedouins never recorded again.

Artist:     Them
Song:     One Two Brown Eyes
Source:     Mono LP: Them
Writer(s):    Van Morrison
Label:     Parrott
Year:     1964
     Van Morrison's One Two Brown Eyes was first released in the UK in late 1964 as the B side of Them's first single. It was included on the US version of Them's first album, but not on the version released in the UK.

Artist:    It's A Beautiful Day
Title:    Don And Dewey
Source:    LP: Marrying Maiden
Writer(s):    David LaFlamme
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1970
    The highlight of the 1970 album Deep Purple In Rock is the ten-minute long antiwar song Child In Time, which got a considerable amount of airplay, both in the US and Europe. Several critics picked up on the fact that the song's opening organ riff was an exact copy of the opening of Bombay Calling, a track from the first album by It's A Beautiful Day, released in 1968. While this may seem on the surface to be a clear case of plagiarism, there are other factors to consider. For one thing, once you get past the intro, the two songs move in entirely different directions. Also, there is good reason to believe that Deep Purple "borrowed" the riff (which they freely admitted at the time, incidentally) as a bit of quid pro quo in the first place. You see, two years earlier, at around the same time as the first It's A Beautiful Day album came out, Deep Purple released their second hit single in the US, a cover of Neil Diamond's Kentucky Woman. The B side of that single was an instrumental called Hard Road, that also appeared on their second LP, The Book Of Taleisyn, under the title Wring That Neck. Two years later, at around the same time that Deep Purple In Rock appeared on the record racks, the second It's A Beautiful Day album, Marrying Maiden, was released. The opening of that album, an instrumental called Don And Dewey, bears more than a passing resemblance to Hard Road (Wring That Neck); it is practically a note for note copy of the Deep Purple track, albeit scored for different instruments. So the question is: were both Child In Time and Don And Dewey examples of plagiarism, or were they in fact sly declarations of admiration between the two bands? Whatever the answer is, it doesn't change the fact that they are all excellent tracks; in fact, Don And Dewey is by far the best song on Marrying Maiden, and accordingly got the most airplay, especially on the US West Coast.

Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    Mona/Maiden Of The Cancer Moon/Calvary/Happy Trails
Source:    LP: Happy Trails
Writer(s):    McDaniel/Duncan/Evans
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    Most everyone familiar with Quicksilver Messenger Service agrees that the band's real strength was its live performances. Apparently the folks at Capitol Records realized this as well, since the band's second LP was recorded (mostly) live at Bill Graham's two Fillmore Auditoriums. The second side of the Happy Trails album starts with a Bo Diddly cover, Mona, which segues directly into a Gary Duncan composition, Maiden Of The Cancer Moon. The original performance segued directly into the more avant-garde Calvary (also credited to Duncan), but for the album a studio recreation of that performance was used (although the album sleeve makes it clear that it was recorded "live" at Golden State Recorders, indicating that it was done in a single take without any overdubs). The album side finishes up with a rather goofy take on the Roy Rogers/Dale Evans signature song Happy Trails, which Evans herself wrote.