Sunday, February 26, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2309 (starts 2/27/23)

    This week we go exploring some of the nooks and crannies of the psychedelic era, with an occasional visit to more familiar territory to break things up. In fact, we start with a huge hit single, but immediately move into album track territory and stay there for the rest of the first hour. We go even deeper in the second half of the show, with nearly half the tracks making their Stuck in the Psychedelic Era debut.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Kicks
Source:    Simulated stereo CD: The Best Of 60s Supergroups (originally released on 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mann/Weil
Label:    Priority (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1966
    Kicks was not the first pop song with a strong anti-drug message, but it was the first one to be a major hit, making it to the number four spot on the US charts and hitting number one in Canada. It remained Paul Revere and the Raiders' best known song until Indian Reservation went all the way to the top of the charts five years later.

Artist:    Kaleidoscope
Title:    Pulsating Dream
Source:    CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Side Trips)
Writer:    Chris Darrow
Label:    Rhino (original label: Epic)
Year:    1967
    From Los Angeles we have the Kaleidoscope, a band that had more in common with the folk-rock bands up in San Francisco than its contemporaries on the L.A. club scene. Pulsating Dream is a somewhat typical example of what the group sounded like on its only album for Epic, Side Trips, released in 1967.

Artist:    Them
Title:    Bent Over You
Source:    LP: Time Out! Time In! For Them
Writer(s):    Them/Lane/Pulley
Label:    Tower
Year:    1968
    While not an unlistenable track by any means, the most curious aspect of Bent Over You from Them's 1968 Time Out! Time In! For Them album is probably the fact that the entire band (but not the individual members) shares songwriting credit with Thomas Lane and Sharon Pulley, who in fact wrote most of the songs on the album itself. I have to wonder just how the royalties situation would have worked if the album had actually made any money.

Artist:    Blind Faith
Title:    Had To Cry Today
Source:    LP: Blind Faith
Writer(s):    Steve Winwood
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1969
    One of the most eagerly-awaited albums of 1969 was Blind Faith, the self-titled debut album of a group consisting of Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker from Cream, Steve Winwood from Traffic and Rich Grech, who had played bass with a band called Family. The buzz about this new band was such that the rock press had to coin a brand-new term to describe it: supergroup. On release, the album shot up to the number one spot on the charts in record time. Of course, as subsequent supergroups have shown, such bands seldom stick around very long, and Blind Faith set the pattern early on by splitting up after just one LP and a short tour to promote it. The opening track of the album was a pure Winwood piece that features Winwood and Clapton playing simultaneous lead guitar solos.

Artist:    Frijid Pink
Title:    Sing A Song For Freedom
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Beaudry/Thompson/Stevers
Label:    Parrot
Year:    1970
    Frijid Pink was formed in Detroit in 1967 by singer Tom Beaudry, guitarist Gary Ray Thompson, bassist Tom Harris, and drummer Richard Stevers. After a couple of years playing various venues in the southeast Michigan area, the band signed with London subsidiary Parrot Records, releasing a pair of singles in 1969. They scored an international hit with a fuzz-laden rendition of House OfThe Rising Sun in 1970, which was soon followed by a self-titled LP. Their second LP, Defrosted, featuring the single Sing A Song For Freedom, was released in summer of 1970, but a change in personnel brought on by overesized egos led to the band's swift decline.
Artist:    Doors
Title:    Indian Summer
Source:    CD: Morrison Hotel
Writer(s):    Morrison/Krieger
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1970
    Although it was included on the 1970 LP Morrison Hotel, Indian Summer is actually one of the earliest Doors tracks, having been recorded for the band's debut album in 1966. Unlike the other songs recorded by the Doors at that time, Indian Summer is credited to guitarist Robby Krieger and vocalist Jim Morrison rather than to the entire band.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    You're Lost Little Girl
Source:    LP: Strange Days
Writer:    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    The Doors second LP, Strange Days, was stylistically similar to the first, and served notice to the world that this band was going to be around for awhile. Songwriting credit for You're Lost Little Girl (a haunting number that's always been a personal favorite of mine) was given to the entire band, a practice that would continue until the release of The Soft Parade in 1969.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    The Spy
Source:    CD: Morrison Hotel
Writer(s):    Jim Morrison
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1970
    As the 1960s drew to a close, the Doors, who had been riding high since 1967, were at a low point. In fact, it could be argued that the last few months of 1969 were the worst in the band's career. Vocalist Jim Morrison had been arrested for indecent exposure for exposing himself onstage in Miami the previous March. This had resulted in the cancellation of over two dozen performances as well as a sizable number of radio stations refusing to play their records. In June, the band released their fourth album, The Soft Parade, which was critically panned for its overuse of horns and strings. The album was also the first to give individual members of the band songwriting credits (previously all songwriting credits were shared by the four band members). This was brought about by Morrison's wish to distance himself from the lyrics of the album's opening track, Tell All The People, which had been written by guitarist Robby Krieger. Adding to the problems, Morrison had been arrested for causing a disturbance on an airplane and charged under a new hijacking law that carried a fine up of to $10,000 and ten years in prison. In November, the Doors started work on their fifth album, to be called Morrison Hotel (with the second side subtitled Hard Rock Cafe). After the poor reception of The Soft Parade the band decided to take a back to basics approach. One thing that did not change, however, was the policy of band members taking individual song credits. Thus, we have songs like The Spy (originally called Spy In The House Of Love), which was inspired by Morrison's fiery relationship with his longtime girlfriend Pamela Coulson. Morrison Hotel would end up being a turning point for the Doors; their next LP, L.A. Woman, is universally considered one of their best.

Artist:    Mad River
Title:    Wind Chimes
Source:    LP: Mad River
Writer(s):    Mad River
Label:    Sundazed/EMI (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1968
    When Mad River's debut LP was released, the San Francisco rock press hailed it as "taking rock music as far as it could go." Indeed, songs like Wind Chimes certainly pushed the envelope in 1968, when bubble gum was king of top 40 radio and progressive FM stations were still in the process of finding an audience. One thing that helped was the band members' friendship with avant-garde poet Richard Brautigan, who pulled whatever strings he could to get attention for his favorite local band. Still, the time was not yet right for such a band as Mad River, who had quietly faded away by the early 1970s.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Credo
Source:    CD: Mass In F Minor
Writer:    David Axelrod
Label:    Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    After the commercial disappointment of the Electric Prunes second LP, Underground, producer David Hassinger decided to use the band in an experiment. David Axelrod had written a rock-mass and was looking for a band to record it. The problem was that the only member of the Electric Prunes who could read music was bassist Mark Tulin, who then had to show the rest of the band what was wanted from them. Needless to say it was a slow process, and after the three songs that comprise side one of the LP were completed, Hassinger decided to hire a Canadian band called the Collectors to provide instrumental tracks for the album's second side. In addition to Tulin, bassist Quint Weakley and vocalist James Lowe appear on every track on Mass In F Minor, while guitarists Ken Williams and Mike Gannon are only featured on the LP's first side. Williams's guitar work is featured prominently on Credo, which also features a full orchestra track arranged by Axelrod.

Artist:    Love
Title:    Your Mind And We Belong Together
Source:    Australian import CD: Comes In Colours (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Raven (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1968
    The last record to be released by the classic Love lineup of Arthur Lee, Ken Forssi, Johnny Echols, Bryan MacLean and Michael Stuart was a single, Your Mind And We Belong Together. Although released in 1968, the song is very much the same style as the 1967 album Forever Changes. A bonus track on the Forever Changes CD shows Lee very much in command of the recording sessions, calling for over two dozen takes before getting an acceptable version of the song. The song serves as a fitting close to the story of one of the most influential, yet overlooked, bands in rock history...or would have, if Lee had not tried to revive the band with new members several times over the next several decades.

