Saturday, December 23, 2023

Stuck with a hermit Before and After the Psychedelic Era # 2352 (starts 12/25/23)

    It's the final week of 2023, and that means it's time to get Stuck with a hermit Before and After the Psychedelic Era. What that means is that, for the first hour it's all about the music that made the psychedelic era possible, which includes a bit of folk and surf music and a nod to a certain band from Liverpool. But before all that we go even further back, right to the very beginning of what we now call rock 'n' roll. The second hour is an expanded edition of our Advanced Psych segment, featuring tunes from the late 20th and early 21st centuries that preserve the psychedelic spirit.

Artist:    Jackie Brenston And His Delta Cats
Title:    Rocket 88
Source:    Mono CD: Roots Of Rock 1945-1956 (originally released as 78 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Brenston/Turner
Label:    Rhino (original label: Chess)
Year:    1951
    There are several contenders for the title of first rock 'n' roll record, but the one most often cited is Rocket 88. Produced by Sam Phillips, the song was credited to Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, but was in reality Ike Turner's Kings Of Rhythm (Brenston was the group's saxophonist and occasional featured vocalist). According to legend, guitarist Willie Kizart's amplifier suffered a damaged speaker when the band traveled from their Mississippi rehearsal space to Memphis to record the song. To hold the damaged speaker in place Phillips and the band members stuffed wadded up newspaper into the amp, which created a distorted sound that Phillips immediately took to. Rocket 88, released on the Chess label in 1951, ended up going to the top of the R&B charts; more importantly, the record's success helped Phillips launch his own label, Sun Records, the following year.

Artist:    Wynonie Harris
Title:    Good Rockin' Tonight
Source:    Mono CD: Roots Of Rock 1945-1956 (originally released as 78 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Roy Brown
Label:    Rhino (original label: King)
Year:    1948
    Another contender for the title of first rock 'n' roll song is a tune called Good Rocking Tonight. Originally recorded by  Roy Brown and released in 1947 on the DeLuxe label (with the description "Rocking Blues with Instrumental Accompaniment), the song was picked up by blues shouter Wynonie Harris after Brown's version started catching on as a regional hit in New Orleans. Harris's version of Good Rockin' Tonight topped the R&B charts in 1948 and was later covered by a young Elvis Presley, who released it as his second single for the Sun label in 1954.

Artist:    Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five
Title:    Saturday Night Fish Fry
Source:    Mono CD: Roots Of Rock II (originally released as 78 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jordan/Walsh
Label:    Rhino (original label: Decca)
Year:    1949
    Yet another contender for title of first rock 'n' roll record is Saturday Night Fish Fry, released in 1949 by Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five. Chuck Berry later said that, to his recollection, Jordan was the first person he heard play rock 'n' roll. The song itself topped the R&B charts for a dozen weeks (non-consecutive) and is considered the pinnacle of the jump blues style that dominated 40s rhythm and blues.

Artist:    Amos Milburn
Title:    Chicken Shack Boogie
Source:    Mono CD: Roots Of Rock 1945-1956 (originally released as 78 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Amos Milburn
Label:    Rhino (original label: Aladdin)
Year:    1948
    Originally released as a B side, Chicken Shack Boogie was singer/pianist Amos Milburn's first national hit, going all the way to the top of the R&B charts in 1949. Recorded just prior to the musicians' strike of 1948, the song was perhaps the earliest rock 'n' roll song released on a Los Angeles label (Aladdin).

Artist:    Dominoes
Title:    Have Mercy Baby
Source:    Mono CD: Roots Of Rock II (originally released as 45 & 78 RPM singles)
Writer(s):    Ward/Marks
Label:    Rhino (original label: Federal)
Year:    1952
    By 1952 many labels were simultaneously releasing singles on both 78 RPM "shellacs" and 45 RPM vinyl records. One of the most popular was Have Mercy Baby, often considered the definitive "rhythm & gospel" record. The song was co-written by Billy Ward, a vocal coach who built the Dominoes around tenor Clyde McPhatter, who would go on to form the Drifters before embarking on a successful solo career later in the decade.

