Sunday, September 6, 2020

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2037 (starts 9/7/20)

    For the second week in a row we have a show with four artists' sets. This time around it's the Seeds (with a set that includes the B side of their last record), Steppenwolf (from a couple of their later albums), Jefferson Airplane (with the spotlight on Marty Balin and Paul Kantner), and, for the first time ever, the Guess Who, with songs that predate their 1969 breakthrough hit These Eyes.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills And Nash
Title:    Marrakesh Express
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Graham Nash
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    The first time I ever heard of Crosby, Stills And Nash was on Europe's powerhouse AM station Radio Luxembourg, which broadcast an American-style top 40 format during the evening and into the early morning hours. As was common on top 40 stations, Radio Luxembourg had a "pick hit of the week", a newly-released song that the station's DJs felt was bound to be a big hit. One night in July of 1969 I tuned in and heard the premier of the station's latest pick hit: Marrakesh Express, by Crosby, Stills And Nash. Sure enough, the song climbed the British charts rather quickly, peaking at #17 (20 positions higher than in the US). The song itself was based on real events that Graham Nash experienced on a train ride in Morocco while still a member of the Hollies. Nash had been riding first class when he got bored and decided to check out what was happening in the other cars. He was so impressed by the sheer variety of what he saw (including ducks and chickens on the train itself) that he decided to write a song about it. The other members of the Hollies were not particularly impressed with the song, however, and its rejection was one of the factors that led to Nash leaving the band and moving to the US, where he hooked up with David Crosby and Stephen Stills. Crosby and Stills liked the song, and it became the trio's first single.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Source:    CD: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone
Year:    1968
    When Paul McCartney wrote the self-referential Silly Love Songs in the mid-1970s, he must have been thinking of Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da from the White Album. It really doesn't get much sillier than this.

Artist:    Janis Ian
Title:    I'll Give You A Stone If You Throw It (Changing Tymes)
Source:    LP: Janis Ian
Writer:    Janis Ian
Label:    Polydor (original label: Now Sounds, reissued nationally on Verve Forecast)
Year:    1967
    Janis Ian got her first poem published in a national magazine at age 12. Not content with mere literary pursuits, the talented Ms. Ian turned to music. After being turned down by several major labels, Ian finally got a contract with the tiny New Sounds label and scored her first major hit with Society's Child, a song about interracial dating that was banned on several stations in the southern US. This led to her self-titled debut album at age 15, and a contract with M-G-M subsidiary Verve Forecast. I'll Give You A Stone If You Throw It (Changing Tymes) is taken from that first LP.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Satisfy You
Source:    Mono British import CD: Singles As & Bs 1965-1970 (originally released on LP: Raw And Alive and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Savage/Saxon
Label:    Big Beat (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1968
    The peak period of the Seeds' popularity was a relatively short one, lasting from mid-1966 to early 1967, and the band responded to their commercial decline by getting more experimental as 1967 wore on. Unfortunately, they were not able to pull off everything they attempted, and their fortunes continued to decline. In early 1968 they decided to take a back to basics approach and recorded an album called Raw And Alive. Althought marketed as a live album, Raw And Alive was actually a live studio performance done in a single take with no overdubs. The sounds of a live audience were added later. The single from the album, Satisfy You, has the sound and feel of a vintage Seeds recording, but by this point in time that sound was considered dated, and the single died a quick death.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Mr. Farmer
Source:    CD: More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: A Web Of Sound)
Writer:    Sky Saxon
Label:    Rhino
Year:    1966
    With two tracks (Can't Seem To Make You Mine and Pushin' Too Hard) from their first album getting decent airplay on L.A. radio stations in 1966 the Seeds headed back to the studio to record a second LP, A Web Of Sound. The first single released from the album was Mr. Farmer, a song that once again did well locally. The only national hit for the Seeds came when Pushin' Too Hard was re-released in December of 1966, hitting its peak the following spring.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Did He Die
Source:    British import CD: Singles As & Bs (originally released in US as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    Big Beat (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1970   
    Of the four songs recorded for and released on the M-G-M label by the Seeds in 1970, the B side of the band's final single was arguably the best of the bunch. Did He Die is an anti-war song credited entirely to Sky Saxon, due more, I suspect, to his in your face lyrics than any actual musical contribution he may have made to the song. Still, the record does have flashes of the old Seeds magic, and serves as a fitting epitaph for one of the most iconic bands of the psychedelic era.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Blues From An Airplane
Source:    Mono LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer(s):    Balin/Spence
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    Blues From An Airplane was the opening song on the first Jefferson Airplane album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. Although never released as a single, it was picked by the group to open their first anthology album, The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane, as well. The song is one of two tunes on Takes Off co-written by lead vocalist Marty Balin and drummer Skip Spence.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Today
Source:    CD: The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane (originally released on LP: Surrealistic Pillow)
Writer(s):    Balin/Kantner
Label:    BMG/RCA
Year:    1967
    Uncredited guest guitarist Jerry Garcia adds a simple, but memorable recurring fill riff to Today, an early collaboration between rhythm guitarist Paul Kantner and bandleader Marty Balin on Jefferson Airplane's second LP, Surrealistic Pillow.

