Sunday, May 26, 2019

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1922 (starts 5/27/19)

    Before concertgoers began yelling out "Freebird" to whatever band happened to be on stage, there was a song called Whipping Post. The tune was already popular with audiences when the Allman Brothers Band recorded their nearly 23 minute long live version of the Gregg Allman composition at Bill Graham's Fillmore East. This week we feature that performance in its entirety, along with seven other tasty tracks.

Artist:    Aerosmith
Title:    One Way Street
Source:    CD: Aerosmith
Writer(s):    Steven Tyler
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1973
    At an even seven minutes, One Way Street is the longest track on Aerosmith's 1973 debut album. As was the case with all the band's originals at the time, the tune was written by lead vocalist Steven Tyler, who credited the Rolling Stones's Midnight Rambler as an inspiration for the song.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    All Along The Watchtower
Source:    CD: The Ultimate Experience (originally released on LP: Electric Ladyland)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Although there have been countless covers of Bob Dylan songs recorded by a variety of artists, very few of them have become better known than the original Dylan versions. Probably the most notable of these is the Jimi Hendrix version of All Along The Watchtower from the Electric Ladyland album. Hendrix's arrangement of the song has been adopted by several other musicians over the years, including Neil Young (at the massive Bob Dylan tribute concert) and even Dylan himself.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Evil Ways
Source:    LP: Santana
Writer(s):    Clarence Henry
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    Evil Ways was originally released in 1968 by jazz percussionist Willie Bobo on an album of the same name. When Carlos Santana took his new band into the studio to record their first LP, they made the song their own, taking it into the top 10 in 1969.

Artist:    Savoy Brown
Title:    Sunday Night
Source:    CD: Looking In
Writer(s):    Kim Simmonds
Label:    Deram (original label: Parrot)
Year:    1970
    Despite being a British blues-rock band, Savoy Brown released their sixth LP, Looking In, to a US audience nearly two months before it was available anywhere else, including their native land. The album, which put more emphasis on hard rock than any other Savoy Brown LP, ended up being their most successful, hitting #50 in the UK and doing even better (#39) in the US. Songwriting duties were spread out among band members, with founder and lead guitarist Kim Simmonds supplying the instrumental Sunday Night, among other tunes. Not long after Looking In was released, Simmonds let the entire band go due to differences in opinion about the band's future musical direction. Savoy Brown, with an ever-changing lineup, would remain solidly based in the blues, while the new band formed by the other three members, Foghat, would continue in a more hard rocking vein. 

Artist:    Allman Brothers Band
Title:    Whipping Post
Source:    LP: At Fillmore East
Writer(s):    Gregg Allman
Label:    Mercury (original label: Capricorn)
Year:    1971
    Rolling Stone magazine once called the Allman Brothers Band's live recording of Whipping Post on the album At Fillmore East "The finest live rock performance ever committed to vinyl." For once I totally agree with Rolling Stone's assessment.

Artist:     Jerry Garcia
Title:     Sugaree
Source:     45 RPM single (promo)
Writer:     Garcia/Hunter/Kreutzmann
Label:     Warner Brothers
Year:     1972
     In 1972 Warner Brothers gave the individual members of the Grateful Dead the opportunity to record solo albums. Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir and drummer Micket Hart took them up on the offer. Garcia's effort was unique in that he played virtually all the instruments on the album himself (except for the drum parts, which were played by Bill Kreutzmann). One of the best known songs from that album is Sugaree, which was soon added pretty much permanently to the Dead's concert repertoire.

Artist:    West, Bruce And Laing
Title:    Pollution Woman
Source:    CD: Why Dontcha
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown/West/Laing
Label:    Columbia/Windfall
Year:    1972
    Following the departure of bassist/vocalist/producer Felix Pappalardi in early 1972, the remaining members of Mountain, guitarist Leslie West and drummer Corky Laing, decided to form a new band with bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce. Bruce and Pappalardi had worked closely together when Bruce was a member of Cream and Pappalardi was the band's producer and unofficial "fourth member". The new trio was immediately successful as a live act, but their label, Columbia, did not think too highly of their debut LP, Why Dontcha, and did not promote it heavily. Nonetheless, the album sold a respectable number of copies, peaking at #26 on the Billboard album chart. The final track on the LP, Parachute, features Bruce playing an ARP synthesizer as well as playing bass and singing the lead vocals. The group recorded a second album, Whatever Turns You On, but by the time the album was finished they had effectively disbanded due to conflicts within the band brought on by rampant use of heroin.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Conquistador (live)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    A&M
Year:    1972
    Although Conquistador was originally recorded for the first Procol Harum album in 1967, it was the 1972 live version with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra that became one of the band's biggest hits, second only to A Whiter Shade Of Pale.

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