Sunday, November 27, 2022

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2248 (starts 11/28/22)

    In the early 1960s LPs by American pop artists (the term rock 'n' roll having temporarily fallen out of favor) were collections of unrelated songs, featuring or two hit singles by the artist supplemented by their corresponding B sides. The rest of the songs on the album were usually covers of tunes made famous by other artists who may not have been popular enough to warrant an entire album of their own. With the advent of the British Invasion, that began to change, but it was a slow transition even for bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Still, by the late 1960s LPs had taken on a new role as an opportunity for artists to go beyond the three-minute limit imposed on them by the requirements of top 40 radio. By 1966 longer tracks had begun to appear on albums; in a few cases those tracks could take up an entire side of an LP. This week we present not one, but two of these album sides; one was recorded in a single take, while the other was painstakingly assembled from hours of live and studio recordings over a period of about 8 months. Also on this week's show: a set of cover songs performed by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, including two tunes recorded live before the band even made their first visit to a recording studio. And, as always, an assortment of singles, B sides and album tracks from the psychedelic era.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Summer In The City
Source:    LP: Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful
Writer(s):    Sebastian/Sebastian/Boone
Label:    Sundazed/Kama Sutra
Year:    1966
    The Lovin' Spoonful changed gears completely for what would become their biggest hit of 1966: Summer In The City. Inspired by a poem by John Sebastian's brother, the song was recorded for the album Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful. That album was an attempt by the band to deliberately record in a variety of styles; in the case of Summer In The City, it was a rare foray into psychedelic rock for the band. Not coincidentally, Summer In The City is also my favorite Lovin' Spoonful song.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Pow R. Toc H.
Source:    CD: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
Writer(s):    Barrett/Waters/Wright/Mason
Label:    Capitol (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    British psychedelic music was always more avant-garde than its US counterpart, and Pink Floyd was at the forefront of  the British psychedelic scene. Pow R. Toc H., one of the few tracks on their first LP that was written by the entire group (most of The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn was written by Syd Barrett), was a hint of things to come. Some of the effects heard at the beginning or Pow R. Toc H. were "borrowed" from the Beatles, who were using them in the song Lovely Rita on the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was being recorded at EMI Studios (now known as Abbey Road Studios) at the same time as The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn.

Artist:    Salvation
Title:    Think Twice
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Salvation)
Writer(s):    Joe Tate
Label:    Rhino (original label: ABC)
Year:    1968
    If there is any one band that typifies the San Francisco music scene of 1968 it would have to be Salvation. Originally known as the Salvation Army Banned, the group came to the attention of ABC Records after a series of successful gigs at Golden Gate Park. The band was often seen cruising the streets of San Francisco in a converted bus and often found themselves sharing the playbill with acts like Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane and the Doors. After recording their debut LP, Salvation, the group did a coast to coast promotional tour "from the Golden Gate to the Village Gate", only to find themselves stranded on the east coast when their management team absconded with the band's advance money. The band's fate was sealed when they, to quote keyboardist Art Resnick, "acted so incredibly wild at the main offices of ABC In in NYC when going there to meet all the top execs. It was totally insane! Wilder than any rock movie I've ever seen."

Artist:    Misunderstood
Title:    I Unseen
Source:    British import CD: Before The Dream Faded (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Nazim Hikmet
Label:    Cherry Red (original label: Fontana)
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1969
    The Misunderstood were quite possibly Southern California's first true psychedelic band, having been formed in 1963 as a garage band in Riverside. Their move into psychedelia came with the addition of Glenn Ross Campbell on steel guitar in 1965. They soon came to the attention of local DJ John Ravenscroft, an expatriot Britisher who would eventually return to London and become a legend of British radio using the name John Peel. Ravenscroft became a kind of mentor to the band, helping them to get gigs and time at Hollywood's Gold Star studios, where they cut an acetate that remained unreleased for many years. In June of 1966 Ravenscroft suggested the band relocate to London, where their unique sound stood a greater chance of being accepted than in the relatively conservative Riverside area. Not long after their arrival co-founder Greg Treadway was forced to return to the US to serve in the military; his replacement was Britisher Tony Shields. They soon got a deal with Fontana Records and recorded half a dozen songs that summer, releasing their debut single for the label in December of 1966. Shortly after the release of that record lead vocalist Rick Brown became the band's second victim of the Draft, while the remaining members experienced problems with their work visas, and the Misunderstood were no more. In 1969 Fontana released a second single by the band, taken from the summer 1966 sessions; I Unseen was the B side of that single.
Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Killing Floor
Source:    CD: The Jimi Hendrix Experience (box set)
Writer(s):    Chester Burnett
Label:    MCA
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2000
    The Jimi Hendrix Experience had only been together a few weeks when they were invited to be the opening act for singer Johnny Halliday for a four-day tour of France. On October 18, 1966, the fourth and final show, the band was recorded live for the first time, performing a setlist that was made up mostly of cover songs that the trio had worked up over the past three weeks. The opening number was Howlin' Wolf's Killing Floor, which the band performed at a frantic pace. The group used the same song as an opener for their US debut at the Monterey International Pop Festival a few months later.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    CD: The Jimi Hendrix Experience (box set)
Writer(s):    Billy Roberets
Label:    MCA
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2000
    Although they had not yet set foot in a recording studio, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and their manager, Chas Chandler, had already decided to issue the song Hey Joe (using an arrangement based on that of Tim Rose, whom Hendrix had seen performing the song in New York's Greenwich Village) as the band's first single. As such it was given a prominent place in the band's fourth-ever public performance, a fifteen minute long set at Paris's L'Olympia (Olympia Hall) on October 18, 1966.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Come On (part one)
Source:    LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer(s):    Earl King
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    Despite being rated by many as the greatest rock guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix's roots were in the blues. One of his most performed songs was Red House (a track that was left off the US release of Are You Experienced), and the Experience's debut US performance at Monterey featured amped-up versions of B.B. King's Rock Me Baby and Howlin' Wolf's Killing Floor. For his 1968 Electric Ladyland album Hendrix chose a relatively obscure tune from Earl King, originally recorded in 1962. Come On (Pt. 1) was one of only two cover songs on Electric Ladyland (the other being Bob Dylan's All Along the Watchtower).

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Come Together
Source:    LP: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:    1969
    After the Beatles released their 1968 double LP (the so-called White Album), they went to work on their final film project, a documentary about the band making an album. Unfortunately, what the cameras captured was a group on the verge of disintegration, and both the album and the film itself were shelved indefinitely. Instead, the band went to work recording an entirely new group of compositions. Somehow, despite the internal difficulties the band was going through, they managed to turn out a masterpiece: Abbey Road. Before the album itself came out, a single was released. The official A side was George Harrison's Something, the first Harrison song ever to be released as a Beatles A side. The other side was the song that opened the album itself, John Lennon's Come Together. In later years Come Together came to be Lennon's signature song and was a staple of his live performances.
Artist:    Corporation
Title:    India
Source:    German import CD: The Corporation
Writer:    John Coltrane
Label:    Repertoire (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1969
    Several years back I received an e-mail from a listener who works at WITT-FM near Indianapolis, which has been broadcasting Stuck In The Psychedelic Era since 2010. He mentioned a band he had heard in Chicago in the late 60s called the Corporation, adding that he had recently found a copy of their only album for Capitol on CD. He offered to make me a copy, but, as I am somewhat of a stickler for using legitimate sources for everything I play (i.e. no MP3s or burned copies), I decided to head over to my local music store (the now-defunct Area Records in Geneva, NY) to order my own copy of the CD instead. The track he mentioned in particular was called India, notable for taking up an entire side of the album. I've since learned that they track was also quite popular in discoteques, particularly those in Germany. The song itself was written by jazz legend John Coltrane, and as far as I know has never been attempted by any other rock band.

Artist:    Johnny Winter
Title:    The Good Love
Source:    LP: Second Winter
Writer(s):    Dennis Collins
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    The first thing you should know about Johnny Winter's 1969 album Second Winter is the fact that it was actually his THIRD album. It was, however, his second one recorded for a major label, as his debut LP, The Progressive Blues Experiment, had originally appeared on the local Texas label Sonobeat (although it was picked up for national release by Imperial a few months after its initial late 1968 appearance). The second notable thing about Second Winter is that the album only had three LP sides, with the fourth side being a blank disc with no grooves. The reason the band did this was that they had recorded more material for the album than they could fit on a standard LP without sacrificing sound quality, but did not want to leave any of the material unreleased. As was the case with both Winter's earlier albums, most of the material on the first two sides of Second Winter were cover songs, including The Good Love, written by Dennis "Crash" Collins.

