Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1808 (starts 2/21/18)



    Following the recent pattern of mini-themes for each of the show's segments, we have: first, a progression from folk to psychedelia and onward to chaos; next, two bands from the L.A. Underground. For our third segment we have both a 1968 set and then a short journey from the Beatles to the Stones via Los Angeles. Finally, a vinyl replay segment that starts with the vinyl versions of three tunes that have been played in recent weeks from CD sources and continues with a set that runs from 1965 to 1969.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    Sparrow
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released on LP: Wednesday Morning, 3AM)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1964
    Sparrow is one of Paul Simon's most memorable tunes from the first Simon And Garfunkel album, Wednesday Morning 3AM. The 1964 album failed to make the charts and was soon deleted from the Columbia catalog. The LP was re-issued in 1966 after producer Tom Wilson added electric instruments to another track from the album, The Sound Of Silence, turning Simon And Garfunkel into household names.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    From A Buick 6
Source:    45 RPM single B side (promo copy)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Although there were several unissued recordings made during the Highway 61 Revisited sessions, Dylan and his producer, Tom Wilson, chose to instead use one of the already released album tracks as the B side for Positively 4th Street in September of 1965. The chosen track was From A Buick 6, a song that is vintage Dylan through and through.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    The Trip
Source:    Mono CD: Sunshine On The Mountain (originally released as 45 RPM B side and on LP: Sunshine Superman)
Writer:    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Sony (original label: Epic)
Year:    1966
    Donovan had already established a reputation in his native Scotland as the UK's answer to Bob Dylan, but had not had much success in the US, where his records were being released on the relatively poorly distributed Hickory label. That all changed in 1966, however, when he began to move beyond his folk roots and embrace a more electric sound. Unlike Dylan, who basically kept the same style as his acoustic songs, simply adding electic instruments, Donovan took a more holistic approach. The result was a body of music with a much broader range of sounds. The first of these new electric tunes was Sunshine Superman, sometimes cited as the first top 10 psychedelic hit. The B side of Sunshine Superman was a song called The Trip, which managed to be even more psychedelic than it's A side. Both songs soon appeared on Donovan's major US label debut, an album that was not even released in the UK due to a contractual dispute between the singer/songwriter and Pye Records.

Artist:    Kaleidoscope
Title:    Flight From Ashiya
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Daltry/Pumer
Label:    Rhino (original label: Fontana)
Year:    1967
    Although they did not have any hit singles, London's Kaleidoscope had enough staying power to record two album's worth of material for the Fontana label before disbanding. The group's first release was Flight From Ashiya, a single released in September of 1967. Describing a bad plane trip with a stoned pilot, the song is filled with chaotic images, making the song's story a bit hard to follow. Still, it's certainly worth a listen.

Artist:     Chambers Brothers
Title:     You Got The Power-To Turn Me On
Source:     45 RPM single B side
Writer:     Willie Chambers
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1970
     The Chambers Brothers are one of the oddities of the psychedelic era. Formed in the fifties as a gospel group, the band slowly became more secularized over a period of time. This change led ultimately to their best-known song, Time Has Come Today, released in 1967 but not getting significant airplay until the following year. Time Has Come Today, however, was unlike any other song in their repertoire, which was much more funky in nature. You Got The Power-To Turn Me On, released as a B side in 1970, is a more typical example of the Chambers Brothers synthesis of psychedelic and funk, with a strong dose of blues thrown in for good measure.

Artist:            Blind Faith
Title:        Do What You Like
Source:      CD: Blind Faith
Writer:    Ginger Baker
Label:     Polydor
Year:        1969
       Ginger Baker basically invented the rock drum solo, or at least was the first to record one in the studio, with the track Toad from the Fresh Cream album, released in 1966. A live version of the song was featured on the Wheels Of Fire album in 1968. The following year, recording technology had progressed to the point of allowing a true stereo mix of Baker's massive double bass drum setup for the track Do What You Like, a much more sophisticated composition than Toad. Featuring a vocal track as well as solos by all four band members, Do What You Like runs over 15 minutes in length.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    The Soft Parade
Source:    CD: The Soft Parade
Writer(s):    Jim Morrison
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1969
    The Doors caught a lot of flack from their fans for their departure from the style that made them popular when they released their fourth LP, The Soft Parade. Ironically, the track that most resembles their previous efforts was the nearly nine minute title track, which starts with one of Jim Morrison's best-known monologues. You cannot petition the Lord with prayer, indeed!

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Changeling
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1971
    Originally chosen by the band to be the first single released from the L.A. Woman album, Changeling (listed on the album cover as The Changeling) was withdrawn in favor of Love Her Madly at the behest of Jan Holtzman, president of Elektra Records. Changeling later appeared as the B side of the album's next single, Riders On The Storm.

Artist:      Doors
Title:     Shaman's Blues
Source:      CD: The Soft Parade
Writer:    Jim Morrison
Label:    Elektra
Year:     1969
     Often dismissed as the weakest entry in the Doors catalogue, The Soft Parade nonetheless is significant in that for the first time songwriting credits were given to individual band members. Shaman's Blues, in my opinion one of the four redeeming tracks on the album, is Jim Morrison's.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Trouble
Source:    British import CD: The Ultimate Turn On (originally released on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    Sean Bonniwell had definite plans for the Music Machine's first album. His primary goal was to have all original material (with the exception of a slowed-down version of Hey Joe that he and fellow songwriter Tim Rose had been working on; (before you ask, both Rose and the Music Machine recorded it before Jimi Hendrix did). Unfortunately, the shirts at Original Sound Records did not take their own company name seriously and inserted four cover songs that the band had recorded for a local TV show. (This was just the first in a series of bad decisions by the aforementioned shirts that led to a great band not getting the success it deserved.) The best way to listen to Turn On The Music Machine, then, is to program your CD player to skip all the extra cover songs. Listened to that way, this track becomes the second song on the disc, following the classic Talk Talk.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Wrong
Source:    CD: Turn On The Music Machine
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Collectables (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    Sean Bonniwell was a member of the mainstream (i.e. lots of appearances on TV variety shows hosted by people like Perry Como and Bob Hope) folk group the Lamplighters in the early 60s. By 1966 he had morphed into one of the more mysterious figures on the LA music scene, leading a proto-punk band dressed entirely in black. Bonniwell himself wore a single black glove (Michael Jackson was about seven years old at the time), and was one of the most prolific songwriters of the time. His recordings, often featuring the distinctive Farfisa organ sound, were a primary influence on later LA bands such as Iron Butterfly and the Doors. A classic example of the Music Machine sound was the song Wrong, which was issued as the B side of the group's most successful single, Talk Talk.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Ultimate Turn On (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1967
    Someone should make a movie based on the life of Sean Bonniwell, the former member of the "whitebread folk" group New Christy Minstrels turned black-clad leader of one of the premier punk-rock bands of all time. Between being lied to by record companies and screwed over by his own manager, Bonniwell nonetheless managed to record two LPs worth of high-quality tracks with two entirely-different incarnations of the Music Machine before becoming disillusioned and leaving the music business entirely by the end of the decade. The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly, heard here in its original mono mix, was the last single released by the original lineup on Original Sound Records in early 1967. A new stereo mix of the song was issued later on in the year on the LP Bonniwell Music Machine on the Warner Brothers label.

Artist:    Dick Dale/Del-Tones
Title:    Take It Off
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of Dick Dale And His Del-Tones (originally released on LP: Surfer's Choice)
Writer(s):    Dick Dale
Label:    Rhino (original label: Del-Tone)
Year:    1962
    One of the most overlooked talents in the history of rock was guitarist Dick Dale. For one thing, the man pretty much single-handedly invented surf music. As an avid surfer himself, Dale wanted to express, through his guitar, the feel of catching a wave on a surfboard. Playing left-handed, Dale also pioneered the use of Leo Fender's latest invention, the portable reverb unit. Several variations of Fender Reverb amps were field tested by Dale, who played to crowds numbering in the thousands at a time when most rock shows were held in theaters with capacities of a few hundred. Dale was also a major influence on many young West Coast guitarists, including fellow left-hander Jimi Hendrix, who counted Dale as a friend as well. After releasing a handful of singles on his own Del-Tone label starting in September of 1961, Dale put out his first LP, Surfer's Choice, in November of 1962, two months after the Beach Boys released their own debut LP. Surfer's choice was recorded live, with the reverb in full bloom on tracks like Take It Off.

