Sunday, June 5, 2022

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2224 (starts 6/6/22)

    A little over a hundred years ago a Japanese department store came up with the idea of packaging a selection of items from the previous year anonymously and selling them at a discount. They called it fukubukuro, and it has since become a New Year's tradition among retailers in Japan and other places. In the 1960s, some US stores decided that this was a good way to get rid of 45 RPM records that had not been sold and could not be returned to the manufacturers. From a consumer's point of view this was a way of getting brand new unplayed records at a fraction of the price one would normally be expected to pay. The drawback, of course, was that you didn't know what you were getting until you had already paid for the "grab bag". Still, there was a good chance of getting at least one genuine hit that the store had simply ordered too many copies of, along with other lesser known tunes (some of which turned out to be pretty good). The point was you just didn't know until you actually opened your grab bag and got to see and hear what was in it. Stuck in the Psychedelic Era is like that, except that you have the option of checking out this blog to look at the playlist before you actually hear the show. So, just for this week, try not to look ahead, and experience the thrill of opening a musical grab bag.

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    LP: Back Door Men
Writer(s):    Billy Roberts
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    Possibly the greatest garage-rock album of all is the second Shadows Of Knight LP, Back Door Men. Released in 1966, the album features virtually the same lineup as their debut LP, Gloria. Unlike many of their contemporaries, the Shadows were capable of varying their style somewhat, going from their trademark Chicago blues-influenced punk to what can only be described as early hard rock with ease. Like many bands of the time, they recorded a fast version of Billy Roberts' Hey Joe (although they credited it to Chet Powers on the label). The Shadows version, however, is a bit longer than the rest, featuring an extended guitar break by Joe Kelley, who had switched from bass to lead guitar midway through the recording of the Gloria album, replacing Warren Rogers, when it was discovered that Kelley was by far the more talented guitarist (Rogers was moved over to bass). Incidentally, despite the album's title and the Shadows' penchant for recording classic blues tunes, the band did not record a version of Howlin' Wolf's Back Door Man. The Blues Project and the Doors, however, did.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    If 6 Was 9
Source:    CD: Easy Rider (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Axis: Bold As Love)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Prior to 1967 producers and artists devoted most of their mixing time to working on the monoraul masters, with the stereo mixes usually done as a rush job after the "real" mix was finished. Starting with the album Axis: Bold As Love, however, Jimi Hendrix, along with producer Chas Chandler and engineer Eddie Kramer, began using stereo as an artist's tool, creating soundscapes that were designed to utilize the entire area around the listener, as opposed to coming from one specific point. After working late into the night on the mix for If 6 Was 9, Hendrix took the stereo master tape with him, but left it in a taxicab (it was never found). The three of them spent several hours trying to recreate the mix they had done, but were unable to get a final version that they were satisfied with. At that point bassist Noel Redding reminded them that he had taken a rough copy of the original tape home with him a few days earlier. It was this copy that was finally used on the album.

Artist:          Vanilla Fudge
Title:        Come By Day, Come By Night
Source:    Mono CD: The Complete Atco Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Mark Stein
Label:     Atco
Year:        1968
       The Vanilla Fudge version of  the Supremes' You Keep Me Hangin' On was first released as a single in 1967, but tanked before it could hit the top 60. In 1968 the song was re-released with a different B side and made the top 20. That secondB side, Come By Day, Come By Night, was written by keyboardist Mark Stein, and was never released on a Vanilla Fudge album. The song is now available on a CD called The Complete Atco Singles.

