Wednesday, November 9, 2011

SITPE # 1145 (starts 11/10/11)

Artist: Kinks
Title: A Well Respected Man
Source: 45 RPM single
Writer: Ray Davies
Label: Reprise
Year: 1966
The Kinks were one of the original British Invasion bands, scoring huge R&B-influenced hits with You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night in 1964. The hits continued in 1965 with more melodic songs like Set Me Free and Tired Of Waiting For You. 1966 saw Ray Davies's songwriting take a satiric turn, as A Well Respected Man amply illustrates. Over the next few years the Kinks would continue to evolve, generally getting decent critical reviews and moderate record sales for their albums. The title of one of those later albums, Muswell Hillbillies, refers to the Davies brothers hometown of Muswell Hill, North London.

Artist: Merry-Go-Round
Title: You're A Very Lovely Woman (originally released on Emitt Rhodes LP: The American Dream)
Source: CD: More Nuggets
Writer: Emmit Rhodes
Label: Rhino (original label: A&M)
Year: 1967
Emitt Rhodes first got noticed in his mid-teens as the drummer for the Palace Guard, a beatle-influenced L.A. band that had a minor hit with the song Like Falling Sugar in 1966. Rhodes would soon leave the guard to front his own band, the Merry-Go-Round, scoring one of the most popular regional hits in L.A. history with the song Live. In 1969 Rhodes decided to try his hand as a solo artist. The problem was that he was, as a member of the Merry-Go-Round, contractually obligated to record one more album for A&M. The album itself, featuring a mixture of Rhodes solo tunes and leftover Merry-Go-Round tracks, sat on the shelf for two years until Rhodes had released a pair of well-received LPs for his new label, at which time A&M finally issued The American Dream as an Emitt Rhodes album. One of the best tracks on The American Dream was You're A Very Lovely Woman, a Merry-Go-Round recording from 1967.

Artist: Hearts And Flowers
Title: Tin Angel (Will You Ever Come Down)
Source: CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Larry Murray
Label: Rhino (original label: Capitol)
Year: 1968
Hearts and Flowers (featuring a pre-Eagles Bernie Leadon on lead guitar) is known as one of the pioneering country-rock bands, but in 1968 they recorded what could well be regarded as a lost psychedelic masterpiece. Producer Steve Venet reportedly had Sgt. Pepper in mind as he crafted out Larry Murray's Tin Angel over a period of weeks, paying attention to the minutest details of the recording process. The result speaks for itself.

Artist: Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels
Title: One Grain Of Sand
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer: Crewe/Brown/Bloodworth
Label: Dyna Voice
Year: 1967
Like most Detroit rock bands, Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels was known for it's high-energy rock and roll, cranking out hits like Devil With A Blue Dress On and Sock It To Me! Baby. The band recorded for Bob Crewe's Dyna Voice label. A hard-rockin' band like Ryder's was a bit of a departure for Crewe, who was best known for his work with the Four Seasons and his own instrumental hit Music To Watch Girls By. One Grain Of Sand, released as the B side of Too Many Fish In The Sea, is more in line with the type of song usually associated with Crewe (who co-wrote the tune).

Artist: Doors
Title: You're Lost Little Girl
Source: CD: Strange Days
Writer: The Doors
Label: Elektra
Year: 1967
The Doors second LP, Strange Days, was stylistically similar to the first, and served notice to the world that this band was going to be around for awhile. Songwriting credit for You're Lost Little Girl (a personal favorite of mine) was given to the entire band, a practice that would continue until the release of The Soft Parade in 1969.

Artist: Country Joe and the Fish
Title: Section 43
Source: CD: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer: Joe McDonald
Label: Vanguard
Year: 1967
A few years back I picked up the DVD of the Ed Pennebacker telefilm documenting the Monterey International Pop Festival, held in June of 1967. One of the highlights of this early concert film was the Country Joe And The Fish performance of Section 43, an instrumental that they had originally recorded for a 1966 EP and had just re-recorded in stereo for their debut LP, Electric Music For The Mind And Body. The film (like Pennebacker's later film Woodstock), does not follow the actual performance sequence, instead using Section 43 as a backdrop for footage of various people who had slept on the festival grounds going about their morning business.

Artist: Beatles
Title: Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Source: CD: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer: Lennon/McCartney
Label: Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year: 1967
The problem with the Beatles is that they made so many outstanding recordings it's easy to overlook one or two. Such is the case with Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, finally making its Stuck In The Psychedelic Era debut this week.

Artist: Turtles
Title: Grim Reaper Of Love
Source: CD: Happy Together (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Portz/Nichol
Label: Magic (original label: White Whale)
Year: 1966
The Turtles had some early success in 1965 as a folk-rock band, recording the hit version of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe and PF Sloan's Let Me Be. By 1966, however, it was getting harder and harder for the group to get a hit record. One attempt was Grim Reaper Of Love, co-written by Turtles lead guitarist Al Nichol. Personally I think it's a pretty cool tune, but was probably a bit too weird to appeal to the average top 40 radio listener in 1966. Grim Reaper Of Love did manage to make it to the # 81 spot on the charts, unlike the band's next two singles that failed to chart at all. It wasn't until the following year, when the Turtles recorded Happy Together, that the band would make it back onto the charts.

