Sunday, February 25, 2024

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2409 (starts 2/26/24)

https://exchange.prx.org/p/518441 


    This week, in our second hour, Stuck in the Psychedelic Era takes A Look At Bear's Sonic Journals. Owsley Stanley, known as Bear to his friends, was constantly looking for ways to improve his skills as a live sound man for the Grateful Dead and other San Francisco bands. Starting around 1966, Bear began taping every performance he did sound on, listening back to what he called his "sonic journals' in order to critique his own work, often in the company of the performers themselves. Over a period of about 15 years Bear managed to accumulate in excess of 1300 reels of live performances in a variety of venues, including the legendary Carousel Ballroom (later known as the Fillmore West) and it's New York counterpart, the Fillmore East. Since Bear's death in 2011 his family and friends formed the Owsley Stanley Foundation to preserve and, when necessary, restore these Sonic Journals. To finance the project, the Foundation has released a series of CDs featuring a variety of artists ranging from Johnny Cash to the Allman Brothers Band. This week we present excerpts from some of these CDs, including an extended look at the latest release of the Bear's Sonic Journals: Sing Out, a benefit concert recorded on April 25, 1981 at the Berkeley Community Theater, with additional commentary from Hawk Semins, one of the founders of the Owsley Stanley Foundation. For the first hour the emphasis is on album tracks, with a couple of singles tossed in for good measure. It all begins with an "impossible" battle of the bands featuring one group that stopped doing live performances around the same time as the other was being formed.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Tomorrow Never Knows
Source:    CD: Revolver
Writer:    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1966
    A few years ago I started to compile an (admittedly subjective) list of the top psychedelic songs ever recorded. Although I never finished ranking the songs, one of the top contenders for the number one spot was the Beatles' Tomorrow Never Knows, from the Revolver album. The recording is one of the first to use studio techniques such as backwards masking on the lead guitar track and various tape loops throughout, and has been hailed as a studio masterpiece.

Artist:    Chocolate Watch Band
Title:    Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In) (originally released on LP: No Way Out and as 45 RPM single)
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk
Writer:    McElroy/Bennett
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    It took me several years to sort out the convoluted truth behind the recorded works of San Jose, California's most popular local band, the Chocolate Watch Band. While it's true that much of what was released under their name was in fact the work of studio musicians, there are a few tracks that are indeed the product of Dave Aguilar and company. Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In), a song used in the cheapie teenspliotation flick the Love-In and included on the Watch Band's first album, is one of those few. Ironically, the song was co-written by Don Bennett, the studio vocalist whose voice was substituted for Aguilar's on a couple of other songs from the same album. According to legend, the band actually showed up at the movie studio without any songs prepared for the film, and learned to play and sing Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In) right there on the set. This, combined with the story of their first visit to a recording studio the previous year (a story for another time) shows one of the Watch Band's greatest strengths: the ability to pick up and perfect new material faster than anyone else. It also shows their overall disinterest in the recording process. This was a band that wanted nothing more than to play live, often outperforming the big name bands they opened for.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Savoy Truffle
Source:    CD: The Beatles
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Apple)
Year:    1968
    George Harrison's skills as a songwriter continued to develop in 1968. The double-LP The Beatles (aka the White Album) contained four Harrison compositions, including Savoy Truffle, a tongue-in-cheek song about Harrison's friend Eric Clapton's fondness for chocolate. John Lennon did not participate in the recording of Savoy Truffle. The keyboards were probably played by Chris Thomas, who, in addition to playing on all four Harrison songs on the album, served as de facto producer when George Martin decided to take a vacation in the middle of the album's recording sessions. 

Artist:     Chocolate Watchband
Title:     No Way Out
Source:     Mono British import CD: Melts In Your Brain, Not On Your Wrist (originally released on LP: No Way Out and as a 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:     Ed Cobb
Label:     Big Beat (original label:Tower)
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, 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). Cobb also pulled other questionable stuff, such as taking credit for the finished version of the song No Way Out, despite the fact that the basic tracks came from a jam session recorded months earlier by the band itself.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I Want To Tell You
Source:    Mono CD: Revolver
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1966
    The first pre-recorded reel-to-reel tape I ever bought was the Capitol version of the Beatles' Revolver album, which I picked up about a year after the LP was released. Although my Dad's tape recorder had small built-in speakers, his Koss headphones had far superior sound, which led to me sleeping on the couch in the living room with the headphones on. Hearing songs like I Want To Tell You on factory-recorded reel-to-reel tape through a decent pair of headphones gave me an appreciation for just how well-engineered Revolver was, and also inspired me to (eventually) learn my own way around a recording studio. The song itself, by the way, is one of three George Harrison songs on Revolver; the most on any Beatle album up to that point, and a major reason that, when pressed, I almost always end up citing Revolver as my favorite Beatles LP.

