Sunday, February 21, 2021

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2109 (starts 2/22/21)

    This week we managed to outdo ourselves and fit 36 songs into a two-hour show. As you might expect, only one of these songs is over five minutes long. What you might not have expected, however, is that it is a song that's never been heard on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era before, from a group called The Raik's Promise, featuring a 17-year-old Steve Krikorian, later to be known as Tonio K. The show itself starts with an all-mono set from Jefferson Airplane, featuring three of their first five singles. We begin with the one that started it all...

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    It's No Secret
Source:    Mono LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (originally released as 45 RPM single)
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:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Somebody To Love
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Darby Slick
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1967
    Over 40 years after the fact, it's hard to imagine just how big an impact Jefferson Airplane's fifth single had on the garage band scene. Whereas before Somebody To Love came out you could just dismiss hard-to-cover songs as being not worth learning, here was a tune that was undeniably cool, and yet virtually impossible for anyone but the Airplane to play well (and even they were unable to get it to sound quite the same when they performed it live). Ironically, the first recorded version of the song (by Great! Society in 1966) was itself more of a garage-rock performance.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Bringing Me Down
Source:    Mono LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (also released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Balin/Kantner
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    Released mainly to San Francisco Bay area radio stations and record stores, Jefferson Airplane's third single, Bringing Me Down, from the LP Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, 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:    First Edition
Title:    Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: The First Edition and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mickey Newbury
Label:    Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    In 1968, former New Christy Mistrels members Kenny Rogers and Mike Settle decided to form a psychedelic rock band, the First Edition. Although Settle was the official leader on the first album, it was Rogers who would emerge as the star of the band, even to the point of eventually changing the band's name to Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. That change reflected a shift from psychedelic folk-rock to country flavored pop that would eventually propel Rogers to superstar status.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Ultimate Turn On (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1967
    Someone should make a movie based on the life of Sean Bonniwell, the former member of the "clean-cut" folk group Wayfarers turned black-clad leader of one of the premier punk-rock bands of all time. Between being lied to by record companies and screwed over by his own manager, Bonniwell nonetheless managed to record two LPs worth of high-quality tracks with two entirely-different incarnations of the Music Machine before becoming disillusioned and leaving the music business entirely by the end of the decade. The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly, heard here in its original mono mix, was the last single released by the original lineup on Original Sound Records in early 1967. A new stereo mix of the song was issued later on in the year on the LP Bonniwell Music Machine on the Warner Brothers label.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Fire
Source:    Dutch import LP: The Singles (originally released on LP: Are You Experienced?)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Sometime in late 1966 Jimi Hendrix was visiting his girlfriend's mother's house in London for the first time. It was a cold rainy night and Jimi immediately noticed that there was a dog curled up in front of the fireplace. Jimi's first action was to scoot the dog out of the way so he himself could benefit from the fire's warmth, using the phrase "Move over Rover and let Jimi take over." The phrase got stuck in his head and eventually became the basis for one of his most popular songs. Fire was a highlight of the Jimi Hendrix Experience's live performances, often serving as a set opener. In 1969, two years after its original UK appearance on the mono LP Are You Experienced, the stereo remix of Fire from the US version of the album was issued in the UK, along with a handful of European countries and New Zealand, as a single called Let Me Light Your Fire.

Artist:    Small Faces
Title:    Itchycoo Park
Source:    CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Marriott/Lane
Label:    K-Tel (original label: Immediate)
Year:    1967
    Led by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane, the Small Faces got their name from the fact that all the members of the band were somewhat vertically challenged. The group was quite popular with the London mod crowd, and was sometimes referred to as the East End's answer to the Who. Although quite successful in the UK, the group only managed to score one hit in the US, the iconic Itchycoo Park, which was released in late 1967. Following the departure of Marriott the group shortened their name to Faces, and recruited a new lead vocalist named Rod Stewart. Needless to say, the new version of the band did much better in the US than their previous incarnation.
Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Waterloo Sunset
Source:    CD: Something Else
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    One of the most beautiful tunes ever recorded by the Kinks is Waterloo Sunset, a song that was a hit single in the UK, but was totally ignored by US radio stations. The reason for this neglect of such a stong song is a mystery, however it may have been due to the fear that American audiences would not be able to relate to all the references to places in and around London in the song's lyrics. The fact that the American Federation Of Musicians refused to issue permits for the Kinks to play concerts in the US between 1965 and 1969 (in all fairness due mainly to the band members' onstage behavior) probably had something to do with it as well.

