Sunday, May 30, 2021

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2123 (starts 5/31/21) 

    You may have noticed that we've recently had a few battles of the bands on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era: entire segments made up of alternating cuts from two different artists. This time around we're taking it up a level and featuring a three-way battle of the bands in our second hour. Just to add to the fun we also have our first-ever Ultimate Spinach artists' set, plus a whole lot of fun stuff (like the original studio version of Whipping Post) in the first hour as well.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Turn! Turn! Turn!
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Turn! Turn! Turn!)
Writer(s):    Pete Seeger
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1965
    After their success covering Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man, the Byrds turned to an even more revered songwriter: the legendary Pete Seeger. Turn! Turn! Turn!, with lyrics adapted from the book of Ecclesiastes, was first recorded by Seeger in the early 60s, nearly three years after he wrote the song.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    A Most Peculiar Man
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released on LP: Sounds Of Silence)
Writer:    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    You would think that a high school on a US military facility would be inclined to use the most staunchly traditional teaching methods known to mankind. Surprisingly, though, this was not the case at General H. H. Arnold High School in Weisbaden, Germany, in 1967. In fact, the English department was teaching some sort of new system that dispensed with terms such as verb and noun and replaced them with a more conceptual approach to language. What I best remember about my Freshman English class is the day that my rather Bohemian teacher (he wore sandals to class!), actually brought in a copy of the Sounds Of Silence and had us dissect two songs from the album, Richard Cory and A Most Peculiar Man. We spent several classes discussing the similarities (they both deal with a suicide by someone representing a particular archetype) and differences (the methods used and the archetypes themselves) between the songs. I have forgotten everything else about that class and its so-called revolutionary approach (and even the teacher's name), but those two songs have stayed with me my entire life. I guess that teacher was on to something.

Artist:    Love
Title:    The Daily Planet
Source:    CD: Forever Changes
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    The closest Love ever got to a stable lineup was in early 1967, when the group consisted of multi-instrumentalist and band leader Arthur Lee, lead guitarist Johnny Echols, rhythm guitarist Bryan MacLean, bassist Ken Forssi and drummer Michael Stuart. This group, along with "Snoopy" Pfisterer on keyboards and Tjay Cantrelli on flute and saxophone, had completed the De Capo album in late 1966 and were firmly entrenched as the top-drawing band on the Sunset Strip. There were drawbacks, however. Then, as now, Los Angeles was the party capitol of the world, and the members of Love, as kings of the Strip, had easy access to every vice they could imagine. This became a serious problem when it was time to begin working on the band's third LP, Forever Changes. Both Lee and MacLean had new material ready to be recorded, but getting the other band members into the studio was proving to be impossible, so their producer took matters into his own hands and brought in some of L.A.'s top studio musicians to begin work on the album. The move turned out to be a wake up call for the rest of the band, who were able to get their act together in time to finish the album themselves. Lee and MacLean, however, chose to keep the two tracks that they had completed using studio musicians. One of those was a Lee composition, The Daily Planet. Ken Forssi later claimed that bassist Carol Kaye was having problems with the song and Forssi himself ended up playing on the track, but there is no way now to verify Forssi's claim.

Artist:     Who
Title:     Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde
Source:     Simulated stereo LP: Magic Bus: The Who On Tour (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    John Entwhistle
Label:     MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:     1968
     The Who were blessed with not one, but two top-notch songwriters: Pete Townshend and John Entwhistle. Whereas Townsend's songs ranged from tight pop songs to more serious works such as Tommy, Entwistle's tunes had a slightly twisted outlook, dealing with such topics as crawly critters (Boris the Spider), imaginary friends (Whiskey Man) and even outright perversion (Fiddle About). Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde was originally released in the US as the B side to Call Me Lightning. Both songs were included on the Magic Bus album.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Because (isolated vocal tracks)
Source:    CD: Anthology 3 (promo EP)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Capitol
Year:    1969
    The Beatles took full advantage of the new 8-track technology to record Because for the Abbey Road album. In addition to the instruments, the recording has three separate vocal tracks, each with John, Paul & George singing three-part harmony, making a total of nine voices. Here are those vocal tracks, presented without backing instruments on the 1996 Anthology 3 collection.

Artist:    Allman Brothers Band
Title:    Whipping Post
Source:    CD: Beginnings (originally released on LP: The Allman Brothers Band)
Writer(s):    Gregg Allman
Label:    Polydor  (original label: Atco)
Year:    1969
    It's hard to believe now, but when it was released in 1969, the first Allman Brothers Band LP did not sell all that well. Even stranger, the critics were at best lukewarm in their reviews of the album. It wasn't until the band released a live album in 1971 that had been recorded during the final days of the Fillmore East that the Allman Brothers became a major force in rock. Not long after that Atco Records re-released both the Allman Brothers Band and its followup, Idlewild South, as a double-LP entitled Beginnings. One of the high points of the Fillmore East album was the band's rendition of Whipping Post, heard here in its original studio form.

Artist:    Please
Title:    Strange Ways
Source:    British similulated stereo CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution
Writer(s):    Peter Dunton
Label:    Grapefruit
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 2013
    Please was a British four-piece band formed in 1968 by Peter Dunton when the band he had recently joined, the Flies, decided to call it quits. Dunton had previously led a band called Please, and his new band was, in essence, a continuation of that original group. Please recorded a handful of tunes, including Strange Ways, in 1969, but before any of these recordings could be issued Dunstan left the group to join the Gurvitz brothers in their band Gun. The remaining members of Please tried to make a go of it under the name Bulldog Breed, but nothing ever came of it.       

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Blues From An Airplane
Source:    LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer(s):    Balin/Spence
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    Blues From An Airplane was the opening song on the first Jefferson Airplane album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. Although never released as a single, it was picked by the group to open their first anthology album, The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane, as well. The song is one of two tunes on Takes Off co-written by lead vocalist Marty Balin and drummer Skip Spence.

Artist:    Eric Burdon And The Animals
Title:    Paint It Black
Source:    British import CD: Winds Of Change
Writer(s):    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/McCulloch/Jenkins/Jagger/Richards
Label:    Repertoire (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    One of the highlights of the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967 was the onstage debut of Eric Burdon's new Animals, a group much more in tune with the psychedelic happenings of the summer of love than its working class predecessor. The showstopper for the band's set was an extended version of the Rolling Stone's classic Paint It, Black. That summer saw the release of the group's first full LP, Winds Of Change, which included a studio version of Paint It, Black.

Artist:    Tommy James And The Shondells
Title:    Mony Mony
Source:    CD: Billboard Top Rock 'N' Roll Hits-1968 (originally released as45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    James/Cordell/Gentry/Bloom
Label:    Roulette
Year:    1968
    Sometime around 1964, a kid named Tommy James took his band, the Shondells, into a recording studio to record a simple song called Hanky Panky. The song was released on the Roulette label and went absolutely nowhere. Two years later a Pittsburgh DJ, looking for something different to make his show stand out from the crowd, decided to dig out a copy of the record and play it as a sort of on-air audition. The audience loved it, and the DJ soon contacted James, inviting him and the Shondells to make a personal appearance. Unfortunately by this time there were no Shondells, so James hastily put together a new band to promote the record. It wasn't long before the word spread and Hanky Panky was a national hit. James and his new Shondells then commenced to pretty much single-handedly keep Roulette Records afloat for the next three or four years with songs like their 1968 jukebox favorite Mony Mony, one of many top 10 singles for the band.

Artist:    Canned Heat
Title:    Boogie Music
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Living The Blues and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    L.T.Tatman III
Label:    United Artists (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1968
    Canned Heat was formed in 1966 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area blues purists. Although a favorite on the rock scene, the band continued to remain true to the blues throughout their existence, even after relocating to the Laurel Canyon area near Los Angeles in 1968. The band's most popular single was Going Up the Country from the album Living the Blues. The B side of that single was another track from Living The Blues that actually had a longer running time on the single than on the album version. Although the single uses the same basic recording of Boogie Music as the album, it includes a short low-fidelity instrumental tacked onto the end of the song that sounds suspiciously like a 1920s recording of someone playing a melody similar to Going Up The Country on a fiddle. The only time this unique version of the song appeared in stereo was on a 1969 United Artists compilation called Progressive Heavies that also featured tracks from Johnny Winter, Traffic, the Spencer Davis Group and others.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    For Pete's Sake
Source:    CD: Headquarters
Writer(s):    Tork/Richards
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1967
    It didn't come as a surprise to anyone who knew him that first member of the Monkees to depart the band was Peter Tork. Of all the members of the "pre-fab four" Tork was the most serious about making the group into a real band, and was the most frustrated when things didn't work out that way. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Tork had been a part of the Greenwich Village scene since the early 60s, where he became close friends with Stephen Stills. Both Tork and Stills had relocated to the west coast when Stills auditioned for the Monkees and was asked if he had a "better looking" musician friend that might be interested in the part. Although Tork was, by all accounts, the best guitarist in the Monkees, he found himself cast as the "lovable dummy" bass player on the TV show and had a difficult time being taken seriously as a musician because of that. During the brief period in 1967 when the members of the band did play their own instruments on their recordings, Tork could be heard on guitar, bass, banjo, harpsichord and other keyboard instruments. He also co-wrote For Pete's Sake, a song on the Headquarters album that became the closing theme for the TV show during its second and final season. Until his passing in February of 2019 Tork was involved with a variety of projects, including an occasional Monkees reunion.

