Sunday, February 17, 2019

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1908 (starts 2/18/19)



    This time around we have our usual mix of hits, B sides and album tracks, including the classic East-West from the Butterfield Blues Band, one of the first extended tracks to get played on underground college radio stations across the US. We also have a new Advanced Psych segment featuring some acoustic tracks for a change.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Light My Fire (single version)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Once in a while a song comes along that totally blows you away the very first time you hear it. The Doors' Light My Fire was one of those songs. I liked it so much that I immediately went out and bought the 45 RPM single. Apparently I was not the only one, as the song spent three weeks at the top of the charts in July of 1967. Despite this success, the single version of the song, which runs less than three minutes, is all but forgotten by modern radio stations, which universally choose to play the full-length album version. Nonetheless, the single version, which was created by editing out most of the solo instrumental sections of the piece, is a historical artifact worth an occasional listen.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Highway Chile
Source:    Simulated stereo British import LP: Smash Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Polydor (original label: Track)
Year:    1967
    The Jimi Hendrix Experience already had three hit singles in the UK before releasing their first LP, Are You Experienced, in May of 1967. The following month the band made its US debut at the Monterey International Pop Festival. The gig went over so well that Reprise Records soon made arrangements to release Are You Experienced in the US. To maximize the commercial potential of the LP, Reprise decided to include the A sides of all three singles on the album, even though those songs had not been on the British version. The B sides of all three singles, however, were not included on the album. Among those missing tracks was Highway Chile, a somewhat autobiographical song that was originally paired with The Wind Cries Mary. In April of 1968, prior to the release of the Electric Ladyland album, Polydor released an album called Smash Hits that collected all eight songs that had been released in single form up to that point, as well as a handful of tunes from the original UK version of Are You Experienced. Highway Chile was not included on the US version of Smash Hits, which was released the following year; in fact, Highway Chile was not released in the US at all during Hendrix's lifetime, finally appearing (in fake stereo) on the 1972 LP War Heroes.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Complicated
Source:    CD: Between The Buttons
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    The Rolling Stones' 1967 album Between The Buttons was made amidst growing problems for the band, both with their manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, and guitarist Brian Jones, whose heavy drug use was beginning to take its toll. Exascerbating the problem was the band's increasing frustration with the limitations of four-track technology, which often necessitated bouncing tracks from one machine to another to make room for more tracks, resulting in a loss of overall quality. In fact, Mick Jagger has called the entire album "garbage" (with the exception of one song that was only included on the British version of the LP), due to the poor audio quality of the finished product. Still, some of the songs, like Complicated, are good representations of where the band was musically at the time the album was recorded.

Artist:    Tomorrow
Title:    Revolution (unissued original phased version)
Source:    British import CD: 50 Minute Technicolour Dream
Writer(s):    Keith Hopkins
Label:    RPM
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1998
    Tomorrow only released one album during their existence, but it is considered one of the best British psychedelic albums ever made. Unfortunately, the release of the album was delayed almost a year, which in the late 1960s, with its quickly changing musical trends, was a fatal blow to the band. The first single released from that album was a song called Revolution that may have influenced John Lennon to write his own song with the same title after hearing it performed at London's UFO club in 1967. Tomorrow actually recorded two different versions of Revolution. The first one, recorded in 1967, included extensive stereo phasing effects, making it unsuitable to be folded down to a single track for AM radio broadcast. That version remained unreleased until 1998, when it was included on a retrospective CD called 50 Minute Technicolor Dream.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Toad
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Ginger Baker
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    By 1970, pretty much every rock band in the world featured a drum solo during live performances. Before 1966, however, the practice was unheard of; in fact, drum solos were considered solely the province of jazz musicians. The guy who changed all that was Ginger Baker of Cream, who, on the band's very first album provided the studio version of Toad. Due to the limitations of four-track recording, the entire drum solo, which takes up the bulk of the five-minute recording, is assigned to one single track, which on the stereo version of the song is mixed entirely to one channel/speaker. This makes for a rather odd listening experience under certain circumstances. A longer version of Toad recorded live at the Fillmore would appear on Cream's third album, Wheels Of Fire, in 1968 (this time with the drums mixed in full stereo).

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Wrong
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Ultimate Turn On (originally released as 45 RPM single B side and included on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1967
    Sean Bonniwell was a member of the mainstream (i.e. lots of appearances on TV variety shows hosted by people like Perry Como and Bob Hope) folk group The Lamplighters in the early 60s. By 1966 he had morphed into one of the more mysterious figures on the LA music scene, leading a proto-punk band dressed entirely in black. Bonniwell himself wore a single black glove (Michael Jackson was about seven years old at the time), and was one of the most prolific songwriters of the time. His recordings, often featuring the distinctive Farfisa organ sound, were a primary influence on later LA bands such as Iron Butterfly and the Doors. One of the first Music Machine tracks to appear on vinyl was Wrong, which was released as the B side of the band's first single and included on their debut LP.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Kicks
Source:    Rechanneled Stereo CD: The Best Of 60s Supergroups (originally released on 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mann/Weil
Label:    Priority (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1966
    Kicks was not the first pop song with a strong anti-drug message, but it was the first one to be a certified hit, making it to the number four spot on the US charts and hitting number one in Canada. It was also the biggest hit for Paul Revere and the Raiders until Indian Reservation went all the way to the top of the charts five years later.

Artist:     Donovan
Title:     Sunshine Superman
Source:     CD: Sunshine On The Mountain (originally released in edited form on 45 RPM vinyl and on LP: Sunshine Superman)
Writer:     Donovan Leitch
Label:     Sony Music Special Products (original label: Epic)
Year:     1966
     Donovan's hugely successful Sunshine Superman is sometimes credited as being the tsunami that launched the wave of psychedelic music that washed over the shores of pop musicland in 1967. OK, I made that up, but the song really did change the direction of American pop as well as Donovan's own career. Originally released as a three and a quarter minute long single, the full unedited four and a half minute long stereo mix of the song heard here did not appear on vinyl until Donovan's 1969 Greatest Hits album.

Artist:    Count Five
Title:    Psychotic Reaction
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ellner/Chaney/Atkinson/Byrne/Michalski
Label:    Priority (original label: Double Shot)
Year:    1966
    San Jose, California, was home to one of the most vibrant local music scenes in the late 60s, despite its relatively  small, pre-silicon valley population. One of the most popular bands on that scene was Count Five, a group of five guys who dressed like Bela Lugosi's Dracula and sounded like the Jeff Beck-era Yardbirds. Fortunately for Count Five, Jeff Beck had just left the Yardbirds when Psychotic Reaction came out, leaving a hole that the boys from San Jose were more than happy to fill.

Artist:    Unrelated Segments
Title:    Story Of My Life
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mackavich/Stults
Label:    Rhino (original label: HBR)
Year:    1967
    The Unrelated Segments were a Detroit band that had most of its success regionally. Their nearest brush with national fame came when Story Of My Life was picked up for national distribution by Hanna-Barbera, the record label associated with such well-known TV stars as Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear and (later) Scooby-Doo. Hannah-Barbera not being known for its hit records, it's probably no surprise that the song did not climb too high on the charts.

Artist:    Nice
Title:    The Diamond Hard Blue Apples Of The Moon (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Source:    LP: Autumn To Spring
Writer(s):    Emerson/Jackson
Label:    Charisma (original label: Immediate)
Year:    1968
    The Nice are primarily remembered for two things: First, they were the band that made Keith Emerson famous, thanks in part to the second thing: their highly charged adaptation of Leonard Bernstein's America, from West Side Story. Actually, it was their live performance of America at the Royal Albert Hall that brought them the most notoriety, thanks to Emerson's burning of an American flag during the song itself (this also got Emerson banned for life from the Royal Albert Hall, something he had reason to regret later on). An edited version of America was also released as a single in 1968, but did not chart in the US. The B side of that single was a tune called The Diamond Hard Blue Apples Of The Moon that qualifies as an overlooked classic of the psychedelic era. The stereo mix of the song appeared on the 1972 album Autumn 1967-Spring 1968, which was released the following year in the US as Autumn To Spring.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills And Nash
Title:    Wooden Ships
Source:    CD: Crosby, Stills And Nash
Writer(s):    Crosby/Stills/Kantner
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    Among the various legendary characters on the late 60s San Francisco music scene, none is more reviled than Matthew Katz. His mistreatment of It's A Beautiful Day is legendary. Just about every band he managed was desperate to get out of their contract with him, including Moby Grape and Jefferson Airplane. In fact, it was because of the Airplane's fight to get out from under Katz's thumb that Paul Kantner did not get a writing credit for Wooden Ships on the first Crosby, Stills and Nash album. David Crosby had this to say on the matter: "Paul called me up and said that he was having this major duke-out with this horrible guy who was managing the band, and he was freezing everything their names were on. 'He might injunct the release of your record,' he told me. So we didn’t put Paul’s name on it for a while. In later versions, we made it very certain that he wrote it with us. Of course, we evened things up with him with a whole mess of cash when the record went huge." Although Jefferson Airplane eventually won their battle with Katz, others weren't so fortunate. Katz's San Francisco Sound still owns the rights to recordings by Moby Grape and It's A Beautiful Day, which explains why it's so hard to find quality copies of those recordings these days. Anyone want to take a guess how much the surviving members of those bands receive in royalties from the CD reissues of their albums? (Hint: at least one member of Moby Grape was known to have been living under a bridge at one point).

