Sunday, November 17, 2019

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1947 (starts 11/18/19)



    This week our Advanced Psych segment features the entire first movement of Brian Wilson Presents Smile, the legendary Beach Boys album that was shelved in early 1967 and finally completed with different musicians as an all-new 2004 recording. We also have artists' sets from Cream and the Rolling Stones, as well as half a dozen tunes making their Stuck in the Psychedelic Era debut, including two from artists that have never been heard on the show before now.

Artist:     Troggs
Title:     Wild Thing
Source:     Mono CD: Nuggets-Classics From the Psychedelic 60s (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.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Come On In
Source:    British import CD: The Ultimate Turn On (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    It only cost a total of $150 for the Music Machine to record both sides of their debut single at RCA Studios in Los Angeles, thanks to the band having been performing the songs live for several months. The band then took the tapes to Original Sound, who issued Talk Talk and Come On In on their own label. It may seem odd now, but original promo copies of the record show Come On In, a song that in many ways anticipated bands like the Doors and Iron Butterfly, as the "plug side" of the record, rather than Talk Talk, which of course went on to become the Music Machine's only major hit.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    What Do You Want
Source:    Canadian import LP: Shapes Of Things (originally released on LP: The Yardbirds and in US on LP: Over Under Sideways Down)
Writer(s):    Dreja/McCarty/Beck/Relf/Samwell-Smith
Label:    Bomb (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1966
    In 1966 the Yardbirds went into the studio to record their first (and only) full-length album of original material. The album was titled simply The Yardbirds, although in North America it was issued as Over Under Sideways Down with an altered song lineup. The original UK cover featured a caricature of studio engineer Roger Cameron drawn by the band's rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja, and eventually the album itself came to be known unofficially as Roger The Engineer. The most recent CD issue of the album has made that the official title. All the tracks on the album are credited to the entire band, including What Do You Want, which was included on all versions of the original LP.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Street Fighting Man
Source:    LP: Beggar's Banquet
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1968
    The Rolling Stones were at a low point in their career following their most psychedelic album, Their Satanic Majesties Request, which came out in late 1967. As a response to charges in the rock press that they were no longer relevant the Stones released Jumpin' Jack Flash as a single in early 1968, following it up with the Beggar's Banquet album later in the year. The new album included the band's follow-up single, Street Fighting Man, a song that was almost as anthemic as Jumpin' Jack Flash itself and went a long ways toward insuring that the Rolling Stones would be making music on their own terms for as long as they chose to.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Surprise Surprise
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: Decca)
Year:    Recorded 1964, released1970
    The Rolling Stones' Street Fighting Man, from their Beggar's Banquet album, was released in the US as a followup single to Jumpin' Jack Flash in August of 1968, depsite the fact that was actually recorded first. In the UK, however, the song was not released until July of 1970, a year after Honky Tonk Women. For the UK B side, Decca went back to the group's 1964 sessions at Chicago's Chess Studios for Surprise Surprise, a Mick Jagger/Keith Richards composition that had been sitting on the shelf for six years.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Factory Girl
Source:    LP: Beggar's Banquet
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1968
    One of the more overlooked tunes in the Rolling Stones catalog, Factory Girl features an odd assortment of instruments (including Tabla, Violin, Congo and Mellotron) on what is essentially an Appalachian kind of song. Guest musicians include Rick Grech on violin and Dave Mason on either guitar or mellotron (simulating a mandolin).

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Gypsy Eyes
Source:    Dutch import LP: The Singles (originally released on LP: Electric Ladyland)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Polydor (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    The last album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience was a double LP mixture of studio recordings and live jams in the studio with an array of guest musicians. Gypsy Eyes is a good example of Hendrix's prowess at the mixing board as well as on guitar; listening to this song with headphones is highly recommended.

Artist:    Bondsmen
Title:    Our Time To Cry
Source:    Mono CD: A Lethal Dose Of Hard Psych
Writer(s):    Santa and the Bondsmen
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: AMH)
Year:    1968
    The Bondsmen were one of Durham, North Carolina's most popular and talented bands, having won multiple battle of the bands competitions in the area that would come to be called the Research Triangle. It was after one of these competitions that they recorded Our Time To Cry for the Chapel Hill-based AMH label. The song was co-written by John Santa, who, although not a performing member of the Bondsmen, was close friends with all of the members. Santa later formed his own band, releasing the album Rainmaker in 1980.
   
Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    It's Been Too Long
Source:    CD: Quicksilver Messenger Service
Writer(s):    Nick Gravenites
Label:    Rock Beat
Year:    1968
    One of the last of the Blues Project-inspired San Francisco jam bands to get a record contract was Quicksilver Messenger Service. Formed in 1966, the group was one of the top local attractions at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967 and was featured (along with Mother Nature and the Steve Miller Band) in the 1968 film Revolution. Finally getting a contract with Capital in mid-1968, the group, led by Gary Duncan and John Cippolina, went to work on a self-titled LP. Although some of the tracks reflected the band's propensity for improvisation, others songs on the album, such as their cover of Nick Gravenites's It's Been Too Long, feature relatively tight arrangements.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Sweet Wine
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Godfrey/Baker
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    When Cream was formed, both bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker had new music for the band to record (guitarist Eric Clapton having chosen to shut up and play his guitar for the most part). Most of these new songs, however, did not yet have words to go with the music. To remedy the situation, both musicians brought in outside lyricists. Baker chose poet Pete Brown, while Bruce chose to bring in his wife, Janet Godfrey. After a short time it became apparent that Bruce and Brown had a natural affinity for each other's material, and formed a partnership that would last years. Baker, meanwhile, tried working with Godfrey, but the two only came up with one song together, Sweet Wine, which was included on the band's debut LP, Fresh Cream.
       
Artist:    Cream
Title:    Those Were The Days
Source:    CD: Wheels Of Fire
Writer(s):    Baker/Taylor
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1968
    Drummer Ginger Baker only contributed a handful of songs to the Cream repertoire, but each was, in its own way, quite memorable. Those Are The Days, with its sudden changes of time and key, presages the progressive rock that would flourish in the mid-1970s. As was often the case with Baker-penned songs, bassist Jack Bruce provides the vocals from this Wheels Of Fire track.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Rollin' And Tumblin'
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    McKinley Morganfield
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    Right from the beginning Cream demonstrated two distinct sides: the psychedelic-tinged studio side and the blues-based live performance side. In the case of the US version of the band's first LP, Fresh Cream, that was literally true, as side one consisted entirely of original songs (mostly written by bassist Jack Bruce) and side two was nearly all covers of blues classics such as Muddy Waters's Rollin' And Tumblin'. What makes this particular recording interesting is the instrumentation used: guitar, vocals, harmonica and drums, with no bass whatsoever. This could be due to the limited number of tracks available for overdubs. Just as likely, though, is the possibility that the band chose to make a recording that duplicated their live performance of the song.

Artist:    Circus Maximus
Title:    Chess Game
Source:    LP: Circus Maximus
Writer(s):    Bob Bruno
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    New York's Greenwich Village based Circus Maximus was driven by the dual creative talents of guitarist/keyboardist Bob Bruno and guitarist Jerry Jeff Walker. Although Walker went on to have the greatest success, it was Bruno's more jazz-influenced songwriting on songs like Chess Game that defined the band's sound. Bruno is now a successful visual artist, still living in the New York area.

Artist:    Mystery Trend
Title:    Johnny Was A Good Boy
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Nagle/Cuff
Label:    Rhino (original label: Verve)
Year:    1967
    The Mystery Trend was a bit of an anomaly on the San Francisco music scene of the late 1960s. Contemporaries of bands such as the Great! Society and the Charlatans, the Trend always stood a bit apart from the rest of the crowd, playing to an audience that was both a bit more affluent and a bit more "adult" (they were reportedly the house band at a Sausalito strip club). Stylistically they preferred short, tightly arranged songs to the long spacey jams that bands like Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Grateful Dead were known for. Perhaps they were simply ahead of their time, as that exact same approach was taken just a couple years later by another local band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, to great success. Although the Mystery Trend (their name taken from misheard Bob Dylan lyrics) played in the city itself as early as 1965, they did not release their first and only record until early 1967. The song, Johnny Was A Good Boy, tells the story of a seemingly normal middle-class kid who turns out to be a monster, surprising friends, family and neighbors. The Mystery Trend, unable to find enough gigs to stay afloat financially, called it quits in 1968.