Artist:    Paul Jones
Title:    The Dog Presides
Source:    British import CD: Insane Times (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Paul Jones
Label:    Zonophone (original UK label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    Like many frontmen in the mid-60s Manfred Mann's Paul Jones decided to leave the group for a solo career right at the height of the band's success. Also like many former frontmen, Jones's solo career, beginning in 1966, was less than stellar. Most of Jones's records were done in an almost lounge lizard style. One notable exception is The Dog Presides, the B side of a forgettable 1968 single called And The Sun Will Shine. In addition to Jones on vocals and harmonica, The Dog Presides features former Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck and bassist Paul-Samwell Smith and some guy named Paul McCartney on drums. This bit of psychedelic insanity was officially credited to Jones himself, but in all likelihood was a collaborative effort by the four of them.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    I Don't Live Today
Source:    LP: The Essential Jimi Hendrix Volume Two (originally released on LP: Are You Experienced)
Writer:    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    I remember a black light poster that choked me up the first time I saw it in early 1971. It was a shot of Jimi Hendrix playing his guitar with the caption I Don't Live Today. I don't believe Hendrix was being deliberately prophetic when he wrote and recorded this classic track for the Are You Experienced album, but it occasionally gives me chills to hear it, even now.
Artist:    Who
Title:    I'm A Boy (original version)
Source:    British import 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Reaction
Year:    1966
    The Who's1966 hit I'm A Boy was originally intended to be part of a rock mini-opera set in a future where parents choose the sex of their children ahead of time. The family of the protagonist orders four girls, but instead gets three girls and a boy. Refusing to acknowledge the truth, the mother insists on dressing the boy in girl's clothing and forces him to do "feminine" things. OK, it's a pretty absurd idea, but the song, recorded in early August of 1966 and released about two weeks later, ended up going all the way to the #2 spot on the British charts. The song was rearranged and re-recorded three months later for the 1966 LP A Quick One, but ended up being left off the album. It finally appeared on the 1971 LP Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Elenore
Source:    Mono CD: All The Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Kaylan/Volman/Nichols/Pons/Barbata
Label:    Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1968
    In 1968 White Whale Records was not particularly happy with the recent activities of their primary money makers, the Turtles. The band had been asserting its independence, even going so far as to self-produce a set of recordings that the label in turn rejected as having no commercial potential. The label wanted another Happy Together. The band responded by creating a facetious new song called Elenore. The song had deliberately silly lyrics such as "Elenore gee I think you're swell" and "you're my pride and joy etcetera" and gave production credit to former Turtles bassist Chip Douglas for the "Douglas F. Hatelid Foundation", which was in itself an in-joke referring to the pseudonym Douglas was forced to use as producer for the Monkees in 1967. Then a strange thing happened: the record became a hit. I suspect this was the event that began Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman's eventually metamorphosis into rock parody act Flo and Eddie.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Let The Cold Winds Blow
Source:    Mono LP: It Ain't Me Babe
Writer(s):    Howard Kaylan
Label:    White Whale
Year:    1965
    Although still quite young (the band members had to get their parents' permission to record their first LP), the Turtles already had the makings of a successful group in 1965 when they recorded It Ain't Me Babe. In addition to the usual batch of cover songs that were expected from a "pop" band (the term "rock" having not come into common usage at that point in time) the album included a handful of original compositions from bandmembers. Lead vocalist Howard Kaylan, in particular, provided some decent tunes such as Let The Cold Winds Blow, which opens side two of the original LP.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    House On The Hill
Source:    Mono CD: All The Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Kaylan/Volman/Nichols/Pons/Seiter
Label:    Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1969
    Although credited to the entire band, House On The Hill, released in April of 1969, was actually the creation of guitarist Al Nichol (music) and new drummer John Seiter, whom the Turtles had poached from tourmates Spanky & Our Gang after John Barbata had left the group. The single, produced by the Kinks' Ray Davies, failed to chart, prompting the band to return to the "Happy Together" formula for their next single, You Don't Have To Walk In The Rain.

Artist:    Glass Family
Title:    House Of Glass
Source:    LP: The Glass Family Electric Band
Writer(s):    Ralph Parrett
Label:    Maplewood (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1969
    The Glass Family (Ralph Parrett, David Capilouto and Gary Green) first surfaced in 1967 with a single called Teenage Rebellion on Mike Curb's Sidewalk label. The following year they signed with Warner Brothers, releasing their only LP, The Glass Family Electric Band, in 1969. The opening track from the album, House Of Glass, is, in the words of Capilouto, self-explanatory, which is a good thing, as it saves me the trouble of trying to figure out what it's about.

Artist:    Vamp
Title:    Floatin'
Source:    Mon British import CD: Think I'm Going Weird (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Andy Clark
Label:    Grapefruit (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1968
    One of the more unusual bands on the London underground scene was the Sam Gopal Dream. Led by Malaysian immigrant Gopal, who was considered an expert tabla player, the band included guitarist Mick Hutchinson, bassist Pete Sears and vocalist/keyboardist Andy Clark. After the group broke up, Hutchinson, Sears and Clark joined former Pretty Things drummer Viv Prince for a one-off single credited to Vamp (an acronym of the band members' first names) called Floatin'. That single, given the later successes of the four members, is now considered highly collectable.

Artist:    N'Betweens
Title:    Delighted To See You
Source:    Mono British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road
Writer(s):    P. Dello
Label:    EMI
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1998.
    The name N'Betweens may not ring any bells with even the most hardcore rock fans, but after changing their name, first to Ambrose Slade and later Slade, they had a decent following in the 1970s. The group originally migrated to London from the industrial city of Birmingham in 1966, where they met up with American producer Kim Fowley, who produced their first single, a cover of the Young Rascals' You Better Run. The band did record other songs before changing their name, including Delighted To See You, which was recorded in 1967, but not released until 1998.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    I Feel Free
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    After an unsuccessful debut single (Wrapping Paper), Cream scored a bona-fide hit in the UK with their follow-up, I Feel Free. As was the case with nearly every British single at the time, the song was not included on Fresh Cream, the band's debut LP. In the US, however, hit singles were commonly given a prominent place on albums, and the US version of Fresh Cream actually opens with I Feel Free. To my knowledge the song, being basically a studio creation, was never performed live by the band.

Artist:    Zombies
Title:    Tell Her No
Source:    LP: 93/KHJ Boss Goldens vol. 1 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Rod Argent
Label:    Original Sound (original label: Parrot)
Year:    1964
    Rod Argent was responsible for writing four well-known hit songs, which were spread out over a period of eight years (and two bands). The second, and probably least known of these was the Zombies' Tell Her No, released in late 1964. The song got mixed reviews from critics, all of which measured the tune against Beatles songs of the same period.

Artist:     Van Dyke Parks
Title:     Come To The Sunshine
Source:     Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Van Dyke Parks
Label:     Rhino (original label: M-G-M)
Year:     1966
     Van Dyke Parks is probably best known for being Brian Wilson's collaborator of choice for the legendary (but unreleased) Smile album. Parks, however, did have an identity of his own, as this recording of Come To The Sunshine shows. The song became a minor hit for WB labelmates Harper's Bizarre, although it did not have nearly the success of their first effort, a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy).

Artist:     Jefferson Airplane
Title:     D.C.B.A.-25
Source:     Mono LP: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer:     Paul Kantner
Label:     Sundazed (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:     1967
     D.C.B.A.-25 was named for the chords used in the song. As for the "25" was 1967. In San Francisco. Paul Kantner wrote it. Figure it out.

Artist:          Amboy Dukes
Title:        Journey to the Center of the Mind
Source:      Mono British import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Nugent/Farmer
Label:     Big Beat (original US label: Mainstream)
Year:        1968
        From Detroit we have the Amboy Dukes, featuring lead guitarist Ted Nugent. Originally released as a single on Mainstream Records, the same label that released the first Big Brother & the Holding Company album, Journey To The Center Of The Mind became that label's biggest hit in 1968.  After butchering Big Brother's debut album, Mainstream's studio people must have taken a crash course in rock engineering as they did a much better job on this track just a few months later.

Artist:    Al Kooper/Carlos Santa/Skip Prokop/John Kahn
Title:    Sonny Boy Williamson
Source:    LP: The Live Adventures Of Mike Bloomfield And Al Kooper
Writer(s):    Bruce/Jones
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    When guitarist Mike Bloomfield's "chronic insomnia" caused him to miss the final performance of a three night live recording engagement with keyboardist/vocalist Al Kooper at the Fillmore West on September 8, 1968, several San Francisco area musicians volunteered to fill in for him, much as Stephen Stills had earlier in the year for the Super Session album. Among those musicians was guitarist Carlo Santana, whose own band was in the process of landing a record deal with Columbia Records, the label that was taping the Kooper/Bloomfield gigs. Santana sat in on three or four songs, one of which, Jack Bruce's Sonny Boy Williamson, was included on the album. Also in the band that night were drummer Skip Prokop and bassist John Kahn.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Temporarily Like Achilles
Source:    Austrian import CD: Blonde On Blonde
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    "Honey, why are you so hard?" was a line Bob Dylan had been wanting to use in a song for quite some time. He finally got his wish when he recorded Temporarily Like Achilles in Nashville for his Blonde On Blonde album.

Artist:    John P Hammond (aka John Hammond Jr.)
Title:    Motherless Willie Johnson
Source:    LP: Mirrors
Writer(s):    Blind Willie Johnson
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    John Hammond's 1967 album Mirrors featured Hammond with a backup band on the LP's first side and a series of solo recordings with Hammond on vocals and acoustic guitar on the other. One of the highlights of the second side was Hammond's cover of Blind Willie Johnson's Motherless Children (for some unexplained reason titled Motherless Willie Johnson on the label). Johnson originally recorded the song (released as Mother's Children Have A Hard Time) in Dallas, Texas on December 3, 1927.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Prodigal Son
Source:    CD: Beggar's Banquet
Writer(s):    Robert Wilkins
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1968
    The Rolling Stones always had a fondness for American roots music, but by 1967 had largely abandoned the genre in favor of more modern sounds such as pychedelia. The 1968 album Beggar's Banquet, however, marked a return to the band's own roots and included such tunes as Prodigal Son, which at first was credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. In reality the song was written by the Reverend Robert Wilkins, and has since been acknowledged as such.

Artist:    Kak
Title:    Everything's Changing
Source:    British import CD: Kak-Ola (originally released on LP: Kak)
Writer(s):    Yoder/Grelecki
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Epic)
Year:    1969
    Everything's Changing is an appropriate title for the second song on the 1969 album Kak. Nobody noticed that Joe-Dave Damrell's bass guitar had a short until they were isolating the track during the mixdown process. Damrell quickly recorded a new bass part (using a different instrument) by plugging directly into the mixing board itself.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2309 (starts 2/27/23)

    With the exception of a couple tunes borrowed from out companion show, Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, all of this weeks tracks are from the years 1969-1971, and include elements of folk, country, blues and even a touch of gospel...all rock, of course.

