Sunday, May 31, 2020

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2023 (starts 6/1/20)

    After two week's worth of hearing nothing but the most-played artists and tracks on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era over the past ten years, I thought it was time to dig a bit deeper than usual, with nearly a third of the songs on this week's show making their Stuck in the Psychedelic Era debut. In fact, we even managed to come up with a couple artists that have never been played on the show before at all, along with several others whose former appearances can be counted on one hand. Of course, we still have plenty of favorites on hand as well, especially in the first hour, where we start off by heralding the onset of summer (yes, I know the calendar says it's still a couple weeks off, but with temps already in the 90s, it sure feels like summer to me).

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Summer In The City
Source:    LP: Harmony (originally released on LP: Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful)
Writer(s):    Sebastian/Sebastian/Boone
Label:    RCA Special Products (original label: Kama Sutra)
Year:    1966
    The Lovin' Spoonful changed gears completely for what would become their biggest hit of 1966: Summer In The City. Inspired by a poem by John Sebastian's brother, the song was recorded for the album Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful. That album was an attempt by the band to deliberately record in a variety of styles; in the case of Summer In The City, it was a rare foray into psychedelic rock for the band. Not coincidentally, Summer In The City is also my favorite Lovin' Spoonful song.

Artist:    Easybeats
Title:        Friday On My Mind
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Vanda/Young
Label:    Rhino (original label: United Artists)
Year:        1966
       Considered by many to be the "greatest Australian song" ever recorded, the Easybeats' Friday On My Mind, released in late 1966, certainly was the first (and for many years only) major international hit by a band from the island continent. Technically, however, Friday On My Mind is not an Australian song at all, since it was recorded after the band had relocated to London. The group continued to release records for the next year or two, but were never able to duplicate the success of Friday On My Mind. Ultimately vocalist Stevie Wright returned to Australia, where he had a successful solo career. Guitarists Harry Vanda and George Young, who had written Friday On My Mind, also returned home to form a band called Flash And The Pan in the early 1970s. Later in the decade Young would help launch the careers of his two younger brothers, Angus and Malcolm, in their own band, AC/DC.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Rain
Source:    CD: Past Masters-volume two (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1966
    The Beatles' B side to their 1966 hit Paperback Writer was innovative in more than one way. First off, the original instrumental tracks were actually recorded at a faster speed (and higher key) than is heard on the finished recording. Also, it is the first Beatles record to feature backwards masking (John Lennon's overdubbed vocals toward the end of the song were recorded with the tape playing in reverse). Needless to say, both techniques were soon copied and expanded upon by other artists.

Artist:    Love
Title:    7&7 Is
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Rhino (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1966
    The first rock band signed to Elektra Records was Love, a popular L.A. club band that boasted two talented songwriters, Arthur Lee and Bryan MacLean. On the heels of their first album, which included the single My Little Red Book and one of the first recordings of the fast version of Hey Joe, came their most successful single, the manic 7&7 Is, released in July of 1966.

Artist:    Circus Maximus
Title:    People's Games
Source:    CD: Circus Maximus
Writer(s):    Jerry Jeff Walker
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Although People's Games is far from my favorite Circus Maximus song, it is, according to at least one member of the band, the tune that was most representative of what the band was all about. It is also one of the earliest compositions of Circus Maximus member Jerry Jeff Walker, who went on to greater fame as a songwriter, particularly for the song Mr. Bojangles.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Mrs. Robinson
Source:    LP: Bookends
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    A shortened version of Mrs. Robinson first appeared on the soundtrack for the film The Graduate in 1967, but it wasn't until the Bookends album came out in 1968 that the full four minute version was released.
Artist:    Santana
Title:    Evil Ways
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Santana)
Writer(s):    Clarence Henry
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    Evil Ways was originally released in 1968 by jazz percussionist Willie Bobo on an album of the same name. When Carlos Santana took his new band into the studio to record their first LP, they made the song their own, taking it into the top 10 in 1969.

Artist:    Paul McCartney
Title:    That Would Be Something
Source:    LP: McCartney
Writer(s):    Paul McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:    1970
    On September 20, 1969, John Lennon told the other members of the Beatles that he wanted a "divorce" from the band that had made them all rock gods. This was particularly upsetting for Paul McCartney, who retreated to his house in St. John's Wood and started drinking heavily. After a while, and at the urging of his wife Linda, McCartney began working on new songs, recording them at home on his own 4-track equipment without the knowledge of the other members of the band (for various reasons, mostly business, news of the impending breakup was kept quiet). Meanwhile, there were still Beatles recordings that needed to be finished, including overdubs on McCartney's own Let It Be, so McCartney secretly took his 4-track tapes to Morgan Studios, in the London suburb of Willesden, to be copied over to 8-track tape for further overdubbing. While there, using the name Billy Martin, he added overdubs and a couple of new recordings before moving over to Abbey Road Studios in February of 1970 for further mixing. While still using the Billy Martin pseudonym, McCartney contined work on his new album even as Phil Spector was working on what would become the Let It Be LP. By this point McCartney was no longer talking to the rest of the Beatles, and so was unaware that Apple was planning on releasing Let It Be at around the same time as McCartney's album. When he found out, he refused to delay the release of his own album and instead released a "Q&A" package to the press explaining his reasons for making the solo LP. This was interpreted by some members as an announcement that the Beatles were breaking up, and that Paul McCartney was the one responsible. The album itself came out a week later, on April 17th, and was savaged by the press for its "unprofessional, low fidelity and unfinished" quality. Still, despite all this, the album was a commercial success and some tunes, including That Would Be Something, actually got airplay, particularly on college radio. Modern reviewers have been more kind, and the album McCartney is now considered a forerunner of the DIY movement.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Dreaming
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Jack Bruce
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    Although Cream recorded several songs that bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce co-wrote with various lyricists (notably poet Pete Brown), there were relatively few that Bruce himself wrote words for. One of these is Dreaming, a song from the band's first LP that features both Bruce and guitarist Eric Clapton on lead vocals. Dreaming is also one of the shortest Cream songs on record, clocking in at one second under two minutes in length.

Artist:    Velvet Illusions
Title:    Acid Head
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Weed/Radford
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tell, also released on Metromedia Records)
Year:    1967
    Showing an obvious influence by the Electric Prunes (a suburban L.A. band that was embraced by the Seattle crowd as one of their own) the Illusions backtracked the Prunes' steps, leaving their native Yakima and steady gigging for the supposedly greener pastures of the City of Angels. After a few months of frustration in which the band seldom found places to practice, let alone perform, they headed back to Seattle to cut Acid Head before calling it quits.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Jumpin' Jack Flash
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1968
    After the negative reaction by both fans and the rock press to their most psychedelic album, Their Satanic Majesties Request in late 1967, the Stones replaced longtime producer Andrew Loog Oldham with Jimmy Miller, who had made a name for himself working with Steve Winwood on recordings by both the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic. The collaboration resulted in a back-to-basics approach that produced the classic single Jumpin' Jack Flash, followed by the Beggar's Banquet album.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Amazing Journey/Sparks
Source:    LP: Tommy
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Decca
Year:    1969
    After achieving major success in their native England with a series of hit singles in 1965-67, the Who began to concentrate more on their albums from 1968 on. The first of these concept albums was The Who Sell Out, released in December of 1967. The Who Sell Out was a collection of songs connected by faux radio spots and actual jingles from England's last remaining pirate radio station, Radio London. After releasing a few more singles in 1968, the Who began work on their most ambitious project yet: the world's first rock opera. Tommy, released in 1969, was a double LP telling the story of a boy who, after being tramautized into becoming a blind deaf-mute, eventually emerges as a kind of messiah, only to have his followers ultimately abandon him. One of the early tracks on the album is Amazing Journey, describing Tommy's voyage into the recesses of his own mind in response to the traumatic event that results in his blind, deaf and dumb condition. This leads into the instrumental Sparks, featuring a bass solo by John Entwhistle and some intricate guitar work from Pete Townshend.

