This week we bring you the full-length Woodstock Boogie (the version on the album Woodstock Two cut it from its original 28 and a half minutes down to slightly less than 14), along with artists sets from the Seeds, the Doors and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. And all that accounts for less than half the show! To find out what else is going on, read on...
Artist: Harbinger Complex
Title: I Think I'm Down
Source: CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released on 45 RPM vinyl)
Label: Rhino (original label: Brent)
Most garage/club bands never made it beyond a single or two for a relatively small independent label. The Harbinger Complex, from Freemont, California, however, benefitted from a talent search conducted by Bob Shad, owner of Mainstream Records. The band was one of about half a dozen acts from the Bay Area to be signed by Shad in July of 1966, with the single I Think I'm Down appearing on the Brent label later that year. The song was also included on Shad's Mainstream sampler LP, With Love-A Pot Of Flowers, in 1967.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: She Has Funny Cars
Source: Mono LP: Surrealistic Pillow
Label: Sundazed (original label: RCA Victor)
She Has Funny Cars, the opening track of Jefferson Airplane's second LP, Surrealistic Pillow, was a reference to some unusual possessions belonging to new drummer Spencer Dryden's girlfriend. As was the case with many of the early Airplane tracks, the title has nothing to do with the lyrics of the song itself. The song was also released as the B side to the band's biggest hit single, Somebody To Love.
Artist: Big Brother And The Holding Company
Source: CD: Cheap Thrills (bonus track)
Year: Recorded 1968, released 1999
Although producer John Simon was convinced that the best way to record Big Brother And The Holding Company was live, he did have the band cut a few tracks in the studio as well. Some of these, such as Summertime and Piece Of My Heart, ended up on the 1968 album Cheap Thrills. Others, like Roadblock, ended up on the shelf, where they stayed until 1999, when a newly remastered CD of the album included them as bonus tracks. Although it's not a bad song by any means, it's hard to imagine any of the tracks that were used for the original album being cut to make room for it.
Title: Too Many People
Source: Simulated stereo LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Mira)
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: 13th Floor Elevators
Title: You're Gonna Miss Me
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators)
Writer(s): Roky Erickson
Label: Rhino (original label: International Artists)
If anyplace outside of California has a legitimate claim to being the birthplace of the psychedelic era, it's Austin, Texas. That's mainly due to the presence of the 13th Floor Elevators, a local band led by Roky Erickson that had the audacity to use an electric jug (played by Tommy Hall) onstage. Their debut album was the first to use the word psychedelic in the title (predating the Blues Magoos' Psychedelic Lollipop by mere weeks). Musically, their leanings were more toward garage-rock than acid-rock, at least on their first album (they got rather metaphysical on their follow-up album, Easter Everywhere). Their only charted hit was You're Gonna Miss Me, released in mid-1966, but their subsequent West Coast tour inspired many a California band to take up psychedelics.
Artist: Music Machine
Title: Double Yellow Line
Source: CD: Beyond The Garage (originally released as 45 RPM single; stereo version released on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer: Sean Bonniwell
Label: Sundazed (original labels: Original Sound/ Warner Brothers)
After the success of Talk Talk, the Music Machine issued a series of unsuccessful singles on the Original Sound label. Band leader Sean Bonniwell attributed this lack of success to mismanagement by record company people and the band's own manager. Eventually those singles would be re-issued on Warner Brothers on an album called Bonniwell Music Machine, along with a handful of new songs. One of the best of these singles was Double Yellow Line, which Bonniwell said he wrote while driving to the studio on the back of a ticket he had just received for distracted driving (he even invited the traffic cop to the recording session). This seems to be a good place to mention the rest of the original Music Machine lineup, which consisted of Mark Landon on lead guitar, Ron Edgar on drums, Doug Rhodes on organ and Keith Olsen (who went on to be an extremely successful record producer) on bass. This lineup would dissolve before the release of the Bonniwell Music Machine album but was nonetheless featured on the majority of tracks on the LP.
