Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1305 (starts 1/31/13)

    This week, after starting off with three tracks from bands who were on the Stuck in the Psychedelic Era 20 most-played artists of 2012 list we veer off the beaten path for the remainder of the show. To illustrate just how far off that path we stray, here are some numbers for you: Total number of tracks played this week: 28; Top 20 songs from the 2012 list played on this week's show: 0; Tracks being played for the first time this week: 9; Top 20 artists from last year's list played this week: 6 (four of which are in the first half-hour); Artists making their first appearance on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era this week: 3. Who says you can't find new stuff from 40+ years ago?
Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    D.C.B.A.-25
Source:    LP: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s):    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:    Byrds
Title:    My Back Pages
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1967
    One of the items of contention between David Crosby and Roger McGuinn was the latter's insistence on continuing to record covers of Bob Dylan songs when the band members themselves had a wealth of their own material available. Indeed, it was reportedly an argument over whether or not to include Crosby's Triad on the next album that resulted in Crosby being fired from the band in October of 1967. Nonetheless, the last Dylan cover with Crosby still in the band was perhaps their best as well. Although not as big a hit as Mr. Tambourine Man, My Back Pages from the Younger Than Yesterday album did respectably well on the charts, becoming one of the Byrds' last top 40 hits.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Taxman
Source:    LP: Revolver
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Parlophone (2012 international vinyl release; original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1966
    The Beatles' 1966 LP Revolver was a major step forward, particularly for guitarist George Harrison, who for the first time had three of his own compositions on an album. Making it even sweeter was the fact that one of these, Taxman, was chosen to lead off the album itself. Although Harrison is usually considered the band's lead guitarist, the solo in Taxman is actually performed by Paul McCartney.

Artist:    Penny Peeps
Title:    Model Village
Source:    Mono import CD: Insane Times (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Alexander
Label:    Zonophone (UK) (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1967
    Although the British psychedelic era was considerably shorter (only about two years long) than its American counterpart, there are a surprisingly large number of British psych-pop singles that were never issued in the US. Among those was a somewhat forgettable song called Little Man With A Stick, released in 1967 by a band called the Penny Peeps. The band took its name from the risque coin-fed viewers at Brighton Beach (apparently London's version of Coney Island). Emulating his American counterparts, producer Les Reed (who wrote Little Man), allowed the band itself to come up with its own B side. The result was Model Village, a track that manages to convey a classic garage-rock energy while remaining uniquely British.

Artist:    Brenda Lee
Title:    Coming On Strong
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    David Wilkins
Label:    Decca
Year:    1966
    In the mid 1970s a band called Golden Earring scored a huge hit with a song called Radar Love. One of the most memorable lines of the song was a reference to a "forgotten song" by Brenda Lee called Coming On Strong. Oddly enough, I just happened to have a copy of the original 45 RPM single from 1966, so I thought I'd share it with you this week. Hey, I did say we were veering off the beaten path!

Artist:    Lemon Drops
Title:    I Live In The Springtime
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era
Writer(s):    Roger Weiss
Label:    Rhino (original label: Rembrandt)
Year:    1967
    Sometimes it's all about being in the right place at the right time. Unfortunately for the Lemon Drops, that place and time was not the Chicago suburbs in early 1967. Otherwise they might have had a hit record with I Live In The Springtime, a rather nice piece of psychedelia. It probably didn't help that their label, Rembrandt, was not able to put together the same kind of national distribution deal that another Chicago label, Dunwich, had been able to the previous year with the Shadows Of Knight's version of Gloria.

Artist:    Flamin' Groovies
Title:    I'm Drowning
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Sneakers)
Writer(s):    Roy Loney
Label:    Rhino (original label: Snazz)
Year:    1968
    An anomoly among San Francisco bands, the Flamin' Groovies were in a sense a throwback to the early days of the local SF music scene, with an emphasis on basic rock and roll rather than extended jamming of psychedelic experimentation. Although they eventually ended up signing a contract with a major label, it was their self-issued 10" mono LP (or maybe EP) Sneakers that captured the essence of the band. I'm Drowning was written by original lead vocalist Roy Loney, who would be gone by the time the band made their major label debut.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Overture From Tommy
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Decca
Year:    1969
    The Who released their third LP, The Who Sell Out, in December of 1967. For the next year, all that would be heard from the band were a couple of singles and a compilation album (Magic Bus) that the band itself did not approve. Meanwhile, several other bands, including the Beatles, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream, released double LP sets that sold quite well. Little did anyone know that the mysteriously absent Who was in fact working on a project that would make rock history. In early 1969 the Who finally released their own double LP set: the world's first rock-opera, Tommy. That summer the band performed Tommy in its entirety at the Woodstock Performing Arts Festival in upstate New York. The final part of that performance was included in the documentary film and soundtrack album from the festival the following year. The group's US label, Decca, responded by releasing the end portion of the last track on the studio version of Tommy, We're Not Gonna Take It, as a single called See Me Feel Me. For the B side, Decca chose the first four minutes of the Overture that opens the LP, adding the words "From Tommy" for those record buyers who might have been living on another planet for the past year.

Artist:    We The People
Title:    Mirror Of Your Mind
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Thomas Talton
Label:    Rhino (original label: Challenge)
Year:    1966
    We The People were formed when an Orlando, Florida newspaper reporter talked members of two local bands to combine into a garage/punk supergroup. The result was one of the most successful regional bands in Florida history. After their first recording got airplay on a local station, they were signed to record in Nashville for Challenge Records (a label actually based in Los Angeles) and cranked out several regional hits over the next few years. The first of these was Mirror Of Your Mind. Written by lead vocalist Tom Talton, the song is an in-your-face rocker that got played on a number of local stations and has been covered by several bands since.

Artist:    Balloon Farm
Title:    A Question Of Temperature
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Appel/Schnug/Henny
Label:    Rhino (original label: Laurie)
Year:    1967
    Few, if any, bands managed to successfully cross bubble gum and punk like the Balloon Farm with A Question Of Temperature, originally released on the Laurie label in 1967. Band member Mike Appel went on to have greater success as Bruce Springsteen's first manager.

Artist:    Ace Of Cups
Title:    Glue
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on CD: It's Bad For You But Buy It)
Writer(s):    Denise Kaufman
Label:    Rhino (original label: Ace/Big Beat)
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 2003
    The Ace Of Cups were a pioneering female rock band from San Francisco led by Denise Kaufman, immortalized by Ken Kesey as Mary Microgram in the book Electric Koolaid Acid Test. As one of the major Merry Pranksters, Kaufman's irreverent attitude is in full evidence on the track Glue, which features a bit of guerilla theater parodying the standard TV commercials of the time. Lead vocals are by Mary Gannon.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Turn On Your Love Light
Source:    LP: Live Dead
Writer(s):    Scott/Malone
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1969
    After two years' (and three albums) worth of trying to capture their live sound in the studio, the Grateful Dead decided just to cut to the chase and release a live album. The result was the double LP Live Dead, one of the most successful releases in Grateful Dead history. The album itself is one continuous concert, with each side fading out at the end, with a bit of overlap at the beginning of the next side. Most of the material on Live Dead was written by the band itself, the sole exception being a fifteen-minute long rendition of Bobby Bland's 1961 hit Turn On Your Love Light, featuring vocals by organist Ron "Pigpen" McKernan.

Artist:    Woolies
Title:    Who Do You Love
Source:    CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Elias McDaniel
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1966
    Bo Diddley's Who Do You Love had become somewhat of a rock and roll dance standard by the mid-1960s, with several bands recording the tune. Probably the most overtly psychedelic version came from East Lansing, Michigan's Woolies. The group was discovered by Dunhill Records' Lou Adler and were flown out to L.A. to record the song, which was originally considered the B side of their debut single. When some radio stations started flipping the record over to play Who Do You Love, Dunhill was slow to promote the song, and it stalled out in the lower reaches of the charts. Disillusioned by the whole experience, all but one member of the Woolies returned to Michigan, where they formed their own label and recorded a series of moderately successful regional hits.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Do You Believe In Magic
Source:    CD: Battle Of The Bands (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Do You Believe In Magic)
Writer(s):    John Sebastian
Label:    Era (original label: Kama Sutra)
Year:    1965
    Do You Believe In Magic, the debut single by the Lovin' Spoonful, was instrumental in establishing not only the band itself, but the Kama Sutra label as well. Over the next couple of years, the Spoonful would crank out a string of hits, pretty much single-handedly keeping Kama Sutra in business. In 1967 the band's lead vocalist and primary songwriter John Sebastian departed the group for a solo career, and Kama Sutra itself soon morphed into a company called Buddah Records. Buddah (the misspelling being discovered too late to be fixed) soon came to dominate the "bubble gum" genre of top 40 music throughout 1968 and well into 1969, but eventually proved in its own way to be as much a one-trick pony as its predecessor.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    Summer Is The Man
Source:    Mono LP: Electric Comic Book
Writer(s):    Gilbert/Esposito
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1967
    Following up on their successful debut LP, Psychedelic Lollipop, the Blues Magoos released Electric Comic Book in March of 1967. Unfortunately the first single from the album had two equally strong songs, one of which was favored by the producers and the other by the band. Radio stations were unsure which song to push, and as a result, neither made the top 40, which in turn had a negative effect on album sales. Most of the remaining tracks on the album were written by the band members, including Summer Is The Man, a song with an interesting chord structure, a catchy melody and somewhat existential lyrics.

