Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Show # 1107 Playlist (a couple weeks ago)

Yes, you read the heading right. I somehow managed to forget to post the playlist a couple weeks ago so I'm putting it up now for completion's sake.

While I'm here I may as well mention that the upcoming weekend's list (3/11-13) will probably not get posted until early next week. I do plan on getting to it sometime, really.

Anyway, here is show 1107:

Artist: Them
Title: Baby, Please Don't Go
Source: 12" single
Writer: Joe Williams
Label: A&M
Year: 1964
Belfast, Northern Ireland was home to one of the first bands that could be legitimately described as punk rock. Led by Van Morrison, the band quickly got a reputation for being rude and obnoxious, particularly to members of the English press (although it was actually a fellow Irishman who labeled them as "boorish"). Their first single was what has come to be considered the definitive version of the 1923 Joe Williams tune Baby, Please Don't Go. Despite its UK success, the single was never issued in the US. Oddly enough, the song's B side ended up being the song most people associate with Them: the classic Gloria, which was released as Them's US debut single in 1965 but promptly found itself banned on most US radio stations due to suggestive lyrics.

Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: The Last Wall Of The Castle
Source: CD: After Bathing At Baxters
Writer: Jorma Kaukonen
Label: BMG Heritage/RCA (original label: RCA Victor)
Year: 1967
Following the massive success of the Surrealistic Pillow album with its two top 10 singles (Somebody To Love and White Rabbit) the members of Jefferson Airplane made a conscious choice to put artistic goals above commercial ones for their next LP, After Bathing At Baxter's. The result was an album that defines the term "acid rock" in more ways than one. One of the few songs on the album that does not cross-fade into or out of another song is this tune from Jorma Kaukonen, his first non-acoustic song to be recorded by the band.

Artist: Leigh Stephens
Title: Drifting
Source: Red Weather
Writer: Leigh Stephens
Label: Philips
Year: 1969
After two albums lead guitarist Leigh Stephens left Blue Cheer to work on solo projects. The resulting album, recorded in England and utilizing British studio musicians such as Nicky Hopkins, was a complete departure from the proto-metal sound of the Cheer. To my knowledge Red Weather has never been issued on CD (at least not in the US).

Artist: Ten Years After
Title: Circles
Source: CD: Cricklewood Green
Writer: Alvin Lee
Label: Chrysalis (original label: Deram)
Year: 1970
Cricklewood Green continued the development of Ten Years After away from its blues roots and toward a more progressive rock sound that would ultimately lead them to their only top 40 hit, I'd Love To Change The World. That song, however, was still a couple albums in the future when Cricklewood Green was released in 1970. The seldom-heard Circles is basically an acoustic solo number from Alvin Lee.

Artist: Joni Mitchell
Title: You Turn Me On I'm A Radio
Source: LP: For The Roses
Writer: Joni Mitchell
Label: Asylum
Year: 1972
This early Joni Mitchell track was a staple of progressive FM radio in the early 70s. Is it in any way psychedelic? Nah! But once in a while it's kind of fun to do something different. Besides, it actually makes for a fairly smooth transition from Ten Years After to the Byrds.

Artist: Byrds
Title: What's Happening!?!
Source: LP: 5D
Writer: David Crosby
Label: Columbia
Year: 1966
David Crosby was just beginning to emerge as a songwriter on the third Byrds album, 5D. Most of his contributions on the album were collaborations with Jim (Roger) McGuinn; What's Happening!?!, on the other hand, is pure Crosby.

Artist: First Edition
Title: Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Mickey Newbury
Label: Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year: 1968
In 1968, former New Christy Mistrels members Kenny Rogers and Mickey Newbury decided to form a psychedelic rock band, the First Edition. Although Newbury wrote most of the songs on the first album, it was Rogers who would emerge as the star of the band, even to the point of eventually changing the band's name to Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. That change reflected a shift from psychedelic to country flavored pop that would eventually propel Rogers to superstar status.

Artist: Circus Maximus
Title: Wind
Source: LP: Circus Maximus
Writer: Bob Bruno
Label: Vanguard
Year: 1967
Circus Maximus was formed out of the chance meeting of multi-instrumentalist Bob Bruno and guitarist Jerry Jeff Walker in Greenwich Village in 1967. From the start the band was moving in different directions, with Bruno incorporating jazz elements into the band while Walker favored country-rock. Eventually the two would go their separate ways, but for the short time the band was together they made some of the best, if not best-known, psychedelic music on the East Coast.

