Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1531 (starts 7/29/15)

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Talk Talk
Source:    CD: Turn On The Music Machine
Writer:    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Collectables (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    When it came time for Sean Bonniwell's band, the Music Machine, to go into the studio, the group decided to go for the best sound possible. This meant signing with tiny Original Sound Records, despite having offers from bigger labels, due to Original Sound having their own state-of-the-art eight-track studios. Unfortunately for the band, they soon discovered that having great equipment did not mean Original Sound made great decisions. One of the first, in fact, was to include a handful of cover songs on the Music Machine's first LP that were recorded for use on a local TV show. Bonniwell was livid when he found out, as he had envisioned an album made up entirely of his own compositions (although he reportedly did plan to use a slowed-down version of Hey Joe that he and Tim Rose had worked up together). From that point on it was only a matter of time until the Music Machine and Original Sound parted company, but not until after they scored a big national hit with Talk Talk (a song that ironically had been recorded on four-track equipment at RCA's Burbank studios prior to the band's signing with Original Sound) in 1966.
Artist:     Donovan
Title:     Sand And Foam
Source:     45 RPM single B side
Writer:     Donovan Leitch
Label:     Epic
Year:     1967
     When Donovan Leitch, a young singer from Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland, first came to prominence, he was hailed as Britain's answer to Bob Dylan. By 1966 he was recognized as the most popular folk singer in the UK. But Donovan was already starting to stretch beyond the boundaries of folk music, and in the fall of that year he released his first major US hit, Sunshine Superman. From that point on he was no longer Donovan the folk singer; he was now Donovan the singer-songwriter. Donovan continued to expand his musical horizons in 1967 with the release of the Mellow Yellow album and singles such as There Is A Mountain. The B side of There Is A Mountain was Sand And Foam, an acoustic number from the Mellow Yellow album.

Artist:    Al Kooper/Stephen Stills/Harvey Brooks/Eddie Hoh
Title:    Season Of The Witch (2002 remix w/o horns)
Source:    CD: Super Session
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1968
            In 1968 Al Kooper, formerly of the Blues Project, formed a new group he called Blood, Sweat and Tears. Then, after recording one album with the new group, he promptly quit the band. He then booked studio time and called in his friend Michael Bloomfield (who had just left his own new band the Electric Flag) for a recorded jam session. Due to his chronic insomnia and inclination to use heroin to deal with said insomnia, Bloomfield was unable to record an entire album's worth of material, and Kooper called in another friend, Stephen Stills (who had recently left the Buffalo Springfield) to complete the project. The result was the Super Session album, which surprisingly (considering that it was the first album of its kind), made the top 10 album chart. One of the most popular tracks on Super Session was an extended version of Donovan's "Season of the Witch." Kooper initially felt that the basic tracks needed some sweetening, so he brought in a horn section to record additional overdubs. In 2002, Kooper revisited the original multi-track master tapes and created a new mix that restored the original performance. This is that mix.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Soul Sacrifice
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Santana)
Writer(s):    Brown/Malone/Rolie/Santana
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    Of all the bands formed in the late 1960s, very few achieved any degree of popularity outside of their local community. Fewer still could be considered an influence on future stars. Most rare of all are those who managed to be both popular and influential while maintaining a degree of artistic integrity. One name that comes immediately to mind is Santana (both the band and the man). It might be surprising, then, to hear that the first Santana album, released in 1969, was savaged by the rock press, particularly the San Francisco based Rolling Stone magazine, who called it boring and repetitious. It wasn't until the band performed Soul Sacrifice (heard here in its original studio version) at Woodstock that Santana became major players on the rock scene.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Snowblind Friend
Source:    CD: Born To Be Wild-A Retrospective (originally released on LP: Steppenwolf 7)
Writer(s):    Hoyt Axton
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1970
    One of the most popular tracks from the first Steppenwolf album was a Hoyt Axton tune called The Pusher. For their next few albums the group wrote most of their own material, but included another Axton tune, Snowblind Friend, on their seventh LP. Although not released as a single, the tune did well on progressive rock radio stations, and is generally considered one of their better tunes from 1970. The band had gone through a few personnel changes by that point, and the song features new members Larry Byrom (guitar) and George Biondo (bass), both of which had been members of a band called T.I.M.E. before replacing Michael Monarch and Nick St. Nicholas in Steppenwolf.
Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Pushin' Too Hard
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on LP: The Seeds and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1965
    Pushin' Too Hard was originally released as a single in 1965 (under the title You're Pushin' Too Hard), but did not make an immediate impression. The following year, however, the tune started getting some local airplay on Los Angeles area stations. This in turn led to the band recording their first album, The Seeds, which was released in spring of 1966. A second Seeds LP, A Web Of Sound, hit L.A. record stores in the fall of the same year. Meanwhile, Pushin' Too Hard started to get national airplay, hitting its peak position on the Billboard charts in February of 1967.
Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Leave
Source:    CD: Buffalo Springfield
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    Although Buffalo Springfield are generally acknowldeged to among the pioneers of a softer rock sound that would gain popularity in the 70s with bands like the Eagles, Poco and Crosby, Stills and Nash, they did occasionally rock out a bit harder on tracks like Leave. Of particular note is lead guitarist Neil Young doing blues licks on Leave, a Stephen Stills tune from the first Buffalo Springfield album, released in 1966.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    The Girl With No Name
Source:    Mono LP: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    Chris Hillman
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1967
    A failed relationship was the inspiration for The Girl With No Name, one of five songs written or co-written by Byrds bassist Chris Hillman for the group's fourth LP, Younger Than Yesterday. The tune has a strong country feel to it, presaging Hillman's future career as a member of the Desert Rose Band in the 1980s. Guitarist Clarence White, who would soon become a member of the band, makes an early appearance on the track.

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Oh, Sweet Mary
Source:    LP: Cheap Thrills
Writer(s):    Albin/Andrew/Getz/Gurley/Joplin
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    The only song credited to the entire membership of Big Brother And The Holding Company on their Cheap Thrills album was Oh, Sweet Mary (although the original label credits Janis Joplin as sole writer and the album cover itself gives only Joplin and Peter Albin credit). The tune bears a strong resemblance to Coo Coo, a non-album single the band had released on the Mainstream label before signing to Columbia. Oh, Sweet Mary, however, has new lyrics and a "dreamy" bridge section played at a slower tempo than the rest of the tune.

Artist:        Ten Years After
Title:        A Sad Song
Source:    CD: Stonedhenge
Writer:        Alvin Lee
Label:        Deram
Year:        1969
        The Base Exchange (BX) at Ramstein Air Force Base had, in 1969, a fairly sizable record and tape section, comparable to those of the large discount stores like K-Mart and Woolco that were starting to pop up in many US cities. Most LPs ran $2.50 (compared to $3.98 stateside), and included a mixture of domestic and import pressings of the most popular albums of the time. Each month the BX would feature one new LP for $1.50, and as a general rule it was something I would have bought anyway (like the European version of the Rolling Stones' Through The Past, Darkly album). Sometimes I would even take a chance on a band I had never heard of, if the cover looked interesting enough. One such case was an album from an obscure British blues band called Ten Years After. The album was called Stonedhenge, and the cover, featuring the famous monolithic stones against a maroon background, immediately grabbed me. It was probably the best purchase of its type I have ever made, as the album soon became one of my favorites. The LP has a unique structure, with each side starting and ending with tracks featuring the full band, alternating with short solo pieces from each of the band's four members (and including a full band track in the middle of each side). Side two of the album opens with A Sad Song, a quiet blues piece that was likely inspired by British blues guru John Mayall.

