Sunday, October 24, 2021

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2144 (starts 10/25/21)

https://exchange.prx.org/pieces/390857-pe-2144


    I've been promising myself for a long time that one of these years I would do an entire show centered around Halloween themes. This is that show.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Season Of The Witch
Source:    CD: Donovan's Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: Sunshine Superman)
Writer:    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Sony (original label: Epic)
Year:    1966 (stereo version, 1969)
     Season Of The Witch has proved to be one of the most popular and enduring tracks on Donovan's Sunshine Superman album. Due to a contract dispute with Pye Records, the album was not released in the UK until late 1967, and then only as an LP combining tracks from both the Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow albums. Like all tracks from both Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow, Season Of The Witch was only available in a mono mix until 1969, when a new stereo mix was created from the original multi-track masters for the singer/songwriter's first greatest hits compilation. Season of the Witch has since been covered by an impressive array of artists, including Al Kooper and Stephen Stills (on the Super Session album) and Vanilla Fudge.

Artist:    October Country
Title:    My Girlfriend Is A Witch
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Michael Lloyd
Label:    Rhino (original label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    By 1968 the L.A. under-age club scene was winding down, and several now out of work bands were making last (and sometimes only) attempts at garnering hits in the studio. One such band was October Country, whose first release had gotten a fair amount of local airplay, but who had become bogged down trying to come up with lyrics for a follow-up single. Enter Michael Lloyd, recently split from the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band and looking to become a record producer. Lloyd not only produced and wrote the lyrics for My Girlfriend Is A Witch, he also ended up playing drums on the record as well. Since then Lloyd has gone on to be one of the most successful record producers in L.A. (the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, for instance).

Artist:    Lollipop Shoppe (actual name: The Weeds)
Title:    You Must Be A Witch
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Fred Cole
Label:    Rhino (original label: Uni)
Year:    1968
    The Weeds were formed in Las Vegas in 1965 by vocalist Fred Cole, who at age 16 was already a recording studio veteran. They showed up at the Fillmore to open for the Yardbirds in 1966 only to find out that their manager had lied to them about being on the playbill (in fact Bill Graham had never even heard of them). Disenchanted with their management and fearing the Draft, the entire band decided to head for Canada, but ran out of gas in Portland, Oregon. They soon landed a regular gig at a club called the Folk Singer (where Cole met his future wife Toody) and after relocating to Southern California in 1968 attracted the attention of Seeds' manager Lord Tim, who got them a contract with MCA Records (now Universal). They recorded one album for MCA's Uni label, (discovering after the fact that Lord Tim had changed their name to the Lollipop Shoppe), which included the single You Must Be A Witch. Fred Cole has since become an icon of indy rock, returning to Portland to co-lead the band Dead Moon with his wife Toody from 1987-2006.

Artist:    Sonics
Title:    The Witch
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Gerald Roslie
Label:    Rhino (original label: Etiquette)
Year:    1964
    The #1 selling single in the history of the Pacific Northwest was this tune by one of the founding bands of the Seattle music scene. The Sonics were as raw as any punk rock band of the seventies, as The Witch proves beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    It's Alright Ma, It's Only Witchcraft
Source:    CD: Spirit of Joy (originally released on LP: Fairport Convention)
Writer(s):    Hutchings/Thompson
Label:    Polydor (original US label: Cotillion)
Year:    1968
    Fairport Convention has long been known for their role in the British folk music revival that came to prominence in the early 70s. Originally, however, the band was modeled after the folk-rock bands on the US West Coast that took the world by storm in 1965 and 1966. Their first LP was released in early 1968, and drew favorable reviews from the UK rock press, which saw them at Britain's answer to Jefferson Airplane. One of the LP's highlights is It's Alright, It's Only Witchcraft, which features electric guitar work by Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol that rivals that of Jorma Kaukonen. The album was not initially released in the US. Two years later, following the success of Fairport Convention's later albums with vocalist Sandy Denny on the A&M label, the band's first LP (with Judy Dyble) was given a limited release on Atlantic's Cotillion subsidiary.

Artist:    Fifty Foot Hose
Title:    Cauldron
Source:    LP: Cauldron
Writer:    BlossoM/Marcheschi/Kimsey
Label:    Limelight
Year:    1968
    Although New York is generally considered the epicenter for avant-garde rock, there were things happening out on the West Coast as well, including the United States Of America (led by an expatriot Manhattanite) in Los Angeles and Fifty Foot Hose in San Francisco. Fifty Foot Hose featured Cork Marcheschi's homemade electronic instruments and the unique vocal style of Nancy Blossom. The group disbanded when all of the members except Marcheschi left to join the cast of the musical Hair. Nancy Blossom herself played the female lead, Sheila, in the San Francisco production of the rock musical.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    (Ballad Of The) Hip Death Goddess
Source:    LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer(s):    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    Ultimate Spinach was the brainchild of Ian Bruce-Douglas, who wrote and arranged all the band's material. Although the group had no hit singles, some tracks, such as (Ballad of the) Hip Death Goddess received a significant amount of airplay on progressive "underground" FM stations. The recording has in more recent years been used by movie producers looking to invoke a late 60s atmosphere.

Artist:    Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:    The Black Plague
Source:    British import CD: Winds Of Change
Writer(s):    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    Repertoire (original US label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    One of the most interesting recordings of 1967 was Eric Burdon And The Animals' The Black Plague, which appeared on the Winds Of Change album. The Black Plague is a spoken word piece dealing with life and death in a medieval village during the time of the Black Plague (natch), set to a somewhat gothic piece of music that includes Gregorian style chanting and an occasional voice calling out the words "bring out your dead" in the background. The album itself had a rather distinctive cover, consisting of a stylized album title accompanied by a rather lengthy text piece on a scroll against a black background, something that has never been done before or since on an album cover.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Death Sound Blues
Source:    CD: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    I generally use the term "psychedelic" to describe a musical attitude that existed during a particular period of time rather than a specific style of music. On the other hand, the term "acid rock" is better suited for describing music that was composed and/or performed under the influence of certain mind-expanding substances. That said, the first album by Country Joe and the Fish is a classic example of acid rock. I mean, really, is there any other way to describe Death Sound Blues than "the blues on acid"?

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Grim Reaper Of Love
Source:    Mono CD: All The Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Portz/Nichol
Label:    Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1966
    The Turtles had some early success in 1965 as a folk-rock band, recording the hit version of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe and PF Sloan's Let Me Be. By 1966, however, it was getting harder and harder for the group to get a hit record. One attempt was Grim Reaper Of Love, co-written by Turtles lead guitarist Al Nichol. Personally I think it's a pretty cool tune, but was probably a bit too weird to appeal to the average top 40 radio listener in 1966. Grim Reaper Of Love did manage to make it to the # 81 spot on the charts, unlike the band's next two singles that failed to chart at all. It wasn't until the following year, when the Turtles recorded Happy Together, that the band would make it back onto the charts.

Artist:    Strangeloves
Title:    I Want Candy
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Feldman/Goldstein/Gottehrer/Berns
Label:    Rhino (original label: Bang)
Year:    1966
    In the wake of the British Invasion, some American artists tried to sound as British as possible, often deliberately letting radio listeners think that they themselves might be a British band. A trio of New York songwriters, Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer, took such deceptions to a whole new level. Rather than try to pass themselves off as a British band, the three invented an elaborate backstory that saw them as sons of an Australian sheepherder who had invented a new shearing process and had used the profits from the venture to form a band called the Strangeloves, who were about to become the Next Big Thing. Although the story never really caught on, the group managed to record two of the all-time great party songs, I Want Candy and Night Time, as well as producing a single called Hang On Sloopy for a band they discovered on the road called the McCoys (although the instrumental tracks were actually from the Strangeloves' own first LP). According to press releases the pounding drum beat on I Want Candy was made by Masai drums that the band members had found while on safari in Africa, which just goes to show you can find just about anything in the New York City area if you know where to look.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Savoy Truffle
Source:    LP: The Beatles
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple
Year:    1968
    George Harrison's skills as a songwriter continued to develop in 1968. The double-LP The Beatles (aka the White Album) contained four Harrison compositions, including Savoy Truffle, a tongue-in-cheek song about Harrison's friend Eric Clapton's fondness for chocolate. John Lennon did not participate in the recording of Savoy Truffle. The keyboards were probably played by Chris Thomas, who, in addition to playing on all four Harrison songs on the album, served as de facto producer when George Martin decided to take a vacation in the middle of the album's recording sessions. 

