Sunday, May 29, 2022

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2223 (starts 5/30/22)

    This week we have a couple of artists' sets, a set of "recorded in England" tunes (including one from a Greek band that usually recorded in France), and an assortment of oddities, including Paul McCartney's demo of a Badfinger hit and a song by an artist so obscure that even the people who compiled the disc she appears on had nothing to say about her. And, as always, there are a few hits thrown in to keep things grounded.

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 musical backing from Booker T. & the MGs, supplemented by the Bar-Kays on horns.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Talk Talk
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    The Music Machine was one of the most sophisticated bands to appear on the L.A. club scene in 1966, yet their only major hit, Talk Talk, was deceptively simple and straightforward punk-rock, and still holds up as two of the most intense minutes of rock music ever to crack the top 40 charts.

Artist:    Masters' Apprentices
Title:    Don't Fight It
Source:    Australian import CD: The Master's Apprentices (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Cropper/Pickett
Label:    Aztec (original label: Astor)
Year:    1967
    The Masters' Apprentices (or Master's Apprentices or Masters Apprentices...they released records under all three variations at one time or another, both with and without the definitive article), were formed as the Mustangs in Adelaide, Australia in 1964 with Mick Bower on rhythm guitar, Rick Morrison on lead guitar, Brian Vaughton on drums and Gavin Webb on bass guitar. The all-instrumental band specialized in doing covers of groups like the Shadows and the Ventures until, heavily influenced by the Beatles, they took on Scottish-born vocalist Jim Keays, modifying their repertoire to include British invasion bands. As their popularity grew, the Mustangs began playing more original material, changing their name to The Masters Apprentices (no apostrophe) in late 1965. In 1966 they signed with the Adelaide-based Astor Records, releasing half a dozen singles, as well as a full-length album (as The Master's Apprentices) over the next couple of years. The album itself featured a mix of original tunes (mostly written by Bower) and cover songs such as Don't Fight It, a Wilson Pickett song that had gone into the top 5 on the US R&B chart in 1965.

Artist:    Ellen Margulies
Title:    The White Pony
Source:    Mono British import CD: My Mind Goes High (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Joyce/Steinberg/Secunda
Label:    Warner Strategic Marketing (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    When it comes to obscurities, few records compare with The White Pony, released as a single on the Reprise label in September of 1968. Nobody seems to know who Ellen Margulies, the vocalist on the track, was. For that matter, all that is known about the producer, Roger Joyce, is that he once was a member of a New York group called New Order. Joyce co-wrote the song with two other people, whose last names were Steinberg and Secunda (appropriately, their first names are unknown).

Artist:      Doors
Title:     Shaman's Blues
Source:      LP: Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine (originally released on LP: The Soft Parade)
Writer:    Jim Morrison
Label:    Elektra
Year:     1969
     Often dismissed as the weakest entry in the Doors catalogue, The Soft Parade nonetheless is significant in that for the first time songwriting credits were given to individual band members. Shaman's Blues, in my opinion one of the four redeeming tracks on the album, is Jim Morrison's.
Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    Scarborough Fair/Canticle
Source:    Collected Works (originally released on LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    After the reunion of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel following the surprise success of an electrified remix of The Sound Of Silence, the two quickly recorded an album to support the hit single. Sounds Of Silence was, for the most part, a reworking of material that Simon had recorded for 1965 UK LP the Paul Simon Songbook. The pressure for a new album thus (temporarily) relieved, the duo got to work on their first album of all new material since their unsuccessful 1964 effort Wednesday Morning 3AM (which had in fact been re-released and was now doing well on the charts). In October the new album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, hit the stands. The title track was a new arrangement of an old English folk ballad, Scarborough Fair, combined with a reworking of a 1963 Simon tune (The Side Of A Hill,) with all-new lyrics and retitled Canticle. The two melodies and sets of lyrics are set in counterpoint to each other, creating one of the most sophisticated folk song arrangements ever recorded. After being featured in the film The Graduate, Scarborough Fair/Canticle was released as a single in early 1968, going on to become one of the duo's most celebrated songs.

Artist:    Uncalled For
Title:    Do Like Me
Source:    Mono LP: Pebbles Vol. 8 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Welding/Lee
Label:    BFD (original labels Dollie, Laurie)
Year:    1967
    Virtually nothing is known about the Uncalled For other than that they came from Youngstown, Ohio (which was still a vital steel-making center with a thriving local music scene in the 1960s) and recorded one 1967 single, Do Like Me, for the local Dollie label. The song was apparently successful enough to be picked up by a national label, Laurie, and re-released later in the year. If anyone knows more about the Uncalled For, feel free to drop me a line.

Artist:    Grass Roots
Title:    Feelings
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: Feelings and as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Coonce/Entner/Fukomoto
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    In 1968 the Grass Roots decided to assert themselves and take artistic control of their newest album, Feelings, writing most of the material for the album themselves. Unfortunately for the band, the album, as well as its title track single, fared poorly on the charts. From that point on the Grass Roots were firmly under the control of producers/songwriters Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan, cranking out a series of best-selling hits such as I'd Wait A Million Years and Midnight Confessions (neither of which get played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, incidentally).

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    Come All Ye
Source:    LP: Liege And Lief
Writer(s):    Denny/Hutchings
Label:    A&M
Year:    1969
    Fairport Convention completed their transition from "Britain's answer to Jefferson Airplane" to the world's premier British folk-rock band with their fourth album, Liege And Lief. Gone were the cover songs of American artists such as Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, replaced by electric adaptations of traditional English folk songs, many of which were brought to the band by vocalist Sandy Denny, who had replaced the original Fairport Vocalist, Judy Dyble, following the release of the band's first LP. Ashley Hutchings was also instrumental in finding material for the group, much of which came from a collection maintained by the English Folk Dance and Song Society. Even the original songs written by band members were in a more traditional folk style, especially tracks like Come All Ye, which opens the album. Not surprisingly, the tune was written by Denny and Hutchings.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Nothing Is Easy
Source:    CD: Stand Up
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1969
    Not long after the release of the first Jethro Tull album, guitarist Mick Abrahams, who was a blues enthusiast, left the group due to musical differences with lead vocalist/flautist Ian Anderson, who favored a more eclectic approach to songwriting. Abrahams's replacement was Martin Barre, who remains a member of the group to this day. One of the first songs recorded with Barre is Nothing Is Easy, a blues rocker that opens side two of the band's second LP, Stand Up. More than any other track on Stand Up, Nothing Is Easy sounds like it could have been an outtake from This Was, the band's debut LP.

Artist:    Aphrodite's Child
Title:    Magic Mirror
Source:    CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released in Europe as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Papathanassiou/Fiddy
Label:    Polydor (original European label: Mercury) (released in UK on Polydor)
Year:    1969
    Aphrodite's Child was formed in Greece in 1967, but left following a right-wing military coup that severely curtailed both political and artistic freedoms in that country. The band had been invited by Mercury Records to come to London and record, but were refused entry to the UK due to problems with their work permits and found themselves in Paris instead. Mercury's parent label, Philips, soon signed the band to a contract to record in France. Their first single for the label, Rain And Tears, was a top 10 single in several European countries and led to an equally popular album, End Of The World, that established Aphrodite's Child as one of the continent's most popular acts. That popularity did not extend to the UK, however, and subsequent records failed to make a dent on the British charts. One 1969 single was recorded in London, but was not even released in the UK by the band's regular label, Mercury, and was instead issued independently by the Polydor label. The B side of that single, Magic Mirror, shows a band just beginning to transition from their early psychedelic sound to the more experimental one that would characterize their best known work, a concept double LP based on the biblical book of Revelation called 666. After Aphrodite's Child disbanded in 1972 the band's leader, Evangahlos Papathanassiou (generally known as Vangelis), would go on to become one of the world's top electronic music pioneers (can anyone say Chariots Of Fire?).

Artist:    Open Mind
Title:    Magic Potion
Source:    CD Nuggets II (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Brancaccio
Label:    Rhino (original label: Philips)
Year:    1969
    Originally known as the Drag Set, the Open Mind adopted their new name in late 1967. Not long after the change they signed a deal with Philips Records and recorded an album with producer Johnny Franz in 1968. Their greatest achievement, however, came the following year, when they released Magic Potion as a single. By that time, unfortunately, British psychedelia had run its course, and Open Mind soon closed up shop.