Artist:    Guess Who
Title:    When Friends Fall Out
Source:    CD:  American Woman
Writer(s):    Bachman/Cummings
Label:    Buddha/BMG Heritage (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1970
    The Guess Who had already established themselves in their native Canada when they signed with Jack Richardson's Nimbus label in 1968. One of the first singles the band cut for their new label was When Friends Fall Out, a Cream-inspired tune written by guitarist Randy Bachman and vocalist Burton Cummings. The song got reworked for inclusion on their third LP for RCA Victor, American Woman, in 1970.
Artist:    Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:    When I Was Young
Source:    Mono LP: The Best of Eric Burdon and the Animals-Vol. II (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1967
    After the Animals disbanded in 1966, Eric Burdon set out to form a new band that would be far more psychedelic than the original group. The first release from these "New Animals" was When I Was Young. The song was credited to the entire band, a practice that would continue throughout the entire existence of the group that came to be called Eric Burdon And The Animals.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    2000 Light Years From Home
Source:    LP: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    Nowhere was the ripple effect of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band more noticable than on the Rolling Stones fall 1967 release Their Satanic Majesties Request. The cover featured the band members in various sorcerous regalia in a seven-inch picture on the kind of holographic paper used for "magic rings" found in bubble-gum machines and pasted over regular album-cover stock, which was a simple pattern of faded white circles on a blue background (it kind of looked like dark wallpaper). Musically it was the most psychedelic Stones album ever released. Interesting enough, different songs were released as singles in different countries. In the US the single was She's A Rainbow, while in Germany 2,000 Light Years From Home (the US B side of She's A Rainbow) made the top 40 charts.

Artist:    Beacon Street Union
Title:    Recitation/My Love Is
Source:    British import CD: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union
Writer(s):    Wayne Ulaky
Label:    See For Miles (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1968
    For a time in early 1968 my favorite album was The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union, which is in a sense kind of strange, since I didn't own a copy of the LP. I did, however, have access to my dad's Dual turntable and Akai reel-to-reel tape recorder, and used to fall asleep on the couch with the headphones on nearly every night (hey, it beat sharing a room with my 8-year-old brother). So when one of my bandmates invited the rest of us over to hear his new album by this new band from Boston I naturally asked to borrow it long enough to tape a copy for myself.  As it turned out, The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union is one of those albums best listened to with headphones on, with all kinds of cool (dare I say groovy?) stereo effects, like the organ and cymbals going back and forth from side to side following the spoken intro (by producer Tom Wilson, it turns out) on the album's first track, My Love Is. Years later I acquired a mono copy of the LP, but it just wasn't the same.

Artist:    Splinterfish
Title:    July
Source:    LP: Splinterfish
Writer(s):    Chuck Hawley
Label:    StreetSound
Year:    1989
            Albuquerque, New Mexico is in a unique position when it comes to music. Being 400 miles in any direction away from the next major city, it has managed to develop a strong local alternative music scene, starting in the early 1980s with the emergence of bands like the Philisteens, the Cosmic Grackles and Kor-Phu, just to name a few. As the decade progressed, the scene developed in several directions at once, from hard-core punk (Jerry's Kidz being the most prominent), to so-called "hippy" bands like Illegal Aliens and neo-psychedelic groups like the Crawling Walls. By the end of the decade there were several new venues opening up for hard-to-classify bands like A Murder Of Crows, the Mumphries and this week's featured Advanced Psych band Splinterfish. Led by guitarist/vocalist Chuch Hawley, Splinterfish released only one self-titled LP in 1989, but is still fondly remembered as one of the best bands ever to emerge from the Duke city. July, a melodic track from the album, combines an unusual chord structure with whimsical lyrics to create a truly catchy, yet unique, piece.
Artist:    Liquid Scene
Title:    The Mystery Machine
Source:    Revolutions
Writer(s):    Becki diGregorio (bodhi)
Label:    Ziglain
Year:    2014
    Keeping the spirit of psychedelia alive we have Liquid Scene with a track from their 2014 debut CD Revolutions. The Mystery Machine, the third track on the CD, uses acoustic percussion instruments to set the tone for a piece that combines modern production techiques with bodhi's haunting vocals to create a memorable soundscape without in any way abandoning its late 60s roots. I like this one more every time I hear it.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Little Wing
Source:    CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (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:    Crosstown Traffic
Source:    CD: The Ultimate Experience (originally released on LP: Electric Ladyland)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    By 1968 it didn't matter one bit whether the Jimi Hendrix Experience had any hit singles; their albums were guaranteed to be successful. Nonetheless the Electric Ladyland album had no less that three singles on it (although one was a new stereo mix of a 1967 single). The last of these was Crosstown Traffic, a song that has been included on several anthologies over the years.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    If 6 Was 9
Source:    CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Before 1967 stereo was little more than an excuse to charge a dollar more for an LP. That all changed in a hurry, as artists such as Jimi Hendrix began to explore the possibilities of the technology, in essence treating stereophonic sound as a multi-dimensional sonic palette. The result can be heard on songs such as If 6 Were 9 from the Axis: Bold As Love album, which is best listened to at high volume, preferably with headphones on.

Artist:    Ringo Starr
Title:    It Don't Come Easy
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Richard Starkey
Label:    Apple
Year:    1971
            Ringo Starr's most famous song started off as You Gotta Pay Your Dues, and was recorded in 30 takes in February of 1970. Ringo, however, was not satisfied with the still unfinished recording and decided to scrap the whole thing and start over on March 8th. By this time the song had been retitled It Don't Come Easy, and the song was not finished until October of that year. When the press first got wind of the recording sessions in March Apple Records issued a statement that there were no plans for the record to be released as a single. 13 months later, It Don't Come Easy hit the charts and managed to outperform John Lennon's Power To The People, Paul McCartney's Another Day and George Harrison's Bangla Desh, all of which were released at around the same time. Ringo still performs the song virtually every time he makes a live appearance.
Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Rocky Raccoon
Source:    LP: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:    1968
            I had a friend in high school named Steve Head who was probably a better guitarist/vocalist than any of us realized. Part of the reason for the mystery was because he would only play one song in public: The Beatles' Rocky Raccoon, from the White Album. He nailed it, though.
Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Maxwell's Silver Hammer
Source:    LP: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:    1969
    Maxwell's Silver Hammer is lyrically one of the most bizarre songs ever written by Paul McCartney The song was originally written for the Beatles' White Album, but did not get recorded due to time restraints. The band finally began work on the song in July of 1969, and spent nearly a month perfecting it. John Lennon was recovering from a traffic accident at the time, which limited his participation in the process, and both George Harrison and Ringo Starr later expressed frustration with the entire process, with Starr calling it "the worst track we ever had to record". Lennon dismissed the song as "more of Paul's granny music". Looking back, Maxwell's Silver Hammer sounds like it could have easily been included on a Wings album.
Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Happiness Is A Warm Gun
Source:    LP: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:    1968
    It is by now a well-known fact that very few of the songs on the 1968 double-LP The Beatles (aka the White Album) actually featured the entire group. One of those few (and reportedly both Paul McCartney's and George Harrison's favorite song on the album) was Happiness Is A Warm Gun. Written by John Lennon, the piece is actually a pastiche of three song fragments, each of which is radically different from the others. The opening lines (uncredited) were contributed by Derek Taylor, a London promoter who was instrumental in bringing the Jimi Hendrix Experience to America to perform at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967. The track, one of the most musically challenging in the entire Beatles catalog, took three days to record, and was produced by Chris Thomas, who was filling in for a vacationing George Martin at the time.

Artist:    Move
Title:    Flowers In The Rain
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Roy Wood
Label:    A&M
Year:    1967
    The Move was one of Britain's most popular acts in the mid to late 1960s. That popularity, however, did not extend to North America, where the band failed to chart even a single hit. The closest they came was Flowers In The Rain, a song that made it to the # 2 spot in England and was the very first record played on BBC Radio One (the first legal top 40 station in the UK). Eventually Roy Wood would depart to form his own band, Roy Wood's Wizzard, and the remaining members would evolve into the Electric Light Orchestra.

Artist:     Pink Floyd
Title:     Bike
Source:     CD: The Piper At the Gates of Dawn
Writer:     Syd Barrett
Label:     Capitol (originally released on EMI/Columbia in UK)
Year: 1967
     Due to an inherent cheapness in Tower Records' approach to pretty much everything, four songs were left off the US version of the first Pink Floyd album, The Piper At the Gates of Dawn, with the band's first UK single, Arnold Layne, being inserted in their stead (shortening the album's running time by nearly ten minutes). Among the missing songs was Syd Barrett's Bike, which did not appear in the US until the early 70s, when the Relics compilation was released. All CD releases of Piper in the US have restored the original song lineup and running order.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Source:    CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night))
Writer(s):    Tucker/Mantz
Label:    BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    The Electric Prunes biggest hit was I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), released in early 1967. The record, initially released without much promotion from the record label, was championed by Seattle DJ Pat O'Day of KJR radio, and was already popular in that area when it hit the national charts (thus explaining why so many people assumed the band was from Seattle). I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) has come to be one of the defining songs of the psychedelic era and was the opening track on both the original Lenny Kaye Nuggets compilation and Rhino's first Nuggets LP.

Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    Mr. Second Class
Source:    CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution (originally released as 455 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Hardin/Davis
Label:    1967
Year:    Grapefruit (original label: United Artists)
            The Spencer Davis Group managed to survive the departure of their star member, Steve Winwood (and has brother Muff) in 1967, and with new members Eddie Hardin (vocals) and Phil Sawyer (guitar) managed to get a couple more singles on the chart over the next year or so. The last of these was Mr. Second Class, a surprising strong composition from Hardin and Davis.
Artist:    Chris Carpenter
Title:    This World (Is Closing In On Me)
Source:    Mono CD: A Heavy Dose Of Lyte Psych (originally released in Canada as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    L. Drake
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Stone; released in US on Sidra, Oceanside and United Artists)
Year:    1967
    This World (Is Closing In On Me) was a lavishly produced piece from Detroit's Chris Carpenter that was released on several different labels in 1967. The song first appeared on the Stone label in Canada, then on local Detroit labels Sidra and Oceanside (the latter being the source material for Arf Arf's CD reissue of the track). The recording was also picked up for national distribution by United Artists and was also issued on colored vinyl on the Sound Patterns label, but credited to "Preston" rather than Chris Carpenter. A strange history indeed!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1530 (starts 7/22/15)

Artist:    Chambers Brothers
Title:    Time Has Come Today
Source:    CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released on LP: The Time Has Come; edited version released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Joe and Willie Chambers
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967 (edited version released 1968)
    One of the quintessential songs of the psychedelic era is the Chambers Brothers' classic Time Has Come Today. The song was originally recorded and issued as a single in 1966. The more familiar version heard here, however, was recorded in 1967 for the album The Time Has Come. The LP version of the song runs about eleven minutes, way too long for a 45 RPM record, so before releasing the song as a single for the second time, engineers at Columbia cut the song down to around 3 minutes. The edits proved so jarring that the record was recalled and a re-edited version, clocking in at 4:55 became the third and final single version of the song, hitting the charts in 1968.

Artist:     Donovan
Title:     Hampstead Incident
Source:     Mono LP: Mellow Yellow
Writer:     Donovan Leitch
Label:     Epic
Year:     1967
     The Beatles started a trend (one of many) when they used a harpsichord on the Rubber Soul album, released in December of 1965. By early 1967 it seemed that just about everyone had a song or two with the antique instrument featured on it. Unlike many of the recordings of the time, Hampstead Incident manages to use the harpsichord, as well as several other instruments not normally associated with folk-rock, effectively without overdoing it.

Artist:    Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Title:    I'll Search The Sky
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Ricochet)
Writer(s):    David Hanna
Label:    Rhino (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1967
            The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band released two albums in 1967, about four to five months apart. Part of the reason for this may have been that their label, Liberty Records, was finding it difficult to get any of their releases to show up on the Billboard album charts; in fact, the first Dirt Band album was one of only two LPs on the label to accomplish that feat that year. The second LP by the group, Ricochet, was not able to duplicate the feat, however, despite fine tracks like I'll Search The Sky and the band was in danger of fading off into obscurity by the end of the year. The group persisted, however, switching over to the United Artists label when it bought Liberty in the early 1970s, and eventually hit it big with their version of Jerry Jeff Walker's Mr. Bojangles. The band continued to gravitate toward country music over the next decade, eventually emerging as one of the top country acts of the 1980s.
Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    Fakin' It
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bookends)
Writer:    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    Fakin' It, originally released as a single in 1967, was a bit of a departure for Simon And Garfunkel, sounding more like British psychedelic music than American folk-rock. The track starts with an intro that is similar to the false ending to the Beatles Strawberry Fields Forever; midway through the record the tempo changes drastically for a short spoken word section that is reminiscent of the bridge in Traffic's Hole In My Shoe. The song was later included on the 1968 LP Bookends.

Artist:    Barbarians
Title:    Moulty
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Greenberg/Morris/Baer/Schwartz)
Label:    Rhino (original label: Laurie)
Year:    1966
    The Barbarians were originally formed in Cape Cod in 1963, and were known as much for their noncomformity as for their music. They were the first Boston area band to grow out their hair and wear leather sandals; To top it off their drummer, Vic "Moulty" Moulton, had lost his left hand in an accident when he was younger and wore a prosthetic hook. In 1966, after the band had moderate national success with a semi-novelty song called Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl, the band's producer, Doug Morris, talked Moulton into recording a faux-autobiographical song called Moulty, using New York studio musicians from a group called Levon and the Hawks (who had backed up such notables as Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan on tour and would, in a few years, become superstars in the own right after changing their name to The Band). Moulton, upon finding out that the recording had been released, was incensed, and went to the New York offices of Laurie Records, chasing the label's president around the office and breaking copies of the record over his head. Moulty was the last Barbarians record to appear on the Laurie label.

Artist:    Red Squares
Title:    You Can Be My Baby
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in Denmark as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Martin/Bell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1966
    Originally formed in Boston, England, in 1964, the Red Squares relocated to Denmark in 1966 and soon became massively popular. For the most part the band's sound was similar to the Hollies, as can be heard on the original LP version of You Can Be My Baby. The single version of the song heard here, however, cranks up the energy levels to something approaching the early Who records.

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    New York Bullseye
Source:    LP: Back Door Men
Writer(s):    Harry Pye
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    There are two tracks credited to Harry Pye on the second Shadows Of Knight album, Back Door Men. Both are instrumentals. The second of these, New York Bullseye, is basically a blues jam. All this, plus the fact that I can't seem to find any information on "Harry Pye", leads me to believe that Harry Pye was actually a close relative of Nanker Phelge and McGannahan Skjellyfetti, both of which were fictional entities used to secure royalties on recordings created by an entire band (the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead, respectively.)

Artist:     Chocolate Watch Band (recording as the Hoggs)
Title:     Loose Lips Sync Ship
Source:     Mono British import CD: Melts In Your Brain, Not On Your Wrist (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:     Aguilar/Loomis
Label:     Big Beat (original label: Hanna-Barbera)
Year:     1966
    The Chocolate Watchband's first visit to a recording studio was interrupted by an associate of producer Ed Cobb with word that a track called Blues Theme by Davie Allen And The Arrows that appeared on the soundtrack album for a cheesy biker flick was not going to be released as a single. Cobb felt that the tune was a potential hit and asked the Watchband if they could cover the song right then and there. As the Watchband's  specialty was doing cover versions of songs like Blues Theme anyway, the band was happy to oblige, reportedly getting it down in one take. A recording of a motorcycle revving its engine was edited onto the beginning of the song, probably at Cobb's insistence. For the B side the group concocted Loose Lips Sync Ship, a piece that starts off sounding like a generic instrumental, but soon gets weird in a way that resembles both Frank Zappa and the Firesign Theatre. The entire package was then issued as a single on the Hanna Barbera label, credited to the Hoggs (no doubt to cash in on the biker connection).

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Sometimes
Source:    LP: Here They Come!
Writer(s):    Thomasson
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
            Although a few early rock and roll artists managed to secure contracts with the major record labels (Elvis Presley being the most obvious example), the vast majority of youth-oriented pop music, as it was then called, was released on smaller, independent labels. In fact, the second largest label in the world, Columbia, had not, as of 1963, signed a single rock act. That all began to change, however, with the signing of Paul Revere And The Raiders that year. The band released a series of singles for the label over the next few months, all of which were popular on the West Coast but were unable to cross over onto the national charts. Meanwhile, Columbia had assigned their most youth-oriented producer, Bob Johnston to come up with a Raiders album; the result was Here They Come, an LP that featured the band's live show recorded in front of a hand-picked audience on one side and some new studio tracks on the other. Among those new studio tracks was a tune called Sometimes, which opens side two of the original LP. The album itself sat on the shelf until 1965; by then the band had landed a spot on Dick Clark's new afternoon TV show, Where The Action Is, prompting Columbia to finally release what is now generally acknowledged to be the label's first LP by a rock band.
Artist:    Eric Clapton And The Powerhouse
Title:    Crossroads
Source:    Mono LP: What's Shakin'
Writer(s):    Robert Johnson
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1966
    In mid-1966 a curiousity appeared on the record shelves from the critically acclaimed but little known Elektra record label, a New York based company specializing in folk and blues recordings. It was an LP called What's Shakin', and it was basically a collection of mostly unrelated tracks that had been accumulating in Elektra's vaults for several months. Elektra had sent producer Joe Boyd to England to help open a new London office for the label, and while there he made the acquaintance of several local blues musicians, some of which he talked into recording a few songs for Elektra. These included guitarist Eric Clapton (from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers), vocalist Steve Winwood and drummer Pete York (from the Spencer Davis Group), bassist Jack Bruce and harmonica player Paul Jones (from Manfred Mann), and pianist Ben Palmer, a friend of Clapton's who would become a Cream roadie. Recording under the name The Powerhouse, the group recorded four tracks in the studio, three of which were used on What's Shakin' (the fourth, a slow blues, has since gone missing). Possibly the most interesting of the three tracks is Robert Johnson's Crossroads, which Clapton and Bruce would re-record two years later with Cream. Unlike the Cream version, which is more rocked out, the Powerhouse version of Crossroads is much more of a traditional electrical blues piece, fitting in quite nicely with the Butterfield Blues Band tracks on the album.

