Sunday, April 28, 2019

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1918 (starts 4/29/19)

    This week's highlights include a set of Jimi Hendrix Experience tracks that remained unreleased until the 21st century, and a portion of Curt Boettcher's masterpiece: an album called Begin, by the Millennium. We also have the Turtles masquerading as a couple of other bands and Deep Purple with one of the best covers of a Beatles song ever recorded. And that's not even the half of it.

Artist:      Woolies  
Title:     Who Do You Love
Source:      CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Elias McDaniel
Label:     Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:     1966
     Lansing, Michigan was home to the Woolies, who scored a minor hit covering Bo Diddley's Who Do You Love, thanks in large part to the song being issued on Lou Adler's Dunhill Records, which was at that time one of the hottest new labels around.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Kicks
Source:    Rechanneled Stereo CD: The Best Of 60s Supergroups (originally released on 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mann/Weil
Label:    Priority (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1966
    Kicks was not the first pop song with a strong anti-drug message, but it was the first one to be a certified hit, making it to the number four spot on the US charts and hitting number one in Canada. It was also the biggest hit for Paul Revere and the Raiders until Indian Reservation went all the way to the top of the charts five years later.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    Kingdom Of Heaven
Source:    CD: The Psychedelic Sounds Of the 13th Floor Elevators
Writer(s):    Powell St. John
Label:    Collectables (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1966
    Before moving out to San Francisco and co-forming Mother Earth with Tracy Nelson, Powell St. John wrote several songs for Austin's 13th Floor Elevators. Among the St. John compositions appearing on the first Elevators LP was Kingdom Of Heaven, a song that meshed well with the band's more spiritual leanings.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Strange Days
Source:    LP: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    One of the first rock albums to not picture the band members on the front cover was the Doors' second LP, Strange Days. Instead, the cover featured several circus performers doing various tricks on a city street, with the band's logo appearing on a poster on the wall of a building. The album itself contains some of the Doors' most memorable tracks, including the title song, which also appears on their greatest hits album despite never being released as a single.

Artist:    Drag Set
Title:    Day And Night
Source:    Mono British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Schindler/Brancaccio
Label:    Grapefruit (original label: Go)
Year:    1967
    For every British band to find international success in the mid-60s there were at least a dozen more that were never heard of outside their native land. Some of these bands (such as the Move and the Small Faces) were actually quite popular on their home turf, while others were barely able to scratch out a living and are for the most part long-forgotten. In between were the bands that had enough going for them to score a contract with one of the many new labels popping up, but were never able to get a record on the charts. Among those "in-betweeners" were a band called the Drag Set. They played gigs at the most popular London clubs in 1965 and 1966, which in turn led to them hooking up with Lionel Segal, who owned the Go label. The Drag Set released Day And Night in March of 1967, but the record went nowhere and the by the end of the year the band had renamed itself The Open Mind.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Blue Jay Way
Source:    British import stereo 45 RPM EP: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Parlophone
Year:    1967
    One night in 1967, while staying at a rented house on Blue Jay Way in the Hollywood hills, Beatle George Harrison got a phone call. Some friends that he was waiting for had gotten lost in the fog and were trying to find their way to the house. Harrison gave them some directions and suggested they ask a police officer for help. To help keep himself awake while waiting for his friends to show up, Harrison wrote a song about the situation that eventually became his only musical contribution to the band's new project, a telefilm called Magical Mystery Tour. Some people consider it the best track in the movie.

Artist:    Status Quo
Title:    Pictures Of Matchstick Men
Source:    Simulated stereo CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Francis Rossi
Label:    Priority (original label: Cadet Concept)
Year:    1967
    The band with the most charted singles in the UK is not the Beatles or even the Rolling Stones. It is, in fact, Status Quo, quite possibly the nearest thing to a real life version of Spinal Tap. Except for Pictures of Matchstick Men, the group has never had a hit in the US. On the other hand, they remain popular in Scandanavia, playing to sellout crowds on a regular basis (yes, they are still together).

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    The Ostrich
Source:    CD: Born To Be Wild-A Retrospective (originally released as 45 RPM single B side and included on LP: Steppenwolf)
Writer(s):    John Kay
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1967
    Although John Kay's songwriting skills were still a work in progress on the first Steppenwolf album, there were some outstanding Kay songs on that LP, such as The Ostrich, a song that helped define Steppenwolf as one of the most politically savvy rock bands in history. An edited version of The Ostrich was released several weeks earlier than the album itself as the B side of Steppenwolf's first single, A Girl I Knew.

Artist:    Millennium
Title:    The Know It All/Karmic Dream Sequence #1/There Is Nothing More To Say
Source:    LP: Begin
Writer(s):    Boettcher/Mallory/Fennelly
Label:    Columbia/Sundazed
Year:    1968
    Curt Boettcher, despite looking about 15 years old, was already at 24 an experienced record producer by early 1968, having worked with the Association on their first album, as well as co-producing Sagittarius with Gary Usher and producing his own group, the Ballroom, in 1967. Among the many people he had worked with were multi-instrumentalist Keith Olsen, drummer Ron Edgar and bassist Doug Rhodes, all of which had been members of Sean Bonniwell's Music Machine in 1966-67. Following the release of the debut Eternity's Children album, which Olsen and Boettcher co-produced, the two formed a new group called the Millennium. In addition to the aforementioned Music Machine members, the Millennium included singer/songwriter/guitarists Lee Mallory, Sandy Salisbury, and Michael Fennelly, all of who Boettcher had worked with on various studio projects, and Joey Spec, who would go on to form his own Sonic Past Music label many years later. Working on state-of-the-art 16 track equipment at Columbia's Los Angeles studios, they produced the album Begin, which, at that point in time, was the most expensive album ever made and only the second (after Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends) to use 16-track technology. The only problem was that by the time the album was released in mid-1968, public tastes had changed radically from just a year before, with top 40 listeners going for the simple bubble-gum tunes coming from the Buddah label and album fans getting into louder, heavier groups like Blue Cheer and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. There was no market for the lavishly produced Begin album, which failed to chart despite getting rave reviews from the press. A second Millennium album was shelved, and the members went their separate ways. In more recent years the album has attained legendary status as, in the words of one critic, "probably the single greatest 60s pop record produced in L.A. outside of the Beach Boys".

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Help!
Source:    LP: Shades Of Deep Purple
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Tetragrammaton
Year:    1968
    It takes brass for a band to include a Beatles cover on their debut LP, especially if they have chosen to completely rearrange the song, a la Vanilla Fudge. Nonetheless, that is exactly what happened on the album Shades Of Deep Purple, which hit the stands in 1968. The Beatles cover song in question is the classic Help! Deep Purple gives it a kind of slow, soft treatment that is both light years away from the original, and, in my opinion, quite an enjoyable listen.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Think About It
Source:    Mono Australian import CD: Over, Under, Sideways, Down (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Relf/McCarty/Page
Label:    Raven (original label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    The final Yardbirds record was a single released in early 1968. Although the group made TV appearances in Europe to promote the A side, Good Night Josephine, it is the B side of that record, Think About It, that deserves to be considered the last Yardbirds song. Instrumentally the song sounds a lot like something off of Led Zeppelin's first couple of albums. Once Keith Relf's vocals come in, however, there is no doubt that this is vintage Yardbirds, and quite possibly the best track of the entire Jimmy Page era.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    It Won't Be Wrong
Source:    LP: Turn! Turn! Turn!
Writer(s):    McGuinn/Gerst
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    The Byrds' It Won't Be Wrong, by all rights, should have been a hit single, and it almost was, despite the failure of Columbia Records to properly promote the song. Written in 1964 by Jim (now Roger) McGuinn and his friend Harvey Gerst, the song was first released as the B side of a single by the Beefeaters, an early version of the Byrds, but was recut in late 1965 for inclusion on the Turn! Turn! Turn! album. Early in 1966, the song was also released as the B side of the single Set You Free This Time. That, as it turns out, was a mistake, as disc jockeys soon began playing It Won't Be Wrong instead. Columbia was slow to react to this move, however, and continued to promote Set You Free This Time, releasing it as a single on their CBS label in the UK. After finally noticing that It Won't Be Wrong was getting more airplay in the US, the label re-released the record in the UK with the sides officially reversed, but by then there was too much confusion associated with the single and neither side charted there. Meanwhile, despite the lack of promotion, It Won't Be Wrong managed to make it to the #63 spot in the US.