Artist:    Lighthouse
Title:    Just A Little More Time
Source:    LP: Peacing It All Together
Writer(s):    Prokop/Hoffert
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1970
    Almost from the inception of recorded music the industry leader had been the Victor Talking Machine Company, which had soon become the RCA Victor record label. By 1969, however, its leadership was being challenged by newer conglomerates such as Kinney National Services, which owned Warner/Reprise, Elektra/Asylum and the Atlantic/Atco group (and would eventually change its name to Warner Communications) and MCA, as well as RCA Victor's longtime rival Columbia (which included the Epic label). Columbia had recently gone on a midwest buying spree, signing several bands with horn sections, including Illinois Speed Press, the Flock and Chicago. RCA Victor was having success with Canada's Guess Who at the time, and so turned their eyes north for an answer to Columbia's recent moves. What they found was a newly formed band that actually did the new Columbia bands one better: not only did they have their own horn section, they included strings as well. The 13-piece Lighthouse had been formed the previous year by keyboardist Paul Hoffert and drummer Skip Prokop. Prokop had already gotten the attention of the RCA Victor people when he previous band, the Paupers, had opened for RCA's own Jefferson Airplane in New York and had, quite frankly, blown them off the stage. Lighthouse ended up recording three LPs for RCA Victor. The third, and most successful of these was Peacing It All Together, which peaked at #133 on the Billboard album chart. Featuring songs like Just A Little More Time, Peacing It All Together was the last Lighthouse LP to feature the band's originaly lead vocalist, Pinky Dauvin. The band, dropped by RCA Victor, went on to greater success with a different label, scoring a top 40 hit with One Fine Morning in 1971.

Artist:    Monks
Title:    He Went Down To The Sea
Source:    Mono German import CD: Black Monk Time (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Burger/Spangler/Havlicek/Johnston/Shaw
Label:    Repertoire (original label: Polydor)
Year:    1967
    German record buyers who had heard and liked the Monks' debut LP, Black Monk Time, were undoubtably disappointed when they got their copy of the fourth and final Monks single home and actually listened to it. At the insistence of Polydor Records, the band had toned down everything that had gotten them attention in the first place in an attempt to be more "commercial". The result was songs like He Went To The Sea, which, taken on its own is listenable, but pales in comparison to the band's earlier releases.

Artist:    Harbinger Complex
Title:    When You Know You're In Love
Source:    British import CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers
Writer(s):    Hockstaff/Hoyle
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
    Freemont, California's Harbinger Complex already had issued one single (on the local Amber label) when they booked studio time at San Francisco's Golden State Recorders to cut four more tunes. Bob Shad, owner of the Chicago-based Mainstream Records, was at the studio as part of a talent search, and signed the band immediately. Two of the four tracks were issued as a single in 1966, while the other two, including When You Know You're In Love, were held back and eventually appeared on a Mainstream album called With Love-A Pot Of Flowers. All four of the tunes were co-written by vocalist Jim Hockstaff and guitarist Bob Hoyle.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    The Crystal Ship
Source:    45 RPM single B side (European reissue of Japanese single)
Writer:    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    One of the most popular B sides ever released, The Crystal Ship is a slow moody piece with vivid lyrical images. The mono mix of the song sounds a bit different from the more commonly-heard stereo version. Not only is the mix itself a bit hotter, it is also a touch faster. This is due to an error in the mastering of the stereo version of the first Doors LP that resulted in the entire album running at a 3.5% slower speed than it was originally recorded. This discrepancy went unnoticed for over 40 years, until a college professor pointed out that every recorded live performance of Light My Fire was in a key that was about half a step higher than the stereo studio version.

Artist:    Third Bardo
Title:    I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time
Source:    Mono British import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Evans/Pike
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Roulette)
Year:    1967
    The Third Bardo (the name coming from the Tibetan Book of the Dead) only released one single, but I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time has become, over a period of time, one of the most sought-after records of the psychedelic era. Not much is known of this New York band made up of Jeffrey Moon (vocals), Bruce Ginsberg (drums), Ricky Goldclang (lead guitar), Damian Kelly (bass) and Richy Seslowe (guitar).

Artist:    Janis Ian
Title:    Insanity Comes Quickly To The Structured Mind
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Janis Ian
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1967
    Janis Ian followed up her critically acclaimed 1967 debut LP with an equally excellent single, Insanity Comes Quickly To The Structured Mind, later the same year. The song was later included on her 1968 LP For All The Seasons Of Your Mind. I don't (yet) have a copy of this album, so instead we have a rather scratchy copy of the single.

Artist:    Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:    Sit With The Guru
Source:    LP: The Best Of The Strawberry Alarm Clock (originally released on LP: Wake Up...It's Tomorrow and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Weitz/King/Freeman
Label:    Sundazed/Uni
Year:    1968
    Sit With The Guru is the second single from the second Strawberry Alarm Clock album, Wake Up...It's Tomorrow. The song addresses the subject of polytheism, which might explain the fact that it only peaked at #65 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

Artist:    Big Boy Pete and The Squire
Title:    El Dorado Beach
Source:    CD: Hitmen
Writer(s):    Miller/Zajkowski
Label:    Rocket Racket
Year:    2013
    Once upon a time in England there was a singer/guitarist named Pete Miller, sometimes known as Big Boy Pete. For a time he was also the frontman for a group called Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers. That group disbanded in 1966, however, when Big Boy Pete came up with a batch of new songs that the rest of the band turned down. Miller went solo and the Jaywalkers were history. Flash forward to 2013. Rochester, NY's Chris Zajkowski aka the Squire and Big Boy Pete (now living in San Francisco), release a coast-to-coast collaboration album called Hitmen made up of the songs that the Jaywalkers rejected back in 1966. El Dorado Beach is one of those songs.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Bullet Thru The Back Seat
Source:    British import LP: Artifact
Writer(s):    Lowe/Tulin
Label:    Heartbeat
Year:    2001
    In 1969, with all of the original members long gone, the Electric Prunes officially disbanded. 30 years later the founding members decided to revive the band, releasing their first album of all-new material in 2001. That album, Artifact, was billed as "the one we never got to make", and led to a European tour in 2002. Unlike previous albums, the majority of tunes on Artifact, including Bullet Thru The Backseat, were originals written by band members James Lowe and Mark Tulin.

Artist:    Chesterfield Kings
Title:    Look Around
Source:    LP: Don't Open Til Doomsday
Writer(s):    Babiuk/Prevost/O'Brien/Cona/Meech
Label:    Mirror
Year:    1987
    Formed in the late 1970s in Rochester, NY, the Chesterfield Kings (named for an old brand of unfiltered cigarettes that my grandfather used to smoke) were instrumental in setting off the garage band revival of the 1980s. Their earliest records were basically a recreation of the mid-60s garage sound, although by the time their 1987 album, Don't Open Til Doomsday, was released they had gone through some personnel changes that resulted in a harder-edged sound on songs like Look Around.

Artist:    Wheels (released in US as Wheel-A-Ways)
Title:    Bad Little Woman
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Tinsley/Catling/Demick/Armstrong/Rosbotham
Label:    Rhino (original labels: UK: Columbia, US: Aurora)
Year:    1966
    The Wheels were a popular Belfast beat band with close ties to Van Morrison, who occasionally joined them onstage as a saxophonist until his own band, Them, became a full-time job. Their first release, in fact, was a cover of Morrison's Gloria, released less than a year after Them's original version of the tune. The Wheels followed that up with an original of their own, Bad Little Woman, in early 1966, a demo version of which was released in the US under the name Wheel-A-Ways on the obscure Aurora label. Meanwhile, a third version of Gloria, this one by the suburban Chicago garage-rock band Shadows Of Knight, ended up a top 40 hit in the US. While looking for material for a follow-up the Shadows ran across the demo of Bad Little Woman and ended up recording it themselves, releasing it as their third single in August of 1966. Small world, ain't it?

Artist:     Yardbirds
Title:     Over Under Sideways Down
Source:     Simulated stereo Australian import CD: Over, Under, Sideways, Down (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Dreja/McCarty/Beck/Relf/Samwell-Smith
Label:     Raven (original US label: Epic)
Year:     1966
     The only Yardbirds album to feature primarily original material was released under different titles in different parts of the world. The original UK version was called simply The Yardbirds, while the US album bore the title Over, Under, Sideways, Down. In addition, the UK album was unofficially known as Roger the Engineer because of band member Chris Dreja's drawing of the band's recording engineer on the cover. The title cut was the last single to feature Jeff Beck as the band's sole lead guitarist (the follow-up single, Happenings Ten Years Time Ago, featured both Beck and Jimmy Page).

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Wouldn't It Be Nice
Source:    Mono CD: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Wilson/Asher
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    Wouldn't It Be Nice is the first song on what has come to be considered Brian Wilson's first true masterpiece: the Beach Boys Pet Sounds album. Wilson has often cited the Beatles' Rubber Soul as his inspiration for Pet Sounds; not because of any musical similarity, but because neither album has any "filler" material on it (although an argument could be made that Sloop John B, which was released as a single almost six months before Pet Sounds, was not really in line with the rest of the songs on the album). Wouldn't It Be Nice (backed with God Only Knows) was released in mid-July of 1966 as a single, two months after the release of Pet Sounds, while Wilson was already working on a followup single: Good Vibrations.

