Thursday, August 11, 2011

SITPE # 1132 Playlist (starts 8/11)

OK, here is the entire playlist for show # 1132. Enjoy!

Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
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 both the original Lenny Kaye Nuggets compilation and Rhino's first Nuggets LP.

Artist: West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title: 1906
Source: CD: Part One
Writer: Markley/Morgan
Label: Sundazed (original label: Reprise)
Year: 1967
I have recently been in contact with Robert Morgan, brother of the late Ron Morgan, guitarist for the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. I asked him if his brother had ever received royalties from songs like 1906, which was essentially a Morgan composition with spoken lyrics tacked on by bandleader/vocalist Bob Markley. He replied that Ron had received a check for something like eight dollars shortly before his death, but that he had always felt that Markley had paid him fairly for his services. He then went on to say that Ron Morgan was more interested in making his mark than in getting any financial compensation. Attitudes like that are why I do this show. It's hard to imagine many of today's pop stars making a statement like that and meaning it.

Artist: Young Rascals
Title: It's Wonderful
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Cavaliere/Brigati
Label: Rhino (original label: Atlantic)
Year: 1967
Psychedelic rock is generally considered to have begun on the West Coast (although Austin, Texas has a legitimate claim as well). By the time of the Summer of Love, however, psychedelic rock was a national trend. New York had always been one of the major centers of the music industry, so it's not surprising that on the East Coast 1967 was the year of the psychedelic single. One of the most popular New York bands of the time was the Young Rascals, generally considered to be the greatest blue-eyed soul band of the era, if not of all time. Still, the times being what they were, the Rascals departed from their usual style more than once in '67, first with the smash hit "How Can I Be Sure," and then with this tune, released in November of the same year.

Artist: Leaves
Title: Too Many People
Source: CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM B side)
Writer: Rhinehart/Pons
Label: Rhino (original label: Mira)
Year: 1965
The Leaves are a bit unusual in that in a city known for drawing wannabes from across the world, this local band's members were all native L.A.ins. Formed by members of a fraternity at Cal State Northridge, the Leaves had their greatest success when they took over as house band at Ciro's after the Byrds vacated the slot to go on tour. Like many bands of the time, they were given a song to record as a single by their producer (Love Minus Zero) and allowed to write their own B side. In this case that B side was Too Many People, written by bassist Jim Pons and guitarist Bill Rhinehart. The song ended up getting more airplay on local radio stations than Love Minus Zero, making it their first regional hit. The Leaves had their only national hit the following year with their third attempt at recording the fast version of Hey Joe, the success of which led to their first LP, which included a watered down version of Too Many People. The version heard here is the 1965 original. Eventually Pons would leave the Leaves, hooking up first with the Turtles, then Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention.

Artist: Cream
Title: N.S.U.
Source: CD: Fresh Cream
Writer: Jack Bruce
Label: Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year: 1966
Although most of Jack Bruce's Cream songs were co-written with lyricist Pete Brown, there were some exceptions. One of the most notable of these is N.S.U. from Cream's debut LP. The song has proven popular enough to be included in the band's repertoire when they reunited for a three-day stint at the Royal Albert Hall in 2005.

Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: The Lantern
Source: CD: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer: Jagger/Richards
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
Year: 1967
The Rolling Stones hit a bit of a commercial slump in 1967. It seemed at the time that the old Beatles vs. Stones rivalry (a rivalry mostly created by US fans of the bands rather than the bands themselves) had been finally decided in favor of the Beatles with the chart dominance of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that summer. The Stones answer to Sgt. Pepper's came late in the year, and was, by all accounts, their most psychedelic album ever. Sporting a cover that included a 5X5" hologram of the band dressed in wizard's robes, the album was percieved as a bit of a Sgt. Pepper's ripoff, possibly due to the similarity of the band members' poses in the holo. Musically Majesties was the most adventurous album the group ever made in their long history, amply demonstrated by songs like The Lantern. The Stones' next LP, Beggar's Banquet, was celebrated as a return to the band's roots.

