Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bordering On the Obscure (Playlist 1005))

Artist: THEM
Song Title: "The Moth"
Source: LP: TIME OUT, TIME IN, FOR THEM (Original Vinyl)
Release Year: 1968
After Van Morrison left Them to pursue a career as a solo artist, his old band decided to head back to Ireland and recruit Kenny McDowell for lead vocals. Them then moved out to the San Francisco Bay area and hooked up with Tower Records, which was already getting known for psychedelic garage bands such as the Standells and the Chocolate Watchband, as well as for soundtrack albums for cheapie teen exploitation flicks such as Riot on Sunset Strip and Wild in the Streets. The 1968 Time In, Time Out For Them was one of two psychedelic albums the group cut for Tower before moving into harder rock and another label.

Song Title: Little Girl, Little Boy
Source: CD: WHERE THE ACTION IS: L.A. NUGGETS 1965-69 (originally released on 45 RPM vinyl)
Release Year: 1968 (2009)
As far as I can tell, this band of L.A. garage-rockers only cut one record before disbanding. This was Turtle Howard Kaylan's (aka the Eddie half of Flo & Eddie) first (and for many years only) attempt at being a record producer.

Song Title: "Today"
Source: LP: SURREALISTIC PILLOW (Original vinyl)
Release Year: 1967
Another Airplane set?? Didn't we just do that a couple weeks ago? Well, yeah, but this show was recorded back in March as an emergency backup in the event something happened to keep me from doing a show this week. Like a timing belt breaking and causing serious valve damage due to the car having something called an interference engine. Which is something I had never even heard of until it happened. Now that I know what an interference engine is I have to ask the obvious question: why would anyone make something like that???? What does this have to do with the song "Today," you ask? Nothing, but since I already said something about it a couple weeks ago I figured I'd just use the space for a rant. Thanks for your time.

Song Title: "Blues From An Airplane"
Source: CD: THE WORST OF JEFFERSON AIRPLANE (Originally released on LP Jefferson Airplane Takes Off)
Release Year: 1966
The opening cut from the first album. The band considered this one strong enough to include on their first anthology album as well.

Song Title: "Somebody to Love"
Source: LP: SURREALISTIC PILLOW (Original vinyl-also released as a 45 RPM single)
Release Year: 1967
The monster hit that put the San Francisco Bay area on the musical map in early 1967. This was actually the second single released from Surrealistic Pillow

Song Title: "It's No Secret"
Source: CD: THE WORST OF JEFFERSON AIRPLANE (Originally released on 45 RPM vinyl and on the LP Jefferson Airplane Takes Off)
Release Year: 1966
Although national stardom was still an album (and a couple of essential personnel changes) away, this song got a lot of airplay in the bay area and was featured in a Bell Telephone TV special on the hippie movement in 1966.

Song Title: "White Rabbit"
Source: LP: SURREALISTIC PILLOW (Original vinyl-also released as a 45 RPM single)
Release Year: 1967
For many the definitive song of the psychedelic era, this LP cut, released as a single after getting extensive airplay on "underground" FM stations, was the second (and final) top 10 hit for the Airplane in the summer of '67.

Song Title: "Blood of the Sun"
Release Year: 2009 (Recorded 1969)
This is not the same recording that appeared on 1972's Woodstock 2 LP. The band (or possibly their management) was not satisfied with this recording of the actual Woodstock performance and insisted that a new "live" recording be used instead. One of the strengths of Back to Yasgur's Farm is that Rhino Records made a conscious decision to present the original performances unaltered for this anniversary release (the exact opposite of what was done for the Anniversary edition of the Woodstock movie, in which the producers in some cases actually commissioned re-recordings of some of the instrumental tracks in order to improve audio clarity). The producers at Rhino felt that it was worth putting up with various technical flaws such as buzzes, pops, helicopter noises and the occassional bad note in order to present a more exact replica of what the audience actually heard.

