First off, I'd like to extend a warm welcome to listeners of 89-1 the Blend, Northeast Iowa Community Radio KPVL, that has recently picked up the show and is running it Sunday evenings. As the show is now airing on multiple nights in various places I've decided to replace specific dates in the blog post title with the actual show number (1001 being the first syndicated show). I also wanted to give you advance notice (warning?) that I have a special edition of the show coming up in about three weeks called "Stuck with the hermit at Yuletime." The week after that I might just do some sort of retrospective of the past year's worth of shows, and then the week after that the numbering will jump up to #1101 and run through 1152 (which could very well be a retrospective of next year). Enough of this. On with the show:
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: How Do You Feel
Source: LP: Surrealistic Pillow
We start off this week with a long set from 1967. How Do You Feel was also released as the B side of the first single from Surrealistic Pillow, My Best Friend.
Title: Baby, Please Don't Go
Source: CD: Where the Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on 45 RPM vinyl)
This rather unusual arrangement of the Joe Williams classic was the creation of producer/vocalist Curt Boettcher. Reportedly an executive from Columbia was so impressed with it that he hired Boettcher to be a staff producer. Boettcher was so prolific that it was often said that the giant CBS on the side of the building stood for Curt Boettcher Studios.
Artist: Blues Magoos
Title: Summer Is The Man
Source: LP: Electric Comic Book (mono pressing)
The Blues Magoos, known for their high-energy style on tracks such as the (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet and the extended Tobacco Road, nonetheless had a softer side as well. Summer Is The Man, from the second Magoos album, is a good example of that softer side.
Artist: Left Banke
Source: CD: More Nuggets (originally released on 45 RPM vinyl)
After keyboardist Michael Brown made the ill-advised move of issuing the single Ivy Ivy under the Left Banke name without the participation or knowledge of his fellow band members, the entire band's career got permanently derailed. Though they resolved their differences in time to record and issue Desiree, most radio stations by then were wary of anything with the Left Banke name on it, which is a shame, since the song is a masterpiece of baroque pop.
Title: Deadend Street
Source: 45 RPM single
The last major Kinks hit in the US was Sunny Afternoon in late 1966. The follow-up Deadend Street, released in 1967, was in much the same style, but did not achieve the same kind of success (although it was a hit in the UK). The Kinks would not have another major US hit until Lola in 1970.
Artist: West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title: If You Want This Love
Source: CD: Where the Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Part One)
The first WCPAEB album, Volume One, had a limited print run on a small independent label in L.A. After landing a contract with Reprise, they recut many of the songs (most of which were cover tunes) from Volume One and called the new album Part One. This is one of those recut tracks.
Artist: Ringo Starr
Title: Early 1970
Source: 45 RPM single B side
The first single to go gold by an ex-Beatle was not by John or Paul, as one would expect, but by drummer Ringo. The song was It Don't Come Easy (co-written by an uncredited George Harrison) and featured this track on the B side.
Title: You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
Source: CD: Past Masters, vol. 2 (originally released on 45 RPM vinyl)
Speaking of B sides, we have this song found on the back of the Let It Be single. Although technically a Lennon/McCartney song, this track has so many ad-libs that credit probably should have been given to the whole band. The track is also notable for a guest appearance by the Rolling Stones' Brian Jones on saxophone.
Title: If You And I Could Be As Two
Source: LP: Them
Them burst onto the British rock scene in late 1964 from their home in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and immediately caused a stir due to both their hard-driving style and their obnoxious behavior toward the press. This track from their first album shows a more subdued side to lead vocalist Van Morrison's writing style.
Artist: Los Bravos
Title: Black Is Black
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
The first band from Spain to have a major pop hit was Los Bravos, who took this song to the top 10 in several countries in late 1966. Interestingly, the band's lead vocalist, Mike Kogel, was actually a German.
Title: Magic Carpet Ride
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: Steppenwolf the Second)
A short progression through the years kicks off with a pair of tunes from the band formerly known as Sparrow. Magic Carpet Ride, from the second album, was the band at their most psychedelic, not to mention the peak of their popularity.
Title: Move Over
Source: LP: Monster
Although Monster is generally regarded as their most political album, Move Over is a throwback to the more traditional Steppenwolf style.
Artist: Procol Harum
Title: Whiskey Train
Source: LP: Home
By 1970, Procol Harum was being pulled in two very different musical directions at once: the semi-classical progressive style of Gary Brooker and Keith Reid that had always defined the band's style, and the more hard rock sound favored by guitarist Robin Trower heard on Whiskey Train. Ultimately this would lead to Trower's leaving the group for a successful solo career.
Artist: Fifty Foot Hose
Source: LP: Cauldron
The most avant-garde group to come out of the San Francisco scene was Fifty Foot Hose, which featured homemade electronic instruments and the unique vocal style of Nancy Blossom. After recording one album the group disbanded when most of the members left to join the cast of the San Francisco production of the musical Hair.
