Sunday, July 17, 2022

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2230 (starts 7/18/22)

    This week, among other things, Stuck in the Psychedelic Era presents the Severely Abridged Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Those "other things" include the first Really Long Pink Floyd track and an even longer rendition of Baby Please Don't Go.

Artist:    Phil Ochs
Title:    I Ain't Marching Anymore
Source:    CD: Songs Of Protest (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Phil Ochs
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1965
    Phil Ochs' I Ain't Marching Anymore didn't get a whole lot of airplay when it was released in 1965 (unless you count a handful of closed-circuit student-run stations on various college campuses that could only be picked up by plugging a radio into a wall socket in a dorm room). Ochs was aware of this, and even commented that "the fact that you won't be hearing this song on the radio is more than enough justification for the writing of it." He went on to say that the song "borders between pacifism and treason, combining the best qualities of both." The following year Ochs recorded this folk-rock version of the song (backed up by members of the Blues Project) that was released as a single in the UK.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Can You See Me
Source:    CD: Are You Experienced? (stereo mix originally released in US on LP: Smash Hits)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    EU: 1967, US: 1969
    Before releasing the first Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Are You Experienced, in the US, Reprise Records decided to make some changes to the track lineup, adding three songs that had been released as non-album singles in the UK and creating entirely new stereo mixes of all the songs. To make room for these, three songs were cut from the original UK version of the LP. One of those three tunes, however, was apparently intended to make the final cut, as it also got a new stereo remix. That tune was Can You See Me, a song that was included in the band's US debut performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967.  Despite the audience's positive response to the song, the band dropped Can You See Me from their live set shortly after their appearance at Monterey. The stereo remix of Can You See Me sat on the shelf until 1969, when it was included on the US version of the Smash Hits LP.

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Oh, Sweet Mary
Source:    LP: Cheap Thrills
Writer(s):    Albin/Andrew/Getz/Gurley/Joplin
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    The only song credited to the entire membership of Big Brother And The Holding Company on their Cheap Thrills album was Oh, Sweet Mary (although the original label credits Janis Joplin as sole writer and the album cover itself gives only Joplin and Peter Albin credit). The tune bears a strong resemblance to Coo Coo, a non-album single the band had released on the Mainstream label before signing to Columbia. Oh, Sweet Mary, however, has new lyrics and, for a breath of fresh air, a bridge section played at a slower tempo than the rest of the tune.

Artist:    Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title:    Green River
Source:    LP: Chronicle (originally released on LP: Green River and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    John Fogerty
Label:    Fantasy
Year:    1969
    In 1969 I was living in Germany (on Ramstein AFB, where my father, a career NCO, was stationed), where the choices for radio listening consisted of Radio Luxembourg, which only came in after dark and faded in and out constantly, the American Forces Network (AFN), which had a limited amount of music programming, most of which was targeted to an older demographic, and an assortment of German language stations playing ethnic and classical music. As a result, I didn't listen much to the radio, instead relying on word of mouth from my fellow high school students and hearing songs played on the jukebox at the Ramstein teen club on base. Both Proud Mary and Bad Moon Rising had completely slipped under my radar, in fact, so Green River was the first Creedence Clearwater Revival song I was even aware of. I immediately went out and bought a copy of the single at the BX, and soon had my band covering the record's B side, Commotion. I'm afraid Green River itself was beyond our abilities, however. Nonetheless, I still think of that "garage" band I was in (actually, since we all lived in apartment buildings, we had to practice in the basement of one of them rather than an actual garage) whenever I hear Green River.
Artist:    Misunderstood
Title:    Who Do You Love
Source:    Mono British import CD: Before The Dream Faded
Writer(s):    Elias McDaniel
Label:    Cherry Red
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1982
    Originally from California's Inland Empire town of Riverside, the Misunderstood relocated to London in1966, where they recorded several songs for the British Fontana label. Not all of those songs were released at the time however. This psychedelic rave-up version of Bo Diddley's Who Do You Love sat on the shelf for 16 years, finally being released on an album called Before The Dream Faded that collected all of the band's recordings.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    She'll Return It
Source:    Mono LP: Animalization
Writer(s):    Jenkins/Rowberry/Burdon/Chandler/Valentine
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    As a general rule the Animals, in their original incarnation, recorded two kinds of songs: hit singles from professional songwriters such as Gerry Goffin and Carole King, and covers of blues and R&B tunes, the more obscure the better. What they did not record a lot of was original tunes from the band members themselves. This began to change in 1966 when the band began to experience a series of personnel changes that would ultimately lead to what amounted to an entirely new group, Eric Burdon And The Animals, in 1967. One of the earliest songs to be credited to the entire band was She'll Return It, released as the B side of See See Rider in August of 1966 and included on the Animalization album. In retrospect, it is one of the strongest tracks on one of their strongest LPs.