Artist:    P.F. Sloan
Title:    Halloween Mary
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    P.F. Sloan
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1965
    If there is any one songwriter associated specifically with folk-rock (as opposed to folk music), it would be the Los Angeles based P.F. Sloan, writer of Barry McGuire's signature song, Eve Of Destruction. Sloan also penned hits for the Turtles in their early days as one of the harder-edged folk-rock bands, including their second hit, Let Me Be. In fact, Sloan had almost 400 songs to his credit by the time he and Steve Barri teamed up to write and produce a series of major hits released by various bands under the name Grass Roots. Sloan himself, however, only released two singles as a singer, although (as can be heard on the second of them, the slightly off-kilter Halloween Mary) he had a voice as powerful as many of the recording stars of the time.

Artist:        Randy Newman
Title:        Last Night I Had A Dream
Source:      Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:        Randy Newman
Label:        Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:        1968
        Randy Newman has, over the course of the past fifty-plus years, established himself as a Great American Writer of Songs. His work includes dozens of hit singles (over half of which were performed by other artists), nearly two dozen movie scores and eleven albums as a solo artist. Newman has won five Grammys, as well as two Oscars and Three Emmys. Last Night I Had A Dream was Newman's second single for the Reprise label  (his third overall), coming out the same year as his first LP, which did not include the song.

Artist:    Mike Oldfield
Title:    Tubular Bells
Source:    LP: Tubular Bells
Writer(s):    Mike Oldfield
Label:    Virgin
Year:    1973
    Tubular Bells was the first album ever released by Virgin Records. It got a lot of critical acclaim when it was first released, but did not take off commercially until the first few minutes of the piece were used in a film called The Exorcist. Several sequels have been recorded in the years since the album's original 1973 release, including Tubular Bells II and III and The Millenium Bell (released in 1999).

Artist:     Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Title:     Fire
Source:     British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Brown/Crane/Finesilver/Ker
Label:     Polydor (original US label: Atlantic)
Year:     1968
     The Crazy World of Arthur Brown was unusual for their time in that they were much more theatrical than most of their contemporaries, who were generally more into audio experimentation than visual. I have a video of Fire being performed (or maybe just lip-synched). In it, all the members are wearing some sort of mask, and Brown himself is wearing special headgear that was literally on fire. There is no doubt that The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown sowed the seeds of what was to become the glitter-rock movement in the early to mid 70s.

Artist:    Who
Title:    I'm A Boy (re-recorded stereo version)
Source:    CD: Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1966
    The Who's1966 hit I'm A Boy was originally intended to be part of a rock mini-opera set in a future where parents choose the sex of their children ahead of time. The family of the protagonist orders four girls, but instead gets three girls and a boy. Refusing to acknowledge the truth, the mother insists on dressing the boy in girl's clothing and forces him to do "feminine" things. OK, it's a pretty absurd idea, but the song, recorded in early August of 1966 and released about two weeks later, ended up going all the way to the #2 spot on the British charts. The stereo version of the song on the album Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy is slightly slower and a bit longer than the original hit single, and was recorded about two months later, on October 3rd.

Artist:     Who
Title:     Disguises
Source:     Mono CD: A Quick One (bonus track originally released in UK on 45 RPM EP: Ready Steady Who)
Writer:     Pete Townshend
Label:     MCA (original label: Reaction)
Year:     1966
     After a successful appearance on the British TV show Ready Steady Go (the UK's answer to American Bandstand), the Who released an EP featuring mostly cover songs such as Bucket T and the Batman theme. Two tracks on the record, however, were Who originals: a new version of Circles (a song that originally appeared on the My Generation album) and Disguises, which made its debut as the lead track of the EP. When MCA issued a remastered version of A Quick One in the 1990s, the entire contents of the EP (except Circles) were included as bonus tracks on the CD.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Substitute
Source:    Mono CD: Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA (original label: Atco)
Year:    1966
    In the spring of 1967 my dad, a career military man, got word that he was being transferred from Denver, Colorado to Weisbaden, Germany. By the end of  summer, our entire family had relocated to a converted WWII Panzer barracks that was serving as a housing area for married US military personnel and their families. The Kastel housing area, which was just outside of the village of Mainz-Kastel, which in turn was located directly across the Rhine from the city of Mainz itself, was probably the smallest US housing area in all of Europe, consisting of only eight buildings. Needless to say, there were not many other American kids my age living there, a fact that ended up working to my advantage. You see, in Denver I had been playing first chair violin in the Smiley Junior High School orchestra; a position that looked good to the adults in the room but was the kiss of death to a 14-year-old boy trying desperately to fit in with his peers. So, naturally, as one of only half a dozen or so teenaged boys in the Kastel Housing Area, I jumped at the chance to learn how to play the guitar, a much cooler instrument than the violin in the eyes of  a 14-year-old boy trying desperately to fit in with his peers. There were two guys at Kastel who a) had guitars and b) were willing to put up with an obnoxious 14-year-old boy trying desperately to fit in with his peers long enough to teach him a few chords. The first was was a 10th-grader named Darrell Combs, who went by the nickname Butch (his older sister Darlene being responsible for that one). The other was an 11th-grader named Mike Davenport, who had been in Germany longer than the rest of us and had his own Fender amp. Mike also had a collection of records that had been popular on Radio Luxembourg, a powerful AM and shortwave station that broadcast an American styled top 40 format aimed at a British audience, playing hits from the UK singles charts. Among those records were several singles by the Who, including their chart-topping 1966 UK hit Substitute. Mike and Butch had been trying to figure out the chords to Substitute, but had not been able to get beyond the intro of the song. After listening to the record once or twice (yes, I'm bragging) I was able to figure out the rest of the song. Not long after that I was able to talk my parents into buying me a guitar and a small amp as an early Christmas present (that ended up doubling as my 15th birthday present as well). With three guitarists, two amps, and a drummer named Zachary Long in our arsenal, we formed a band called The Abundance Of Love (hey, it was 1967, OK?), which soon got changed to the Haze And Shades Of Yesterday and finally just The Shades. One of the first songs we learned to play was (you guessed it), Substitute by the Who. The Shades ended up lasting until the summer of 1968, at which time my dad got transferred again, this time to Ramstein AFB, Germany.

Artist:    Beacon Street Union
Title:    South End Incident (I'm Afraid)
Source:    LP: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union
Writer(s):    Wayne Ulaky
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    The Beacon Street Union's South End Incident (I'm Afraid) was reportedly based on a real incident. According to the story, bassist Wayne Ulaky witnessed a mugging in one of Boston's seedier neighborhoods and spent the rest of that evening looking over his shoulder, worried that the muggers might have seen him. He then wrote a song about it that got recorded by the band and released on their debut LP, The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Strange Brew
Source:    CD: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s):    Clapton/Collins/Pappalardi
Label:    Polydor.Polygram (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Strange Brew, the opening track from Cream's Disraeli Gears album, was also released as a single in early 1967. The song has proven popular enough over the years to be included on pretty much every Cream anthology album ever compiled, and even inspired a Hollywood movie of the same name.

Artist:    Classics IV
Title:    Spooky
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Sharpe/Middlebrooks/Buie/Cobb
Label:    Silver Spotlight (original label: Imperial)
Year:    1967
    Most people don't know this (it was news to me too), but the Halloween classic Spooky, by the Classics IV, was orginally an instrumental. The tune was written by saxophonist Mike Sharpe, with Harry Middlebrooks, Jr. and released by Sharpe in 1967, making it to the #57 on the Billboard charts. Late in the year, Classics IV guitarist J. R. Cobb and producer Buddy Buie came up with lyrics for the song in time to get the song recorded and released by Halloween, and the band scored their first top 40 hit with the song, featuring drummer Dennis Yost on lead vocals. The Classics IV continued to hit the top 40 charts into the early 1970s, with Yost moving out from behind the drum kit and taking over top billing (See? Phil Collins wasn't the first to do that!), while Cobb and Buie, as a side project, formed the Atlanta Rhythm Section in 1970. Finally, in 1975, Yost officially went solo, ending the story of the Classics IV.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    (Roamin' Thro' The Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen
Source:    CD: Smiling Phases (originally released as 45 RPM B side and on LP: Traffic)
Writer(s):    Capaldi/Winwood
Label:    Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1968
    The second Traffic album saw the band taking in a broader set of influences, including traditional English folk music. (Roamin' Through The Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen, originally released as the B side to the Dave Mason tune No Face, No Name, No Number, combines those influences with the Steve Winwood brand of British R&B to create a timeless classic.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Lola
Source:    Mono Canadian CD: 25 Years-The Ultimate Collection (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Polygram/PolyTel (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1970
    By 1970 the Kinks were all but forgotten in the US and not doing all that much better in their native UK. Then came Lola. I guess I could stop right there. Or I could mention that the song was based on a true story involving the band's manager. I could even say something about Dave Davies' claim that, although his brother Ray is credited as the sole songwriter of Lola, Dave actually came up with the music and Ray added the lyrics. But you've probably heard it all before. This is Lola, the most famous transvestite song in history, we're talking about, after all.

