Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1338 (starts 9/18/13)

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Think
Source:    CD: Aftermath
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1966
    The 1966 album Aftermath marked a turning point for the Rolling Stones, as it was the first Stones album to be entirely made up of songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Although, as with all the early Stones releases, there were differences between the US and UK versions of the album, both releases included Think, a song that is fairly representative of the mid-60s Rolling Stones sound.

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

Artist:    John Mayall with Eric Clapton
Title:    Ramblin' On My Mind
Source:    Mono LP: Blues Breakers
Writer(s):    Robert Johnson
Label:    London/Sundazed
Year:    1966
    After leaving the Yardbirds, guitarist Eric Clapton joined up with the dean of the British blues scene, John Mayall. Mayall was known for giving the members of his band, the Bluesbreakers, room to strut their stuff, even if they themselves were a bit shy about being in the spotlight. The first Mayall album to feature Clapton did just that: the LP itself was billed as John Mayall with Eric Clapton, and Mayall even convinced a reluctant Clapton to sing on their cover of Robert Johnson's classic Ramblin' On My Mind. Although Clapton had contributed vocally to some Yardbirds recordings, this was his first recorded solo vocal performance.

Artist:    Others
Title:    Revenge
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Myer/Gotcher
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1966
    Garage bands were by no means limited to the big cities. In fact, the great majority of them were out in the suburbs like Palmdale, Ca., which gave us the Revenge of the Others.

Artist:    Count Five
Title:    Psychotic Reaction
Source:    45 RPM single (simulated stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Ellner/Atkinson/Byrne/Chaney/Michalski
Label:    Double Shot
Year:    1966
    San Jose, California, was home to one of the most vibrant local music scenes in the late 60s, despite its relatively  small, pre-silicon valley population. One of the most popular bands on that scene was Count Five, a group of five guys who dressed like Bela Lugosi's Dracula and sounded like the Jeff Beck-era Yardbirds. Fortunately for Count Five, Jeff Beck had just left the Yardbirds when Psychotic Reaction came out, leaving a hole that the boys from San Jose were more than happy to fill.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Section 43 (EP version)
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on EP: Rag Baby #2)
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Rhino (original label: Rag Baby)
Year:    1966
    Rag Baby was an underground journal published by Country Joe McDonald in mid-60s Berkeley, California. In 1965 McDonald decided to do a "talking issue" of the paper with an extended play (EP) record containing two songs by McDonald's band, Country Joe and the Fish and two by singer Peter Krug. In 1966 McDonald published a second Rag Baby EP, this time featuring four songs by Country Joe and the Fish. Among those was the original version of Section 43, a psychedelic instrumental that would appear in a re-recorded (and slightly changed) stereo form on the band's first LP, Electric Music For The Mind And Body, in early 1967.

