Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1427 (starts 7/2/14)

Artist:        Yardbirds
Title:        Shapes Of Things
Source:   45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:        Samwell-Smith/Relf/McCarty
Label:        Epic
Year:        1966
        The earliest Yardbirds singles were either covers of blues classics or new tunes written by outside songwriters such as Graham Gouldman. The first hit song for the group that was actually composed by band members was Shapes Of Things, which made the top 5 in the UK and the top 10 stateside. The song was officially credited to vocalist Keith Relf, drummer Jim McCarty and bassist Paul Samwell-Smith, who later said that Jeff Beck deserved a songwriting credit as well for his distinctive lead guitar solo that was a major factor in the record's success.

Artist:    Leaves
Title:    Flashback (The Rhythm Thing)
Source:    CD: All The Good That's Happening
Writer(s):    Arlin/Pons/Beck/Ray)
Label:    One Way (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1966
    The Leaves were already falling as they went to work on their second LP, All The Good That's Happening (their first for a major label). Many of the tracks on the album featured only one or two members of the band, while others, such as Flashback (The Rhythm Thing), were probably just warm-up jams that were done with the tape rolling and used to make up for the lack of actual recorded songs.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    (Ballad Of The) Hip Death Goddess
Source:    LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer(s):    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    Ultimate Spinach was the brainchild of Ian Bruce-Douglas, who wrote and arranged all the band's material. Although the group had no hit singles, some tracks, such as (Ballad of the) Hip Death Goddess received a significant amount of airplay on progressive "underground" FM stations. The recording has in more recent years been used by movie producers looking to invoke a late 60s atmosphere.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Helter Skelter
Source:    CD: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Apple)
Year:    1968
    Possibly the most controversial song in the entire Beatles catalog, Helter Skelter was Paul McCartney's response to an article in a British trade paper about the Who's latest single, I Can See For Miles. The author of the article referred to the Who song as the heaviest song ever recorded, and McCartney, without benefit of having actually heard I Can See For Miles, decided to go the Who one better. The lyrics of song are innocent enough, as they describe the sensation of repeatedly riding a slide in a playground, yet were vague enough to be open to interpretation by one Charles Manson. It was Manson's use of the words "Helter Skelter" (painted in blood) in his campaign to incite a race war in the US that gave the song its initial notoriety; a notoriety that was cemented when it was used as a title of a book by the L.A. District Attorney who brought Manson's group to justice.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Come On (Part 1)
Source:    CD: Electric Ladyland
Writer:    Earl King
Label:    Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Despite being rated by many as the number one 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 amped-up versions of both Rock Me Baby and Killing Floor. For the Electric Ladyland album Hendrix chose a relatively obscure tune from Earl King, originally recorded in 1960. Come On (Pt. 1) was one of only two cover songs on Electric Ladyland (the other being Bob Dylan's All Along the Watchtower).

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Street Fighting Man
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Beggar's Banquet)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1968
    The Rolling Stones were at a low point in their career following their most psychedelic album, Their Satanic Majesties Request, which came out in late 1967. As a response to charges in the rock press that they were no longer relevant the Stones parted company with their longtime producer, Andrew Loog Oldham and began an equally long association with Jimmy Miller, who had already established himself as a top producer working with Steve Winwood of the Spencer Davis Group and later Traffic. The first song Miller produced with the Stones was Street Fighting Man, which appeared on the 1968 LP Beggar's Banquet. Before that LP was released, however, the band recorded an even more iconic single, Jumpin' Jack Flash, which was the first Miller/Stones production to be heard by the general public.

Artist:    Small Faces
Title:    My Way Of Giving
Source:    British import CD: Ogden's Nut Gone Flake (originally released on LP: There Are But Four Small Faces)
Writer(s):    Marriott/Lane
Label:    Charly (original label: Immediate)
Year:    1967
    The Small Faces were sometimes considered the London East Side's answer to the Who (who were initially identified with the Mod movement centered in the western part of the city). The group initially signed with Decca Records (the UK company, not the American one owned by MCA), but in 1967 were enticed into switching to Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate label. The group's first LP for Immediate was a self-titled effort that was released almost simultaneously with an anthology of the group's earlier material on Decca. Adding to the confusion was the fact that the band's first Decca album was also eponymously titled. To avoid similar problems on the other side of the Atlantic, the album was retitled There Are But Four Small Faces for its US release in 1967. Although it has long been overshadowed by the band's next LP, Ogden's Nut Gone Flake, There Are But Four Small Faces did have some strong material such as My Way Of Giving, a song that was first released (in mono only) by Decca but was re-recorded in stereo for the Immediate album. More recently, the stereo recording of My Way Of Giving has been included as a bonus track on the Charly CD version of Ogden's.

