This week we forego artists' sets in favor of 29 separate tracks, including an Advanced Psych segment that spans the globe and a couple of tunes we've never played before from artists that are hardly ever heard on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era.
Artist: Spencer Davis Group
Title: Gimme Some Lovin'
Source: 45 RPM single
Label: United Artists
By mid-1966 the Spencer Davis Group had already racked up an impressive number of British hit singles, but had yet to crack the US top 40. This changed when the band released Gimme Some Lovin', an original composition that had taken the band about an hour to develop in the studio. The single, released on Oct 28, went to the #2 spot on the British charts. Although producer Jimmy Miller knew he had a hit on his hands, he decided to do a complete remix of the song, including a brand new lead vocal track, added backup vocals and percussion and plenty of reverb, for the song's US release. His strategy was successful; Gimme Some Lovin', released in December of 1966, hit the US charts in early 1967, eventually reaching the #7 spot. The US remix has since become the standard version of the song, and has appeared on countless compilations over the years.
Title: Over Under Sideways Down
Source: Simulated stereo Australian import CD: Over, Under, Sideways, Down (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Raven (original US label: Epic)
The only Yardbirds album to feature primarily original material was released under different titles in different parts of the world. The original UK version was called simply The Yardbirds, while the US album bore the title Over, Under, Sideways, Down. In addition, the UK album was unofficially known as Roger the Engineer because of band member Chris Dreja's drawing of the band's recording engineer on the cover. The title cut was the last single to feature Jeff Beck as the band's sole lead guitarist (the follow-up single, Happenings Ten Years Time Ago, featured both Beck and Jimmy Page).
Artist: Harbinger Complex
Title: I Think I'm Down
Source: CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released on 45 RPM vinyl)
Label: Rhino (original label: Brent)
Most garage/club bands never made it beyond a single or two for a relatively small independent label. The Harbinger Complex, from Freemont, California, however, benefitted from a talent search conducted by Bob Shad, owner of Mainstream Records. The band was one of about half a dozen acts from the Bay Area to be signed by Shad in July of 1966, with the single I Think I'm Down appearing on the Brent label later that year. The song was also included on Shad's Mainstream sampler LP, With Love-A Pot Of Flowers, in 1967.
Title: Mud In Your Eye
Source: CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Polydor)
Formed in Southampton in 1965, Les Fleur De Lys underwent several personnel changes (not to mention a couple of minor name changes) over the years, recording a total of eight singles for three different labels before disbanding in 1969. Their best-known lineup consisted of vocalist/guitarist Chris Andrews, lead guitarist Bryn Haworth, bassist Gordon Haskell and drummer Keith Guster.The first single for this particular configuration was Mud In Your Eye, which was also their first as a hyphenated Fleur-De-Lys, although their is considerable evidence that the band's original guitarist, Phil Sawyer (who co-wrote Mud In Your Eye) played the lead guitar solo on the record. Although Mud In Your Eye initially failed to chart, it is now considered a landmark example of what has come to be called freakbeat, with original copies fetching in the neighborhood of $500 or more. Gordon Haskell, incidentally, is probably better known as the guy who replaced Greg Lake in King Crimson.
Artist: Manfred Mann
Title: Funniest Gig
Source: British simulated stereo CD: Think I'm Going Weird (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): Mike Hugg
Label: Grapefruit (original label: Rhino)
For most of their existence Manfred Mann was primarily a singles-oriented band, using songs from outside songwriters on their A sides and original material (often written by drummer/keyboardist Mike Hugg) on the B sides. One example of this is Funniest Gig, which was paired with Randy Newman's So Long, Dad. Funniest Gig is generally considered to be the most psychedelic recording the band ever made, and is one of the earliest records to use sampling (of the record's A side and some of the band's previous singles), which can be heard toward the end of the tune.
Title: Square Room
Source: Mono LP: Now And Them
After Van Morrison left Them to try his luck as a solo artist, the rest of the band returned to their native Ireland to recruit a new vocalist, Kenny McDowell, before relocating to California. After securing a record deal with Tower Records they went to work on the Now and Them album in late 1967, releasing the LP in January of '68. The standout track of the album is the nearly ten minute Square Room, an acid rock piece that showcases the work of guitarist Jim Armstrong.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Wild Horses
Source: CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Abkco (original label: Rolling Stones)
Although it was recorded in 1969, the release of Wild Horses was held up for over a year because of ongoing litigation between the Rolling Stones, who were in the process of forming their own record label, and Allen Klein, who had managed to legally steal the rights to all of the band's recordings for the British Decca label (most of which had appeared in the US on the London label). Eventually both Wild Horses and Brown Sugar (recorded at the same sessions) became the joint property of the Rolling Stones and Klein and were released as singles on the new Rolling Stones label in 1971.