Artist:    Fleur De Lys
Title:    Circles
Source:    CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Rhino (original label: Immediate)
Year:    1966
    Circles was a song by the Who that was originally slated to be released in the UK on the Brunswick label as a follow-up to the highly successful My Generation. A dispute between the band and the label and their producer, Shel Talmy, led to the Who switching labels and releasing another song, Substitute, in its place, with Circles (retitled Instant Party) on the B side of the record. When Talmy slapped the band with a legal injunction, the single was withdrawn, and another band, the Fleur De Lys, took advantage of the situation, recording their own version of Circles and releasing it on the Immediate label. Just to make things more confusing Brunswick issued the Who's version of Circles as the B side of A Legal Matter later the same month.

Artist:     Stephen Stills
Title:     Love the One You're With
Source:     45 RPM single (stereo promo pressing)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1971
     Depending on your point of view Crosby, Stills and Nash (and sometimes Young) have either split up several times over the years or have never actually split up at all. It was during one of these maybe split-ups that Stills recorded Love the One You're With, one of his most popular tunes. Presumably he and singer Judy Collins were no longer an item at that point.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Lover Man
Source:    CD: Valleys Of Neptune
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 2010
    Valleys Of Neptune is a collection of unreleased tracks featuring (mostly) members of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Nearly all the tracks, including Lover Man, are credited to Hendrix, although there are a couple of blues covers on the disc as well. Although Valleys Of Neptune contains an album's worth of material, it all sounds like jams that were not intended to be heard by the general public. Whether some of these tracks may have developed into actual compositions is a question that will probably never be answered, as the group split up not long after these recordings were made and Hendrix himself changed musical directions over the next year.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Foxy Lady (live in studio)
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 2018
    In November of 1967 the Jimi Hendrix Experience was still very much an underground phenomenon in the US. Their June appearance at the Monterey International Pop Festival had introduced the band to an audience that numbered in the thousands, and their records were being played heavily on college radio, but for the most part mainstream America was still unaware of them. In Europe, however, it was an entirely different story. Jimi Hendrix was the hottest thing on the London scene by the time 1967 started; it wasn't long before the word spread to the continent about the outrageously talented guitarist with an equally outrageous stage presence. Most of that year was spent touring Europe, including stops at various TV and radio studios in several countries. One of these was in the Netherlands, where the Experience performed Foxy Lady live in the studio in November of 1967. The recording of this performance has surfaced as the non-album B side of the Lover Man single released (in limited quantity) for Record Store Day 2018.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Sunshine Of Your Love
Source:    CD: Valleys Of Neptune
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown/Clapton
Label:    Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 2010
    One of Cream's biggest hits, Sunshine Of Your Love was dedicated to Jimi Hendrix. In return, the Jimi Hendrix Experience often performed their own instrumental version of the song, adding an extended improvisational section to the piece. On February 16, 1969 the group recorded this studio version of the tune, which runs nearly seven minutes.

Artist:     Blues Magoos
Title:     (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet
Source:     LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on LP: Psychedelic Lollipop)
Writer:     Esposito/Gilbert/Scala
Label:     Rhino (original label: Mercury)
Year:     1966
     The Blues Magoos (original spelling: Bloos, not surprising for a bunch of guys from the Bronx) were either the first or second band to use the word psychedelic in an album title. Both they and the 13th Floor Elevators released their debut albums in 1966 and it is unclear which one actually came out first. What's not in dispute is the fact that Psychedelic Lollipop far outsold The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. One major reason for this was the fact that (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet was a huge national hit in early 1967, which helped album sales considerably. Despite having a unique sound and a look to match (including electric suits), the Magoos were unable to duplicate the success of Nothin' Yet on subsequent releases, partially due to Mercury's pairing of two equally marketable songs on the band's next single without indicating to stations which one they were supposed to be playing.

Artist:     Moby Grape
Title:     Omaha
Source:     Mono European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Moby Grape)
Writer:     Skip Spence
Label:     Sony Music (original label: Columbia)
Year:     1967
     As an ill-advised promotional gimmick, Columbia Records released five separate singles concurrently with the first Moby Grape album. Of the five singles, only one, Omaha, actually charted, and it only got to the #86 spot. Meanwhile, the heavy promotion by the label led to Moby Grape getting the reputation of being over-hyped, much to the detriment of the band's career.

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

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Ramble On
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin II
Writer(s):    Page/Plant
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    Some songs grab you the first time you hear them, but soon wear out their welcome. Others take a while to catch on, but tend to stay with you for a lifetime. Then there are those rare classics that manage to hook you from the start and yet never get old. One such song is Led Zeppelin's Ramble On, from their second LP. The song starts with a Jimmy Page acoustic guitar riff played high up on the neck with what sounds almost like footsteps keeping time (but turns out to be John Bonham playing bongo style on a guitar case). John Paul Jones soon adds one of the most melodic bass lines ever to appear in a rock song, followed closely by Robert Plant's Tolkien-influenced lyrics. For the chorus the band gets into electric mode, with guitar, bass and drums each contributing to a unique staggered rhythmic pattern. The song also contains one of Page's most memorable solos, that shares tonal qualities with Eric Clapton's work on Cream's Disraeli Gears album. Although I usually don't pay much attention to lyrics, one set of lines from Ramble On has stuck with me for a good many years:
"'Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor I met a girl so fair.
But Gollum and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her."
Fun stuff, that!

Artist:    Cross Fires (Turtles)
Title:    Surfer Dan
Source:    CD: The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands
Writer:    The Turtles
Label:   Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1968
    In 1968 the Turtles decided to self-produce four recordings without the knowledge of their record label, White Whale. When company executives heard the tapes they rejected all but one of the recordings. That lone exception was Surfer Dan, which was included on the band's 1968 concept album Battle of the Bands. The idea was that each track (or band, as the divisions on LPs were sometimes called) would sound like it was recorded by a different group. As the Turtles had originally evolved out of a surf band called the Crossfires, the name Cross Fires was the obvious choice for the Surfer Dan track. The song was also chosen to be the B side of Elenore, the Turtles biggest hit of 1968.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    She's My Girl
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Bonner/Gordon
Label:    Rhino (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1967
    A favorite among the Turtles' members themselves, She's My Girl is full of hidden studio tricks that are barely (if at all) audible on the final recording. Written by Gary Bonner and Al Gordon, the same team that came up with Happy Together, the song is a worthy follow up to that monster hit.

Artist:    Quad City Ramblers (Turtles)
Title:    Too Much Heartsick Feeling
Source:    CD: The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands
Writer(s):    The Turtles
Label:    Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1968
    Fans of modern country music probably have no idea what country music sounded like in the 1960s. It was not entirely unlike this 1968 recording of Too Much Heartsick Feeling by the Quad City Ramblers, who were actually the Turtles on the album The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands. I have no idea which band member is actually doing the vocals on this track, nor do I care to know, truth be told.

Artist:    Sonics
Title:    Strychnine
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released on LP: Here Are The Sonics)
Writer:    Gerry Roslie
Label:    Rhino (original label: Etiquette)
Year:    1965
    From 1965 we have a band that maintains a cult following to this day: the legendary Sonics, generally considered one of the foundation stones of the Seattle music scene. Although the majority of the songs on their albums were cover tunes, virtually all of their originals are now considered punk classics; indeed, the Sonics are often cited as the first true punk rock band.

Artist:     Young Rascals
Title:     What Is The Reason
Source:     LP: Collections
Writer:     Cavaliere/Brigati
Label:     Warner Special Products/Rhino (original label: Atlantic)
Year:     1967
     My first high school dance was a Sadie Hawkins Day dance held at the General H. H. Arnold High School gym in Weisbaden, Germany. Onstage was a band of military brats calling themselves the Collections, so called because they covered every tune on the second Young Rascals album. That night (probably the best night of my entire freshman year, thanks to a sophomore whose name I've long since forgotten but who looked a lot like Cindy Williams in American Graffiti) inspired me to A): talk my parents into buying a cheap guitar and amp so I could join up with other guys who lived in our housing area to form "The Abundance Of Love", aka "The Haze And Shades Of Yesterday", aka "The Shades", and B) find and buy a copy of the Collections album (which ended up taking over 40 years to do).

