Sunday, March 5, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2310 (starts 3/6/23)

    This week's show starts off with a Beatles set and includes an Advanced Psych segment consisting entirely of tracks recorded at a certain independent Albuquerque, New Mexico studio that no longer exists. The rest of the show isn't quite so self-indulgent.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Birthday/Yer Blues
Source:    CD: The Beatles
Writer:    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Apple)
Year:    1968
    One of the great ironies of rock history was that the album entitled simply The Beatles was the one that had the fewest songs with all four of the band members playing on them. By 1968 the Beatles were experiencing internal conflicts, and nearly all of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's songs were played by just the two of them, while George Harrison's songs (and Ringo Starr's single contribution as a songwriter) featured an array of some of the UK's top musicians (including guitarist Eric Clapton). The opening tracks of side three of the album are typical of this approach, as Birthday is essentially a McCartney solo piece. Yer Blues, on the other hand, has Lennon singing and playing guitar, with probably McCartney on bass and drums. The first performance of Yer Blues in front of a live audience was in December of 1968 as part of the Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus. It was not the Beatles however, that performed the tune. Instead, Yer Blues was played by the Dirty Mac, a jam band consisting of Lennon, Clapton, drummer Mitch Mitchell (of the Jimi Hendrix Experience), and the Stones' Keith Richards on bass. That performance was never seen, other than by the studio audience, until the entire Circus was released on DVD a few years ago (Mick Jagger reportedly had the entire project shelved due to his dissatisfaction with the Stones' performance).

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Baby, You're A Rich Man
Source:    LP: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1967
    Baby, You're A Rich Man was one of the last actual collaborations between John Lennon and Paul McCartney and addresses the Beatles' longtime manager Brian Epstein, although not by name. Lennon came up with the basic question "how does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?" (a popular term for the young and hip in late 60s London), which became the basis for the song's verses, which were combined with an existing, but unfinished, Paul McCartney chorus (Baby, You're A Rich Man, too). The finished piece was issued as the B side of the Beatles' second single of 1967, All You Need Is Love, and later remixed in stereo and included on the US-only LP version of Magical Mystery Tour.
Artist:    Mamas and the Papas
Title:    Somebody Groovy
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM B side)
Writer:    John Phillips
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1965
    The Mamas and the Papas were blessed with strong vocals and even stronger songwriting. Their debut single, California Dreamin', written by John & Michelle Phillips, is one of the defining songs of the mid-sixties. The B side of that single, released in 1965, was another John Phillips tune, Somebody Groovy.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    See See Rider
Source:    CD: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals 1966-1968 (originally released on LP: Animalization and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ma Rainey
Label:    Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1966
    One of the last singles released by the original incarnation of the Animals (and the first to use the name Eric Burdon And The Animals on the label), See See Rider traces its roots back to the 1920s, when it was first recorded by Ma Rainey. The Animals version is considerably faster than most other recordings of the song, and includes a signature opening rift by organist Dave Rowberry (who had replaced founder Alan Price prior to the recording of the Animalization album that the song first appeared on) that is unique to the Animals' take on the tune.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Glittering Girl
Source:    LP: The Who Sell Out (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Track/Polydor (original US label: MCA)
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1995
    The Who often recorded more material than they could fit on an album, resulting in several unreleased tracks remaining in the vaults for years. One of these was Glittering Girl, a Pete Townshend tune that was recorded around the same time as the songs on The Who Sell Out. Although originally intended for single release (they went with Pictures Of Lily instead), Glittering Girl was finally issued as a bonus track on the 1995 CD release of The Who Sell Out and is included on disc two of the remastered vinyl edition of the LP.
Artist:     Frumious Bandersnatch
Title:     Hearts To Cry
Source:     Mono British import CD: The Berkeley EPs (originally released on self-titled EP)
Writer:     Jack King
Label:     Big Beat (original label: Muggles Gramophone Works)
Year:     1968
     Rock music and the real estate business have something in common: location can make all the difference. Take the San Francisco Bay Area. You have one of the world's great Cosmopolitan cities at the north end of a peninsula. South of the city, along the peninsula itself you have mostly redwood forest land interspersed with fairly affluent communities along the way to Silicon Valley and the city of San Jose at the south end of the bay. The eastern side of the bay, on the other hand, spans a socio-economic range from blue collar to ghetto and is politically conservative; not exactly the most receptive environment for a hippy band calling itself Frumious Bandersnatch, which is a shame, since they had at least as much talent as any other band in the area. Unable to develop much of a following, they are one of the great "should have beens" of the psychedelic era, as evidenced by Hearts To Cry, the lead track of their 1968 untitled EP.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Touch Me (Doors only mix w/ new lead guitar overdub)
Source:    CD: The Soft Parade (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Robby Kreiger
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1968, overdub added 2019
    For those of us who found the use of horns and strings to be totally out of place on a Doors album, there is now a version of the 1969 album The Soft Parade that strips away all those extra instruments, allowing the band's actual playing to be heard clearly for the first time. In addition, guitarist Robby Krieger has added new guitar solos to a couple of tracks, including the hit song Touch Me (replacing the saxophone solo originally heard on the late 1968 single). Also more prominent is the keyboard work from Ray Manzarek, which was originally buried in the mix.
The song also features the legendary Harvey Brooks (Super Session, Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited album, countless others) on bass.

