Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1809 (starts 2/28/18)

Last week we featured tracks that have migrated over to Rockin' in the Days of Confusion from our sister show, Stuck in the Psychedelic Era. This week we go deep into the vaults for a bunch of tracks that have not been played on either show before, several of which are technically cover songs (and one is the original version of a famous cover song). That said, we start with an old favorite....

Artist:    King Crimson
Title:    The Court Of The Crimson King
Source:    CD: In The Court Of The Crimson King
Writer:    MacDonald/Sinfield
Label:    Discipline Global Mobile (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1969
    Perhaps the most influential progressive rock album of all time was King Crimson's debut LP, In The Court Of The Crimson King. The band, in its original incarnation, included Robert Fripp on guitar, Ian MacDonald on keyboards and woodwinds, Greg Lake on vocals and bass, David Giles on drums and Peter Sinfield as a dedicated lyricist. The title track, which takes up the second half of side two of the LP, features music composed by MacDonald, who would leave the group after their second album, later resurfacing as a founding member of Foreigner. The album's distinctive cover art came from a painting by computer programmer Barry Godber, who died of a heart attack less than a year after the album was released. According to Fripp, the artwork on the inside is a portrait of the Crimson King, whose manic smile is in direct contrast to his sad eyes. The album, song and artwork were the inspiration for Stephen King's own Crimson King, the insane antagonist of his Dark Tower saga who is out to destroy all of reality, including our own.

Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    Who Do You Love Suite
Source:    LP: Happy Trails
Writer(s):    McDaniels/Duncan/Elmore/Cippolina/Frieberg
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    Powered by the twin lead guitars of John Cippolina and Gary Duncan, Quicksilver Messenger Service was one of the most popular bands in the San Francisco Bay area in the late 1960s, due mainly to their live performances. Although they had been fixtures on the scene as long as Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver did not sign with a major record label until 1968, when their self-titled debut LP came out on the Capitol label. It was their second LP, however, that got the rock press excited. Recorded live at the Fillmore West and Fillmore East, Happy Trails showcased the improvisational skills of not only Cippolina and Duncan, but of drummer Greg Elmore and bassist David Frieberg as well. The first side of the album is a study of Bo Diddley's Who Do You Love that runs well over 25 mintues in length and features solos from each member, as well as some audience participation.

Artist:    Alice Cooper
Title:    School's Out (originally released on LP: School's Out and as 45 RPM single)
Source:    CD: Greatest Hits
Writer(s):    Cooper/Smith/Dunaway/Bruce/Buxton
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1972
    Alice Cooper scored their first top 10 hit with the title track of their 1972 album School's Out. According to vocalist Alice Cooper (yes, both the singer and the band were called Alice Cooper) the song was inspired by the question "What's the greatest three minutes of your life?" (although I've never actually heard anyone ask that question in any context). The song was remixed by producer Bob Ezrin for the band's first Greatest Hits compilation, much to the consternation of the band's fans.

Artist:    Foghat
Title:    Fool's Hall Of Fame
Source:    LP: Foghat (promo copy)
Writer(s):    Dave Peverett
Label:    Bearsville
Year:    1972
    Following the release of the 1970 album Looking In, Savoy Brown bandleader Kim Simmonds decided to take the group in an entirely new direction for their next album, Street Corner Talking. The rest of the members of the band, however, resisted the change, and Simmonds fired the lot of them. The three of them, "Lonesome" Dave Peverett, Tone Stevens and Roger Earl then recruited guitarist Rod Price (formerly of Black Cat Bones) to form a new band, Foghat, in 1971. Their self-titled debut LP was released in 1972. In addition to outstanding versions of blues classics like I Just Want To Make Love To You, the album features several original tunes, mostly credited to Peverett, including Fool's Hall Of Fame. Foghat would go on to have a long and successful career over the next decade, turning out such classics as Slow Ride and Third Time Lucky.

Artist:    Mott The Hoople
Title:    All The Young Dudes
Source:    CD: Electric 70s (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    David Bowie
Label:    Warner Special Products/JCI (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1972
    After three years and four albums for Island Records (released on Atlantic in the US), Mott The Hoople was on the verge of breaking up when David Bowie gave them the song All The Young Dudes to record. The single, released in 1972, turned Mott overnight from nearly extinct also-rans to leaders of the glam-rock movement. Oddly enough, Bowie later claimed that the song was not intended to be an anthem at all; rather it was a precursor to his next album, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust, and that the "news" that the young dudes were proclaiming was the apocalyptic fact that Earth had five years left, the same message that opens Ziggy Stardust.

Artist:    West, Bruce & Laing
Title:    Third Degree
Source:    CD: Why Dontcha
Writer(s):    Dixon/Boyd
Label:    Columbia/Windfall
Year:    1972
    British blues bands have a long history of doing rocked-out covers of old blues classics. One of the best of these bands was Cream, featuring Jack Bruce and vocals and bass. It was only natural, then, that for his first album with former Mountain members Leslie West and Corky Laing would include at least one blues cover song. Third Degree was probably the most popular song recorded by Eddie Boyd, who co-wrote the tune with the legendary Willie Dixon.

Artist:    J.J. Cale
Title:    Cocaine
Source:    LP: Troubadour
Writer(s):    J.J. Cale
Label:    Shelter
Year:    1976
    Cocaine is one of Eric Clapton's best-known hits. This is the original J.J. Cale version of the song, from his 1976 album Troubadour.

Artist:    Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Title:    Mr. Bojangles
Source:    LP: Uncle Charlie And His Dog Teddy
Writer(s):    Jerry Jeff Walker
Label:    Liberty
Year:    1970
    The hit single version of Jerry Jeff Walker's most famous song, basically made the career of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, who had been a decent, yet somewhat unremarkable Los Angeles band prior to recording the tune in 1970. The success of their version of Mr. Bojangles put them at the forefront of the country-rock movement of the early 70s and eventually led them to become one of the top country acts of the 1980s.

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