Sunday, May 8, 2022

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2220 (starts 5/9/22)

    This week we are presenting our (unofficially annual) airing of the first side of The Who Sell Out, faux commercials and all. We also have a 1967 set that includes a track that isn't from 1967 (oops) and, to start things off, a Beatles vs. Stones set.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Revolution 1
Source:    CD: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original US label: Apple)
Year:    1968
    The Beatles' Revolution has a somewhat convoluted history. The song, as originally recorded, was over eight minutes long and included what eventually became Revolution 1 and part of Revolution 9. The song's writer, John Lennon, at some point decided to separate the sections into two distinct tracks, both of which ended up on the Beatles self-titled double LP (aka the White Album). Lennon wanted to release Revolution 1 as a single, but was voted down by both George Harrison and Paul McCartney on the grounds that the song's tempo was too slow. Lennon then came up with a faster version of the song, which ended up being released a few weeks before the album came out as the B side to the band's 1968 single Hey Jude. As a result, many of the band's fans erroneously assumed that Revolution 1 was the newer version of the song.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Dandelion
Source:    LP: Through The Past, Darkly (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    If there was a British equivalent to the Beach Boys' Good Vibrations in terms of time and money spent on a single song, it might be We Love You, a 1967 single released by the Rolling Stones. To go along with the single (with its state-of-the-art production) the band spent a considerable sum making a full-color promotional video, a practice that would not become commonplace until the advent of MTV in the 1980s. Despite all this, US radio stations virtually ignored We Love You, choosing to instead flip the record over and play the B side, a tune called Dandelion. As to why this came about, I suspect that Bill Drake, the man behind the nation's most influential top 40 stations, simply decided that the less elaborately produced Dandelion was better suited to the US market than We Love You and instructed his hand-picked program directors at such stations as WABC, KHJ and WLS to play Dandelion. The copycat nature of top 40 radio being what it is, Dandelion ended up being a moderate hit in the US in the summer of '67.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Piggies
Source:    British import LP: The Beatles
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple
Year:    1968
    Beatle George Harrison had first revealed an anti-establishment side with his song Taxman, released in 1966 on the Revolver album. This particular viewpoint remained dormant until the song Piggies came out on the 1968 double LP The Beatles (aka the White Album). Although the song was intended to be satirical in tone, at least one Californian, Charles Manson, took it seriously enough to justify "whacking" a few "piggies" of his own. It was not pretty.
Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Surprise Surprise
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: Decca)
Year:    Recorded 1964, released1970
    The Rolling Stones' Street Fighting Man, from their Beggar's Banquet album, was released in the US as a followup single to Jumpin' Jack Flash in August of 1968, depsite the fact that was actually recorded first. In the UK, however, the song was not released until July of 1970, a year after Honky Tonk Women. For the UK B side, Decca went back to the group's 1964 sessions at Chicago's Chess Studios for Surprise Surprise, a Mick Jagger/Keith Richards composition that had been sitting on the shelf for six years.

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

Artist:      Rolling Stones
Title:     The Last Time
Source:      Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Jagger/Richards
Label:     Abkco (original label: London)
Year:     1965
     Released in late winter of 1965, The Last Time was the first single to hit the top 10 in both the US and the UK (being their third consecutive #1 hit in England) and the first one written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Despite that, it would be overshadowed by their next release: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, which went to the top of the charts everywhere and ended up being the most-played song of 1965.

Artist:    James Brown
Title:    Papa's Got A Brand New Bag
Source:    CD: 20 All-Time Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    James Brown
Label:    Polydor (original label: King)
Year:    1965
    Although he had been recording since the late 1950s, it wasn't until the release of Papa's Got A Brand New Bag in 1965 that James Brown achieved stardom. The song was recorded in less than an hour in a Charlotte, NC studio on the way to a performance. On the master tape Brown can be heard saying that they had a hit record on their hands. The record itself is actually a half-step higher in pitch than the master tape, which was deliberately sped up to give the song a bit of extra punch when the single was mastered.

