Sunday, January 10, 2021

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2103 (starts 1/11/21)

 https://exchange.prx.org/pieces/353845-pe-2103

 
    This time around we have an artists' set from a band that only released six songs in their entire existence. Other than that, it's the usual mix of singles, B sides and LP tracks ranging from 1965 to 1969. Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

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.
        
Artist:    Nazz
Title:    Open My Eyes
Source:    CD: Nuggets-Classics From The Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Nazz)
Writer(s):    Todd Rundgren
Label:    Rhino (original label: SGC)
Year:    1968
    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 new solo version would become Rundgren's first major hit five years later).

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    Plastic Raincoats/Hung Up Minds
Source:    LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer(s):    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Country Joe McDonald's ears must have been burning when the first Ultimate Spinach album hit the stands. Indeed, many of Ian Bruce-Douglas's compositions, such as Plastic Raincoats/Hung Up Minds, sound as if they could have been written by McDonald himself. Still, it was the 1960s and jumping on the bandwagon was almost a way of life (witness the dozens of Mick Jagger soundalikes popping up across the country in the wake of the British Invasion), so perhaps Bruce-Douglas can be forgiven for at least trying to copy something a bit more current. Unfortunately, M-G-M Records decided to tout Ultimate Spinach as part of a "Boss-Town Sound" that never truly existed, further damaging the group's credibility, and after a second LP, Bruce-Douglas left the band, which, strangely enough, continued on without him for several years, albeit in an entirely different musical vein.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Paint It, Black
Source:    LP: Through The Past, Darkly (originally released on LP: Aftermath)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1966
    The 1966 Rolling Stones album Aftermath was the first to be made up entirely of songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The opening track of the LP, however, was not included on the British version of the album. That song, the iconic Paint It, Black, had already been released in the UK as a single, and would go on to become one of the Stones' defining recordings of the era.

Artist:     Blues Magoos
Title:     (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet
Source:     LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on LP: Psychedelic Lollipop)
Writer:     Esposito/Gilbert/Scala
Label:     Rhino (original label: Mercury)
Year:     1966
     The Blues Magoos (original spelling: Bloos, not surprising for a bunch of guys from the Bronx) were either the first or second band to use the word psychedelic in an album title. Both they and the 13th Floor Elevators released their debut albums in 1966 and it is unclear which one actually came out first. What's not in dispute is the fact that Psychedelic Lollipop far outsold The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. One major reason for this was the fact that (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet was a huge national hit in early 1967, which helped album sales considerably. Despite having a unique sound and a look to match (including electric suits), the Magoos were unable to duplicate the success of Nothin' Yet on subsequent releases, partially due to Mercury's pairing of two equally marketable songs on the band's next single without indicating to stations which one they were supposed to be playing.

Artist:     Mothers of Invention
Title:     Trouble Every Day
Source:     CD: Freak Out
Writer:     Frank Zappa
Label:     Ryko (originally released on Verve)
Year:     1966
     Trouble Every Day, originally released as the opening track of side three of the first Mothers Of Invention album, Freak Out! was clearly a personal favorite of Frank Zappa's, as he did not one, but two updated versions over the years and was still performing the song live well into the 1980s. The lyrics, while somewhat topical in that they were inspired by a specific event (the Watts riots) remain relevant today, perhaps in some ways even more than when they were originally written.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Tripmaker
Source:    LP: A Web Of Sound
Writer(s):    Tybalt/Hooper
Label:    GNP Crescendo
Year:    1966
    For some strange reason whenever I hear the song Tripmaker from the second Seeds album, A Web Of Sound, I am reminded of a track from the Smash Mouth album Astro Lounge. It doesn't take a genius to figure out which one came first.

