Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1840 (starts10/1/18)
This week we feature the entire second side of perhaps the most psychedelic album ever: Jefferson Airplane's After Bathing At Baxter's, an LP reportedly recorded, arranged and mixed entirely under the influence of LSD in San Francisco during the Summer of Love. The tracks, however, are not in the same order that they originally appeared in. That would be too easy. Instead, we get to hear what the side would have sounded like if it had begun with Grace Slick's Two Heads, a song that in retrospect probably should have been released as a single (at least as a B side). Other highlights this week include artists sets from the Beatles and the Seeds, as well as a short set of weird obscurities and, for the first time on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, the true stereo mix of the Turtles' 1967 hit single She's My Girl. It begins with Pink Floyd....
Artist: Pink Floyd
Title: See Emily Play
Source: Simulated stereo CD: Works (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Syd Barrett
Label: Capitol (original label: Tower)
Following up on their first single, Arnold Layne, Pink Floyd found even greater chart success (at least in their native England) with See Emily Play. Released in June of 1967, the song went all the way to the #6 spot on the British charts. In the US the song failed to chart as a single, although it was included on the American version of Pink Floyd's first LP, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. The "Emily" in question is reportedly sculptor Emily Young, who in those days was nicknamed the "psychedelic schoolgirl" at London's famed UFO club.
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): Otis Redding
Label: Rhino (original label: Atco)
Sounding a lot like the Rascals, the Vagrants were a popular Long Island band led by singer Peter Sabatino and best remembered for being the group that had guitarist Leslie Weinstein in it. Weinstein would change his last name to West and record a solo album called Mountain before forming the band of the same name. This version of Respect is fairly faithful to the original Otis Redding version. Unfortunately for the Vagrants, Aretha Franklin would release her radically rearranged version of the song just a few weeks after the Vagrants, relegating their version of the tune (and the Vagrants themselves) to footnote status.
Artist: West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title: Suppose They Give A War And No One Comes
Source: LP: Volume II
One of the more popular posters of the pyschedelic era took the phrase Suppose They Give A War And No One Comes and highlighted the letters P,E,A,C and E with colors that, when viewed under a black light, stood out from the rest of the text. At around the same time a movie came out with a similar title. Quite possibly both were inspired by a track from the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band's late 1967 LP Volume II. The song itself is either really cool or really pretentious. I've had a copy of it for over 30 years and still haven't figured out which.
Title: I Ain't Done Wrong
Source: Simulated stereo LP: Great Hits (originally released on LP: For Your Love)
Writer(s): Keith Relf
I Ain't Done Wrong is the only track on the Yardbirds' US debut album For Your Love that was actually written by a member of the Yardbirds. To help understand how something like this might come about I have a short history lesson for you. Record albums have been around nearly as long as recorded music itself, albeit in a form that would be pretty much unrecognizable to modern listeners. The first record albums were collections of several 78 RPM discs in paper sleeves bound between hard covers, similar to photo albums (which is where the name came from). By the end of the 1940s the most popular albums featured single artists such as Frank Sinatra or the Benny Goodman Orchestra. Classical music, however, suffered from this format, since a typical 10" 78 RPM record could hold only about three and a half minutes of music per side. Even using 12" discs that could hold up to seven minutes' worth of music meant breaking up longer pieces into segments, which pretty much ruined the listening experience. Around 1948 or so, Columbia Records, the second largest record label in the world, unveiled the long play (LP) record, which could hold about 20 minutes per side with far superior sound quality to the 78s of the day. The format was immediately embraced by classical music artists and listeners alike. It wasn't long before serious jazz artists began to take advantage of the format as well. Popular music, however, was still very much oriented toward single songs, known then as the Hit Parade. This remained the case throughout the first wave of rock 'n' roll in the 1950s, with the new 45 RPM format serving as a direct replacement for 78s. LPs, being more expensive, were targeted to a more affluent audience than 45s were. The few LPs that did appear by popular artists often contained one or two of that artist's hit singles (and B sides), along with several "filler" tracks that were usually covers of songs made popular by other artists. In 1963, however, something interesting happened. An album called With The Beatles was released in the UK. What made this album unique is that it did not include any of the band's hit singles, instead featuring 14 newly recorded tracks. Such was the popularity of the Fab Four that their fans bought enough copies of With The Beatles to make it a hit record in its own right. This led to other British bands following a similar pattern of mutual exclusivity between album and single tracks. One of these bands was the Yardbirds, who had released a pair of singles in 1964. None of these songs had appeared on an album in the UK (the band, however, had released an LP called Five Live Yardbirds that had failed to chart). Then, in 1965, they hit it big with the international hit single For Your Love, which prompted their US label, Epic, to released a Yardbirds LP of the same name. There was, however, one small problem. Guitarist Eric Clapton had just quit the Yardbirds, complaining of the band's move toward more commercial material (such as For Your Love, a song which he had basically recorded under protest); his replacement, Jeff Beck, had only been with the band long enough to record three songs, none of which had yet been released. Epic, however, wanted to get a Yardbirds LP out while For Your Love was still hot, and ended up using all three Beck tracks, as well as the band's previously released British singles (plus two songs of uncertain origins), on the album. Two of the three Beck recordings were blues covers, making the third song, Keith Relf's I Ain't Done Wrong, the only original tune on the album (For Your Love itself being provided by an outside songwriter, Graham Gouldman).Since most of the tracks on the LP were already available in the UK, For Your Love was never issued there; the three Beck tracks did appear later that year, however, on a new EP called Five Yardbirds.