Artist:    Left Banke
Title:    Walk Away Renee
Source:    LP: Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina
Writer(s):    Brown/Calilli/Sansune
Label:    Smash/Sundazed
Year:    1966
    The Left Banke's Walk Away Renee is one of the most covered songs in rock history, starting with a version by the Four Tops less than two years after the original recording had graced the top 5. The Left Banke version kicked off what was thought at the time to be the latest trend: Baroque Pop. The trend died an early death when the band members themselves made some tactical errors resulting in radio stations being hesitant to play their records.

Artist:     Who
Title:     In The City
Source:     CD: A Quick One (bonus track originally released in UK as a 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:     Entwhistle/Moon
Label:     MCA (original UK label: Track)
Year:     1966
     The war between the Who and Brunswick Records continued throughout 1966 with Brunswick responding to each new Who single with one of their own, using album tracks from the My Generation album. Despite this all the new Who singles on Reaction/Polydor that year made it to the top 5 in the UK, while the Brunswick singles did increasingly worse with each subsequent release. Brunswick finally gave up the battle after I'm A Boy (on Reaction) went all the way to # 2 on the UK charts, while Brunswick's La-La-La-Lies didn't even crack the top 100. The B side of I'm A Boy was In The City, a rare collaboration between bassist John Entwhistle and drummer Keith Moon. The song was included on the CD remastered version of the Who's second album, A Quick One, released in 1993.

Artist:    The Raik's Progress
Title:    All Night Long
Source:    Mono LP: Sewer Rat Love Chant
Writer(s):    Tommy Scott
Label:    Sundazed
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2003
    "A bunch of 17-year-old quasi-intellectual proto-punks" was how Steve Krikorian, later to be known as Tonio K, described his first band. Krikorian, along with friends Alan Shapazian, Steve Olson, Nick van Maarth, and Duane Scott, formed The Raik's Progress in 1966 in Fresno, California. By the end of the year they had already cut a single for a major label (Liberty) and would soon find themselves opening for Buffalo Springfield at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium. The Raik's Progress was best known for their stage show, which included sitting down and playing a game of poker between songs and other strange antics. Their music was equally eccentric, in that it combined influences from the more blues oriented British Invasion bands like the Animals and Them with an avant-garde sensibility more in line with what Frank Zappa's Mothers were doing at the time. Although they only released one single, the band did manage to record an album's worth of material before disbanding, including a cover of Call My Name, written by Scottish songwriter Tommy Scott and released by Van Morrison's band, Them, in 1966.

Artist:     Animals
Title:     Inside Looking Out
Source:     Mono CD: Retrospective (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Lomax/Lomax/Burdon/Chandler
Label:     Abkco (original label: M-G-M)
Year:     1966
     One of the last songs recorded by the Animals before their first breakup, Inside Looking Out (a powerful song about life in prison) was covered a few years later by Grand Funk Railroad, who made it one of their concert staples. This has always been one of my all-time favorite rock songs, no matter who recorded it.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    She Said She Said
Source:    LP: Revolver
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Capitol/EMI
Year:    1966
    The last song to be recorded for the Beatles' Revolver album was She Said She Said, a John Lennon song inspired by an acid trip taken by members of the band (with the exception of Paul McCartney) during a break from touring in August of 1965. The band's manager, Brian Epstein, had rented a large house in Beverly Hills, but word had gotten out and the Beatles found it difficult to come and go at will. Instead, they invited several people, including the original members of the Byrds and actor Peter Fonda, to come over and hang out with them. At some point, Fonda brought up the fact that he had nearly died as a child from an accidental gunshot wound, and used the phrase "I know what it's like to be dead." Lennon was creeped out by the things Fonda was saying and told him to "shut up about that stuff. You're making me feel like I've never been born." The song itself took nine hours to record and mix, and is one of the few Beatles tracks that does not have Paul McCartney on it (George Harrison played bass). Perhaps not all that coincidentally, Fonda himself would star in a Roger Corman film called The Trip (written by Jack Nicholson and co-starring Dennis Hopper) the following year.

Artist:    The Move
Title:    Fire Brigade
Source:    Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Roy Wood
Label:    Rhino (original label: A&M)
Year:    1968
    The Move scored their fourth consecutive British top 5 single with Fire Brigade, released in January of 1968. It would be the last single released by the group's original lineup.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    We Love You
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    The last Rolling Stones record to be produced by their longtime manager Andrew Loog Oldham, We Love You, released in August of 1967, was also the most elaborate and expensive single the band had ever recorded. Although some critics dismissed the song as an attempt to outdo the Beatles' All You Need Is Love, this view is inconsistent with the fact that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, who wrote We Love You, were part of the background crowd appearing with the Beatles on the worldwide premier of All You Need Is Love; furthermore, John Lennon and Paul McCartney sing background vocals on We Love You, which the Stones maintain was meant as more of a sequel to the Beatles tune rather than a competitor. The recording itself opens with the sound of a jail cell door slamming shut, a reference to the recent drug bust that had earned Jagger and Richards disproportionate sentences in an attempt to "make an example" of the pair. This is followed by an ominous sounding piano riff from famed session man Nicky Hopkins that is quickly enhanced by a cacaphony of sound, including some of the creepiest sounding mellotron (played by Brian Jones) ever recorded. Of course, being a Rolling Stones record, the lyrics take a somewhat more cynical tone than the Beatles song, but against the chaotic music track those lyrics work perfectly. We Love You was a top 10 single in the UK, but only made it to the #50 spot in the US as the B side of the song Dandelion (a short section of which fades in and out at the end of We Love You).

Artist:    Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones)
Title:    In Another Land
Source:    LP: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer(s):    Bill Wyman
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    During recording sessions for the late 1967 Rolling Stones album Their Satanic Majesties Request bassist Bill Wyman made a forty-five minute drive to the studio one evening only to find out that the session had been cancelled. The band's manager and producer, Andrew Loog Oldham, managed to salvage the moment by asking Wyman if he had any song ideas he'd like to work on while he was there. As it turned out, Wyman had just come up with a song called In Another Land, about waking up from a dream only to discover you are actually still dreaming. Utilizing the talents of various people on hand, including Steve Marriott, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts and Nicky Hopkins, Wyman recorded a rough demo of his new tune. When Mick Jagger and Keith Richards heard the song they liked it so much that they added background vocals and insisted the track be used on the album and released as a single by Bill Wyman (with another track from the LP on the B side credited to the entire band). They even went so far as to give Wyman solo artist credit on the label of the LP itself (the label reads: Their Satanic Majesties Request by the Rolling Stones*, with the next line reading *by Bill Wyman), with an asterisk preceeding the song title in the track listing. Wyman reportedly hated the sound of his own voice on the song, and insisted that a tremelo effect be added to it in the final mix. The snoring at the end of the track is Wyman himself, as captured in the studio by Mick and Keith.
Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    You Can't Always Get What You Want
Source:    CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1969
    When the Rolling Stones called for singers to back them up on their recording of You Can't Always Get What You Want, they expected maybe 30 to show up. Instead they got twice that many, and ended up using them all on the record. The song, which also features Al Kooper on organ, was orginally released as the B side of Honky Tonk Women in 1969. In the mid-1970s, after the Stones had established their own record label, Allen Klein, who had bought the rights to the band's pre-1970 recordings, reissued the single, this time promoting You Can't Always Get What You Want as the A side. Klein's strategy worked and the song ended up making the top 40.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    Tobacco Road
Source:    LP: Psychedelic Lollipop
Writer(s):    John D. Loudermilk
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1966
    For years I've been trying to find a DVD copy of a video I saw on YouTube. It was the Blues Magoos, complete with electric suits and smoke generators, performing Tobacco Road on a Bob Hope TV special. The performance itself was a vintage piece of psychedelia, but the true appeal of the video is in Hope's reaction to the band immediately following the song. You can practically hear him thinking "Well, that's one act I'm not taking with me on my next USO tour."

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    The Trip
Source:    Mono CD: Sunshine On The Mountain (originally released as 45 RPM B side and on LP: Sunshine Superman)
Writer:    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Sony (original label: Epic)
Year:    1966
    Donovan had already established a reputation in his native Scotland as the UK's answer to Bob Dylan, but had not had much success in the US, where his records were being released on the relatively poorly distributed Hickory label. That all changed in 1966, however, when he began to move beyond his folk roots and embrace a more electric sound. Unlike Dylan, who basically kept the same style as his acoustic songs, simply adding electic instruments, Donovan took a more holistic approach. The result was a body of music with a much broader range of sounds. The first of these new electric tunes was Sunshine Superman, sometimes cited as the first top 10 psychedelic hit. The B side of Sunshine Superman was a song called The Trip, which managed to be even more psychedelic than it's A side. Both songs soon appeared on Donovan's major US label debut, an album that was not even released in the UK due to a contractual dispute between the singer/songwriter and Pye Records.