Artist: Turtles
Title: Surfer Dan
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer: The Turtles
Label: White Whale
Year: 1968
In 1968 the Turtles decided to self-produce four recordings without the knowledge of their record label, White Whale. When company executives heard the tapes they rejected all but one of the recordings. That lone exception was Surfer Dan, which was included on the band's 1968 concept album Battle of the Bands. The idea was that each track (or band, as the divisions on LPs were sometimes called) would sound like it was recorded by a different group. As the Turtles had originally evolved out of a surf band called the Crossfires, that name was the obvious choice for the Surfer Dan track. The song was also chosen to be the B side of She's My Girl, the Turtles biggest hit of 1968.

Artist: Lovin' Spoonful
Title: Revelation: Revolution 69
Source: 45 RPM single
Writer: Butler/Finiz
Label: Kama Sutra
Year: 1969
After the departure of John Sebastian, the Lovin' Spoonful attempted to continue on as a band, with drummer Joe Butler taking over as lead vocalist. The decision to do so may well have been influenced by the people at Kama Sutra, who really had no other stars on their label and were dependedent on sales of Lovin' Spoonful records for the livlihood. Whatever the reason, it didn't work out, and after Revelation: Revolution 69 failed to chart, the band called it quits. Kama Sutra Records became a subsidiary of Buddah Records, but never had the success they had enjoyed when the Spoonful was at its commercial peak.

Artist: Kinks
Title: Set Me Free
Source: 45 RPM single
Writer: Ray Davies
Label: Reprise
Year: 1965
After scoring international success with a series of R&B influenced rockers in 1964, the Kinks started to mellow a bit in 1965, releasing more melodic songs such as Set Me Free. The band would continue to evolve throughout the decade, eventually becoming one of the first groups to release a concept album, Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire), in 1969.

Artist: Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs
Title: Little Red Riding Hood
Source: LP: The Best Of Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: R. Blackwell
Label: M-G-M
Year: 1966
From the mid-50s to the mid-70s, the top 40 carts were home to songs that just didn't fit into any particular category. These "novelty" songs were often humorous and sometimes ended up being big hits. 1966 was a particularly good year for the novelty song, with the New Vaudeville Band's Winchester Cathedral and Napoleon XIV's They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Ha both hitting the top 10. Even more novel was the comeback hit of the year from the band that had looked like one-hit wonders the previous year with Wooly Bully: Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. Little Red Riding Hood featured Sam (real name Domingo Samudio) fronting a new lineup for what has come to be recognized as one of the original Tex-Mex bands.

Artist: Full Treatment
Title: Just Can't Wait
Source: CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Buzz Clifford
Label: Rhino
Year: 1967
In the fall of 1966 Brian Wilson produced the classic Beach Boys single Good Vibrations, which sent vibrations of its own throughout the L.A. studio scene. Suddenly producers were stumbling all over themselves to follow in Wilson's footsteps with mini-symphonies of their own. Buzz Clifford and Dan Moore, calling themselves the Full Treatment, created Just Can't Wait in 1967 and quickly sold the master tape to A&M Records. Despite enthusiam for the recording at the label, the song was mostly ignored by radio stations and the Full Treatment was never heard from again.

Artist: Traffic
Title: Feelin' Alright
Source: LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Traffic)
Writer: Dave Mason
Label: United Artists
Year: 1968
Although Traffic is generally known as an early staple of progressive FM radio, the band had its share of hit singles in its native England as well. Many of these early hits were written by guitarist/vocalist Dave Mason, who would leave the band in 1968, only to return for the live Welcome To The Canteen album before leaving again, this time for good. One of Mason's most memorable songs was Feelin' Alright, from Traffic's self-titled second LP. The song very quickly became a rock standard when Joe Cocker sped it up and made it his own signature song. Grand Funk Railroad slowed it back down and scored a hit with their version in 1971, and Mason himself got some airplay with a new solo recording of the song later in the decade. Even comedian John Belushi got into the act with his dead-on cover of Cocker's version of the song on the Saturday Night Live TV show.

Artist: Peanut Butter Conspiracy
Title: Eventually
Source: CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68
Writer: Alan Brackett
Label: Rhino
Year: recorded 1966
I had a request for the Peanut Butter Conspiracy recently. The PBC was one of the more psychedelic of the local L.A. bands playing the various clubs along L.A.'s Sunset Strip during its golden years of 1965-68. As was the case with so many bands of that time and place, they never really got the opportunity to strut their stuff, although they did leave some decent tapes behind, such as Eventually, recorded (but not released) in 1966.