Title: She Done Moved
Source: Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Dick And Bud Johnson
Label: Rhino (original label: ABC)
ABC Paramount was a record label specifically formed to release records by artists who appeared on the ABC TV network (which was owned by the Paramount theater chain, which in turn had originally been owned by Paramount Pictures, who had divested themselves of the theater chain as a result of an anti-trust action). By the 60s the label had expanded into a major player in the industry with artists ranging from teen-idol Steve Alaimo to R&B favorites like the Impressions and the Tams. In 1966 they dropped the Paramount from their name and became simply ABC records (using the TV network logo). One of the last singles released before the change (and actually appearing on both labels) was She Done Moved, a middle-class teenager's lament from the Spats, an Orange County, California band led by brothers Dick and Bud Johnson. The song describes the heartbreak of having one's girlfriend suddenly relocate to another town, in this case Kansas City. As a military brat myself, I can relate somewhat.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Foxy Lady
Source: Dutch import LP: The Singles (originally released on LP: Are You Experienced?)
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
Label: Polydor (original UK label: Track)
The first track on the original UK release of Are You Experienced was Foxy Lady. The British custom of the time was to not include any songs on albums that had been previously released as singles. When Reprise Records got the rights to release the album in the US, it was decided to include three songs that had all been top 40 hits in the UK. One of those songs, Purple Haze, took over the opening spot on the album, and Foxy Lady was moved to the middle of side two of the original LP. The song was also released as a US-only single in 1967, but did not chart. Eventually a European single version of the song was released as well, albeit posthumously, warranting its inclusion on the Singles double-LP, released in Europe in the early 1980s.
Artist: Amboy Dukes
Title: Journey to the Center of the Mind
Source: Mono British import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Label: Big Beat (original US label: Mainstream)
From Detroit we have the Amboy Dukes, featuring lead guitarist Ted Nugent. Originally released as a single on Mainstream Records, the same label that released the first Big Brother & the Holding Company album, Journey To The Center Of The Mind became that label's biggest hit in 1968. After butchering Big Brother's debut album, Mainstream's studio people must have taken a crash course in rock engineering as they did a much better job on this track just a few months later.
Title: Who Scared You
Source: Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Recorded during sessions for the Doors' fourth album, The Soft Parade, Who Scared You was issued as the B side of a Jim Morrison/Robby Krieger collaboration called Wishful Sinful in March of 1969. Wishful Sinful, however, performed poorly on the charts and was quickly taken out of circulation. When The Soft Parade was finally released in July of that year, Wishful Sinful was included on the album. Who Scared You, on the other hand, was nowhere to be found, at least until 1972, when it appeared on the double-LP compilation Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine. Given its unique history, it's no wonder that Who Scared You is often considered the most obscure Doors track released during Morrison's tenure with the group.
