Sunday, September 17, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2338 (starts 9/18/23)

    This we week feature an all 21st century edition of Advanced Psych, along with five vintage tracks that have never been played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era before, two of them part of a set of obscure recordings from 1968. And as always we also have plenty of regional and national hits, B sides and album tracks as well. We start with one that was both a B side and an album track from 1967...

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Tales Of Brave Ulysses
Source:    LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s):    Clapton/Sharp
Label:    RSO (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Cream was one of the first bands to break British tradition and release singles that were also available as album cuts. This tradition likely came about because 45 RPM records (both singles and extended play 45s) tended to stay in print indefinitely in the UK, unlike in the US, where a hit single usually had a shelf life of around 4-6 months then disappeared forever. When the Disraeli Gears album was released, however, the song Strange Brew, which leads off the LP, was released in Europe as a single. The B side of that single was Tales Of Brave Ulysses, which opens side two of the album. The track is notable for being the first song on which Eric Clapton uses a wah-wah pedal.

Artist:    Third Bardo
Title:    I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Evans/Pike
Label:    Rhino (original label: Roulette)
Year:    1967
    The Third Bardo (the name coming from the Tibetan Book of the Dead) only released one single, but I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time has become, over a period of time, one of the most sought-after records of the psychedelic era. Not much is known of this New York band made up of Jeffrey Moon (vocals), Bruce Ginsberg (drums), Ricky Goldclang (lead guitar), Damian Kelly (bass) and Richy Seslowe (guitar).

Artist:     Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:     Down On Me
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     Trad. Arr. Joplin
Label:     Mainstream
Year:     1967
     Big Brother And The Holding Company's first album, featuring the single Down On Me, was recorded in 1967 at the studios of Mainstream Records, a medium-sized Chicago label known for its jazz recordings. At the time, Mainstream's engineers had no experience with a rock band, particularly a loud one like Big Brother, and vainly attempted to clean up the band's sound as best they could. The result was an album full of relatively sterile recordings sucked dry of the energy that made Big Brother and the Holding Company one of the top live attractions of the San Francisco Bay Area. Probably the stongest track on the album was lead vocalist Janis Joplin's arrangement of Down On Me, a "freedom song" dating back at least to the 1920s that Mainstream issued as a single during the Summer of Love. A hit in San Francisco, the song almost made the national top 40 charts, peaking at #42.

Artist:    Fallen Angels
Title:    Mother's Homesick Too
Source:    British import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released in US on LP: Fallen Angels)
Writer(s):    Decker/Meier
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Roulette)
Year:    1967
    Washington, DC, was home to the Fallen Angels, an off-the-wall band that evolved from another DC band, the Mad Hatters, in 1965. Descrbing themselves as "ravenous mimics with a penchant for political satire", the Angels began their recording career with an indie single and a pair of 45s for the Laurie label before signing with the then-powerful Roulette label in 1967. Their self-titled debut LP, including the song Mother's Homesick Too, hit the racks in 1967. After their second album, It's A Long Way Down, failed to make a commercial impression, the group disbanded in 1969, only to reunite for a third album, Rain Of Fire, nearly 30 years later.

Artist:    Bee Gees
Title:    Horizontal
Source:    LP: Horizontal
Writer(s):    Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb
Label:    Atco
Year:    1968
    Following the release of Bee Gees 1st (actually their third album, but their debut international release), the Gibb brothers immediately got to work writing a whole new batch of songs. Many of these ended up being released as either singles or B sides, while others ended up on their 1968 LP Horizontal. The album itself was much heavier and darker in tone than their previous or later work. Robin Gibb called the title track, which closes out the album: "the end of sorrow, the end of bad stuff.", adding that "It does have a positive message somewhere in there."

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Because
Source:    CD: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1969
    Take Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Turn a few notes around, add some variations and write some lyrics. Add the Beatles' unmistakeable multi-part harmonies and you have John Lennon's Because, from the Abbey Road album. A simply beautiful recording.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Space Child/When I Touch You
Source:    CD: Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus
Writer(s):    Locke/Ferguson
Label:    Epic/Legacy
Year:    1970
    Spirit keyboardist John Locke used a combination of piano, organ and synthesizers (then a still-new technology) to set the mood for the entire Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus recording sessions with his instrumental piece Space Child. The tune starts with a rolling piano riff that gives bassist Mark Andes a rare opportunity to carry the melody line before switching to a jazzier tempo that manages to seamlessly transition from a waltz tempo to straight time without anyone noticing. After a short reprise of the tune's opening riff the track segues into Jay Ferguson's When I Touch You, a song that manages to be light and heavy at the same time.

Artist:    Portraits
Title:    It Had To Be You
Source:    Mono CD: A Deadly Dose Of Wild Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Watson/Rakozich
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Nike)
Year:    1968
    Apparently there have been several bands calling themselves the Portraits over the years, including at least two in the Milwaukee area. This particular Portraits recorded only one single, It Had To Be You, in 1968. Reportedly there were only 100 copies of the tune pressed on the small Nike label.
Artist:    Kinks
Title:    You Really Got Me
Source:    Canadian import CD: 25 Years-The Ultimate Collection (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Polygram/Polytel (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1964
    You Really Got Me has been described as the first hard rock song and the track that invented heavy metal. You'll get no argument from me on either of those.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    As Tears Go By
Source:    Mono: Big Hits (High Tide And Green Grass) (originally released on LP: December's Children [And Everybody's] and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards/Oldham
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1965
            As Tears Go By is sometimes referred to as the Rolling Stones' answer to the Beatles' Yesterday. The problem with this theory, however, is that As Tears Go By was written a year before Yesterday was released, and in fact was a top 10 UK single for Marianne Faithful in 1964. The story of the song's genesis is that producer/manager Andrew Oldham locked Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in the kitchen until they came up with an original song. The original title was As Time Goes By, but, not wanting anyone to confuse it with the famous song used in the film Casablanca, Oldham changed Time to Tears, and got a writing credit for his trouble. Since the Stones were not at that time known for soft ballads, Oldham gave the song to Marianne Faithful, launching a successful recording career for the singer in 1964. The following year the Stones included their own version of the song on the album December's Children (And Everybody's), using a string arrangement that may indeed have been inspired by the Beatles' Yesterday, which was holding down the # 1 spot on the charts at the time the Rolling Stones were recording As Tears Go By. After American disc jockeys began playing As Tears Go By as an album track, London Records released the song as a US-only single, which ended up making the top 10 in 1965.
Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    Sometimes I Think About
Source:    LP: Psychedelic Lollipop
Writer(s):    Gilbert/Scala/Theilheim/Esposito
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1966
    Although it sounds like it could have been a remake of an old blues tune, Sometimes I Think About is actually a Blues Magoos original. The song, from their debut Psychedelic Lollipop album, is slow and moody, yet actually rocks out pretty hard, a pattern that would become somewhat of a hard rock cliche in the 1970s (think Grand Funk Railroad's Heartbreaker).

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Point Me At The Sky
Source:    Mono CD: Cre/Ation-The Early Years 1967-1972 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Waters/Gilmour
Label:    Pink Floyd Records (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    During their early years Pink Floyd, like other English groups, released several songs on 7" 45 RPM singles that were not included on their LPs. Once those singles went out of print many of them were next to impossible to find. Some of them were included in the Relics compilation album, released in 1971, but most of them did not become available again until 1992, when they were included on a CD called The Early Singles (unfortunately for the budget collector, The Early Singles was only available as a bonus disc in the Shine On box set). Perhaps the rarest of all these recordings was Point Me At The Sky. Released in 1968, it would be the last single released by the band in their native UK for almost 10 years. Its first appearance in the US was a fake stereo version included on a promotional album called A Harvest Sampler that was, to my knowledge, only sent out to radio stations in 1978. Point Me At The Sky was included in yet another box set in 2016, this one a massive seven volume, 33 disc collection called The Early Years 1965-1972. Luckily, the song, in its original mono mix, was included on a two-disc sampler taken from the larger set called Cre/Ation-The Early Years 1967-1972. The song itself, a rare collaboration between Roger Waters and David Gilmour, features Gilmour on lead vocals, with Waters joining him on the bridge.

Artist:    Harumi
Title:    We Love
Source:    Mono LP: Harumi
Writer(s):    Harumi
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1968
    When it comes to obscurity, the album Harumi scores on multiple fronts. Virtually nothing is known about this Japanese-born artist other than the fact that sometime in the mid-60s he relocated to New York and managed to get a contract with Verve Forecast records, where he recorded this self-titled double LP with producer Tom Wilson. As to the music itself, it is perhaps best described by reviewer Thom Jurek of "there is nothing at all like this record in the known universe." A listen to We Love may well confirm that statement.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring
Source:    CD: Traffic
Writer(s):    Winwood/Capaldi/Wood
Label:    Island (original US label: United Artists)
Year:    1968
    Of the ten songs on Traffic's self-titled second album, half were Dave Mason compositions that he sung himself, while the remaining five were credited to the team of Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi. At least that was the way things stood when the LP was first released. On later issues of the album, however, flautist/saxophonist Chris Wood was credited as co-writer of Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring. A check of the records of BMI, the licensing organization for broadcast rights, shows that Wood had been considered one of the writers all along, even though he didn't actually play on the recording.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Just Like Me
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets vol. 8-The Northwest (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dey/Brown
Label:    Rhino (original 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, which was actually a cover of a song first recorded by another Pacific Northwest band, the Wilde Knights, 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:    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 ("She comes around here" in place of "She comes up to my room") and thus avoided the mass radio bannings that had derailed the original Them version of the song. 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 real life practicioner.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Jericho
Source:    CD: Headquarters (bonus track)
Writer(s):    traditional
Label:    Rhino
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1995
    The members of the Monkees were truly enjoying themselves when they recorded the album Headquarters in early 1967. Most of the album's tracks had been laid down by late March, when this bit of studio banter between Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork and producer Chip Douglas followed by an impromptu a capella rendition of Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho was recorded.