Artist:    Ars Nova
Title:    March Of The Mad Duke's Circus
Source:    CD: Ars Nova
Writer(s):    Copeland/Day
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1968
    Ever notice how bands based in New York, NY don't seem to have a very long shelf life? Most of them end up being one-hit wonders, and the ones that did manage to stick around, like the Blues Magoos or the Velvet Underground, really only had one or two good albums. Another example is Ars Nova, who came to the attention of Elektra's Jac Holzman and were flown out to Los Angeles to record their debut LP with producer Paul Rothchild. By their own admission, the band wasn't quite ready to record an entire album in early 1968, and Rothchild brought in lyricist Gregory Copeland to work with the band's primary songwriter, rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Wyatt Day. One of the first songs the two of them worked on together was March Of The Mad Duke's Circus, which became the self-titled album's closing track. After a disastrous gig opening for the Doors, the original band split up, only to reform a few months later, recording an album for Atlantic before disbanding for good in 1969.

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:    Sly And The Family Stone
Title:    Underdog
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: A Whole New Thing)
Writer(s):    Sylvester Stewart
Label:    Rhino (original label: Epic)
Year:    1967
    Sly and the Family Stone were a showstopper at the Woodstock festival in 1969, but their story starts years before that historic performance. Sylvester Stewart was a popular DJ and record producer in mid-60s San Francisco, responsible for the first recordings of the Warlocks (later the Grateful Dead) and the Great! Society, among others. During that time he became acquainted with a wealth of talent, including bassist Larry Graham. In 1967, with Autumn Records having been sold to and closed down by Warner Brothers, he decided to form his own band. Anchored by Graham, Sly and the Family Stone's first LP, A Whole New Thing, was possibly the very first pure funk album ever released.

Artist:    Mystery Trend
Title:    Johnny Was A Good Boy
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (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. Contemporaries of bands such as the Great! Society and the Charlatans, the Trend always stood 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). Although they played in the city itself as early as 1965, they did not release their first 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 (without actually specifying what he did), surprising friends, family and neighbors. Despite being an excellent tune, the song was way too dark for top 40 radio in 1967, and the record sank like a stone.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Double Yellow Line
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Original Sound, stereo LP version released on Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
    One of the Original Sound singles that also appeared on the Warner Brothers LP Bonniwell Music Machine, Double Yellow Line features lyrics that were literally written by Bonniwell on the way to the recording studio. In fact, his inability to stay in his lane while driving with one hand and writing with the other resulted in a traffic ticket. The ever resourceful Bonniwell wrote the rest of the lyrics on the back of the ticket and even invited the officer in to watch the recording session. He declined.

Artist:    Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:    Incense And Peppermints
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Carter/Gilbert/Weitz/King
Label:    Rhino (original labels: All-American/Uni)
Year:    1967
    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 hated the new lyrics, and 16-year-old Greg Munford, a member of another local band called Shapes Of Sound, was hired 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.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Positively 4th Street
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of The Original Mono Recordings (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1965
    Recorded during the same 1965 sessions that produced the classic Highway 61 Revisited album, Positively 4th Street was deliberately held back for release as a single later that year. It would not appear on an LP until Dylan's first Greatest Hits album.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    All I Really Need Is You
Source:    Mono LP: Midnight Ride
Writer(s):    Lindsay/Revere
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    Paul Revere And The Raiders have gotten a bad rap over the years, mostly for dressing funny. During the mid-60s, however, with the British Invasion in full swing, an American band needed every gimmick it could think of, and the Raiders simply took advantage of their band leader's birth name and did the obvious. What's often overlooked, however, is the fact that Paul Revere And The Raiders, co-led by Revere and vocalist/saxophonist Mark Lindsay, were one of the best bands of their time, and the first  band from the Pacific Northwest to achieve continuous national chart success. The band members were prolific songwriters as well. In fact, of the twelve songs on their 1966 album Midnight Ride, ten were originals, including All I Really Need Is You, which leads off side two of the LP.

Artist:    Second Helping
Title:    Floating Downstream On An Inflatable Rubber Raft
Source:    Mono LP: Ain't It Hard (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Kenny Loggins
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Viva)
Year:    1968
    Among the handful of bands recording for Snuff Garrett's Viva label from 1966-68 was a group called the Second Helping. The band is best remembered as the support group for a teenaged Kenny Loggins, who wrote and sang all of the band's material, including Floating Downstream On An Inflatable Rubber Raft, which was released as a B side in 1967.

