This week we shine the spotlight on The Twain Shall Meet, the second album by Eric Burdon And The Animals. Unlike the original Animals, this new group, formed in 1967, embraced psychedelia, and with its second album managed to fit in everything from electric violin to bagpipes. Also of note: a live track recorded for, but not included on Big Brother And The Holding Company's first album for Columbia Records, the last Golliwogs record (which was also the first Creedence Clearwater Revival record) and some early Lighthouse. Plus, as always, an assortment of singles, B sides and album tracks from the late 1960s.
Title: Paper Sun
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Label: Silver Spotlight (original label: United Artists)
One of the first British acid-rock bands was a group called Deep Feeling, which included drummer Jim Capaldi and woodwind player Chris Wood. At the same time Deep Feeling was experimenting with psychedelia, another, more commercially oriented band, the Spencer Davis Group, was tearing up the British top 40 charts with hits like Keep On Running, Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm A Man. The undisputed star of the Spencer Davis Group was a teenaged guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist named Steve Winwood, who was also beginning to make his mark as a songwriter. Along with guitarist/vocalist Dave Mason, who had worked with Capaldi in earlier bands, they formed Traffic in the spring of 1967, releasing their first single, Paper Sun, in May of that year. Capaldi and Winwood had actually written the tune while Winwood was still in the Spencer Davis Group, and the song was an immediate hit in the UK. This was followed quickly by an album, Mr. Fantasy, that, as was the common practice at the time in the UK, did not include Paper Sun. When the album was picked up by United Artists Records for US release in early 1968, however, Paper Sun was included as the LP's opening track, albeit with an early fade. The US version of the album was originally titled Heaven Is In Your Mind, but was quickly retitled Mr. Fantasy to match the original British title (although the alterations in track listing remained). When the song was reissued as a single in the 1980s it was restored to its original four minute length.
Title: I Can't See Your Face In My Mind
Source: LP: Strange Days
Writer(s): The Doors
One of the most haunting Doors ever recorded is I Can't See Your Face In My Mind, from their second 1967 LP, Strange Days. It also ranks among the most sadness-evoking song titles I've ever run across. Such is the power of poetry, I guess. Frankly I'm surprised that the Alzheimer's Association hasn't purchased the rights to the song to use on one of their TV fundraising spots.
Artist: Music Machine
Source: CD: Beyond The Garage (originally released on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer: Sean Bonniwell
Label: Sundazed (original label: Warner Brothers)
Discrepancy, one of Sean Bonniwell's most sophisticated recordings with his band the Music Machine, features two simultaneous vocal lines. The main one, sung by Bonniwell (in the left channel) as a single melody line, tells the story of a deteriorating relationship. In the opposite channel we hear a breathy multi-part vocal line that tells the same story from the perspective of the subconscious. The two come together lyrically from time to time to express key concepts such as the line "now I know I'm losing you", only to once again diverge onto their separate tracks. The bridge serves to further unite the two divergent lines with the repeating plea to "tell me what to do". Discrepancy is one of the tracks recorded by the original Music Machine lineup (Bonniwell on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Mark Landon on lead guitar, Ron Edgar on drums, Doug Rhodes on keyboards and Keith Olsen on bass) that was never released on Original Sound Records, either as an LP track or on a 45 RPM single. Instead, the song was included on the LP Bonniwell Music Machine, released by Warner Brothers in 1967.
Artist: Procol Harum
Title: Lime Street Blues
Source: 45 RPM single B side (reissue)
Label: A&M (original label: Deram)
Anyone expecting more of the same when flipping over their new copy of A Whiter Shade Of Pale in 1967 got a big surprise when they heard Lime Street Blues. The song, reminiscent of an early Ray Charles track, was strong enough to be included on their first greatest hits collection, no mean feat for a B side.
Artist: Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title: Peace Of Mind
Source: Mono CD: Greatest Hits (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Billy Altman, in his liner notes for the expanded 1999 version of Paul Revere And The Raiders' Greatest Hits CD, refers to Peace Of Mind as "psychedelic-souled". I've never run across that particular term before, so I thought I'd repeat it here. Peace Of Mind was one of the last songs to feature the participation of producer Terry Melcher, who had co-written many of the band's hit songs. With Melcher's departure, vocalist Mark Lindsay took more personal control of the band's direction, bringing in studio musicians for most of their subsequent recordings.