Artist:    Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band
Title:    Abba Zaba
Source:    45 RPM single (also included on LP: Safe As Milk)
Writer(s):    Don Van Vliet
Label:    Sundazed/Buddah
Year:    1967
    After an aborted recording career with A&M Records, future avant-garde rock superstar Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) signed a contract with the newly formed Buddah record label. The first record ever released by Buddah was the album Safe As Milk, which included the single Abba Zaba. Although the Captain's music was at that time still somewhat blues-based, the album was not a commercial success, and Buddah cut Beefheart and his Magic Band from the label in favor of more pop oriented groups like the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Ohio Express. Captain Beefheart then moved to yet another fledgling label, Blue Thumb, before finding a more permanent home with his old high school classmate Frank Zappa's Bizarre Records, where he released the classic Trout Mask Replica.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Two Sisters
Source:    LP: Something Else
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    The Kinks have had a long, productive recording career since their vinyl debut in 1964, but not all of their records have been major commercial successes. Among the least successful saleswise, yet one of the best in terms of pure quality, was the 1967 album Something Else By The Kinks. It was the band's first LP to be mixed in stereo, and contained several of Ray Davies's finest tunes, as well as strong contributions by his brother Dave. 1966 had seen Ray Davies perfect his slice-of-life songwriting with a satirical edge style with songs like A Well Respected Man, Dedicated Follower Of Fashion and Sunny Afternoon. The compositions on Something Else, while still rooted in daily life, were not quite as satirical, as can be heard on Two Sisters. The song manages, in just two minutes, to tell the story of a married woman coming to terms with her feelings of envy for her single sister.

Artist:    Love
Artist:    Love
Title:    Live And Let Live
Source:    CD: Forever Changes
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    In late spring of 1967 L.A.'s most popular local band, Love, was falling apart, mostly due to constant partying on the part of some of the band members. This became a real issue for producer Bruce Botnick when it came time to begin sessions for the band's third LP, Forever Changes. Botnick had already lost his co-producer on the project, Neil Young, when Young's own band, Buffalo Springfield, found themselves hugely popular in the wake of the success of the single For What It's Worth, and Botnick was now faced with a heavier-than-expected workload. Botnick's solution to the problem became evident when the band entered Sunset Sound Recorders on June 9th, only to find a group of studio musicians already set up and ready to record. Two new Arthur Lee songs were recorded that day, and the rest of the band was literally shocked in sobriety, returning to the studio the next day to record overdubs on the tracks to make them sound more like the work of the band itself. After two month's worth of intensive practice, the band was ready to return to the studio, recording the first track for the album performed entirely by the band itself, Live And Let Live. The unusual first line of the song was reportedly the result of Lee falling asleep in a chair with his nose running during practice sessions.

Artist:     Big Brother and the Holding Company
Title:     Down On Me
Source:     CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Joplin In Concert)
Writer:     Trad. Arr. Joplin
Label:     Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:     1968
     Big Brother And The Holding Company's first album, featuring the single Down On Me, was recorded in 1967 at the studios of Mainstream Records, a medium-sized Chicago label known for its jazz recordings. At the time, Mainstream's engineers had no experience with a rock band, particularly a loud one like Big Brother, and vainly attempted to clean up the band's sound as best they could. The result was an album full of bland recordings sucked dry of the energy that made Big Brother and the Holding Company one of the top live attractions of its time. Luckily we have this live recording made in early 1968 and released in 1972 that captures the band at their peak, before powerful people with questionable motives convinced singer Janis Joplin that the rest of the group was holding her back.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Love
Source:    LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    McDonald/Melton/Cohen/Barthol/Gunning/Hirsch
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    It is a little known fact that, for a short time in early 1967, Country Joe McDonald and Janis Joplin were lovers. This could very well explain why Joe sounds just a bit like Janis on the song Love, from the first Country Joe And The Fish album, Electric Music For The Mind And Body, which was released in May of that year.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    Back Door Man
Source:    Mono CD: The Blues Project Anthology (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dixon/Burnett
Label:    Polydor (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:    1966
    By all accounts, Tommy Flanders, the original lead vocalist for the Blues Project, was quite a character. He was known to wear the latest London fashions while walking the streets of New York's Greenwich Village and would even occasionally affect a British accent. He was also the one, according to guitarist Danny Kalb, who came up with the band's name in the fall of 1965. It was around that time that the band made its first trip to the recording studio, recording a pair of tunes for Columbia that the label rejected, meeting studio keyboardist and subsequent band member Al Kooper in the process. Around that time the band landed a steady gig at a place called the Cafe-Au-Go-Go and the club owner, Howard Solomon, decided to put on a show for Thanksgiving weekend called the "Blues Bag", featuring a mix of established artists like John Lee Hooker and younger artists like Geoff Muldaur, with the Blues Project as one of the main attractions. Solomon managed to get Verve Folkways Records to record the whole thing, which led to the band getting a contract with the experimental Verve Forecast label. The band had been allowed to keep the master tapes of the Columbia session, and one of the songs, a sped up cover of Howlin' Wolf's Back Door Man, was released as the first Blues Project single on the Verve Forecast label in January of 1966. At around that same time, the people at Verve's parent company, M-G-M, decided that the Blues Project was America's answer to the Rolling Stones, and flew the entire band out to Los Angeles for a huge sales conference. After the conference, however, in a scene right out of Spinal Tap, Tommy Flanders's girlfriend had an all-out blowup with the rest of the band members that resulted in her announcing that Flanders was quitting the band to become a Star. The album was quickly reworked to minimize Flanders's contributions (although there were not enough non-Flanders songs available to leave him entirely off the LP) and hit the racks in March of 1966, leaving the Back Door Man single as the only record released by the Blues Project while Flanders was still a member of the band.

