Sunday, September 29, 2019
This week we have an early Byrds set, an "odd" progression through the years and an Advanced Psych set that spans over 30 years; and that's not even the half of it! Read on...
Title: It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Source: CD: Turn! Turn! Turn! (bonus track)
Writer(s): Bob Dylan
In late June of 1965 the Byrds began work on their second album's worth of material. Having already had success with covers of Bob Dylan songs, they naturally decided to record a couple more in the hopes of getting a third single out that summer. Those two songs were The Times They Are A-Changin' (which would get re-recorded a couple months later) and It's All Over Now, Baby Blue, which remained unreleased for many years. Baby Blue, which features Roger McGuinn on lead vocals, is now available as a bonus track on the Turn! Turn! Turn! remastered CD.
Title: Eight Miles High
Source: CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released on LP: Fifth Dimension)
Label: BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Columbia)
By all rights, the Byrds' Eight Miles High should have been a huge hit. Unfortunately, the highly influential Gavin Report labelled the tune as a drug song and recommended that stations avoid playing it, despite band's insistence that it was about a transatlantic plane trip. The band's version actually makes sense, as Gene Clark had just quit the group due to his fear of flying (he is listed as a co-writer of the song), and the subject was probably a hot topic of discussion among the remaining members.
Title: Wait And See
Source: CD: Turn! Turn! Turn!
Considering how prolific a songwriter David Crosby has been over the past five decades, it might be had to believe that he did not have a single writing credit on the Byrds' debut LP, Mr. Tambourine Man. In fact, Crosby's first official writing credit was on a song he co-wrote with Roger McGuinn called Wait And See, which was buried toward the end of side two of the second Byrds album, Turn! Turn! Turn! It was not as if Crosby wasn't writing songs at that point; he had brought two of his own tunes (Stranger In A Strange Land and the Flower Bomb Song) to the recording sessions, only to have them rejected by McGuinn and the band's manager, Jim Dickson, as well as by producer Terry Melcher. This was the beginning of tensions between Crosby and McGuinn that eventually led to Crosby's being fired from the band in 1967.
Artist: Shadows Of Knight
Source: LP: Back Door Men
Writer(s): Willie Dixon
Label: Sundazed (original label: Dunwich)
The Shadows Of Knight are generally acknowledged as one of the best proto-punk bands to emerge in the mid-1960s. Being from the Chicago area, the Shadows also had a stronger connection to the blues than other bands of their type, resulting in them recording songs like Willie Dixon's Spoonful at almost exactly the same time as Cream was. More importantly, Cream's version was left off the US edition of the album Fresh Cream, making the Shadows' recording the first rock version of Spoonful released in the States.
Title: Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)
Source: CD: The Best Of The Doors (originally released on LP: The Doors)
1967 was a breakthrough year for Elektra Records, which had only signed its first full-fledged rock band (Love) the previous year. Between Love's second and third albums and the first two Doors LPs, Elektra had by the end of the year established itself as a player. Although never released as a single, Alabama Song (one of two cover songs on the LP) managed to make it onto the Best of the Doors album and has been a classic rock staple for years.
Artist: Fraternity Of Man
Title: Field Day
Source: LP: Fraternity Of Man
Writer(s): Fraternity Of Man
There have always been artists that used music as a way to express socio-political views. With some bands, it seemed that expressing such views was the entire reason for the group's existence. On the East Coast, for instance, there were the Fugs, and later, David Peel And The Lower East Side. In California, the role was filled by Fraternity Of Man, a group best known for the song Don't Bogart Me, which was featured in the film Easy Rider. Unlike their New York counterparts, the Fraternity Of Man members were accomplished musicians in their own right. Elliot Ingber, for instance, had been a member of Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention and would later join Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band, while Warren Klein and Richard Hayward had both worked with Lowell George as members of the Factory (and Hayward would go on to be a founding member of Little Feat). Still, their radical side was more than evident on their 1968 debut album, especially on tracks like Field Day, which takes a snarky view of the tactics used by LAPD against protest demonstrators in the late 1960s.
Artist: Joan Baez
Title: Rock Salt And Nails
Source: 45 RPM promo single B side (originally released on LP: David's Album)
Writer(s): Bruce Phillips
One of the defining characteristics of the late 1960s was the resistance, especially among young people to US involvement in the Vietnamese Civil War. Much of this resistance was because the so-called Baby Boomers were at an age where they were eligible to be drafted into military service and many of them did not relish the idea of dying in a jungle halfway around the world for someone else's political beliefs. Of course much of this resistance was to the draft itself, and it was not limited just to young men of draftable age. Among the most prominent figures in the draft resistance movement was folk singer Joan Baez, who made the issue a focal point of her performance at the Woodstock Performing Arts Festival in the summer of 1969. Earlier that year she had released an LP called David's Album as a gift to her husband, who was about to go to prison for resisting the draft. Among the songs on that album was Rock Salt And Nails, written by Bruce "Utah" Phillips, himself a labor organizer, folk singer, storyteller, poet and self-described anarchist who was sometimes known as the "Golden Voice of the Great Southwest". A promo single pairing Rock Salt And Nails with the album's opening track, If I Knew, was pressed by Baez's label, Vanguard, but it is not known whether the record was ever released commercially.
Artist: Steve Miller Band
Title: Going To Mexico
Source: CD: Number 5
Although Boz Scaggs had left the Steve Miller Band following their second album, Sailor, the song Going To Mexico, co-written by Miller and Scaggs, did not appear on an album until Number 5 was released in 1970. Miller himself referred to the song as a 1969 track on his Anthology album, however, leading me to believe the song may have been among the last tracks recorded while Scaggs was still with the band. The recording also features future star Lee Michaels on organ.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Hitch Hike
Source: Mono made in England for US distribution LP: Out of Our Heads
The Rolling Stones' early albums consisted of about a 50/50 mix of cover tunes and original tunes from the band members, primarily Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Marvin Gaye's Hitch Hike was one of the cover songs on the album Out of Our Heads, the same album that featured the #1 hit of 1965, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.
Artist: Procol Harum
Title: Lime Street Blues
Source: 45 RPM single B side (reissue)
Label: A&M (original label: Deram)
Anyone expecting more of the same when flipping over their new copy of A Whiter Shade Of Pale in 1967 got a big surprise when they heard Lime Street Blues. The song, reminiscent of an early Ray Charles track, was strong enough to be included on their first greatest hits collection, no mean feat for a B side.
Artist: Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title: Cowgirl In The Sand
Source: CD: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer: Neil Young
It has been said that adverse conditions are conducive to good art. Certainly that truism applies to Neil Young's Cowgirl In The Sand, written while Young was running a 102 degree fever. Almost makes you want to get sick yourself, doesn't it?
Artist: Doctor Hook And The Medicine Show
Title: Hey, Lady Godiva
Source: LP: Doctor Hook
Writer(s): Shel Silversteen
One of the most unusual bands in rock history was a group originally known as Doctor Hook And The Medicine Show. With a sound that owed as much to the vaudeville tradition as it did to rock and roll, the group was seen as the perfect vehicle for songs written by Shel Silversteen for the film Who Is Harry Kellerman And Why Is He Saying All Those Terrible Things About Me. Following work on the film's soundtrack, the group signed with Columbia Records, where they continued to record Silversteen's tunes. Among those tunes was the band's first hit, Sylvia's Mother, as well as Hey, Lady Godiva, a humorous take on history's most famous equestrian nudist. Both songs appear on the band's first album, entitled Doctor Hook. As time went on, the group turned to more serious pop songs like When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman, shortening their name to Doctor Hook in the process.
Artist: Black Sabbath
Title: Electric Funeral
Source: CD: Paranoid
Label: Warner Brothers
When Black Sabbath first appeared on vinyl they were perceived as the next step in the evolution of rock, building on the acid rock of the late sixties and laying the groundwork for what would become heavy metal. Electric Funeral, from the band's second album, Paranoid, shows that evolution in progress.
Artist: Simon And Garfunkel
Title: The Boxer
Source: CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bridge Over Troubled Water)
Writer(s): Paul Simon
The only Simon And Garfunkel record released in 1969, The Boxer was one of the duo's most successful singles, making the top 10 in nine countries, including the US, where it made it to the #7 spot. The track, which runs more than five minutes, was later included on the 1970 LP Bridge Over Troubled Water.