Artist:    Grass Roots
Title:    Feelings
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Coonce/Entner/Fukomoto
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    The Grass Roots had their origins as the San Francisco band the Bedoins, but by 1968 had lost all but one of the original members and had become pretty much a vehicle for the songwriting team of Jeff Barri and P.F. Sloan. They released three singles in 1968, the third of which was Midnight Confessions, the group's only certified gold record. The song immediately preceeding it was Feelings which failed to chart (possibly because it was not written by Sloan and Barri). Of course that means I play Feelings fairly regularly. Midnight Confessions? Not at all.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Power Play
Source:    CD: Monster
Writer(s):    John Kay
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1969
    1969's Monster album is generally considered the most political of Steppenwolf's albums. A listen to Power Play certainly lends creedence to that viewpoint.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes
Source:    LP: Projections
Writer(s):    Blind Willie Johnson
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1966
    One lasting legacy of the British Invasion was the re-introduction to the US record-buying public to the songs of early Rhythm and Blues artists such as Blind Willie Johnson. This emphasis on classic blues in particular would lead to the formation of electric blues-based US bands such as the Butterfield Blues Band and the Blues Project. Unlike the Butterfields, who made a conscious effort to remain true to their Chicago-style blues roots, the Blues Project was always looking for new ground to cover, which ultimately led to them developing an improvisational style that would be emulated by west coast bands such as the Grateful Dead, and by Project member Al Kooper, who conceived and produced the first rock jam LP ever, Super Session, in 1968. As the opening track to their second (and generally considered best) LP Projections, I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes served notice that this was a new kind of blues, louder and brasher than what had come before, yet tempered with Kooper's melodic vocal style. An added twist was the use during the song's instrumental bridge of an experimental synthesizer known among band members as the "Kooperphone", probably the first use of any type of synthesizer in a blues record.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    I Can't Quit You
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin
Writer(s):    Willie Dixon
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    Led Zeppelin has come under fire for occassionally "borrowing" lyrics and even guitar riffs from old blues songs (never mind the fact that such "borrowing" was a common practice among the old bluesmen themselves) but, at least in the case of the first Zeppelin album, full songwriting credit was given to Willie Dixon for a pair of songs, one of which was I Can't Quit You. Still, it can't be denied that messrs. Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones completely revamped the blues classic into something uniquely their own.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    2000 Man
Source:    LP: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    Setting any work of art in the relatively near future is always risky business (remember 1984?), but then again 33 years seems like forever when you yourself are still in your twenties. I mean who, including the Rolling Stones themselves, could have imagined that Mick, Keith, Charlie and company would still be performing well into the 21st century when they recorded 2000 Man for their 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request? It's actually kind of interesting to listen to the lyrics now and see just how much of the song turned out to be an accurate prediction of what was to come.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    I Wanna Be Your Man
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    London
Year:    1964
    Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have written so many classic songs together that it's hard to imagine a time when they had yet to pen their first hit. That was precisely the case, however, in the early days of the Rolling Stones, when they were barely scratching the bottom of the British charts with covers of blues songs from the 1950s. A chance meeting with John Lennon and Paul McCartney, however, resulted in the Stones being given a song called I Wanna Be Your Man which became the band's first top 20 hit in the UK. The song was later released as the B side to the Stones' first US charted single, Not Fade Away.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    She's A Rainbow
Source:    LP: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    The only song from the Rolling Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request album to get significant airplay in the US was She's A Rainbow, released as a single in the fall of '67.  Oddly enough it was the single's B side, 2,000 Light Years From Home, that charted in Germany, while yet another song from the album, In Another Land, was released only in the UK and touted as the first Bill Wyman solo song (although still a Rolling Stones record). This perhaps is a reflection of the uncertainty surrounding the Rolling Stones' role in the world of rock at the time. That uncertainty would soon be dispelled when the band hired a new producer, Jimmy Miller, the following year and released Jumpin' Jack Flash, an undisputed classic that helped define the band for years to come.

Artist:    Dillards
Title:    Lemon Chimes
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Bill Martin
Label:    Rhino (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1965
    The Dillards are best known as the Darlings, the fictional bluegrass band that occassionally showed up on TV's Andy Griffith show. They moved a bit away from their traditional sound for a pair of singles for Capitol in 1965. The song Lemon Chimes, written by roommate Bill Martin, was the more successful of those singles, although, like Bob Dylan, the Dillards came under fire from bluegrass purists for using electric instruments on the record.

Artist:    Mamas And The Papas
Title:    Dancing Bear
Source:    CD: The Mamas And The Papas
Writer(s):    John Phillips
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1966
    The second Mamas And The Papas album was marked by internal strife that came about when it was discovered that mama Michelle and papa Denny were having an affair, despite Michelle's being married to papa John. Mama Michelle was fired shortly before work on the album commenced and a new mama, Jill, was brought in to replace her. Midway through the album the group realized the inherent unfairness of firing Michelle but not Denny and invited her back to the band, letting Jill go in the process. As a result, nobody is sure just which vocals on the album are Michelle's and which are Jill's. One thing that is not in question is that Dancing Bear (which predates Simon & Garfunkel's similarly-themed El Condor Pasa by several years) is one of the most memorable songs on the album.

Artist:    Hour Glass
Title:    Bells
Source:    Import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released on LP: Hour Glass)
Writer(s):    Edgar Allen Poe, arr. Peter Alin
Label:    Zonophone (UK) (original US label: Liberty)
Year:    1967
    On the avant-garde side we have the most experimental (and most psychedelic) track by a band known mostly as the band Duane and Gregg Allman were in before they formed the Allman Brother Band. The Hour Glass, by most accounts, was a decent jam band when they played live. Their record producers, however, kept trying to shoehorn them into a blue-eyed soul mold, mainly because Gregg Allman's vocals sounded black to them. Only on a few tracks on their second LP did they show any of their improvisational talents. Bells, on the other hand, a spoken adaptation of an Edgar Allen Poe poem set against a musical background, was a true departure for the group, both from their studio sound and their live performances. The track appeared on the group's 1967 debut LP.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    An Untitled Protest
Source:    LP: The Life And Times Of Country Joe And The Fish (originally released on LP: Together)
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1968
    By 1968 the Summer Of Love, with its emphasis on peace, love and mind-expanding substances, was only a memory in the San Francisco area. In its place a new cynicism was beginning to take hold, brought on by a combination of increased racial tensions and elevated anxiety over the ongoing war in Vietnam nationally and an influx of harder, less beneficial drugs into the Bay Area itself. The music of local bands such as Country Joe And The Fish was becoming more cynical as well, as An Untitled Protest from the band's third LP, Together, illustrates.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    He's Always There
Source:    Import CD: Roger The Engineer (original UK title: The Yardbirds; original US title: Over, Under, Sideways, Down)
Writer(s):    Dreja/McCarty/Beck/Relf/Samwell-Smith
Label:    Great American Recording Company (UK) (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1966
    After releasing several singles and EPs in the UK (several of which were combined to create US-only LPs), as well as one live album, the Yardbirds finally got the opportunity to record their first (and, as it turns out, only) studio LP in 1966. Originally entitled the Yardbirds in the UK and Over, Under, Sideways, Down in the US, the album contained the first Yardbirds songs to have both mono and stereo mixes, all of which were written by members of the band itself (the live album had contained several covers). The British version of the LP had distinctive cover drawings by guitarist Chris Dreja, the most prominent being a caricature of the album's recording engineer, Roger Cameron with the caption "Roger the Engineer" on the front cover. Because of this drawing, the album came to be commonly known as Roger The Engineer. In many ways the album represents a creative peak for the group, with tracks like He's Always There showing a different side of the band than had been heard on their previous recordings. Not long after the album was released, the band would undergo a series of personnel changes, starting with the departure of bassist Paul Samwell-Smith and the addition of Jimmy Page as second lead guitarist (moving Dreja to bass) and the subsequent departure of lead guitarist Jeff Beck. Although the band would continue to record singles for the next couple of years, with Page taking a more dominant role in the band's live performances, it was becoming clear that the Yardbirds' best years were behind them, and in 1969 Page would officially disband the Yardbirds to form a new group, Led Zeppelin.

Artist:    Paul Revere and the Raiders
Title:    The Great Airplane Strike (originally released on LP: Spirit Of '67 and as 45 RPM single)
Source:    CD: Greatest Hits
Writer:    Revere/Melcher/Lindsay
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1966
    In 1966 Paul Revere and the Raiders were at the peak of their popularity, scoring major hits that year with Hungry and Kicks. The last single the band released that year was The Great Airplane Strike from the Spirit Of '67 album. Written by band members Revere and Mark Lindsay, along with producer Terry Melcher, The Great Airplane Strike stands out as a classic example of Pacific Northwest rock, a style which would eventually culminate in the grunge movement of the 1990s.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1304 (starts 1/24/12)

rtist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Bringing Me Down
Source:    LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (also released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Balin/Kantner
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    One of several singles released mainly to San Francisco Bay area radio stations and record stores, Bringing Me Down is an early collaboration between vocalist Marty Balin and guitarist/vocalist Paul Kantner. Balin had invited Kantner into the band without having heard him play a single note. It turned out to be one of many right-on-the-money decisions by the young bandleader.
Artist:    Turtles
Title:    She's My Girl
Source:    Mono 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' members themselves, 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:    Spirit
Title:    Uncle Jack
Source:    LP: Spirit
Writer(s):    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Epic (original label: Ode)
Year:    1968
    Despite nearly universal positive reviews by the rock press, the first Spirit album never really caught the imagination of the record buying public. Why this is the case is still a bit of a mystery, as the album is full of outstanding tracks such as Fresh Garbage. Perhaps the album, and indeed the band itself, was just a bit ahead of its time.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Silver and Gold
Source:    CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Rhino
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 2009
    Country Joe and the Fish were one of a handfull of acts to appear at both the Monterey and Woodstock festivals. Whereas at Monterey they were perhaps the quintessential psychedelic band, their Woodstock performance reflected the band's move to what they themselves described as "rock and soul" music. Silver and Gold was certainly one of the hardest rocking songs the band had ever performed, but was not released until 2009, when Rhino released its multi-disc Woodstock anniversary collection.