Artist:    Blind Faith
Title:    Can't Find My Way Home
Source:    CD: Blind Faith
Writer:    Steve Winwood
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1969
    Blind Faith was the result of some 1969 jam sessions in guitarist Eric Clapton's basement with keyboardist/guitarist Steve Winwood, whose own band, Traffic, had disbanded earlier in the year. Drummer Ginger Baker, who had been Clapton's bandmate in Cream for the previous three years, showed up one day, and Winwood eventually convinced Clapton to form a band with the three of them and bassist Rick Grech. Clapton, however, did not want another Cream, and even before Blind Faith's only album was released was ready to move on to something that felt less like a supergroup. As a result, Winwood took more of a dominant role in Blind Faith, even to the point of including one track, Can't Find My Way Home, that was practically a Winwood solo piece. Blind Faith disbanded shortly after the album was released, with the various band members moving on to other projects. Winwood, who soon reformed Traffic, is still active as one of rock's elder statesmen, and still performs Can't Find My Way Home in his concert appearances.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Foxy Lady
Source:    LP: Are You Experienced?
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    The first track on the original UK release of Are You Experienced was Foxy Lady. The British custom of the time was to not include any songs on albums that had been previously released as singles. When Reprise Records got the rights to release the album in the US, it was decided to include three songs that had all been top 40 hits in the UK. One of those songs, Purple Haze, took over the opening spot on the album, and Foxy Lady was buried toward the end of side 2 (and misspelled "Foxey Lady").

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    The Great Canyon Fire In General
Source:    CD: Spirit
Writer(s):    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Ode/Epic/Legacy
Year:    1968
    Among other things, Southern California is known for its periodic wildfires, which, fueled by hot Santa Ana winds, destroy everything in their path before they can be brought under control. In the summer of 1967, while the members of Spirit were living in L.A.'s Topanga Canyon and working on their first album, one of these wildfires took out about half of the canyon. Although the house the band was living in was spared, the entire area was evacuated and the members of Spirit (and their family) had to spend a week camped out at the beach. Now that's my kind of roughing it!

Artist:    Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Title:    Mr. Bojangles (Prologue: Uncle Charlie And His Dog Teddy)
Source:    LP: Uncle Charlie And His Dog Teddy
Writer(s):    Jerry Jeff Walker
Label:    Liberty
Year:    1970
    Jerry Jeff Walker's most famous composition, Mr. Bojangles, was also the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's biggest hit. As originally released, the single included a minute and a half long spoken word intro taken from the LP Uncle Charlie And His Dog Teddy. Uncle Charlie himself was a relative of producer Bill McEuen's wife (and bandmenber John McEuen's sister-in-law) who recorded the spoken section in 1963 at the age of 77, along with a fragment of a tune called Jesse James that was included on the album, but not the single. The success of the Dirt Band version of Mr. Bojangles put the group at the forefront of the country-rock movement of the early 70s and eventually led them to become one of the most successful country acts of the 1980s.

Artist:    Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title:    Running Dry (Requiem For The Rockets)
Source:    LP: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    For his second post-Buffalo Springfield LP, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Neil Young found a local Los Angeles band called the Rockets and convinced guitarist Danny Whitten, bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina to join him, renaming them Crazy Horse for the album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. One member of the Rockets that was not part of Crazy Horse was violinist Bobby Notkoff, whose eerie style gave the band a distinctive sound. Notkoff can be heard on Running Dry, which is subtitled Requiem For The Rockets as a tribute to the original band. The Rockets themselves had previously recorded one self-titled LP, but only 5000 copies were ever pressed.

Artist:    Brewer And Shipley
Title:    One Toke Over The Line
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Brewer/Shipley
Label:    Kama Sutra
Year:    1971
    Mike Brewer and Tom Shipley might be considered the link between the folk-rock of the late 1960s and the singer-songwriter movement of the early 1970s. The two of them had met on more than one occasion in the mid 1960s, doing coffeehouse gigs across the midwest, until both decided to settle down in Los Angeles and start writing songs together in 1968. After recording two albums together, the duo relocated to Kansas City in 1969, spending much of the next two years on the road, playing small towns such as Tarkio, Missouri, which in turn inspired the title for their third album, Tarkio. That album, released in 1971, included what was to be their biggest hit. One Toke Over The Line went to the #10 spot on the charts (#5 in Canada) and prompted the Vice President of the United States, Spiro Agnew, to denounce the song as "blatant drug-culture propaganda". Concerning the origin of the song itself, Mike Brewer had this to say: "One day we were pretty much stoned and all and Tom says, “Man, I’m one toke over the line tonight.” I liked the way that sounded and so I wrote a song around it." He said it was written as a joke as the duo was setting up for a gig.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Ripple/Brokedown Palace
Source:    LP: American Beauty
Writer(s):    Hunter/Garcia
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    The album Live Dead was a turning point for the Grateful Dead. Up to that point the band had been trying to recreate the group's live performances in the studio. Now that that goal was accomplished, it was time to take a new look at the studio and what they would be doing in it. The answer was to concentrate on their songwriting, particularly that of Jerry Garcia and poet/lyricist Robert Hunter, who had been working with the band for a couple of years already. The next two Dead albums, Workingman's Dead and American Beauty (both released in 1970), did just that, and are among the most popular albums the band has ever recorded. There was only one single released from American Beauty, featuring Truckin', their most popular song up to that point, backed with Ripple, another Hunter/Garcia composition. The distinctive mandolin work on the song came from David Grisman; it was his first of many collaborations with Garcia and the Dead. The song's ending slightly overlaps the beginning of the next song on the LP, Brokedown Palace.

Artist:    Eric Burdon And War
Title:    Sun/Moon
Source:    CD: The Black Man's Burdon
Writer(s):    War
Label:    UMe
Year:    1970
    When LPs were first introduced in 1948, their primary selling point was that they had longer playing times than the standard 78 RPM records of the time. By 1952 Columbia Records had introduced "extended play" LPs that could hold up to 26 minutes per side. This was ideal for classical music and for some of the more experimental jazz artists such as Miles Davis, who favored long extended pieces. Popular music, on the other hand, was more suited to singles, and by the mid-1950s RCA's 45 RPM records dominated the pop market. In its early years, rock 'n' roll was entirely singles oriented. Only the most popular artists, such as Elvis Presley, even released LPs, and those tended to only have about 15 to 20 minutes' worth of music per side. By the 1960s the 15 to 20 minute album side was the standard for popular music, with some labels, such as Tower, releasing albums with even shorter running times. As rock music became more album-oriented in the late 1960s, it maintained the shorter side length. In 1970, however, Eric Burdon And War decided to release an album with a total of over 90 minutes' worth of music on it. To do this they made The Black Man's Burdon a double-LP set. Even then, the side lengths far exceeded the standard. The longest of these was side three, which started off with the ten-minute slow blues jam Sun/Moon and ended up with a total running time of over 27 minutes. That's nearly a minute longer that the two sides of Meet The Beatles combined! Although Eric Burdon And War were the first to put out long album sides, they were by no means the last. Many Genesis albums, for instance, had running times of over 25 minutes per side, and Def Leppard's Hysteria LP actually runs for more than an hour total. Of course there are some sound quality issues with the longer album sides (for technical reasons), which makes finding a listenable copy of The Black Man's Burdon on vinyl a virtual impossibility. Luckily, it's now available on CD.

Artist:    James Gang
Title:    White Man/Black Man
Source:    LP: Thirds
Writer(s):    Dale Peters
Label:    ABC
Year:    1971
    Although the James Gang Thirds album is best known for its Joe Walsh compositions such as Walk Away, bassist Dale Peters takes center stage as both vocalist and songwriter on two of the album's tracks, including White Man/Black Man, a call for racial tolerance and understanding. Backing vocals on the song were provided by the Sweet Inspirations.

Artist:    Chicago
Title:    I'm A Man
Source:    CD: The Chicago Transit Authority
Writer(s):    Winwood/Miller
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    With prolific songwriters like Robert Lamm and James Pankow in the band, it should come as no surprise that Chicago recorded very few cover songs; in fact there was only one on their first ten albums. That one was I'm A Man, originally released as the last single by the Spencer Davis Group to feature Steve Winwood on lead vocals. The Chicago version, from their debut LP, The Chicago Transit Authority, features a drum solo from Danny Seraphine and is the second longest track on the album. I'm A Man was a concert favorite, often used as the band's encore tune. It also got plenty of airplay on FM rock radio stations in the early 1970s, but has generally been absent from classic rock playlists in recent years.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2308 (starts 2/20/23)

    This is one of those shows that kept going off in directions I didn't originally intend it to (I didn't plan on three artists' sets, for instance), but for the most part it seems to have worked out pretty well. A couple of never-before-played-on-the-show pieces snuck into the first half hour, including a pre-Rod Stewart cover of a Cat Stevens song. Speaking of Rod Stewart, we have a track with him sitting in as guest lead vocalist for a band originally formed in Australia that had relocated to England a couple years before (no, not the Easybeats).

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Talk Talk
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    The Music Machine was one of the most sophisticated bands to appear on the L.A. club scene in 1966, yet their only major hit, Talk Talk, was deceptively simple and straightforward punk-rock, and still holds up as two of the most intense minutes of rock music ever to crack the top 40 charts.

Artist:    We The People
Title:    You Burn Me Up And Down
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Thomas Talton
Label:    Rhino (original label: Challenge)
Year:    1966
    We The People was kind of a regional supergroup in the Orlando, Florida area, as it was made up of musicians from various local garage bands. The departure of lead guitarist Wayne Proctor in early 1967 and the band's other main songwriter Tommy Talton a year later led to the group's demise, despite having landed a contract with RCA Victor, at the time the world's largest record label. Before splitting up, however, they recorded a handful of garage-rock classics such as You Burn Me Up And Down, which was released as a B side in 1966.

Artist:    Count Five
Title:    Psychotic Reaction
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Classics From The Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ellner/Chaney/Atkinson/Byrne/Michaelski
Label:    Rhino (original label: Double Shot)
Year:    1966
    Although San Jose, Ca. is a rather large city in its own right (the 10th-largest city in the US in fact), it has always had a kind of suburban status, thanks to being within the same media market as San Francisco. Nonetheless, San Jose had its own very active music scene in the mid-60s, and Count Five was, for a time in late 1966, at the top of the heap, thanks in large part to Psychotic Reaction tearing up the national charts.

