Sunday, September 24, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2339 (starts 9/25/23)

    This week we have an all-new Advanced Psych segment, artists' sets from Simon & Garfunkel and The Beatles, and as an added bonus, Leon Russell goes psychedelic. Plus plenty of hits, B sides and album tracks (with a slight emphasis on garage-rock in the first hour) from 1965-1968.

Artist:    Sons Of Champlin
Title:    Fat City
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:    Bob Moitoza
Label:    Rhino (original label: Verve)
Year:    1967
    One of the most popular cover bands in Marin County California in the early 60s was Mill Valley's The Opposite Six. In 1967 the group decided to switch to original material, changing their name to the Sons Of Champlin in the process. When they cut their first single, Sing Me A Rainbow, in 1967 they were still firmly rooted in their mid-60s sound, as can be heard on the single's B side, a tune called Fat City that had first been performed by the Opposite Six.

Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    I'm A Man
Source:    Mono LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Winwood/Miller
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1967
    The Spencer Davis Group, featuring Steve and Muff Winwood, was one of the UK's most successful white R&B bands of the sixties, cranking out a steady stream of hit singles. Two of them, the iconic Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm A Man, were also major hits in the US, the latter being the last song to feature the Winwood brothers. Muff Winwood became a successful record producer, while his brother Steve went on to co-found the band Traffic. Then Blind Faith. Then Traffic again. And then a successful solo career. Meanwhile, the Spencer Davis Group continued on for several years with a series of replacement vocalists, but were never able to duplicate their earlier successes with the Winwoods.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    2000 Light Years From Home
Source:    LP: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    Nowhere was the ripple effect of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band more noticeable than on the Rolling Stones fall 1967 release Their Satanic Majesties Request. The cover featured the band members in various sorcerous regalia in a seven-inch picture on the kind of holographic paper used for "magic rings" found in bubble-gum machines and pasted over regular album-cover stock, which was a simple pattern of faded white circles on a blue background (it kind of looked like dark wallpaper). Musically it was the most psychedelic Stones album ever released. Interesting enough, different songs were released as singles in different countries. In the US the single was She's A Rainbow, while in Germany 2,000 Light Years From Home (the US B side of She's A Rainbow) made the top 40 charts.
Artist:    Left Banke
Title:    I've Got Something On My Mind
Source:    LP: Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina
Writer(s):    Cameron/Martin/Brown
Label:    Sundazed/Smash
Year:    1967
    I'll never understand the thought processes that went into deciding to name an album after not one, but two of the songs on that album (with a slash no less), but that's exactly what Smash Records did with the first and only Left Banke LP, Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina. Despite what seems to be nothing less than cheap exploitation, the album actually has some nice sounding (if somewhat light) tracks, such as I've Got Something On My Mind.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Go To Her
Source:    LP: Early Flight
Writer(s):    Kantner/Estes
Label:    Grunt
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1974
    Nearly every major artist acquires a backlog of unreleased songs over a period of time, usually due to lack of space on their official albums. Eventually many of these tracks get released on compilation albums or (more recently) as bonus tracks on CD versions of the original albums. One of the first of these compilation albums was Jefferson Airplane's Early Flight LP, released in 1974. Of the nine tracks on Early Flight, five were recorded during sessions for the band's first two LPs, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off and Surrealistic Pillow. One song originally intended for Surrealistic Pillow was Go To Her, an early Paul Kantner collaboration with his friend Irving Estes. At four minutes, the recording was longer than any of the songs that actually appeared on the album, which is probably the reason it didn't make the final cut, as it would have meant that two other songs would have to have been deleted instead.

Artist:     Squires
Title:     Going All The Way
Source:     Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Michael Bouyea
Label:     Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:     1966
     Originally known as the Rogues, this Bristol, Conn. group changed their name to the Squires for this 1966 recording. Apparently someone at Atco figured that a name like the Rogues was so good that somebody else must already be using it. As it turns out there have been dozens of bands calling themselves the Rogues over the years, so maybe they were on to something. Although Going All The Way never charted, it did help launch the career of Michael Bouyea, who, after being drafted and spending time in Vietnam (which ended the Squires) ended up releasing a few singles as a solo artist. He also spent time as an air personality (by the mid-1980s nobody called us disc jockeys anymore) on Toronto radio station CHUM and recorded the single We Got The Blue Jays under the pseudonym Home Run in 1985. The song made CHUM's top 20, but to my knowledge never got played anywhere else.

Artist:           Easybeats
Title:        Friday On My Mind
Source:       CD: Nuggets-Classics From The Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Vanda/Young
Label:    Rhino (original label: United Artists)
Year:        1966
       Considered by many to be the "greatest Australian song" ever (despite the fact that it was actually recorded in London), the Easybeats' Friday On My Mind, released in late 1966, certainly was the first major international hit to emerge from a band on the island continent. Following the dissolution of the Easybeats in 1970 guitarists Harry Vanda and George Young would continue to work together, recording as Flash And The Pan from 1976-1992 as well as producing the first six albums by another Australian band featuring Young's two younger brothers, Angus and Malcolm. That band? AC/DC.

Artist:    Freddie And The Dreamers
Title:    Johnny B. Goode
Source:    Mono LP: Freddie And The Dreamers
Writer(s):    Chuck Berry
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1965
    Possibly the tamest version of Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode ever recorded appeared on the 1965 album Freddie And The Dreamers.

Artist:    Missing Links
Title:    You're Driving Me Insane
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in Australia as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Baden Hutchins
Label:    Rhino (original label: Philips)
Year:    1965
    Long before AC/DC emerged from Down Under, the Missing Links were known as "Australia's wildest group". The name Missing Links was first used in 1964 by a group that released only one single in 1964. The following year an entirely new lineup made up of friends and associates of the original group began using the name, releasing three singles (the first of which was You're Driving Me Insane) and an album before disbanding in April of1966.
Artist:    Starfires
Title:    I Never Loved Her
Source:    Mono LP: Pebbles Vol. 8 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Freddie Fields
Label:    BFD (original label: G.I.)
Year:    1965
    The name Starfires has long been associated with rock 'n' roll, albeit with a number of different bands over the years. The name was probably first used in the late 1950s by a band from Long Beach, California, and was also the original name of the Cleveland, Ohio, band that became famous as the Outsiders. But the most revered of the various Starfires may well be the mid-60s Los Angeles garage band that released three singles before disbanding. One of these, I Never Loved Her, has long been sought after by collectors, and copies of the record have been known to sell for over a thousand dollars apiece. Luckily, the song has been included on various collections over the years, including both the LP and CD versions of Pebbles, Volume 8.

Artist:    Shadows of Knight
Title:    Oh Yeah
Source:    CD: Gloria
Writer:    Elias McDaniel
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    The original British blues bands like the Yardbirds made no secret of the fact that they had created their own version of a music that had come from Chicago. The Shadows Of Knight, on the other hand, were a Chicago band that created their own version of the British blues, bringing the whole thing full circle. After taking their version of Van Morrison's Gloria into the top 10 early in 1966, the Shadows (which had added "of Knight" to their name just prior to releasing Gloria) decided to follow it up with an updated version of Bo Diddley's Oh Yeah. Although the song did not have a lot of national top 40 success, it did help establish the Shadows' reputation as one of the premier garage-punk bands.

Artist:    Them
Title:    I Happen To Love You
Source:    Simulated stereo British import CD: Now And Them (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    Rev-Ola (original US label: Ruff)
Year:    1967
    Following the departure of frontman Van Morrison in June of 1966, the remaining members of Them returned to Belfast, where they recruited Kenny McDowell, formerly of a band called the Mad Lads, who had in fact opened for Them on several occasions. With no record deal, however, the band was at a loss as to what to do next; the solution came in the form of a recommendation from Carol Deck, editor of the California-based magazine The Beat, which led to the band relocating to Amarillo, Texas, where they cut a single for the local Scully label. The follow up single, released on Ruff Records, was a tune called Walking In The Queen's Garden that came to the attention of the people at Capitol Records, who reissued the single on their Tower subsidiary. Within a month the record company had issued a promo version of the single that shifting the emphasis to the original B side, a Gerry Goffin/Carole King collaboration called I Happen To Love You that had been previously recorded by the Electric Prunes, but not issued as a single. This led to Now And Them, the first of two albums that the band, now living in California, released on the Tower label in 1968. A fake stereo mix of the original recording of I Happen To Love You was created specifically for the LP.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Hush
Source:    CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Shades Of Deep Purple)
Writer:    Joe South
Label:    K-Tel (original label: Tetragrammaton)
Year:    1968
    British rockers Deep Purple scored a huge US hit in 1968 with their rocked out cover of Hush, a tune written by Joe South that had been an international hit for Billy Joe Royal the previous year. Oddly enough, the Deep Purple version of the tune was virtually ignored in their native England. The song was included on the album Shades Of Deep Purple, the first of three LPs to be released in the US on Tetragrammaton Records, a label partially owned by actor/comedian Bill Cosby. When Tetragrammaton folded shortly after the release of the third Deep Purple album, The Book Of Taleisyn, the band was left without a US label, and went through some personnel changes, including the addition of new lead vocalist Ian Gillian (who had sung the part of Jesus on the original Jesus Christ Superstar album), before signing to Warner Brothers and becoming a major force in 70s rock. Meanwhile, original vocalist Rod Evans hooked up with drummer Bobby Caldwell and two former members of Iron Butterfly to form Captain Beyond before fading from public view.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Hoochie Coochie Man
Source:    CD: Steppenwolf
Writer(s):    Willie Dixon
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    A major driving force behind the renewed interest in the blues in the 1960s was the updating and re-recording of classic blues tunes by contempory rock musicians. This trend started in England, with bands like the Yardbirds and the Animals in the early part of the decade. By the end of the 60s a growing number of US bands were playing songs such as Hoochie Coochie Man, a tune originally recorded by Muddy Waters in 1954. Like Cream's Spoonful and Led Zeppelin's You Shook Me, Hoochie Coochie Man was written by Willie Dixon. The 1968 Steppenwolf version of the song slows the tempo down a touch from the original version and features exquisite sustained guitar work from Michael Monarch.