Artist: Blues Image
Title: Outside Was Night
Source: LP: Blues Image
Writer(s): Blues Image
There are striking similarities between the Hour Glass of Los Angeles and Blues Image, originally from Tampa, Florida, but operating out of L.A by 1969. Both were club bands that visiting musicians would go out of their way to catch when they were in town, often sticking around for a bit of after hours jamming. Both bands featured guitarists from the Southeastern US (Duane Allman and Mike Pinera) who would go on to greater fame with other bands. And both bands, for whatever reasons, were never able to generate the same kind of excitement in the studio that they did when they played live. Unlike the Hour Glass, however, Blues Image managed to at least play the same style of music in the studio as they did in their club sets; Outside Was Night, from their debut LP, is a good example.
Artist: Fairport Convention
Title: It's Alright, It's Only Witchcraft
Source: CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Fairport Convention)
Label: Polydor (original label: Cotillion)
Fairport Convention has long been known for being an important part of the British folk music revival that came to prominence in the early 70s. Originally, however, the band was modeled after the folk-rock bands that had risen to prominence on the US West Coast from 1965-66. Their first LP was released in the fall of 1967, and drew favorable reviews from the UK rock press, which saw them at Britain's answer to Jefferson Airplane. One of the LP's highlights is It's Alright, It's Only Witchcraft, which features electric guitar work by Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol that rivals that of Jorma Kaukonen.
Artist: Otis Redding
Title: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Source: LP: Historic Performances Recorded At The Monterey International Pop Festival
Otis Redding pulled out all the stops for his performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967. Luckily, the entire performance was recorded, including his energetic cover of the Rolling Stones classic (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, which Redding had taken onto the Soul charts the previous year with his own studio version of the tune. Redding's backup band included members of the MGs and the Bar-Kays, several members of which, as well as Redding himself, would lose their lives in a tragic plane crash just a few months after their appearance at Monterey.
Title: Across The Universe
Source: CD: Past Masters-vol. 2 (originally released on LP: No One's Gonna Change Our World)
Label: Apple/Parlophone (original label: Regal Starline)
Across The Universe was recorded in 1968 and was in serious contention for release as a single that year (ultimately Lady Madonna was chosen instead). The recording sat in the vaults until 1969, when it was included on a multi-artist charity album for the World Wildlife Fund (hence the sounds of flapping wings at the beginning and end of the track). Phil Spector would eventually get his hands on the master tape, slowing it down and adding strings and including it on the Let It Be album. Personally I prefer this relatively untampered-with version.
Title: And Your Bird Can Sing
Source: British import LP: Revolver
At the time the Revolver album was being made, the Beatles and their producer, George Martin, worked together on the mono mixes of the songs, which were always done before the stereo mixes. In fact, the stereo mixes were usually done without the participation of the band itself, and generally were less time consuming. This led to a rather odd situation in June of 1966. Final mono mixes had been made for three of the songs on Revolver at this point, and the band's US label, Capitol, was ready to release a new Beatles album. The problem was that they did not have enough new material for an entire album. Their solution was to use their Duophonic fake stereo process on the mono mixes and include them on the album, which was titled Yesterday...And Today. As a result, when Revolver was released in the US in the fall of 1966, it had three fewer songs than the original British version of the album. One of those three songs was And Your Bird Can Sing, which was not available in the US in true stereo until the 1980s.
Title: Day Tripper
Source: CD: Past Masters-vol. 2 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
One of the few times that the US and British releases of Beatles records were in sync was in December of 1965, when the album Rubber Soul was released in both countries at the same time as a new single that had a pair of songs not on the album itself. Although there were some slight differences in the album itself, the single was identical in both countries, with Day Tripper and We Can Work It Out sharing "A" side status. Of course, the synchronization ended there, as the two songs would both end up on a US-only LP (Yesterday...And Today) in mid-1966, but not be available as an album track in the UK until after the Beatles had split up five years later.
Artist: Beacon Street Union
Title: Four Hendred And Five
Source: LP: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union
I'm at a bit of a loss to explain this track, so I'll just have to make an educated guess. The members of the Beacon Street Union were in the studio sometime in 1967 working on their debut LP, The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union, when somebody started fooling around with the speed controls on one of the tape decks. An instrumental piece, possibly some sort of warm up jam, was on the tape. Someone decided that it sounded pretty cool speeded up, so they included it on the album itself. Four Hundred And Five is credited to the band members themselves, with one extra name tacked on at the end. Wes Farrell would be the producer of their second LP, The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens, and may have been on hand when Four Hundred And Five was recorded. Who knows? He may even have been the one that sped up the tape in the first place. Anyway, that's my guess. Feel free to come up with one of your own.