Title: Waltz Of The Flies
Source: LP: Time Out! Time In! For Them
Writer(s): Tom Lane
Once you get past the facts that 1) this a band best known as the starting place of a singer (Van Morrison) who was no longer with the group by the time this album was recorded, and 2) this album came out on Tower Records, the audio equilivant of AIP movie studios, you can appreciate the fact that Time Out! Time In! For Them is actually a pretty decent album.
Artist: Pleasure (featuring Billy Elder)
Title: Poor Old Organ Grinder
Source: CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Tandyn Almer
Label: Rhino (original label: Tower)
Tandyn Almer had one of the most innovative minds in late 60s L.A., both in and out of the recording studio (he was the inventor of the dual-chamber bong, for instance). Poor Old Organ Grinder was a song originally intended for Tommy Flanders, the original lead vocalist for the Blues Project. Flanders, however, was not able to hit the high notes. As Almers was about to cancel the entire project one of the recording engineers, Billy Elder, convinced Almer to let him take a shot at the song, and the result is the recording heard here.
Artist: Pearls Before Swine
Title: The Jeweler
Source: CD: Creative Melancholy-30 Years Of Pearls Before Swine (originally released on LP: The Use Of Ashes)
Writer(s): Tom Rapp
Label: Birdman (original label: Reprise)
After completing his first LP for the Reprise label with what remained of his band, Pearls Before Swine, singer/songwriter Tom Rapp and his then-fiancee Elizabeth relocated to her native Netherlands for a few months, living in a small cottage and writing the songs that would become his next album, The Use Of Ashes. By this time, Rapp was working as a solo artist (supplemented by contributions from Elizabeth), but continued to use the name Pearls Before Swine on his recordings. In fact, The Use Of Ashes utilized the talents of various members of Nashville's Area Code 615, who had previously worked with Bob Dylan on his Blonde On Blonde album, among other projects. The LP's title actually comes from the lyrics of The Jeweler, one of Rapp's stronger compositions on the album.
Artist: Canned Heat
Title: Woodstock Boogie
Source: CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm (originally released on LP: Woodstock 2)
Writer(s): Canned Heat
Label: Rhino (original label: Atlantic)
One of the highlights of any Canned Heat performance was Refried Boogie, an extended jam piece often lasting up to an hour in length. For the Woodstock festival the band shortened it to just under 30 minutes, including solos from every band member, including the recently recruited guitarist Harvey Mandel, who had replaced founding member Henry Vestine. The song was originally issued on the album Woodstock 2 in highly edited form, cutting the running time in half. This restored version was released in 2009 as part of Rhino's six-disc Woodstock anniversary box set.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: I Want To Be Loved
Source: Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): Willie Dixon
Label: Abkco (original UK label: Decca)
In their early days, the Rolling Stones almost exclusively played cover versions of American blues and R&B tunes. One of these was I Want To Be Loved, a Willie Dixon composition originally recorded by Muddy Waters in 1955. The Stones recorded the song in 1963, releasing it as the B side of their debut single for the british Decca label in June of that year.
Title: Love Me Two Times
Source: 45 RPM single
Writer(s): The Doors
Although the second Doors album is sometimes dismissed as being chock full of tracks that didn't make the cut on the debut LP, the fact is that Strange Days contains some of the Doors best-known tunes. One of those is Love Me Two Times, which was the second single released from the album. The song continues to get heavy airplay on classic rock stations.
Title: The Unknown Soldier
Source: LP: 13 (originally released on LP: Waiting For The Sun)
Writer(s): The Doors
One of the oddest recordings to get played on top 40 radio was the Door's 1968 single The Unknown Soldier. The song is notable for having it's own promotional film made by keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who had been a film major at UCLA when the Doors were formed. It's not known whether the song was written with the film in mind (or vice versa), but the two have a much greater synergy than your average music video.
