Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1512 (starts 3/18/15)

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    I'm Not Like Everybody Else
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1966
    One of the most popular songs in the Kinks' catalog, I'm Not Like Everybody Else was originally written for another British band, the Animals. When that group decided not to record the tune, the Kinks did their own version of the song, issuing it as the B side of the 1966 hit Sunny Afternoon. Although written by Ray Davies, it was sung by his brother Dave, who usually handled the lead vocals on only the songs he himself composed. Initially not available on any LPs, the song has in recent years shown up on various collections and as a bonus track on CD reissues of both the Kink Kontroversy and Face To Face albums. Both Davies brothers continue to perform the song in their live appearances.

Artist:    Third Bardo
Title:    I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time
Source:    Mono British import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Evans/Pike
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Roulette)
Year:    1967
    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:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Magic Carpet Ride
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: Steppenwolf The Second)
Writer(s):    Moreve/Kay
Label:    Rhino (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:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Honky Tonk Women
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1969
    After revitalizing their career with Jumpin' Jack Flash and Street Fighting Man in 1968, the Stones delivered the coup-de-grace with a true monster of a hit: the classic Honky Tonk Women. The song was the first single without Brian Jones, who had been found dead in his swimming pool shortly after being kicked out of the band. Jones's replacement, Mick Taylor (fresh from a stint with blues legend John Mayall), plays slide guitar on the track.

Artist:    Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:    Sky Pilot
Source:    CD: Songs Of Protest (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Twain Shall Meet)
Writer:    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    Rhino (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1968
    After the original Animals lineup disbanded in late 1966, lead vocalist Eric Burdon quickly set out to form a "New Animals" group that would come to be called Eric Burdon and the Animals. Their biggest hit was 1968's Sky Pilot, a song that was so long it had to be split across two sides of a 45 RPM record. The uninterrupted version of the song was included on the group's second album, The Twain Shall Meet.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Share A Little Joke
Source:    CD: Crown Of Creation
Writer(s):    Marty Balin
Label:    BMG/RCA
Year:    1968
    Jeffeerson Airplane's fourth LP, Crown Of Creation, is generally considered to be the pinnacle of the group's psychedelic period. The album's songs deal with a variety of subjects, including politics, hippy sociology, and even a touch of science fiction. Founder Marty Balin, who had written much of the material on the band's first two albums, only contributed one solo effort to the album, the whimsical Share A Little Joke.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Shadows
Source:    Mono CD: The Complete Reprise Singles (originally released as 45 RPM promo single)
Writer(s):    Gordon Phillips
Label:    Real Gone Music/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Released only to radio stations, Shadows may well be the last song issued by the original lineup of the Electric Prunes. The song was recorded for a film called The Name Of The Game Is To Kill (a movie I know absolutely nothing about), and was issued in between two singles written by David Axelrod for concept albums that came out under the Electric Prunes name in 1968. Stylistically, Shadows sounds far more like the group's earlier work than the Axelrod material.

Artist:    Tea Company
Title:    Flowers
Source:    Mono CD: A Heavy Dose Of Lyte Psych (originally released on LP: Come And Have Some Tea With The Tea Company and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Carr/Lassando
Label:    Arf! Arf!
Year:    1968
    Nobody seems to know for sure, but the Tea Company apparently came from somewhere in the Northeastern US. What is known is that their only LP for Smash was reportedly about as psychedelic as you can get, using some of the stereo techniques developed by Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Kramer for the Axis: Bold As Love album. The single version of Flowers, unfortunately, is a heavily edited mono remix, which makes me even more curious to hear the actual LP. Anyone got a copy?