Artist:    Standells
Title:    Zebra In The Kitchen
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Hal Hopper
Label:    Sundazed/M-G-M
Year:    1965
    Although they are best known for the song Dirty Water and a couple of followup garage band favorites, the Standells were actually a well-established band by the time they gained national fame, having released several singles for the Liberty (1964) and Vee Jay (1965 labels). Probably the oddest early Standells release, however, was a one-off single for M-G-M of the title song for a film called Zebra In The Kitchen starring a then 14-year-old Jay (Dennis the Menace) North. Given, in the words of lead vocalist/keyboardist Larry Tamblyn, "carte blanche to do as we saw fit." Tamblyn rewrote the melody, chord structure and arrangement on the tune originally written by North's uncle, Hal Hopper. The single was released, along with the film itself, in June of 1965.

Artist:    Cyrkle
Title:    The Visit (She Was Here)
Source:    Mono LP: Neon
Writer(s):    Chandler/McKendry
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    If you were to look up the term "diminishing returns" in a pop music encyclopedia, you might see a picture of the Cyrkle. Their first single, Red Rubber Ball, was a huge hit in 1966, going all the way to the #2 spot, with the album of the same name peaking at #47. The follow-up single, Turn Down Day, was also a top 20 hit, but it would be their last. Each consecutive single, in fact, would top out just a little bit lower than the one before it. Their first single of 1967 only managed to peak at #70. The B side of that single was the soft-rock tune The Visit (She Was Here), which was taken from the Cyrkle's second LP, Neon (which only managed to make it to #164 on the album charts). The group disbanded later that same year.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    The Wind Blows Your Hair
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Saxon/Bigelow
Label:    Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1967
    The Wind Blows Your Hair is actually one of the Seeds' better tracks. Unfortunately, by the time it was released as a single in October of 1967 the whole idea of Flower Power (which the Seeds were intimately tied to) had become yesterday's news (at least in ultra-hip L.A.) and the single went nowhere.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    Baroque # 1
Source:    LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer(s):    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1967
    Of the half dozen or so major US record labels of the time, only two, Decca and M-G-M, failed to sign any San Francisco bands in the late 1960s. Decca, which had been bought by MCA in the early 60s, was fast fading as a major force in the industry (ironic considering that Universal, the direct descendant of MCA, is now the world's largest record company). M-G-M, on the other hand, had a strong presence on the Greenwich Village scene thanks to Jerry Schoenbaum at the Verve Forecast label, who had signed such critically-acclaimed artists as Dave Van Ronk, Tim Hardin and the Blues Project. Taking this as an inspiration, the parent label decided to create interest in the Boston music scene, aggressively promoting (some would say hyping) the "Boss-Town Sound". One of the bands signed was Ultimate Spinach, which was led by keyboardist Ian Bruce-Douglas, who wrote all the band's material, including Baroque # 1, an instrumental that shows the influence of West Coast bands such as Country Joe And The Fish.
Artist:    Koobas
Title:    First Cut Is The Deepest
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):    Cat Stevens
Label:    Rhino (original UK label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    Formed in Liverpool in 1962, the Koobas (after an obligatory stay in Hamburg) landed their first record contract after filming a segment for a movie called Ferry Cross The Mersey that ended up on the cutting room floor. They released several singles from 1965-1968, but none of them were successful in their native land, although their final single, a psychedelicized (think Vanilla Fudge) version of Cat Stevens's First Cut Is The Deepest, did fairly well in Germany, France and the Netherlands.

Artist:    Action
Title:    Bustbin Full Of Rubbish
Source:    British import CD: Mighty Baby (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Ian Whiteman
Label:    Big Beat
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 1993
    Although popular with the Mod crowd, the Action was never able to convert that popularity into chart success, despite releasing a series of singles on the Parlophone label from 1965-67. The band began going through changes in 1967, including the loss of lead vocalist Reg King and the addition of keyboardist/composer Ian Whiteman in 1967. After being dropped by Parlophone, the Action recorded a series of demos for Georgio Gomelski, who was in the process of setting up his new Marmalade label in 1968, but were unable to find any takers among the labels that existed at the time, and the recordings remained unreleased until the 1990s. Meanwhile, the Action finally changed its name to Mighty Baby in 1969, signing with the new Head label. Unfortunately, Head Records went belly up in 1970, and after releasing a second LP on the Blue Horizon label in 1971, the Action/Mighty Baby finally called it quits.

Artist:    Love
Title:    The Daily Planet
Source:    CD: Forever Changes
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    The closest Love ever got to a stable lineup was in early 1967, when the group consisted of multi-instrumentalist and band leader Arthur Lee, lead guitarist Johnny Echols, rhythm guitarist Bryan MacLean, bassist Ken Forssi and drummer Michael Stuart. This group, along with "Snoopy" Pfisterer on keyboards and Tjay Cantrelli on flute and saxophone, had completed the De Capo album in late 1966 and were firmly entrenched as the top-drawing band on the Sunset Strip. There were drawbacks, however. Then, as now, Los Angeles was the party capitol of the world, and the members of Love, as kings of the Strip, had easy access to every vice they could imagine. This became a serious problem when it was time to begin working on the band's third LP, Forever Changes. Both Lee and MacLean had new material ready to be recorded, but getting the other band members into the studio was proving to be impossible, so their producer took matters into his own hands and brought in some of L.A.'s top studio musicians (known as the Wrecking Crew) to begin work on the album. The move turned out to be a wake up call for the rest of the band, who were able to get their act together in time to finish the album themselves. Lee and MacLean, however, chose to keep the two tracks that they had completed using studio musicians. One of those was a Lee composition, The Daily Planet, that had been arranged by Neil Young. Ken Forssi later claimed that bassist Carol Kaye was having problems with the song and Forssi himself ended up playing on the track, but there is no way now to verify Forssi's claim.

Artist:    Love
Title:    My Little Red Book
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released on LP: Love)
Writer(s):    Bacharach/David
Label:    Rhino (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1966
    The first rock record ever released by Elektra Records was a single by Love called My Little Red Book. The track itself (which also opens Love's debut LP), is a punked out version of a tune originally recorded by Manfred Mann for the What's New Pussycat movie soundtrack. Needless to say, Love's version was not exactly what composers Burt Bacharach and Hal David had in mind when they wrote the song.

Artist:    Love
Title:    Andmoreagain
Source:    CD: Love Story
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    If there is any one song that validates comparisons of Johnny Mathis and Love's Arthur Lee, it's Andmoreagain, from the third Love album, Forever Changes. Oddly enough, the song has also drawn comparisons to the music of Burt Bacharach, particularly for its soft melody and use of major 7th chords. This is somewhat ironic, given Bacharach's adverse reaction to Love's version of My Little Red Book, a song he wrote for the soundtrack of the film What's New, Pussycat.

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    Wicked World
Source:    LP: Black Sabbath (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osborne/Butler/Ward
Label:    Warner Brothers (original UK label: Fontana)
Year:    1970
    The Secret Origin of Heavy Metal-Part One: After a short (one month) stint as Mick Abrahams's replacement in Jethro Tull, guitarist Tony Iommi rejoined his former bandmates Ozzy Osborne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward in the blues-rock band Earth in January of 1969. Later that year they realized that there was already another English band called Earth and decided to change their name. Taking inspiration from a playbill of a movie theater showing classic Boris Karloff horror films across the street from where they were rehearsing, they started calling themselves Black Sabbath in August of 1969 and began to forge a new sound for the band in keeping with their new name. Three months later Black Sabbath got their first record contract, releasing a cover of Crow's Evil Woman in January of 1970. They followed the (UK only) single up with their self-titled debut LP, recorded in just two days, on Friday, February 13th, 1970. The album was released three months later in the US, and spent over a year on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart. Although Evil Woman was included on the UK version of the LP, Warner Brothers chose to instead include the B side of the band's single, a song called Wicked World that was not on the UK version of the album. Most Black Sabbath fans, it turns out, consider Wicked World a stronger track, as it shows a trace of the band's original blues-rock sound, particularly on the US LP version of the song, which leaves out the overdubbed horns added to both sides of the UK single.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    The Boxer
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bridge Over Troubled Water)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    The only Simon And Garfunkel record released in 1969, The Boxer was one of the duo's most successful singles, making the top 10 in nine countries, including the US, where it hit the #7 spot. The track, which runs more than five minutes, was later included on the 1970 LP Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Artist:     Al Kooper/Mike Bloomfield/Harvey Brooks/Eddie Hoh
Title:     Really
Source:     LP: Super Session
Writer:     Bloomfield/Kooper
Label:     Columbia/Legacy
Year:     1968
     Al Kooper and Michael Bloomfield first met when they were both members of Bob Dylan's band in 1965, playing on the classic Highway 61 Revisited album and famously performing at the Newport Folk Festival, where Kooper's organ was physically assaulted by angry folk purists. After a stint with seminal jam band The Blues Project, Kooper became a staff producer for Columbia Records in New York, where he came up with the idea of an album made up entirely of studio jams. He recruited Bloomfield, who had in the intervening years played with the Butterfield Blues Band and the Electric Flag, along with bassist Harvey Brooks (also from Butterfield's band) and studio drummer Eddie Hoh and came up with the surprise hit album of 1968, Super Session. Although Bloomfield bowed out of the project halfway through, he plays on all the tracks on side one of the album, including Really, which utilizes a classic blues progression.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    For Your Love
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Graham Gouldman
Label:    Epic
Year:    1965
    The last Yardbirds song to feature guitarist Eric Clapton, For Your Love was the group's fist US hit, peaking at the # 6 slot. The song did even better in the UK, peaking at # 3. Following its release, Clapton left the Yardbirds, citing the band's move toward a more commercial sound and this song in particular as reasons for his departure (ironic when you consider songs like his mid-90s hit Change the World or his slowed down lounge lizard version of Layla). For Your Love was written by Graham Gouldman, who would end up as a member of Wayne Fontana's Mindbenders and later 10cc with Kevin Godley and Lol Creme.

