As mentioned in the previous post, this week's show has a request in every set. If you can correctly identify all the requests I will send you a copy of the very first syndicated Stuck in the Psychedelic Era episode from Memorial Day weekend of 2010. Obviously I'm not going to tell you here which songs are requests, but I did single them out during the show itself. Hope you were paying attention.
Artist: Joy Of Cooking
Title: Home Town Man
Source: CD: Castles
Writer: Terry Garthwaite
Label: Acadia (original label: Capitol)
Joy of Cooking was unique among folk-rock groups in that it was co-led by two female artists: Multi-instrumentalist Toni Brown and guitarist Terry Garthwaite, who sang lead vocals as well. Between the two of them, they wrote all the band's original tunes. The rest of the lineup was Fritz Kasten on drums, Jeff Neighbor on bass and Ron Wilson on harp, tambourine and congas. After recording their second album in Los Angeles, the group opted to return to their native Berkeley for their third and final LP, Castles.
Title: (Roamin' Through The Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen
Source: LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Traffic)
Label: United Artists
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 combines those influences with the Steve Winwood brand of British R&B.
Artist: Jethro Tull
Title: Jeffrey Goes To Leicester Square
Source: CD: Stand Up
Writer: Ian Anderson
Label: Chrysalis/Capitol (original US label: Reprise)
Another rock band influenced by English folk music, Jethro Tull incorporated traditional Indian instruments on Jeffrey Goes To Leicester Square, one of a pair of tunes named for future bassist Jeffery Hammond.
Title: Love-it is
Source: CD: Soul Crusade
Label: Wounded Bird (original label: Atlantic)
When it comes to blue-eyed soul, the first place that comes to mind is New York, home of the Vagrants and the (Young) Rascals. One might also be inclined to think of Detroit, with bands such as Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels leading the pack. One place that does not immediately come to mind is Toronto, Canada, yet Mandala was certainly firmly placed within the genre. Two members of Mandala, vocalist Roy Kenner and guitarist Dominic Troiano, went on to replace Joe Walsh in the James Gang, with Troiano eventually replacing Randy Bachman in another Canadian band, the Guess Who.
Title: Where Do We Go From Here
Source: CD: Chicago
Writer: Peter Cetera
Label: Rhino (original label: Columbia)
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.
Title: More Time
Source: LP: Gypsy
Writer: Enrico Rosenbaum
From Minnesota we have Gypsy, a group co-led by vocalist/guitarist Enrico Rosenbaum, who wrote most of the group's material, and keyboardist James Walsh, who continued the group for many years following Rosenbaum's departure. More Time is fairly typical of the group's sound, featuring soaring harmonies and competent musicianship. Metromedia Records, a division of the media company that eventually became the Fox Television Network, never seemed to give a lot of attention to its record division, and promotion for Gypsy was sparse.
Title: Can't Seem To Make You Mine
Source: LP: The Seeds
Writer: Sky Saxon
Label: GNP Crescendo
One of the first psychedelic singles to hit the L.A. market in early 1966 was Can't Seem To Make You Mine. The song was also chosen to lead off the first Seeds album. Indeed, it could be argued that this was the song that first defined the "flower power" sound, predating the Seeds' biggest hit, Pushin' Too Hard, by several months.
Artist: Big Brother and the Holding Company
Source: CD: Big Brother and the Holding Company
Writer: Janis Joplin
Label: Columbia/Legacy (original label: Mainstream)
Continuing our first progression through the years this week we have one of the tracks from the first Big Brother and the Holding Company album, recorded in Chicago while on tour in the summer of '67. The engineers at Mainstream had previously only worked with jazz musicians, and were clearly at a loss as to how to properly record a loud distortion-heavy rock band such as Big Brother. Despite that, Intruder stands out as a good example of Joplin's early writing style, reflecting her Texas roots hanging around with the likes of the 13th Floor Elevators.
Artist: Al Kooper/Mike Bloomfield
Source: CD: Super Session
Al Kooper and Michael Bloomfield first met when they were both members of Bob Dylan's band in 1965, playing on the classic Highway 61 Revisited album and famously performing at the Newport Folk Festival, where Kooper's organ was physically assaulted by angry folk purists. After a stint with seminal jam band The Blues Project, Kooper became a staff producer for Columbia Records in New York, where he conceived of an album made up entirely of studio jams. He recruited Bloomfield, who had in the intervening years played with the Butterfield Blues Band and the Electric Flag, along with bassist Harvey Brooks (also from Butterfield's band) and studio drummer Eddie Hoh and came up with the surprise hit album of 1968, Super Session. Although Bloomfield bowed out of the project halfway through, he plays on all the tracks on side one of the album, including Really, which utilizes a classic blues progression.