Artist:    Merrell And The Exiles (later released as Fapardokly)
Title:    Tomorrow's Girl
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on 45 RPM vinyl and included on LP: Fapardokly)
Writer(s):    Merrell Fankhauser
Label:    Rhino (original label: Glenn; LP issued on UIP)
Year:    1967
    Merrell Fankhauser was a fixture on the L.A. music scene, fronting several bands throughout the 60s ranging in styles from surf to psychedelic, depending on what was in vogue at the time. For most of 1966 and 67 he led a group called Merrell and the Exiles (or Xiles), while holding down a somewhat more mundane day job between gigs. The last single by the Exiles was Tomorrow's Girl, originally released in 1967 on the tiny Glenn label and included on Fankhauser's Fapardokly album on UIP records later that same year.

Artist:    Wildflower
Title:    Jump In
Source:    British import CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers
Writer(s):    Ehret/Ellis/McCausland
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
    In early 1966, independent producer and record label owner Bob Shad decided to travel across the US looking for acts to sign to his Mainstream and Brent labels. One of the first places he visited was San Francisco, where he held auditions at several locations, including Gene Estribou's loft studio in Haight-Ashbury. He signed two of the bands he heard at the small facility: Big Brother And The Holding Company and The Wildflower. Shad then instructed the various bands that he had signed (with the exception of Big Brother, who were about to hit the road to Chicago) to come down to Los Angeles and record a few tracks each at United Studios. The Wildflower recorded a total of four tracks, two of which were issued as a single in late 1966. The remaining two tracks, including Jump In, appeared the following year on an album called With Love-A Pot Of Flowers on Shad's Mainstream label.

Artist:    Notes From The Underground
Title:    Down In The Basement
Source:    Mono British import CD: Notes From The Underground (originally released on EP: Notes From The Underground)
Writer(s):    O'Connor/Mandell
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Changes)
Year:    1967
    Following in the footsteps of fellow Berkeleyites Country Joe And The Fish, Notes From The Underground a) became the unofficial house band at the Jabberwock in late 1966, b) released their own four song EP in 1967, c) released their debut LP on the Vanguard label in 1968, or d) all of the above. Formed by guitar and banjo player Fred Sokolow in 1965, the band also featured guitarist Mark Mandell, pianist Jim Work and drummer Peter Oswald (all but Oswald also provided vocals). The most popular song on their EP was Down In The Basement, a tune very much in the jug band tradition that was re-recorded in stereo for their debut LP and issued as the band's first and only single (also in stereo, which was somewhat unusual for 1968).
   
Artist:    Sam And Dave
Title:    I Thank You
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Hayes/Porter
Label:    Atlantic (original label: Stax)
Year:    1968
    Although Sam Moore and Dave Prater had been recording together since 1961, their career as a duo didn't really take off until they signed with the Memphis-based Stax label in 1965 and began working with the songwriting/producing team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter. By the time Sam And Dave had left Stax in late 1968 they had racked up 10 consecutive top 20 singles on the R&B charts, including two songs that crossed over into the top 40. The second of these was I Thank You, their last single to be released on the Stax label itself. The following year they moved to New York and began working with producers Jerry Wexler and Tom Dowd of Atlantic Records, but had little success there, and when their contract with the label expired in 1972 it was not renewed.
   
Artist:    Brian Wilson
Title:    Smile-Movement One "Americana"
Source:    CD: Brian Wilson Presents Smile
Writer(s):    Wilson/Parks/Davis/Levy/Gillespie/Smith/Davis
Label:    Nonesuch
Year:    2004
    In the early 1960s, Brian Wilson was a pretty happy guy. He had a gift for writing catchy melodies, which, more often than not, he would hand off to a songwriting partner to add lyrics to the tune. He was also proving to be adept at record production, producing not only all of the records (except for the very first one) released by his own band, the Beach Boys, but producing other groups as well, the most successful being Jan And Dean. Starting in 1965, his music began to take a more sophisticated turn, with more complex musical structures and instrumentation. The 1966 Beach Boys LP Pet Sounds is still considered one of the finest pop albums ever released, but even it pales in comparison to what came next. Before Pet Sounds was released, Wilson had begun work on a new song using a modular production technique, recording the song in segments and experimenting with various ways of tying those segments together. The result was the greatest Beach Boys song ever recorded: Good Vibrations. Wilson was not done, however. Even before Good Vibrations was released he had begun work on a new project that would apply the same modular technique used for Good Vibrations to an entire album's worth of material. However, there were problems. For one thing, Good Vibrations was, at that point in time, the most expensive single record ever produced, costing about $50,000 to make (about $386,000 in 2019 dollars). The cost of producing an entire album at that rate would be astronomical. And then there were the expectations. Pet Sounds was considered by many to be a masterpiece; Good Vibrations even more so. How was Wilson ever going to top either of these? There were also time considerations. The popular music world of 1966 was extremely volatile; a sound that was "hot" today might be considered obsolete six months later. The Beach Boys were scheduled to release their next LP in January of 1967. Could Wilson complete what was being called Smile by then? The answer was no. The release date was repeatedly pushed back. Finally, in May of 1967, to put it bluntly, Brian Wilson cracked under the pressure of it all and cancelled the entire Smile project. Four months later, the album Smiley Smile, considered a pale imitation of Smile itself, hit the record racks, along with a truncated single version of Smile's showpiece, a song called Heroes And Villains. It was thought at the time that Wilson had destroyed the original Smile tapes, but over the next couple of decades rumors persisted that those tapes did in fact still exist, backed up by bootleg tapes that purported to be from the Smile sessions. Finally, in 1993, the box set Good Vibrations: Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys was released with about 30 minutes' worth of material originally recorded for the Smile album. By then Wilson had overcome many of the problems that had plagued him since Smile was cancelled, and had begun to reestablish himself as a solo artist. In 2004, working closely with  Darian Sahanaja (of Wondermints, a power pop trio that had backed Wilson on his solo albums) and lyricist Van Dyke Parks, Wilson reworked Smile as a live performace piece. The studio version of Brian Wilson Presents Smile came out that same year. The 21st century version of Smile is divided into three movements. The first movement is subtitled Americana, and includes a newly arranged version of Heroes And Villains, along with short sections of Gee (a 1953 hit for the Crows that is considered to be the first rock and roll hit by an actual rock and roll group), Old Master Painter and You Are My Sunshine, as well as Wilson/Parks originals Our Prayer, Roll Plymouth Rock, Barnyard and Cabin Essence. The movement runs a little over 16 minutes (the length of a typical mid-60s album side) without any breaks between songs.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    The Fool On The Hill
Source:    British import stereo 45 RPM Extended Play album: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone
Year:    1967
    The Beatles only came up with six new songs for their 1967 telefilm Magical Mystery Tour, enough to fill up only one side of an LP. Rather than use outtakes and B sides to complete the album (which they had done in 1965 for the Help album), the band chose to release the six songs on a two-record 45 RPM Extended Play set, complete with a booklet that included the storyline, lyric sheets and several still photographs from the film itself. Magical Mystery Tour appeared in this form in both the UK and in Europe, while in the US and Canada, Capitol Records instead issued the album in standard LP format, using the band's 1967 singles and B sides to fill up side two. None of the songs from the telefilm were issued as singles, although one, I Am The Walrus, was used as the B side to the Hello Goodbye single. Another song, Fool On The Hill, was covered by Sergio Mendes and Brazil '66, making the US charts in early 1968. By the 1980s, however, the only version of the song still played on the radio was the original Beatles version, with the footage from the Magical Mystery Tour telefilm used as a video on early music TV channels.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon
Source:    CD: After Bathing At Baxter's
Writer(s):    Paul Kantner
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
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 the band had participated in at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park earlier that year.
   
Artist:    Tommy Flanders
Title:    Angel Of Mercy
Source:    LP: The Moonstone
Writer(s):    Tommy Flanders
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1969
    In early 1966, Blues Project vocalist Tommy Flanders took the advice of his girlfriend and quit the band just before their debut LP was released. She had convinced him that he was the true star of the group and should be pursuing a solo career in both music and film. The band continued on without him and is now recognized as one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s, particularly upon young San Francisco musicians in the process of forming their own bands like Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Grateful Dead. Flanders, meanwhile signed with Verve Forecast as a solo artist, releasing a pair of singles that failed to chart and an LP, The Moonstone, that was by and large ignored by critics and the buying public alike. One of the few reviewers to mention the album characterized it as "a fairly forgettable record, and certainly a low-energy one, the mellowness threatening to dissolve into sleepiness." The second track on the album, Angel Of Mercy, certainly fits that description.