Artist: Tyrannosaurus Rex
Title: Catblack (The Wizard's Hat)
Source: CD: Unicorn
Writer(s): Marc Bolan
Yes, that is indeed Marc Bolan doing the vocals on this 1969 recording. You didn't think the band was always called T. Rex, did you? Of course it was a shortening of their original name, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and if you had to spell that name out as many times as Marc Bolan probably did, you'd shorten it too. Back in 1969 Tyrannosaurus Rex consisted of just two guys, Bolan (who wrote and sang all the songs as well as playing the guitar, organ and other stuff, and Steve Peregrin Took (not his birth name), who obviously took (ouch) the band's fantasy motif even further than Bolan himself, and played all manner of percussive instruments, as well as bass guitar. Took apparently wrote songs too, but Bolan refused to record any of them, which led to Took's departure from Tyrannosaurus Rex shortly after Unicorn, their third album together, was released. Although it would be easy to dismiss Took's contributions to the group's overall sound, it is hard to ignore the difference in styles between tracks like Catblack (The Wizard's Hat) and Get It On (Band A Gong), which would be released only two years later than the Unicorn album.
Title: Song Of The naturalist's Wife
Source: LP: A Gift From A Flower To A Garden
Writer(s): Donovan Leitch
Recorded music has been packaged in many different ways over the years. The first Edison cylinder recordings came in small boxes made of card stock, similar to the way the original Matchbox cars were sold. 78 RPM discs were sold in the much cheaper to produce paper sleeves with a hole cut in the center to display the record's label. Sometimes several of these sleeves would be bound together between two pieces of heavier cardboard, similar to a photo album (which is where the term "record album" came from). Occasionally, more expensive records would be packaged in a stiff cardboard box with some sort of artwork pasted on the front, with the individual records in their paper sleeves within the box. These were the first "box sets". When RCA phased in the 7" 45 RPM record as a replacement for the 78, the new records were packaged much the same way, except that there were fewer albums and more box sets in the new format. Meanwhile, Columbia's LP format used a new kind of packaging consisting of a heavier outer cover, usually with the record itself in a paper (or sometimes plastic) sleeve within the outer jacket. It soon became obvious that the record buying public preferred the LP format to a stack of 45s, and by the end of the 1950s the 45RPM box sets had all but disappeared from the shelves. The box format did not die off entirely, though. In the late 1950s record companies began to release music in a new format: pre-recorded reel to reel tape. The 7" tapes, being about 3/8 of an inch thick, were ideally suited to using the same sort of boxes that 45 RPM albums had used. These tapes were around until the early 1970s, when they were supplanted by the more convenient (and much cheaper) cassette tape format. Boxes were also used for an occasional LP set, usually from the world of classical music (I still have my 7 disc Audio Fidelity set of Beethoven's nine symphonies packed away somewhere). In 1967 Donovan became one of the first pop artists (as they were still called in 1967) to use the box format for an album of all-new material. The two-disc set was called A Gift From A Flower To A Garden, and it came with full-color printing on the inside covers of the box itself and a set of illustrated lyric sheets. The first disc, subtitled Wear Your Love Like Heaven, was fairly pop-oriented, continuing the direction Donovan had been taking since his 1966 Sunshine Superman album, while the second disc, subtitled For Little Ones, featured simpler, more acoustic arrangements. The lyric sheets were for the 12 tracks on the second disc, including the first track, Song Of The Naturalist's Wife, which opens, appropriately enough, with the sound of a newborn baby crying.