Artist:    Thunderclap Newman
Title:    Something In The Air
Source:    Stereo British import 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    John "Speedy" Keen
Label:    Track (original label: Marmalade)
Year:    1969
    Thunderclap Newman was actually the creation of the Who's Pete Townshend, who assembled a bunch of studio musicians to work with drummer (and former Who roadie) John "Speedy" Keen. Keen had written Armenia City In The Sky, the opening track on The Who Sell Out, and Townshend set up the studio project to return the favor. Joining Keen were 15-year-old guitarist Jimmy McCulloch (who would eventually join Paul McCartney's Wings before dying of a heroin overdose in 1979), studio engineer Andy "Thunderclap" Newman (who had worked with Pink Floyd, among others) on piano, and Townshend himself on bass. Following the success of Something In The Air, the group recorded an album, but sales were disappointing and the band members soon went their separate ways.

Artist:    Pretty Things
Title:    Midnight To Six Man
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Taylor/May
Label:    Rhino (original label: Fontana)
Year:    1965
    Once upon a time in London there was a band called Little Boy Blue And The Blue Boys. Well, it wasn't really so much a band as a bunch of schoolkids jamming in guitarist Dick Taylor's parents' garage on a semi-regular basis. In addition to Taylor, the group included classmate Mick Jagger and eventually another guitarist by the name of Keith Richards. When yet another guitarist, Brian Jones, entered the picture, the band, which was still an amateur outfit, began calling itself the Rollin' Stones. Taylor switched from guitar to bass to accomodate Jones, but when the Stones decided to go pro in late 1962, Taylor opted to stay in school. It wasn't long, however, before Taylor, now back on guitar, showed up on the scene with a new band called the Pretty Things. Fronted by vocalist Phil May, the Things were rock and roll bad boys like the Stones, except more so. Their fifth single, Midnight To Six Man, sums up the band's attitude and habits. Unfortunately, the song barely made the British top 50 and was totally ignored by US radio stations.           
Artist:    Bee Gees
Title:    I Don't Know Why I Bother With Myself
Source:    Mono LP: Rare Precious And Beautiful (originally released in Australia on LP: Spicks And Specks)
Writer(s):    Robin Gibb
Label:    Atco (original label: Spin)
Year:    1966 (US release: 1968)
    The Bee Gees were formed in 1958 in Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia by brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, whose family had recently immigrated from Manchester, England. The young boys (Barry was 11 and fraternal twins Robin and Maurice were 8) had already been singing together for about a year when they immigrated, and soon came to the attention of Brisbane disc jockey Bill Gates and dirt track driver/promoter Bill Goode, who had hired them to ride on the back of a flatbed truck and sing between races, collecting money that would be thrown down to them by the crowd. It was Gates (no relation to the Microsoft guy), who, inspired by the fact that he, Goode and Barry Gibb shared the same initials, came up with the name BGs in the first place. By 1960 they were making appearances on local TV shows and in 1963 were signed to Leedon Records, using the spelled out name Bee Gees for the first time. The group released their first LP in late 1965, The Bee Gees Sing and Play 14 Barry Gibb Songs. Only five of the songs on the album were new recordings, with the remainder having been released as singles over the previous three years. The album was not a commercial success, however, and the Bee Gees soon found their contract being transferred to the new independent Spin label. About a year later they released their first hit single, Spicks And Specks, which went to the #4 spot on the Australian charts and led to an album of the same name. Although Barry Gibb continued to be the group's primary songwriter, Spicks And Specks did include I Don't Know Why I Bother With Myself, the first song written by Robin Gibb, who also sang lead vocal on the tune. Early in 1967, the band decided to return to England, where they were signed to a five-year contract with the Polydor label (and Atco in the US) by Robert Stigwood. Their next LP, Bee Gees 1st, was an international success, hitting the top 10 on both the British and American album charts and spawning three top 20 singles.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Ruby Tuesday
Source:    LP: Between The Buttons
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    One of the most durable songs in the Rolling Stones catalog, Ruby Tuesday was originally intended to be the B side of their 1967 single Let's Spend The Night Together. Many stations, however, balked at the subject matter of the A side and began playing Ruby Tuesday instead, taking it to the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Although credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, there is evidence that Ruby Tuesday was actually written by Richards with considerable help from Brian Jones.

