Sunday, January 31, 2021

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2106 (starts 2/1/21) 

    This time around we have a total of 33 tunes, including artists' sets from Jefferson Airplane and the Beatles, as well as an all New Mexico Advanced Psych segment.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Let's Spend The Night Together
Source:    CD: Flowers (originally released on LP: Between The Buttons)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    The Rolling Stones second LP of 1967 was Flowers, one of a series of US-only albums made up of songs that had been released in various forms in the UK but not in the US. In the case of Flowers, though, there were a couple songs that had already been released in the US-but not in true stereo. One of those was Let's Spend The Night Together, a song intended to be the A side of a single, but that was soon banned on a majority of US radio stations because of its suggestive lyrics. Those stations instead flipped the record over and began playing the B side. That B side, a song called Ruby Tuesday, ended up in the top 5, while Let's Spend The Night Together barely cracked the top 40. The Stones did get to perform the tune on the Ed Sullivan Show, but only after promising to change the lyrics to "let's spend some time together." Later  the same year the Doors made a similar promise to the Sullivan show to modify the lyrics of Light My Fire, but when it came time to actually perform the song Jim Morrison defiantly sang the lyrics as written. The Doors were subsequently banned from making any more appearances on the Sullivan show.
Artist:    Cream
Title:    SWLABR
Source:    LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    RSO (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
     I distinctly remember this song getting played on the local jukebox just as much as the single's A side, Sunshine Of Your Love (maybe even more). Like most of Cream's more psychedelic material, SWLABR (the title being an anagram for She Was Like A Bearded Rainbow) was written by the songwriting team of Jack Bruce and Pete Brown. Brown had originally been brought in as a co-writer for Ginger Baker, but soon realized that he and Bruce had better songwriting chemistry.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Hampstead Incident
Source:    Mono British import CD: Mellow Yellow
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    EMI (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1967
    The Beatles started a trend (one of many) when they used a harpsichord on the Rubber Soul album, released in December of 1965. By early 1967 it seemed that just about everyone had a song or two with the antique instrument featured on it. Unlike some of the recordings of the time, Hampstead Incident manages to use the harpsichord effectively without overdoing it.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Bringing Me Down
Source:    CD: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (also released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Balin/Kantner
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1966
    One of several singles released mainly to San Francisco Bay area radio stations and record stores, Bringing Me Down is an early collaboration between vocalist Marty Balin and guitarist/vocalist Paul Kantner. Balin had invited Kantner into the band without having heard him play a single note. It turned out to be one of many savvy decisions by the young bandleader.
Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Greasy Heart
Source:    LP: Crown Of Creation
Writer(s):    Grace Slick
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1968
    The Jefferson Airplane released their fourth LP, Crown of Creation, in the summer of '68. Greasy Heart, a Grace Slick composition, was chosen for single release to AM top 40 radio, but by then the group was getting far more airplay on album-oriented FM stations with tunes like Lather and Triad and the mysteriously named House at Pooniel Corners. As a result, Greasy Heart, despite being a more commercial tune, is far less familiar to most people than any of those other songs.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Run Around (original uncensored version)
Source:    Mono CD: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Balin/Kantner
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1966
    The first Jefferson Airplane album was released three times. The first (extremely rare) version had 12 songs, including Running Round This World, which was also issued as the B side of the band's first single, It's No Secret. Someone at RCA, however, decided Running Round This World was an invitation to take LSD, and the album was quickly withdrawn and reissued with only the remaining eleven tracks on it. RCA wasn't quite done messing with the album, however, and had the group go back into the studio to change the lyrics on two more songs that they considered "sexually suggestive". One of those two songs was Run Around, with the line "Blinded by colors come flashing from flowers that sway as you lay under me" altered to "...that sway as you stay here by me". The album was once again withdrawn, with the third, "censored" version appearing on the shelves in late 1966. Luckily, the remastered CD version includes the uncensored version of Run Around as a bonus track