Artist:    Guess Who
Title:    969 (The Oldest Man)
Source:    CD: American Woman
Writer(s):    Randy Bachman
Label:    Buddha/BMG (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1970
    Although Burton Cummings was known primarily for his role as the Guess Who's lead vocalist, he got a chance to strut his stuff instrumentally as a flautist on 969 (The Oldest Man), an instrumental by Randy Bachman. Bachman himself showed a glimpse of the guitar prowess that he would become known for with his next band, Bachman Turner Overdrive, in the mid-1970s on the track.

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:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds
Source:    LP: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s):    Marty Balin
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1967
    Marty Balin says he came up with the title of the opening track of side two of Jefferson Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow album by combining a couple of random phrases from the sports section of a newspaper. 3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds works out to 216 MPH, by the way.

Artist:    McCoys
Title:    Hang On Sloopy
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Russell/Farrell
Label:    Bang
Year:    1965
    The McCoys were a fairly typical Eastern Ohio band of the mid-60s, playing parties, teen clubs, high school dances and occassionally opening for out of town acts. In 1965 the McCoys opened for the Strangeloves, who were on the road promoting their hit single I Want Candy (of course, the Strangeloves were in reality a trio of professional songwriters who had come up with a rather unusual gimmick: they passed themselves off as sons of an Australian sheepherder). The members of the Strangeloves were so impressed with the McCoys, particularly vocalist/guitarist Rick Derringer, that they offered them the song that was slated to be the follow-up to I Want Candy: a song called Hang On Sloopy. The instrumental tracks for the song had already been recorded, so the only member of the McCoys to actually appear on the record is Derringer. Hang On Sloopy went all the way to the top of the charts, becoming one of the top 10 singles of the year and providing a stellar debut for Derringer, who went on to hook up with both Johnny Winter and the Edgar Winter Group before embarking on a successful solo career.

Artist:    Steve Piper
Title:    Sunnyland
Source:    CD: Mirror
Writer(s):    Steve Piper
Label:    (self-published)
Year:    2014
    Not every talented musician signs a contract with a major record label. Many, for a variety of reasons, choose to remain local, appearing at a variety of venues and often building up a following that is every bit as loyal as the largest international audience. One such local artist is Steve Piper of Rochester, NY. He has been performing, both as a solo artist and as a member of various groups, for several years now, occasionally recording an album's worth of material in his home studio. Recently he sent me a copy of his third CD, Mirror, with a note mentioning how most of the album is in a quiet, acoustic vein, but that one track, Sunnyland, may fit into Stuck in the Psychedelic Era's Advanced Psych segment. As it turns out, Sunnyland does indeed fit in with this week's acoustically-oriented Advanced Psych segment.

Artist:    Country Joe McDonald
Title:    Round And Round
Source:    CD: 50
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Rag Baby
Year:    2017
    One of the most haunting tracks on the 2017 Country Joe McDonald album, 50, Round And Round is about nothing less than life itself. Well, our lives, at least. I kind of doubt that the various non-sentient species on our planet think much about this stuff. Regardless, it's a beautiful tune, well worth listening to.

Artist:    Ace Of Cups
Title:    We Can't Go Back Again
Source:    CD: Ace Of Cups
Writer(s):    Kaufman/Shae
Label:    High Moon
Year:    2018
    According to Ace Of Cups founder Mary Gannon, Denise Kaufman wrote We Can't Go Back Again on keyboards rather than her usual guitar and first presented it to the group at their rehearsal space in Sausalito. Producer Dan Shae helped update the song for inclusion of the 2018 Ace Of Cups album. The lyrics are at once a caution about squandering what little time we have on this planet and an invitation to reach out to others while we still can.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Nature's Way/Animal Zoo/Love Has Found A Way/Why Can't I Be Free
Source:    CD: Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus
Writer(s):    California/Ferguson/Locke
Label:    Epic/Legacy
Year:    1970
    Spirit was one of those bands that consistently scored well with the critics, yet was never truly able to connect with a large segment of the record buying audience at any given time. Perhaps their best album was Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus, released in 1970 to glowing reviews. Despite this, the album actually charted lower than any of their three previous efforts, and would be the last to feature the band's original lineup. In the long haul, however, Twelve Dreams has become the group's top selling album, thanks to steady catalog sales over a period of years. Unlike many more popular records of the time, Twelve Dreams sounds as fresh and original today as when it first appeared, as can be easily heard on the four-song medley that makes up the bulk of the LP's first side. Indeed, despite never having charted as a single, Nature's Way, a Randy California tune which starts the sequence, is one of the best-known songs in the entire Spirit catalog. Additionally, its ecological theme segues naturally into Animal Zoo, a Jay Ferguson tune with a more satirical point of view. Love Has Found A Way, written by vocalist Ferguson and keyboardist John Locke, can best described as psychedelic space jazz, while Why Can't I Be Free is a simple, yet lovely, short coda from guitarist California. Although Spirit, in various incarnations, would continue to record for many years, they would never put out another album as listenable as Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Like A Rolling Stone
Source:    CD: Highway 61 Revisited
Writer:    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Bob Dylan incurred the wrath of folk purists when he decided to use electric instruments for his 1965 LP Highway 61 Revisited. The opening track on the album is the six-minute Like A Rolling Stone, a song that was also selected to be the first single released from the new album. After the single was pressed, the shirts at Columbia Records decided to cancel the release due to its length. An acetate copy of the record, however, made it to a local New York club, where, by audience request, the record was played over and over until it was worn out (acetate copies not being as durable as their vinyl counterparts). When Columbia started getting calls from local radio stations demanding copies of the song the next morning they decided to release the single after all. Like A Rolling Stone ended up going all the way to the number two spot on the US charts, doing quite well in several other countries as well. Personnel on this historic recording included guitarist Michael Bloomfield, pianist Paul Griffin, drummer Bobby Gregg, bassist Joe Madho, guitarist Charlie McCoy and tambourinist Bruce Langhorne. In addition, guitarist Al Kooper, who was on the scene as a guest of producer Tom Wilson, sat in on organ, ad-libbing a part that so impressed Dylan that he insisted it be given a prominent place in the final mixdown. This in turn led to Kooper permanently switching over to keyboards for the remainder of his career.

Artist:    Butterfield Blues Band
Title:    East-West
Source:    CD: East-West
Writer:    Bloomfield/Gravenites
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1966
    Along with the Blues Project, the Butterfield Blues Band (and guitarist Michael Bloomfield in particular) are credited with starting the movement toward improvisation in rock music. Both are cited as influences on the new bands that were cropping up in San Francisco in late 1966m including Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Grateful Dead. The first Butterfield album did not have much in the way of improvisation, however, as Butterfield himself was a Chicago blues traditionalist who, like many of his idols, held the reins of the band tightly and did not tolerate deviation. By the time of the band's second LP, however, the group was becoming more of a democracy, especially after their successful live shows brought rave reviews for the musicianship of the individual members, especially Bloomfield (who in some polls was rated the number one guitarist in the country). Bloomfield used this new clout to push for more improvisation, and the result was the classic album East-West. The title track itself is a modal piece; that is, it (in jazz terms) stays on the One rather than following a traditional blues progression. Within that framework Bloomfield's solo uses scales found in eastern music (Indian in particular); hence the title of the piece: East-West. Another difference between East-West and the first Butterfield album was that second guitarist Elvin Bishop, who had played strictly rhythm guitar on the debut, got a chance to do some solo work of his own on East-West. Bishop would soon find himself the band's lead guitarist when Bloomfield left to form the Electric Flag in 1967.

Artist:    Red Crayola
Title:    War Sucks
Source:    Mono LP: The Parable Of Arable Lands
Writer(s):    Thompson/Cunningham/Barthelme
Label:    International Artists
Year:    1967
    New York had the Velvet Underground. L.A. had the United States of America. San Francisco had 50 Foot Hose. And Texas had the Red Crayola. Formed by art students at the University of St. Thomas (Texas) in 1966, the band was led by singer/guitarist and visual artist Mayo Thompson, along with drummer Frederick Barthelme (brother of novelist Donald Barthelme) and Steve Cunningham. The band was almost universally panned by the rock press but has since achieved cult status as a pioneer of avant-garde psychedelic punk and is considered a forerunner of "lo-fi" rock. The band's debut album, The Parable Of Arable Land, released in 1967, was reportedly recorded in one continuous session and utilizes the services of "The Familiar Ugly", a group of about 50 friends of the band, each of which was invited to play whatever they pleased on whatever sound-producing device they chose to (such as blowing into a soda bottle), filling time between the actual songs on the album. Roky Erickson, leader of the Red Crayola's International Artists labelmates 13th Floor Elevators, can be heard playing organ as part of the cacaphony.