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband (recording as The Hogs)
Title:    Blues Theme
Source:    Mono CD: One Step Beyond (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Curb/Allen
Label:    Sundazed (original label: HBR)
Year:    1966
    The Chocolate Watchband's first experience in a recording studio came in October of 1966. The band had set up and was getting their sound levels checked when a friend of the producer burst into the studio with the news that the latest "hot thing" was a new movie called the Wild Ones. Davie Allen and the Arrows had cut something called Blues Theme for the soundtrack, and the word was that there were no plans to release the song as a single. Sensing an opportunity, the producer asked the band if they could record their own version of Blues Theme. The Watchband, even at that early point, had a knack for doing convincing covers on a moment's notice, and by the time the session was over they had cut a credible version of Blues Theme. The record was quickly released on the Hanna Barbera (yes, the cartoon people) label, but as by the Hogs rather than the Chocolate Watchband. Although I don't know why this was done, I do have a couple theories. It's entirely possible that the band signed their contract with Tower Records before Blues Theme was released, in which case Tower would naturally forbid the use of the name Chocolate Watchband by another label. Or it could simply be that the unknown producers at HBR felt that a name like the Hogs was more appropriate for a song used in a biker flick. We may never know for sure.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    I'm So Glad
Source:    Mono British import LP: Cream (originally released on LP: Fresh Cream)
Writer(s):    Skip James
Label:    Polydor (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1966
    Unlike later albums, which featured psychedelic cover art and several Jack Bruce/Pete Brown collaborations that had a decidedly psychedelic sound, Fresh Cream was marketed as the first album by a British blues supergroup, and featured a greater number of blues standards than subsequent releases. One of those covers that became a concert staple for the band was the old Skip James tune I'm So Glad. The song has become so strongly associated with Cream that the group used it as the opening number for all three performances when they staged a series of reunion concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in 2004. Unlike the rest of the songs on Fresh Cream, I'm So Glad was never mixed in stereo.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Fire
Source:    LP: The Essential Jimi Hendrix volume two (originally released on LP: Are You Experienced)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    Sometime in late 1966 Jimi Hendrix was visiting his girlfriend's mother's house in London for the first time. It was a cold rainy night and Jimi immediately noticed that there was a dog curled up in front of the fireplace. Jimi's first action was to scoot the dog out of the way so he himself could benefit from the fire's warmth, using the phrase "Move over Rover and let Jimi take over." The phrase got stuck in his head and eventually became the basis for one of his most popular songs. Although never released as a single, Fire was a highlight of the Jimi Hendrix Experience's live performances, often serving as a set opener.

Artist:    Odyssey
Title:    Little Girl, Little Boy
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jerry Berke
Label:    Rhino
Year:    1968
    As far as I can tell, the Odyssey, a band of L.A. garage-rockers, only cut one record before disbanding, a tune called Little Girl, Little Boy that appeared on White Whale Records. The record was produced by Howard Kaylan, lead vocalist of White Whale's biggest act, the Turtles.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    Fire Engine
Source:    CD: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators
Writer(s):    Hall/Sutherland/Erickson
Label:    Collectables (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1966
    In the summer of 1971 the band I was in, Sunn, did a cover of Black Sabbath's War Pigs as part of our regular repertoire. For the siren effect at the beginning of the song we used our voices, which always elicited smiles from some of the more perceptive members of the audience. Listening to Fire Engine, from The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators, has the same effect on me, for pretty much the same reason. The main difference is that the Elevators actually did it with the tape rolling on one of their own original songs, something Sunn never got the opportunity to do.

Artist:     Status Quo
Title:     Pictures Of Matchstick Men
Source:     Simulated stereo CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Francis Rossi
Label:     K-Tel (original label: Cadet Concept)
Year:     1968
     The band with the most charted singles in the UK is not the Beatles or even the Rolling Stones. It is, in fact, Status Quo, quite possibly the nearest thing to a real life version of Spinal Tap. Except for Pictures of Matchstick Men, the group has never had a hit in the US. On the other hand, they remain popular in Scandanavia, playing to sellout crowds on a regular basis (yes, they are still together).