Artist:    Syndicate Of Sound
Title:    Little Girl
Source:    CD: Battle Of The Bands, Vol. Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Baskin/Gonzalez
Label:    Era (original labels: Hush & Bell)
Year:    1966
    San Jose California, despite being a relatively small city in the pre-silicon valley days, was home to a thriving music scene in the mid 60s that produced more than its share of hit records from 1966-68. One of the earliest and biggest of these hits was the Syndicate Of Sound's Little Girl, which has come to be recognized as one of the top garage-rock songs of all time. It's also one of the few original garage-rock hits recorded and mixed in true stereo. Little Girl was originally released regionally in mid 1966 on the Hush label, and reissued nationally by Bell Records a couple months later.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Rock And Roll Woman
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Buffalo Springfield did not sell huge numbers of records (except for the single For What It's Worth) while they were together. Nor did they pack in the crowds. As a matter of fact, when they played the club across the street from where Love was playing, they barely had any audience at all. Artistically, though, it's a whole 'nother story. During their brief existence Buffalo Springfield launched the careers of no less than four major artists: Richie Furay, Jim Messina, Stephen Stills and Neil Young. They also recorded more than their share of tracks that have held up better than most of what else was being recorded at the time. Case in point: Rock And Roll Woman, a Stephen Stills tune that still sounds fresh well over 50 years after it was recorded.