Artist:    Mystery Trend
Title:    Johnny Was A Good Boy
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Nagle/Cuff
Label:    Rhino (original label: Verve)
Year:    1967
    The Mystery Trend was a bit of an anomaly. Contemporaries of bands such as the Great! Society and the Charlatans, the Trend always stood a bit apart from the rest of the crowd, playing to an audience that was both a bit more affluent and a bit more "adult" (they were reportedly the house band at a Sausalito strip club). Although they played in the city itself as early as 1965, they did not release their first record until early 1967. The song, Johnny Was A Good Boy, tells the story of a seemingly normal middle-class kid who turns out to be a monster, surprising friends, family and neighbors. The same theme would be used by XTC in the early 1980s in the song No Thugs In Our House, one of the standout tracks from their landmark English Settlement album.

Artist:    Warm Sounds
Title:    Nite Is A Comin'/Smeta Murgaty
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Gerrard/Younghusband
Label:    Deram
Year:    1968
            Presaging a trend that began to take off in the 1980s (and is even more prevalent today), Warm Sounds was a band that actually consisted of only two people, Britishers Denver Gerrard and Barry Younghusband. They only had one real hit, the 1967 tune Birds And Bees, but continued to make records through the following year, getting more experimental with each subsequent single. Among the most psychedelic of these singles was Nite Is A Comin', which here is segued into its own B side, Smeta Murgaty. Astute listeners will realize that the first portion of Smeta Murgaty is actually the last portion of Nite Is A Comin' played backwards. Experimental indeed!
Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Good Times Bad Times
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin
Writer(s):    Page/Jones/Bonham
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    When I was a junior in high school I used to occasionally hang out at the teen club on Ramstein AFB in Germany. One evening I was completely blown away by a new record on the jukebox. It was Good Times Bad Times by a group called Led Zeppelin. Although the members of my band knew better than to attempt to cover the song, another neighborhood group did take a shot at it with somewhat disastrous results at a gig that our two groups split on New Year's Eve of 1969-70. As I had a personal vendetta going against their bass player, I didn't feel too bad about the fact that we basically blew them out of the water that night, but over time I have come to regret doing that to the rest of the band (well, actually they did it to themselves), particularly their lead guitarist, who was actually a really nice guy. Sorry Jeff.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Elijah
Source:    CD: Spirit
Writer:    John Locke
Label:    Ode/Epic/Legacy
Year:    1968
    Since the mid-1960s many bands have had one long piece that they play in concert that is specifically designed to allow individual band members to strut their stuff. In a few cases, such as Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida or Lynnard Skynnard's Freebird, it becomes their best-known song. In most cases, though, a studio version of the piece gets put on an early album and never gets heard on the radio. Such is the case with Spirit's show-stopper Elijah, which was reportedly never played the same way twice. Elijah, written by keyboardist John Locke, starts with a hard-rockin' main theme that is followed by a jazzier second theme that showcases one of the lead instruments (guitar, keyboards). The piece then comes to a dead stop while one of the members has a solo section of their own devising. This is followed by the main theme, repeating several times until every member has had their own solo section. The piece ends with a return to the main theme followed by a classic power rock ending.

Artist:    Generation
Title:    I'm A Good Woman
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on CD: Golden State Soul)
Writer(s):    Barbara Ozen
Label:    Rhino (original label: Ace/Kent)
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 2000
    Even as the original wave of San Francisco psychedelic bands were at their peak, a new, more dance-oriented group of bands were starting to fill the various ballrooms in the bay area. These new groups were built on a solid R&B base and included Tower of Power and Sly and the Family Stone, as well as a lesser-known band called The Generation. The Generation's main attraction was vocalist Lydia Pense, who, despite a petit frame, had one of the most powerful voices on the scene. The Generation managed to get into a recording studio to cut I'm A Good Woman and a few other tracks in 1967 before changing their name to Cold Blood the following year. Cold Blood continues to perform with Pense as the only original member still with the group. Their most recent album was a live CD released in 2008.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Bass Strings
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: The Life And Times Of Country Joe And The Fish (originally released as EP included in Rag Baby newspaper # 2)
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1966
    One of the more original ways to get one's music heard is to publish an underground arts-oriented newspaper and include a pullout flexi-disc in it. Country Joe and the Fish did just that; not once, but twice. The first one was split with another artist and featured the original recording of the I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag. The second Rag Baby EP, released in 1966, was all Fish, and featured two tracks that would be re-recorded for their debut LP the following year. In addition to the instrumental Section 43, the EP included a four-minute version of Bass Strings, a track with decidedly psychedelic lyrics.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Lady Jane
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer:    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1966
    One of the best early Rolling Stones albums is 1966's Aftermath, which included such classics as Under My Thumb, Stupid Girl and the eleven-minute Goin' Home. Both the US and UK versions of the LP included the song Lady Jane, which was also released as the B side to Mother's Little Helper (which had been left off the US version of Aftermath to make room for Paint It, Black). The policy at the time was for B sides that got a significant amount of airplay to be rated seperately from the A side of the single, and Lady Jane managed to climb to the # 24 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 (Mother's Little Helper peaked at # 8).

Artist:    Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band
Title:    Diddy Wah Diddy
Source:    Mono CD: More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    McDaniel/Dixon
Label:    Rhino (original label: A&M)
Year:    1966
    Don Van Vliet and Frank Zappa knew each other in high school in the Antelope Valley area of Los Angeles, but did not stay in close contact after graduation. While Zappa was developing an interest in early 20th century avant-garde classical music, Van Vliet established a reputation as one of the best white blues singers around. When the opportunity came to record a few tracks for A&M records in 1965, Van Vliet, who by then was calling himself Captain Beefheart, chose a Bo Diddly tune, Diddy Wah Diddy, to showcase his vocal talents. The song was a local hit in Los Angeles, but A&M, for reasons unknown, did not retain the Captain on their roster of artists. Beefheart would record for several more labels over the years, with his greatest success being the album Trout Mask Replica, which was released on Zappa's own Straight Records label in 1969.

Artist:    Love
Title:    7&7 Is
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single. Stereo version released on LP: Da Capo)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Rhino (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1967
    The word "seven" does not appear anywhere in the song 7&7 Is. In fact, I have no idea where Arthur Lee got that title from. Nonetheless, the song is among the most intense tracks to ever make the top 40. 7&7 Is starts off with power chords played over a constant drum roll (possibly played by Lee himself), with cymbals crashing over equally manic semi-spoken lyrics. The song builds up to an explosive climax: an atomic bomb blast followed by a slow post-apocalyptic instrumental that quickly fades away.

Artist:    Mothers Of Invention
Title:    Help, I'm A Rock/It Can't Happen Here
Source:    CD: Freak Out!
Writer(s):    Frank Zappa
Label:    Ryko (original label: Verve)
Year:    1966
    Help, I'm A Rock and its follow up track It Can't Happen Here are among the best-known Frank Zappa compositions on the first Mothers Of Invention album, Freak Out! The phrase Help I'm A Rock itself comes across as a kind of mantra, with various verbal bits (including Zappa's own take on the 1966 Sunset Strip riot) going on around a repeating bass/drum/guitar riff. The song eventually leads into It Can't Happen Here, an avant-garde piece composed almost entirely of vocal tracks. The title is a play on a popular misconception in many American cities that the various kinds of civil unrest (and occasional violence) going on could only happen in someone else's town. 

