Sunday, May 19, 2019

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1921 (starts 5/20/19)



    This time around we have mostly long sets full of short songs, although there are a pair of artists' sets as well. The first of these, from the Beatles, emphasizes John Lennon's evolution as a songwriter from 1966 to 1968, while the other is a Bob Dylan set taken entirely from 45 RPM vinyl. We start with the first of the long sets....

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Pushin' Too Hard
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on LP: The Seeds and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1965
    Pushin' Too Hard was originally released as a single in 1965 (under the title You're Pushin' Too Hard), but did not make an immediate impression. The following year, however, the tune started getting some local airplay on Los Angeles area stations. This in turn led to the band recording their first album, The Seeds, which was released in spring of 1966. A second Seeds LP, A Web Of Sound, hit L.A. record stores in the fall of the same year. Meanwhile, Pushin' Too Hard, which had been reissued with a different B side in mid-1966, started to get national airplay, hitting its peak position on the Billboard charts in February of 1967.

Artist:     Johnny Rivers
Title:     Secret Agent Man
Source:     45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:     Sloan/Barri
Label:     Imperial
Year:     1966
     The sixties were a decade of fads and trends in the US, many of them imported from England. One of the most popular was the spy craze. Inspired by cold war politics and the first James Bond movie, Dr. No, TV producers began cranking out shows like I-Spy and the Man from U.N.C.L.E. One of the earliest of these shows was a British production called Danger Man, aired in the US under the name Secret Agent. The show starred Darrin McGavin as a (surprise) secret agent for a fictional version of MI6, the British intelligence agency, and enjoyed a successful run on both sides of the Atlantic. After a few seasons McGavin got tired of doing the show and Danger Man/Secret Agent was cancelled. Before that happened, however, Johnny Rivers scored a huge hit with the theme song written by Steve Barri and PF Sloan especially for the US airings of the show. McGavin would make another series called the Prisoner about a former secret agent that had been "retired" to a closed village in order to protect the secret knowledge he had accumulated over the years. Although it was never explicitly stated, it was assumed that his character (who had indeed been given a number and had his name taken away) was the same one he had played in the earlier show.

Artist:    Lowell George And The Factory
Title:    Candy Cane Madness
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on CD: Lightning-Rod Man)
Writer(s):    George/Klein
Label:    Rhino (original label: Bizarre/Straight)
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1993
    Toward the end of 1966 a band called the Factory appeared on the L.A. club scene. They managed to book studio time, but were never able to find a label willing to release the tracks they recorded. Band member Lowell George would later go on to produce other artists such as the GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously) for Frank Zappa's Bizarre Productions and finally become famous as the founder of the band Little Feat. Eventually the old Factory tracks, including Candy Cane Madness, were issued on a CD on the Bizarre/Straight label originally founded by Zappa.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    Your Head Is Reeling
Source:    LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer:    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    Ultimate Spinach was one of a group of bands signed by M-G-M in 1967 and marketed as being representative of the "Boss-town sound". Unfortunately for all involved, there really was no such thing as a "Boss-town sound" (for that matter there was no such thing as a "San Francisco sound" either, but that's another story). All the hype aside, Ultimate Spinach itself was the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Ian Bruce-Palmer, who wrote and arranged all the band's material. The opening track of side two of the band's debut album is a piece called Your Head Is Reeling, which, despite the somewhat cheesy spoken intro, is as good or better than any other raga styled song of the time.

Artist:    Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title:    Cinnamon Girl
Source:    LP: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    My favorite Neil Young song has always been Cinnamon Girl. I suspect this is because the band I was in the summer after I graduated from high school used an amped-up version of the song as our show opener (imagine Cinnamon Girl played like I Can See For Miles and you get a general idea of how it sounded). If we had ever recorded an album, we probably would have used that arrangement as our first single. I finally got to see Neil Young perform the song live (from the 16th row even) with Booker T. and the MGs as his stage band in the mid-1990s. It was worth the wait.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Mexico
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side and included on LP: Early Flight)
Writer(s):    Grace Slick
Label:    Rhino (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1970
    The B side of the last Jefferson Airplane single to include founding member (and original leader) Marty Balin was Mexico, a scathing response by Grace Slick to President Richard Nixon's attempts to eradicate the marijuana trade between the US and Mexico. The song was slated to be included on the next Airplane album, Long John Silver, but Balin's departure necessitated a change in plans, and Mexico did not appear on an LP until Early Flight was released in 1974.

Artist:    Syd Barrett
Title:    No Good Trying
Source:    British import CD: Insane Times (originally released on LP: The Madcap Laughs)
Writer(s):    Syd Barrett
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1970
    After parting company with Pink Floyd in 1968, Syd Barrett made an aborted attempt at recording a solo album. After spending several months in psychiatric care, Barrett resumed work on the project in April of 1969, recording the basic tracks for songs such as It's No Good Trying with producer Malcolm Jones. In May of 1969 Barrett brought in three members of the Soft Machine to record overdubs for several songs, including No Good Trying (the "It's" having mysteriously disappeared from the song title). Barrett then added some backwards guitar, and the final track appeared on his 1970 LP The Madcap Laughs.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Mountains Of The Moon
Source:    LP: Aoxomoxoa (original 1969 mix)
Writer(s):    Hunter/Garcia/Lesh
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1969
    Following the release of their second album, Anthem Of The Sun, the Grateful Dead got to work on their third LP, to be titled Earthquake Country. Like the previous album, Earthquake Country was recorded using 8-track technology, which by 1968 had become the standard in recording studios. Late that year, however, Ampex manufactured the first 16-track recorder, and the Dead managed to get the use of one. The original recordings were scrapped, and the band spent the next few months re-recording the entire album, experimenting with the new technology and running up a huge bill with their record label, Warner Brothers. The resulting album, now title Aoxomoxoa, was released in the summer of 1969 to generally positive reviews. Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh, however, were not entirely happy with the final mix, feeling that maybe the band had tried to do too much in the studio, obscuring the music itself. In 1971 the two of them went back to the original multitrack tapes and remixed the entire album, removing a lot of the more experimental stuff, such as the choir on Mountains Of The Moon. This remix became the "official" version of Aoxomoxoa from 1972 on, and was used when the album was reissued on Compact Disc. In recent years, however, Warner Brothers has made the original mix available on 180 gram vinyl.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Quite Rightly So
Source:    LP: Shine On Brightly
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    A&M
Year:    1968
    In 1969, while living on Ramstein AFB in Germany, my dad managed to get use of one of the basement storage rooms in building 913, the 18-unit apartment building we resided in. For a few months (until getting in trouble for having overnight guests and making too much noise...hey I was 16, whaddaya expect?) I got to use that room as a bedroom. I had a small record player that shut itself off when it got to the end of the record, which meant I got to go to sleep every night to the album of my choice. As often as not that album was Shine On Brightly, a copy of which I had gotten in trade for another album (the Best of the Beach Boys I think) from a guy who was expecting A Whiter Shade of Pale and was disappointed to discover it was not on this album. I always thought I got the better end of that deal, despite the fact that there was a skip during the fade of Quite Rightly So, causing the words "one was me" to repeat over and over until I scooted the needle over a bit. Luckily Quite Rightly So is the first song on the album, so I was usually awake enough to do that.

Artist:    Beacon Street Union
Title:    Blue Avenue
Source:    LP: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union
Writer(s):    Wayne Ulaky
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    One of Boston's most popular bands, the Beacon Street Union, had already migrated to New York City by the time their first album, The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union (produced by the legendary Tom Wilson), made its debut in February of 1968. The band itself was made up of Boston University dropouts John Lincoln Wright (lead vocals), Paul Tartachny (guitar, vocals), Robert Rhodes (keyboards, brass), Richard Weisberg (drums), and Wayne Ulaky (bass). Ulaky wrote what was probably the band's best-known song, Blue Avenue. The tune was particular popular in the UK, where it was often heard on John Peel's Top Gear program. The Beacon Street Union, however, fell victim to hype; in this case the ill-advised attempt on the part of M-G-M records to market several disparate bands as being part of the "boss-town sound". After a second LP, The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens (produced by future Partridge Family impressario Wes Farrell) failed to equal the somewhat limited success of their debut LP, the Beacon Street Union decided to call it quits.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Peregrine
Source:    British import CD: The Hurdy Gurdy Man
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    EMI (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    Donovan's 1968 album The Hurdy Gurdy Man saw the Scottish singer/songwriter experimenting with drones (the musical one...the flying things hadn't been invented yet). This use of a single-note playing constantly through a piece is most noticable on the album's second track, Peregrine, which uses a harmonium and a double bass played with a bow, givng the piece a decidedly hypnotic quality.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Love Story
Source:    CD: This Was (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968 (UK), 1969 (US)
    Love Story was the last studio recording by the original Jethro Tull lineup of Ian Anderson, Mick Abrahams, Clive Bunker and Glenn Cornish. The song was released as a single (Jethro Tull's first in the US) following the band's debut LP, This Was. Shortly after its release Abrahams left the group, citing differences with Anderson over the band's musical direction. Love Story spent eight weeks on the UK singles chart, reaching the #29 spot. In the U.S., Love Story was released in March 1969, with A Song for Jeffrey (an album track from This Was) on the B-side, but did not chart. Like most songs released as singles in the UK, Love Story did not appear on an album until several years later; in this case on the 1973 anthology album Living In The Past. It has most recently been included as a bonus track on the expanded CD version of This Was.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Five To One
Source:    CD: The Best Of The Doors (originally released on LP: Waiting For The Sun)
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1968
    Despite the fact that it was the Doors' only album to hit the top of the charts, Waiting For The Sun was actually a disappointment for many of the band's fans, who felt that the material lacked the edginess of the first two Doors LPs. One notable exception was the album's closing track, Five To One, which features one of Jim Morrison's most famous lines: "No one here gets out alive".

