Title: Such A Shame
Source: Mono LP: Kinkdom (also released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): Ray Davies
The B side of a 45 RPM record was usually thought of as filler material, but in reality often served another purpose entirely. Sometimes it was used to make an instrumental version of the hit side available for use in clubs or even as a kind of early kind of Karioke. As often as not it was a chance for bands who were given material by their producer to record for the A side to get their own compositions on record. Sometimes the B sides went on to become classics in their own right. Possibly the band with the highest percentage of this type of B side was the Kinks, who seemed to have a great song on the flip side of every record they released. One such B side is Such A Shame, released as the flip of A Well Respected Man in 1966. It doesn't get much better than this.
Artist: Bob Dylan
Title: I Want You
Source: Mono CD: The Best Of The Original Mono Recordings (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Blonde On Blonde)
Writer(s): Bob Dylan
I Want You, Bob Dylan's first single of 1966, was released in advance of his Blonde On Blonde album and was immediately picked by the rock press to be a hit. It was.
Title: I Wonder
Source: Mono LP: Pebbles Vol. 8 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Sid Herring
Label: BFD (original label: Liberty)
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: Lamp Of Childhood
Title: No More Running Around
Source: Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
I've often wondered how it was that a somewhat raunchy rock band like Steppenwolf ended up on the same pop-oriented record label (Dunhill) as the Mamas and the Papas, the Grass Roots and 3 Dog Night. It turns out the Dunhill connection was from the man who produced Steppenwolf, Gabriel Mekler. Mekler was a member of the Lamp Of Childhood, a group that also included Cass Elliot's husband James Hendricks. Although the Lamp had a solid pop sound, they never really caught on and by the time their third and most successful single, No More Running Around, was released, the members had already moved on to other things (like, for instance, producing Steppenwolf records, or in the case of drummer Billy Mundi, joining the Mothers Of Invention).
Artist: Third Bardo
Title: I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time
Source: Mono CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Zonophone (original label: Roulette)
The Third Bardo (the name coming from the Tibetan Book of the Dead) only released one single, but I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time has become, over a period of time, one of the most sought-after records of the psychedelic era. Not much is known of this New York band made up of Jeffrey Moon (vocals), Bruce Ginsberg (drums), Ricky Goldclang (lead guitar), Damian Kelly (bass) and Richy Seslowe (guitar).
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Source: CD: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s): Paul Kantner
D.C.B.A.-25 was named for the chords used in the song. As for the "25" part...it was early 1967. In San Francisco. Paul Kantner wrote it. Figure it out.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: She Has Funny Cars
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Label: RCA Victor
She Has Funny Cars, the opening track of Jefferson Airplane's second LP, Surrealistic Pillow, was a reference to some unusual possessions belonging to new drummer Spencer Dryden's girlfriend. As was the case with many of the early Airplane tracks, the title has nothing to do with the lyrics of the song itself. The song was also released as the B side to the band's first top 10 single, Somebody To Love.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: White Rabbit
Source: CD: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s): Grace Slick
The first time I heard White Rabbit was on Denver's first FM rock station, KLZ-FM. The station branded itself as having a top 100 (as opposed to local ratings leader KIMN's top 60), and prided itself on being the first station in town to play new releases and album tracks. It wasn't long before White Rabbit was officially released as a single, and went on to become a top 10 hit, the last for the Airplane.
Artist: Chocolate Watchband
Title: Sweet Young Thing
Source: Mono CD: The Inner Mystique (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Ed Cobb
Label: Sundazed (original label: Uptown)
There is actually very little on vinyl that captures the actual live sound of the Chocolate Watchband, as most of their recorded work was heavily influenced by producer Ed Cobb. One of the few recordings that does accurately represent the Watchband sound is this single released in December of 1966. Ironically, Sweet Young Thing was written by Cobb himself. Even stranger is the fact that the single was released on Tower's Uptown subsidiary, which specialized in R&B artists.
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Laurie)
The Barbarians were originally formed in Cape Cod in 1963, and were known as much for their noncomformity as for their music. They were the first Boston area band to grow out their hair and wear leather sandals; To top it off their drummer, Vic "Moulty" Moulton, had lost his left hand in an accident when he was younger and wore a prosthetic hook. In 1966, after the band had moderate national success with a semi-novelty song called Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl, the band's producer, Doug Morris, talked Moulton into recording a faux-autobiographical song called Moulty, using New York studio musicians from a group called Levon and the Hawks (who had backed up such notables as Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan on tour and would, in a few years, become superstars in the own right after changing their name to The Band). Moulton, upon finding out that the recording had been released, was incensed, and went to the New York offices of Laurie Records, chasing the label's president around the office and breaking copies of the record over his head. Moulty was the last Barbarians record to appear on the Laurie label.
