Sunday, April 26, 2020

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2018 (starts 4/27/20)

    This week's show begins and ends with Steve Winwood. In between, we have artists sets from several bands, as well as the usual mix of hits, album tracks and B sides from all kinds of people.

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:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    I'm A Man
Source:    Mono LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Winwood/Miller
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1967
    The Spencer Davis Group, featuring Steve and Muff Winwood, was one of the UK's most successful white R&B bands of the sixties, cranking out a steady stream of hit singles. Two of them, the iconic Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm A Man, were also major hits in the US, the latter being the last song to feature the Winwood brothers. Muff Winwood became a successful record producer. The group itself continued on for several years, but were never able to duplicate their earlier successes. As for Steve Winwood, he quickly faded off into obscurity, never to be heard from again. Except as the leader of Traffic. And a member of Blind Faith. And Traffic again. And some critically-acclaimed collaborations in the early 1980s with Asian musicians. Oh yeah, and a few major solo hits (Higher Love, Roll With It...that kinda thing) in the mid-to-late 1980s. Other than that, nothing.

Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    Time Seller
Source:    British import CD: Acid Daze (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Davis/Hardin/Sawyer
Label:    Uncut (original US label: United Artists)
Year:    1967
    Following the departure of the Winwood brothers in 1967, the Spencer Davis Group, with new members Eddie Hardin and Phil Sawyer, moved in a more psychedelic direction, releasing Time Seller as a single in July. This was the last single to be released on the Fontana label in the UK; subsequent releases appeared on the United Artists label in both the US and UK.
Artist:    Weeds
Title:    It's Your Time
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Bowen/Wynne
Label:    Behemoth (original label: Teenbeat Club)
Year:    1966
    The Weeds were formed in La Vegas in 1966 by Fred Cole (lead vocals), Eddie Bowen (guitar), Ron Buzzell (guitar), Bob Atkins (bass guitar), and Tim Rockson (drums). Cole had already established himself as a recording artist with other local bands that played at the Teenbeat Club (thought to be the first teens-only club in the US) in Paradise, a Las Vegas suburb, and it wasn't long before the Weeds released It's Your Time on the club's own record label. Not long after the single was released the band drove to San Francisco, where they had been promised a gig at the Fillmore Auditorium, but when they arrived they discovered that no one there knew anything about it. Rather than return to Las Vegas, the Weeds decided to head north for Canada to avoid the draft, but they ran out of gas in Portland, Oregon, and soon became part of that city's music scene. Cole would eventually become an indy rock legend with his band Dead Moon, co-founded by his wife Toody, herself a Portland native.
Artist:    Mourning Reign
Title:    Satisfaction Guaranteed
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Rick Keefer
Label:    Rhino (original label: Link)
Year:    1966
    With its higher-than-average ratio of teen-oriented venues to local youth population, San Jose, California was a major center of garage-rock activity. Local bands such as Count Five, the Syndicate of Soul and People all scored hits on the national charts, and many other bands made records that found local radio stations more than willing to play songs that weren't being heard on the big stations up the bay in San Francisco. One of the local bands to record locally was the Mourning Reign, who had a steady gig as the house band at a local roller rink. Their only single was Satisfaction Guaranteed, which rocked the local airwaves in the fall of 1966.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Big Black Smoke
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    The Kinks had some of the best B sides of the 60s. Case in point: Big Black Smoke, which appeared as the flip of Dead End Street in early 1967. The song deals with a familiar phenomenon of the 20th century: the small town girl that gets a rude awakening after moving to the big city. In this case the city was London, known colloquially as "the Smoke".

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    About A Quarter To Nine
Source:    CD: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) (original LP title: The Electric Prunes)
Writer(s):    Dubin/Warren
Label:    Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    In the liner notes for the 2000 reissue of the debut Electric Prunes album (temporarily retitled I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)), rock critic Richie Unterberger characterizes About A Quarter To Nine as a "fruity Las Vegas-vaudeville-style number". This assessment pretty much explains why it is among the least-heard Electric Prunes songs on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, or anywhere else for that matter. (In fact, this is the first time it has ever been played on the show).

Artist:     Monkees
Title:     The Door Into Summer
Source:     CD: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.
Writer:     Douglas/Martin
Label:     Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:     1967
     After playing nearly all the instrumental tracks on their third album themselves, the Monkees came to the painful conclusion that they would not be able to repeat the effort and still have time to tape a weekly TV show. As a result, the fourth Monkees LP, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones LTD., used studio musicians extensively, albeit under the creative supervision of the Monkees themselves. The group also had the final say over what songs ended up on the album, including The door Into Summer, a tune by Bill Martin, a friend of band leader Michael Nesmith. For reasons that are too complicated to get into here (and probably wouldn't make much sense anyway), co-credit was given to the band's producer, Chip Douglas.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly
Source:    CD: Beyond The Garage (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Sundazed (original labels: Original Sound/Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
    The Music Machine was by far the most sophisticated of all the bands playing on L.A.'s Sunset Strip in 1966. Not only did they feature tight sets (so that audience members wouldn't get the chance to call out requests between songs), they also had their own visual look that set them apart from other bands. Dressed entirely in black (including dyed hair), and with leader Sean Bonniwell wearing one black glove, the Machine projected an image that would influence such diverse artists as the Ramones and Michael Jackson in later years. Musically, Bonniwell's songwriting showed a sophistication that was on a par with the best L.A. had to offer, demonstrated by a series of fine singles such as The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly. Unfortunately, problems on the business end prevented the Music Machine from achieving the success it deserved and Bonniwell eventually quit the music business altogether in disgust.

Artist:    Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:    Incense And Peppermints
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single B side; re-released as A side)
Writer:    Carter/Gilbert/Weitz/King
Label:    Priority (original label: All-American; reissued nationally on Uni Records)
Year:    1967   
    Incense and Peppermints started off as an instrumental, mostly because the band simply couldn't come up with any lyrics. Their producer decided to bring in professional songwriters to finish the song, and ended up giving them full credit for it. This did not sit well with the band members. In fact, they hated the lyrics so much that their regular vocalist refused to sing on the record. Undaunted, the producer brought in the lead vocalist from another local L.A. band to sing the song, which was then put on the B side of The Birdman Of Alcatrash. Somewhere along the line a local DJ flipped the record over and started playing Incense And Peppermints instead. The song caught on and Uni Records (short for Universal, which is now the world's largest record company) picked up the Strawberry Alarm Clock's contract and reissued the record nationally with Incense And Peppermints as the A side. Now imagine having to go through the rest of your life knowing that your main (and let's be honest here, only) claim to fame was a song you detested.

Artist:     Beatles
Title:     Fixing A Hole
Source:     LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer:     Lennon/McCartney
Label:     Parlophone/EMI (original US label: Capitol)
Year:     1967
     The first Beatle album to appear with the same tracks in the same order on both US and UK versions was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The only differences between the two were a lack of spaces in the vinyl (called "banding") on the UK version and a bit of gobbledygook heard at the end of the record (but only if you did not have a turntable that automatically lifted the needle out of the groove after the last track). Said gobbledygook is included after A Day In The Life on the CD version of Sgt. Pepper's as a hidden track if you really want to hear what it sounds like.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Blue Jay Way
Source:    CD: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    The Beatles' psychedelic period hit its peak with the late 1967 release of the Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack. As originally conceived there were only six songs on the album, too few for a standard LP. The band's solution was to present Magical Mystery Tour as two Extended Play (EP) 45 RPM records in a gatefold sleeve with a 23 page booklet featuring lyrics and scenes from the telefilm of the same name (as well as the general storyline in prose form).  As EPs were out of vogue in the US, Capitol Records, against the band's wishes, added five songs that had been issued as single A or B sides in 1967 to create a standard LP. The actual Magical Mystery Tour material made up side one of the LP, while the single sides were on side two. The lone George Harrison contribution to the project was Blue Jay Way, named for a street in the Hollywood Hills that Harrison had rented a house on that summer.  As all five of the extra tracks were credited to the Lennon/McCartney songwriting team, this meant that each of the band's 1967 albums had only one Harrison composition on them. This became a point of contention within the band, and on the Beatles' next album (the white album), Harrison's share of the songwriting had doubled.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite
Source:    LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    EMI/Parlophone
Year:    1967
    According to principal songwriter John Lennon, Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite was inspired by a turn of the century circus poster that the Beatles ran across while working on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Most of the lyrics refer to items on the poster itself, such as Henry the Horse and the Hendersons.

Artist:    Fantasy
Title:    Wages Of Sin
Source:    LP: Fantasy
Writer(s):    Gregory Scott Kimple
Label:    Liberty
Year:    1970
    Fantasy was formed in Miami in 1967 by Billy Robbins (vocals), Bob Robbins (bass), Jim DeMeo (guitar), Mario Russo (keyboards) and Greg Kimple (drums). The group slowly built up a following and eventually became the house band at Thee Image, the club managed by another, better known band, Blues Image. Fantasy held that gig for several months until front man Billy Robbins, who was a major reason for the group's popularity, went missing. After the singer's death, the group began a search for a new vocalist, eventually settling on 16-year-old Lydia Janene Miller. Not long after Miller joined the band, they signed with Liberty Records, releasing one album in 1970. All of the band members contributed to the songwriting chores on the self-titled LP, including drummer Kimple, who wrote Wages Of Sin, one of the stronger tracks on the album. Not long after the album's release, Miller left the group for a solo release, while the rest of the band carried on under the name Year One for awhile.

