Sunday, November 25, 2018

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1848 (starts 11/26/18)

    No artists' sets this week, but we do have an Advanced Psych segment featuring McFadden's Parachute, the Dukes of Stratosphear and Liquid Scene, as well as three bands making their Stuck in the Psychedelic Era debut and a surprise track from a popular Motown act.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1966
    By mid-1966 there was a population explosion of teenage rock bands popping up in garages and basements all across the US, the majority of which were doing their best to emulate the grungy sound of their heroes, the Rolling Stones. The Stones themselves responded by ramping up the grunge factor to a previously unheard of degree with their last single of the year, Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow? It was the most feedback-laden record ever to make the top 40 at that point in time, and it inspired America's garage bands to buy even more powerful amps and crank up the volume (driving their parents to drink in the process).

Artist:    Davie Allan And The Arrows
Title:    Blue's Theme
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released on LP: The Wild Ones-soundtrack and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Curb/Allan
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1966
    It is entirely possible that the Chocolate Watch Band (or more accurately, the unknown producers of their first single) were indirectly responsible for giving guitarist Davie Allan his biggest hit single. In 1966, movie producer Roger Corman hired Mike Curb to comeup with soundtrack music for his 1966 film The Wild Ones. Curb in turn contacted his longtime friend (and frequent collaborator) Allan to actually record the soundtrack with his band, the Arrows. The film was released in July of 1966, with the soundtrack album appearing soon after. The obvious high point of the album was the instrumental track Blue's Theme (which technically should have been Blues's Theme, since the film's main character, played by Peter Fonda, was named Heavenly Blues), but at first there were reportedly no plans to release the song as a single. However, late in the year the Chocolate Watch Band were making their very first visit to a recording studio, and were asked to knock out a quick cover of Blues Theme, which was released (sans apostrophe) on the HBR label, credited to The Hogs. Curb must have heard about this as it was being prepared for release, as he managed to put out a single release of the original Davie Allan version of Blue's Theme before the HBR single hit the racks. Either that, or (more likely) the HBR producers simply had bad info about Curb's intentions in the first place.

Artist:    Lost Souls
Title:    This Life Of Mine
Source:    Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in Australia as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Gregory/Wilkins/Woff/Paul/Putt
Label:    Rhino (original label: Sunshine)
Year:    1966
    It was the American Dream made real. A bunch of school friends, inspired by the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds, form a band in 1965 and win a battle of the bands sponsored by a local radio station the following year. The prize: the opportunity to cut a record of their own. The catch: this wasn't America, it was Australia. The Lost Souls  released This Life Of Mine in September of 1966, scoring a minor hit in their native Melbourne. Further success, however, eluded them, and the Lost Souls disbanded in early 1968.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Tangerine Puppet
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: The Pye History Of Pop Music Vol. 2-Donovan (originally released on LP: Catch The Wind)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Pye (original US label: Hickory)
Year:    1965
    Considering his later stature as an artist, it's hard to imagine Donovan as a strictly regional success, yet his earliest albums for Pye generated very little interest beyond his native Scotland. Athough his first LP, What's Bid Did And What's Bin Hid, was released in the US (on the second-tier Hickory label), it was retitled Catch The Wind, and did not sell particularly well. In fact, many of the tracks on the album, such as the instrumental Tangerine Puppet, got greater circulation several years later on anthology albums such as The Pye History Of Pop Music Vol. 2-Donovan, which was released in the early 1980s.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Wrong
Source:    CD: Turn On The Music Machine
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Collectables (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    Sean Bonniwell was a member of the mainstream (i.e. lots of appearances on TV variety shows hosted by people like Perry Como and Bob Hope) folk group the Lamplighters in the early 60s. By 1966 he had morphed into one of the more mysterious figures on the LA music scene, leading a proto-punk band dressed entirely in black. Bonniwell himself wore a single black glove (Michael Jackson was about seven years old at the time), and was one of the most prolific songwriters of the time. His recordings, often featuring the distinctive Farfisa organ sound, were a primary influence on later LA bands such as Iron Butterfly and the Doors. A classic example of the Music Machine sound was the song Wrong, which was issued as the B side of the group's most successful single, Talk Talk.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Back Door Man
Source:    CD: The Doors
Writer(s):    Willie Dixon
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    In their early days as an L.A. club band, the Doors supplemented their growing body of original material with covers of classic blues tunes (rather than covers of top 40 hits like many of their contemporaries). Perhaps best of these was Willie Dixon's Back Door Man, which had been a mid-50s R&B hit for Howlin' Wolf. The Doors themselves certainly thought so, as it was one of only two cover songs on their debut LP.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Birthday
Source:    CD: The Beatles
Writer:    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Apple)
Year:    1968
    One of the great ironies of rock history was that the album entitled simply The Beatles was the one that had the fewest songs with all four of the band members playing on them. By 1968 the Beatles were experiencing internal conflicts, and nearly all of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's songs were played by just the two of them, while George Harrison's songs (and Ringo Starr's single contribution as a songwriter) featured an array of some of the UK's top musicians (including guitarist Eric Clapton). The opening track of side three of the album is typical of this approach, as Birthday is essentially a McCartney solo piece.

Artist:    Crow
Title:    Evil Woman (Don't Play Your Games With Me)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Wagner/Weigand/Weigand
Label:    Amaret
Year:    1969
    Minneapolis has always had a more active local music scene than one might expect from a medium-sized city in the heart of the snow belt. Many of the city's artists have risen to national prominence, including a band called Crow, whose 1969 single Evil Woman (Don't Play Your Games With Me), hit close to the top of the charts in early 1970. The band had been formed in 1967 as South 40, changing its name to Crow right around the same time they signed to Amaret Records in 1969. Unfortunately, problems with their record label eventually led to the band's demise.

Artist:    MC5
Title:    Call Me Animal
Source:    LP: Back In The USA
Writer(s):    MC5
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Although it is considered a prototype for the punk rock movement of the late 1970s, the members of MC5 were not happy with their second LP, Back In The USA, when it appeared on the racks in 1970. Unlike their 1969 live debut LP, Kick Out The Jams, Back In The USA was a studio effort on which the band sounded somewhat sterile compared to their live performances. The band members themselves attribute this to their producer Jon Landau, who they found to be "overbearing and heavy-handed" in his production style, seemingly trying to make the band sound the way he wanted rather than let them play to their strengths. A listen to Call Me Animal lends credence to this assessment,  as it does sound a bit on the thin side. The album got lukewarm reviews and stalled out in the lower half of the Billboard album charts, staying around for only seven weeks. This, combined with an overall weariness, spelled the beginning of the end for what had once been a promising band. The MC5 disbanded in 1972.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix
Title:    Red House
Source:    CD: Live At Woodstock
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy
Year:    1969
    Just about every time Jimi Hendrix made a live appearance he played his signature blues song, Red House. This is the version performed at Woodstock, using the band he was calling Gypsy, Sun And Rainbows at the time, although he also was heard to say "We're just a Band Of Gypsys" during his set. In addition to Hendrix himself, the band featured Mitch Mitchell on drums, Billy Cox on bass, Larry Lee on rhythm guitar and percussionists Jerry Velez and Juma Sultan, although only Hendrix, Cox and Mitchell are audible on the recording.

Artist:    Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title:    Born On The Bayou
Source:    LP: Bayou Country
Writer(s):    John Fogerty
Label:    Fantasy
Year:    1968
    If there is any single song that sums up what Creedence Clearwater Revival was all about, it could very well be Born On The Bayou, the opening track of CCR's second LP, Bayou Country. The song, which was written by John Fogerty late at night, became the opening for nearly every Creedence concert over the next few years, and is considered by many to be the band's signature song. Oddly enough, John Fogerty had never set foot on a bayou in his life when he wrote the song, but had always been a fan of the movie Swamp Fever, as well as having a fascination with "every other bit of southern bayou information that had entered my imagination from the time I was born."

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Everybody's Been Burned
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    There is a common misconception that David Crosby's songwriting skills didn't fully develop until he began working with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. A listen to Everybody's Been Burned from the Byrds' 1967 album Younger Than Yesterday, however, puts the lie to that theory in a hurry. The track has all the hallmarks of a classic Crosby song: a strong melody, intelligent lyrics and an innovative chord structure. It's also my personal favorite tune from what is arguably the Byrds' best LP.

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    LP: Back Door Men
Writer(s):    Billy Roberts
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    Possibly the greatest garage-rock album of all is the second Shadows Of Knight LP, Back Door Men. Released in 1966, the album features virtually the same lineup as their debut LP, Gloria. Unlike many of their contemporaries, the Shadows were capable of varying their style somewhat, going from their trademark Chicago blues-influenced punk to what can only be described as early hard rock with ease. Like many bands of the time, they recorded a fast version of Billy Roberts' Hey Joe (although they credited it to Chet Powers on the label). The Shadows version, however, is a bit longer than the rest, featuring an extended guitar break by Joe Kelley, who had switched from bass to lead guitar midway through the recording of the Gloria album, replacing Warren Rogers, when it was discovered that Kelley was by far the more talented guitarist (Rogers was moved over to bass). Incidentally, despite the album's title and the Shadows' penchant for recording classic blues tunes, the band did not record a version of Howlin' Wolf's Back Door Man. The Blues Project and the Doors, however, did.