Artist:    Mamas And The Papas
Title:    Hey Girl
Source:    LP: If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears
Writer(s):    John and Michelle Phillips
Label:    Dunhill
Year:    1966
    It's a question that often vexed me as a teenager: Why do all the nice, attractive girls go for the sleazy guys instead of me? While Hey Girl, from  the Mamas and the Papas' debut LP, If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears, doesn't exactly provide answers to that age old question, it certainly presents it in a unique way, with conflicting lines from the male and female members of the group being sung at the same time:
Don't try to put him down!
(Don't let him get you down)
He's the boy I want around
(You know I'll always be around.)
Of course, both points of view lead to the same concluding line:
And you—you shouldn't be so blue.
Overall, it's a clever bit of role-playing songwriting from John and Michelle Phillips, who would have their own issues within a few months of the album's release.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes
Source:    LP: Projections
Writer(s):    Blind Willie Johnson
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1966
    One lasting legacy of the British Invasion was the re-introduction to the US record-buying public to the songs of early Rhythm and Blues artists such as Blind Willie Johnson. This emphasis on classic blues in particular would lead to the formation of electric blues-based US bands such as the Butterfield Blues Band and the Blues Project. Unlike the Butterfields, who made a conscious effort to remain true to their Chicago-style blues roots, the Blues Project was always looking for new ground to cover, which ultimately led to them developing an improvisational style that would be emulated by west coast bands such as the Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service, and by Project member Al Kooper, who conceived and produced the first rock jam LP ever, Super Session, in 1968. As the opening track to their second (and generally considered best) LP Projections, I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes served notice that this was a new kind of blues, louder and brasher than what had come before, yet tempered with Kooper's melodic vocal style. An added twist was the use during the song's instrumental bridge of an experimental synthesizer known among band members as the "Kooperphone", probably the first use of any type of synthesizer in a blues record.

Artist:    Twentieth Century Zoo
Title:    You Don't Remember
Source:    Mono CD: An Overdose Of Heavy Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Farley/Sutko
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Caz)
Year:    1967
    Twentieth Century Zoo was a quintet from Phoenix, Arizona that released You Don't Remember as a B side in late 1967. Originally known as the Bittersweets, the group released three singles for various labels (including one on the Original Sound label) before recording an album for the Vault label in 1969.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Everything Is Everything
Source:    Mono CD: Ignition (originally released on LP: The Best Of The Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Bonniwell/Garfield
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Rhino)
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 1984
    The original Music Machine scored one huge hit with Talk Talk in late 1966, but due to a number of factors (nearly all of which can be attributed to bad management) were unable to repeat their success with subsequent singles. Finally, after a change of label failed to result in a change of fortunes, the original lineup disbanded. Undaunted, leader Sean Bonniwell assembled an entirely new lineup to complete the band's scheduled tours, stopping to record at various studios along the way whenever possible. Many of these recordings went unreleased for several years, such as the 1968 track Everything Is Everything. The song is a rare instance of Bonniwell collaborating with another songwriter, in this case Harry Garfield. Bonniwell later said of the track "This is what the fool on the hill said, but he didn't collaborate with Harry Garfield. If he did, he would have said 'I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.'" I'm not sure what that means but it sounds good.

Artist:    Serendipity
Title:    Castles (full-length version)
Source:    Mono British import CD: Love, Poetry & Revolution
Writer(s):    Pat O'Nion
Label:    Grapefruit
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 2009
    Serendipity, unique in that they had two keyboardists in the band, were originally known as Abject Blues. Why they didn't keep such a cool name is beyond me. Nonetheless, after spending a few months in Germany (including gigs at Hamburg's Star Club) the band returned to England and released two singles for the CBS label. The B side of the second one was an original by keyboardist Pat O'Nion that was horribly mangled by the label to get it down to the three and a half minute mark (which was kind of an odd thing to do to a song not intended for airplay). Finally, in 2009, the full five and a half minute version was released on a compilation CD called Love, Poetry and Revolution. It was worth the wait.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Nature's Way/Animal Zoo/Love Has Found A Way/Why Can't I Be Free
Source:    CD: Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus
Writer(s):    California/Ferguson/Locke
Label:    Epic/Legacy
Year:    1970
    Spirit was one of those bands that consistently scored well with the critics, yet was never truly able to connect with a large segment of the record buying audience at any given time. Perhaps their best album was Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus, released in 1970 to glowing reviews. Despite this, the album actually charted lower than any of their three previous efforts, and would be the last to feature the band's original lineup. In the long haul, however, Twelve Dreams has become the group's top selling album, thanks to steady catalog sales over a period of years. Unlike many more popular records of the time, Twelve Dreams sounds as fresh and original today as when it first appeared, as can be easily heard on the four-song medley that makes up the bulk of the LP's first side. Indeed, despite never having charted as a single, Nature's Way, a Randy California tune which starts the sequence, is one of the best-known songs in the entire Spirit catalog. Additionally, its ecological theme segues naturally into Animal Zoo, a Jay Ferguson tune with a more satirical point of view. Love Has Found A Way, written by vocalist Ferguson and keyboardist John Locke, can best described as psychedelic space jazz, while Why Can't I Be Free is a simple, yet lovely, short coda from guitarist California. Although Spirit, in various incarnations, would continue to record for many years, they would never put out another album as listenable as Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus.

Artist:    Syndicate Of Sound
Title:    Little Girl
Source:    CD: Battle Of The Bands, Vol. Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Baskin/Gonzalez
Label:    Era (original labels: Hush & Bell)
Year:    1966
    San Jose California, despite being a relatively small city in the pre-silicon valley days,  was home to a thriving music scene in the mid 60s that produced more than its share of hit records from 1966-68. One of the earliest and biggest of these hits was the Syndicate Of Sound's Little Girl, which has come to be recognized as one of the top garage-rock songs of all time. Little Girl was originally released regionally in mid 1966 on the Hush label, and reissued nationally by Bell Records a couple months later.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Plastic Fantastic Lover
Source:    LP: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s):    Marty Balin
Label:    RCA Victor
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.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2023 (starts 6/1/20)

    This week is a Time Machine episode. The first half (more or less) is made up entirely of tracks released in 1969. We then jump ahead three years to finish out the show in 1972. Enjoy!

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Time Machine
Source:    CD: Heavy Hitters (originally released on LP: On Time)
Writer:    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    Universally panned by the rock press, the first Grand Funk Railroad album, On Time, was at best a moderate success when it was first released. Thanks to the band's extensive touring, however, GFR had built up a sizable following by the time their self-titled follow up LP (aka the Red Album) was released in 1970. That year, Grand Funk Railroad became the first rock band to chalk up four gold albums in the same year, with Closer To Home and their double-LP live album joining the first two studio albums on the million seller list. One of the most popular tracks from On Time was Time Machine, which captures the essence of the band's early years.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    Woman Trouble
Source:    CD: Stonedhenge
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Deram
Year:    1969
    In the late 60s and early 70s it was fashionable for a garage band to use a jazzy-sounding instrumental for its break song. Don't ask me why, it just was. Sunn, the band I was in (in various iterations) from 1969-71, was no exception. Hell, maybe we were the only ones doing it, for all I know. The first incarnation of the band used a piece inspired by Bobby Troup (the writer of Route 66), who appeared in short segments between shows of AFTV, the only English language TV station in Germany at the time. He'd always start the segment with a quick guitar lick and the words "Hi! I'm Bobby Troup". Our guitarist, Dave Mason (no, not That Dave Mason) borrowed the rift and came up our first break song, which he called "Dedicated to Bobby Troup". We kept on using that one up through the summer of 1970, when both of our fathers' overseas tours ended. I ended up in New Mexico, while Dave found himself in Oklahoma. In early 1971 Dave hopped on a Greyhound bus, bound for California, but only had enough money ($48.60) for a ticket to Alamogordo, NM, where I was living. By then Dave had already gone through two more incarnations of Sunn, so when we decided to reform the band it was (unofficially) Sunn IV. Late that spring, Dave decided to return to Oklahoma; two weeks later (right after graduation) our other guitarist, Doug Phillips, and I followed Dave there to form the fifth and final incarnation of Sunn. It was, by far, the most professional version of the band, once we had settled on a final lineup that included a third guitarist DeWayne Davis, on rhythm (Dave and Doug split the lead guitar duties), and his close friend Mike Higgins on drums (I played bass). Rather than revive our old instrumental break song, we decided to use Woman Trouble, a Ten Years After track from the Stonedhenge album, instead. The song was different enough from our hard rock repertoire that it served notice to the audience that something was up. After a verse and chorus I would introduce each band member at the end of their solo (except DeWayne, who, like the guy in the Sultans Of Swing, had no desire to do anything but play chords). We then went back for a repeat of the verse, then took our break. Good times, those.
Years later, incidentally, I met up with DeWayne again, who had moved to El Paso and had developed his lead guitar skills way beyond either Dave's or Doug's. I guess that shows that you really do need to watch the quiet ones.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Persuasion
Source:    CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On-Back To Yasgur's Farm
Writer(s):    Santana (band)
Label:    Rhino
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 2009
    Carlos Santana took a bunch of acid before going on stage at Woodstock, or so the story goes. He himself has said that he only truly got it togther just as the band broke into Soul Sacrifice. That may well be, but their performance of Persuasion sure sounds pretty together as well.

