Sunday, May 19, 2019
Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1921 (starts 5/20/19)
This time around we have mostly long sets full of short songs, although there are a pair of artists' sets as well. The first of these, from the Beatles, emphasizes John Lennon's evolution as a songwriter from 1966 to 1968, while the other is a Bob Dylan set taken entirely from 45 RPM vinyl. We start with the first of the long sets....
Title: Pushin' Too Hard
Source: Simulated stereo LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on LP: The Seeds and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Sky Saxon
Label: Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Pushin' Too Hard was originally released as a single in 1965 (under the title You're Pushin' Too Hard), but did not make an immediate impression. The following year, however, the tune started getting some local airplay on Los Angeles area stations. This in turn led to the band recording their first album, The Seeds, which was released in spring of 1966. A second Seeds LP, A Web Of Sound, hit L.A. record stores in the fall of the same year. Meanwhile, Pushin' Too Hard, which had been reissued with a different B side in mid-1966, started to get national airplay, hitting its peak position on the Billboard charts in February of 1967.
Artist: Johnny Rivers
Title: Secret Agent Man
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
The sixties were a decade of fads and trends in the US, many of them imported from England. One of the most popular was the spy craze. Inspired by cold war politics and the first James Bond movie, Dr. No, TV producers began cranking out shows like I-Spy and the Man from U.N.C.L.E. One of the earliest of these shows was a British production called Danger Man, aired in the US under the name Secret Agent. The show starred Darrin McGavin as a (surprise) secret agent for a fictional version of MI6, the British intelligence agency, and enjoyed a successful run on both sides of the Atlantic. After a few seasons McGavin got tired of doing the show and Danger Man/Secret Agent was cancelled. Before that happened, however, Johnny Rivers scored a huge hit with the theme song written by Steve Barri and PF Sloan especially for the US airings of the show. McGavin would make another series called the Prisoner about a former secret agent that had been "retired" to a closed village in order to protect the secret knowledge he had accumulated over the years. Although it was never explicitly stated, it was assumed that his character (who had indeed been given a number and had his name taken away) was the same one he had played in the earlier show.
Artist: Lowell George And The Factory
Title: Candy Cane Madness
Source: Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on CD: Lightning-Rod Man)
Label: Rhino (original label: Bizarre/Straight)
Year: Recorded 1966, released 1993
Toward the end of 1966 a band called the Factory appeared on the L.A. club scene. They managed to book studio time, but were never able to find a label willing to release the tracks they recorded. Band member Lowell George would later go on to produce other artists such as the GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously) for Frank Zappa's Bizarre Productions and finally become famous as the founder of the band Little Feat. Eventually the old Factory tracks, including Candy Cane Madness, were issued on a CD on the Bizarre/Straight label originally founded by Zappa.
Artist: Ultimate Spinach
Title: Your Head Is Reeling
Source: LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer: Ian Bruce-Douglas
Ultimate Spinach was one of a group of bands signed by M-G-M in 1967 and marketed as being representative of the "Boss-town sound". Unfortunately for all involved, there really was no such thing as a "Boss-town sound" (for that matter there was no such thing as a "San Francisco sound" either, but that's another story). All the hype aside, Ultimate Spinach itself was the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Ian Bruce-Palmer, who wrote and arranged all the band's material. The opening track of side two of the band's debut album is a piece called Your Head Is Reeling, which, despite the somewhat cheesy spoken intro, is as good or better than any other raga styled song of the time.
Artist: Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title: Cinnamon Girl
Source: LP: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer(s): Neil Young
My favorite Neil Young song has always been Cinnamon Girl. I suspect this is because the band I was in the summer after I graduated from high school used an amped-up version of the song as our show opener (imagine Cinnamon Girl played like I Can See For Miles and you get a general idea of how it sounded). If we had ever recorded an album, we probably would have used that arrangement as our first single. I finally got to see Neil Young perform the song live (from the 16th row even) with Booker T. and the MGs as his stage band in the mid-1990s. It was worth the wait.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Source: CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side and included on LP: Early Flight)
Writer(s): Grace Slick
Label: Rhino (original label: RCA Victor)
The B side of the last Jefferson Airplane single to include founding member (and original leader) Marty Balin was Mexico, a scathing response by Grace Slick to President Richard Nixon's attempts to eradicate the marijuana trade between the US and Mexico. The song was slated to be included on the next Airplane album, Long John Silver, but Balin's departure necessitated a change in plans, and Mexico did not appear on an LP until Early Flight was released in 1974.