...and speaking of Muddy Waters:

Artist:    Johnny Winter
Title:    Tribute To Muddy
Source:    LP: The Progressive Blues Experiment
Writer(s):    Johnny Winter
Label:    Imperial (original label: Sonobeat)
Year:    1968
    Originally released on the regional Texas label Sonobeat and then reissued nationally on the Imperial label, The Progressive Blues Experiment is a mixture of classic blues covers and original tunes penned by guitarist/vocalist Johnny Winter. Tribute To Muddy is one of the latter. Not long after the release of The Progressive Blues Experiment, Winter signed a contract with Columbia that made him rich and famous overnight.

Artist:     Other Side
Title:     Streetcar
Source:     British import CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:     Battey/Graham
Label:     Rhino (original label: Brent)
Year:     1966
     Although not as popular as the Chocolate Watchband or Count Five, the Other Side had its share of fans in the San Jose, California area. Enough, in fact, to land a deal with Brent Records. Their single, Walking Down The Road, got some airplay on local radio stations, but it's the B side, Streetcar, that has stood the test of time to become recognized as a classic example of garage rock, heard here in its stereo version from the 1967 Mainstream album With Love-A Pot Of Flowers.

Artist:    Squires Of The Subterrain
Title:    Fun House
Source:    CD: Sandbox
Writer(s):    Christopher Zajkowski
Label:    Rocket Racket
Year:    2012
    What happens when you combine environmentally conscious lyrics with music reminiscent of Brian Wilson's later Beach Boys albums such as Pet Sounds and Smile? In this case it's the 2012 album Sandbox from Squires Of The Subterrain. Based in Rochester, NY, the Squires are (is?) the work of Christopher Earl of Rochester, NY, who has been releasing independent recordings on his own Rocket Racket label for the better part of 20 years. Fun House actually sounds like it could have been a Smile outtake.

Artist:    Sex Clark 5
Title:    She's The End/Great Shieks
Source:    CD: This Is Rock 'N' Roll Radio Volume 1
Writer(s):    Butler/Story
Label:    Jam
Year:    2005
    When it comes to indie rock, few bands are more independent than the Sex Clark 5. Formed in the early 1980s in Huntsville, Alabama by high school friends James Butler and Rick Storey (guitars) and Trick McCaha (drums) the group, which also featured vocalist Joy Johnson and later Laura L Lee, calls their music "strum and drum" (a corruption of sturm und drang). Most of their songs are short and to the point, including She's The End and Great Shieks, which combined barely exceed the three minute mark.

Artist:    Tol-Puddle Martyrs
Title:    Anybody Else
Source:    CD: A Celebrated Man
Writer(s):    Peter Rechter
Label:    Secret Deals
Year:    2009
    The original Tolpuddle Martyrs were a group of farmers in the English village of Tolpuddle who had the temerity to try organizing what amounts to a union in the 19th century. For their efforts they found themselves deported to the penal colony now known as Australia. But that doesn't really concern us. What I wanted to talk about was the original Tol-Puddle Martyrs (note the hyphen), the legendary Australian band that evolved from a group called Peter And The Silhouettes. Well, not exactly. What I really wanted to talk about is the current incarnation of the Tol-Puddle Martyrs. Still led by Peter Rechter, the Martyrs have released a series of CDs since 2007 (including a collection of recordings made by the 60s incarnation of the band). Among those CDs is the 2009 album A Celbrated Man, which contains several excellent tunes such as Anybody Else.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Cat's Squirrel
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. S. Splurge
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    One of the few instrumentals in the Cream repertoire, Cat's Squirrel was something of a blues standard whose origins are lost in antiquity. Unlike the 1968 Jethro Tull version, which emphasises Mick Abrahams's guitar work, Cream's Cat's Squirrel is heavy on the harmonica, played by bassist Jack Bruce.

Artist:    Whatt Four
Title:    You're Wishin' I Was Someone Else
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Sanders/Johnson
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1967
    By 1967 Mercury Records had long since moved beyond its roots as a regional Chicago label. In fact, Mercury, along with Capitol, Columbia, M-G-M, Decca and RCA Victor, was one of the "Big Six" record labels of the time, so called because between them they owned nearly all of the major record pressing plants in the country. It was really no surprise, then, to see Mercury signing local acts and releasing the records regionally in other parts of the country as well as Chicago. One such act was Riverside, California's Whatt Four, who took their shot at the brass ring in 1967 with a song called Dandelion Wine. The record is better known, however, for its B side, You're Wishin' I Was Someone Else.

Artist:          Amboy Dukes
Title:        Journey to the Center of the Mind
Source:      Mono British import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Nugent/Farmer
Label:     Big Beat (original US label: Mainstream)
Year:        1968
        From Detroit we have the Amboy Dukes, featuring lead guitarist Ted Nugent. Originally released as a single on Mainstream Records, the same label that released the first Big Brother & the Holding Company album, Journey To The Center Of The Mind became that label's biggest hit in 1968.  After butchering Big Brother's debut album, Mainstream's studio people must have taken a crash course in rock engineering as they did a much better job on this track just a few months later.

Artist:    Asylum Choir
Title:    Episode Containing 3 Songs
Source:    European import CD: Look Inside The Asylum Choir
Writer(s):    Russell/Benno
Label:    Rev-Ola (original label: Smash)
Year:    1968
    Although Leon Russell is known to have worn many hats, including those of studio musician, songwriter, arranger and producer (not to mention his trademark top hat) in his long career in the music business, he's generally not known as a "psychedelic" artist. Nonetheless, his first LP, Look Inside The Asylum Choir, with co-conspirator Marc Benno, is about as psychedelic as it gets, especially on Episode Containing 3 Songs from the album's second side. At over six minutes in length, the track includes NY Op, Land Of Dog and Mr. Henri The Clown. I defy any British psychedelic band to top that!

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Strawberry Fields Forever
Source:    CD: Magical Mystery Tour (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    The first song recorded for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, John Lennon's Strawberry Fields Forever was instead issued as a single (along with Paul McCartney's Penny Lane) a few months before the album came out. The song went into the top 10, but was not released on an album until December of 1967, when it was included on the US version of Magical Mystery Tour.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Think For Yourself
Source:    CD: Rubber Soul
Writer:    George Harrison
Label:    Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1965
    By the end of 1965 George Harrison was writing two songs per Beatles album. On Rubber Soul, however, one of his two songs was deleted from the US version of the album and appeared on 1966's Yesterday...And Today LP instead. The remaining Harrison song on Rubber Soul was Think For Yourself. Harrison later said that he was still developing his songwriting skills at this point and that bandmate John Lennon had helped write Think For Yourself.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Flying
Source:    CD: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starr
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1967
    1967 was an odd year for the Beatles. They started it with one of their most successful double-sided singles, Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane, and followed it up with the iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. From there, they embarked on a new film project. Unlike their previous movies, the Magical Mystery Tour was not made to be shown in theaters; rather, the film was aired as a television special shown exclusively in the UK. The airing of the film, in December of 1967, coincided with the release (again only in the UK and Europe) of a two-disc extended play 45 RPM set featuring the six songs from the special. As EPs were at that time considered a non-starter in the US, Capitol Records decided to release Magical Mystery Tour as a full-length album instead, with the songs from the telefilm on one side of the LP and all of the single sides they had released that year on the other. Among the songs from the film itself is Flying, an instrumental track that, unusually, was credited to the entire band.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Bookends Theme/Save The Life Of My Child/America
Source:    LP: Bookends
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia/Sundazed
Year:    1967
    An early example of a concept album (or at least half an album) was Simon And Garfunkel's fourth LP, Bookends. The side starts and ends with the Bookends theme. In between they go through a sort of life cycle of tracks, from Save The Life Of My Child (featuring a synthesizer opening programmed by Robert Moog himself), into America, a song that is very much in the sprit of Jack Kerouak's On The Road. One of these days I'll play the rest of the side, which takes us right into the age that many of us who bought the original LP are now approaching.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    The Sound Of Silence
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Sounds Of Silence)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    The Sound Of Silence was originally an acoustic piece that was included on Simon and Garfunkel's 1964 debut album, Wednesday Morning 3AM. The album went nowhere and was soon deleted from the Columbia Records catalog. Simon and Garfunkel themselves went their separate ways, with Simon moving to London and recording a solo LP, the Paul Simon Songbook. While Simon was in the UK, producer Tom Wilson, who had been working with Bob Dylan on Highway 61 Revisited, pulled out the master tape of The Sound Of Silence and got some of the same musicians to add electric instruments to the existing recording. The song was released to local radio stations, where it garnered enough interest to get the modified recording released as a single. It turned out to be a huge hit, prompting Paul Simon to move back to the US and reunite with Art Garfunkel.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    At The Zoo
Source:    LP: Bookends (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Sundazed/Columbia
Year:    1967
    Simon and Garfunkel did not release any new albums in 1967, instead concentrating on their live performances. They did, however, issue several singles over the course of the year, most of which ended up being included on 1968's Bookends LP. At The Zoo was one of the first of those 1967 singles. It's B side ended up being a hit as well, but by Harper's Bizarre, which took The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) to the top 10 early in the year.