Artist:    Blood, Sweat & Tears
Title:    Blues-Part II/Variations On A Theme By Erik Satie
Source:    CD: Blood, Sweat & Tears
Writer(s):    Blood, Sweat & Tears
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1969
    Although it was the brainchild of keyboardist/vocalist Al Kooper, the band known as Blood, Sweat & Tears had its greatest success after Kooper left the band following the release of their debut LP, Child Is Father To The Man. The group's self-titled second LP, featuring new lead vocalist David Clayton-Thomas, yielded no less than three top 5 singles: You Made Me So Very Happy, And When I Die and Spinning Wheel. For me, however, the outstanding track on the album was the thirteen minute plus Blues-Part II, which takes up most of side two of the original LP. I first heard this track on a show that ran late at night on AFN in Germany. I had already heard the band's first two hit singles and was not particularly impressed with them, but after hearing Blues-Part II I went out and bought a copy of the LP. Luckily, it was not the only track on the album that I found more appealing than the singles (God Bless The Child in particular stands out), but after all these years, Blues-Part II is still my favorite BS&T recording.

Artist:     Pink Floyd
Title:     Astronomy Domine
Source:     CD: Ummagumma
Writer:     Syd Barrett
Label:     EMI (original label: Harvest)
Year:     1969
     By 1969, Syd Barrett was no longer with Pink Floyd due to his rapidly deteriorating mental health. Still, the remaining band members (along with Barrett's replacement David Gilmour) continued to perform Barrett's compositions. The 1969 album Ummagumma was a double LP, with two sides of new studio recordings and two sides of live performances, such as Barrett's Astronomy Domine, which had originally appeared on the first Pink Floyd album The Piper At the Gates of Dawn.

Artist:    Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Title:    Hoedown
Source:    CD: Trilogy
Writer(s):    Aaron Copeland
Label:    Atlantic (original label: Cotillion)
Year:    1972
    During their first couple of years of touring, Emerson, Lake & Palmer tried out a series of opening numbers, some of which worked better than others. Following the release of their third LP, Trilogy, in 1972, that was no longer a problem. The album's first track, Keith Emerson's adaptation of composer Aaron Copland's Hoedown (from the ballet Rodeo), immediately became the group's concert opener as well, remaining there throughout the band's most popular years. Bassist/vocalist Greg Lake later called Trilogy his favorite ELP album.

Artist:    Paul Simon
Title:    Mother And Child Reunion
Source:    45 RPM single (promo)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1972
    Paul Simon became one of the first white musicians to incorporate elements of reggae music into a rock song with his 1972 hit Mother And Child Reunion. Before recording sessions commenced, Simon was instructed by members of Toots And The Maytals and Jimmy Cliff's band on the differences between reggae, ska and bluebeat. The song itself was recorded at Dynamic Sounds Studios at Torrington Bridge in Kingston, Jamaica with many of those same musicians. Simon finished the song by adding piano and vocal tracks in New York at a later date.

Artist:    T. Rex
Title:    Lady
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Marc Bolan
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1972
    Lady is the non-album B side of the T. Rex single Metal Guru, from the 1972 LP The Slider. At least that was the case in the US. In other countries, including the UK, it was one of two songs on the single's B side, making it a sort of EP track. The American pressing of the single is relatively rare, as Metal Guru was an international hit (in fact it spent four weeks at #1 in the UK), but did not chart at all in the US and was soon deleted.

Artist:    Flash
Title:    Morning Haze
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Ray Bennett
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1972
    Following a bit of prog-rock membership shuffling, original Yes guitarist Peter Banks found himself leading a band called Flash. The group also featured lead vocalist Colin Carter, drummer Mike Hough and bassist Ray Bennett. Bennett, who plays acoustic guitar and sings lead vocals on Morning Haze, had formerly been a bandmate of Yes drummer Bill Bruford in a group called the Breed.

Artist:    Captain Beyond
Title:    Dancing Madly Backward (On A Sea Of Air)/Armworth/Myopic Void
Source:    LP: Captain Beyond
Writer(s):    Evans/Caldwell
Label:    Capricorn
Year:    1972
    Never in my life have I been as impressed with a band I had never heard of before seeing them perform live as I was with Captain Beyond when I saw them in El Paso in 1972. They were so good I barely remember how the second band, Jo Jo Gunne sounded, and I've totally forgotten who the actual headliner was. It didn't matter though. The next day I went out and bought Captain Beyond's debut LP and immediately saw on the back cover the words "Dedicated to the memory of Duane Allman". That was, for me, simply icing on an already tasty cake. Captain Beyond opened their set the same way they opened the album itself, with Bobby Caldwell's solo drum rift setting things up for Larry (Rhino) Reinhardt's opening power chords, played in unison with Lee Dorman's bass. Rod Evans's vocals were every bit as good, if not better, than they had been when he was an original member of Deep Purple, and the group was so tight it sounded like you were listening to the album itself. The first three songs, Dancing Madly Backward (On A Sea Of Air), Armworth and Myopic Void play as a single piece. Although all the songs are officially credited only to Evans and Caldwell, it turns out that there were contractual issues concerning Reinhardt and Dorman's status as members of Iron Butterfly at the time that prevented them from sharing songwriting credits on the Captain Beyond LP.

The Top 30 Songs of the Psychedelic Era

    As promised, here is the list of 30 most-played songs over the past ten years on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era. You'll notice a shortage of songs from the top 20 artists list. Really, when you think about it, the reason for that is pretty obvious. When a band records literally dozens of great songs (the Beatles, for instance) no one song in particular gets played more than the others, even though the band itself get played practically every week. Still, not every song here is from a one-hit wonder. Check it out:

    30: Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine, by Country Joe & The Fish from their first LP, Electric Music For The Mind And Body
    29: Too Many People...the Leaves (their first single)
    28: Season Of The Witch. Over they years I've played three different versions of this Donovan song, including one by Vanilla Fudge and the Al Kooper/Stephen Stills extended jam from the Super Session album.
    27: She's My Girl, from the Turtles. One of several Turtles hits written by Gary Bonner and Al Gordon of the Magicians.
    26: I'm A Man (the Spencer Davis Group song covered by Chicago, not the Bo Diddley song covered by the Yardbirds)
    25: Dirty Water, by the Standells. The only garage-rock song to be regularly heard at sporting events.
    24: The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly, by the Music Machine. Not the only song from Sean Bonniwell's band to make the list, either.
    23: Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In), by the Chocolate Watchband.
    22: Magic Carpet Ride, by Steppenwolf. As noted elsewhere, the very first song played on our first syndicated episode back in 2010.
    21: White Room, by Cream.
    20: Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White, by the Standells. Their second appearance on the list.
    19: For What It's Worth (Stop! Hey, What's That Sound), by Buffalo Springfield. Frankly, I'm surprised this one didn't get played more often.
    18: Gloria, by Them and Shadows Of Knight. Yeah, I played both versions, but the Shadows were the ones who made it a hit, so....
    17: Somebody To Love, by Jefferson Airplane and Great Society. Both versions are worth hearing, but the Airplane's is a true classic.
    16: Summertime Blues, by Blue Cheer and the Who. Yeah, both versions got played, but Blue Cheer's is definitely the more psychedelic.
    15: (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet, by the Blues Magoos.
    14: Gimme Some Lovin', by the Spencer Davis Group.
    13: Eight Miles High, by the Byrds.
    12: Talk Talk, by the Music Machine. Notice how things are getting more intense as we move up the list?
    11: Rock 'n' Roll Woman, by Buffalo Springfield. There's just something about this song....
    10: White Rabbit, by Jefferson Airplane. People unfamiliar with the psychedelic era consider this the ultimate psychedelic song.
      9:  Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In), by the First Edition. Who would have thought that Kenny Rogers would make the top 10 on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era? Anyone who was familiar with this song, that's who.
      8: Journey To The Center Of The Mind, by the Amboy Dukes. Say what you will about Ted Nugent, he sure plays a mean guitar.
      7: Time Has Come Today, by the Chambers Brothers. Too bad there wasn't time for the album version.
      6: Incense And Peppermints, by Strawberry Alarm Clock. Probably the biggest real-world psychedelic hit, topping the charts in 1967.
      5: 7&7 Is, by Love.

