This time around we start with four consecutive progressions upward through the years before getting into an artist's set from the Animals and sets from 1967 and 1968. Oh, and there's a Turtles set in the somewhere, too.
Title: You I'll Be Following
Source: Mono LP: Love
Writer(s): Arthur Lee
When the Byrds decided to tour heavily to support their early hits Mr. Tambourine Man and Turn! Turn! Turn!, Arthur Lee's band Love was more than happy to fill the void left on the L.A. club scene. The group quickly established itself as the top band on the strip, a title it would hold until the scene itself had its plug pulled by the city in late 1966. From Lee's perspective, the secret to keeping that title was staying close to home, a policy that would prevent them from achieving any kind of major national success. Ironically, Love ultimately had their greatest success in the UK, where they managed to build an ever-growing following despite never having played there.
Title: Love Me Two Times
Source: 45 RPM single
Writer(s): The Doors
Although the second Doors album is sometimes dismissed as being chock full of tracks that didn't make the cut on the debut LP, the fact is that Strange Days contains some of the Doors best-known tunes. One of those is Love Me Two Times, which was the second single released from the album. The song continues to get heavy airplay on classic rock stations.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Prodigal Son
Source: CD: Beggar's Banquet
Writer(s): Robert Wilkins
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
The Rolling Stones always had a fondness for American roots music, but by 1967 had largely abandoned the genre in favor of more modern sounds such as pychedelia. The 1968 album Beggar's Banquet, however, marked a return to the band's own roots and included such tunes as Prodigal Son, which at first was credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. In reality the song was written by the Reverend Robert Wilkins, and has since been acknowledged as such.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Red House
Source: LP: Smash Hits
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
Year: Recorded 1966, released 1969
There were actually two different versions of Red House released by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, both of which came from the same December, 1966, sessions. The original version was included on the European pressing of the Are You Experienced album, which was issued in early 1967. The album was not originally available in stereo, and a true stereo mix of this version of Red House was never made, as the track was left off the remixed American version of the LP. In spring of 1967 the band attempted to get a better version of the song, but neither Hendrix or bassist Noel Redding (who had played the original bass part on a regular guitar with its tone controls set to mimic a bass guitar) were satisfied with the later versions. Only one portion of these new recordings was kept, and was combined with the original take to create a new stereo mix for the US version of the 1969 Smash Hits album. This newer mix was also used by MCA for both the 1993 CD reissue of Are You Experienced and the Ultimate Experience anthology.
Title: All Day And All Of The Night
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer: Ray Davies
Label: Eric (original label: Reprise)
Following up on their worldwide hit You Really Got Me, the Kinks proved that lightning could indeed strike twice with All Day And All Of The Night. Although there have been rumors over the years that the guitar solo on the track may have been played by studio guitarist Jimmy Page, reliable sources insist that it was solely the work of Dave Davies, who reportedly slashed his speakers to achieve the desired sound.
Title: Think For Yourself
Source: CD: Rubber Soul
Writer: George Harrison
Label: Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
By the end of 1965 George Harrison was writing two songs per Beatle album. On Rubber Soul, however, one of his two songs was deleted from the US version of the album and appeared on 1966's Yesterday...And Today LP instead. The remaining Harrison song on Rubber Soul was Think For Yourself. Harrison later said that he was still developing his songwriting skills at this point and that bandmate John Lennon had helped write Think For Yourself.
Artist: Mamas And The Papas
Title: Strange Young Girls
Source: CD: The Mamas And The Papas
Writer(s): John Phillips
Label: MCA (original label: Dunhill)
The Mamas And The Papas had their own little soap opera going in 1966 when it was discovered that Mama Michelle (who was married to Papa John) and Papa Denny were having an affair. Being the 60s Michelle, but not Denny, soon found herself kicked out of the group, to be replaced by Mama Jill, who was actually Producer Lou's girlfriend. Michelle had already recorded several tracks for the group's second album, and some of those got recorded over by Jill. A couple of months later, however, Michelle rejoined the band and ended up recording over some (but not all) of Jill's vocal tracks. At this late date, nobody seems to know for sure just whose vocals ended up on which tracks by the time the LP hit the racks, and it is even possible that all five singers can be heard on songs such as Strange Young Girls, which has some of the most complex harmonies ever recorded by the group.