Artist:    The Raik's Progress
Title:    All Night Long
Source:    Mono LP: Sewer Rat Love Chant
Writer(s):    Krikorian/Shapazian/van Maarth/Olson/Scott
Label:    Sundazed
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2003
    "A bunch of 17-year-old quasi-intellectual proto-punks" was how Steve Krikorian, later to be known as Tonio K, described his first band. Krikorian, along with friends Alan Shapazian, Steve Olson, Nick van Maarth, and Duane Scott, formed The Raik's Progress in 1966 in Fresno, California. By the end of the year they had already cut a single for a major label (Liberty) and would soon find themselves opening for Buffalo Springfield at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium. Although the band did not release any more records, they did gain a reputation for their stage show, which included sitting down and playing a game of poker between songs and other strange antics. Their music was equally unusual, in that it combined influences from the more blues oriented British Invasion bands like the Animals and Them with an avant-garde sensibility more in line with what Frank Zappa's Mothers were doing at the time. Both of these elements can be heard on All Night Long, a track that also shows early traces of the outrageous vocal style that characterizes later Tonio K recordings.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Pledging My Time
Source:    Mono LP: Blonde On Blonde
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia/Sundazed
Year:    1966
    The second track from Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde album was Pledging My Time, a blues tune that features Robbie Robertson (who had been touring with Dylan) on guitar. The song was one of three tracks recorded in four takes in Nashville on March 8th of 1966. The song was also used as the B side of the album's first single, but was faded out about two-thirds of the way through.

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    Bad Little Woman
Source:    Mono CD: Dark Sides (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Tinsley/Catling/Demick/Armstrong/Rosbotham
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    Originally recorded by an Irish R&B band called the Wheels, Bad Little Woman was the third single from the Chicago area's premier garage/punk band, the Shadows Of Knight. The group had previously scored big with their cover of Van Morrison's Gloria, taking the song to the top of the Chicago charts and into the top 10 nationally. The group's second single, a cover of Bo Diddley's Oh Yeah, had managed to make the US top 40 charts, but Bad Little Woman ended up stalling out at #91. Nonetheless, the track stands as one of the loudest and raunchiest examples of garage rock ever recorded, especially on the choruses, which were mastered about five decibels louder than the verses.
Artist:    Standells
Title:    Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ed Cobb
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1966
     If ever a song could be considered a garage-punk anthem, it's Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White, the follow-up single to the classic Dirty Water. Both songs were written by Standells' manager/producer Ed Cobb, who might be considered the record industry's answer to Ed Wood.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Sweet Wine
Source:    CD: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Baker/Godfrey
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1966
    When Cream was formed, both bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker had new music for the band to record (guitarist Eric Clapton having chosen to shut up and play his guitar for the most part). Most of these new songs, however, did not yet have words to go with the music. To remedy the situation, both musicians brought in outside lyricists. Baker chose poet Pete Brown, while Bruce chose to bring in his wife, Janet Godfrey. After a short time it became apparent that Bruce and Brown had a natural affinity for each other's material, and formed a partnership that would last years. Baker, meanwhile, tried working with Godfrey, but the two only came up with one song together, Sweet Wine, which was included on the band's debut LP, Fresh Cream.