Artist:    Rovin' Kind
Title:    My Generation
Source:    Mono LP: The Dunwich Records Story (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Tutman (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1967
    Unlike most acts signed to Dunwich Records, the Rovin' Kind had already released a pair of singles (for two different companies) before switching labels in late 1966. Their first release for the Chicago-based Dunwich was a cover of the Who's My Generation with a decidedly garage-rock feel to it. The Rovin' Kind were primarily a live act, however, and continued to do gigs throughout their brief recording career. The Rovin' Kind eventually morphed into Illinois Speed Press, who released two LPs for the Columbia label before splitting up, with founding member Paul Cotton going on to become a member of Poco.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Sitting On Top Of The World
Source:    LP: Wheels Of Fire
Writer(s):    Chester Burnett
Label:    Atco
Year:    1968
    Throughout their existence British blues supergroup Cream recorded covers of blues classics. One of the best of these is Sitting On Top Of The World from the album Wheels Of Fire, which in its earliest form was written by Walter Vinson and Lonnie Chatmon and recorded by the Mississippi Shieks in 1930. Cream's version uses the lyrics from the 1957 rewrite of the song by Chester Burnett, better know as Howlin' Wolf.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    What A Bringdown
Source:    CD: Goodbye Cream
Writer(s):    Ginger Baker
Label:    Polydor/Polygram (original label: Atco)
Year:    1969
    Right around the time that Cream's third LP, Wheels Of Fire, was released, the band announced that it would be splitting up following its upcoming tour. Before starting the tour the band recorded three tracks, each one written by one of the three band members. Both Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce worked with collaborators on their songs, while drummer Ginger Baker was given full credit for his tune, What A Bringdown (which was sung by Bruce). As it turned out those would be the only studio recordings on the final Cream album, Goodbye Cream, released in 1969, which in addition to the three new songs had several live tracks from a 1968 performance at the Los Angeles Palladium.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Politician
Source:    LP: Wheels Of Fire
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    Atco
Year:    1968
    Although the songwriting team of Jack Bruce and Pete Brown are best known for providing Cream with its more psychedelic songs such as White Room and SWLABR, they did occasionally come up with bluesier numbers such as Politician from the Wheels Of Fire album. The song quickly became a staple of Cream's live performances.

Artist:    Paul McCartney
Title:    Come And Get It
Source:    CD: Beatles Anthology 3
Writer(s):    Paul McCartney
Label:    Capitol/Apple
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 1996
    By 1969, the Beatles had signed other artists to their Apple record label. Among them was a group called the Iveys. One July morning, Paul McCartney arrived early at the studio with a new song, and in less than an hour had assembled a demo version of the tune, which he then brought to the Iveys to use as a guideline for recording their own version of it. The song was Come And Get It, and within a few months would become the first of several hits for the Iveys, who by now had changed their name to Badfinger. McCartney's demo version was finally released on Beatles Anthology 3 in 1996.

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

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Salad Days (Are Here Again)
Source:    Mono British import 45 RPM EP: Homburg (originally released on LP: Procol Harum)
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    Esoteric/Cherry Red (original label: Deram)
Year:    1967
    In 1967, in the midst of sessions for the first Procol Harum album, keyboardist Matthew Fisher took on the extra task of writing instrumental music for a film called Separation, written by and starring Jane Arden. To sweeten the deal, Fisher agreed to include Salad Days (Are Here Again), a new Procol Harum song from their forthcoming LP, in the soundtrack as well. The film, due to the usual post-production process, was not released until 1968. The Procol Harum album, however, was released in late 1967, making the back cover "From the film Separation" note a kind of reverse anachronism, as the film had not yet been released.

Artist:    Golliwogs
Title:    Fight Fire
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    J. Fogerty/T. Fogerty
Label:    Rhino (original label: Scorpio)
Year:    1966
    A quick look at the songwriting credits provides a clue to who these guys were. In fact, the Golliwogs, with their pink cotton candy colored wigs, boasted the exact same lineup as one of the most popular bands in rock history. The primary difference is that the Golliwogs (a name imposed on them by their record label that the band itself hated) were led by Tom Fogerty; by 1968 the group had changed its name to Creedence Clearwater Revival and younger brother John was clearly in charge.

Artist:    Fugs
Title:    Ah, Sunflower Weary Of Time
Source:    CD: The Fugs First Album (originally released as The Village Fugs Sing Ballads of Contemporary Protest, Point of Views, and General     Dissatisfaction)
Writer(s):    Blake/Sanders
Label:    Fantasy (original label: Folkways)
Year:    1965
    The Fugs were formed in New York in 1964 after poet/publisher Ed Sanders opened a bookstore next door to the apartment of poet Tuli Kupferberg and the two of them decided to form a band with drummer Ken Weaver. Their first official performance was at the bookstore's opening, where the three were joined by Steve Weber and Peter Stampfel of the Holy Modal Rounders. In April of 1965 the five of them recorded 23 songs in a 3-hour long acoustic jam session. Five months later the original trio, joined by John Anderson (on bass), Steve Weber (on guitar) and Vinny Leary (on guitar), recorded nine more songs, this time on electric instruments. Among the songs recorded that day was Ah, Sunflower Weary Of Time, an adaptation of a poem by William Blake first published in 1794, with music by Sanders. All nine of the electric tracks, as well as three tunes from the earlier acoustic sessions, were released late in 1965 as The Village Fugs Sing Ballads of Contemporary Protest, Point of Views, and General Dissatisfaction on the Folkways label. The LP was reissued the following year as The Fugs First Album on ESP-Disk.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2223 (starts 5/30/22) 

    Once again we've managed to squeeze 13 tunes into a one-hour show. This is getting to be a habit. Whether it's a good one or not remains to be seen (or heard), but we do have some talented artists on the roster this week, including Savoy Brown, Santana, Focus and David Bowie, just to name a few.

Artist:    Janis Joplin
Title:    Half Moon
Source:    LP: Pearl
Writer(s):    John & Johanna Hall
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1971
    Half Moon was the B side of Janis Joplin's biggest-selling single, Me And Bobby McGee. As such, it is one of Joplin's best known songs from the Pearl album. The song itself was written (with his wife Johanna) by John Hall, who later went on to form his own band, Orleans, which scored major hits in the late 1970s with Dance With Me and Still The One, both of which were Hall compositions. In 1977 Hall left Orleans to pursue a solo career, becoming active in the anti-nuclear movement as well, co-founding Musicians United for Safe Energy with Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Graham Nash. While living in Saugerties, NY, he co-founded two citizens' groups, which led to his election to the Saugerties Board of Education. Hall continued to write songs, both for himself and other artists, while simultaneously pursuing a political career that led to him serving two terms in the US House of Representatives.

Artist:    Andromeda
Title:    Too Old
Source:    British import CD: Definitive Collection (originally released on LP: Andromeda)
Writer(s):    John Du Cann
Label:    Angel Air (original UK label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1969
    It's a known fact that success in the music world is more a matter of being in the right place at the right time than actually having a lot of talent. John Du Cann was a guitarist/vocalist/songwriter who proved that statement by never being in the right place at the right time despite having a wealth of talent. Unlike a lot of guitarists of the 1960s, Du Cann (then known as John Cann), did not come from a folk music background. In fact, his first guitar was an electric one, which he purchased, along with a small amplifier, while still in his teens. Within a couple of years he was fronting his own band as vocalist and lead guitarist (he later claimed that had he learned to play lead before learning the play rhythm guitar), which eventually led to him forming the power trio Andromeda, which released its first LP in 1969. Despite Andromeda having a strong local following and sharing the bill with such bands as the New Yardbirds (who soon began calling themselves Led Zeppelin) and Black Sabbath (who actually served as Andromeda's opening band), and getting rave reviews from critics for songs like Too Old (which opens the album), the LP was a commercial failure and has since become a highly sought after collectable (an original copy sold for over $1000 in 2017). John Du Cann soon grew frustrated with the album's poor sales, and when offered a job as lead guitarist with Vincent Crane's band, Atomic Rooster, disbanded Andromeda in 1970. Du Cann's stint with Atomic Rooster did not last long, however, and he drifted from one band to another (including a reformed Atomic Rooster in the early 1980s), without achieving the success or recognition he deserved. John Du Cann died following a heart attack in 2011, leaving behind a collection of 75 guitars, 30 amplifiers and a large number of records, which were sold at auction in 2012.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    For A Thousand Mothers
Source:    European import LP: Stand Up
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1969
    For years, the only copy I had of Jethro Tull's For A Thousand Mothers was a homemade cassette tape. As a result I was under the impression that this was actually two separate songs. Long silences will do that. Long silences will also trip the sensors on automated radio station equipment, which partially explains why such a great track has always gotten far less airplay than it deserves.

Artist:    Savoy Brown
Title:    Waiting In The Bamboo Grove
Source:    CD: A Step Further
Writer(s):    Kim Simmonds
Label:    Deram (original label: Parrot)
Year:    1969
    The history of Savoy Brown is marked by frequent personnel changes. In fact it wasn't until their third and fourth albums (Blue Matter and A Step Further), that the band used the same lineup for more than one consecutive record. Even then, the albums were supplemented by an unusually large number of studio musicians, especially on A Step Further, which included brass, winds and strings in addition to the usual guitar, bass, drums and keyboards played by the various band members. A Step Further would be the last Savoy Brown album to feature the charismatic front man Chris Youldman; their next LP would see guitarist Dave Peverett taking on the lead vocals, as he would in his next band, Foghat, as well. Perhaps as a hint of things to come, A Step Further included one instrumental track, the jazz-inflected Waiting In The Bamboo Grove, written by guitarist/bandleader Kim Simmonds.

Artist:    Mountain
Title:    Mississippi Queen
Source:    LP: Vintage Rock (originally released on LP: Mountain Climbing)
Writer(s):    West/Laing/Pappalardi/Rea
Label:    K-Tel (original label: Windfall)
Year:    1970
    One of the most overlooked bands of the mid-1960s was the Vagrants. Based on Long Island, the group made a specialty of covering popular R&B and rock songs, often slowing them down and featuring extended solos by guitarist Leslie Weinstein, inspiring fellow Long Islanders Vanilla Fudge to do the same. Although the Vagrants never were able to gain much national attention, Weinstein himself had established quite a reputation by the time the group disbanded. Meanwhile, keyboardist/producer/songwriter Felix Pappalardi had been working with the members of Cream as a producer, but with the demise of that band was looking for a new project to sink his teeth into. That new project turned out to be a solo album by Weinstein, who by then had shortened his last name to West. The album was called Mountain, and soon after its release West and Pappalardi decided to form a band of the same name. The group first got national attention performing at Woodstock, and in 1970 released the album Mountain Climbing, featuring the hit single Mississippi Queen.

Artist:    Guess Who
Title:    Humpty's Blues/American Woman (Epilogue)
Source:    CD: American Woman
Writer(s):    Bachman/Cummings/Peterson/Kale
Label:    Buddha/BMG (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1970
    Guitarist Randy Bachman of the Guess Who was, in the words of lead vocalist Burton Cummings, "chomping at the bit" to use some new guitar effects equipment he had acquired (fuzz boxes and Herzog sustain pedals, mostly). So the rest of the band obliged him by coming up with a Led Zeppelin style blues number called Humpty's Blues. Cummings's lyrics for the song were about the band's drummer, Garry Peterson, who had somehow acquired the nickname "Humpty Mix". The finished song ended up being the longest track on the album, which, combined with a short reprise of the opening section of American Woman, closes out the Guess Who's most successful album.

Artist:    Focus
Title:    Anonymous
Source:    LP: In And Out Of Focus
Writer(s):    van Leer/Akkerman/Dresden
Label:    Sire
Year:    1970
    Tracking down the discography of the Dutch band Focus can be a bit confusing. Their 1970 debut LP was originally called Focus Plays Focus, and may or may not have been released in the US. The album contained seven tracks, but the original Dutch label mistakenly listed Anonymous twice (once on each side of the LP). To add to the confusion, the first and last tracks on the album were both called Focus, with one being an instrumental version of the piece. In some countries, however, the single House Of The King was added to the album, bringing the song total up to eight. In 1971 the album was re-released under the title In And Out Of Focus, with House of the King replacing the second version of Focus. In the US, however, the original version of In And Out Of Focus had the same track listing as the original Focus Plays Focus, with the two versions of the song Focus being specified as instrumental and vocal. That same year, a second version of In And Out Of Focus appeared in the US with an entirely different album cover. This version had a total of eight songs, and included House Of The King and both versions of the song Focus. The album did not sell particularly well in the US, however, and was quickly deleted from the Sire/Polydor catalog. Then, in 1973, the song Hocus Pocus became a huge US hit, and In And Out Of Focus was reissued, but this time with only six songs on it. Gone were House Of The King and another tune, Sugar Island, which had been included on all previous releases of the album. Finally, in 2001, the eight-song version of the album was released on CD in the US, but is no longer available. In fact, as far as I can tell, the only version of In And Out Of Focus currently available is a Russian import. A highlight of all versions of the album is original seven minute long version of Anonymous, which would be expanded in length to nearly 27 minutes on the 1972 album Focus 3. As I said, confusing.

Artist:    Blues Image
Title:    Fugue U/Parchman Farm/Wrath Of Daisey
Source:    CD: Open
Writer(s):    Blues Image/Allison
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Atco)
Year:    1970
    Despite drawing decent crowds in Florida (and, later, Los Angeles) and getting rave reviews from the rock press, as well as their fellow musicians, Blues Image was never able to sell a lot of albums. This is a shame, as almost all of their material was as good or better than anything else being recorded in 1969-70. A classic example is the medley of Fugue U (emulating J.S. Bach), a jazz-rock arrangement of Mose Allison's Parchman Farm and the latin-rock instrumental Wrath Of Daisey). Guitarist Mike Pinera went on to replace Eric Brann in Iron Butterfly the following year.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Se A Cabo
Source:    CD: Abraxas
Writer(s):    Chepito Areas
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1970
    Following their successful appearance at Woodstock in August of 1969, Santana returned to the studio to begin work on their second LP. Unlike their self-titled debut, Abraxas took several months to record, finally hitting the racks in September of 1970. Like the group's first album, Abraxas includes several instrumental tracks such as Se A Cabo, which opens side two of the original LP. The tune was written by percussionist José Octavio "Chepito" Areas, who played timbales for the band from 1969-1977, returning for a three-year stint in the late 1980s.

Artist:      Black Sabbath
Title:     Electric Funeral
Source:      CD: Paranoid
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osborne/Butler/Ward
Label:     Warner Brothers
Year:     1970
     When Black Sabbath first appeared on vinyl they were perceived as the next step in the evolution of rock, building on the acid rock of the late sixties and laying the groundwork for what would become heavy metal. Electric Funeral, from the band's second album, Paranoid, shows that evolution in progress.

Artist:     Jimi Hendrix Experience (II)
Title:     In From The Storm
Source:     LP: The Cry Of Love
Writer:     Jimi Hendrix
Label:     MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1970
     Although nobody knows for sure what the final track lineup would have been for Jimi Hendrix's first studio album since 1968's Electric Ladyland, most everyone associated with him agrees that it would have been a double LP and that In From The Storm would have been included on it. The song was first released on The Cry Of Love, the first posthumus Hendrix album, and subsequently was included on Voodoo Soup, Alan Douglas's first attempt at recreating that legendary fourth album. The song also appears on First Rays Of The New Rising Sun, the CD that has replaced Voodoo Soup in the Hendrix catalog. The recording features Hendrix on guitar, Mitch Mitchell on drums and Hendrix's longtime friend Billy Cox on bass. Before Hendrix's death in September of 1970 the trio had often been billed as the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Artist:     David Bowie
Title:     Andy Warhol
Source:     45 RPM single B side (reissue originally released on LP: Hunky Dory)
Writer:     David Bowie
Label:     RCA
Year:     1971
     Although the song Changes appeared on Bowie's third LP for RCA, the label went back to Bowie's first RCA album, Hunky Dory, for the B side, Andy Warhol. The pairing makes for an interesting contrast between Bowie's pre and post Ziggy Stardust styles.
Artist:    America
Title:    Rainy Day
Source:    CD: America
Writer(s):    Dan Peek
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    In the late 1960s nearly two million Americans were in the Armed Forces. Of these, a significant percentage were career military men raising families of their own. Most members of the military received overseas assignments from time to time, with tours of duty ranging from one year (Viet Nam) to three years (Japan, Europe and the UK). Those serving longer assignments often brought their families with them, with entire communities of "dependents" springing up all over the world. One of these communities was the United States Air Force base at RAF South Ruislip near London. Like many overseas bases, it included its own commissary, base exchange, housing area and schools (among other things). Three of the dependents (aka Air Force Brats) attending London Central High School were Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek and Gerry Beckley. Like many high school kids in the US, the three played in local bands and had dreams of someday becoming rock stars. In their case, those dreams came through not long after they graduated. In 1970, inspired by the success of Crosby, Stills & Nash, the three formed an acoustic, harmony-oriented band, choosing the name America in part to make sure the locals knew that they were in fact Americans. They soon came to the attention of producers Ian Samwell and Jeff Dexter, who got them a contract with the UK branch of Warner Brothers Records. They released their self-titled debut LP in late 1971. Originally the album had 11 songs, including Peek's Rainy Day, but was expanded in 1972 to include the hit single A Horse With No Name. The original trio's run came to its end with the departure of Peek in 1977, although Beckley and Bunnell continue to perform as America with various backup musicians.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2222 (starts 5/23/22)

    This time around we have our first California battle of the bands and an entire segment of single-take jams, all in the second hour. As for the first hour, read on...