Song Title: I See The Light
Source: LP: NUGGETS (80s vinyl series) VOL. 1: THE HITS (Originally released on 45 RPM vinyl)
Release Year: 1966
The debut single from this Dallas Texas band, who were best known for their follow-up record "Western Union" which made the top 10 in 1967.

Song Title: "Let's Get Together"
Release Year: 1967
Despite never having been a major hit, Jimmy Reed's "Let's Get Together" (not to be confused with the Youngbloods song) was covered by several garage/psychedelic bands, including the Blue Magoos, the Shadows of Knight, and L.A. band the Leaves, appearing on their second LP (their only one for major label Capitol Records).
Artist: CYRKLE
Song Title: "Two Rooms"
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Release Year: 1967
The Cyrkle were just a bit too clean-cut for their time. Looking like early 60s college fraternity guys, they had a great 1966, scoring back-to-back top 10 singles with Red Rubber Ball and Turn Down Day, hiring Brian Epstein as their manager and getting signed to be the opening act for Epstein's other band, the Beatles, on their final US tour. Despite having more than their share of talent, creatively, vocally and instrumentally, they found themselves unable to keep up with rapidly changing public tastes, and soon faded off into obscurity. This rare 1967 B side shows just what could have been.

Song Title: "Gimme Some Lovin'"
Source: CD: BILLBOARD TOP HITS: 1967 (Originally released on 45 RPM vinyl)
Release Year: 1967
One of many British bands to have far more success at home than abroad, the Spencer Davis Group nonetheless scored big in the US in early 1967 with two songs co-written and sung by 17-year-old Steve Winwood, who would soon leave the band to form Traffic. The first of these, "Gimme Some Lovin'" would gain renewed popularity in the 80s when it was prominently featured in one of the first films to use a "60s nostalgia" soundtrack, The Big Chill.

Song Title: "The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly"
Source: LP: NUGGETS (80s vinyl series) VOL 2: PUNK (Originally released on 45 RPM vinyl. Also included on LP Bonniwell Music Machine)
Release Year: 1967
Someone should make a movie based on the life of Sean Bonniwell, the former member of the "whitebread folk" group New Christy Minstrels turned black-clad leader of one of the premier punk-rock bands of all time. Between being lied to by record companies and screwed over by his own manager, Bonniwell nonetheless managed to record two LPs worth of high-quality tracks with two entirely-different incarnations of the Music Machine before becoming disillusioned and leaving the music business entirely by the end of the decade. "The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly" was one of the last songs recorded by the original lineup.
Artist: CREAM
Song Title: "Anyone For Tennis"
Source: CD: GOODBYE CREAM (Bonus track not on original LP. Originally released in UK on 45 RPM vinyl)
Release Year: 1968
Not much to say about this British-only single other than to note that it is possibly the earliest example of Clapton's willingness to record some pretty tame stuff compared to the music he performs live. This from the guy who purportedly left the Yardbirds because the song "For Your Love" was too commercial-sounding. hmmm.

Artist: CREAM
Song Title: "Sunshine Of Your Love"
Source: LP: DISRAELI GEARS (CD reissue) (An edited version was released on 45 RPM vinyl as well)
Release Year: 1967
Although by mid-1967 Cream had already released a handful of singles in the UK, "Sunshine Of Your Love," featuring one of the most recognizable guitar rifts in the history of rock, was their first song to make a splash in the US. Although only moderately successful in edited form on AM Top-40 radio, the full-length LP version of the song received extensive airplay on the more progressive FM stations, and turned Disraeli Gears into a perennial best-seller. Clapton and Bruce constantly trade off lead vocal lines throughout the song. The basic compatibility of their voices is such that it is sometimes difficult to tell exactly who is singing what line. Clapton's guitar solo (which was almost entirely edited out of the AM version) set a standard for instrumental breaks in terms of length and style that became a hallmark for what is now known as "classic rock." Yeah, I write this stuff myself.