Artist:     Grass Roots
Title:     Let's Live For Today
Source:     CD: Battle of the Bands-Vol. Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Julian/Mogull/Shapiro
Label:     Era (original label: Dunhill)
Year:     1967
     This well-known 1967 hit by the Grass Roots started off as a song by the Italian band the Rokes, Piangi Con Mi, released in 1966. The Rokes themselves were originally from Manchester, England, but had relocated to Italy in 1963. Piangi Con Mi was their biggest hit to date, and the band decided to re-record the tune in English for release in Britain (ironic, considering that the band originally specialized in translating popular US and UK hits into the Italian language). The original translation didn't sit right with the band's UK label, so a guy from the record company came up with new lyrics and the title Let's Live For Today. The song still didn't do much on the charts, but did get the attention of former Brill building songwriter Steve Barri, whose current project was writing and producing a band known as the Grass Roots with co-producer P.F. Sloan. Let's Live For Today became the first of many top 10 singles for the Grass Roots.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Hideaway
Source:    CD: Underground
Writer(s):    Lowe/Tulin
Label:    Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    After the moderately successful first Electric Prunes album, producer David Hassinger loosened the reigns a bit for the followup, Underground. Among the original tunes on Underground was Hideaway, a song that probably would have been a better choice as a single than what actually got released: a novelty tune called Dr. Feelgood written by Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz, who had also written the band's first hit, I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)



Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2339 (starts 9/25/23)

Trying a different kind of link this week to see if it works...

    I have a confession to make. As you know, Rockin' in the Days of Confusion is recorded in real time. That means that once the recorder is turned on, it stays on until the show is finished. Any small mistakes that are made are there for everyone to hear; that's part of what live radio is all about. This week, however, something happened about 40 minutes in that made me stop recording and start over from scratch. I won't get into specifics, but I will mention that involved a George Carlin bit that should have been more carefully screened. My bad. The upside of all this is that, although all of the same songs were used in the second take, the order was changed in a way that ended up sounding a whole lot better than the original session. Enjoy.

Artist:     Traffic
Title:     Feelin' Alright
Source:     CD: Smiling Phases (originally released on LP: Traffic)
Writer:     Dave Mason
Label:     Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:     1968
     Dave Mason left Traffic after the band's first album, Mr. Fantasy, but returned in time to contribute several songs to the band's eponymous second LP. Among those was the classic Feelin' Alright, which would become one of the most covered songs in rock history.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    All You've Got Is Money
Source:    CD: Survival
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1971
    Mark Farner, on Grand Funk Railroad's fourth studio album, Survival, wrote a song complaining about something pretty much none of the band's fans could relate to personally: All You've Got Is Money. Lyrically, the song is a kind of turnaround of the classic blues tune Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out, but from a musical standpoint it's vintage Grand Funk, with an extended lead guitar solo accompanied by lots of spooky sounding screams taking up the last third of the song.

Artist:    Hot Tuna
Title:    Ode For Billy Dean
Source:    LP: Burgers
Writer(s):    Jorma Kaukonen
Label:    Grunt
Year:    1972
    Most bands start with a studio album or three before releasing a live album, but Hot Tuna (Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady) took a different route. Originally an offshoot of Jefferson Airplane, they duo recorded their self-title debut LP as an acoustic duo at Berkeley's legendary New Orleans House in September of 1969, releasing it in May of the following year. This was followed by a second live LP. First Pull Up, Then Pull Down, featuring electric instruments and two new members, violinist Papa John Creach and drummer Sammy Piazza, was recorded at Chateau Liberte in Los Gatos, California in April of 1971 and released two months later. For their third release the four musicians went into a recording studio for the first time as a band. The result was Burgers, released in 1972. About a third of the album was made up of covers of classic blues and gospel tunes, with the rest, including Ode For Billy Dean, composed by Kaukonen. The tune features extensive fills from Creach on an instrument not usually associated with electric blues.

Artist:    Johnny Winter
Title:    Be Careful With A Fool
Source:    German import CD: Johnny Winter
Writer(s):    King/Josea
Label:    Repertoire (original US label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    Johnny Winter's first album for Columbia (his second overall) is nothing less than a blues masterpiece. Accompanied by bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Uncle John Turner, Winter pours his soul into classics like B.B. King's Be Careful With A Fool, maybe even improving on the original (if such a thing is possible).

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Whole Lotta Love
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin II
Writer(s):    Page/Plant/Bonham/Jones/Dixon
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    If any one song can be considered the bridge between psychedelic rock and heavy metal, it would have to be Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love. Released in 1969 as the lead track to their second LP, the song became their biggest hit single. Whole Lotta Love was originally credited to the four band members. In recent years, however, co-credit has been given to Willie Dixon, whose lyrics to the 50s song You Need Love are almost identical to Robert Plant's.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    One Of These Days
Source:    LP: A Space In Time
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1971
    Although whether or not it's coincidental is debatable, the fact is that Ten Years After's first album released on the Columbia label in the US (after six on Deram), saw the band moving in a more commercial direction. This shift in emphasis is not particularly noticable on the first track, however. One Of These Days, after a quiet orchestral buildup, shows itself to be rooted solidly in the blues tradition, with lyrics based on the age-old theme of being incarcerated and looking forward to being reunited with a loved one upon release.

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Combination Of The Two
Source:    CD: Cheap Thrills
Writer(s):    Sam Andrew
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
     Everything about Big Brother And The Holding Company can be summed up by the title of the opening track for their Cheap Thrills album (and their usual show opener as well): Combination Of The Two. A classic case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, Big Brother, with Janis Joplin on lead vocals, had an energy that neither Joplin or the band itself was able to duplicate once they parted company. On the song itself, the actual lead vocals for the verses are the work of Combination Of The Two's writer, bassist Sam Houston Andrew III, but those vocals are eclipsed by the layered non-verbal chorus that starts with Joplin then repeats itself with Andrew providing a harmony line which leads to Joplin's promise to "rock you, sock you, gonna give it to you now". It was a promise that the group seldom failed to deliver on.

Artist:    It's A Beautiful Day
Title:    Soapstone Mountain
Source:    LP: Marrying Maiden
Writer(s):    David LaFlamme
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1970
    By 1970 many of the California-based "hippy bands" were starting to transition from pure psychedelic rock to something a bit more country flavored. With some, like the Byrds, the change was obvious and somewhat abrupt, while with other bands, such as It's A Beautiful Day, it was not as complete. Soapstone Mountain, the final track on that band's second LP, Marrying Maiden, is a good example. Although the vocal parts have the most country influence, the extended jam in the second half of the song, featuring guitar work from Hal Wagenet, still retains a strong psychedelic flavor.

Artist:    Kenny Loggins with Jim Messina
Title:    Nobody But You
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Jim Messina
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1972
    Nobody But You was the second single from the 1972 album Kenny Loggins with Jim Messina Sittin' In. Written by Messina, it was soon eclipsed by its B side, Danny's Song, which became a top 40 hit for Anne Murray the following year. Nobody But You was also the opening track on the album itself.

Artist:    Joni Mitchell
Title:    Woodstock (live)
Source:    LP: Miles Of Aisles
Writer(s):    Joni Mitchell
Label:    Asylum
Year:    1974
    Oddly enough, the song most associated with the Woodstock Music And Art Festival was written by someone who did not attend the event. Joni Mitchell actually had an opportunity to perform at Woodstock but was advised by her manager that it would be better to make an appearance on the Dick Cavett show that weekend. She was, however, dating Graham Nash at the time. Nash, of course, was at Woodstock (in fact a case could be made that his appearance as a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was one of the highpoints of the entire festival) and was more than willing to tell her all about the experience. Mitchell then based her song on Nash's recollections and released it on her 1970 album Ladies Of The Canyon. Other versions of the song by various artists, including Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, followed and in 1974 Mitchell included her own electric version of the song on her Miles Of Aisles live album with Tom Scott And The L.A. Express.

Artist:    David Bowie
Title:    Conversation Piece
Source:    Mono CD: Sound + Vision Sampler (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    David Bowie
Label:    Ryko (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1970
    It's seems strange that such an iconic figure as David Bowie would have as many truly obscure recordings as he does, but songs like Conversation Piece prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that such things do exist. The song was originally recorded for Bowie's 1969 self-titled LP, but left off the album, instead appearing the following year as the B side of The Prettiest Star, a single released only in the UK, Germany and Norway that failed to chart in any of those places. Another sign of the record's obscurity is the fact that a copy surfaced on E-bay in 2021 on sale for £425 (about $520 in US dollars).

Artist:    Peter Gabriel
Title:    Solsbury Hill
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single (promo copy)
Writer(s):    Peter Gabriel
Label:    Atco
Year:    1977
    Vocalist Peter Gabriel's first single after leaving Genesis was Solsbury Hill, a song inspired by a spiritual experience Gabriel had atop Little Solsbury Hill in Somerset, England. Gabriel said of the song:  "It's about being prepared to lose what you have for what you might get ... It's about letting go." The song hit the top 20 in the UK and shows up from time to time in various TV and movie soundtracks. As I recently discovered, it's also a nice song to wake up to.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2338 (starts 9/18/23)

    This we week feature an all 21st century edition of Advanced Psych, along with five vintage tracks that have never been played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era before, two of them part of a set of obscure recordings from 1968. And as always we also have plenty of regional and national hits, B sides and album tracks as well. We start with one that was both a B side and an album track from 1967...

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Tales Of Brave Ulysses
Source:    LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s):    Clapton/Sharp
Label:    RSO (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Cream was one of the first bands to break British tradition and release singles that were also available as album cuts. This tradition likely came about because 45 RPM records (both singles and extended play 45s) tended to stay in print indefinitely in the UK, unlike in the US, where a hit single usually had a shelf life of around 4-6 months then disappeared forever. When the Disraeli Gears album was released, however, the song Strange Brew, which leads off the LP, was released in Europe as a single. The B side of that single was Tales Of Brave Ulysses, which opens side two of the album. The track is notable for being the first song on which Eric Clapton uses a wah-wah pedal.

Artist:    Third Bardo
Title:    I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Evans/Pike
Label:    Rhino (original label: Roulette)
Year:    1967
    The Third Bardo (the name coming from the Tibetan Book of the Dead) only released one single, but I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time has become, over a period of time, one of the most sought-after records of the psychedelic era. Not much is known of this New York band made up of Jeffrey Moon (vocals), Bruce Ginsberg (drums), Ricky Goldclang (lead guitar), Damian Kelly (bass) and Richy Seslowe (guitar).