Artist:     Flock
Title:     Tired Of Waiting For You
Source:     German import LP: Underground '70 (originally released on LP: The Flock)
Writer:     Ray Davies
Label:     CBS (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 found the Mahavishnu Orchestra a couple years later.

Artist:    Harbinger Complex
Title:    Time To Kill
Source:    British import CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers
Writer(s):    Hockstaff/Hoyle
Label:    Big Beat (original US label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
    Harbinger Complex was formed as the Norsemen in 1963 by two guitarists, Ron Rotarius and Bob Hoyle III, who had been playing together since eighth grade in Fremont, California, a city located about five miles north of San Jose along the east side of San Francisco Bay. In 1965 Hoyle was called to active duty as a reservist in Vietnam; when he returned the following year he rejoined the band, which, led by Rotarius, had changed its name to Harbinger Complex. In addition to Rotarius, the group at that time included Gary Clark on bass, Jim Redding on drums and Chuck Tedford (who would leave the group before they made any recordings) on organ. And then there was the band's new frontman: Jim Hockstaff. Hockstaff was, by all accounts, a "chick magnet". In fact, Hockstaff had been banned from the campus of Freemont's Washington High School after several local girls had gotten pregnant. Hockstaff was also a talented songwriter who, together with Hoyle, wrote all of the band's original songs. In April of 1966, Harbinger Complex made its first trip to Golden State Recorders, where they recorded their first single, Sometimes I Wonder, which was released locally on the Amber label, paired with Tomorrow's Soul Sound. The band returned to Golden State a couple months later to cut some demos, at the same time that Mainstream Records owner Bob Shad was visiting the studio in search of local talent to sign to his Brent subsidiary label. Shad liked what he heard, and on August 12, 1966 he booked studio time for Harbinger Complex at L.A.'s United Studios. The band recorded four songs that day, two of which, I Think I'm Down and My Dear And Kind Sir, were released as a single on Brent that same month. The other two songs, including Time To Kill, were held back for release on a 1967 Mainstream sampler album called With Love-A Pot Of Flowers. The album included all four of the songs recorded at United, along with tracks from three other California bands that Shad had signed, two of which were also from the San Francisco Bay area. Following a drug bust, Hockstaff was asked to leave the band in early 1967. Although the group attempted to carry on with a new lead vocalist, by the end of the year Harbinger Complex had permanently disbanded.

Artist:    Harbinger Complex
Title:    Sometimes I Wonder
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Hockstaff/Hoyle
Label:    Rhino (original label: Amber)
Year:    1966
    The city of San Francisco had a well-documented music scene in the 1960s that brought bands like Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead and Santana to national prominence. Across the bay, however, was a more typical mid-60s scene centered around teen-oriented bands that would play high school dances, shopping center parking lots and of course participate in various "battle of the bands" competitions. Among the best of these was Fremont's Harbinger Complex. Formed in 1963 by guitarists Ron Rotarius and Bob Hoyle III, who had playing together since they were in the eighth grade, the group was first known as the Norsemen. When Hoyle was called to active duty in Vietnam in 1965 the band brought in vocalist Jim Hockstaff and soon changed its name to Harbinger Complex. Hoyle returned from 'Nam in 1966, and he and Hockstaff soon formed a writing partnership. The band's first single, Sometimes I Wonder, was recorded and released in April of 1966 on the local Amber label at around the same time that Harbinger Complex had one of their most high-profile gigs, opening for Paul Revere And The Raiders at Oakland Colisseum.
        
Artist:    Harbinger Complex
Title:    I Think I'm Down
Source:    Mono British import CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Hockstaff/Hoyle
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Brent)
Year:    1966
    Most garage/club bands never made it beyond a single or two for a relatively small independent label. Freemont, California's Harbinger Complex is a good example. The group was one of many that were signed by Bob Shad, owner of Mainstream Records and its various subsidiaries such as Time and Brent. The band had already released one single on the independent Amber label and were recording at Golden State Recorders in San Francisco when they were discovered by Shad, who signed them to Brent. The band's first single for the label was the British-influenced I Think I'm Down, which came out in 1966 and was included on Mainstream's 1967 showcase album With Love-A Pot Of Flowers.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Mind Gardens
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer:    David Crosby
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1967
    Mind Gardens is a perfect example of what songwriter David Crosby refers to as "one of those weird David Crosby songs". The song is a deliberate attempt at abandoning Western concepts such as chord progressions in favor of a more modal approach favored in Eastern composing. Roger McGuinn's backwards guitar perfectly compliments Crosby's esoteric lyrics and melody on this track from the Younger Than Yesterday album, the last LP to be completed with Crosby as a full member of the Byrds.