Artist:      Doors
Title:     Shaman's Blues
Source:      CD: The Soft Parade
Writer:    Jim Morrison
Label:    Elektra
Year:     1969
     Often dismissed as the weakest entry in the Doors catalogue, The Soft Parade nonetheless is significant in that for the first time songwriting credits were given to individual band members. Shaman's Blues, in my opinion one of the four redeeming tracks on the album, is Jim Morrison's.

Artist:    Action
Title:    Favourite Days
Source:    British import CD: Mighty Baby
Writer(s):    Ian Whiteman
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Head)
Year:    1968
    The Action was one of the more popular bands on the London scene during the heydey of the Mods, but by 1968 they found themselves being left behind by the more progressive bands that were coming into vogue. Adding to the confusion, original lead vocalist and primary songwriter Reg King had left the band at the end of 1967, leaving multi-instrumentalist Ian Whiteman to take over both roles. Whiteman soon developed his own sound, as can be heard on Favourite Days. The Action would eventually change their name to Mighty Baby, releasing their only LP in 1969. Favourite Days, as well as the other 1968 Action demo tapes, are now available as bonus tracks on the CD reissue of the Mighty Baby album.

Artist:    Oracle
Title:    Don't Say No
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single).
Writer(s):    Ruthann Friedmann
Label:    Rhino (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:    1968
    Before the days of arena rock, with two or three bands touring together and putting on virtually the same show night after night, headliner bands often looked to local talent for their opening act, making each stop on the tour a unique event. Sometimes the local opening band made enough of an impression to create a path to stardom for themselves as well, or at least to get a record contract. Take the case of a Lake Charles, Lousiana band known locally as the Great Society. Although they had not made any records, they had developed enough of a reputation to be able to score gigs across the state line in East Texas. One of those gigs was opening for the Music Machine in mid 1967. The Music Machine, at this point, was experiencing the frustration of being unable to score a successful follow up to their 1966 hit Talk Talk and was on the verge of dissolving, with the various individual members starting to explore other options. Among those members was bassist Keith Olsen, who liked Great Society enough to convince them to come out to Los Angeles and let Olsen produce them. Things did not go exactly as planned, however, as a bad acid trip left the band in no shape to cut a record. Olsen, however, working with co-producer Curt Boettcher, did get the group to provide vocals for a studio project the two of them were working on, a Ruthann Friedmann song called Don't Say No. As there had already been a band in California called Great! Society as recently as 1966, it was decided to rename the group the Oracle for the release of Don't Say No on the Verve Forecast label in 1968. Although the record was not a hit, it did help open doors for Olsen, who would go on to discover and produce the duo known as Buckingham Nicks, along with their breakthrough album as members of Fleetwood Mac. Since then Olsen has become one of the top producers in the history of rock music, working with such well known artists as the Grateful Dead, Bob Weir, Eddie Money, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Rick Springfield, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Heart, Joe Walsh, Starship, Santana, Kim Carnes, Jethro Tull, The Babys, Ozzy Osbourne, the Scorpions, .38 Special, Bad Company, Sammy Hagar, Russ Ballard, Whitesnake, Foreigner, Sheena Easton, Journey, Loverboy, and Lou Gramm. Not bad for a bass player from a one-hit wonder band.

Artist:    Standells
Title:    Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ed Cobb
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1966
     If ever a song could be considered a garage-punk anthem, it's Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White, the follow-up single to the classic Dirty Water. Both songs were written by Standells' manager/producer Ed Cobb, the record industry's answer to Ed Wood.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    Rush Hour
Source:    Mono LP: Electric Comic Book
Writer(s):    Gilbert/Scala/Daking/Theilhelm/Esposito
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1967
    One of the best examples of music and subject matter supporting each other ever recorded is the Blues Magoos' Rush Hour from their Electric Comic Book album. From the overdriven opening chord through the crash and burn ending, the track maintains a frantic pace that resembles nothing more than a musical traffic jam, especially in its mono mix heard here. Rush Hour is also the only Blues Magoos track I know of to include writing credits for the entire band, including drummer Geoff Daking's only official songwriting credit.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Mother's Little Helper
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1966
    By 1966 the Rolling Stones had already had a few brushes with the law over their use of illegal drugs. Mother's Little Helper, released in spring of 1966, is a scathing criticism of the parents of the Stones' fans for their habitual abuse of "legal" prescription drugs while simultaneously persecuting those same fans (and the band itself) for smoking pot. Perhaps more than any other song that year, Mother's Little Helper illustrates the increasingly hostile generation gap that had sprung up between the young baby boomers and the previous generation.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Lady Jane
Source:    CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single B side and on LP: Aftermath)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1966
    One of the best early Rolling Stones albums is 1966's Aftermath, which included such classics as Under My Thumb, Stupid Girl and the eleven-minute Goin' Home. Both the US and UK versions of the LP included the song Lady Jane, which was also released as the B side to Mother's Little Helper (which had been left off the US version of Aftermath to make room for Paint It Black). The policy at the time was for B sides that got a significant amount of airplay to be rated separately from the A side of the single, and Lady Jane managed to climb to the # 24 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 (Mother's Little Helper peaked at # 8).

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Jiving Sister Fanny
Source:    CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 1975
    Although it first appeared as the B side of Mick Jagger's 1975 single Out Of Time, Jiving Sister Fanny was actually recorded by the Rolling Stones in 1969. Out Of Time was even older, however, having been recorded by Jagger as a guide track for a 1966 Chris Farlowe single that Jagger produced using the actual instrumental track from that single. By 1975 both tracks (along with all of the '60s Rolling Stones recordings) were in the hands of Allen Klein, who paired the two songs up for single release on his Abkco label.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    See See Rider
Source:    LP: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals Vol. II (originally released on LP: Animalization)
Writer(s):    Ma Rainey
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    One of the last singles released by the original incarnation of the Animals, See See Rider traces its roots back to the 1920s, when it was first recorded by Ma Rainey. The Animals version is considerably faster than most other recordings of the song, and includes a signature opening rift by organist Dave Rowberry (who had replaced founder Alan Price prior to the recording of the Animalization album where the song first appeared) that is unique to the Animals' take on the tune. The record label itself credits Rowberry as the songwriter, rather than Rainey, perhaps because the Animals' arrangement was so radically different from various earlier recordings of the song, such as the #1 R&B hit by Chuck Willis and LaVerne Baker's early 60s version.
Artist:    Chocolate Watch Band
Title:    Let's Talk About Girls
Source:    CD: No Way Out
Writer(s):    Manny Freiser
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    I find it sadly ironic that the first cut on the first album released by San Jose, California's Chocolate Watchband had a vocal track by Don Bennett, a studio vocalist under contract to Tower Records, replacing the original track by Watchband vocalist Dave Aguilar. Aguilar's vocals were also replaced by Bennett's on the Watchband's cover of Wilson Pickett's "In the Midnight Hour" on the same album. In addition, there are four instrumental tracks on the album that are played entirely by studio musicians. Worse yet, the entire first side of the Watchband's second LP was done by studio musicians and the third Watchband LP featured an entirely different lineup. The final insult was when Lenny Kaye, who assembled the original Nuggets collection in the early 1970s, elected to include this recording, rather than one of the several fine tracks that actually did feature Aguilar on vocals.

