Sunday, September 19, 2021

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2139 (starts 9/20/21)

https://exchange.prx.org/pieces/386256-pe-2139 


    This is one of those shows that has no artists sets, instead featuring 32 tracks from 32 different artists, including half a dozen that have never been played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era before. It does, however, include a new Advanced Psych segment with a decidedly garage-rock feel to it.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    We Can Work It Out
Source:    LP: Yesterday...And Today (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966 (single released 1965)
    From 1965 on very few Lennon/McCartney compositions were actually collaborations between the Beatles' two main songwriters. We Can Work It Out, released in December of 1965 as half of a double A side single, is one of those few.

Artist:    Herbal Mixture
Title:    Please Leave My Mind
Source:    British mono CD: Insane Times (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Tony McPhee
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Columbia UK)
Year:    1966
    After a stint backing up John Lee Hooker, guitarist T.S. McPhee branched out on his own with a band called Herbal Mixture in 1966. The group only cut two singles for the British Columbia label, the second of which featured a song that McPhee wrote called Please Leave My Mind as its B side. Eventually Tony McPhee would gain greater fame as leader of the Groundhogs in the early 70s.

Artist:    Masters Apprentices
Title:    Hot Gully Wind
Source:    Australian import CD: The Master's Apprentices
Writer(s):    Michael Bower
Label:    Aztec (original label: Astor)
Year:    1967
    Formed in 1964 by guitarists Mick Bower and Rick Morrison, drummer Brian Vaughton and bassist Gavin Webb, the Mustangs were an instrumental surf music band from Adelaide, South Australia that specialized in covers of Ventures and Shadows songs. In June of that year the Beatles came to Adelaide and were greeted by the largest crowd of their career (around 300,000 people). The popularity of the Beatles among the locals prompted the Mustangs to add vocalist Jim Keays and switch to British-influenced Beat music. In late 1965, having been introduced to the blues through records by bands like the Yardbirds and Rolling Stones, the band changed its name to the Masters Apprentices, with Bower explaining that  "we are apprentices to the masters of the blues—Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, Elmore James and Robert Johnson". The band decided to relocate to Melbourne in early 1967, taking on Steve Hopgood as the band's new drummer when Vaughton decided to stay in Adelaide. They released their debut LP in 1967, although the people at Astor Records mistakenly added an apostrophe to Masters on the album cover. Among the many Bower originals on the album was Buried And Dead, which was also released as the band's second single. Unfortunately, Bower suffered a nervous breakdown in September, and the band was left without a songwriter. By the end of 1967 the Masters Apprentices were on the verge of disintegrating, which led Keays to reorganize the band in January of 1968 with several new members, retaining only Gavin Webb from the original Mustangs lineup. He also ended up leaving the group due to stomach ulcers in April of 1968.

Artist:    Steppendog
Title:    I'm Feeling Down
Source:    Mono CD: Lost Souls-volume 4
Writer(s):    Benny Grigsby
Label:    Psych Of The South
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 2013
    Benny Grigsby had already released one single as the leader of Benny And The Hittites for the Batesville, Arkansas label Zay-Dee sometime around 1965 or 1966 when he decided to take another shot at recording one of his own tunes in 1968. To do so he assembled a group of local musicians, mostly from a local group called Purple Haze and, using the tongue-in-cheek name Steppendog, recorded I'm Feeling Down. The song never got released, however, and for years the only copy was an acetate in the possession of lead guitarist Danny Dozier. The acetate has since disappeared, but Dozier had already made a cassette copy of it, which is now available on Lost Souls-volume 4, a collection of mid-60s garage/psych tunes from Arkansas.

Artist:    Guess Who
Title:    Laughing
Source:    CD: The Best Of 60s Supergroups (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Canned Wheat)
Writer(s):    Bachman/Cummings
Label:    Priority (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1969
    Following the success of their American LP debut, Wheatfield Soul (and the hit single These Eyes), the Guess Who headed back to the studio to record their fifth album, Canned Wheat. RCA Victor had a policy stating that groups signed to the label had to use RCA's own studios, whether they wanted to or not. The Guess Who and their producer, Jack Richardson, however, felt that RCA's New York studios were to inferior to A&R studios, where Wheatfield Soul had been recorded, and to prove their point secretly re-recorded two songs, Laughing and Undun, at A&R. They then sent dubs of the two new recordings to the shirts at RCA, who immediately issued the recordings as the band's next single, unaware that they had been recorded at A&R. By the time RCA realized what was going on, the single was already climbing the charts (eventually hitting the #10 spot), and ended up using the two new recordings on Canned Wheat. The remainded of the album was made up of the tracks recorded at RCA Studios. Their next album, American Woman, would be recorded at RCA's brand new Mid-America Recording Center in Chicago.
        
Artist:    Doors
Title:    Waiting For The Sun
Source:    CD: The Best Of The Doors (originally released on LP: Morrison Hotel)
Writer(s):    Jim Morrison
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1970
    The third Doors album, Waiting For The Sun, released in 1968, is notable for at least two things that were not on the album itself. The first, and most well-known, was the epic piece Celebration Of The Lizard, which was abandoned when the group couldn't get it to sound the way they wanted it to in the studio (although one section of the piece was included under the title Not To Touch The Earth). The second, and perhaps more obvious omission was the title track of the album itself. The unfinished tapes sat on the shelf until 1970, when the band finally completed the version of Waiting For The Sun that appears on the Morrison Hotel album.

Artist:    Love
Title:    Alone Again Or
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Bryan MacLean
Label:    Elektra
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:    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:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Dandelion
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    If there was a British equivalent to the Beach Boys' Good Vibrations in terms of time and money spent on a single song, it might be We Love You, a 1967 single released by the Rolling Stones. To go along with the single (with its state-of-the-art production) the band spent a considerable sum making a full-color promotional video, a practice that would not become commonplace until the advent of MTV in the 1980s. Despite all this, US radio stations virtually ignored We Love You, choosing to instead flip the record over and play the B side, a tune called Dandelion. As to why this came about, I suspect that Bill Drake, the man behind the nation's most influential top 40 stations, simply decided that the less elaborately produced Dandelion was better suited to the US market than We Love You and instructed his hand-picked program directors at such stations as WABC (New York), KHJ (Los Angeles) and WLS (Chicago) to play Dandelion. The copycat nature of top 40 radio being what it is, Dandelion ended up being a moderate hit in the US in the summer of '67.
        
Artist:     Simon and Garfunkel
Title:     Bookends Theme/Save The Life Of My Child/America
Source:     CD: Collected Works (originally released on LP: Bookends)
Writer:     Paul Simon
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1968
     An early example of a concept album (or at least half an album) was Simon And Garfunkel's fourth LP, Bookends. The side starts and ends with the Bookends theme. In between they go through a sort of life cycle of tracks, from Save The Life Of My Child (featuring a synthesizer opening programmed by Robert Moog himself), into America, a song that is very much in the sprit of On The Road, the novel that had inspired many young Americans to travel beyond the boundaries of their own home towns.

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Oh, Sweet Mary
Source:    LP: Cheap Thrills
Writer(s):    Albin/Andrew/Getz/Gurley/Joplin
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    The only song credited to the entire membership of Big Brother And The Holding Company on their Cheap Thrills album was Oh, Sweet Mary (although the original label credits Janis Joplin as sole writer and the album cover itself gives only Joplin and Peter Albin credit). The tune bears a strong resemblance to Coo Coo, a non-album single the band had released on the Mainstream label before signing to Columbia. Oh, Sweet Mary, however, has new lyrics and, for a breath of fresh air, a bridge section played at a slower tempo than the rest of the tune.

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:    Turtles
Title:    Can't You Hear The Cows
Source:    Mono CD: The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    The Turtles
Label:    White Whale
Year:    1968
    By late 1968 the Turtles already had their best times behind them. After a failed attempt at self-production (the record company refused to release all but one of the tracks they had recorded), the band went back into the studio to cut a Harry Nilsson tune, The Story of Rock and Roll. Can You Hear the Cows, sort of a twisted throwback to their days as the surf music band known as the Crossfires and sounding oddly like the mid-80s Beach Boys, appeared on the B side of that single.

Artist:    Brigands
Title:    (Would I Still Be) Her Big Man
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Kris/Arthur Resnick
Label:    Rhino (original label: Epic)
Year:    1966
    Virtually nothing is known about the Brigands, other than the fact that they recorded in New York City. Their only single was a forgettable piece of imitation British pop, but the B side, (Would I Still Be) Her Big Man, holds up surprising well. The song itself was written by the husband and wife team of Kris and Artie Resnick, who would end up writing a series of bubble gum hits issued under various band names on the Buddah label in 1968.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Louise
Source:    LP: Spirit Of '67
Writer(s):    Jesse Lee Kincaid
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    One interesting by-product of the popular (but hard to define) Los Angeles club band The Rising Sons being signed to Columbia in 1966 was that, although their album was never released, singer/songwriter Jesse Lee Kincaid did get the opportunity for his songs to be heard by people at the label, including producer Terry Melcher. This led to one of his compositions being recorded by Columbia's most successful rock band at the time, Paul Revere and the Raiders (also produced by Melcher). Louise was included on the Raiders' third top 10 LP of 1966, ironically titled The Spirit of '67.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Bass Strings
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Berkeley EPs (originally released on EP)
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Rag Baby)
Year:    1966
    One of the more original ways to get one's music heard is to publish an underground arts-oriented newspaper and include a record in it. Country Joe and the Fish did just that; not once, but twice. The first one was split with another artist and featured the original recording of the I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag. The second Rag Baby EP, released in 1966, was all Fish, and featured two tracks that would be re-recorded for their debut LP the following year. In addition to the instrumental Section 43, the EP included a four-minute version of Bass Strings, a track with decidedly psychedelic lyrics.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Pet Sounds
Source:    Mono LP: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Brian Wilson
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1966
    Originally titled Run James Run, Brian Wilson's instrumental Pet Sounds was intended for a James Bond film, but instead ended up as the title track of the Beach Boys' most celebrated album (although it actually appears close to the end of the album itself). The track somewhat resembles a 60s update of the Tiki room recordings made by Martin Denny in the 1950s, with heavily reverberated bongos and guiro featured prominently over a latin beat. Although credited to the Beach Boys, only Brian Wilson appears on the track (on piano), with the remainder of the instruments played by various Los Angeles studio musicians collectively known as the Wrecking Crew.

