Thursday, March 30, 2023

Doors L.A. Woman Sessions vinyl giveaway

So for those of you who haven't heard. All you need to do to qualify for the drawing for a copy of the Doors L.A. Sessions vinyl box set is to go to and use the contact button (near the top...looks like a little envelope; when you click it, it opens up your e-mail client) to tell me your favorite Doors song. Once the names are drawn (at random) I'll be replying to the winners to get a physical address to send the albums to. Good luck, all! 

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2313 (starts 3/27/23)

    This week, in our second hour, we're featuring tracks from the newly-released  L.A. Woman Sessions four LP vinyl box set. And then we're going to try to give away some extra copies of the aforementioned box set. Of course there's plenty of other stuff going on this week as well, including artists' sets from Donovan and the Beatles.

Artist:    ? And The Mysterians
Title:    I Can't Get Enough Of You Baby
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:    Randle/Linzer
Label:    Abkco (original label: Cameo)
Year:    1967
    ? And The Mysterians' 1966 hit 96 Tears was the last song on the legendary Cameo label to hit the top 10 before the label went bankrupt in 1967 (and was bought by Allan Klein, who still reissues old Cameo-Parkway recordings on his Abkco label). Shortly before that bankruptcy was declared, however, the group released Can't Get Enough Of You Baby, which, in the absence of any promotion from the label, stalled out in the lower reaches of the charts. The song itself, however, finally achieved massive popularity at the end of the century, when a new version of the tune by Smash Mouth went to the top of the charts.

Artist:    Purple Gang
Title:    Granny Takes A Trip
Source:    British import CD: Acid Daze (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: The Purple Gang Strikes)
Writer(s):    Bowyer/Beard
Label:    Uncut (original label: Transatlantic, LP released in US on Sire label)
Year:    1967
    Formed in the Manchester, England area as the Young Contemporaries Jug Band, The Purple Gang took on their new identity when they relocated to London and became part of the psychedelic scene there. Their first single, Granny Takes A Trip, was banned by the BBC for 1) having the word "trip" in the song title (even though it was named for an actual gift shop that had nothing to do with acid) and 2) the lead singer's nickname was Lucifer. Sounds pretty circumstantial to me, but that was the BBC in 1967, the inaugural year of BBC-1, and I suppose they were still a bit on the timid side at that point in time.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Smoke And Water (original mix)
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Ultimate Turn On (originally released on CD: Ignition)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Sundazed)
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2000
    Before signing with Original Sound Records in late 1966, Sean Bonniwell's band, the Music Machine, recorded several demos, including Smoke And Water. The song was considered too conventional by Bonniwell's standards to be included on the group's debut LP, although it is entirely possible that if the record company had not included several cover songs on the album without the band's knowledge or consent, Smoke And Water, with its outstanding keyboard work from Doug Rhodes, might have made the cut.

Artist:    Jeff Beck
Title:    Tallyman
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Graham Gouldman
Label:    Sundazed/Epic
Year:    1967
    Mickey Most (born Michael Peter Hayes) was a British record producer who was responsible for some of the biggest hits of the British Invasion, working with bands like the Animals and Herman's Hermits, as well as individual artists like Donovan and Lulu. In most instances he chose the songs himself for the bands to record, something that did not sit well with Eric Burdon of the Animals in particular. Nonetheless, he had the reputation as the man to go to for the best chance of getting on the charts and he rarely disappointed. In 1967, guitarist Jeff Beck, having recently left the Yardbirds, had dreams of becoming a pop star, and turned to Most for help in making it happen. Most, as usual, picked out the songs for Beck's first two singles, the second of which was Tallyman, a song written by the same Graham Gouldman that had provided the Yardbirds with their first Beck era hit, Heart Full Of Soul. Beck would continue to work with Most for the next couple of years, although by the time the album Beck-Ola was released, Beck himself was choosing the material to record and starting with his next LP, Rough And Ready, would be producing his own records.
Artist:    Eric Burdon And The Animals
Title:    Gratefully Dead
Source:    Mono British import CD: Winds Of Change (bonus track originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/McCulloch/Jenkins
Label:    Repertoire (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    One of the most successful singles by Eric Burdon And The Animals was a tribute to the summer of Love called San Franciscan Nights taken from their 1967 debut LP, Winds Of Change. The B side of that single was Good Times, from the same album. At first the band's British label was reluctant to release San Francisco Nights as a single, but eventually decided to go for it. Since Good Times had already been released as a single in the UK (making the top 10), the group recorded a new B side for San Franciscan Nights's UK release, a tune written by the band called Gratefully Dead. To my knowledge, the track has never been issued in the US.

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    Don't Need Your Lovin'
Source:    Mono CD: One Step Beyond (originally released on LP: Riot On Sunset Strip soundtrack album)
Writer(s):    Dave Aguilar
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    The Chocolate Watchband was famously unprepared virtually every time they entered a recording studio (although it might be more accurate to say they just didn't give a damn). Their appearance on the set of the film Riot On Sunset Strip was no exception. The band actually did have one song prepared for the film, a Dave Aguilar original called Don't Need Your Lovin'. The track was recorded live on the Paramount soundstage and is a better representation of what the band was all about than any of their studio tracks.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Wonderful
Source:    Mono CD: Good Vibrations-Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys
Writer(s):    Wilson/Parks
Label:    Capitol
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1993
    After spending several months perfecting his masterpiece single Good Vibrations, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys set out to create an entire album using the same production style, recording segments of each piece separately, often at entirely different studios, then assembling them into coherent finished tracks and adding vocal overdubs. One of the first pieces recorded for this new album (to be called Smile), was Wonderful, recorded on September 1st of 1966. Although Smile was eventually scrapped in favor of the much less complex Smiley Smile album, released in late 1967, many of the original Smile tracks were preserved in the Capitol Records vaults, with bootleg copies occasionally making the rounds among collectors. Finally, in 1993, some of these tracks (including Wonderful) were released on the box set Good Vibrations-Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys.

Artist:    Vanilla Fudge
Title:    You Keep Me Hangin' On
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Holland/Dozier/Holland
Label:    Atco
Year:    1967
    The Vanilla Fudge version of You Keep Me Hangin' On was originally recorded and released in 1967, not too long after the Supremes version of the song finished its own run on the charts. It wasn't until the following year, however, that the Vanilla Fudge recording caught on with radio listeners, turning it into the band's only top 40 hit. Although progressive FM stations often played the longer LP version, it was the mono single edit heard here that was most familiar to listeners of top 40 radio.

Artist:    Max Frost And The Troopers (aka the 13th Power)
Title:    Captain Hassel
Source:    European import CD: Shape Of Things To Come (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Beckner/Hector/Martin/McClain/Wibier
Label:    Captain High (original US label: Sidewalk)
Year:    1967
    If anyone needed proof that the fictional band known as Max Frost And The Troopers was in reality the 13th Power, it is provided by Captain Hassel, which, along with I See A Change Is Gonna Come was released as the only 13th Power single on Mike Curb's Sidewalk label in 1967, a year before the film Wild In The Streets (featuring Max Frost And The Troopers) came out. Further proof is provided on the soundtrack album of the 1968 film, on which a reworked version of Captain Hassel retitled Free Lovin'  is credited to the 13th Power. Later that same year, Tower Records released an entire LP credited to Max Frost And The Troopers that included a stereo mix of the original recording of Captain Hassel with its original title restored.

Artist:    Taste
Title:    Same Old Story
Source:    British import CD: Taste
Writer(s):    Rory Gallagher
Label:    Polydor (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1969
    Sometimes a band's frontman so dominates the band's sound that the band itself becomes little more than a footnote in the history of the frontman himself. Such was the case with Taste, a band formed in Cork, Ireland in 1966 by Rory Gallagher. By the time Taste cut its 1969 debut LP, Gallagher was the only original member of the trio, and the band's sole songwriter as well as vocalist and lead guitarist. The song Same Old Story is fairly typical of the group's sound. Taste disbanded in 1970, with Gallagher going on to have a successful solo career.
Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Legend Of A Girl Child Linda
Source:    Mono LP: Sunshine Superman
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Epic/Sundazed
Year:    1966
    Scottish singer/songwriter Donovan Leitch first met Linda Lawrence in the green room of the TV series Ready Steady Go shortly after her breakup with Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. Soon after that Donovan started referring to her as his muse, and has written several songs for her, including Legend Of A Girl Child Linda from his Sunshine Superman album, as well as the album's title track. Although she spent the next few years in California, the two of them eventually reunited and have been married since 1970.