Artist:    Audience
Title:    Nancy
Source:    CD: The House On The Hill
Writer(s):    Werth/Williams/Connor
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 Nancy 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. The original band made only one more album before disbanding in 1972, but reformed 32 years later with a different drummer.

Artist:    Country Joe McDonald
Title:    Daughter Of England
Source:    CD: 50
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Rag Baby
Year:    2017
    Country Joe McDonald's 2017 album, 50, has been described as "a contemporary survey of current topics". That label certainly applies to Daughter Of England, a song about the current state of affairs in what was once the crown jewel of the British colonial empire and has now become the most powerful (and some say most dangerous) nation on Earth.

Artist:    Sugar Candy Mountain
Title:    Tired   
Source:    LP: 666
Writer(s):    Reiter/Halsey
Label:    People In A Position To Know
Year:    2016
    It's easy to read something into both the band name and album title of the 2016 release 666 by Sugar Candy Mountain. It's better, however, to not do any of that and instead simply listen to any of the album's 10 tracks for what they are: good music. Sugar Candy Mountain was officially formed on 2011 by guitarist/vocalist Ash Reiter and multi-instrumentalist Will Halsey, natives of Oakland, California who relocated to Joshua Tree not long after the band was formed. They are joined on Tired, the closing track of the albums's first side, by guitarist Bryant Denison and keyboardist Jason Quever (who also mixed the album).

Artist:    Sleep City Devils
Title:    Creatures
Source:    Independently released by Ivan Perelli
Writer(s):    Ivan Perilli
Label:    none
Year:    2021
    As a result of our ongoing efforts to find new artists to feature on our occasional Advanced Psych segment, I was contacted by Ivan Perilli, who pointed me to non-compressed versions of several tracks from his latest project, Sleep City Devils, including the tune called Creatures. Billed as "an experimental thing", Sleep City Devils (1 band, 3 imaginary musicians, 4 songs) is the latest in a series of projects that also includes Happy Graveyard Orchestra and Banana Planets. According to Perilli's website, he also "just plays the bass" with Djoolio.

Artist:    Beacon Street Union
Title:    The Prophet
Source:    LP: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union
Writer(s):    Ulaky/Wright
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    The Beacon Street Union had already relocated to New York from their native Boston by the time their first LP, The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union, appeared in early 1968. Unfortunately, they were grouped together with other Boston bands such as Ultimate Spinach by M-G-M Records as part of a fictional "Boss-Town Sound", which ultimately hurt the band's chances far more than it helped them. The album itself is actually one of the better psychedelic albums of the time, with tracks like The Prophet, which closes out side two of the original LP, combining somewhat esoteric music and lyrics effectively.

Artist:      Blue Cheer
Title:     Summertime Blues
Source:      Mono LP: Vincebus Eruptum
Writer(s):    Cochrane/Capehart
Label:    Philips
Year:     1968
     European electronics giant Philips had its own record label in the 1960s. In the US, the label was distributed by Mercury Records, and was known primarily for a long string of hits by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. In 1968 the label surprised everyone by signing the loudest band in San Francisco, Blue Cheer. Their cover of the 50s Eddie Cochrane hit Summertime Blues was all over both the AM and FM airwaves that summer.

Artist:    Orange Wedge
Title:    From The Womb To The Tomb
Source:    Mono CD: An Overdose Of Heavy Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    L.S.P.
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Blue Flat Owsley Memorial)
Year:    1968
    Recorded in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1968, From The Womb To The Tomb was the B side of the only single from Orange Wedge, a forerunner of more famous Michigan bands such as the Stooges and the MC5.

Artist:    Love
Title:    The Castle
Source:    German import CD: Da Capo
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1966
    Considering that both of their first two LPs had cover photos taken against the backdrop of Bela Lugosi's former residence in the Hollywood Hills (known as Dracula's Castle), it is perhaps inevitable that Love would have a track called The Castle on one of these albums. Sure enough, one can be found near the end of the first side of 1967's Da Capo, an album that was all but buried by the attention being given to the debut LP of Love's new labelmates, the Doors, which came out around the same time. The song itself is an indication of the direction that band was moving in, away from the straight folk/garage-rock of their first LP toward the more sophiscated sound of Forever Changes, which would be released later the same year.

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    Dark Side Of The Mushroom
Source:    CD: No Way Out
Writer(s):    Cooper/Podolor
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    Just who played on Dark Side Of The Mushroom is lost to history. What is certain, however, is that it is not the Chocolate Watchband, despite its inclusion on that band's debut LP. Producer Ed Cobb apparently had his own agenda when it came to the Watchband, which included making them sound much more psychedelic on vinyl than when they performed onstage (in fact it is doubtful that Cobb ever actually attended any of the band's live gigs). To accomplish his goal, Cobb enlisted the help of songwriter/musician/studio owner Richie Podolor, who would later go on to produce Three Dog Night's records. Podolor put together the group of anonymous studio musicians that recorded Dark Side Of The Mushroom, which, despite its shady background, is a decent slice of instrumental psychedelia.

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    Jack O' Diamonds
Source:    British import CD: Fairport Convention
Writer(s):    Dylan/Carruthers
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1968
    The recording history of the premier English folk-rock band, Fairport Convention, can be more than a little confusing. A large part of the problem was caused by A&M Records, who had the rights to release the band's material in the US, starting with the band's second LP. Rather than go with the original album title, What We Did On Our Holidays, A&M retitled the album Fairport Convention, releasing it in 1970. The problem is that the band's first album, released in the UK on Polydor in 1968, was also titled Fairport Convention. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the lineup on the 1968 Polydor LP differs from that of every other Fairport album, most notably in the absence of the band's most visible member, vocalist Sandy Denny. Fairport Convention (the band) was formed in 1967, and was consciously following in the footsteps of Jefferson Airplane, albeit from a British perspective. Like the Airplane, the original Fairport lineup had a wealth of talent, including Martin Lamble on drums and violin, Simon Nicol on guitars, Judy Dyble on autoharp, recorder and piano, Richard Thompson on guitar and mandolin, Ashley Hutchings (then known as Tyger Hutchings) on bass and Ian MacDonald (who later became known as Ian Matthews), who shared lead vocals with Dyble. Musically the band was far more rock-oriented than on later LPs, as can be heard on tracks like Jack Of Diamonds, a song that the band credited to Bob Dylan and Ben Carruthers. This can be attributed, at least in part, to a general disdain among the youth of Britain for the traditional English folk music that was taught to every schoolchild in the country (whether they wanted it or not). Later albums would find Fairport Convention doing more and more traditional folk, eventually becoming the world's most popular practicioners of the art, although they never entirely abandoned their rock roots.

Artist:    Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title:    Green River
Source:    LP: Chronicle (originally released on LP: Green River and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    John Fogerty
Label:    Fantasy
Year:    1969
    In 1969 I was living in Germany (on Ramstein AFB, where my father, a career NCO, was stationed), where the choices for radio listening consisted of Radio Luxembourg, which only came in after dark and faded in and out constantly, the American Forces Network (AFN), which had a limited amount of music programming, most of which was targeted to an older demographic, and an assortment of German language stations playing ethnic and classical music. As a result, I didn't listen much to the radio, instead relying on word of mouth from my fellow high school students and hearing songs played on the jukebox at the Ramstein teen club on base. Both Proud Mary and Bad Moon Rising had completely slipped under my radar, in fact, so Green River was the first Creedence Clearwater Revival song I was even aware of. I immediately went out and bought a copy of the single at the BX, and soon had my band covering the record's B side, Commotion. I'm afraid Green River itself was beyond our abilities, however. Nonetheless, I still think of that "garage" band I was in (actually, since we all lived in apartment buildings, we had to practice in the basement of one of them rather than an actual garage) whenever I hear Green River.
Artist:    Mountain
Title:    Never In My Life
Source:    LP: Climbing
Writer(s):    West/Pappalardi/Collins/Laing
Label:    Windfall
Year:    1970
    Leslie West started his career as lead guitarist for the Vagrants, releasing a cover of Otis Redding's Respect nearly simultaneously with Aretha Franklin's version. His first solo LP, entitled Mountain, included former Cream producer Felix Pappalardi on bass and keyboards and led directly to the formation of the band Mountain, which gained instant popularity at the Woodstock festival in 1969. The first "official" Mountain album by the power trio of West, Pappalardi and drummer Corky Laing starts off with three outstanding songs, the third of which is Never In My Life.
Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)
Source:    LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme
Writer:    Paul Simon
Label:    Sundazed/Columbia
Year:    1966
    One of Simon And Garfunkel's most popular songs, The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) originally appeared on their 1966 LP Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme. The recording was never, however, released as a single by the duo (although it did appear as a 1967 B side) probably because, at 1:37, it was considered too short for top 40 airplay. When Columbia released a greatest hits compilation album (after the duo had split up), a live acoustic version of the song was included on the album. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) did make the top 40 in 1967, when it was recorded by Harper's Bizarre, a group featuring future Doobie Brothers and Van Halen producer Ted Templeman on lead vocals.

