Saturday, February 26, 2022

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2210 (start 2/28/22)


    Lots of artists' sets again this week, including Cream, Love and a Jefferson Airplane set from their first LP. Also, the seldom heard US album version of the Beatles' Help (complete with orchestral introduction, even)! And, as an added bonus, a finishing track that was literally light years (4.37 to be exact) away from anything else being recorded in 1971.

Artist:    Critters
Title:    Mr. Diengly Sad
Source:    CD: Battle Of The Bands-Vol. Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Don Ciccone
Label:    Era (original label: Kapp)
Year:    1966
    The Critters were formed when Don Ciccone, who sang and played guitar, and saxophonist Bob Podstawski joined a New Jersey band called the Vibratones in 1964, transforming them from an instrumental group into one of the first American bands to compete directly with the British Invasion bands. The band soon released their first single on the Musicor label, switching to Kapp Records the following year. Mr. Diengly Sad became the group's only top 20 hit, peaking at #17 as the summer of 1966 was coming to a close. The group split up in 1968, and after a stint in the military Ciccone joined the 4 Seasons for awhile (temporarily replacing Frankie Valli, who had left the group for a solo career), and later toured with Tommy James And The Shondells. Eventually Ciccone formed a new incarnation of the Critters in 2007, releasing an album called Time Pieces that included updated versions of their first top 40 hit, Younger Girl, and a slightly retitled Mr. Dyingly Sad. Don Ciccone passed away on October 8, 2016 at the age of 70 after suffering a heart attack.
Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Caroline No
Source:    Mono LP: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Wilson/Asher
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1966
    According to lyricist Peter Asher, Caroline No was written because Brian Wilson was "saddened to see how sweet little girls turned out to be kind of bitchy, hardened adults". Though the song was originally included on the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album, it ended up being the only single ever released by Capitol credited to Brian Wilson as a solo artist.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    Thru The Rhythm
Source:    CD: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators
Writer(s):    Sutherland/Hall
Label:    Collectables (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1966
    The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators was reportedly recorded while the entire band was tripping on LSD, making it the first known example of acid rock to be released on vinyl. The album was also (arguably) the first rock album to include the word psychedelic in its title. The 13th Floor Elevators were formed by vocalist Roky Erickson, guitarist Stacy Sutherland and electric juggist Tommy Hall, who also provided lyrics for the group's original compositions such as Thru The Rhythm. Hearing is believing.

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

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?
Source:    Mono CD: Flowers
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1966
    By mid-1966 there was a population explosion of teenage rock bands popping up in garages and basements all across the US, the majority of which were doing their best to emulate the grungy sound of their heroes, the Rolling Stones. The Stones themselves responded by ramping up the grunge factor to a previously unheard of degree with their last single of the year, Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow? It was the most feedback-laden record ever to make the top 40 at that point in time, and it inspired America's garage bands to buy even more powerful amps and crank up the volume (driving their parents to buy more potent alcoholic beverages in the process).
Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    I'm Gonna Make You Mine
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released on 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bayer/Carr/D'errico
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    Possibly the loudest rockin' recordings of 1966 came from the Shadows of Knight. A product of the Chicago suburbs, the Shadows (as they were originally known) quickly established a reputation as the region's resident bad boy rockers (lead vocalist Jim Sohns was reportedly banned from more than one high school campus for his attempts at increasing the local teen pregnancy rate). After signing a record deal with the local Dunwich label, the band learned that there was already a band called the Shadows and added the Knight part (after their own high school sports teams' name). Their first single was a cover of Van Morrison's Gloria that changed one line ("calls out my name" in place of "comes up to my room") and thus avoided the mass radio bannings that had derailed the original Them version. I'm Gonna Make You Mine was the follow up to Gloria, but its lack of commercial success consigned the Shadows to one-hit wonder status until years after the band's breakup, when they finally got the recognition they deserved as one of the founding bands of garage/punk, and perhaps its greatest practitioner.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    I Ain't Done Wrong
Source:    Mono Australian import CD: Over, Under, Sideways, Down (originally released in US on LP: For Your Love)
Writer(s):    Keith Relf
Label:    Epic
Year:    1965
    I Ain't Done Wrong is the only track on the Yardbirds' US debut album For Your Love that was actually written by a member of the Yardbirds. To help understand how something like this might come about I have a short history lesson for you. Record albums have been around nearly as long as recorded music itself, albeit in a form that would be pretty much unrecognizable to modern listeners. The first record albums were collections of several 78 RPM discs in paper sleeves bound between hard covers, similar to photo albums (which is where the name came from). By the end of the 1940s the most popular albums featured single artists such as Frank Sinatra or the Benny Goodman Orchestra. Classical music, however, suffered from this format, since a typical 10" 78 RPM record could hold only about three and a half minutes of music per side. Even using 12" discs that could hold up to seven minutes' worth of music meant breaking up longer pieces into segments, which pretty much ruined the listening experience. Around 1948 or so, Columbia Records (US), the second largest record label in the world, unveiled the long play (LP) record, which could hold about 20 minutes per side with far superior sound quality to the 78s of the day. The format was immediately embraced by classical music artists and listeners alike. It wasn't long before serious jazz artists began to take advantage of the format as well. Popular music, however, was still very much oriented toward single songs, known then as the Hit Parade. This remained the case throughout the first wave of rock 'n' roll in the 1950s, with the new 45 RPM format serving as a direct replacement for 78s. LPs, being more expensive, were targeted to a more affluent audience than 45s were. The few LPs that did appear by popular artists often contained one or two of that artist's hit singles (and B sides), along with several "filler" tracks that were usually covers of songs made popular by other artists. In 1963, however, something interesting happened. An album called With The Beatles was released in the UK. What made this album unique is that it did not include any of the band's hit singles, instead featuring 14 newly recorded tracks. Such was the popularity of the Fab Four that their fans bought enough copies of With The Beatles to make it a hit record in its own right. This led to other British bands following a similar pattern of mutual exclusivity between album and single tracks. One of these bands was the Yardbirds, who had released a pair of singles in 1964. None of these songs had appeared on an album in the UK (the band had, however, released an LP called Five Live Yardbirds that had failed to chart). Then, in 1965, they hit it big with the international hit single For Your Love, which prompted their US label, Epic, to released a Yardbirds LP of the same name. There was, however, one small problem. Guitarist Eric Clapton had just quit the Yardbirds, complaining of the band's move toward more commercial material (such as For Your Love itself, a song which he had recorded under protest); his replacement, Jeff Beck, had only been with the band long enough to record three songs, none of which had yet been released. Epic, however, wanted to get a Yardbirds LP out while For Your Love was still hot, and ended up using all three Beck tracks, as well as the band's previously released British singles (plus two songs of uncertain origins), on the album. Two of the three Beck recordings were blues covers, making the third song, Keith Relf's I Ain't Done Wrong, the only original tune on the album (For Your Love came from an outside songwriter, Graham Gouldman).Since most of the tracks on the LP were already available in the UK, For Your Love was never issued there; the three Beck tracks did appear later that year, however, on a new EP called Five Yardbirds.
Artist:    Saturday's Children
Title:    Man With Money
Source:    CD: Oh Yeah! The Best Of Dunwich Records (originally released on LP: Early Chicago)
Writer(s):    Phil & Don Everly
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Happy Tiger)
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1971
    Although two of its three founders were jazz musicians, Chicago's Dunwich Records is best known for its release of singles by the region's most popular teen-oriented dance bands of the time. The first of these, a cover of Van Morrison's by the suburban Shadows Of Knight, was also the most successful, going into the top 10 on the national charts in 1966. More releases by local Chicago-area bands followed, including three by Saturday's Children, a popular group that patterned itself after the Beatles rather than the Rolling Stones. A fourth, a cover of the 1965 Everly Brothers B side Man With Money, remained unreleased until 1971, when it appeared on an album called Early Chicago. By then, Dunwich had ceased to exist as a record label and the LP appeared on the Happy Tiger label instead.

Artist:    Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:    San Franciscan Nights
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Golden Days Of British Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    Sire (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    In late 1966, after losing several original members over a period of about a year, the original Animals disbanded. Eric Burdon, after releasing one single as a solo artist (but using the Animals name), decided to form a "new" Animals. After releasing a moderately successful single, When I Was Young, the new band appeared at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967. While in the area, the band fell in love with the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, during what came to be called the Summer Of Love. The first single to be released from their debut album, Winds Of Change, was a tribute to the city by the bay called San Franciscan Nights. Because of the topicality of the song's subject matter, San Franciscan Nights was not released in the UK as a single. Instead, the song Good Times (which was the US B side of the record), became the new group's biggest UK hit to date (and one of the Animals' biggest UK hits overall). Eventually San Franciscan Nights was released as a single in the UK as well (with a different B side) and ended up doing quite well.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Sleepy Time Time
Source:    CD: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Bruce/Godfrey
Label:    Polydor/Polygram (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1966
    When Cream was first formed, both Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker worked with co-writers on original material for the band.  Bruce worked with his wife, Janet Godfrey, while Baker's partner was poet Pete Brown. Eventually Bruce and Brown began collaborating, creating some of Cream's most memorable songs, but not before Bruce and Godfrey wrote Sleepy Time Time, one of the high points of the Fresh Cream album.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    World Of Pain
Source:    Mono European import LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s):    Pappalardi/Collins
Label:    Lilith (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Whereas the first Cream LP was made up of mostly blues-oriented material, Disraeli Gears took a much more psychedelic turn, due in large part to the songwriting team of Jack Bruce and Pete Brown. The Bruce/Brown team was not, however, the only source of material for the band. Both Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker made contributions, as did Cream's unofficial fourth member, keyboardist/producer Felix Pappalardi, who, along with his wife Janet Collins, provided World Of Pain.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    N.S.U.
Source:    CD: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Jack Bruce
Label:    Polydor/Polygram (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1966
    Although most of Jack Bruce's Cream songs were co-written with lyricist Pete Brown, there were some exceptions. Among the most notable of these is N.S.U. from Cream's debut LP, which features Bruce's own lyrics. The song, also released as a B side, has proven popular enough to be included on several Cream retrospective collections and was part of the band's repertoire when they reunited for a three-day stint at the Royal Albert Hall in 2005.

