Wednesday, October 12, 2011

SITPE # 1141 Playlist (Starts 10/13/11)

Out of the 25 tracks featured on this week's show, only seven have been heard on Stuck In The Psychedelic Era before this week. Even stranger, the first and last songs this week are among those seven repeats. Ironically, one of the remaining five is currently tied for the most-played song of 2011. One other notable fact is that, with one exception, every song in the first hour was written by a single songwriter who also performed the song.

Artist: Bob Dylan
Title: Like A Rolling Stone
Source: CD: Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Highway 61 Revisited)
Writer: Bob Dylan
Label: Columbia
Year: 1965
Bob Dylan incurred the wrath of folk purists when he decided to use electric instruments for his 1965 LP Highway 61 Revisited. The opening track on the album is the six-minute Like A Rolling Stone, a song that was also selected to be the first single released from the new album. After the single was pressed, the shirts at Columbia Records decided to cancel the release due to its length. An acetate copy of the record, however, made it to a local New York club, where, by audience request, the record was played over and over until it was worn out (acetate copies not being as durable as their vinyl counterparts). When Columbia started getting calls from local radio stations demanding copies of the song the next morning they decided to release the single after all. Like A Rolling Stone ended up going all the way to the number two spot on the US charts, doing quite well in several other countries as well.

Artist: Kinks
Title: Most Expensive Residence For Sale
Source: LP: Face To Face
Writer: Ray Davies
Label: Reprise
Year: 1966
By 1966, Ray Davies' songwriting had matured considerably from his power chord driven love songs You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night. Like many of the songs on the Kinks' 1966 and 1967 LPs, Most Exclusive Residence For Sale tells a story; in this case the story of a man who achieved great success, bought an expensive house and then found himself forced to sell it when his fortunes took a downward turn.

Artist: Love
Title: A House Is Not A Motel
Source: CD: Forever Changes
Writer: Arthur Lee
Label: Elektra
Year: 1967
Arthur Lee was a bit of a recluse, despite leading the most popular band on Sunset Strip in 1966-67. When the band was not playing at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go Lee was most likely to be found at his home up in the Hollywood Hills, often in the company of fellow band member Bryan McLean. The other members of the band, however, were known to hang out in the most popular clubs, chasing women and doing all kinds of substances. Sometimes they would show up at Lee's house unbidden. Sometimes they would crash there. Sometimes Lee would get annoyed, and probably used the phrase which became the title of the second track on Love's classic Forever Changes album, A House Is Not A Motel.

Artist: Jethro Tull
Title: Love Story
Source: CD: This Was (bonus track-originally released in UK as 45 RPM single and in US on LP: Living In The Past)
Writer: Ian Anderson
Label: Chrysalis/Capitol (original UK label: Island; original US label: Reprise)
Year: 1968 (US: 1973)
Love Story was the last studio recording by the original Jethro Tull lineup of Ian Anderson, Mick Abrahams, Clive Bunker and Glenn Cornish. The song was released as a single following the band's debut LP, This Was. Shortly after it's release Abrahams left the group, citing differences with Anderson over the band's musical direction. The song spent eight weeks on the UK singles chart, reaching the #29 spot. In the U.S., "Love Story" was released in March 1969, with A Song for Jeffrey (an album track from This Was) on the B-side, but did not chart. Like most songs released as singles in the UK, Love Story did not appear on an album until several years later; in this case on the 1973 anthology album Living In The Past.

Artist: Michael Nesmith and the Second National Band
Title: You Are My One
Source: LP: Tantamount To Treason
Writer: Michael Nesmith
Label: RCA Victor
Year: 1972
Michael Nesmith has always been something of a renaissance man. Originally making his mark as a songwriter (his song Mary Mary was recorded by the Butterfield Blues Band), Nesmith gained international prominence in 1966 as a member of the Monkees. After leaving the group he formed the First National Band, which was one of the first country-rock bands. This was followed by the Second National Band, which utilized some of the state of the art production techniques that Nesmith would apply to some of his later projects such as Elephant Parts (a 60-minute production combining music videos with comedy bits). Nesmith would go on to become a movie producer (Repo Man, Time Rider) and is credited with conceiving the idea of a cable channel dedicated to playing music videos. He sold the idea to Warner Brothers, who decided to call it MTV.

Title: Prison Song
Source: 45 RPM single
Writer: Graham Nash
Label: Atlantic
Year: 1973
Graham Nash's Prison Song is one of those songs that by all rights should have been a huge hit. It was by a name artist. It had a catchy opening harmonica riff and a haunting melody. I can only surmise that once again Bill Drake (the man who controlled top 40 radio in the 60s and early 70s) decided that the lyrics were too controversial for AM radio and had the song blacklisted, much as he had done with the Byrds Eight Miles High a few years earlier. Those lyrics center on a subject that most Americans would rather pretend didn't exist: the utter absurdity of drug laws and the unequal sentences for violation of those laws in the US and its various states.