Artist:    Circus
Title:    Yes Is A Pleasant Country
Source:    CD: Think I'm Going Weird
Writer(s):    Mel Collins
Label:    Grapefruit
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 2021
    Formed around 1961 in Guildford, Surrey, England, the Stormsville Shakers were rooted in late 1950s American rock 'n' roll, and made their first recordings as the backup band for Larry Williams, who was touring the UK with Johnny "Guitar" Watson in 1965 (many early rock 'n' roll artists found it less expensive to perform backed by local bands rather than take an entire entourage on tour with them, especially overseas). By 1967, however, they had shifted their focus to psychedelia, changing their name to Circus and trading in saxophones for flutes. Although they only released two singles as Circus, they did record a handful of demo tapes, including Yes Is A Pleasant Country, written by bandmember Mel Collins, who would later go on the become a member of King Crimson (and is probably best known for his saxophone solo on the Rolling Stones song Miss You).

Artist:    Arlo Guthrie
Title:    Motorcycle Song (Significance Of The Pickle)
Source:    The Best Of Arlo Guthrie
Writer(s):    Arlo Guthrie
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1968?
    To be honest, I am not sure when this particular recording was made. Arlo Guthrie originally recorded the Motorcycle Song for his 1967 debut album, Alice's Restaurant. The first live recording of the song was released the following year on the LP Arlo. However, his reference to having been performing the song for twelve years makes me think this is a mid-seventies performance. It's even possible that the greatest hits album, issued in 1977, was the first time this recording was released.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2338 (start 9/18/23)

    A whole lot of shorter tracks this time around. In fact, only two exceed the five-minute mark, a new record for Rockin' in the Days of Confusion. Among this week's fifteen tunes are eight that have never been played on the show before, plus two more that are different versions of songs than those previously featured.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Footstompin' Music
Source:    CD: Heavy Hitters (originally released on LP: E Pluribus Funk)
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1971
    By late 1971 tensions between the members of Grand Funk Railroad and their manager/producer Terry Knight were coming to a head. Somehow, though, they managed to put together one last album before the band fired Knight, leading to a protracted legal battle that ultimately saw Knight getting exclusive rights to all Grand Funk Railroad recordings made before 1972. The album itself, E Pluribus Funk, only took a week to record, and is best known for the fact that the album cover itself was round rather than square, and was designed to look like a huge silver coin, with the faces of the three band members on the front cover and Shea Stadium, where the band had recently broken the Beatles' record by selling out all the seats in just 72 hours, on the flip side.
Even though Grand Funk Railroad was known primarily as a live act first and album-oriented rock band second, all but one of the songs on E Plurubus Funk were released on 45 RPM vinyl as well, although only the album's opening track, Footstompin' Music, was able to crack the top 40.

Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Blind Eye
Source:    CD: Wishbone Ash
Writer(s):    Turner/Turner/Powell/Upton
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1970
    One of the first bands to feature two lead guitarists working in tandem, Wishbone Ash rose to fame as the opening act for Deep Purple in early 1970. After guitarist Andy Powell sat in with Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore during a sound check, Blackmore referred Wishbone Ash to MCA, the parent company of the US Decca label. The band's first LP came out in December of 1970, with Blind Eye becoming the band's first single. Although Wishbone Ash went on to become one of Britain's top rock bands of the 1970s, they were never as successful in the US, despite relocating to the states in 1973.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Strange Kind Of Woman
Source:    CD: The Very Best Of Deep Purple (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single and in US on LP: Fireball)
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Archives/Rhino (original US label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1971
    Strange Kind Of Woman was a top 10 hit when it was released as a single in the UK in 1971. Although it was also released in the US, the single got virtually no top 40 airplay and failed to chart. It was, however, included on the US version of the album Fireball, which in turn led to plenty of airplay on FM rock radio, making it one of Deep Purple's most recognizable tunes.

Artist:    Firesign Theatre
Title:    Live From The Senate Bar (If You Call That Living)
Source:    LP: Dear Friends
Writer(s):    Proctor/Bergman/Austin/Ossman
Label:    Columbia
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 1972
    From September of 1970 to February 1971 the Firesign Theatre produced a weekly syndicated radio series called Dear Friends. In 1972 the foursome collected what they considered the best bits from the shows and released them as the double-LP Dear Friends. The political parody Live From The Senate Bar (If You Call That Living) came from the show dated October 4, 1970.

Artist:    Kak
Title:    Bryte 'N' Clear Day
Source:    British import CD: Kak-Ola (originally released on LP: Kak)
Writer(s):    Yoder/Grelecki
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Epic)
Year:    1969
    The origins of the band called Kak are a bit on the strange side. Gary Lee Yoder's popular Oxford Circle had just broken up when a guy named Gary Grelecki walked up to the singer/songwriter/guitarist and introduced himself, telling him how much he liked the Oxford Circle and adding that he could get him a record deal with CBS. Yoder, somewhat naively, gave Grelecki his phone number, and a couple months later received a call from Grelecki saying he had landed him a contract with the Epic label. Yoder, not quite knowing whether the offer was for real or not, nonetheless recruited his former bandmate Dehner Patton to play lead guitar. Patton, in turn, brought in percussionist Chris Lockheed, who already knew Yoder from doing some TV production work. In early 1968 they recruited drummer Joe-Dave Damrell, and Kak was born (the name coming from college professor Dan Phillips, who had come up with the concept of Kak as being something like a joker in a deck of cards that could mean anything you want it to. Around this time Yoder learned that Grelecki's father was in the CIA, and actually did have contacts at Columbia Records, using record distribution outlets in the Far East as fronts for various covert activities. The new band got to work on their debut LP, releasing it in 1969. Yoder wrote all the band's material, mostly by himself, but sometimes in collaboration with Grelecki on songs such as Bryte 'N' Clear Day, a tune that sounds like it could have come from a 70s Texas boogie band like ZZ Top.

Artist:    Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers
Title:    Astral Plane
Source:    CD: The Best Of Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers (The Beserkley Years) (originally released on LP: Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers)
Writer(s):    Jonathan Richman
Label:    Rhino (original label: Beserkley)
Year:    Recorded 1972, released 1976
    In April of 1972 20-year-old Jonathan Richman and his band, the Modern Lovers, made a trip to Los Angeles to record a demo tape with producer John Cale (formerly of Velvet Underground). The tape sat on a shelf for several years as the band went through both artistic and personnel changes, finally surfacing (along with a few tracks recorded with different producers) in 1976 as an album called The Modern Lovers on Matthew "King" Kaufman's new Beserkley label. By then Richman had changed his style considerably and did not acknowledge The Modern Lovers as his first LP. Nonetheless, the album, featuring tracks like Astral Plane, was a critical success and has been cited as an influence by punk rock bands such as the Sex Pistols.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Live With Me
Source:    LP: Let It Bleed
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1969
    Quick quiz time: What was the first song Mick Taylor recorded as a member of the Rolling Stones? If you answered Honky Tonk Women you would be close, but not quite right. The actual answer is Live With Me, a track that appeared on the LP Let It Bleed seven months after it was recorded. The song's lyrics were cited as the reason that the London Bach Choir asked not to be credited for their vocals on You Can't Always Get What You Want from the same album. 

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Bluebird
Source:    British import LP: The New Age Of Atlantic (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atlantic (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    When it comes right down to it Buffalo Springfield has one of the highest ratios of songs recorded to songs played on the radio of any band in history, especially if you only count the two albums worth of material that was released while the band was still active. This is probably because Buffalo Springfield had more raw songwriting talent than just about any two other bands. Although Neil Young was just starting to hit his stride as a songwriter, bandmate Stephen Stills was already at an early peak, as songs like Bluebird clearly demonstrate.

Artist:    Jeff Beck
Title:    You Shook Me
Source:    CD: Truth
Writer(s):    Willie Dixon
Label:    Epic/Legacy
Year:    1968
    Led Zeppelin has often been accused of stealing riffs, lyrics and sometimes entire songs from other artists. After hearing Jeff Beck's 1968 recording of Willie Dixon's You Shook Me, from the album Truth with Rod Stewart on vocals, you can add arrangements to the list.