Artist:    H.P. Lovecraft
Title:    Mobius Trip
Source:    CD: Two Classic Albums from H. P. Lovecraft: H. P. Lovecraft/H. P. Lovecraft II (originally released on LP: H.P. Lovecraft II)
Writer(s):    George Edwards
Label:    Collector's Choice (original label: Philips)
Year:    1968
    The second album by H.P. Lovecraft (the band, not the author) is sometimes referred to as the ultimate acid rock album. In fact, it has been rumoured to be the first album made entirely under the influence of LSD (although the same has been said of the 1967 Jefferson Airplane LP After Bathing At Baxter's and both albums by the 13th Floor Elevators as well). This may in part because the band had relocated from their native Chicago to Marin County, California, where they shared billing with established Bay Area bands like Big Brother and the Holding Company and the aforementioned Jefferson Airplane. The album also featured more original material than the band's debut LP, including the lounge-lizard-on-acid sounding Mobius Trip.

Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    Codine
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Revolution soundtrack)
Writer:    Buffy Sainte-Marie
Label:    Rhino (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1968
    Buffy St. Marie's Codine was a popular favorite among the club crowd in mid-60s California. In 1967, L.A. band The Leaves included it on their second LP. Around the same time, up the coast in San Francisco, the Charlatans selected it to be their debut single. The suits at Kama-Sutra Records, however, balked at the choice, and instead released a cover of the Coasters' The Shadow Knows. The novelty-flavored Shadow bombed so bad that the label decided not to release any more Charlatans tracks, thus leaving their version of Codine gathering dust in the vaults until the mid 1990s, when the entire Kama-Sutra sessions were released on CD. Meanwhile, back in 1968, Quicksilver Messenger Service were still without a record contract, despite pulling decent crowds at various Bay Area venues, including a credible appearance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967. Not long after that the producers of the quasi-documentary film Revolution decided to include footage of three as-yet unsigned Bay Area bands, one of which was Quicksilver Messenger Service, who performed Codine in the film. Rather than use that performance for the soundtrack album, the producers chose to have the band re-record the song, making Codine the group's first officially released studio recording.

Artist:    Lollipop Shoppe
Title:    Who's It Gonna Be
Source:    German import CD: The Weeds aka The Lollipop Shoppe (originally released on LP: Angels From Hell soundtrack)
Writer(s):    Fred Cole
Label:    Way Back (original label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    In 1968, with their single You Must Be A Witch climbing the charts, the Weeds (temporarily rechristened The Lollipop Shoppe by their manager Lord Tim) were selected to appear in a teensploitation flick called Angels From Hell. To save money, the film's producers chose not to show bandleader (and lead vocalist) Fred Cole's face in the film, however (they would have had to pay him actor's wages if they had). In the long run that was probably a good thing for Cole, however, as the film is not exactly considered a classic. The soundtrack album was a bit better than the film, with two songs each from the Lollipop Shoppe and the Peanut Butter Conspiracy (another band managed by Lord Tim). Both Lollipop Shoppe tracks, including album-closer Who's It Gonna Be, are now available on a German-made CD called The Weeds aka The Lollipop Shoppe.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    And The Address
Source:    LP: Shades Of Deep Purple
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Lord
Label:    Tetragrammaton
Year:    1968
    And The Address was, by all accounts, the very first Deep Purple song written by members of the band. In fact, the instrumental piece, which appeared as the opening track on the 1968 LP Shades Of Deep Purple, was actually written before Deep Purple itself was formed. Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore had answered an ad placed by Chris Curtis, a local musician who was trying to put together something called Roundabout, which would feature a rotating set of musicians on a circular stage, with Curtis himself fronting each group. The idea soon fell apart, but the first two people he recruited, Blackmore and Lord, decided to keep working together following Curtis's departure, eventually adding vocalist Rod Evans, bassist Nicky Simper and drummer Ian Paice to fill out the band's original lineup. After securing a record deal, the band went to work on their debut LP, with And The Address being the first song they started to record. The song became the band's set opener for much of 1968, until it was replaced by another instrumental called Hard Road (Wring That Neck), which appeared on the band's second LP, The Book Of Taliesyn. Since then, And The Address has hardly ever been played live.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Norwegian Wood
Source:    Mono CD: Rubber Soul
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1965
    The first Beatle song to feature a sitar, Norwegian Wood, perhaps more than any other song, has come to typify the new direction songwriters John Lennon and Paul McCartney began to take with the release of the Rubber Soul album in December of 1965. Whereas their earlier material was written to be performed as well as recorded, songs like Norwegian Wood were first and foremost studio creations. The song itself was reportedly based on a true story and was no doubt a contributing factor to the disintegration of Lennon's first marraige.

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

Artist:    Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:    The Birdman Of Alkatrash
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Mark Weitz
Label:    Uni
Year:    1967
    The Birdman of Alkatrash was originally intended to be an A side. For some reason radio stations instead began playing the other side of the record and it became one of the biggest hits of 1967. That other side? Incense and Peppermints.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Street Fighting Man
Source:    LP: Beggar's Banquet
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1968
    The Rolling Stones were at a low point in their career following their most psychedelic album, Their Satanic Majesties Request, which came out in late 1967. As a response to charges in the rock press that they were no longer relevant the Stones released Jumpin' Jack Flash as a single in early 1968, following it up with the Beggar's Banquet album later in the year. The new album included the band's follow-up single, Street Fighting Man, a song that was almost as anthemic as Jumpin' Jack Flash itself and went a long ways toward insuring that the Rolling Stones would be making music on their own terms for as long as they chose to.

Artist:    Them
Title:    Nobody Loves You When You're Down And Out
Source:    Mono LP: Now And Them
Writer(s):    Jimmie Cox
Label:    Tower
Year:    1968
    The artist that comes to mind when I see the title of this Jimmy Cox tune is, of course, Eric Clapton, who included it on the Derek and the Dominos Layla album. This version of Nobody Loves You When You're Down And Out, featuring vocalist Kenny McDowell, actually predates Clapton's by a couple years.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    (Roamin' Thro' The Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM B side and on LP: Traffic)
Writer(s):    Capaldi/Winwood
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1968
    The second Traffic album saw the band taking in a broader set of influences, including traditional English folk music. (Roamin' Through The Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen, originally released as the B side to the Dave Mason tune No Face, No Name, No Number, combines those influences with the Steve Winwood brand of British R&B to create a timeless classic.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Gypsy Eyes
Source:    LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    Electric Ladyland, the last album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was a double LP mixture of studio recordings and live jams in the studio with an array of guest musicians. Gypsy Eyes is a good example of Hendrix's prowess at the mixing board as well as on guitar.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    I Need You
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1965
    After a series of hard-rocking hits in 1964 such as You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night, the Kinks mellowed out a bit with songs like Set Me Free and Tired Of Waiting For You the following year. Lurking on the other side of Set Me Free, though, was a song that showed that the band still knew how to rock out: I Need You.

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    I'm Gonna Make You Mine
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Carr/Derrico/Sager
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    Possibly the loudest rockin' recordings of 1966 came from the Shadows of Knight. A product of the Chicago suburbs, the Shadows (as they were originally known) quickly established a reputation as the region's resident bad boy rockers (lead vocalist Jim Sohns was reportedly banned from more than one high school campus for his attempts at increasing the local teen pregnancy rate). After signing a record deal with the local Dunwich label, the band learned that there was already a band called the Shadows and added the Knight part (after their own high school sports teams' name). Their first single was a cover of Van Morrison's Gloria that changed one line ("around here" in place of "up to my room") and thus avoided the mass radio bannings that had derailed the original Them version. I'm Gonna Make You Mine was the second follow up to Gloria, but its lack of commercial success consigned the Shadows to one-hit wonder status until years after the band's breakup, when they finally got the recognition they deserved as one of the founding bands of garage/punk, and perhaps its greatest practicioner.

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    Let's Talk About Girls
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released on LP: No Way Out)
Writer(s):    E. Freiser
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    I find it sadly ironic that Let's Talk About Girls, the first cut on the first album released by San Jose, California's Chocolate Watchband had a vocal track by Don Bennett, a studio vocalist under contract to Tower Records, replacing the original track by Watchband vocalist Dave Aguilar. Aguilar's vocals were also replaced by Bennett's on the Watchband's cover of Wilson Pickett's In the Midnight Hour on the same album. In addition, there are four instrumental tracks on the album that are played entirely by studio musicians. Worse yet, the entire first side of the Watchband's second LP was done by studio musicians and the third Watchband LP featured an entirely different lineup. The final insult was when Lenny Kaye, who assembled the original Nuggets collection in the early 1970s, elected to include this recording, rather than one of the several fine tracks that actually did feature Aguilar on vocals.