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    Medication
Source:    British import CD: Melts In Your Brain, Not On Your Wrist (originally released on LP: The Inner Mystique)
Writer(s):    Alton/Ditosti
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Tower)
Year:    Backing tracks recorded 1968, lead vocals recorded 2005
    By early 1968 the Chocolate Watchband had fallen on hard times. In fact, the original group had disbanded, only to reform at the behest of Tower Records and producer Ed Cobb, who wanted to put out a second Watchband LP. In short order a new group featuring mostly former members of the Watchband was formed. Cobb, however, did not have the time to wait for the new lineup to gel and got to work on the album without them. In fact, the entire first side of The Inner Mystique was performed by studio musicians. Additionally, Cobb pulled out unreleased tapes from the archive to help fill out the album, including the original band's cover of a Standells tune called Medication. Like their earlier track Let's Talk About Girls, Medication featured studio vocalist Don Bennett rather than the band's actual lead vocalist, Dave Aguilar. It's not known for sure why the substitution was made, unless perhaps Cobb was feeling pressure from the rock press, which had dismissed Aguilar as a Mick Jagger wannabe. Finally, in 2005, Aguilar recorded brand new vocals to go with the original 1968 track.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1908 (starts 2/18/19)



    This week the emphasis is on exploring album tracks that often get overlooked, with a couple of well-known cuts thrown in to balance things out. We start with a 1969 set, then a long, strange trip backwards through the years 1976 to 1970, one at a time.

Artist:    Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title:    Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Source:    CD: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    After releasing a fairly well produced debut solo album utilizing the talents of several well-known studio musicians in late 1968, Neil Young surprised everyone by recruiting an unknown L.A. bar band and rechristening them Crazy Horse for his second effort, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. The album was raw and unpolished, with Young's lead vocals recorded using a talkback microphone normally used by engineers to communicate with people in the studio from the control room. In spite of, or more likely because of these limitations, the resulting album has come to be regarded as one of the greatest in the history of rock, with Young sounding far more comfortable, both as a vocalist and guitarist, than on the previous effort. Although the album is best known for three songs he wrote while running a fever (Cinnamon Girl, Cowgirl In The Sand, and Down By The River), there are plenty of good other songs on the LP, including the title track heard here.

Artist:    Steve Miller Band
Title:    Feel So Glad
Source:    LP: Your Saving Grace
Writer(s):    Steve Miller
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    "Session man" Nicky Hopkins makes a guest appearance and ends up dominating the song Feel So Glad from the fourth Steve Miller Band LP, Your Saving Grace. The song itself is an anomaly in the Miller catalog, as it has little in common with either the band's early psychedelic offerings or the later pop hits like The Joker and Jet Airliner that the Steve Miller Band became famous for.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Welcome
Source:    CD: Tommy
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1969
    The Who's landmark Tommy album has plenty of well known tunes on it, including the top 40 single Pinball Wizard and the closing piece We're Not Gonna Take It, with it's famouse "See me, feel me" refrain. The album, generally acknowledged as the first rock-opera, tells the story of the rise and fall of Tommy, a savior figure who emerges from a near-catatonic state to become a modern messiah. Welcome, a tune near the end of the album, is a mostly pastoral tune that immediately follow's Tommy's awakening and documents his desire to share what he's learned with anyone who is willing to listen. Of course the entire movement ends up spiraling out of control very quickly, leading to Tommy's downfall.

Artist:    David Bowie
Title:    Memory Of A Free Festival
Source:    CD: David Bowie (original US title, Man Of Words, Man Of Music)
Writer(s):    David Bowie
Label:    Parlophone (original US label: Mercury)
Year:    1969
    Memory Of A Free Festival, from David Bowie's self-title 1969 LP, was based on an actual event, although it could just as easily be taken as an epitaph for the entire hippie movement. The track, running over seven minutes in length, closes out what is now considered a transitional album for the singer-songwriter.

Artist:    Tommy Bolin
Title:    Hello, Again
Source:    CD: Private Eyes
Writer(s):    Bolin/Cook
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1976
    After the breakup of Deep Purple in 1976, guitarist Tommy Bolin (who had joined the group for their final LP) got to work on his second solo LP, Private Eyes. With a mix of songs reminiscent of his years with the James Gand, Private Eyes includes the acoustic-based Hello, Again, which shifts the emphasis away from Bolin's guitar work and instead focuses on his vocals. Bolin died from a drug overdose while touring to promote the album, in December of the same year Private Eyes was released.

Artist:    Crack The Sky
Title:    Hold On/Surf City
Source:    LP: Crack The Sky
Writer(s):    John Palumbo
Label:    Lifesong
Year:    1975
    The first LP released on Terry Cashman and Joe West's Lifesong label was a group that is still active in the Baltimore area called Crack The Sky. Originally called Words, the band had been formed in Weirton, West Virginia by members of two local bands, Sugar and Uncle Louie. The 10-member band successfully auditioned for CashWest Productions, the company that also produced singer/songwriter Jim Croce, and, after paring down to five members, released their self-titled debut LP in 1975. Although never a major national success (due mostly to distribution problems on the part of Lifesong), the group did manage to place three albums on the Billboard charts, the two of which have since been reissued as a single CD. The band itself is hard to classify, incorporating elements of progressive rock, jazz and even soft-rock, with unexpected twists and turns, as can be heard on the first LP's opening track, Hold On, which segues directly into the innovative Surf City.

Artist:    Eric Clapton
Title:    Get Ready
Source:    CD 461 Ocean Boulevard
Writer(s):    Clapton/Elliman
Label:    Atco
Year:    1974
    Yvonne Elliman, best known for her portrayel of Mary Magdalene on both the original LP and film versions of Jesus Christ Superstar, makes a guest appearance as a vocalist and songwriter on Eric Clapton's 1974 album 461 Ocean Boulevard. The song is sandwiched between two cover songs (Willie And The Hand Jive and I Shot The Sheriff) that got a lot of airplay on FM rock radio stations in 1974.

Artist:    James Gang
Title:    Ride The Wind
Source:    CD: Bang
Writer(s):    Bolin/Kenner
Label:    Atco
Year:    1973
    After Dominic Troiano left the James Gang in 1973 to join the Guess Who, vocalist Roy Kenner, drummer Jim Fox and bassist Dale Peters recruited the talented Tommy Bolin to be his replacement. The new lineup made their vinyl debut that same year with Bang, the first James Gang album to be released on the Atco label. As was the case with the band's original guitarist, Joe Walsh, Bolin's songwriting was prominent throughout the album, usually in collaboration with one or more of the other band members. Ride The Wind, which opens side two of the original LP with Bolin's power chords, was co-written by Kenner, and probably should have been chosen for single release, but was passed over in favor of the much inferior Must Be Love.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Highway Star
Source:    LP: Machine Head
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1972
    Deep Purple's most successful album was Machine Head, which hit #7 on the Billboard album charts in 1972 and went all the way to the top in several countries, including the UK. The LP starts off with Highway Star, a song that was written on the band's tour bus as a demonstration of how the band created new material. It was first performed the same day it was written. The song is a hard rocker that features extended solos from both guitarist Richie Blackmore and organist Jon Lord. Both solos were inspired by the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The song became a concert staple and was often used as the show opener throughout the band's existence.

Artist:    Focus
Title:    Hocus Pocus
Source:    British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Moving Waves)
Writer(s):    van Leer/Akkerman
Label:    Polydor UK (original US label: Sire)
Year:    1971
    Although it was not a hit until 1973, Hocus Pocus, by the Dutch progressive rock band Focus, has the type of simple structure coupled with high energy that was characteristic of many of the garage bands of the mid to late 60s. The song was originally released on the band's second LP, known alternately as Focus II and Moving Waves, in 1971. Both guitarist Jan Akkerman and keyboardist/vocalist/flautist Thijs van Leer have gone on to have successful careers, with van Leer continuing to use to the Focus name as recently as 2006.

Artist:    Van Morrison
Title:    Everyone
Source:    LP: Moondance
Writer(s):    Van Morrison
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    Generally considered the most upbeat song on Van Morrison's 1970 LP Moondance, Everyone is known for its use of a clavinet on the song's intro. Morrison himself described Everyone as "just a song of hope".

Artist:     Pink Floyd
Title:     San Tropez
Source:     CD: Meddle
Writer:     Roger Waters
Label:     Pink Floyd Records (original label: Harvest)
Year:     1971
     In the years between the departure of Syd Barrett and the release of Dark Side Of The Moon, Pink Floyd crafted out a reputation for being one of the most experimental bands around. One of their best-known albums of this period was the 1971 LP Meddle, which included album-rock radio standard One Of These Days. Most of the album is credited to the entire band. One track, however, was actually written by bassist Roger Waters prior to the band's existence. San Tropez is a jazzier sounding tune than any other Pink Floyd track I know of.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1907 (starts 2/11/19)



    It's been over five years since side two of the classic Moody Blues album, Days Of Future Passed, was played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, so I figured it was about time to play it again. The rest of the show is made up entirely of sets of songs from a particular year (with a couple of isolated tunes thrown in).

