Sunday, October 9, 2022

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2241 (starts 10/10/22)

    This week, following our special British Invasion show, we get back to what passes for normal on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, with three artists' sets and half a dozen tunes that have never been played on the show before (including an obscure Australian single from 1968 and the Grateful Dead's most experimental recording).

Artist:    First Edition
Title:    Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)
Source:    CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released on LP: The First Edition and as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Mickey Newbury
Label:    Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    In 1968, former New Christy Minstrels members Kenny Rogers and Mike Settle decided to form a psychedelic rock band, the First Edition. Although Settle wrote (and sang lead on) most of the songs on the first album, it was Rogers who would emerge as the star of the group, thanks to the fact that one of the two songs he sang lead on, Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In), became a huge top 40 hit. It wasn't long before the official name of the band was changed to Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. That change reflected a shift from psychedelic to country flavored pop that would eventually propel Rogers to superstar status, leaving the First Edition far behind.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Manic Depression
Source:    CD: The Ultimate Experience (originally released on LP: Are You Experienced?)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    After miraculously surviving being shot point blank in the head (and then bayoneted in the back for good measure) in the Korean War (and receiving a Silver Star), my dad became somewhat of a minor celebrity in the early 50s, appearing on a handful of TV and radio game shows as a kind of poster boy for the Air Force. One result of this series of events was that he was able to indulge his fascination with a new technology that had been developed by the Germans during WWII: magnetic recording tape. He used his prize winnings to buy a Webcor tape recorder, which in turn led to me becoming interested in recording technology at an early age (I distinctly remember being punished for playing with "Daddy's tape recorder" without permission on more than one occasion). He did not receive another overseas assignment until 1967, when he was transferred to Weisbaden, Germany. As was the usual practice at the time, he went there a month or so before the rest of the family, and during his alone time he (on a whim, apparently) went in on a Lotto ticket with a co-worker and won enough to buy an Akai X-355 stereo tape recorder from a fellow serviceman who was being transferred out and did not want to (or couldn't afford to) pay the shipping costs of the rather heavy machine.The Akai was pretty much the state of the art in home audio technology at the time. The problem was that we did not have a stereo system to hook it into, so he bought a set of Koss headphones to go with it. Of course all of his old tapes were in storage (along with the old Webcor) back in Denver, so I decided that this would be a good time to start spending my allowance money on pre-recorded reel-to-reel tapes, the first of which was Are You Experienced by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The Akai had an auto-reverse system and I would lie on the couch with the headphones on to go to sleep every night listening to songs like Manic Depression. Is it any wonder I turned out like I did?

Artist:    Moby Grape
Title:    Hey Grandma
Source:    LP: Moby Grape
Writer(s):    Miller/Stevenson
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    One of the most talked-about albums to come from the San Francisco music scene in 1967 was Moby Grape's debut album. Unfortunately a lot of that talk was from Columbia Records itself, which resulted in the band getting a reputation for being overly hyped, much to the detriment of the band's future efforts. Still, that first album did have some outstanding tracks, including Hey Grandma, which opens side one of the LP.

Artist:    Young Rascals
Title:    Nineteen Fifty-Six
Source:    Mono LP: Collections
Writer(s):    Cornish/Danelli
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1967
    Young Rascals' bassist Gene Cornish was to Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati what George Harrison was to John Lennon and Paul McCartney: the guy who got one or two songs per album to showcase his talents, both as songwriter and lead vocalist. On the 1967 Collections album one of those songs, the retro rock n' roller Nineteen Fifty-Six, was co-credited to drummer Dino Danelli (who did not sing).

