Sunday, June 23, 2019
Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1926 (starts 6/24/19)
This week we have an Advanced Psych segment featuring a track from the 2014 Electric Prunes album, WaS, a long regression through the years, long sets from 1966 and 1967, and a Jimi Hendrix set, among other things, for a total of 34 tracks. Not bad for a two-hour show.
Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title: Fortunate Son
Source: LP: Willy And The Poor Boys
Writer(s): John Fogerty
John Fogerty says it only took him 20 minutes to write what has become one of the iconic antiwar songs of the late 1960s. But Fortunate Son is not so much a condemnation of war as it is an indictment of the political elite who send the less fortunate off to die in wars without any risk to themselves. In addition to being a major hit single upon its release in late 1969 (peaking at #3 as half of a double-A sided single), Fortunate Son has made several "best of" lists over the years, including Rolling Stone magazine's all-time top 100. Additionally, in 2014 the song was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Title: Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hands (US version)
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s): Pete Townshend
There are at least three versions of Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hands. The first was a monoraul-only electric version of the song released in the US on September 18, 1967 as the B side to I Can See For Miles. Two months later a second, slightly slower stereo version of the tune appeared under the title Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hand (singular) on The Who Sell Out. This more acoustic version of the song, which has a kind of calypso flavor to it, is the best known of the three, due to the album staying in circulation far longer than the 45. A third version of the song, also recorded in 1967 and featuring Al Kooper on organ, appeared as a bonus track on the 1995 CD release of Sell Out. The liner notes on the CD, however, erroneously state that it is the US single version, when in fact it is an entirely different recording.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Source: CD: Between The Buttons
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
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.
Title: Hey Joe
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Billy Roberts
Label: Rhino (original label: Mira)
In 1966 there were certain songs you had to know how to play if you had any aspirations of being in a band. Among those were Louie Louie, Gloria and Hey Joe. The Byrds' David Crosby claims to have discovered Hey Joe, but was not able to convince his bandmates to record it before their third album. In the meantime, several other bands had recorded the song, including Love (on their first album) and the Leaves. The version of Hey Joe heard here is actually the third recording the Leaves made of the tune. After the first two versions tanked, guitarist Bobby Arlin, who had recently replaced founding member Bill Rinehart on lead guitar, came up with the idea of adding fuzz guitar to the song. It was the missing element that transformed a rather bland song into a hit record (the only national hit the Leaves would have). As a side note, the Leaves credited Chet Powers (aka Dino Valenti) as the writer of Hey Joe, but California-based folk singer Billy Roberts had copyrighted the song in 1962 and had reportedly been heard playing the tune as early as 1958.
Artist: Kim Fowley
Title: The Trip
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Corby)
Kim Fowley was well-known among the movers and shakers of the L.A. music scene as an important promoter and record producer, as well as the guy who threw some of the best parties in town. To the general public, however, he remained largely unknown except as the guy who recorded possibly the first, and probably the only, psychedelic novelty record, The Trip, in 1966.
Artist: Jan and Dean
Title: Ride the Wild Surf
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Label: Silver Spotlight (original label: Liberty)
Jan Berry and Dean Torrance were originally slated to co-star with Fabian in the 1964 film Ride The Wild Surf, but were axed by officials at Columbia Pictures when a friend of Torrance's was revealed to be involved with the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra, Jr. (guilt by association, I guess), and Tab Hunter and Peter Brown (who played Chad on the TV series Laredo) go the parts instead. Jan And Dean were not completely shut out, however, as they got to record and perform the film's theme song over the closing credits (and ended up with a hit single in the process).
Source: LP: The Kingsmen
Writer(s): David Lewis
With Louie Louie climbing up the charts, the Kingsmen hastily recorded a live set and released it as their debut LP in 1963. One of the better tracks on the album was the instrumental J.A.J., written by David Lewis, who was well-known in the Pacific Northwest as a bandleader.
Artist: Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title: Incense And Peppermints
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Label: Rhino (original labels: USA/Uni)
Incense and Peppermints is one of the iconic songs of the psychedelic era, yet when it was originally released to Los Angeles area radio stations it was intended to be the B side of The Birdman of Alkatrash. Somewhere along the line a DJ flipped the record over and started playing Incense And Peppermints instead. The song caught on and Uni Records (short for Universal, which is now the world's largest record company) picked up the Strawberry Alarm Clock's contract and reissued the record nationally with Incense And Peppermints as the A side.