Artist:    Kaleidoscope (UK)
Title:    A Dream For Julie
Source:    Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Daltry/Pumer
Label:    Rhino (original label: Fontana)
Year:    1968
    There were two different bands simultaneously using the name Kaleidoscope in the late 1960s, one in the US and one in the UK. The American Kaleidoscope, like many other West Coast bands, was basically electrified jug band music. The British band of the same name, like many other English groups, established their psychedelic credentials through the use of fantasy-oriented lyrics like "Strawberry monkeys are smiling for Julie, with small button eyes that reflect velvet flowers." Holy Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Batman!

Artist:     Leigh Stephens
Title:     If You Choose To
Source:     LP: Red Weather
Writer:     Stephens/Albronda
Label:     Philips
Year:     1969
     After two albums lead guitarist Leigh Stephens left Blue Cheer to work on solo projects. The resulting album, Red Weather, was recorded in England and included some of the UK's top session players such as keyboardist Nicky Hopkins and drummer Mick Waller. Most of the compositions on Red Weather are credited to Stephens alone, although a couple, including If You Choose To, were co-written by co-producer Eric Albronda, who had been the original Blue Cheer drummer. The album led directly to the formation of the band Silver Metre, which included Stephens, Waller, bassist Pete Sears and vocalist Jack Reynolds. Later Stephens bands included Pilot, Foxtrot and Chronic With A K.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Still There'll Be More
Source:    LP: Home
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    A&M
Year:    1970
    Before there was Procol Harum, there was the Paramounts. In fact, after three albums, Procol Harum actually was the Paramounts, although they continued to use the name Procol Harum. The Paramounts had gone through countless personnel changes before disbanding in 1967, when pianist Gary Brooker and dedicated lyricist Keith Reid left to form Procol Harum with organist Matthew Fisher. Other members at the time included guitarist Robin Trower, bassist Chris Copping and drummer B.J. Wilson, all of which would be members of Procol Harum on their fourth LP, Home. Working with producer Chris Thomas, the album, including songs like Still There'll Be More, was completed at Abbey Road Studios in early 1970 and released in June of that year.  
 
Artist:    Standells
Title:    Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go
Source:    CD: Dirty Water
Writer(s):    Billy Roberts
Label:    Sundazed/Tower
Year:    1966
    One of several fast versions of Hey Joe released in 1966 was included on the Standells album, Dirty Water. Using the title Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go, the song was credited to Chet Powers, aka Dino Valenti. One rumor was the the actual songwriter, Billy Roberts, assigned rights to the song over to Valenti to help him raise funds to defend himself on marijuana possession charges, but that has never been proven.

Artist:    Love Exchange
Title:    Swallow The Sun
Source:    LP: Nuggets vol. 10-Folk Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    John Merrill
Label:    Rhino (original label: Uptown)
Year:    1967
    Comparisons have been made between the Love Exchange and another Los Angeles band, the Peanut Butter Conspiracy. It only makes sense, after all, since both groups were best described as "psychedelic folk-rock" and both were fronted by a female vocalist. In the case of the Love Exchange, this was 16-year-old Bonnie Blunt. What really invites the comparison, however, is the fact that the Love Exchange's best-known song (and only single) Swallow The Sun was written by John Merrill, leader of the Peanut Butter Conspiracy. Despite their lack of recording success, the Love Exchange lasted until 1969, with their last appearance being at the Newport '69 Pop Festival.

