Sunday, May 15, 2022

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2221 (starts 5/16/22)

    This time around we have an actual dozen tracks, mostly from the early 1970s, as we bring you a bit of free-form May madness. Enjoy!

Artist:    Who
Title:    Won't Get Fooled Again
Source:    LP: Who's Next
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Decca
Year:    1971
    Won't Get Fooled Again was originally written to be the closing track for Pete Townshend's Lifehouse project. One of the first rock songs to be built around a synthesizer part, the song, in Townshend's words "screams defiance at those who feel any cause is better than no cause". Bassist John Entwistle later said the song was Townshend "saying things that really mattered to him, and saying them for the first time". When Lifehouse had to be abandoned, associate producer Glyn Johns convinced the band that several of the songs that had been recorded for the project were strong enough for a standalone album, and Won't Get Fooled Again became the closing track of Who's Next, released in 1971. The song has been part of every Who concert since it was first released as a single a couple months before Who's Next came out.

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:    Humble Pie
Title:    Stone Cold Fever
Source:    CD: Performance-Rockin' The Fillmore
Writer(s):    Ridley/Marriott/Shirley/Frampton
Label:    A&M
Year:    1971
    Some artists make great records, but can't seem to connect with a live audience. Others, like Peter Frampton, are the exact opposite. His studio albums all went nowhere, yet Frampton Comes Alive stands as one of the top-selling live albums of all time. The same can be said of his earlier work with Humble Pie. Their studio albums actually did reasonably well, but their best selling album was 1971's Performance-Rockin' The Fillmore. Among the more memorable tunes on the album was Stone Cold Fever, which went on to become a staple of FM Rock radio throughout the 1970s.

rtist:    Mike Stuart Span
Title:    Second Production
Source:    Mono British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution
Writer(s):    Murphy/Bennett
Label:    Grapefruit
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 2013
    Like many British psychedelic bands, the Mike Stuart Span started off as part of the Mod scene, cutting a couple of British R&B flavored singles before changing directions in 1967. In October of that year, they recorded a demo of a tune called Second Production for the British Decca label, but the song went unreleased until the next century, when it was included on a CD collection called Love, Poetry And Revolution. The group ended up releasing a couple more singles before changing their name to Leviathan.

Artist:    Genesis
Title:    I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
Source:    CD: Selling England By The Pound
Writer(s):    Banks/Collins/Gabriel/Hackett/Rutherford
Label:    Rhino/Atlantic (original label: Charisma)
Year:    1973
    If you ask an American what Genesis's first hit single was, you might get an answer like Follow You Follow Me (from 1978) or maybe even Your Own Special Way (1977). In the UK, however, the band's first charted single was I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) from the album Selling England By The Pound, which went all the way to the #21 spot in 1974. It was the only song to break the top 40 in any country while Peter Gabriel was still a member of Genesis.

Artist:    Bo Hansson
Title:    Wandering Song
Source:    LP: Magician's Hat
Writer(s):    Bo Hansson
Label:    Charisma
Year:    1972
    Swedish multi-instrumentalist/composer Bo Hansson released his first solo instrumental progressive rock album, Music Inspired By Lord Of The Rings, in 1970, after having read a copy of the Tolkien trilogy given to him by his girlfriend. The album, originally released in Sweden, was successful enough to be picked up for international distribution on the Charisma label in 1972. At around the same time, Hansson began work on his follow-up LP, Ur trollkarlens hatt (Magician's Hat). This second effort was released in Sweden in late 1972 and once again picked up by Charisma for international release. Although not as successful as its predecessor, Magician's Hat is still quite listenable, as can be heard on tracks like Wandering Song.

Artist:    Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come
Title:    Spirit Of Joy
Source:    British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Journey)
Writer(s):    Kingdom Come
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1973
    One of the great innovators in British rock history, Arthur Brown is best known for his 1968 hit Fire, which topped the charts in several countries. After his original band, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown disbanded in 1969, Brown formed a new group, Kingdom Come, which released three albums in the early 1970s. The third of these, Journey, is notable for being the first rock album to use a drum machine exclusively for its percussion parts. In fact, the entire album is now considered to be an early classic of the electronic rock genre, as can be plainly heard on the track Spirit Of Joy.

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

Artist:    Family
Title:    Second Generation Woman
Source:    LP: The 1969 Warner/Reprise Songbook (originally released on LP: Family Entertainment)
Writer(s):    Rick Grech
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Family's original lineup of Roger Chapman, Rick Grech, Jim King, Rob Townsend and John Whitney was still intact for the recording of the band's second LP, Family Entertainment, although Grech soon left to join Blind Faith. Their debut LP had been well-received, but they had already dropped much of their early material from their live sets in favor of newer composition even before Family Entertainment was released. As a result, many of the songs on the new album, including Grech's Second Generation Woman, were already familiar to the band's fans by the time the LP was made available to the public. Grech's departure, though, was only the first in a series of personnel changes throughout Family's existence, and by 1973, when the group officially disbanded, only Chapman, Townsend and Whitney remained from the lineup that had recorded the first two LPs.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Aqualung
Source:    LP: M.U.-The Best Of Jethro Tull (originally released on LP: Aqualung)
Writer(s):    Ian & Jennie Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1971
    Arguably Jethro's Tull most popular song, Aqualung was the title track from the band's fourth LP and lifted the group into the ranks of rock royalty. Like nearly all of Tull's catalog, Aqualung was written by vocalist/flautist Ian Anderson, who also played acoustic guitar on the track. The lyrics of the song were inspired by photographs of homeless men taken by Anderson's then-wife Jennie, who received co-writing credits on the piece. The version of Aqualung heard on the 1976 compilation album M.U.-The Best Of Jethro Tull uses a different, and somewhat brighter, mix than the original LP.

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

Artist:     Jo Jo Gunne
Title:     Run Run Run
Source:     45 RPM single (stereo promo)
Writer:     Ferguson/Andes
Label:     Asylum
Year:     1972
     After Spirit called it quits following the disappointing sales of the Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, lead vocalist Jay Ferguson and bassist Mark Andes hooked up with Andes's brother Matt and William "Curly" Smith to form Jo Jo Gunne. Their best known song was Run Run Run, which hit the British top 10 and the US top 30 in 1972, receiving considerable amount of airplay on progressive rock stations as well.

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