Sunday, June 25, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2326 (starts 6/26/23) 

    This week we have a different kind of Advanced Psych segment. Rather than the usual three tunes, we have only one, but it takes up an entire segment of the show. As always, the rest of the show is a mixture of singles, B sides and album tracks, including a handful of tunes never played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era before.

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

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Miss Amanda Jones
Source:    LP: Between The Buttons
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    The only thing I have to say about Miss Amanda Jones is that it is one of my favorite tracks on the 1967 Rolling Stones album Between The Buttons. Come to think of it, that kind of says it all anyway.

Artist:    Peanut Butter Conspiracy
Title:    You Can't Be Found
Source:    CD: The Peanut Butter Conspiracy Is Spreading/The Great Conspiracy (original LP: The Great Conspiracy)
Writer(s):    Alan Brackett
Label:    Collectables (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    Originally formed in 1964 as Ashes, the Peanut Butter Conspiracy was a popular Los Angeles club band. Signed to Columbia in late 1966, the group recorded two LPs for the label, both of which were released in 1967. Critics generally agree that the second album, on which the band was given more artistic freedom, was the better of the two. The first album, The Peanut Butter Conspiracy Is Spreading, did have its high points however, such as bassist Alan Brackett's You Can't Be Found. By the time a third album was released in 1969, both the membership and the record label had changed. The PBC disbanded the following year.

Artist:    Hysterics
Title:    Everything's There
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    David Donaghue
Label:    Rhino (original label: Bing)
Year:    1965
    Much as San Jose, California had its own thriving teen-oriented music scene within the greater San Francisco media market, the San Bernardino/Riverside area of Southern California, sometimes called the Inland Empire, was home to several local bands that were able to score recording contracts with various small labels in the area. Among those were the Hysterics, who recorded four songs for two separate labels in 1965. The best of those was Everything's There, which appeared as the B side of the second single issued by the band. At some point, Everything's There was reissued (along with the A side of the first record, That's All She Wrote) on yet a third label, but this time credited to the Love Ins. Such was the state of the indy record business in 1965.

Artist:    Standells
Title:    Dirty Water (live version)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Ed Cobb
Label:    Sundazed
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2014
    In October of 1966 the Standells were riding high on the strength of their hit single, Dirty Water, when they opened for the Beach Boys at the University of Michigan. Unbeknownst to the band at the time, the entire performance was being professionally recorded by people from Capitol Records, the parent company of Tower Records, the label that Standells records appeared on. The recordings remained unreleased for many years; in fact, even the band members themselves were unaware of their existence until around 2000. Finally, in 2014, Sundazed released the live recording of Dirty Water on clear 45 RPM vinyl as part of their Record Store Day promotion. Enjoy!

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Thoughts And Words
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    Chris Hillman
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1967
     In addition to recording the most commercially successful Dylan cover songs, the Byrds had a wealth of original material over the course of several albums. On their first album, these came primarily from guitarists Gene Clark and Jim (now Roger) McGuinn, with David Crosby emerging as the group's third songwriter on the band's second album. After Clark's departure, bassist Chris Hillman began writing as well, and had three credits as solo songwriter, including Thoughts And Words, on the group's fourth LP, Younger Than Yesterday. Hillman credits McGuinn, however, for coming up with the distinctive reverse-guitar break midway through the song.

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Oh, Sweet Mary
Source:    LP: Cheap Thrills
Writer(s):    Albin/Andrew/Getz/Gurley/Joplin
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    The only song credited to the entire membership of Big Brother And The Holding Company on their Cheap Thrills album was Oh, Sweet Mary (although the original label credits Janis Joplin as sole writer and the album cover itself gives only Joplin and Peter Albin credit). The tune bears a strong resemblance to Coo Coo, a non-album single the band had released on the Mainstream label before signing to Columbia. Oh, Sweet Mary, however, has new lyrics and, for a breath of fresh air, a bridge section played at a slower tempo than the rest of the tune.

Artist:    Mother Tucker's Yellow Duck
Title:    One Ring Jane
Source:    British import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released in Canada on LP: Home Grown Stuff)
Writer(s):    McDougall/Ivanuck
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1969
    Sometimes called Canada's most psychedelic band, Mother Tucker's Yellow Duck was formed in British Columbia in 1967. After recording one unsuccessful single for London, the Duck switched to Capitol Records' Canadian division and scored nationally with the album Home Grown Stuff. After a couple more years spent opening for big name bands such as Alice Cooper and Deep Purple and a couple more albums (on the Capitol-owned Duck Records) the group disbanded, with vocalist/guitarist Donny McDougall joining the Guess Who in 1972.

Artist:    Grass Roots
Title:    Mr. Jones (A Ballad Of A Thin Man)
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1965
    In late 1965 songwriters/producers P.F. Sloan (Eve of Destruction) and Steve Barri decided to create a series of records by a band called the Grass Roots. The problem was that the existing L.A. band calling itself the Grass Roots had no interest in recording for Sloan and Barri. Angered by being treated rudely by one of the band members, Sloan and Barri did a little research and came to the realization that the existing Grass Roots had not legally copyrighted the name, so Sloan and Barri did so themselves and then found another band to record as the Grass Roots. This of course forced the existing band to come up with a new name, but that's a story for another time. Meanwhile, the band Sloan and Barri recruited was the Bedouins, one of the early San Francisco bands. As the rush to sign SF bands was still months away, the Bedouins were more than happy to record the songs Sloan and Barri picked out for them. The first single by the newly-named Grass Roots was a cover of Bob Dylan's Mr. Jones (A Ballad Of A Thin Man). The band soon got to work promoting the single to Southern California radio stations, but with both the Byrds and the Turtles already on the charts with Dylan covers it soon became obvious that the market was becoming saturated with folk-rock. After a period of months the band, who wanted more freedom to write and record their own material, had a falling out with Sloan and Barri and it wasn't long before they moved back to San Francisco, leaving drummer Joel Larson in L.A. The group, with another drummer, continued to perform as the Grass Roots until Dunhill Records ordered them to stop. Eventually Dunhill would hire a local L.A. band called the 13th Floor (not to be confused with Austin, Texas's 13th Floor Elevators) to be the final incarnation of the Grass Roots; that group would crank out a series of top 40 hits in the early 70s. The Bedouins never had the opportunity to record again.

Artist:    Brigands
Title:    (Would I Still Be) Her Big Man
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Kris/Arthur Resnick
Label:    Rhino (original label: Epic)
Year:    1966
    Virtually nothing is known about the Brigands, other than the fact that they recorded in New York City. Their only single was a forgettable piece of imitation British pop, but the B side, (Would I Still Be) Her Big Man, holds up surprising well. The song itself was written by the husband and wife team of Kris and Artie Resnick, who would end up writing a series of bubble gum hits issued under various band names on the Buddah label in 1968.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Flower Lady And Her Assistant
Source:    LP: Future
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    GNP Crescendo
Year:    1967
    By the time the Seeds' Pushin' Too Hard became a national hit in 1967, the band itself was already consider passe in their native Los Angeles. This did not stop Sky Saxon and company from making records, however. In fact their third LP, Future, had the most elaborate packaging yet, being the first Seeds album to sport a gatefold cover. The songs were perhaps even more whimsical in nature than those on the first two Seeds albums, as can be heard on Saxon's Flower Lady And Her Assistant. The Seeds would continue to perform and occasionally make records for three more years, albeit with an ever-changing lineup, finally calling it quits following two non-charting single for M-G-M in 1970.

Artist:    Gun
Title:    Yellow Cab Man
Source:    British import CD: Gun
Writer(s):    Gurvitz/Parsons
Label:    Repertoire (original label: CBS)
Year:    1968
    Sometimes your timing is just right. Such was the case with Gun, whose powerful three-piece sound came along just as iconic bands like Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience were on the verge of breaking up. Released in 1968. Gun's self-titled debut LP featured the hit single Race With The Devil, a tune that made the top 10 in England and Germany. Other strong tracks on the album included Yellow Cab Man, which incorporated car horns mixed with the loud fuzz guitar of Adrian Gurvitz (then calling himself Adrian Curtis), backed by his brother Paul on bass and Louis Farrell on drums. Gun was unable to sustain their popularity after Race With The Devil had fallen off the charts, and the Gurvitz brothers soon disbanded the group and formed first Three Man Army and then the Baker-Gurvitz Army (with legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker) in the 1970s.

Artist:    Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title:    Cowgirl In The Sand
Source:    CD: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer:    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    It has been said that adverse conditions are conducive to good art. Certainly that truism applies to Neil Young's Cowgirl In The Sand, written while Young was running a 102 degree fever. Almost makes you want to get sick yourself, doesn't it?

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Getting Better
Source:    LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1967
    Following their 1966 North American tour, the Beatles announced that they were giving up live performances to concentrate on their songwriting and studio work. Freed of the responsibilities of the road (and under the influence of mind-expanding substances), the band members found themselves discovering new sonic possibilities as never before (or since), hitting a creative peak with their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, often cited as the greatest album ever recorded. The individual Beatles were about to move in separate musical directions, but as of Sgt. Pepper's were still functioning mostly as a single unit, as is heard on the chorus of Getting Better, in which Paul McCartney's opening line, "I have to admit it's getting better", is immediately answered by John Lennon's playfully cynical "can't get no worse". The members continued to experiment with their instrumentation as well, such as George Harrison's use of sitar on the song's bridge, accompanied by Ringo Starr's bongos.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Zilch
Source:    Mono LP: Headquarters
Writer(s):    Jones/Nesmith/Tork/Dolenz
Label:    Colgems
Year:    1967
    From a creative standpoint, the highpoint of the Monkees' career as an actual band was the Headquarters album, which topped the album charts for one week in late spring of 1967 before being toppled by Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Unlike the previous and subsequent Monkees albums, Headquarters featured a minimum of outside musicians, and was under the total creative control of the Monkees themselves, even to the hiring of Chip Douglas as producer. Although most of the tracks on Headquarters were penned by professional songwriters, a few were written by the band itself, including Zilch, which is sort of a spoken word version of a Round (except everyone is saying something different).

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Matilda Mother
Source:    CD: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
Writer(s):    Syd Barrett
Label:    Capitol (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    Listening to tracks like Matilda Mother, I can't help but wonder where Pink Floyd might have gone if Syd Barrett had not succumbed to mental illness following the release of the band's first LP, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, in 1967. Unlike the rest of the band members, Barrett had the ability to write songs that were not only adventurous, but commercially viable as singles as well. After Barrett's departure, it took the group several years to become commercially successful on their own terms (although they obviously did). We'll never know what they may have done in the intervening years were Barrett still at the helm.

Artist:    Luv'd Ones
Title:    Walkin' The Dog
Source:    Mono CD: If You're Ready! The Best Of Dunwich Records...Volume 2 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Rufus Thomas
Label:    Sundazed/Here 'Tis (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    Originally known as the Tremelons, the Luv'd Ones were one of the first self-contained all-female rock bands. Formed in Niles, Michigan in 1964 by guitarist/vocalist Charlene Vinnedge and her sister Christine on bass, the band, which also included Mary Gallagher on rhythm guitar and Faith Orem on drums, originally played mostly cover songs and was considered by most record company types to be a kind of novelty act. In 1966, tired of conforming to what other people expected of them, the Tremelons became the Luv'd Ones, performing mostly original material written by Char Vinnedge. Their first single for Dunwich, released in 1966, was a band original called I'm Leaving You, but the B side was the only cover song they ever recorded, a solid version of Rufus Thomas's Walkin' The Dog. It was clear that Dunwich had no idea what they had with the Luv'd Ones, and when Christine Vinnedge quit the band due to pregnancy the Luv'd Ones disbanded. Char Vinnedge, an acolyte of the Jimi Hendrix school of guitar-slinging, went on to work with Hendrix bassist Billy Cox's Nitro Function, achieving moderate fame in Europe as "The Electric Lady" in the early 1970s

Artist:    Fragile Thunder
Title:    Dark Star (acoustic)
Source:    CD: One Afternoon Long Ago
Writer(s):    Grateful Dead
Label:    Perfectable
Year:    2019
    Fragile Thunder is "a collaboration among musical friends who share a love" for the music of the Grateful Dead. Consisting of guitarists Stephen Inglis and David Gans and Celtin harpist Anela Lauren, all of whom sing, and bassist Robin Sylvester, they have performed in various pairings in recent years, and in 2018 recorded the album One Afternoon Long Ago at an Oakland, California studio. The centerpieces of the album are two different interpretations of the legendary Grateful Dead song Dark Star. The shorter of the two is the acoustic version heard here.

Artist:     Kak
Title:     Lemonade Kid
Source:     British import CD: Kak-Ola (originally released on LP: Kak)
Writer:     Gary Lee Yoder
Label:     Big Beat (original label: Epic)
Year:     1969
     Kak was a group from Davis, California that was only around long enough to record one LP for Epic. That self-titled album did not make much of an impression commercially, and was soon out of print. Long after the band had split up, critics began to notice the album, and copies of the original LP are now highly-prized by collectors. Songs like the Lemonade Kid show that Kak had a sound that holds up better today than many of the other artists of the time. In fact, after listening to this track a couple times I went out and ordered a copy of the import CD reissue of the Kak album.

Artist:     Doors
Title:     Spanish Caravan
Source:     CD: Waiting For The Sun
Writer:     The Doors
Label:     Elektra
Year:     1968
     The third Doors album was somewhat of a departure from the first two, covering a greater variety of styles than their previous efforts. A prime example is Spanish Caravan, which starts with a flamenco solo from Robbie Kreiger and continues in a highly Spanish (not Mexican) flavored musical vein.

Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    I'm A Man
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Winwood/Miller
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1967
    The Spencer Davis Group, featuring brothers Steve and Muff Winwood, was one of the UK's most successful white R&B bands of the sixties, cranking out a steady stream of hit singles. Two of them, the iconic Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm A Man, were also major hits in the US, the latter being the last song to feature the Winwood brothers. Muff Winwood became a successful record producer. The group itself continued on for several years, but were never able to duplicate their earlier successes. As for Steve Winwood, he quickly faded off into obscurity, never to be heard from again. Except as the leader of Traffic. And a member of Blind Faith. And Traffic again. And some critically-acclaimed collaborations in the early 1980s with Asian musicians. Oh yeah, and a few major solo hits like Back In The High Life Again and Roll With It in the late 80s. Other than that, nothing.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Little Olive
Source:    Mono CD: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    James Lowe
Label:    Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    Allowing a band to compose its own B side was a fairly common practice in the mid-1960s, as it saved the producer from having to pay for the rights to a composition by professional songwriters and funneled some of the royalty money to the band members. As a result, many B sides were actually a better indication of what a band was really about, since most A sides were picked by the record's producer, rather than the band itself. Such is the case with Little Olive, a song written by the Electric Prunes' Jim Lowe and released as the B side of their debut single in 1966.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Born Under A Bad Sign
Source:    LP: Wheels Of Fire
Writer:    Jones/Bell
Label:    RSO (original label: Atco)
Year:    1968
    Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were pretty much considered the cream of the crop of the British blues scene in the mid 1960s, so it came as no surprise when they decided to call their new band Cream. Although the trio would go on to record several memorable non-blues tunes such as I Feel Free and White Room, they never completely abandoned the blues. Born Under A Bad Sign, originally recorded by Albert King  for the Stax label and written by labelmates William Bell and Booker T. Jones, is one of the better known tracks from Cream's double-LP Wheels Of Fire, the last album released while the band was still together.

Artist:     Donovan
Title:     The River Song
Source:     British import CD: The Hurdy Gurdy Man
Writer:     Donovan Leitch
Label:     EMI (original US label: Epic)
Year:     1968
     Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man album is generally considered to be the singer-songwriter's most musically diverse collection of songs, ranging from the heavily fuzz-toned title track to tunes like the River Song, which uses acoustic guitar and hand percussion instruments to supplement Donovan's layered vocal tracks. The song itself draws on Celtic and Indian musical traditions to create a unique hybrid.

Artist:    Millennium
Title:    The Island
Source:    LP: Begin
Writer(s):    Curt Boettcher
Label:    Columbia/Sundazed
Year:    1968
    Curt Boettcher, despite looking about 15 years old, was already at 24 an experienced record producer by early 1968, having worked with the Association on their first album, as well as co-producing Sagittarius with Gary Usher and producing his own group, the Ballroom, in 1967. Among the many people he had worked with were multi-instrumentalist Keith Olsen, drummer Ron Edgar and bassist Doug Rhodes, all of whom had been members of Sean Bonniwell's Music Machine in 1966-67. Following the release of the debut Eternity's Children album, which Olsen and Boettcher co-produced, the two formed a new group called the Millennium. In addition to the aforementioned Music Machine members, the Millennium included /guitarist/singer/songwriters Lee Mallory, Sandy Salisbury, and Michael Fennelly, all of who Boettcher had worked with on various studio projects, and Joey Spec who would go on to form his own Sonic Past Music label many years later. Working on state-of-the-art 16 track equipment at Columbia's Los Angeles studios, they produced the album Begin, which, at that point in time, was the most expensive album ever made and only the second (after Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends) to use 16-track technology. The only problem was that by the time the album was released in mid-1968, public tastes had changed radically from just a year before, with top 40 listeners going for the simple bubble-gum tunes coming from the Buddah label and album fans getting into louder, heavier groups like Blue Cheer and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. There was no market for the lavishly produced Begin album, which failed to chart despite getting rave reviews from the press. A second Millennium album was shelved, and the members went their separate ways. In more recent years the album has attained legendary status as, in the words of one critic, "probably the single greatest 60s pop record produced in L.A. outside of the Beach Boys".

