Sunday, June 13, 2021

    So, due to a major equipment malfunction at the WHWS studios, this week we are running shows recorded a while back for use in just such an emergency. This one, recorded in May of 2018, is number B22. That doesn't mean, however, that it's filled with second rate tunes. In fact, we have artists' sets from Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys, among other treats. And, appropriate for the air date, it begins with a hot summer song from the Lovin' Spoonful.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Summer In The City
Source:    LP: Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful
Writer(s):    Sebastian/Sebastian/Boone
Label:    Sundazed/Kama Sutra
Year:    1966
    The Lovin' Spoonful changed gears completely for what would become their biggest hit of 1966: Summer In The City. Inspired by a poem by John Sebastian's brother, the song was recorded for the album Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful. That album was an attempt by the band to deliberately record in a variety of styles; in the case of Summer In The City, it was a rare foray into psychedelic rock for the band. Not coincidentally, Summer In The City is also my favorite Lovin' Spoonful song.

Artist:    Huns
Title:    I Gotta Move
Source:    Mono CD: The Huns Conquer Ithaca, NY 1966
Writer(s):    Rich La Bonte
Label:    Jargon
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2017
    In 1965, most bands in the upstate New York area were inspired mainly by the Beatles, and made their living doing cover songs of various British Invasion bands, particularly those with hits on the charts. And then along came the Huns, a group formed in Ithaca, NY by longtime schoolmates Frank Van Nostrand (bass) and John Sweeney (organ). Both Sweeney and Van Nostrand favored the harder-edged British Invasion bands like the Rolling Stones and the Kinks, and set about finding like-minded individuals on the Ithaca College campus. The first member recruited for the new band was vocalist Rich La Bonte, who brought a Mick Jagger like swagger and his own material, including I Gotta Move. Filling out the band were Buz Warmkessel and drummer Dick Headley. The Huns, who by then had replaced Headley with Steve Dworetz and added rhythm guitarist Keith Ginsberg, made their only studio recordings on March 10, 1966 at Ithaca College's experimental TV studios in downtown Ithaca. Less than three months later the Huns were history, thanks in large part to Van Nostrand and Sweeney being asked by the college dean to pursue their academic careers elsewhere.
Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    In The Morning
Source:    LP: Early Flight
Writer(s):    Jorma Kaukonen
Label:    Grunt
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1974
    One of the earliest and best collections of previously unreleased material from a major rock band was the Jefferson Airplane's Early Flight LP, released in 1974. Among the rarities on the LP is In The Morning, a blues jam recorded in late 1966 with Jorma Kaukonen on vocals and lead guitar, Jack Casady on bass, Spencer Dryden on drums, and guest musicians Jerry Garcia (guitar) and John Paul Hammond (harmonica). The track's long running time (nearly six and a half minutes) precluded it from being included on the Surrealistic Pillow album, despite the obvious quality of the performance.  In The Morning is now available as a bonus track on the CD version of Surrealistic Pillow.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Rock And Roll Woman
Source:    LP: Retrospective (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again and as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atco
Year:    1967
    Buffalo Springfield did not sell huge numbers of records (except for the single For What It's Worth). Nor did they pack in the crowds. As a matter of fact, when they played the club across the street from where Love was playing, they barely had any audience at all. Artistically, though, it's a whole 'nother story. During their brief existence Buffalo Springfield launched the careers of no less than four major artists: Neil Young, Richie Furay, Jim Messina and Stephen Stills. They also recorded more than their share of tracks that have held up better than most of what else was being recorded at the time. Case in point: Rock and Roll Woman, a Stephen Stills tune that still sounds fresh well over 40 years after it was recorded.

Artist:    Chambers Brothers
Title:    Time Has Come Today
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: The Time Has Come)
Writer(s):    Joe and Willie Chambers
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    One of the quintessential songs of the psychedelic era is the Chambers Brothers' classic Time Has Come Today. The song was originally recorded and issued as a single in 1966. The more familiar version heard here, however, was recorded in 1967 for the album The Time Has Come. The LP version of the song runs about eleven minutes, way too long for a 45 RPM record, so before releasing the song as a single for the second time, engineers at Columbia cut the song down to around 3 minutes. The edits proved so jarring that the record was recalled and a re-edited version, clocking in at 4:57 became the third and final single version of the song, hitting the charts in 1968.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    Baby, I Want You
Source:    CD: Kaleidoscopic Compendium (originally released on LP: Electric Comic Book)
Writer:    Gilbert/Theilhelm
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1967
    Although not as well-known as their debut LP, Psychedelic Lollipop, the Blues Magoos' Electric Comic Book is a worthy successor to that early psychedelic masterpiece. Handicapped by a lack of hit singles, the album floundered on the charts, despite the presence of songs like Baby, I Want You, one of many original tunes on the LP.

Artist:     Music Machine
Title:     Astrologically Incompatible
Source:     Mono British import CD: My Mind Goes High (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Sean Bonniwell
Label:     Warner Strategic Marketing (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:     1967
     While touring extensively in 1967 the Music Machine continued to take every possible opportunity to record new material in the studio, while at the same time working to change record labels. The first single to be issued on the Warner Brothers label was Bottom Of The Soul, released in late 1967. The B side of that record was Astrologically Incompatible, one of the first rock songs to deal with astrological themes, albeit in a slightly tongue-in-cheek manner.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Like A Rolling Stone
Source:    CD: Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Highway 61 Revisited)
Writer:    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:    Bob Dylan
Title:    On The Road Again
Source:    Mono LP: Bringing It All Back Home
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Sundazed/Columbia
Year:    1965
    On January 14, 1965, Bob Dylan made his first recordings with an electric band at Columbia Records' Studio B. The following day, using mostly the same musicians, he recorded On The Road Again. The song, basically a declaration of indepence from his role as a folk singer, contains the lines "You ask why I don't live here. Honey, how come you don't move?".

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Subterranean Homesick Blues
Source:    CD: Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Bringing It All Back Home)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    1965 was the year Bob Dylan went electric, and got his first top 40 hit, Subterranean Homesick Blues, in the process. Although the song, which also led off his Bringing It All Back Home album, stalled out in the lower 30s, it did pave the way for electrified cover versions of Dylan songs by the Byrds and Turtles and Dylan's own Like A Rolling Stone, which would revolutionize top 40 radio. A line from the song itself, "you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows", became the inspiration for a radical offshoot of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) that called itself the Weathermen (later the Weather Underground).