Artist:    New Colony Six
Title:    Dawn Is Breaking
Source:    Mono CD: Breakthrough (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Pat McBride
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Centaur)
Year:    1965
    Due to my dad being in the Air Force and stationed in Denver while our extended family all lived in NY state we did a lot of traveling across the country in the early to mid-1960s. As unofficial "navigator" for both my father and grandfather, I had access to the car radio on those days long road trips, and would spend much of the time searching the dial for local stations. This had the unexpected benefit of exposing me to songs that I would never hear if I had been at home or grandparents' house. This was because many local stations played records made by locally popular bands. Sometimes those records would end up making the national charts as well, but that was not always the case. One example is a Chicago area group called the New Colony Six. Their debut single, released in November of 1965 on the local Centaur label, was a song called I Confessed, with Dawn Is Breaking on the record's B side. The single ended up going all the way to the #2 spot on Chicago's WLS, which, as a 50,000 watt clear channel station, had a huge listening area, especially at night. That same record actually did make it onto the Billboard Top 100, but never made it above the #80 spot. The New Colony Six finally did achieve national prominence a few years later with a pair of top 40 hits, but by then the band bore little resemblance to the brash rockers heard on Dawn Is Breaking.

Artist:    Al Kooper
Title:    I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes
Source:    CD: Blues Project Anthology (originally released on LP: What's Shakin')
Writer(s):    Blind Willie Johnson
Label:    Polydor (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1966
    In early 1966 Elektra Records, then a New York based folk and blues label, decided to put together an album called What's Shakin'. The LP featured some of the top talent appearing in and around the city's Greenwich Village area, including the Lovin' Spoonful and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. In addition to already recorded material, the album included a handful of tracks recorded specifically for the collection, including one by Al Kooper of the Blues Project, who brought along drummer Roy Blumenfeld and bassist Andy Kuhlberg for the session. The song Kooper chose to record was I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes, an old Blind Willie Johnson tune that was already in the Blues Project's repertoire but had not yet been recorded by the band. While the Blues Project version of the song recorded later that year for the Projections album is a classic piece of guitar-based blues-rock, the earlier version for What's Shakin' is built around Kooper's piano playing and has more of a Ramsey Lewis feel to it.
Artist:    Who
Title:    Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hands (US single version)
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Decca
Year:    1967
    There are at least three versions of Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hands. The first was a monoraul-only electric version of the song released in the US on September 18, 1967 as the B side to I Can See For Miles. Two months later a second, slightly slower stereo version of the tune appeared under the title Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hand (singular) on The Who Sell Out. This more acoustic version of the song, which has a kind of calypso flavor to it, is the best known of the three, due to the album staying in circulation far longer than the 45. A third version of the song, also recorded in 1967 and featuring Al Kooper on organ, appeared as a bonus track on the 1995 CD release of Sell Out. The liner notes on the CD, however, erroneously state that it is the US single version, when in fact it is an entirely different recording.
Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Dedicated Follower Of Fashion
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1966
    By 1966 Ray Davies's songwriting had taken a satirical turn with songs like Dedicated Follower Of Fashion, which lampooned the flamboyant lifestyle embraced by the Mods, a group of young fashionable Londoners who bought all their clothes on Carnaby Street. The Kinks, at this point, were having greater success in the UK than in the US, where they had been denied visas and were thus unable to tour to promote their records. That condition would only worsen until 1970, when the song Lola became an international smash, reviving the band's flagging fortunes.