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Long Hot Summer Night
Source:    LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    With such classics as Voodoo Chile, Crosstown Traffic and Still Raining Still Dreaming on the third Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Electric Ladyland, it's easy to overlook a song like Long Hot Summer Night. Once you hear it, however, you realize just how strong Jimi Hendrix's songwriting had become by 1968. Keyboardist Al Kooper, himself in the process of making rock history with his Super Session album, makes a guest appearance on piano.

Artist:    Max Frost And The Troopers
Title:    Lonely Man
Source:    CD: Shape Of Things To Come
Writer(s):    Paul Wibier
Label:    Captain High (original label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    The first thing you need to know about Max Frost And The Troopers is that they were a fictional rock band featured in the film Wild In The Streets. Sort of. You see, in the movie itself the band is never actually named, although Max (played by Christopher Jones) does refer to his followers as his "troops" throughout the film. The next thing you need to know is that Shape Of Things To Come was a song used in the film that became a hit record in 1968. The song itself was written by the Brill building songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (whose writing credits included We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, Kicks and many other hits) and was recorded by studio musicians, with vocals by Paul Wibier. The song, along with several other Barry/Weil tunes used in the film, was credited not to Max Frost and the Troopers, but to the 13th Power on the film's soundtrack LP, which was released on Capitol's Tower subsidiary label. After Shape Of Things To Come (the song) became a hit, producer Mike Curb commissioned an entire album by Max Frost And The Troopers called, naturally, Shape Of Things To Come. The band on this album was actually Davie Allan And The Arrows (who had for several years been recording mostly instrumental tunes for Curb for use on movie soundtracks) fronted by vocalist Paul Wibier (yeah, him again). This album was also released in 1968 on the Tower label, and featured mostly songs written (or co-written) by Wibier himself, such as Lonely Man.

Artist:    Them
Title:    I Happen To Love You
Source:    Mono LP: Now And Them
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    Tower
Year:    1968
    I Happen To Love You was first recorded by the Electric Prunes for their 1967 album Underground. The band wanted to release the Gerry Goffin/Carole King tune as a single, but producer David Hassinger instead chose to issue a novelty track, To The Highest Bidder. Unlike the Prunes version, which emphasized the King melody line, Them's version of I Happen To Love You was done in much the same style as their earlier recordings with Van Morrison. Kenny McDowell provided the lead vocal.

Artist:    Grass Roots
Title:    Feelings
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: Feelings and as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Coonce/Entner/Fukomoto
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    In 1968 the Grass Roots decided to assert themselves and take artistic control of their newest album, Feelings, writing most of the material for the album themselves. Unfortunately for the band, the album, as well as its title track single, fared poorly on the charts. From that point on the Grass Roots were firmly under the control of producers/songwriters Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan, cranking out a series of best-selling hits such as I'd Wait A Million Years and Midnight Confessions (neither of which get played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, incidentally).

Artist:    John Lee Hooker/Canned Heat
Title:    Whiskey And Wimmin'
Source:    CD: The Very Best Of Canned Heat (originally released on LP: Hooker And Heat)
Writer(s):    John Lee Hooker
Label:    Capitol (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1971
    Canned Heat was, at its heart, a group of blues record collectors who had enough talent to make their own classic blues recordings. In 1970 the members of the band got the chance to fulfill a dream. They spent the entire summer recording tracks with one of their heroes, the legendary John Lee Hooker. Unfortunately, the experience was marred by the death of co-founder Alan Wilson on September 3rd. Contractual problems with Hooker's label delayed the release of the recordings until January of 1971, when the project was released as a double LP called Hooker And Heat. The most popular track on the album, Whiskey And Wimmin', was also released as a single in April of that year.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    She Said She Said
Source:    EU Import LP: Revolver
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone/EMI (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1966
    The last song to be recorded for the Beatles' Revolver album was She Said She Said, a John Lennon song inspired by an acid trip taken by members of the band (with the exception of Paul McCartney) during a break from touring in August of 1965. The band's manager, Brian Epstein, had rented a large house in Beverly Hills, but word had gotten out and the Beatles found it difficult to come and go at will. Instead, they invited several people, including the members of the Byrds and actor Peter Fonda, to come over and hang out with them. At some point, Fonda brought up the fact that he had nearly died as a child from an accidental gunshot wound, and used the phrase "I know what it's like to be dead." Lennon was creeped out by the things Fonda was saying and told him to "shut up about that stuff. You're making me feel like I've never been born." The song itself took nine hours to record and mix, and is one of the few Beatle tracks that does not have Paul McCartney on it (George Harrison played bass). Ironically, Fonda himself would star in a Roger Corman film called The Trip (written by Jack Nicholson and co-starring Dennis Hopper) the following year.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I Am The Walrus
Source:    LP: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1967
    The Beatles' psychedelic period hit its peak with the BBC-TV premier of the surrealistic telefilm Magical Mystery Tour and its subsequent release on vinyl in December of 1967. Musically speaking, the centerpiece of Magical Mystery Tour was John Lennon's I Am The Walrus, which was the final track on both the British EP and side one of the US LP. The second half (more or less) of the piece contains audio from a live BBC radio broadcast that was added during the mono mixing process. At that time, the Beatles were still doing their original mixes in monoraul (single-channel) sound, then doing a stereo mix almost as an afterthought. The addition of live audio into the original mono mix meant that they would be unable to reproduce the process in stereo. So, at the point the BBC audio comes in, the true stereo version of I Am The Walrus suddenly becomes a "fake stereo" recording using techniques such as phasing and panning to create a stereo effect out of the mono mix. It also sounds really strange on headphones, like your sinuses all of a sudden got clogged up.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
Source:    LP: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:    1968
    Sporting the longest title of any Beatles recording, Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey is also one of the hardest-rocking late period Beatle tracks, and one of the few on the 1968 album The Beatles (aka the White Album) to feature all four band members playing the instruments they are best known for playing. There are two schools of thought concerning the subject matter of the lyrics of Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey. According to John Lennon, the song is about himself and Yoko Ono, who was his constant companion during recording sessions for what would come to be known as the "White album". The other, more negative view, is that the one expressed by Paul McCartney that the Monkey was heroin, which both Lennon and Ono were getting into at the time. Since Lennon actually wrote the song, his version of things is the generally accepted one.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    The Spider And The Fly
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released in US on LP: Out Of Our Heads)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1965
    The catalogs of many popular British bands of the 1960s differ greatly between the US and Great Britain. There are several reasons for this, the most obvious being that British albums generally had a longer running time than American ones, and British singles stayed on print far longer than American ones. In the case of the Rolling Stones there was a third factor: many of their recordings were made in the US and intended primarily for American listeners. In a few cases, such The Spider And The Fly, a song would actually appear in the US before it did in the UK. The Spider And The Fly originally appeared as an album track on the 1965 LP Out Of Our Heads in the US. A few weeks later, the song was released in the UK as the B side of the single (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, and was not included on the British version of Out Of Our Heads.

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    Gospel Zone
Source:    Mono CD: Dark Sides-The Best Of The Shadows Of Knight (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Tom Schiffour
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    Chicago's Shadows Of Knight hit the big time with their cover of Van Morrison's Gloria in early 1966. The single was a local #1 hit and by summertime had hit the top 10 across the nation. The band's first album (appropriately titled Gloria) had been released in April, doing well enough to warrant a second LP, as well as several singles from the band. Among the single tracks released in the summer of 1966 was Gospel, which was released as a B side in August and later included on the LP Back Door Men. The Shadows, however, were never able to duplicate the success of Gloria, and by 1968 were essentially disbanded, although various producers were still using the band's name as late as 1970.

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 (Love Minus Zero) to record as a single by their producer 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.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    Some of the best rock and roll songs of 1966 were banned on a number of stations for being about either sex or drugs. Most artists that recorded those songs claimed they were about something else altogether. In the case of Bob Dylan's Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35, "stoned" refers to a rather unpleasant form of execution (at least according to Dylan). On the other hand, Dylan himself was reportedly quite stoned while recording the song, having passed a few doobies around before starting the tape rolling. Sometimes I think ambiguities like this are why English has become the dominant language of commerce on the planet.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Positively 4th Street   
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Positively 4th Street, recorded at the same time as the Highway 61 Revisited album, was held back for single release later the same year. The tactic worked, scoring Bob Dylan his second top 10 hit.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Pledging My Time
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The B side of the first single from Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde album was Pledging My Time, a blues tune that features Robbie Robertson (who had been touring with Dylan) on guitar. The song was one of three tracks recorded in four takes in Nashville on March 8th of 1966. The single version of the song heard here fades after only two minutes (the album version being considerably longer).