Artist:    Red Crayola
Title:    Pink Stainless Tail
Source:    Stereo British import 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Thompson/Cunningham/Barthelme
Label:    International Artists
Year:    1967 (single released 2011)
    Rock history is dotted with stories of bands who reputations exceeded their actual recorded output. One such band was Red Crayola, a Texas band who found themselves labelmates with the 13th Floor Elevators in 1967. Although the Red Crayola (who were forced to change their name to Red Krayola in 1968) were only together for a couple of years, their legend continued to grow throughout the punk/new wave era and indy rock movements of the late 20th century and beyond. Which brings us to this curious single issued in 2011. The songs themselves, including B side Pink Stainless Tail, were lifted from the first Red Crayola album, Parable Of Arable Land, and are even on the same label, International Artists...or are they? International Artists, a relatively small label owned by a group of Texas businessmen, ceased to exist in 1971, and this 2011 single is a British import. So what's the deal? Well, as it turns out, one of the original partners in International Artists was a guy named Lelan Rogers. In 1978 Rogers (perhaps with the help of his brother Kenny?) revived the label and reissued all twelve of the LPs that originally been released by the label. This was followed by various compilation albums, some of which included previously released material. By the early 2000s, the revived International Artists had become part of Britian's Charly Records, a company that specializes in archival material. Apparently the people at Charly felt there was enough interest in Red Crayola recordings to issue a yellow vinyl single 2011, with a newly remixed Hurrican Fighter Pilot on the A side and Pink Stainless Tail on the flip. As both these tracks overlap other stuff on the original LP, the single turns out to be a pretty good thing to have around.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Helter Skelter
Source:    CD: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Apple)
Year:    1968
    Possibly the most controversial song in the entire Beatles catalog, Helter Skelter was Paul McCartney's response to an article in a British trade paper about the Who's latest single, I Can See For Miles. The author of the article referred to the Who song as the heaviest song ever recorded, and McCartney, without benefit of having actually heard I Can See For Miles, decided to go the Who one better. The lyrics of song are innocent enough, as they describe the sensation of repeatedly riding a slide in a playground, yet were vague enough to be open to interpretation by one Charles Manson. It was Manson's use of the words "Helter Skelter" (painted in blood) in his campaign to incite a race war in the US that gave the song its initial notoriety; a notoriety that was cemented when it was used as a title of a book by Leo Buscaglia, the L.A. District Attorney who brought Manson's group to justice.

Artist:    Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title:    Fortunate Son
Source:    LP: Willy And The Poor Boys
Writer(s):    John Fogerty
Label:    Fantasy
Year:    1969
    John Fogerty says it only took him 20 minutes to write what has become one of the iconic antiwar songs of the late 1960s. But Fortunate Son is not so much a condemnation of war as it is an indictment of the political elite who send the less fortunate off to die in wars without any risk to themselves. In addition to being a major hit single upon its release in late 1969 (peaking at #3 as half of a double-A sided single), Fortunate Son has made several "best of" lists over the years, including Rolling Stone magazine's all-time top 100. Additionally, in 2014 the song was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Chauffeur Blues
Source:    LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer(s):    Lester Melrose (disputed, may have been Lizzie Douglas)
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    The Jefferson Airplane's original female vocalist was Signe Toly Anderson. Unlike Grace Slick, who basically shared lead vocals with founder Marty Balin, Anderson mostly functioned as a backup singer. The only Airplane recording to feature Anderson as a lead vocalist was Chauffeur Blues, a cover of an old Memphis Minnie tune that was included on the 1966 LP Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. The song was credited on the album's label to Lester Melrose, who produced the original Memphis Minnie version of the song. However, the original 1941 78 RPM label gives the songwriting credit to "Lawler", which is thought to be a misspelled reference to Minnie's husband, Ernest "Little Son Joe" Lawlars. It is now believed that Memphis Minnie, whose given name was Lizzie Douglas, was the actual writer of Chaffeur Blues, but that it was easier to get the song published under her husband's name.