Artist:    Association
Title:    Along Comes Mary
Source:    LP: And Then...Along Comes The Association
Writer:    Tandyn Almer
Label:    Valiant
Year:    1966
    The Association are best known for a series of love ballads and light pop songs such as Cherish, Never My Love and Windy. Many of these records were a product of the L.A. studio scene and featured several members of the Wrecking Crew, the studio musicians who played on dozens of records in the late 60s and early 70s. The first major Association hit, however, featured the band members playing all the instruments themselves. Produced by Curt Boettcher, who would soon join Gary Usher's studio project Sagittarius, Along Comes Mary shows that the Association was quite capable of recording a classic without any help from studio musicians.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    I Want To Be Your Driver
Source:    CD: The Blues Project Anthology (originally released on LP: Live At The Cafe Au Go Go)
Writer(s):    Chuck Berry
Label:    Polydor (original label: Verve Folkways)
Year:    1966
    When Tommy Flanders abruptly quit the Blues Project in January of 1966, the rest of the band found themselves with an album's worth of material, most of which included Flanders's lead vocals, and a record company that had already scheduled the album's release date. Their solution was to take over New York's Cafe Au Go Go for several afternoons to record a revised set of tunes in front of an invited audience. Although some Flanders tracks ended up on the album Live At The Cafe Au Go Go, others, such as the band's cover of Chuck Berry's I Want To Be Your Driver, featured other band members on lead vocals (in this case, guitarist Danny Kalb).

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Just Let Go
Source:    LP: A Web Of Sound
Writer(s):    Saxon/Hooper/Savage
Label:    GNP Crescendo
Year:    1966
    After listening to Just Let Go, from the second Seeds album, A Web Of Sound, it's easy to see why there were some in Los Angeles that were convinced that the band was actually from another planet. An acid-rock classic.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Sunshine Superman
Source:    CD: Donovan's Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Sunshine Superman)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Epic/Legacy
Year:    1966
    Up until the early 1970s there was an unwritten rule that stated that in order to get played on top 40 radio a song could be no more than three and a half minutes long. There were exceptions, of course, such as Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone, but as a general rule the policy was strictly adhered to. Sometimes an artist would record a song that exceeded the limit but nonetheless was considered to have commercial potential. In cases like these the usual practice was for the record company (or sometimes the record's own producer) to create an edited version of the master recording for release as a single. Usually in these cases the original unedited version of the song would appear on an album. In the case of Donovan's Sunshine Superman, however, the mono single version was used for the album as well, possibly because the album itself was never issued in stereo. In fact, it wasn't until 1969 that the full-length original recording of Sunshine Superman was made available as a track on Donovan's first Greatest Hits collection. This was also the first time the song had appeared in stereo, having been newly mixed for that album.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Heart Full Of Soul
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Graham Gouldman
Label:    Epic
Year:    1965
    Heart Full Of Soul, the Yardbirds' follow-up single to For Your Love was a huge hit, making the top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic in 1965. The song, the first to feature guitarist Jeff Beck prominently, was written by Graham Gouldman, who was then a member of Wayne Fontana's Mindbenders and would later be a founding member of 10cc.

    The next nine tunes make up our first 3-way Battle of the Bands. To begin with we have the reigning champions, the Rolling Stones, with California's Electric Prunes and London's Procol Harum providing the challenge. Whether or not we ever do this again is still up in the air.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    It's All Over Now
Source:    CD: Big Hits (High Tide And Green Grass) (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bobby & Shirley Womack
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1964
    During a 1964 on-air interview with the Rolling Stones, New York DJ Murray the K played a copy of a song called It's All Over Now by Bobby Womack's band, the Valentinos. The song had been a minor hit earlier in the year, spending two weeks in the top 100, and the Stones were reportedly knocked out by the record, calling it "our kind of song." Less than two weeks later the Stones recorded their own version of the song, which became their first number one hit in the UK. At first, Womack was reportedly against the idea of a British band recording his song, but changed his mind when he saw his first royalty check from the Stones' recording.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    I Happen To Love You
Source:    CD: Underground
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Arguably the most commercial-sounding cut on the second Electric Prunes album, Underground, I Happen To Love You was inexplicably passed over as a potential single in favor of the bizarre Dr. Do-Good, which did nothing on the charts, and did more harm than good to the band's reputation. Written by the highly successful songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King, I Happen To Love You may not have fit the psychedelic image that the band's promotional team was looking to push, but probably would have gotten a decent amount of airplay on top 40 radio.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Salad Days (Are Here Again)
Source:    Mono British import 45 RPM EP: Homburg (originally released on LP: Procol Harum)
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    Esoteric/Cherry Red (original label: Deram)
Year:    1967
    In 1967, in the midst of sessions for the first Procol Harum album, keyboardist Matthew Fisher took on the extra task of writing instrumental music for a film called Separation, written by and starring Jane Arden. To sweeten the deal, Fisher agreed to include Salad Days (Are Here Again), a new Procol Harum song from their forthcoming LP, in the soundtrack as well. The film, due to the usual post-production process, was not released until 1968. The Procol Harum album, however, was released in late 1967, making the back cover "From the film Separation" note a kind of reverse anachronism, as the film had not yet been released.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Ruby Tuesday
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    One of the most durable songs in the Rolling Stones catalog, Ruby Tuesday was originally intended to be the B side of their 1967 single Let's Spend The Night Together. Many stations, however, balked at the subject matter of the A side and began playing Ruby Tuesday instead, which is somewhat ironic considering speculations as to the subject matter of the song (usually considered to be about a groupie of the band's acquaintance, although Mick Jagger has said it was about Keith Richards' ex-girlfriend).

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    In The Wee Small Hours Of Sixpence
Source:    Mono British import 45 RPM EP: Homburg (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    Esoteric/Cherry Red (original US label: A&M)
Year:    1968
    For their third single, Procol Harum released Quite Rightly So, from their Shine On Brightly LP, with a non-album track, In The Wee Small Hours Of Sixpence, as the B side. In the US, however, neither side was designated by A&M Records as the A side, and In The Wee Small Hours Of Sixpence ended up getting minor airplay in at least six US markets, while Quite Rightly So only made the chartbound list on one station in the entire country.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on LP: The Electric Prunes and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Mantz
Label:    Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    The Electric Prunes' biggest hit was I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), released in November of 1966. The record, initially released without much promotion from their record label, was championed by Seattle DJ Pat O'Day of KJR radio, and was already popular in that area when it hit the national charts (thus explaining why so many people assumed the band was from Seattle). I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) has come to be one of the defining songs of the psychedelic era and was the opening track on the original Lenny Kaye Nuggets compilation (and the second track on Rhino's first Nuggets LP).

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Quite Rightly So
Source:    CD: Shine On Brightly
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    A&M/Rebound
Year:    1968
    In 1969, while living on Ramstein AFB in Germany, my dad managed to get use of one of the basement storage rooms in building 913, the 18-unit apartment building we resided in. For a few months (until getting in trouble for having overnight guests and making too much noise...hey I was 16, whaddaya expect?) I got to use that room as a bedroom. I had a small record player that shut itself off when it got to the end of the record, which meant I got to go to sleep every night to the album of my choice. As often as not that album was Shine On Brightly, a copy of which I had gotten in trade for another album (the Best of the Beach Boys I think) from a guy who was expecting A Whiter Shade of Pale and was disappointed to discover it was not on this album. I always thought I got the better end of that deal, despite the fact that there was a skip during the fade of Quite Rightly So, causing the words "one was me" to repeat over and over until I scooted the needle over a bit. Luckily Quite Rightly So is the first song on the album, so I was usually awake enough to do that.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    The Great Banana Hoax
Source:    CD: Underground
Writer(s):    Lowe/Tulin
Label:    Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    The second Electric Prunes LP, Underground, saw the band gaining greater creative control over the recording process than at any other time in their career (until their reformation in the late 1990s). The album's opening track, The Great Banana Hoax, is notable for two reasons: first, it was composed by band members and second, it has nothing to do with bananas. The title probably refers to the rumor circulating at the time that Donovan's Mellow Yellow was really about smoking banana peels to get high. The song itself is an indication of the musical direction the band itself wanted to go in before it got sidetracked (some would say derailed) by producer David Hassinger, who would assert control to the point of eventually replacing all the original members of the band by their fourth album (yes, some producers had that kind of power in those days).