Artist:     Jefferson Airplane
Title:     Let Me In
Source:     Mono LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer:     Balin/Kantner
Label:     RCA Victor
Year:     1966
     Jefferson Airplane was the brainchild of vocalist and club manager Marty Balin, who hand-picked the band's original lineup. Among those charter members was Paul Kantner, who Balin had asked to join the band without ever having heard him sing or play. Balin said later that he just knew that Kantner was someone he wanted for his new band. Kantner very quickly developed into a strong singer/songwriter in his own right, starting with the song Let Me In (co-written by Balin), Kantner's first recorded lead vocal for the band.

Artist:     Buffalo Springfield
Title:     Mr. Soul
Source:     LP: Buffalo Springfield Again
Writer:     Neil Young
Label:     Atco
Year:     1967
     Executives at Atco Records originally considered Neil Young's voice "too weird" to be recorded. As a result many of Young's early tunes (including the band's debut single Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing), were sung by Richie Furay. By the time the band's second album, Buffalo Springfield Again, was released, the band had enough clout to make sure Young was allowed to sing his own songs. In fact, the album starts with a Young vocal on the classic Mr. Soul.

Artist:     Music Machine
Title:     Astrologically Incompatible
Source:     Mono British import CD: My Mind Goes High (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Sean Bonniwell
Label:     Warner Strategic Marketing (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:     1967
     While touring extensively in 1967 the Music Machine continued to take every possible opportunity to record new material in the studio, while at the same time working to change record labels. The first single to be issued on the Warner Brothers label was Bottom Of The Soul, released in late 1967. The B side of that record was Astrologically Incompatible, one of the first rock songs to deal with astrological themes, albeit in a slightly tongue-in-cheek manner.

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

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Riders On The Storm
Source:    CD: The Best Of The Doors (originally released on LP: L.A. Woman)
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1971
    The last major hit single for the Doors was also one of their best: Riders On The Storm. In fact, it still holds up as one of the finest singles ever released. By anyone.

Artist:    Audience
Title:    Eye To Eye
Source:    CD: The House On The Hill
Writer(s):    Werth/Williams
Label:    Caroline Blue Plate (original UK label: Charisma)
Year:    1971
    Audience was a British progressive rock band with somewhat unusual instrumentation. In addition to drums (provided by Tony Conner) and bass (from Trevor Williams, who was also the groups primary lyricist), the band included Howard Werth, who played an acoustic guitar with nylon strings, but fitted with an electric pickup, and Keith Gemmell on flute, saxophone and clarinet. With no lead guitar or keyboards, Audience concentrated on their songwriting and vocal skills, which are showcased on the song Eye To Eye from the album The House On The Hill. Although The House On The Hill was Audience's third LP, it was the first to be released in the US. Eye To Eye, however, was cut from the US version of the LP to make room for Indian Summer, a non-album single that had been released simultaneously with The House On The Hill in the UK. The original band made only one more album before disbanding in 1972, but reformed 32 years later with a different drummer.