Artist:    John Mayall
Title:    Cancelling Out
Source:    LP: The Blues Alone
Writer(s):    John Mayall
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    After three consecutive top 10 albums in the UK with his band the Bluesbreakers, John Mayall decided to experiment with multi-track technology for The Blues Alone, released in late 1967. Unlike the previous albums, which tended to put the emphasis on the outstanding guitarists (first Eric Clapton, then Peter Green) in the Bluesbreakers, The Blues Alone was (with the exception of Keef Hartley's drumming) a true solo effort, with Mayall playing all the instruments and providing all the vocals. Although there were a few cover songs on the album, the best tracks were Mayall originals such as Cancelling Out, a tune denouncing "put together" women.

Artist:    Red Crayola
Title:    Pink Stainless Tail
Source:    Stereo British import 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Thompson/Cunningham/Barthelme
Label:    International Artists
Year:    1967 (single released 2011)
    Rock history is dotted with stories of bands who reputations exceeded their actual recorded output. One such band was Red Crayola, a Texas band who found themselves labelmates with the 13th Floor Elevators in 1967. Although the Red Crayola (who were forced to change their name to Red Krayola in 1968) were only together for a couple of years, their legend continued to grow throughout the punk/new wave era and indy rock movements of the late 20th century and beyond. Which brings us to this curious single issued in 2011. The songs themselves, including B side Pink Stainless Tail, were lifted from the first Red Crayola album, Parable Of Arable Land, and are even on the same label, International Artists...or are they? International Artists, a relatively small label owned by a group of Texas businessmen, ceased to exist in 1971, and this 2011 single is a British import. So what's the deal? Well, as it turns out, one of the original partners in International Artists was a guy named Lelan Rogers. In 1978 Rogers (perhaps with the help of his brother Kenny?) revived the label and reissued all twelve of the LPs that originally been released by the label. This was followed by various compilation albums, some of which included previously released material. By the early 2000s, the revived International Artists had become part of Britian's Charly Records, a company that specializes in archival material. Apparently the people at Charly felt there was enough interest in Red Crayola recordings to issue a yellow vinyl single 2011, with a newly remixed Hurrican Fighter Pilot on the A side and Pink Stainless Tail on the flip. As both these tracks overlap other stuff on the original LP, the single turns out to be a pretty good thing to have around.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    House For Everyone
Source:    CD: Heaven Is In Your Mind (aka Mr. Fantasy)
Writer(s):    Dave Mason
Label:    Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1967
    Although Traffic is now known mostly as a Steve Winwood band, many of their earliest songs were the creation of guitarist Dave Mason, whose songs tended to be a bit more psychedelic than Winwood's. One example is House For Everyone from the band's 1967 debut LP, which creatively uses tape edits to simulate a music box being wound up with short snippets of song sneaking through between turns of the key at the beginning of the track.

Artist:    Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:    Good Times
Source:    CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Winds Of Change)
Writer:    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/McCulloch/Jenkins
Label:    Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    By the end of the original Animals' run they were having greater chart success with their singles in the US than in their native UK. That trend continued with the formation of the "new" Animals in 1967 and their first single, When I Was Young. Shortly after the first LP by the band now known as Eric Burdon And The Animals came out, M-G-M decided to release the song San Franciscan Nights as a single to take advantage of the massive youth migration to the city that summer. Meanwhile the band's British label decided to instead issue Good Times (an autobiographical song which was released in the US as the B side to San Franciscan Nights) as a single, and the band ended up with one of their biggest UK hits ever. Riding the wave of success of Good Times, San Franciscan Nights eventually did get released in the UK and was a hit there as well.

Artist:     Vanilla Fudge
Title:     Bang Bang
Source:     LP: Vanilla Fudge
Writer:     Sonny Bono
Label:     Atco
Year:     1967
     Vanilla Fudge made their reputation by taking popular hit songs, such as the Supremes' You Keep Me Hangin' On, and extensively re-arranging them, giving the songs an almost classical feel. In fact, some of their arrangements incorporated (uncredited) snippets of actual classical pieces. One glaring example is the Vanilla Fudge arrangement of Cher's biggest solo hit of the 60s, Bang Bang (written by her then-husband Sonny Bono). Unfortunately, although I recognize the classical piece the band uses for an intro to Bang Bang, I can't seem to remember what it's called or who wrote it. Anyone out there able to help? I think it may have been used in a 1950s movie like The King And I or Attack of the Killer Women from Planet X.

Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    I'm A Man
Source:    Mono LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Winwood/Miller
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1967
    The Spencer Davis Group, featuring Steve and Muff Winwood, was one of the UK's most successful white R&B bands of the sixties, cranking out a steady stream of hit singles. Two of them, the iconic Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm A Man, were also major hits in the US, the latter being the last song to feature the Winwood brothers. Muff Winwood became a successful record producer. The group itself continued on for several years, but were never able to duplicate their earlier successes. As for Steve Winwood, he quickly faded off into obscurity, never to be heard from again. Except as the leader of Traffic. And a member of Blind Faith. And Traffic again. And some critically-acclaimed collaborations in the early 1980s with Asian musicians. Oh yeah, and a few major solo hits (Higher Love, Roll With It...that kinda thing) in the mid-to-late 1980s. Other than that, nothing.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1921 (starts 5/20/19)



    This week's edition of Rockin' in the Days of Confusion is kind of a "stream of consciousness" type of show, where you never quite know where it's going to go next...unless, of course, you read the playlist below before actually listening to the show.

Artist:    Robin Trower
Title:    About To Begin
Source:    CD: Bridge Of Sighs
Writer(s):    Robin Trower
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol
Year:    1974
    Many of the artists featured on FM rock radio in the 1970s had already established themselves in the latter part of the previous decade, getting airplay on underground stations as well as the occasional top 40 hit. Others were newcomers that would go on to become stars in the 1980s. Then there are those few who seem to be exclusively associated with the 1970s. Among this group is Robin Trower, former guitarist of the art-rock oriented Procol Harum. Trower seldom got a chance to shine in the keyboard-dominated Harum, however, and left the group in 1972 to form his own band, Jude. Jude did not last long enough to record an album, but it did provide Trower with the core of his new trio, consisting of Trower himself on guitar, James Dewar on bass and vocals and Reg Isidore on drums. Trower's first solo album, Twice Removed From Yesterday, was fairly well-received by the rock press, but it actually was only setting the stage for what is now considered one of the greatest rock guitar albums ever recorded: 1974's Bridge Of Sighs. Even the lesser-known tracks like About To Begin got at least some airplay, and deservedly so.

Artist:    Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title:     I Put A Spell On You
Source:     CD: Chronicle (originally released on LP: Creedence Clearwater Revival)
Writer:     Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Label:     Fantasy
Year:     1968
     Before getting major attention for its string of top five singles (including three consecutive # 2 songs), Creedence Clearwater Revival released a pair of cover tunes in 1968: Dale Hawkins' Suzy Q and this one from an entirely different Hawkins, Screamin' Jay. Although CCR is generally known for their shorter songs and tight arrangement, their version of I Put A Spell On You (which hit the #58 spot on the Billbaord charts) is dominated by John Fogerty's blistering guitar work.

Artist:    Derek And The Dominos
Title:    Have You Ever Loved A Woman
Source:    CD: Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs
Writer(s):    Billy Myles
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1970
    Once in a while you hear a song that makes you stop what you are doing and just listen. The Derek and the Dominos version of the 1961 Billy Myles tune Have You Ever Loved A Woman is just such a song. The recording features heartfelt vocals from Eric Clapton (who, perhaps not coincidentally found himself in exactly the situation described in the song's lyrics) punctuated by outstanding guitar solos from Clapton and Duane Allman, who was a late addition to the band itself.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    Spoonful
Source:    European import CD: Ten Years After
Writer(s):    Willie Dixon
Label:    Deram
Year:    1967
    The late 1960s saw the rise of a British blues-rock scene that brought fame to Peter Green, Dave Edmunds and other talented guitarists. One of the first bands to release an album in this sub-genre was Ten Years After, led by Alvin Lee. Their debut LP, released in 1967, included several cover tunes, including Spoonful, which had been recorded the previous year by Cream (in studio form), and would gain popularity as a live track in 1968.

Artist:    Leslie West
Title:    Blood Of The Sun
Source:    45 RPM single B side (also released on LP: Mountain)
Writer:    West/Pappaliardi/Collins
Label:    Windfall
Year:    1969
    After the Long Island band The Vagrants disbanded guitarist Leslie Weinstein changed his last name to West and recorded a solo album called Mountain. Helping him with the project was producer Felix Pappaliardi, who had previously worked with Cream on their Disraeli Gears and Wheels Of Fire albums. Among the better tracks on the album was a tune called Blood Of The Sun, which the two of them wrote (along with Pappaliardi's wife Janet Collins). The pair of them meshed so well that they decided to form a band with drummer Corky Laing, using the name Mountain. One of the first gigs by the new band was the Woodstock festival, where they played Blood Of The Sun to an enthusiastic crowd.

Artist:     Led Zeppelin
Title:     Your Time Is Gonna Come/Black Mountain Side/Communication Breakdown
Source:     LP: Led Zeppelin
Writer(s):    Page/Jones/Bonham
Year:     1969
    One of the great ironies of Led Zeppelin is that half the members of a band that was revered for its live performances were in fact in-demand studio musicians long before they started performing live. Your Time Is Gonna Come and Black Mountain Side, from the debut Zeppelin album was written by those two members, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. The two songs run together on the album, and are immediately followed by the B side of the band's first single, Communication Breakdown. I'm pretty sure that back when the album first came out, some unknown DJ was unable to stop the turntable fast enough to cut off Communication Breakdown and ended up just letting the two and a half minute track play on through. Somebody liked the way it sounded and the three have been played as a continuous set ever since. Who am I to argue with a tradition like that?