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Coloured Rain
Source:    CD: Smiling Phases (originally released on LP: Heaven Is In Your Mind)
Writer(s):    Winwood/Capaldi/Wood
Label:    Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1967
    Traffic, in its early days, was a band with an almost schizophrenic identity. On the one hand there was Steve Winwood, who was equally adept at guitar, keyboards and vocals and was generally seen as the band's leader, despite being its youngest member. His opposite number in the band was Dave Mason, an early example of the type of singer/songwriter that would be a major force in popular music in the mid-1970s. The remaining members of the band, drummer/vocalist Jim Capaldi and flautist/saxophonist Chris Wood, tended to fall somewhere between the two, although they more often sided with Winwood in his frequent creative disputes with Mason. One of these disputes involved the choice of the band's second single. Mason wanted to follow up the successful Paper Sun with his own composition, Hole In My Shoe, while the rest of the band preferred the group composition, Coloured Rain. Mason won that battle, but would end up leaving the band before the release of the group's first LP, Mr. Fantasy. This in turn led to the album being revised considerably for its US release, which was issued under a completely different title, Heaven Is In Your Mind, with most of Mason's contributions, along with his picture, being excised from the album (although, oddly enough, Hole In My Shoe, which was not on the original LP, was included on the US album). One final example of the band's schizophrenic nature was in the way the group was marketed. In the US, Traffic was, from the beginning, perceived as a serious rock band along the lines of Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. In their native land, however, they were, thanks in part to the top 40 success of both Paper Sun and Hole In My Shoe as well as Winwood's fame as lead vocalist for the Spencer Davis Group, dismissed as a mere pop group. Mason would rejoin and leave the group a couple more times before achieving solo success in the mid-70s with the hit We Just Disagree, while Traffic would go on to become a staple of progressive FM rock radio in the US.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Chauffeur Blues
Source:    LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer(s):    Lester Melrose (disputed, may have been Lizzie Douglas)
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    The Jefferson Airplane's original female vocalist was Signe Toly Anderson. Unlike Grace Slick, who basically shared lead vocals with founder Marty Balin, Anderson mostly functioned as a backup singer. The only Airplane recording to feature Anderson as a lead vocalist was Chauffeur Blues, a cover of an old Memphis Minnie tune. The song was featured on the band's first LP, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    I've Got A Way Of My Own
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    L. Ransford
Label:    Sundazed/Reprise
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2016
    Not all of the songs the Electric Prunes recorded during sessions for their debut LP, I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), ended up being included on the album itself. Among the unused tracks was a cover of a Hollies B side called I've Got A Way Of My Own. The song was actually one of the first tunes that the band recorded, while they were still, in the words of vocalist James Lowe, "searching for a sound and style we could capture on a record." Following the sessions the band decided that harmonies were better left to other groups, and I've Got A Way Of My Own remained unreleased until the 21st century.

Artist:    Outsiders   
Title:    Lost In My World
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 4-Pop pt. 2 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    King/Kelley
Label:    Rhino (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1966
    Once upon a time, in the legendary city called Cleveland, Ohio, there was a (mostly) instrumental R&B cover band called the Starfires. Formed in 1958 by a then-15-year-old Tom King, the Starfires cut an early single for the local Pama label, which was owned by King's uncle. The Starfires remained a popular local act for several years, gradually modifying their sound to suit changing tastes. The most significant change was the addition of lead vocalist Sonny Geraci, who sang on their late 1965 recording of Time Won't Let Me, a tune co-written by King and his cousin, Chet Kelley. Someone from Capitol Records heard the recording and the Starfires were signed to the label in early 1966, changing their name to the Outsiders at the same time. Time Won't Let Me became a top 5 hit in spring of 1966. The band's third single for the label was a cover of the Isley Brothers tune Respectable that made it into the top 20 in late summer of the same year. The B side of Respectable, Lost In My World, is stylistically similar to Time Won't Let Me, and was composed by the same songwriting team. The Outsiders ended up releasing four albums for Capitol before splintering off into two separate groups, both of which used the name Outsiders. King, as founder, ultimately won the rights to the name. Sonny Geraci, leader of the rival group, ended up rechristening his band Climax, scoring a top 10 hit with a song called Precious And Few a couple of years later.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1918 (starts 4/29/19)

    This week's show includes a whole bunch of tunes from 1969, including an entire LP side from San Francisco's It's A Beautiful Day. We end on a more regional note, with album tracks from Detroit's Frijid Pink and Denver's Sugarloaf.

Artist:    Joni Mitchell
Title:    Conversation
Source:    LP: Ladies Of The Canyon
Writer(s):    Joni Mitchell
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1970   
    Ladies Of The Canyon, the third Joni Mitchell album, is considered to be the beginning of her transition from guitar-oriented folk music to a piano dominated jazzier style. Her folky side is well represented on the album, however, by songs like Conversation. Howard Kaylan, in his book Shell Shocked, later said that Conversation's lyrics referred to Turtles bandmate Mark Volman, who was in a bad marraige at the time.

Artist:    It's A Beautiful Day
Title:    Bombay Calling/Bulgaria/Time Is
Source:    CD: It's A Beautiful Day
Writer:    LaFlamme/Wallace
Label:    San Francisco Sound (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    The story of It's A Beautiful Day shows a dark side of late 60s San Francisco. In mid 1967 It's A Beautiful Day, formed by former Utah Symphony violinist David LaFlamme and his wife, keyboardist Linda LaFlamme, caught the attention of Matthew Katz, who was managing both Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape. The LaFlammes were not aware of the fact that both of the other bands were trying desperately to get out of their contracts with Katz, and were more than happy to sign a contract with him. Katz immediately shipped It's A Beautiful Day off to Seattle, where they became the house band at a club called the San Francisco Sound that was owned by Katz himself. The band lived upstairs from the club and had no transportation; their only money was a meager food allowance provided by Katz. It was in this environment, during the rainy Seattle winter, that the band composed the music that would become their first LP. Side one was highlighted by the songs White Bird and Hot Summer Day, while the second side was a continuous piece of music that was banded as three separate tracks, Bombay Calling, Bulgaria and Time Is (probably to increase royalties). Deep Purple used the opening riff from Bombay Calling for Child In Time on their 1970 album Deep Purple In Rock. Conversely, It's A Beautiful Day "borrowed" the main riff and much of the arrangement of Deep Purple's Hard Road (from their 1968 LP The Book Of Taleisyn) for Don And Dewey, the opening track of their own 1970 LP, Marrying Maiden.

Artist:     Blind Faith
Title:     Well, All Right
Source:     CD: Blind Faith
Writer:     Petty/Holly/Allison/Mauldin
Label:     Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:     1969
     Supergroup Blind Faith was made up of members of Cream (Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker), Family (Rick Grech) and Traffic (Steve Winwood). The group only recorded one LP before disbanding, and almost all of the material on that album was written by members of the band. The lone exception was a heavily-modified arrangement of Buddy Holly's Well All Right, which sounds more like a Traffic song than any other track on the LP.

Artist:    Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title:    Graveyard Train
Source:    LP: Bayou Country
Writer(s):    John Fogerty
Label:    Fantasy
Year:    1969
    The influence of Chess-era bluemen like Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters is evident on Graveyard Train, from Creedence Clearwater Revival's second LP, Bayou Country. The lyrics are reminiscent of an even earlier time, when such subjects as death (with supernatural overtones) were often dealt with by members of chain gangs in song.

Artist:    Arlo Guthrie
Title:    Motorcycle Song (Significance Of The Pickle)
Source:    The Best Of Arlo Guthrie
Writer(s):    Arlo Guthrie
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1968
    To be honest, I am not sure when this particular recording was made. Arlo Guthrie originally recorded the Motorcycle Song for his 1967 debut album, Alice's Restaurant. The first live recording of the song was released the following year on the LP Arlo. However, his reference to having been performing the song for twelve years makes me think this is a mid-seventies performance. It's even possible that the greatest hits album, issued in 1977, was the first time this particular performance was released.

Artist:     Who
Title:     Behind Blue Eyes
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     Pete Townshend
Label:     Decca
Year:     1971
     One of the most iconic Who songs ever, Behind Blue Eyes continues to get played on commercial FM stations, both in its original form and the more recent cover version by Limp Bizkit. Well, I might be wrong about that last part. I mean, I've never heard the Limp Bizkit version played on the radio. Does anyone play Limp Bizkit at all anymore, for that matter?

Artist:    Frijid Pink
Title:    Boozin' Blues
Source:    German import CD: Frijid Pink
Writer(s):    Thompson/Beaudry
Label:    Repertoire (original label: Parrot)
Year:    1970
    Although never considered a first-tier band, Frijid Pink was a solid component in Detroit's "second-wave" of rock bands in the late 1960s. Formed in 1967, when fellow Detroiters Mitch Ryder and ? And The Mysterians were already riding high, Frijid Pink came up around the same time as the Amboy Dukes and The Stooges, among others. Despite releasing some of the hardest rocking singles of the time, they experience limited commercial success until their cover of House Of The Rising Sun became an international smash hit in 1970. A self-titled album soon followed which included several of their earlier singles, as well as originals like the sultry Boozin' Blues. Subsequent efforts by the band failed to equal the success of House Of The Rising Sun, however, and within a couple of years Frijid Pink had melted back into the shadows.