Artist:     Who
Title:     Bucket T
Source:     Mono LP: Magic Bus (original released in UK on EP: Ready Steady Who)
Writer(s):     Atfield/Christian/Torrance
Label:     MCA (original label: Track)
Year:     1966
     Ready Steady Go was Britain's answer to American Bandstand. A hugely popular one-shot special edition of the show called Ready Steady Who aired in 1966. A five song EP (also called Ready Steady Who) had an entirely different set of songs than the TV special, and included some real oddities such as their version of the Batman theme and Bucket T, a hot rod song originally recorded by Ronny & the Daytonas.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    St. Stephen (1971 remix)
Source:    CD: Aoxomoxoa
Writer(s):    Hunter/Garcia/Lesh
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1969
    One of the Grateful Dead's most recognizable tunes is St. Stephen. The song first appeared on the 1969 album Aoxomoxoa, and was a regular part of the band's live performances (usually combined with The Eleven) for the next few years. From the mid-1970s on the song was only occasionally played in concert, and was considered a special treat by Deadheads.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: The Grateful Dead
Writer(s):    McGannahan Skjellyfetti
Label:    Rhino (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
    The Grateful Dead's major label debut single actually sold pretty well in the San Francisco Bay area, where it got airplay on top 40 stations from San Francisco to San Jose. Around the rest of the country, not so much, but the Dead would soon prove that there was more to survival than having a hit record. Writing credits on The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion) were given to McGannahan Skjellyfetti, which like the Rolling Stones' Nanker Phelge was a name used for songs written by the entire band (there was probably some copyright-related reason for doing so).

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    China Cat Sunflower
Source:    CD: Aoxomoxoa (1971 remix)
Writer(s):    Hunter/Garcia/Lesh
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1969
    The third Grateful Dead album, Aoxomoxoa, was an experimental mixture of live audio and studio enhancements, much in the same vein as their previous effort, Anthem Of The Sun. One significant difference between the two is that, unlike Anthem, Aoxomoxoa was written entirely by the team of guitarist Jerry Garcia, bassist Phil Lesh and poet Robert Hunter, giving the album a more cohesive sound. One track on Aoxomoxoa, China Cat Sunflower, is almost entirely a studio creation, and as such has a bit cleaner sound than the rest of the LP, especially on the 1971 remixed version of the album.

Artist:    Python Lee Jackson
Title:    In A Broken Dream
Source:    LP: Golden Days Of British Rock (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    David Bentley
Label:    Sire (original label: Youngblood International)
Year:    1970
    Formed in Sydney, Australia in December 1965, Python Lee Jackson went through several personnel changes before breaking up in January of 1968.  Not long after that two of the band's founding members, guitarist Mick Lieber and drummer David Montgomery, along with keyboardist/vocalist Dave Bentley (who had joined the band in 1966), relocated to the UK, reforming the band in October 1968. In April of 1969 they recorded three songs with guest vocalist Rod Stewart, after Bentley told his bandmates that he didn't think his voice was right for the songs. The first of these was In A Broken Dream, produced by legendary DJ John Peel, who had taken an interest in the band after seeing them perform at the Arts Lab on Drury Lane. The song was originally released in 1970, but did not chart until it was re-released two years later in the wake of Stewart's rise to fame as a solo artist and member of Faces.

Artist:    Mandrake Paddle Steamer
Title:    Steam
Source:    British import 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Martin Briley
Label:    Bam Caruso (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1969
    Mandrake Paddle Steamer was the brainchild of art school students Martin Briley and Brian Engle, who, with producer Robert Finnis, were among the first to take advantage of EMI's new 8-track recording equipment at their Abbey Road studios. The result was Strange Walking Man, a single released in 1969. The B side of that record was an instrumental written by Briley called, appropriately, Steam. The single was the only recording ever released by Mandrake Paddle Steamer, and was re-released (with a really nice looking picture sleeve) by the British Bam Caruso label in June of 1985.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    White Room (single version)
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Wheels Of Fire)
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    United Artists (original label: Atco)
Year:    1968
    In order to get songs played on top 40 radio, record companies made it a practice to shorten album cuts by cutting out extended instrumental breaks and extra verses. This version of the Cream classic White Room, clocking in at just over three minutes, is a typical example.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I Am The Walrus
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1967
    There were actually three different versions of the Beatles' I Am The Walrus released in late 1967, all of which were made from the same basic master tape. The first (heard here) was a mono single version that was issued as the B side of the Hello Goodbye single in late November. This version features a four-beat intro and has an extra bar of music immediately preceding the words "yellow matter custard" in the middle of the song. The second version was the stereo version featured on the US-only Magical Mystery Tour album. This version is basically the same as the mono version, but does not contain the extra bar in the middle. The third version appeared in early December in Europe and the UK on the stereo version of the Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack EP. This version features a six beat intro, but is otherwise identical to the US stereo version. In the early 1980s engineers at Capitol Records created a fourth version of I Am The Walrus that uses the six beat intro from the UK stereo version and includes the extra bar in the middle of the song from the US single version. This fourth version was included on the US version of the Beatles' Rarities album.
Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: More Hot Rocks (Big Hits and Fazed Cookies) (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Flowers)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1966
    By mid-1966 there was a population explosion of teenage rock bands popping up in garages and basements all across the US, the majority of which were doing their best to emulate the grungy sound of their heroes, the Rolling Stones. The Stones themselves responded by ramping up the grunge factor to a previously unheard of degree with their last single of the year, Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow? It was the most feedback-laden record ever to make the top 40 at that point in time, and it inspired America's garage bands to buy even more powerful amps and crank up the volume (driving their parents to drink in the process).

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Connection
Source:    CD: Between The Buttons
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label:London)
Year:    1967
    Often dismissed as the beginning of a departure from their blues roots, the Rolling Stones first LP of 1967, Between The Buttons, actually has a lot of good tunes on it, such as Connection, a song with multiple meanings. Most studios at that time only had four tracks available and would use two tape machines to mix the first tracks recorded on one machine (usually the instrumental tracks) down to a single track on the other machine, freeing up the remaining tracks for overdubs. This process, known as "bouncing", sometimes happened two or three times on a single recording if extra overdubs were needed. Unfortunately each pass resulted in a loss of quality on the bounced tracks, especially if the equipment was not properly maintained. This is particularly noticeable on Connection, as the final mix seems to have lost most of its high and low frequencies, resulting in an unintentionally "lo-fi" recording.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    She's A Rainbow
Source:    LP: More Hot Rocks (Big Hits and Fazed Cookies) (originally released on LP: Their Satanic Majesties Request)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    The only song from the Rolling Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request album to get significant airplay in the US was She's A Rainbow, released as a single in the fall of '67.  Oddly enough it was the single's B side, 2,000 Light Years From Home, that charted in Germany. Another song from the album, In Another Land, had been released in the US a week before the album came out and was marketed as the first Bill Wyman solo song (with a Rolling Stones B side), but only made it to the #87 spot on the Billboard singles chart. This perhaps is a reflection of the uncertainty surrounding the Rolling Stones' role in the world of rock at the time. That uncertainty would soon be dispelled when the band hired a new producer, Jimmy Miller, the following year and released Jumpin' Jack Flash, an undisputed classic that helped define the band for years to come.

Artist:     Moby Grape
Title:     Omaha
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     Skip Spence
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1967
     As an ill-advised promotional gimmick, Columbia Records released five separate singles concurrently with the first Moby Grape album. Of the five singles, only one, Omaha, actually charted, and it only got to the #86 spot. Meanwhile, the heavy promotion by the label led to Moby Grape getting the reputation of being over-hyped, much to the detriment of the band's career.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Bluebird
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    When it comes right down to it Buffalo Springfield has one of the highest ratios of songs recorded to songs played on the radio of any band in history, especially if you only count the two albums worth of material that was released while the band was still active. This is probably because Buffalo Springfield had more raw songwriting talent than just about any two other bands. Although Neil Young was just starting to hit his stride as a songwriter, bandmate Stephen Stills was already at an early peak, as songs like Bluebird clearly demonstrate.

Artist:     Donovan
Title:     House Of Jansch
Source:     Mono British import CD: Mellow Yellow
Writer:     Donovan Leitch
Label:     EMI (original US label: Epic)
Year:     1967
     One of the top names in British folk music in the 60s was Bert Jansch. House Of Jansch was Donovan's way of acknowledging Jansch's influence on his own music. Ironically, the album it appeared on, Mellow Yellow, was not released in the UK due to an ongoing contract dispute between the Scottish singer/songwriter and Pye records.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Let's Get Together
Source:    LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer(s):    Dino Valenti
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    Although Dino Valenti recorded a demo version of his song Let's Get Together in 1964, it wasn't until two years later that the song made its first appearance on vinyl as a track on Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. The Airplane version of the song is unique in that the lead vocals alternate between Paul Kantner, Signe Anderson and Marty Balin, with each one taking a verse and all of them singing on the chorus.