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    Tale In Hard Time
Source:    LP: Fairport Chronicles (originally released in UK on LP: What We Did On Our Holidays and in US on LP: Fairport Convention)
Writer(s):    Richard Thompson
Label:    A&M (UK label: Island)
Year:    1969
    One of the more confusing things about Fairport Convention is the fact that their self-titled debut LP was only released in the UK, and their second album, What We Did On Our Holidays, was released as their self-titled US debut album. Two different albums. Same name. Confusing. What's not confusing, however, is the music itself. Songs like the often overlooked Tale In Hard Time make that abundantly clear.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Withering Tree
Source:    CD: Traffic (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM B side and included on LP: Last Exit)
Writer:    Winwood/Capaldi
Label:    Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1968
    One of Traffic's best-known songs is Dave Mason's  Feelin' Alright from their eponymous second LP. When the song was issued as a single in 1968, a brand-new song, Withering Tree, was included as a B side. For some unknown reason, the US single used a mono mix of the song while the UK version included the stereo mix heard here. The stereo version of Withering Tree would not be heard in the US until 1969, when it was included on the post-breakup Traffic LP Last Exit. Withering Tree was also released as the B side of You Can All Join In, a Mason penned song that appeared as a single in France and Sweden (just to make it more confusing, the Swedish release was actually pressed in the UK, carrying the same catalog number as the British release of Feelin' Alright).

Artist:    "E" Types
Title:    Put The Clock Back On The Wall
Source:    CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bonner/Gordon
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    The E-Types were originally from Salinas, California, which at the time was known for it's sulfiric smell experienced by passing motorists travelling along US 101. As many people from Salinas apparently went to "nearby" San Jose (about 60 miles to the north) as often as possible, the E-Types became regulars on the local scene, eventually landing a contract with Tower Records and Ed Cobb, who also produced the Standells and the Chocolate Watchband. The Bonner/Gordon songwriting team were just a couple months away from getting huge royalty checks from the Turtles' Happy Together when Put The Clock Back On The Wall was released in early 1967. The song takes its title from a popular phrase of the time. After a day or two of losing all awareness of time (and sometimes space) it was time to put the clock back on the wall, or get back to reality if you prefer.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Summer In The City
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released in US on LP: Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful)
Writer(s):    Sebastian/Sebastian/Boone
Label:    Sony Music (original label: Kama Sutra)
Year:    1966
    The Lovin' Spoonful changed gears completely for what would become their biggest hit of 1966: Summer In The City. Inspired by a poem by John Sebastian's brother, the song was recorded for the album Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful. That album was an attempt by the band to deliberately record in a variety of styles; in the case of Summer In The City, it was a rare foray into psychedelic rock for the band. Not coincidentally, Summer In The City is also my favorite Lovin' Spoonful song.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    I'm Crying
Source:    Mono LP: The Animals On Tour (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Price/Burdon
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1964
    Like most groups in the early 1960s, the Animals started their studio career by recording a mixture of songs provided to their producer by professional songwriters and covers of tunes previously recorded by other artists. Their first self-penned single was I'm Crying, a tune by vocalist Eric Burdon and organist Alan Price that was released in September of 1964. The song made the top 10 in Canada and the UK, but stalled out in the lower reaches of the top 40 in the US, falling far short of their previous international hit, House Of The Rising Sun. Producer Mickie Most decided from then on that songs written by the band itself would only be released as album tracks and B sides, a policy that stayed in effect until the Animals changed producers in 1966.