Artist:    Nazz
Title:    Hello It's Me
Source:    CD: Battle Of The Bands- Vol. two (originally released on LP: Nazz and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Todd Rundgren
Label:    Era (original label: SRC)
Year:    1968
    Hello It's Me started off as the B side of the first single released by the Philadelphia-based Nazz from their debut LP in 1968. The song's A side, Open My Eyes, was not doing much of anything until a DJ at Boston's WMEX accidentally played the wrong side of the record and decided he liked Hello It's Me better than Open My Eyes. The song ended up doing well in Boston and in Canada, but did not really take off until bandleader Todd Rundgren re-recorded the tune for his Something/Anything album a few years later.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    What's Become Of The Baby
Source:    LP: Aoxomoxoa
Writer(s):    Hunter/Garcia
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1969
    Aoxomoxoa is generally considered to be the most psychedelic Grateful Dead album ever released. It was also the first album to be produced entirely by the band itself, and the most expensive as well. The main reason for its high cost was the fact that midway through recording the album the band gained access to one of the first 16-track recorders ever made, and scrapped everything they had recorded up to that point. They spent several months experimenting with the new technology, and showed a tendency to crowd as many different things as they could fit into each song on the album. This is especially noticeable on tracks like What Has Become Of The Baby, which includes sounds that nobody seems to be able to identify, thanks in large part to the participation of avant-garde keyboardist Tom Constantin, who was a member of the band from November of 1968 through January of 1970. In 1971 band members Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh remixed the entire album, removing several of those difficult-to-identify sounds from What Has Become Of The Baby. The original tapes were then misplaced, and not relocated until 2010, when they were used for the Warner Bros. Studio Albums vinyl box set. The version heard here is the original 1969 mix, issued as a standalone vinyl album in 2011.

Artist:    Janis Joplin/Full Tilt Boogie Band
Title:    Move Over (unreleased mono single version)
Source:    45 RPM box set: Move Over
Writer(s):    Janis Joplin
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1970/2011
    In 1970, while sessions for what would become Janis Joplin's last album, Pearl, were being recorded, a single pairing Joplin's own Move Over with a cover of Garnet Mimms's My Baby was prepared, but not released. Both tracks are earlier versions of songs that ended up on the Pearl LP. This version of Move Over is actually much longer than the LP version, clocking in at about four and a half minutes (the album version is 3:39), with additional vocals and an entirely different guitar solo by John Till of the Full Tilt Boogie Band.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Hideaway
Source:    Mono CD: The Complete Reprise Singles (originally released on LP: Underground and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Lowe/Tulin
Label:    Real Gone Music/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    After the moderately successful first Electric Prunes album, producer David Hassinger loosened the reins a bit for the followup, Underground. Among the original tunes on Underground was Hideaway, a song that got relegated to the B side of a novelty record called Dr. Feelgood written by Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz, who had also written the band's first hit, I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night). Personally, I think Hideaway should have been the A side.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Source:    CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Electric Prunes)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Mantz
Label:    BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    The Electric Prunes biggest hit was I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), released in late 1966 and hitting the charts in early 1967. The record, initially released without much promotion from the record label, was championed by Seattle DJ Pat O'Day of KJR radio, and was already popular in that area when it hit the national charts (thus explaining why so many people assumed the band was from Seattle). I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) has come to be one of the defining songs of the psychedelic era and was the opening track on both the original Lenny Kaye Nuggets compilation and Rhino's first Nuggets LP.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Shadows
Source:    Mono CD: The Complete Reprise Singles (originally released as 45 RPM promo single)
Writer(s):    Gordon Phillips
Label:    Real Gone Music/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Released only to radio stations, Shadows may well be the last song issued by the original lineup of the Electric Prunes. The song was recorded for a film called The Name Of The Game Is To Kill (a movie I know absolutely nothing about), and was issued in between two singles written by David Axelrod for concept albums that came out under the Electric Prunes name in 1968. Stylistically, Shadows sounds far more like the group's earlier work than the Axelrod material.

Artist:    Starfires
Title:    I Never Loved Her
Source:    Mono LP: Pebbles Vol. 8 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Freddie Fields
Label:    BFD (original label: G.I.)
Year:    1965
    The name Starfires has long been associated with rock 'n' roll, albeit with a number of different bands over the years. The name was probably first used in the late 1950s by a band from Long Beach, California, and was also the original name of the Cleveland, Ohio, band that became famous as the Outsiders. But the most revered of the various Starfires may well be the mid-60s Los Angeles garage band that released three singles before disbanding. One of these, I Never Loved Her, has long been sought after by collectors, and copies of the record have been known to sell for over a thousand dollars apiece. Luckily, the song has been included on various collections over the years, including both the LP and CD versions of Pebbles, Volume 8.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Mr. Farmer
Source:    CD: More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: A Web Of Sound)
Writer:    Sky Saxon
Label:    Rhino
Year:    1966
    With two tracks (Can't Seem To Make You Mine and Pushin' Too Hard) from their first album getting a decent amount of airplay on L.A. radio stations in 1966 the Seeds headed back to the studio to record a second LP, A Web Of Sound. The first single released from the album was Mr. Farmer, a song that once again did well locally. The only national hit for the Seeds came when Pushin' Too Hard was re-released in December of 1966, hitting its peak the following spring.