Artist:    Wimple Winch
Title:    Save My Soul
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Christopholus/Kelman
Label:    Rhino (original label: Fontana)
Year:    1966
    Dee Fenton and the Silhouettes were a fairly typical merseybeat band formed in 1961 by Dee Christopholus, a Greek immigrant whose parents had moved to Liverpool in the 1950s. In 1963 they changed their name to the Four Just Men, which became the Just Four Men when they were signed to Parlophone the following year. After a pair of singles failed to make a dent in the British charts EMI (Parlophone's parent company) cut the band from its roster. Rather than disband, the group decided to reinvent themselves as a British counterpart to the many garage bands popping up in the US. Changing their name to Wimple Winch, the group released three singles on the Fontana label, the second of which was Save My Soul, released in June of 1966. All three singles did well in Liverpool but failed to make an impression elsewhere. The group finally decided to call it quits when Fontana dropped them in early 1967.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Wait Till The Summer Comes Along
Source:    Mono LP: Kinks Kinkdom (originally released in UK on EP: Kwyet Kinks)
Writer(s):    Dave Davies
Label:    Reprise (original UK label: Pye)
Year:    1965
    Kinks Kinkdom was an LP that was only released in the US. Most of the songs had been previously released in the UK, but not in the US. Among the songs on Kinks Kinkdom are four tracks that had appeared in the UK on an Extended Play 45 RPM record called Kwyet Kinks. The EP was a deliberate attempt on the part of the band to distance themselves from their early image as one of the hardest rocking bands of the British Invasion. The opening track of Kwyet Kinks was Wait Till The Summer Comes Along, a Dave Davies composition that has a decidedly country feel to it.

Artist:    Leaves
Title:    Dr. Stone
Source:    CD: Hey Joe
Writer:    Beck/Pons
Label:    One Way (original label: Mira)
Year:    1966
    The Leaves were a solid, if not particularly spectacular, example of a late 60s L.A. club band. They had one big hit (Hey Joe), signed a contract with a major label (Capitol), and even appeared in a Hollywood movie (the Cool Ones). Dr. Stone, the opening track of their first album for Mira Records, is best described as folk-rock with a Bo Diddly beat.

Artist:    Pride And Joy
Title:    Girl
Source:    CD: Oh Yeah! The Best Of Dunwich Records (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dennis Dahlquist
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1967
    When their single, I Call My Baby STP, failed to catch on with Chicago area radio listeners, the Del-Vetts decided to change their name to Pride And Joy and soften their approach somewhat with the melodic Girl, released in 1967. The song made the local charts, but once again failed to break nationally. After one more single released late in the year on the Acta label, Pride And Joy called it quits.

Artist:    Stephen Stills and Richie Furay
Title:    Sit Down I Think I Love You
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Rhino
Year:    Recorded, 1966, released 2009
    Stephen Stills and Richie Furay were still in the process of forming their new band when they cut this demo of Sit Down I Think I Love You, a song that would appear later in the year on the first Buffalo Springfield album and be covered the following year by the San Francisco flower pop band the Mojo Men. This version is basically just the two of them sitting around in a friend's living room singing harmony with Stills on acoustic guitar.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    I Am Waiting
Source:    British import LP: Aftermath
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1966
    The Aftermath album was a turning point for the Rolling Stones. For one thing, it was their first album recorded entirely in the US, and at a much more leisurely pace than their previous albums. This afforded the band the opportunity to spend more time working on their arrangements before committing songs to tape. It also gave Brian Jones a chance to experiment with instruments not normally associated with rock and roll music, such as sitar, dulcimer, marimbas, and koto. Aftermath was also the first Rolling Stones album made up entirely of songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, including the semi-acoustic I Am Waiting.
Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Let Me In (original uncensored version)
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Balin/Kantner
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1966
    Not long after the first copies of Jefferson Airplane Takes Off hit the streets of San Francisco, the Shirts at RCA Victor told the band to go back to the studio and change the lyrics on two of the album's songs. The biggest changes were made to Let Me In, the first song that featured Paul Kantner rather than Marty Balin on lead vocals. Arguing that the original lyrics were too sexually suggestive for a teen-oriented audience, Balin and Kantner changed the line " I gotta get in, you know where" to "You shut your door, now it ain't fair". In addition, the line "Don't tell me you want money" was changed to  "Don't tell me it's so funny" because, according to the Shirts, the original version could be interpreted as a reference to prostitution. As an aside, I did a search for both sets of lyrics on the internet, but the only ones that showed up were billed as the "original uncensored" lyrics, yet in every case were actually the revised ones. Explain that one to me!