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Do You Believe In Magic
Source:    CD: Battle Of The Bands (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Do You Believe In Magic)
Writer(s):    John Sebastian
Label:    Era (original label: Kama Sutra)
Year:    1965
    Do You Believe In Magic, the debut single by the Lovin' Spoonful, was instrumental in establishing not only the band itself, but the Kama Sutra label as well. Over the next couple of years, the Spoonful would crank out a string of hits, pretty much single-handedly keeping Kama Sutra in business. In 1967 the band's lead vocalist and primary songwriter John Sebastian departed the group for a solo career, and Kama Sutra itself soon morphed into a company called Buddah Records. Buddah (the misspelling being discovered too late to be fixed) soon came to dominate the "bubble gum" genre of top 40 music throughout 1968 and well into 1969, but eventually proved in its own way to be as much a one-trick pony as its predecessor.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    A Well Respected Man
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Eric (original label: Reprise)
Year:    Released 1965, charted 1966
    The Kinks were one of the original British Invasion bands, scoring huge R&B-influenced hits with You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night in 1964. The hits continued in 1965 with more melodic songs like Set Me Free and Tired Of Waiting For You. 1966 saw Ray Davies's songwriting take a satiric turn, as A Well Respected Man (actually released in late 1965) amply illustrates. Over the next few years the Kinks would continue to evolve, generally getting decent critical reviews and moderate record sales for their albums. The title of one of those later albums, Muswell Hillbillies, refers to the Davies brothers hometown of Muswell Hill, North London.

Artist:     Beatles
Title:     In My Life
Source:     CD: Rubber Soul
Writer:     Lennon/McCartney
Label:     Capitol/EMI
Year:     1965
    Rubber Soul was the first Beatles album to be made up entirely of songs written by the band members themselves, mostly John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Lennon's contributions in particular were starting to move away from the typical "young love" songs the band had become famous for. One of the best examples is In My Life, which is a nostalgic look back at Lennon's own past (although put in such a way that it could be universally applied). Despite never being released as a single, In My Life remains one of the most popular songs in the Beatles catalog.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon
Source:    LP: After Bathing At Baxter's
Writer(s):    Paul Kantner
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1967
    The first Jefferson Airplane album (the 1966 release Jefferson Airplane Takes Off) was dominated by songs from the pen of founder Marty Balin, a few of which were collaborations with other band members such as Paul Kantner and Jorma Kaukonen. The songwriting on the group's second LP, Surrealistic Pillow, was fairly evenly balanced between the three above and new arrival Grace Slick. By the band's third album, After Bathing At Baxter's, released in the fall of 1967, Kantner had emerged as the group's main songwriter, having a hand in over half the tracks on the LP. One of the most durable of these was the album's closing track, a medley of two songs, Won't You Try and Saturday Afternoon, the latter being about a free concert that band had participated in in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park earlier that year.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Original Sound, stereo LP version released on Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
     The Music Machine was by far the most advanced of all the bands playing on Sunset Strip in 1966-67. Not only did they feature tight sets (so that audience members wouldn't get the chance to call out requests between songs), they also had their own visual look that set them apart from other bands. With all the band members dressed entirely in black (including dyed hair) and wearing one black glove, the Machine projected an image that would influence such diverse artists as the Ramones and Michael Jackson in later years. Musically, Bonniwell's songwriting showed a sophistication that was on a par with the best L.A. had to offer, demonstrated by a series of fine singles such as The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly. Unfortunately, problems on the business end prevented the Music Machine from achieving the success it deserved and Bonniwell, disheartened, dissillusioned and/or disgusted, eventually quit the music business altogether.

Artist:     Love
Title:     You Set The Scene
Source:     CD: Forever Changes
Writer:     Arthur Lee
Label:     Elektra/Rhino
Year:     1967
     During the production of Forever Changes, vocalist/guitarist Arthur Lee became convinced that he was destined to die soon after the release of the album. Accordingly, he crafted lyrics that were meant to be his final words to the world. As the final track on the LP, You Set The Scene in particular reflected this viewpoint. As it turned out, Forever Changes was not Lee's swan song. It was, however, the last album to feature the lineup that had been the most popular band on Sunset Strip for the past two years. Subsequent Love albums would feature a whole new lineup backing Lee, and would have an entirely different sound as well. Ironically, Lee was still around at the dawn of the 21st century over 30 years later (dying of acute myeloid leukemia in 2006), outliving several of his old bandmates.

Artist:     West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:     Smell of Incense
Source:     LP: Volume II
Writer:     Markley/Morgan
Label:     Reprise
Year:     1967
     One of the commercially strongest songs on the second West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band album for Reprise was Smell of Incense. The length of the track, however, (over five minutes) meant it would never get airplay on AM radio, although England Dan Seals and John Ford Coley took it to the # 56 spot on the charts while still in high school in 1968 with their band Southwest F.O.B.

Artist:    Huns
Title:    Love Is Gone
Source:    Mono CD: The Huns Conquer Ithaca, NY 1966
Writer(s):    Steve Dworetz
Label:    Jargon
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2017
    Like most college towns, Ithaca, NY (home of both Ithaca College and Cornell University) has always had a thriving local music scene. In the mid-1960s that scene was dominated by bands doing mostly covers of current top 40 hits. Bassist Frank Van Nostrand and organist John Sweeney, however, wanted to do something different. The two Ithaca College juniors were fans of the more rebellious bands like the Animals, Kinks and especially the Rolling Stones, who were already establishing themselves as the bad boys of British rock. As their fellow students began to stream in to register for the upcoming school year, Sweeney and Van Nostrand were camped out at their own table, looking to recruit like-minded musicians to form a new band that would soon come to be known as the Huns. By the time the school year was over, the Huns had racked up a total of 51 gigs at a combination of local clubs, frat houses and parties. They even made an appearance on a mock TV show produced by fellow student Lynn Cates as a class project. Although the video of that performance is long gone, the audio dub survived for over 50 years, and has been made into a CD called The Huns Conquer Ithaca, NY 1966. Recorded on March 10, the album captures the Huns at the peak of their popularity, before hassles with the college dean over hair length (among other things) led to the dismissal of both Sweeney and Van Nostrand and the subsequent breakup of the band itself. The opening track of the CD, Love Is Gone, shows a band pretty far removed from what was popular in the Eastern US at the time; in fact it feels more like the cutting edge bands populating the mid-60s club scene in Los Angeles.

Artist:    Downliners Sect
Title:    Glendora
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ray Stanley
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1966
    Although they never had the massive success of the Rolling Stones, Kinks or Animals, the Downliners Sect had a solid run in their native England beginning in 1964, with enough staying power to cut three LPs and numerous singles over a period of years. One of their more notable tracks is their 1966 remake of a 1956 Perry Como hit, Glendora, about a department store mannequin. As interpreted by the Sect, the song takes on a cool macabre flavor.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    Two Trains Running
Source:    Mono CD: Projections
Writer(s):    McKinley Morganfield
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:    1966
    Possibly the most influential (yet least known outside of musicians' circles) band of the Psychedelic Era was the Blues Project. Formed in 1965 in Greenwich Village, the band worked its way from coast to coast playing mostly college campuses, in the process blazing a path that continues to be followed by underground/progressive/alternative artists. As if founding the whole college circuit wasn't enough, they were arguably the very first jam band, as their version of the Muddy Waters classic Two Trains Running shows. Among those drawing their inspiration from the Blues Project were the Warlocks, a group of young musicians who were traveling with Ken Kesey on the Electric Cool-Aid Acid Test tour bus. The Warlocks would soon change their name to the Grateful Dead and take the jam band concept to a whole new level. Still, they may never have moved in that direction at all if it weren't for the Blues Project.

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

Artist:    Janis Joplin with the Kozmic Blues Band
Title:    Raise Your Hand
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single box set: Move Over (originally released on CD: Rare Pearls)
Writer(s):    Floyd/Cropper/Isbell
Label:    Columbia
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 1999
    Raise Your Hand is a 1969 live recording by Janis Joplin and her Kozmic Blues Band that was originally issued on a CD called Rare Pearls which was only available as part of the Box Of Pearls Janis Joplin box set, released in 1999. More recently, the track has been issued as part of a four-disc 45 RPM box set called Move Over. The song is a good representation of where Joplin was at musically after splitting with Big Brother And The Holding Company.

Artist:     Human Beinz
Title:     Nobody But Me
Source:     Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as a 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Ron, Rudy and O'Kelley Isley
Label:     LP: Rhino (originally released on Capitol)
Year:     1968
    The Human Beingz were a band that had been around since 1964 doing mostly club gigs in the Youngstown, Ohio area as the Premiers. In the late 60s they decided to update their image with a name more in tune with the times and came up with the Human Beingz. Unfortunately someone at Capitol Records misspelled their name (leaving out the "g") on the label of Nobody But Me, and after the song became a national hit the band was stuck with the new spelling. The band split up in 1969, but after Nobody But Me was featured in the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill: Vol.1, original leader Ting Markulin reformed the band with a new lineup that has appeared in the Northeastern US in recent years.