Artist:    Count Five
Title:    Psychotic Reaction
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ellner/Chaney/Atkinson/Byrne/Michaelski
Label:    Rhino (original label: Double Shot)
Year:    1965
    San Jose, California, had a vibrant teen music scene in the late 60s, despite the fact that the relatively small (at the time) city was overshadowed by San Francisco at the other end of the bay (both cities were then, as now, considered part of the same metropolitan market). One of the more popular bands in town was Count Five, a group of five individuals who chose to dress up like Bela Lugosi's Dracula, capes and all. Musically, they idolized the Yardbirds (Jeff Beck era), and for slightly more than three minutes managed to sound more like their idols than the Yardbirds themselves (who by then had replaced Beck with Jimmy Page).

Artist:    Dave Clark Five
Title:    Catch Us If You Can
Source:    Mono CD: 5 By Five (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Clark/Davidson
Label:    Hollywood (original label: Epic)
Year:    1965
    One of the few bands able to get the Beatles a legitimate run for their money at the height of their popularity was the Dave Clark Five. Formed originally as a way for Clark to raise funds for his football (soccer) team, the band cranked out hit after hit from 1964 on. One of the biggest was Catch Us If You Can from 1965.

Artist:    Them
Title:    Baby, Please Don't Go
Source:    Mono 12" single (reissue)
Writer:    Joe Williams
Label:    A&M
Year:    1964
    Belfast, Northern Ireland was home to one of the first bands that could be legitimately described as punk rock. Led by Van Morrison, the band quickly got a reputation for being rude and obnoxious, particularly to members of the English press (although it was actually a fellow Irishman who labeled them as "boorish"). Their first single was what has come to be considered the definitive rock and roll version of the 1923 Joe Williams tune Baby, Please Don't Go. Despite its UK success, the single was never issued in the US. Oddly enough, the song's B side ended up being the song most people associate with Them: the classic Gloria, which was released as Them's US debut single in 1965 but promptly found itself banned on most US radio stations due to suggestive lyrics. Them's recording of Baby, Please Don't Go gained renewed popularity in the 1980s when it was used in the film Good Morning Vietnam.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    California Girls
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: California Girls (originally titled Summer Days (And Summer Nights))
Writer(s):    Brian Wilson
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1965   
    The Beach Boys are virtually synonymous with the fun-in-the-sun-partying-on-the-beach lifestyle that many people associate with Southern California, despite the fact that only drummer Dennis Wilson ever really participated in that lifestyle. This can be attributed mainly to the genius of Brian Wilson, who wrote nearly all the group's material, such as the iconic California Girls, which was all over the radio dial coast to coast in the summer of 1965. The song was featured on an album called Summer Days (And Summer Nights), which in addition to the original mono mix was also available on Capitol's Duophonic "electronically rechannelled for stereo" vinyl for a dollar more. In the 1980s, riding a wave of renewed popularity for the band, Capitol released abridged versions many of the group's albums at a budget price, often under new titles such as California Girls. Rather than use the mono mixes Capitol chose to go with the Duophonic mixes for these reissues This was the last time these "fake stereo" mixes were released, as Beach Boys now insist that only the original mono mixes be used for the band's 1960s recordings on CD.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    Scarborough Fair/Canticle
Source:    LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Sundazed/Columbia
Year:    1966
    After the reunion of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel following the surprise success of an electrified remix of The Sound Of Silence, the duo quickly recorded an album to support the hit single. Sounds Of Silence was, for the most part, a reworking of material that Simon had recorded for 1965 UK LP the Paul Simon Songbook. The pressure for a new album thus (temporarily) relieved, the duo got to work on their first album of truly new material since their unsuccessful 1964 effort Wednesday Morning 3AM (which had in fact been re-released and was now doing well on the charts). In October the new album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, hit the stands. The title track was a new arrangement of an old English folk ballad, Scarborough Fair, combined with a reworking of a song from the Paul Simon Songbook, The Side Of A Hill, retitled Canticle. The two melodies and sets of lyrics are set in counterpoint to each other, creating one of the most sophisticated folk song arrangements ever recorded. After being featured in the film The Graduate, Scarborough Fair/Canticle was released as a single in early 1968, going on to become one of the duo's most instantly recognizable songs.