Artist:    West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:    Until The Poorest People Have Money To Spend
Source:    CD: Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil
Writer(s):    Markley/Harris
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
            The final West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band album for Reprise, Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil, is generally considered the group's best album as well, despite the absence of founding member Danny Harris (who would return for their next LP on the Amos label). As always, Bob Markley provided the lyrics for all the band's original songs on the album, including Until The Poorest People Have Money To Spend, which Shaun Harris wrote the music for. Although the sentiment expressed in the song is a good one, the sincerity of Markley's lyrics is somewhat suspect, according to guitarist Ron Morgan, who said that Markley was notoriously miserly with his own money (of which he had inherited quite a lot).
Artist:    Soft Machine
Title:    Why Am I So Short?/So Boot If At All/A Certain Kind
Source:    LP: The Soft Machine
Writer(s):    Ratledge/Ayers/Hopper/Wyatt
Label:    ABC Probe
Year:    1968
    Fun fact: although Kevin Ayers is probably best known as a founding member of the British band Soft Machine, he only appeared on the band's first LP before leaving the group following their first US tour in 1968. While on tour with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the band, which in addition to Ayers on bass and guitar, Mike Ratledge on organ and Robert Wyatt on drums and lead vocals, found time to record their first album, working with producers Tom Wilson and Chas Chandler, in New York. The tracks on the album tend to segue into each other, with the second half of the first side consisting of Why Am I So Short, followed by what is basically a drum solo called So Boot If At All, which leads into a piece called A Certain Kind, written by Hugh Hopper, who ended up replacing Ayers on bass.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Remember A Day
Source:    CD: Relics (originally released on LP: A Saucerful Of Secrets)
Writer(s):    Rick Wright
Label:    Capitol (original label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    Trivia question: Which Pink Floyd album never made the US album charts? The answer:  A Saucerful Of Secrets, the band's second LP. Like the band's debut LP, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, A Saucerful Of Secrets was released on Capitol's Tower subsidiary and received virtually no promotion from the label. By 1968 it was becoming increasingly clear that Syd Barrett was going off the deep end due to ongoing mental health issues exacerbated by heavy use of hallucinogenics and it's reasonable to assume the label expected to band to soon dissolve. After one performance where Barrett did nothing but stand and strum a single chord for the entire set the rest of the band made a decision to bring in Barrett's childhood friend David Gilmour as their new guitarist. In all likelihood this decision saved the band itself, as A Saucerful Of Secrets ended up being the only Pink Floyd album to include both Barrett and Gilmour. Meanwhile, other band members were stepping up their contributions as well, Rick Wright's Remember A Day being a prime example.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    (I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone
Source:    Mono LP: Midnight Ride
Writer(s):    Boyce/Hart
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    Before the Monkees, there was Paul Revere And The Raiders. Like the latter group, the Raiders found success on TV as well as vinyl, and scored several top 10 hits. Unlike the Monkees, however, Paul Revere And The Raiders had a long history as a performing group that predated their commercial success by several years. One more thing the two groups had in common, however, was a song by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart called (I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone. The Raiders recorded the song first (without the parenthesis), including it on their album Midnight Ride, released in May of 1966, and as the B side of their hit version of Kicks. The Monkees included the song on their debut LP later the same year, and released it as the B side of I'm A Believer as well. Although the original Raiders version was not originally included on the band's greatest hits album, it has been added to the CD reissue of Paul Revere And The Raiders' Greatest Hits as a bonus track.

    All three of this week's Advanced Psych tracks were recorded at Bottom Line, an independent recording studio in the basement of a rented house on San Rafael Ave. in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that existed from around 1985 until the house was sold in 1989. The proprietor of Bottom Line was drummer John Henry Smith, although much of the actual recording equipment belonged to the various musicians that lived and recorded there.

Artist:    Crawling Walls
Title:    One Last Kiss
Source:    LP: Inner Limits
Writer(s):    Bob Fountain
Label:    Voxx
Year:    1985
    The Crawling Walls were an Albuquerque, NM neo-psychedelic band that recorded one album, Inner Limits, in 1985. Led by keyboardist/vocalist Bob Fountain, the band also included guitarist Larry Otis (the Philisteens), bassist Nancy Martinez and drummer Richard J. Perez. Fountain wrote and sang lead on all of the LP's tunes, including One Last Kiss, the opens the album's second side.
Artist:    Pheremones
Title:    Dream Wars
Source:    CD: Superflous Residuum
Writer(s):    Mitchell/Muncy
Label:    WayWard
Year:    1987
    The Pheremones (sic) were formed in early 1987 by vocalist Cole Mitchell and guitarist Duane Muncy, and also included lead guitarist Ed Carlson, bassist Stephen R Webb, and drummer John Henry Smith. Influenced heavily by early rockabilly and later bands such as the Rolling Stones, their sound was once described by Mitchell as "trailer trash rock and roll", and reflected a back-to-basics approach. On Dream Wars, a 1987 demo recording made at Bottom Line, they also showed a touch of Creedence Clearwater Revival in their sound.

