Sunday, May 9, 2021

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2120 (starts 5/10/21)

    In 1967 the Who put together an entire side of an album made to sound like a popular British top 40 pirate radio station. This week we present that album side in its entirety, with jingles and commercials intact. Other highlights of the show include a battle of two major British Invasion bands (neither of which is the Beatles), a set of Turtles singles that does not include Happy Together and an L.A. set made up mostly of people that were not originally from California at all.

Artist:    Canned Heat
Title:    Going Up The Country
Source:    CD: The Very Best Of Canned Heat (originally released on LP: Living The Blues)
Writer(s):    Alan Wilson
Label:    Capitol (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1968
    Canned Heat built up a solid reputation as one of the best blues-rock bands in history, recording several critically-acclaimed albums over a period of years. What they did not have, however, was a top 10 single on the US charts. The nearest they got was Going Up The Country from their late 1968 LP Living The Blues, which peaked in the #11 spot in early 1969 (although it did hit #1 in several other countries). The song was written and sung by guitarist Alan "Blind Own" Wilson, who died at age 27 on September 3, 1970.

Artist:    Max Frost And The Troopers (aka 13th Power)
Title:    It's Wrong
Source:    CD: Shape Of Things To Come
Writer(s):    Hector/Wibier
Label:    Captain High (original label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    The first thing you need to know about Max Frost And The Troopers is that they were a fictional rock band featured in the film Wild In The Streets. Sort of. You see, in the movie itself the band is never actually named, although Max (played by Christopher Jones) does refer to his followers as his "troops" throughout the film. The next thing you need to know is that Shape Of Things To Come was a song used in the film that became a hit record in 1968. The song itself was written by the Brill building songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (who also wrote Kicks and Hungry for Paul Revere and the Raiders and several hit songs for the Animals, among others) and was recorded by studio musicians, with vocals by Paul Wibier. The song, along with several other Mann/Weil tunes used in the film, was credited not to Max Frost and the Troopers, but to the 13th Power on the film's soundtrack LP, which was released on Capitol's Tower subsidiary label. After Shape Of Things To Come (the song) became a hit, producer Mike Curb commissioned an entire album by Max Frost And The Troopers called, naturally, Shape Of Things To Come. The band on this album was actually Wibier's own band, the 13th Power, who had previously released songs for Curb's own Sidewalk label, both as the 13th Power and under their original name, Mom's Boys. This album was also released in 1968 on the Tower label, and featured mostly songs written (or co-written) by Wibier himself, such as It's Wrong. The name Max Frost And The Troopers popped up in a couple more film soundtracks before being permanently retired by the end of the year.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    The Inner Light
Source:    CD: Past Masters Vol. 2 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1968
    Prior to 1968, no George Harrison song had ever appeared on 45 RPM vinyl in the US (a couple had shown up in other parts of the world as EP tracks, however). His first was The Inner Light, issued as the B side of Lady Madonna in March of 1968. The Inner Light is the only Beatles studio recording made outside of Europe. Harrison recorded the instrumental tracks in Bombay in January of 1968, while he was putting together tracks for his Wonderwall Music solo album. The lyrics come from the Tao Te Ching, a Taoist poem that had been translated from Sanskrit in 1958.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Desperation
Source:    CD: Steppenwolf
Writer(s):    John Kay
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    A close listen to the first Steppenwolf album reveals a band still looking for its signature sound. As a result, the album includes songs from a greater variety of genres than on later efforts. Among those is the slow love ballad, as represented by John Kay's Desperation.

Artist:     Monkees
Title:     Peter Perceival Patterson's Pet Pig Porky/Pleasant Valley Sunday
Source:     LP: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.
Writer:     Tork/Goffin/King
Label:     Colgems
Year:     1967
     The album version of Pleasant Valley Sunday differs from the single version in two ways. First, on the original LP Peter Tork's spoken piece Peter Perceival Patterson's Pet Pig Porky precedes the song on the album and is considered part of the same track. Second, the mix is different, with the background vocals more prominent on the stereo album mix.

Artist:    Masters Apprentices
Title:    But One Day
Source:    Mono CD: The Master's Apprentices
Writer(s):    Mick Bower
Label:    Aztec (original label: Astor)
Year:    1967
    The Masters Apprentices were originally from Adelaide, South Australia. A shared gig with Bobby Bright led to them recording a four-song demo for the Astor label, with their first single being released in October of 1966. After moving to Melbourne, the band released their original demo as a self-titled EP in February of 1967. The success of the single and EP led Astor to request that the band record enough additional material to fill out an entire LP. The opening song of that LP was But One Day, written by rhythm guitarist Mick Bower. The band the summer touring extensively, playing as many as fifteen gigs a week. The pressure, unfortunately, got to Bower, and after suffering a nervous breakdown was told by his doctor to give up performing. The band managed to survive a series of personnel changes, eventually relocating to the UK before finally disbanding in 1972.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    Nobody To Love
Source:    CD: Easter Everywhere
Writer:    Stacy Sutherland
Label:    Charly (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1967
    The release of The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators in 1966 is considered by some to be the beginning of the psychedelic era. The band soon left their native Texas to spend four months touring in California, playing to packed houses and influencing countless other musicians. Their label, however, wanted them back in Texas and recording new material, and went as far as to threaten to release older, substandard, recordings of the Elevators if the boys didn't return home immediately. Once the band got back to Texas, however, the label made several missteps, such as forcing the band to play inappropriate venues. Also, due to the band members' notorious drug use, the label was reluctant to promote them heavily. By mid-1967 a rift had developed within the band itself, with two of the five members leaving the group to move to San Francisco. The remaining members, with a new bass player and drummer, went into the studio to record a true piece of acid-rock: the album that would come to be known as Easter Everywhere. Although the bulk of the LP would be written by guitarist/vocalist Roky Erickson and electric jug player Tommy Hall, there was one track, Nobody To Love, written by the band's lead guitarist, Stacy Sutherland.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Can I Get To Know You Better
Source:    Mono CD: All The Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sloan/Barri
Label:    Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1966
    Although it started well for them, with the song You Baby hitting the top 20, 1966 was overall a disappointing year for the Turtles. Their next four singles stiffed, with only two of them reaching the lower reaches of the Hot 100. The last of these was Can I Get To Know You Better. Like You Baby, it was written by the songwriting team of Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan, who would have great success as the producers and primary songwriters of the Grass Roots just a few months later. For some reason, however, Can I Get To Know You Better, released in October of 1966, only managed to hit the #89 spot on the charts, despite being a catchy tune with a strong hook that was performed to perfection by the Turtles themselves. The record marked the debut of the band's new bass player, Chip Douglas, who would (under the name Douglas Farthing Hatelid) be brought in to produce the Monkees' Headquarters album after they successfully got Don Kirschner fired and (temporarily) became a real band.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    You Baby
Source:    CD: Battle Of The Bands Vol. Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sloan/Barri
Label:    Era (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1966
    After first hitting the charts with their version of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe, the Turtles released yet another "angry young rebel" song, P.F. Sloan's Let Me Be. Realizing that they needed to vary their subject matter somewhat if they planned on having a career last longer than six months, the band formerly known as the Crossfires went with another Sloan tune, You Baby, for their first single of 1966. Although the music was in a similar style to Let Me Be, the lyrics, written by Steve Barri, were fairly typical of teen-oriented love songs of the era. Almost without exception the Turtles would continue to record songs from professional songwriters for single release for the remainder of their existence, with their original compositions showing up mostly as album tracks and B sides.
Artist:    Turtles
Title:    She'd Rather Be With Me
Source:    Mono CD: All The Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bonner/Gordon
Label:    Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1967
    The Turtles knew a good thing when they found it, and in 1967 that good thing was Gary Bonner and Alan Gordon, a pair of New York songwriters who had been members of a band called the Magicians. The first Bonner/Gordon song to be recorded by the Turtles was Happy Together, a huge hit that knocked the Beatles' Penny Lane off the top of the charts. The next Turtles single was another Bonner/Gordon composition called She'd Rather Be With Me. That one peaked at #3. Before the year was over the Turtles would take two more Bonner/Gordon tunes into the top 20.