Artist:    Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title:     I Put A Spell On You
Source:     CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm
Writer:     Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Label:     Rhino
Year:     1969
     Before getting major attention for its string of top five singles (including three consecutive # 2 songs), CCR released a pair of cover tunes in 1968: Dale Hawkins' Suzy Q and this one from an entirely different Hawkins, Screamin' Jay. Although the Creedence version of I Put A Spell On You only made it to the # 58 spot on the national charts, it was still part of their repertoire when they played at Woodstock the following year.

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:        Vanilla Fudge
Title:        Season of the Witch
Source:       LP: Renaissance
Writer:        Donovan Leitch
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.The track features a spoken section written by Essra Mohawk, a singer/songwriter whose own debut album was produced by Frank Zappa.

Artist:    Mike Oldfield
Title:    Tubular Bells
Source:    LP: Tubular Bells
Writer(s):    Mike Oldfield
Label:    Virgin
Year:    1973
    Side one of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells album runs over 25 minutes in length. Most people have only heard the beginning section of the piece used in the 1973 film The Exorcist. I thought this might be a nice time to reveal a little of what comes after.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2144 (starts 10/25/21)

https://exchange.prx.org/pieces/390856-dc-2144 


    It's late October, and for most Westerners that means the Season Of The Witch. And Wizard. And other various mysterious and sometimes spooky things. For Rockin' in the Days of Confusion it means a chance to play some really cool tunes with a somewhat common theme. The first half of the show is all about the witches...

Artist:    Al Kooper/Stephen Stills/Harvey Brooks/Eddie Hoh
Title:    Season Of The Witch
Source:    CD: Super Session
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1968
            In 1968 Al Kooper, formerly of the Blues Project, formed a new group he called Blood, Sweat and Tears. Then, after recording one album with the new group, he promptly quit the band. He then booked studio time and called in his friend Michael Bloomfield (who had just left own his new band the Electric Flag) for a recorded jam session. Due to his chronic insomnia and inclination to use heroin to deal with said insomnia, Bloomfield was unable to record an entire album's worth of material, and Kooper called in another friend, Stephen Stills (who had recently left the Buffalo Springfield) to complete the project. The result was the Super Session album, which surprisingly (considering that it was the first album of its kind), made the top 10 album chart. One of the most popular tracks on Super Session was an extended version of Donovan's Season of the Witch, featuring Stills using a wah-wah pedal (a relatively new invention at the time). Kooper initially felt that the basic tracks needed some sweetening, so he brought in a horn section to record additional overdubs.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    The Witch's Promise
Source:    LP: Living In The Past (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1970
    American listeners may be surprised to learn that Jethro Tull, known in the US as an album-oriented progressive rock band, actually had a series of top 10 singles in their native UK, including several that were not available on the LPs at all. The last of these standalone singles was The Witch's Promise, released in January of 1970. Released as a follow-up to Living In The Past and Sweet Dreams. both of which had made the top 10 on the British charts, The Witch's Promise continued the trend, peaking at #4 (although released as a single in the US, the record failed to crack the top 100). Nonetheless, Tull's leader, Ian Anderson, announced that all future singles would be taken from the band's albums (although they ended up releasing a couple of EPs with all-new material later in the decade).

Artist:    Steeleye Span
Title:    Allison Gross
Source:    LP: Parcel Of Rogues
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Steeleye Span
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1973
    The idea of a being with supernatural powers exacting vengeance on a spurned lover is a common theme in British folklore. One of the best known examples of this is the folk song Allison Gross, in which "the ugliest witch in the north country" ends up turning the protagonist of the song into "an ugly wurm" (dragon) for spurning her affections. Steeleye Span modernized the musical arrangement for their 1973 album Parcel Of Rogues. The original folk song has additional verses in which the protagonist eventually is cured of his affliction by a passing group of fairies.

Artist:     Fairport Convention
Title:     Tam Lin
Source:     LP: Fairport Chronicles (originally released on LP: Leige and Leaf)
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Swarbrick
Label:     A&M
Year:     1969
    Fairport Convention was hailed as England's answer to Jefferson Airplane when they first appeared. As Tam Lin, a electrified traditional English ballad that was included on their 1969 album Leige And Lief shows, they soon established a sound all their own. Sandy Denny, heard here on lead vocals, is probably best known to US audiences for her backup vocals on Led Zeppelin's The Battle of Evermore from their fourth LP.

Artist:    Redbone
Title:    The Witch Queen Of New Orleans
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Message From A Drum)
Writer(s):    Pat and Lolly Vegas
Label:    Sony Music (original label: Epic)
Year:    1971
    Citing part-Cherokee Jimi Hendrix as an inspiration, brothers Pat and Lolly Vegas, already veteran performers who had appeared several times on ABC-TV's Shindig, among other venues, decided to form an all Native American band in 1969. Their first hit single was The Witch Queen Of New Orleans, from the 1971 LP Message From A Drum. Redbone recorded a total of six albums for the Epic label in the early 1970s, and are known for being the opening act at the first Earth Day event.    

Artist:    Dr. Hook And The Medicine Show
Title:    Marie Laveau
Source:    LP: Doctor Hook
Writer(s):    Silverstein/Taylor
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1971
    One of America's best known folk characters is actually based on a real person. Marie Laveau was a dedicated practitioner of Voodoo, as well as a healer and herbalist who lived in New Orleans in the 19th century. Details of her life are sketchy, and much of her legend was fostered by her daughter Marie Laveau II, who took the title of Voodoo Queen following the original Marie's death and was much more into public displays of her powers. The song Marie Laveau, which actually has little in common with the historical figure other than the name, was one of many tunes written for the band Dr. Hook And The Medicine Show by the multi-talented Shel Silverstein, author of The Giving Tree and longtime cartoonist for Playboy magazine.

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    The Wizard
Source:    CD: Black Sabbath
Writer:    Osborne/Iommi/Butler/Ward
Label:    Warner Brothers/Rhino
Year:    1970
    Often cited as the first true heavy metal album, Black Sabbath's debut LP features one of my all-time favorite album covers (check out the Stuck in the Psychedelic Era Facebook page's Classic Album Covers section) as well as several outstanding tracks. One of the best of these is The Wizard, which was reportedly inspired by the Gandalf character from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

Artist:    Edgar Winter Group
Title:    Frankenstein (edited version)
Source:    LP: They Only Come Out At Night
Writer:    Edgar Winter
Label:    Epic
Year:    1973
    A real monster hit (sorry, couldn't resist).

Artist:    Blue Oyster Cult
Title:    (Don't Fear) The Reaper
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Agents Of Fortune)
Writer(s):    Donald Roeser
Label:    Sony Music
Year:    1976
    Guitarist/vocalist Buck Dharma wrote (Don't Fear) The Reaper in his late 20s. At the time, he said, he was expecting to die at a young age. Dharma (real name Donald Roeser), is now 71 years old. Personally, I can't hear this track without thinking of the 1994 miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand.

Artist:    Uriah Heep
Title:    The Wizard
Source:    LP: Demons And Wizards
Writer:    Hensley/Clarke
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1972
    Although Uriah Heep had been around since 1969, they didn't get much attention in the US until their Demons And Wizards album in 1972, which included their biggest hit, Easy Livin'. The Wizard, which opens the album, was the first of two singles released from the album. The song itself is a semi-acoustic tune about a wizard whose name is never given, but is thought to be either Merlin or Gandalf.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Gallows Pole
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin III
Writer(s):    Traditional, arr. Page/Plant
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Following a year of intensive touring to promote their first two albums, Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page decided to take some time off, cloistering themselves in a small Welsh cottage known as Bron-Yr-Aur for several weeks. The place had no electricity, and the pair used the time to write and/or adapt acoustic material for the band to record for their third LP. One of the best of these "new" songs was Gallows Pole, which Page adapted from a 1962 recording by Fred Gerlach, although the song's roots go back several centuries.

Artist:    Bo Hansson
Title:    The City
Source:    LP: Magician's Hat
Writer(s):    Bo Hansson
Label:    Charisma
Year:    1972
    Swedish multi-instrumentalist/composer Bo Hansson released his first solo instrumental progressive rock album, Music Inspired By Lord Of The Rings, in 1970, after having read a copy of the Tolkien trilogy given to him by his girlfriend. The album, originally released in Sweden, was successful enough to be picked up for international distribution on the Charisma label in 1972. At around the same time, Hansson began work on his follow-up LP, Magician's Hat. This second effort was released in Sweden in late 1972 and once again picked up by Charisma for international release. Although not as successful as its predecessor, Magician's Hat is still quite listenable, as can be heard on the LP's opening track, The City.