Artist:     Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:     Down On Me
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     Trad. Arr. Joplin
Label:     Mainstream
Year:     1967
     Big Brother And The Holding Company's first album, featuring the single Down On Me, was recorded in 1967 at the studios of Mainstream Records, a medium-sized Chicago label known for its jazz recordings. At the time, Mainstream's engineers had no experience with a rock band, particularly a loud one like Big Brother, and vainly attempted to clean up the band's sound as best they could. The result was an album full of relatively sterile recordings sucked dry of the energy that made Big Brother and the Holding Company one of the top live attractions of the San Francisco Bay Area. Probably the stongest track on the album was lead vocalist Janis Joplin's arrangement of Down On Me, a "freedom song" dating back at least to the 1920s that Mainstream issued as a single during the Summer of Love. A hit in San Francisco, the song almost made the national top 40 charts, peaking at #42.

Artist:    Fallen Angels
Title:    Mother's Homesick Too
Source:    British import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released in US on LP: Fallen Angels)
Writer(s):    Decker/Meier
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Roulette)
Year:    1967
    Washington, DC, was home to the Fallen Angels, an off-the-wall band that evolved from another DC band, the Mad Hatters, in 1965. Descrbing themselves as "ravenous mimics with a penchant for political satire", the Angels began their recording career with an indie single and a pair of 45s for the Laurie label before signing with the then-powerful Roulette label in 1967. Their self-titled debut LP, including the song Mother's Homesick Too, hit the racks in 1967. After their second album, It's A Long Way Down, failed to make a commercial impression, the group disbanded in 1969, only to reunite for a third album, Rain Of Fire, nearly 30 years later.

Artist:    Bee Gees
Title:    Horizontal
Source:    LP: Horizontal
Writer(s):    Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb
Label:    Atco
Year:    1968
    Following the release of Bee Gees 1st (actually their third album, but their debut international release), the Gibb brothers immediately got to work writing a whole new batch of songs. Many of these ended up being released as either singles or B sides, while others ended up on their 1968 LP Horizontal. The album itself was much heavier and darker in tone than their previous or later work. Robin Gibb called the title track, which closes out the album: "the end of sorrow, the end of bad stuff.", adding that "It does have a positive message somewhere in there."

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Because
Source:    CD: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1969
    Take Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Turn a few notes around, add some variations and write some lyrics. Add the Beatles' unmistakeable multi-part harmonies and you have John Lennon's Because, from the Abbey Road album. A simply beautiful recording.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Space Child/When I Touch You
Source:    CD: Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus
Writer(s):    Locke/Ferguson
Label:    Epic/Legacy
Year:    1970
    Spirit keyboardist John Locke used a combination of piano, organ and synthesizers (then a still-new technology) to set the mood for the entire Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus recording sessions with his instrumental piece Space Child. The tune starts with a rolling piano riff that gives bassist Mark Andes a rare opportunity to carry the melody line before switching to a jazzier tempo that manages to seamlessly transition from a waltz tempo to straight time without anyone noticing. After a short reprise of the tune's opening riff the track segues into Jay Ferguson's When I Touch You, a song that manages to be light and heavy at the same time.

Artist:    Portraits
Title:    It Had To Be You
Source:    Mono CD: A Deadly Dose Of Wild Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Watson/Rakozich
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Nike)
Year:    1968
    Apparently there have been several bands calling themselves the Portraits over the years, including at least two in the Milwaukee area. This particular Portraits recorded only one single, It Had To Be You, in 1968. Reportedly there were only 100 copies of the tune pressed on the small Nike label.
Artist:    Kinks
Title:    You Really Got Me
Source:    Canadian import CD: 25 Years-The Ultimate Collection (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Polygram/Polytel (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1964
    You Really Got Me has been described as the first hard rock song and the track that invented heavy metal. You'll get no argument from me on either of those.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    As Tears Go By
Source:    Mono: Big Hits (High Tide And Green Grass) (originally released on LP: December's Children [And Everybody's] and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards/Oldham
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1965
            As Tears Go By is sometimes referred to as the Rolling Stones' answer to the Beatles' Yesterday. The problem with this theory, however, is that As Tears Go By was written a year before Yesterday was released, and in fact was a top 10 UK single for Marianne Faithful in 1964. The story of the song's genesis is that producer/manager Andrew Oldham locked Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in the kitchen until they came up with an original song. The original title was As Time Goes By, but, not wanting anyone to confuse it with the famous song used in the film Casablanca, Oldham changed Time to Tears, and got a writing credit for his trouble. Since the Stones were not at that time known for soft ballads, Oldham gave the song to Marianne Faithful, launching a successful recording career for the singer in 1964. The following year the Stones included their own version of the song on the album December's Children (And Everybody's), using a string arrangement that may indeed have been inspired by the Beatles' Yesterday, which was holding down the # 1 spot on the charts at the time the Rolling Stones were recording As Tears Go By. After American disc jockeys began playing As Tears Go By as an album track, London Records released the song as a US-only single, which ended up making the top 10 in 1965.
Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    Sometimes I Think About
Source:    LP: Psychedelic Lollipop
Writer(s):    Gilbert/Scala/Theilheim/Esposito
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1966
    Although it sounds like it could have been a remake of an old blues tune, Sometimes I Think About is actually a Blues Magoos original. The song, from their debut Psychedelic Lollipop album, is slow and moody, yet actually rocks out pretty hard, a pattern that would become somewhat of a hard rock cliche in the 1970s (think Grand Funk Railroad's Heartbreaker).

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Point Me At The Sky
Source:    Mono CD: Cre/Ation-The Early Years 1967-1972 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Waters/Gilmour
Label:    Pink Floyd Records (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    During their early years Pink Floyd, like other English groups, released several songs on 7" 45 RPM singles that were not included on their LPs. Once those singles went out of print many of them were next to impossible to find. Some of them were included in the Relics compilation album, released in 1971, but most of them did not become available again until 1992, when they were included on a CD called The Early Singles (unfortunately for the budget collector, The Early Singles was only available as a bonus disc in the Shine On box set). Perhaps the rarest of all these recordings was Point Me At The Sky. Released in 1968, it would be the last single released by the band in their native UK for almost 10 years. Its first appearance in the US was a fake stereo version included on a promotional album called A Harvest Sampler that was, to my knowledge, only sent out to radio stations in 1978. Point Me At The Sky was included in yet another box set in 2016, this one a massive seven volume, 33 disc collection called The Early Years 1965-1972. Luckily, the song, in its original mono mix, was included on a two-disc sampler taken from the larger set called Cre/Ation-The Early Years 1967-1972. The song itself, a rare collaboration between Roger Waters and David Gilmour, features Gilmour on lead vocals, with Waters joining him on the bridge.

Artist:    Harumi
Title:    We Love
Source:    Mono LP: Harumi
Writer(s):    Harumi
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1968
    When it comes to obscurity, the album Harumi scores on multiple fronts. Virtually nothing is known about this Japanese-born artist other than the fact that sometime in the mid-60s he relocated to New York and managed to get a contract with Verve Forecast records, where he recorded this self-titled double LP with producer Tom Wilson. As to the music itself, it is perhaps best described by reviewer Thom Jurek of "there is nothing at all like this record in the known universe." A listen to We Love may well confirm that statement.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring
Source:    CD: Traffic
Writer(s):    Winwood/Capaldi/Wood
Label:    Island (original US label: United Artists)
Year:    1968
    Of the ten songs on Traffic's self-titled second album, half were Dave Mason compositions that he sung himself, while the remaining five were credited to the team of Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi. At least that was the way things stood when the LP was first released. On later issues of the album, however, flautist/saxophonist Chris Wood was credited as co-writer of Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring. A check of the records of BMI, the licensing organization for broadcast rights, shows that Wood had been considered one of the writers all along, even though he didn't actually play on the recording.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Just Like Me
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets vol. 8-The Northwest (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dey/Brown
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1965
    Just Like Me was the first top 10 single from Paul Revere And The Raiders, a band that deserves much more credit than they are generally given. The group started in the early part of the decade in Boise, Idaho, when Revere (his real name) hooked up with saxophonist Mark Lindsay. Like most bands at the time, the Raiders' repertoire consisted mostly of instrumentals, as PA systems were a luxury that required more space than was generally allotted to a small town band. It wasn't long before the Raiders relocated to Portland, Oregon, where they became a popular attraction at various clubs. After a hiatus caused by Revere's stint in the military, the band resumed its place as one of the founding bands of the Portland music scene. They soon made their first visit to a recording studio, recording Richard Berry's Louie Louie at around the same time as another popular Portland band, the Kingsmen. The Kingsmen's version ended up being a huge national hit while the popularity of the Raiders' version was mostly restricted to the West Coast, thanks in large part to the active lack of support from Columbia Records, whose head of Artists and Repertoire (A&R), Mitch Miller, was an outspoken critic of rock 'n' roll. Undeterred, the band continued to grow in popularity, recording another single in 1964 (Like Long Hair) and going on tour. It was while playing in Hawaii that the band was noticed by none other than Dick Clark, who hired them to be the house band on his new afternoon TV show, Where The Action Is. Under the leadership of Mitch Miller Columbia Records had done their best to ignore the existence of rock 'n' roll (an effort that was somewhat undermined by one of their most popular artists, Bob Dylan, in 1965, when he went electric). Columbia had, however, a more open-minded West Coast division that included producer Terry Melcher, son of singer Doris Day and co-producer of the Rip Chords' hot rod hit Hey Little Cobra. With the Raiders now being seen daily on a national TV show, the label assigned Melcher to produce the band's records. It was a partnership that would lead to a string of hits, starting with Steppin' Out in 1965. The next record, Just Like Me, was the first of a string of top 10 singles that would last until early 1967, when rapidly changing public tastes made the band seem antiquated compared to up and coming groups like Jefferson Airplane. Just Like Me, which was actually a cover of a song first recorded by another Pacific Northwest band, the Wilde Knights, still holds up well after all these years. Much of the credit for that has to go to Drake Levin, whose innovative double-tracked guitar solo rocked out harder than anything else on top 40 radio at the time (with the possible exception of a couple of well-known Kinks songs).