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Talk Talk
Source:    British import CD: The UltimateTurn On (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer:    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    When it came time for Sean Bonniwell's band, the Music Machine, to go into the studio, the group decided to go for the best sound possible. This meant signing with tiny Original Sound Records, despite having offers from bigger labels, due to Original Sound having their own state-of-the-art eight-track studios. Unfortunately for the band, they soon discovered that having great equipment did not mean the people in charge of Original Sound made great decisions. One of the first, in fact, was to include a handful of cover songs on the Music Machine's first LP that were recorded for use on a local TV show. Bonniwell was livid when he found out, as he had envisioned an album made up entirely of his own compositions (although he reportedly did plan to use a slowed-down version of Hey Joe that he and Tim Rose had worked up together). From that point on it was only a matter of time until the Music Machine and Original Sound parted ways, but not until after they scored a big national hit with Talk Talk in 1966.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Rock And Roll Woman
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Buffalo Springfield did not sell huge numbers of records (except for the single For What It's Worth) while they were together. Nor did they pack in the crowds. As a matter of fact, when they played the club across the street from where Love was playing, they barely had any audience at all. Artistically, though, it's a whole 'nother story. During their brief existence Buffalo Springfield launched the careers of no less than four major artists: Richie Furay, Jim Messina, Stephen Stills and Neil Young. They also recorded more than their share of tracks that have held up better than most of what else was being recorded at the time. Case in point: Rock And Roll Woman, a Stephen Stills tune that still sounds fresh well over 50 years after it was recorded.

Artist:    Beacon Street Union
Title:    Mystic Mourning
Source:    LP: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union
Writer(s):    Ulaky/Weisberg/Rhodes
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    If I had to choose one single recording that encapsulates the psychedelic era, my choice would be Mystic Mourning, from the album The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union. Everything about the tune screams psychedelic, starting with a short spacy intro of electric piano over cymbals, leading into a raga beat with a solo bass line that builds up to a repeating riff that ends up getting played at various times by guitar, bass, and/or electric piano. The lyrics are appropriately existential, and both guitar and electric piano get a chance to show their stuff over the course of the nearly six-minute-long track.

Artist:     Savoy Brown
Title:     Made Up My Mind
Source:     British import CD: A Step Further
Writer:     Chris Youlden
Label:     Polygram/Deram (original US label: Parrot)
Year:     1969
     To coincide with a US tour, the fourth Savoy Brown album, A Step Further, was actually released in North America several months before it was in the UK, with Made Up My Mind being simultaneously released as a single. Luckily for the band, 1969 was a year that continued the industry-wide trend away from hit singles and toward successful albums instead, at least among the more progressive groups, as the single itself tanked. Aided by a decent amount of airplay on progressive FM radio, however, the album (the last to feature lead vocalist Chris Youlden) peaked comfortably within the top 100.
Artist:    Kinks
Title:    A Well Respected Man
Source:    45 RPM EP: Kwyet Kinks (reissue)
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    BMG (original UK label: Pye)
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 in the UK on the Kwyet Kinks EP) 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. The title of one of those later albums, Muswell Hillbillies, refers to the Davies brothers hometown of Muswell Hill, North London.

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    I Got My Mojo Workin'
Source:    CD: Dark Sides-The Best Of The Shadows Of Knight (originally released on LP: Gloria)
Writer(s):    McKinley Morganfield
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    When it became apparent that the Shadows Of Knight cover version of Van Morrison's Gloria was going to be a hit, Dunwich Records honcho Bill Traut rushed the popular suburban Chicago band into the studio to record an entire LP's worth of material. Much of the material that they recorded for the album were songs they had been performing live for local audiences, including covers of songs by legendary Chicago blues artists such as Bo Diddley, Willie Dixon and of course Muddy Waters, who penned I Got My Mojo Workin'. Ironically, the Shadows' main inspirations were the various British invasion bands that had been covering Chicago blues artists since their own early days.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Daily Nightly
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.)
Writer(s):    Michael Nesmith
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1967
    One of the first rock songs to feature a Moog synthesizer was the Monkees' Daily Nightly from the album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones LTD. Micky Dolenz, who had a reputation for nailing it on the first take but being unable to duplicate his success in subsequent attempts, was at the controls of the new technology for this recording of Michael Nesmith's most psychedelic song (he also sang lead on it). The Moog itself had been programmed by electronic music pioneer Paul Beaver especially for this recording.

Artist:    Jeff Beck
Title:    Love Is Blue (L'Amout Est Bleu)
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Blackburn/Cour/Popp
Label:    Sundazed/Epic (original UK label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    In early 1968 guitarist Jeff Beck, having parted company with the Yardbirds, found himself with all kinds of freedom, but few ideas about what to do with it. One of his earliest solo recordings was a cover of Paul Mauriat's L'Amour Est Bleu (Love Is Blue). Producer Mickey Most's arrangement of the piece, which made the British top 40, was actually quite similar to Mauriat's original, the main difference being Beck's guitar taking the part that had been played by a string section on the original. While recording Love Is Blue, Beck was also in the process of putting together a new band, the Jeff Beck Group, that featured a young Rod Stewart on lead vocals. The rest is history.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Summer In The City
Source:    LP: KRLA 42 Solid Rocks (originally released on LP: Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful)
Writer(s):    Sebastian/Sebastian/Boone
Label:    Take 6 (original label: Kama Sutra)
Year:    1966
    The Lovin' Spoonful changed gears completely for what would become their biggest hit of 1966: Summer In The City. Inspired by a poem by John Sebastian's brother, the song was recorded for the album Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful. That album was an attempt by the band to deliberately record in a variety of styles; in the case of Summer In The City, it was a rare foray into psychedelic rock for the band. Not coincidentally, Summer In The City is by far my favorite Lovin' Spoonful song.

Artist:    We The People
Title:    Mirror Of Your Mind
Source:    Mono CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Thomas Talton
Label:    Rhino (original label: Challenge)
Year:    1966
    We The People was formed when a newspaper reporter in Orlando, Florida talked members of two local bands to combine into a garage/punk supergroup. The result was one of the most successful regional bands in Florida history. After their first recording got airplay on a local station, they were signed to record in Nashville for Challenge Records (a label actually based in Los Angeles) and cranked out several regional hits over the next few years. The first of these was Mirror Of Your Mind. Written by lead vocalist Tom Talton, the song is an in-your-face rocker that got played on a number of local stations and has been covered by several bands since.

Artist:    Outsiders
Title:    Time Won't Let Me
Source:    Mono LP: Time Won't Let Me
Writer(s):    King/Kelly
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    From Cleveland we have the Outsiders, a popular local band signed to a major label, in this case Capitol Records, which at the time was having great success with both the Beatles and the Beach Boys. Lead vocalist Sonny Gerachi would reappear a few years later with the band Climax, singing a song called Precious and Few, which is one of the greatest juxtapositions of artist names and song titles ever.

Artist:    Janis Ian
Title:    New Christ Cardiac Hero
Source:    Mono LP: Janis Ian
Writer(s):    Janis Ian
Label:    Polydor (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:    1967
    When Bob Dylan went electric in 1965, many of the Greenwich Village-based folk artists that knew him had much to say about it. 14-year-old Janis Ian, however, went her contemporaries one better by writing a song about it. That song, New Christ Cardiac Hero, ended up appearing on Ian's own debut LP, released in January of 1967. Ian was fifteen at the time of the album's release.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    The Girl With No Name
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    Chris Hillman
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    As is often the case, a failed relationship was the inspiration for The Girl With No Name, one of five songs written or co-written by Byrds bassist Chris Hillman for the group's fourth LP, Younger Than Yesterday. The tune has a strong country feel to it, presaging Hillman's future career as a member of the Desert Rose Band in the 1980s. Guitarist Clarence White, who would soon become a member of the band, makes an early appearance on the track.

