Sunday, November 26, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2348 (starts 11/27/23)

    This week's edition of Stuck in the Psychedelic Era includes three tunes from the Jimi Hendrix Experience that originally appeared in Europe and the UK only on 45 RPM vinyl, a "mini concert" from the Beatles, and a set of tunes from three different bands all featuring Steve Winwood on lead vocals. We also have Bill Wyman's first and only single of the 1960s and a Status Quo tune that's NOT Pictures Of Matchstick Men.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    You Really Got Me
Source:    Mono CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    K-Tel (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1964
    Although the Beatles touched off the British Invasion, it was the sheer in-your-face simplicity of You Really Got Me, recorded by an "upstart band of teenagers" from London's Muswell Hill district named the Kinks and released in August of 1964 that made the goal of forming your own band and recording a hit single seem to be a viable one. And sure enough, within a year garages and basements all across America were filled with guitars, amps, drums and aspiring high-school age musicians, some of whom would indeed get their own records played on the radio.

Artist:    Leaves
Title:    Too Many People
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Pons/Rinehart
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mira)
Year:    1965
    The Leaves are a bit unusual in that in Los Angeles, a city known for drawing wannabes from across the world, this local band's members were all native Ellayins. Formed by members of a fraternity at Cal State Northridge, the Leaves had their greatest success when they took over as house band at Ciro's after the Byrds vacated the slot to go on tour. Like many bands of the time, they were given a song (Bob Dylan's Love Minus Zero) to record as a single by their producer and allowed to write their own B side. In this case the intended B side was Too Many People, written by bassist Jim Pons and  guitarist Bill Rhinehart. Before the record was released, however, the producers decided that Too Many People was the stronger track and designated it the A side. The song ended up getting more airplay on local radio stations than Love Minus Zero, making it their first regional hit. The Leaves had their only national hit the following year with their third attempt at recording the fast version of Hey Joe, the success of which led to their first LP, which included a watered down version of Too Many People. The version heard here is the 1965 original. Eventually Pons would leave the Leaves, hooking up first with the Turtles, then Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention.

Artist:    Count Five
Title:    Psychotic Reaction
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ellner/Chaney/Atkinson/Byrne/Michalski
Label:    Rhino (original label: Double Shot)
Year:    1966
    San Jose, California, had a vibrant teen music scene in the late 60s, despite the fact that the relatively small city was overshadowed by San Francisco at the other end of the bay (both cities are considered part of the same metropolitan market). One of the more popular bands in town was Count Five, a group of five individuals who chose to dress up like Bela Lugosi's Dracula, capes and all. Musically, they idolized the Yardbirds (Jeff Beck era), and for slightly more than three minutes managed to sound more like their idols than the Yardbirds themselves (who by then had replaced Beck with Jimmy Page and had come under the influence of producer Mickey Most).

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    She Has Funny Cars
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Kaukonen/Balin
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1967
    She Has Funny Cars, the opening track of Jefferson Airplane's second LP, Surrealistic Pillow, was a reference to some unusual possessions belonging to new drummer Spencer Dryden's girlfriend. As was the case with many of the early Airplane tracks, the title has nothing to do with the lyrics of the song itself. The song was also released as the B side to the band's first top 10 single, Somebody To Love. The mono mix used for the single has noticably less reverb than the more familiar stereo version of the song.

Artist:    Status Quo
Title:    Ice In The Sun
Source:    British import CD: Acid Daze (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Wilde/Scott
Label:    Uncut (original label: Cadet Concept)
Year:    1968
    Status Quo scored an international hit with Pictures Of Matchstick Men in early 1968, but their followup single, Black Veils Of Melancholy, failed to chart, even in their native land. Critics called the tune a carbon copy of Pictures, and the band wisely changed direction a bit for their third single, Ice In The Sun. Although not a hit in the US, it did make the British top 10 and went into the top 20 in Germany, Belgium and Ireland.

Artist:     Guess Who
Title:     Undun
Source:     Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer:     Randy Bachman
Label:     RCA Victor
Year:     1969
     Following the release of the Wheatfield Soul album (and the hit single These Eyes), RCA tied the Guess Who down to a long-term contract. One of the stipulations of that contract was that the band would make subsequent recordings at RCA's own studios. After recording the tracks for their follow-up album, Canned Wheat, the band members felt that the sound at RCA was inferior to that of A&R studios, where they had recorded Wheatfield Soul, and secretly re-recorded a pair of tunes at A&R and submitted dubs of the tapes to RCA. The tunes, Laughing and Undun, were issued as a double-sided single in 1969, with both sides getting a decent amount of airplay. Once word got out that the songs had been recorded in a non-RCA studio, the label realized the error of their ways and relaxed the exclusivity policy, although not in time for the band to re-record the rest of the album.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    I Can't Believe It
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Eric Burdon
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1965
    Eric Burdon did not write many songs for the original Animals, and most of those he did with collaborations with other band members. One of the few he did write on his own was I Can't Believe It, released as the B side of the single We Gotta Get Out Of This Place and the American (but not the British) version of the album Animal Tracks.

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    I'll Make You Sorry
Source:    LP: Back Door Men
Writer(s):    Joe Kelley
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    Following the success of the Shadows Of Knight's debut single and LP (both titled Gloria), the band went back into the studio with a bit more experience under their belt and came up with their finest album, Back Door Men. Like Gloria, Back Door Men contained a mixture of Chicago blues and garage/punk, but overall had a greater diversity of style than its predecessor. Surprisingly, every song on the album worked, including guitarist Joe Kelley's vindictive punk rocker I'll Make You Sorry, which was also released as a B side.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Love
Source:    LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    McDonald/Melton/Cohen/Barthol/Gunning/Hirsch
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Most of the songs on the first Country Joe And The Fish album, Electric Music For The Mind And Body, were written and sung by Country Joe McDonald. An exception was the song Love, which was written by the entire band and sung by Barry Melton, aka The Fish.

Artist:     Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:     Purple Haze
Source:     Dutch import LP: The Singles (originally released in the UK as a 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Jimi Hendrix
Label:     Polydor (original label:Track)
Year:     1967
     Purple Haze has one of the most convoluted release histories of any song ever recorded. Originally issued in the UK on the Track label and in Europe on the Polydor label as a single, it scored high on the British charts. When Reprise got the rights to release the first Hendrix album, Are You Experienced, in the US, they chose to replace the first track on the album with Purple Haze, moving the original opening track, Foxy Lady, to side two of the LP. Purple Haze next appeared on the Smash Hits album, which was released pretty much everywhere. The song's next appearance was on a European double LP release on Polydor called The Singles, which collected all the tracks that had previously appeared on 7" vinyl anywhere, including posthumous releases. This was the way things stayed until the early 1990s, when MCA acquired the rights to the Hendrix catalog and re-issued Are You Experienced with the tracks restored to the UK ordering, but preceded by the six non-album sides (including Purple Haze) that had originally been released prior to the album. Most recently, the Hendrix Family Trust has again changed labels and the US version of Are You Experienced is once again in print, this time on Sony's Legacy label. This means that the song has now been released by all three currently existing major record conglomerates.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    51st Anniversary
Source:    Simulated stereo British import LP: Smash Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Polydor (original label: Track)
Year:    1967
    The first Jimi Hendrix Experience single of 1967 (and the first for Track Records) was the classic Purple Haze, released on March 17, 1967. For the B side, the band chose one of producer Chas Chandler's favorite tracks, 51st Anniversary. The song expressed Hendrix's views on marraige by looking at it first from 51 years after the wedding, and then working his way back through the years. The first half, in Hendrix's words, was "just saying the good things about marraige, or maybe the usual things about marraige. The second part of the record tells about the parts of marraige which I've seen." Hendrix's own parents got married when his mother was just 17, just like the girl in the song. Musically, 51st Anniversary is unique in that it is the only Hendrix song ever released that did not have a guitar solo, although the recording does feature five guitar overdubs linked together over the course of the track.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Highway Chile
Source:    Mono Dutch import LP: The Singles (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Polydor (original label: Track)
Year:    1967
    The Jimi Hendrix Experience already had three hit singles in the UK before releasing their first LP, Are You Experienced, in May of 1967. The following month the band made its US debut at the Monterey International Pop Festival. The gig went over so well that Reprise Records soon made arrangements to release Are You Experienced in the US. To maximize the commercial potential of the LP, Reprise decided to include the A sides of all three singles on the album, even though those songs had not been on the British version. The B sides of all three singles, however, were not included on the album. Among those missing tracks was Highway Chile, a somewhat autobiographical song that was originally paired with The Wind Cries Mary.

Artist:    Five Americans
Title:    I See The Light
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Durrill/Ezell/Rabon
Label:    Rhino (original label: Abnak)
Year:    1965
    For years I was under the impression that the Five Americans were a Texas band, mainly due to Abnak Records having a Dallas address. It turns out, though, that the band was actually from Durant, Oklahoma, although by the time they had their biggest hit, Western Union, they were playing most of their gigs in the Lone Star state. I See The Light is an earlier single built around a repeating Farfisa organ riff that leads into a song that can only be described as in your face. The song was produced by the legendary Dale Hawkins, who wrote and recorded the original version of Suzy Q in the late 1950s.