Artist:     Standells
Title:     Try It
Source:     LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Levine/Bellack
Label:     Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:     1967
     After a series of singles written by producer Ed Cobb had resulted in diminishing returns, the Standells recorded Try It, a tune co-written by Joey Levine, who would rise to semi-anonymous notoriety as lead vocalist for the Ohio Express, a group that was essentially a vehicle for the Kazenetz/Katz production team, purveyors of what came to be called "bubble gum" music. The song itself was quickly banned on most radio stations under the assumption that the phrase "try it" was a call for teenage girls to abandon their virginity. The fact is that nowhere in the song does the word "teenage" appear, but nonetheless the song failed to make a dent in the charts, despite its catchy melody and danceable beat, which should have garnered it at least a 65 rating on American Bandstand.

Artist:    Standells
Title:    Riot On Sunset Strip
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Riot On Sunset Strip soundtrack)
Writer(s):    Fleck/Valentino
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    Anyone who doubts just how much influence bands like the Standells had on the punk-rock movement of the late 1970s need only listen to the 1967 title track from the movie Riot On Sunset Strip. The song, written by bandmembers Tony Valentino and John Fleck, sounds like it could have been an early Ramones recording. The song itself (and the movie) were based on a real life event. Local L.A. business owners had been complaining about the unruliness and rampant drug use among the teens hanging out in front of the various underage clubs that had been springing up on Sunset Strip in the wake of the success of the Whisky a Go Go, and in late 1966 the Los Angeles Police Department was called in to do something about the problem. What followed was a full-blown riot which ultimately led to local laws being passed that put many of the clubs out of business and severely curtailed the ability of the rest to make a profit. By 1968 the entire scene was a thing of the past, with the few remaining clubs converting to a more traditional over-21 approach. The unruliness and rampant drug use, meanwhile, seems to have migrated up the coast to San Francisco, where it managed to undo everything positive that had been previously accomplished in the Haight-Ashbury district.

Artist:    Standells
Title:    Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (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 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:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    In The Midnight Hour
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Pickett/Cropper
Label:    Tower
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2012
    Among the many Chocolate Watchband recordings that were subjected to major changes by producer Ed Cobb was a cover of Wilson Pickett's R&B classic In The Midnight Hour, a song that was also covered by the Young Rascals. The biggest change Cobb made to the recording was to replace Dave Aguilar's original lead vocals with those of studio vocalist Don Bennett. Once Sundazed got the rights to the Watchband's recordings they included both versions on their CD version of the No Way Out album and in 2012 issued the mono mix of the Aguilar version for the first time as a single.

Artist:     Chocolate Watchband
Title:     Sweet Young Thing
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: Uptown)
Year:     1967
     There is actually very little on vinyl that captures the flavor of how the Chocolate Watchband actually sounded when left to their own devices, 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 Sweet Young Thing, the first single released under the band's real name (Blues Theme, an instrumental Watchband recording credited to the Hoggs, had been released in 1966 by Hanna-Barbera records).

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    Psychedelic Trip
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Loomis/Flores/Tolby/Aguilar/Andrijasevich
Label:    Tower/Sundazed
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2012
    Psychedelic Trip is essentially an early instrumental version of what would eventually become the title track for the Chocolate Watchband's debut album, No Way Out. Although Psychedelic Trip was written by the entire band, producer/manager Ed Cobb (the Ed Wood of psychedelic music) took sole credit for the song No Way Out.