Title: Get Together
Source: CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: The Youngbloods)
Writer(s): Dino Valenti
Label: Rhino (original label: RCA Victor)
The Youngbloods, led by transplanted New Yorker Jesse Colin Young, were the second San Francisco band signed to industry leader RCA Victor Records. Their first album was released in 1967 but was overshadowed by the vinyl debuts of the Grateful Dead and Moby Grape, among others. In fact, the Youngbloods toiled in relative obscurity until 1969, when their own version of Dino Valenti's Let's Get Together (from the 1967 LP) was used in a TV ad promoting world peace. The song was subsequently released (with the title slightly shortened) as a single and ended up being the group's only hit record (as well as Valenti's most famous composition).
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Source: Dutch import LP: The Singles Album (originally released on 7" bonus record with LP: The Essential Jimi Hendrix, Vol. 2)
Writer(s): Van Morrison
Label: Polydor (original label: Reprise)
Year: Recorded 1968, released 1979
It was a common practice among mid 60s garage bands to do their own version of Gloria, usually with a lot of ad-libbing by the lead vocalist. In 1968 Jimi Hendrix decided to do the same, taking the opportunity to good-naturedly rag on his bandmates for their exploits involving groupies. The recording of the performance sat on the shelf until 1979, when it was included on a 7" 33 1/3 RPM bonus record that came with original pressings of volume 2 of The Essential Jimi Hendrix. The track was later included on a European double LP that collected all Hendrix's single and EP tracks.
Source: British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Audience)
By 1969 the British blues-rock craze was beginning to subside, and many of the musicians that had made up the core of the movement were moving off in different directions. Black Sabbath was going for a heavier sound, while Ian Anderson was finding ways of incorporating traditional English folk music into Jethro Tull's sound. The members of the Lloyd Alexander Blues Band, like their better known counterparts from the Yardbirds, took an interest in the new progressive rock sound pioneered by bands like Procol Harum, and in 1969 some of those members formed Audience. Led by lead vocalist/acoustic guitarist Howard Werth and bassist/keyboardist Trevor Williams, Audience was unique in that they had no electric guitarist in the band, a direction that would be followed by Emerson, Lake and Palmer a couple of years later. The band also took a page from Traffic's book and included one member, Keith Gemmell, who played only wood instruments such as flute, clarinet and saxophone. The band, completed by drummer Tony Connor, made such an impression that Polydor records offered them a deal shortly after their first major gig. Banquet, from that 1969 debut LP, is a fairly representative example of what the band was all about.
Artist: Led Zeppelin
Title: Hey, Hey, What Can I Do
Source: 45 RPM single B side
In their entire existence Led Zeppelin only released one non-album track. Hey, Hey, What Can I Do was originally released as the B side of the Immigrant Song in 1970, and was not available in any other form until 1990, when it was included in the first Led Zeppelin box set. It has since been made available as a bonus track on the Led Zeppelin III CD.
Artist: Bubble Puppy
Title: Hurry Sundown
Source: CD: A Gathering Of Promises
Label: Charly (original label: International Artists)
The Bubble Puppy came into existence in 1967, when two former members of the legendary Corpus Christie,Texas garage band the Bad Seeds, guitarist Rod Prince and keyboardist/bassist Roy Cox, relocated to San Antonio, recruiting guitarist Todd Potter and drummer Craig Root to form the new band. Success came quickly in the form of the band's very first gig, opening for the Who at the San Antonio Colosseum. After David Fore replaced Root in the band, the group relocated to Austin, where they got a steady gig at the Vulcan Gas Company. By 1968 the Bubble Puppy was traveling all over Texas for gigs, and late in the year got a contract with Houston-based International Artists, a label that had already gained notoriety by signing the 13th Floor Elevators and Red Crayola. After releasing a surprise top 40 hit, Hot Smoke And Sassafras in December of 1968, the band got to work on a full album, A Gathering Of Promises. International Artists failed to get the album, which was full of fine tunes like Hurry Sundown, out quickly enough to capitilize of the popularity of Hot Smoke And Sassafras, and further hurt the band's chance of success by refusing to grant licensing rights on the single to Apple Records for European release. By 1970 the band and the label had parted company, with the Bubble Puppy relocating to Los Angeles and changing their name to Demian.