Artist: Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels
Title: Sock It To Me-Baby!
Source: 45 RPM single
Label: Dyna Voice
It's unclear whether this song or Aretha Franklin's recording of "Respect" came out first. Regardless, both of them were being heard on top 40 radio several months before Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In (known for the phase "sock it to me") made its TV debut.
Artist: Simon and Garfunkel
Title: Fakin' It
Source: LP: Bookends
Writer: Paul Simon
Fakin' It, originally released as a single in 1967, was a bit of a departure for Simon And Garfunkel, sounding more like British psychedelic music than American folk-rock. The track starts with an intro that is similar to the false ending to the Beatles Strawberry Fields Forever; midway through the record the tempo changes drastically for a short spoken word section (name-dropping Mr. [Donovan] Leitch) that is slightly reminiscent of the bridge in Traffic's Hole In My Shoe. The song was later included on the 1968 LP Bookends.
Artist: Music Machine
Title: The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer(s): Sean Bonniwell
Label: Rhino (original label: Original Sound, stereo LP version released on Warner Brothers)
The Music Machine was by far the most advanced of all the bands playing on Sunset Strip in 1966-67. Not only did they feature tight sets (ensuring that audience members wouldn't get the chance to call out requests between songs), they also had their own visual look that set them apart from other groups. With all the band members dressed entirely in black (including dyed hair) and wearing one black glove, the Machine projected an image that would influence such diverse artists as the Ramones and Michael Jackson in later years. Musically, Bonniwell's songwriting showed a sophistication that was on a par with the best L.A. had to offer, demonstrated by a series of fine singles such as The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly. Unfortunately, problems on the business end prevented the Music Machine from achieving the success it deserved and Bonniwell, disheartened, dissillusioned and/or disgusted, eventually quit the music business altogether.
Title: You're Lost Little Girl
Source: Mono CD: Strange Days
Writer: The Doors
The Doors second LP, Strange Days, was stylistically similar to the first, and served notice to the world that this band was going to be around for awhile. Songwriting credit for You're Lost Little Girl (a haunting number that's always been a personal favorite of mine) was given to the entire band, a practice that would continue until the release of The Soft Parade in 1969.
Artist: Vanilla Fudge
Title: Bang Bang
Source: LP: Vanilla Fudge
Writer: Sonny Bono
Vanilla Fudge made their reputation by taking popular hit songs, such as the Supremes' You Keep Me Hangin' On, and extensively re-arranging them, giving the songs an almost classical feel. In fact, some of their arrangements incorporated (uncredited) snippets of actual classical pieces. One glaring example is the Vanilla Fudge arrangement of Cher's biggest solo hit of the 60s, Bang Bang (written by her then-husband Sonny Bono). Unfortunately, although I recognize the classical piece the band uses for an intro to Bang Bang, I can't seem to remember what it's called or who wrote it. Anyone out there able to help? I think it may have been used in a 1950s movie like The King And I or Attack of the Killer Women from Planet X.
Artist: MC Squared
Title: My Mind Goes High
Source: Mono British import CD: My Mind Goes High (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Warner Strategic Marketing (original label: Reprise)
MC2 (pronounced "em see squared") only released one single, the folk-pop tinged My Mind Goes High on the Reprise label in 1967, before disbanding following a dispute with their producer, Lenny Waronker. One member, however, drummer Jim Keltner, went on to make a name for himself playing on John Lennon's albums in the early 70s and doing studio work for a variety of well-known acts. He also toured as a member of Booker T & the MGs in the 1990s, appearing onstage backing up Neil Young.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Source: LP: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s): Paul Kantner
Label: RCA Victor
One of the first songs written by Paul Kantner without a collaborator was this highly listenable tune from Surrealistic Pillow. Kantner says the title simply refers to the basic chord structure of the song, which is built on a two chord verse (D and C) and a two chord bridge (B and A). That actually fits, but what about the 25 part? [insert enigmatic smile here]
Title: Only A Northern Song (alternate version)
Source: CD: Anthology 2
Writer(s): George Harrison
Year: Recorded 1967, released 1999
Anyone who thinks that George Harrison was happily oblivious to how badly he was being screwed over as a songwriter during his years as a member of the Beatles need only listen to the lyrics of Only A Northern Song, one of four new tracks submitted by the band for use in the film Yellow Submarine. Although Harrison had actually formed his own publishing company, Harrisongs, in 1964, he was persuaded to stay with the band's own Northern Songs LTD. by his bandmates when the company went public in 1965 in order to get around British tax laws on international sales of Beatles' compositions. The problem was that, as the principle songwriters, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were also the principle stockholders, at 15% each, while Harrison and Ringo Starr each owned only .08%. This meant that Lennon and McCartney were actually making more in royalties on Harrison's compositions than Harrison himself. Harrison later said that the company's manager, Dick James, hadn't told him that he was giving up ownership of his own compositions by signing with Northern Songs. Following the formation of Apple Corp in 1968 Harrison's compositions were no longer published by Northern Songs.
