Sunday, July 30, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2331 (starts 7/31/23)

    This week we have three separate artists' sets featuring the Beatles (an all-George Harrison set), the Doors (all from Strange Days) and Love. As if that weren't enough, we also have the Butterfield Blues Band performing live at Woodstock and Canada's first prog-rock band, among other things.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    It Ain't Me Babe
Source:    Nuggets Vol. 10-Folk Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Bob Dylan
Label:    Rhino (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1965
    The Turtles started out as a local high school surf band called the Crossfires. In 1965 they were signed to a record label that technically didn't exist yet. That did not deter the people at the label (which would come to be known as White Whale) from convincing the band to change its name and direction. Realizing that surf music was indeed on the way out, the band, now called the Turtles, went into the studio and recorded four songs. One of those was Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe. The Byrds had just scored big with their version of Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man and the Turtles took a similar approach with It Ain't Me Babe. The song was a solid hit, going to the #8 spot on the national charts and leading to the first of many Turtles albums (not to mention hit singles) on the White Whale label.

Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    Gimme Some Lovin'
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Winwood/Winwood/Davis
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1966
    By mid-1966 the Spencer Davis Group had already racked up an impressive number of British hit singles, but had yet to crack the US top 40. This changed when the band released Gimme Some Lovin', an original composition that had taken the band about an hour to develop in the studio. The single, released on Oct 28, went to the #2 spot on the British charts. Although producer Jimmy Miller knew he had a hit on his hands, he decided to do a complete remix of the song, including a brand new lead vocal track, added backup vocals and percussion and plenty of reverb, for the song's US release. His strategy was successful; Gimme Some Lovin', released in December of 1966, hit the US charts in early 1967, eventually reaching the #7 spot. The US remix has since become the standard version of the song, and has appeared on countless compilations over the years.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Ruby Tuesday
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single B side and on LP: Between The Buttons)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    One of the most durable songs in the Rolling Stones catalog, Ruby Tuesday was originally intended to be the B side of their 1967 single Let's Spend The Night Together. Many stations, however, balked at the subject matter of the A side and began playing Ruby Tuesday instead.

Artist:      David Bowie
Title:     Space Oddity (original version)
Source:      Mono CD: The Deram Anthology 1966-1968 (originally released on LP: Love You Till Tuesday)
Writer:    David Bowie
Label:    Deram
Year:     1969
     When David Jones first started his recording career he was a fairly conventional pop singer, even after changing his name to David Bowie (to avoid being confused with Davy Jones of the Monkees). After several singles and a 1967 self-title debut LP failed to make a dent in the charts, Bowie decided to take a more experimental approach, starting a group called Feathers with dancer Hermione Farthingale (with whom he was in a relationship with at the time) and guitarist John Hutchinson. Bowie also acquired a new manager, Kenneth Pitt, who authorized the production of a promotion film called Love You Till Tuesday in an attempt to make Bowie known to a larger audience. With nothing but previously released material on hand, Pitt asked Bowie to come up with something new to be the focus of the film. Bowie obliged him by coming up with Space Oddity, an attempt to humanize the idea of being alone in a space capsule. After recording a demo of the song with Hutchinson in January of 1969, Bowie recorded his first studio version of Space Oddity on Feb. 2 at London's Morgan Studios. Joining Bowie and Hutchinson (who shared lead vocals) were Colin Wood on keyboards and flute, Dave Clague on bass and Tat Meager on drums. The odd flute-sounding instrument in the mix was an Ocarina played by Bowie himself.

Artist:     Butterfield Blues Band
Title:     No Amount Of Loving
Source:     CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm
Writer:    Paul Butterfield
Label:     Rhino
Year:     1969
     The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was one of a handful of groups to play at both the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967 and the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969, albeit with considerably different lineups. Gone were both Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, yet new guitarist Buzzy Feiten was more than capable of holding his own in the legendary band. Unfortunately, technical problems prevented the audience from hearing Butterfield's vocals on the song No Amount Of Loving.

Artist:    Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:    Incense And Peppermints (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Source:    Mono CD: Psychedelic Pop
Writer(s):    Carter/Gilbert/Weitz/King
Label:    BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Uni)
Year:    1967
    Incense and Peppermints is one of the iconic songs of the psychedelic era, yet when it was originally released to Los Angeles area radio stations it was intended to be the B side of The Birdman of Alkatrash. Somewhere along the line a DJ flipped the record over and started playing Incense And Peppermints instead. The song caught on and Uni Records (short for Universal, which is now the world's largest record company) picked up the Strawberry Alarm Clock's contract and reissued the record nationally with Incense And Peppermints as the A side.

Artist:     Human Beinz
Title:     Nobody But Me
Source:     Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as a 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Ron, Rudy and O'Kelley Isley
Label:     LP: Rhino (originally released on Capitol)
Year:     1968
    The Human Beingz were a band that had been around since 1964 doing mostly club gigs in the Youngstown, Ohio area as the Premiers. In the late 60s they decided to update their image with a name more in tune with the times and came up with the Human Beingz. Unfortunately someone at Capitol Records misspelled their name (leaving out the "g") on the label of Nobody But Me, and after the song became a national hit the band was stuck with the new spelling. The band split up in 1969, but after Nobody But Me was featured in the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill: Vol.1, original leader Ting Markulin reformed the band with a new lineup that has appeared in the Northeastern US in recent years.

Artist:     West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:     Shifting Sands (single mix)
Source:     Mono CD: A Child's Guide To Good and Evil (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Baker Knight
Label:     Sundazed (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1967
    The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band had its beginnings around 1964 when guitarist Michael Lloyd, veteran of several Los Angeles based surf bands, formed a new group called Laughing Wind with Shaun and Danny Harris (bass and lead guitar respectively) and drummer John Ware. In 1965 they attended a party hosted by Bob Markley, the adopted son of an oil tycoon and former host of Oklahoma Bandstand who had relocated to L.A. a few years earlier. It turned out that Markley and the members of Laughing Wind had something in common: they both were connected to Kim Fowley, the Ultimate Hollywood Hipster, as was a band known as the Yardbirds that played at Markley's party. After seeing how the teenage girls gathered around the members of the Yardbirds, Markley decided he wanted to be in a rock band too, and let it be known that he wanted to become a member of Laughing Wind. The members of Laughing Wind were at first a bit doubtful about the whole thing, given that Markley had no discernable musical talent, but in the end decided his access to almost unlimited funds qualified him to be a band member. Markley immediately used that same leverage to change the band's name to the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, and it was not long before they had a contract with a major record label. Their first single for Reprise was an original composition called 1906, a song about the first San Francisco earthquake as seen from a dog's point of view. Seriously. The B side of that single was a cover of a song by Baker Knight, a local bandleader who had worked with Michael Lloyd in the early 1960s. In retrospect, Shifting Sands would probably have been a better choice for the A side, but even then Markley was making questionable judgment calls, and the single went nowhere.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    When The Music's Over
Source:    LP: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    I remember the first time I heard When The Music's Over. My girlfriend's older brother had a copy of the Strange Days album on the stereo in his room and told us to get real close to the speakers so we could hear the sound of a butterfly while he turned the volume way up. What we got, of course, was a blast of "...we want the world and we want it now." Good times.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Moonlight Drive
Source:    European import CD: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    Much of the second Doors album consisted of songs that were already in the band's repertoire when they signed with Elektra Records but for various reasons did not record for their debut LP. One of the earliest was Jim Morrison's Moonlight Ride. As was the case with all the Doors songs on their first three albums, the tune was credited to the entire band.

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

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Little Wing
Source:    LP: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Although it didn't have any hit singles on it, Axis: Bold As Love, the second album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was full of memorable tunes, including one of Hendrix's most covered songs, Little Wing. The album itself is a showcase for Hendrix's rapidly developing skills, both as a songwriter and in the studio. The actual production of the album was a true collaborative effort, combining Hendrix's creativity, engineer Eddie Kramer's expertise and producer Chas Chandler's strong sense of how a record should sound, acquired through years of recording experience as a member of the Animals.