Artist:    Association
Title:    Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies
Source:    Mono British import CD: My Mind Goes High (originally released in US as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Renaissance)
Writer(s):    Gary Alexander
Label:    Warner Strategic Marketing (original label: Valiant)
Year:    1966
    Following up on their monster hit Cherish, the Association released their most overtly psychedelic track, Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies, in late 1966, in advance of their second LP, Renaissance. The group had wanted to be more involved in the production process, and provided their own instrumental tracks for the tune, written by band member Gary Alexander. Unfortunately for the band, the single barely made the top 40, peaking at # 35, which ultimately led to the band relying more on outside songwriters and studio musicians for their later recordings such as Never My Love and Windy.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Good Vibrations
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Wilson/Love
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    Although I had originally discovered top 40 radio in 1963 (when I received a small Sony transistor radio for my birthday), it wasn't until 1966 that I really got into it in a big way. This way due to a combination of a couple of things: first, my dad bought a console stereo, and second, my junior high school went onto split sessions, meaning that I was home by one o'clock every day. This gave me unprecedented access to Denver's two big top 40 AM stations, as well as an FM station that was experimenting with a Top 100 format for a few hours each day. At first I was content to just listen to the music, but soon realized that the DJs were making a point of mentioning each song's chart position just about every time that song would play. Naturally I began writing all this stuff down in my notebook (when I was supposed to be doing my homework), until I realized that both KIMN and KBTR actually published weekly charts, which I began to diligently hunt down at various local stores. In addition to the songs occupying numbered positions on the charts, both stations included songs at the bottom of the list that they called "pick hits". These were new releases that had not been around long enough to achieve a chart position. The one that most stands out in my memory was the Beach Boys' Good Vibrations, a song I liked so much that I went out to the nearest Woolco and bought it the afternoon I heard it. Within a few weeks Good Vibrations had gone all the way to the top of the charts, and I always felt that some of the credit should go to me for buying the record when it first came out (hey I was 13, OK?). Over the next couple of years I bought plenty more singles, but to this day Good Vibrations stands out as the most important 45 RPM record purchase I ever made.
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. Originally released under the title You're Pushin' Too Hard, the song got minor airplay on some Los Angeles radio stations, but it wasn't until it was included on the band's first LP and then re-released as a single in late 1966 that the song really took off, ultimately climbing to the #36 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and, perhaps more importantly, hitting #1 on Chicago's WLS on February 17, 1967.

Artist:     Yardbirds
Title:     Jeff's Boogie
Source:     45 RPM single B side
Writer:     Dreja/Relf/Samwell-Smith/McCarty/Beck
Label:     Epic
Year:     1966
     Jeff's Boogie is an instrumental track from the Yardbirds that originally appeared on the album Over Under Sideways Down in the US. That LP, with a different track lineup and cover, was issued in the UK under the name Yardbirds, although it has since come to be known as Roger The Engineer due to its cover art. The song was also chosen to be the B side of the Over Under Sideways Down single, released in 1966. Although credited to the entire band, the tune is actually based on Chuck Berry's guitar boogie, and features some outstanding guitar work by Jeff Beck.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Hideaway
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Underground)
Writer(s):    Lowe/Tulin
Label:    Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    After the moderately successful first Electric Prunes album, producer David Hassinger loosened the reigns a bit for the followup, Underground. Among the original tunes on Underground was Hideaway, a song written by vocalist James Lowe and bassist Mark Tulin that probably would have been a better choice as a single than what actually got released: a novelty tune called Dr. Feelgood written by Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz, who had also written the band's first hit, I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night).

Artist:    West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:    As The World Rises And Falls
Source:    LP: Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil
Writer(s):    Markley/Morgan
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band's third album for Reprise, Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil, is generally considered their best, and for good reason. The album includes some of guitarist Ron Morgan's finest contributions, including the gently flowing As The World Rises And Falls. Even Bob Markley's lyrics, which could run the range from inane to somewhat disturbing, here come across as poetic and original. Unfortunately for the band, Morgan was by this time quite disenchanted with the whole thing, and would often not even show up to record. Nonetheless, the band continued on for a couple more years (and two more albums) before finally calling it quits in 1970.

Artist:    John Mayall's Bluesbreakers
Title:    Stand Back Baby
Source:    LP: Crusade
Writer(s):    John Mayall
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    Following the departure from the Bluesbreakers of guitarist Peter Green to form Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall recorded his first solo LP, The Blues Alone, on which he wrote every song and played every instrument except for drums. That same year he recruited 18-year-old Mick Taylor to become the new Bluesbreakers guitarist for the album Crusade. Rounding out the band was Keef Hartley, who had provided drum parts for The Blues Alone and bassist John McVie, who had been invited to join Fleetwood Mac but had not yet accepted the invitation. The band also featured saxophonists Chris Mercer and Rip Kant, replading John Almond and Alan Skidmore in the group. As was the case with previous Bluesbreakers albums, Crusade was made up primarily of blues covers, with only a handful of Mayall originals, including Stand Back Baby, the shortest track on the LP. Mayall would release one more Bluesbreakers album (Bare Wires) before retiring the name permanently in 1968.

