Sunday, January 29, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2305 (starts 1/30/23)

    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.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Paper Sun
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Winwood/Capaldi
Label:    Silver Spotlight (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1967
    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.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    I Can't See Your Face In My Mind
Source:    LP: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    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
Title:    Discrepancy
Source:    CD: Beyond The Garage (originally released on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer:    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
    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)
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    A&M (original label: Deram)
Year:    1967
    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)
Writer(s):    Lindsay/Melcher
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1967
    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.

Artist:    Lovechain
Title:    Step Out Of Your Window You Can Fly
Source:    Mono CD: A Lethal Dose Of Hard Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Thomas/Mallius
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Westwood)
Year:    1969
    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.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Source:    CD: The Beatles
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Apple)
Year:    1968
    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.

Artist:     Monkees
Title:     The Door Into Summer
Source:     CD: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.
Writer:     Douglas/Martin
Label:     Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:     1967
     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)
Writer(s):    Bryan/Holder
Label:    Sundazed/Here 'Tis (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    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.

Artist:    Seeds
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
Year:    1965
    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.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Over Under Sideways Down
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Dreja/Relf/Samwell-Smith/McCarty/Beck
Label:    Epic
Year:    1966
     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)
Title:    Porterville
Source:    Canadian import LP: Creedence Clearwater Revival (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    John Fogerty
Label:    Fantasy (original label: Scorpio)
Year:    1967
    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)
Writer(s):    Albin/Andrew/Gtez/Gurley/Joplin
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
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
Writer:    Gilbert/Scala
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1967
     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
Title:        Leiyla
Source:      CD: Part One
Writer(s):    Markley/Harris
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Reprise)
Year:        1967
     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
Writer:    McElroy/Bennett
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    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
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    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)
Writer:     Stewart/Alaimo/Curcio
Label:     Rhino (original label: Autumn; remixed version: Reprise)
Year:     1966
     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
Writer(s):     Burdon/Briggs/Weider/McCulloch/Jenkins
Label:     M-G-M
Year:     1968
     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.

Artist:     Nazz
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)
Year:     1968
     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)
Year:    1968
    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)
Year:     1966
     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.

Artist:     Donovan
Title:     Sand And Foam
Source:     45 RPM single B side (originally released on LP: Mellow Yellow)
Writer:     Donovan Leitch
Label:     Epic
Year:     1967
     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
Writer(s):    Duncan/Schuster
Label:    RockBeat
Year:    1968
    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.

Artist:    Lighthouse
Title:    Presents of Presence
Source:    LP: Suite Feeling
Writer(s):    Prokop/Hoffert
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1969
    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.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2305 (starts 1/30/23) 

    Another week of free-form rock, this time with the emphasis on rock, including a track from the first acknowledged Japanese heavy metal album.

Artist:    Steely Dan
Title:    Reeling In The Years
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Becker/Fagen
Label:    MCA (original label: ABC)
Year:    1972
    My first radio gig (sort of), was volunteering at the Voice Of Holloman, a closed-circuit station that served a handful of locations on Holloman AFB, about 10 miles from Alamogordo, NM. I had been taking broadcasting courses through a community college program that was taught by Sgt. Tim Daniels, who was the NCO in charge of the base Information Office. As such he ran the station, as well as a free weekly newspaper that was distributed on base. After completing the classes, Tim gave me the opportunity to do a daily two-hour show on the VOH, using records that had been sent to the station by various record labels. We got excellent singles service from some labels (Warner Brothers and Capitol in particular), but virtually nothing from others, such as ABC. This was unfortunate, as one of the best songs out at the time was Steely Dan's Reeling In The Years, from their 1972 Can't Buy A Thrill album. Tim, whose previous gig was with the Armed Forces Vietnam Network, was a big rock fan, however, and went out and bought his own copy of the album, making a copy of Reeling In The Years on reel to reel tape, which we then played extensively until the song had run its course on the charts. Thus the Voice Of Holloman, with its audience consisting mostly of guys working out at the base gym, was playing the longer album version of a song that was also getting airplay on Alamogordo's daytime-only top 40 AM station, KINN, in its edited single form. It was just about the nearest the Voice Of Holloman ever got to being an underground rock station (although I did manage to sneak in some Procol Harum, Little Feat and once even Deep Purple from the aformentioned Warner Brothers singles).

Artist:    Allman Brothers Band
Title:    Hot 'Lanta
Source:    LP: At Fillmore East
Writer(s):    Allman/Allman/Betts/Trucks/Oakley/Johanson
Label:    Mercury (original label: Capricorn)
Year:    1971
    The only "new" song on the Allman Brothers' landmark album At Fillmore East was Hot 'Lanta, a piece that evolved out of a jam session and was only performed live. The melody line comes from guitarist Dickey Betts, who also contributes a solo, as do fellow guitarist Duane Allman and keyboardist Gregg Allman.

Artist:    Todd Rundgren's Utopia
Title:    Do Ya
Source:    LP: Another Live
Writer(s):    Jeff Lynne
Label:    Bearsville
Year:    1975
    Todd Rundgren has never been one to wear labels well, so when he began to get a reputation as a singer/songwriter in the early to mid 1970s he went out and formed a band. That band, originally known as Todd Rundgren's Utopia, released their first live album in 1975. Among the non-Rundgren penned pieces the band performed was Do Ya, a song that had originally been released as a B side by the Move. Meanwhile the Electric Light Orchestra, a band led by Jeff Lynne that had evolved from the Move, had also been performing the song live. After a rock journalist asked ELO members what they thought of Rundgren's "original version" of the song they decided to record a new studio version of the song to let everyone know that it was a Jeff Lynne song in the first place, releasing it on their 1976 LP A New World Record.

Artist:    Uriah Heep
Title:    Spider Woman
Source:    European import CD: The Magician's Birthday
Writer(s):    Box/Byron/Kerslake/Thain
Label:    Sanctuary (original US label: Mercury)
Year:    1972
    Although Uriah Heep was known as an album-oriented band in the US and their native UK, they did have some top 40 success in Scandanavia and Northern Europe, especially in Germany, where they scored three top 20 hits from 1970-72. The last of these was Spider Woman, from the Magician's Birthday album, which went to the #14 spot on the German charts.

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    Children Of The Grave
Source:    CD: Greatest Hits 1970-1978 (originally released on LP: Master Of Reality)
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osbourne/Butler/Ward
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    One of the spookiest experiences in my life was crashing at a stranger's house after having my mind blown at a Grand Funk Railroad/Black Oak Arkansas concert in the fall of 1971. A bunch of us had ridden back to Weatherford, Oklahoma, from Norman (about an hour's drive) and somehow I ended up separated from my friends Mike and DeWayne, in whose college dorm room I had been crashing for a couple of days. So here I am in some total strangers house, lying on the couch in this room with black walls, a black light, a few posters and a cheap stereo playing a brand new album I had never heard before: Black Sabbath's Master Of Reality. Suddenly I notice this weird little tapping sound going back and forth from speaker to speaker. Such was my state of mind at the time that I really couldn't tell if it was a hallucination or not. The stereo was one of those late 60s models that you could stack albums on, and whoever had put the album on had left the stereo in repeat mode before heading off to bed, with no more albums stacked after the Sabbath LP. This meant that every twenty minutes or so I would hear Children Of The Grave, with that weird little tapping sound going back and forth from speaker to speaker. Trust me, it was creepy, as was the whispering at the end of track. No wonder Ozzy Ozbourne called Children Of The Grave "the most kick-ass song we'd ever recorded."

Artist:    Robin Trower
Title:    Bridge Of Sighs
Source:    CD: Bridge Of Sighs
Writer(s):    Robin Trower
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1974
    One of the most celebrated guitar albums of all time, Bridge Of Sighs was Robin Trower's second solo LP following his departure from Procol Harum. Released in 1974, the LP spent 31 weeks on the Billboard album charts, peaking at #7. Bridge of Sighs has served as a template for later guitar-oriented albums, especially those of Warren Haines and Gov't Mule.