Artist:    Undisputed Truth
Title:    Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today)
Source:    British import CD: Nothing But The Truth (originally released on LP: The Undisputed Truth
Writer(s):    Whitfield/Strong
Label:    Kent (original US label: Gordy)
Year:    1971
    Just about everybody is at least somewhat familiar with the Temptations' 1970 hit Ball Of Confusion. What most people don't realize, though, is that the instrumental backing track, performed by Motown's Funk Brothers, originally ran over ten minutes in length, and was cut down to less than four minutes for the Temptations' single version of the song. Now normally, in a case like this the album track would be the full-length version of the song, but, to my knowledge, no such version exists. This is because the only time the Temptations version of the song was released on an LP was on a greatest hits compilation, which of course used the hit single version. The producers of the track, Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, did find a way to get the full-length version of the backing track on vinyl, however, albeit with a different vocal group entirely. The Undisputed Truth was a second-tier Motown group that recorded exclusively for Whitfield and Strong. They had a pretty big hit themselves in the spring of 1971 with a song called Smiling Faces Sometimes, but had been unable to come up with a strong followup single. Their self-titled debut LP, released in July, included the full version of Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today) heard here.

Artist:    Strawberry Zots
Title:    Pretty Flowers
Source:    LP: Cars, Flowers, Telephones
Writer(s):    Mark Andrews
Label:    StreetSound
Year:    1989
    Albuquerque's Strawberry Zots were led by Mark Andrews, who either wrote or co-wrote all of the band's original material. Their only LP, Cars, Flowers, Telephones, was released locally on the StreetSound label and reissued on CD the following year by RCA records. My personal favorite track on the album is Pretty Flowers, which starts off the LP's second side. Unfortunately the song is handicapped by its low-fidelity production, which may have been a deliberate attempt to emulate the sound of 60s psychedelia, but ends up sounding over-compressed (like much of the music of the 1980s).
        
Artist:    Higher State
Title:    I Suppose You Like That Now?
Source:    CD: Volume 27
Writer(s):    Paul Messis
Label:    13 O'Clock
Year:    2016
    Formed in the town of Sandgate, Kent in the UK in 2005, the Higher State are one of the best examples of modern garage rock. The group, featuring Marty Ratcliffe on guitar, vocals and organ, Paul Messis on bass and guitar and Scarlett Rickard on drums, has four album's the their credit, including their 2016 release Volume 27. All the tracks on Volume 27 were written by either Ratcliffe or Messis, including this Messis song with the delightfully snarky title I Suppose You Like That Now?

Artist:    Tol-Puddle Martyrs
Title:    Two Hearts
Source:    CD: Flying In The Dark
Writer(s):    Peter Rechter
Label:    Secret Deals
Year:    2011
    The original Tolpuddle Martyrs were a group of farmers in the English village of Tolpuddle who had the temerity to try organizing what amounts to a union in the 19th century. For their efforts they found themselves deported to the penal colony now known as Australia. But that doesn't really concern us. What I wanted to talk about was the original Tol-Puddle Martyrs (note the hyphen), the legendary Australian band that evolved from a group called Peter And The Silhouettes. Well, not exactly. What I really wanted to talk about is the current incarnation of the Tol-Puddle Martyrs. Still led by Peter Rechter, the Martyrs have released a series of CDs since 2007 (including a collection of recordings made by the 60s incarnation of the band). Among those CDs is the 2011 album Flying In The Dark, which contains several excellent tunes such as Two Hearts. Thanks to Peter Rechter for sharing these CDs with Stuck in the Psychedelic Era.
        
Artist:     Bob Dylan
Title:     It Ain't Me Babe
Source:     LP: Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: Another Side Of Bob Dylan)
Writer:     Bob Dylan
Label:     Columbia/Legacy
Year:     1964
     One of Bob Dylan's best known songs was It Ain't Me Babe, from his 1964 album Another Side Of Bob Dylan. The song was electrified by the Turtles the following year, becoming their first hit single.

Artist:    Ban
Title:    Bye Bye
Source:    Mono British import CD: A Pot Of Flowers (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Tony McGuire
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Brent)
Year:    1965
    One of the first garage bands signed to Bob Shad's Brent label was The Ban (not to be confused with the basement group The Band). Based in Lompoc, California, the Ban was led by guitarist/vocalist Tony McGuire, who also wrote the band's original material. The group released their first single, Bye Bye in late 1965, and for a while it looked like the Ban had a legitimate shot at fame. In early 1966, however, it all came crashing down when McGuire received his draft notice. The remainder of the band regrouped, first in Hollywood as the Now and later (after moving to San Francisco) the Tripsichord Music Box.
     
Artist:    Standells
Title:    Dirty Water
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Ed Cobb
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
    Dirty Water has long since been adopted by the city of Boston (and especially its sports teams), yet the band that originally recorded this Ed Cobb tune was purely an L.A. band, having started off playing cover tunes for frat parties in the early 60s. Lead vocalist/drummer Dickie Dodd, incidently, was a former Mouseketeer who had played on the surf-rock hit Mr. Moto as a member of the Bel-Airs.

Artist:     Cream
Title:     Mother's Lament
Source:     Mono European import LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer:     Trad. Arr. Cream
Label:     Lilith (original US label: Atco)
Year:     1967
     The shortest-ever Cream recording was an old English drinking song called Mother's Lament. Vocals on the song were led by drummer Ginger Baker, and the track was chosen to close out the Disraeli Gears album. By one of those odd coincidences of the music industry, the album was issued in Europe on the Polydor label (as were many cutting-edge bands of the time, including the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Procol Harum and the Who), which at the time did not issue records in the US. By the late 1980s, however, Polydor was well established in the US and all the Cream albums on Compact Disc were released under the Polydor imprint. The mono LP used here, however, is a more recent European pressing on the Lilith label.

Artist:     Moby Grape
Title:     Sitting By The Window
Source:     Mono LP: Moby Grape
Writer:     Peter Lewis
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1967
     Moby Grape's powerful 1967 debut managed to achieve what few bands have been able to: a coherent sound despite having wildly different writing styles from the individual members. One of guitarist Peter Lewis's contributions to the album was Sitting By The Window, one of those rare songs that sounds better every time you hear it.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Comin' Back To Me
Source:    CD: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s):    Marty Balin
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1967
    Uncredited guest guitarist Jerry Garcia adds a simple, but memorable recurring fill riff to this Marty Balin tune. Balin, in his 2003 liner notes to the remastered release of Surrealistic Pillow, claims that Comin' Back To Me was written in one sitting under the influence of some primo stuff given to him by Paul Butterfield. Other players on the recording include Paul Kantner, Jack Casady and Balin himself on acoustic guitars and Grace Slick on recorder.

Artist:     Arlo Guthrie
Title:     Coming Into Los Angeles
Source:     CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On-Back To Yasgur's Farm
Writer:     Arlo Guthrie
Label:     Rhino
Year:     Recorded 1969, released 2009
    When the original Woodstock soundtrack album came out in 1970 it included a handful of recordings that were not made at the Woodstock festival itself. Among those was a version of Arlo Guthrie's Coming Into Los Angeles that segued directly out of a truncated version of Rock And Soul Music by Country Joe And The Fish. As can be heard on the box set Woodstock: 40 Years On-Back To Yasgur's Farm, the performance of Coming Into Los Angeles is marred by the sound system being adjusted throughout the song, resulting in instruments and even vocals fading in and out on the recording. Still, this is what the people in the crowd heard on that August day in 1969.

Artist:    Max Frost And The Troopers
Title:    She Lied
Source:    CD: Shape Of Things To Come
Writer(s):    Beckner/Martin
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 was recorded by studio musicians, with vocals by Paul Wibier. The song, along with several other Barry/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 13th Power, who had already released a couple of singles on Curb's own Sidewalk label, ghosted the album, writing most of the songs on it, including She Lied, themselves. 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:     Status Quo
Title:     Pictures Of Matchstick Men
Source:     Simulated stereo CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Francis Rossi
Label:     K-Tel (original label: Cadet Concept)
Year:     1968
     The band with the most charted singles in the UK is not the Beatles or even the Rolling Stones. It is, in fact, Status Quo, quite possibly the nearest thing to a real life version of Spinal Tap. Except for Pictures of Matchstick Men, the group has never had a hit in the US. On the other hand, they remain popular in Scandanavia, playing to sellout crowds on a regular basis (yes, they are still together).

Artist:    Hollies
Title:    Not That Way At All
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Allan Clarke
Label:    Epic
Year:    1969
    After the departure of Graham Nash in December of 1968 the Hollies continued to find success on the British charts with Terry Sylvester (formerly of the Swinging Blue Jeans) taking Nash's place in the band. The first post-Nash single by the group was Sorry Suzanne, which hit the #3 spot on the UK singles chart. The B side of that record was an Allan Clarke composition called Not That Way At All that is stylistically consistent with the Hollies' older material.

Artist:    Millennium
Title:    I'm With You
Source:    LP: Begin
Writer(s):    Lee Mallory
Label:    Columbia/Sundazed
Year:    1968
    Curt Boettcher, despite looking about 15 years old, was already at 24 an experience record producer by early 1968, having worked with the Association on their first album, as well as co-producing Sagittarius with Gary Usher and producing his own group, the Ballroom, in 1967. Among the many people he had worked with were multi-instrumentalist Keith Olsen, drummer Ron Edgar and bassist Doug Rhodes, all of which had been members of Sean Bonniwell's Music Machine in 1966-67. Following the release of the debut Eternity's Children album, which Olsen and Boettcher had co-produced, the two formed a new group called the Millennium. In addition to the aforementioned Music Machine members, the Millennium included guitarist/singer/songwriters Lee Mallory (who wrote I'm With You), Sandy Salisbury, and Michael Fennelly, all of who Boettcher had worked with on various studio projects, and Joey Spec, who would go on to form his own Sonic Past Music label many years later. Working on state-of-the-art 16 track equipment at Columbia's Los Angeles studios, they produced the album Begin, which, at that point in time, was the most expensive album ever made and only the second (after Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends) to use 16-track technology. The only problem was that by the time the album was released in mid-1968, public tastes had changed radically from just a year before, with top 40 listeners going for the simple bubble-gum tunes coming from the Buddah label and album fans getting into louder, heavier groups like Blue Cheer and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. There was no market for the lavishly produced Begin album, which failed to chart despite getting rave reviews from the press. A second Millennium album was shelved, and the members went their separate ways. In more recent years the album has attained legendary status as, in the words of one critic, "probably the single greatest 60s pop record produced in L.A. outside of the Beach Boys".