Sunday, October 17, 2021

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2143 (starts 10/18/21)

 https://exchange.prx.org/pieces/389977-pe-2143

 
    This week's show features an artists' set in every segment, including some Beatles recordings that sat on the shelf for several years before finally being released. Two of these are alternate versions of more familiar tunes, while the third was totally unknown until 1996, when it was included on the third Anthology collection. Speaking of alternate versions, the Jefferson Airplane set includes an eight minute studio performance of the final song from that band's first album, with an extended instrumental section from the core members of what would eventually become Hot Tuna.

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

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    She's So Fine
Source:    CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Noel Redding
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy
Year:    1967
    When Jimi Hendrix met Noel Redding at a jam session, the latter was playing guitar. Hendrix, however, convinced him to switch to bass when he invited him to become part of his new band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Although Redding thrived in his new role, he always retained ambitions of writing and playing his own songs, which he would eventually get the chance to do with a band called Fat Mattress. In the meantime, however, he did manage to get a pair of his own songs recorded by the Experience. The first of these was She's So Fine, which was included on the Axis: Bold As Love album. Hendrix of course provided the lead guitar parts on the song, which was sung by Redding. Hendrix also co-produced the song, giving him his first taste of producing a song not written by himself. Hendrix would eventually expand on this concept, producing or co-producing the debut albums of two bands that toured with the Experience in 1969, Eire Apparent and Cat Mother And The All Night Newsboys (and providing some guitar work for the former).

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Prelude: Happiness/I'm So Glad
Source:    LP: Shades Of Deep Purple
Writer(s):    Evans/Lord/Paice/Blackmore/Simper/James
Label:    Tetragrammaton
Year:    1968
    Deep Purple was originally the brainchild of vocalist Chris Curtis, whose idea was to have a band called Roundabout that utilized a rotating cast of musicians onstage, with only Curtis himself being up there for the entire gig. The first two musicians recruited were organist Jon Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, both of whom came aboard in late 1967. Curtis soon lost interest in the project, and Lord and Blackmore decided to stay together and form what would become Deep Purple. After a few false starts the lineup stabilized with the addition of bassist Nicky Simper, drummer Ian Paice and vocalist Rod Evans. The group worked up a songlist and used their various connections to get a record deal with a new American record label, Tetragrammaton, which was partially owned by actor/comedian Bill Cosby. This in turn led to a deal to release the band's recordings in England on EMI's Parlophone label as well, although Tetragrammaton had first rights to all the band's material, including the classically-influenced Prelude: Happiness, which leads directly into a cover of the Skip James classic I'm So Glad. The band's first LP, Shades Of Deep Purple, was released in the US in July of 1968 and in the UK in September of the same year. The album was a major success in the US, where the single Hush made it into the top five. In the UK, however, it was panned by the rock press and failed to make the charts. This would prove to be the pattern the band would follow throughout its early years; it was only after Evans and Simper were replaced by Ian Gillan and Roger Glover that the band would find success in their native land. Both editions of Deep Purple can be heard regularly on our companion show, Rockin' in the Days of Confusion.

Artist:    Fleetwood Mac
Title:    Fighting For Madge
Source:    CD: Then Play On
Writer(s):    Mick Fleetwood
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    A jam session is defined (by me) as what happens when two or more musicians get together and play whatever they feel like playing. Jazz, rock and blues artists in particular are prone to jamming, sometimes with recording devices running. Sometimes these jams serve as the basis for future compositions, and in some cases (the Jimi Hendrix track Voodoo Chile from side one of Electric Ladyland comes to mind) the jam session itself ends up being released in its original form. Fleetwood Mac, in 1969, included two such jams on their Then Play On LP, although one of the two (Searching For Madge) was shortened from its original 17 minutes to just under seven minutes. The other jam, heard in its entirety on the album, is called Fighting For Madge. Both tracks were named for a female acquaintance of the band, with Mick Fleetwood getting the official writing credit for Fighting and John McVie the credit for Searching, even though everyone contributed equally to both jams.

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:    Kinks
Title:    Bald Headed Woman
Source:    LP: You Really Got Me
Writer(s):    Shel Talmy
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1964
    Although it was a traditional American blues song dating back at least to the earliest part of the 20th century, British record producer Shel Talmy took advantage of copyright laws (the song being in the public domain) to claim writing credit for Bald Headed Woman not once, but twice, in order to collect royalties on the song. The first time was in 1964, when he persuaded the Kinks to include the song on their debut LP. Later that same year Talmy did the same thing with the Who, with the song appearing as the B side of their first top 10 single, I Can't Explain.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Apeman
Source:    Canadia import CD: 25 Years-The Ultimate Collection. (originally released on LP: Lola vs. Powerman and the Moneyground Part One)
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Polygram/Polytel (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1970
    The Kinks, whose commercial success had been on the decline for a number of years, scored a huge international hit in 1970 with the title track from their album Lola vs. Powerman and the Moneyground Part One. They followed it up with the 1971 single Apeman, taken from the same album. The song was a top 10 single in the UK, although it was only moderately successful elsewhere.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Super Bird
Source:    LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Country Joe and the Fish, from Berkeley, California, were one of the first rock bands to incorporate political satire into their music. Their I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag is one of the most famous protest songs ever written. Super Bird is even heavier on the satire than the Rag. The song, from the band's debut LP, puts president Lyndon Johnson, whose wife and daughter were known as "Lady-bird" and "Linda-bird", in the role of a comic book superhero.

Artist:    H.P. Lovecraft
Title:    The White Ship
Source:    CD: Two Classic Albums From H.P. Lovecraft (originally released on LP: H.P. Lovecraft II)
Writer(s):    Edwards/Michaels/Cavallari
Label:    Collector's Choice/Universal Music Special Products (original label: Philips)
Year:    1967
    Fans of Chicago's premier psychedelic band, H.P. Lovecraft, generally agree that the high point of the band's 1967 debut LP is The White Ship, which opens the second side of the original LP. The basic song was composed by George Edwards, who came up with it between sessions for other tracks on the album in about 15 minutes. Once the rest of the band got ahold of it, the track was, in the words of co-founder Dave Michaels, "instantly moulded into a new entity", adding that "By itself, the baritone melody and chords are merely a bare-bones beginning. Adding the harmonies, the feedback effects on lead guitar, and conceiving the 'bolero' rhythm all came into being in a group setting." Accordingly, Edwards insisted on sharing songwriting credit with both Michaels and lead guitarist Tony Cavallari. Although the song was also released, in edited form, as a single, it is the six-and-a-half minute long LP version of The White Ship that got a considerable amount of airplay on underground FM radio stations when it was released in 1967.

Artist:    Velvet Illusions
Title:    Acid Head
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Weed/Radford
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tell, also released on Metromedia Records)
Year:    1967
    Showing an obvious influence by the Electric Prunes (a suburban L.A. band that was embraced by the Seattle crowd as one of their own) the Illusions backtracked the Prunes' steps, leaving their native Yakima and steady gigging for the supposedly greener pastures of the City of Angels. After a few months of frustration in which the band seldom found places to practice, let alone perform, they headed back to Seattle to cut Acid Head before calling it quits.

Artist:    Canned Heat
Title:    Dust My Broom
Source:    LP: Underground Gold (originally released on LP: Canned Heat)
Writer:    Johnson/James
Label:    Liberty
Year:    1967
    The first Canned Heat album was released shortly after the band's appearance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967 and consisted mainly of covers of blues classics. As could be expected of a band made up of record collectors, the songs on the album were as true to the original versions as the members of Canned Heat could make them. Of more interest is the song Dust My Broom itself, which was originally recorded in the 1930s by Robert Johnson, then electrified on Elmore James's 1951 recording. The James version, however, did not give Johnson any songwriting credit, a practice that was fairly common among blues artists at the time. Originally Canned Heat's version, which was based on James's recording, only gave James as the song's writer. Later releases, however, correctly give the credit to both Johnson and James.

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. Musicallyt 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:     Canned Heat
Title:     Amphetamine Annie
Source:     LP: Underground Gold (originally released on LP: Boogie With Canned Heat)
Writer:     Canned Heat
Label:     Liberty
Year:     1968
     By the end of 1967 the Haight-Ashbury scene had taken a definite turn for the worse. Most veterans of the street (i.e. those who had been there before the Summer of Love) placed the blame firmly on the influx of naive runaways that had flooded the area in the wake of calls to "go to San Francisco" earlier in the year, and on the drug dealers who preyed upon them. Methamphetamine (aka speed) was the drug usually singled out as the most destructive force at play. Back then it was the pill form of speed, such as white crosses, that was prevalent among users; the powdered crystal meth that has become a concern in modern rural America would not be used widely until the 1970s. Although originally from Los Angeles, Canned Heat had become closely identified with the San Francisco area following their appearance at the Monterey International Pop Festival and decided it was their civic duty to take a stand against the drug, declaring in the song Amphetamine Annie that "speed kills", a phrase that would show up as graffiti on various walls in the city as well. Ironically, by the time Boogie With Canned Heat, the album containing Amphetamine Annie, was released the band had returned to L.A.'s Laurel Canyon.