Artist:    Savage Resurrection
Title:    Thing In "E"
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: The Savage Resurrection)
Writer(s):    John Palmer
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1968
    Like many areas across the US during the mid-1960s, Contra Costa County, California (say that a few times fast) was home to a thriving local music scene, particularly in the city of Richmond. In 1967 members of several local bands got together to form a sort of garage supergroup, calling themselves Savage Resurrection (so called because of the Native American heritage of a couple of band members). The band, consisting of lead vocalist Bill Harper, lead guitarist Randy Hammon, rhythm guitarist John Palmer, bassist Steve Lage and drummer Jeff Myer, was quite popular locally despite the relative youth of its members (Hammon, for instance, was all of 16 years old), and soon signed a management contract with Matthew Katz, who also managed such well-known San Francisco bands as Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape and It's A Beautiful Day. Katz got the band a contract with Mercury records, and their first and only LP came out in 1968. Thing In "E" was the single from that album, which is still considered one of the best examples of psychedelic garage rock ever recorded. Touring soon took its toll, however, and Harper and Lage left the band soon after the album was released. The rest of the band continued with new members for a few months, but by the end of 1968 Savage Resurrection was little more than a footnote to the San Francisco music story.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Embryonic Journey
Source:    Mono LP: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s):    Jorma Kaukonen
Label:    Sundazed (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1967
    Jorma Kaukonen originally considered Embryonic Journey to be little more than a practice exercise. Other members of Jefferson Airplane insisted he record it, however, and it has since come to be identified as a kind of signature song for the guitarist, who played the tune live when the band was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Flower In The Sun
Source:    CD: Live At The Carousel Ballroom-1968 (originally releasd on LP: Joplin In Concert)
Writer(s):    Sam Andrew
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 1972
    Sam Houston Andrew III is one of the more overlooked talents of the late 1960s San Francisco music scene. Born in 1941, Andrew was a military brat who, at the age of 17, was the host of his own TV show in Okinawa, Japan, as well as leader of the show's house band. His father was transferred to a base in California shortly after Andrew graduated high school, and Andrew soon became involved with the San Francisco music scene. In 1966 he and Peter Albin formed Big Brother And The Holding Company, a band that would, by the end of the year, include vocalist Janis Joplin. Following the release of the hit album Cheap Thrills in 1968, Andrew and Joplin left Big Brother to form the Kozmic Blues Band. Less than a year later Andrew returned to Big Brother And The Holding Company, becoming the band's musical director until his death in 2015. Andrew was Big Brother's most prolific songwriter (he had written his first song at age 6), contributing songs like Combination Of The Two (the band's usual set opener) and Flower In The Sun, the studio version of which was intended for inclusion on Cheap Thrills but cut when it was decided to include a live version of Big Mama Thornton's Ball And Chain on the LP. A live recording of Flower In The Sun, recorded on June 23, 1968 at the Carousel Ballroom, was included on the LP Joplin In Concert in 1972. The complete performance of that Carousel Ballroom show, taken directly from Owsley Stanley's sound board, was made available in 2012 as the first release in the Bear's Sonic Journals series.
    
Artist:    Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady with Joey Covington
Title:    Through The Golden Gate
Source:    CD: Before We Were Them: June 28,1969
Writer(s):    Casady/Kaukonen
Label:    Bear's Sonic Journals
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 2018
    "We had it all going on, what musicians and artists throughout time have hoped to have-places to play and experiment and audiences that were with you as you explored and developed" These words by Jack Casady from the liner notes of the third release in the Bear's Sonic Journals series are perhaps the best description of the psychedelic era that I have ever run across. By mid-1969 Jefferson Airplane had already hit their creative peak as a band and the band members were starting to move in different musical directions. One of these directions, taken by guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady, would result in the creation of a new band, Hot Tuna, that would make its official debut later in the year. In June, however, it was simply Jorma and Jack, along with Joey Covington, who would eventually become Jefferson Airplane's drummer. The trio did a series of gigs from June 27-29, including a show at the Vets Memorial Building in Santa Rosa, Ca. that was recorded by the legendary Owsley Stanley. In addition to blues standards like Rock Me Baby and Airplane songs like Star Track, the gig included several improvisational pieces that remained untitled until the release of a CD called Before We Were Them: June 28,1969. Through The Golden Gate is the longest of these improvisational instrumentals.

Artist:    Allman Brothers Band
Title:    In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed
Source:    CD: Fillmore East February 1970
Writer(s):    Dicky Betts
Label:    Owsley Stanley Foundation/The Allman Brothers Band Recording Company (Bear's Sonic Journals series)
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 1997, remastered 2018
    One of the greatest instrumentals in rock history, In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed was written by Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dicky Betts. The song got it's name from a headstone that Betts saw at the Rose Hill Cemetary in Macon, Georgia. That same cemetary is where band members Duane Allman and Berry Oakley are now buried. The band had only just begun to work the new instrumental into its setlist (as the set opener) when they were invited to open for the Grateful Dead for three nights at the Fillmore East in February of 1970. As the Allman Brothers did not, at that time, have their own soundman, Owsley "Bear" Stanley ran the board, and, as was his habit, had a tape machine running with a feed from the soundboard the entire time there was music being made. The tapes of the Allman Brothers' performance were first released in 1997 by Stanley himself; in 2018 his son Starfinder and a team of engineers remastered the entire set for the Bear's Sonic Journals series of releases.

Artist:    Country Joe McDonald
Title:    Save The Whales
Source:    CD: Sing Out!
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Bear's Sonic Journals
Year:    Recorded 1981, released 2024
    Following an introduction by Wavy Gravy, Country Joe McDonald was the first artist to take the stage for Sing Out, a benefit concert for the Seva Foundation at the Berkeley Community Theatre on April 25, 1981. His first song of the evening was Save The Whales, done in a style resembling nothing so much as an old English sea chanty.