Artist:    Bob Seger System
Title:    Black Eyed Girl
Source:    LP: Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
Writer(s):    Bob Seger
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    The Bob Seger System was one of the top local bands on the Detroit rock scene in the late 60s. As was typical of that scene, the System played a hard-edged brand of rock that played well with the sons and daughters of the city's mostly blue-collar workforce. Following a series of regional hit singles, the System hit the big time after signing with Capitol Records in 1968. After releasing one of the most intense antiwar songs ever recorded (2+2=?), the band began work on their debut LP, tentatively entitled Tales Of Lucy Blue. Before the album was finished Capitol released a second single by the band, Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, which was such a huge hit they decided to rename the album after the song (although the original Lucy Blue cover art remained). The LP itself had some fine rockers, such as Black Eyed Girl, which at six and a half minutes was the longest cut on the album. The LP was not a major success, however, and for years it looked like Bob Seger would be remembered only as a one-hit wonder. Seger resurfaced in the late 1970s with a new group, the Silver Bullet Band, and went on to become a major rock star.

Artist:    Flower Travellin' Band
Title:    Satori-Part IV
Source:    CD: Satori
Writer(s):    Satori
Label:    Phoenix (original US label: GRT)
Year:    1971
    Possibly the first Japanese heavy metal band and almost certainly the first Japanese psychedelic group, the Flower Travelin' Band was created as a side project of Yuyu Yuchida, a friend of John Lennon's who, having heard Jimi Hendrix and Cream on a trip to England, wanted to introduce Japanese audiences to this new kind of music. After returning to Japan he gathered a group of musicians together and recorded the first Flowerin' Travellin' Band LP in 1969. The album was made up entirely of covers of bands like Cream and Led Zeppelin. It wasn't until 1971 (and several personnel changes) that the FTB recorded their first LP made up entirely of original material. The album was called Satori, as were all five tracks on the album. Satori is often cited as the first original Japanese heavy metal album. After listening to it I'd say it was one of the first heavy metal albums period.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Why Didn't Rosemary
Source:    LP: Deep Purple
Writer(s):    Lord/Blackmore/Evans/Paice/Simper
Label:    Tetragrammaton
Year:    1969
    Deep Purple's self-titled third LP was plagued with problems not of the band's own making. Most of these can be traced to the fact that their American label, Tetragrammaton, was in deep (no pun intended) financial trouble. This meant virtually no promotion budget for the album, and problems with distribution as well. Actually, the company went bankrupt not long after the album was released, making Deep Purple (the album) almost impossible to find on the record racks. There were internal problems brewing as well; this would be the last Deep Purple album to feature original lead vocalist Rod Evans and bassist Nicky Simper, who were dismissed to make room for Ian Gillan and and Roger Glover. The shame of it all is that Deep Purple was actually a pretty good album, covering a lot of musical ground. One of the tracks, Why Didn't Rosemary, is about as good as British blues-rock gets. Apparently the band's new label thought so as well, as Why Didn't Rosemary, as well as most of the rest of the tracks from Deep Purple, was included on a double-LP anthology album called Purple Passages that collected the best of the band's Tetragrammaton material.

Artist:    Fleetwood Mac
Title:    Oh Well
Source:    Mono LP: The Big Ball (originally released on LP: Then Play On)
Writer(s):    Peter Green
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1969
    Fleetwood Mac had already established themselves as one of Britain's top up-and-coming blues bands by the time Then Play On was released in 1969. The band had just landed a deal in the US with Reprise, and Then Play On was their American debut LP. At the same time the album was released in the UK, a new non-LP single, Oh Well, appeared as well. The song was a top pick on Radio Luxembourg, the only non-BBC English language top 40 station still operating in Europe in 1969 (not counting the American Forces Network, which was only a top 40 station for an hour or two a day), and Oh Well soon shot all the way to the # 2 spot on the British charts. Meanwhile the US version of Then Play On (which had originally been issued with pretty much the same song lineup as the British version) was recalled, and a new version with Oh Well added to it was issued in its place. The song itself has two distinct parts: a fast blues-rocker sung by lead guitarist Peter Green lasting about two minutes, and a slow moody instrumental that runs about seven minutes. The original UK single featured about a minute's worth of part two tacked on to the end of the A side (with a fadeout ending), while the B side had the entire part two on it. Both sides of the single were added to the US version of the LP, which resulted in the first minute of part two repeating itself on the album.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2304 (starts 1/23/23

    This week's show, recorded three days before the death of psychedelic era icon David Crosby, features a Crosby, Stills & Nash set that includes two tunes written by Crosby. If that isn't spooky enough for you, how about this: in early 1967 the duo of Jeff Blackburn (who passed away less than two weeks before Crosby did) and Crosby's ex-girlfriend Sherry Snow released their first single, a cover of a song written by Crosby but not released by his then-current band, the Byrds. That song, Stranger In A Strange Land, immediately precedes the two David Crosby penned songs from Crosby, Stills & Nash in our second hour. Also of note is a rare Yardbirds B side featuring Jeff Beck on lead vocals and a new Advanced Psych set that features three tracks never played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era before, two of which have never been released in the US. Of course there are lots of other goodies on the show as well, including lots of old favorites and a couple more non-US releases making their debut this week.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Pleasant Valley Sunday
Source:    CD: Nuggets-Classics From the Psychedelic 60s (originally released on LP: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.)
Writer:    Goffin/King
Label:    Rhino
Year:    1967
    After making it a point to play their own instruments on their third LP, Headquarters, the Monkees decided to once again use studio musicians for their next album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD. The difference was that this time the studio musicians would be recording under the supervision of the Monkees themselves rather than Don Kirschner and the array of producers he had lined up for the first two Monkees LPs. The result was an album that many critics consider the group's best effort. The only single released from the album was Pleasant Valley Sunday, a song penned by the husband and wife team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King, and backed by the band's remake of the Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart song Words, which had been recorded the previous year by the Leaves. Although both songs ended up making the charts, it was Pleasant Valley Sunday that got the most airplay and is considered by many to be Monkees' greatest achievement.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    Fakin' It
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bookends)
Writer:    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    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  from British musician Beverley Martyn (name-dropping her friend Mr. [Donovan] Leitch), that is slightly reminiscent of the bridge in Traffic's Hole In My Shoe. The song was later remixed in stereo and included on the 1968 LP Bookends.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    How Suite It Is
Source:    CD: After Bathing At Baxter's
Writer(s):    Kantner/Casady/Dryden/Kaukonen
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1967
    The second side of After Bathing At Baxters starts off fairly conventionally (for the Airplane), with Paul Kantner's Watch Her Ride, the first third or so of something called How Suite It Is. This leads (without a break in the audio) into Spare Chaynge, one of the coolest studio jams ever recorded, featuring intricate interplay between Jack Casady's bass and Jorma Kaukonen's guitar, with Spencer Dryden using his drum kit as enhancement rather than as a beat-setter. In particular, Casady's virtuoso performance helped redefine what could be done with an electric bass.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Something Happened To Me Yesterday
Source:    LP: Between The Buttons
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    The final track on the 1967 Rolling Stones album Between The Buttons is notable for several reasons. Most signficantly, it is the first officially-released Stones tune to feature Keith Richards on lead vocals (on the chorus; Mick Jagger sings lead on the verses). Second, at just a second under five minutes, Something Happened To Me Yesterday is the longest track on Between The Buttons. The third point is illustrated by a quote from Mick Jagger himself: "I leave it to the individual imagination as to what happened." According to one critic, that "something" was an acid trip, making this one of the band's more overt drug songs.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Good Vibrations
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Wilson/Love
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    Although I had originally discovered top 40 radio in 1963 (when I received a small Sony transistor radio for my birthday), it wasn't until 1966 that I really got into it in a big way. This was due to a combination of a couple of things: first, my dad bought a console stereo, and second, my junior high school went onto split sessions, meaning that I was home by one o'clock every day. This gave me unprecedented access to Denver's two big top 40 AM stations, as well as an FM station that was experimenting with a Top 100 format for a few hours each day. At first I was content to just listen to the music, but soon realized that the DJs were making a point of mentioning each song's chart position just about every time that song would play. Naturally I began writing all this stuff down in my notebook (when I was supposed to be doing my homework), until I realized that both KIMN and KBTR actually published weekly charts, which I began to diligently hunt down at various local stores. In addition to the songs occupying numbered positions on the charts, both stations included songs at the bottom of the list that they called "pick hits". These were new releases that had not been around long enough to achieve a chart position. The one that most stands out in my memory was the Beach Boys' Good Vibrations, a song I liked so much that I went out to the nearest Woolco and bought it the afternoon I heard it. Within a few weeks Good Vibrations had gone all the way to the top of the charts, and I always felt that some of the credit should go to me for buying the record when it first came out (hey I was 13, OK?). Over the next couple of years I bought plenty more singles, but to this day Good Vibrations stands out as the most significant 45 RPM record purchase I ever made.
Artist:    Sonics
Title:    Strychnine
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the Psychedelic Era (originally released on LP: Here Are The Sonics)
Writer(s):    Gerald Roslie
Label:    Rhino (original label: Etiquette)
Year:    1965
    From 1965 we have a band that maintains a cult following to this day: the legendary Sonics, generally considered one of the foundation stones of the Seattle music scene. Although the majority of songs on their albums were cover tunes, virtually all of their originals, such as Strychnine from their debut LP, are now considered punk classics; indeed, the Sonics, along with their labelmates the Wailers, are often cited as the first true punk rock bands.

