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)
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)
Label: United Artists
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
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
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
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.
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)
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.
Title: Friday On My Mind
Source: CD: Nuggets-Classics From The Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: United Artists)
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
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)
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.
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.)
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)
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.
Title: I Happen To Love You
Source: Simulated stereo British import CD: Now And Them (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Label: Rev-Ola (original US label: Ruff)
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
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)
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.
Title: Hoochie Coochie Man
Source: CD: Steppenwolf
Writer(s): Willie Dixon
Label: MCA (original label: Dunhill)
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)
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
Source: British import CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Label: Rhino (original label: Brent)
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
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
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
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.
Title: Cat's Squirrel
Source: LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s): Trad., arr. S. Splurge
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)
Label: Rhino (original label: Mercury)
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)
Label: Big Beat (original US label: Mainstream)
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
Label: Rev-Ola (original label: Smash)
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!
Title: Strawberry Fields Forever
Source: CD: Magical Mystery Tour (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Apple/Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
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.
Title: Think For Yourself
Source: CD: Rubber Soul
Writer: George Harrison
Label: Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
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.
Source: CD: Magical Mystery Tour
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
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
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
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)
Label: Era (original label: Dunhill)
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
Source: CD: Underground
Label: Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
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)