Artist:    Flock
Title:    Clown
Source:    LP: The Flock
Writer:    The Flock
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    The Flock's 1969 debut album featured liner notes by British blues guru John Mayall, who called them the best band in America. Despite this stellar recommendation, the Flock (one of two bands with horn sections from the city of Chicago making their recording debut on Columbia Records in 1969) was unable to attract a large audience and disbanded after only two LPs. Violinist Jerry Goodman would go on to be a founding member of John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra in the early 1970s. The band's unique take on what would come to be called jazz-rock fusion is in full evidence on the seven-and-a-half-minute long Clown, from their debut LP.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Think About It
Source:    Mono UK import CD: Insane Times (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Relf/McCarty/Page
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    The last Yardbirds single, Good Night Josephine, was slated for March of 1968, but ended up being released only in the US, where it barely cracked the top 100. More notable was the song's B side, Think About It, which shows a side of guitarist Jimmy Page that would soon come to be identified with one of the most influential bands of the 1970s, Led Zeppelin.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Blue Jay Way
Source:    British import stereo 45 RPM EP: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Parlophone
Year:    1967
    One night in 1967, while staying at a rented house on Blue Jay Way in the Hollywood hills, Beatle George Harrison got a phone call. Some friends that he was waiting for had gotten lost in the fog and were trying to find their way to the house. Harrison gave them some directions and suggested they ask a police officer for help. To help keep himself awake while waiting for his friends to show up, Harrison wrote a song about the situation that eventually became his only musical contribution to the band's new project, a telefilm called Magical Mystery Tour.

Artist:    Ballroom
Title:    Love's Fatal Way
Source:    CD: Present Tense (Sagittarius) (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Boettcher/Naylor
Label:    Sundazed
Year:    1966
    In 1966, having successfully worked with the Association on their debut hit, Along Comes Mary (which he co-wrote), Our Productions staff producer Curt Boettcher started work on his own project, a studio group known as the Ballroom. While working on the Ballroom project, Boettcher reconnected with producer Peter Asher (whom he had met early in 1966), who was starting work on his own studio project, Sagittarius. Asher, a veteran producer and songwriter who had worked with Brian Wilson, Terry Melcher and others and had access to the top studio musicians in Los Angeles (collectively known as the Wrecking Crew), was impressed with Boettcher's talent and enthusiasm. For his part, Boettcher had idolized Asher for years, and the two soon began working together on the Sagittarius project, after Asher negotiated a buyout of Boettcher's contract with Our Productions by Asher's own employer, CBS. Only one single was ever issued by the Ballroom, with several of the remaining Ballroom tracks being reworked and/or included on the Sagittarius album, Present Tense. One Ballroom track that did not make the album was Love's Fatal Way, a ethereal pop number that is now available as a bonus track on the Present Tense CD.

Artist:    Mouse And The Traps
Title:    A Public Execution
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the Psychedelic Era (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:    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:    Holy Mackerel
Title:    Wildflowers
Source:    CD: My Mind Goes High (originally released on LP: Holy Mackerel)
Writer(s):    Robert Harvey
Label:    Warner Strategic Marketing (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    The Holy Mackerel was formed by Paul Williams, who had been encouraged to form his own band by producer Richard Perry, who had been impressed by a demo tape Williams had submitted of a song he wrote for Tiny Tim. Although ultimately known for his songwriting skills, it was Williams's voice that is the highlight of the band's self-titled LP that appeared on the Reprise label in late 1968, as can be heard on Wildflowers. Williams would go on to win an Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe award for the song Evergreen that he wrote for Barbra Streisand in the 1970s. I still see him in my mind as the villain in the first Kiss made-for-TV movie.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Silas Stingy
Source:    CD: The Who Sell Out
Writer(s):    John Entwistle
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1967
    John Alec Entwistle did not write average songs. For example, his best known song, Boris The Spider, was about, well, a spider. Whiskey Man dealt with a drunk's imaginary friend. And then there was Silas Stingy, from The Who Sell Out. The song tells the story of a man who was so miserly he spent his entire fortune on protecting his money, thus ending up with nothing at all. One of my all-time favorite Who tracks.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Someone's Coming
Source:    Mono LP: Magic Bus-The Who On Tour (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:    John Entwhistle
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1968
    Some songs just get no respect. First released in 1967 in the UK as the B side of I Can See For Miles, John Alec Entwistle's Someone's Coming got left off the US release entirely. It wasn't until the release of the Magic Bus single (and subsequent LP) in 1968 that the tune appeared on US vinyl, and then, once again as a B side. The Magic Bus album, however, was never issued on CD in the US, although it has been available as a Canadian import for several years. Finally, in 1995 the song found a home on a US CD as a bonus track on The Who Sell Out.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Armenia City In The Sky
Source:    CD: The Who Sell Out
Writer(s):    John Keene
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1967
    Pete Townshend has always been a prolific songwriter. John Entwistle, while not as prolific as Townshend, has nonetheless written a number of quality tunes. It is a bit surprising, then, that the opening track of The Who Sell Out did not come from the pens of either of the band's songwriters. Instead, Armenia City In The Sky was written by one of the band's roadies, John Keene. Although not a household name, Keene was the lead vocalist for Thunderclap Newman (named for the band's recording engineer), who had a huge hit in 1969 with Keene's Something In The Air, which was produced by Townshend.