Artist:    Davie Allan And The Arrows
Title:    Blue's Theme
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released on LP: The Wild Ones-soundtrack and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Curb/Allan
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1966
    It is entirely possible that the Chocolate Watchband (or more accurately, the unknown producers of their first recording) were indirectly responsible for giving guitarist Davie Allan his biggest hit single. In 1966, movie producer Roger Corman hired Mike Curb to comeup with soundtrack music for his 1966 film The Wild Ones. Curb in turn contacted his longtime friend (and frequent collaborator) Davie Allan to actually record the soundtrack with his band, the Arrows. The film was released in July of 1966, with the soundtrack album appearing soon after. The obvious high point of the album was the instrumental track Blue's Theme (which technically should have been Blues's Theme, since the film's main character, played by Peter Fonda, was named Heavenly Blues), but at first there were reportedly no plans to release the song as a single. However, late in the year the Chocolate Watch Band were making their very first visit to a recording studio, and were asked to knock out a quick cover of Blues Theme, which was released (sans apostrophe) on the HBR label, credited to The Hogs. Curb must have heard about this as it was being prepared for release, as he managed to put out a single release of the original Davie Allan version of Blue's Theme before the HBR single hit the racks. Either that, or (more likely) the HBR producers simply had bad info about Curb's intentions in the first place.

Artist:    First Edition
Title:    Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: The First Edition and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mickey Newbury
Label:    Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    In 1968, former New Christy Mistrels members Kenny Rogers and Mike Settle decided to form a psychedelic folk-rock band, the First Edition. Although Settle was the official leader on the first album, it was Rogers who would emerge as the star of the band, even to the point of eventually changing the band's name to Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. That change reflected a shift to country flavored pop that would eventually propel Rogers to superstar status.

Artist:    Move
Title:    Blackberry Way
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Roy Wood
Label:    A&M
Year:    1968
    Although they never had a hit single in the US, the Move, led by guitarist Roy Wood, was quite successful in their native UK. Their most successful single was Blackberry Way, released as a non-LP single in 1968, which went all the way to the top of the British charts, also hitting the top 20 in several European nations as well as Australia and New Zealand. Blackberry Way was the only Move single produced by Jimmy Miller, who was asked to take over production on the track by Denny Cordell, who had accidentally overbooked himself. The band's regular vocalist, Carl Wayne, reportedly refused to sing the song, leaving Wood to provide his own lead vocals for the recording.

Artist:    Grass Roots
Title:    Only When You're Lonely
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 10-Folk Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sloan/Barri
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1966
    After the first band hired by songwriter/producers PF Sloan and Steve Barri to be the Grass Roots quit midway through the recording of their first album, Sloan himself took over lead vocal duties, singing on over half the songs on the LP, including Only When You're Lonely. The song was released as a single two months before the album itself, which featured instrumental tracks by the Wrecking Crew and other Los Angeles session musicians.

Artist:    Hearts And Flowers
Title:    Rock And Roll Gypsies
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Of Houses, Kids And Forgotten Women)
Writer(s):    Roger Tillison
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1968
    Led by singer/songwriters Larry Murray and Dave Dawson, Hearts And Flowers is best known for launching the career of guitarist/vocalist Bernie Leadon, who joined the group for their second LP and would later go on to co-found the Eagles. That second album, Of Houses, Kids And Forgotten Women, is generally considered the most accessible of the group's three albums, and included the song Rock And Roll Gypsies, which was included on the Homer movie soundtrack album in 1970.

Artist:    Beacon Street Union
Title:    Blue Avenue
Source:    British import CD: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union/The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens (originally released in US on LP: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union)
Writer(s):    Wayne Ulaky
Label:    See For Miles (original US label: M-G-M)
Year:    1968
    Although never issued as a single in the US, Blue Avenue, from The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union, was the band's most popular song among UK radio listeners. This is due to the fact that the song was played by England's most influential DJ, John Peel, on his "Top Gear" show. One of the many garage bands I was in learned the song and played it at a failed audition for the Ramstein AFB Airman's club, although all five guys in the audience seemed to get a kick out of seeing and hearing me strum my guitar's strings on the wrong side of the bridge.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet
Source:    CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released on LP: Psychedelic Lollipop)
Writer(s):    Gilbert/Scala/Esposito
Label:    BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1966
    The Blues Magoos (original spelling: Bloos) were either the first or second band to use the word psychedelic in an album title. Both they and the 13th Floor Elevators released their debut albums in 1966 and it is unclear which one actually came out first. What's not in dispute is the fact that Psychedelic Lollipop far outsold The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. One major reason for this was the fact that (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet was a huge national hit in early 1967, which helped album sales considerably. Despite having a unique sound and a look to match (including electric suits), the Magoos were unable to duplicate the success of Nothin' Yet on subsequent releases, partially due to Mercury's pairing of two equally marketable songs on the band's next single without indicating to stations which one they were supposed to be playing.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help From My Friends
Source:    CD: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone
Year:    1967
            One of the first tracks recorded for the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was the title track itself, which opens up side one of the LP. The following song, With A Little Help From My Friends (tentatively titled Bad Finger Boogie at the time), was recorded nearly two months later, yet the two sound like one continuous performance. In fact, it was this painstaking attention to every facet of the recording and production process that made Sgt. Pepper's such a landmark album. Whereas the first Beatle album  took 585 minutes to record, Sgt. Pepper's took over 700 hours. At this point in the band's career, drummer Ringo Starr was generally given one song to sing (usually written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney) on each of the group's albums. Originally, these were throwaway songs such as I Wanna Be Your Man (which was actually written for the Rolling Stones), but on the previous album, Revolver, the biggest hit on the album ended up being the song Ringo sang, Yellow Submarine. Although no singles were released from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, With A Little Help From My Friends received considerable airplay on top 40 radio and is one of the most popular Beatle songs ever recorded.
Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Yellow Submarine
Source:    CD: Yellow Submarine Soundtrack (originally released on LP: Revolver)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Capitol
Year:    1966
    When EMI released the entire Beatles catalog on CD for the first time, they issued the Yellow Submarine soundtrack album with the same mix of Beatles tracks and incidental music written by George Martin that had been originally released in 1969. This version only included two songs (All You Need Is Love and the title track itself) that had been previously released, even though several more Beatles songs had been used in the film itself. When the film itself was re-released in 1999, however, it was decided to release an entirely different album called the Yellow Submarine Songtrack that included 15 Beatles tunes and no incidental music. Unlike the 1987 CD, which had used the original mixes from the 1969 LP, the Yellow Submarine Songtrack featured remixes by Peter Cobbin of Abbey Road Studiosof all 15 songs. Ringo's vocals, which on the original mix of the title track had been panned entirely to one side (which made for a weird listening experience on a stereo with one channel blown) were now centered, with John Lennon's responses panned from side to side. The various sound effects used in the song are a bit louder in the mix as well.

Artist:     Beatles
Title:     Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)/A Day In The Life
Source:     CD: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer:     Lennon/McCartney
Label:     Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:     1967
     One of the great accidents of record production was the splice that turned the chicken at the end of Good Morning Good Morning into a guitar, starting off Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) and ultimately leading into A Day In The Life, with it's slowly dissolving orchestral chord that brings the number one album of 1967 to a close.

Artist:    Phil Ochs
Title:    I Ain't Marching Anymore
Source:    CD: Songs Of Protest (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Phil Ochs
Label:    Rhino (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1965
    Phil Ochs' I Ain't Marching Anymore didn't get a whole lot of airplay when it was released in 1965 (unless you count a handful of closed-circuit student-run stations on various college campuses that could only be picked up by plugging a radio into a wall socket in a dorm room). Ochs was aware of this, and even commented that "the fact that you won't be hearing this song on the radio is more than enough justification for the writing of it." He went on to say that the song "borders between pacifism and treason, combining the best qualities of both." The following year Ochs recorded this folk-rock version of the song (backed up by members of the Blues Project) that was released as a single in the UK.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    John Riley
Source:    LP: Fifth Dimension
Writer(s):    Gibson/Neff
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The third Byrds album, Fifth Dimension, saw many changes in the group, not the least of which was the loss of the band's primary songwriter, Gene Clark. In addition, the band made a conscious decision not to include any Bob Dylan cover songs on the album. Combined with a change of producer this made for a very different sounding album than the Byrds' first two efforts. Among the album's four cover songs was a traditional English folk ballad called John Riley that had been previously recorded by Judy Collins and Joan Baez, among others. The Byrds version of John Riley, based on the Baez interpretation of the song, showcases the band's rich harmonies, perhaps more than any other track on Fifth Dimension.

Artist:    Bill Wyman (backed up by the rest of the Rolling Stones)
Title:    In Another Land
Source:    CD: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer(s):    Bill Wyman
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    In Another Land was the first Rolling Stones song written and sung by bassist Bill Wyman, and was even released in the US as a Wyman single. The song originally appeared on the Stones' most psychedelic album, Their Satanic Majesties Request, in late 1967.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Hurdy Gurdy Man
Source:    British import CD: The Hurdy Gurdy Man)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    EMI (original label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    In early 1968 Donovan Leitch decided to try his hand at producing another band, Hurdy Gurdy, which included his old friend bassist Mac MacLeod. However, creative differences with the band led to Donovan recording the song himself and releasing it as a single in May of that year. The song is done in a harder rock style than most of Donovan's recordings, and features some of London's top studio musicians, including Clem Cattini on drums, Alan Parker on guitar and future Led Zeppelin member John Paul Jones on bass. It has long been rumoured that Jimmy Page and John Bonham also participated, but their presence is disputed. Donovan reportedly wanted to use Jimi Hendrix on the recording, but the guitarist was unavailable.

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

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Here We Go 'Round The Mulberry Bush
Source:    Mono CD: Smiling Phases (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Winwood/Capaldi/Wood/Mason
Label:    Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1967
    For many years I was completely oblivious to the existence of a movie called Here We Go 'Round The Mulberry Bush. The Traffic song of the same name, however, has been a favorite of mine for quite some time (I have black and white video footage of the band performing the song on some old British TV show). The song was released as a single in 1967 and was not included on either the US or UK version of the Mr. Fantasy album (originally known in the US as Heaven Is In Your Mind). It is now available, however, as a bonus track on both the mono (Mr. Fantasy) and stereo (Heaven Is In Your Mind) versions of the CD.