Artist: Shadows of Knight
Title: Gloria
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk
Writer: Van Morrison
Label: Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year: 1966
Although most oldies stations now tend to favor the 1965 Them B side version of Gloria, it was Chicago's Shadows Of Knight that made it one of the most popular garage-rock songs in history.

Artist: Monkees
Title: I'm A Believer (early version)
Source: CD: More Of The Monkees
Writer: Neil Diamond
Label: Rhino
Year: recorded 1966
This early version of Neil Diamond's I'm A Believer has a less-polished sound than the song that became the number one hit of 1967.

Artist: Beatles
Title: Tomorrow Never Knows
Source: CD: Revolver
Writer: Lennon/McCartney
Label: Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year: 1966
A few years ago I started to compile an (admittedly subjective) list of the top psychedelic songs ever recorded. Although I never finished ranking the songs, one of the top contenders for the number one spot was Tomorrow Never Knows. The song is one of the first to use studio techniques such as backwards masking and has been hailed as a studio masterpiece.

Artist: Beatles
Title: I'm So Tired
Source: CD: The Beatles
Writer: Lennon/McCartney
Label: Parlophone (original label: Apple)
Year: 1968
Somehow I can't help but thinking of the Firesign Theatre's Further Adventures of Nick Danger every time I hear this song. I guess that's better than thinking of Charles Manson's group, which some of the other songs on the "white album" make me do.

Artist: Blues Magoos
Title: I Can Move A Mountain
Source: CD: Kaleidoscopic Compendium (originally released on LP: Basic Blues Magoos)
Writer: Theilhelm/Kelley
Label: Mercury
Year: 1968
After parting with an increasingly bubble-gum oriented management team, the Blues Magoos set out to reinvent themselves as a more progressive rock band in 1968. The resulting LP, Basic Blues Magoos, was self-produced and self-recorded, and showed a side of the band that had not been heard before. The group was unable to shed their baggage in the eyes of the record-buying public, however, and the album sold poorly.

Artist: Steve Cropper
Title: Funky Broadway
Source: LP: With A Little Help From My Friends
Writer: L. Christian
Label: Volt
Year: 1970
One of the most important figures in the formation of the Memphis sound was guitarist Steve Cropper. One of the founding members and defacto co-leader of Booker T. and the MGs, Cropper's guitar work is prominent on recordings by Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, Sam and Dave and other top artists that recorded for the Stax label in the mid to late 60s. In addition to providing guitar parts Cropper co-wrote several hit songs, including Otis Redding's Dock Of The Bay. Preferring to stay out of the spotlight, Cropper only recorded one solo LP for Stax, the appropriately-titled With A Little Help From My Friends, released in 1970 on the Volt label. After Stax faded away Cropper stayed active, appearing as part of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi's Blues Brothers Band (and the subsequent Elwood Blues Band) and earning the distinction of being the only guitarist to occupy the stage for the entire Bob Dylan tribute concert in the early 1990s. Following that, he and the MGs toured as Neil Young's stage band, and continues to make appearances at various venues, usually in a supporting role.

Artist: Who
Title: Rael 1
Source: CD: The Who Sell Out
Writer: Pete Townshend
Label: MCA (original label: Decca)
Year: 1967
The Who Sell Out, released in December 1967, was the last album by the group before their 1969 rock-opera Tommy. The last track on the LP, Rael, is itself a mini-opera that tells the story of a wealthy man who has taken on the role of a crusader, out to free his ancestral homeland from its current occupiers. He tells the captain of his ship to come back for him on Christmas Day to see if he is ready to return. If not, he tells the captain, the boat is yours. Of course the captain has no intention of returning, as he declares soon after putting back out to sea. The piece then goes into an instrumental passage that would be copied pretty much note for note on the Tommy album as part of the Underture. The track ends with a repeat of the owner's instructions to the captain.
The events surrounding the recording of Rael have become the stuff of legend. The band spent an entire day recording and mixing the song, and were apparently so exhausted at the end of the session that they left without securing the multi-track master in a safe place. The cleaning woman came in the next morning and tossed the tape into the waste basket. She then emptied the ashtrays and other trash into the same waste basket. When the band came in around noon the recording engineer who had found the tape had the unenviable task of telling them what had happened. Pete Townsend was in a rage, and the engineer tried to placate him by saying "these things happen". Townshend then proceeded to smash things in the studio, informing the engineer that "these things happen".