Artist:     Jefferson Airplane
Title:     D.C.B.A.-25
Source:     Mono LP: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer:     Paul Kantner
Label:     Sundazed (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:     1967
     D.C.B.A.-25 was named for the chords used in the song. As for the "25" was 1967. In San Francisco. Paul Kantner wrote it. Figure it out.

Artist:    Phil Ochs
Title:    Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends (originally released on LP: Pleasures Of The Harbor)
Source:    CD: The Best Of Phil Ochs
Writer(s):    Phil Ochs
Label:    A&M
Year:    1967
    In 1964, less than a week after my 11th birthday, an event happened over 2000 miles from where I lived that would have a profound effect on my view of humanity, particularly the portion of it that lived in large cities. Late one night, a woman named Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death outside of her apartment in Queens, NY., in front of witnesses, none of whom came to her defense. One witness late told police that she "didn't want to get involved". After he was apprehended, the killer was asked why he had attacked her in front of witnesses. His chilling reply was that he knew no one would help, because "people never do". That did not ring true to my 11-year-old self. I had been raised by good-hearted people with small-town values. When someone was in trouble, you helped them out. That's just how it was. Yet, that had not happened when Kitty Genovese was attacked. Ever since then I've tried to find empathy for, not only the victims, but those who stand by and do nothing. I've tried to understand why. Although I've made some progress, I still haven't figured it out. Apparently I was not the only one affected by the story. Phil Ochs used it as the starting point for what would turn out to be his most popular song, Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends, from his 1967 LP Pleasures Of The Harbor. I didn't get to hear that song until the late 1970s. It was banned in most radio markets because of the line "smoking marijuana is more fun than drinking beer", and ended up stalling out a dozen or so spots short of the top 100 when it was released as a single in 1967. In fact, I only heard it after hearing the new that Ochs had committed suicide in 1976, and one of my fellow DJs at KUNM played the song as part of a Phil Ochs memorial segment. Apparently the Genovese story, as well as other events described in the song, affected Ochs profoundly as well.

Artist:     Simon and Garfunkel
Title:     A Hazy Shade Of Winter
Source:     45 RPM single (promo copy)
Writer:     Paul Simon
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1966
     Originally released as a single in 1966, A Hazy Shade Of Winter was one of several songs intended for the film The Graduate. The only one of these actually used in the movie was Mrs. Robinson. The remaining songs eventually made up side two of the 1968 album Bookends, although several of them were also released as singles throughout 1967. A Hazy Shade Of Winter, being the first of these singles (and the only one released in 1966), was also the highest charting, peaking at # 13 just as the weather was turning cold.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Like A Rolling Stone
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Bob Dylan incurred the wrath of folk purists when he decided to use electric instruments for his 1965 LP Highway 61 Revisited. The opening track on the album is the six-minute Like A Rolling Stone, a song that was also selected to be the first single released from the new album. After the single was pressed, the shirts at Columbia Records decided to cancel the release due to its length. An acetate copy of the record, however, made it to a local New York club, where, by audience request, the record was played over and over until it was worn out (acetate copies not being as durable as their vinyl counterparts). When Columbia started getting calls from local radio stations demanding copies of the song the next morning they decided to release the single after all. Like A Rolling Stone ended up going all the way to the number two spot on the US charts, doing quite well in several other countries as well.

Artist:    Love
Title:    Alone Again Or
Source:    CD: Forever Changes
Writer(s):    Bryan MacLean
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    The only song Love ever released as a single that was not written by Arthur Lee was Alone Again Or, issued in 1970. The song had originally appeared as the opening track from the Forever Changes album three years earlier. Bryan McLean would later say that he was not happy with the recording due to his own vocal being buried beneath that of Lee, since Lee's part was meant to be a harmony line to McLean's melody. McLean would later re-record the song for a solo album, but reportedly was not satisfied with that version either.

Artist:    Love
Title:    Signed D.C.
Source:    Australian import CD: Comes In Colours (originally released on LP: Love)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Raven (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1966
    One of the most striking tunes on the first Love album is Signed D.C., a slow ballad in the tradition of House of the Rising Sun. The song takes the form of a letter penned by a heroin addict, and the imagery is both stark and disturbing. Although Lee was known to occasionally say otherwise, the song title probably refers to Love's original drummer Don Conka, who left the band before their first recording sessions.

Artist:    Love
Title:    The Red Telephone
Source:    CD: Forever Changes
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    Love's Forever Changes album, released in late 1967, is known for its dark imagery that contrasted with the utopian messages so prevalent in the music associated with the just-passed summer of love. One of the tracks that best illustrates Arthur Lee's take on the world at that time is The Red Telephone, which closes out side one of the album. The title, which refers to the famous cold war hotline between Washington and Moscow, does not actually appear in the song's lyrics. Instead, the most prominent line of the song is a chant repeated several times that refers to the repression of youth culture in the US, particularly in Los Angeles, where the city had enacted new ordinances that had virtually destroyed the vibrant club scene that had given rise to such bands as the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, the Doors and of course Love. The chant itself: "They're locking them up today, they're throwing away the key; I wonder who it'll be tomorrow, you or me?" expresses an idea that would be expanded on by Frank Zappa the following year on the landmark Mothers Of Invention album We're Only In It For The Money.

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

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    You Just May Be The One (TV version)
Source:    CD: The Monkees (bonus track originally released on CD: Missing Links, Volume Two)
Writer(s):    Michael Nesmith
Label:    Rhino
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1990
    Before the Monkees TV series began airing several producers were working simultaneously to build up a library of songs that could be used in the show itself. One of these producers was Michael Nesmith, himself one of the four young musicians selected to be The Monkees. Nesmith, even at that stage, was putting pressure on Music Director Don Kirschner to let the band members themselves have at least some input into the songs that they would be recording for and performing on the show. One of Nesmith's earliest productions was a tune he wrote himself called You Just May Be The One. Nesmith later said the song was written in such a way that a group of four musicians thrown together could easily learn to play live, and indeed, You Just May Be The One ended up being a permanent part of the Monkee's onstage repertoire. The band later re-recorded the song for their first "real" album, Headquarters.

Artist:    The Light
Title:    Back Up
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Anglin/Samson
Label:    Rhino (original label: A&M)
Year:    1967
    The San Bernadino/Riverside area of southern California is probably better known to racing fans than to music afficionados, yet the area did have its share of local bands filling up various venues in the area in the late 60s. Among those bands was the Light, who released one single on the A&M label in 1967. Back Up, an energetic garage-rocker, was the B side of that single.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Savoy Truffle
Source:    CD: The Beatles
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Apple)
Year:    1968
    George Harrison's skills as a songwriter continued to develop in 1968. The double-LP The Beatles (aka the White Album) contained four Harrison compositions, including Savoy Truffle, a tongue-in-cheek song about Harrison's friend Eric Clapton's fondness for chocolate. John Lennon did not participate in the recording of Savoy Truffle. The keyboards were probably played by Chris Thomas, who, in addition to playing on all four Harrison songs on the album, served as de facto producer when George Martin decided to take a vacation in the middle of the album's recording sessions. 

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Only A Northern Song (alternate version)
Source:    CD: Anthology 2
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple/Capitol
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1999
    Anyone who thinks that George Harrison was happily oblivious to how badly he was being screwed over as a songwriter during his years as a member of the Beatles need only listen to the lyrics of Only A Northern Song, one of four new tracks submitted by the band for use in the film Yellow Submarine. Although Harrison had actually formed his own publishing company, Harrisongs, in 1964, he was persuaded to stay with the band's own Northern Songs LTD. by his bandmates when the company went public in 1965 in order to get around British tax laws on international sales of Beatles' compositions. The problem was that, as the principle songwriters, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were also the principle stockholders, at 15% each, while Harrison and Ringo Starr each owned only .08%. This meant that Lennon and McCartney were actually making more in royalties on Harrison's compositions than Harrison himself. Harrison later said that the company's manager, Dick James, hadn't told him that he was giving up ownership of his own compositions by signing with Northern Songs. Following the formation of Apple Corp in 1968 Harrison's compositions were no longer published by Northern Songs.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Long, Long, Long
Source:    CD: The Beatles
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Apple)
Year:    1968
    Written while the Beatles were in India studying Transcendental Meditiation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Long, Long, Long is one of four George Harrison compositions on the 1968 double LP The Beatles (aka the White Album). Of the four, Long, Long, Long is the most indicative of the direction Harrison's songwriting would take over the next few years, culminating with his three-disc box set, All Things Must Pass. The arrangement is sparse and the lyrics are deeply spiritual, yet open to interpretation. Harrison himself confirmed that the "you" in the lyrics refers to God rather than a specific person. Long, Long, Long is also one of the quietest Beatle songs ever recorded, standing in stark contrast to Helter Skelter, which precedes it on the album.