Artist:    Buddy Miles
Title:    Them Changes
Source:    CD: Them Changes
Writer(s):    Buddy Miles
Label:    Miracle/Mercury
Year:    1970
    Drummer Buddy Miles first came to national prominence in 1968, both for his guest appearance on the Jimi Hendrix Experience album Electric Ladyland (Rainy Day, Dream Away/Still Raining, Still Dreaming) and as a founding member of the Electric Flag (which had actually made its vinyl debut on the soundtrack album for the Peter Fonda movie The Trip the previous year). It wasn't until late 1969, when Miles joined Hendrix and bassist Billy Cox onstage at the Fillmore East as Band Of Gypsys that his talents as a vocalist became apparent. After Hendrix decided to return to working with Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, Miles formed his own backup band to record his solo debut LP, Them Changes. The title track itself had already appeared as a live track on the Band Of Gypsys album, but the studio version is more fleshed out, featuring a horn section as well as the standard guitar, bass and drums.

Artist:    Del-Vetts
Title:    Last Time Around
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dennis Dahlquist
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    The Del-Vetts were from Chicago's affluent North Shore. Their gimmick was to show up at a high school dance by driving their matching corvettes onto the gymnasium dance floor. Musically, like most garage/punk bands, they were heavily influenced by the British invasion bands. Unlike most garage/punk bands, who favored the Rolling Stones, the Del-Vetts were more into the Jeff Beck era Yardbirds. They had a few regional hits from 1965-67, the biggest being Last Time Around, issued on the Dunwich label, home of fellow Chicago suburbanites the Shadows of Knight. This may well be the very first death rock song.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Lucifer Sam
Source:    CD: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
Writer(s):    Syd Barrett
Label:    Capitol (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    Beyond a shadow of a doubt the original driving force behind Pink Floyd was the legendary Syd Barrett. Not only did he front the band during their rise to fame, he also wrote their first two singles, Arnold Layne and See Emily Play, as well as most of their first LP, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. In fact it could be argued that one of the songs on that album, Lucifer Sam, could have just as easily been issued as a single, as it is stylistically similar to the first two songs. Sadly, Barrett's mental health deteriorated quickly over the next year and his participation in the making of the band's next LP, A Saucerful Of Secrets, was minimal. He soon left the group altogether, never to return (although several of his former bandmates did participate in the making of his 1970 solo album, The Madcap Laughs).

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Come On (part one)
Source:    LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer(s):    Earl King
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    Despite being rated by many as the greatest rock guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix's roots were in the blues. One of his most performed songs was Red House (a track that was left off the US release of Are You Experienced?), and the Experience's debut US performance at Monterey featured a amped-up version of the B.B. King classic Rock Me Baby. For the Electric Ladyland album Hendrix chose a relatively obscure tune from Earl King, originally recorded in 1962. Come On (Pt. 1) was one of only two cover songs on Electric Ladyland (the other being Dylan's All Along the Watchtower).

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    I Wanna Make You All Mine
Source:    LP: Shadows Of Knight
Writer(s):    Woodruff/Sohns
Label:    Super K
Year:    1969
    Of the thousands of garage bands that existed during the psychedelic era, relatively few actually got the chance to see the inside of a recording studio. Fewer still got to hear their records on the radio, and only a tiny percentage actually scored a national hit like the Shadows Of Knight did with Van Morrison's Gloria. The Shadows actually exceeded most of their contemporaries by recording not one, but two solid albums in 1966, both of which hit the national charts. After that, however, it was all downhill, and by 1968 nearly all of the original Shadows had left the band and had abandoned the music business itself for more respectable pursuits. There was one exception, however. Vocalist Jim Sohns, whose exploits (and success rate) as a skirt-chaser are legendary, refused to give up the dream, and continued to recruit new members into the band for several years. In 1969, Sohns and his current bandmates found themselves allied with the equally legendary Kasenetz-Katz production team that had dominated the charts in 1968 with what came to be known as "bubble-gum"; catchy tunes with a rock beat and silly lyrics released on the Buddah label under band names such as the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Ohio Express. By 1969 Kasenetz-Katz had created their own label, Super K (distributed by Buddah), but were coming to the realization that bubble-gum rock was a fad that was on the way out. Hoping to come up with something new, they and the latest Shadows lineup released the 1969 LP Shadows Of Knight, an uneven album that combined elements of bubble-gum, garage-rock and even fuzz-laden hard rock on tracks such as I Wanna Make You Mine. The results were exactly what you might expect, and eventually even Jim Sohns had to admit that the dream was indeed over.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Nothing That I Didn't Know
Source:    LP: Home
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    A&M
Year:    1970
    The fourth Procol Harum album, Home, saw the band continuing to develop the progressive-rock sound favored by pianist/vocalist Gary Brooker and his lyricist, Keith Reid. At the same time the group was being pulled in a dramatically different direction by guitarist Robin Trower, whose own tastes tended toward a harder blues-rock style. Although both genres would prove successful in the 1970s, it was becoming clear that the two were not entirely compatible within the same band. Ultimately it would be the Brooker/Reid sound that prevailed, despite the fact that, at least on the Home album, it was a Trower song, Whiskey Man, that got the most radio attention. More typical of the album, however, are Brooker/Reid tracks such as Nothing I Didn't Know.

Artist:     Blues Magoos
Title:     (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet
Source:     LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on LP: Psychedelic Lollipop)
Writer:     Esposito/Gilbert/Scala
Label:     Rhino (original label: Mercury)
Year:     1966
     The Blues Magoos (original spelling: Bloos, not surprising for a bunch of guys from the Bronx) were either the first or second band to use the word psychedelic in an album title. Both they and the 13th Floor Elevators released their debut albums in 1966 and it is unclear which one actually came out first. What's not in dispute is the fact that Psychedelic Lollipop far outsold The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. One major reason for this was the fact that (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet was a huge national hit in early 1967, which helped album sales considerably. Despite having a unique sound and a look to match (including electric suits), the Magoos were unable to duplicate the success of Nothin' Yet on subsequent releases, partially due to Mercury's pairing of two equally marketable songs on the band's next single without indicating to stations which one they were supposed to be playing.

Artist:    Count Five
Title:    Psychotic Reaction
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ellner/Chaney/Atkinson/Byrne/Michalski
Label:    Priority (original label: Double Shot)
Year:    1966
    In late 1966 five guys from San Jose California managed to sound more like the Jeff Beck-era Yardbirds that the Yardbirds themselves (a task probably made easier by the fact that Jeff Beck was no longer a Yardbird in late 1966). One interesting note about this record is that as late as the mid-1980s the 45 RPM single on the original label was still available in record stores, complete with the original B side. Normally songs more than a year or two old were only available on anthology LPs or on reissue singles with "back-to-back hits" on them. The complete takeover of the record racks by CDs in the late 1980s changed all that, as all 45s (except for indy releases) soon went the way of the 78 RPM record.

Artist:    Bruthers
Title:    Bad Way To Go
Source:    Mono LP: Pebbles Vol. 8 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Joe Delia (?)
Label:    BFD (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1966
    Not much is known about the Bruthers other than 1) they were from Pearl River, NY (wherever that is)  2) they recorded a single called Bad Way To Go that was released on the RCA Victor label in 1966, and  3) they had at least one member named Joe Delia who may or may not have written the above mentioned song (the Pebbles people were not big on documentation).

Artist:    Trashmen
Title:    Surfin' Bird
Source:    Mono CD: Surfin' Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Frazier/White/Harris/Wilson
Label:    Rhino (original label: Garrett)
Year:    1963
    The Trashmen were a group from Minneapolis that came up with the idea of taking two Rivingtons hits from the 1950s, Papa Oom Mow Mow and Bird Is The Word, and combining them, speeding up the tempo to insane levels in the process. The result was a huge hit in 1963. I only have one question: Did I really play this?

Artist:     Brogues
Title:     I Ain't No Miracle Worker
Source:     Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Tucker/Mantz
Label:     Rhino (original label: Challenge)
Year:     1965
     Nearly two years before the Electric Prunes recorded I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), the songwriting team of Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz got this song recorded by the Merced, California band the Brogues, achieving some regional success.Vocalist/guitarist Gary Cole (using the name Gary Duncan) and drummer Greg Elmore would resurface a few months later in San Francisco as founding members of Quicksilver Messenger Service.

