Artist: Grateful Dead
Title: Alligator/Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)
Source: CD: Anthem Of The Sun
Label: Warner Brothers
After a debut album that took about a week to record (and that the band was unanimously unhappy with) the Grateful Dead took their time on their second effort, Anthem Of The Sun. After spending a considerable amount of time in three different studios on two coasts and not getting the sound they wanted (and shedding their original producer along the way) the Dead came to the conclusion that the only way to make an album that sounded anywhere near what the band sounded like onstage was to use actual recordings of their performances and combine them with the studio tracks they had been working on. Side two of the album, which includes the classic Alligator and the more experimental Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks), is basically an enhanced live performance, with new vocal tracks added in the studio. Alligator itself is notable as the first Grateful Dead composition to feature the lyrics of Robert Hunter, who would become Jerry Garcia's main collaborator for many many years.
Artist: Grateful Dead
Title: The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)
Source: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released
I once knew someone from San Jose who had an original copy of the single version of The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion), the opening track from the first Dead album. It was totally worn out from being played a few hundred times, though.
Artist: Grateful Dead
Title: That's It For The Other One
Source: CD: Anthem Of The Sun
Label: Warner Brothers
The second Grateful Dead album, Anthem Of The Sun, opens with a suite called That's It For The Other One. Although it plays as one continuous piece of music, the suite was banded on the LP into separate tracks in order to increase songwriting royalties. Unlike the better-known Alligator, which is a live performance with studio overdubs, That's It For The Other One is a studio creation supplemented by live recordings. The final section of the piece was provided by future member Tom Constanten, whose contributions to the Dead were always more prominent in the studio than onstage. Anthem Of The Sun itself was the first Grateful Dead album to feature drummer Mickey Hart, who would be an off-and-on member of the band throughout their existence.
Title: Putting My Faith In You
Source: LP: Taos
When going through the WEOS vinyl archives a couple years ago I ran across an album called simply Taos. After doing a considerable amount of research I learned that the album came out in 1969. That's all I found out. Like many albums of the time, the LP was packaged in a gatefold sleeve. Unlike most LPs of the time, there were no songwriting credits given, either on the album cover or the label itself. In fact, other than the names of the songs themselves, there is no text at all. Instead, we are treated to several pictures of (presumably) the band members taken mostly at Taos Pueblo in northern New Mexico. As there was a commune in the area that had been established by disgruntled hippys that had fled the fast-deteriorating Haight-Ashbury scene the previous year, it's a good possibility that the band was from that commune, although I have no documentation to that end. Musically, Taos certainly sounds like an extension of the San Francisco sound, as Putting My Faith In You demonstrates. If anyone has any information about this band, feel free to drop me a line, either through the comments button at www.hermitradio.com or on the Stuck In The Psychedelic Era Facebook page wall.
Artist: Wishbone Ash
Title: Queen Of Torture
Source: 45 RPM single B side (originally released on LP: Wishbone Ash)
One of the first bands to use dual lead guitars was Wishbone Ash. When the band's original guitarist had to leave, auditions were held, but the remaining members couldn't come to a consensus between the two finalists so they kept both of them, or so the story goes. Queen Of Torture, from their 1969 debut album, shows just how well the two guitars meshed.
Title: Hey Joe
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Billy Roberts
Label: Rhino (original label: Mira)
The origins of the song Hey Joe are surrounded in mystery. Various writers have been given credit for the tune, including Chet Powers, aka Dino Valenti, who wrote Get Together, but David Crosby claimed the song was actually an old folk tune dating back to the 19th century that he himself had popularized as a member of the Byrds before the Leaves got ahold of it. Regardless of where the song came from, the Leaves version was the first to be released as a single and is generally considered the definitive fast version of the song. In Britain it was the slower version favored by the Jimi Hendrix Experience that became a hit, using an arrangement pioneered by songwriter Tim Rose and the Music Machine's Sean Bonniwell.
Artist: Mystery Trend
Title: Johnny Was A Good Boy
Source: CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Verve)
The Mystery Trend was a bit of an anomaly. Contemporaries of bands such as the Great! Society and the Charlatans, the Trend always stood a bit apart from the rest of the crowd, playing to an audience that was both a bit more affluent and a bit more "adult" (they were reportedly the house band at a Sausalito strip club). Although they played in the city itself as early as 1965, they did not release their first record until early 1967. The song, Johnny Was A Good Boy, tells the story of a seemingly normal middle-class kid who turns out to be a monster, surprising friends, family and neighbors. The same theme would be used by XTC in the early 1980s in the song No Thugs In Our House, one of the standout tracks from their landmark English Settlement album.
