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.
Title: I've Just Seen A Face
Source: LP: Rubber Soul (originally released in UK on LP: Help)
Label: Apple/Capitol/EMI (original UK label: Parlophone)
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.
Title: Think For Yourself
Source: CD: Yellow Submarine Songtrack (originally released on LP: Rubber Soul)
Writer(s): George Harrison
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.
Source: CD: Rubber Soul
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)
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.
Title: No Face, No Name, No Number
Source: CD: Smiling Phases (originally released on LP: Mr. Fantasy, aka Heaven Is In Your Mind)
Label: Island (original US label: United Artists)
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)
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.
Title: She'll Return It
Source: Mono LP: Animalization
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
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.
Source: CD: The Who Sell Out
Writer(s): Pete Townshend
Label: MCA (original label: Decca)
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.
Title: The Acid Queen
Source: CD: Tommy
Writer(s): Pete Townshend
Label: MCA (original label: Decca)
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.
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)
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.
Title: Rougher Road
Source: Mono CD: Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus (bonus track)
Writer(s): Randy California
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
Source: CD: Stand Up
Writer: Bach, arr. Anderson
Label: Chrysalis/Capitol (original label: Reprise)
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.
Title: Deserted Cities Of The Heart
Source: LP: Wheels Of Fire
Label: RSO (original label: Atco)
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.
Source: CD: Younger Than Yesterday
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
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
Source: 45 RPM single
Writer: Otis Redding
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
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
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
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
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.
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)
Label: Rhino (original label: Deram)
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
Source: CD: Is Spreading/The Great Conspiracy (originally released on LP: The Great Conspiracy)
Writer(s): John Merrill
Label: Collectables (original label: Columbia)
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.
Title: Unhappy Girl
Source: Mono CD: Strange Days
Writer(s): The Doors
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
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.
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)
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.
Title: And More
Source: German import CD: Love
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
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.
Title: Let No Man Steal Your Thyme
Source: LP: The Pentangle
Writer(s): Trad., arr. Cox/Jansch/McShee)
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
Source: LP: Till I Run With You (aka Revelation: Revolution '69)
Label: Kama Sutra
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
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.