Artist:    Moody Blues
Title:    The Afternoon/Evening/The Night
Source:    LP: Days Of Future Passed
Writer(s):    Redwave/Knight
Label:    Deram
Year:    1967
    In 1967 the Moody Blues went out on a limb and recorded an entire album using a symphony orchestra, creating an entire genre (classical rock) in the process. The album, Days Of Future Passed, is essentially a song cycle that covers a typical day, with side one covering the morning through lunchtime. The second side, which starts with the afternoon and continues into the night, includes two of the band's best known songs: Tuesday Afternoon and Nights In White Satin. Although Tuesday Afternoon charted in early 1968, Nights In White Satin did not hit the top 40 until an edited version was released in 1972. By 1972 the original master tape had deteriorated to the point that a new mix was made from the original multi-track tape. This mix was used for all subsequent pressings of Days Of Future Passed, including this 1981 Mobile Fidelity pressing of the LP. In 2017 a pristine copy of the original LP was found, and a new master tape was created from that copy, although I have not yet heard it. Apparently there are some differences between the two, including extra measures of music here and there that were left out of the newer mix.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Friend Of The Devil
Source:    LP: American Beauty
Writer(s):    Garcia/Dawson/Hunter
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    The Grateful Dead spent three years and four albums trying to capture the energy of their live performances on vinyl. Having finally succeeded with the 1969 Live Dead album the group began to focus more on their songwriting capabilities. The result was two outstanding studio albums, both released in 1970: Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. Of the two, American Beauty is made up almost entirely of songs played on acoustic instruments, including pedal steel guitar, which was played by Jerry Garcia. One of the best-known tracks on American Beauty is Friend Of The Devil, which lyricist Robert Hunter referred to as "the closest we've come to what may be a classic song." Not to take anything away from Friend Of The Devil, but I'd have to say that at least three other songs (Ripple, Sugar Magnolia and Truckin') on American Beauty also qualify as classics.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Listen, Learn, Read On
Source:    CD: The Book Of Taliesyn
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Evans/Lord/Paice
Label:    Eagle (original label: Tetragrammaton)
Year:    1968
    Deep Purple's second LP, The Book Of Taliesyn, was recorded only three months after the release of the debut LP, Shades Of Deep Purple, in 1968. The reason for this rush job was that they were about to embark on their first US tour, and their US label, Tetragrammaton, felt that they needed to have a new album to promote while on the road. This is actually a case of forward thinking, since putting out a new album just before starting a tour is now standard practice for popular artists. Given the lack of time the band had to come up with new material, The Book Of Taliesyn actually came out pretty good overall, although I have to say that every time I hear the album's opening track (Listen, Learn, Read On) images of Spinal Tap on stage with their miniature Stonehenge come to mind.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    Mrs. Robinson
Source:    CD :Collected Works (originally released on LP: Bookends)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    Possibly the most enduring song in the entire Simon And Garfunkel catalog, Mrs. Robinson (in an edited version) first appeared on the soundtrack for the film The Graduate in 1967. It wasn't until the Bookends album came out in 1968 that the full four minute version was released. Also released as a single, the song shot right to the top of the charts, staying there for several weeks.

Artist:    Canned Heat
Title:    Boogie Music
Source:    CD: Living The Blues
Writer(s):    L T Tatman III
Label:    BGO (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1968
    Canned Heat was formed in 1966 by a group of Bay Area blues purists. Although a favorite on the rock scene, the band continued to remain true to the blues throughout its existence. The band's most popular single was Going Up the Country from the album Living the Blues. The B side of Going Up The Country was a tune called Boogie Music. The song is credited to L T Tatman III, which may be a pseudonym for the entire band, much as Nanker Phelge was for the Rolling Stones. Unusually, the single version of the song is actually longer than the album version heard here, thanks to a short coda made to sound like an archive recording from the 1920s.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    See Emily Play
Source:    Mono CD: Relics (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Syd Barrett
Label:    Capitol (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    Following up on their first single, Arnold Layne, Pink Floyd found even greater chart success (at least in their native England) with See Emily Play. Released in June of 1967, the song went all the way to the #6 spot on the British charts. In the US the song failed to chart as a single, although it was included on the US version of Pink Floyd's debut LP, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. The "Emily" in question is reportedly the sculptor Emily Young, who in those days was nicknamed the "psychedelic schoolgirl" at London's legendary UFO club.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Spanish Castle Magic
Source:    LP: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    When the second Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Axis: Bold As Love, came out it was hailed as a masterpiece of four-track engineering. Working closely with producer Chas Chandler and engineer Eddie Kramer, Hendrix used the recording studio itself as an instrument, making an art form out of the stereo mixing process. The unfortunate by-product of this is that most of the songs on the album could not be played live and still sound anything like the studio version. One notable exception is Spanish Castle Magic, which became a more or less permanent part of the band's performing repertoire.

Artist:     Sagittarius
Title:     Mass #586
Source:     CD: Present Tense (bonus track)
Writer:     Gary Usher
Label:     Sundazed
Year:     Recorded 1967, released 1997
     In late 1966 Columbia Records staff producer Gary Usher started a project on his own time that would come to be known as Sagittarius. Usher had successfully made the transition from surf music to more progressive groups as the Byrds, Simon and Garfunkel and the Peanut Butter Conspiracy and was making a lot of money, but was feeling creatively stifled. During the surf era he had been as much a creator as producer, working with people like Terry Melcher on projects like the Hondells' recording of Little Honda. With the newer groups, however, he felt that the artists had plenty of creativity of their own, and that his function was to make sure the records got made on time and under budget. The final event that triggered the Sagittarius project was when he tried to get Chad And Jeremy to record a song called My World Fell Down. After the duo made it clear that they had no interesting in recording the tune, Usher brought in several friends to help him record the song himself. Those friends included vocalists Melcher, Bruce Johnston (who had just begun to perform with the Beach Boys as Brian Wilson's onstage replacement) and lead vocalist Glen Campbell, who had also performed with the Beach Boys. For the instrumental tracks Usher called in another group a friends, a group of studio musicians known collectively as the Wrecking Crew. Now there was never a band officially named the Wrecking Crew, yet it is estimated that they played on more hit records recorded in L.A. during the 60s than everyone else combined (bassist Carol Kaye, for instance, reportedly has over 10,000 recordings to her credit). Shortly after finishing My World Fell Down Usher began collaborating with Curt Boettcher, who had just finished producing his own band, the Ballroom. Working together, the two (along with arranger Keith Olsen, formerly of the Music Machine) turned what had been a spare time project into an eleven-song album. Present Tense, released in July of 1968, included several tracks that Boettcher had already been working on, in addition to an edited version of My World Fell Down. Additionally, several other tracks were recorded, but not released by the same lineup. One of these was Mass #586, recorded in November of 1967.

Artist:    Charlatans
Title:    We're Not On The Same Trip
Source:    British import CD: The Amazing Charlatans
Writer(s):    Dan Hicks
Label:    Big Beat
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1996
    Few bands have achieved such legendary status (without actually being heard by most people) as the Charlatans. Formed in 1964, The Charlatans were literally the first LSD-influenced rock band, although their music actually bears little resemblance of what has come to be known as acid-rock. The Charlatans were actually hard to define musically, since each of the five individuals making up the group (George Hunter, Richard Olsen, Mike Wilhelm, Michael Ferguson and Dan Hicks) had their own unique musical vision. One thing the members did have in common was a sense of theatrics, with each member taking on a particular historical persona (Edwardian aristocrat, Mississippi gambler, old west gunfighter, etc.) and dressing to fit that persona. Another thing the band members had in common was a fondness for LSD, which until October of 1966 was still legal to ingest in California. My personal favorite Charlatans recording, We're Not On The Same Trip (a Dan Hicks tune recorded in 1967) reflects this prodigious use of the subtance.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    Let's Get Together
Source:    Mono LP: Electric Comic Book
Writer(s):    Jimmy Reed
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1967
    Although the Blues Magoos' second LP, Electric Comic Book, was made up mostly of original compositions by the band members themselves, there is one notable exception: a cover of Jimmy Reed's Let's Get Together. The Magoos' recording of the song was actually the second to be released in 1967, as the Leaves had included a fairly bland version of the tune on their second LP, All The Good That's Happening, early in the year. The Blues Magoos approach to the song was far less serious (and far more interesting), with an almost drunken quality to it. It's easy to imagine a bar crowd singing along with this version of the tune.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion #1907 (starts 2/11/19)



    This week's show is one long uninterrupted set of tunes from 1971-1972 (with a classic Doors tune thrown in at the end). You wanna know what FM rock radio in the early 70s really sounded like? This is it.