Artist:     Donovan
Title:     Sunshine Superman
Source:     CD: Sunshine On The Mountain (originally released in edited form as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Donovan Leitch
Label:     Sony Music Special Products (original label: Epic)
Year:     1966
     Donovan's hugely successful Sunshine Superman is sometimes credited as being the tsunami that launched the wave of psychedelic music that washed over the shores of pop musicland in 1967. OK, I made that up, but the song really did change the direction of American pop as well as Donovan's own career. Originally released as a three and a quarter minute long single, the full unedited four and a half minute long stereo mix of the song heard here did not appear on vinyl until Donovan's 1969 Greatest Hits album.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    The Fat Angel
Source:    Mono LP: Sunshine Superman
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Sundazed/Epic
Year:    1966
    There seems to be some confusion as to what Donovan's 1966 track The Fat Angel is about. Some critics assume it refers to Cass Elliott of the Mamas and the Papas, although that seems to be based entirely on the song title. Others take it as a tribute of some sort to Jefferson Airplane, whose name appears in the lyrics of the song. The problem with this theory is that The Fat Angel appeared on the Sunshine Superman album, which was released just two weeks after the first Jefferson Airplane album (although it is possible that Donovan had come across a copy of the single It's No Secret, which had been released in the US in February of 1966 at the same time that Donovan was recording the Sunshine Superman album). My own view is based on the lyrics themselves, which are about a pot dealer making his rounds. Fly Trans-Love Airlines indeed!

Artist:     Blues Project
Title:     Catch The Wind
Source:     LP: DJ sampler (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:     Donovan Leitch
Label:     Verve Forecast
Year:    1966
    One of the more underrated talents in US rock is guitarist Steve Katz. One of the original members of the Blues Project, Katz always comes across as a team player, subsuming his own ego to the good of the band. When it was time for Andy Kuhlberg to play a flute solo onstage at Monterey, Katz was the one who obligingly shifted over to bass guitar to cover for him. Steve Katz did occasionally get the chance to shine, though. As a singer/songwriter he provided Sometimes In Winter for the album Blood, Sweat and Tears and Steve's Song for the Blues Project's Projections album. One of his more obscure recordings is the Blues Project version of Donovan's Catch The Wind. The song was released as a B side and included on an anthology album distributed to radio stations in 1966. 

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Comin' Back To Me
Source:    CD: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s):    Marty Balin
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1967
    Uncredited guest guitarist Jerry Garcia adds a simple, but memorable recurring fill riff to this Marty Balin tune. Balin, in his 2003 liner notes to the remastered release of Surrealistic Pillow, claims that Comin' Back To Me was written in one sitting under the influence of some primo stuff given to him by Paul Butterfield. Other players on the recording include Paul Kantner, Jack Casady and Balin himself on acoustic guitars and Grace Slick on recorder.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Light My Fire (single version)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Once in a while a song comes along that totally blows you away the very first time you hear it. The Doors' Light My Fire was one of those songs. I liked it so much that I immediately went out and bought the 45 RPM single. Apparently I was not the only one, as the song spent three weeks at the top of the charts in July of 1967. Despite this success, the single version of the song, which runs less than three minutes, is all but forgotten by modern radio stations, which universally choose to play the full-length album version. Nonetheless, the single version, which was created by editing out most of the solo instrumental sections of the piece, is a historical artifact worth an occasional listen.

    The next three tracks are all taken from the recently released 4 LP box set L.A. Sessions. We have three extra copies of the set to give away this week, and we'll be having a drawing after the show airs to see who gets those three extra copies. Details on how to qualify for the drawing are included in the following segment.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Riders On The Storm (excerpt)
Source:    German import LP: L.A. Woman Sessions (box set)
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 2023
    According to recording engineer Bruce Botnick, when Paul Rothchild first heard the Doors playing Riders On The Storm at Sunset Sound Recorders he told Botnick that it sounded to him like "cocktail jazz" and that Botnik and the band should make their new album without him. After moving a bunch of recording equipment into the Doors' own rehearsal space they did just that, completing the album in six days. The last track on the album, Riders On The Storm, was vocalist Jim Morrison's final recording with the band.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    The Changeling (part 1-excerpt)
Source:    German import LP: L.A. Woman Sessions (box set)
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1971
    Originally chosen by the band to be the first single released from the L.A. Woman album, The Changeling was withdrawn in favor of Love Her Madly at the insistence of Jac Holtzman, president of Elektra Records. The song, which (as heard here) took several takes to perfect, later appeared as the B side of the album's next single, Riders On The Storm, with its title missing the definitive article.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    L.A. Woman (part 1-excerpt)
Source:    German import LP: L.A. Woman Sessions (box set)
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1971
    For the L.A. Woman sessions, the Doors added two extra musicians to help fill out the band's sound. Guitarist Marc Benno, who had recently completed the Asylum Choir album with Leon Russell, was brought in to free up Robby Krieger to do more fills on the basic tracks rather than going back and overdubbing the parts later. Perhaps more importantly, the band hired Elvis Presley's bassist Jerry Scheff to play on the album, which inspired vocalist Jim Morrison (a huge Presley fan) to show up on time and sober for the sessions, something he had not been doing much of since the band's first two albums. L.A. Woman's title track (an early take of which is heard here) is often thought of as Morrison's final goodbye to Los Angeles, as he departed for Paris soon after the album's completion and never returned.

Artist:      Beatles
Title:     You Like Me Too Much
Source:      LP: Beatles VI
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple/Capitol/EMI
Year:     1965
    Up until 1965 only one George Harrison composition (Don't Bother Me) had ever appeared on a Beatles album. In June of 1965 his second one, You Like Me Too Much, was included on the US-only LP Beatles VI. Two months later the song was one of two Harrison-penned tunes included on the British version of the Help album. I can't help but think that John Lennon helped George out on this one.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Abbey Road Medley #1
Source:    CD: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1969
    Much of the second side of the last album to be recorded by the Beatles, Abbey Road, is taken up by (depending on whose view you take) either one long medley or two not-quite-so-long medleys of songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Personally I take the latter view, as there is just a bit too much quiet space at the end of She Came In Through The Bathroom Window for me to consider it linked to the next song, Golden Slumbers. Regardless, the whole thing starts with You Never Give Me Your Money, a Paul McCartney composition reputed to be a jab at the band's second (and last) manager, Allen Klein. This leads into three John Lennon pieces, Sun King, Mean Mr. Mustard and Polythene Pam, ending finally with another McCartney piece, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, a song with nonsense lyrics and a title inspired by a real life break-in by an overzealous fan.
Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Tell Me What You See
Source:    LP: Beatles VI
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple/Capitol/EMI
Year:    1965
    Dave Dexter's resequencing of Beatles albums for US release on the Capitol sometimes resulted in songs actually appearing in the US before being officially released on British Beatles albums. An example of this is Tell Me What You See, which came out in June of 1965 on the Capitol LP Beatles VI, two months before it appeared in the UK as one of seven songs included on the Help soundtrack album that were not used in the film itself. Most of the rest of those tunes were not released in the US until 1966, when they were included on the US-only Yesterday...And Today LP.

Artist:    Caravelles
Title:    Lovin' Just My Style
Source:    Mono LP: Pebbles Vol. 8 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    The Caravelles (original label: Onacrest)
Label:    BFD
Year:    1966
    In the mid-1960s it seemed like every local music scene had one guy who could do a dead-on impression of the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger. In Phoenix, Arizona, that guy was John Fitzgerald, although, as can be heard on the Caravelles' Lovin' Just My Style, there was more than a touch of the Yardbirds' Keith Relf in his approach as well. The band itself was managed and produced by Hadley Murrell, a local DJ who is better known for the many Phoenix soul bands he produced. Although more than one member of the Caravelles went on to become associated with more famous bands such as Alice Cooper and the Tubes, it is unclear whether any them were members of the group in 1966, when Lovin' Just My Style was recorded.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    You're A Better Man Than I
Source:    Mono Australian import CD: Over, Under, Sideways, Down (originally released in US on LP: Having A Rave Up With The Yardbirds)
Writer(s):    Mike & Brian Hugg
Label:    Raven (original label: Epic)
Year:    1965
    Perhaps more than any other British Invasion band, the Yardbirds' US and UK catalogs varied considerably. This is because the band only released a pair of LPs in the UK, one of which was a live album, with the bulk of their studio output appearing on 45 RPM singles and EPs. In the US, on the other hand, the group released four (mostly) studio LPs, compiled from the various UK releases. One song, You're A Better Man Than I, actually came out on a US album four months before it was issued as a single B side in February of 1966 in the UK.

Artist:    Harbinger Complex
Title:    I Think I'm Down
Source:    Mono British import CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Hockstaff/Hoyle
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Brent)
Year:    1966
    Most garage/club bands never made it beyond a single or two for a relatively small independent label. Freemont, California's Harbinger Complex is a good example. The group was one of many that were signed by Bob Shad, owner of Mainstream Records and its various subsidiary labels such as Time and Brent. The band had already released one single on the independent Amber label and were recording at Golden State Recorders in San Francisco when they were discovered by Shad, who signed them to Brent. The band's first single for the label was the British-influenced I Think I'm Down, which came out in 1966 and was included on Mainstream's 1967 showcase album With Love-A Pot Of Flowers.