    In the mid-1960s various radio stations, promoters and even charities would occasionally sponser a Battle Of The Bands that would feature several (usually local) groups competing for the approval of a live audience, with the winners often being rewarded with the chance to make a record. This week we have our own Battle Of The Bands featuring two major British Invasion bands: the Animals and the Rolling Stones. Since this is radio and not a live performance (and it's 2021, not 1966), we are presenting alternating tracks from the two bands rather than sets from each of them. I don't thing either one of them expects to get rewarded with the chance to make a record, however.

Artist:    Eric Burdon And The Animals
Title:    Winds Of Change
Source:    British import CD: Winds Of Change
Writer(s):    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    BGO (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    In late 1966 the original Animals disbanded, and Eric Burdon began working on a new solo album called Eric Is Here. Unsatisfied with the results of the project, Burdon set about creating a new version of the Animals, which was at first known as the New Animals but would soon come to be called Eric Burdon And The Animals. The new band's first LP was Winds of Change, an ambitious album that gave writing credit to all five band members for all the tracks on the album (with the exception of a cover version of the Rolling Stones' Paint It Black). The album's title track, which opens the LP, is basically Eric Burdon paying tribute to all his musical heroes, and it's quite an impressive list, including jazz and blues greats as well as some of the most important names in the annals of rock and roll.

Artist:     Rolling Stones
Title:     Time Is On My Side (2nd version)
Source:     Mono CD: Singles Collection: The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single
Writer:     Jerry Ragovoy
Label:     London
Year:     1964
     Jerry Ragovoy's songwriting career was long and productive, extending back to the 1940s and including classics by artists such as Kai Winding. In later years he wrote several tunes that were recorded by Janis Joplin, including Try (Just A Little Bit Harder), My Baby, Cry Baby and the classic Piece Of My Heart. He occassionally used a pseudonym as well, and it was as Norman Meade he published his best-known song: Time Is On My Side, an R&B hit for Irma Thomas that became one of the first US hits for the Rolling Stones. The band's first recording of the song, distinguished by a brief, organ-only intro, was recorded in London in June 1964 and released as a single in the US, on September 25, 1964.It also appeared the following month on their US album 12 X 5. The second version, featuring Keith Richards's guitar intro, was recorded in Chicago on November 8, 1964 and was released in the UK on January 15, 1965 on The Rolling Stones No. 2. The song has been reissued several times. In nearly every case the later version heard here is used.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    I Put A Spell On You
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Animalization
Writer(s):    Jay Hawkins
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    Sometimes you have to wonder if there was maybe just a little bit of spite and bitterness going on between Alan Price and Eric Burdon during the first six months of 1966. After all, before Burdon joined the band as lead vocalist in 1962, it was known as the Alan Price Rhythm And Blues Combo, but soon was rechristened the Animals. Over the next couple of years Burdon supplanted Price as the band's leader, both on and off stage, finally leading Price to leave the group in mid-1965 to form his own band, the Alan Price Combo. The second single released by Price was a cover of Screaming Jay Hawkins' I Put A Spell On You, released in March of 1966. At that same time, the Animals, with new keyboardist Dave Rowberry, were in the process of recording their third album, Animalisms, which would be released later that year in the US with a modified song lineup as Animalization. So is it just coincidence that the Animals included their own version of I Put A Spell On You on that album?

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Stupid Girl
Source:    CD: Aftermath
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1966
    By 1966 the songwriting team of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had hit its stride, turning out Rolling Stones classics like Mother's Little Helper and Paint It Black as a matter of course. Even B sides such as Stupid Girl were starting to get airplay on top 40 stations, a trend that would continue to grow over the next year or so.

Artist:     Animals
Title:     Inside Looking Out
Source:     Simulated stereo LP: Animalization
Writer:     Lomax/Lomax/Burdon/Chandler
Label:     M-G-M
Year:     1966
     One of the last songs recorded by the Animals before their first breakup, Inside Looking Out (a powerful song about life in prison) was covered a few years later by Grand Funk Railroad, who made it one of their concert staples. This has always been one of my all-time favorite rock songs, no matter who recorded it.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Doncha Bother Me
Source:    British import LP: Aftermath
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richard
Label:    Abkco (original US label: London)
Year:    1966
    Aftermath was an album of firsts. It was the first Rolling Stones album to consist entirely of original compositions by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It was the first Rolling Stones album released in true stereo. It was the first Rolling Stones album to be recorded entirely in the US. Finally, it was the album that saw Brian Jones emerge as a multi-instrumentalist, leaving Richards to do most of the guitar work. At over 50 minutes, Aftermath was one of the longest albums released by a rock band up to that point, and it features one of the first rock songs to run over 10 minutes in length (Goin' Home). Although Jones (and bassist Bill Wyman) did a lot of experimenting with new (to them) instruments, several of the tracks, such as Doncha Bother Me, are classic Stones material in the vein of the Chicago blues that was such a major influence on the band's style.

 Artist:    Byrds
Title:    My Back Pages
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    One of the items of contention between David Crosby and Roger McGuinn was the latter's insistence on continuing to record covers of Bob Dylan songs when the band members themselves had a wealth of their own material available. Indeed, it was reportedly an argument over whether or not to include Crosby's Triad on the next album that resulted in Crosby being fired from the band in October of 1967 (although other factors certainly played into it as well). Nonetheless, the last Dylan cover with Crosby still in the band was perhaps their best as well. Although not as big a hit as Mr. Tambourine Man, My Back Pages from the Younger Than Yesterday album did respectably well on the charts, becoming one of the Byrds' last top 40 hits.
Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    We've Got A Groovey Thing Goin'
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM B side and included on LP: Sounds Of Silence)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    In late 1965, a New York based Columbia Records staff producer, Tom Wilson, decided to perform an experiment. He had just put the finishing touches on Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited album, and was high on the potential of integrating electric rock instruments into folk music. Around this same time, The Sound Of Silence, a song by the folk duo Simon & Garfunkel that Wilson had produced the previous year, had begun to get airplay on radio stations in Boston and throughout the state of Florida. Without the knowledge of the duo (who had by then split up) Wilson remixed the song, adding electric guitar, bass and drums, essentially creating a whole new version of the song and, for that matter, a whole new genre: folk-rock. The new electric version of The Sound of Silence, backed by We've Got a Groovey Thing Goin', was released in September of 1965, and it soon became obvious that it was going to be a hit. The only problem was that by the time all this happened, Simon and Garfunkel had gone their separate ways, briefly reuniting in April of 1965 to record We've Got a Groovey Thing Going, but not releasing it at the time. Simon had relocated to London and recorded a UK-only LP called the Paul Simon Songbook in June of 1965, releasing it two months later. By mid-November The Sound Of Silence was the #1 song in Boston, and had entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Simon returned to the states, got back together with Art Garfunkel and, on December 13, 1965 began recording tracks for a new album. On January 1, 1966 The Sound Of Silence hit the #1 spot on the Hot 100. Two weeks later the LP Sounds Of Silence, which included a new stereo mix of We've Got A Groovey Thing Going made from the original 4-track master tape, was released. By the way, this song is the only instance I know of of the word "groovy" being spelled "groovey".