Artist: Who
Title: Eyesight To The Blind
Source: CD: Tommy
Writer: Pete Townshend
Label: MCA (original label: Decca)
Year: 1969
By 1969 the Who had pretty much stopped recording cover songs in the studio, although they continued to perform songs such as Summertime Blues live. One notable exception was the Sonny Boy Williamson tune Eyesight To The Blind, which was included as part of the rock opera Tommy. It was the only section of Tommy that was not written by a member of the Who.

Artist: Who
Title: Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hand
Source: CD: The Who Sell Out
Writer: Pete Townshend
Label: MCA
Year: 1967
There are at least three versions of Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hand. A faster, electric version of the song was released only in the US as the B side to I Can See For Miles, while this semi-latin flavored acoustic version was included on The Who Sell Out. Yet another version is featured as a bonus track on the 1993 CD release of Sell Out.

Artist: Them
Title: Come To Me
Source: LP: Now and Them
Writer: Them
Label: Tower
Year: 1968
After returning to Ireland and recruiting new lead vocalist Kenny McDowell, Them relocated to California and recorded two albums for Tower in 1968. On the first of the two albums, Now And Them, the band tried to continue in the same style they had developed with original vocalist Van Morrison. The last track on the LP was a piece written by the entire band called Come To Me. The second album would feature tunes by the songwriting team of Tom Lane and Sharon Pulley and would see the band moving in a more psychedelic direction.

Artist: Bubble Puppy
Title: Hot Smoke and Sassafras
Source: CD: Best of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Bubble Puppy
Label: Priority (original label: International Artists)
Year: 1969
From Houston we have an oft-requested song from a band that was a couple years ahead of its time, displaying musical dexterity on a par with later groups such as Flash and Yes. Soon after recording Hot Smoke and Sassafras the Bubble Puppy would relocate to California and change their name to Demian, at least in part to disassociate themselves with the then-popular "bubble gum" style (but also because of problems with the International Artists label).

Artist: Procol Harum
Title: Broken Barricades
Source: LP: Broken Barricades
Writer: Brooker/Reid
Label: A&M
Year: 1971
One of the last Procol Harum albums to feature guitarist Robin Trower was 1971's Broken Barricades. As this title track illustrates, Trower wasn't being given much to do with the band at this point, as the music was becoming more and more keyboard and vocal oriented.

Artist: Otis Redding
Title: Mr. Pitiful
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer: Redding/Cropper
Label: Atlantic (original label: Volt)
Year: 1965
Since we started this segment with a Steve Cropper instrumental I thought it might be nice to end it with a tune that Cropper co-wrote with Otis Redding. Mr. Pitiful is a classic example of the Memphis Soul sound that Cropper was such an integral part of.

Artist: Animals
Title: Don't Bring Me Down
Source: CD: The Best of Eric Burdon and the Animals
Writer: Goffin/King
Label: Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
Year: 1966
I originally bought this album in early 1967 and immediately fell in love with the first song, Don't Bring Me Down. Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Don't Bring Me Down is one of the few songs written for the Animals by professional songwriters that Eric Burdon actually liked.

Artist: Animals
Title: What Am I Living For
Source: LP: Animalization
Writer: Jay/Harris
Label: M-G-M
Year: 1966
Throughout their existence the original Animals were known for their love of American Blues and R&B music. In fact, hit singles aside, almost everything they recorded was a cover of an R&B hit. Among the covers on their 1966 LP Animalism (released in the US as Animalization) was What Am I Living For, originally recorded by the legendary Chuck Willis. The original version was released shortly after Willis's death from cancer in 1958, and is considered a classic. The Animals, thanks in large part to their obvious respect and admiration for the song, actually managed to improve on the original (as was often the case with their cover songs).

