Saturday, November 30, 2019

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1949 (starts 12/2/19)

    This week we have no less than four artists' sets, as well as an "Advanced Pop-Psych" segment featuring a pair of Australian bands (and one from the US). But before all that, we have a set from 1966 that starts in the garage...

Artist:    Shadows of Knight
Title:    Gloria
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Van Morrison
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    The original Them version of Van Morrison's Gloria found itself banned on the majority of US radio stations due to controversial lyrics. By changing one line (essentially substituting "around here" for "up to my room") the suburban Chicago punk-blues band Shadows of Knight turned it into a huge hit and a garage band standard.

Artist:    Love
Title:    You I'll Be Following
Source:    Mono CD: Love Story (originally released on LP: Love)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1966
    When the Byrds decided to tour heavily to support their early hits Mr. Tambourine Man and Turn! Turn! Turn!, Arthur Lee's band Love was more than happy to fill the void left on the L.A. club scene. The group quickly established itself as the top band on the strip and caught the attention of Elektra Records, an album-oriented label that had previously specialized in blues and folk music but was looking to move into rock. Love was soon signed to a contract with Elektra and released their self-titled debut LP in 1966. That album featured songs that were primarily in a folk-rock vein, such as You I'll Be Following, although even then there were signs that bandleader Arthur Lee was capable of writing quality tunes that defied easy classification. Love would remain the top band on the strip for the next year and a half, releasing two more albums before the original group dissolved. To maintain their status as local heroes, Love chose to stay close to home. The lack of time spent promoting their records ultimately led to them being supplanted as the star group for Elektra by the Doors, a band that had been recommended to the label by Lee himself.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    I'm Not Like Everybody Else
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1966
    One of the most popular songs in the Kinks' catalog, I'm Not Like Everybody Else was originally written for another British band, the Animals. When that group decided not to record the tune, the Kinks did their own version of the song, issuing it as the B side of the 1966 hit Sunny Afternoon. Although written by Ray Davies, it was sung by his brother Dave, who usually handled the lead vocals on only the songs he himself composed. Initially not available on any LPs, the song has in recent years shown up on various collections and as a bonus track on CD reissues of both the Kink Kontroversy and Face To Face albums. Both Davies brothers continue to perform the song in their live appearances.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet
Source:    CD: More Nuggets (originally released on LP: Psychedelic Lollipop)
Writer(s):    Gilbert/Scala/Esposito/Thielhelm
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1966
    The Blues Magoos (original spelling: Bloos) 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:    Donovan
Title:    Season Of The Witch
Source:    Mono LP: Sunshine Superman
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Epic/Sundazed
Year:    1966
    At nearly five minutes in length, Season Of The Witch is the longest track on Donovan's Sunshine Superman album, which at least in part explains why it was never released as a single. Nonetheless, the tune is among Donovan's best-known songs, and has been covered by an impressive array of artists, including Al Kooper and Stephen Stills (on the Super Session album) and Vanilla Fudge. Due to a contract dispute with Pye Records, the Sunshine Superman album was not released in the UK until 1967, and then only as an LP combining tracks from both the Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow albums.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I'm A Loser
Source:    CD: Beatles For Sale (released in US on LP: Beatles '65)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1964
    The Beatles had more radio-friendly songs that were never released as singles than any other band in history. I'm A Loser, from the 1964 album Beatles For Sale is a perfect example. In fact, the song was actually considered for single release in December of 1964, but then John wrote I Feel Fine, which was chosen instead. I'm A Loser is considered the first of Lennon's songs to be directly influenced by Bob Dylan, with lines like "I'm not what I appear to be" going beyond the basic love song formula that had taken the band to the top of the world's record charts. The song was performed live several times before being recorded, including an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Rocky Raccoon
Source:    CD: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Apple)
Year:    1968
            I had a friend in high school named Steve Head who was probably a better guitarist/vocalist than any of us realized. Part of the reason for the mystery was because he would only play one song in public: The Beatles' Rocky Raccoon, from the White Album. He nailed it, though.
Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I Don't Want To Spoil The Party
Source:    CD: Beatles For Sale (released in US on LP: Beatles VI)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    UK: 1964, US: 1965
    As early as 1964 the Beatles were starting to incorporate acoustic guitars into their music to supplement their basic electric sound. One example of this is I Don't Want To Spoil The Party from their LP Beatles For Sale. In the US the song appeared on the 1965 LP Beatles VI.

Artist:     Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:     Purple Haze
Source:     Simulated stereo British import LP: Smash Hits (originally released in the UK as a 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Jimi Hendrix
Label:     Polydor (original label:Track)
Year:     1967
     Purple Haze has one of the most convoluted release histories of any song ever recorded. Originally issued in the UK on the Track label and in Europe on the Polydor label as a single, it scored high on the British charts. When Reprise got the rights to release the first Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Are You Experienced, in the US, they chose to replace the first track on the album with Purple Haze, moving the original opening track, Foxy Lady, to side two of the LP. Purple Haze next appeared on the Smash Hits album, which was released pretty much everywhere. The song's next appearance was on a European double LP release on Polydor called The Singles, which collected all the tracks that had previously appeared on 7" vinyl anywhere, including posthumous releases. This was the way things stayed until the early 1990s, when MCA acquired the rights to the Hendrix catalog and re-issued Are You Experienced with the tracks restored to the UK ordering, but preceded by the six non-album sides (including Purple Haze) that had originally been released prior to the album. Most recently, the Hendrix Family Trust has again changed labels and the US version of Are You Experienced is once again in print, this time on Sony's Legacy label. This means that the song has now been released by all three currently existing major record conglomerates.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    House Burning Down
Source:    CD: Electric Ladyland
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    The third Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Electric Ladyland, was the first to be produced entirely by Hendrix himself, rather than with Chas Chandler (with more than a little help from engineer Eddie Kramer). It was also the first to use state-of-the-art eight-track recording technology (not to be confused with the later 8-track tape cartridge), as well as several new tech toys developed specifically for Hendrix to play with. The result was an album with production standards far beyond anything else being attempted at the time. One song that showcases Hendrix's prowess as a producer is House Burning Down. Using effects such as phasing, double-tracking and stereo panning, Hendrix manages to create music that sounds like it's actually swirling around the listener rather than coming from a specific location. It's also the only rock song I can think of that uses a genuine tango beat (in the verses).

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    Mono British import LP: Smash Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Billy Roberts
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1966
    The first track recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience was Hey Joe, a song that Hendrix had seen Tim Rose perform in Greenwich Village before relocating to London to form his new band. Hendrix's version is a bit heavier than Rose's and leaves off the first verse ("where you going with that money in your hand") entirely. The song itself was copyrighted in 1962 by California folk singer Billy Roberts and a much faster version by the Leaves had hit the US charts in early 1966.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Someone's Coming
Source:    CD: The Who Sell Out (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    John Entwhistle
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1967
    Some songs just get no respect. First released in 1967 in the UK as the B side of I Can See For Miles, John Alec Entwistle's Someone's Coming got left off the US release entirely. It wasn't until the release of the Magic Bus single (and subsequent LP) in 1968 that the tune appeared on US vinyl, and then, once again as a B side. The Magic Bus album, however, was never issued on CD in the US, although it has been available as a Canadian import for several years. Finally, in 1995 the song found a home on a US CD as a bonus track on The Who Sell Out.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Magic Bus
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Decca
Year:    1968
    While working on their landmark Tommy album, the Who continued to crank out singles throughout 1968. One of the most popular was Magic Bus, a song that remained in the band's live repertoire for many years. Like most of the Who's pre-Tommy singles, the song was not mixed in true stereo, although a fake stereo mix was created for the US-only LP Magic Bus-The Who On Tour. The original mono version of the song heard here is also shorter than the LP version, clocking in at slightly over three minutes.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hands
Source:    CD: The Who Sell Out
Writer:    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA
Year:    1967
    There are at least three versions of Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hands. A faster, electric version of the song was released only in the US as the B side to I Can See For Miles, while this latin flavored semi-acoustic version was included on The Who Sell Out. Yet another version is featured as a bonus track on the 1993 CD release of Sell Out.

Artist:    Rising Sons
Title:    Take A Giant Step
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on CD:The Rising Sons featuring Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder)
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1992
    Popular Los Angeles club band The Rising Sons were blessed with the talents of not one, but three musicians that would go on to become highly respected in the music business: vocalist Taj Mahal, guitarist Ry Cooder, and singer/songwriter Jesse Lee Kincaid. At the time, however, Columbia Records had no clue how to market an interracial country-blues/rock band. After an early single bombed the band attempted a more commercial sounding tune, the Gerry Goffin/ Carole King penned Take A Giant Step, but Columbia sat on it, as well as over an album's worth of other material. The song itself became well known when the Monkees released it as the B side of their debut single, Last Train To Clarksville. Taj Mahal, who liked the lyrics but not the fast tempo of the original version, re-recorded the song at a slower pace for his 1969 album Giant Step, making it one of his signature songs in the process.