Artist:    Liberation News Service
Title:    Mid-Winter's Afternoon
Source:    Mono CD: A Deadly Dose Of Wild Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ed Esko
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Esko)
Year:    1967
    Liberation News Service was a Philadelphia band founded in 1965 by the Esko brothers, Ed and Jeff. Their first release was Mid-Winter's Afternoon, released on the band's own Esko label in 1967. Not long after its release the band added a new lead vocalist and changed their name to the Esko Affair, eventually getting a contract with Mercury Records and releasing singles in 1968 and 1969.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    For What It's Worth
Source:    CD: Buffalo Springfield
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atco
Year:    1967
    Most people associate the name Buffalo Springfield with the song For What It's Worth. And for good reason. The song is one of the greatest protest songs ever recorded, and to this day is in regular rotation on both oldies and classic rock radio stations. The song was written and recorded in November of 1966 and released in January of 1967. By then the first Buffalo Springfield LP was already on the racks, but until that point had not sold particularly well. When it became clear that For What It's Worth was becoming a breakout hit, Atco Records quickly recalled the album and added the song to it (as the opening track). All subsequent pressings of the LP (and later the CD) contain For What It's Worth, making earlier copies of the album somewhat of a rarity and quite collectable.

Artist:    Mothers Of Invention
Title:    Brown Shoes Don't Make It
Source:    CD: Absolutely Free
Writer(s):    Frank Zappa
Label:    Ryko (original label: Verve)
Year:    1967
    Following up on their debut double-LP Freak Out, the Mothers came up with one of the first concept albums with Absolutely Free, which consisted of two "rock oratorios", each taking up one side of the album. Included in the M.O.I. American Pageant is Brown Shoes Don't Make It, which composer Frank Zappa described as a two-hour musical in condensed form (it runs slightly less than 7 minutes).

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Little Miss Lover
Source:    LP: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    The second of two songs to use the wah-wah effect extensively on the album Axis: Bold As Love, Little Miss Lover is an example of Jimi Hendrix's funky side, a side not often heard on the three Jimi Hendrix Experience albums.

Artist:    John Hammond
Title:    Long Distance Call
Source:    LP: So Many Roads
Writer(s):    McKinley Morganfield
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1965
    John Paul Hammond (sometimes known as John Hammond Jr.) was a key figure on the Greenwich Village music scene in the mid-1960s. The son of famed record producer and talent scout John Henry Hammond, the younger Hammond was and still is a dedicated afficiondo of Chicago blues, recording over 30 albums since making his vinyl debut on the Vanguard label in 1962. Perhaps his greatest claim to fame, however, was bringing together Michael Bloomfield, Charlie Musselwhite, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson and Levon Helm to back him up on his 1965 LP, So Many Roads. The album helped introduce a whole new generation to then-obscure blues classics such as Muddy Waters' Long Distance Call. Perhaps more importantly, the album got the attention of Bob Dylan, who hired Robertson, Hudson and Helm to join him on his next international tour, which in turn led to Dylan's Basement Tapes sessions and the formation of The Band.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Mr. Farmer
Source:    CD: More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: A Web Of Sound)
Writer:    Sky Saxon
Label:    Rhino
Year:    1966
    With two tracks (Can't Seem To Make You Mine and Pushin' Too Hard) from their first album getting decent airplay on L.A. radio stations in 1966 the Seeds headed back to the studio to record a second LP, A Web Of Sound. The first single released from the album was Mr. Farmer, a song that once again did well locally. The only national hit for the Seeds came when Pushin' Too Hard was re-released in December of 1966, hitting its national peak the following spring.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Morning Dew
Source:    CD: The Grateful Dead
Writer(s):    Dobson/Rose
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1967
    One of the most identifiable songs in the Grateful Dead repertoire, Morning Dew was the first song ever written by Canadian folk singer Bonnie Dobson, who came up with the song in 1961 the morning after having a long discussion with friends about what life might be like following a nuclear holocaust. She began performing the song that year, with the first recorded version appearing on her 1962 live album At Folk City. The song was not published, however, until 1964, when Fred Neil decided to record his own version of the song for his album Tear Down The Walls. The first time the song appeared on a major label was 1966, when Tim Rose recorded it for his self-titled Columbia Records debut album. Rose had secured permission to revise the song and take credit as a co-writer, but his version was virtually identical with the Fred Neil version of the song. Nonetheless, Rose's name has been included on all subsequent recordings (though Dobson gets 75% of the royalties), including the Grateful Dead version heard on their 1967 debut LP.