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    How Ya Been
Source:    British import CD: Melts In Your Brain...Not On Your Wrist (originally released on LP: One Step Beyond)
Writer(s):    Andrijasevich/Loomis
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Tower)
Year:    1969
    San Jose, California's Chocolate Watchband has one of the most confusing stories in the history of rock. Part of this can be attributed to the actions of producer Ed Cobb, who used studio musicians extensively, often to the total exclusion of the band members themselves (even the vocals in some cases). Also adding to the confusion was the fact that one of the founding members, Gary Andrijasevich, had already left the band by the time they got their first recording contract, but returned as co-leader of an almost entirely new lineup for the band's third and final LP. Unlike the first two albums, there were no studio musicians used on One Step Beyond (although Moby Grape guitarist Jerry Miller reportedly played on several tracks). The new lineup, however, did not sound anything like the Chocolate Watchband of legend, and in fact had more in common musically with the folk-rock bands from San Francisco than the garage-rock the south end of the bay was known for. Case in point: the song How Ya Been, which was written by Andrijasevich and co-founder Mark Loomis, who himself had left the band in 1967 only to return two years later specifically to write and record songs for One Step Beyond before leaving again.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Back To The Family
Source:    CD: Stand Up
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol
Year:    1969
    The second Jethro Tull album, Stand Up, shows a band in transition from its roots in the British blues-rock scene to a group entirely dominated by the musical vision of vocalist/flautist/composer Ian Anderson. Back To The Family is sometimes cited as an early example of the style that the band would be come to known for on later albums such as Thick As A Brick.

Artist:    Gerry And The Pacemakers
Title:    It's Gonna Be Alright
Source:    LP: Ferry Across The Mersey
Writer(s):    Gerry Marsden
Label:    Laurie
Year:    1964
    The Beatles are, of course, the most popular band to emerge from the Liverpool music scene. But who was second? The answer is Gerry And The Pacemakers, who became the first (and for 20 years only) artist to score consecutive #1 hits on the British charts with their first three releases. Formed in 1959 by Gerry Marsdon, his brother Fred, Les Chadwick, and Arthur McMahon, the band was originally known as Gerry Marsdon and the Mars Bars, but had to change their name when the candy company objected. They were the second band to sign with Brian Epstein, and released their first single, How Do You Do It, in 1963. In 1964, Marsden began writing most of the band's material, including It's Gonna Be Alright, which was released in September of 1964 in the UK as a single and then as the title track of an EP around Christmastime. The song was released in the US the following June, becoming their seventh US top 40 hit.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Just Like Me
Source:    Mono LP: Just Like Us
Writer(s):    Dey/Brown
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Just Like Me was the first top 10 single from Paul Revere And The Raiders, a band that deserves much more credit than they are generally given. The group started in the early part of the decade in Boise, Idaho, when Revere (his real name) hooked up with saxophonist Mark Lindsay. Like most bands at the time, the Raiders' repertoire consisted mostly of instrumentals, as PA systems were a luxury that required more space than was generally allotted to a small town band. It wasn't long before the Raiders relocated to Portland, Oregon, where they became a popular attraction at various clubs. After a hiatus caused by Revere's stint in the military, the band resumed its place as one of the founding bands of the Portland music scene. They soon made their first visit to a recording studio, recording Richard Berry's Louie Louie at around the same time as another popular Portland band, the Kingsmen. The Kingsmen's version ended up being a huge national hit while the popularity of the Raiders' version was mostly restricted to the West Coast, thanks in large part to the active lack of support from Columbia Records, whose head of Artists and Repertoire (A&R), Mitch Miller, was an outspoken critic of rock 'n' roll. Undeterred, the band continued to grow in popularity, recording another single in 1964 (Like Long Hair) and going on tour. It was while playing in Hawaii that the band was noticed by none other than Dick Clark, who hired them to be the house band on his new afternoon TV show, Where The Action Is. Under the leadership of Mitch Miller Columbia Records had done their best to ignore the existence of rock 'n' roll (an effort that was somewhat undermined by one of their most popular artists, Bob Dylan, in 1965, when he went electric). Columbia had, however, a more open-minded West Coast division that included producer Terry Melcher, son of singer Doris Day and co-producer of the Rip Chords' hot rod hit Hey Little Cobra. With the Raiders now being seen daily on a national TV show, the label assigned Melcher to produce the band's records. It was a partnership that would lead to a string of hits, starting with Steppin' Out in 1965. The next record, Just Like Me, was the first of a string of top 10 singles that would last until early 1967, when rapidly changing public tastes made the band seem antiquated compared to up and coming groups like Jefferson Airplane. Just Like Me, despite some rather cheesy lyrics, still holds up well after all these years. Much of the credit for that has to go to Drake Levin, whose innovative double-tracked guitar solo rocked out harder than anything else on top 40 radio at the time (with the possible exception of a couple of well-known Kinks songs).

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone
Source:    LP: Then And Now...The Best Of The Monkees (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Boyce/Hart
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1966
    When Screen Gems/Columbia Pictures announced that they would be doing a new TV series about a rock band called the Monkees, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart had hopes of being chosen for the project, not only as songwriters, but as actual performing members of the group itself. That part didn't work out (although years later they would participate in a Monkees revival), but they did end up providing the bulk of the songs used for the show. The first of these songs was Last Train To Clarksville, which was released as a single just prior to the show's debut in the fall of 1966 and ended up being a huge hit for the group. For the November 1966 followup single a Neil Diamond song, I'm A Believer, was chosen for the A side of the record. The B side was another Boyce/Hart song, (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone, that had been previously released by Paul Revere and the Raiders on their Midnight Ride album earlier in the year. The Monkees version of the song ended up being a hit in its own right, going all the way to the #20 spot (I'm A Believer ended up being the #1 song of 1967). Although there were two different mono mixes of the song released, it is the stereo version from the album More Of The Monkees that is most often heard these days.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Soul Kitchen
Source:    CD: The Doors
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Every time I hear the opening notes of the Doors' Soul Kitchen, from their first album, I think it's When The Music's Over, from their second LP. I wonder if they did that on purpose?

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Born To Be Wild
Source:    CD: Steppenwolf
Writer(s):    Mars Bonfire
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    Born To Be Wild's status as a counter-cultural anthem was cemented when it was chosen for the soundtrack of the movie Easy Rider. The popularity of both the song and the movie resulted in Steppenwolf becoming the all-time favorite band of bikers all over the world.
       

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1947 (starts 11/18/19)



    This week's playlist is really short. That's because most of the songs this week are really long. In one case we are talking really really long, as in over 25 minutes long. And all but one of this week's tunes were originally released in 1969, so in a way it's kind of a sneak preview of our year-end special (which is only five weeks away, incidentally).

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    You Can't Always Get What You Want
Source:    LP: Let It Bleed
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1969
    When the Rolling Stones called for singers to back them up on their recording of You Can't Always Get What You Want, they expected maybe 30 to show up. Instead they got twice that many, and ended up using them all on the recording, which closes out the Let It Bleed album. An edited version of the song, which also features Al Kooper on organ, was orginally released as the B side of Honky Tonk Women in 1969. In the mid-1970s, after the Stones had established their own record label, Allen Klein, who had bought the rights to the band's pre-1970 recordings, reissued the single, this time promoting You Can't Always Get What You Want as the A side. Klein's strategy worked and the song ended up making the top 40.

Artist:    Fleetwood Mac
Title:    Oh Well
Source:    Mono LP: The Big Ball (originally released on LP: Then Play On)
Writer(s):    Peter Green
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1969
    Fleetwood Mac had already established themselves as one of Britain's top up-and-coming blues bands by the time Then Play On was released in 1969. The band had just landed a deal in the US with Reprise, and Then Play On was their American debut LP. At the same time the album was released in the UK, a new non-LP single, Oh Well, appeared as well. The song was a top pick on Radio Luxembourg, the only non-BBC English language top 40 station still operating in Europe in 1969 (not counting the American Forces Network, which was only a top 40 station for an hour or two a day), and Oh Well soon shot all the way to the # 2 spot on the British charts. Meanwhile the US version of Then Play On (which had originally been issued with pretty much the same song lineup as the British version) was recalled, and a new version with Oh Well added to it was issued in its place. The song itself has two distinct parts: a fast blues-rocker sung by lead guitarist Peter Green lasting about two minutes, and a slow moody instrumental that runs about seven minutes. The original UK single featured about a minute's worth of part two tacked on to the end of the A side (with a fadeout ending), while the B side had the entire part two on it. Both sides of the single were added to the US version of the LP, which resulted in the first minute of part two repeating itself on the album.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Got This Thing On The Move
Source:    CD: Heavy Hitters! (originally released on LP: Grand Funk)
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    From summer of 1967 to summer of 1970 I lived in Germany. This gave me a bit of a different perspective on the state of rock music during those years. For example, the Who, a band I had only barely heard of in the US, was huge overseas. On the other hand, bands like the Grateful Dead were little more than a distant legend in Europe at that time. On my return to the States in summer of 1970, I learned of the existence of a power trio from Flint, Michigan called Grand Funk Railroad.  In the US they were universally hated by rock music critics, yet managed to set all kinds of attendance records throughout 1969 and 1970, pretty much single-handedly inventing arena rock in the process. They also managed to get no less than three albums certified gold in 1970 alone. Despite this, GFR was totally unknown in Europe, leading me to believe that the people who ordered albums for the BX were paying too much attention to the Village Voice and Rolling Stone magazine and not enough attention to actual record sales and concert attendance figures. Anyway, I soon got my hands on the album Grand Funk (aka the Red Album) and was totally blown away by the opening track, Got This Thing On The Move. There's a valuable lesson in there somewhere.

Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    Who Do You Love
Source:    LP: Happy Trails
Writer(s):    Elian McDaniel
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    Quick, what was the last rock album released by Capitol using its iconic "rainbow" label before switching over to that horrid light green one that all the early Grand Funk Railroad albums used? If you answered Quicksilver Messenger Service's Happy Trails album, you'd be wrong...but just barely (actually the answer is Gandalf, which was the very next album released after Happy Trails). Happy Trails is dominated by a 25 minute long rendition of Bo Diddley's Who Do You Love recorded live at either the Fillmore East or Fillmore West, or maybe even a combination of both. The performance is divided into continuous sections, each of which is a variation on the song's basic riff as interpreted by (in order), guitarist Gary Duncan, drummer Greg Elmore, guitarist John Cipollina and bassist David Freibereg, although Elmore's segment is more of an audience participation piece. Quicksilver was one of the most popular live acts during the heyday of the late 1960s San Francisco music scene, and this recording demonstrates why.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Gimme Some Lovin'
Source:    LP: Welcome To The Canteen
Writer(s):    Winwood/Winwood/Davis
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1971
    By 1971 Traffic had undergone a sort of reversal in fortunes. Whereas in their first year of existence they had been extremely popular in the UK, with three top 10 singles and an album in the top 20, they went largely unnoticed in the US, where none of their singles charted and their first LP topped out at #88. The live album Welcome To The Canteen, however, released in 1971, did not even make the British album charts, while it went to #26 in the US. The nearly nine minute version of Gimme Some Lovin', which had previously been a hit for the Spencer Davis Group, was released as a single (split into two parts) in both countries, but only charted in the US. This trend would continue for several more years, as Traffic would not return to the British charts until 1974, when their final album, When The Eagle Flies made it to #31 (it hit #9 in the US).

   

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1946 (starts 11/11/19)



    This time around it's mostly sets from specific years, covering pretty much the entire psychedelic era. Toward the end of the show we have a set from the Kinks, and we finish it up with an entire album side from Eric Burdon And The Animals.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    We Love You
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer:    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    We Love You was, upon its release in the summer of 1967, the most expensive Rolling Stones record ever produced (as well as the last Rolling Stones record to be produced by Andrew Loog Oldham), and included a promotional film that is considered a forerunner of the modern music video. We Love You did well in the UK, reaching the # 8 spot on the charts, but it was the other side of the record, Dandelion, that ended up being a hit in the US. The song was dismissed at the time by John Lennon, who referred to it as the Stones' answer to All We Need Is Love, but in retrospect the song is now seen as a tongue-in-cheek response to the ongoing harassment of the band by law enforcement authorities at the time.

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:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Bold As Love
Source:    CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    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.

Artist:    Executives
Title:    Ginza Strip
Source:    Mono British import CD: Acid Daze (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Roy and Tony Carr
Label:    Uncut (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    The Executives were one of the many British beat bands that decided to try their hand at psychedelia in 1967. They had previously been tied closely to the Mod movement however (in fact producer/bandleader Tony Carr had written the 1964 hit March Of The Mods) and, despite the fact that Ginza Strip is a fine slice of psychedelia, were unable to shed their Mod image enough to gain credibility as a psychedelic band.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    For Your Love
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Graham Gouldman
Label:    Epic
Year:    1965
    The last Yardbirds song to feature guitarist Eric Clapton, For Your Love was the group's fist US hit, peaking at the # 6 slot. The song did even better in the UK, peaking at # 3. Following its release, Clapton left the Yardbirds, citing the band's move toward a more commercial sound and this song in particular as reasons for his departure (ironic when you consider songs like his mid-90s hit Change the World or his slowed down lounge lizard version of Layla). For Your Love was written by Graham Gouldman, who would end up as a member of Wayne Fontana's Mindbenders and later 10cc with Kevin Godley and Lol Creme.

Artist:    Love
Title:    My Little Red Book
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Bacharach/David
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1966
    The first rock record ever released by Elektra Records was a single by Love called My Little Red Book. The track itself (which also opens Love's debut LP), is a punked out version of tune originally recorded by Manfred Mann for the What's New Pussycat movie soundtrack. Needless to say, Love's version was not exactly what composers Burt Bacharach and Hal David had in mind.

Artist:    First Edition
Title:    Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)
Source:    CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released on LP: The First Edition and as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Mickey Newbury
Label:    Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    In 1968, former New Christy Minstrels members Kenny Rogers and Mike Settle decided to form a psychedelic rock band, the First Edition. Although Settle wrote (and sang lead on) most of the songs on the first album, it was Rogers who would emerge as the star of the group, thanks to the fact that one of the two songs he sang lead on, Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In), became a huge top 40 hit. It wasn't long before the official name of the band was changed to Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. That change reflected a shift from psychedelic to country flavored pop that would eventually propel Rogers to superstar status, leaving the First Edition far behind.

Artist:    Jason Crest
Title:    Teagarden Lane
Source:    Mono British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution
Writer(s):    Clark/Dobson
Label:    Grapefruit
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 2013   
    The first thing to keep in mind about Jason Crest is that is was the name of the band itself, rather than any particular member of said band. The second thing is that, for some unknown reason, their label, Philips, chose not to release Teagarden Lane, which by all accounts was one of the best tracks the quintet ever recorded. Instead, Philips released five nondescript singles by the band over an 18 month period, none of which went anywhere. Eventually the track was discovered and belatedly released in the UK by Grapefruit Records as part of their Love, Poetry And Revolution three-disc anthology of late 60s British psychedelic music.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight
Source:    CD: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1969
    The rise of automated radio stations in the 1970s brought about some unusual side effects. Occasionally a station would ask the tape service to provide them with something that didn't actually exist, such as an edit of the Beatles' Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight that did not segue directly into The End, as it did on the Abbey Road album, instead fading out at just past the three minute mark. As to which company actually created this particular edit (there are several possibilities), your guess is good as mine. My copy comes from Westwood One, who probably got it from another source.

Artist:     Iron Butterfly
Title:     Soul Experience
Source:     LP: Ball
Writer:     Ingle/Bushy/Brann/Dorman
Label:     Atco
Year:     1969
     Following up on the success of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Iron Butterfly released the Ball album in 1969. It was an immediate commercial success, despite none of its tracks getting extensive airplay on either top 40 AM or progressive FM stations. Subsequent LPs were not able to match the sales of either album and after several personnel changes the band called it quits.

Artist:      Doors
Title:     Shaman's Blues
Source:      CD: Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine (originally released on LP: The Soft Parade)
Writer:    Jim Morrison
Label:    Elektra
Year:     1969
     Often dismissed as the weakest entry in the Doors catalogue, The Soft Parade nonetheless is significant in that for the first time songwriting credits were given to individual band members. Shaman's Blues, in my opinion one of the four redeeming tracks on the album, is Jim Morrison's.