Artist: Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title: Good Times
Source: CD: The Best of Eric Burdon and the Animals (originally released as 45 RPM B side and on LP: Winds Of Change)
Writer: Burdon/Briggs/Weider/McCulloch/Jenkins
Label: Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
Year: 1967
By the end of the original Animals run they were having greater chart success with their singles in the US than in their native UK. That trend continued with the formation of the "new" Animals in 1967 and their first single, When I Was Young. Shortly after the first LP by the band now known as Eric Burdon And The Animals came out, M-G-M decided to release the song San Franciscan Nights as a single to take advantage of the massive youth migration to the city that summer. Meanwhile the band's British label decided to instead issue Good Times, (an autobiographical song which was released in the US as the B side to San Franciscan Nights) as a single, and the band ended up with one of their biggest UK hits ever. Riding the wave of success of Good Times, San Franciscan Nights eventually did get released in the UK and was a hit there as well.

Artist: Billy Stewart
Title: Summertime
Source: 45 RPM single reissue
Writer: Gershwin/Gershwin
Label: Chess
Year: 1966
By 1966 Chess Records was pretty much known as a blues-oriented specialty label that carried mostly Chicago-based artists. One of their last national hits was this hard-to-classify version of Summertime from Billy Stewart, which gave the Gershwin classic a treatment unlike any other. Stewart was unable to duplicate his success with his follow-up release, a similarly-treated version of Doris Day's 50s hit Secret Heart, and was not heard from on the national charts again.

Artist: Nancy Sinatra
Title: These Boots Are Made For Walkin'
Source: CD: Billboard Top Rock & Roll Hits-1966 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Lee Hazlewood
Label: Rhino
Year: 1966
Nancy Sinatra may not have had a great voice, but it was the right voice with the right song at the right time. To this day These Boots Are Made For Walkin', written by Lee Hazlewood, is one of the most recognizable songs ever recorded. Of course it didn't hurt that Nancy was the daughter of Frank Sinatra, or for that matter that she looked good in a miniskirt and boots.

Artist: Spats
Title: She Done Moved
Source: CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Dick and Bud Johnson
Label: Rhino (original label: ABC Paramount)
Year: 1966
ABC Paramount was a record label specifically formed to release records by artists who appeared on the ABC TV network (which was owned by the Paramount theater chain, which in turn had originally been owned by Paramount Pictures, who had divested themselves of the theater chain as a result of an anti-trust action). By the 60s the label had expanded into a major player in the industry with artists ranging from teen-idol Steve Alaimo to R&B favorites like the Impressions and the Tams. In 1966 they dropped the Paramount from their name and became simply ABC records (using the TV network logo). One of the last singles released before the change was She Done Moved, a middle-class teenager's lament from Orange County, California's Spats, led by brothers Dick and Bud Johnson. The song describes the heartbreak of having one's girlfriend suddenly relocate to another town, in this case Kansas City. As a military brat myself, I can relate.

Artist: Tikis
Title: Bye Bye Bye
Source: CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Templeton/Scoppetone
Label: Rhino (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year: 1966
The Tikis were another one of those early San Francisco bands that drew their inspiration more from the Beatles than from the emerging counter-culture. Led by Ted Templeton and Dick Scoppetone (both of whom would end up with careers in the business), the group featured tight harmonies and catchy melodies. They found greater success in 1967 as Harper's Bizarre with their cover of Simon And Garfunkel's 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy).

Artist: 13th Floor Elevators
Title: You're Gonna Miss Me
Source: CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators)
Writer: Roky Erickson
Label: Rhino (original label: International Artists)
Year: 1966
If anyplace outside of California has a legitimate claim to being the birthplace of the psychedelic era, it's Austin, Texas. That's mainly due to the presence of the 13th Floor Elevators, a local band led by Roky Erickson that had the audacity to use an electric jug onstage. Their debut album was the first to actually use the word psychedelic (predating the Blues Magoos' Psychedelic Lollipop by mere weeks). Musically, their leanings were more toward garage-rock than acid-rock, at least on their first album (they got more adventurous with their follow-up album, Easter Everywhere).

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