Artist:    Sugarloaf
Title:    Rollin' Hills
Source:    LP: Spaceship Earth
Writer(s):    Robert Yeazel
Label:    Liberty
Year:    1970
    Following the success of their first LP and its hit single Green Eyed Lady, Denver's Sugarloaf opted to add a second guitarist, Robert Yeazel, for their second album, Spaceship Earth. The result was an album that was much more developed musically than the band's first effort, although it did not have a huge hit single to help it out in the sales department. Yeazel was the credited songwriter on some of the album's stronger tracks, including Rollin' Hills, which closes out the first side of the LP.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1917 (starts 4/22/19)

    We haven't had all that many artists' sets lately, so this week we have three of 'em. We also have sets from 1965, 1967 and 1968 (the last of which takes up the entire final segment of the show), and, to start things off, a set that starts in 1964 with the Kinks.

Artist:     Kinks
Title:     All Day And All Of The Night
Source:     45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:     Ray Davies
Label:     Eric (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1964
     Following up on their worldwide hit You Really Got Me, the Kinks proved that lightning could indeed strike twice with All Day And All Of The Night. Although there have been rumors over the years that the guitar solo on the track may have been played by studio guitarist Jimmy Page, reliable sources insist that it was solely the work of Dave Davies, who reportedly slashed his speakers to achieve the desired sound.

Artist:    Hollies
Title:    Look Through Any Window
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Gouldman/Silverman
Label:    Imperial
Year:    1965
    Although the Hollies were far more popular in their native England than in the US, they did have their fair share of North American hits. The first Hollies tune to crack the US top 40 was Look Through Any Window, released in December of 1965 and peaking at #33 in early 1966. The song did even better in Canada, going all the way to the #3 spot.

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:    Everydays
Source:    LP: Buffalo Springfield Again
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atco
Year:    1967
    Everydays has the distinction of being both the first song recorded for the album Buffalo Springfield Again and the last one to be released as a single, albeit a B side. Such was the quality of Stephen Stills's songwriting at this point in his career that a strong song like Everydays has gone completely overlooked in the years since it was released.

Artist:    George Harrison
Title:    Ski-ing
Source:    CD: Wonderwall Music
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple
Year:    1968
    Starting in 1966 George Harrison showed an intense interest in the music of sitarist Ravi Shankar, and in Indian classical music in general, even to the point of learning to play the sitar himself. His first composition along those lines was Love You To, from the Revolver album, followed in 1967 by Within You Without You from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. In 1968 Harrison took it a step further by composing and performing music for the soundtrack of a film by director Joe Massot called called Wonderwall. The film itself dealt with a wall separating two apartments occupied by individuals from extremely different backgrounds (a lonely college professor and a Vogue model), and a small gap in the wall itself creating a bridge between the two. Harrison used the film as a springboard to fuse music from Eastern (Indian classical) and Western (rock) traditions, introducing Western audiences to various Indian instruments in the process. The album, Wonderwall Music, was Harrison's first solo project as well as the first album released on the Apple label (predating the White album by several weeks). The album featured several guest musicians, including Eric Clapton, who is probably the lead guitarist on Ski-ing, the shortest track on the album. Although Wonderwall Music was not a commercial success at the time of its release, it has since come to be highly regarded as a forerunner of both electronica and world music.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:        Fag
Source:    LP: Monster
Writer(s):    Byron/St. Nicholas/Edmonton
Label:     Dunhill
Year:        1969
       Fag, from the album Monster is, to my knowledge, the only blues instrumental Steppenwolf ever recorded. Thanks to Associate Producer Greg Cotterill for the donation of this LP to the show from his personal collection.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Snowblind Friend
Source:    LP: Abc Collection (originally released on LP: Steppenwolf 7)
Writer(s):    Hoyt Axton
Label:    ABC (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1970
    One of the most popular tracks from the first Steppenwolf album was a Hoyt Axton tune called The Pusher. For their next few albums the group wrote most of their own material, but included another Axton tune, Snowblind Friend, on their seventh LP. Although not released as a single, the tune did well on progressive rock radio stations, and is generally considered one of their better tunes from 1970. The band had gone through a few personnel changes by that point, and the song features new members Larry Byrom (guitar) and George Biondo (bass), both of which had been members of a band called T.I.M.E. before replacing Michael Monarch and Nick St. Nicholas in Steppenwolf.
Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    From Here To There Eventually
Source:    LP: Monster
Writer:    Kay/McJohn/Edmonton
Label:    Dunhill
Year:    1969
    The final track of Steppenwolf's fourth LP, Monster, is a perfect example of the band's typical hard-driving beat and John Kay's distinctive vocal style. The album itself is generally considered to be Steppenwolf's most blatantly political.

Artist:     Human Beinz
Title:     Nobody But Me
Source:     Mono CD: Battle Of The Bands-Vol. Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Ron, Rudy and O'Kelley Isley
Label:     Rhino (original label: Capitol)
Year:     1967
     The Human Beinz were a band that had been around since 1964 doing mostly club gigs in the Youngstown, Ohio area as the Premiers. In the late 60s they decided to update their image with a name more in tune with the times and came up with the Human Beingz. Unfortunately someone at Capitol misspelled their name on the label of Nobody But Me, and after the song became a national hit the band was stuck with the new spelling. The band split up in 1969, but after Nobody But Me was featured in the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill: Vol.1, original leader Ting Markulin reformed the band with a new lineup that has appeared in the Northeastern US in recent years.

Artist:    Move
Title:    I Can Hear The Grass Grow
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969
Writer(s):    Roy Wood
Label:    Rhino (original label: Deram)
Year:    1967
    One of the most popular British bands from 1966-1969 was the Move. Formed by members of various beat bands, the Move consisted of Carl Wayne (vocals), Trevor Burton (guitar, vocals), Roy Wood (guitar, vocals), "Ace" Kefford (bass, vocals) and Bev Bevan, the group scored hit after hit on the British charts, yet never broke the US top 40. Why this should be is a mystery, considering the sheer quality of tunes like I Can Hear The Grass Grow. Written, as were most of the Move's hits, by Roy Wood, I Can Hear The Grass Grow was the band's second single, and ended up in the #5 spot on the British charts. Eventually the Move would add Jeff Lynne to the lineup and form, as a side project, a new band called the Electric Light Orchestra, which became an internationally successful band in the 1970s.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine
Source:    LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    While not as commercially successful as the Jefferson Airplane or as long-lived as the Grateful Dead (there's an oxymoron for ya), Country Joe and the Fish may well be the most accurate musical representation of what the whole Haight-Ashbury scene was about, which is itself ironic, since the band operated out of Berkeley on the other side of the bay. Of all the tracks on their first album, Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine probably got the most airplay on various underground radio stations that were popping up on the FM dial at the time (some of them even legally).

Artist:    Who
Title:    Much Too Much
Source:    Mono CD: The Who Sings My Generation
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1965
    The Who's "maximum R&B" period is on full display on Much Too Much, from the band's 1965 debut LP, My Generation. Although the band later said that they felt rushed in the studio while making the album, it is now considered one of the essential albums of British rock.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Excuse, Excuse
Source:    Mono British import CD: Singles As & Bs (originally released on LP: The Seeds and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    GNP Crescendo/Big Beat
Year:    1966
    Although their management branded them as the original flower power band, the Seeds have a legitimate claim to being one of the first punk-rock bands as well. A prime example is Excuse, Excuse, from their 1966 debut LP, The Seeds. Whereas a more conventional song of the time might have been an angst-ridden tale of worry that perhaps the girl in question did not return the singer's feelings, Sky Saxon's lyrics (delivered with a sneer that would do Johnny Rotten proud) are instead a scathing condemnation of said girl for not being straight up honest about the whole thing.
Artist:    Animals
Title:    Worried Life Blues
Source:    Mono LP: The Animals On Tour
Writer(s):    Maceo Merriweather
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1965
    With House Of The Rising Sun riding high on the US charts, the Animals made their first visit to the US in late 1964, taking every opportunity to visit local record shops in search of vintage R&B records that were virtually impossible to find in their native England. They then returned home and recorded their 1965 LP The Animals On Tour, doing cover versions of many of the records they had scored on their tour. Among those tunes was Worried Life Blues, originally recorded by Big Maceo Merriweather in 1941.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Spoonful
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released in UK on LP: Fresh Cream)
Writer(s):    Willie Dixon
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Reaction)
Year:    1966
    When the album Fresh Cream was released by Atco in the US it was missing one track that was on the original UK version of the album: the band's original studio version of Willie Dixon's Spoonful. A live version of Spoonful was included on the LP Wheels of Fire, but it wasn't until the 1970 soundtrack album for the movie Homer that the studio version was finally released in the US. Unfortunately the compilers of that album left out the last 25 seconds or so from the original recording.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    Love Until I Die
Source:    CD: Ten Years After
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Deram
Year:    1967
    Alvin Lee takes the classic Crossroads riff and runs with it in an entirely unexpected direction on Love Until I Die, from the first Ten Years After album. The song also features Lee on harmonica, an instrument he seldom returned to after 1967.