Artist:    Boots
Title:    But You'll Never Do It Babe
Source:    CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in West Berlin as 45 RPM single and on LP: Here Are The Boots)
Writer(s):    Smith/Fox
Label:    Rhino (original label: Telefunken)
Year:    1965
    Formed in Berlin in 1965, the Boots were one of the more adventurous bands operating on the European mainland. While most bands in Germany tended to emulate the Beatles, the Boots took a more underground approach, growing their hair out just a bit longer than their contemporaries and appealing to a more Bohemian type of crowd. Lead guitarist Jurg "Jockel" Schulte-Eckle was known for doing strange things to his guitar onstage using screwdrivers, beer bottles and the like to create previously unheard of sounds. The band's first single, But You'll Never Do It Babe, was originally recorded by a British band, Cops 'n' Robbers, but the Boots took the song to its greatest heights.

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:    Turtles
Title:    Happy Together
Source:    CD: Billboard Top Rock 'N' Roll Hits-1967 (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Happy Together)
Writer(s):    Bonner/Gordon
Label:    Rhino (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1967
    The Turtles got off to a strong start with their cover of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe, which hit the top 20 in 1965. By early 1967, however, the band had fallen on hard times and was looking for a way to return to the charts. They found that way with Happy Together, a song written by Gary Bonner and Mark Gordon, both members of an east coast band called the Magicians. Happy Together was the Turtles' first international hit, going all the way to the top of the charts in several countries and becoming one of the most recognizable songs in popular music history.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
Source:    CD: Anthology 2 (mon version originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1970
    Basically a studio concoction assembled by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) was originally intended to be released as a 1969 single by the Plastic Ono Band. The track was the result of four separate recording sessions dating back to 1967 and originally ran over six minutes long. The instrumental tracks were recorded around the same time the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in Spring of 1967. Brian Jones added a saxophone part on June 8th of that year. In April of 1969 Lennon and McCartney added vocals, while Lennon edited the entire track down from a monoraul mixdown to slightly over four minutes. The single was readied for a November release, but at the last minute was withdrawn. The recording was instead released as the B side of the Beatles' Let It Be single the following year. In 1996 the original tapes were re-edited to create a new stereo mix that runs a little over five and a half minutes in length. The new mix was included on the Anthology 2 CD.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I Me Mine
Source:    CD: Let It Be...Naked
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple/Capitol
Year:    1970 (remixed 2003)
    Recorded in January of 1970, I Me Mine was the last new song recorded by the Beatles before their official breakup in April of that year, although technically it was only three-quarters of the band, as John Lennon had quit the group three months earlier. Written a year earlier, during sessions that would eventually become the basis for the film Let It Be, the song reflects writer George Harrison's feelings about the acrimony that dominated everything the Beatles were trying to do at that time. In the film, John Lennon is seen dancing with Yoko Ono while the other band members were working on the song, reflecting an attitude of dismissiveness toward Harrison's compositions in general. Although Paul McCartney was also dismissive of the song, he did participate in the final recording of I Me Mine a year later, playing Hammond organ and electric piano as well as bass. Ringo Starr of course played drums on the track, with Harrison providing all the guitar parts (including a lead guitar solo that sounds like it was deliberately done in Lennon's style). The entire track lasted only a minute and a half, so producer Phil Spector created a new mix by repeating the blues-based chorus and second verse, extending the length of the song to nearly two and a half minutes. Spector also gave the song his "wall of sound" treatment for the Let It Be album. Over 30 years later Paul McCartney remixed the song again, retaining the extra chorus and verse but eliminating Spector's other touches, instead giving greater prominence to the guitar and organ parts.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    What's The New Mary Jane
Source:    CD: Anthology 3
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/Apple
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 1996
    1968 brought an explosion of creativity from the Beatles, but very little cooperation between the individual members. In fact, they came up with so much new (and in some cases quite original) material that they couldn't confine it to a single LP. Instead, they released a new single (Hey Jude/Revolution) and a double LP set (the Beatles, aka the White Album), and still had plenty of tracks left over. One of those recordings, that sat on the shelf for nearly 30 years, was a John Lennon composition called What's The New Mary Jane. Like many of the songs from this period, What's The New Mary Jane only features two members of the Beatles on it. John, of course, provided the vocals, along with double-tracked piano, while George Harrison played all the guitar parts. The song also features various sound effects provided by Yoko One and production assistant Mal Evans.

Artist:    Classics IV
Title:    Spooky
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Sharpe/Middlebrooks/Buie/Cobb
Label:    Silver Spotlight (original label: Imperial)
Year:    1967
    Most people don't know this (it was news to me too), but the Halloween classic Spooky, by the Classics IV, was orginally an instrumental. The tune was written by saxophonist Mike Sharpe, with Harry Middlebrooks, Jr. and released by Sharpe in 1967, making it to the #57 on the Billboard charts. Late in the year, Classics IV guitarist J. R. Cobb and producer Buddy Buie came up with lyrics for the song in time to get the song recorded and released by Halloween, and the band scored their first top 40 hit with the song, with drummer Dennis Yost on lead vocals. The Classics IV continued to hit the top 40 charts into the early 1970s, with Yost moving out from behind the drum kit and taking over top billing (See? Phil Collins wasn't the first to do that!), while Cobb and Buie, as a side project, formed the Atlanta Rhythm Section in 1970. Finally, in 1975, Yost officially went solo, ending the story of the Classics IV.

Artist:     Left Banke
Title:     Pretty Ballerina
Source:     Stereo 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:     Michael Brown
Label:     Smash
Year:     1967
     The Left Banke, taking advantage of bandleader Michael Brown's industry connections (his father ran a New York recording studio), ushered in what was considered to be the "next big thing" in popular music in early 1967: Baroque Pop. After their debut single, Walk Away Renee, became a huge bestseller, the band followed it up with Pretty Ballerina, which easily made the top 20 as well. Subsequent releases were sabotaged by a series of bad decisions by Brown and the other band members that left radio stations leery of playing any record with the words "Left Banke" on the label.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Let's Spend The Night Together
Source:    CD: Flowers (originally released on LP: Between The Buttons)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    The Rolling Stones second LP of 1967 was Flowers, one of a series of US-only albums made up of songs that had been released in various forms in the UK but not in the US. In the case of Flowers, though, there were a couple songs that had already been released in the US-but not in true stereo. One of those was Let's Spend The Night Together, a song intended to be the A side of a single, but that was soon banned on a majority of US radio stations because of its suggestive lyrics. Those stations instead flipped the record over and began playing the B side. That B side, a song called Ruby Tuesday, ended up in the top 5, while Let's Spend The Night Together barely cracked the top 40. The Stones did get to perform the tune on the Ed Sullivan Show, but only after promising to change the lyrics to "let's spend some time together." Later  the same year the Doors made a similar promise to the Sullivan show to modify the lyrics of Light My Fire, but when it came time to actually perform the song Jim Morrison defiantly sang the lyrics as written. The Doors were subsequently banned from making any more appearances on the Sullivan show.
 
Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Run Around
Source:    CD: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer(s):    Balin/Kantner
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1966
    The first Jefferson Airplane album was dominated by the songwriting of the band's founder, Marty Balin, both as a solo writer and as a collaborator with other band members. Run Around, from Balin and rhythm guitarist Paul Kantner, is fairly typical of the early Jefferson Airplane sound.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Embryonic Journey
Source:    Mono LP: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s):    Jorma Kaukonen
Label:    Sundazed (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1967
    Jorma Kaukonen originally considered Embryonic Journey to be little more than a practice exercise. Other members of Jefferson Airplane insisted he record it, however, and it has since come to be identified as a kind of signature song for the guitarist, who played the tune live when the band was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    And I Like It (alternate version)
Source:    LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer:    Balin/Kantner
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    Jorma Kaukonen was giving guitar lessons when he was approached by Marty Balin about joining a new band that Balin was forming. Kaukonen said yes and became a founding member of Jefferson Airplane. The two seldom collaborated on songwriting, though. One of the few examples of a Balin/Kaukonen composition is And I Like It, the track that closes out the band's first album. A few months later, just prior to the album's release, drummer Skip Spence left the Airplane to co-found Moby Grape, and the band recruited experienced jazz drummer Spencer Dryden as his replacement. This longer version of And I Like It, recorded in July of 1966, is one of the first recordings to include Dryden as a member of the band.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    When The Music's Over
Source:    LP: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    I remember the first time I heard When The Music's Over. My girlfriend's older brother had a copy of the Strange Days album on the stereo in his room and told us to get real close to the speakers so we could hear the sound of a butterfly while he turned the volume way up. What we got, of course, was a blast of "...we want the world and we want it now." Good times.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Straight Arrow
Source:    CD: Spirit
Writer(s):    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Ode/Epic/Legacy
Year:    1968
    Spirit was born when high school students and garage rockers Randy California, Jay Ferguson, Mark Andes and John Locke started jamming with California's stepfather, jazz drummer Ed Cassidy. The result was one of the earliest examples of jazz-rock, although the jazz element would be toned down for later albums. Unlike the later fusion bands, Spirit's early songs tended to be sectional, with a main section that was straight rock often leading into a more late bop styled instrumental section reminiscent of Wes Montgomery's recordings. Vocalist Jay Ferguson wrote most of the band's early material, such as Straight Arrow from their 1968 debut album.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2143 (starts 10/18/21)