Artist:    Eric Burdon And The Animals
Title:    A Girl Named Sandoz
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/McCulloch/Jenkins
Label:    Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    The original Animals officially disbanded at the end of 1966, but before long a new group, Eric Burdon And The Animals, had arrived to take its place. Unlike the original Animals, this new band wrote nearly all their own material, with credits going to the entire membership on every song. The first single from this new band was a song called When I Was Young, a semi-autobiographical piece with lyrics by Burdon that performed decently, if not spectacularly, on the charts in both the US and the UK. It was the B side of that record, however, a tune called A Girl Named Sandoz, that truly indicated what this new band was about. Sandoz was the name of the laboratory that originally developed and manufactured LSD, and the song itself is a thinly-veiled tribute to the mind-expanding properties of the wonder drug. It would soon become apparent that whereas the original Animals were solidly rooted in American R&B (with the emphasis on the B), this new group was pure acid-rock.

Artist:    Blue Cheer
Title:    Summertime Blues
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on LP: Vincebus Eruptum)
Writer(s):    Cochrane/Capehart
Label:    Rhino (original label: Philips)
Year:    1968
    If 1967 was the summer of love, then 1968 was the summer of violence. Framed by the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, both major anti-establishment movements of the time (civil rights and anti-war) became increasing radicalized and more violent. The hippies gave way to the Yippies, LSD gave way to crystal meth, and there were riots in the streets of several US cities. Against this backdrop Blue Cheer released one of the loudest and angriest recordings ever to grace the top 40: the proto-metal arrangement of Eddie Cochrane's 1958 classic Summertime Blues. It was the perfect soundtrack song of its time.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Night Owl Blues
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Butler/Boone/Yanovsky/Sebastian
Label:    Kama Sutra/Sundazed
Year:    Recorded 1965, released 2011
    Night Owl Blues was first released on the Lovin Spoonful's first album, Do You Believe In Magic, making an encore appearance as the B side of their 1966 hit Daydream. The original recording was edited down to less than three minutes on both releases. In 2011 Sundazed issued a previously unreleased recording of the Spoonful's high energy cover of the Hollywood Argyles hit Alley Oop on 45 RPM vinyl, backed with a longer, less edited version of Night Owl Blues made from the same original 1965 recording as the earlier release. The track features some nice blues harp from John Sebastian and a rare electric guitar solo from Zal Yanovsky.