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Think
Source:    CD: Aftermath
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original US label: London)
Year:    1966
    The 1966 album Aftermath marked a turning point for the Rolling Stones, as it was the first Stones album to be entirely made up of songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Although, as with all the early Stones releases, there were differences between the US and UK versions of the album, both releases included Think, a song that is fairly representative of the mid-60s Rolling Stones sound.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    Jazz Thing
Source:    LP: Behold And See
Writer(s):    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    Although the second Ultimate Spinach album, Behold And See, is generally considered inferior to the group's debut effort, there are a few high points that are among the best tracks the band ever recorded. Perhaps the strongest track on the album is Jazz Thing, which almost sounds like a Bob Bruno Circus Maximus track.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    Baroque # 1
Source:    LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer(s):    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1967
    Of the six major US record labels of the time, only two, Decca and M-G-M, failed to sign any San Francisco bands in the late 1960s. Decca, which had been bought by MCA in the early 60s, was fast fading as a major force in the industry (ironic considering that Universal, the direct descendant of MCA, is now the world's largest record company). M-G-M, on the other hand, had a strong presence on the Greenwich Village scene thanks to Jerry Schoenbaum at the Verve Forecast label, who had signed such critically-acclaimed artists as Dave Van Ronk, Tim Hardin and the Blues Project. Taking this as an inspiration, the parent label decided to create interest in the Boston music scene, aggressively promoting (some would say hyping) the "Boss-Town Sound". One of the bands signed was Ultimate Spinach, which was led by keyboardist Ian Bruce-Douglas, who wrote all the band's material, including the instrumental Baroque # 1.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    Fifth Horseman Of The Apocalypse
Source:    LP: Behold And See
Writer(s):    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    To say Ian Bruce-Douglas was not a happy camper by the time sessions for the second Ultimate Spinach LP, Behold And See, got underway is an understatement, to say the least. Producer Alan Lorber's infamous hyping of the "Boss-Town Sound" was taking its toll on the band, whose members weren't even speaking to each other due to personality conflicts (Bruce-Douglas was a firm believer in psychedelics, while the other band members, with the exception of vocalist Barbara Jean Hudson, were heavily into alcohol). Bruce-Douglas had formed the band in the first place because "I started hearing all these strange little tunes in my head. I had a couple of acoustic guitars but what I was hearing was much larger than a simple guitar. So, I decided to put together an original band so I could hear my tunes live as I heard them in my head." But then Lorber "screwed me over because, before we had signed with him, he had promised me that I would be involved with the mixes, which was VERY important to me, since I knew how I heard the finished product in my head. But, when we were done recording, he told me to go back to Boston. Period." To make things worse, Bruce-Douglas was suffering from bronchitis and pneumonia during sessions for the band's second LP, Behold And See. Nonetheless, when questioned about songs on the album such as Fifth Horseman Of The Apocalypse he had this to say: "This one has a nice melody line and with the harmonica, it almost sounds like it could have been the soundtrack to a Western movie. Except for the lame guitar solos, I like this one."

And on that note, we fade into our closing theme, appropriately titled Love Theme For The Apocalypse.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2123 (starts 5/31/21)

    Once again we have a mixture of tracks from well-known groups like Traffic, the Doors and Led Zeppelin mixed in with lesser-known (but not less talented) artists like Wishbone Ash, Tommy Bolin and the early 70s incarnation of the Blues Project.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Light Up Or Leave Me Alone
Source:    CD: Smiling Phases (originally released on LP: The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys)
Writer(s):    Jim Capaldi
Label:    Island
Year:    1971
    Jim Capaldi always wanted to be a front man. In fact, he was the lead vocalist and founder of his own band, the Sapphires, when he was just 14 years old. In 1963 he switched to drums to form the Hellions with guitarists Dave Mason and Gordon Jackson. The following year the Hellions got a gig backing up Tanya Day at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany, where he met Steve Winwood, who was staying at the same hotel as a member of the Spencer Davis Group. In 1965 Capaldi became the band's front man with the addition of Poli Palmer as the band's new drummer. Although the Hellions were a successful performing band, none of their four singles (including one in 1966 under the name Revolution) charted. Mason left the band that year and the remaining members recorded a few demos for Giorgio Gomelsky, but they were not released at the time. During this time Capaldi often sat in with Winwood, Mason and flautist Chris Wood for after-hours jam sessions at Birmingham's Elbow Club. In 1967 they officially formed Traffic, with Capaldi and Winwood co-writing the bulk of the band's material. After Winwood left Traffic to join Blind Faith, Capaldi, Mason and Wood tried to get a new band goingwith keyboardist Mick Weaver, but things didn't work out. In early 1970 Capaldi and Wood accepted Winwood's invitation to help with what was to be his debut solo album, but which ended up being a reformed Traffic's John Barleycorn Must Die. With the addition of drummer Jim Gordon on the album Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys, Capaldi finally got a chance to front the band on two songs, one of which, Light Up Or Leave Me Alone, he wrote without Winwood's assistance. For the remainder of his life, in addition to continuing to work with Winwood as a member of Traffic and later on his solo albums, Capaldi pursued a successful solo career, scoring several hits on the British charts. His biggest American hit was That's Love, which hit the #28 spot in 1983. Jim Capaldi died from stomach cancer in 2005 at age 60.

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Ball And Chain
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Cheap Thrills)
Writer:    Willie Mae Thornton
Label:    Sony Music (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    In June of 1967 Big Brother And The Holding Company, fronted by Janis Joplin, electrified the crowd at the Monterey International Pop Festival with their rendition of Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton's Ball And Chain. Over the years Joplin, both with and without Big Brother, continued to perform the song. One of the finest performances of Ball And Chain was recorded live at the Fillmore in 1968 and included on the band's major label debut, Cheap Thrills. In retrospect the recording marks the peak of both Big Brother and of Joplin, who went their separate ways after the album was released.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Who Scared You
Source:    CD: Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Doors
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1969
    The Doors only released two non-album tracks while Jim Morrison was alive. The first of these was Who Scared You, which appeared as the B side of Wishful Sinful, a minor hit from the 1969 album The Soft Parade. Unlike the songs on that album, Who Scared You is credited to the entire band, rather than one or more of its individual members. The song made its album debut in 1972, when it was included in the double-LP compilation Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine.

Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Queen Of Torture
Source:    CD: The Collection (originally released on LP: Wishbone Ash)
Writer:    Upton/Turner/Turner/Powell
Label:    Spectrum/Universal (original label: Decca)
Year:    1970
    One of the first bands to use dual lead guitars was Wishbone Ash. When Glen Turner, the band's original guitarist, had to leave, auditions were held, but the remaining members and their manager couldn't decide between the two finalists, Andy Powell and Ted Turner, so they kept both of them. Queen Of Torture, from their 1969 debut album, shows just how well the two guitars meshed.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    Black Night
Source:    CD: The Blues Project Anthology (originally released on LP: Lazarus)
Writer(s):    Jessie Mae Robinson
Label:    Polydor (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1971
    After the original Blues Project fell apart in late 1967, drummer Roy Blumenfeld and bassist/flautist Andy Kulberg decided to permanently relocate to Marin County, California, getting a large house in the hopes that guitarist Danny Kalb, who was recovering from a nervous breakdown, would be able to eventually join them in a new version of the band. Adding three new members, including bassist Don Kretmar, they did a few gigs as the Blues Project, but soon changed their name to Seatrain. After a pair of albums with the new lineup, one of which was released as the Blues Project album Planned Obsolescence, Blumenfeld left the group, eventually hooking up with Kalb and Kretmar for a power trio version of the Blues Project. It was this lineup that released the album Lazarus in 1971. Probably the strongest track on the album was a cover of Charles Brown's 1951 blues hit Black Night. Following one more LP for Capitol in 1972, the Blues Project disbanded, but the members have been occasionally getting back together for reunion gigs ever since.

Artist:    Todd Rundgren
Title:    Black Maria
Source:    LP: Something/Anything?
Writer(s):    Todd Rundgren
Label:    Bearsville
Year:    1972
    For his third solo LP, Something/Anything?, Todd Rundgren decided that he would, in the words of the popular TV commercial of the time, "rather do it myself". So he went out to California and began working on his new album at I.D. Sound Studios, one of the first independent studios in Los Angeles, working with engineer James Lowe, former lead vocalist of the Electric Prunes. Rundgren would start by laying down the drum tracks on songs like Black Maria, while humming the song in his head. He later said that the drum tracks were the "logical place to start", adding that "if I would screw up, then I would change the song afterwards, to fit the mistake that I had made, because it was easier than going back and fixing it." He would then add various instruments, one at a time, and finish with vocal tracks. Lowe later said he was "mostly working in the dark" and that "I was never sure exactly where the song was going until we'd put down about four or five tracks." Nonetheless, the album was a critical and commercial success, and is now considered one of the landmark releases of the 1970s.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Things Will Be Better
Source:    LP: Byrds
Writer(s):    Hillman/Taylor
Label:    Asylum
Year:    1973
    Things Will Be Better is one of three singles released from the 1973 LP Byrds. None of them charted, possibly because Byrds was a reunion album that was released while an entirely different lineup (with the exception of Roger McGuinn) was still making live appearances. I don't know who thought that was a good idea.

Artist:    Robin Trower
Title:    The Fool And Me
Source:    LP Bridge Of Sighs
Writer(s):    Trower/Dewar
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1974
    Guitarist Robin Trower's breakthrough album, Bridge Of Sighs, featured vocals by bassist James Dewar, who also co-wrote a couple of the songs on the LP. The better of these was The Fool And Me, which closes out side one of the original LP. Drummer Reg Isidore completed the trio.

Artist:    Tommy Bolin
Title:    Lotus
Source:    Japanese import CD: Teaser
Writer(s):    Tesar/Bolin
Label:    Sony (original label: Nemperor)
Year:    1975
    Tommy Bolin's debut solo LP, Teaser, was released at around the same time as his first album as a member of Deep Purple, Come Taste The Band. Because of touring commitments with Deep Purple, Bolin was unable to effectively promote Teaser, and sales suffered. The album did get good reviews, with critics praising Bolin's versatility on tracks like Lotus, which closes out the LP.