https://exchange.prx.org/pieces/389976-dc-2143 


    This week we start off with a bit of guitar rock, and follow it up with a mixture of A and B sides from 1970. A set of LP tracks from the early 1970s finishes out the show.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix/Band of Gypsys
Title:    Changes
Source:    LP: Band Of Gypsys
Writer(s):    Buddy Miles
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1970
    Jimi Hendrix must have had some sort of sense of irony (at least in the back of his mind) when he worked out a deal to settle a lawsuit for breach of contract brought against him by Capitol Records in 1969. A few years earlier, in 1965, he had sat in on some sessions for Capitol with Curtis Knight, and had signed a generic management contract that covered his participation in the recordings. What he didn't realize at the time is that the contract also covered future recordings, even though he was only a session man for the Knight tracks. After Hendrix became famous, someone at Capitol pulled out their copy of that old contract and used it to leverage the guitarist into doing another album for them. As Hendrix had no studio material anywhere near being ready for release, he instead provided Capitol with a live album, recorded over a period of days at Madison Square Garden. Since the Jimi Hendrix Experience was no longer a viable entity at that time, Hendrix put together a three-piece band consisting of himself, bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles, who had already established himself as a member of the Electric Flag and leader of the Buddy Miles Express. This was reflected in the fact that of the six songs that appeared on the album Band Of Gypsys, three (including Changes) were written (and sung) by Miles, rather than Hendrix, just as all of the songs from the 1965 sessions had been penned by Curtis Knight.

Artist:    Taste
Title:    Dual Carraigeway Pain
Source:    British import CD: Taste
Writer(s):    Rory Gallagher
Label:    Polydor (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1969
    Guitarist Rory Gallagher cuts loose on Dual Carraigeway Pain, from the first Taste album. The song title itself refers to the British term for a divided, limited-access highway, usually known in the US as a freeway or Interstate.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Sleepy Time Time
Source:    British import LP: Cream (originally released as LP: Fresh Cream)
Writer(s):    Bruce/Godfrey
Label:    Polydor (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1966
    When Cream was first formed, both Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker worked with co-writers on original material for the band. Baker's partner was Pete Brown, while Bruce worked with his wife, Janet Godfrey. Eventually Bruce and Brown began collaborating, creating some of Cream's most memorable songs, but not before Bruce and Godfrey wrote Sleepy Time Time, one of the high points of the Fresh Cream album.

Artist:    Moody Blues
Title:    Question
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Justin Hayward
Label:    Threshold
Year:    1970
    By 1970 the Moody Blues had developed their own unique brand of orchestral rock, and had even started their own label, Threshold (inspired by their 1969 LP On The Threshold Of A Dream). Due to the complexity of their songs, however, they were having difficulty making them sound right when performed live. In an effort to remedy the problem they tried a more stripped-down approach with their 1970 single, Question, and the subsequent LP A Question Of Balance. It worked, too, as Question became their second biggest hit single in the UK, going all the way to the #2 spot. In the long run, the band realized that their best approach was to perform with a full orchestra, which they have been doing regularly since the early 1970s.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Victoria
Source:    Mono 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Polygram/PolyTel (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1969
    The Kinks were at their commercial low point in 1969 when they released their third single from their controversial concept album Arthur or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire. Their previous two singles had failed to chart, even in their native England, and the band had not had a top 20 hit in the US since Sunny Afternoon in 1966. Victoria was a comeback of sorts, as it did manage to reach the #62 spot in the US and the #33 spot in the UK.

Artist:     Grateful Dead
Title:     Truckin'
Source:     CD: Skeletons From the Closet (originally released on LP: American Beauty)
Writer:     Garcia/Weir/Hunter/Lesh
Label:     Warner Brothers
Year:     1970
     After two performance-oriented albums that mixed live and studio material and one double live LP, the Grateful Dead decided to shift their focus in the studio to their songwriting skills. The result was Workingman's Dead, the band's most commercially successful album up to that point. Five months later the followup album,  American Beauty defined the Grateful Dead's sound for all but the most dedicated of concertgoers (the legendary Deadheads), thanks to songs like Truckin', which would stand as the band's most successful single until the mid-1980s.

Artist:    Eric Burdon And War
Title:    Magic Mountain
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    War/Goldstein
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1970
    The 1970 LP Eric Burdon Declares "War" was accompanied by the band's first single from the album, Spill The Wine. The B side of Spill The Wine was a non-album track called Magic Mountain. Written by the band, along with producer Jerry Goldstein, the song remained unavailable in any other form until 1976, when it appeared on a collection of unreleased tracks and B sides called Love Is All Around, creditited to War featuring Eric Burdon. The following year Magic Mountain was released as an A side itself, but did not chart.

Artist:    Free
Title:    All Right Now
Source:    European import CD: All Right Now-The Collection (originally released on LP: Fire And Water)
Writer(s):    Fraser/Rodgers
Label:    Spectrum/UMC (original US label: A&M)
Year:    1970
    Led by Andy Fraser and Paul Rodgers, Free was one of the first "70s" rock bands. They made their biggest splash with All Right Now, a huge hit in 1970. The band lasted until 1973, when two of the members, Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke, split off to form Bad Company.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Bargain
Source:    LP: Who's Next
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Decca
Year:    1971
    The 1971 album Who's Next is generally considered one of the high points of the band's career, thanks to songs like Bargain. Bargain has been described as a love song, but directed toward God, rather than toward a woman. According to the song's writer, Pete Townshend, Bargain was inspired by the writing of Indian mystic Meher Baba, who taught that the way to be at one with God is to lose all the trappings of the material world.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Future Primitive/Stone Flower
Source:    LP: Caravanserai
Writer(s):    Areas/Lewis/Shrieve/Santana/Jobim
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1972
    In a move that Columbia Records president called "career suicide", Carlos Santana largely abandoned the style that had taken his band into the upper echelons of the rock music world in favor of a more experimental approach for the 1972 album Caravanserai. Several of the original band members had either already left the group, while two core members, Greg Rolie and Neal Schon, would soon be departing to form Journey. The album itself included several guest musicians from the field of latin jazz on tracks such as Future Primitive and and Stone Flower, the latter of which was written by Brazil's Antônio Carlos Jobim, sometimes called the father of bossa nova. Despite the relative commercial failure of Caravanserai, Santana would continue to move away from rock and toward jazz over the next few years.

Artist:    Foghat
Title:    What A Shame
Source:    LP: Appetizers (originally released on LP: Foghat (aka Rock and Roll)
Writer(s):    Rod Price
Label:    Bearsville
Year:    1973
    Apparently the members of Foghat couldn't come up with a good title for their second LP, so they just called it Foghat. Since their first album was also called Foghat, this would have made things a bit confusing if not for the fact that the album cover itself was a picture of a rock and a bread roll against an all-white background. For obvious reasons this has led most people to refer to the album as Rock and Roll. What A Shame was written by guitarist Rod Price, the only Foghat member not to have come from Savoy Brown, which probably explains why it doesn't sound much like Savoy Brown at all.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2142 (starts 10/11/21)

 https://exchange.prx.org/pieces/389090-pe-2142

 
    This week we feature several sets that are slightly longer than the usual three songs. After an opening five-song set that takes us from 1965 to 1969, we have no less than seven tunes from 1967, all from bands originating in California. We also have an Advanced Psych segment this week featuring artists from Rochester, NY, followed by trips both up and down through the years (not to mention back and forth across the Atlantic), starting in 1965 and ending in 1964, going all the way to 1971 along the way.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Wait
Source:    CD: Rubber Soul
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1965
    The oldest song on the Rubber Soul album, Wait was originally recorded for the Help album, but did not make the final cut. Six months later, when the band was putting the finishing touches on Rubber Soul, they realized they would not be able to come up with enough new material in time for a Christmas release, so they added some overdubs to Wait and included it on the new album. The song itself was a collaboration between John Lennon and Paul McCartney, with the two sharing vocals throughout the tune.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    I Feel Free
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    After an unsuccessful debut single (Wrapping Paper), Cream scored a bona-fide hit in the UK with their follow-up, I Feel Free. As was the case with nearly every British single at the time, the song was not included on Fresh Cream, the band's debut LP. In the US, however, hit singles were commonly given a prominent place on albums, and the US version of Fresh Cream actually opens with I Feel Free. To my knowledge the song, being basically a studio creation, was never performed live by the band.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Are You Experienced?
Source:    LP: Are You Experienced?
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Until the release of Are You Experienced by the Jimi Hendrix Experience the emphasis in rock music (then called pop) was on the 45 RPM single, with albums seen as a luxury item that supplemented an artist's career rather than defined it. Are You Experience helped change all that. The album was not only highly influential, it was a major seller, despite getting virtually no airplay on top 40 radio. The grand finale of the LP was the title track, which features an array of studio effects, including backwards masking and tape loops. Interestingly enough, the album was originally issued only in a mono version in the UK, with later European pressings using a simulated stereo mix. After Reprise bought the rights to release the LP in the US it had its own engineers create stereo mixes of the songs from the four-track master tapes.