Artist: Savoy Brown
Title: Made Up My Mind
Source: CD: A Step Further
Writer: Chris Youlden
Taking us to 1969 we have the opening track from the fourth Savoy Brown album, A Step Further. To coincide with a US tour, the album was actually released in North America several months before it was in the UK, with Made Up My Mind being simultaneously released as a single. Luckily for the band, 1969 was a year that continued the industry-wide trend away from hit singles and toward successful albums instead, at least among the more progressive groups, as the single itself tanked. Aided by a decent amount of airplay on progressive FM radio, however, the album peaked comfortably within the top 100.
Title: The Kids Are Alright
Source: CD: The Who Sings My Generation
Writer: Pete Townshend
Label: MCA (original label: Decca)
When the Who Sings My Generation album came out in the US in 1966, it featured several songs that had originally been issued as singles in the UK, including this early Pete Townshend number. Probably the most Beatle-sounding of all Who songs, the song was one of the group's first charted hits in 1965.
Title: The River Song
Source: The Hurdy Gurdy Man
Writer: Donovan Leitch
Label: EMI (original US label: Epic)
Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man album is generally considered to be the singer-songwriter's most musically diverse collection of songs, ranging from the heavily fuzz-toned title track to tunes like the River Song, which uses acoustic guitar and hand percussion instruments to supplement Donovan's layered vocal tracks. The song itself draws on Celtic and Indian musical traditions to create a unique hybrid.
Artist: Canned Heat
Title: Amphetamine Annie
Source: CD: The Very Best of Canned Heat (originally released on LP: Boogie With Canned Heat)
Writer: Canned Heat
Label: Capitol (original label: Liberty)
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. As one of the original Bay Area bands, Canned Heat decided 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.
Title: Power Play
Source: LP: Monster
Writer: John Kay
Monster is generally considered the most political of Steppenwolf's albums. This song is a good example of that.
Artist: Five Americans
Title: I See The Light
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Abnak)
Before breaking out nationally with Western Union, the Five Americans scored a regional hit in their native Texas with this tune.
Artist: Kim Fowley
Title: The Trip
Source: CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the Psychedelic Era
Writer: Kim Fowley
Kim Fowley was well-known among the movers and shakers of the L.A. music scene as an important promoter and record producer, as well as the guy who threw some of the best parties in town. To the general public, however, he remained largely unknown except as the guy who recorded possibly the first, and probably the only, psychedelic novelty record.
Artist: Procol Harum
Title: Something Following Me
Source: CD: Procol Harum
Label: Salvo (original label: Deram)
Year: 1967 (UK release delayed until Jan. 1968)
The very first song written by the team of Gary Brooker and Keith Reid was Something Following Me. Early demos of the song were recorded in January of 1967, but this version featuring the classic Procol Harum lineup (including Matthew Fisher and Robin Trower) is the earliest version that still survives.
Artist: United States of America
Title: Hard Coming Love
Source: CD: United States of America
Label: Sundazed (original label: Columbia)
Following the success of the Monterey International Pop Festival and the wave of new San Francisco bands such as the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead, Columbia Records chief Clive Davis set out to corner the market on counter-culture rock artists. Among those signed were Taj Mahal, Sly and the Family Stone, Moby Grape, the Chambers Brothers, Laura Nyro and this group of L.A. avant-garde artists who had decided to become rock musicians, despite none of them having any sort of rock background. Led by pioneer performance artist Joseph Byrd and fronted by vocalist Dorothy Moscowitz, the United States of America was one of the first groups to make extensive use of electronics. Byrd was one of the first musicians to discover that just because something sounds great through an expensive sound system doesn't mean it will still sound good when played through cheap speakers. Unfortunately he didn't learn that until several of the tracks on the group's only LP were recorded and mixed.
Artist: Joan Baez
Title: If I Knew
Source: 45 RPM promo single
I honestly don't have much info about this record, which I rescued from a box of 45s destined for the dumpster from KUNM-FM's third floor studios in Albuquerque, NM in the early 80s. The song was written by two female songwriters I never heard of, leading me to think that this might be considered an early feminist recording.
Artist: West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title: I Won't Hurt You
Source: CD: Part One
Label: Sundazed (original label: Reprise)
One of Kim Fowley's legacies is that he threw the party that led to the formation of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. One of their early efforts was this song, utilizing an actual recording of a heartbeat as a kind of metronome.
Artist: Quicksilver Messenger Service
Source: CD: Just For Love
Writer: John Cipollina
Label: BGO (original label: Capitol)
Quicksilver Messenger Service was able to do something in 1970 that no other band had been able to accomplish. It managed to sign up the world's most famous session man, keyboardist Nicky Hopkins, as a full member. If that wasn't enough, they also rounded up former early member Dino Valenti (aka Chet Powers), newly released from jail in time to participate in the recording of the band's most successful album, Just For Love. Although almost the entire album was written by non-member Jesse Oris Farrow, there are a pair of tracks by Valenti and this tune from founding member and co-lead guitarist John Cipollina. The entire album was recorded in Hawaii, which might explain how they managed to entice Hopkins to join them.