Artist:    Mamas and the Papas
Title:    Somebody Groovy
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM B side)
Writer:    John Phillips
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1965
    The Mamas and the Papas were blessed with strong vocals and even stronger songwriting. Their debut single, California Dreamin', written by John & Michelle Phillips, is one of the defining songs of the mid-sixties. The B side of that single, released in 1965, was another John Phillips tune, Somebody Groovy.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Somewhere They Can't Find Me
Source:    LP: Sounds Of Silence
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The first Simon And Garfunkel album, Wednesday Morning 3AM, was a fairly traditional type of folk LP. The album was originally released in late 1964, but due to lackluster sales was soon deleted from the Columbia catalog. In 1965 Paul Simon relocated to London, releasing a solo LP called the Paul Simon Songbook there. Before leaving the country, however, he and Art Garfunkel recorded two new songs in a more upbeat style that remained unreleased until 1966, when the duo reunited for a new album, Sounds of Silence. One of those two new songs was Somewhere They Can't Find Me. The song was, lyrically, a reworking of the title track of Wednesday Morning 3AM, but with entirely new music inspired by a Bert Jansch tune called Anji. As a tribute Simon included his own recording of Anji on the album immediately following Somewhere They Can't Find Me.

Artist:    Circus Maximus
Title:    Bright Light Lover
Source:    LP: Circus Maximus
Writer(s):    Bob Bruno
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Keyboardist Bob Bruno's contributions as a songwriter to Circus Maximus tended to favor jazz arrangements. On Bright Light Lover, however, from the band's first album, he proves that he could rock out with the raunchiest of the garage bands when the mood hit.

Artist:     Beacon Street Union
Title:     Sadie Said No
Source:     British import CD: The Eyes of the Beacon Street Union/The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens
Writer(s):     Ulaky/Wright
Label:     See For Miles (original label: M-G-M)
Year:     1967
     By the time The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union LP was released the band had already relocated to New York. That didn't stop executives from M-G-M from including the Union as part of its ill-fated "Bosstown Sound" promotion. In the short term it may have generated some interest, but it was soon clear that the "Bosstown Sound" was empty hype, which in the long run hurt the band's credibility. This is a shame, since the music on The Eyes of the Beacon Street Union is actually quite listenable, as can be heard on the tongue-in-cheek Sadie Said No, which opens the LP's second side.

Artist:    Roger McGuinn
Title:    It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
Source:    CD: Easy Rider (soundtrack)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    Actor/screenwriter Peter Fonda originally intended to use Bob Dylan's It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) in his film Easy Rider, but due to the way Dylan's contract with Columbia Records was worded, was unable to do so. Instead, Fonda asked his friend Roger McGuinn of the Byrds to do a cover version of the tune. The resulting recording features McGuinn on guitar and vocals, accompanied by another friend of Fonda's, Gene Parsons, on harmonica. Parsons would go on to become a member of the Byrds, helping establish the band's new direction as country-rock pioneers.

Artist:    Coasters
Title:    Let's Go Get Stoned
Source:    LP: Smash Sounds (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Ashford/Simpson/Armstead
Label:    Atco
Year:    1965
    The Robins were one of the first doo-wop groups. Formed in San Francisco in 1948, they had a series of R&B hits for a variety of labels, starting in 1949. By the mid-1950s they were recording regularly with the writing/producing team of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, turning out hits like Riot In Cell Block #9 and Smokey Joe's Cafe for the duo's Los Angeles based Spark label. In 1955, Ahmet Ertegun, co-owner of New York's Atlantic Records, offered Lieber and Stoller a contract to produce Robins records for the company's Atco label, including a reissue of Smokey Joe's Cafe. The new contract, however, required that Lieber, Stoller and the Robins relocate from the West Coast to the East Coast. Only two of the band members, Carl Gardner and Bobby Nunn, were willing to make the move, earning the name Coasters in the process. After recruiting two new members the Coasters quickly became one of the top R&B acts of the late 1950s, and had several hits, such as Yakety Yak, Along Came Jones and Poison Ivy, that crossed over onto the mainstream charts as well. By the mid-1960s, however, Lieber and Stoller had left Atlantic for other projects, although the Coasters continued to release singles on Atco through 1966. One of the last was a 1965 remake of the 1956 Drifters hit Money Honey, backed by a new song by the husband and wife team of Nicholas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, co-written by former Ikette Jo Armstead, called Let's Go Get Stoned. The following year Ray Charles, having heard Ronnie Milsap's recording of Let's Go Get Stoned, recorded his own version, which ended up topping the R&B charts at around the same time the Coasters left Atlantic.