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    Into The Void
Source:    LP: Master Of Reality
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osbourne/Butler/Ward
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    In addition to being James Hetfield's favorite Black Sabbath track, Into The Void was, according to guitarist Tony Iommi, the most difficult song to record for the group's third LP, Master Of Reality. Both vocalist Ozzy Osbourne and drummer Bill Ward had problems with the song's sudden stops and starts and tempo changes. Iommi went on to say that they even tried to record Into The Void in two different studio in an effort to get Ward on track. Eventually everything came together, and Into The Void is now considered a classic example of Black Sabbath in their prime.

Artist:    Uriah Heep
Title:    Tears In My Eyes (extended version)
Source:    European Import CD: Look At Yourself
Writer(s):    Ken Hensley
Label:    Sanctuary
Year:    Recorded 1971, released 2003
    Most people who heard Uriah Heep's first album agreed that the band had potential. That potential was realized with the 1971 album Look At Yourself. One of the more popular songs on the album was Tears In My Eyes, which opened side two of the original LP. The version on the album was actually edited down from the original tapes. This version is a slightly longer edit, with an extended acoustic section in the middle of the piece.

Artist:    Cheech And Chong
Title:    Welcome To Mexico
Source:    LP: Cheech And Chong
Writer(s):    Marin/Chong
Label:    Ode
Year:    1971
    Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong were already a successful stage act when they decided to commit some of their bits to vinyl in 1971. Among those bit is Welcome To Mexico, which manages to send up the petty corruption encountered at US/Mexico border crossings while making a more serious point about how a second coming of Jesus in modern times might actually turn out.

Artist:    Steely Dan
Title:    Dirty Work
Source:    CD: Can't Buy A Thrill
Writer(s):    Becker/Fagen
Label:    MCA (original label: ABC)
Year:    1972
    When Walter Becker and Donald Fagen first formed Steely Dan their hope was that they could be a successful studio band in the mold of the post-1966 Beatles, without having to actually go on tour. Their record label, however, saw things differently, and insisted that the band begin making plans for touring before even finishing their first LP, Can't Buy A Thrill. This brought to the fore an issue that Fagen in particular had hoped would not become an issue: his own stage fright. Such was his fear of public performance as a vocalist that a second lead singer, David Palmer, was brought in to be the band's front man for live appearances. He ended up singing lead on three of the album's ten tracks as well. Of these, Dirty Work is probably the best known. Fagen, of course, soon got over his stage fright, and Palmer and the band parted company.

Artist:    Genesis
Title:    Supper's Ready
Source:    CD: Foxtrot
Writer(s):    Banks/Collins/Gabriel/Hackett/Rutherford
Label:    Rhino/Atlantic (original label: Charisma)
Year:    1972
    The longest track Genesis ever recorded is also one of their most celebrated. Supper's Ready, from the Foxtrot album, is almost 23 minutes long and takes up most of the second side of the original LP. At least one critic has proclaimed Supper's Ready to be the band's masterpiece. The song (or more accurately, song cycle) was originally released in October of 1972. The piece, with its supernatural imagery and overall theme of good vs. evil, was inspired by an incident at a British castle in which vocalist Peter Gabriel's wife Jill went into a trance state just as the windows of the room they were in suddenly blew open. Supper's Ready is divided into seven sections: Lover's Leap, The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man, Ikhnaton and Itsacon and Their Band of Merry Men, How Dare I Be So Beautiful, Willow Farm, Apocalypse in 9/8 (Co-Starring the Delicious Talents of Gabble Ratchet), and the final section, As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet), which combines elements of some of the earlier parts. From 1972 on Supper's Ready was the centerpiece of the band's stage show throughout Gabriel's tenure as frontman for Genesis.

Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Blowin' Free
Source:    CD: Argus
Writer(s):    Upton/Turner/Turner/Powell
Label:    MCA/Decca
Year:    1972
    Known to the band's fans as the "Ash Anthem", Blowin' Free is probably the single most popular song Wishbone Ash ever recorded. The song, with lyrics written by bassist Martin Turner before Wishbone Ash even formed, is about Turner's Swedish ex-girlfriend.

Artist:    David Bowie
Title:    Hang Onto Yourself
Source:    CD: The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
Writer(s):    David Bowie
Label:    Ryko (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1972
    David Bowie proved that he was quite capable of writing a straight up power pop tune with Hang Onto Yourself from The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. The album itself, as the title implies, documents the short career of pop star Ziggy Stardust against a backdrop of the imminent destruction of the world. While most of the songs on the album are about Ziggy Stardust, I've always imagined Hang Onto Yourself as being one of Ziggy's own songs, a hit single along the same lines as Grand Funk Railroad's We're An American Band or Mountain's Mississippi Queen. Interestingly enough, Bowie had released an earlier version of Hang Onto Yourself as a 1971 single under the name Arnold Corns. Was "Arnold Corns" an early version of Ziggy Stardust?

Artist:    Moody Blues
Title:    I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band)
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    John Lodge
Label:    Threshold
Year:    1972
    Following the release of their eighth LP, Seventh Sojourn (don't ask), the Moody Blues decided to take a sojourn of a different kind: a five-year hiatus, allowing the individual members to pursue various solo projects. Before calling it quits, however, they released one last single. As the last track on Seventh Sojourn, I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band) was an appropriate choice for a final effort, and did reasonably well on the US charts, peaking at #12, although it barely made the top 40 in their native England. Since reforming in 1978, the Moody Blues have established themselves as a consistent concert draw, especially around PBS pledge drive time.

Artist:    Climax Blues Band
Title:    Shake Your Love
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM promo single
Writer(s):    Climax/Gottehrer
Label:    Sire
Year:    1972
    Although never a first-tier group, the Climax Blues Band (formed in 1967 as the Climax Chicago Blues Band) nonetheless had a decent career, releasing a total of 19 albums during their existence. Among those was the 1972 LP Rich Man, which included Shake Your Love, a song that was also released to radio stations only in single form. The tune was co-written by the band and their producer, Richard Gottehrer. Gottehrer is probably best known for writing or co-writing several hit songs in the 1960s, including My Boyfriend's Back, Hang On Sloopy, and I Want Candy, the latter being credited to Gottehrer's own band, the Strangeloves.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Twentieth Century Fox
Source:    LP: The Doors
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    There's no getting around it: there are no bad songs on the first two Doors albums. Pick one at random, say Twentieth Century Fox. Great song. They all are.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1906 (starts 2/4/19)



    This week we are once again featuring new music from Ace Of Cups from their self-titled debut album, released in late 2018. This time around it's the longest track on the album. Medley, as the title implies, is actually made up of several shorter pieces featuring several guest musicians (detailed in the individual track listing below). Other than that we have 30 tracks from 30 different artists, including a 1970 Jimi Hendrix recording that has somehow managed to never get played on the show before now. It all starts with a wild tune from 1966...

Artist:     Troggs
Title:     Wild Thing
Source:     Mono CD: Billboard Top Rock 'N' Roll Hits-1968 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Chip Taylor
Label:     Rhino (original label: Fontana)
Year:     1966
    I have a DVD copy of a music video (although back then they were called promotional films) for the Troggs' Wild Thing in which the members of the band are walking through what looks like a train station while being mobbed by girls at every turn. Every time I watch it I imagine singer Reg Presley saying giggity-giggity as he bobs his head from side to side.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    SWLABR
Source:    LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    RSO (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
     I distinctly remember this song getting played on the local jukebox just as much as the single's A side, Sunshine Of Your Love (maybe even more). Like most of Cream's more psychedelic material, SWLABR (the title being an anagram for She Walks Like A Bearded Rainbow) was written by the songwriting team of Jack Bruce and Pete Brown. Brown had originally been brought in as a co-writer for Ginger Baker, but soon realized that he and Bruce had better songwriting chemistry.

Artist:    Fire
Title:    Father's Name Was Dad
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dave Lambert
Label:    Rhino (original label: Decca)
Year:    1967
    As any fan of the Austin Powers movies can tell you, London in the mid-1960s was home to the Mods, a group (or movement) of young people distinguished by the colorful fashions they wore, most of which came from shops on Carnaby Street. The Mods had their own music as well, usually referred to as "freakbeat" or sometimes just "beat", although not all of the bands playing that kind of music identified with the Mods themselves. Most of the early beat bands were also in the first wave of the British invasion of the US; in fact the Beatles themselves (prior to the release of Rubber Soul) were usually considered the top beat band of all. By 1966, however, the US audience was already getting into other things (Motown, garage rock, Memphis soul and the beginnings of bubble gum). In Europe and the UK, however, beat bands were still on top, with newer groups like the Move, the Small Faces and the Who (in their pre-Tommy days) riding high on the charts. Among these newer beat groups was a trio called Friday's Chyld. After changing their name to the Fire, they got a contract with the British Decca label and a publishing deal with the Beatles' Apple organization. After hearing a demo of Father's Name Was Dad, Paul McCartney made a few production suggestions and the group added backing vocals and double-tracked guitar for the final released version of the song. Although Father's Name Was Dad was not a hit, it did serve as the recording debut of lead vocalist/guitarist Dave Lambert, who would go on to have some success in the 70s as a founding member of a band called Strawbs. Most people that have heard both the original and the "McCartney-ized" versions of Father's Name Was Dad have stated a preference for the earlier recording heard here.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Superlungs (My Supergirl)
Source:    CD: Sunshine On The Mountain (originally released on LP: Barabajabal)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Sony Music Special Products (original label: Epic)
Year:    1969
    Donovan originally recorded a song called Supergirl for his 1966 album Sunshine Superman album, but ultimately chose not to use the track. Over two years later he recorded an entirely new version of the song, retitling it Superlungs (My Supergirl) for the 1969 Barabajagal album. Or was it really not entirely new? When you listen to it on headphones much of the track sounds like an "electronically rechanneled for stereo" recording (the Sunshine Superman sessions were originally mixed only in mono), with only the background vocals toward the end of the piece actually being mixed in true stereo.