Title: Step Out Of Your Window You Can Fly
Source: Mono CD: A Lethal Dose Of Hard Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Arf! Arf! (original label: Westwood)
Canton, Ohio, was home to Westwood Records, which issued Step Out Of Your Window You Can Fly as a single in 1969. Not much is known about the band Lovechain, however, except that they were reportedly from the Dover-New Philadelphia, Ohio, area. I can't help but think that Art Linkletter did not put his stamp of approval on this one.
Title: While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Source: CD: The Beatles
Writer(s): George Harrison
Label: Parlophone (original label: Apple)
George Harrison had already written several songs that had appeared on various Beatles albums (and an occasional B side) through 1968, but his first song to be universally acknowledged as a classic was While My Guitar Gently Weeps, which appeared on The Beatles (aka the White Album). The recording features Harrison's close friend, guitarist Eric Clapton, who at that time was enjoying superstar status as a member of Cream.
Title: The Door Into Summer
Source: CD: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.
Label: Rhino (original label: Colgems)
After playing nearly all the instrumental tracks on their third album themselves, the Monkees came to the painful conclusion that they would not be able to repeat the effort and still have time to tape a weekly TV show. As a result, the fourth Monkees LP, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones LTD., used studio musicians extensively, albeit under the creative supervision of the Monkees themselves. The group also had the final say over what songs ended up on the album, including The door Into Summer, a tune by Bill Martin, a friend of band leader Michael Nesmith. For reasons that are too complicated to get into here (and probably wouldn't make much sense anyway), co-credit was given to the album's producer, Chip Douglas.
Artist: Saturday's Children
Title: Deck Five
Source: Mono CD: If You're Ready! The Best Of Dunwich Records...Volume 2 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Label: Sundazed/Here 'Tis (original label: Dunwich)
Although Saturday's Children were never popular enough to warrant an entire album, they did get to record a Christmas single in 1966. The B side of that single was an innovative take on both Deck The Halls and We Three Kings, done in 5/4 time a la Dave Brubeck's Take Five. Expect to hear this one again on a future Yule show.
Title: Can't Seem To Make You Mine
Source: Mono European import CD: Singles As & Bs 1965-1970 (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: The Seeds)
Writer: Sky Saxon
Label: GNP Crescendo/ Big Beat
One of the first psychedelic singles to hit the L.A. market in 1965 was Can't Seem To Make You Mine. The song was also chosen to lead off the first Seeds album. Indeed, it could be argued that this was the song that first defined the "flower power" sound, its local success predating that of the Seeds' biggest hit, Pushin' Too Hard, by several months.
Title: Over Under Sideways Down
Source: 45 RPM single
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 Over Under Sideways Down title. 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 new member Jimmy Page).
Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival (originally released as by the Golliwogs)
Source: Canadian import LP: Creedence Clearwater Revival (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): John Fogerty
Label: Fantasy (original label: Scorpio)
The last single recorded by San Francisco's Golliwogs was a song called Porterville, released on the Scorpio label in November of 1967. Four months later the same recording using the same catalog number was reissued, this time credited to Creedence Clearwater Revival. The song was included on CCR's debut LP later that same year.
Artist: Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title: Catch Me Baby
Source: CD: Cheap Thrills (bonus track)
Year: Recorded 1968, released 1999
After Columbia bought out Big Brother And The Holding Company's contract from Mainstream Records it was decided that the best way to record the band was during a live performance. On March 2, 1968 several songs were recorded at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, but after reviewing the recordings, producer John Simon decided to re-record the band in the studio and overdub crowd noise to make the album appear to be a live performance. In 1999, two of the Detroit performances, including Catch Me Baby, were included as bonus tracks on the remastered CD version of Cheap Thrills.
Artist: Blues Magoos
Title: There's A Chance We Can Make It
Source: 45 RPM single
Following up on their biggest hit, (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet, the Blues Magoos released a song called There's A Chance We Can Make It backed with Pipe Dream for their next single. Unfortunately for both songs, some stations elected to play There's A Chance We Can Make It while others preferred Pipe Dream. The result was that neither song charted as high as it could have had it been released with a weaker B side. This had the ripple effect of causing Electric Comic Book (the album both songs appeared on) to not chart as well as its predecessor Psychedelic Lollipop had. This in turn caused Mercury Records to lose faith in the Blues Magoos and not give them the kind of promotion that could have kept the band in the public eye beyond its 15 minutes of fame. The ultimate result was that for many years, there were an excessive number of busboys and cab drivers claiming to have once been members of the Blues Magoos and not many ways to disprove their claims, at least until the internet made information about the group's actual membership more accessible.