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Interstellar Overdrive/The Gnome
Source:    CD: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
Writer(s):    Barrett/Waters/Wright/Mason
Label:    Capitol (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    Syd Barrett was still very much at the helm for Pink Floyd's first LP, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, released in 1967. The group had already released a pair of Barrett-penned singles, Arnold Layne (which was banned by the BBC) and See Emily Play. Piper, though, was the first full album for the group, and some tracks, notably the nine-minute psychedelic masterpiece Interstellar Overdrive, were entirely group efforts. On the original UK version of the LP Overdrive tracks directly into a Barrett piece, the Gnome. The US version, issued on Tower records, truncated Overdrive and re-arranged the song order. The only CD version of Piper currently available, heard here, follows the original UK ordering of the tracks.

Artist:    Mad River
Title:    Orange Fire
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Berkeley EPs (originally released in US on EP: Mad River)
Writer(s):    Lawrence Hammond
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Wee)
Year:    1967
    Mad River was formed in 1965 in Yellow Spings, Ohio, as the Mad River Blues Band. The group (after several personnel changes) relocated to the Berkeley, California in spring of 1967, and soon began appearing at local clubs, often alongside Country Joe And The Fish. Around this time the band came into contact with Lonnie Hewitt, a jazz musician who had started his own R&B-oriented label, Wee. After auditioning for Fantasy Records, the band decided instead to finance their own studio recordings, which were then issued as a three-song EP on Wee. From the start, Mad River's music was pretty far out there, even by Bay Area standards. Orange Fire, for instance, was an attempt by bandleader Lawrence Hammond to portray the horrors of war musically. Interestingly enough, all the tracks on the EP had been written and arranged before the band moved out to the West Coast. The group eventually signed with Capitol, releasing two decidedly non-commercial albums for the label before disbanding in 1969.
Artist:    Byrds
Title:    The Girl With No Name
Source:    Mono LP: 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:    Beatles
Title:    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help From My Friends
Source:    CD: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
            One of the first tracks recorded for the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was the title track itself, which opens up side one of the LP. The following song, With A Little Help From My Friends (tentatively titled Bad Finger Boogie at the time), was recorded nearly two months later, yet the two sound like one continuous performance. In fact, it was this painstaking attention to every facet of the recording and production process that made Sgt. Pepper's such a landmark album. Whereas the first Beatles album took only 585 minutes to record, Sgt. Pepper's took over 700 hours. By this point in the band's career, drummer Ringo Starr was generally given one song to sing (usually written by John Lennon and/or Paul McCartney) on each of the group's albums. Originally, these were throwaway songs such as I Wanna Be Your Man (which was actually written for the Rolling Stones), but on the previous album, Revolver, the biggest hit on the album ended up being the song Ringo sang, Yellow Submarine. Although no singles were released from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, With A Little Help From My Friends received considerable airplay on top 40 radio and is one of the most popular Beatles songs ever recorded.
Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite
Source:    LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1967
    According to principal songwriter John Lennon, Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite was inspired by a turn of the century circus poster that the Beatles ran across while working on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Most of the lyrics refer to items on the poster itself, such as Henry the Horse and the Hendersons.