Artist:     Moby Grape
Title:     Sitting By The Window
Source:     LP: Moby Grape
Writer:     Peter Lewis
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1967
     Moby Grape's powerful 1967 debut managed to achieve what few bands have been able to: a coherent sound despite having wildly different writing styles from the individual members. One of Peter Lewis's contributions to the album was Sitting By The Window, one of those rare songs that sounds better every time you hear it.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Star Track
Source:    CD: Crown Of Creation
Writer(s):    Jorma Kaukonen
Label:    BMG/RCA
Year:    1968
    Jorma Kaukonen was already starting to develop his unique "psychedelic blues" style that would characterize his band Hot Tuna as early as 1968, with the Jefferson Airplane recording of Star Track from the Crown Of Creation album. As well as playing lead guitar, Kaukonen provides the lead vocals on the track.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Manic Depression
Source:    CD: The Ultimate Experience (originally released on LP: Are You Experienced?)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    After miraculously surviving being shot point blank in the head (and then bayoneted in the back for good measure) in the Korean War (and receiving a Silver Star), my dad became somewhat of a minor celebrity in the early 50s, appearing on a handful of TV and radio game shows as a kind of poster boy for the Air Force. One result of this series of events was that he was able to indulge his fascination with a new technology that had been developed by the Germans during WWII: magnetic recording tape. He used his prize winnings to buy a Webcor tape recorder, which in turn led to me becoming interested in recording technology at an early age (I distinctly remember being punished for playing with "Daddy's tape recorder" without permission on more than one occasion). He did not receive another overseas assignment until 1967, when he was transferred to Weisbaden, Germany. As was the usual practice at the time, he went there a month or so before the rest of the family, and during his alone time he (on a whim, apparently) went in on a Lotto ticket with a co-worker and won enough to buy an Akai X-355 stereo tape recorder from a fellow serviceman who was being transferred out and did not want to (or couldn't afford to) pay the shipping costs of the rather heavy machine.The Akai was pretty much the state of the art in home audio technology at the time. The problem was that we did not have a stereo system to hook it into, so he bought a set of Koss headphones to go with it. Of course all of his old tapes were in storage (along with the old Webcor) back in Denver, so I decided that this would be a good time to start spending my allowance money on pre-recorded reel-to-reel tapes, the first of which was Are You Experienced by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The Akai had an auto-reverse system and I would lie on the couch with the headphones on to go to sleep every night listening to songs like Manic Depression. Is it any wonder I turned out like I did?

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Little Wing
Source:    LP: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Although it didn't have any hit singles on it, Axis: Bold As Love, the second album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was full of memorable tunes, including one of Hendrix's most covered songs, Little Wing. The album itself is a showcase for Hendrix's rapidly developing skills, both as a songwriter and in the studio. The actual production of the album was a true collaborative effort, combining Hendrix's creativity, engineer Eddie Kramer's expertise and producer Chas Chandler's strong sense of how a record should sound, acquired through years of recording experience as a member of the Animals.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    CD: The Ultimate Experience (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    The first track recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience was Hey Joe, a song that Hendrix had seen Tim Rose perform in Greenwich Village before relocating to London to form his new band. It was released as a single in the UK in late 1966 and went all the way to the # 3 spot on the British top 40. Hendrix's version is a bit heavier than Rose's and leaves off the first verse ("where you going with that money in your hand") entirely. Although Rose always claimed that Hey Joe was a traditional folk song, the song was actually copyrighted in 1962 by California folk singer Billy Roberts. By the time Hendrix recorded Hey Joe several American bands had recorded a fast version of the song, with the Leaves hitting the US top 40 with it in early 1966.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Tell Me Why
Source:    Mono CD: A Hard Days Night
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1964
    In 1964 it was common practice for the big movie studios such as United Artists to issue soundtrack albums on their own record label, even if the musicians heard on the album were under contract to another label. This led to the unusual situation of the Beatles, who were at the time to top selling recording act in the world, releasing an album of new material on a label other than Capitol (their earlier recordings had appeared on Vee Jay records). Even more unusual is the fact that the album came out in the UK on the band's regular label, Parlophone, albeit with a different track listing. Both the US and UK versions included songs from the movie itself, including Tell Me Why.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Can't Seem To Make You Mine
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: The Seeds)
Writer:    Sky Saxon
Label:    Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1965
    One of the first psychedelic singles to hit the L.A. market in 1965 was Can't Seem To Make You Mine. The song was also chosen to lead off the first Seeds album. Indeed, it could be argued that this was the song that first defined the "flower power" sound, predating the Seeds' biggest hit, Pushin' Too Hard, by several months.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    Don't Bring Me Down
Source:    Mono LP: Animalization
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    I originally bought the Animals Animalization album in early 1967 and immediately fell in love with the first song, Don't Bring Me Down. Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Don't Bring Me Down is one of the few songs written for the Animals by professional songwriters that lead vocalist Eric Burdon actually liked.