Artist:           Blind Faith
Title:        Do What You Like
Source:      British import LP: Blind Faith
Writer:    Ginger Baker
Label:     Polydor
Year:        1969
       Ginger Baker basically invented the rock drum solo, or at least was the first to record one in the studio, with the track Toad from the Fresh Cream album, released in 1966. A live version of the song was featured on the Wheels Of Fire album in 1968. The following year, recording technology had progressed to the point of allowing a true stereo mix of Baker's massive double bass drum setup for the track Do What You Like, a much more sophisticated composition than Toad. Featuring a vocal track from Steve Winwood as well as solos by all four band members, Do What You Like runs about 15 minutes in length.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Deserted Cities Of The Heart
Source:    British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Wheels Of Fire)
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    Polydor (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1968
     The most psychedelic of Cream's songs were penned by Jack Bruce and his songwriting partner Pete Brown. One of the best of these was chosen to close out the last studio side of the last Cream album released while the band was still in existence. Deserted Cities Of The Heart is a fitting epitaph to an unforgettable band.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Dark Star (single version)
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Garcia/Hunter
Label:    Rhino (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1968
    Studio recording. Single version. Shortest Dark Star ever.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2348 (starts 11/27/23) 

    It's a wild one this time on Rockin' in the Days of Confusion, with a dozen tracks from the early 70s, half of which have never been played on the show before. Following an opening track from the Jimi Hendrix Experience, we get into a piece with no guitar at all (but with all kinds of other instruments to make up for it). From their we stick with the keyboard-oriented stuff for a couple tunes before getting back into more guitar-oriented pieces. The show also includes a pair of tracks from Canadian bands, one of which defies conventional categorization, and eventually ends with a hot piece from Arthur Brown (no, not the one you're thinking of).

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Long Hot Summer Night
Source:    LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    With such classics as Voodoo Chile, Crosstown Traffic and Still Raining Still Dreaming on the third Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Electric Ladyland, it's easy to overlook a song like Long Hot Summer Night. Once you hear it, however, you realize just how strong Jimi Hendrix's songwriting had become by 1968. Keyboardist Al Kooper, himself in the process of making rock history with his Super Session album, makes a guest appearance on piano.

Artist:    Nice
Title:    Pathetique (Symphony No. 6, 3rd Movement)
Source:    LP: Keith Emerson With The Nice (originally released on LP: Five Bridges)
Writer(s):    Peter Tchaikovsky (arr. Emerson/Eger)
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1970
    With the release of their Days of Future Passed album in 1968, the Moody Blues paved the way for collaborations between rock bands and classical orchestras. Not all subsequent attempts at combining the two worked quite as well, however. One of the more awkward attempts was a live LP called Five Bridges, by the Nice. Keyboardist Keith Emerson, working with Sinfonia Of London conductor Joseph Eger, arranged pieces such as the third movement of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 for a concert recorded at Croydon's Fairfield Halls in South London, but the result was, in the words of one critic "like listening to two transistor radios simultaneously playing." Still, you gotta give them credit for trying, and the piece does include a nice, albeit short, drum solo from Brian Davison.

Artist:    Apollo 100
Title:    Joy
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    J.S. Bach
Label:    Mega
Year:    1971
    In 1971 British multi-instrumentalist Tom Parker (no relation to the colonel) recruited drummer Clem Cattini, guitarist Vic Flick, guitarist Zed Jenkins, percussionist Jim Lawless, and bassist Brian Odgers to form and instrumental group called Apollo 100. Their first, and most successful release was a keyboard-oriented adaptation of Bach's Jesus, Joy Of Man's Desiring, arranged by Clive Scott of the band Jigsaw. Once it became clear that Apollo 100 was destined to be a one-hit wonder, the group disbanded in 1973.

Artist:    Premiati Forneria Marconi
Title:    Celebration
Source:    Italian import CD: Photos Of Ghosts
Writer(s):    Mussida/Pagani/Sinfield
Label:    RCA
Year:    1973
    The most popular song in the PFM catalogue, Celebration is a re-recording of a song called E Festa from the band's 1971 debut album, Storia di un minuto. The 1973 Photos Of Ghosts recording of Celebration features all new lyrics by Peter Sinfield, who was also working with Emerson, Lake And Palmer, who had signed PFM to their Manticore label for their US releases. Photos Of Ghosts was the first of those releases, and became the first album by an Italian band to crack the Billboard Top 200 album chart.

Artist:    ZZ Top
Title:    El Diablo
Source:    LP: Tejas
Writer(s):    Gibbons/Hill/Beard
Label:    London
Year:    1976
    Although often overlooked due to its lack of a major hit single, ZZ Top's fifth album, Tejas, actually has some fine tunes on it, such as El Diablo. Since the 1980s, the original vinyl mix of the LP remained unavailable for several years, and fans of the band were not happy with the "updated" mixes used on the CD version of the album, which attempted to apply 80s studio effects to the original recordings, particularly the drum tracks. The version heard on Rockin' in the Days of Confusion is taken from an original 1976 vinyl copy of the LP. Yeah, there are a couple pops and ticks here and there, but at least it sounds the way it did when it was released.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    When The Levee Breaks
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin IV
Writer(s):    Page/Plant/Bonham/Jones/Douglas
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1971
    Although it sounds like it could have been written about Hurricane Katrina, When The Levee Breaks, the last song on the fourth Led Zeppelin LP, was actually inspired by the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, that saw levees along the river break in over 145 places, leaving over 700,000 people homeless. 29-year-old Lizzie Douglas, was living with her family near Walls, Mississippi, when the levee there broke, and two years later, using her stage name of Memphis Minnie recorded the original version of When The Levee Breaks with her then-partner Kansas Joe McCoy. In 1971 Led Zeppelin used Douglas's lyrics as the basis for their own, musically different version of When The Levee Breaks. The track is instantly identifiable by John Bonham's distinctive opening drum beat, which has been heavily sampled by various hip-hop artists over the years.

Artist:    Foghat
Title:    Highway (Killing Me)
Source:    LP: Foghat
Writer(s):    Price/Peverett
Label:    Bearsville
Year:    1972
    When bandleader Kim Simmonds decided to take Savoy Brown in a new direction following the Looking In album, he encountered resistance from the other band members, guitarist/vocalist Dave Peverett, bassist Tone Stevens and drummer Roger Earl, who were happy with the band's sound and didn't want to mess with success. Undaunted, Simmonds fired the lot of them and put together a new lineup for the next Savoy Brown album. Meanwhile, the three former members found a new lead guitarist, Rod Price, whose own band, Black Cat Bones, had recently disbanded. Calling their new band Foghat, they released their debut LP in 1972. Most of the material on the album was written by band members, including Highway (Killing Me), a tune that helped establish the new band's sound. Foghat would go on to become one of the top concert draws of the 1970s.

Artist:    Poco
Title:    You Better Think Twice
Source:    LP: Poco
Writer(s):    Jim Messina
Label:    Epic
Year:    1970
    Pull out a copy of the last Buffalo Springfield album and skip all the songs by Neil Young and Stephen Stills and you'll get a pretty good idea of what Poco was all about. Three of the musicians that played on that album (guitarists Richie Furay, Jim Messina, and Rusty Young) were founding members of Poco, joined by bassist Randy Meisner and drummer George Grantham. By 1970 Meisner had left the group to join Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band and had been replaced by Timothy B. Schmit, who had originally auditioned for the band but had been turned down in Meisner's favor (ironically, Schmit would eventually replace Meisner in the Eagles as well). Although Furay's songwriting dominated the self-titled second Poco album, it was Messina's You Better Think Twice that was released as a single in 1970. Although not a hit at the time (one critic called it "too rock for country, too country for rock") the album is now considered one of Poco's best efforts.

Artist:    Guess Who
Title:    Bus Rider
Source:    LP: The Best Of The Guess Who (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Kurt Winter
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1970
    When Randy Bachman suddenly quit the band he had co-founded ten years before, the Guess Who frantically searched for a replacement guitarist. They ended up with two, Kurt Winter and Greg Leskiw. Both had been members of the Winnipeg-based Gettysburg Address, and Winter had recently formed a power trio named Brother that was considered to be Winnipeg's first supergroup. Winter brought a couple of Brother's songs along with him when he joined the Guess Who, one of which, Bus Rider, was issued as a B side in September of 1970 and included as the opening track on the band's Share The Land album the following month. The song also appeared on The Best Of The Guess Who, released in 1971.

Artist:    Crowbar
Title:    Baby Let's Play House
Source:    LP: Bad Manors (Crowbar's Golden Hits, Volume 1)
Writer(s):    Arthur Gunter
Label:    Paramount
Year:    1971
    Ya gotta love a band that doesn't take themselves too seriously. Crowbar was formed in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada by former members of Ronnie Hawkins backup band (known at the time as "And Many Others") after he had fired them all in early 1970, later telling a friend "Those boys could f**k up a crowbar in fifteen seconds." Their first official release was an album called Official Music, credited to King Biscuit Boy with Crowbar. Although KBB would not end up being a permanent member of the band, he did perform with them on many occasions, including a concert at Toronto's Massey Hall that became the first ever live album released by a Canadian band, Larger than Life (and Live'r than You've Ever Been). In between the two the released a studio album called Bad Manors (Crowbar's Golden Hits, Volume 1), that included several cover versions of early 1950s R&B tunes such as Arthur Gunter's Baby Let's Play House. Partway through the recording, in typical Crowbar fashion, the band suddenly breaks into an uncredited version of Foggy Mountain Breakdown before returning for one last chorus of Baby Let's Play House.