Artist:     Rising Sons
Title:     If The River Was Whiskey (Divin' Duck Blues)
Source:     CD: The Rising Sons featuring Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder
Writer:     Sleepy John Estes
Label:     Columbia Legacy
Year:     1965
     Considering that by 1970 Columbia had established itself as one of the two dominant record companies when it came to the music of the left-leaning counter-culture (the other being Warner Brothers), it's odd to realize that a scant five years earlier they were known for their essential conservatism. Take the case of the Rising Sons, a multi-racial band featuring such future stars as Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder and Jessie Kincaid. Although they had been signed by Columbia in 1965, nobody at the label had a clue on how to market or even properly produce the band's recordings. By mid-1966 the entire project was shelved and the tapes sat on a shelf in the vault until 1992, when someone at the label realized the historical significance of what they had.
Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Almost Grown
Source:    Mono LP: What's Shakin'
Writer(s):    Chuck Berry
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1966
    The Lovin' Spoonful came close to being the first rock band signed by Elektra Records. It was this inexperience with the world of pop music (as it was then called) that ultimately led the Spoonful to instead sign with Kama Sutra, the direct forerunner of Buddah Records. According to bassist Steve Boone, the band, and their production team, "wanted the benefits of being on Dick Clark" and appearing in magazines like Teen Beat, something the people at Kama Sutra were better equipped to deliver. Still, the band genuinely liked Jac Holtzman and wanted to do something to make up for not signing with his label, so they gave him four tracks that never appeared on Kama Sutra. Those four tracks ended up appearing, along with tunes from Eric Clapton's Powerhouse, the Butterfield Blues Band, and others, on a one-off anthology album called What's Shakin' in 1966. Two of the Spoonful recordings were original John Sebastian tunes. The other two were covers of vintage rock and roll tunes, including Chuck Berry's Almost Grown. The tracks show a side of the Lovin' Spoonful that was seldom, if ever, heard on their Kama Sutra recordings.

Artist:    Count Five
Title:    Double Decker Bus
Source:    Mono LP: Psychotic Reaction
Writer(s):    John Byrne
Label:    Bicycle/Concord
Year:    1966
    With Count Five's single Psychotic Reaction rocketing up the charts in late 1966, Double Shot Records rushed the band into the studio to record a full-length LP, called (naturally) Psychotic Reaction. The key word here is "rushed", as band members later complained that they were not given the time to fully develop their original material, most of which was written by guitarist John "Sean" Byrne. Nonetheless, the album contains nine original tunes (along with two covers of Who songs tossed in as filler), all of which are classic examples of what has come to be called garage rock. Double Decker Bus, which opens the album, is a good example of Byrne's original material. Count Five was never able to duplicate the success of their hit single, however, and after the song's popularity had run its course the group, consisting of Kenn Ellner on lead vocals, tambourine and harmonica, John "Mouse" Michalski on lead guitar, John "Sean" Byrne on rhythm guitar and vocals, Craig "Butch" Atkinson on drums and Roy Chaney on bass guitar, disbanded so that its members could pursue college educations.

Artist:    Deep Feeling
Title:    Pretty Colours
Source:    Simulated stereo British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution
Writer(s):    Jackson/Palmer/Capaldi
Label:    Grapefruit
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2013
    The word supergroup was coined to describe bands made up of members who were already well known as members of other bands. I'm not sure, however, what you would call a band made up of the same people, only before they became members of the bands they were famous for. Such a band was Deep Feeling. Originally called the Hellions, the band included Dave Mason and Jim Capaldi (Traffic), Joh "poli" Palmer (Family) and Luther Grosvenor (Spooky Tooth). In 1966 Deep Feeling made a handful of recordings for Giorgio Gomelsky with the intention of putting out an album. Among them was a tune called Pretty Colours. Before the album could be completed, however, Capaldi accepted an invitation from Mason (who had left Deep Feeling before the sessions started) to join him in a new band to be called Traffic. The Deep Feeling recordings were shelved, with Pretty Colours finally seeing the light of day in 2013, when it was included on a British anthology box set called Love, Poetry And Revolution.

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Roadblock
Source:    CD: Cheap Thrills (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Joplin/Albin
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 1999
    Although producer John Simon was convinced that the best way to record Big Brother And The Holding Company was live, he did have the band cut a few tracks in the studio as well. Some of these, such as Summertime and Piece Of My Heart, ended up on the 1968 album Cheap Thrills. Others, like Roadblock, ended up on the shelf, where they stayed until 1999, when a newly remastered CD of the album included them as bonus tracks. Although it's not a bad song by any means, it's hard to imagine any of the tracks that were used for the original album being cut to make way for it.

Artist:    McFadden's Parachute
Title:    Stained Glass Iris
Source:    CD: Psolipsystic Psychedelic Pslyces Of McFadden's Parachute
Writer(s):    Darren Brennessel
Label:    PeterFonda
Year:    1996
    Although the psychedelic era itself officially covers only a few years in the late 1960s, for many the spirit of the era's music lives on. One such person is Darren Brennessel of Rochester, NY, who is the mastermind behind over two dozen McFadden's Parachute albums. Brennessel has been playing professionally since 1989, when he was the drummer for a band called the Purple Flashes, conceiving and recording the first McFadden's Parachute album as a side project. In the years since, in addition to playing multiple instruments on McFadden's Parachute albums, Brennessel has continued to play drums with a variety of bands, including Sky Saxon's Green Forests, which recorded an as-yet unreleased album in 2004. A ehilr back, Brennessel sent me a special sampler collection of McFadden's Parachute tracks recorded mostly in the 1990s. The 1996 tune Stained Glass Iris is one of those tracks.

Artist:    Dukes Of Stratosphear
Title:    The Mole From The Ministry
Source:    CD: Chips From The Chocolate Factory (originally released on EP: 25 O'Clock)
Writer(s):    Andy Partridge
Label:    Caroline (original label: Virgin)
Year:    1985
    In 1985, XTC decided to take a break and record an EP, 25 O'Clock, anonymously as the Dukes of Stratosphear. They circulated rumours that this was some previously undiscovered psych band from the late 1960s. Of course, everyone should have suspected that something was not quite as it seemed with the Dukes, as the EP (or "mini-album") was released on April Fool's Day of 1985 (and only in the UK at that). Still, the authentic recreation of mid to late 60s production techniques, as well as its Disraeli Gears-inspired album cover, were enough to keep people guessing, at least for a while. Ironically, 25 O'Clock actually outsold the then-current XTC album by a margin of about 2-to-1. Most of the tracks on 25 O'Clock are relatively short, however the final tune, The Mole From The Ministry, actually runs over five minutes in length, which is longer, incidentally, than the average XTC song.

Artist:    Liquid Scene
Title:    Leave Me Here
Source:    CD: Revolutions
Writer(s):    Becki diGregorio
Label:    Ziglain
Year:    2014
    Liquid Scene, based in the San Francisco area, is the brainchild of Bodhi (becki diGregorio), who, in addition to writing all the songs on the 2014 album Revolutions, plays sitar and is the group's vocalist. A truly talented woman, as can be heard on Leave Me Here, the most played song ever on our Advanced Psych segment.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Star Collector
Source:    LP: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    Colgems
Year:    1967
    The Monkees were one of the first bands to utilize the Moog synthesizer on a rock record. One of the two tracks that uses the device extensively is Star Collector, a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and sung by the late Davy Jones. Usually Jones was picked to sing the band's love ballads. Star Collector, on the other hand, is a wild, almost humorous look at rock groupies; the type of song that on earlier Monkees albums would have been given to Peter Tork to sing. The synthesizer in Star Collector was programmed and played by Paul Beaver (of Beaver and Krause). Tork later said that he didn't think much of Beaver's performance, saying "he played it like a flute or something" rather than exploit the unique sounds the Moog was capable of producing.

Artist:     Electric Prunes
Song:     Get Me To the World On Time
Source:     Mono CD: The complete Reprise singles (originally released on LP: The Electric Prunes and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Jones
Label:     Real Gone/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1967
     Songwriter Annette Tucker usually worked with Nancy Mantz, and the pair was responsible for the Electric Prunes biggest hit, I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night). On Get Me To The World On Time, which originally appeared on the band's first LP, she instead teamed up with Jill Jones and came up with a kind of psychedelic Bo Diddley song that ended up being the Prunes second biggest hit (and the first rock song that I ever heard first on an FM station rather than an AM one).

Artist:    Diana Ross And The Supremes
Title:    Love Child
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Holland/Dozier/Holland
Label:    Motown
Year:    1968
    After the departure of Flo Henderson, the Supremes' original lead vocalist who had been shoved into a supporting role in favor of Diana Ross early in the group's career and had developed a crippling drug dependency in the years following that move, Ross was officially given top billing of the group, which now included Cindy Birdsong as Henderson's replacement. By late summer of 1968, however, the Supremes were in a bit of a drought, with their latest singles charting significantly lower than their earlier hits. A meeting was held between the label's president, Berry Gordy, Jr., and a team of producers and songwriters that included  R. Dean Taylor, Frank Wilson, Pam Sawyer, Deke Richards, and Henry Cosby. Berry basically gave the team, that nicknamed itself The Clan, an ultimatum: come up with a hit single, or else. They responded with Love child, one of the few Motown singles to address a social issue, teenage pregnancy, and ended up with the song that knocked the Beatles' Hey Jude out of the #1 spot late in the year. Like all the singles credited to Diana Ross And The Supremes, Love Child features Ross backed up by studio singers rather than the other two members of the Supremes. Still, the song's powerful message about a girl being pressured by her boyfriend to have sex, resonates even today.

Artist:    West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:    A Child's Guide To Good And Evil
Source:    CD: Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil
Writer(s):    Markley/Harris
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    If there was ever a band that illustrated just how bizarre the late 60s could be, it was the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. Formed at a party (hosted by Hollywood hustler Kim Fowley) by the Harris brothers, Shaun and Danny, sons of a noted orchestra conductor, and financed by lyricist Bob Markley, a borderline pedophile with lots of money to burn, the band also included a talented but troubled lead guitarist from Denver, Ron Morgan, and a multi-instrumentalist, Michael Lloyd, who would go on to become a highly successful record producer. As would be expected with such a disparate group, several members ended up quitting during the band's run; strangely enough, they all ended up returning to the band at one time or another. Their music was just as strange as their story, as the title track of their fourth album, Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil, illustrates vividly. Musically the song is powerful, almost anthemic, creating a mood that is immediately destroyed by a spoken bit (I hesitate to use the term "poetry") by the aforementioned borderline pedophile, against a backdrop of a more subdued musical bed with background vocals somewhat resembling Gregorian chant. And just what words of wisdom does Markley have to share with us? Let me give you a small sample: "a vampire bat will suck blood from our hands, a dog with rabies will bite us, rats will run up your legs, but nothing will matter." Perhaps the most bizarre aspect of the whole thing is that the piece was created without benefit of drugs, as all the members of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band (except for lead guitarist Ron Morgan) were notoriously drug-free, itself a bit of an oddity in late 60s Hollywood. Oddly enough, in spite of this (or maybe because of it), the track is actually quite fun to listen to. Besides, it only lasts two minutes and twenty seconds.