Artist:    Neil Young
Title:    The Loner
Source:    LP: The Big Ball (originally released on LP: Neil Young)
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    The Loner could easily have been passed off as a Buffalo Springfield song. In addition to singer/songwriter/guitarist Neil Young, the tune features Springfield members Jim Messina on bass and George Grantham on drums. Since Buffalo Springfield was functionally defunct by the time the song was ready for release, however, it instead became Young's first single as a solo artist. The song first appeared, in a longer form, on Young's first solo album in late 1968, with the single being released three months later. The subject of The Loner has long been rumored to be Young's bandmate Stephen Stills, or possibly Young himself. As usual, Neil Young ain't sayin'.
Artist:    Jimi Hendrix/Gypsy Sun & Rainbows
Title:    Message To The Universe (Message To Love)
Source:    CD: South Saturn Delta
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Experience Hendrix/MCA
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 1997
    On August 28, 1969, less than two weeks after his appearance at Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix brought his stage band, semi-officially known as Gypsy Sun & Rainbows, to New York's Hit Factory studio to record some new songs he had been working on that summer. The first track recorded was Message To The Universe, a slightly modified version of a tune the band had performed at Woodstock. Hendrix would continue to reshape the tune over the next few months, eventually giving it a new title, Message To Love, and performing it live at Madison Square Garden on January 1st, 1970 with bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles. That performance was released as the album Band Of Gypsys.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Cat's Squirrel
Source:    CD: This Was
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Abrahams
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Probably the Jethro Tull recording with the least Ian Anderson influence, Cat's Squirrel was recorded at the insistence of record company people, who felt the song was most representative of the band's live sound. The traditional tune was arranged by guitarist Mick Abrahams, who left the band due to creative differences with Anderson shortly thereafter. Cat's Squirrel became a live staple of Abrahams's next band, Blodwyn Pig.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    It's Breaking Me Up
Source:    LP: This Was
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Jethro Tull originally was part of the British blues scene, but even in the early days the band's principal songwriter Ian Anderson made no secret of the fact that he wanted to expand beyond the confines of that particular genre. Ironically, It's Breaking Me Up, from Jethro Tull's first LP, is an Anderson composition that is rooted solidly in the British blues style.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Dharma For One
Source:    CD: This Was
Writer(s):    Anderson/Bunker
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    By 1968 it was almost considered mandatory that a rock band would include a drum solo on at least one album, thanks to Ginger Baker's Toad (on Cream's Wheels Of Fire) and Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. Jethro Tull's contribution to the trend was Dharma For One, the only Tull song to give a writing credit to drummer Clive Bunker. Compared to most drum solos, Bunker's is fairly short (less than two minutes) and somewhat quirky, almost resembling a Spike Jones recording in places.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    It's No Secret
Source:    CD: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer:    Marty Balin
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1966
    The first Jefferson Airplane song to get played on the radio was not Somebody To Love. Rather, it was It's No Secret, from the album Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, that got extensive airplay, albeit only in the San Francisco Bay area. Still, the song was featured on a 1966 Bell Telephone Hour special on Haight Ashbury that introduced a national TV audience to what was happening out on the coast and may have just touched off the exodus to San Francisco the following year.
Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    A Christmas Camel
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Procol Harum
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    Deram
Year:    1967
    In 1966 Gary Brooker, former member of British cover band the Paramounts, formed a songwriting partnership with lyricist Keith Reid. By spring of 1967 the two had at least an album's worth of songs written but no band to play them. They solved the dilemma by placing an ad in Melody Maker and soon formed a group called the Pinewoods. Their very first record was A Whiter Shade Of Pale, which soon became the number one song on the British charts (after the Pinewoods changed their name to Procol Harum). The problem was that the group didn't know any other songs, a problem that was solved by firing the drummer and guitarist and replacing them with two of Brooker's former bandmates, B.J. Wilson and Robin Trower. This second version of the group soon recorded an LP, which included several strong tracks such as A Christmas Camel.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Withering Tree
Source:    CD: Traffic (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM B side and included on LP: Last Exit)
Writer:    Winwood/Capaldi
Label:    Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1968
    One of Traffic's best-known songs is Feelin' Alright from their eponymous second LP. When the song was issued as a single in 1968, a brand-new song, Withering Tree, was included as a B side. The song was also released as the B side of You Can All Join In, a Dave Mason penned song that appeared as a single in continental Europe with the same catalog number as the British version of Feelin' Alright. The stereo version of Withering Tree would not be heard until 1969, when it was included on the post-breakup Traffic LP Last Exit.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2018 (starts 4/27/20)

    It's time once again for an hour of free-form, as we start off rockin' hard with Deep Purple and end up on a soulful number by the Undisputed Truth. As for what comes between the two, read on...

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Lazy
Source:    LP: Machine Head
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1972
    The longest track on Deep Purple's most popular album, Machine Head, Lazy was long a concert favorite, often running over 10 minutes in length. The original studio version starts with a Jon Lord solo on a heavily overdriven Hammond organ. This leads into the first instance of the song's main riff, played by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. The two of them continue to trade licks as the rest of the band comes in, building to one of the hardest rocking songs ever recorded.

Artist:    Humble Pie
Title:    The Fixer
Source:    CD: Smokin'
Writer(s):    Steve Marriott
Label:    A&M
Year:    1972
    Peter Frampton left Humble Pie for a solo career in 1971, leaving Steve Marriott as both the frontman and primary songwriter for the band. The first album without Frampton, Smokin', was also Humble Pie's most successful thanks in large part to Marriott's 30 Days In The Hole, which quickly became a rock standard. Another standout Marriott composition on the album was The Fixer, a hard rockin' tune that helped establish Humble Pie as the premier British boogie band of the early 1970s.

Artist:    Badfinger
Title:    No Matter What
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Pete Ham
Label:    Apple
Year:    1970
    Aside from the Beatles, the band most closely associated with Apple Records was Badfinger. Originally known as the Iveys, Badfinger was the first band signed to Apple and remained with the label throughout its existence. Led by Pete Ham, Badfinger had a string of successful singles for the label, including No Matter What, a Ham composition from the band's second LP, No Dice. The song, released in 1970, is considered by many to be the earliest example of what would come to be known as power pop later in the decade.

Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Sometime World
Source:    CD: Argus
Writer(s):    Turner/Turner/Upton/Powell
Label:    MCA/Decca
Year:    1972
    Guitarist Andy Powell shines on Sometime World from the third Wishbone Ash album, Argus. The song, about missed opportunities and second chances, starts quietly, building slowly to become a powerful rocker over the course of nearly seven minutes. Although the song was seldom performed live, Powell has since stated that Sometime World is his favorite track on Argus.

Artist:    Chicago
Title:    25 Or 6 To 4
Source:    CD: Chicago
Writer(s):    Robert Lamm
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1970
    For their second LP, Chicago (which had just dropped the words "Transit Authority" from their name in response to a threatened lawsuit) tried out all three of their vocalists on each new song to hear who sounded the best for that particular song. In the case of Robert Lamm's 25 Or 6 To 4, bassist Peter Cetera did the honors. The song became a top 10 single both in the US and UK. Despite rumors to the contrary, Lamm says 25 Or 6 To 4 is not a drug song. Instead, he says, the title refers to the time of the morning that he was awake and writing the tune.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Breathe/Speak To Me/On The Run
Source:    CD: The Dark Side Of The Moon
Writer(s):    Mason/Waters/Gilmour/Wright
Label:    Capitol (original label: Harvest)
Year:    1973
    Is there really anything I can say about Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon that hasn't been said a hundred times already? Probably not, so let's just kick back and enjoy the album's opening tracks, Breathe/Speak To Me and On The Run.

Artist:    Steve Miller Band
Title:    Motherless Children
Source:    LP: Anthology (originally released on LP: Your Saving Grace)
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Miller
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    Motherless Children is one of those songs that seems to have always been there. The first known recording of the song was made by Blind Willie Johnson in 1927, and the tune was considered a traditional ballad  even then. Over the years several versions of Motherless Children have been recorded by such notables as Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, Eric Clapton, Rosanne Cash and Lucinda Williams. Perhaps the most unusual arrangement of the tune, however, was the opening track of side two of the Steve Miller Band album Your Saving Grace, released in 1969. Rather than take a traditional blues approach to the tune, Miller slows down the song, giving it an almost drone-like quality and stretching it out to a full six minutes in length. An edited version of the recording was included on Miller's 1972 Anthology compilation.

Artist:    Savoy Brown
Title:    Sunday Night
Source:    CD: Looking In
Writer(s):    Kim Simmonds
Label:    Deram (original label: Parrot)
Year:    1970
    Despite being a British blues-rock band, Savoy Brown released their sixth LP, Looking In, to a US audience nearly two months before it was available anywhere else, including their native England. The album, which put more emphasis on hard rock than any other Savoy Brown LP, ended up being their most successful, hitting #50 in the UK and doing even better (#39) in the US. Songwriting duties were spread out among band members, with founder and lead guitarist Kim Simmonds supplying the instrumental Sunday Night, among other tunes. Not long after Looking In was released, Simmonds let the entire band go due to differences in opinion about the band's future musical direction. Savoy Brown, with an ever-changing lineup, would remain solidly based in the blues, while the new band formed by the other three members, Foghat, would continue in a more hard rocking vein. 

Artist:     Ringo Starr
Title:     Early 1970
Source:     45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Richard Starkey
Label:    Apple
Year:     1971
     The first gold record by an ex-Beatle did not come from John Lennon or Paul McCartney, as one would expect. Rather it was drummer Ringo Starr, who topped the charts in 1971 with It Don't Come Easy (co-written by an uncredited George Harrison). The B side of that single, Early 1970, is a thinly disguised message to Ringo's former bandmates describing where things stood just after the breakup of the Beatles became public knowledge and expressing the hope that they could still play together from time to time.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Ships w/Sails
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Krieger/Densmore
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1971
    The seventh Doors studio album, Other Voices, was the first to be released following the death of the band's front man, Jim Morrison, in 1971. Most of the songs had been recorded while Morrison was in Paris, with the expectation that he would soon be returning to Los Angeles to add vocal tracks to the master tapes. When that didn't happen, guitarist Robby Krieger and keyboardist Ray Manzarek added their own vocals to the songs. Interestingly, Ships w/Sails, which was written by Krieger and drummer John Densmore, was not sung by Krieger himself. Rather, it was Ray Manzarek's vocals that were featured on the tune, which was also released, in edited version, as a single in February of 1972.
Artist:    Mahavishnu Orchestra
Title:    Open Country Joy
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    John McLaughlin
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1973
    John McLaughlin. Billy Cobham. Rick Laird. Jan Hammer. Jerry Goodman. All were destined to become jazz-rock fusion stars by the end of the decade, but in 1971 the term fusion, as applied to music, was not yet in use. Yet fusion was indeed the most appropriate word for the Mahavishnu Orchestra, whose five members came from five different countries: England, Ireland, Panama, Czechoslovakia (as it was then known) and the US, respectively. The members came from a variety of music backgrounds as well. McLaughlin (who wrote all the group's material) and Cobham had met while working on Miles Davis' Bitches Brew album, while Goodman had recorded two albums with the Chicago-based Flock. The Mahavishnu Orchestra was known for its ability to quickly shift between music styles on such tracks as Open Country Joy, which appeared on the group's second LP, Birds of Fire, as well as being released as a single.The original band disbanded after only two albums, but McLaughlin would later revive the group with a different lineup in the 1980s.