Artist:    Gong
Title:    Tropical Fish: Selene
Source:    European import CD: Camembert Electrique (originally released on LP in France)
Writer(s):    Daevid Allen
Label:    Charly/Snapper (original label: BYG Actuel)
Year:    1971
    It's almost impossible to describe Gong. They had their roots in British psychedelia, founder Daevid Allen having been a member of Soft Machine, but are also known as pioneers of space-rock. The Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy, from 1973-74, is considered a landmark of the genre, telling the story of such characters as Zero the Hero and the Pot Head Pixies from Planet Gong. The groundwork for the trilogy was actually laid in 1971, when the album Camembert Electrique was recorded (and released) in France on the BYG Actuel label. The final full-length track on that album, Tropical Fish: Selene, is fairly indicative of the state of Gong at that time.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    D.C.B.A.-25
Source:    CD: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s):    Paul Kantner
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1967
    One of the first songs written by Paul Kantner without a collaborator was the highly listenable D.C.B.A.-25 from Surrealistic Pillow. Kantner said later that the title simply referred to the basic chord structure of the song, which is built on a two chord verse (D and C) and a two chord bridge (B and A). That actually fits, but what about the 25 part? [insert enigmatic smile here].

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Run Around
Source:    Mono LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer(s):    Balin/Kantner
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    The first Jefferson Airplane album was dominated by the songwriting of the band's founder, Marty Balin, both as a solo writer and as a collaborator with other band members. Run Around, from Balin and rhythm guitarist Paul Kantner, is fairly typical of the early Jefferson Airplane sound.

Artist:     Jefferson Airplane
Title:     Somebody To Love
Source:     Mono CD: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer:     Darby Slick
Label:     RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:     1967
     Jefferson Airplane's version of Somebody To Love (a song that had been previously recorded by Grace Slick's former band, the Great! Society) put the San Francisco Bay area on the musical map in early 1967. Somebody To Love was actually the second single released from Surrealistic Pillow, the first being My Best Friend, a song written by the Airplane's original drummer, Skip Spence.

Artist:     Blues Project
Title:     Love Will Endure
Source:     CD: Anthology (originally released on LP: Live At Town Hall with ambient live audience overdubs)
Writer:     Patrick Sky
Label:     Polydor (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:     Recorded 1966; released 1967
     Steve Katz had more of a folk background than the other members of the Blues Project, as evidenced by this cover of the Patrick Sky tune Love Will Endure. The song was actually recorded between the first and second Blues Project albums, but was not released until the third album, Live At Town Hall, which was a mixture of actual live recordings and studio tracks with the sounds of a live audience overdubbed onto them to make them sound like live recordings. Why anyone would want to do that is beyond me, but it probably has something to do with the fact that by the time the album was released Al Kooper was no longer a member and the label wanted the album to include as much Kooper as possible.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    No Time Like The Right Time
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Al Kooper
Label:    Rhino (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:    1967
    The Blues Project were ahead of their time. They were the first jam band. They virtually created the college circuit for touring rock bands. Unfortunately, they also existed at a time when having a hit single was the considered a necessity. The closest the Blues Project ever got to a hit single was No Time Like The Right Time, which peaked at # 97 and stayed on the charts for all of two weeks. Personally, I rate it among the top 5 best songs of the psychedelic era.

Artist:     Blues Project
Title:     Two Trains Running
Source:     CD: The Blues Project Anthology (originally released on LP: Projections)
Writer:     McKinley Morganfield
Label:     Polydor (original label: Verve Folkways)
Year:     1966
     My first two years as a student at the University of New Mexico were spent living off-campus in a large house shared by five other people (a varying number of which were also students). One day while rummaging through the basement I ran across a couple boxes full of reel-to-reel tapes. As I was the only person living there with a reel-to-reel machine and nobody seemed to know where the tapes had come from, I appropriated them for my own use. Unfortunately, many of the tapes were unlabeled, so all I could do was make a guess as to artists and titles of the music on them. One of those tapes was labelled simply "Love Sculpture". It wasn't until a fortuitous trip to a local thrift store a couple of years later that I realized that the slow version of Two Trains Running on the tape was not Love Sculpture at all, but was in fact the Blues Project, from their Projections album. This slowed down version of the Muddy Waters classic has what is considered to be one of the great accidental moments in recording history. About 2/3 of the way through Two Trains Running, Danny Kalb realized that one of the strings on his guitar had gone out of tune, and managed to retune it on the fly in such a way that it sounded like he had planned the whole thing.

Artist:     Them
Title:     Time Out For Time In
Source:     LP: Time Out! Time In! For Them
Writer(s):    Lane/Pulley
Label:     Tower
Year:     1968
     After Van Morrison left Them to embark on a successful solo career, the rest of the band continued to make records. The first effort was an offshoot group made up of former members of the band (who had left while Morrison was still fronting the group) calling themselves the Belfast Gypsys, who released one LP in 1967. The current band, meanwhile, had returned to their native Ireland and recruited Kenny McDowell as their new lead vocalist. They soon relocated to California, recording two LPs for Tower Records in 1968. The second of these was a collaborative effort between Them and the songwriting team of Tom Pulley and Vivian Lane. The opening track of the LP, Time Out For Time In, is a good example of the direction the band was moving in at that time.

Artist:    West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:    As The World Rises And Falls
Source:    CD: Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil
Writer(s):    Markley/Morgan
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band's third album for Reprise, Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil, is generally considered their best, and for good reason. The album includes some of guitarist Ron Morgan's finest contributions, including the gently flowing As The World Rises And Falls. Even Bob Markley's lyrics, which could run the range from inane to somewhat disturbing, here come across as poetic and original. Unfortunately for the band, Morgan was by this time quite disenchanted with the whole thing, and would often not even show up to record. Nonetheless, the band continued on for a couple more years (and two more albums) before finally calling it quits in 1970.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Jigsaw Puzzle
Source:    CD: Beggar's Banquet
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1968
    Jigsaw Puzzle, the longest track on the Beggar's Banquet album, comes across as a wry look at the inner workings of a rock and roll band like, say, the Rolling Stones. Founder Brian Jones's only contribution to the recording is some soaring mellotron work toward the end of the song. Not long after the track was recorded, Jones was fired from the band.

Artist:    Steve Miller Band
Title:    Fanny Mae
Source:    Czech Republic import LP: Children Of The Future
Writer(s):    Buster Brown
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1968
    The 1968 album Children Of The Future, by the Steve Miller Band, contains a much more eclectic mix of songs than the debut albums of other San Francisco bands of the same era. Perhaps it was because of Miller's own background, which included influences from Texas and Chicago. Or it could have been the influence of producer Glyn Johns, and the fact that the album was recorded in London rather than at a California studio. Whatever the reason, the more psychedelic first side of the LP is balanced out by songs like Fanny Mae, a #1 R&B hit for Buster Brown in 1960.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Gypsy Eyes
Source:    CD: The Ultimate Experience (originally released on LP: Electric Ladyland)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Electric Ladyland, the last album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was a double LP mixture of studio recordings and live jams in the studio with an array of guest musicians. Gypsy Eyes is a good example of Hendrix's prowess at the mixing board as well as on guitar.