Artist:    Harumi
Title:    Sugar In Your Tea
Source:    LP: Harumi (mono promo copy)
Writer(s):    Harumi
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1968
    When it comes to obscurity, the album Harumi scores on multiple fronts. Virtually nothing is known about this Japanese-born artist other than the fact that sometime in the mid-60s he (yes, he, despite the fact that Harumi is generally a name associated with the female gender) relocated to New York and managed to get a contract with Verve Forecast records, where he recorded this self-titled double LP with producer Tom Wilson. As to the music itself, it is perhaps best described by reviewer Thom Jurek of Allmusic.com: "there is nothing at all like this record in the known universe." How accurate that assessment may be on tracks like Sugar In Your Tea is up to the individual listener to decide.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Monster
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Kay/Edmonton/St. Nicholas/Byrom
Label:    Dunhill
Year:    1969
    Steppenwolf, even more than most rock bands, was plagued by arguments between various band members, dating back to their pre-Steppenwolf days as the band known as Sparrow. One of the earliest casualties of these arguments was bassist Nick St. Nicholas, whose clashes with bandleader John Kay were a major factor in Sparrow's disbanding in early 1967. The band at that point had relocated from Toronto to San Francisco, and St. Nicholas decided to stay in town and form a new band, T.I.M.E., with guitarist Larry Byrom. John Kay, on the other hand, moved to Los Angeles, taking several Sparrow demo tapes with him in hopes of landing a record contract. This ultimately led to a meeting with producer Gabriel Mekler, who liked what he heard. This in turn led to Kay recruiting two former members of Sparrow, drummer Jerry Edmonton and keyboardist Goldy McJohn, along with new guitarist Michael Monarch to form a new band; with the addition of bassist Rushton Moreve, the new group (tentatively named Sparrow) was complete. When Mekler signed the new band to Dunhill Records, he insisted the band call itself Steppenwolf. This lineup recorded two successful albums before Moreve decided that L.A. was about to fall into the Pacific and left the band to move east. Rather than advertise for a bass player, the group asked St. Nicholas to rejoin his former bandmates; not long after that friction between Kay and Monarch would lead to Byrom joining Steppenwolf as Monarch's replacement. It was this lineup that recorded Steppenwolf's most political album, Monster, featuring the nine-minute title track that was also released, in edited form, as a single in 1969.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1808 (starts 2/21/18)


    This week is, for lack of a better term, replay week. Let me explain. Most of this week's tracks have been played on our sister show, Stuck in the Psychedelic Era at some point in the past. The rest have been played on Rockin' in the Days of Confusion once or twice before. Not to worry. Next week there'll be plenty of "new" tracks.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Helter Skelter
Source:    LP: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:    1968
    Possibly the most controversial song in the entire Beatles catalog, Helter Skelter was Paul McCartney's response to an article in a British trade paper about the Who's latest single, I Can See For Miles. The author of the article referred to the Who song as the heaviest song ever recorded, and McCartney, without benefit of having actually heard I Can See For Miles, decided to go the Who one better. The lyrics of song are innocent enough, as they describe the sensation of repeatedly riding a slide in a playground, yet were vague enough to be open to interpretation by one Charles Manson. It was Manson's use of the words "Helter Skelter" (painted in blood) in his campaign to incite a race war in the US that gave the song its initial notoriety; a notoriety that was cemented when it was used as a title of a book by L.A. District Attorney Vincent Buglioso, who brought Manson's group to justice.

Artist:    Fleetwood Mac
Title:    Fighting For Madge
Source:    CD: Then Play On
Writer(s):    Mick Fleetwood
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    A jam session is defined (by me) as what happens when two or more musicians get together and play whatever they feel like playing. Jazz, rock and blues artists in particular are prone to jamming, sometimes with recording devices running. Sometimes these jams serve as the basis for future compositions, and in some cases (the Jimi Hendrix track Voodoo Chile from side one of Electric Ladyland comes to mind) the jam session itself ends up being released in its original form. Fleetwood Mac, in 1969, included two such jams on their Then Play On LP, although one of the two (Searching For Madge) was shortened from its original 17 minutes to just under seven minutes. The other jam, heard in its entirety on the album, is called Fighting For Madge. Both tracks were named for a female acquaintance of the band, with Mick Fleetwood getting the official writing credit for Fighting and John McVie the credit for Searching, even though everyone contributed equally to both jams.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young
Title:    Woodstock
Source:    LP: déjà vu
Writer(s):    Joni Mitchell
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    It's somewhat ironic that the most famous song about the Woodstock Music and Art Festival was written by someone who was not even at the event. Joni Mitchell had been advised by her manager that she would be better off appearing on the Dick Cavett show that weekend, so she stayed in her New York City hotel room and watched televised reports of what was going on up at Max Yasgur's farm. Further inspiration came from her then-boyfried Graham Nash, who shared his firsthand experiences of the festival with Mitchell. The song was first released on the 1970 album Ladies Of The Canyon, and was made famous the same year when it was chosen to be the first single released from the Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young album déjà vu. The CSNY version peaked just outside of the Billboard top 10.

Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Handy
Source:    CD: Wishbone Ash
Writer(s):    Turner/Turner/Upton/Powell
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1970
    One of the first bands to feature two lead guitarists working in tandem, Wishbone Ash rose to fame as the opening act for Deep Purple in early 1970. After guitarist Andy Powell sat in with Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore during a sound check, Blackmore referred Wishbone Ash to MCA, the parent company of the US Decca label. The band's first LP came out in December of 1970, with several extended-length tracks like Handy showcasing the band's strengths. Although Wishbone Ash went on to become one of Britain's top rock bands of the 1970s, they were never as successful in the US, despite relocating to the states in 1973.

Artist:    Savoy Brown
Title:    Money Can't Save Your Soul
Source:    CD: Looking In
Writer(s):    Simmonds/ Peverett
Label:    Deram (original label: Parrott)
Year:    1970
    Looking In was the sixth album by British blues-rockers Savoy Brown, and the first without original lead vocalist Chris Youlden. It was also the final outing for guitarist Dave Peverett, bassist Tone Stevens and drummer Roger Earl, who would go on to form Foghat after being dismissed by bandleader Kim Simmonds. The album was made up entirely of original compositions such as the low-key Money Can't Save Your Soul, which was written by Simmonds and Peverett, had had taken over lead vocals upon Youlden's departure. Both Foghat and a new Savoy Brown lineup would continue to have success, especially in the US, where both bands toured extensively throughout the 1970s.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Box Of Rain
Source:    LP: American Beauty
Writer(s):    Hunter/Lesh
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    The Grateful Dead released their second album of 1970, American Beauty, only four months after the similarly-styled Workingman's Dead. Unlike the earlier album, which was written entirely by the songwriting team of Jerry Garcia and poet Robert Hunter, American Beauty included songs from other band members, including bassist Phil Lesh, who, along with Hunter, wrote the LP's opening track, Box Of Rain.

Artist:    Czar
Title:    Ritual Fire Dance
Source:    Mono British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution
Writer(s):    de Falla/arr. Hodges
Label:    Grapefruit
Year:    1970
    After a series of unsuccessful singles for various labels from 1965-1969, Tuesday's Children decided to abandon light pop for a more progressive sound, changing their name to Czar in the process. Czar's debut LP came out in May of 1970, but it was missing one track due to difficulties over publishing rights: an adaptation of Spanish composer Manuel de Falla's Ritual Fire Dance that the group had recorded in February of that year, about a month after their first gig using their new name.

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, who left to form Humble Pie. 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:    Genesis
Title:    Inside And Out
Source:    Canadian import 12" 45 RPM blue vinyl EP: Spot The Pigeon
Writer(s):    Rutherford/Collins/Hackett/Banks
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1977
    After Genesis finished recording sessions for the Wind And Wuthering album the band members realized that they had more music than they could fit on a standard LP, and three tracks were left off the album. Those three tracks, including the five and a half minute long Inside And Out, were issued in May of 1977 on an EP called Spot The Pigeon. In North America the EP was only issued in Canada, on blue 12" vinyl that played at 45 RPM. Hey, whatever it takes to get it to sell, I guess.

Artist:      Uriah Heep
Title:     Tales
Source:      European import CD: The Magician's Birthday
Writer:    Ken Hensley
Label:    Sanctuary (original US label: Mercury)
Year:     1972
     Uriah Heep is generally remembered for two albums that appeared in 1972: Demons and Wizards and The Magicians's Birthday. Although Demons and Wizards had a great title track, and included the hit single Easy Livin', The Magician's Birthday overall had a stronger lineup of songs, including Tales, written by keyboardist Ken Hensley.