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    I'm Gonna Make You Mine
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Carr/D'errico/Sager
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    Possibly the loudest rockin' recordings of 1966 came from the Shadows of Knight. A product of the Chicago suburbs, the Shadows (as they were originally known) quickly established a reputation as the region's resident bad boy rockers (lead vocalist Jim Sohns was reportedly banned from more than one high school campus for his attempts at increasing the local teen pregnancy rate). After signing a record deal with the local Dunwich label, the band learned that there was already a band called the Shadows and added the Knight part (after their own high school sports teams' name). Their first single was a cover of Van Morrison's Gloria that changed one line ("She comes around here" in place of "She comes up to my room") and thus avoided the mass radio bannings that had derailed the original Them version of the song. I'm Gonna Make You Mine was the second follow up to Gloria, but its lack of commercial success consigned the Shadows to one-hit wonder status until years after the band's breakup, when they finally got the recognition they deserved as one of the founding bands of garage/punk, and perhaps its greatest real life practicioner.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Jericho
Source:    CD: Headquarters (bonus track)
Writer(s):    traditional
Label:    Rhino
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1995
    The members of the Monkees were truly enjoying themselves when they recorded the album Headquarters in early 1967. Most of the album's tracks had been laid down by late March, when this bit of studio banter between Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork and producer Chip Douglas followed by an impromptu a capella rendition of Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho was recorded.

Artist:    Audience
Title:    Nancy
Source:    CD: The House On The Hill
Writer(s):    Werth/Williams/Connor
Label:    Caroline Blue Plate (original UK label: Charisma)
Year:    1971
    Audience was a British progressive rock band with somewhat unusual instrumentation. In addition to drums (provided by Tony Conner) and bass (from Trevor Williams, who was also the groups primary lyricist), the band included Howard Werth, who played an acoustic guitar with nylon strings, but fitted with an electric pickup, and Keith Gemmell on flute, saxophone and clarinet. With no lead guitar or keyboards, Audience concentrated on their songwriting and vocal skills, which are showcased on the song Nancy from the album The House On The Hill. Although The House On The Hill was Audience's third LP, it was the first to be released in the US. The original band made only one more album before disbanding in 1972, but reformed 32 years later with a different drummer.

Artist:    Country Joe McDonald
Title:    Daughter Of England
Source:    CD: 50
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Rag Baby
Year:    2017
    Country Joe McDonald's 2017 album, 50, has been described as "a contemporary survey of current topics". That label certainly applies to Daughter Of England, a song about the current state of affairs in what was once the crown jewel of the British colonial empire and has now become the most powerful (and some say most dangerous) nation on Earth.

Artist:    Sugar Candy Mountain
Title:    Tired   
Source:    LP: 666
Writer(s):    Reiter/Halsey
Label:    People In A Position To Know
Year:    2016
    It's easy to read something into both the band name and album title of the 2016 release 666 by Sugar Candy Mountain. It's better, however, to not do any of that and instead simply listen to any of the album's 10 tracks for what they are: good music. Sugar Candy Mountain was officially formed on 2011 by guitarist/vocalist Ash Reiter and multi-instrumentalist Will Halsey, natives of Oakland, California who relocated to Joshua Tree not long after the band was formed. They are joined on Tired, the closing track of the albums's first side, by guitarist Bryant Denison and keyboardist Jason Quever (who also mixed the album).

Artist:    Sleep City Devils
Title:    Creatures
Source:    Independently released by Ivan Perelli
Writer(s):    Ivan Perilli
Label:    none
Year:    2021
    As a result of our ongoing efforts to find new artists to feature on our occasional Advanced Psych segment, I was contacted by Ivan Perilli, who pointed me to non-compressed versions of several tracks from his latest project, Sleep City Devils, including the tune called Creatures. Billed as "an experimental thing", Sleep City Devils (1 band, 3 imaginary musicians, 4 songs) is the latest in a series of projects that also includes Happy Graveyard Orchestra and Banana Planets. According to Perilli's website, he also "just plays the bass" with Djoolio.

Artist:    Beacon Street Union
Title:    The Prophet
Source:    LP: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union
Writer(s):    Ulaky/Wright
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    The Beacon Street Union had already relocated to New York from their native Boston by the time their first LP, The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union, appeared in early 1968. Unfortunately, they were grouped together with other Boston bands such as Ultimate Spinach by M-G-M Records as part of a fictional "Boss-Town Sound", which ultimately hurt the band's chances far more than it helped them. The album itself is actually one of the better psychedelic albums of the time, with tracks like The Prophet, which closes out side two of the original LP, combining somewhat esoteric music and lyrics effectively.

Artist:      Blue Cheer
Title:     Summertime Blues
Source:      Mono LP: Vincebus Eruptum
Writer(s):    Cochrane/Capehart
Label:    Philips
Year:     1968
     European electronics giant Philips had its own record label in the 1960s. In the US, the label was distributed by Mercury Records, and was known primarily for a long string of hits by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. In 1968 the label surprised everyone by signing the loudest band in San Francisco, Blue Cheer. Their cover of the 50s Eddie Cochrane hit Summertime Blues was all over both the AM and FM airwaves that summer.

Artist:    Orange Wedge
Title:    From The Womb To The Tomb
Source:    Mono CD: An Overdose Of Heavy Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    L.S.P.
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Blue Flat Owsley Memorial)
Year:    1968
    Recorded in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1968, From The Womb To The Tomb was the B side of the only single from Orange Wedge, a forerunner of more famous Michigan bands such as the Stooges and the MC5.

Artist:    Love
Title:    The Castle
Source:    German import CD: Da Capo
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1966
    Considering that both of their first two LPs had cover photos taken against the backdrop of Bela Lugosi's former residence in the Hollywood Hills (known as Dracula's Castle), it is perhaps inevitable that Love would have a track called The Castle on one of these albums. Sure enough, one can be found near the end of the first side of 1967's Da Capo, an album that was all but buried by the attention being given to the debut LP of Love's new labelmates, the Doors, which came out around the same time. The song itself is an indication of the direction that band was moving in, away from the straight folk/garage-rock of their first LP toward the more sophiscated sound of Forever Changes, which would be released later the same year.

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    Dark Side Of The Mushroom
Source:    CD: No Way Out
Writer(s):    Cooper/Podolor
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    Just who played on Dark Side Of The Mushroom is lost to history. What is certain, however, is that it is not the Chocolate Watchband, despite its inclusion on that band's debut LP. Producer Ed Cobb apparently had his own agenda when it came to the Watchband, which included making them sound much more psychedelic on vinyl than when they performed onstage (in fact it is doubtful that Cobb ever actually attended any of the band's live gigs). To accomplish his goal, Cobb enlisted the help of songwriter/musician/studio owner Richie Podolor, who would later go on to produce Three Dog Night's records. Podolor put together the group of anonymous studio musicians that recorded Dark Side Of The Mushroom, which, despite its shady background, is a decent slice of instrumental psychedelia.

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    Jack O' Diamonds
Source:    British import CD: Fairport Convention
Writer(s):    Dylan/Carruthers
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1968
    The recording history of the premier English folk-rock band, Fairport Convention, can be more than a little confusing. A large part of the problem was caused by A&M Records, who had the rights to release the band's material in the US, starting with the band's second LP. Rather than go with the original album title, What We Did On Our Holidays, A&M retitled the album Fairport Convention, releasing it in 1970. The problem is that the band's first album, released in the UK on Polydor in 1968, was also titled Fairport Convention. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the lineup on the 1968 Polydor LP differs from that of every other Fairport album, most notably in the absence of the band's most visible member, vocalist Sandy Denny. Fairport Convention (the band) was formed in 1967, and was consciously following in the footsteps of Jefferson Airplane, albeit from a British perspective. Like the Airplane, the original Fairport lineup had a wealth of talent, including Martin Lamble on drums and violin, Simon Nicol on guitars, Judy Dyble on autoharp, recorder and piano, Richard Thompson on guitar and mandolin, Ashley Hutchings (then known as Tyger Hutchings) on bass and Ian MacDonald (who later became known as Ian Matthews), who shared lead vocals with Dyble. Musically the band was far more rock-oriented than on later LPs, as can be heard on tracks like Jack Of Diamonds, a song that the band credited to Bob Dylan and Ben Carruthers. This can be attributed, at least in part, to a general disdain among the youth of Britain for the traditional English folk music that was taught to every schoolchild in the country (whether they wanted it or not). Later albums would find Fairport Convention doing more and more traditional folk, eventually becoming the world's most popular practicioners of the art, although they never entirely abandoned their rock roots.

Artist:    Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title:    Green River
Source:    LP: Chronicle (originally released on LP: Green River and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    John Fogerty
Label:    Fantasy
Year:    1969
    In 1969 I was living in Germany (on Ramstein AFB, where my father, a career NCO, was stationed), where the choices for radio listening consisted of Radio Luxembourg, which only came in after dark and faded in and out constantly, the American Forces Network (AFN), which had a limited amount of music programming, most of which was targeted to an older demographic, and an assortment of German language stations playing ethnic and classical music. As a result, I didn't listen much to the radio, instead relying on word of mouth from my fellow high school students and hearing songs played on the jukebox at the Ramstein teen club on base. Both Proud Mary and Bad Moon Rising had completely slipped under my radar, in fact, so Green River was the first Creedence Clearwater Revival song I was even aware of. I immediately went out and bought a copy of the single at the BX, and soon had my band covering the record's B side, Commotion. I'm afraid Green River itself was beyond our abilities, however. Nonetheless, I still think of that "garage" band I was in (actually, since we all lived in apartment buildings, we had to practice in the basement of one of them rather than an actual garage) whenever I hear Green River.
Artist:    Mountain
Title:    Never In My Life
Source:    LP: Climbing
Writer(s):    West/Pappalardi/Collins/Laing
Label:    Windfall
Year:    1970
    Leslie West started his career as lead guitarist for the Vagrants, releasing a cover of Otis Redding's Respect nearly simultaneously with Aretha Franklin's version. His first solo LP, entitled Mountain, included former Cream producer Felix Pappalardi on bass and keyboards and led directly to the formation of the band Mountain, which gained instant popularity at the Woodstock festival in 1969. The first "official" Mountain album by the power trio of West, Pappalardi and drummer Corky Laing starts off with three outstanding songs, the third of which is Never In My Life.
Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)
Source:    LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme
Writer:    Paul Simon
Label:    Sundazed/Columbia
Year:    1966
    One of Simon And Garfunkel's most popular songs, The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) originally appeared on their 1966 LP Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme. The recording was never, however, released as a single by the duo (although it did appear as a 1967 B side) probably because, at 1:37, it was considered too short for top 40 airplay. When Columbia released a greatest hits compilation album (after the duo had split up), a live acoustic version of the song was included on the album. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) did make the top 40 in 1967, when it was recorded by Harper's Bizarre, a group featuring future Doobie Brothers and Van Halen producer Ted Templeman on lead vocals.