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience II
Title:    Valleys Of Neptune
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 2010
    Even before the breakup of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1969, Hendrix was starting to work with other musicians, including keyboardist Steve Winwood and flautist/saxophonist Chris Wood from Traffic, bassist Jack Casidy from Jefferson Airplane and Electric Flag drummer Buddy Miles. Still, he kept showing a tendency to return to the power trio configuration, first with Band of Gypsys, with Miles and bassist Billy Cox and, in 1970, a new trio that was sometimes billed as the Jimi Hendrix Experience. This trio, featuring Cox along with original Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell (with additional percussion added by Jumo Sultan), recorded extensively in the months leading up to Hendrix's death on September 18th, leaving behind hours of tapes in various stages of completion. Among those recordings was a piece called Valleys Of Neptune that was finally released, both as a single and as the title track of a new CD, in 2010.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Long Hot Summer Night
Source:    CD: Electric Ladyland
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    When Chas Chandler first discovered Jimi Hendrix playing at a club in New York's Greenwich Village in 1966, he knew that he had found one seriously talented guitarist. Within two years Hendrix would prove to be an outstanding songwriter, vocalist and producer as well. This was fortunate for Hendrix, as Chandler would part company with Hendrix during the making of the Electric Ladyland album, leaving Hendrix as sole producer. Chandler's main issue was the slow pace Hendrix maintained in the studio, often reworking songs while the tape was rolling, recording multiple takes until he got exactly what he wanted. Adding to the general level of chaos was Hendrix's propensity for inviting just about anyone he felt like to join him in the studio. Among all these extra people were some of the best musicians around, including keyboardist Al Kooper, whose work can be heard on Long Hot Summer Night.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Cat Talking To Me
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 2010
    The 1967 recording of Cat Talking To Me sat on the shelf for over thirty years before being released as the B side to the Valleys Of Neptune single in 2010. The song is notable for two reasons. The first is rather obvious in that it features a rare lead vocal by drummer Mitch Mitchell. The second thing that makes the song stand out from other Experience recordings is a bit more subtle. Cat Talking To Me is musically much more consistent with Hendrix's later tracks, especially those heard on various posthumous releases, than anything else he was working on in 1967.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    The Dead Man's Dream
Source:    LP: Home
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    A&M
Year:    1970
    Before there was Procol Harum, there was the Paramounts. In fact, after three albums, Procol Harum actually was the Paramounts, although they continued to use the name Procol Harum. The Paramounts had gone through countless personnel changes before disbanding in 1967, when pianist Gary Brooker and dedicated lyricist Keith Reid left to form Procol Harum with organist Matthew Fisher. Other members at the time included guitarist Robin Trower, bassist Chris Copping and drummer B.J. Wilson, all of which would be members of Procol Harum on their fourth LP, Home. Working with producer Chris Thomas, the album, including songs like The Dead Man's Dream, was completed at Abbey Road Studios in early 1970 and released in June of that year.  
Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Sisyphus-part three
Source:    British import CD: Ummagumma
Writer(s):    Richard Wright
Label:    EMI (original label: Harvest)
Year:    1969
    Ummagumma was Pink Floyd's first double-LP, released in 1969. Like Cream's Wheels Of Fire, which had been released the previous year, Ummagumma consisted of one studio LP and one live LP, although the order was the opposite of Cream's. Keyboardist Richard Wright actually came up with the idea of dividing the studio disc into four sections, with each band member responsible for coming up with the material for a section. Wright's own piece was a four-part composition called Sisyphus, the third part of which is heard here.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I Am The Walrus
Source:    Stereo British import 45 RPM EP: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone
Year:    1967
    Common practice in the UK in the 1960s was to avoid duplication between single releases and album tracks. This led to a unique situation for the Beatles and their British label, EMI/Parlophone, in December of 1967. The band had self-produced a new telefilm to be shown on BBC-TV called Magical Mystery Tour and wanted to make the songs from the film available to the record-buying public in time for Christmas. The problem was that there were only six songs in the one-hour telefilm, not nearly enough to fill an entire album. The solution was to release the songs on a pair of Extended Play 45 RPM records, along with several pages of song lyrics, illustrations and stills from the film itself. My own introduction to Magical Mystery Tour was a friend's German copy of the EPs, and when years later I had the opportunity to pick up a copy of the original UK version, I of course couldn't resist. That copy got totalled in a flood a few years back, but in 2012 I was finally able to locate another copy of the EP set, which is the source of this week's airing of the ultimate British psychedelic recording, I Am The Walrus. This British EP version has a slightly longer intro than the more familiar US LP/CD release.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    I Ain't Done Wrong
Source:    Mono Australian import CD: Over, Under, Sideways, Down (originally released in US on LP: For Your Love)
Writer(s):    Keith Relf
Label:    Epic
Year:    1965
    I Ain't Done Wrong is the only track on the Yardbirds' US debut album For Your Love that was actually written by a member of the Yardbirds. To help understand how something like this might come about I have a short history lesson for you. Record albums have been around nearly as long as recorded music itself, albeit in a form that would be pretty much unrecognizable to modern listeners. The first record albums were collections of several 78 RPM discs in paper sleeves bound between hard covers, similar to photo albums (which is where the name came from). By the end of the 1940s the most popular albums featured single artists such as Frank Sinatra or the Benny Goodman Orchestra. Classical music, however, suffered from this format, since a typical 10" 78 RPM record could hold only about three and a half minutes of music per side. Even using 12" discs that could hold up to seven minutes' worth of music meant breaking up longer pieces into segments, which pretty much ruined the listening experience. Around 1948 or so, Columbia Records (US), the second largest record label in the world, unveiled the long play (LP) record, which could hold about 20 minutes per side with far superior sound quality to the 78s of the day. The format was immediately embraced by classical music artists and listeners alike. It wasn't long before serious jazz artists began to take advantage of the format as well. Popular music, however, was still very much oriented toward single songs, known then as the Hit Parade. This remained the case throughout the first wave of rock 'n' roll in the 1950s, with the new 45 RPM format serving as a direct replacement for 78s. LPs, being more expensive, were targeted to a more affluent audience than 45s were. The few LPs that did appear by popular artists often contained one or two of that artist's hit singles (and B sides), along with several "filler" tracks that were usually covers of songs made popular by other artists. In 1963, however, something interesting happened. An album called With The Beatles was released in the UK. What made this album unique is that it did not include any of the band's hit singles, instead featuring 14 newly recorded tracks. Such was the popularity of the Fab Four that their fans bought enough copies of With The Beatles to make it a hit record in its own right. This led to other British bands following a similar pattern of mutual exclusivity between album and single tracks. One of these bands was the Yardbirds, who had released a pair of singles in 1964. None of these songs had appeared on an album in the UK (the band, however, had released an LP called Five Live Yardbirds that had failed to chart). Then, in 1965, they hit it big with the international hit single For Your Love, which prompted their US label, Epic, to released a Yardbirds LP of the same name. There was, however, one small problem. Guitarist Eric Clapton had just quit the Yardbirds, complaining of the band's move toward more commercial material (such as For Your Love, a song which he had basically recorded under protest); his replacement, Jeff Beck, had only been with the band long enough to record three songs, none of which had yet been released. Epic, however, wanted to get a Yardbirds LP out while For Your Love was still hot, and ended up using all three Beck tracks, as well as the band's previously released British singles (plus two songs of uncertain origins), on the album. Two of the three Beck recordings were blues covers, making the third song, Keith Relf's I Ain't Done Wrong, the only original tune on the album (For Your Love itself being provided by an outside songwriter, Graham Gouldman).Since most of the tracks on the LP were already available in the UK, For Your Love was never issued there; the three Beck tracks did appear later that year, however, on a new EP called Five Yardbirds.
Artist:    Frantics
Title:    Human Monkey
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Miller/Stevenson
Label:    Rhino (original label: Action)
Year:    1966
    The Frantics were a popular cover band in Tacoma, Washington in the early 60s. Guitarist Jerry Miller, however, had greater ambitions and eventually relocated to San Francisco, taking the band's name and two of its members, keyboardist Chuck "Steaks" Schoning and drummer Don Stevenson, with him. After recruiting bassist Bob Mosely the Frantics cut their only single, an early Motown-style dance number called the Human Monkey, in 1966. The group would soon shed Schoning and pick up two new members, changing their name to Moby Grape in the process.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Thoughts And Words
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    Chris Hillman
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    In addition to recording the most commercially successful Dylan cover songs, the Byrds had a wealth of original material over the course of several albums. On their first album, these came primarily from guitarists Gene Clark and Jim (now Roger) McGuinn, with David Crosby emerging as the group's third songwriter on the band's second album. After Clark's departure, bassist Chris Hillman began writing as well, and had three credits as solo songwriter on the group's fourth LP, Younger Than Yesterday. Hillman credits McGuinn, however, for coming up with the distinctive reverse-guitar break midway through Thoughts And Words.

Artist:        Spirit
Title:        Topanga Windows
Source:    CD: Spirit
Writer:        Jay Ferguson
Label:        Ode/Epic/Legacy
Year:        1968
        Ed Cassidy had already made a name for himself on the L.A. jazz scene when he married Bernice Pearl, whose 15-year-old son Randy was already getting attention as a guitarist. In 1966, the entire family moved to New York for the summer, where Randy joined a band called Jimmy James And The Blue Flames and was given the stage name Randy California by the band's leader, Jimi Hendrix. One night, after a gig, bassist Chas Chandler of the Animals convinced Hendrix to move to London. Randy wanted to go, but his parents insisted that he return to California and finish high school. That fall, Cassidy began jamming with Randy and his friends, leading to the formation of a band initially known as Spirits Rebellious (but soon shortened to Spirit), one of the first rock bands to heavily incorporate jazz elements in their music. The majority of the songs on the group's self-title first album were written by lead vocalist Jay Ferguson, who would eventually leave the group to co-found Jo Jo Gunne and in recent years has been a soundtrack composer for movies and TV shows, including the theme song of the US TV show The Office. Randy California, tragically, drowned at the age of 45 rescuing his own 12-year-old son from a rip current near Molokai, Hawaii.

