Sunday, March 1, 2020

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2010 (starts 3/2/20)

    Sometimes it seems that no matter how hard you rock out, you still end up with the blues. This week we do both.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Foxy Lady
Source:    CD: The Ultimate Experience (originally released on LP: Are You Experienced)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    The first track on the original UK release of Are You Experienced was Foxy Lady. The British custom of the time was to not include any songs on albums that had been previously released as singles. When Reprise Records got the rights to release the album in the US, it was decided to include three songs that had all been top 40 hits in the UK. One of those songs, Purple Haze, took over the opening spot on the album, and Foxy Lady was moved to the middle of side 2.

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

Artist:    ZZ Top
Title:    Asleep In The Desert
Source:    LP: Tejas
Writer(s):    Billy Gibbons
Label:    London
Year:    1976
    Guitarist Billy Gibbons takes center stage for the final track on ZZ Top's 1976 LP Tejas, a low-key instrumental called Asleep In The Desert. Warning: this one will stick in your head.

Artist:    David Bromberg
Title:    Sweet Home Chicago
Source:    LP: How Late'll Ya Play Till
Writer(s):    Robert Johnson
Label:    Fantasy
Year:    1976
    Sweet Home Chicago is considered by many to be the blues standard by which all other blues standards are measured. First recorded by Robert Johnson in 1936, the song has been subsequently modified by several notable artists over the years, including Junior Parker, who took the song to the #13 spot of the Billboard R&B chart in 1958. David Bromberg used a fairly standard arrangement of the tune for his live performance included on his 1976 LP How Late'll You Play Till.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    You Shook Me/Dazed And Confused
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin
Writer:    Dixon/Page
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    I've heard it said that Willie Dixon sued Led Zeppelin over the use of You Shook Me, which is puzzling to me since Dixon is clearly credited as the songwriter on the label. Still, I don't know enough about copyright laws to say for sure whether this could have happened or not. Dazed & Confused, on the other hand, is a Jimmy Page composition that was performed by the Yardbirds (with slightly different lyrics) as early as 1966.
Artist:    Cheech And Chong
Title:    The Bust
Source:    LP: Big Bambu
Writer(s):    Marin/Chong
Label:    Ode
Year:    1971
    The Bust, from the 1971 Cheech And Chong LP Big Bambu, may just have the greatest punchline in the annals of stoner comedy.
Artist:    Eric Burdon & War
Title:    Sun-Moon
Source:    CD: The Black Man's Burdon
Writer(s):    War
Label:    UMe (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1970
    The second album by Eric Burdon & War was The Black Man's Burdon, a double-LP set full of long, extended pieces that laid the groundwork for War's rise to star status in the 1970s. One of the best of these extended jams was Sun-Moon, a ten-minute long slow blues number that showcases the various band members' talents.

Artist:    Johnny Winter
Title:    I Hate Everybody/Fast Life Rider
Source:    LP: Second Winter
Writer(s):    Johnny Winter
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    The shortest track on Johnny Winter's Second Winter album, I Hate Everybody is a 50s-styled blues boogie that features Johnny's younger brother Edgar prominently on both organ and saxophone, supported by the rhythm section of Tommy Shannon on bass and Uncle John Turner on drums. It's followed on the album immediately by the longest track on the album, the seven-minute Fast Life Rider, which features a long middle section of Winter jamming away against a military-type beat provided by Turner. The other band members provide hoots, hums and hollers, making the whole thing feel a bit like a chain gang recording from the 1930s.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    The Mule
Source:    LP: Fireball
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    The Mule is a mostly-instrumental piece by Deep Purple that is best known as the track that features the Ian Paice drum solo on the album Made In Japan. The studio version of the song, inspired by Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, originally appeared in 1971 on the band's Fireball LP.

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


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