Artist: Bee Gees
Title: To Love Somebody
Source: CD: Bee Gees 1st
Writer(s): Barry and Robin Gibb
Label: Reprise (original label: Atco)
Although the Bee Gees had already established themselves in their native Australia (and recorded a pair of LPs for local labels), they decided to make a fresh start in 1967 by moving to England and issuing an album called Bee Gees 1st. The album was an immediate success, containing no less than three major hits. Of these, the biggest by far was To Love Somebody, which made the charts all over the world, including the all important US market. It was the beginning of one of the most successful runs in the history of popular music.
Artist: Asylum Choir
Title: Indian Style
Source: Mono CD: Look Inside The Asylum Choir (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Label: Rev-Ola (original label: Smash)
Leon Russell and Marc Benno were both well-established on the Los Angeles studio scene when they decided to record an album called Look Inside The Asylum Choir in 1968, using several of their fellow studio musicians. Sporting a cover depicting a roll of toilet paper against a background of tiles with the likenesses of Russell and Benno, the album was a curious mix of psychedelia and novelty, with Indian Style (which was also released as a single) being a good example of the latter. Look Inside The Asylum Choir was not an immediate success, but was reissued with a new cover following Russell's emergence as a star in his own right in the early 1970s.
Artist: Bob Dylan
Title: Bob Dylan's 115th Dream
Source: Mono LP: Bringing It All Back Home
Writer(s): Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan presents a somewhat twisted parallel history of the United States on a six and a half minute long track called Bob Dylan's 115th Dream, from his 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home. The track itself starts off with a magical moment in which Dylan starts the song without realizing the rest of the band is deliberately doing nothing. After a bit of laughter he starts over and the band is right there with him. Fun stuff that is also about as compelling as it gets.
Title: Eight Miles High
Source: European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Fifth Dimension)
Label: Sony Music (original label: Columbia)
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 influential 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: Moby Grape
Title: Sitting By The Window
Source: LP: Moby Grape
Writer: Peter Lewis
Moby Grape's powerful 1967 debut managed to achieve what few bands have been able to: a coherent sound despite having wildly different writing styles from the individual members. One of guitarist Peter Lewis's contributions to the album was Sitting By The Window, one of those rare songs that sounds better every time you hear it.
Source: CD: Wheels Of Fire
Label: Polydor (original label: Atco)
Although the songwriting team of Jack Bruce and Pete Brown are best known for providing Cream with its more psychedelic songs such as White Room and Swlabr, they did occasionally come up with bluesier numbers such as Politician from the Wheels Of Fire album. The song quickly became a staple of Cream's live performances.
Title: The Trip
Source: Mono CD: Sunshine On The Mountain (originally released as 45 RPM B side and on LP: Sunshine Superman)
Writer: Donovan Leitch
Label: Sony (original label: Epic)
Donovan had already established a reputation in his native Scotland as the UK's answer to Bob Dylan, but had not had much success in the US, where his records were being released on the relatively poorly distributed Hickory label. That all changed in 1966, however, when he began to move beyond his folk roots and embrace a more electric sound. Unlike Dylan, who basically kept the same style as his acoustic songs, simply adding electic instruments, Donovan took a more holistic approach. The result was a body of music with a much broader range of sounds. The first of these new electric tunes was Sunshine Superman, sometimes cited as the first top 10 psychedelic hit. The B side of Sunshine Superman was a song called The Trip, which managed to be even more psychedelic than it's A side. Both songs soon appeared on Donovan's major US label debut, an album that was not even released in the UK due to a contractual dispute between the singer/songwriter and Pye Records.
Source: LP: The Who Sell Out
Writer(s): Pete Townshend
Starting in 1966, the Who wrote songs about things no other rock group had even considered writing songs about. Happy Jack, for instance, was about a guy who would hang out on the beach and let the local kids tease (but not faze) him. I'm A Boy was about a guy whose mother insisted on dressing him the same as his sisters. And I'm not even getting into the subject matter of Pictures Of Lily. The Who Sell Out, released in December of 1967, continued this trend with songs like Tattoo, about an adolescent and his brother who go out and get (without their parents' permission) their first tattoos. The song is accompanied by a jingle for Radio London, the most successful of the British pirate radio stations that operated from studios in London but utilized illegal transmitters floating on platforms off the coast (the BBC having a monopoly on broadcasting at the time).