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:    Them
Title:    Black Widow Spider
Source:    LP: Time Out! Time In! For Them
Writer(s):    Lane/Pulley
Label:    Tower
Year:    1968
    After Van Morrison left Them for a solo career, the band headed back to Belfast, where they recruited vocalist Kenny McDowell. Them soon relocated permanently to the US west coast, where they landed a contract with Tower Records. After a first album that featured songs from a variety of sources, they hooked up with Sharon Pulley and Tom Lane, who wrote an album's worth of material for the band. That album was Time Out! Time In! For Them, an album that has stayed under the radar for over 40 years. I hope through this show to give this album the recognition it deserves as an undiscovered classic of the psychedelic era.
Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Taxman
Source:    CD: Turn On The Music Machine
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Collector's Choice (original label: Original Artists)
Year:    1966
    Sean Bonniwell's original conception for his band, the Music Machine's first album was a continuous collage of original songs connected by short orchestral pieces. The band's record label, Original Sound, however, had other ideas. The group had recorded a handful of cover songs for use on a local Los Angeles TV dance show that were never intended to be released on vinyl. When Turn On The Music Machine was released, Bonniwell was livid when he discovered that the album had included these covers in additional to his original songs, diluting the impact of Bonniwell's songs considerably. One of the better of these covers was Taxman, a George Harrison composition that had only a short time before been released by the Beatles as the opening track for their Revolver album.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Sweet Wine
Source:    CD: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Baker/Godfrey
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1966
    When Cream was formed, both bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker had new music for the band to record (guitarist Eric Clapton having chosen to shut up and play his guitar for the most part). Most of these new songs, however, did not yet have words to go with the music. To remedy the situation, both musicians brought in outside lyricists. Baker chose poet Pete Brown, while Bruce chose to bring in his wife, Janet Godfrey. After a short time it became apparent that Bruce and Brown had a natural affinity for each other's material, and formed a partnership that would last years. Baker, meanwhile, tried working with Godfrey, but the two only came up with one song together, Sweet Wine, which was included on the band's debut LP, Fresh Cream.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Strange Brew
Source:    British import LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s):    Clapton/Pappalardi/Collins
Label:    RSO (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Strange Brew, the opening track from Cream's Disraeli Gears album, was also released as a single in Europe and the UK (but not in the US) in early 1967. The song has proven popular enough over the years to be included on pretty much every Cream anthology album ever compiled, and even inspired a Hollywood Movie of the same name.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    The Coffee Song
Source:    CD: Fresh Cream (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Smith/Colton
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1966
    Cream's debut single, Wrapping Paper, appeared in England in 1966. The B side of that single was something called The Coffee Song. The record did not chart and was soon forgotten. Cream's next single, I Feel Free, was a huge hit in the UK and the band soon got to work on their first LP. The practice in the UK at the time was to not include any songs on an album that had previously been released as singles; Fresh Cream partially broke with this tradition by using I Feel Free's B side, N.S.U., as the opening track. The other three single sides were not included on the original UK lineup of the album. When a US version of Fresh Cream was released in early 1967, I Feel Free was added to the lineup (replacing the original studio version of Spoonful). Neither side of the band's first single, was included on the album...with one notable exception. The German pressing of Fresh Cream used the same track listing as the original UK version, but a Swedish version, manufactured in Germany, had two extra tracks: Wrapping Paper and The Coffee Song. Neither song was released anywhere else until the late 1980s, when the first US CD version of Fresh Cream included all the tracks from the various LP pressings of the album.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    You're Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Hear Me Now (originally released on LP: Catch The Wind)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Janus (original label: Hickory)
Year:    1965
    Scottish singer/songwriter Donovan's two 1965 albums originally came out in the US on the Hickory label, a second-tier label with somewhat spotty distribution. After Donovan became a major star his early material started surfacing in the US on other labels such as Janus, generally reordered with no regard for the artist's original intentions. Like his counterparts in New York's Greenwich Village, Donovan sometimes combined elements of folk and acoustic blues in his original compositions. A good example of this is You're Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond, a song that originally appeared on the Catch The Wind album.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    Jelly Jelly Blues
Source:    Mono LP: Live At The Café Au Go Go
Writer(s):    Eckstine/Hines
Label:    Verve Folkways
Year:    1966
    The Blues Project always had greater success on the stage than in the recording studio. After their first sessions for Columbia failed to win them a contract (although it did net them keyboardist Al Kooper), the band continued to play to capacity crowds at New York's Café Au Go Go. Eventually the band was able to secure a contract with Verve Records in late 1965. It was decided that rather than go back into the studio, the band would make a recording of the live show and use the best material on their debut album. Once the actually recordings were done, Verve's parent company, M-G-M, invited the band out to Los Angeles for an official unveiling as America's answer to the Rolling Stones. While at the L.A. Hilton, however, lead vocalist Tommy Flanders's girlfriend announced that the singer, being the real star of the band, was leaving the band to strike out as a solo artist. The album was reworked before being released, with several tracks with Flanders's vocals being deleted in favor of tunes sung by the various other band members. Among those other tracks was Jelly Jelly Blues, an old Billy Eckstine/Earl "Fatha" Hines composition that featured lead guitarist Danny Kalb on vocals. As it turned out, the loss of Flanders ended up being a plus for the band; rather than being an over-hyped second-rate Rolling Stones clone, they developed into the world's first jam band, touring the country and inspiring other groups such as the Grateful Dead to follow in their footsteps.