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    Uncle Wiggly's Airship
Source:    LP: Shadows Of Knight
Writer(s):    Baughman/Sohns
Label:    Super K
Year:    1969
    By the end of 1967 the only original member of the Shadows Of Knight still performing with the band was lead vocalist Jim Sohns, who had retained rights to the band name. In 1968 he made the mistake of signing with Super K Productions, the primary purveyors of bubblegum pop music (think 1910 Fruitgum Company and Ohio Express). Needless to say, Super K's approach was not compatible with Sohn's own garage-rock sensibilities, and the results were...well, take a listen to Uncle Wiggly's Airship. 'Nuff said.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Wish Me Up
Source:    45 RPM single B side (reissue)
Writer(s):    March/Saxon
Label:    Sundazed/M-G-M
Year:    1970
    By the time the 60s had come to an end, the Seeds, who had spearheaded the flower power movement in the middle of the decade, were on their last legs. Only Sky Saxon and Daryl Hooper were left from the original group, and they had lost their contract with GNP Crescendo. Their manager was able to secure a contract to record a pair of singles for M-G-M, but, as can be heard on the B side of the first single, Wish Me Up, the old energy just wasn't there anymore.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Sloop John B
Source:    Mono CD: Good Vibrations-Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    arr. Brian Wilson
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
            Released in advance of the Pet Sounds album, Sloop John B is the most conventional song on the landmark 1966 Beach Boys album, and, in all honesty, does not really fit in well with the rest of the songs on the LP. It was Al Jardine who convinced Brian Wilson to record the tune, which was released in March of 1966, going all the way to the # 3 spot on the Billboard singles chart.
Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)
Source:    CD: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Wilson/Asher
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    Brian Wilson's songwriting reached its full maturity with the Pet Sounds album, released in 1966. In addition to the hits Wouldn't It Be Nice, Sloop John B and God Only Knows, the album featured several album tracks that redefined where a pop song could go. One such tune is Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder), a slow, moody song with a chord structure that goes in unexpected directions. Like most of the songs on Pet Sounds, it was co-written by Tony Asher, who would later say the ideas were all Wilson's, with Asher just helping put them into words.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Wind Chimes
Source:    Mono CD: Good Vibrations-Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys
Writer(s):    Brian Wilson
Label:    Capitol
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1993
    For many years there were conflicting rumors concerning the fate of the original tapes made by Brian Wilson for his aborted Beach Boys album, Smile. Most people thought the tapes had long since been destroyed, yet there was growing evidence that there were still copies of at least some of the tracks, albeit in generally unfinished states. Finally, in 1993, Capitol Records unveiled several of these rough tracks as part of the four disc box set Good Vibrations-Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys. As was the case with the landmark single Good Vibrations, Wilson used several different recording studios for the Smile project and often used splicing and cross-fading to mix the various segments into a cohesive whole. In the case of Wind Chimes, the splice is not quite clean, creating a jarring silence for a fraction of a second about two-thirds of the way through. With Wilson's reputation as a perfectionist I would imagine he found the track to be unacceptable in this state, but never got around to doing anything about it.

Artist:     Rolling Stones
Title:     Lady Jane
Source:     British import LP: Aftermath (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:     Jagger/Richards
Label:     Abkco (original US label: London)
Year:     1966
     One of the best early Rolling Stones albums is 1966's Aftermath, which included such classics as Under My Thumb, Stupid Girl and the eleven-minute Goin' Home. Both the US and UK versions of the LP included the song Lady Jane, which was also released as the B side to Mother's Little Helper (which had been left off the US version of Aftermath to make room for Paint It, Black). The policy at the time in the US was for B sides that got a significant amount of airplay to be rated separately from the A side of the single, and Lady Jane managed to climb to the # 24 spot on the Hot 100 (Mother's Little Helper peaked at # 8).

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    You Don't Know
Source:    CD: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators
Writer:    Powell St. John
Label:    Collectables (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1966
    One of the most legendary psychedelic rock bands was the 13th Floor Elevators, based in Austin, Texas. Led by guitarist/vocalist Roky Erickson and featuring Tommy Hall on electric jug, the Elevators were among the first bands to use the word psychedelic in the title of their debut LP The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators. Most of the songs on the album were originals written by Hall and Erickson, but Hall asked the legendary Austin songwriter Powell St. John (the former Beatnik who would soon move to San Francisco and co-found Mother Earth with Tracy Nelson) to write a few songs, such as You Don't Know, for the band as well.

Artist:    Love
Title:    Gazing
Source:    Mono LP: Love
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1966
    L.A's Sunset Strip blossomed as a hangout for teenaged baby boomers in the mid-1960s, with clubs like Ciro's and the Whisky-A-Go-Go pulling in capacity crowds on a regular basis. These clubs had learned early on that the best way to draw a crowd was to hire a live band, which gave rise to a thriving local music scene. Among the many bands playing the strip, perhaps the most popular was Love, the house band at the Whisky-A-Go-Go. Led by multi-instrumentalist Arthur Lee and boasting not one, but two songwriters (Lee and guitarist Bryan MacLean), Love made history in 1966 by being the first rock band signed to Elektra Records. Lee, a recent convert to the then-popular folk-rock style popularized by the Byrds (for whom MacLean had been a roadie) had come from an R&B background and counted a then-unknown Jimi Hendrix among his musician friends. Songs like Gazing, from Love's debut LP, gave an early indication that Lee, even while writing in the folk-rock idiom, had a powerful musical vision that was all his own.
Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    You Can't Catch Me
Source:    LP: Tommy Flanders, Danny Kalb, Steve Katz, Al Kooper, Andy Kuhlberg, Roy Blumenfeld Of The Blues Project (promo copy) (originally released on LP: Projections)
Writer:    Chuck Berry
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1966
    One of the reasons for Chuck Berry's enduring popularity throughout the 1960s (despite a lack of major hits during the decade) was the fact that so many bands covered his 50s hits, often updating them for a 60s audience. Although not as well-known as Roll Over Beethoven or Johnny B. Goode, You Can't Catch Me nonetheless got its fair share of coverage, including versions by the Rolling Stones and the Blues Project (not to mention providing John Lennon an opening line for the song Come Together).

Artist:     Bobby Fuller Four
Title:     Baby My Heart
Source:     Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released in UK on CD: The Best Of The Bobby Fuller Four)
Writer:     Sonny Curtis
Label:     Rhino (original label: Ace)
Year:     Recorded 1966; released 1992.
     The Bobby Fuller Four perfected their blend of rock and roll and Tex-Mex in their native El Paso before migrating out to L.A. After scoring a huge hit with I Fought The Law, Fuller was found dead in his hotel room of unnatural causes. Baby My Heart, recorded in 1966 but not released until 1992, when it appeared unheralded on a British compilation of Fuller's work, is an indication of what might have been had Fuller lived long enough to establish himself further.
Artist:    Roger Nichols Trio
Title:    Montage Mirror
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released in UK on LP: The Parade-Sunshine Girl: The Complete Recordings)
Writer(s):    Nichols/Roberds
Label:    Rhino
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 2008
    The Parade was an L.A. studio group made up of actors and studio musicians that had a top 20 hit with Sunshine Girl in early 1967. Montage Mirror, recorded later the same year is pretty much the same group but credited to the Roger Nichols Trio instead. An attempt to subvert an unpleasant contract with another label perhaps? I guess we'll never know, as the song sat on the shelf for 41(!) years before being included on a British Parade anthology.

Artist:    Fourth Way
Title:    The Far Side Of Your Moon
Source:    CD: A Heavy Dose Of Lyte Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single A side)
Writer(s):    Graves/Venet
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Soul City)
Year:    1968
    Although the title suggests something out of an 80s comic strip, The Far Side Of Your Moon is a genuine slice of psychedelia from 1968 that appeared as a single on the Soul City label, owned at the time by singer Johnny Rivers. Virtually nothing is known about the band itself (if Fourth Way was even a band at all). The song was co-written by Steve Venet, whose production credits include songs by the Astronauts and the Monkees.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2125 (B22) (starts 6/14/21)

    A few years back I started recording a series of backup, or contingency shows, for those times when it becomes impossible to produce a new show for a given week. Due to a major equipment failure at the studios where Rockin' in the Days of Confusion is recorded, this turns out to be one of those weeks. This particular show was recorded on 5/25/18, so there may be a couple of minor format differences between this and the way the show usually sounds, but the music is as solid as ever, and even includes four tracks (from Chicago, Illinois Speed Press, Joe Walsh and Rush) that have never been played on the show before. Not bad for a backup, eh?