Artist:    Ugly Ducklings
Title:    Nothin'
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in Canada as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Byngham/Mayne
Label:    Rhino (original label: Yorktown)
Year:    1966
    Coming from the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, the Ugly Ducklings made their first appearance in March of 1965 as the Strolling Bones, sounding a lot like their British idols, the...well, you can figure it out. By summer of that year they had changed their name and relocated to Yorkville, the epicenter of Toronto nightlife. In July of 1966 the Ducklings released their first single, Nothin', on the local Yorktown label. Thanks to an appearance at around the same time as the opening act for the Rolling Stones themselves, the Ugly Ducklings found themselves with a huge local hit record. A series of mildly successful singles and one album followed before the band underwent several personnel changes, as well as another name change (to Gnu) before finally disbanding in the early 1970s.

Artist:    Young Rascals
Title:    Lonely Too Long
Source:    LP: Collections
Writer(s):    Cavaliere/Brigati
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1967
    There seems to be a bit of confusion over the official title of the Young Rascals' first single from their 1967 album Collections. The album label and cover clearly show it as Lonely Too Long, but the single itself, released the same day as the album (January 9) just as clearly shows it as I've Been Lonely Too Long. Some sources, apparently trying to come up with a compromise, list it as (I've Been) Lonely Too Long. Since I'm playing this directly from a vinyl copy of Collections, I'm going with the title listed on the album itself.

Artist:     Troggs
Title:     Wild Thing
Source:     Mono CD: Nuggets-Classics From the Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Chip Taylor
Label:     Rhino (original label: Fontana)
Year:     1966
    I have a DVD copy of a music video (although back then they were called promotional films) for the Troggs' Wild Thing in which the members of the band are walking through what looks like a train station while being mobbed by girls at every turn. Every time I watch it I imagine singer Reg Presley saying giggity-giggity as he bobs his head.

Artist:    Nazz (Alice Cooper)
Title:    Lay Down And Die, Goodbye
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Smith/Cooper/Dunaway/Buxton/Bruce
Label:    Very Record
Year:    1967
    Formed as a parody band in Phoenix, Arizona called the Earwigs in 1964, the band that would eventually be known as Alice Cooper underwent several name changes as they evolved into one of the most popular bands of the early 1970s. One of those names was Nazz, inspired no doubt by the Yardbirds track The Nazz Is Blue. They released one single under that name before discovering that there was already a band called Nazz making records in Philadelphia, prompting them to make their final name change. The B side of that single was Lay Down And Die, Goodbye, a song that would be re-recorded for their 1970 LP Easy Action.

Artist:    Paul Jones
Title:    The Dog Presides
Source:    British import CD: Insane Times (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Paul Jones
Label:    Zonophone (original UK label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    Like many frontmen in the mid-60s Manfred Mann's Paul Jones decided to leave the group for a solo career right at the height of the band's success. Also like many former frontmen, Jones's solo career, beginning in 1966, was less than stellar. Most of Jones's records were done in an almost lounge lizard style. One notable exception is The Dog Presides, the B side of a forgettable 1968 single called And The Sun Will Shine. In addition to Jones on vocals and harmonica, The Dog Presides features former Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck and bassist Paul-Samwell Smith and some guy named Paul McCartney on drums. This bit of psychedelic insanity was officially credited to Jones himself, but in all likelihood was a collaborative effort by the four of them.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Power Play
Source:    CD: Monster
Writer(s):    John Kay
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1969
    1969's Monster album is generally considered the most political of Steppenwolf's albums. A listen to Power Play certainly lends credence to that viewpoint.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    Earthquake
Source:    Mono British import CD: Easter Everywhere
Writer(s):    Hall/Erickson
Label:    Charly (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1967
    Although the second 13th Floor Elevators LP, Easter Everywhere, is generally a more quietly intense album than their 1966 debut, it did have a few higher-energy rockers such as Earthquake on it to spice up the mix. The band attempted to use a huge sheet of steel to produce the sound of thunder for the recording, but ultimately had to abandon the idea as unworkable. The album itself was awarded a special "merit pick" by Billboard magazine, which described the effort as "intellectual rock". Easter Everywhere was not a major seller, but has since come to be regarded as one of the hidden gems of the psychedelic era.

