Tuesday, November 1, 2011

SITPE # 1144 Playlist (starts 11/3/11)

Artist: Five Americans
Title: I See The Light
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Durrill/Ezell/Rabon
Label: Rhino (original label: Abnak)
Year: 1965
For years I was under the impression that the Five Americans were a Texas band, mainly due to Abnak Records having a Texas address. It turns out, though, that the band was actually from Durant, Oklahoma, although by the time they had their biggest hit, Western Union, they were operating out of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. I See The Light is an earlier single built around a repeating Farfisa organ riff that leads into a song that can only be described as in your face.

Artist: 13th Floor Elevators
Title: You're Gonna Miss Me
Source: CD: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators
Writer: Roky Erickson
Label: Collectables (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).

Artist: Love
Title: Stephanie Knows Who
Source: CD: Da Capo
Writer: Arthur Lee
Label: Elektra
Year: 1967
Following up on a strong, if not spectacular debut LP followed by a national hit record (7&7 Is), Love went into the studio with two new members to record their second album, Da Capo. By this point the band had established themselves as the most popular band on the Sunset Strip, and the music on Da Capo is a fair representation of what the group was doing onstage (including the 17 minute Revelation, which takes up the entire second side of the LP). The opening track, Stephanie Knows Who, is hard proto-punk, showcasing the band's tightness with abrupt changes in tempo throughout the song. The tune also features the harpsichord playing of "Snoopy" Pfisterer, who switched over from drums to keyboards for the LP.

Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: Ice Cream Phoenix
Source: LP: Crown Of Creation
Writer: Kaukonen/Cockery
Label: RCA Victor
Year: 1968
By 1968, the various songwriting members of Jefferson Airplane were developing divergent styles, although still keeping their songs within the band's established sound. This is evident throughout the band's fourth LP, Crown Of Creation, with songs like Jorma Kaukonen's Ice Cream Phoenix. Parts of the song, such as the opening verse, almost sound like they could be on a Hot Tuna album, yet others, such as the bridge section, are pure Airplane.

Artist: Blue Cheer
Title: Summertime Blues
Source: CD: Best of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Vincebus Eruptum)
Writer: Cochrane/Capehart
Label: Priority (original label: Philips)
Year: 1968
If 1967 was the summer of love, then 1968 was the summer of violence. Framed by the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, both major anti-establishment movements of the time (civil rights and anti-war) became increasing radicalized and more violent. The hippies gave way to the Yippies, LSD gave way to crystal meth, and there were riots in the streets of several US cities. Against this backdrop Blue Cheer released one of the loudest and angriest recordings ever to grace the top 40: the proto-metal arrangement of Eddie Cochrane's 1958 classic Summertime Blues. It was the perfect soundtrack of its time.

Artist: Blood, Sweat And Tears
Title: Smiling Phases
Source: CD: Blood, Sweat And Tears
Writer: Winwood/Capaldi/Wood
Label: Columbia/Legacy
Year: 1968
After recording just one album with his new band, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Al Kooper quit to concentrate on his work as staff producer at Columbia Records and to work on solo projects. This left B,S & T looking for a new lead vocalist. They found one of the best: David Clayton Thomas, who helped propel the group to major star status. The first album with Thomas produced no fewer than three top 10 hits: Spinning Wheel, And When I Die, and You Made Me So Very Happy. Additionally, the LP had several outstanding album tracks, such as this cover of Traffic's Smiling Phases.

Artist: Jose Feliciano
Title: You're Takin' Hold Of Me
Source: LP: A Bag Full Of Soul
Writer: Chip Taylor
Label: RCA Victor
Year: 1966
Jose Feliciano appeared seemingly out of nowhere in 1969 with his latin-tinged acoustic cover version of the Doors' Light My Fire. The truth is that Feliciano had been recording for RCA since 1965. His success in the early days, however, was mostly with the latino population in Southern California. I recently ran across this copy of Feliciano's second LP for RCA, A Bag Full Of Soul. A friend of mine that grew up in 60s L.A. remembers this album as being in her mother's collection. You're Takin' Hold Of Me, the second track on the album, was written by Chip Taylor, who also wrote the classic Wild Thing.

Artist: Young Rascals
Title: In The Midnight Hour
Source: CD: Time Peace-The Rascals' Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: The Young Rascals)
Writer: Pickett/Cropper
Label: Atlantic
Year: 1966
The Rascals were the premier blue-eyed soul band of the 1960s (in fact, the term blue-eyed soul was coined specifically to describe the Rascals). Originally from New Jersey, the group changed its name to the Young Rascals at the behest of Atlantic Records for reasons that are lost to history before releasing their debut LP. In addition to the hit single Good Lovin', the album boasted several R&B cover songs. The best-known of these was Wilson Pickett's In The Midnight Hour, which was popular enough to be included on the Rascal's Greatest Hits album.