It was extremely close between the next four songs, with total number of plays ranging from 59 to 63 over a ten year period. In fact, the next two were tied, but because one of them includes a rather strange cover version, the Prunes tune got the nod.

      4: Psychotic Reaction, by Count Five, and Leathercoated Minds. Most of the plays were from San Jose's Count Five.
      3: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), by the Electric Prunes.
      2: Pushin' Too Hard, by the Seeds. Yeah, this one gets played a LOT.

And finally we get to the top spot. Over the past 10 years, no less than seven different versions of Hey Joe have been played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era. Five of them got played on the show itself, including versions by the Byrds (at David Crosby's insistence, since he claimed to have "discovered" the song in the first place), Tim Rose (who released the first slowed down version of the tune), the Shadows Of Knight (who psychedelicized it more than anyone else), the Jimi Hendrix Experience (Jimi was inspired to make Hey Joe his first single after seeing Tim Rose perform it in a New York coffee house), and the Leaves, who version was the only one to make the US charts. Other versions of Hey Joe I've played include Love's 1966 version from their debut LP, which was learned directly from David Crosby (Love member Brian MacLean having been a roadie for the Byrds) Deep Purple's extended slow version of the song from their Shades of Deep Purple album and, believe it or not, one from Cher. Hey, if it weren't for that one time Cher's version of Hey Joe was played (back in 2012), it would have been tied with Pushin' Too Hard for the most-played song on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era over the past ten years. As a final aside, I've also played Boy Buchanan's powerful version of the tune on our companion show, Rockin' in the Days of Confusion, a couple of times.

This week we start on our second ten years of Stuck in the Psychedelic Era. Will the show still be around in 2030? Will I still be around in 2030? Will radio still be around in 2030? Hell, will the human race itself still be around in 2030? I guess we'll just have to stick around to find out.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era's "lost" episodes

As many of you know, Stuck in the Psychedelic Era has been available, for the past ten years, as a syndicated show through PRX, the Public Radio Exchange. Every week the show segments get uploaded to PRX, along with a little background information, where they then remain available for any station that wants to air the show to download for broadcast. Once a show is uploaded to PRX, it remains there indefinitely.

Well, almost. You see, when I first started syndicating Stuck in the Psychedelic Era I didn't really understand how things worked. In fact, I didn't even start going through PRX until the fourth episode. Instead I had stations download from the website, which was excruciatingly slow, even after the files had been converted to MP3. In fact, it was Mike Black at WXXI (the station that programs both WITH and WRUR) that suggested I look into PRX. Apparently he found the download process excruciating as well.

Anyway, I didn't realize at first that when I started running short of cloud space on the PRX server I could just ask for more space and they would happily provide it. Instead, I ended up deleting the first dozen shows I uploaded to make room for more shows. These, along with the first three episodes, are what I refer to as the Stuck in the Psychedelic Era "lost" episodes. Technically they are not truly lost, since I do have my own archived copies, but since they are not on PRX anymore, they are, for all intents and purposes, unavailable.

So why am I telling you about this? Well, as a little something extra for our ten years of syndication anniversary celebration, I dug out my archived copy of our second ever syndicated episode (#1002) and will be broadcasting it Thursday, May 28, from Noon to 2PM Eastern Daylight Time on WHWS, 105.7 in Geneva, NY. For those of you outside the WHWS broadcast area (which is essentially anywhere but Geneva itself), you can catch it at Thursday at Noon Eastern. See if you can tell how the show has changed over the years.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2022 (All-Time top 30 songs of the Psychedelic Era countdown) (starts 5/25/20)

    For the past couple of years I have been thinking about how to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Stuck in the Psychedelic Era's transition from live local show to its current status as a weekly syndicated program heard on stations from coast to coast (and in a few cases outside the lower 48). I knew I wanted to do some sort of countdown show, but was undecided between putting the emphasis on the artists or on the songs themselves, or maybe even some kind of hybrid of the two. I ultimately decided to do two shows, which resolved the problem completely. Or so I thought. As the concept for the "artists" show developed, I realized that, rather than do a strict top 20 countdown of artists, ranked by how many times they got played over the past ten years, I would rather put the emphasis on the artists that had the greatest impact on the psychedelic era itself. This meant including a a few (three) artists that were actually outside the top 20. These were the Blues Project (who were ranked 22nd in terms of most times played), Bob Dylan (23rd), and Pink Floyd (33rd). Of course this meant that three of the top 20 artists would not be featured on the show at all, those being Traffic (19), the Who (14) and Simon & Garfunkel (12). Dropping those three wasn't easy, but I reasoned that, despite the fact that they do get played a lot on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, none of them had the sheer impact of a Bob Dylan or a Pink Floyd. The most difficult choice was between Simon & Garfunkel and the Byrds, both of which were major players on the folk-rock scene. I ultimately went with the Byrds, whose choice to electrify a folk song (Mr. Tambourine Man) was a conscious decision on the part of the band itself, while the electric version of The Sound Of Silence was a studio creation made without the artists knowledge or participation. Besides, the Byrds came in at #9, and I really didn't feel I could justify leaving any of the top 10 out of the show. The structure of the show changed a bit, going from a strict countdown to a narrative, with all but the top five artists played out of order. So, since I had no intention of putting up a playlist for the second show (which is a strict countdown of the 30 most-played SONGS on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era over the past ten years and thus a closely guarded secret), I am now going to give you, in correct order, the 20 most-played ARTISTS. As my grandfather used to say after the cards had been dealt, read 'em and weep.

20>Janis Joplin/Big Brother and the Holding Company. This is actually a combined ranking that includes Joplin's solo releases as well as those as a member of one of San Francisco's most popular bands.
19>Buffalo Springfield. The band that launched the careers of Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Richie Furay and (later) Jim Messina. Not bad for a group that only released two albums while they were together (and a third after they were effective split up).
18>Traffic. At first a British psychedelic band fronted by both Steve Winwood and Dave Mason, Traffic emerged as one of the first major acts of the classic rock era.
17>Country Joe and the Fish. Although they never considered themselves San Franciscans, Berkeley's most successful band had a huge impact on that city's Summer of Love.
16>Donovan. At first written off by the critics as a Bob Dylan knockoff, Donovan came into his own in 1966 with his Sunshine Superman album and subsequent releases. To many, Donovan was representative of the hippy ideal without all the negative baggage.
15>The Seeds. Some people in Los Angeles who heard the Seeds when they first hit the scene in 1965 were convinced that Sky Saxon and his band hailed from another planet, or at least another reality. They may have been right.
14>Music Machine. Fronted by unsung genius Sean Bonniwell and including some of L.A.'s most talented musicians (including future superstar producer Keith Olsen), the Music Machine was brutally sabotaged by bad decisions made by both their own management and their record label. One of the missions of Stuck in the Psychedelic Era is to keep the legacy of Bonniwell's songs alive.
13>The Who. The Who were, in their early days, one of the best singles bands in England, although they were virtually unknown in the US until Happy Jack hit the charts in 1967. From that point on, virtually every song they recorded was a classic, culminating with the release of Tommy, the world's first rock-opera, in 1969.
12>Electric Prunes. Although they were victims of the kind of behind-the-scenes shenanigans that were all too common throughout the 1960s, the Prunes ultimately had the last laugh when they reformed in 1999 and began releasing the kinds of albums they were never allowed to make in 1967.
11>Simon & Garfunkel. The most successful duo of the psychedelic era managed to remain true to their folk roots while constantly exploring new ground, thanks to the creativity of Paul Simon.
10>Animals (including Eric Burdon & The Animals). In their original incarnation, the Animals had a love of American blues unsurpassed by any other British Invasion act, yet managed to score hit after hit with songs from professional songwriters like Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. After the original band disbanded Eric Burdon formed a new Animals and turned out some of the most psychedelic tunes ever, including the classic Sky Pilot.
9>Byrds. Not content to be known as the band that created folk-rock, the Byrds embraced psychedelia with their Fifth Dimension and Younger Than Yesterday albums while even then developing a sound that would come to be called country-rock in the 1970s.
8>Love. Although Love was never a huge success in the US (outside of the L.A. strip, where they were gods), they grew constantly in popularity overseas, particularly in the UK, where their Forever Changes album peaked at #24 on the British album charts. Over the years Love has come to be recognized as one of the most influential (among musicians) rock bands of all time.
7>Kinks. Although the Rolling Stones are often cited as the inspiration for the American garage band movement of the mid-1960s, the Kinks deserve equal recognition, with songs like You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night being popular, yet easy to learn.
6>Doors. I think Oliver Stones' film about the Doors pretty much sums up why their music has endured for so long.
5>Cream. Although he had received recognition for his work with the Yardbirds and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, it was his role as guitarist for Cream that cemented his role as one of world's premier guitarists. If that wasn't enough, Cream also established Jack Bruce as both a bassist and vocalist and brought Ginger Baker recognition as (arguably) the best drummer in rock music at the time.
4>Rolling Stones. There is a reason they have been called the world's greatest rock band. Their 60s output alone is second only to the Beatles.
3>Jefferson Airplane. Although they were not known for the kind of long improvisational pieces that characterized San Francisco's brand of psychedelia (as exemplified by Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Grateful Dead) they were the first San Francisco band signed to a major label and the fist to score a national top 10 hit, and quite possibly were responsible for drawing the nation's attention to the City By the Bay in the first place, resulting in the Summer Of Love.
2>The Beatles. Yeah, there was someone that got played more than the Beatles on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era over the past 10 years. Hard to believe, I know, but here it is:
1>Jimi Hendrix (including both versions of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Band of Gypsys, and Gypsys Sun And Rainbows). As far as I'm concerned the psychedelic era truly came to an end with the death of Jimi Hendrix in late 1970. Every song (with the possible exception of Noel Redding's two compostions) on every Jimi Hendrix album is outstanding. Nobody (not even the Beatles) can match that record.