Title: A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You
Source: Australian import 45 RPM single
Writer(s): Neil Diamond
The members of the Monkees were already royally pissed off at Don Kirschner in early 1967 for releasing the album More Of The Monkees without the knowledge or input of the band itself (other than vocal tracks that had been recorded the previous year for use on The Monkees TV show). Things only got worse two months later when, after flying Davy Jones out to New York to record vocal tracks for a pair of new tunes with producer Jeff Barry, Kirschner released promo copies of the recordings to select radio stations as the third Monkees single, along with a promo package referring to Jones as "my favorite Monkee". This time, however, it was not only the band that was kept in the dark; apparently nobody associated with the Monkees knew anything about the release, which was intended to strengthen Kirschner's position as the Monkees' musical director. As a result Kirschner found himself fired for taking the unauthorized action, the single was cancelled, and the band members were given control over their own musical destiny. The Monkees immediately went to work on what would become their third consecutive #1 LP, Headquarters, but agreed to release one of the new songs, a Neil Diamond number called A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You, with a different B side as their next single.
Artist: Dukes Of Stratosphear
Title: 25 O'Clock
Source: CD: Chips From The Chocolate Factory (originally released on EP: 25 O'Clock)
Writer(s): Andy Partridge
Label: Caroline (original label: Virgin)
In 1985, XTC decided to take a break and record an EP, 25 O'Clock, anonymously as the Dukes of Stratosphear. They circulated rumours that this was some previously undiscovered psych band from the late 1960s. Of course, everyone should have suspected that something was not quite as it seemed with the Dukes, as the EP (or "mini-album") was released on April Fool's Day of 1985. Still, the authentic recreation of mid to late 60s production techniques, as well as its Disraeli Gears-inspired album cover, were enough to keep people guessing, at least for a while. Ironically, 25 O'Clock actually outsold the then-current XTC album.
Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: I'll Give You Feedback
Source: CD: Feedback
The 2006 album Feedback is probably the most adventurous of the new Electric Prunes albums released in the 21st century. Three of the original members, James Lowe (vocals, harmonica), Mark Tulin (bass, keyboards, guitar, vocals) and Ken Williams (lead guitar) were joined by a variety of drummers, including Dan Gerass, who plays on the track I'll Give You Feedback. The song itself manages to infuse the band's classic 1966-68 sound with a modern sensibility that works incredibly well.
Artist: Claypool/Lennon Delirium
Title: Breath Of A Salesman
Source: LP: Monolith Of Phobos
Fans of alternative rock are no doubt familiar with a band called Primus, led by bassist Les Claypool. One of the more colorful characters on the modern music scene, Claypool was once rejected by Metallica as being "too good" for them. Claypool himself has said that he thought James Hetfield was just being nice when he told him that, but the fact is that Claypool is indeed one of the most talented bass players (if not the best) in rock history. Sean Lennon is, of course, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Unlike his half-borther Julian, Sean has never had to prove anything to anyone, and, thanks in large part to his mother's influence (and let's be honest here, money), has always felt free to pursue his own artistic path without having to bow to commercial pressures. The two of them met when their respective bands were on tour and they immediately recognized that they had a musical connection. That connection manifested itself in the album Monolith Of Phobos (a title inspired by Arthur Clarke's works), released in 2016. This week we check out Breath Of A Salesman, a song about people you really have no desire to hang out with showing up at your door anyway.
Title: The Years/Everything's Alright/The Children
Source: British import CD: Resurrection
Writer(s): Tom Hartman
Year: Recorded 1969, released 2003
It's probably safe to say that at least some of the members of the St. Louis band, the Aerovons, loved the Beatles. After all, when pianist/guitarist Tom Hartman, guitarist Bob "Ferd" Frank, drummer Mike Lombardo and bassist Bill Lombardo received an offer from Capitol Records to record for the label in 1967, their response was to inform the label they wanted to do it at London's EMI Studios on Abbey Road. After a pair of trips to the UK in 1968, they got their wish (although Frank left the group prior to recording) and, utilizing the same production facilities and personnel as their idols, the Aerovons set about recording over an album's worth of material. As was the common practice at the time in the UK, the Aerovons released a non-album single ahead of the album in July of 1969. But before the album itself could be released, personal problems involving the family of one of the band members resulted in the dissolution of the Aerovons and only two of the songs on the projected LP ended up being released, as a single in September of 1969. The rest of the album, including the three-song sequence of The Years, Everything's Alright and The Children that was to finish out the LP's second side, remained unreleased until 2003, when the British RPM label released all of the band's material (including the non-album single) on CD under the title Resurrection.
Title: Revolution 1
Source: CD: The Beatles
Label: Parlophone (original US label: Apple)
The Beatles' Revolution has a somewhat convoluted history. The song, as originally recorded, was over eight minutes long and included what eventually became Revolution 1 and part of Revolution 9. The song's writer, John Lennon, at some point decided to separate the sections into two distinct tracks, both of which ended up on the Beatles self-titled double LP (aka the White Album). Lennon wanted to release Revolution 1 as a single, but was voted down by both George Harrison and Paul McCartney on the grounds that the song's tempo was too slow. Lennon then came up with a faster version of the song, which ended up being released a few weeks before the album came out as the B side to the band's 1968 single Hey Jude. As a result, many of the band's fans erroneously assumed that Revolution 1 was the newer version of the song.
Artist: Fifty Foot Hose
Source: LP: Cauldron
Writer(s): David Blossom
Although Fifty Foot Hose was not a commercial success in 1968, they are now highly regarded as pioneers of electronic music. The group's core members were the husband and wife team of David and Nancy Blossom (on guitar and vocals respectively) and Cork Marcheschi, who provided various electronic effects. Marcheschi actually created the devices he used with the group, being as much an inventor/engineer as a musician (perhaps even more). David Blossom, on the other hand, was the band's primary songwriter, creating pieces such as Fantasy, which at over ten minutes was the longest track on the group's only album, Cauldron.
Title: Fresh Garbage
Source: CD: Spirit
Writer(s): Jay Ferguson
Much of the material on the first Spirit album was composed by vocalist Jay Ferguson while the band was living in a big house in California's Topanga Canyon outside of Los Angeles. During their stay there was a garbage strike, which became the inspiration for the album's opening track, Fresh Garbage. The song starts off as a fairly hard rocker and suddenly breaks into a section that is pure jazz, showcasing the group's instrumental talents, before returning to the main theme to finish out the track.The group used a similar formula on about half the tracks on the LP, giving the album and the band a distinctive sound right out of the box.
Title: I'm So Glad (live version)
Source: CD: Goodbye Cream
Writer(s): Skip James
Label: Polydor (original label: Atco)
Just before the third Cream album, Wheels Of Fire, was released, word got out that Cream would be disbanding following a 1968 tour to promote the album. Before embarking on that tour, however, the band made three studio recordings, each written by a different member of the band. The following year it was decided to put those three songs on a final Cream LP, but there was the obvious problem that three songs are hardly an album's worth of material. The solution was to follow the pattern set by Wheels Of Fire by making the album half studio and half live. The thing is, three songs not only do not make an entire album (unless they are Grateful Dead length songs), they don't even make one full side of an album. Thus, the album ended up being made up primarily of live versions of songs from their earlier albums. The opening track of Goodbye Cream was their longtime opening number, a cover of Skip James' blues classic I'm So Glad, which has, over the years, become thoroughly identified as a Cream song, despite its origins.
This week's show starts and ends in 1973. In between we have a 1970 set and a set of songs that alternate between the two years adjacent to 1970. That's got to count as some sort of balance, right?
Artist: Steeleye Span
Title: The Wee Wee Man
Source: LP: Parcel Of Rogues
Writer(s): Traditional, arr. Steeleye Span
Steeleye Span's most popular album, 1973's Parcel Of Rogues, grew out of a theatrical adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped, staged in Edinburgh in late 1972. While doing research for the play, the band unearthed several works of 18th century Scottish poetry that they adapted for the album. Among the more notable works is The Wee Wee Man, which tells the story of a small, yet immensely strong man who takes the narrator to a faerie castle, only to have it disappear at the end of the song.