Monday, February 12, 2018

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1807 (starts 2/14/18)



    This time around we start off on a groovy note (from Simon and Garfunkel) and keep on going until the Doors let us know just when the music is over. In between we have artists' sets from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, lots of album tracks and B side, a few hit singles and an Advanced Psych segment featuring Dada and Flick. Fun stuff!

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)
Source:    LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme
Writer:    Paul Simon
Label:    Sundazed/Columbia
Year:    1966
    One of Simon And Garfunkel's most popular songs, The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) originally appeared on their 1966 LP Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme. The recording was never, however, released as a single by the duo (although it did appear as a 1967 B side). When Columbia released a greatest hits compilation album (after the duo had split up), a live acoustic version of the song was included on the album. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) did make the top 40 in 1967, when it was recorded by Harper's Bizarre, a group featuring future Doobie Brothers and Van Halen producer Ted Templeman on lead vocals.

Artist:    Small Faces
Title:    Itchycoo Park
Source:    British import CD: Ogden's Nut Gone Flake (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Marriott/Lane
Label:    Charly (original label: Immediate)
Year:    1967
    Led by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane, the Small Faces got their name from the fact that all the members of the band were somewhat vertically challenged. The group was quite popular with the London mod crowd, and was sometimes referred to as the East End's answer to the Who. Although quite successful in the UK, the group only managed to score one hit in the US, the iconic Itchycoo Park, which was released in late 1967. Following the departure of Marriott the group shortened their name to Faces, and recruited a new lead vocalist named Rod Stewart. Needless to say, the new version of the band did much better in the US than their previous incarnation.

Artist:      Traffic
Title:     (Roamin' Through the Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen
Source:      CD: Traffic
Writer(s):    Winwood/Capaldi
Label:    Island (original US label: United Artists)
Year:     1968
     In its original run, Traffic only released two full albums (and a third that consisted of non-LP singles, studio outtakes and live tracks). The second of these, simply titled Traffic, featured several memorable tunes, including (Roamin' Through the Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen, a  Steve Winwood/Jim Capaldi collaboration.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Rocky Raccoon
Source:    LP: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:    1968
            I had a friend in high school named Steve Head who was probably a better guitarist/vocalist than any of us realized. Part of the reason for the mystery was because he would only play one song in public: The Beatles' Rocky Raccoon, from the White Album. He nailed it, though.
       
Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Get Back
Source:    CD: Let It Be...Naked
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol (original label: Apple)
Year:    1970
    Get Back was originally released as a single in 1969. This version of the song had reverb added, as well as a coda tacked onto the end of the song (the "Get Back Loretta" section) following a false ending. When Phil Spector was brought in to remix the tapes made for the aborted Get Back album project, he created a new mix without the reverb or coda, but including studio chatter at the beginning and end of the song. This version was used on the Let It Be album, released in 1970. Finally, in 2003, a third version of Get Back was released on the Let It Be...Naked CD. This version was stripped of all studio chatter and reverb, and does not include the coda from the single version.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Glass Onion
Source:    LP: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:    1968
    John Lennon decided to have a little fun with Beatles fans when he wrote the lyrics to Glass Onion, the third song on the 1968 album The Beatles (aka the White Album). The song contains references to many earlier Beatles tunes, such as Strawberry Fields Forever, The Fool On The Hill and Lady Madonna. Glass Onion even contains a tongue-in-cheek reference to the whole "Paul is dead" rumor with the lines "Here's another clue for you all, the walrus was Paul". The track is notable for being the first song on the album to feature the entire band, as Paul played drums on Back In The USSR and Dear Prudence, which precede Glass Onion on the album's first side.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    A Walk In The Sun
Source:    Mono LP: It Ain't Me Babe
Writer(s):    Howard Kaylan
Label:    White Whale
Year:    1965
    Trivia fact: the members of the Turtles had to get their parents to sign permission slips before they could record their debut LP, It Ain't Me Babe. Yep, they were that young when they scored their first top 10 single in 1965. With that in mind, it might be come as a surprise that vocalist Howard Kaylan had already written a few songs, including A Walk In The Sun, that were included on the album itself. The band, formed when all the members were still in high school, had been known prior to 1965 as the Crossfires, playing mostly surf music. They were the first, and most successful, artists signed to the Los Angeles based White Whale label.

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    Milk Cow Blues
Source:    Mono CD: No Way Out (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Kokomo Arnold
Label:    Sundazed
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1994
    The members of the Chocolate Watchband had a clear set of priorities, and spending time in a recording studio was nowhere near the top of their list. Nonetheless, once they were signed to Tower Records they were obligated to at least make an effort at recording an album, even though they would much rather have been upstaging the various big name acts that they opened for. The result was that their producer, Ed Cobb, found it easier just to hire studio musicians to record tracks that were then included on the first two Chocolate Watchband albums. Even when the band itself did record the songs, Cobb would, on occasion, bring in studio vocalist Don Bennett to record his own lead vocals, replacing those of Dave Aguilar, whom Cobb felt sounded like a Mick Jagger impersonator (he was right, but Aguilar was damn good at it). There are a few recordings, however, that capture the true sound of the Watchband. Among those is their cover of Kokomo Arnold's Milk Cow Blues, using an arrangement similar to that of the Kinks on their Kink Kontroversy album. The song remained unreleased until the 1994 CD reissue of the band's first album, No Way Out.

Artist:    First Edition
Title:    Shadow In The Corner Of Your Mind
Source:    LP: The First Edition
Writer(s):    Mike Settle
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    The First Edition was formed by Mike Settle and Kenny Rogers, both members of the New Christy Minstrels, a group that made more appearances on TV variety shows than on the record charts (imagine a professional version of high school madrigal choir). The two wanted to get into something a little more hip than watered-down choral versions of Simon and Garfunkel songs and the like, and recorded an album that included folk-rock, country-rock and even the full-blown psychedelia of Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In), which ended up being their first single. For the B side of that single one of Settle's songs, Shadow In The Corner Of Your Mind, was selected. The song, a decent piece of folk-rock with reasonably intelligent lyrics, would have been hit record material itself if it weren't for the fact that by 1968 folk-rock had pretty much run its course.

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    Chelsea Morning
Source:    British import CD: Fairport Convention
Writer(s):    Joni Mitchell
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1968
    Although Joni Mitchell wrote Chelsea Morning, she was not the first person to record the song. That honor goes to Dave Van Ronk, who released the song on his 1967 LP Dave Van Ronk and the Hudson Dusters. The following year the song was included on the first Fairport Convention album, and remains my personal favorite of the many different versions of the tune. Mitchell herself finally recorded the song for her second LP, Clouds, in 1969. The song itself was inspired by Mitchell's room in New York's Chelsea neighborhood.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    White Room
Source:    LP: Wheels Of Fire
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    Atco
Year:    1968
    Although Cream's music was generally heard on progressive rock FM radio, they did have a couple of songs that crossed over onto AM top 40 radio as well. The second of these was White Room, a Jack Bruce/Pete Brown composition that leads off the band's third LP, Wheels Of Fire.

Artist:    Bob Seger System
Title:    Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Bob Seger
Label:    Starline (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1969
    People who are familiar with the 70s and 80s hits of Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band may be surprised to hear how much raw energy there is on Seger's early recordings with the Bob Seger System. The best known of these early records is Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, released as a single in 1969. The song did pretty well at the time, but it would be several years before Seger would return to the charts.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young
Title:    Almost Cut My Hair
Source:    LP: déjà vu
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Almost Cut My Hair could have been the longest track on the Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young album déjà vu. As originally recorded it ran about 10 minutes in length. However, it was decided to fade the cut out starting at around the four-minute mark, leaving Neil Young's Country Girl (which was actually a suite of song fragments) as the longest track on the LP. Nonetheless, even at its shorter-than-recorded released length, David Crosby's counter-cultural anthem stands out as one of the band's most memorable recordings, and is arguably the single track that best incorporates Neil Young's unique lead guitar style into a group that is known mostly for its vocal harmonies.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Eight Miles High
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Fifth Dimension)
Writer(s):    Clark/McGuinn/Crosby
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1966
    Gene Clark's final contribution to the Byrds was his collaboration with David Crosby and Roger McGuinn, Eight Miles High. Despite a newsletter from the most powerful man in top 40 radio, Bill Drake, advising stations not to play this "drug song", the song managed to hit the top 20 in 1966. The band members themselves claimed that Eight Miles High was not a drug song at all, but was instead referring to the experience of travelling by air. In fact, it was Gene Clark's fear of flying that in part led to his leaving the Byrds.

