Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It was 50 years ago today: Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1452 (starts 12/24/14)

    It was 50 years ago today that 1964 was coming to an end. Although the psychedelic era was not yet under way, the foundations were all there, including folk, surf, blue-eyed soul and, most importantly, the British Invasion. This week we take a sampling of all these genres, starting with a short overview and a quick look at what a couple of veteran rockers were up to before visiting the folk scene for a set. Our second segment is all about the British, while the third takes us back to the USA. The final half hour is just good music from a remarkable year: 1964.

Artist:     Kingsmen
Title:     Louie Louie
Source:     Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the Psychedelic Era (originally released as a 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Richard Berry
Label:     Rhino (original label: Wand)
Year:     1963
     Although Paul Revere and the Raiders had recorded the song first, it's the Portland-based Kingsmen's version of Louie Louie that is remembered as the greatest party song of all time. With its basic three-chord structure and incomprehensible lyrics, the most popular song to ever come out of the Pacific Northwest was considered a must-learn song for garage bands nationwide. A huge hit in 1963, the song was still popular enough to make 1964's top 100 list as well.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    The Times They Are A-Changin'
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of The Original Mono Recordings (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Times They Are A-Changin')
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1964
    Bob Dylan's first release of 1964 could not have been more appropriate for a year in which popular music would be changed forever. The Times They Are A-Changin' hit the record racks in January of 1964. By the end of the year even Dylan himself would be starting to shift away from pure folk music toward what would come to be called folk-rock.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I Want To Hold Your Hand
Source:    CD: 1 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Capitol
Year:    1963
    Originally released in the UK in November of 1963, the Beatles' I Want To Hold Your Hand was originally slated for a January 1964 release, but when a Washington DC disc jockey started playing an imported copy of the British single in early December Capitol Records decided to move up the release of the song to December 26th. By the middle of January the song was in the US top 50 and on February 1st it took over the #1 spot, staying there for seven weeks and touching off what would come to be known as the British Invasion. Unlike many later Beatles songs that, despite being credited to the songwriting team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney were actually written by one or the other of the pair, I Want To Hold Your Hand was a true collaboration worked out in the basement of the house McCartney was living in. The group performed the song on the Ed Sullivan TV show in mid-January, setting all-time records for viewership. The tune was included on the band's first album for Capitol, Meet The Beatles, which actually ended up outselling the single, the first time in US history that had happened. It was not long before other British bands started hitting the US charts and American kids began growing their hair out in imitation of the Beatles, many of them even going so far as to form their own British-influenced garage bands.

Artist:    Chuck Berry
Title:    You Never Can Tell
Source:    CD: Chess Box (originally released on LP: St. Louis To Liverpool and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Chuck Berry
Label:    MCA (original label: Chess)
Year:    1964
    The Beatles made no secret of their admiration for the music of rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry, whose popularity in the US had faded while serving time for allegedly violating the Mann act by transporting a teenaged girl across state lines. Boosted by this endorsement, Berry made a bit of a comeback in 1964 with a series of top 20 singles, the last of which was You Never Can Tell, a song about the perseverance of young love. The song enjoyed a resurgence of popularity thirty years later when it was used by director Quentin Tarantino in the film Pulp Fiction.

Artist:    Roy Orbison
Title:    Oh, Pretty Woman
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Orbison/Dees
Label:    Monument
Year:    1964
    Although the vast majority of Roy Orbison's hits were love ballads such as It's Over and Blue Bayou, his best-known song is the classic rocker Oh, Pretty Woman. The song managed to work its way to the top of both US and British charts during the height of the British Invasion. Orbison, in fact, was even more successful in the UK than in his native US, scoring two number hits on the British charts in 1964, the only American artist to do so.