Artist:    Undisputed Truth
Title:    This Child Needs Its Father
Source:    British import CD: Nothing But The Truth (originally released on LP: Law Of The Land)
Writer(s):    Dino Fekaris
Label:    Kent (original label: Gordy)
Year:    1973
    Most of the songs recorded by the Undisputed Truth had already been recorded by other artists. There were a couple of exceptions on their 1973 LP Law Of The Land, however. One of these was This Child Needs Its Father, which would end up being released the following year as a B side by Gladys Knight And The Pips. Like many other early 1970s songs, This Child Needs Its Father addressed the growing trend of children being born out of wedlock.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2017 (starts 4/20/20)

    This time around we have back to back artists' sets from Jefferson Airplane and Donovan, an entire album side from Quicksilver Messenger Service and an upbeat Advanced Psych segment...and that only accounts for about half of the show! For the rest, read on...

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Pushin' Too Hard
Source:    Mono British import CD: Singles As & Bs (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    Big Beat (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1965
    The Seeds' Pushin' Too Hard is generally included on every collection of psychedelic hits ever compiled. And for good reason. The song is an undisputed classic.

Artist:     Blues Project
Title:     Violets Of Dawn (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Source:     LP:Tommy Flanders, Danny Kalb, Steve Katz, Al Kooper, Andy Kuhlberg, Roy Blumenfeld Of The Blues Project (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:     Eric Anderson
Label:     Verve Forecast
Year:     1966
     Although Columbia decided not to sign the Blues Project, the songs they recorded for the label in late 1965 ended up being released as their first single for Verve in January of 1966. The B side of that single was Violets of Dawn, written by folk singer Eric Anderson. The recording was also included, with fake clapping overdubbed over the end of the song, on the band's debut LP, Live At Cafe Au Go Go, despite the fact that lead vocalist Tommy Flanders had quit the band before the album came out. Speaking of Flanders, he sounds just a bit out of his element here, as he, by all accounts, had a Mick Jagger-like quality about him that was better suited for the band's more energetic material.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Ain't No Tellin'
Source:    CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Possibly the closest thing to a traditional R&B style song in JImi Hendrix's repertoire, Ain't No Tellin' was also, at one minute and 47 seconds, one of the shortest tracks ever recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The tune appeared on the Axis: Bold As Love album in 1967.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    No Expectations
Source:    LP: Beggar's Banquet
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1968
    After the heavy dose of studio effects on Their Satanic Majesties Request, the Rolling Stones took a back-to-basics approach for their next album, Beggar's Banquet, the first to be produced by Jimmy Miller (who had previously worked with Steve Winwood in Traffic and the Spencer Davis Group). No Expectations, the second track on the album, uses minimal instrumentation and places a greater emphasis on Mick Jagger's vocals and Brian Jones's slide guitar work. Sadly, it was to be Jones's last album as a member of the Rolling Stones, as heavy drug use was already taking its toll (and would soon take his life as well).

Artist:    Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band
Title:    Moonlight On Vermont
Source:    CD: Trout Mask Replica
Writer(s):    Don Van Vliet
Label:    Reprise (original label: Straight)
Year:    1969
    After going through three different record labels in less than three years, Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band finally found a comfortable fit with Frank Zappa's Straight Records in 1968. In August of that year the Captain (Don Van Vliet), along with band members Bill Harkleroad and Jeff Cotton on guitar, John French on drums, and Van Vliet's friend Gary Marker (formerly of the Rising Sons) on bass, recorded the first two tracks for what would become the ultimate Captain Beefheart album, Trout Mask Replica. One of those tracks was Moonlight On Vermont, a "swampy blues" tune that is generally considered to be among the finest of Captain Beefheart's recordings.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    White Rabbit
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Grace Slick
Label:    RCA
Year:    1967
    For many the definitive song of the psychedelic era, White Rabbit, released as a single after getting extensive airplay on "underground" FM stations, was the second (and final) top 10 hit for Jefferson Airplane during the summer of '67. In 1987 RCA released a special stereo reissue of the single on white vinyl to accompany the 2400 Fulton Street box set.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Turn My Life Down
Source:    CD: Volunteers
Writer(s):    Jorma Kaukonen
Label:    BMG/RCA
Year:    1969
    The fifth Jefferson Airplane studio album has a reputation of being their most political album. While that may be true, Volunteers is also the album that most showcases the growing diversity of writing styles among band members. In particular Jorma Kaukonen's contributions, such as Turn My Life Down, serve as a preview of the style that he and Jack Casady would adopt when they formed Hot Tuna the following year.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Plastic Fantastic Lover
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Marty Balin
Label:    RCA
Year:    1967
    Jefferson Airplane scored their first top 10 hit with Somebody To Love, the second single released from the Surrealistic Pillow album. Almost immediately, forward-thinking FM stations began playing other tracks from the album. One of those favored album tracks, Plastic Fantastic Lover, ended up being the B side of the band's follow-up single, White Rabbit. When the Airplane reunited in 1989 and issued their two-disc retrospective, 2400 Fulton Street, they issued a special stereo pressing of the single on white vinyl as a way of promoting the collection.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    West Indian Lady
Source:    British import CD: The Hurdy Gurdy Man (originally released in US)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    EMI (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    Released in October of 1968, The Hurdy Gurdy Man is generally considered the most musically diverse of all of Donovan's albums. West Indian Lady, for example, incorporates a calypso beat, similar to the one used on his 1967 single There Is A Mountain.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Guinevere
Source:    Mono LP: Sunshine Superman
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Epic/Sundazed
Year:    1966
    Donovan's Sunshine Superman marked the beginning of a transition for the Scottish singer/songwriter from folk singer with a primarily British fan base to an international star at the forefront of the psychedelic era. One track on the album that shows a bit of both is Guinevere. The basic song is very much in the traditional British vein, with lyrics that deliberately hearken back to Arthurian times. Yet the entire track is colored by the presence of a sitar, a decidedly non-British instrument that was becoming popular among the psychedelic crowd in 1966.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    The Sun Is A Very Magic Fellow
Source:    British import CD: The Hurdy Gurdy Man
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    EMI (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    In December of 1967 Donovan released an ambitious double-LP box set called A Gift From A Flower To A Garden. Each of the two LPs had its own subtitle; in fact, the two were also released as separate albums in the US. While the first disc, Wear Your Love Like Heaven, continued the general direction toward psychedelic pop that Donovan's music had been taking that year, the second disc, For Little Ones, was acoustic in nature, and had a more childlike quality. His next studio album, The Hurdy Gurdy Man, contained elements of both discs, with songs like The Sun Is A Very Magic Fellow being an example of the latter.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    I Wanna Be Around/Workshop/Vega-Tables
Source:    Mono LP: The Smile Sessions
Writer(s):    Mercer/Wilson/Parks
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 2011
    Probably the most celebrated unreleased album in history was the Beach Boys' Smile. When recording for the album began in 1966, it was to be Brian Wilson's crowning achievement, as producer, songwriter and performer. The entire project fell apart in early 1967, however, and the much smaller-scale Smiley Smile was released in its place later that year. Still, bits and pieces of the original Smile sessions, long thought to have been destroyed, would occasionally surface over the years, despite Wilson's stated desire to never revisit the project. Finally, in the early 2000s, Wilson himself, working with a new band, recreated the entire Smile album from scratch, releasing it in 2004. Even then there was interest in the original Beach Boys recordings, and finally, in 2011, the surviving tapes were assembled in an approximation of the original Smile album. The Smile Sessions closely parallels Brian Wilson Presents Smile, with only a few differences. One of those is the omission of a short piece called I'm In Great Shape from the beginning of The Smile Sessions' third movement (it appears instead in the middle of the first), leaving the instrumental adaptation of the 1963 Tony Bennett hit I Wanna Be Around (supplemented by the sound-effects laden Workshop) as the movement's opener, which segues into Vega-Tables, a song that was included (in a stripped down form) on Smiley Smile in 1967.

Artist:    Notes From The Underground
Title:    You Don't Love Me
Source:    British import CD: The Berkeley EPs
Writer(s):    Mark Mandrell
Label:    Big Beat
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1995
    When it comes to describing Berkeley, California, the first word that comes to mind is "alternative." For one thing, Berkeley sits across Oakland Bay from San Francisco, making it a natural alternative to the city itself. This sense of being an alternative extends itself to the local music scene as well. While San Francisco was developing bands like Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Grateful Dead, Berkeley was fostering groups like Country Joe And The Fish and Notes From The Underground. Unlike other Berkeley bands, however, Notes From The Underground stayed away from politics, and were generally less experimental than their contemporaries on the north side of the Bay. The Notes took over the Fish's spot at the place known as the Jabberwock when that band began playing more out-of-town gigs, and eventually followed in Country Joe's footsteps by issuing their own self-titled EP in 1967. In addition to the five songs issued on the EP the group recorded three more songs that remained unreleased until 1995, when they appeared on a British compilation disc called The Berkeley EPs. One of these song is You Don't Love Me, which bears no resemblance to the old Willie Cobbs tune covered by several rock bands in the late 60s and early 70s (including the Allman Brothers Band). This You Don't Love Me was written by guitarist Mark Mandell (no relation to Harvey), who co-founded Notes From The Underground in 1965.