Artist:    Circus Maximus
Title:    Oops I Can Dance
Source:    CD: Circus Maximus
Writer(s):    Jerry Jeff Walker
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Right from the start, the band Circus Maximus was being pulled in two musical directions by its co-founders, Bob Bruno and Jerry Jeff Walker. Although it was Bruno's song Wind that got the most airplay in 1967, it was Walker who went on to have a successful career as a singer/songwriter with songs like Mr. Bojangles. One of Walker's earliest songs was Oops I Can Dance from the first Circus Maximus album.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    Hold Me Tight
Source:    European import CD: Ten Years After (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Deram
Year:    1967
    Following the release of their debut LP in October of 1967, Ten Years After soon got to work on tracks for a followup album. After only a few tunes were recorded however, the band decided to scrap the studio idea entirely and instead record some live performances at a small London jazz club called Klooks Kleek in May of 1968, releasing them as an album called Undead three months later. One of the completed tracks, Hold Me Tight, was later released on an album called Alvin Lee And Company, a compilation LP issued in 1972 by Ten Years After's original label, Deram, following the band's decision to sign with rival Chrysalis Records (and Columbia in the US) in 1971.

Artist:    Jan And Dean
Title:    Dead Man's Curve
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Berry/Christian/Kornfeld/Wilson
Label:    Silver Spotlight (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1964
    As I talk about in a really long scholarly article elsewhere on the web site, one of the many contributing factors to the temporary democratization of the US popular music industry was the surf music craze of 1962 and '63, which morphed into the hot rod music craze of 1964 and '65. Although the style was created by instrumentalists such as Dick Dale and the Ventures, it was the vocal groups such as the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean that found the greatest commercial success with it. One of the biggest hits was the eerily predictive Dead Man's Curve, about a car wreck along a particularly nasty stretch of Sunset Blvd. in the vicinity of Beverly Hills. About two years after this song topped the charts, Jan Berry was involved in a near-fatal collision just a few blocks from the infamous curve; an accident he never fully recovered from.

Artist:    Tol-Puddle Martyrs
Title:    Social Cell 92007 version)
Source:    CD: Psych-Out USA
Writer(s):    Peter Rechter
Label:    Secret Deals
Year:    2007
    The Tol-Puddle Martyrs' Social Cell was originally released as a B side on the Pacific label, until the owner of the Pacific label was informed that there was already a Pacific label operating in Melbourne. At that time the label was hastily changed to Spiral, with the record having the same catalogue number. Forty years later, a reformed Tol-Puddle Martyrs cut a new version of the song for their Psych-Out USA album.

Artist:    A Cast Of Thousands
Title:    A Stake
Source:    The Fifth
Writer(s):    Beth Beer
Label:    Record
Year:    2017   
    Despite the implications of their name, A Cast Of Thousands is actually three people: Terry Cuddy (guitar), Beth Beer (bass) and Jim Andrews (drums). All are from Auburn, NY, where the band was formed in 2010. By the time they released their fifth album in 2017 (called, naturally, The Fifth), Beer was writing all of the band's material as well as handling lead vocals on songs like A Stake.
Artist:    King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard
Title:    Dirt
Source:    CD: Paper Mache Dream Balloon
Writer(s):    Joey Walker
Label:    ATO/Flightless
Year:    2015
    For years I have scoffed at people who use the phrase "I listen to all kinds of music", mainly because what they mean is "all kinds of pop music" or "all kinds of hip hop" or maybe "all kinds of country". Seldom have I run across anyone who actually listens to several genres of music. Even more rare are people who make "all kinds of music". While King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard does not make "all" kinds of music, they certainly cover a wider variety of styles than just about anybody currently recording. As an added bonus, they write all their own material. The seven-piece band from Australia was formed in 2011 by members of several other bands, and has managed to release 15 albums over a period of about eight years (including five in 2017 alone), despite a busy touring schedule that has included several trips to North America and Europe. Paper Mache Dream Balloon, released in 2015, shifted the emphasis to acoustic instrumentation, as can be heard on songs like Dirt, which, in all honesty, is difficult to describe.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Trouble
Source:    CD: Turn On The Music Machine
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Collectables (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    Sean Bonniwell had definite plans for the Music Machine's first album. His primary goal was to have all original material, with the exception of a slowed-down version of Hey Joe that he and fellow songwriter Tim Rose had been working on (and before you ask, both Rose and the Music Machine recorded it before Jimi Hendrix did). Unfortunately, the shirts at Original Sound Records did not take their own company name seriously and inserted four cover songs that the band had recorded for a local TV show. This was just the first in a series of bad decisions by the aforementioned shirts that led to a great band not getting the success it deserved. To hear Turn On The Music Machine the way Bonniwell intended it to be heard program your CD player to skip all the extra cover songs. Listened to that way, Trouble is restored to its rightful place as the second song on the disc (following Talk Talk) and a fairly decent album is transformed into a work that is equal to the best albums of 1966.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Talk Talk
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    The Music Machine was one of the most sophisticated bands to appear on the L.A. club scene in 1966, yet their only major hit, Talk Talk, was deceptively simple and straightforward punk-rock, and still holds up as two of the most intense minutes of rock music ever to crack the top 40 charts.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Double Yellow Line
Source:    Mono CD: Turn On The Music Machine (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Collectables (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1967
    Sean Bonniwell was an early champion of bands that played their own original material as opposed to covering the hits of the day. His own group, the Music Machine, deliberately played tight, segued sets of originals so that nobody in the crowd would have time to yell out "Cherish" or "Last Train to Clarksville" or whatever else was popular on local radio stations at the time. Imagine his chagrin when he learned that his record label, Original Sound (!), had substituted a set of cover tunes that the Music Machine had recorded for a TV show for four of Bonniwell's originals on the band's 1966 debut LP Turn On. One of the four songs to be cut was Double Yellow Line, a tune that appeared the following year as a single.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Everybody's Wrong
Source:    CD: Buffalo Springfield
Writer:    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    Buffalo Springfield is one of those rare cases of a band that actually sold more records after disbanding than while they were still an active group. This is due mostly to the fact that several members, including Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Richie Furay and Jim Messina, went on to greater success in the 1970s, either with new bands or as solo artists, sparking interest in their earlier work. In the early days of Buffalo Springfield Stephen Stills was the group's most successful songwriter. The band's only major hit, For What It's Worth, was a Stills composition that was originally released shortly after the group's debut LP, and was subsequently added to later pressings of the album. Another, earlier, Stills composition from that first album was Everybody's Wrong, a somewhat heavy piece of folk-rock.

Artist:    Small Faces
Title:    Itchycoo Park
Source:    CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Marriott/Lane
Label:    K-Tel (original label: Immediate)
Year:    1967
    Led by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane, the Small Faces got their name from the fact that all the members of the band were somewhat vertically challenged. The group was quite popular with the London mod crowd, and was sometimes referred to as the East End's answer to the Who. Although quite successful in the UK, the group only managed to score one hit in the US, the iconic Itchycoo Park, which was released in late 1967. Following the departure of Marriott the group shortened their name to Faces, and recruited a new lead vocalist named Rod Stewart. Needless to say, the new version of the band did much better in the US than their previous incarnation.

Artist:    West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:    Ritual #1
Source:    LP: Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil
Writer(s):    Markley/Ware
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    Technically, Volume III is actually the fourth album by the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. The first one was an early example of a practice that would become almost mandatory for a new band in the 1990s. The LP, titled Volume 1, was recorded at a home studio and issued independently by the Harris brothers on the tiny Fifa label. Many of the songs on that LP ended up being re-recorded for their major label debut, which they called Part One. That album was followed by Volume II, released in late 1967. The following year they released their final album for Reprise, which in addition to being called Volume III was subtitled A Child's Guide To Good And Evil. Included on that album were Ritual #1 and Ritual #2, neither of which sounds anything like the other.

Artist:    Tommy James And The Shondells
Title:    Crimson And Clover
Source:    LP: Crimson And Clover
Writer(s):    James/Lucia
Label:    Roulette
Year:    1968
    The original hit version of Tommy James And The Shondells' Crimson And Clover was a rough mix made to demo the song to Morris Levy at Roulette Records. A few days later James visited Chicago's WLS radio, at the time one of the most influential top 40 stations in the country, to do an interview and talk about the song. When he played the demo in the production room after the interview for station personnel, one of the engineers secretly taped it, and the station soon aired it as a "WLS world exclusive". The overwhelming positive response from listeners led to the demo being pressed and released as a single in December of 1968. Meanwhile, the band itself returned to the studio to create an expanded version of the song, which appeared on the album of the same name. Due to an error in the process, however, their is a slight change of speed midway though the song (between verses), that has been driving audiophiles crazy for over 50 years. A corrected version of the song was released on CD in 1991, but has long been out of print.