Next week maybe I'll reveal the top 30 songs. Then again, maybe not, so you'd best just listen to this week's show to be on the safe side. :)

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2022 (starts 5/25/20)

    This week we have yet another hour of free-form rock. You'd think we had an infinite supply of them or something. And maybe we do.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Dancing Days
Source:    CD: Houses Of The Holy
Writer(s):    Page/Plant
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1973
    By 1973 Led Zeppelin was already established as the most influential band of the early 1970s. Their fourth album erased any doubts about their staying power, with Stairway To Heaven in particular dominating the FM airwaves. They followed that album up with Houses Of The Holy, releasing the opening track of side two, Dancing Days, as a single in the US. The song was performed often on the band's 1972 tour, but was dropped from their setlist at around the same time the album itself hit the racks.

Artist:    Steely Dan
Title:    Pearl Of The Quarter
Source:    LP: Countdown To Ecstasy
Writer(s):    Becker/Fagen
Label:    ABC
Year:    1973
    While Steely Dan's second LP, Countdown To Ecstasy, is generally considered to be about the dark, yet glitzy side of West Coast culture, one song, Pearl Of The Quarter, focuses instead on a woman from New Orleans. Musically, the song has just a touch of country alongside of Steely Dan's trademark mixture of rock and jazz. It's one of those songs that grows on you over time.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Velvet Green
Source:    LP: Songs From The Wood
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1977
    Ian Anderson set out to explore what it means to be British on Jethro Tull's tenth studio LP, Songs From The Wood. The album, released in 1977, came on the heels of the band's Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll, Too Young To Die tour. Anderson had just remarried and bought a home, and was looking to connect with his roots. As he put it: "It gave me an opportunity to evaluate and reflect upon the cultural and historical significance of making that commitment to English residency." Velvet Green, which opens the LP's second side, celebrates the simple pleasure of spending time away from city life and walking in the country. Musically, it reflects the classical influence of the band's new keyboardist, Dee Palmer, who had provided string, brass and woodwind arrangements for Jethro Tull since their first album, but had not officially been a member of the band until 1976.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience (MkII)
Title:    Drifting
Source:    LP: The Cry Of Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1971
    Recorded during July and August of 1970, Drifting was first released on the 1971 album The Cry Of Love six months after the death of Jimi Hendrix. The song features Hendrix on guitar and vocal, Mitch Mitchell on drums and Billy Cox on bass. Buzzy Linhart makes a guest appearance on the tune, playing vibraphone.

Artist:    Allman Brothers Band
Title:    Dreams
Source:    CD: Beginnings (originally released on LP: The Allman Brothers Band)
Writer(s):    Gregg Allman
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1969
    Although it had originally been one of the first tracks recorded by the Allman Brothers Band at Capricorn Studios in Macon, Georgia, the final take of Gregg Allman's Dreams was the last song on the band's debut LP to be committed to tape. The problem with the previous takes was that bandleader Duane Allman was unhappy with his own guitar solo on the song. Finally, after the band finished its regular session on August 12, 1969, he asked everyone to turn off all the lights in the studio. He then tried something he hadn't done on previous takes. Using his recently adopted slide guitar technique, Duane recorded a new overdubbed solo that literally brought the entire band to tears. "It was unbelievable," recalled drummer Butch Trucks. "It was just magic. It’s always been that the greatest music we played was from out of nowhere, that it wasn’t practiced, planned, or discussed."

Artist:    Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title:    Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Source:    CD: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    After releasing a fairly well produced debut solo album utilizing the talents of several well-known studio musicians in late 1968, Neil Young surprised everyone by recruiting an unknown L.A. bar band and rechristening them Crazy Horse for his second effort, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. The album was raw and unpolished, with Young's lead vocals recorded using a talkback microphone normally used by engineers to communicate with people in the studio from the control room. In spite of, or more likely because of these limitations, the resulting album has come to be regarded as one of the greatest in the history of rock, with Young sounding far more comfortable, both as a vocalist and guitarist, than on the previous effort. Although the album is best known for three songs he wrote while running a fever (Cinnamon Girl, Cowgirl In The Sand, and Down By The River), there are plenty of good other songs on the LP, including the title track heard here.

Artist:    Zephyr
Title:    Cross The River
Source:    CD: Zephyr
Writer:    Candie and David Givens
Label:    One Way (original label: ABC Probe)
Year:    1969
    The Boulder, Colorado band Zephyr featured the vocal talents of Candie Givens, who had a multi-octave range that would not be equalled until Mariah Carey hit the scene years later. Also in the band was lead guitarist Tommy Bolin, who would go on to take over lead guitar duties with first the James Gang and then Deep Purple before embarking on a solo career. Unfortunately that career (and Bolin's life) was permanently derailed by a heroin overdose at age 28. The rest of this talented band consisted of Robbie Chamerlin on drums, John Faris on keyboards and David Givens (who co-wrote Cross The River with his wife Candie) on bass.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Ride With Me
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo promo copy)
Writer(s):    Mars Bonfire
Label:    Dunhill
Year:    1971
    By 1971 Steppenwolf's best years were already behind them. Looking to rekindle the old magic, the band turned to songwriter (and former band member) Dennis Edmonton, who, under the pseudonym Mars Bonfire, had penned their biggest hit, Born To Be Wild. Although Ride With Me was a solid song, it stalled out in the lower reaches of the top 40 charts while being virtually ignored by more progressive album rock stations.

Artist:    Mountain
Title:    You Can't Get Away
Source:    LP: Nantucket Sleighride
Writer(s):    West/Collins/Laing
Label:    Windfall
Year:    1971
    Gail Collins, in addition to designing the album cover for Mountain's 1971 LP Nantucket Sleighride, wrote nearly all the album's lyrics as well, usually working with her husband, Felix Pappalardi. The single exception was You Can't Get Away, which she wrote with guitarist Leslie West and drummer Corky Laing. One line in particular, " It ain't no use tryin' to cheat on me 'cause everybody knows, where you got-ta' be", turned out to be somewhat ironic, as Collins ended up shooting Pappalardi in the neck on April 17, 1983, killing him when he came home early in the morning after spending the evening with another woman.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Smooth Dancer
Source:    Japanese import CD: Who Do We Think We Are
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1973
    Deep Purple's most iconic lineup (the so-called Mark II group consisting of Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice) only recorded four studio albums together before internal tensions and conflict with their own management led to the departure of Gillan and Glover. The last of these was Who Do We Think We Are, released in 1973. By this point some of the band members were not on speaking terms, and their individual parts had to be recorded at separate times. Nonetheless, the album is full of strong tracks such as Smooth Dancer, which closes out side one of the original LP. Despite all the problems getting Who Do We Think We Are recorded and the band's subsequent disintegration, Deep Purple sold more albums in the US than any other recording artist in the year 1973 (including continued strong sales of the 1972 album Machine Head and their live album Made In Japan).