Artist: Left Banke
Title: Pretty Ballerina
Source: 45 RPM single
Writer: Michael Brown
The Left Banke, taking advantage of bandleader Michael Brown's industry connections (his father owned a New York recording studio), ushered in what was considered to be the "next big thing" in popular music in early 1967: baroque pop. After their debut single, Walk Away Renee, became a huge bestseller, the band followed it up with Pretty Ballerina, which easily made the top 20 as well. Subsequent releases were sabotaged by a series of bad decisions by Brown and the other band members that left radio stations leery of playing any record with the words "Left Banke" on the label.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: One Rainy Wish
Source: CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer: Jimi Hendrix
Label: MCA (original label: Reprise)
In the summer of 1967 my dad (who was a Sergeant in the Air Force), got transferred to Lindsay Air Station in Weisbaden, Germany. The housing situation there being what it was, it was several weeks before the rest of us could join him, and during that time he went out and bought an Akai X-355 reel to reel tape recorder that a fellow GI had picked up in Japan. The Akai had small speakers built into it, but the best way to listen to it was through headphones. It would be another year before he would pick up a turntable, so I started buying pre-recorded reel to reel tapes. Two of the first three tapes I bought were Are You Experienced and Axis: Bold As Love, both by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. As I was forced to share a bedroom with my little brother I made it a habit to sleep on the couch instead, usually with the headphones on listening to Axis: Bold As Love. I was blown away by the stereo effects on the album, which I attributed (somewhat correctly) to Hendrix, although I would find out years later that much of the credit belongs to engineer Eddie Kramer as well. One Rainy Wish, for example, starts off with all the instruments in the center channel (essentially a mono mix). After a few seconds of slow spacy intro the song gets into gear with vocals isolated all the way over to the left, with a guitar overdub on the opposite side to balance it out. As the song continues, things move back and forth from side to side, fading in and out at the same time. It was a hell of a way to drift off to sleep every night.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Source: Dutch import LP: The Singles Album (originally released on LP: Electric Ladyland) `
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
Label: Polydor (UK)
Although never released as a single in the US, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), has become a staple of classic rock radio over the years and is often cited as one of the greatest guitar songs ever recorded. The song was originally an outgrowth of a jam session (spelled Voodoo Chile) at New York's Record Plant, which itself takes up most of side one of the Electric Ladyland LP. A more refined studio version of the song was created when the band had to do multiple takes for a film crew and Hendrix decided to make something more productive out of the sessions. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) closes side four of the LP, and was released on a three-song EP in Europe shortly after Hendrix's death in 1970.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Bold As Love
Source: CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
Label: MCA (original label: Reprise)
When working on the song Bold As Love for the second Jimi Hendrix Experience album in 1967, Jimi reportedly asked engineer Eddie Kramer if he could make a guitar sound like it was under water. Kramer's answer was to use a techique called phasing, which is what happens when two identical sound sources are played simultaneously, but slightly (as in microseconds) out of synch with each other. The technique, first used in 1958 but seldom tried in stereo, somewhat resembles the sound of a jet plane flying by. This is not to be confused with chorusing (sometimes called reverse phasing), a technique used often by the Beatles which electronically splits a single signal into two identical signals then delays one to create the illusion of being separate tracks.
Title: Along Comes Mary
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer: Tandyn Almer
Label: Warner Brothers (original label: Valiant)
The Association are best known for a series of love ballads and light pop songs such as Cherish, Never My Love and Windy. Many of these records were a product of the L.A. studio scene and featured several members of the Wrecking Crew, the studio musicians who played on dozens of records in the late 60s and early 70s. The first major Association hit, however, featured the band members playing all the instruments themselves. Produced (and possibly co-written) by Curt Boettcher, who would soon join Gary Usher's studio project Sagittarius, Along Comes Mary shows that the Association was quite capable of recording a classic without any help from studio musicians.
Title: I Feel Free
Source: LP: Fresh Cream
After an unsuccessful debut single (Wrapping Paper), Cream scored a bona-fide hit in the UK with their follow-up, I Feel Free. As was the case with nearly every British single at the time, the song was not included on Fresh Cream, the band's debut LP. In the US, however, hit singles were commonly given a prominent place on albums, and the US version of Fresh Cream actually opens with I Feel Free. To my knowledge the song, being basically a studio creation, was never performed live by the band.