Artist:    Who
Title:    The Who Sell Out (side one)
Source:    LP: The Who Sell Out
Writer(s):    Keen/Entwistle/Townshend
Label:    Decca
Year:    1967
    In December of 1967 the Who released what is sometimes considered both the greatest tribute to and parody of top 40 radio ever released on vinyl. The first side of The Who Sell Out is a collection of songs interconnected by fake commercials and actual jingles used by pirate radio station Radio London, which had been shut down by the British government in August of 1967. The Who had actually been recording real commercials during this period, and the fake ones they made were done in the same style. The jingles, on the other hand, were genuine, and had been produced by PAMS Productions of Dallas, Texas, for the actual Radio London. In fact, the use of those jingles on The Who Sell Out led to the band being sued by PAMS for using them without permission (the band presumably thought it would OK to use them since the station itself no longer existed). The album itself starts off with Armenia City In The Sky, a song written by roadie John "Speedy" Keen, who would later have a hit single as the lead vocalist/songwriter on Thunderclap Newman's Something In The Air. This is followed by the short Heinz Baked Beans, credited to bassist John Entwhistle but bearing a strong resemblance to Keith Moon's Cobwebs And Strange, which had appeared on the band's previous album, A Quick One. Following a quick "more music" jingle (used by many US radio stations as well as Radio London) is Pete Townshend's third known version of Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand, using a calypso-style arrangement. This is followed by a commercial for Premier Drums (which reportedly got the band a free drum set) followed by a Radio London jingle. The next song is a short story about a girl whose deodorant "let her down" because she used the wrong brand. The right brand, in this case, was Odorono, the brand that had sold America on the entire concept of deodorants in the early 1900s. Another Radio London jingle leads to Townshend's Tattoo, a story of two brothers whose trip to the tattoo parlor has consequences when their parents find out. Following another jingle is Our Love Was, a song that was considered strong enough to be included on their 1968 compilation album Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy. Part of what made the 60s top 40 radio "sound" was the rapid-fire segue of jingles and commercials into a song, and the Who do it up right with a group of four quick spots leading into the final track on side one. I Can See For Miles had already been available as a single since September of 1967 (October in the UK), but this was the first time it had been released in stereo, with dual drum tracks from Keith Moon. The second side of the Who Sell Out for the most part abandons the top 40 radio concept, although it does include a couple "commercials", but the first side, taken as a whole, is a true work of art.

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

Artist:    Love
Title:    Alone Again Or
Source:    CD: Love Story (originally released on LP: Forever Changes)
Writer(s):    Bryan MacLean
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    The only song Love ever released as a single that was not written by Arthur Lee was Alone Again Or, issued in 1970. The song had originally appeared as the opening track from the Forever Changes album three years earlier. Bryan McLean would later say that he was not happy with the recording due to his own vocal being buried beneath that of Lee, since Lee's part was meant to be a harmony line to McLean's melody. McLean would later re-record the song for a solo album, but reportedly was not satisfied with that version either.

Artist:     Paul Revere and the Raiders
Title:     Action
Source:     LP: Just Like Us
Writer:     Boyce/Venet
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1965
     Paul Revere and the Raiders were formed in the early 60s in Boise, Idaho. After temporarily disbanding due to Revere's stint in the Army, the group reformed in time to be the first band to record Richard Berry's Louie Louie in 1963. After establishing a reputation as one of the most polished bands on the Pacific Northwest scene, the group caught the eye (and ear) of Dick Clark, who signed them up to be the host band for his new daytime music show, Where The Action Is. The group relocated to Los Angeles, becoming the first rock band signed to Columbia Records in the process. One of their early recordings for the label was the theme song used on the TV show itself, although a longer version by Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon was released as a single and got considerably more airplay than the Raiders' version.

Artist:    Mothers Of Invention
Title:    I Ain't Got No Heart
Source:    CD: Freak Out!
Writer(s):    Frank Zappa
Label:    Ryko (original label: Verve)
Year:    1966
    According to the Freak Out liner notes, I Ain't Got No Heart was a summation of Zappa's feelings about relationships in general. Maybe so, but I have to point out that his kids, Dweezil and Moon Unit Zappa, grew up in a two-parent household. So there!

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    The Wind Blows Your Hair
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Saxon/Bigelow
Label:    Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1967
    The Wind Blows Your Hair is actually one of the Seeds' better tracks. Unfortunately, by the time it was released as a single in October of 1967 the whole idea of Flower Power (which the Seeds were intimately tied to) had become yesterday's news (at least in ultra-hip L.A.) and the single went nowhere.

Artist:    United States Of America
Title:    Coming Down
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: The United States Of America)
Writer(s):    Byrd/Moscowitz
Label:    Sony Music (original US label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    The United States Of America was an outgrowth of the experimental audio work of Joseph Byrd, who had moved to Los Angeles from New York in the early 1960s after studying with avant-garde composers Morton Feldman and John Cage. With lyricist/vocalist Dorothy Moskowitz, he founded The United States Of America in 1967 as a way of integrating performance art, electronic music and rock, with more than a little leftist political philosophy thrown into the mix. Much of the material on the band's only album was co-written by Moskowitz and Byrd, with Byrd writing the music and Moskowitz contributing to the lyrics. Moskowitz also helped with the melody line on a few tracks, such as Coming Down.

Artist:    Outsiders (Netherlands band)
Title:    Touch
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in the Netherlands as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Tax/Splinter
Label:    Rhino (original label: Relax)
Year:    1966
    The Outsiders were formed in Holland in 1964 by vocalist Wally Tax and guitarist Ronald Splinter. Although most of the band members were only 15, they managed to get a four night a week gig at a local club, and by 1966 had become one of the top bands in the country. Touch was the fifth of many hit singles for the band, which split up in 1969.

Artist:    Q'65
Title:    Cry In The Night
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in the Netherlands as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Bieler/Nuyens/Baar
Label:    Rhino (original label: Decca)
Year:    1966
    Formed in the Hague in 1965, Holland's Q'65 were living proof that you didn't have to have anglo roots to rock out in the 1960s. The group, consisting of Wim Beiler on vocals and harmonica, Frank Nuyens and Joop Roelofs on guitars, Peter Vink on bass and Jar Baar on drums, recorded several songs for the Decca label in late 1965, the first of which was issued as a single in early 1966. Their second single, The Life I Live, featured an equally strong B side, Cry In The Night, that could easily stand beside punk classics by groups like the Pretty Things or the Shadows Of Knight. Q'65 continued to release records in the Netherlands for various labels through the early 1970s.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Hurdy Gurdy Man
Source:    CD: Sunshine On The Mountain (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Hurdy Gurdy Man)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Sony Music Special Products (original label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    In early 1968 Donovan Leitch decided to try his hand at producing another band, Hurdy Gurdy, which included his old friend bassist Mac MacLeod. However, creative differences with the band led to Donovan recording the song himself and releasing it as a single in May of that year. The song is done in a harder rock style than most of Donovan's recordings, and features some of London's top studio musicians, including Clem Cattini on drums, Alan Parker on guitar and future Led Zeppelin member John Paul Jones on bass. It has long been rumoured that Jimmy Page and John Bonham also participated on the recording, but their presence is disputed. Donovan reportedly wanted to use Jimi Hendrix on the recording, but the guitarist was unavailable.

Artist:    Nirvana
Title:    Rainbow Chaser
Source:    British import CD: Acid Daze (originally released on LP: The Existence of Chance Is Everything and Nothing Whilst the Greatest Achievement Is the Living of Life and So Say ALL OF US)
Writer(s):    Spyropolous/Campbell-Lyons
Label:    Uncut (original US label: Bell)
Year:    1968
    In 1992 Curt Cobain's band got sued over the use of the name Nirvana. Apparently nobody had told them that the original Nirvana, formed in the UK 1965 by Patrick Campbell-Lyons and Alex Spyropoulos, had gotten back together in 1985 and were once again recording new material.
The original group was actually the performing identity of the two singer/songwriters, with studio musicians, including Ray Singer, providing most of the instrumental tracks. To promote their first LP, The Story Of Simon Simopath, Island Records booked them to appear at the Saville theatre, sharing the bill with Traffic, Spooky Tooth and Jackie Edwards. This put the duo in the awkward position of having to come up with a band in a hurry. To do this they created the Nirvana Ensemble, which was made up of Singer on guitar, Brian Henderson on bass, Sylvia Schuster on cello and Michael Coe on French horn and viola. They also brought in Sue & Sunny (Brotherhood Of Man) to provide backup vocals. While performing on a French television show, one of the other guests splashed paint on them during a performance of their second single, Rainbow Chaser. Although Island Records reportedly sent an invoice to the guest for the cleaning of Schuster's Cello, Campell-Jenkins made it a point to keep the jacket he was wearing at the time. The name of the guest who splashed the paint on them was Salvador Dali. Not long after the incident Spyropolous and Campbell-Lyons decided to disband the group and return to being a duo using studio musicians on their recordings. Schuster eventually became principal cellist for the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In 1971, the original duo decided to go their separate ways. After continuing to use the Nirvana name for his next couple of albums, Campbell-Jenkins officially became a solo artist in 1974. Eleven years later the duo reformed Nirvana, occasionally releasing new material over the next few years.