Artist:    Hollies
Title:    Pay You Back With Interest
Source:    LP: The Hollies Greatest Hits
Writer(s):    Clarke/Hicks/Nash
Label:    Epic (original label: Imperial)
Year:    1967
    By 1967 the Hollies had actually achieved a level of popularity in the US that allowed them to issue singles that were not available in their native UK. One of these was Pay You Back With Interest, which made the US top 20 in 1967. The tune was written by the Hollies' usual songwriting partnership of Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, and Graham Nash.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2308 (starts 2/20/23)

    This week it's all about the flow from one song to the next, for an entire hour of uninterrupted truly classic rock. As always, there are a handful of tracks you may not recognize mixed in with the more familiar stuff, but hey...that's what free-form is all about, right?

Artist:    Blue Oyster Cult
Title:    (Don't Fear) The Reaper
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Agents Of Fortune)
Writer(s):    Donald Roeser
Label:    Sony Music
Year:    1976
    Guitarist/vocalist Buck Dharma wrote (Don't Fear) The Reaper in his late 20s. At the time, he said, he was expecting to die at a young age. Dharma (real name Donald Roeser), is now in his seventies. Personally, I can't hear this track without thinking of the 1994 miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand, although more recently it seems to have become an unofficial COVID-19 theme song.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin
Writer(s):    Bredon/Page/Plant
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1968
    It is the nature of folk music that a song often gets credited to one writer when in fact it is the work of another. This is due to the fact that folk singers tend to share their material liberally with other folk singers, who often make significant changes to the work before passing it along to others. Such is the case with Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You, which was originally conceived by EC-Berkeley student Anne Johannsen in the late 1950s and performed live on KPFA radio in 1960. Another performer on the same show, Janet Smith, developed the song further and performed it at Oberlin College, where it was heard by audience member Joan Baez. Baez asked Smith for a tape of her songs and began performing the song herself.  Baez used it as the opening track on her album, Joan Baez In Concert, Part One, but it was credited as "traditional", presumably because Baez herself had no knowledge of who had actually written the song. Baez eventually discovered the true origins of the tune, and later pressings gave credit to Anne Bredon, who had divorced her first husband, Lee Johannsen and married Glen Bredon since writing the song. Jimmy Page had an early pressing of the Baez album, so when he reworked the song for inclusion on the first Led Zeppelin album, he went with "traditional, arranged Page" as the writer. Robert Plant, who worked with Page on the arrangement, was not originally given credit for contractual reasons, although later editions of the album credit Page, Plant and Bredon as the songwriters.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    Think About The Times
Source:    CD: Watt
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Deram)
Year:    1970
    The first Ten Years After I ever bought was Stonedhenge, which I picked up because a) I liked the cover, and b) it was the featured album of the month at the BX at Ramstein Air Base, costing a buck and a half instead of the usual $2.50. Not long after that my dad got transferred back to the States, and I somehow missed the release of the next TYA album, Cricklewood Green. A friend of mine had a copy, though, that we spent a lot of time listening to, so when I saw the next TYA album, Watt, on the racks I immediately picked it up. I wore that copy out, and only later learned that the album had gotten mostly negative reviews from the rock press. I think that's when I started to suspect that most rock critics were self-righteous individuals with no talent of their own, because I thought Watt was a good album then and I still think it's a good album. Take a listen to Think About The Times and tell me I'm wrong.

Artist:    Gong
Title:    Tried So Hard
Source:    British import CD: Camembert Electrique (originally released in France)
Writer(s):    Christian Tritsch
Label:    Charly (original label BYG Actuel)
Year:    1971
    It's almost impossible to describe Gong. They had their roots in British psychedelia, founder Daevid Allen having been a member of Soft Machine, but are also known as pioneers of space-rock. The Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy, from 1973-74, is considered a landmark of the genre, telling the story of such characters as Zero the Hero and the Pot Head Pixies from Planet Gong. The groundwork for the trilogy was actually laid in 1971, when the album Camembert Electrique was recorded (and released) in France on the BYG Actuel label. The album itself ranges from the experimental (and even somewhat humorous) Radio Gnome tracks to the spacier cuts like Tropical Fish: Selene, and on occasion even rocks out hard on tracks like Tried So Hard, written by the group's bassist, Christian Tritsch.

Artist:    Yes
Title:    I've Seen All Good People
Source:    CD: The Yes Album
Writer(s):    Anderson/Squire
Label:    Elektra/Rhino (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1971
    I seem to vaguely recall once having a copy of Your Move on 45 RPM vinyl. It always seemed incomplete to me. Of course, that might be because Your Move is actually the first half of I've Seen All Good People, from The Yes Album. Strangely enough, the single actually made the top 40 back in 1971, although I don't recall ever hearing it on AM radio. The long album version, however, has long been a staple of classic rock radio. Hey, I gotta play a hit song once in a while, right?

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Roadhouse Blues (live)
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Jim Morrison
Label:    Elektra
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 1978
    Roadhouse Blues is one of the most instantly recognizable songs in the entire Doors catalog. Indeed, most people can identify it from the first guitar riff, long before Jim Morrison's vocals come in. The original studio version of the song was released on the album Morrison Hotel in 1970, and was also issued as the B side of one of the band's lesser-known singles. That same year the Doors undertook what became known as their Roadhouse Blues tour; many of the performances from that tour were recorded, but not released at the time. In 1978 the three remaining members of the band, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore, decided to put music to some recordings of Morrison reciting his own poetry made before his death in 1971. The resulting album, An American Prayer, also included a live version of Roadhouse Blues made from two separate concert tapes from their 1970 tour. An edited version of the album track was released as a 1978 single as well.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Into The Sun
Source:    CD: On Time
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    One of my fondest memories of the year I graduated high school was moving to the tiny town of Mangum, Oklahoma for the summer. I was up there to take a shot at rock stardom with a band called Sunn, a group that I had been a founding member of in my junior year of high school. The band had its own road manager, a local guy named Gary Dowdy who was home from college for the summer and drove a red '54 Ford panel truck missing its front grille. In addition to being our main equipment van, "The Glump", as Dowdy called it, was our source of daily transportion around town. Its best feature was an 8-track tape system that Dowdy had installed himself. One of the tapes we listened to most often was Grand Funk Railroad's debut album, On Time. In fact, I don't really recall us listening to any other tapes but that one and the band's second album, Grand Funk. As a result, I pretty much know every song on the album by heart, even though I did not have my own copy of On Time until 2013, when I found a somewhat ratty old copy of the LP at a store in Syracuse, NY, that sells used records. More recently I managed to find a new CD copy of the album, so we get to listen the opening track of the original album's second side, Into The Sun, without all the ticks and pops.

Artist:    Argent
Title:    Tragedy
Source:    LP: All Together Now
Writer(s):    Russ Ballard
Label:    Epic
Year:    1972
    Argent had their biggest hit in 1972 with the song Hold Your Head Up, taken from the LP All Together Now. In their native UK the band followed it up with another song from All Together Now. Tragedy was one of two songs on the album written by guitarist/vocalist Russ Ballard, who later went on to become a successful songwriter and record producer.

Artist:    Frank Zappa
Title:    Excentrifugal Forz/Apostrophe'
Source:    CD: Apostrophe (')
Writer(s):    Zappa/Gordon/Bruce
Label:    Zappa (original label: Discreet)
Year:    1974
    The material making up side two of the 1974 Frank Zappa album Apostrophe (') actually predates the recordings on the first side of the album, which were from the same sessions as the 1973 album Over-Nite Sensation. Excentrifugal Forz, for example, uses drum tracks originally recorded in 1969 (outtakes from the Hot Rats album) combined with overdubs from 1973 and 1974, while Apostrophe' is basically a jam session by Zappa, bassist Jack Bruce (who disavowed ever having participated in the session) and drummer Jim Gordon.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    A Passion Play- Edit #8
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1973
    On the 1971 album Aqualung, Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson took on the religious establishment. The following year the band broke new ground by releasing Thick As A Brick, a single track that took up both sides of a conventional LP record. Both were commercial successes with generally favorable reviews from the rock press. The band's next studio LP, A Passion Play, was another story. Like Thick As A Brick, A Passion Play was one long piece stretched out over an entire album. The problem was that Thick As A Brick was actually a satirical piece that worked on more than one level, while A Passion Play took itself far more seriously. Although commercially successful at first, the album got mostly negative reviews from the rock press, and is generally considered to be the beginning of the band's decline in popularity. As a way of making the album more radio-friendly, a special pressing was sent to stations dividing the piece into 10 numbered edits, with #8 also issued as a single. When it came time for the band to issue a greatest hits album, A Passion Play edit #8 was selected for inclusion. Personally I would have gone with #9, which was issued as the B side of the single. Shows what I know.

Artist:    Edgar Winter Group
Title:    Frankenstein (edited version)
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: They Only Come Out At Night. Edited version released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Edgar Winter
Label:    Sony Music (original label: Epic)
Year:    1973
    A real monster hit (sorry, couldn't resist).