Artist: Corporation
Title: India
Source: CD: The Corporation
Writer: John Coltrane
Label: Repertoire (original label: Capitol)
Year: 1969
A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from a listener who works at WITT-FM near Indianapolis, which runs Stuck In The Psychedelic Era on Friday nights. He mentioned a band he had heard on midwestern progressive radio stations in the late 60s called the Corporation, adding that he had recently found a copy of their only album for Capitol on CD. He offered to make me a copy, but, as I am somewhat of a stickler for using legitimate sources for everything I play (i.e. no MP3s or burned copies), I decided to get my local music store (yes, such things do still exist) to order me a copy of the CD instead. The track he mentioned in particular was called India, notable for taking up an entire side of the album. I've since learned that they track was also quite popular in discoteques, particularly those in Germany. The song itself was written by jazz legend John Coltrane, and as far as I know has never been attempted by any other rock band.

Artist: Temptations
Title: Psychedelic Shack
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer: Whitfield/Strong
Label: Motown
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: Nightcrawlers
Title: My Little Black Egg
Source: CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Stone/Conlon
Label: Rhino (original label: Lee; re-released by Kapp in 1966)
Year: 1965
The Nightcrawlers, from Daytona Beach, Florida, had a series of regional hits in the mid-60s. The only one to hit the national charts was The Little Black Egg, after Kapp Records (a division of MCA) bought the rights to the song and gave it widespread distribution.

Artist: Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title: San Franciscan Nights
Source: CD: Winds Of Change
Writer: Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label: Repertoire (original label: M-G-M)
Year: 1967
In late 1966, after losing several original members over a period of about a year, the original Animals disbanded. Eric Burdon, after releasing one single as a solo artist (but using the Animals name), decided to form a "new" Animals. After releasing a moderately successful single, When I Was Young, the new band appeared at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967. While in the area, the band fell in love with the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, during what came to be called the Summer Of Love. The first single to be released from their debut album, Winds Of Change, was a tribute to the city by the bay called San Franciscan Nights. Because of the topicality of the song's subject matter, San Franciscan Nights was not released in the UK as a single. Instead, the song Good Times (which was the US B side of the record), became the new group's biggest UK hit to date (and one of the Animals' biggest UK hits overall). Eventually San Franciscan Nights was released as a single in the UK as well (with a different B side) and ended up doing quite well.

Artist: Country Joe and the Fish
Title: Section 43
Source: LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer: Joe McDonald
Label: Vanguard
Year: 1967
In 1966 Country Joe and the Fish released their original mono version of an instrumental called Section 43. The song was issued on something called a flexi-disc; a thin sheet of flexible plastic that was inserted in an underground newspaper called Rag Baby. In 1967 the group recorded an expanded stereo version of Section 43 and included it on their debut LP for Vanguard Records, Electric Music For The Mind And Body. It was this arrangement of the piece that the group performed live at the Monterey International Pop Festival that June. While working on this week's playlist I was somewhat surprised to realize that this is the first time I've played the longer stereo version of Section 43 on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era (at least since the show went into syndication).

Artist: Seeds
Title: Can't Seem To Make You Mine
Source: CD: Nuggets-Classics From the Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Sky Saxon
Label: Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year: 1965
One of the first psychedelic singles to hit the L.A. airwaves was the Seeds' debut single, Can't Seem To Make You Mine, released in 1965. The song was also chosen to lead off the first Seeds album the following year. 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 almost a year.

Artist: Seeds
Title: The Wind Blows Her Hair
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Saxon/Bigelow
Label: Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year: 1967
The Wind Blows Her Hair is actually one of the Seeds' better tracks. Unfortunately, by the time it was released the whole concept of Flower Power (which the Seeds were intimately tied to) had become yesterday's news and the single went nowhere.

Artist: Seeds
Title: Pushin' Too Hard
Source: CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released on LP: The Seeds)
Writer: Sky Saxon
Label: Rhino
Year: 1966
Although the song was originally released in 1966, it wasn't until spring of 1967 that the Seeds' best-known song, Pushin' Too Hard, took off nationally. The timing was perfect for me, as the new FM station I was listening to jumped right on it. Pushin' Too Hard is included on practically every collection of psychedelic hits ever compiled. And for good reason. The song is an undisputed classic.