Artist:    Troyka
Title:    Burning Of The Witch
Source:    LP: Troyka
Writer(s):    Troyka
Label:    Cotillion
Year:    1970
    Depending on whose opinion is being voiced, Edmonton, Alberta's Troyka was either Canada's first psychedelic band, Canada's first prog-rock band, or Canada's first hard-rock power trio. Burning Of The Witch is a song that favor's the first opinion.

Artist:    Andromeda
Title:    Return To Sanity
Source:    British import CD: Definitive Collection (originally released in UK on LP: Andromeda)
Writer(s):    John Du Cann
Label:    Angel Air (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1969
    One of the most sought after albums of the late 1960s, Andromeda was the brainchild of guitarist John Du Cann, who, along with bassist Mick Hawksworth and drummer Ian McLane, recorded the LP in 1969. One of the most ambitious pieces on the album is Return To Sanity, an eight and a half minute long suite that consists of three parts: Breakdown, Hope and Conclusion. A lack of support from the band's label led to Du Cann accepting an offer to join Atomic Rooster the following year.

Artist:    Them
Title:    Just One Conception
Source:    LP: Time Out! Time In! For Them
Writer(s):    Them
Label:    Tower
Year:    1968
    Most of the songs on Them's second album without founder Van Morrison, Time Out! Time In! For Them, were written for the band by the wife and husband team of Sharon Pulley and Tom Lane. There were, however, a couple of exceptions, including Just One Conception, which was credited to the band itself. The track, which opens with massive sitar, shows just how deep into the psychedelic pool the original Irish punk band had dived by 1968.

Artist:    Gonn
Title:    Blackout Of Gretely
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Garrett/Moore
Label:    Rhino (original label: Emir)
Year:    1966
    Keokuk, Iowa was home to the band called Gonn, who released only two singles in their short recording career. The first of these was Blackout Of Gretely, a song recorded in the back room of a local electronics store using a total of two microphones, both of which were pointed at the band and their amplifiers. The track opens with the immortal words: "The universe is permeated with the smell of kerosene" followed by a scream and a repeating guitar riff that is as primitive as any ever recorded. Such was the legendary status of Blackout Of Gretely that Gonn actually reformed thirty years after the record was released for a tour of Europe.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2331 (starts 7/31/23) 

    This time around it's another musical journey from 1968 to 1975, with some seriously rockin' tunes following. To finish up we have an Atomic Rooster single that for some odd reason didn't chart in the US (in fact I'm not even sure if any commercial copies were ever pressed).

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Politician
Source:    CD: Wheels Of Fire
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    Polydor (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1968
    Despite its title, Cream's Politician, from the Wheels Of fire album, is really not the kind of scathing indictment you might expect from a track from 1968. Indeed, the song's lyrics are actually gentle satire rather than overt criticism. Eric Clapton's guitar work, however, is always a treat, and on Politician he knocks out not one, but two overdubbed solos at the same time, along with his basic guitar track. Controlled chaos at its best!

Artist:    Al Kooper/Michael Bloomfield/Harvey Brooks/Eddie Hoh
Title:    Blues For Nothing
Source:    CD: Super Session (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Al Kooper
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 1995
    Blues For Nothing was left off the original Super Session LP, presumably due to lack of space, or possibly a desire by Producer Al Kooper to maintain a balance between the guitar work of Michael Bloomfield on side one of the LP and Stephen Stills on side two.  Basically it's a blues instrumental played by four outstanding musicians that's available as a bonus track on the CD version of Super Session. That's good enough for me.

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 me wish I could be that sick sometime.

Artist:    Faces
Title:    Flying
Source:    LP: The Big Ball (originally released on LP: First Step)
Writer(s):    Stewart/Wood/Lane
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    Although credited to the Small Faces in North America, First Step was actually the debut album of Faces, a group combining the talents of Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood (from the Jeff Beck group) with what was left of the Small Faces (Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan) following the departure of bandleader Steve Marriott, who left to form Humble Pie. Unlike later Faces albums, First Step featured songwriting contributions from all five band members, including Stewart, Wood and Lane collaborating on the album's centerpiece, Flying.   

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Aqualung
Source:    CD: Aqualung
Writer(s):    Ian & Jennie Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1971
    Arguably Jethro's Tull most popular song, Aqualung was the title track from the band's fourth LP and lifted the group into the ranks of rock royalty. Like nearly all of Tull's catalog, Aqualung was written by vocalist/flautist Ian Anderson, who also played acoustic guitar on the track. The lyrics of the song were inspired by photographs of homeless men taken by Anderson's then-wife Jennie, who received co-writing credits on the piece.

Artist:    Tim Buckley
Title:    Move With Me
Source:    LP: Days Of Wine And Vinyl (originally released on LP: Greetings From L.A.)
Writer(s):    Buckley/Goldstein
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1972
    I have my doubts about whether Tim Buckley's Move With Me, from his Greeting From L.A. album, would pass muster with today's PC police, but then again I can't imagine Tim Buckley really giving a damn either. Anyway, here it is: decide for yourself.

Artist:    Doobie Brothers
Title:    Song To See You Through
Source:    CD: What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits
Writer(s):    Tom Johnston
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1974
    The title of the first track on the fourth Doobie Brothers album, What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, is pretty much self-explanatory. As for who Song To See You Through was written for, perhaps only guitarist/vocalist Tom Johnston knows for sure.

Artist:    Joni Mitchell
Title:    In France They Kiss On Main Street
Source:    LP: The Hissing Of Summer Lawns
Writer(s):    Joni Mitchell
Label:    Asylum
Year:    1975
    Joni Mitchell got to work on The Hissing Of Summer Lawns in early 1975, recording acoustic demos of new songs she had written after touring to support her 1974 hit album Court And Spark. Like its predecessor, The Hissing Of Summer Lawns featured several songs that combined elements of folk, rock and jazz into a style that was uniquely Mitchell's. In France They Kiss On Main Street, a song about coming of age in a small town that opens the album, included several guest musicians, including guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and several members of Tom Scott's L.A. Express, as well as such notables as James Taylor, David Crosby and Graham Nash on backup vocals.

Artist:    Mahogany Rush
Title:    Land Of 1000 Nights
Source:    Canadian import CD: Strange Universe
Writer(s):    Frank Marino
Label:    Just A Minute (original label: 20th Century)
Year:    1975
    Formed in Montreal in 1970, Mahogany Rush was, in its early days, a power trio led by guitarist Frank Marino, along with bassist Paul Harwood and drummer Jimmy Ayoub. Marino's style has often been compared to that of Jimi Hendrix, whom Marino cites as a major influence. Perhaps their most successful album was Strange Universe, recorded in Montreal and released in the US on the 20th Century label in 1975. Later in the decade the trio was joined by Marino's brother Vince on rhythm guitar and began touring as Frank Marino And Mahogany Rush.

tist:    Jo Jo Gunne
Title:    I Make Love
Source:    CD: Jo Jo Gunne/Bite Down Hard/Jumpin' The Gun/So…Where's The Show (originally released on LP: Jo Jo Gunne)
Writer(s):    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Rhino/Edsel (original label: Asylum)
Year:    1972
    I Make Love is the last track on side one of the first Jo Jo Gunne LP. Written by Jay Ferguson (formerly of Spirit), the song features a distinct opening guitar rift by Matt Andes. Other than that, it's probably the weakest track on a strong album, which puts it at a disadvantage.

Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Jail Bait
Source:    British import CD: The Collection (originally released on LP: Pilgrimage)
Writer(s):    Powell/Turner/Upton/Turner
Label:    Spectrum (original US label: Decca)
Year:    1971
    Featuring dueling lead guitars from Andy Powell and Ted Turner (no, not the media tycoon), Jail Bait is a classic example of what the British call "boogie rock". One of the most popular songs in Wishbone Ash's live repertoire, Jail Bait first appeared on the band's second album Pilgrimage in 1971.

Artist:    Atomic Rooster
Title:    Save Me
Source:    45 RPM single (promo)
Writer(s):    Vincent Crane
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1972
    Atomic Rooster was formed in 1969 by keyboardist Vincent Crane and drummer Carl Palmer following the dissolution of The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and continuing in the same style as the original band. The Rooster underwent several personnel changes over the years and often re-recorded new versions of earlier tracks. In fact, Save Me, a single released in early 1972 and later appearing on a 1973 LP, was itself a re-recording of Friday The 13th, the band's debut single from 1970. It was a bit too strange for American audiences and it is not known whether any retail copies of the record were released.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2330 (starts 7/24/23)

    This week we have a Bob Dylan Blonde On Blonde set, a long journey backwards through the years 1969 to 1964, a Cream set, an avant-garde King Crimson track and a progression through the years 1965 to 1970 with all the songs from even numbered years never having been played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era before. We start with a hit single, a B side and an album track...

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Elenore
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    The Turtles
Label:    White Whale
Year:    1968
    In 1968 White Whale Records was not particularly happy with the recent activities of their primary money makers, the Turtles. The band had been asserting its independence, even going so far as to self-produce a set of recordings that the label in turn rejected as having no commercial potential. The label wanted another Happy Together. The band responded by creating a facetious new song called Elenore. The song had deliberately silly lyrics such as "Elenore gee I think you're swell" and "you're my pride and joy etcetera" and gave production credit to former Turtles bassist Chip Douglas for the "Douglas F. Hatelid Foundation", which was in itself an in-joke referring to the pseudonym Douglas was forced to use as producer for the Monkees in 1967. Then a strange thing happened: the record became a hit. I suspect this was the event that began Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman's eventually metamorphosis into rock parody act Flo and Eddie.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    We Could Be So Good Together
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1968
    Released in advance of the third Doors album, We Could Be So Good Together was the B side of one of the most unusual songs to ever make the top 40 charts: The Unknown Soldier. Unconfirmed rumors about We Could Be So Good Together say that the song was actually written in the band's early days before their signing with Elektra Records, but was left off the first two Doors albums. Lyrically it does seem to share an optimism with earlier Jim Morrison lyrics that was largely replaced by cynicism in his later years. The single version contains a short Thelonius Monk riff about a minute and a half into the song that is missing from the LP version heard on Waiting For The Sun.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Happiness Is A Warm Gun
Source:    CD: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Apple)
Year:    1968
    It is by now a well-known fact that very few of the songs on the 1968 double-LP The Beatles (aka the White Album) actually featured the entire group. One of those few (and reportedly both Paul McCartney's and George Harrison's favorite song on the album) was Happiness Is A Warm Gun. Written by John Lennon, the piece is actually a pastiche of three song fragments, each of which is radically different from the others. The opening lines (uncredited) were contributed by Derek Taylor, a London promoter who was instrumental in bringing the Jimi Hendrix Experience to America to perform at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967. The track, one of the most musically challenging in the entire Beatles catalog, took three days to record, and was produced by Chris Thomas, who was filling in for a vacationing George Martin at the time.

Artist:     Bob Dylan
Title:     Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35
Source:     Austrian import CD: 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:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Pledging My Time
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The B side of the first single from Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde album was Pledging My Time, a blues tune that features Robbie Robertson (who had been touring with Dylan) on guitar. The song was one of three tracks recorded in four takes in Nashville on March 8th of 1966. The single version of the song heard here fades after only two minutes (the album version being considerably longer).

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Absolutely Sweet Marie
Source:    Mono LP: Blonde On Blonde
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    Bob Dylan's Absolutely Sweet Marie, from his 1966 album Blonde On Blonde is best known for the line "To live outside the law you must be honest". The line was not entirely without precedent, however. Woody Guthrie, in his notes about the song Pretty Boy Floyd, said "I love a good man outside the law, just as I hate a bad man inside the law". And then there is the line "When you live outside the law, you have to eliminate dishonesty', from the 1958 film The Lineup, which Dylan may or may not have seen (I know I haven't). Regardless, it's Dylan's line that has had the greatest cultural impact.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    Don't Bring Me Down
Source:    LP: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals-Vol. II (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Animalization)
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    I originally bought the Animals Animalization album in early 1967 and immediately fell in love with the first song, Don't Bring Me Down. Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Don't Bring Me Down is one of the few songs written for the Animals by professional songwriters that lead vocalist Eric Burdon actually liked.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    There She Goes
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Lindsay/Revere
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    Paul Revere And The Raiders hit their creative and commercial peak in 1966. The band, which consisted of Paul Revere on keyboards, Mark Lindsay on lead vocals and saxophone, Drake Levin on lead guitar, Phil "Fang" Volk on bass and Mike "Smitty"Smith on drums, released three albums that year, the middle of which was Midnight Ride. The album was their first to feature mostly original tunes written by various band members; in fact it was the only Raiders album on which every member got a song credit. The shortest track on the album is There She Goes, a fast-paced tune that finishes out side one, and was chosen to be the B side of the hit single Hungry.

Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    Gimme Some Lovin'
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Winwood/Winwood/Davis
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1966
    By mid-1966 the Spencer Davis Group had already racked up an impressive number of British hit singles, but had yet to crack the US top 40. This changed when the band released Gimme Some Lovin', an original composition that had taken the band about an hour to develop in the studio. The single, released on Oct 28, went to the #2 spot on the British charts. Although producer Jimmy Miller knew he had a hit on his hands, he decided to do a complete remix of the song, including a brand new lead vocal track, added backup vocals and percussion and plenty of reverb, for the song's US release. His strategy was successful; Gimme Some Lovin', released in December of 1966, hit the US charts in early 1967, eventually reaching the #7 spot. The US remix has since become the standard version of the song, and has appeared on countless compilations over the years.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    The Boxer
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bridge Over Troubled Water)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    The only Simon And Garfunkel record released in 1969, The Boxer was one of the duo's most successful singles, making the top 10 in nine countries, including the US, where it hit the #7 spot. The track, which runs more than five minutes, was later included on the 1970 LP Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Careful With That Axe, Eugene
Source:    CD: Relics (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Waters/Wright/Mason/Gilmour
Label:    Capitol (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    Despite being originally released only as a B side of a non-charting single (and not being released in the US at all) Be Careful With That Axe, Eugene is one of the most popular Pink Floyd tracks from the 1960s. This is due in part to the inclusion of a live version of the song on the 1969 LP Ummagumma. The original studio version was also included on the 1971 compilation album Relics. It is one of the first songs credited to all four band members following the departure of founder Syd Barrett.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Plastic Fantastic Lover
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Marty Balin
Label:    RCA
Year:    1967
    Jefferson Airplane scored their first top 10 hit with Somebody To Love, the second single released from the Surrealistic Pillow album. Almost immediately, forward-thinking FM stations began playing other tracks from the album. One of those favored album tracks, Plastic Fantastic Lover, ended up being the B side of the band's follow-up single, White Rabbit. When the Airplane reunited in 1989 and issued their two-disc retrospective, 2400 Fulton Street, they issued a special stereo pressing of the single on white vinyl as a way of promoting the collection.

Artist:    Warner Brothers
Title:    Lonely I
Source:    Mono CD: Oh Yeah! The Best Of Dunwich Records (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Warner
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    Peoria, Ilinois, was home to the Warner Bros. Combo, a group made up of brothers Larry and Al Warner along with Tom Stovall and Ken Elam. They released their first single, a cover of Mairzy Doats backed with Three Little Fishes, on the local Kandy Kane label in 1963. The following year they released four singles on three different labels, including a re-release of their first single on the Hollywood-based Everest label. They released one single a year from 1965 to 1968 on four different Chicago-based labels, including a song called I Won't Be The Same Without Her for the Dunwich label in 1966. The B side of that single was Lonely I (the letter I, not the number 1). Oddly enough the word "lonely" never appears in this otherwise blatant swipe of Clarence "Frogman" Henry's Ain't Got No Home.