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2139 (starts 9/20/21)

 https://exchange.prx.org/pieces/386255-dc-2139

 
    Two sets this week: the first one takes us from 1968 to 1973, one year at a time, while the second is for the most part centered on 1968. Of course it all rocks.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Mark Says Alright
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Farner/Brewer/Schacher
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1970
    Grand Funk Railroad's Live Album, released in 1970, continued the group's pattern of getting universally negative reviews from the rock press while selling millions of copies to the band's fans. Unlike most live albums, the double LP contained no overdubs or remixes, reflecting the band's desire to present an accurate, if flawed, representation of how the band actually sounded in concert. Although most of the songs on the Live Album are also available as studio tracks on their first three albums, one track, the five-minute long instrumental piece called Mark Says Alright, was nearly exclusive to the Live Album. I say "nearly" because the track was also issued as the B side of the album's first single, Heartbreaker.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    It's Breaking Me Up
Source:    CD: This Was
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Jethro Tull originally was part of the British blues scene, but even in the early days the band's principal songwriter Ian Anderson wanted to expand beyond the confines of that particular genre. Ironically It's Breaking Me Up, from Jethro Tull's first LP, is an Anderson composition that is rooted solidly in the British blues style.

Artist:    Mighty Baby
Title:    I've Been Down So Long
Source:    British import CD: Mighty Baby
Writer(s):    Powell/Whiteman/Stone/Evans/King
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Head)
Year:    1969
    After the departure of frontman Reggie King, the Action, which had been in existence since 1965, decided to change not only its name, but its entire sound as well. Originally a Merseybeat band doing Motown covers, the band had slowly been incorporating elements of California bands such as the Byrds and the Association. With the addition of Ian Whiteman, they began to delve into improvisational rock as well, and by the time they officially became Mighty Baby in 1969 they were being hailed as England's answer to the Grateful Dead. As can be heard on tracks like I've Been Down So Long, they certainly had the talent to pull it off, but even the Dead themselves were generally received with indifference by the British, and Mighty Baby fared no better there than the band that inspired them.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    Think About The Times
Source:    CD: Watt
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Deram)
Year:    1970
    The first Ten Years After I ever bought was Stonedhenge, which I picked up because a) I liked the cover, and b) it was the featured album of the month at the BX at Ramstein Air Base, costing a buck and a half instead of the usual $2.50. Not long after that my dad got transferred back to the States, and I somehow missed the release of the next TYA album, Cricklewood Green. A friend of mine had a copy, though, that we spent a lot of time listening to, so when I saw the next TYA album, Watt, on the racks I immediately picked it up. I wore that copy out, and only later learned that the album had gotten mostly negative reviews from the rock press. I think that's when I started to suspect that most rock critics were self-righteous individuals with no talent of their own, because I thought Watt was a good album then and I still think it's a good album. Take a listen to Think About The Times and tell me I'm wrong.

Artist:    Uriah Heep
Title:    Time To Live (alternate version)
Source:    British import CD: Salisbury
Writer(s):    Box/Byron/Hensley
Label:    Sanctuary
Year:    Recorded 1971, released 2003
    For their second LP, Salisbury, Uriah Heep attempted to explore new ground while maintaining their "heavy" image established on their first effort. For the most part they succeeded. One of the heavier tunes on the album, Time To Live, was actually put together in the recording studio itself, and tells the story of a man being released from prison after serving a 20-year sentence. Obviously, the song was not written from personal experience, since the band members were all in their early 20s at the time. The alternate version of Time To Live heard here was mixed and edited for a possible single release, but never issued. Oddly enough, it is actually about 15 seconds longer than the LP version.

Artist:    Todd Rundgren
Title:    Couldn't I Just Tell You
Source:    LP: Something/Anything?
Writer(s):    Todd Rundgren
Label:    Bearsville
Year:    1972
    Three of the four sides of Todd Rundgren's 1972 album Something/Anything were 100% solo efforts done in Rundgren's own home studio. Among the other things he accomplished with this album was pretty much single-handedly inventing the power pop genre with the song Couldn't I Just Tell You.

Artist:    Queen
Title:    Doing All Right
Source:    LP: Queen
Writer(s):    May/Staffell
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1973
    Before there was a band called Queen, there was Smile. Formed by guitarist Brian May and bassist Tim Staffell, the group soon recruited drummer Roger Taylor and, eventually, keyboardist/vocalist Farrokh Basada, who suggested the band change its name to Queen. Staffell left the band before the group's first album (replaced by John Deacon), but not before co-writing a song called Doing All Right, which Staffell originally sang lead vocals on. When Queen finally got a record contract in 1973, they included Doing All Right on the debut LP, with Basada, who by then had taken the stage name Freddie Mercury, doing the vocals in a style deliberately similar to that of Staffell.

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

Artist:    Pentangle
Title:    Pentangling
Source:    LP: Superecord Contemporary (originally released on LP: The Pentangle)
Writer(s):    Cox/Jansch/McShea/Renbourne/Thompson
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Once in a while an album comes along that is so consistently good that it's impossible to single out one specific track for airplay. Such is the case with the debut Pentangle album from 1968. The group, consisting of guitarists John Renbourne and Bert Jansch, vocalist Jacqui McShea, bassist Terry Cox, and drummer Danny Thompson, had more talent than nearly any band in history from any genre, yet never succumbed to the clash of egos that characterize most supergroups. Enjoy all seven minutes of Pentangling.

Artist:    Joni Mitchell
Title:    Nathan La Franeer
Source:    LP: The 1969 Warner/Reprise Songbook (originally released on LP: Song To A Seagull)
Writer(s):    Joni Mitchell
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Producer David Crosby came up with the idea of using the architecture of a grand piano to help shape Joni Mitchell's voice on her debut LP, Song To A Seagull, using extra microphones to capture the sound of her voice reverberating off the piano strings. Unfortunately, this idea resulted in excessive tape hiss, which was equalized out during the mastering process, leaving the entire album with a somewhat muddy sound that Mitchell later described as sounding like it was recorded under a Jello bowl. Nonetheless, Warner/Reprise chose Nathan La Franeer from that album for inclusion on The 1969 Warner/Reprise Songbook, the first of a series of budget-priced albums known as "Loss Leaders" that were available directly from the record company itself and advertised on all their record sleeves.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills and Nash
Title:    Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Source:    LP: Crosby, Stills and Nash
Writer:    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    After the demise of Buffalo Springfield, Stephen Stills headed for New York, where he worked with Al Kooper on the Super Session album and recorded several demo tapes of his own, including a new song called Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (reportedly written for his then-girlfriend Judy Collins). After his stint in New York he returned to California, where he started hanging out in the Laurel Canyon home of David Crosby, who had been fired from the Byrds in 1967. Crosby's house at that time was generally filled with a variety of people coming and going, and Crosby and Stills soon found themselves doing improvised harmonies on each other's material in front of a friendly, if somewhat stoned, audience. It was not long before they invited Graham Nash, whom they heard had been having problems of his own with his bandmates in the Hollies, to come join them in Laurel Canyon. The three soon began recording together, and in 1969 released the album Crosby, Stills and Nash. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes was chosen as the opening track for the new album and was later released (in severely edited form) as a single.

Artist:    Edgar Winter's White Trash
Title:    Keep Playin' That Rock 'N' Roll
Source:    45 RPM single (promo)
Writer(s):    Edgar Winter
Label:    Epic
Year:    1972
    Edgar Winter has often been accused of riding his brother Johnny's coattails to fame. Keep Playin' That Rock 'N' Roll, released by Edgar Winter's White Trash in 1972, is sort of an admission that that is exactly what happened.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2138 (starts 9/13/21)

 https://exchange.prx.org/pieces/385387-pe-2138

 
    The first thing that comes to mind for most people when they hear the words "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is a really long rock song with a drum solo. This week, though, those words describe three other songs from the same album. We also have a set of songs credited to John Lennon and Paul McCartney that were actually written entirely by Lennon. There are a few more oddities, as well as a healthy dose of classics, on this week's edition of Stuck in the Psychedelic Era.

Artist:    It's A Beautiful Day
Title:    White Bird
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: It's A Beautiful Day)
Writer(s):    David & Linda LaFlamme
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    San Francisco's It's A Beautiful Day is a good illustration of how a band can be a part of a trend without intending to be or even realizing that they are. In their case, they were actually tied to two different trends. The first one was a positive thing: it was now possible for a band to be considered successful without a top 40 hit, as long as their album sales were healthy. The second trend was not such a good thing; as was true for way too many bands, It's A Beautiful Day was sorely mistreated by its own management, in this case one Matthew Katz. Katz already represented both Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape when he signed up It's A Beautiful Day in 1967. What the members of It's A Beautiful Day did not know at the time was that both of the aforementioned bands were desperately trying to get out of their contracts with Katz. The first thing Katz did after signing It's A Beautiful Day was to ship the band off to Seattle to become house band at a club Katz owned called the San Francisco Sound. Unfortunately for the band, Seattle already had a sound of its own and attendance at their gigs was sparse. Feeling downtrodden and caged (and having no means of transportation to boot) classically-trained 5-string violinist and lead vocalist David LaFlamme and his keyboardist wife Linda LaFlamme translated those feelings into a song that is at once sad and beautiful: the classic White Bird. As an aside, Linda LaFlamme was not the female vocalist heard on White Bird. Credit for those goes to one Pattie Santos, the other female band member. To this day Katz owns the rights to It's A Beautiful Day's recordings, which have been reissued on CD on Katz's San Francisco Sound label.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Dupree's Diamond Blues
Source:    CD: Aoxomoxoa
Writer(s):    Hunter/Garcia/Lesh
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1969
    The third Grateful Dead LP, Aoxomoxoa, was one of the first albums to be recorded using state-of-the-art sixteen track equipment, and the band, in the words of guitarist Jerry Garcia, "tended to put too much on everything...A lot of the music was just lost in the mix, a lot of what was really there." Garcia and bassist Phil Lesh would return to the master tapes in 1971, remixing the entire album for the version that has appeared on vinyl and CD ever since then. Recently, however, Warner Brothers and Rhino have released a limited edition pressing of the original mix on vinyl. All of the music on the LP, including Dupree's Diamond Blues (which was also released as a single) is credited to guitarist Jerry Garcia and bassist Phil Lesh, with lyrics by poet Robert Hunter.
    