Artist:    Count Five
Title:    Psychotic Reaction
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era
Writer(s):    Ellner/Chaney/Atkinson/Byrne/Michaelski
Label:    Rhino
Year:    1966
    In the early 1960s the San Bernardino/Riverside area of Southern California (sometimes known as the Inland Empire), was home to a pair of rival top 40 stations, KFXM and KMEN. The newer of the two, KMEN, had a staff that included Ron Jacobs, who would go on to co-create the Boss Radio format (more music, less talk!), and Brian Lord, one of the first American DJs to champion British Rock (even going so far as to have copies of Beatle albums shipped from record shops in London before they were released in the US), and the man responsible for setting up the Rolling Stones' first US gig (in San Bernardino). From 1965-67 Lord took a break from KMEN, moving north to the San Jose area. While there, he heard a local band playing in a small teen club and invited them to use his garage as a practice space. The band was Count Five, and, with Lord's help, they got a contract with L.A.'s Double Shot label, recording and releasing the classic Psychotic Reaction in 1966. Lord later claimed that this was the origin of the term "garage rock".

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    I Want You
Source:    CD: Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Blonde On Blonde)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    I Want You, Bob Dylan's first single of 1966, was released in advance of his Blonde On Blonde album and was immediately picked by the rock press to be a hit. It was.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    Thru The Rhythm
Source:    CD: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators
Writer(s):    Sutherland/Hall
Label:    Collectables (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1966
    The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators was reportedly recorded while the entire band was tripping on LSD, making it the first known example of acid rock to be released on vinyl. The album was also the first rock album to include the word psychedelic in its title. The band was formed by vocalist Roky Erickson, guitarist Stacy Sutherland and electric juggist Tommy Hall, who also provided lyrics for the group's original compositions such as Thru The Rhythm. Hearing is believing.

Artist:    Early Rationals
Title:    I Need You
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Rhino (original label: A Squared)
Year:    1968
    The Rationals were formed in 1965 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They soon got the attention of local label A2 (A Squared), and had a series of regional hits in the same Detroit soul-rock style favored by such notables as Mitch Ryder and Bob Seger. One of the best of these was a cover of a Kinks B side, I Need You, which the Rationals recorded in 1966, but did not release until 1968, when it appeared as a B side backing another artist entirely. To confuse the matter the record was credited to the Early Rationals. Even stranger was the fact that the Rationals released a Gerry Goffin/Carole King song called I Need You on the same label that same year. My money's on this one.

Artist:    Flick
Title:    Anyway Anyhow Anywhere
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Townshend/Daltry
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1998
    Flick was formed in the mid-90s by the Thornton brothers, Oran and Trevor, who had been performing as an acoustic duo. The new band, which included bassist Eve Hill and drummer Paul Adam McGrath, played its first show in December of 1996 and issued its first EP the following spring. In 1998 Flick released their first full-length album on the Columbia label. One of the tracks from that album, The End, was also issued as a single on 7" 45 RPM vinyl, quite an unusual occurence in the 1990s. As an added bonus, a non-album track, a cover of the Who's Anyway Anyhow Anywhere, appeared on the B side of that single.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Year (originally released on LP: Out Of Our Heads and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Nanker Phelge
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1965
    The Rolling Stones embraced the Los Angeles music scene probably more than any other British invasion band. They attended the clubs on Sunset Strip when they were in town, recorded a lot of their classic recordings at RCA's Burbank studios, and generally did a lot of schmoozing with people in the record industry. This latter was the inspiration for their 1965 track The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man. The song is credited to the entire band, using the pseudonym Nanker Phelge.

Artist:     Rolling Stones
Title:     Lady Jane
Source:     CD: 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:    It's All Over Now
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bobby & Shirley Womack
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1964
    During a 1964 on-air interview with the Rolling Stones, New York DJ Murray the K played a copy of a song called It's All Over Now by Bobby Womack's band, the Valentinos. The song had been a minor hit earlier in the year, spending two weeks in the top 100, and the Stones were reportedly knocked out by the record, calling it "our kind of song." Less than two weeks later the Stones recorded their own version of the song, which became their first number one hit in the UK. At first, Womack was reportedly against the idea of a British band recording his song, but changed his mind when he saw his first royalty check from the Stones' recording.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Box Of Rain
Source:    LP: American Beauty
Writer(s):    Hunter/Lesh
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    The Grateful Dead released their second album of 1970, American Beauty, only four months after the similarly-styled Workingman's Dead. Unlike the earlier album, which was written entirely by the songwriting team of Jerry Garcia and poet Robert Hunter, American Beauty included songs from other band members, including bassist Phil Lesh, who, along with Hunter, wrote the LP's opening track, Box Of Rain.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    How Suite It Is
Source:    CD: After Bathing At Baxter's
Writer(s):    Kantner/Casady/Dryden/Kaukonen
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1967
    The second side of After Bathing At Baxters starts off fairly conventionally (for the Airplane), with Paul Kantner's Watch Her Ride, the first third or so of something called How Suite It Is. This leads (without a break in the audio) into Spare Chaynge, one of the coolest studio jams ever recorded, featuring intricate interplay between Jack Casady's bass and Jorma Kaukonen's guitar, with Spencer Dryden using his drum kit as enhancement rather than as a beat-setter. In particular, Casady's virtuoso performance helped redefine what could be done with an electric bass.

Artist:    Mad River
Title:    Wind Chimes
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Berkeley EPs (originally released as 7" 33 1/3 RPM Extended Play mini-album)
Writer(s):    Mad River
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Wee)
Year:    1967
    Unlike most San Francisco Bay Area bands of the mid to late 1960s, Mad River was already a functioning band when they arrived on the scene from their native Ohio in 1967. The group, consisting of Lawrence Hammond (vocals, bass), David Robinson (guitar), Rick Bockner (guitar) and Greg Dewey (drums, vocals), had been formed in 1965 as the Mad River Blues Band in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where all of the members were attending college. By the time they relocated to Berkeley in early 1967 they had developed a unique style of their own. Once in Berkeley, the band quickly established themselves as one of the most "underground" bands in the area, often appearing on the bill with Country Joe And The Fish. In fact, it was the latter band that inspired Mad River to record an EP later that year. Following an unsuccessful audition for Fantasy Records, Mad River cut a three-song EP for the small Wee label. The entire second side of the disc was a six and a half minute long piece called Wind Chimes. The band later recut the track for their first full-length album the following year.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    When The Music's Over
Source:    LP: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    I remember the first time I heard When The Music's Over. My girlfriend's older brother had a copy of the Strange Days album on the stereo in his room and told us to get real close to the speakers so we could hear the sound of a butterfly while he turned the volume way up. What we got, of course, was a blast of "...we want the world and we want it now." Good times.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1807 (starts 2/14/18)



    For those of you that follow this sort of thing, this week's show follows a 4-4-2 pattern. The first four tracks are from 1972, the second four from 1971 and a final pair from 1969. For the rest of you, this show has 10 songs. Enjoy them.
   
Artist:    Jimi Hendrix
Title:    Night Bird Flying
Source:    CD: First Rays Of The New Rising Sun (originally released on LP: The Cry Of Love)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1971
    Night Bird Flying was one of a handful of fully completed tracks that were slated for the next Jimi Hendrix album when the guitarist unexpectedly passed away in late1970. Naturally, the song was selected for inclusion of the first posthumous Hendrix LP, The Cry Of Love, as well as various CDs over the years, including Voodoo Soup and First Rays Of The New Rising Sun, both of which were attempts to assemble what would have been the fourth Jimi Hendrix studio album. In all cases, however, I think the compilers missed the obvious: Night Bird Flying should have been the second track on the album, following Freedom (which indeed does start off all three of the above cited collections). Don't ask me how I know this. I just do. Call it a gut feeling if you will, but Night Bird Flying belongs in that #2 slot. Period.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    No One To Depend On
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Carabella/Escobida/Rolie
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1971
    Santana's third LP (which like their debut LP was called simply Santana), was the last by the band's original lineup. Among the better-known tracks on the LP was No One To Depend On, featuring a guitar solo by teen phenom Neal Schon (who would go on to co-found Journey). The version here is a rare mono promo pressing issued as a single in 1972.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Country Road (unedited original version)
Source:    CD: Survival (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1971
    The opening track of the fourth Grand Funk Railroad studio album, Survival, was a Mark Farner composition called Country Road. The song was probably chosen to open Survival because of its stylistic consistency with earlier Grand Funk Railroad albums. The version of Country Road heard on the album, however, differs significantly from the original seven and a half minute version of the song heard here. This original version includes a second verse and an entire new section not included on the album itself. Is it better? That's for you to decide.