Artist:    Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Title:    Prelude-Nightmare/Fire Poem/Fire
Source:    British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown)
Writer(s):    Brown/Crane/Finesilver/Ker
Label:    Polydor (original US label: Atlantic)
Year:    1968
    The Crazy World of Arthur Brown was unusual for their time in that they were much more theatrical than most of their contemporaries, who were generally more into audio experimentation than visual. I have a video of Fire being performed (or maybe just lip-synched). In it, all the members are wearing some sort of mask, and Brown himself is wearing special headgear that was literally on fire. There is no doubt that The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown sowed the seeds of what was to become the glitter-rock movement in the early to mid 70s. This week we have the uncut stereo version of Fire along with Prelude-Nightmare and Fire Poem that precede it on the original album.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Alligator/Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)
Source:    LP: Anthem Of The Sun
Writer(s):    Lesh/McKernan/Hunter/Garcia/Kreutzmann/Weir
Label:    Warner Brothers/Rhino
Year:    1968/2011
    After a debut album that took about a week to record (and that the band was unhappy with) the Grateful Dead took their time on their second effort, Anthem Of The Sun. After spending a considerable amount of time in three different studios on two coasts and not getting the sound they wanted (and shedding their original producer along the way) the Dead came to the conclusion that the only way to make an album that sounded anywhere near what the band sounded like onstage was to use actual recordings of their performances and combine them with the studio tracks they had been working on. Side two of the album, which includes the classic Alligator and the more experimental Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks), is basically an enhanced live performance, with new vocal tracks added in the studio. Alligator itself is notable as the first Grateful Dead composition to feature the lyrics of Robert Hunter, who would become Jerry Garcia's main collaborator for many many years. Anthem Of The Sun was remixed by Phil Lesh in 1972, and the new mix was used on all subsequent pressings of the LP until 2011, when a limited edition 180g pressing of the album used the original mix.

Artist:    Great!! Society!!
Title:    Free Advice
Source:    Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Darby Slick
Label:    Rhino (original label: North Beach)
Year:    1966
    One of the most legendary of San Francisco bands was the Great!! Society!!, which featured a young model named Grace Slick on backup vocals. The group was never really much more than a garage band, and after recording an album's worth of material disbanded when Grace Slick left to replace Signe Anderson in Jefferson Airplane. Although the album was not issued until long after the band had split up (and even then was regarded more for its historical significance than for any musical value it might have), a pair of the recordings were issued as a single in 1966. Free Advice, a song written by Grace Slick's brother-in-law Darby and featuring guitarist David Miner on lead vocals, was the B side of that single.

Artist:      13th Floor Elevators
Title:     Roller Coaster
Source:      CD:The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators
Writer(s):    Hall/Erickson
Label:    Collectables (original label: International Artists)
Year:     1966
     A favorite trick of dance club bands in the late 60s was to start a song off slow, then slowly build up to a frenzy, all the while sneaking looks at the teenage girls gyrating on the dance floor. As most of the band members were still in their teens themselves, this isn't as creepy as it sounds. A good example of this type of song is Roller Coaster, a tune that Austin's 13th Floor Elevators included on their first LP.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Pledging My Time
Source:    Mono LP: Blonde On Blonde
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia/Sundazed
Year:    1966
    The second track from Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde album was Pledging My Time, a blues tune that features Robbie Robertson (who had been touring with Dylan) on guitar. The song was one of three tracks recorded in four takes in Nashville on March 8th of 1966. The song was also used as the B side of the album's first single, but was faded out about two-thirds of the way through.

Artist:    Little Boy Blues
Title:    The Great Train Robbery
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of Dunwich Records (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jordan Miller
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Ronko)
Year:    1966
    When Bob Dylan went electric in 1965 it not only shocked the folk music community, it transformed the world of rock music as well. Suddenly it was OK to write a rock song about something other than relationships with the other sex, and the Little Boy Blues, from Skokie, Illinois, rose to the occasion with The Great Train Robbery. Released in late 1966, the song describes an event from recent history (an actual train robbery near London in 1963), as told by one of the ringleaders of the gang that perpetrated the robbery itself. The last verse of the song, which was issued on the tiny Ronko label, expresses the regret of the narrator, who is now doing 30 years in prison. The Little Boy Blues, consisting of Ray Levin (bass), Paul Ostroff (lead guitar), Jim Boyce (drums), and a series of rhythm guitarists, released half a dozen records on three different labels from 1965 to 1968.

Artist:    Love
Title:    Alone Again Or
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Bryan MacLean
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    The only song Love ever released as a single that was not written by Arthur Lee was Alone Again Or, issued in 1970. The song had originally appeared as the opening track from the Forever Changes album three years earlier. Bryan McLean would later say that he was not happy with the recording due to his own vocal being buried beneath that of Lee, since Lee's part was meant to be a harmony line to McLean's melody. McLean would later re-record the song for a solo album, but reportedly was not satisfied with that version either.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    The Girl With No Name
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    Chris Hillman
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1967
    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:    Monkees
Title:    The Girl I Knew Somewhere (single version)
Source:    Mono Australian import 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Michael Nesmith
Label:    RCA
Year:    1967
    Although both Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork had participated in a few of the studio sessions for what became the first two Monkees albums (with Nesmith producing), the Monkees did not record as an actual band until January 16, 1967, when they taped the first version of Nesmith's The Girl I Knew Somewhere. Nesmith himself handled the lead vocals and guitar work, while Tork, the most accomplished musician in the group, played harpsichord. Mickey Dolenz played drums and Davy Jones added the tambourine part. The song was released less than two weeks after the same lineup re-recorded the song with Dolenz on lead vocals as the B side to A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You. Both sides made the top 40 in the spring of 1967.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Please Go Home
Source:    CD: Flowers
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    It was common practice in the 1960s for American record labels to change the track lineup on British albums before releasing them in the US. There were several reasons for this, including the fact that British albums generally had longer running times than American ones, and seldom included tracks that had been issued as singles. Since albums in the US almost always did include hit singles (to help spur album sales), this meant that several songs from the original UK versions of LPs did not appear on the US version. In many cases those tracks, combined with other unreleased songs such as those that had appeared on EPs (a format not supported by American record buyers) would eventually appear on albums that were only released in the US. One such album was the Rolling Stones' Flowers LP, which appeared in 1967 a few months after the release of Between The Buttons. One of the tracks on Flowers that had appeared on the British version of Between The Buttons was Please Go Home, a Bo Diddly styled rocker with a few psychedelic touches added. The track also features an oscillator, played (operated?) by Brian Jones.


Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2248 (starts 11/28/22)

    The first half of this week's show focuses on the year 1970, with classic tracks from David Bowie, Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Guess Who, among others. From there we move to 1974 and work our way backwards in time, one year at a time, finally arriving in 1969.

Artist:    War
Title:    Why Can't We Be Friends
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    War/Goldstein
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1975
    One of the most popular songs of 1975, War's Why Can't We Be Friends, from the album of the same title, repeats the title line over forty times in under less than four minutes. The song even made it into outer space that summer, when NASA beamed it up to the world's first international space mission, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, in July. These days, unfortunately, the answer to the song's question is too clear.

Artist:     Guess Who
Title:     American Woman
Source:     CD: American Woman
Writer:     Bachman/Cummings/Peterson/Kale
Label:     Buddha/BMG (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:     1970
     From 1968-1970 I was living on Ramstein AFB, which was and is a huge base in Germany with enough Canadian personnel stationed there to justify their own on-base school. For much of the time I lived there I found myself hanging out with a bunch of Canadian kids and I gotta tell you, they absolutely loved everything by the Guess Who, who were, after all, the most successful Canadian rock band in history. In particular, they all loved the band's most political (and controversial) hit, the 1970 tune American Woman. I rather liked it myself, and immediately went out and bought a copy of the album, one of the first to be pressed on RCA's Dynaflex [shudder] vinyl.
Artist:    American Dream
Title:    Big Brother/The Other Side
Source:    LP: The American Dream
Writer(s):    Jameson/Van Winkle
Label:    Ampex
Year:    1970
    In 1970 Albert Grossman, best known for being the manager of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and others, decided to form his own record label, Bearsville Records. One of his first acts was to sign ex Nazz bandleader Todd Rundgren as a producer and engineer for the new label. The first album released by Bearsville was the debut album of a Philadelphia band called the American Dream, featuring guitarists Nick Jameson, Don Van Winkle and Nicky Indelicato, bassist Don Ferris and drummer Mickey Brook. Being from Philadelphia himself, Rundgren was the natural choice to produce the album, which actually came out on the Ampex label (as did a handful of other early Bearsville releases). Jameson, who wrote Big Brother, and Van Winkle, who wrote The Other Side, were the principle songwriters of the band, which broke up shortly after the album was released. Jameson is best known for his ability to accurately portray a wide variety of non-American accents, and has amassed a lengthy resume in movies and television, including a three-year stint on the hit show 24 as Russian president Yuri Suvarov.

Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    Fresh Air
Source:    CD: Just For Love
Writer(s):    Jesse Oris Farrow (Dino Valenti)
Label:    BGO (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1970
    Although Dino Valenti helped form Quicksilver Messenger Service, he found himself a guest of the California Criminal Justice System literally the day after the band was conceived. In fact, Valenti was not on the scene at all when the original lineup of the band made their official debut. It was only after the group had recorded three moderately successful LPs for Capitol that Valenti, now released from prison, rejoined the band he had never actually been a member of. His presence, however, was immediately felt. Quicksilver's fourth LP was a complete departure from the improvisational jams of the band's first two efforts. In fact, all but one of the songs on Just For Love were written by Valenti (although most were under the pseudonym Jesse Oris Farrow). Valenti also took over the lead vocals for the album on songs like Fresh Air, which was also released as a single and was the nearest thing to a top 40 hit (hitting the # 49 spot) that Quicksilver Messenger Service would ever have. Just For Love is also notable for the fact that the band included prolific session pianist Nicky Hopkins as a full member.

Artist:    Focus
Title:    House Of The King
Source:    45 RPM single (promo)
Writer(s):    Jan Akkerman
Label:    Sire
Year:    1970
    Dutch band Focus released House of the King as a single in 1970, between their first and second albums. After getting considerable airplay in Europe and the UK, the song was added to later pressings of their debut LP, Focus Plays Focus (also known as In And Out Of Focus). The song finally appeared on a US LP when Focus 3 was released three years later. Contrary to common belief, the song was not re-recorded for the 1973 album.

Artist:    David Bowie
Title:    All The Madmen
Source:    CD: The Man Who Sold The World
Writer(s):    David Bowie
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1970
    Although most critics agree that the so-called "glitter era" of rock music originated with David Bowie's 1972 LP The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, a significant minority argue that it really began with Bowie's third album, The Man Who Sold The World, released in 1970 in the US and in 1971 in the UK. They point out that World was the first Bowie real rock album (the previous two being much more folk oriented), and cite songs such as All The Madmen, as well as the album's title cut, as the prototype for Spiders From Mars. All The Madmen itself is one of several songs on the album that deal with the subject of insanity, taking the view that an insane asylum may in fact be the sanest place to be in modern times. Whenever I hear the song I think of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Preservation
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single (promo)
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1974
    The Kinks' Preservation was a song that served as a summation of the band's 1974 concept album, Preservation-Act 1. Oddly enough, the song itself was not included on either that album or its followup, Preservation-Act 2, instead being released as a non-album single in 1974. There were two versions of the song, the longer of which is heard here. My copy is a bit on the scratchy side, but given the fact that the single failed to chart, I consider myself lucky to have a copy of it at all.

Artist:    Three Man Army
Title:    Let's Go Get Laid
Source:    German import CD: 3
Writer(s):    Adrian Gurvitz
Label:    Revisited Rec.
Year:    Recorded 1974, released 2004 (dates approximate)
    The Gurvitz brothers, Adrian and Paul, got their first taste of international fame as two thirds of the band Gun, whose Race With The Devil was a monster hit in Germany and the UK, among other places. Following the breakup of Gun, the brothers went their separate ways for a year or so, reuniting in 1971 to form Three Man Army. The first album featured three different drummers, but the next two featured the talents of Tony Newman, formerly of the Jeff Beck Group. Plans for a fourth album were shelved when Newman left the group, to be replaced by Ginger Baker (prompting a name change to Baker-Gurvitz Army), but not until several tracks had already been recorded. Those tracks remained unreleased until 2004, when a German label released 3 (so named because it was the third album to feature Newman). Probably the best track on the album is Let's Go Get Laid. I'll leave it to you to figure out what the song is about.

Artist:    Cheech And Chong
Title:    Ralph And Herbie
Source:    LP: Big Bambu
Writer(s):    Marin/Chong
Label:    Ode
Year:    1972
    Conventional wisdom dictates that if you want to project a family-oriented image, use kids and dogs as props. Cheech and Chong turned that truism on its ear with Ralph And Herbie, a track from their second LP, Big Bambu, that includes such canine behavior as humping, chasing cars and "pinching a loaf".

Artist:    John Baldry
Title:    Let's Burn Down The Cornfield
Source:    LP: It Ain't Easy
Writer(s):    Randy Newman
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    Long John Baldry (so-called because of his 6'7" height) was one of the first Britishers to sing the blues professionally in various London venues, first as a member of Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated and later fronting several bands of his own, including Steampacket (with co-lead vocalists Rod Stewart, Julie Driscoll and keyboardist Brian Auger) and Bluesology, with guitarist Caleb Quaye, saxophonist Elton Dean and keyboardist Reg Dwight (who used Dean and Baldry's first names for his own stage name when he took over the band). Baldry had a British #1 hit in 1967 with a song called Let The Heartaches Begin, but the other members of Bluesology refused to play the song live, forcing Baldry to play the backing tracks from a tape recorder onstage. His most successful solo album was It Ain't Easy, released in 1971. One side of the LP was produced by Stewart, while the second side was produced by the aforementioned Reg Dwight, now known as Elton John. Former bandmate Caleb Quaye played guitar on Randy Newman's Let's Burn Down The Cornfield, the opening track on the John-produced side of the LP.

Artist:    Bloodrock
Title:    Dier Not A Lover
Source:    CD: Bloodrock 2
Writer(s):    Pickens/Gummett/Hill)
Label:    One Way (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1970
    Although lighter in tone lyrically than their first album (DOA excepted), Bloodrock's second LP, released in October of 1970, continued in the Ft. Worth, Texas band's hard rocking direction established on their debut earlier the same year. According to one review, Bloodrock 2 includes a couple songs with socially conscious lyrics, one of which is Dier Not A Lover (and yes, I looked it up and dier is a real word). Let's be honest here, though; with a band like Bloodrock, is anyone really paying attention to the lyrics anyway (again, DOA excepted)?

Artist:    Yes
Title:    Looking Around
Source:    CD: Yesterdays (originally released on LP: Yes)
Writer(s):    Anderson/Squire
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    Comparing the British and American discographies of the band Yes, you'd almost think you were looking at two different groups altogether. The first A sides are the same, but from there they go in entirely different directions. For instance, Yes's biggest American hit, Roundabout, was never released in the UK as a single. Nor was their cover of Paul Simon's America. On the other hand Looking Around, the second single taken from their debut LP, was not issued in the US.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2247 (starts 11/21/22)

    This week we have an Advanced Psych set made up entirely of tracks never played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era before, as well as artists' sets from the Beatles and the Monkees. Also on tap: multiple sets from 1966 and 1968 and a couple regressions through the years.

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

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Pet Sounds
Source:    CD: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Brian Wilson
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    Originally titled Run James Run, Brian Wilson's instrumental Pet Sounds was intended for a James Bond film, but instead ended up as the title track of the Beach Boys' most celebrated album (although it actually appears close to the end of the album itself). The track somewhat resembles a 60s update of the Tiki room recordings made by Martin Denny in the 1950s, with heavily reverberated bongos and guiro featured prominently over a latin beat. Although credited to the Beach Boys, only Brian Wilson appears on the track (on piano), with the remainder of the instruments played by various Los Angeles studio musicians collectively known as the Wrecking Crew.