Artist: Syd Barrett
Title: No Good Trying
Source: British import CD: Insane Times (originally released on LP: The Madcap Laughs)
Writer(s): Syd Barrett
Label: Zonophone (original label: Capitol)
After parting company with Pink Floyd in 1968, Syd Barrett made an aborted attempt at recording a solo album. After spending several months in psychiatric care, Barrett resumed work on the project in April of 1969, recording the basic tracks for songs such as It's No Good Trying with producer Malcolm Jones. In May of 1969 Barrett brought in three members of the Soft Machine to record overdubs for several songs, including No Good Trying (the "It's" having mysteriously disappeared from the song title). Barrett then added some backwards guitar, and the final track appeared on his 1970 LP The Madcap Laughs.
Artist: Grateful Dead
Title: Mountains Of The Moon
Source: LP: Aoxomoxoa (original 1969 mix)
Label: Warner Brothers
Following the release of their second album, Anthem Of The Sun, the Grateful Dead got to work on their third LP, to be titled Earthquake Country. Like the previous album, Earthquake Country was recorded using 8-track technology, which by 1968 had become the standard in recording studios. Late that year, however, Ampex manufactured the first 16-track recorder, and the Dead managed to get the use of one. The original recordings were scrapped, and the band spent the next few months re-recording the entire album, experimenting with the new technology and running up a huge bill with their record label, Warner Brothers. The resulting album, now title Aoxomoxoa, was released in the summer of 1969 to generally positive reviews. Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh, however, were not entirely happy with the final mix, feeling that maybe the band had tried to do too much in the studio, obscuring the music itself. In 1971 the two of them went back to the original multitrack tapes and remixed the entire album, removing a lot of the more experimental stuff, such as the choir on Mountains Of The Moon. This remix became the "official" version of Aoxomoxoa from 1972 on, and was used when the album was reissued on Compact Disc. In recent years, however, Warner Brothers has made the original mix available on 180 gram vinyl.
Artist: Procol Harum
Title: Quite Rightly So
Source: LP: Shine On Brightly
In 1969, while living on Ramstein AFB in Germany, my dad managed to get use of one of the basement storage rooms in building 913, the 18-unit apartment building we resided in. For a few months (until getting in trouble for having overnight guests and making too much noise...hey I was 16, whaddaya expect?) I got to use that room as a bedroom. I had a small record player that shut itself off when it got to the end of the record, which meant I got to go to sleep every night to the album of my choice. As often as not that album was Shine On Brightly, a copy of which I had gotten in trade for another album (the Best of the Beach Boys I think) from a guy who was expecting A Whiter Shade of Pale and was disappointed to discover it was not on this album. I always thought I got the better end of that deal, despite the fact that there was a skip during the fade of Quite Rightly So, causing the words "one was me" to repeat over and over until I scooted the needle over a bit. Luckily Quite Rightly So is the first song on the album, so I was usually awake enough to do that.
Artist: Beacon Street Union
Title: Blue Avenue
Source: LP: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union
Writer(s): Wayne Ulaky
One of Boston's most popular bands, the Beacon Street Union, had already migrated to New York City by the time their first album, The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union (produced by the legendary Tom Wilson), made its debut in February of 1968. The band itself was made up of Boston University dropouts John Lincoln Wright (lead vocals), Paul Tartachny (guitar, vocals), Robert Rhodes (keyboards, brass), Richard Weisberg (drums), and Wayne Ulaky (bass). Ulaky wrote what was probably the band's best-known song, Blue Avenue. The tune was particular popular in the UK, where it was often heard on John Peel's Top Gear program. The Beacon Street Union, however, fell victim to hype; in this case the ill-advised attempt on the part of M-G-M records to market several disparate bands as being part of the "boss-town sound". After a second LP, The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens (produced by future Partridge Family impressario Wes Farrell) failed to equal the somewhat limited success of their debut LP, the Beacon Street Union decided to call it quits.