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)
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: Pink Floyd
Source: CD: Relics (originally released in UK on LP: The Piper At the Gates of Dawn)
Writer: Syd Barrett
Label: Capitol (originally released on EMI/Columbia)
Due to an inherent cheapness in Tower Records' approach to pretty much everything, four songs were left off the US version of the first Pink Floyd album, The Piper At the Gates of Dawn, with the band's second UK single, See Emily Play, being inserted in their stead (shortening the album's running time by nearly ten minutes). Among the missing songs was Syd Barrett's Bike, which did not appear in the US until the early 70s, when the Relics compilation was released. All CD releases of Piper in the US have restored the original song lineup and running order.
Title: What Am I Living For
Source: Mono LP: Animalization
Throughout their existence the original Animals were known for their love of American Blues and R&B music. In fact, hit singles aside, almost everything they recorded was a cover of an R&B hit. Among the covers on their 1966 LP Animalism (released in the US as Animalization) was What Am I Living For, originally recorded by the legendary Chuck Willis. The original version was released shortly after Willis's death from cancer in 1958, and is considered a classic. The Animals, thanks in large part to their obvious respect and admiration for the song, actually managed to improve on the original (as was often the case with their cover songs).
Artist: Eric Burdon And The Animals
Title: Good Times
Source: 45 RPM single B side
By the end of the original Animals' run they were having greater chart success with their singles in the US than in their native UK. That trend continued with the formation of the "new" Animals in 1967 and their first single, When I Was Young. Shortly after the first LP by the band now known as Eric Burdon And The Animals came out, M-G-M decided to release the song San Franciscan Nights as a single to take advantage of the massive youth migration to the city that summer. Meanwhile the band's British label decided to instead issue Good Times, (an autobiographical song which was released in the US as the B side to San Franciscan Nights) as a single, and the band ended up with one of their biggest UK hits ever. Riding the wave of success of Good Times, San Franciscan Nights eventually did get released in the UK and was a hit there as well.
Title: I Put A Spell On You
Source: Mono LP: Animalization
Writer(s): Jay Hawkins
Sometimes you have to wonder if there was maybe just a little bit of spite and bitterness going on between Alan Price and Eric Burdon during the first six months of 1966. After all, before Burdon joined the band as lead vocalist in 1962, it was known as the Alan Price Rhythm And Blues Combo, but soon was rechristened the Animals. Over the next couple of years Burdon supplanted Price as the band's leader, both on and off stage, finally leading Price to leave the group in mid-1965 to form his own band, the Alan Price Combo. The second single released by Price was a cover of Screaming Jay Hawkins' I Put A Spell On You, released in March of 1966. At that same time, the Animals, with new keyboardist Dave Rowberry, were in the process of recording their third album, Animalisms, which would be released later that year in the US with a modified song lineup as Animalization. So is it just coincidence that the Animals included their own version of I Put A Spell On You on that album?
Artist: Fairport Convention
Title: Reno, Nevada
Source: Mono British import CD: Fairport Convention
Writer(s): Richard Farina
Year: Recorded 1968, released 2003
Most Americans who are familiar with Fairport Convention only know of the Sandy Denny version of the group that came into existence when Denny replaced Judy Dyble as the band's female vocalist. This change coincided with a shift from the San Francisco style improvisational folk-rock of the band's early days to a style more rooted in traditional English folk music. The original group only recorded one self-titled LP, released in the UK in 1968. As was often the case with debut albums, the group's improvisational skills were played down in favor of shorter, potentially more commercial, songs. This live recording of Richard Farina's Reno, Nevada, made on an April 27, 1968 appearance on a French TV show is a much better example of how Fairport Convention actually sounded in their early days.
Title: Shanghai Noodle Factory
Source: LP: Last Exit (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Label: Island (original US LP label: United Artists)
After Traffic split up (for the first time), Island Records decided to milk one more album out of one their most popular groups. To do so they took studio outtakes, singles that had not been included on previous albums, and even an entire side of live performances, issuing the entire package in 1969 under the title Last Exit. Shanghai Noodle Factory, a song that was recorded without the participation of guitarist Dave Mason, was originally released in late 1968 as the B side of the Medicated Goo single.