Artist:    Strawberry Zots
Title:    Keep Me Hangin'
Source:    LP: Cars, Flowers, Telephones
Writer(s):    Mark Andrews
Label:    StreetSound
Year:    1989
    Albuquerque's Strawberry Zots were led by Mark Andrews, who either wrote or co-wrote all of the band's original material. Their only LP, Cars, Flowers, Telephones, was released locally on the StreetSound label and reissued on CD the following year by RCA records.

Artist:    Splinter Fish
Title:    Stories
Source:    LP: Splinter Fish
Writer(s):    Chuck Hawley
Label:    StreetSound
Year:    1989
    I make no secret of the fact that I am a huge fan of Albuquerque's late-1980s alternative rock band Splinter Fish, and of the songwriting skills of Chuck Hawley, who provided most of the band's material. Although songs like Stories don't come off immediately as psychedelic, a closer listen reveals a connection to the original San Francisco music scene of the late 1960s, particularly in Deb-O's vocals.
Artist:    Smithereens
Title:    Behind The Wall Of Sleep
Source:    CD: Blown To Smithereens (originally released on LP: Especially For You)
Writer(s):    Pat DiNizio
Label:    Capitol (original label: Enigma)
Year:    1986           
                In 1986 I was the host of a show called Rock Nouveaux on KUNM in Albuquerque, NM. Once a month we would feature an entire album from up and coming bands such as R.E.M., Killing Joke, Skinny Puppy and other groups that would come to be labeled "alternative rock", but at that time were part of a new musical underground. Among the albums that most impressed me was an LP called Especially For You from a band from New Jersey calling themselves the Smithereens. The album, produced by Don Dixon, had a decidedly 60s retro feel to it, especially on side two, which started off with Behind The Wall Of Sleep. The song eventually was released as the album's third single, doing particularly well in the UK.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Break On Through (To The Other Side)
Source:    45 RPM Single
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    The first Doors song to be released as a single was not, as usually assumed, Light My Fire. Rather, it was Break On Through (To The Other Side), the opening track from the band's debut LP, that was chosen to do introduce the band to top 40 radio. Although the single was not an immediate hit, it did eventually catch on with progressive FM radio listeners and still is heard on classic rock stations from time to time.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Cool, Calm And Collected
Source:    CD: Between The Buttons
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    The Rolling Stones were beginning to experiment with psychedelia on their first album of 1967, Between The Buttons. Cool, Calm and Collected, which closes side one of the LP, features pianist Nicky Hopkins prominently. Hopkins, one of the most respected British session players (and the inspiration for the Kinks song Session Man) would soon start showing up on albums by American artists, and even became a member of one of them (Quicksilver Messenger Service) for a time. Probably the most memorable thing about Cool, Calm And Collected, however, is the fact that, about where you would expect a fadeout you instead get a slow increase in tempo which builds up to a truly manic train wreck of an ending. Fun stuff indeed.

Artist:    Tomorrow
Title:    Revolution (unissued original phased version)
Source:    British import CD: 50 Minute Technicolour Dream
Writer(s):    Keith Hopkins
Label:    RPM
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1998
    Tomorrow only released one album during their existence, but it is considered one of the best British psychedelic albums ever made. Unfortunately, the release of the album was delayed almost a year, which in the late 1960s, with its quickly changing musical trends, was a fatal blow to the band. The first single released from that album was a song called Revolution that may have influenced John Lennon to write his own song with the same title after hearing it performed at London's UFO club in 1967. Tomorrow actually recorded two different versions of Revolution. The first one, recorded in 1967, included extensive stereo phasing effects, making it unsuitable to be folded down to a single track for AM radio broadcast. That version remained unreleased until 1998, when it was included on a retrospective CD called 50 Minute Technicolor Dream.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Heaven Is In Your Mind
Source:    CD: Heaven Is In Your Mind
Writer(s):    Winwood/Capaldi/Wood
Label:    Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1967
    For a time in the mid-1960s recording artists would actually make two mixes of each song on their albums, one in monoraul and one in stereo. Often the monoraul mix would have a brighter sound, as those mixes were usually made with AM radio's technical limitations in mind. In rare cases, the differences would be even more pronounced. Such is the case with Traffic's first LP, Mr. Fantasy. The two versions of Heaven Is In Your Mind differ not only in their mix but in the actual recording, as the mono mix features an entirely different guitar solo than the more familiar stereo mix heard here.