Artist:    Steve Miller Band
Title:    Going To Mexico
Source:    LP: Anthology (originally released on LP: Number 5)
Writer(s):    Miller/Scaggs
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    Although Boz Scaggs had left the Steve Miller Band following their second album, Sailor, the song Going To Mexico, co-written by Miller and Scaggs, did not appear on an album until Number 5 was released in 1970. Miller himself referred to the song as a 1969 track on his Anthology album, however, leading me to believe the song may have been among the last tracks recorded while Scaggs was still with the band. The recording also features future star Lee Michaels on organ.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2313 (starts 3/27/23)

    After last week's inclusion of the entire Thick As A Brick album, it seemed best to go with a whole lot of shorter tracks this time around, including several from artists that are not often heard on Rockin' in the Days of Confusion; artists like Gypsy, Humble Pie, Aphrodite's Child, Journey, and to start off the show, Leon Russell.

Artist:    Leon Russell
Title:    Stranger In A Strange Land
Source:    LP: Leon Russell And The Shelter People
Writer(s):    Russell/Preston
Label:    Shelter
Year:    1971
    After gaining popularity as the creative force behind Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs And Englishmen, Leon Russell released his second solo LP, Leon Russell And The Shelter People, in May of 1971, just a little over a month after the release of the film version of Mad Dogs And Englishmen. The album, which features many of the same musicians from the film, starts with Stranger In A Strange Land. Unlike the David Crosby tune of the same name, Russell's Stranger In A Strange Land, a song about cultural alienation bears no relationship to Robert Heinlein's novel.

Artist:    Journey
Title:    In My Lonely Feeling/Conversations
Source:    LP: Journey
Writer(s):    Rolie/Valory
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1975
    Formed as a backup band by former members of Frumious Bandersnatch and Santana, Journey went on to become one of the defining acts of 80s rock. In their early days, however, they were far more experimental in their approach, as can be heard on tracks like In My Lonely Feeling and Conversations from their 1975 debut LP. At that time the band consisted of lead vocalist/keyboardist Gregg Rolie and lead guitarist Neal Schon from Santana, and rhythm guitarist George Tickner and bassist/pianist Ross Valory from Frumious Bandersnatch, along with British drummer Aynsley Dunbar, who had already established a reputation for his work with David Bowie and Frank Zappa, as well as fronting his own band in the late 60s (and had been a coin flip away from being the original drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience).

Artist:    Doobie Brothers
Title:    Another Park, Another Sunday
Source:    CD: What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits
Writer(s):    Ton Johnston
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1973
    One of the most underrated songs in the Doobie Brothers catalog, Another Park Another Sunday was the first single released from the band's fourth LP, What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, in late 1973. Although the tune made the top 40 charts, it was eventually eclipsed by its B side, Black Water, which went all the way to the top when it was re-released as a single the following year.

Artist:    Foghat
Title:    What A Shame
Source:    LP: Heavy Metal (originally released on LP: Foghat (aka Rock and Roll)
Writer(s):    Rod Price
Label:    Warner Special Products (original label: Bearsville)
Year:    1973
    Apparently the members of Foghat couldn't come up with a good title for their second LP, so they just called it Foghat. Since their first album was also called Foghat, this would have made things a bit confusing if not for the fact that the album cover itself was a picture of a rock and a bread roll against an all-white background. For obvious reasons this has led most people to refer to the album as Rock and Roll. What A Shame was written by guitarist Rod Price, the only Foghat member not to have come from Savoy Brown, which probably explains why it doesn't sound much like Savoy Brown at all.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Polly
Source:    CD: The Kink Kronikles (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    There are several theories floating around about who the song Polly is supposed to be about. Apparently Ray Davies for a time planned to write an entire suite of songs based on Dylan Thomas's radio drama Under Milk Wood, but instead ended up going with what became The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. Polly was originally inspired by the character Polly Garter from the play, but by the time the song was recorded had turned into an entirely different kind of character. One possibility is that the real inspiration was the woman who had run the Kinks fan club before dying from a heroin overdose, while another is that it was somehow related to the Pretty Polly line of women's stockings (and in some early pressings was titled Pretty Polly). Regardless of its origins, the song was relegated to being a B side of a failed single (Wonderboy, which stalled at #36 on the British charts and did not chart at all in the US) until being included on the US-only double LP The Kink Kronikles in 1972.

Artist:    Aphrodite's Child
Title:    Magic Mirror
Source:    CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released in Europe as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Papathanassiou/Fiddy
Label:    Polydor (original European label: Mercury) (released in UK on Polydor)
Year:    1969
    Aphrodite's Child was formed in Greece in 1967, but left following a right-wing military coup that severely curtailed both political and artistic freedoms in that country. The band had been invited by Mercury Records to come to London and record, but were refused entry to the UK due to problems with their work permits and found themselves in Paris instead. Mercury's parent label, Philips, soon signed the band to a contract to record in France. Their first single for the label, Rain And Tears, was a top 10 single in several European countries and led to an equally popular album, End Of The World, that established Aphrodite's Child as one of the continent's most popular acts. That popularity did not extend to the UK, however, and subsequent records failed to make a dent on the British charts. One 1969 single was recorded in London, but was not even released in the UK by the band's regular label, Mercury, and was instead issued independently by the Polydor label. The B side of that single, Magic Mirror, shows a band just beginning to transition from their early psychedelic sound to the more experimental one that would characterize their best known work, a two-disc concept album based on the biblical book of Revelation called 666. After Aphrodite's Child disbanded in 1972 the band's leader, Evangahlos Papathanassiou (generally known as Vangelis), would go on to become one of the world's top electronic music pioneers (can anyone say Chariots Of Fire?).

Artist:     Guess Who
Title:     Share The Land
Source:     LP: Best of the Guess Who (originally released on LP: Share The Land)
Writer:     Burton Cummings
Label:     RCA Victor
Year:     1970
     The first album released by the Guess Who after the departure of guitarist Randy Bachman was Share The Land. The album produced several hit singles for the band; enough, in fact, to fill up an entire album side, which is precisely what RCA did when they released the first Guess Who greatest hits album in 1971.

Artist:    Humble Pie
Title:    Shine On
Source:    CD: Rock On
Writer(s):    Peter Frampton
Label:    A&M
Year:    1971
    Humble Pie's fourth album, Rock On, was the last to feature guitarist/vocalist Peter Frampton, who wrote the album's lead single, Shine On. The song later became a staple of Frampton's live performances and was included on his most popular solo album, Frampton Comes Alive.

Artist:     Stephen Stills
Title:     Love the One You're With
Source:     45 RPM single (stereo promo pressing)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1971
     Depending on your point of view Crosby, Stills and Nash (and sometimes Young) have either split up several times over the years or have never actually split up at all. It was during one of these maybe split-ups that Stills recorded Love the One You're With, one of his most popular tunes. Presumably he and singer Judy Collins were no longer an item at that point.

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

Artist:    Allman Brothers Band
Title:    Stormy Monday
Source:    LP: At Fillmore East
Writer(s):    T-Bone Walker
Label:    Mercury (original label: Capricorn)
Year:    1971
    After two decent but mostly under the radar studio albums, the Allman Brothers Band hit it big with their double live album At Fillmore East. Much of the album was made up of the band's take on blues standards such as T-Bone Walker's Stormy Monday, which features dueling guitar solos from Dicky Betts and Duane Allman as well as strong keyboard work and vocals from Duane's brother Gregg. This was my first exposure to the song itself, and is still my favorite version of the tune.

Artist:    Gypsy
Title:    Time Will Make It Better
Source:    LP: In The Garden
Writer(s):    James Walsh
Label:    Metromedia
Year:    1971
    Minneapolis at first seems like an unlikely place for a thriving music scene. Nonetheless, the city has been home to a number of successful artists from the Castaways (Liar Liar) to Prince. One of the lesser-known bands to come out of the twin cities was Gypsy, led by Enrico Rosenbaum and James Walsh. After being moderately successful with a self-titled double LP (priced as if it were a single LP), the group decided to go with a standard-length album as a follow-up. In The Garden had no hit singles and was soon relegated to the budget bin, despite having some listenable tunes, most of which were written by Rosenbaum. The final track on the album, Time Will Make It Better, is the only song on In The Garden credited to Walsh.

Artist:    Graham Nash/David Crosby
Title:    Games
Source:    British import LP: Graham Nash David Crosby
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1972
    Following the release of the 1970 LP deja vu, the members of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, whose backstage fights had already become legendary, decided to go their separate ways, with each member releasing their own albums over the next year. In the fall of 1971 David Crosby and Graham Nash decided to do a series of concerts as a duo. Those concerts were so succesful that the two decided to do a new album together, called simply Graham Nash David Crosby. As expected, Nash's songs were more pop-oriented, while Crosby's tended to be more philosophical and introspective. One of Crosby's more incisive pieces on the album was Games, a song about a relationship gone bad. Besides sharing vocals with Nash, Crosby plays acoustic guitar on the tune, accompanied by Danny Kortchmar on electric guitar, Craig Doerge on electric piano, Leland Sklar on bass and Russ Kunkel on drums.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2312 (starts 3/20/21)

    After squeezing in a record number of tunes last week, I figured it was time to stretch out a bit....but not until the second hour. To do that we pulled out three extra-long Advanced Psych tracks, including something from the first Weather Report album (recorded back before anyone had come up with the term jazz-rock fusion). And in our last segment we have back-to-back tracks from the original Vanilla Fudge and the band that was called by some critics "the British Vanilla Fudge" (both of which are, of course, cover songs).