Title: Dear Father
Source: CD: Yesterdays (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Yes's original lineup of Jon Anderson (vocals), Peter Banks (guitar), Bill Bruford (drums), Tony Kaye (keyboards) and Chris Squire (bass) released two albums and several singles before Banks left the band in 1970, subsequently forming his own band, Flash. Most of the single tracks were taken from the two LPs, with the B side of the fourth single, Dear Father, being the lone exception. None of these records, which were released only in the UK, sold well, making Dear Father extremely rare and difficult to find outside of the Netherlands, where the song was reissued as the B side of a different single in 1972. Once Yes became a more successful band after the addition of guitarist Steve Howe, they released an LP made up of earlier material called Yesterdays that included Dear Father as the album's final track.
Title: Lucky In the Morning
Source: CD: Bloodrock 2
Writer(s): John Nitzinger
Label: One Way/Cema Special Products (original label: Capitol)
In the early 1970s the Dallas-Fort Worth area was known mostly as the home of guys with names like Landry and Staubach. For a short time in 1971, however, even their fame was rivalled by a band called Bloodrock, whose D.O.A., a first-person account of the aftermath of a plane crash as seen by one of the victims, is considered one of the goriest songs in rock history. Bloodrock rise to fame began when they signed on as the second band to be produced and managed by Terry Knight, touring as Grand Funk Railroad's opening act in 1970. Their first two LPs both came out in 1970, with D.O.A. being released in edited form as a single in early 1971. The opening track of Bloodrock 2 was a tune called Lucky In The Morning, written for the band by a local guitarist named John Nitzinger. Nitzenger wrote several songs for Bloodrock over the course of four LPs and eventually released a couple albums of his own as well. As an aside, Lucky In The Morning is actually a bit of an oxymoron, due to a phenomena known as "morning breath".
Artist: Fleetwood Mac
Title: Tell Me All The Things You Do
Source: LP: Kiln House
Writer(s): Danny Kirwan
Kiln House, as the first Fleetwood Mac album to not include the band's founder, Peter Green, marks the beginning of the group's transition to the soft-rock sound that would make them one of the most popular bands of the 1980s. Nowhere is that more evident than on Danny Kirwan's Tell Me All The Things You Do, which got considerable airplay on FM rock stations in the US in the early 1970s.
Artist: Procol Harum
Title: Whisky Train
Source: LP: The Best Of Procol Harum (originally released on LP: Home and as 45 RPM single)
By 1970, Procol Harum was being pulled in two very different musical directions at once: the semi-classical progressive musings of Gary Brooker and Keith Reid that had always defined the band's style, and the more hard rock sound favored by guitarist Robin Trower, as heard on Whisky Train, from the 1970 LP Home. Ultimately this clash of musical ideas would lead to Trower's leaving the group for a successful solo career.
Artist: Deep Purple
Source: LP: Purple Passages (originally released on LP: Deep Purple)
Label: Warner Brothers (original label: Tetragrammaton)
The most ambitious track on the third Deep Purple album was a piece called April. The track, which runs over twelve minutes in length, is divided into three sections. The first is an instrumental featuring keyboardist Jon Lord and guitarist Richie Blackmore, the writers of the piece. This leads into an orchestral section featuring strings and woodwinds. The final section of April features the entire band, including vocalist Rod Evans, who would be leaving Deep Purple shortly after the album was released.
Title: Taunta (Sammy's Tune)/Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin)
Source: CD: The Best Of Mountain (originally released on LP: Nantucket Sleighride)
Mountain, formed in 1970, took its name from Leslie West's 1969 solo album, recorded after the guitarist shortened his name from Weinstein following the breakup of the Vagrants. Just as important to the band's sound, however, was Felix Pappalardi, sometimes known as the "fourth member" of Cream. Pappalardi had produced all but the first Cream album, and, along with his wife Janet Collins, helped write some of their best material, including Strange Brew, which opened the second Cream album, Disraeli Gears. As a member of Mountain, Pappalardi played keyboards and bass, as well as singing lead vocals on several of the band's most popular tunes, including Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin), the title track of Mountain's second LP. The song is based on the true story of the Essex, a whaling ship that was rammed and sunk by a sperm whale in 1820. Owen Coffin, a young seaman on the ship, was killed and eaten by his shipmates following the sinking. The term "Nantucket Sleighride" refers to the experience of being towed along in a boat by a harpooned whale. The song is preceded by a short instrumental piece called Taunta (Sammy's Tune), which was named after Pappalardi's pet poodle.
Artist: James Gang
Title: Introduction/Take A Look Around
Source: CD: Yer' Album
Writer(s): Joe Walsh
Label: MCA (original label: Bluesway)
Like the Big Bands of the 30s and 40s, the James Gang went through several lineup changes over the years. The one common element of the band was drummer/founder Dale Peters, who teamed with bassist Tom Kriss and vocalist/guitarist Joe Walsh for the group's recording debut in 1969. Unlike most band leaders, Peters was content to let other members such as Walsh take center stage, both as performers and songwriters. The result was a band that was able to rock as hard as any of their contemporaries with tracks like The Bomber and Funk #49, but that could also showcase Walsh's more melodic side with songs such as Take A Look Around. For some unknown reason, ABC Records decided to issue Yer Album on it's Bluesway subsidiary; it was the only rock album ever released on that label (subsequent James Gang albums were on the parent ABC label).
Title: Everybody's Everything
Source: Stereo 45 RPM single (promo)
Santana's third album, released in 1971, was called simply Santana. What's confusing is the fact that their first album was also called Santana. The guitar solo on Everybody's Everything, by the way, is not by Carlos Santana. Rather it was performed by the then 17-year-old Neal Schon, who, along with keyboardist Greg Rolie would leave the band the following year to form Journey.
Artist: Doobie Brothers
Title: Evil Woman
Source: CD: The Captain And Me
Writer(s): Patrick Simmons
Label: Warner Brothers
The Doobie Brothers, in their original incarnation, had two primary songwriters: Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons. As a general rule, Simmons's tunes tended to be a bit quieter than Johnston's, but there were exceptions. One of the most notable of these was Evil Woman, one of the hardest-rocking tunes in the entire Doobie Brothers catalog. The song was featured on the band's third LP, The Captain And Me, released in 1973.
Sunday, September 22, 2019
This week we bring back an old rivalry between fans of the Beatles and fans of the Rolling Stones in a six-song set that alternates between the two bands. Also on tap: a Jefferson Airplane set, Procol Harum's longest track, and lots of cool tunes from 1966-68.
Artist: Simon And Garfunkel
Title: A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert MacNamara'd Into Submission)
Source: LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
Writer(s): Paul Simon
Paul Simon's sense of humor is on full display on A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert MacNamara'd Into Submission). The song first appeared, with slightly different lyrics on Simon's 1965 LP The Paul Simon Songbook, which was released only in the UK after Simon and Garfunkel had split following the disappointing sales of their first Columbia LP, Wednesday Morning 3AM. When the duo got back together following the surprise success of an electrified version of The Sound Of Silence, the re-recorded the tune, releasing it on their third Columbia LP, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. The song is a deliberate parody/tribute to Bob Dylan, written in a style similar to It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), and is full of sly references to various well-known personages of the time as well as lesser-known acquaintances of Simon himself.
Artist: Harbinger Complex
Title: I Think I'm Down
Source: British import CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Big Beat (original label: Brent)
Most garage/club bands never made it beyond a single or two for a relatively small independent label. Freemont, California's Harbinger Complex is a good example. The group was one of many that were signed by Bob Shad, owner of Mainstream Records and its various subsidiaries such as Time and Brent. The band had already released one single on the independent Amber label and were recording at Golden State Recorders in San Francisco when they were discovered by Shad, who signed them to Brent. The band's first single for the label was the British-influenced I Think I'm Down, which came out in 1966 and was included on Mainstream's 1967 showcase album With Love-A Pot Of Flowers.
Title: She'll Return It
Source: Simulated stereo LP: Animalization
As a general rule the Animals, in their original incarnation, recorded two kinds of songs: hit singles from professional songwriters such as Gerry Goffin and Carole King, and covers of blues and R&B tunes, the more obscure the better. What they did not record a lot of was original tunes from the band members themselves. This began to change in 1966 when the band began to experience a series of personnel changes that would ultimately lead to what amounted to an entirely new group, Eric Burdon And The Animals, in 1967. One of the earliest songs to be credited to the entire band was She'll Return It, released as the B side of See See Rider in August of 1966 and included on the Animalization album. In retrospect, it is one of the strongest tracks on one of their strongest LPs.