Artist:    Ban
Title:    Thinking Of Your Fate
Source:    Mono British import CD: With Love...A Pot Of Flowers (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Tony McGuire
Label:    Big Beat
Year:    Recorded 1965, released 2010
    One of the first garage bands signed to Bob Shad's Brent label was The Ban. Based in Lompoc, California, the Ban was led by guitarist/vocalist Tony McGuire, who also wrote the band's original material, and also included Oliver McKinney, whose wailing organ combined with Frank Straits distorted bass and Randy Gordon's driving drums to create Thinking Of Your Fate, a garage band classic that sat on the shelf for 35 years before finally being released on the expanded version of the Mainstream Records' sampler With Love...A Pot Of Flowers.

Artist:    Roy Orbison
Title:    Oh, Pretty Woman
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Orbison/Dees
Label:    Monument
Year:    1964
    Although the vast majority of Roy Orbison's hits were love ballads such as It's Over and Blue Bayou, his best-known song is the classic rocker Oh, Pretty Woman. The song managed to work its way to the top of both US and British charts during the height of the British Invasion. Orbison, in fact, was even more successful in the UK than in his native US, scoring two #1 hits on the British charts in 1964, the only American artist to do so.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    Postures (Leave Your Body Behind)
Source:    CD: Easter Everywhere
Writer(s):    Hall/Erickson
Label:    Charly (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1967
    There was so much going on with the 13th Floor Elevators in the months leading up to the release of their second LP, Easter Everywhere, that a book could easily be written about it all. The group returned to Texas following a successful California tour in late 1966 and were hailed as returning heroes, largely thanks to the success of their first single, You're Gonna Miss Me. Soon, however, things started to go wrong. The band was under considerable pressure to begin sessions for a new album, but the band members themselves were divided on whether to stay in Texas and work on studio projects or return to California, where the population was much more receptive to the psychedelic sounds the Elevators themselves had helped pioneer. The issue was finally decided when lead guitarist Stacy Sutherland, the one undecided member, got his probation revoked and was not allowed to leave the state. The band's rhythm section, Ronnie Leatherman and John Walton, went to California anyway, leaving Sutherland, guitarist/vocalist Roky Erickson and electric jug player Tommy Hall looking for replacements. Easter Anywhere was conceived as a major spiritual statement, meant to tie together elements of eastern and western religion with mind-expansion elements of LSD; an ambitious project, to be sure. Unfortunately, by the time the new bassist and drummer, Danny Galindo and Danny Thomas, arrived at the rural hunting cabin the rest of the band was hiding out in, Hall and Erickson were so deeply into the project (and LSD), that they were unable to effectively communicate their ideas to the new guys. As a result the group spent an excessive amount of time in the studio with little to show for it. Eventually, when time and money ran out the album was declared finished and Easter Anywhere was released in November of 1967.

Artist:     Who
Title:     I Can See For Miles
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     Pete Townshend
Label:     Decca
Year:     1967
     I Can See For Miles continued a string of top 10 singles in the UK and was the Who's biggest US hit ever. Pete Townshend, however, was disappointed with the song's performance on the UK charts. He said that the song was the ultimate Who song and as such it should have charted even higher than it did. It certainly was one of the heaviest songs of its time and there is some evidence that it prompted Paul McCartney to come up with Helter Skelter in an effort to take the heaviest song ever title back for the Beatles. What makes the story even more bizarre is that at the time McCartney reportedly had never actually heard I Can See For Miles and was going purely by what he read in a record review. The single mix heard here is preferred by many Who fans, as it is brighter and more energetic sounding than the stereo version of the song on the album The Who Sell Out.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Sweet Wine
Source:    CD: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Baker/Godfrey
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1966
    When Cream was formed, both bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker had new music for the band to record (guitarist Eric Clapton having chosen to shut up and play his guitar for the most part). Most of these new songs, however, did not yet have words to go with the music. To remedy the situation, both musicians brought in outside lyricists. Baker chose poet Pete Brown, while Bruce chose to bring in his wife, Janet Godfrey. After a short time it became apparent that Bruce and Brown had a natural affinity for each other's material, and formed a partnership that would last years. Baker, meanwhile, tried working with Godfrey, but the two only came up with one song together, Sweet Wine, which was included on the band's debut LP, Fresh Cream.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Crossroads
Source:    CD: Best of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Wheels Of Fire)
Writer:    Robert Johnson
Label:    Priority (original label: Atco)
Year:    1968
    Robert Johnson's Crossroads has come to be regarded as a signature song for Eric Clapton, who's live version (recorded at the Fillmore East) was first released on the Cream album Wheels Of Fire.

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

Artist:    It's A Beautiful Day
Title:    Don And Dewey
Source:    LP: Marrying Maiden
Writer(s):    David LaFlamme
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1970
    The highlight of the 1970 album Deep Purple In Rock is the ten-minute long antiwar song Child In Time, which got a considerable amount of airplay, both in the US and Europe. Several critics picked up on the fact that the song's opening organ riff was an exact copy of the opening of Bombay Calling, a track from the first album by It's A Beautiful Day, released in 1968. While this may seem on the surface to be a clear case of plagiarism, there are other factors to consider. For one thing, once you get past the intro, the two songs move in entirely different directions. Also, there is good reason to believe that Deep Purple "borrowed" the riff (which they freely admitted at the time, incidentally) as a bit of quid pro quo in the first place. You see, two years earlier, at around the same time as the first It's A Beautiful Day album came out, Deep Purple released their second hit single in the US, a cover of Neil Diamond's Kentucky Woman. The B side of that single was an instrumental called Hard Road, that also appeared on their second LP, The Book Of Taleisyn, under the title Wring That Neck. Two years later, at around the same time that Deep Purple In Rock appeared on the record racks, the second It's A Beautiful Day album, Marrying Maiden, was released. The opening of that album, an instrumental called Don And Dewey, bears more than a passing resemblance to Hard Road (Wring That Neck); it is practically a note for note copy of the Deep Purple track, albeit scored for different instruments. So the question is: were both Child In Time and Don And Dewey examples of plagiarism, or were they in fact sly declarations of admiration between the two bands? Whatever the answer is, it doesn't change the fact that they are all excellent tracks; in fact, Don And Dewey is by far the best song on Marrying Maiden, and accordingly got the most airplay, especially on the US West Coast.

Artist:    King Crimson
Title:    Moonchild
Source:    CD: In The Court Of The Crimson King
Writer(s):    Fripp/McDonald/Lake/Giles/Sinfield
Label:    Discipline Global Mobile (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1969
    Of the five original tracks on the 1969 album In The Court Of The Crimson King, Moonchild has gotten the least amount of radio exposure over the years. This is probably because the bulk of the track consists of, well, noodling. The track's official title is: Moonchild (Including "The Dream" And "The Illusion"), with the first two minutes of the piece (The Dream) featuring mainly Ian McDonald's mellotron playing supplemented by Greg Lake's vocals. The remainder of the twelve-minute track is purely improvisational, with long periods of near-silence that, in the days before digital recording, were almost always marred by tics and pops that accumulate on the surface of vinyl records. Luckily, the remastered CD has none of those flaws.