Artist:    Doobie Brothers
Title:    Eyes Of Silver
Source:    CD: What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits
Writer(s):    Tom Johnston
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1974
    The second single from the Doobie Brothers 1974 album What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits was a Tom Johnston tune called Eyes Of Silver. Industry magazines Cashbox and Record World praised the song for its similarity to Johnston's earlier Doobie Brothers hit Listen To The Music. Record buyers themselves, however, apparently decided that since they had already bought a copy of Listen To The Music they didn't need to buy one of Eyes Of Silver and the song stalled out in the #52 spot. Luckily for the Doobie Brothers there were stronger songs on the album such as Black Water, which became the band's first #1 hit when released as a single later that year.

Artist:    Who
Title:    I've Had Enough
Source:    CD: Quadrophenia
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA (original label: Track)
Year:    1973
    I'll be honest. When I first heard the Who's Quadrophenia I had the same opinion of it as I did Jethro Tull's Passion Play. I thought it was overblown and too far removed from what made the Who a great band in the first place. Part of the problem was that Pete Townshend's musical score for the rock opera that the band had to use backing tapes when performing it live. The complexity of the music makes it hard for the casual listener to relate to, although the critics by and large loved the album. Another drawback was that vocalist Roger Daltry felt that he had to keep disrupting the flow of the music to explain plot points to the audience, and the band ended up cutting three songs from the piece after just performance. One of the songs that was dropped  was I've Had Enough, which runs over six minutes in length.

Artist:    Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come
Title:    Spirit Of Joy
Source:    British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Journey)
Writer(s):    Kingdom Come
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1973
    One of the great innovators in British rock history, Arthur Brown is best known for his 1968 hit Fire, which topped the charts in several countries. After his original band, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown disbanded in 1969, Brown formed a new group, Kingdom Come, which released three albums in the early 1970s. The third of these, Journey, is notable for being the first rock album to use a drum machine exclusively for its percussion parts. In fact, the entire album is now considered to be an early classic of the electronic rock genre, as can be plainly heard on the track Spirit Of Joy.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2347 (starts 11/20/23)

    This time around we have an actual battle of the bands, with the Doors going up against the Fab Four, plus a handful of tracks never played on the show before, including two bands making their Stuck in the Psychedelic Era debut. And to finish off the week we have part two of The Blues.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Tucker/Mantz
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 Lenny Kaye's original Nuggets compilation album and the first LP in Rhino's own Nuggets series in the 1980s.

Artist:    Frantics
Title:    Human Monkey
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Miller/Stevenson
Label:    Rhino (original label: Action)
Year:    1966
    The Frantics were a popular cover band in Tacoma, Washington in the early 60s. Guitarist Jerry Miller, however, had greater ambitions and eventually relocated to San Francisco, taking the band's name and two of its members, keyboardist Chuck "Steaks" Schoning and drummer Don Stevenson, with him. After recruiting bassist Bob Mosely the Frantics cut their only single, an early Motown-style dance number called the Human Monkey, in 1966. The group would soon shed Schoning and pick up two new members, changing their name to Moby Grape in the process.

Artist:    Wanderin' Kind
Title:    Something I Can't Buy
Source:    Mono CD: If You're Ready! The Best Of Dunwich Records...Volume 2 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Ingle/Sacks/Reybuck
Label:    Sundazed/Here 'Tis (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    Of all the acts associated with the Dunwich label (and later Dunwich Productions) none is more overlooked than the Wanderin' Kind. Their only single, a folk-rock arrangement of Wynken, Blynken and Nod, is not even included in either of the Best Of Dunwich Records CD compilations put out by Sundazed. The record's B side, Something I Can't Buy, is included on the second volume, but no mention of either song or artist is to be found in the liner notes of either CD. There's nothing on the internet about the Wanderin' Kind, either, a truly obscure group.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Darlin' Companion
Source:    LP: The Best Of The Lovin' Spoonful (Volume Two) (originally released on LP: Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful)
Writer(s):    John Sebastian
Label:    Kama Sutra
Year:    1966
    The Lovin' Spoonful hit their creative peak with the album Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful in 1966. Each of the albums 11 songs was deliberately done in a different style, ranging from jug band music to psychedelic rock, with three of them hitting the top 10 singles chart. Another, Darlin' Companion, was covered by Johnny Cash and June Carter on the 1969 live album Johnny Cash at San Quentin. The original Lovin' Spoonful version was considered strong enough to be included on the second Best Of The Lovin' Spoonful album, released in 1968.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Little Miss Queen Of Darkness
Source:    Mono British import CD: Face To Face
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Sanctuary (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    Although the Kinks were putting out some of their most classic recordings in 1966 (A Well Respected Man, Sunny Afternoon), the band was beset with problems not entirely of their own making, such as being denied visas to perform in the US and having issues with their UK label, Pye Records. Among those issues was the cover of their LP Face To Face, which bandleader Ray Davies reportedly hated, as the flower power theme was not at all representative of the band's music. There were internal problems as well, with bassist Peter Quaife even quitting the band for about a month during the recording of Face To Face. Although a replacement for Quaife, John Dalton, was brought in, the only track he is confirmed to have played on was a Ray Davies tune called Little Miss Queen Of Darkness.

Artist:    Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:    When I Was Young
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1967
    After the Animals disbanded in 1966, Eric Burdon set out to form a new band that would be far more psychedelic than the original group. The first release from these "New Animals" was When I Was Young. The song was credited to the entire band, a practice that would continue throughout the entire existence of the group that came to be called Eric Burdon And The Animals.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Tribal Gathering
Source:    CD: The Notorious Byrd Brothers
Writer(s):    Crosby/Hillman
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1968
    In January of 1967 David Crosby attended something called "The Gathering of the Tribes: The Human Be-In" at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Crosby was so impressed by the event and those attending it that he wrote a song about the experience. Tribal Gathering was recorded by the Byrds on August 16, 1967. Within two months Crosby would be kicked out of the band by Chris Hillman and Jim (Roger) McGuinn. Despite this, Tribal Gathering was included on the Byrds' next LP, The Notorious Byrd Brothers, which was released in January of 1968.

Artist:    Floating Bridge
Title:    Don't Mean A Thing
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 8-The Northwest (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Pat Gossan
Label:    Rhino (original label: Vault)
Year:    1969
    One of the forgotten bands from the late 1960s Seattle music scene was Floating Bridge. Formed in 1967, the band consisted of Rich Dangel, Joe Johansen and Denny MacLeod on guitars, Pat Gossan as vocals, Michael Jacobsen on electric Cello & saxophone, Joe Johnson on bass, Andrew Lang on trumpet and Michael Marinelli on the drums. In addition to a highly collectable self-titled LP, Floating Bridge only released two singles before disbanding in 1969. The second of these was a non-album track, Don't Mean A Thing, which was released on the independent Vault label in 1969.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience (II)
Title:    Drifting
Source:    LP: The Cry Of Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 1971
    Recorded during July and August of 1970, Drifting was first released on the 1971 album The Cry Of Love six months after the death of Jimi Hendrix. The song features Hendrix on guitar and vocal, Mitch Mitchell on drums and Billy Cox on bass. Buzzy Linhart makes a guest appearance on the tune, playing vibraphone.

Artist:    Knaves
Title:    Your Stuff
Source:    Mono CD: Oh Yeah! The Best Of Dunwich Records (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Howard Berkman
Label:    Sundazed
Year:    1967
    Rejected by both of Chicago's top 40 stations, the Knaves' second and final single, Inside-Outside/Your Stuff, was long thought to have remained unissued commercially. In recent years, however, several copies of the record have surfaced and are not considered to be bootlegs. The single credits lead vocalist Howard Berkman as sole songwriter of Your Stuff, although the Best Of Dunwich Records CD lists lead guitarist John Hulbert as co-writer of the song.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Come On In
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Original Sound
Year:    1966
    It only cost a total of $150 for the Music Machine to record both sides of their debut single at RCA Studios in Los Angeles, thanks to the band having been performing the songs live for several months. The band then took the tapes to Original Sound, who issued Talk Talk and Come On In on their own label. It may seem odd now, but original promo copies of the record show Come On In, a song that in many ways anticipated bands like the Doors and Iron Butterfly, as the "plug side" of the record, rather than Talk Talk, which of course went on to become the Music Machine's only major hit.

Artist:    Young Rascals
Title:    Find Somebody
Source:    CD: Groovin'
Writer(s):    Cavaleire/Brigati
Label:    Warner Special Products (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1967
    Back in the early 1980s I made myself a mix tape from various albums that I had found at the studios of KUNM, the University Of New Mexico radio station, where I was doing a couple of weekly shifts as a student/volunteer. I still have that tape somewhere, but somewhere along the way I lost track of just what the sources were for the various songs I recorded. Among those "mystery songs" was a tune I really liked a lot called (presumably) Find Somebody. The problem was that I had no clue who the band was. I thought it might be the Young Rascals; if it was it was hands down the coolest Young Rascals song I had ever heard. I spent the next 30 years or so trying to find out where the song had originally appeared, as the cassette tape was too worn out to use over the air. Finally, in 2017, I found a copy of the third Young Rascals album, Groovin', and there it was. So here it is: Find Somebody by the Young Rascals, featuring vocals by Eddie Brigati. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Artist:    Mike Stuart Span
Title:    World In My Head
Source:    Mono British import CD: Think I'm Going Weird (originally released on EP: Exspansions)
Writer(s):    Bennett/Hobday/McCabe/Murphy
Label:    Grapefruit (original label: 117)
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 1993
    Evolving out of a band called the Mighty Atoms, the Mike Stuart Span had already gone through several personnel changes and had been signed, and subsequently dropped by EMI by the time they recorded World In My Head. Without a label to release it on, the recording only existed as an acetate for 25 years before being released on an EP by a British fanzine called 117. Around the time the band was recording World In My Head they were chosen to the be subject of a BBC documentary called A Year In The Life, which charted the band's progress over a period of 12 months. During this period some of their demos were heard by Clive Selwood, head of Elektra Records' UK division. This led to the band signing a deal with Elektra, changing their name to Leviathan in the process. Things did not go well, however, and the band split up before the album was completed. An updated rebroadcast of A Year In The Life in 1989 led to renewed interest in the Mike Stuart Span, leading to the release of the EP Exspansions in 1993. Even more demos surfaced on a CD called Timespan in 1995.

