Sunday, May 9, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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