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

Artist:    Paul Revere and the Raiders
Title:    The Great Airplane Strike (originally released on LP: Spirit Of '67 and as 45 RPM single)
Source:    CD: Greatest Hits
Writer:    Revere/Melcher/Lindsay
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1966
    In 1966 Paul Revere and the Raiders were at the peak of their popularity, scoring major hits that year with Hungry and Kicks. The last single the band released that year was The Great Airplane Strike from the Spirit Of '67 album. Written by band members Revere and Mark Lindsay, along with producer Terry Melcher, The Great Airplane Strike stands out as a classic example of Pacific Northwest rock, a style which would eventually culminate in the grunge movement of the 1990s.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    You're Gonna Miss Me
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators)
Writer(s):    Roky Erickson
Label:    Rhino (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1966
    If anyplace outside of California has a legitimate claim to being the birthplace of the psychedelic era, it's Austin, Texas. That's mainly due to the presence of the 13th Floor Elevators, a local band led by Roky Erickson that had the audacity to use an electric jug (played by Tommy Hall) onstage. Their debut album was the first to use the word psychedelic in the title (predating the Blues Magoos' Psychedelic Lollipop by mere weeks). Musically, their leanings were more toward garage-rock than acid-rock, at least on their first album (they got rather metaphysical on their follow-up album, Easter Everywhere).

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Love In A Summer Basket
Source:    British import CD: Singles As & Bs (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Chiaparelli/Crass/Hooper/Saxon/Starr   
Label:    Big Beat (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1970
    The final Seeds release was a single called Love In A Summer Basket, credited to the entire band. However, it was an entirely different sounding band than the Seeds of old, with only Sky Saxon and keyboardist Daryl Hooper left from the group's original lineup. The band had not had a hit record since 1967, and had finally parted company with their original label, GNP Crescendo, in 1969. In 1970 they managed to sign a new contract with M-G-M, still considered at the time to be a major label, but found themselves once again without a label following the release of Love In A Summer Basket at the end of the year. Mike Curb had just been made vice president of M-G-M's music division and immediately set out to clean up the label's image by purging both M-G-M and Verve Records of all drug-related artists and material, including the Velvet Underground and the Mothers. It is likely that even if the new Seeds recordings had found an audience, the group's past history as the poster child for L.A.'s drug-fueled underground music scene would have doomed them with Curb anyway.

Artist:      Blues Image
Title:     Pay My Dues
Source:      CD: Open
Writer(s):    Blues Image
Label:     Sundazed (original label: Atco)
Year:     1970
     When I first heard Blues Image's Ride Captain Ride on the radio I wasn't all that impressed with it. Then the local club I hung out at got it on the jukebox and people started playing the B side, a song called Pay My Dues. Then I went out and bought the album, Open. Yes, Pay My Dues is that good. As it turns out, so is the rest of the album. Even Ride Captain Ride sounds better now. Shows the latent power of a B side, doesn't it?

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    Hillman/McGuinn
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    By early 1967 there was a building resentment among musicians and rock press alike concerning the instant (and in many eyes unearned) success of the Monkees. One notable expression of this resentment was the Byrds' So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star, which takes a somewhat sarcastic look at what it takes to succeed in the music business. Unfortunately, much of what they talk about in the song continues to apply today (although the guitar has been somewhat supplanted by the computer as the instrument of choice).
   
Artist:    Creedence Clearwater Revival (originally released as by the Golliwogs)
Title:    Porterville
Source:    Canadian import LP: Creedence Clearwater Revival (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    John Fogerty
Label:    Fantasy (original label: Scorpio)
Year:    1967
    The last single recorded by San Francisco's Golliwogs was a song called Porterville, released on the Scorpio label in November of 1967. Four months later the same recording using the same catalog number was reissued, this time credited to Creedence Clearwater Revival. The song was included on CCR's debut LP later that same year.

Artist:     Human Beinz
Title:     Nobody But Me
Source:     Mono CD: Battle Of The Bands-Vol. Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Ron, Rudy and O'Kelley Isley
Label:     Rhino (original label: Capitol)
Year:     1967
     The Human Beinz 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 misspelled their name 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:    Janis Ian
Title:    Hair Of Spun Gold
Source:    LP: Janis Ian
Writer(s):    Janis Ian
Label:    Polydor (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:    1967
    Janis Ian wrote her first song, Hair Of Spun Gold, when she was 12 years old. The piece first appeared as a poem in Broadside, a New York based folk publication. Two years later, in 1966, she recorded the song, which was included on her debut LP, which after much shopping around, finally appeared on the Verve Forecast label in 1967.

Artist:    Youngbloods
Title:    Get Together
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: The Youngbloods)
Writer(s):    Dino Valenti
Label:    Rhino (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1967
    The Youngbloods, led by transplanted New Yorker Jesse Colin Young, were the second San Francisco band signed to industry leader RCA Victor Records. Their first album was released in 1967 but was overshadowed by the vinyl debuts of the Grateful Dead and Moby Grape, among others. In fact, the Youngbloods toiled in relative obscurity until 1969, when their own version of Dino Valenti's Let's Get Together (from the 1967 LP) was used in a TV ad promoting world peace. The song was subsequently released (with the title slightly shortened) as a single and ended up being the group's only hit record (as well as Valenti's most famous composition).

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Lucifer Sam
Source:    CD: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
Writer(s):    Syd Barrett
Label:    Capitol (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    Beyond a shadow of a doubt the original driving force behind Pink Floyd was the legendary Syd Barrett. Not only did he front the band during their rise to fame, he also wrote their first two singles, Arnold Layne and See Emily Play, as well as most of their first LP, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. In fact it could be argued that one of the songs on that album, Lucifer Sam, could have just as easily been issued as a single, as it is stylistically similar to the first two songs. Sadly, Barrett's mental health deteriorated quickly over the next year and his participation in the making of the band's next LP, A Saucerful Of Secrets, was minimal. He soon left the group altogether, never to return (although several of his former bandmates did participate in the making of his 1970 solo album, The Madcap Laughs).

Artist:    Status Quo
Title:    Pictures Of Matchstick Men
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Francis Rossi
Label:    Rhino (original label: Cadet Concept)
Year:    1967
    The band with the most charted singles in the UK is not the Beatles or even the Rolling Stones. It is, in fact, Status Quo, quite possibly the nearest thing to a real life version of Spinal Tap currently in existence. Except for Pictures of Matchstick Men, the group has never had a hit in the US. On the other hand, they remain popular in Scandanavia, playing to sellout crowds on a regular basis (yes, they are still together).

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    A Well Respected Man
Source:    Mono British import EP: Kwyet Kinks (reissue)
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Sanctuary (original label: Pye)
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 in the UK on the Kwyet Kinks EP) 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:    Kinks
Title:    I'm Not Like Everybody Else
Source:    Mono British import CD: Face To Face (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Sanctuary (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    One of the most popular songs in the Kinks' catalog, I'm Not Like Everybody Else was originally written for another British band, the Animals. When that group decided not to record the tune, the Kinks did their own version of the song, issuing it as the B side of the 1966 hit Sunny Afternoon. Although written by Ray Davies, it was sung by his brother Dave, who usually handled the lead vocals on only the songs he himself composed. Initially not available on any LPs, the song has in recent years shown up on various collections and as a bonus track on CD reissues of both the Kink Kontroversy and Face To Face albums. Both Davies brothers continue to perform the song in their live appearances.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Don't You Fret
Source:    Mono British import EP: Kwyet Kinks
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Sanctuary (original label: Pye)
Year:    1965
    The British record market was considerably different than its American counterpart in the mid-1966s. Unlike in the US, where artists were expected to prove themselves with at least two hit singles before being allowed to record an LP, British acts often found themselves recording four or five song EPs as a transition between single and album. Furthermore, British singles were generally not included on British albums. When those albums were released in the US, the American labels often deleted songs that they considered filler from the original LP in favor of hit singles, which were felt to be necessary to generate album sales. This led to a surplus of songs that would appear on US-only LPs made up of material that had been previously released only in the UK. Such is the case with Kinkdom, a collection of singles, B sides, album tracks and the entire Kwyet Kinks EP from 1965. Kwyet Kinks itself was a significant release in that it was the first indication of a change in direction from the early hard-rocking Kinks hits such as You Really Got Me toward a more mellow style that the group would come to favor toward the end of the decade. Songs such as Don't You Fret can be considered a direct precursor to later songs such as A Well Respected Man and Sunny Afternoon.