Artist:    Yes
Title:    Perpetual Change
Source:    The Yes Album
Writer(s):    Anderson/Squire
Label:    Elektra/Rhino (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1971
    Although Yes had already recorded two albums by 1971, The Yes Album marks the beginning of the band's most successful period. Probably the biggest reason for this newfound success was the addition of Steve Howe on guitar to a lineup that already included vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire and drummer Bill Bruford, as well as keyboardist Tony Kaye (who would soon be replaced by Rick Wakeman). Another factor in the album's success was the fact that all the tracks were written by members of the band, including Perpetual Change, which closes out side two of the LP.

Artist:    Neil Young
Title:    The Needle And The Damage Done/Words (Between The Lines Of Age)
Source:    CD: Harvest
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1972
    One of Neil Young's best-known songs, The Needle And The Damage Done was written as Young watched his friend and bandmate Danny Whitten (of Crazy Horse) sink deeper and deeper into heroin addiction. It was not too long after the song appeared on Young's 1972 album Harvest that Whitten died of an overdose. The song was recorded live at UCLA in January of 1971. The recording includes the sound of audience applause which segues directly into the next track on the album, Words (Between The Lines Of Age). The song, featuring an extended guitar break in the tradition of Cowgirl In The Sand, was recorded in a barn on Young's ranch in California, with PA speakers set up for the band rather than the usual headphones. This resulted in some bleed through between microphones, which Young felt actually enhanced the "live" feel of the recording. Besides Young, the track features drummer Kenny Buttrey, bassist Tim Drummond, and steel-guitarist Ben Keith, who would collectively come to be known as Stray Gators. Jack Nitzsche also appears on the track playing piano and lap steel guitar.

Artist:    John Lennon
Title:    New York City
Source:    CD: Lennon (box set) (originally released on LP: Sometime In New York City)
Writer(s):    John Lennon
Label:    Capitol (original label: Apple)
Year:    1972
    John Lennon hit the peak of his radical activism with his (and Yoko's) 1972 album Sometime In New York City. Lennon and Ono had recently moved to New York and had made a series of appearances performing with anti-establishment bands such as David Peel and the Lower East Side, Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention and Elephant's Memory, a local band that provided the backing tracks for the album. Many of the songs on Sometime In New York City had originally been performed at rallies and benefit concerts for various left-wing causes in the New York area. The song New York City was basically an autobiographical look at the recent events in Lennon's life set to basic rock and roll.

Artist:    Jo Jo Gunne
Title:    Shake That Fat
Source:    LP: Jo Jo Gunne
Writer(s):    Ferguson/Andes
Label:    Asylum
Year:    1972
    Despite recording a total of four albums in the early 1970s, Jo Jo Gunne is basically remembered as a one-hit wonder band for the song Run Run Run, which got a lot of play on album rock FM stations and even made the top 40, peaking at # 27.  Several other tracks on their debut LP got FM airplay as well, including Shake That Fat, which follows Run Run Run on the original LP. The band was formed by two former members of Spirit, vocalist Jay Ferguson and bassist Mark Andes, who recruited Mark's brother Matt for lead guitar duties and drummer William "Curley" Smith. Mark Andes left the band following their debut LP, which (if you are one of those people who think bass players actually matter) might explain why the band suffered diminishing returns for all their subsequent efforts. Andes, incidentally, ended up with a band called Firefall in the late 1970s and joined Heart in the 1980s.
   
Artist:    Captain Beyond
Title:    Raging River Of Fear
Source:    LP: Captain Beyond
Writer(s):    Caldwell/Evans
Label:    Capricorn
Year:    1972
    No band has ever impressed me during a live performance more than Captain Beyond did in 1972. Some friends and I had made the trip from Alamogordo to El Paso to catch a concert. Back in those days a typical rock concert featured three bands: one headliner, a middle band that had an album or two under their belt but had not yet achieved headliner status, and an opening act that was generally either a new band promoting their debut LP or a popular local band. I honestly don't remember who the headliner was on this particular night, but they were obviously enough of a draw to get the bunch of us to drive the 85 miles of two-lane blacktop across the Texas-New Mexico line to come see them. As it turns out, it didn't matter, because the opening act (whom none of us had ever heard of) totally blew both the other bands off the stage. The thing I was most impressed by was how big of a sound they had on songs like Raging River Of Fear, considering they had only one guitar, along with bass, drums and vocals. Later that week I discovered the second most impressive thing about Captain Beyond: their concert performance sounded exactly like their album, which I bought as soon as I found a copy on the racks. Once I had a copy of the album I realized that I was already familiar with the work of some of the band members, including Lee Dorman and Rhino (both from Iron Butterfly) and Rod Evans (the original Deep Purple vocalist). Drummer Bobby Caldwell's name was unfamiliar, but he certainly left an impression with his power and precision, a combination that fit the band quite well.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Concerto For Group And Orchestra, Second Movement: Andante (part one)
Source:    German import LP: Deep Purpple In Live Concert At The Royal Albert Hall "Concerto For Group And Orchestra"
Writer(s):    Jon Lord
Label:    Harvest
Year:    1969
    Deep Purple released their first album in 1968. By the following year organist Jon Lord was obviously yearning to scratch a "classical" itch, as can be heard on the song April from the band's self-title third LP. He took that itch to its natural conclusion later that year with an album called Deep Purpple In Live Concert At The Royal Albert Hall "Concerto For Group And Orchestra". Utilizing a full orchestra, the album was basically one long work in three movements. Unfortunately, due to the inherent limitations of LP vinyl, the second movement had to be split across both sides of the album. The album was, in all honesty, both a critical and commercial failure, but did feature the debut of Deep Purple's new lead vocalist, Ian Gillan. Whether or not the album succeeds artistically, I leave up to you to determine, based on the first part of the second movement.

Artist:     James Gang
Title:     Funk # 48
Source:     CD: Yer Album
Writer:     Walsh/Fox/Kriss
Label:     MCA (original label: Bluesway)
Year:     1969
    Cleveland's James Gang was one of the original power trios of the seventies. Although generally known as the starting place of Joe Walsh, the band was actually led by Jim Fox, one of the most underrated drummers in the history of rock. Fox, who was the only member to stay with the group through its many personnel changes over the years, sings lead on Funk # 48 from the band's debut album on ABC's Bluesway label (they moved over to the parent label for subsequent releases). Yer Album, incidentally, was the only rock LP ever issued on Bluesway .

Monday, February 5, 2018

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1806 (starts 2/7/18)



    This week, Arlo Guthrie presents his dissertation on the significance of the pickle (also known as The Motorcycle Song). Like his more famous Alice's Restaurant, The Motorcycle Song showcase's Guthrie's talent as a storyteller. We also have artists' sets from Them, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Doors as well as requested music from the rare McKendree Spring debut LP.

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

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Gypsy Eyes
Source:    CD: The Ultimate Experience (originally released on LP: Electric Ladyland)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Electric Ladyland, the last album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was a double LP mixture of studio recordings and live jams in the studio with an array of guest musicians. Gypsy Eyes is a good example of Hendrix's prowess at the mixing board as well as on guitar.

Artist:     Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:     The Wind Cries Mary
Source:     Simulated stereo British import LP: Smash Hits (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single and in US on LP: Are You Experienced?)
Writer:     Jimi Hendrix
Label:     Polydor (original US label: Reprise)
Year:     1967
     The US version of Are You Experienced was significantly different than its UK counterpart. For one thing, the original UK album was only available in mono. For the US version, engineers at Reprise Records, working from the original multi-track masters, created all new stereo mixes of about two-thirds of the album, along with all three of the singles that the Jimi Hendrix Experience had released in the UK. The third of these singles was The Wind Cries Mary, which had hit the British charts in February of 1967. When Are You Experienced became available in the UK and Europe, however, they did not use the Reprise mixes, instead using electronic rechannelling to create a simulated stereo sound. When Polydor decided that the band was taking too long on their third album, Electronic Ladyland, the label put together a late 1967 release called Smash Hits that collected the band's four European singles and B sides, along with selected album tracks from Are You Experienced, using the "fake" stereo mixes rather than the Reprise versions.