Artist:    Blood, Sweat & Tears
Title:    Overture
Source:    LP: Child Is Father To The Man
Writer(s):    Al Kooper
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    I don't have any statistical analyses to back it up, but I'd be willing to wager that the most repeated title of a work of music in the history of Western civilization is Overture. After all, nearly every opera from the 18th century on starts with an Overture, as do many other classical works such as oratorios. Even in popular music, overtures pop up from time to time. One such Overture is the opening track of the first Blood, Sweat & Tears album, Child Is Father To The Man. Like all overtures, bandleader Al Kooper's Overture contains musical phrases taken from later sections of the larger work, which in this case are the various songs that make up the album itself. Just to make sure nobody (including no doubt Kooper himself) thought that he was taking himself too seriously, maniacal laughter keeps popping up throughout the piece, and in fact is the last thing heard on the track.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Come On In
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Ultimate Turn On (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    It only cost a total of $150 for the Music Machine to record both sides of their debut single at RCA Studios in Los Angeles, thanks to the band having been performing the songs live for several months. The band then took the tapes to Original Sound, who issued Talk Talk and Come On In on their own label. It may seem odd now, but original promo copies of the record show Come On In, a song that in many ways anticipated bands like the Doors and Iron Butterfly, as the "plug side" of the record, rather than Talk Talk, which of course went on to become the Music Machine's only major hit.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Worry
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Ultimate Turn On
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Big Beat
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 2006
    Following the release of the album Turn On, The Music Machine went on the road, returning to Los Angeles for what would be their final recording sessions in March and April of 1967. By then the band, for various reasons, was on the verge of splitting up, and the second Music Machine album remained unfinished. Meanwhile, bandleader Sean Bonniwell still had gigs lined up and was on the verge of signing a new contract with Warner Brothers Records, and quickly assembled a new version of the Music Machine. The new group recorded enough material to complete the album, which was released later that year as the Bonniwell Music Machine. As it turned out, the new group had recorded more new material than was needed, and Bonniwell, naturally favoring his newest material, left a few of the original band's recordings unreleased until 2006, when Britain's Ace Records released a double-CD called The Ultimate Turn On on their garage-rock oriented Big Beat label.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Talk Talk
Source:    Mono British import CD: The UltimateTurn On (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer:    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    When it came time for Sean Bonniwell's band, the Music Machine, to go into the studio, the group decided to go for the best sound possible. This meant signing with tiny Original Sound Records, despite having offers from bigger labels, due to Original Sound having their own state-of-the-art eight-track studios. Unfortunately for the band, they soon discovered that having great equipment did not mean the people in charge of Original Sound made great decisions. One of the first, in fact, was to include a handful of cover songs on the Music Machine's first LP that were recorded for use on a local TV show. Bonniwell was livid when he found out, as he had envisioned an album made up entirely of his own compositions (although he reportedly did plan to use a slowed-down version of Hey Joe that he and Tim Rose had worked up together). From that point on it was only a matter of time until the Music Machine and Original Sound parted ways, but not until after they scored a big national hit with Talk Talk in 1966.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Brainwashed
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1970
    Starting in 1966, Ray Davies started taking satirical potshots at a variety of targets, with songs like A Well Respected Man, Dedicated Follower of Fashion and the classic tax-protest song Sunny Afternoon. This trend continued over the next few years, although few new Kinks songs were heard on US radio stations until the band released the international hit Lola in 1970. One single that got some minor airplay in the US was the song Victoria, from the album Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). The B side of that track was Brainwashed, one of the hardest rocking Kinks tunes since their early 1964 hits like You Really Got Me.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Living In The Past
Source:    CD: Stand Up (bonus track) (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol (original UK label: Island)
Year:    1969
    By the end of the 1960s most UK labels had abandoned the British tradition of not including singles on LPs. One notable exception was Island Records, who continued to issue mutually exclusive Jethro Tull albums, singles and EPs into the early 1970s. Among those non-LP tracks was the 1969 single Living In The Past, which would not be included on an LP until 1972, when the song became the title track of a double LP Jethro Tull retrospective. The song then became a hit all over again, including in the US, where the original single had not charted.

Artist:    Fugs
Title:    Medley
Source:    LP: The 1969 Warner/Reprise Songbook (originally released on LP: It Crawled Into My Hand, Honest)
Writer(s):    Sanders/Kupferberg/Weaver
Label:    Warner Bros. (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    The Fugs, formed in 1965 by a pair of New York poets and their favorite drummer, were big on sex and drugs, if not rock n' roll. After getting cheated out of their royalty money by their original label, ESP-Disk, the Fugs moved to Reprise records for a trio of albums. The most elaborate (i.e. expensive to make) of these was It Crawled Into My Hand, Honest, released in December of 1968. Warner Bros. Records included a medley of tunes taken from that album on their first Loss Leaders album, The 1969 Warner/Reprise Songbook. The tracks, all taken from side two of It Crawled Into My Hand, Honest, include: The Divine Toe (Part I), Grope Need (Part I), Tuli, Visited By The Ghost Of Plontinus, More Grope Need (Grope Need - Part II), Robinson Crusoe, The National Haiku Contest and The Divine Toe (Part II). The side of The 1969 Warner/Reprise Songbook that the Fugs tracks appear on is subtitled Not For Airplay, so of course I'm playing it. Listen at your own risk.