Artist:    Syndicats
Title:    Crawdaddy Simone
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Williams/Fenwick
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1965
    The Syndicats were formed in Tottenham in 1963 by bassist Kevin Driscoll and guitarist Steve Howe. The band's original manager was Driscoll's mother, who got them an audition with producer Joe Meek, who had made history in 1962 as the producer of the first British single to ever top the US charts, the Tornado's Telstar. Meek, who built his own studio in North London, had proved that Telstar was no fluke when he produced the Honeycombs' Have I The Right in 1964. Meek took an immediate liking to the Syndicats as well and produced three singles for the band, the last of which was a song called On The Horizon. For the B side of that single he told the band to "just go wild" on a tune written by keyboardist Jeff Williams and guitarist Ray Fenwick, who had replaced Howe (who would go on to greater fame as a member of Yes) prior to the recording sessions that resulted in Crawdaddy Simone. Like all of Meek's productions, the song starts off in your face and pretty much stays there for the next three minutes and fourteen seconds.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Long Long While
Source:    LP: More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies) (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richard
Label:    London (original British label: Decca)
Year:    1966
    As with the Beatles, there are many discrepancies between the British and American Rolling Stones catalogs from the years 1963 through early 1967. British albums had more songs than their American counterparts, and generally did not include tracks that had appeared as singles. Albums released in the US, however, almost always included the latest singles, meaning that several tracks from the original British versions of LPs such as Aftermath were absent from the American releases. As a general rule those missing tracks (including some B sides) ended up on US-only albums such as Flowers within a year or two of their original UK releases. A few tunes, however, got left out altogether. Several of these were finally included on a 1972 US LP called More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies), including a Mick Jagger/Keith Richards tune called Long Long While that had originally appeared in the UK as the B side of Paint It, Black. Although recorded in 1966, the song feels more like a 1964 kind of tune, similar to the type of song Van Morrison was recording with his band Them at that time.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    May This Be Love
Source:    LP: Are You Experienced?
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    The original UK version of Are You Experienced featured May This Be Love as the opening track of side two of the album. In the US, the UK single The Wind Cries Mary was substituted for it, with May This Be Love buried deep on side one. It's obvious that Hendrix thought more highly of the song than the people at Reprise who picked the track order for the US album.

Artist:    Sweetwater
Title:    Rondeau
Source:    LP: Sweetwater
Writer(s):    Fred Herrera
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    Trivia question: who was the first band to perform at Woodstock? Most people would reply that Richie Havens was the first to take the stage, but Havens was essentially a solo acoustic act (with acoustic accompaniment) rather than an actual band. The reason Havens got to be the opening act was that the scheduled band was stuck in traffic and eventually had to be flown in by helicopter. That band was Sweetwater, who ended up being the first electric group to hit the stage at Woodstock. Based in Los Angeles, Sweetwater was made up of veterans of the L.A. coffee house scene, including Nansi Nevins on lead vocals, Fred Herrera on bass guitar and backing vocals, August Burns on cello, Elpidio Cobian on congas and other percussion, Alan Malarowitz on drums, Albert Moore on flute and backing vocals, R.G. Carlyle on acoustic guitar, bongos and backing vocals, and Alex Del Zoppo on keyboards and backing vocals. The group was not afraid to experiment with a variety of genres, as can be heard on the a capella track Rondeau.

Artist:            Jaggerz
Title:        The Rapper
Source:    Mono CD: Battle Of The Band, vol. two (originally released on 45 RPM vinyl)
Writer(s):    Dominic Ierace
Label:    Era (original label: Kama Sutra)
Year:       1969
       The Jaggerz, a band from Pittsburgh formed by vocalist Dominic Ierace (later known as Donnie Iris) was one of the few acts signed to the Kama Sutra label after the original Kama Sutra had morphed into Buddah Records. Despite the band's name (which is actually Western Pennsylvania slang for those sharp things along the branches of bushes) they sounded nothing like the Rolling Stones.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Hey Lawdy Mama
Source:    CD: Born To Be Wild-A Retrospective (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Kay/Byrom/Edmonton
Label:    MCA
Year:    1970
    When John Kay announced the dissolution of Steppenwolf in 1971 he referred to the band having been locked into a certain image and style. That style is perhaps best typified by the 1970 single Hey Lawdy Mama, originally released in between the albums Monster and Steppenwolf 7.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Big House From Speonks
Source:    Mono LP: Daydream
Writer(s):    Sebastian/Boone/Yanovsky/Butler
Label:    Kama Sutra
Year:    1966
    The Lovin' Spoonful are generally known for their feelgood tunes like Do You Believe In Magic and Daydream. Once in a while, however, their true identity as one of the best rock bands of the mid-1960s shines through on tracks like Big House From Speonks. Essentially a studio jam, Big House is one of the few Spoonful tracks to be credited to the entire band, and has an energy on par with bands like the Yardbirds and Rolling Stones. I wish they had recorded more stuff like this.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Who Am I
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Electric Music For The Mind And Body was pretty much missing any of the quiet, introspective tunes that Country Joe McDonald had written before forming Country Joe And The Fish. The second album by the band, I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die, made up for it by including songs like Who Am I. McDonald continues to write songs like this over 50 years later.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2330 (starts 7/24/23) 

    This week's show is made up mostly of instrumentals that have never been played on Rockin' in the Days of Confusion before. In fact, except for some backup singers wordlessly singing a tune lifted from yet another instrumental (on the Cozy Powell track) there are no vocals whatsoever after the first two songs. Enjoy!

Artist:    Wet Willie
Title:    Keep On Smilin'
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Hall/Hall/Hirsch/Anthony/Ross
Label:    Capricorn
Year:    1974
    Formed as Fox in Mobile, Alabama in 1969, Wet Willie was one of the first Southern Rock bands to score a top 10 single with Keep On Smilin' in 1974. The band, consisting of the Hall brothers Jimmy (vocals, saxophone, harmonica) and Jack (bass), John David Anthony (keyboards), Ricky Hirsch (guitar) and Lesis Ross (drums), relocated to Macon, Georgia in 1971 where they signed with Phil Walden's Capricorn label, releasing several single and albums over the next few years. The group still performs occasionally as either Wet Willie or the Wet Willie Band, depending on whether Jimmy Hall is onstage.

Artist:    Crow
Title:    Gonna Leave A Mark
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Larry Weigand
Label:    Amaret
Year:    1969
    Crow was formed in 1967 as South 40, using that name in their native Minneapolis until signing a contract with Amaret Records in 1969.   
Although it was a hit in 1970, Crow's most famous song, Evil Woman (Don't Play Your Games With Me), was actually released in 1969 on the band's debut LP, Crow Music. Like many of the band's tunes, the B side of that single, Gonna Leave A Mark, was written by bassist Larry Weigand. Other members of the band included Weigand's brother Dick on guitar, David Wagner on vocals, Kink Middlemist on keyboards and Denny Craswell on drums.

Artist:    Savoy Brown
Title:    Is That So
Source:    LP: Raw Sienna
Writer(s):    Kim Simmonds
Label:    Parrot
Year:    1970
    Savoy Brown's fifth LP, Raw Sienna, is often cited as the band's best album. It was also the last to feature vocalist Chris Youlden, who left the group for a less than stellar solo career following its release. The longest track on the album, however, did not feature Youlden at all. Bandleader Kim Simmonds provided the group with Is That So, with Simmonds on lead guitar, "Lonesome" Dave Peverett on rhythm guitar, Tone Stevens on bass and Roger Earl on drums.

Artist:    Allman Brother Band
Title:    Mountain Jam
Source:    CD: Fillmore East, February 1970
Writer(s):    Lietch/Allman/Allman/Betts/Oakley/Jaimoe/Trucks
Label:    Bear's Sonic Journals (original label: Grateful Dead)
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 1996
    In 1970 digital technology was only found in science fiction novels. In real life, virtually all professional recording was done on analog tapes with running times of maybe 20 minutes each. As a general rule there was only one tape machine in use on live recordings, which meant that portions of a performance would not get recorded due to tapes being changed. With a band like the Allman Brothers, who favored long jams, this changing of the tapes would sometimes happen in the middle of a song. Such was the case with Mountain Jam on both February 13th and 14th, 1970 at the Fillmore East. In 1996,  Owsley ("Bear") Stanley, who had engineered the original recordings, and the Grateful Dead's 90s recording engineer Jeffrey Norman, were able to create a 30 minute long track combining the two fragments for an album called Fillmore East, February 1970. In 2018 the CD was remastered and re-released by the Owsley Stanley Foundation as part of the Bear's Sonic Journals series.