Artist:    Swingin' Medallions
Title:    Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Vetter/Smith
Label:    Rhino (original label: 4-Sale)
Year:    1965
    The Swingin' Medallions, from tiny Greenwood, South Carolina, scored a hit that was almost as popular in frat houses as Louie Louie. The song, Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love), was recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and was released locally on the 4-Sale label. The song was re-released nationally in 1966 on Mercury's subsidiary label, Smash Records, becoming a national hit.

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    Bad Little Woman
Source:    Mono CD: Dark Sides (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Tinsley/Catling/Demick/Armstrong/Rosbotham
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    Originally recorded by an Irish R&B band called the Wheels, Bad Little Woman was the third single from the Chicago area's premier garage/punk band, the Shadows Of Knight. The group had previously scored big with their cover of Van Morrison's Gloria, taking the song to the top of the Chicago charts and into the top 10 nationally. The group's second single, a cover of Bo Diddley's Oh Yeah, had managed to make the US top 40 charts, but Bad Little Woman ended up stalling out at #91. Nonetheless, the track stands as one of the loudest and raunchiest examples of garage rock ever recorded, especially on the choruses, which were mastered about five decibels louder than the verses.
   
Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Let's Spend The Night Together
Source:    CD: Between The Buttons
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    I seem to recall some TV show (Ed Sullivan, maybe?) making Mick Jagger change the words to "Let's Spend Some Time Together". I can't imagine anyone doing that to the Stones now. Nor can I imagine the band responding to such a request with anything but derisive laughter.

Artist:    Blue Cheer
Title:    Summertime Blues
Source:    CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Vincebus Eruptum)
Writer(s):    Cochrane/Capehart
Label:    Priority (original label: Philips)
Year:    1968
    European electronics giant Philips had its own record label in the 1960s. In the US, the label was distributed by Mercury Records, and was known primarily for a long string of hits by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. In 1968 the label surprised everyone by signing the loudest band in San Francisco, Blue Cheer. Their cover of the 50s Eddie Cochrane hit Summertime Blues was all over both the AM and FM airwaves that summer.

Artist:     Pleasure (featuring Billy Elder)
Title:     Poor Old Organ Grinder
Source:     CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Tandyn Almer
Label:     Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:     1969
     Tandyn Almer had one of the most innovative minds in late 60s L.A., both in and out of the recording studio (he was the inventor of the dual-chamber bong, for instance). Poor Old Organ Grinder was a song originally intended for Tommy Flanders, the original lead vocalist for the Blues Project. Flanders, however, was not able to hit the high notes. As Almers was about to cancel the entire project one of the recording engineers, Billy Elder, convinced Almer to let him take a shot at the song, and the result is the recording heard here.

Artist:    Stephen Stills
Title:    To A Flame
Source:    LP: Stephen Stills
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Following the success of the Deja Vu album, Atlantic Records gave each of the members of Crosby, Still, Nash & Young (except for Neil Young, who was under contract to Reprise Records at the time) the chance to record solo albums. Stephen Stills' self-titled album was probably the most commercially successful of the three, and featured the talents of several guest artists, including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and John Sebastian. Not all of the songs on the LP got a lot of airplay, however. I don't ever recall hearing To A Flame on the radio, so, of course, I'm playing it on this week's show.

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Summertime
Source:    CD: Cheap Thrills
Writer(s):    Gershwin/Heyward
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    Janis Joplin, on the 1968 Big Brother And The Holding Company album Cheap Thrills, sounds like she was born to sing Gershwin's Summertime. Maybe she was.

Artist:        Spirit
Title:        Topanga Windows
Source:        CD: Spirit
Writer:        Jay Ferguson
Label:        Ode/Epic/Legacy
Year:        1968
        Ed Cassidy had already made a name for himself on the L.A. jazz scene when he married the mother of guitarist Randy California. He soon started jamming with his teenage stepson's friends, leading to the formation of a band initially known as Spirits Rebellious (but soon shortened to Spirit), one of the first rock bands to heavily incorporate jazz elements in their music. The majority of the songs on the group's self-title first album were written by lead vocalist Jay Ferguson, who would eventually leave the group to co-found Jo Jo Gunne and in recent years has been a soundtrack composer for movies and TV shows, including the theme song of the US TV show The Office.

Artist:    Box Tops
Title:    Cry Like A Baby
Source:    CD: The Best Of 60s Supergroups (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Penn/Oldham
Label:    Priority (original label: Mala)
Year:    1968
    The Box Tops' second top 5 single, Cry Like A Baby, was the result of an all-night songwriting session. The band's producer, Dan Penn, was under pressure from the record company to come up with a follow up hit to The Letter, and asked his friend Spooner Oldham for help writing a song. The session, though long, was unproductive, and the two decided to call it a night and have breakfast at a cafe across the street. During the course of the conversation, Oldham expressed his frustration, saying "I could just cry like a baby." Penn decided then and there that Cry Like A Baby would be the title of the song and by the time the left the restaurant they had the first verse written. When Box Tops vocalist Alex Chilton showed up later that morning the two songwriters played him a demo of the new tune that they had made and the rest is history.

Artist:    Them
Title:    Nobody Loves You When You're Down And Out
Source:    British import CD: Now And Them
Writer(s):    Jimmie Cox
Label:    Rev-Ola (original US label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    The artist that comes to mind when I see the title of this Jimmy Cox tune is, of course, Eric Clapton, who included it on the Derek and the Dominos Layla album. This version of Nobody Loves You When You're Down And Out, featuring vocalist Kenny McDowell, actually predates Clapton's by a couple years.

Artist:    Them
Title:    Young Woman
Source:    LP: Time Out! Time In! For Them
Writer(s):    Lane/Pulley
Label:    Tower
Year:    1968
    Time Out! Time In! For Them is an overlooked classic of the psychedelic era. Featuring compositions by the husband and wife team of Tom Pulley and Vivian Lane (such as Young Woman, a song that touches on a somewhat familiar theme of the time), the album showcases the vocal talents of Kenny McDowell, who had the unenviable task of replacing Van Morrison in Ireland's premier rock band.

Artist:    Them
Title:    I Happen To Love You
Source:    Simulated stereo British import CD: Now And Them (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    Rev-Ola (original US label: Ruff)
Year:    1967
    Following the departure of frontman Van Morrison in June of 1966, the remaining members of Them returned to Belfast, where they recruited Kenny McDowell, formerly of a band called the Mad Lads, who had in fact opened for Them on several occasions. With no record deal, however, the band was at a loss as to what to do next; the solution came in the form of a recommendation from Carol Deck, editor of the California-based magazine The Beat, which led to the band relocating to Amarillo, Texas, where they cut a single for the local Scully label. The follow up single, released on Ruff Records, was a tune called Walking In The Queen's Garden that came to the attention of the people at Capitol Records, who reissued the single on their Tower subsidiary. Within a month the record company had issued a promo version of the single that shifting the emphasis to the original B side, a Gerry Goffin/Carole King collaboration called I Happen To Love You that had been previously recorded by the Electric Prunes, but not issued as a single. This led to Now And Them, the first of two albums the band released on the Tower label in 1968. A fake stereo mix was created specifically for the LP.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    Inside Looking Out
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals-Vol. II (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lomax/Lomax/Burdon/Chandler
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    One of the last songs recorded by the Animals before their first breakup, Inside Looking Out (a powerful song about life in prison) was covered a few years later by Grand Funk Railroad, who made it one of their concert staples. This has always been one of my all-time favorite rock songs.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Hideaway
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Underground)
Writer(s):    Lowe/Tulin
Label:    Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    After the moderately successful first Electric Prunes album, producer David Hassinger loosened the reigns a bit for the followup, Underground. Among the original tunes on Underground was Hideaway, a song that probably would have been a better choice as a single than what actually got released: a novelty tune called Dr. Feelgood written by Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz, who had also written the band's first hit, I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night).

Artist:    Arlo Guthrie
Title:    Motorcycle Song (Significance Of The Pickle)
Source:    The Best Of Arlo Guthrie
Writer(s):    Arlo Guthrie
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1968
    To be honest, I am not sure when this particular recording was made. Arlo Guthrie originally recorded the Motorcycle Song for his 1967 debut album, Alice's Restaurant. The first live recording of the song was released the following year on the LP Arlo. However, his reference to having been performing the song for twelve years makes me think this is a mid-seventies performance. It's even possible that the greatest hits album, issued in 1977, was the first time this particular performance was released.