Artist:    Steely Dan
Title:    Don't Take Me Alive
Source:    CD: The Royal Scam
Writer(s):    Becker/Fagen
Label:    MCA (original label: ABC)
Year:    1976
    Larry Carlton's guitar work is on display on Don't Take Me Alive, one of the more popular non-single tracks on the 1976 album The Royal Scam. As usual, the lyrics center on situations that were, at the time, somewhat unique to Southern California, such as a violent criminal with a case of dynamite telling the cops to shoot him.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Friend Of The Devil
Source:    CD: Skeletons From The Closet (originally released on LP: American Beauty)
Writer(s):    Garcia/Dawson/Hunter
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    The Grateful Dead spent three years and four albums trying to capture the energy of their live performances on vinyl. Having finally succeeded with the 1969 Live Dead album the group began to focus more on their songwriting capabilities. The result was two outstanding studio albums, both released in 1970: Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. Of the two, American Beauty is made up almost entirely of songs played on acoustic instruments, including pedal steel guitar, which was played by Jerry Garcia. One of the best-known tracks on American Beauty is Friend Of The Devil, which lyricist Robert Hunter referred to as "the closest we've come to what may be a classic song."

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Ramble On
Source:    CD: 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?

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2122 (starts 5/24/21)

    OK, I admit it. I've been having fun with the whole "battle of the bands" concept lately. So much that I decided to pit swingin' London against psychedelic San Francisco this week, with Jefferson Airplane and (once again) the Rolling Stones sharing the spotlight in our second hour. Also of note: a Seeds set that includes a tune that was released in France before it made its US LP debut and (in keeping with the US vs. UK thing) a pair of bands with almost the same name, resulting in one suing the other over the matter.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Like A Rolling Stone
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Bob Dylan incurred the wrath of folk purists when he decided to use electric instruments for his 1965 LP Highway 61 Revisited. The opening track on the album is the six-minute Like A Rolling Stone, a song that was also selected to be the first single released from the new album. After the single was pressed, the shirts at Columbia Records decided to cancel the release due to its length. An acetate copy of the record, however, made it to a local New York club, where, by audience request, the record was played over and over until it was worn out (acetate copies not being as durable as their vinyl counterparts). When Columbia started getting calls from local radio stations demanding copies of the song the next morning they decided to release the single after all. Like A Rolling Stone ended up going all the way to the number two spot on the US charts, doing quite well in several other countries as well.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Let Me Be
Source:    Mono LP: It Ain't Me Babe
Writer(s):    P.F. Sloan
Label:    White Whale
Year:    1965
    The Turtles were nothing if not able to redefine themselves when the need arose. Originally a surf band known as the Crossfires, the band quickly adopted an "angry young men" stance with their first single, Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe, and the subsequent album of the same name. For the follow-up single the band chose a track from their album, Let Me Be, that, although written by a different writer, had the same general message as It Ain't Me Babe. The band would soon switch over to love songs like Happy Together and She'd Rather Be With Me before taking their whole chameleon bit to its logical extreme with an album called Battle Of The Bands on which each track was meant to sound like it was done by an entirely different group.

Artist:     Wailers
Title:     Out Of Our Tree
Source:     Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Gardner/Morrill/Ormsby
Label:     Rhino (original label: Etiquette)
Year:     1965
     The Pacific Northwest was, and is, home to a louder, harder-rocking and generally raunchier style of rock and roll than most other regions of the country. It's never been explained exactly why this is, but Kurt Cobain may have touched on it when he said that because the weather is such that it discourages outdoor activities (i.e, it rains a lot), there really isn't much else to do but go to places where live music is played. Another reason for the scene developing the way it did might be these guys, who practically invented raunch and roll. The Wailers were formed in 1958, doing mostly instrumental versions of songs by Chuck Berry, Little Richard and other early rock and roll/R&B artists. One of the hallmarks of the Wailers was that they played hard and loud, influencing later bands such as the Sonics to do the same. This meant that in order to be heard over the instruments, a vocalist had to basically scream out the lyrics. Etiquette Records, which was started by the Wailers themselves, was one of the first labels to release records with a healthy amount of distortion built in. This may have been due to budget limitations or it could have been a deliberate aesthetical choice. The result was garage-rock classics such as Out Of Our Tree, the echoes of which can be heard in the Grunge movement of the early 1990s.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Excuse, Excuse
Source:    LP: The Seeds
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    GNP Crescendo
Year:    1965
    Although they branded themselves as the original flower power band, the Seeds have a legitimate claim to being one of the first punk-rock bands as well. A prime example is Excuse, Excuse. Whereas a more conventional song of the time might have been an angst-ridden tale of worry that perhaps the girl in question did not return the singer's feelings, Sky Saxon's lyrics (delivered with a sneer that would do Johnny Rotten proud) are instead a scathing condemnation of said girl for not being straight up honest about the whole thing. Excuse, Excuse was first released in late 1965 in France on an EP called The Seeds Avec Sky Saxon. The EP also included the band's debut single, Can't Seem To Make You Mine and its original B side, Daisy Mae, along with No Escape! All but Daisy Mae would be included on the band's self-titled debut LP the following April.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Can't Seem To Make You Mine
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: The Seeds)
Writer:    Sky Saxon
Label:    Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1965
    One of the first psychedelic singles to hit the L.A. market in 1965 was Can't Seem To Make You Mine. The song was also chosen to lead off the first Seeds album. Indeed, it could be argued that this was the song that first defined the "flower power" sound, its local success predating that of the Seeds' biggest hit, Pushin' Too Hard, by several months.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Bad Part Of Town
Source:    British import CD: Singles As & Bs (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Saxon/Starr
Label:    Big Beat (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1970
    By 1970 the Seeds were barely a memory to most of the record-buying public. It had been nearly a year since they had released any records, and those hadn't sold many copies. Nonetheless, their agent managed to get them a contract to record a new single for the M-G-M label. The tune they recorded for the A side, Bad Part Of Town, was actually one of their better songs in quite some time, but by then there was no market for Seeds records, and the song failed to chart.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Sunshine Superman
Source:    British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Sunshine Superman)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    EMI
Year:    1966
    Up until the early 1970s there was an unwritten rule that stated that in order to get played on top 40 radio a song could be no more than three and a half minutes long. There were exceptions, of course, such as Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone, but as a general rule the policy was strictly adhered to. Sometimes an artist would record a song that exceeded the limit but nonetheless was considered to have commercial potential. In cases like these the usual practice was for the record company (or sometimes the record's own producer) to create an edited version of the master recording for release as a single. Usually in these cases the original unedited version of the song would appear on an album. In the case of Donovan's Sunshine Superman, however, the mono single version was used for the album as well, possibly because the album itself was never issued in stereo. In fact, it wasn't until 1969 that the full-length original recording of Sunshine Superman was made available as a track on Donovan's first Greatest Hits collection. This was also the first time the song had appeared in stereo, having been newly mixed for that album. An even newer mix was made in 1998 and is included on a British anthology album called Psychedelia At Abbey Road. This version takes advantage of digital technology and has a slightly different sound than previous releases of the song.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone
Source:    CD: More Of The Monkees (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Boyce/Hart
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1966
    When Screen Gems/Columbia Pictures announced that they would be doing a new TV series about a rock band called the Monkees, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart had hopes of being chosen for the project, not only as songwriters, but as actual performing members of the group itself. That part didn't work out (although years later they would participate in a Monkees revival), but they did end up providing the bulk of the songs used for the show. The first of these songs was Last Train To Clarksville, which was released as a single just prior to the show's debut in the fall of 1966 and ended up being a huge hit for the group. For the November 1966 followup single a Neil Diamond song, I'm A Believer, was chosen for the A side of the record. The B side was another Boyce/Hart song, (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone, that had been previously released by Paul Revere and the Raiders on their Midnight Ride album earlier in the year. The Monkees version of the song ended up being a hit in its own right, going all the way to the #20 spot (I'm A Believer ended up being the #1 song of 1967). Although there were two different mono mixes of the song released, it is the stereo version from the album More Of The Monkees that is most often heard these days.

Artist:     Animals
Title:     Inside Looking Out
Source:     British import 45 RPM single
Writer:     Lomax/Lomax/Burdon/Chandler
Label:     Decca
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:    Doors
Title:    When The Music's Over
Source:    LP: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    I remember the first time I heard When The Music's Over. My girlfriend's older brother had a copy of the Strange Days album on the stereo in his room and told us to get real close to the speakers so we could hear the sound of a butterfly while he turned the volume way up. What we got, of course, was a blast of "...we want the world and we want it now." Good times.

Artist:    B.B. King
Title:    Now That You've Lost Me
Source:    British import CD: Blues On Top Of Blues
Writer(s):    B.B. King
Label:    BGO (original US label: Bluesway)
Year:    1968
    The first B.B. King album I ever bought was Blues On Top Of Blues. It was his first release on ABC's Bluesway label, and was displayed on the same racks (at the Base Exchange on Ramstein AFB, Germany) as more mainstream rock artists. Having heard of King, I decided to take a chance on the LP. At first, being into hard rock, the arrangements felt a little too stiff for my tastes, but eventually the album grew on me enough so that when King's next LP, Lucille, came out, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. Typical of Blues On Top Of Blues is the last track on side two, Now That You've Lost Me, a kind of "see what you gave up when you left me?" kind of song.