Artist:    Teddy And His Patches
Title:    Suzy Creamcheese
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dave Conway
Label:    Rhino (original label: Chance)
Year:    1967
    Teddy And His Patches were a group of high school students who heard the phrase "Suzy Creamcheese, what's got into you" from a fellow San Jose, California resident and decided to make a song out of it. Reportedly none of the band members had ever heard the Mothers Of Invention album Freak Out, where the phrase had originated. Nonetheless, they managed to turn out a piece of inspired madness worthy of Frank Zappa himself.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Truckin'
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Hunter/Garcia/Lesh/Weir
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    The nearest thing the Grateful Dead had to a hit single before 1986 was Truckin', a feelgood tune sung by Bob Weir from the Workingman's Dead album. I actually have a video clip on DVD of the band doing the song live on some TV show.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Waterloo Sunset
Source:    CD: Something Else
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    One of the most beautiful tunes ever recorded by the Kinks is Waterloo Sunset, a song that was a hit single in the UK, but was totally ignored by US radio stations. The reason for this neglect of such a stong song is a mystery, however it may have been due to the fear that American audiences would not be able to relate to all the references to places in and around London in the song's lyrics.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    Homeward Bound
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released on LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    Following the success of Sounds Of Silence, Paul Simon And Art Garfunkel set about making an album of all new material (Sounds Of Silence had featured several re-recorded versions of tunes from the 1965 British album The Paul Simon Songbook). The result was Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, one of the finest folk-rock albums ever recorded. The album contained several successful singles, including Homeward Bound.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    In Another Land
Source:    CD: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    In Another Land was the first Rolling Stones song written and sung by bassist Bill Wyman, and was even released in the UK as a Wyman single. The song originally appeared on the Stones' most psychedelic album, Their Satanic Majesties Request, in late 1967.

rtist:    Traffic
Title:    Feelin' Alright
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Traffic)
Writer(s):    Dave Mason
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1968
    Although Traffic is generally known as an early staple of progressive FM radio, the band had its share of hit singles in its native England as well. Many of these early hits were written by guitarist/vocalist Dave Mason, who would leave the band in 1968, only to return for the live Welcome To The Canteen album before leaving again, this time for good. One of Mason's most memorable songs was Feelin' Alright, from Traffic's self-titled second LP. The song very quickly became a rock standard when Joe Cocker sped it up and made it his own signature song. Grand Funk Railroad slowed it back down and scored a hit with their version in 1971, and Mason himself got some airplay with a new solo recording of the song later in the decade. Even comedian John Belushi got into the act with his dead-on cover of Cocker's version of the song on the Saturday Night Live TV show.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Because
Source:    CD: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1969
    Take Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Turn a few notes around, add some variations and write some lyrics. Add the Beatles' trademark multi-part harmonies and you have John Lennon's Because, from the Abbey Road album. A simply beautiful recording.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Talk Talk
Source:    CD: More Nuggets (originally released on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    The Music Machine was one of the most sophisticated bands to appear on the L.A. club scene in 1966, yet their only major hit, Talk Talk, was deceptively simple and straightforward punk-rock, and still holds up as two of the most intense minutes of rock music ever to crack the top 40 charts.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    The Crystal Ship
Source:    LP: The Doors
Writer:    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Ever feel like you've discovered something really special that nobody else (among your circle of friends at any rate) knows about? At first you kind of want to keep it to yourself, but soon you find yourself compelled to share it with everyone you know. Such was the case when, in the early summer of 1967, I used my weekly allowance to buy copies of a couple of songs I had heard on the American Forces Network (AFN). As usual, it wasn't long before I was flipping the records over to hear what was on the B sides. I liked the first one well enough (a song by Buffalo Springfield called Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It, the B side of For What It's Worth), but it was the second one, the B side of the Doors' Light My Fire, that really got to me. To this day I consider The Crystal Ship to be one of the finest slow rock songs ever recorded.

Artist:    Johnny Winter
Title:    I Got Love If You Want It
Source:    LP: Underground Gold (originally released on LP: The Progressive Blues Experiment)
Writer(s):    James Moore
Label:    Liberty (original label: Sonobeat)
Year:    1968
    Although Johnny Winter had been recording singles (both under his own name and as a sideman) for a variety of small Texas blues labels since the early 60s, he did not get the opportunity to record a full-length LP until 1968, when he, along with bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Uncle John Turner, recorded The Progressive Blues Experiment for the Sonobeat label. The album made a big enough impression to get the attention of the people at Imperial Records, who reissued the LP nationally the following year. The album itself was a mixture of blues covers such as James Moore's I Got Love If You Want It and Winter originals. It wasn't long before Winter signed a $600,000 contract with Columbia and was soon one of the best-known blues guitarists in the world. Winter, now nearly blind, continues to perform, getting a standing ovation for his performance with the Derek Trucks Band at the 2008 Crossroads Guitar Festival. Shannon, meanwhile, after recording several albums as a member of Winter's band, hooked up with another Texas guitarist, Stevie Ray Vaughan, as a founding member of the band Double Trouble.

Artist:    Left Banke
Title:    Walk Away Renee
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Brown/Calilli/Sansune
Label:    Smash
Year:    1966
    The Left Banke's Walk Away Renee is one of the most covered songs in rock history, starting with a version by the Four Tops less than two years after the original recording had graced the top 5. The Left Banke version kicked off what was thought at the time to be the latest trend: baroque rock. The trend died an early death when the band members themselves made some tactical errors resulting in radio stations being hesitant to play their records.

Artist:    Easybeats
Title:    Heaven And Hell
Source:    CD: Nuggets-Classics From The Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Vanda/Young
Label:    Rhino (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1967
    Throughout the mid-60s Australia's most popular band was the Easybeats, often called the Australian Beatles. Although their early material sounded like slightly dated British Invasion music (Australia had a reputation for cultural lag, and besides, half the members were British immigrants), by late 1966 guitarist Harry Vanda (one of the two Dutch immigrant members of the group) had learned enough English to be able to replace vocalist Stevie Wright as George Young's writing partner. The new team was much more adventurous in their compositions than the Wright/Young team had been, and were responsible for the band's first international hit, Friday On My Mind. By then the Easybeats had relocated to England, and continued to produce fine singles such as Heaven And Hell.

Artist:    First Edition
Title:    Shadow In The Corner Of Your Mind
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Mike Settle
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    The First Edition was formed by Mike Settle and Kenny Rogers, both members of the New Christy Minstrels, a group that made more appearances on TV variety shows than on the record charts (imagine a professional version of high school madrigal choir). The two wanted to get into something a little more hip than watered-down choral versions of Simon and Garfunkel songs and the like, and recorded an album that included folk-rock, country-rock and even the full-blown psychedelia of Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In), which ended up being their first single. For the B side of that single one of Settle's songs, Shadow In The Corner Of Your Mind, was selected. The song, a decent piece of folk-rock with reasonably intelligent lyrics, would have been hit record material itself if it weren't for the fact that by 1968 folk-rock had pretty much run its course.

Artist:    Neil Young/Graham Nash
Title:    War Song
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1972
    Around the same time that Neil Young was working on his Harvest LP he recorded War Song with Graham Nash and the Stray Gators. It was never released on an LP, although it did appear on CD many years later on one of the various anthologies that have been issued over the years.

Artist:    Janis Joplin
Title:    Move Over (take 13)
Source:    CD: The Pearl Sessions
Writer(s):    Janis Joplin
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1970
    The Pearl Sessions CD, released in 2012, features many early takes of songs included on Janis Joplin's final album, Pearl. Among those are three takes of Move Over, arranged back to back on the CD as a way of documenting the evolution of the Full Tilt Boogie Band's arrangement of the Joplin-penned tune. The middle of these three takes includes hand clapping over the intro and an extended fade out section at the end of the song that features Joplin improvising vocals lines for almost a full minute.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    Plastic Raincoats/Hung Up Minds
Source:    Mono LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer(s):    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Country Joe McDonald's ears must have been burning when the first Ultimate Spinach album hit the stands. Indeed, many of Ian Bruce-Douglas's compositions, such as Plastic Raincoats/Hung Up Minds, sound as if they could have been written by McDonald himself. Still, it was the 1960s and jumping on the bandwagon was almost a way of life (witness the dozens of Mick Jagger soundalikes popping up across the country in the wake of the British Invasion), so perhaps Bruce-Douglas can be forgiven for at least trying to copy something a bit more current. Unfortunately, M-G-M Records decided to tout Ultimate Spinach as part of a "Boss-Town Sound" that never truly existed, further damaging the group's credibility, and after a second LP, Bruce-Douglas left the band, which, strangely enough, continued on without him for several years, albeit in an entirely different musical vein.