Artist:     Paul Revere and the Raiders
Title:     The Great Airplane Strike
Source:     LP: Spirit of '67
Writer:     Revere/Melcher/Lindsay
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1966
      Often dismissed for their Revolutionary War costumes and frequent TV appearances, Paul Revere and the Raiders were actually one of the first great rock bands to emerge from the Pacific Northwest. Their accomplishments include recording Louie Louie (arguably before the Kingsmen did) and being the first rock band signed to industry giant Columbia Records. The Great Airplane Strike is a good example of just how good a band they really were.

Artist:     Cream
Title:     Take It Back
Source:     CD: Disraeli Gears
Writer:     Bruce/Brown
Label:     Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:     1967
     After seven years of serving in the Air Force liason office at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, my dad got transferred to Weisbaden Air Force Base in Germany. Standard practice at the time was for the married GI to go on ahead of the rest of the family and find a place to live "on the economy." My dad, already having quite a bit of time in the service, was able to instead get a spot in a place called Kastel, which was a group of WWII Panzer barracks that had been adapted for use by American military with families. When the rest of us arrived in August I was happily surprised to find that my dad, in addition to finding us a place to live, had bought a state-of-the-art Akai X-355 Tape Recorder using money he had won at Lotto, along with a pair of Koss headphones. I of course had to go to the Base Exchange to look for pre-recorded tapes. Already having experience with reel to reel machines, I knew that tapes recorded at 3 3/4 ips had more tape hiss than those recorded at 7 1/2 ips, so I was resolved to only buy tapes recorded at the faster speed. Unfortunately several albums I wanted were only available at the slower speed. The problem was resolved a year later when my dad finally got a Dual turntable to hook up to the tape recorder. I immediately went out and bought a reel of blank tape; the first album I made a copy of was Cream's Disraeli Gears. I would often fall asleep listening to that tape, which meant I ended up sleeping through the last songs on the album, including Take It Back. I must have done some kind of sleep learning, though, since to this day I can quote the lyrics of the entire song.

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Combination Of The Two
Source:    LP: Cheap Thrills
Writer(s):    Sam Andrew
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
     Everything about Big Brother And The Holding Company can be summed up by the title of the opening track for their Cheap Thrills album (and their usual show opener as well): Combination Of The Two. A classic case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, Big Brother, with Janis Joplin on lead vocals, had an energy that neither Joplin or the band itself was able to duplicate once they parted company. On the song itself, the actual lead vocals for the verses are the work of Combination Of The Two's writer, bassist Sam Houston Andrew III, but those vocals are eclipsed by the layered non-verbal chorus that starts with Joplin then repeats itself with Andrew providing a harmony line which leads to Joplin's promise to "rock you, sock you, gonna give it to you now". It was a promise that the group seldom failed to deliver on.

Artist:    Love Sculpture
Title:    In The Land Of The Few
Source:    CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released on LP: Forms And Feelings)
Writer(s):    Edmunds/Findsilver/Ker
Label:    Rhino (original label: Parrot)
Year:    1969
    Dave Edmunds started off young. At age 10 the Cardiff, Wales native played in the Edmund Bros Duo (a piano duo) with his older brother Geoff. By the time Dave was 13 he and his brother had formed their own rock and roll band, with Dave on lead guitar and Geoff on rhythm. By the mid-1960s Dave Edmunds had switched to blues-rock, fronting a band called the Human Beans. It wasn't long before that group was pared down to a power trio consisting of Edmunds on guitar, John Williams on bass, and Congo Jones on drums calling itself Love Sculpture. The group released their first album, Blues Helping, in 1968, as well as a non-album single, Sabre Dance, that made the British top 10. The band's second, and final, album, Forms And Feelings, expanded beyond the electric blues of the first album to include harder to describe tracks like In The Land Of The Few. Not long after the album was released, Edmunds decided to go it as a solo artist, scoring a huge international hit with a remake of Smiley Lewis's I Hear You Knockin' in late 1970.

Artist:    Kevin Ayers And The Whole World
Title:    Clarence In Wonderland
Source:    British import CD: Acid Daze (originally released on LP: Shooting At The Moon)
Writer(s):    Kevin Ayers
Label:    Uncut (original label: Harvest)
Year:    1970
    According to rock journalist Nick Kent, who specialized in the British underground music scene,  "Kevin Ayers and Syd Barrett were the two most important people in British pop music. Everything that came after came from them." Of course everyone knows that Syd Barrett was the founder of Pink Floyd, but Kevin Ayers, despite having a longer and more productive career, is nowhere near as well known. Ayers was a founding member of the Soft Machine, the band most associated with the "Canterbury Scene" in the late 1960s, but left the group after an exhausting US tour with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, selling his bass guitar to Noel Redding. Ayers spent most of the next year composing new material that appeared on his solo debut LP, Joy Of A Toy in November of 1969. He assembled a band that he christened The Whole World to promote the album that included a young Mike Oldfield on bass and occasionally lead guitar, avant-garde composer David Bedford on keyboards and improvising saxophonist, Lol Coxhill, among others. He took The Whole World into the studio to record his next LP, Shooting At The Moon. The album included somewhat whimsical tunes such as Clarence In Wonderland, interspersed with more avant-garde pieces. Ayers would release more than a dozen more albums before his death in 2013.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Psycho Daisies
Source:    Mono CD: Roger The Engineer (bonus track originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    The Yardbirds
Label:    Great American Music (original British label: Columbia)
Year:    1966
    Happenings Ten Years Time Ago was the only single released by the Yardbirds to feature both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page on lead guitar. The US version of the single featured a track from the band's 1966 LP Over Under Sideways Down (aka Roger The Engineer) on the B side, while the British single featured a unique recording of a song called Psycho Daisies that featured Beck on lead guitar, Page on bass and Jim McCarty on drums. Although credited to the entire band, Psycho Daisies was reportedly written about a woman that Beck was in love with at the time, and features a rare lead vocal performance by the guitarist.