Artist: Blues Project
Title: I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes
Source: Mono CD: Projections
Writer(s): Blind Willie Johnson
Label: Sundazed (original label: Verve Forecast)
One lasting legacy of the British Invasion was the re-introduction to the US record-buying public to the songs of early Rhythm and Blues artists such as Blind Willie Johnson. This emphasis on classic blues in particular would lead to the formation of electric blues-based US bands such as the Butterfield Blues Band and the Blues Project. Unlike the Butterfields, who made a conscious effort to remain true to their Chicago-style blues roots, the Blues Project was always looking for new ground to cover, which ultimately led to them developing an improvisational style that would be emulated by west coast bands such as the Grateful Dead, and by Project member Al Kooper, who conceived and produced the first rock jam LP ever, Super Session, in 1968. As the opening track to their second (and generally considered best) LP Projections, I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes served notice that this was a new kind of blues, louder and brasher than what had come before, yet tempered with Kooper's melodic vocal style. An added twist was the use during the song's instrumental bridge of an experimental synthesizer known among band members as the "Kooperphone", probably the first use of any type of synthesizer in a blues record.
Artist: Shadows Of Knight
Title: I'm Gonna Make You Mine
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Possibly the loudest rockin' recordings of 1966 came from the Shadows of Knight. A product of the Chicago suburbs, the Shadows (as they were originally known) quickly established a reputation as the region's resident bad boy rockers (lead vocalist Jim Sohns was reportedly banned from more than one high school campus for his attempts at increasing the local teen pregnancy rate). After signing a record deal with the local Dunwich label, the band learned that there was already a band called the Shadows and added the Knight part (after their own high school sports teams' name). Their first single was a cover of Van Morrison's Gloria that changed one line ("around here" in place of "up to my room") and thus avoided the mass radio bannings that had derailed the original Them version. I'm Gonna Make You Mine was the second follow up to Gloria, but its lack of commercial success consigned the Shadows to one-hit wonder status until years after the band's breakup, when they finally got the recognition they deserved as one of the founding bands of garage/punk, and perhaps its greatest practicioner.
Artist: Beach Boys
Title: Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)
Source: CD: Pet Sounds
Brian Wilson's songwriting reached its full maturity with the Pet Sounds album, released in 1966. In addition to the hits Wouldn't It Be Nice, Sloop John B and God Only Knows, the album featured several album tracks that redefined where a pop song could go. One such tune is Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder), a slow, moody song with a chord structure that goes in unexpected directions. Like most of the songs on Pet Sounds, it was co-written by Tony Asher, who would later say the ideas were all Wilson's, with Asher just helping put them into words.
Title: The Fat Angel
Source: Mono LP: Sunshine Superman
Writer(s): Donovan Leitch
There seems to be some confusion as to what Donovan's 1966 track The Fat Angel is about. Some critics assume it refers to Cass Elliott of the Mamas and the Papas, although that seems to be based entirely on the song title. Others take it as a tribute of some sort to Jefferson Airplane, whose name appears in the lyrics of the song. The problem with this theory is that The Fat Angel appeared on the Sunshine Superman album, which was released six months before Jefferson Airplane broke nationally with Somebody To Love in 1967. My own view is based on the lyrics themselves, which are about a pot dealer making his rounds. Fly Trans-Love Airlines indeed!
Artist: Max Frost And The Troopers
Title: Shape Of Things To Come
Source: CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released on LP: Wild In The Streets soundtrack)
Label: Rhino (original label: Tower)
Max Frost was a politically savvy rock star who rode the youth movement all the way to the White House, first through getting the support of a hip young Senator, then getting the age requirements for holding high political office lowered to 21, and finally lowering the voting age to 14. Everyone over 30 was locked away in internment camps, similar to those used during WWII by various governments to hold those of questionable loyalty to the current regime. What? You don't remember any of that? You say it sounds like the plot of a cheapie late 60s teen exploitation flick? Right on all counts. "Wild in the Streets" starred Christopher Jones as the rock star, Hal Holbrook as the hip young senator, and a Poseidon Adventure-sized Shelly Winter as the rock star's interred mom. Richard Pryor, in his film debut, played the band's drummer/political activist Stanley X. Shape Of Things To Come was a surprise hit single taken from the film, and was probably recorded by studio musicians, possibly members of Davie Allan And The Arrows, with vocals likely provided by Paul Wibier.
Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: Between The Cracks
Source: CD: WaS
A manager can be a good thing for a group of struggling young musicians. Managers can recommend the right career moves (for example, Brian Epstein and the Beatle haircut) and often have contacts in the music business that can help a band get established. But some managers only see musicians as a resource they can exploit for their own personal gain. The Electric Prunes had such a manager. His price for helping them out was nothing less than the rights to the name Electric Prunes. When the opportunity to record a high-profile with composer David Axelrod presented itself, this manager had no qualms about replacing the band members themselves for the project. He then continued to foist "Electric Prunes" records on the public for the next few years that had no ties whatsoever to the group of musicians that made the name famous in the first place. Eventually, Reprise, the label that issued all these records, realized that there was no point in releasing any further material by the "Electric Prunes", and that was the end of it...until 1999, that is. That was the year that original members James Lowe, Mark Tulin, Ken Williams and Quint Weakley started recording new music in their own studio. Two years later the results of their efforts were released on an album called Artifact. Over the next several years, aided by an array of guest musicians and new full-time members, the Electric Prunes, led by Lowe and Tulin, released several more albums. Following the death of Mark Tulin in 2011 it looked like the Electric Prunes were gone for good, but in 2014 a final album, WaS, made up mainly of songs Lowe and Tulin had been working on prior to Tulin's passing, was released on the band's own Prune/Twang label. Between The Tracks is a sample of that final Electric Prunes album.
I'd like to extend my personal thanks to James Lowe for sending me copies of these "21st century" Electric Prunes albums. We'll be hearing tracks from all of them as 2019 progresses.
Artist: Claypool/Lennon Delerium
Source: LP: Monolith Of Phobos
Fans of alternative rock are no doubt familiar with a band called Primus, led by bassist Les Claypool. One of the more colorful characters on the modern music scene, Claypool was once rejected by Metallica as being "too good" for them. Claypool himself has said that he thought James Hetfield was just being nice when he told him that, but the fact is that Claypool is indeed one of the most talented bass players (if not the best) in rock history. Sean Lennon is, of course, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Unlike his half-borther Julian, Sean has never had to prove anything to anyone, and, thanks in large part to his mother's influence (and let's be honest here, money), has always felt free to pursue his own artistic path without having to bow to commercial pressures. The two of them met when their respective bands were on tour and they immediately recognized that they had a musical connection. That connection manifested itself in the album Monolith Of Phobos (a title inspired by Arthur Clarke's works), released in 2016. Ohmerica, from that album, takes a pointed look at modern American culture.
Artist: Psychedelic Furs
Title: Sister Europe
Source: LP: The Psychedelic Furs
Writer(s): Psychedelic Furs
Initially consisting of Richard Butler (vocals), Tim Butler (bass guitar), Duncan Kilburn (saxophone), Paul Wilson (drums) and Roger Morris (guitars), the Psychedelic Furs were formed in 1977 under the name RKO. They soon began calling themselves Radio, then did gigs under two different names, the Europeans and the Psychedelic Furs. By 1979 they had settled on the latter name and expanded to a sextet, adding guitarist John Ashton and replacing Wilson with Vince Ely on drums. The Furs' self-titled debut album, released in 1980, was an immediate hit in Europe and the UK, but airplay in the US was limited mostly to college radio and "alternative" rock stations. The second single released from the album was Sister Europe, a tune that was also the band's concert opener in the early days of their existence. The Psychedelic Furs' greatest claim to fame, however, is probably the song Pretty In Pink. Originally released on their second album, Talk Talk Talk, in 1981, the song was re-recorded for the John Hughes film of the same name in 1986.
Artist: Bob Dylan
Title: Subterranean Homesick Blues
Source: LP: Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Bringing It All Back Home)
Writer(s): Bob Dylan
1965 was the year Bob Dylan went electric, and got his first top 40 hit, Subterranean Homesick Blues, in the process. Although the song, which also led off his Bringing It All Back Home album, stalled out in the lower 30s, it did pave the way for electrified cover versions of Dylan songs by the Byrds and Turtles and Dylan's own Like A Rolling Stone, which would revolutionize top 40 radio. A line from the song itself, "you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows", became the inspiration for a radical offshoot of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) that called itself the Weathermen (later the Weather Underground).