Artist:     Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Title:     Fire
Source:     CD: The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Writer:     Brown/Crane/Finesilver/Ker
Label:     Polydor (original label: Atlantic)
Year:     1968
     The Crazy World of Arthur Brown was unusual for their time in that they were much more theatrical than most of their contemporaries, who were generally more into audio experimentation than visual. I have a video of Fire being performed (or maybe just lip-synched). In it, all the members are wearing some sort of mask, and Brown himself is wearing special headgear that was literally on fire. There is no doubt that The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown sowed the seeds of what was to become the glitter-rock movement in the early to mid 70s.

Artist:    27 Devils Joking
Title:    Indian Joe
Source:    LP: Actual Toons
Writer(s):    Brian S. Curley
Label:    Live Wire
Year:    1986
    This seems like a good place to talk about Craig Ellis. Craig was a talented, if somewhat troubled songwriter/guitarist/vocalist whom I first heard of in the early 1980s when I ran across a single by a group called Cosmic Grackles at KUNM radio at the University of New Mexico. I finally met Craig in late1986, when both of us were recording at Bottomline Studios in southeast Albuquerque. I was working on something called Civilian Joe ("a real American zero"), while Craig was putting together a project called Uproar At The Zoo involving guitarist Larry Otis and drummer John Henry Smith, among others. Around that same time I interviewed a guy from Santa Fe named Brian S. Curley, who was appearing on my Rock Nouveaux radio show to promote his new group, 27 Devils Joking. During the interview Brian mentioned that he had until recently been working with Craig Ellis, and that 27 Devils Joking was actually a result of a falling out between the two. Which brings us to Indian Joe, a track from the first 27 Devils Joking LP, Actual Toons. You see, in early 1987 Craig gave me a cassette tape of some of his most recent work, including a song called Indian Joe. It's the same song, using an almost identical arrangement, yet on the LP the song is listed as being the sole work of Brian Curley. One of these days I'll find that old cassette tape Craig gave me and you can decide for youself whose song it is.
Artist:    Mumphries
Title:    Bad Dream
Source:    CD: Thank You, Bonzo
Writer(s):    Stephen R Webb
Label:    WayWard
Year:    1989
    One of the more unusual bands on the Albuquerque, NM scene in the late 1980s was a group called the Soft Corps. With a membership that varied depending on the needs of a particular song, the group's on-stage antics included a guitar being leaned on its amp, causing massive feedback while members traded instruments and the band's leader walked off the stage to watch the show. In mid-1988 the Soft Corps officially disbanded, with three of the members, guitarist/bassist/vocalist Quincy Adams, guitarist/keyboardist Suzan Hagler and guitarist/bassist/vocalist StephenR Webb joining up with drummer John Henry Smith to form The Mumphries. Bad Dream, recorded in 1989, features Webb on lead guitar and vocals, Hagler on keyboards, Adams on bass and Smith on drums.

Artist:    Strawberry Zots
Title:    Tiny Town
Source:    LP: Cars, Flowers, Telephones
Writer(s):    Mark Andrews
Label:    StreetSound
Year:    1989
    Sometimes if a band in the 1960s had a song they wanted to record that didn't quite fit stylistically with the rest of their material, they would put it at the end of an album side. Probably the most obvious example of this was Moby Grape's Just Like Gene Autry: A Foxtrot, which appeared on the second LP, Wow. To emphasis just how different the song was from the rest of the album, the listener was instructed to change the speed of the record from 33 1/3 RPM to 78 RPM in order to play it (which makes it impossible to play on many high end turntables made after the mid 1970s). Albuquerque's Strawberry Zots, while deliberately emulating all things psychedelic, did not take such a drastic approach with Tiny Town, from their 1989 LP Cars, Flowers, Telephones, but they did, appropriately, put it at the end of side one. Once you've heard the song you'll understand why.