Artist:    Them
Title:    Just One Conception
Source:    British import CD: Time Out! Time In! For Them
Writer(s):    Them
Label:    Rev-Ola (original US lable:Tower)
Year:    1968
    Most of the songs on Time Out! Time In! For Them, the band's second album without founder Van Morrison, were written by the wife and husband team of Sharon Pulley and Tom Lane. There were, however, a couple of exceptions, including Just One Conception, which was credited to the band itself. The track, which opens with massive sitar, shows just how deep into the psychedelic pool the original Irish punk band had dived by 1968.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    Jazz Thing
Source:    Mono promo LP: Behold And See
Writer(s):    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    Although the second Ultimate Spinach album, Behold And See, is generally considered inferior to the group's debut effort, there are a few high points that are among the best tracks the band ever recorded. Perhaps the strongest piece on the album is Jazz Thing, which almost sounds like a Bob Bruno Circus Maximus tune.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Riders On The Storm
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1971
    The last major hit single for the Doors was also one of their best: Riders On The Storm. In fact, it still holds up as one of the finest singles ever released. By anyone.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1949 (starts 12/2/19)

    A lot of deep cuts this time around, starting with one from Geoff and Maria Muldaur and finishing up with a set of live recordings. In fact, the only single in the bunch is one of the live tracks: Procol Harum's 1972 rendition of Conquistador with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Artist:    Geoff And Maria Muldaur
Title:    New Orleans Hopscop Blues
Source:    LP: The Big Ball (originally released on LP: Pottery Pie)
Writer(s):    George Thomas
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Geoff And Maria Muldaur were both members of the legendary Jim Kweskin Jug Band. In fact, Geoff Muldaur was a founding member of the group. The two of them split off from the group to record their first album, Pottery Pie, in 1968. Although the entire album was made up of cover songs, the two of them put their own stamp on everything they did, including George Thomas's New Orleans Hopscop Blues. Following the release of Pottery Pie, the couple moved up to Woodstock, NY. They separated in 1972, right after Geoff joined Paul Butterfield's Better Days. Maria, of course, went on to a successful solo career, highlighted by her hit single, Midnight At The Oasis.

Artist:    Moody Blues
Title:    Send Me No Wine/To Share Our Love/So Deep Within You
Source:    CD: On The Threshold Of A Dream
Writer(s):    Lodge/Pinder
Label:    Deram
Year:    1969
    The Moody Blues scored their first #1 album in the UK with the 1969 release On The Threshold Of A Dream. The album was also their first to make the US top 20 albums chart. As was the case with their previous LP, In Search Of The Lost Chord, many of the songs on the album run as a continuous sequence, including Send Me No Wine/To Share Our Love/So Deep Within You, which finish out the album's first side. So Deep Within You was also released as the B side of the album's only single.

Artist:    Sons Of Champlain
Title:    1982-A
Source:    British import CD: Loosen Up Naturally/The Sons/Follow Your Heart (originally released on LP: Loosen Up Naturally)
Writer(s):    Steven Tollestrup
Label:    BGO (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1969
    Bill Champlin is probably best known as the lead guitarist for Chicago from 1981 to 2008 (more or less). Before and after that period, however, he fronted his own band, the Sons Of Champlin. Like Chicago, the Sons were distinguished by the presence of a horn section, a trend that was just getting underway in 1969. Unlike most other bands of their type, however, the Sons Of Champlin were a San Francisco band, and one of the more popular local acts of their time. They did not show much of an interest in touring outside the Bay Area, however, and as a result got limited national exposure. The first single from the first of two albums they recorded for the Capitol label was a tune called 1982-A. I really can't say what the title has to do with the lyrics of the song, but it is a catchy little number nonetheless.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Samba Pa Ti
Source:    LP: Abraxas
Writer(s):    Carlos Santana
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1970
    One of the most enduring tracks from Santana's second LP, Abraxas, Samba Pa Ti starts off as a slow instrumental, slowly picking up the pace and adding percussion to give it a decidedly latin flavor. As far as I know, Carlos Santana still includes Samba Pa Ti in his concert repertoire.

Artist:    Eric Clapton
Title:    Easy Now
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Eric Clapton
Label:    Atco
Year:    1970
    One of only two solo compositions on Eric Clapton's first solo album, Easy Now was also released as the B side of After Midnight in 1970 and again in 1972 as the B side of Let It Rain. The song, which features Clapton on vocals and acoustic guitar with no other instrumental accompaniment, is easily one of the artist's most underrated recordings.

Artist:    James Gang
Title:    Again
Source:    LP: Thirds
Writer(s):    Joe Walsh
Label:    ABC
Year:    1971
    The second side of the second James Gang album featured acoustic ballads written by guitarist/vocalist Joe Walsh, with minimal embellishments by bassist Dale Peters and drummer Jim Fox. This softer side of the power trio was even more evident on the band's next LP, Thirds. One of the best of these is Again. The piece starts off almost lethargically, but soon begins to pick up the pace, first with a nice descending acoustic guitar line and later with a faster instrumental section that, oddly enough, makes me think of America, a band that would not make their recording debut until 1973.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    For Ladies Only
Source:    LP: For Ladies Only
Writer(s):    Edmonton/Henry/Day/McJohn
Label:    Dunhill
Year:    1971
    The fifth Steppenwolf album, For Ladies Only, is probably best remembered for its gatefold cover, the center of which was a photo of a full-sized motor vehicle that looked like, well, a giant penis with European plates being pulled over by the cops on a city street. The title track, which opens the album, is a long (over nine minutes) piece with a pro-feminist message. Mixed messages? Maybe, or possibly (from a 1971 perspective) two sides of the same coin.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix/Band of Gypsys
Title:    Message To Love
Source:    LP: Band Of Gypsys
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1970
    In the mid-1960s Jimi Hendrix sat in on some recording sessions with his friend Curtis Knight, signing what he thought was a standard release contract at the time. It wasn't until Hendrix was an international star that the signing came back to haunt him in the form of a lawsuit by Capitol Records accusing him of breach of contract. The end result was that Hendrix ended up owing the label two albums, the first being an album called Get That Feeling that was made up of the material Hendrix had recorded with Knight. The second album was to be all new material, but at the time of the settlement in mid-1969 Hendrix had just disbanded the Experience and was experimenting around with different combinations of musicians before getting to work on his next studio project. Hendrix appeared at Woodstock with a number of these musicians, including his old Army buddy Billy Cox on bass. The two of them soon began to work up a live set with drummer Buddy Miles, who had made a guest appearance on the last Experience album, Electric Ladyland. The new three-piece group, calling itself Band Of Gypsys, played a two-night engagement at New York's Madison Square Garden over the New Year's holiday, using the best performances from both nights to compile a live album that was released by Capitol the following spring. Among the new songs that made their debut on Band Of Gypsys was Message To Love. The song is a fair indication of the direction that Hendrix's music was beginning to take.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Child In Time (live version)
Source:    CD: Made In Japan
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Rhino/Purple (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1972
    British and American rock bands had been popular in Japan throughout the 1960s, but as a general rule the bands tended not to capitalize on this popularity. One of the first to actively build on their Japanese success was Deep Purple, who recorded their highly successful live album Made In Japan there in August of 1972. The album featured electrifying performances of some of the band's most popular pieces, including Child Of Time, which had first appeared two years earlier on the album Deep Purple In Rock. Made In Japan continues to be one of the most popular live albums ever recorded, and was ranked the sixth best of all time in a 2012 readers' poll conducted by Rolling Stone magazine.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Conquistador (live)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    A&M
Year:    1972
    Although Conquistador was originally recorded for the first Procol Harum album in 1967, it was the 1972 live version with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra that became one of the band's biggest hits, second only to A Whiter Shade Of Pale.

Artist:    ZZ Top
Title:    Thunderbird
Source:    LP: Fandango
Writer(s):    Gibbons/Hill/Beard
Label:    London
Year:    1975
    Marketed as "The American Classic", Thunderbird wine has been around since Prohibition ended. It was created to be the lowest-priced wine available and was marketed to the poorest neighborhoods in the country. In the 1970s it became even more popular among high school students, due to its low price and relatively high alcohol content (13-18%). Thunderbird was particularly popular in Texas, prompting ZZ Top to write a song praising it.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1948 (starts 11/25/19)

    Once again we have a Beatles vs. Stones segment, this time featuring tracks from 1966-1967 (in fact all the Beatles tracks are from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band). Also on the show: a Turtles set, a Savoy Brown LP side and a set of truly obscure songs that includes two artists (Pearls Before Swine and Smith) making their Stuck in the Psychedelic Era debut.

Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    Gimme Some Lovin'
Source:    Mono LP: Gimme Some Lovin' (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Steve Winwood
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1966
    The 1980s movie The Big Chill used Gimme Some Lovin' by the Spencer Davis Group as the backdrop for a touch football game at an informal reunion of former college students from the 60s. From that point on, movie soundtracks became much more than just background music and soundtrack albums started becomming best-sellers. Not entirely coincidentally, 60s-oriented oldies radio stations began to appear in major markets as well. Most of them are now playing 80s and even 90s oldies, by the way.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Shapes Of Things
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of 60s Supergroups (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Samwell-Smith/Relf/McCarty
Label:    Priority (original label: Epic)
Year:    1966
    Unlike earlier Yardbirds hits, 1966's Shapes Of Things was written by members of the band. The song, featuring one of guitarist Jeff Beck's most distinctive solos, just barely missed the top 10 in the US, although it was a top 5 single in the UK.