Artist: Davie Jones with the King Pins
Title: Louie, Louie Go Home
Source: Mono CD: Early On (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Label: Rhino (original label: Vocalion)
OK, quick! What was David Bowie's first single? If you answered something like Space Oddity, you'd be way off. If you said Can't Help Thinking About Me (recorded with The Lower Third) you'd be a bit closer, as that was the first one he released after changing his last name to Bowie. But the actual answer is a song called Liza Jane, an adaptation of an old gospel number that came out in June of 1964 under Bowie's birth name, Davie Jones. The B side of that single was a cover of the first single Paul Revere and the Raiders had recorded for Columbia and released just three months earlier. For some mysterious reason Bowie's version changed the name of the song slightly and left co-writer Mark Lindsay's name off of the songwriting credits.
Artist: Sand Pebbles
Title: Red, Orange, Purple & Blue
Source: Australian import CD: Ceduna
Writer(s): Sand Pebbles
Label: Sensory Projects
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. The album, released in 2008, opens with Red, Orange, Purple & Blue.
Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: Last Night I Had A Dream
Source: British import LP: Artifact
Writer(s): Randy Newman
More than thirty years after being squeezed out of their own band, most of the original members of the Electric Prunes reformed the group in the late 1990s, working up new material for what would become the album Artifact. Self-released in 2000 and then reissued in slightly shorter form in the UK by Heartbeat Productions the following year, Artifact contains mostly original material written by vocalist James Lowe and bassist Mark Tulin. The two cover songs on the album were chosen by the band members themselves, unlike during their original late 1960s run, where they recorded what their producer told them to record. One of the two is a cover of the obscure 1968 Randy Newman single Last Night I Had A Dream, that not only captures, but enhances, the dark humor of Newman's original version.
Artist: Dukes Of Stratosphear
Title: Your Gold Dress
Source: CD: Chips From The Chocolate Factory (originally released on EP: 25 O'Clock)
Writer(s): Andy Partridge
Label: Caroline (original label: Virgin)
In 1985, XTC decided to take a break and record an EP, 25 O'Clock, anonymously as the Dukes of Stratosphear. They circulated rumours that this was some previously undiscovered psych band from the late 1960s. Of course, everyone should have suspected that something was not quite as it seemed with the Dukes, as the EP (or "mini-album") was released on April Fool's Day of 1985. Still, the authentic recreation of mid to late 60s production techniques, as well as its Disraeli Gears-inspired album cover, were enough to keep people guessing, at least for a while. Ironically, 25 O'Clock actually outsold the then-current XTC album. Most of the songs on 25 O'Clock, including Your Gold Dress, were written by bandleader Andy Partridge.
Artist: Syndicate Of Sound
Title: Little Girl
Source: 45 RPM single
San Jose California, despite being a relatively small city in the pre-silicon valley days, was home to a thriving music scene in the mid 60s that produced more than its share of hit records from 1966-68. One of the earliest and biggest of these hits was the Syndicate Of Sound hit Little Girl, which has come to be recognized as one of the top garage-rock songs of all time. Little Girl was originally released regionally in mid 1966 on the Hush label, and reissued nationally by Bell Records a couple months later.
Artist: Ten Years After
Source: European import CD: Ten Years After
Writer(s): Willie Dixon
The late 1960s saw the rise of a British blues-rock scene that brought fame to Peter Green, Dave Edmunds and other talented guitarists. One of the first bands to release an album in this sub-genre was Ten Years After, led by Alvin Lee. Their debut LP, released in 1967, included several cover tunes, including Spoonful, which had been recorded the previous year by Cream (in studio form), and would gain popularity as a live track in 1968.
Artist: Five Man Electrical Band
Source: Mono CD: Songs Of Protest (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): Les Emerson
Everybody has at least one song they have fond memories of hearing on the radio while riding around in a friend's car on a hot summer evening. Signs, from Canada's Five Man Electrical Band, is one of mine. The song was originally released as the B side of a song called Hello Melinda Goodbye, but it soon became obvious that Signs was the real hit.
Artist: Jethro Tull
Title: Singing All Day
Source: LP: Living In The Past
Writer(s): Ian Anderson
Year: Recorded 1969, released 1972
Singing All Day is one of several tracks recorded during the sessions for the third Jethro Tull LP, Benefit, but not included on the album itself. The song finally got released in 1972 on the Living In The Past album and is now available as a bonus track on the CD version of Benefit.