Artist:    Iron Butterfly
Title:    Most Anything You Want
Source:    CD: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Writer(s):    Doug Ingle
Label:    Atco
Year:    1968
    Iron Butterfly will forever be known for the seventeen minute long In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, but, contrary to popular believe, they did record other songs as well, releasing four studio albums from 1968-1971. The In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida lineup of Doug Ingle (vocals, organ), Ron Bushy (drums), Lee Dorman (bass) and Erik Brann (guitar) was only around for two of those LPs, however, and can be heard on tracks like Most Anything You Want, which opens the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida album.

Artist:    Bonzo Dog Band
Title:    I'm The Urban Spaceman
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Neil Innes
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1968
    The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band (as they were originally called) was as much theatre (note the British spelling) as music, and were known for such antics as starting out their performances by doing calisthentics (after being introduced as the warm-up band) and having one of the members, "Legs" Larry Smith tapdance on stage (he was actually quite good). In 1967 they became the resident band on Do Not Adjust Your Set, a children's TV show that also featured sketch comedy by future Monty Python members Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin along with David Jason, the future voice of Mr. Toad and Danger Mouse. Late in the year they appeared in the Beatles' telefilm Magical Mystery Tour, performing a song called Deathcab For Cutie. In 1968 the Bonzos released their only hit single, I'm The Urban Spaceman, co-produced by Paul McCartney. Frontman Neil Innes would go on to hook up with Eric Idle for the Rutles project, among other things, and is often referred to as the Seventh Python.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Dogs
Source:    CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Polydor (original label: Track)
Year:    1968
    Possibly the most obscure (to US audiences) Who song of the psychedelic era was Dogs, a single released only in the UK in 1968. The song was inspired by guitarist Pete Townshend's friend Chris Morphet, who was a fan of greyhound racing. Dogs was the first Who track to be recorded using then state-of-the-art eight-track recording equipment, and Townshend would later refer to it as one of the songs recorded during a period when the group went "slightly mad." The song remained unreleased in the US until the 1987 compilation album Two's Missing. Originally recorded in mono, the song was remixed in stereo in 1994 for the 30 Years Of Maximum R&B box set.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    That Means A Lot
Source:    Simulated stereo CD: Anthology 2
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/Apple
Year:    Recorded 1965, released 1996
    Originally written and recorded to be used in the film Help, That Means A Lot is a Paul McCartney composition that was ultimately given to PJ Proby to record. As John Lennon put it "We thought we'd give it to someone who could sing it well". Proby's version of That Means A Lot, released in September of 1965, went to the #24 spot on the British charts, while the original Beatles version, recorded in February of 1965, remained unreleased until 1996.

Artist:     Buffalo Springfield
Title:     Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing
Source:     CD: Retrospective (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Buffalo Springfield)
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Atco
Year:     1966
     One of the most influential folk-rock bands to come out of the L.A. scene was Buffalo Springfield. The band had several quality songwriters, including Neil Young, whose voice was deemed "too weird" by certain record company people. Thus we have Richie Furay singing a Young tune on the band's first single, Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing.
Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Waterloo Sunset
Source:    CD: Something Else
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    One of the most beautiful tunes ever recorded by the Kinks is Waterloo Sunset, a song that was a hit single in the UK, but was totally ignored by US radio stations. The reason for this neglect of such a stong song is a mystery, however it may have been due to the fear that American audiences would not be able to relate to all the references to places in and around London in the song's lyrics. The fact that the American Federation Of Musicians refused to issue permits for the Kinks to play concerts in the US between 1965 and 1969 (in all fairness due mainly to the band members' onstage behavior) probably had something to do with it as well.

Artist:    George Harrison
Title:    Dream Scene
Source:    CD: Wonderwall Music
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple
Year:    1968
    Here's one for trivia buffs: What was the first LP released on the Apple label? If you answered The Beatles (White Album) you'd be close, but not quite on the money. The actual first Apple album was something called Wonderwall Music from a film called (what else?) Wonderwall. The album itself was quite avant garde, with virtually no commercial potential. One of the most notable tracks on the album is Dream Scene, an audio collage that predates John Lennon's Revolution 9 by several months.

Artist:    B.B. King
Title:    Friends
Source:    LP: Live And Well
Writer(s):    King/Szymczyk
Label:    Bluesway
Year:    1969
    Thanks to rock guitarists like Jimi Hendrix (who performed a fast version of Rock Me Baby at Monterey) and Eric Clapton, B.B. King reached a whole new audience in the late 1960s. In 1969, working with producer Bill Szymczyk, he released Live And Well, an album that featured live tracks on one side and studio tracks, with a different set of backup musicians, on the other. One of those studio tracks was the instrumental Friends, which features Paul "Harry" Harris on piano, Hugh McCracken on guitar, Gerald Jemmott on bass guitar and Herb Lovelle on drums, described by Szymczyk as "some of the best young blues musicians in the country".

Artist:    Spanky And Our Gang
Title:    Sunday Mornin'
Source:    "Cut down" from LP: Like To Get To Know You (edited to match single version)
Writer(s):    Margo Guryan
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1967
    Despite peaking no higher than the #30 spot on the Hot 100 chart, Margo Guryan's Sunday Mornin' was listed by BMI as one of the 102 most performed songs of 1968. In addition to the most successful version of the song by Spanky And Our Gang (released in December of 1967 and appearing, in extended form, on the 1968 LP Like To Get To Know You), Sunday Mornin' appeared on albums by Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell, the Baja Marimba Band, Julie London, Richard "Groove" Holmes, and others, as well as appearing as a 1969 single by Oliver. Guryan herself included a version of the tune on her critically acclaimed LP Take A Picture.
Artist:    Lemon Pipers
Title:    Green Tambourine
Source:    CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Green Tambourine)
Writer(s):    Leka/Pinz
Label:    Priority (original label: Buddah)
Year:    1967
    Originally known as Ivan And The Sabers, Oxford, Ohio's Lemon Pipers have the distinction of being the first band to score a number one hit for the Buddah label. Unfortunately for the band, it was their only hit. Making it even worse is the fact that, although the Lemon Pipers themselves were a real band that had been making recordings since 1964, they ended up being grouped in with several "bands" who were for the most part studio creations by the Kazenetz/Katz production team that supplied Buddah with a steady stream of bubble-gum hits throughout 1968.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    My Eyes Have Seen You
Source:    CD: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    It's strange. Some reviewers seem to think that the album Strange Days is inferior to the first Doors album. They justify this view by citing the fact that almost all the songs on both albums were already in the band's repertoire when they signed their record contract with Elektra. The implication is that the band naturally selected the best material for the first album, making Strange Days a collection of sloppy seconds. There is one small problem with this theory however. Pick a song at random from Strange Days and listen to it and in all likelihood it will sound every bit as good as a song randomly picked from the first album (and probably better than one picked from either of the Doors' next two LPs). In fact, I'll pick one for you: My Eyes Have Seen You. See what I mean?

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    The Lantern
Source:    CD: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer:    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    The Rolling Stones hit a bit of a commercial slump in 1967. It seemed at the time that the old Beatles vs. Stones rivalry (a rivalry mostly created by US fans of the bands rather than the bands themselves) had been finally decided in favor of the Beatles with the chart dominance of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that summer. The Stones' answer to Sgt. Pepper's came late in the year, and was, by all accounts, their most psychedelic album ever. Sporting a cover that included a 5X5" hologram of the band dressed in wizard's robes, the album was percieved as a bit of a Sgt. Pepper's ripoff, possibly due to the similarity of the band members' poses in the holo. Musically Majesties was the most adventurous album the group ever made in their long history, amply demonstrated by songs like The Lantern. The Stones' next LP, Beggar's Banquet, was celebrated as a return to the band's roots.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Original Sound, stereo LP version released on Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
     The Music Machine was by far the most advanced of all the bands playing on Sunset Strip in 1966-67. Not only did they feature tight sets (ensuring that audience members wouldn't get the chance to call out requests between songs), they also had their own visual look that set them apart from other groups. With all the band members dressed entirely in black (including dyed hair) and wearing one black glove, the Machine projected an image that would influence such diverse artists as the Ramones and Michael Jackson in later years. Musically, Bonniwell's songwriting showed a sophistication that was on a par with the best L.A. had to offer, demonstrated by a series of fine singles such as The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly. Unfortunately, problems on the business end prevented the Music Machine from achieving the success it deserved and Bonniwell, disheartened, dissillusioned and/or disgusted, quit the music business altogether in 1970.

Artist:    Rovin' Kind
Title:    She
Source:    Mono CD: Oh Yeah! The Best Of Dunwich Records (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Boyce/Hart
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1967
    Although primarily known for their live performances, The Rovin' Kind did manage to find time to record several cover songs for various labels before changing their name to Illinois Speed Press and signing with Columbia in 1969. Among those cover songs was She, released as a single on the Dunwich label in May of 1967, just a few short months after the song first appeared as the opening track on the album More Of The Monkees.