Artist:    Leaves
Title:    Too Many People
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Pons/Rinehart
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mira)
Year:    1965
    The Leaves are a bit unusual in that in Los Angeles, a city known for drawing wannabes from across the world, this local band's members were all native Ellayins. Formed by members of a fraternity at Cal State Northridge, the Leaves had their greatest success when they took over as house band at Ciro's after the Byrds vacated the slot to go on tour. Like many bands of the time, they were given a song (Bob Dylan's Love Minus Zero) to record as a single by their producer and allowed to write their own B side. In this case the intended B side was Too Many People, written by bassist Jim Pons and  guitarist Bill Rhinehart. Before the record was released, however, the producers decided that Too Many People was the stronger track and designated it the A side. The song ended up getting more airplay on local radio stations than Love Minus Zero, making it their first regional hit. The Leaves had their only national hit the following year with their third attempt at recording the fast version of Hey Joe, the success of which led to their first LP, which included a watered down version of Too Many People. The version heard here is the 1965 original. Eventually Pons would leave the Leaves, hooking up first with the Turtles, then Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention.

Artist:    Vagrants
Title:    I Can't Make A Friend
Source:    Mono LP: I Can't Make A Friend 1965-1968 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    (Storch/Martin)
Label:    Light In The Attic (original label: Vanguard)
Year:    1966
            The Vagrants were one of several "blue-eyed soul" bands from New York's Long Island area, and were best known for their regular appearances at The Action House in Island Park, one of the late 60's most popular rock clubs on Long Island. The group consisted of Peter Sabatino on vocals, harmonica, and tambourine, Leslie Weinstein on vocals and guitar, his brother Larry on vocals and bass guitar, Jerry Storch (also known as Jay Storch) on organ, and Roger Mansour on drums. They released their first single, Oh Those Eyes, on the Southern Sounds label in 1965, and even performed the song in a beach party film called Disk-o-Tek Holiday. The following year the band signed its first official record contract with Vanguard Records, a respected folk/jazz label not known for issuing what was then called "pop" music. The group released one single for Vanguard,  I Can't Make A Friend, which was co-written by Storch, before switching over to the Atco label for a series of singles over a period of about two years. Following the breakup of the Vagrants, Leslie Weistein changed his name to Leslie West, and along with the band's producer, Felix Pappalardi, formed his own band, Mountain.
Artist:    Doors
Title:    Light My Fire
Source:    CD: The Doors
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Once in a while a song comes along that totally blows you away the very first time you hear it. The Doors' Light My Fire was one of those songs. I liked it so much that I immediately went out and bought the 45 RPM single. Not long after that I heard the full-length version of the song from the first Doors album and was blown away all over again.

Artist:     Blue Cheer
Title:     Out Of Focus
Source:     Dutch import LP: Vincebus Eruptum
Writer:     Dickie Peterson
Label:     Philips
Year:     1968
     With the possible exception of the Grateful Dead (when they were using the Owsley-designed sound system), the loudest band to come out of San Francisco was Blue Cheer. The album Vincebus Eruptum, highlighted by the band's feedback-drenched version of Eddie Cochrane's Summertime Blues, is considered by some to be the first heavy metal album ever recorded. My own favorite track on the album is Out Of Focus, which opens side 2 of the LP and was issued as the B side of Summertime Blues.

Artist:    James Gang
Title:    Wrapcity In English/Fred
Source:    CD: Yer' Album
Writer:    Joe Walsh
Label:    MCA (original label: Bluesway)
Year:    1969
    The only rock record to ever be released on the Bluesway label was Yer' Album, the debut LP by Cleveland's James Gang. Featuring Joe Walsh on Guitar, Tom Criss (who would leave the band after this album) on bass and Dale Peters on drums, the group was one of the first "power trios" of the 70s. Unlike the group's later efforts, Yer' Album included cover tunes written by such diverse composers as Stephen Stills, Jerry Ragavoy and Jeff Beck, as well as a smattering of original compositions. One of those originals was Fred, a Walsh song that was described in the liner notes as "and it's straaaaaaaange." It is preceded by a short fully orchestrated Walsh instrumental called Wrapcity In English that tracks directly into Fred.

