Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1228 (starts 7/10/12)

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Outside Woman Blues
Source:    LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s):    Arthur Reynolds
Label:    Atco
Year:    1967
    Although Cream's second album, Disraeli Gears, is best known for its psychedelic cover art and original songs such as Strange Brew, Sunshine Of Your Love and Tales of Brave Ulysses, the LP did have one notable blues cover on it. Outside Woman Blues was originally recorded by Blind Joe Reynolds in 1929 and has since been covered by a variety of artists including Van Halen, Johnny Winters, Jimi Hendrix and even the Atlanta Rhythm Section.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Lime Street Blues
Source:    45 RPM single B side (reissue)
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    A&M (original label: Deram)
Year:    1967
    Anyone expecting more of the same when flipping over their new copy of A Whiter Shade Of Pale in 1967 got a big surprise when they heard Lime Street Blues. The song, reminiscent of an early Ray Charles track, was strong enough to be included on their first greatest hits collection, no mean feat for a B side.

Artist:    Firesign Theatre
Title:    Brickbreaking
Source:    LP: Dear Friends
Writer(s):    Proctor/Bergman/Austin/Ossman
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1971
    The Firesign Theatre consisted of four funny guys, Phil Proctor, Peter Bergman, Phil Austin and David Ossman, who, starting in 1967, did improvisational humor for a series of radio stations in California. Their shows became so popular that they landed a record contract with Columbia and recorded a series of albums, each built around a particular theme or two, such as a guy watching TV or a 30s-style crime drama. Throughout the late 60s and into the early 70s they continued to do radio as well. Eventually Columbia released a two-LP collection of bits from their syndicated radio show called Dear Friends. You can expect to hear some of these bits from time to time on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era starting this week with Brickbreaking, taken from a live broadcast on KPFK, Los Angeles on 1/24/71.

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 (original label: A&M)
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:    Kenny And The Kasuals
Title:    Journey To Tyme
Source:    CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Smith/Lee
Label:    Rhino (original labels: Mark Ltd. and United Artists)
Year:    1966
    One of the most popular Dallas area bands in the mid-1960s was Kenny and the Kasuals. Formed in 1962, the band was best known for playing high school dances and such. They got their shot at stardom in 1966 when they recorded Journey To Tyme for Mark Ltd. Productions. The song was picked up later in the year for national distribution by United Artists and made it all the way to the # 1 spot in Buffalo, NY and Pittsburgh, Pa. Despite this success the band was unable to get a long-term contract with United Artists (thanks in part to problems with their own manager) and soon disbanded.

Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    Gimme Some Lovin'
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Winwood/Winwood/Davis
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1966
     The 1980s movie The Big Chill used Gimme Some Lovin' by the Spencer Davis Group as the backdrop for a touch football game at an informal reunion of former college students from the 60s. From that point on, movie soundtracks became much more than just background music and soundtrack albums started becoming best-sellers. Not entirely coincidentally, 60s-oriented oldies radio stations began to appear in major markets as well. Most of them are now playing 80s oldies, by the way.

Artist:    Standells
Title:    Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White
Source:    CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    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 Standells' follow-up single to their classic Dirty Water. Both songs were written by Standells' manager/producer Ed Cobb, the record industry's answer to Ed Wood.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine
Source:    LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    While not as commercially successful as the Jefferson Airplane or as long-lived as the Grateful Dead (there's an oxymoron for ya), Country Joe and the Fish may well be the most accurate musical representation of what the whole Haight-Ashbury scene was about, despite the fact that they were actually across the bay in Berkeley. Of all the tracks on their first album, Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine probably got the most airplay.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Lady Friend
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1967
    One of the least-known Byrds recordings is David Crosby's Lady Friend. The song was released as a non-album single in 1967, after Younger Than Yesterday was on the racks but before Crosby's falling out with the other members of the band during the recording of The Notorious Byrd Brothers. The single did not chart, and with Crosby no longer a member of the Byrds by 1968, it is not surprising that Lady Friend was not included on any subsequent Byrds albums or greatest hits anthologies. The song is now available as a bonus track on the remastered version of Younger Than Yesterday.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    St. Stephen
Source:    CD: Aoxomoxoa
Writer(s):    Hunter/Garcia/Lesh
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1969
    One of the Grateful Dead's most recognizable tunes is St. Stephen. The song first appeared on the 1969 album Aoxomoxoa, and remained in the Grateful Dead stage repertoire for pretty much their entire existence.