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Have A Cigar
Source:    CD: Wish You Were Here
Writer(s):    Roger Waters
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1975
    One of the most recognizable songs in the entire Pink Floyd catalog, Have A Cigar is an indictment of the hypocrisy, greed and general sleaziness that drives the modern music industry. Recorded in Abbey Road's studio 3, the song featured guest vocalist Roy Harper, who was working on an album of his own in studio 2 at the time. Both David Gilmour and Roger Waters attempted to sing the song (which was written by Waters), but were unhappy with the results. Gilmour had already contributed some guitar parts to Harper's album, and decided to ask Harper to return the favor. The song appears on the album Wish You Were Here, which both Waters and Gilmour have said is their favorite Pink Floyd album.

Artist:    Allman Brothers Band
Title:    Dreams
Source:    CD: Beginnings (originally released on LP: The Allman Brothers Band)
Writer(s):    Gregg Allman
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1969
    Although it had originally been one of the first tracks recorded by the Allman Brothers Band at Capricorn Studios in Macon, Georgia, the final take of Gregg Allman's Dreams was the last song on the band's debut LP to be committed to tape. The problem with the previous takes was that bandleader Duane Allman was unhappy with his own guitar solo on the song. Finally, after the band finished its regular session on August 12, 1969, he asked everyone to turn off all the lights in the studio. He then tried something he hadn't done on previous takes. Using his recently adopted slide guitar technique, Duane recorded a new overdubbed solo that literally brought the entire band to tears. "It was unbelievable," recalled drummer Butch Trucks. "It was just magic. It’s always been that the greatest music we played was from out of nowhere, that it wasn’t practiced, planned, or discussed."

Artist:    Illinois Speed Press
Title:    The Visit
Source:    LP: Duet
Writer(s):    Kal David
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    In 1969, Columbia Records simultaneously released albums from four bands from the Chicago area, marketing them as the "Chicago Sound". The strategy was only slightly more successful than M-G-M's "Boss-Town Sound" campaign the year before, with only one of the albums, the double-LP set Chicago Transit Authority, becoming a bonifide hit record. The Illinois Speed Press, on the other hand, was only around long enough to make two albums, and the second one saw the group, led by Paul Cotton and Kal David, move away from Chicago, both physically and musically, toward a more California-oriented country-rock sound. Not long after the second LP, Duet (which was basically just Cotton and David accompanied by studio musicians), Kal David left to co-found the Fabulous Rhinestones. Not long after that Paul Cotton accepted an invitation to join Poco.

Artist:    Chicago
Title:    Now That You've Gone
Source:    Chicago V
Writer(s):    James Pankow
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1972
    Of the four Chicago area bands signed by Columbia's Clive Davis in 1969 (and marketed as the "Chicago Sound"), only one was a lasting success. In fact, after their first LP they shortened their name from the Chicago Transit Authority to Chicago, which they have used ever since. During their early years Chicago was one of the most prolific bands around, releasing three double-LP studio albums and a four-LP live album in the period from April 1969 to October 1971. That's ten LPs worth of material in two and a half years. In addition, a single-LP studio album, Chicago V, was recorded in September of 1971, but held back until the following summer in order to get maximum traction for the massive Chicago At Carnegie Hall live album. Although nearly every track on Chicago V was written by keyboardist Robert Lamm, the album does contain one new song from James Pankow, who had written the band's breakout hit single Make Me Smile and the wedding favorite Colour My World. Although not released as a single, Now That You've Gone, with vocals by guitarist Terry Kath, is one of the strongest tracks on the album.

Artist:    War
Title:    Why Can't We Be Friends
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    War/Goldstein
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1975
    One of the most popular songs of 1975, War's Why Can't We Be Friends, from the album of the same title, repeats the title line over forty times in under less than four minutes. The song even made it into outer space that summer, when NASA beamed it up to the world's first international space mission, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, in July.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Treetrunk
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Robby Krieger
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1972
    One of the most obscure Doors tracks in existence, Treetrunk was the non-LP B side of Get Up And Dance, a single released in 1972 that did not chart. The song was recorded during sessions for the album Full Circle, but left off the LP because the song's writer, Robby Krieger, felt it was "too commercial". Treetrunk is one of only three songs that were not included on Doors albums, and the only one released after the death of the band's original vocalist, Jim Morrison. Keyboardist Ray Manzarek provided the lead vocals for the track.

Artist:    Joe Walsh
Title:    Time Out
Source:    LP: The Best Of Joe Walsh (originally released on LP: So What)
Writer(s):    Joe Walsh
Label:    ABC
Year:    1974
    If there is any one song that could be called a typical example of a Joe Walsh tune, it could very well be Time Out, a song originally released on the 1974 album So What and then as a single the following year. It has all the hallmarks: a smooth guitar riff played against a background of power chords, a vocal line that starts on a high pitched note and stays there long enough to create tension before dropping down a bit, and lyrics that are suitably cryptic, yet down to earth. Although not a top 40 hit, the song got plenty of play on mid-70s FM rock radio stations.

Artist:    Who
Title:    The Song Is Over
Source:    LP: Who's Next
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Decca
Year:    1971
    While on their 1969-70 Tommy tour, the Who's primary songwriter, Pete Townshend, began working on something called the Lifehouse project. Conceived as a multi-media experience that would take the idea of immersion to its ultimate conclusion, Townshend eventually abandoned the project as unworkable; he did, however, manage to salvage several of the Lifehouse songs, including them on the 1971 album Who's Next. Among those tunes was The Song Is Over. The piece was designed to be the finale to Lifehouse, and serves quite nicely as the closing track for Who's Next.

Artist:    Fleetwood Mac
Title:    Sentimental Lady
Source:    CD: Bare Trees
Writer(s):    Bob Welch
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1972
    One of the great rock love songs of the 1970s, Bob Welch's Sentimental Lady spent several weeks in the top 20 in late 1977. Welch's solo version of the song, from his French Kiss album, was not the original recorded version of the song, however. That title goes to the 1972 Fleetwood Mac version of the song from the Bare Trees album, featuring Welch on lead vocals backed by Christine McVie. Unlike the Welch version, Fleetwood Mac's Sentimental Lady has a second verse and runs about four and a half minutes in length (Welch's solo version is about three minutes long).

Artist:    Rush
Title:    Lessons
Source:    LP: 2112
Writer(s):    Alex Lifeson
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1976
    Born in 1953, Alex Lifeson has been a painter, a licensed aircraft pilot, an actor, and the part-owner of a Toronto bar and restaurant called The Orbit Room. He was also a co-founder of the Canadian band Rush, playing guitar and providing backup vocals, as well as co-writing most of the band's music. He did not, however, write lyrics very often. One exception to this is Lessons, from the band's breakthrough album 2112., Lifeson considered Lessons to be  "just a little lighter and a little more fun" than the album's science fiction themed title track.

Artist:    Captain Beyond
Title:    Raging River Of Fear
Source:    LP: Captain Beyond
Writer(s):    Caldwell/Evans
Label:    Capricorn
Year:    1972
    No band has ever impressed me during a live performance more than Captain Beyond did in 1972. Some friends and I had made the trip from Alamogordo to El Paso to catch a concert. Back in those days a typical rock concert featured three bands: one headliner, a middle band that had an album or two under their belt but had not yet achieved headliner status, and an opening act that was generally either a new band promoting their debut LP or a popular local band. I honestly don't remember who the headliner was on this particular night, but they were obviously enough of a draw to get the bunch of us to drive the 85 miles of two-lane blacktop across the Texas-New Mexico line to come see them. As it turns out, it didn't matter, because the opening act Captain Beyond (whom none of us had ever heard of) totally blew both the other bands off the stage. The thing I was most impressed by was how big of a sound they had on songs like Raging River Of Fear, considering they had only one guitar, along with bass, drums and vocals. Later that week I discovered the second most impressive thing about Captain Beyond: their concert performance sounded exactly like their album, which I bought as soon as I found a copy on the racks. Once I had a copy of the album I realized that I was already familiar with the work of some of the band members, including Lee Dorman and Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt (both from Iron Butterfly) and Rod Evans (the original Deep Purple vocalist). Drummer Bobby Caldwell's name was unfamiliar, but he certainly left an impression with his power and precision, a combination that fit the band quite well.