Artist:    Janis Ian
Title:    Janey's Blues
Source:    LP: Janis Ian
Writer(s):    Janis Ian
Label:    Polydor (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:    1967
    Following the success of her first hit single, Society's Child, singer/songwriter/poet Janis Ian released her self-titled debut LP in early 1967, follwing it up with two more albums, For All The Seasons Of Your Mind and The Secret Life Of J. Eddy Fink, over the next year or so. Although there were singles released from each of these, none of them got much chart action. Finally, in late 1968, her label decided to go back to her debut LP for her fifth single, Janey's Blues. I suspect the song's length (nearly five minutes) automatically kept many AM radio DJs from playing the song, which is a shame, as Janey's Blues is one of the undiscovered gems of the late 1960s.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Blowin' In The Wind
Source:    CD: Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    CBS
Year:    1963
    Generally acknowledged as Bob Dylan's first true classic, Blowin' In The Wind first appeared on the 1963 album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. The song was popularized the following year by Peter, Paul and Mary and soon was the single most played song around campfires from coast to coast. For all I know it still is. (Do young people still sing around campfires? Maybe they should.)
Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    The Times They Are A-Changin'
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of The Original Mono Recordings (originally released on LP: The Times They Are A-Changin')
Writer:    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1964
    If there was any single song that presaged the entire psychedelic era, it would have to be Bob Dylan's The Times They Are A-Changin', from his 1964 album of the same name. Indeed, five days after it was released the Beatles made their debut on the US charts, signalling the biggest single sea change in the history of the music industry. Dylan's lyrics foretell the social changes that would come over the next several years that would come to be known, in more ways than one, as the psychedelic era.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Like A Rolling Stone
Source:    CD: Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Highway 61 Revisited)
Writer:    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Bob Dylan incurred the wrath of folk purists when he decided to use electric instruments for his 1965 LP Highway 61 Revisited. The opening track on the album is the six-minute Like A Rolling Stone, a song that was also selected to be the first single released from the new album. After the single was pressed, the shirts at Columbia Records decided to cancel the release due to its length. An acetate copy of the record, however, made it to a local New York club, where, by audience request, the record was played over and over until it was worn out (acetate copies not being as durable as their vinyl counterparts). When Columbia started getting calls from local radio stations demanding copies of the song the next morning they decided to release the single after all. Like A Rolling Stone ended up going all the way to the number two spot on the US charts, doing quite well in several other countries as well.

Artist:     Blues Project
Title:     Fly Away
Source:     LP:Tommy Flanders, Danny Kalb, Steve Katz, Al Kooper, Andy Kuhlberg, Roy Blumenfeld Of The Blues Project (originally released on LP: Projections)
Writer:     Al Kooper
Label:     Verve Forecast
Year:     1966
     Al Kooper was a guitarist with some talent (but no professional experience) on keyboards who was already sufficiently connected enough to be allowed in the studio when Bob Dylan was recording his Highway 61 Revisited album. Not content to be merely a spectator (Mike Bloomfield was already there as a guitarist), Kooper noticed that there was an organ in the studio and immediately sat down and started playing on the sessions. Dylan was impressed enough with Kooper's playing to not only include him on the album, but to invite him to perform with him at the upcoming Newport Jazz Festival as well. The gig became probably Dylan's most notorious moment in his career, as several folk purists voiced their displeasure with Dylan's use of electric instruments. Some of them even stormed the stage, knocking over Kooper's keyboards in the process. After the gig Kooper became an in-demand studio musician. It was in this capacity (brought in to play piano by producer Tom Wilson) that he first met Danny Kalb, Andy Kuhlberg, Tommy Flanders, Roy Blumenthal and Steve Katz, who had recently formed the Blues Project and were auditioning for Columbia Records at their New York studios. Kooper had been looking for an opportunity to improve his skills on the keyboards (most of his gigs as a studio musician were for producers hoping to cash in on the "Dylan sound", which he found limiting), and soon joined the band as their full-time keyboardist. In addition to his instrumental contributions to the band, he provided some of their best original material as well. One such tune is Fly Away, from the Projections album, generally considered to be the apex of the Blues Project's recording career).
Artist:    Hollies
Title:    I Can't Let Go
Source:    LP: The Very Best Of The Hollies (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Taylor/Gorgoni
Label:    United Artists (original label: Imperial)
Year:    1966
    Of all the early Hollies hits, it is the 1966 hit I Can't Let Go that most showcases the voice of Graham Nash, singing a high counterpoint that Paul McCartney reportedly mistook for a trumpet part the first time he heard the song.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Cat's Squirrel
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. S. Splurge
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    One of the few instrumentals in the Cream repertoire, Cat's Squirrel was something of a blues standard whose origins are lost in antiquity. Unlike the 1968 Jethro Tull version, which emphasises Mick Abrahams's guitar work, Cream's Cat's Squirrel is heavy on the harmonica, played by bassist Jack Bruce.