Artist: Mamas and the Papas
Title: Somebody Groovy (originally released as 45 RPM B side)
Source: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68
Writer: John Phillips
Label: Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year: 1965
The Mamas and the Papas were blessed with strong vocals and even stronger songwriting. Their debut single, California Dreamin', written by John Phillips, is one of the iconic songs of the sixties. The B side of that single, released in 1965, was another Phillips tune, Somebody Groovy.

Artist: Seeds
Title: Up In Her Room
Source: LP: A Web Of Sound
Writer: Sky Saxon
Label: GNP Crescendo
Year: 1966
One of the first extended jams released on a rock album, Up In Her Room, from the Seeds' second LP, A Web Of Sound, is a sort of sequel to Van Morrison's Gloria (but only the original Them version; the secret of the Shadows Of Knight's success with the song was to replace the line "she comes up to my room" with "she comes around here").

Artist: Mothers of Invention
Title: I'm Not Satisfied
Source: LP: Absolutely Free
Writer: Frank Zappa
Label: Verve
Year: 1966
Frank Zappa, in his original liner notes for the Freak Out album, describes I'm Not Satisfied as "safe and harmless and designed that way on purpose". That is, until you realize that the lyrics are from the point of view of someone who has decided that life sucks and is contemplating suicide.

Artist: Joan Baez
Title: Joe Hill
Source: CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm
Writer: Robinson/Hayes
Label: Rhino (original label: Cotillion)
Year: 1969
Joe Hill, written as a poem in the early part of the 20th century and set to music a few years later, was a highlight of Joan Baez's Woodstock performance. The song was inspired by the struggles of one of the martyrs of the labor movement of the late 19th/early 20th centuries.

Artist: Blind Faith
Title: Can't Find My Way Home
Source: LP: Blind Faith
Writer: Steve Winwood
Label: Polydor
Year: 1969
Although an electric version of Can't Find My Way Home was recorded (and is now available on CD), it was Steve Winwood's acoustic version that was chosen for inclusion on Blind Faith's only LP.

Artist: Beau Brummels
Title: Just A Little
Source: CD: Nuggets-Classics From the Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Elliott/Durand
Label: Rhino (original label: Autumn)
Year: 1965
Often dismissed as an American imitation of British Invasion bands such as the Beatles, the Beau Brummels actually played a pivotal role in rock music history. Formed in San Francisco in 1964, the Brummels were led by Ron Elliott, who co-wrote most of the band's material, including their two top 10 singles in 1965. The second of these, Just A Little, is often cited as the first folk-rock hit, as it was released a week before the Byrds' recording of Mr. Tambourine Man. According to Elliott, the band was not trying to invent folk-rock, however. Rather, it was their own limitations as musicians that forced them to work with what they had: solid vocal harmonies and a mixture of electric and acoustic guitars. Elliott also credits the contributions of producer Sly Stone for the song's success. Conversely, Just A Little was Stone's greatest success as a producer prior to forming his own band, the Family Stone, in 1967.

Artist: Traffic
Title: Dealer
Source: CD: Heaven Is In Your Mind (also released as LP: Mr. Fantasy)
Writer: Winwood/Capaldi
Label: Island (original label: United Artists)
Year: 1967
The first Traffic LP was released in the UK under the title Mr. Fantasy. In the US the album was initially released under the name Heaven Is In Your Mind to coincide with the single of the same name. The singled failed to chart and subsequent pressings of the LP bore the name Mr. Fantasy. More recently the album has been released under both names. Mr. Fantasy features the original mono mixes of the songs, while Heaven Is In Your Mind has the stereo versions.

Artist: Traffic
Title: (Roamin' Through The Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen
Source: LP: Progressive Heavies
Writer: Winwood/Capaldi
Label: United Artists
Year: 1968
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: Traffic
Title: Hole In My Shoe
Source: CD: Heaven Is In Your Mind (also released as LP: Mr. Fantasy)
Writer: Dave Mason
Label: Island (original label: United Artists)
Year: 1967
Since the 1970s Traffic has been known as Steve Winwood's (and to a lesser degree, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood's) band, but in the early days the group's most popular songs were written and sung by co-founder Dave Mason. Hole In My Shoe received considerable airplay in the UK, although, like all Traffic's 60s records, it failed to make an impression in the US.

Artist: New Colony Six
Title: At The River's Edge
Source: CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Walter Kemp
Label: Rhino (original label: Centaur)
Year: 1966
The New Colony Six are best known for their soft pop-rock song Things I Like To Say, released on the Mercury label in 1969. In their earlier years, however, the Six were a prime example of the blues-tinged garage rock coming out of the Chicago area in the mid-1960s. At The River's Edge, released in 1966 on the band's own Centaur (later Sentar) label, is a classic example of the Six's early sound.