Artist:    Chicago
Title:    Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is
Source:    LP: Chicago Transit Authority
Writer(s):    Robert Lamm
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    There are actually three versions of the Chicago song Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is, all taken from the same original recording on the band's debut LP. The most well-known is the second edited version that has appeared on all the band's anthology albums. That version starts with a horn intro section in a staggered rhythm followed by a short Robert Lamm's piano section in 5/8 time that leads directly into the main body of the song. An earlier single edit leaves out the entire intro of the song, starting in rather abruptly with the familiar two-chord pattern and trumpet riff that leads into the first verse of the song. The orginal album version heard here, however, has a long free-form piano section that sets the stage for the entire song, transforming it in the process.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    All Along The Watchtower
Source:    CD: The Best Of The Original Mono Recordings (originally released on LP: John Wesley Harding)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1967
    One of the best known songs by the Jimi Hendrix Experience is their cover of Bob Dylan's All Along The Watchtower from the Electric Ladyland album. That version of the song has proved so enduring that Dylan himself now uses the Hendrix arrangement when he performs the piece live. The original recording of the song was on Dylan's 1967 LP John Wesley Harding, the last Dylan album to be mixed in both stereo and mono. This week we have the mono version of the song.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Pushin' Too Hard
Source:    Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on LP: The Seeds and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1966
    Pushin' Too Hard was originally released in spring of 1966 as the closing track on side one of the first Seeds album. After being released to the L.A. market as a single the song did well enough to go national in early 1967, hitting its peak in February of that year.

Artist:    Penny Arkade
Title:    Swim
Source:    Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68
Writer(s):    Craig Vincent Smith
Label:    Rhino
Year:    Recorded: 1967; released 2009
    In 1967 Michael Nesmith, realizing that the Monkees had a limited shelf life, decided to produce a local L.A. band, Penny Arkade, led by singer/songwriter Craig Vincent Smith. Nesmith already had several production credits to his name with the Monkees, including a recording of Smith's Salesman on their 4th LP. Swim, like Salesman, has a touch of country about it; indeed, Nesmith himself was one of the earliest proponents of what would come to be called country-rock. In 1967, however, country-rock was still at least a year away from being a viable concept and Nesmith was unable to find a label willing to release the record.

Artist:     Mandala
Title:     Love-Itis
Source:     CD: Soul Crusade
Writer:     Scales/Vance
Label:     Wounded Bird (original label: Atlantic)
Year:     1968
     When it comes to blue-eyed soul, the first place that comes to mind is New York, home of the Vagrants and the  (Young) Rascals. One might also be inclined to think of Detroit, with bands such as Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels leading the pack. One place that does not immediately come to mind is Toronto, Canada, yet Mandala was certainly firmly placed within the genre. Two members of Mandala, vocalist Roy Kenner and guitarist Dominic Troiano, went on to replace Joe Walsh in the James Gang, with Troiano eventually replacing Randy Bachman in another Canadian band, the Guess Who.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills and Nash
Title:    Guinnevere
Source:    CD: Crosby, Stills and Nash
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    By 1969 David Crosby had developed into a first-class songwriter. Nowhere is that more evident than on Guinnevere, from the first Crosby, Still and Nash album. Instrumentally the song is essentially a solo guitar piece. It is the layered harmonies from Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash that make the song truly stand out as one of the best releases of 1969.