Artist:    Kak
Title:    I've Got Time
Source:    British import CD: Kak-Ola (originally released on LP: Kak)
Writer(s):    Gary Lee Yoder
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    Every band has its own unique story. Nonetheless, the story of Kak is more unique than most. The genesis of the group came in the summer of 1967 when guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Gary Lee Yoder, former member of the Oxford Circle, was approached by a guy named Gary Grelecki, who, after expressing regret that the Circle had broken up, asked Yoder if he would interested in recording for CBS. Two months later Grelecki, whose father was a CIA agent fronting as a Far East distributor for CBS Records, called back with the news that he had used his dad's contacts to secure Yoder a deal with Epic, a CBS label. In early 1968 Yoder began recruiting local musicians, including fellow Oxford Circle lead guitarist Dehner Patton, bassist Joe-Dave Damrell (Group 'B'), and drummer Chris Lockheed (the Majestics). What started off as a solo project soon turned into a group effort, and by June the band had worked up enough material to start recording. After only one session, however, the project was delayed and work on the album itself did not begin until September. During this time the band continued to work up new material written by Yoder, such as I've Got Time, as well as a few songs co-written by Grelecki. The band had very little equipment of their own, however; as a result they did not do any live performances that summer. Once they were able to commence recording in earnest the entire album took about a week to record. In October, with the recording finished, the band was given $10,000 worth of new equipment to go on the road and promote the album, but soon discovered that they did not have the right kind of onstage chemistry. Without strong touring support, the album got lost among the many outstanding records released in 1969, and Kak disbanded soon after.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    The Girl With No Name
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    Chris Hillman
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1967
    As is often the case, a failed relationship was the inspiration for The Girl With No Name, one of five songs written or co-written by Byrds bassist Chris Hillman for the group's fourth LP, Younger Than Yesterday. The tune has a strong country feel to it, presaging Hillman's future career as a member of the Desert Rose Band in the 1980s. Guitarist Clarence White, who would soon become a member of the band, makes an early appearance on the track.
    
Artist:    Simon Dupree And The Big Sound
Title:    Kites
Source:    British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road-1965-1969 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Pockriss/Hackaday
Label:    EMI (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1967
    Almost all of the British beat bands of the 1960s played R&B covers in their early days. Most, like the Animals and Rolling Stones, covered blues artists like John Lee Hooker or early rock and rollers like Chuck Berry. Simon Dupree And The Big Sound, however, saw themselves more as a "soul" band in the image of such American artists as Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding. Led by the Shulman brothers (Derek, Ray and Phil), the band was formed in early 1966 and was soon signed to EMI's Parlophone label. After their first few singles failed to chart, the band's label and management convinced them to record the more psychedelic-sounding Kites. Although the band hated the record, it ended up being their only top 10 single in the UK, and after subsequent records went nowhere, the group, finally realizing that they were not destined to hit the big time as a blue-eyed soul band, disbanded in 1969. The Shulman brothers, however, did achieve success in the 1970s with their new band Gentle Giant, which was about as far removed from blue-eyed soul as you can get.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    She's My Girl
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Bonner/Gordon
Label:    Rhino (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1967
    A favorite among the Turtles' members themselves, She's My Girl is full of hidden studio tricks that are barely (if at all) audible on the final recording. Written by Gary Bonner and Al Gordon, the same team that came up with Happy Together, the song is a worthy follow up to that monster hit.

Artist:    Executives
Title:    The Ginza Strip
Source:    Mono British import CD: Acid Daze (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Roy and Tony Carr
Label:    Uncut (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    The Executives were one of the many British beat bands that decided to try their hand at psychedelia in 1967. They had previously been tied closely to the Mod movement however (in fact producer/bandleader Tony Carr had written the 1964 hit March Of The Mods) and, despite the fact that The Ginza Strip is a fine slice of psychedelia, were unable to shed their Mod image enough to gain credibility as a psychedelic band.

Artist:    Red Crayola
Title:    Pink Stainless Tail
Source:    Stereo British import 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Thompson/Cunningham/Barthelme
Label:    International Artists
Year:    1967 (single released 2011)
    Rock history is dotted with stories of bands who reputations exceeded their actual recorded output. One such band was Red Crayola, a Texas band who found themselves labelmates with the 13th Floor Elevators in 1967. Although the Red Crayola (who were forced to change their name to Red Krayola in 1968) were only together for a couple of years, their legend continued to grow throughout the punk/new wave era and indy rock movements of the late 20th century and beyond. Which brings us to this curious single issued in 2011. The songs themselves, including B side Pink Stainless Tail, were lifted from the first Red Crayola album, Parable Of Arable Land, and are even on the same label, International Artists...or are they? International Artists, a relatively small label owned by a group of Texas businessmen, ceased to exist in 1971, and this 2011 single is a British import. So what's the deal? Well, as it turns out, one of the original partners in International Artists was a guy named Lelan Rogers. In 1978 Rogers (perhaps with the help of his brother Kenny?) revived the label and reissued all twelve of the LPs that originally been released by the label. This was followed by various compilation albums, some of which included previously released material. By the early 2000s, the revived International Artists had become part of Britian's Charly Records, a company that specializes in archival material. Apparently the people at Charly felt there was enough interest in Red Crayola recordings to issue a yellow vinyl single 2011, with a newly remixed Hurrican Fighter Pilot on the A side and Pink Stainless Tail on the flip. As both these tracks overlap other stuff on the original LP, the single turns out to be a pretty good thing to have around.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Wrong
Source:    CD: The Very Best Of The Music Machine-Turn On
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Collectables (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    Sean Bonniwell was a member of the mainstream (i.e. lots of appearances on TV variety shows hosted by people like Perry Como and Bob Hope) folk group the Lamplighters in the early 60s. By 1966 he had morphed into one of the more mysterious figures on the LA music scene, leading a proto-punk band dressed entirely in black. Bonniwell himself wore a single black glove (Michael Jackson was about seven years old at the time), and was one of the most prolific songwriters of the day. His recordings, often featuring the distinctive Farfisa organ sound, were a primary influence on later L.A. bands such as Iron Butterfly and the Doors. A classic example of the Music Machine sound was the song Wrong, which was issued as the B side of the group's most successful single, Talk Talk.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Jaguar
Source:    CD: The Who Sell Out (bonus track originally released in box set: 30 Years Of Maximum R&B)
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1994
    The Who included a short "commercial" for Premier Drums on their late 1967 LP The Who Sell Out, and ended up getting gifted a set of drums as a result. Perhaps they had hopes for a similar result when they recorded Jaguar?

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Call On Me
Source:    45 RPM single B side from box set: Move Over)
Writer(s):    Sam Andrew
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 2012
    Call On Me was one of the songs from the first Big Brother And The Holding Company album that everyone, including the band, felt had not been properly recorded. Accordingly, the band made a new recording of the song for possible inclusion of their second LP, Cheap Thrills, but ultimately decided to shelve that version indefinitely. Finally, in 2012, someone came up with the idea of releasing a box set of previously unreleased 45 RPM Janis Joplin singles called Move Over for Record Store Day 2012, and the second version of Call On Me was included in the set.
 
Artist:    Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title:    Fortunate Son
Source:    LP: Willy And The Poor Boys
Writer(s):    John Fogerty
Label:    Fantasy
Year:    1969
    John Fogerty says it only took him 20 minutes to write what has become one of the iconic antiwar songs of the late 1960s. But Fortunate Son is not so much a condemnation of war as it is an indictment of the political elite who send the less fortunate off to die in wars without any risk to themselves. In addition to being a major hit single upon its release in late 1969 (peaking at #3 as half of a double-A sided single), Fortunate Son has made several "best of" lists over the years, including Rolling Stone magazine's all-time top 100. Additionally, in 2014 the song was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Tangerine
Source:    German import LP: Led Zeppelin III
Writer(s):    Jimmy Page
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    The third Led Zeppelin album, released in 1970, saw the band expanding beyond its blues-rock roots into more acoustic territory. This was in large part because the band had, after an exhausting North American concert tour, decided to take a break, with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page renting an 18th century cottage in Wales that had no electricity. While there, the two composed most of the music that would become Led Zeppelin III. Once the music was written, the band reunited in a run-down mansion at Headley Grange to rehearse the new material, giving the entire project a more relaxed feel. Only one song on the album, Tangerine, is credited solely to Jimmy Page; as it turns out Tangerine would be the last original Led Zeppelin song that Plant did not write lyrics for (excepting instrumentals of course).
    
Artist:    Iron Butterfly
Title:    Most Anything You Want
Source:    CD: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Writer(s):    Doug Ingle
Label:    Atco
Year:    1968
    Iron Butterfly will forever be known for the seventeen minute long In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, but, contrary to popular believe, they did record other songs as well, releasing four studio albums from 1968-1971. The In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida lineup of Doug Ingle (vocals, organ), Ron Bushy (drums), Lee Dorman (bass) and Erik Brann (guitar) was only around for two of those LPs, however, and can be heard on tracks like Most Anything You Want, which opens the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida album.

Artist:    Iron Butterfly
Title:    Termination
Source:    LP: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Writer(s):    Brann/Dorman
Label:    Atco
Year:    1968
    Although most Iron Butterfly songs were written by keyboardist/vocalist Doug Ingle, there were a few exceptions. One of those is Termination, from the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida album, which was written by guitarist Erik Brann and bassist Lee Dorman. From a 21st century perspective Termination sounds less dated than most of Ingle's material.