Artist:    Love
Title:    She Comes In Colors
Source:    CD: Da Capo (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1966
    Arthur Lee's transition from angry punk (on songs like 7&7 Is and My Little Red Book) to a softer, more introspective kind of singer/songwriter was evident on Love's second LP, Da Capo. Although there were still some hard rockers, such as Stephanie Knows Who, the album also includes songs like She Comes In Colors, which was released ahead of the album as the band's third single in late 1966. The song was one of Lee's first to inspire critics to draw comparisons between Lee's vocal style and that of Johnny Mathis. Lee may indeed have been, as many assert, a musical genius, but his reference to "England town" shows his knowledge of geography to be somewhat lacking.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Think
Source:    CD: Aftermath
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original US label: London)
Year:    1966
    The 1966 album Aftermath marked a turning point for the Rolling Stones, as it was the first Stones album to be entirely made up of songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Although, as with all the early Stones releases, there were differences between the US and UK versions of the album, both releases included Think, a song that is fairly representative of the mid-60s Rolling Stones sound.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    P.O. Box 9847
Source:    LP: The Birds, The Bees, And The Monkees
Writer:    Boyce/Hart
Label:    Colgems
Year:    1968
    After four consecutive number one albums, the Monkees streak was broken in 1968 with the Birds, The Bees, And The Monkees, which still managed to peak in the number three spot. The album included two hit singles, Daydream Believer and Valleri, as well as several tracks that had appeared on the Monkees TV show, which had ceased production (at the request of the Monkees themselves) at the end of its second season. One of the tunes on that album came from the same writing team of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart that had provided the bulk of the group's material for their first two albums, including their first hit, Last Train To Clarksville (in fact, as originally conceived, the Monkees would have had Boyce and Hart as its Lennon and McCartney analogs). As it turns out, P.O. Box 9847 is one of the Monkee's most psychedelic songs.
Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Porpoise Song
Source:    CD: The Monkees Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: Head soundtrack)
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1968
    In 1968 the Monkees, trying desperately to shed a teeny-bopper image, enlisted Jack Nicholson to co-write a feature film that was a 180-degree departure from their recently-cancelled TV show. This made sense, since the original fans of the show were by then already outgrowing the group. Unfortunately, by 1968 the Monkees brand was irrevocably tainted by the fact that the Monkees had not been allowed to play their own instruments on their first two albums. The movie Head itself was the type of film that was best suited to being shown in theaters that specialized in "art" films, but that audience was among the most hostile to the Monkees and the movie bombed. It is now considered a cult classic.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Zor And Zam
Source:    LP: The Birds, The Bees And The Monkees
Writer(s):    B. Chadwick/J. Chadwick
Label:    Colgems
Year:    1968
    By mid-1968 the Monkees were already beginning to fade, although they still had enough star power that their fifth LP, The Birds, The Bees And The Monkees, made it to the #3 spot on the Billboard album charts. Still, it was the first album by the band not to go all the way to the top of the charts, being released shortly after the cancellation of the Monkees TV show. Most of the songs on The Birds, The Bees And The Monkees were produced by the individual band members (except PeterTork, who had almost nothing to do with the making of the album itself and would leave the band by the end of the year). Among the Mickey Dolenz tracks is a strange little tune called Zor And Zam, about two kings who prepare to wage a war, only to find a lack of participants among their own people. The song, written by Bill and John Chadwick, was featured in the final episode of the Monkees TV series.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    We've Got A Groovey Thing Goin'
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM B side and included on LP: Sounds Of Silence)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    In late 1965, a New York based Columbia Records staff producer, Tom Wilson, decided to perform an experiment. He had just put the finishing touches on Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited album, and was high on the potential of integrating electric rock instruments into folk music. Around this same time, The Sound Of Silence, a song by the folk duo Simon & Garfunkel that Wilson had produced the previous year, had begun to get airplay on radio stations in Boston and throughout the state of Florida. Without the knowledge of the duo (who had by then split up) Wilson remixed the song, adding electric guitar, bass and drums, essentially creating a whole new version of the song and, for that matter, a whole new genre: folk-rock. The new electric version of The Sound of Silence, backed by We've Got a Groovey Thing Goin', was released in September of 1965, and it soon became obvious that it was going to be a hit. The only problem was that by the time all this happened, Simon and Garfunkel had gone their separate ways, briefly reuniting in April of 1965 to record We've Got a Groovey Thing Going, but not releasing it at the time. Simon had relocated to London and recorded a UK-only LP called the Paul Simon Songbook in June of 1965, releasing it two months later. By mid-November The Sound Of Silence was the #1 song in Boston, and had entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Simon returned to the states, got back together with Art Garfunkel and, on December 13, 1965 began recording tracks for a new album. On January 1, 1966 The Sound Of Silence hit the #1 spot on the Hot 100. Two weeks later the LP Sounds Of Silence, which included a new stereo mix of We've Got A Groovey Thing Going made from the original 4-track master tape, was released. By the way, this song is the only instance I know of of the word "groovy" being spelled "groovey".

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    Psychedelic Trip
Source:    Mono CD: No Way Out (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Loomis/Flores/Tolby/Aguilar/Andrijasevich
Label:    Sundazed
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1994
    Psychedelic Trip is essentially an early instrumental version of what would eventually become the title track for the No Way Out album. Although Psychedelic Trip is credited to the entire band, producer/manager Ed Cobb (the Ed Wood of psychedelic music) took sole credit for the song No Way Out.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    I Happen To Love You
Source:    CD: Underground
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Arguably the most commercial-sounding cut on the second Electric Prunes album, Underground, I Happen To Love You was inexplicably passed over as a potential single in favor of the bizarre Dr. Do-Good, which did nothing on the charts, and did more harm than good to the band's reputation. Written by the highly successful songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King, I Happen To Love You may not have fit the psychedelic image that the band's promotional team was looking to push, but probably would have gotten a decent amount of airplay on top 40 radio.

Artist:     Beatles
Title:     In My Life
Source:     CD: Rubber Soul
Writer:     Lennon/McCartney
Label:     Parlophone
Year:     1965
    Rubber Soul was the first Beatles album to be made up entirely of songs written by the band members themselves, with most of them penned by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Lennon's contributions in particular were starting to move away from the typical "young love" songs the band had become famous for. One of the best examples is In My Life, which is a nostalgic look back at Lennon's own past (although put in such a way that it could be universally applied). Despite never being released as a single, In My Life remains one of the most popular songs in the Beatles catalog.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Flying
Source:    CD: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starr
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1967
    1967 was an odd year for the Beatles. They started it with one of their most successful double-sided singles, Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane, and followed it up with the iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. From there, they embarked on a new film project. Unlike their previous movies, the Magical Mystery Tour was not made to be shown in theaters; rather, the film was aired as a television special shown exclusively in the UK. The airing of the film, in December of 1967, coincided with the release (again only in the UK and Europe) of a two-disc extended play 45 RPM set featuring the six songs from the special. As EPs were at that time considered a non-starter in the US, Capitol Records decided to release Magical Mystery Tour as a full-length album instead, with the songs from the telefilm on one side of the LP and all of the single sides they had released that year on the other. Among the songs from the film itself is Flying, an instrumental track that, unusually, was credited to the entire band.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Girl
Source:    CD: Rubber Soul
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1965
    Some people think Girl is one of those John Lennon drug songs. I see it as one of those John Lennon observing what's really going on beneath the civilized veneer of western society songs myself. Your choice.

Artist:    Standells
Title:    Why Did You Hurt Me
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer:    Dodd/Valentine
Label:    Tower
Year:    1966
    Why Did You Hurt Me is a bit of a musical oddity. The song, which was released B side of their second single, Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White, starts off as a growling three-chord bit of classic garage rock, but then goes into a bridge that sounds more like flower pop, with flowing melodic harmonies. This leads into a short transitional section that has little in common with what had come before and finally (somewhat awkwardly) segues back into the three chord main section to finish the song. The important thing, however, is that the piece was written by band members Dick Dodd and Tony Valentine, thus generating royalties for the two (royalties on singles were divided equally among the songwriters on both sides of a record, regardless of which song what actually a hit).

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    And I Like It
Source:    LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer:    Balin/Kantner
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    Jorma Kaukonen was giving guitar lessons when he was approached by Marty Balin about joining a new band that Balin was forming. Kaukonen said yes and became a founding member of Jefferson Airplane. The two seldom collaborated on songwriting, though. One of the few examples of a Balin/Kaukonen composition is And I Like It from the band's first album. The song sounds to me like early Hot Tuna, but with Balin's vocals instead of Kaukonen's.

Artist:    Euphoria
Title:    No Me Tomorrow
Source:    British import CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Lincoln/Watt
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1966
    No Me Tomorrow, the B side of the only single issued on the Mainstream label by the Los Angeles based Euphoria, can best be described as the dark side of folk rock. Most of the song is in a minor key, with the lyrics taking the point of view of someone contemplating suicide. About 3/4 of the way through, though, it becomes a high energy instrumental that sounds like a cross between Dick Dale and Ginger Baker. Euphoria itself was the creation of multi-instrumentalists Wesley Watt and Bill Lincoln, who wrote No Me Tomorrow. At the time Ne Me Tomorrow was recorded, Euphoria also included drummer David Potter (who had been with the group right from the start) and Texans James Harrell (guitar) and Peter Black (bass), both of which had been members of the Houston-based Misfits. Lincoln had already left the group (temporarily it turns out) to get married and move to England. A Euphoria LP appeared in 1969 on the Capitol label that included both Watt and Lincoln, along with several studio musicians.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Happiness Runs
Source:    LP: Barabajagal
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Epic
Year:    1969
    Starting with his 1967 album A Gift From A Flower To A Garden, Scottish singer/songwriter Donovan Leitch devoted much of his time to writing and performing songs aimed specifically at children. Several of these appear on the 1969 album Barabajagal, including Happiness Runs. The sound is sung as a round, with Donovan being joined by Graham Nash, Mike McCartney (as Mike McGear) and Lesley Duncan.

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:    Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:    Incense And Peppermints
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Carter/Gilbert/Weitz/King
Label:    Rhino (original label: Uni)
Year:    1967
    Incense and Peppermints is one of the iconic songs of the psychedelic era, yet when it was originally released to Los Angeles area radio stations it was intended to be the B side of The Birdman of Alkatrash. Somewhere along the line a DJ flipped the record over and started playing Incense And Peppermints instead. The song caught on and Uni Records (short for Universal, which is now the world's largest record company) picked up the Strawberry Alarm Clock's contract and reissued the record nationally with Incense And Peppermints as the A side.