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2307 (starts 2/13/23)

    This week we have an Advanced Psych segment that includes one of the best 60s cover songs ever recorded, as well as a Jimi Hendrix Experience set and the only Fleetwood Mac song ever to top the British singles chart. If that wasn't enough, we have a rare solo track from one of the founders of Chicago's H.P. Lovecraft, recorded in 1971.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Eight Miles High
Source:    CD: Fifth Dimension
Writer(s):    McGuinn/Crosby/Clark
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1966
    By all rights, the Byrds' Eight Miles High should have been a huge hit. Unfortunately, Bill Gavin, publisher of the Gavin Report, the most influential trade paper in the world of Top 40 radio, got it into his head that this was a drug song, despite the band's insistence that it was about a transatlantic plane trip. The band's version actually makes sense, as Gene Clark had just quit the group due to his fear of flying (he is listed as a co-writer of the song), and the subject was probably a hot topic of discussion among the remaining members. Despite all this Eight Miles High still managed to crack the top 20 in late 1966, because sometimes the people who actually listen to the music and buy the records, rather than some guy in an office, get to decide whether a song is popular or not.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    The Masked Marauder
Source:    LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Perhaps more than any other band, Country Joe and the Fish capture the essence of the San Francisco scene in the late 60s (which is rather ironic, considering that they were actually based in Berkeley on the other side of the bay and rarely visited the city itself, except to play gigs). Their first two releases were EPs included in Joe McDonald's self-published Rag Baby underground newspaper. In 1967 the band was signed to Vanguard Records, a primarily folk-oriented prestige label that also had Joan Baez on its roster. Their first LP, Electric Music For the Mind and Body had such classic cuts as Section 43, Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine, and the political parody Superbird on it, as well as the mostly-instrumental tune The Masked Marauder. Not for the unenlightened.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    Baroque # 1
Source:    LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer(s):    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1967
    Of the half dozen or so major US record labels of the time, only two, Decca and M-G-M, failed to sign any San Francisco bands in the late 1960s. Decca, which had been bought by MCA in the early 60s, was fast fading as a major force in the industry (ironic considering that Universal, the direct descendant of MCA, is now the world's largest record company). M-G-M, on the other hand, had a strong presence on the Greenwich Village scene thanks to Jerry Schoenbaum at the Verve Forecast label, who had signed such critically-acclaimed artists as Dave Van Ronk, Tim Hardin and the Blues Project. Taking this as an inspiration, the parent label decided to create interest in the Boston music scene, aggressively promoting (some would say hyping) the "Boss-Town Sound". One of the bands signed was Ultimate Spinach, which was led by keyboardist Ian Bruce-Douglas, who wrote all the band's material, including Baroque # 1, an instrumental that shows the influence of West Coast bands such as Country Joe And The Fish.
Artist:    Moby Grape
Title:    Looper
Source:    German import LP: Underground '70 (originally released on LP: Truly Fine Citizen)
Writer(s):    Peter Lewis
Label:    CBS (original US label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    Moby Grape's fourth LP, Truly Fine Citizen, is a classic example of a "contractual obligation" album. Released in 1969, the album was neither commercially or critically successful, and the group soon disbanded. The album was not without its highlights, however, such as Peter Lewis's Looper, which was considered good enough to be included on a CBS sampler album called Underground '70 that appeared in Germany on purple vinyl that glowed under a black light (don't ask how I know this).

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Mexico
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side and included on LP: Early Flight)
Writer(s):    Grace Slick
Label:    Rhino (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1970
    The B side of the last Jefferson Airplane single to include founding member (and original leader) Marty Balin was Mexico, a scathing response by Grace Slick to President Richard Nixon's attempts to eradicate the marijuana trade between the US and Mexico. The song was slated to be included on the next Airplane album, Long John Silver, but Balin's departure necessitated a change in plans, and Mexico did not appear on an LP until Early Flight was released in 1974.

Artist:    Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:    When I Was Young
Source:    Mono LP: The Best of Eric Burdon and the Animals-Vol. II (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1967
    After the Animals disbanded in 1966, Eric Burdon set out to form a new band that would be far more psychedelic than the original group. The first release from these "New Animals" was When I Was Young. The song was credited to the entire band, a practice that would continue throughout the entire existence of the group that came to be called Eric Burdon And The Animals.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    World Of Pain
Source:    Mono European import LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s):    Pappalardi/Collins
Label:    Lilith (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Whereas the first Cream LP was made up of mostly blues-oriented material, Disraeli Gears took a much more psychedelic turn, due in large part to the songwriting team of Jack Bruce and Pete Brown. The Bruce/Brown team was not, however, the only source of material for the band. Both Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker made contributions, as did Cream's unofficial fourth member, keyboardist/producer Felix Pappalardi, who, along with his wife Janet Collins, provided World Of Pain.

Artist:    Circus Maximus
Title:    Bright Light Lover
Source:    CD: Circus Maximus
Writer(s):    Bob Bruno
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Keyboardist Bob Bruno's contributions as a songwriter to Circus Maximus tended to favor jazz arrangements. On Bright Light Lover, however, from the band's first album, he proves that he could rock out with the raunchiest of the garage bands when the mood hit.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    LP: Shades Of Deep Purple
Writer(s):    Billy Roberts
Label:    Tetragrammaton
Year:    1968
    My first impression of Deep Purple was that they were Britain's answer to the Vanilla Fudge. After all, both bands had a big hit in 1968 with a rearranged version of someone else's song from 1967 (Vanilla Fudge with the Supremes' You Keep Me Hangin' On and Deep Purple with Billy Joe Royal's Hush). Additionally, both groups included a Beatles cover on their debut LP (Fudge: Ticket To Ride, Purple: Help). Finally, both albums included a depressing Cher cover song. In the Vanilla Fudge case it was one of her biggest hits, Bang Bang. Deep Purple, on the other hand, went with a song that was actually more closely associated with the Jimi Hendrix Experience (although Cher did record it as well): Hey Joe. The Deep Purple version of the Billy Roberts classic (originally credited to the band on the label itself), is probably the most elaborate of the dozens of recorded versions of the song (which is up there with Louie Louie in terms of quantity), incorporating sections of the Miller's Dance (by Italian classical composer Manuel de Falla), as well as an extended instrumental section, making the finished track over seven and a half minutes long.

Artist:    Beacon Street Union
Title:    The Prophet
Source:    British import CD: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union/The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens (originally released in US on LP: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union)
Writer(s):    Ulaky/Wright
Label:    See For Miles (original US label: M-G-M)
Year:    1968
    The Beacon Street Union had already relocated to New York from their native Boston by the time their first LP, The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union, appeared in early 1968. Unfortunately, they were grouped together with other Boston bands such as Ultimate Spinach by M-G-M Records as part of a fictional "Boss-Town Sound", which ultimately hurt the band's chances far more than it helped them. The album itself is actually one of the better psychedelic albums of the time, with tracks like The Prophet, which closes out side two of the original LP, combining somewhat esoteric music and lyrics effectively.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Jennifer Juniper
Source:    British import CD: The Hurdy Gurdy Man
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    EMI (original label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    Donovan's British label, Pye, chose not to release 1967's Wear Your Love Like Heaven as a single. As a result, Donovan had no current tunes on the British charts in January of 1968, when he recorded Jennifer Juniper. The song was an instant British hit when released the following month, going to the #5 spot on the charts. The song did not do as well when it was released a month later in the US, however, stalling out at #35. The song was later included on the 1968 LP The Hurdy Gurdy Man.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Let Me Be
Source:    CD: 20 Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: It Ain't Me Babe and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    P.F. Sloan
Label:    Rhino (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1965
    The Turtles were nothing if not able to redefine themselves when the need arose. Originally a surf band known as the Crossfires, the band quickly adopted an "angry young men" stance with their first single, Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe, and the subsequent album of the same name. For the follow-up single the band chose a track from their album, Let Me Be, that, although written by a different writer, had the same general message as It Ain't Me Babe. The band would soon switch over to love songs like Happy Together and She'd Rather Be With Me before taking their whole chameleon bit to its logical extreme with an album called Battle Of The Bands on which each track was meant to sound like it was done by an entirely different group.

Artist:     Seeds
Title:     A Faded Picture
Source:     LP: A Web Of Sound
Writer:     Saxon/Hooper
Label:     GNP Crescendo
Year:     1966
     The Seeds second LP showed a much greater range than the first. A Faded Picture, perhaps the nearest thing to a ballad the Seeds ever recorded, has a slower tempo than most of the other songs in the Seeds repertoire and, at over five minutes in length, a longer running time as well.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Star Collector
Source:    LP: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    Colgems
Year:    1967
    The Monkees were one of the first bands to utilize the Moog synthesizer on a rock record. One of the two tracks that uses the device extensively is Star Collector, a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and sung by the late Davy Jones. Usually Jones was picked to sing the band's love ballads. Star Collector, on the other hand, is a wild, almost humorous look at rock groupies; the type of song that on earlier Monkees albums would have been given to Peter Tork to sing. The synthesizer in Star Collector was programmed and played by Paul Beaver (of Beaver and Krause). Tork later said that he didn't think much of Beaver's performance, saying "he played it like a flute or something" rather than exploit the unique sounds the Moog was capable of producing.

Artist:    Dick Dale And His Del-Tones
Title:    Miserlou
Source:    Mono CD: Surfin' Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Nick Rubanis
Label:    Rhino (original label: Del-Tone)
Year:    1962
    When the term "surf music" comes up, most people think of vocal groups such as the Beach Boys or Jan & Dean. Some even mention the Ventures, who released well over a hundred instrumental LPs in their existence, most of which are considered surf records. Those truly in the know, however, will tell you that Dick Dale, the man who was asked by Fender Instruments to road test their new Reverb guitar amplifiers in the early 60s, was the true King Of The Surf Guitar. Although he did record a few vocal singles, Dale is mostly known for his high-energy instrumental tracks such as Miserlou, a 1962 recording that was given new life in 1994 when Quentin Tarantino included it in the film Pulp Fiction.