Artist:    Bob Seger System
Title:    Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
Source:    Simulated stereo 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Bob Seger
Label:    Starline (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1969
    People who are familiar with the 70s and 80s hits of Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band may be surprised to hear how much raw energy there is on Seger's early recordings with the Heard, and later the Bob Seger System. The best known of these records is Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, released as a single in 1969. The song did pretty well at the time, but it would be several years before Seger would return to the charts.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Wish Me Up
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single B side (reissue)
Writer(s):    March/Saxon
Label:    Sundazed/M-G-M
Year:    1970
    By the time the 60s had come to an end, the Seeds, who had spearheaded the flower power movement in the middle of the decade, were on their last legs. Only Sky Saxon and Daryl Hooper were left from the original group, and they had lost their contract with GNP Crescendo. Their manager was able to secure a deal to record a pair of singles for M-G-M, but, as can be heard on the B side of the first single, Wish Me Up, the old energy just wasn't there anymore.

Artist:    West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:    In The Arena
Source:    LP: Volume II
Writer(s):    Markley/Harris
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    In The Arena is the quintessential West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band song: an ambitious piece that uses spoken word sections and opposing Apollonian and Dionysian musical themes (the latter featuring some of Ron Morgan's best guitar work) to imply that the things we watch on the nightly television newscast serve the same function in our culture that gladiator fights and the like served in ancient Roman times. The track opens side one of the second West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band album, appropriately called Volume II.

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

Artist:    Velvet Illusions
Title:    Acid Head
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Weed/Radford
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tell, also released on Metromedia Records)
Year:    1967
    Showing an obvious influence by the Electric Prunes (a suburban L.A. band that was embraced by the Seattle crowd as one of their own) the Velvet Illusions backtracked the Prunes' steps, leaving their native Yakima and steady gigging for the supposedly greener pastures of the City of Angels. After a few months of frustration in which the band seldom found places to practice, let alone perform, they headed back to Seattle to cut Acid Head before calling it quits.

Artist:    Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:    Good Morning Starshine
Source:    LP: The Best Of The Strawberry Alarm Clock (originally released on LP: Good Morning Starshine)
Writer(s):    Rado/Ragni/MacDermott
Label:    Sundazed/UNI
Year:    1969
    By 1969 serious problems had developed for the Strawberry Alarm Clock. First, their former manager, whom they had fired for incompetence, had hired two former members of the band, along with three new guys, to tour as the Strawberry Alarm Clock. After a series of legal battles he backed off, but by then nobody wanted to book a band called Strawberry Alarm Clock because they had no idea who would actually show up. Meanwhile, the real S.A.C. was busy working on a fourth album, with the band members producing themselves for the first time. This album was much more blues rock oriented, but their record company was insisting on the band recording another hit single like Incense And Peppermints. The band obliged by once again working with an outside producer to record the song Good Morning Starshine from the musical Hair. According to keyboardist Mark Weitz, "We played well on the music track, we all personally disliked the song as not being our style – that's an understatement – [but] recorded it anyway. Oliver's version came out before ours, and we were killed! That was the end of the line." After a few more non-album singles that failed to chart, the Strawberry Alarm Clock disbanded in 1972, with guitarist Ed King accepting an offer from Ronnie Van Zant to join Lynyrd Skynryd.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    The WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat)
Source:    CD: Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine (originally released on LP: L.A. Woman)
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1971
    Following a downward slide starting in 1968, the Doors ended their original run on a high note in 1971 with the L.A. Woman album. Among the strong blues-based tracks on the album is The WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat), an anthemic number that ranks up with other Doors album classics such as Five To One, When The Music's Over and The End. Big Beat indeed.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Got To Get You Into My Life
Source:    LP: Revolver
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Capitol/EMI
Year:    1966
    One of the best known songs on the Beatles' 1966 album Revolver is Paul McCartney's Got To Get You Into My Life. The song was not released as a single until 1976, when it became the last original Beatles song to hit the top 10 (Free As A Bird, a fleshing out of a John Lennon demo recording by the three living members of the band, made the top 10 nearly 20 years later). McCartney later revealed that the song was an ode to pot, saying "'Got to Get You into My Life' was one I wrote when I had first been introduced to pot ... So [it's] really a song about that, it's not to a person." John Lennon called Got to Get You into My Life one of Paul's best songs.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Love Her Madly
Source:    CD: The Best Of The Doors (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1971   
    Released as a single in advance of the 1971 Doors album L.A. Woman, Love Her Madly was a major success, peaking just outside the top 10 in the US, and going all the way to the #3 spot in Canada. The album itself was a return to a more blues-based sound by the Doors, a change that did not sit well with producer Paul Rothchild, who left the project early on, leaving engineer Bruce Botnik to assume production duties. Rothchild's opinion aside, it was exactly what the Doors needed to end their run (in their original four man incarnation) on a positive note.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Here Comes The Sun
Source:    LP: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple
Year:    1969
    In a way, George Harrison's career as a songwriter parallels the Beatles' development as a studio band. His first song to get any attention was If I Needed Someone on the Rubber Soul album, the LP that marked the beginning of the group's transition from performers to studio artists. As the Beatles' skills in the studio increased, so did Harrison's writing skills, reaching a peak with the Abbey Road album. As usual, Harrison wrote two songs for the LP, but this time one of them (Something) became the first single released from the album and the first Harrison song to hit the top five on the charts. The other Harrison composition on Abbey Road was Here Comes The Sun. Although never released as a single, the song, written while Harrison, tired of dealing with the business aspects of Apple Corp., was hiding out at his friend Eric Clapton's place, has gone on to become Harrison's most enduring masterpiece.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I'm Only Sleeping
Source:    CD: Revolver (originally released in US on LP: Yesterday...And Today)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1966
    Record buyers in the US were able to hear I'm Only Sleeping several weeks before their British counterparts thanks to Capitol Records including the song on the US-only Yesterday...And Today LP. There was a catch, however. Producer George Martin had not yet made a stereo mix of the song, and Capitol used their "Duophonic" system to create a fake stereo version of the tune for the album. That mix continued to be used on subsequent pressings of the LP (and various tape formats), even after a stereo mix was created and included on the UK version of the Revolver album. It wasn't until EMI released the entire run of UK albums on CD in both the US and UK markets that American record buyers had access to the true stereo version of the song heard here.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    The End
Source:    CD: Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine (originally released on LP: The Doors)
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    Prior to recording their first album the Doors' honed their craft at various Sunset Strip clubs, working up live versions of the songs they would soon record, including their show-stopper, The End. Originally written as a breakup song by singer/lyricist Jim Morrison, The End runs nearly twelve minutes and includes a toned-down version of the controversial spoken "Oedipus section" that got them fired from their gig as house band at the Whisky-A-Go-Go. My own take on the famous "blue bus" line, incidently, is that Morrison, being a military brat, was probably familiar with the blue shuttle buses used on military bases overseas for a variety of purposes, including taking kids to school, and simply incorporated his experiences with them into his lyrics.  The End got its greatest exposure in 1979, when Oliver Stone used it in his film Apocalypse Now.

Artist:    Gods
Title:    Hey Bulldog
Source:    British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    EMI (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    Fans of Uriah Heep may recognize the names Ken Hensley, Joe Konas, John Glascock and Lee Kerslake as members of the legendary British rock band at various phases of its existence. What they may not realize is that these four members had already been bandmates since early 1968 as members of the Gods. The band made it's recording debut with a song called Baby's Rich, which led to a concept album called Genesis. 1969 saw the release of a powerful cover of the Beatles' Hey Bulldog, along with a second album, before the group morphed into a band called Toe Fat, with Hensley soon departing to form Uriah Heep. Glascock would later become a long time member of another legendary British band, Jethro Tull.

Artist:    Tangerine Zoo
Title:    Trip To The Zoo
Source:    Mono British import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Smith/Benevides
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1968
    Not all Boston area bands in 1968 were part of the overly hyped "bosstown sound" perpetrated on an unsuspecting public by executives at M-G-M Records. One of the bands that did not participate in the hoax was the Tangerine Zoo from nearby Swansea. The Zoo, consisting of Tony Taviera, Wayne Gagnon, Ron Medieros, Bob Benevides and Donald Smith, were discovered by Bob Shad while playing a gig in Newport, Rhode Island. Shad was so impressed with the band that he immediately signed them to his Mainstream label. The Tangerine Zoo ended up recording two albums for Mainstream; the first of these, which included Trip To The Zoo, took all of 13 hours to record and mix. The shortened version of the song heard here was issued in March of 1968 as the B side of the band's first single for the label.