Artist:     Janis Joplin
Title:     Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)
Source:     LP: Super Rock (originally released on LP: I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama)
Writer:     Ragavoy/Taylor
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1969
     A glance through the various playlists on this blog makes one thing abundantly clear: the psychedelic era was a time for bands, as opposed to individual stars. The music industry itself, however, tends to favor the single artist. Perhaps this is because it is easier to market (cynics would say exploit) an individual artist than a collective of musicians. In the case of Janis Joplin, people in the industry managed to convince her that her fellow members of Big Brother and the Holding Company were holding her back due to their lack of musicianship. A listen to her first album without her old bandmates puts the lie to that argument. Although the Kozmic Blues Band may indeed have had greater expertise as individual musicians than Big Brother, the energy that had electrified audiences at the Monterey Pop Festival and at various San Francisco ballrooms was just not there, and the album is generally considered somewhat limp in comparison to Cheap Thrills. The opening (and some would say best) track on the album is Try (Just A Little Bit Harder). While not a bad song, the recording just doesn't have the magic of a Piece of My Heart or Ball and Chain, despite a strong vocal performance by Joplin herself.
Artist:    Allman Brothers Band
Title:    Trouble No More (live)
Source:    CD: Idlewild South (originally released on LP: Live At Ludlow Garage: 1970)
Writer(s):    McKinley Morganfield
Label:    Mercury (original label: Polydor)
Year:    1969
    The Allman Brothers band grew out of massive jam sessions organized by Duane Allman and drummer Jai Johnny Johanson in early 1969. The two had recently relocated from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where Allman had been doing session work for artists such as Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett (it's Duane's guitar that can be heard on Pickett's version of Hey Jude). One of the musicians Allman invited to the sessions was bassist Berry Oakley, who in turn recruited Dickey Betts as the as-yet unnamed band's second guitarist. Duane Allman's concept of the new band was to have two guitarists and two drummers, and it wasn't long before Butch Trucks, whom Allman and his brother Gregg had cut a demo with the previous year, was added to the mix. The final piece came into play on March 26, 1969, when Gregg Allman accepted his brother's invitation to sit in with the group as lead vocalist. The band was rehearsing an old Muddy Waters tune, Trouble No More, which became the first song Gregg Allman ever performed with the group. The addition of Gregg as vocalist and keyboardist gave the band its name as well. After releasing their debut LP in November of 1969 the band spent most of the next year doing live gigs all over the south, playing clubs like Cincinnatti's Ludlow Garage. They taped their April 20, 1970 show there, releasing it 20 years later on an album called Live At Ludlow Garage: 1970. The entire album, including this live version of Muddy Waters' Trouble No More, is now available as a bonus disc on the 2015 version of their second album, Idlewild South.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    No One To Depend On
Source:    Mono 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Carabella/Escobida/Rolie
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1971
    Santana's third LP (which like their debut LP was called simply Santana), was the last by the band's original lineup. Among the better-known tracks on the LP was No One To Depend On, featuring a guitar solo by teen phenom Neal Schon (who would go on to co-found Journey). The version here is a rare mono promo pressing issued as a single in 1972. It is obviously not a true mono mix, but what is known as a "fold-down" mix, made by combining the two stereo channels into one. It sounds to me, though, like one channel (the one with Neil Schon's guitar) got shortchanged in the mix.

Artist:    Graham Nash/David Crosby
Title:    Immigration Man
Source:    45 RPM single (promo)
Writer(s):    Graham Nash
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1972
    Graham Nash and David Crosby decided to make an album without Stephen Stills or Neil Young in 1972. The two songwriters' compositions alternated on the album, with the final track, Nash's Immigration Man (based on his own real life experience at customs), being released as a single.

Artist:    Robin Trower
Title:    Hannah
Source:    CD: Essential Robin Trower (originally released on LP: Twice Removed From Yesterday)
Writer(s):    Dewar/Isidore/Trower
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1973
    After years of being kept in the background as guitarist Procol Harum, Robin Trower finally left that band in 1971. His first attempt at starting a new band went nowhere, but did net him bassist/vocalist James Dewar for his own Robin Trower Band, a power trio that also included drummer Reg Isadore. Their first album together was Twice Removed From Yesterday, released in 1973. Most of the tunes on the album were written by Dewar and Trower, with Isadore sharing songwriting credits on one track, Hannah.

Artist:    B.B. King
Title:    Ask Me No Questions
Source:    LP: Indianola Mississippi Seeds
Writer(s):    B.B. King
Label:    ABC
Year:    1970
    Listening to the lyrics of this classic B.B. King tune from 1970 I couldn't help but imagine some errant disc jockey (or maybe the front man of a cover band) dedicating it to his wife. Ouch!

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2337 (starts 9/11/23) 

    This time around we have a Donovan set, a couple short progressions through the years, a long 1968 set and an even longer live performance by Quicksilver Messenger Service. Although we only have two songs making their Stuck in the Psychedelic Era debut this week, we have several more that haven't been heard on the show in years.

Artist:    Easybeats
Title:    Good Times
Source:    CD: More Nuggets (originally released in UK and Australia as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Vanda/Young
Label:    Rhino (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1968
    The Easybeats were Australia's most popular band in the sixties. Formed in 1964 at a migrant hostel in Sidney (all the members came from immigrant families), the band's earliest British Invasion styled hits were written by rhythm guitarist George Young (older brother of AC/DC's Angus and Malcolm Young) and lead vocalist "Little" Stevie Wright. By 1966, however, lead guitarist Harry Vanda (originally from the Netherlands) had become fluent in English and with the song Friday On My Mind replaced Wright as Young's writing partner (although Wright stayed on as the band's frontman). Around that same time the Easybeats relocated to England, although they continued to chart hits on a regular basis in Australia. One of their most memorable songs was Good Times from the 1968 album Vigil, featuring guest vocalist Steve Marriott. Originally released in Australia as a B side, the song was later retitled Gonna Have A Good Time for its international release as an A side in 1969. Young and Vanda later moved back to Australia and recorded a series of records under the name Flash and the Pan that were very successful in Australia and Europe. Stevie Wright went on to become Australia's first international pop star. The song Good Times became a hit for another Australian band, INXS, in the 1980s when it was used in the film The Lost Boys.

Artist:    United States Of America
Title:    Coming Down
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: The United States Of America)
Writer(s):    Byrd/Moscowitz
Label:    Sony Music (original US label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    The United States Of America was an outgrowth of the experimental audio work of Joseph Byrd, who had moved to Los Angeles from New York in the early 1960s after studying with avant-garde composers Morton Feldman and John Cage. With lyricist/vocalist Dorothy Moskowitz, he founded The United States Of America in 1967 as a way of integrating performance art, electronic music and rock, with more than a little leftist political philosophy thrown into the mix. Much of the material on the band's only album was co-written by Moskowitz and Byrd, with Byrd writing the music and Moskowitz contributing to the lyrics. Moskowitz also helped with the melody line on a few tracks, such as Coming Down.

Artist:    Guess Who
Title:    Friends Of Mine
Source:    CD: Wheatfield Soul
Writer:    Bachman/Cummings
Label:    Iconoclassic (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1968
    On first listen, Friends Of Mine may appear to be a Doors ripoff, but the band members themselves claim it was inspired more by the Who's first mini-opera, A Quick One While He's Away. Regardless of the source of inspiration, this was certainly the most pyschedelic track ever released by a band known more for catchy pop ballads like These Eyes and No Sugar Tonight. Interestingly enough, RCA released a 45 RPM stereo promo of the song to radio stations, with the 10 minute track split across the two sides of the record. I first heard this cut on the American Forces Network (AFN) in Germany on a weekly show called Underground that ran at midnight on Saturday nights. I doubt any Generals were listening.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    My Sunday Feeling
Source:    LP: This Was
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    For years my only copy of Jethro Tull's first LP, This Was, was a cassette copy I had made myself. In fact, the two sides of the album were actually on two different tapes (don't ask why). When I labelled the tapes I neglected to specify which tape had which side of the album; as a result I was under the impression that My Sunday Feeling was the opening track on the album. It turns out it was actually the first track on side two, but I still tend to think of it as the "first" Jethro Tull song, despite the fact that the band had actually released a single, Sunshine Day, the previous year for a different label (who got the band's name wrong, billing them as Jethro Toe).

Artist:    Zombies
Title:    I Want Her She Wants Me (mono version w/ backing vocals)
Source:    Mono CD: Odessey And Oracle (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Rod Argent
Label:    Varese Sarabande
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 2017
    By 1967 the Zombies were having trouble finding work. Their latest records were not selling and they were considering disbanding, but instead decided to go all out and make a record they could be proud of. They managed to secure a contract with CBS Records (an offshoot of the US Columbia label that was just getting started in the UK) that gave them the freedom to produce themselves. The problem was that CBS, unlike EMI and Decca, did not have its own studios, so the band was forced to book time when and where they could. Much of the album, which came to be known as Odessey And Oracle, was recorded at EMI's Abbey Road studios, but a few tracks were instead recorded at Olympia Sound, a highly regarded studio where the Rolling Stones and Small Faces often recorded. In their last session at Olympic, the Zombies recorded I Want Her She Wants Me, a Rod Argent tune that had originally been recorded by the Mindbenders in 1966. Argent reportedly hated the Mindbenders version of the song and wanted to hear it done right. The mono mix of the song includes background vocals not heard on the stereo album, possibly added during the mixing process itself.

Artist:     Cream
Title:     Pressed Rat And Warthog
Source:     CD: Wheels Of Fire
Writer:     Baker/Taylor
Label:     Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1968
    Pressed Rat And Warthog, from Cream's third LP, Wheels Of Fire, is one of those songs you either love or hate. I loved it the first time I heard it but had several friends that absolutely detested it. As near as I can tell, drummer Ginger Baker actually talks that way. Come to think of it, all the members of Cream had pretty heavy accents.
Artist:    Love
Title:    Laughing Stock
Source:    CD: Love Story (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1968
    The last record by the classic Love lineup was a single released in June of 1968. While Your Mind And We Belong Together is one of the band's most overlooked and underrated tracks, the B side of that single comes across as a sardonic epitaph for the group, with it's intro reminiscent of one of their best tunes, Alone Again Or and sly references to their first hit, My Little Red Book. Lee would soon fire the entire band (except Bryan MacLean, who left voluntarily), reemerging with an entirely new lineup the following year, but he was never able to duplicate the magic of the original Love.
Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    It's All Over Now
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bobby & Shirley Womack
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1964
    During a 1964 on-air interview with the Rolling Stones, New York DJ Murray the K played a copy of a song called It's All Over Now by Bobby Womack's band, the Valentinos. The song had been a minor hit earlier in the year, spending two weeks in the top 100, and the Stones were reportedly knocked out by the record, calling it "our kind of song." Less than two weeks later the Stones recorded their own version of the song, which became their first number one hit in the UK. At first, Womack was reportedly against the idea of a British band recording his song, but changed his mind when he saw his first royalty check from the Stones' recording.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Set Me Free
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1965
    After scoring international success with a series of R&B influenced rockers in 1964, the Kinks started to mellow a bit in 1965, releasing more melodic songs such as Set Me Free. The band would continue to evolve throughout the decade, eventually becoming one of the first groups to release a concept album, Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire), in 1969.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Source:    CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Electric Prunes)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Mantz
Label:    BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    The Electric Prunes biggest hit was I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), released in late 1966 and hitting the charts in early 1967. The record, initially released without much promotion from the record label, was championed by Seattle DJ Pat O'Day of KJR radio, and was already popular in that area when it hit the national charts (thus explaining why so many people assumed the band was from Seattle). I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) has come to be one of the defining songs of the psychedelic era and was the opening track on both the original Lenny Kaye Nuggets compilation and Rhino's first Nuggets LP.