Title: By My Side
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in Australia as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): Heenan/van Berkel/Rowe/Fiorini
Label: Rhino (original label: In)
If the Easybeats were known as the "Australian Beatles", then, by all rights, the Elois (named after the race of pampered humans being bred for food in H.G. Wells's The Time Machine) should be called the "Australian Yardbirds". They certainly emulated their British heroes, even to the point of recording Bo Diddley's I'm A Man as their only single. They continued to channel the Yardbirds on the B side of that single, a self-composed tune called By My Side. The record was released on the obscure In label in 1967, but the Elois split up before they could record a followup.
Artist: Chocolate Watchband
Title: Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In) (originally released on LP: No Way Out and as 45 RPM single)
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk
Label: Rhino (original label: Tower)
It took me several years to sort out the convoluted truth behind the recorded works of San Jose, California's most popular local band, the Chocolate Watchband. While it's true that much of what was released under their name was in fact the work of studio musicians, there are a few tracks that are indeed the product of Dave Aguilar and company. Are You Gonna Be There, a song used in the cheapie teensploitation flick The Love-In and included on the Watchband's first album, is one of those few. Even more ironic is the fact that the song was co-written by Don Bennett, the studio vocalist whose voice was substituted for Aguilar's on a couple of other songs from the same album.
Artist: Blues Magoos
Title: Summer Is The Man
Source: CD: Kaleidoscopic Compendium (originally released on LP: Electric Comic Book)
Following up on their successful debut LP, Psychedelic Lollipop, the Blues Magoos released Electric Comic Book in March of 1967. Unfortunately the first single from the album had two equally strong songs, one of which was favored by the producers and the other by the band. Radio stations were unsure which song to push, and as a result, neither made the top 40. Most of the remaining tracks on the album were written by the band members, including Summer Is The Man, a song with an interesting chord structure, a catchy melody and somewhat existential lyrics.
Artist: Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title: Incense And Peppermints
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Label: Rhino (original labels: All-American/Uni)
Thee Sixpence was a Los Angeles band that released four singles on the local All-American label, owned by the band's producer/manager Bill Holmes, in 1966. None of those records were written by band members, however. In fact, the B sides of the first three were covers of songs that had been recently released on fellow L.A. band Love's first album. One of those singles, a song called Fortune Teller, backed by My Flash On You, had even been reissued on the Dot label for national distribution, but had not charted. For their fifth single, Thee Sixpence worked with a new producer, Frank Slay, on The Birdman Of Alkatrash, a tune written by the band's keyboardist, Mark Weitz. The song was recorded in early 1967, along with an instrumental by Weiss and guitarist Ed King that was intended for the record's B side. Slay, however, brought in professional songwriters Tim Gilbert and John Carter to write lyrics and a melody line for the song, which became Incense And Peppermints. The members of Thee Sixpence, however, hated the new lyrics, and 16-year-old Greg Munford, a member of another local band called Shapes Of Sound, was brought in to provide lead vocals for the tune. It was, after all, only a B side, right? Around this time, the band decided to change their name from the faux-British sounding Thee Sixpence to the more psychedelically-flavored Strawberry Alarm Clock. Whether The Birdman of Alkatrash was ever issued under the Thee Sixpence name is disputed (nobody seems to have actually seen a copy), but All-American most definitely released it as the first Strawberry Alarm Clock single in April of 1967. Somewhere along the line a DJ flipped the record over and started playing Incense And Peppermints instead. The song caught on and Uni Records (short for Universal, which is now the world's largest record company) picked up the Strawberry Alarm Clock's contract and reissued the record nationally with Incense And Peppermints as the A side in May of 1967. By the end of November, Incense And Peppermints had become Uni's first #1 hit record, making it, to my knowledge the only instance of a hit single being played, but not sung, by the artist of record (the reverse being a fairly common occurence). Although the Strawberry Alarm Clock was never able to duplicate the success of Incense And Peppermints, the band did end up releasing a total of twelve singles and four LPs before disbanding in 1971, Following the breakup guitarist Ed King became a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd (who had been the Strawberry Alarm Clock's opening band when they toured the south in 1970-71), and wrote the opening guitar riff of that band's first major hit, Sweet Home Alabama.