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:    Beacon Street Union
Title:    Now I Taste The Tears
Source:    Mono CD: The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens
Writer(s):    Clifford
Label:    See For Miles (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1968
    The second LP from the Beacon Street Union, The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens, was a departure from the sound of the band's first album. If anything, it featured an even more eclectic mix of songs than The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union, including the humorous King of the Jungle and a nearly 17 minute version of Baby, Please Don't Go. The band took an R&B turn with the closing track on side one of the LP, Now I Taste The Tears, which features a horn section led by band member Robert Rhodes.

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    It's Alright Ma, It's Only Witchcraft
Source:    British import CD: Fairport Convention
Writer(s):    Hutchings/Thompson
Label:    Polydor (original US label: Cotillion)
Year:    1968
    Fairport Convention has long been known for being an important part of the British folk music revival that came to prominence in the early 70s. Originally, however, the band was modeled after the folk-rock bands that had risen to prominence on the US West Coast from 1965-66. Their first LP was released in June of 1968, and drew favorable reviews from the UK rock press, which saw them as Britain's answer to Jefferson Airplane. One of the LP's highlights is It's Alright, It's Only Witchcraft, which features electric guitar work by Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol that rivals that of Jorma Kaukonen. This album was not initially released in the US. Two years later, following the success of Fairport Convention's later albums with vocalist Sandy Denny on the A&M label, the band's first LP (with Judy Dyble, known as much for her habit of knitting sweaters onstage as for her vocals) was given a limited release on Atlantic's Cotillion subsidiary. This album should not be confused with the first Fairport Convention LP released in the US (in 1969), which was actually a retitling of the band's second British album, What We Did On Our Holidays.

Artist:    Steve Miller Band
Title:    Quicksilver Girl
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Sailor)
Writer(s):    Steve Miller
Label:    Rhino (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1968
    Steve Miller moved to San Francisco from Chicago (by way of Texas) and was reportedly struck by what he saw as a much lower standard of musicianship in the bay area than in the windy city. Miller's response was to form a band that would conform to Chicago standards. The result was the Steve Miller Band, one of the most successful of the San Francisco bands, although much of that success would not come until the mid-1970s, after several personnel changes. One feature of the Miller band is that it featured multiple lead vocalists, depending on who wrote the song. Miller himself wrote and sings on Quicksilver Girl, from the band's second LP, Sailor.

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    I'm Not Like Everybody Else
Source:    CD: The Inner Mystique
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    The first Chocolate Watchband album, No Way Out, sold well enough to warrant a follow-up LP, The Inner Mystique. The only problem was that by the end of 1967 there was no Chocolate Watchband left to record it, although there were a few unreleased recordings in the vaults. Unfazed, producer Ed Cobb once again turned to studio musicians to fill out the album. One of the few actual Watchband recordings on The Inner Mystique was this cover of the Kinks' I'm Not Like Everybody Else, which had appeared as a B side a couple years earlier. This song, along with their cover of I Ain't No Miracle Worker, almost made the album worth buying. In fact, enough people did indeed buy The Inner Mystique to warrant a third and final Watchband album, but by then the group had reformed with almost entirely different personnel and the resulting album, One Step Beyond, actually sounds less like the original group than all those studio musicians did.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Break On Thru #2
Source:    LP: Absolutely Live
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1970
    The first live Doors album had a close relationship to controversy without itself being particularly controversial. The double LP was made up of performances from the Absolutely Live tour between July of 1969 and June of 1970. At the time the album was released, producer Paul Rothchild claimed that he had to make "over 1000" edits to get acceptable takes of the songs, including splicing part of one performance into part of another. In recent years, however, this claim has been disproven by the Bright Midnight record company, which has issued uncut masters of all of the performances in question over a total of 22 CDs. Audio proofs made by comparing these uncut masters with the original album tracks show there there were fewer than five major edits on the entire album, none of them on the songs themselves. A more personal controversy erupted at the time the album was released over the cover art, which was modified by the record label to include a picture of singer Jim Morrison that did not reflect his 1970 look. None of the band members approved the change from the original artwork, which was a single image of the band in concert against a blue background. Of course, that particular period in time was somewhat controversial for the band itself, as they were experiencing the aftermath of Morrison's arrest for onstage obscenity in Miami, Florida. As a result, the album did not do all that well in record stores, selling only about half as many copies as their most recent studio LP, Morrison Hotel. The CD reissue of the album breaks down the individual tracks differently than the original LPs; Break On Thru #2, for instance, is divided into two tracks: Dead Cats, Dead Rats and Break On Through (To The Other Side). The two pieces were actually one continuous performance recorded in Detroit in 1970.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Bringing Me Down
Source:    CD: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (also released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Balin/Kantner
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1966
    One of several singles released mainly to San Francisco Bay area radio stations and record stores, Bringing Me Down is an early collaboration between vocalist Marty Balin and guitarist/vocalist Paul Kantner. Balin had invited Kantner into the band without having heard him play a single note. It turned out to be one of many savvy decisions by the young bandleader.
Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    It's No Secret
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Marty Balin
Label:    Rhino (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1966
     Released in March of 1966, It's No Secret was an instant hit on San Francisco Bay area radio stations. This version differs from the album version released six months later in that it has a fade out ending and is thus a few seconds shorter. The song was featured on a 1966 Bell Telephone Hour special on Haight Ashbury that introduced a national TV audience to what was happening out on the coast and may have just touched off the exodus to San Francisco the following year.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Let's Get Together
Source:    CD: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer(s):    Dino Valenti
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1966
    Although Dino Valenti recorded a demo version of his song Let's Get Together in 1964, it wasn't until two years later that the song made its first appearance on vinyl as a track on Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. The Airplane version of the song is unique in that the lead vocals alternate between Paul Kantner, Signe Anderson and Marty Balin, with each one taking a verse and all of them singing on the chorus.

Artist:    Mamas and the Papas
Title:    Somebody Groovy
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM B side)
Writer:    John Phillips
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1965
    The Mamas and the Papas were blessed with strong vocals and even stronger songwriting. Their debut single, California Dreamin', written by John & Michelle Phillips, is one of the defining songs of the mid-sixties. The B side of that single, released in 1965, was another John Phillips tune, Somebody Groovy.

Artist:    Davie Allan And The Arrows
Title:    The Chase
Source:    LP: The Wild Angels (soundtrack)
Writer(s):    Curb/Allan/Brown
Label:    Tower
Year:    1966
    Davie Allen is best known for providing music for the soundtracks of several teen-oriented and biker movies from the 1960s. Allan grew up in the San Fernando Valley of California, where he met Mike Curb, with whom he would form an instrumental surf band. Curb, who had a keen business sense, formed his own Curb Records label in 1963, issuing Allan's first single, War Path. Allan played on several other singles for Curb as a session guitarist, both on the Curb label and its successor, Sidewalk Records. Around that same time Curb made a deal with Roger Corman's American International Pictures to supply music for the director's youth-oriented films. This led to the formation of the Arrows, a loose aggregation of studio musicians that Allan would utilize for various projects. Most of the Arrows' early recordings were fairly unremarkable, although they did get some local L.A. radio airplay for a song called Apache '65. Allan's big break came when he acquired a fuzz box for his guitar, using it for his most famous recording, Blue's Theme from the film The Wild Angels. Most of Allan's contributions to the film's soundtrack were short instrumental pieces like The Chase. The film itself is notable for its cast, which included Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra and Bruce Dern, among others.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice
Source:    German import 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1967
    The fourth single released in Europe and the UK by the Jimi Hendrix Experience was 1967's Burning Of The Midnight Lamp, which appeared in stereo the following year on the album Electric Ladyland. The B side of that single was a strange bit of psychedelia called The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice, which is also known in some circles as STP With LSD. The piece features Hendrix on guitar and vocals, with background sounds provided by a cast of at least dozens. Hendrix's vocals are, throughout much of the track, spoken rather than sung, and resemble nothing more than a cosmic travelogue with Hendrix himself as the tour guide. The original mono mix of the track has never been released in the US, which is a shame, since it is the only version where Jimi's vocals dominate the mix, allowing his somewhat whimsical sense of humor to shine through.

Artist:    Wildwood
Title:    Plastic People
Source:    Mono CD: A Deadly Dose Of Wild Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    F. Colli
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Magnum)
Year:    1968
    Stockton, California's Wildwood only released two singles, both in 1968. The first of these, Plastic People, takes a somewhat cynical view of the Flower Power movement, which had by 1968 pretty much run its course. Musically the track owes much to Sean Bonniwell's Music Machine.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Help!
Source:    CD: Help!
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1965
    One of the best-known songs of all time, Help! was the name of the second Beatles movie as well as the accompanying LP. In the UK, the LP contained songs from the film itself on the first side and a collection of new Beatles recordings on the second. In the US, however, Capitol Records chose to treat it purely as a soundtrack album, with incidental music from the film interspersed between the seven Beatles songs from the film itself. The album opens with a James Bond-ian bit of music that leads into the song Help! This version is not available in stereo these days except on expensive CD box sets.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Source:    LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1967
    The top album of 1967 was the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was also the first US Beatles album to have a song lineup that was identical to the original UK LP. As such, it was also the first Beatles album released in the US to not include any songs that were also released as singles. Nonetheless, several tracks from the LP found their way onto the playlists of both top 40 AM and "underground" FM stations from coast to coast. Among the most popular of these tracks was John Lennon's Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, which shows up on just about everyone's list of classic psychedelic tunes.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Another Girl
Source:    LP: Help!
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1965
    A few years ago I picked up a DVD collection of every Beatles song that has video or film footage to go with it, including all the songs used in the film Help! One of my favorites in Paul McCartney's Another Girl. In the film, McCartney is seen standing behind a girl in a bikini playing air guitar (using her right arm as a guitar neck). Luckily, he wasn't finger picking.