Artist:    Downliners Sect
Title:    Why Don't You Smile Now
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released on LP: The Rock Sect's In)
Writer(s):    Philips/Vance/Reed/Cale
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia UK)
Year:    1966
    The Downliners Sect was one of the more unusual British bands of the mid-sixties, with a penchant for choosing unconventional material to record. Their second LP, for instance, was made up of covers of songs originally recorded by US Country and Western artists. Their third LP, The Rock Sect's In, was (as the title implies) more of a straight rock album than their previous efforts. Still, they managed to find unique material to record, such as Why Don't You Smile Now, a song chosen from a stack of producers' demos from the US. Although nobody seems to know who Philips or Vance were, the Reed and Cale in the songwriting credits were none other than Lou and John, in a pre-Velvet Underground incarnation.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet
Source:    CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released on LP: Psychedelic Lollipop)
Writer(s):    Gilbert/Scala/Esposito
Label:    BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1966
    The Blues Magoos (original spelling: Bloos) 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 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:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Bluebird
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Cotillion (original 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 was just starting to hit his stride as a songwriter, bandmate Stephen Stills was already at an early peak, as songs like Bluebird clearly demonstrate.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Beggar's Farm
Source:    LP: This Was
Writer(s):    Abrahams/Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1968
    Although Jethro Tull would eventually come to be considered almost a backup band for flautist/vocalist/songwriter Ian Anderson, in the early days the group was much more democratically inclined, at least until the departure of guitarist and co-founder Mick Abrahams. In addition to providing a more blues-based orientation for the band, Abrahams shared songwriting duties with Anderson as well, including collaborations such as Beggar's Farm from the band's 1968 debut LP, This Was.

Artist:    Gods
Title:    Hey Bulldog
Source:    British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    EMI (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    Fans of Uriah Heep may recognize the names Ken Hensley, Joe Konas, John Glascock and Lee Kerslake as members of the legendary British rock band at various phases of its existence. What they may not realize is that these four members had already been bandmates since early 1968 as members of the Gods. The band made it's recording debut with a song called Baby's Rich, which led to a concept album called Genesis. 1969 saw the release of a powerful cover of the Beatles' Hey Bulldog, along with a second album, before the group morphed into a band called Toe Fat, with Hensley soon departing to form Uriah Heep.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Title:    Our House
Source:    CD: déjà vu
Writer(s):    Graham Nash
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Sometimes even the most mundane events can inspire art. Graham Nash's Our House, from the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young album, déjà vu, is a perfect example. The song was written by Nash at the Laurel Canyon home of Joni Mitchell following a trip into Los Angeles for breakfast. They had stopped at an antique shop on the way back, where Mitchell had bought a vase, and while Mitchell was gathering up some flowers to put in it Nash sat down at Mitchell's piano. About an hour later, Nash had put the finishing touches on Our House. Nash later said he was already bored with Our House the day after he had recorded it, but that he still plays the song from time to time "because it does mean so much to so many people". The song was released as a single in 1970, peaking at #30.

    Since it is Thanksgiving time, I figured I ought to include one song about food, so here it is, along with a very special recipe:

Artist:    Bigg Brothers (aka the Turtles)
Title:    Food
Source:    CD: The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands
Writer(s):    The Turtles
Label:    Sundazed (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1968
    By 1968 the Turtles' relationship with their label, White Whale, had deteriorated to the point that the group was starting to consider the possibility of disbanding in order to get out of their contract. They had self-produced several songs earlier in the year that the label had rejected and were under constant pressure to come up with another monster hit like Happy Together. Against this backdrop the group released one of the most unique albums in rock history. Entitled The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands, the album contained a dozen tunes, each done in a different style and credited to a different band. Food, for instance, was credited to the Bigg Brothers, and sounded like one of the more whimsical tracks from the Association. The song also included the following recipe within its lyrics, which I am presenting here as a public service:

Two thirds cups of flour
A teaspoon full of salt
A quarter pound of butter
Add an egg and blend it out
Two squares of dark chocolate
Walnuts, pot and sugar
A teaspoon of bakin' powder
Thirty minutes in the heat and it's over

Although The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands peaked at only the #128 spot, it is now considered one of the band's best efforts.

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:    Turtles
Title:    Let Me Be
Source:    Mono CD: Songs Of Protest (originally released on LP: It Ain't Me Babe and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    P.F. Sloan
Label:    Rhino (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1965
    The Turtles were nothing if not able to redefine themselves when the need arose. Originally a surf band known as the Crossfires, the band quickly adopted an "angry young men" stance with their first single, Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe, and the subsequent album of the same name. For the follow-up single the band chose a track from their album, Let Me Be, that, although written by a different writer, had the same general message as It Ain't Me Babe. The band would soon switch over to love songs like Happy Together and She'd Rathr Be With Me before taking their whole chameleon bit to its logical extreme with an album called Battle Of The Bands on which each track was meant to sound like it was done by an entirely different group.

Artist:    Standells
Title:    Dirty Water (live version)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Ed Cobb
Label:    Sundazed
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2014
    In October of 1966 the Standells were riding high on the strength of their hit single, Dirty Water, when they opened for the Beach Boys at the University of Michigan. Unbeknownst to the band at the time, the entire performance was being professionally recorded by people from Capitol Records, the parent company of Tower Records, whom the Standells recorded for. The recordings remained unreleased for many years; in fact, even the band members themselves were unaware of their existence until around 2000. Finally, in 2014, Sundazed released the live recording of Dirty Water on clear 45 RPM vinyl as part of their Record Store Day promotion. Enjoy!

Artist:    Leaves
Title:    Officer Shayne
Source:    British import CD: All The Good That's Happening
Writer(s):    Beck/Arlin
Label:    Grapefruit (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    The first album by the Leaves was a success in the Los Angeles area and included a national hit, Hey Joe. This led to the group signing with a major label, Capitol, and releasing a second LP, All The Good That's Happening. Unfortunately, the group was already starting to fall apart at this point, with bassist Jim Pons on the verge of accepting a job with the Turtles, replacing bassist Chip Douglas, who had left the group to become the Monkees' producer. All The Good That's Happening, as a result, is about as far from a cohesive sounding album as you can get. One of the stranger tunes on the album is Officer Shayne, about an encounter with a law enforcement officer gone wrong. Midway through the song, which starts off as a standard folk-rock kind of tune, the tempo, style and key of the piece abruptly changes into something vaguely reminiscent of Strawberry Fields Forever before just as abruptly going back to the song's original pattern.

Artist:    McGough & McGear
Title:    So Much To Love
Source:    Mono CD: McGough & McGear
Writer(s):    McGough/McGear
Label:    Real Gone (original UK label: Parlophone)
Year:    1968
    The Scaffold was a uniquely English performance trio consisting of comic John Gorman, poet Roger McGough and musician Mike McGear formed in 1964 in Liverpool. In 1968 McGough and McGear decided to make a record album, utilizing McGear's contacts in the record industry to secure a contract with EMI's Parlophone label (his older brother was a member of a band signed to the label). Unlike the first Scaffold album, a live performance released later the same year, McGough & McGear was a studio creation that included guest appearances from Jimi Hendrix (who plays guitar on So Much To Love), and drummer Mitch Mitchell. Mike McGear, incidentally, was a stage name for Peter Michael McCartney, whose older brother Paul provided backup vocals for So Much To Love as well as being listed (along with McGear and Paul Samwell-Smith) as co-producer of the LP. Other contributors to the album include Graham Nash, Jane Asher and Dave Mason.

Artist:    Smith
Title:    The Weight
Source:    CD: Easy Rider soundtrack
Writer(s):    Robbie Robertson
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1969
    When it came time to select music for the film Easy Rider, producer Peter Fonda went with some of the coolest tracks available, including Steppenwolf's Born To Be Wild and The Pusher, the Jimi Hendrix Experience's If 6 Was 9 and The Weight, a Robbie Robertson tune performed by The Band. Of course it was only natural that these songs would be included on a soundtrack album as well, but there was a problem. The album itself was released on the Dunhill label in August of 1969, but then transferred to the Reprise label later in the year. Since Steppenwolf recorded for Dunhill and Hendrix for Reprise, this was not an issue. The Band, however, was under contract to Capitol Records, who were more than happy to have one of their artists on display, as it were, in the cult film of the year, but balked at having that artist appear on a rival label. So they withheld the rights to The Weight. Dunhill, however, had a fallback plan. They had recently signed a band named Smith who specialized in cover songs (their biggest hit was a remake of the Shirelles' Baby It's You) and commissioned them to do their own version of The Weight, which sounded nearly identical to that of The Band. Record companies can be so proprietary!

Artist:    Pearls Before Swine
Title:    Song About A Rose
Source:    CD: Constructive Melancholy-30 Years Of Pearls Before Swine (originally released on LP: The Use Of Ashes)
Writer(s):    Tom Rapp
Label:    Birdman (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1970
    After getting screwed out of their royalties for their first two albums, nearly all of the members of Pearls Before Swine except for bandleader Tom Rapp quit in disgust. Rapp, however, didn't throw in the towel. In fact, he signed a much more favorable contract with the Reprise label, continuing to record as Pearls Before Swine with whoever he happened to be working with at the time. Around this same time he met his future wife Elisabeth, who would appear on all subsequent Pearls Before Swine albums. By the time sessions got underway for their second Reprise album, The Use Of Ashes, the group consisted of Rapp, Elisabeth and a whole lot of studio musicians, including guitarist Charlie McCoy, who was already well-known for his work on Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde album, among other projects. By this time Rapp's music had lost any semblance of rock 'n' roll, moving instead into a spacier folky realm on songs like Song About A Rose. The next Pearls Before Swine album would have a strong Nashville sound, with Rapp's vocals resembling Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline style.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    You Can't Catch Me
Source:    LP: Tommy Flanders, Danny Kalb, Steve Katz, Al Kooper, Andy Kuhlberg, Roy Blumenfeld Of The Blues Project (promo copy) (originally released on LP: Projections)
Writer:    Chuck Berry
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1966
    One of the reasons for Chuck Berry's enduring popularity throughout the 1960s (despite a lack of major hits during the decade) was the fact that so many bands covered his 50s hits, often updating them for a 60s audience. Although not as well-known as Roll Over Beethoven or Johnny B. Goode, You Can't Catch Me nonetheless got its fair share of coverage, including versions by the Rolling Stones and the Blues Project (as well as providing John Lennon an opening line for the song Come Together).