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:    Immediate Family
Title:    Rubiyat
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on CD: What A Way To Come Down)
Writer(s):    Kovacs/Khayyam
Label:    Rhino (original label: Big Beat)
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1997
    The members of the Immediate Family hailed from the city of Concord, a conservative suburb east of San Francisco bay. They didn't actually make music in their hometown, however. Instead they practiced at the home of organist Kriss Kovacs's mother Judy Davis (the vocal coach to the stars who numbered such diverse talents as Grace Slick, Barbra Streisand and even Frank Sinatra among her pupils). The band was able to get the backing to lay down some tracks at Golden State Recorders (the top studio in the area at the time), but reportedly lost their record deal due to emotional instability on the part of Kovacs. The song Rubiyat is an adaptation of the Rubiyat Of Omar Khayyam. Ambitious to be sure, but done well enough to make one wonder what it could have led to.

Artist:    Aretha Franklin
Title:    Chain Of Fools
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Don Covay
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1968
    Since pretty much everyone knows who Arethat Franklin was, I'll instead focus on the guy who wrote Chain Of Fools, Donald James Randolph, who was known by the stage name Don Covay. Covay got his start as a member of the Little Richard Revue, working in the dual roles of opening act and chaffeur for Little Richard himself. Pretty much from the start he was more successful as a songwriter than as a singer. For example, his first charted single, Pony Time, only made it as far as the #60 spot on the Billboard pop chart, but later became a #1 hit for Chubby Checker. Another example was Mercy, Mercy, which is now associated with the Rolling Stones, who covered the tune on their 1965 LP Out Of Our Heads. Probably the biggest hit Covay had as a songwriter was Aretha Franklin's Chain Of Fools, which went to the #2 spot on the pop charts and all the way to the top of the R&B charts in 1968. Ironically, Chain Of Fools was one of Covay's earliest compositions, written in 1953 while he was a teenager singing in a gospel group with his brothers and sisters.

Artist:     Who
Title:     Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde
Source:     Mono Canadian import CD: Magic Bus: The Who On Tour (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    John Entwhistle
Label:     MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:     1968
     The Who were blessed with not one, but two top-notch songwriters: Pete Townshend and John Entwhistle. Whereas Townsend's songs ranged from tight pop songs to more serious works such as Tommy, Entwistle's tunes had a slightly twisted outlook, dealing with such topics as crawly critters (Boris the Spider), imaginary friends (Whiskey Man) and even outright perversion (Fiddle About). Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde was originally released in the US as the B side to Call Me Lightning. Both songs were included on the Magic Bus album, which, to my knowledge has never been issued on CD in the US.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Someone's Coming
Source:    Mono CD: The Who Sell Out (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    John Entwhistle
Label:    Track (original label: Decca)
Year:    1968
    Some songs just get no respect. First released in 1967 in the UK as the B side of I Can See For Miles, John Alec Entwistle's Someone's Coming got left off the US release entirely. It wasn't until the release of the Magic Bus single (and subsequent LP) in 1968 that the tune appeared on US vinyl, and then, once again as a B side. The Magic Bus album, however, was never issued on CD in the US, although it has been available as a Canadian import for several years. Finally, in 1995 the song found a home on a US CD as a bonus track on The Who Sell Out.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Our Love Was, Is
Source:    Canadian import CD: Magic Bus (originally released on LP: The Who Sell Out)
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1967
    The Who's late-1967 album, The Who Sell Out, is best known for its faux commercials and actual jingles lifted from the British pirate station Radio London. Hidden among the commercial hype, however, are some of the band's best tunes, including Our Love Was, a song that was one of the few LP tracks to be included on the Who's Magic Bus compilation album.
Artist:    Crescent Six
Title:    And Then
Source:    Mono CD: A Heavy Dose Of Lite Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Gregory Ferrera
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Rust)
Year:    1965
    One of the earliest psychedelic tracks was a single called And Then by New Jersey's Crescent Six. Virtually nothing else is known about the record, which was released on New York's Rust Records label.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Masculine Intuition
Source:    45 RPM single B side (promo copy)
Writer:    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Original Sound
Year:    1966
    If you take out the cover songs that Original Sound Records added to the album without the band's knowledge or approval, Turn On The Music Machine has to be considered one of the best LPs of 1966. Not that the covers were badly done, but they were intended to be used for lip synching on a local TV show and were included without the knowledge or approval of the band, and that's never a good thing. Every one of the Sean Bonniwell originals on the other hand, combines strong musical structure and intelligent lyrics with musicianship far surpassing the average garage band. This is especially true in the case of Masculine Intuition, which was also issued as the B side of the band's second single.