Artist:     Blues Project
Title:     Fly Away
Source:     The Blues Project Anthology (originally released on LP: Projections)
Writer:     Al Kooper
Label:     Polydor (original label: Verve Folkways)
Year:     1966
     The Blues Project has a permanent place in rock history, both for pioneering the idea of touring coast to coast playing college venues and as the first jam band. Still, they were never able to break into top 40 radio at a time when a top 40 hit was considered essential to a band's commercial success. Keyboardist Al Kooper, on the other hand, was no stranger to hit records, having co-written This Diamond Ring, a song that became the first number one hit for Gary Lewis and the Playboys (although Kooper himself hated their arrangement of the song) in 1965. One of Kooper's attempts at writing a hit song for the Blues Project was Fly Away, included on their second LP, Projections.

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:    Billy Cox's Nitro Function
Title:    Touch Me
Source:    German import CD: Billy Cox's Nitro Function
Writer(s):    Char Vinnedge
Label:    O Music (original label: Pye International)
Year:    1971
    Following the death of Jimi Hendrix, his longtime friend and current bass player Billy Cox got in touch with Char Vinnedge, the founder of the Luv'd Ones, one of the first all-female rock bands. After the Luv'd Ones had split up, Vinnedge had spent a considerable amount of time studying Hendrix's unique approach to playing the guitar and had developed her own similar style of playing, which can be heard on Touch Me, a song she wrote for the album Billy Cox's Nitro Function. In addition to Cox and Vinnedge, the album, which was never released in the US, features Robert Tarrant on drums.

Artist:    Stranglers
Title:    Crabs (live)
Source:    British import EP: Don't Bring Harry
Writer(s):    J.J. Burnell
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1979
    Formed in 1974, the Guildford Stranglers were registered as a business called The Stranglers in September of 1974. Although the cite the Doors and the Music Machine as early influences, the Stranglers have become one of the most influential bands to emerge from the late '70s British punk rock scene. They have also been one of the most commercially successful bands to come from that scene, with nearly two dozen singles and 20 LPs making the British top 40 charts. In the US, they have always been a cult band with a relatively small following (only one of their albums and none of their singles have appeared on American charts). In 1979 bassist Jean-Jacques Burnell released his first solo LP, Euroman Cometh, a concept album about the need for a United States Of Europe to counterract the influence of both the US and USSR. That same year the Stranglers themselves included a live version of Crabs on a four-song EP entitled Don't Bring Harry.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Rewired
Source:    CD: California
Writer(s):    Lowe/Tulin
Label:    PruneTwang
Year:    2004
    In 2001 the recently reformed original lineup of the Electric Prunes released their first album of new material in over 30s. The album was called Artifact, and it was welcomed by a whole lot of people who had been hoping the band would get back together. For the next three years, in between live performances, band members Mark Tulin and James Lowe worked up a whole 'nother album's worth of tunes that were loosely based on the Summer of Love and the years beyond. Songs like Rewired were well-suited to the band's more mature 21st century sound, and led to even more live gigs in venues they never got to play in the 60s, including gigs in Europe and Japan.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    End Of The Night
Source:    CD: The Doors
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    The Doors first big break came when they opened for Love at L.A.'s most famous club, the Whisky-A-Go-Go, and became friends with the members of the more established popular local band. Love was already recording for Elektra Records, and enthusiastically recommended that the label sign the Doors as well. Elektra did, and the Doors went on to become one of the most successful and influential bands in rock history. Although not as well-known as Light My Fire or The End, the dark and moody End Of The Night is a classic early Doors tune, from the opening bent chords from guitarist Robby Krieger to the spooky keyboard work of Ray Manzarek and of course Jim Morrison's distinctive vocals, all backed up by John Densmore's tastefully understated drumming.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Fixing A Hole
Source:    LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1967
    The first Beatles album to appear with the same tracks in the same order on both US and UK versions was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The only differences between the two were a lack of spaces in the vinyl (called "banding") on the UK version and a bit of gobbledygook heard at the end of the record (but only if you did not have a turntable that automatically lifted the needle out of the groove after the last track). The main consequence of this is that disc jockeys in the US had an easier time cueing up tracks like Fixing A Hole in the days before the album came out on CD.

Artist:    Blackburn And Snow
Title:    Stranger In A Strange Land
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Rhino (original label: Verve)
Year:    1967
    If Blackburn And Snow's version of David Crosby's Stranger In A Strange Land had been released at around the time it was recorded, it might have become, at the very least, a cult hit among the Hippy crowd just starting to colonize San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. As it was, the song sat on the shelf for over a year; by the time it was released as a single in early 1967 the love crowd was almost exclusively into LPs and the record went virtually unnoticed. Crosby's song was inspired by the Robert Heinlein book that has sometimes been called the "Hippy Bible".

Artist:    Crosby, Stills And Nash
Title:    Long Time Gone
Source:    CD: Crosby, Stills And Nash
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    In addition to showcasing some of the most popular bands of 1969, the Woodstock festival helped several relatively new acts attain stardom as well. Among these newer artists were Santana, Ten Years After and Creedence Clearwater Revival. The biggest Woodstock success story, however, was Crosby, Stills and Nash, whose appearance at the event was only their second live performance. In addition to the group's live set, the movie and soundtrack album of the event included the original studio recording of Long Time Gone from the debut Crosby, Stills and Nash LP.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills and Nash
Title:    Guinnevere
Source:    LP: So Far (originally released on LP: Crosby, Stills and Nash)
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    By 1969 David Crosby had developed into a first-class songwriter. Nowhere is that more evident than on Guinnevere, from the first Crosby, Stills and Nash album. Instrumentally the song is essentially a solo guitar piece. It is the layered harmonies from Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash that make the song truly stand out as one of the best releases of 1969.
Artist:    Crosby, Stills And Nash
Title:    Pre-Road Downs
Source:    CD: Crosby, Stills And Nash
Writer(s):    Graham Nash
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    The 1969 LP Crosby, Stills And Nash is considered one of the strongest debut albums in rock history, as well as one of the most influential. Against a backdrop of guitar-dominated blues-based jam-oriented bands, CSN shifted the emphasis to vocal harmonies and highly personal lyrics, creating a template for the singer-songwriter movement of the early 70s as well as the so-called California Sound (as typified by the Eagles, Jackson Browne and others) in the latter part of the decade and beyond. One of the harder rocking tunes on that first album is Pre-Road Downs, a song about the various highs and lows associated with touring with a rock band.

Artist:    Sorrows
Title:    The Makers
Source:    British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution (originally released in Italy on LP: Old Songs, New Songs)
Writer(s):    Chuck Fryers
Label:    Grapefruit (original label: Miura)
Year:    1968
    The Sorrows were originally formed in 1963 as one of many British R&B-styled groups (think early Who and Kinks). They signed with Pye records the following year, releasing several singles and one album before disbanding relocating to Italy in 1967, where they went through several personnel changes. In 1968 that had a hit with their Italian language version of the Hollies' Listen To Me on the Miura label. This led to an album for the label called Old Songs, New Songs, which combined cover versions of current British hits and Sorrows originals. The best of the original tracks was The Makers, penned by new member Chuck Fryers.

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 second portion of the song is sung as a round, with Donovan being joined by Graham Nash, Mike McCartney (as Mike McGear) and Lesley Duncan.

Artist:    Idle Race
Title:    Days Of The Broken Arrows
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jeff Lynne
Label:    Rhino (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1969
    The Idle Race had already released one LP and four singles when they came out with Days Of The Broken Arrows in early 1969. Lead vocalist Jeff Lynne, who wrote and produced the song, was disappointed with the single's performance, and after releasing a second album late in the year he announced that he was leaving the Idle Race to join his friend Roy Wood's band, the Move. Eventually Lynne came to dominate the Move and saw that band evolve into the Electric Light Orchestra. Meanwhile, the remaining members of the Idle Race stayed together, finally becoming the Steve Gibbons Band in the early 1970s.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2304 (starts 1/23/23)

    Rockin' in the Days of Confusion is in full free-form mode this week, as we let the music flow continuously for nearly the entire hour before taking our first (and only break). Then we add one more track, appropriately called Valedictory, to finish out the week.