Artist:    Iron Butterfly
Title:    My Mirage
Source:    CD: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Writer(s):    Doug Ingle
Label:    Atco
Year:    1968
    One thing about Iron Butterfly's In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida album is that almost nobody remembers any of the songs from the other side of the album. That's a bit of a shame, because there are a couple of really good tunes on there, such as My Mirage, a Doug Ingle composition that helped lay the groundwork for the progressive rock movement of the 1970s.

Artist:    Grass Roots
Title:    You're A Lonely Girl
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Sloan/Barri
Label:    Dunhill
Year:    1966
    In late 1965 songwriters/producers P.F. Sloan (Eve of Destruction) and Steve Barri decided to create a series of records by a band called the Grass Roots. The problem was that there was no band called the Grass Roots (or so they claimed), so Sloan and Barri decided to recruit an existing band and talk them into changing their name. The band they found was the Bedouins, one of the early San Francisco bands. As the rush to sign SF bands was still months away, the Bedouins were more than happy to record the songs Sloan and Barri picked out for them. The first single by the newly-named Grass Roots was a cover of Bob Dylan's Mr. Jones (Ballad Of A Thin Man). The B side was You're A Lonely Girl, a Sloan/Barri composition. The Bedouins would soon grow disenchanted with their role and move back to San Francisco, leaving Sloan and Barri the task of finding a new Grass Roots. Eventually they did, and the rest is history. The Bedouins never recorded again.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Run For Your Life
Source:    LP: Rubber Soul
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/EMI/Apple
Year:    1965
    Compared to some of John Lennon's later songs, Run For Your Life comes across as a sexist, even violent expression of jealous posessiveness. However, in 1965 such a viewpoint was quite common; in fact it was pretty much the acceptable norm for the times. Scary, huh?

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite
Source:    LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1967
    According to principal songwriter John Lennon, Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite was inspired by a turn of the century circus poster that the Beatles ran across while working on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Most of the lyrics refer to items on the poster itself, such as Henry the Horse and the Hendersons.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Girl
Source:    CD: Rubber Soul
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/EMI/Apple
Year:    1965
    Some people think Girl is one of those John Lennon drug songs. I see it as one of those John Lennon observing what's really going on beneath the civilized veneer of western society songs myself. Your choice.

Artist:     Cream
Title:     Pressed Rat And Warthog
Source:     LP: Wheels Of Fire
Writer:     Baker/Taylor
Label:     RSO (original label: Atco)
Year:    1968
    Pressed Rat And Warthog, from Cream's third LP, Wheels Of Fire, is one of those songs you either love or hate. I loved it the first time I heard it but had several friends that absolutely despised it. As near as I can tell, drummer Ginger Baker actually talks that way. Come to think of it, all the members of Cream had pretty heavy accents.

Artist:     Steppenwolf
Title:     Take What You Need
Source:     CD: Steppenwolf
Writer:     Kay/Mekler
Label:     MCA
Year:     1968 (original label: Dunhill)
    Not long after the first Steppenwolf album came out, I borrowed a copy from a friend and taped it on my dad's Akai reel-to-reel recorder. I must have been getting kind of tired toward the end of the album, because I failed to catch a skip in the next to last track on the album. The song, Take What You Need, was one of two tunes on the LP that were co-written by producer Gabriel Mekler. Those same two songs both appeared as B sides of singles as well, guaranteeing Mekler a share of royalties from both singles. Although the one with Take What You Need on flip was a flop, the next one, Born To Be Wild (with its B side, Everybody's Next One, bearing a Mekler co-writing credit), ended up making lots of money for quite a few people, Mekler included.

Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    The Fool
Source:    CD: Quicksilver Messenger Service (bonus track originally released on CD: Unreleased Quicksilver: Lost Gold And Silver)
Writer(s):    Duncan/Freiberg
Label:    Rock Beat (original label: Collector's Choice)
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 2000
    There are differing opinions on just how serious legendary San Francisco singer/songwriter and general iconoclast Dino Valenti was being when, at a jam session with guitarist John Cippolina one night, he suggested that the two of them form a band. Since Valenti was busted for drugs the very next day (and ended up spending the next two years in jail), we'll never know for sure. Cippolina, however, was motivated enough to begin finding members for the new band, including bassist David Freiberg (later to join Starship) and drummer Skip Spence. When Marty Balin stole Spence away to join his own new band (Jefferson Airplane), he tried to make up for it by introducing Cippolina to vocalist/guitarist Gary Duncan and drummer Greg Elmore, whose own band, the Brogues, had recently disbanded. Taking the name Quicksilver Messenger Service (so named for all the member's astrological connections with the planet Mercury), the new band soon became a fixture on the San Francisco scene. Inspired by the Blues Project, Cippolina and Duncan quickly established a reputation for their dual guitar improvisational abilities. Unlike other San Francisco bands such as the Airplane and the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service did not jump at their first offer from a major record label, preferring to hold out for the best deal. This meant their debut album did not come out until 1968, missing out on the initial buzz surrounding the summer of love. In one way this actually worked to the band's advantage, since by 1968 record companies were more willing to include lengthy improvisational tracks like The Fool, which took up the entire second side of the group's debut LP.  

Artist:    Cyrkle
Title:    Money To Burn
Source:    LP: Red Rubber Ball
Writer(s):    Don Dannemann
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    By late 1966 surf music was pretty much gone from the top 40 charts. The Beach Boys, however, had managed to adapt to changing audience tastes without abandoning the distinctive vocal harmonies that had made them stand out from their early 60s contemporaries. In fact, several other bands had sprung up with similar vocal styles. One of the most successful of these (at least in the short term) was the Cyrkle. Led by vocalist/guitarist Don Dannemann, the group hit the scene with two consecutive top 10 singles, both of which were included on the band's debut LP, Red Rubber Ball. Although manager Brian Epstein had the group recording mostly songs from outside sources, there were a handful of Cyrkle originals on the album, including Danneman's Money To Burn, which was also issued as the B side to the band's third single.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Rainy Day In June
Source:    British import CD: Face To Face
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Sanctuary (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    Ray Davies let his imagination run free on a Rainy Day In June, from the 1966 Kinks LP Face To Face. The result was a song "about fairies and little evil things within the trees that come to life".

Artist:    Them
Title:    Hey Girl
Source:    LP: Backtrackin' (originally released in UK on LP: Them Again)
Writer(s):    Van Morrison
Label:    London (original label: Decca)
Year:    1966
    Of the five Van Morrison originals on the album Them Again, only four were included on the US version of the LP. The missing song, Hey Girl, finally appeared in the US in 1974 on the album Backtrackin'. Stylistically, Hey Girl has more in common with Van Morrison's first solo LP, Astral Weeks, than with anything else Them recorded.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    If 6 Was 9
Source:    LP: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA/Experience Hendrix (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Before 1967 stereo was little more than an excuse to charge a dollar more for an LP. That all changed in a hurry, as artists such as Jimi Hendrix began to explore the possibilities of the technology, in essence treating stereophonic sound as a multi-dimensional sonic palette. The result can be heard on songs such as If 6 Were 9 from the Axis: Bold As Love album, which is best listened to at high volume, preferably with headphones on. Especially the spoken part in the middle, when Jimi says the words "I'm the one who's got to die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want." It sounds like he's inside your head with you.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Moonlight Drive
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    Much of the second Doors album consisted of songs that were already in the band's repertoire when they signed with Elektra Records but for various reasons did not record for their debut LP. One of the earliest was Jim Morrison's Moonlight Ride. As was the case with all the Doors songs on their first three albums, the tune was credited to the entire band.
    
Artist:    Circus Maximus
Title:    Wind
Source:    CD: Circus Maximus
Writer(s):    Bob Bruno
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Circus Maximus was formed out of the chance meeting of multi-instrumentalist Bob Bruno and guitarist Jerry Jeff Walker in Greenwich Village in 1967. From the start the band was moving in different directions, with Bruno incorporating jazz elements into the band while Walker favored country-rock. Eventually the two would go their separate ways, but for the short time the band was together they made some of the best, if not best-known, psychedelic music on the East Coast. The band's most popular track was Wind, a Bruno tune from their debut album. The song got a considerable amount of airplay on the new "underground" radio stations that were popping up across the country at the time.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2138 (starts 9/13/21)

https://exchange.prx.org/pieces/385386-dc-2138 


    This week's show is pure free-form rock, with 13 tunes from 13 bands, including one from the Norman Whitfield produced Undisputed Truth to get things under way.

Artist:    Undisputed Truth
Title:    Feelin' Alright
Source:    British import CD: Nothing But The Truth (originally released on LP: Law Of The Land)
Writer(s):    Dave Mason
Label:    Kent (original label: Gordy)
Year:    1973
    By 1969 producer Norman Whitfield had established himself as Motown's "psychedelic soul" producer, using the Temptations to crank out hits like Psychedelic Shack and Cloud 9. The problem was that many Temptations fans, as well as some of the members of the Temptations themselves, were not entirely happy with the direction the group had taken, and still preferred their older hits like My Girl. Whitfield, seeing the writing on the wall, began assembling a new vocal group that would not have the baggage the Temptations brought with them, and the Undisputed Truth was born. The group's main lead vocalist was Joe "Pep" Harris, who had been with a group called the Fabulous Peps prior to 1968, and was backed up by Billie Calvin and Brenda Evans, who had been in the California soul band The Delicates. Although most of their songs were also recorded by the Temptations (and often used the same instrumental backing tracks), there were some that were uniquely recorded by the Undisputed Truth. Among these is a version of Traffic's Feelin' Alright, done in a style that foreshadowed the direction soul music would be taking in the 1970s with bands like the Commodores.

Artist:    Steely Dan
Title:    Only A Fool Would Say That
Source:    CD: Can't Buy A Thrill
Writer(s):    Becker/Fagan
Label:    MCA (original label: ABC)
Year:    1972
    Steely Dan's first album, Can't Buy A Thrill, is best known for its two hit singles, Do It Again and Reeling In The Years. The album, however, has plenty more good tracks, including Only A Fool Would Say That, which also appeared as a B side.