Artist:    Paul Revere and the Raiders
Title:    The Great Airplane Strike (originally released on LP: Spirit Of '67 and as 45 RPM single)
Source:    CD: Greatest Hits
Writer:    Revere/Melcher/Lindsay
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1966
    In 1966 Paul Revere and the Raiders were at the peak of their popularity, scoring major hits that year with Hungry and Kicks. The last single the band released in 1966 was The Great Airplane Strike from the Spirit Of '67 album. Written by band members Revere and Mark Lindsay, along with producer Terry Melcher, The Great Airplane Strike stands out as a classic example of Pacific Northwest rock, a style which would eventually culminate in the grunge movement of the 1990s.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    Gotta Get Away
Source:    LP: Psychedelic Lollipop
Writer(s):    Gordon/Adams
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1966
    As was common with most 1966 LPs, the Blues Magoos debut album, Psychedelic Lollipop, included a handful of cover songs, not all of which had been hits for other groups. One of the non-hits was Gotta Get Away, a fairly typical piece of garage rock that opens side two of the LP. The song was also selected as the B side for the group's second (and by far most successful) single, (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet. As the usual practice was to bring in outside songwriters for a new band's early singles and let the band write their own B side, it is possible that Gotta Get Away, which was co-written by Alan Gordon (co-writer of the Turtles' Happy Together and several other tunes) may have been the intended A side of the single.

Artist:    Remains
Title:    Don't Look Back
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Billy Vera
Label:    Rhino (original label: Epic)
Year:    1966
    The Remains were a Boston area band that were seemingly on the verge of finally hitting the big time in 1966. They had just finished opening for the Beatles on their last US tour and had procured the rights to record a song written by Billy Vera, who would score a huge hit of his own 20 years later with At This Moment. Somehow, though, Don't Look Back didn't make the charts, despite its obvious potential. It was the last of a series of disappointments for a group that had been cutting records since 1964, and they soon packed up their instruments for the last time.

Artist:     Beatles
Title:     In My Life
Source:     CD: Rubber Soul
Writer:     Lennon/McCartney
Label:     Parlophone
Year:     1965
    Rubber Soul was the first Beatles album to be made up entirely of songs written by the band members themselves, mostly John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Lennon's contributions in particular were starting to move away from the typical "young love" songs the band had become famous for. One of the best examples is In My Life, which is a nostalgic look back at Lennon's own past (although put in such a way that it could be universally applied). Despite never being released as a single, In My Life remains one of the most popular songs in the Beatles catalog.

Artist:     Beatles
Title:     Fixing A Hole
Source:     LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer:     Lennon/McCartney
Label:     Parlophone/EMI (original US label: Capitol)
Year:     1967
     The first Beatles album to appear with the same tracks in the same order on both US and UK versions was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The only differences between the two were a lack of spaces in the vinyl (called "banding") on the UK version and a bit of gobbledygook heard at the end of the record (but only if you did not have a turntable that automatically lifted the needle out of the groove after the last track). Among the many tracks from Sgt. Pepper's that got played on the radio (despite not being released as singles) was Paul McCartney's Fixing A Hole, a song that has psychedelic overtones without being overtly psychedelic.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    If I Needed Someone
Source:    CD: Rubber Soul (held back in US for release on LP: Yesterday...And Today)
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1965 (US 1966)
    Generally considered to be George Harrison's best song up to that point, If I Needed Someone is the earliest song to be included on the former Beatle's own Greatest Hits album. The song was covered by the Hollies, whose single version was actually released in the UK before Rubber Soul came out, leading some to believe that the Beatles were covering the Hollies. In the US the song was held back for release the following June on the Yesterday...And Today album, an LP that only appeared in North America.