Artist:    Jerry Garcia/Bob Weir/Mickey Hart/Bill Kreutzmann/John Kahn (aka the Not Dead)
Title:    Friend Of The Devil
Source:    CD: Sing Out!
Writer(s):    Hunter/Garcia/Dawson
Label:    Bear's Sonic Journals
Year:    Recorded 1981, released 2024
    Although no one realized it at the time, the Sing Out benefit concert for the Seva Foundation at the Berkeley Community Theatre on April 25, 1981 would be the last time Owsley Stanley recorded members of the Grateful Dead in concert. The all-acoustic set by the group that was nicknamed the "Not Dead" included a slowed-down version of Friend Of The Devil that was unique to that performance.

Artist:    Jerry Garcia/Bob Weir/Mickey Hart/Bill Kreutzmann/John Kahn (aka the Not Dead)
Title:    Oh Boy
Source:    CD: Sing Out!
Writer(s):    West/Tilghman/Petty
Label:    Bear's Sonic Journals
Year:    Recorded 1981, released 2024
    To close out their set at the Sing Out benefit concert for the Seva Foundation at the Berkeley Community Theatre on April 25, 1981, Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir banged out a short, but energetic rendition of Buddy Holly's Oh Boy. Although the Grateful Dead had only performed the song electrically once, in 1971, both Garcia and Weir were obviously quite familiar with the tune, and it's entirely possible they had played it together as early as 1965, when the band was still known as the Warlocks.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2409 (starts 2/26/24)

https://exchange.prx.org/p/518440 


    We start this week with a set of tunes from 1971, including an extended version of a song from Grand Funk Railroad's Survival album. From there it's a freeform set that mixes a couple of popular singles with seldom heard album tracks from people like Tommy Bolin and Joy Of Cooking and finishes with a nice instrumental jam from Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper and friends.

Artist:    Five Man Electrical Band
Title:    Signs
Source:    Mono 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Les Emerson
Label:    Lionel
Year:    1971
    Everybody has at least one song they have fond memories of hearing on the radio while riding around in a friend's car on a hot summer evening. Signs, from Canada's Five Man Electrical Band, is one of mine.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    L.A. Woman
Source:    LP: L.A. Woman
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1971
    Ray Manzarek became justifiably famous as the keyboard player for the Doors. Before joining up with Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger and John Densmore, however, Manzarek was already making a name for himself as an up-and-coming student filmmaker at UCLA. Although he didn't have much of a need to pursue a career in films once the Doors hit it big, he did end up producing and directing an outstanding video for the title track of the 1971 album L.A. Woman years after the band had split up. I only mention this because, really, what else can I say about a song that you've probably heard a million times or so?

Artist:    Yes
Title:    Long Distance Runaround/The Fish (Schindleria Praematuris)
Source:    CD: Fragile
Writer(s):    Anderson/Squire
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1971
    The fourth Yes album, Fragile, introduced the "classic" Yes lineup of John Anderson (vocals), Bill Bruford (drums), Steve Howe (guitar), Chris Squire (bass) and Rick Wakemen (keyboards), and features some of the band's best known songs. Among the most popular is Long Distance Runaround, which was also released as the B side of the hit single Roundabout. Anderson's lyrics express his disillusionment with "the craziness of religion" and intolerance of other viewpoints in general, including opposition to the war in Vietnam. On the album, the song segues directly into The Fish (Schindleria Praematuris), a mostly instrumental piece written by Squire, with a vocal refrain by Anderson repeating the name of a species of prehistoric fish toward the end of the track.

Artist:    Wishbone Ash
Title:    Jail Bait
Source:    LP: Pilgrimage
Writer(s):    Powell/Turner/Upton/Turner
Label:    MCA (original US label: Decca)
Year:    1971
    Although Wishbone Ash's second LP, Pilgrimage, saw the group moving away from blues rock toward a more layered sound, the most popular song on the album was as good a straight blues rocker as you're likely to ever hear. Jail Bait soon became a concert staple for the band.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Country Road (unedited original version)
Source:    CD: Survival (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1971
    The opening track of the fourth Grand Funk Railroad studio album, Survival, was a Mark Farner composition called Country Road. The song was probably chosen to open Survival because of its stylistic consistency with earlier Grand Funk Railroad albums. The version of Country Road heard on the album, however, differs significantly from the original seven and a half minute version of the song heard here. This original version includes a second verse and an entire new section not included on the album itself. Is it better? That's for you to decide.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Tumbling Dice
Source:    Mono 45 RPM promo single
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Rolling Stones
Year:    1972
    The lead single from what is sometimes cited as the Rolling Stones' greatest album, Exile On Main Street, Tumbling Dice was a top 10 single on both sides of the Atlantic, hitting #5 in the UK and #7 in the US. The song started off as a piece called Good Time Woman, but was reworked on August 4, 1971, with a new intro riff and a bass track played by Mick Taylor (Bill Wyman being away from the studio at the time the track was recorded).