Rockin' in the Days of Confusion #1917 (starts 4/22/19)

    This week we downshift a bit to shorter tracks...13 of 'em, to be exact, only four of which exceed the five minute mark. Read on.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Still Raining, Still Dreaming
Source:    LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer:    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    Still Raining, Still Dreaming, from the third Jimi Hendrix Experience album Electric Ladyland, is the second half of a live studio recording featuring guest drummer Buddy Miles, who would later join Hendrix and bassist Billy Cox to form Band Of Gypsys. The recording also features Mike Finnegan on organ, Freddie Smith on tenor sax and Larry Faucett on congas, as well as Experience member Noel Redding on bass.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    We Used To Know
Source:    CD: Stand Up
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1969
    The first of many personnel changes for Jethro Tull came with the departure of guitarist Mick Abrahams in late 1968. His replacement was Tony Iommi from the band Earth, who joined just in time to make an appearance miming the guitar parts to A Song For Jeffrey on the Rolling Stones' Rock And Roll Circus, a TV special slated for a December airing on British TV, but pulled from the schedule at the last minute by the Stones themselves, who were not satisfied with their own performances on the show. The following month Iommi went back to Earth (who eventually changed their name to Black Sabbath) and Jethro Tull found a new guitarist, Martin Barre, in time to begin work on their second LP, Stand Up. Barre's guitar work is featured prominently on several tracks on Stand Up, including We Used To Know, a song that starts quietly and slowly builds to a wah-wah pedal dominated instrumental finale.

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    Into The Void
Source:    LP: Master Of Reality
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osbourne/Butler/Ward
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    In addition to being James Hetfield's favorite Black Sabbath track, Into The Void was, according to guitarist Tony Iommi, the most difficult song to record for the group's third LP, Master Of Reality. Both vocalist Ozzy Osbourne and drummer Bill Ward had problems with the song's sudden stops and starts and tempo changes. Iommi went on to say that they even tried to record Into The Void in two different studios in an effort to get Ward on track. Eventually everything came together, and Into The Void is now considered a classic example of Black Sabbath in their prime.

Artist:    Mothers
Title:    I'm The Slime
Source:    CD: Over-Nite Sensation
Writer(s):    Frank Zappa
Label:    Discreet
Year:    1973
    In 1973, Frank Zappa, along with an array of talented musicians, recorded two albums' worth of material. The first, released as a Mothers album, was Over-Nite Sensation. Strangely enough, a single was released from the album, although it really didn't make much of a dent in the top 40 charts. That single was I'm The Slime, a song that only gets more relevant as time goes on. The song is basically a description of America's top drug of choice, as the opening lyrics make clear: "I am gross and perverted. I'm obsessed 'n deranged. I have existed for years, but very little has changed. I'm the tool of the government and industry too, for I am destined to rule and regulate you. I may be vile and pernicious, but you can't look away. I make you think I'm delicious, with the stuff that I say. I'm the best you can get. Have you guessed me yet? I'm the slime ooozing out of your TV set." Truer words have never been spoken.

Artist:    Rare Bird
Title:    Birdman-Part One (Title #1 Again)
Source:    45 RPM promo (stereo side)
Writer(s):    Kaffinetti/Karos/Curtis/Kelly/Gould
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1972
    The appropriately named Rare Bird was never very popular in their native England. None of their albums charted there, and they only had one charted single that went to the #27 spot in 1969. They were much more successful in continental Europe, however. That same single, Sympathy, was an international hit, selling a million copies worldwide and hitting the #1 spot in both France and Italy. By the time the Rare Bird's third LP, Epic Forest, was released, the band had gone through several personnel changes, including the loss of the group's founder, keyboardist Graham Field. In the US the band got some airplay on college radio stations, but was virtually ignored by mainstream US listeners. I did manage to find a copy of Birdman-Part One (Title #1 Again), the single from the Epic Forest album in a thrift store many years ago. It's really quite listenable.

Artist:    Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title:     I Put A Spell On You
Source:     CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm
Writer:     Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Label:     Rhino
Year:     1969
     Before getting major attention for its string of top five singles (including three consecutive # 2 songs), Creedence Clearwater Revival released a pair of cover tunes in 1968: Dale Hawkins' Suzy Q and this one from an entirely different Hawkins, Screamin' Jay. Although the Creedence version of I Put A Spell On You only made it to the # 58 spot on the national charts, it was still part of their repertoire when they played at Woodstock the following year. It cooks.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin
Writer(s):    Trad. Arr. Page
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1968
    It is the nature of folk music that a song often gets credited to one writer when in fact it is the work of another. This is due to the fact that folk singers tend to share their material liberally with other folk singers, who often make significant changes to the work before passing it along to others. Such is the case with Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You, which was originally conceived by EC-Berkeley student Anne Johannsen in the late 1950s and performed live on KPFA radio in 1960. Another performer on the same show, Janet Smith, developed the song further and performed it at Oberlin College, where it was heard by audience member Joan Baez. Baez asked Smith for a tape of her songs and began performing the song herself.  Baez used it as the opening track on her album, Joan Baez In Concert, Part One, but it was credited as "traditional", presumably because Baez herself had no knowledge of who had actually written the song. Baez eventually discovered the true origins of the tune, and later pressings gave credit to Anne Bredon, who had divorced her first husband, Lee Johannsen and married Glen Bredon since writing the song. Jimmy Page had an early pressing of the Baez album, so when he reworked the song for inclusion on the first Led Zeppelin album, he went with "traditional, arranged Page" as the writer. Robert Plant, who worked with Page on the arrangement, was not originally given credits for contractual reasons, although later editions of the album give credit to Page, Plant and Bredon.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Flight Of The Phoenix
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1972
    After five successful albums produced by Terry Knight, the members of Grand Funk Railroad decided to go it alone for their 1972 album Phoenix. The album was the first to include Craig Frost, who would eventually become a full member of the band, on keyboards, as can be heard on the LP's opening track, the instrumental Flight Of The Phoenix. Famed fiddler Doug Kershaw can also be heard on the track.

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:    Roy Buchanon
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    CD: The Best Of Roy Buchanon (originally released on LP: That's What I'm Here For)
Writer(s):    Billy Roberts
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1973
    Roy Buchanon laid down a guitar track on his 1953 Fender Telecaster that can only be described as "blistering" for his rendition of the Billy Roberts classic Hey Joe on his 1973 album That's What I'm Here For. Like Tim Rose and Jimi Hendrix, Buchanon chose to go with the slower arrangement of the tune rather than the fast-paced version made famous by bands like Love, the Byrds and the Leaves in the mid 1960s. One of these days I'm going to do an entire show of nothing but various versions of Hey Joe (even Cher's).

Artist:    Humble Pie
Title:    Stone Cold Fever
Source:    CD: Performance-Rockin' The Fillmore
Writer(s):    Ridley/Marriott/Shirley/Frampton
Label:    A&M
Year:    1971
    Some artists make great records, but can't seem to connect with a live audience. Others, like Peter Frampton, are the exact opposite. His studio albums all went nowhere, yet Frampton Comes Alive stands as one of the top-selling live albums of all time. The same can be said of his earlier work with Humble Pie. Their studio albums actually did reasonably well, but their best selling album was 1971's Performance-Rockin' The Fillmore. Among the more memorable tunes on the album was Stone Cold Fever, which went on to become a staple of FM Rock radio throughout the 1970s.

Artist:    Uriah Heep
Title:    Seven Stars
Source:    LP: Sweet Freedom
Writer(s):    Ken Hensley
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1973
    I'm not exactly sure what Uriah Heep's David Byron had in mind when he started singing the alphabet at the end of Seven Stars. It could have even been the way Ken Hensley wrote the song in the first place, although Hensley never did anything else quite as silly before or after the Sweet Freedom album. Musically, Seven Stars sounds like an attempt to recreate the excitement generated by Heep's biggest hit, Easy Livin', but it falls far short of the earlier tune.

Artist:    Al DiMeola
Title:    Love Theme From "Pictures At The Sea"
Source:    LP: Land Of The Midnight Sun
Writer(s):    Al DiMeola
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1976
    One of the finest guitarists to emerge from the jazz-rock fusion movement of the early 1970s was Al DiMeola, who came to prominence as a member of Chick Corea's band, Return To Forever. For his first album released under his own name, DiMeola called upon fellow jazzmen Barry Miles (electric piano, Mini-Moog synthesizer) Anthony Jackson (bass),  Lenny White (drums) and  Mingo Lewis (percussion) to record Land Of The Midnight Sun. The album, released in 1976, shows DiMeola's talents as both a composer and instrumentalist. What it doesn't explain, however, is the title of the last track on side one, Love Theme From "Pictures At The Sea". This composition, one of the few on the album with vocals, was written entirely by DiMeola, which makes me wonder if there is even such a thing as "Pictures At The Sea".

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1916 (starts 4/15/19)

    This week's show has: a) a Los Angeles set from 1967; b) an early Jefferson Airplane set; c) an Earth Day themed Advanced Psych set; d) a progression through the years 1965-1969; e) another 1967 set; f) a regression through the years from 1970 to 1965; g) a 1966 set; h) all of the above, but not necessarily in the order presented. Seriously now, which do you think it is?