Artist:    Wille Mae "Big Mama" Thornton
Title:    Hound Dog
Source:    Mono CD: Roots Of Rock 1945-1956 (originally released as 78 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lieber/Stoller
Label:    Rhino (original label: Peacock)
Year:    1953
    Although the progenitors of rock 'n' roll were mostly male, a handful of female vocalists made their mark as well. Among those was Wille Mae "Big Mama" Thornton. After her first two singles failed to gain any traction, Peacock Records owner Don Robey brought in bandleader Johnny Otis to produce her next record. Otis introduced Thornton to a pair of teenaged songwriters, who wrote Hound Dog, a song about a woman tossing her jigalo boyfriend out of her life, to match the singer's style and personality. Lieber later said that Thornton "looked like the biggest, baddest, saltiest chick you would ever see. And she was mean, a 'lady bear,' as they used to call 'em. She must have been 350 pounds, and she had all these scars all over her face" conveying words which could not be sung." Hound Dog was the first of many hits to be written by the Lieber and Stoller team, while Thornton, a songwriter as well as singer, is probably best known as the writer of Ball And Chain, the song that made Janis Joplin an overnight star when performed at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967.

Artist:    Joe Turner And His Blues Kings
Title:    Flip, Flop And Fly
Source:    Mono CD: Roots Of Rock II (originally released as 45 & 78 RPM singles)
Writer(s):    Calhoun/Turner
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1955
    Whenever I hear Joe Turner's Flip, Flop And Fly I immediately think of the animated film Chicken Run. The song itself is basically a 1955 sequel to (or reworking of) Turner's better known Shake, Rattle And Roll, which had come out the previous year, and is one of the last "jump blues" songs to become a hit single. As far as I know, Bill Haley And His Comets did not cover this one.

Artist:    Muddy Waters
Title:    I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man
Source:    Mono CD: Roots Of Rock 1945-1956 (originally released as 45 & 78 RPM singles)
Writer(s):    Willie Dixon
Label:    Rhino (original label: Chess)
Year:    1954
    The psychedelic era would not have happened without the influence of the British invasion. And the British invasion would not have happened without the influence of American blues artists such as Muddy Waters. In late 1953 songwriter Willie Dixon approached record mogul Leonard Chess with a song he felt was right for Waters called I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man. Waters himself took to the tune immediately, and I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man became the biggest hit of Waters's career when released in 1954. The song, with its distinctive use of stop time at the beginning of each verse, is one of the most popular blues songs of all time, and has inspired many other songs such as Bo Diddley's I'm A Man and the Jerry Lieber/Mike Stoller tune Riot In Cell Block Number 9. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man also cemented Dixon's position as the premier songwriter at Chess Records, and has been recorded by dozens of artists over the years (including Steppenwolf, who's 1968 version of Hoochie Coochie Man introduced me to Dixon's songwriting).

Artist:    Little Junior's Blue Flames
Title:    Feelin' Good
Source:    Mono CD: Roots Of Rock II (originally released as 45 & 78 RPM singles)
Writer(s):    Junior Parker
Label:    Rhino (original label: Sun)
Year:    1953
    The first time I heard Feelin' Good by Little Junior's Blue Flames my first thought was "So that's where they got it!"; they, in this case, being Canned Heat. Born in Mississippi, details of Junior Parker's early life are somewhat sketchy, but by 1950 he was associated with the Beale Streeters, a musicians coaltion that included such future stars as Bobby "Blue" Bland and B.B. King. In 1951 Parker formed his own band, the Blue Flames, and signed with Sam Phillips's Sun label. His first single for sun was Feelin' Good, which hit the #5 spot on the R&B charts in 1953. A later song written by Parker, Mystery Train, became one of Elvis Presley's best known early recordings.

    No matter who created it, there is no doubt that by the mid-1950s, rock 'n' roll was in full swing, with its own set of rising stars.

