Sunday, October 28, 2018
Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1844 (starts 10/29/18)
Two sets this time. The first one is a sampling of 1974 releases from the Stones, the Doobies and the Who. The next set is mostly deep tracks from 1969-1974 (with one hit single thrown in).
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It)
Source: Stereo 45 RPM single (promo)
Label: Rolling Stones
You'd think that after writing such legendary classics as (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Jumpin' Jack Flash and Honky Tonk Women, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards would be pretty much tapped out for the rest of their lives. But, nope. They had to come up yet another iconic song in 1974, It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It). Hell, the title alone probably should be inscribed over the entrance of the Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame. The song itself was reportedly written in response to critics who seemed to think that the Stones, Mick and Keith in particular, somehow had a responsibility to be role models, and were not living up to those critics' expectations of how they should be conducting themselves.
Title: Naked Eye
Source: British import CD (Spirit Of Joy) (originally released on LP: Odds And Sods)
Writer(s): Pete Townshend
Label: Polydor (original US label: Decca)
While touring to promote the Tommy album, the Who began developing several new songs as part of their live act. Many of these appeared, at least in part, on the Live At Leeds album in 1970. One of those songs, Naked Eye, was partially recorded in the studio around the same time, but remained unfinished when the 1971 album Who's Next was released. Over the next couple of years several bootlegs of the Who's live performances were in circulation, prompting bassist John Entwhistle to compile a new album of outtakes and unreleased tracks in 1974. The album Odds And Sods, included the completed version of Naked Eye.
Artist: Doobie Brothers
Title: Daughters Of The Sea/Flying Cloud
Source: CD: What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits
Label: Warner Brothers
When I got out of basic training in southwestern Texas I was told to report to duty at my tech school in northern Texas. Now this might seem a fairly short distance; apparently the people making my travel arrangements thought so, because, rather than a plane flight, they put me on a bus. This bus also had several other basic training graduates on it, all heading for the same tech school location. The ride took approximately six hours, as I recall, and one of the guys had used his initial paycheck to buy a boombox and an 8-track tape of the new Doobie Brothers album, What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits. Apparently he didn't realize how big Texas is, as he did not buy any other tapes. And so, for six hours, we listened to the new Doobie Brothers album, What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, over and over. And over. And over. Luckily, it's actually a pretty decent album, although some songs are more listenable than others, of course. A personal favorite is (are?) the closing track of the original LP, which is actually two songs that merge together, Daughters Of The Sea and the short instrumental Flying Cloud. A good way to end a good album.
Artist: Fleetwood Mac
Title: Oh Well
Source: Mono LP: The Big Ball (originally released on LP: Then Play On)
Writer(s): Peter Green
Label: Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Fleetwood Mac had already established themselves as one of Britain's top up-and-coming blues bands by the time Then Play On was released in 1969. The band had just landed a deal in the US with Reprise, and Then Play On was their American debut LP. At the same time the album was released in the UK, a new non-LP single, Oh Well, appeared as well. The song was a top pick on Radio Luxembourg, the only non-BBC English language top 40 station still operating in Europe in 1969 (not counting the American Forces Network, which was only a top 40 station for an hour or two a day), and Oh Well soon shot all the way to the # 2 spot on the British charts. Meanwhile the US version of Then Play On (which had originally been issued with pretty much the same song lineup as the British version) was recalled, and a new version with Oh Well added to it was issued in its place. The song itself has two distinct parts: a fast blues-rocker sung by lead guitarist Peter Green lasting about two minutes, and a slow moody instrumental that runs about seven minutes. The original UK single featured about a minute's worth of part two tacked on to the end of the A side (with a fadeout ending), while the B side had the entire part two on it. Both sides of the single were added to the US version of the LP, which resulted in the first minute of part two repeating itself on the album.
Artist: Led Zeppelin
Title: That's The Way
Source: CD: Led Zeppelin III
I read somewhere that Jimmy Page came up with The Rain Song (from the album Houses Of The Holy) in response to someone asking him why Led Zeppelin hadn't recorded any ballads. Apparently that person had never heard That's The Way, from the album Led Zeppelin III. If that ain't a ballad, I don't know what is.
Artist: Deep Purple
Source: LP: fireball
Label: Warner Brothers
Although, according to guitarist Richie Blackmore, the production on the 1971 album Fireball was "rushed" due to a heavy touring schedule, the LP was a major success for the band, topping the British album charts. Several of the tracks on Fireball have been singled out by vocalist Ian Gillan as favorites, including Fools, the longest track on the album.
Artist: Blue Oyster Cult
Title: Workshop Of The Telescopes/Redeemed
Source: LP: Blue Oyster Cult
Writer(s): Pearlman/Blue Oyster Cult/Farcas
Songwriting credits on the first Blue Oyster Cult album are rather complicated. Manager Sandy Pearlman, for instance, wrote the lyrics for over half the songs on the album, including Workshop Of The Telescopes. In fact, the entire band is credited for that particular track. Redeemed, which segues out of Workshop to end the album, was actually bought from singer/songwriter Harry Farcas, but drummer Albert Bouchard and rhythm guitarist Allen Lanier, as well as Pearlman, are listed as co-writers due to their extensive rearranging of the tune.
Artist: Grand Funk
Title: We're An American Band
Source: 45 RPM single
Writer: Don Brewer
In 1972 I was the bass player/vocalist in a power trio that played a lot of Grand Funk Railroad, Black Sabbath and the like. Shortly after that band split up I started taking broadcasting classes from Tim Daniels, an Air Force Sergeant who had previously worked for the Armed Forces Vietnam Network (the same station that Adrian Cronauer worked at, although at that time nobody outside the military had ever heard of him). That led to my first regular airshift on the "Voice of Holloman" a closed-circuit station that was piped into the gym and bowling alley and some of the barracks at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. One of the hot new records that the station got promo copies of was We're An American Band, pressed on bright yellow translucent vinyl with the stereo version on one side and the mono mix on the other. I snagged one of the extra copies Capitol sent and have somehow managed to hang onto it over the years.
Artist: Robin Trower
Title: The Fool And Me
Source: CD: Bridge Of Sighs
Guitarist Robin Trower's breakthrough album, Bridge Of Sighs, featured vocals by bassist James Dewar, who also co-wrote a couple of the songs on the LP. The best of these was The Fool And Me, which closes out side one of the original LP. Drummer Reg Isidore completed the trio.