Artist:    Primitives
Title:    You Said
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Geoff Tindall
Label:    Rhino (original label: Pye)
Year:    1964
    The Corn Flakes were formed in Oxford, England, but did not get much attention until they changed their name to the highly appropriate Primitives in 1964. Following the name change, the Primitives were able to garner several TV and magazine appearances based on their image alone. As can be heard on their second single, You Said, the band sounded a bit like a cross between the Who and the Rolling Stones. In 1966 the Primitives relocated to Italy, enjoying a much greater degree of chart success than they had been able to drum up in their own country.

Artist:    Squires Of The Subterrain
Title:    Make Love To Me
Source:    CD: Big Boy Treats
Writer(s):    Miller/Zajkowski
Label:    Rocket Racket
Year:    2002
    Once upon a time in the 1960s there was an Englishman named Peter "Big Boy" Miller, who wrote songs that were rejected by British record labels. Flash forward to Rochester, NY, in the year 2002, where multi-instrumentalist Christopher Earl, recording as Squires Of The Subterrain, decided to rework some of Miller's songs and record them for an album called Big Boy Treats. Even better, Miller himself flew to Rochester to produce the album, which includes tunes like Make Love To Me. In addition to Earl, who provides the drums and keyboards as well as vocals, the song features Gregory Townson on acoustic guitar and Todd Bradley on bass.

Artist:    R.E.M.
Title:    Stumble
Source:    12" EP: Chronic Town
Writer(s):    Buck/Berry/Mills/Stipe
Label:    I.R.S.
Year:    1982
    Following the release of the first recording of Radio Free Europe as a single on the independent Hib-Tone label in 1981, R.E.M. returned to Drive-in Studio in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to record Chronic Town, a five-song EP to be released on a proposed new label called Dasht Hopes. Before any of that could happen, however, the band signed a deal with I.R.S. Records, who bought out the band's contracts with both Hib-Tone and Dasht Hopes and released Chronic Town on August 24, 1982. The longest track on Chronic Town was Stumble, which helped establish the band's sound. Although the EP itself is long out of print, all five tracks were included on the CD edition of Dead Letter Office, released in 1987.

Artist:    Sand Pebbles
Title:    Silver Comet
Source:    Australian import CD: Ceduna
Writer(s):    Sand Pebbles
Label:    Sensory Projects
Year:    2008
    Neighbours is the longest-running drama series on Australian television, having aired its first episode in March of 1985. It is also the unlikely origin point for Sand Pebbles, a band formed in 2001 by three Neighbours screenwriters. Those three founding members, bassist Christopher Hollow, guitarist Ben Michael and drummer Piet Collins were soon joined by guitarist/vocalist Andrew Tanner. The band's fourth album, Ceduna, also featured guitarist/vocalist Tor Larsen. Perhaps the most overtly psychedelic tune on the album is Silver Comet, which sounds like it could have been written in 1967.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    My Sunday Feeling
Source:    LP: This Was
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    For years my only copy of Jethro Tull's first LP, This Was, was a cassette copy I had made myself. In fact, the two sides of the album were actually on two different tapes (don't ask why). When I labelled the tapes I neglected to specify which tape had which side of the album; as a result I was under the impression that My Sunday Feeling was the opening track on the album. It turns out it was actually the first track on side two, but I still tend to think of it as the "first" Jethro Tull song, despite the fact that the band had actually released a single, Sunshine Day, the previous year for a different label.

Artist:    Wildwood
Title:    Plastic People
Source:    Mono CD: A Deadly Dose Of Wild Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    F. Colli
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Magnum)
Year:    1968
    Stockton, California's Wildwood only released two singles, both in 1968. The first of these, Plastic People, takes a somewhat cynical view of the Flower Power movement, which had by 1968 pretty much run its course. Musically the track owes much to Sean Bonniwell's Music Machine.

Artist:    Tangerine Zoo
Title:    Nature's Children
Source:    CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released on LP: Tangerine Zoo)
Writer(s):    Medeiros/Smith
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1968
    Many of the acts signed to Bob Shad's Mainstream label are considered by rock historians to be somewhat lacking in one or another categories, such as songwriting, virtuosity or just plain commercial viability. This has resulted in the reputations of the few quality bands appearing on the label to be somewhat unfairly tarnished by association. One of those bands that really deserves a second look is the Tangerine Zoo, from Swansea, Mass., a few miles south of Boston. The band, made up of Tony Taviera (bass), Wayne Gagnon (guitar), Ron Medieros (organ), Bob Benevides (lead vocals) and Donald Smith (drums), recorded two albums for the label, both of which were released in 1968. Tangerine Zoo had actually been approached by no less than two major labels (RCA Victor and Mercury) before deciding to go with Mainstream, the only label to offer them an album contract from the start. Unfortunately internal issues caused the Zoo to close down before they could record a third LP.

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:    Canned Heat
Title:    My Mistake
Source:    British import CD: Living The Blues
Writer(s):    Alan Wilson
Label:    BGO (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1968
    Although Robert "The Bear" Hite was the main lead vocalist for Canned Heat, guitarist Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson had his share of the spotlight as well, particularly on songs that he wrote himself, such as My Mistake, from the 1968 album Living The Blues. Similar in sound and structure to his most famous song, Going Up The Country, My Mistake is a worthy companion to that classic.

Artist:    Aardvarks
Title:    Subconscious Train Of Thought
Source:    Mono CD: A Lethal Dose Of Hard Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Borman/Daley/Newman/Wee
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Arch)
Year:    1968
    Not much is known about the Aardvarks other than they were reportedly from Florissant, Missouri and that they are generally the first band to show up on any alphabetical list of rock groups. Their only known single was a track called Subconscious Train Of Thought that was released in 1968 on the St. Louis based Arch Records. Interestingly, the record lists Memphis Group guitarist Steve Cropper as co-producer, although this is likely because Arch Records were distributed by Stax Records, who might have wanted one of their own people on the scene.

Artist:    Salt
Title:    Lucifer
Source:    British import CD: My Mind Goes High (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Levine/Bellack
Label:    Warner Strategic Marketing (original label: Cotillion)
Year:    1968
    One of the most bizarre concepts to come out of the psychedelic era was a song called Lucifer (yes, That Lucifer, Prince of Darkness, Ruler of Hell, etc.), done in a style similar to that of the 1910 Fruitgum Company. Yes, that's right. A bubble gum song about the devil. Lucifer was the product of the minds of Joey Levine and Marc Bellack, who had previously collaborated on the Standells' Try It, and would later produce a single called Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me) by a band called Reunion. Also involved with the Lucifer project was co-producer David Lucas, who, along with Bellack, would have fronted a band called The Salt had the single taken off. Luckily for all of us, it didn't.

Artist:    Small Faces
Title:    The Autumn Stone
Source:    British import 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Steve Marriott
Label:    Immediate
Year:    1969 (single mix: 2016)
    The Small Faces went into a recording studio together for the final time on September 11, 1968 to record two sides of a projected, but ultimately unreleased single. The A side, a Steve Marriott tune called The Autumn Stone, ended up being the title track of a double LP released a year later, after the group had officially disbanded. By this time Marriott had already formed Humble Pie (with Peter Frampton) while the remaining members of the Small Faces had regrouped with new members Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, shortening their name to Faces in the process.

Artist:    Harvey Mandel
Title:    Before Six
Source:    LP: Cristo Redentor
Writer(s):    Larry Fraiser
Label:    Philips
Year:    1968
    Harvey Mandel first came to national attention as the guitarist on Stand Back! Here Comes Charlie Musselwhite's South Side Band, one of the first blues albums to be also targeted to rock listeners. One of the standout tracks on the album was Christo Redemptor, which has come to be considered Musselwhite's signature song. Not long after the album was released, Mandel moved to San Francisco, performing regularly at the Matrix club and often jamming with fellow guitarists Elvin Bishop and Jerry Garcia. A chance meeting with local disc jockey Abe "Voco" Kesh led to Mandel's first solo LP, released in 1968. The album, made up entirely of instrumentals like Before Six, led to Mandel being invited to replace Henry Vestine in Canned Heat the following year.

Artist:    First Edition
Title:    Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: The First Edition and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mickey Newbury
Label:    Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    In 1968, former New Christy Mistrels members Kenny Rogers and Mike Settle decided to form a psychedelic rock band, the First Edition. Although Settle was the official leader on the first album, it was Rogers who would emerge as the star of the band, even to the point of eventually changing the band's name to Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. That change reflected a shift from psychedelic folk-rock to country flavored pop that would eventually propel Rogers to superstar status.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2247 (starts 11/21/22)

    Spurred by  British bands like Savoy Brown and the original Fleetwood Mac, rock 'n' roll had come full circle by the end of the 1960s and fully embraced its blues roots (losing the word "roll" in the process). Even former Beatle John Lennon was getting into the act. This week we feature a whole lot of blues-based rock from both sides of the Atlantic. With a couple of exceptions (including our opening tune) all the tracks on the show were recorded and released in 1969 and 1970, the peak years for blues-rock. Enjoy!