Artist:    Flamin' Groovies
Title:    I'm Drowning
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Sneakers)
Writer(s):    Roy Loney
Label:    Rhino (original label: Snazz)
Year:    1968
    An anomaly among San Francisco bands, the Flamin' Groovies were in a sense a throwback to the early days of the local SF music scene, with an emphasis on basic rock and roll rather than extended jamming or psychedelic experimentation. Although they eventually ended up signing a contract with a major label, it was their self-issued 10" mono LP (or maybe EP) Sneakers that captured the essence of the band. I'm Drowning was written by original lead vocalist Roy Loney, who would be gone by the time the band made their major label debut.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2120 (starts 5/10/21)

    Out of a total of twelve tracks on this week's show, only one can be considered a hit single...and even the artist himself admitted that the successs of the song led to him being in a rut. Not that every other song on the show is completely obscure; some of the album tracks are actually quite recognizable, and we even have a rather interesting Mott The Hoople cover of a Velvet Underground song that was released as a follow up to the classic All The Young Dudes. Which reminds me: we also have one of David Bowie's least-known singles (it was only released in four countries, none of which were in North America).

Artist:    Sugarloaf
Title:    Hot Water
Source:    LP: Spaceship Earth
Writer(s):    Corbetta/Yeazel
Label:    Liberty
Year:    1970
    Guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Robert Yeazel joined Sugarloaf right after their first album was released, strengthening an already solid lineup. He contributed to many of the tracks on the band's second LP, Spaceship Earth, among them Hot Water, which he co-wrote with keyboardist (and band leader) Jerry Corbetta.

Artist:    Uriah Heep
Title:    Bird Of Prey
Source:    British import CD: Salisbury
Writer(s):    David Byron
Label:    Sanctuary/BMG
Year:    1971
    Although for the most part the practice of drastically altering the track lineup of British albums for US release had been abandoned by 1970, there were still a few exceptions, albeit relatively minor ones. One of these was the first Uriah Heep album, which replaced the song Lucy Blue with Bird Of Prey on the US version. The band re-recorded Bird Of Prey for their second LP, Salisbury, which was in turn replaced by Simon The Bullet Freak, a song that would not be released in the UK for another eight months, when it finally appeared as a B side in September of 1971.

Artist:    Flock
Title:    Clown
Source:    British import CD: The Flock/Dinosaur Swamps (originally released on LP: The Flock)
Writer:    The Flock
Label:    BGO (original US label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    The Flock's 1969 debut album featured liner notes by British blues guru John Mayall, who called them the best band in America. Despite this stellar recommendation, the Flock (one of two bands with horn sections from the city of Chicago making their recording debut on Columbia Records in 1969) was unable to attract a large audience and disbanded after only two LPs. Violinist Jerry Goodman would go on to be a founding member of John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra in the early 1970s. The band's unique take on what would come to be called jazz-rock fusion is in full evidence on the seven-and-a-half-minute long Clown, from their debut LP.

Artist:    Buddy Miles
Title:    Memphis Train
Source:    CD: Them Changes
Writer(s):    Thomas/Sparks/Rice
Label:    Miracle/Mercury
Year:    1970
    Although Rufus Thomas's recording career dates back to 1950, it didn't really take off until he signed with Stax Records in 1962, scoring his first top 10 single, Walking The Dog, in 1963. Thomas continued to release singles for Stax throughout the decade, although many of them did not chart. One of those singles was Memphis Train, released in 1968. Two years later Buddy Miles revived the song on his album Them Changes.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Peace Frog/Blue Sunday
Source:    Morrison Hotel
Writer(s):    Morrison/Kreiger
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1970
    The Doors' Peace Frog, in a very basic sense, is actually two separate works of art. The track started off as an instrumental piece by guitarist Robbie Kreiger, recorded while the rest of the band was waiting for Jim Morrison to come up with lyrics for another piece. Not long after the track was recorded, producer Paul Rothchild ran across a poem of Morrison's called Abortion Stories and encouraged him to adapt it to the new instrumental tracks. Peace Frog, which appears on the album Morrison Hotel, leads directly into Blue Sunday, one of many poems/songs written by Morrison for Pamela Courson, his significant other since 1965.

Artist:     Neil Young
Title:     Heart Of Gold
Source:     CD: Decade (originally released on LP: Harvest)
Writer:     Neil Young
Label:     Reprise
Year:     1972
     In the liner notes of his 1977 compilation album Decade, Neil Young had this to say about his hit single Heart Of Gold from the 1972 LP Harvest: "This song put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride but I saw more interesting people there." As a longtime resident of the ditch myself, I say thankya, Neil.

Artist:    Mott The Hoople
Title:    Sweet Jane
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Lou Reed
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1972
    After four only moderately successful albums, England's Mott The Hoople was on the verge of disbanding when David Bowie stepped in to help the struggling band, first by giving them All The Young Dudes to record, then by producing the album of the same name. The LP itself only contained one other cover song besides the title track: Lou Reed's Sweet Jane, which had come out on the Velvet Underground's Loaded album in 1970. Sweet Jane ended up being the third single from All The Young Dudes, but, oddly enough, the single was not released in the band's home country.

Artist:    Cheech & Chong
Title:    Emergency Room
Source:    LP: Cheech And Chong
Writer(s):    Marin/Chong
Label:    Ode
Year:    1971
    Unlike later albums that emphasized the personna's of Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, the debut Cheech & Chong LP was made up of individual skits featuring a variety of characters. Emergency Room, for instance, has Cheech in the role of an ER triage doctor/nurse/receptionist (it's never really made clear), while Chong plays first a fellow medical professional on his way home from working a shift at the morgue, an elderly patient suffering some sort of debilitating condition, and finally, a drug-seeker.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Careful With That Axe, Eugene
Source:    CD: Relics (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Waters/Wright/Mason/Gilmour
Label:    Capitol (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    Despite being originally released only as a B side of a non-charting single (and not being released in the US at all) Be Careful With That Axe, Eugene is one of the most popular Pink Floyd tracks from the 1960s. This is due in part to the inclusion of a live version of the song on the 1969 LP Ummagumma. The original studio version was also included on the 1971 compilation album Relics. It is one of the first songs credited to all four band members following the departure of founder Syd Barrett.

Artist:    Genesis
Title:    The Return Of The Giant Hogweed
Source:    CD: Nursery Crymes
Writer(s):    Banks/Collins/Gabriel/Hackett/Rutherford
Label:    Atlantic (original label: Charisma)
Year:    1971
    The Return Of The Giant Hogweed, from the 1971 Genesis album Nursery Cryme, is actually based on a true story about an invasive organism brought to England from Russia in the 1800s. Genesis, thanks in large part to the sense of whimsy brought to the band by their new drummer, Phil Collins, deliberately exaggerated the story, making the Giant Hogweed a threat to civilization as we know it. Nursery Crymes itself, although officially the third Genesis album, was in fact the debut of the band's classic lineup of Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford and new guitarist Steve Hackett, who joined a few months after founding member Anthony Phillips left the group following the release of the Trespass album. This lineup would remain intact until the departure of Gabriel in 1975.

Artist:    Gentle Giant
Title:    The Face
Source:    CD: The Power And The Glory
Writer(s):    Shulman/Minnear/Shulman
Label:    Alucard (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1974
    The Power And The Glory is a 1974 album by Gentle Giant that focuses on an individual that chooses politics as a means to make the world a better place. Like his predecessors, however, he becomes corrupted by power and ultimately becomes that which he originally fought against. The piece called The Face is the climax of the album itself, in which the protagonist declares himself to be the ultimate authority and demands total loyalty and obedience from his subjects (kind of like certain current political leaders). As of 2014, The Power And The Glory is available on Blu-Ray, with each song fully animated with various abstract patterns and all the lyrics displayed prominently on the screen. The latter makes a huge difference in the ability to enjoy the album, as Gentle Giant's vocals are often hard to decipher.