Artist:     Joy Of Cooking
Title:     Three-Day Loser
Source:     CD: Castles
Writer:     Terry Garthwaite
Label:     Acadia (original label: Capitol)
Year:     1972
     Joy of Cooking was unique among folk-rock groups in that it was co-led by two female artists: Multi-instrumentalist Toni Brown and guitarist Terry Garthwaite, who sang lead vocals as well. Between the two of them, they wrote all the band's original tunes. The rest of the lineup was Fritz Kasten on drums, Jeff Neighbor on bass and Ron Wilson on harp, tambourine and congas. After recording their second album in Los Angeles, the group opted to return to their native Berkeley for their third and final LP, Castles. Garthwaite's unique style of singing and songwriting can be heard on tracks like Three-Day Loser, and presaged her shift to a more jazz-oriented sound as a solo artist.

Artist:    Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
Title:    Breakdown
Source:    LP: Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
Writer(s):    Tom Petty
Label:    MCA (original label: Shelter)
Year:    1976
    Just about everyone knows thatTom Petty was one of the most popular rock stars of the 1980s and beyond, but few realize that he released his debut single, Breakdown, in November of 1976, and was considered part of the punk/new wave movement at the time. It took over a year for his debut LP with the Heartbreakers to catch on in the US, but once it did it became obvious that Petty actually had little in common with bands like the Ramones or Sex Pistols. In fact, he was often compared to the Byrds, as well as early Rolling Stones. Breakdown itself is a bit of a departure from the rest of the album, but nonetheless has become a staple of classic rock radio.

Artist:    Tommy Bolin
Title:    Gypsy Soul
Source:    CD: Private Eyes
Writer(s):    Bolin/Cook
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1976
    Following the breakup of Deep Purple, guitarist Tommy Bolin began work on his second solo LP, Private Eyes. Many of the tunes on the album, including Gypsy Soul, were co-written by Jeff Cook, who had been a bandmate of Bolin's in a group called American Standard when Bolin was still a teenager in Boulder, Colorado. Bolin's career had taken him from American Standard to another Boulder band, Ethereal Zephyr, which had shortened its name to Zephyr after signing a contract with ABC's Probe label. After two albums, Bolin left Zephyr at the age of 20 to form his own jazz-rock-blues fusion band called Energy. That band was unable to secure a recording contract, and Bolin briefly reunited with two of his Zephyr bandmates in a group called the 4-Nikators before taking a year off from playing professionally. During this time Bolin was far from inactive; in fact he wrote nearly a hundred songs during his hiatus from public performing. In 1973 he accepted an offer to become the third James Gang lead guitarist, replacing Dominic Troiano, who had in turn replaced Joe Walsh. While with the James Gang, Bolin was already showing signs of wanting to move on, contributing to Billy Cobham's Spectrum album in between the James Gang LPs Bang and Miami. After Miami he concentrated on session work for a while before beginning work on his first solo album, Teaser. Just before Teaser was released Bolin accepted an offer to replace Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple, which had the negative side effect of giving him virtually no time to promote his own album, which came out just one month after the last Deep Purple LP, Come Taste The Band. Although the album did moderately well, audiences expected Bolin's guitar work to sound like Blackmore's, which of course wasn't going to happen, and ultimately led to Deep Purple disbanding following their 1975-1976 tour. Bolin's second solo album, Private Eyes, was released in September of 1976. Bolin went on tour to promote the album, opening for Peter Frampton and Jeff Beck. On December 3rd he played his final show, opening for Beck. A few hours later he was found dead in his hotel room of a drug overdose. He was 25 years old.

Artist:    Mike Bloomfield/ Al Kooper/ Skip Prokop/John Kahn
Title:    Her Holy Modal Highness
Source:    LP: The Live Adventures Of Mike Bloomfield & Al Kooper
Writer(s):    Bloomfield/Kooper
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    With the unexpected success of the 1968 jam album Super Session, it was inevitable that Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield would release a followup LP, and probably just as inevitable that it would be a live album. Most of the tracks on The Live Adventures Of Mike Bloomfield & Al Kooper are covers of classics blues tunes, although there are a few jams that are credited to Bloomfield and Kooper as well. One of these, Her Holy Modal Highness, is a sequel of sorts to His Holy Modal Majesty, and instrumental track from Super Session. Like its predecessor, Her Holy Modal Highness uses the Kooperphone, a tubular keyboard instrument from Sweden technically known as a tubon, extensively.

Artist:    Brewer And Shipley
Title:    One Toke Over The Line
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Brewer/Shipley
Label:    Kama Sutra
Year:    1971
    Mike Brewer and Tom Shipley might be considered the link between the folk-rock of the late 1960s and the singer-songwriter movement of the early 1970s. The two of them had met on more than one occasion in the mid 1960s, doing coffeehouse gigs across the midwest, until both decided to settle down in Los Angeles and start writing songs together in 1968. After recording two albums together, the duo relocated to Kansas City in 1969, spending much of the next two years on the road, playing small towns such as Tarkio, Missouri, which in turn inspired the title for their third album, Tarkio. That album, released in 1971, included what was to be their biggest hit. One Toke Over The Line went to the #10 spot on the charts (#5 in Canada) and prompted the Vice President of the United States, Spiro Agnew, to denounce the song as "blatant drug-culture propaganda". Concerning the origin of the song itself, Mike Brewer had this to say: "One day we were pretty much stoned and all and Tom says, “Man, I’m one toke over the line tonight.” I liked the way that sounded and so I wrote a song around it." He said it was written as a joke as the duo was setting up for a gig.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2408 (starts 2/19/24)

https://exchange.prx.org/p/517533 


    This week the Gods smile down upon Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, gracing us with an entire album side of tunes from their 1968 LP Genesis. Also on the bill: an artists' set from the Leaves and a couple dozen more tunes, including a very early Lou Reed track.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Ruby Tuesday
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    One of the most durable songs in the Rolling Stones catalog, Ruby Tuesday was originally intended to be the B side of their 1967 single Let's Spend The Night Together. Many stations, however, balked at the subject matter of the A side and began playing Ruby Tuesday instead, which is somewhat ironic considering speculations as to the subject matter of the song (usually considered to be about a groupie of the band's acquaintance, although Mick Jagger has said it was about Keith Richards' ex-girlfriend).

Artist:    Amboy Dukes
Title:    The Lovely Lady
Source:    German import CD: The Amboy Dukes
Writer(s):    Steve Farmer
Label:    Repertoire (original US label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
    Although the Amboy Dukes are usually thought of as Ted Nugent's first band, their first couple of albums were actually more of a group effort, with rhythm guitarist Steve Farmer in particular having a much greater role in the creative process. His tune The Lovely Lady, from the first Amboy Dukes album, is actually a waltz, and has a much more psychedelic flavor that Nugent's harder rocking material.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Page/McCarty
Label:    Epic
Year:    1967
    By 1967 the Yardbirds had moved far away from their blues roots and were on their fourth lead guitarist, studio whiz Jimmy Page. The band had recently picked up a new producer, Mickey Most, known mostly for his work with Herman's Hermits and the original Animals. Most had a tendency to focus on the band's single A sides, leaving Page an opportunity to develop his own songwriting and production skills on songs such as Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, a track that also shows signs of Page's innovative guitar style (including an instrumental break played with a violin bow) that would help define 70s rock.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Hall Of The Mountain King
Source:    CD: The Who Sell Out (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Edvard Greig
Label:    MCA
Year:    1967
    In the early 1960s various local instrumental rock and roll bands began to mix rocked out versions of classical pieces into their sets, such as Nut Rocker by B. Bumble And The Stingers (from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker). In the UK the most popular of these adaptations was Hall Of The Mountain King, from Greig's Peer Gynt Suite, which was actually recorded by several different bands. The Who did their own studio version of the piece in late 1967, although the recording was not released until 1995, as a bonus track on The Who Sell Out CD.

