Thursday, June 30, 2011

Show # 1126 playlist

One advantage in having the week off from my day job is that I had plenty of time to assemble the notes for this week's show. Before getting to that, however, I want to welcome some new stations to the show, including:

KFOK-LP 95.1 in Georgetown, California
KEOS-FM 89.1 in Bryan, Texas
KWMR-FM 90.5 in Point Reyes, California and 89.9 in Bolinas, California
KKRN 88.5 FM in Bella Vista, California

KWMR is running the show Thursday nights from 10-Midnight Pacific, and KKRN is running it Wednesdays at 2PM Pacific. I'm not sure about the others. Anyway, to all of you listening to Stuck in the Psychedelic Era on these stations, welcome aboard!

Artist: Kinks
Title: Situation Vacant
Source: LP: Something Else
Writer: Ray Davies
Label: Reprise
Year: 1967
Ray Davies's songwriting on the 1967 album Something Else By The Kinks can probably best be characterized as presenting slices of life in three minutes or less. In the case of Situation Vacant we have the story of a man who accedes to the demands of his mother-in-law. How does it all turn out? Guess you'll have to listen to the song to find out.

Artist: Doors
Title: Take It As It Comes
Source: CD: The Doors
Writer: The Doors
Label: Elektra
Year: 1967
L.A.'s Whisky-A-Go-Go was the place to be in 1966. Not only were some of the city's most popular bands playing there, but for a while the house band was none other than the Doors, playing songs like Take It As It Comes. One evening Jack Holtzman of Elektra Records was among those attending the club, having been invited there to hear the Doors by Arthur Lee (who with his band Love was already recording for Elektra). After hearing two sets Holtzman signed the group to a contract with the label, making the Doors only the second rock band to record for Elektra.

Artist: Chocolate Watchband
Title: Sweet Young Thing
Source: CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Ed Cobb
Label: Rhino (original label: Uptown)
Year: 1967
There is actually very little on vinyl that captures the flavor of how the Chocolate Watchband actually sounded when left to their own devices, as most of their recorded work was heavily influenced by producer Ed Cobb. One of the few recordings that does accurately represent the Watchband sound is Sweet Young Thing, the first single released under the band's real name (Blues Theme, a Watchband recording credited to the Hoggs, had been released in 1966 by Hanna-Barbera records).

Artist: Spirit
Title: Animal Zoo
Source: LP: The Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus
Writer: California/Locke
Label: Epic
Year: 1970
The last album by the original lineup of Spirit was The Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus, released in 1970. The album was originally going to be produced by Neil Young, but due to other commitments Young had to bow out, recommending David Briggs, who had already produced Young's first album with Crazy Horse, as a replacement. The first song to be released as a single was Animal Zoo, but the tune barely cracked the top 100 charts. The album itself did better on progressive FM stations and has since come to be regarded as a classic. Shortly after the release of Twelve Dreams, Jay Ferguson and Mark Andes left Spirit to form Jo Jo Gunne.

Artist: Gypsy
Title: As Far As You Can See (As Much As You Can Feel)
Source: LP: In The Garden
Writer: Enrico Rosenbaum
Label: Metromedia
Year: 1971
From late 1969 to mid 1970 Gypsy was the house band at L.A's Whisky-A-Go-Go. During that period they released their first album, featuring the song Gypsy Queen. By the time the band's second LP, In The Garden, was released the group had gone through several personnel changes, with only keyboardist James Walsh, guitarist James Johnson and bandleader Enrico Rosenbaum, who played guitar and sang lead vocals, left from the lineup that had recorded the first LP. The new members included Bill Lordan (who would go on record several albums with Robin Trower) on drums and the legendary Willie Weeks on bass.

Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Catfish Blues
Source: CD: Blues
Writer: trad. Arr. Hendrix
Label: Legacy
Year: 1967
This week we have a set of posthumously-released Jimi Hendrix recordings, starting off with a live performance from 1967 on the Dutch TV show Hoepla, featuring the original Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Artist: Jimi Hendrix
Title: In From The Storm
Source: CD: Voodoo Soup (originally released on LP: The Cry Of Love)
Writer: Jimi Hendrix
Label: MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year: 1970
Although nobody knows for sure what the final track lineup would have been for Jimi Hendrix's first studio album since 1968's Electric Ladyland, most everyone associated with him agrees that it would have been a double LP and that In From The Storm would have been included on it. The song was first released on The Cry Of Love, the first posthumus Hendrix album, and subsequently was included on Voodoo Soup, Alan Douglas's first attempt at recreating that legendary fourth album. The song also appears on First Rays Of The New Rising Sun, the CD that has replaced Voodoo Soup in the Hendrix catalog. The recording features Hendrix on guitar, Mitch Mitchell on drums and Hendrix's old army buddy Billy Cox on bass.