Artist:    Thee Midnighters
Title:    Jump, Jive And Harmonize
Source:    CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Espinoza/Garcia/Marquez
Label:    Rhino (original label: Whittier)
Year:    1967
    Although Max Uballez was the top producer of rock records by Hispanic artists in the Los Angeles area, the region's most popular band, Thee Midnighters, did not use Uballez's studios. Instead they chose to record at their own practice hall, the Jewel Theater. The result was a raw, energetic sound that suited their particular brand of raunch and roll.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    Don't Want You Woman (Top Gear version)
Source:    British import CD: Ten Years After
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Deram
Year:    1967
    Originally broadcast in 1964 and revived in 1967, Top Gear was a showcase for up and coming progressive rock bands that ran on Saturday evenings on BBC Radio 1 into the early 1970s. One of the first bands to appear on the show was Ten Years After, playing songs from their debut LP such as Don't Want You Woman. Under host John Peel, Top Gear would go on to win several awards until a financial crunch forced the BBC to cancel the program in 1972.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Four Until Late
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Robert Johnson
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    By the time Cream was formed, Eric Clapton had already established himself as one of the world's premier blues-rock guitarists. He had not, however, done much singing, as the bands he had worked with all had strong vocalists: Keith Relf with the Yardbirds and John Mayall with the Bluesbreakers. With Cream, however, Clapton finally got a chance to do some vocals of his own. Most of these are duets with bassist Jack Bruce, who handled the bulk of Cream's lead vocals. Clapton did get to sing lead on a few Cream songs, however. One of the earliest ones was the band's updated version of Robert Johnson's Four Until Late, from the Fresh Cream album.

Artist:    Swinging Blue Jeans
Title:    Hippy Hippy Shake
Source:    Mono LP: History Of British Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Chan Romero
Label:    Sire (original UK label: His Master's Voice; original US label: Imperial)
Year:    1963
    Merseybeat is the term applied to bands from Liverpool that were popular from around 1962 to 1965. Perhaps the most typical example of a Merseybeat band was the Swinging Blue Jeans. Formed as a skiffle sextet called the Bluegenes in 1957, the group switched to rock 'n' roll in 1962 after being booed off the stage at Hamburg's Star Club, taking the name Swinging Blue Jeans at the same time. They released their first single for EMI's His Master's Voice label in June of 1963, but had their greatest success with their December 1963 cover of Chan Romero's Hippy Hippy Shake. The song went to the #2 spot on the British charts and was one of the first British Invasion records to hit the Hot 100 in the US, peaking at #24.

Artist:    Claypool Lennon Delirium
Title:    Bubbles Burst/There's No Underwear In Space
Source:    LP: Monolith Of Phobos
Writer(s):    Claypool/Lennon
Label:    Ato
Year:    2016
    If any one track captures the essence of the Claypool Lennon Delirium, it's the final vocal work on Monolith Of Phobos, Bubbles Burst. The song seamlessly segues into the instrumental There's No Underwear In Space to close out the album.

Artist:    Rome Yamilov/Henry Kaiser
Title:    God's Word
Source:    CD: The Lenoir Investigation
Writer(s):    J.D. Lenoir
Label:    Little Village
Year:    2022
    The origins of the project that came to be known as The Lenoir Investigation can be traced back to Jim Pugh, who in 2014 started the Little Village Foundation to produce and distribute "culturally significant recordings made by individuals and groups that might otherwise not be heard beyond the artists' community or family". One of the first musicians he found was Mumbai-born blues harmonicist Aki Kumar. . Kumar, who now lives in San Jose, California, brought along drummer June Core and Russian-born guitarist Rome Yamilov (who has lived in San Jose since he was seven years old), to record the album Hindi Man Blues. Eventually Pugh suggested to Yamilov that he team with the legendary Bay Area "free improviser" guitarist Henry Kaiser to make a "crazy guitar" album. Pugh even had an idea for the subject matter: an exploration of the music of J.B. Lenoir, himself a blue legend who tragically died at the age of 38 from untreated injuries suffered in a car crash. With backup from Core, Kumar and bassist Kid Anderson (from Charlie Musselwhite's band), the two guitarists set out to deconstruct and then reimagine some of Lenoir's compositions. For those of you listening to God's Word in stereo (especially if you have headphones on), Yamilov's guitar, which is rooted solidly in the blues, is on the left side, while Kaiser's work, which tends to be a bit more (dare I say it?) psychedelic, is on the right.

Artist:    Weather Report
Title:    Waterfall
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Weather Report)
Writer(s):    Joe Zawinul
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1971
    Although keyboardist Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter had known each other since 1959, it wasn't until the groundbreaking Miles Davis album In A Silent Way that they actually worked together. Following the completion of Davis's next album, Bitches Brew, the two of them recruited bassist Miroslav Vitouš to form Weather Report (although Vitouš's version of the band's origin has himself and Shorter recruiting Zawinul. Drummer Alphonse Mouzon and percussionist joined the group in time to record its self-titled debut LP in 1971. The album itself built on the avant-garde aspects of Bitches Brew, abandoning the traditional verse-chorus-bridge structure in favor of a more improvisational approach on tracks like Zawinul's Waterfall, with the percussion drawing a lot from the then-current progressive rock movement. In later years Weather Report would take a more R&B/funk approach.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Turn! Turn! Turn!
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Turn! Turn! Turn!)
Writer(s):    Pete Seeger
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1965
    After their success covering Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man, the Byrds turned to an even more revered songwriter: the legendary Pete Seeger. Turn! Turn! Turn!, with lyrics adapted from the book of Ecclesiastes, was first recorded by Seeger in the early 60s, nearly three years after he wrote the song.

Artist:    Association
Title:    Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies
Source:    Mono British import CD: My Mind Goes High (originally released in US as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Renaissance)
Writer(s):    Gary Alexander
Label:    Warner Strategic Marketing (original US label: Valiant)
Year:    1966
    Following up on their monster hit Cherish, the Association released their most overtly psychedelic track, Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies, in late 1966, in advance of their second LP, Renaissance. The group had wanted to be more involved in the production process, and provided their own instrumental tracks for the tune, written by band member Gary Alexander. Unfortunately for the band, the single barely made the top 40, peaking at # 35, which ultimately led to the band relying more on outside songwriters and studio musicians for their later recordings such as Never My Love and Windy.

Artist:    Vanilla Fudge
Title:    Take Me For A Little While/Eleanor Rigby
Source:    LP: Vanilla Fudge
Writer(s):    Martin/Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Atco
Year:    1967
    Vanilla Fudge made their mark by doing slowed down rocked out versions of popular songs such as the Supremes' You Keep Me Hangin' On. In fact, all of the tracks on their debut LP were songs of this nature, including two Beatles tunes. Side two of the original LP featured three tracks tied together by short psychedelic instrumental pieces knowns collectively as Illusions Of My Childhood. In addition to the aforementioned Supremes cover, the side features a Trade Martin composition called Take Me For A Little While that takes a diametrically opposed viewpoint to the first song, which leads directly into Eleanor Rigby, which sort of sums up both of the previous tracks lyrically. Although the Vanilla Fudge would stick around for a couple more years (and four more albums), they were never again able to match the commercial success of their 1967 debut LP.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    LP: Purple Passages (originally released on 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 on the label to the band 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:    Fleetwood Mac
Title:    My Dream
Source:    CD: Then Play On
Writer(s):    Danny Kirwan
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    Danny Kirwan was only 17 and fronting his own band, Boilerhouse, when he came to the attention of Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green. Green invited the band to play a few opening gigs for Fleetwood Mac and before long the two guitarists were participating in after hours jams together. Drummer Mick Fleetwood invited Kirwan to join the band, and Kirwan became the group's fifth official member (Christine Perfect still having guest artist status at that point). After making his debut sharing lead guitar duties with Green on an instrumental single, Albatross, Kirwan settled in as a songwriting member of the band in time for their 1969 LP Then Play On, contributing as many songs to the album as Green himself (although the US version left two of those songs off the LP). Shortly after Then Play On's release, the group had a huge international hit with Oh, Well (part one), which led to the band's US label, Reprise, recalling the album and reissuing it with Oh Well (parts one and two) added to it. To make way for the nearly nine-minute track, two more of Kirwan's songs were deleted from the lineup. One of those two songs was the instrumental My Dream, which has been reinserted into the lineup on recent CD releases.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2312 (start 3/20/23)

    It's been over six years since we played Jethro Tull's Thick As A Brick in its entirety on Rockin' in the Days of Confusion, so I figured it was about time to do it again. Of course that doesn't leave a whole lot of time for anything else, but we did manage to fit in four (considerably) shorter tunes.