Artist:     Arlo Guthrie
Title:     Coming Into Los Angeles
Source:     CD: The Best of Arlo Guthrie (originally released on LP: Running Down The Road)
Writer:     Arlo Guthrie
Label:     Warner Brothers (original label: Rising Son)
Year:     1969
     Completing our double dose of Arlo Guthrie we have a song that he played live at Woodstock. The original Woodstock album, however, subsituted this studio version for the live performance. This was probably done at Guthrie's request, as several of the performers expressed dissatisfaction with the recordings made at the festival, either due to problems with the sound system or, in some cases, the performances themselves. This is understandable given the adverse conditions many of them had to deal with (rain, audio problems, lack of sleep, etc.).

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Roadhouse Blues
Source:    CD: Morrison Hotel
Writer(s):    Morrison/The Doors
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1970
    After getting less than favorable reviews for their fourth LP, The Soft Parade, the Doors decided to go back to their roots for 1970s Morrison Hotel. One of the many bluesier tunes on the album was Roadhouse Blues, a song that soon became a staple of the group's live performances.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    My Eyes Have Seen You
Source:    LP: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    It's strange. Some reviewers seem to think that the album Strange Days is inferior to the first Doors album. They justify this view by citing the fact that almost all the songs on both albums were already in the band's repertoire when they signed their record contract with Elektra. The implication is that the band naturally selected the best material for the first album, making Strange Days a collection of sloppy seconds. There is one small problem with this theory however. Pick a song at random from Strange Days and listen to it and in all likelihood it will sound every bit as good as a song randomly picked from the first album (and probably better than one picked from either of the Doors' next two LPs). In fact, I'll pick one for you: My Eyes Have Seen You. See what I mean?

Artist:    Doors
Title:    The Spy
Source:    CD: Morrison Hotel
Writer(s):    Jim Morrison
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1970
    As the 1960s drew to a close, the Doors, who had been riding high since 1967, were at a low point. In fact, it could be argued that the last few months of 1969 were the worst in the band's career. Vocalist Jim Morrison had been arrested for indecent exposure for exposing himself onstage in Miami the previous March. This had resulted in the cancellation of over two dozen performances as well as a sizable number of radio stations refusing to play their records. In June, the band released their fourth album, The Soft Parade, which was critically panned for its overuse of horns and strings. The album was also the first to give individual members of the band songwriting credits (previously all songwriting credits were shared by the four band members). This was brought about by Morrison's wish to distance himself from the lyrics of the album's opening track, Tell All The People, which had been written by guitarist Robby Krieger. Adding to the problems, Morrison had been arrested for causing a disturbance on an airplane and charged under a new hijacking law that carried a fine up of to $10,000 and ten years in prison. In November, the Doors started work on their fifth album, to be called Morrison Hotel (with the second side subtitled Hard Rock Cafe). After the poor reception of The Soft Parade the band decided to take a back to basics approach. One thing that did not change, however, was the policy of band members taking individual song credits. Thus, we have songs like The Spy (originally called Spy In The House Of Love), which was inspired by Morrison's fiery relationship with his longtime girlfriend Pamela Coulson. Morrison Hotel would end up being a turning point for the Doors; their next LP, L.A. Woman, is universally considered one of their best.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    I'm A Man
Source:    Mono Australian import CD: Over, Under, Sideways, Down (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Elias McDaniel
Label:    Raven (original label: Epic)
Year:    1965
    For many, the Yardbirds version of I'm a Man is the definitive version of this Bo Diddley classic. Oddly enough, the song was released as a single only in the US, where it made it into the top 10 in 1965.

Artist:    Count Five
Title:    Psychotic Reaction
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ellner/Chaney/Atkinson/Byrne/Michalski
Label:    Rhino (original label: Double Shot)
Year:    1966
    San Jose, California, had a vibrant teen music scene in the late 60s, despite the fact that the relatively small city was overshadowed by San Francisco at the other end of the bay (both cities are considered part of the same metropolitan market). One of the more popular bands in town was this group of five individuals who chose to dress up like Bela Lugosi's Dracula, capes and all. Musically, they idolized the Yardbirds (Jeff Beck era), and for slightly more than three minutes managed to sound more like their idols than the Yardbirds themselves (who by then had replaced Beck with Jimmy Page).

Artist:    McKendree Spring
Title:    No Regrets
Source:    LP: McKendree Spring (promo copy)
Writer(s):    McKendree Spring
Label:    Decca
Year:    1969
    From Glens Falls, NY, McKendree Spring was one of the last folk-rock groups to begin their recording career, and (to my knowledge) the only one to use synthesizers. The band, consisting of Fran McKendree (vocals and guitar), Fred Holman (bass), Dr. Michael Dreyfuss (electric violin, viola, Moog, Arp), and Martin Slutsky (electric guitar) kept recording steadily through 1976, and reunited for an album of new material in 2007. No Regrets is from their somewhat rare first album, released in 1969.

Artist:     Seatrain
Title:     Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Lady
Source:     CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Sea Train)
Writer(s):    Gregory/Roberts
Label:     Rhino (original label: Edsel)
Year:     1969
     Following the breakup of the Blues Project, two of the members, bassist/flautist Andy Kuhlberg and drummer Roy Blumenthal, relocated to San Francisco. They hooked up with Richard Greene (violin, keyboards, viola, vocals), John Gregory (guitar, vocals), Don Kretmar (bass, saxophone) and vocalist Jim Roberts to form Seatrain. Their first album, Sea Train, appeared in 1969 on the obscure Edsel label.

Artist:    Mamas And The Papas
Title:    California Dreamin'
Source:    LP: If You Believe Your Eyes And Ears (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    John Phillips
Label:    Dunhill
Year:    1965
    California Dreamin' was written in 1963 by John Phillips, who along with his wife Michelle was living in New York City at the time. The two of them were members of a folk group called the New Journeymen that would eventually become The Mamas And The Papas. Phillips initially gave the song to his friend Barry McGuire to record, but McGuire's version failed to chart. Not long after that McGuire introduced Philips to Lou Adler, president of Dunhill Records who quickly signed The Mamas And The Papas to a recording contract. Using the same instrumental backing track (provided by various Los Angeles studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew), The Mamas And The Papas recorded new vocals for California Dreamin', releasing it as a single in late 1965. The song took a while to catch on, but eventually peaked in the top five nationally.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Tombstone Blues
Source:    CD: Highway 61 Revisited
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    One of the most influential albums in rock history was Bob Dylan's 1965 LP Highway 61 Revisited. Although he had experimented with adding electric guitar, bass and drums to some of the songs on his previous album, Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited was his first LP to feature electric instruments on every track. Of these, the most notable was probably the guitar work of Michael Bloomfield, who would soon come to prominence as lead guitarist for the Butterfield Blues Band. Bloomfield's work is most prominent on blues-based tracks such as Tombstone Blues, which follows the classic Like A Rolling Stone on side one of the original LP.

Artist:    Mouse And The Traps
Title:    A Public Execution
Source:    Mono CD: More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Henderson/Weiss
Label:    Rhino (original label: Fraternity)
Year:    1965
    It's easy to imagine some kid somewhere in Texas inviting his friends over to hear the new Bob Dylan record, only to reveal afterwards that it wasn't Dylan at all, but this band he heard while visiting his cousins down in Tyler. Speaking of cousins, A Public Execution was inspired by a misunderstanding concerning a cousin and a motorcycle ride. According to Ronnie "Mouse" Weiss, his fiancee actually broke up with him after getting word that Mouse had been seen giving an attractive girl a ride. It turned out the attractive girl in question was his cousin from across the state who had come for a visit, but by the time the truth came out Weiss and his band had their first of many regional hit records.

Artist:    Leaves
Title:    Too Many People
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Pons/Rinehart
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mira)
Year:    1965
    The Leaves are a bit unusual in that in a city known for drawing wannabes from across the world, this local band's members were all native L.A.ins. Formed by members of a fraternity at Cal State Northridge, the Leaves had their greatest success when they took over as house band at Ciro's after the Byrds vacated the slot to go on tour. Like many bands of the time, they were given a song to record as a single by their producer (Love Minus Zero) and allowed to write their own B side. In this case that B side was Too Many People, written by bassist Jim Pons and  guitarist Bill Rhinehart. The song ended up getting more airplay on local radio stations than Love Minus Zero, making it their first regional hit. The Leaves had their only national hit the following year with their third attempt at recording the fast version of Hey Joe, the success of which led to their first LP, which included a watered down version of Too Many People. The version heard here is the 1965 original. Eventually Pons would leave the Leaves, hooking up first with the Turtles, then Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention.