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.
Title: Good Day Sunshine
Source: CD: Revolver
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
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)
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.
Source: CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in West Germany as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Telefunken)
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.
Title: I Put A Spell On You
Source: Simulated stereo LP: Animalization
Writer(s): Jay Hawkins
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)
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.
Title: Faith In Something Better
Source: CD: The Who Sell Out (Super Deluxe version bonus track)
Writer(s): Pete Townshend
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
Label: Rhino (original label: Cotillion)
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
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)
Label: Rhino (original label: Laurie)
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
Source: Mono CD: More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Smash)
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
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
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: Feelings and as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
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)
Label: Rhino (original label: Tower)
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.
Title: Rosy Won't You Please Come Home
Source: Mono LP: Face To Face
Writer(s): Ray Davies
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.
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.
Title: Session Man
Source: Mono import CD: Face To Face
Writer(s): Ray Davies
Label: Sanctuary UK (original US label: Reprise)
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)
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.
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)
Label: United Artists
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.
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)
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
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.
Title: It's A Hard Life
Source: LP: The Seeds
Writer(s): Sky Saxon
Label: GNP Crescendo
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.
Title: Who Do You Love
Source: CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Elias McDaniel
Label: Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
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
Source: LP: Little Girl
Writer(s): Gerry Roslie
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
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.
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)
Label: Rhino (original label: Mainstream)
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.
Title: World Of Pain
Source: LP: Disraeli Gears
Label: RSO (original label: Atco)
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
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.
Source: Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s): Van Morrison
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.