Artist:    Circus
Title:    Yes Is A Pleasant Country
Source:    CD: Think I'm Going Weird
Writer(s):    Mel Collins
Label:    Grapefruit
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 2021
    Formed around 1961 in Guildford, Surrey, England, the Stormsville Shakers were rooted in late 1950s American rock 'n' roll, and made their first recordings as the backup band for Larry Williams, who was touring the UK with Johnny "Guitar" Watson in 1965 (many early rock 'n' roll artists found it less expensive to perform backed by local bands rather than take an entire entourage on tour with them, especially overseas). By 1967, however, they had shifted their focus to psychedelia, changing their name to Circus and trading in saxophones for flutes. Although they only released two singles as Circus, they did record a handful of demo tapes, including Yes Is A Pleasant Country, written by bandmember Mel Collins, who would later go on the become a member of King Crimson (and is probably best known for his saxophone solo on the Rolling Stones song Miss You).

Artist:    Arlo Guthrie
Title:    Motorcycle Song (Significance Of The Pickle)
Source:    The Best Of Arlo Guthrie
Writer(s):    Arlo Guthrie
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1968?
    To be honest, I am not sure when this particular recording was made. Arlo Guthrie originally recorded the Motorcycle Song for his 1967 debut album, Alice's Restaurant. The first live recording of the song was released the following year on the LP Arlo. However, his reference to having been performing the song for twelve years makes me think this is a mid-seventies performance. It's even possible that the greatest hits album, issued in 1977, was the first time this recording was released.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2338 (start 9/18/23)

    A whole lot of shorter tracks this time around. In fact, only two exceed the five-minute mark, a new record for Rockin' in the Days of Confusion. Among this week's fifteen tunes are eight that have never been played on the show before, plus two more that are different versions of songs than those previously featured.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Footstompin' Music
Source:    CD: Heavy Hitters (originally released on LP: E Pluribus Funk)
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1971
    By late 1971 tensions between the members of Grand Funk Railroad and their manager/producer Terry Knight were coming to a head. Somehow, though, they managed to put together one last album before the band fired Knight, leading to a protracted legal battle that ultimately saw Knight getting exclusive rights to all Grand Funk Railroad recordings made before 1972. The album itself, E Pluribus Funk, only took a week to record, and is best known for the fact that the album cover itself was round rather than square, and was designed to look like a huge silver coin, with the faces of the three band members on the front cover and Shea Stadium, where the band had recently broken the Beatles' record by selling out all the seats in just 72 hours, on the flip side.
Even though Grand Funk Railroad was known primarily as a live act first and album-oriented rock band second, all but one of the songs on E Plurubus Funk were released on 45 RPM vinyl as well, although only the album's opening track, Footstompin' Music, was able to crack the top 40.

Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Blind Eye
Source:    CD: Wishbone Ash
Writer(s):    Turner/Turner/Powell/Upton
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1970
    One of the first bands to feature two lead guitarists working in tandem, Wishbone Ash rose to fame as the opening act for Deep Purple in early 1970. After guitarist Andy Powell sat in with Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore during a sound check, Blackmore referred Wishbone Ash to MCA, the parent company of the US Decca label. The band's first LP came out in December of 1970, with Blind Eye becoming the band's first single. Although Wishbone Ash went on to become one of Britain's top rock bands of the 1970s, they were never as successful in the US, despite relocating to the states in 1973.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Strange Kind Of Woman
Source:    CD: The Very Best Of Deep Purple (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single and in US on LP: Fireball)
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Archives/Rhino (original US label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1971
    Strange Kind Of Woman was a top 10 hit when it was released as a single in the UK in 1971. Although it was also released in the US, the single got virtually no top 40 airplay and failed to chart. It was, however, included on the US version of the album Fireball, which in turn led to plenty of airplay on FM rock radio, making it one of Deep Purple's most recognizable tunes.

Artist:    Firesign Theatre
Title:    Live From The Senate Bar (If You Call That Living)
Source:    LP: Dear Friends
Writer(s):    Proctor/Bergman/Austin/Ossman
Label:    Columbia
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 1972
    From September of 1970 to February 1971 the Firesign Theatre produced a weekly syndicated radio series called Dear Friends. In 1972 the foursome collected what they considered the best bits from the shows and released them as the double-LP Dear Friends. The political parody Live From The Senate Bar (If You Call That Living) came from the show dated October 4, 1970.

Artist:    Kak
Title:    Bryte 'N' Clear Day
Source:    British import CD: Kak-Ola (originally released on LP: Kak)
Writer(s):    Yoder/Grelecki
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Epic)
Year:    1969
    The origins of the band called Kak are a bit on the strange side. Gary Lee Yoder's popular Oxford Circle had just broken up when a guy named Gary Grelecki walked up to the singer/songwriter/guitarist and introduced himself, telling him how much he liked the Oxford Circle and adding that he could get him a record deal with CBS. Yoder, somewhat naively, gave Grelecki his phone number, and a couple months later received a call from Grelecki saying he had landed him a contract with the Epic label. Yoder, not quite knowing whether the offer was for real or not, nonetheless recruited his former bandmate Dehner Patton to play lead guitar. Patton, in turn, brought in percussionist Chris Lockheed, who already knew Yoder from doing some TV production work. In early 1968 they recruited drummer Joe-Dave Damrell, and Kak was born (the name coming from college professor Dan Phillips, who had come up with the concept of Kak as being something like a joker in a deck of cards that could mean anything you want it to. Around this time Yoder learned that Grelecki's father was in the CIA, and actually did have contacts at Columbia Records, using record distribution outlets in the Far East as fronts for various covert activities. The new band got to work on their debut LP, releasing it in 1969. Yoder wrote all the band's material, mostly by himself, but sometimes in collaboration with Grelecki on songs such as Bryte 'N' Clear Day, a tune that sounds like it could have come from a 70s Texas boogie band like ZZ Top.

Artist:    Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers
Title:    Astral Plane
Source:    CD: The Best Of Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers (The Beserkley Years) (originally released on LP: Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers)
Writer(s):    Jonathan Richman
Label:    Rhino (original label: Beserkley)
Year:    Recorded 1972, released 1976
    In April of 1972 20-year-old Jonathan Richman and his band, the Modern Lovers, made a trip to Los Angeles to record a demo tape with producer John Cale (formerly of Velvet Underground). The tape sat on a shelf for several years as the band went through both artistic and personnel changes, finally surfacing (along with a few tracks recorded with different producers) in 1976 as an album called The Modern Lovers on Matthew "King" Kaufman's new Beserkley label. By then Richman had changed his style considerably and did not acknowledge The Modern Lovers as his first LP. Nonetheless, the album, featuring tracks like Astral Plane, was a critical success and has been cited as an influence by punk rock bands such as the Sex Pistols.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Live With Me
Source:    LP: Let It Bleed
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1969
    Quick quiz time: What was the first song Mick Taylor recorded as a member of the Rolling Stones? If you answered Honky Tonk Women you would be close, but not quite right. The actual answer is Live With Me, a track that appeared on the LP Let It Bleed seven months after it was recorded. The song's lyrics were cited as the reason that the London Bach Choir asked not to be credited for their vocals on You Can't Always Get What You Want from the same album. 

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Bluebird
Source:    British import LP: The New Age Of Atlantic (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atlantic (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    When it comes right down to it Buffalo Springfield has one of the highest ratios of songs recorded to songs played on the radio of any band in history, especially if you only count the two albums worth of material that was released while the band was still active. This is probably because Buffalo Springfield had more raw songwriting talent than just about any two other bands. Although Neil Young was just starting to hit his stride as a songwriter, bandmate Stephen Stills was already at an early peak, as songs like Bluebird clearly demonstrate.

Artist:    Jeff Beck
Title:    You Shook Me
Source:    CD: Truth
Writer(s):    Willie Dixon
Label:    Epic/Legacy
Year:    1968
    Led Zeppelin has often been accused of stealing riffs, lyrics and sometimes entire songs from other artists. After hearing Jeff Beck's 1968 recording of Willie Dixon's You Shook Me, from the album Truth with Rod Stewart on vocals, you can add arrangements to the list.