Artist:    Balloon Farm
Title:    A Question Of Temperature
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Appel/Schnug/Henny
Label:    Rhino (original label: Laurie)
Year:    1967
    It's not entirely clear whether the Balloon Farm was an actual band or simply an East Coast studio concoction. Regardless, they did manage to successfully cross garage rock with bubble gum for A Question Of Temperature, originally released on the Laurie label in 1967. Band member Mike Appel went on to have greater notoriety as Bruce Springsteen's first manager.
Artist:     Big Brother and the Holding Company
Title:     Down On Me
Source:     CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Joplin In Concert)
Writer:     Trad. Arr. Joplin
Label:     Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:     Recorded 1968, released 1972
     Big Brother And The Holding Company's first album, featuring the single Down On Me, was recorded in 1967 at the studios of Mainstream Records, a medium-sized Chicago label known for its jazz recordings. At the time, Mainstream's engineers had no experience with a rock band, particularly a loud one like Big Brother, and vainly attempted to clean up the band's sound as best they could. The result was an album full of bland recordings sucked dry of the energy that made Big Brother and the Holding Company one of San Francisco's top live attractions. Luckily we have this live version of the tune recorded in Detroit in early 1968 and released on the 1972 album Joplin In Concert that captures the band at their peak, before powerful people with questionable motives convinced singer Janis Joplin that the rest of the group was (ahem) holding her back.

Artist:    Mamas And The Papas
Title:    California Dreamin'
Source:    LP: If You Believe Your Eyes And Ears (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    John and Michelle Phillips
Label:    Dunhill
Year:    1965
    California Dreamin' was written in 1963 by John and Michelle Phillips, who were living in New York City at the time. The two of them were members of a folk group called the New Journeymen that would eventually become The Mamas And The Papas. Phillips initially gave the song to his friend Barry McGuire to record, but McGuire's version failed to chart. Not long after that McGuire introduced Philips to Lou Adler, president of Dunhill Records who quickly signed The Mamas And The Papas to a recording contract. Using the same instrumental backing track (provided by various Los Angeles studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew), The Mamas And The Papas recorded new vocals for California Dreamin', releasing it as a single in late 1965. The song took a while to catch on, but eventually peaked in the top five nationally.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    Tried To Hide
Source:    CD: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators
Writer(s):    Hall/Sutherland
Label:    Collectables (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1966
    The first known use of the word "psychedelic" in an album title by a rock band was The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators, released on the Houston-based International Artists label in August of 1966. The album itself is notable for its inclusion of electric jug (played by Tommy Hall), and for the band's only charted single, You're Gonna Miss Me. The B side of that single was Tried To Hide, written by Hall and guitarist Stacy Sutherland.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Conquistador
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Procol Harum
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    Deram
Year:    1967
    For reasons that are lost to history, the first Procol Harum album was released five months earlier in the US than it was in the UK. It also was released with a slightly different song lineup, a practice that was fairly common earlier in the decade but that had been (thanks to the Beatles) pretty much abandoned by mid-1967. One notable difference is the inclusion of A Whiter Shade Of Pale on the US version (the British practice being to not include songs on LPs that had been already issued on 45 RPM records). The opening track of the UK version was Conquistador, a song that would not become well-known until 1972, when a live version with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra backing up the band became a hit single.

Artist:        Vanilla Fudge
Title:        Season of the Witch (pt. 1)
Source:       Mono CD: The Complete Atco Singles (originally released on LP: Renaissance and as 45 RPM single)
Writer:        Donovan Leitch
Label:        Real Gone/Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:        1968
        The Vanilla Fudge are generally best remembered for their acid rock rearrangements of hit songs such as You Keep Me Hangin' On, Ticket To Ride and Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down). Their third album, Renaissance, while actually featuring more original material that their previous albums, still included a couple of these cover songs. The best-known of these was this rather spooky (and a little over-the-top) version of Donovan's Season Of The Witch, a song that was also covered by Al Kooper and Stephen Stills the same year on the first Super Session album. A mono single version of the song saw the track broken up into two pieces (with some sections left out entirely), one on each side of the 45 RPM record.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills and Nash
Title:    Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Source:    Crosby, Stills and Nash
Writer:    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    After the demise of Buffalo Springfield, Stephen Stills headed for New York, where he worked with Al Kooper on the Super Session album and recorded several demo tapes of his own, including a new song called Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (reportedly written for his then-girlfriend Judy Collins). After his stint in New York he returned to California, where he started hanging out in the Laurel Canyon home of David Crosby, who had been fired from the Byrds in 1967. Crosby's house at that time was generally filled with a variety of people coming and going, and Crosby and Stills soon found themselves doing improvised harmonies on each other's material in front of a friendly, if somewhat stoned, audience. It was not long before they invited Graham Nash, whom they heard had been having problems of his own with his bandmates in the Hollies, to come join them in Laurel Canyon. The three soon began recording together, and in 1969 released the album Crosby, Stills and Nash. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes was chosen as the opening track for the new album and was later released (in edited form) as a single.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Sunny South Kensington
Source:    British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    EMI (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1966 (remixed 1998)
    Donovan followed up his 1966 hit single Sunshine Superman with an album of the same name. He then repeated himself with the song and album Mellow Yellow. The B side of the Mellow Yellow single was Sunny South Kensington, a tune done in much the same style as Superman. The song was also included on the Mellow Yellow album, and in 1998 was mixed in stereo for the first time.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Colours
Source:    CD: Donovan's Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Epic/Legacy (original label: Hickory)
Year:    1965
    Having been introduced to Donovan's music through exposure to Sunshine Superman, Mellow Yellow and later songs, I was always a bit puzzled by references to the Scottish singer/soingwriter as Britain's poor Bob Dylan knockoff. Then I heard Colours and all was made clear. Donovan himself, however, credits Derroll Adams, a songwriter from the Woody Guthrie/Pete Seeger school, as the song's direct influence.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Sunshine Superman
Source:    British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Sunshine Superman)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    EMI (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1966
    Up until the early 1970s there was an unwritten rule that stated that in order to get played on top 40 radio a song could be no more than three and a half minutes long. There were exceptions, of course, such as Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone, but as a general rule the policy was strictly adhered to. Sometimes an artist would record a song that exceeded the limit but nonetheless was considered to have commercial potential. In cases like these the usual practice was for the record company (or sometimes the record's own producer) to create an edited version of the master recording for release as a single. Usually in these cases the original unedited version of the song would appear on an album. In the case of Donovan's Sunshine Superman, however, the mono single version was used for the album as well, possibly because the album itself was never issued in stereo. In fact, it wasn't until 1969 that the full-length original recording of Sunshine Superman was made available as a track on Donovan's first Greatest Hits collection. This was also the first time the song had appeared in stereo, having been newly mixed for that album. An even newer mix was made in 1998 and is included on a British anthology album called Psychedelia At Abbey Road. This version takes advantage of digital technology and has a slightly different sound than previous releases of the song.

Artist:    Peter Howell & John Ferdinando
Title:    Jabberwocky
Source:    Mono British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution (originally released on LP: Alice Through The Looking Glass)
Writer(s):    Carroll/Howell
Label:    Grapefruit (original label: Sound News Productions)
Year:    1969
    Once upon a time, somewhere south of London, there was (and still is) a village called Ditchling. This village was home to a theatre group known as the Ditchling Players. In 1968 the Ditchling Players decided to put on an ambitious adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Through The Looking Glass. In addition to elaborate costumes and stage props, the production used original music provided by two local teenagers, Peter Howell and John Fernando. The two had played together in various amateur bands since the pre-Beatle days and Howell, in particular, had taken an interest in the recording process. Using a primitive version of track bouncing, the two composed complex musical pieces that were soon collected for a soundtrack album. Only 50 copies of the album were made, most of which were sold to members of the Ditchling Players themselves, along with interested audience members. In addition to the music from the stage production, the album included four "bonus" tracks based on the same concept. One of those was Jabberwocky, which combines music by Howell with Carroll's words. Howell would eventually become known for his work on Doctor Who as a member of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop from 1974-1997.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Let's Go Away For Awhile
Source:    Mono CD: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Brian Wilson
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    After spending six months and a record amount of money making Good Vibrations, Brian Wilson and Capitol Records decided to use an existing track for the B side of the single rather than take the time to record something new. The chosen track was Let's Go Away For Awhile, a tune from the Pet Sounds album that Wilson described as the most satisfying instrumental piece he had ever written.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    Don't Bring Me Down
Source:    LP: Animalization
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    I originally bought the Animals Animalization album in early 1967 and immediately fell in love with the first song, Don't Bring Me Down. Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Don't Bring Me Down is one of the few songs written for the Animals by professional songwriters that lead vocalist Eric Burdon actually liked.