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Got This Thing On The Move
Source:    CD: Grand Funk
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    From summer of 1967 to summer of 1970 I lived in Germany. This gave me a bit of a different perspective on the state of rock music during those years. For example, the Who, a band I had only barely heard of in the US, was huge overseas. On the other hand, bands like the Grateful Dead were little more than a distant legend in Europe at that time. On my return to the States in summer of 1970, I learned of the existence of a power trio from Flint, Michigan called Grand Funk Railroad.  In the US they were universally hated by rock music critics, yet managed to set all kinds of attendance records throughout 1969 and 1970, pretty much single-handedly inventing arena rock in the process. They also managed to get no less than three albums certified gold in 1970 alone. Despite this, GFR was totally unknown in Europe, leading me to believe that the people who ordered albums for the BX were paying too much attention to the Village Voice and Rolling Stone magazine and not enough attention to actual record sales and concert attendance figures. Anyway, I soon got my hands on the album Grand Funk (aka the Red Album) and was totally blown away by the opening track, Got This Thing On The Move. There's a valuable lesson in there somewhere.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Stupid Girl
Source:    CD: Aftermath
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1966
    By 1966 the songwriting team of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had hit its stride, turning out Rolling Stones classics like Mother's Little Helper and Paint It Black as a matter of course. Even B sides such as Stupid Girl were starting to get airplay on top 40 stations, a trend that would continue to grow over the next year or so.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    She's Leaving Home
Source:    CD: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    One of the striking things about the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the sheer variety of styles on the album. Never before had a rock band gone so far beyond its roots in so many directions at once. One of Paul McCartney's most poignant songs on the album was She's Leaving Home. The song tells the story of a young girl who has decided that her stable homelife is just too unfulling to bear and heads for the big city. Giving the song added depth is the somewhat clueless response of her parents, who can't seem to understand what went wrong.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Gomper
Source:    LP: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    Probably the most overtly psychedelic track ever recorded by the Rolling Stones, Gomper might best be described as a hippy love song with its references to nature, innocence and, of course, pyschedelic substances. Brian Jones makes one of his last significant contributions as a member of the band he founded, playing the dulcimer, as well as tablas, organ, pan flute and various percussion instruments on the song.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Fixing A Hole
Source:    CD: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    Until 1967 every Beatles album released in the US had at least one hit single included that was not on the British version of the album (or was never released as a single in the UK). With the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, however, the track lineup became universal, making it the first Beatle album released in the US to not have a hit single on it. Nonetheless, the importance (and popularity) of the album was such that virtually every song on it got top 40 airplay at one time or another, although some tracks got more exposure than others. One of the many tracks that falls in between these extremes is Fixing A Hole, a tune by Paul McCartney that features the harpsichord prominently.

Artist:    Rolling Stones (Bill Wyman)
Title:    In Another Land
Source:    LP: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer(s):    Bill Wyman
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    During recording sessions for the late 1967 Rolling Stones album Their Satanic Majesties Request bassist Bill Wyman made a forty-five minute drive to the studio one evening only to find out that the session had been cancelled. The band's manager and producer, Andrew Loog Oldham, managed to salvage the moment by asking Wyman if he had any song ideas he'd like to work on while he was there. As it turned out, Wyman had just come up with a song called In Another Land, about waking up from a dream only to discover you are actually still dreaming. Utilizing the talents of various people on hand, including Steve Marriott, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts and Nicky Hopkins, Wyman recorded a rough demo of his new tune. When Mick Jagger and Keith Richards heard the song they liked it so much that they added background vocals and insisted the track be used on the album and released as a single by Bill Wyman (with another track from the LP on the B side credited to the entire band). They even went so far as to give Wyman solo artist credit on the label of the LP itself (the label reads: Their Satanic Majesties Request by the Rolling Stones*, with the next line reading *by Bill Wyman), with an asterisk preceeding the song title in the track listing as well. Wyman reportedly hated the sound of his own voice on the song, and insisted that a tremelo effect be added to it in the final mix. The snoring at the end of the track is Wyman himself, as captured in the studio by Mick and Keith.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Source:    CD: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    The top album of 1967 was the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was also the first US Beatles album to have a song lineup that was identical to the original UK LP. Consequently, it was also the first Beatle album released in the US to not include any songs that were also released as singles. Nonetheless, several tracks from the LP found their way onto the playlists of both top 40 AM and "underground" FM stations from coast to coast. Among the most popular of these tracks was John Lennon's Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, which shows up on just about everyone's list of classic psychedelic tunes.

Artist:    Savoy Brown
Title:    Savoy Brown Boogie
Source:    CD: A Step Further
Writer(s):    Simmonds/Youlden
Label:    Deram (original label: Parrot)
Year:    1969
    1969 was a busy year for Savoy Brown. Early in the year their third LP, Blue Matter, had been released, accompanied by a US tour to support the album. Upon their return to London they immediately began work on their fourth LP, A Step Further. On May 12th, they recorded a live performance at Edmonton that became the second side of A Step Further. Credited to guitarist Kim Simmonds and vocalist Chris Youlden, the Savoy Brown Boogie was structured similarly to Ten Years After's I'm Going Home as performed at Woodstock, with short references to a variety of classic tunes, including Feel So Good, Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On, Little Queenie, Purple Haze and Hernando's Hideaway. The band's lineup had stabilized somewhat, making A Step Further the first album to have the same personnel as its predecessor. Besides Simmonds and Youlden, the band included "Lonesome" Dave Peverett on guitar, Tone Stevens on bass and Roger Earl on drums, all three of which would leave Savoy Brown in 1971 to form Foghat.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Supplicio/Can You Dig It
Source:    LP: Head
Writer(s):    Peter Tork
Label:    Colgems
Year:    1968
    Peter Tork only received two solo writing credits for Monkees recordings. The first, and most familiar, was For Pete's Sake, which was released on the Headquarters album in 1967 and used as the closing theme for the second season of their TV series. The second Tork solo piece was the more experimental Can You Dig It, used in the movie Head and included on the 1968 movie soundtrack album. Not long after Head was completed, Tork left the group, not to return until the 1980s, when MTV ran a Monkees TV series marathon, introducing the band to a whole new generation and prompting a reunion tour and album. Supplicio, which precedes Can You Dig It on the LP, is a short bit of uncredited electronics effects that lead into the Tork tune.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1948 (starts 11/25/19)

    This week's show features two sets from back to back years. The first, from 1971, features several tracks making their Rockin' in the Days of Confusion debut, while the second, from 1970, starts off in more familiar territory but ends on unfamiliar ground as well.

Artist:    Eagles
Title:    Outlaw Man
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    David Blue
Label:    Asylum
Year:    1973
    I have never been a huge Eagles fan. Don't get me wrong. I don't hate them or anything like that, I just never really got into their music. Still, I do respect their musicianship and their ability to connect with large numbers of people. I just wasn't one of those people. There are exceptions, of course. The first of these is a tune I first heard on AM radio in the early 1970s called Outlaw Man. It wasn't a huge hit at the time, peaking at #59, but something about the song grabbed me, and still does. Unfortunately, the album version of the song is overlapped by a short instrumental piece that is in turn overlapped by yet another song, making it impossible to play Outlaw Man in the clear. Unless, of course, you have a copy of the 45 RPM single. Of course, most copies of 45 RPM singles from the early 1970s sound horrible, thanks to a vinyl shortage that resulted in the use of inferior materials. Somehow, though, I managed to find one in excellent condition. Enjoy!

Artist:    Mountain
Title:    You Can't Get Away
Source:    LP: Nantucket Sleighride
Writer(s):    West/Collins/Laing
Label:    Windfall/Bell
Year:    1971
    Maybe it's just my perceptions, but songs from the early 1970s seem to have better guitar hooks than what came later. One such example is You Can't Get Away, from Mountain's 1971 LP Nantucket Sleighride. Lead vocals on the song are provided by guitarist Leslie West, who co-wrote the tune with drummer Corky Laing and lyricist Janet Collins, who was married to the band's keyboardist, Felix Pappalardi.

Artist:    Firesign Theatre
Title:    Dr. Whiplash
Source:    LP: Dear Friends
Writer(s):    Proctor/Bergman/Austin/Ossman
Label:    Columbia
Year:    Recorded 1971, released 1972
    Dr. Whiplash is a comedy bit performed by the Firesign Theatre on January 24, 1971 as part of their Dear Friends series on Los Angeles's KPFK radio. The program was later edited and made availble for syndication to other stations around the country. In early 1972 the group chose what they considered to the the best bits from the series for release on a double-LP, also called Dear Friends.