Artist:    Guess Who
Title:    Of A Dropping Pin
Source:    CD: Wheatfield Soul (bonus track originally released in Canada as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bachman/Cummings
Label:    Iconoclassic (original label: Nimbus)
Year:    1968
    At a time when an artist's fortunes were almost entirely dependent on the chart performance of your latest single, the Guess Who were arguably Canada's most fortunate  band. Formed in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1958 by guitarist/vocalist Chad Allan as Allan And The Silvertones, the group had renamed itself to Chad Allan and the Reflections by the time they released their first single for the Canadian-American label in 1962. By the end of 1963 they had switched to the Quality label, releasing several regional hits over the next few months for the label. The emergence of a hit single called Just Like Romeo And Juliet by an American band called the Reflections prompted the band to issue their next single under the name Chad Allan And The Original Reflections, and the one after that (a tune called Till We Kissed, backed with a remake of Johnny Kidd & the Pirates' Shakin' All Over) as simply Chad Allan. After that single failed to initially generate much interest when released in December of 1964, Quality decided to reissue it the following month as by "Guess Who?" in the hopes of getting disc jockeys to play the song out of curiousity. Oddly enough it was the B side, Shakin' All Over, that began getting airplay across Canada, ultimately becoming the #1 song in the nation. This led to the record being issued in the US as well (on the Scepter label), hitting the #22 spot on the Billboard chart. At this point the band had actually decided on a new name, Chad Allan and the Expressions, but with a major hit on the charts they bowed to the inevitable and began using the name Guess Who, both onstage and in the recording studio (although their next two singles had both names on the label). As the Guess Who they released nearly a dozen successful Canadian singles over the next couple of years, although none of them charted in the US. During this time the band had a few key personnel changes, including the departure of founding keyboardist Bob Ashley, who was replaced by Burton Cummings. In mid-1966 Chad Allan himself left the band, leaving Cummings to take over lead vocals as well. At this point, in addition to Cummings, the band consisted of guitarist Randy Bachman, bassist Jim Kale and drummer Garry Peterson. In mid 1967 the Guess Who became the house band for a CBC TV show called Let's Go, doing mostly cover versions of current hits, along with their own original tunes. This got the attention of record producer Jack Richardson, who signed them to his own Nimbus 9 label in 1968. The first single released by the band on Nimbus 9 was a Bachman/Cummings composition called When Friends Fall Out, which was eventually re-recorded for their 1970 LP American Woman. The second single for the label was a song called Of A Dropping Pin, also written by the Bachman/Cummings team. It was their next single, however, that turned the Guess Who into international stars. That song was These Eyes, and it led to the band signing a contract with the world's largest record label, RCA Victor (although their records continued to be issued in Canada on the Nimbus 9 label, which eventually was bought by RCA). The Guess Who's first LP to be issued in the US was Wheatfield Soul; the CD version of that album, released in 2009, includes Of A Dropping Pin as a bonus track.

Artist:    Guess Who
Title:    It's My Pride
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in Canada as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Randy Bachman
Label:    Rhino (original label: Quality)
Year:    1967
    The Guess Who were formed in 1962 in Winnipeg, Manitoba as Chad Allen and the Reflections, changing their name to Chad Allen and the Expression in 1964. The group recorded a cover of a Johnny Kidd song, Shakin' All Over, in 1965. The record was not released under the band's actual name, however; in a bid to get more airplay for the song, the record was credited to "Guess Who?". This was during the peak of the British Invasion, and the producers hoped that DJs might assume it was some well-known British band and give the record a shot. Of course, such a thing could never happen these days, as commercial radio DJs are not allowed to choose what music to play. The ploy worked so well (the song was a hit in both the US and Canada) that the band decided to keep the name Guess Who, and continued to crank out hit after hit in their native Canada, although they would not hit the US charts again until 1969. In 1966 the group picked up a second vocalist, Burton Cummings, and within a few months founder Allen left the band, leaving Cummings as the group's front man. One of their better songs was It's My Pride, a B side written by guitarist Randy Bachman and released as a single in 1967. Bachman would soon team up with Cummings to write a string of hits, including These Eyes and American Woman, before leaving the Guess Who in the early 70s to form his own band, Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