Artist: Harry Nilsson
Title: Let The Good Times Roll
Source: LP: Nilsson Schmilsson
Label: RCA Victor
By 1971, Harry Nilsson (usually known only by his last name) had established himself as both a singer (Everybody's Talkin', for the film Midnight Cowboy), and a songwriter (the Monkee's Cuddly Toy and Daddy's Song, among others). One of his most successful solo albums was Nilsson Schmilsson, which included the hits Without You and the psychedelic Jump Into The Fire. Despite his growing reputation as a singer/songwriter, Nilsson continued to record an occassion cover song, such as the 50s Shirley and Lee hit Let The Good Times Roll. It may have been this love of 50s music that led to him becoming close friends and drinking buddies with John Lennon, who recorded an entire album of 50s cover tunes in the early 70s.
Artist: Procol Harum
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Although Conquistador was originally recorded for the first Procol Harum album in 1967, it was the 1972 live version with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra that became one of the band's biggest hits, second only to A Whiter Shade Of Pale.
Writer: Ed Carlson
I usually don't say anything here about the instrumental tracks I use at the end of each hour, but I thought I'd make an exception, since this is only the second time I've used Ed Carlson's N.G.R.I. (which stands for No Good Rotten Instrumental). Ed was lead guitarist for the Pheremones, a band I sat in with on bass for a few months before starting on the Electric Dream Project (which is where most of the instrumentals I use on the show come from).
Artist: James Brown
Title: Papa's Got A Brand New Bag
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer: James Brown
Although he had been recording since the late 1950s, it wasn't until the release of Papa's Got A Brand New Bag in 1965 that James Brown achieved stardom. The song was recorded in less than an hour in a Charlotte, NC studio on the way to a performance. On the master tape Brown can be heard saying that they had a hit record on their hands. The record itself is actually a half-step higher in pitch than the master tape, which was deliberately sped up to give the song a bit of extra punch when the record was mastered.
Artist: Otis Redding
Title: The Glory Of Love
Source: LP: The Dock Of The Bay (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Billy Hill
Year: Original single release: 1967; LP release: 1968
Otis Redding's dream was to fill the gap left by the untimely death of Sam Cooke in 1964. By the summer of 1967 it looked like that dream was about to become a reality. Following a landmark performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June, Redding released his new version of a song that had originally been recorded by Benny Goodman in 1936 and had been redone numerous times over the years, including a version by the Five Keys that had spent eight weeks in the number one spot on the R&B charts in 1951. Sadly, Redding's life would be cut short the following winter when the plane carrying the singer, along with several members of the Bar-Kays, went down in a snowstorm, killing all aboard. After Redding's death, several tracks that had not yet appeared on an album were collected on an LP called The Dock Of The Bay, released on the Volt label (part of the Stax Records group) in 1968.
Artist: Lemon Pipers
Title: Green Tambourine
Source: CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Priority (original label: Buddah)
After a promising start signing respected artists like Johnny Winter and Captain Beefheart, Buddah Records quickly acquired a reputation as the "bubble gum" label, with a string of hits by groups like the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Ohio Express. As a result, Green Tambourine is often dismissed as mere fluff, when in fact it is a legitimate piece of psychedelia, recorded at the end of 1967, before the advent of the bubble gum era (although the song is sometimes cited as the first bubble gum hit).
Title: Tales Of Brave Ulysses
Source: CD: Disraeli Gears
Label: Polydor (original label: Atco)
Cream was one of the first bands to break British tradition and release singles that were also available as album cuts. This tradition likely came about because 45 RPM records (both singles and extended play 45s) tended to stay in print indefinitely in the UK, unlike in the US, where a hit single usually had a shelf life of around 4-6 months then disappeared forever. When the Disraeli Gears album was released, however, the song Strange Brew, which leads off the LP, was released in Europe as a single. The B side of that single was Tales Of Brave Ulysses, which opens side two of the album.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: My Best Friend
Source: CD: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer: Skip Spence
Although drummer Skip Spence had left Jefferson Airplane after the group's first LP, he did leave a song behind. My Best Friend was actually released as a single before Somebody To Love, making it the first single released from the Surrealistic Pillow album. Spence, meanwhile, was about to make a big splash as a founding member of Moby Grape.
Artist: West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title: As Kind As Summer
Source: LP: Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil
The first time I heard this I jumped up to see what was wrong with my turntable. A real gotcha moment.
Title: Dirty Old Man (At The Age Of Sixteen)
Source: LP: Now And Them
Writer: Tom Lane
After Van Morrison left Them to pursue a solo career, the band returned to Belfast, where they recruited Kenny McDowell to be the group's new lead vocalist. They then relocated to California, where they cut two albums for Tower Records. The second of the two albums featured songs written by the husband and wife team of Tom Pulley and Vivian Lane. The first LP, entitled Now And Them, featured songs from a variety of sources, including one song, Dirty Old Man (At The Age Of Sixteen), written by Lane himself.