Artist:    Uriah Heep
Title:    Look At Yourself
Source:    European import CD: Look At Yourself
Writer(s):    Ken Hensley
Label:    Sanctuary/BMG (original US label: Mercury)
Year:    1971
    Uriah Heep's third LP, Look At Yourself, was the first one to receive positive reviews from the rock press. One of the reasons for this was the emergence of keyboardist Ken Hensley as the group's primary songwriter. Hensley's songs tended to be more tightly arranged than the group compositions heard on the band's earlier albums, as can be heard on the LP's title track, which was also released as a single.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Hyacinth House
Source:    LP: L.A. Woman
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1971
    Although credited to the entire band, Hyacinth House, from the Doors album L.A. Woman, was actually the work of keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who wrote the music and vocalist Jim Morrison, who added the lyrics. Although the album itself is more blues oriented than its immediate predecessors, Hyacinth House sounds more like an outtake from The Soft Parade, the 1969 album that drew criticism for its overly-complicated arrangements.

Artist:    Yes
Title:    Heart Of The Sunrise
Source:    CD: Fragile
Writer(s):    Anderson/Squire/Bruford
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1971
    Although it is the fourth most played song in the Yes catalogue, Heart Of The Sunrise, from the 1971 album Fragile, was never issued as a single. This is due mostly to the fact that the track runs over ten minutes in length, far exceeding even such lengthy tunes as Paradise By The Dashboard Light, American Pie or MacArthur Park. The song was written by Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Bill Bruford and Rick Wakeman, but due to contractual reasons, Wakeman's name had to be left off the credits.

Artist:    David Bowie
Title:    The Man Who Sold The World
Source:    45 RPM single B side (originally released on LP: The Man Who Sold The World)
Writer(s):    David Bowie
Label:    RCA Victor (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1970
    The Man Who Sold The World is the title track of David Bowie's third LP. At the time, Bowie was a relatively obscure artist still looking for an audience and, in his own words, an identity as well. Unlike other Bowie albums, The Man Who Sold The World was released in the US several months earlier than in the UK. The song itself was not considered single material at the time, although it ended up being a surprise hit in the UK for Lulu in 1974, and became popular with a whole new generation when Nirvana released an unplugged version of the tune in 1993. After Bowie signed with RCA, The Man Who Sold The World was re-issued as the B side of Space Oddity in 1972.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Stranger To Himself
Source:    LP: John Barleycorn Must Die
Writer(s):    Winwood/Capaldi
Label:    Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1970
    Stranger To Himself is one of two songs that Steve Winwood had completed for his first solo album when he decided to instead make a new Traffic album. Rather than recut the song, Winwood included the recording, on which he plays all the instruments himself, as the first track of side two of the fourth Traffic LP, John Barleycorn Must Die.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Singing Winds, Crying Beasts/Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen/Oye Como Va
Source:    CD: Abraxas
Writer:    Carabello/Green/Szabo/Puente
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1970
    One of the greatest album-opening sequences ever recorded.

Artist:    Gypsy
Title:    I Was So Young
Source:    LP: Gypsy
Writer(s):    Enrico Rosenbaum
Label:    Metromedia
Year:    1970
    Gypsy was yet another one of those bands that had plenty of talent, and even opportunity, yet were never able to achieve the massive popularity of bands like Led Zeppelin, the Who or even Yes. Formed in 1962 as the Underbeats, the band's fortunes seemed to be changing after the relocated to Los Angeles, becoming the house band at Whisky a Go Go for about eight months. Toward the end of that run they released their debut album, a double LP set that included their only charted single, Gypsy Queen. Another strong track on the album was I Was So Young, which features blues-style unison vocal/guitar lines by Italian born Enrico Rosenbaum, who also wrote the song. Gypsy recorded a total of four albums, after which time Rosenbaum left the group, which continued on as the James Walsh Gypsy Band.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1947 (starts 11/18/19)

    This week our Advanced Psych segment features the entire first movement of Brian Wilson Presents Smile, the legendary Beach Boys album that was shelved in early 1967 and finally completed with different musicians as an all-new 2004 recording. We also have artists' sets from Cream and the Rolling Stones, as well as half a dozen tunes making their Stuck in the Psychedelic Era debut, including two from artists that have never been heard on the show before now.

Artist:     Troggs
Title:     Wild Thing
Source:     Mono CD: Nuggets-Classics From the Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Chip Taylor
Label:     Rhino (original label: Fontana)
Year:     1966
    I have a DVD copy of a music video (although back then they were called promotional films) for the Troggs' Wild Thing in which the members of the band are walking through what looks like a train station while being mobbed by girls at every turn. Every time I watch it I imagine singer Reg Presley saying giggity-giggity as he bobs his head.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Come On In
Source:    British import CD: The Ultimate Turn On (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    It only cost a total of $150 for the Music Machine to record both sides of their debut single at RCA Studios in Los Angeles, thanks to the band having been performing the songs live for several months. The band then took the tapes to Original Sound, who issued Talk Talk and Come On In on their own label. It may seem odd now, but original promo copies of the record show Come On In, a song that in many ways anticipated bands like the Doors and Iron Butterfly, as the "plug side" of the record, rather than Talk Talk, which of course went on to become the Music Machine's only major hit.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    What Do You Want
Source:    Canadian import LP: Shapes Of Things (originally released on LP: The Yardbirds and in US on LP: Over Under Sideways Down)
Writer(s):    Dreja/McCarty/Beck/Relf/Samwell-Smith
Label:    Bomb (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1966
    In 1966 the Yardbirds went into the studio to record their first (and only) full-length album of original material. The album was titled simply The Yardbirds, although in North America it was issued as Over Under Sideways Down with an altered song lineup. The original UK cover featured a caricature of studio engineer Roger Cameron drawn by the band's rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja, and eventually the album itself came to be known unofficially as Roger The Engineer. The most recent CD issue of the album has made that the official title. All the tracks on the album are credited to the entire band, including What Do You Want, which was included on all versions of the original LP.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Street Fighting Man
Source:    LP: Beggar's Banquet
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1968
    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 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 follow-up single, Street Fighting Man, a song that was almost as anthemic as Jumpin' Jack Flash itself and 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.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Surprise Surprise
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: Decca)
Year:    Recorded 1964, released1970
    The Rolling Stones' Street Fighting Man, from their Beggar's Banquet album, was released in the US as a followup single to Jumpin' Jack Flash in August of 1968, depsite the fact that was actually recorded first. In the UK, however, the song was not released until July of 1970, a year after Honky Tonk Women. For the UK B side, Decca went back to the group's 1964 sessions at Chicago's Chess Studios for Surprise Surprise, a Mick Jagger/Keith Richards composition that had been sitting on the shelf for six years.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Factory Girl
Source:    LP: Beggar's Banquet
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1968
    One of the more overlooked tunes in the Rolling Stones catalog, Factory Girl features an odd assortment of instruments (including Tabla, Violin, Congo and Mellotron) on what is essentially an Appalachian kind of song. Guest musicians include Rick Grech on violin and Dave Mason on either guitar or mellotron (simulating a mandolin).

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Gypsy Eyes
Source:    Dutch import LP: The Singles (originally released on LP: Electric Ladyland)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Polydor (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    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; listening to this song with headphones is highly recommended.

Artist:    Bondsmen
Title:    Our Time To Cry
Source:    Mono CD: A Lethal Dose Of Hard Psych
Writer(s):    Santa and the Bondsmen
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: AMH)
Year:    1968
    The Bondsmen were one of Durham, North Carolina's most popular and talented bands, having won multiple battle of the bands competitions in the area that would come to be called the Research Triangle. It was after one of these competitions that they recorded Our Time To Cry for the Chapel Hill-based AMH label. The song was co-written by John Santa, who, although not a performing member of the Bondsmen, was close friends with all of the members. Santa later formed his own band, releasing the album Rainmaker in 1980.
Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    It's Been Too Long
Source:    CD: Quicksilver Messenger Service
Writer(s):    Nick Gravenites
Label:    Rock Beat
Year:    1968
    One of the last of the Blues Project-inspired San Francisco jam bands to get a record contract was Quicksilver Messenger Service. Formed in 1966, the group was one of the top local attractions at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967 and was featured (along with Mother Nature and the Steve Miller Band) in the 1968 film Revolution. Finally getting a contract with Capital in mid-1968, the group, led by Gary Duncan and John Cippolina, went to work on a self-titled LP. Although some of the tracks reflected the band's propensity for improvisation, others songs on the album, such as their cover of Nick Gravenites's It's Been Too Long, feature relatively tight arrangements.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Sweet Wine
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Godfrey/Baker
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    When Cream was formed, both bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker had new music for the band to record (guitarist Eric Clapton having chosen to shut up and play his guitar for the most part). Most of these new songs, however, did not yet have words to go with the music. To remedy the situation, both musicians brought in outside lyricists. Baker chose poet Pete Brown, while Bruce chose to bring in his wife, Janet Godfrey. After a short time it became apparent that Bruce and Brown had a natural affinity for each other's material, and formed a partnership that would last years. Baker, meanwhile, tried working with Godfrey, but the two only came up with one song together, Sweet Wine, which was included on the band's debut LP, Fresh Cream.
Artist:    Cream
Title:    Those Were The Days
Source:    CD: Wheels Of Fire
Writer(s):    Baker/Taylor
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1968
    Drummer Ginger Baker only contributed a handful of songs to the Cream repertoire, but each was, in its own way, quite memorable. Those Are The Days, with its sudden changes of time and key, presages the progressive rock that would flourish in the mid-1970s. As was often the case with Baker-penned songs, bassist Jack Bruce provides the vocals from this Wheels Of Fire track.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Rollin' And Tumblin'
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    McKinley Morganfield
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    Right from the beginning Cream demonstrated two distinct sides: the psychedelic-tinged studio side and the blues-based live performance side. In the case of the US version of the band's first LP, Fresh Cream, that was literally true, as side one consisted entirely of original songs (mostly written by bassist Jack Bruce) and side two was nearly all covers of blues classics such as Muddy Waters's Rollin' And Tumblin'. What makes this particular recording interesting is the instrumentation used: guitar, vocals, harmonica and drums, with no bass whatsoever. This could be due to the limited number of tracks available for overdubs. Just as likely, though, is the possibility that the band chose to make a recording that duplicated their live performance of the song.