Artist:    Henry Mancini
Title:    The Pink Panther Theme
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Henry Mancini
Label:    RCA
Year:    1964 (LP version released 1963)
    In one sense, Henry Mancini was a bit of an anachronism, as a writer of heavily orchestrated, melodic pop songs in the Cole Porter tradition at a time when rock and roll was king. Despite this, Mancini was responsible for creating some of the best-known music of the time, including the oft-covered theme from the TV show Peter Gunn. His most enduring piece, however, has to be the Pink Panther Theme, from the movie (and later a series of theatrical cartoons) of the same name. Although the full stereo version of the song featured on the original 1963 soundtrack album is close to four minutes long, it was this 2 1/2 minute mono version that was heard on nearly every radio station in the world in 1964.

Artist:    Peter, Paul And Mary
Title:    Blowin' In The Wind
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1963
    Just as knowing the chords for Van Morrison's Gloria was pretty much a prerequisite for being in a garage band, being able to play Bob Dylan's Blowing In The Wind was a must for anyone attempting to play folk music at a party in the mid-1960s. If there was more than one of you singing, you most likely used the Peter, Paul and Mary arrangement of the tune, with its three-part harmony. Their version was by far the most popular recording of the song, going all the way to the # 2 spot on the top 40 charts in the summer of '63. The recording remained popular well into the latter part of the decade.

Artist:    Joan Baez
Title:    There But For Fortune
Source:    45 RPM single (promo copy)
Writer(s):    Phil Ochs
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1964
    When I was a kid I used to occasionally pick up something called a grab bag. It was literally a sealed brown paper bag that sold for about 50 cents with anywhere from four to six 45 rpm records in it. Usually these were "cut-outs", unsold copies of records that hadn't sold as well as expected. Often they were five or six years old (albeit unplayed). Once in a while, though, there would be a real gem among them. My original copy of the Joan Baez recording of Phil Ochs's There But For Fortune was one such gem. I later found a promo copy while working at KUNM in Albuquerque, which is the one I use now, since my original is long since worn out. Not only was this record my first introduction to Joan Baez, it was also the first record I had ever seen on the Vanguard label and the first song written by Phil Ochs I had ever heard. Not bad for twelve and a half cents.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Bleeker Street
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released on LP: Wednesday Morning, 3AM)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1964
    One of the first of many "slice of life" songs from songwriter Paul Simon, Bleeker Street (a real street in New York's Greenwich Village) appeared on the first Simon And Garfunkel LP, Wednesday Morning, 3AM, in late 1964. The album did not initially sell well, and the duo actually split up shortly after it was deleted from the Columbia catalog. Following the success of an electrified remix of another song from the album, The Sound Of Silence, the pair reunited and Columbia reissued Wednesday Morning, 3AM in 1966.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    A Hard Day's Night
Source:    Mono CD: A Hard Day's Night (also released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original label: United Artists) (original single label: Capitol)
Year:    1964
    The Beatles continued to set new records throughout 1964. One of the most remarkable was simultaneously occupying the top spots on both the US and UK album charts with an LP featuring the song that was currently occupying the top spots on the singles charts in both countries. The song (and album) that accomplished this feat was the title track of the Fab Four's first feature film, A Hard Day's Night, in July of 1964. Although United Artists had the rights to the soundtrack album, Capitol Records had the release rights to the individual songs, resulting on the same song being at the top of four charts on three different labels at the same time (both LP and single being on the Parlophone label in the UK).

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    She Loves You
Source:    Mono CD: 1 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Capitol (original US label: Swan)
Year:    1963
    Beatlemania hit its British peak in the fall of 1963, when She Loves You spent 18 weeks in the UK top 5, six of them in the # 1 spot. Such was the popularity of the band at that time that thousands of copies of the single had been pre-ordered before the song was even written, a number that grew to half a million by the time the record was released. She Loves You is the all-time best-selling Beatles single in the UK, and was the group's second consecutive # 1 hit in the US as well (knocking I Want To Hold Your Hand out of the top spot on March 21, 1964. The song, which was initially released in the US on the Swan label, was at first considered a flop, selling only about 1,000 copies when it first hit the American record racks in September of 1963. Eventually, though, the song became one of the five Beatles songs to occupy the top 5 spots on the US charts simultaneously in April of 1964 and ended up being the second-highest ranked song of the year, behind I Want To Hold Your Hand.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Can't Buy Me Love
Source:    Mono CD: A Hard Day's Night (also released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original label: United Artists) (original single label: Capitol)
Year:    1964
    In April of 1964 the Beatles set a record that has yet to be equaled: they owned the top five spots on the US charts. The song at the top of that heap of tunes was Can't Buy Me Love, which had been recorded just as Beatlemania was beginning to take hold in the US. Can't Buy Me Love was the third consecutive # 1 hit for the Beatles, an accomplishment that has never been repeated.