Artist:    Guess Who
Title:    Maple Fudge
Source:    CD: Wheatfield Soul
Writer(s):    Bachman/Cummings/Matheson
Label:    Iconoclassic (original labels: Nimbus [Canada] RCA Victor [US])
Year:    1968 (Canada), 1969 (US)
    Although they had only been writing songs together for about a year, Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings of the Guess Who had already come up with more than enough material to fill an entire album by late summer, 1968. Earlier in the year the band, which also included bassist Jim Kale and drummer Garry Peterson, had recorded a pair of tunes that had been released with moderate success in their native Canada; now they had an opportunity to record at Phil Ramone's A&R Studios in New York City. With the help of producer Jack Richardson, who had taken out a second mortgage on his house to finance the band's trip, the Guess Who managed to record and mix Wheatfield Soul in four days. The album was then released in Canada on the Nimbus label in late 1968. Meanwhile, Richardson began shopping the master tapes to US labels in hopes of getting the Guess Who an American record deal. Sure enough, when RCA A&R man Don Burkheimer heard the tapes he signed the band on the spot, noting that "nothing [about Wheatfield Soul] needed to be changed or altered in any way." Oddly enough, the harshest critics of the album were Bachman and Cummings, who felt that some of the songs they wrote, such as Maple Fudge, were ill-conceived. Personally I find it one of the more creative tracks on the album.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Power Play
Source:    CD: Monster
Writer(s):    John Kay
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1969
    1969's Monster album is generally considered the most political of Steppenwolf's albums. A listen to Power Play certainly lends creedence to that viewpoint.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Snowblind Friend
Source:    LP: The ABC Collection (originally released on LP: Steppenwolf 7)
Writer(s):    Hoyt Axton
Label:    ABC (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1970
    One of the most popular tracks from the first Steppenwolf album was a Hoyt Axton tune called The Pusher. For their next few albums the group wrote most of their own material, but included another Axton tune, Snowblind Friend, on their seventh LP. Although not released as a single, the tune did well on progressive rock radio stations, and is generally considered one of their better tunes from 1970. The band had gone through a few personnel changes by that point, and the song features new members Larry Byrom (guitar) and George Biondo (bass), both of which had been members of a band called T.I.M.E. before replacing Michael Monarch and Nick St. Nicholas in Steppenwolf.
Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Draft Resister
Source:    LP: Monster
Writer(s):    Kay/McJohn/Byrom
Label:    Dunhill
Year:    1969
    By far the most political of Steppenwolf's albums was their 1969 effort Monster. Although there is a chance that a truly unperceptive person might miss the point of the title track that opens the LP, the next song, Draft Resister, makes a point that even a dedicated Rush Limbaugh fan would notice.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    A Time For Everything?
Source:    CD: Benefit
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol
Year:    1970
    As the shortest song on Jethro Tull's 1970 LP Benefit, A Time For Everything is often overlooked by reviewers and critics. In fact, the only reference I found called it a good song that was not very noticable. I guess it's up to you whether you notice it or not.

Artist:    Amboy Dukes
Title:    Scottish Tea
Source:    British import CD: Journey To The Center Of The Mind
Writer(s):    Ted Nugent
Label:    Repertoire (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1968
    Between the first two Amboy Dukes albums, the group underwent a couple of personnel changes, with bassist Greg Arama and keyboardist Andy Solomon joining founders John Drake (vocals), Steve Farmer (rhythm guitar), Dave Palmer (drums) and the inimitable Ted Nugent (lead guitar). The second Dukes LP, Journey To The Center Of The Mind, was actually two mini-albums, with songs composed mainly by Nugent on side one and Farmer on side two. One of the Nugent songs was an instrumental named Scottish Tea. While not exactly politically correct, the track is a showcase for Nugent's already prodigious abilities as a guitarist.

Artist:    Iron Butterfly
Title:    Gentle As It May Seem
Source:    CD: Heavy
Writer(s):    DeLoach/Weis
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:    1968
    Personnel changes were pretty much a regular occurrence with Iron Butterfly. After the first album, Heavy, everyone except keyboardist Doug Ingle and drummer Ron Bushy left the band. This was accompanied by a drastic change in style as well, as Ingle, who had already been carrying the lion's share of lead vocals, became the group's primary songwriter as well. Gentle As It Seems, written by Daryl DeLoach and lead guitarist Danny Weis, is a good example of the band's original sound, back when they were scrounging for gigs in a rapidly shrinking L.A. all-ages club scene.

Artist:    Odyssey
Title:    Little Girl, Little Boy
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jerry Berke
Label:    Rhino
Year:    1968
    As far as I can tell, the Odyssey, a band of L.A. garage-rockers, only cut one record before disbanding, a tune called Little Girl, Little Boy that appeared on White Whale Records. The record was produced by Howard Kaylan, lead vocalist of White Whale's biggest act, the Turtles.

Artist:     Barbarians
Title:     Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl
Source:     Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Morris/Morris
Label:     Rhino (original label: Laurie)
Year:     1965
     From Boston we have the Barbarians, best known for having a  drummer named Victor "Moulty" Moulton, who wore a hook in place of his left hand (and was probably the inspiration for the hook-handed bass player in the cult film Wild In The Streets a few years later). In addition to Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl, which was their biggest hit, the Barbarians (or rather their record label) released an inspirational tune (inspirational in the 80s self-help sense, not the religious one) called Moulty that got some airplay in 1966 but later was revealed to have been the work of studio musicians, with only Moulty himself appearing on the record.