Artist:    Stranglers
Title:    Don't Bring Harry
Source:    British import 33 1/3 RPM 7" EP
Writer(s):    The Stranglers
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1979
    Formed in the mid-1970s in Guildford, Surry, England, the Stranglers cited L.A. bands like the Doors and the Music Machine as early influences. They soon became associated with London's punk-rock scene, but were far more diverse in style than their contemporaries. This reputation for going "outside the box" gave them the freedom to record songs like Don't Bring Harry, a veiled reference to heroin use that was released on a 1979 EP. With relatively few personnel changes over the years, the Stranglers have continued to both perform and record new material, although the COVID-19 related death of founding keyboardist Dave Greenfield in May of 2020 has put the future of the band in doubt.

Artist:    George Harrison
Title:    When We Was Fab
Source:    CD: Cloud Nine
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Dark Horse
Year:    1987
    George Harrison recorded two different songs referencing his years as a member of the world's most popular rock band. The first, All Those Years Ago, was done in Harrison's own early 80s style, and was released not long after the death of former bandmate John Lennon. The second, When We Was Fab, was stylistically a throwback to the Beatles' most psychedelic period, with a strong resemblance to Lennon's I Am The Walrus from Magical Mystery Tour. The song appeared on Harrison's Cloud Nine album, which was recorded around the same time as the first Traveling Wilburys album, and features guest appearances from some of the other members of that group, including Beatles fans Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty.

Artist:    Chesterfield Kings
Title:    (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet
Source:    10" EP Tripin Out
Writer(s):    Gilbert/Scala/Esposito
Label:    Impossible
Year:    1997
    When it comes to cover versions of psychedelic classics, nobody does it better than the Chesterfield Kings, as demonstrated by this 1992 version of the Blues Magoos' (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Off The Hook
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: Decca)
Year:    1964
    The last Rolling Stones blues cover released as a single was Little Red Rooster, which topped the British charts toward the end of 1964. The ultra-rare B side of that record was Off The Hook, one of the earliest Mick Jagger/Keith Richards collaborations. Neither song was released in the US until many years later.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Day Tripper
Source:    CD: Past Masters-vol. 2 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1965
    One of the few times that the US and British releases of Beatles records were in sync was in December of 1965, when the album Rubber Soul was released in both countries at the same time as a new single that had a pair of songs not on the album itself. Although there were some slight differences in the album itself, the single was identical in both countries, with Day Tripper and We Can Work It Out sharing "A" side status. Of course, the synchronization ended there, as the two songs would both end up on a US-only LP (Yesterday...And Today) in mid-1966, but not be available as an album track in the UK until after the Beatles had split up five years later.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    Scarborough Fair/Canticle
Source:    LP: Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    After the reunion of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel following the surprise success of an electrified remix of The Sound Of Silence, the two quickly recorded an album to support the hit single. Sounds Of Silence was, for the most part, a reworking of material that Simon had recorded for 1965 UK LP the Paul Simon Songbook. The pressure for a new album thus (temporarily) relieved, the duo got to work on their first album of all new material since their unsuccessful 1964 effort Wednesday Morning 3AM (which had in fact been re-released and was now doing well on the charts). In October the new album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, hit the stands. The title track was a new arrangement of an old English folk ballad, Scarborough Fair, combined with a reworking of a 1963 Simon tune (The Side Of A Hill,) with all-new lyrics and retitled Canticle. The two melodies and sets of lyrics are set in counterpoint to each other, creating one of the most sophisticated folk song arrangements ever recorded. After being featured in the film The Graduate, Scarborough Fair/Canticle was released as a single in early 1968, going on to become one of the duo's most celebrated songs.

Artist:    Vagrants
Title:    Respect
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Otis Redding
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    The Vagrants are one of those bands that should have been a much bigger success than they actually were. Originally signed to the independent Southern Sound label in 1965, they switched to Vanguard Records for a pair of 1966 singles. In 1967 they signed with Atco, releasing three singles for that label. The first of these was a song called I Love, Love You which is now forgotten. The B side of that single, however, was a cover of Otis Redding's Respect that, unlike Aretha Franklin's version, uses an arrangement similar to Redding's original. The band itself was known for it's slowed-down, extended versions of current hit songs, a style that was copied by another Long Island band, Vanilla Fudge, to great success. Following the failure of their final single for Atco to chart, the band split up in 1968, with guitarist Leslie Weinstein going on to greater success after changing his last name to West and forming a band called Mountain.

Artist:    Mandala
Title:    Come On Home
Source:    CD: Soul Crusade
Writer(s):    Dominic Troiano
Label:    Wounded Bird (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1968
    Formed in Toronto in 1965, Mandala is best known as the band that launched the career of guitarist Dominic Troiano, who later, along with vocalist Roy Kenner, replaced Joe Walsh in the James Gang and later replaced Randy Bachman in the Guess Who. Mandala itself was more R&B oriented that the later bands, as can be heard on their only LP Soul Crusade, released on the Atlantic label in 1968. One of the more bluesy numbers on the album is Troiano's Come On Home, which serves as a rare showcase of the guitarist's ability to jam out.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Love Or Confusion
Source:    LP: Are You Experienced?
Writer:    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy (original UK label: Track)
Year:    1967
    One of the first songs recorded for Are You Experienced, the debut LP of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was Love Or Confusion, a piece that uses a single note sustained and augmented by feedback throughout each of the verses, supplemented by strong lead guitar fills thoughout the song's main section. Midway through the track, the tune abruptly changes both key and tempo for an instrumental break that flows seamlessly back to the main section for the song's final verse, which ends with a note combining fuzz, echo and reverb effect slowly fading away.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Spanish Castle Magic
Source:    LP: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA/Experience Hendrix (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    When the second Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Axis: Bold As Love, came out it was hailed as a masterpiece of four-track engineering. Working closely with producer Chas Chandler and engineer Eddie Kramer, Hendrix used the recording studio itself as an instrument, making an art form out of the stereo mixing process. The unfortunate by-product of this is that most of the songs on the album could not be played live and still sound anything like the studio version. One notable exception is Spanish Castle Magic, which became a more or less permanent part of the band's performing repertoire.

Artist:     Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:     Purple Haze
Source:     CD: Are You Experienced?
Writer:     Jimi Hendrix
Label:     MCA (original US label: Reprise)
Year:     1967
     Purple Haze has one of the most convoluted release histories of any song ever recorded. Originally issued in the UK as a single on the Track label, it scored high on the British charts. When Reprise got the rights to release the first Hendrix album, Are You Experienced, in the US they chose to replace the first track on the album with Purple Haze, moving the original opening track, Foxy Lady, to side two of the LP. Reprise also released Purple Haze as a single in June of 1967, where it spent eight weeks on the Hot 100 chart, peaking at #65. The song next appeared on Track's 1968 Smash Hits album, which in Europe was on the Polydor label. The following year Reprise included the song on its own version of Smash Hits. The Reprise version of Are You Experience remained in print throughout the 1970s and 1980s, appearing on cassette, 8-track, and pre-recorded reel to reel tapes as well as CDs. ln the early 1990s MCA/Universal acquired the rights to the Hendrix catalog and re-issued Are You Experienced with the tracks restored to the UK ordering, but preceded by the six non-album sides (including Purple Haze) that had originally been released prior to the album. Most recently, the Hendrix Family Trust has again changed labels and the US version of Are You Experienced is once again in print, this time on Sony's Legacy label. This means that Purple Haze now has the distinction of having been released by all three of the world's major record companies.

Artist:    George Edwards
Title:    Quit Your Low Down Ways
Source:    LP: The Dunwich Records Story (originally released on LP: Early Chicago)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Voxx/Tutman (original label: Happy Tiger)
Year:    1971
    After leaving H.P. Lovecraft, singer/songwriter George Edwards elected to stay in the Chicago area, recording for the short-lived Happy Tiger label. His only released song was Quit Your Low Down Ways, a Bob Dylan cover tune done in a style reminiscent of various mid-60s jug bands.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Singing Winds, Crying Beasts
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Abraxas)
Writer(s):    Mike Carabello
Label:    Sony Music (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1970
    Mike Carabello, one of the three Santana percussionists, only had one solo songwriting credit on the three LPs he played on. It was a good one, though. Singing Winds, Crying Beasts is the opening track of the second Santana LP, Abraxas. The tune flows so naturally into the next track that it is sometimes considered a long intro to Black Magic Woman, despite the fact that Singing Winds, Crying Beasts is nearly five minutes long.

Artist:    Fleetwood Mac
Title:    Albatross
Source:    LP: English Rose
Writer(s):    Peter Green
Label:    Epic
Year:    1968
    Albatross was the third single released by Fleetwood Mac. Released in November of 1968, it hit the #1 spot on the UK Single Chart in January of 1969. The song, which is said to have been inspired by a series of notes in an Eric Clapton guitar solo (but slowed down considerably) had been in the works for some time, but left unfinished until the addition of then 18-year-old guitarist Danny Kirwan to the band, who helped bandleader Peter Green work out the final arrangement. Although Jeremy Spencer was usually the group's resident slide guitarist (as is seen miming the part on a video clip), Kirwan actually played the slide guitar parts behind Green's lead guitar work, with Mick Fleetwood using mallets rather than drumsticks on the recording. John McVie, of course, played bass on the tune.

Artist:    Fever Tree
Title:    San Francisco Girls (Return Of The Native)
Source:    CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released on LP: Fever Tree)
Writer(s):    Scott and Vivian Holtzman
Label:    BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Uni)
Year:    1968
    A minor, but notable trend in 1968 was for producer/songwriters to find a band to record their material exclusively. A prime example is Houston's Fever Tree, which featured the music of husband and wife team Scott and Vivian Holtzman. While not as successful as the band that started the trend, Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan's Grass Roots, Fever Tree did manage to hit the lower reaches of the Billboard Hot 100 with San Francisco Girls (Return of the Native), a song featured on their eponymous debut LP.