Artist:    Manfred Mann
Title:    Do Wah Diddy Diddy
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Barry/Greenwich
Label:    Silver Spotlight
Year:    1964
    Manfred Mann started off as the Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers and were part of the same London British blues scene as the Yardbirds and the Rolling Stones. In 1964 they took a decidedly commercial turn with one of the silliest, yet memorable hits of the British invasion, Do Wah Diddy Diddy. The song was written by the husband and wife team of Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, who operated out of New York's Brill building under the supervision of Don Kirschner. Do Wah Diddy Diddy, with lead vocals by Paul Jones, topped the charts for several weeks and ended up among the top 10 songs of the year.

Artist:    Dave Clark Five
Title:    Glad All Over
Source:    Mono CD: 5 By Five (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Clark/Smith
Label:    Hollywood (original label: Epic)
Year:    1964
    The Dave Clark Five were originally formed as a way of raising money for Clark's football (soccer) team. Toward the end of 1963 they recorded their first big hit, Glad All Over, which went to the top of the British charts in January of 1964. Within a few months the song found its way onto the US charts as well, peaking at # 6 in April of 1964. What had started off as a one-band show was becoming a full-scale British Invasion of the US music industry.

Artist:    Zombies
Title:    She's Not There
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of 60s Supergroups (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Rod Argent
Label:    Priority (original label: Parrot)
Year:    1964
    Most of the original British invasion bands were guitar-oriented, like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. One notable exception was the Zombies, whose leader, Rod Argent, built the group around his electric piano. Their first single, She's Not There, was a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic and is ranked among the top British rock songs of all time.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Not Fade Away
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Hardin/Petty
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1964
    The Rolling Stones first top 5 hit in the UK was an updated version of Buddy Holly's Not Fade Away. The Stones put a greater emphasis on the Bo Diddley beat than Holly did and ended up with their first charted single in the US as well, establishing the Rolling Stones as the Yang of the British Invasion to the Beatles' Ying. It was a role that fit the top band from the city they call "The Smoke" well.

Artist:     Rolling Stones
Title:     Time Is On My Side
Source:     45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:     Jerry Ragovoy
Label:     London
Year:     1964
     A while back I got word of the passing of songwriter Jerry Ragovoy, who died on July 13th 2013 at the age of 83. Ragovoy's writing career extended back to the 1940s and included classics by artists such as Kai Winding. In later years he wrote several tunes that were recorded by Janis Joplin, including Try (Just A Little Bit Harder), My Baby, Cry Baby and the classic Piece Of My Heart. He occassionally used a pseudonym as well, and it was as Norman Meade he published his best-known song: Time Is On My Side, an R&B hit for Irma Thomas that became one of the first US hits for the Rolling Stones.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Tell Me
Source:    Singles Collection-The London Years
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco
Year:    1964
    The first song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to be recorded by the Rolling Stones, Tell Me was only available as an LP cut in the UK. In the US it became a hit single, establishing the Stones as serious competition to the Beatles themselves. Jagger and Richards would continue to write songs together, eventually outlasting the John Lennon/Paul McCartney team by several decades (and still counting).