Artist: Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Title: Prelude-Nightmare/Fire Poem/Fire
Source: British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown)
Label: Polydor (original label: Atlantic)
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown was unusual for their time in that they were much more theatrical than most of their contemporaries, who were generally more into audio experimentation than visual. I have a video of Fire being performed (or maybe just lip-synched). In it, all the members are wearing some sort of mask, and Brown himself is wearing special headgear that was literally on fire. There is no doubt that The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown sowed the seeds of what was to become the glitter-rock movement in the early to mid 70s. This week we have the uncut stereo version of Fire along with Prelude-Nightmare and Fire Poem that precede it on the original album.
Title: Laughing Stock
Source: CD: Forever Changes (bonus track) (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): Arthur Lee
The last record by the classic Love lineup was a single released in June of 1968. While Your Mind And We Belong Together is one of the band's most overlooked and underrated tracks, the B side of that single comes across as a sardonic epitaph for the group, with it's intro reminiscent of one of their best tunes, Alone Again Or and sly references to their first hit, My Little Red Book. Lee would soon fire the entire band, reemerging with an entirely new lineup the following year, but he was never able to duplicate the magic of the original Love.
Artist: Max Frost And The Troopers (aka the 13th Power)
Title: Shine It On
Source: CD: Shape Of Things To Come
Writer(s): Paul Wibier
Label: Captain High (original label: Tower)
Say what you will about Paul Wibier, he did know how to write a decent tune. Unfortunately, nobody knew who Paul Wibier was when he was actually writing and performing those songs. That's because he worked mostly with Mike Curb, who provided soundtracks for B movies performed by mostly anonymous musicians, Wibier being among the most anonymous. The best example of this is Max Frost And The Troopers, a name attached to a fictional band from a film called Wild In The Streets. Behind the scenes, Wibier provided the vocals for the soundtrack's songs, and when one of them, Shape Of Things To Come, became a legitimate hit record in 1968, Wibier ended up writing and singing on a whole album's worth of tunes by Max Frost And The Troopers, including Shine It One. The album, like the hit single, was called Shape Of Things To Come, which is not to be confused with the Wild In The Streets soundtrack LP, which contained some of the same songs, as well as several other tunes performed by various other artists. As to who the 13th Power actually was, the answer is...complicated. Some sources cite them as a real band, while others think that 13th Power was just a name used by Wibier when the actual backing band was Davie Allan And The Arrows, an instrumental group that Curb often used on soundtracks for teensploitation flicks.
Artist: Steve Miller Band
Title: Key To The Highway
Source: Czech Republic import LP: Children Of The Future
Key To The Highway is one of those blues standards that seems to have been performed and/or recorded by just about everybody and his brother at some time or another. One version that is not as well known as, say, Eric Clapton's various versions is the extremely slowed-down take on the tune by the Steve Miller Band on their first LP, Children Of The Future. Miller's approach turns the song into a mood piece in the vein of Gershwin's Summertime while retaining a definite blues flavor throughout.
Artist: Johnny Winter
Title: I'm Not Sure
Source: LP: Second Winter
Writer(s): Johnny Winter
Johnny Winter had been performing for several years throughout the state of Texas before releasing his first full-length LP on the regional Sonobeat label in 1968. The album, which featured the trio of Winter on guitar, Tommy Shannon on bass and Uncle John Turner on drums, was strong enough for Imperial to pick up for national distribution, and soon led to Winter signing with Columbia records in 1969. After a strong debut album for the label, the group, which by then had added Johnny's brother Edgar on keyboards, went to work on a second album for the label. The band soon found itself with an unusual dilemma, however. They had recorded too much material for one LP, but not enough for a double album. Rather than sacrifice sound quality by making the grooves narrower, the band decided to issue a special "three-sided" LP, with the fourth side being nothing but shiny black vinyl with no grooves cut into it. The album, which is considered by many to be Winter's finest studio work, includes several original tunes such as I'm Not Sure, which features Johnny Winter on electric mandolin and Edgar on harpsichord; an unusual combination for a blues recording to be sure, but it works.
Artist: Procol Harum
Title: In Held Twas In I
Source: CD: Shine On Brightly
Although the idea of grouping songs together as "suites" was first tried by Jefferson Airplane on their 1967 album After Bathing At Baxter's, Procol Harum's 17-minute long In Held Twas In I, from their 1968 album Shine On Brightly, is usually cited as the first progressive rock suite. The title comes from the first word of each section of the piece that contains vocals (several sections are purely instrumental). The work contains some of the best early work from guitarist Robin Trower, who would leave the group a few years later for a solo career. Shine On Brightly was the last Procol Harum album to include organist Matthew Fisher, who came up with the famous opening riff for the group's first hit, A Whiter Shade Of Pale.
Artist: Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title: Incense And Peppermints
Source: 45 RPM single
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: Ringo Starr
Title: Early 1970
Source: Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s): Richard Starkey
The first gold record by an ex-Beatle did not come from John Lennon or Paul McCartney, as one would expect. Rather it was drummer Ringo Starr, who topped the charts in 1971 with It Don't Come Easy (co-written by an uncredited George Harrison). The B side of that single, Early 1970, is a thinly disguised message to Ringo's former bandmates describing where things stood just after the breakup of the Beatles became public knowledge and expressing the hope that they could still play together from time to time.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: We Love You
Source: Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
The last Rolling Stones record to be produced by their longtime manager Andrew Loog Oldham, We Love You, released in August of 1967, was also the most elaborate and expensive single the band had ever recorded. Although some critics dismissed the song as an attempt to outdo the Beatles' All You Need Is Love, this view is inconsistent with the fact that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, who wrote We Love You, were part of the background crowd appearing with the Beatles on the worldwide premier of All You Need Is Love; furthermore, John Lennon and Paul McCartney sing background vocals on We Love You, which the Stones maintain was meant as more of a sequel to the Beatles tune rather than a competitor. The recording itself opens with the sound of a jail cell door slamming shut, a reference to the recent drug bust that had earned Jagger and Richards disproportionate sentences in an attempt to "make an example" of the pair. This is followed by an ominous sounding piano riff from famed session man Nicky Hopkins that is quickly enhanced by a cacaphony of sound, including some of the creepiest sounding mellotron (played by Brian Jones) ever recorded. Of course, being a Rolling Stones record, the lyrics take a somewhat more cynical tone than the Beatles song, but against the chaotic music track those lyrics work perfectly. We Love You was a top 10 single in the UK, but only made it to the #50 spot in the US as the B side of the song Dandelion.
Title: Strawberry Fields Forever
Source: LP: Magical Mystery Tour
The first song recorded for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, Strawberry Fields Forever was instead issued as a single (along with Penny Lane) a few months before the album came out. The song went into the top 10, but was not released on an album until December of 1967, when it was included on the US version of Magical Mystery Tour.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: She's A Rainbow
Source: Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
The Stones had their own brand of psychedelia, which was showcased on their 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request. The album itself, after zooming to the top of the charts, lost its momentum quickly, despite the fact that She's A Rainbow, which was released as a single, was a solid top 40 hit.
Title: Think For Yourself
Source: CD: Rubber Soul
Writer(s): George Harrison
By the end of 1965 George Harrison was writing an average of two songs per Beatles album. On Rubber Soul, however, one of his two songs was deleted from the US version of the album and appeared on 1966's Yesterday...And Today LP instead. The remaining Harrison song on Rubber Soul was Think For Yourself. Harrison later said that he was still developing his songwriting at this point and that bandmate John Lennon had helped write Think For Yourself.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Street Fighting Man
Source: CD: Beggar's Banquet
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
The Rolling Stones were at a low point in their career following their most psychedelic album, Their Satanic Majesties Request, which came out in late 1967. As a response to charges in the rock press that they were no longer relevant the Stones, working with producer Jimmy Miller, released Jumpin' Jack Flash as a single in early 1968, following it up with the Beggar's Banquet album later in the year. The new album included the band's first recording with Miller producing, Street Fighting Man, which as a followup single to Jumpin' Jack Flash went a long ways toward insuring that the Rolling Stones would be making music on their own terms for as long as they chose to.