Title: Moonlight Drive
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s): The Doors
Much of the second Doors album consisted of songs that were already in the band's repertoire when they signed with Elektra Records but for various reasons did not record for their debut LP. One of the earliest was Jim Morrison's Moonlight Ride. As was the case with all the Doors songs on their first three albums, the tune was credited to the entire band.
Title: Here, There And Everywhere
Source: CD: Revolver
In the early days the Beatles did a lot of doubling up of vocals to achieve a fuller sound. This meant that the lead vocalist (usually John Lennon or Paul McCartney) would have to record a vocal track and then go back and sing in unison with his own recorded voice. The process, which Lennon in particular found tedious, often took several attempts to get right, making for long and exhausting recording sessions. In the spring of 1966 engineer Ken Townsend invented a process he called automatic double tracking that applied a tape delay to a single vocal to create the same effect as manual double tracking. The Beatles used the process for the first time on the Revolver album, on tracks like I'm Only Sleeping and Doctor Robert. Oddly enough, the song that sounds most like it used the ADT system, McCartney's Here, There And Everywhere, was actually two separate vocal tracks, which becomes obvious toward the end of the last verse when one of the vocals drops down to harmonize on a couple notes.
Artist: Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title: The Black Plague
Source: British import CD: Winds Of Change
Label: Repertoire (original US label: M-G-M)
One of the most interesting recordings of 1967 was Eric Burdon And The Animals' The Black Plague, which appeared on the Winds Of Change album. The Black Plague is a spoken word piece dealing with life and death in a medieval village during the time of the Black Plague (natch), set to a somewhat gothic piece of music that includes Gregorian style chanting and an occasional voice calling out the words "bring out your dead" in the background. The album itself had a rather distinctive cover, consisting of a stylized album title accompanied by a rather lengthy text piece on a scroll against a black background, something that had never been done before (or since, to my knowledge) on an album cover.
Artist: West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title: Ritual #1
Source: CD: Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil
Label: Sundazed (original label: Reprise)
Technically, Volume III is actually the fourth album by the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. The first one was an early example of a practice that would become almost mandatory for a new band in the 1990s. The LP, titled Volume 1, was recorded at a home studio and issued on the tiny Fifa label. Many of the songs on that LP ended up being re-recorded for their major label debut, which they called Part One. That album was followed by Volume II, released in late 1967. The following year they released their final album for Reprise, which in addition to being called Volume III was subtitled A Child's Guide To Good And Evil. Included on that album were Ritual #1 and Ritual #2, neither of which sounds anything like the other.
Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title: Poorboy Shuffle/Feelin' Blue
Source: LP: Willy And The Poor Boys
Writer(s): John Fogerty
Creedence Clearwater Revival's third (!) LP of 1969, Willy And The Poor Boys, started out as a concept album, with the band members pictured on the cover playing a washboard, a harmonica, a Kalamazoo Guitar, and a gut bass. The only track on the album that they actually play those instruments on is Poorboy Shuffle, which flows directly into Feelin' Blue, one of the most overlooked tunes in the entire CCR catalog.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: …And The Gods Made Love/Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)
Source: CD: Electric Ladyland
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
Label: Legacy (original label: Reprise)
After assuming full production duties on the Electric Ladyland album following the departure of Chas Chandler, Jimi Hendrix made the decision to cross-fade the songs on the album's first and third sides into each other, making the two sides each play as a continuous piece. The album opens with ...And The Gods Made Love, an experimental work that expands on some of the studio techniques used on the Jimi Hendrix Experience's first two LPs to create a decidedly otherworldly effect. This leads into the album's title track, which owes more than a little bit to the work of Curtis Mayfield and his band, the Impressions. This in turn leads into the high-energy Crosstown Traffic, the first single released from the album and a recording that has been included on several Hendrix anthologies over the years.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix/Band Of Gypsys
Title: Lover Man
Source: Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
Label: Experience Hendrix/Legacy
Year: Recorded 1969, released 2018
When the Jimi Hendrix Experience made their US debut at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967 they opened with a high-energy workup of the Muddy Waters classic Killing Floor. Hendrix' arrangement of the song was so radically different from the original that Hendrix eventually decided to write new lyrics for the song, calling it Lover Man. Several attempts were made to get the song recorded in the studio, including this one recorded on December 15, 1969 with bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles. Two weeks later they recorded a series of performances at New York's Madison Square Garden that were used for the 1970 album Band Of Gypsys, although Lover Man was not among the songs selected for the LP.