Artist:    Lollipop Shoppe
Title:    Mr. Madison Avenue
Source:    CD: The Weeds aka The Lollipop Shoppe (originally released on LP: Angels From Hell soundtrack)
Writer(s):    Stu Phillips
Label:    Way Back (original label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    When it comes to long strange trips, the Grateful Dead have nothing on Fred Cole, the legendary indy rock pioneer. Like many baby boomers, he got into his first band at age 14. From there the story gets a bit more unique. At age 15 he played bass in a band called the Lords that became the backup band for Frank Sinatra, Jr. That may have been success enough for an average 15-year-old, but for Cole it was only the beginning. After one unsuccessful single the Lords split up and Cole found himself being groomed as the "white Stevie Wonder" by Mike Tell, the owner of the record label that had issued the Lords' single, working with a group of studio musicians led by Larry Williams (of Dizzy Miss Lizzy fame). The group cut a pair of songs using the name Deep Soul Cole (with Cole on lead vocals and bass) and a few copies were made of a possible single, but the record failed to get the attention of top 40 radio and Cole found himself forming a new band, the Weeds, in early 1966. After recording a single for Teenbeat Records, the group got what it thought was its big break when their manager told them they were booked as an opening act for the Yardbirds at the Fillmore in San Francisco. On arrival, however, they soon discovered that nobody, from Bill Graham on down, had any idea who they were. Thus, nearly broke and without a gig, the Weeds decided to do what any band with members of draftable age in 1966 would do: move to Canada. Unfortunately for the band, they only had enough gas to get to Portland, Oregon. Still, being young and resilient, they soon got a steady gig as the house band at a local coffeehouse, with Cole meeting his soon-to-be wife Toody in the process. The Weeds soon became an important part of the Portland music scene, with a series of appearances at the Crystal Ballroom supplementing their regular gig at The Folk Singer throughout 1967. Late in the year the band decided to move on, first to Sausalito, California (for about six months, playing all over the Bay area), then to Los Angeles, where they brazenly showed up unannounced at Lord Tim Productions in Los Angeles with a demo tape. Lord Tim, then the manager of the Seeds and claiming to be the guy who coined the term "flower power", signed them on the spot. Soon, a new 45 RPM record appeared on MCA's Uni label: You Must Be A Witch. It came as a shock to the band, however, to see the name Lollipop Shoppe on the label rather than The Weeds. Apparently Lord Tim wanted to avoid any name confusion between the Seeds and the Weeds and arbitrarily decided to rename the band without consulting them first. Before long an entire album by the Lollipop Shoppe hit the shelves. Later in 1968 the band was invited to appear in the cheapie biker film Angels From Hell, although to avoid having to pay Cole for having a speaking (singing) role they only filmed him from the neck down. Two songs from the band, including Mr. Madison Avenue, appeared on the soundtrack album, released on the Tower label (big surprise there). After severing ties with Uni (and Lord Tim) in 1969, the band continued under various names for a few more years before finally giving way to one of the first, and most long-lived indy rock bands, Dead Moon, which was co-led by Fred and Toody Cole for over 20 years.

Artist:    Sixpentz
Title:    Please Come Home
Source:    Mono British import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released in US as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Roger Romano
Label:    Big Beat (original US label: Brent)
Year:    1966
    The Sixpentz (not to be confused with Thee Sixpence, which would soon become the Strawberry Alarm Clock), was a Houston-based band with ambitions to become the American Beatles. Led by Roger "Rock" Romano, the Sixpentz released two singles for Bob shad's Brent label before changing their name to the Fun & Games Commission and releasing their final record on Shad's Mainstream label. It is disputed whether Please Come Home, a Romano composition, was intended to be the A or the B side of the band's first single, but in the years since its release in December of 1966 it has gotten the lion's share of attention.

Artist:    Circus Maximus
Title:    You Know I've Got The Rest Of My Life To Go
Source:    CD: Circus Maximus
Writer(s):    Bob Bruno
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Circus Maximus was formed in 1967 by guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Bob Bruno and guitarist/vocalist Jerry Jeff Walker in New York's Greenwich Village. The group, originally called the Lost Sea Dreamers (changed at the behest of the folks at Verve Records, who didn't like the initials), combined elements of folk, rock, jazz and country to create their own unique brand of psychedelic music. Their self-title debut album contained rock songs from both songwriters, with Walker's tunes leaning more toward folk and country while Bruno's contained elements of jazz, as can be heard on You Know I've Got The Rest Of My Life To Go. The band released a second album in early 1968 before splitting up, with Walker becoming a successful songwriter and Bruno hooking up with various jazz musicians over the next few years before turning his attention to more visual forms of art. Bassist Gary White also had some success as a songwriter, penning Linda Ronstadt's first solo hit, Long, Long Time.

Artist:    Move
Title:    (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Roy Wood
Label:    A&M
Year:    1967
    The most successful British band of the psychedelic era not to have a US hit was the Move, a band that featured Roy Wood and (later) Jeff Lynne, among other notables. The band was already well established in the UK by 1967, when their single Flowers In The Rain was picked to be the first record played on the new BBC Radio One. The B side of that record was the equally-catchy (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree. Both songs were written by Wood, although he only sang lead vocals on the B side.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    See See Rider
Source:    LP: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals Vol. II (originally released on LP: Animalization)
Writer(s):    Ma Rainey
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    One of the last singles released by the original incarnation of the Animals, See See Rider traces its roots back to the 1920s, when it was first recorded by Ma Rainey. The Animals version is considerably faster than most other recordings of the song, and includes a signature opening rift by organist Dave Rowberry (who had replaced founder Alan Price prior to the recording of the Animalization album that the song first appeared on) that is unique to the Animals' take on the tune. The record label itself credits Rowberry as the songwriter, rather than Rainey, perhaps because the Animals' arrangement was so radically different from various earlier recordings of the song, such as the #1 R&B hit by Chuck Willis and LaVerne Baker's early 60s version..

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help From My Friends
Source:    CD: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone
Year:    1967
            One of the first tracks recorded for the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was the title track itself, which opens up side one of the LP. The following song, With A Little Help From My Friends (tentatively titled Bad Finger Boogie at the time), was recorded nearly two months later, yet the two sound like one continuous performance. In fact, it was this painstaking attention to every facet of the recording and production process that made Sgt. Pepper's such a landmark album. Whereas the first Beatles album  took 585 minutes to record, Sgt. Pepper's took over 700 hours. At this point in the band's career, drummer Ringo Starr was generally given one song to sing (usually written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney) on each of the group's albums. Originally, these were throwaway songs such as I Wanna Be Your Man (which was actually written for the Rolling Stones), but on the previous album, Revolver, the biggest hit on the album ended up being the song Ringo sang, Yellow Submarine. Although no singles were released from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, With A Little Help From My Friends received considerable airplay on top 40 radio and is one of the most popular Beatle songs ever recorded.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1848 (starts 11/26/18)

    This time around we go long for the first half (except for the first cut) and then shorten things up for the second. Most of these tracks have not been heard on Rockin' in the Days of Confusion before, including our opening tune, which was last heard on the special edition of Stuck in the Psychedelic Era that ran on Independence Day weekend of 2016 and served as a kind of pilot for this show.

Artist:    Black Oak Arkansas
Title:    Jim Dandy
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Lincoln Chase
Label:    Atco
Year:    1973
    My first exposure to Black Oak Arkansas was at a Grand Funk Railroad concert in August of 1971. I had literally arrived on the campus of Southwestern University in Weatherford Oklahoma the night before the concert, having hitchhiked there from New Mexico. On arrival I soon learned that my bandmates DeWayne and Mike, whose dorm room I was crashing in, already had tickets for the concert in Norman, Oklahoma. They invited me to come along, assuring me that I could easily score tickets at the gate. As it turns out they were right, but by the time we got there the only tickets left were bleacher seats. Of course, the rest of the group that made the drive to Norman all had floor tickets, so I ended up sitting by myself up in the nosebleed section for the opening act, a group I had never heard of called Black Oak Arkansas. I decided that, for the next 45 minutes or so, I would be a reviewer, and started analyzing this new band one song at a time. To be honest, I wasn't all that impressed at first, but found each successive song to be a little bit better than the one before it. By the time the band had finished their set, I was electrified (literally, since the last song was called The Day Electricity Came To Arkansas). I eventually bought a copy of the album Black Oak Arkansas, and was pleased to discover that the songs were in the exact same order on the LP as I had first heard them in concert. Over the years I continued to follow the band's progress, and was happy to hear, in 1973, their remake of an old LaVerne Baker song, Jim Dandy, on the local AM radio station. In fact, I went out and bought a copy of the 45 RPM single, which is what you'e hearing on this week's show, scratches and all.

Artist:    ZZ Top
Title:    Waitin' For The Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago
Source:    LP: The Best Of ZZ Top (originally released on LP: Tres Hombres)
Writer(s):    Gibbons/Hill/Beard
Label:    London
Year:    1973
    There have been a handful of instances in rock history where two consecutive tracks on an album have fit so well together that it's almost impossible to hear one without expecting the other to follow it. The Beatles (Back In The USSR/Dear Prudence) may have been the first, but others, including Led Zeppelin (Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman) and Queen (We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions) are also instantly recognizable. Add to that list ZZ Top, whose one-two punch of Waitin' For The Bus and Jesus Just Left Chicago opened their third album, Tres Hombres, in 1973. It was the group's first collaboration with engineer Terry Manning, who (despite persistent rumors to the contrary) deliberately spliced the two songs together without a break between them when mastering the album. Not coincidentally, Tres Hombres was ZZ Top's commercial breakthrough, proving that a good recording engineer can make a significant contribution to a band's success.