Artist: CREAM
Song Title: "Doing That Scrapyard Thing"
Source: LP: GOODBYE CREAM (CD reissue)
Release Year: 1969
In its original form, the album Goodbye Cream had three new studio tracks on it, one for each member of the band. Jack Bruce's contribution was this tune, co-written (as were the majority of Bruce's compositions) by Pete Brown. Lyrics don't get much more psychedelic than this.

Artist: CREAM
Song Title: "White Room"
Source: LP: WHEELS OF FIRE (original vinyl) (also released on 45 RPM vinyl)
Release Year: 1968
Musically almost a remake of "Tales of Brave Ulysses" (from the Disraeli Gears album), "White Room" is arguably the most popular song ever to feature the use of a wah-wah pedal prominently.

Artist: CREAM
Song Title: "Badge"
Source: LP: GOODBYE (CD reissue) (also released on 45 RPM vinyl)
Release Year: 1969
Famously co-written by Clapton and a psuedononomous George Harrison, "Badge" remains one of the most popular songs in Clapton's repertoir. Both guitarists are featured prominently on this recording. Felix Pappaliardi (the unofficial 4th member of Cream and co-founder of Mountain) plays the tinkly piano.

Song Title: "Do You Believe In Magic?"
Source: 45 RPM single stereo reissue (also featured on LP Do You Believe In Magic?)
Release Year: 1965
This first single by the Lovin' Spoonful was instrumental in establishing not only the band itself, but its label, Kama Sutra Records as well. Within the next five years, the Spoonful (and later John Sebastian as a solo artist) would crank out a string of hits. Not to be outdone, Kama Sutra would morph into a company called Buddah Records and come to dominate the "bubble gum" genre of top 40 music to close out the 60s.

Song Title: "Queen of My Nights"
Source: CD: ANTHOLOGY (originally released on LP Psychedelic Lollipop)
Release Year: 1967
When I moved to a new town (actually a converted Panzer barracks being used as a housing complex for US military dependents in Mainz-Kastel, Germany) in the summer of '67 I was given a crash course in what was cool and what wasn't. This record, along with Sgt. Pepper's, topped the list of cool albums. For those living off-post (known as living "on the economy") 45 RPM records were the cool thing (albums still being something of a rarity in German stores at the time), especially anything by the Who.

Song Title: "House Of The Rising Sun"
Source: CD: BEST OF THE ANIMALS-VOL 1 (originally issued on 45 RPM vinyl)
Release Year: 1964
If you were going to play guitar in a rock and roll band in the mid-60s you had to know how to play this song. It helped if you were still able to play it six verses later.

Song Title: "Voodoo Chile"
Source: LP: ELECTRIC LADYLAND (original vinyl)
Release Year: 1968
Note: this is not "Voodoo Chile (slight return)" which is usually listed as simply "Voodoo Chile." This is the slow jam from side A of Electric Ladyland that takes up about 2/3 of the album side. Enjoy!

Song Title: "Dr. Do-Good"
Source: LP: UNDERGROUND (CD reissue) (also released on 45 RPM vinyl)
Release Year: 1967
Apparently someone at Reprise Records didn't bother to actually listen to this bit of weirdness from the second Electric Prunes album. Instead, they apparently just looked at the songwriting credits, saw that this track was written by Annette Tucker and Nancy Mantz, the same songwriting team that had come up with "I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)" and decided to issue it as the first single from the album, leaving everyone, including the band and their producer, scratching their heads.

Song Title: "Hear My Call"
Source: LP: THE PENTANGLE (original vinyl)
Release Year: 1968
From the debut album by Britain's first folk-rock-jazz supergroup, featuring (among others) Bert Jansch, John Renbourne and Jackie McShea. How could it not be good?

Song Title: "In Search of the Lost Chord-Side 2"
Release Year: 1968
Featuring (in order of appearance):
"Voices in the Sky"
"The Best Way to Travel"
"Visions of Paradise"
"The Actor"
"The Word"

No comments:

Post a Comment