Source: British import CD: The Hurdy Gurdy Man
Writer(s): Donovan Leitch
Label: EMI (original US label: Epic)
Donovan's 1968 album The Hurdy Gurdy Man saw the Scottish singer/songwriter experimenting with drones (the musical one...the flying things hadn't been invented yet). This use of a single-note playing constantly through a piece is most noticable on the album's second track, Peregrine, which uses a harmonium and a double bass played with a bow, givng the piece a decidedly hypnotic quality.
Artist: Jethro Tull
Title: Love Story
Source: CD: This Was (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Ian Anderson
Label: Chrysalis/Capitol (original label: Reprise)
Year: 1968 (UK), 1969 (US)
Love Story was the last studio recording by the original Jethro Tull lineup of Ian Anderson, Mick Abrahams, Clive Bunker and Glenn Cornish. The song was released as a single (Jethro Tull's first in the US) following the band's debut LP, This Was. Shortly after its release Abrahams left the group, citing differences with Anderson over the band's musical direction. Love Story spent eight weeks on the UK singles chart, reaching the #29 spot. In the U.S., Love Story was released in March 1969, with A Song for Jeffrey (an album track from This Was) on the B-side, but did not chart. Like most songs released as singles in the UK, Love Story did not appear on an album until several years later; in this case on the 1973 anthology album Living In The Past. It has most recently been included as a bonus track on the expanded CD version of This Was.
Title: Five To One
Source: CD: The Best Of The Doors (originally released on LP: Waiting For The Sun)
Writer(s): The Doors
Despite the fact that it was the Doors' only album to hit the top of the charts, Waiting For The Sun was actually a disappointment for many of the band's fans, who felt that the material lacked the edginess of the first two Doors LPs. One notable exception was the album's closing track, Five To One, which features one of Jim Morrison's most famous lines: "No one here gets out alive".
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Long Hot Summer Night
Source: LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
With such classics as Voodoo Chile, Crosstown Traffic and Still Raining Still Dreaming on the third Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Electric Ladyland, it's easy to overlook a song like Long Hot Summer Night. Once you hear it, however, you realize just how strong Jimi Hendrix's songwriting had become by 1968. Keyboardist Al Kooper, himself in the process of making rock history with his Super Session album, makes a guest appearance on piano.
Artist: Max Frost And The Troopers
Title: Lonely Man
Source: CD: Shape Of Things To Come
Writer(s): Paul Wibier
Label: Captain High (original label: Tower)
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.
Title: I Happen To Love You
Source: Mono LP: Now And Them
I Happen To Love You was first recorded by the Electric Prunes for their 1967 album Underground. The band wanted to release the Gerry Goffin/Carole King tune as a single, but producer David Hassinger instead chose to issue a novelty track, To The Highest Bidder. Unlike the Prunes version, which emphasized the King melody line, Them's version of I Happen To Love You was done in much the same style as their earlier recordings with Van Morrison. Kenny McDowell provided the lead vocal.
Artist: Grass Roots
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: Feelings and as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
In 1968 the Grass Roots decided to assert themselves and take artistic control of their newest album, Feelings, writing most of the material for the album themselves. Unfortunately for the band, the album, as well as its title track single, fared poorly on the charts. From that point on the Grass Roots were firmly under the control of producers/songwriters Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan, cranking out a series of best-selling hits such as I'd Wait A Million Years and Midnight Confessions (neither of which get played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, incidentally).
