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.
Title: Party Line
Source: Mono British import CD: Face To Face
Writer(s): Ray and Dave Davies
Label: Sanctuary (original US label: Reprise)
"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)
Label: Rhino (original label: Decca)
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)
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.
Title: She'll Return It
Source: Mono LP: Animalization
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.
Title: That's My Girl
Source: German import CD: Black Monk time
Label: Repertoire (original label: Polydor International)
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)
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.
Source: Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: A Web Of Sound)
Label: Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
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
Source: LP: Smash Hits (originally released on LP: Are You Experienced)
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
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)
Label: Priority (original label: Mainstream)
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.
Title: You Baby
Source: CD: Battle Of The Bands Vol. Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Era (original label: White Whale)
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)
Label: Rhino (original label: Laurie)
It's not entirely clear whether the Balloon Farm was an actual band or simply an East Coast studio concoction. Regardless, they did manage to successfully cross garage rock with bubble gum for A Question Of Temperature, originally released on the Laurie label in 1967. Band member Mike Appel went on to have greater notoriety as Bruce Springsteen's first manager.
Artist: Music Machine
Title: In My Neighborhood
Source: CD: Beyond The Garage
Writer(s): Sean Bonniwell
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)
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
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)
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.
Title: No Face, No Name, No Number
Source: CD: Smiling Phases (originally released on LP: Mr. Fantasy, aka Heaven Is In Your Mind)
Label: Island (original US label: United Artists)
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
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
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
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
Label: Rocket Racket
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.
Source: LP: Rubber Soul
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.
Title: Shapes Of Things
Source: Simulated stereo British import LP: Remember... (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Starline (original US label: Epic)
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)
Label: Rhino (original label: Fontana)
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
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)
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
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)
Label: Rhino (original label: Autumn)
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)
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
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
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
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)
Label: Collector's Choice/Universal Music Special Products (original label: Philips)
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.
Title: We're Going Wrong
Source: CD: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s): Jack Bruce
Label: Polydor/Polygram (original label: Atco)
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.