Artist:    Humble Pie
Title:    C'Mon Everybody
Source:    CD: Smokin'
Writer(s):    Capehart/Cochran
Label:    A&M
Year:    1972
    Following the departure of Peter Frampton in 1971, Steve Marriott became the de facto leader of Humble Pie, producing the band's first post-Frampton album, Smokin', in 1972. One of the highlights of the album was a slowed down version of Eddie Cochran's C'mon Everybody, featuring Marriott on both lead vocals and lead guitar.

Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Warrior
Source:    British import CD: The Collection (originally released on LP: Argus)
Writer(s):    Upton/Turner/Turner/Powell
Label:    MCA/Decca
Year:    1972
    One of the first bands ever to feature two lead guitarists was Wishbone Ash. The story goes that following the departure of their original guitar player, bassist Martin Turner and drummer Steve Upton auditioned several lead guitarists and got it down to two finalists, Andy Powell and Ted Turner (no relation to either Martin Turner or Jane Fonda), but could not decide between the two. At that point they decided just to keep both of them, and a heavy metal tradition was born. Whether the story is true or not, the two definitely traded off leads for the next three years and five albums, including their third and most successful LP, Argus. One of the album's best-known songs, Warrior, is built around classical Greek literary themes and features shared lead vocals from Andy Powell and Martin Turner, as well as simultaneous lead guitar tracks from Powell and the other Turner.

Artist:    Genesis
Title:    The Cinema Show/Aisle Of Plenty
Source:    CD: Selling England By The Pound
Writer(s):    Banks/Collins/Gabriel/Hackett/Rutherford
Label:    Rhino/Atlantic (original label: Charisma)
Year:    1973
    As early as 1973 there were concerns in the UK about the Americanization of British culture, and Genesis took inspiration from a recent Labour Party slogan, Selling England By The Pound, for their next album title. The album itself is considered one of the group's best, thanks to songs like The Cinema Show (about Juliet and Romeo each preparing for their movie date) and Aisle Of Plenty, which takes place in an American-style supermarket. Selling England By The Pound was the fifth Genesis album, and the second to feature the group's "classic" lineup of Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Summer Day Sand aka Summerday Sands
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1975
    There seems to be confusion over the title of the B side of Jethro Tull's single version of Minstrel In The Gallery. In the US and at least one other country the label reads Summer Day Sand, while in the UK and most everywhere else it is listed as Summerday Sands. Although I suspect that Summerday Sands is the correct title I went with Summer Day Sand only because the copy of the record I have is the US version. The song, incidentally, was not released on any of Jethro Tull's original LPs, although it was included in the band's first CD box set.

Artist:    It's A Beautiful Day
Title:    Girl With No Eyes
Source:    CD: It's A Beautiful Day
Writer(s):    Linda and David LaFlamme
Label:    San Francisco Sound (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    The truth of the adage that adversity fuels creativity is nowhere more evident than on the 1969 debut album of San Francisco's It's A Beautiful Day. The band had spent much of the previous year in Seattle, Washington in a tiny room above the San Francisco Sound, a less-than-popular club owned by their manager, Matthew Katz. As the house band at the club, It's A Beautiful Day ostensibly got a percentage of the door, but as the place always had poor attendance the band was pretty much broke the entire time they spent there, making them virtual prisoners. During this time the husband and wife team of David and Linda LaFlamme concentrated on their songwriting, coming up with the material that eventually became the group's first album. The best of these tracks were collaborations between the two, including the band's signature song, White Bird, and the gentle Girl With No Eyes, which closes out side one of the original LP. Ironically, once the group was successful the LaFlammes split up, with Linda leaving the band altogether. Although It's A Beautiful Day continued on with a new keyboardist, David LaFlamme's solo material was not as strong as his collaborations with Linda and the group eventually disbanded.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    All Along The Watchtower (early Chas Chandler mix)
Source:    CD: South Saturn Delta
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Experience Hendrix/MCA
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 1997
    With Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding having left the studio following an argument with his bandleader, Hendrix and drummer Mitch Mitchell, along with guest guitarist Dave Mason, laid down the basic tracks for their cover of Bob Dylan's All Along The Watchtower in January of 1968. With another guest, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, providing added percussion, Hendrix overdubbed the bass line himself, along with his lead guitar track. A few days later Hendrix and producer Chas Chandler made their initial mix of the song, heard here. In late May, Hendrix, having assumed producer's duties when Chandler left the project, transferred the original four-track recording over to new 12-track equipment, eventually adding several refinements, including a second lead guitar track, to create the final mix heard on the Electric Ladyland album.

Artist:    Savoy Brown
Title:    Flood In Houston
Source:    LP: Getting To The Point
Writer(s):    Youlden/Simmonds
Label:    Parrot
Year:    1968
    Savoy Brown's second LP, Getting To The Point, was the first to feature lead vocalist Chris Youlden. It was also the first Savoy Brown album to have more original material than cover songs on it. These new originals included the album's opening track, Flood In Houston, written by Youlden, along with bandleader/guitarist Kim Simmonds. Youlden would be gone by 1970, one of many to leave Savoy Brown over the years. In fact, Simmonds is the only member to appear on every Savoy Brown album.

Artist:    Blood, Sweat And Tears
Title:    I Can't Quit Her
Source:    LP: Child Is Father To The Man
Writer(s):    Kooper/Levine
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    Following his departure from the Blues Project in early 1967, Al Kooper, after a brief appearance at the Monterey International Pop Festival with a pickup band, found himself a job as a staff producer at Columbia's New York studios. Like many Columbia producers, Kooper found time to come up with a studio project of his own. One of the reasons he had left the Blues Project was a disagreement with band leader Danny Kalb over whether to supplement the band's sound with a horn section. Kooper used his position to put together a new group that did indeed have a horn section: Blood, Sweat And Tears. In the band's original incarnation, Kooper handled both keyboards and lead vocals (although Steve Katz reprised his Blues Project role as the George Harrison of the band, singing on his own compositions). Kooper's material on Child Is Father To The Man resembles his later solo work on tracks like I Can't Quit Her, which opens side two of the original LP.

Artist:    Doobie Brothers
Title:    Cotton Mouth
Source:    CD: Toulouse Street
Writer(s):    Seals/Crofts
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1972
    After their debut LP went largely unnoticed, the Doobie Brothers made a couple of changes to their lineup for the followup album, Toulouse Street. The more significant of these changes was the addition of second drummer Michael Hossack to the band, giving the group a more distinctive sound. The album also featured a more diverse selection of material, including Cotton Mouth, written by labelmates Seals And Crofts, who were riding high with a hit of their own, Summer Breeze, at the time.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1847 (starts 11/19/18)

    This week's show features the fewest individual tracks ever for Stuck in the Psychedelic Era. The reason for this is that each segment contains one really long piece that ends up dominating the segment. Well, maybe not so much in the first hour, since the Beach Boys section is actually only eight minutes long and the Black Sabbath segment also features a Buffalo Springfield artists' set, but the second hour....whew!

Artist:    Chocolate Watch Band
Title:    Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In) (originally released on LP: No Way Out and as 45 RPM single)
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk
Writer:    McElroy/Bennett
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    It took me several years to sort out the convoluted truth behind the recorded works of San Jose, California's most popular local band, the Chocolate Watch Band. While it's true that much of what was released under their name was in fact the work of studio musicians, there are a few tracks that are indeed the product of Dave Aguilar and company. Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In), a song used in the cheapie teenspliotation flick the Love-In and included on the Watch Band's first album, is one of those few. Ironically, the song was co-written by Don Bennett, the studio vocalist whose voice was substituted for Aguilar's on a couple of other songs from the same album. According to legend, the band actually showed up at the movie studio without any songs prepared for the film, and learned to play and sing Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In) right there on the set. This, combined with the story of their first visit to a recording studio the previous year (a story for another time) shows one of the Watch Band's greatest strengths: the ability to pick up and perfect new material faster than anyone else. It also shows their overall disinterest in the recording process. This was a band that wanted nothing more than to play live, often outperforming the big name bands they opened for.