Artist:    Circus Maximus
Title:    Chess Game
Source:    LP: Circus Maximus
Writer(s):    Bob Bruno
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    New York's Greenwich Village based Circus Maximus was driven by the dual creative talents of guitarist/keyboardist Bob Bruno and guitarist Jerry Jeff Walker. Although Walker went on to have the greatest success, it was Bruno's more jazz-influenced songwriting on songs like Chess Game that defined the band's sound. Bruno is now a successful visual artist, still living in the New York area.

Artist:    Mystery Trend
Title:    Johnny Was A Good Boy
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Nagle/Cuff
Label:    Rhino (original label: Verve)
Year:    1967
    The Mystery Trend was a bit of an anomaly on the San Francisco music scene of the late 1960s. Contemporaries of bands such as the Great! Society and the Charlatans, the Trend always stood a bit apart from the rest of the crowd, playing to an audience that was both a bit more affluent and a bit more "adult" (they were reportedly the house band at a Sausalito strip club). Stylistically they preferred short, tightly arranged songs to the long spacey jams that bands like Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Grateful Dead were known for. Perhaps they were simply ahead of their time, as that exact same approach was taken just a couple years later by another local band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, to great success. Although the Mystery Trend (their name taken from misheard Bob Dylan lyrics) played in the city itself as early as 1965, they did not release their first and only record until early 1967. The song, Johnny Was A Good Boy, tells the story of a seemingly normal middle-class kid who turns out to be a monster, surprising friends, family and neighbors. The Mystery Trend, unable to find enough gigs to stay afloat financially, called it quits in 1968.

Artist:    Merrell And The Exiles (later released as Fapardokly)
Title:    Tomorrow's Girl
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on 45 RPM vinyl and included on LP: Fapardokly)
Writer(s):    Merrell Fankhauser
Label:    Rhino (original label: Glenn; LP issued on UIP)
Year:    1967
    Merrell Fankhauser was a fixture on the L.A. music scene, fronting several bands throughout the 60s ranging in styles from surf to psychedelic, depending on what was in vogue at the time. For most of 1966 and 67 he led a group called Merrell and the Exiles (or Xiles), while holding down a somewhat more mundane day job between gigs. The last single by the Exiles was Tomorrow's Girl, originally released in 1967 on the tiny Glenn label and included on Fankhauser's Fapardokly album on UIP records later that same year.

Artist:    Wildflower
Title:    Jump In
Source:    British import CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers
Writer(s):    Ehret/Ellis/McCausland
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
    In early 1966, independent producer and record label owner Bob Shad decided to travel across the US looking for acts to sign to his Mainstream and Brent labels. One of the first places he visited was San Francisco, where he held auditions at several locations, including Gene Estribou's loft studio in Haight-Ashbury. He signed two of the bands he heard at the small facility: Big Brother And The Holding Company and The Wildflower. Shad then instructed the various bands that he had signed (with the exception of Big Brother, who were about to hit the road to Chicago) to come down to Los Angeles and record a few tracks each at United Studios. The Wildflower recorded a total of four tracks, two of which were issued as a single in late 1966. The remaining two tracks, including Jump In, appeared the following year on an album called With Love-A Pot Of Flowers on Shad's Mainstream label.

Artist:    Notes From The Underground
Title:    Down In The Basement
Source:    Mono British import CD: Notes From The Underground (originally released on EP: Notes From The Underground)
Writer(s):    O'Connor/Mandell
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Changes)
Year:    1967
    Following in the footsteps of fellow Berkeleyites Country Joe And The Fish, Notes From The Underground a) became the unofficial house band at the Jabberwock in late 1966, b) released their own four song EP in 1967, c) released their debut LP on the Vanguard label in 1968, or d) all of the above. Formed by guitar and banjo player Fred Sokolow in 1965, the band also featured guitarist Mark Mandell, pianist Jim Work and drummer Peter Oswald (all but Oswald also provided vocals). The most popular song on their EP was Down In The Basement, a tune very much in the jug band tradition that was re-recorded in stereo for their debut LP and issued as the band's first and only single (also in stereo, which was somewhat unusual for 1968).
Artist:    Sam And Dave
Title:    I Thank You
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Hayes/Porter
Label:    Atlantic (original label: Stax)
Year:    1968
    Although Sam Moore and Dave Prater had been recording together since 1961, their career as a duo didn't really take off until they signed with the Memphis-based Stax label in 1965 and began working with the songwriting/producing team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter. By the time Sam And Dave had left Stax in late 1968 they had racked up 10 consecutive top 20 singles on the R&B charts, including two songs that crossed over into the top 40. The second of these was I Thank You, their last single to be released on the Stax label itself. The following year they moved to New York and began working with producers Jerry Wexler and Tom Dowd of Atlantic Records, but had little success there, and when their contract with the label expired in 1972 it was not renewed.
Artist:    Brian Wilson
Title:    Smile-Movement One "Americana"
Source:    CD: Brian Wilson Presents Smile
Writer(s):    Wilson/Parks/Davis/Levy/Gillespie/Smith/Davis
Label:    Nonesuch
Year:    2004
    In the early 1960s, Brian Wilson was a pretty happy guy. He had a gift for writing catchy melodies, which, more often than not, he would hand off to a songwriting partner to add lyrics to the tune. He was also proving to be adept at record production, producing not only all of the records (except for the very first one) released by his own band, the Beach Boys, but producing other groups as well, the most successful being Jan And Dean. Starting in 1965, his music began to take a more sophisticated turn, with more complex musical structures and instrumentation. The 1966 Beach Boys LP Pet Sounds is still considered one of the finest pop albums ever released, but even it pales in comparison to what came next. Before Pet Sounds was released, Wilson had begun work on a new song using a modular production technique, recording the song in segments and experimenting with various ways of tying those segments together. The result was the greatest Beach Boys song ever recorded: Good Vibrations. Wilson was not done, however. Even before Good Vibrations was released he had begun work on a new project that would apply the same modular technique used for Good Vibrations to an entire album's worth of material. However, there were problems. For one thing, Good Vibrations was, at that point in time, the most expensive single record ever produced, costing about $50,000 to make (about $386,000 in 2019 dollars). The cost of producing an entire album at that rate would be astronomical. And then there were the expectations. Pet Sounds was considered by many to be a masterpiece; Good Vibrations even more so. How was Wilson ever going to top either of these? There were also time considerations. The popular music world of 1966 was extremely volatile; a sound that was "hot" today might be considered obsolete six months later. The Beach Boys were scheduled to release their next LP in January of 1967. Could Wilson complete what was being called Smile by then? The answer was no. The release date was repeatedly pushed back. Finally, in May of 1967, to put it bluntly, Brian Wilson cracked under the pressure of it all and cancelled the entire Smile project. Four months later, the album Smiley Smile, considered a pale imitation of Smile itself, hit the record racks, along with a truncated single version of Smile's showpiece, a song called Heroes And Villains. It was thought at the time that Wilson had destroyed the original Smile tapes, but over the next couple of decades rumors persisted that those tapes did in fact still exist, backed up by bootleg tapes that purported to be from the Smile sessions. Finally, in 1993, the box set Good Vibrations: Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys was released with about 30 minutes' worth of material originally recorded for the Smile album. By then Wilson had overcome many of the problems that had plagued him since Smile was cancelled, and had begun to reestablish himself as a solo artist. In 2004, working closely with  Darian Sahanaja (of Wondermints, a power pop trio that had backed Wilson on his solo albums) and lyricist Van Dyke Parks, Wilson reworked Smile as a live performace piece. The studio version of Brian Wilson Presents Smile came out that same year. The 21st century version of Smile is divided into three movements. The first movement is subtitled Americana, and includes a newly arranged version of Heroes And Villains, along with short sections of Gee (a 1953 hit for the Crows that is considered to be the first rock and roll hit by an actual rock and roll group), Old Master Painter and You Are My Sunshine, as well as Wilson/Parks originals Our Prayer, Roll Plymouth Rock, Barnyard and Cabin Essence. The movement runs a little over 16 minutes (the length of a typical mid-60s album side) without any breaks between songs.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    The Fool On The Hill
Source:    British import stereo 45 RPM Extended Play album: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone
Year:    1967
    The Beatles only came up with six new songs for their 1967 telefilm Magical Mystery Tour, enough to fill up only one side of an LP. Rather than use outtakes and B sides to complete the album (which they had done in 1965 for the Help album), the band chose to release the six songs on a two-record 45 RPM Extended Play set, complete with a booklet that included the storyline, lyric sheets and several still photographs from the film itself. Magical Mystery Tour appeared in this form in both the UK and in Europe, while in the US and Canada, Capitol Records instead issued the album in standard LP format, using the band's 1967 singles and B sides to fill up side two. None of the songs from the telefilm were issued as singles, although one, I Am The Walrus, was used as the B side to the Hello Goodbye single. Another song, Fool On The Hill, was covered by Sergio Mendes and Brazil '66, making the US charts in early 1968. By the 1980s, however, the only version of the song still played on the radio was the original Beatles version, with the footage from the Magical Mystery Tour telefilm used as a video on early music TV channels.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon
Source:    CD: After Bathing At Baxter's
Writer(s):    Paul Kantner
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1967
    The first Jefferson Airplane album (the 1966 release Jefferson Airplane Takes Off) was dominated by songs from the pen of founder Marty Balin, a few of which were collaborations with other band members such as Paul Kantner and Jorma Kaukonen. The songwriting on the group's second LP, Surrealistic Pillow, was fairly evenly balanced between the three above and new arrival Grace Slick. By the band's third album, After Bathing At Baxter's, released in the fall of 1967, Kantner had emerged as the group's main songwriter, having a hand in over half the tracks on the LP. One of the most durable of these was the album's closing track, a medley of two songs, Won't You Try and Saturday Afternoon, the latter being about a free concert that the band had participated in at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park earlier that year.
Artist:    Tommy Flanders
Title:    Angel Of Mercy
Source:    LP: The Moonstone
Writer(s):    Tommy Flanders
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1969
    In early 1966, Blues Project vocalist Tommy Flanders took the advice of his girlfriend and quit the band just before their debut LP was released. She had convinced him that he was the true star of the group and should be pursuing a solo career in both music and film. The band continued on without him and is now recognized as one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s, particularly upon young San Francisco musicians in the process of forming their own bands like Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Grateful Dead. Flanders, meanwhile signed with Verve Forecast as a solo artist, releasing a pair of singles that failed to chart and an LP, The Moonstone, that was by and large ignored by critics and the buying public alike. One of the few reviewers to mention the album characterized it as "a fairly forgettable record, and certainly a low-energy one, the mellowness threatening to dissolve into sleepiness." The second track on the album, Angel Of Mercy, certainly fits that description.