Artist: West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Source: CD: Part One
Label: Sundazed (original label: Reprise)
Despite its name, Part One is actually the second album recorded by the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. The first one was an early example of a practice that would become almost mandatory for a new band in the 1990s. An album called Volume One was recorded at a home studio and issued independently on the tiny Fifa label by the Harris brothers. After signing to Reprise they decided to pretend their earlier album didn't exist and titled their first LP for the label Part One. Unlike on Volume One, which was made up almost entirely of cover songs, Part One has several original compositions by band members, including Leiyla, a tune with a rather unusual bridge section.
Artist: Chocolate Watch Band
Title: Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In) (originally released on LP: No Way Out and as 45 RPM single)
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk
Label: Rhino (original label: Tower)
It took me several years to sort out the convoluted truth behind the recorded works of San Jose, California's most popular local band, the Chocolate Watch Band. While it's true that much of what was released under their name was in fact the work of studio musicians, there are a few tracks that are indeed the product of Dave Aguilar and company. Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In), a song used in the cheapie teenspliotation flick the Love-In and included on the Watch Band's first album, is one of those few. Ironically, the song was co-written by Don Bennett, the studio vocalist whose voice was substituted for Aguilar's on a couple of other songs from the same album. According to legend, the band actually showed up at the movie studio without any songs prepared for the film, and learned to play and sing Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In) right there on the set. This, combined with the story of their first visit to a recording studio the previous year (a story for another time) shows one of the Watch Band's greatest strengths: the ability to pick up and perfect new material faster than anyone else. It also shows their overall disinterest in the recording process. This was a band that wanted nothing more than to play live, often outperforming the big name bands they opened for.
Artist: Country Joe And The Fish
Title: Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine
Source: LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s): Joe McDonald
While not as commercially successful as the Jefferson Airplane or as long-lived as the Grateful Dead (there's an oxymoron for ya), Country Joe and the Fish may well be the most accurate musical representation of what the whole Haight-Ashbury scene was about, which is itself ironic, since the band operated out of Berkeley on the other side of the bay. Of all the tracks on their first album, Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine probably got the most airplay on various underground radio stations that were popping up on the FM dial at the time (some of them even legally).
Artist: Mojo Men
Title: She's My Baby (remixed version)
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Autumn; remixed version: Reprise)
Although generally considered to be one of the early San Francisco bands, the Mojo Men actually originated in Rochester, NY. After spending most of the early 60s in Florida playing to fraternities, the band moved out the West Coast in 1965, becoming mainstays on the San Francisco scene. Their strongest track was She's My Baby, a rockabilly tune originally recorded by Steve Alaimo and reworked by the Mojo Men and producer Sly Stone into a garage/punk classic.
Artist: Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title: Sky Pilot/We Love You Lil/All Is One
Source: LP: The Twain Shall Meet
The Twain Shall Meet was the second album from Eric Burdon and the Animals, the new group formed in early 1967 after Eric Burdon changed his mind about embarking on a solo career. Produced by Tom Wilson (who had also produced Bob Dylan's first electric recordings and the Blues Project's Projections album), The Twain Shall Meet was an ambitious work that shows a band often reaching beyond its grasp, despite having its heart in the right place. For the most part, though, side two of the album works fairly well, starting with the anti-war classic Sky Pilot and continuing into the instrumental We Love You Lil. The final section, All Is One, is a unique blend of standard rock instrumentation (guitar, bass, drums, keyboards) combined with strings, horns, sitar, bagpipes, oboe, flute, studio effects, and drone vocals that builds to a frenetic climax, followed by a spoken line by Burdon to end the album.
Title: Open My Eyes
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Nazz)
Writer: Todd Rundgren
Label: Rhino (original label: SGC)
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. 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, among 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 newly recorded version would become a solo hit for Rundgren five years later).
Artist: Canned Heat
Title: Boogie Music
Source: LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Living The Blues and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): L.T.Tatman III
Label: United Artists (original label: Liberty)
Canned Heat was formed in 1966 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area blues purists. Although a favorite on the rock scene, the band continued to remain true to the blues throughout its existence, even after relocating to the Laurel Canyon area near Los Angeles in 1968. The band's most popular single was Going Up the Country from the album Living the Blues. The B side of that single was another track from Living The Blues that actually had a longer running time on the single than on the album version. Although the single uses the same basic recording of Boogie Music as the album, it includes a short low-fidelity instrumental tacked onto the end of the song that sounds suspiciously like a 1920s recording of someone playing a melody similar to Going Up The Country on a fiddle. The only time this unique version of the song appeared in true stereo was on a 1969 United Artists compilation called Progressive Heavies that also featured tracks from Johnny Winter, Traffic, the Spencer Davis Group and others.