Artist:     Love
Title:     7 & 7 Is
Source:     CD: Comes In Colours (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Da Capo)
Writer:     Arthur Lee
Label:     Raven (original label: Elektra)
Year:     1966
     In the fall of 1966 my parents took by brother and me to a drive-in movie to see The Russians Are Coming and The 10th Victim (don't ask me why I remember that). In an effort to extend their season past the summer months, that particular drive-in was pioneering a new technology that used a low-power AM radio transmitter (on a locally-unused frequency) to broadcast the audio portion of the films so that people could keep their car windows rolled all the way up (and presumably stay warm) instead of having to roll the window partway down to accomodate the hanging speakers that were attached to posts next to where each car was parked. Before the first movie and between films music was pumped through the speakers (and over the transmitter). Of course, being fascinated by all things radio, I insisted that my dad use the car radio as soon as we got settled in. I was immediately blown away by a song that I had not heard on either of Denver's two top 40 radio stations. That song was Love's 7&7 Is, and it was my first inkling that there were some great songs on the charts that were being ignored by local stations. I finally heard the song again the following spring, when a local FM station that had been previously used to simulcast a full-service AM station began running a "top 100" format a few hours a day.

Artist:    Young Rascals
Title:    It's Wonderful
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Once Upon A Dream)
Writer:    Cavaliere/Brigati
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1967
    Psychedelic rock is generally considered to have begun on the West Coast (although Austin, Texas has a legitimate claim as well). By the time of the Summer of Love, however, psychedelic rock was a national trend. New York had always been one of the major centers of the music industry, so it's not surprising that on the East Coast 1967 was the year of the psychedelic single. One of the most popular New York bands of the time was the Young Rascals, generally considered to be the greatest blue-eyed soul band of the era, if not of all time. Still, the times being what they were, the Rascals departed from their usual style more than once in '67, first with the smash hit How Can I Be Sure, and then with their own psychedelic single, It's Wonderful, released in November.

Artist:    Dion
Title:    Abraham, Martin And John
Source:    CD: Songs Of Protest (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dick Holler
Label:    Rhino (original label: Laurie)
Year:    1968
    Although sometimes characterized as a protest song, Dion DiMucci's 1968 hit Abraham, Martin And John is really a tribute to three famous Americans, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy (with a reference to the recently-assassinated Bobby Kennedy included in the final verse of the song). Most people in the business saw Dion, perhaps the most successful doo-wop artist of all time, as being near the end of his career by 1967, although he was one of only two rock musicians included on the cover collage of the Beatles' 1967 LP Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band beside the Beatles themselves (the other being Bob Dylan).  In April of 1968, however, Dion experienced what he later called "a powerful religious experience" which led to him approaching his old label, Laurie Records, for a new contract. The label agreed on the condition that he record Abraham, Martin And John. The song, written by Dick Holler (who also wrote, strangely enough, Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron), ended up being one of Dion's biggest hits and led to the revitalization of his career.

Artist:    Orange Bicycle
Title:    Last Cloud Home (originally released in UK as 45 RPM B side)
Source:    Mono CD: Insane Times
Writer(s):    John Dove
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1969
    The Orange Bicycle were a somewhat obscure British group led by drummer/vocalist Wil Malone. The band had one successful single, Hyacinth Threads, which topped the French charts in the summer of 1967. The group continued to record without any great success for the next couple of years. One of their last and best recordings was Last Cloud Home, a B side from 1969.

Artist:    James Gang
Title:    Ashes The Rain And I
Source:    CD: James Gang Rides Again
Writer(s):    Joe Walsh
Label:    MCA (original label: ABC)
Year:    1970
    For their second LP, James Gang Rides Again, the band decided to devote the entire second of the LP to some new acoustic tunes that guitarist Joe Walsh had been working on. The grand finale of the album was Ashes The Rain And I, a tune that embellishes Walsh's guitar and vocals with strings arranged by Jack Nitzsche.

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