Artist: Mothers Of Invention
Title: Help, I'm A Rock, 3rd Movement: It Can't Happen Here
Source: 45 RPM single B side (reissue)
Writer(s): Frank Zappa
Label: Barking Pumpkin (original label: Verve)
Help, I'm A Rock and its follow up track It Can't Happen Here are among the best-known Frank Zappa compositions on the first Mothers Of Invention album, Freak Out! What is not so well known is that the band's label, Verve, issued a single version of the track under the title Help, I'm A Rock, 3rd Movement: It Can't Happen Here, as the B side of the band's first single. This mono single version removes the avant-garde jazz piano and drum section from the piece, making the track slightly over three minutes in length. The result is one of the strangest a cappella performances ever committed to vinyl.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: Two Heads
Source: LP: After Bathing At Baxter's
Writer(s): Grace Slick
Label: RCA Victor
The third Jefferson Airplane album, After Bathing At Baxter's, saw the group moving in increasingly experimental directions, as Grace Slick's two contributions to the LP attest. The more accessible of the two was Two Heads, which was the first part of Schizoforest Love Suite, the fifth and final "suite" on the album.
Title: Lady Madonna
Source: CD: Past Masters-Volume Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Apple/Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
In spring of 1968, following the completion of the Magical Mystery Tour telefilm (and soundtrack album) the Beatles took off for India, where they studied Transcendental Meditation for several weeks along with several other celebrities. Before leaving, the group laid down tracks for their first single of 1968, a Paul McCartney tune called Lady Madonna. Released on March 15th it was, of course, a huge hit, going to #1 in the UK and #4 in the US. The song's success, however, paled when compared with their next release: Hey Jude, which would turn out to be the #1 song of the entire decade.
Artist: "Chocolate Watchband"
Title: Expo 2000
Source: CD: No Way Out
Writer(s): Richie Podolor
Label: Sundazed (original label: Tower)
If you ignore the fact that Expo 2000, from the first Chocolate Watchband album, No Way Out, is performed by uncredited studio musicians (note the quotation marks) and thus is a complete misrepresentation, it's really a pretty decent instrumental. Too bad we'll never know who actually performed it. We do know, however, that it was written by Richard Podolor, who owned the studio where the recording was made.
Artist: West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title: Tracy Had A Hard Day Sunday
Source: LP: Volume II
Once upon a time record producer Kim Fowley hired the Yardbirds to play a private Hollywood party. The Harris brothers, a pair of local art school students who had sent their homemade tapes to Fowley, were impressed by the band's musical abilities. Bob Markley, an almost-30-year-old hipster with a law degree and an inheritance was impressed with the band's ability to attract teenage girls. Fowley introduced the Harris brothers to Markley, who expressed a willingness to finance them in return for letting him be their new lead vocalist, and the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band was formed. Before it was all over the group had recorded five or six albums for at least three labels, churning out an eclectic mix of psychedelic tunes such as Tracy Had A Hard Day Sunday, which appeared on the second album for Reprise Records (their third LP overall), appropriately titled Volume II.
Title: Afternoon Tea
Source: CD: Something Else
Writer: Ray Davies
By 1967 the Kinks couldn't buy a hit single in the US, although they continued to chart in their native UK. Luckily, the people at Reprise Records continued to release the band's albums in the US, including Something Else, which contained some of Ray Davies best songwriting to date. Among the tasty tunes on the album was Afternoon Tea, a song that exemplifies the Davies style of writing at the time.
Artist: Human Expression
Title: Optical Sound
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Accent)
One thing Los Angeles had become known for by the mid-1960s was its urban sprawl. Made possible by one of the world's most extensive regional freeway systems, the city had become surrounded by suburbs on all sides (except for the oceanfront). Many of these suburbs were (and are) in Orange County, home to Anaheim stadium, Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. The O.C. was also home to the Human Expression, a band that recorded a trio of well-regarded singles for the Accent label. The second of these was Optical Sound. True to its name, the song utilized the latest technology available to achieve a decidedly psychedelic sound.