Artist:    Janis Ian
Title:    Janey's Blues
Source:    LP: Janis Ian
Writer(s):    Janis Ian
Label:    Polydor (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:    1967
    Following the success of her first hit single, Society's Child, singer/songwriter/poet Janis Ian released her self-titled debut LP in early 1967, follwing it up with two more albums, For All The Seasons Of Your Mind and The Secret Life Of J. Eddy Fink, over the next year or so. Although there were singles released from each of these, none of them got much chart action. Finally, in late 1968, her label decided to go back to her debut LP for her fifth single, Janey's Blues. I suspect the song's length (nearly five minutes) automatically kept many AM radio DJs from playing the song, which is a shame, as Janey's Blues is one of the undiscovered gems of the late 1960s.

Artist:    Circus Maximus
Title:    Wind
Source:    CD: Circus Maximus
Writer(s):    Bob Bruno
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Circus Maximus was formed out of the chance meeting of multi-instrumentalist Bob Bruno and guitarist Jerry Jeff Walker in Greenwich Village in 1967. From the start the band was moving in different directions, with Bruno incorporating jazz elements into the band while Walker favored country-rock. Eventually the two would go their separate ways, but for the short time the band was together they made some of the best, if not best-known, psychedelic music on the East Coast. The band's most popular track was Wind, a Bruno tune from their debut album. The song got a considerable amount of airplay on the new "underground" radio stations that were popping up across the country at the time.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Happy Together
Source:    Mono CD: All The Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bonner/Gordon
Label:    Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1967
    The Turtles got off to a strong start with their cover of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe, which hit the top 20 in 1965. By early 1967, however, the band had fallen on hard times and was looking for a way to return to the charts. They found that way with Happy Together, a song written by Gary Bonner and Mark Gordon, both members of an east coast band called the Magicians. Happy Together was the Turtles' first international hit, going all the way to the top of the charts in several countries and becoming one of the most recognizable songs in popular music history.

Artist:     Rolling Stones
Title:     Hitch Hike
Source:     Mono CD: Out of Our Heads
Writer(s):    Gaye/Paul/Stevenson
Label:     Abkco (original label: London)
Year:     1965
     The Rolling Stones' early albums consisted of about a 50/50 mix of cover tunes and original tunes from the band members, primarily Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Marvin Gaye's Hitch Hike was one of the cover songs on the album Out of Our Heads, the same album that featured the #1 hit of 1965, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.

Artist:    We The People
Title:    You Burn Me Up And Down
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Thomas Talton
Label:    Rhino (original label: Challenge)
Year:    1966
    We The People was kind of a regional supergroup in the Orlando, Florida area, as it was made up of musicians from various local garage bands. The departure of lead guitarist Wayne Proctor in early 1967 and the band's other main songwriter Tommy Talton a year later led to the group's demise, despite having landed a contract with RCA Victor, at the time the world's largest record label. Before splitting up, however, they recorded a handful of garage-rock classics such as You Burn Me Up And Down, which was released as a B side in 1966.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    Rush Hour
Source:    CD: Kaleidoscopic Compendium (originally released on LP: Electric Comic Book)
Writer(s):    Gilbert/Scala/Daking/Theilhelm/Esposito
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1967
    One of the best examples of music and subject matter supporting each other ever recorded is the Blues Magoos' Rush Hour from their Electric Comic Book album. From the overdriven opening chord through the crash and burn ending, the track maintains a frantic pace that resembles nothing more than a musical traffic jam. Rush Hour is also the only Blues Magoos track I know of to include writing credits for the entire band, including drummer Geoff Daking's only official songwriting credit.

Artist:    Amboy Dukes
Title:    Journey To The Center Of The Mind
Source:    CD: Nuggets-Classics From The Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Journey To The Center Of The Mind)
Writer(s):    Nugent/Farmer
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1968
    Detroit was one of the major centers of pop music in the late 60s. In addition to the myriad Motown acts, the area boasted the popular retro-rock&roll band Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, the harder rocking Bob Seger System, the non-Motown R&B band the Capitols, and Ted Nugent's outfit, the Amboy Dukes, who scored big in 1968 with Journey To The Center Of The Mind.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Wonderful
Source:    Mono CD: Good Vibrations-Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys
Writer(s):    Wilson/Parks
Label:    Capitol
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1993
    After spending several months perfecting his masterpiece single Good Vibrations, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys set out to create an entire album using the same production style, recording segments of each piece separately, often at entirely different studios, then assembling them into coherent finished tracks and adding vocal overdubs. One of the first pieces recorded for this new album (to be called Smile), was Wonderful, recorded on September 1st of 1966. Although Smile was eventually scrapped in favor of the much less complex Smiley Smile album, released in late 1967, many of the original Smile tracks were preserved in the Capitol Records vaults, with bootleg copies occasionally making the rounds among collectors. Finally, in 1993, some of these tracks (including Wonderful) were released on the box set Good Vibrations-Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Chapter 24
Source:    CD: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
Writer(s):    Syd Barrett
Label:    Capitol (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    One of the first tracks recorded for the debut Pink Floyd album, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Chapter 24 is a Syd Barrett composition based on chapter 24 of the I Ching (the ancient Chinese Book of Changes). The tune itself is somewhat of a drone, and was considered for the band's greatest hits package Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd, despite never being released as a single.

Artist:    Small Faces
Title:    Ogden's Nut Gone Flake
Source:    CD: Ogden's Nut Gone Flake
Writer(s):    Marriott/Lane/McLagon/Jones
Label:    Charly (original label: Immediate)
Year:    1968
    By spring of 1968 the Small Faces, from London' East End, had already established themselves on the UK charts with the kind of catchy pop tunes that were the meat of the mid-60s British music scene. After having a falling out with industry giant Decca Records in 1967, they signed to Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham's newly formed Immediate Records. After a decent, but somewhat hurried first album for the new label the band (whose name came from the fact that they were all short), took their time with a follow-up. The result was Ogden's Nut Gone Flake, generally regarded as one of the few LPs to actually rise to the challenge laid down by the Beatles the previous year with the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The album opens with an instrumental title track, setting the tone for the rest of the LP.

Artist:    Moody Blues
Title:    In The Beginning/Lovely To See You
Source:    CD: On The Threshold Of A Dream
Writer(s):    Edge/Hayward
Label:    Deram
Year:    1969
    If there is any one band known for their concept albums, it's the Moody Blues. Starting with the 1967 LP Days Of Future Past, every Moody Blues album has been a concept album (except for their live albums, of course). 1969 saw two of these albums being released by the group. The first was On The Threshold Of A Dream, which explores dreams and the inner psyche. The opening track, In The Beginning, consists of a dialogue between Justin Hayward (as a man attempting to define himself as a human being), Graeham Edge (as the voice of technology attempting to usurp the role of humanity) and Michael Pinder (as the inner voice of the original speaker), set against a background of electronic effects created by Edge. Heady stuff, but that's pretty much what the Moody Blues were about in 1969.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Title:    Helpless
Source:    CD: déjà vu
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Many of the songs on the second Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young album, Deja Vu, sound as if they could have been on solo albums by the various band members, particularly Neil Young, whose style really didn't mesh well with the others. A prime example of this is Helpless. Despite this (or maybe because of it) Helpless got more radio airplay than most of the other songs on the album.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Love Her Madly
Source:    LP: L.A. Woman
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1971   
    The first single released from L.A. Woman, the final Doors album to feature vocalist Jim Morrison, Love Her Madly was a major success, peaking just outside the top 10 in the US, and going all the way to the #3 spot in Canada. The album itself was a return to a more blues-based sound by the Doors, a change that did not sit well with producer Paul Rothchild, who left the project early on, leaving engineer Bruce Botnik to assume production duties. Rothchild's opinion aside, it was exactly what the Doors needed to end their run (in their original four man incarnation) on a positive note.