Artist:    Steve Miller Band
Title:    My Friend
Source:    CD: Sailor
Writer(s):    Davis/Scaggs
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1968
    Drummer Tim Davis takes center stage as lead vocalist on My Friend, from the second Steve Miller Band album, Sailor. The tune, co-written by fellow band member Boz Scaggs, was the first writing credit for Davis, who would remain with the band through their first five LPs before moving on to other things.

Artist:    Fleetwood Mac
Title:    Worried Dream
Source:    Australian import CD: The Essential Fleetwood Mac (originally released on LP: The Original Fleetwood Mac)
Writer(s):    Riley "B.B." King
Label:    Columbia/Sony (original label Blue Horizon; original US label: Sire)
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 1971; released in US 1977
    Two years after the departure of founding member Peter Green, Fleetwood Mac's British label, Blue Horizon, released an album of previously unreleased outtakes from the band's earliest sessions called The Original Fleetwood Mac. Among the tracks on that album was Green's 1968 cover version of B.B. King's Worried Dream, a tune that had only been released by King himself that same year (on his Blues On Top Of Blues LP). The Original Fleetwood Mac was only available in the US as an import, however, until 1977, when it was released on the Sire label.

Artist:    Illinois Speed Press
Title:    Hard Luck Story
Source:    German import LP: Underground '70 (originally released on LP: Illinois Speed Press)
Writer(s):    Kal David
Label:    CBS (original US label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    In 1967 someone coined the phrase "San Francisco sound" to describe the wave of bands coming out of the Bay Area that year, despite the fact that there really was no specific San Francisco sound. The following year, someone at M-G-M Records (which had missed out entirely on the whole San Francisco thing, with the exception of the Eric Burdon And The Animals single San Franciscan Nights) decided to sign a bunch of Boston bands and market them as the "Boss-Town Sound." This campaign went over like a lead balloon, actually hurting the chances of the bands to make a name for themselves. Undeterred, Columbia Records tried the same thing in Chicago in 1969, signing the Chicago Transit Authority, the Flock, Aorta and Illinois Speed Press and marketing them as the "Chicago Sound". Producer James William Guercio, who had previously worked with the Buckinghams and Blood, Sweat & Tears, was brought in to produce the first Illinois Speed Press album, which included the song Hard Luck Story, a somewhat atypical piece of blues-rock written by Kal David, who along with Paul Cotton formed the core of the band. David and Cotton soon wearied of being lumped in with other Chicago bands, and relocated to California, essentially becoming a duo in the process and helping pioneer the country-rock sound that would emerge from Southern California in the mid-1970s.

Artist:    Blues Image
Title:    Clean Love
Source:    CD: Open
Writer(s):    Blues Image
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Atco)
Year:    1970
    The story of Blues Image is tied closely with the legendary south Florida nightclub Thee Image. Blues Image was the house band there (and had helped set up the club itself) and were already well known and respected in musicians' circles by the time they released their first LP in 1969. Although the LP sold moderately, it failed to generate any airplay on either top 40 or progressive FM radio. The group came up with a genuine hit single, Ride Captain Ride, in 1970, but their second LP, Open, charted even lower than their first one, despite having some outstanding tracks, including Ride Captain Ride and one of the best blues-rock tracks ever recorded, the eight-minute long Clean Love. Frustrated by the lack of success, guitarist Mike Pinera left the band to replace Eric Brann in Iron Butterfly, and after an even less successful third LP Blues Image called it quits. Drummer Joe Lala, who had co-founded the band with Pinera, went on to become a successful studio percussionist and later, film and TV actor.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Red House
Source:    LP: The 1969 Warner/Reprise Songbook (originally released on LP: Smash Hits)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1969
    There were actually two different versions of Red House released by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, both of which came from the same December, 1966, sessions. The original version was included on the European pressing of the Are You Experienced album, which was issued in early 1967. The album was not originally available in stereo, and a true stereo mix of this version of Red House was never made, as the track was left off the remixed American version of the LP. In spring of 1967 the band attempted to get a better version of the song, but neither Hendrix or bassist Noel Redding (who had played the original bass part on a regular guitar with its tone controls set to mimic a bass guitar) were satisfied with the later versions. Only one portion of these new recordings was kept, and was combined with the original take to create a new stereo mix for the US version of the 1969 Smash Hits album. This newer mix was also used by MCA for both the 1993 CD reissue of Are You Experienced and the Ultimate Experience compilation album. 

Artist:    Allman Brothers Band
Title:    I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town
Source:    CD: Idlewild South (deluxe edition) (originally released on CD: Live At Ludlow Garage 1970)
Writer(s):    Weldon/Jordan
Label:    Mercury/UMe (original label: Polydor)
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 1990
    When Polydor released a new deluxe edition of the 1970 Allman Brothers album Idlewild South, they gave buyers a real treat: the entire Live At Ludlow Garage album, recorded in 1970 and originally officially released in 1990 (although bootleg versions had by then been in circulation for several years). One of the tracks from that performance at the legendary Cincinnatti club that had never appeared on any Allman Brothers studio album was I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town, a song originally recorded in 1936 by Casey Bill Weldon and made famous by Louis Jordan as his first charted single in 1942.

Artist:    Savoy Brown
Title:    Love Me Please
Source:    LP: Lion's Share
Writer(s):    Kim Simmonds
Label:    Parrot
Year:    1972
    Despite being released on the heels of their highest charting LP Hellbound Train, Savoy Brown's 1972 LP Lion's Share did surprisingly poorly on the charts, never climbing above the # 151 spot. Perhaps the band's frequent lineup changes were finally taking their toll, as Savoy Brown is a contender for the all-time record for having the most former members of any band in rock history. Regardless, Lion's Share, in addition to having pretty cool cover art, contains some tasty tunes, such as the low-key Love Me Please, written and sung by the band's founder (and only permanent member) Kim Simmonds.

Artist:    Humble Pie
Title:    Silver Tongue
Source:    LP: Lost And Found (originally released in UK on LP: Town And Country)
Writer(s):    Steve Marriott
Label:    A&M (original label: Immediate)
Year:    1969
    Released only three months after the band's debut LP, Humble Pie's Town And Country was a mostly acoustic departure from the group's hard rock sound. The one exception was Steve Marriott's Silver Tongue, a hard blues-rocker that appears toward the end of the album. The album itself came out just as Immediate Records was going out of business; as a result the album got no promotion, or even a US release from the label. The two Immediate albums were eventually released in the US in 1973 as a double-LP called Lost And Found on A&M Records.

Artist:    John Lennon
Title:    Well Well Well
Source:    CD: Lennon (box set) (originally released on LP: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band)
Writer(s):    John Lennon
Label:    Capitol (original label: Apple)
Year:    1970
    Written while undergoing primal therapy, Well Well Well is the longest, and heaviest track on the 1970 LP John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. The song features Lennon singing in unison with his guitar, a technique that dates back to early blues recordings by the like of Walter Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson. In addition to Lennon, Well Well Well includes Klaus Voorman on bass and Ringo Starr on drums.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    Sugar The Road
Source:    CD: Cricklewood Green
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Deram)
Year:    1970
    Ten Years After's fourth LP, Cricklewood Green, was the band's first release following their appearance at Woodstock, and by all accounts they made the best of the situation with what is generally considered to be their best studio album. In addition to progressive FM radio favorites Love Like A Man and 50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain, the album contains several tunes that show the group's diversity, such as Sugar The Road, which opens side one of the LP.
Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Blind Eye
Source:    CD: The Collection (originally released on LP: Wishbone Ash and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Wishbone Ash
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1970
    One of the first bands to feature two lead guitarists working in tandem, Wishbone Ash rose to fame as the opening act for Deep Purple in early 1970. After guitarist Andy Powell sat in with Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore during a sound check, Blackmore referred Wishbone Ash to MCA, the parent company of the US Decca label. The band's first LP came out in December of 1970, with Blind Eye becoming the band's first single. Although Wishbone Ash went on to become one of Britain's top rock bands of the 1970s, they were never as successful in the US, despite relocating to the states in 1973.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2246 (starts 11/14/22) 

    It's time for another battle of the bands, except this time one of the bands is actually a duo. Of course, by 21st century standards most "bands" are actually duos or solo artists anyway, but still, we're talking about the psychedelic era, not the psychotic one. In this instance we are talking about the most popular duo of the late 60s, going up against the first rock band out of San Francisco to achieve superstar status. Besides our little battle we have the usual assortment of singles, B sides and album tracks from all over the world, beginning with the original version of a song that later became associated with the Monkees.