Artist:    Savoy Brown
Title:    That Same Feelin'
Source:    LP: Raw Sienna
Writer(s):    Kim Simmonds
Label:    Parrot
Year:    1970
    Savoy Brown truly hit its stride with the 1970 LP Raw Sienna. Unfortunately for all involved, it would be the last to feature vocalist Chris Youlden, who, as is far too common, would find out the hard way that a successful solo career was not going to happen for him. Nonetheless, Raw Sienna is full of fine tunes such as That Same Feelin', one of the three tracks on the album written by bandleader/lead guitarist Kim Simmonds. Savoy would continue on for several more albums in the 1970s, but none sounded quite as good as Raw Sienna. As for Youlden's solo albums, the less said the better.

Artist:    Steely Dan
Title:    Do It Again
Source:    CD: Can't Buy A Thrill
Writer(s):    Becker/Fagen
Label:    MCA (original label: ABC)
Year:    1972
    Although they at first appeared to be a real band, Steely Dan was in reality two people: keyboardist/vocalist Donald Fagen and bassist (and later guitarist) Walter Becker. For their first album they recruited, from various places, guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, drummer Jim Hodder, guitarist Denny Dias, and finally (when they realized they would have to actually perform live, which terrified Fagen) vocalist David Palmer. The first single from the album, Do It Again, was a major hit, going to the #6 spot on the Billboard charts and, more importantly, introducing the world at large to the Steely Dan sound, combining jazz-influenced rock music with slyly cynical lyrics (often sung in the second person). Steely Dan would continue to be an influential force in popular music, and especially FM rock radio, throughout the 1970s.

Artist:    Fat
Title:    Black Sunday
Source:    LP: Fat
Writer(s):    Peter Newland
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1970
    Formed in Springfield in 1968 by vocalist/songwriter Peter Newland, Fat quickly became one of the most popular bands in Western Massachusetts. Their debut LP for RCA in 1970 featured such Newland originals as Black Sunday, and led to Fat being booked as an opening act for such big names as Mountain, Ten Years After and the Allman Brothers Band. Although the original members drifted apart in the mid-1970s, Fat continues to play shows from time to time.

Artist:    Robin Trower
Title:    Sweet Wine Of Love
Source:    CD: Essential Robin Trower (originally released on LP: In City Dreams)
Writer(s):    Trower/Dewar
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1977
    Robin Trower's fifth solo album, In City Dreams, featured a new bass player, Rusteen Allen, allowing James Dewar to concentrate more on his vocals. Unfortunately, the songwriting on the album was lackluster, although there were a couple of gems, including Sweet Wine Of Love.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    Hear Me Calling
Source:    LP: Goin' Home-Ten Years After Greatest Hit (originally released on LP: Stonedhenge)
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Deram
Year:    1969
    Ten Years After's third album, Stonedhenge, was the band's first real attempt to take advantage of modern studio techniques to create something other than a facsimile of their live performances. Included on the album are short solo pieces, as well as half a dozen longer tracks featuring the entire band. One of the most popular of these full-band tracks is Hear Me Calling, which finishes out side one of the original LP. The song itself follows a simple blues structure, but is augmented by dynamic changes in volume as well as dizzying stereo effects. TYA would continue to develop their studio technique on their next LP, the classic Cricklewood Green.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Ramble On
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin II
Writer(s):    Page/Plant
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    Some songs grab you the first time you hear them, but soon wear out their welcome. Others take a while to catch on, but tend to stay with you for a lifetime. Then there are those rare classics that manage to hook you from the start and yet never get old. One such song is Led Zeppelin's Ramble On, from their second LP. The song starts with a Jimmy Page acoustic guitar riff played high up on the neck with what sounds almost like footsteps keeping time (but turns out to be John Bonham playing bongo style on a guitar case). John Paul Jones soon adds one of the most melodic bass lines ever to appear in a rock song, followed closely by Robert Plant's Tolkien-influenced lyrics. For the chorus the band gets into electric mode, with guitar, bass and drums each contributing to a unique staggered rhythmic pattern. The song also contains one of Page's most memorable solos, that shares tonal qualities with Eric Clapton's work on Cream's Disraeli Gears album. Although I usually don't pay much attention to lyrics, one set of lines from Ramble On has stuck with me for a good many years:
"'Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor I met a girl so fair.
But Gollum and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her."
How can any Tolkien fan resist that?

Artist:    J.J. Cale
Title:    After Midnight
Source:    CD: Naturally
Writer(s):    J.J. Cale
Label:    Mercury/Polygram (original label: Shelter)
Year:    1972
    Throughout his career, J.J. Cale was one of the most highly-respected, yet unknown to the general public, artists in rock music. He is credited as the creator of the Tulsa Sound adopted by Eric Clapton in the mid-1970s. In fact, several of Clapton's best known songs were written by Cale, including After Midnight, originally released on the 1972 album Naturally. Cale's version is more laid back than Clapton's, and is itself an early example of the Tulsa Sound.

Artist:    Mike Bloomfield/ Al Kooper/ Skip Prokop/John Kahn
Title:    Dear Mr. Fantasy
Source:    LP: The Live Adventures Of Mike Bloomfield & Al Kooper
Writer(s):    Winwood/Capaldi/Wood
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    With the unexpected success of the 1968 jam album Super Session, it was inevitable that Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield would release a followup LP, and probably just as inevitable that it would be a live album. Most of the tracks on The Live Adventures Of Mike Bloomfield & Al Kooper are covers of classics blues tunes, although there are a few more contemporary songs such as Traffic's Dear Mr. Fantasy thrown in as well. The track features dazzling guitar and keyboard work by Bloomfield and Kooper, respectively, but is flawed by the failure of a vocal microphone midway through the recording.

Artist:    Derek And The Dominos
Title:    Bell Bottom Blues
Source:    CD: Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs
Writer(s):    Clapton/Whitlock
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1970
    Bell Bottom Blues, from the Derek And The Dominos album Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs, is at once one of the many and one of the few. It is one of the many songs inspired by/written for George Harrison's wife Pattie Boyd by Eric Clapton, who was in love with her at the time. At the same time it is one of the few songs on the album that does not include guitarist Duane Allman on it. Clapton wrote the song after Boyd asked him to pick up a pair of bell-bottom jeans on his next trip to the US (apparently they were not available in London at that time). The song was released twice as a single in 1971, but did not chart higher than the #78 spot. In 2015 drummer Bobby Whitlock, who had helped write the third verse, was given official credit as the song's co-writer.

Artist:    Lynyrd Skynyrd
Title:    Tuesday's Gone
Source:    LP: Gold & Platinum (originally released on LP: (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd)
Writer(s):    Collins/Van Zant
Label:    MCA
Year:    1973
    By the time Lynyrd Skynyrd entered the studio to record their debut LP, (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd), they had perfected every song they intended to record, and did no improvising on the album itself. They did, however, insist that Atlanta Rhythm Session drummer Robert Nix sit in for Tuesday's Gone, one of two tracks on the album not to include the band's original drummer, Bob Burns.

Artist:    Bob Marley
Title:    No Woman, No Cry (live version)
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Vincent Ford
Label:    Island
Year:    1975
    No Woman, No Cry is one of Bob Marley's most famous songs. The live version of the song is ranked #37 on Rolling Stone's list of greatest songs of all time. What many people don't know, however, is who Vincent Ford, who is credited with writing No Woman, No Cry, actually was. He was not a member of the Wailers, nor was he involved with Marley's music in any significant way. How, then, did he manage to get writing credit on one of Marley's most successful songs? The most likely answer is that Marley himself wrote the song, first recording it (with a drum machine) on the 1974 album Natty Dread. He must have known he had a hit on his hands even before it was published, however. As for Vincent Ford, he was a friend of Marley's who ran a soup kitchen that was perpetually underfunded. Marley's idea, so the theory goes, was to give Ford songwriting credit on the potential hit so that he could collect royalties for years to come, allowing him the continue his work running the soup kitchen. Seeing that Ford outlived Marley, I'd have to say it was a sound strategy.