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

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

Artist:    Love
Title:    The Red Telephone
Source:    CD: Love Story (originally released on LP: Forever Changes)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    Love's Forever Changes album, released in late 1967, is known for its dark imagery that contrasted with the utopian messages so prevalent in the music associated with the just-passed summer of love. One of the tracks that best illustrates Arthur Lee's take on the world at that time is The Red Telephone, which closes out side one of the album. The title, which refers to the famous cold war hotline between Washington and Moscow, does not actually appear in the song's lyrics. Instead, the most prominent line of the song is a chant repeated several times that refers to the repression of youth culture in the US, particularly in Los Angeles, where the city had enacted new ordinances that had virtually destroyed the vibrant club scene that had given rise to such bands as the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, the Doors and of course Love. The chant itself: "They're locking them up today, they're throwing away the key; I wonder who it'll be tomorrow, you or me?" expresses an idea that would be expanded on by Frank Zappa the following year on the landmark Mothers Of Invention album We're Only In It For The Money.

Artist:    Tangerine Dream
Title:    Sunrise In The Third System
Source:    British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released in Germany on LP: Alpha Centauri)
Writer(s):    Tangerine Dream
Label:    Polydor (original label: Ohr)
Year:    1971
    Formed in 1967 as a psychedelic band in Berlin, Tangerine Dream soon came under the influence of Electronic music composer Thomas Keppler, who inspired the band's leader, Edgar Froese, to move in a more avant garde direction. By 1971 the band had added Chris Franke and Steve Schroeder, becoming almost entirely keyboard based in the process. The first album from this new lineup, Alpha Centauri, with tracks like Sunrise In The Third System, got the attention of British disc jockey John Peel, who promoted the band extensively on his radio show. Tangerine Dream has since gone on to become the most successful Electronic Rock band in history.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2210 (starts 2/28/22)

    It's back to free-form this week for an hour's worth of tunes from the early to mid 1970s, including classic tracks by Neil Young (with Graham Nash), Redbone, Jeff Beck, Jethro Tull and other, both obscure and well-known, artists.

Artist:    Neil Young/Graham Nash
Title:    War Song
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1972
    Around the same time that Neil Young was working on his Harvest LP he recorded War Song with Graham Nash and the Stray Gators. It was never released on an LP, although it did appear on CD many years later on one of the various anthologies that have been issued over the decades since the song was originally released.

Artist:    Aerosmith
Title:    Walking The Dog
Source:    CD: Aerosmith
Writer(s):    Rufus Thomas
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1973
    The last track on Aerosmith's eponymous 1973 debut LP is a cover of Rufus Thomas's biggest hit, Walking The Dog. Probably not coincidentally, the song was also covered by Aerosmith's idols, the Rolling Stones, on their own 1964 debut album.

Artist:    Redbone
Title:    The Witch Queen Of New Orleans
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Message From A Drum)
Writer(s):    Pat and Lolly Vegas
Label:    Sony Music (original label: Epic)
Year:    1971
    Citing part-Cherokee Jimi Hendrix as an inspiration, brothers Pat and Lolly Vegas, already veteran performers who had appeared several times on ABC-TV's Shindig, among other venues, decided to form an all Native American band in 1969. Their first hit single was The Witch Queen Of New Orleans, from the 1971 LP Message From A Drum. Redbone recorded a total of six albums for the Epic label in the early 1970s, and are known for being the opening act at the first Earth Day event.    

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Creepin'
Source:    CD: We're An American Band (also released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1973
    Sometimes, as good as a record's A side was, the B side was even better. And let's face it: Grand Funk's We're An American Band, while undisputably one of the biggest rock hits of all time, has been played to death over the years by classic rock stations. So let's hear it for Creepin', the highly-underrated B side of that single.
Artist:    Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
Title:    Breakdown
Source:    CD: Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers)
Writer(s):    Tom Petty
Label:    MCA (original label: Shelter)
Year:    1976
    Just about everyone knows thatTom Petty was one of the most popular rock stars of the 1980s and beyond, but few realize that he released his debut single, Breakdown, in November of 1976, and was considered part of the punk/new wave movement at the time. It took over a year for his debut LP with the Heartbreakers to catch on in the US, but once it did it became obvious that Petty actually had little in common with bands like the Ramones or Sex Pistols. In fact, he was often compared to the Byrds, as well as early Rolling Stones. Breakdown itself is a bit of a departure from the rest of the album, but nonetheless has become a staple of classic rock radio.

Artist:    Jeff Beck
Title:    Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Source:    LP: Wired
Writer(s):    Charles Mingus
Label:    Epic
Year:    1976
    One of Jeff Beck's most celebrated tracks is his cover of the Charles Mingus classic Goodbye Pork Pie Hat. To this day, the tune is one of the centerpieces of Beck's stage repertoire.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Minstrel In The Gallery
Source:    LP: Minstrel In The Gallery
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1975
    Following the back-to-back album-length works Thick As A Brick and A Passion Play, Jethro Tull returned to recording shorter tunes for the next couple of years' worth of albums. In late 1975, however, they recorded the eight minute long Mistrel In The Gallery for the album of the same name. The song (and album) was a return to the mix of electric and acoustic music that had characterized the band in its earlier years, particularly on the Aqualung and Benefit albums. A shorter version of Minstrel In The Gallery was released as a single and did reasonably well on the charts.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Child In Time
Source:    CD: The Very Best Of Deep Purple (originally released on LP: Deep Purple In Rock)
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    One of the most powerful antiwar songs ever recorded, Child In Time appeared on the LP Deep Purple In Rock. The album is generally considered to be the beginning of the band's "classic" period and features the lineup of Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), Ian Gillan (vocals), Roger Glover (bass), Jon Lord (keyboards) and Ian Paice (drums). The song itself was a mainstay of early 70s rock radio stations, but because of its length (over ten minutes) is rarely heard on modern classic rock stations. The opening rift was freely borrowed from an earlier track by the San Francisco band It's A Beautiful Day called Bombay Calling. After the first minute or so, however, Child In Time takes off in a completely different direction.

Artist:    Captain Beyond
Title:    I Can't Feel Nothin'/As The Moon Speaks/Astral Lady
Source:    LP: Captain Beyond
Writer(s):    Caldwell/Evans
Label:    Capricorn
Year:    1972
    Occasionally someone will ask me a question along the lines of "Who was the best band you ever saw in concert?". My standard answer is Captain Beyond, which usually gets a blank stare in response. I then explain that Captain Beyond was the opening act (of three) at a concert I went to in El Paso in 1972. They so totally blew away the other bands that I can't even remember for sure who the headliner was. Essentially a power trio plus vocalist, Captain Beyond was made up of two former members of Iron Butterfly, guitarist Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt and bassist Lee Dorman, Deep Purple's original lead vocalist, Rod Evans, and drummer Bobby Caldwell, who was known for his work with Johnny Winter and Rick Derringer, among others. The band was so tight that I went out the very next day and bought a copy of their album, something I had never done before. Sure enough, the album was every bit as good as the band's live performance, which followed the exact same setlist as the album itself. I should mention here that, mostly to save space, I shortened the song titles a bit on the title line above. The actual full titles of the tracks heard on this week's show are as follows:
I Can't Feel Nothin' (Part 1)
As the Moon Speaks (to the Waves of the Sea)
Astral Lady
As the Moon Speaks (Return)
I Can't Feel Nothin' (Part 2)
Due to contractual issues, neither Dorman or Reinhardt (who were technically still members of Iron Butterfly) were able to receive songwriting credits on the original album label, although Caldwell has since said that Reinhardt actually co-wrote the songs with Caldwell and Evans, with some input from Dorman.

Artist:    Eric Clapton
Title:    After Midnight
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    J.J. Cale
Label:    Atco
Year:    1970
    After his attempt at being "just another band member" (Derek and the Dominos) ended up only increasing his superstar status, Eric Clapton at last bowed to the inevitable and released his first official solo album in 1970. For the single from that album Clapton chose his cover of a 1966 J.J. Cale song, After Midnight. Clapton had become aware of Cale's music while touring with Delaney and Bonnie and Friends (yet another attempt at being "just another band member"), and recorded After Midnight with the help of Bobby Whitlock on organ and vocals, Jim Gordon on drums, Delaney Bramlett on rhythm guitar, Carl Radle on bass, Leon Russell on piano, Jim Price on trumpet, and Bobby Keys on saxophone. Clapton later said that learning Cale's rhythm guitar part was particularly challenging, even with Bramlett's help, adding that "I still don’t think we got it right." Cale himself was thrilled that Clapton scored a hit with the song, generating royalties for the singer/songwriter. As Cale himself put it "I was dirt poor, not making enough to eat and I wasn’t a young man. I was in my thirties, so I was very happy. It was nice to make some money." Cale went on to re-record a slowed-down version of the song for his own album Naturally, released in 1972.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2209 (starts 2/21/22)

    This week we a bit of everything: artists' sets, an Advanced Psych set and, as a bonus, a First Edition song that features someone other than Kenny Rogers on lead vocals. Speaking of vocals, one of those artists' sets is actually from three different recordings featuring Steve Winwood, one of which has him in the role of backup singer.

Artist:     Beatles
Title:     I've Just Seen A Face
Source:     LP: Rubber Soul (originally released in UK on LP: Help)
Writer:     Lennon/McCartney
Label:     Apple/Capitol/EMI (original UK label: Parlophone)
Year:     1965
     Consider the case of Dave Dexter, Jr. Dexter was the guy at Capitol Records who decided in late 1962 that there was no profit in Capitol releasing records by the hot new British band known as the Beatles that had just been signed to their UK partner label, EMI. After he was finally persuaded to issue I Want To Hold Your Hand as a single in late 1963, he became the guy responsible for determining which songs got released in what format: LP or 45 RPM single. He also set the song lineups for all the Beatle albums released in the US up to and including Revolver in 1966. In 1965 he decided to change the entire tone of the Rubber Soul album by deleting some of the more energetic numbers like Drive My Car and substituting a pair of more acoustical tunes that he had left off the US release of Help! This was a deliberate attempt to tie in the Beatles with the folk-rock movement, which at the time of Rubber Soul's release was at the peak of its popularity. Not surprisingly, there are still people around who prefer the US version of the album (which is hard to find these days on vinyl due to people holding onto their original copies), which opens with one of the aforementioned Help tracks, I've Just Seen A Face.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Think For Yourself
Source:    CD: Yellow Submarine Songtrack (originally released on LP: Rubber Soul)
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1965
    By the end of 1965 George Harrison was writing an average of two songs per Beatles album. On Rubber Soul, however, one of his two songs was deleted from the US version of the album and appeared on 1966's Yesterday...And Today LP instead. The remaining Harrison song on Rubber Soul was Think For Yourself. Harrison later said that he was still developing his songwriting at this point and that bandmate John Lennon had helped write Think For Yourself. The song is one of the few Beatles tunes to get a complete remix, when it was included on the Yellow Submarine Songtrack album in 1999.