Artist:    Hollies
Title:    Here I Go Again
Source:    LP: The Very Best Of The Hollies
Writer(s):    Shuman/Westlake
Label:    United Artists (original label: Imperial)
Year:    1964
    Most US listeners first heard about the Hollies in 1966, when they took Bus Stop and Stop Stop Stop into the top 10. The group had actually been making hit records since 1963 in their native UK, where they were one of the most visible bands on TV dance programs. One of their earliest hits was 1964's Here I Go Again, a song that was co-written by Mort Shuman and Clive Westlake.

Artist:    Trashmen
Title:    Surfin' Bird
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Frazier/White/Harris/Wilson
Label:    Eric (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: why did I play this?

Artist:    Dick Dale And His Del-Tones
Title:    Banzai Washout
Source:    CD: The Best Of Dick Dale And His Del-Tones (originally released on LP: Summer Surf)
Writer(s):    Douglas
Label:    Rhino (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1964
    Instrumental surf music had already gone underground by 1964, eclipsed in popularity first by vocal surf groups like the Beach Boys and then by the British Invasion. Still, the talented Dick Dale, who had created the genre with his song Let's Go Trippin', was still warming up the beaches on the US west coast with tracks like Banzai Washout from his Summer Surf LP. Dale finally left the music business when he was diagnosed with cancer in 1966, but resurfaced in the 1980s in the film Back To The Beach and, thanks in part to filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, has finally gotten the recognition he deserves for his role as "King of the surf guitar" in recent years.

Artist:    Ventures
Title:    Walk-Don't Run, 1964
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Johnny Smith
Label:    Silver Spotlight
Year:    1964
    The first two Ventures songs to hit the top 10 were actually two different versions of the same song. The original 1960 version of Walk-Don't Run was the band's first charted hit, which was followed by a succession of moderately successful surf instrumentals. It wasn't until late 1964, however, that the band returned to the top 10 with this updated version of the same song made for the soundtrack of the Walk-Don't Run movie. The Ventures would return to the top 10 five years later with the Hawaii Five-Oh theme. Despite only having three top 10 singles, the Ventures are universally acknowledged to be the most prolific instrumental rock band in history, with over 200 albums to their credit.

Artist:    Pyramids
Title:    Penetration
Source:    Mono CD: Surfin' Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    S. Leonard
Label:    Rhino (original label: Best)
Year:    1964
    The last instrumental surf record to hit the top 20 charts was a tune called Penetration from a Long Beach, California band called the Pyramids. Other than that, the group is notable for appearing in the 1964 film Bikini Beach wearing Beatle wigs, removing them during their performance to reveal shaved heads underneath. Well, I guess there are worse things to be remembered for.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    I Get Around
Source:    Mono LP: Endless Summer (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Brian Wilson
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1964
    Although in its purest form surf music was instrumental in nature, there were several vocal groups that found success in the genre. First among these was the Beach Boys, who had begun their recording career in 1962 with the song Surfin'. Only one of the band members, however, (drummer Dennis Wilson) actually did any surfing, and it wasn't long before the Beach Boys came to embody the entire lifestyle of southern California youth. This lifestyle included cruising the streets in various cars, the coolest of which were the "hot rods", generally older models that had been heavily customized, both on the outside, with lots of chrome and fiery decals, and under the hood, with souped up engines with plenty of excess horsepower. It was this aspect of the SoCal experience that inspired the band's first # 1, I Get Around, which was on the radio from coast to coast in the summer of 1964, competing head-on with the British Invasion and coming up a winner.