Artist:    ? And The Mysterians
Title:    I Can't Get Enough Of You Baby
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:    Randle/Linzer
Label:    Abkco (original label: Cameo)
Year:    1967
    ? And The Mysterians' 1966 hit 96 Tears was the last song on the legendary Cameo label to hit the top 10 before the label went bankrupt in 1967 (and was bought by Allan Klein, who still reissues old Cameo-Parkway recordings on his Abkco label). Shortly before that bankruptcy was declared, however, the group released Can't Get Enough Of You Baby, which stalled out in the lower reaches of the charts. The song itself, however, finally achieved massive popularity at the end of the century, when a new version of the tune by Smash Mouth went to the top of the charts.

Artist:    Fever Tree
Title:    I Can Beat Your Drum
Source:    Mono British import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Scott and Vivian Holtzman
Label:    Big Beat (original US label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
    Formed in 1966 in Spring Branch, Texas, the Bostwick Vines were already well-established in the Houston area when they, at the suggestion of their managers, the husband and wife team of Scott and Vivian Holtzman, changed their name to Fever Tree. The Holtzman's were highly influential on the Houston music scene, thanks in part to Scott's popular Nowsounds column inthe Houston Post. When Bob Shad came to town looking to sign local bands to his Mainstream label he naturally contacted the Holtzman's who in turn got Fever Tree signed to the label. Their first single for the label, Hey Mister, was released in February of 1967, with I Can Beat Your Drum on the B side. After their second single, Girl, Oh Girl (Don't Push Me) topped the charts on Houston radio stations the group went national and signed with MCA's Uni label, scoring their only national hit with San Francisco Girls (Return Of The Native) in 1968.

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Ball And Chain
Source:    CD: Cheap Thrills
Writer(s):    Willie Mae Thornton
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1968
    Big Brother And The Holding Company electrified the crowd at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967 with their performance of Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton's Ball And Chain. The rest of the world, however, would have to wait until the following year to hear Janis Joplin's version of the old blues tune, when a live performance recorded at Bill Graham's Fillmore Auditorium was included on the LP Cheap Thrills.

Artist:    Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title:    Good Golly Miss Molly
Source:    LP: Bayou Country
Writer(s):    Blackwell/Marascallo
Label:    Fantasy
Year:    1969
    Although the second Creedence Clearwater Revival album, Bayou Country, contained mostly John Fogerty originals, there was one notable cover song on the LP: a version of Good Golly Miss Molly that was rowdy enough to make Little Richard proud.
Artist:    Squires Of The Subterrain
Title:    Mrs. Maude
Source:    CD: Pop In A CD
Writer(s):    Chris Zajkowski
Label:    Rocket Racket
Year:    Recorded 1996, released 1998
    Chris Earl was the drummer for Rochester, NY's Salamanders, a popular dance band in the mid-1990s. Before that he had been a member of a group called the Essentials. Throughout all of this he had been quietly indulging his psychedelic side in his basement, recording several songs as the Squires Of The Subterrain and forming his own Rocket Racket label in 1989. While continuing to perform locally with various groups he continued to release underground Squires cassette tapes. Finally, in 1998, he released Pop In A CD, a compilation CD taken from his previous releases. The CD has several outstanding tracks, including 1995's Mrs. Maude. Earl released several more Squires Of The Subterrain CDs over the years, the most recent being Radio Silence, released in 2019 (which I am still waiting for a copy of, if you happen to be reading this, Chris).

Artist:    Mumphries
Title:    Time For A Change
Source:    CD: Thank You, Bonzo
Writer(s):    Stephen R Webb
Label:    WayWard
Year:    1989
    Time For A Change is the opening track from the only Mumphries album, Thank You, Bonzo. Recorded and released in 1989, it is a protest against corporate misbehavior in the 1980s. Unfortunately, such misbehavior seems to have only gotten worse in the ensuing decades.
Artist:    Liquid Scene
Title:    The Other Side Of The Sun
Source:    CD: Revolutions
Writer(s):    Becki DiGregario
Label:    Ziglain
Year:    2014
    The Other Side Of The Sun is, put simply, a catchy tune with an infectious guitar riff that nicely sets the stage for Revolutions, the debut album from San Francisco's Liquid Scene. Last time I played something from Revolutions I mistakenly identified it as being released in 2015. Much thanks to producer/engineer Vince Sanchez at VSO Productions for making me aware of this fine CD.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Eight Miles High
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Fifth Dimension)
Writer(s):    Clark/McGuinn/Crosby
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1966
    Gene Clark's final contribution to the Byrds was his collaboration with David Crosby and Roger McGuinn, Eight Miles High. Despite a newsletter from the Gavin Report advising stations not to play this "drug song", Eight Miles High managed to hit the top 20 in 1966. The band members themselves claimed that Eight Miles High was not a drug song at all, but was instead referring to the experience of travelling by air. In fact, it was Gene Clark's fear of flying, especially long intercontinental trips, that in part led to his leaving the Byrds.

Artist:     Cream
Title:     N.S.U.
Source:     LP: Fresh Cream
Writer:     Jack Bruce
Label:     Atco
Year:     1966
     The US version of Fresh Cream starts off the with powerful one-two punch of I Feel Free and N.S.U. Although I Feel Free was a purely studio creation that never got performed live, N.S.U. became a staple of the band's concert performances, and was even performed by various other bands that bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce was a member of over the years.

Artist:    Love
Title:    Signed D.C.
Source:    CD: Comes In Colours (originally released on LP: Love)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Raven (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1966
    One of the most striking tunes on the first Love album is Signed D.C., a slow ballad in the tradition of House of the Rising Sun. The song takes the form of a letter penned by a heroin addict, and the imagery is both stark and disturbing. Although Lee was known to occasionally say otherwise, the song title probably refers to Love's original drummer Don Conka, who left the band before their first recording sessions.

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

Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    Who Do You Love
Source:    LP: Happy Trails
Writer(s):    Elian McDaniel
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    Quick, what was the last rock album released by Capitol using its iconic "rainbow" label before switching over to that horrid light green one that all the early Grand Funk Railroad albums used? If you answered Quicksilver Messenger Service's Happy Trails album, you'd be wrong...but just barely (actually the answer is Gandalf, which was the very next album released after Happy Trails). Happy Trails is dominated by a 25 minute long rendition of Bo Diddley's Who Do You Love recorded live at either the Fillmore East or Fillmore West, or maybe even a combination of both. The performance is divided into continuous sections, each of which is a variation on the song's basic riff as interpreted by (in order), guitarist Gary Duncan, drummer Greg Elmore, guitarist John Cipollina and bassist David Freibereg, although Elmore's segment is more of an audience participation piece. Quicksilver was one of the most popular live acts during the heyday of the late 1960s San Francisco music scene, and this recording demonstrates why.

Artist:    Max Frost And The Troopers
Title:    Paxton Quigley's Had The Course
Source:    CD: Shape Of Things To Come (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Stuart/Clyde
Label:    Captain High (original label: Tower)
Year:    1969
    Although their actual identity was shrouded in mystery, it seems likely that the fictional Max Frost And The Troopers were in reality a band originally known as Mom's Boys and later as the 13th Power. The group, led by Paul Wibier, released at least one single for Mike Curb's Sidewalk label before being drafted to record several songs for the soundtrack of the 1968 film Wild In The Streets, which starred Christopher Jones as Max Frost, the leader of a rock band who gets elected President of the United States. The name 13th Power even appeared on the label of the movie's soundtrack album, but when the song Shape Of Things To Come was released as a single, the band's name had mysteriously changed to Max Frost And The Troopers. This was followed by an album called Shape Of Things To Come that was undoubtedly the work of the same band, as Wibier was credited with writing most of the songs on it. The following year Christopher Jones starred in a film called Three In The Attic, in which he sang a song called Paxton Quigley's Had The Course, written by the folk-pop duo Chad And Jeremy. A single version of the song soon appeared, credited to Max Frost And The Troopers, despite the fact that, in all likelihood, the 13th Power had nothing to do with it. In fact, the single is likely the work of Davie Allan And The Arrows, who did a lot of soundtrack work for Curb, possibly with Jones on vocals.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2017 (starts 4/20/20)

    Well, it's still 4/20, and we've got a smokin' hot mix of tunes. Sorry, couldn't resist. Seriously, though, we've got some good stuff here, like a requested Moody Blues tune, a couple of popular favorites and Jimi Hendrix covering Bo Hansson before anyone outside of Sweden had even heard of Bo Hanssen. Read on...