Artist:    Chuck Berry
Title:    Maybellene
Source:    Mono CD: Billboard Top Rock 'n' Roll Hits-1955 (originally released as 45 & 78 RPM singles)
Writer(s):    Chuck Berry
Label:    Rhino (original label: Chess)
Year:    1955
    Although there are plenty of tunes dating back to the late 1940s that have at least partial claim to being the first rock 'n' roll records, it was Chuck Berry's Maybellene that announced to the world that rock 'n' roll had truly arrived. Released in 1955, the song rose quickly up the charts, thanks in part to disc jockey Alan Freed, who not only championed the original record but was given a composer's credit on later releases of the song (thought to be a form of payola). To put things in perspective, John Lennon once said “If you had to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry." By the end of the 1950s, however, Berry had fallen out of favor due to things (like transporting a teenage girl across state lines) that had nothing to do with his music.

Artist:    Little Richard
Title:    Long Tall Sally
Source:    Mono CD: Billboard Top R&B Hits-1956 (originally released as 45 & 78 RPM singles)
Writer(s):    Johnson/Blackwell/Penniman
Label:    Rhino (original label: Specialty)
Year:    1956
    There's little doubt that Pat Boone's cover of Tutti Frutti lessened the impact of Little Richard's original, even if it did increase the popularity of the song itself, generating more royalties for everyone involved. But, as Little Richard himself put it, "When Tutti Frutti came out. ... They needed a rock star to block me out of white homes because I was a hero to white kids. The white kids would have Pat Boone upon the dresser and me in the drawer 'cause they liked my version better, but the families didn't want me because of the image that I was projecting." So for his next single, Little Richard decided to write a song that was so up-tempo and the lyrics so fast that Boone would not be able to handle it. That song was Long Tall Sally, and although Boone did record a cover of it, it was Little Richard's version that made the top 10 in 1956. Late in 1957, Little Richard shocked everyone by announcing he was leaving rock 'n' roll to study theology. He didn't return to the entertainment world until 1962, but by then his popularity had faded considerably.

Artist:    Jerry Lee Lewis
Title:    Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On
Source:    Mono CD: Billboard Top Rock 'n' Roll Hits-1957 (originally released as 45 & 78 RPM singles)
Writer(s):    Williams/David
Label:    Rhino (original label: Sun)
Year:    1957
    The original "rock 'n' roll wild man", Jerry Lee Lewis cut his first single, Crazy Arms, for Sun Records in 1956. Over the next few months the pianist made a decent living as a session musician for the label, backing up people like Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash. Lewis's  breakthrough as a solo artist came in 1967 with the release of his version of Big Maybell's Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On. Despite his wild antics onstage, Jerry Lee Lewis was a deeply religious man who often expressed concern that the music he was making was leading both him and his audience down the road to Hell. Lewis's rock 'n' roll career got derailed when it was discovered that he, at age 22, had married his then 13-year-old cousin (his third marraige). He later resurfaced as a country star, charting 17 top 10 singles on the country charts between 1968 and 1977.

    As rock 'n' roll grew in popularity, opposition to it grew even faster. There were warnings about how the "Devil's music" was corrupting the youth of America, but such warnings only served to make rock 'n' roll even more attractive to rebellious teenagers. It only took a couple of years, however, for the Establishment to figure out that the best way to control this new music was to infiltrate it, replacing the early rock 'n' rollers with made-to-order "pop stars" that could easily be controlled. By 1960, the typical hit record was written by professional songwriters, with instrumental tracks provided by studio musicians hired by producers who would then bring in vocalists to complete the product to be sent out to top 40 radio stations across the country. Nobody called it rock 'n' roll anymore, but there were things happening that would, within a few short years, lead to what is now known as the psychedelic era. One of those things was the mostly instrumental music being played on a local level by musicians inspired by the early rock 'n' rollers, particularly on the US West Coast. At the same time surfing was growing in popularity, and it didn't take long for many of those instrumentalists to become identified with the sport. Among those was a guitarist named Dick Dale...

Artist:    Dick Dale And His Del-Tones
Title:    Miserlou
Source:    Mono CD: Surfin' Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Nick Rubanis
Label:    Rhino (original label: Del-Tone)
Year:    1962
    When the term "surf music" comes up, most people think of vocal groups such as the Beach Boys or Jan & Dean. Some even mention the Ventures, who released well over a hundred instrumental LPs in their existence, most of which are considered surf records. Those truly in the know, however, will tell you that Dick Dale, the man who was asked by Fender Instruments to road test their new Reverb guitar amplifiers in the early 60s, was the true King Of The Surf Guitar. Although he did record a few vocal singles, Dale is mostly known for his high-energy instrumental tracks such as Miserlou, a 1962 recording that was given new life in 1994 when Quentin Tarantino included it in the film Pulp Fiction.