Artist:        Yardbirds
Title:        Shapes Of Things
Source:   45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:        Samwell-Smith/Relf/McCarty
Label:        Epic
Year:        1966
        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.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Janis
Source:    LP: I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
    It is not well-known (yet hardly a secret, either) that in early 1967, Country Joe McDonald and Janis Joplin had a live-in relationship. As might be expected given the strong personalities involved, the affair didn't last long, but apparently had a profound enough effect on McDonald that he wrote a song about it. That song, Janis, appears on the second Country Joe And The Fish LP. As January 19, 2013 would have been Joplin's 70th birthday, it seems like a good way to finish this week's show.
Year:    1967

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1303 (starts 1/17/13)

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    I Got My Mojo Workin' (alternate version)
Source:    Mono CD: Gloria
Writer(s):    McKinley Morganfield
Label:    Sundazed
Year:    1966
    When it became apparent that the Shadows Of Knight version of Van Morrison's Gloria was going to be a hit single, the group's label, Dunwich, rushed them into the studio to record an entire LP's worth of material. Much of what the band recorded was covers of songs by legendary Chicago blues artists such as Bo Diddley, Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters. The band actually recorded two versions of one Muddy Waters song, I Got My Mojo Workin'. Whereas the later version used on the album is a bit more polished, the alternate version heard here is more in line with the way the band performed the song live, and has a kind of infectious energy that the LP version can't quite match.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Talk Talk
Source:    CD: More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    When it came time for Sean Bonniwell's band, the Music Machine, to go into the studio, the group decided to go for the best sound possible. This meant signing with tiny Original Sound Records, despite having offers from bigger labels, due to Original Sound having their own state-of-the-art eight-track studios. Unfortunately for the band, they soon discovered that having great equipment did not mean Original Sound made great decisions. One of the first, in fact, was to include a handful of cover songs on the Music Machine's first LP that were recorded for use on a local TV show. Bonniwell was livid when he found out, as he had envisioned an album made up entirely of his own compositions (although he reportedly did plan to use a slowed-down version of Hey Joe that he and Tim Rose had worked up together). From that point on it was only a matter of time until the Music Machine and Original Sound parted company, but not until after they scored a big national hit with Talk Talk in 1966.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Let's Go Away For Awhile
Source:    Mono LP: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Brian Wilson
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    After spending six months and a record amount of money making Good Vibrations, Brian Wilson and Capitol Records decided to use an existing track for the B side of the single rather than take the time to record something new. The chosen track was Let's Go Away For Awhile, a tune from the Pet Sounds album that Wilson described as the most satisfying instrumental piece he had ever written.

Artist:    Standells
Title:    Dirty Water
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Classics From The Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ed Cobb
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1966
    The Standells were not from Boston (they were a Los Angeles club band). Ed Cobb, who wrote and produced Dirty Water, was. The rest is history.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Priscilla Millionaira
Source:    LP: Everything Playing
Writer(s):    John Sebastian
Label:    Kama Sutra
Year:    1967
    Priscilla Millionaira, from the 1967 LP Everything Playing, has the distinction of having the only known lead vocal by Lovin' Spoonful bassist Steve Boone. John Sebastian's tenure as a member of the Spoonful was coming to an end when this album came out (co-founder Zal Yanovsky had already left), which may explain why he turned the lead vocals over to Boone for this track. Whatever the reason, I think we can all be thankful for this track's unique qualities.

Artist:        Randy Newman
Title:        Last Night I Had A Dream
Source:      Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:        Randy Newman
Label:        Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:        1968
        Randy Newman has, over the course of the past forty-plus years, established himself as a Great American Writer of Songs. His work includes dozens of hit singles (over half of which were performed by other artists), nearly two dozen movie scores and eleven albums as a solo artist. Newman has won five Grammys, as well as two Oscars and Three Emmys. To my knowledge, Last Night I Had A Dream could quite possibly be his first recorded work as a solo artist, as it came out the same year as his first album, which does not include the song.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    We Used To Know
Source:    CD: Stand Up
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1969
    The first of many personnel changes for Jethro Tull came with the departure of guitarist Mick Abrahams in late 1968. His replacement was Tony Iommi from the band Earth, who joined just in time to make an appearance miming the guitar parts to A Song For Jeffrey on the Rolling Stones' Rock And Roll Circus, a TV special slated for a December airing on British TV, but pulled from the schedule at the last minute by the Stones themselves, who were not satisfied with their own performances on the show. The following month Iommi went back to Earth (who eventually changed their name to Black Sabbath) and Jethro Tull found a new guitarist, Martin Barre, in time to begin work on their second LP, Stand Up. Barre's guitar work is featured prominently on several tracks on Stand Up, including We Used To Know, a song that starts quietly and slowly builds to a wah-wah pedal dominated instrumental finale.

Artist:    Pink Fairies
Title:    Prologue/Right On, Fight On
Source:    CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: What A Bunch Of Sweeties)
Writer(s):    Pink Fairies
Label:    Polydor (UK import)
Year:    1972
    While most rock musicians in the early 1970s were dreaming of becoming rich and famous, there were a few notable exceptions on both sides of the Atlantic. Among those were Detroit's MC5, whose radical politics were at the forefront of everything they did, and the New York City street band David Peel and the Lower East Side, who were more a musical guerrilla theater group than an actual rock band. In the UK, it was the Pink Fairies bucking the establishment, performing such anarchic acts as giving free concerts outside the gates of places where other bands were playing for pay, such as the 1970 Isle Of Wight music festival. Formed from the ashes of another anarchic band, the Social Deviants, the Pink Fairies recorded three albums from 1971-73, finally cutting a single for Stiff Records in 1976 before splitting up. The group has reformed several times since.

Artist:    Mothers Of Invention
Title:    Motherly Love
Source:    CD: Freak Out!
Writer(s):    Frank Zappa
Label:    Ryko (original label: Verve)
Year:    1966
    In addition to his high regard for avant-garde jazz and classical music, Frank Zappa had a fondness for late-1950s Doo-Wop music, as evidenced by songs such as Motherly Love from the first Mothers Of Invention album, Freak Out!  According to the liner notes, the song is a body commercial for the band, advertising the delights to be had from social contact with the band members.

Artist:    Vagrants
Title:    Respect
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Otis Redding
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Sounding a lot like the Rascals, the Vagrants were a popular Long Island band led by singer Peter Sabatino and best remembered for being the group that had guitarist Leslie Weinstein in it. Weinstein would change his last name to West and record a solo album called Mountain before forming the band of the same name. This version of Respect is fairly faithful to the original Otis Redding version. Unfortunately for the Vagrants, Aretha Franklin would release her rearranged version of the song just a few weeks after the Vagrants, relegating their version of the tune (and the Vagrants themselves) to footnote status.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Spanish Caravan
Source:    CD: The Best Of The Doors (originally released on LP: Waiting For The Sun)
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1968
    The third Doors album, Waiting For The Sun, was somewhat of a departure from the first two, covering a greater variety of styles than their previous efforts. A prime example is Spanish Caravan, which starts with a flamenco solo from guitarist Robbie Kreiger and continues in a highly Spanish (not Mexican) flavored musical vein.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I Am The Walrus
Source:    45 RPM EP: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (UK import)
Year:    1967
    Common practice in the UK in the 1960s was to avoid duplication between single releases and album tracks. This led to a unique situation for the Beatles and their British label, EMI/Parlophone, in December of 1967. The band had self-produced a new telefilm to be shown on BBC-TV called Magical Mystery Tour and wanted to make the songs from the film available to the record-buying public in time for Christmas. The problem was that there were only six songs in the one-hour telefilm, not nearly enough to fill an entire album. The solution was to release the songs on a pair of Extended Play 45 RPM records, along with several pages of song lyrics, illustrations and stills from the film itself. In the US, however, EPs had long since been abandoned by the major record labels, and an album was put together combining songs from the film with all of the band's 1967 singles and B sides. Thus, the EP version of Magical Mystery Tour was only available in the UK and across Europe. My own introduction to Magical Mystery Tour was a friend's German copy of the EPs, and when years later I had the opportunity to pick up a copy of the original UK version, I of course couldn't resist. That copy got totalled in a flood a few years back, but in 2012 I was finally able to locate another copy of the EP set, which is the source of this week's airing of the ultimate British psychedelic recording, I Am The Walrus.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon
Source:    LP: After Bathing At Baxter's
Writer(s):    Paul Kantner
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1967
    The first Jefferson Airplane album (the 1966 release Jefferson Airplane Takes Off) was dominated by songs from the pen of founder Marty Balin, a few of which were collaborations with other band members such as Paul Kantner and Jorma Kaukonen. The songwriting on the group's second LP, Surrealistic Pillow, was fairly evenly balanced between the three above and new arrival Grace Slick. By the band's third album, After Bathing At Baxter's, released in the fall of 1967, Kantner had emerged as the group's main songwriter, having a hand in over half the tracks on the LP. One of the most durable of these was the album's closing track, a medley of two songs, Won't You Try and Saturday Afternoon, the latter being about a free concert that band had participated in in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park earlier that year.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Cerdes (Outside The Gates Of)
Source:    Mono LP: Procol Harum
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    Deram
Year:    1967
    Ever wonder how music gets from the recording studio to you the listener? Well, these days it's usually just a matter of making digital copies and distributing them over the internet, but in the psychedelic era it was a much more complicated process. I always assumed someone took the master tapes to the record company and played them into a sort of reverse turntable that made records instead of played them, and that subsequest copies were made from that first disc. Basically that's true (although it turns out there is another set of copies made from the first disc that are used to make even more copies), but what I didn't know is that the cutting needle of the record lathe (which is the official name for the above-mentioned reverse turntable) has to be guided by hand to insure that the record grooves (actually one continuous spiral) are properly spaced to fit as much music as possible on the record surface without breaking down the walls of the adjoining groove. It is a painstaking and basically thankless process (not to mention anonymous) that if done right is never noticed by anyone but the most dedicated audiophiles. If done badly, however, it sounds like...well, like the original US pressing of side one of the first Procol Harum album. There are countless instances of albums being pressed with the holes not quite centered correctly. This is generally easily fixed by enlarging the hole itself and centering the record by hand when putting it on a turntable. Side one of Procol Harum, however, sounds like it was mastered with the hole off center, making every copy of the album sound like it's alternately speeding up and slowing down throughout the record. The only track on the side that is even listenable (in my opinion) is Cerdes (Outside The Gates Of), which is the final song on side one, and thus, being closest to the center of the album itself, has the least amount of fluctuation as the record spins. Still, if you have a sensitive ear this track may be a bit painful to listen to, but it's such a good song I decided to play it anyway.