Artist:     Astronauts
Title:     Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     Boyce/Venet
Label:     RCA Victor
Year:     1965
     The Astronauts were formed in the early 60s in Boulder, Colorado, and were one of the few surf bands to come from a landlocked state. They had a minor hit with an instrumental called Baja during the height of surf's popularity, but were never able to duplicate that success in the US, although they did have considerable success in Japan, even outselling the Beach Boys there. By 1965 they had started to move away from surf music, adding vocals and taking on more of a garage-punk sound. What caught my attention when I first ran across this promo single in a commercial radio station throwaway pile was the song's title. Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day, written by Tommy Boyce and producer Steve Venet, was featured on the Monkees TV show and was included on their 1966 debut album. This 1965 Astronauts version of the tune has a lot more attitude than the Monkees version. Surprisingly the song didn't hit the US charts, despite being released on what was then the biggest record label in the world, RCA Victor.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Love You To
Source:    CD: Yellow Submarine Soundtrack (originally released on LP: Revolver)
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1966
    Following the release of Rubber Soul in December of 1965, the Beatles' George Harrison began to make a serious effort to learn to play the Sitar, studying under the master, Ravi Shankar. Along with the instrument itself, Harrison studied Eastern forms of music. His first song written in the modal form favored by Indian composers was Love You To, from the Revolver album. The recording also features Indian percussion instruments and suitably spiritual lyrics.

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:    Neil Young
Title:    The Loner
Source:    LP: The Big Ball (originally released on LP: Neil Young)
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    The Loner could easily have been passed off as a Buffalo Springfield song. In addition to singer/songwriter/guitarist Neil Young, the tune features Springfield members Jim Messina on bass and George Grantham on drums. Since Buffalo Springfield was functionally defunct by the time the song was ready for release, however, it instead became Young's first single as a solo artist. The song first appeared, in a longer form, on Young's first solo album in late 1968, with the single being released three months later. The subject of The Loner has long been rumored to be Young's bandmate Stephen Stills, or possibly Young himself. As usual, Neil Young ain't sayin'.
Artist:     Traffic
Title:     Feelin' Alright
Source:     CD: Traffic
Writer:     Dave Mason
Label:     United Artists
Year:     1968   
    Dave Mason left Traffic after the band's first album, Mr. Fantasy, but returned in time to contribute several songs to the band's eponymous second album. Among those was his most memorable song, Feelin' Alright, which would become one of the most covered songs in rock history.

Artist:    Moles
Title:    We Are The Moles-Pt. 1
Source:    British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    The Moles
Label:    EMI (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1968
    Sometimes success carries it own baggage. Take the case of Britain's Simon Dupree And The Big Sound. The group was formed by a trio of Scottish brothers, Phil, Derek and Ray Shulman, along with Peter O'Flaherty, Eric Hine and Tony Ransley in the Portsmouth area, going through a variety of band names before settling on Simon Dupree And The Big Sound in 1966. The group was originally known for its spot-on covers of songs by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and Don Covay. By 1967, however, audience tastes were rapidly changing, and psychedelic bands such as Pink Floyd and the Creation were drawing crowds away from the R&B bands. Under pressure from both their management and record label the band recorded a song called Kites, a psychedelic piece that became their biggest hit and placed the group firmly in the minds of record buyers as a flower-power band. But, like most fads, flower-power was itself out of style by 1968, but Simon Dupree And The Big Sound were stuck with a reputation that didn't even fit the members' own musical preferences (which still ran to R&B). To try to break free of this unwanted rep, the group released a rather bizarre single called We Are The Moles in 1968. The record was shrouded in mystery, with writing credits going to "the Moles", and production credit to George Martin (leading some to believe it was actually a Beatles outtake). The ploy almost worked, as the possible Beatles connection led to increased interest in the record, but that interest quickly dissipated when it was revealed (by Syd Barrett, of all people) that the record was indeed the work of Simon Dupree And The Big Sound. The band continued on for a few more months, until lead vocalist Derek Shulman announced his retirement in 1969, saying he was tired of being Simon Dupree. He would rejoin his brothers the following year for their new venture, an experimental rock band called Gentle Giant.

Artist:    Rokes
Title:    When The Wind Arises
Source:    Mono European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Cassia/Shapiro
Label:    Sony Music (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1968
    In the early 1960s it was fairly common for a British band to head south into Germany for a few weeks, or even months, playing clubs in places like Hanover and Hamburg. In January of 1963 a band called the Shel Carson Combo went the rest of them one better by not only doing a residency at Hamburg's Top Ten Club, but continuing south to Italy, becoming the backing band for a singer name Colin Hicks. As the group toured around Italy, they began to develop and performing their own material as well, breaking with Hicks entirely by June of 1963. After changing their name to the Rokes, they released their first single on the Arc label, an updated version of Shake, Rattle And Roll. Several more singles, many of them sung in Italian, followed, and by 1966 they were voted the second most popular beat band in Italy. Their 1966 B side Piangi Con Me became a worldwide million seller, and was re-recorded with English lyrics by the Grass Roots the following year as Let's Live For Today. For all that, they only released two singles in the US: their own English version of Let's Live For Today in 1967 and an English version of their 1968 single Le Opere di Bartolomeo (The Works Of Bartholomew). When The Wind Arises was the B side of that second and final US single.

Artist:     Merry-Go-Round
Title:     Listen, Listen!
Source:     Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):     Emmitt Rhodes
Label:     Rhino (original label: A&M)
Year:     1968
     In 1968, drummer/vocalist Emmit Rhodes was on the verge of branching out on a solo career. One of the last songs released under the Merry-Go-Round banner was a tune called Listen, Listen! The track shows a strong Beatles influence, although it tends to rock out a bit harder than the average Beatles song.

Artist:    Them
Title:    Nobody Loves You When You're Down And Out
Source:    British import CD: Now And Them
Writer(s):    Jimmie Cox
Label:    Rev-Ola (original US label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    The artist that comes to mind when I see the title of this Jimmy Cox tune is, of course, Eric Clapton, who included it on the Derek and the Dominos Layla album. Them's version of Nobody Loves You When You're Down And Out, from the album Now And Them featuring vocalist Kenny McDowell, actually predates Clapton's by a couple years.

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    Chelsea Morning
Source:    British import CD: Fairport Convention
Writer(s):    Joni Mitchell
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1968
    Although Joni Mitchell wrote Chelsea Morning, she was not the first person to record the song. That honor goes to Dave Van Ronk, who released the song on his 1967 LP Dave Van Ronk and the Hudson Dusters. The following year the song was included on the first Fairport Convention album, and remains my personal favorite of the many different versions of the tune. Mitchell herself finally recorded the song for her second LP, Clouds, in 1969. The song itself was inspired by Mitchell's room in New York's Chelsea neighborhood.

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:    Small Faces
Title:    Here Come The Nice
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Marriott/Lane
Label:    Rhino (original label: Immediate)
Year:    1967
    If there was ever a song that could be considered too British for American audiences, it's Here Come The Nice, the first Small Faces single to be released by Immediate Records following the band's acrimonious departure from the British Decca label. Although it was a top 20 song in the UK (peaking at #12), the tune failed to chart in the US at all. The fact that Here Come The Nice was a thinly-veiled drug song probably didn't help its chances, either.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Change Is Now
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    McGuinn/Hillman
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    1967 saw the departure of two of the Byrds' founders and most prolific songwriters: Gene Clark and David Crosby. The loss of Clark coincided with the emergence of Chris Hillman as a first-rate songwriter in his own right; the loss of Crosby later in the year, however, created an extra burden for Hillman and Roger McGuinn, who from that point on were the band's primary composers. Change Is Now was the band's first post-Crosby single, released in late 1967 and later included (in a stereo version) on their 1968 LP The Notorious Byrd Brothers.

Artist:    Elois
Title:    By My Side
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in Australia as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Heenan/van Berkel/Rowe/Fiorini
Label:    Rhino (original label: IN)
Year:    1967
    If the Easybeats were known as the "Australian Beatles", then, by all rights, the Elois (named after the race of pampered humans being bred for food in H.G. Wells's The Time Machine) should be called the "Australian Yardbirds". They certainly emulated their British heroes, even to the point of recording Bo Diddley's I'm A Man as their only single. They continued to channel the Yardbirds on the B side of that single, a self-composed tune called By My Side. The record was released on the obscure IN label in 1967, but the Elois split up before they could record a followup.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Riders On The Storm
Source:    CD: The Best Of The Doors (originally released on LP: L.A. Woman)
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1971
    The last major hit single for the Doors was also one of their best: Riders On The Storm. In fact, it still holds up as one of the finest singles ever released. By anyone.