Artist:    Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:    Incense And Peppermints
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Carter/Gilbert/Weitz/King
Label:    Rhino (original labels: All-American/Uni)
Year:    1967
    Thee Sixpence was a Los Angeles band that released four singles on the local All-American label, owned by the band's producer/manager Bill Holmes, in 1966. None of those records were written by band members, however. In fact, the B sides of the first three were covers of songs that had been recently released on fellow L.A. band Love's first album. One of those singles, a song called Fortune Teller, backed by My Flash On You, had even been reissued on the Dot label for national distribution, but had not charted. For their fifth single, Thee Sixpence worked with a new producer, Frank Slay, on The Birdman Of Alkatrash, a tune written by the band's keyboardist, Mark Weitz. The song was recorded in early 1967, along with an instrumental by Weiss and guitarist Ed King that was intended for the record's B side. Slay, however, brought in professional songwriters Tim Gilbert and John Carter to write lyrics and a melody line for the tune (giving the two sole credit for the finished song), which became Incense And Peppermints. The members of Thee Sixpence hated the new lyrics, and 16-year-old Greg Munford, a member of another local band called Shapes Of Sound, was hired to provide lead vocals for the tune. It was, after all, only a B side, right? Around this time, the band decided to change their name from the faux-British sounding Thee Sixpence to the more psychedelically-flavored Strawberry Alarm Clock. Whether The Birdman of Alkatrash was ever issued under the Thee Sixpence name is disputed (nobody seems to have actually seen a copy), but All-American most definitely released it as the first Strawberry Alarm Clock single in April of 1967. Somewhere along the line a DJ flipped the record over and started playing Incense And Peppermints instead. The song caught on and Uni Records (short for Universal, which is now the world's largest record company) picked up the Strawberry Alarm Clock's contract and reissued the record nationally with Incense And Peppermints as the A side in May of 1967. By the end of November, Incense And Peppermints had become Uni's first #1 hit record, making it, to my knowledge the only instance of a hit single being played, but not sung, by the artists of record (the reverse being a fairly common occurence). Although the Strawberry Alarm Clock was never able to duplicate the success of Incense And Peppermints, the band did end up releasing a total of twelve singles and four LPs before disbanding in 1971,  Following the breakup guitarist Ed King became a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd (who had been the Strawberry Alarm Clock's opening band when they toured the south in 1970-71), and wrote the opening guitar riff of that band's first major hit, Sweet Home Alabama. To my knowledge, neither King or Weitz ever saw a penny in royalties for Incense And Peppermints, although Weitz, as sole writer of The Birdman Of Alkatrash, was able to get a share of the royalties for the single itself.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: The Grateful Dead
Writer(s):    McGannahan Skjellyfetti
Label:    Rhino (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
    The Grateful Dead's debut single actually sold pretty well in the San Francisco Bay area, where it got airplay on top 40 stations from San Francisco to San Jose. Around the rest of the country, not so much, but the Dead would soon prove that there was more to survival than having a hit record. Writing credits on The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion) were given to McGannahan Skjellyfetti, which like the Rolling Stones' Nanker Phelge was a name used for songs written by the entire band (it took up less space on the label).

Artist:    Small Faces
Title:    Itchycoo Park
Source:    British import CD: Ogden's Nut Gone Flake (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Marriott/Lane
Label:    Charly (original label: Immediate)
Year:    1967
    Led by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane, the Small Faces got their name from the fact that all the members of the band were somewhat vertically challenged. The group was quite popular with the London mod crowd, and was sometimes referred to as the East End's answer to the Who. Although quite successful in the UK, the group only managed to score one hit in the US, the iconic Itchycoo Park, which was released in late 1967. Following the departure of Marriott the group shortened their name to Faces, and recruited a new lead vocalist named Rod Stewart. Needless to say, the new version of the band did much better in the US than their previous incarnation.

Artist:    Warner Brothers
Title:    Lonely I
Source:    LP: The Dunwich Records Story (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Warner
Label:    Voxx/Tutman
Year:    1966
    Peoria, Ilinois, was home to the Warner Bros. Combo, a group made up of brothers Larry and Al Warner along with Tom Stovall and Ken Elam. They released their first single, a cover of Mairzy Doats backed with Three Little Fishes, on the local Kandy Kane label in 1963. The following year they released four singles on three different labels, including a re-release of their first single on the Hollywood-based Everest label. They released one single a year from 1965 to 1968 on four different Chicago-based labels, including a song called I Won't Be The Same Without Her for the Dunwich label in 1966. The B side of that single was Lonely I (the letter I, not the number 1). Oddly enough the word "lonely" never appears in this otherwise blatant swipe of Clarence "Frogman" Henry's Ain't Got No Home.

    And once again, we have a battle of the bands, this time pitting San Francisco's most successful band of the psychedelic era against London's  original bad boys of rock 'n' roll.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    The Ballad Of You And Me And Pooneil
Source:    CD: The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane (originally released on LP: After Bathing At Baxter's)
Writer(s):    Paul Kantner
Label:    BMG/RCA
Year:    1967
    The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil (the title being a reference to Fred Neil) was never issued as a single. Nonetheless, the band decided to include it on their first anthology album, The Worst of Jefferson Airplane. This, in fact, was typical of the collection, which favored the songs the band considered their best over those that were considered the most commercial. Interestingly enough, the original plan for After Bathing At Baxter's (the album the song first appeared on) was to use a nine minute live version of Ballad, but that idea was scrapped in favor of dividing the album into five suites, the first of which opened with the studio version of the tune.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man
Source:    Mono LP: Out Of Our Heads (manufactured in England for US distribution)
Writer(s):    Nanker Phelge
Label:    London
Year:    1965
    The Rolling Stones embraced the Los Angeles music scene probably more than any other British invasion band. They attended the clubs on Sunset Strip when they were in town, recorded a lot of their classic recordings at RCA's Burbank studios, and generally did a lot of schmoozing with people in the record industry. This latter was the inspiration for their 1965 track The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man. The song is credited to the entire band, using the pseudonym Nanker Phelge.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Crown Of Creation
Source:    CD: The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane (originally released on LP: Crown Of Creation)
Writer(s):    Paul Kantner
Label:    BMG/RCA
Year:    1968
    After the acid rock experimentalism of After Bathing At Baxter's, the Airplane returned to a more conventional format for 1968's Crown Of Creation album. The songs themselves, however, had a harder edge than those on the early Jefferson Airplane albums, as the band itself was becoming more socio-politically radical. The song Crown of Creation draws a definite line between the mainstream and the counter-culture.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    The Last Time
Source:    Mono LP: Out Of Our Heads (manufactured in England for US distribution)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1965
    Released in late winter of 1965, The Last Time was the first single to hit the top 10 in both the US and the UK (being their third consecutive #1 hit in England) and the first one written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Despite that, it would be overshadowed by their next release: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, which went to the top of the charts everywhere and ended up being the #1 song of 1965.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Somebody To Love
Source:    Mono LP: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s):    Darby Slick
Label:    Sundazed (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1967
            If not for Somebody To Love, no one would even remember that Grace Slick and her husband Jerry were once in a band with her brother-in-law, Darby, who wrote the song.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Source:    CD: Out Of Our Heads
Writer:    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1965
    The most popular song of 1965 needs no other introduction. I mean, seriously, is there anyone who hasn't heard (and probably sung along with) Satisfaction?

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix/Gypsy Sun And Rainbows
Title:    Jam Back At The House (aka Beginnings)
Source:    CD: Live At Woodstock (originally released on LP: Woodstock Two)
Writer(s):    Mitch Mitchell
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy (original label: Cotillion)
Year:    1969
    I first heard the song Beginnings from a flexi-disc insert in an early 70s edition of Guitar Player magazine. I was completely blown away by the complex rhythms and (of course) the amazing guitar work from Jimi Hendrix on the track. The following year I picked up a copy of the double LP Woodstock Two that featured a live version of the same song, but bearing the title Jam Back At The House. What I didn't know is that 1) the song was actually written by drummer Mitch Mitchell, and 2) a rare Mitchell drum solo had been completely edited out of the recording. The entire unedited piece is now available on the two-disc Jimi Hendrix CD Live At Woodstock. It's worth getting.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Prelude: Happiness/I'm So Glad
Source:    LP: Shades Of Deep Purple
Writer(s):    Evans/Lord/Paice/Blackmore/Simper/James
Label:    Tetragrammaton
Year:    1968
    Deep Purple was originally the brainchild of vocalist Chris Curtis, whose idea was to have a band called Roundabout that utilized a rotating cast of musicians onstage, with only Curtis himself being up there for the entire gig. The first two musicians recruited were organist Jon Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, both of whom came aboard in late 1967. Curtis soon lost interest in the project, and Lord and Blackmore decided to stay together and form what would become Deep Purple. After a few false starts the lineup stabilized with the addition of bassist Nicky Simper, drummer Ian Paice and vocalist Rod Evans. The group worked up a songlist and used their various connections to get a record deal with a new American record label, Tetragrammaton, which was partially owned by actor/comedian Bill Cosby. This in turn led to a deal to release the band's recordings in England on EMI's Parlophone label as well, although Tetragrammaton had first rights to all the band's material, including the classically-influenced Prelude: Happiness, which leads directly into a cover of the Skip James classic I'm So Glad. The band's first LP, Shades Of Deep Purple, was released in the US in July of 1968 and in the UK in September of the same year. The album was a major success in the US, where the single Hush made it into the top five. In the UK, however, it was panned by the rock press and failed to make the charts. This would prove to be the pattern the band would follow throughout its early years; it was only after Evans and Simper were replaced by Ian Gillan and Roger Glover that the band would find success in their native land. Both editions of Deep Purple can be heard regularly on our companion show, Rockin' in the Days of Confusion.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    The Masked Marauder
Source:    CD: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Perhaps more than any other band, Country Joe and the Fish capture the essence of the San Francisco scene in the late 60s (which is rather ironic, considering that they were actually based in Berkeley on the other side of the bay and rarely visited the city itself, except to play gigs). Their first two releases were EPs included in Joe McDonald's self-published Rag Baby underground newspaper. In 1967 the band was signed to Vanguard Records, a primarily folk-oriented prestige label that also had Joan Baez on its roster. Their first LP, Electric Music For the Mind and Body had such classic cuts as Section 43, Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine, and the political parody Superbird on it, as well as the mostly-instrumental tune The Masked Marauder. Not for the unenlightened.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    John Riley (instrumental version 1)
Source:    CD: Fifth Dimension (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Gibson/Neff
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1966
    While working on the song John Riley for their Fifth Dimension album, the Byrds decided to play around a bit between takes. Using the same basic chord structure, they changed the tempo and beat for this instrumental version of this traditional English folk ballad.