Artist:     Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:     Sky Pilot/We Love You Lil/All Is One
Source:     LP: The Twain Shall Meet
Writer(s):     Burdon/Briggs/Weider/McCulloch/Jenkins
Label:     M-G-M
Year:     1968
     The Twain Shall Meet was the second album from Eric Burdon and the Animals, the new group formed in early 1967 after Eric Burdon changed his mind about embarking on a solo career. Produced by Tom Wilson (who had also produced Bob Dylan's first electric recordings and the Blues Project's Projections album), The Twain Shall Meet was an ambitious work that shows a band often reaching beyond its grasp, despite having its heart in the right place. For the most part, though, side two of the album works fairly well, starting with the anti-war classic Sky Pilot and continuing into the instrumental We Love You Lil. The final section, All Is One, is a unique blend of standard rock instrumentation (guitar, bass, drums, keyboards) combined with strings, horns, sitar, bagpipes, oboe, flute, studio effects, and drone vocals that builds to a frenetic climax, followed by a spoken line by Burdon to end the album.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1946 (starts 11/11/19)



    Once again we have a two part show. The first part is a trip from 1969 to 1974, featuring hit singles, popular album tracks and a rather scary sounding instrumental written by Robert Fripp. From there it's pure free-form, as we jump from sub-genre to sub-genre with reckless abandon before wrapping it up with yet another hit single, this one from Elton John's first #1 album, Honky Chateau.

Artist:    Blues Image
Title:    Leaving My Troubles Behind
Source:    LP: Blues Image
Writer:    Blues Image
Label:    Atco
Year:    1969
    Miami's Blues Image was highly regarded by critics and musicians alike. Unfortunately, they were never able to translate that acclaim into album sales, despite recording a pair of fine albums for Atco. One of the highlights of their self-titled debut LP was a track called Leaving My Troubles Behind. Sung by conga player Joe Lala (who would eventually turn to acting, appearing on TV shows like Miami Vice and doing a ton of voice work for animated shows and video games), the song has all the earmarks of a rock standard, but for some reason never truly caught on. After a second LP charted even lower than the first one, guitarist Mike Pinera left Blues Image to replace Eric Brann in Iron Butterfly, and after yet another commercially unsuccessful album the group disbanded.

Artist:     Flock
Title:     Tired Of Waiting For You
Source:     British import CD: The Flock
Writer:     Ray Davies
Label:     BGO (original label: Columbia)
Year:     1969
     The Flock was one of those bands that made an impression on those who heard them perform but somehow were never able to turn that into massive record sales. Still, they left a pair of excellent LPs for posterity. The most notable track from the first album was their cover of the 1965 Kinks hit, Tired Of Waiting For You, featuring solos at the beginning and end of the song from violinist Jerry Goodwin, who would go on to help John McLaughlin launch the Mahavishnu Orchestra a couple years later.


Artist:     Guess Who
Title:     American Woman
Source:     European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: American Woman)
Writer:     Bachman/Cummings/Peterson/Kale
Label:     Sony Music (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:     1970
     American Woman is undoubtably the most political song ever recorded by the Guess Who, a generally non-political Canadian band. My family was living on Ramstein AFB, which was and is a huge base in Germany with enough Canadian personnel stationed there to justify their own on-base school. I found myself hanging out with the Canadian kids most of the time and I gotta tell you, they absolutely loved this song. They also loved to throw it in my face as often as possible. I guess that's what I got for being the "token American" member of the group.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Immigrant Song
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Page/Plant
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1971
    Although the third Led Zeppelin album is known mostly for its surprising turn toward a more acoustic sound than its predecessors, the first single from that album actually rocked out as hard, if not harder, than any previous Zeppelin track. In fact, it could be argued that Immigrant Song rocks out harder than anything on top 40 radio before or since. Starting with a tape echo deliberately feeding on itself the song breaks into a basic riff built on two notes an octave apart, with Robert Plant's wailing vocals sounding almost like a siren call. Guitarist Jimmy Page soon breaks into a series of power chords that continue to build in intensity for the next two minutes, until the song abruptly stops cold. The lyrics of Immigrant Song were inspired by the band's trip to Iceland in 1970.

Artist:    Blue Oyster Cult
Title:    Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll
Source:    LP: Blue Oyster Cult
Writer(s):    Pearlman/Roeser/Bouchard
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1972
    Blue Oyster Cult's first single, Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll, is proof that by the early 1970s top 40 radio had become irrelevant. The song failed to chart, yet B.O.C. went on to become one of the most well-known rock bands of the decade. The song itself has become a concert staple and was featured in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Vocals on the tune come from drummer Joe Bouchard.

Artist:    National Lampoon
Title:    Mr. Roberts
Source:    CD: Greatest Hits Of The National Lampoon (originally released on LP: That's Not Funny, That's Sick)
Writer(s):    Murray/Guest
Label:    Uproar (original label: Label 21)
Year:    1977
    There are actually two Mr. Roberts tracks on the 1977 National Lampoon LP That's Not Funny, That's Sick. The more famous one depicts the children's show host (a parody of Mister Rogers) being accosted by the father of one of the neighborhood kids for spending too much time alone with his son. For my money, though, the far funnier one involves Mr. Roberts (voiced by Christopher Guest) interviewing a jazz bassist (voiced by Billy Murray), culminating in a trip to the "magic kingdom". Murray and Guest wrote the piece, which is included on the Greatest Hits Of The National Lampoon CD.

Artist:    King Crimson
Title:    Red
Source:    CD: Red
Writer(s):    Robert Fripp
Label:    Discipline Global Mobile (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1974
    Red is the seventh and final album of the original run of King Crimson, released in 1974. By then, only guitarist Robert Fripp remained of the original King Crimson lineup; he would form a new King Crimson seven years later. The title track of Red, which opens the album, is the only piece on the LP written entirely by Fripp. It is an instrumental written for multi-tracked guitar, bass and drums, and redefines the term "power trio" in a scary way. Fripp himself was somewhat ambiguous about including the track on the album, but bassist John Wetton insisted on it (drummer Bill Bruford reportedly told Fripp "I don't get it, but if you tell me it's good, I trust you").
   
Artist:    Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
Title:    The Only Way (Hymn)/Infinite Space (Conclusion)
Source:    LP: Tarkus
Writer(s):    Emerson/Lake/Palmer
Label:    Cotillion
Year:    1971
    Emerson, Lake and Palmer's second studio album, Tarkus, was basically two "half-albums". The first side of the album was the title track, a massive seven-part piece that is considered one of the greatest prog-rock suites ever recorded. The second side, on the other hand, contains several unrelated pieces such as The Only Way (Hymn) and Infinite Space (Conclusion). The two run together as kind of a mini-suite, with Greg Lake's vocals and Keith Emerson's organ work combining to create a church-like atmosphere on The Only Way (Hymn), while Infinite Space (Conclusion) is much more electronic in nature, with Emerson's synthesizers and Carl Palmer's drums taking center stage.

Artist:    Steve Miller Band
Title:    Motherless Children
Source:    LP: Your Saving Grace
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Miller
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    Motherless Children is one of those songs that seems to have always been there. The first known recording of the song was made by Blind Willie Johnson in 1927, and the tune was considered a traditional ballad  even then. Over the years several versions of Motherless Children have been recorded by such notables as Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, Eric Clapton, Rosanne Cash and Lucinda Williams. Perhaps the most unusual arrangement of the tune, however, was the opening track of side two of the Steve Miller Band album Your Saving Grace, released in 1969. Rather than take a traditional blues approach to the tune, Miller slows down the song, giving it an almost drone-like quality and stretching it out to a full six minutes in length.

Artist:    David Bowie
Title:    It Ain't Easy
Source:    CD: The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
Writer(s):    Ron Davies
Label:    Ryko (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1972
    David Bowie had little need to record cover songs. He was, after all, one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century. But when he did record the occasional cover tune, you can bet it was a good one. Take It Ain't Easy, for instance. The song was already well known as the title track of two different albums, one by Three Dog Night and one by Long John Baldry, when Bowie recorded it, yet he still managed to make the song his own. The song itself was written by Nashville songwriter Ron Davies, whose younger sister Gail is notable as the first female producer in country music.

Artist:    American Dream
Title:    I Ain't Searchin'
Source:    LP: The American Dream
Writer(s):    Nick Jameson
Label:    Ampex
Year:    1970
    In 1970 Albert Grossman, best known for being the manager of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and others, decided to form his own record label, Bearsville Records. One of his first acts was to sign Todd Rundgren, who had just left his own band, Nazz, as a producer for the new label. The first album issued by Bearsville (and distributed by Ampex, a world leader in magnetic tape recording) was a Philadelphia band called The American Dream. The first single from the album was I Ain't Searchin', a tune written by the band's lead guitarist, Nick Jameson. Although the album itself was not a commercial success, it did pave the way for Rundgren's future career as a producer. Jameson, incidentally, would eventually become a member of Foghat.