Artist: Band Of Gypsys
Title: Bleeding Heart
Source: CD: Blues
Writer: Elmore James
Label: Legacy
Year: 1969
Before forming the Experience, Jimi Hendrix made a handful recordings with Curtis Knight and signed a contract with record producer Ed Chalpin giving Hendrix 1% of all royalties from the songs, which were released on a pair of singles that went nowhere. After Hendrix became a star, Chalpin began to insist that Hendrix was still under contract to him. Chalpin leased the recordings (along with some jam sessions Hendrix had done with Knight) to Capitol, which released the LP: Get That Feeling in late 1967. The legal battles were not over, however, and after the Experience broke up Hendrix agreed to record an album of new material for Capitol. This album was recorded live at the Fillmore East by a group consisting of Hendrix, Cox and drummer Buddy Miles (Electric Flag) on New Years Eve 1969 and released under the name Band of Gypsys. This group also recorded several studio tracks, although none of them were released during Hendrix's lifetime. One of those tracks was this recording of the old Elmore James tune Bleeding Heart.

Artist: Jimi Hendrix
Title: Freedom
Source: CD: Voodoo Soup (originally released on LP: The Cry Of Love and as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Jimi Hendrix
Label: MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year: 1970
The first single released from The Cry Of Love was Freedom. The song is technically incomplete, as the last few bars of the guitar solo are a "scratch track" that would have been re-recorded had Hendrix lived to finish his fourth studio LP. As is the case with most of The Cry Of Love, the recording features the "new" Experience consisting of Jimi Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox.

Artist: Jethro Tull
Title: Alive And Well And Living In
Source: LP: Living In The Past (originally released in UK on LP: Benefit and as a 45 RPM single B side)
Writer: Ian Anderson
Label: Chrysalis
Year: 1970 (US release: 1973)
The only Jethro Tull album to have a different track lineup in the UK and the US was Benefit, released in 1970. As it was the custom in Britain not to include singles on LPs, the song Teacher was not included on the UK release. In the US, however, Teacher was stuck in the middle of side two and the song Inside was moved to side one, replacing Alive And Well And Living In. The deleted song did not get released in the US until the Living In The Past compilation in 1973, which collected various singles, EP tracks and live recordings (along with one song from each of the band's first four LPs) that had not been previously released in the US.

Artist: David Bowie
Title: Bombers
Source: Sound+Vision Sampler (originally released as bonus track on CD reissue of Hunky Dory in 1990)
Writer: David Bowie
Label: Ryko
Year: 1971
When CDs fist started coming out in the mid 1980s, the track lineups were the same as the album versions. One of the first companies to include bonus tracks was Ryko with its Sound+Vision series of remastered David Bowie albums in 1990. Bombers was a 1971 recording that appeared for the first time on the remastered Hunky Dory CD.

Artist: Yardbirds
Title: Jeff's Boogie
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer: Dreja/Relf/Samwell-Smith/McCarty/Beck
Label: Epic
Year: 1966
We finish out the first hour with one of the best B sides ever issued: the instrumental Jeff's Boogie, which appeared as the flip side of Over, Under, Sideways Down in 1966 and was included on an LP with the same name (that LP, with a different track lineup and cover, was issued in the UK under the name Yardbirds, although it has since come to be known as Roger The Engineer due to its cover art). Although credited to the entire band, the song is actually based on Chuck Berry's guitar boogie, and features some outstanding guitar work by Jeff Beck.

Artist: Alice Cooper
Title: Halo Of Flies
Source: LP: Killer
Writer: Cooper/Smith/Dunaway/Bruce/Buxton
Label: Warner Brothers
Year: 1971
According to Alice Cooper, Halo Of Flies was written to prove the band could do progressive rock in the vein of King Crimson. It ended up being a concert favorite and holds up as well if not better than any of Cooper's recordings.

