Sunday, July 30, 2023

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.

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