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.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2337 (starts 9/11/23)

    Well, we are once again rocking out least in the first half of the show. Then we go the prog-rock route with Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson and Pink Floyd. As Eric Burdon once said, it's all meat on the same bone.

Artist:    Steely Dan
Title:    Do It Again
Source:    CD: Can't Buy A Thrill
Writer(s):    Becker/Fagen
Label:    MCA (original label: ABC)
Year:    1972
    Although they at first appeared to be a real band, Steely Dan was in reality two people: keyboardist/vocalist Donald Fagen and bassist (and later guitarist) Walter Becker. For their first album they recruited, from various places, guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, drummer Jim Hodder, guitarist Denny Dias, and finally (when they realized they would have to actually perform live, which terrified Fagen) vocalist David Palmer. The first single from the album, Do It Again, was a major hit, going to the #6 spot on the Billboard charts and, more importantly, introducing the world at large to the Steely Dan sound, combining jazz-influenced rock music with slyly cynical lyrics (often sung in the second person). Steely Dan would continue to be an influential force in popular music, and especially FM rock radio, throughout the 1970s.

Artist:      Grand Funk Railroad
Title:     Mr. Limousine Driver
Source:      CD: Grand Funk
Writer:    Mark Farner
Label:     Capitol
Year:     1969
     When Grand Funk Railroad first appeared on the scene they were universally panned by the rock press (much as Kiss would be a few years later). Despite this, they managed to set attendance records across the nation and were instrumental to establishing sports arenas as the venue of choice for 70s rock bands. Although their first album, On Time, was not an instant hit, their popularity took off with the release of their second LP, Grand Funk (also known as the Red Album). One of the many popular tracks on Grand Funk was Mr. Limousine Driver, a song that reflects the same attitude as their later hit We're An American Band.

Artist:    Humble Pie
Title:    Sweet Peace And Time
Source:    CD: Smokin'
Writer(s):    Marriott/Ridley/Clempson/Shirley
Label:    A&M
Year:    1972
    In the late 1960s rock bands were not above poaching players from other bands to improve their chances of success. The Herd had been around since 1965, but when Steve Marriott of the Small Faces decided the band needed a second guitarist/vocalist he went after the Herd's Peter Frampton. Marriott's band mates, however, knew nothing about Marriott's plans at first, and when they found out they resisted the idea strongly. So strongly, in fact, that Marriott eventually ended up leaving the Small Faces to start a new band with Frampton. That band, formed in early 1969, was Humble Pie. After four studio albums, Frampton left Humble Pie just before the band released its first, and most successful live album, Performance Rockin' the Fillmore, leaving Marriott as the group' sole front man. With new guitarist Clem Clempson, along with bassist Greg Ridley and drummer Jerry Shirley, Humble Pie released its most commercially successful LP, Smokin', which went to the #6 spot on the Billboard album's chart. The final track on the album, Sweet Peace And Time, shows the band in full hard rock mode.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Sea Lion
Source:    LP: War Child
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1974
    Jethro Tull's 1974 album War Child was a return to shorter songs, following back-to-back albums (Thick As A Brick and A Passion Play) made up of one continous piece each . The album was not, however, a critical success (although it did well enough on the charts to make the reviews somewhat irrelevant). I usually don't give much credence to the rock press, but I had to chuckle at a quote from the Rolling Stone review, which reminded us that "Tull rhymes with dull". In the case of side one of the War Child LP, I have to agree. In fact, the only track on that side of the album that even comes close to the quality of material on 1971's Aqualung album is the final track on the side, Sea Lion, which actually sounds like it could have been a Passion Play outtake. Side two of the original LP, by the way, is much better, with several strong tracks. Why Ian Anderson and the gang chose to put their weakest material up front is anyone's guess, but the band never did regain its earlier popularity, despite an occasional strong tune here and there over the next several years.

Artist:    Mott The Hoople
Title:    Jerkin' Crocus
Source:    45 RPM single B side (originally released on LP: All The Young Dudes
Writer(s):    Ian Hunter
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1972
    After releasing four albums over a period of three years to a lukewarm response at best, England's Mott The Hoople was on the verge of breaking up when David Bowie gave them the song All The Young Dudes. The song became the title track of their fifth LP, which also included several Mott originals such as Jerkin' Crocus. The song was selected to be issued as the B side of the third single released from the album as well.

Artist:    Sugarloaf
Title:    Don't Call Us, We'll Call You
Source:    LP: Don't Call Us, We'll Call You
Writer(s):    Corbetta/Carter
Label:    Claridge
Year:    1974
    Sugarloaf was a band from Denver, Colorado that had their first national hit, Green-Eyed Lady, in 1970. Unfortunately for the band the label they were on, Liberty, was going through a series of changes that resulted in the label being merged into United Artists and dropping every artist on its roster. In fact, Sugarloaf's third single, Mother Nature's Wine, was the last record ever released under the Liberty banner. Internal conflicts led to the band's breakup in late 1972, with vocalist/keyboardist retaining the rights to the Sugarloaf name. Two of the original members eventually rejoined the band in time for an album called I Got A Song, but the label it was on, Brut, soon went under and the album went nowhere. In 1974, after being turned down by Columbia Records, Corbetta went into a friend's recording studio in Denver to cut a new song called Don't Call Us, We'll Call You using local session players. The song, a tongue-in-cheek version of Corbetta's experience with Columbia, was released on Frank Slay's Claridge label under the Sugarloaf name in late 1974 and became a surprise hit the following year. This led to Corbetta and Slay buying the rights to the LP I Got A Song and, after replacing one of the original tracks with the new song, issued it as Don't Call Us, We'll Call You, again on the Claridge label. The song itself includes the touch tones to a private phone number of an executive at Columbia's New York headquarters which, coincidentally, also turned out to be a public number for the White House in Washington, DC, albeit with a different area code.

Artist:    Mothers
Title:    Dirty Love
Source:    CD: Over-Nite Sensation
Writer(s):    Frank Zappa
Label:    Zappa (original label: Discreet)
Year:    1973
    After a series of experimental and jazz-oriented albums, Frank Zappa returned to rock with a pair of albums that defined the direction his music would take in the 1970s and beyond. The first, Over-Nite Sensation, was credited to the Mothers of Invention, and was released in 1973. The second was Apostrophe('), which, although recorded at the same time as Over-Nite Sensation, was released as a Frank Zappa solo album the following year. Both albums combine superb musicianship from the likes of George Clinton and Jean-Luc Ponty with Zappa's unique brand of satiric humor, and are among Zappa's most popular releases. One of the highlights of Over-Nite Sensation, Dirty Love, contains the repeated phrase "The poodle bites, the poodle chews it", which also shows up in a track from the Apostrophe(') album, albeit in a different form. In both cases the refrain is sung by the Ikettes, who were, at Ike Turner's insistence, excluded from the album's musician credits, although they did get paid for their work (but, again at Turner's insistence, at the minimum allowable wage rate, or so Turner was led to believe).

Artist:    Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Title:    The Endless Enigma/Fugue
Source:    CD: Trilogy
Writer(s):    Emerson/Lake
Label:    Atlantic (original label: Cotillion)
Year:    1972
    I've never been able to figure out why Emerson, Lake & Palmer chose to open their third LP, Trilogy, with The Endless Enigma, a complex piece that starts with Greg Lake tapping the muted strings of a bass guitar to simulate a heartbeat. A much more natural opening number, Hoedown, closes out the album's first side and in fact soon became their live show opener. The Endless Enigma itself is actually broken into two parts, with the piano and bass trading licks on Fugue between the two. A complex piece indeed, and one that was so difficult to play live that it was dropped from the setlist almost immediately (and led to the band being determined to make sure their next album would be playable live).

Artist:    King Crimson
Title:    The Court Of The Crimson King
Source:    CD: In The Court Of The Crimson King
Writer:    MacDonald/Sinfield
Label:    Discipline Global Mobile (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1969
    Perhaps the most influential progressive rock album of all time was King Crimson's debut LP, In The Court Of The Crimson King. The band, in its original incarnation, included Robert Fripp on guitar, Ian MacDonald on keyboards and woodwinds, Greg Lake on vocals and bass, David Giles on drums and Peter Sinfield as a dedicated lyricist. The title track, which takes up the second half of side two of the LP, features music composed by MacDonald, who would leave the group after their second album, later resurfacing as a founding member of Foreigner. The album's distinctive cover art came from a painting by computer programmer Barry Godber, who died of a heart attack less than a year after the album was released. According to Fripp, the artwork on the inside is a portrait of the Crimson King, whose manic smile is in direct contrast to his sad eyes. The album, song and artwork were the inspiration for Stephen King's own Crimson King, the insane antagonist of his Dark Tower saga who is out to destroy all of reality, including our own.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Biding My Time
Source:    CD: Relics
Writer(s):    Roger Waters
Label:    Capitol (original label: Harvest)
Year:    1971
    Although it was originally recorded during sessions for the Ummagumma album and performed live as part of a concept piece called The Man And The Journey, the studio version of Roger Waters's Biding My Time was held back for two years, finally seeing the light of day in 1971 as the only previously unreleased track on Pink Floyd's Relics album. Along with David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Roger Waters on their usual instruments, keyboardist Richard Wright plays trombone, as well as piano and organ, on the track.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2336 (starts09/4/23) 

    This week, for the first time, we start the show with a battle of the bands. But wait! There's more! The other three segments all start off with an artist's set of their own. That still leaves room for plenty of album tracks, B sides and singles, including one from a band (Love Exchange) that has never been heard on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era before.