Title: Bad Part Of Town
Source: Stereo 45 RPM single (reissue)
By 1970 the Seeds were barely a memory to most of the record-buying public. It had been nearly a year since they had released any records, and those hadn't sold many copies. Nonetheless, their agent managed to get them a contract to record a new single for the M-G-M label. The tune they recorded for the A side, Bad Part Of Town, was actually one of their better songs in quite some time, but by then there was no market for Seeds records, and the song failed to chart.
Title: Six Dreams
Source: Mono British import CD: Singles As & Bs (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): Sky Saxon
Label: Big Beat (original label: GNP Crescendo)
The third Seeds album, Future, showed the band moving away from its garage-rock roots into more psychedelic territory. This change of direction is evident on tracks like Six Dreams, which was also released as the B side of the 1967 single The Wind Blows Your Hair.
Title: Wish Me Up
Source: Stereo 45 RPM single B side (reissue)
By the time the 60s had come to an end, the Seeds, who had spearheaded the flower power movement in the middle of the decade, were on their last legs. Only Sky Saxon and Daryl Hooper were left from the original group, and they had lost their contract with GNP Crescendo. Their manager was able to secure a deal to record a pair of singles for M-G-M, but, as can be heard on the B side of the first single, Wish Me Up, the old energy just wasn't there anymore.
Artist: Al Kooper/Mike Bloomfield/Barry Goldberg/Harvey Brooks/Eddie Hoh
Source: LP: Super Session
Al Kooper is one of those people who always seems to be in the right place at the right time, often because he was the one that made those times and places happen in the first place. At a Bob Dylan recording session in 1965, for instance, Kooper took it upon himself to sit in on organ, despite the fact that he was by no means proficient on the instrument at that time. The result was a series of classic tracks that made up the Highway 61 Revisited album. The following year Kooper happened to be in the studio when the Blues Project was auditioning for Columbia Records. Although the label passed on the band, Kooper ended up joining the group, making rock history in the process. In 1968 Kooper formed a new band, Blood, Sweat & Tears, but left them after just one LP. While working as an A&R man for Columbia, Kooper booked two days' worth of studio time later that same year, bringing in guitarist Mike Bloomfield, keyboardist Barry Goldberg, and bassist Harvey Brooks from the Electric Flag, as well as session drummer Eddie Hoh. When Bloomfield failed to show up on the second day, Stephen Stills (who had recently left Buffalo Springfield) was recruited to take his place. The result was an album called Super Session, which surprisingly went all the way to the #12 spot on the Billboard album charts. The popularity of Super Session inspired several more rock stars to make jam albums and gave birth to the idea of the rock supergroup as well. Among the mainly instrumental tracks that feature Bloomfield was a tune called Stop, written by the legendary songwriters Jerry Ragovoy and Doc Shuman and originally recorded by R&B singer/guitarist Howard Tate in 1967.
Artist: Moby Grape
Title: Murder In My Heart For The Judge
Source: CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Wow)
Label: Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Moby Grape was one of those bands that probably should have been more successful than they were, but were thrown off-track by a series of bad decisions by their own support personnel. First, Columbia Records damaged their reputation by simultaneously releasing five singles from their debut LP in 1967, leading to accusations that the band was nothing but hype. Then their producer, David Rubinson, decided to add horns and strings to many of the tracks on their second album, Wow, alienating much of the band's core audience in the process. Still, Wow did have its share of fine tunes, including drummer Don Stevenson's Murder In My Heart For The Judge, probably the best-known song on the album. The song proved popular enough to warrant cover versions by such diverse talents as Lee Michaels, Chrissy Hynde and Three Dog Night.