Artist:    Chantays
Title:    Pipeline
Source:    CD: Surfin' Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Spickard/Carman
Label:    Rhino (original label: Downey)
Year:    1962
    Bob Spickard, Brian Carman, Bob Welch, Warren Waters and Rob Marshall were all students at Santa Ana High School in California who were inspired by a local group called the Rhythm Rockers to form their own rock and roll band. The surf craze was just getting under way on the California coast, and the new group, calling themselves the Chantays, soon found themselves recording for the local Downey label, which was actually owned by a music publishing company. In December of 1962 they recorded and released what would become one of the most popular instrumental surf songs ever committed to vinyl: the classic Pipeline. The song was quickly picked up an re-released on the Dot label in early 1963, eventually going all the way to the #4 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The Chantays have the distinction of being the only rock 'n' roll band to ever perform on TV's Lawrence Welk Show.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Surfin'
Source:    Mono LP: Surfin' Safari (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Wilson/Love
Label:    Capitol (original label: Candix)
Year:    1961
    It is a little known fact that the popularity of the first Beach Boys single Surfin', actually bankrupted Candix records (apparently several distributors skipped out on actually paying for copies). The song itself, recorded in November of 1961 using rented instruments, has a kind of high energy doo wop quality that doesn't much resemble the kind of songs that made them famous, but it was pretty popular in Southern California when it was released in December of 1961. Luckily for the band, their manager/father Murry had already negotiated a deal with Capitol Records and Surfin'  ended up being included on their debut LP, Surfin' Safari, the following year.

    At the same time that surf music was rising in popularity in the West, a revival of folk music (much of which had been forced underground by McCarthyism in the 1950s) was happening on the East Coast, with icons from the 1940s like Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie inspiring a new generation of singers and songwriters that had no interest in becoming part of the pop music machine.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Blowin' In The Wind
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of The Original Mono Recordings (originally released on LP: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1963
    Generally acknowledged as Bob Dylan's first true classic, Blowin' In The Wind first appeared on the 1963 album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. The song was popularized the following year by Peter, Paul and Mary and soon was the single most played song around campfires from coast to coast. For all I know it still is. (Do people still sing around campfires? Maybe they should.)

Artist:    Joan Baez
Title:    There But For Fortune
Source:    45 RPM single (promo copy)
Writer:    Phil Ochs
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1965
    When I was a kid I used to occasionally pick up something called a grab bag at the local PX (my dad being in the military, I had access to such places). It was literally a sealed brown paper bag with anywhere from four to six 45 rpm records in it. Usually these were "cut-outs", leftover copies of records that hadn't sold as well as expected. Often they were five or six years old (albeit unplayed). Once in a while, though, there would be a real gem among them. My original copy of the Joan Baez recording of Phil Ochs's There But For Fortune was one such gem. I later found a promo copy while working at KUNM in Albuquerque, which is the one I use now, since my original is long since worn out. Not only was this record my first introduction to Joan Baez, it was also the first record I had ever seen on the Vanguard label and the first song written by Phil Ochs I had ever heard. Not bad for twelve and a half cents, especially when you consider that the flip side was Baez doing a Bob Dylan tune that Dylan himself had not yet released.

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.