Artist:    Notes From The Underground
Title:    Where Does Love Go
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Berkeley EPs (originally released on EP: Notes From The Underground)
Writer(s):    Mandell/Sokolow/O'Connor
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Changes)
Year:    1967
    After Country Joe And The Fish became too popular in San Francisco to keep performing regularly at Berkeley's Jabberwock a new band called Notes From The Underground stepped in to fill the void. The group, consisting of guitarists Fred Sokolow and Mark Mandel, along with bassist Mike O'Connor, pianist Jim Work and drummer Peter Oswalt soon came to the attention of Chris Strachwich, founder of Arhoolie Records, who invited the group to the local Sierra Sound studios to record seven songs. Four of these, including Where Does Love Go, were released on an EP on Arhoolies subsidiary label Changes in 1967.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    (Roamin' Thro' The Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM B side and on LP: Traffic)
Writer(s):    Capaldi/Winwood
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1968
    The second Traffic album saw the band taking in a broader set of influences, including traditional English folk music. (Roamin' Through The Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen, originally released as the B side to the Dave Mason tune No Face, No Name, No Number, combines those influences with the Steve Winwood brand of British R&B to create a timeless classic.

Artist:    Pentangle
Title:    Sally, Go 'Round The Roses
Source:    LP: The Big Ball (originally released on LP: Basket Of Light)
Writer(s):    Sanders/Stevens
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1969
    Although it was a top 5 hit in the US in autumn of 1963, the original Jaynetts version of Sally, Go 'Round The Roses did not make the British charts at all. In fact, several British artists covered the song over the next few years, but it wasn't until 1969, when Pentangle included it on their Basket Of Light LP, that the song became well known in the UK.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    A Song For Jeffrey
Source:    LP: This Was
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Jethro Tull's second single (and first European hit) was A Song For Jeffrey from their debut LP, This Was. The Jeffrey in the song title is Jeffrey Hammond, who, according to the liner notes, was "one of us, though he doesn't play anything". The notes go on to say he "makes bombs and stuff". In fact, Hammond would replace bassist Glen Cornick a few albums later and remain with the group for several years. The song itself proved popular enough that when the band compiled their first Anthology album, Living In The Past, A Song For Jeffrey was chosen to open the album.