Artist:    Birds
Title:    Say Those Magic Words
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Feldman/Gettehrer/Goldstein/Shuman/Pomus
Label:    Rhino (original label: Reaction)
Year:    1966
    The Birds are best known for two things. First, they were future Rolling Stone Ron Wood's first band. They also gained notoriety when they took legal action against the Byrds for stealing their name. Originally formed in 1963 as the R&B Bohemians, the band soon changed its name to the Thunderbirds, later shortening it to the Birds to avoid confusion with Chris Farlowe's backup band. The Birds released only four singles between 1964 and 1966, the last of which was an amped up cover of a McCoys tune, Say Those Magic Words. When the single (their first for the Reaction label) failed to chart the group began to disentegrate and officially disbanded in early 1967.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Hope I Never Find Me There
Source:    Mono CD: Mr. Fantasy
Writer(s):    Dave Mason
Label:    Island
Year:    1967
     Traffic is usually thought of as Steve Winwood's band, as he was the lead vocalist for most of the band's recordings. In the early days of the group, however, he shared the spotlight with singer/songwriter Dave Mason, who wrote several of the song's on the band's 1967 debut LP, Mr. Fantasy. When the album came out in the US in early 1968  however (under the title of Heaven Is In Your Mind), two of Mason's songs were left off the LP to make room for a pair of tunes that had been issued as singles in the UK, but not included on the European version of Mr. Fantasy. One of those deleted songs was Hope I Never Find Me There, which is now included on the CD reissue of Heaven Is In Your Mind as a bonus track.

Artist:    Creation
Title:    How Does It Feel To Feel
Source:    Mono British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Garner/Phillips
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1968
    Creation was one of a handful of British bands that were highly successful in Germany, but were unable to buy a hit in their own country. Evolving out of a band known as the Mark Four, Creation was officially formed in 1966 by vocalist Kenny Pickett, guitarist Eddie Phillips, bassist Bob Garner and drummer Jack Jones. Their first single stalled out at #49 on the British charts, but went to #5 in Germany. The gap was even wider for their second single, which topped the German charts but did not chart in Britain at all. Garner and Phillips both left the band just as How Does It Feel To Feel was issued in early 1968. The band, with a fluctuating lineup, continued on for a few months but finally threw in the towel in late 1968.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2122 (starts 5/24/21)

    This week, following an introduction from Black Sabbath, we take a musical journey backwards through the years, starting in 1975 with a track from Patti Smith's historic debut LP, Horses, and ending up with a track from the equally historic first Doors LP. In between we have all sort of good stuff, including several tracks never heard on Rockin' in the Days of Confusion before this week.

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    Jack The Stripper/Fairies Wear Boots
Source:    CD: Paranoid
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osbourne/Butler/Ward
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    As a general rule, Black Sabbath's songwriting process on their first three albums consisted of guitarist Tony Iommi coming up with a basic riff, to which vocalist Ozzy Osbourne would add a melody. Bassist Geezer Butler would then compose lyrics and drummer Bill Ward would add the finishing touches. According to Butler, however, the lyrics to Fairies Wear Boots were entirely the work of Osbourne. Although Osbourne himself says he doesn't remember where he got the idead for those lyrics, Butler has said they were inspired by an encounter Osbourne had with a group of London skinheads who taunted him about the length of his hair by calling him a fairy. Butler added that Osbourne's lyrics often went off on a tangent, however, and that the later verses actually describe an acid trip. US versions of the Paranoid album list the track as being two separate compositions, with the instrumental intro carrying the title Jack The Stripper. This actually does not make a whole lot of sense, since that instrumental theme is repeated much later in the track, but in all likelihood the division was made to increase the amount of royalties the band would receive for the album itself. The Grateful Dead's second LP, Anthem Of The Sun, was similarly formatted for that reason, and both Anthem Of The Sun and Paranoid came out on the Warner Brothers label in the US, lending credibility to the idea.

Artist:    Patti Smith
Title:    Break It Up
Source:    LP: Horses
Writer(s):    Smith/Verlaine
Label:    Arista
Year:    1975
    In spring of 1975 Patti Smith and her band shared a two-month residency at New York's CBGB club with the band Television, led by Tom Verlaine. Around that same time Clive Davis was looking for acts to sign to his new record label, Arista, and he offered Smith a record deal, with work to begin on her debut LP that summer. After early plans to record the album in Florida with producer Tom Dowd fell through, the sessions began in August at New York's Electric Ladyland studios, with the Velvet Underground's John Cale serving as producer. Most of the material on the album was self-penned, including Break It Up, a collaboration between Smith and Verlaine, who also plays guitar on the track. The rest of Smith's band was made up of Jay Dee Daugherty on drums, Lenny Kaye on lead guitar, Ivan Kr├íl on bass and Richard Sohl on piano.

Artist:    Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Title:    Sledgehammer
Source:    LP: Not Fragile
Writer(s):    Randy Bachman
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1974
    After ten years as lead guitarist for the Guess Who, Randy Bachman returned to his native Winnipeg and recruited his brother Robbie (on drums) to form a new band called Brave Belt with former Guess Who vocalist Chad Allan. On their first LP Randy Bachman played both lead guitar and bass parts, but soon added C.F. "Fred" Turner as bassist for live appearances. Their second LP saw Allan taking on keyboard duties as well as lead vocals, with Turner providing lead vocals on two of the tracks. Allan left the group shortly after the album was released and another Bachman brother Tim, was added to the group for their next tour. Neither album sold well, and Brave Belt was dropped from the Reprise Records roster while recording a third LP. By the time the band found a label willing to release the album (Mercury) they had changed their name to Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Their second album for Mercury gave the group their first two top 40 hits, Let It Ride and Takin' Care Of Business. For their third Mercury LP, Not Fragile, Tim Bachman was replaced by Blair Thornton as second lead guitarist, and the interplay between the two is in display on songs like Sledgehammer, which opens the second side of the LP. This lineup of the band remained intact until 1977, when Randy Bachman left to work on a solo project. They have since reunited multiple times in various configurations.
Artist:    James Gang
Title:    The Devil Is Singing Our Song
Source:    CD: Bang
Writer(s):    Bolin/Tesar
Label:    Atco
Year:    1973
    The James Gang, following the departure of guitarist/vocalist Joe Walsh, could have just called it quits right then and there. Instead, however, bassist Dale Peters and drummer Jim Fox chose to instead add two new members, Canadians Roy Kenner (vocals) and Dominic Troiano (guitar), and carry on in the same vein as they had been. After a pair of albums that failed to catch on, however, Troiano accepted an offer to replace Randy Bachman in the Guess Who. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the James Gang, however, as the addition of former Zephyr guitarist Tommy Bolin revitalized the band for a time. Bolin had a hand in writing much of the material on the band's next LP, James Gang Bang, including The Devil Is Singing Our Song. With a strong signature riff and a gritty guitar solo, the song has a feel to it that presages Bolin's later solo work on his albums Private Eyes and Teaser.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Smoke On The Water (edited live version)
Source:    Mono 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1972
    Based on what is quite possibly the most recognizable riff in the history of rock, Smoke On The Water was released in December of 1972 on Deep Purple's Machine Head album. The song became a huge hit the following year when a live version of the tune appeared on the album Made In Japan. For the single release, Warner Brothers chose to pair up edited versions of both the live and studio renditions of the tune on either side of a 45 RPM record. 

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Can't You Hear Me Knocking
Source:    LP: Sticky Fingers
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Rolling Stones
Year:    1971
    Finally free of the various restrictions imposed on them by their label (British Decca), the Rolling Stones got to work on their first LP for their own record label in early 1970. One of the most popular tracks on the album is Can't You Hear Me Knocking. The song was originally meant to run a shade under three minutes in length, but at the end of the song guitarist Mick Taylor began riffing on a lick that turned into a four and a half minute long jam session. When the recording was played back the band liked it so much they decided to include all seven-plus minutes on the album Sticky Fingers, which was finally released in April of 1971.

Artist:    David Bowie
Title:    All The Madmen
Source:    CD: The Man Who Sold The World
Writer(s):    David Bowie
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1970
    Although most critics agree that the so-called "glitter era" of rock music originated with David Bowie's 1972 LP The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, a significant minority argue that it really began with Bowie's third album, The Man Who Sold The World, released in 1970 in the US and in 1971 in the UK. They point out that World was the first Bowie real rock album (the previous two being much more folk oriented), and cite songs such as All The Madmen, as well as the album's title cut, as the prototype for Spiders From Mars. All The Madmen itself is one of several songs on the album that deal with the subject of insanity, taking the view that an insane asylum may in fact be the sanest place to be in modern times. Whenever I hear the song I think of the film One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, which makes a similar statement.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    We Used To Know
Source:    CD: Stand Up
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1969
    The first of many personnel changes for Jethro Tull came with the departure of guitarist Mick Abrahams in late 1968. His replacement was Tony Iommi from the band Earth, who joined just in time to make an appearance miming the guitar parts to A Song For Jeffrey on the Rolling Stones' Rock And Roll Circus, a TV special slated for a December airing on British TV, but pulled from the schedule at the last minute by the Stones themselves, who were not satisfied with their own performances on the show. The following month Iommi went back to Earth (who eventually changed their name to Black Sabbath) and Jethro Tull found a new guitarist, Martin Barre, in time to begin work on their second LP, Stand Up. Barre's guitar work is featured prominently on several tracks on Stand Up, including We Used To Know, a song that starts quietly and slowly builds to a wah-wah pedal dominated instrumental finale.