Artist:    Crow
Title:    Cottage Cheese
Source:    Mono 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Weigand/Waggoner
Label:    Amaret
Year:    1970
    In late 1970 I found myself living in Alamogordo, NM, which was at the time one of those places that still didn't have an FM station (in fact, the only FM station we could receive was a classical station in Las Cruces, 70 miles away). To make it worse, there were only two AM stations in town, and the only one that played current songs went off the air at sunset. As a result the only way to hear current music at night (besides buying albums without hearing them first) was to "DX" distant AM radio stations. Of these, the one that came in most clearly and consistently was KOMA in Oklahoma City. My friends and I spent many a night driving around with KOMA cranked up, fading in and out as long-distance AM stations always do. One of those nights we were all blown away by a song named Cottage Cheese from a Minnesota band called Crow, which, due to the conservative nature of the local daytime-only station, was not getting any local airplay. Years later I was lucky enough to find a copy in a thrift store in Albuquerque. Here it is.

Artist:     Arlo Guthrie
Title:     Coming Into Los Angeles
Source:     LP: The Big Ball (originally released on LP: Running Down The Road)
Writer:     Arlo Guthrie
Label:     Warner Brothers (original label: Rising Son)
Year:     1969
    Coming Into Los Angeles is one of Arlo Guthrie's most popular songs. It is also the song with the most confusing recording history. The song first came to prominence when Guthrie's live performance of the tune was included in the movie Woodstock. When the soundtrack of the film was released, however, a different recording was used. At first I figured they had simply used the studio version of the song, from the 1969 album Running Down The Road, but it turns out there are significant differences between that version (heard here) and the one included on Woodstock album. Complicating matters is the fact that the version included on The Best Of Arlo Guthrie later in the decade seems to be an altogether different recording than any of the previous releases. If anyone out there (Arlo, are you reading this?) can shed some light on this for me, it would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2124 (starts 6/7/21) 

    This week we take a break from the battles of the bands to present three artists' sets, including our first to feature L.A.'s Glass Family and an all Goerge Harrison Beatles set. Also of note: a track from Al Kooper's second Super Session studio album featuring a 15-year-old Shuggy Otis on guitar.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience (II)
Title:    Drifting
Source:    CD: Voodoo Soup (originally released on LP: The Cry Of Love)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA
Year:    1970
    There have been several attempts made to piece together what would have been Jimi Hendrix's first post-Experience studio LP since his death in 1970. The first of these was The Cry Of Love, released as a single LP in 1971. With the advent of CD technology attempts were made to make it a double-length album. The first of these, Voodoo Soup, was released in 1995. At this point Alan Douglas was still in control of the Hendrix catalog, and Voodoo Soup included a couple of tracks that had been modified by replacing the original drum tracks with new ones from Bruce Gary of the Knack, recorded in the late 1970s. Two years later the Hendrix family gained control of the guitarists' recordings and a new CD called First Rays Of The New Rising Sun was released, replacing Voodoo Soup. One song that remained unchanged through all three iterations of the album is Drifting, recorded on July 23rd of 1970 with Mitch Mitchell on drums, Billy Cox on bass and guest Buzzy Linhart on vibes.

Artist:    Illinois Speed Press
Title:    Hard Luck Story
Source:    German import LP: Underground '70 (originally released on LP: Illinois Speed Press)
Writer(s):    Kal David
Label:    CBS (original US label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    In 1967 someone coined the phrase "San Francisco sound" to describe the wave of bands coming out of the Bay Area that year, despite the fact that there really was no specific San Francisco sound. The following year, someone at M-G-M Records (which had missed out entirely on the whole San Francisco thing, with the exception of the Eric Burdon And The Animals single San Franciscan Nights) decided to sign a bunch of Boston bands and market them as the "Boss-Town Sound." This campaign went over like a lead balloon, actually hurting the chances of the bands to make a name for themselves. Undeterred, Columbia Records tried the same thing in Chicago in 1969, signing the Chicago Transit Authority, the Flock, Aorta and Illinois Speed Press and marketing them as the "Chicago Sound". Producer James William Guercio, who had previously worked with the Buckinghams and Blood, Sweat & Tears, was brought in to produce the first Illinois Speed Press album, which included the song Hard Luck Story, a somewhat atypical piece of blues-rock written by Kal David, who along with Paul Cotton formed the core of the band. David and Cotton soon wearied of being lumped in with other Chicago bands, and relocated to California, essentially becoming a duo in the process and helping pioneer the country-rock sound that would emerge from Southern California in the mid-1970s.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Born Under A Bad Sign
Source:    CD: Wheels Of Fire
Writer:    Jones/Bell
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1968
    Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were pretty much considered the cream of the crop of the British blues scene in the mid 1960s, so it came as no surprise when they decided to call their new band Cream. Although the trio would go on to record several memorable non-blues tunes such as I Feel Free and White Room, they never completely abandoned the blues. Born Under A Bad Sign, originally recorded by Albert King  for the Stax label and written by labelmates William Bell and Booker T. Jones, is one of the better known tracks from Cream's double-LP Wheels Of Fire, the last album released while the band was still together.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    A Well Respected Man
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Golden Days Of British Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Sire (original label: Reprise)
Year:    Released 1965, charted 1966
    The Kinks were one of the original British Invasion bands, scoring huge R&B-influenced hits with You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night in 1964. The hits continued in 1965 with more melodic songs like Set Me Free and Tired Of Waiting For You. 1966 saw Ray Davies's songwriting take a satiric turn, as A Well Respected Man (actually released in late 1965) amply illustrates. Over the next few years the Kinks would continue to evolve, generally getting decent critical reviews and moderate record sales for their albums until 1970, when the song Lola became a huge international hit, reviving the band's fortunes.

Artist:     Kinks
Title:     Love Me Till The Sun Shines
Source:     CD: Something Else
Writer:     Dave Davies
Label:     Reprise
Year:     1967
     The 1967 album Something Else By The Kinks was a turning point for the band in more ways than one. It was the first Kinks album produced entirely by Ray Davies, as well as the first Kinks album to be released in stereo. Something Else also saw the emergence of the younger Davies brother, Dave, as a songwriter in his own right on songs like Love Me Till The Sun Shines. I'm not sure, but it sounds to me like Dave Davies is the singer on the track as well.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    You Really Got Me
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Golden Days Of British Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Sire (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1964
    Although the Beatles touched off the British Invasion, it was the sheer in-your-face simplicity of You Really Got Me, recorded by an "upstart band of teenagers" from London's Muswell Hill district named the Kinks and released in August of 1964 that made the goal of forming your own band and recording a hit single seem to be a viable one. And sure enough, within a year garages and basements all across America were filled with guitars, amps, drums and aspiring high-school age musicians, some of whom would indeed get their own records played on the radio.

Artist:     Troggs
Title:     Wild Thing
Source:     Mono CD: Billboard Top Rock 'N' Roll Hits-1968 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Chip Taylor
Label:     Rhino (original label: Fontana)
Year:     1966
    I have a DVD copy of a music video (although back then they were called promotional films) for the Troggs' Wild Thing in which the members of the band are walking through what looks like a train station while being mobbed by girls at every turn. Every time I watch it I imagine singer Reg Presley saying giggity-giggity as he bobs his head from side to side.

Artist:    Superfine Dandelion
Title:    Crazy Town (Move On Little Children)
Source:    Mono British import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Collins/Musel
Label:    Big Beat (original US label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
    The Mile Ends were a Phoenix, Arizona band that were regulars at a local teen club called the Fifth Estate, which was run by a guy named Jim Musil. Musil became the group's manager, booking studio time to record a drinking song called Bottle Up And Go in 1966. Not long after that the group, now consisting of guitarists Mike McFadden and Ed Black, along with drummer Mike Collins, began calling themselves the Superfine Dandelion for a studio project sponsored by Musil. The group recorded an album's worth of songs that came to the attention of Bob Shad, who was looking for material to issue on his Mainstream label. Shad bought the tapes, releasing the album in November of 1967. Shad chose Crazy Town (Move On Little Children) as a single, but a lack of interest by both radio and the record buying public brought the story of the Superfine Dandelion to a close by mid-1968.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    We Could Be So Good Together
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1968
    Released in advance of the third Doors album, We Could Be So Good Together was the B side of one of the most unusual songs to ever make the top 40 charts: The Unknown Soldier. Unconfirmed rumors about We Could Be So Good Together say that the song was actually written in the band's early days before their signing with Elektra Records, but was left off the first two Doors albums. Lyrically it does seem to share an optimism with earlier Jim Morrison lyrics that was largely replaced by cynicism in his later years. The single version contains a short Thelonius Monk riff about a minute and a half into the song that is missing from the LP version heard on Waiting For The Sun.