Artist:    Jan And Dean
Title:    Dead Man's Curve
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Berry/Christian/Kornfeld/Wilson
Label:    Silver Spotlight (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1964
    As I talk about in a really long scholarly article elsewhere on the web site, one of the many contributing factors to the temporary democratization of the US popular music industry was the surf music craze of 1962 and '63, which morphed into the hot rod music craze of 1964 and '65. Although the style was created by instrumentalists such as Dick Dale and the Ventures, it was the vocal groups such as the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean that found the greatest commercial success with it. One of the biggest hits was the eerily predictive Dead Man's Curve, about a car wreck along a particularly nasty stretch of Sunset Blvd. in the vicinity of Beverly Hills. About two years after this song topped the charts, Jan Berry was involved in a near-fatal collision just a few blocks from the infamous curve; an accident he never fully recovered from.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Louie Go Home
Source:    Mono CD: The Legend Of Paul Revere (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Revere/Lindsay
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1964
    Paul Revere was an enterprising young man who had left high school to go to barber college, opening his own barber shop as well as a drive-in burger joint by the time he was old enough to vote. A talented pianist who idolized Jerry Lee Lewis, Revere joined a local rock 'n' roll band in the late 1950s. By 1960 the band had added vocalist/saxophonist Mark Lindsay and had changed its name to Paul Revere And The Raiders., releasing their first single, a boogie-woogie version of Chopsticks called Beatnik Sticks, on both the Apex and Gardenia labels. The song hit the top 40 charts and led to an appearance on American Bandstand, but before the group could build on its success, Revere received his draft notice and went into the US Army. In 1962 Revere and Lindsay reformed the Raiders in Portland, Oregon, going through a succession of guitarists, bassists and drummers before settling on a more or less permanent lineup by early 1963. In April they recorded a rock version of Louie Louie, which was released on the local Sande label before being picked up by Columbia for national distribution. At that time Columbia was the second largest record company in the world, but had never released a rock record and had no idea how to promote the single. Meanwhile the Kingsmen's version had become a major hit, and the Raiders version of Louie Louie, which had been released first, was largely forgotten by the record buying public. The band, however, remembered that their version of the song had been a huge regional hit and decided to record a follow-up single called Louie Go Home, to cash in on it in 1964. Around this same time Revere and Lindsay came up with the idea of the band wearing Revolutionary war costumes, which added a new dimension to the group's image and got the attention of Dick Clark, who helped them achieve success on a national level.

Artist:    Sonics
Title:    The Witch
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Gerald Roslie
Label:    Rhino (original label: Etiquette)
Year:    1964
    The #1 selling single in the history of the Pacific Northwest was this tune by one of the founding bands of the Seattle music scene. The Sonics were as raw as any punk rock band of the seventies, as The Witch proves beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Artist:    Dino Valenti
Title:    Let's Get Together
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70
Writer(s):    Chet Powers (Dino Valenti)
Label:    Rhino
Year:    1964
    At first glance this version of Let's Get Together could be mistaken for a cover tune. In reality, though, Dino Valenti was one of several aliases used by the guy who was born Chester Powers. Perhaps this was brought on by his several encounters with the law, most of which led to jail time. By all accounts, Valenti was one of the more bombastic characters on the San Francisco scene. The song was first commercially recorded by Jefferson Airplane in 1966, but it wasn't until 1969, when the 1967 Youngbloods version was re-released with the title shortened to Get Together, that the song became a major hit.

Artist:    Nashville Teens
Title:    Tobacco Road
Source:    Mono CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    John D. Loudermilk
Label:    KTel (original label: London)
Year:    1964
    The Nashville Teens were not teens. Nor were they from Nashville. In fact, they were one of the original British Invasion bands. Their version of John D. Loudermilk's Tobacco Road was a huge international hit in the summer of 1964. The lead guitar parts on the recording are the work of studio musician Jimmy Page.

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:    Animals
Title:    House Of The Rising Sun
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of The Animals (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    trad., arr. Price
Label:    Abkco (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1964
    Sometimes, to use a baseball analogy, you hit a home run in your first time out fo the box. Such was the case with the Animals recording of the traditional folk song House Of The Rising Sun. The record, released in 1964, went to the top of the charts virtually all over the planet and the song itself has long since come to be identified specifically with the Animals, despite its 19th century (some say even earlier) origins. In fact, Bob Dylan, who recorded the song years before the Animals, removed the song from his own repertoire when he was accused of stealing it from the latter band. Dave Van Ronk, who taught the song to Dylan in the first place, has claimed that the Animals were actually using his arrangement of the song. Regardless, the fact remains that if you were going to play guitar in a rock and roll band in the mid-60s you had to know how to play the Animals version of House Of The Rising Sun. It helped if you had the stamina in your chord hand to still be playing it six verses later.