Artist:     Gypsy
Title:     As Far As You Can See (As Much As You Can Feel)
Source:     LP: In The Garden
Writer:     Enrico Rosenbaum
Label:     Metromedia
Year:     1971
     From late 1969 to mid 1970 Gypsy was the house band at L.A's Whisky-A-Go-Go. During that period they released their first album, featuring the song Gypsy Queen. By the time the band's second LP, In The Garden, was released the group had gone through several personnel changes, with only keyboardist James Walsh, guitarist James Johnson and bandleader Enrico Rosenbaum, who played guitar and sang lead vocals, remaining from the lineup that had recorded the first LP. The new members included Bill Lordan (who would go on record several albums with Robin Trower) on drums and the legendary Willie Weeks on bass.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2021 (20 Artists That Shaped The Psychedelic Era) (starts 5/18/20)

    It's been ten years since Stuck in the Psychedelic Era made the transition from a live local show on a relatively small public radio station in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York to a nationally syndicated weekly show heard (at first) on a total of four stations. Happily, although one of those stations has since gone dark, the rest are still with us, and still carrying Stuck in the Psychedelic Era every week. Even better, they have been joined by dozens more stations from coast to coast over the past ten years, along with a couple overseas outlets as well. This week and next we celebrate with a pair of special editions of Stuck in the Psychedelic Era. The first looks at 20 Artists who helped shape the psychedelic era itself. Of course it can be legitimately argued that every artist that has ever been played on the show helped shape the psychedelic era (and there are literally hundreds); that is, in fact, a large part of what makes the psychedelic era itself unique in the history of recorded music. Still, with only two hours to work with, I had to narrow it down somewhat, so I went (for the most part) with the artists whose songs have been played the most on the show itself over the years. In fact, the final half hour is a kind of countdown of the top five artists of the psychedelic era, using the same criteria. I'm looking forward to any and all feedback you might want to send my way at or on the show's Facebook page. Next week we shift the emphasis from artists to specific songs with an old-fashioned all-time top 30 countdown of the most-played songs on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era over the past ten years. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy listening to 20 Artists Who Shaped the Psychedelic Era as much as I enjoyed making it.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    The Times They Are A-Changin'
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of The Original Mono Recordings (originally released on LP: The Times They Are A-Changin')
Writer:    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1964
    If there was any single song that presaged the entire psychedelic era, it would have to be Bob Dylan's The Times They Are A-Changin', from his 1964 album of the same name. Indeed, five days after it was released the Beatles made their debut on the US charts, signalling the biggest single sea change in the history of the music industry. Dylan's lyrics foretell the social changes that would come over the next several years that would come to be known, in more ways than one, as the psychedelic era.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I Want To Hold Your Hand
Source:    CD: 1 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Capitol
Year:    1963
    Originally released in the UK in November of 1963, the Beatles' I Want To Hold Your Hand was originally slated for a January 1964 release, but when a Washington DC disc jockey started playing an imported copy of the British single in early December Capitol Records decided to move up the release of the song to December 26th. By the middle of January the song was in the US top 50 and on February 1st it took over the #1 spot, staying there for seven weeks and touching off what would come to be known as the British Invasion. Unlike many later Beatles songs that, despite being credited to the songwriting team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney were actually written by one or the other of the pair, I Want To Hold Your Hand was a true collaboration worked out in the basement of the house McCartney was living in. The group performed the song on the Ed Sullivan TV show in mid-January, setting all-time records for viewership. The tune was included on the band's first album for Capitol, Meet The Beatles, which actually ended up outselling the single, the first time in US history that had happened. It was not long before other British bands started hitting the US charts and American kids began growing their hair out in imitation of the Beatles, many of them even going so far as to form their own British-influenced garage bands.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    You Really Got Me
Source:    Mono CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    K-Tel (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1964
    Although the Beatles touched off the British Invasion, it was the sheer in-your-face simplicity of You Really Got Me, recorded by an "upstart band of teenagers" from London's Muswell Hill district named the Kinks and released in August of 1964 that made the goal of forming your own band and recording a hit single seem to be a viable one. And sure enough, within a year garages and basements all across America were filled with guitars, amps, drums and aspiring high-school age musicians, some of whom would indeed get their own records played on the radio.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Mr. Tambourine Man
Source:    Mono CD: Billboard Top Rock 'N' Roll Hits-1965 (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Mr. Tambourine Man)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1965
           The term "folk-rock" was coined by the music press to describe the debut single by the Byrds. Mr. Tambourine Man had been written and originally recorded by Bob Dylan, but it was the Byrds version that went to the top of the charts in 1965. Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark and David Crosby had begun work on the song in 1964, when their manager got his hands on an acetate of Dylan performing the song with Ramblin' Jack Elliott. The trio, calling themselves the Jet Set, were trying to develop a sound that combined folk-based melodies and lyrics with arrangements inspired by the British Invasion, and felt that Mr. Tambourine Man might be a good candidate for that kind of treatment. Although the group soon added bassist Chris Hillman and drummer Michael Clarke, producer Terry Melcher opted to use the group of Los Angeles studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew for the instrumental track of the recording, along with McGuinn's 12-string guitar. Following the success of the single, the Byrds entered the studio to record their debut LP, this time playing their own instruments.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Can't Seem To Make You Mine
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Classics From the Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Sky Saxon
Label:    Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1965
    The first truly psychedelic record to hit the L.A. airwaves was the Seeds' March 1965 debut single, Can't Seem To Make You Mine. The song was also chosen to lead off the first Seeds album the following year. Indeed, it could be argued that this was the song that first defined the "flower power" sound, predating the Seeds' biggest hit, Pushin' Too Hard, by several months.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    For Your Love
Source:    Mono CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Graham Gouldman
Label:    Epic
Year:    1965
    The last Yardbirds song to feature guitarist Eric Clapton, For Your Love was the group's first US hit, peaking in the # 6 slot. The song did even better in the UK, peaking at # 3. Following its release, Clapton left the Yardbirds, citing the band's move toward a more commercial sound and this song in particular as reasons for his departure (ironic when you consider songs like his mid-90s hit Change the World or his slowed down lounge lizard version of Layla). For Your Love was written by Graham Gouldman, who would end up as a member of Wayne Fontana's Mindbenders and later 10cc with Kevin Godley and Lol Creme.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (US version)
Source:    Mono LP: The Best Of The Animals (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mann/Weil
Label:    Abkco (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1965
    In 1965 producer Mickey Most put out a call to Don Kirschner's Brill building songwriters for material that could be recorded by the Animals. He ended up selecting three songs, all of which are among the Animals' most popular singles. Possibly the best-known of the three is a song written by the husband and wife team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil called We Gotta Get Out Of This Place. The song (the first Animals recording to featuring Dave Rowberry, who had replaced founder Alan Price on organ) starts off with what is probably Chas Chandler's best known bass line, slowly adding drums, vocals, guitar and finally keyboards on its way to an explosive chorus. The song was not originally intended for the Animals, however; it was written for the Righteous Brothers as a follow up to (You've Got That) Lovin' Feelin', which Mann and Weil had also provided for the duo. Mann, however, decided to record the song himself, but the Animals managed to get their version out first, taking it to the top 20 in the US and the top 5 in the UK. As the Vietnam war escalated, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place became a sort of underground anthem for US servicemen stationed in South Vietnam, and has been associated with that war ever since. Incidentally, there were actually two versions of We Gotta Get Out Of This Place recorded during the same recording session, with an alternate take accidentally being sent to M-G-M and subsequently being released as the US version of the single. This version (which some collectors and fans maintain has a stronger vocal track) appeared on the US-only LP Animal Tracks in the fall of 1965 as well as the original M-G-M pressings of the 1966 album Best Of The Animals. The original UK version, on the other hand, did not appear on any albums, as was common for British singles in the 1960s. By the 1980s record mogul Allen Klein had control of the original Animals' entire catalog, and decreed that all CD reissues of the song would use the original British version of the song, including the updated (and expanded) CD version of The Best Of The Animals. This expanded version of the album had first appeared on the ABKCO label in 1973, but with the American, rather than the British, version of We Gotta Get Out Of This Place. Luckily I have a copy of that LP, which is where this track was taken from. It's not in the best of shape, but it's worth putting up with a few scratches to hear the song the way the troops heard it back in '65.