Artist:    Janis Joplin
Title:    Mercedes Benz
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Pearl)
Writer(s):    Joplin/Neuwirth/McClure
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 1971
    Mercedes Benz was the last song recorded by Janis Joplin. After laying down this vocal track on October 3, 1970 she went home and OD'd on heroin. The song appeared exactly as recorded on the 1971 album Pearl.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    A Most Peculiar Man
Source:    LP: Sounds Of Silence
Writer:    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    You would think that a high school on a US military facility would be inclined to use the most staunchly traditional teaching methods known to man. Surprisingly, though, this was not the case at General H. H. Arnold High School in Weisbaden, Germany in late 1967. In fact, the English department was teaching some sort of new system that dispensed with terms such as verb and noun and replaced them with a more conceptual approach to language. What I best remember about my Freshman English class is the day that my rather Bohemian teacher (he wore sandals to class!), actually brought in a copy of the Sounds Of Silence and had us dissect two songs from the album, Richard Cory and A Most Peculiar Man. We spent several classes discussing the similarities (they both deal with a suicide by someone representing a particular archetype) and differences (the methods used and the archetypes themselves) between the songs. I have forgotten everything else about that class and its so-called revolutionary approach, but those two songs have stayed with me my entire life. I guess that teacher (whose name I have unfortunately forgotten) was on to something.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    A Song For All Seasons
Source:    CD: Volunteers
Writer(s):    Spencer Dryden
Label:    BMG/RCA
Year:    1969
    When it comes to Jefferson Airplane rarities, there is nothing more rare than a Spencer Dryden composition. In fact, to my knowledge, A Song For All Seasons is the only one that he is given sole credit for. The song itself is a bit of a novelty, sounding like it would be more at home on a Rolling Stones (Let It Bleed era) album than an Airplane one, which is even odder when one considers Dryden's jazz background.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    Richard Cory
Source:    LP: Sounds Of Silence
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    First published as a narrative poem in 1897, Richard Cory has been adapted to music several times since its initial publication. The most famous of these adaptations was by Paul Simon and recorded by himself and Art Garfunkel for their 1966 LP Sounds Of Silence. The song takes the point of view of a factory worker who envies his employer, who seems to have everything going his way, yet ends up putting "a bullet in his head".

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Hey Fredrick
Source:    CD: Volunteers
Writer:    Grace Slick
Label:    BMG/RCA
Year:    1969
    By 1969 Grace Slick's songwriting had taken a somewhat discordant tone, at least as far as the music went. Slick's lyrics were, for the most part, highly personal: no generic love songs for her. Hey Frederick, from the Volunteers album, illustrates both of these ideas well. The first line of the song is a challenge that has been echoed by several other people over the years, most notably Ted Turner, whose motto "lead, follow or get out of the way" is in much the same spirit.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Somewhere They Can't Find Me
Source:    LP: Sounds Of Silence
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The first Simon And Garfunkel album, Wednesday Morning 3AM, was a fairly traditional type of folk LP. The album was originally released in late 1964, but due to lackluster sales was soon deleted from the Columbia catalog. In 1965 Paul Simon relocated to London, releasing a solo LP called the Paul Simon Songbook there. Before leaving the country, however, he and Art Garfunkel recorded two new songs in a more upbeat style. One of those two, We've Got A Groovey Thing Goin', was used as the B side for an electrified version of The Sound Of Silence, a tune from Wednesday Morning 3AM that was issued without the knowledge of either Simon or Garfunkel. The other song, Somewhere They Can't Find Me, was, lyrically, a reworking of the title track of Wednesday Morning 3AM, but with entirely new music inspired by a Davey Graham tune called Anji. It remained unreleased until 1966, when the duo reunited in early 1966 and quickly put together a new album, Sounds of Silence, to capitalize on the success of the unauthorized (but happily accepted) single. On the album itself, Somewhere They Can't Find Me is followed by Simon's cover of Anji.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Plastic Fantastic Lover (live version)
Source:    CD: The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane (originally released on LP: Bless Its Pointed Little Head)
Writer(s):    Marty Balin
Label:    BMG/RCA
Year:    1969
    Marty Balin's Plastic Fantastic Lover first appeared on the 1967 album Surrealistic Pillow and was issued as the B side of White Rabbit. For Jefferson Airplane's 1969 live album, Bless Its Pointed Little Head, the band, including new drummer Joey Covington, upped the tempo considerably, transforming a good song for potheads to dance to into one more suited to an audience on speed, reflecting the changes on the streets of San Francisco itself.

Artist:    Fut
Title:    Have You Heard The Word
Source:    Mono British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Kipner/Lawrie/Groves
Label:    Grapefruit (original label: Beacon)
Year:    1970
            Have You Heard The Word was the result of a drunken 1969 recording session attended by Steve Groves and Steve Kipner (known collectively as Tin Tin), Maurice Gibb (of the Bee Gees) and Gibbs's brother-in-law (and singer Lulu's brother) Billy Lawrie. A tape of the session was leaked to Beacon Records, who issued it as a single credited to the Fut. The song has been repeatedly mistaken for a lost Beatles track; in fact, Yoko One even tried to copyright the piece as a lost John Lennon composition in 1985.

Artist:    Nazz
Title:    Meridian Leeward/Under The Ice
Source:    LP: Nazz Nazz
Writer(s):    Todd Rundgren
Label:    SGC
Year:    1969
    The second Nazz album was a study in what not to do when making a second album. First off, bandleader Todd Rundgren assumed production duties and started writing songs that were more keyboard-oriented without the knowledge or participation of Stewkey, the band's keyboardist/lead vocalist. At the same time he became more authoritarian in his leadership style, which did not sit well with the other band members. Complicating matters were a paperwork snafu that caused the British Musician's Union to bar the band from recording at London's Trident Studios after the band had completed just one day's work there (the instrumental track for Under The Ice), forcing them to return to the US and complete the album in Los Angeles. Stewkey also had problems with some of Rundgren's lyrics and refused to sing them (although Meridian Leeward, a song about a pig that had nothing to do with sailing, was apparently not one of them). Not long after the LP was completed bassist Carson Van Osten quit the band, leaving Rundgren, Stewkey and drummer Thom Mooney to carry on as a trio to promote the album, using guest bassists on stage. Finally, Rundgren himself, citing the increasing tension within the group, also quit before the album was actually released, leaving the remaining two members to oversee the final touches, including paring it down from a double to a single LP, with the remaining tracks eventually being released on the album Nazz III.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (originally released on LP: A Saucerful Of Secrets)
Source:    CD: Works
Writer:    Roger Waters
Label:    Capitol (original label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    With mental illness pretty much taking Sid Barrett out of the Pink Floyd equation by 1968, other members stepped up their own songwriting game for the band's second LP, A Saucerful Of Secrets. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, a Roger Waters composition, is the only Pink Floyd recording to have both Barrett and his replacement, David Gilmour, playing guitar parts and was considered strong enough to be included on the Works compilation album in the early 80s. A Saucerful Of Secrets is the only Pink Floyd album that failed to chart in the US, due in part to it being released on Capitol's Tower subsidiary, which was generally regarded as a second-rate label dedicated to releasing material from outside sources. 
Artist:    Fantastic Zoo
Title:    Light Show
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Cameron/Karl
Label:    Double Shot
Year:    1967
    The Fantastic Zoo had its origins in Denver, Colorado, with a band called the Fogcutters. When the group disbanded in 1966, main members Don Cameron and Erik Karl relocated to Los Angeles and reformed the group with new members. After signing a deal with local label Double Shot (which had a major hit on the charts at the time with Count Five's Psychotic Reaction), the group rechristened itself Fantastic Zoo, releasing their first single that fall. Early in 1967 the band released their second and final single, Light Show. The song did not get much airplay at the time, but has since become somewhat of a cult favorite.

Artist:     Love
Title:     Revelation (conclusion)
Source:     CD: Da Capo
Writer:     Lee/MacLean/Echols/Forsi
Label:     Elektra
Year:     1967
     The undisputed kings of the Sunset Strip in the mid-1960s were the members of Love. Led by Arthur Lee, the band held down the position of house band at the Strip's most famous club, the Whisky A-Go-Go, throughout 1966 and much of 1967, even as the club scene itself was being squeezed out of existence by restrictive new city ordinances. Love liked being the top dog in L.A., so much so that they decided to forego touring to promote their records in favor of maintaining their presence at the Whisky. In the long run this cost them, as many of their contemporaries (including one band that Love itself had discovered and introduced to Elektra producer Paul Rothchild: the Doors) went on to greater fame while Love remained a cult band throughout their existence. One of the highlights of their stage performances was a 19-minute jam called Revelation, a piece originally called John Hooker that served to give each band member a chance to show off with a solo. Although the band had been playing Revelation throughout 1966, inspiring the Rolling Stones to do a similar number on one of their own albums, they did not get around to recording a studio version of Revelation until 1967, prompting some critics to assume that Love had ripped off the Stones rather than the other way around. By that point they had added two new members, Tjay Cantrelli (sax) and Michael Stuart (drums), whose solos take up the last six minutes or so of the recorded version of the tune. The Harpsichord solo at the end of Revelation is played by "Snoopy" Pfisterer, who had switched from drums to keyboards when Stuart joined the group, and would soon leave the band completely.