Artist:     Janis Joplin
Title:     Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)
Source:     LP: Super Rock (originally released on LP: I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama)
Writer:     Ragavoy/Taylor
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1969
     A glance through the various playlists on this blog makes one thing abundantly clear: the psychedelic era was a time for bands, as opposed to individual stars. The music industry itself, however, tends to favor the single artist. Perhaps this is because it is easier to market (cynics would say exploit) an individual artist than a collective of musicians. In the case of Janis Joplin, people in the industry managed to convince her that her fellow members of Big Brother and the Holding Company were holding her back due to their lack of musicianship. A listen to her first album without her old bandmates puts the lie to that argument. Although the Kozmic Blues Band may indeed have had greater expertise as individual musicians than Big Brother, the energy that had electrified audiences at the Monterey Pop Festival and at various San Francisco ballrooms was just not there, and the album is generally considered somewhat limp in comparison to Cheap Thrills. The opening (and some would say best) track on the album is Try (Just A Little Bit Harder). While not a bad song, the recording just doesn't have the magic of a Piece of My Heart or Ball and Chain, despite a strong vocal performance by Joplin herself.
Artist:    Allman Brothers Band
Title:    Trouble No More (live)
Source:    CD: Idlewild South (originally released on LP: Live At Ludlow Garage: 1970)
Writer(s):    McKinley Morganfield
Label:    Mercury (original label: Polydor)
Year:    1969
    The Allman Brothers band grew out of massive jam sessions organized by Duane Allman and drummer Jai Johnny Johanson in early 1969. The two had recently relocated from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where Allman had been doing session work for artists such as Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett (it's Duane's guitar that can be heard on Pickett's version of Hey Jude). One of the musicians Allman invited to the sessions was bassist Berry Oakley, who in turn recruited Dickey Betts as the as-yet unnamed band's second guitarist. Duane Allman's concept of the new band was to have two guitarists and two drummers, and it wasn't long before Butch Trucks, whom Allman and his brother Gregg had cut a demo with the previous year, was added to the mix. The final piece came into play on March 26, 1969, when Gregg Allman accepted his brother's invitation to sit in with the group as lead vocalist. The band was rehearsing an old Muddy Waters tune, Trouble No More, which became the first song Gregg Allman ever performed with the group. The addition of Gregg as vocalist and keyboardist gave the band its name as well. After releasing their debut LP in November of 1969 the band spent most of the next year doing live gigs all over the south, playing clubs like Cincinnatti's Ludlow Garage. They taped their April 20, 1970 show there, releasing it 20 years later on an album called Live At Ludlow Garage: 1970. The entire album, including this live version of Muddy Waters' Trouble No More, is now available as a bonus disc on the 2015 version of their second album, Idlewild South.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    No One To Depend On
Source:    Mono 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Carabella/Escobida/Rolie
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1971
    Santana's third LP (which like their debut LP was called simply Santana), was the last by the band's original lineup. Among the better-known tracks on the LP was No One To Depend On, featuring a guitar solo by teen phenom Neal Schon (who would go on to co-found Journey). The version here is a rare mono promo pressing issued as a single in 1972. It is obviously not a true mono mix, but what is known as a "fold-down" mix, made by combining the two stereo channels into one. It sounds to me, though, like one channel (the one with Neil Schon's guitar) got shortchanged in the mix.

Artist:    Graham Nash/David Crosby
Title:    Immigration Man
Source:    45 RPM single (promo)
Writer(s):    Graham Nash
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1972
    Graham Nash and David Crosby decided to make an album without Stephen Stills or Neil Young in 1972. The two songwriters' compositions alternated on the album, with the final track, Nash's Immigration Man (based on his own real life experience at customs), being released as a single.

Artist:    Robin Trower
Title:    Hannah
Source:    CD: Essential Robin Trower (originally released on LP: Twice Removed From Yesterday)
Writer(s):    Dewar/Isidore/Trower
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1973
    After years of being kept in the background as guitarist Procol Harum, Robin Trower finally left that band in 1971. His first attempt at starting a new band went nowhere, but did net him bassist/vocalist James Dewar for his own Robin Trower Band, a power trio that also included drummer Reg Isadore. Their first album together was Twice Removed From Yesterday, released in 1973. Most of the tunes on the album were written by Dewar and Trower, with Isadore sharing songwriting credits on one track, Hannah.

Artist:    B.B. King
Title:    Ask Me No Questions
Source:    LP: Indianola Mississippi Seeds
Writer(s):    B.B. King
Label:    ABC
Year:    1970
    Listening to the lyrics of this classic B.B. King tune from 1970 I couldn't help but imagine some errant disc jockey (or maybe the front man of a cover band) dedicating it to his wife. Ouch!

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2337 (starts 9/11/23) 

    This time around we have a Donovan set, a couple short progressions through the years, a long 1968 set and an even longer live performance by Quicksilver Messenger Service. Although we only have two songs making their Stuck in the Psychedelic Era debut this week, we have several more that haven't been heard on the show in years.

Artist:    Easybeats
Title:    Good Times
Source:    CD: More Nuggets (originally released in UK and Australia as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Vanda/Young
Label:    Rhino (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1968
    The Easybeats were Australia's most popular band in the sixties. Formed in 1964 at a migrant hostel in Sidney (all the members came from immigrant families), the band's earliest British Invasion styled hits were written by rhythm guitarist George Young (older brother of AC/DC's Angus and Malcolm Young) and lead vocalist "Little" Stevie Wright. By 1966, however, lead guitarist Harry Vanda (originally from the Netherlands) had become fluent in English and with the song Friday On My Mind replaced Wright as Young's writing partner (although Wright stayed on as the band's frontman). Around that same time the Easybeats relocated to England, although they continued to chart hits on a regular basis in Australia. One of their most memorable songs was Good Times from the 1968 album Vigil, featuring guest vocalist Steve Marriott. Originally released in Australia as a B side, the song was later retitled Gonna Have A Good Time for its international release as an A side in 1969. Young and Vanda later moved back to Australia and recorded a series of records under the name Flash and the Pan that were very successful in Australia and Europe. Stevie Wright went on to become Australia's first international pop star. The song Good Times became a hit for another Australian band, INXS, in the 1980s when it was used in the film The Lost Boys.

Artist:    United States Of America
Title:    Coming Down
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: The United States Of America)
Writer(s):    Byrd/Moscowitz
Label:    Sony Music (original US label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    The United States Of America was an outgrowth of the experimental audio work of Joseph Byrd, who had moved to Los Angeles from New York in the early 1960s after studying with avant-garde composers Morton Feldman and John Cage. With lyricist/vocalist Dorothy Moskowitz, he founded The United States Of America in 1967 as a way of integrating performance art, electronic music and rock, with more than a little leftist political philosophy thrown into the mix. Much of the material on the band's only album was co-written by Moskowitz and Byrd, with Byrd writing the music and Moskowitz contributing to the lyrics. Moskowitz also helped with the melody line on a few tracks, such as Coming Down.

Artist:    Guess Who
Title:    Friends Of Mine
Source:    CD: Wheatfield Soul
Writer:    Bachman/Cummings
Label:    Iconoclassic (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1968
    On first listen, Friends Of Mine may appear to be a Doors ripoff, but the band members themselves claim it was inspired more by the Who's first mini-opera, A Quick One While He's Away. Regardless of the source of inspiration, this was certainly the most pyschedelic track ever released by a band known more for catchy pop ballads like These Eyes and No Sugar Tonight. Interestingly enough, RCA released a 45 RPM stereo promo of the song to radio stations, with the 10 minute track split across the two sides of the record. I first heard this cut on the American Forces Network (AFN) in Germany on a weekly show called Underground that ran at midnight on Saturday nights. I doubt any Generals were listening.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    My Sunday Feeling
Source:    LP: This Was
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    For years my only copy of Jethro Tull's first LP, This Was, was a cassette copy I had made myself. In fact, the two sides of the album were actually on two different tapes (don't ask why). When I labelled the tapes I neglected to specify which tape had which side of the album; as a result I was under the impression that My Sunday Feeling was the opening track on the album. It turns out it was actually the first track on side two, but I still tend to think of it as the "first" Jethro Tull song, despite the fact that the band had actually released a single, Sunshine Day, the previous year for a different label (who got the band's name wrong, billing them as Jethro Toe).

Artist:    Zombies
Title:    I Want Her She Wants Me (mono version w/ backing vocals)
Source:    Mono CD: Odessey And Oracle (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Rod Argent
Label:    Varese Sarabande
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 2017
    By 1967 the Zombies were having trouble finding work. Their latest records were not selling and they were considering disbanding, but instead decided to go all out and make a record they could be proud of. They managed to secure a contract with CBS Records (an offshoot of the US Columbia label that was just getting started in the UK) that gave them the freedom to produce themselves. The problem was that CBS, unlike EMI and Decca, did not have its own studios, so the band was forced to book time when and where they could. Much of the album, which came to be known as Odessey And Oracle, was recorded at EMI's Abbey Road studios, but a few tracks were instead recorded at Olympia Sound, a highly regarded studio where the Rolling Stones and Small Faces often recorded. In their last session at Olympic, the Zombies recorded I Want Her She Wants Me, a Rod Argent tune that had originally been recorded by the Mindbenders in 1966. Argent reportedly hated the Mindbenders version of the song and wanted to hear it done right. The mono mix of the song includes background vocals not heard on the stereo album, possibly added during the mixing process itself.