Artist:    Steely Dan
Title:    Any Major Dude Will Tell You
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Becker/Fagen
Label:    ABC
Year:    1974
    For a while it looked like Steely Dan would, like many other early 70s bands, start strong and then slowly fade away. Their debut single, Do It Again, got a lot of airplay on AM top 40 radio, which actually worked against them when it came to the more album-oriented FM stations that were starting to pop up all over the US. Despite the fact that their second LP, Countdown To Ecstacy, was much more suited to FM, it was pretty much ignored by FM rock stations at the time. However, it all came together for the group with the release of their third LP, Pretzel Logic, in 1974. In addition to a big hit single (Rikki Don't Lose That Number), Pretzel Logic included several FM-friendly tunes, such as Any Major Dude Will Tell You, and was a favorite of the rock press.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Prelude-Nothing To Hide
Source:    CD: Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus
Writer(s):    Randy California
Label:    Epic/Legacy
Year:    1970
    Spirit's first few albums had generated good reviews but poor sales. Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus was considered at the time to be their last chance to reach a larger audience. The pseudo-polygamous lyrics of the album's opening track, Prelude-Nothing To Hide, are actually about the band members' commitment to their music, a commitment that is apparent throughout this classic album. Unfortunately even that level of commitment did not translate to commercial success, leading vocalist Jay Ferguson and bassist Mark Andes to split from Spirit to form Jo Jo Gunne soon thereafter.

Artist:    James Gang
Title:    There I Go Again
Source:    CD: James Gang Rides Again
Writer(s):    Joe Walsh
Label:    MCA (original label: ABC)
Year:    1970
    The two sides of James Gang Rides Again sound like two entirely different albums. As it turns out, this was somewhat intentional. According to bassist Dale Peters, guitarist Joe Walsh had written a set of acoustic tunes while the band was recording what would become side one of the album. Rather than try to hastily come up with another side's worth of tunes, the band decided just to let Walsh record the songs he had already written with a minimum of accompaniment. Among those tunes on side two of James Gang Rides Again is There I Go Again, a catchy number that features Walsh on both acoustic and (overdubbed) steel guitar.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Thick As A Brick
Source:    CD: Thick As A Brick
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1972
    By the early 1970s, concept albums from progressive rock bands were becoming a bit of a cliche. In a few cases, such as Jethro Tull's Aqualung, the label was applied without the permission, or even the intention, of the artist making the album. In late 1971 Tull's Ian Anderson decided, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, that if the critics wanted a concept album so badly he would give them the "mother of all concept albums". In the early 1970s a type of humor known as parody was in vogue, thanks to magazines like National Lampoon and television shows like Monty Python's Flying Circus. Anderson, taking his cue from Monty Python in particular, decided that the next Jethro Tull album would combine complex music with wry humor targeting critics, audiences and even the band itself. To begin with, all the album's lyrics were credited to a fictional eight-year-old schoolboy named Gerald Bostock, whose "epic" poem was stirring up controversy in the small village of St. Cleve. Anderson created an elaborate backstory for the piece, fleshing it out with a 12 page small town newspaper parody, complete with local news, TV listings, and a sports section (among other things) that folded out when the album cover was opened. Thick As A Brick itself is one continuous musical work consisting of several sections that tie together thematically to lampoon modern life, religion and politics in particular. The piece, which lasts nearly 44 minutes, goes through several tempo and key changes, resembling classical music in terms of sheer complexity. The band also utilized a much greater variety of instruments on Thick As A Brick than they had on previous albums, including harpsichord, xylophone, timpani, violin, lute, trumpet, saxophone, and a string section. Recording took about three weeks in late December, with another month spent putting together the newspaper itself. The entire package was so well presented that many record buyers were under the impression that Gerald Bostock was indeed a real person. Although the album initially received mixed reviews from the rock press, it has since come to be regarded as a progressive rock classic. Indeed, many (including me) feel that Thick As A Brick is Jethro Tull's greatest accomplishment.

Artist:    America
Title:    A Horse With No Name
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Dewey Bunnell
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    In early 1967 my dad, a career military man in the USAF, got word that he was going to be transferred from his post as liason officer to Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, to Lakenheath, England. Before the move could take place, however, his new posting got changed to Lindsay Air Station in Weisbaden, Germany. Of course we were all a bit disappointed with the change, but, as any enlisted man will tell you, you go where they tell you to go, period. If we had gone to England, however, I probably would have attended high school with three other Air Force brats who went on to form a band called America shortly after graduation. As it turned out, however, I did not hear of any of them until after I returned to the US and graduated from high school myself, when I first heard A Horse With No Name on the radio. It was the first of many hits for America in the 1970s.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2311 (starts 3/13/23)

    This week we manage to squeeze 35 tunes into a two hour show, half a dozen of which are making their first appearance on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, including a 1968 single that might be of interest to anyone familiar with the first Led Zeppelin album. Of course that means lots of short tracks, but we did include the eight and a half minute long title track of the first Elton John album to balance things out a bit.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Good Day Sunshine
Source:    CD: Revolver
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1966
    When the Beatles' Revolver album came out, radio stations all over the US began playing various non-single album tracks almost immediately. Among the most popular of those was Paul McCartney's Good Day Sunshine. It was in many ways an indication of the direction McCartney's songwriting would continue to take for several years.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Good Vibrations
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Wilson/Love
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    Although I had originally discovered top 40 radio in 1963 (when I received a small Sony transistor radio for my birthday), it wasn't until 1966 that I really got into it in a big way. This was due to a combination of a couple of things: first, my dad bought a console stereo, and second, my junior high school went onto split sessions, meaning that I was home by one o'clock every day. This gave me unprecedented access to Denver's two big top 40 AM stations, as well as an FM station that was experimenting with a Top 100 format for a few hours each day. At first I was content to just listen to the music, but soon realized that the DJs were making a point of mentioning each song's chart position just about every time that song would play. Naturally I began writing all this stuff down in my notebook (when I was supposed to be doing my homework), until I realized that both KIMN and KBTR actually published weekly charts, which I began to diligently hunt down at various local stores. In addition to the songs occupying numbered positions on the charts, both stations included songs at the bottom of the list that they called "pick hits". These were new releases that had not been around long enough to achieve a chart position. The one that most stands out in my memory was the Beach Boys' Good Vibrations, a song I liked so much that I went out to the nearest Woolco and bought it the afternoon I heard it. Within a few weeks Good Vibrations had gone all the way to the top of the charts, and I always felt that some of the credit should go to me for buying the record when it first came out (hey I was 13, OK?). Over the next couple of years I bought plenty more singles, but to this day Good Vibrations stands out as the most significant 45 RPM record purchase I ever made.
Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Paint It, Black
Source:    LP: Through The Past, Darkly (originally released on LP: Aftermath)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1966
    The 1966 Rolling Stones album Aftermath was the first to be made up entirely of songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The opening track of the LP, however, was not included on the British version of the album. That song, the iconic Paint It, Black, had already been released in the UK as a single, and would go on to become one of the Stones' defining recordings of the era.

Artist:    Boots
Title:    Gaby
Source:    CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in West Germany as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Krabbe/Bresser
Label:    Rhino (original label: Telefunken)
Year:    1966
    Formed in Berlin in 1965, the Boots were one of the more adventurous bands operating on the European mainland. While most bands in Germany tended to emulate the Beatles, the Boots took a more underground approach, growing their hair out just a bit longer than their contemporaries and appealing to a more Bohemian type of crowd. Lead guitarist Jurg "Jockel" Schulte-Eckle was known for doing strange things to his guitar onstage using screwdrivers, beer bottles and the like to create previously unheard of sounds. On vinyl the band comes off as being just a bit ahead of its time, as can be heard clearly on the original group's final single, Gaby, a song written by singer Werner Krabbe and bassist Bob Bresser. Not long after Gaby's release, Krabbe left the band. Although the Boots continued on with various configurations until 1969, they were never able to recapture the magic generated by the original lineup.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    I Put A Spell On You
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Animalization
Writer(s):    Jay Hawkins
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    Sometimes you have to wonder if there was maybe just a little bit of spite and bitterness going on between Alan Price and Eric Burdon during the first six months of 1966. After all, before Burdon joined the band as lead vocalist in 1962, it was known as the Alan Price Rhythm And Blues Combo, but soon was rechristened the Animals. Over the next couple of years Burdon supplanted Price as the band's leader, both on and off stage, finally leading Price to leave the group in mid-1965 to form his own band, the Alan Price Combo. The second single released by Price was a cover of Screaming Jay Hawkins' I Put A Spell On You, released in March of 1966. At that same time, the Animals, with new keyboardist Dave Rowberry, were in the process of recording their third album, Animalisms, which would be released later that year in the US with a modified song lineup as Animalization. So is it just coincidence that the Animals included their own version of I Put A Spell On You on that album?