Artist: Purple Gang
Title: Granny Takes A Trip
Source: British import CD: Acid Daze (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: The Purple Gang Strikes)
Label: Uncut (original label: Transatlantic, LP released in US on Sire label)
Formed in the Manchester, England area as the Young Contemporaries Jug Band, The Purple Gang took on their new identity when they relocated to London and became part of the psychedelic scene there. Their first single, Granny Takes A Trip, was banned by the BBC for 1) having the word "trip" in the song title (even though it was named for an actual gift shop that had nothing to do with acid) and 2) the lead singer's nickname was Lucifer. Sounds pretty circumstantial to me, but that was the BBC in 1967, the inaugural year of BBC-1, and I suppose they were still a bit on the timid side at that point in time.
Artist: Blues Magoos
Title: There's A Chance We Can Make It
Source: Mono LP: Electric Comic Book
Following up on their biggest hit, (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet, the Blues Magoos released a song called There's A Chance We Can Make It backed with Pipe Dream for their next single. Unfortunately for both songs, some stations elected to play There's A Chance We Can Make It while others preferred Pipe Dream. The result was that neither song charted as high as it could have had it been released with a weaker B side. This had the ripple effect of causing Electric Comic Book (the album both songs appeared on) to not chart as well as its predecessor Psychedelic Lollipop had. This in turn caused Mercury Records to lose faith in the Blues Magoos and not give them the kind of promotion that could have kept the band in the public eye beyond its 15 minutes of fame. The ultimate result was that for many years, there were an excessive number of busboys and cab drivers claiming to have once been members of the Blues Magoos and not many ways to disprove their claims, at least until the internet made information about the group's actual membership more accessible.
Title: My Mind
Source: Simulated stereo British import CD: Before The Dream Faded
Label: Cherry Red
Year: Recorded 1966, released 1982
The story of the legendary band the Misunderstood actually started in 1963 when three teenagers from Riverside, California decided to form a band called the Blue Notes. Like most of the bands at the time, the group played a mixture of surf and 50s rock and roll cover songs, slowly developing a sound of their own as they went through a series of personnel changes, including the addition of lead vocalist Rick Brown. In 1965 the band changed their name to the Misunderstood and recorded six songs at a local recording studio. Although the recordings were not released, the band caught the attention of a San Bernardino disc jockey named John Ravencroft, and Englishman with an extensive knowledge of the British music scene. In June of 1966 the band, with Ravencroft's help, relocated to London, where they were joined by a local guitarist, Tony Hill. Ravencroft's brother Alan got the band a deal with Fontana Records, resulting in a single in late 1966, I Can Take You To The Sun, that took the British pop scene by storm. In addition to that single, the band recorded a handful of outstanding tracks that remained unreleased until the 1980s. Among those unreleased tracks was a masterpiece called My Mind, written (as were most of the songs the band recorded in London) by Brown and Hill. Problems having nothing to do with music soon derailed the Misunderstood, who soon found themselves being deported back to the US, and in one case, drafted into the US Army. Ravenscroft, incidentally, eventually returned to London and joined the staff of Radio London, where he bagan using the name John Peel. When Radio Londo was forced off the air in 1967, he was one of the original DJs on the newly-created BBC-1, which went on the air the following month. Peel became famous as a champion of progressive and psychedelic rock, hosting the Top Gear program, including the "Peel Sessions" which featured bands playing live in the studio.
Artist: Music Machine
Title: Talk Talk
Source: British import CD: The UltimateTurn On (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer: Sean Bonniwell
Label: Big Beat (original label: Original Sound)
When it came time for Sean Bonniwell's band, the Music Machine, to go into the studio, the group decided to go for the best sound possible. This meant signing with tiny Original Sound Records, despite having offers from bigger labels, due to Original Sound having their own state-of-the-art eight-track studios. Unfortunately for the band, they soon discovered that having great equipment did not mean Original Sound made great decisions. One of the first, in fact, was to include a handful of cover songs on the Music Machine's first LP that were recorded for use on a local TV show. Bonniwell was livid when he found out, as he had envisioned an album made up entirely of his own compositions (although he reportedly did plan to use a slowed-down version of Hey Joe that he and Tim Rose had worked up together). From that point on it was only a matter of time until the Music Machine and Original Sound parted company, but not until after they scored a big national hit with Talk Talk in 1966.