Artist:    Fantastic Zoo
Title:    Light Show
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Cameron/Karl
Label:    Double Shot
Year:    1967
    The Fantastic Zoo had its origins in Denver, Colorado, with a band called the Fogcutters. When the group disbanded in 1966, main members Don Cameron and Erik Karl relocated to Los Angeles and reformed the group with new members. After signing a deal with local label Double Shot (which had a major hit on the charts at the time with Count Five's Psychotic Reaction), the group rechristened itself Fantastic Zoo, releasing their first single that fall. Early in 1967 the band released their second and final single, Light Show. The song did not get much airplay at the time, but has since become somewhat of a cult favorite.

Artist:    Monks
Title:    Shut Up
Source:    German import CD: Black Monk time
Writer(s):    Burger/Clark/Day/Johnston/Shaw
Label:    Repertoire (original label: Polydor International)
Year:    1966
    There are a lot of contenders for the title of "first punk rock band". Detroit's MC5 get mentioned often, as do Chicago's Shadows Of Knight. Some give credit to L.A.'s Standells, while others cite Pacific Northwest bands such as the Wailers and the Sonics as being the first true punks. Serious consideration has to be given, however, to a group of five members of the US Army stationed in Frankfurt Germany, who decided to augment their GI haircuts by shaving the centers of their heads and calling themselves the Monks. Vocalist/guitarist Gary Burger, organist Larry Clarke, drummer Roger Johnston, bassist Eddie Shaw and banjoist Dave Day began hitting the trinkhauses (combination bars and dance halls) around the area in 1965, moving up to more visible venues the following year after their Army stint was over (apparently they had all been drafted at around the same time). Their style, unlike other bands of the time, was loud, harsh and direct, with lyrics about death, war and hate rather than the usual love ballads made popular by British bands like the Beatles and Herman's Hermits. This, combined with surprisingly strong musicianship, got them a contract with the German branch of Polydor Records. They released their first single, Complication, early in the year, following it up with an LP, Black Monk Time, that summer. In retrospect, the Monks were too far ahead of their time to be a commercial success, but have come to be highly regarded as forerunners of British punk bands such as the Sex Pistols and the Clash. Shut Up, from Black Monk Time, is just a small sample of what the Monks were all about.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Universal Soldier
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Buffy Sainte-Marie
Label:    Hickory
Year:    1965
    Before Sunshine Superman became a huge hit in the US, Scottish folk singer Donovan Leitch was making a name for himself in the UK as the "British Dylan." One of his most popular early tunes was Universal Soldier, an antiwar piece that was originally released in the UK on a four-song EP. The EP charted well, but Hickory Records, which had the US rights to Donovan's records, was reluctant to release the song in a format (EP) that had long since run its course in the US and was, by 1965, only used by off-brand labels to crank out soundalike hits performed by anonymous studio musicians. Eventually Hickory decided to release Universal Soldier as a single, but the record failed to make the US charts.

Artist:    Blood, Sweat & Tears
Title:    Blues-Part II
Source:    CD: Blood, Sweat & Tears
Writer(s):    Blood, Sweat & Tears
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1969
    Although it was the brainchild of keyboardist/vocalist Al Kooper, the band known as Blood, Sweat & Tears had its greatest success after Kooper left the band following the release of their debut LP, Child Is Father To The Man. The group's self-titled second LP, featuring new lead vocalist David Clayton-Thomas, yielded no less than three top 5 singles: You Made Me So Very Happy, Spinning Wheel, and And When I Die. For me, however, the outstanding track on the album was the thirteen and a half minute Blues-Part II, which takes up most of side two of the original LP. I first heard this track on a show that ran late at night on AFN in Germany. I had already heard the band's first two hit singles and was not particularly impressed with them, but after hearing Blues-Part II I went out and bought a copy of the LP. Luckily, it was not the only track on the album that I found more appealing than the singles (God Bless The Child in particular stands out), but it still, after all these years, is my favorite BS&T recording.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2347 (starts 11/20/23)

    Following last week's unavoidable use of a contingency show we are back in free-form mode before setting down to a short progression through the early 1970s this week. Of particular note is a rare Genesis B side that was not released in the western hemisphere at all. This week's closer comes from Chevy Chase doing his best impression of an early 70s singer/songwriter. It all starts off with some Good Old Rock 'n Roll, courtesy Cat Mother And The All Night Newsboys.

Artist:     Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys
Title:     Good Old Rock and Roll
Source:     LP: The Street Giveth...And The Street Taketh Away
Writer(s):    Michaels/Smith/Equine/Chin/Packer
Label:    Polydor
Year:     1969
     By 1969, folk-rock had morphed into what would come to be called country-rock. One of the early country-rock bands that is usually overlooked is Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys. This is probably because their only hit, the '50s tribute song Good Old Rock and Roll, was not at all typical of the band's sound. The song was featured as the opening track of their LP The Street Giveth...And The Street Taketh Away, which was co-produced by Jimi Hendrix.

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

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Friends/Celebration Day
Source:    German import LP: Led Zeppelin III
Writer(s):    Page/Plant/Jones
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Following a year of almost constant touring to promote the first two Led Zeppelin albums, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page decided to take a break in early 1970, moving to a Welsh cottage with no electricity and concentrating on their songwriting skills. The result was an album, Led Zeppelin III, that differed markedly from its predecessors. Many of the songs on the album, such as Friends, were almost entirely acoustical, while others, like Celebration Day, were, if possible, more intense than anything on the band's first two albums. Once much of the material for the new album had been written, Page and Plant were joined by John Bonham and John Paul Jones at a place called Headley Grange, where the band rehearsed the new material, adding a few more songs in the process. The album itself caught the band's fans by surprise, and suffered commercially as a result, but has since come to be regarded as a milestone for the band.

Artist:    Curtis Mayfield
Title:    Freddie's Dead
Source:    CD: Super Fly
Writer(s):    Curtis Mayfield
Label:    Curtom/Rhino
Year:    1972
    The 1971 movie Shaft launched an entire genre of films sometimes known as "blacksploitation" movies. One of the most successful of these was the 1972 film Super Fly. The soundtrack music for Super Fly was provided by former Impressions frontman Curtis Mayfield, and released on his own Curtom label. The single Freddie's Dead, adding vocals to the film's instrumental theme, was released ahead of the film and went into the top 5 on both the Hot 100 and Billboard R&B charts. It was also nominated for a Grammy award, but lost out to the Norman Whitfield/Barrett Strong piece Papa Was A Rolling Stone, sung by the Temptations.

Artist:     David Bowie
Title:     Five Years
Source:     CD: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
Writer(s):    David Bowie
Label:    Ryko (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:     1972
     It took about Five Years for David Bowie's recording career to really take off, but when it did it was in a big way. In fact his 1972 breakthrough album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, is generally credited with kicking off the entire glitter rock movement of the early 1970s.

Artist:    Genesis
Title:    It's Yourself
Source:    British import 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Collins/Rutherford/Banks/Hackett
Label:    Charisma
Year:    1977
    One of the rarest Genesis tracks, Its Yourself was originally slated to be included on the 1976 album A Trick Of The Tail, but time limitations forced the band to instead hold the song back and release it as the B side of Your Own Special Way the following year. That single was never released in the US, however, and the song has not been included on CD versions of any regular Genesis albums, even as a bonus track. Why that should be is a bit of a mystery to me, since It's Yourself is an outstanding track worthy of much greater exposure.
Artist:    Crosby, Stills and Nash
Title:    Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Source:    CD: 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 severely edited form) as a single.

Artist:    Fleetwood Mac
Title:    Tell Me All The Things You Do
Source:    LP: Kiln House
Writer(s):    Danny Kirwan
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1970
    Kiln House, as the first Fleetwood Mac album to not include the band's founder, Peter Green, marks the beginning of the group's transition to the soft-rock sound that would make them one of the most popular bands of the 1980s. Nowhere is that more evident than on Danny Kirwan's Tell Me All The Things You Do, which got considerable airplay on FM rock stations in the US in the early 1970s. Unfortunately, bandmate Jeremy Spencer's 50-style rockers were jarringly different from Kirwan's smoother compositions, making it difficult for the band to establish a coherent identity. Eventually both Spencer and Kirwan would be gone, with first Bob Welch and then the duo of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks helping create the sound Fleetwood Mac is best known for.

Artist:    Elton John
Title:    Razor Face
Source:    CD: Madman Across The Water
Writer(s):    John/Taupin
Label:    MCA (original label: Uni)
Year:    1971
    Although neither Elton John or lyricist Bernie Taupin has seen fit to explain what Razor Face is about, my own interpretation is that it refers to an old friend, possibly an elderly jazz or blues musician with a substance abuse problem, returning after a long absence and needing someone familiar with the territory to help him get reacquainted with his surroundings.

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 recorded their self-titled 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:    National Lampoon, featuring Chevy Chase
Title:    Colorado
Source:    CD: Greatest Hits Of The National Lampoon (originally released on LP: Lemmings)
Writer(s):    Guest/Kelly/Hendra
Label:    Uproar (original label: Blue Thumb)
Year:    1973
    In January of 1973 National Lampoon began running a stage show called Lemmings that ended its run after 350 performances. The second half of each show was subtitled Woodshuck: Three Days of Peace, Love and Death, and was made up of parodies of many of the musical acts that had appeared at Woodstock. One popular performer who wasn't at Woodstock (although he apparently wished he had been) was John Denver. Nonetheless, writers Christopher Guest, Sean Kelly and Tony Hendra decided to include a Denver parody in Lemmings. The song Colorado, about being stranded in winter in the Colorado Rockie Mountains, was sung by a then-unknown Chevy Chase, with instruments and backup vocals provided by the Lemmings cast.