Artist:    James Rado/Gerome Ragni and company
Title:    Hair
Source:    Canadian import LP: Hair-The Original Broadway Cast Recording
Writer(s):    MacDermott/Ragni/Rado
Label:    RCA Viictor
Year:    1968
    As a general rule, Broadway musicals and rock music are approximately a universe apart, but in 1968, a musical appeared on the scene that spawned no less than four hit singles (five counting the British hit version of Ain't Got No/I Got Life by Nina Simone). All of these hits were actually covers recorded by a mixture of new (Oliver, Three Dog Night) and established (Fifth Dimension, Cowsills) artists. Of the four songs that charted in the US, only one actually sounds better in its original soundtrack version (sorry, Cowsills, but that's my opinion and I'll stand by it): the title track of the musical itself. Unlike most of the soundtrack recordings, Hair, sung by co-lyricists James Rado and Gerome Ragni, features a professionally recorded backup band that includes pianist Galt McDermott, who wrote all the music heard on the soundtrack album.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    Funny Freak Parade
Source:    LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer(s):    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    1967 was also the year of the "Boss-Town Sound", a gimmick used to promote several Boston-based bands signed to the M-G-M label (M-G-M having been asleep at the wheel during the recent band-signing frenzy in San Francisco). Derided in the music press as a crass attempt to manipulate record buyers, the ultimate victims of this fraud were the bands themselves, many of which were actually quite talented. One of the best remembered of these bands was Ultimate Spinach, the brainchild of keyboardist Ian Bruce-Douglas, who wrote all the material for the group's first two LPs. Although much of the Spinach material sounds like it could have been written by Country Joe McDonald, there are a few tracks, such as Funny Freak Parade, that have a totally original sound to them. The recording uses a wah-wah effect in a rather unique way (at least I don't recall it being used quite like this elsewhere).

Artist:    Penny Peeps
Title:    Model Village
Source:    Mono British import CD: Insane Times (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Alexander
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1967
    Although the British psychedelic era was considerably shorter (only about two years long) than its American counterpart, there are a surprisingly large number of British psych-pop singles that were never issued in the US. Among those was a somewhat forgettable song called Little Man With A Stick, released in 1967 by a band called the Penny Peeps. The band took its name from the risque coin-fed viewers at Brighton Beach (apparently London's version of Coney Island). Emulating his American counterparts, producer Les Reed (who wrote Little Man), allowed the band itself to come up with its own B side. The result was Model Village, a track that manages to convey a classic garage-rock energy while remaining uniquely British.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    British import CD: The Ultimate Turn On (originally released on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Billy Roberts
Label:    Big Beat (original US label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    There were actually three slow versions of Hey Joe released in 1966. The first was a summer single by folk singer Tim Rose, who reportedly brainstormed the idea of slowing down the popular garage-rock tune with his friend Sean Bonniwell, leader of the Music Machine. Although Rose's version was the first released, it did not appear on an LP until 1967. The first stereo version of the song was on the Music Machine's first LP, released in the fall. In December a third slow version of Hey Joe was released, but only in the UK and Europe. That version was by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Like Rose's single, the Hendrix version of Hey Joe was originally released only in a mono version, which was remixed in stereo by engineers at Reprise Records for inclusion on the US version of the debut Hendrix LP in 1967. Like the Rose version, the Music Machine arrangement of Hey Joe focuses squarely on the vocals, with the instrumental track serving purely to set the mood for the piece. Unlike with other recordings of Hey Joe released in 1966, the label on the album Turn On The Music Machine correctly credited Billy Roberts as the song's writer.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Lady Jane
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single B side and on LP: Aftermath)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1966
    One of the best early Rolling Stones albums is 1966's Aftermath, which included such classics as Under My Thumb, Stupid Girl and the eleven-minute Goin' Home. Both the US and UK versions of the LP included the song Lady Jane, which was also released as the B side to Mother's Little Helper (which had been left off the US version of Aftermath to make room for Paint It Black). The policy at the time was for B sides that got a significant amount of airplay to be rated separately from the A side of the single, and Lady Jane managed to climb to the # 24 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 (Mother's Little Helper peaked at # 8).

Artist:    Jose Feliciano
Title:    Work Song
Source:    LP: A Bag Full Of Soul
Writer(s):    Brown/Adderly
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    While still in his teens singer/songwriter Jose Feliciano was becoming known in folk circles, particularly in Vancouver, BC and New York's Greenwich Village, where he was discovered and signed by RCA Victor's Jack Somer in 1963. His first single, Do The Click, went to the #2 spot in the Philippines, although it did not chart in the US. He released four albums in 1966, the first of which was A Bag Full Of Soul, which showcased his ability to perform music from a variety of genres. Work Song was originally released as an instrumental by Nat "Cannonball" Adderly in 1960, with lyrics added the following year by Oscar Brown Jr.

Artist:    First Edition
Title:    Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)
Source:    CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released on LP: The First Edition and as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Mickey Newbury
Label:    Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    In 1968, former New Christy Minstrels members Kenny Rogers and Mike Settle decided to form a psychedelic rock band, the First Edition. Although Settle wrote (and sang lead on) most of the songs on the first album, it was Rogers who would emerge as the star of the group, thanks to the fact that one of the two songs he sang lead on, Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In), became a huge top 40 hit. It wasn't long before the official name of the band was changed to Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. That change reflected a shift from psychedelic to country flavored pop that would eventually propel Rogers to superstar status, leaving the First Edition far behind.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Heroes And Villains
Source:    Mono CD: Good Vibrations-Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Wilson/Parks
Label:    Capitol (original label: Brother)
Year:    1967
    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.
Artist:     Simon and Garfunkel
Title:     A Hazy Shade Of Winter
Source:     45 RPM single (promo copy)
Writer:     Paul Simon
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1966
     Originally released as a single in 1966, A Hazy Shade Of Winter was one of several songs intended for the film The Graduate. The only one of these actually used in the movie was Mrs. Robinson. The remaining songs eventually made up side two of the 1968 album Bookends, although several of them were also released as singles throughout 1967. A Hazy Shade Of Winter, being the first of these singles (and the only one released in 1966), was also the highest charting, peaking at # 13 just as the weather was turning cold.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Love You To
Source:    CD: Yellow Submarine Soundtrack (originally released on LP: Revolver)
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1966
    Following the release of Rubber Soul in December of 1965, the Beatles' George Harrison began to make a serious effort to learn to play the Sitar, studying under the master, Ravi Shankar. Along with the instrument itself, Harrison studied Eastern forms of music. His first song written in the modal form favored by Indian composers was Love You To, from the Revolver album. The recording also features Indian percussion instruments and suitably spiritual lyrics.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Within You Without You
Source:    CD: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    George Harrison began to take an interest in the Sitar as early as 1965. By 1966 he had become proficient enough on the Indian instrument to compose and record Love You To for the Revolver album. He followed that up with perhaps his most popular sitar-based track, Within You Without You, which opens side two of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Harrison would record one more similarly-styled song, The Inner Light, in 1968, before deciding that he was never going to be in the same league as Ravi Shankar, whom Harrison had become friends with by that time. For the remainder of his time with the Beatles Harrison would concentrate on his guitar work and songwriting skills, resulting in classic songs such as While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Something and Here Comes The Sun.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Blue Jay Way
Source:    LP: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1967
    The Beatles' psychedelic period hit its peak with the late 1967 release of the Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack. As originally conceived there were only six songs on the album, too few for a standard LP. The British solution was to present Magical Mystery Tour as two Extended Play (EP) 45 RPM records in a gatefold sleeve with a 23 page booklet featuring lyrics and scenes from the telefilm of the same name (as well as the general storyline in prose form).  As EPs were out of vogue in the US, Capitol Records, against the band's wishes, added five songs that had been issued as single A or B sides in 1967 to create a standard LP. The actual Magical Mystery Tour material made up side one of the LP, while the single sides were on side two. The lone George Harrison contribution to the project was Blue Jay Way, named for a street in the Hollywood Hills that Harrison had rented that summer. As all five of the extra tracks were credited to the Lennon/McCartney songwriting team, this meant that each of the band's 1967 albums had only one Harrison composition on them. This became a point of contention within the band, and on the Beatles' next album (the white album), Harrison's share of the songwriting had doubled.

