Monday, October 23, 2017

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion #1743 (starts 10/25/17)

This week it's the nearest thing to a Halloween show you'll be getting from HermitRadio this year (mostly in the second half of the show).

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Savoy Truffle
Source:    LP: The Beatles
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple
Year:    1968
    George Harrison's skills as a songwriter continued to develop in 1968. The double-LP The Beatles (aka the White Album) contained four Harrison compositions, including Savoy Truffle, a tongue-in-cheek song about Harrison's friend Eric Clapton's fondness for chocolate. John Lennon did not participate in the recording of Savoy Truffle. The keyboards were probably played by Chris Thomas, who, in addition to playing on all four Harrison songs on the album, served as de facto producer when George Martin decided to take a vacation in the middle of the album's recording sessions. 

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)
Source:    LP: Goat's Head Soup
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Rolling Stones
Year:    1973
    The second single released on the Rolling Stones' 1973 album Goat's Head Soup, Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) addresses a subject that has become increasingly relevant in recent years: the shooting of an innocent child by a police officer. In April of 1973, a ten-year-old boy and his father were stopped by a plainclothes police officer in New York City. Fearing that they were about to be robbed, the pair ran away and the officer shot and killed the boy. He later claimed that he had mistaken them for suspects in an armed robbery (despite the fact that the robbers were about a foot taller than the boy), and was eventually acquitted in a murder trial. That summer, the Rolling Stones re-recorded Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) (which they had originally attempted late in 1972) with updated lyrics for the Goat's Head Soup album, which was released in August of 1973. The album itself was the final collaboration between the band and producer Jimmy Miller, and is often considered the end of the band's "golden age" that started with their first Miller-produced LP, Beggar's Banquet.

Artist:    Steeleye Span
Title:    Sum Waves (Tunes)
Source:    LP: All Around My Hat
Writer(s):    Hart/Prior/Knight/Johnson/Kemp
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1975
    Steeleye Span hit their commercial peak with the 1975 LP All Around My Hat. The album made it to the #7 spot on the British charts and spawned two charting singles there as well. It was also their highest charting album in the US, where it peaked at #143. Sum Waves (Tunes) is an instrumental track from that album that was credited to the entire membership of the band (most of their work being cited as traditional rather than original material).

Artist:    Mike Oldfield
Title:    Tubular Bells
Source:    LP: Tubular Bells
Writer(s):    Mike Oldfield
Label:    Virgin
Year:    1973
    So you probably immediately recognize this piece as the theme from The Exorcist. But have you ever heard the entire album-length version of the piece, entitled Tubular Bells? Well, you're hearing the first half of it now. A bit of trivia: Tubular Bells was the first album ever released by Virgin Records. Several sequels have been recorded in the years since the album's original 1973 release, including Tubular Bells II and III and The Millenium Bell (released in 1999).

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 was asked to leave the band. He then booked studio time and called in his friend Michael Bloomfield (who had just left his own 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; notice a pattern here?) 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 on the Billboard 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 2003, Kooper revisited the original multi-track master tapes and created a new mix that restored the original performance. This is that mix.

Artist:    Hot Tuna
Title:    Song For The Fire Maiden
Source:    LP: Yellow Fever
Writer(s):    Kaukonen/Douglass
Label:    Grunt
Year:    1975
    Originally formed in 1969 as an offshoot of Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna started off as a mainly acoustic band doing mostly blues standards, and had performed as an opening act for the Airplane itself in 1970. In the early 1970s, with the Airplane winding down, Hot Tuna emerged as a fully electric band independent of the Airplane. In 1974 the band, which at that point consisted of guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, bassist Jack Casady and drummer Bob Steeler, decided that it would be "just fun to be loud" for a while, recording three albums in 1975-76 as a power trio. The second of these three was Yellow Fever. As can be heard on Song For The Fire Maiden, they certainly succeeded. The song was co-written by Greg Douglass, who had been a member of Country Weather (an unsigned band based in San Francisco) and later toured with Hot Tuna.

Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Queen Of Torture
Source:    CD: The Collection (originally released on LP: Wishbone Ash)
Writer:    Upton/Turner/Turner/Powell
Label:    Spectrum/Universal (original label: Decca)
Year:    1970
    One of the first bands to use dual lead guitars was Wishbone Ash. When Glen Turner, the band's original guitarist, had to leave, auditions were held, but the remaining members and their manager couldn't decide between the two finalists, Andy Powell and Ted Turner, so they kept both of them. Queen Of Torture, from their 1969 debut album, shows just how well the two guitars meshed.

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