Artist:     Rolling Stones
Title:     (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Source:     CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released on LP: Out Of Our Heads and as 45 RPM single )
Writer:     Jagger/Richards
Label:     Abkco (original label: London)
Year:     1965
     Singles released in the UK in the 60s tended to stay on the racks much longer than their US counterparts. This is because singles were generally not duplicated on LPs like they were in the US. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction was a good example. In the US, the song was added to the Out Of Our Heads album, which had a considerably different song lineup than the original UK version. In the UK and Europe the song was unavailable as an LP track until Big Hits (High Tide And Green Grass) was released, yet the single remained available until at least late 1967, when I had the opportunity to listen to a copy of it in a German department store. All the store's singles were behind the counter, and you had to ask the store clerk to play the record for you, which you would then listen to on headphones.

Artist:     Blues Project
Title:     Two Trains Running
Source:     CD: The Blues Project Anthology (originally released on LP: Projections)
Writer:     McKinley Morganfield
Label:     Polydor (original label: Verve Folkways)
Year:     1966
     My first two years as a student at the University of New Mexico were spent living off-campus in a large house shared by five other people (a varying number of which were also students). One day while rummaging through the basement I ran across a couple boxes full of reel-to-reel tapes. As I was the only person living there with a reel-to-reel machine and nobody seemed to know where the tapes had come from, I appropriated them for my own use. Unfortunately, many of the tapes were unlabeled, so all I could do was make a guess as to artists and titles of the music on them. One of those tapes was labelled simply "Love Sculpture". It wasn't until a fortuitous trip to a local thrift store a couple of years later that I realized that the slow version of Two Trains Running on the tape was not Love Sculpture at all, but was in fact the Blues Project, from their Projections album. This slowed down version of the Muddy Waters classic has what is considered to be one of the great accidental moments in recording history. About 2/3 of the way through Two Trains Running, Danny Kalb realized that one of the strings on his guitar had gone out of tune, and managed to retune it on the fly in such a way that it sounded like he had planned the whole thing.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    You're Gonna Miss Me
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators)
Writer(s):    Roky Erickson
Label:    Rhino (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1966
    If anyplace outside of California has a legitimate claim to being the birthplace of the psychedelic era, it's Austin, Texas. That's mainly due to the presence of the 13th Floor Elevators, a local band led by Roky Erickson that had the audacity to use an electric jug (played by Tommy Hall) onstage. Their debut album was the first to use the word psychedelic in the title (predating the Blues Magoos' Psychedelic Lollipop by mere weeks). Musically, their leanings were more toward garage-rock than acid-rock, at least on their first album (they got rather metaphysical on their follow-up album, Easter Everywhere).

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Section 43 (EP version)
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on EP: Rag Baby #2)
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Rhino (original label: Rag Baby)
Year:    1966
    Rag Baby was an underground journal published by Country Joe McDonald in mid-60s Berkeley, California. In 1965 McDonald decided to do a "talking issue" of the paper with an extended play (EP) record containing two songs by McDonald's band, Country Joe and the Fish and two by singer Peter Krug. In 1966 McDonald published a second Rag Baby EP, this time featuring four songs by Country Joe and the Fish. Among those was the original version of Section 43, a psychedelic instrumental that would appear in a re-recorded (and slightly changed) stereo form on the band's first LP, Electric Music For The Mind And Body, in early 1967.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Sunshine Superman
Source:    British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Sunshine Superman)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    EMI
Year:    1966
    Up until the early 1970s there was an unwritten rule that stated that in order to get played on top 40 radio a song could be no more than three and a half minutes long. There were exceptions, of course, such as Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone, but as a general rule the policy was strictly adhered to. Sometimes an artist would record a song that exceeded the limit but nonetheless was considered to have commercial potential. In cases like these the usual practice was for the record company (or sometimes the record's own producer) to create an edited version of the master recording for release as a single. Usually in these cases the original unedited version of the song would appear on an album. In the case of Donovan's Sunshine Superman, however, the mono single version was used for the album as well, possibly because the album itself was never issued in stereo. In fact, it wasn't until 1969 that the full-length original recording of Sunshine Superman was made available as a track on Donovan's first Greatest Hits collection. This was also the first time the song had appeared in stereo, having been newly mixed for that album. An even newer mix was made in 1998 and is included on a British anthology album called Psychedelia At Abbey Road. This version takes advantage of digital technology and has a slightly different sound than previous releases of the song.
Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Arnold Layne
Source:    CD: Works (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Syd Barrett
Label:    Capitol (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    Like most bands in the 60s, Pink Floyd made their vinyl debut with a 45 RPM single: in this case the song Arnold Layne. As was the case with all the band's 1967 singles, the song was written by original bandleader Syd Barrett. Arnold Layne went quickly into the UK top 20 but then hit a roadblock when it was banned by the BBC due to its subject matter (it's about a guy who steals women's garments off of clotheslines and then wears them himself). The song was eventually included on the album Relics and has been included on several other compilations over the years.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Tales Of Brave Ulysses
Source:    LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer:    Clapton/Sharp
Label:    Atco
Year:    1967
    Cream was one of the first bands to break British tradition and release singles that were also available as album cuts. This tradition likely came about because 45 RPM records (both singles and extended play 45s) tended to stay in print indefinitely in the UK, unlike in the US, where a hit single usually had a shelf life of around 2-3 months then disappeared forever. When the Disraeli Gears album was released, however, the song Strange Brew, which leads off the LP, was released in Europe as a single. The B side of that single was Tales Of Brave Ulysses, which opens side two of the album.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    It's No Secret
Source:    LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer:    Marty Balin
Label:    RCA Victor
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:    Doors
Title:    Light My Fire
Source:    CD: The Doors
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Once in a while a song comes along that totally blows you away the very first time you hear it. The Doors' Light My Fire was one of those songs. I liked it so much that I immediately went out and bought the 45 RPM single. Not long after that I heard the full-length version of the song from the first Doors album and was blown away all over again. To this day I have a tendency to crank up the volume whenever I hear it.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Morning Dew
Source:    LP: The Grateful Dead
Writer(s):    Dobson/Rose
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1967
    One of the most identifiable songs in the Grateful Dead repertoire, Morning Dew was the first song ever written by Canadian folk singer Bonnie Dobson, who came up with the song in 1961 the morning after having a long discussion with friends about what life might be like following a nuclear holocaust. She began performing the song that year, with the first recorded version appearing on her 1962 live album At Folk City. The song was not published, however, until 1964, when Fred Neil decided to record his own version of the song for his album Tear Down The Walls. The first time the song appeared on a major label was 1966, when Tim Rose recorded it for his self-titled Columbia Records debut album. Rose had secured permission to revise the song and take credit as a co-writer, but his version was virtually identical to the Fred Neil version of the song. Nonetheless, Rose's name has been included on all subsequent recordings (though Dobson gets 75% of the royalties), including the Grateful Dead version heard on their 1967 debut LP.

Artist:     Big Brother and the Holding Company
Title:     Down On Me
Source:     CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Joplin In Concert)
Writer:     Trad. Arr. Joplin
Label:     Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:     Recorded 1968, released 1972
     Big Brother And The Holding Company's first album, featuring the single Down On Me, was recorded in 1967 at the studios of Mainstream Records, a medium-sized Chicago label known for its jazz recordings. At the time, Mainstream's engineers had no experience with a rock band, particularly a loud one like Big Brother, and vainly attempted to clean up the band's sound as best they could. The result was an album full of bland recordings sucked dry of the energy that made Big Brother and the Holding Company one of the top live attractions of its time. Luckily we have this live version of the tune recorded in Detroit in early 1968 and released on the 1972 album Joplin In Concert that captures the band at their peak, before powerful people with questionable motives convinced singer Janis Joplin that the rest of the group was (ahem) holding her back.

Artist:    Love
Title:    You Set The Scene
Source:    CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Forever Changes)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Rhino (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1967
    During the production of Forever Changes, vocalist/guitarist Arthur Lee became convinced that he was destined to die soon after the release of the album. Accordingly, he crafted lyrics that were meant to be his final words to the world. As the final track on the LP, You Set The Scene in particular reflected this viewpoint. As it turned out, Forever Changes was not Lee's swan song. It has, however, come to be seen by many as the final word on the Summer of Love. It was also the last album to feature the lineup that had been the most popular band on Sunset Strip for the past two years. Subsequent Love albums would feature a whole new group of musicians backing Lee, and would have an entirely different sound as well. Ironically, Lee was still around at the dawn of the 21st century over 30 years later (dying of acute myeloid leukemia in 2006), having outlived several of his former bandmates.

    At this point we are switching to a countdown of the five most played artists on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era over the past ten years. And there is no way I'm gonna spoil the suspense by naming them here. You'll just have to listen to the show itself to find out who they are, but I will give you a hint: four of the five have already made an appearance on this week's show.