Artist: John Lee Hooker/Canned Heat
Title: Whiskey And Wimmin'
Source: CD: The Very Best Of Canned Heat (originally released on LP: Hooker And Heat)
Writer(s): John Lee Hooker
Label: Capitol (original label: United Artists)
Canned Heat was, at its heart, a group of blues record collectors who had enough talent to make their own classic blues recordings. In 1970 the members of the band got the chance to fulfill a dream. They spent the entire summer recording tracks with one of their heroes, the legendary John Lee Hooker. Unfortunately, the experience was marred by the death of co-founder Alan Wilson on September 3rd. Contractual problems with Hooker's label delayed the release of the recordings until January of 1971, when the project was released as a double LP called Hooker And Heat. The most popular track on the album, Whiskey And Wimmin', was also released as a single in April of that year.
Title: She Said She Said
Source: EU Import LP: Revolver
Label: Parlophone/EMI (original US label: Capitol)
The last song to be recorded for the Beatles' Revolver album was She Said She Said, a John Lennon song inspired by an acid trip taken by members of the band (with the exception of Paul McCartney) during a break from touring in August of 1965. The band's manager, Brian Epstein, had rented a large house in Beverly Hills, but word had gotten out and the Beatles found it difficult to come and go at will. Instead, they invited several people, including the members of the Byrds and actor Peter Fonda, to come over and hang out with them. At some point, Fonda brought up the fact that he had nearly died as a child from an accidental gunshot wound, and used the phrase "I know what it's like to be dead." Lennon was creeped out by the things Fonda was saying and told him to "shut up about that stuff. You're making me feel like I've never been born." The song itself took nine hours to record and mix, and is one of the few Beatle tracks that does not have Paul McCartney on it (George Harrison played bass). Ironically, Fonda himself would star in a Roger Corman film called The Trip (written by Jack Nicholson and co-starring Dennis Hopper) the following year.
Title: I Am The Walrus
Source: LP: Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles' psychedelic period hit its peak with the BBC-TV premier of the surrealistic telefilm Magical Mystery Tour and its subsequent release on vinyl in December of 1967. Musically speaking, the centerpiece of Magical Mystery Tour was John Lennon's I Am The Walrus, which was the final track on both the British EP and side one of the US LP. The second half (more or less) of the piece contains audio from a live BBC radio broadcast that was added during the mono mixing process. At that time, the Beatles were still doing their original mixes in monoraul (single-channel) sound, then doing a stereo mix almost as an afterthought. The addition of live audio into the original mono mix meant that they would be unable to reproduce the process in stereo. So, at the point the BBC audio comes in, the true stereo version of I Am The Walrus suddenly becomes a "fake stereo" recording using techniques such as phasing and panning to create a stereo effect out of the mono mix. It also sounds really strange on headphones, like your sinuses all of a sudden got clogged up.
Title: Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
Source: LP: The Beatles
Sporting the longest title of any Beatles recording, Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey is also one of the hardest-rocking late period Beatle tracks, and one of the few on the 1968 album The Beatles (aka the White Album) to feature all four band members playing the instruments they are best known for playing. There are two schools of thought concerning the subject matter of the lyrics of Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey. According to John Lennon, the song is about himself and Yoko Ono, who was his constant companion during recording sessions for what would come to be known as the "White album". The other, more negative view, is that the one expressed by Paul McCartney that the Monkey was heroin, which both Lennon and Ono were getting into at the time. Since Lennon actually wrote the song, his version of things is the generally accepted one.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: The Spider And The Fly
Source: Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released in US on LP: Out Of Our Heads)
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
The catalogs of many popular British bands of the 1960s differ greatly between the US and Great Britain. There are several reasons for this, the most obvious being that British albums generally had a longer running time than American ones, and British singles stayed on print far longer than American ones. In the case of the Rolling Stones there was a third factor: many of their recordings were made in the US and intended primarily for American listeners. In a few cases, such The Spider And The Fly, a song would actually appear in the US before it did in the UK. The Spider And The Fly originally appeared as an album track on the 1965 LP Out Of Our Heads in the US. A few weeks later, the song was released in the UK as the B side of the single (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, and was not included on the British version of Out Of Our Heads.