Artist: Blues Project
Title: Caress Me Baby
Source: Mono CD: Projections
Writer: Jimmy Reed
Label: Sundazed (original label: Verve Folkways)
After deliberately truncating their extended jams for their first LP, Live At The Cafe Au-Go-Go, the Blues Project recorded a second album that was a much more accurate representation of what the band was all about. Mixed in with the group's original material was this outstanding cover of Caress Me Baby, an old Jimmy Reed tune sung by lead guitarist and Blues Project founder Danny Kalb that runs over seven minutes in length. Andy Kuhlberg's memorable walking bass line would be lifted a few year later by Blood, Sweat and Tears bassist Jim Fielder for the track Blues, Part II.
Title: Sand And Foam
Source: 45 RPM single B side (originally released on LP: Mellow Yellow)
Writer: Donovan Leitch
When Donovan Leitch, a young singer from Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland, first came to prominence, he was hailed as Britain's answer to Bob Dylan. By 1966 he was recognized as the most popular folk singer in the UK. But Donovan was already starting to stretch beyond the boundaries of folk music, and in the fall of that year he released his first major US hit, Sunshine Superman. From that point on he was no longer Donovan the folk singer; he was now Donovan the singer-songwriter. Donovan continued to expand his musical horizons in 1967 with the release of the Mellow Yellow album and singles such as There Is A Mountain. The B side of There Is A Mountain was Sand And Foam, an acoustic number from the Mellow Yellow album.
Artist: Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title: Gold And Silver
Source: CD: Quicksilver Messenger Service
There are differing opinions on just how serious legendary San Francisco singer/songwriter and all-around iconoclast Dino Valenti was being when, at a jam session with guitarist John Cippolina one night, he suggested that the two of them form a band. Since Valenti was busted for marijuana posession the very next day (and ended up spending the next two years in jail), we'll never know for sure. Cippolina, however, was motivated enough to begin finding members for the new band, including bassist David Freiberg (later to join Starship) and drummer Skip Spence. When Marty Balin stole Spence away to join his own new band (Jefferson Airplane), he tried to make up for it by introducing Cippolina to vocalist/guitarist Gary Duncan and drummer Greg Elmore, whose own band, the Brogues, had recently disbanded. Taking the name Quicksilver Messenger Service (so named for all the member's astrological connections with the planet Mercury), the new band soon became a fixture on the San Francisco scene. Inspired by the Blues Project, Cippolina and Duncan quickly established a reputation for their dual guitar improvisational abilities on songs like Gold And Silver, an instrumental that utilizes the 5/4 beat popularized by Dave Brubeck. Unlike other San Francisco bands such as the Airplane, Moby Grape and the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service did not jump at their first offer from a major record label, preferring to hold out for the best deal. This meant their debut album did not come out until 1968, missing out on the initial buzz surrounding the summer of love and ultimately relegating them to secondary status among rock bands.
Title: Presents of Presence
Source: LP: Suite Feeling
Label: RCA Victor
Lighthouse was formed in Toronto in 1968 by vocalist/drummer Skip Prokop (formerly of the Paupers) and keyboardist/arranger Paul Hoffert. The idea was to combine a rock rhythm section with R&B-style horns and classical-style strings. The first move they made was to recruit guitarist Ralph Cole, whom the Paupers had shared a bill with in New York. The three of them then went about recruiting an assortment of friends, studio musicians and members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, making a demo tape and submitting it to M-G-M records, who immediately offered Lighthouse a contract. The band's manager, however, was able to get a better contract from RCA, and the group set about recording their first album, making their stage debut in Toronto in May of 1969. Among the original 13 members of the band were lead vocalist Vic "Pinky" Davin and saxophonist Howard Shore (who would become the leader of the house band for NBC's Saturday Night Live when that TV show made its debut in 1975). The group managed to record two albums that year, their eponymous debut album and the follow-up Suite Feeling. Both albums were recorded at Toronto's Eastern Sound Studio and released on the RCA Victor label in 1969. Although the group scored a couple of minor hits in their native Canada, they were not able to achieve commercial success in the US, and, after a third LP for RCA, changed labels to GRT in Canada and Evolution in the US, where (after several personnel changes, including lead vocals) they managed to chart two top 40 singles in 1971 and 1972.