Artist:    Gentle Giant
Title:    Valedictory
Source:    CD: The Power And The Glory
Writer(s):    Shulman/Shulman/Minnear
Label:    Alucard (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1974
    The Power And The Glory is a 1974 concept album from the British progressive rock band Gentle Giant. The album is a cautionary tale about the use of political power, and how, despite the best of intentions, that power inevitably corrupts those who use it. Musically, The Power And The Glory owes its structure more to classical music than to rock, although it uses modern rock instruments such as electric guitars, synthesizers and drums to the exclusion of traditional classical instruments (except for an occasional string instrument). For that matter, the band's classical influences seem to be more inclined toward relatively modern composers like Igor Stravinsky than the traditional "three Bs" of classical music. Valedictory, the album's final track, brings back themes heard throughout the album, but with a greater intensity than on the earlier pieces. The digital reissue of the album, incidentally, includes a Blu-ray disc containing animations of the entire album with a surround sound mix. Definitely worth checking out, especially if you are a fan of things like Pink Floyd's The Wall.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2303 (starts 1/16/23)

    This week's show has a bit of everything; an artists' set featuring a worldwide smash hit and a pair of B sides, an entire segment of tunes from 1967, several songs that were hits in some places and unknown in others, and even a soulful rendition of a Beatles tune that features a sideman who would soon become a major star in his own right. Plus, of course, plenty of album tracks and obscurities to balance it all out, starting with the opening track of the first Mothers Of Invention album.

Artist:     Mothers of Invention
Title:     Hungry Freaks, Daddy
Source:     CD: Freak Out
Writer:     Frank Zappa
Label:     Ryko (original label: Verve)
Year:     1966
     Hungry Freaks, Daddy is the opening track on the first Mothers Of Invention album, Freak Out! This alone would make the track historically significant, but the truth of the matter is that Hungry Freaks, Daddy is an excellent song in its own right. Unlike most socially aware songs up to that point in time, Hungry Freaks, Daddy has a decidedly satirical edge that would become a trademark of Frank Zappa's songwriting for years to come.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    No Time
Source:    CD: Headquarters
Writer(s):    Hank Cicalo
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1967
    No Time is basically a Little Richard styled rock 'n' roll studio jam by the Monkees, with Micky Dolenz improvising on the lyrics. The band, who played their own instruments on the recording, decided to credit the song to recording engineer Hank Cicalo, in appreciation for the hard work he was putting in as de facto producer of their Headquarters album. This actually got Cicalo in trouble with the brass at RCA, who had strict rules about engineers soliciting songs to be recorded. On the other hand, the royalties from the song helped him buy a house.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Hello, I Love You, Won't You Tell Me Your Name
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Jim Morrison
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1968
    I have to admit, when I first heard the Doors' Hello, I Love You I hated it, considering it only a half step away from the bubble gum hits like 1,2,3 Red Light and Chewy Chewy that were dominating the top 40 charts in 1968. It turns out that the song was originally recorded in 1965 as a demo by Rick And The Ravens (basically a Doors predecessor) using the title Hello, I Love You (Won't You Tell Me Your Name). The single pressing of the song is notable for being one of the first rock songs to be released as a stereo 45 RPM record. The song went to the top of the charts in the US and Canada and became the first Doors song to break into the British top 20 as well.

Artist:    Wilson Pickett
Title:    Hey Jude
Source:    LP: Duane Allman-An Anthology (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capricorn (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1968
    When Rick Hall, owner/operator of Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, got the opportunity to record Wilson Pickett, he went out of his way to get the best talent available for the session. Among those he picked was a young guitarist named Duane Allman. At the session itself, when Pickett was trying to decide what to record, Allman suggested they break into what was then the #1 song on the charts, the Beatles' Hey Jude. Wilson thought it was an absurd suggestion, but after Allman and the others started jamming on the tune Wilson joined in, and the resulting single was a million-seller in its own right. Pickett and Hall were so impressed by Allman's playing that they ended up using him on the entire album. Eric Clapton later called Allman's performance "the greatest guitar solo on a r&b song" he had ever heard.

Artist:     Cream
Title:     Deserted Cities Of The Heart
Source:     LP: Wheels Of Fire
Writer:     Bruce/Brown
Label:     RSO (original label: Atco)
Year:     1968
     The most psychedelic of Cream's songs were penned by Jack Bruce and his songwriting partner Pete Brown. One of the best of these was chosen to close out the last studio side of the last Cream album released while the band was still in existence. Deserted Cities Of The Heart is a fitting epitaph to an unforgettable band.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Out Of The Question
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Future
Writer(s):    Saxon/Serpent
Label:    GNP Crescendo
Year:    1965
    Until 2014, one's chances of hearing, let alone posessing, a copy of the B side of the original pressing of the Seeds' Your Pushing Too Hard was, for most of us, Out Of The Question. A rechannelled stereo version of the song appeared two years later on the third Seeds album, Future, which sold poorly and is almost as hard to find as the original single.

Artist:     Kinks
Title:     Deadend Street
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Year:     1967
     The last major Kinks hit of the 1960s in the US was Sunny Afternoon in the summer of 1966. The November follow-up, Deadend Street, was in much the same style and made the top 5 in the UK, but did not achieve the same kind of success in the US, thanks in large part to a performance ban imposed by the American Federation of Musicians. Although the Kinks would get some minor airplay for subsequent singles such as Victoria, the would not have another major US hit until Lola was released in 1970.

Artist:     Barry McGuire
Title:     Eve of Destruction
Source:     CD: Songs Of Protest (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     P.F. Sloan
Label:     Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:     1965
     P.F. Sloan had already established a reputation for writing songs that captured the anger of youth by the time he wrote Eve Of Destruction, which Barry McGuire took into the top 10 in 1965. It would be McGuire's only major hit, and represented folk-rock at the peak of its popularity.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star
Source:    Mono LP: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    Hillman/McGuinn
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    By early 1967 there was a building resentment among musicians and rock press alike concerning the instant (and in many eyes unearned) success of the Monkees. One notable expression of this resentment was the Byrds' So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star, which takes a somewhat sarcastic look at what it takes to succeed in the music business. Unfortunately, much of what they talk about in the song continues to apply today (although the guitar has been somewhat supplanted by the computer as the instrument of choice).
Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    I'm A Man
Source:    Mono LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Winwood/Miller
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1967
    The Spencer Davis Group, featuring Steve and Muff Winwood, was one of the UK's most successful white R&B bands of the sixties, cranking out a steady stream of hit singles. Two of them, the iconic Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm A Man, were also major hits in the US, the latter being the last song to feature the Winwood brothers. Muff Winwood became a successful record producer, while his brother Steve went on to form the band Traffic. Then Blind Faith. Then Traffic again. And then a successful solo career. Meanwhile, the Spencer Davis Group continued on for several years with a series of replacement vocalists, but were never able to duplicate their earlier successes with the Winwoods.