Artist:    Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:    Incense And Peppermints (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Source:    Mono CD: Psychedelic Pop
Writer(s):    Carter/Gilbert/Weitz/King
Label:    BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Uni)
Year:    1967
    Incense and Peppermints is one of the iconic songs of the psychedelic era, yet when it was originally released to Los Angeles area radio stations it was intended to be the B side of The Birdman of Alkatrash. Somewhere along the line a DJ flipped the record over and started playing Incense And Peppermints instead. The song caught on and Uni Records (short for Universal, which is now the world's largest record company) picked up the Strawberry Alarm Clock's contract and reissued the record nationally with Incense And Peppermints as the A side.

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:    Love
Title:    A House Is Not A Motel
Source:    CD: Love Story (originally released on LP: Forever Changes)
Writer:    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    Arthur Lee was a bit of a recluse, despite leading the most popular band on Sunset Strip in 1966-67. When the band was not playing at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go Lee was most likely to be found at his home up in the Hollywood Hills, often in the company of fellow band member Bryan McLean. The other members of the band, however, were known to hang out in the most popular clubs, chasing women and doing all kinds of substances. Sometimes they would show up at Lee's house unbidden. Sometimes they would crash there. Sometimes Lee would get annoyed, and probably used the phrase which became the title of the second track on Love's classic Forever Changes album, A House Is Not A Motel.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    She Hangs Out
Source:    LP: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD
Writer(s):    Jeff Barry
Label:    Colgems
Year:    1967
    She Hangs Out is a tune written by Jeff Barry that, through no fault of its own, became the straw that broke the camel's back. In this particular case, the camel was rock impressario Don Kirschner, who, until early 1967, was music director for all things Monkees. The song was one of many recorded in 1966 for use on the Monkees TV show. A dozen songs had been chosen for the first Monkees album in late 1966. The situation at that time was such that the Monkees themselves didn't really have much of a voice in what was included on that album (actually, "voice" was about the only thing the band members did have on most of the tracks). At the time, however, just getting the album out in time for Christmas overrode other considerations, and the band basically stood by and let Krischner run the show. Early the next year, however, Kirschner once again raised the ire of the band members by releasing a second LP, More Of The Monkees, without the band's knowledge or input (other than the vocals that had been recorded in 1966). The Monkees responded by recording a new song, All Of Your Toys, intending it to be their third single. Kirschner, however, again without knowledge or consent of the band, released a Neil Diamond-penned track, A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You, backed with a Jeff Barry song, She Hangs Out, as a single. Both tracks were produced by Barry, and were essentially solo efforts by Davy Jones, whose lead vocals had at that point only appeared on album tracks, accompanied by studio musicians. Ultimately this unauthorized move by Kirschner led to his being taken off the entire Monkees project and the single withdrawn from circulation. The Monkees were not done with She Hangs Out, however. Later in 1967 the band re-recorded the song, this time playing most of the instruments themselves, for inclusion on their fourth LP, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Wish Me Up
Source:    45 RPM single B side (reissue)
Writer(s):    March/Saxon
Label:    Sundazed/M-G-M
Year:    1970
    By the time the 60s had come to an end, the Seeds, who had spearheaded the flower power movement in the middle of the decade, were on their last legs. Only Sky Saxon and Daryl Hooper were left from the original group, and they had lost their contract with GNP Crescendo. Their manager was able to secure a contract to record a pair of singles for M-G-M, but, as can be heard on the B side of the first single, Wish Me Up, the old energy just wasn't there anymore.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix/Band Of Gypsys
Title:    Mannish Boy
Source:    CD: Blues
Writer(s):    Morganfield/London/McDaniel
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 2010
    Muddy Waters reportedly wrote and recorded Mannish Boy in response to Bo Diddley's I'm A Man. The Waters tune was so similar to Diddley's that Bo was given co-writing credit (as Elias McDaniel) on Muddy's record. In 1969 Jimi Hendrix did his own version of the later tune, with Buddy Miles and drums and Billy Cox on bass. The recording was eventually released on the 2010 compilation CD Blues.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Tighten Up Your Wig
Source:    CD: Steppenwolf The Second
Writer(s):    John Kay
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    It was a tradition among early blues artists to lift rifts, melody lines and even lyrics from each other's songs, then record and copyright them under their own names. Steppenwolf, who had evolved out of Canadian blues band called Sparrow, kept the tradition alive in 1968 with Tighten Up Your Wig, which has a melody and chord structure nearly identical to the 1960 Junior Wells tune Messin' With The Kid.

Artist:    Chambers Brothers
Title:    Time Has Come Today
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: The Time Has Come)
Writer(s):    Joe and Willie Chambers
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    One of the quintessential songs of the psychedelic era is the Chambers Brothers' classic Time Has Come Today. The song was originally recorded and issued as a single in 1966. The more familiar version heard here, however, was recorded in 1967 for the album The Time Has Come. The LP version of the song runs about eleven minutes, way too long for a 45 RPM record, so before releasing the song as a single for the second time, engineers at Columbia cut the song down to around 3 minutes. The edits proved so jarring that the record was recalled and a re-edited version, clocking in at 4:57 became the third and final single version of the song, hitting the charts in 1968.

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 and avoid being drafted.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Such A Shame
Source:    Mono 45 RPM EP: Kwyet Kinks (reissue)
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Sanctuary/BMG (original UK label: Pye)
Year:    1965
    The B side of a 45 RPM record was usually thought of as filler material, but in reality often served another purpose entirely. Sometimes it was used to make an instrumental version of the hit side available for use in clubs or even as a kind of early kind of Karioke. As often as not it was a chance for bands who were given material by their producer to record for the A side to get their own compositions on record. Sometimes the B sides went on to become classics in their own right. Possibly the band with the highest percentage of this type of B side was the Kinks, who seemed to have a great song on the flip side of every record they released. One such B side is Such A Shame, released as the B side of A Well Respected Man in 1966. It doesn't get much better than this. Such A Shame was originally released in 1965 in the UK on a four-song EP called Kwyet Kinks that has only recently been reissued on vinyl in the US.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    Don't Bring Me Down
Source:    LP: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals-Vol. II (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Animalization)
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    I originally bought the Animals Animalization album in early 1967 and immediately fell in love with the first song, Don't Bring Me Down. Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Don't Bring Me Down is one of the few songs written for the Animals by professional songwriters that lead vocalist Eric Burdon actually liked.

Artist:    Chocolate Watch Band
Title:    In The Midnight Hour
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Pickett/Cropper
Label:    Tower
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2012
    Among the many Chocolate Watch Band recordings that were subjected to major changes by producer Ed Cobb was a cover of Wilson Pickett's R&B classic In The Midnight Hour, a song that was also covered by the Young Rascals. The biggest change Cobb made to the recording was to replace Dave Aguilar's original lead vocals with those of studio vocalist Don Bennett. Once Sundazed got the rights to the Watchband's recordings they included both versions on their CD version of the No Way Out album and in 2012 issued the mono mix of the Aguilar version for the first time as a single.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    A Hazy Shade Of Winter
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bookends)
Writer:    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966 (first stereo release: 1968)
    Originally released as a single in late 1966, A Hazy Shade Of Winter was one of several songs slated to be used in the film The Graduate. The only one of these actually used was Mrs. Robinson. The remaining songs eventually made up side two of the 1968 album Bookends, although several of them were also released as singles throughout 1967. A Hazy Shade Of Winter, being the first of these singles (and the only one released in 1966), was also the highest charting, peaking at # 13 just as the weather was turning cold.

