Sunday, May 5, 2019

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1919 (starts 5/6/19)

    This time around we start with a live set (including two Woodstock recordings that were not included in the film), and then rock out with a whole bunch of tracks making their Rockin' in the Days of Confusion debut. We close it out with a rare non-album B side from the Doors. Rock on!

Artist:     Procol Harum
Title:     Conquistador
Source:     LP: The Best Of Procol Harum (originally released on LP: Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra)
Writer:     Brooker/Reid
Label:     A&M
Year:     1972
     Procol Harum was formed in 1966 in Southend-on-sea, Essex, England. One of the songs on their 1967 debut album was Conquistador. Five years later the live version of the song, featuring the London Symphony Orchestra, was released as a single, becoming the second-biggest hit for the group (after A Whiter Shade Of Pale).

Artist:    Mountain
Title:    Blood Of The Sun
Source:    CD: Woodstock 2
Writer(s):    West/Pappalardi/Collins
Label:    Atlantic (original label: Cotillion)
Year:    1969
    There are conflicting stories concerning this recording of Mountain's Blood Of The Sun. The producers of the anniversary edition of the Woodstock 2 album insist that it was indeed recorded at the legendary rock festival in the summer of 1969. The four-disc Rhino Records collection Back To Yasgur's Farm, however, contains a noticably different recording that, according to that collection's compilers was the actual Woodstock performance of the song. The liner notes for that collection go on to say that the performance used on Woodstock 2 was actually recorded somewhere else and used at the band's insistence rather than the actual Woodstock performance. As this version, which has a slightly slower tempo, giving it a "heavier" feel, is technically a stronger performance of the song, this second story is probably closer to the truth.

Artist:    Janis Joplin
Title:    Summertime
Source:    CD: I Got Dem 'Ol Kozmic Blues Again Mama
Writer(s):    Gershwin/Heyward
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 1999
    Not long after the release of the breakthrough Big Brother And The Holding Company album Cheap Thrills, vocalist Janis Joplin announced her attention to leave the band once their current bookings were played out. Within days she began putting together a new band. Unlike Big Brother, the Kozmic Blues Band, as it came to be known, was a large ensemble that included keyboards and a horn section. It was this group that took the stage at Woodstock in 1969 to perform a set of songs that include the Big Brother arrangement of George Gershwin's Summertime. Sam Andrew, one of the two lead guitarists from Big Brother And The Holding Company, recreates his original licks on this live recording that is included as a bonus track on the I Got Dem 'Ol Kozmic Blues Again Mama CD edition, released in 1999.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Achilles Last Stand
Source:    LP: Presence
Writer(s):    Page/Plant
Label:    Swan Song
Year:    1976
    When asked what his favorite Led Zeppelin track is, guitarist Jimmy Page, as often as not, picks Achilles Last Stand, from the 1976 album Presence. The track is one of the most complex recordings the band ever made, with something like six guitar overdub tracks and several changes throughout the ten-minute long piece. Robert Plant had suffered a severely broken ankle in a car accident prior to the sessions for Presence, and was in a wheelchair when he recorded his vocals for the album. The song itself was inspired by Page and Plant's international travels in 1975, although the song title itself is a wry reference to Plant's injury.

Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Lady Whiskey
Source:    CD: Wishbone Ash
Writer(s):    Turner/Turner/Powell/Upton
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1970
    In its own way, the first Wishbone Ash album rocks out as hard as any album released in 1970, and is certainly one of the better debut LPs in rock history. The band would actually soften their sound a touch for later albums, but on tunes like Lady Whiskey they showed that they could hold their own in a world that included bands like Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Led Zeppelin.

Artist:    Mott The Hoople
Title:    Jerkin' Crocus
Source:    45 RPM single B side (originally released on LP: All The Young Dudes
Writer(s):    Ian Hunter
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1972
    After releasing four albums over a period of three years to a lukewarm response at best, England's Mott The Hoople was on the verge of breaking up when David Bowie gave them the song All The Young Dudes. The song became the title track of their fifth LP, which also included several Mott originals such as Jerkin' Crocus. The song was selected to be issued as the B side of the third single released from the album as well.

Artist:    Cheech And Chong
Title:    Peter Rooter
Source:    LP: Los Cochinos
Writer(s):    Marin/Chong
Label:    Ode
Year:    1973
    The shortest track on the third Cheech And Chong LP, Los Cochinos, is Peter Rooter, a parody of the Rotor Rooter plumbing commercials that seemed to pop up several times a day on local TV stations across the nation. Although now mostly forgotten, the Rotor Rooter theme song itself was, at the time, as well known as "It's the real thing" or "stronger than dirt".

Artist:    Genesis
Title:    The Light Lies Down On Broadway/Riding The Scree
Source:    CD: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
Writer(s):    Banks/Collins/Gabriel/Hackett/Rutherford
Label:    Rhino/Atlantic
Year:    1974
    Genesis, long before they became pop superstars, were a highly-respected progressive rock band in the early 1970s. That period in the band's history hit its peak in 1974, with the two-LP concept album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. It would, however, turn out to the final album to feature lead vocalist (and primary lyricist) Peter Gabriel, who, for various reasons, decided to embark on a solo career not long after the LP was released. Even while the album was being made, however, Gabriel was being drawn away from the project, first by an offer to pen a movie script, and then by his wife's difficulty pregnancy, which require his frequent absences from the studio. In fact, a few tracks, such as The Light Lies Down On Broadway, actually have lyrics written by other band members such as Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford.

Artist:    Renaissance
Title:    Black Flame
Source:    LP: Turn Of The Cards
Writer(s):    Dunford/Thatcher
Label:    Sire
Year:    1974
    Formed in 1969 by former Yardbirds Jim McCarty and Keith Relf, Renaissance was one of the first bands to merge rock, classical and jazz into a coherent whole. By 1974 the band was incorporating excerpts from classical pieces (mostly from the Romantic period) into what was otherwise progressive rock, with very few jazz elements remaining. The lineup had also changed, with a greater emphasis being placed on the vocals of Annie Haslam, who had joined the group in the early 1970s. Black Flame, from the band's fifth LP, Turn Of The Cards, is fairly representative of Renaissance at its most popular.

Artist:    New Riders Of The Purple Sage
Title:    Garden Of Eden
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: New Riders Of The Purple Sage)
Writer(s):    John Dawson
Label:    Sony Music (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1971
    The first New Riders Of The Purple Sage album is, arguably, their best; it's also one of the best country-rock albums ever released. The band itself, closely associated with the Grateful Dead, consisted of guitarist John Dawson, who also wrote every song on the album (including Garden Of Eden), guitarist David Nelson, bassist Dave Torbert, pedal steel guitarist Jerry Garcia and drummer Spencer Dryden, although Garcia only appeared on the first NRPS LP. Stylistically, the album fits well with such Dead classics as Workingman's Dead and American Beauty and LPs such as the Byrds' Sweetheart Of The Rodeo and Poco's early work.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Who Scared You
Source:    CD: Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1969
    The Doors only released two non-album tracks while Jim Morrison was alive. The first of these was Who Scared You, which appeared as the B side of Wishful Sinful, a minor hit from the 1969 album The Soft Parade. Unlike the songs on that album, Who Scared You is credited to the entire band, rather than one or more of its individual members. The song made its album debut in 1972, when it was included in the double-LP compilation Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine.

No comments:

Post a Comment