Artist:    Cozy Powell
Title:    Dance With The Devil
Source:    45 RPM promo single (released in UK commercially)
Writer(s):    Dennys/Haye
Label:    Chrysalis (UK label: RAK)
Year:    1973
    British drummer Cozy Powell (born Colin Flooks in Cirencester, Gloucestershire in 1947) was already well-known among British rock royalty when he was invited to join the Jeff Beck Group in 1970. After that particular iteration of the group fell apart after two albums, Powell formed a band called Bedlam while also doing session work for RAK Records. This led to solo work, including Dance With The Devil, an instrumental that made it into the British top 5 in 1973 while becoming his only single to chart in the US at #49. Basically a drum solo, the track features backup vocalists singing the melody to Jimi Hendrix's 3rd Stone From The Sun. Playing bass on the track (albeit somewhat obscured in the mix) is Suzy Quatro.

Artist:    Seatrain
Title:    Flute Thing
Source:    LP: Watch
Writer(s):    Al Kooper
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1973
    By 1973, Seatrain was approaching the end of the line. At this point the band consisted of Julio Coronado (drums, percussion), Bill Elliot (keyboards) Lloyd Baskin (keyboards, vocals) Andy Kulberg (bass, flute, vocals) and Peter Walsh (guitar), with only Kulberg remaining from the band's original lineup. Prior to beginning sessions for their final album, Watch, Seatrain lost two key members, Peter Rowan and Richard Greene, who left to form a band called Muleskinner. This led to an increased use of studio musicians on Watch, which in retrospect was not the best idea, considering that the early 70s were a time when album buyers prized the musicianship of individual band members above all other considerations. The one track that did focus on musicianship was actually a cover song. Al Kooper had originally written the Flute Thing as a showcase for the talents of Andy Kulberg when they were both members of the Blues Project. This updated version of the song has a faster tempo, giving it more of a bop jazz feel.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2329 (starts 7/17/23)

    This week we do a bit of exploring, as over a third of the tracks have never been played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era before. This includes a bit of genre bending in our Advanced Psych segment, along with what is probably the most obscure Simon & Garfunkel song ever released on vinyl, and a rather unusual Country Joe & The Fish set.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Crosstown Traffic
Source:    CD: The Ultimate Experience (originally released on LP: Electric Ladyland)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    By 1968 it didn't matter one bit whether the Jimi Hendrix Experience had any hit singles; their albums were guaranteed to be successful. Nonetheless the Electric Ladyland album had no less that three singles on it (although one was a new stereo mix of a 1967 single). The last of these was Crosstown Traffic, a song that has been included on several anthologies over the years.

Artist:    Eric Burdon And The Animals
Title:    River Deep, Mountain High
Source:    CD: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals 1966-1968 (originally released on LP: Love Is)
Writer(s):    Spector/Barry/Greenwich
Label:    Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1968
    The final album by Eric Burdon And The Animals was Love Is, a double-LP released in 1968. By this time the band's lineup had changed considerably from the group Burdon and drummer Barry Jenkins had formed in 1967, with guitarist/violinist John Weider the only other original member to still be with them. Joining the three originals were bassist/keyboardist Zoot Money and guitarist Andy Summers, both of whom had been with Dantalian's Chariot (Summers of course would eventually attain star status as a member of the Police). Additionally, the Soft Machine's Robert Wyatt provided background vocals on the album's first track, a seven and a half minute long cover of Tina Turner's River Deep, Mountain High.

Artist:    Salvation
Title:    Getting My Hat
Source:    German import CD: Salvation
Writer(s):    Al Linde
Label:    Head (original US label: ABC)
Year:    1968
    If there is any one band that typifies the San Francisco music scene of 1968 it would have to be Salvation. Originally from Seattle and known as the New Salvation Army Banned, the group came to the attention of ABC Records after a series of successful gigs at Golden Gate Park. The band was often seen cruising the streets of San Francisco in a converted bus and often found themselves sharing the playbill with acts like Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane and the Doors. After recording their debut LP, Salvation, the group did a coast to coast promotional tour "from the Golden Gate to the Village Gate", only to find themselves stranded on the east coast when their management team absconded with the band's advance money. The band's fate was sealed when they, to quote keyboardist Art Resnick, "acted so incredibly wild at the main offices of ABC In in NYC when going there to meet all the top execs. It was totally insane! Wilder than any rock movie I've ever seen."

Artist:    Simon & Garfunkel
Title:    You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    With only one exception, every song recorded by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel appeared as an album track. That exception was a song called You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies, which was released in July of 1967 as the B side of a single called Fakin' It. Both songs benefitted from the duo having signed a contract that specified that Columbia Records, rather than the artists themselves, would pay for studio time. Simon & Garfunkel (and their producer, John Simon) took advantage of the situation by using extra musicians and sophisticated studio effects in a way similar to what Brian Wilson and others on the L.A. scene were doing at the time. The single's A side, Fakin' It, was eventually included in the duo's next LP, Bookends, but You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies remained only available as a B side until 2001, when it was included on the remastered version of Bookends as a bonus track.

Artist:     Donovan
Title:     Epistle To Dippy
Source:     CD: Mellow Yellow (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Donovan Leitch
Label:     EMI (original US label: Epic)
Year:     1967
     Following up on his successful Mellow Yellow album, Donovan released Epistle To Dippy in the spring of 1967. The song, utilizing the same kind of instrumentation as Mellow Yellow, was further proof that the Scottish singer was continuing to move beyond the restrictions of the "folk singer" label and was quickly becoming the model for what would come to be called "singer/songwriters" in the following decade.

Artist:    Butterfield Blues Band
Title:    Drivin' Wheel
Source:    LP: The Resurrection Of Pigboy Crabshaw
Writer(s):    Roosevelt Sykes
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    After two critically acclaimed LPs with the Butterfield Blues Band, guitarist Michael Bloomfield decided to get into other things in early 1967. Meanwhile, Paul Butterfield decided to add a horn section rather than replace Bloomfield. This gave the band's other guitarist, Elvin Bishop, an opportunity to strut his stuff. He did so well at strutting his stuff that Butterfield decided to name the band's next album The Resurrection Of Pigboy Crabshaw (Pigboy being Bishop's nickname). The album contained several cover versions of blues classics, including Drivin' Wheel, originally released as Drivin' Wheel Blues in 1936 by The Honey Dripper (Roosevelt Sykes).

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Dance The Night Away
Source:    Mono European import LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    Lilith (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    With the album Disraeli Gears, Cream established itself as having a psychedelic side as well as their original blues orientation. Most of the more psychedelic material, such as Dance the Night Away, was from the songwriting team of Jack Bruce and Pete Brown. Bruce provides the melody line on vocals, with guitarist Eric Clapton singing harmony throughout the piece.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    Two Trains Running
Source:    Mono CD: Projections
Writer(s):    McKinley Morganfield
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:    1966
    Possibly the most influential (yet least known outside of musicians' circles) band of the Psychedelic Era was the Blues Project. Formed in 1965 in Greenwich Village, the band worked its way from coast to coast playing mostly college campuses, in the process blazing a path that continues to be followed by underground/progressive/alternative artists. As if founding the whole college circuit wasn't enough, they were arguably the very first jam band, as their version of the Muddy Waters classic Two Trains Running shows. Among those drawing their inspiration from the Blues Project were the Warlocks, a group of young musicians who were traveling with Ken Kesey on the Electric Cool-Aid Acid Test tour bus. The Warlocks would soon change their name to the Grateful Dead and take the jam band concept to a whole new level. Still, they may never have moved in that direction at all if it weren't for the Blues Project leading the way.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Bringing Me Down
Source:    LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (also released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Balin/Kantner
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    Released mainly to San Francisco Bay area radio stations and record stores, Jefferson Airplane's third single, Bringing Me Down, from the LP Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, is an early collaboration between vocalist Marty Balin and guitarist/vocalist Paul Kantner. Balin had invited Kantner into the band without having heard him play a single note. It turned out to be one of many savvy decisions by the young bandleader.
Artist:      Turtles
Title:     Wanderin' Kind
Source:      Mono CD: All The Singles (originally released on LP: It Ain't Me Babe)
Writer(s):    Howard Kaylan
Label:    Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
Year:     1966
     White Whale Records, being a typical L.A. label, insisted on using professional songwriters for almost all the Turtles' A sides. The band was allowed to write its own material for the B sides, however. One of the earliest was Wanderin' Kind, which had already been released as the opening track on the Turtles' 1965 debut LP, It Ain't Me Babe. The song was written by lead vocalist Howard Kaylan, who was then still in his teens. Kaylan would end up co-writing many more Turtles tracks, as well as most of Flo & Eddie's material a few years later.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Just Let Go
Source:    LP: A Web Of Sound
Writer(s):    Saxon/Hooper/Savage
Label:    GNP Crescendo
Year:    1966
    After listening to Just Let Go, from the second Seeds album, A Web Of Sound, it's easy to see why there were some in Los Angeles that were convinced that the band was actually from another planet. An acid-rock classic.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Source:    Mono CD: The Complete Reprise Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Electric Prunes)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Mantz
Label:    Real Gone Music/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    The Electric Prunes biggest hit was I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), released in late 1966 and hitting the charts in early 1967. The record, initially released without much promotion from the record label, was championed by Seattle DJ Pat O'Day of KJR radio, and was already popular in that area when it hit the national charts (thus explaining why so many people assumed the band was from Seattle). I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) has come to be one of the defining songs of the psychedelic era and was the opening track on both the original Lenny Kaye Nuggets compilation and Rhino's first Nuggets LP.