Artist:    Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs
Title:    Wooly Bully
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Domingo Samudio
Label:    Rhino (original label: XL)
Year:    1964
    Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs were pioneers of what has come to be called Tex-Mex, a style that can best described as straight ahead rock and roll seasoned with traditional Mexican forms such as salsa and ranchero. The Pharaohs were already a popular band in their native Texas when they recorded Wooly Bully for the regional XL label in 1964. The song proved so popular that it (and the band's contract) was bought outright by M-G-M Records, at the time one of the largest labels in the country. Wooly Bully was re-released nationally on M-G-M in 1965 and ended up among the top 10 records of the year.

Artist:      Beau Brummels
Title:     Laugh Laugh
Source:      CD: Nuggets-Classics From the Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ron Elliott
Label:    Rhino (original label: Autumn)
Year:     1964
     It was difficult for an American band to get a hit record in 1964. Some, such as San Francisco's Beau Brummels, decided the best way was to beat the Brits at their own game. Laugh Laugh, their debut single, was released in December of that year. Ultimately, the decision to emulate British rock worked against the Brummels, as they were never considered part of the blossoming San Francisco music scene.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    You Movin'
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on CD: The Preflyte Sessions)
Writer(s):    Gene Clark
Label:    Rhino (original label: Sundazed)
Year:    Recorded 1964, released 2001
    Although the Byrds got their first hit with a Bob Dylan cover, Mr. Tambourine Man, they did have a quality songwriter right from the beginning in the person of guitarist Gene Clark. One of the earliest Clark songs to be recorded by the band was You Movin', which was included on a 1964 demo tape that remained unreleased until 2001.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
Source:    Australian import CD: Over, Under, Sideways, Down (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single and in US on LP: For Your Love)
Writer(s):    Level/Love
Label:    Raven (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1964
    The history of Good Morning Little Schoolgirl is complicated by the fact that there were actually two entirely different songs using the same title. The first was an R&B hit for Sonny Boy Williamson, and is probably the better known of the two, thanks to being covered by such groups as Ten Years After and the Grateful Dead. The second song to use the title was written by Don Level and Bob Love, who performed as an R&B duo called Don & Bob. This version was covered by the Yardbirds  in 1964 and released as the band's second single in the UK. Although it was not released as a single in the US it was included on the band's first US LP, For Your Love.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    You Really Got Me
Source:    Mono CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    K-Tel (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1964
    The Kinks' You Really Got Me has been described as the first hard rock song and the track that invented heavy metal. You'll get no argument from me on either of those.

Artist:    Danny Kalb
Title:    I'm Troubled
Source:    CD: The Blues Project Anthology (originally released on compilation LP: The Blues Project)
Writer(s):    McKinley Morganfield
Label:    Polydor (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1964
    In 1964 Elektra Records, then a folk and blues label, decided to put together an album showcasing the various white blues musicians making a living in New York's Greenwich Village. Among the participants was a young singer/guitarist named Danny Kalb, who contributed two songs to the album. One of those two was his cover of the Muddy Waters tune I'm Troubled. A few months later Bob Dylan released his Highway 61 Revisited album using electric instruments, inspiring Kalb to start an electric blues band of his own. At first the band did not have a name, but eventually they decided to appropriate the name of the album that Kalb's first recordings had appeared on: The Blues Project.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I Feel Fine
Source:    CD: 1 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Capitol
Year:    1964
    The Beatles' final record (pun intended) of 1964 was I Feel Fine, the group's sixth single to hit the # 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 that year, a record that has never been equaled. It is also the first studio recording to open with deliberate feedback, a fact that John Lennon, who wrote the song, was quite proud of in later years.

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