Artist: Blues Magoos
Title: (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet
Source: CD: More Nuggets (originally released on LP: Psychedelic Lollipop)
Label: Rhino (original label: Mercury)
The Blues Magoos (original spelling: Bloos) 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.
Title: Rugs Of Wood And Flowers
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Label: White Whale
The Turtles were best known for their big hit records like Happy Together and She'd Rather Be With Me. The band had a weird side, however, that usually showed up on their B sides and an occasional album track. One example is Rugs Of Wood And Flowers, which appeared as the B side of You Know What I Mean in 1967. The song features vocalist Howard Kaylan using a semi-operatic style that he would revive for his legendary performances with the Mothers at the Fillmore East in 1971.
Artist: Procol Harum
Title: Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone)
Source: CD: Shine On Brightly
The last 16 months (more or less) I lived in Germany my family was given use of a basement room in the apartment building we lived in on Ramstein Air force Base. Such rooms were known as "maid's rooms," and ours became my bedroom, giving me a degree of privacy and freedom unknown to most 16-year-olds. I had one of those record players that would shut itself off when it got to the end of the record and I would always put an album on, turn off the light and let the music lull me into dreamland. My favorite album at that time was Procol Harum's Shine On Brightly, and I would usually put on side two of the LP, which opens with Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone). At the time I didn't realize that the song title was a reference to the British record label Procol Harum recorded for, Regal Zonophone, since my copy was released in Germany on the Polydor label. I still have that copy, although it is far too thrashed to play over the radio.
Artist: Mandrake Paddle Steamer
Title: Strange Walking Man
Source: Mono British import CD: Insane Times (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Zonophone (original label: Columbia UK)
Mandrake Paddle Steamer was the brainchild of art school students Martin Briley and Brian Engle, who, with producer Robert Finnis, were among the first to take advantage of EMI's new 8-track recording equipment at their Abbey Road studios. The result was Strange Walking Man, a single released in 1969. The track includes a coda created by Finnis by splicing a tape of studio musicians playing a cover version of an Incredible String Band tune, Maybe Someday.
Artist: Os Mutantes
Title: Bat Macumba
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets 2-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released on LP: Mutantes)
Label: Rhino (original label: Polydor Brazil)
Tropicalia was a movement of Brazilian modernists that opposed the oppressive traditionalist policies of that country's right-wing military government. The movement included writers, actors, visual artists and composers of popular music such as Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. Among the younger participants were the members of Os Mutantes, a popular band that released five albums between 1968 and 1973. The group infused bossa nova and Carnival rhythms with electric (and electronic) instrumentation to create a sound that was at once psychedelic and purely Brazilian. Bat Macumba, from their first album, Mutantes was written for the band by Veloso and Gil.
Artist: Human Beinz
Title: Nobody But Me
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as a 45 RPM single)
Writer: Ron Isley
Label: LP: Rhino (originally released on Capitol)
The Human Beingz were a band that had been around since 1964 doing mostly club gigs in the Youngstown, Ohio area as the Premiers. In the late 60s they decided to update their image with a name more in tune with the times and came up with the Human Beingz. Unfortunately someone at Capitol misspelled their name (leaving out the "g") on the label of Nobody But Me, and after the song became a national hit the band was stuck with the new spelling. The band split up in 1969, but after Nobody But Me was featured in the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill: Vol.1, original leader Ting Markulin reformed the band with a new lineup that has appeared in the Northeastern US in recent years.
Artist: Bob Seger System
Title: Death Row
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer: Bob Seger
I like to play Bob Seger's Death Row, written from the perspective of a convicted murderer waiting to be executed, for fans of the Silver Bullet Band who think that Turn the Page is about as intense as it gets. I consider myself lucky to have stumbled across this rare single at a radio station I used to work for. Even better, the station had no desire to keep the record, as the A side, the equally intense anti-war song 2+2=, never charted.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Jigsaw Puzzle
Source: LP: Beggar's Banquet
By 1968 a rift had formed between Brian Jones and the rest of the Rolling Stones. On this track from the Beggar's Banquet album, Jones's only contribution is some soaring mellotron work toward the end of the song. Not long after the track was recorded, Jones was fired from the band.