Artist:    Jelly Bean Bandits
Title:    Tapestries
Source:    British Import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released on LP: The Jelly Bean Bandits)
Writer(s):    Buck/Donald/Dougherty/Raab/Scalfari
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1968
    Of the various albums released on Bob Shad's Mainstream label from 1966-1969, one of the most fully realized was the first (and only) album by the Jelly Bean Bandits. Formed as the Mirror in 1966, the Bandits built up a following in the native Newburgh, NY and surrounding areas over a period on months. The particularly brash move of tearing pages out of the yellow pages and showing up unannounced at the offices of various record labels led them to a meeting with Shad at Mainstream's New York offices. After listening to the band's demos Shad offered the Jelly Bean Bandits a contract to record three albums, but, sadly, only one was released. One of the highlights of that album was Tapestries, sung by drummer Joe Scalfari. The Bandits immediately got to work on a second album, but a combination of internal and financial difficulties, coupled with lack of promotional support from their label, led to the group's early demise.

Artist:    Music Explosion
Title:    I See The Light
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    E. Chiprut
Label:    Laurie
Year:    1967
    The Music Explosion was a band from Mansfield, Ohio that found out the hard way that working with a company like Super K Productions might have some short term benefits, but ultimately led to the band joining the ranks of one-hit wonders. In this particular case, the "one hit" was originally intended to be a B side called Little Bit O' Soul. In fact, the band did not even get to play on the original A side, a song called I See The Light. Instead, the instrumental track was from a 1965 recording by another band, the Muphets, that had been acquired by Super K, with new lyrics credited to "E. Chiprut". Very little is known about the Muphets themselves, other than the fact that they released one single in 1964 on the Sound Spectrum label (which itself only released one other single) and recorded a four-song acetate for the New York based Allegro Sound in 1965. One of those four songs, My Money, became the backing track for I See The Light.

Artist:    Nice
Title:    Bonnie K
Source:    CD: The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack
Writer(s):    O'List/Jackson
Label:    Fuel 2000 (original UK label: Immediate)
Year:    1967
    The Nice was one of England's earliest progressive rock bands, best remembered for launching the career of keyboardist Keith Emerson. The band itself recorded several albums in the late 1960s, the first being Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack, a title derived from parts of each band member's surname. Although the album was not originally released in the US, a repackaged version that included a non-album single (a rocked out instrumental version of America from West Side Story), as well as several tracks from the original LP, such as Bonnie K, was issued on the Charisma label in 1973 under the title Autumn To Spring.

Artist:    Seatrain
Title:    13 Questions
Source:    British import CD: Seatrain/Marblehead Messenger (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Seatrain)
Writer(s):    Kulberg/Roberts
Label:    BGO (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1970
    Despite being formed by the remaining members of the Blues Project, Seatrain spent most of its four years under the radar, getting little attention from the rock press and even less from the record buying public. Some of this lack of popularity can be attributed to the band's basic instability. None of their four albums (for three different labels!) have the same lineup, making it hard to establish a fan base. The fact that they didn't fit neatly into any particular genre, having elements of folk, country and jazz, in addition to rock, didn't help either. Their most successful record was the 1970 single, 13 Questions. Anyone who bought the album Seatrain soon realized, however, that the punchy horn-based single was nothing like the rest of the record.

