Sunday, November 13, 2022

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2246 (starts 11/14/22)

    Sounds like the hermit is rockin' out and playing favorites again. Time to kick back and enjoy the show...

Artist:     Cream
Title:        White Room
Source:    CD: Wheels Of Fire
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:        1968
        Musically almost a rewriting of Eric Clapton's Tales of Brave Ulysses (from Cream's Disraeli Gears album), White Room, a Jack Bruce/Pete Brown composition from the Wheels Of Fire album, is arguably the most popular song ever to feature the use of a wah-wah pedal prominently.

Artist:    Bubble Puppy
Title:    Hot Smoke And Sassafras
Source:    European import CD: A Gathering Of Promises
Writer(s):    Prince/Cox/Potter/Fore
Label:    Charly (original US label: International Artists)
Year:    1968
    Bubble Puppy was a band from San Antonio, Texas that relocated to nearby Austin and signed a contract with International Artists, a label already known as the home of legendary Texas psychedelic bands 13th Floor Elevators and Red Crayola. The group hit the national top 20 with Hot Smoke and Sassafras, a song that was originally intended to be a B side, in 1969. Not long after the release of their first LP, A Gathering Or Promises, the band relocated to California and changed their name to Demian, at least in part to disassociate themselves with the then-popular "bubble gum" style (but also because of problems with International Artists).

Artist:    Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title:    Cowgirl In The Sand
Source:    CD: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer:    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    It has been said that adverse conditions are conducive to good art. Certainly that truism applies to Neil Young's Cowgirl In The Sand, written while Young was running a 102 degree fever. Almost makes me wish I could be that sick sometime.

Artist:    Johnny Winter
Title:    Rock And Roll Hoochie Coo
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Johnny Winter And)
Writer(s):    Rick Derringer
Label:    Sony Music (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1970
    Athough best known as a solo Rick Derringer hit, Rock And Roll Hoochie Coo was originally recorded in 1970 by Johnny Winter for the album Johnny Winter And when Derringer was a member of Winter's band (also known as Johnny Winter And at that time). As can be heard here the arrangement on the earlier version is nearly identical to the hit version, the main differences being Winter's lead vocals and the presence of two lead guitarists in the band.

Artist:    Cactus
Title:    Long Tall Sally
Source:    British import LP: The New Age Of Atlantic (originally released on LP: One Way...Or Another)
Writer(s):    Penniman/Johnson/Blackwell
Label:    Atlantic (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1971
    The second Cactus album, One Way...Or Another, followed the same pattern as the first one: a bunch of original tunes supplemented by a pair of old rock 'n' roll tunes redone in a style reminiscent of some of Vanilla Fudge's harder rocking tracks. This makes sense, since half of Cactus (bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice) were members of Vanilla Fudge before forming Cactus in the first place. In this instance the first of the two covers was a slowed-down and louded-up version of Little Richard's Long Tall Sally. Heavy stuff.

Artist:    Fleetwood Mac
Title:    Bare Trees
Source:    CD: Bare Trees
Writer(s):    Danny Kirwan
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1972
    Bare Trees, the last Fleetwood Mac to feature Danny Kirwan saw the guitarist/vocalist at his most prolific, writing half of the album's ten songs, including the title track. Bare Trees is also one of the catchiest tunes on the album, and got a decent amount of airplay on FM rock radio when it was released in 1972. Since Linday Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac, the band's earlier songs, including Bare Trees, have been noticably neglected by so-called classic rock stations. Shows what they know.

Artist:     Grand Funk
Title:     We're An American Band
Source:     LP: Vintage Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: We're An American Band)
Writer:     Don Brewer
Label:     K-Tel (original label: Capitol)
Year:     1973
     We're An American Band was a major turning point for the band originally known as Grand Funk Railroad. For one thing Terry Knight, who had guided the band's career as both manager and producer, was no longer associated with the band. Perhaps more importantly, the band itself had changed, adding keyboardist Craig Frost to the original trio. Guitarist Mark Farner, who had written the bulk of the band's material from 1969 to 1972, was now sharing songwriting and lead vocal duties with drummer Don Brewer, who is featured in both roles on the album's title track. The album itself was produced by Todd Rundgren, and has an entirely different sound than the band's previous releases. Finally, the band had shortened its name to Grand Funk, although this turned out to be a temporary change. Grand Funk Railroad would continue making records through 1976, when the band members decided to go their separate ways.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    100 Years Ago
Source:    LP: Goat's Head Soup
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Rolling Stones
Year:    1973
    The Rolling Stones were at the peak of the popularity in 1973, when they recorded the album Goat's Head Soup. Because of British tax laws, much of the album was recorded outside the UK. 100 Years Ago, a song that had been written a couple of years before work on the album started, was recorded at Dynamic Sounds in Kingston, Jamaica. The band has not performed the song live since the first couple of gigs on their 1973 European Tour.

Artist:    Genesis
Title:    Horizons
Source:    CD: Foxtrot
Writer(s):    Banks/Collins/Gabriel/Hackett/Rutherford
Label:    Rhino/Atlantic (original label: Charisma)
Year:    1972
    Although credited to the entire band, Horizons is a short acoustic guitar instrumental written by Steve Hackett, who is the only member of Genesis to actually play on the track. The tune, based on a piece by J.S. Bach, opens side two of the 1972 LP Foxtrot.

Artist:    Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come
Title:    Gypsy Escape
Source:    British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released in UK on LP: Galactic Zoo Dossier)
Writer(s):    Denis Taylor
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1971
    Arthur Brown became a household name in 1968 with the release of one of the great albums of British psychedelic music, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and it's #1 hit single, Fire. To help promote the album the band set out on a US tour; by the time the tour was over the band had decided to break up. After a series of unsuccessful projects, Brown re-emerged in 1970 with a new band, Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come. Unlike the Crazy World, which was one of the most purely psychedelic bands in British rock history, Kingdom Come was a pioneer of the new progressive rock movement and was one of the first bands to use synthesizers extensively. In fact, about the only thing the two bands had in common was Brown's distinctive vocals. Gypsy Escape, from the album Galactic Zoo Dossier, couldn't even make that claim, being an instrumental written by the band's light show guy, Denis Taylor (who was the only non-performing member of the band pictured on the album cover).
Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Gallows Pole
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin III
Writer(s):    Traditional, arr. Page/Plant
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Following a year of intensive touring to promote their first two albums, Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page decided to take some time off, cloistering themselves in a small Welsh cottage known as Bron-Yr-Aur for several weeks. The place had no electricity, and the pair used the time to write and/or adapt acoustic material for the band to record for their third LP. One of the best of these "new" songs was Gallows Pole, which Page adapted from a 1962 recording by Fred Gerlach, although the song's roots go back several centuries.

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