Artist:    Eric Burdon And The Animals
Title:    Paint It Black
Source:    British import CD: Winds Of Change
Writer(s):    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/McCulloch/Jenkins/Jagger/Richards
Label:    Repertoire (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    One of the highlights of the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967 was the onstage debut of Eric Burdon's new Animals, a group much more in tune with the psychedelic happenings of the summer of love than its working class predecessor. The showstopper for the band's set was an extended version of the Rolling Stone's classic Paint It, Black. That summer saw the release of the group's first full LP, Winds Of Change, which included a studio version of Paint It, Black.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Heroes And Villains/Do You Like Worms (Roll Plymouth Rock)
Source:    Mono LP: The Smile Sessions
Writer(s):    Wilson/Parks
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1967
    With the 1966 hit Good Vibrations, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys developed a "modular" approach to producing a recorded work. Rather than record a performance in one take, he would tape each segment separately, often in different studios, and later assemble the pieces in the order he wanted them. The problem with such an approach became evident, however, with his next project, an album to be called Smile. Wilson soon found that the vast number of ways that multiple segments could be put together was overwhelming him to the point where he couldn't make a final decision. As a result, Smile was shelved indefinitely in May of 1967. By then, however, several segments had been recorded for the album, including many intended for Smile's centerpiece, Heroes And Villains. Wilson ended up hastily putting together a version of Heroes And Villains that, according to fellow band member Al Jardine, fell far short of Wilson's original vision, releasing it as the first single on the band's new Brother Records label. In the years that followed, several other versions of the song (different ways of assembling the existing pieces, actually) were released, the most recent being the version heard on The Smile Sessions, released in 2013. By most accounts, this is the closest version we will ever hear to what Brian Wilson originally intended (in fact, Wilson served as a consultant on The Smile Sessions). On the album, Heroes And Villains segues into a piece called Do You Like Worms (Roll Plymouth Rock), which incorporates some of the musical themes from Heroes And Villains itself, creating a seamless piece of music that runs over eight minutes in length. \

Artist:    Who
Title:    I Can See For Miles
Source:    CD: The Who Sell Out
Writer:    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1967
     I Can See For Miles continued a string of top 10 singles in the UK for the Who and was their biggest US hit ever. Pete Townshend, however, was disappointed with the song's performance on the UK charts. He said that the song was the ultimate Who song and as such it should have charted even higher than it did. It certainly was one of the heaviest songs of its time and there is some evidence that it prompted Paul McCartney to come up with Helter Skelter in an effort to take the heaviest song ever title back for the Beatles. What makes the story even more bizarre is that at the time McCartney reportedly had never actually heard I Can See For Miles and was going purely by what he read in a record review. The song is preceeded by a series of jingles produced for Radio London, a pirate radio station operating off the coast with offices in London. One of those (Roto Sound Strings) was actually performed by the Who. The others were made by the same Texas company that supplied jingles to many US top 40 stations.

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 quasi-surf instrumental that fades out after just a few seconds.

Artist:      Opus 1
Title:     Back Seat '38 Dodge
Source:      Mono CD: Where the Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Christensen/Becker/Becker/Parker
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mustang)
Year:     1966
     Long Beach, California was home to Opus 1, who released the high-powered surf-tinged Back Seat '38 Dodge on L.A.'s Mustang label in 1966. The title refers to a controversial sculpture that suburbanites were talking about at the time.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    For What It's Worth (Stop, Hey What's That Sound)
Source:    CD: Retrospective (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Buffalo Springfield (revised version))
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atco
Year:    1967
    Most people associate the name Buffalo Springfield with the song For What It's Worth (Stop, Hey What's That Sound). And for good reason. The song is one of the greatest protest songs ever recorded, and to this day is in regular rotation on both oldies and classic rock radio stations. The song was written and recorded in November of 1966 and released in January of 1967. By then the first Buffalo Springfield LP was already on the racks, but until that point had not sold particularly well. When it became clear that For What It's Worth was turning into a major hit, Atco Records quickly recalled the album and added the song to it (as the opening track). All subsequent pressings of the LP (and later the CD) contain For What It's Worth (Stop, Hey What's That Sound), making earlier copies of the album somewhat of a rarity and quite collectable.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Rock And Roll Woman
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Buffalo Springfield did not sell huge numbers of records (except for the single For What It's Worth) while they were together. Nor did they pack in the crowds. As a matter of fact, when they played the club across the street from where Love was playing, they barely had any audience at all. Artistically, though, it's a whole 'nother story. During their brief existence Buffalo Springfield launched the careers of no less than four major artists: Neil Young, Richie Furay, Jim Messina and Stephen Stills. They also recorded more than their share of tracks that have held up better than most of what else was being recorded at the time. Case in point: Rock and Roll Woman, a Stephen Stills tune that still sounds fresh well over 40 years after it was recorded.

Artist:     Buffalo Springfield
Title:     Bluebird
Source:     CD: Retrospective (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again)
Writer:     Stephen Stills
Label:     Atco
Year:     1967
     When it comes right down to it Buffalo Springfield has one of the highest ratios of songs recorded to songs played on the radio of any band in history, especially if you only count the two albums' worth of material that was released while the band was still active. This is probably because Buffalo Springfield had more raw songwriting talent than just about any two other bands. Although Neil Young and Richie Furay were just starting to hit their respective strides as songwriters, bandmate Stephen Stills was already at an early peak, as songs like Bluebird clearly demonstrate.

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    A Bit Of Finger/Sleeping Village/Warning
Source:    LP: Black Sabbath
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osbourne/Butler/Ward/Dunbar/Dmochowski/Hickling/Moorshead
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    According to Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, the band's debut LP was recorded in one day, in a marathon 12-hour session, and mixed the following day. Most of the tracks, including the 14-minute long Warning, were done in one take with no overdubs. The tune itself is listed on the US album cover as three separate tracks, even though it is the same continuous piece that appeared on the original UK version of the album. Not only that, but all three are listed as being composed by the members of Black Sabbath, despite the fact that Warning was a cover of a 1968 LP track by the Ainsley Dunbar Retaliation.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Janis
Source:    LP: I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    It is not well-known (yet hardly a secret, either) that in early 1967, Country Joe McDonald and Janis Joplin had a live-in relationship. As might be expected given the strong personalities involved, the affair didn't last long, but apparently had a profound enough effect on McDonald that he wrote a song about it. That song, Janis, appears on the second Country Joe And The Fish LP, I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die.
Artist:    Kinks
Title:    You Really Got Me
Source:    Mono LP: You Really Got Me
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1964
    You Really Got Me has been described as the first hard rock song and the track that invented heavy metal. You'll get no argument from me on either of those points

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Alligator/Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)
Source:    CD: Anthem Of The Sun
Writer(s):    Lesh/McKernan/Hunter/Garcia/Kreutzmann/Weir
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1968
    After a debut album that took about a week to record (and that the band was unanimously unhappy with) the Grateful Dead took their time on their second effort, Anthem Of The Sun. After spending a considerable amount of time in three different studios on two coasts and not getting the sound they wanted (and shedding their original producer along the way) the Dead came to the conclusion that the only way to make an album that sounded anywhere near what the band sounded like onstage was to use actual recordings of their performances and combine them with the studio tracks they had been working on. Side two of the album, which includes the classic Alligator and the more experimental Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks), is basically an enhanced live performance, with new vocal tracks added in the studio. Alligator itself is notable as the first Grateful Dead composition to feature the lyrics of Robert Hunter, who would become Jerry Garcia's main collaborator for many many years. Anthem Of The Sun was remixed by Phil Lesh in 1972, and the new mix was used on all subsequent pressings of the LP, and later, CD.

Artist:     Nazz
Title:     Open My Eyes
Source:     LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Nazz)
Writer:     Todd Rundgren
Label:     Rhino (original label: SGC)
Year:     1968
     Nazz was a band from Philadelphia who were basically the victims of their own bad timing. 1968 was the year that progressive FM radio began to get recognition as a viable format while top 40 radio was being dominated by bubble gum pop bands such as the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Ohio Express. Nazz, on the other hand, sounded more like British bands such as the Move and Brian Augur's Trinity that were performing well on the UK charts but were unable to buy a hit in the US. The band had plenty of talent, most notably guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Todd Rundgren, who would go on to establish a successful career, both as an artist (he played all the instruments on his Something/Anything LP and led the band Utopia) and a producer (Grand Funk's We're An American Band, among others). Open My Eyes was originally issued as the A side of a single, but ended up being eclipsed in popularity by its flip side, a song called Hello It's Me, that ended up getting airplay in Boston and other cities, eventually hitting the Canadian charts (a newly recorded version would become a solo hit for Rundgren five years later).

Artist:    Rainbow Ffolly
Title:    Sun Sing
Source:    CD: Insane Times (originally released on LP: Sallies Fforth)
Writer(s):    Dunsterville
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1968
    Some records can only be described as "magical". Such is the case with Sun Sing, from the only Rainbow Ffolly album, Sallies Fforth. The album itself is essentially a bunch of demo tapes made by a group of High Wycombe (a city of about 100,000 about 30 miles from London) art students led by the Dunsterville brothers, Jonathan and Richard. The tapes were made at a local studio in Rickmansworth during off hours and are characterized by the unorthodox approach to record-making used by the group. At the suggestion of the studio owners, the group added various jingles and sound effects between the songs (similar to the approach used on The Who Sell Out) and sold the project as a "sound package" to EMI, which issued it on its Parlophone label in 1968.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes/Extension On One Chord/I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes Medley
Source:    CD: Undead (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Johnson/Lee/Lyons/Churchill/Lee
Label:    Deram
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 2002
    Although not a major hit in the US, the first Ten Years After album, released in 1967, was heard and liked by at least one highly influential person: Bill Graham, owner of the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. Graham was so impressed, in fact, that he invited the band to come play at his soon-to-be-opened Fillmore East in New York. The problem was that the band wanted to have a new record to promote when they made their US debut, and there wasn't enough time to record a proper studio LP (although attempts were made). Finally, in order to meet the deadline, it was decided that the band's second LP would be a live album, something generally not done by bands in 1968 (although it had been more common earlier in the decade). Not all of the live material was used on the new album, however. One notable track was a live extended version of the Blind Willie Johnson tune I Can't Keep From Crying Sometime. The reasons this track was not included on the Undead album probably were a combination of the track's length (17 minutes) and the fact that a studio version of the song had been included on the first Ten Years After LP (erroneously credited to Al Kooper, who had arranged the song for the 1966 album Projections by the Blues Project).

Artist:     Cream
Title:        White Room
Source:    CD: Wheels Of Fire
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:        1968
        Musically almost a rewriting of Eric Clapton's Tales of Brave Ulysses (from Cream's Disraeli Gears album), White Room, a Jack Bruce/Pete Brown composition from the Wheels Of Fire album, is arguably the most popular song ever to feature the use of a wah-wah pedal prominently.