Artist:    David Bowie
Title:    Holy Holy
Source:    CD: Sound+Vision Catalogue Sampler #1 (originally released in the UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    David Bowie
Label:    Ryko (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1970
    One of the most obscure David Bowie tracks ever recorded, Holy Holy was originally released as the A side of a 1970 single, but only in a handful of countries, none of which were in the Western Hemisphere. The song stayed out of print until 1990, when it was included as a bonus track on the CD version of The Man Who Sold The World.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2119 (starts 5/3/21) 

    This week's show was recorded on a cold, chilly morning that felt more like late October than mid-spring. That really has nothing to do with the song selection (other than a few tracks in the last half hour), but I thought I'd mention it anyway. What we do have is quite a few tunes that haven't been heard on the show for a long time (we're talking years here) and an Advanced Psych set featuring female vocalists. Oh, and a Beatles set that does not include any hit singles, but does include a version of For You Blue that has a newer George Harrison vocal take than the one used on the original Let It Be album.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Do You Believe In Magic
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer:    John Sebastian
Label:    Buddah (original label: Kama Sutra)
Year:    1965
    Do You Believe In Magic, the debut single by the Lovin' Spoonful, was instrumental in establishing not only the band itself, but the Kama Sutra label as well. Within the next five years, the Spoonful (and later John Sebastian as a solo artist) would crank out a string of hits. Not to be outdone, Kama Sutra would itself morph into a company called Buddah Records and come to dominate the "bubble gum" genre of top 40 music throughout 1968 and well into 1969.

Artist:    Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band
Title:    Diddy Wah Diddy
Source:    Mono CD: More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    McDaniel/Dixon
Label:    Rhino (original label: A&M)
Year:    1966
    Don Van Vliet and Frank Zappa knew each other in high school in the Antelope Valley area of Los Angeles, but did not stay in close contact after graduation. While Zappa was developing an interest in early 20th century avant-garde classical music, Van Vliet established a reputation as one of the best white blues singers around. When the opportunity came to record a few tracks for A&M records in 1965, Van Vliet, who by then was calling himself Captain Beefheart, chose a Bo Diddly tune, Diddy Wah Diddy, to showcase his vocal talents. The song was a local hit in Los Angeles, but A&M, for reasons unknown, did not retain the Captain on their roster of artists. Beefheart would record for several more labels over the years, with his greatest success being the album Trout Mask Replica, which was released on Zappa's own Straight Records label in 1969.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Yesterday's Papers
Source:    LP: Between The Buttons
Writer:    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    Between The Buttons was the Rolling Stones first album of 1967 and included their first forays into psychedelic music, a trend that would dominate their next LP, Their Satanic Majesties Request. The opening track of Between The Buttons was Yesterday's Papers, a song written in the wake of Mick Jagger's breakup with his girlfriend Chrissie Shrimpton (who, after the album was released, tried to commit suicide). The impact of the somewhat cynical song was considerably less in the US, where it was moved to the # 2 slot on side one to make room for Let's Spend The Night Together, a song that had only been released as a single in their native UK.

Artist:      Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Rainy Day, Dream Away
Source:      CD: Electric Ladyland
Writer:    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1968
     Although officially credited to the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Rainy Day, Dream Away actually has several guest musicians appearing on it, including Electric Flag drummer Buddy Miles, who would later be a member of Hendrix's short-lived Band of Gypsys and then have some success as leader of his own band. Also featured on the track are Mike Finnegan on organ, Freddie Smith on tenor sax, and Larry Faucette on congas. It's unclear whether regular Experience bassist Noel Redding or Hendrix himself provided bass parts on the track (or even if there is a bass track, as Finnegan could have been playing a Ray Manzarek style bassline on the keyboards for all I know).

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Waiting
Source:    LP: Santana
Writer:    Santana
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    Possibly the most successful (in the long term) of the musicians to emerge from late 60s San Francisco was Carlos Santana, a Mexican-born guitarist who still plays to sellout crowds worldwide. Santana's band originally got lukewarm reviews from the rock press, but after their legendary performance at Woodstock found themselves among rock's royalty. Waiting, the opening track from the group's 1969 debut LP, is an instrumental that was also released as the B side of the band's first single, Evil Ways.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Magical Mystery Tour
Source:    CD: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    1967 had been a great year for the Beatles, starting with their double-sided hit single Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane, followed by the iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album and their late summer hit All You Need Is Love, with its worldwide TV debut (one of the few events of the time to utilize satellite technology). The next project, however, did not go over quite so well. It had been over two years since the group's last major movie (HELP!), and the band decided that their next film would be an exclusive for broadcast on BBC-TV. Unlike the previous two films, this new project would not follow traditional filmmaking procedures. Instead it would be a more experimental piece; a series of loosely related songs and comedy vignettes connected by a loose plot about a bus trip to the countryside. Magical Mystery Tour made its debut in early December of 1967 to overwhelmingly negative reaction by viewers and critics alike (partially because the film was shown in black and white on the tradition minded BBC-1 network; a later rebroadcast in color on BBC-2 went over much better). The songs used in the film, however, were quite popular. Since there were only six of them, far too few for a regular LP, it was decided to issue the album as a pair of 45 RPM EPs, complete with lyric sheets and booklet recounting the story from the film. The original EPs were available in both stereo and mono versions in Europe and the UK. In the US, where the six tunes were supplemented by the band's five remaining single sides from 1967 to create an LP, Magical Mystery Tour was only available in stereo. Although both the EP and LP versions have different sequencing than the telefilm, all three open the same way, with the film's title song.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    For You Blue
Source:    CD: Let It Be...Naked
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple/Capitol
Year:    1970
    I'll be honest here. My least favorite Beatles album has always been Let It Be. I've always felt that Phil Spector's over-the-top production style obscured what was a fairly decent set of tunes. One of the songs on the album that Spector didn't entirely ruin, however, was For You Blue. Nonetheless, when Paul McCartney decided to completely remake the Let It Be album in 2003 he chose to remix the song and eliminate the bits of dialogue that Spector had added at the beginning and end of the tune.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Baby, You're A Rich Man
Source:    CD: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1967
    Baby, You're A Rich Man was one of the last collaborations between John Lennon and Paul McCartney and addresses the Beatles' longtime manager Brian Epstein, although not by name.  Lennon came up with the basic question "how does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?" (a popular term for the young and hip in late 60s London), which became the basis for the song's verses, which were combined with an existing, but unfinished, Paul McCartney chorus (Baby, You're A Rich Man, too). The finished piece was issued as the B side of the Beatles' second single of 1967, All You Need Is Love, and later remixed in stereo and included on the US-only LP version of Magical Mystery Tour.
Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Train For Tomorrow
Source:    CD: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) (originally LP name: The Electric Prunes)
Writer(s):    Lowe/Tulin/Williams/Spagnola/Ritter
Label:    Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Although the bulk of material on the Electric Prunes' first LP was from outside sources, there were a few exceptions. One of the more notable ones was Train For Tomorrow, an innovative piece credited to the entire band that shows what this group could have done if allowed more artistic freedom.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Party Line
Source:    Mono British import CD: Face To Face
Writer(s):    Ray and Dave Davies
Label:    Sanctuary (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    "Party line" is one of those terms that has undergone a total change in meaning over the past century or so. These days, it is generally used to describe adherence to a particular dogma, generally that of a political party. Years ago, however, a "party line" was actually a particular type of phone service, where several subscribers shared a land line. This meant that when you picked up your phone you might not hear a dial tone; instead, you might hear one of your neighbors, or even someone you didn't know, chatting away, oblivious to the fact that you were listening to every word they said. As phone technology improved, party lines became increasingly rare, as most people opted for a private line when it was available. Although I never actually used a party line myslef, I do remember my mother telling me about having one while growing up during the Great Depression. Apparently they stayed in use in England for several years after World War II, however, since the Davies brothers were inspired to write a song about it for the 1966 Kinks album Face To Face.    