Artist:     Cream
Title:     Pressed Rat And Warthog
Source:     CD: Wheels Of Fire
Writer:     Baker/Taylor
Label:     Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1968
    Pressed Rat And Warthog, from Cream's third LP, Wheels Of Fire, is one of those songs you either love or hate. I loved it the first time I heard it but had several friends that absolutely detested it. As near as I can tell, drummer Ginger Baker actually talks that way. Come to think of it, all the members of Cream had pretty heavy accents.
Artist:    Love
Title:    Laughing Stock
Source:    CD: Love Story (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1968
    The last record by the classic Love lineup was a single released in June of 1968. While Your Mind And We Belong Together is one of the band's most overlooked and underrated tracks, the B side of that single comes across as a sardonic epitaph for the group, with it's intro reminiscent of one of their best tunes, Alone Again Or and sly references to their first hit, My Little Red Book. Lee would soon fire the entire band (except Bryan MacLean, who left voluntarily), reemerging with an entirely new lineup the following year, but he was never able to duplicate the magic of the original Love.
Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    It's All Over Now
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bobby & Shirley Womack
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1964
    During a 1964 on-air interview with the Rolling Stones, New York DJ Murray the K played a copy of a song called It's All Over Now by Bobby Womack's band, the Valentinos. The song had been a minor hit earlier in the year, spending two weeks in the top 100, and the Stones were reportedly knocked out by the record, calling it "our kind of song." Less than two weeks later the Stones recorded their own version of the song, which became their first number one hit in the UK. At first, Womack was reportedly against the idea of a British band recording his song, but changed his mind when he saw his first royalty check from the Stones' recording.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Set Me Free
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1965
    After scoring international success with a series of R&B influenced rockers in 1964, the Kinks started to mellow a bit in 1965, releasing more melodic songs such as Set Me Free. The band would continue to evolve throughout the decade, eventually becoming one of the first groups to release a concept album, Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire), in 1969.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Source:    CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Electric Prunes)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Mantz
Label:    BMG/RCA/Buddah (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:    Balloon Farm
Title:    A Question Of Temperature
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Appel/Schnug/Henny
Label:    Rhino (original label: Laurie)
Year:    1967
    It's not entirely clear whether the Balloon Farm was an actual band or simply an East Coast studio concoction. Regardless, they did manage to successfully cross garage rock with bubble gum for A Question Of Temperature, originally released on the Laurie label in 1967. Band member Mike Appel went on to have greater notoriety as Bruce Springsteen's first manager.
Artist:     Big Brother and the Holding Company
Title:     Down On Me
Source:     CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Joplin In Concert)
Writer:     Trad. Arr. Joplin
Label:     Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:     Recorded 1968, released 1972
     Big Brother And The Holding Company's first album, featuring the single Down On Me, was recorded in 1967 at the studios of Mainstream Records, a medium-sized Chicago label known for its jazz recordings. At the time, Mainstream's engineers had no experience with a rock band, particularly a loud one like Big Brother, and vainly attempted to clean up the band's sound as best they could. The result was an album full of bland recordings sucked dry of the energy that made Big Brother and the Holding Company one of San Francisco's top live attractions. Luckily we have this live version of the tune recorded in Detroit in early 1968 and released on the 1972 album Joplin In Concert that captures the band at their peak, before powerful people with questionable motives convinced singer Janis Joplin that the rest of the group was (ahem) holding her back.

Artist:    Mamas And The Papas
Title:    California Dreamin'
Source:    LP: If You Believe Your Eyes And Ears (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    John and Michelle Phillips
Label:    Dunhill
Year:    1965
    California Dreamin' was written in 1963 by John and Michelle Phillips, who were living in New York City at the time. The two of them were members of a folk group called the New Journeymen that would eventually become The Mamas And The Papas. Phillips initially gave the song to his friend Barry McGuire to record, but McGuire's version failed to chart. Not long after that McGuire introduced Philips to Lou Adler, president of Dunhill Records who quickly signed The Mamas And The Papas to a recording contract. Using the same instrumental backing track (provided by various Los Angeles studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew), The Mamas And The Papas recorded new vocals for California Dreamin', releasing it as a single in late 1965. The song took a while to catch on, but eventually peaked in the top five nationally.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    Tried To Hide
Source:    CD: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators
Writer(s):    Hall/Sutherland
Label:    Collectables (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1966
    The first known use of the word "psychedelic" in an album title by a rock band was The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators, released on the Houston-based International Artists label in August of 1966. The album itself is notable for its inclusion of electric jug (played by Tommy Hall), and for the band's only charted single, You're Gonna Miss Me. The B side of that single was Tried To Hide, written by Hall and guitarist Stacy Sutherland.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Conquistador
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Procol Harum
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    Deram
Year:    1967
    For reasons that are lost to history, the first Procol Harum album was released five months earlier in the US than it was in the UK. It also was released with a slightly different song lineup, a practice that was fairly common earlier in the decade but that had been (thanks to the Beatles) pretty much abandoned by mid-1967. One notable difference is the inclusion of A Whiter Shade Of Pale on the US version (the British practice being to not include songs on LPs that had been already issued on 45 RPM records). The opening track of the UK version was Conquistador, a song that would not become well-known until 1972, when a live version with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra backing up the band became a hit single.

Artist:        Vanilla Fudge
Title:        Season of the Witch (pt. 1)
Source:       Mono CD: The Complete Atco Singles (originally released on LP: Renaissance and as 45 RPM single)
Writer:        Donovan Leitch
Label:        Real Gone/Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:        1968
        The Vanilla Fudge are generally best remembered for their acid rock rearrangements of hit songs such as You Keep Me Hangin' On, Ticket To Ride and Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down). Their third album, Renaissance, while actually featuring more original material that their previous albums, still included a couple of these cover songs. The best-known of these was this rather spooky (and a little over-the-top) version of Donovan's Season Of The Witch, a song that was also covered by Al Kooper and Stephen Stills the same year on the first Super Session album. A mono single version of the song saw the track broken up into two pieces (with some sections left out entirely), one on each side of the 45 RPM record.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills and Nash
Title:    Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Source:    Crosby, Stills and Nash
Writer:    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    After the demise of Buffalo Springfield, Stephen Stills headed for New York, where he worked with Al Kooper on the Super Session album and recorded several demo tapes of his own, including a new song called Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (reportedly written for his then-girlfriend Judy Collins). After his stint in New York he returned to California, where he started hanging out in the Laurel Canyon home of David Crosby, who had been fired from the Byrds in 1967. Crosby's house at that time was generally filled with a variety of people coming and going, and Crosby and Stills soon found themselves doing improvised harmonies on each other's material in front of a friendly, if somewhat stoned, audience. It was not long before they invited Graham Nash, whom they heard had been having problems of his own with his bandmates in the Hollies, to come join them in Laurel Canyon. The three soon began recording together, and in 1969 released the album Crosby, Stills and Nash. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes was chosen as the opening track for the new album and was later released (in edited form) as a single.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Sunny South Kensington
Source:    British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    EMI (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1966 (remixed 1998)
    Donovan followed up his 1966 hit single Sunshine Superman with an album of the same name. He then repeated himself with the song and album Mellow Yellow. The B side of the Mellow Yellow single was Sunny South Kensington, a tune done in much the same style as Superman. The song was also included on the Mellow Yellow album, and in 1998 was mixed in stereo for the first time.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Colours
Source:    CD: Donovan's Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Epic/Legacy (original label: Hickory)
Year:    1965
    Having been introduced to Donovan's music through exposure to Sunshine Superman, Mellow Yellow and later songs, I was always a bit puzzled by references to the Scottish singer/soingwriter as Britain's poor Bob Dylan knockoff. Then I heard Colours and all was made clear. Donovan himself, however, credits Derroll Adams, a songwriter from the Woody Guthrie/Pete Seeger school, as the song's direct influence.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Sunshine Superman
Source:    British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Sunshine Superman)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    EMI (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1966
    Up until the early 1970s there was an unwritten rule that stated that in order to get played on top 40 radio a song could be no more than three and a half minutes long. There were exceptions, of course, such as Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone, but as a general rule the policy was strictly adhered to. Sometimes an artist would record a song that exceeded the limit but nonetheless was considered to have commercial potential. In cases like these the usual practice was for the record company (or sometimes the record's own producer) to create an edited version of the master recording for release as a single. Usually in these cases the original unedited version of the song would appear on an album. In the case of Donovan's Sunshine Superman, however, the mono single version was used for the album as well, possibly because the album itself was never issued in stereo. In fact, it wasn't until 1969 that the full-length original recording of Sunshine Superman was made available as a track on Donovan's first Greatest Hits collection. This was also the first time the song had appeared in stereo, having been newly mixed for that album. An even newer mix was made in 1998 and is included on a British anthology album called Psychedelia At Abbey Road. This version takes advantage of digital technology and has a slightly different sound than previous releases of the song.

Artist:    Peter Howell & John Ferdinando
Title:    Jabberwocky
Source:    Mono British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution (originally released on LP: Alice Through The Looking Glass)
Writer(s):    Carroll/Howell
Label:    Grapefruit (original label: Sound News Productions)
Year:    1969
    Once upon a time, somewhere south of London, there was (and still is) a village called Ditchling. This village was home to a theatre group known as the Ditchling Players. In 1968 the Ditchling Players decided to put on an ambitious adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Through The Looking Glass. In addition to elaborate costumes and stage props, the production used original music provided by two local teenagers, Peter Howell and John Fernando. The two had played together in various amateur bands since the pre-Beatle days and Howell, in particular, had taken an interest in the recording process. Using a primitive version of track bouncing, the two composed complex musical pieces that were soon collected for a soundtrack album. Only 50 copies of the album were made, most of which were sold to members of the Ditchling Players themselves, along with interested audience members. In addition to the music from the stage production, the album included four "bonus" tracks based on the same concept. One of those was Jabberwocky, which combines music by Howell with Carroll's words. Howell would eventually become known for his work on Doctor Who as a member of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop from 1974-1997.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Let's Go Away For Awhile
Source:    Mono CD: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Brian Wilson
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    After spending six months and a record amount of money making Good Vibrations, Brian Wilson and Capitol Records decided to use an existing track for the B side of the single rather than take the time to record something new. The chosen track was Let's Go Away For Awhile, a tune from the Pet Sounds album that Wilson described as the most satisfying instrumental piece he had ever written.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    Don't Bring Me Down
Source:    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:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    Who Do You Love
Source:    LP: Happy Trails
Writer(s):    Elian McDaniel
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    Quick, what was the last rock album released by Capitol using its iconic "rainbow" label before switching over to that horrid light green one that all the early Grand Funk Railroad albums used? If you answered Quicksilver Messenger Service's Happy Trails album, you'd be wrong...but just barely (actually the answer is Gandalf, which was the very next album released after Happy Trails). Happy Trails is dominated by a 25 minute long rendition of Bo Diddley's Who Do You Love recorded live at either the Fillmore East or Fillmore West, or maybe even a combination of both. The performance is divided into continuous sections, each of which is a variation on the song's basic riff as interpreted by (in order), guitarist Gary Duncan, drummer Greg Elmore, guitarist John Cipollina and bassist David Freibereg, although Elmore's segment is more of an audience participation piece. Quicksilver was one of the most popular live acts during the heyday of the late 1960s San Francisco music scene, and this recording demonstrates why.