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    3rd Stone From The Sun
Source:    LP: Are You Experienced?
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    One of the great rock instrumentals, 3rd Stone From The Sun (from the Jimi Hendrix Experience album Are You Experienced?) is one of the first tracks to use a recording technique known as backwards masking (where the tape is deliberately put on the machine backwards and new material is added to the reversed recording). In this particular case  the masked material (Hendrix speaking) was added at a faster speed than the original recording, with a lot of reverb added, creating an almost otherworldly effect when played forward at normal speed.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)/Moon Turn The Tides (Gently, Gently Away)
Source:    LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer:    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)/Moon Turn The Tides (Gently, Gently Away) from the Electric Ladyland album is the longest work created purely in the studio by Jimi Hendrix, with a running time of over 16 minutes. The piece starts with tape effects that lead into the song's main guitar rift. The vocals and drums join in to tell a science fiction story set in a future world where the human race has had to move underwater in order to survive some unspecified catastrophe. After a couple verses, the piece goes into a long unstructured section made up mostly of guitar effects before returning to the main theme and closing out with more effects that combine volume control and stereo panning to create a circular effect. As is the case with several tracks on Electric Ladyland, 1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)/Moon Turn The Tides (Gently, Gently Away) features Hendrix on both guitar and bass, with Mitch Mitchell on drums and special guest Chris Wood (from Traffic) on flute.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Are You Experienced?
Source:    LP: Are You Experienced?
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Until the release of Are You Experienced by the Jimi Hendrix Experience the emphasis in rock music (then called pop) was on the 45 RPM single, with albums seen as a luxury item that supplemented an artist's career rather than defined it. Are You Experience helped change all that. The album was not only highly influential, it was a major seller, despite getting virtually no airplay on top 40 radio. The grand finale of the LP was the title track, which features an array of studio effects, including backwards masking and tape loops. Interestingly enough, the album was originally issued only in a mono version in the UK, with European pressings using a simulated stereo mix. After Reprise bought the rights to release the LP in the US it hired its own engineers to create stereo mixes of the songs from the four-track master tapes.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Sleepy Time Time
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Bruce/Godfrey
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    When Cream was first formed, both Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker worked with co-writers on original material for the band. Baker's partner was Pete Brown, while Bruce worked with his wife, Janet Godfrey. Eventually Bruce and Brown began collaborating, creating some of Cream's most memorable songs, but not before Bruce and Godfrey wrote Sleepy Time Time, one of the high points of the Fresh Cream album.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1529 (starts 7/15/15)

Artist:    Leaves
Title:    Too Many People
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Pons/Rinehart
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mira)
Year:    1965
    The Leaves are a bit unusual in that in a city known for drawing wannabes from across the world, this local band's members were all native L.A.ins. Formed by members of a fraternity at Cal State Northridge, the Leaves had their greatest success when they took over as house band at Ciro's after the Byrds vacated the slot to go on tour. Like many bands of the time, they were given a song to record as a single by their producer (Love Minus Zero) and allowed to write their own B side. In this case that B side was Too Many People, written by bassist Jim Pons and  guitarist Bill Rhinehart. The song ended up getting more airplay on local radio stations than Love Minus Zero, making it their first regional hit. The Leaves had their only national hit the following year with their third attempt at recording the fast version of Hey Joe, the success of which led to their first LP, which included a watered down version of Too Many People. The version heard here is the 1965 original. Eventually Pons would leave the Leaves, hooking up first with the Turtles, then Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention.

Artist:    Del Shannon
Title:    She
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Further Adventures Of Charles Westover (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Boyce/Hart
Label:    BGO (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1966   
    Although Del Shannon hit his peak of popularity in the early part of the decade with songs like Runaway and Hats Off To Larry, his recording career continued throughout the 1960s and beyond. Among his many overlooked tracks was his 1966 recording of the Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart song She, which he released as a single several months before the Monkees included it on their second LP. Shannon's version features a more jagged rhythm than the better known Monkees version.
 Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Hole In My Shoe
Source:    CD: Heaven Is In Your Mind
Writer:    Dave Mason
Label:    Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1967
    Since the 1970s Traffic has been known as Steve Winwood's (and to a lesser degree, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood's) band, but in the early days the group's most popular songs were written and sung by co-founder Dave Mason. Hole In My Shoe, the band's second single, received considerable airplay in the UK, although, like all Traffic's 60s records, it failed to make an impression in the US. Like most UK singles at the time, the song was not included on the band's first LP, Mr. Fantasy, although it was included on the American version of the album, which was originally released under the title Heaven Is In Your Mind.

Artist:    Otis Redding
Title:    (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Redding/Cropper
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1968
    Otis Redding's (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay, co-written by legendary MGs guitarist Steve Cropper, was released shortly after the plane crash that took the lives of not only Redding, but several members of the Bar-Kays as well. Shortly after recording the song Redding played it for his wife, who reacted by saying "Otis, you're changing." Redding's reply was "maybe I need to."

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    St. Stephen
Source:    CD: Aoxomoxoa
Writer(s):    Hunter/Garcia/Lesh
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1969
    One of the Grateful Dead's most recognizable tunes is St. Stephen. The song first appeared on the 1969 album Aoxomoxoa, and remained in the Grateful Dead stage repertoire for pretty much their entire existence.

Artist:        Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:        Girl From The City
Source:    45 RPM single (promo)
Writer:        P. Marshall
Label:        Uni
Year:        1970
        The Strawberry Alarm Clock have the distinction of being one of the most referred to bands of the psychedelic era, despite only having one real hit record. How this came to be is a bit of a mystery. I suspect it's probably because they had a cool name that people tend to remember. The fact that they appeared in at least one Hollywood movie probably didn't hurt, either. Regardless, they cranked out a series of singles from 1967 to 1970, but were unable to equal the success of their first hit, Incense and Peppermints. The last of these singles was 1970's Girl From The City, a song that sounds a bit like the Band could have recorded it.

Artist:    Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:    Ain't That So
Source:    Mono British import CD: Winds Of Change (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM B side)
Writer:    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    Repertoire (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    Originally released in the UK as the B side to the 1967 single Good Times (which was itself a B side in the US), Ain't That So made its US debut in 1968, as the B side to the song Monterey (which was a US-only single). Like all the originals released by Eric Burdon and the Animals, writing credits on Ain't That So were shared by the entire band.

Artist:    Eric Burdon And The Animals
Title:    Yes, I'm Experienced
Source:    LP: Winds Of Change
Writer(s):    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1967
    A grand tradition dating back to the early Rhythm and Blues recordings was something called the "answer song". Someone would record a song (Hound Dog, for example), that would become popular. In turn, another artist (often a friend of the original one), would then come up with a song that answered the original tune (Bear Cat, in our example earlier). This idea was picked up on by white artists in the late 50s (Hey Paula answered by Hey Paul). True to the tradition, Eric Burdon answered his friend Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced with this song, done in a style similar to another Hendrix tune, Manic Depression.

Artist:    Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:    The Black Plague
Source:    British import CD: Winds Of Change
Writer(s):    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    Repertoire (original US label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    One of the most interesting recordings of 1967 was Eric Burdon And The Animals' The Black Plague, which appeared on the Winds Of Change album. The Black Plague is a spoken word piece dealing with life and death in a medieval village during the time of the Black Plague (natch), set to a somewhat gothic piece of music that includes Gregorian style chanting and an occasional voice calling out the words "bring out your dead" in the background. The album itself had a rather distinctive cover, consisting of a stylized album title accompanied by a rather lengthy text piece on a black background, something that has never been done before or since on an album cover.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    White Room
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Wheels Of Fire)
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    United Artists (original label: Atco)
Year:    1968
    In order to get songs played on top 40 radio, record companies made it a practice to shorten album cuts by cutting out extended instrumental breaks and extra verses. This version of the Cream classic White Room, clocking in at just over three minutes, is a typical example.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Crosstown Traffic
Source:    Dutch import LP: The Singles (originally released on LP: Electric Ladyland)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    By 1968 it didn't matter one bit whether the Jimi Hendrix Experience had any hit singles; their albums were guaranteed to be successful. Nonetheless the Electric Ladyland album had no less that three singles on it (although one was a new stereo mix of a 1967 single). The third and final single from Electric Ladyland was also the shortest: Crosstown Traffic clocks in at less than two and a half minutes.