Artist: Who
Title: I Can See For Miles
Source: CD: The Who Sell Out
Writer: Pete Townshend
Label: MCA (original label: Decca)
Year: 1967
I Can See For Miles continued a string of top 10 singles in the UK and was their biggest US hit ever. Pete Townshend, however, was disappointed with the song's performance on the UK charts. He said that the song was the ultimate Who song and as such it should have charted even higher than it did. It certainly was one of the heaviest songs of its time and there is some evidence that it prompted Paul McCartney to come up with Helter Skelter in an effort to take the heaviest song ever title back for the Beatles. What makes the story even more bizarre is that at the time McCartney reportedly had never actually heard I Can See For Miles and was going purely by what he read in a record review. The song is preceeded by a series of jingles produced for Radio London, a pirate radio station operating off the coast with offices in London. One of those (Roto Sound Strings) was actually performed by the Who. The others were made by the same Texas company (now known as TM) that supplied jingles to most US top 40 stations.

Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Still Raining, Still Dreaming
Source: LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer: Jimi Hendrix
Label: Reprise
Year: 1968
Still Raining, Still Dreaming, from the third Jimi Hendrix Experience album Electric Ladyland, is the second half of a live studio recording featuring guest drummer Buddy Miles, who would later join Hendrix and bassist Billy Cox to form Band Of Gypsys. The recording also features Mike Finnegan on organ, Freddie Smith on tenor sax and Larry Faucett on congas, as well as Experience member Noel Redding on bass.

Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Honky Tonk Women
Source: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Jagger/Richards
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
Year: 1969
After revitalizing their career with Jumpin' Jack Flash and Street Fighting Man in 1968, the Stones delivered the coup-de-grace with one of the biggest hits by anyone ever: the classic Honky Tonk Women. The song was the first single without Brian Jones, who had been found dead in his swimming pool shortly after being kicked out of the band. Jones's replacement, Mick Taylor (fresh from a stint with blues legend John Mayall), plays slide guitar on the track.

Artist: Uriah Heep
Title: July Morning
Source: LP: Look At Yourself
Writer: Hensley/Byron
Label: Mercury
Year: 1971
Fans of the British rock group Uriah Heep have an ongoing argument over which is the best Heep album; Demons And Wizards, which we heard the Wizard from a couple weeks ago, or its immediate predecessor, Look At Yourself, which features the 10+ minute July Morning. Both albums feature strong vocals by David Byron and songwriting by keyboardist Ken Hensley, as well as tasty guitar licks from Mick Box.

Artist: Spencer Davis Group
Title: Trampoline (originally released as 45 RPM B side)
Source: LP:Gimme Some Lovin'
Writer: Steve Winwood
Label: United Artists
Year: 1966
The Spencer Davis Group had a series of R&B flavored hit singles in the UK during the mid-1960s, but did not break in the US until 1967, the year that both keyboardist Steve Winwood and his brother, bassist Muff Winwood, left the band. Most of the band's first US LP, Gimme Some Lovin' was made up of those British singles, including Trampoline, which was originally issued as a B side in 1966.

Artist: Traffic
Title: Smiling Phases
Source: CD: Smiling Phases (originally released as 45 RPM B side)
Writer: Winwood/Capaldi/Wood
Label: Island
Year: 1967
The standard practice in the UK during the 60s was to not include songs that had been released as singles on LPs. This left several songs, such as the 1967 B side Smiling Phases, only available on 45 RPM vinyl until the group's first greatist hits anthology was released. The song has since come to be recognized as one of Traffic's most iconic tunes, and has been covered by such bands as Blood, Sweat and Tears.

Artist: Grateful Dead
Title: Dark Star (single version)
Source: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Hunter/Garcia
Label: Rhino (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year: 1968
Studio recording. Single version. Shortest Dark Star ever (two minutes and 41 seconds long).

Artist: Spirit
Title: Ice
Source: Clear
Writer: John Locke
Label: Epic
Year: 1969
The third Spirit album found other members of the band writing a greater share of the songs than on the first two LPs, which were written primarily by vocalist Jay Ferguson. One example of this is the instrumental Ice, which opens side two of Clear. The song was written by keyboardist John Locke.

Artist: Great! Society
Title: Free Advice
Source: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Darby Slick
Label: Rhino (original label: North Beach)
Year: 1966
One of the most legendary of San Francisco bands was the Great! Society, which featured a young model named Grace Slick on backup vocals. The group was never really much more than a garage band, and after recording an album's worth of material disbanded when Grace Slick left to replace Signe Anderson in Jefferson Airplane. Although the album was not issued until long after the band had split up (and even then was regarded more for its historical significance than for any musical value it might have), a pair of the recordings were issued as a single in 1966. Free Advice, a song written by Grace Slick's brother-in-law Darby (who also wrote the iconic Somebody To Love), was the A side of that single.