Sunday, November 12, 2023

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2346 (B27) (starts 11/13/23) 

    This week we have what could have been a battle of the two most-played bands on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, but instead ended up being back to back artists' sets from the Beatles and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The main reason for this is that this week's show was actually recorded in 2018, before we started doing battles of the bands on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era. As far as the rest of the show goes, the emphasis is on lesser-played tracks such as the Doors' Wishful Sinful and the Kinks' Something Better Beginning, with a few old favorites tossed in as well.

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:    Kinks
Title:    Something Better Beginning
Source:    LP: Kinda Kinks
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1965
    Although there were differences between the original UK edition and US release of the 1965 LP Kinda Kinks, both albums ended with Ray Davies Something Better Beginning. The album itself was recorded and released within two weeks after the band had returned from an Asian tour. As a result, the production was a rush job and the band members were not happy with the results. Nonetheless, Kinda Kinks ended up being a top 5 album in the UK, peaking at #60 on the Billboard Top LP chart in the US.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Excuse, Excuse
Source:    Mono British import CD: Singles As & Bs (originally released on LP: The Seeds and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    GNP Crescendo/Big Beat
Year:    1966
    Although their management branded them as the original flower power band, the Seeds have a legitimate claim to being one of the first punk-rock bands as well. A prime example is Excuse, Excuse, from their 1966 debut LP, The Seeds. Whereas a more conventional song of the time might have been an angst-ridden tale of worry that perhaps the girl in question did not return the singer's feelings, Sky Saxon's lyrics (delivered with a sneer that would do Johnny Rotten proud) are instead a scathing condemnation of said girl for not being straight up honest about the whole thing.

Artist:      Monkees
Title:     All The King's Horses
Source:     CD: The Monkees (bonus track originally released on LP: Missing Links, vol. 2)
Writer:     Michael Nesmith
Label:     Rhino
Year:     Recorded 1966, released 1990
     When the idea for the Monkees TV series was first pitched to NBC, the plan was for the band to perform two new songs on each episode. Once the series was given the green light, musical supervisor Don Kirschner (he of Rock Concert fame) brought in some of L.A.'s top studio talent to record a TON of material to use on the show. The actual band members were then brought in to record vocal tracks. The material being recorded came from a variety of sources. Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, who helped conceive the show in the first place, had considerable input, as did the professional songwriters such as Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Carole Bayer, Jeff Barri and others working for Kirschner out of the Brill building in New York. Finally, there was Michael Nesmith, who had already established himself as a professional songwriter with tunes such as Mary Mary (recorded by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band) and Different Drum (which would become Linda Ronstadt's first hit song) and thus couldn't be entirely ignored. One of Nesmith's early contributions was All The King's Horses, which was not included on any of the original Monkees albums. The song finally saw the light of day on Rhino's second Missing Links volume, released in 1990.

Artist:    Lowell George And The Factory
Title:    Candy Cane Madness
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on CD: Lightning-Rod Man)
Writer(s):    George/Klein
Label:    Rhino (original label: Bizarre/Straight)
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1993
    Toward the end of 1966 a band called the Factory appeared on the L.A. club scene. They managed to book studio time, but were never able to find a label willing to release the tracks they recorded. Band member Lowell George would later go on to produce other artists such as the GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously) for Frank Zappa's Bizarre Productions and finally become famous as the founder of the band Little Feat. Eventually the old Factory tracks, including Candy Cane Madness, were issued on a CD on the Bizarre/Straight label originally founded by Zappa.

Artist:    Blood, Sweat & Tears
Title:    I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know
Source:    LP: Child Is Father To The Man
Writer(s):    Al Kooper
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    Ever since he was a teenager, Al Kooper had wanted to start a rock band that had a horn section. After making his name as a session musician with Bob Dylan, Kooper joined the Blues Project in 1965 as the band's keyboardist. He left that group in early 1967 and began the slow process of assembling his dream band, Blood, Sweat & Tears, which made its vinyl debut in February of 1968. One of the best remembered songs on the album was I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know. Although not released as a single, the tune became one of the core songs heard on the new FM rock stations popping up across the country in the late 1960s. Kooper himself ended up leaving the band he founded later that same year, moving on to producing and appearing on albums like Super Session and The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper, as well as continuing to work as an in-demand studio keyboardist.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Wishful Sinful
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Robby Kreiger
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1969
    Wishful Sinful, perhaps more than any other song, typifies what's wrong with the Doors' 1969 album The Soft Parade. The tune, written by guitarist Robby Krieger, is lavishly embellished by strings and horns, which made it appealing to the more conservative elements of the music industry, such as the trade magazine Cash Box, while totally alienating the band's core audience. Released as a single in March of 1969, Wishful Sinful was a hit in Denmark, where it went into the top 10 and stayed there for a month. In the US, however, it was unable to crack the top 40 charts. As critic Richie Unterberger later put it, the song was "not all that good, and not sung very convincingly by [Jim] Morrison."

Artist:    Canned Heat
Title:    Long Way From L.A.
Source:    CD: The Very Best Of Canned Heat (Originally released on LP: Historical Figures And Ancient Heads)
Writer:    Jud Baker
Label:    Capitol (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1971
    By 1971 Canned Heat had already hit its commercial peak and was on a long downhill slope saleswise. Their label, Liberty, had been folded into United Artist Records (which had bought Liberty a couple years earlier), and did not seem in the least bit interested in promoting the band's latest album, Historical Figures And Ancient Heads. To make things worse, founding member and guitarist Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson had passed away the previous year, forcing the band to make its first lineup changes since bringing drummer Fito De La Parra into the group in 1968. On the other hand, the group, which had initially been perceived as a bunch of blues-loving hippies trying to emulate their idols, was now fully accepted by the blues community, and had even recorded an album with blues legend John Lee Hooker (Hooker 'n' Heat) that is considered among the finest blues albums ever recorded. Long Way From L.A., an odd choice for a single with its blatant cocaine references, is one of the highlights of Historical Figures And Ancient Heads.

Artist:    Janis Ian
Title:    Mrs. McKenzie
Source:    LP: Janis Ian
Writer(s):    Janis Ian
Label:    Polydor (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:    1967
    Janis Ian was all of fourteen years old when she first recorded the song Society's Child. The song was recorded for Atlantic Records, but the label, fearing reprisals due to the song's subject matter (interracial romance), returned the master tape to Ian and refused to release the record. The song ended up being released on the Verve Forecast label three times between 1965 and 1967, when it finally became a top 20 hit. A self-titled album soon followed that was full of outstanding tracks such as Mrs. McKenzie. The album went out of print for a few years and was re-released on the Polydor label in the mid-70s following the success of Ian's comeback single, At Seventeen.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Let's Spend The Night Together
Source:    CD: Flowers (originally released on LP: Between The Buttons)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    The Rolling Stones second LP of 1967 was Flowers, one of a series of US-only albums made up of songs that had been released in various forms in the UK but not in the US. In the case of Flowers, though, there were a couple songs that had already been released in the US-but not in true stereo. One of those was Let's Spend The Night Together, a song intended to be the A side of a single, but that was soon banned on a majority of US radio stations because of its suggestive lyrics. Those stations instead flipped the record over and began playing the B side. That B side, a song called Ruby Tuesday, ended up in the top 5, while Let's Spend The Night Together barely cracked the top 40. The Stones did get to perform the tune on the Ed Sullivan Show, but only after promising to change the lyrics to "let's spend some time together." Later  the same year the Doors made a similar promise to the Sullivan show to modify the lyrics of Light My Fire, but when it came time to actually perform the song Jim Morrison defiantly sang the lyrics as written. The Doors were subsequently banned from making any more appearances on the Sullivan show.
Artist:     Standells
Title:     Try It
Source:     CD: More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Levine/Bellack
Label:     Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:     1967
     After a series of singles written by producer Ed Cobb had resulted in diminishing returns, the Standells recorded Try It, a tune co-written by Joey Levine, who would rise to semi-anonymous notoriety as lead vocalist for the Ohio Express, a group that was essentially a vehicle for the Kazenetz/Katz production team, purveyors of what came to be called "bubble gum" music. The song itself was quickly banned on most radio stations under the assumption that the phrase "try it" was a call for teenage girls to abandon their virginity. The fact is that nowhere in the song does the word "teenage" appear, but nonetheless the song failed to make a dent in the charts, despite its catchy melody and danceable beat, which should have garnered it at least a 65 rating on American Bandstand.

Artist:    Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band
Title:    Where There's Woman
Source:    British import CD: Safe As Milk
Writer(s):    Van Vliet/Bermann
Label:    Rev-Ola (original US label: Buddah)
Year:    1967
    Fans of Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) were in a state of puzzlement over the presence of Herb Bermann's name in the songwriting credits for the Captain's debut LP, Safe As Milk, for many years. Some, including some members of His Magic Band, thought the name was made up as some sort of tax dodge, and Van Vliet did little to discourage such notions. In fact, the Captain as his career progressed, became somewhat notorious for not sharing songwriting or even arranging credit with anyone, despite the obvious input from various band members on his later albums. It turns out, however, that Bermann is indeed a real person, and in fact co-wrote (with Dean Stockwell) the screenplay for a proposed film called After The Gold Rush. Unfortunately, the film was never made, although Neil Young did compose music for it that became the basis for his own album of the same name. Bermann finally surfaced in 2015 with a book called The Mystery Man from the Magic Band: Captain Beefheart's Writing Partner Revealed, that included several of the lyrics from Safe As Milk (including Where There's Woman) as well as several previously unpublished pieces.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    You're On My Mind
Source:    Mono LP: Animalization
Writer(s):    Burdon/Rowberry
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    I can't tell you with any certainty how the song You're On My Mind ended up being included on the second greatest hits collection from the Animals, but I do have a theory. The song first appeared on the UK album Animalisms, and then two months later on that album's nearest thing to a US counterpart, Animalization. It was one of only two songs on Animalisms credited to vocalist Eric Burdon and organist Dave Rowberry (most of the album being covers of various rhythm and blues songs). I suspect that when it came to compile a greatest hits album, it was decided that even a relatively weak original song would be a better choice than a cover song, so both of the Burdon/Rowberry tunes from Animalisms/Animalization were included. Besides, including You're On My Mind on the album meant more royalties for Burdon and Rowberry, always a consideration.