Artist:     Bob Dylan
Title:     Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35
Source:     45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:     Bob Dylan
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1966
     "Everybody must get stoned." 'Nuff said.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Rock And Roll Woman
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Buffalo Springfield did not sell huge numbers of records (except for the single For What It's Worth). Nor did they pack in the crowds. As a matter of fact, when they played the club across the street from where Love was playing, they barely had any audience at all. Artistically, though, it's a whole 'nother story. During their brief existence Buffalo Springfield launched the careers of no less than four major artists: Neil Young, Richie Furay, Jim Messina and Stephen Stills. They also recorded more than their share of tracks that have held up better than most of what else was being recorded at the time. Case in point: Rock and Roll Woman, a Stephen Stills tune that still sounds fresh well over 40 years after it was recorded.

Artist:    Amboy Dukes
Title:    Journey To The Center Of The Mind
Source:    CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Journey To The Center Of The Mind)
Writer(s):    Nugent/Farmer
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1968
    The title track of the second Amboy Dukes album, Journey To The Center Of The Mind, is by far their best known recording, going all the way to the #16 spot on the top 40 in 1968. The song features the lead guitar work of Ted Nugent, who co-wrote the song with guitarist/vocalist Steve Farmer. Journey To The Center Of The Mind would be the last album to feature lead vocalist John Drake, who left the band for creative reasons shortly after the album's release.

Artist:    Earth Opera
Title:    Roast Beef Love
Source:    LP: The Great American Eagle Tragedy
Writer(s):    Peter Rowan
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1969
    Formed in 1967 in Boston, Earth Opera is probably best remembered as the band that launched the career of guitar and mandolin virtuoso David Grisman, who is well known both as a solo artist and as a frequent collaborator with the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia in the band Old And In The Way (he also wrote and played on the theme to NPR's long-running Car Talk program). In addition to Grisman, Earth Opera featured Peter Rowan, who wrote nearly all the band's material, including Roast Beef Love, a tongue-in-cheek rocker from the band's second (and final) album, The Great American Eagle Tragedy.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Plastic Fantastic Lover
Source:    CD: The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane (originally released on LP: Bless Its Pointed Little Head)
Writer(s):    Marty Balin
Label:    BMG/RCA
Year:    1969
    Marty Balin's Plastic Fantastic Lover first appeared on the album Surrealistic Pillow and was issued as the B side of White Rabbit. For the band's 1969 live album, Bless Its Pointed Little Head, the band upped the tempo considerably, making what was already a solid rocker even more solid.

Artist:     Beacon Street Union
Title:     Green Destroys The Gold
Source:     CD: The Eyes of the Beacon Street Union
Writer:     Wayne Ulaky
Label:     See For Miles (original label: M-G-M)
Year:     1967   
    The Beacon Street Union found itself handicapped by being signed to M-G-M and being promoted as part of the "boss-town sound." The problem was that there was no "boss-town sound", any more than there was a San Francisco sound or an L.A sound (there is a Long Island Sound, but that has nothing to do with music). In fact, the only legitimate "sound" of the time was the "Motown Sound", and that was confined to a single record company that achieved a consistent sound through the use of the same studio musicians on virtually every recording. What made the situation even more ironic for the Beacon Street Union was that by the time their first LP came out they had relocated to New York City anyway. If there is a New York sound, it has more to do with traffic than music. None of which has anything to do specifically with the song Green Destroys The Gold, which was written by the band's bass player, Wayne Ulaky, and included on their debut album The Eyes of the Beacon Street Union.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Cuddly Toy/Words
Source:    LP: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.
Writer(s):    Nilsson/Boyce/Hart
Label:    Colgems
Year:    1967
    Although the Monkees had returned to allowing studio musicians to provide the bulk of the instrumental tracks for the album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD., those tracks were now being recorded under the direct supervision of the Monkees themselves. Additionally, the Monkees were only recording songs that the Monkees themselves picked out. One of those songs was a tune written by Harry Nilsson (who had not yet achieved fame as a singer, songwriter and John Lennon's drinking partner) called Cuddly Toy. Reportedly Mike Nesmith heard a demo of the song and immediately wanted to record it. The group did, and on the LP let it overlap the next track, A Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart tune called Words that the Leaves had recorded for their Hey Joe album the previous year. It was only after the album was on the charts that the shirts at Colgems Records, Columbia Pictures and RCA Victor realized that the subject matter of Cuddly Toy was a gang bang, having been based on a real life incident at a Hell's Angels party that Nilsson had attended.

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