Title: I Am The Walrus
Source: LP: Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles' psychedelic period hit its peak with the BBC-TV premier of the surrealistic telefilm Magical Mystery Tour and its subsequent release on vinyl in December of 1967. Musically speaking, the centerpiece of Magical Mystery Tour was John Lennon's I Am The Walrus, which was the final track on both the British EP and side one of the US LP. The second half (more or less) of the piece contains audio from a live BBC radio broadcast that was added during the mono mixing process. At that time, the Beatles were still doing their original mixes in monoraul (single-channel) sound, then doing a stereo mix almost as an afterthought. The addition of live audio into the original mono mix meant that they would be unable to reproduce the process in stereo. So, at the point the BBC audio comes in, the true stereo version of I Am The Walrus suddenly becomes a "fake stereo" recording using techniques such as phasing and panning to create a stereo effect out of the mono mix. It also sounds really strange on headphones, like your sinuses all of a sudden got clogged up.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: Embryonic Journey
Source: LP: The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane (originally released on LP: Surrealistic Pillow)
Writer(s): Jorma Kaukonen
Jorma Kaukonen originally considered Embryonic Journey to be little more than a practice exercise. Other members of Jefferson Airplane insisted he record it, however, and it has since come to be identified as a kind of signature song for the guitarist, who played the tune live when the band was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: White Rabbit
Source: CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Surrealistic Pillow)
Writer(s): Grace Slick
Label: Rhino (original label: RCA Victor)
The first time I heard White Rabbit was on Denver's first FM rock station, KLZ-FM. The station branded itself as having a top 100 (as opposed to local ratings leader KIMN's top 60), and prided itself on being the first station in town to play new releases and album tracks. It wasn't long before White Rabbit was officially released as a single, and went on to become a top 10 hit, the last for the Airplane.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: Good Shepherd
Source: LP: The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane (originally released on LP: Volunteers)
Writer(s): Trad., arr. Kaukonen
Jorma Kaukonen is given credit for arranging the traditional tune Good Shepherd for the fifth Jefferson Airplane album, Volunteers. The song is a good example of how much the group's sound had changed over a three year period, moving in several different directions at once.
Title: Love Me Two Times
Source: CD: Strange Days
Writer(s): The Doors
Although the second Doors album is sometimes dismissed as being full of tracks that didn't make the cut on the band's 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.
Title: House For Everyone
Source: CD: Heaven Is In Your Mind (aka Mr. Fantasy)
Writer(s): Dave Mason
Label: Island (original label: United Artists)
Although Traffic is now known mostly as a Steve Winwood band, many of their earliest songs were the creation of guitarist Dave Mason, whose songs tended to be a bit more psychedelic than Winwood's. One example is House For Everyone from the band's 1967 debut LP, which creatively uses tape edits to simulate a music box being wound up with short snippets of song sneaking through between turns of the key at the beginning of the track.
Artist: H.P. Lovecraft
Title: I've Been Wrong Before
Source: CD: H.P. Lovecraft
Writer(s): Randy Newman
Label: Collector's Choice/Universal Music Special Markets
Formed in Chicago in 1967 by former folk singer George Edwards and classically trained multi-instrumentalist Dave Michaels, H.P. Lovecraft specialized in a brand of psychedelia inspired by the works of the author whose name they bore. The band's greatest strength was their ability to create a mood through their music, regardless of whether it was on their original material or on the cover songs that made up the majority of their debut LP, released late in the year. One such cover song was I've Been Wrong Before, a Randy Newman tune that had been a British hit for singer Cilia Black the previous year. The song had also been covered by Dusty Springfield and the California garage band New Breed, but the Lovecraft version has a mystical quality that sets it apart from the other versions of the tune.
Artist: Pink Floyd
Title: Arnold Layne
Source: CD: Works (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Syd Barrett
Label: Capitol (original label: Tower)
Like most bands in the 60s, Pink Floyd made their vinyl debut with a 45 RPM single: in this case the song Arnold Layne. As was the case with all the band's 1967 singles, the song was written by original bandleader Syd Barrett. Arnold Layne went quickly into the UK top 20 but then hit a roadblock when it was banned by the BBC due to its subject matter (it's about a guy who steals women's garments off of clotheslines and then wears them himself). The song was eventually included on the album Relics and has been included on several other compilations over the years.
Title: Cuddly Toy/Words
Source: CD: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.
Label: Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Although the Monkees had returned to allowing studio musicians to provide the bulk of the instrumental tracks for the album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD., those tracks were now being recorded under the direct supervision of the Monkees themselves. Additionally, the Monkees were only recording songs that the Monkees themselves picked out. One of those songs was a tune written by Harry Nilsson (who had not yet achieved fame as a singer, songwriter and John Lennon's drinking partner) called Cuddly Toy. Reportedly Mike Nesmith heard a demo of the song and immediately wanted to record it. The group did, and on the LP let it overlap the next track, A Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart tune called Words that the Leaves had recorded for their Hey Joe album the previous year. It was only after the album was on the charts that the shirts at Colgems Records, Columbia Pictures and RCA Victor realized that the subject matter of Cuddly Toy was a gang bang, having been based on a real life incident at a Hell's Angels party that Nilsson had attended.
Title: Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Ed Cobb
Label: Rhino (original label: Tower)
If ever a song could be considered a garage-punk anthem, it's Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White, the follow-up single to the classic Dirty Water. Both songs were written by Standells' manager/producer Ed Cobb, the record industry's answer to Ed Wood.
One difference between Stuck in the Psychedelic Era and Rockin' in the Days of Confusion is the fact that, until 1968 or so, virtually all 45 RPM singles were available only in their monoraul versions. If a stereo version of a song even existed, it would be found only on a more expensive stereo LP or an even more expensive prerecorded reel to reel tape. By the early 1970s, however, most labels had switched over to stereo 45 RPM singles for their commercial releases, often including both stereo and mono versions on promo copies. Because this change was made one label at a time over a period of about five years, the playlists for Stuck in the Psychedelic have always indicated when a stereo 45 RPM single was used as a source, as it is the exception rather than the rule. Until now, this has also been the case with Rockin' in the Days of Confusion. Starting this week, however, the stereo 45s on the Rockin' playlists will be considered the default sources, and the rare mono sources will be noted as such.
Artist: Stephen Stills-Manassis
Title: Isn't It About Time
Source: 45 RPM single (promo) (taken from the LP: Down The Road)
Writer(s): Stephen Stills
The critics were not kind to the second (and last) Stephen Stills-Manassis album, Down The Road. The consensus seems to be that the album sounds like it was made for making money, as opposed to for artistic reasons. Personally, I don't know, since I've never had a copy of Down The Road (or known anyone with a copy, for that matter). I do, however, remember hearing the album' single, Isn't It About Time, on the radio and thinking it was a decent enough tune (although apparently not decent enough to inspire me to go out and buy the album). Somehow, though, I've managed to acquire a promo copy of the single, although, to be honest, I have no idea where it came from. Anyway, here it is. Enjoy.
Title: Peace Frog/Blue Sunday
Source: CD: Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine (originally released on LP: Morrison Hotel)
The Doors' Peace Frog, in a very basic sense, is actually two separate works of art. The track started off as an instrumental piece by guitarist Robbie Kreiger, recorded while the rest of the band was waiting for Jim Morrison to come up with lyrics for another piece. Not long after the track was recorded, producer Paul Rothchild ran across a poem of Morrison's called Abortion Stories and encouraged him to adapt it to the new instrumental tracks. Peace Frog, which appears on the album Morrison Hotel, leads directly into Blue Sunday, one of many poems/songs written by Morrison for Pamela Courson, his significant other since 1965.
Title: Dirty Love
Source: CD: Over-Nite Sensation
Writer(s): Frank Zappa
Label: Zappa (original label: Discreet)
After a series of experimental and jazz-oriented albums, Frank Zappa returned to rock with a pair of albums that defined the direction his music would take in the 1970s and beyond. The first, Over-Nite Sensation, was credited to the Mothers of Invention, and was released in 1973. The second was Apostrophe('), which, although recorded at the same time as Over-Nite Sensation, was released as a Frank Zappa solo album the following year. Both albums combine superb musicianship from the likes of George Clinton and Jean-Luc Ponty with Zappa's unique brand of satiric humor, and are among Zappa's most popular releases. One of the highlights of Over-Nite Sensation, Dirty Love, contains the repeated phrase "The poodle bites, the poodle chews it", which also shows up in a track from the Apostrophe(') album, albeit in a different form. In both cases the refrain is sung by the Ikettes, who were, at Ike Turner's insistence, excluded from the album's musician credits, although they did get paid for their work (but, again at Turner's insistence, at the minimum allowable wage rate).