Artist:    Human Beingz
Title:    My Generation
Source:    Mono LP: Pebbles Vol. 8 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    BFD (original label: Elysian)
Year:    1966
    Regular listeners of Stuck in the Psychedelic Era are probably familiar with a song called Nobody But Me by the Human Beinz (it holds the record for the most iterations of the word no on a top 40 hit song). What most people aren't aware of, however, is the fact that the band had actually been spelling its name Human Beingz for over a year before signing with Capitol Records, who accidently left the 'g' out on the label of Nobody But Me in 1968. One of the earliest regional hits for the Youngstown, Ohio based Human Beingz was this cover of the Who's I Can't Explain, released on the local Elysian label in 1966.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Gonna Buy Me A Dog (unused backing track)
Source:    CD: The Monkees
Writer(s):    Boyce/Hart
Label:    Rhino
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2006
    In an effort to follow a Beatle template, it was decided early on that the first Monkees album would have one novelty song, similar to Ringo getting to sing on one song per Beatle album. That song was Gonna Buy Me A Dog, a Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart composition that featured Mickey Dolenz and Davy Jones playing off each other for about three minutes against a background provided by an array of top studio musicians and produced by Boyce and Hart themselves. Two weeks earlier Michael Nesmith had produced an instrumental version of the same song using an entirely different lineup of studio musicians, including (among others) drummer Hal Blaine, organist Billy Preston and guitarists Glen Campbell and fellow Monkee Peter Tork (but not Nesmith himself). The Nesmith version has a faster tempo than the released track, with more of a country-blues-rock feel to it.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Toad
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Ginger Baker
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    By 1970, pretty much every rock band in the world featured a drum solo during live performances. Before 1966, however, the practice was unheard of; in fact, drum solos were considered solely the province of jazz musicians. The guy who changed all that was Ginger Baker of Cream, who, on the band's very first album provided the studio version of Toad. Due to the limitations of four-track recording, the entire drum solo, which takes up the bulk of the five-minute recording, is assigned to one single track, which on the stereo version of the song is mixed entirely to one channel/speaker. This makes for a rather odd listening experience under certain circumstances. A longer version of Toad recorded live at the Fillmore would appear on Cream's third album, Wheels Of Fire, in 1968 (this time with the drums mixed in full stereo).

Artist:     Seatrain
Title:     Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Lady
Source:     CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Sea Train)
Label:     Rhino (original label: Edsel)
Year:     1969
     Following the breakup of the Blues Project, two of the members, bassist/flautist Andy Kuhlberg and drummer Roy Blumenthal, relocated to San Francisco. They hooked up with Richard Greene (violin, keyboards, viola, vocals), John Gregory (guitar, vocals), Don Kretmar (bass, saxophone) and vocalist Jim Roberts to form Seatrain. Their first album, Sea Train, appeared in 1969 on the obscure Edsel label.

Artist:    Iron Butterfly
Title:    It Must Be Love
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Doug Ingle
Label:    Atco
Year:    1969
    Although it did not contain anything like the monster hit In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, the third Iron Butterfly LP, Ball, was probably a better album overall. The first single released from the album was In The Time Of Our Lives, backed with It Must Be Love, a tune that features some nice guitar work from Eric Brann, who would soon be leaving the band for an unsuccessful solo career.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Train For Tomorrow
Source:    CD: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Writer(s):    Lowe/Tulin/Williams/Spagnola/Ritter
Label:    Collector's Choice (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Although the bulk of material on the Electric Prunes' first LP was from outside sources, there were a few exceptions. One of the more notable ones was Train For Tomorrow, an innovative piece credited to the entire band that shows what this group could have done if allowed more artistic freedom.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Mantz
Label:    Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    The Electric Prunes biggest hit was I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), released in early 1967. The record, initially released without much promotion on Reprise Records, was championed by Seattle DJ Pat O'Day of KJR radio, and was already popular in that area when it hit the national charts (thus explaining why so many people assumed the band was from Seattle). I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) has come to be one of the defining songs of the psychedelic era and was the opening track on the original Lenny Kaye Nuggets compilation.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Get Me To The World On Time
Source:    I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Jones
Label:    Collector's Choice (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    With I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) climbing the charts in early 1967, the Electric Prunes turned to songwriter Annette Tucker for two more tracks to include on their debut LP. One of those, Get Me To The World On Time (co-written by lyricist Jill Jones) was selected to be the follow up single to Dream. Although not as big a hit, the song still did respectably on the charts (and was actually the first Electric Prunes song I ever heard on FM radio).

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Dear Mr. Fantasy
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Heaven Is In Your Mind)
Writer(s):    Capaldi/Winwood/Wood
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1967
    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 the title track of Traffic's Mr. Fantasy album.

Artist:    Knack
Title:    Time Waits For No One
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Chain/Kaplan
Label:    Rhino (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    In 1979 Capitol Records signed a group from Los Angeles called the Knack, promoted them heavily and released a single called My Sharona. It was a huge hit. Twelve years earlier Capitol Records signed a group from Los Angeles called the Knack, promoted them heavily and released a single called Time Waits For No One. It flopped. The strange thing is that Time Waits For No One is every bit as good a song as My Sharona, albeit in an entirely different style. Why one Knack succeeded and the other one failed is one of those mysteries that will probably never be solved.

Artist:    Thorinshield
Title:    Daydreaming
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Thorinshield)
Writer(s):    Ray/Smith
Label:    Rhino (original label: Philips)
Year:    1967
    Before 1966 it was virtually unheard of for a newly-signed band to record an album without first putting out a single to get an idea of their sales potential. By 1967, however, due to a variety of reasons, including the rise of album-oriented FM rock stations and the interest being shown in album tracks by groups like the Blues Project and the Butterfield Blues Band, as well as more established groups like the Beatles and the Beach Boys, some labels, particularly those not having a lot of top 40 hits anyway such as Philips (yes, the same company that invented CD technology and makes light bulbs), started taking chances with new acts such as L.A.'s Thorinshield. Sounding like a slightly more commercial version of the San Francisco bands making headlines that year on songs like Daydreaming, Thorinshield released one self-titled album before its members moved on to other things.

Artist:    Eric Burdon And The Animals
Title:    A Girl Named Sandoz
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/McCulloch/Jenkins
Label:    Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    The original Animals officially disbanded at the end of 1966, but before long a new group, Eric Burdon And The Animals, had arrived to take its place. Unlike the original Animals, this new band wrote nearly all their own material, with credits going to the entire membership on every song. The first single from this new band was a song called When I Was Young, a semi-autobiographical piece with lyrics by Burdon that performed decently, if not spectacularly, on the charts in both the US and the UK. It was the B side of that record, however, a tune called A Girl Named Sandoz, that truly indicated what this new band was about. Sandoz was the name of the laboratory that originally developed and manufactured LSD, and the song itself is a thinly-veiled tribute to the mind-expanding properties of the wonder drug. It would soon become apparent that whereas the original Animals were solidly rooted in American R&B (with the emphasis on the B), this new group was pure acid-rock.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Burning Of The Midnight Lamp
Source:    LP: The Singles Album
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Polydor (Holland) (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Burning of the Midnight Lamp was the fourth, and at the time most sophisticated single released by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, coming out in mid-1967 between the Are You Experienced and Axis: Bold As Love albums. As was the case with the previous three singles, the record was released only in Europe and the UK. Hendrix's US label, Reprise, had found a place for the A sides of the previous singles by revising the track lineup of Are You Experienced, but chose to release Axis: Bold As Love with the same track listing as its UK counterpart. This left Burning Of The Midnight Lamp unreleased in the US. Hendrix, though, having put a lot of work into the song, was not content to let the mono single release be the last word on the cut, and created a new stereo mix from the original tapes for inclusion on Electric Ladyland the following year.

Artist:    Arlo Guthrie
Title:    Motorcycle Song (Significance Of The Pickle)
Source:    The Best Of Arlo Guthrie
Writer(s):    Arlo Guthrie
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1968
    To be honest, I am not sure when this particular recording was made. Arlo Guthrie originally recorded the Motorcycle Song for his 1967 debut album, Alice's Restaurant. The first live recording of the song was released the following year on the LP Arlo. However, his reference to having been performing the song for twelve years makes me think this is a mid-seventies performance. It's even possible that the greatest hits album, issued in 1977, was the first time this particular performance was released.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1302 (starts 1/10/13)

    One small change to the playlist: starting this week you'll see the country of origin on import LPs and CDs used on the show. This is mostly to help out collectors who might be looking for their own copies of some of the songs heard on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era.

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 metaphysical with their follow-up album, Easter Everywhere).