Artist:    Jeff Beck
Title:    Morning Dew
Source:    LP: Truth
Writer(s):    Bonnie Dobson
Label:    Epic
Year:    1968
    With an all-star lineup that included vocalist Rod Stewart, bassist Ronnie Wood and drummer Micky Waller, Jeff Beck's debut solo album, Truth, is considered one of the earliest examples of what would come to be called heavy metal rock. This can be heard on tracks like Bonnie Dobson's Morning Dew, which by 1968 was already becoming well-known as a staple of the Grateful Dead's setlist as well as being a minor hit single for Tim Rose (particularly in the UK) in early 1967.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    The End
Source:    CD: The Best Of The Doors (originally released on LP: The Doors)
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Prior to recording their first album the Doors' honed their craft at various Sunset Strip clubs, working up live versions of the songs they would soon record, including their show-stopper, The End. Originally written as a breakup song by singer/lyricist Jim Morrison, The End runs nearly twelve minutes and includes a controversial spoken "Oedipus section". My own take on the famous "blue bus" line is that Morrison, being a military brat, was probably familiar with the blue shuttle buses used on military bases for a variety of purposes, including taking kids to school, and simply incorporated his experiences with them into his lyrics.  The End got its greatest exposure in 1979, when Oliver Stone used it in his film Apocalypse Now.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2121 (starts 5/17/21)

    This week, in our second hour, we present another full LP side; this time it's The Twain Shall Meet, the second album by Eric Burdon And The Animals, followed by a long set of tracks from 1967. Meanwhile, back in the first hour we have artists' sets from Love and the Monkees, among other things.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Sunny Afternoon
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1966
    My family got our first real stereo in late summer of 1966, just in time for me to catch the Kinks' Sunny Afternoon at the peak of its popularity. My school had just gone into split sessions and all my classes were over by one o'clock, which gave me the chance to explore the world of top 40 radio through decent speakers for a couple hours every day without the rest of the family telling me to turn it down (or off). Unfortunately, Denver's first FM rock station was still a few months off, so the decent speakers were handicapped by being fed an AM radio signal.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    D.C.B.A.-25
Source:    CD: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s):    Paul Kantner
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1967
    One of the first songs written by Paul Kantner without a collaborator was the highly listenable D.C.B.A.-25 from Surrealistic Pillow. Kantner said later that the title simply referred to the basic chord structure of the song, which is built on a two chord verse (D and C) and a two chord bridge (B and A). That actually fits, but what about the 25 part? [insert enigmatic smile here].

Artist:    Them
Title:    Market Place
Source:    LP: Time Out! Time In! For Them
Writer(s):    Lane/Pulley
Label:    Tower
Year:    1968
    I've often mentioned the lost WEOS vinyl archives that were found in a storage room on the Hobart & William Smith Colleges campus a few years ago. Of the thousands of albums we found I ended up keeping about 200. Of those nearly half were unusable, mostly due to their condition. The remainder I divided into three piles. The largest of these piles were the marginal albums that may have one or two songs that might be worked into the show once in a while. The next pile was mostly duplicates of albums I already had on CD, although there were a few cases of stereo albums I had mono copies of, or vice versa. Only a handful of albums made the third pile, but these were the real gems of the bunch: genuine relics of the psychedelic era in playable condition that I didn't already have. Of these, two of the most valuable finds (for my purposes at any rate) were the two post-Van Morrison Them albums released by Tower Records in 1968 that feature new vocalist Kenny McDowell. Market Place is from the second of these, Time Out! Time In! For Them.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Cry Baby Cry
Source:    CD: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone
Year:    1968
    Unlike many of the songs on The Beatles (white album), Cry Baby Cry features the entire band playing on the recording. After a full day of rehearsal, recording commenced on July 16, 1968, with John Lennon's guitar and piano, Paul McCartney's bass and Ringo Starr's drum tracks all being laid down on the first day. The remaining overdubs, including most of the vocals and George Harrison's guitar work (played on a Les Paul borrowed from Eric Clapton) were added a couple of days later. At the end of the track, McCartney can be heard singing a short piece known as Can You Take Me Back, accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar in a snippet taken from a solo session the following September.

Artist:    Fifty Foot Hose
Title:    The Things That Concern You
Source:    LP: Cauldron
Writer(s):    L. Evans
Label:    Limelight
Year:    1968
    Fifty Foot Hose was undoubtably the most avant-garde band in San Francisco to get a record contract. Possibly inspired by the Beach Boys' hit Good Vibrations (or maybe Denver's Lothar And The Hand People) the band was led by Cork Marcheschi, who used a theramin extensively, along with other self-made electronic instruments. The group also featured the husband and wife team of David and Nancy Blossom, both of which left Fifty Foot Hose after the band's first and only LP to become cast members for the San Francisco production of the musical Hair (Nancy in fact landing the role of female lead Sheila).

Artist:     Gurus
Title:     Shelly In Camp
Source:     European import CD: Shape Of Things To Come (originally released in US on LP: Wild In The Streets soundtrack)
Writer:     Les Baxter
Label:     Captain High (original US label:Tower)
Year:     1968
     Les Baxter is one of those names that sounds vaguely familiar to anyone who was alive in the 50s and 60s, but doesn't seem to be associated with anything in particular. That might be because Baxter was the guy that movie producers went to when they needed something done at the last minute. Such is the case with the short instrumental Shelly In Camp (referring the actress Shelly Winters, whose character ends up in an internment camp in the movie Wild In The Streets), a strange little piece with lots of sitar that closes out side one of the film's soundtrack LP.  I seem to recall seeing some Les Baxter albums at a small town radio station I worked at in the early 70s that alternated between country, soft pop and lounge lizard records; Baxter's were in the third pile. "The Gurus", of course, was an entirely fictional name made up by the producers of the Wild In The Streets soundtrack album. I guess it was cheaper than hiring a real band.
Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Pleasant Valley Sunday
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Goffin/King
Label:    Colgems
Year:    1967
    After making it a point to play their own instruments on their third LP, Headquarters, the Monkees decided to once again use studio musicians for their next album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD. The difference was that this time the studio musicians would be recording under the supervision of the Monkees themselves rather than Don Kirschner and the array of producers he had lined up for the first two Monkees LPs. The result was an album that many critics consider the group's best effort. The only single released from the album was Pleasant Valley Sunday, a song penned by the husband and wife team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King, and backed by the band's remake of the Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart song Words, which had been recorded the previous year by the Leaves. Although both songs ended up making the charts, it was Pleasant Valley Sunday that got the most airplay and is considered by many to be Monkees' single best song.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Words
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Boyce/Hart
Label:    Colgems
Year:    1967
    The Monkees made a video of the Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart song Words that shows each member in the role that they were best at as musicians: Mickey Dolenz on lead vocals, Peter Tork on guitar, Michael Nesmith on bass and Davy Jones on drums. This was not the way they were usually portrayed on their TV show, however. Neither was it the configuration on the recording itself, which had Nesmith on guitar, Tork on Hammond organ, producer Chip Douglas on bass and studio ace Eddie Hoh on drums. The song appeared on the album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD as well as being released as the B side of Pleasant Valley Sunday. Even as a B side, the song was a legitimate hit, peaking at #11 in 1967.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Supplicio/Can You Dig It
Source:    LP: Head
Writer(s):    Peter Tork
Label:    Colgems
Year:    1968
    Peter Tork only received two solo writing credits for Monkees recordings. The first, and most familiar, was For Pete's Sake, which was released on the Headquarters album in 1967 and used as the closing theme for the second season of their TV series. The second Tork solo piece was the more experimental Can You Dig It used in the movie Head and included on the 1968 movie soundtrack album. Not long after Head was completed, Tork left the group, not to return until the 1980s, when MTV ran a Monkees TV series marathon, introducing the band to a whole new generation and prompting a reunion tour and album.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Heart Of Stone
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richard
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1964
    Heart Of Stone, released in December of 1964, was the first Rollong Stones song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to become a top 20 hit in the US. Although never released as a single in the band's native UK, it was a top 10 hit in Australia and the Netherlands, and made it to the #24 spot in France.

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

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    LP: Are You Experienced?
Writer(s):    Billy Roberts
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    The first track recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience was Hey Joe, a song that Hendrix had seen Tim Rose perform in Greenwich Village. It was released as a single in the UK in late 1966 and went all the way to the # 3 spot on the British top 40. Hendrix's version is a bit heavier than Rose's and leaves off the first verse ("where you going with that money in your hand") entirely. Although Rose always claimed that Hey Joe was a traditional folk song, the song was actually copyrighted in 1962 by California folk singer Billy Roberts. By the time Hendrix recorded Hey Joe several American bands had recorded a fast version of the song, with the Leaves hitting the US top 40 with it in early 1966.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    People Are Strange
Source:    CD: The Best Of The Doors (originally released on LP: Strange Days and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    The first single from the second Doors album was People Are Strange. The song quickly dispelled any notion that the Doors might be one-hit wonders and helped establish the band as an international act as opposed to just another band from L.A. The album itself, Strange Days, was a turning point for Elektra Records as well, as it shifted the label's promotional efforts away from their original rock band, Love, to the Doors, who ironically had been recommended to the label by Love's leader, Arthur Lee.