Artist: Shadows Of Knight
Title: Gospel Zone
Source: Mono CD: Dark Sides-The Best Of The Shadows Of Knight (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): Tom Schiffour
Label: Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Chicago's Shadows Of Knight hit the big time with their cover of Van Morrison's Gloria in early 1966. The single was a local #1 hit and by summertime had hit the top 10 across the nation. The band's first album (appropriately titled Gloria) had been released in April, doing well enough to warrant a second LP, as well as several singles from the band. Among the single tracks released in the summer of 1966 was Gospel, which was released as a B side in August and later included on the LP Back Door Men. The Shadows, however, were never able to duplicate the success of Gloria, and by 1968 were essentially disbanded, although various producers were still using the band's name as late as 1970.
Title: Too Many People
Source: Simulated stereo LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Mira)
The Leaves are a bit unusual in that in a city known for drawing wannabes from across the world, this local band's members were all native L.A.ins. Formed by members of a fraternity at Cal State Northridge, the Leaves had their greatest success when they took over as house band at Ciro's after the Byrds vacated the slot to go on tour. Like many bands of the time, they were given a song (Love Minus Zero) to record as a single by their producer and allowed to write their own B side. In this case that B side was Too Many People, written by bassist Jim Pons and guitarist Bill Rhinehart. The song ended up getting more airplay on local radio stations than Love Minus Zero, making it their first regional hit. The Leaves had their only national hit the following year with their third attempt at recording the fast version of Hey Joe, the success of which led to their first LP, which included a watered down version of Too Many People. The version heard here is the 1965 original. Eventually Pons would leave the Leaves, hooking up first with the Turtles, then Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention.
Artist: Bob Dylan
Title: Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35
Source: 45 RPM single
Writer(s): Bob Dylan
Some of the best rock and roll songs of 1966 were banned on a number of stations for being about either sex or drugs. Most artists that recorded those songs claimed they were about something else altogether. In the case of Bob Dylan's Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35, "stoned" refers to a rather unpleasant form of execution (at least according to Dylan). On the other hand, Dylan himself was reportedly quite stoned while recording the song, having passed a few doobies around before starting the tape rolling. Sometimes I think ambiguities like this are why English has become the dominant language of commerce on the planet.
Artist: Bob Dylan
Title: Positively 4th Street
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s): Bob Dylan
Positively 4th Street, recorded at the same time as the Highway 61 Revisited album, was held back for single release later the same year. The tactic worked, scoring Bob Dylan his second top 10 hit.
Artist: Bob Dylan
Title: Pledging My Time
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s): Bob Dylan
The B side of the first single from Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde album was Pledging My Time, a blues tune that features Robbie Robertson (who had been touring with Dylan) on guitar. The song was one of three tracks recorded in four takes in Nashville on March 8th of 1966. The single version of the song heard here fades after only two minutes (the album version being considerably longer).
Artist: John Mayall
Title: Cancelling Out
Source: LP: The Blues Alone
Writer(s): John Mayall
After three consecutive top 10 albums in the UK with his band the Bluesbreakers, John Mayall decided to experiment with multi-track technology for The Blues Alone, released in late 1967. Unlike the previous albums, which tended to put the emphasis on the outstanding guitarists (first Eric Clapton, then Peter Green) in the Bluesbreakers, The Blues Alone was (with the exception of Keef Hartley's drumming) a true solo effort, with Mayall playing all the instruments and providing all the vocals. Although there were a few cover songs on the album, the best tracks were Mayall originals such as Cancelling Out, a tune denouncing "put together" women.