Artist:    Johnny Winter
Title:    Rollin' And Tumblin'
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: The Progressive Blues Experiment)
Writer(s):    McKinley Morganfield
Label:    United Artists (original labels: Sonobeat/Imperial)
Year:    1968
    Johnny Winter's first album, The Progressive Blues Experiment, was originally released in 1968 on the Texas-based Sonobeat label. A ctitical success, it was picked up and reissued on the Imperial label a year later. Most of the songs on the album are covers of blues classics such as Muddy Waters's Rollin' And Tumblin'.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1847 (starts 11/19/18)

    This week's show is broken up into two distinct sets. The first, mostly from 1972, is singles oriented, including the rare second single released from Jethro Tull's Passion Play. The second set is pretty much all 1969, although one track, Proud Mary, was (according to some sources) released as a single in December of 1968, and the Mountain song, Theme From An Imaginary Western, was included in the band's Woodstock set, though the studio version wasn't released until early 1970.

Artist:    Norman Rose/Melissa Manchester
Title:    Deteriorata
Source:    CD: Greatest Hits Of The National Lampoon (originally released on LP: Radio Dinner)
Writer(s):    Hendra/Guest
Label:    Uproar (original label: Blue Thumb)
Year:    1972
    National Lampoon was a product of its time. Originally a magazine, NatLamp (as it was often referred to) grew to include a weekly radio show, a series of albums, and eventually, a series of movies. Some of the best bits from the radio show were assembled in 1972 on an album called National Lampoon's Radio Dinner. The opening track of this album was a piece written by Tony Hendra (with music by Christopher Guest) that parodied a 1971 spoken word recording by Les Crane of an early 20th century poem by Max Ehrmann called Desirata. The Lampoon piece, Deteriorata, was narrated by Norman Rose, with Melissa Manchester singing.

Artist:    Graham Nash/David Crosby
Title:    Immigration Man
Source:    LP: Graham Nash David Crosby
Writer(s):    Graham Nash
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1972
    A frustrating experience with a US Customs agent was the inspiration for what might well be the best song Graham Nash ever wrote. Immigration Man, from the album Graham Nash David Crosby, was released in March of 1972, and became the duo's only top 40 hit. The song has taken on new relevance in recent years, with immigration becoming a divisive political issue, not only in the US but in several European nations as well.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    A Passion Play (Edit #10)
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single (promo)
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1973
    My very first "radio" gig was at a closed-circuit station serving various locations at Holloman AFB, New Mexico. Even though most radio stations got lots of free promo copies of current songs, the Voice Of Holloman was pretty much ignored by the major record labels, with one notable exception: Warner Brothers (and it's associated labels such as Reprise and Chrysalis). Since the Voice Of Holloman was pretty middle of the road, they didn't play Jethro Tull, and I got to snag a copy of the second Tull single taken from A Passion Play. Unlike Edit #8, which got enough airplay to warrant inclusion in Jethro Tull's "M.U" The Best Of Jethro Tull collection, Edit #10 was pretty much dead in the water as soon as it was released. In fact, I have never actually seen a regular copy of the single. My original promo copy is long gone, but I did manage to find one from a reliable source in 2018. Unfortunately, 1973 was the year of the great vinyl shortage (one of the reasons the Voice Of Holloman wasn't getting stuff from most labels), and the promo used poor quality vinyl. Still, it is, to my knowledge, the only source available for this rare edit, so here it is, noise and all.

Artist:    Temptations
Title:    Papa Was A Rolling Stone
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Whitfield/Strong
Label:    Motown
Year:    1972
    One of the longest songs ever to get played on top 40 radio, Papa Was A Rolling Stone was in many ways a climactic recording. It was the last big Temptations hit, and one of the last songs produced by the team of Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, the so-called "psychedelic soul" producers, before Whitfield left Motown to form his own production company. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it was the last major hit to feature the Funk Brothers, the (mostly uncredited) instrumentalists who had played on virtually every Motown record in the 60s but had been largely supplanted by studio musicians working out of Los Angeles, where the label had relocated its corporate headquarters to, in the early 70s. And on Papa Was A Rolling Stone the Funk Brothers finally got to shine as soloists, with an intro on the LP version that lasted more than four minutes and a long extended instrumental section in the middle of the piece as well. Papa Was A Rolling Stone has been called the last great Motown record. I tend to agree with that assessment.

Artist:    Curtis Mayfield
Title:    Freddie's Dead
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Curtis Mayfield
Label:    Curtom
Year:    1972
    The 1971 movie Shaft launched an entire genre of films sometimes known as "blacksploitation" movies. One of the most successful of these was the 1972 film Super Fly. The soundtrack music for Super Fly was provided by former Impressions frontman Curtis Mayfield, and released on his own Curtom label. The single Freddie's Dead, adding vocals to the film's instrumental theme, was released ahead of the film and went into the top 5 on both the Hot 100 and Billboard R&B charts. It was also nominated for a Grammy award, but lost out to the Norman Whitfield/Barrett Strong piece Papa Was A Rolling Stone, sung by the Temptations.

Artist:    Johnny Winter
Title:    Mean Mistreater
Source:    British import CD: Johnny Winter
Writer(s):    James Gordon
Label:    Repertoire (original US label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    Most of Johnny Winter's first album for Columbia featured the same musicians, Tommy Shannon and Uncle John Turner, that had appeared on Winter's debut LP, The Progressive Blues Experiment. One track, though, featured guest Willie Dixon on upright bass. That tune, Mean Mistreater, was written by James Gordon and also features Walter "Shakey" Horton on harmonica.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    I Can't Quit You/How Many More Times
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin
Writer(s):    Dixon/Page/Jones/Bonham
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    Led Zeppelin has come under fire for occassionally "borrowing" lyrics and even guitar riffs from old blues songs (never mind the fact that such "borrowing" was a common practice among the old bluesmen themselves) but, at least in the case of the first Zeppelin album, full songwriting credit was given to Willie Dixon for a pair of songs, one of which was I Can't Quit You. Still, it can't be denied that messrs. Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones completely revamped the blues classic into something uniquely their own. 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 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:    Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title:    Proud Mary
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Bayou Country
Writer(s):    John Fogerty
Label:    Fantasy
Year:    1968
    Fun fact: Creedence Clearwater Revival never had a #1 hit. They did, however, manage to hit the #2 spot...five times. The first of these #2 hits was Proud Mary, written a week after John Fogerty's discharge from the National Guard. The song updates Mark Twain's portrait of life on a riverboat for the 20th century, a portrait that resonated well with a generation that was just reaching the age where the prospect of spending one's life "working for the man every night and day" was begining to look unavoidable. The song was released at the tail end of 1968 (according to some, early 1969), a year that had seen the idyllic hippie lifestyle of the summer of love give way to the radical politics of groups like the SDS and the Black Panthers, who advocated violence as a response to the continued intractability of the Establishment. The fact that hallucinogenics like LSD and mescaline were being replaced by harsher (and cheaper) drugs like speed and various narcotics was not lost on the members of CCR either, who, according to Fogerty, made a promise to themselves on the floor of the Fillmore that they would be a drug-free band, choosing to "get high on the music" instead. It's likely that the single was prepared separately from the album it appeared on, Bayou Country, since the LP itself uses an electronically rechanneled mono version of the song rather than a true stereo mix.

Artist:    Blind Faith
Title:    Sea Of Joy
Source:    CD: Blind Faith
Writer(s):    Steve Winwood
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1969
    At the time Blind Faith was formed there is no question that the biggest names in the band were guitarist Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, having just come off a successful three-year run with Cream. Yet the true architect of the Blind Faith sound was actually Steve Winwood, formerly of the Spencer Davis Group and, more recently, Traffic. Not only did Winwood handle most of the lead vocals for the group, he also wrote more songs on the band's only album than any other member. Among the Winwood tunes on that album is Sea Of Joy, which opens side two of the LP. Bassist Rich Grech makes a significant contribution to the song as well on the instrumental break, which features him reprising his role as violinist for his former band, Family.

Artist:      David Bowie
Title:     Space Oddity
Source:      45 RPM single (originally released on LP: David Bowie)
Writer:    David Bowie
Label:     RCA Victor (original label: Mercury)
Year:     1969
     When David Jones first started his recording career he was a fairly conventional folk singer. With his second self-titled album (later retitled Space Oddity) he truly became the David Bowie we all know, and the rock world was never quite the same.
Artist:     Mountain
Title:     Theme From An Imaginary Western
Source:     European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Mountain Climbing)
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    Sony Music (original label: Windfall)
Year:     1970
     Keyboardist Felix Pappaliardi worked closely with the band Cream in the studio, starting with the album Disraeli Gears, so it was only natural that his new band Mountain would perform (and record) at least one song by Cream's primary songwriting team, Jack Bruce and Pete Brown. If Mississippi Queen was guitarist Leslie West's signature song, then Theme From An Imaginary Western was Felix's, at least until Nantucket Sleighride came along.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1846 (starts 11/12/18)

    There's a whole lot going on this week, including some really freaky opening tracks, sets from 1966 and 1968, three artists' sets, and trips up and down through the years.

Artist:    Magic Mushrooms
Title:    It's-A-Happening
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Casella/Rice
Label:    Rhino (original label: A&M)
Year:    1966
    It's not known whether or not the Magic Mushrooms heard any of the tracks from the Mothers Of Invention album Freak Out when they recorded It's-A-Happening. Still, it's hard to imagine this bit of inspired weirdness being created in a vacuum. Besides this one single, nobody seems to have any knowledge whatsoever of the group known as the Magic Mushrooms, other than the fact that they hailed from Philadelphia, Pa., and, along with Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band, may well have been the reason that A&M Records shied away from signing any more psychedelic rock bands for the next few years. (Well, there was Joe Cocker, but his stuff was recorded for a British label and reissued in the US by A&M, so it doesn't count).

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Porpoise Mouth
Source:    LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    The songs on the first Country Joe And The Fish album ranged from silly satire (Super Bird) to downright spacey. One of the spaciest tracks on the album is Porpoise Mouth, both lyrically and musically.