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:    Jimi Hendrix/Band Of Gypsys
Title:    Ezy Ryder
Source:    LP: The Cry Of Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1970
    The Cry Of Love was the first Jimi Hendrix album released after the guitarists' death in 1970. The single LP featured a number of songs that Hendrix had been working on, including Ezy Rider, which featured, in addition to Hendrix, bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles (with backup vocals supplied by Traffic's Steve Winwood and Chris Wood). The trio had performed together as Band Of Gypsys, releasing a live album in early 1970s. Ezy Rider had been performed by the trio, but not included on the Band Of Gypsys album itself. Several attempts were made to record a studio version of the tune; the version heard on The Cry Of Love was recorded during the first recording session at Hendrix's own Electric Lady Studios on June 15, 1970. The final mix for Ezy Rider, along with most of the other tracks on The Cry Of Love, was made in August of 1970.
Artist:     Traffic
Title:     No Face, No Name, No Number
Source:     CD: Smiling Phases (originally released on LP: Mr. Fantasy, aka Heaven Is In Your Mind)
Writer(s): Winwood/Capaldi
Label:     Island (original US label: United Artists)
Year:     1967
     When the first Best of Traffic album was issued in 1969 (after the group first disbanded) it included No Face, No Name, No Number, a non-hit album track. Later Traffic anthologies tended to focus on the group's post-reformation material and the song was out of print for many years until the first Traffic album was reissued on CD. The song itself is a good example of Winwood's softer material.

Artist:    Blind Faith
Title:    Can't Find My Way Home
Source:    CD: Blind Faith
Writer:    Steve Winwood
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1969
    Blind Faith was the result of some 1969 jam sessions in guitarist Eric Clapton's basement with keyboardist/guitarist Steve Winwood, whose own band, Traffic, had disbanded earlier in the year. Drummer Ginger Baker, who had been Clapton's bandmate in Cream for the previous three years, showed up one day, and Winwood eventually convinced Clapton to form a band with the three of them and bassist Rick Grech. Clapton, however, did not want another Cream, and even before Blind Faith's only album was released was ready to move on to something that felt less like a supergroup. As a result, Winwood took more of a dominant role in Blind Faith, even to the point of including one track, Can't Find My Way Home, that was practically a Winwood solo piece. Blind Faith disbanded shortly after the album was released, with the various band members moving on to other projects. Winwood, who soon reformed Traffic, is still active as one of rock's elder statesmen, and still performs Can't Find My Way Home in his concert appearances.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    She'll Return It
Source:    Mono LP: Animalization
Writer(s):    Jenkins/Rowberry/Burdon/Chandler/Valentine
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    As a general rule the Animals, in their original incarnation, recorded two kinds of songs: hit singles from professional songwriters such as Gerry Goffin and Carole King, and covers of blues and R&B tunes, the more obscure the better. What they did not record a lot of was original tunes from the band members themselves. This began to change in 1966 when the band began to experience a series of personnel changes that would ultimately lead to what amounted to an entirely new group, Eric Burdon And The Animals, in 1967. One of the earliest songs to be credited to the entire band was She'll Return It, released as the B side of See See Rider in August of 1966 and included on the Animalization album. In retrospect, it is one of the strongest tracks on one of their strongest LPs.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    Hoochie Coochie Man
Source:    CD: The Blues Project Anthology
Writer(s):    Willie Dixon
Label:    Polydor
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1997
    Featuring the most recognizable riff in blues history, Hoochie Coochie man was first recorded in 1954 by Muddy Waters, becoming his biggest hit. It was also the turning point for songwriter Willie Dixon, who was able to leverage the song's success into a position with Chess Records as the label's chief songwriter. The song has been recorded by dozens of artists over the years, including several rock bands. One of the most unusual versions of Hoochie Coochie Man was recorded by the Blues Project for the 1966 debut LP, Live At The Cafe Au Go Go. The Project's version speeds up the tempo to a frantic pace, pretty much obscuring the song's signature riff in the process. It was one of several tracks that was intended for the LP, but cut when lead vocalist Tommy Flanders abruptly left the group before the album's release.

Artist:     Bobby Fuller Four
Title:     Baby My Heart
Source:     Mono CD: I Fought The Law: The Best Of The Bobby Fuller Four (originally released in Germany on CD: The Best Of The Bobby Fuller Four)
Writer:     Sonny Curtis
Label:     Rhino (original label: Ace)
Year:     Recorded 1966; released 1992.
     The Bobby Fuller Four perfected their blend of rock and roll and Tex-Mex in their native El Paso before migrating out to L.A. After scoring a huge hit with I Fought The Law, Fuller was found dead in his hotel room of unnatural causes. Baby My Heart, recorded in 1966 but not released until 1992, when it appeared unheralded on a German compilation of Fuller's work, is an indication of what might have been had Fuller lived long enough to establish himself further.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Odorono
Source:    CD: The Who Sell Out
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1967
    The Who Sell Out was released just in time for Christmas 1967. It was a huge success in England, where Radio London was one of the few surviving pirate radio stations still broadcasting following the launch of BBC-1 earlier in the year. Incidentally, the inclusion of the various jingles on the album reportedly resulted in a flurry of lawsuits against the Who, although apparently full-length songs such as Odorono (presented here in its original unedited form) were exempt from said lawsuits, despite mentioning actual products by brand name.

Artist:    Who
Title:    The Acid Queen
Source:    CD: Tommy
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1969
    Pete Townshend, the primary composer of the Who's rock opera Tommy, takes the lead vocals on The Acid Queen, a song that, while integral to the Tommy storyline, also stands as one of Townshend's strongest standalone compositions. The song is sung from the first person viewpoint of a gypsy who promises to cure Tommy's condition (blind, deaf and dumb) by using a combination of sex and drugs. Although her efforts are unsuccessful, the attempt itself has a profound effect on the youngster, who explores his inner self under the influence of LSD. Townshend himself has said that the song is "not just about acid: it's the whole drug thing, the drink thing, the sex thing wrapped into one big ball." In a reference to peer pressure, he adds that "society – people – force it on you. She represents this force." The song later became a hit single for, not surprisingly, Tina Turner, who played the part of the Acid Queen in the hit movie version of Tommy.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hands (US single version)
Source:    Mono CD: The Who Sell Out (box set) (originally released only in US as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Track (original label: Decca)
Year:    1967
    There are at least three versions of Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hands. The first was a monoraul-only electric version of the song released in the US on September 18, 1967 as the B side to I Can See For Miles. Two months later a second, slightly slower stereo version of the tune appeared under the title Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hand (singular) on The Who Sell Out. This more acoustic version of the song, which has a kind of calypso flavor to it, is the best known of the three, due to the album staying in circulation far longer than the 45. A third version of the song, also recorded in 1967 and featuring Al Kooper on organ, appeared as a bonus track on the 1995 CD release of Sell Out. The liner notes on the CD, however, erroneously state that it is the US single version, when in fact it is an entirely different recording.
Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Rougher Road
Source:    Mono CD: Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Randy California
Label:    Epic/Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 1996
    Although recorded at the same time as the rest of the album Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus, Randy California's Rougher Road was cut from the album before stereo mixes were created. The rough mono mix heard here remained unreleased for over 25 years, finally appearing as a bonus track in 1996.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Bourée
Source:    CD: Stand Up
Writer:    Bach, arr. Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1969
    The second Jethro Tull album, Stand Up, saw the band moving a considerable distance from its blues-rock roots, as flautist Ian Anderson asserted himself as leader and sole songwriter for the group. Nowhere is that more evident than on the last track of the first side of Stand Up, the instrumental Bouree, which successfully melds jazz and classical influences into the Jethro Tull sound.

Artist:     Cream
Title:     Deserted Cities Of The Heart
Source:     LP: Wheels Of Fire
Writer:     Bruce/Brown
Label:     RSO (original label: Atco)
Year:     1968
     The most psychedelic of Cream's songs were penned by Jack Bruce and his songwriting partner Pete Brown. One of the best of these was chosen to close out the last studio side of the last Cream album released while the band was still in existence. Deserted Cities Of The Heart is a fitting epitaph to an unforgettable band.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Why
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    McGuinn/Crosby
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1967
    One of the earliest collaborations between Byrds songwriters David Crosby and Roger McGuinn was the up-tempo raga rocker Why. The song was first recorded at RCA studios in Los Angeles in late 1965 as an intended B side for Eight Miles High, but due to the fact that the band's label, Columbia, refused to release recordings made at their main rival's studios, the band ended up having to re-record both songs at Columbia's own studios in early 1966. Although the band members felt the newer versions were inferior to the 1965 recordings, they were released as a single in March of 1966. Later that year, for reasons that are still unclear, Crosby insisted the band record a new version of Why, and that version was used for the band's next LP, Younger Than Yesterday.

Artist:    Larry Coryell
Title:    Cleo's Mood
Source:    LP: Lady Coryell
Writer(s):    Junior Walker
Label:    Vanguard Apostolic
Year:    1969
    Anyone who might wonder how it is that a guitarist known as one of the pioneers of jazz-rock fusion is getting played on a show called Stuck in the Psychedelic Era needs only to listen to Cleo's Mood, from Coryell's 1968 debut LP, Lady Coryell for a very satisfying answer.

Artist:    Otis Redding
Title:    Respect
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Otis Redding
Label:    Volt
Year:    1965
    Released well over a year before Aretha Franklin's version, Otis Redding's Respect was a hit on the R&B charts and managed to crack the lower reaches of the mainstream charts as well. Although not as well known as Franklin's version, the Redding track has its own unique energy and is a classic in its own right. The track, like most of Redding's recordings, features the Memphis Group rhythm section and the Bar-Kays on horns.