Artist:    Vanilla Fudge
Title:    The Look Of Love
Source:    Mono CD: The Complete Atco Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Bacharach/David
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:    1968
    For a group known as one of the original album-rock bands, Vanilla Fudge had an inordinately high number of tracks that were only released on 45 RPM vinyl. Among these was a Fudged up version of Bert Bacharach and Hal David's The Look Of Love. Dusty Springfield had already made the song famous, and the group decided to put it on the B side of a song they wrote themselves called Where Is My Mind as their second single, released in early 1968.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Martha (mono single version)
Source:    Mono CD: After Bathing At Baxter's
Writer(s):    Paul Kantner
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1967
    Jefferson Airplane made no secret of their residence at 2400 Fulton Street in San Francisco. In fact, the place was a known hangout for various freaks, acid-heads and hippy types. One the hangers-on, a young heiress, was the inspiration for Martha, a song from the band's third LP, After Bathing At Baxter's. The song was also released as the B side to Watch Her Ride and used in a promotional film shown on a Perry Como special in 1967. The film, showing the band members cavorting  in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, uses various editing techniques to make the individual members appear, disappear and jump from place to place as well as speed up and slow down, making it one of the first true rock videos.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Somebody To Love
Source:    Mono LP: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s):    Darby Slick
Label:    Sundazed (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1967
        If not for Somebody To Love, no one would even remember that Grace Slick and her husband Jerry were once in a band with her brother-in-law, Darby, who wrote the song.

Artist:     Jefferson Airplane
Title:     Things Are Better In The East
Source:     CD: After Bathing At Baxter's (bonus track)
Writer:     Marty Balin
Label:     RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:     1967
     The third Jefferson Airplane album, After Bathing At Baxter's, saw Marty Balin hanging back and letting the other group members shine. Whereas a majority of songs on the first two albums were Balin compositions (both solo and in collaboration with Paul Kantner), his only composition on Baxter's was Young Girl Sunday Blues, co-written by Kantner. Balin was not completely idle during this period, however, as this recording of Things Are Better In The East, which was held back for possible inclusion on a future album, demonstrates.

Artist:     Argent
Title:     Closer To Heaven
Source:     45 RPM single B side
Writer:     Russ Ballard
Label:     Epic
Year:     1972
     After the Zombies split up in 1968 keyboardist Rod Argent set out to form a new band to be known simply as Argent. The new group scored its biggest hit in 1972 with the song Hold Your Head Up. The original single was released on April 11, 1972 and ran 2 minutes and 52 seconds. It was backed with a song called Keep On Rollin', written by Argent and fellow former Zombie Chris White. On May 1st the single was reissued with a longer version of Hold Your Head Up (3:15). For the reissue the B side was replaced with Closer To Heaven, a tune written by guitarist/keyboardist Russ Ballard.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    Your Head Is Reeling
Source:    LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer:    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    Ultimate Spinach was one of a group of bands signed by M-G-M in 1967 and marketed as being representative of the "Boss-town sound". Unfortunately for all involved, there really was no such thing as a "Boss-town sound" (for that matter there was no such thing as a "San Francisco sound" either, but that's another story). All the hype aside, Ultimate Spinach itself was the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Ian Bruce-Palmer, who wrote and arranged all the band's material. The opening track of side two of the band's debut album is a piece called Your Head Is Reeling, which, despite the somewhat cheesy spoken intro, is as good or better than any other raga styled song of the time.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Horse Latitudes/Moonlight Drive
Source:    LP: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Much of the second Doors album consisted of songs that were already in the band's repertoire when they signed with Elektra Records but for various reasons did not record for their debut LP. One of the earliest was Jim Morrison's Moonlight Ride. As was the case with all the Doors songs on their first three albums, the tune was credited to the entire band. Horse Latitudes, which leads into Moonlight Ride, was also an obvious Morrison composition, as it is essentially a piece of Morrison poetry with a soundtrack provided by the rest of the band.

Artist:     Steve Miller Band
Title:     Song For Our Ancestors
Source:     CD: Sailor
Writer:     Steve Miller
Label:     Capitol
Year:     1968
     Sometime around 1980 someone (I don't recall who) released an album called Songs of the Humpback Whale. It was essentially two LP sides of live recordings of the mammals in their natural habitat (the ocean, duh). This was soon followed by a whole series of albums of natural sounds recorded in high fidelity stereo that went under the name Environments. I wonder if the producers of those albums realized that they were following in the footsteps of San Francisco's Steve Miller Band, who's second LP, Sailor, opens with about a minute of ocean sounds (including whale songs) that serve as an intro to Miller's Song For Our Ancestors.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    How Many More Times
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Led Zeppelin)
Writer(s):    Page/Jones/Bonham
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1969
    Like many early Led Zeppelin songs, How Many More Times was originally credited to the band members (except, for contractual reasons, singer Robert Plant). More recent releases of the song, however, list Chester Burnett (Howlin' Wolf) as a co-writer, despite the fact that he and the members of Led Zeppelin had never met. This is because of the similarity, especially in the lyrics, to a 1951 Howlin' Wolf record called How Many More Years. The band reportedly tried to trick radio programmers into playing the eight and a half minute song by listing it on the album cover as being three minutes and thirty seconds long. I doubt anyone was fooled.

Artist:     Blues Image
Title:     Ride Captain Ride
Source:     CD: Open
Writer:     Blues Image
Label:     Sundazed (original label: Atco)
Year:     1970
     We wrap up our four-year progression with the best-known song from Florida's Blues Image. I don't exactly know why, but I always feel good when I hear Ride Captain Ride. Maybe it's just one of those life soundtrack things, since I honestly can't think of any particular memory it brings up.

Artist:    Blood, Sweat & Tears
Title:    Blues-Part II
Source:    CD: Blood, Sweat & Tears
Writer(s):    Blood, Sweat & Tears
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1969
    Although it was the brainchild of keyboardist/vocalist Al Kooper, the band known as Blood, Sweat & Tears had its greatest success after Kooper left the band following the release of their debut LP, Child Is Father To The Man. The group's self-titled second LP, featuring new lead vocalist David Clayton-Thomas, yielded no less than three top 5 singles: You Made Me So Very Happy, Spinning Wheel, and And When I Die. For me, however, the outstanding track on the album was the thirteen and a half minute Blues-Part II, which takes up most of side two of the original LP. I first heard this track on a show that ran late at night on AFN in Germany. I had already heard the band's first two hit singles and was not particularly impressed with them, but after hearing Blues-Part II I went out and bought a copy of the LP. Luckily, it was not the only track on the album that I found more appealing than the singles (God Bless The Child in particular stands out), but it still, after all these years, is my favorite BS&T recording.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Jumpin' Jack Flash
Source:    CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco
Year:    1968
    After the late 1967 LP Their Satanic Majesties Request was savaged by the critics, the Rolling Stones decided to make a big change, severing ties with their longtime producer Andrew Loog Oldham and replacing him with Jimmy Miller, who had made a name for himself working with Steve Winwood on recordings by both the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic. The collaboration resulted in a back-to-basics approach that produced the classic single Jumpin' Jack Flash. The song was actually the second Stones tune produced by MIller, although it was the first to be released. The song revitalized the band's commercial fortunes, and was soon followed by what is generally considered to be one of the Stones' greatest albums, the classic Beggar's Banquet (which included the first Miller-produced song, Street Fighting Man).