Artist:    Fourth Way
Title:    The Far Side Of Your Moon
Source:    CD: A Heavy Dose Of Lyte Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single A side)
Writer(s):    Graves/Venet
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Soul City)
Year:    1968
    Although the title suggests something out of an 80s comic strip, The Far Side Of Your Moon is a genuine slice of psychedelia from 1968 that appeared as a single on the Soul City label, owned at the time by singer Johnny Rivers. Virtually nothing is known about the band itself (if Fourth Way was even a band at all). The song was co-written by Steve Venet, whose production credits include songs by the Astronauts and the Monkees.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Five To One
Source:    CD: Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine (originally released on LP: Waiting For The Sun)
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1968
    Despite the fact that it was the Doors' only album to hit the top of the charts, Waiting For The Sun was actually a disappointment for many of the band's fans, who felt that the material lacked the edginess of the first two Doors LPs. One notable exception was the album's closing track, Five To One, which features one of Jim Morrison's most famous lines: "No one here gets out alive".

Artist:    Frijid Pink
Title:    Crying Shame
Source:    British import CD: Frijid Pink (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Mike Valvano
Label:    Repertoire (original label: Parrot)
Year:    1968
    With the possible exception of the Pacific Northwest, no region of the US has produced grittier rock 'n' roll than the Detroit area of Michigan. From 1966 to 1970 the region was home to such bands as Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels, The Heard (later known as the Bob Seger System), the Amboy Dukes (featuring guitarist Ted Nugent) and (from nearby Flint) Terry Knight and the Pack, which would evolve into Grand Funk Railroad. One often overlooked group from the area (and the era) is Frijid Pink, whose loud version of House Of The Rising Sun was a huge hit in 1970. Originally formed in 1967 when two members of popular cover band the Detroit Vibrations, drummer Richard Stevers and bassist Tom Harris, were joined by lead singer Tom Beaudry (aka Kelly Green) and guitarist Gary Ray Thompson, Frijid Pink released their first single in late 1968. The B side of that single, Crying Shame, was included on the band's debut LP in 1970.

Artist:    Max Frost And The Troopers
Title:    Shape Of Things To Come
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Wild In The Streets (soundtrack))
Writer(s):    Mann/Weill
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    Max Frost was a politically savvy rock star who rode the youth movement all the way to the White House, first through getting the support of a hip young Senator, then getting the age requirements for holding high political office lowered to 21, and finally lowering the voting age to 14. Everyone over 30 was locked away in internment camps, similar to those used during WWII by various governments to hold those of questionable loyalty to the current regime. What? You don't remember any of that? You say it sounds like the plot of a cheapie late 60s teen exploitation flick? Right on all counts. "Wild in the Streets" starred Christopher Jones as the rock star, Hal Holbrook as the hip young senator, and a Poseidon Adventure-sized Shelly Winter as the rock star's interred mom. Richard Pryor, in his film debut, played the band's hook-handed drummer/political activist Stanley X. The band itself, Max Frost And The Troopers, was actually either a group called the 13th Power (as credited on the label) or Davie Allen And The Arrows, an instrumental group that was often called on to provide music for teen-oriented B movie soundtracks.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Are You Lovin' Me More (But Enjoying It Less)
Source:    CD: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) (original album title: The Electric Prunes)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Mantz
Label:    Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    For a follow-up to the hit single I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), producer Dave Hassinger chose another Annette Tucker song (co-written by Jill Jones) called Get Me To The World On Time. This was probably the best choice from the album tracks available, but Hassinger may have made a mistake by choosing Are You Lovin' Me More (But Enjoying It Less) as the B side. That song, written by the same Tucker/Mantz team that wrote I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) could quite possibly been a hit single in its own right if it had been issued as an A side. I guess we'll never know for sure.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    You Never Had It Better
Source:    Mono CD: Underground (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Snagster/Schwartz/Poncher
Label:    Collector's Choice
Year:    1968
    Following the lack of a hit single from their second album, Underground, the Electric Prunes took one last shot at top 40 airplay with a song called Everybody Knows Your Not In Love. The band might have had better luck if they had pushed the flip side of the record, You Never Had It Better, which is a much stronger song. As it is, the record stiffed, and producer David Hassinger reacted by stripping the band of any creative freedom they might have had and made an album called Mass in F Minor using mostly studio musicians. The band, having signed away the rights to the name Electric Prunes to their manager before getting their record contract, could do nothing but watch helplessly as Hassinger, working with composer David Axelrod, created an album that had little in common with the original band other than their name. Because of this, the original members soon left, and Hassinger brought in a whole new group for two more albums before retiring the Prunes name for good. In recent years several members of the original band have reformed the Electric Prunes. Whether or not they had to get permission to use the name is unknown.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Try Me On For Size
Source:    CD: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) (original album title: The Electric Prunes)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Jones
Label:    Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Songwriter Annette Tucker struck gold when producer David Hassinger selected I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), a song she had co-written with Nancie Mantz, to be the new single by the Electric Prunes. The song was so successful that Hassinger picked up half a dozen more Tucker songs to be included on the Prunes' debut LP for Reprise. Most of those were co-written by Mantz, but a couple, including the band's next single, Get Me To The World On Time, carried a Jill Jones co-writing credit. The other Tucker/Jones collaboration on the album was a song called Try Me On For Size, a track that could be interpreted as an invitation to the kinds of activities rock musicians would become famous for during backstage parties in the next decade.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Tomorrow Never Knows
Source:    CD: Revolver
Writer:    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1966
    A few years ago I started to compile an (admittedly subjective) list of the top psychedelic songs ever recorded. Although I never finished ranking the songs, one of the top contenders for the number one spot was Tomorrow Never Knows. The recording is one of the first to use studio techniques such as backwards masking on the lead guitar track and has been hailed as a studio masterpiece.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Here Comes The Sun
Source:    LP: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple
Year:    1969
    In a way, George Harrison's career as a songwriter parallels the Beatles' development as a studio band. His first song to get any attention was If I Needed Someone on the Rubber Soul album, the LP that marked the beginning of the group's transition from performers to studio artists. As the Beatles' skills in the studio increased, so did Harrison's writing skills, reaching a peak with the Abbey Road album. As usual, Harrison wrote two songs for the LP, but this time one of them (Something) became the first single released from the album and the first Harrison song to hit the top five on the charts. The other Harrison composition on Abbey Road was Here Comes The Sun. Although never released as a single, the song, written while Harrison, tired of dealing with the business aspects of Apple Corp., was hiding out at his friend Eric Clapton's place, has gone on to become Harrison's most enduring masterpiece.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I Want To Tell You
Source:    Mono CD: Revolver
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1966
    The first pre-recorded reel-to-reel tape I ever bought was the Capitol version of the Beatles' Revolver album, which I picked up about a year after the LP was released. Although my Dad's tape recorder had small built-in speakers, his Koss headphones had far superior sound, which led to me sleeping on the couch in the living room with the headphones on. Hearing songs like I Want To Tell You on factory-recorded reel-to-reel tape through a decent pair of headphones gave me an appreciation for just how well-engineered Revolver was, and also inspired me to (eventually) learn my own way around a recording studio. The song itself, by the way, is one of three George Harrison songs on Revolver; the most on any Beatle album up to that point, and a major reason that, when pressed, I almost always end up citing Revolver as my favorite Beatles LP.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Pushin' Too Hard
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: The Seeds
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    GNP Crescendo
Year:    1966
    The Seeds' Pushin' Too Hard is generally included on every collection of psychedelic hits ever compiled. And for good reason. The song is an undisputed classic.

Artist:     Blues Project
Title:     Goin' Down Louisiana
Source:     Mono LP: Live At The Cafe Au Go Go
Writer(s):    McKinley Morganfield
Label:     Verve Folkways
Year:     1966
     The first Blues Project LP, Live At The Cafe Au Go Go, was a collection of mostly cover tunes recorded over a four-day period in November of 1965 and released in early 1966. Although even at that point the Project was becoming known for its extended jams, the performances were deliberately kept short to placate nervous record company executives. After original lead vocalist Tommy Flanders quit the band unexpectedly before the group's first album was released, an additional live recording session was arranged, with other members such as guitarist Danny Kalb taking the lead vocals on songs like the Muddy Waters classic Goin' Down Louisiana.

Artist:    Leaves
Title:    Flashback (The Rhythm Thing)
Source:    CD: All The Good That's Happening
Writer(s):    Arlin/Pons/Beck/Ray
Label:    One Way (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1966
    The Leaves were already falling as they went to work on their second LP, All The Good That's Happening (their first for a major label). Many of the tracks on the album featured only one or two members of the band, while others, such as Flashback (The Rhythm Thing), were probably just warm-up jams that were done with the tape rolling and used to make up for the lack of actual recorded songs.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Paper Sun
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Winwood/Capaldi
Label:    Silver Spotlight (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1967
    One of the first British acid-rock bands was a group called Deep Feeling, which included drummer Jim Capaldi and woodwind player Chris Wood. At the same time Deep Feeling was experimenting with psychedelia, another, more commercially oriented band, the Spencer Davis Group, was tearing up the British top 40 charts with hits like Keep On Running, Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm A Man. The undisputed star of the Spencer Davis Group was a teenaged guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist named Steve Winwood, who was also beginning to make his mark as a songwriter. Along with guitarist/vocalist Dave Mason, who had worked with Capaldi in earlier bands, they formed Traffic in the spring of 1967, releasing their first single, Paper Sun, in May of that year. Capaldi and Winwood had actually written the tune while Winwood was still in the Spencer Davis Group, and the song was an immediate hit in the UK. This was followed quickly by an album, Mr. Fantasy, that, as was the common practice at the time in the UK, did not include Paper Sun. When the album was picked up by United Artists Records for US release in early 1968, however, Paper Sun was included as the LP's opening track. The US version of the album was originally titled Heaven Is In Your Mind, but was quickly retitled Mr. Fantasy to match the original British title (although the alterations in track listing stayed).