Artist:    Mumphries
Title:    Wishing And Wondering
Source:    CD: Thank You, Bonzo
Writer(s):    Stephen R Webb
Label:    WayWard
Year:    1989
    The last track to be recorded at Bottom Line was Wishing And Wondering, a song decrying man's mistreatment of his home planet. The song was recorded by the Mumphries, an Albuquerque, NM band made up of Jeff "Quincy" Adams (bass, guitar and vocals), Suzan Hagler (guitar, keyboards), John Henry Smith (drums) and Stephen R Webb (guitar, bass, vocals) and was intended to be submitted to various environmentalist organizations. It is still available, if anyone wants to use it.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Sympathy For The Devil
Source:    CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released on LP: Beggars Banquet)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1968
    Beggar's Banquet was a turning point for the Rolling Stones. They had just ended their association with Andrew Loog Oldham, who had produced all of their mid-60s records, and instead were working with Jimmy Miller, who was known for his association with Steve Winwood, both in his current band Traffic and the earlier Spencer Davis Group. Right from the opening bongo beats of Sympathy For The Devil, it was evident that this was the beginning of a new era for the bad boys of rock and roll. The song itself has gone on to be one of the defining tunes of album rock radio, and occupies the #32 spot on Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list.

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:    Human Beinz
Title:    April 15th
Source:    British import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released in US on LP: Evolutions)
Writer(s):    Belley/De Azevedo
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1968
    The Human Beinz started out in Youngstown, Ohio as the Premiers in 1964, but changed their name to the Human Beingz in 1966. After a few moderately successful singles on various regional labels (including a cover of Van Morrison's Gloria that predates the hit Shadows Of Knight version), the group signed to Capitol Records in 1967. In September of that year they released a cover of the Isley Brothers' Nobody But Me that became their only top 40 hit. Unfortunately, their name was misspelled on the label, and since the record was a hit, the band was stuck with the new spelling. By the time the group disbanded they had released several more singles (including two that hit the #1 spot in Japan), as well as two LPs, for Capitol. The second of these, Evolutions, was the more psychedelic of the two. Although the group was known mainly for its tight arrangements of cover songs, they did experiment a bit on Evolutions, particularly on April 15th, a seven minute jam co-written by guitarist/vocalist Dick Belley.
Artist:    Cream
Title:    I'm So Glad
Source:    Mono British import LP: Cream (originally released on LP: Fresh Cream)
Writer(s):    Skip James
Label:    Polydor (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1966
    Unlike later albums, which featured psychedelic cover art and several Jack Bruce/Pete Brown collaborations that had a decidedly psychedelic sound, Fresh Cream was marketed as the first album by a British blues supergroup, and featured a greater number of blues standards than subsequent releases. One of those covers that became a concert staple for the band was the old Skip James tune I'm So Glad. The song has become so strongly associated with Cream that the group used it as the opening number for all three performances when they staged a series of reunion concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in 2004. Unlike the rest of the songs on Fresh Cream, I'm So Glad was never mixed in stereo.

Artist:    Del-Vetts
Title:    Last Time Around
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dennis Dahlquist
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    The Del-Vetts were from Chicago's affluent North Shore. Their gimmick was to show up at a high school dance by driving their matching corvettes onto the gymnasium dance floor. Musically, like most garage/punk bands, they were heavily influenced by the British invasion bands. Unlike most garage/punk bands, who favored the Rolling Stones, the Del-Vetts were more into the Jeff Beck incarnation of the Yardbirds. The 'Vetts had a few regional hits from 1965-67, the biggest being this single issued on the Dunwich label, home of fellow Chicago suburbanites the Shadows of Knight. In retrospect, considering the song's subject matter (and overall loudness), Last Time Around may well qualify as the very first death metal rock song ever recorded.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    She's Coming Home
Source:    CD: Kaleidoscopic Compendium (originally released on LP: Psychedelic Lollipop)
Writer:    Atkins/Miller
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1966
    Generally speaking, cheatin' songs in 1966 were considered the province of country music. The few exceptions, such as Paul Revere and the Raiders' Steppin' Out, were all told from the victim's point of view. The Blues Magoos, however, turned the entire thing upside down (or at least on its side) with She's Coming Home, a song about having to break up with one's new girlfriend in the face of the old one returning from...(prison, military duty? The lyrics never make that clear). The unusual nature of the song is in keeping with the cutting edge image of a band that was among the first to use the word psychedelic in an album title and almost certainly was the first to wear electric suits onstage.