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    John Sebastian
Label:    Buddah (original label: Kama Sutra)
Year:    1966
    Although folk music became popular throughout the U.S. in the early 1960s, its primary practicioners tended to make their homes on the eastern seaboard, particularly along the Boston-New York corridor. One hotspot in particular was New York's Greenwich Village, which was also home to the beatnik movement and a thriving acoustic blues revival scene. All these diverse elements came together in the form of the Lovin' Spoonful, who burst upon the scene with the hit single Do You Believe In Magic in 1965. Led by primary songwriter John Sebastian, the Spoonful for a while rivaled even the Beatles in popularity. Among their many successful records was Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind, which made the top 5 in 1966. The band continued to chart hits through 1967, at which point Sebastian departed the group to embark on a solo career.

Artist:    Love
Title:    My Little Red Book
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released on LP: Love)
Writer(s):    Bacharach/David
Label:    Rhino (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1966
    The first rock record ever released by Elektra Records was a single by Love called My Little Red Book. The track itself (which also opens Love's debut LP), is a punked out version of tune originally recorded by Manfred Mann for the What's New Pussycat movie soundtrack. Needless to say, Love's version was not exactly what Burt Bacharach and Hal David had in mind.

Artist:    Remains
Title:    Don't Look Back
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Billy Vera
Label:    Rhino (original label: Epic)
Year:    1966
    The Remains were a Boston area band that were seemingly on the verge of finally hitting the big time in 1966. They had just finished opening for the Beatles on their last US tour and had procured the rights to record a song written by Billy Vera, who would score a huge hit of his own 20 years later with At This Moment. Somehow, though, Don't Look Back didn't make the charts, despite its obvious potential. It was the last of a series of disappointments for a group that had been cutting records since 1964, and they soon packed up their instruments for the last time.

Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    Gimme Some Lovin'
Source:    Mono LP: Gimme Some Lovin' (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Steve Winwood
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 becomming 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:    Beatles
Title:    I Am The Walrus
Source:    CD: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    I once ranked over 5000 recordings from the 1920s through the 1990s based on how many times I could listen to each track without getting sick of hearing it. My original intention was to continue the project until I had ranked every recording in my collection, but after about ten years of near-continuous listening to 90-minute cassette tapes that I would update weekly I finally decided that I needed a break, and never went back to it. As a result, many of my favorite recordings (especially album tracks) never got ranked. Of those that did, every song on the top 10 was from the years 1966-69, with the top five all being from 1967. Although I never returned to the project itself, the results I did get convinced me that I was indeed stuck in the psychedelic era, and within five years I had created a radio show inspired by the project. Not surprisingly, the number one recording on my list was I Am The Walrus, a track from the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour that is often considered the apex of British psychedelia.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Goin' Down (alternate mix)
Source:    Mono CD: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD. (original version released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Hilderbrand/Tork/Nesmith/Dolenz/Jones
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1967
    The Monkees released two singles in 1967 that were not included on any albums released that year. The second of these, Daydream Believer, became one of the biggest hits of the year. The B side of that song was a mostly improvisational number called Goin' Down, with Mickey Dolenz providing the vocals. The longer, alternate mix heard here was later issued as a bonus track on the CD version of Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.

Artist:    John Barry
Title:    The James Bond Theme
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Monty Norman
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1962
    From the soundtrack of the film Dr. No we have the original James Bond theme. A few years after this record was made John Barry, who conducted the orchestra for the movie score, filed a lawsuit claiming that he actually co-wrote the theme music. At this point, however, Monty Norman is still considered the sole composer in the eyes of the law.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Wonderful
Source:    Mono CD: Good Vibrations-Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys
Writer(s):    Wilson/Parks
Label:    Capitol
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1993
    After spending several months perfecting his masterpiece single Good Vibrations, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys set out to create an entire album using the same production style, recording segments of each piece separately, often at entirely different studios, then assembling them into a coherent finished track and adding vocal overdubs. One of the first pieces recorded for this new album (to be called Smile), was Wonderful, recorded on September 1st of 1966. Although Smile was eventually scrapped in favor of the much less complex Smiley Smile album, released in late 1967, many of the original Smile tracks were preserved in the Capitol Records vaults, with bootleg copies occasionally making the rounds among collectors. Finally, in 1993, some of these tracks (including Wonderful) were released on the box set Good Vibrations-Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Eight Miles High
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Fifth Dimension)
Writer(s):    Clark/McGuinn/Crosby
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1966
    Gene Clark's final contribution to the Byrds was his collaboration with David Crosby and Roger McGuinn, Eight Miles High. Despite a newsletter from the most powerful man in top 40 radio, Bill Drake, advising stations not to play this "drug song", the song managed to hit the top 20 in 1966. The band members themselves claimed that Eight Miles High was not a drug song at all, but was instead referring to the experience of travelling by air. In fact, it was Gene Clark's fear of flying that led to his leaving the Byrds.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    A Hazy Shade Of Winter
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bookends)
Writer:    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    Originally released as a single in late 1966, A Hazy Shade Of Winter was one of several songs slated to be used in the film The Graduate. The only one of these actually used was Mrs. Robinson. The remaining songs eventually made up side two of the 1968 album Bookends, although several of them were also released as singles throughout 1967. A Hazy Shade Of Winter, being the first of these singles (and the only one released in 1966), was also the highest charting, peaking at # 13 just as the weather was turning cold.

Artist:    Tommy James And The Shondells
Title:    Makin' Good Time
Source:    LP: Cellophane Symphony
Writer(s):    James/Cordell
Label:    Roulette
Year:    1969
    Although Tommy James And The Shondells were known primarily as a singles band, they did, toward the end of their existence, start to shift their emphasis toward albums such as 1969's Cellophane Symphony. One of the more notable tracks on that album was Makin' Good Time, which did manage to garner some minor airplay on the up and coming FM radio stations of the time. The song was later chosen to be the B side of Ball Of Fire, which was recorded specifically for a greatest hits album. 

Artist:    Gants
Title:    I Wonder
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Sid Herring
Label:    Rhino (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1967
    The Gants hailed from Greenwood, Mississippi, and had a string of regional hits that led to their signing with Liberty Records in 1965. The group, however, was handicapped by having half the members still in high school and the other half in college (and unwilling to drop out due to their being of draftable age during the height of the Viet Nam war). The band's most successful single for the label was I Wonder, which, like all of the Gants' recordings, shows a strong Beatle influence.

Artist:    Notes From The Underground
Title:    Why Did You Put Me On
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Notes From The Underground)
Writer(s):    Mark Mandell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Vanguard)
Year:    1968
    If you notice any resemblance between the band known as Notes From The Underground and the better known Country Joe And The Fish, it's probably intentional. After all, both bands were from Berkeley, California, and both could be heard playing regularly at a club called the Jabberwock. To take it one step further, both the Fish and the Notes recorded from Vanguard Records, the only San Francisco Bay area bands to do so. One notable difference is the cleaner production heard on the 1968 LP Notes From The Underground, compared to either of the Fish's 1967 albums for the label.   

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    Devil's Motorcycle
Source:    CD: One Step Beyond
Writer(s):    Andrijasevich/Tolby
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Tower)
Year:    1969
    San Jose, California's Chocolate Watchband went through several personnel changes over a period of about four years. The original 1965 lineup only lasted a short while, due to half the members being stolen away by a San Francisco group known as the Topsiders. Within a few weeks guitarist Mark Loomis had in turn raided several other locals bands (including the Topsiders themselves) to form a new version of the Watchband. Fronted by the charismatic Dave Aguilar, this version proved even more popular than the original lineup and by the end of 1966 had procured a manager (Ed Cobb, writer of Dirty Water, a hit for another band he managed, the Standells) and a contract with Tower Records that resulted in an LP called No Way Out. In mid-1967 Loomis decided to change musical directions and left the group; he was soon followed by Aguilar and drummer Gary Andrijasevich. The band still had a month's worth of gigs already booked, though, so the two remaining members, guitarist Sean Tolby and bassist Bill Flores, hastily put together a third version of the Watchband. This lineup, however, did not have the same energy or popularity as previous incarnations, and by the end of 1967 it too was history. Meanwhile, undeterred by something so inconsequential as the lack of an actual band, Tower released a second Watchband LP in 1968. The Inner Mystique was made up mostly of leftover studio tracks with an entire side of new material from studio musicians (hired by Cobb) supplementing the actual Watchband material. Finally, in the fall of 1968 a reformed Chocolate Watchband made up of a combination of members from the first two versions of the band (including the original 1965 lead vocalist Danny Phay) got together to record a third LP for Tower. Unlike previous Watchband albums, One Step Beyond, released in 1969, consisted almost entirely of new material composed and performed by members of the band. One of the better tracks on the album is Devil's Motorcycle, written by guitarist Sean Tolby and drummer Gary Andrijasevich, both of whom had been members of the band's most popular 1966-67 lineup.

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    Wicked World
Source:    LP: Black Sabbath
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osborne/Butler/Ward
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    The Secret Origin of Heavy Metal-Part One: After a short (one month) stint as Mick Abrahams's replacement in Jethro Tull, guitarist Tony Iommi rejoined his former bandmates Ozzy Osborne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward in the blues-rock band Earth in January of 1969. Later that year they realized that there was already another English band called Earth and decided to change their name. Taking inspiration from a playbill of a movie theater showing classic Boris Karloff horror films across the street from where they were rehearsing, they started calling themselves Black Sabbath in August of 1969 and began to forge a new sound for the band in keeping with their new name. Three months later Black Sabbath got their first record contract, releasing a cover of Crow's Evil Woman in November. They followed the (UK only) single up with their self-titled debut LP, recorded in just two days, on Friday, February 13th, 1970. The album was released three months later in the US, and spent over a year on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart. Although Evil Woman was included on the UK version of the LP, Warner Brothers chose to instead include the B side of the band's single, a song called Wicked World that was not on the UK version of the album. Most Black Sabbath fans, it turns out, consider Wicked World a stronger track, as it shows a trace of the band's original blues-rock sound, especially on its fast paced intro and closing sections.