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

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Caroline No
Source:    Mono CD: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Wilson/Asher
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    According to lyricist Peter Asher, Caroline No was written because Brian Wilson was "saddened to see how sweet little girls turned out to be kind of bitchy, hardened adults". Though the song was originally part of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album, it ended up being the only single ever released by Capitol credited to Brian Wilson as a solo artist.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    For What It's Worth (Stop, Hey What's That Sound)
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    By mid-1966 Hollywood's Sunset Strip was being taken over every night by local teenagers, with several underage clubs featuring live music being a major attraction. Many of the businesses in the area, citing traffic problems and rampant drug and alcohol abuse, began to put pressure on city officials to do something about the situation. The city responded by passing new loitering ordinances and imposing a 10PM curfew on the Strip. They also began putting pressure on the clubs, including condemning the popular Pandora's Box for demolition. On November 12, 1966 fliers appeared on the streets inviting people to a demonstration that evening to protest the closing of the club. The demostration continued over a period of days, exascerbated by the city's decision to revoke the permits of a dozen other clubs on the Strip, forcing them to bar anyone under the age of 21 from entering. Stephen Stills, a member of Buffalo Springfield, one of the many bands appearing regularly in these clubs, wrote a new song in response to the situation, and the band quickly booked studio time, recording the still-unnamed track on December 5th. The band had recently released their debut LP, but sales of the album were lackluster due to the lack of a hit single. Stills reportedly presented the new recording to label head Ahmet Ertegun with the words "I have this song here, for what it's worth, if you want it." Ertegun, sensing that he had a hit on his hands, got the song rush-released two days before Christmas, 1966, using For What It's Worth as the official song title, but sub-titling it Stop, Hey What's That Sound on the label as well. As predicted, For What It's Worth was an instant hit in the L.A. market, and soon went national, where it was taken by most record buyers to be about the general sense of unrest being felt across the nation over issues like racial equality and the Vietnam War (and oddly enough, by some people as being about the Kent State massacre, even though that happened nearly three years after the song was released). As the single moved up the charts, eventually peaking at #7, Atco recalled the Buffalo Springfield LP, reissuing it with a modified song selection that included For What It's Worth as the album's openng track. Needless to say, album sales picked up after that. As a matter of fact, I don't think I've ever even seen a copy of the Buffalo Springfield album without For What It's Worth on it, although I'm sure some of those early pressings must still exist.

Artist:    Circus Maximus
Title:    Chess Game
Source:    CD: Circus Maximus
Writer(s):    Bob Bruno
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    New York's Greenwich Village based Circus Maximus was driven by the dual creative talents of guitarist/keyboardist Bob Bruno and guitarist Jerry Jeff Walker. Although Walker went on to have the greatest success, it was Bruno's more jazz-influenced songwriting on songs like Chess Game that defined the band's sound. Bruno is now a successful visual artist, still living in the New York area.

Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    Dino's Song
Source:    CD: Quicksilver Messenger Service
Writer(s):    Chet Powers, aka Dino Valenti
Label:    RockBeat (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1968
    A few years back I picked up the DVD collector's edition of the telefilm that DA Pennebacker made of the Monterey International Pop Festival. In addition to the film itself there were two discs of bonus material, including a song by Quicksilver Messenger Service that was listed under the title All I Ever Wanted To Do (Was Love You). I spent some time trying to figure out which album the song had originally appeared on, but came up empty until I got a copy of the first Quicksilver album and discovered it was actually called Dino's Song. I suspect the confusion in song titles is connected to the origins of the band itself, which was the brainchild of Dino Valenti and John Cipollina (and possibly Gary Duncan). The day after their first practice session Valenti got busted and spent the next few years in jail for marijuana possession. My theory is that this was an untitled song that Valenti showed Cippolina at that first practice. Since it probably still didn't have a title when the group performed the song at Monterey, the filmmakers used the most repeated line from the song itself, All I Ever Wanted To Do (Was Love You). When the band recorded their first LP in 1968 they just called it Dino's Song.

Artist:    Lighthouse
Title:    Feel So Good
Source:    LP: Suite Feeling
Writer(s):    Fullerton/Prokop/Hoffert
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1969
    Lighthouse was formed in Toronto in 1968 by vocalist/drummer Skip Prokop (formerly of the Paupers) and keyboardist/arranger Paul Hoffert. The idea was to combine a rock rhythm section with R&B-style horns and classical-style strings. The first move they made was to recruit guitarist Ralph Cole, whom the Paupers had shared a bill with in New York. The three of them then went about recruiting an assortment of friends, studio musicians and members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, making a demo tape and submitting it to M-G-M records, who immediately offered Lighthouse a contract. The band's manager, however, was able to get a better contract from RCA, and the group set about recording their first album, making their stage debut in Toronto in May of 1969. Among the original 13 members of the band were lead vocalist Vic "Pinky" Davin and saxophonist Howard Shore (who would become the leader of the house band for NBC's Saturday Night Live when that TV show made its debut in 1975). The group managed to record two albums that year, their eponymous debut album and the follow-up Suite Feeling. Both albums were recorded at Toronto's Eastern Sound Studio and released on the RCA Victor label in 1969. Although the group scored a couple of minor hits in their native Canada, including Feel So Good from the Suite Feeling LP, which peaked at #55, they were not able to achieve commercial success in the US, and, after a third LP for RCA, changed labels to GRT, where (after several personnel changes, including lead vocals) they managed to chart two top 40 singles in 1971 and 1972.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young
Title:    Woodstock
Source:    LP: So Far (originally released on LP: déjà vu)
Writer(s):    Joni Mitchell
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    It's somewhat ironic that the most famous song about the Woodstock Music and Art Festival was written by someone who was not even at the event. Joni Mitchell had been advised by her manager that she would be better off appearing on the Dick Cavett show that weekend, so she stayed in her New York City hotel room and watched televised reports of what was going on up at Max Yasgur's farm. Further inspiration came from her then-boyfried Graham Nash, who shared his firsthand experiences of the festival with Mitchell. The song was first released on the 1970 album Ladies Of The Canyon, and was made famous the same year when it was chosen to be the first single released from the Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young album déjà vu. The CSNY version peaked just outside of the Billboard top 10.

Artist:    Move
Title:    Message From The Country
Source:    LP: Message From The Country
Writer(s):    Jeff Lynne
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1971
    The Move was one of those bands that was extremely popular in its native UK without having any success whatsoever in the US. Although primarily a singles band, they did manage to release four albums over a period of years, the last of which was Message From The Country. Even as the album was being recorded, several members, including Jeff Lynne, were already working on the first album by the Move's successor, the Electric Light Orchestra. A conscious effort was made, however, to keep the two projects separate, with the Move album getting the more psychedelic material (such as the title track), while ELO took a more prog-rock approach. 

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Nothing Is The Same (demo)
Source:    CD: Grand Funk (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    Nothing Is The Same, from the Closer To Home album, was also the B side of Grand Funk Railroad's first single from that LP. It was not, however, the band's first recording of the song. In October of 1969, while in the midst of sessions for the album Grand Funk (aka the Red Album), they recorded a demo version of Nothing Is The Same that uses a different arrangement than the Closer To Home version of the song. It also features Don Brewer's lead vocals in the song's middle section.

Artist:    A Cast Of Thousands
Title:    Salvation
Source:    CD: Alone In The Crowd
Writer(s):    Beth Beer
Label:    Record
Year:    2015   
    Despite the implications of their name, A Cast Of Thousands is actually three people: Terry Cuddy (guitar), Beth Beer (bass) and Jim Andrews (drums). All are from Auburn, NY, where the band was formed in 2010. Their third album, Alone In The Crowd, has 16 tracks, most of which were written by Beer, who also handles the lead vocals on tunes such as Salvation. If you're into songs that actually mean something, this one is definitely worth checking out.
Artist:    Ace Of Cups
Title:    We Can't Go Back Again
Source:    CD: Ace Of Cups
Writer(s):    Kaufman/Shae
Label:    High Moon
Year:    2018
    According to Ace Of Cups founder Mary Gannon, Denise Kaufman wrote We Can't Go Back Again on keyboards rather than her usual guitar and first presented it to the group at their rehearsal space in Sausalito. Producer Dan Shae helped update the song for inclusion of the 2018 Ace Of Cups album. The lyrics are at once a caution about squandering what little time we have on this planet and an invitation to reach out to others while we still can.
Artist:    Splinter Fish
Title:    Mars
Source:    LP: Splinter Fish
Writer(s):    Chuck Hawley
Label:    StreetSound
Year:    1989
    One of my favorite bands on the late 80s Albuquerque music scene was Splinter Fish, a group that didn't quite fall naturally into any specific musical genre. They certainly had things in common with many new wave bands, but also touched on world music and even hard rock. One of their most popular tracks was Mars, which itself is hard to define, thanks to many sudden tempo and even stylistic changes, even though the entire track runs less than three minutes in length. Guitarist/vocalist Chuck Hawley now leads his own band, while fem vocalist Deb-O performs with a variety of Albuquerque musicians in several different combos.