Title: The Story Of Rock And Roll
Source: CD: The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Harry Nilsson
Label: Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
Harry Nilsson was still an up and coming, but not yet arrived, young singer/songwriter when he penned The Story Of Rock And Roll. The Turtles, always in a struggle with their record label, White Whale, over whether to record their own material or rely on professional songwriters, were the first to record the tune, releasing it as a single in 1968. Although it was not a major hit, the song did set the stage for Nilsson's later successes.
Title: You Baby
Source: CD: 20 Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: You Baby)
Label: Rhino (original label: White Whale)
After first hitting the charts with their version of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe, the Turtles released yet another "angry young rebel" song, P.F. Sloan's Let Me Be. Realizing that they needed to vary their subject matter somewhat if they planned on having a career lasting longer than six months, the band formerly known as the Crossfires went with another Sloan tune, You Baby, for their first single of 1966. Although the music was in a similar style to Let Me Be, the lyrics, written by Steve Barri, were fairly typical of teen-oriented love songs of the era. The Turtles would continue to record songs from professional songwriters for single release for the remainder of their existence, with their original compositions showing up mostly as album tracks and B sides.
Artist: Turtles (recording as The Atomic Enchilada)
Title: The Last Thing I Remember
Source: CD: The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands
Writer(s): The Turtles
Label: Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
The Turtles hit their commercial peak in 1967 with their Happy Together album, which included two top 10 singles. Later that year they scored two more top 20 hits. By 1968, however, things were starting the change. Neither of their two non-album singles that year were able to crack the top 40, and the band itself was feeling creatively stifled by the pressure from their record label (which had no commercially viable acts other than the Turtles) to record "another Happy Together". Instead, they went the opposite direction, writing and producing a set of psychedelic tunes which were, or course, rejected by the label. Not long after that the band was reunited with producer Chip Douglas, who had briefly played bass for the Turtles before being persuaded to help the Monkees make the transition from a studio creation to an actual band. Working with Douglas, the Turtles came up with a concept album called The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands. Each song on the LP was produced and performed as if it were by an entirely different group. For example, The Last Thing I Remember (a reworking of one of their self-produced tracks) was credited to The Atomic Enchilada. As it turned out, the album contained the last two Turtles songs to make the top 10, and by 1970 the group, tired of the constant fights with their label, chose to disband.
Artist: Beacon Street Union
Title: Green Destroys The Gold
Source: British import CD: The Eyes of the Beacon Street Union/The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens
Writer: Wayne Ulaky
Label: See For Miles (original label: M-G-M)
The Beacon Street Union found itself handicapped by being signed to M-G-M and being promoted as part of the "boss-town sound." The problem was that there was no "boss-town sound", any more than there was a San Francisco sound or an L.A sound (there is a Long Island Sound, but that has nothing to do with music). In fact, the only legitimate "sound" of the time was the "Motown Sound", and that was confined to a single record company that achieved a consistent sound through the use of the same studio musicians on virtually every recording. What made the situation even more ironic for the Beacon Street Union was that by the time their first LP came out they had relocated to New York City anyway. If there is a New York sound, it has more to do with traffic than music. None of which has anything to do specifically with the song Green Destroys The Gold, which was written by the band's bass player, Wayne Ulaky, and included on their debut album The Eyes of the Beacon Street Union.
Title: Open My Eyes
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Nazz)
Writer: Todd Rundgren
Label: Rhino (original label: SGC)
Nazz was a band from Philadelphia who were basically the victims of their own bad timing. 1968 was the year that progressive FM radio began to get recognition as a viable format while top 40 radio was being dominated by bubble gum pop bands such as the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Ohio Express. Nazz, on the other hand, sounded more like British bands such as the Move and Brian Augur's Trinity that were performing well on the UK charts but were unable to buy a hit in the US. The band had plenty of talent, most notably guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Todd Rundgren, who would go on to establish a successful career, both as an artist (he played all the instruments on his Something/Anything LP and led the band Utopia) and a producer (Grand Funk's We're An American Band, among others). Open My Eyes was originally issued as the A side of a single, but ended up being eclipsed in popularity by its flip side, a song called Hello It's Me, that ended up getting airplay in Boston and other cities, eventually hitting the Canadian charts (a newly recorded version would become a solo hit for Rundgren five years later).
Artist: Jethro Tull
Source: CD: This Was
Finishing out the show this week we have a one-minute piece from the first Jethro Tull album. It was probably just a short warm-up jam (or possibly a break song) that the band decided to include at the end of the album.