Artist:     4 Seasons
Title:     Idaho
Source:     LP: Genuine Imitation Life Gazette
Writer(s):     Gaudio/Holmes
Label:     Philips
Year:     1969
     One of the few US acts to prosper during the British Invasion was the 4 seasons, a vocal group from the east coast. Working closely with songwriters/producers Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe, the Seasons cranked out hit after hit, including Rag Doll, Walk Like A Man, Sherry and many more. By 1969, however, the record-buying public was looking for something different, and the group responded with an album packaged to look like a newspaper, the Genuine Imitation Life Gazette. Although the album did little to halt the group's slide, it did set an album cover precedent that would be followed more successfully by Jefferson Airplane (Volunteers), John and Yoko (Sometime In New York City) and Jethro Tull (Thick As A Brick).

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Summer In The City
Source:    LP: Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful
Writer(s):    Sebastian/Sebastian/Boone
Label:    Sundazed/Kama Sutra
Year:    1966
    The Lovin' Spoonful changed gears completely for what would become their biggest hit of 1966: Summer In The City. Inspired by a poem by John Sebastian's brother, the song was recorded for the album Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful. That album was an attempt by the band to deliberately record in a variety of styles; in the case of Summer In The City, it was a rare foray into psychedelic rock for the band. Not coincidentally, Summer In The City is also my favorite Lovin' Spoonful song.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    High Flyin' Bird
Source:    Mono LP: Early Flight
Writer(s):    Billy Edd Wheeler
Label:    Grunt
Year:    Recorded 1965, released 1974
    One of the more outstanding performances at the Monterey International Pop Festival was Jefferson Airplane's rendition of High Flyin' Bird, a song usually associated with Buffy St.-Marie. The song had actually been in the band's repertoire almost from the beginning, as this recording from 1965, featuring the original Airplane lineup of Marty Balin and Signe Anderson (vocals), Jorma Kaukonen and Paul Kantner (guitars), Jack Casidy (bass) and Skip Spence (drums), demonstrates.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Plastic Fantastic Lover
Source:    Mono LP: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s):    Marty Balin
Label:    Sundazed/BMG (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1967
    Following the success of Somebody To Love, Jefferson Airplane quickly followed up with their third single from the Surrealistic Pillow album, White Rabbit. Although it didn't get the same amount of top 40 airplay, Marty Balin's Plastic Fantastic Lover, issued as the B side of White Rabbit, has proved just as enduring as the A side. So much so that, when the Airplane reunited in 1989 and issued their two-disc retrospective, 2400 Fulton Street, they issued a special pressing of both songs on white vinyl as a way of promoting the collection. More recently, Sundazed has reissued the entire Surrealistic Pillow album in its original mono mix, which differs considerably from the more familiar stereo version.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Ice Cream Phoenix
Source:    LP: Crown Of Creation
Writer:    Kaukonen/Cockery
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1968
    By 1968, the various songwriting members of Jefferson Airplane were developing divergent styles, although still keeping their songs within the band's established sound. This is evident throughout the band's fourth LP, Crown Of Creation, with songs like Jorma Kaukonen's Ice Cream Phoenix. Parts of the song, such as the opening verse, almost sound like they could be on a Hot Tuna album, yet others, such as the bridge section, are pure Airplane.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Caroline No
Source:    Mono CD: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Wilson/Asher
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1966
    According to lyricist Peter Asher, Caroline No was written because Brian Wilson was "saddened to see how sweet little girls turned out to be kind of bitchy, hardened adults". Though the song was originally included on the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album, it ended up being the only single ever released by Capitol credited to Brian Wilson as a solo artist.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Mellow Yellow
Source:    Mono LP: Mellow Yellow
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Epic
Year:    1966
    Although the Mellow Yellow album came out in early 1967, the title track had been released several months earlier as a followup to Donovan's breakthrough US hit Sunshine Superman. Ironically, during Donovan's period of greatest US success none of his recordings were being released in his native UK, due to his ongoing contract dispute with Pye Records.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Louie, Go Home
Source:    LP: Midnight Ride
Writer(s):    Lindsay/Revere
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    Nobody knows for sure who recorded Louie Louie first: the Kingsmen or Paul Revere And The Raiders. Both bands recorded the song in April of 1963 in the same studio in Portland, Oregon, but nobody seems to remember which band played at which session. Regardless, the Kingsmen ended up with the national hit version of the song, while Paul Revere And The Raiders went on to become one of the most successful American rock band of the mid-1960s, thanks in part to Dick Clark, who discovered them playing in Hawaii and chose them to be the house band on his new show Where The Action Is. By this time the band had been signed to Columbia Records, releasing their first single for the label, Louie-Go Home, in 1964. By 1966 they were riding high on the charts, and re-recorded Louie, Go Home (different punctuation, same song) in stereo for their second of three albums released that year: Midnight Ride.

Artist:     Animals
Title:     Hey Gyp
Source:     CD: Best of Eric Burdon and the Animals (originally released on US-only LP: Animalism)
Writer:     Donovan Leitch
Label:     Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
Year:     1966
     Shortly before the original Animals disbanded in 1966, M-G-M Records collected several songs that had yet to be issued in the US and put out an album called Animalism (not to be confused with Animalisms, a UK album from earlier that year). One of the more outstanding tracks on that album was this cover of a Donovan tune that almost seems like it was written with Eric Burdon's voice in mind.

Artist:     Rolling Stones
Title:     Lady Jane
Source:     British import LP: Aftermath (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:     Jagger/Richards
Label:     Abkco (original US 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 in the US was for B sides that got a significant amount of airplay to be rated separately from the A side of the single, and Lady Jane managed to climb to the # 24 spot on the Hot 100 (Mother's Little Helper peaked at # 8).

Artist:    Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Title:    Everybody I Love You
Source:    CD: déjà vu
Writer(s):    Stills/Young
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    The last track on the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young album déjà vu is a Stephen Stills/Neil Young collaboration that sets the stage for the Stills/Young band a couple of years later. Stylistically it's pretty easy to figure out which part of Everybody I Love You was written by Stephen Stills and which part was written by Neil Young. What's interesting is how well the two parts actually fit together. As far as I know this is actually the first songwriting collaboration between the two, despite being bandmates in Buffalo Springfield since 1966 (and knowing each other even longer).

Artist:     Eire Apparent
Title:     The Clown
Source:     CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released on LP: Sunrise)
Writer:     Chris Stewart
Label:     BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Buddah)
Year:     1969
     Eire Apparent was a band from Northern Ireland that got the attention of Chas Chandler, former bassist for the Animals in late 1967. Chandler had been managing Jimi Hendrix since he had discovered him playing in a club in New York a year before, bringing him back to England and introducing him to Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, who along with Hendrix would become the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Despite Eire Apparent having almost no recording experience, Chandler put them on the bill as the opening act for the touring Experience. This led to Hendrix producing the band's first and only album, Sunrise, in 1968, playing on at least three tracks, including, most obviously, The Clown.

Artist:    Blossom Toes
Title:    When The Alarm Clock Rings
Source:    CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK on LP: We Are Ever So Clean)
Writer(s):    Jim Cregan
Label:    Rhino (original label: Marmalade)
Year:    1968
    Originally known as the Ingoes, Blossom Toes were discovered playing in Paris (where they had released an EP) by Giorgio Gomelsky, manager of the Yardbirds, who signed them to his own label, Marmalade, in 1967. Everyone on the British music scene was talking about (and listening to) the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, trying to figure out how to apply the album's advanced production techniques to their own material, including Gomelsky and Blossom Toes. The result was an album called We Are Ever So Clean, one of the first post-Sgt. Pepper albums to be released in the UK. When The Alarm Clock Rings shows just how strong the Sgt. Pepper's influence was in late 1967.

Artist:     West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:     If You Want This Love
Source:     Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Part One)
Writer:     Baker Knight
Label:     Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1967
     The first West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band album, Volume One, had a limited print run on Fifa, a small independent label based in Los Angeles. After landing a contract with Reprise, the band recut many of the songs (most of which were cover tunes) from Volume One and called the new album Part One. If You Want This Love, a song written and originally recorded by L.A. local legend Baker Knight, is one of those recut tracks.

Artist:    Adam
Title:    Eve
Source:    Mono CD: A Lethal Dose Of Hard Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Taylor/London/Dawson/Schnug
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Malo)
Year:    1966
    Obviously a one-note gimmick, Adam consisted of Adam Taylor, Adam London, Adam Dawson and Adam Schnug, releasing one single called Eve in 1966. The following year a band called the Balloon Farm released A Question Of Temperature. It has long been suspected that they were both the same band. My own theory is that both tracks are the work of New York studio musicians having a little after-hours fun, similar to what was going on in Los Angeles with projects such as Sagittarius and the Ballroom.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Source:    Mono LP: Bringing It All Back Home
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Sundazed/Columbia
Year:    1965
    One of the most covered of Bob Dylan's tunes, It's All Over Now, Baby Blue originally appeared on the LP: Bringing It All Back Home in March of 1965. There has been much speculation over the years as to the identity of the titular Baby Blue, with guesses ranging from Joan Baez to Dylan's own folk music phase. The album Bringing It All Back Home is known for Dylan's first use of electric instruments on his recordings, although the song It's All Over Now, Baby Blue, features only Dylan himself on vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica, accompanied by bassist William E. Lee.

Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Errors Of My Way
Source:    CD: Wishbone Ash
Writer(s):    Turner/Turner/Powell/Upton
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1970
    Wishbone Ash was one of the first bands to feature dual lead guitars. This came about almost by accident, as the group had been looking for a lead guitarist but couldn't choose between the two finalists, Andy Powell and Ted Turner. They decided to go with both, and, after Powell sat in with Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore during a soundcheck, the group was signed to MCA Records. Their debut LP (which was issued on MCA's Decca label in 1970) was an immediate success, and Wishbone Ash became one of the most popular hard rock bands of the early 1970s. Unlike many bands with two lead guitarists, Wishbone Ash emphasized harmony leads over individual solos, as can be heard on tracks like Errors Of My Way.