Artist:    Chocolate Watch Band
Title:    No Way Out
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: No Way Out and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Ed Cobb
Label:    Rhino
Year:    1967
    The Chocolate Watchband, from the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area (specifically Foothills Junior College in Los Altos Hills), were fairly typical of the South Bay music scene, centered in San Jose. Although they were generally known for lead vocalist Dave Aguilar's ability to channel Mick Jagger with uncanny accuracy (and a propensity for blowing better known acts off the stage), producer Ed Cobb gave them a more psychedelic sound in the studio with the use of studio effects and other enhancements (including adding tracks to their albums that were performed entire by studio musicians). The title track of No Way Out is credited to Cobb, but in reality is a fleshing out of a jam the band had previously recorded, but never released.

Artist:    Gun
Title:    The Sad Saga Of The Boy And The Bee
Source:    British import CD: Gun
Writer(s):    Adrian Gurvitz
Label:    Repertoire (original label: CBS)
Year:    1968
    Gun was a British power trio that was even more popular in Germany than in their native land. Led by guitarist/vocalist Adrian Gurvitz (who was using the name Adrian Curtis at the time), the band evolved out of a larger group called the Knack, changing their name in 1966 and paring down to a three-piece consisting of Gurvitz, his brother Paul on bass and drummer Louis Farrell in 1968. The group scored a top 10 single with the opening track of the self-titled debut LP, a fast-paced rocker called Race With The Devil. The album itself had several outstanding tracks, including The Sad Saga Of The Boy And The Bee. As was the case with all the tunes on the album, The Sad Saga Of The Boy And The Bee was written and sung by Gurvitz. After two Gun albums the Gurvitz brothers began using their real names and continued to record together, first as Three Man Army and later with drummer Ginger Baker as the Baker-Gurvitz Army.

Artist:    Steve Miller Band
Title:    Brave New World
Source:    LP: Homer soundtrack (originally released on LP: Brave New World)
Writer(s):    Steve Miller
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1969
    It took the Steve Miller Band half a dozen albums (plus appearances on a couple of movie soundtracks) to achieve star status in the early 1970s. Along the way they developed a cult following that added new members with each successive album. The fourth Miller album was Brave New World, the title track of which was used in the film Homer, a 1970 film that is better remembered for its soundtrack than for the movie itself.

Artist:    Love
Title:    7&7 Is
Source:    CD: Da Capo
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1966
    The word "seven" does not appear anywhere in the song 7&7 Is. In fact, I have no idea where Arthur Lee got that title from. Nonetheless, the song is among the most intense tracks to ever make the top 40. 7&7 Is starts off with power chords played over a constant drum roll (possibly played by Lee himself), with cymbals crashing over equally manic semi-spoken lyrics. The song builds up to an explosive climax: an atomic bomb blast followed by a slow post-apocalyptic instrumental that quickly fades away.

Artist:    Paul Revere and the Raiders
Title:    Hungry
Source:    LP: Spirit of '67
Writer:    Mann/Weil
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    1966 was an incredibly successful year for Paul Revere and the Raiders. In addition to starting a gig as the host band for Dick Clark's new afternoon TV show, Where The Action Is, the band managed to crank out three consecutive top 10 singles. The second of these was Hungry, written by Brill building regulars Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

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

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Hear My Train A Comin'
Source:    CD: Valleys Of Neptune
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 2010
    One of the last recordings made by the original Jimi Hendrix Experience was a demo version of Hear My Train A Comin' on April 7, 1969 that was included on the 2010 album Valleys Of Neptune. The song itself, usually introduced by Hendrix as Get My Heart Back Together, was recorded several times since Hendrix came up with the basic idea for the song in 1967, both live and in the studio, including a Band Of Gypsys version recorded less than two months after the one heard here.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Spanish Castle Magic
Source:    CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    When the second Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Axis: Bold As Love came out it was hailed as a masterpiece of four-track engineering. Working closely with producer Chas Chandler and engineer Eddie Kramer, Hendrix used the recording studio itself as an instrument, making an art form out of the stereo mixing process. The unfortunate by-product of this is that most of the songs on the album could not be played live and still sound anything like the studio version. One notable exception is Spanish Castle Magic, which became a more or less permanent part of the band's performing repertoire.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Cry Baby Cry
Source:    CD: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Apple)
Year:    1968
    Unlike many of the songs on The Beatles (white album), Cry Baby Cry features the entire band playing on the recording. After a full day of rehearsal, recording commenced on July 16, 1968, with John Lennon's guitar and piano, Paul McCartney's bass and Ringo Starr's drum tracks all being laid down on the first day. The remaining overdubs, including most of the vocals and George Harrison's guitar work (played on a Les Paul borrowed from Eric Clapton) were added a couple of days later. At the end of the track, McCartney can be heard singing a short piece known as Can You Take Me Back, accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar in a snippet taken from a solo session the following September.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Abbey Road Medley #1
Source:    CD: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1969
    Much of the second side of the last album to be recorded by the Beatles, Abbey Road, is taken up by (depending on whose view you take) either one long medley or two not-quite-so-long medleys of songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Personally I take the latter view, as there is just a bit too much quiet space at the end of She Came In Through The Bathroom Window for me to consider it linked to the next song, Golden Slumbers. Regardless, the whole thing starts with You Never Give Me Your Money, a Paul McCartney composition reputed to be a jab at the band's second (and last) manager, Allen Klein. This leads into three John Lennon pieces, Sun King, Mean Mr. Mustard and Polythene Pam, ending finally with another McCartney piece, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, a song with nonsense lyrics and a title inspired by a real life break-in by an overzealous fan.
Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Sexy Sadie
Source:    LP: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:    1968
    I can't hear the song Sexie Sadie without being reminded of Charles Manson and his misinterpretation of the White Album (Sadie Mae Glutz was the nickname Manson gave Susan Atkins, one of his female followers). The song was actually inspired by the Mararishi Mahesh Yogi, or more specifically, John Lennon's disillusionment with the man. Lennon said that Sexie Sadie was the last song he wrote before leaving India, and that bandmate George Harrison would only agree to recording the tune if its original title of Maharishi was changed.

Artist:     Jefferson Airplane
Title:     Lather
Source:     CD: Worst Of Jefferson Airplane (originally released on LP: Crown Of Creation)
Writer:     Grace Slick
Label:     BMG/RCA
Year:     1968
     One of Grace Slick's most memorable tunes was Lather, with its eerie instrumental bridge played on a tissue-paper covered comb (at least that's what I think it was). The song was reportedly about drummer Spencer Dryden, the band's oldest member, who had just turned 30. A popular phrase of the time was "don't trust anyone over 30", making it a particularly bad time to have that particular birthday.

Artist:    Iron Butterfly
Title:    My Mirage
Source:    LP: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Writer(s):    Doug Ingle
Label:    Atco
Year:    1968
    One thing about Iron Butterfly's In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida album is that almost nobody remembers any of the songs from the other side of the album. That's a bit of a shame, because there are a couple of really good tunes on there, such as My Mirage, a Doug Ingle composition that helped lay the groundwork for the progressive rock movement of the 1970s.

Artist:    Nilsson
Title:    Sister Marie
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    D. Morrow
Label:    Rhino (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1968
    Well-known as John Lennon's 1970s drinking buddy, singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson first came to prominence in 1969 with the song Everybody's Talking from the movie Midnight Cowboy (the film that brought stardom to actor Dustin Hoffman as well). Although Nilsson is best known as a songwriter (Lennon once called him America's greatest), the B side of his first single, Sister Marie, actually came from an outside source.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Magic Carpet Ride
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: Steppenwolf The Second)
Writer(s):    Moreve/Kay
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    Steppenwolf's second top 10 single was Magic Carpet Ride, a song that combines feedback, prominent organ work by Goldy McJohn and an updated Bo Diddly beat with psychedelic lyrics. Along with Born To Be Wild, Magic Carpet Ride (co-written by vocalist John Kay and bassist Rushton Moreve) has become one of the defining songs of both Steppenwolf and the psychedelic era itself.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: The Best Of Procol Harum (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    A&M (original label: Deram)
Year:    1967
    Often credited as the first progressive rock band, Procol Harum drew heavily from classical music sources, such as the Bach inspired theme used by organist Matthew Fisher as the signature rift for A Whiter Shade of Pale. The song itself hold the distinction of being the most-played song on the British airwaves over the past 70 years.

Artist:    Tomorrow
Title:    My White Bicycle
Source:    British CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road-1965-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Hopkins/Burgess
Label:    EMI (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1967
    Along with Pink Floyd and the Soft Machine, Tomorrow was among the most influential of the British psychedelic bands that popped up in the wake of the Beatles' Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's albums. Evolving out of the In Crowd, a popular British R&B group in the mold of the Spencer Davis Group and the early Who, Tomorrow featured a young Steve Howe (who would go on to stardom as a member of Yes) on lead guitar and Keith West on vocals. The group was slated to appear in the film Blow-Up, but ultimately lost out to the Yardbirds, who had just recruited Jimmy Page as a second lead guitarist. Unfazed, Tomorrow went into Abbey Road studios and cut My White Bicycle, a song inspired by the practice in Amsterdam of providing free bicycles to anyone who wanted to use one as long as they turned it back in when they were done with it.