Artist: Grand Funk Railroad
Title: Can You Do It
Source: 45 RPM promo single
By 1976 Grand Funk Railroad had pretty much been derailed. In the early 1970s they made a deliberate move away from their almost garage-rock sound in favor of tightly produced singles, but by the middle of the decade the singles market had moved toward a sound that was too light for a band like Grand Funk. In fact, the band had already broken up when they got a call from Frank Zappa expressing his desire to produce the band. The band reassembled for their 11th LP, Good Singin', Good Playin', which was released in 1976. The lead single from the album was an obscure Motown cover called Can You Do It that failed to chart. The album itself was, compared to the band's earlier albums, a commercial failure that peaked outside of the top 50 on the Billboard 200. Discouraged, the group once again disbanded, this time permanently.
Artist: Blue Cheer
Title: Peace Of Mind
Source: LP: New Improved Blue Cheer
Writer(s): Randy Holden
Following the release of the second Blue Cheer album, guitarist Leigh Stephens left the group with several unfullfilled stage commitments. To meet these obligations, the remaining band members brought in Randy Holden, formerly with a group called the Other Half, who, like Blue Cheer, had a reputation for being one of the loudest bands on the San Francisco music scene. At first, it seemed like a good fit, and in some ways a step forward for the band, as Holden was also a pretty decent songwriter, as can be heard on Peace Of Mind, from the band's third LP, New Improved Blue Cheer. Holden, however, abruptly left Blue Cheer midway though production of the album and only appears on side two of the original LP.
Artist: Ten Years After
Title: I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes/Extension On One Chord/I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes Medley
Source: CD: Undead (bonus track)
Year: Recorded 1968, released 2002
Although not a major hit in the US, the first Ten Years After album, released in 1967, was heard and liked by at least one highly influential person: Bill Graham, owner of the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. Graham was so impressed, in fact, that he invited the band to come play at his soon-to-be-opened Fillmore East in New York. The problem was that the band wanted to have a new record to promote when they made their US debut, and there wasn't enough time to record a proper studio LP (although attempts were made). Finally, in order to meet the deadline, it was decided that the band's second LP would be a live album, something generally not done by bands in 1968 (although it had been more common earlier in the decade). Not all of the live material was used on the new album, however. One notable track was a live extended version of the Blind Willie Johnson tune I Can't Keep From Crying Sometime. The reasons this track was not included on the Undead album probably were a combination of the track's length (17 minutes) and the fact that a studio version of the song had been included on the first Ten Years After LP (erroneously credited to Al Kooper, who had arranged the song for the 1966 album Projections by the Blues Project).
Artist: Love Sculpture
Title: The Stumble
Source: British import CD: Blues Helping
Label: EMI (original US label: Rare Earth)
Most people associate the name Dave Edmunds with his hit version of I Hear You Knockin' from the early 1970s. What many don't know, however, is that Edmunds was first and foremost a smokin' hot blues guitarist, as can be heard on the opening track of the first of two albums he recorded with bassist John Williams and drummer Congo Jones as Love Sculpture. Like most of the songs on Blues Helping, The Stumble is a cover of a blues classic, in this case written and originally recorded by Freddie King in 1961 and released as a single the following year.
Artist: Led Zeppelin
Title: Good Times Bad Times
Source: CD: Led Zeppelin
When I was a junior in high school I used to occasionally hang out at the teen club on Ramstein AFB in Germany. One evening I was completely blown away by a new record on the jukebox. It was Good Times Bad Times by a group called Led Zeppelin. Although the members of my band knew better than to attempt to cover the song, another neighborhood group did take a shot at it with somewhat disastrous results at a gig that our two groups split on New Year's Eve of 1969-70. As I had a personal vendetta going against their bass player, I didn't feel too bad about the fact that we basically blew them out of the water that night, but over time I have come to regret doing that to the rest of the band (well, actually they did it to themselves), particularly their lead guitarist, who was actually a really nice guy. Sorry Jeff.
Artist: King Crimson
Title: Cat Food
Source: LP: In The Wake Of Poseidon
Following the release of the 1969 album In The Court Of The Crimson King all the members of King Crimson except for guitarist Robert Fripp and lyricist Peter Sinfield left the band for various reasons. Most of them, however, including keyboardist Ian McDonald, drummer Michael Giles and lead vocalist Greg Lake, ended up contributing the the second Crimson LP, In The Wake Of Poseidon in the role of session musicians, along with Giles's brother Peter, who provided bass parts on the album. The most popular song on the album was Cat Food, which was released as a single in 1970 (and was the featured song on the band's only TV appearance until 1981).
Artist: J.J. Cale
Source: LP: Troubadour
Writer(s): J.J. Cale
Cocaine is one of Eric Clapton's best-known hits. This is the original J.J. Cale version of the song, from his 1976 album Troubadour.
Artist: Jethro Tull
Title: Teacher (original UK mix)
Source: CD: Benefit (bonus track)
Writer: Ian Anderson
LPs released by British Groups often had different song lineups in the US and the UK. One of the reasons for this is that British labels generally did not include songs that had been released as singles on LPs. In the US, however, running times were 5-10 minutes shorter per LP, and songs that had been included on British LPs would end up being dropped in favor of the latest hit single by the same artist. Jethro Tull, however, was generally an exception to this practice. Both of their first two LPs had exactly the same song lineup on both sides of the Atlantic. In fact, the only notable exception was the song Teacher, which was released as a single before the UK version of the group's third LP, Benefit. The US version of Benefit has a longer version of Teacher on it, replacing Just Trying To Be, which would not be issued in the US until the Living In The Past album. The 2001 CD issue of Benefit uses the original UK track listing, but includes the original single mix of Teacher as a bonus track.
Sunday, September 15, 2019
For this year's autumnal equinox we have 30 songs, by 30 different artists, just to keep things, um, equal. That includes our Advanced Psych segment, which pretty much stays in the garage this time around.
Artist: Music Machine
Title: Me, Myself And I
Source: CD: Beyond The Garage (originally released as 45 RPM single A side and included on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer: Sean Bonniwell
Label: Sundazed (original label: Warner Brothers)
With the members of the original Music Machine gone their separate ways, Sean Bonniwell recruited a whole new lineup to record and perform as the Bonniwell Music Machine. The new lineup included Guile Wisdom on lead guitar, Jerry Harris on drums, Harry Garfield on organ and Eddie Jones on bass. The new lineup provided a handful of tracks for the LP Bonniwell Music Machine in early 1968 and released three singles on Warner Brothers, none of which made any headway on the charts, despite being among Bonniwell's best songs. The first of the singles was Me, Myself And I, a song that Bonniwell himself described as "punk pop" and one that presaged the "me first" attitude that would characterize the disco era in the late 70s.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Child Of The Moon (rmk)
Source: CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
Child Of The Moon was originally released as the B side to the Stones' 1968 comeback single, Jumpin' Jack Flash. The song is now available as part of a box set called Singles Collection-The London Years. This track, which is in stereo, has the letters rmk (lower case) following the song title, which leads me to wonder if maybe it is a remake rather than the original recording. I do have a copy of the original 45, but its condition is such that I would rather not use it if I don't have to. As was the case with many of the Stones' 60s recordings, the band is joined by keyboardist Nicky Hopkins on this one.
Artist: Vanilla Fudge
Title: The Sky Cried/When I Was A Boy
Source: LP: Renaissance
The first Vanilla Fudge LP, released in 1967, was filled with psychedelicized versions of established hits such as Cher's Bang Bang, the Beatles' Eleanor Rigby and of course, the Supremes' You Keep Me Hangin' On. For their second LP the group went with a concept album built around Sonny and Cher's The Beat Goes On. The group's third LP, Renaissance, finally revealed the band members' abilities as songwriters (although there were still a pair of cover songs on the album). The opening track on the album, The Sky Cried/When I Was A Boy, was written by bassist Tim Bogert and organist/vocalist Mark Stein.
Artist: Left Banke
Title: Let Go Of You Girl
Source: LP: Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina
Following a practice that was all too common in 1966-1967, the producers of the Left Banke LP Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina chose to use studio musicians rather than the band itself to record the album's instrumental backing tracks. There were, however, two songs on the LP that featured the band members playing their own instruments. One of those tracks, Lazy Day, was also issued as the B side of the group's second single, Pretty Ballerina. The other was Let Go Of You Girl, a tune that is only available as an album cut.