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    Sweet Leaf
Source:    LP: Master Of Reality
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osbourne/Butler/Ward
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    Composed pretty much entirely in the recording studio, Sweet Leaf is Black Sabbath's unapologetic ode to marijuana. The title was inspired by writing on the inside lid of a pack of Irish cigarettes that contained the words "it's the sweetest leaf that gives you the taste". The coughing at the beginning of the track was provided by Tony Iommi, who was caught by surprise at the potency of a joint handed to him by Ozzy Osbourne. And yes, the entire band was stoned when they recorded Sweet Leaf.
Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Tax Free
Source:    CD: South Saturn Delta (originally released on LP: War Heroes)
Writer(s):    Hansson/Carlsson
Label:    Experience Hendrix/MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 1972
    Very few people outside of Sweden have ever heard of Hansson and Karlsson, a pioneering progressive jazz/rock duo consisting of keyboardist Bo Hansson and drummer Janne Carlsson, whose misspelled name appeared on all three of their albums. One person who did hear of them, and even jammed with them after hours in Stockholm, was Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix was so impressed with their music that he and his band recorded their own version of Tax Free, a song from the first Hansson and Karlsson LP, Monument. Although the song, recorded during sessions for the Electric Ladyland album, was not used on the album itself, Hendrix completed a master tape with overdubs on May 1, 1968, which was remixed by Eddie Kramer and John Jansen in 1972 for the War Heroes LP.
Artist:    Blue Cheer
Title:    Fruit & Icebergs/Honey Butter Lover
Source:    LP: New! Improved! Blue Cheer
Writer(s):    Randy Holden
Label:    Philips
Year:    1969
    Following the release of the second Blue Cheer album, Outsideinside, guitarist Leigh Stephens left the band. His replacement was Randy Holden, who had been a member of the Los Angeles underground band The Other Half. Holden did not stay with the band very long, however. In fact, he left halfway through the recording of the band's third album, New! Improved! Blue Cheer, after recording only the three tracks that make up side two of the original LP. Those three tracks, however, are among the best recordings ever made by Blue Cheer. Two of the songs, Fruit & Icebergs and Honey Butter Lover, actually overlap each other to close out the album.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Title:    Carry On
Source:    CD: Déjà Vu
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Carry On, the opening track from the Crosby, Still, Nash & Young album Déjà Vu, is a Stephen Stills song that incorporates lyrics from an earlier piece, Questions, which appeared on the third Buffalo Springfield album, Last Time Around. The song was the fourth single released from Déjà Vu, but failed to make the top 40 (which only reinforces my belief that top 40 radio had outlived its usefulness by 1970).

Artist:    Uriah Heep
Title:    Love Machine
Source:    British import CD: Look At Yourself
Writer(s):    Hensley/Box/Byron
Label:    Sanctuary/BMG (original US label: Mercury)
Year:    1971
    Often used as Uriah Heep's show closer in 1971, Love Machine, a song written by Keyboardist Ken Hensley, guitarist Mick Box and vocalist David Byron, was also used to close out the band's third LP, Look At Yourself. According to the liner notes written by the band itself, the tune "just rocks".
Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Lucille
Source:    Japanese import CD: Made In Japan (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Collins/Penniman
Label:    Rhino/Purple
Year:    Recorded 1972, released 1998
    Toward the end of 1971 the members of Deep Purple started thinking about making a live album. At the time such things were still a rarity, and it wasn't until the following summer that they finally made the recordings that would become the double LP Made In Japan. One song that was not on the original album was a hard-rocking cover of Little Richard's Lucille, recorded in Osaka on August 16, 1972. The song was finally included on an expanded CD version of the album in 1998.
Artist:    Aerosmith
Title:    Dream Om
Source:    CD: Aerosmith
Writer(s):    Steven Tyler
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1973
    My former bandmate and roomate, the late Jeff "Quincy" Adams, was an Air Force brat like me, although my dad was an enlisted man and his father was a full bird colonel. One of the many places Quincy lived was the Boston area. Quincy once told me about this band that had a practice room down the street from where he lived. As an aspiring guitarist himself he would try to check out this band whenever possible, but as a young teenager he was of course too shy to actually approach any of the band members. Quincy, looking back on those times fifteen years later, swore that one of the songs that band was playing was Dream On, a song that was not recorded until 1973, when it came out on the first Aerosmith album. So was that jam band down the street indeed Aerosmith? Could be.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Sea Lion
Source:    LP: War Child
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1974
    Jethro Tull's 1974 album War Child was a return to shorter songs, following back-to-back albums (Thick As A Brick and A Passion Play) made up of one continous piece each . The album was not, however, a critical success (although it did well enough on the charts to make the reviews somewhat irrelevant). I usually don't give much credence to the rock press, but I had to chuckle at a quote from the Rolling Stone review, which reminded us that "Tull rhymes with dull". In the case of side one of the War Child LP, I have to agree. In fact, the only track on that side of the album that even comes close to the quality of material on 1971's Aqualung album is the final track on the side, Sea Lion, which actually sounds like it could have been a Passion Play outtake. Side two of the original LP, by the way, is much better, with several strong tracks. Why Ian Anderson and the gang chose to put their weakest material up front is anyone's guess, but the band never did regain its earlier popularity, despite an occasional strong tune here and there over the next several years.

Artist:    Moody Blues
Title:    Lunch Break: Peak Hour
Source:    LP: Days Of Future Passed
Writer(s):    Redwave/Knight
Label:    Deram/Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
Year:    1967
    Although Rockin' in the Days of Confusion is recorded live in the studio (as opposed to assembled on a computer, as most shows are these days), there is still a problem with getting to requests in a timely manner. Case in point: A couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail (through the website) from a listener who wanted to hear some Moody Blues, including the song Peak Hour from the 1967 album Days Of Future Passed. I had already decided at that point that show # 2016 would be a repeat of last year's Earth Day special, so it was not until April 13 that I was able to include the track on the show. Because of various post-production tasks (including writing this blog), that show won't actually air until the week beginning April 20th. Still, I welcome your requests. Just look for that envelope looking thing in the upper right hand corner of the main website.

Artist:    Al Kooper/Stephen Stills/Harvey Brooks/Eddie Hoh
Title:    You Don't Love Me
Source:    CD: Super Session
Writer(s):    Willie Cobbs
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1968
    You Don't Love Me was originally recorded and released as a single by Willie Cobbs in 1960. Although the song is credited solely to Cobbs, it strongly resembles a 1955 Bo Diddley B side, She's Fine She's Mine, in its melody, lyrics and repeated guitar riff. The Cobbs single was a regional hit on the Mojo label in Memphis, but stalled out nationally after being reissued on Vee-Jay Records, due to the label pulling promotional support from the song due to copyright issues. A 1965 version by Junior Wells with Buddy Guy saw some minor changes in the lyrics to the song; it was this version that was covered by Al Kooper and Stephen Stills for the 1968 Super Session album. The recording extensively uses an effect called flanging, a type of phase-shifting that was first used on the Jimi Hendrix track Bold As Love.

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

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2016 (starts 4/13/20)

    Well, it's time to once again go deep. A majority of this week's tracks have not been heard on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era in years. In fact, nearly a quarter of them have never been played on the show at all. Also of note is this week's Advanced Psych segment, which features an artists' set from the 1980s version of King Crimson.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Get Back
Source:    CD: 1 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol (original label: Apple)
Year:    1970
    Get Back was originally released as a single in 1969, and was the first Beatles single to give label credit to a "guest artist" (Billy Preston). This version of the song had reverb added, as well as a coda tacked onto the end of the song (the "Get Back Loretta" section) following a false ending. When Phil Spector was brought in to remix the tapes made for the aborted Get Back album project, he created a new mix without the reverb or coda, but including studio chatter at the beginning and end of the song. This version was used on the Let It Be album, released in 1970. Finally, in 2003, a third version of Get Back was released on the Let It Be...Naked CD. This version was stripped of all studio chatter and reverb, and does not include the coda from the single version.

Artist:    Eric Burdon And The Animals
Title:    River Deep, Mountain High
Source:    CD: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals 1966-1968 (originally released on LP: Love Is)
Writer(s):    Spector/Barry/Greenwich
Label:    Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1968
    The final album by Eric Burdon And The Animals was Love Is, a double-LP released in 1968. By this time the band's lineup had changed considerably from the band Burdon and drummer Barry Jenkins had formed in 1967, with guitarist/violinist John Weider the only other original member to still be with them. Joining the three original members were bassist/keyboardist Zoot Money and guitarist Andy Summers, both of whom had been with Dantalian's Chariot (Summers of course would eventually attain star status as a member of the Police). Additionally, the Soft Machine's Robert Wyatt provided background vocals on the album's first track, a seven and a half minute long cover of Tina Turner's River Deep, Mountain High.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Take It As It Comes
Source:    LP: The Doors
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    L.A.'s Whisky-A-Go-Go was the place to be in 1966. Not only were some of the city's hottest bands playing there, but for a while the house band was none other than the Doors, playing songs like Take It As It Comes. One evening in early August Jack Holzman, president of Elektra Records, and producer Paul Rothchild were among those attending the club, having been invited there to hear the Doors by Arthur Lee (who with his band Love was already recording for Elektra). After hearing two sets Holzman signed the group to a contract with the label, making the Doors only the second rock band to record for Elektra (although the Butterfield Blues Band is considered by some to be the first, predating Love by several months). By the end of the month the Doors were in the studio recording songs like Take It As It Comes for their debut LP, which was released in January of 1967.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Ain't It Hard
Source:    Mono CD: The Complete Reprise Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Tillison/Tillison
Label:    Real Gone Music/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    The Electric Prunes got their big break in 1966 when a real estate saleswoman heard them playing in a garage in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley and told her friend Dave Hassinger about them. Hassinger was a successful studio engineer (having just finished the Rolling Stones' Aftermath album) who was looking to become a record producer. The Prunes were his first clients, and Hassinger's production style is evident on their debut single. Ain't It Hard had already been recorded by the Gypsy Trips, and the Electric Prunes would move into more psychedelic territory with their next release, the iconic I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night).