Artist:    Peanut Butter Conspiracy
Title:    Ecstacy
Source:    CD: Is Spreading/The Great Conspiracy (originally released on LP: The Great Conspiracy)
Writer(s):    John Merrill
Label:    Collectables (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    The members of the Peanut Butter Conspiracy were not able to play the way they really wanted to on their two LPs for Columbia Records. Much of the reason for this was because of Columbia itself, which had a history of being against just about everything that made psychedelic rock what it was. Immediately after signing the band, the label assigned Gary Usher, whose background was mainly in vocal surf music, to produce the group. Usher urged the band, who had already built up a sizable following playing Los Angeles clubs, to soften their sound and become more hit oriented. To do this he brought in several studio musicians he had previously worked with, including members of the Wrecking Crew, to fill out the band's sound. At first, it seemed to be a successful strategy, as the band's first single, It's A Happening Thing, sold fairly well in local record stores, but when the next two singles failed to generate any interest the band began to assert its right to play on their own records. As a result, all the instruments on the band's second LP, The Great Conspiracy, were played by members of the Peanut Butter Conspiracy itself, including new member Bill Wolff, who had previously played guitar with the Sound Machine. For the most part however, they were still not able to fully recreate the extended jams that they were known for in their live performances, although a couple of tracks, such as Ecstacy, come pretty close. Written by lead guitarist John Merrill, the piece is a classic psychedelic jam, running over six minutes in length. Around the same time as the album was released, Merrill began losing interest in the group, and did not contribute any songs to the band's final album, For Children Of All Ages, released on the Challenge label in 1969.

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
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    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:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    If 6 Was 9
Source:    CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Before 1967 stereo was little more than an excuse to charge a dollar more for an LP. That all changed in a hurry, as artists such as Jimi Hendrix began to explore the possibilities of the technology, in essence treating stereophonic sound as a multi-dimensional sonic palette. The result can be heard on songs such as If 6 Were 9 from the Axis: Bold As Love album, which is best listened to at high volume, preferably with headphones on.

Artist:    Vagrants
Title:    Respect
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Otis Redding
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Sounding a lot like the Rascals, the Vagrants were a popular Long Island band led by singer Peter Sabatino and best remembered for being the group that had guitarist Leslie Weinstein in it. Weinstein would change his last name to West and record a solo album called Mountain before forming the band of the same name. This version of Respect is fairly faithful to the original Otis Redding version. Unfortunately for the Vagrants, Aretha Franklin would release her radically rearranged version of the song just a few weeks after the Vagrants, relegating their version of the tune (and the Vagrants themselves) to footnote status.

Artist:    Amboy Dukes
Title:    Baby Please Don't Go (7" single version)
Source:    Mono British import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released on LP: The Amboy Dukes and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Joe Williams
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
            The Amboy Dukes were a garage supergroup formed by guitarist Ted Nugent, a Chicago native who had heard that Bob Shad, head of jazz-oriented Mainstream Records, was looking for rock bands to sign to the label. Nugent relocated to Detroit in 1967, where he recruited vocalist John Drake, guitarist Steve Farmer, organist Rick Lober, bassist Bill White and drummer Dave Palmer, all of whom had been members of various local bands. The Dukes' self-titled debut LP was released in November of 1967. In addition to seven original pieces, the album included a handful of cover songs, the best of which was their rocked out version of the old Joe Williams tune Baby Please Don't Go. The song was released as a single in January of 1968, where it got a decent amount of airplay in the Detroit area, and was ultimately chosen by Lenny Kaye for inclusion on the original Nuggets compilation album. Unlike the other tracks on Nuggets, Kaye used the stereo album version of Baby Please Don't Go rather than the edited mono single version heard here.

Artist:     Left Banke
Title:     Pretty Ballerina
Source:     Stereo 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:     Michael Brown
Label:     Smash
Year:     1967
     The Left Banke, taking advantage of bandleader Michael Brown's industry connections (his father ran a New York recording studio), ushered in what was considered to be the "next big thing" in popular music in early 1967: Baroque Pop. After their debut single, Walk Away Renee, became a huge bestseller, the band followed it up with Pretty Ballerina, which easily made the top 20 as well. Subsequent releases were sabotaged by a series of bad decisions by Brown and the other band members that left radio stations leery of playing any record with the words "Left Banke" on the label.

Artist:    Ban
Title:    Thinking Of Your Fate
Source:    Mono British import CD: With Love...A Pot Of Flowers (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Tony McGuire
Label:    Big Beat
Year:    Recorded 1965, released 2010
    One of the first garage bands signed to Bob Shad's Brent label was The Ban. Based in Lompoc, California, the Ban was led by guitarist/vocalist Tony McGuire, who also wrote the band's original material, and also included Oliver McKinney, whose wailing organ combined with Frank Straits distorted bass and Randy Gordon's driving drums to create Thinking Of Your Fate, a garage band classic that sat on the shelf for 35 years before finally being released on the expanded version of the Mainstream sampler With Love...A Pot Of Flowers.

Artist:     Rolling Stones
Title:     (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Source:     CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released on LP: Out Of Our Heads and as 45 RPM single )
Writer:     Jagger/Richards
Label:     Abkco (original label: London)
Year:     1965
     Singles released in the UK in the 60s tended to stay on the racks much longer than their American counterparts. This is because singles were generally not duplicated on LPs like they were in the US. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction was a good example. In the US, the song was added to the Out Of Our Heads album, which had a considerably different song lineup than the original UK version. In the UK and Europe the song was unavailable as an LP track until Big Hits (High Tide And Green Grass) was released, yet the single remained available until at least late 1967, when I had the opportunity to listen to a copy of it in a German department store. All the store's singles were behind the counter, and you had to ask the store clerk to play the record for you, which you would then listen to on headphones.
Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Who's Driving Your Plane?
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1966
    By 1966 Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were writing everything the Rolling Stones recorded. As their songwriting skills became more sophisticated the band began to lose touch with its R&B roots. To counteract this, Jagger and Richards would occasionally come up with tunes like Who's Driving Your Plane, a bluesy number that nonetheless is consistent with the band's cultivated image as the bad boys of rock. The song appeared as the B side (mistitled on the US version as Who's Driving My Plane) of their loudest single to date, the feedback-drenched Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Year (originally released on LP: Out Of Our Heads and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Nanker Phelge
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1965
    The Rolling Stones embraced the Los Angeles music scene probably more than any other British invasion band. They attended the clubs on Sunset Strip when they were in town, recorded a lot of their classic recordings at RCA's Burbank studios, and generally did a lot of schmoozing with people in the record industry. This latter was the inspiration for their 1965 track The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man. The song, which originally appeared only in the US as the B side of (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction and was later included on all versions of the LP Out Of Our Heads, was the last tune to be credited to the entire band using the pseudonym Nanker Phelge.

Artist:    Huns
Title:    Four Years Lost
Source:    Mono CD: The Huns Conquer Ithaca, NY 1966
Writer(s):    Rich La Bonte
Label:    Jargon
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2017
    In 1965, most bands in the upstate New York area were inspired mainly by the Beatles, and made their living doing cover songs of various British Invasion bands, particularly those with hits on the charts. And then along came the Huns, a group formed in Ithaca, NY by longtime schoolmates Frank Van Nostrand (bass) and John Sweeney (organ). The first member recruited for the new band was vocalist Rich La Bonte, who brought a Mick Jagger like swagger and his own material, including the introspective Four Years Lost. Filling out the band were Buz Warmkessel and drummer Dick Headley. The Huns, who by then had replaced Headley with Steve Dworetz and added rhythm guitarist Keith Ginsberg, made their only studio recordings on March 10, 1966 at Ithaca College's experimental TV studios in downtown Ithaca. Less than three months later the Huns were history, thanks in large part to Van Nostrand and Sweeney being asked by the college dean to pursue their academic careers elsewhere. Undoubtedly the dean made sure the local draft board was informed of their change in status as well.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Good Thing
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: The Spirit Of '67 and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lindsay/Melcher
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    From 1965 to 1967 Paul Revere And The Raiders were on a roll, with a string of six consecutive top 20 singles, four of which made the top 5. Among these was Good Thing, a tune written by lead vocalist Mark Lindsay and producer Terry Melcher (sometimes referred to as the "Fifth Raider"). The song first appeared on the Spirit Of  '67 LP in 1966, and was released as a single late that year. The song ended up being the Raiders' second biggest hit, peaking at # 4 in early 1967.