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

Artist:    National Lampoon featuring Gilda Radner
Title:    I'm A Woman
Source:    CD: Greatest Hits Of The National Lampoon (originally released on LP: Goodbye Pop 1952-1976)
Writer(s):    Jacobs/Kelly
Label:    Uproar (original label: Epic)
Year:    1975
    Gilda Radner was a regular performer on the National Lampoon Radio, which ran from November of 1973 to December of 1974 on over 600 radio stations throughout the US. Several albums were released featuring material from that show, as well as one LP of all-original material called Goodbye Pop 1952-1976. Released in 1975, the album featured song parodies by members of the Radio Hour cast, many of whom would soon join the cast of a new TV show called NBC Saturday Night. I'm A Woman, performed by Radner, is a biting piece of satire pointing out that, despite the gains of the women's movement in the early 1970s, the record industry was still very much male-dominated, as evidenced by several men trying to tell a female singer how to perform a song called I'm A Woman.

Artist:    Genesis
Title:    The Fountain Of Salmacis
Source:    Canadian import CD: Nursery Cryme
Writer(s):    Banks/Collins/Gabriel/Hackett/Rutherford
Label:    Atlantic (original label: Charisma)
Year:    1971
    Genesis' original guitarist, Anthony Phillips, left the group following their second LP, Trespass, in 1970. This almost caused the band to break up, but ultimately resulted in a revised lineup consisting of Peter Gabriel (vocals), Tony Banks (keyboards), and Mike Rutherford (bass), along with new members Steve Hackett (guitar) and Phil Collins (bass). Early in 1971 the five got to work on a new album, which eventually came to be called Nursery Cryme. Although the album was not a huge seller in their native England, it found enough of a following in European nations such as Belgium to allow the band to continue on. The Fountain Of Salmacis, the album's closing track, is an instrumental piece inspired by the story of a water nymph who becomes a hermaphodite after bathing in cursed water (hey, blame the ancient Greeks for that story).

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:    Doobie Brothers
Title:    Another Park, Another Sunday
Source:    CD: What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits
Writer(s):    Ton Johnston
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1973
    One of the most underrated songs in the Doobie Brothers catalog, Another Park Another Sunday was the first single released from the band's fourth LP, What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, in late 1973. Although the tune made the top 40 charts, it was eventually eclipsed by its B side, Black Water, which went all the way to the top of the charts when it was re-released as a single the following year.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1920 (starts 5/13/19)



    This week the emphasis is on the odd-numbered years of the psychedelic era, with lots of tunes from 1965, 1967 and 1969. We also have a handful of tunes from the even-numbered years, including a pair on 1968 tracks that are part of a Fairport Convention artists' set. It all starts and ends in 1969...

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Chasing Shadows
Source:    LP: Purple Passages (originally released on LP: Deep Purple)
Writer(s):    Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Tetragrammaton)
Year:    1969
    As a general rule, recording artists tend to do better on their home ground than anywhere else. Even the Beatles already had a pair of chart-topping British singles (Please Please Me and She Loves You) under their collective belts by the time they touched off the British Invasion of the US with I Want To Hold Your Hand in 1964. There are exceptions, however. One British band that had huge success in the US, yet was unable to buy a hit in its native England, was the original incarnation of a band called Deep Purple. The group had a major US hit right out of the box with their 1968 cover of Joe South's Hush, but the song did not chart at all in the UK. The band's US label, Tetragrammaton, promoted the band heavily and the group's debut LP, Shades Of Deep Purple, was the all-time best selling album in that label's short history. The band followed Shades up with a second LP, The Book Of Taleisyn, that included another hit cover song, this time of Neil Diamond's Kentucky Woman. Still, the British record-buying public was unimpressed, and it was estimated that the group on the average made fifteen to twenty times as much money per gig in the US than they did at home. Unfortunately for the band, Tetragrammaton was badly managed and went belly up just days after the release of the band's self-titled third album. This left the band without a US label and still unsuccessful at home. This, combined with internal conflicts about what direction the band should take musically, led to major personnel changes. Ultimately those changes, particularly the addition of lead vocalist Ian Gilliam, proved beneficial, as Deep Purple became one of the top rock bands in the world in the early 1970s. This in turn led to Warner Brothers, the band's new US label, releasing a compilation album of the group's early material called Purple Passages, which included almost the entire third album. Among the outstanding tracks from that album is Chasing Shadows, which utilizes African rhythms from drummer Ian Paice, as well as a strong performance by the band's original vocalist, Rod Evans, who would go on to become the front man for a band called Captain Beyond in the early 1970s.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Abbey Road Medley #2
Source:    Abbey Road
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1969
    The Beatles had been experimenting with songs leading into other songs since the Sgt. Pepper's album. With Abbey Road they took it a step further, with side two of the album containing two such medleys (although some rock historians treat it as one long medley). The second one consists of three songs credited to John Lennon and Paul McCartney: Golden Slumbers is vintage McCartney, while Carry That Weight has more of a Lennon feel to it. The final section,The End, probably should have been credited to the entire band, as it contains the only Ringo Starr drum solo on (a Beatle) record as well as three sets of alternating lead guitar solos (eight beats each) from Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon (in that order).

Artist:    John D. Loudermilk
Title:    Goin' To Hell On A Sled
Source:    LP: The Open Mind Of John D. Loudermilk
Writer(s):    John D. Loudermilk
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1969
    John D. Loudermilk was one of the most respected songwriters of the 1960s, best known for Tobacco Road, a hit for the Nashville Teens in 1964. In 1969 Loudermilk recorded an album for RCA Victor entitled The Open Mind Of John D. Loudermilk. The album featured songs in a variety of styles. Goin' To Hell On A Sled is a kind of ironic country song that paved the way for later artists such as Jerry Reed and David Allen Coe.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    Slip Inside This House
Source:    Mono CD: Easter Everywhere
Writer(s):    Hall/Erickson
Label:    Charly (original US label: International Artists)
Year:    1967
    The 13th Floor Elevators returned from their only California tour in time to celebrate Christmas of 1966 in their native Texas. Not long after that things began to fall apart for the band. Much of this can be attributed to bad management, but at least some of the problems were internal in nature. Lead guitarist Stacy Southerland was caught with marijuana in the trunk of his car, thus causing his probation to be revoked, which in turn meant he was not allowed to leave the Lone Star state. This in turn caused the entire rhythm section to head off for San Francisco, leaving Southerland, along with Tommy Hall and Roky Erickson, to find replacement members in time to start work on the band's second album, Easter Everywhere. Despite this, the album itself came out remarkably well, and is now considered a high point of the psychedelic era. Unlike the first 13th Floor Elevators album, Easter Everywhere was designed to be a primarily spiritual work. Nowhere is this more evident than on the album's opening track, the eight-minute epic Slip Inside This House. Written primarily by Hall, Slip Inside This House was intended to "establish the syncretic concepts behind Western and Eastern religions, science and mysticism, and consolidate them into one body of work that would help redefine the divine essence". Whether he succeeded or not is a matter of opinion; the track itself is certainly worth hearing for yourself. Enjoy.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    You're Lost Little Girl
Source:    LP: Strange Days
Writer:    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    The Doors second LP, Strange Days, was stylistically similar to the first, and served notice to the world that this band was going to be around for awhile. Songwriting credit for You're Lost Little Girl (a haunting number that's always been a personal favorite of mine) was given to the entire band, a practice that would continue until the release of The Soft Parade in 1969.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Our Love Was, Is
Source:    Canadian import CD: Magic Bus (originally released on LP: The Who Sell Out)
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1967
    The Who's late-1967 album, The Who Sell Out, is best known for its faux commercials and actual jingles lifted from the British pirate station Radio London. Hidden among the commercial hype, however, are some of the band's best tunes, including Our Love Was, a song that was one of the few LP tracks to be included on the Who's Magic Bus compilation album.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    For What It's Worth (Stop, Hey What's That Sound)
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released as 45 RPM single and added to LP: Buffalo Springfield)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Atco)
Year:    1966
    Most people associate the name Buffalo Springfield with the song For What It's Worth (Stop, Hey What's That Sound). And for good reason. The song is one of the greatest protest songs ever recorded, and to this day is in regular rotation on both oldies and classic rock radio stations. The song was written and recorded in November of 1966 and released in December. By then the first Buffalo Springfield LP was already on the racks, but until that point had not sold particularly well. When it became clear that For What It's Worth was becoming a breakout hit, Atco Records quickly recalled the album and added the song to it (as the opening track). All subsequent pressings of the LP (and later the CD) contain For What It's Worth, making earlier copies of the album somewhat of a rarity and quite collectable.

Artist:    Left Banke
Title:    Barterers And Their Wives
Source:    LP: Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina
Writer(s):    Brown/Feher
Label:    Smash/Sundazed
Year:    1967
    The Left Banke made a huge impact with their debut single, Walk Away Renee, in late 1966. All of a sudden the rock press (such as it was in 1966) was all abuzz with talk of "baroque pop" and how it was the latest, greatest thing. The band soon released a follow-up single, Pretty Ballerina, which made the top 10 as well, which led to an album entitled (naturally enough) Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina. The album featured several more songs in the same vein, such as Barterers And Their Wives, which was also released as a B side later that year. An unfortunate misstep by keyboardist Michael Brown, however, led to the Left Banke's early demise, and baroque pop soon went the way of other sixties fads.