Artist:    Chicago
Title:    Prologue, August 29, 1968/Someday (August 29, 1968)
Source:    LP: The Chicago Transit Authority
Writer(s):    Pankow/Lamm
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    In the months leading up to the 1968 Democratic convention the phrase "come to Chicago" was often heard among members of the counter-culture that had grown up around various anti-establishment causes. As the summer wore on it became clear that something was going to happen at the Convention that August. Sure enough, on August 28, with the crowd chanting "the whole world's watching", police began pulling demonstraters into paddy wagons, with a full-blown riot erupting the following day. Around that same time a local Chicago band calling itself the Big Thing hooked up with producer James William Guercio, who convinced them to change their name to the Chicago Transit Authority (later shortened to Chicago). It's only natural then that the band would include a song referencing the events of August 29th on their debut LP. The tracks begin with an actual recording of the chant itself, which leads into a tune written by James Pankow and Robert Lamm called Someday (August 29, 1968). The chant itself makes a short reappearance midway through the song as well.
Artist:    Amboy Dukes
Title:    Journey To The Center Of The Mind
Source:    CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Nugent/Farmer
Label:    Priority (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1968
    Detroit was one of the major centers of pop music in the late 60s. In addition to the myriad Motown acts, the area boasted the popular retro-rock&roll band Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, the harder rocking Heard (later known as the Bob Seger System), the anarchistic MC5, and Ted Nugent's outfit, the Amboy Dukes, who scored big in 1968 with Journey To The Center Of The Mind.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Bottom Of The Soul
Source:    CD: Beyond The Garage (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
    After severing ties with Original Sound Records in early 1967, Sean Bonniwell and his band, the Music Machine, signed a contract with Warner Brothers, a label that was already well on its way to becoming one of the world's top record companies. Although the first single released on the label featured the original lineup, the song, Bottom Of The Soul, was credited to the Bonniwell Music Machine, as were all subsequent releases by the band. The song itself, in the words of Bonniwell himself, "celebrates the courage of those homeless whose criterion...measures the burdon of living life at the bottom of the soul".

Artist:     Blues Magoos
Title:     (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet
Source:     LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on LP: Psychedelic Lollipop)
Writer:     Esposito/Gilbert/Scala
Label:     Rhino (original label: Mercury)
Year:     1966
     The Blues Magoos (original spelling: Bloos, not surprising for a bunch of guys from the Bronx) were either the first or second band to use the word psychedelic in an album title. Both they and the 13th Floor Elevators released their debut albums in 1966 and it is unclear which one actually came out first. What's not in dispute is the fact that Psychedelic Lollipop far outsold The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. One major reason for this was the fact that (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet was a huge national hit in early 1967, which helped album sales considerably. Despite having a unique sound and a look to match (including electric suits), the Magoos were unable to duplicate the success of Nothin' Yet on subsequent releases, partially due to Mercury's pairing of two equally marketable songs on the band's next single without indicating to stations which one they were supposed to be playing.