Artist:    Glass Family
Title:    Funny Feeling
Source:    Mono LP: Electric Band (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Glass Family
Label:    Maplewood
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 2015
    In early 60s West Los Angeles, a young man named Jim Callon and his friends David Capilouto and Gary Green decided to form a band to play surf music at parties and maybe make a little money in the process. They couldn't come up with a permanent band name, and would end up using whatever name suited them at the time. Several years later, while attending grad school at Cal State L.A., they finally decided on the Glass Family, and established a local reputation as the "perpetual opening band" for groups like the Doors, Vanilla Fudge, and the Grateful Dead. They signed a contract with Warner Brothers in 1967 to record an album with producer Richard Podolor, who had previously worked with bands like Steppenwolf and the Chocolate Watchband, among others. They presented the album to the shirts at Warner Brothers, who promptly rejected it and told them to go back into the studio and come up with something more commercially viable. The result was an album called Electric Band that was released in early 1969. In 2015, a new lable called Maplewood Records decided to reissue Electric Band as a double LP that included both the previously released LP and the rejected original album. Nightwrap For Dee, from the unreleased original album, is a classic example of instrumental psychedelia.   

Artist:    Glass Family
Title:    Agorn (Elements Of Complex Variables)
Source:    LP: Electric Band
Writer(s):    Glass Family
Label:    Maplewood (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1969
    The final track on the released version of Glass Family's Electric Band album is a track called Agorn (Elements Of Complex Variables). The song, credited to keyboardist/bassist David Capilouto and percussionist Gary Green, the track features a drum solo by Green.

Artist:    Glass Family
Title:    House Of Glass
Source:    British import CD: My Mind Goes High (originally released in US on LP: The Glass Family Electric Band)
Writer(s):    Ralph Parrett
Label:    Warner Strategic Marketing (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1968
    The Glass Family (Ralph Parrett, David Capilouto and Gary Green) first surfaced in 1967 with a single called Teenage Rebellion on Mike Curb's Sidewalk label. The following year they signed with Warner Brothers, releasing their only LP, The Glass Family Electric Band, in 1969. The opening track from the album, House Of Glass, is, in the words of Capilouto, self-explanatory, which is a good thing, as it saves me the trouble of trying to figure out what it's about.

Artist:    Al Kooper
Title:    Bury My Body
Source:    LP: Al's Big Deal (originally released on LP: Kooper Session)
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Al Kooper
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    Following up on the success of the 1968 Super Session album, Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield released a two-LP live album entitled The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper in February of 1969. But Kooper wasn't quite done with the jam album format. Later that same year he released Kooper Session: Super Session Vol. 2 with 15-year-old guitar phenom Shuggie Otis, the son of the legendary Johnny Otis (Willie And The Hand Jive). The album starts off with the nine-minute Bury My Body, a rock adaptation of an old spiritual that showcases both Otis's and Kooper's virtuosity. Shuggie Otis went on to have a successful career, both as a solo artist and as a sideman. Both his sons are also musicians.

Artist:      Traffic
Title:     (Roamin' Thro' the Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen
Source:      CD: Traffic
Writer(s):    Winwood/Capaldi
Label:    Island (original US label: United Artists)
Year:     1968
     In its original run, Traffic only released two full albums (and a third that consisted of non-LP singles, studio outtakes and live tracks). The second of these, simply titled Traffic, featured several memorable tunes, including (Roamin' Through the Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen, a  Steve Winwood/Jim Capaldi collaboration.

Artist:     Vanilla Fudge
Title:     You Keep Me Hangin' On (includes Illusions Of My Childhood part one and two)
Source:     LP: Vanilla Fudge
Writer(s):     Holland/Dozier/Holland
Label:     Atco
Year:     1967
     The Vanilla Fudge version of You Keep Me Hangin' On was originally recorded and released in 1967, not too long after the Supremes version of the song finished its own run on the charts. It wasn't until the following year, however, the the Vanilla Fudge recording caught on with radio listeners, turning it into the band's only top 40 hit. The original album version was considerably longer than the single, however, due in part to the inclusion of something called Illusions Of My Childhood, which was basically a series of short psychedelic instrumental pieces incorporating themes from familiar nursery rhymes such as Farmer In The Dell and Ring Around The Rosie.

Artist:     Paul Revere and the Raiders
Title:     There's Always Tomorrow
Source:     LP: Midnight Ride
Writer:     Levin/Smith
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1966
     We move now to sunny Los Angeles, circa 1966, where we find a band from Boise, Idaho starring in Dick Clark's daily national dance show, Where The Action Is. Paul Revere and the Raiders were one of the many bands of the early 1960s that helped lay the groundwork for the temporary democratization of American popular music later in the decade (for more on that head over to After honing their craft for years in the clubs of the Pacific Northwest the Raiders caught the attention of Clark, who called them the most versatile rock band he had ever seen. Clark introduced the band to Terry Melcher, which in turn led to Paul Revere and the Raiders being the first rock band ever signed to industry giant Columbia Records, at that time the second largest record company in the country. In addition to organist Revere the band featured Mark Lindsay on lead vocals and saxophone, Phil "Fang" Volker on bass, Drake Levin on lead guitar and Mike "Smitty" Smith on drums. Occassional someone other than Lindsay would get the opportunity to sing a lead vocal part, as Smitty does on There's Always Tomorrow, a song he co-wrote with Levin shortly before the guitarist quit to join the National Guard. Seriously, the guy who played the double-tracked lead guitars on Just Like Me quit the hottest band in the US at the peak of their popularity to voluntarily join the military. I'd say there was a good chance he was not one of the guys burning their draft cards that year.

Artist:    Mouse And The Traps
Title:    Maid Of Sugar-Maid Of Spice
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Henderson/Weiss
Label:    Rhino (original label: Fraternity)
Year:    1966
    Mouse (Ronnie Weiss) was, for a time, the most popular guy in Tyler, Texas, at least among the local youth. His band, Mouse and the traps, had a series of regional hits that garnered airplay at stations all across the state (and a rather large state at that). Although Mouse's first big hit, A Public Execution, had a strong Dylan feel to it, subsequent releases covered a wide range of styles, such as the garage-rock of his 1966 single Maid Of Sugar-Maid Of Spice.

Artist:    Love
Title:    My Little Red Book
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released on LP: Love)
Writer(s):    Bacharach/David
Label:    Rhino (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1966
    The first rock record ever released by Elektra Records was a single by Love called My Little Red Book. The track itself (which also opens Love's debut LP), is a punked out version of a tune originally recorded by Manfred Mann for the What's New Pussycat movie soundtrack. Needless to say, Love's version was not exactly what Burt Bacharach and Hal David had in mind.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2124 (starts 6/7/21)

    Free-Form Radio. When you strip away all the pretentions, it all comes down to one thing: finding something to play that sounds good following what's currently playing. Note that I said "good", not perfect. If it was perfect, you would be locked into playing the exact same follow up track every time the first track came up. How boring. Note also that I said "sounds" good. Looking good on paper isn't good enough. It has to sound right. That makes it something purely subjective, since what sounds good to one person may have a completely different effect on someone else. And no using similarity of song titles, either. That would just be data mining. This week's show is pure free-form rock. It's starts with an album track from Grand Funk Railroad and ends with a hit single from the Rolling Stones. In between there is a mixture of singles, B sides and album tracks from both well-known and relatively obscure artists. There's even a little comedy thrown in. I hope you enjoy hearing it as much as I did.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Nothing Is The Same
Source:    CD: Closer To Home
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1970
    Grand Funk Railroad's fans continued to defy the rock press by buying copies of the band's albums throughout 1970, despite universally negative reviews. In fact, the band was awarded no less than three gold records that year, including their third studio LP, Closer To Home. The album includes some of their best recordings, including Nothing Is The Same, a hard rocker that includes both tempo and key changes, as well as some of Mark Farner's best lead vocals.