Artist: Music Machine
Title: Some Other Drum
Source: CD: Turn On
Writer: Sean Bonniwell
Label: Sundazed (original label: Original Sound)
Year: 1966
Unlike most of the L.A. bands playing the strip in the mid-60s, the Music Machine played an eclectic mix of original material, all composed by bandleader Sean Bonniwell. Whereas some songs, such as the energetic Talk Talk, were prototypical punk-rock, others, such as Some Other Drum, had a softer feel reminiscent of the Lovin' Spoonful without sounding at all derivative.

Artist: Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band
Title: Orange Claw Hammer
Source: CD: Trout Mask Replica
Writer: Don Van Vliet
Label: Reprise (original label: Straight)
Year: 1969
Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet), is one of the most controversial figures in modern music. Starting off covering blues standards such as Diddy Wah Diddy, the Captain quickly began taking on avant-garde qualities, which in turn led to frequent personnel changes in his Magic Band. Adding to the controversy is the question as to whether Beefheart actually composed the songs he took sole credit for, or whether, as claimed by some band members, he simply gave his musicians general guidelines and let them work out the details. Regardless, the third Beefheart album to be released was the first one in which he was given total artistic freedom, thanks to his old high school friend Frank Zappa being in charge of Straight Records. The result was Trout Mask Replica, a double album that is still considered an avant-garde rock classic. The opening track from side four is Orange Claw Hammer, an a cappela piece that has been slightly electronically altered. It is also the only request I'm playing this week.

Artist: Country Joe and the Fish
Title: Rock and Soul Music (Reprise)
Source: CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm
Writer: Joe McDonald
Label: Rhino
Year: 1969
Country Joe and the Fish actually performed Rock and Soul Music twice at Woodstock. The first instance was a short intro that led directly into the next song. The second one, however, was the real deal: a twelve-minute jam that includes a section where the music comes to a complete stop while Joe explains, with tongue firmly in cheek, each instrument's role in creating rock and soul music. This recording was not released until Rhino's 45th anniversary edition of the concert, released in 2009.

Artist: Seeds
Title: I Tell Myself
Source: LP: A Web Of Sound
Writer: Marcus Tybalt
Label: GNP Crescendo
Year: 1966
To finish out the first hour we have a real rarity: a Seeds tune not written by Sky Saxon.

Artist: Troggs
Title: Wild Thing
Source: CD: Nuggets-Classics From the Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Chip Taylor
Label: Rhino (original label: Fontana)
Year: 1966
Is there anyone out there who has not heard this one? I have a copy of the promotional film for this track on DVD. Every time I watch it I imagine singer Reg Presley saying giggity-giggity as he bobs his head from side to side.

Artist: Blues Project
Title: I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes
Source: LP: Projections
Writer: Blind Willie Johnson
Label: Verve Forecast
Year: 1966
One lasting legacy of the British Invasion was the re-introduction to the US record-buying public to the songs of early Rhythm and Blues artists such as Blind Willie Johnson. This emphasis on classic blues in particular would lead to the formation of electric blues-based US bands such as the Butterfield Blues Band and the Blues Project. Unlike the Butterfields, who made a conscious effort to remain true to their Chicago-style blues roots, the Blues Project was always looking for new ground to cover, which ultimately led to them developing an improvisational style that would be emulated by west coast bands such as the Grateful Dead, and by Project member Al Kooper, who conceived and produced the first rock jam LP ever, Super Session, in 1968. As the opening track to their second (and generally considered best) LP Projections, I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes served notice that this was a new kind of blues, louder and brasher than what had come before, yet tempered with Kooper's melodic vocal style. An added twist was the use during the song's instrumental bridge of an experimental synthesizer known among band members as the "Kooperphone", probably the first use of any type of synthesizer in a blues record.

Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Source: CD: Psychedelic Pop
Writer: Tucker/Mantz
Label: BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Reprise)
Year: 1967
We continue the first of back-to-back three-year progressions with the song that Lenny Kaye chose to open the very first Nuggets collection in 1972. It's hard to imagine a song better representative of the psychedelic era.