Artist:    Them
Title:    Baby, Please Don't Go
Source:    Mono 12" single (reissue)
Writer:    Joe Williams
Label:    A&M
Year:    1964
    Belfast, Northern Ireland was home to one of the first bands that could be legitimately described as punk rock. Led by Van Morrison, the band quickly got a reputation for being rude and obnoxious, particularly to members of the English press (although it was actually a fellow Irishman who first labeled them as "boorish"). Their first single was what has come to be considered the definitive rock and roll version of the 1923 Joe Williams tune Baby, Please Don't Go. Despite its UK success, the single did not chart in the US, although its B side, Gloria, did get some airplay before being banned on most US radio stations due to its suggestive lyrics. Them's recording of Baby, Please Don't Go gained renewed popularity in the 1980s when it was used in the film Good Morning Vietnam.

Artist:    Lyrics
Title:    So What!!
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Chris Gaylord
Label:    Rhino (original label: Era)
Year:    1965
    In some ways the story of the Lyrics is fairly typical for the mid-1960s. The Carlsbad, California group had already established itself as a competent if somewhat bland cover band when in 1964 they recruited the local cool kid, Chris Gaylord (who was so cool that he had his own beat up old limo, plastered on the inside with Rolling Stones memorabilia, of course), to be their frontman. Gaylord provided the band with a healthy dose of attitude, as demonstrated by their 1965 single So What!! The song was written by Gaylord after he had a brief fling with a local rich girl. Gaylord's tenure lasted until mid-1966. Although the band continued without him, they never again saw the inside of a recording studio.

Artist:    The Ariel
Title:    It Feels Like I'm Crying
Source:    Mono British import CD: With Love- A Pot Of Flowers (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jack Walters
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Brent)
Year:    1966
    San Francisco occupies the north end of a peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean to the west and San Francisco Bay to the north and east. At the south end of the bay is the city of San Jose. In between the two, about halfway down the peninsula itself, is the city of San Mateo. The city serves as the western terminus of the only bridge across the bay south of San Francisco itself. For much of 1966 it was also the home of a band called The Ariel. The band, originally called the Banshees, was formed in 1965 by a group of high school students from the San Mateo suburbs. The renamed themselves The Ariel in 1966 (Ariel being the name of a female fan from Hayward, the city on the eastern end of the bridge). In July they cut some demos at Golden State Recorders, which got them an audition with Bob Shad, owner of Mainstream Records, who was doing some talent scouting in the Bay Area that summer. They passed the audition and headed south to L.A. (at their own expense) to make a record. Unfortunately, when they arrived they learned that Shad was no longer interested in recording them. Nevertheless, they persisted (sorry, couldn't resist) and eventually got Shad to book them a couple hours in a local studio, where they a pair of songs written by the band's vocalist/lead guitarist, Jack Walters. It Feels Like I'm Crying was issued as the A side of the band's only single in late summer, but by then some of the band members were attending college and were not able to support the record with live appearances with any kind of regularity. By the end of the year The Ariel was history.

Artist:    Young Rascals
Title:    Lonely Too Long
Source:    Mono LP: Collections
Writer(s):    Cavaliere/Brigati
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1967
    There seems to be a bit of confusion over the official title of the Young Rascals' first single from their 1967 album Collections. The album label and cover clearly show it as Lonely Too Long, but the single itself, released the same day as the album (January 9) just as clearly shows it as I've Been Lonely Too Long. Some sources, apparently trying to come up with a compromise, list it as (I've Been) Lonely Too Long. Since I'm playing this directly from an original mono vinyl copy of Collections, I'm going with the title listed on the album itself.


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