Artist:    Jeff Beck
Title:    Love Is Blue (L'Amout Est Bleu)
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Blackburn/Cour/Popp
Label:    Sundazed/Epic (original UK label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    In early 1968 guitarist Jeff Beck, having parted company with the Yardbirds, found himself with all kinds of freedom, but few ideas about what to do with it. One of his earliest solo recordings was a cover of Paul Mauriat's L'Amour Est Bleu (Love Is Blue). Beck's arrangement of the piece, which made the British top 40, was actually quite similar to Mauriat's original, the main difference being Beck's guitar taking the part that had been played by a string section on the original. Beck soon found himself with a new band, the Jeff Beck Group, that featured a young Rod Stewart as lead vocalist. The rest is history.

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:    Mother Earth
Title:    Get Out Of Here
Source:    LP: Satisfied
Writer(s):    B. Charles
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1970
    Although formed in San Francisco and originally known for its live performances in the Bay Area, Mother Earth relocated to the countryside outside of Nashville, Tennessee soon after the release of their first LP, Living With The Animals. Not all of the original band members made the move, however, and by the time the group's 1970 LP Satisfied was released, only bandleader Tracy Nelson remained from the original lineup. The album itself is made up mainly of cover songs such as Get Out Of Here. I have not been able to find any information on the credited songwriter, B. Charles, however. I suppose it could be a misprint substituting a B for an R, but it doesn't sound much like a Ray Charles song to me, either.

Artist:    Audience
Title:    I Put A Spell On You
Source:    CD: The House On The Hill
Writer(s):    Jay Hawkins
Label:    Caroline Blue Plate (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1971
    Audience was formed in 1969 from the remains of a semi-professional British soul band called Lloyd Alexander Real Estate that had issued one single in 1967 for the tiny President label. The band's original lineup, consisting of Howard Werth (nylon-strung electric acoustic guitar and vocals), Keith Gemmell (alto and tenor saxophone, flute and clarinet), Trevor Williams (bass guitar and vocals) and Tony Connor (drums and vocals) released three albums before exhaustion forced Gemmell to leave the group in 1972. The first two of these were not released in the US, making The House On The Hill their American debut album. Audience did have a successful US tour in support of the 1971 LP, appearing on the same bill as Rod Stewart And Faces and the original Cactus. One of the highlights from The House On The Hill is a mostly acoustic cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins classic I Put A Spell On You. Compared to most versions of the song, which tend to be over the top, the Audience version of I Put A Spell On You is understated, yet soulful, thanks to a strong vocal performance.

Artist:    Tangerine Zoo
Title:    Nature's Children
Source:    CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released on LP: Tangerine Zoo)
Writer(s):    Medeiros/Smith
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1968
    Many of the acts signed to Bob Shad's Mainstream label are considered by rock historians to be somewhat lacking in one or another categories, such as songwriting, virtuosity or just plain commercial viability. This has resulted in the reputations of the few quality bands appearing on the label to be somewhat unfairly tarnished by association. One of those bands that really deserves a second look is the Tangerine Zoo, from Swansea, Mass., a few miles south of Boston. The band, made up of Tony Taviera (bass), Wayne Gagnon (guitar), Ron Medieros(organ), Bob Benevides (lead vocals) and Donald Smith (drums), recorded two albums for the label, both of which were released in 1968. Tangerine Zoo had actually been approached by no less than two major labels (RCA Victor and Mercury) before deciding to go with Mainstream, the only label to offer them an album contract from the start. Unfortunately internal issues caused the Zoo to close down before they could record a third LP.

Artist:     Frijid Pink
Title:     House Of The Rising Sun
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     Trad., arr. Alan Price
Label:     Parrot
Year:     1969
     Frijid Pink was a hard rocking blue collar band out of Detroit, Michigan. After releasing two singles on the Parrot label that went nowhere, they band scored big with their feedback-drenched version of House Of The Rising Sun, the song that had made the Animals famous six years earlier. The follow-up single, Sing A Song Of Freedom, barely dented the charts, however, and the group never made any inroads with the new progressive rock stations springing up on the FM dial. As a result, Frijid Pink has been known ever since as a one-hit wonder.

Artist:    Vagrants
Title:    Oh Those Eyes
Source:    LP: I Can't Get A Friend 1965-1968 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Gerald Storch
Label:    Light In The Attic (original label: Southern Sound)
Year:    1965
    The first Vagrants single, Oh Those Eyes, was released on the semi-professional Southern Sound label in 1965. The single came to the attention of Vince Scarza and Douglas Hickox, who were directing a teensploitation flick called Disk-o-Tek Holiday (hey I don't make these things up, really). The movie featured several bands performing a song or two apiece, and the Vagrants performance of Oh Those Eyes is considered a highlight of the film. The band then released a single on the Vanguard label before being discovered by Cream producer Felix Pappalardi, who got them a contract with Atco Records. Throughout their existence the Vagrants remained a popular club band, appearing alonside the likes of the Young Rascals and Vanilla Fudge (who "borrowed" many elements of the Vagrants' style when developing their own sound). Lead guitarist Leslie Weinstein would later shorten his last name to West and form Mountain with Pappalardi.

Artist:    Mojo Men
Title:    She's My Baby
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Stewart/Alaimo/Curcio
Label:    Rhino (original label: Autumn)
Year:    1966
    Although generally considered to be one of the early San Francisco bands, the Mojo Men actually originated in Rochester, NY. After spending most of the early 60s in Florida playing to fraternities, the band moved out the West Coast in 1965, soon falling in with Autumn Records producer Sylvester Stewart (Sly Stone), for a time becoming his backup band. Stewart produced several singles for the Mojo Men, including She's My Baby, a song that had originally been recorded in 1962 as a song to do the mashed potato (an early 60s dance) to by Steve Alaimo, brother of Mojo Men bassist/lead vocalist Jim Alaimo and co-host (with Paul Revere and the Raiders) of the nationally distributed dance show Where The Action Is. The Mojo Men version of She's My Baby has more of a blues/garage-rock sound than the Steve Alaimo original, prompting its inclusion on several compilation albums over the past forty years.

Artist:    Sonics
Title:    Strychnine
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the Psychedelic Era (originally released on LP: Here Are The Sonics)
Writer(s):    Gerald Roslie
Label:    Rhino (original label: Etiquette)
Year:    1965
    From 1965 we have a band that maintains a cult following to this day: the legendary Sonics, generally considered one of the foundation stones of the Seattle music scene. Although the majority of songs on their albums were cover tunes, virtually all of their originals, such as Strychnine from their debut LP, are now considered punk classics; indeed, the Sonics, along with their labelmates the Wailers, are often cited as the first true punk rock bands.

Artist:    Grass Roots
Title:    Mr. Jones (A Ballad Of A Thin Man)
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1965
    In late 1965 songwriters/producers P.F. Sloan (Eve of Destruction) and Steve Barri decided to create a series of records by a band called the Grass Roots. The problem was that there was no band called the Grass Roots (at least not that they knew of), so Sloan and Barri decided to recruit an existing band and talk them into changing their name. The band they found was the Bedouins, one of the early San Francisco bands. As the rush to sign SF bands was still months away, the Bedouins were more than happy to record the songs Sloan and Barri picked out for them. The first single by the newly-named Grass Roots was a cover of Bob Dylan's Mr. Jones (A Ballad Of A Thin Man). The band soon got to work promoting the single to Southern California radio stations, but with both the Byrds and the Turtles already on the charts with Dylan covers it soon became obvious that the market was becoming saturated with folk-rock. After a period of months the band, who wanted more freedom to write and record their own material, had a falling out with Sloan and Barri and it wasn't long before they moved back to San Francisco, leaving drummer Joel Larson in L.A. The group, with another drummer, continued to perform as the Grass Roots until Dunhill Records ordered them to stop. Eventually Dunhill would hire a local L.A. band called the 13th Floor (not to be confused with Austin, Texas's 13th Floor Elevators) to be the final incarnation of the Grass Roots; that group would crank out a series of top 40 hits in the early 70s. Meanwhile the original lineup changed their name but never had the opportunity to make records again.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    Inside Looking Out
Source:     Mono CD: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Animalization)
Writer(s):    Lomax/Lomax/Burdon/Chandler
Label:    Polydor (original 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:    Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band
Title:    Trust Us (take 9)
Source:    British import CD: Safe As Milk (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Don Van Vliet
Label:    Rev-Ola
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 2009
    When it comes to long strange trips, Captain Beefheart takes a back seat to no one. Don Vliet was born in Glendale, California in 1941, but soon moved to Lancaster, a bedroom community on the edge of the Mojave desert. It was there, attending Antelope Valley High School, that he met fellow blues enthusiast Frank Zappa, striking up what would be a lifelong friendship. When plans to form a band and make a film called Captain Beefheart Meets The Grunt People fell though, the two went their separate ways, with Zappa eventually forming the Mothers while Vliet (now known as Don Van Vliet) took Captain Beefheart as a stage name, hooking up with the Magic Band in the early 1960s. The group signed with A&M Records in 1965, releasing a pair of blues-oriented singles the following year. The singles failed to sell well, however, and subsequent recordings made for inclusion on a possible album were rejected by A&M outright. Undeterred, the Magic Band signed with the brand new Buddah label in early 1967, releasing their (and Buddah's) debut LP, Safe As Milk, that September. Less than two months later the Magic Band began work on a second, even more experimental, LP, to be called It Comes To You In A Plain Brown Wrapper, but the project got cut short when Buddah informed them they weren't interested in releasing any more Captain Beefheart material.
Among the nearly finished tracks from those sessions was Trust Us, a piece that would be re-recorded the following year and released on the album Strictly Personal on the Blue Thumb label. Not long after the release of Strictly Personal, Don Van Vliet would reconnect with Frank Zappa and issue the first of his classic albums, Trout Mask Replica, on Zappa's Straight label, in 1969.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    If You Feel
Source:    CD: Crown Of Creation
Writer(s):    Blackman/Balin
Label:    BMG/RCA
Year:    1968
    Although Marty Balin's contributions as a songwriter to Jefferson Airplane's third album, After Bathing At Baxter's, were minimal (he co-wrote one song), he was back in full force on the band's next LP, Crown Of Creation. One of his lesser-known songs on the album is If You Feel, co-written with non-member Gary Blackman, which opened side two of the LP.