Artist:    Butterfield Blues Band
Title:    Love March
Source:    CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm (originally released on LP: Woodstock soundtrack)
Writer(s):    Gene Dinwiddie
Label:    Rhino (original label: Cotillion)
Year:    1969
    The Butterfield Blues band that appeared at Woodstock was a far cry from the group that recorded the classic East-West album in 1966. Both Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop had moved on to other things, and the new lineup was much more jazz/R&B oriented than previous incarnations of the band. Tenor saxophonist Gene Dinwiddie provided the melody for Love March, a tune that also appeared as a studio track that year.

Artist:    Barry McGuire
Title:    Child Of Our Times
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    P F Sloan
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1965
    Barry McGuire is almost as well-known for being mentioned in the last big Mamas and Papas hit, Creeque Alley, as for his own recordings. Indeed, his status as a recording artist is best described as "one-hit wonder." That one hit was a monster, though, and is often cited as the zenith of the folk-rock movement. Eve Of Destruction went all the way to the top of the charts in 1965, but McGuire's follow-up single, Child Of Our Times, stalled out in the # 72 spot. The writer of both songs was P F Sloan, who also had some success writing songs like Let Me Be for the Turtles before embarking on a successful partnership with fellow songwriter Steve Barri, writing and producing several hits for the Grass Roots in the 1970s.

Artist:    Syndicate Of Sound
Title:    Little Girl
Source:    CD: Nuggets-Classics From The Psychedelic 60s
Writer(s):    Baskin/Gonzalez
Label:    Rhino (original labels: Hush & Bell)
Year:    1966
    San Jose California, despite being a relatively small city in the pre-silicon valley days,  was home to a thriving music scene in the mid 60s that produced more than its share of hit records from 1966-68. One of the earliest and biggest of these hits was the Syndicate Of Sound hit Little Girl, which has come to be recognized as one of the best garage-rock songs of all time.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Tattoo
Source:    LP: The Who Sell Out
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Decca
Year:    1967
    Starting in 1966, the Who wrote songs about things no other rock group had even considered writing songs about. Happy Jack, for instance, was about a guy who would hang out on the beach and let the local kinds tease (but not faze) him. I'm A Boy was about a guy whose mother insisted on dressing him the same as his sisters. And I'm not even getting into the subject matter of Pictures Of Lily. The Who Sell Out, released in December of 1967, continued this trend with songs like Tattoo, about an adolescent and his brother who go out and get (without their parents' permission) their first tattoos. The song is accompanied by a jingle for Radio London, the most successful of the British pirate radio stations that operated from studios in London but utilized illegal transmitters floating on platforms off the coast (the BBC having a monopoly on broadcasting at the time).

Artist:    Chambers Brothers
Title:    Fallin' In Love
Source:    CD: The Time Has Come (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Willie Chambers
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1967
    The Chambers Brothers were an eclectic band with a gospel music background that dated back to the mid-50s, when oldest brother George finished his tour of duty with the US Army and settled down in the L.A. area. His three brothers soon followed him out to the coast from their native Mississippi, and began playing the Southern California gospel circuit before going after a more secular audience in the early 60s. After signing to Columbia in 1966 the group got to work recording several singles for the label, including an early version of the song that would eventually make them famous, Time Has Come Today. Columbia refused to release the song, however, and instead went with a more conventional tune written by Willie Chambers called Fallin' In Love. The record was released in early 1967 but failed to make a splash.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    Baroque # 1
Source:    LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer(s):    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1967
    Making an encore appearance from last week's show we have Ultimate Spinach with their instrumental Baroque # 1 from the album Ultimate Spinach. Go ahead, scroll down to last week's playlist for more information.

Artist:    Canned Heat
Title:    Woodstock Boogie
Source:    CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm (originally released on LP: Woodstock 2)
Writer(s):    Canned Heat
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1969
    One of the highlights of any Canned Heat performance was Refried Boogie, an extended jam piece often lasting up to an hour. For the Woodstock festival the band shortened it to just under 30 minutes, including solos from every band member. The song was originally issued on the album Woodstock 2 in slightly altered form (the guitar solo at the beginning of the piece was edited out). This restored version was released in 2009 as part of Rhino's six-disc Woodstock anniversary box set.

No comments:

Post a Comment