Artist: Things To Come
Title: Come Alive
Source: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Russ Ward
Label: Rhino (original label: Warner Brothers)
Come Alive is a solid piece of garage rock, written by drummer Russ Ward, who would go on to become one of L.A.'s most sought after studio drummers using the name Russ Kunkel.
Artist: Emerson, Lake And Palmer
Title: The Endless Enigma (part one)
Source: CD: Trilogy
Label: Atlantic (original label: Cotillion)
Just for something completely different we have a track from the third Emerson, Lake and Palmer album, Trilogy.
Artist: Simon and Garfunkel
Title: A Most Peculiar Man
Source: CD: Collected Works (originally released on LP: Sounds Of Silence)
Writer: Paul Simon
You would think that a high school on a US military facility would be inclined to use the most staunchly traditional teaching methods known to man. Surprisingly, though, this was not the case at General H. H. Arnold High School in Weisbaden, Germany. In fact, the English department was teaching some sort of new system that dispensed with terms such as verb and noun and replaced them with a more conceptual approach to language. What I best remember about my Freshman English class is the day that my rather Bohemian teacher (he wore sandals to class!), actually brought in a copy of the Sounds Of Silence and had us dissect two songs from the album, Richard Cory and A Most Peculiar Man. We spent several classes discussing the similarities (they both deal with a suicide by someone representing a particular archetype) and differences (the methods used and the archetypes themselves) between the songs. I have forgotten everything else about that class and its so-called revolutionary approach, but those two songs have stayed with me my entire life. I guess that teacher (whose name I have forgotten) was on to something.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Lady Jane
Source: 45 RPM single B side
One of the best early Rolling Stones albums is 1966's Aftermath, which included such classics as Under My Thumb, Stupid Girl and the eleven-minute Goin' Home. Both the US and UK versions of the LP included the song Lady Jane, which was also released as the B side to Mother's Little Helper (which had been left off the US version of Aftermath to make room for Paint It, Black). The policy at the time was for B sides that got a significant amount of airplay to be rated seperately from the A side of the single, and Lady Jane managed to climb to the # 24 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 (Mother's Little Helper peaked at # 8).
Title: Shapes Of Things
Source: CD: Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame-Volume VII (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Legacy (original label: Epic)
Unlike earlier Yardbirds hits, 1966's Shapes Of Things was written by members of the band. The song, featuring one of guitarist Jeff Beck's most distinctive solos, just barely missed the top 10 in the US, although it was a top 5 single in the UK.
Title: Last Time Around
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Dennis Dahlquist
Label: Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Dunwich Records was a small independent label in Chicago that got national distribution through a deal with Atlantic Records. Their biggest act was the Shadows of Knight, who topped the charts with Gloria in 1966. One of the most successful other bands on the label was the Del-Vetts, from Chicago's affluent North Side (band members had matching white Corvettes, hence the name.) Last Time Around, sounding a lot like the Yardbirds, was their only nationally charted song, although they did get airplay in the midwest with other songs as well.
Title: Dear Mr. Fantasy
Source: LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Mr. Fantasy)
Label: United Artists
Steve Winwood is one of those artists that has multiple signature songs, having a career that has spanned decades (so far). Still, if there is any one song that is most closely associated with the guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist, it's this one from the Mr. Fantasy album.
Artist: Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title: When I Was Young
Source: CD: The Best of Eric Burdon and the Animals (originally released as 45 RPM single)
After the Animals disbanded in 1966, Eric Burdon set out to form a new band that would be far more psychedelic than the original group. The first release from these "New Animals" was When I Was Young. The song was credited to the entire band, a practice that would continue throughout the entire existence of the group that came to be called Eric Burdon And The Animals.
Artist: Velvet Underground
Title: Femme Fatale
Source: CD: The Velvet Underground And Nico
Writer: Lou Reed
Label: Polydor (original label: Verve)
The debut Velvet Underground LP, released in 1967, was not a huge commercial success, despite the striking album cover designed by Andy Warhol, who also produced the album. In the years since it has come to be regarded as a true classic of both the psychedelic and punk genres. Despite all that the album has some serious flaws, not the least of which is the relative lack of talent of Nico, who sings lead on Lou Reed's Femme Fatale.
Title: Can't Seem To Make You Mine
Source: LP: Nuggets-Classics From the Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Seeds)
Writer: Sky Saxon
Label: Rhino (original label: Tower)
One of the first psychedelic singles to hit the L.A. market in late 1965 was Can't Seem To Make You Mine. The song was also chosen to lead off the first Seeds album, released in 1966. 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. After the national success of Pushin' Too Hard, Can't Seem To Make You Mine was re-released nationally, but did not make a huge impression.