    With folk music setting the stage on one coast and surf music on the other, the final catalyst that gave birth to the psychedelic era came from, of all places, Liverpool, England, where four young men were demonstrating that one did not need professional songwriters and studio musicians to make popular records.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    P.S. I Love You
Source:    CD: Please Please Me (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side; US release: LP: Introducing...The Beatles)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original US label: Vee Jay)
Year:    1962
    As the B side of the very first Beatles single, P.S. I Love You was, along with Love Me Do, one of the first songs that people outside of Liverpool or Hamburg ever heard by the fab four. The single itself sold moderately well in the UK, but was only the first hint of what Beatlemania would soon become. Released in 1962, the two songs originally appeared in the US on the first pressing of the album Introducing The Beatles, which was released in January of 1964 on the Vee Jay label after sitting on the shelf for several months. Within a week, however, Vee Jay withdrew the album from circulation due to litigation from Capitol Records. Apparently, by not releasing the single in the US the previous year, Vee Jay had allowed Capitol's publishing arm to secure the rights to the two songs. Vee Jay quickly released a modified version of Introducing...The Beatles that did not include the two songs, replacing them with Please Please Me and Ask Me Why, which Vee Jay had released as a single in 1963. P.S. I Love You, a mainly Paul McCartney composition, would later appear on the Capitol LP The Early Beatles. When CDs were introduced in the mid 1980s it was decided to use the original British versions of all the Beatles' albums, which meant that P.S. I Love You was now on the Please Please Me album in the US.

    One final note on the subject of Before the Psychedelic Era: this first hour focused entirely on the musical roots of the era. Obviously there were other factors, but since this is a music show and not a documentary I'll direct you to the following article on our web page to get a broader perspective:

Artist:    Tol-Puddle Martyrs
Title:    Perfect Day
Source:    CD: Flying In The Dark
Writer(s):    Peter Rechter
Label:    Secret Deals
Year:    2011
    The original Tolpuddle Martyrs were a group of farmers in the English village of Tolpuddle who had the temerity to try organizing what amounts to a union in the 19th century. For their efforts they found themselves deported to the penal colony now known as Australia. But that doesn't really concern us. What I wanted to talk about was the original Tol-Puddle Martyrs (note the hyphen), the legendary Australian band that evolved from a group called Peter And The Silhouettes. Well, not exactly. What I really wanted to talk about is the current incarnation of the Tol-Puddle Martyrs. Still led by Peter Rechter, the Martyrs have released a series of CDs since 2007 (including a collection of recordings made by the 60s incarnation of the band). Among those CDs is the 2011 album Flying In The Dark, which contains several excellent tunes such as Perfect Day. Thanks to Peter Rechter himself, we will be hearing tracks from all the Tol-Puddle Martyrs albums from time to time for the forseeable future.
Artist:    Big Boy Pete And The Squire
Title:    Tea
Source:    CD: Hitmen
Writer(s):    Miller/Zajkowski
Label:    Rocket Racket
Year:    2013
    Once upon a time in the 1960s there was an Englishman named Peter "Big Boy" Miller, who wrote songs that were rejected by not only every British record label, but even his own band. Flash forward to Rochester, NY, in the year 2002, where Christopher Zajkowski, recording as Squires Of The Subterrain, decided to rework some of Miller's songs and record them for an album called Big Boy Treats. Even better, Miller himself flew to Rochester to produce the album. Flash forward again, this time to 2013. Miller and Zajkowski, working together, decide to write new lyrics for a bunch of songs Miller had written in 1967, including the tasty Tea. The songs were included on a CD called Hitmen, released on Zajkowski's Rocket Racket label.

Artist:    Psychedelic Furs
Title:    Sister Europe
Source:    LP: The Psychedelic Furs
Writer(s):    Psychedelic Furs
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1980
            Initially consisting of Richard Butler (vocals), Tim Butler (bass guitar), Duncan Kilburn (saxophone), Paul Wilson (drums) and Roger Morris (guitars), the Psychedelic Furs were formed in 1977 under the name RKO. They soon began calling themselves Radio, then did gigs under two different names, the Europeans and the Psychedelic Furs. By 1979 they had settled on the latter name and expanded to a sextet, adding guitarist John Ashton and replacing Wilson with Vince Ely on drums. The Furs' self-titled debut album, released in 1980, was an immediate hit in Europe and the UK, but airplay in the US was limited mostly to college radio and "alternative" rock stations. The second single released from the album was Sister Europe, a tune that was also  the band's concert opener in the early days of their existence. The Psychedelic Furs' greatest claim to fame, however, is probably the song Pretty In Pink. Originally released on their second album, Talk Talk Talk, in 1981, the song was re-recorded for the John Hughes film of the same name in 1986.