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    How Ya Been
Source:    British import CD: Melts In Your Brain...Not On Your Wrist (originally released on LP: One Step Beyond)
Writer(s):    Andrijasevich/Loomis
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Tower)
Year:    1969
    San Jose, California's Chocolate Watchband has one of the most confusing stories in the history of rock. Part of this can be attributed to the actions of producer Ed Cobb, who used studio musicians extensively, often to the total exclusion of the band members themselves (even the vocals in some cases). Also adding to the confusion was the fact that one of the founding members, Gary Andrijasevich, had already left the band by the time they got their first recording contract, but returned as co-leader of an almost entirely new lineup for the band's third and final LP. Unlike the first two albums, there were no studio musicians used on One Step Beyond (although Moby Grape guitarist Jerry Miller reportedly played on several tracks). The new lineup, however, did not sound anything like the Chocolate Watchband of legend, and in fact had more in common musically with the folk-rock bands from San Francisco than the garage-rock the south end of the bay was known for. Case in point: the song How Ya Been, which was written by Andrijasevich and co-founder Mark Loomis, who himself had left the band in 1967 only to return two years later specifically to write and record songs for One Step Beyond before leaving again.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Back To The Family
Source:    CD: Stand Up
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol
Year:    1969
    The second Jethro Tull album, Stand Up, shows a band in transition from its roots in the British blues-rock scene to a group entirely dominated by the musical vision of vocalist/flautist/composer Ian Anderson. Back To The Family is sometimes cited as an early example of the style that the band would be come to known for on later albums such as Thick As A Brick.

Artist:    Gerry And The Pacemakers
Title:    It's Gonna Be Alright
Source:    LP: Ferry Across The Mersey
Writer(s):    Gerry Marsden
Label:    Laurie
Year:    1964
    The Beatles are, of course, the most popular band to emerge from the Liverpool music scene. But who was second? The answer is Gerry And The Pacemakers, who became the first (and for 20 years only) artist to score consecutive #1 hits on the British charts with their first three releases. Formed in 1959 by Gerry Marsdon, his brother Fred, Les Chadwick, and Arthur McMahon, the band was originally known as Gerry Marsdon and the Mars Bars, but had to change their name when the candy company objected. They were the second band to sign with Brian Epstein, and released their first single, How Do You Do It, in 1963. In 1964, Marsden began writing most of the band's material, including It's Gonna Be Alright, which was released in September of 1964 in the UK as a single and then as the title track of an EP around Christmastime. The song was released in the US the following June, becoming their seventh US top 40 hit.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Just Like Me
Source:    Mono LP: Just Like Us
Writer(s):    Dey/Brown
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Just Like Me was the first top 10 single from Paul Revere And The Raiders, a band that deserves much more credit than they are generally given. The group started in the early part of the decade in Boise, Idaho, when Revere (his real name) hooked up with saxophonist Mark Lindsay. Like most bands at the time, the Raiders' repertoire consisted mostly of instrumentals, as PA systems were a luxury that required more space than was generally allotted to a small town band. It wasn't long before the Raiders relocated to Portland, Oregon, where they became a popular attraction at various clubs. After a hiatus caused by Revere's stint in the military, the band resumed its place as one of the founding bands of the Portland music scene. They soon made their first visit to a recording studio, recording Richard Berry's Louie Louie at around the same time as another popular Portland band, the Kingsmen. The Kingsmen's version ended up being a huge national hit while the popularity of the Raiders' version was mostly restricted to the West Coast, thanks in large part to the active lack of support from Columbia Records, whose head of Artists and Repertoire (A&R), Mitch Miller, was an outspoken critic of rock 'n' roll. Undeterred, the band continued to grow in popularity, recording another single in 1964 (Like Long Hair) and going on tour. It was while playing in Hawaii that the band was noticed by none other than Dick Clark, who hired them to be the house band on his new afternoon TV show, Where The Action Is. Under the leadership of Mitch Miller Columbia Records had done their best to ignore the existence of rock 'n' roll (an effort that was somewhat undermined by one of their most popular artists, Bob Dylan, in 1965, when he went electric). Columbia had, however, a more open-minded West Coast division that included producer Terry Melcher, son of singer Doris Day and co-producer of the Rip Chords' hot rod hit Hey Little Cobra. With the Raiders now being seen daily on a national TV show, the label assigned Melcher to produce the band's records. It was a partnership that would lead to a string of hits, starting with Steppin' Out in 1965. The next record, Just Like Me, was the first of a string of top 10 singles that would last until early 1967, when rapidly changing public tastes made the band seem antiquated compared to up and coming groups like Jefferson Airplane. Just Like Me, despite some rather cheesy lyrics, still holds up well after all these years. Much of the credit for that has to go to Drake Levin, whose innovative double-tracked guitar solo rocked out harder than anything else on top 40 radio at the time (with the possible exception of a couple of well-known Kinks songs).

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone
Source:    LP: Then And Now...The Best Of The Monkees (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Boyce/Hart
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1966
    When Screen Gems/Columbia Pictures announced that they would be doing a new TV series about a rock band called the Monkees, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart had hopes of being chosen for the project, not only as songwriters, but as actual performing members of the group itself. That part didn't work out (although years later they would participate in a Monkees revival), but they did end up providing the bulk of the songs used for the show. The first of these songs was Last Train To Clarksville, which was released as a single just prior to the show's debut in the fall of 1966 and ended up being a huge hit for the group. For the November 1966 followup single a Neil Diamond song, I'm A Believer, was chosen for the A side of the record. The B side was another Boyce/Hart song, (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone, that had been previously released by Paul Revere and the Raiders on their Midnight Ride album earlier in the year. The Monkees version of the song ended up being a hit in its own right, going all the way to the #20 spot (I'm A Believer ended up being the #1 song of 1967). Although there were two different mono mixes of the song released, it is the stereo version from the album More Of The Monkees that is most often heard these days.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Soul Kitchen
Source:    CD: The Doors
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Every time I hear the opening notes of the Doors' Soul Kitchen, from their first album, I think it's When The Music's Over, from their second LP. I wonder if they did that on purpose?

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Born To Be Wild
Source:    CD: Steppenwolf
Writer(s):    Mars Bonfire
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    Born To Be Wild's status as a counter-cultural anthem was cemented when it was chosen for the soundtrack of the movie Easy Rider. The popularity of both the song and the movie resulted in Steppenwolf becoming the all-time favorite band of bikers all over the world.