Title: You Set The Scene
Source: Mono CD: Forever Changes
Writer: Arthur Lee
During the production of Forever Changes, vocalist/guitarist Arthur Lee became convinced that he was destined to die soon after the release of the album. Accordingly, he crafted lyrics that were meant to be his final words to the world. As the final track on the LP, You Set The Scene in particular reflected this viewpoint. As it turned out, Forever Changes was not Lee's swan song. It was, however, the last album to feature the lineup that had been the most popular band on Sunset Strip for the past two years. Subsequent Love albums would feature a whole new lineup backing Lee, and would have an entirely different sound as well. Ironically, Lee was still around at the dawn of the 21st century over 30 years later (dying of acute myeloid leukemia in 2006), outliving several of his old bandmates.
Title: Unhappy Girl
Source: CD: Strange Days
Writer(s): The Doors
After the success of their first album and the single Light My Fire in early 1967, the Doors quickly returned to the studio, releasing a second LP, Strange Days, later the same year. The first single released from the new album was People Are Strange. The B side of that single was Unhappy Girl, from the same album. Both sides got played on the jukebox at a neighborhood gasthaus known as the Woog in the village of Meisenbach near Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.
Title: Come On
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in Australia as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Peter Hood
Label: Rhino (original label: Sunshine)
One of Australia's most popular and prolific bands, the Atlantics were formed in 1961 as a surf band. By 1964 they were also recording songs with vocals, usually backing up singer Johnny Rebb. Additionally, they released a handful of records with their own vocals provided by guitarist Jim Addams and/or drummer Peter Hood. Among those singles was Come On, a 1967 track written by Hood.
Title: For Pete's Sake
Source: CD: Headquarters
Label: Rhino (original label: Colgems)
It didn't come as a surprise to anyone who knew him that first member of the Monkees to depart the band was Peter Tork. Of all the members of the "pre-fab four" Tork was the most serious about making the group into a real band, and was the most frustrated when things didn't work out that way. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Tork had been a part of the Greenwich Village scene since the early 60s, where he became close friends with Stephen Stills. Both Tork and Stills had relocated to the west coast when Stills auditioned for the Monkees and was asked if he had a "better looking" musician friend that might be interested in the part. Although Tork was, by all accounts, the best guitarist in the Monkees, he found himself cast as the "lovable dummy" bass player on the TV show and had a difficult time being taken seriously as a musician because of that. During the brief period in 1967 when the members of the band did play their own instruments on their recordings, Tork could be heard on guitar, bass, banjo, harpsichord and other keyboard instruments. He also co-wrote For Pete's Sake, a song on the Headquarters album that became the closing theme for the TV show during its second and final season. Until his passing in February of 2019 Tork was involved with a variety of projects, including an occasional Monkees reunion.
Title: (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s): Roy Wood
The most successful British band of the psychedelic era not to have a US hit was the Move, a band that featured Roy Wood and (later) Jeff Lynne, among other notables. The band was already well established in the UK by 1967, when their single Flowers In The Rain was picked to be the first record played on the new BBC Radio One. The B side of that record was the equally-catchy (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree. Both songs were written by Wood, although he only sang lead vocals on the B side.
Title: I Am The Walrus
Source: CD: Magical Mystery Tour
Label: Apple/Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
I once ranked over 5000 recordings from the 1920s through the 1990s based on how many times I could listen to each track without getting sick of hearing it. My original intention was to continue the project until I had ranked every recording in my collection, but after about ten years of near-continuous listening to 90-minute cassette tapes that I would update weekly I finally decided that I needed a break, and never went back to it. As a result, many of my favorite recordings (especially album tracks) never got ranked. Of those that did, every song on the top 10 was from the years 1966-69, with the top five all being from 1967. Although I never returned to the project itself, the results I did get convinced me that I was indeed stuck in the psychedelic era, and within five years I had created a radio show inspired by the project. Not surprisingly, the number one recording on my list was I Am The Walrus, a track from the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour that is often considered the apex of British psychedelia.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Rock Me, Baby
Source: LP: Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival
Despite having recorded and released over a dozen original songs in Europe and the UK prior to their US debut at the Monterey International Pop Festival, the Jimi Hendrix Experience chose to fill their set with more cover songs than originals at the festival itself. Of the five cover songs, two were high-energy reworkings of blues classics such as B.B. King's Rock Me, Baby. Hendrix would eventually rework this arrangement into an entirely original song with new lyrics.
Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: Get Me To The World On Time
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released on LP: The Electric Prunes and as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Reprise)
With I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) climbing the charts in early 1967, the Electric Prunes turned to songwriter Annette Tucker for several more tracks to include on their debut LP. One of those, Get Me To The World On Time (co-written by lyricist Jill Jones) was selected to be the follow up single to Dream. Although not as big a hit, the song still did respectably on the charts (and was actually the first Electric Prunes song I ever heard on FM radio).
Title: Why Did You Hurt Me
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Why Did You Hurt Me is a bit of a musical oddity. The song, which was released B side of their second single, Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White, starts off as a growling three-chord bit of classic garage rock, but then goes into a bridge that sounds more like flower pop, with flowing melodic harmonies. This leads into a short transitional section that has little in common with what had come before and finally (somewhat awkwardly) segues back into the three chord main section to finish the song. The important thing, however, is that the piece was written by band members Dick Dodd and Tony Valentine, thus generating royalties for the two.
Title: Over Under Sideways Down
Source: Simulated stereo Australian import CD: Over, Under, Sideways, Down (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Raven (original US label: Epic)
The only Yardbirds album to feature primarily original material was released under different titles in different parts of the world. The original UK version was called simply The Yardbirds, while the US album bore the title Over, Under, Sideways, Down. In addition, the UK album was unofficially known as Roger the Engineer because of band member Chris Dreja's drawing of the band's recording engineer on the cover. The title cut was the last single to feature Jeff Beck as the band's sole lead guitarist (the follow-up single, Happenings Ten Years Time Ago, featured both Beck and Jimmy Page).
Title: Friday On My Mind
Source: Mono CD: Battle Of The Bands-Vol. Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Era (original label: United Artists)
Considered by many to be the "greatest Australian song" ever recorded, the Easybeats' Friday On My Mind, released in late 1966, certainly was the first (and for many years only) major international hit by a band from the island continent. Technically, however, Friday On My Mind is not an Australian song at all, since it was recorded after the band had relocated to London. The group continued to release records for the next year or two, but were never able to duplicate the success of Friday On My Mind. Ultimately vocalist Stevie Wright returned to Australia, where he had a successful solo career. Guitarists Harry Vanda and George Young, who had written Friday On My Mind, also returned home to form a band called Flash And The Pan in the early 1970s. Later in the decade Young would help launch the careers of his two younger brothers, Angus and Malcolm, in their own band, AC/DC.
Artist: Kaleidoscope (UK band)
Source: British import CD: Further Reflection (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Grapefruit (original label: Fontana)
Although generally thought of as a psychedelic band, Kaleidoscope was, according to its own members, a British pop band that happened to do all of its studio work during Britain's relatively short-lived psychedelic era. A listen to the group's final single for the Fontana label, 1969's Balloon, makes this obvious. Formed in 1964 as the Sidekicks, the group was originally a beat band that supplemented the usual R&B covers with originals from Peter Daltry and Eddie Pumer. As the beat fad waned, they changed their name first to the Key, and then Kaleidoscope when they signed to Fontana in 1967. Following the release of Balloon they became Fairfield Parlour and took on a more progressive sound.
Artist: Strawberry Zots
Title: Keep Me Hangin'
Source: LP: Cars, Flowers, Telephones
Writer(s): Mark Andrews
Albuquerque's Strawberry Zots were led by Mark Andrews, who either wrote or co-wrote all of the band's original material. Their only LP, Cars, Flowers, Telephones, was released locally on the StreetSound label and reissued on CD the following year by RCA records.
Artist: Chesterfield Kings
Title: Selfish Little Girl
Source: LP: Don't Open Til Doomsday
Formed in the late 1970s in Rochester, NY, the Chesterfield Kings (named for an old brand of unfiltered cigarettes that my grandfather used to smoke) were instrumental in setting off the garage band revival of the 1980s. Their earliest records were basically a recreation of the mid-60s garage sound, although by the time their 1987 album, Don't Open Til Doomsday, was released they had gone through some personnel changes that resulted in more commercial-sounding tunes such as Selfish Little Girl, which opens the LP.