Artist:    Beyond From Within
Title:    Temper My Desire
Source:    CD: Beyond From Within
Writer(s):    Steve Andrews
Label:    independently released
Year:    2015
          Back when I came up with the idea of an Advanced Psych segment several years ago I asked for bands to submit material that might fit into the show. One of the results is Beyond From Within, a project from Steve Andrews of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Temper My Desire is from the CD, which is being distributed independently. If you like what you hear let me know and I'll be happy to put you in touch with Mr. Andrews.

Artist:    Splinter Fish
Title:    July
Source:    LP: Splinter Fish
Writer(s):    Chuck Hawley
Label:    StreetSound
Year:    1989
            Albuquerque, New Mexico is in a unique position when it comes to music. Being 400 miles in any direction away from the next major city, it has managed to develop a strong local alternative music scene, starting in the early 1980s with the emergence of bands like the Philisteens, the Cosmic Grackles and Kor-Phu, just to name a few. As the decade progressed, the scene developed in several directions at once, from hard-core punk (Jerry's Kidz being the most prominent), to so-called "hippy" bands like Illegal Aliens and neo-psychedelic groups like the Crawling Walls. By the end of the decade there were several new venues opening up for hard-to-classify bands like A Murder Of Crows, the Mumphries and this week's featured Advanced Psych band Splinterfish. Led by guitarist/vocalist Chuch Hawley, Splinterfish released only one self-titled LP in 1989, but is still fondly remembered as one of the best bands ever to emerge from the Duke city. July, a melodic track from the album, combines an unusual chord structure with whimsical lyrics to create a truly catchy, yet unique, piece.

Artist:    Geiger Von Müller
Title:    Origins #2
Source:    CD: Teddy Zur And The Kwands
Writer(s):    Geiger Von Müller
Label:    GVM
Year:    2018
    Geiger Von Müller is a London-based guitarist who has deconstructed the blues down to one of its most essential elements, slide guitar, and then explored from scratch what can be done with the instrument. The result is tracks like Origins #2, from the album Teddy Zur And The Kwands. The all-instrumental album is accompanied by the beginning of a science fiction story about the Kwands, a powerful race that kidnaps children's stuff toys, including one called Teddy Zur, to work in their factory as slaves. You'll have to find a copy of the CD itself to get a more detailed explanation.

Artist:    Brian Wilson
Title:    Smile-excerpt from Movement One "Americana"
Source:    CD: Brian Wilson Presents Smile
Writer(s):    Wilson/Parks/Davis/Levy/Gillespie/Smith/Davis
Label:    Nonesuch
Year:    2004
    In the early 1960s, Brian Wilson was a pretty happy guy. He had a gift for writing catchy melodies, which, more often than not, he would hand off to a songwriting partner to add lyrics to the tune. He was also proving to be adept at record production, producing not only all of the records (except for the very first one) released by his own band, the Beach Boys, but producing other groups as well, the most successful being Jan And Dean. Starting in 1965, his music began to take a more sophisticated turn, with more complex musical structures and instrumentation. The 1966 Beach Boys LP Pet Sounds is still considered one of the finest pop albums ever released, but even it pales in comparison to what came next. Before Pet Sounds was released, Wilson had begun work on a new song using a modular production technique, recording the song in segments and experimenting with various ways of tying those segments together. The result was the greatest Beach Boys song ever recorded: Good Vibrations. Wilson was not done, however. Even before Good Vibrations was released he had begun work on a new project that would apply the same modular technique used for Good Vibrations to an entire album's worth of material. However, there were problems. For one thing, Good Vibrations was, at that point in time, the most expensive single record ever produced, costing about $50,000 to make (about $386,000 in 2019 dollars). The cost of producing an entire album at that rate would be astronomical. And then there were the expectations. Pet Sounds was considered by many to be a masterpiece; Good Vibrations even more so. How was Wilson ever going to top either of these? There were also time considerations. The popular music world of 1966 was extremely volatile; a sound that was "hot" today might be considered obsolete six months later. The Beach Boys were scheduled to release their next LP in January of 1967. Could Wilson complete what was being called Smile by then? The answer was no. The release date was repeatedly pushed back. Finally, in May of 1967, to put it bluntly, Brian Wilson cracked under the pressure of it all and cancelled the entire Smile project. Four months later, the album Smiley Smile, considered a pale imitation of Smile itself, hit the record racks, along with a truncated single version of Smile's showpiece, a song called Heroes And Villains. It was thought at the time that Wilson had destroyed the original Smile tapes, but over the next couple of decades rumors persisted that those tapes did in fact still exist, backed up by bootleg tapes that purported to be from the Smile sessions. Finally, in 1993, the box set Good Vibrations: Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys was released with about 30 minutes' worth of material originally recorded for the Smile album. By then Wilson had overcome many of the problems that had plagued him since Smile was cancelled, and had begun to reestablish himself as a solo artist. In 2004, working closely with  Darian Sahanaja (of Wondermints, a power pop trio that had backed Wilson on his solo albums) and lyricist Van Dyke Parks, Wilson reworked Smile as a live performace piece. The studio version of Brian Wilson Presents Smile came out that same year. The 21st century version of Smile is divided into three movements. The first movement is subtitled Americana. This week we are hearing the final two-thirds of that movement, picking it up from the third song, Roll Plymouth Rock, which leads into a short piece called Barnyard, followed by an almost as short medley of the tune Old Master Painter (written in 1949 by Haven Gillespie and Beasley Smith) and the traditional You Are My Sunshine, and concludes with Cabin Essence, a song that the Beach Boys had released (with additional overdubs) on their 1969 album 20/20.