Artist:    Chris And Craig
Title:    Isha
Source:    Mono UK CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Chris Ducey
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1966
    Before the Monkees, there were the Happeners...almost. In 1965, college student Chris Ducey and singer/songwriter Craig Smith were chosen to play a folk-rock duo on a TV show. Although the show itself never made it past pre-production, the two did record a single for Capitol Records, the Ducey-penned Isha, before going their separate ways. Craig Smith auditioned for yet another TV show the following year, but was not one of the four young men chosen to become Monkees. He did, however, strike up a friendship with fellow applicant Michael Nesmith, who would end up recording one of Smith's songs, Salesman, and later produce Smith's new band, Penny Arkade. Ducey, meanwhile, became a bizarre early victim of identity theft. Folk singer Bobby Jameson, for reasons unknown, recorded an entire album using not only Ducey's name, but his song titles as well. The real Ducey hasn't been heard from since.

Artist:    Chambers Brothers
Title:    Time Has Come Today
Source:    CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released on LP: The Time Has Come. Edited version released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Joe and Willie Chambers
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967 (single edit released 1968)
    One of the quintessential songs of the psychedelic era is the Chambers Brothers' classic Time Has Come Today. The song was originally recorded and issued as a single in 1966. The more familiar version heard here, however, was recorded in 1967 for the album The Time Has Come. The LP version of the song runs about eleven minutes, way too long for a 45 RPM record, so before releasing the song as a single for the second time, engineers at Columbia cut the song down to around 3 minutes. The edits proved so jarring that the record was recalled and a re-edited version, clocking in at 4:55 became the third and final single version of the song, hitting the charts in 1968.

Artist:    Blue Cheer
Title:    Summertime Blues
Source:    CD: Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Vincebus Eruptum)
Writer(s):    Cochrane/Capehart
Label:    Priority (original label: Philips)
Year:    1968
    European electronics giant Philips had its own record label in the 1960s. In the US, the label was distributed by Mercury Records, and was known primarily for a long string of hits by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. In 1968 the label surprised everyone by signing the loudest band in San Francisco, Blue Cheer. Their cover of the 50s Eddie Cochrane hit Summertime Blues was all over both the AM and FM airwaves that summer.

Artist:    Blind Faith
Title:    Had To Cry Today
Source:    German LP: Blind Faith
Writer(s):    Steve Winwood
Label:    Polydor (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1969
    One of the most eagerly-awaited albums of 1969 was Blind Faith, the self-titled debut album of a group consisting of Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker from Cream, Steve Winwood from Traffic and Rich Grech, who had played bass with a band called Family. The buzz about this new band was such that the rock press had to coin a brand-new term to describe it: supergroup. On release, the album shot up to the number one spot on the charts in record time. Of course, as subsequent supergroups have shown, such bands seldom stick around very long, and Blind Faith set the pattern early on by splitting up after just one LP and a short tour to promote it. The opening track of the album was a pure Winwood piece that showcases both Winwood and Clapton on separate simultaneous guitar tracks.

Artist:    Blues Image
Title:    Clean Love
Source:    LP: Open
Writer(s):    Blues Image
Label:    Atco
Year:    1970
    The story of Blues Image is tied closely with the legendary south Florida nightclub Thee Image. Blues Image was the house band there (and had helped set up the club itself) and were already well known and respected in musicians' circles by the time they released their first LP in 1969. Although the LP sold moderately, it failed to generate any airplay on either top 40 or progressive FM radio. The group came up with a genuine hit single, Ride Captain Ride, in 1970, but their second LP, Open, charted even lower than their first one, despite having some outstanding tracks, including Ride Captain Ride and one of the best blues-rock tracks ever recorded, the eight-minute long Clean Love. Frustrated by the lack of success, guitarist Mike Pinera left the band to replace Eric Brann in Iron Butterfly, and after an even less successful third LP Blues Image called it quits.

Artist:    Family Tree
Title:    Live Your Own Life
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Segarini/Dure
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mira)
Year:    1966
    The Family Tree was actually one of the first rock bands to play the Fillmore, but even then were seen as interlopers due to their propensity for dressing and sounding like the Beatles and other Mercybeat bands. Live Your Own Life was intended for release on San Francisco's premier local label, Autumn Records, but for some unknown reason ended up on Mira (the same label that released L.A. band the Leaves' first records). Live Your Own Life is sometimes known as The Airplane Song due to its perceived similarity to some early Jefferson Airplane recordings.

Artist:    Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:    Incense And Peppermints (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Source:    Mono CD: Psychedelic Pop
Writer(s):    Carter/Gilbert/Weitz/King
Label:    BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Uni)
Year:    1967
    Incense and Peppermints is one of the iconic songs of the psychedelic era, yet when it was originally released to Los Angeles area radio stations it was intended to be the B side of The Birdman of Alkatrash. Somewhere along the line a DJ flipped the record over and started playing Incense And Peppermints instead. The song caught on and Uni Records (short for Universal, which is now the world's largest record company) picked up the Strawberry Alarm Clock's contract and reissued the record nationally with Incense And Peppermints as the A side.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    It's Breaking Me Up
Source:    LP: This Was
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Jethro Tull originally was part of the British blues scene, but even in the early days the band's principal songwriter Ian Anderson wanted to expand beyond the confines of that particular style. Ironically It's Breaking Me Up, from Jethro Tull's first LP, is an Anderson composition that is rooted solidly in the British blues style.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix
Title:    Isabella
Source:    CD: Woodstock Two
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Atlantic (original label: Cotillion)
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 1972
    After disbanding the Experience in June of 1969, Jimi Hendrix retreated to the eight-bedroom 'Ashokan House' in the hamlet of Boiceville near Woodstock in upstate New York, where he found himself jamming with a larger group of musicians (including a rhythm guitarist, Jerry Lee) than he had previously had the opportunity to work with. He took this group (which he referred to onstage as Gypsy Sun and Rainbows) with him to the Woodstock Festival in June, where they performed several new numbers Hendrix was working on, including a song called Isabella. A studio version of the song was recorded the following year, and is now considered to be part of the double LP Hendrix planned to release in 1971. Meanwhile the live recording, which was not included on the Woodstock soundtrack album, ended up being released on the album Woodstock Two in 1972.

Artist:    Steve Miller Band
Title:    Steve Miller's Midnight Tango
Source:    LP: Number 5
Writer(s):    Ben Sidran
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1970
    I'm sure there's a story behind Ben Sidran, who had replaced Boz Scaggs in the Steve Miller Band, writing a song called Steve Miller's Midnight Tango for the 1970 album Number 5, but I sure can't find it.

Artist:    Ken And The Fourth Dimension
Title:    See If I Care
Source:    Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Ken Johnson
Label:    Rhino (original label: Star-Burst)
Year:    1966
    There was never a band called Ken And The Fourth Dimension in Nashville West, aka Bakersfield, California, aka Buck Owens territory. What Bakersfield did have, however, was the Johnson brothers, whose father was involved with the record business in Los Angeles, about two hours south of Bakersfield. Don Johnson was the bass player for a popular Bakersfield band known as the Trippers. When brother Ken talked Dad into getting his friend Gary Paxton to produce a record for him, he used most of brother Don's band, re-naming them the Fourth Dimension for just this one project. See If I Care was released in 1966 on the Star-Burst label, one of many small labels operating out of L.A. at the time.

Artist:    Caravelles
Title:    Lovin' Just My Style
Source:    Mono LP: Pebbles Vol. 8 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    The Caravelles (original label: Onacrest)
Label:    BFD
Year:    1966
    In the mid-1960s it seemed like every local music scene had one guy who could do a dead-on impression of the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger. In Phoenix, Arizona, that guy was John Fitzgerald, although, as can be heard on the Caravelles' Lovin' Just My Style, there was more than a touch of the Yardbirds' Keith Relf in his approach as well. The band itself was managed and produced by Hadley Murrell, a local DJ who is better known for the many Phoenix soul bands he produced. Although more than one member of the Caravelles went on to become associated with more famous bands such as Alice Cooper and the Tubes, it is unclear whether any them were members of the group in 1966, when Lovin' Just My Style was recorded.

Artist:    Choir
Title:    It's Cold Outside
Source:    Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Daniel Klawon
Label:    Rhino (original label: Canadian-American)
Year:    1966
     In the mid 1990s Tom Hanks produced a movie called That Thing You Do, about a fictional band called the Wonders that managed to get one song on the national charts before fading off into obscurity. It was, of course, a tribute to the many bands from all over the country that had a similar story in the mid-1960s. One of those bands was The Choir, from Cleveland Ohio. Formed as the Mods in 1964, the Choir scored a regional hit with It's Cold Outside in 1966. The song was picked up for national distribution by Roulette Records in 1967 and was a moderate success.