Artist:    Rising Sons
Title:    Take A Giant Step
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on CD:The Rising Sons featuring Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder)
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 1992
    Popular Los Angeles club band The Rising Sons were blessed with the talents of not one, but three musicians that would go on to become highly respected in the music business: vocalist Taj Mahal, guitarist Ry Cooder, and singer/songwriter Jesse Lee Kincaid. At the time, however, Columbia Records had no clue how to market an interracial country-blues/rock band. After an early single bombed the band attempted a more commercial sounding tune, the Gerry Goffin/ Carole King penned Take A Giant Step, but Columbia sat on it, as well as over an album's worth of other material. The song itself became well known when the Monkees released it as the B side of their debut single, Last Train To Clarksville. Taj Mahal, who liked the lyrics but not the fast tempo of the original version, re-recorded the song at a slower pace for his 1969 album Giant Step, making it one of his signature songs in the process.

Artist:    Brewer & Shipley
Title:    Witchi-Tai-To
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock
Writer(s):    Jim Pepper
Label:    Sony Music (original label: Kama Sutra)
Year:    1969
    Oklahoma City-born Michael Brewer first met Ohio native Tom Shipley at the Blind Owl Coffee House in Kent, Ohio in 1964. The two crossed paths from time to time over the next few years, with both of them finding themselves in Los Angeles in 1967. They first recorded together as the Garden Club, backing up vocalist Ruthann Friedman. Brewer and Shipley both became staff songwriters for A&M Records and recorded their first LP for the label, Down In L.A. in 1968. They went up the coast to San Francisco's Golden State Recorders to make their second LP. Weeds, produced by Nick Gravenites, was released in 1969 on the Kama Sutra label. Gravenites brought in several notable guest musicians, including Butterfield Blues Band alumni Mike Bloomfield and Mark Naftalin and the ubiquitous Nicky Hopkins for the album, which was a moderate success due to the inclusion of Witchi-Tai-To, a tune written by jazz saxophonist Jim Pepper and released by the short-lived band Everything Is Everything the same year. Brewer & Shipley decided to quit California altogether following the release of Weeds and moved to Missouri, where they recorded their most successful album, Tarkio, featuring the hit single One Toke Over The Line in 1970.

Artist:    The Sensational Country Blues Wonders
Title:    Airwaves
Source:    CD: The Adventures Of A Psychedelic Cowboy
Writer(s):    Gary Van Miert
Label:    self-published
Year:    2021
    Thanks to the advances of digital technology in the 21st century, it is now possible, and even common, for what sounds like a band to turn out to be the work of just one or two people. Such is the case with The Sensational Country Blues Wonders, who are actually Gary Van Miert. Van Miert, whose style incorporates elements of traditional country & western, blues, gospel and more recently, psychedelia, has been a fixture on the North New Jersey/NYC scene for several years. The lyrics of the song Airwaves, from his 2021 album The Adventures Of A Psychedelic Cowboy, give a clue as to how he came to develop his unique brand of Americana.

Artist:    Tears For Fears
Title:    Sowing The Seeds Of Love
Source:    British import CD single
Writer(s):    Orzabal/Smith
Label:    Fontana
Year:    1989
    Although generally not considered a psychedelic band, Tears For Fears managed to effectively channel George Martin's Magical Mystery Tour production techniques (e.g. I Am The Walrus) on their most political recording, 1989's Sowing The Seeds Of Love. Written in response to Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party's winning of a third consecutive term in office in June of 1987, the track reflects Roland Orzabal's working-class sensibilities with lines like "Politician granny with your high ideals, have you no idea how the majority feels?"

Artist:    700 Miles
Title:    Watershed
Source:    10" maxi-single
Writer(s):    Carlin/700 Miles
Label:    RCA
Year:    1993
    Formed in the late 1980s by Singer/guitarist John Carlin, the Next Big Thing decided to relocate from New York City to Detroit in the early 1990s, changing their name to 700 Miles (the distance from New York to Detroit) in the process. They released their self-title debut LP in 1993, along with a maxi-single featuring the last track on the album itself, Watershed, backed with...but no, I'll save that for another time.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Jingo
Source:    LP: Santana
Writer(s):    Babatunde Olatunji
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    Jingo was the first single from Santana's debut LP. Originally credited to the band, it was actually a cover of Jin-go-lo-ba, a 1959 album track by Nigerian percussionist Babatunde Olatunji. Santana's version of the tune failed to make the top 40, peaking at #56 during an eight week run on the charts.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Colors For Susan
Source:    LP: I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die
Writer:    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    The second Country Joe And The Fish album, I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die, was, like the band's debut LP, made up of equal parts acid-rock, jug band and what would come to be known as "rock and soul" music. The most acid-rock sounding track on the album is the instrumental Colors For Susan, which is kind of like Bass Strings minus the lyrics.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Sing Sing Sing
Source:    LP: The Life And Times Of Country Joe And The Fish (originally released on LP: CJ Fish)
Writer(s):    Barry Melton
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1970
    By 1970, only two of the original members of Country Joe And The Fish were still with the band. Since those two were Country Joe McDonald and Barry "The Fish" Melton, however,  the band's sound really hadn't changed much since 1965. As usual, most of the songs on the group's fifth album, CJ Fish, were written by McDonald. There were a couple of exceptions, however, including the album's opening track, Sing Sing Sing, which was written by Melton and has a much more commercial sound than the rest of the LP.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    The Fish Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag
Source:    LP: I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    A relatively new arrival on the highly politicized Berkeley folk music scene in 1965, Country Joe McDonald had already organized a loose group of musicians to play at "teach-ins" designed to educate the public about what was really going on in Vietnam. He was also attempting to put together a newspaper with a similar focus, but found himself short of usable copy. His solution was to create a "talking issue" by inserting a 7" 33 1/3 RPM record into the paper. His own contribution to the record was the first recorded version of a song that would later become one of the best-known antiwar tunes ever penned: the iconic I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag. The song was re-recorded by the electric version of Country Joe & The Fish for their second LP.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    (Ballad Of The) Hip Death Goddess
Source:    LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer(s):    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    Ultimate Spinach was the brainchild of Ian Bruce-Douglas, who wrote and arranged all the band's material. Although the group had no hit singles, some tracks, such as (Ballad of the) Hip Death Goddess received a significant amount of airplay on progressive "underground" FM stations. The recording has in more recent years been used by movie producers looking to invoke a late 60s atmosphere.

Artist:    Fleetwood Mac
Title:    Need Your Love So Bad
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Golden Days Of British Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    William and Mertis John
Label:    Sire (original label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    As was the usual practice in the UK during the 1960s, Fleetwood Mac released a series of non-album singles from 1968 through 1971, while also releasing nearly half a dozen LPs over the same period. One of those singles was Need Your Love So Bad, a remake of a 1955 blues hit by Little Willie John. Fleetwood Mac's version of the song, sung by Peter Green, was fairly faithful to John's original recording, and ended up peaking at the #31 spot on the British charts. The band's next single, Albatross, would go all the way to the top in the UK, although it did not chart in the US.