Artist:     Beatles
Title:     Good Morning Good Morning/Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)/A Day In The Life
Source:     CD: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer:     Lennon/McCartney
Label:     Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:     1967
     One of the great accidents of record production was the splice that turned the chicken at the end of Good Morning Good Morning into a guitar, starting off Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) and ultimately leading into A Day In The Life, with it's slowly dissolving orchestral chord that brings the number one album of 1967 to a close.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    Some of the best rock and roll songs of 1966 were banned on a number of stations for being about either sex or drugs. Most artists that recorded those songs claimed they were about something else altogether. In the case of Bob Dylan's Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35, "stoned" refers to a rather unpleasant form of execution (at least according to Dylan). On the other hand, Dylan himself was reportedly quite stoned while recording the song, having passed a few doobies around before starting the tape rolling. Sometimes I think ambiguities like this are why English has become the dominant language of commerce on the planet.

Artist:    Sands
Title:    Listen To The Sky
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Sands
Label:    Rhino (original label: Reaction)
Year:    1967
    The Others, from Middlesex, England released a 1964 version of Bo Diddley's Oh Yeah that was later copied, note for note, by Chicago's Shadows Of Knight. Three years later, now calling themselves Sands, the same band released a gem called Listen To The Sky that starts off sounding a bit like the Beatles, but turns into a psychedelic freakout before it's all over.

Artist:    Amboy Dukes
Title:    Journey To The Center Of The Mind
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on LP: Journey To The Center Of The Mind and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Nugent/Farmer
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1968
    Detroit was one of the major centers of pop music in the late 60s. In addition to the myriad Motown acts, the area boasted the popular retro-rock&roll band Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, the harder rocking Bob Seger System, the non-Motown R&B band the Capitols, and Ted Nugent's outfit, the Amboy Dukes, who scored big in 1968 with Journey To The Center Of The Mind.

Artist:    Love
Title:    My Little Red Book
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released on LP: Love)
Writer(s):    Bacharach/David
Label:    Rhino (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1966
    The first rock record ever released by Elektra Records was a single by Love called My Little Red Book. The track itself (which also opens Love's debut LP), is a punked out version of a tune originally recorded by Manfred Mann for the What's New Pussycat movie soundtrack. Needless to say, Love's version was not exactly what composers Burt Bacharach and Hal David had in mind when they wrote the song.

Artist:    Chambers Brothers
Title:    Time Has Come Today
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: The Time Has Come)
Writer(s):    Joe and Willie Chambers
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    One of the quintessential songs of the psychedelic era is the Chambers Brothers' classic Time Has Come Today. The song was originally recorded and issued as a single in 1966. The more familiar version heard here, however, was recorded in 1967 for the album The Time Has Come. The LP version of the song runs about eleven minutes, way too long for a 45 RPM record, so before releasing the song as a single for the second time, engineers at Columbia cut the song down to around 3 minutes. The edits proved so jarring that the record was recalled and a re-edited version, clocking in at 4:57 became the third and final single version of the song, hitting the charts in 1968.

Artist:    Beacon Street Union
Title:    Baby, Please Don't Go
Source:    LP: The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens
Writer(s):    Joe Williams
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    One of the most popular club songs in the mid-1960s was an old Joe Williams blues tune called Baby, Please Don't Go. The song became popular among garage bands after Them released it as their first single in 1964, despite the fact that the record was not readily available in the US (having a copy of the import was, in fact, a mark of status among garage rockers). The song became better known in the US when the Amboy Dukes included it on their debut LP in 1967, also releasing the track as a single. The following year the Beacon Street Union turned the tune into a 17-minute showcase of the individual members' talents on their second LP, The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Love Story
Source:    CD: This Was (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968 (UK), 1969 (US)
    Love Story was the last studio recording by the original Jethro Tull lineup of Ian Anderson, Mick Abrahams, Clive Bunker and Glenn Cornish. The song was released as a single (Jethro Tull's first in the US) following the band's debut LP, This Was. Shortly after its release Abrahams left the group, citing differences with Anderson over the band's musical direction. Love Story spent eight weeks on the UK singles chart, reaching the #29 spot. In the U.S., Love Story was released in March 1969, with A Song for Jeffrey (an album track from This Was) on the B-side, but did not chart. Like most songs released as singles in the UK, Love Story did not appear on an album until several years later; in this case on the 1973 anthology album Living In The Past. It has most recently been included as a bonus track on the expanded CD version of This Was.

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