Artist: Ace Of Cups
Source: LP: Ace Of Cups
Writer(s): Denise Kaufman
Label: High Moon
Ace Of Cups drummer Diane Vitalich was the only member of the band not to sing any lead vocals during the band's original late-1960s run. On their 2018 debut album, however, Vitalich finally got her turn on Circles, a song that had written by fellow band member Denise Kaufman when she was 19 and had been part of the band's 60s repertoire. The track also features guest Barry Melton (Country Joe & The Fish) on lead guitar.
Artist: Mamas And The Papas
Title: California Dreamin'
Source: LP: If You Believe Your Eyes And Ears (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): John and Michelle Phillips
California Dreamin' was written in 1963 by John and Michelle Phillips, who were living in New York City at the time. The two of them were members of a folk group called the New Journeymen that would eventually become The Mamas And The Papas. Phillips initially gave the song to his friend Barry McGuire to record, but McGuire's version failed to chart. Not long after that McGuire introduced Philips to Lou Adler, president of Dunhill Records who quickly signed The Mamas And The Papas to a recording contract. Using the same instrumental backing track (provided by various Los Angeles studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew), The Mamas And The Papas recorded new vocals for California Dreamin', releasing it as a single in late 1965. The song took a while to catch on, but eventually peaked in the top five nationally, beginning a string of hits for the quartet.
Artist: Blues Magoos
Title: She's Coming Home
Source: CD: Kaleidoscopic Compendium (originally released on LP: Psychedelic Lollipop)
Generally speaking, cheatin' songs in 1966 were considered the province of country music. The few exceptions, such as Paul Revere and the Raiders' Steppin' Out, were all told from the victim's point of view. The Blues Magoos, however, turned the entire thing upside down with She's Coming Home, a song about having to break up with one's new girlfriend in the face of the old one returning from...(prison, military duty? The lyrics never make that clear). The unusual nature of the song is in keeping with the cutting edge image of a band that was among the first to use the word psychedelic in an album title and almost certainly was the first to wear electric suits onstage.
Title: Guide For The Married Man
Source: Mono CD: All The Singles (originally released on LP: Happy Together and as 45 RPM single)
Label: Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
For a short time in the spring of 1967 the Turtles were the hottest band in the country. Happy Together had just pushed the Beatles' Penny Lane off the top of the charts and they were busy recording songs for their third LP, also titled Happy Together. They were so popular, in fact, that they were asked to perform the title track for Walter Matthau's latest film, A Guide For The Married Man. The song was recorded in time to be included on the Happy Together LP and ended up being the third single released from the album. The song, however, stiffed and was quickly withdrawn from circulation. Luckily the next Turtles single, She's My Girl, did much better.
Artist: Moby Grape
Source: LP: Grape Jam
Writer(s): Bob Mosley
For their second album, Moby Grape decided to do something different. In addition to the LP Wow, there was a second disc called Grape Jam included at no extra charge. For the most part Grape Jam is exactly what you'd expect: a collection of after-hours jam sessions with guest guitarist/keyboardist Michael Bloomfield. The opening track of Grape Jam, however, is actually a composition by Bob Mosley. The song features Mosley on bass and vocals, Jerry Miller and Skip Spence and guitars and Don Stevenson on drums, all of whom were actual members of Moby Grape.
Title: Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)
Source: European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Candles In The Rain)
Writer(s): Melanie Safka
Label: Sony Music (original label Buddah)
When it comes to songs inspired by the Woodstock festival, the most famous is, by far, Joni Mitchell's Woodstock, which became a huge hit for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in 1970. The thing about that song, however, is that Mitchell herself was not actually at the festival, having famously been advised by her manager to appear on the Dick Cavett show instead. The most famous Woodstock song written (and sung) by someone who was actually there, was Melanie's Lay Down (Candles In The Rain), which was also a huge hit in 1970. New York born Melanie Safka was still virtually unknown in the US when she became one of three female solo artists to appear at Woodstock, although she did have a strong following in Europe thanks to the success of Bobo's Party and Beautiful People, the latter of which she performed on the Woodstock stage. Whereas Mitchell's Woodstock was a description of the festival itself, Lay Down (Candles In The Wind) is more about the spirit of both the crowd and many of the performers, focusing particularly on Melanie's own performance and the crowd reaction to it. The recorded song, from the album Candles In The Rain, was a collaboration between Melanie and the Edwin Hawkins Singers, who's Oh, Happy Day was a top five single in the months leading up to the Woodstock festival.
Artist: Simon And Garfunkel
Title: Song For The Asking
Source: LP: Bridge Over Troubled Water
Writer(s): Paul Simon
As the final track on the last Simon And Garfunkel album, Song For The Asking serves as a kind of coda for the duo's career together, coupled with a promise to keep the door open for future collaborations. It was deliberately sequenced to follow their energetic live rendition of the Everly Brothers' Bye Bye Love to close out the 1970 LP Bridge Over Troubled Water.
Title: Empty Pages
Source: CD: Smiling Phases (originally released on LP: John Barleycorn Must Die)
Traffic was formed in 1967 by Steve Winwood, after ending his association with the Spencer Davis Group. The original group, also featuring Dave Mason, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood, put out two and a half albums' worth of studio material before disbanding in early 1969. A successful live album, Welcome to the Canteen, prompted the band to reform (without Mason), releasing the album John Barleycorn Must Die in 1970. Although Empty Pages was released as a single, it got most of its airplay on progressive FM rock stations, and as those stations were replaced by (or became) album-oriented rock (AOR) stations, the song continued to get extensive airplay for many years.
Artist: Mojo Men
Title: She's My Baby
Source: Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original labels: Autumn/Reprise)
Although generally considered to be one of the early San Francisco bands, the Mojo Men actually originated in Rochester, NY. After spending most of the early 60s in Florida playing to fraternities, the band moved out the West Coast in 1965, soon falling in with Autumn Records producer Sylvester Stewart (Sly Stone), for a time becoming his backup band. Stewart produced several singles for the Mojo Men, including She's My Baby, a song that had originally been recorded in 1962 as a song to do the mashed potato (an early 60s dance) to by Steve Alaimo, brother of Mojo Men bassist/lead vocalist Jim Alaimo and co-host (with Paul Revere and the Raiders) of the nationally distributed dance show Where The Action Is. The Mojo Men version of She's My Baby has more of a blues/garage-rock sound than the Steve Alaimo original, prompting its inclusion on several compilation albums over the past forty years. The original single, released in 1965 on the Autumn label, had different vocals than the 1966 Reprise reissue heard here, although both use the same instrumental backing track.
Title: Why (RCA Studios version)
Source: CD: Fifth Dimension (bonus track)
Year: Recorded 1965, released 1996
One of the highlights of the Byrds' Younger Than Yesterday album, released in early 1967, was a song co-written by David Crosby and Jim (Roger) McGuinn called Why. Many of the band's fans already knew that a different version of the song had already been released as the B side of Eight Miles High the previous year. What was not as well-known, however, was that both songs had been first recorded at the RCA Studios in Burbank in December of 1965, but rejected by Columbia due to their being produced at studios owned by a hated competitor. Crosby has since said that he prefers the RCA recordings to the later ones made at Columbia's own studios, calling it "stronger...with a lot more flow to it".
Title: A Well Respected Man
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer: Ray Davies
Label: Eric (original label: Reprise)
Year: Released 1965, charted 1966
The Kinks were one of the original British Invasion bands, scoring huge R&B-influenced hits with You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night in 1964. The hits continued in 1965 with more melodic songs like Set Me Free and Tired Of Waiting For You. 1966 saw Ray Davies's songwriting take a satiric turn, as A Well Respected Man (actually released in late 1965) amply illustrates. Over the next few years the Kinks would continue to evolve, generally getting decent critical reviews and moderate record sales for their albums. The title of one of those later albums, Muswell Hillbillies, refers to the Davies brothers hometown of Muswell Hill, North London.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: White Rabbit
Source: 45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s): Grace Slick
For many the definitive song of the psychedelic era, White Rabbit, released as a single after getting extensive airplay on "underground" FM stations, was the second (and final) top 10 hit for the Airplane in the summer of '67. In 1987 RCA released a special stereo reissue of the single on white vinyl to accompany the 2400 Fulton Street box set.