Artist:    Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:    The Birdman Of Alkatrash
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Mark Weitz
Label:    Uni (original label: All-American)
Year:    1967
    Thee Sixpence was a Los Angeles band that consisted of Ed King (lead guitar, vocals), Michael Luciano (vocals), Lee Freeman (rhythm guitar, harmonica, vocals), Gary Lovetro (bass), Steve Rabe (guitar, vocals), and Gene Gunnels (drums). The band released four singles on the local All-American label in 1966. In early 1967 Gunnels, Rabe, and Luciano all left the band, to be replaced by keyboardist Mark Weitz and drummer Randy Seol. At the same time, they decided to change their name to Strawberry Alarm Clock. Their first single under their new name was a Weitz composition called The Birdman Of Alkatrash. For some reason local radio stations instead began playing the other side of the record and, after being re-released on MCA's Uni label, it became one of the biggest hits of 1967, going all the way to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. That other side? Incense and Peppermints.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Strange Days
Source:    LP: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    One of the first rock albums to not picture the band members on the front cover was the Doors' second LP, Strange Days. Instead, the cover featured several circus performers doing various tricks on a city street, with the band's logo appearing on a poster on the wall of a building. The album itself contains some of the Doors' most memorable tracks, including the title song, which also appears on their greatest hits album despite never being released as a single.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Everybody's Been Burned
Source:    Mono LP: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    There is a common misconception that David Crosby's songwriting skills didn't fully develop until he began working with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. A listen to Everybody's Been Burned from the Byrds' 1967 LP Younger Than Yesterday, however, puts the lie to that theory in a hurry. The track has all the hallmarks of a classic Crosby song: a strong melody, intelligent lyrics and an innovative chord structure. It's also my personal favorite tune from what is arguably the Byrds' best album.

Artist:    Zombies
Title:    Tell Her No
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Rod Argent
Label:    London (original label: Parrot)
Year:    1965
    Rod Argent was responsible for writing four well-known hit songs, which were spread out over a period of eight years (and two bands). The second, and probably least known of these was the Zombies' Tell Her No, released in 1965. The song got mixed reviews from critics, all of which measured the tune against Beatles songs of the same period.

Artist:    Harbinger Complex
Title:    I Think I'm Down
Source:    British import CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Hockstaff/Hoyle
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Brent)
Year:    1966
    Most garage/club bands never made it beyond a single or two for a relatively small independent label. Freemont, California's Harbinger Complex is a good example. The group was one of many that were signed by Bob Shad, owner of Mainstream Records and its various subsidiaries such as Time and Brent. The band had already released one single on the independent Amber label and were recording at Golden State Recorders in San Francisco when they were discovered by Shad, who signed them to Brent. The band's first single for the label was the British-influenced I Think I'm Down, which came out in 1966 and was included on Mainstream's 1967 showcase album With Love-A Pot Of Flowers.

Artist:    Status Quo
Title:    Pictures Of Matchstick Men
Source:    Simulated stereo CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Francis Rossi
Label:    Priority (original label: Cadet Concept)
Year:    1967
    The band with the most charted singles in the UK is not the Beatles or even the Rolling Stones. It is, in fact, Status Quo, quite possibly the nearest thing to a real life version of Spinal Tap. Except for Pictures of Matchstick Men, the group has never had a hit in the US. On the other hand, they remain popular in Scandanavia, playing to sellout crowds on a regular basis (yes, they are still together).

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Death Sound (aka Death Sound Blues)
Source:    CD: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    I generally use the term "psychedelic" to describe a musical attitude that existed during a particular period of time rather than a specific style of music. On the other hand, the term "acid rock" is better suited for describing music that was composed and/or performed under the influence of certain mind-expanding substances. That said, the first album by Country Joe and the Fish is a classic example of acid rock. I mean, really, is there any other way to describe Death Sound than "the blues on LSD"?

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Love Is Only Sleeping (alternate mix)
Source:    CD: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn And Jones, LTD. (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Mann/Weill
Label:    Rhino
Year:    1967
    The Monkees's began work on their fourth LP, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD., using four-track tape recorders, the standard technology at the time. At some point during the making of the album the group was able to get access to state-of-the-art eight-track recorders, and in August of 1967 all the recordings made up to that point were copied over to the new machines. This mixdown of Love Is Only Sleeping, a song originally intended to be released as a single, was made from the original four-track master tape on July 7th.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Someone's Coming
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    John Entwhistle
Label:    Decca
Year:    1967
    Some songs just get no respect. First released in 1967 in the UK as the B side of I Can See For Miles, John Alec Entwistle's Someone's Coming got left off the US release entirely. It wasn't until the release of the Magic Bus single (and subsequent LP) in 1968 that the tune appeared on US vinyl, and then, once again as a B side (the version used here). The Magic Bus album, however, was never issued on CD in the US, although it has been available as a Canadian import for several years. Finally, in 1995 the song found a home on a US CD as a bonus track on The Who Sell Out.

Artist:    Vagrants
Title:    Respect
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Otis Redding
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    The Vagrants are one of those bands that should have been a much bigger success than they actually were. Originally signed to the independent Southern Sound label in 1965, they switched to Vanguard Records for a pair of 1966 singles. In 1967 they signed with Atco, releasing three singles for that label. The first of these was a song called I Love, Love You which is now forgotten. The B side of that single, however, was a cover of Otis Redding's Respect that, unlike Aretha Franklin's version, uses an arrangement similar to Redding's original. The band itself was known for it's slowed-down, extended versions of current hit songs, a style that was copied by another Long Island band, Vanilla Fudge, to great success. Following the failure of their final single for Atco to chart, the band split up in 1968, with guitarist Leslie Weinstein going on to greater success after changing his last name to West and forming a band called Mountain.


Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2119 (starts 5/3/21)

    This week we're playing it by years, with an opening set of tunes from 1969 followed by a slightly shorter set from 1970. From there, we move into less familiar musical territory, with tracks from bands like Fanny and Three Man Army, before finishing out with Chicago's most political hit single.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Ramble On
Source:    German import LP: Led Zeppelin II
Writer(s):    Page/Plant
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    Some songs grab you the first time you hear them, but soon wear out their welcome. Others take a while to catch on, but tend to stay with you for a lifetime. Then there are those rare classics that manage to hook you from the start and yet never get old. One such song is Led Zeppelin's Ramble On, from their second LP. The song starts with a Jimmy Page acoustic guitar riff played high up on the neck with what sounds almost like footsteps keeping time (but turns out to be John Bonham playing bongo style on a guitar case). John Paul Jones soon adds one of the most melodic bass lines ever to appear in a rock song, followed closely by Robert Plant's Tolkien-influenced lyrics. For the chorus the band gets into electric mode, with guitar, bass and drums each contributing to a unique staggered rhythmic pattern. The song also contains one of Page's most memorable solos, that shares tonal qualities with Eric Clapton's work on Cream's Disraeli Gears album. Although I usually don't pay much attention to lyrics, one set of lines from Ramble On has stuck with me for a good many years:
"'Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor I met a girl so fair.
But Gollum and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her."
How can any Tolkien fan resist that?

Artist:    Steppehwolf
Title:    What Would You Do (If I Did That To You)
Source:    LP: Monster
Writer(s):    Francen/Porter
Label:    Dunhill
Year:    1969
    Monster is generally acknowledged to be Steppenwolf's most political album. Led off by the indictment of the entire American political system that serves as the album's title track, the first side continues to hit the listener with in-your-face messages in Draft Resister and Power Play. The second side eases up a bit, and even includes the album's only non-original tune, What Would You Do (If I Did That To You). The song itself, written by Leno Francen and Nolan Porter, seems to be political at first, but ends up being more of a "my anger is justfified" kind of thing.