Artist:    Beacon Street Union
Title:    Angus Of Aberdeen
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union/The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens (originally released on LP: The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens)
Writer(s):    Ulaky/Weisberg
Label:    See For Miles (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1968
    After releasing their first LP in early 1968, Boston's Beacon Street Union relocated to New York to record their follow-up album, The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens. Whereas the first album, The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union, was produced by Tom Wilson and is now considered a classic piece of late 60s psychedelia, The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens was produced by Wes Farrell, who would go on to greater success as producer of the Partridge Family. Unlike Wilson, who favored a stripped down approach consistent with the band's live sound, Farrell was a big fan of using strings to enhance his recordings. These can be heard on tracks like Angus Of Aberdeen, which otherwise resembles a Procol Harum kind of song. The "clown" on the album cover, incidentally, was photographer Joel Brodsky's assistant, who also appeared as the juggler on the cover of the second Doors album, Strange Days.

Rcokin' in the Days of Confusion # 2326 (starts 6/26/23) 

    Sometimes you just feel like rockin' out. This is one of those times.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young
Title:    Almost Cut My Hair
Source:    CD: déjà vu
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Almost Cut My Hair could have been the longest track on the Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young album déjà vu. As originally recorded it ran about 10 minutes in length. However, it was decided to fade the cut out starting at around the four-minute mark, leaving Neil Young's Country Girl (which was actually a suite of song fragments) as the longest track on the LP. Nonetheless, even at its shorter-than-recorded released length, David Crosby's counter-cultural anthem stands out as one of the band's most memorable recordings, and is arguably the single track that best incorporates Neil Young's unique lead guitar style into a group that is known mostly for its vocal harmonies.

Artist:    Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title:    Suzie Q
Source:    LP: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Writer(s):    Hawkins/Lewis/Broadwater
Label:    Fantasy
Year:    1968
    When Creedence Clearwater Revival released their first album in 1968 they were already seasoned veterans in the recording studio, having already released several singles under their previous name, the Golliwogs. They also had a more worldly view of what it took to be a successful band than most newly-signed acts. For instance, John Fogerty, the band's lead guitarist and vocalist, says that the band's eight minute long arrangement of Dale Hawkins' Suzie Q was crafted specifically to get airplay on the local San Francisco underground rock station, KMPX. The strategy worked so well that Suzie Q ended up becoming a national hit (after being released in two parts as a single), barely missing out on hitting the top 10.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Back To The Family
Source:    CD: Stand Up
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol
Year:    1969
    The second Jethro Tull album, Stand Up, shows a band in transition from its roots in the British blues-rock scene to a group entirely dominated by the musical vision of vocalist/flautist/composer Ian Anderson. Back To The Family is sometimes cited as an early example of the style that the band would be come to known for on later albums such as Thick As A Brick.

Artist:    Peter Green
Title:    Bottoms Up
Source:    LP: The End Of The Game
Writer(s):    Peter Green
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1970
    Peter Green was the founder of Fleetwood Mac. He was also the first member to leave (not counting bassist Bob Brunning, who considered himself a kind of "place sitter" until John McVie could be convinced to join), having recurring mental health problems made worse by experimentation with LSD. In 1970, shortly after leaving the band, he recorded a jam session and released edited portions of it under the title The End of the Game. Bottoms Up is the first of those tracks.

Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Jail Bait
Source:    LP: Pilgrimage
Writer(s):    Powell/Turner/Upton/Turner
Label:    MCA (original US label: Decca)
Year:    1971
    Although Wishbone Ash's second LP, Pilgrimage, saw the group moving away from blues rock toward a more layered sound, the most popular song on the album was as good a straight blues rocker as you'll ever hear. Jail Bait soon became a concert staple for the band.

Artist:    West, Bruce & Laing
Title:    The Doctor
Source:    LP: Why Dontcha
Writer(s):    West/Bruce/Laing/Palmer
Label:    Columbia/Windfall
Year:    1972
    If West, Bruce & Laing had anything resembling a signature song, it would be The Doctor, from their first LP, Why Dontcha. They performed the song pretty much every time they played live. In addition to the three band members, the song is credited to a Sandra Palmer. I tried using a search engine, but came up with absolutely nothing on her. Anyone?

Artist:    Who
Title:    Bell Boy
Source:    CD: Quadrophenia
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA/Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (original label: Track)
Year:    1973
    Depending on who you ask, Quadrophenia is either the Who's crowning achievement or the most boring thing they ever released. Maybe it's because, as an American who spent his teenage years living on military bases, I find it hard to relate to Pete Townshend's story of a former London street tough forced to confront the reality of adulthood. I don't think that's it, though. I suspect it's more a feeling that by 1973 Townshend (who was the sole songwriter of Quadrophenia) was taking himself far too seriously. It's hard to imagine anything as whimsical as Pictures Of Lily or Happy Jack finding a place on a 70s Who album. Instead we get the ponderous, synthesizer-laden Love Reign O'er Me as the first single from Quadrophenia. Just not my thing, I guess. The lack of any John Entwistle songs on the album was a disappointment as well, as his twisted sense of humor always appealed to me. On Bell Boy we find the protagonist confronted by the fact that the gang leader he idolized as a teen has been reduced to a menial job doing the bidding of the upper middle class types they had always reviled. It's a bit of an ugly song to my ears.

Artist:    Les Variations
Title:    Shemoot (The Prayer)
Source:    LP: Cafe De Paris
Writer(s):    Tobali/Bitton/Fitoussi/Meimoun
Label:    Buddah
Year:    1975
    Les Variations was a French band formed in the late 1960s by three Moroccan-born Jews and one Italian. By the early 1970s they had added Tunisian born Robert Fitoussi on lead vocals and had developed a unique style that has come to be called Moroccan Roll. Their fourth LP, Cafe De Paris, was their first to be released in the US. The final track on the album, Shemoot (The Prayer), is arguably the best example of the band's incorporation of  North African and Jewish Sephardic cultural influences into a rock format.

Artist:    David Bowie
Title:    The Width Of A Circle
Source:    CD: The Man Who Sold The World
Writer(s):    David Bowie
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1970
    David Bowie had a gift for reinventing himself pretty much right from the start. His earliest albums were largely acoustic in nature, with Space Oddity being about as close to rock as he got. Then came The Man Who Sold The World, which included songs like The Width Of A Circle, a progressive rock piece that borders on heavy metal. The piece had actually been part of Bowie's stage repertoire for several months before recording sessions for the album began, but in a shorter form. For the LP, the piece was expanded to eight minutes in length, with Mick Ronson's lead guitar taking a prominent place in the music. The second half of the piece had somewhat controversial lyrics, describing a sexual encounter with a supernatural being in the depths of Hell. For reasons that are not entirely clear, The Man Who Sold The World was released five months earlier in the US than in the UK.

Artist:    Focus
Title:    Hocus Pocus
Source:    British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Moving Waves)
Writer(s):    van Leer/Akkerman
Label:    Polydor UK (original US label: Sire)
Year:    1971
    Although it was not a hit until 1973, Hocus Pocus, by the Dutch progressive rock band Focus, has the type of simple structure coupled with high energy that was characteristic of many of the garage bands of the mid to late 60s. The song was originally released on the band's second LP, known alternately as Focus II and Moving Waves, in 1971. Both guitarist Jan Akkerman and keyboardist/vocalist/flautist Thijs van Leer have gone on to have successful careers, with van Leer continuing to use to the Focus name as recently as 2006.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2325 (starts 6/19/23)

    A lot of old favorites this time around, including an all-1966 set and an artists' set from the Byrds. We also have an all-20th century Advanced Psych set. First, though, some tunes from 1967.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine
Source:    LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    While not as commercially successful as the Jefferson Airplane or as long-lived as the Grateful Dead (there's an oxymoron for ya), Country Joe and the Fish may well be the most accurate musical representation of what the whole Haight-Ashbury scene was about, which is itself ironic, since the band operated out of Berkeley on the other side of the bay. Of all the tracks on their first album, Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine probably got the most airplay on various underground radio stations that were popping up on the FM dial at the time (some of them even legally).

Artist:        Turtles
Title:        You Know What I Mean
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:        Bonner/Gordon
Label:        White Whale
Year:        1967
        1967 was a good year for the Turtles, mainly due to their discovery of the songwriting team of Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon. Not only did the former members of the Magicians write the Turtles' biggest hit, Happy Together, they also provided two follow-up songs, She's My Girl and You Know What I Mean, both of which hit the top 20 later in the year.

Artist:     Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:     Castles Made Of Sand
Source:     CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer:     Jimi Hendrix
Label:     Experience Hendrix/Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1967
     Although born in Seattle, Washington, James Marshall Hendrix was never associated with the local music scene that produced some of the loudest and raunchiest punk-rock of the mid 60s. Instead, he paid his professional dues backing R&B artists on the "chitlin circuit" of clubs playing to a mostly-black clientele, mainly in the southern US. After a short stint leading his own soul band, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, Hendrix, at the behest of Chas Chandler (who had just left the Animals to try his hand at being a record producer), moved to London, where he recuited a pair of local musicians, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding, to form the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Although known for his innovative use of feedback, Hendrix was quite capable of knocking out some of the most complex "clean" riffs ever to be committed to vinyl. A prime example of this is Castles Made Of Sand. Hendrix's highly melodic guitar work combined with unusual tempo changes and haunting lyrics makes Castles Made Of Sand a classic that sounds as fresh today as it did when Axis: Bold As Love was released in 1967.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    What's Happening?!?!
Source:    CD: Fifth Dimension
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1966
    David Crosby was just beginning to emerge as a songwriter on the third Byrds album, 5D. Most of his contributions on the album were collaborations with Jim (Roger) McGuinn; What's Happening!?!, on the other hand, was Crosby's first solo composition to be recorded by the group.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Thoughts And Words
Source:    Mono LP: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    Chris Hillman
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    In addition to recording the most commercially successful Dylan cover songs, the Byrds had a wealth of original material over the course of several albums. On their first album, these came primarily from guitarists Gene Clark and Jim (now Roger) McGuinn, with David Crosby emerging as the group's third songwriter on the band's second album. After Clark's departure, bassist Chris Hillman began writing as well, and had three credits as solo songwriter on the group's fourth LP, Younger Than Yesterday. Hillman credits McGuinn, however, for coming up with the distinctive reverse-guitar break midway through Thoughts And Words.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Why (single version)
Source:    CD: Fifth Dimension (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    McGuinn/Crosby
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1966
    One of the highlights of the Byrds' Younger Than Yesterday album, released in early 1967, was a song co-written by David Crosby and Jim (Roger) McGuinn called Why. Many of the band's fans already knew that a different version of the song had already been released as the B side of Eight Miles High the previous year. The stereo mix of that version remained unreleased for many years, but is now available as a bonus track on the remastered CD version of the Fifth Dimension album.
Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    I Know There's An Answer
Source:    Mono LP: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Wilson/Sachen
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1966
    One of the first songs recorded for the Pet Sounds album was Hang On To Your Ego, allegedly written by Brian Wilson on his second acid trip. Mike Love objected to some of the lyrics, particularly those of the chorus, and Wilson eventually decided to scrap them and write new ones, this time with the help of the group's road manager, Terry Sachen. The result was I Know There's An Answer.

Artist:    Notes From The Underground
Title:    Where I'm At Today
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Berkeley Years
Writer(s):    Mike O'Connor
Label:    Big Beat
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1995
    Prior to signing with Vanguard in late 1967, Berkeley, California's Notes From The Underground tried to follow in the footsteps of fellow Berkeleyites Country Joe And The Fish by recording and releasing a four-song EP of their own. They ended up recording seven songs in April of 1967. Among the three unused songs was the song that most sounded like their mentors, Where I'm At Today. The tune was re-recorded for the Notes' own debut LP the following year.

Artist:     Them
Title:     Time Out For Time In
Source:     British import CD: Time Out! Time In! For Them
Writer(s):    Lane/Pulley
Label:     Rev-Ola (original US label:Tower)
Year:     1968
     After Van Morrison left Them to embark on a successful solo career, the rest of the band continued to make records. The first effort was an offshoot group made up of former members of the band (who had left while Morrison was still fronting the group) calling themselves the Belfast Gypsys, who released one LP in 1967. The current band, meanwhile, had returned to their native Ireland and recruited Kenny McDowell as their new lead vocalist. They soon relocated to California, recording two LPs for Tower Records in 1968. The second of these was a collaborative effort between Them and the songwriting team of Tom Pulley and Vivian Lane. The opening track of the LP, Time Out For Time In, is a good example of the direction the band was moving in at that time.

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

Artist:    Doors
Title:    The Crystal Ship
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer:    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    One of the most popular B sides ever released, The Crystal Ship is a slow moody piece with vivid lyrical images. The mono mix of the song sounds a bit different from the more commonly-heard stereo version. Not only is the mix itself a bit hotter, it is also a touch faster. This is due to an error in the mastering of the stereo version of the first Doors LP that resulted in the entire album running at a 3.5% slower speed than it was originally recorded. This discrepancy went unnoticed for over 40 years, until a college professor pointed out that every recorded live performance of Light My Fire was in a key that was about half a step higher than the stereo studio version.

Artist:    Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:    Good Times
Source:    CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Winds Of Change)
Writer:    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/McCulloch/Jenkins
Label:    Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    By the end of the original Animals' run they were having greater chart success with their singles in the US than in their native UK. That trend continued with the formation of the "new" Animals in 1967 and their first single, When I Was Young. Shortly after the first LP by the band now known as Eric Burdon And The Animals came out, M-G-M decided to release the song San Franciscan Nights as a single to take advantage of the massive youth migration to the city that summer. Meanwhile the band's British label decided to instead issue Good Times (an autobiographical song which was released in the US as the B side to San Franciscan Nights) as a single, and the band ended up with one of their biggest UK hits ever. Riding the wave of success of Good Times, San Franciscan Nights eventually did get released in the UK and was a hit there as well.

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

Artist:    Crescent Six
Title:    And Then
Source:    Mono CD: A Heavy Dose Of Lite Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Gregory Ferrera
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Rust)
Year:    1965
    One of the earliest psychedelic tracks was a single called And Then by New Jersey's Crescent Six. Virtually nothing else is known about the record, which was released on New York's Rust Records label.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Excuse, Excuse
Source:    Mono British import CD: Singles As & Bs (originally released on LP: The Seeds and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    GNP Crescendo/Big Beat
Year:    1966
    Although their management branded them as the original flower power band, the Seeds have a legitimate claim to being one of the first punk-rock bands as well. A prime example is Excuse, Excuse, from their 1966 debut LP, The Seeds. Whereas a more conventional song of the time might have been an angst-ridden tale of worry that perhaps the girl in question did not return the singer's feelings, Sky Saxon's lyrics (delivered with a sneer that would do Johnny Rotten proud) are instead a scathing condemnation of said girl for not being straight up honest about the whole thing.

Artist:    Montells
Title:    I'm Lonely
Source:    Mono British import CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Dorenzo/Feia
Label:    Big Beat
Year:    Recorded 1965, released 2010
    Perhaps the first band from San Francisco's East Bay area to be signed to a national label, the Montells were formed in 1963. It's members, guitarists Rick Dorenzo, Bob Mullong, and Bob Treverrow, bassist Alan Feia and drummer Dave Ditto hailed from Pleasant Hill and Danville, and were quite popular among the teen crowd in cities like Walnut Creek. The band recorded several songs for Bob Shad's Brent label in 1965, including I'm Lonely, but the Selective Service managed to break up the band before any of the songs could be released.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    The Flute Thing
Source:    LP: Projections
Writer(s):    Al Kooper
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1966
    The Blues Project was one of the most influential bands in rock history, yet to this day remains one of the most obscure. Perhaps the first of the "underground" rock bands, the Project made their name by playing small colleges across the country (including Hobart and William Smith, where Stuck in the Psychedelic Era is produced). The Flute Thing, from the group's first studio LP, Projections, features bassist Andy Kuhlberg on flute, with rhythm guitarist Steve Katz taking over the bass playing, joining lead guitarist Danny Kalb and keyboardist Al Kooper for a tune that owes more to jazz artists like Roland Kirk than to anything top 40 rock had to offer at the time.

Artist:    Hawkwind Zoo
Title:    Hurry On Sundown (demo version)
Source:    Mono British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution
Writer(s):    Dave Brock
Label:    Grapefruit
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 2013
    The first single by Hawkwind was a tune called Hurry On Sundown, which was also included on their first LP in 1970. The previous year the band had recorded a demo of the song while they were still calling themselves Hawkwind Zoo. That recording remained unreleased until 2013, when it appeared on the British compilation box set Love, Poetry And Revolution.

Artist:    Psychedelic Furs
Title:    Sister Europe
Source:    LP: The Psychedelic Furs
Writer(s):    Psychedelic Furs
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1980
            Initially consisting of Richard Butler (vocals), Tim Butler (bass guitar), Duncan Kilburn (saxophone), Paul Wilson (drums) and Roger Morris (guitars), the Psychedelic Furs were formed in 1977 under the name RKO. They soon began calling themselves Radio, then did gigs under two different names, the Europeans and the Psychedelic Furs. By 1979 they had settled on the latter name and expanded to a sextet, adding guitarist John Ashton and replacing Wilson with Vince Ely on drums. The Furs' self-titled debut album, released in 1980, was an immediate hit in Europe and the UK, but airplay in the US was limited mostly to college radio and "alternative" rock stations. The second single released from the album was Sister Europe, a tune that was also  the band's concert opener in the early days of their existence. The Psychedelic Furs' greatest claim to fame, however, is probably the song Pretty In Pink. Originally released on their second album, Talk Talk Talk, in 1981, the song was re-recorded for the John Hughes film of the same name in 1986.

Artist:    Mommyheads
Title:    Time Just Freaks Me Out
Source:    CD Swiss Army Knife
Writer(s):    Mommyheads
Label:    Mommyhead Music
Year:    1992
    Recorded from 1986-88 on 4-track equipment and released on cassette tape in 1992, the Mommyheads' Swiss Army Knife was pretty much unavailable for 30 years before being re-released (with bonus tracks) on CD in 2022. In between, the band went from obscurity to successful indy band over a period of about five years, making their major label debut with The Mommyheads on Geffen Records in 1997. Unfortunately this coincided with a major shakeup at Geffen that saw several acts, including the Mommyheads being dropped from the label before the album was officially released. With no promotion and a reputation soiled by charges of "selling out", the Mommyheads disbanded in 1998. Ten years later, however, the Mommyheads reunited for a tribute concert following the death of their original drummer and soon decided to reform the group, releasing their first album of all-new material in 2011. Since then they have been steadily releasing new material along with remastered versions of their older material, including Swiss Army Knife in 2022. Among the more psychedelic tracks on that album is Time Just Freaks Me Out.

Artist:    Gov't Mule
Title:    Thorazine Shuffle
Source:    CD: Dose
Writer(s):    Haynes/Abt
Label:    Volcano
Year:    1998
    When the Allman Brothers Band reformed in 1989, it included new members Warren Haynes on guitar and Allen Woody on bass. The two were fans of late 60s power trios such as Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and, with drummer Matt Abts, formed Gov't Mule as a side project, releasing their first studio album in 1995. Following a well-received live album, the group split permanently from the Allmans in 1997, releasing their second studio album, Dose, in 1998. The most memorable track on the album was Thorazine Shuffle, a tune written by Haynes and Abt that has become a staple of the group's live performances.

Artist:    Warm Sounds
Title:    Nite Is A Comin'/Smeta Murgaty
Source:    British import LP: Staircase To Nowhere (originally released as 45 RPM single A&B sides)
Writer(s):    Gerrard/Younghusband
Label:    Bam-Caruso (original label: Deram)
Year:    1968 (combined version 1986)
            Presaging a trend that began to take off in the 1980s (and is even more prevalent today), Warm Sounds was a band that actually consisted of only two people, Britishers Denver Gerrard and Barry Younghusband. They only had one real hit, the 1967 tune Birds And Bees, but continued to make records through the following year, getting more experimental with each subsequent single. Among the most psychedelic of these singles was Nite Is A Comin'. The B side of the single, Smeta Murgaty, was created by simply mounting the single direction master tape on the tape machine backwards, playing the entire piece from end to beginning in reverse, adding a few tweaks here and there while recording the whole thing onto a second tape deck. In 1986, the British Bam-Caruso label combined the two sides into one continuous piece for a compilation album called Staircase To Nowhere (#12 in the Rubble series).

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Stupid Girl
Source:    British import LP: Aftermath
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1966
    By 1966 the songwriting team of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had hit its stride, turning out Rolling Stones classics like Mother's Little Helper and Paint It Black as a matter of course. Even B sides such as Stupid Girl were starting to get occasional airplay on top 40 stations, a trend that would continue to grow over the next year or so.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Let Me In
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Balin/Kantner
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    Marty Balin deserves recognition for his outstanding abilities as a leader. Most people don't even realize he was the founder of Jefferson Airplane, yet it was Balin who brought together the diverse talents of what would become San Francisco's most successful band of the 60s and managed to keep the band together through more than its share of controversies. One indication of his leadership abilities is that he encouraged Paul Kantner to sing lead on Let Me In, a song that the two of them had written together for the band's debut LP, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, despite the fact that Balin himself had no other onstage role than to sing lead vocals.

Artist:    Butterfield Blues Band
Title:    Work Song
Source:    CD: East-West
Writer(s):    Adderly/Brown
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1966
    Although technically not a rock album, the Butterfield Blues Band's East-West was nonetheless a major influence on many up and coming rock musicians that desired to transcend the boundaries of top 40 radio. Both the title track and the band's reworking of Nat Adderly's Work Song feature extended solos from all the band members, with Work Song in particular showing Butterfield's prowess on harmonica, as well as helping cement Michael Bloomfield's reputation as the nation's top electric guitarist (before the emergence of Jimi Hendrix, at any rate). Elvin Bishop's guitar work on the song is not too shabby either.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Masculine Intuition
Source:    45 RPM single B side (promo copy)
Writer:    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Original Sound
Year:    1966
    If you take out the cover songs that Original Sound Records added to the album without the band's knowledge or approval, Turn On The Music Machine has to be considered one of the best LPs of 1966. Not that the covers were badly done, but they were intended to be used for lip synching on a local TV show and were included without the knowledge or approval of the band, and that's never a good thing. Every one of the Sean Bonniwell originals on the other hand, combines strong musical structure and intelligent lyrics with musicianship far surpassing the average garage band. This is especially true in the case of Masculine Intuition, which was also issued as the B side of the band's second single.

Artist:     Bob Dylan
Title:     Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35
Source:     LP: Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: Blonde On Blonde)
Writer:     Bob Dylan
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1966
     Some of the best rock and roll songs of 1966 were banned on a number of stations for being about either sex or drugs. Most artists that recorded those songs claimed they were about something else altogether. In the case of Bob Dylan's Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35, "stoned" refers to a rather unpleasant form of execution (at least according to Dylan). On the other hand, Dylan himself was reportedly quite stoned while recording the song, having passed a few doobies around before starting the tape rolling. Sometimes I think ambiguities like this are why English has become the dominant language of commerce on the planet.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Nashville Cats
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful)
Writer(s):    John B. Sebastian
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Kama Sutra)
Year:    1966
    In late 1966, with two best-selling albums to their credit, The Lovin' Spoonful deliberately set out to make an album that sounded like it was recorded by several different bands, as a way of showcasing their versatility. With Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful, they did just that. Songs on the album ranged from the folky Darlin' Be Home Soon to the rockin' psychedelic classic Summer In The City, with a liberal dose of what would eventually come to be called country rock. The best example of the latter was Nashville Cats, a song that surprisingly went into the top 40 (but did not receive any airplay from country stations) and was (even more suprisingly) often heard on FM rock radio in the early 70s.

Artist:    Association
Title:    Along Comes Mary
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Tandyn Almer
Label:    Valiant
Year:    1966
    The Association are best known for a series of love ballads and light pop songs such as Cherish, Never My Love and Windy. Many of these records were a product of the L.A. studio scene and featured several members of the Wrecking Crew, the studio musicians who played on dozens of records in the late 60s and early 70s. The first major Association hit, however, featured the band members playing all the instruments themselves. Produced, and possibly co-written, by Curt Boettcher, who would soon join Gary Usher's studio project Sagittarius, Along Comes Mary shows that the Association was quite capable of recording a classic without any help from studio musicians.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2325 (starts 6/19/23) 

    This week we start off with a set of hits bookended by album tracks, then settle down for a couple of long prog-rock pieces, with a bonus track provided by Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Strange Days
Source:    CD: The Best Of The Doors (originally released on LP: Strange Days)
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    One of the first rock albums to not picture the band members on the front cover was the Doors' second LP, Strange Days. Instead, the cover featured several circus performers doing various tricks on a city street, with the band's logo appearing on a poster on the wall of a building. The album itself contains some of the Doors' most memorable tracks, including the title song, which also appears on their greatest hits album (which has Jim Morrison's picture on the cover) despite never being released as a single.

Artist:     Guess Who
Title:     No Time
Source:     CD: American Woman
Writer(s):     Bachman/Cummings
Label:     Buddha/BMG (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:     1970
     The Guess Who hit their creative and commercial peak with their 1970 album American Woman. The first of three hit singles from the album was No Time, which was already climbing the charts when the LP was released. After American Woman the band's two main songwriters, guitarist Randy Bachman and vocalist Burton Cummings, would move in increasingly divergent directions, with Bachman eventually leaving the band to form the hard-rocking Bachman-Turner Overdrive, while Cummings continued to helm an increasingly light pop flavored Guess Who.

Artist:    Eric Clapton
Title:    Let It Rain
Source:    45 RPM single (originally released on LP: Eric Clapton)
Writer(s):    Bramlett/Clapton
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1970
    Following the breakup of Blind Faith in 1969, Eric Clapton attempted to lower his profile by touring as a member of Delaney And Bonnie (Bramlett) And Friends. Still, he was Eric Clapton, and there was no way his fans or his record company were going to treat him like an anonymous sideman. As a result, the live album released by Delaney And Bonnie And Friends in early 1970 was titled On Tour With Eric Clapton. Nonetheless, the influence the Bramletts had on Clapton was evident on his self-titled solo LP, released later the same year. Many of the same musicians participated in the making of the album and in fact would continue to work with Clapton in his next band, Derek And The Dominos. More than half of the songs on the album were co-written by one or both of the Bramletts, including Let It Rain, which originally was called She Rides and had entirely different lyrics by Bonnie Bramlett. Let It Rain, released in 1972 as a five-minute long single, features a guest appearance on guitar by Stephen Stills, as well as an extended solo by Clapton himself.

Artist:    Blue Suede
Title:    Hooked On A Feeling
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Mark James
Label:    EMI
Year:    1973
    By 1974, the novelty record was almost dead. Then again, the Blue Suede version of the 1969 B.J. Thomas hit, Hooked On A Feeling, is almost a novelty record. The single, release in May of 1973 in the band's native Sweden, went all the way to the top of the charts when it was released in the US in early 1974. Not bad for a band that recorded nothing but cover songs (even the famous "ooka-chaka" intro was swiped from a 1971 Jonathan King version of the song). If you are one of the many who hoped never to hear this song again, you can blame Quentin Tarantino, who revived interest in the song when he included it in the soundtrack of his film Reservoir Dogs.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Our Lady
Source:    LP: Who Do We Think We Are
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1973
    Deep Purple was the top selling artist of 1973, thanks in large part to the release of their seventh studio album, Who Do We Think We Are. It was also the final year for the band's classic Mk2 lineup, with both vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover leaving the band that summer. According to Gillan, the band had just finished 18 months of touring and every member had had some sort of major illness over that same period, yet their managers insisted that they immediately get to work on the new album, even though the band members desperately needed a break. Nonetheless the album itself is one of their strongest, in spite of the fact that, for the most part the band members weren't even on speaking terms and much of the album was recorded piecemeal, with each member adding his part at a different time. The final track on the album, Our Lady, was a return to the band's psychedelic roots, with a strong Hendrix vibe throughout the piece.

Artist:    Carpe Diem
Title:    Coleurs
Source:    French import LP: Cueille Le Jour
Writer(s):    Bertho/David/Trucchi/Abbenanti/Faraut/Yew/Berge
Label:    Crypto
Year:    1977
    The mid-1970s saw the rise of several bands that combined elements of rock, jazz and classical music with the latest electronic technology to create something entirely new. In Germany it came to be called Kraut-rock, while in other countries it went by names like art-rock, prog-rock or space-rock. The French Riviera was home to Carpe Diem (originally called Deis Corpus), who released two LPs. The second of these, Cueille Le Jour, was released in 1977, and features a mix of vocal and instrumental tracks. In fact, the entire second side of the album is a continuous piece called Coleurs that, although mostly instrumental, does contain some vocal passages. Despite going largely unnoticed when originally released in 1977, Cueille Le Jour has since come to be regarded as one of the lost classics of progressive rock.

Artist:    Yes
Title:    Perpetual Change
Source:    The Yes Album
Writer(s):    Anderson/Squire
Label:    Elektra/Rhino (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1971
    Although Yes had already recorded two albums by 1971, The Yes Album marks the beginning of the band's most successful period. Probably the biggest reason for this newfound success was the addition of Steve Howe on guitar to a lineup that already included vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire and drummer Bill Bruford, as well as keyboardist Tony Kaye (who would soon be replaced by Rick Wakeman). Another factor in the album's success was the fact that all the tracks were written by members of the band, including Perpetual Change, which closes out side two of the LP.

Artist:    Blood, Sweat & Tears
Title:    God Bless The Child
Source:    CD: Blood, Sweat & Tears
Writer(s):    Holiday/Herzog
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1968
    Although it was never released as a single, Blood, Sweat And Tears' version of the Billy Holiday classic God Bless The Child has become one of their most popular recordings over time, even to the point of being included on the group's Greatest Hits collection. The track was also chosen as the band's contribution to Columbia's Heavy Sounds collection that was released around 1969.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2324 (starts 6/12/23)

    This week we have 33 songs by 33 artists, including a new Advanced Psych segment.The 33 includes two tunes from artists making their Stuck in the Psychedelic Era debut this week as well.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Party Line
Source:    Mono British import CD: Face To Face
Writer(s):    Ray and Dave Davies
Label:    Sanctuary (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    "Party line" is one of those terms that has undergone a total change in meaning over the past century or so. These days, it is generally used to describe adherence to a particular dogma, generally that of a political party. Years ago, however, a "party line" was actually a particular type of phone service, where several subscribers shared a land line for a discounted rate. This meant that when you picked up your phone you might not hear a dial tone; instead, you might hear one of your neighbors, or even someone you didn't know, chatting away, oblivious to the fact that you were listening to every word they said. As phone technology improved, party lines became increasingly rare, as most people opted for a private line when it was available. Although I never actually used a party line myself, I do remember my mother telling me about having one while growing up during the Great Depression. Apparently they stayed in use in England for several years after World War II, however, since the Davies brothers were inspired to write a song about it for the 1966 Kinks album Face To Face.    

Artist:    Small Faces
Title:    My Mind's Eye
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Marriott/Lane
Label:    Rhino (original label: Decca)
Year:    1965
    One of the biggest British hits of 1965 was All Or Nothing, a tune by the Small Faces that topped the charts that fall. In an effort to keep the band's chart momentum going in time for the Christmas rush, the shirts at Decca decided to release a rough demo of a Steve Marriott/Ronnie Lane composition called My Mind's Eye as a follow up. It turns out the band's manager, Don Arden, had given the label to go-ahead to release the song without the band's knowledge or permission, leading to the band's decision to leave both Arden and the Decca label early in 1966 to sign with Rolling Stones' manager Andrew Loog Oldham's new Immediate label.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes
Source:    CD: The Blues Project Anthology (originally released on LP: Projections)
Writer(s):    Blind Willie Johnson
Label:    Polydor (original label: Verve Folkways)
Year:    1966
    One lasting legacy of the British Invasion was the re-introduction to the US record-buying public to the songs of early Rhythm and Blues artists such as Blind Willie Johnson. This emphasis on classic blues in particular would lead to the formation of electric blues-based US bands such as the Butterfield Blues Band and the Blues Project. Unlike the Butterfields, who made a conscious effort to remain true to their Chicago-style blues roots, the Blues Project was always looking for new ground to cover, which ultimately led to them developing an improvisational style that would be emulated by west coast bands such as the Grateful Dead, and the Project's own Al Kooper, who conceived and produced the first successful rock jam LP, Super Session, in 1968. As the opening track to their second (and generally considered best) LP Projections, I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes served notice that this was a new kind of blues, louder and brasher than what had come before, yet tempered with Kooper's melodic vocal style. An added twist was the use during the song's instrumental bridge of an experimental synthesizer known among band members as the "Kooperphone", probably the first use of any type of synthesizer on a blues record.
Artist:    Animals
Title:    She'll Return It
Source:    Mono LP: Animalization
Writer(s):    Jenkins/Rowberry/Burdon/Chandler/Valentine
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    As a general rule the Animals, in their original incarnation, recorded two kinds of songs: hit singles from professional songwriters such as Gerry Goffin and Carole King, and covers of blues and R&B tunes, the more obscure the better. What they did not record a lot of was original tunes from the band members themselves. This started to change in 1966 when the band began to experience a series of personnel changes that would ultimately lead to what amounted to an entirely new group, Eric Burdon And The Animals, in 1967. One of the earliest songs to be credited to the entire band was She'll Return It, released as the B side of See See Rider in August of 1966 and included on the Animalization album. In retrospect, it is one of the strongest tracks on one of their strongest LPs.

Artist:    Monks
Title:    That's My Girl
Source:    German import CD: Black Monk time
Writer(s):    Burger/Clark/Day/Johnston/Shaw
Label:    Repertoire (original label: Polydor International)
Year:    1966
    There are a lot of contenders for the title of "first punk rock band". Detroit's MC5 get mentioned often, as do Chicago's Shadows Of Knight. Some give credit to L.A.'s Standells, while others cite Pacific Northwest bands such as the Wailers and the Sonics as being the first true punks. Serious consideration has to be given, however, to a group of five members of the US Army stationed in Frankfurt Germany, who decided to augment their GI haircuts by shaving the centers of their heads and calling themselves the Monks. Vocalist/guitarist Gary Burger, organist Larry Clarke, drummer Roger Johnston, bassist Eddie Shaw and banjoist Dave Day began hitting the trinkhauses (combination bars and dance halls) around the area in 1965, moving up to more visible venues the following year after their Army stint was over (apparently they had all been drafted at around the same time). Their style, unlike other bands of the time, was loud, harsh and direct, with lyrics about death, war and hate rather than the usual love ballads made popular by British bands like the Beatles and Herman's Hermits. This, combined with surprisingly strong musicianship, got them a contract with the German branch of Polydor Records. They released their first single, Complication, early in the year, following it up with an LP, Black Monk Time, that summer. In retrospect, the Monks were too far ahead of their time to be a commercial success, but have come to be highly regarded as forerunners of British punk bands such as the Sex Pistols and the Clash. The vocals on the the final track of Black Monk Time are not actually sung; they are instead yelled out, presumably at a member of the audience, in a style that makes me think of Terry Bozzio as the Devil on Frank Zappa's Titties And Beer.

Artist:    Barry McGuire
Title:    Eve Of Destruction
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    P F Sloan
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1965
    One of the top folk-rock hits of 1965, Eve of Destruction was actually written by professional songwriter P.F. Sloane, who also wrote tunes for the Turtles, among others, and later teamed up with Steve Barri to produce (and write songs for) the Grass Roots.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Tripmaker
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: A Web Of Sound)
Writer(s):    Tybalt/Hooper
Label:    Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1966
     Although the second Seeds album, A Web Of Sound, came out in both stereo and mono versions, there are very few copies of the mono version in existence, let alone in playable condition. Apparently Rhino Records has access to one of them, allowing them to use this mono mix of Tripmaker, showing the advantages of being a record label that started off as a record store.
Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Fire
Source:    LP: Smash Hits (originally released on LP: Are You Experienced)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    Sometime in late 1966 Jimi Hendrix was visiting his girlfriend's mother's house in London for the first time. It was a cold rainy night and Jimi immediately noticed that there was a dog curled up in front of the fireplace. Jimi's first action was to scoot the dog out of the way so he himself could benefit from the fire's warmth, using the phrase "Move over Rover and let Jimi take over." The phrase got stuck in his head and eventually became the basis for one of his most popular songs. Although never released as a single, Fire was a highlight of the Jimi Hendrix Experience's live performances, often serving as a set opener.
Artist:    Amboy Dukes
Title:    Journey To The Center Of The Mind
Source:    CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Nugent/Farmer
Label:    Priority (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1968
    Detroit was one of the major centers of pop music in the late 60s. In addition to the myriad Motown acts, the area boasted the popular retro-rock&roll band Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, the harder rocking Heard (later known as the Bob Seger System), the anarchistic MC5 and their "little brother" band, the Stooges, and Ted Nugent's outfit, the Amboy Dukes, who scored big in 1968 with Journey To The Center Of The Mind.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    You Baby
Source:    CD: Battle Of The Bands Vol. Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sloan/Barri
Label:    Era (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1966
    After first hitting the charts with their version of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe, the Turtles released yet another "angry young rebel" song, P.F. Sloan's Let Me Be. Realizing that they needed to vary their subject matter somewhat if they planned on having a career last longer than six months, the band formerly known as the Crossfires went with another Sloan tune, You Baby, for their first single of 1966. Although the music was in a similar style to Let Me Be, the lyrics, written by Steve Barri, were fairly typical of teen-oriented love songs of the era. Almost without exception the Turtles would continue to record songs from professional songwriters for single release for the remainder of their existence, with their original compositions showing up mostly as album tracks and B sides.
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:    Music Machine
Title:    In My Neighborhood
Source:    CD: Beyond The Garage
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Sundazed
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 1995
    Sean Bonniwell has been quoted as saying that he had overproduced the original version of In My Neighborhood, due to having too much idle time in the studio. As a result, he chose not to release the song at all. Years later, Bonniwell and Bob Irwin remixed the track for release on the anthology CD Beyond The Garage.

Artist:    Enoch Smoky
Title:    It's Cruel
Source:    Mono CD: A Lethal Dose Of Hard Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Douglas/Gedz/Collignon
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Pumpkin Seed)
Year:    1969 (?)
    Iowa's first state capitol, Iowa City, is home to the University of Iowa. In the late 1960s and early 1970s it was also home to a band known as Enoch Smoky. They released their only single, It's Cruel, sometime around 1969, but apparently someone forgot to get proper copyright clearance for the B side, a cover of Chuck Berry's Roll Over Beethoven, and the single was quickly recalled. Although Enoch Smoky, whose name was taken from a Kiowa native American chief, continued to play gigs for several more years, including a European tour in the early 1970s, they never recorded again as a band.

Artist:      Peter Green
Title:     Descending Scale
Source:      LP: The End of the Game
Writer:    Peter Green
Year:     1970
     Peter Green was the founder of Fleetwood Mac. He was also the first member to leave (not counting bassist Bob Brunning, who considered himself a kind of "place sitter" until John McVie could be convinced to join), having recurring mental health problems made worse by experimentation with LSD. In 1970, shortly after leaving the band, he recorded a jam session and released edited portions of it under the title The End of the Game. Descending Scale is one of those tracks.

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 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 finally 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:     Traffic
Title:     No Face, No Name, No Number
Source:     CD: Smiling Phases (originally released on LP: Mr. Fantasy, aka Heaven Is In Your Mind)
Writer(s): Winwood/Capaldi
Label:     Island (original US label: United Artists)
Year:     1967
     When the first Best of Traffic album was issued in 1969 (after the group first disbanded) it included No Face, No Name, No Number, a non-hit album track. Later Traffic anthologies tended to focus on songs recorded after the group reformed in 1970 and No Face, No Name, No Number was out of print for many years until the first Traffic album was reissued on CD. The song itself is a good example of Winwood's softer material.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    We've Got A Groovey Thing Goin'
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM B side and included on LP: Sounds Of Silence)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    In late 1965, a New York based Columbia Records staff producer, Tom Wilson, decided to perform an experiment. He had just put the finishing touches on Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited album, and was high on the potential of integrating electric rock instruments into folk music. Around this same time, The Sound Of Silence, a song by the folk duo Simon & Garfunkel that Wilson had produced the previous year, had begun to get airplay on radio stations in Boston and throughout the state of Florida. Without the knowledge of the duo (who had by then split up) Wilson remixed the song, adding electric guitar, bass and drums, essentially creating a whole new version of the song and, for that matter, a whole new genre: folk-rock. The new electric version of The Sound of Silence, backed by We've Got a Groovey Thing Goin', was released in September of 1965, and it soon became obvious that it was going to be a hit. The only problem was that by the time all this happened, Simon and Garfunkel had gone their separate ways, briefly reuniting in April of 1965 to record We've Got a Groovey Thing Going, but not releasing it at the time. Simon had relocated to London and recorded a UK-only LP called the Paul Simon Songbook in June of 1965, releasing it two months later. By mid-November The Sound Of Silence was the #1 song in Boston, and had entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Simon returned to the states, got back together with Art Garfunkel and, on December 13, 1965 began recording tracks for a new album. On January 1, 1966 The Sound Of Silence hit the #1 spot on the Hot 100. Two weeks later the LP Sounds Of Silence, which included a new stereo mix of We've Got A Groovey Thing Going made from the original 4-track master tape, was released. By the way, this song is the only instance I know of of the word "groovy" being spelled "groovey".