Artist:    Geiger Von Müller
Title:    Toys In Ghettos [Part 3]
Source:    CD: Teddy Zer And The Kwands
Writer(s):    Geiger Von Müller
Label:    GVM
Year:    2018
    Since I played another track from Geiger Von Müller's 2018 CD Teddy Zer And The Kwands less than a month ago I'm just going to repeat what I wrote about the album then (but this time without all the typos such as the misspelling of Zer). Geiger Von Müller is a London-based guitarist who has deconstructed the blues down to one of its most essential elements, slide guitar, and then explored from scratch what can be done with it. The result is tracks like Toys In Ghettos [Part 3], from the album Teddy Zer And The Kwands. The all-instrumental CD includes an insert containing the beginnings of a science fiction story about the Kwands, a powerful spacefaring race that kidnaps children's stuffed toys, including one called Teddy Zer, from various worlds to work in their factory as slaves. You'll have to find a copy of the CD itself to get a more detailed explanation.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Last Night I Had A Dream
Source:    British import LP: Artifact
Writer(s):    Randy Newman
Label:    Heartbeat
Year:    2001
    More than thirty years after being squeezed out of their own band, most of the original members of the Electric Prunes reformed the group in the late 1990s, working up new material for what would become the album Artifact. Self-released in 2000 and then reissued in slightly shorter form in the UK by Heartbeat Productions the following year, Artifact contains mostly original material written by vocalist James Lowe and bassist Mark Tulin. The two cover songs on the album were chosen by the band members themselves, unlike during their original late 1960s run, where they recorded what their producer told them to record. One of the two is a cover of the obscure 1968 Randy Newman single Last Night I Had A Dream, that not only captures, but enhances, the dark humor of Newman's original version.

Artist:    Claypool Lennon Delirium
Title:    Mr. Wright/Boomerang Baby
Source:    Monolith Of Phobos
Writer(s):    Claypool/Lennon
Label:    ATO
Year:    2016
    In 2015 Les Claypool's band, Primus, decided to take a year off after touring with Ghost Of A Sabre Tooth Tiger. During the tour Claypool had become friends with GOASTT's Sean Lennon, who also had no musical projects planned for the immediate future. The two of them, along with keyboardist/vocalist João Nogueira from Stone Giant and drummer Paulo Baldi of Cake, decided to pursue their mutual interest in " old-school" psychedelic and progressive rock and formed the Claypool Lennon Delirium. Their first album, Monolith Of Phobos, was released the following year. Although Claypool and Lennon share songwriting credits for the entire album, it is likely that Mr. Wright, which was also released as the album's third single, comes mostly from Claypool, while Boomerang Baby, which follows Mr. Wright on the album without a break between songs, has more of a Lennon feel to it. The Claypool Lennon Delirium has since released a four-song EP of late 1960s prog-rock covers and a second album, South Of Reality, that I have yet to score a copy of. Sean or Les, if you're reading this, can you send me one,please, preferably on vinyl?

Artist:    Plastic Ono Band
Title:    Give Peace A Chance
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:    1969
    The future of the Beatles was very much in doubt in 1969. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were feuding, Ringo Starr had briefly quit the band during the making of the White Album and George Harrison was spending more time with friends like Eric Clapton than his own bandmates. One notable event that year was the marraige of John Lennon to performance artist Yoko Ono. The two of them did some world traveling that eventually led them to Toronto, where they staged a giant slumber party to promote world peace (don't ask). While in bed they recorded Give Peace A Chance, accompanied by as many people as they could fit in their hotel suite. The record was the first single released under the name Plastic Ono Band, a name that Lennon would continue to use after the Beatles disbanded in 1970.

Artist:    Timebox
Title:    Gone Is The Sadman
Source:    CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    McCarthy/Halsall
Label:    Rhino (original label: Deram)
Year:    1968
    Timebox is one of those bands that by all rights should have had much more success than they were able to achieve. Why this should be is a mystery. They had plenty of talent, good press and were signed to a major label (Deram). Yet none of their singles were able to make a connection with the record buying public. Originally formed in Southport in 1965 as Take Five, the band relocated to London the following year, changing their name to Timebox at the same time. After releasing a pair of singles on the small Picadilly label, the band added a couple of new members, including future Rutles drummer John Halsey. Within a few months they were signed to the Deram label, and released several singles over the next few years. One of their best tunes, Gone Is The Sandman, was actually released as a B side in late 1968.

Artist:    Peanut Butter Conspiracy
Title:    Ecstacy
Source:    CD: Is Spreading/The Great Conspiracy (originally released on LP: The Great Conspiracy)
Writer(s):    John Merrill
Label:    Collectables (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    The members of the Peanut Butter Conspiracy were not able to play the way they really wanted to on their two LPs for Columbia Records. Much of the reason for this was because of Columbia itself, which had a history of being against just about everything that made psychedelic rock what it was. Immediately after signing the band, the label assigned Gary Usher, whose background was mainly in vocal surf music, to produce the group. Usher urged the band, who had already built up a sizable following playing Los Angeles clubs, to soften their sound and become more hit oriented. To do this he brought in several studio musicians he had previously worked with, including members of the Wrecking Crew, to fill out the band's sound. At first, it seemed to be a successful strategy, as the band's first single, It's A Happening Thing, sold fairly well in local record stores, but when the next two singles failed to generate any interest the band began to assert its right to play on their own records. As a result, all the instruments on the band's second LP, The Great Conspiracy, were played by members of the Peanut Butter Conspiracy itself, including new member Bill Wolff, who had previously played guitar with the Sound Machine. For the most part however, they were still not able to fully recreate the extended jams that they were known for in their live performances, although a couple of tracks, such as Ecstacy, come pretty close. Written by lead guitarist John Merrill, the piece is a classic psychedelic jam, running over six minutes in length. Around the same time as the album was released, Merrill began losing interest in the group, and did not contribute any songs to the band's final album, For Children Of All Ages, released on the Challenge label in 1969.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Unhappy Girl
Source:    Mono CD: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    After the success of their first album and the single Light My Fire in early 1967, the Doors quickly returned to the studio, releasing a second LP, Strange Days, later the same year. The first single released from the new album was People Are Strange. The B side of that single was Unhappy Girl, from the same album. Both sides got played a lot on the jukebox at a neighborhood gasthaus known as the Woog in the village of Meisenbach near Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, where I spent a good number of my evening hours.
Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    The Last Wall Of The Castle
Source:    LP: After Bathing At Baxter's
Writer:    Jorma Kaukonen
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1967
    Following the massive success of the Surrealistic Pillow album with its two top 10 singles (Somebody To Love and White Rabbit) the members of Jefferson Airplane made a conscious choice to put artistic goals above commercial ones for their next LP, After Bathing At Baxter's. The result was an album that defines the term "acid rock" in more ways than one. One of the few songs on the album that does not cross-fade into or out of another track is The Last Wall Of The Castle from Jorma Kaukonen, his first fully electric song to be recorded by the band.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Eve Of Destruction
Source:    CD: 20 Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: It Ain't Me Babe)
Writer(s):    P.F. Sloan
Label:    Rhino (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1965
    Like most 1965 albums by American pop-rock bands, The Turtles' It Ain't Me Babe is made up mostly of cover versions of then-current hits. Among them is P.F. Sloan's Eve Of Destruction, which was a huge hit for Barry McGuire that year. In 1970, White Whale Records responded to the Turtles' disbanding by reissuing the 1965 LP track as a single. Five months later White Whale went out of business.

Artist:    Love
Title:    And More
Source:    German import CD: Love
Writer:    Lee/MacLean
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1966
    Although the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was already recording for Elektra, the first genuine rock band to be signed to the label was L.A.'s Love. Jac Holzman, owner of Elektra, was so high on Love that he created a whole new numbering series for their first album (the same series that later included the first few Doors LPs). The band had originally called itself the Grass Roots, but the songwriting team of Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan, reacting to a perceived slight from a couple of band members when they attempted to approach them at a gig, retaliated by putting out a single using the name before the band had a chance to copyright it. When the band found out about it, they asked the audience at a local club to choose a new name for them from a list of possibilities. The overwhelming choice of the crowd was Love, and that was what the band was known as from then on. Most of Love's songs were written by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Arthur Lee, with a handful of tunes provided by rhythm guitarist/vocalist Bryan MacLean, who had formerly been a roadie for the Byrds. The two seldom collaborated however, despite the fact that they often hung out together, with MacLean often walking the few blocks to Lee's home in the Hollywood hills. One of the few songs they did write as a team was And More, a tune from the first album that shows the two songwriters' interest in folk-rock as popularized by the Byrds.

Artist:    First Edition
Title:    Hurry Up, Love
Source:    LP: The First Edition
Writer(s):    Meskell/Post
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    By 1961 folk music had become so popular that mainstream groups such as the Norman Luboff choir were starting to add folk songs to their repertoire. Folk singer Randy Sparks wanted a group that was choir-sized, yet able to preserve the rustic character of folk music, so he came up with the idea of combining the membership of his own trio, the Randy Sparks Three, Oregon's Fairmount Singers, The Inn Group (a folk trio) and four others to become the 14-member New Christy Minstrels. The group had a fluctuating membership over the years, with several former members, including Kim Carnes, Gene Clark and Barry McGuire going on to become successful solo artists. In 1966 guitarists Mike Settle and Terry Williams, feeling creatively stifled within the group, began making plans to start their own breakaway group. Recruiting two fellow Minstrels, bassist Kenny Rogers and vocalist Thelma Camacho, along with drummer Mickey Jones, who had just finished touring with Bob Dylan, they formed the First Edition in 1967. Originally conceived as a collective effort, the new band's first album featured every member (except Jones) on lead vocals on one song or another, with Settle, the band's only songwriter, taking the lion's share. One of Camacho's lead vocals was on one of only two songs on the album that were written by someone other than Settle. Hurry Up, Love was co-written by the band's producer, Mike Post, who went on to greater fame writing theme songs for popular TV shows such as Hill Street Blues and Law & Order. Camacho, a former Miss Teen San Diego and (at age 14) lead singer for the San Diego Civic Light Opera, left the First Edition after three albums, retiring from music to became a costume designer and later, a jewelry store owner in San Diego's Spanish District.