Title: No Friend of Mine
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the Psychedelic Era (originally released as a 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Hickory)
It shouldn't come as a surprise that the state of Texas would produce its share of garage/psychedelic bands. After all, the place used to be a medium-sized country. In fact, one of the first bands to actually use the word psychedelic in an album title was the 13th Floor Elevators out of Austin. The Sparkles hailed from a different part of the state, one known for its high school football teams as much as anything else: West Texas. Recorded in Big Spring, No Friend of Mine was one of a series of regional hits for the Sparkles that got significant airplay in places like Midland, Odessa and Monahans.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: Two Heads
Source: CD: After Bathing At Baxters
Writer: Grace Slick
Label: RCA/BMG Heritage
The third Jefferson Airplane album, After Bathing At Baxter's, saw the group moving in increasingly experimental directions, as Grace Slick's two contributions to the LP attest. The more accessible of the two was Two Heads, which was the first part of Schizoforest Love Suite, the fifth and final "suite" on the album.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: How Suite It Is
Source: LP: After Bathing At Baxters
Label: RCA Victor
The second side of After Bathing At Baxters starts off fairly conventionally (for the Airplane), with Paul Kantner's Watch Her Ride, the first third or so of something called How Suite It Is. This leads (without a break in the audio) into Spare Chaynge, one of the coolest studio jams ever recorded, featuring intricate interplay between Jack Casady's bass and Jorma Kaukonen's guitar, with Spencer Dryden using his drum kit as enhancement rather than as a beat-setter. In particular, Casady's virtuoso performance helped redefine what could be done with an electric bass.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon
Source: CD: After Bathing At Baxter's
Writer(s): Paul Kantner
Label: RCA/BMG Heritage
The first Jefferson Airplane album (the 1966 release Jefferson Airplane Takes Off) was dominated by songs from the pen of founder Marty Balin, a few of which were collaborations with other band members such as Paul Kantner and Jorma Kaukonen. The songwriting on the group's second LP, Surrealistic Pillow, was fairly evenly balanced between the three above and new arrival Grace Slick. By the band's third album, After Bathing At Baxter's, released in the fall of 1967, Kantner had emerged as the group's main songwriter, having a hand in over half the tracks on the LP. One of the most durable of these was the album's closing track, a medley of two songs, Won't You Try and Saturday Afternoon, the latter being about a free concert that the band had participated in at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park earlier that year.
Title: A Well Respected Man
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s): Ray Davies
Label: Eric (original label: Reprise)
The Kinks were one of the original British Invasion bands, scoring huge R&B-influenced hits with You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night in 1964. The hits continued in 1965 with more melodic songs like Set Me Free and Tired Of Waiting For You. 1966 saw Ray Davies's songwriting take a satiric turn, as A Well Respected Man amply illustrates. Over the next few years the Kinks would continue to evolve, generally getting decent critical reviews and moderate record sales for their albums. The title of one of those later albums, Muswell Hillbillies, refers to the Davies brothers hometown of Muswell Hill, North London.
Artist: Downliners Sect
Title: Why Don't You Smile Now
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released on LP: The Rock Sect's In)
Label: Rhino (original label: Columbia UK)
The Downliners Sect was one of the more unusual British bands of the mid-sixties, with a penchant for choosing unconventional material to record. Their second LP, for instance, was made up of covers of songs originally recorded by US Country and Western artists. Their third LP, The Rock Sect's In, was (as the title implies) more of a straight rock album than their previous efforts. Still, they managed to find unique material to record, such as Why Don't You Smile Now, a song chosen from a stack of producers' demos from the US. Although nobody seems to know who Philips or Vance were, the Reed and Cale in the songwriting credits were none other than Lou and John, in a pre-Velvet Underground incarnation.
Artist: Vanilla Fudge
Title: You Keep Me Hangin' On
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Atco)
You Keep Me Hangin' On, a hit for the Supremes in 1967, was the first song recorded by Vanilla Fudge, who laid down the seven-minute plus track in a single take. Producer Shadow Morton then used that recording to secure the band a contract with Atco Records (an Atlantic subsidiary) that same year. Rather than to re-record the song for their debut LP, Morton and the band chose to use the original tape, despite the fact that it was never mixed in stereo. For single release the song was cut down considerably, clocking in at around three minutes.
Artist: Max Frost And The Troopers
Title: A Change Is Gonna Come
Source: CD: Shape Of Things To Come
Label: Captain High (original label: Tower)
The first thing you need to know about Max Frost And The Troopers is that they were a fictional rock band featured in the film Wild In The Streets. Sort of. You see, in the movie itself the band is never actually named, although Max (played by Christopher Jones) does refer to his followers as his "troops" throughout the film. The next thing you need to know is that Shape Of Things To Come was a song used in the film that became a hit record in 1968. The song itself was written by the Brill building songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (who also wrote Kicks and Hungry for Paul Revere and the Raiders) and was recorded by studio musicians, with vocals by Paul Wibier. The song, along with several other Barry/Weil tunes used in the film, was credited not to Max Frost and the Troopers, but to the 13th Power on the film's soundtrack LP, which was released on Capitol's Tower subsidiary label. After Shape Of Things To Come (the song) became a hit, producer Mike Curb commissioned an entire album by Max Frost And The Troopers called, naturally, Shape Of Things To Come. The band on this album was actually Davie Allan And The Arrows (who had for several years been recording mostly instrumental tunes for Curb for use on movie soundtracks) fronted by vocalist Paul Wibier (yeah, him again). This album was also released in 1968 on the Tower label, and featured mostly songs written (or co-written) by Wibier himself, such as A Change Is Gonna Come. The name Max Frost And The Troopers popped up in a couple more 1968 film soundtracks before being permanently retired by the end of the year.
Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title: Fortunate Son
Source: LP: Willy And The Poor Boys
Writer(s): John Fogerty
John Fogerty says it only took him 20 minutes to write what has become one of the iconic antiwar songs of the late 1960s. But Fortunate Son is not so much a condemnation of war as it is an indictment of the political elite who send the less fortunate off to die in wars without any risk to themselves. In addition to being a major hit single upon its release in late 1969 (peaking at #3 as half of a double-A sided single), Fortunate Son has made several "best of" lists over the years, including Rolling Stone magazine's all-time top 100. Additionally, in 2014 the song was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Title: Mr. Farmer
Source: LP: A Web Of Sound
Writer: Sky Saxon
Label: GNP Crescendo
With two tracks (Can't Seem To Make You Mine and Pushin' Too Hard) from their first album getting decent airplay on L.A. radio stations in 1966 the Seeds headed back to the studio to record a second LP, A Web Of Sound. The first single released from the album was Mr. Farmer, a song that once again did well locally. The song has long been rumored to be a subtly-disguised drug song but songwriter/bandleader Sky Saxon would never either confirm or deny the possibility.
Title: Pushin' Too Hard
Source: CD: Nuggets-Classics From The Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: The Seeds)
Writer(s): Sky Saxon
Label: Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Pushin' Too Hard is generally included on every collection of psychedelic hits ever compiled. And for good reason. The song is an undisputed classic, although it took the better part of two years to catch on. Originally released in 1965 as You're Pushin' Too Hard, the song was virtually ignored by local Los Angeles radio stations until a second single, Can't Seem To Make You Mine, started getting some attention. After being included on the Seeds' debut LP in 1966, Pushin' Too Hard was rereleased and soon was being heard all over the L.A. airwaves. By the end of the year stations all across the US were starting to spin the record, and the song hit its peak of popularity in early 1967.
Title: Rollin' Machine
Source: LP: A Web Of Sound
Writer(s): Sky Saxon
Label: GNP Crescendo
Is there anyone out there that really thinks this is a song about a car? Yeah, me either.
Artist: Janis Ian
Title: Too Old To Go 'Way Little Girl
Source: LP: Janis Ian
Writer(s): Janis Ian
Label: Polydor (original label: Verve Forecast)
My nomination for the most overlooked and underrated album of 1967 goes to Janis Ian's debut effort for the Verve Forecast label. Every song is outstanding, with a perfect balance between folk and rock, with just a touch of psychedelia thrown in to remind the listener that songs like Too Old To Go 'Way Little Girl were released just in time for the Summer of Love. The fact that Ian herself was only 15 at the time she recorded these songs just adds to the album's credibility.
Title: She's My Girl
Source: CD: The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
Until the 2018 CD reissue of the 1968 album The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands, I did not have the foggiest idea that a stereo mix of the 1967 hit single She's My Girl even existed. Every copy I had ever heard was a mono copy, as was the original 45 RPM pressing. Now I can truly appreciate why the members of the band itself considered it their favorite Turtles record. There's all sorts of cool stuff going on in the background that I was never able to focus on before. Enjoy!
Artist: Procol Harum
Title: A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Label: A&M (original label: Deram)
Often credited as being the first progressive rock band, Procol Harum drew heavily from classical music sources, such as the Bach inspired theme used by organist Matthew Fisher as the signature rift for A Whiter Shade of Pale. Fisher initially did not get writing credit for his contributions to the song, but finally, after several lawsuits, began collecting royalties for the song in 2009. A Whiter Shade Of Pale, incidentally, holds the distinction of being the most-played song on the British airwaves over the past 70 years.