Artist:    Otherside
Title:    Walking Down The Road
Source:    CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Al Shackman
Label:    Big Beat (original labels: Mainstream/Brent)
Year:    1966
    San Jose, California was at the center of the most vibrant and dynamic local music scenes in the country in the mid-1960s. By the end of 1966 both the Syndicate Of Sound and Count Five had cracked the national charts, while bands such as the Chocolate Watch Band were just beginning to make their mark. There was a lot of movement of musicians between bands as well, with groups like the Topsiders counting Sean Tolby (Watchband) and Skip Spence (Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape) among their early members. A move by the Topsiders to recruit Watchband guitarist/organist Ned Torney in 1966 resulted in an entirely new group, the Otherside, being formed. They soon had established enough of a reputation to get the attention of Golden State Recorders, who were auditioning acts for Mainstream Records owner Bob Shad. Shad signed the group immediately to his Brent label, releasing Walking Down The Road in early autumn. The stereo mix of Walking Down The Road was included on the compilation album With Love-A Pot Of Flowers on Shad's Mainstream label in late 1967, but by then the group had morphed into a band called Bogus Thunder, which would eventually become known as Gladstone, releasing a single on the A&M label in 1969.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Morning Dew
Source:    LP: The Grateful Dead
Writer(s):    Dobson/Rose
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1967
    One of the most identifiable songs in the Grateful Dead repertoire, Morning Dew was the first song ever written by Canadian folk singer Bonnie Dobson, who came up with the song in 1961 the morning after having a long discussion with friends about what life might be like following a nuclear holocaust. She began performing the song that year, with the first recorded version appearing on her 1962 live album At Folk City. The song was not published, however, until 1964, when Fred Neil decided to record his own version of the song for his album Tear Down The Walls. The first time the song appeared on a major label was 1966, when Tim Rose recorded it for his self-titled Columbia Records debut album. Rose had secured permission to revise the song and take credit as a co-writer, but his version was virtually identical to the Fred Neil version of the song. Nonetheless, Rose's name has been included on all subsequent recordings (though Dobson gets 75% of the royalties), including the Grateful Dead version heard on their 1967 debut LP.

Artist:    James Gang
Title:    Funk #49/Ashtonpark
Source:    CD:  James Gang Rides Again
Writer(s):    Fox/Peters/Walsh
Label:    MCA (original label: ABC)
Year:    1970
                Following the release of their first LP, Yer' Album, the James Gang toured extensively, giving them little time to work up material for their followup album. Nonetheless, they managed to turn out a classic with the 1970 release James Gang Rides Again. The album starts with the song that all three band members agree was already worked out by the time they hit the studio, Funk #49. The song (which is probably the band's best known tune) is followed immediately by Ashtonpark, a short instrumental that picks up where Funk #49 fades out. The track is essentially Joe Walsh, Dale Peters and Jim Fox jamming over an echo effect created by cycling the playback of Walsh's guitar back through the record head of the studio tape recorder.
Artist:    Mumphries
Title:    Wishing And Wondering
Source:    CD: Thank You, Bonzo
Writer(s):    Stephen R Webb
Label:    WayWard
Year:    1989
    The last track to be completed by the Mumphries, an Albuquerque, NM band made up of Jeff "Quincy" Adams (bass, guitar and vocals), Suzan Hagler (guitar, keyboards), John Henry Smith (drums) and Stephen R Webb (guitar, bass, vocals) was Wishing And Wondering, a song decrying man's mistreatment of his home planet. The track was intended to be submitted to various environmentalist organizations, and is still available, if anyone wants to use it.

Artist:    Country Joe McDonald
Title:    Black Fish
Source:    CD: 50
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Rag Baby
Year:    2017
    The first track that really jumped out at me on Country Joe McDonald's 2017 album 50 was a tune called Black Fish. As is characteristic of McDonald's work, the song is both musically interesting and lyrically savvy. Good stuff!

Artist:    Squires Of The Subterrain
Title:    Rising Water
Source:    CD: Sandbox
Writer(s):    Raboz/Zajkowski
Label:    Rocket Racket
Year:    2012
    What happens when you combine environmentally conscious lyrics with music reminiscent of Brian Wilson's later Beach Boys albums such as Pet Sounds and Smile? In this case it's the 2012 album Sandbox from Squires Of The Subterrain. Based in Rochester, NY, the Squires are (is?) the work of Christopher Earl of Rochester, NY, who has been releasing independent recordings on his own Rocket Racket label for the better part of 20 years. Rising Water is probably the most experimental track on Sandbox. Definitely worth checking out.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    In The Morning
Source:    LP: Early Flight
Writer(s):    Jorma Kaukonen
Label:    Grunt
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1974
    One of the earliest and best collections of previously unreleased material from a major rock band was the Jefferson Airplane's Early Flight LP, released in 1974. Among the rarities on the LP is In The Morning, a blues jam with Jorma Kaukonen on vocals and lead guitar that runs over six minutes long. The track's length precluded it from being included on the Surrealistic Pillow album, despite the obvious quality of the performance. The song has since been included as a bonus track on the CD version of JATO.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Blues From An Airplane
Source:    CD: The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane (originally released on LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off)
Writer(s):    Balin/Spence
Label:    BMG/RCA
Year:    1966
    Blues From An Airplane was the opening song on the first Jefferson Airplane album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. Although never released as a single, it was picked by the group to open their first anthology album, The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane, as well.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    High Flying 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:    Doors
Title:    Love Me Two Times
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Although the second Doors album is sometimes dismissed as being full of tracks that didn't make the cut on the debut LP, the fact is that Strange Days contains some of the Doors best-known tunes. One of those is Love Me Two Times, which was the second single released from the album. The song continues to get heavy airplay on classic rock stations.

Artist:    Circus Maximus
Title:    Travelin' Around
Source:    LP: Circus Maximus
Writer:    Bob Bruno
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Circus Maximus was formed in Greenwich Village in 1967 by lead guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Bob Bruno (who wrote most of the band's material) and guitarist/vocalist Jerry Jeff Walker, who went on to much greater success as a songwriter after he left the group for a solo career (he wrote the classic Mr. Bojangles, among other things). The lead vocals on the first Circus Maximus LP were split between the two, with one exception: guitarist Peter Troutner shares lead vocal duties with Bruno on the album's opening track, the high-energy Travelin' Around.

Artist:    Vagrants
Title:    Respect
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Otis Redding
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Sounding a lot like the Rascals, the Vagrants were a popular Long Island band led by singer Peter Sabatino and best remembered for being the group that had guitarist Leslie Weinstein in it. Weinstein would change his last name to West and record a solo album called Mountain before forming the band of the same name. This version of Respect is fairly faithful to the original Otis Redding version. Unfortunately for the Vagrants, Aretha Franklin would release her radically rearranged version of the song just a few weeks after the Vagrants, relegating their version of the tune (and the Vagrants themselves) to footnote status.

Artist:    Mouse And The Traps
Title:    A Public Execution
Source:    Mono CD: More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Henderson/Weiss
Label:    Rhino (original label: Fraternity)
Year:    1965
    It's easy to imagine some kid somewhere in Texas inviting his friends over to hear the new Bob Dylan record, only to reveal afterwards that it wasn't Dylan at all, but this band he heard while visiting his cousins down in Tyler. Speaking of cousins, A Public Execution was inspired by a misunderstanding concerning a cousin and a motorcycle ride. According to Ronnie "Mouse" Weiss, his fiancee actually broke up with him after getting word that Mouse had been seen giving an attractive girl a ride. It turned out the attractive girl in question was his cousin from across the state who had come for a visit, but by the time the truth came out Weiss and his band had their first of many regional hit records.

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:     Pink Floyd
Title:     Arnold Layne
Source:     CD: Cre/ation-The Early Years 1967-1972 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Syd Barrett
Label:     Columbia (original label: Tower)
Year:     1967
     The very first record released by Pink Floyd was Arnold Layne, a song about a guy with a particular brand of deviance. Like all early Floyd recordings, the song was written and sung by the mercurial Syd Barrett.

Artist:    Aquarian Age
Title:    10,000 Words In A Cardboard Box
Source:    British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Alder/Wood
Label:    EMI (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1968
    Following the breakup of the influential British psychedelic band Tomorrow, the various members went their separate ways, with vocalist Keith West embarking on a solo career and guitarist Steve Howe doing studio work before becoming a member of Yes. The remaining two members, Junior Wood (bass) and Twink Alder (drums), continued to work with Abbey Road studios staff producer Mark Wirtz on a single, 10,000 Words In A Cardboard Box, credited to the Aquarian Age. Probably the nearest American equivalent to the project was Sagittarius from Los Angeles producer Gary Usher. Both projects came from respected staff producers at major recording studios utilizing top studio talent, not to mention they both took their names from Zodiac signs.

Artist:    Gun
Title:    Rupert's Travels (single version)
Source:    Mono German import CD: Gun
Writer(s):    Adrian Curtis (Gurvitz)
Label:    Repertoire
Year:    1968
    The Gun made a huge splash in Germany and the UK with their debut single Race With The Devil in 1968. They followed it up with a self-titled LP that same year. The shortest track on that LP was an instrumental track called Rupert's Travels that has been compared to the Mason Williams hit Classical Gas. The mono version of Rupert's Travelswas released in early 1969 as the B side of the band's second single and is now available as a bonus track on the Gun CD.