Title: Try It
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Tower)
In a sense this song is a textbook example of a transition. The Standells had established themselves as the premier proto-punk garage-rock band in 1966 with such tracks as Dirty Water and Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White. By mid-1967, however, they were commercially floundering and came under the auspices of the Kazenetz-Katz production team, which was still about a year away from dominating the charts with a flood of "bubble gum" hits from the likes of the 1910 Fruitgum Company and Ohio Express. Try It has all the elements of "bubble gum" save one: the deliberately infantile lyrics. Instead, Try It attempted to continue the image of the Standells as bad boys, with lyrics that were generally interpreted as a call for young girls to surrender their virginity. After being banned in several markets (including Boston, where to this day Dirty Water is considered a sacred anthem), the band and the production team headed for safer ground, resulting in great success for the production team and eventual oblivion for the band.
Artist: Lovin' Spoonful
Title: Night Owl Blues
Source: LP: John Sebastian Songbook, Vol. 1 (originally released on LP: Do You Believe In Magic; re-released in 1966 as 45 RPM B side)
Label: Kama Sutra
Our final segment this week gets off to a bluesy start with an instrumental from the Lovin' Spoonful. Night Owl Blues was first released on the band's first album, making an encore appearance as the B side of their 1966 hit Daydream. The song features blues harp from John Sebastian and a rare electric guitar solo from Zal Yanovsky.
Artist: Chambers Brothers
Title: Time Has Come Today
Source: CD: Best of 60s Psychedelic Rock (this version released as 45 RPM single in 1968)
Writer: Joe and Willie Chambers
Label: Priority (original label: Columbia)
One of the quintessential songs of the psychedelic era is the Chambers Brothers' classic Time Has Come Today. The song was originally recorded and issued as a single in 1966. The more familiar version heard here, however, was recorded in 1967 for the album The Time Has Come. The LP version of the song runs about eleven minutes, way too long for a 45 RPM record, so before releasing the song as a single for the second time, engineers at Columbia cut the song down to around 3 minutes. The edits proved so jarring that the record was recalled and a re-edited version, clocking in at 4:55 became the third and final single version of the song, hitting the charts in 1968.
Artist: Iron Butterfly
Title: Fields of Sun
Source: CD: Heavy
Label: Rhino (original label: Atco)
Before In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida there was Heavy. The debut LP from Iron Butterfly featured vocalist Darryl DeLoach, guitarist Danny Weis and bassist Jerry Penrod, all of whom would leave the band after the album was recorded, along with drummer Ron Bushy and keyboardist Doug Ingle, who would find themselves having to recruit two new members before recording the classic In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida album. One of the best-known tracks from Heavy is Fields of Sun, with its Baroque-influenced instrumental bridge played and sung (an octave higher) by Ingle.
Artist: Joe Cocker
Title: With A Little Help From My Friends
Source: CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm (originally released on Woodstock movie soundtrack LP)
Label: Rhino (original label: Cotillion)
One of the most famous performances at Woodstock was instrumental from converting Joe Cocker from second tier British singer/bandleader to international superstar. This release of the live recording is virtually identical to what was originally released on the movie soundtrack album in the early 70s.
Artist: Sonny & Cher
Title: Love Don't Come
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer: Sonny Bono
To close out the show we have a three year progression, starting with this seldom-heard Sonny and Cher B side.
Artist: 1910 Fruitgum Company
Title: Bubble Gum World
Source: LP: Simon Says
Writer: Floyd Marcus
All the bubble gum hits to come out of the Kazenatz-Katz stable had catchy melodies, danceable beats, and deliberately juvenile lyrics, generally written by professional songwriters such as Joey Levine. The album tracks, however, were another story. Although the band members were obviously encouraged to be consistent in style with their hits, they were given the freedom to write the majority of material on the albums themselves. One example of this is Bubble Gum World, written by drummer Floyd Marcus.
Title: Peace Frog
Source: CD: Morrison Hotel
After being slammed by critics and suffering a noticable drop in sales with their fourth album, the Soft Parade, the Doors shifted gears for Morrison Hotel (sometimes known as Hard Rock Cafe), dispensing with the horns and strings and concentrating on getting back to their roots. The band had a problem, though. Extensive touring had left them little time to write new songs, although Morrison had continued to write poetry whenever he had the chance. The solution was for the other members, such as guitarist Robbie Kreiger, to compose music specifically to accompany Morrison's poetry. The result was songs like Peace Frog, which closes out this week's show.
Well, that's the lineup. Good luck picking out the requests!