Artist:     Jethro Tull
Title:     A New Day Yesterday
Source:     CD: Stand Up
Writer:     Ian Anderson
Label:     Chrysalis/Capitol
Year:     1969
     From 1969 we have the opening track from the second Jethro Tull album, Stand Up. Although founding member Mick Abrahams (a guitarist with strong ties to the British blues scene) had just left the band, A New Day Yesterday still shows a blues influence in it's tempo and basic riff. Even then, though, bandleader and composer Ian Anderson was not content to stick to the conventional blues progression. Over the years Tull would continue to move further away from its beginnings as a British blues band.

Artist:     Canned Heat
Title:     Catfish Blues
Source:     LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Canned Heat)
Writer:     Robert Petway
Label:     United Artists (original label: Liberty)
Year     1967
     Like many other US cities in the 1960s, San Francisco had a small but enthusiastic community of blues record collectors. A group of them got together in 1966 to form Canned Heat, and made quite an impression when they played the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967. This led to a contract with Liberty Records and an album consisting entirely of cover versions of blues standards. One standout track from that album is Robert Petway's Catfish Blues, expanded to over six minutes by the Heat.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Singing All Day
Source:    CD: Benefit (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Capitol/Chrysalis
Year:    1970
    Singing All Day is one of several tracks recorded during the sessions for the third Jethro Tull LP, Benefit, but not included on the album itself. The song finally got released in 1973 on the Living In The Past album and is now available as a bonus track on the CD version of Benefit.

Artist:    Canned Heat
Title:    One Kind Favor
Source:    Italian import 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    L T Tatman III
Label:    Liberty
Year:    1968
    Canned Heat's best known song is Going Up The Country, a single from the band's third LP, Living The Blues. The B side of that single, One Kind Favor, was also from the same album. One Kind Favor is one of two tracks on Living The Blues (the other being Boogie Music) credited to L.T. Tatman III, a name sometimes thought to be a pseudonym for one or more of the band members. Musically the song bears a strong resemblance to an earlier Canned Heat single, On The Road Again, which appeared on the band's second LP, Boogie With Canned Heat. Lyrically, it borrows heavily from Blind Lemon Jefferson's 1927 classic See That My Grave Is Kept Clean.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Teacher  (2nd  version)
Source:    CD: Benefit
Writer:    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol
Year:    1970
    LPs released by British Groups often had different song lineups in the US and the UK. One of the reasons for this is that British labels generally did not include songs that had been released as singles on LPs. In the US, however, running times were 5-10 minutes shorter per LP, and songs that had been included on British LPs would end up being dropped in favor of the latest hit single by the same artist. Jethro Tull, however, was generally an exception to this practice. Both of their first two LPs had exactly the same song lineup on both sides of the Atlantic. In fact, the only notable exception was the song Teacher, which was released as a B side before the UK version of the group's third LP, Benefit, came out. The US version of Benefit has a re-recorded version of Teacher on it, replacing Just Trying To Be, which would not be issued in the US until the Living In The Past album. To my knowledge the original, slower version of Teacher (with no flute) has not been released in the US since its initial appearance.

Artist:    Canned Heat
Title:    Going Up The Country
Source:    CD: The Very Best Of Canned Heat (originally released on LP: Living The Blues)
Writer(s):    Alan Wilson
Label:    Capitol (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1968
    Canned Heat built up a solid reputation as one of the best blues-rock bands in history, recording several critically-acclaimed albums over a period of years. What they did not have, however, was a top 10 single on the US charts. The nearest they got was Going Up The Country from their late 1968 LP Living The Blues, which peaked in the #11 spot in early 1969 (although it did hit #1 in several other countries). The song was written and sung by guitarist Alan "Blind Own" Wilson, who died at age 27 on September 3, 1970.

Artist:    John Mayalll
Title:    The Bear
Source:    British import CD: Blues From Laurel Canyon
Writer(s):    John Mayall
Label:    Decca (original US label: London)
Year:    1968
    During his 1968 visit to California, and specifically Laurel Canyon, John Mayall made several new friends. Among them was Robert Hite, vocalist for Canned Heat and one of the foremost blues enthusiasts in the country. When Mayall returned to his native UK he wrote an entire album's worth of songs about his experiences, calling it Blues From Laurel Canyon. The album's second side opens with a few measures based on Canned Heat's signature "boogie" beat before breaking into a song that refers to Hite by his nickname: The Bear.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    The Crystal Ship
Source:    CD: 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:    Doors
Title:    Love Me Two Times
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    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:    Doors
Title:    I Looked At You
Source:    CD: The Doors
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    The first Doors album took about a week to make, and was made up of songs that the band had been performing live as the house band at the Whisky-A-Go-Go in the summer of 1966, including the dance floor friendly I Looked At You. Like all the songs on the first few Doors albums, I Looked At You is credited to the entire band.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Mr. Soul
Source:    LP: Retrospective-The Best Of Buffalo Springfield (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again)
Writer(s):    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:    "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 there, 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:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Matilda Mother
Source:    CD: An Introduction To Syd Barrett (originally released on LP: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn)
Writer(s):    Syd Barrett
Label:    Capitol (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    Listening to tracks like Matilda Mother, I can't help but wonder where Pink Floyd might have gone if Syd Barrett had not succumbed to mental illness following the release of the band's first LP, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, in 1967. Unlike the rest of the band members, Barrett had the ability to write songs that were not only adventurous, but commercially viable as singles as well. After Barrett's departure, it took the group several years to become commercially successful on their own terms (although they obviously did). We'll never know what they may have done in the intervening years were Barrett still at the helm of the band he co-founded.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Antique Doll
Source:    Mono British import CD: My Mind Goes High (originally released on LP: Underground)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Mantz
Label:    Warner Strategic Marketing (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Sometimes there is no comprehending what goes on in the mind of record company people. Take the Electric Prunes, for example. Their second single, I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), put them right at the front of the pack of the psychedelic rock movement in early 1967. Their follow up single, Get Me To The World On Time, was a solid hit as well, which should have guaranteed them a good run. But even with that second single, problems with management's decision making were becoming apparent. For one thing, the song chosen as the second single's B side, Are You Lovin' Me More (But Enjoying It Less), had the potential to be a hit in its own right, but being put on a B side killed that idea entirely. It only got worse from there. The next single chosen was a novelty number from the band's second LP, Underground, called Dr. Do-Good. The tune was written by the same team of Annette Tucker and Nanci Mantz that had come up with both Dream and Lovin' Me More, but was played for laughs by the band. The choice of such a weird track is a complete puzzle, as there were several more commercial tunes on the LP, including one written by Tucker and Mantz themselves called Antique Doll. Unfortunately, the song was not even picked to be a B side, and has remained virtually unknown ever since. Rather than own up to their own mistakes, however, the band's management blamed the musicians themselves for their lack of commercial success, and eventually replaced the entire lineup of the original group (who had signed away the rights to the name Electric Prunes early on). Of course, the new lineups were even less successful than the original crew, but really, what else would you expect?

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    She Don't Care About Time
Source:    Mono CD: Turn! Turn! Turn! (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:    Gene Clark
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1965
    The Byrds scored two # 1 hits in 1965, Mr. Tambourine Man and Turn! Turn! Turn!. Both songs came from outside sources (Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger), despite the fact that they Byrds had a wealth of songwriting talent of their own. Gene Clark in particular was writing quality originals such as She Don't Care About Time, which was issued as the B side to Turn! Turn! Turn! but was inexplicably left off the LP. More recently the song, featuring a Roger McGuinn guitar solo based on the well-known Bach piece Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, has been included as a bonus track on the remastered CD version of the album.

Artist:     Seeds
Title:     Pushin' Too Hard
Source:     Simulated stereo CD: Best of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: The Seeds)
Writer:     Sky Saxon
Label:     Priority (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:     1965
     Pushin' Too Hard was originally released to the L.A. market as a single in late 1965 and included on side one of the first Seeds album the following year. After being re-released as a single the song did well enough to go national in early 1967, peaking at #36 in February.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    It Ain't Me Babe
Source:    CD: 20 Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: It Ain't Me Babe)
Writer:    Bob Dylan
Label:    Rhino (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1965
    The Turtles started out as a local surf band called the Crossfires. In 1965 they were signed to a record label that technically didn't exist yet. That did not deter the people at the label (which would come to be known as White Whale) from convincing the band to change its name and direction. Realizing that surf music was indeed on the way out, the band, now called the Turtles, went into the studio and recorded four songs. One of those was Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe. The Byrds had just scored big with their electrfied version of Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man and the Turtles took a similar approach with It Ain't Me Babe. The song was a solid hit, going to the #8 spot on the national charts and leading to the first of many Turtles albums on White Whale.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Chicken Little Was Right
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer:    The Turtles
Label:    White Whale
Year:    1967
    Like many of the bands of the time, the Turtles usually recorded songs from professional songwriters for their A sides and provided their own material for the B sides. In the Turtles' case, however, these B sides were often psychedelic masterpieces that contrasted strongly with their hits. Chicken Little Was Right, the B side of She's My Girl, at first sounds like something you'd hear at a hootenanny, but then switches keys for a chorus featuring the Turtles' trademark harmonies, with a little bit of Peter And The Wolf thrown in for good measure. This capacity for self-parody would come to serve band members Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan well a few years later, first as members of the Mothers (performing Happy Together live at the Fillmore East) and then as the Phorescent Leach and Eddie (later shortened to Flo And Eddie).