Artist:    Bees
Title:    Voices Green And Purple
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the Psychedelic Era
Writer(s):    Wood/Willsie
Label:    Rhino (original label: Liverpool)
Year:    1966
    One of the shortest, as well as most demented, singles ever released, Voices Green And Purple recounts a bad acid trip in just over a minute and a half. The Bees themselves were an early indy punk band from LaVerne, California, an obscure L.A. suburb.

Artist:    Boots
Title:    Gaby
Source:    CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in West Germany as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Krabbe/Bresser
Label:    Rhino (original label: Telefunken)
Year:    1966
    Formed in Berlin in 1965, the Boots were one of the more adventurous bands operating on the European mainland. While most bands in Germany tended to emulate the Beatles, the Boots took a more underground approach, growing their hair out just a bit longer than their contemporaries and appealing to a more Bohemian type of crowd. Lead guitarist Jurg "Jockel" Schulte-Eckle was known for doing strange things to his guitar onstage using screwdrivers, beer bottles and the like to create previously unheard of sounds. On vinyl the band comes off as being just a bit ahead of its time, as can be heard clearly on the original group's final single, Gaby, a song written by singer Werner Krabbe and bassist Bob Bresser. Not long after Gaby's release, Krabbe left the band. Although the Boots continued on with various configurations until 1969, they were never able to recapture the magic generated by the original lineup.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    The Crystal Ship
Source:    LP: 13 (originally released on LP: The Doors)
Writer:    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Ever feel like you've discovered something really special that nobody else (among your circle of friends at any rate) knows about? At first you kind of want to keep it to yourself, but soon you find yourself compelled to share it with everyone you know. Such was the case when, in the early summer of 1967, I used my weekly allowance to buy copies of a couple of songs I had heard on the American Forces Network (AFN). As usual, it wasn't long before I was flipping the records over to hear what was on the B sides. I liked the first one well enough (a song by Buffalo Springfield called Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It, the B side of For What It's Worth), but it was the second one, the B side of the Doors' Light My Fire, that really got to me. To this day I consider The Crystal Ship to be one of the finest slow rock songs ever recorded.

Artist:    Vanilla Fudge
Title:    Take Me For A Little While/Eleanor Rigby
Source:    LP: Vanilla Fudge
Writer(s):    Martin/Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Atco
Year:    1967
    Vanilla Fudge made their mark by doing slowed down rocked out versions of popular songs such as the Supremes' You Keep Me Hangin' On. In fact, all of the tracks on their debut LP were songs of this nature, including two Beatles tunes. Side two of the original LP featured three tracks tied together by short psychedelic instrumental pieces knowns collectively as Illusions Of My Childhood. In addition to the aforementioned Supremes cover, the side features a Trade Martin composition called Take Me For A Little While that takes a diametrically opposed viewpoint to the first song, which leads directly into Eleanor Rigby, which sort of sums up both of the previous tracks lyrically. Although the Vanilla Fudge would stick around for a couple more years (and four more albums), they were never again able to match the commercial success of their 1967 debut LP.

Artist:    Love
Title:    She Comes In Colors
Source:    CD: Da Capo (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1966
    Arthur Lee's transition from angry punk (on songs like 7&7 Is and My Little Red Book) to a softer, more introspective kind of singer/songwriter was evident on Love's second LP, Da Capo. Although there were still some hard rockers, such as Stephanie Knows Who, the album also includes songs like She Comes In Colors, which was released ahead of the album as the band's third single in late 1966. The song was one of Lee's first to inspire critics to draw comparisons between Lee's vocal style and that of Johnny Mathis.

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