Artist:    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:    Procol Harum
Title:    Homburg
Source:    British import CD: Procol Harum (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    Salvo/Fly (original US label: A&M)
Year:    1967
    Procol Harum's followup single to A Whiter Shade Of Pale was a now nearly forgotten song called Homburg. Although the song's lyrics were praised by critics and by fellow songwriters such as Elton John, the music itself was perceived as being too similar to the previous single to stand on its own. You can decide for yourself on that one. Three years after the record was released, Procol Harum left EMI's Regal Zonophone label to sign with the newly-formed Fly Records. In 1971 Fly released a compilation album called Flyback 4-The Best Of Procol Harum. Included on the album were new stereo mixes of three songs, one of which was Homburg.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    See See Rider
Source:    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 that the song first appeared on) that is unique to the Animals' take on the tune.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Turn! Turn! Turn!
Source:    Simulated Stereo CD: The Best Of 60s Supergroups (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Turn! Turn! Turn!)
Writer(s):    Pete Seeger
Label:    Priority (origina label: Columbia)
Year:    1965
     After their success covering Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man, the band turned to an even more revered songwriter: the legendary Pete Seeger. Turn! Turn! Turn!, with lyrics taken directly from the book of Ecclesiastes, was first recorded by Seeger in the early 60s, nearly three years after he wrote the song. The song was never mixed in true stereo, forcing the band's record label to use a simulated stereo mix on stereo copies of the LP. Once monoraul albums were phased out in the late 1960s, this "fake" stereo version remained the only one available for many years, appearing on various compilations before a mid-1990s remaster of the Turn! Turn! Turn! album used the original mono mix.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I Want To Tell You
Source:    LP: Revolver
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple/Capitol/EMI
Year:    1966
    The first pre-recorded reel-to-reel tape I ever bought was the Capitol version of the Beatles' Revolver album, which I picked up about a year after the LP was released. Although my Dad's tape recorder had small built-in speakers, his Koss headphones had far superior sound, which led to me sleeping on the couch in the living room with the headphones on. Hearing songs like I Want To Tell You on factory-recorded reel-to-reel tape through a decent pair of headphones gave me an appreciation for just how well-engineered Revolver was, and also inspired me to (eventually) learn my own way around a recording studio. The song itself, by the way, is one of three George Harrison songs on Revolver; the most on any Beatle album up to that point, and a major reason that, when pressed, I almost always end up citing Revolver as my favorite Beatles LP.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Love Me Do (version three)
Source:    Mono CD: Please Please Me
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original US label: Tollie)
Year:    1963
    The Beatles made three recordings of their debut single, Love Me Do. The first version of the song (which had actually been written before the Beatles even existed) was made on June 6, 1962  for the band's EMI Artist Test with Pete Best playing drums. Although the band passed the audition, they decided to change drummers soon after the audition, replacing Best with Ringo Starr. On September 4, 1962 they returned to EMI studios for their first official recording session and cut the song a second time, this time with Ringo on drums. Producer George Martin was not entirely satisfied with Ringo's drumming on the recording, and so the song was recut a week later, on September 11, 1962, with studio drummer Andy White (Ringo played tambourine on this version). The single was first issued on October 5th of that year, using the version with Ringo on drums. That version was soon replaced, however, with the Alan White version, which was included on the band's 1963 debut LP Please Please Me, as well as the first pressings of Vee Jays Introducing...The Beatles LP and the US single version of the song released on the Tollie label.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    She Said She Said
Source:    LP: Revolver
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Capitol/EMI
Year:    1966
    The last song to be recorded for the Beatles' Revolver album was She Said She Said, a John Lennon song inspired by an acid trip taken by members of the band (with the exception of Paul McCartney) during a break from touring in August of 1965. The band's manager, Brian Epstein, had rented a large house in Beverly Hills, but word had gotten out and the Beatles found it difficult to come and go at will. Instead, they invited several people, including the original members of the Byrds and actor Peter Fonda, to come over and hang out with them. At some point, Fonda brought up the fact that he had nearly died as a child from an accidental gunshot wound, and used the phrase "I know what it's like to be dead." Lennon was creeped out by the things Fonda was saying and told him to "shut up about that stuff. You're making me feel like I've never been born." The song itself took nine hours to record and mix, and is one of the few Beatle tracks that does not have Paul McCartney on it (George Harrison played bass). Perhaps not all that coincidentally, Fonda himself would star in a Roger Corman film called The Trip (written by Jack Nicholson and co-starring Dennis Hopper) the following year.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    You Told Me
Source:    CD: Headquarters
Writer(s):    Michael Nesmith
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1967      
            After Don Kirschner got himself fired from Colgems for issuing the album More of the Monkees without the band's knowledge or permission (as well as a subsequent single that was sent out in promo form to radio stations and almost immediately rescinded), the band members insisted on having greater artistic control over what was being issued with their names on it. The end result was the Headquarters album, the only Monkees LP to feature the band members playing virtually all the instruments (with a few exceptions, notably producer Chip Douglas playing bass guitar). Although the Michael Nesmith composition You Told Me starts off side one of the LP, it was actually the third and final Nesmith track to be recorded for Headquarters. Peter Tork plays banjo on the song, which was sung by Nesmith himself.

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