Artist:    Them
Title:    Young Woman
Source:    LP: Time Out! Time In! For Them
Writer(s):    Lane/Pulley
Label:    Tower
Year:    1968
    Time Out! Time In! For Them is an overlooked classic of the psychedelic era. Featuring compositions by the husband and wife team of Tom Pulley and Vivian Lane (such as Young Woman, a song that touches on a somewhat familiar theme of the time), the album showcases the vocal talents of Kenny McDowell, who had the unenviable task of replacing Van Morrison in Ireland's premier rock band.

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    Percy's Song
Source:    LP: Fairport Chronicles (originally released on LP: Unhalfbricking)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    A&M
Year:    1969
    Although Bob Dylan recorded Percy's Song in 1963, his version of the song remained unreleased until 1985, when it appeared (along with other unreleased tracks) on the Biograph compilation album. Meanwhile, however, bootleg copies of the song were widely circulated and at least two cover versions of the song were released. The best known of these is by Fairport Convention, originally released on the 1969 album Halfbricking and featured on the Fairport Chronicles compilation album.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    The Wind Blows Your Hair
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Saxon/Bigelow
Label:    Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1967
    The Wind Blows Your Hair is actually one of the Seeds' better tracks. Unfortunately, by the time it was released as a single in October of 1967 the whole idea of Flower Power (which the Seeds were intimately tied to) had become yesterday's news (at least in ultra-hip L.A.) and the single went nowhere.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Unhappy Girl
Source:    LP: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    After the success of their first album and the single Light My Fire in early 1967, the Doors quickly returned to the studio, releasing a second LP, Strange Days, later the same year. The first single released from the new album was People Are Strange. The B side of that single was Unhappy Girl, from the same album. Both sides got played a lot on the jukebox at a neighborhood gasthaus known as the Woog in the village of Meisenbach near Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, where I spent a good number of my evening hours.

Artist:    Love
Title:    You Set The Scene (alternate mix)
Source:    CD: Forever Changes (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    Love's third album, Forever Changes, was meant to be Arthur Lee's ultimate statement to the world. Lee had become convinced that he would not live past age 26 or 27, and much of Forever Changes, particularly the album's last track, You Set The Scene, reflects that viewpoint. Nonetheless, the lyrics of the song are not so much a message of doom and gloom as a statement of intention to make every remaining moment left mean something. Of course, as it turned out, Lee lived well beyond his expectations (although his friend Jimi Hendrix did die at age 27). This does not in any way diminish the impact of You Set The Scene, heard here in an alternate mix with extra vocals toward the end of the track that were left out of the official version.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Grace
Source:    LP: The Life And Times Of Country Joe And The Fish (originally released on LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body)
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Country Joe McDonald liked to write songs that were inspired by women he knew. Being Country Joe McDonald these included some women who would end up becoming quite famous as part of the San Francisco scene. One of the most famous of those was Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane, who inspired the final track on the first Country Joe And The Fish LP, Electric Music For The Mind And Body. Who would have guessed?

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

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Have You Seen Her Face
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    Chris Hillman
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1967
    Perhaps the greatest surprise on the fourth Byrds album, Younger Than Yesterday, was the emergence of bassist Chris Hillman as a top-tier songwriter, already on a par with David Crosby and the recently departed Gene Clark, and even exceeding Roger McGuinn as a solo writer (most of McGuinn's contributions being as a collaborator rather than a solo songwriter). Although Hillman would eventually find his greatest success as a country artist (with the Desert Rose Band) it was the hard-rocking Have You Seen Her Face that was chosen to become his first track to be released as a single.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly
Source:    CD: Beyond The Garage (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Sundazed (original labels: Original Sound/Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
    The Music Machine was by far the most sophisticated of all the bands playing on L.A.'s Sunset Strip in 1966. Not only did they feature tight sets (so that audience members wouldn't get the chance to call out requests between songs), they also had their own visual look that set them apart from other bands. Dressed entirely in black (including dyed hair), and with leader Sean Bonniwell wearing one black glove, the Machine projected an image that would influence such diverse artists as the Ramones and Michael Jackson in later years. Musically, Bonniwell's songwriting showed a sophistication that was on a par with the best L.A. had to offer, demonstrated by a series of fine singles such as The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly. Unfortunately, problems on the business end prevented the Music Machine from achieving the success it deserved and Bonniwell eventually quit the music business altogether in disgust.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    (Roamin' Thro' The Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM B side and on LP: Traffic)
Writer(s):    Capaldi/Winwood
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1968
    The second Traffic album saw the band taking in a broader set of influences, including traditional English folk music. (Roamin' Through The Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen, originally released as the B side to the Dave Mason tune No Face, No Name, No Number, combines those influences with the Steve Winwood brand of British R&B to create a timeless classic.

Artist:    Jeff Beck
Title:    I Ain't Superstitious
Source:    LP: Truth
Writer(s):    Willie Dixon
Label:    Epic
Year:    1968
    To quote Jeff Beck's own liner notes on the song I Ain't Superstitious from the album Truth, "This number is more or less an excuse for being flash on guitar." I would add that Rod Stewart does an outstanding job on the vocals of this hard rocking version of the Howlin' Wolf classic.

Artist:    Temptations
Title:    Cloud Nine
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Whitfield/Strong
Label:    Motown Yesteryear (original label: Gordy)
Year:    1968
    Motown's psychedelic soul producers were Barrett Strong (whose song Money (That's What I Want) had provided the start up cash for Motown itself in the early 60s) and his partner Norman Whitfield. When the Temptations started to falter following the departure of vocalist David Ruffin in late 1968, the Whitfield-Stong team took over production for the group. Cloud Nine, a song with a frenetic tempo and a strong (no pun intended) anti-drug message, was released in December, and hit its peak in early 1969. The Whitfield-Strong team would continue to produce the Temptations for several years, cranking out hits like Psychedelic Shack, I Can't Get Next To You and Papa Was A Rolling Stone until Whitfield left Motown to form his own label in 1974.

Artist:    Squires Of The Subterrain
Title:    Mrs. Maude
Source:    CD: Pop In A CD
Writer(s):    Chris Zajkowski
Label:    Rocket Racket
Year:    Recorded 1996, released 1998
    Chris Earl was the drummer for Rochester, NY's Salamanders, a popular dance band in the mid-1990s. Before that he had been a member of a group called the Essentials. Throughout all of this he had been quietly indulging his psychedelic side in his basement, recording several songs as the Squires Of The Subterrain and forming his own Rocket Racket label in 1989. While continuing to perform locally with various groups he continued to release underground Squires cassette tapes. Finally, in 1998, he released Pop In A CD, a compilation CD taken from his previous releases. The CD has several outstanding tracks, including 1995's Mrs. Maude. Earl released several more Squires Of The Subterrain CDs over the years, the most recent being Radio Silence, released in 2019 (which I am still waiting for a copy of, if you happen to be reading this, Chris).

Artist:    McFadden's Parachute
Title:    Time
Source:    CD: Psolipsystic Psychedelic Pslyces Of McFadden's Parachute
Writer(s):    Darren Brennessel
Label:    PeterFonda
Year:    1996
    Although the psychedelic era itself officially covers only a few years in the late 1960s, for many the spirit of the era's music lives on. One such person is Darren Brennessel of Rochester, NY, who is the mastermind behind over two dozen McFadden's Parachute albums. Brennessel has been playing professionally since 1989, when he was the drummer for a band called the Purple Flashes, conceiving and recording the first McFadden's Parachute album as a side project. In the years since, in addition to playing multiple instruments on McFadden's Parachute albums, Brennessel has continued to play drums with a variety of bands, including Sky Saxon's Green Forests, which recorded an as-yet unreleased album in 2004. A while back, Darren sent me a special sampler collection of McFadden's Parachute tracks recorded mostly in the 1990s. Time is one of those tracks (I'm guessing at the year).