Artist: Turtles
Title: She's My Girl
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Bonner/Gordon
Label: Rhino (original label: White Whale)
Year: 1967
A favorite among the Turtles co-leaders Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, She's My Girl is full of hidden studio tricks that are barely (if at all) audible on the final recording. Written by the same team as Happy Together, the song is a worthy follow up to that monster hit.

Artist: Vanilla Fudge
Title: The Sky Cried/When I Was A Boy
Source: LP: Renaissance
Writer: Stein/Bogert
Label: Atco
Year: 1968
The first Vanilla Fudge, released in 1967, was filled with psychedelicized versions of established hits such as Cher's Bang Bang, the Beatles' Eleanor Rigby and of course, the Supremes' You Keep Me Hangin' On. For their second LP the group went with a concept album built around Sonny and Cher's The Beat Goes On. The group's third LP, Renaissance, finally revealed the band members' abilities as songwriters (although there were still a pair of cover songs on the album). The opening track on the album, The Sky Cried/When I Was A Boy, was written by bassist Tim Bogert and organist/vocalist Mark Stein.

Artist: Chocolate Watchband
Title: Uncle Morris
Source: CD: One Step Beyond
Writer: Andrijasevich/Loomis
Label: Sundazed (original label: Tower)
Year: 1969
San Jose, California's Chocolate Watchband has one of the most confusing stories in the history of rock. Part of this can be attributed to the actions of producer Ed Cobb, who used studio musicians extensively, often to the total exclusion of the band members themselves (even the vocals in some cases). Also adding to the confusion was the fact that one of the founding members, Gary Andrijasevich, had already left the band by the time they got their first recording contract, but returned as co-leader of an almost entirely new lineup for the band's third and final LP, One Step Beyond. Unlike the first two albums, there were no studio musicians used on One Step Beyond (although Moby Grape guitarist Jerry Miller makes a guest appearance). The new lineup, however, did not sound anything like the Watchband of old, and in fact had more in common musically with the folk-rock bands from San Francisco than the garage-rock the south end of the bay was known for.

Artist: Pink Floyd
Title: Flaming
Source: CD: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
Writer: Syd Barrett
Label: Capitol
Year: 1967
Despite his legendary status there is actually very little recorded material that bears the mark of Pink Floyd's original leader, Syd Barrett. Most of that material is on the first Floyd album, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, and on a handful of singles released by the group at a time when single releases in the UK seldom appeared on albums. Unlike Barrett's singles, which managed to be commercial without sacrificing their psychedelic qualities, album tracks such as Flaming (from Piper) show a willingness to go off into unexplored musical territory. It was these types of explorations that would set the direction the band would take once Barrett became unable to continue with the group.

Artist: Monkees
Title: Dandruff/Daddy's Song
Source: LP: Head soundtrack
Writer: Harry Nilsson
Label: Colgems
Year: 1968
After their TV show was cancelled in the spring of 1968, the Monkees set out to make a feature-length film. The movie, written by a young Jack Nicholson, was called Head, and was nothing like the TV show. The soundtrack album was nothing like any previous Monkees album either. For one thing, there were no songs written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. More importantly, there were clips from the movie itself, including Dandruff, which leads into the Harry Nillson tune Daddy's Song.

Artist: Richie Havens
Title: Handsome Johnny
Source: CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm
Writer: Gossett/Gossett/Havens
Label: Rhino
Year: 1969
When it became obvious that the amplifiers needed by the various rock bands that were scheduled to perform on the opening Friday afternoon at Woodstock would not be ready in time, singer/songwriter Richie Havens came to the rescue, performing for several hours as the new opening act. Havens reportedly opened with Handsome Johnny, a song that he had co-written with Lou Gossett and Lou Gossett, Jr.

Artist: Frijid Pink
Title: End Of The Line
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer: Thompson/Beaudry
Label: Parrot
Year: 1970
Frijid Pink was extremely popular in their native Detroit. So popular, in fact, that in 1969 Led Zeppelin was their warm-up act. Unfortunately for the band, their first single to become a national hit, a feedback-drenched version of House Of The Rising Sun, became a bit too popular on top 40 radio, causing the new progressive FM stations to avoid them like the plague. The band was never able to get airplay for their later records such as End Of The Line, the B side of their follow-up single Sing A Song Of Freedom.

Artist: Flower Travelin' Band
Title: Satori (part two)
Source: CD: Satori
Writer: Flower Travelin' Band
Label: Phoenix
Year: 1971
Possibly the first Japanese heavy metal band and almost certainly the first Japanese psychedelic group, the Flower Travelin' Band recorded their first LP in 1969. The album was made up entirely of covers of bands like Cream and Led Zeppelin. It wasn't until 1971 that they recorded their first LP made up entirely of original material. The album was called Satori, as were all five tracks on the album. It was worth the wait.

Artist: Janis Joplin
Title: Mercedes Benz
Source: CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Pearl)
Writer: Janis Joplin
Label: Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year: 1970
To put it bluntly, Janis recorded this song, then went home and ODed on herion. End of story (and of Janis).

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