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    You Baby
Source:    CD: 20 Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: You Baby)
Writer(s):    Sloan/Barri
Label:    Rhino (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1966
    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:    Steve Miller Band
Title:    Brave New World
Source:    LP: Homer soundtrack (originally released on LP: Brave New World)
Writer(s):    Steve Miller
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1969
    It took the Steve Miller Band half a dozen albums (plus appearances on a couple of movie soundtracks) to achieve star status in the early 1970s. Along the way they developed a cult following that added new members with each successive album. The fourth Miller album was Brave New World, the title track of which was used in the film Homer, a 1970 film that is better remembered for its soundtrack than for the film itself.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Picture Book
Source:    LP: The 1969 Warner/Reprise Songbook (originally released on LP: The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society)
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society was the last studio album to feature the original Kinks lineup of Ray Davies, Dave Davies, Pete Quaife and Mick Avory. Released in November of 1968 in the UK and early 1969 in the US, it was one of the first rock concept albums, and marked the end of the band's transition from pop stars to cult favorites. Picture Book, also released as the B side of the album's first single, is about looking though an old photo album and reflecting on its contents. Ray Davies later said that the track was not originally intended to be a Kinks song due to it being autobiographical in nature. Despite being lauded by the rock press The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society was not a commercial success, and was outsold by The Kinks Greatest Hits, a compilation of their pre-1967 singles that was released around the same time.

Artist:    Janis Ian
Title:    Too Old To Go 'Way Little Girl
Source:    Mono LP: Janis Ian
Writer(s):    Janis Ian
Label:    Verve Folkways
Year:    1967
    In the early 1970s former Beatle John Lennon became known as a champion of the practice of writing songs from personal experience. Janis Ian was doing just that at age 15 when she recorded her self-title debut LP, released in January of 1967. Among the many autobiographical songs on the album is Too Old To Go 'Way Little Girl, about growing up with an overprotective mother in a male-dominated society.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Searchin'
Source:    Mono LP: What's Shakin'
Writer(s):    Lieber/Stoller
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1966
    The Lovin' Spoonful came close to being the first rock band signed by Elektra Records. It was this inexperience with the world of pop music (as it was then called) that ultimately led the Spoonful to instead sign with Kama Sutra, the direct forerunner of Buddah Records. According to bassist Steve Boone, the band, and their production team, "wanted the benefits of being on Dick Clark" and appearing in magazines like Teen Beat, something the people at Kama Sutra were better equipped to deliver. Still, the band genuinely liked Jac Holtzman and wanted to do something to make up for not signing with his label, so they gave him four tracks that never appeared on Kama Sutra. Those four tracks ended up appearing, along with tunes from Eric Clapton's Powerhouse, the Butterfield Blues Band, and others, on a one-off anthology album called What's Shakin' in 1966. Two of the Spoonful recordings were original John Sebastian tunes. The other two were covers of vintage rock and roll tunes, including the Jerry Lieber/Mike Stoller tune Searchin', which had been a hit for the Coasters in 1957. The two cover tunes show a side of the Lovin' Spoonful that was seldom, if ever, heard on their Kama Sutra recordings.

Artist:    Front Line
Title:    Got Love
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Lanigan/Philipet
Label:    Rhino (original label: York)
Year:    1965
    The Front Line was a band from San Rafael, California whose story in many ways was typical of their time. Marin County, being a fairly upscale place, had its share of clubs catering to the sons and daughters of its affluent residents. Of course, these teens wanted to hear live performances of their favorite top 40 tunes and bands like the Front Line made a decent enough living catering to their preferences. Like most bands of the time, the Front Line had one song that was of their own creation, albeit one that was somewhat derivative of the kinds of tunes they usually performed (not to mention unusually short in duration) so as not to scare off their audience. That song was Got Love, which was released on the York label in 1965.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Think
Source:    CD: Aftermath
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original US label: London)
Year:    1966
    The 1966 album Aftermath marked a turning point for the Rolling Stones, as it was the first Stones album to be entirely made up of songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Although, as with all the early Stones releases, there were differences between the US and UK versions of the album, both releases included Think, a song that is fairly representative of the mid-60s Rolling Stones sound.

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:    Rolling Stones
Title:    It's Not Easy
Source:    CD: Aftermath
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original US label: London)
Year:    1966
    The Rolling Stones' Aftermath, along with the Beatles' Rubber Soul, began a revolution in rock music that was felt for several decades. Prior to those two releases, albums were basically a mix of original and cover songs meant to provide a little supplemental income for popular artists who had hit singles. Aftermath, however, was full of songs that could stand on their own. Even songs like It's Not Easy, which could have been hit singles for lesser artists, were completely overlooked in favor of tracks like Under My Thumb, which is arguably the first true rock classic not to be released as a single. Within the short span of two years, rock would find itself in a place where an artist could be considered a success without having a hit single, something that was completely unheard of when Aftermath was released.

Artist:    Love Exchange
Title:    Swallow The Sun
Source:    LP: Nuggets vol. 10-Folk Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    John Merrill
Label:    Rhino (original label: Uptown)
Year:    1967
    Comparisons have been made between the Love Exchange and another Los Angeles band, the Peanut Butter Conspiracy. It only makes sense, after all, since both groups were best described as "psychedelic folk-rock" and both were fronted by a female vocalist. In the case of the Love Exchange, this was 16-year-old Bonnie Blunt. What really invites the comparison, however, is the fact that the Love Exchange's best-known song (and only single) Swallow The Sun was written by John Merrill, leader of the Peanut Butter Conspiracy. Despite their lack of recording success, the Love Exchange lasted until 1969, with their last appearance being at the Newport '69 Pop Festival.

Artist:    Tomorrow
Title:    My White Bicycle
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Hopkins/Burgess
Label:    Rhino (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1967
    One of the most popular bands with the mid-60s London Mods was a group called the In Crowd. In 1967 the band abandoned its R&B/Soul sound for a more psychedelic approach, changing its name to Tomorrow in the process. Their debut single, My White Bicycle, was inspired by the practice in Amsterdam of leaving white bicycles at various stategic points throughout the city for anyone to use (Ithaca, NY currently does the same thing, except theirs are yellow and green). The song sold well and got a lot of play at local discoteques, but did not chart. Soon after the record was released, however, lead vocalist Keith West had a hit of his own, Excerpt From A Teenage Opera, which did not sound at all like the music Tomorrow was making. After a second Tomorrow single failed to chart, the individual members drifted off in different directions, with West concentrating on his solo career, guitarist Steve Howe joining Bodast, and bassist Junior Wood and drummer Twink Alder forming a short-lived group called Aquarian Age. Twink would go on to greater fame as a member of the Pretty Things and a founder of the Pink Fairies, but it was Howe that became an international star in the 70s after replacing Peter Banks in Yes.

Artist:    Moby Grape
Title:    Fall On You
Source:    LP: Moby Grape
Writer(s):    Peter Lewis
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    In a band overloaded with talent like Moby Grape was it's easy to overlook the contributions of the band's third guitarist, Peter Lewis. That would be a mistake, however. Although not as flashy as some of the other members, Lewis, the son of actress Loretta Young, showed his songwriting talents on tunes such as Fall On You from the first Moby Grape LP.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Silas Stingy
Source:    Mono CD: The Who Sell Out
Writer(s):    John Entwistle
Label:    Polydor/UMC
Year:    1967
    John Alec Entwistle did not write average songs. For example, his best known song, Boris The Spider, was about, well, a spider. Whiskey Man dealt with a drunk's imaginary friend. And then there was Silas Stingy, from The Who Sell Out. The song tells the story of a man who was so miserly he spent his entire fortune on protecting his money, thus ending up with nothing at all. One of my all-time favorite Who tracks.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    And The Address
Source:    LP: Shades Of Deep Purple
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Lord
Label:    Tetragrammaton
Year:    1968
    And The Address was, by all accounts, the very first Deep Purple song written by members of the band. In fact, the instrumental piece, which appeared as the opening track on the 1968 LP Shades Of Deep Purple, was actually written before Deep Purple itself was formed. Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore had answered an ad placed by Chris Curtis, a local musician who was trying to put together something called Roundabout, which would feature a rotating set of musicians on a circular stage, with Curtis himself fronting each group. The idea soon fell apart, but the first two people he recruited, Blackmore and Lord, decided to keep working together following Curtis's departure, eventually adding vocalist Rod Evans, bassist Nicky Simper and drummer Ian Paice to fill out the band's original lineup. After securing a record deal, the band went to work on their debut LP, with And The Address being the first song they started to record. The song became the band's set opener for much of 1968, until it was replaced by another instrumental called Hard Road (Wring That Neck), which appeared on the band's second LP, The Book Of Taliesyn. Since then, And The Address has hardly ever been played live.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Water Woman/The Great Canyon Fire In General
Source:    CD: Spirit
Writer(s):    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Ode/Epic/Legacy
Year:    1968
    Among other things, Southern California is known for its periodic wildfires, which, fueled by hot Santa Ana winds, destroy everything in their path before they can be brought under control. In the summer of 1967, while the members of Spirit were living in L.A.'s Topanga Canyon and working on their first album, one of these wildfires took out about half of the canyon, inspiring vocalist Jay Ferguson to write The Great Canyon Fire In General. The track uses a marshall beat and banging piano, interspersed with fiery guitar work from Randy California, to represent the relentless fury of the blaze. Immediately preceding The Great Canyon Fire In General on the LP is Ferguson's Water Woman, a gently flowing tune that sounds like it could have been written by the demigod Pan himself.