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:    Monkees
Title:    Sweet Young Thing
Source:    Mono CD: The Monkees
Writer(s):    Nesmith/Goffin/King
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1966
            Michael Nesmith had already established himself as a songwriter by the time he was picked to be a member of the prefab four, aka the Monkees. Nonetheless, the show's music director, Don Kirschner, insisted that Nesmith work with the seasoned songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King on a song for the first Monkees LP. The result was a rather disjointed effort called Sweet Young Thing that nonetheless has a certain catchiness to it.
Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Like A Rolling Stone
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Bob Dylan incurred the wrath of folk purists when he decided to use electric instruments for his 1965 LP Highway 61 Revisited. The opening track on the album is the six-minute Like A Rolling Stone, a song that was also selected to be the first single released from the new album. After the single was pressed, the shirts at Columbia Records decided to cancel the release due to its length. An acetate copy of the record, however, made it to a local New York club, where, by audience request, the record was played over and over until it was worn out (acetate copies not being as durable as their vinyl counterparts). When Columbia started getting calls from local radio stations demanding copies of the song the next morning they decided to release the single after all. Like A Rolling Stone ended up going all the way to the number two spot on the US charts, doing quite well in several other countries as well.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1528 (starts 7/8/15)


Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Just Can't Go To Sleep
Source:    Mono LP: You Really Got Me
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1964
    Even on their first LP, You Really Got Me, Kinks songwriter Ray Davies demonstrated that he was capable of writing more than just three-chord rockers (as good as they were). Although Just Can't Go To Sleep does not have the sophistication of later Kinks songs, it is a fairly well crafted pop song on a par with much of what was making the charts in 1964.

Artist:    Mascots   
Title:    Words Enough To Tell You
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in Sweden as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Forsslund/Ringbom
Label:    Rhino (original label: Decca)
Year:    1965
    Beatlemania was not limited to Britain and the U.S. The Fab Four had a sizable following just about everywhere in the world, even penetrating the iron curtain in places. Of course this led to local bands that sounded a lot like the Beatles filling clubs from Paris to Stockholm. In the latter case, the most popular of the bunch was the Mascots, who, starting in 1965, recorded a series of well-produced Beatles homages for the Swedish Decca label. The best of these was Words Enough To Tell You, which was first released as a flexi-disc in 1965 and then as a single the following year. By that point the group had evolved from their 1964 Beatles sound to a more diversified British Beat style, which sustained them for the rest of the decade.

Artist:    Tikis
Title:    Bye Bye Bye
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Templeman/Scoppetone
Label:    Rhino (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1966
    The Tikis were another one of those early San Francisco bands that drew their inspiration more from the Beatles than from the emerging counter-culture. Led by Ted Templeton and Dick Scoppetone (both of whom would end up with careers in the music business), the group featured tight harmonies and catchy melodies. They found greater success in 1967 as Harper's Bizarre with their cover of Simon And Garfunkel's 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy).

Artist:     Grateful Dead
Title:     Beat It On Down the Line
Source:     CD: Grateful Dead
Writer(s):    Jesse Fuller
Label:     Warner Brothers
Year:     1967
     Beat It On Down the Line, from the first Grateful Dead album, is fairly typical of the band's sound in the early days, having only recently gotten off the (Kesey) bus and established themselves as crowd favorites around the various San Francisco ballrooms and auditoriums.

Artist:    Hearts And Flowers
Title:    Rock And Roll Gypsies
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Of Houses, Kids And Forgotten Women)
Writer(s):    Roger Tillison
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1968
    Led by singer/songwriters Larry Murray and Dave Dawson, Hearts And Flowers is best known for launching the career of guitarist/vocalist Bernie Leadon, who joined the group for their second LP and would later go on to co-found the Eagles (he is now a producer in Nashville). That second album, Of Houses, Kids And Forgotten Women, is generally considered the most accessible of the group's three albums, and included the song Rock And Roll Gypsies, which was included on the Homer movie soundtrack album in 1970.

Artist:    Southwest F.O.B.   
Title:    Bells Of Baytown/One More Thing
Source:    LP: Smell Of Incense
Writer(s):    Colley/Seals
Label:    Hip
Year:    1968
    Southwest F.O.B. was a group of high school students from Dallas who made a name for themselves as the opening act for some of the biggest names in rock. They took their own name from a local shipping company (the F.O.B. standing for Freight On Board), and were led by two guys who would go on to become one of the top duos of the 1970s: England Dan and John Ford Coley, who wrote virtually all of the band's material, including the folk-rocker Bells Of Baytown and the extended jam One More Thing, that together take up the last fifteen minutes of the group's only LP, Smell Of Incense. England Dan would eventually go on to even greater success as a country artist in the 1980s, using his birth name, Dan Seals.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Hurdy Gurdy Man
Source:    CD: Sunshine On The Mountain (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Hurdy Gurdy Man)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Sony Music Special Products (original label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    In early 1968 Donovan Leitch decided to try his hand at producing another band, Hurdy Gurdy, which included his old friend bassist Mac MacLeod. However, creative differences with the band led to Donovan recording the song himself and releasing it as a single in May of that year. The song is done in a harder rock style than most of Donovan's recordings, and features some of London's top studio musicians, including Clem Cattini on drums, Alan Parker on guitar and future Led Zeppelin member John Paul Jones on bass. It has long been rumoured that Jimmy Page and John Bonham also participated on the recording, but their presence is disputed. Donovan reportedly wanted to use Jimi Hendrix on the recording, but the guitarist was unavailable.

Artist:    Jason Crest
Title:    Teagarden Lane
Source:    Mono British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution
Writer(s):    Clark/Dobson
Label:    Grapefruit
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 2013   
    The first thing to keep in mind about Jason Crest is that is was the name of the band itself, rather than any particular member of said band. The second thing is that, for some unknown reason, their label, Philips, chose not to released Teagarden Lane, which by all accounts was one of the best tracks the quintet ever recorded. Instead, Philips released five nondescript singles by the band over an 18 month period, none of which went anywhere. Eventually the track was discovered a belately released in the UK by Grapefruit Records as part of their Love, Poetry And Revolution three-disc anthology of late 60s British psychedelic music.

Artist:    Family
Title:    Hey Mr. Policeman/See Through Windows/Variations On A Theme Of Me My Friend
Source:    British import CD: Music In A Doll's House
Writer(s):    Whitney/Grech/Chapman
Label:    See For Miles (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    The second single released by Family was a tune called See My Friends. The B side was a song called Hey Mr. Policeman. Both songs were taken from the group's debut LP, Music In A Doll's House, which was released two weeks after the single. The versions of both songs are slightly different from the single in that each one leads into another track that is actually a variation on a theme from the other side of the single. In the case of Hey Mr. Policeman there is actually a third unrelated song that separates the two, a softer tune called See Through Windows. The band followed up Music In A Doll's House with a second LP, Family Entertainment, before losing one of its key members, bassist/violinist Rich Grech, who left to join Blind Faith in 1969.

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:    Fairport Convention
Title:    The Lobster
Source:    British import CD: Fairport Convention
Writer(s):    Ghosh/Horvitz/Painter/Hutchings/Thompson
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1968
    The recording history of the premier English folk-rock band, Fairport Convention, can be more than a little confusing. A large part of the problem was caused by A&M Records, who had the rights to release the band's material in the US, starting with the band's second LP. Rather than go with the original album title, What We Did On Our Holidays, A&M retitled the album Fairport Convention, releasing it in 1970. The problem is that the band's first album, released in the UK on Polydor in 1968, was also titled Fairport Convention. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the lineup on the 1968 Polydor LP differs from that of every other Fairport album, most notably in the absence of the band's most visible member, vocalist Sandy Denny. Fairport Convention (the band) was formed in 1967, and was consciously following in the footsteps of Jefferson Airplane, albeit from a British perspective. Like the Airplane, the original Fairport lineup had a wealth of talent, including Martin Lamble on violin, Simon Nicol on guitars, Judy Dibble on autoharp, recorder and piano, Richard Thompson on guitar and mandolin, Ashley Hutchings (then known as Tyger Hutchings) on bass and Ian MacDonald (who later changed his name to Ian Matthews), who shared lead vocals with Dyble. Musically the band was far more rock-oriented than on later LPs, even dabbling with jazz and progressive rock on tracks like Sun Shade & The Lobster, respectively. This can be attributed, at least in part, to a general disdain among the youth of Britain for the traditional English folk music that was taught to every schoolchild in the country (whether they wanted it or not). Later albums would find Fairport Convention doing more and more traditional folk, eventually becoming the world's most popular practicioners of the art, although they never entirely abandoned rock.