Artist:    Canned Heat
Title:    Boogie Music
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Living The Blues and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    L.T.Tatman III
Label:    United Artists (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1968
    Canned Heat was formed in 1966 by a group of Bay Area blues purists. Although a favorite on the rock scene, the band continued to remain true to the blues throughout their existence. The band's most popular single was Going Up the Country from the album Living the Blues. An edited version of Boogie Music, also from Living the Blues, was issued as the B side of that single. This is a stereo mix of that version, featured on a United Artists anthology album released in 1969.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Superlungs (My Supergirl)
Source:    CD: Sunshine On The Mountain (originally released on LP: Barabajabal)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Sony Music Special Products (original label: Epic)
Year:    1969
    Donovan originally recorded a song called Supergirl for his 1966 album Sunshine Superman album, but ultimately chose not to use the track. Over two years later he recorded an entirely new version of the song, retitling it Superlungs My Supergirl for the 1969 Barabajagal album.

Artist:    Tales Of Justine
Title:    Monday Morning
Source:    Mono British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    David Daltrey
Label:    EMI (original label: His Master's Voice)
Year:    1967
    Tales Of Justine started off in 1965 as the Court Jesters, an instrumental trio consisting of Paul Myerson on guitar, Chris Woodisse on bass, and Paul Hurford on drums. The lineup was completed with the addition of multi-instrumentalist David Daltrey, a cousin of the Who's Roger Daltrey, on lead vocals. Two years later the band signed with EMI, largely due to support from trainee producer Tim Rice and arranger Andrew Lloyd Webber, who helped the band with their debut single. Rice soon departed company with EMI and the band did not release any more records. Rice and Webber, however, went on to greater fame with their rock musicals Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph And The AmazingTechnicolor Dreamcoat, the second of which starred Daltrey himself.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Discrepancy
Source:    CD: Beyond The Garage (originally released on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer:    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
    Discrepancy, one of Sean Bonniwell's most sophisticated recordings with his band the Music Machine, features two simultaneous vocal lines. The main one, sung by Bonniwell (in the left channel) as a single melody line, tells the story of a deteriorating relationship. In the opposite channel we hear a breathy multi-part vocal line that tells the same story from the perspective of the subconscious. The two come together lyrically from time to time to express key concepts such as the line "now I know I'm losing you", only to once again diverge onto their separate tracks. The bridge serves to further unite the two divergent lines with the repeating plea to "tell me what to do". Discrepancy is one of the few tracks recorded by the original Music Machine lineup that was never released on Original Sound Records, either as an LP track or on a 45 RPM single. Instead, the song was included on the LP Bonniwell Music Machine, released by Warner Brothers in 1967.

Artist:    Sound System
Title:    Take A Look At Yourself
Source:    Mono CD: A Lethal Dose Of Hard Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jenkins/McNeal
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Romat)
Year:    1967
    Greenville, North Carolina, a small city in the heart of tobacco country, is not the first place that comes to mind when one thinks of garage rock. For one thing, there were very few AM stations playing rock and roll (most of the local stations played country exclusively) and FM was virtually non-existent in the area. For another, the rural nature of eastern Carolina meant that many young people, when they were not in school, were busy earning summer money working on farms, or at least in farm-related industries. Nonetheless, the Sound System managed to record Take A Look At Yourself, a classic slice of garage-punk, at Pitt Sound Studio in early 1967, releasing the song on the tiny Romat label. What happened after that is anyone's guess.

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