Artist:    Chesterfield Kings
Title:    Look Around
Source:    LP: Don't Open Til Doomsday
Writer(s):    Babiuk/Prevost/O'Brien/Cona/Meech
Label:    Mirror
Year:    1987
    Formed in the late 1970s in Rochester, NY, the Chesterfield Kings (named for an old brand of unfiltered cigarettes that my grandfather used to smoke) were instrumental in setting off the garage band revival of the 1980s. Their earliest records were basically a recreation of the mid-60s garage sound, although by the time their 1987 album, Don't Open Til Doomsday, was released they had gone through some personnel changes that resulted in a harder-edged sound on songs like Look Around.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Source:    Mono CD: Retrospective (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Benjamin/Marcus/Caldwell
Label:    Abkco (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1965
    1965 was a huge year for the Animals. Coming off the success of their 1964 smash House Of The Rising Sun, the Newcastle group racked up three major hits in 1965, including Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, a song originally recorded by jazz singer Nina Simone. The Animals version speeded up the tempo and used a signature riff that had been taken from Simone's outro. The Animals version of Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood made the top 20 in the US and the top five in both the UK and Canada.
 
Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Sittin' On My Sofa
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1966
    For most people the Kinks were (and still are, to some extent) known for some outstanding hit singles such as You Really Got Me and Sunny Afternoon. People who bought those singles also knew them for some of the best B sides ever released, including I Need You and I'm Not Like Everybody Else. Not every Kinks single was a major hit, however, especially in the US, where the group spent five years being banned from performing. One of those lesser hits was Dedicated Follower Of Fashion, which stalled out in the #36 spot in the spring of 1966, despite being a top 5 hit in the UK. As a result the B side of the US single, a Ray Davies tune called Sittin' On My Sofa, is one of the most obscure Kinks tracks ever released. It's only LP appearance was on a 1967 compilation album called Sunny Afternoon that wasn't even released in the US.

Artist:    Vanilla Fudge
Title:    Take Me For A Little While
Source:    Mono CD: The Complete Atco Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Trade Martin
Label:    Atco
Year:    1967
    The original single version of Vanilla Fudge's cover of the Holland-Dozier-Holland penned Supremes hit You Keep Me Hangin' On was yet another cover of a tune written by a man but originally sung by female artists. Take Me For A Little While, written by Trade Martin, was first released in 1965, with two versions, one by Evie Sands and the other by Jackie Ross, coming out at about the same time.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Laléna
Source:    CD: Donovan's Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Epic/Legacy
Year:    1968
    Released only in the US due to an ongoing dispute between Donovan and the british Pye label, Laléna hit the Billboard top 40 in late 1968, hitting the #33 spot. A quiet ballad, Laléna was inspired by Lotte Lenya's character in the film version of Threepenny Opera. In a 2004 the Scottish singer/songwriter had this to say about the song: "She's a streetwalker, but in the history of the world, in all nations, women have taken on various roles from priestess to whore to mother to maiden to wife. This guise of sexual power is very prominent, and therein I saw the plight of the character. Women have roles thrust upon them and make the best they can out of them, so I'm describing the character Lotte Lenya is playing, and a few other women I've seen during my life, but it's a composite character of women who are outcasts on the edge of society."

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Violent Rose
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Herron/Whetstone
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    By 1969 the original lineup of the Electric Prunes was a distant memory. The band's name, however, was still in use, thanks to the fine print on the original contract that gave the ownership of the name Electric Prunes to the band's manager. A Canadian band called the Collectors was brought in to help with the group's third LP, 1968's Mass In F Minor, when it became clear that the complex David Axelrod score was beyond the abilities of the original Prunes (only one of which could read music), but even that group had moved on (to become Chilliwack) by the time Violent Rose was released as a B side in 1969. One of the more notable musicians appearing on Violent Rose is guitarist Ron Morgan, who by then had severed ties with the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band.
        
Artist:    Santana
Title:    Para Los Rumberos
Source:    LP: Santana (III)
Writer(s):    Tito Puente
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1971
    One of the highlights of Santana's second album, Abraxis, was a song called Oye Como Va. The song, sung entirely in Spanish, was a surprise hit and has been a part of Santana's stage repertoire ever since. The song was originally recorded in the 1950s by its songwriter, Tito Fuente, and his band, which he described as jazz with latin rhythms. Appropriately, Santana's music has often been described as rock with latin rhythms, so it was perhaps inevitable that Santana would record more of Puente's tunes. Indeed, the final track on the next Santana album was a Puente composition. Santana's version of Para Los Rumberos closely follows the original Puente arrangement, even to the presence of a horn section on the piece. I strongly recommend you use your search engine to find one of Puente's performances of the song, for comparison's sake. I did, and watching what turned out to be his final performance literally brought tears to my eyes.

Artist:     Chicago
Title:     Where Do We Go From Here
Source:     CD: Chicago
Writer:     Peter Cetera
Label:     Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:     1970
     After having success with the double LP format on their first album, the Chicago Transit Authority, the band decided to issue their next two albums as double LPs as well. The first of these, simply titled Chicago (reflecting the group's decision to shorten their name to that of the city they came from, partially to avoid legal hassles from said city's public transportation system), featured the band's breakout top 40 hit, Make Me Smile, and the hard driving 25 or 6 to 4, and helped establish Chicago as one of the top acts of the early 70s. Side four of the album was the four-part politically-charged suite It Better End Soon, followed by Peter Cetera's Where Do We Go From Here, a lyrically logical follow-up to the suite.

Artist:     Jefferson Airplane
Title:     Volunteers
Source:     CD: The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane (originally released on LP: Volunteers)
Writer:     Balin/Kantner
Label:     BMG/RCA
Year:     1969
     By 1969 Jefferson Airplane's music was a staple of progressive FM stations but had all but disappeared from the top 40 charts. Still, the band continued to release singles from their albums, including the title track to their fifth (and final with the classic JA lineup) LP, Volunteers.

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

Artist:    Teddy And His Patches
Title:    Haight-Ashbury
Source:    Mono CD: A Heavy Dose Of Lyte Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Flores/Pearson
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Chance)
Year:    1967
    Following up on their local #1 hit Suzy Creamcheese, San Jose, California band Teddy And His Patches released another punk classic called Haight-Ashbury in June of 1967. Pure madness.
            
Artist:    Misunderstood
Title:    Find The Hidden Door
Source:    British Import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution (originally released in UK on LP: Before The Dream Faded)
Writer(s):    Hill/Brown
Label:    Grapefruit (original label: Cherry Red)
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1982
    One of London's most legendary psychedelic bands was actually from California. The story of the Misunderstood started in 1963 when three teenagers from Riverside, California decided to form a band called the Blue Notes. Like most West Coast bands of the time, the group played a mixture of surf and 50s rock 'n' roll cover songs, slowly developing a sound of their own as they went through a series of personnel changes, including the addition of lead vocalist Rick Brown. In 1965 the band changed their name to the Misunderstood and recorded six songs at a local recording studio. Although the recordings were not released, the band caught the attention of a San Bernardino disc jockey named John Ravencroft, an Englishman with an extensive knowledge of the British music scene. In June of 1966 the band, with Ravencroft's help, relocated to London, where they were joined by a local guitarist, Tony Hill.  Ravencroft's brother Alan got the band a deal with Fontana Records, resulting in a single in late 1966, I Can Take You To The Sun, that took the British pop scene by storm. In addition to that single, the band recorded a handful of outstanding tracks that remained unreleased until the 1980s. Among those unreleased tracks was a masterpiece called Find The Hidden Door, written (as were most of the songs the band recorded in London) by Brown and Hill.  Problems with their work visas derailed the Misunderstood, and the band members soon found themselves being deported back to the US, and in one case, drafted into the US Army.

Artist:    Five Americans
Title:    I See The Light
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Durrill/Ezell/Rabon
Label:    Rhino (original label: Abnak)
Year:    1965
    For years I was under the impression that the Five Americans were a Texas band, mainly due to Abnak Records having a Dallas address. It turns out, though, that the band was actually from Durant, Oklahoma, although by the time they had their biggest hit, Western Union, they were playing most of their gigs in the Lone Star state. I See The Light is an earlier single built around a repeating Farfisa organ riff that leads into a song that can only be described as in your face. The song was produced by the legendary Dale Hawkins, who wrote and recorded the original version of Suzy Q in the late 1950s.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Bleeker Street
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released on LP: Wednesday Morning, 3AM)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1964
    One of the first of many "slice of life" songs from songwriter Paul Simon, Bleeker Street (a real street in New York's Greenwich Village) appeared on the first Simon And Garfunkel LP, Wednesday Morning, 3AM, in late 1964. The album did not initially sell well, and the duo actually split up shortly after it was deleted from the Columbia catalog. Following the success of an electrified remix of another song from the album, The Sound Of Silence, the pair reunited and Columbia reissued Wednesday Morning, 3AM in 1966.