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    Jack O' Diamonds
Source:    British import CD: Fairport Convention
Writer(s):    Dylan/Carruthers
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1968
    The recording history of the premier English folk-rock band, Fairport Convention, can be more than a little confusing. A large part of the problem was caused by A&M Records, who had the rights to release the band's material in the US, starting with the band's second LP. Rather than go with the original album title, What We Did On Our Holidays, A&M retitled the album Fairport Convention, releasing it in 1970. The problem is that the band's first album, released in the UK on Polydor in 1968, was also titled Fairport Convention. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the lineup on the 1968 Polydor LP differs from that of every other Fairport album, most notably in the absence of the band's most visible member, vocalist Sandy Denny. Fairport Convention (the band) was formed in 1967, and was consciously following in the footsteps of Jefferson Airplane, albeit from a British perspective. Like the Airplane, the original Fairport lineup had a wealth of talent, including Martin Lamble on drums and violin, Simon Nicol on guitars, Judy Dibble on autoharp, recorder and piano, Richard Thompson on guitar and mandolin, Ashley Hutchings (then known as Tyger Hutchings) on bass and Ian MacDonald (who later became known as Ian Matthews), who shared lead vocals with Dyble. Musically the band was far more rock-oriented than on later LPs, as can be heard on tracks like Jack Of Diamonds, a song that the band credited to Bob Dylan and Ben Carruthers. This can be attributed, at least in part, to a general disdain among the youth of Britain for the traditional English folk music that was taught to every schoolchild in the country (whether they wanted it or not). Later albums would find Fairport Convention doing more and more traditional folk, eventually becoming the world's most popular practicioners of the art, although they never entirely abandoned their rock roots.

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

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    One Sure Thing
Source:    British import CD: Fairport Convention
Writer(s):    Brooks/Glover
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1968
    The original Fairport Convention in many ways resembles the early Jefferson Airplane; the group, which featured Judy Dyble and Ian MacDonald (later known as Ian Matthews) on vocals, Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol  on guitars, Ashley “Tyger” Hutchings on bass and Martin Lamble on drums, blended folk music with rock elements and included several songs in their repertoire that had originally been performed by other artists. One of these cover songs featuring Dyble on vocals is One Sure Thing, which was written by Jim Glover and Harvey Brooks and made famous by the folk duo Jim And Jean in the early 1960s. The Fairport version of One Sure Thing, like most of the band's early material, is far more psychedelic than the Jim And Jean rendition of the song.

Artist:    Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title:    Cowgirl In The Sand
Source:    CD: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer:    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    It has been said that adverse conditions are conducive to good art. Certainly that truism applies to Neil Young's Cowgirl In The Sand, written while Young was running a 102 degree fever. Almost makes you want to get sick yourself, doesn't it?

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1920 (starts 5/13/19)



    This week's show starts off with a set of tunes that touches on themes of freedom and imprisonment. From there we have a whole bunch of songs making their Rockin' in the Days of Confusion debut, followed by a classic Santana track to finish things off.

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

Artist:     Jimi Hendrix
Title:     Freedom
Source:     LP: The Cry Of Love
Writer:     Jimi Hendrix
Label:     Experience Hendrix/Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1970
     Jimi Hendrix was working on a new double album when he died, but nobody else seemed to be sure where he was going with it. As there were several tracks that were unfinished at the time, Reprise Records gathered what they could and put them together on an album called The Cry Of Love. Freedom, a nearly finished piece (the unfinished part being a short "placesetter" guitar solo that Hendrix never got around to replacing with a final take), is the opening track from the album. Soon after that, a new Hendrix concert film called Rainbow Bridge was released along with a soundtrack album containing most of the remaining tracks from the intended double album. Finally, in 1997 MCA (with the help of original engineer Eddie Kramer and drummer Mitch Mitchell) pieced together what was essentially an educated guess about what would have been that album and released it under the name First Rays of the New Rising Sun.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Been Down So Long
Source:    LP: L.A. Woman
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1971
    L.A. Woman, the Doors' sixth and final studio album with vocalist Jim Morrison, is considered one of the band's best, due to its stripped down production and return to the group's blues-rock roots. Nowhere are both these trends more evident than on the song Been Down So Long, the third track on the LP. The song, written by Morrison, but credited (as were all the tracks on L.A. Woman) to the entire group, was reportedly inspired in part by Morrison's own brush with the possibility of incarceration due to his arrest on charges of indecency for allegedly exposing himself on stage in Florida.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Gallows Pole
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin III
Writer(s):    Traditional, arr. Page/Plant
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Following a year of intensive touring to promote their first two albums, Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page decided to take some time off, cloistering themselves in a small Welsh cottage known as Bron-Yr-Aur for several weeks. The place had no electricity, and the pair used the time to write and/or adapt acoustic material for the band to record for their third LP. One of the best of these "new" songs was Gallows Pole, which Page adapted from a 1962 recording by Fred Gerlach, although the song's roots go back several centuries.

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    The Deserter
Source:    LP: Liege & Lief
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Fairport
Label:    A&M
Year:    1969
    By the time Fairport Convention recorded Liege & Lief they had completely transitioned from their Jefferson Airplane inspired brand of folk-rock to a style that was uniquely English. Covers of songs by people like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen had given way to rock adaptations of traditional folk ballads such as The Deserter, which tells the story of a man who is conscripted into the army against his will, and makes his escape at the first opportunity, only to be recaptured.

Artist:    David Bowie
Title:    Fill Your Heart/Andy Warhol
Source:    CD: Hunky Dory
Writer(s): Rose/Williams/Bowie
Label:    Parlophone (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1971
    With one exception, every song on the first five David Bowie albums was written by Bowie himself. The exception was Fill Your Heart, a light dancehall style number included as the opener of the second side of 1971's Hunky Dory LP. There is evidence that a song called Bombers was originally intended to be the side opener, but that song remained unreleased until the 1990s. Why Bowie would choose to record a song like Fill Your Heart in the first place is a mystery, but given the Marlene Dietrich inspired pose Bowie took for the album cover itself, maybe he simply decided to record the song to tie into the same image. Without any break in the audio, the song segues into Bowie's own Andy Warhol, a song that can be interpreted as either a tribute to, or parody of, the avant-garde icon.

Artist:    Gentle Giant
Title:    The Boys In The Band
Source:    CD: Octopus
Writer(s):    Minnear/Shulman/Shulman/Shulman
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1972
    The Boys In The Band is the only instrumental piece on Gentle Giant's fourth LP, Octopus. As such, it is (as its title implies) a piece that showcases each of the six band members abilities on various instruments (all members being capable of playing more than one). Unlike most such tracks, however, The Boys In The Band gets it all done in less than five minutes.

Artist:    Grand Funk
Title:    Black Licorice
Source:    CD: We're An American Band
Writer(s):    Farner/Brewer
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1973
    By 1973 Grand Funk Railroad, the first true arena-rock band, was sounding a bit fatigued. The band had released six studio LPs, as well as a double disc live album, over a period of just four years, with guitarist Mark Farner writing virtually all the group's original material, as well as handling all the lead vocals. Having parted company with their original manager/producer, Terry Knight, just prior to recording their self-produced Phoenix album in 1972, the band was seeing a dropoff in sales as well. To get things back on track they brought in a new producer, Todd Rundgren, for their seventh LP, We're An American Band, as well as shortening the band's name to Grand Funk. The most noticable change, however, was the rise to prominence of drummer Don Brewer, both as a songwriter and a vocalist. In fact, Brewer took over lead vocal duties on fully half the album's songs, writing or co-writing several of them, including Black Licorice. The album was a huge success, changing the direction of Grand Funk's music forever.

Artist:    Black Sheep
Title:    Broken Promises
Source:    LP: Black Sheep
Writer(s):    Grammitico/Crozier/Turgan
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1975
    Black Sheep was a Rochester, NY band that released a pair of album on the Capitol label in the mid-1970s. The group was fronted by Louis Grammitico, who went on to greater fame after shortening his name to Lou Graham and becoming lead vocalist of Foreigner. Black Sheep's music was fairly typical of mid-70s rock, as can be heard on tunes like Broken Promises.