Artist: West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title: I Won't Hurt You
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: Part One)
Writer: Markley/Harris/Lloyd
Label: Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year: 1967
The first West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band album was recorded at a home studio and released on the tiny Fifa label in 1966. The LP consisted of mostly cover songs. One of the few originals was I Won't Hurt You, which was re-recorded for the band's first major label release, which they called Part One. Living up to the name Experimental, the song uses a recording of a heartbeat for the rhythm track.

Artist: Blues Project
Title: No Time Like The Right Time
Source: CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Al Kooper
Label: Rhino (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year: 1967
By early 1967 the Blues Project found themselves in an odd position: they were drawing crowds at college campuses across the nation and had an outstanding reputation among the musicians' community for their improvisational abilities. What they didn't have was a hit single. If it were a couple of years later this wouldn't have mattered much, but at the time having a hit single was the only measure of success that record companies cared about. The group's last, and best, attempt at recording a hit was keyboardist Al Kooper's No Time Like The Right Time. Quite frankly, it is one of the best psychedelic singles ever recorded and should have been a bigger hit than it was.

Artist: Music Machine
Title: The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer: Sean Bonniwell
Label: Rhino (original label: Original Sound)
Year: 1967
The Music Machine was by far the most advanced of all the bands playing on Sunset Strip in 1966-67. 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: Beacon Street Union
Title: Sadie Said No
Source: CD: The Eyes of the Beacon Street Union
Writer: Ulaky/Wright
Label: See For Miles (original label: M-G-M)
Year: 1967
By the time the first Beacon Street Union album was released the band had already relocated to New York. That didn't stop executives from M-G-M from including the Union as part of its "Bosstown Sound" promotion. In the short term it may have generated some interest, but it was soon clear that the "Bosstown Sound" was empty hype, which in the long run hurt the band's credibility. This is a shame, since the music on The Eyes of the Beacon Street Union is actually quite listenable, as Sadie Said No demonstrates.

Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night).
Source: CD: Even More Nuggets
Writer: Tucker/Mantz
Label: Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year: 1967
The Electric Prunes biggest hit was I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), released in early 1967. The record, initially released without much promotion from the record label, was championed by Seattle DJ Pat O'Day of KJR radio, and was already popular in that area when it hit the national charts (thus explaining why so many people assumed the band was from Seattle). I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) has come to be one of the defining songs of the psychedelic era and was the opening track on the original Lenny Kaye Nuggets compilation.

Artist: Byrds
Title: The Day Walk (Never Before)
Source: CD: Turn! Turn! Turn! (bonus track)
Writer: Gene Clark
Label: Columbia/Legacy
Year: 1965
Nobody knows for sure why The Day Walk (Never Before) was left off the original release of the Byrds second LP, Turn! Turn! Turn! The most likely explanation is that Columbia, having very little experience with rock bands, was using the Capitol Beatle LPs as a model. This meant no more than a dozen songs per album, with a running time of around 35 minutes. As the band had more than 35 minutes' worth of material recorded, something had to be cut (although for my money Oh! Susannah would have been a better choice for the cutting room floor).

Artist: Pink Floyd
Title: Atom Heart Mother Suite
Source: LP: Atom Heart Mother
Writer: Waters/Gilmour/Wright/Mason/Geesin
Label: Harvest
Year: 1970
The longest continuous piece of music ever committed to vinyl by Pink Floyd was not something from the Wall or Dark Side of the Moon, but the 23 1/2 minute Atom Heart Mother Suite (Shine On You Crazy Diamond is actually longer, but was interrupted by being split across two sides of an LP). The suite was also the last Pink Floyd piece to credit anyone outside the band as a songwriter; in this case Scottish composer/arranger Ron Geesin, who was brought in to help orchestrate and tie together the various sections of the piece. Primarily an instrumental, the piece has several distinct sections, although on vinyl and most CDs it is treated as a single track. Indeed, the drum and bass parts, which were the first tracks recorded, were recorded as a continuous take, giving the entire piece a consistent tempo throughout. The title was taken from a newspaper headline about a pregnant woman who had been fitted with a pacemaker; the actual headline was "Atom Heart Mother Found". Pink Floyd never performed the piece live, and in recent years none of the band members has had anything good to say about it.

Artist: Traffic
Title: (Roamin' Thru' The Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen
Source: LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Traffic)
Writer: Capaldi/Winwood
Label: United Artists
Year: 1968
In its original run, Traffic only released two full albums (and a third that consisted of non-LP singles, studio outtakes and live tracks). The second of these, simply titled Traffic, featured several memorable tunes, including this Steve Winwood/Jim Capaldi collaboration.

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