Artist: Deep Purple
Title: Faultline/The Painter
Source: LP: Deep Purple
The third and final album by the original Deep Purple lineup was plagued with bad luck, the worst being that the band's US label, Tetragrammaton Records, ran into financial trouble right after the album was released and was unable to promote either the album or the band itself. The music was also a departure from the band's previous style, which could be described as England's answer to Vanilla Fudge. Deep Purple (the album) was almost entirely made up of original material, including the final track on side one which combines the instrumental Faultline with The Painter. Following the release of the album singer Rod Evans left the band to form Captain Beyond, and Deep Purple (the band) would move in a harder rock direction with new lead vocalist Ian Gillan.
Title: Open My Eyes
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Nazz)
Writer(s): Todd Rundgren
Label: Rhino (original label: SGC)
The Nazz was a band from Philadelphia who were basically the victims of their own bad timing. 1968 was the year that progressive FM radio began to get recognition as a viable format while top 40 radio was being dominated by bubble gum pop bands such as the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Ohio Express. The Nazz, on the other hand, sounded more like British bands such as the Move and Brian Augur's Trinity that were performing well on the UK charts but were unable to buy a hit in the US. The band had plenty of talent, most notably guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Todd Rundgren, who would go on to establish a successful career, both as an artist (he played all the instruments on his Something/Anything LP and led the band Utopia) and a producer (Grand Funk's We're An American Band, as well as many others). Open My Eyes was originally issued as the A side of a single, but ended up being eclipsed in popularity by its flip side, a song called Hello It's Me, that ended up getting airplay in Boston and other cities, eventually hitting the Canadian charts (a new version would become a solo hit for Rundgren five years later).
Artist: Circus Maximus
Title: Short-Haired Fathers
Source: LP: Circus Maximus
Writer(s): Bob Bruno
Circus Maximus was formed in Greenwich Village by guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Bob Bruno and guitarist Jerry Jeff Walker in 1967. The group originally wanted to call itself the Lost Sea Dreamers, but changed it after the Vanguard Records expressed reservations about signing a group with the initials LSD. Of the eleven tracks on the band's debut LP, only four were written by Walker, and those were in more of a folk-rock vein. Bruno's seven tracks, on the other hand, are true gems of psychedelia, ranging from the jazz-influenced Wind to the proto-punk rocker Short-Haired Fathers. The group fell apart after only two albums, mostly due to the growing musical differences between Walker and Bruno. Walker, of course, went on to become one of the most successful songwriters of the country-rock genre. As for Bruno, he's still in New York City, concentrating more on the visual arts in recent years.
Artist: Shadows Of Knight
Title: Gospel Zone
Source: LP: Back Door Men
Writer(s): Tom Schiffour
Label: Sundazed (original label: Dunwich)
Chicago's Shadows Of Knight hit the big time with their cover of Van Morrison's Gloria in early 1966. The single was a local #1 hit and by summertime had hit the top 10 across the nation. The band's first album (appropriately titled Gloria) had been released in April, doing well enough to warrant a second LP, as well as several singles from the band. Among the single tracks released in the summer of 1966 was Gospel, which was released as a B side in August and later included on the LP Back Door Men. The Shadows, however, were never able to duplicate the success of Gloria, and by 1968 were essentially disbanded, although various producers were still using the band's name as late as 1970.
Title: Circle Sky
Source: LP: Head
Writer(s): Michael Nesmith
A total departure from anything the Monkees had done before, Head, the group's first and only movie, was a commercial flop. The soundtrack album was equally ignored, despite (or maybe because of) the fact that it featured some of the group's most innovative and experimental recordings, such as Michael Nesmith's Circle Sky, a song that defies easy categorization.
Artist: Rainbow Ffolly
Title: Sun Sing
Source: CD: Insane Times (originally released on LP: Sallies Fforth)
Writer(s): Richard Dunsterville
Label: Zonophone (original label: Parlophone)
Some records can only be described as "magical". Such is the case with Sun Sing, from the only Rainbow Ffolly album, Sallies Fforth. The album itself is essentially a bunch of demo tapes made by a group of High Wycombe (a city of about 100,000 about 30 miles from London) art students led by the Dunsterville brothers, Jonathan and Richard. The tapes were made at a local studio in Rickmansworth during off hours and are characterized by the unorthodox approach to record-making used by the group. At the suggestion of the studio owners, the group added various jingles and sound effects between the songs (similar to the approach used on The Who Sell Out) and sold the project as a "sound package" to EMI, which issued it on its Parlophone label in 1968.