Artist:    Jake Holmes
Title:    Dazed And Confused
Source:    LP: Nuggets vol. 10-Folk Rock (originally released on LP: The Above Ground Sound Of Jake Holmes)
Writer(s):    Jake Holmes
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    On Auguest 5th, 1967 a little known singer/songwriter named Jake Holmes opened for the Yardbirds for a gig in New York City, performing songs from his debut LP The Above Ground Sound Of Jake Holmes, including a rather creepy sounding tune called Dazed And Confused. Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty, who was actually in the audience for Holmes's set, went out and bought a copy of the album the next day. Soon after that the Yardbirds began performing their own modified version of Dazed And Confused. Tower Records, perhaps looking to take advantage of the Yardbirds popularization of the tune, released Dazed And Confused as a single in January of 1968. Meanwhile, the Yardbirds split up, with guitarist Jimmy Page forming a new band called Led Zeppelin. One of the songs Led Zeppelin included on their 1969 debut LP was yet another new arrangement of Dazed And Confused, with new lyrics provided by Page and singer Robert Plant. This version was credited entirely to Page. Holmes himself, not being a fan of British blues-rock, was not aware of any of this at first, and then let things slide until 2010, when he filed a copyright infringement lawsuit. The matter was ultimately settled out of court, and all copies of the first Led Zeppelin album made from 2014 on include "inspired by Jake Holmes" in the credits.
Artist:    Who
Title:    Faith In Something Better
Source:    CD: The Who Sell Out (Super Deluxe version bonus track)
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Polydor/UMC
Year:    1968
    One of the bonus discs in the Super Deluxe edition of The Who Sell Out is subtitled The Road To Tommy, and includes several tracks that were recorded in 1968, but abandoned as the rock opera Tommy took shape. Faith In Something Better is one of those songs.
Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    Dino's Song
Source:    LP: Anthology (originally released on LP: Quicksilver Messenger Service)
Writer(s):    Chet Powers, aka Dino Valenti
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1968
    A few years back I picked up the DVD collector's edition of the telefilm that DA Pennebacker made of the Monterey International Pop Festival. In addition to the film itself there were two discs of bonus material, including a song by Quicksilver Messenger Service that was listed under the title All I Ever Wanted To Do (Was Love You). I spent some time trying to figure out which album the song had originally appeared on, but came up empty until I got a copy of the first Quicksilver album and discovered it was actually called Dino's Song. I suspect the confusion in song titles is connected to the origins of the band itself, which was the brainchild of Dino Valenti and John Cipollina (and possibly Gary Duncan). The day after their first practice session Valenti got busted and spent the next few years in jail for marijuana possession. My theory is that this was an untitled song that Valenti showed Cippolina at that first practice. Since it probably still didn't have a title when the group performed the song at Monterey, the filmmakers used the most repeated line from the song itself, All I Ever Wanted To Do (Was Love You). When the band recorded their first LP in 1968 they just called it Dino's Song.

Artist:    West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:    As Kind As Summer
Source:    LP: Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil
Writer(s):    Markley/Harris
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    The first time I heard As Kind As Summer from the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band album Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil I jumped up to see what was wrong with my turntable. A real gotcha moment.

Artist:    Savage Resurrection
Title:    Thing In "E"
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: The Savage Resurrection)
Writer(s):    John Palmer
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1968
    Like many areas across the US during the mid-1960s, Contra Costa County, California (say that a few times fast) was home to a thriving local music scene, particularly in the city of Richmond. In 1967 members of several local bands got together to form a sort of garage supergroup, calling themselves Savage Resurrection (so called because of the Native American heritage of a couple of band members). The band, consisting of lead vocalist Bill Harper, lead guitarist Randy Hammon, rhythm guitarist John Palmer, bassist Steve Lage and drummer Jeff Myer, was quite popular locally despite the relative youth of its members (Hammon, for instance, was all of 16 years old), and soon signed a management contract with Matthew Katz, who also managed such well-known San Francisco bands as Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape and It's A Beautiful Day. Katz got the band a contract with Mercury records, and their first and only LP came out in 1968. Thing In "E" was the single from that album, which is still considered one of the best examples of psychedelic garage rock ever recorded. Touring soon took its toll, however, and Harper and Lage left the band soon after the album was released. The rest of the band continued with new members for a few months, but by the end of 1968 Savage Resurrection was little more than a footnote to the San Francisco music story.

Artist:    Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs
Title:    Little Miss Muffet
Source:    Mono LP: Little Miss Riding Hood
Writer(s):    Irby/Samudio
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    If you thought the 1966 Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs hit Little Red Riding Hood was silly, wait until you hear Little Miss Muffet! The song was co-written by Maurice Irby (Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie) and Domingo Samudio (Sam The Sham's given name).

Artist:     Five Americans
Title:     Western Union
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     Rabon/Ezell/Durrell
Label:     Abnak
Year:     1967
     One of the biggest hits of 1967 came from a band from Southeastern State College in Durant Oklahoma, although they probably played at least as many gigs in neighboring Texas as in their home state. The Five Americans, having already scored a minor hit with I See The Light the previous year, hit the #5 spot on the national charts with Western Union, featuring a distinctive opening organ riff designed to evoke the sound of a telegraph receiver picking up Morse code.

Artist:    Iron Butterfly
Title:    Iron Butterfly Theme
Source:    45 RPM single B side (originally released on LP: Heavy)
Writer(s):    Doug Ingle
Label:    Atco
Year:    1968
    Although much of the material on the first Iron Butterfly album, Heavy, has a somewhat generic L.A. club sound to it, the final track, the Iron Butterfly Theme, sounds more in line with the style the band would become known for on their In-A-Gadda-Vida album a few months later. No wonder, then, that it was chosen to be the B side of the single version of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida itself, albeit in an edited form.
Artist:     Jefferson Airplane
Title:     Volunteers (live version)
Source:     CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm
Writer:     Balin/Kantner
Label:     Rhino (original label: Cotillion)
Year:     1969
     Although Jefferson Airplane did a solid set at Woodstock, the only song chosen for inclusion on the original soundtrack album was Volunteers, the shortest tune they played that day. I guess the people who compiled the album weren't big Airplane fans.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    Albert Common Is Dead
Source:    Mono LP: Electric Comic Book
Writer(s):    Gilbert/Scala
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1967
    The second Blues Magoos LP, Electric Comic Book, was much in the same vein as their 1966 debut album, Psychedelic Lollipop, with a mix of fast and slow originals and a couple of cover songs, one of which was done in an extended rave-up style. The second side opener, Albert Common Is Dead, is a fast rocker (with a slowed down final chorus) about an average guy's decision to take to the road, leaving his former life behind. As many young people were doing exactly that during the summer of 1967, you might expect such a song to become somewhat of a soundtrack of its times, but with so many other songs filling that role, Albert Common Is Dead was largely overlooked by the listening public.

Artist:    Balloon Farm
Title:    A Question Of Temperature
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Appel/Schnug/Henny
Label:    Rhino (original label: Laurie)
Year:    1967
    It's not entirely clear whether the Balloon Farm was an actual band or simply an East Coast studio concoction. Regardless, they did manage to successfully cross garage rock with bubble gum for A Question Of Temperature, originally released on the Laurie label in 1967. Band member Mike Appel went on to have greater notoriety as Bruce Springsteen's first manager.
Artist:    Left Banke
Title:    Desiree
Source:    Mono CD: More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Brown/Feher
Label:    Rhino (original label: Smash)
Year:    1967
    For a while it looked as if the Left Banke would emerge as one of the most important bands of the late 60s. They certainly got off to a good start, with back-to-back top 10 singles Walk Away Renee and Pretty Ballerina. But then bandleader Michael Brown and Smash Records made a serious misstep, issuing a Brown solo effort called Ivy Ivy utilizing studio musicians and trying to pass it off as a Left Banke record. The other band members refused to go along with the charade and sent out letters to their fan club membership denouncing the single. The outraged fans, in turn, threatened to boycott any radio stations that played the single. Brown and the rest of the band, meanwhile, managed to patch things up enough to record a new single, Desiree, and released the song in late 1967. By then, however, radio stations were leery of playing anything with the words Left Banke on the label, and the single failed to chart, despite being an outstanding song. Brown left the Left Banke soon after.

Artist:    Grass Roots
Title:    Hey Friend
Source:    LP: Feelings
Writer(s):    Entner/Grill
Label:    ABC/Dunhill
Year:    1968
    The 1968 LP Feelings was an attempt by the Grass Roots to take control of their own artistic destiny with songs like Hey Friend, written by rhythm guitarist Warren Entner and bassist Rob Grill. Entner sings lead on the tune.

Artist:    Grass Roots
Title:    Feelings
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: Feelings and as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Coonce/Entner/Fukomoto
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    In 1968 the Grass Roots decided to assert themselves and take artistic control of their newest album, Feelings, writing most of the material for the album themselves. Unfortunately for the band, the album, as well as its title track single, fared poorly on the charts. From that point on the Grass Roots were firmly under the control of producers/songwriters Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan, cranking out a series of best-selling hits such as I'd Wait A Million Years and Midnight Confessions (neither of which get played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, incidentally).