Title: Pinball Wizard
Source: CD: Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy (originally released on 45 RPM vinyl and featured on LP: Tommy)
Wrapping up the first hour we have a song from the rock opera Tommy that was actually released as a single a few weeks before the album came out. It was a marketing strategy that would become the music industry standard for decades, until internet downloading changed everything.
Artist: Mamas and the Papas
Title: That Kind Of Girl
Source: CD: The Mamas and the Papas
The second Mamas and Papas album was unusual in that mama Michelle, who is featured prominently on the album cover, only sings on a couple of songs, having been temporarily kicked out of the band for having an affair with papa Denny, even though she was married to papa John. Kinda makes you wonder why Denny didn't get kicked out as well.
Artist: Blues Project
Title: I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes
Source: CD: Anthology (originally released on LP: Projections)
There are actually two versions of this song: the Blues Project version heard here and an Al Kooper solo version released earlier the same year. Both are worth listening to, and one of these days I'll play the other one to prove it.
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released on 45 RPM vinyl)
Sounding a lot like the Rascals, the Vagrants were a Long Island band best remembered for being the band that had guitarist Leslie Weinstein in it. Weinstein would change his last name to West and record a solo album called Mountain before forming the band of the same name. This version of Respect is fairly faithful to the original Otis Redding version. Unfortunately for the Vagrants, Aretha Franklin would release here rearranged version of the song just a few weeks after the Vagrants, relegating their version of the tune (and the Vagrants themselves) to footnote status.
Artist: Human Beinz
Title: Nobody But Me
Source: LP: Nuggets vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on 45 RPM vinyl)
These guys were actually called the Human Beingz, but a misspelling on the label of Nobody But Me stuck the group permanently with a name they all hated. It was all moot, anyway, since they never scored another hit.
Artist: Butterfield Blues Band
Title: No Amount Of Loving
Source: CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm
Many of the performances at Woodstock were flawed, not so much by problems in musicianship, but by technical gaffs such as the one that made the vocals to this track almost inaudible. Still, the folks at Rhino decided to include it on their 40th anniversary Woodstock collection. After all, their emphasis was on presenting the music exactly as the audience heard it, and such flaws were actually fairly common on live recordings in the late 60s, as a listen to most of the recordings made at the Monterey International Pop Festival (including the set by Butterfield) demonstrates.
Artist: James Gang
Title: The Bomber
Source: CD: James Gang Rides Again
The last time I played this track I had to cut it off early due to my misreading the clock and running out of time. This time I promised myself I'd get it right. The entire middle section of the piece was edited out of the album after the first pressings after the Ravel family objected to the use of Bolero without obtaining permission. The piece was finally restored to its original length sometime in the 80s.
Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: Everybody Knows You're Not In Love
Source: 45 RPM single
The Electric Prunes had greater creative control over their second album than their first. That control continued into early 1968, when this single, penned by band members Mark Tulin and James Lowe, was released. Unfortunately, the single didn't sell well and the next album, David Axelrod's Mass In F Minor, was played almost entirely by studio musicians. The original group broke up during the recording of Mass and did not play together again until the 21st century.
Artist: Beacon Street Union
Title: The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens
Source: CD: The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens
The title track of the Beacon Street Union's second album shows a maturation of the band's sound. Sadly, it would be their last LP.
Artist: Blood, Sweat and Tears
Title: So Much Love/Underture
Source: LP: Child Is Father To The Man
After leaving the Blues Project, Al Kooper made an appearance at Monterey with a pickup band then made the Super Session album with Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills. The following year Kooper reunited with BP bandmate Steve Katz to form Blood, Sweat and Tears. Although Kooper wrote much of the material, there were also songs written by outside songwriters such as Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman and this track from Gerry Goffin and Carole King.
Title: (Roamin' Through the Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen
Source: LP: Progressive Heavies
One of the best remembered tracks from the second Traffic album was the Steve Winwood/Jim Capaldi tune.
Source: CD: Fresh Cream
We finish out the night with a set of Cream tracks, starting with the original studio version of a Jack Bruce tune we heard a couple weeks ago from the album Live Cream.
Title: Dance The Night Away
Source: CD: Disraeli Gears
With Disraeli Gears, Cream established itself as having a psychedelic side as well as their original blues orientation. Most of the more psychedelic material was from the team of Jack Bruce and Pete Brown, such as Dance the Night Away.
Title: Sleepy Time Time
Source: CD: Fresh Cream
Before working with Brown, Bruce collaborated with his then-wife Janet on this track from the first album, which wraps up not only this set but this week's show as well. And despite it being the weekend following Thanksgiving, there was not a turkey in the bunch (although the Fifty Foot Hose track might qualify as the squash dish, being somewhat of an acquired taste)!