Artist:     Crosby, Stills and Nash
Title:     You Don't Have To Cry
Source:     CD: Crosby, Stills and Nash
Writer:    Stephen Stills
Label:     Atlantic
Year:     1969
     After the breakup of Buffalo Springfield in 1968, Stephen Stills spent some time in the studio cutting demo tapes as well as pitching in to help his friend Al Kooper complete the Super Session album when guitarist Mike Bloomfield became incapacitated by his heroin addiction. He then started hanging out at David Crosby's place in Laurel Canyon. Joined by Graham Nash, who had recently left the Hollies, they recorded the first Crosby, Stills and Nash album. Several of the tunes Stills had penned since the Springfield breakup were included on the album, including You Don't Have To Cry. The song addresses his own breakup with singer Judy Collins.
Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    Matty Groves
Source:    LP: Liege And Lief
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Fairport Convention
Label:    A&M
Year:    1969
    Britain's Fairport Convention was quite prolific in 1969, releasing no less than three LPs that year. The last of these was Liege And Lief, considered by some to be the greatest British folk-rock album ever made. The album is notable for several reasons, including the fact that it was the group's first album to consist entirely of rocked out adaptations of traditional British folk tunes such as Matty Grove, along with a handful of original compositions done in a similar style. It was also the first Fairport Convention album to feature guitarist Martin Carthy (who had made a guest appearance on the band's previous album, Unhalfbricking) and drummer Dave Mattacks as full-time members. Finally, Liege And Lief was the last Fairport album to feature vocalist Sandy Denny and bassist Ashley Hutchings, both of whom lef to form their own British folk-rock bands (Fotheringay and Steeleye Span, respectively). Like many British folk songs, Matty Grove tells the somewhat morally ambiguous tale of a low-born rascal who beds the wife of his Duke, only to have said Duke catch them in the act, killing them both. Trust me, it sounds better coming from Fairport Convention that it does me.
Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Nature's Way/Animal Zoo
Source:    CD: Best Of Spirit (originally released on LP: Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus)
Writer:    Randy California
Label:    Epic
Year:    1970

The last album by the original lineup of Spirit was The Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus, released in 1970. The album was originally going to be produced by Neil Young, but due to other commitments Young had to bow out, recommending David Briggs, who had already produced Young's first album with Crazy Horse, as a replacement. The first song from the album to be released was Animal Zoo, which came out as a single in July of 1970. The LP itself was held back until November of that year, with the song Mr. Skin simultaneously released as a single. Although not a major seller, Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus did get a decent amount of airplay on FM rock stations, with Randy California's Nature's Way, which on the album segued directly into Animal Zoo, getting a lot of attention. Two months after the album was released, Epic decided to release Nature's Way as a single (backed by Mr. Skin), but it never caught on with AM radio listeners. Nonetheless, when the album Best Of Spirit was released in 1973 the two songs were both included in their original order with the segue intact. By then, however, Jay Ferguson and Mark Andes had left Spirit to form Jo Jo Gunne.

Artist:    Johnny Winter
Title:    Rock And Roll Hoochie Coo
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Johnny Winter And)
Writer(s):    Rick Derringer
Label:    Sony Music (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1970
    Athough best known as a solo Rick Derringer hit, Rock And Roll Hoochie Coo was originally recorded in 1970 by Johnny Winter for the album Johnny Winter And when Derringer was a member of Winter's band (also known as Johnny Winter And at that time). As can be heard here the arrangement on the earlier version is nearly identical to the hit version, the main differences being Winter's lead vocals and the presence of two lead guitarists in the band.

Artist:    American Dream
Title:    Raspberries
Source:    LP: The American Dream
Writer(s):    Van Winkle/Jameson
Label:    Ampex
Year:    1970
    OK, I have to admit that I know very little about the album and band called The American Dream, which was included as an unexpected free gift that came along with a vintage vinyl copy of an album I bought online. Here's what I do know. The American Dream was from Philadelphia. The album was produced by Todd Rundgren. In fact, it was his first time producing a group that he himself was not a member of. Finally, these guys were actually pretty good. How good? Well, take a listen to the album's final (and longest) track, Raspberries, and decide for yourself.

Artist:    Focus
Title:    Hocus Pocus
Source:    British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Moving Waves)
Writer(s):    van Leer/Akkerman
Label:    Polydor UK (original US label: Sire)
Year:    1971
    Although it was not a hit until 1973, Hocus Pocus, by the Dutch progressive rock band Focus, has the type of simple structure coupled with high energy that was characteristic of many of the garage bands of the mid to late 60s. The song was originally released on the band's second LP, known alternately as Focus II and Moving Waves, in 1971. Both guitarist Jan Akkerman and keyboardist/vocalist/flautist Thijs van Leer have gone on to have successful careers, with van Leer continuing to use to the Focus name as recently as 2006.

Artist:    Fanny
Title:    Hey Bulldog
Source:    LP: Fanny Hill
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    Fanny was one of the first self-contained all-female rock bands, and the first to release an album on a major label. The group, consisting of sisters June and Jean Millington on bass and guitar and Alice de Buhr on drums, were first known as Wild Honey, and were on the verge of breaking up when they were discovered while playing an open-mike night gig at L.A.'s Troubador Club by producer Richard Perry, who got them a contract with Warner Brothers' Reprise label. After recruiting keyboardist Nickey Barclay the band changed their name to Fanny, issuing their first album in 1970. Their third LP, Fanny Hill, is often considered the highlight of their career. The album, recorded at EMI's legendary Abbey Road studios, features a mix of cover tunes (including, appropriately, the little-known Beatles song Hey Bulldog) and originals. After two more albums, Fanny disbanded, although all of the members remained active as studio musicians. In a 1999 interview David Bowie called Fanny "one of the most important female bands in American rock", adding that the early 1970s "just wasn't their time."

Artist:    Faces
Title:    Ooh-La-La
Source:    45 RPM single (promo copy)
Writer(s):    Wood/Lane
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1973
    Rod Stewart does not perform on the song Ooh-La-La (that's Ronnie Wood on lead vocals). In fact, he is entirely missing from three of the ten tracks on the 1973 album Ooh La La. This is because by 1973 Rod Stewart was a Big Solo Rock Star who apparently had little interest in honoring his commitments to his bandmates. He missed the first two weeks of sessions for the album entirely and appeared to be distracted when he did bother to show up. After the album was released he went out of his way to tell anyone that would listen how bad the album was. Now do you understand why I have zero respect for Rod Stewart?

Artist:    Three Man Army
Title:    Let's Go Get Laid
Source:    German import CD: 3
Writer(s):    Adrian Gurvitz
Label:    Revisited
Year:    Recorded 1974, released 2004 (dates approximate)
    The Gurvitz brothers, Adrian and Paul, got their first taste of international fame as two thirds of the band Gun, whose Race With The Devil was a monster hit in Germany and the UK, among other places. Following the breakup of Gun, the brothers went their separate ways for a year or so, reuniting in 1971 to form Three Man Army. The first album featured three different drummers, but the next two featured the talents of Tony Newman, formerly of the Jeff Beck Group. Plans for a fourth album were shelved when Newman left the group, to be replaced by Ginger Baker (prompting a name change to Baker-Gurvitz Army), but not until several tracks had already been recorded. Those tracks remained unreleased until 2004, when a German label released 3 (so named because it was the third album to feature Newman). Probably the best track on the album is Let's Go Get Laid. I'll leave it to you to figure out what the song is about.

Artist:    Chicago
Title:    Dialogue (part 1&2)
Source:    45 RPM single edit reissue (original version on LP: Chicago V)
Writer(s):    Robert Lamm
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1972
    In their early days Chicago was one of the more politically-oriented rock bands around. One of the more notable tracks on their first album (Someday) was built around the crowds in Lincoln Park chanting outside the 1968 Democratic convention. The group continued to make political statements for the next few years, although by the time they released their landmark four-disc live album they were firmly in the camp of advocating working within the system as opposed to overthrowing everything and starting over (sort of an evolution over revolution approach). One of the more interesting songs of this type is a condemnation of socio-political apathy called Dialogue, from the album Chicago V. The structure of the first half of the record is based on Plato's philosophical dialogues, with one vocalist, Robert Lamm, asking disturbing questions and the other, Peter Cetera, giving answers that are on the surface reassuring but in reality bespeak an attitude of burying one's head in the sand and hoping everything will turn out OK. This shifts into a call for everyone to work together to effect needed changes in the world, with the repeated line "We can make it happen" dominating the second half of the record.