Artist: Blues Project
Title: Two Trains Running
Source: Mono CD: Projections
Writer(s): McKinley Morganfield
Label: Sundazed (original label: Verve Forecast)
Possibly the most influential (yet least known outside of musicians' circles) band of the Psychedelic Era was the Blues Project. Formed in 1965 in Greenwich Village, the band worked its way from coast to coast playing mostly college campuses, in the process blazing a path that continues to be followed by underground/progressive/alternative artists. As if founding the whole college circuit wasn't enough, they were arguably the very first jam band, as their version of the Muddy Waters classic Two Trains Running shows. Among those drawing their inspiration from the Blues Project were the Warlocks, a group of young musicians who were traveling with Ken Kesey on the Electric Cool-Aid Acid Test tour bus. The Warlocks would soon change their name to the Grateful Dead and take the jam band concept to a whole new level. Still, they may never have moved in that direction at all if it weren't for the Blues Project.
Artist: Vanilla Fudge
Title: You Keep Me Hangin' On
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Atco)
The LP version of the Vanilla Fudge's cover of the Supremes' You Keep Me Hangin' On ran something like 6-7 minutes. For single release the song was cut down considerably, clocking in at around three minutes. It was also available only in mono, which is how Rhino chose to present it when they released thier first Nuggets series (not to be confused with Lenny Kaye's original collection from 1972) in the early 1980s.
Artist: Music Machine
Title: Hey Joe
Source: Mono CD: The Ultimate Turn On (originally released on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer(s): Billy Roberts
Label: Big Beat (original label: Original Sound)
There were actually three slow versions of Hey Joe released in 1966. The first was a summer single by folk singer Tim Rose, who reportedly brainstormed the idea of slowing down the popular garage-rock tune with his friend Sean Bonniwell, leader of the Music Machine. Although Rose's version was the first released, it did not appear on an LP until 1967. The first stereo version of the song was on the Music Machine's first LP, released in the fall. In December a third slow version of Hey Joe was released, but only in the UK and Europe. That version was by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Like Rose's single, the Hendrix version of Hey Joe was originally released only in a mono version, which was remixed in stereo by engineers at Reprise Records for inclusion on the US version of the debut Hendrix LP in 1967. Like the Rose version, the Music Machine arrangement of Hey Joe focuses squarely on the vocals, with the instrumental track serving purely to set the mood for the piece.
Title: Pushin' Too Hard
Source: Simulated stereo LP: The Seeds
Writer(s): Sky Saxon
Label: GNP Crescendo
The Seeds' Pushin' Too Hard is generally included on every collection of psychedelic hits ever compiled. And for good reason. The song is an undisputed classic.
Title: 7&7 Is
Source: CD: Da Capo
Writer(s): Arthur Lee
The word "seven" does not appear anywhere in the song 7&7 Is. In fact, I have no idea where Arthur Lee got that title from. Nonetheless, the song is among the most intense tracks to ever make the top 40. 7&7 Is starts off with power chords played over a constant drum roll (possibly played by Lee himself), with cymbals crashing over equally manic semi-spoken lyrics. The song builds up to an explosive climax: an atomic bomb blast followed by a slow post-apocalyptic instrumental that quickly fades away.
Artist: Leathercoated Minds
Title: Psychotic Reaction
Source: Mono LP: Ain't It Hard (originally released on LP: Trip Down The Sunset Strip)
Label: Sundazed (original label: Viva)
Roger and Terrye Tillison released their first single, Ain't It Hard, as the Gypsy Trips in 1965. Although the song wasn't a hit, it was covered by the Electric Prunes as their first single the following year. In 1967 the Tillisons teamed up with producer J.J. Cale for an album called Trip Down The Sunset Strip on the Viva label, credited to Leathercoated Minds. It was, as far as is known, the beginning of a long recording career for Cale, who had even greater success as the songwriter as such rock classics as After Midnight and Cocaine, both recorded by Eric Clapton. Roger Tillison released a solo LP in 1970 with producer Jesse Ed Davis. Oddly enough, most of the tracks on Trip Down The Sunset Strip were somewhat bizarre covers of garage rock classics like Count Five's Psychotic Reaction, despite both Tillison and Cale being talented songwriters.