Artist:    Beacon Street Union
Title:    Blue Avenue
Source:    LP: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union
Writer(s):    Wayne Ulaky
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    One of Boston's most popular bands, the Beacon Street Union, had already migrated to New York City by the time their first album, The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union (produced by the legendary Tom Wilson), made its debut in February of 1968. The band itself was made up of Boston University dropouts John Lincoln Wright (lead vocals), Paul Tartachny (guitar, vocals), Robert Rhodes (keyboards, brass), Richard Weisberg (drums), and Wayne Ulaky (bass). Ulaky wrote what was probably the band's best-known song, Blue Avenue. The tune was particular popular in the UK, where it was often heard on John Peel's Top Gear program. The Beacon Street Union, however, fell victim to hype; in this case the ill-advised attempt on the part of M-G-M records to market several disparate bands as being part of the "Boss-Town Sound". After a second LP, The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens (produced by future Partridge Family impressario Wes Farrell) failed to equal the somewhat limited success of their debut LP, the Beacon Street Union decided to call it quits, with Wright going on to have a moderately successful career as a country singer.

Artist:    Max Frost And The Troopers
Title:    Shape Of Things To Come
Source:    CD: Shape Of Things To Come (originally released on LP: Wild In The Streets soundtrack)
Writer(s):    Mann/Weil
Label:    Captain High (original label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    Max Frost was a politically savvy rock star who rode the youth movement all the way to the White House, first through getting the support of a hip young Senator, then getting the age requirements for holding high political office lowered to 21, and finally lowering the voting age to 14. Everyone over 30 was locked away in internment camps, similar to those used during WWII by various governments to hold those of questionable loyalty to the current regime. What? You don't remember any of that? You say it sounds like the plot of a cheapie late 60s teen exploitation flick? Right on all counts except for the "cheapie" part. Wild in the Streets starred Christopher Jones as the rock star, Hal Holbrook as the hip young senator, and a Poseidon Adventure-sized Shelly Winter as the rock star's interred mom. Richard Pryor, in his film debut, played the band's drummer/political activist Stanley X. The most prominent song from the film was Shape Of Things To Come, writen by the Brill Building husband and wife team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who had written several hit songs over the years, including Kicks and Hungry for Paul Revere And The Raiders. Shape Of Things To Come ended up being a hit as well, leading to an entire album being released by the fictional Max Frost And The Troopers. Although who the musicians who actually played on the song is not known for sure, most people who know anything about it believe it to be the work of the 13th Power, who had recently signed with Tower Records, the label that issued both the movie soundtrack album and the Shape Of Things To Come LP.

Artist:    Secrets
Title:    Claudette Jones
Source:    Australian import CD: Tol-Puddle Martyrs
Writer(s):    Rechter/Clancy
Label:    Secret Deals
Year:    1968
    I don't know a whole lot about the Australian band known as the Secrets other than the fact that Peter Rechter was a member, and that he included two Secrets songs, including Claudette Jones on his Tol-Puddle Martyrs compilation disc in the early 2000s. Anyone?

Artist:    Al Kooper/Stephen Stills/Harvey Brooks/Eddie Hoh
Title:    Harvey's Tune
Source:    CD: Super Session
Writer(s):    Harvey Brooks
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1968
    Probably the most overlooked track on the classic Super Session LP is the album's closer, a two-minute instrumental called Harvey's Tune. The piece was written by bassist Harvey Brooks, who, along with Mike Bloomfield, had been a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and later, the Electric Flag. Although Stephen Stills is credited as guitarist on the track, I don't actually hear any guitar on Harvey's Tune, even with headphones on.

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