Artist:     West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:     If You Want This Love
Source:     Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Part One)
Writer:     Baker Knight
Label:     Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1967
     The first West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band album, Volume One, had a limited print run on, Fifa, a small independent label in L.A. After landing a contract with Reprise, the band recut many of the songs (most of which were cover tunes) from Volume One and called the new album Part One. If You Want This Love, a song written and originally recorded by L.A. local legend Baker Knight, is one of those recut tracks.

Artist:    Second Helping
Title:    On Friday
Source:    Mono LP: Ain't It Hard (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Kenny Loggins
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Viva)
Year:    1968
    Although the band Second Helping did not get much airplay with either of their singles for Snuff Garrett's Viva, the songs themselves, such as On Friday, are notable as being early songwriting efforts from a teenaged Kenny Loggins, who would go on to greater fame as half of Loggins and Messina and later as a successful solo artist.

Artist:    Mouse And The Traps
Title:    A Public Execution
Source:    Mono CD: More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Henderson/Weiss
Label:    Rhino (original label: Fraternity)
Year:    1965
    It's easy to imagine some kid somewhere in Texas inviting his friends over to hear the new Bob Dylan record, only to reveal afterwards that it wasn't Dylan at all, but this band he heard while visiting his cousins down in Tyler. Mouse and the Traps, in fact, got quite a bit of airplay in that part of the state with a series of singles issued in the mid-60s. A Public Execution is unique among those singles in that the artist on the label was listed simply as Mouse.

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day
Source:    LP: Back Door Men
Writer(s):    Tommy Boyce
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    Tommy Boyce actually had a songwriting career separate from his many collaborations with Bobby Hart. One of his early songs was Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day, which was first recorded as a single by the Colorado-based Astronauts (which gave producer Steve Venet co-writing credit) before getting included on the first Monkees album. Along the way the song got recorded by a handful of garage bands, including Chicago's Shadows Of Knight, whose version closely parallels the Astronauts' original.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    My Eyes Have Seen You
Source:    LP: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    It's strange. Some reviewers seem to think that the album Strange Days is inferior to the first Doors album. They justify this view by citing the fact that almost all the songs on both albums were already in the band's repertoire when they signed their record contract with Elektra. The implication is that the band naturally selected the best material for the first album, making Strange Days a collection of sloppy seconds. There is one small problem with this theory however. Pick a song at random from Strange Days and listen to it and in all likelihood it will sound every bit as good as a song randomly picked from the first album (and probably better than one picked from either of the Doors' next two LPs). In fact, I'll pick one for you: My Eyes Have Seen You. See what I mean?