Artist:    Pentangle
Title:    Let No Man Steal Your Thyme
Source:    LP: The Pentangle
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Cox/Jansch/McShee)
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    Let No Man Steal Your Thyme is a traditional English folk song that traces it roots back to at least 1689 (in written form) and probably originated in oral form much earlier. The song warns young girls (in that oblique way that English folk songs have) of the dangers of taking on a false lover. Whether "thyme" is a metaphor for something else is up to the listener. The Pentangle (John Renbourne, Bert Jansch, Jacqui McShee, Terry Cox and Danny Thompson) brought a jazz-rock sensibility to the tune for the opening track on their debut LP in 1968 (which is, after all, just 1689 with the numbers mixed up, right?).

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Words
Source:    LP: Till I Run With You (aka Revelation: Revolution '69)
Writer(s):    Dino/Sembello
Label:    Kama Sutra
Year:    1969
    When John Sebastian left the Lovin' Spoonful to embark on a solo career, the remaining members of the band (probably under pressure from their label, Kama Sutra, which was pretty much a one-artist label), attempted to continue on without him, with drummer Joe Butler taking over the lead vocals. They released an album in 1969 that was supposed to be called Till I Run With You. The album cover featured three nude figures (two human, male and female, with a strategically placed lion) running across a verdant field (I always wanted to use "verdant" in a sentence). The record company, however, decided to instead call the album Revelation: Revolution '69, which was the title of the album's only single release, and displayed that title in large letters at the top of the album cover. The label on the record itself, however, still had the original title on it. As it turns out, the single failed to chart and the LP didn't sell enough copies to warrant a second pressing, so (as far as I can tell), all the copies in existence still carry the title Till I Run With You on the label. You'll notice that I don't say anything about the song Words, which in my opinion is as unremarkable as the album itself. But don't take my word for it. Listen to it for yourself and tell me what you think.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Citizen Fear
Source:    Mono CD: Ignition
Writer(s):    Bonniwell/Buff
Label:    Sundazed
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 2000
    Citizen Fear was one of the final, if not the very last, recording made by Sean Bonniwell's Music Machine. A collaboration between Bonniwell and engineer Paul Buff, the piece utilizes Buff's 10-track recording process to its fullest potential. Before the song could be released, however, the Music Machine had disbanded and Bonniwell had quit the music business in disillusionment, disappointment and/or disgust.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2209 (starts 2/21/22) 

    This is another one of those up and down shows, as we start and end in 1969, but work our way up to 1975 before reversing direction in the middle of the show. We also have quite a few tunes that have never been played on Rockin' in the Days of Confusion before, most of which occur in the second half of the show.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Here Comes The Sun
Source:    LP: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple
Year:    1969
    In a way, George Harrison's career as a songwriter parallels the Beatles' development as a studio band. His first song to get any attention was If I Needed Someone on the Rubber Soul album, the LP that marked the beginning of the group's transition from performers to studio artists. As the Beatles' skills in the studio increased, so did Harrison's writing skills, reaching a peak with the Abbey Road album. As usual, Harrison wrote two songs for the LP, but this time one of them (Something) became the first single released from the album and the first Harrison song to hit the top five on the charts. The other Harrison composition on Abbey Road was Here Comes The Sun. Although never released as a single, the song, written while Harrison, tired of dealing with the business aspects of Apple Corp., was hiding out at his friend Eric Clapton's place, has gone on to become Harrison's most enduring masterpiece.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Crossroads
Source:    CD: Wheels Of Fire
Writer:    Robert Johnson
Label:    Polydor (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1968
    Robert Johnson's Crossroads has come to be regarded as a signature song for Eric Clapton, who's live version (recorded at the Fillmore East) was first released on the Cream album Wheels Of Fire, and later became one of the group's highest charting singles.  

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Red House
Source:    LP: Smash Hits
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1969
    There were actually two different versions of Red House released by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, both of which came from the same December, 1966, sessions. The original version was included on the European pressing of the Are You Experienced album, which was issued in early 1967. The album was not originally available in stereo, and a true stereo mix of this version of Red House was never made, as the track was left off the remixed American version of the LP. In spring of 1967 the band attempted to get a better version of the song, but neither Hendrix or bassist Noel Redding (who had played the original bass part on a regular guitar with its tone controls set to mimic a bass guitar) were satisfied with the later versions. Only one portion of these new recordings was kept, and was combined with the original take to create a new stereo mix for the US version of the 1969 Smash Hits album. This newer mix was also used by MCA for both the 1993 CD reissue of Are You Experienced and the Ultimate Experience compilation album. 

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    The Band With No Name
Source:    CD: Watt
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Deram)
Year:    1970
    A deliberate play on words by guitarist Alvin Lee, The Band With No Name opens side two of the 1970 Ten Years After LP Watt. The term "band" was used in the early days of LP records to refer to the individual songs on an album, which, looked at from above, looked like a series of circular bands separated by the spaces between the songs. The term had largely fallen out of usage by 1970 (giving way to the more popular "track" or sometimes "cut"), which makes sense, given that self-contained groups (like Ten Years After) were generally referred to as bands by that point in time. This particular band is a short instrumental piece done in the style of Ennio Morricone's themes for the "Dollars Trilogy"  of Spaghetti Westerns starring Clint Eastwood as the Man With No Name.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Sister Morphine
Source:    LP: Sticky Fingers
Writer(s):    Faithfull/Jagger/Richards
Label:    Rolling Stones
Year:    1971
     Sister Morphine was first recorded by Marianne Faithfull and released as a B side in 1969, but the single was quickly banned by the BBC for its drug references and was subsequently withdrawn in the UK. The record stayed in print in other countries, however, although in many places, including the US, an alternate take of the song was used. Two years later the Rolling Stones recorded their own version of the song for their Sticky Fingers album, but Faithfull's name was left off the songwriting credits. It has since been restored. Both versions feature Ry Cooder on slide guitar and strings arranged by Jack Nitchze.

Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Sometime World
Source:    CD: Argus
Writer(s):    Turner/Turner/Upton/Powell
Label:    MCA/Decca
Year:    1972
    Guitarist Andy Powell shines on Sometime World from the third Wishbone Ash album, Argus. The song, about missed opportunities and second chances, starts quietly, building slowly to become a powerful rocker over the course of nearly seven minutes. Although the song was seldom performed live, Powell has since stated that Sometime World is his favorite track on Argus.

Artist:    Stories
Title:    Brother Louie
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Brown/Wilson
Label:    Kama Sutra
Year:    1973
    There are many examples in rock history of bands actually hating their biggest hit. Sometimes it's because they just get tired of playing it the same way over and over to please audiences. In a few cases, however, the band actually hated the song even before it became a hit. The Strawberry Alarm Clock, for instance, were so disgusted by the lyrics of Incense And Peppermints provided by professional songwriters that they refused to record their own lead vocals for the tune (a member of another band entirely sang on the record). Even worse is the case of one-hit wonders who become forever associated with the song they hated (like Steam with Na-Na-Hey-Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye). Generally, it gives the artist a choice of selling out or quitting the music business altogether. There really is no middle ground. Take the case of a band called Stories. After a few failed singles they hit it big with a cover of Hot Chocolate's Brother Louie, taking it all the way to the top of the US charts. The success of the single actually led to the departure of the band's two founding members, Michael Brown (formerly of the Left Banke) and Ian Lloyd. Although the band did continue on with new members, and even had a minor hit with a song called Mammy Blue later the same year, Stories will be forever known as the band that had a hit with Brother Louie and not much else.

Artist:    Neil Young
Title:    Revolution Blues
Source:    CD: On The Beach
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1974
    The phenomenal commercial success of the 1972 LP Harvest was actually more of a curse than a blessing as far as Neil Young was concerned, saying that the album "put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore, so I headed for the ditch." Following a hectic 1973 tour that resulted in the live album Time Fades Away, Young got to work on three albums that have come to be known as the Ditch Trilogy. The first of these to be released (although in reality the second to be recorded) was On The Beach, which hit the racks in 1974. One of the highlights of On The Beach was Revolution Blues, inspired by Charles Manson, whom Young had met while living in California's Topanga Canyon. Besides Young, the song features contributions from keyboardist Ben Keith, rhythm guitarist David Crosby, bassist Rick Danko and drummer Levon Helm.

Artist:    Black Sheep
Title:    Chain On Me
Source:    LP: Encouraging Words
Writer(s):    Mancuso/Grammatico
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1975
    The last track on the second (and last) album by the Rochester NY band Black Sheep was Chain On Me. Like several other tracks on the album, the song was written by guitarist Dan Mancuso and vocalist Louis Grammatico. The band also included keyboardist Larry Crozier, bassist Bruce Turgon andd drummer Mike Bonafede. The album was released in late 1975, but by mid-1976 the band was no longer performing, due to a traffic accident that totally all the band's equipment. Not long after that Grammatico accepted an offer to become the lead vocalist for another band, Foreigner, at the same time shortening his stage name to Lou Gramm. In more recent years both Turgon and Mancuso have played on Gramm's solo albums and occasionally perform with him.

Artist:    Patti Smith
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    Mono 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Billy Roberts (spoken intro written by Patti Smith)
Label:    Mer
Year:    1974
    Before signing with Arista Records in 1975, the Patti Smith group recorded a 1974 single for the independent Mer label. Financed by art collector/curator Sam Wagstaff, the record featured Smith's version of Hey Joe, with a spoken introduction concerning Patty Hearst, who had been kidnapped by, and subsequently became a member of, a radical group calling itself the Symbionese Liberation Army that year.

Artist:    Alice Cooper
Title:    Muscle Of Love
Source:    CD: Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: Muscle Of Love)
Writer(s):    Cooper/Bruce
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1973
    The seventh and final album by the band Alice Cooper was Muscle Of Love, released in 1973. Although it was intended to be a "back to basics" album, done in the hopes of recapturing the band's early energy, several factors, including a change of producer and the absence of lead guitarist Glen Buxton, caused it to instead be, in the words of Lenny Kaye, a "hit or miss" affair. On the "hit" side we have the title track, which has been described by lead vocalist Alice Cooper as being "about the kid who just learned how to masturbate, and what all those dirty books his father used to hide are all about."