Artist:    Steve Miller Band
Title:    Dime-A-Dance Romance
Source:    CD: Sailor
Writer(s):    Boz Scaggs
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1968
    It's fairly well known that Boz Scaggs started off as an original member of the Steve Miller Band. What's not as well known however, is just how brief his tenure with the group actually was. He appeared on their first two albums, both released in 1968, before embarking on his own solo career, and barely wrote enough material to fill only one side of an LP while with the group. Among his half-dozen or so compositions was Dime-A-Dance Romance which appeared as the last track on Sailor, Scaggs's last album with the band.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Street Fighting Man
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Beggar's Banquet)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1968
    The Rolling Stones were at a low point in their career following their most psychedelic album, Their Satanic Majesties Request, which came out in late 1967. As a response to charges in the rock press that they were no longer relevant the Stones parted company with their longtime producer, Andrew Loog Oldham and began an equally long association with Jimmy Miller, who had already established himself as a top producer working with Steve Winwood of the Spencer Davis Group and later Traffic. The first song Miller produced with the Stones was Street Fighting Man, which appeared on the 1968 LP Beggar's Banquet. Before that LP was released, however, the band recorded an even more iconic single, Jumpin' Jack Flash, which was the first Miller/Stones production to be heard by the general public.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Woman From Tokyo
Source:    CD: The Very Best Of Deep Purple (originally released on LP: Who Do We Think We Are)
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Archives/Rhino
Year:    1973
    Deep Purple's most successful period came to an end with the band's seventh LP, Who Do We Think We Are. The album, released in 1973, was the last for vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover, both of whom had joined the band three years earlier. Those three years saw the group go from semi-obscurity (especially in their home country) to one of the world's most popular rock bands. Songs like Smoke On The Water and Highway Star had become mainstays of FM rock radio worldwide, but tensions within the band itself were starting to tear it apart. Nonetheless, the final album by the classic lineup of Richie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice featured some of the band's best material, including the LP's opening track, My Woman From Tokyo, which is still heard with alarming regularity on classic rock radio stations.

Artist:    Climax Blues Band
Title:    Reap What I've Sowed
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM promo
Writer(s):    Climax Blues Band
Label:    Sire
Year:    1970
    The Climax Chicago Blues Band was a band steeped in confusion pretty much from the start. Formed in Stafford, England in 1967, the group originally consisted of  vocalist/harmonica player Colin Cooper, guitarist/vocalist Pete Haycock , guitarist Derek Holt, bassist/keyboardist Richard Jones, drummer George Newsome, and keyboardist Arthur Wood. Originally part of the British blues-rock scene of the late 1960s, the band found itself continually adapting to a changing musical landscape throughout its existence, racking up a total of 17 albums over the years. After releasing two LPs on EMI's Parlophone label, the band switched over to EMI's progressive rock oriented label, Harvest, releasing their third album, A Lot Of Bottle, in 1970. By this time there was more than a little confusion over the band's name, which, on the British release of A Lot Of Bottle, was still the Climax Chicago Blues Band. In the US, however, the name of the album itself was The Climax Blues Band. To make things even more confusing, the band's next two studio albums were credited to the Climax Blues Band in North America, but appeared under the name Climax Chicago in the rest of the world. This confusion over the band's name may be part of the reason they were never a major success, although they did manage a couple hit singles over the years (Couldn't Get It Right in 1977 and I Love You in 1981). The band's first US single, 1971's Reap What I've Sowed, was only issued to radio stations, with the notation that it was from the "forthcoming" album, The Climax Blues Band, which had actually been released the previous year in the UK. As I said, steeped in confusion.

Artist:    Brownsville Station
Title:    Lightnin' Bar Blues
Source:    LP: Yeah
Writer(s):    Hoyt Axton
Label:    Big Tree
Year:    1973
    Some of the best concerts I've ever been to involved opening acts that outperformed the actual headliner. One such case was the Joe Cocker concert I went to around 1975 or so. The opening act was Brownsville Station, who had charted a hit a couple years before with Smokin' In The Boys Room, but hadn't been heard on the radio much since then. They did exactly what they were supposed to, firing up the crowd with upbeat rockers like Lightnin' Bar Blues, a tune written by Hoyt Axton. The second band, Foghat, kept the energy up, but Cocker showed up drunk and insisted on concentrating his performance on off-key versions of low energy tunes such as his recent hit You Are So Beautiful. We all left before the concert ended.

Artist:    Second Hand
Title:    Reality
Source:    British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Reality)
Writer(s):    Elliott/Gibbons
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1968
    Formed in Streatham, South London, in 1965 by vocalist/keyboardist Ken Elliott, guitarist Bob Gibbons and drummer Kieran O'Connor, the Next Collection soon won a local battle of the bands and the opportunity to make a demo recording at Maximum Sound Studios. This brought them to the attention of producer Vic Keary, who got them signed to Polydor in 1968 under the name Moving Finger. Just as the album Reality was about to be released, however, another band called the Moving Finger released a single on another label, forcing Elliot and company to come up with a new band name, as well as new packaging for the LP. The name they chose was Second Hand, since all of their equipment had been bought used. Apparently the delay also caused some rethinking on the part of the people at Polydor, who had initially been enthusiastic supporters of the band. When Reality was released in late 1968 it got no promotional support whatsoever from the label, and was a commercial failure. In recent years, however, Second Hand's Reality, including the title track, has come to be recognized as one of the pioneering albums of the prog-rock movement, predating bands like Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer by several years.

Artist:    Chicago
Title:    South California Purples
Source:    CD: Chicago Transit Authority
Writer(s):    Robert Lamm
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    Chicago never considered themselves a jazz-rock band, despite all the hype from the rock press and the publicity people at Columbia Records. Rather, the defined themselves as a rock band with a horn section. Songs like Robert Lamm's South California Purples, which is basically a blues progression, lend credence to this view. The track, which showcases the guitar work of Terry Kath, was one of the most popular songs on the band's debut album and continued to be a concert staple until Kath's death in 1978.

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:    Spirit
Title:    Uncle Jack
Source:    CD: The Best Of Spirit (originally released on LP: Spirit)
Writer(s):    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Epic
Year:    1968
    Despite nearly universal positive reviews by the rock press, the first Spirit album never really caught the imagination of the record buying public. Why this is the case is still a bit of a mystery, as the album is full of outstanding tracks such as Uncle Jack. Perhaps the album, and indeed the band itself, was just a bit ahead of its time.

Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Blowin' Free
Source:    CD: Argus
Writer(s):    Upton/Turner/Turner/Powell
Label:    MCA/Decca
Year:    1972
    Known to the band's fans as the "Ash Anthem", Blowin' Free is probably the single most popular song Wishbone Ash ever recorded. The song, with lyrics written by bassist Martin Turner before Wishbone Ash even formed, is about Turner's Swedish ex-girlfriend.

Artist:    Gun
Title:    Rat Race
Source:    German import CD: Gun
Writer(s):    Gurvitz/Mycroft
Label:    Repertoire (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    Led by guitarist/vocalist Adrian Curtis (later changed to his birth name, Gurvitz) Gun was known for its high-energy rock, supplemented by horns and strings. On the more melodic side were tracks like Rat Race, which still rocked out harder than most bands in 1968.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2137 (starts 9/6/21)

https://exchange.prx.org/pieces/384607-pe-2137


    With only two exceptions, none of the songs on this week's edition of Stuck in the Psychedelic Era were played on the show during the summer months of 2021. One of those two exceptions is part of a Jimi Hendrix set, while the other is part of our Advanced Psych segment this week. This week's blog entry includes a short history of the Electric Prunes (who are included in the aforemention Advanced Psych segment) that first appeared on a 2019 entry of The Hermit Rambles.

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

Artist:    Fever Tree
Title:    San Francisco Girls (Return Of The Native)
Source:    CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released on LP: Fever Tree)
Writer(s):    Scott and Vivian Holtzman
Label:    BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Uni)
Year:    1968
    A minor, but notable trend in 1968 was for producer/songwriters to find a band to record their material exclusively. A prime example is Houston's Fever Tree, which featured the music of husband and wife team Scott and Vivian Holtzman. While not as successful as the band that started the trend, Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan's Grass Roots, Fever Tree did manage to hit the lower reaches of the Billboard Hot 100 with San Francisco Girls (Return of the Native), a song featured on their eponymous debut LP.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    Funny Freak Parade
Source:    LP: Ultimate Spinach (mono promo copy)
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:        Turtles
Title:        You Know What I Mean
Source:       Mono CD: All The Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:        Bonner/Gordon
Label:        Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
Year:        1967
        1967 was a good year for the Turtles, mainly due to their discovery of the songwriting team Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon. Not only did the former members of the Magicians write the Turtles' biggest hit, Happy Together, they also provided two follow-up songs, She's My Girl and You Know What I Mean, both of which hit the top 20 later in the year.

Artist:    Third Bardo
Title:    I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Evans/Pike
Label:    Rhino (original label: Roulette)
Year:    1967
    The Third Bardo (the name coming from the Tibetan Book of the Dead) only released one single, but I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time has become, over a period of time, one of the most sought-after records of the psychedelic era. Not much is known of this New York band made up of Jeffrey Moon (vocals), Bruce Ginsberg (drums), Ricky Goldclang (lead guitar), Damian Kelly (bass) and Richy Seslowe (guitar).

Artist:    First Crew To The Moon
Title:    The Sun Lights Up The Shadows Of Your Mind
Source:    Mono British import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jerry Milstein
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Roulette)
Year:    1967
    Originally known as the Back Door Men, and later the Bootleggers, Brooklyn, NY's First Crew To The Moon signed with the Roulette label on the recommendation of legendary songwriter Doc Pomus. Unfortunately for the band, their only record for Roulette, a song called Spend Your Life With Me, was released just as the label's entire promotional budget was being spent on the latest single by labelmates Tommy James And The Shondells, a tune called I think We're Alone Now. To add insult to injury, Roulette misspelled the band's name on both sides of the record, inadvertently rechristening them First Crow To The Moon, a name that actually fits the record's B side, a psychedelic masterpiece called The Sun Lights Up The Shadows Of Your Mind, quite well. As it turned out, none of this really mattered, as the band soon disbanded following the death of lead guitarist Alan Avick of leukemia. Perhaps the group's greatest legacy, however, was to serve as inspiration to their friend Chris Stein, who several years later would team up with Deborah Harry to form a group called Blondie.