Artist:    Dion
Title:    Abraham, Martin And John
Source:    CD: Songs Of Protest (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dick Holler
Label:    Rhino (original label: Laurie)
Year:    1968
    Although sometimes characterized as a protest song, Dion DiMucci's 1968 hit Abraham, Martin And John is really a tribute to three famous Americans, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy (with a reference to the recently-assassinated Bobby Kennedy included in the final verse of the song). Most people in the business saw Dion, perhaps the most successful doo-wop artist of all time, as being near the end of his career by 1967, although he was one of only two rock musicians included on the cover collage of the Beatles' 1967 LP Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band beside the Beatles themselves (the other being Bob Dylan).  In April of 1968, however, Dion experienced what he later called "a powerful religious experience" which led to him approaching his old label, Laurie Records, for a new contract. The label agreed on the condition that he record Abraham, Martin And John. The song, written by Dick Holler (who also wrote, strangely enough, Snoopy vs. The Red Baron), ended up being one of Dion's biggest hits and led to the revitalization of his career.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Remember A Day
Source:    CD: A Saucerful Of Secrets
Writer(s):    Rick Wright
Label:    EMI (original label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    Trivia question: Which Pink Floyd album never made the US album charts? The answer:  A Saucerful Of Secrets, the band's second LP. Like the band's debut LP, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, A Saucerful Of Secrets was released on Capitol's tax-writeoff Tower subsidiary and received virtually no promotion from the label. By 1968 it was becoming increasingly clear that Syd Barrett was going off the deep end due to ongoing mental health issues exacerbated by heavy use of hallucinogenics and it's reasonable to assume the label expected to band to soon dissolve. After one performance where Barrett did nothing but stand and strum a single chord for the entire set the rest of the band made a decision to bring in Barrett's childhood friend David Gilmour as their new guitarist. In all likelihood this decision saved the band itself, as A Saucerful Of Secrets ended up being the only Pink Floyd album to include both Barrett and Gilmour. Meanwhile, other band members were stepping up their own contributions, Rick Wright's Remember A Day being a prime example.

Artist:    Moby Grape
Title:    Miller's Blues
Source:    LP: Wow
Writer(s):    Miller/Mosely
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    Moby Grape's second album, Wow, was musically solid, but suffered from a bad case of over-production, with an abundance of overdubs and studio effects that actually hurt, rather than enhanced, the music itself. One track that managed to, for the most part, avoid the excesses was Miller's Blues, which appeared near the end of side two. As the title impies, the tune is a straight blues number with lots of tasty guitar licks from Jerry Miller. I'm kind of surprised it appeared on Wow itself rather than on the Grape Jam album, which, packaged together with Wow, was sold for one dollar more than the standard LP price.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    I Feel Free
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    After an unsuccessful debut single (Wrapping Paper), Cream scored a bona-fide hit in the UK with their follow-up, I Feel Free. As was the case with nearly every British single at the time, the song was not included on Fresh Cream, the band's debut LP. In the US, however, hit singles were commonly given a prominent place on albums, and the US version of Fresh Cream actually opens with I Feel Free. To my knowledge the song, being basically a studio creation, was never performed live by the band.

Artist:         Cream
Title:        Sunshine Of Your Love
Source:      CD: The Best Of 60s Supergroups (originally released on LP: Disraeli Gears)
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown/Clapton
Label:    Priority (original label: Atco)
Year:        1967
        Although by mid-1967 Cream had already released a handful of singles in the UK, Sunshine Of Your Love, featuring one of the most recognizable guitar rifts in the history of rock, was their first song to make a splash in the US. Although only moderately successful in edited form on AM Top-40 radio, the full-length LP version of the song received extensive airplay on the more progressive FM stations, and turned Disraeli Gears into a perennial best-seller. Clapton and Bruce constantly trade off lead vocal lines throughout the song. The basic compatibility of their voices is such that it is sometimes difficult to tell exactly who is singing what line. Clapton's guitar solo (which was almost entirely edited out of the AM version) set a standard for instrumental breaks in terms of length and style that became a hallmark for what is now known as "classic rock."

Artist:     Cream
Title:     N.S.U.
Source:     LP: Fresh Cream
Writer:     Jack Bruce
Label:     Atco
Year:     1966
     The US version of Fresh Cream starts off the with powerful one-two punch of I Feel Free and N.S.U. Although I Feel Free was a purely studio creation that never got performed live, N.S.U. became a staple of the band's concert performances, and was even performed by various other bands that bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce was a member of over the years.


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