Artist: Flock
Title: Hornschmeyer's Island
Source: CD: Dinosaur Swamps
Writer: The Flock
Label: BGO (original label: Columbia)
Year: 1970
The second Flock album was a bit too experimental to be commercially successful, as Hornschmeyer's Island (with it's sped up vocal chorus and abrupt changes) demonstrates. One interesting feature of the album was its packaging. Instead of the standard 12" X 12" cover artwork, Dinosaur Swamps featured a gatefold cover that was two feet high and one foot wide, with large pterodactyls dominating the upper (front) portion and tiny figures representing the band members standing on a beach at the bottom. In addition, every song title on the album referenced something visual appearing on either the cover itself or in the center spread, which was an interior of a ship captain's cabin, with a map spread out on a table. Hornschmeyer's Island is one of the locations shown on that map.

Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: …And The Gods Made Love/Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)
Source: LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer: Jimi Hendrix
Label: Reprise
Year: 1968
At the beginning of the year you may remember I made a resolution to play more Hendrix. Unlike most New Year's resolutions, this one was actually pretty easy to keep. In fact, I have so far kept the resolution so well that Hendrix is in the running for most played artist of 2011 on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era (and is virtually guaranteed to make the top 5 list on the New Year's show). This week Hendrix gets three more points with an artist set taken entirely from the Electric Ladyland album, released in 1968. Although listed as separate tracks on the cover, the first two songs on the album, And The Gods Made Love and Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland), actually run together without a break on the album itself (in fact, the entire first and third sides of Electric Ladyland were pressed without the traditional spaces between songs on the vinyl). Like many of the songs on Electric Ladyland, Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) features Hendrix playing the bass parts himself, a move that did not go over well with Experience bassist Noel Redding.

Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Still Raining, Still Dreaming
Source: CD: Electric Ladyland
Writer: Jimi Hendrix
Label: Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year: 1968
During the height of their popularity, reel to reel tapes could be formatted in one of two ways: half-track or quarter-track (well, technically there was also full-track, but that format was pretty much abandoned with the advent of stereo recording in the 1950s). The quarter-track format was used for most home systems, as a stereo recording would use two of the tracks, allowing the tape to be recorded in the opposite direction on the remaining two tracks. Editing was virtually impossible with quarter-track recordings, as any physical manipulation of the tape would have an adverse effect on whatever was recorded on the other side of the the tape. All professional uses of reel-to-reel tape, on the other hand, used the half-track format. Not only was the sound quality better (due to wider tracks), but the single-directional nature of the tape made editing a simple matter of cutting and splicing sections of tape together. In the mid-70s I did just that to two tracks on Electric Ladyland to recreate the original live studio performance of Rainy Day Dream Away/Still Raining, Still Dreaming. Unfortunately I have no idea where that tape is now, and even if I did I doubt that I can find a working half-track machine to play it on anyway (although I suppose I could do the same thing on a computer if I was so inclined). Instead, we have the second part of the divided performance, which includes several guest musicians, including Mike Finnegan on organ, Freddie Smith on tenor sax and Larry Faucett on congas. Although Noel Redding plays bass on the track, drummer Mitch Mitchell is not heard on the recording. Instead, Buddy Miles, who would join up with Hendrix for his Band of Gypsys the following year, plays drums on the track. (Oh, and you should hear the Beatles' Revolution 9 played backwards on half-track tape).

Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: 1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)/Moon Turn The Tides (Gently, Gently Away)
Source: LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer: Jimi Hendrix
Label: Reprise
Year: 1968
1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)/Moon Turn The Tides (Gently, Gently Away) from the Electric Ladyland album is the longest work created purely in the studio by Jimi Hendrix, with a running time of over 16 minutes. The piece starts with tape effects that lead into the song's main guitar rift. The vocals and drums join in to tell a science fiction story set in a future world where the human race has had to move underwater in order to survive some unspecified catastrophe. After a couple verses, the piece goes into a long unstructured section made up mostly of guitar effects before returning to the main theme and closing out with more effects that combine volume control and stereo panning to create a circular effect. As is the case with several tracks on Electric Ladyland, 1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)/Moon Turn The Tides (Gently, Gently Away) features Hendrix on both guitar and bass, with Mitch Mitchell on drums and special guest Chris Wood (from Traffic) on flute.

Artist: Kinks
Title: Sunny Afternoon
Source: CD: Face To Face
Writer: Ray Davies
Label: Sanctuary (original label: Reprise)
Year: 1966
My family got its first real stereo just in time for me to catch this song at the peak of its popularity. My school had just gone into split sessions and all my classes were over by one o'clock, which gave me the chance to explore the world of top 40 radio for a couple hours every day without the rest of the family telling me to turn it down (or off).

No comments:

Post a Comment