Artist:     Astronauts
Title:     Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     Boyce/Venet
Label:     RCA Victor
Year:     1965
     The Astronauts were formed in the early 60s in Boulder, Colorado, and were one of the few surf bands to come from a landrocked state. They had a minor hit with an instrumental called Baja during the height of surf's popularity, but were never able to duplicate that success in the US, although they did have considerable success in Japan, even outselling the Beach Boys there. By 1965 they had started to move away from surf music, adding vocals and taking on more of a garage-punk sound. What caught my attention when I first ran across this promo single in a commercial radio station throwaway pile was the song's title. Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day, written by Tommy Boyce and producer Steve Venet, was featured on the Monkees TV show and was included on their 1966 debut album. This 1965 Astronauts version of the tune has a lot more attitude than the Monkees version. Surprisingly the song didn't hit the US charts, despite being released on the biggest record label in the world (at that time), RCA Victor.

Artist:    Mother Tucker's Yellow Duck
Title:    One Ring Jane
Source:    British import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released in Canada on LP: Home Grown Stuff)
Writer(s):    McDougall/Ivanuck
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1969
    Sometimes called Canada's most psychedelic band, Mother Tucker's Yellow Duck was formed in British Columbia in 1967. After recording one unsuccessful single for London, the Duck switched to Capitol Records' Canadian division and scored nationally with the album Home Grown Stuff. After a couple more years spent opening for big name bands such as Alice Cooper and Deep Purple and a couple more albums (on the Capitol-owned Duck Records) the group disbanded, with vocalist/guitarist Donny McDougall joining the Guess Who in 1972.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills And Nash
Title:    Long Time Gone
Source:    CD: Crosby, Stills And Nash
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    In addition to showcasing some of the most popular bands of 1969, the Woodstock festival helped several relatively new acts attain stardom as well. Among these newer artists were Santana, Ten Years After and Creedence Clearwater Revival. The biggest Woodstock success story, however, was Crosby, Stills and Nash, who appearance at the event was only their second live performance. In addition to the group's live performance, the movie and soundtrack album of the event included the original studio recording of Long Time Gone from the debut Crosby, Stills and Nash LP.

Artist:    Small Faces
Title:    Itchycoo Park
Source:    British import CD: Ogden's Nut Gone Flake (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Marriott/Lane
Label:    Charly (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:    Royal Guardsmen
Title:    Om
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Richards/Taylor
Label:    Laurie
Year:    1967
    The 1960s were a decade of fads, some lasting longer than others. One of the shortest-lived fads of the decade was a series of records by a group called the Royal Guardsmen about the imaginary battles between Charlie Brown's dog Snoopy (from the Peanuts comic strip) and the infamous German WWI ace The Red Baron. The first of these was a million-selling single that went all the way to the #2 spot on the national charts. This led to
an album, also called Snoopy vs. The Red Baron. Both the album and single were released in 1966. 1967 saw the release of a second LP, The Return Of The Red Baron, which spawned three top 100 singles. The second of these was The Airplane Song, which topped out in the #46 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, but was a top 20 hit in Australia and New Zealand. The B side of that single was the instrumental Om. Also taken from The Return Of The Red Baron, Om was written by band members Tom Richards (who played guitar) and organist Billy Taylor. By mid-1967 the novelty had worn off, although their December 1967 single, Snoopy's Christmas, probably gets more airplay these days than any of the original singles.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Dance The Night Away
Source:    LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer:    Bruce/Brown
Label:    RSO (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    The album Fresh Cream was perhaps the first LP from a rock supergroup, although at the time a more accurate description would have been British blues supergroup. Much of the album was reworking of blues standards by the trio of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, all of whom had established their credentials with various British blues bands. With Disraeli Gears, however, Cream showed a psychedelic side as well as their original blues orientation. Most of the more psychedelic material, such as Dance the Night Away, was from the songwriting team of Bruce and lyricist Pete Brown.

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

Artist:     Jefferson Airplane
Title:     White Rabbit
Source:     CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released on LP: Surrealistic Pillow)
Writer:     Grace Slick
Label:     BMG/RCA/Buddah
Year:     1967
     The first time I heard White Rabbit was on Denver's first FM rock station, KLZ-FM. The station branded itself as having a top 100 (as opposed to local ratings leader KIMN's top 60), and prided itself on being the first station in town to play new releases and album tracks. It wasn't long before White Rabbit was officially released as a single, and went on to become a top 10 hit, the last for the Airplane.

Artist:    Eric Clapton And The Powerhouse
Title:    Crossroads
Source:    Mono LP: What's Shakin'
Writer(s):    Robert Johnson
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1966
    In mid-1966 a curiousity appeared on the record shelves from the critically acclaimed but little known Elektra record label, a New York based company specializing in folk and blues recordings. It was an LP called What's Shakin', and it was basically a collection of mostly unrelated tracks that had been accumulating in Elektra's vaults for several months. Elektra had sent producer Joe Boyd to England to help open a new London office for the label, and while there he made the acquaintance of several local blues musicians, some of which he talked into recording a few songs for Elektra. These included guitarist Eric Clapton (from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers), vocalist Steve Winwood and drummer Pete York (from the Spencer Davis Group), bassist Jack Bruce and harmonica player Paul Jones (from Manfred Mann), and pianist Ben Palmer, a friend of Clapton's who would become a Cream roadie. Recording under the name The Powerhouse, the group recorded four tracks in the studio, three of which were used on What's Shakin' (the fourth, a slow blues, has since gone missing). Possibly the most interesting of the three tracks is Robert Johnson's Crossroads, which Clapton and Bruce would re-record two years later with Cream. Unlike the Cream version, which is more rocked out, the Powerhouse version of Crossroads is much more of a traditional electrical blues piece, fitting in quite nicely with the Butterfield Blues Band tracks on the album.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Fire
Source:    Mono LP: Are You Experienced?
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Sometime in late 1966 Jimi Hendrix was visiting his girlfriend's mother's house in London for the first time. It was a cold rainy night and Jimi immediately noticed that there was a dog curled up in front of the fireplace. Jimi's first action was to scoot the dog out of the way so he himself could benefit from the fire's warmth, using the phrase "Move over Rover and let Jimi take over." The phrase got stuck in his head and eventually became the basis for one of his most popular songs. Although never released as a single, Fire was a highlight of the Jimi Hendrix Experience's live performances, often serving as a set opener.
Artist:    West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:    Watch Yourself
Source:    LP: Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil
Writer(s):    Robert Yeazel
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    Although the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band usually wrote their own material, they occassionally drew from outside sources. One example is Watch Yourself, written by Robert Yeazel, who would go on to join Sugarloaf in time for their second LP, Spaceship Earth, writing many of the songs on that album as well.

Artist:    Balloon Farm
Title:    A Question Of Temperature
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Appel/Schnug/Henny
Label:    Rhino (original label: Laurie)
Year:    1967
    It's not entirely clear whether the Balloon Farm was an actual band or simply an East Coast studio concoction. Regardless, they did manage to successfully cross bubble gum and punk with A Question Of Temperature, originally released on the Laurie label in 1967. Band member Mike Appel went on to have greater success as Bruce Springsteen's first manager.

Artist:    King Crimson
Title:    Elephant Talk
Source:    LP: Discipline
Writer(s):    Belew/Bruford/Fripp/Levin
Label:    Warner Brothers/EG
Year:    1981
    In 1981, after a seven-year hiatus, Robert Fripp, following up on a series of critically acclaimed solo LPs, unveiled a new version of his legendary band King Crimson. The lineup included drummer Bill Bruford, who had joined the original group in 1972, and two new members: guitarist Adrian Belew, who had been a member of Frank Zappa's band, appearing on the album Shiek Yerbouti, as well as performing onstage with David Bowie and the Talking Heads, and Tony Levin, an in-demand studio musician who helped popularize the Chapman Stick as well as being Peter Gabriel's bassist of choice. The opening track of their first album together, Discipline, was a tune called Elephant Talk, which, with its combination of New Wave rhythms and Fripp's own "Frippertronics" style of guitar and synthesizer playing, gave the band a sound that was considerably different from the original King Crimson.
Artist:    King Crimson
Title:    Model Man
Source:    LP: Three Of A Perfect Pair
Writer(s):    Belew/Bruford/Fripp/Levin
Label:    Warner Brothers/EG
Year:    1984
    The third and final LP of the 1980s version of King Crimson was not as well-received as its predecessors. Three Of A Perfect Pair featured a "left side" made up mostly of relatively commercial songs like Model Man with lyrics by Adrian Belew and music composed by the entire band. The "right" side of the LP featured more free-form improvisation. Robert Fripp, in a radio interview, described the LP's "left" side as "accessible" and its "right" side as "excessive", which seems as good a description of the album as any other.