Artist:    Stray Dog
Title:    Speak Of The Devil
Source:    LP: Stray Dog
Writer(s):    Walden/Roberts/Sampson
Label:    Manticore
Year:    1973
    When the power trio formed as Aprodite (guitarist/vocalist Snuffy Walden, bassist Alan Roberts, and drummer Randy Reeder) decided to change their name to Stray Dog and relocate to Denver, the last thing they expected was to get a recording contract with the label set up by Emerson, Lake & Palmer. But after being introduced to ELP's former road manager Neville Chesters, that's exactly what happened. In fact, Greg Lake himself produced three tracks on the band's debut LP, including Speak Of The Devil, which was written by all three band members, including L.T. Sampson, who had replaced Reeder shortly before sessions for the album got underway. The song itself, a raucous rocker. is about as far away as you can get from the progressive art-rock sound of ELP.

Artist:    Taste
Title:    Catfish
Source:    British import CD: Taste
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Gallagher
Label:    Polydor (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1969
    Formed by guitarist Rory Gallagher in Cork, Ireland, in 1966, Taste disbanded and reformed in 1968 after a move to London. After making a strong impression opening for Cream in late 1968, they signed with the Polydor label, releasing their first LP in April of 1969. Gallagher's guitar work dominates the band's cover of Catfish (sometimes known as Catfish Blues).

Artist:    J. Geils Band
Title:    Whammer Jammer
Source:    Mono 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Juke Box Jimmie
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1971
    First they were a Boston bar band called Snoopy and the Sopwith Camel. Then they became the J. Geils Blues Band. Finally they dropped the "blues" from the name and became famous. Whammer Jammer, an early B side showcasing "Magic Dick" Salwitz on lead harmonica, shows why the "blues" part was there in the first place.

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    After Forever
Source:    LP: Black Sabbath
Writer(s):    Butler/Iommi
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    Anyone attempting to portray Black Sabbath as a bunch of Satanists had only to listen once to After Forever, from the Master Of Reality album, to be abused of the notion. The lyrics, written by bassist Geezer Butler (an avowed Catholic) are actually about as un-subtle as can be imagined. The song was released as the first single from the album, but failed to chart.

Artist:    Cheech & Chong
Title:    Evelyn Woodhead Speed Reading Course
Source:    LP: Los Cochinos
Writer(s):    Marin/Chong
Label:    Ode
Year:    1973
    If you never saw one of those Evelyn Wood commercials on late night television in the early 1970s, this thirty-five second comedy bit probably won't make a whole lot of sense to you. Then again it might.
Artist:    J.J. Cale
Title:    Cocaine
Source:    LP: Troubadour
Writer(s):    J.J. Cale
Label:    Shelter
Year:    1976
    Cocaine is one of Eric Clapton's best-known hits. This is the original J.J. Cale version of the song, from his 1976 album Troubadour.

Artist:    Steeleye Span
Title:    Cam Ye O'er Free France
Source:    LP: Parcel Of Rogues
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Steeleye Span
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1973
    Steeleye Span hit a new commercial high in the summer of 1973, following the spring release of their fifth album, Parcel Of Rogues. As usual, the album was made up entirely of traditional British folk songs updated for a rock audience, yet retaining their original character. Although none of the tunes on Parcel Of Rogues was released as a single, a few, such as Cam Ye O'er Free France, managed to get a decent amount of airplay on both sides of the Atlantic. The song itself dates back to the 17th and 18th century Jacobite movement in Scotland, and the song's lyrics are sung with a Scottish Brogue.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    When I Turn Out The Living Room Light
Source:    Mono LP: The Big Ball
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1973
    Between 1966 and 1970 the Kinks recorded several songs that were written for television and/or motion picture soundtracks. When the band signed with RCA Records in 1970, some of these tracks were turned over to Reprise, the Kinks' previous US label, as collateral (I'm not exactly sure what that means in this context, but that's the term bandleader Ray Davies used). Around this same time, Warner Brothers Records (Reprise's parent label) was in the process of issuing a series of budget LPs collectively known as the "loss leaders" that were only available through mail order forms printed on the innersleeves of Warner/Reprise releases. One of these LPs, The Big Ball, included When I Turn Out The Living Room Light, a tune written for a British TV show. For a couple of years this was the only place the song was available, until it was included on The Great Lost Kinks Album, issued in 1973. The Kinks themselves were unaware of the album's existence until it was already on the charts, and were not happy about it at all. As a result, the album was soon discontinued, and When I Turn Out The Living Room Light remained somewhat of a rarity until the 21st century, when it was finally "officially" released on a CD called BBC Sessions 1964–1977 in 2001.

Artist:    Mothers
Title:    I'm The Slime
Source:    CD: Strictly Commercial (originally released on LP: Over-Nite Sensation)
Writer(s):    Frank Zappa
Label:    Ryko (original label: Discreet)
Year:    1973
    In 1973, Frank Zappa, along with an array of talented musicians, recorded two albums' worth of material. The first, released as a Mothers album, was Over-Nite Sensation. Strangely enough, a single was released from the album, although it really didn't make much of a dent in the top 40 charts. That single was I'm The Slime, a song that only gets more relevant as time goes on. The song is basically a description of America's top drug of choice, as the opening lyrics make clear: "I am gross and perverted. I'm obsessed 'n deranged. I have existed for years, but very little has changed. I'm the tool of the government and industry too, for I am destined to rule and regulate you. I may be vile and pernicious, but you can't look away. I make you think I'm delicious, with the stuff that I say. I'm the best you can get. Have you guessed me yet? I'm the slime ooozing out of your TV set." Ironically, Zappa and his band performed the song on his first appearance on NBC's Saturday Night Live.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Smooth Dancer
Source:    Japanese import CD: Who Do We Think We Are
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1973
    Deep Purple's most iconic lineup (the so-called Mark II group consisting of Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice) only recorded four studio albums together before internal tensions and conflict with their own management led to the departure of Gillan and Glover. The last of these was Who Do We Think We Are, released in 1973. By this point some of the band members were not on speaking terms, and their individual parts had to be recorded at separate times. Nonetheless, the album is full of strong tracks such as Smooth Dancer, which closes out side one of the original LP. Despite all the problems getting Who Do We Think We Are recorded and the band's subsequent disintegration, Deep Purple sold more albums in the US than any other recording artist in the year 1973 (including continued strong sales of the 1972 album Machine Head and their live album Made In Japan).

Artist:    Cactus
Title:    Feel So Good
Source:    CD: Cactus
Writer(s):    Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty
Label:    Wounded Bird (original label: Atco)
Year:    1970
    In September of 1969 guitarist Jeff Beck approached former Vanilla Fudge drummer Carmine Appice and bassist Tim Bogert about forming a new band. Those plans fell through, however, when Beck fractured his skull in a car accident that December. Bogert and Appice quickly recruited vocalist Rusty Day, formerly of the Amboy Dukes, and guitarist Jim McCarty from the Detroit Wheels to form Cactus, releasing their first LP in July of 1970. The album, which can best be described as blues-based hard rock, closes with Feel So Good, which includes an Appice drum solo.

Artist:    Mahogany Rush
Title:    Tales Of The Spanish Warrior
Source:    Canadian import CD: Strange Universe
Writer(s):    Frank Marino
Label:    Just A Minute (original label: 20th Century)
Year:    1975
    Since the tragic death of Jimi Hendrix in 1970, there have been plenty of guitarists that have come along using a similar style to the Experienced One. Only one or two have been able to truly recreate the total Hendrix sound, however, and the most notable of these is Canadian Frank Marino, whose band, Mahogany Rush, was patterned after the Jimi Hendrix Experience. In essence, Mahogany Rush represents one of the many possible directions that Hendrix himself might have gone in had he lived past the age of 27. The album Strange Universe, released in 1975, begins with Tales Of The Spanish Warrior, which manages to capture the Hendrix sound without sounding like any particular Hendrix track.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Tumbling Dice
Source:    Mono 45 RPM promo single
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Rolling Stones
Year:    1972
    The lead single from what is sometimes cited as the Rolling Stones' greatest album, Exile On Main Street, Tumbling Dice was a top 10 single on both sides of the Atlantic, hitting #5 in the UK and #7 in the US. The song started off as a piece called Good Time Woman, but was reworked on August 4, 1971, with a new intro riff and a bass track played by Mick Taylor (Bill Wyman being away from the studio at the time the track was recorded).