Artist:    Monks
Title:    Cuckoo
Source:    Mono German import CD: Black Monk Time (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Burger/Clark/Day/Johnson/Shaw
Label:    Repertoire (original label Polydor)
Year:    1966
    The Monks were formed in Germany by five American GIs stationed in Frankfurt. Right from the start, the Monks had a look and sound that was unlike anything that had come before. With military haircuts supplemented by shaved patches at the top and wearing black gowns with a hangman's noose for a necktie, the Monks spat out angry tunes centered on the dark side of human nature. Although they were enough of a curiosity to attract live audiences, their records did not sell particularly well, and for their second single, a song called I Can't Get Over You, they toned it down a touch. The B side, however, a track called Cuckoo, retains much of the energy that made the Monks true pioneers of punk-rock years before the term would come into common usage.

Artist:    Hearts And Flowers
Title:    Tin Angel (Will You Ever Come Down)
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Larry Murray
Label:    Rhino (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1968
    Hearts and Flowers (featuring a pre-Eagles Bernie Leadon on lead guitar) is known as one of the pioneering country-rock bands, but in 1968 they recorded what could well be regarded as a lost psychedelic masterpiece. Producer Steve Venet reportedly had Sgt. Pepper in mind as he crafted out Larry Murray's Tin Angel over a period of weeks, paying attention to the minutest details of the recording process. The result speaks for itself.

Artist:    Moody Blues
Title:    Legend Of A Mind
Source:    CD: In Search Of The Lost Chord
Writer(s):    Ray Thomas
Label:    Deram
Year:    1968
    The Moody Blues started off as a fairly typical British beat band, scoring one major international hit, Go Now, in 1965, as well as several minor British hit singles. By 1967 lead vocalist Denny Laine was no longer with the group (he would later surface as a member of Paul McCartney's Wings), and the remaining members were not entirely sure of where to go next. At around that time their record label, Deram, was looking to make a rock version of a well-known classical piece (Horst's The Nine Planets), and the Moody Blues were tapped for the project. Somewhere along the way, however, the group decided to instead write their own music for rock band and symphony orchestra, and Days Of Future Passed was the result. The album, describing a somewhat typical day in the life of a somewhat typical Britisher, was successful enough to revitalize the band's career, and a follow-up LP, In Search Of The Lost Chord, was released in 1968. Instead of a full orchestra, however, the band members themselves provided all the instrumentation on the new album, using a relatively new keyboard instrument called the mellotron, a complicated contraption that utilized tape loops to simulate orchestral sounds. Like its predecessor, In Search Of The Lost Chord was a concept album, this time dealing with the universal search for the meaning of life through music. One of the standout tracks on the album is Legend Of A Mind, with its signature lines: "Timothy Leary's dead. No, no, he's outside looking in." Although never released as a single, the track got a fair amount of airplay on college and progressive FM radio stations, and has long been considered a cult hit.
Artist:     Frumious Bandersnatch
Title:     Hearts To Cry
Source:     Mono British import CD: The Berkeley EPs (originally released on self-titled EP)
Writer:     Jack King
Label:     Big Beat (original label: Muggles Gramophone Works)
Year:     1968
     Rock music and the real estate business have something in common: location can make all the difference. Take the San Francisco Bay Area. You have one of the world's great Cosmopolitan cities at the north end of a peninsula. South of the city, along the peninsula itself you have mostly redwood forest land interspersed with fairly affluent communities along the way to Silicon Valley and the city of San Jose at the south end of the bay. The eastern side of the bay, on the other hand, spans a socio-economic range from blue collar to ghetto and is politically conservative; not exactly the most receptive environment for a hippy band calling itself Frumious Bandersnatch, which is a shame, since they had at least as much talent as any other band in the area. Unable to develop much of a following, they are one of the great "should have beens" of the psychedelic era, as evidenced by Hearts To Cry, the lead track of their 1968 untitled EP.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    I Wish You Would (expanded version)
Source:    Simulated stereo British import LP: Remember...The Yardbirds
Writer(s):    Billy Boy Arnold
Label:    EMI/Starline
Year:    Recorded 1964, released 1971
    The first Yardbirds record ever released was, predictably, a cover of an old blues song. I Wish You Would had originally been written and recorded by Billy Boy Arnold. Arnold's original version, released in 1955 on the Vee Jay label, featured a Bo-Diddley style beat; indeed, the song had originally been intended for Diddley himself and would have been his second single if not for the fact that Arnold got it into his head that Leonard Chess, whose Chess label Diddley recorded for, did not like him, so he ended up taking the song to Vee Jay and recording it himself. The Yardbirds version of the song, released in 1964, is missing the Bo Diddley beat, and is reportedly a much shorter version than the band performed live at the time. A few years later Yardbirds manager Giorgio Gomelsky released the first Yardbirds compilation album, with an expanded version of I Wish You Would that has not appeared anywhere else. Unfortunately, the LP used fake stereo, but is still worth hearing for Eric Clapton and Keith Relf's expanded solos on guitar and harmonica, respectively.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Wait
Source:    LP: Rubber Soul
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1965
    The oldest song on the Rubber Soul album, Wait was originally recorded for the British version of Help , but did not make the final cut. Six months later, when the band was putting the finishing touches on Rubber Soul, they realized they would not be able to come up with enough new material in time for a Christmas release, so they added some overdubs to Wait and included it on the new album. The song itself was a collaboration between John Lennon and Paul McCartney, with the two sharing vocals throughout the tune.

Artist:    Rising Sons
Title:    Take A Giant Step
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on CD:The Rising Sons featuring Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder)
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 1992
    Popular Los Angeles club band The Rising Sons were blessed with the talents of not one, but three musicians that would go on to become highly respected in the music business: vocalist Taj Mahal, guitarist Ry Cooder, and singer/songwriter Jesse Lee Kincaid. At the time, however, Columbia Records had no clue how to market an interracial country-blues/rock band. After an early single bombed the band attempted a more commercial sounding tune, the Gerry Goffin/ Carole King penned Take A Giant Step, but Columbia sat on it, as well as over an album's worth of other material. The song itself became well known when the Monkees released it as the B side of their debut single, Last Train To Clarksville. Taj Mahal, who liked the lyrics but not the fast tempo of the original version, re-recorded the song at a slower pace for his 1969 album Giant Step, making it one of his signature songs in the process.

Artist:    Kim Fowley
Title:    Strangers From The Sky
Source:    Mono British import CD: My Mind Goes High (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Fowley/Lloyd
Label:    Warner Strategic Marketing (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    The 1960s Los Angeles music scene contained more than its share of colorful characters, so it takes quite a bit to stand out from even that group. Kim Fowley, however, definitely fits the bill, as he is more than willing to tell anyone who will listen. His first claim to fame is being a member of the Hollywood Argyles, a studio concoction that had a huge hit with the novelty song Alley Oop in the early 1960s. Fowley met prodigy Michael Lloyd when Lloyd was only 13, and immediately recognized his potential. In late 1966 he was instrumental in hooking Lloyd up with the Harris brothers and local hipster Bob Markley, who together formed the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. It was while a member of the WCPAEB that Lloyd produced Fowley's Strangers From The Sky, recorded in Lloyd's own home 4-track studio with Lloyd playing all the instruments himself. In it's own way, Strangers From The Sky is every bit as bizarre as Alley Oop, although nowhere near as successful on the charts. Lloyd went on to become a big-time record producer, working with teen idols like the Osmonds and Shaun Cassidy as well as supervising the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Fowley continued to make his presence felt in both L.A. and London in several roles, including songwriter, producer and being the MC at the Toronto Rock And Roll Revival in 1969 (where he successfully pushed to get the Plastic Ono Band on the playbill). He famously introduced Sandy West to Joan Jett in the mid-1970s, which eventually led to the formation of the Runaways.