Artist: Move
Title: Flowers In The Rain
Source: 45 RPM single
Writer: Roy Wood
Label: A&M
Year: 1967
The Move was one of Britain's most popular acts in the mid to late 1960s. That popularity, however, did not extend to North America, where the band failed to chart even a single hit. The closest they came was Flowers In The Rain, a song that made it to the # 2 spot in England and was the very first record played on BBC Radio One (the first legal top 40 station in the UK). Eventually Roy Wood would depart to form his own band, Roy Wood's Wizzard, and the remaining members would evolve into the Electric Light Orchestra.

Artist: Beacon Street Union
Title: A Not Very August Afternoon
Source: CD: The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens
Writer: Wright/Tartachny/Weisberg/Rhodes
Label: See For Miles (original label: M-G-M)
Year: 1968
Although Ultimate Spinach is the usually the band most cited as being part of the infamous "Boss-Town Sound" promoted heavily by M-G-M Records, the Beacon Street Union were the actual architects of the style itself. Already well-established in Boston, the band had actually relocated to New York when they became the first psychedelic band to sign with M-G-M. It was their signing which led to Ultimate Spinach, Orpheus and Earth Opera also getting contracts with one of the stodgiest of the major labels of the era. A Not Very August Afternoon, from the band's second LP, The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens, shows the band already moving beyond their original psychedelic style.

Artist: Knickerbockers
Title: One Track Mind
Source: LP: Nuggets vol. 4-Pop (part two) (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: unknown
Label: Rhino (original label: Challenge)
Year: 1966
After successfully fooling many people into thinking that they were the Beatles recording under a different name with their 1965 hit Lies, the Knickerbockers went with a more R&B flavored rocker for their follow up single. Unfortunately their label, the Los Angeles-based Challenge Records, did not have the resources and/or skills to properly promote the single.

Artist: Simon and Garfunkel
Title: I Am A Rock
Source: CD: Collected Works (originally released on LP: Sounds Of Silence)
Writer: Paul Simon
Label: Columbia
Year: 1966
The success of I Am A Rock, when released as a single in 1966, showed that the first Simon And Garfunkel hit, The Sound Of Silence, was no fluke. The two songs served as bookends to a very successful LP, Sounds Of Silence, and would lead to several more hit records before the two singers went their separate ways in 1970.

Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: D.C.B.A.-25
Source: LP: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer: Paul Kantner
Label: RCA Victor
Year: 1967
One of the first songs written by Paul Kantner without a collaborator was this highly listenable tune from Surrealistic Pillow. Kantner says the title simply refers to the basic chord structure of the song, which is built on a two chord verse (D and C) and a two chord bridge (B and A). That actually fits, but what about the 25 part? [insert enigmatic smile here]

Artist: Sagittarius
Title: The Truth Is Not Real
Source: CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Present Tense)
Writer: Gary Usher
Label: Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year: 1968
After the success of the first Sagittarius single, My World Fell Down, Gary Usher enlisted the aid of Curt Boettcher, who had been working on a studio project of his own called the Ballroom for another production company. Using many of the same studio musicians they created a follow-up single, The Truth Is Not Real. It's interesting to compare Usher's lyrics with those of In My Room, a Brian Wilson tune that Usher had provided lyrics for in 1965.

Artist: Standells
Title: Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Ed Cobb
Label: Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year: 1966
If ever a song could be considered a garage-punk anthem, it's Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White, the follow-up single to the classic Dirty Water. Both songs were written by Standells' manager/producer Ed Cobb, the record industry's answer to Ed Wood.

Artist: Leaves
Title: Let's Get Together
Source: CD: All The Good That's Happening
Writer: Jimmy Reed
Label: One Way (original label: Capitol)
Year: 1967
Despite never having been a major hit, Jimmy Reed's Let's Get Together (not to be confused with the Youngbloods song) was covered by several garage/psychedelic bands, including the Blue Magoos, the Shadows of Knight, and L.A. band the Leaves, appearing on their second LP (their only one for major label Capitol Records).

Artist: Cream
Title: Crossroads
Source: CD: Best of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Wheels Of Fire)
Writer: Robert Johnson
Label: Priority (original label: Atco)
Year: 1968
Robert Johnson's Crossroads has come to be regarded as a signature song for Eric Clapton, who's live version (recorded at the Fillmore East) was first released on the Cream album Wheels Of Fire.

Artist: Donovan
Title: Sunny South Kensington
Source: LP: Mellow Yellow
Writer: Donovan Leitch
Label: Epic
Year: 1967
Donovan followed up his 1966 hit single Sunshine Superman with an album of the same name. He then repeated himself with the song and album Mellow Yellow. Although there were no other singles released from either album, the song Sunny South Kensington, which was done in much the same style as Superman, was a highlight of the Mellow Yellow album.
Due to a contractual dispute in the UK between Donovan and Pye Records, neither LP was issued in its original form in Britain.

Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Source: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits
Writer: Tucker/Mantz
Label: Rhino
Year: 1967
One of our top contenders for most-played song of 2011 is the Electric Prunes classic I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night). Lenny Kaye also rated the song high on his list, as he used it as the opening track on his original Nuggets compilation in 1972.

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