Artist:    Manfred Mann
Title:    By Request-Edwin Garvey
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Mike D'Abo
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1968
    After Manfred Mann's original vocalist, Paul Jones, left the group for a marginally successful solo career in 1966 the band quickly found a replacement in singer/songwriter Mike D'Abo, who looked a bit like Jones, although he didn't sound like him at all. D'Abo's biggest hit with Manfred Mann was their 1968 cover of a yet-to-be-released Bob Dylan song called Quinn The Eskimo, which came out under the title Mighty Quinn. D'Abo also wrote several songs for the band, including Handbags And Gladrags (which later became the theme music for the original British version of The Office) and a strange little tune called By Request-Edwin Garvey. The latter was a preview of a series of parody songs that would dominate the group's final album, Mighty Garvey (released in the US as The Mighty Quinn).

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Punky's Dilemma
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released on LP: Bookends)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    Originally written specifically for the 1967 soundtrack of the movie The Graduate but rejected by the producers, Punky's Dilemma sat on the shelf until the following year, when it became the only track on side two of Simon And Garfunkel's Bookends LP that had not been previously released. The lyrics are about as psychedelic as Simon And Garfunkel ever got.

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    Medication
Source:    British import CD: Melts In Your Brain, Not On Your Wrist (originally released on LP: The Inner Mystique)
Writer(s):    Alton/Ditosti
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Tower)
Year:    Backing tracks recorded 1968, lead vocals recorded 2005
    By early 1968 the Chocolate Watchband had fallen on hard times. In fact, the original group had disbanded, only to reform at the behest of Tower Records and producer Ed Cobb, who wanted to put out a second Watchband LP. In short order a new group featuring mostly former members of the Watchband was formed. Cobb, however, did not have the time to wait for the new lineup to gel and got to work on the album without them. In fact, the entire first side of The Inner Mystique was performed by studio musicians. Additionally, Cobb pulled out unreleased tapes from the archive to help fill out the album, including the original band's cover of a Standells tune called Medication. Like their earlier track Let's Talk About Girls, Medication featured studio vocalist Don Bennett rather than the band's actual lead vocalist, Dave Aguilar. It's not known for sure why the substitution was made, unless perhaps Cobb was feeling pressure from the rock press, which had dismissed Aguilar as a Mick Jagger wannabe. Finally, in 2005, Aguilar recorded brand new vocals to go with the original 1968 track.

Artist:    Rascals
Title:    People Want To Be Free
Source:    Mono CD: Songs Of Protest (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Cavaliere/Bragati
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1968
    After achieving major success with a series of pop love songs starting with Good Lovin' in 1966, the Young Rascals decided to get more topical in 1968. Following the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati penned a song called People Got To Be Free, which added a bit of gospel flavor to their well-known "blue-eyed soul" sound. Their record label was reluctant to release the song, but Cavaliere insisted, and it became the band's last major hit, going all the way to the top of the charts.

Artist:    Small Faces
Title:    Itchycoo Park
Source:    CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Marriott/Lane
Label:    K-Tel (original label: Immediate)
Year:    1967
    Led by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane, the Small Faces got their name from the fact that all the members of the band were somewhat vertically challenged. The group was quite popular with the London mod crowd, and was sometimes referred to as the East End's answer to the Who. Although quite successful in the UK, the group only managed to score one hit in the US, the iconic Itchycoo Park, which was released in late 1967. Following the departure of Marriott the group shortened their name to Faces, and recruited a new lead vocalist named Rod Stewart. Needless to say, the new version of the band did much better in the US than their previous incarnation.
Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    Levitation
Source:    British import CD: Easter Everywhere
Writer(s):    Hall/Sutherland
Label:    Charly (original US label: International Artists)
Year:    1967
    The first album by the 13th Floor Elevators has long been considered a milestone, in that it was one of the first truly psychedelic albums ever released (and the first to actually use the word "psychedelic" in the title). For their followup LP, the group decided to take their time, going through some personnel changes in the process. Still, the core membership of Roky Erickson, Tommy Hall and Stacy Sutherland held it together long enough to complete Easter Everywhere, releasing the album in 1967. The idea behind the album was to present a spiritual vision that combined both Eastern and Western religious concepts in a rock context. For the most part, such as on tracks like Levitation, it succeeds remarkably well, considering the strife the band was going through at the time.

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