Artist:    King Crimson
Title:    Thela Hun Gingeet
Source:    LP: Discipline
Writer(s):    King Crimson
Label:    Warner Brothers/EG
Year:    1981
    In 1981, after a seven-year hiatus, Robert Fripp decided to reform his old band, the legendary King Crimson. Not content to rehash the past, however, Fripp assembled a new lineup, with only drummer Bill Bruford being retained from any of the band's previous incarnations. Filling out the new lineup were guitarist/vocalist Adrian Belew (who had played with Talking Heads and Frank Zappa's band) and bassist Tony Levin, who also played Chapman stick on the album. Probably the most notable track on the album was Thela Hun Gingeet, which opens side two of the original LP. The track features a recording of Belew recounting a rather harrowing experience on the streets of London, where he was attempting to make a field recording. Belew speaks of being harrassed by local Rastafarians, who took exception to a stranger walking around their part of town with a tape recorder, accusing him of being a cop. The song's title is actually an anagram of "heat in the jungle", a slang reference to urban crime.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    From A Buick 6
Source:    45 RPM single B side (promo copy)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Although there were several unissued recordings made during the Highway 61 Revisited sessions, Bob Dylan and his producer, Tom Wilson, chose to instead use one of the already released album tracks as the B side for Positively 4th Street in September of 1965. The chosen track was From A Buick 6, a song that is vintage Dylan through and through.
Artist:    Motorcycle Abileen
Title:    (You Used To) Ride So High
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on CD: Warren Zevon: The First Sessions)
Writer(s):    Warren Zevon
Label:    Rhino (original label: Varese Sarabande)
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2003
    One of the ripple effects of the British Invasion was the near-disappearance of the solo artist from the top 40 charts for several years. There were exceptions, of course. Folk singers such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, pop singers such as Jackie DeShannon and Dionne Warwick and more adult-oriented vocalists such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin all did reasonably well, but if you wanted to be a rock and roll star you had to have a band. Producers took to creating band names for pieces that were in fact entirely performed by studio musicians, and in a few cases a solo artist would use a band name for his own recordings. One such case is the Motorcycle Abilene, which was in reality producer Bones Howe on various percussion devices working with singer/songwriter Warren Zevon, who sings and plays all non-percussion instruments on (You Used To) Ride So High, a song he wrote shortly after disbanding the duo Lyme And Cybelle (he was Lyme, presumably).

Artist:     Left Banke
Title:     Pretty Ballerina
Source:     Stereo 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:     Michael Brown
Label:     Smash
Year:     1967
     The Left Banke, taking advantage of bandleader Michael Brown's industry connections (his father ran a New York recording studio), ushered in what was considered to be the "next big thing" in popular music in early 1967: baroque pop. After their debut single, Walk Away Renee, became a huge bestseller, the band followed it up with Pretty Ballerina, which easily made the top 20 as well. Subsequent releases were sabotaged by a series of bad decisions by Brown and the other band members that left radio stations leery of playing any record with the words "Left Banke" on the label.

Artist:    Them
Title:    Gloria
Source:    Mono LP: Them
Writer(s):    Van Morrison
Label:    Parrot
Year:    1965
    Gloria was one of the first seven songs that Van Morrison's band, Them, recorded for the British Decca label on July 5, 1964. Morrison had been performing the song since he wrote it in 1963, often stretching out the performance to twenty minutes or longer. The band's producer, Dick Rowe, brought in session musicians on organ and drums for the recordings, as he considered the band members themselves "inexperienced". The song was released as the B side of Them's first single, Baby Please Don't Go, in November of 1964. The song was also released in the US in early 1965, but was soon banned in most parts of the country for its suggestive lyrics. Later that year a suburban Chicago band, the Shadows Of Knight, released their own version of Gloria. That version, with slight lyrical revisions, became a major hit in 1966.

Artist:    Young Rascals
Title:    You Better Run
Source:    CD: Groovin' (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Cavaliere/Brigati
Label:    Warner Special Products (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1966
    The Young Rascals were riding high in 1966, thanks to their second single, Good Lovin', going all the way to the top of the charts early in the year. Rather than to follow up Good Lovin' with another single the band's label, Atlantic, chose to instead release a new album, Collections, on May 10th. This was somewhat unusual for the time, as having a successful single was considered essential to an artist's career, while albums were still viewed as somewhat of a luxury item. Three weeks later, a new non-album single, You Better Run, was released, with a song from Collections, Love Is A Beautiful Thing, as the B side. The stereo version of the song appeared on the 1967 LP Groovin'.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Original Sound, stereo LP version released on Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
     The Music Machine was by far the most advanced of all the bands playing on Sunset Strip in 1966-67. Not only did they feature tight sets (so that audience members wouldn't get the chance to call out requests between songs), they also had their own visual look that set them apart from other bands. With all the band members dressed entirely in black (including dyed hair) and wearing one black glove, the Machine projected an image that would influence such diverse artists as the Ramones and Michael Jackson in later years. Musically, Bonniwell's songwriting showed a sophistication that was on a par with the best L.A. had to offer, demonstrated by a series of fine singles such as The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly. Unfortunately, problems on the business end prevented the Music Machine from achieving the success it deserved and Bonniwell, disheartened, dissillusioned and/or disgusted, eventually quit the music business altogether.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Playground (remixed instrumental studio outtake)
Source:    CD: The Book Of Taliesyn (originally released on LP/CD: Connoisseur Rock Profile Collection Volume One)
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Simper/Lord/Paice
Label:    Eagle (original label: Connoisseur Collection)
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 1989, remixed 2000
    In August of 1968, with Shades Of Deep Purple, along with their hit single Hush riding high on the US charts, Deep Purple were preparing to go on their first American tour. The folks at Tetragrammaton Records, however, felt that the band should have a new album to promote on the tour, and so, despite a lack of ready material, Deep Purple returned to the studio to record their second LP, The Book Of Taliesyn. There were a few missteps along the way, of course. On August 18, Nicky Simper tried running his bass guitar through one of Ritchie Blackmore's home made fuzz boxes for a jam session that soon got turned into an actual song called Playground. Despite the band liking the instrumental track they were unable to come up with suitable vocals, and Playground ended up on the shelf for over 20 years. In 1989 the recording was included on a Ritchie Blackmore anthology album for the British Connoisseur Collection label. Finally, in 2000, a remixed version of Playground was included as a bonus track on the CD reissue of The Book Of Taleisyn.

Artist:    Steve Miller Band
Title:    Brave New World
Source:    LP: Homer soundtrack (originally released on LP: Brave New World)
Writer(s):    Steve Miller
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1969
    It took the Steve Miller Band half a dozen albums (plus appearances on a couple of movie soundtracks) to achieve star status in the early 1970s. Along the way they developed a cult following that added new members with each successive album. The fourth Miller album was Brave New World, the title track of which was used in the film Homer, a 1970 film that is better remembered for its soundtrack than for the film itself.

Artist:    Family
Title:    The Weaver's Answer
Source:    British import CD: Music In A Doll's House/Family Entertainment (originally released on LP: Family Entertainment)
Writer(s):    Whitney/Chapman
Label:    See For Miles (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1969
    Family was one of those bands that is more heard about than actually heard, mainly due to the presence of Ric Grech, the bassist/violinist who left the group in 1969 to become a member of Blind Faith and later was the bassist for Traffic. The band was originally formed in 1966, and consisted of Roger Chapman (lead vocals) John "Charlie" Whitney (guitar, organ, piano), Jim King (saxophone), Ric Grech (bass, violin) and Harry Ovenall (drums). Following an unsuccessful 1967 single on the Liberty label Ovenall left the group, to be replaced by Rob Townsend. It was this lineup that recorded the band's first two albums for the Reprise label, Music In A Doll's House and Family Entertainment. The Weaver's Answer, the opening track from Family Entertainment, was the band's signature song in concert. On the album the song, about an old man's request to the Weaver of Life to see "the patterns of my life gone by upon your tapestry", is fairly subdued, but both Whitney and Chapman, who wrote the tune, were unhappy with the studio arrangement. As a result, the piece was reworked considerably for live performances, becoming a louder, much harder rocking tune that was often used as the band's show closer.

Artist:    Kindred Spirit
Title:    Blue Avenue
Source:    Mono CD: An Overdose Of Heavy Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single B side_
Writer(s):    Wayne Ulaky
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original labels: Moxie and Intrepid)
Year:    1969
    Known primarily as a flood-prone steel processing center for most of its existence, Johnstown, PA, like many industrial cities, had its own music scene, and for a short time its own local record label in the 1960s. Moxie Records only released two singles, the first being a 1969 cover of the Rolling Stones' Under My Thumb by Kindred Spirit a popular local band consisting of lead vocalist Greg Falvo, guitarists Joe Nemanich and John Galiote, keyboard and keyboard bassist Jim Smedo, drummer Tom "Boots" McCullough and vocalist Carl Mundok. Although most bands got to put an original tune on the B side of singles (so they could collect royalties on record sales), Kindred Spirit instead recorded another cover song, the Beacon Street Union's Blue Avenue for their own single's flipside. As it turned out, Kindred Spirit ended up outlasting Moxie Records after the single was picked up by Mercury Records and released on their new Intrepid subsidiary label in November of 1969. The following year a second Kindred Spirit single, Peaceful Man, was released on Intrepid. As far as I can tell, Peaceful Man was an original tune (lead vocalist Falvo is listed as co-writer), although the B side of that record was a cover of an album track from the first Flock LP.

Artist:    Thunderclap Newman
Title:    Something In The Air
Source:    CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    John Keen
Label:    Polydor (original label: Marmalade)
Year:    1969
    Thunderclap Newman was actually the creation of the Who's Pete Townshend, who assembled a bunch of studio musicians to work with drummer (and former Who roadie) John "Speedy" Keen. Keen had written Armenia City In The Sky, the opening track on The Who Sell Out, and Townshend set up the studio project to return the favor. Joining Keen were 15-year-old guitarist Jimmy McCulloch (who would eventually join Paul McCartney's Wings before dying of a heroin overdose in 1979), studio engineer Andy "Thunderclap" Newman (who had worked with Pink Floyd, among others) on piano, and Townshend himself on bass. Following the success of Something In The Air, the group recorded an album, but sales were disappointing and the group soon disbanded.