Artist:    Steely Dan
Title:    Rikki Don't Lose That Number
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Becker/Fagen
Label:    ABC
Year:    1974
    Contrary to what you may have heard, Rikki Don't Lose That Number, from the album Pretzel Logic, is not about using the US Postal Service to mail yourself weed. This is according to both Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, who are generally known for being deliberately obscure. The fact that they both, on separate occasions, have addressed the issue leads me to take their version of the story, that the subject of the song was a young woman Fagen knew in college, as the correct one. What's not in dispute is this: Rikki Don't Lose That Number was Steely Dan's biggest hit single, deservedly so.

Artist:    Uriah Heep
Title:    Sweet Freedom
Source:    LP: Sweet Freedom
Writer(s):    Ken Hensley
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1973
    Uriah Heep hit their Apex in 1972 with the back-to-back LPs Demons And Wizards and The Magician's Birthday. They followed those up with a double-LP live album (pretty much a standard thing for rock bands at the time) and, in 1973, released the album Sweet Freedom. Sweet Freedom saw the band moving beyond their own fantasy-based image, both lyrically and musically, with mixed success. The title track, which closed the album, was probably the most stylistically similar song on the album to their earlier material, and with a six and a half minute running time is the longest track on the album itself.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Se A Cabo
Source:    CD: Abraxas
Writer(s):    Chepito Areas
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1970
    Following their successful appearance at Woodstock in August of 1969, Santana returned to the studio to begin work on their second LP. Unlike their self-titled debut, Abraxas took several months to record, finally hitting the racks in September of 1970. Like the group's first album, Abraxas includes several instrumental tracks such as Se A Cabo, which opens side two of the original LP. The tune was written by percussionist José Octavio "Chepito" Areas, who played timbales for the band from 1969-1977, returning for a three-year stint in the late 1980s.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1919 (starts 5/6/19)



    This time around we have a couple of album sides, an artists' set, a British set and trips both up and down through the years. Read on...

Artist:    Dave Clark Five
Title:    You Know You're Lying
Source:    Mono LP: I Like It Like That
Writer(s):    Clark/Smith
Label:    Epic
Year:    1965
    It's a well-known fact that in the 1960s the British and American versions of albums by British Invasion bands often had different song lineups and sometimes even different album titles. In the case of the Dave Clark Five, however, their album catalogs in the two nations were mutually exclusive. In fact, the DC5 actually released twice as many LPs in the US between 1964 and 1967 as they did in their native UK. As a result, there are several DC5 songs that were never availble to British record buyers, unless they were willing to buy a US-only LP such as I Like It Like That, which came out in 1965. Although the band eschewed psychedelia as a general rule, some of their songs, such as You Know You're Lying, have a definite garage-rock feel to them. The band's American popularity is underscored by one other interesting bit of trivia: they appeared on the Ed Sullivan show a total of 18 times, by far the most appearances by a British Invasion band.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Bringing Me Down
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Balin/Kantner
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    One of several singles released mainly to San Francisco Bay area radio stations and record stores, Bringing Me Down is an early collaboration between vocalist Marty Balin and guitarist/vocalist Paul Kantner. Balin had invited Kantner into the band without having heard him play a single note. It turned out to be one of many right-on-the-money decisions by the young bandleader.

Artist:     Monkees
Title:     The Door Into Summer
Source:     CD: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.
Writer:     Douglas/Martin
Label:     Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:     1967
     After playing nearly all the instrumental tracks on their third album themselves, the Monkees came to the painful conclusion that they would not be able to repeat the effort and still have time to tape a weekly TV show. As a result, the fourth Monkees LP, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones LTD., used studio musicians extensively, albeit under the creative supervision of the Monkees themselves. The group also had the final say over what songs ended up on the album, including The door Into Summer, a tune by Bill Martin, a friend of band leader Michael Nesmith. For reasons that are too complicated to get into here (and probably wouldn't make much sense anyway), co-credit was given to the band's producer, Chip Douglas.

Artist:     Moby Grape
Title:     Can't Be So Bad
Source:     LP: Wow
Writer:     Jerry Miller
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1968
     Although the second Moby Grape album, Wow, is generally considered inferior to the first, it does have its moments of brilliance. One of these is the Jerry Miller song Can't Be So Bad. I guarantee this one will get stuck in your head after only one listen.

Artist:    Vanilla Fudge
Title:    Some Velvet Morning
Source:    Mono CD: The Complete Atco Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lee Hazlewood
Label:    Real Gone/Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:    1969
    Most American listeners are probably unaware of Vanilla Fudge's 1969 cover of Lee Hazlewood's Some Velvet Morning, but the song actually made quite a big splash in the rest of the world, thanks to the band's live performance of the song at the International Music Festival in Venice that year. The performance, which led to the band becoming the first Americans to win the Golden Gondola award, was see by 40 million television viewers worldwide. In the US, the song was released as a mono single at a time when FM stereo was becoming the medium of choice for serious rock fans. That, taken with the fact that AM radio was not about to play a song that ran nearly eight minutes in length, pretty much doomed Some Velvet Morning as a potential US hit right from the start.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix
Title:    Valleys Of Neptune
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 2010
    Even before the breakup of the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1969, Hendrix was starting to work with other musicians, including keyboardist Steve Winwood and wind player Chris Wood from Traffic, bassist Jack Casidy from Jefferson Airplane and Electric Flag drummer Buddy Miles among others. Still, he kept showing a tendency to return to the power trio configuration, first with Band of Gypsys, with Miles and bassist Billy Cox and, in 1970, a new trio that was sometimes referred to as the "new" Jimi Hendrix Experience. This trio, featuring Cox along with original Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell (with additional percussion added by Jumo Sultan), recorded extensively in the months leading up to Hendrix's death, leaving behind hours of tapes in various stages of completion. Among those recordings was a piece called Valleys Of Neptune that was finally released, both as a single and as the title track of a new CD, in 2010.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    One Of These Days
Source:    CD: Meddle
Writer(s):    Waters/Wright/Gilmour/Mason
Label:    Pink Floyd Records (original label: Harvest)
Year:    1971
    In their early years Pink Floyd was a band that was talked about more than heard, at least in the US. That began to change with the release of their 1971 LP Meddle and its opening track, One Of These Days, which got a significant amount of airplay on progressive FM radio stations.
   
Artist:    Animals
Title:    I'm Crying
Source:    Mono LP: The Best Of The Animals (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Price/Burdon
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1964
    Like most groups in the early 1960s, the Animals started their studio career by recording a mixture of songs provided to their producer by professional songwriters and covers of tunes previously recorded by other artists. Their first self-penned single was I'm Crying, a tune by vocalist Eric Burdon and organist Alan Price that was released in September of 1964. The song made the top 10 in Canada and the UK, but stalled out in the lower reaches of the top 40 in the US, falling far short of their previous international hit, House Of The Rising Sun. Producer Mickie Most decided from then on that songs written by the band itself would only be released as album tracks and B sides, a policy that stayed in effect until the Animals changed producers in 1966.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Source:    CD: Big Hits (High Tides & Green Grass) (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1965
    Singles released in the UK in the 60s tended to stay on the racks much longer than their US counterparts. This is because singles were generally not duplicated on LPs like they were in the US. The Rolling Stones' 1965 hit (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction was a good example. In the US the single had completely disappeared from most record racks by the end of the year, despite the fact that (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction was the #1 song of the year. The song has, however, been continuously in print since its initial release due to it being added to the Out Of Our Heads album, which had a considerably different song lineup than the original UK version. On the other side of the Atlantic the song was unavailable as an LP track until Big Hits (High Tide And Green Grass) was released, but for several years the single could be found wherever records were sold throughout Europe.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Sunny Afternoon
Source:    Mono LP: Face To Face
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1966
    My family got its first real stereo (a GE console model with a reel-to-reel recorder instead of a turntable) just in time for me to catch the Kinks' Sunny Afternoon at the peak of its popularity. My school had just gone into split sessions and all my classes were over by one o'clock, which gave me the chance to explore the world of top 40 radio for a couple hours every day without the rest of the family telling me to turn it down (or off). Of course, none of the few stereo FM stations were playing rock songs in 1966, but since the Kinks were still only mixing their songs in mono at that point it didn't really matter.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Baby, You're A Rich Man
Source:    LP: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1967
    Baby, You're A Rich Man was one of the last collaborations between John Lennon and Paul McCartney and addresses the Beatles' longtime manager Brian Epstein, although not by name. Lennon came up with the basic question "how does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?" (a popular term for the young and hip in late 60s London), which became the basis for the song's verses, which were combined with an existing, but unfinished, Paul McCartney chorus (Baby, You're A Rich Man, too). The finished piece was issued as the B side of the Beatles' second single of 1967, All You Need Is Love, and later remixed in stereo and included on the US-only LP version of Magical Mystery Tour.
         
Artist:     Status Quo
Title:     Pictures Of Matchstick Men
Source:     Simulated stereo CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Francis Rossi
Label:     K-Tel (original label: Cadet Concept)
Year:     1968
     The band with the most charted singles in the UK is not the Beatles or even the Rolling Stones. It is, in fact, Status Quo, quite possibly the nearest thing to a real life version of Spinal Tap. Except for Pictures of Matchstick Men, the group has never had a hit in the US. On the other hand, they remain popular in Scandanavia, playing to sellout crowds on a regular basis (yes, they are still together).