Artist:    "E" Types
Title:    Put The Clock Back On The Wall
Source:    CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bonner/Gordon
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    The E-Types were originally from Salinas, California, which at the time was known for its distinct odor of sulfer noticed by travelers along US 101. As many people from Salinas apparently went to "nearby" San Jose (about 60 miles to the north) as often as possible, the E-Types became regulars on the local scene there, eventually landing a contract with Tower Records and Ed Cobb, who also produced the Standells and the Chocolate Watchband. The Bonner/Gordon songwriting team were just a couple months away from getting huge royalty checks from the Turtles' Happy Together when Put The Clock Back On The Wall was released in early 1967. The song takes its title from a popular phrase of the time. After a day or two of losing all awareness of time (and sometimes space) it was time to put the clock back on the wall, or get back to reality if you prefer.
Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Rosy Won't You Please Come Home
Source:    Mono LP: Face To Face
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1966
    The Davies were a close-knit family living in Muswell Hill, North London in the mid-20th century. Close enough, in fact, for two of the family members, Ray and Dave, to form (with fellow Muswell Hill resident Peter Quaife) their own rock band in the 1960s. That band, the Kinks, became one of the most popular and influential bands of the British Invasion. In 1964 a third family member, Rosy, moved to Australia with her husband Arthur, which devastated brother Ray to the point that he, in his own words "collapsed in a heap on the sandy beach and wept like a pathetic child" on the day that they left. Two years later the Kinks recorded Rosy Won't You Please Come Home and included it on the album Face To Face. When that didn't work they tried an entire album: Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) in 1969.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    A Well Respected Man
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Eric (original label: Reprise)
Year:    Released 1965, charted 1966
    The Kinks were one of the original British Invasion bands, scoring huge R&B-influenced hits with You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night in 1964. The hits continued in 1965 with more melodic songs like Set Me Free and Tired Of Waiting For You. 1966 saw Ray Davies's songwriting take a satiric turn, as A Well Respected Man (actually released in late 1965) amply illustrates. Over the next few years the Kinks would continue to evolve, generally getting decent critical reviews but less than stellar record sales (in part because of a performance ban imposed on them by the American Federation of Musicians) for their albums until 1970, when the song Lola became a huge international hit, reviving the band's fortunes.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Session Man
Source:    Mono import CD: Face To Face
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Sanctuary UK (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    Nicky Hopkins was one of only a handful of studio musicians who managed to acquire some fame beyond the musicians' community itself. The keyboardist had actually been a member of a band at age 16, but was forced to quit when health issues made it impossible for him to perform live on a regular basis. Such was his level of talent, however, that he soon found work in various London studios, playing on dozens of albums by such well-known groups as the Who, the Rolling Stones and the Kinks. The Kinks, in particular, were so impressed with his work that their leader, Ray Davies, wrote a song about him, Session Man, and recorded it on their 1966 album Face To Face. Hopkins would eventually get even more exposure, performing with Jefferson Airplane at Woodstock and becoming, for a time, a member of Quicksilver Messenger Service. 

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    All Along The Watchtower
Source:    CD: The Ultimate Experience (originally released on LP: Electric Ladyland)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Although there have been countless covers of Bob Dylan songs recorded by a variety of artists, very few of them have become better known than the original Dylan versions. Probably the most notable of these is the Jimi Hendrix Experience version of All Along The Watchtower on the Electric Ladyland album. Hendrix's arrangement of the song has been adopted by several other musicians over the years, including Neil Young (at the massive Bob Dylan tribute concert) and even Dylan himself.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    (Roamin' Thro' The Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen
Source:    LP: Best Of Traffic (originally released as 45 RPM B side and on LP: Traffic)
Writer(s):    Capaldi/Winwood
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1968
    The second Traffic album saw the band taking in a broader set of influences, including traditional English folk music. (Roamin' Thro' The Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen, originally released in the UK as the B side to the tune No Face, No Name, No Number, combines those influences with the Steve Winwood brand of British R&B to create a timeless classic.

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 unsuccessfully to duplicate the band's success with new members several times in the ensuing years.

Artist:    Cat Stevens
Title:    A Bad Night
Source:    LP: Very Young And Early Sides
Writer(s):    Cat Stevens
Label:    Deram
Year:    1967
    Cat Stevens was a bit of a phenom in his native UK in the late 1960s, but did not become well known in the US until the release of Wild World in 1971. The following year his old label put together a compilation LP of his early work and issued it in the US and other countries (but not the UK), as Very Young And Early Sides. A Bad Night, originally released in 1967, was his fourth consecutive British top 40 single, peaking at #20.
Artist:    Seeds
Title:    It's A Hard Life
Source:    LP: The Seeds
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    GNP Crescendo
Year:    1966
    If there was any real weakness in the first Seeds album, it was a certain sameness among the songs on the LP. There were exeptions, however, such as It's A Hard Life, which manages to stay true to the Seeds' style without sounding too much like Pushin' Too Hard.

Artist:      Woolies  
Title:     Who Do You Love
Source:      CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Elias McDaniel
Label:     Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:     1966
     Lansing, Michigan was home to the Woolies, who scored a minor hit covering Bo Diddley's Who Do You Love, thanks in large part to the song being issued on Lou Adler's Dunhill Records, which was at that time one of the hottest new labels around.

Artist:    Syndicate Of Sound
Title:    Witch
Source:    LP: Little Girl
Writer(s):    Gerry Roslie
Label:    Bell
Year:    1966
    Prior to 1966, most LPs by an American pop group consisted of the group's one or two hit singles and a bunch of cover versions of currently popular songs, with an occasional group original thrown in. But thanks to British bands like the Beatles, Kinks and Rolling Stones, that was starting to change. The 1966 LP Little Girl by the San Jose, California band Syndicate Of Sound, for instance, consisted of 50% original compositions, and even some of the covers were of lesser known tunes such as Witch (aka The Witch), which had been the opening track of the Sonics' debut LP the year before.
Artist:     Electric Prunes
Title:     Are You Lovin' Me More (But Enjoying It Less)
Source:     45 RPM single B side
Writer:     Tucker/Mantz
Label:     Reprise
Year:     1967
     For a follow-up to the hit single I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), producer Dave Hassinger chose another Annette Tucker song (co-written by Jill Jones) called Get Me To The World On Time. This was probably the best choice from the album tracks available, but Hassinger may have made a mistake by choosing Are You Lovin' Me More (But Enjoying It Less) as the B side. That song, written by the same Tucker/Mantz team that wrote I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) could quite possibly been a hit single in its own right if it had been issued as an A side. I guess we'll never know for sure.

Artist:    Wildflower
Title:    Coffee Cup
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers)
Writer(s):    Ehret/Ellis
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
    The Wildflower was somewhat typical of the San Francisco brand of folk-rock; less political in the lyrics and less jangly on the instrumental side. Although Coffee Cup was recorded in 1965, it did not get released until the summer of love two years later, on a collection of recordings by a variety of artists on Bob Shad's Mainstream label. By then it was too late to do the band itself any good.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    World Of Pain
Source:    LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s):    Pappalardi/Collins
Label:    RSO (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 co-wrote World Of Pain with his wife Janet Collins. Pappalardi would later become a founding member of Mountain, playing bass parts on his keyboards.

Artist:    Elton John
Title:    Empty Sky
Source:    British import LP: Empty Sky
Writer(s):    John/Taupin
Label:    DJM
Year:    1968 (US release: 1975)
    One of the first British blues bands was a group called Bluesology. Formed in 1961 by organist Reg Dwight and  guitarist/vocalist Stu Brown, who were both fourteen at the time, the group also included bassist Rex Bishop and Mick Inkpen. Despite being underage, Bluesology was performing locally in pubs in the London suburb of Pinner, Middlesex by 1962, playing covers of tunes by Muddy Waters, Memphis Slim and other American blues artists. In 1965 the group became a professional backup band for visiting American performers such as the Isley Brothers, Billy Stewart and Patti LaBelle. The original lineup of Bluesology cut a pair of singles in 1965, both written by Dwight, but neither of them charted. The following year Dwight and Brown formed a new, expanded version of Bluesology to serve as backup band for vocalist Long John Baldry, releasing a single as Stu Brown and Bluesology late in the year. By the end of 1967 Dwight had grown disenchanted with Baldry's move away from R&B toward a more cabaret style and left Bluesology for a solo career, using the stage name Elton John. Working with lyricist Bernie Taupin, John became a staff songwriter for DJM Records in 1968, cranking out easy listening tunes for artists such as Lulu to record while also working on more complex material for John to record himself. After a couple of singles, Elton John released his first solo LP, Empty Sky, in 1969. The longest and most complex piece on the album was the opening track, also titled Empty Sky, about which John later had this to say:  "I remember when we finished work on the title track - it just floored me. I thought it was the best thing I'd ever heard in my life." Empty Sky (the album) was not released in the US until 1975, after Elton John was well-established among rock's elite.
Artist:    Doors
Title:    Gloria
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Van Morrison
Label:    Elektra
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 1983
    Following the death of Jim Morrison in 1971, the remaining members of the Doors stayed together long enough to release two more albums, but neither was a major seller and the group quietly disbanded in 1973, reuniting in 1978 to set music to an album's worth of spoken word performances of Morrison reciting his poetry and releasing it as An American Prayer. The following year filmmaker Oliver Stone used, in its entirety, the epic piece The End, from the first doors album in the critically-acclaimed Apocalypse Now, resulting in even more interest in the music of the Doors. In 1983 Elektra Records released Alive, She Cried, an LP made up of live performances by the band recorded between September1968 and January 1970. One of these live performances, a cover version of Van Morrison's Gloria, was actually a sound check recorded on July 22, 1969 at the Aquarius Theater in Los Angeles, and was susequently released as a single.