Artist: Red Crayola
Title: Pink Stainless Tail
Source: Stereo British import 45 RPM single B side
Label: International Artists
Year: 1967 (single released 2011)
Rock history is dotted with stories of bands who reputations exceeded their actual recorded output. One such band was Red Crayola, a Texas band who found themselves labelmates with the 13th Floor Elevators in 1967. Although the Red Crayola (who were forced to change their name to Red Krayola in 1968) were only together for a couple of years, their legend continued to grow throughout the punk/new wave era and indy rock movements of the late 20th century and beyond. Which brings us to this curious single issued in 2011. The songs themselves, including B side Pink Stainless Tail, were lifted from the first Red Crayola album, Parable Of Arable Land, and are even on the same label, International Artists...or are they? International Artists, a relatively small label owned by a group of Texas businessmen, ceased to exist in 1971, and this 2011 single is a British import. So what's the deal? Well, as it turns out, one of the original partners in International Artists was a guy named Lelan Rogers. In 1978 Rogers (perhaps with the help of his brother Kenny?) revived the label and reissued all twelve of the LPs that originally been released by the label. This was followed by various compilation albums, some of which included previously released material. By the early 2000s, the revived International Artists had become part of Britian's Charly Records, a company that specializes in archival material. Apparently the people at Charly felt there was enough interest in Red Crayola recordings to issue a yellow vinyl single 2011, with a newly remixed Hurrican Fighter Pilot on the A side and Pink Stainless Tail on the flip. As both these tracks overlap other stuff on the original LP, the single turns out to be a pretty good thing to have around.
Title: House For Everyone
Source: CD: Heaven Is In Your Mind (aka Mr. Fantasy)
Writer(s): Dave Mason
Label: Island (original label: United Artists)
Although Traffic is now known mostly as a Steve Winwood band, many of their earliest songs were the creation of guitarist Dave Mason, whose songs tended to be a bit more psychedelic than Winwood's. One example is House For Everyone from the band's 1967 debut LP, which creatively uses tape edits to simulate a music box being wound up with short snippets of song sneaking through between turns of the key at the beginning of the track.
Artist: Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title: Good Times
Source: CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Winds Of Change)
Label: Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
By the end of the original Animals' run they were having greater chart success with their singles in the US than in their native UK. That trend continued with the formation of the "new" Animals in 1967 and their first single, When I Was Young. Shortly after the first LP by the band now known as Eric Burdon And The Animals came out, M-G-M decided to release the song San Franciscan Nights as a single to take advantage of the massive youth migration to the city that summer. Meanwhile the band's British label decided to instead issue Good Times (an autobiographical song which was released in the US as the B side to San Franciscan Nights) as a single, and the band ended up with one of their biggest UK hits ever. Riding the wave of success of Good Times, San Franciscan Nights eventually did get released in the UK and was a hit there as well.
Artist: Vanilla Fudge
Title: Bang Bang
Source: LP: Vanilla Fudge
Writer: Sonny Bono
Vanilla Fudge made their reputation by taking popular hit songs, such as the Supremes' You Keep Me Hangin' On, and extensively re-arranging them, giving the songs an almost classical feel. In fact, some of their arrangements incorporated (uncredited) snippets of actual classical pieces. One glaring example is the Vanilla Fudge arrangement of Cher's biggest solo hit of the 60s, Bang Bang (written by her then-husband Sonny Bono). Unfortunately, although I recognize the classical piece the band uses for an intro to Bang Bang, I can't seem to remember what it's called or who wrote it. Anyone out there able to help? I think it may have been used in a 1950s movie like The King And I or Attack of the Killer Women from Planet X.
Artist: Spencer Davis Group
Title: I'm A Man
Source: Mono LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: United Artists
The Spencer Davis Group, featuring Steve and Muff Winwood, was one of the UK's most successful white R&B bands of the sixties, cranking out a steady stream of hit singles. Two of them, the iconic Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm A Man, were also major hits in the US, the latter being the last song to feature the Winwood brothers. Muff Winwood became a successful record producer. The group itself continued on for several years, but were never able to duplicate their earlier successes. As for Steve Winwood, he quickly faded off into obscurity, never to be heard from again. Except as the leader of Traffic. And a member of Blind Faith. And Traffic again. And some critically-acclaimed collaborations in the early 1980s with Asian musicians. Oh yeah, and a few major solo hits (Higher Love, Roll With It...that kinda thing) in the mid-to-late 1980s. Other than that, nothing.