Artist:    Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title:    Gloomy
Source:    LP: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Writer(s):    John Fogerty
Label:    Fantasy
Year:    1968
    If there is any one song that reflects the fact that the first Creedence Clearwater Revival album was, in fact, a recording made in San Francisco in 1968, it's Gloomy, from that same album. The song starts off with a "Spoonful" kind of vibe, but soon picks up the tempo and, thanks to some reverse-recorded guitar, becomes almost psychedelic by the end of the track. Songwriter John Fogerty would end up taking the band in an entirely different direction on subsequent albums, but it is interesting to hear them as part of the "San Francisco Sound" in their early days.

Artist:     Love
Title:     Softly To Me
Source:     Australian import CD: Comes In Colours (originally released on LP: Love)
Writer:     Bryan MacLean
Label:     Raven (original label: Elektra)
Year:     1966
     Before the signing of Love in 1966, Elektra was a folk and ethnic music label whose closest thing to a rock band was the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, which was at that time very much into creating as authentic Chicago blues sound as possible for a band of mostly white boys from New York. Love, on the other hand, was a bona-fide rock band that was packing the clubs on the Sunset Strip nightly. To underscore the significance of the signing, Elektra started a whole new numbering series for Love's debut album. Bryan McLean's role as a songwriter in Love was similar to George Harrison's as a Beatle. He didn't have many songs on any particular album, but those songs were often among the best tracks on the album. The first of these was Softly To Me from the band's debut LP. 

Artist:    Love
Title:    7&7 Is
Source:    German import CD: Da Capo
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1966
    The word "seven" does not appear anywhere in the song 7&7 Is. In fact, I have no idea where Arthur Lee got that title from. Nonetheless, the song is among the most intense tracks to ever make the top 40. 7&7 Is starts off with power chords played over a constant drum roll, with cymbals crashing over equally manic semi-spoken lyrics. The song builds up to an explosive climax: an atomic bomb blast (from the Elektra sound effects library) followed by a slow post-apocalyptic instrumental that quickly fades away.

Artist:    Love
Title:    The Everlasting First
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Blue Thumb
Year:    1970
    After disbanding the original Love in 1968, Arthur Lee soon resurfaced with a new version of the band, recording one more LP for Elektra, as well as a double LP for the fledgling Blue Thumb label. Yet another lineup made its debut on the 1970 album False Start, the final Love album for Blue Thumb. The album features Lee's old friend Jimi Hendrix as co-arranger and lead guitarist on the album's opening track, a tune called The Everlasting First. The track was likely put together from a series of jams that Lee and Hendrix recorded at Island Records' London studios in March of 1970.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Heroes And Villains (alternate take)
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on CD: Smiley Smile/Wild Honey)
Writer(s):    Wilson/Parks
Label:    Rhino
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1995
    The last major Beach Boys hit of the 1960s was Heroes And Villains, released as a follow-up to Good Vibrations in early 1967. The song was intended to be part of the Smile album, but ended up being released as a single in an entirely different form than Brian Wilson originally intended. Eventually the entire Smile project was canned, and a considerably less sophisticated album called Smiley Smile was released in its place. Nearly 30 years later Smiley Smile and its follow-up album, Wild Honey, were released on compact disc as a set.  One of the bonus tracks in that set was this alternate version of Heroes And Villains, which was also included in the box set Good Vibrations-Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys. Finally, in 2004, Brian Wilson's Smile, featuring all new stereo recordings, was released, with a nearly identical arrangement of Heroes And Villains to the one heard here.

Artist:    Kenny And The Kasuals
Title:    Journey To Tyme
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Smith/Lee
Label:    Rhino (original labels: Mark Ltd. and United Artists)
Year:    1966
    One of the most popular Dallas area bands in the mid-1960s was Kenny and the Kasuals. Formed in 1962, the band was best known for playing high school dances and such. They got their shot at stardom in 1966 when they recorded Journey To Tyme for Mark Ltd. Productions. The song was picked up later in the year for national distribution by United Artists and made it all the way to the # 1 spot in Buffalo, NY and Pittsburgh, Pa. Despite this success the band was unable to get a long-term contract with United Artists (thanks in part to problems with their own manager) and soon disbanded.

Artist:    Eric Burdon And The Animals
Title:    The Twain Shall Meet (side one)
Source:    LP: The Twain Shall Meet
Writer(s):    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    Eric Burdon And The Animals were among the many acts that appeared at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967. Although the band did make an impression at the festival, the festival itself made an even bigger impression upon the band. This was demonstrated in the best way possible with the late 1967 release of the band's next single, Monterey, which name-checked many of the other artists on the scene. The group followed that single up with their second LP, The Twain Shall Meet, in 1968. Each side of the LP was a continuous track, with each song fading into the one following it. The album begins with a short sitar introduction with spoken vocals by Burdon that leads into the stereo version of Monterrey, which is missing the first few notes from the single version. As Monterey fades out, it is replaced by the contemplative Just The Thought, sung by bassist Danny McCulloch. Studio effects highlight the blues-based Closer To The Truth, which fades into No Self Pity. Songwriting credits for all of the above are given to the entire group, but the final track on side one, Orange And Red Beams, was both written and sung my McCulloch.

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

Artist:    Move
Title:    (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Roy Wood
Label:    A&M
Year:    1967
    The most successful British band of the psychedelic era not to have a US hit was the Move, a band that featured Roy Wood and (later) Jeff Lynne, among other notables. The band was already well established in the UK by 1967, when their single Flowers In The Rain was picked to be the first record played on the new BBC Radio One. The B side of that record was the equally-catchy (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree. Both songs were written by Wood, although he only sang lead vocals on the B side.

Artist:    Ballroom
Title:    Baby, Please Don't Go
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Joe Williams
Label:    Rhino (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
    This rather unusual arrangement of Joe Williams classic Baby, Please Don't Go was the creation of producer/vocalist Curt Boettcher. Boettcher had previously worked with the Association, co-writing their first hit Along Comes Mary. While working on the Ballroom project for Our Productions in 1966 he came to the attention of Brian Wilson and Gary Usher. Usher was so impressed with Boettcher's creativity in the studio that he convinced his own bosses at Columbia Records to buy out Boettcher's contract from Our Productions. As a result, much of Boettcher's Ballroom project became part of Usher's own Sagittarius project, with only one single released under the Ballroom name. Boettcher turned out to be so prolific that it was sometimes said that the giant "CBS" logo on the side of the building stood for Curt Boettcher's Studios.

Artist:      "Chocolate Watchband"
Title:     Expo 2000
Source:      CD: No Way Out
Writer(s):    Richie Podolor
Label:     Sundazed (original label: Tower)           
Year:     1967
     If you ignore the fact that Expo 2000, from the first Chocolate Watchband album, No Way Out, is performed by uncredited studio musicians (note the quotation marks) and thus is a complete misrepresentation, it's really a pretty decent instrumental. Too bad we'll never know who actually performed it. We do know, however, that it was written by Richard Podolor, who owned the studio where the recording was made.

Artist:    H.P. Lovecraft
Title:    The White Ship
Source:    CD: Two Classic Albums From H.P. Lovecraft (originally released on LP: H.P. Lovecraft II)
Writer(s):    Edwards/Michaels/Cavallari
Label:    Collector's Choice/Universal Music Special Products (original label: Philips)
Year:    1967
    Fans of Chicago's premier psychedelic band, H.P. Lovecraft, generally agree that the high point of the band's 1967 debut LP is The White Ship, which opens the second side of the original LP. The basic song was composed by George Edwards, who came up with it between sessions for other tracks on the album in about 15 minutes. Once the rest of the band got ahold of it, the track was, in the words of co-founder Dave Michaels, "instantly moulded into a new entity", adding that "By itself, the baritone melody and chords are merely a bare-bones beginning. Adding the harmonies, the feedback effects on lead guitar, and conceiving the 'bolero' rhythm all came into being in a group setting." Accordingly, Edwards insisted on sharing songwriting credit with both Michaels and lead guitarist Tony Cavallari. Although the song was also released, in edited form, as a single, it is the six-and-a-half minute long LP version of The White Ship that got a considerable amount of airplay on underground FM radio stations when it was released in 1967.

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

Artist:    Paul Revere and the Raiders
Title:    Hungry
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Mann/Weil
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    1966 was an incredibly successful year for Paul Revere and the Raiders. In addition to starting a gig as the host band for Dick Clark's new afternoon TV show, Where The Action Is, the band managed to crank out three consecutive top 10 singles. The second of these was Hungry, written by Brill building regulars Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

Artist:    Count Five
Title:    The Morning After
Source:    Mono LP: Psychotic Reaction
Writer(s):    John Byrne
Label:    Bicycle/Concord (original label: Double Shot)
Year:    1966
    Following the success of the single Psychotic Reaction, San Jose, Calfornia's Count Five headed for Los Angeles to record an entire album's worth of material. With the exception of two Who covers, all the songs on the album (also called Psychotic Reaction) were written or co-written by John Byrne, the Irish-born rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist for the band. They were also quite short. The Morning After, for instance, runs less than two minutes total.