Artist:    Moby Grape
Title:    Mr. Blues
Source:    LP: Moby Grape
Writer(s):    Bob Mosley
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    Bassist Bob Mosley wrote and sang on Mr. Blues, one of ten songs released simultaneously on 45 RPM vinyl from the first Moby Grape album. It was a marketing disaster that forever tarnished a talented band.

Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    I'm A Man
Source:    Mono LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Winwood/Miller
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1967
    The Spencer Davis Group, featuring Steve and Muff Winwood, was one of the UK's most successful white R&B bands of the sixties, cranking out a steady stream of hit singles. Two of them, the iconic Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm A Man, were also major hits in the US, the latter being the last song to feature the Winwood brothers. Muff Winwood became a successful record producer, while his brother Steve went on to form the band Traffic. The Blind Faith. Then Traffic again. And then a successful solo career. Meanwhile, the Spencer Davis Group continued on for several years with a series of replacement vocalists, but were never able to duplicate their earlier successes with the Winwoods.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Catch The Wind
Source:    Mono CD: Donovan's Greatest Hits (originally released in UK on LP: What's Bin Did And What's Bin Hid and in US on LP: Catch The Wind)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Epic (original US label: Hickory)
Year:    1965
    Scottish singer/songwriter Donovan Leitch released his first single, Catch The Wind, in March of 1965. The record was an instant hit, going to the #4 spot on the British charts and later hitting #23 in the US. He ended up re-recording the song twice; first for his debut LP,  What's Bin Did and What's Bin Hid (released in the US as Catch The Wind), and then again for his 1969 greatest hits album, when Epic Records was unable to secure the rights to either of the original versions. By the late 1990s, however, Epic was able to substitute the first LP version for the later one on the CD issue of Donovan's Greatest Hits. Having heard all three versions, I would pick this one as the best of the lot.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    The Dangling Conversation
Source:    LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia/Sundazed
Year:    1966
    The first Simon and Garfunkel album, Wednesday Morning 3AM, originally tanked on the charts, causing Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel to temporarily pursue solo careers. Simon went to England, where he wrote and recorded an album's worth of material. Meanwhile, producer Tom Wilson, fresh from producing Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone, went into the studio with the original recording of the song Sound of Silence and added electric instruments to it. The result was a surprise hit that led Paul Simon to return to the US, reuniting with Art Garfunkel and re-recording several of the tunes he had recorded as a solo artist for a new album, Sounds of Silence. The success of that album prompted Columbia to re-release Wednesday Morning, 3AM, which in turn became a bestseller. Meanwhile, Simon and Garfunkel returned to the studio to record an album of all new material. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme was yet another success that spawned several hit songs, including The Dangling Conversation, a song Simon described as similar to The Sound Of Silence, but more personal. The song was originally released as a single in fall of 1966, before the album itself came out.

Artist:    Elastik Band
Title:    Spazz
Source:    Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    David Cortopassi
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
     Just plain weird, and probably politically incorrect as well, Spazz was the work of five young men from Belmont, California calling themselves the Elastik Band. For some odd reason, someone at Atco Records thought Spazz might be commercially viable, and released the track as a single in late 1967. They were wrong.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2222 (starts 5/23/22)

    After three weeks of squeezing in a dozen or more tunes per show, we shift gears a bit and, after a short piece from the Doors to get warmed up, go with some longer tracks, including an entire album side from a band (Poco) we've never heard on Rockin' in the Days of Confusion before.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Break On Through (To The Other Side)
Source:    CD: The Doors
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    The first Doors song to be released as a single was not, as usually assumed, Light My Fire. Rather, it was Break On Through (To The Other Side), the opening track from the band's debut LP, that was chosen to do introduce the band to top 40 radio. Although the single was not an immediate hit, it did eventually catch on with progressive FM radio listeners and still is heard on classic rock stations from time to time.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young
Title:    Almost Cut My Hair
Source:    CD: déjà vu
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Almost Cut My Hair could have been the longest track on the Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young album déjà vu. As originally recorded it ran about 10 minutes in length. However, it was decided to fade the cut out starting at around the four-minute mark, leaving Neil Young's Country Girl (which was actually a suite of song fragments) as the longest track on the LP. Nonetheless, even at its shorter-than-recorded released length, David Crosby's counter-cultural anthem stands out as one of the band's most memorable recordings, and is arguably the single track that best incorporates Neil Young's unique lead guitar style into a group that is known mostly for its vocal harmonies.

Artist:    Poco
Title:    Don't Let It Pass By/Nobody's Fool/El Tonto De Nadie, Regressa
Source:    LP: Poco
Writer(s):    Furay/Messina/Young/Schmidt/Grantham
Label:    Epic
Year:    1970
    Buffalo Springfield is perhaps best remembered for being the launching pad for the careers of Stephen Stills and Neil Young, but when the group fell apart (they never really disbanded) in 1968, it was Richie Furay and new member Jim Messina that decided to carry the band's musical legacy forward under the name Poco. Rusty Young, a former member of the Denver, Colorado band Boenzee Cryque, had played pedal steel guitar on the Springfield track Kind Woman, and stayed on to become a founding member of the new band. Another Boenzee Cryque alumnus, George Grantham, became the group's drummer. The final original member of Poco was bassist Randy Meisner, who left the group before their first album was released. His replacement was Timothy B. Schmidt, who had been a member of the Sacramento, California band New Breed (later known as Glad). Schmidt joined the group in time to record their self-titled second LP in 1970. Although the album, like Poco itself, is best known for its pioneering of what came to be known as country-rock, the LP's second side, which consists of two songs (Furay's Don't Let It Pass By and the group composition Nobody's Fool/El Tonto De Nadie, Regressa) that play as one continuous piece, shows off the band's improvisational skills. This particular lineup of Poco would make one more LP before Messina left to work with Kenny Loggins. A few years later, Schmidt would again replace Randy Meisner, this time as a member of the Eagles.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    Love Like A Man
Source:    CD: Cricklewood Green
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1970
    Cricklewood Green was Ten Years After's fourth studio effort and fifth album overall. Released in 1970, the album is considered by critics to be the apex of Ten Years After's studio work. The best known track from the album is Love Like A Man, which became the group's only single to chart in the UK (in an edited version), peaking at the #10 spot. The band was still considered an "underground" act in the US, despite a successful appearance at Woodstock the year before. However, Love Like A Man was a favorite among disc jockeys on FM rock radio stations, who almost universally preferred the longer album version of the song heard here.

Artist:    Emerson, Lake And Palmer
Title:    The Barbarian
Source:    CD: Emerson, Lake And Palmer
Writer(s):    Bartok, arr. Emerson/Lake/Palmer
Label:    Rhino (original label: Cotillion)
Year:    1970
    Originally credited to the three band members, The Barbarian, from the first Emerson, Lake And Palmer album, is actually a rock arrangement of composer Bela Bartok's 1911 piano piece Allegro Barbaro. The band did not include Bartok's name, assuming that the record label people were handling it. Bartok's family then sued the band for copyright infringement, leading to the band adding the composer's name to the credits on reissues of the album. The recording itself in a way defines the band, as it was used as the opening track on their first LP.

Artist:    Pentangle
Title:    Pentangling
Source:    LP: Superecord Contemporary (originally released on LP: The Pentangle)
Writer(s):    Cox/Jansch/McShea/Renbourne/Thompson
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Once in a while an album comes along that is so consistently good that it's impossible to single out one specific track for airplay. Such is the case with the debut Pentangle album from 1968. The group, consisting of guitarists John Renbourne and Bert Jansch, vocalist Jacqui McShea, bassist Terry Cox, and drummer Danny Thompson, had more talent than nearly any band in history from any genre, yet never succumbed to the clash of egos that characterize most supergroups. A slightly edited version of Pentangling appeared on a special promotional album for JBL speakers (priced at less than a dollar!) called Superecord Contemporary in 1971.

Artist:    Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title:    Running Dry (Requiem For The Rockets)
Source:    LP: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    For his second post-Buffalo Springfield LP, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Neil Young found a local Los Angeles band called the Rockets and convinced guitarist Danny Whitten, bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina to join him, renaming them Crazy Horse for the album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. One member of the Rockets that was not part of Crazy Horse was violinist Bobby Notkoff, whose eerie style gave the band a distinctive sound. Notkoff can be heard on Running Dry, which is subtitled Requiem For The Rockets as a tribute to the original band. The Rockets themselves had previously recorded one self-titled LP, but only 5000 copies were ever pressed.