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Homeward Bound
Source:    LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Sundazed/Columbia
Year:    1966
    Following the success of Sounds Of Silence, Paul Simon And Art Garfunkel set about making an album of all new material (Sounds Of Silence had featured several re-recorded versions of tunes from the 1965 British album The Paul Simon Songbook). The result was Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, one of the finest folk-rock albums ever recorded. The album contained several successful singles, including Homeward Bound.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    Richard Cory
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released on LP: Sounds Of Silence)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    My ultra-cool 9th-grade English teacher brought in a copy of Simon And Garfunkel's Sounds Of Silence album one day. As a class, we deconstructed the lyrics of two of the songs on that album: A Most Peculiar Man and Richard Cory. Both songs deal with suicide, but under vastly different circumstances. Whereas A Most Peculiar Man is about a lonely man who lives an isolated existence as an anonymous resident of a boarding house, Richard Cory deals with a character who is at the center of society, known and envied by many. Too bad most high school English classes weren't that interesting.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    Scarborough Fair/Canticle
Source:    LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Simon/Garfunkel
Label:    Sundazed/Columbia
Year:    1966
    After the reunion of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel following the surprise success of an electrified remix of The Sound Of Silence, the duo quickly recorded an album to support the hit single. Sounds Of Silence was, for the most part, a reworking of material that Simon had recorded for 1965 UK LP the Paul Simon Songbook. The pressure for a new album thus (temporarily) relieved, the duo got to work on their first album of truly new material since their unsuccessful 1964 effort Wednesday Morning 3AM (which had in fact been re-released and was now doing well on the charts). In October the new album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, hit the stands. The title track was a new arrangement of an old English folk ballad, Scarborough Fair, combined with a reworking of a song from the Paul Simon Songbook, The Side Of A Hill, retitled Canticle. The two melodies and sets of lyrics are set in counterpoint to each other, creating one of the most sophisticated folk song arrangements ever recorded. After being featured in the film The Graduate, Scarborough Fair/Canticle was released as a single in early 1968, going on to become one of the duo's most instantly recognizable songs.

Artist:    4 Seasons
Title:    Searching Wind
Source:    45 RPM single B side (originally released on LP: Born To Wander)
Writer(s):    Crewe/Gaudio
Label:    Philips
Year:    1964
    In 1964 the word "rock" was not considered a musical term. Rock 'n' Roll, which had flourished in the mid 1950s, had given way to what was generally known as "pop" music (short for popular, I assume). Stars like Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis had been replaced by "safer" stars like Frankie Avalon and Chubby Checker. The original doo-wop groups, nearly all of which had been black, had been replaced as well by groups like New Jersey's 4 Seasons. Fronted by high tenor Frankie Valli and powered by the songwriting team of Bob Gaudio and producer Bob Crewe, the 4 Seasons were one of the most successful vocal groups of the mid-1960s, with hits like Sherry, Rag Doll and Big Girls Don't Cry being mainstays of top 40 radio. Like most pop stars, they concentrated mainly on singles, but, being as popular as they were, also recorded several albums. Not all of these albums were hit-oriented, however. Folk music was still going strong in 1964, and, in addition to the hard-core folk artists like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Phil Ochs, there were several "safer" folk-oriented groups like the Lamplighters and the New Christy Minstrels recording albums for a more mainstream audience. Additionally, an occasional pop star would do an album of "folky" material as well; on such album was Born To Wander, by the 4 Seasons. I have to admit that I have never heard Born To Wander, and would never go out of my way to find a copy of it. I did, however, pick up a copy of the 1965 hit Bye Bye Baby in what was known back in the day as a "grab bag": a random set of 45s, usually cut-outs that were no longer on the charts, the identity of which were obscured by the packaging itself; often just a brown paper bag, but sometimes displaying the first and/or last record in the set. The B side of Bye Bye Baby was Searching Wind, a Gaudio/Crewe composition from Born To Wander that grabbed me (sorry about the pun there) far more than Bye Bye Baby ever did. I recently found a pristine copy of that single, so here, in all its monoraul glory, is Searching Wind.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    I'm A Man
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Elias McDaniel
Label:    Epic
Year:    1965
    For many, the Yardbirds version of I'm a Man is the definitive version of the 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:      Mothers of Invention
Title:     The M.O.I. American Pageant
Source:       LP: Absolutely Free
Writer(s):    Frank Zappa
Label:     Verve
Year:     1967
     Following up on their debut double-LP Freak Out, the Mothers came up with one of the first concept albums with Absolutely Free, which consisted of two "rock oratorios", each taking up one side of the album. Included in side two's M.O.I. American Pageant is Brown Shoes Don't Make It, which composer Frank Zappa described as a two-hour musical in condensed form (it runs slightly less than 7 minutes). The Pageant itself starts with Status Back Baby, which leads into Uncle Bernie's Farm, followed by Son Of Suzy Creamcheese before getting into Brown Shoes Don't Make It. As a coda, the piece ends with American Drinks And Goes Home. The entire oratoria runs about 18 and a half minutes total.

Artist:    Tommy James And The Shondells
Title:    Breakaway
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    James/Vail
Label:    Roulette
Year:    1969
    From a modern perspective it seems obvious that the only thing keeping Roulette Records going in the late 60s was the string of hits on the label by Tommy James and the Shondells. Oddly enough, Tommy James was one of many acts that initially tanked on the label. It was only when a Pittsburgh DJ began playing a two year old copy of Hanky Panky he had rescued from the throwaway pile in 1966 that the band's career took off. By then, however, the original Shondells had long-since disbanded and James found himself suddenly in demand with no band to back him up. He soon found a new group of Shondells and began cranking out an amazing streak of hits, including I Think We're Alone Now, Mony Mony, Crystal Blue Persuasion and Crimson and Clover. By 1969, however, the streak was coming to an end, with Sweet Cherry Wine being one of the group's last top 40 hits. The B side of that record was the decidedly psychedelic Breakaway. James would continue as a solo artist after the Shondells split up, scoring his last hit in 1971 with Draggin' The Line. Roulette Records pretty much faded away at that point, eventually to become part of EMI (which is now part of Universal, one of the three remaining major record conglomerates).

Artist:    Paul Rever And The Raiders
Title:    Let Me
Source:    CD: The Legend Of Paul Revere
Writer(s):    Mark Lindsay
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    In 1965-66, Paul Revere And The Raiders were at the peak of their popularity, cranking out major hit records and fronting a daily Dick Clark produced TV series called Action. Things started going downhill for the group, however, in 1967. For one thing, their audience was maturing too fast for the band to keep up with. For another, Mark Lindsay had become the focus of the group, and, along with producer Terry Melcher, had begun using studio musicians rather than band members on the Raiders' records. This led to most of the original members being gone by the end of 1967, along with Melcher himself, whose departure was, in retrospect, the final nail in the band's coffin, as he had been crucial to the group's success in the first place. Still, Lindsay and Revere, with new Raiders, carried on, releasing several singles and LPs in 1968 and 1969, none of which had any significant presence on the charts. Typical of this period is the tune Let Me, which was, in all honesty, a sexual tease song for teenyboppers. It went nowhere. Oddly enough, the Raiders would rise from the dead long enough to get their first and only #1 hit with a cover of Don Fardon's cover of J.D. Loudermilk's politically inaccurate Indian Reservation (The Lament Of The Cherokee Reservation Indian) in 1971.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    For Michael Collins, Jeffrey And Me
Source:    CD: Benefit
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1970
    All three of Jethro Tull's early albums contained one track with the name Jeffrey in the song title. The reference was to Jeffrey Hammond, who was not yet a member of the band, but was closely associated with them. The Benefit track, For Michael Collins, Jeffrey And Me, is probably the darkest of the three, reflecting the sound of the album itself. Hammond would soon replace Glenn Cornick on bass, while Michael Collins would remain an American astronaut for a few more years.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    St. Stephen/The Eleven
Source:    LP: Live Dead
Writer:    Hunter/Garcia/Lesh
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1969
    In 1969, after going way over budget on the LP Aoxomoxoa, the Grateful Dead decided to release a double-LP live album, essentially giving Warner Brothers three albums for the price of one. Unlike the studio LP, which attempted to combine live material with studio overdubs, Live Dead was a documentation of two nights' worth of recent performances at the Fillmore West. At the time the band pretty much stuck to the same setlist for each performance and the songs were generally played as one continuous piece in concert. For the album, the best performance of each song was chosen and then arranged in the same order that they had been performed. Side two picks up the first nights' performance of St. Stephen (which had also appeared on Aoxomoxoa) and continues into the second night's version of The Eleven, a performance that rock critic Robert Christian called at the time "the finest rock improvisation ever recorded." Within a couple years St. Stephen would be dropped from the band's setlist and a performance of the piece in the band's later decades was considered by fans to be a special treat.

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

Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    I'm A Man
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Winwood/Miller
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1967
    The Spencer Davis Group, featuring brothers Steve and Muff Winwood, was one of the UK's most successful white R&B bands of the sixties, cranking out a steady stream of hit singles. Two of them, the iconic Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm A Man, were also major hits in the US, the latter being the last song to feature the Winwood brothers. Muff Winwood became a successful record producer. The group itself continued on for several years, but were never able to duplicate their earlier successes. As for Steve Winwood, he quickly faded off into obscurity, never to be heard from again. Except as the leader of Traffic. And a member of Blind Faith. And Traffic again. And some critically-acclaimed collaborations in the early 1980s with Asian musicians. Oh yeah, and a few major solo hits like Higher Love and Roll With It in the late 80s. Other than that, nothing.