Artist:    Bob Mosley
Title:    Hand In Hand
Source:    LP: Bob Mosley
Writer(s):    Bob Mosley
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1972
    Bob Mosley is best known as the bass player for Moby Grape, writing and singing on several of the band's best-known tracks. Originally from the San Diego area, where he graduated high school, Mosley relocated to the San Francisco Bay area in the mid-1960s, becoming a member of a local band called the Vejtables for a short time. In 1967 he became a founding member of Moby Grape, staying with the band until 1971 (with the exception of a brief stint in the US Marines in 1969). The following year he recorded his self-titled solo LP for the Reprise label. Although not a major commercial success, the album did have some strong tracks, such as Mosley's own Hand In Hand. Mosley's career has been sidetracked from time to time by bouts of schizophrenia. He was first diagnosed with the illness in Marine basic training, which led to his early discharge from the Corps nine months later. Mosley's most recent album, True Blue, was released on the Taxim label in 2005.

Artist:    Cheech And Chong
Title:    Dave
Source:    LP: Cheech & Chong
Writer(s):    Marin/Chong
Label:    Ode
Year:    1971
    OK, is there ANYONE out there who has not heard (or at least heard of) Dave, from the first Cheech And Chong LP? Yeah, I didn't think so.

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

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    High On A Horse
Source:    CD: On Time
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    When lead vocalist Terry Knight decided to leave his band, the Pack, for a solo career, two of the members, guitarist Mark Farner and drummer Don Brewer, decided to carry on without him, first by continuing as the pack, and later as a trio with new bassist Mel Schacher. In early 1969 they called Knight, who by then had relocated to New York and was recording for Capitol as a solo artist, and asked him to come out to Flint, Michigan to hear their new band and possibly become their manager. Knight accepted the job, and gave them their name, Grand Funk Railroad. In April Knight took the band into Cleveland Recording to cut a pair of tunes that Knight would submit to Capitol as an audition record. One of those songs, High On A Horse, would become the B side of the band's first single, released in July of 1969. The following month the song was included on the band's first LP, On Time. Although not an immediate hit, the album would be one of four Grand Funk Railroad albums to achieve gold record status in 1970.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2208 (starts 2/14/22)

    This week's show features, among other things, four artists' sets, including a Syd Barrett set that includes a solo tune and a pair of classic Pink Floyd tracks and a Traffic set made up entirely of seldom heard LP tracks from their first two albums. There are also a lot of tunes from 1967 and sets from 1966 and 1968 as well.

Artist:    Hollies
Title:    Look Through Any Window
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Gouldman/Silverman
Label:    Imperial
Year:    1965
    Although the Hollies were far more popular in their native England than in the US, they did have their fair share of North American hits. The first Hollies tune to crack the US top 40 was Look Through Any Window, released in December of 1965 and peaking at #33 in early 1966. The song did even better in Canada, going all the way to the #3 spot.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Bluebird
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    When it comes right down to it Buffalo Springfield has one of the highest ratios of songs recorded to songs played on the radio of any band in history, especially if you only count the two albums worth of material that was released while the band was still active. This is probably because Buffalo Springfield had more raw songwriting talent than just about any two other bands. Although Neil Young was just starting to hit his stride as a songwriter, bandmate Stephen Stills was already at an early peak, as songs like Bluebird clearly demonstrate.

Artist:    Love Sculpture
Title:    Blues Helping
Source:    British import CD: Blues Helping
Writer(s):    Williams/Edmunds/Jones
Label:    EMI (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1968
    When the name Dave Edmunds comes up, it is usually in association with an early 70s remake of the classic Fats Domino tune I Hear You Knockin'. What many people are not aware of, however, is that Edmunds was a major force on the late 60s British blues scene with his band Love Sculpture. The title track of that band's debut LP, Blues Helping, showcases Edmunds's prowess as a guitarist (as does the rest of the album).

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    At The Zoo
Source:    LP: Bookends (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    Simon and Garfunkel did not release any new albums in 1967, instead concentrating on their live performances. They did, however, issue several singles over the course of the year, most of which ended up being included on 1968's Bookends LP. At The Zoo was one of the first of those 1967 singles. It's B side ended up being a hit as well, but by Harper's Bizarre, which took The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) to the top 10 early in the year.

Artist:    Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band
Title:    Electricity
Source:    British import CD: Safe As Milk
Writer(s):    Van Vliet/Bermann
Label:    Rev-Ola (original US label: Buddah)
Year:    1967
    Fans of Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) were in a state of puzzlement over the presence of Herb Bermann's name in the songwriting credits for the Captain's debut LP, Safe As Milk, for many years. Some, including some members of His Magic Band, thought the name was made up as some sort of tax dodge, and Van Vliet did little to discourage such notions. In fact, the Captain as his career progressed, became somewhat notorious for not sharing songwriting or even arranging credit with anyone, despite the obvious input from various band members on his later albums. It turns out, however, that Bermann is indeed a real person, and in fact co-wrote (with Dean Stockwell) the screenplay for a proposed film called After The Gold Rush. Unfortunately, the film was never made, although Neil Young did compose music for it that became the basis for his own album of the same name. Bermann finally surfaced in 2015 with a book called The Mystery Man from the Magic Band: Captain Beefheart's Writing Partner Revealed, that included several of the lyrics from Safe As Milk (including Electricity) as well as several previously unpublished pieces.

Artist:    Balloon Farm
Title:    A Question Of Temperature
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Appel/Schnug/Henny
Label:    Rhino (original label: Laurie)
Year:    1967
    It's not entirely clear whether the Balloon Farm was an actual band or simply an East Coast studio concoction. Regardless, they did manage to successfully cross bubble gum and punk with A Question Of Temperature, originally released on the Laurie label in 1967. Band member Mike Appel went on to have greater success as Bruce Springsteen's first manager.

Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    Mr. Second Class
Source:    British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Hardin/Davis
Label:    1967
Year:    Grapefruit (original label: United Artists)
            The Spencer Davis Group managed to survive the departure of their star member, Steve Winwood (and his bass playing brother Muff) in 1967, and with new members Eddie Hardin (vocals) and Phil Sawyer (guitar) managed to get a couple more singles on the chart over the next year or so. The last of these was Mr. Second Class, a surprisingly strong composition from Hardin and Davis.
Artist:    Doors
Title:    The Crystal Ship
Source:    CD: The Doors
Writer:    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Ever feel like you've discovered something really special that nobody else (among your circle of friends at any rate) knows about? At first you kind of want to keep it to yourself, but soon you find yourself compelled to share it with everyone you know. Such was the case when, in the early summer of 1967, I used my weekly allowance to buy copies of a couple of songs I had heard on the American Forces Network (AFN). As usual, it wasn't long before I was flipping the records over to hear what was on the B sides. I liked the first one well enough (a song by Buffalo Springfield called Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It, the B side of For What It's Worth), but it was the second one, the B side of the Doors' Light My Fire, that really got to me. To this day I consider The Crystal Ship to be one of the finest slow rock songs ever recorded.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Gypsy Eyes
Source:    Dutch import LP: The Singles (originally released on LP: Electric Ladyland)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Polydor (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    The last album by the original Jimi Hendrix Experience was a double LP mixture of studio recordings and live jams in the studio with an array of guest musicians. Gypsy Eyes is a good example of Hendrix's prowess at the mixing board as well as on guitar; listening to this song through headphones is highly recommended.

Artist:    Johnny Winter
Title:    Rollin' And Tumblin'
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: The Progressive Blues Experiment)
Writer(s):    McKinley Morganfield
Label:    United Artists (original labels: Sonobeat/Imperial)
Year:    1968
    Johnny Winter's first album, The Progressive Blues Experiment, was originally released in 1968 on the Texas-based Sonobeat label. A ctitical success, it was picked up and reissued on the Imperial label a year later. Most of the songs on the album are covers of blues classics such as Muddy Waters's Rollin' And Tumblin'.

Artist:    Odyssey
Title:    Little Girl, Little Boy
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jerry Berke
Label:    Rhino
Year:    1968
    As far as I can tell, the Odyssey, a band of L.A. garage-rockers, only cut one record before disbanding, a tune called Little Girl, Little Boy that appeared on White Whale Records. The record was produced by Howard Kaylan, lead vocalist of White Whale's biggest act, the Turtles.

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

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Do You Remember Walter
Source:    Mono French import 45 RPM EP: Till Death Do Us Part (originally released on LP: The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society)
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Sanctuary (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society was the sixth and final album released by the original Kinks lineup of Ray Davies, Dave Davies, Peter Quaife and Mick Avory. Although the album originally failed to make the charts, it has since gone on to achieve gold record status, prompting Ray Davies to describe it as "the most successful ever flop". Do You Remember Walter, the second track on the album, talks about how people change over time and even become unrecognizable to old friends that haven't seen them in a while. The tune was more recently included on a French EP called Till Death Do Us Part that was released as a Record Store Day special in 2015.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    You Really Got Me
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Eric (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1964
    You Really Got Me has been described as the first hard rock song and the track that invented heavy metal. You'll get no argument from me on either of those assessments.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Norwegian Wood
Source:    CD: Rubber Soul
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1965
    The first Beatles song to feature a sitar, Norwegian Wood, perhaps more than any other song, has come to typify the new direction songwriters John Lennon and Paul McCartney began to take with the release of the Rubber Soul album in December of 1965. Whereas their earlier material was written to be performed as well as recorded, songs like Norwegian Wood were first and foremost studio creations. The song itself was reportedly based on a true story and was no doubt a contributing factor to the disintegration of Lennon's first marraige.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Source:    CD: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    The top album of 1967 was the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was also the first US Beatle album to have a song lineup that was identical to the original UK LP. Consequently, it was also the first Beatle album released in the US to not include any songs that were also released as singles. Nonetheless, several tracks from the LP found their way onto the playlists of both top 40 AM and "underground" FM stations from coast to coast. Among the most popular of these tracks was John Lennon's Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, which shows up on just about everyone's list of classic psychedelic tunes.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Drive My Car
Source:    CD: Rubber Soul (originally released in US on LP: Yesterday...And Today)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1965 (not released in US until 1966)
    Capitol Records repeatedly got the ire of the Beatles by omitting, adding and rearranging songs on the US versions of their LPs, especially in 1966, when the band was starting to put considerable time and effort into presenting the albums as a coherent package. At the root of the problem were two facts: albums in the UK had longer running times than US albums, and thus more songs, and UK singles stayed in print longer than their US counterparts and were generally not included on albums at all. This resulted in albums like Yesterday and Today that didn't even have a British counterpart. Drive My Car, for example, was released in the US in 1966 on the Yesterday...And Today LP. It had appeared six months earlier in the UK as the opening track of the Rubber Soul album. Oddly enough, despite being one of the group's most recognizable songs, Drive My Car was never issued as a single.