Artist:    Who
Title:    The Who Sell Out (side one)
Source:    LP: The Who Sell Out
Writer(s):    Keen/Entwistle/Townshend
Label:    Decca
Year:    1967
    In December of 1967 the Who released what is sometimes considered both the greatest tribute to and parody of top 40 radio ever released on vinyl. The first side of The Who Sell Out is a collection of songs interconnected by fake commercials and actual jingles used by pirate radio station Radio London, which had been shut down by the British government in August of 1967. The Who had actually been recording real commercials during this period, and the fake ones they made were done in the same style. The jingles, on the other hand, were genuine, and had been produced by PAMS Productions of Dallas, Texas, for the actual Radio London. In fact, the use of those jingles on The Who Sell Out led to the band being sued by PAMS for using them without permission (the band presumably thought it would OK to use them since the station itself no longer existed). The album itself starts off with Armenia City In The Sky, a song written by roadie John "Speedy" Keen, who would later have a hit single as the lead vocalist/songwriter on Thunderclap Newman's Something In The Air. This is followed by the short Heinz Baked Beans, credited to bassist John Entwhistle but bearing a strong resemblance to Keith Moon's Cobwebs And Strange, which had appeared on the band's previous album, A Quick One. Following a quick "more music" jingle (used by many US radio stations as well as Radio London) is Pete Townshend's third known version of Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand, using a calypso-style arrangement. This is followed by a commercial for Premier Drums (which reportedly got the band a free drum set) followed by a Radio London jingle. The next song is a short story about a girl whose deodorant "let her down" because she used the wrong brand. The right brand, in this case, was Odorono, the brand that had sold America on the entire concept of deodorants in the early 1900s. Another Radio London jingle leads to Townshend's Tattoo, a story of two brothers whose trip to the tattoo parlor has consequences when their parents find out. Following another jingle is Our Love Was, a song that was considered strong enough to be included on their 1968 compilation album Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy. Part of what made the 60s top 40 radio "sound" was the rapid-fire segue of jingles and commercials into a song, and the Who do it up right with a group of four quick spots leading into the final track on side one. I Can See For Miles had already been available as a single since September of 1967 (October in the UK), but this was the first time it had been released in stereo, with dual drum tracks from Keith Moon. The second side of the Who Sell Out for the most part abandons the top 40 radio concept, although it does include a couple "commercials", but the first side, taken as a whole, is a true work of art.

Artist:    Derek And The Dominos
Title:    Thorn Tree In The Garden
Source:    CD: Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs
Writer(s):    Bobby Whitlock
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1970
    Nearly half the songs on the landmark Derek And The Dominos album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs are collaborations between guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton and multi-instrumentalist Bobby Whitlock, written over a two-week period following the breakup of Delaney & Bonnie & Friends in 1970. Additionally, Whitlock wrote and played acoustic guitar on the album's final track, Thorn Tree In The Garden. In a technique reminiscent of early 50s orchestral recordings, Thorn Tree in the Garden was recorded with Whitlock, Clapton, Duane Allman, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon sitting in a circle around a single microphone.

Artist:    Amboy Dukes
Title:    Baby Please Don't Go
Source:    CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released on LP: The Amboy Dukes)
Writer(s):    Joe Williams
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
            The Amboy Dukes were a garage supergroup formed by guitarist Ted Nugent, a Chicago native who had heard that Bob Shad, head of jazz-oriented Mainstream Records, was looking for rock bands to sign to the label. Nugent relocated to Detroit in 1967, where he recruited vocalist John Drake, guitarist Steve Farmer, organist Rick Lober, bassist Bill White and drummer Dave Palmer, all of whom had been members of various local bands. The Dukes' self-titled debut LP was released in November of 1967. In addition to seven original pieces, the album included a handful of cover songs, the best of which was their rocked out version of the old Joe Williams tune Baby Please Don't Go. The song was released as a single in January of 1968, where it got a decent amount of airplay in the Detroit area, and was ultimately chosen by Lenny Kaye for inclusion on the original Nuggets compilation album.
Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    Rush Hour
Source:    Mono LP: Electric Comic Book
Writer(s):    Gilbert/Scala/Daking/Theilhelm/Esposito
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1967
    One of the best examples of music and subject matter supporting each other ever recorded is the Blues Magoos' Rush Hour from their Electric Comic Book album. From the overdriven opening chord through the crash and burn ending, the track maintains a frantic pace that resembles nothing more than a musical traffic jam, especially in its mono mix heard here. Rush Hour is also the only Blues Magoos track I know of to include writing credits for the entire band, including drummer Geoff Daking's only official songwriting credit.

Artist:    Tiny Tim
Title:    Mr. Tim Laughs
Source:    LP: The 1969 Warner/Reprise Songbook (originally released on LP: God Bless Tiny Tim)
Writer(s):    Herbert Khaury
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    It's Tiny Tim. Laughing.