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    Black Sabbath
Source:    LP: Black Sabbath
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osbourne/Butler/Ward
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    This track has to hold some kind of record for "firsts". Black Sabbath, by Black Sabbath, from the album Black Sabbath is, after all, the first song from the first album by the first true heavy metal band. The track starts off by immediately setting the mood with the sound of church bells in a rainstorm leading into the song's famous tri-tone (often referred to as the "devil's chord") intro, deliberately constructed to evoke the mood of classic Hollywood horror movies. Ozzy Osborne's vocals only add to the effect. Even the faster-paced final portion of the song has a certain dissonance that had never been heard in rock music before, in part thanks to Black Sabbath's deliberate use of a lower pitch in their basic tuning. The result is something that has sometimes been compared to a bad acid trip, but is unquestionably the foundation of what came to be called heavy metal.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2221 (starts 5/16/22) 

    This week Stuck in the Psychedelic Era partakes in a new investigation of an old blues legend. His name was J.B. Lenoir, and on May 20th, Little Village is releasing The Lenoir Investigation, a new album by guitarists Rome Yamilov and Henry Kaiser. Our entire Advanced Psych segment features tracks from the album, along with short excerpts from a recent interview with Henry Kaiser himself. Of course there is plenty more to hear on this week's show, including a Rolling Stones set and half a dozen other tracks that have never been played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era before.

Artist:    Beau Brummels
Title:    Laugh Laugh
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ron Elliott
Label:    Rhino (original label: Autumn)
Year:    1964
    It was difficult for an American band to get a hit record in 1964. Some, such as San Francisco's Beau Brummels, decided the best way was to beat the Brits at their own game. Laugh Laugh, their debut single, was released in December of that year as one of the first singles on popular local DJ Tom Donahue's Autumn label. Ultimately, the decision to emulate British rock worked against the Brummels, as they were never really considered part of the blossoming San Francisco music scene.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Wait And See
Source:    LP: Turn! Turn! Turn!
Writer(s):    McGuinn/Crosby
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Considering how prolific a songwriter David Crosby has been over the past five decades, it might be had to believe that he did not have a single writing credit on the Byrds' debut LP, Mr. Tambourine Man. In fact, Crosby's first official writing credit was on a song he co-wrote with Roger McGuinn called Wait And See, which was buried toward the end of side two of the second Byrds album, Turn! Turn! Turn! It was not as if Crosby wasn't writing songs at that point; he had brought two of his own tunes (Stranger In A Strange Land and the Flower Bomb Song) to the recording sessions, only to have them rejected by McGuinn and the band's manager, Jim Dickson, as well as by producer Terry Melcher. This was the beginning of tensions between Crosby and McGuinn that eventually led to Crosby's being fired from the band in 1967.
Artist:    Simon & Garfunkel
Title:    Leaves That Are Green
Source:    LP: Sounds Of Silence
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    When The Sound Of Silence became a surprise hit in early 1966, Paul Simon, who had moved to England the previous year, hastily returned to the US and reunited with Art Garfunkel (who had gone back to college) to record a new Simon & Garfunkel album called (naturally) Sounds Of Silence. To expedite the process, the duo chose to include new recordings of several songs such as Leaves That Are Green that had been released the previous year in the UK on an album called The Paul Simon Songbook. The lyrics to one more of those songs, The Side Of A Hill, would be reworked into a piece called Canticle, which was sung as counterpoint to Scarborough Fair on the next Simon & Garfunkel album.

Artist:    Tol-Puddle Martyrs
Title:    Time Will Come
Source:    Mono CD: Tol-Pubble Martyrs (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Peter Rechter
Label:    Secret Deals (original labels: Pacific/Spiral)
Year:    1967
    The Tol-Puddle Martyrs' Time Will Come was originally released in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia on the Pacific label, until the owner of the Pacific label was informed that there was already a Pacific label operating in Melbourne. At that time the label was hastily changed to Spiral, with the record having the same catalogue number. Although not a popular release at the time, both Time Will Come and its B side, Social Cell, are now considered classic examples of garage-rock, Australian style.

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

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Death Don't Have No Mercy
Source:    LP: Live Dead
Writer(s):    Rev. Gary Davis
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1969
    Prior to 1969, the recording quality of live albums was noticably inferior to that of studio recordings by the same artist, particularly among rock bands. The Grateful Dead, however, set out to change all that with their 1969 double LP Live Dead. The band's previous album, had gone way over budget, and the band's label, Warner Brothers, wanted the band itself to help pay for it. By providing a double-LP live album at virtually no additional cost, the Dead would be able to give Warner three discs for the price of one, getting themselves out of debt in the process. The fact that the album itself sold quite well certainly didn't hurt the band's relationship with the label, either. Much of the credit for the album's success was due to the efforts of the band's legendary soundman, Owsley "Bear" Stanley. Bear began by asking electronics designer Ron Wickersham to come up with a microphone splitter that could feed signals to the PA system and the recording console simultaneously without any loss in sound quality. Just as important was the availability of a new state-of-the art Ampex 16-track recorder. Live Dead would be the first live performance ever recorded using 16-track equipment.The album was recorded over a period of about a week at two locations: the Avalon Ballroom and the Fillmore West. The fourth side of the album, which includes the Dead's version of Rev. Gary Davis's Death Don't Have No Mercy, was recorded on March 2, 1969 at the Fillmore West, the final recording date.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
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 drink in the process).

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Gomper
Source:    CD: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco
Year:    1967
    Probably the most overtly psychedelic track ever recorded by the Rolling Stones, Gomper might best be described as a hippy love song with its references to nature, innocence and, of course, pyschedelic substances. Brian Jones makes one of his last significant contributions as a member of the band he founded, playing the dulcimer, as well as tablas, organ, pan flutes and various percussion instruments on the song.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Who's Driving Your Plane
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1966
    By 1966 Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were writing everything the Rolling Stones recorded. As their songwriting skills became more sophisticated the band began to lose touch with its R&B roots. To counteract this, Jagger and Richards would occasionally come up with tunes like Who's Driving Your Plane, a bluesy number that nonetheless is consistent with the band's cultivated image as the bad boys of rock. The song appeared as the B side (mistitled on the label as Who's Driving My Plane) of Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow.
Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Understandably Blue
Source:    British import CD: Procol Harum (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    Salvo/Fly
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 2009
    Recorded only weeks after A Whiter Shade Of Pale, Understandably Blue was originally written to be given to Dusty Springfield, but instead ended up being recorded by the original Procol Harum lineup. That version, as well as the other sessions featuring guitarist Ray Royer and Bobby Hamilton, was eventually scrapped when new members Robin Trower and David Knights were brought in to record Procol Harum's debut LP, but during the sessions Brooker cut a solo version of Understandably Blue, which was later enhanced with strings arranged and conducted by Tony Visconti and issued as a bonus track on the 2009 CD release of the Procol Harum album.

Artist:    Hollies
Title:    Signs That Will Never Change
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Hicks/Clarke/Nash
Label:    Epic
Year:    1967
    The Hollies' first record to appear on the Epic label in the US was Carrie Anne, released in May of 1967. By this time the band's three songwriters, Allan Clarke, Graham Nash and Tony Hicks, had abandoned the "L. Ransford" pseudonym in favor of using their real names on their compositions, including Signs That Will Never Change, which appeared as the B side of Carrie Anne.

Artist:    Status Quo
Title:    Pictures Of Matchstick Men
Source:    Simulated stereo CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Francis Rossi
Label:    Priority (original label: Cadet Concept)
Year:    1967
    The band with the most charted singles in the UK is not the Beatles or even the Rolling Stones. It is, in fact, Status Quo, quite possibly the nearest thing to a real life version of Spinal Tap. Except for Pictures of Matchstick Men, the group has never had a hit in the US. On the other hand, they remain popular in Scandanavia, playing to sellout crowds on a regular basis (yes, they are still together).

Artist:    Velvet Underground
Title:    There She Goes Again
Source:    CD: The Velvet Underground And Nico
Writer(s):    Lou Reed
Label:    Polydor (original label: Verve)
Year:    1967    
    When the Velvet Underground first appeared, their fame was pretty much limited to the New York art crowd, among which their sponsor and primary financial backer Andy Warhol was a superstar in his own right. With talent like Lou Reed and John Cale in the band, however, the VU eventually attained legendary punk status of their own, albeit long after the band ceased to exist. One of the best tracks on the group's debut LP was There She Goes Again, a song that starts off sounding like the Rolling Stones' cover of Marvin Gaye's Hitch Hike, but soon moves into unexplored territory, especially in its subject matter (prostitution as a lifestyle choice).