Artist:    Liquid Scene
Title:    The Mystery Machine
Source:    Revolutions
Writer(s):    Becki diGregorio (bodhi)
Label:    Ziglain
Year:    2014
    Keeping the spirit of psychedelia alive we have Liquid Scene with a track from their 2014 debut CD Revolutions. The Mystery Machine, the third track on the CD, uses acoustic percussion instruments to set the tone for a piece that combines modern production techiques with bodhi's haunting vocals to create a memorable soundscape without in any way abandoning its late 60s roots. I like this one more every time I hear it.

Artist:    Dada
Title:    Dorina
Source:    CD: Puzzle
Writer(s):    Calio/Gurney
Label:    IRS
Year:    1992
    In the early 1990s I found myself within listening range of a Virginia Beach radio station that called itself The Coast. Unlike other radio stations in the area, each of which had a tight playlist determined by extensive audience research, The Coast was a relatively free-form station that played an eclectic mix of classic, modern and alternative rock. Among the bands that got airplay on The Coast was a new three-piece band from California called Dada. Consisting of guitarist Michael Gurley and bassist Joie Calio (who shared lead vocals) along with drummer Phil Leavitt, Dada made their recording debut with the 1992 album Puzzle. The first single released from the album, Dizz-Knee Land, got a lot of airplay on more mainstream rock stations, but it was the album's opening track, Dorina, that really grabbed my attention when I heard it on The Coast.

Artist:    Mumphries
Title:    Wishing And Wondering
Source:    CD: Thank You, Bonzo
Writer(s):    Stephen R Webb
Label:    WayWard
Year:    1989
    The last track to be recorded at Albuquerque's Bottom Line Studios before they were dismantled and dismembered was Wishing And Wondering, a song decrying man's mistreatment of his home planet. The song was recorded by the Mumphries, an Albuquerque, NM band made up of Jeff "Quincy" Adams (bass, guitar and vocals), Suzan Hagler (guitar, keyboards), John Henry Smith (drums) and Stephen R Webb (guitar, bass, vocals) and was intended to be submitted to various environmentalist organizations. It is still available, if anyone wants to use it.

Artist:    Ace Of Cups
Title:    We Can't Go Back Again
Source:    CD: Ace Of Cups
Writer(s):    Kaufman/Shae
Label:    High Moon
Year:    2018
    According to Ace Of Cups founder Mary Gannon, Denise Kaufman wrote We Can't Go Back Again on keyboards rather than her usual guitar and first presented it to the group at their rehearsal space in Sausalito. Producer Dan Shae helped update the song for inclusion of the 2018 Ace Of Cups album. The lyrics are at once a caution about squandering what little time we have on this planet and an invitation to reach out to others while we still can.

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