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

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    I'm Waiting For The Day
Source:    Mono CD: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Wilson/Love
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    Although it was originally copyrighted in 1964 (words and music by Brian Wilson), I'm Waiting For The Day did not get recorded or released until 1966, when it appeared on the Pet Sounds album. Mike Love shares writing credit on the finished version of the song.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Salt Lake City
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: California Girls (original LP title: Summer Days (And Summer Nights)
Writer(s):    Brian Wilson
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1965
    Salt Lake City was one of the first places outside of California that the Beach Boys became popular. In 1965 Brian Wilson wrote a tribute song to the city that appeared on their highest charting LP, Summer Days And Summer Nights. The album itself was the band's ninth studio album, and their last to emphasize the surf culture that the band had built its original success around. In the mid 1970s Summer Days And Summer Nights was reissued under the title California Girls.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    That's Not Me
Source:    Mono CD: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Wilson/Asher
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    The Beach Boys were about as mainstream as bands like Love and the Music Machine were underground, yet Brian Wilson was turning out music every bit as original as any of the club bands in town. The album Pet Sounds is considered one of the masterpieces of the era, with the majority of songs, including That's Not Me, written by Wilson with lyrics by Tony Asher.

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    Misty Lane
Source:    Mono British import CD: Melts In Your Brain, Not On Your Wrist (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Martin Siegel
Label:    Big Beat (original US label: Uptown)
Year:    1967
    The third Chocolate Watchband single, Misty Lane, was made, according to rock historian Alec Paleo, "under duress". Reportedly, the band hated the single so much that they took turns tossing copies in the air and using them for target practice. Written by British songwriter Martin Siegel, the song sounds nothing like the garage-punk club band that lived to outstage the big name acts they often opened for. The song was provided to the band by producer Ed Cobb, who later admitted that he didn't really know what to do with them in the studio.

Artist:    Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band
Title:    Zig Zag Wanderer
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Safe As Milk)
Writer(s):    Don Van Vliet
Label:    Rhino (original label: Buddah)
Year:    1967
    Don Van Vliet made his first recordings as Captain Beefheart in 1965, covering artists like Bo Diddley in a style that could best be described as "punk blues." Upon hearing those recordings A&M Records, despite its growing reputation as a hot (fairly) new label, promptly cancelled the project. Flash forward a year or so. Another hot new label, Buddah Records, an offshoot of Kama Sutra Records that had somehow ended up being the parent rather than the subsidiary, was busy signing new acts like Johnny Winter, and ended up issuing Safe As Milk in 1967 as their very first LP. The good captain would eventually end up on his old high school acquaintance Frank Zappa's Bizarre Records, turning out classic albums like Trout Mask Replica, and the world would never be quite the same.

Artist:    Status Quo
Title:    Pictures Of Matchstick Men
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Francis Rossi
Label:    Rhino (original label: Cadet Concept)
Year:    1967
    The band with the most charted singles in the UK is not the Beatles or even the Rolling Stones. It is, in fact, Status Quo, quite possibly the nearest thing to a real life version of Spinal Tap currently in existence. Except for Pictures of Matchstick Men, the group has never had a hit in the US. On the other hand, they remain popular in Scandanavia, playing to sellout crowds on a regular basis (yes, they are still together).

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Down The Road Apiece
Source:    Mono LP: The Rolling Stones, Now!
Writer(s):    Don Raye
Label:    London
Year:    1965
    In their early days the Rolling Stones recorded (and performed) a lot of songs originally recorded by American rhythm and blues artists. One of these was actually a cover of a cover song. Chuck Berry had originally released Down The Road A Piece (sic) as an album track on his 1960 LP Rockin' At The Hops, but the song actually dates back to 1940, when it was issued as as a boogie woogie single by the Will Bradley Trio (with uncredited vocals by songwriter Don Raye). Amos Milburn was the first to record a faster version of the song in 1947, which was the likely source of inspiration for Berry's 1960 cover of the tune.

Artist:    Front Line
Title:    Got Love
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Lanigan/Philipet
Label:    Rhino (original label: York)
Year:    1965
    The Front Line was a band from San Rafael, California whose story in many ways was typical of their time. Marin County, being a fairly upscale place, had its share of clubs catering to the sons and daughters of its affluent residents. Of course, these teens wanted to hear live performances of their favorite top 40 tunes and bands like the Front Line made a decent enough living catering to their preferences. Like most bands of the time, the Front Line had one song that was of their own creation, albeit one that was somewhat derivative of the kinds of tunes they usually performed (not to mention unusually short in duration) so as not to scare off their audience. That song was Got Love, which was released on the York label in 1965.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    So Long
Source:    Mono LP: Kinda Kinks
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1965
    The second Kinks album, Kinda Kinks, was made over a period of two weeks immediately following the band's Asian tour. As such, many of the tracks sound a bit rough, as if they needed some finishing touches that the band didn't have time to add. It wasn't a matter of content; in fact Ray Davies himself said he thought the album had better songs than their first effort (So Long, for example). Davies has also said, however, that the entire album was "just far too rushed" and that "a bit more care should have been taken with it."

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Streetmasse
Source:    LP: After Bathing At Baxter's
Writer(s):    Kantner/Dryden/Blackman/Thompson/Balin
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1967
     After Bathing At Baxter's is generally considered the most pyschedelic of all the Jefferson Airplane albums. For one thing, the members were reportedly all on LSD through most of the creative process and were involved in the entire package, right down to the decision to divide the album up into five suites and press the vinyl in such a way that the spaces normally found between songs were only present between the suites themselves, making it almost impossible to set the needle down at the beginning of the second or third song of a suite (there is a slight overlap between most of the songs as well). The first suite on After Bathing At Baxter's is called Streetmasse. It consists of three compositions: Paul Kantner's The Ballad of You and Me and Pooniel; A Small Package of Value Will Come To You Shortly (a free-form jazz piece led by drummer Spencer Dryden); and the Paul Kantner/Marty Balin composition Young Girl Sunday Blues.
    
Artist:    Pretty Things
Title:    Rosalyn
Source:    Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Duncan/Farley
Label:    Rhino (original label: Fontana)
Year:    1964
    At a time when the length of one's hair was a defining characteristic of "hipness", London's Pretty Things were reputed to have the longest hair in the UK. Formed in 1962 by vocalist Phil May and original Rolling Stones bassist Dick Taylor on guitar, the Pretty Things were heavily influenced by American blues artists Bo Diddley and Jimmy Reed. In fact, their first single, Rosalyn, although written by their producers, Jimmy Duncan and Bill Farley, had a distinctive Bo Diddley sound to it, albeit even louder and more brash than any of Diddley's own records. The song was a modest hit in the UK, but did not chart at all in the States. Although the Pretty Things never caught on in the US, they had considerable success with their next two singles in their native Britain, as well as Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. Numerous personnel changes over the years, however, led to the group being perceived as not having a distinctive sound, and they were never able to duplicate the success of their early years.
    
Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Lost Dream
Source:    British import LP: Artifact
Writer(s):    Lowe/Tulin
Label:    Heartbeat
Year:    2001
    The story of the Electric Prunes begins in Los Angeles in 1965 with a group called the Sanctions. Like most Southern California bands of the time, the Sanctions' repertoire was mostly covers of popular (and danceable) tunes like Money (That's What I Want), Love Potion # 9 and of course Louie Louie, all of which the band recorded at a home studio owned by Russ Bottomly in March of 1965. At that point in time, the Sanctions were a quartet consisting of James Lowe (vocals), Mark Tulin (bass), Ken Williams (guitar) and Michael "Quint" Weakley (drums). Early in 1966 they came to the attention of Dave Hassinger, who had just finished working with the Rolling Stones, putting the finishing touches on the Aftermath album, and was eager to try his hand at being a producer. He convinced the band that they needed a new name, and eventually the group came up with the name Electric Prunes, which they felt was so far out of the ordinary that people were bound to remember it.

    Even though their first single (a cover of the Gypsy Trips' Ain't It Hard) stiffed, the people at Reprise Records signed the Prunes to a rather onerous contract that left Hassinger firmly in control of virtually everything to come out of a recording studio with the name Electric Prunes on it. At first this was fine with the band (who had just replaced Weakley with Preston Ritter and added James "Weasel" Spagnola as a second guitarist), as they and Hassinger worked well together on the hit single I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night). But it soon became obvious that Hassinger and the band itself had different priorities. Lowe and Tulin had been busy writing songs, yet only two of their compositions ended up on the band's 1967 debut LP. The majority of the songs on the album came from outside songwriters, with Annette Tucker's name in particular appearing on more tracks than anyone else's.

    The album provided the band with a second top 40 single, Get Me To The World On Time (like I Had Too Much To Dream, penned by Tucker), which in turn became a factor in the band being given a little more creative freedom for their second LP, Underground (although the fact that Hassinger's attention was divided between the Electric Prunes and a second band he was producing that summer, a San Francisco group called the Grateful Dead, was probably an even greater factor). This greater freedom resulted in an album that included seven original tunes among the twelve tracks, including the European hit single Long Day's Flight, which was co-written by Weakley, who had returned to the group in time to appear on five songs on the LP.

    The lack of a solid hit single on the album, however, led to Hassinger becoming rather heavy-handed with the group in 1968, possibly due to his frustration with the Grateful Dead that led to his resigning as that band's producer midway through their second LP, Anthem Of The Sun. The Electric Prunes did manage to record one final single, Lowe and Tulin's Everybody Knows You're Not In Love, before Hassinger came up with the idea of the band recording a concept album written by David Axelrod called Mass In F Minor. The band played on three tracks on the Mass, but Hassinger, frustrated by the members' slow pace in learning the material, brought in a Canadian band called the Collectors to finish the project. Although Lowe, Tulin and Weakley did end up making contributions to every track on the album, it had become clear that the Electric Prunes were no longer in control of their own destiny, and after a disastrous attempt to perform the Mass with a full orchestra at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, both Lowe and Weakley left the group. Tulin and Williams stayed around long enough to complete the band's current tour with a patched together lineup that included Kenny Loggins and Jeremy Stuart (of Chad & Jeremy), but by mid-1968 all the original Electric Prunes members were gone.