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Magic Carpet Ride
Source:    CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Steppenwolf The Second)
Writer(s):    Moreve/Kay
Label:    Priority (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    Steppenwolf's second top 10 single was Magic Carpet Ride, a song that combines feedback, prominent organ work by Goldy McJohn and an updated Bo Diddly beat with psychedelic lyrics. Along with Born To Be Wild, Magic Carpet Ride (co-written by vocalist John Kay and bassist Rushton Moreve) has become one of the defining songs of both Steppenwolf and the late 60s.

Artist:    Renaissance
Title:    Wanderer
Source:    LP: Renaissance
Writer(s):    Relf/McCarty/Hawken/Cennamo
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1969
    Renaissance is best known as an art-rock band of the mid to late 70s that featured the vocal talents of Annie Haslem. The group was actually formed, however, by two of the core members of the Yardbirds: vocalist/guitarist Keith Relf and drummer Jim McCarty. The original lineup included John Hawken on keyboards and Louis Cennamo on bass, with Relf's sister Jane as an additional vocalist. This incarnation of the band released just one (self-titled) album (produced by former Yardbird Paul Samwell-Smith) before Relf and McCarty decided to retire from touring, although both stayed associated with the band long enough to complete a second LP, Illusion, that was originally released only in Germany. Even though none of the late 70s members were around for the first Renaissance LP, the album itself, with tracks such as Wanderer, is remarkably similar in style to albums like Novella and Scherezade And Other Stories.

Artist:    Savoy Brown
Title:    Romanoff
Source:    CD: Looking In
Writer(s):    Kim Simmonds
Label:    Deram (original US label: Parrot)
Year:    1970
    The last Savoy Brown to feature members who would become Foghat was Looking In, released in 1970. The first and last tracks on the album were nearly identical one-minute guitar solos from founder Kim Simmonds, the one member who was not a future member of Foghat. The second of these pieces was titled Romanoff.

Artist:    Pink Fairies
Title:    War Girl
Source:    CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Neverneverland)
Writer(s):    Twink aka John Charles Edward Alder
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1971
    The Pink Fairies were formed when three members of the Deviants (Paul Rudolph, Duncan Sanderson, and Russell Hunter), who had fired their own band leader during a disastrous North American tour, decided to hook up with Twink (John Charles Edward Alder), the former drummer of Tomorrow and the Pretty Things. Twink had done a one-shot gig with an ad hoc group of musicians under the name Pink Fairies in 1969, and the new group decided that they liked the name and appropriated it for themselves. The band gained immediate notoriety for putting on free concerts, often just outside the gates of places that were charging premium prices for tickets to see more well-known bands. By the end of 1970 the Fairies had secured a contract with Polydor and releasing their first single late in the year. This was followed by a 1971 album called Neverneverland that featured several tracks written by Twink, such as War Girl. Although the Pink Fairies split up in 1976, they still get together from time to time to put on a show.

Artist:    Edgar Winter Group
Title:    Rock 'N' Roll Boogie Woogie Blues
Source:    LP: They Only Come Out At Night
Writer(s):    Winter/Winter/Montrose
Label:    Epic
Year:    1972
    After gaining fame as keyboardist for his brother Johnny's band, appearing on the album Second Winter, Edgar Winter embarked on a solo career, recording one solo album and a pair with his band Edgar Winter's White Trash. In 1972 he formed a new band, the Edgar Winter Group, with guitarist Ronnie Montrose, bassist Dan Hartman and drummer Chuck Ruff. The group's first album included two songs that have become rock standards, Free Ride and Frankenstein, as well as several lesser-known tracks such as Rock 'N' Roll Boogie Woogie Blues, which ends with a blistering guitar solo by Montrose.

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