Artist:    Ace Of Cups
Title:    Medley
Source:    CD: Ace Of Cups
Writer(s):    Hollingsworth/Kaufman/Vitalich/Mercy
Label:    High Moon
Year:    2018
    Medley is the longest track on the 2018 Ace Of Cups album. It is also the track that features the most guest musicians. According to Mary Gannon, who founded the band in 1966, "the lyrics and harmonies, the sitar, the guitars, the different colors and textures in this peice reflect our '60s journey." Medley starts with The Hermit, which started as a poem written the band's first manager, Ambrose Hollingsworth, with music by Denise Kaufman, who provides lead vocals on the song. When Hollingsworth was sidelined by an accident that left him in a wheelchair, Ace Of Cups soon hooked up with the same manager as Quicksilver Messenger Service, often opening for them and appearing (as the Angel Chorus) on The Fool, a track on the first Quicksilver album in 1968. Quicksilver's David Freiberg returns the favor on The Hermit, providing harmony vocals and "one man choir". The Hermit segues into a short instrumental called The Flame Still Burns, which serves as a showcase for the stylish drum work of Diane Vitalich, supplemented by a lead guitar solo from Terry Haggerty of the Sons Of Champlin. A sitar intro by Norman Mayell leds into Gold And Green, a piece that features Mary Simpson (Mercy) on lead vocals and all guitar parts, and includes some tasty vibraphone work from Geoffrey Palmer. Medley wraps up with another Mercy piece, Living In The Country, which features Vitalich on lead vocals.

Artist:    Love
Title:    7&7 Is
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single. Stereo version released on LP: Da Capo)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Rhino (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1967
    The word "seven" does not appear anywhere in the song 7&7 Is. In fact, I have no idea where Arthur Lee got that title from. Nonetheless, the song is among the most intense tracks to ever make the top 40. 7&7 Is starts off with power chords played over a constant drum roll (possibly played by Lee himself), with cymbals crashing over equally manic semi-spoken lyrics. The song builds up to an explosive climax: an atomic bomb blast followed by a slow post-apocalyptic quasi-surf instrumental that fades out after just a few seconds.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Get Me To The World On Time
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released on LP: The Electric Prunes and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Jones
Label:    Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    With I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) climbing the charts in early 1967, the Electric Prunes turned to songwriter Annette Tucker for several more tracks to include on their debut LP. One of those, Get Me To The World On Time (co-written by lyricist Jill Jones) was selected to be the follow up single to Dream. Although not as big a hit, the song still did respectably on the charts (and was actually the first Electric Prunes song I ever heard on FM radio).

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Girl In Your Eye
Source:    CD: Spirit
Writer(s):    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Ode/Epic/Legacy
Year:    1968
    Spirit was born in 1965 when drummer Ed Cassidy left the Rising Sons after breaking his arm and settled down with his new wife, who had a teenaged son named Randy. It wasn't long before Ed and Randy (who played guitar) formed a new band called the Red Roosters. The group lasted until the spring of 1966, when the family moved to New York for a few months, and Randy met an up and coming guitarist named James Marshall Hendrix. Hendrix was impressed with the teenaged Cassidy (whom he nicknamed Randy California) and invited him to become a member of his band, Jimmy James And The Blue Flames, that was performing regularly in Greenwich Village that summer.  After being denied permission to accompany Hendrix to London that fall, Randy returned with his family to California, where he soon ran into two of his Red Roosters bandmates, singer Jay Ferguson and bassist Mark Andes. The three of them decided to form a new band with Ed Cassidy and keyboardist John Locke. Both Cassidy and Locke had played in jazz bands, and the new band, Spirit, incorporated both rock and jazz elements into their sound. Most of the songs of the band's 1968 debut album were written by Ferguson, who tended to favor a softer sound on tracks like Girl In Your Eye. On later albums Randy California would take a greater share in the songwriting, eventually becoming the de facto leader of Spirit.

Artist:    Mandrake Paddle Steamer
Title:    Strange Walking Man
Source:    Mono British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Briley/Engle
Label:    EMI (originally label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    Mandrake Paddle Steamer was the brainchild of art school students Martin Briley and Brian Engle, who, with producer Robert Finnis, were among the first to take advantage of EMI's new 8-track recording equipment at their Abbey Road studios. The result was Strange Walking Man, a single released in 1969. The track includes a coda created by Finnis by splicing a tape of studio musicians playing a cover version of an Incredible String Band tune, Maybe Someday.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Pictures And Designs
Source:    LP: A Web Of Sound
Writer(s):    Saxon/Hooper
Label:    GNP Crescendo
Year:    1966
    The first Seeds album was somewhat unusual for its time in that all the songs on the album (including both singles from the album) were written by members of the band itself. Unfortunately this resulted in a sort of formulaic sameness from one track to the next, with many tunes sounding like attempts to recapture the magic of their most famous song, Pushin' Too Hard. The second Seeds album, A Web Of Sound, also was made up of (mostly) original material, but this time Sky Saxon and company made an effort to expand beyond the formula with tracks like Pictures And Designs, which starts off sounding a bit like the Yardbirds, but soon becomes a snarling punk drone that manages to break new ground for the band while maintaining the distinctive Seeds sound.

Artist:    John's Children
Title:    Desdemona
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Marc Bolan
Label:    Rhino (original label: Track)
Year:    1967
    After a pair of failed singles, the Ashtead, Surrey band known as John's Children brought in a new lead guitarist, Marc Bolan, who wrote their third release, Desdemona. Although Desdemona was indeed a much stronger song than the band's earlier efforts, it found itself banned by the BBC for the line "lift up your skirt and fly". Since by the BBC-1 was the only legal top 40 station left operating in the UK (Radio Luxembourg being on the continent), the song did not get heard by most British listeners. Bolan soon left the group to form his own psychedelic folk band, Tyrannosaurus Rex, with percussionist Steve Peregrine Took.

Artist:    Colder Children
Title:    Memories
Source:    Mono CD: An Overdose Of Heavy Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Danny Felton
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Boutique)
Year:    1968
    I know virtually nothing about the Long Island band known as Colder Children. How about you? If you are familiar with them, clue me in, OK?

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    Three For Love
Source:    Mono CD: Dark Sides (originally released on LP: Back Door Men)
Writer(s):    Joe Kelley
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    The Shadows Of Knight moved way out of their garage/punk comfort zone for the song Three For Love, a folk-rock piece laden with harmony vocals. The tune, from the second LP, Back Door Men, is the only Shadows song I know of written by guitarist Joe Kelley. Kelley himself had started out as the band's bass player, but midway through sessions for the band's first LP, Gloria, it became obvious that he was a much better guitarist than Warren Rogers. As a result, the two traded roles, with Kelley handling all the leads on Back Door Men. Kelly, however, did not sing the lead vocals on Three For Love, despite being the song's composer. That task fell to rhythm guitarist Jerry McGeorge, who would later join H.P. Lovecraft. It was his only credit as lead vocalist on the album.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Six O'Clock
Source:    LP: The John Sebastian Songbook, vol. 1 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    John Sebastian
Label:    Kama Sutra
Year:    1967
    The last top 20 hit for the Lovin' Spoonful was Six O'Clock, released in 1967. Shortly after the record came out John Sebastian left the group. The remaining members tried to carry on without him for a while, but were never able to duplicate the success of the Sebastian years.

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. It seems obvious that Wibier had, at some point, heard a copy of an obscure British single called Father's Name Was Dad by a group called The Fire (heard in the first hour of this week's show), as the opening riff of the two songs is virtually identical.

Artist:    Joe Byrd And The Field Hippies
Title:    Leisure World-pt. 1
Source:    LP: The American Metaphysical Circus
Writer(s):    Byrd/Metter
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    After leaving the United States Of America (the band, not the country), avant-garde composer released a 1969 album called The American Metaphysical Circus. The album was even more experimental than his earlier effort, and even included humorous tracks like Leisure World, the first part of which is heard here. It is probably not too great a stretch to consider the possibility that Leisure World was an inspiration for the people at National Lampoon, whose short-lived National Lampoon Radio Hour in the early 1970s was made up almost entirely of these kinds of bits. The American Metaphysical Circus, credited to Joe Byrd And The Field Hippies, was originally released on Columbia's Masterworks classical label, resulting in the album remaining in the active catalog far longer than the earlier United States Of America LP.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix
Title:    Hey Baby (New Rising sun)
Source:    CD: First Rays Of The New Rising Sun (originally released on LP: Rainbow Bridge)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Experience Hendrix/MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 1971
    Recorded on July 1, 1970, Hey Baby (New Rising Sun) was one of the few 1970 studio tracks by Jimi Hendrix to have been performed live several times before it was recorded in the studio. As a result, the song has a much more finished feel to it than some of the other tracks that were released on the 1971 album Rainbow Bridge. Unfortunately, Hendrix had only recorded a "scratch" vocal track for the song before his untimely death in October of 1970.

Artist:     James Gang
Title:     Walk Away
Source:     LP: Thirds
Writer:     Joe Walsh
Label:     ABC
Year:     1971
     The third James Gang album was the last for Joe Walsh, who left the band to pursue a solo career for a few years before hooking up with the Eagles. One of his best known songs, Walk Away, leads off the album. The recording uses multi-tracking extensively toward the end of the song, with multiple guitar parts cascading into what Walsh himself called a "train wreck".