Artist:    Elton John
Title:    Honky Cat
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    John/Taupin
Label:    Uni
Year:    1972
    Elton John hit the top of the US charts with his fifth LP, Honky Chateau, in 1972. It was the first of seven consecutive #1 albums for the singer/songwriter and included two major hit singles. The second of these was the album's opening track, Honky Cat, which made the top 10 that same year, despite having a length of over five minutes at a time when most radio stations still observed the three and a half minute standard for top 40 singles.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1945 (starts 11/4/19)



    After last week's All Hallows Eve show, I figured I'd best get back to basics this time around, with 31 tracks from 30 artists. The duplication is from the Rolling Stones, who kick off a rather strange and unusual mini Advanced Psych segment in the second hour. I guess some of that Halloween spirit stayed with me after all.

Artist:     Who
Title:     Happy Jack
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     Pete Townshend
Label:     Decca
Year:     1967
     Happy Jack was originally released as a single in the UK in late 1966. It did not hit the US airwaves, however, until the early months of 1967. (I heard it for the first time on KLZ-FM, a Denver station whose format was a forerunner of progressive rock. KLZ-FM didn't call themselves a rock station. They instead marketed themselves as playing the top 100, as opposed to the top 60 played on KIMN, the dominant AM station in the city.) Although the song was not intended to be on an album, Decca Records quickly rearranged the track order of the Who's second album, A Quick One, to make room for the song, changing the name of the album itself to Happy Jack in the process.

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

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    She Said She Said
Source:    CD: Revolver
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1966
    The last song to be recorded for the Beatles' Revolver album was She Said She Said, a John Lennon song inspired by an acid trip taken by members of the band (with the exception of Paul McCartney) during a break from touring in August of 1965. The band's manager, Brian Epstein, had rented a large house in Beverly Hills, but word had gotten out and the Beatles found it difficult to come and go at will. Instead, they invited several people, including the original 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). Perhaps not all that coincidentally, Fonda himself would star in a Roger Corman film called The Trip (written by Jack Nicholson and co-starring Dennis Hopper) the following year.

Artist:      Del-Vetts
Title:     Last Time Around
Source:      Simulate stereo LP: The Dunwich Records Story (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dennis Dahlquist
Label:     Voxx (original label: Dunwich)
Year:     1966
     Dunhill Records was a small indepent label in Chicago that got national distribution through a deal with Atlantic Records. Their biggest act was the Shadows of Knight, who topped the charts with their cover of Van Morrison's Gloria in 1966. One of the most successful other bands on the label was the Del-Vetts, from Chicago's affluent North Side (band members would show up to gigs in matching white Corvettes, hence the name). Last Time Around, sounding a lot like the Yardbirds, was their only nationally charted song, although they did get airplay in the midwest with other songs as well.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Surfer Dan
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer:    The Turtles
Label:    White Whale
Year:    1968
    In 1968 the Turtles decided to self-produce four recordings without the knowledge of their record label, White Whale. When company executives heard the tapes they rejected all but one of the recordings. That lone exception was Surfer Dan, which was included on the band's 1968 concept album Battle of the Bands. The idea was that each track (or band, as the divisions on LPs were sometimes called) would sound like it was recorded by a different group. As the Turtles had originally evolved out of a surf band called the Crossfires, that name was the obvious choice for the Surfer Dan track. The song was also chosen to be the B side of Elenore, the Turtles biggest hit of 1968.

Artist:    Gods
Title:    Toward The Skies
Source:    British import CD: Insane Times (originally released in UK on LP: Genesis)
Writer(s):    Joe Konas
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    It was probably pretty pretentious for a band to call themselves the Gods, but when you consider that, at various times, the band's lineup included Greg Lake and  Mick Taylor (both future rock gods), as well as two future members of Uriah Heep, the claim somehow doesn't seem quite so outrageous. By the time their first album, Genesis, came out in 1968 both Taylor and Lake had moved on, but between guitarist/keyboardist Ken Hensley, drummer Lee Kerslake (the two aforementioned Heepsters), bassist John Glascock (who would eventually serve as Jethro Tull's bassist until his untimely death in 1979) and guitarist Joe Konas, who wrote the album's opening track, Toward The Skies, the Gods had talent to spare.

Artist:    Fever Tree
Title:    San Francisco Girls (Return of the Native)
Source:    LP: Fever Tree
Writer(s):    Holtzman/Holtzman/Knust
Label:    Uni
Year:    1968
    A minor trend in 1968 was for producer/songwriters to find a band to record their material exclusively. A prime example is Houston's Fever Tree, which featured the music of husband and wife team Scott and Vivian Holtzman. San Francisco Girls (Return of the Native) was the single from that album, peaking in the lower reaches of the Hot 100 charts.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Dear Mr. Fantasy
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Heaven Is In Your Mind)
Writer(s):    Capaldi/Winwood/Wood
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1967
    Steve Winwood is one of those artists that has multiple signature songs, having a career that has spanned decades (so far). Still, if there is any one song that is most closely associated with the guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist, it's the title track of Traffic's Mr. Fantasy album.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Can You See Me
Source:    Mono LP: Are You Experienced (UK version) (original US release: LP: Smash Hits)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1967 (US 1969)
    Before releasing the first Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Are You Experienced, in the US, Reprise Records decided to make some changes to the track lineup, adding three songs that had been released as non-album singles in the UK. To make room for these, three songs were cut from the original UK version of the LP. The most popular of these three tracks was Can You See Me, a song that was included in the band's US debut set at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967.  Despite the audience's positive response to the song, the band apparently dropped Can You See Me from their live set shortly after Monterey. The song was originally slated to be released as the B side of The Wind Cries Mary, but instead was used as an album track.
 
Artist:    Velvet Underground
Title:    There She Goes Again
Source:    CD: The Velvet Underground And Nico
Writer(s):    Lou Reed
Label:    Polydor (original label: Verve)
Year:    1967    
    When the Velvet Underground first appeared, their fame was pretty much limited to the New York art crowd, among which their sponsor and primary financial backer Andy Warhol was a superstar in his own right. With talent like Lou Reed and John Cale in the band, however, the VU eventually attained legendary punk status of their own, albeit long after the band ceased to exist. One of the best tracks on the group's debut LP was There She Goes Again, a song that starts off sounding like the Rolling Stones' cover of Marvin Gaye's Hitch Hike, but soon moves into unexplored territory, especially in its subject matter (prostitution as a lifestyle choice).

Artist:    Peanut Butter Conspiracy
Title:    Lonely Leaf
Source:    CD: The Peanut Butter Conspiracy Is Spreading/The Great Conspiracy (original LP: The Great Conspiracy)
Writer(s):    John Merrill
Label:    Collectables (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    For their second Columbia LP, The Great Conspiracy, the members of L.A.'s Peanut Butter Conspiracy were given greater artistic freedom by producer Gary Usher, who was already working on his own Millennium project at this point. The biggest change was the fact that there were no studio musicians used on the album, which resulted in a record much more in sync with the band's live sound. The album is full of strong tracks such as Lonely Leaf, which, like about half the songs on the LP, was written by lead guitarist John Merrill.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Eight Miles High
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Fifth Dimension)
Writer(s):    Clark/McGuinn/Crosby
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1966
    Gene Clark's final contribution to the Byrds was his collaboration with David Crosby and Roger McGuinn, Eight Miles High. Despite a newsletter from the Gavin Report advising stations not to play this "drug song", Eight Miles High managed to hit the top 20 in 1966. The band members themselves claimed that Eight Miles High was not a drug song at all, but was instead referring to the experience of travelling by air. In fact, it was Gene Clark's fear of flying, especially long intercontinental trips, that in part led to his leaving the Byrds.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    N.S.U.
Source:    CD: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Jack Bruce
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1966
    Although most of Jack Bruce's Cream songs were co-written with lyricist Pete Brown, there were some exceptions. Among the most notable of these is N.S.U. from Cream's debut LP, which features Bruce's own lyrics. The song, also released as a B side, has proven popular enough to be included on several Cream retrospective collections and was part of the band's repertoire when they reunited for a three-day stint at the Royal Albert Hall in 2005.

Artist:    Misunderstood
Title:    I Can Take You To The Sun
Source:    Before The Dream Faded
Writer(s):    Hill/Brown
Label:    Cherry Red
Year:    1966
    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. 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, an 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 eventually joined by Ravencroft himself, who changed his name to John Peel and became arguably the most famous DJ in the history of British rock radio. 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. Problems having nothing to do with music soon derailed the Misunderstood, who found themselves being deported back to the US, and in one case, drafted into the US Army.