Artist:     Who
Title:     Happy Jack
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     Pete Townshend
Label:     Decca
Year:     1967
     Happy Jack was originally released as a single in the UK in late 1966. It did not hit the US airwaves, however, until the early months of 1967. (I heard it for the first time on KLZ-FM, a Denver station whose format was a forerunner of progressive rock. KLZ-FM didn't call themselves a rock station. They instead marketed themselves as playing the top 100, as opposed to the top 60 played on KIMN, the dominant AM station in the city.) Although the song was not intended to be on an album, Decca Records quickly rearranged the track order of the Who's second album, A Quick One, to make room for the song, changing the name of the album itself to Happy Jack in the process.

Artist:    Mark Wirtz
Title:    (He's Our Dear Old) Weatherman
Source:    Mono British Import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mark and Ross Wirtz
Label:    EMI (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1968
    Mark Wirtz was a staff producer at EMI studios (now known as Abbey Road studios) who had worked with, among others, a band called the In Crowd, which eventually changed its name to Tomorrow. In early 1967 he began a project he called A Teenage Opera with engineer Geoff Emerick. The basic concept of the project was to present a series of stories about different characters from a fantasy village, using the device of a young man relating the stories to a young girl through the use of songs. The entire work would eventually be animated, predating the Yellow Submarine film. The first song completed for the project was Grocer Jack, which featured lyrics by Tomorrow's Keith West, who also provided lead vocals for the track (fellow Tomorrow member Steve Howe played guitar on the tune). The song was a major hit in the UK, which prompted Wirtz to come up with a followup single. That song, Sam, was unable to go any higher than #38 on the charts, however, despite the presence of both West and Howe. Following the release of Sam, West decided that being a member of Tomorrow and simultaneously becoming famous as the singer on A Teenage Opera was creating too many problems, and opted not to participate in a third single, (He's Our Dear Old) Weatherman, which was co-written by Wirtz's then-wife Ross (Hannaman) and sung by Steve Flynn. Wirtz continued to work on a Teenage Opera in his off-hours, much as Gary Usher and Curt Boettcher were doing in California with Sagittarius and the Millennium around the same time, but the project was not released in its entirety until 1996. 

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring
Source:    CD: Traffic
Writer(s):    Winwood/Capaldi/Wood
Label:    Island (original US label: United Artists)
Year:    1968
    Of the ten songs on Traffic's self-titled second album, half were Dave Mason compositions that he sung himself, while the remaining five were credited to the team of Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi. At least that was the way things stood when the LP was first released. On later issues of the album, however, flautist/saxophonist Chris Wood was credited as co-writer of Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring. A check of the records of BMI, the licensing organization for broadcast rights, shows that Wood had been considered one of the writers all along, even though he didn't actually play on the recording.

Artist:     Traffic
Title:     Giving To You
Source:     CD: Heaven Is In Your Mind
Writer(s):     Winwood/Capaldi/Wood/Mason
Label:     Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:     1967
     Traffic's first LP, Mr. Fantasy, was released in late 1967 under the name Heaven Is In Your Mind by United Artists Records in the US. The reason for this is not entirely clear, although the label may have been expecting the song Heaven Is In Your Mind to be a hit and wanted to capitalize on the title. As it turns out the song didn't do much on the US charts, despite the lead vocals of Steve Winwood, whose voice had already graced two top 10 singles by the Spencer Davis Group (Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm A Man) earlier that year. More recently Island Records, which always had the UK rights to Traffic's material and has had US rights since the early 70s, decided to release CDs under both titles. Mr. Fantasy contains the mono mixes of the songs (plus mono bonus tracks), while Heaven Is In Your Mind has the stereo mixes of the same songs (with some slight differences in bonus tracks). One track that benefits from the stereo mix is Giving To You. Basically an instrumental, the song has a short lounge lizard style vocal introduction, along with some interesting spoken parts and stereo sound effects at the beginning and end of what is otherwise a rather tasty jam session.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Cryin' To Be Heard
Source:    CD: Traffic
Writer(s):    Dave Mason
Label:    Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1968
    Dave Mason's role as a member of Traffic has always been a bit hard to pin down. He left the band on more than one occasion, only to rejoin at exactly the right time to make his own music factor prominently in the band's recordings. After leaving the group even before their debut album was released in the US, Mason returned in time to write five of the ten songs on the band's self-title second LP, including the seldom heard Cryin' To Be Heard (see what I did there?). True to form, Mason left once again soon after the album was recorded, only to rejoin in time for their 1971 live album Welcome To The Canteen.

Artist:    Love
Title:    No Matter What You Do
Source:    Mono LP: Love
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1966
    Many of the songs on Love's first album show the heavy influence of the folk-rock movement that was particularly popular in Los Angeles in 1965. This influence is particularly noticable on songs like No Matter What You Do. Arthur Lee's songwriting skills would develop quickly, however, and by mid-1967 he would be busy creating what has come to be recognized as one of the greatest rock albums of all time, Forever Changes.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    Fly Away
Source:    LP: Projections
Writer(s):    Al Kooper
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1966
    The Blues Project has a permanent place in rock history, both for pioneering the idea of touring coast to coast playing college venues and as the first jam band. Still, they were never able to break into top 40 radio at a time when a top 40 hit was considered essential to a band's commercial success. Keyboardist Al Kooper, on the other hand, was no stranger to hit records, having co-written This Diamond Ring, a song that became the first number one hit for Gary Lewis and the Playboys (although Kooper himself hated their arrangement of the song) in 1965. One of Kooper's attempts at writing a hit song for the Blues Project was Fly Away, included on their second LP, Projections.

Artist:    Del-Vetts
Title:    Last Time Around
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dennis Dahlquist
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    The Del-Vetts were from Chicago's affluent North Shore. Their gimmick was to show up at a high school dance by driving their matching corvettes onto the gymnasium dance floor. Musically, like most garage/punk bands, they were heavily influenced by the British invasion bands. Unlike most garage/punk bands, who favored the Rolling Stones, the Del-Vetts were more into the Jeff Beck incarnation of the Yardbirds. The 'Vetts had a few regional hits from 1965-67, the biggest being this single issued on the Dunwich label, home of fellow Chicago suburbanites the Shadows of Knight. In retrospect, considering the song's subject matter (and overall loudness), Last Time Around may well be the very first death metal rock song ever recorded.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    See Emily Play
Source:    Mono CD: Relics (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Syd Barrett
Label:    Capitol (original US label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    Following up on their first single, Arnold Layne, Pink Floyd found even greater chart success (at least in their native England) with See Emily Play. Released in June of 1967, the song went all the way to the #6 spot on the British charts. In the US the song failed to chart as a single, although it was included on the US version of Pink Floyd's debut LP, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. The "Emily" in question is reportedly the sculptor Emily Young, who in those days was known as the "psychedelic schoolgirl" at London's legendary UFO club.
Artist:    Syd Barrett
Title:    No Good Trying
Source:    British import CD: Insane Times (originally released on LP: The Madcap Laughs)
Writer(s):    Syd Barrett
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1970
    After parting company with Pink Floyd in 1968, Syd Barrett made an aborted attempt at recording a solo album. After spending several months in psychiatric care, Barrett resumed work on the project in April of 1969, recording the basic tracks for songs such as It's No Good Trying with producer Malcolm Jones. In May of 1969 Barrett brought in three members of the Soft Machine to record overdubs for several songs, including No Good Trying (the "It's" having mysteriously disappeared from the song title). Barrett then added some backwards guitar, and the final track appeared on his 1970 LP The Madcap Laughs.

Artist:     Pink Floyd
Title:     Arnold Layne
Source:     CD: Relics (originally released on 45 RPM vinyl)
Writer:     Syd Barrett
Label:     Capitol (original single released in UK on EMI)
Year:     1967
     The very first record released by Pink Floyd was Arnold Layne, a single written by Syd Barrett. The record got no promotion from the band's US label,  the Capitol-ownedTower Records,This could be because of the song's unusual subject matter (based on a true story) about a man who steals women's underwear off a clothesline. The song was not included on the band's first LP but has been featured on several collections since its initial release, including the early 70s anthology Relics.

Artist:    Cher
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    LP: Cher's Golden Greats (originally released on LP: With Love, Cher and as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Billy Roberts
Label:    Imperial
Year:    1967
    Considering that Cher's first major hit as a solo artist was Bang Bang, a song about shooting one's lover, it was probably inevitable that she would record her own version of the venerable Hey Joe, which deals with the same subject. Also, given Cher's established style with Bang Bang, it is no surprise that she chose to go with the slowed-down arrangement first used by Tim Rose and popularized in England by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. What may come as a surprise, however, is that Cher's 1967 version of Hey Joe actually did better on the US charts than any other version except the Leaves' fast-tempo hit from 1966.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    I
Source:    CD: Underground
Writer(s):    Tucker/Mantz
Label:    Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz were songwriters who had their greatest success when the Electric Prunes released one of their songs, I Had Too Much Too Dream (Last Night), in early 1967. The record was such a great success, in fact, that the band's producer insisted that the group record more Tucker/Mantz songs, including a second charted single, Get Me To The World On Time, and several album tracks. One of those album tracks, I, is the only recording by the original band to exceed the five minute mark, an ironic fact considering that it is also the song with the shortest title in history.

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

Artist:    Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:    Birds In My Tree
Source:    LP: Incense And Peppermints
Writer(s):    Bunnell/Bartek
Label:    Sundazed/Uni
Year:    1967
    The Strawberry Alarm Clock had a history of not acknowledging everyone involved in making their records, especially near the beginning of their career. For instance, the lead vocalist on Incense And Peppermints itself, Greg Munford, was not even a member of the band. Furthermore, four of the ten songs on the album, including Birds In My Tree, we co-written (with bassist George Bunnell) by Steve Bartok, who also provided flute parts for several songs, but received no credit for his work. Birds In My Tree, incidentally, was chosen as the B side for the band's second single, Tomorrow.

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.