Artist:    Chesterfield Kings
Title:    Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White
Source:    Spanish import LP: Tripin' Out
Writer(s):    Ed Cobb
Label:    Impossible
Year:    1997
    In the late 1980s there was an underground movement reviving the sound of mid-60s garage bands. Most of the participating bands had given it up after a few years, but the Rochester, NY-based Chesterfield Kings proved to have more staying power than the rest. In 1997 the toured Spain, where a local label released a six-song 10" vinyl EP of the Kings doing cover versions of classic 60s garage-rock tunes, among them Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White, originally released in 1966 as the Standell's followup single to Dirty Water.

Artist:    London Souls
Title:    She's In Control
Source:    CD: The London Souls
Writer(s):    London Souls
Label:    Soul On10
Year:    2011
    Despite the implications of their name, the London Souls were actually a New York City band that was formed in 2008 by guitarist Tash Neal and drummer Chris St. Hilaire. The two met as teenagers, jamming with friends in rehearsal rooms rented by the hour. After recording a 16-song demo in 2009 they released their first actual album, The London Souls, in 2011. The duo made their mark by applying a 21st century sensibility to psychedelic era and classic rock concepts, resulting in songs like She's In Control. A second album, Here Come The Girls, was originally planned for 2013 released, but was delayed until 2015 after Tash Neal was injured in a hit-and-run accident. Although they never officially disbanded, the London Souls have been inactive since 2018.

Artist:    Big Boy Pete And The Squire
Title:    Like You
Source:    CD: Hitmen
Writer(s):    Miller/Zajkowski
Label:    Rocket Racket
Year:    2013
    Once upon a time in the 1960s there was an Englishman named Peter "Big Boy" Miller, who wrote songs that were rejected not only by various British record labels but by members of his own band, the Jaywalkers. Flash forward to Rochester, NY, in the year 2002, where Christopher Zajkowski, recording as Squires Of The Subterrain, decided to rework some of Miller's songs and record them for an album called Big Boy Treats. Even better, Miller himself flew to Rochester to produce the album. Flash forward again, this time to 2013. Miller and Zajkowski, working together, decide to write new lyrics for a bunch of songs Miller had written in 1967, including Like You. The songs were included on a CD called Hitmen, released on Zajkowski's Rocket Racket label.

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

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Shapes Of Things
Source:    Simulated stereo British import LP: Remember... (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Samwell-Smith/Relf/McCarty
Label:    Starline (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1966
    Unlike earlier Yardbirds hits, 1966's Shapes Of Things was written by members of the band. The song, featuring one of guitarist Jeff Beck's most distinctive solos, just barely missed the top 10 in the US, although it was a top 5 single in the UK.

Artist:    Kaleidoscope (UK)
Title:    Flight From Ashiya
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Daltry/Pumer
Label:    Rhino (original label: Fontana)
Year:    1967
    Although they did not have any hit singles, London's Kaleidoscope had enough staying power to record two album's worth of material for the Fontana label before disbanding. The group's first release was Flight From Ashiya, a single released in September of 1967. Describing a bad plane trip with a stoned pilot, the song is filled with chaotic images, making the song's story a bit hard to follow. Still, it's certainly worth a listen.

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:     Pleasure (featuring Billy Elder)
Title:     Poor Old Organ Grinder
Source:     CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Tandyn Almer
Label:     Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:     1969
     Tandyn Almer had one of the most innovative minds in late 60s L.A., both in and out of the recording studio (he was the inventor of the dual-chamber bong, for instance). Poor Old Organ Grinder was a song originally intended for Tommy Flanders, the original lead vocalist for the Blues Project. Flanders, however, was not able to hit the high notes. As Almers was about to cancel the entire project one of the recording engineers, Billy Elder, convinced Almer to let him take a shot at the song, and the result is the recording heard here.
Artist:    Blue Mink
Title:    Good Morning Freedom
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Greenaway/Cook/Hammond/Hazlewood
Label:    Philips
Year:    1970
    Blue Mink was a British pop group that had several hit singles from 1969 to 1977. Several of the members were already successful session players and continued to work in that capacity throughout Blue Mink's existence. Among their hits was Good Morning Freedom, which hit the #10 spot on the British charts in 1970.

Artist:    Beau Brummels
Title:    Just A Little
Source:    CD: Nuggets-Classics From The Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Elliott/Durand
Label:    Rhino (original label: Autumn)
Year:    1965
    Often dismissed as an American imitation of British Invasion bands such as the Beatles, the Beau Brummels actually played a pivotal role in rock music history. Formed in San Francisco in 1964, the Brummels were led by Ron Elliott, who co-wrote most of the band's material, including their two top 10 singles in 1965. The second of these, Just A Little, is often cited as the first folk-rock hit, as it was released a week before the Byrds' recording of Mr. Tambourine Man. According to Elliott, the band was not trying to invent folk-rock, however. Rather, it was their own limitations as musicians that forced them to work with what they had: solid vocal harmonies and a mixture of electric and acoustic guitars. Elliott also credits the contributions of producer Sylvester Stewart for the song's success. Conversely, Just A Little was Stewart's greatest success as a producer prior to forming his own band, Sly and the Family Stone, in 1967.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    John Sebastian
Label:    Buddah (original label: Kama Sutra)
Year:    1966
    Although folk music became popular throughout the U.S. in the early 1960s, its primary practicioners tended to make their homes on the eastern seaboard, particularly along the Boston-New York corridor. One hotspot in particular was New York's Greenwich Village, which was also home to the beatnik movement and a thriving acoustic blues revival scene. All these diverse elements came together in the form of the Lovin' Spoonful, who burst upon the scene with the hit single Do You Believe In Magic in 1965. Led by primary songwriter John Sebastian, the Spoonful for a while rivaled even the Beatles in popularity. Among their many successful records was Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind, which made the top 5 in 1966. The band continued to chart hits through 1967, at which point Sebastian departed the group to embark on a solo career.
Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Mr. Soul
Source:    CD: Retrospective-The Best Of Buffalo Springfield (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again)
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Atco
Year:    1967
    Executives at Atco Records originally considered Neil Young's voice "too weird" to be recorded. As a result many of Young's early tunes (including the band's debut single Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing), were sung by Richie Furay. By the time the band's second album, Buffalo Springfield Again, was released, the band had enough clout to make sure Young was allowed to sing his own songs. In fact, the album starts with a Young vocal on the classic Mr. Soul.

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Oh, Sweet Mary
Source:    LP: Cheap Thrills
Writer(s):    Albin/Andrew/Getz/Gurley/Joplin
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    The only song credited to the entire membership of Big Brother And The Holding Company on their Cheap Thrills album was Oh, Sweet Mary (although the original label credits Janis Joplin as sole writer and the album cover itself gives only Joplin and Peter Albin credit). The tune bears a strong resemblance to Coo Coo, a non-album single the band had released on the Mainstream label before signing to Columbia. Oh, Sweet Mary, however, has new lyrics and, for a breath of fresh air, a bridge section played at a slower tempo than the rest of the tune.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Monkey Man
Source:    LP: Let It Bleed
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1969
    Ever have a song get stuck in your head for days at a time? Monkey Man, from the Rolling Stones' 1969 LP Let It Bleed, is that kind of song. Admit it: now you've got Mick screaming "I'm A Monkey" running through your brain.

Artist:    H.P. Lovecraft
Title:    The White Ship
Source:    CD: Two Classic Albums From H.P. Lovecraft (originally released on LP: H.P. Lovecraft)
Writer(s):    Edwards/Michaels/Cavallari
Label:    Collector's Choice/Universal Music Special Products (original label: Philips)
Year:    1967
    Fans of Chicago's premier psychedelic band, H.P. Lovecraft, generally agree that the high point of the band's 1967 debut LP is The White Ship, which opens the second side of the original LP. The basic song was composed by George Edwards, who came up with it between sessions for other tracks on the album in about 15 minutes. Once the rest of the band got ahold of it, the track was, in the words of co-founder Dave Michaels, "instantly moulded into a new entity", adding that "By itself, the baritone melody and chords are merely a bare-bones beginning. Adding the harmonies, the feedback effects on lead guitar, and conceiving the 'bolero' rhythm all came into being in a group setting." Accordingly, Edwards insisted on sharing songwriting credit with both Michaels and lead guitarist Tony Cavallari. Although the song was also released, in edited form, as a single, it is the six-and-a-half minute long LP version of The White Ship that got a considerable amount of airplay on underground FM radio stations when it was released in 1967.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    We're Going Wrong
Source:    CD: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s):    Jack Bruce
Label:    Polydor/Polygram (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    On Fresh Cream the slowest-paced tracks were bluesy numbers like Sleepy Time Time. For the group's second LP, bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce came up with We're Going Wrong, a song with a haunting melody supplemented by some of Eric Clapton's best guitar fills. Even Ginger Baker set aside his drumsticks in favor of mallets, giving the song an otherworldly feel.