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    I'm Gonna Make You Mine
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Carr/D'errico/Sager
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    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:    Chocolate Watch Band
Title:    No Way Out
Source:    CD: No Way Out
Writer(s):    Ed Cobb
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    The Chocolate Watch Band, from the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area (specifically Foothills Junior College in Los Altos Hills), was fairly typical of the South Bay music scene, centered in San Jose. Although they were generally known for lead vocalist Dave Aguilar's ability to channel Mick Jagger with uncanny accuracy, producer Ed Cobb gave them a more psychedelic sound in the studio with the use of studio effects and other enhancements (including additional songs on their albums that were performed entire by studio musicians). The title track of No Way Out, released as the band's debut LP in 1967, is credited to Cobb, but in reality is a fleshing out of a jam the band had previously recorded, but had not released. That original jam, known as Psychedelic Trip, is now available as a mono bonus track on the No Way Out CD and as a limited edition Record Store Day single B side.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)
Source:    Mono LP: The Doors
Writer(s):    Weill/Brecht
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    1967 was a breakthrough year for Elektra Records, which had only signed its first full-fledged rock band (Love) the previous year. Between Love's second and third albums and the first two Doors LPs, Elektra had by the end of the year established itself as a player. Although never released as a single, Alabama Song, a reworking of the song from the 1927 play Little Mahogonny, managed to make it onto the Best of the Doors album and has been a classic rock staple for years.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Sing This All Together/Citadel
Source:    CD: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richard
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    From the opening piano chord of the first song, Sing This All Together (played by Nicky Hopkins), it is obvious that the late-1967 LP Their Satanic Majesties Request is unlike any Rolling Stones album made before or since. For one thing, the Stones produced the album themselves at a time when their personal and professional lives were spinning out of control. There was also a perceived need to somehow outdo the Beatles, who were, at the time, riding high with their Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. In fact, there are several parallels between the two albums, including similar styled covers, an opening theme song that is repeated later on the album, and a general feel of psychedelic excess. Brian Jones, in particular, plays several instruments on Sing This All Together alone, including brass, saxophone and mellotron (a keyboard instrument that utilized tape loops to produce the desired sounds). In contrast, Citadel, which, like With A Little Help From My Friends, flows directly out of its predecessor, is built around a series of power chords from Keith Richards, and conceivably could have been released as a single in its own right. Although it immediately shot up the album charts, Their Satanic Majesties Request quickly wore out its welcome and has since been all but disavowed by the surviving members of the band.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Honky Tonk Women
Source:    LP: Through The Past, Darkly
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1969
    After revitalizing their career with Jumpin' Jack Flash and Street Fighting Man in 1968, the Stones delivered the coup-de-grace in 1969 with one of the greatest rock songs ever recorded: the classic Honky Tonk Women. The song was the band's first single without Brian Jones, who had been found dead in his swimming pool shortly after leaving the group. Jones's replacement, Mick Taylor (fresh from a stint with blues legend John Mayall), plays slide guitar on the track.

Artist:    Residents
Title:    (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Ralph
Year:    1976
    Described by one prominent indy musician as "loose, belligerent, violent...a real stick in the eye of everything conventionally tasteful in 1976 America", the Residents unique version of (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction was not widely available when it was originally released. In fact, there were only 200 numbered copies pressed of the original single. Two years later, another 30,000 copies were pressed on translucent gold-colored vinyl. The Residents would later gain a cult following after their videos were featured prominently on the fledgling MTV in the early 1980s.

Artist:    James Gang
Title:    Introduction/Take A Look Around
Source:    CD: Yer' Album
Writer(s):    Joe Walsh
Label:    MCA (original label: Bluesway)
Year:    1969
    Like the Big Bands of the 30s and 40s, the James Gang went through several lineup changes over the years. The one common element of the band was drummer/founder Jim Fox, who teamed with bassist Tom Kriss and vocalist/guitarist Joe Walsh for the group's recording debut in 1969. Unlike most band leaders, Fox was content to let other members such as Walsh take center stage, both as performers and songwriters. The result was a band that was able to rock as hard as any of their contemporaries with tracks like The Bomber and Funk #49, but that could also showcase Walsh's more melodic side with songs such as Take A Look Around. For some unknown reason, ABC Records decided to issue Yer Album on its Bluesway subsidiary; it was the only rock album ever released on that label (subsequent James Gang albums were on the parent ABC label).

Artist:    West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:    Eighteen Is Over The Hill
Source:    LP: Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil
Writer(s):    Markley/Morgan
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    The contributions of guitarist Ron Morgan to the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band are often overlooked, possibly due to the fact that Morgan himself often tried to distance himself from the band. Nonetheless, he did write some of the group's most memorable tunes, including their best-known song, Smell Of Incense (covered by the Texas band Southwest F.O.B.) and the opening track of what is generally considered their best album, A Child's Guide To Good And Evil. Unfortunately, the somewhat senseless lyrics on Eighteen Is Over The Hill added by Bob Markley detract from what is actually a very tasty piece of music.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Waterloo Sunset
Source:    CD: Something Else
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    One of the most beautiful tunes ever recorded by the Kinks is Waterloo Sunset, a song that was a hit single in the UK, but was totally ignored by US radio stations. The reason for this neglect of such a stong song is a mystery, however it may have been due to the fear that American audiences would not be able to relate to all the references to places in and around London in the song's lyrics. The fact that the American Federation Of Musicians refused to issue permits for the Kinks to play concerts in the US between 1965 and 1969 probably had something to do with it as well.

Artist:     Love
Title:     My Little Red Book
Source:     Australian import CD: Comes In Colours (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Bacharach/David
Label:     Raven (original label: Elektra)
Year:     1966
     My Little Red Book was a song originally composed by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the soundtrack of the movie What's New Pussycat and performed by Manfred Mann. It didn't sound anything like Love's version (the first rock single issued on the Elektra label), which is acknowledged as one of the first true punk classics.

Artist:     Seeds
Title:     A Faded Picture
Source:     LP: A Web Of Sound
Writer:     Saxon/Hooper
Label:     GNP Crescendo
Year:     1966
     The Seeds second LP showed a much greater range than the first. A Faded Picture, perhaps the nearest thing to a ballad the Seeds ever recorded, has a slower tempo than most of the other songs in the Seeds repertoire and, at over five minutes in length, a longer running time as well.

Artist:    John Mayall's Bluesbreakers
Title:    Little Girl
Source:    Mono British import 45 RPM EP: John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton
Writer(s):    John Mayall
Label:    R&B
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2016
    John Mayall's Bluesbreakers included several talented musicians over the years, many of whom went on to become stars in their own right. Not every Bluesbreakers lineup saw the inside of a recording studio, however. In fact, the only known recording of Mayall's Little Girl, which includes Eric Clapton on guitar, Jack Bruce on bass and Hughie Flint on drums, is from a live radio broadcast in 1966 (possibly on one of the many pirate radio stations operating off the coast of England at the time). The recording sat on the shelf for 50 years, suffering some degradation before finally being released on a four song EP in the UK in 2016.

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

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

Artist:    Janis Joplin/Full Tilt Boogie Band
Title:    Move Over (unreleased mono single version)
Source:    45 RPM box set: Move Over
Writer(s):    Janis Joplin
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1970/2011
    In 1970, while sessions for what would become Janis Joplin's last album, Pearl, a single pairing Joplin's own Move Over with a cover of Garnet Mimms's My Baby was prepared, but not released. Both tracks are earlier versions of songs that ended up on the Pearl LP. This version of Move Over is actually much longer than the LP version, clocking in at about four and a half minutes (the album version is 3:39), with additional vocals and an entirely different guitar solo by John Till of the Full Tilt Boogie Band.

Artist:    Waters
Title:    Mother Samwell
Source:    CD: A Deadly Dose Of Wild Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Barrickman/Burgard
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original labels: Delcrest & Hip)
Year:    1969
    Formed in Louisville, Kentucky in 1967, the Waters released two singles on three labels before disbanding in 1969. The second of these, the Hendrix-inspired Mother Samwell, was first released on the Delcrest label in January of 1969 and then re-released by Hip in April of the same year.

Artist:    World Column
Title:    Lantern Gospel
Source:    Mono British import CD: My Mind Goes High (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Kaplan/Meyer
Label:    Warner Strategic Marketing (original label: Atco)
Year:    1968
    World Column was actually an R&B band from the midwest that, for some unknown reason, decided to change styles and record a song which has since become a psychedelic classic. Lantern Gospel, released in the summer of 1968, appeared on a dozen bootleg compilation albums before finally being officially released on the Rhino Handmade CD My Mind Goes High, which is now available in the UK through Warner Strategic Marketing.