Artist: Fireballs
Title: Can't You See I'm Tryin'
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer: Campbell/Fuller
Label: Atco
Year: 1968
Jimmy Gilmer and The Fireballs had previously had the number one song of the entire year 1963 with Sugar Shack, but had been completely derailed the following year by the British Invasion. After a nearly five-year drought they returned to the charts with Bottle of Wine in 1968. The song was backed with this tune co-written by Glen Campbell before he became a household word. The Fireballs have the distinction of being one of the only bands from New Mexico ever to hit it big on the charts, recording all their hits at the same Norman Petty studios in Clovis, NM that Buddy Holly had recorded at. After the Fireballs stopped recording, Petty moved into larger, more modern facilities that were used for the first record by country singer LeAnn Rimes in the 1990s. The original Norman Petty studios are now the Buddy Holly Museum.

Artist: Standells
Title: Dirty Water
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Ed Cobb
Label: Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year: 1966
Going back to 1966 for our second progression we have a song that still get played at many Boston area sporting events. The joke, of course, is that the Standells were an L.A. band fronted (so to speak) by drummer (and former Mouseketeer) Dicky Dodd.

Artist: Monkees
Title: Mr. Webster
Source: CD: Headquarters
Writer: Boyce/Hart
Label: Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year: 1967
After scathing criticism from the rock press for not playing their own instruments, the Monkees were determined to show that they could do it themselves with their third LP, Headquarters. One of the better, yet often overlooked tracks is Mr. Webster, a folk-rock song about an underappreciated bank security guard who decides to determine his own retirement bonus. Although their musicianship was nowhere near being on a level with the studio musicians who had played on their first two albums, the Monkees, in the words of Peter Tork, finally felt like a "real band". Unfortunately the damage to their reputations was already past the point of redemption, and subsequent LPs all used studio musicians, albeit under the direct supervision of the Monkees themselves.

Artist: Guess Who
Title: I Found Her In A Star
Source: CD: Wheatfield Soul
Writer: Burton Cummings
Label: Iconoclassic (original labels: Canada: Nimbus; US: RCA Victor)
Year: 1968
After virtually disappearing from the US charts following Shakin' All Over in 1965, the Guess Who continued to crank out songs that made the Canadian charts while going through a series of personnel changes that saw Burton Cummings take over as front man for the band by 1968. The LP Wheatfield Soul was a breakout album for the band, thanks to the song These Eyes, which was a monster hit all over North America. I Found Her In A Star is more typical of the kind of song Cummings would record years later after leaving the band for a solo career.

Artist: Temptations
Title: Psychedelic Shack
Source: 45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer: Whitfield/Strong
Label: Motown Yesteryear (original label: Gordy)
Year: 1970
Starting in 1969 the songwriting/production team of Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong began to carve out their own company within a company at Motown, producing a series of recordings with a far more psychedelic feel than anything else coming out of the Motor City's biggest label. The most blatantly obvious example of this is the Temptations tune Psychedelic Shack, which graced the charts in 1970. Whitfield would eventually form his own company, taking another Motown act, the Undisputed Truth, with him, but would not be able to equal the success of the songs he and Strong produced for the Temptations, such as 1972's Papa Was A Rolling Stone.

Artist: Canned Heat
Title: Boogie Music (originally released on LP: Boogie With Canned Heat and as 45 RPM B side)
Source: LP: Progressive Heavies
Writer: L.T. Tatman III
Label: United Artists (original label: Liberty)
Year: 1968
Canned Heat's second LP established the band's reputation for long extended jamming. It also was the first appearance of this tune that was re-issued as the B side of Canned Heat's biggest hit, Going Up The Country, in 1969.

Artist: Donovan
Title: Preachin' Love
Source: CD: Mellow Yellow (originally released as 45 RPM B side)
Writer: Donovan Leitch
Label: EMI (original US label: Epic)
Year: 1967
Due to a contract dispute with his UK record label, Pye Records, Mellow Yellow (the song), did not get released in Donovan's native country until early 1967, well after the song had already run its course on the US charts. Preachin' Love, a swing jazz tune recorded in late 1966, was chosen as the record's B side. Around the same time Donovan's next US single, Epistle To Dippy, was released, also with Preachin' Love as the B side. The song was not included on any albums, however, until re-issued on CD.

Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Up From The Skies
Source: CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer: Jimi Hendrix
Label: MCA
Our second song of tonight's 1967 set is a tune that was actually released as a single in the US in 1967, at around the same time as Burning of the Midnight Lamp was having a successful run on the UK singles charts. Axis: Bold As Love, however, was one of the LPs that proved that having a top 40 hit was no longer necessary or even desirable for a rock band to be considered a success in the US.

Year: 1967
Artist: Buffalo Springfield
Title: Sit Down I Think I Love You
Source: LP: Buffalo Springfield
Writer: Stephen Stills
Label: Atco
Year: 1967
Although Buffalo Springfield never released this song as a single, Stephen Stills did manage to collect some royalties when it was covered by the Mojo Men in 1968.

Artist: Kim Fowley
Title: Underground Lady
Source: CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Fowley/Geddes
Label: Rhino (original label: Living Legend)
Year: 1965
It's probably appropriate in a rather twisted way that this Kim Fowley tune was released on the Living Legend label. After all, Fowley was an almost bigger than life character in the L.A. record business throughout the sixties and beyond who seemed to always be on whatever scene was most happening at the time. In the early part of the decade he was the voice behind the faux group Hollywood Argyles, scoring a huge novelty hit with Alley Oop. Later, he became famous for the parties he threw, bringing big name acts such as the Yardbirds in to entertain his guests. In later decades he was the guy who introduced Lita Ford to Joan Jett, thereby fulfilling his dream of forming an all-girl rock band (though the Runaways quickly dispensed of his services as producer after their first album). Throughout all this he established a reputation as the ultimate Hollywood hustler; when you think of a guy in shades and a loud shirt that calls everyone baby or sweetheart, you're thinking of Fowley.

Artist: Procol Harum
Title: Skip Softly (My Moonbeams)
Source: LP: Shine On Brightly
Writer: Brooker/Reid
Label: A&M
Year: 1968
Procol Harum is not generally thought of as a novelty act. The closest they ever came was this track from the Shine On Brightly album that steals shamelessly from a classical piece I really should know the name of but don't.

Artist: Kinks
Title: Days
Source: 25 Years-The Ultimate Collection
Writer: Ray Davies
Label: PolyTel
Year: 1968
As the sixties wound down, the Kinks were busy proving that if a band could weather the bad times they would eventually re-emerge even stronger than before. The worst of those times for the band was 1968, when they had trouble scoring hits even on the UK charts where they had always had their greatest success. One of the singles released was Days, which shows a band still transitioning from the straight ahead rock of their early years to the sometimes biting satire that would characterize their later work.

Artist: 4 Seasons
Title: Idaho
Source: Genuine Imitation Life Gazette
Writer: unknown
Label: Philips
Year: 1969
One of the few US acts to prosper during the British Invasion was the 4 seasons, a vocal group from the east coast. Working closely with songwriters/producers Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe, the Seasons cranked out hit after hit, including Rag Doll, Walk Like A Man, Sherry and many more. By 1969, however, the record-buying public was looking for something different, and the group responded with an album packaged to look like a newspaper, the Genuine Imitation Life Gazette. Although the album did little to halt the group's slide, it did set an album cover precedent that would be followed more successfully by Jefferson Airplane (Volunteers), John and Yoko (Sometime In New York City) and Jethro Tull (Thick As A Brick).

Artist: Knickerbockers
Title: High On Love
Source: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68
Writer: Colley/Colley/Tucker
Label: Rhino
Year: 1966
I realize now why this list never got posted: I hadn't finished it. This song was co-written by Annette Tucker before she began teaming up with the likes of Nancy Mantz and Jill Jones on songs like Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) and Get Me To The World On Time, both recorded by the Electric Prunes.

Artist: Yardbirds
Title: Heart Full Of Soul
Source: 45 RPM single
Writer: Graham Gouldman
Label: Epic
Year: 1965
We finish the night with one of the first Yardbirds hits to feature Jeff Beck on lead guitar. Songwriter Graham Gouldman was at the time a member of Wayne Fontana's band the Mindbenders (writing The Game Of Love and Groovy Kind Of Love) and would later be a founding member of 10cc (writing I'm Not In Love).

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