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Double Yellow Line
Source:    Mono CD: The Very Best Of The Music Machine-Turn On (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Collectables (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1967
    Sean Bonniwell was an early champion of bands that played their own original material as opposed to covering the hits of the day. His own group, the Music Machine, deliberately played tight, segued sets of originals so that nobody in the crowd would have time to yell out "Cherish" or "Last Train to Clarksville" or whatever else was popular on local radio stations at the time. Imagine his chagrin when he learned that his record label, Original Sound (!), had substituted a set of cover tunes that the Music Machine had recorded for a TV show for four of Bonniwell's originals on the band's 1966 debut LP Turn On. One of the four songs to be cut was Double Yellow Line, a tune that appeared the following year as a single.
Artist:    "E" Types
Title:    Put The Clock Back On The Wall
Source:    CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bonner/Gordon
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    The E-Types were originally from Salinas, California, which at the time was known for it's sulfiric smell experienced by passing motorists travelling along US 101. As many people from Salinas apparently went to "nearby" San Jose (about 60 miles to the north) as often as possible, the E-Types became regulars on the local scene, eventually landing a contract with Tower Records and Ed Cobb, who also produced the Standells and the Chocolate Watchband. The Bonner/Gordon songwriting team were just a couple months away from getting huge royalty checks from the Turtles' Happy Together when Put The Clock Back On The Wall was released in early 1967. The song takes its title from a popular phrase of the time. After a day or two of losing all awareness of time (and sometimes space) it was time to put the clock back on the wall, or get back to reality if you prefer.

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

    This week we have a special Advanced Psych segment featuring three tracks from a brand new (release date 5/20/22) album by guitarists Rome Yamilov and Henry Kaiser called The Lenoir Investigation. The origins of the project can be traced back to Jim Pugh, who in 2014 started the Little Village Foundation to produce and distribute "culturally significant recordings made by individuals and groups that might otherwise not be heard beyond the artists' community or family". One of the first musicians he found was Mumbai-born blues harmonicist Aki Kumar. . Kumar, who now lives in San Jose, California, brought along drummer June Core and Russian-born guitarist Rome Yamilov (who has lived in San Jose since he was seven years old), to record the album Hindi Man Blues. Eventually Pugh suggested to Yamilov that he team with the legendary Bay Area "free improviser" guitarist Henry Kaiser to make a "crazy guitar" album. Pugh even had an idea for the subject matter: an exploration of the music of J.B. Lenoir, himself a blue legend who tragically died at the age of 38 from untreated injuries suffered in a car crash. With backup from Core, Kumar (who also sings the Hindi lyrics on Na Er Jeg E Form! (Play A Little While)) and bassist Kid Anderson (from Charlie Musselwhite's band), the two guitarists set out to deconstruct and then reimagine some of Lenoir's compositions. For those of you listening in stereo (especially if you have headphones on), Yamilov's guitar, which is rooted solidly in the blues, is on the left side, while Kaiser's work, which tends to be a bit more (dare I say it?) psychedelic, is on the right. In between the tracks we have a few words from Kaiser himself.

Artist:    Rome Yamilov/Henry Kaiser
Title:    How Long
Source:    CD: The Lenoir Investigation
Writer(s):    J.D. Lenoir
Label:    Little Village
Year:    2022

Artist:    Rome Yamilov/Henry Kaiser
Title:    God's Word
Source:    CD: The Lenoir Investigation
Writer(s):    J.D. Lenoir
Label:    Little Village
Year:    2022

Artist:    Rome Yamilov/Henry Kaiser
Title:    Na Er Jeg E Form! (Play A Little While)
Source:    CD: The Lenoir Investigation
Writer(s):    J.D. Lenoir
Label:    Little Village
Year:    2022

    Artist:    Donovan
Title:    The Trip
Source:    Mono LP: Sunshine Superman
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Sundazed/Epic
Year:    1966
    Donovan had already established a reputation in his native Scotland as the UK's answer to Bob Dylan, but had not had much success in the US, where his records were being released on the low-distribution Hickory label. That all changed in 1966, however, when he began to move beyond his folk roots and embrace a more electric sound. Unlike Dylan, who basically kept the same style as his acoustic songs, simply adding electic instruments, Donovan took a more holistic approach. The result was a body of music with a much broader range of sounds. The first of these new electric tunes was Sunshine Superman, sometimes cited as the first top 10 psychedelic hit. The B side of Sunshine Superman was a song called The Trip, which managed to be even more psychedelic than its A side. Both songs soon appeared on Donovan's major US label debut, an album that was not even released in the UK due to a contractual dispute between the singer/songwriter and Pye Records.

Artist:    Luv'd Ones
Title:    I'm Leaving You
Source:    CD: If You're Ready! The Best Of Dunwich Records...Volume 2 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Gallagher/Vinnedge
Label:    Sundazed/Here 'Tis (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    Although nearly all of the original material performed by the Luv'd Ones was written by lead guitarist/vocalist Char Vinnedge, rhythm guitarist Mary Gallagher got a co-writing credit on I'm Leaving You. The song was issued as the band's second single for the Dunwich label, and was reissued five months later as the B side of their third and final single, Dance Kid Dance.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    Wake Me, Shake Me
Source:    LP: Tommy Flanders, Danny Kalb, Steve Katz, Al Kooper, Andy Kuhlberg, Roy Blumenfeld Of The Blues Project (originally released on LP: Projections)
Writer(s):    arr. Al Kooper
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1967
           After losing their original lead vocalist, Tommy Flanders, in early 1966, the remaining members of the Blues Project decided to concentrate on their improvisational and songwriting skills, splitting vocal duties between them. Rather than trying to rework the same songs they had been performing with Flanders, they instead began to work up new material, including keyboardist Al Kooper's rock and roll arrangement of an old gospel song, Wake Me, Shake Me. It was this arrangement that appeared on the group's next LP, Projections.
Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Outside Chance
Source:    French import CD: Happy Together (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Zevon/Crocker
Label:    Magic (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1966
    The Turtles' Outside Chance is distinctive for several reasons. First, it was the last single released before Happy Together, the song that would become the band's signature song. It was also their first single since It Ain't Me Babe not to hit the charts, which is kind of hard to understand, as it really is a well-crafted record with a catchy hook. Outside Chance is also notable for being co-written by Warren Zevon, making the record's lack of success even more unfathomable.

Artist:    Standells
Title:    Dirty Water (live version)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Ed Cobb
Label:    Sundazed
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2014
    In October of 1966 the Standells were riding high on the strength of their hit single, Dirty Water, when they opened for the Beach Boys at the University of Michigan. Unbeknownst to the band at the time, the entire performance was being professionally recorded by people from Capitol Records, the parent company of Tower Records, whom the Standells recorded for. The recordings remained unreleased for many years; in fact, even the band members themselves were unaware of their existence until around 2000. Finally, in 2014, Sundazed released the live recording of Dirty Water on clear 45 RPM vinyl as part of their Record Store Day promotion. Enjoy!

Artist:    Aretha Franklin
Title:    Respect
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Otis Redding
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1967
    So much has been written about Aretha Franklin's version of Respect, I really have nothing to add. Well, except to repeat the story that Otis Redding supposedly stole the song from Speedo Sims, who in turn had stolen it from an unnamed guitarist at Bobby Smith's recording studio in Macon, Georgia.

Artist:    Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Title:    I Put A Spell On You
Source:    CD: The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Writer(s):    Jay Hawkins
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1968
    One of the most original records of 1968 was an album called The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown by the group of the same name. Arthur Brown was known for his stage show, which sometimes resembled a circus more than a rock concert, with band members wearing masks and Brown himself sporting flaming headgear. The music itself was more theatrical than your average rock band as well, as Brown's somewhat over the top version of Jay Hawkins' I Put A Spell On You clearly demonstrates.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Evil Ways
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Santana)
Writer(s):    Clarence Henry
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    Evil Ways was originally released in 1968 by jazz percussionist Willie Bobo on an album of the same name. When Carlos Santana took his new band into the studio to record their first LP, they made the song their own, taking it into the top 10 in 1969.

Artist:    Savoy Brown
Title:    A Hard Way To Go
Source:    LP: Raw Sienna
Writer(s):    Chris Youlden
Label:    Parrot
Year:    1970
    A Hard Way To Go is the opening track of the fifth Savoy Brown album, Raw Sienna. One of the group's best albums, it was also the last to feature the lead vocals of Chris Youlden, who also wrote A Hard Way To Go. Sadly, Youlden's solo career has been less than stellar, although I suppose he makes a living at it.