    Two more LPs and an assortment of singles later, the group Hassinger was still calling the Electric Prunes officially disbanded in 1970. Hardly anyone noticed. That wasn't the end of the story, however. Thanks in part to Lenny Kaye, who included I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) on the 1972 Nuggets compilation album that collected some of the best tracks of the psychedelic era on a double LP, interest in the music of the original Electric Prunes began to take root, eventually leading to both of the original band's albums being reissued in Europe in the 1980s. In the late 1990s rumors began circulating that the original group had begun to work on new material. Then, in Y2K, both original albums were issued in the US on compact disc, with the two non-album singles included as bonus tracks (it was these reissues, in fact, that helped convince me that creating a show called Stuck in the Psychedelic Era was a viable idea).

    Finally, in 2001, the album Artifact appeared on CD on the band's own PruneTwang label in the US, with a truncated version appearing in the UK on vinyl (on the Heartbeat label) the following year. The core members of the band, James Lowe, Mark Tulin and Ken Williams, were joined by guitarist Mark Moulin, keyboardist Cameron Lowe and drummer Joe Dooley for the album, supplemented by guest appearances from former Moby Grape guitarist Peter Lewis, dotarist Jim Gripps, drummer Mike Vasquez and a special guest appearance by original drummer Michael "Quint" Weakley. The opening track on the album, Lost Dream, shows that the band was by no means going the nostalgia route; rather, they referred to Artifact as "the real third album that we never got to make." They have since released three more studio albums, as well as one live album (recorded in 2007) and a kind of hybrid CD called California '66 made to promote a 2009 East Coast tour that never happened, that would have featured the Electric Prunes, Sky Saxon (whose death prompted the tour's cancellation) and Arthur Lee's 21st century version of Love.

Artist:    Dukes Of Stratosphear (XTC)
Title:    What In The World?
Source:    CD: Chips From The Chocolate Fireball (originally released in UK on mini-LP: 25 O'Clock)
Writer(s):    Colin Moulding
Label:    Caroline (original label: Virgin)
Year:    1985
    Originally released on April Fool's Day, 1985, the mini-LP 25 O'Clock  was purportedly a lost classic from the late 1960s by the previously unknown Dukes Of Stratosphear. In reality, the record was a side project by members of XTC, who wanted a break from their more serious commercial efforts. Two years later the group released a full-length album as the Dukes Of Stratosphear, and have since contemplated further projects under the name. Many people, myself included, consider both Dukes Of Stratosphear efforts more listenable than the 1986 XTC album Oranges and Lemons, which came out between the two Dukes recordings.

Artist:    Stranglers
Title:    Vietnamerica
Source:    British import 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    The Stranglers
Label:    Liberty
Year:    1981
    The Stranglers have always been difficult to pigeonhole, which may ultimately account for their longevity. Originally formed in 1974 as the Guildford Stranglers, the band soon became one of the first groups to be identified with Britain's punk-rock movement of the mid-1970s. They soon began to experiment with other musical styles, however, and ended up outlasting most of their contemporaries. By the early 1980s, punk-rock was waning in popularity, and the shirts at EMI hooked them up with producer Tony Visconti in an attempt at coming up with a more commercially viable sound. The result was La Folie, released in November of 1981. The lead single from the album was a song called Let Me Introduce You To The Family. The non-LP B side was Vietnamerica, a moody piece that reflects the influence on the Stranglers of 60s psychedelic bands like the Music Machine and the Doors.

Artist:    101 Strings
Title:    Karma Sitar
Source:    LP: Sounds Of Today
Writer(s):    M. Kelly
Label:    Alshire
Year:    1967
    The only turntable in our house during my youngest years was an RCA Victor 45 RPM changer from the early 1950s. As a result we had no LPs in the house until I was about ten years old, when my parents bought me a small portable record player. Even though the record player was technically mine, my mother did buy one album for herself, an LP called Fire And Romance of South America (or something like that) by 101 Strings. As I recall, she got it at the local Woolworth's store, which had entire racks dedicated to discount-priced LPs, usually for under a dollar. It turns out the name 101 Strings (actually there were 124) had been in use since 1957, when record mogul David L. Miller came up with the idea of using German orchestras to cover popular songs (although not rock and roll) and would continue to be used until the early 1980s. Many 101 Strings LPs were genre-based, including albums featuring Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Asian and South American standards, as well as Broadway show tunes and orchestral covers of pop hits. In 1964 the franchise was sold to Al Sherman, who moved its base of operations to London, changing the name of the record label the group appeared on from Somerset to Alshire. Under Sherman the group attempted to shift its appeal to a younger audience, as evidenced by tracks like Karma Sitar, from the Sounds Of Today album. These efforts were ultimately unsuccessful, and the last 101 Strings album (a collection of early Beatles covers) was released in January of 1981.
 
Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Original Sound, stereo LP version released on Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
     The Music Machine was by far the most advanced of all the bands playing on Sunset Strip in 1966-67. Not only did they feature tight sets (so that audience members wouldn't get the chance to call out requests between songs), they also had their own visual look that set them apart from other bands. With all the band members dressed entirely in black (including dyed hair) and wearing one black glove, the Machine projected an image that would influence such diverse artists as the Ramones and Michael Jackson in later years. Musically, Bonniwell's songwriting showed a sophistication that was on a par with the best L.A. had to offer, demonstrated by a series of fine singles such as The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly. Unfortunately, problems on the business end prevented the Music Machine from achieving the success it deserved and Bonniwell, disheartened, dissillusioned and/or disgusted, eventually quit the music business altogether.

Artist:    Love
Title:    Live And Let Live
Source:    Australian import CD: (originally released on LP: Forever Changes)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Raven (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1967
    In late spring of 1967 L.A.'s most popular local band, Love, was falling apart, mostly due to constant partying on the part of some of the band members. This became a real issue for producer Bruce Botnick when it came time to begin sessions for the band's third LP, Forever Changes. Botnick had already lost his co-producer on the project, Neil Young, when Young's own band, Buffalo Springfield, found themselves hugely popular in the wake of the success of the single For What It's Worth, and Botnick was now faced with a heavier-than-expected workload. Botnick's solution to the problem became evident when the band entered Sunset Sound Recorders on June 9th, only to find a group of studio musicians already set up and ready to record. Two new Arthur Lee songs were recorded that day, and the rest of the band was literally shocked in sobriety, returning to the studio the next day to record overdubs on the tracks to make them sound more like the work of the band itself. After two month's worth of intensive practice, the band was ready to return to the studio, recording the first track for the album performed entirely by the band itself, Live And Let Live. The unusual first line of the song was reportedly the result of Lee falling asleep in a chair with his nose running during practice sessions.
    
Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience (II)
Title:    Angel
Source:    LP: The Cry Of Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1970
    Shortly after the untimely death of Jimi Hendrix in September of 1970, Reprise released the first of many posthumous Hendrix albums, The Cry Of Love. Like millions of other Hendrix fans, I immediately went out and bought a copy. I have to say that there are very few songs that have ever brought tears to my eyes, and even fewer that did so on my very first time hearing them. Of these, Angel, featuring Mitch Mitchell on drums and Billy Cox on bass, tops the list.

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

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix
Title:    Belly Button Window
Source:    LP: The Cry Of Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1971
                Following the death of Jimi Hendrix, Reprise Records got to work compiling tracks for The Cry Of Love, the first of many posthumous Hendrix albums released by the label. The final track on the LP was an unfinished piece called Belly Button Window that featured Hendrix on vocals and electric guitar, with no other musicians appearing on the track. In the late 1990s the Hendrix family released a CD called First Rays Of The New Rising Sun that was based on Hendrix's own plans for a double-length album that he was working on at the time of his death. First Rays Of The New Rising Sun ends with the same bare bones recording of Belly Button Window that was used on The Cry Of Love.

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

Artist:    Easybeats
Title:        Friday On My Mind
Source:    Mono CD: Battle Of The Bands-Vol. Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Vanda/Young
Label:    Era (original label: United Artists)
Year:        1966
       Considered by many to be the "greatest Australian song" ever recorded, the Easybeats' Friday On My Mind, released in late 1966, certainly was the first (and for many years only) major international hit by a band from the island continent. Technically, however, Friday On My Mind is not an Australian song at all, since it was recorded after the band had relocated to London. The group continued to release records for the next year or two, but were never able to duplicate the success of Friday On My Mind. Ultimately vocalist Stevie Wright returned to Australia, where he had a successful solo career. Guitarists Harry Vanda and George Young, who had written Friday On My Mind, also returned home to form a band called Flash And The Pan in the early 1970s. Later in the decade Young would help launch the careers of his two younger brothers, Angus and Malcolm, in their own band, AC/DC.

Artist:    Left Banke
Title:    She May Call You Up Tonight
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Brown/Martin
Label:    Smash
Year:    1967
    Unlike their first two singles, Walk Away Renee and Pretty Ballerina, the Left Banke's third single, She May Call You Up Tonight, failed to chart, possibly due to the release two months earlier of a song called Ivy Ivy, written by keyboardist Michael Brown and shown on the label as being by the Left Banke. Ivy Ivy was in reality performed entirely by session musicians, including lead vocals by Bert Sommer, who would be one of the acoustic acts on the opening afternoon of the Woodstock festival a couple years later. The resulting fued between Brown and the rest of the band left a large number of radio stations gun shy when came to any record with the name Left Banke on the label, and She May Call You Up Tonight tanked.

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

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Do It
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Morrison/Krieger
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1969
    One sign of a truly great band is that even at the lowest point in their history they manage to create songs that are above and beyond most other bands. Case in point: the Doors. 1969 was a horrendous year for the band. Jim Morrison was looking at possible jail time for indecent exposure and their producer, Paul Rothchild, was pressuring them to add strings and horns to their recordings. The result was what is universally considered the weakest of the Doors' studio albums, The Soft Parade. Recorded over a period of nine months, The Soft Parade was the first Doors album to give individual writing credits, reportedly because vocalist Jim Morrison did not want his name associated with some of guitarist Robby Kreiger's lyrics. Despite all this, there were some hidden gems on The Soft Parade. Do It, also released as a B side of a failed single, is one such gem.