Artist:    Mothers Of Invention
Title:    Medley: The Voice Of Cheese/The Mothers Play Louie Louie At The Royal Albert Hall In London/Our Bizarre Relationship
Source:    LP: The 1969 Warner/Reprise Songbook (originally released on LP: Uncle Meat)
Writer(s):    Zappa/Berry/Underwood(?)
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Bizarre/Reprise)
Year:    1969
    Frank Zappa's contribution to the first Warner/Reprise Loss Leaders collection was a medley of three tracks from the fifth studio album by the Mothers Of Invention, Uncle Meat. The first part, The Voice Of Cheese, features Pamela Zarubica as the infamous Suzy Creamcheese. It's followed by The Mothers Play Louie Louie At The Royal Albert Hall In London, which is exactly what it sounds like. The final part of the medley is Ian Underwood explaining how he came to be a member of the Mothers. As such, I have chosen to include Underwood's name in the songwriting credits, even though Zappa and Louie Louie writer Richard Berry are the only ones actually credited on the album itself. Despite its avant-garde nature, Uncle Meat was a commercial success when it was released, peaking at #43 on the Billboard LP chart.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Original Sound, stereo LP version released on Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
     The Music Machine was by far the most advanced of all the bands playing on Sunset Strip in 1966-67. Not only did they feature tight sets (ensuring that audience members wouldn't get the chance to call out requests between songs), they also had their own visual look that set them apart from other groups. With all the band members dressed entirely in black (including dyed hair) and wearing one black glove, the Machine projected an image that would influence such diverse artists as the Ramones and Michael Jackson in later years. Musically, Bonniwell's songwriting showed a sophistication that was on a par with the best L.A. had to offer, demonstrated by a series of fine singles such as The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly. Unfortunately, problems on the business end prevented the Music Machine from achieving the success it deserved and Bonniwell, disheartened, dissillusioned and/or disgusted, eventually quit the music business altogether.

Artist:    Circus Maximus
Title:    Chess Game
Source:    CD: Circus Maximus
Writer(s):    Bob Bruno
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    New York's Greenwich Village based Circus Maximus was driven by the dual creative talents of guitarist/keyboardist Bob Bruno and guitarist Jerry Jeff Walker. Although Walker went on to have the greatest success, it was Bruno's more jazz-influenced songwriting on songs like Chess Game that defined the band's sound. Bruno is now a successful visual artist, still living in the New York area.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    SWLABR
Source:    LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    RSO (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
     I distinctly remember this song getting played on the local jukebox just as much as the single's A side, Sunshine Of Your Love (maybe even more). Like most of Cream's more psychedelic material, SWLABR (the title being an anagram for She Was Like A Bearded Rainbow) was written by the songwriting team of Jack Bruce and Pete Brown. Brown had originally been brought in as a co-writer for Ginger Baker, but soon realized that he and Bruce had better songwriting chemistry.

Artist:     Vejtables
Title:     Anything
Source:     CD: Love Is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:    Bob Bailey
Label:    Rhino (original label: Autumn)
Year: `1965
     As with any music scene, some of the early San Francisco acts fell by the wayside before the scene really took off. Such was the case with the Vejtables, who got a contract with local label Autumn Records and released a single called I Still Love You in 1965. The B side of that record, a tune called Anything, has proved more durable than its flip over the long haul. Lead vocalist and drummer Jan Errico would later join the Mojo Men in time for their 1967 cover of Buffalo Springfield's Sit Down I Think I Love You.

Artist:    Sonny And Cher
Title:    Love Don't Come
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Sonny Bono
Label:    Atco
Year:    1967
    Sonny Bono's talents as a songwriter are often overlooked, mostly because all of Sonny Bono's talents were overshadowed by his wife Cher (who is one of the entertainment legends of the 20th century, after all). Nonetheless the fact remains that Bono was the guy who wrote the songs that made Sonny And Cher the most popular singing duo in the nation in the late 1960s and early 70s. Even an obscure B side like 1967's Love Don't Come demonstrates his ability to craft a song with unexpected key and tempo changes that keep the listener's attention right through to the end of the track.

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