Artist:    Leaves
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Billy Roberts
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mira)
Year:    1966
    In 1966 there were certain songs you had to know how to play if you had any aspirations of being in a band. Among those were Louie Louie, Gloria and Hey Joe. The Byrds' David Crosby claims to have discovered Hey Joe, but was not able to convince his bandmates to record it before their third album. In the meantime, several other bands had recorded the song, including Love (on their first album) and the Leaves. The version of Hey Joe heard here is actually the third recording the Leaves made of the tune. After the first two versions tanked, guitarist Bobby Arlin, who had recently replaced founding member Bill Rinehart on lead guitar, came up with the idea of adding fuzz guitar to the song. It was the missing element that transformed a rather bland song into a hit record (the only national hit the Leaves would have). As a side note, the Leaves credited Chet Powers (aka Dino Valenti) as the writer of Hey Joe, but California-based folk singer Billy Roberts had copyrighted the song in 1962 and had reportedly been heard playing the tune as early as 1958.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Street Fighting Man
Source:    LP: Beggar's Banquet
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
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 released Jumpin' Jack Flash as a single in early 1968, following it up with the Beggar's Banquet album later in the year. The new album included the band's follow-up single, Street Fighting Man, a song that was almost as anthemic as Jumpin' Jack Flash itself and went a long ways toward insuring that the Rolling Stones would be making music on their own terms for as long as they chose to.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    The Lantern
Source:    CD: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer:    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    The Rolling Stones hit a bit of a commercial slump in 1967. It seemed at the time that the old Beatles vs. Stones rivalry (a rivalry mostly created by US fans of the bands rather than the bands themselves) had been finally decided in favor of the Beatles with the chart dominance of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that summer. The Stones answer to Sgt. Pepper's came late in the year, and was, by all accounts, their most psychedelic album ever. Sporting a cover that included a 5X5" hologram of the band dressed in wizard's robes, the album was percieved as a bit of a Sgt. Pepper's ripoff, possibly due to the similarity of the band members' poses in the holo. Musically Majesties was the most adventurous album the group ever made in their long history, amply demonstrated by songs like The Lantern. The Stones' next LP, Beggar's Banquet, was celebrated as a return to the band's roots.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Factory Girl
Source:    LP: Beggar's Banquet
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1968
    One of the more overlooked tunes in the Rolling Stones catalog, Factory Girl features an odd assortment of instruments (including Tabla, Violin, Congo and Mellotron) on what is essentially an Appalachian kind of song. Guest musicians include Rick Grech on violin and Dave Mason on either guitar or mellotron (simulating a mandolin).

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Ticket To Ride
Source:    CD: Help!
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1965
    Trying to figure out the Beatles' catalog can be a bit confusing, as Capitol Records, which had the rights to release the band's recordings in the US, had their own ideas about what should be on a Beatles album, which was often at odds with the wishes of the band members themselves. Some US albums, such as Beatles '65, had no British counterpart at all, while others had different track lineups than the original UK versions. Probably the most radically altered of the original LPs was the soundtrack album to the film Help! In the UK, side one of the album contained songs from the film itself, while side two contained a collection of unrelated studio recordings, some of which had been intended for, but not used in, the film. In the US, however, the Help album included incidental orchestral pieces heard throughout the movie interspersed with the songs heard on side one of the UK album. Among the tracks heard on both versions was Ticket To Ride, which was also issued as a single in the US (using one of the songs from side two of the UK Help album as a B side). The tune has gone on to become one of the most recognizable Beatle songs ever.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Ain't It Hard
Source:    Mono CD: The Complete Reprise Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Tillison/Tillison
Label:    Real Gone Music/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    The Electric Prunes got their big break in 1966 when a real estate saleswoman heard them playing in a garage in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley and told her friend Dave Hassinger about them. Hassinger was a successful studio engineer (having just finished the Rolling Stones' Aftermath album) who was looking to become a record producer. The Prunes were his first clients, and Hassinger's production style is evident on their debut single. Ain't It Hard had already been recorded by the Gypsy Trips, and the Electric Prunes would move into more psychedelic territory with their next release, the iconic I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night).

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Love Is Only Sleeping
Source:    LP: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn And Jones, LTD.
Writer(s):    Mann/Weil
Label:    Colgems
Year:    1967
    Among the various professional songwriters hired by Don Kirschner in 1966 to write songs for the Monkees were the husband and wife team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who had hit it big with a pair of songs for Paul Revere And The Raiders (Kicks and Hungry) earlier that year. But when the Monkees rebelled against Kirschner's control over their recorded output in early 1967 it looked as though the band was done with Mann/Weil compositions altogether. Later that year, however, the Monkees themselves, now firmly in control of their own musical direction, chose to record a new Mann/Weil tune, Love Is Only Sleeping, as their fourth single. At the same time, the group was working on their fourth LP, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn And Jones, LTD. A last-minute change of plans resulted in a different song, Daydream Believer, being released as a single instead, with a tune from the album, Goin' Down, as the B side. Goin' Down was then deleted from the album lineup and Love Is Only Sleeping included in its place. It was the closest that Michael Nesmith would ever come to being the lead vocalist on a Monkees hit single. 

Artist:    Bob Seger System
Title:    2+2=?
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Bob Seger
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1968
    Bob Seger had a series of regional hits in his native Detroit in the mid-1960s, leading to a deal with Capitol Records in 1968. The first single for Capitol was 2+2=?, a powerful anti-Vietnam War tune that was later included on his first LP for the label. The mono single version of the song heard here has a guitar chord near the end of the track that was not on the original recording (on which the song simply stops cold for a few seconds). It was inserted because, according to Seger, radio stations were "afraid of dead air".

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Dark Star (Excerpt)
Source:    LP: Zabriskie Point soundtrack
Writer(s):    McGannahan Skjellyfetti
Label:    4 Men With Beards (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1969
    Zabriskie Point is generally considered by critics to be among the worst films ever made. At the same time the soundtrack album for the film is a cult classic, with an eclectic mix of music from such diverse artists as Pink Floyd, Patti Page, John Fahey and Jerry Garcia, both with and without the rest of the Grateful Dead. Although Garcia's solo tracks were written specifically for the film, it is likely that the short (less than three minutes) excerpt from Dark Star was lifted from the 1969 LP Live Dead, although documentation to prove it is pretty much nonexistent. Still, it sounds like the Live Dead version...

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix (Band Of Gypsys)
Title:    Power Of Soul
Source:    CD: South Saturn Delta
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 1997
    1969 was a strange year for Jimi Hendrix. For one thing, he did not release any new recordings that year, yet he remained the top money maker in rock music. One reason for the lack of new material was an ongoing dispute with Capitol Records over a contract he had signed in 1965. By the end of the year an agreement was reached for Hendrix to provide Capitol with one album's worth of new material. At this point Hendrix had not released any live albums, so it was decided to tape his New Year's performances at the Fillmore East with his new Band Of Gypsys (with drummer Buddy Miles and bassist Billy Cox), playing songs that had never been released in studio form. As it turns out, however, studio versions of many of the songs on that album did indeed exist, but were not issued until after Hendrix's death, when producer Alan Douglas put out a pair of LPs (Crash Landing and Midnight Lightning), that had some of the original drum and bass tracks (and even some guitar tracks) re-recorded by musicians that had never actually worked with Hendrix. One of those songs is Power Of Soul, which has finally been released in its original Band Of Gypsys studio version, with background vocals provided by Cox and Miles.

Artist:    Arlo Guthrie
Title:    Alice's Restaurant Massacree
Source:    LP: Alice's Restaurant
Writer:    Arlo Guthrie
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    Just because everyone expects to hear it at Thanksgiving, we are airing, in July, the original Alice's Restaurant Massacre, released on Arlo Guthrie's debut LP, Alice's Restaurant, in 1967. The record tells the true story of Guthrie's 1965 Thanksgiving adventures in a small town in Massachusetts, and of his subsequent adventures with the draft board a few months later. The story became the basis for a movie and over the years Guthrie has performed the piece hundreds of times, never the same way twice (some performances have reportedly lasted nearly an hour).

Artist:    Doors
Title:    The Crystal Ship
Source:    LP: The Doors
Writer:    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Ever feel like you've discovered something really special that nobody else (among your circle of friends at any rate) knows about? At first you kind of want to keep it to yourself, but soon you find yourself compelled to share it with everyone you know. Such was the case when, in the early summer of 1967, I used my weekly allowance to buy copies of a couple of songs I had heard on the American Forces Network (AFN). As usual, it wasn't long before I was flipping the records over to hear what was on the B sides. I liked the first one well enough (a song by Buffalo Springfield called Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It, the B side of For What It's Worth), but it was the second one, the B side of the Doors' Light My Fire, that really got to me. To this day I consider The Crystal Ship to be one of the finest slow rock songs ever recorded.