Artist:    Voice
Title:    The Train To Disaster
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Hammill/Anderson
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1966
    Originally known as Karl Stuart and the Profiles, this London band changed their name to the Voice just in time for their third and final single for Mercury, an apocalyptic tune called The Train To Disaster that came out in April of 1966. The band members were reportedly associated with something called the Church of the Process. When the Church began to pressure lead guitarist Miller Anderson to divorce his wife, Anderson instead chose to divorce the Church (and the Voice). His replacement, Mick Ronson, had only been with the band a short time when the other members suddenly relocated to the Bahamas, leaving Ronson behind. Ronson, however, went on to become a member of David Bowie's band, the Spiders From Mars, while the rest of the Voice have not been heard from since.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Eight Miles High
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Fifth Dimension)
Writer(s):    Clark/McGuinn/Crosby
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1966
    Gene Clark's final contribution to the Byrds was his collaboration with David Crosby and Roger McGuinn, Eight Miles High. Despite a newsletter from the influential Gavin Report advising stations not to play this "drug song", Eight Miles High managed to hit the top 20 in 1966. The band members themselves claimed that Eight Miles High was not a drug song at all, but was instead referring to the experience of travelling by air. In fact, it was Gene Clark's fear of flying, especially long intercontinental trips, that in part led to his leaving the Byrds.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    I Am A Rock
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released on LP: Sounds of Silence)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The success of I Am A Rock, when released as a single in 1966, showed that the first Simon And Garfunkel hit, The Sound Of Silence, was no fluke. The two songs served as bookends to a very successful LP, Sounds Of Silence, and would lead to several more hit records before the two singers went their separate ways in 1970. This was actually the second time I Am A Rock had been issued as a single. An earlier version, from the Paul Simon Songbook, had been released in 1965. Both the single and the LP were only available for a short time and only in the UK, and were deleted at Simon's request.

Artist:    Syndicate Of Sound
Title:    Little Girl
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Baskin/Gonzalez
Label:    Bell
Year:    1966
    San Jose California, despite being a relatively small city in the pre-silicon valley days, was home to a thriving music scene in the mid 60s that produced more than its share of hit records from 1966-68. One of the earliest and biggest of these hits was the Syndicate Of Sound hit Little Girl, which has come to be recognized as one of the top garage-rock songs of all time. Little Girl was originally released regionally in mid 1966 on the Hush label, and reissued nationally by Bell Records a couple months later.
    
Artist:    Leaves
Title:    With None Shoes
Source:    British import CD: All The Good That's Happening
Writer(s):    Arlin/Beck
Label:    Grapefruit (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    Following the national success of Hey Joe in 1966, popular L.A. club band the Leaves signed a deal with Capitol Records that resulted in the album All The Good That's Happening. Unfortunately, by 1967 the group was already beginning to fall apart and the album lacked a consistent sound, despite having some decent tunes such as With None Shoes, which opens the second side of the LP.

Artist:    Leaves
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Billy Roberts
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mira)
Year:    1966
    In 1966 there were certain songs you had to know how to play if you had any aspirations of being in a band. Among those were Louie Louie, Gloria and Hey Joe. The Byrds' David Crosby claims to have discovered Hey Joe, but was not able to convince his bandmates to record it before their third album. In the meantime, several other bands had recorded the song, including Love (on their first album) and the Leaves. The version of Hey Joe heard here is actually the third recording the Leaves made of the tune. After the first two versions tanked, guitarist Bobby Arlin, who had recently replaced founding member Bill Rinehart on lead guitar, came up with the idea of adding fuzz guitar to the song. It was the missing element that transformed a rather bland song into a hit record (the only national hit the Leaves would have). As a side note, the Leaves credited Chet Powers (aka Dino Valenti) as the writer of Hey Joe, but California-based folk singer Billy Roberts had copyrighted the song in 1962 and had reportedly been heard playing the tune as early as 1958.

Artist:    Leaves
Title:    Flashback (The Rhythm Thing)
Source:    British import CD: All The Good That's Happening
Writer(s):    Arlin/Pons/Beck/Ray
Label:    Grapefruit (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1966
    The Leaves were already falling as they went to work on their second LP, All The Good That's Happening (their first for a major label). Many of the tracks on the album featured only one or two members of the band, while others, such as Flashback (The Rhythm Thing), were probably just warm-up jams that were done with the tape rolling and used to make up for the lack of actual recorded songs.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Politician (live version)
Source:    LP: Goodbye
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    Atco
Year:    1969
    Usually the bluesier numbers performed by Cream were covers of classic works by guys like Willie Dixon (Spoonful), Muddy Waters (Rollin' and Tumblin') or Albert King (Sitting On Top Of The World). One notable exception is Politician, which was written by Cream's bassist Jack Bruce, with his songwriting partner Pete Brown. Usually the team came up with the band's more psychedelic stuff, but in this case proved that they could crank out a blues tune with the best of 'em when they wanted to. Originally released in studio form on the 1968 album Wheels Of Fire, the live version of Politician (which runs in excess of six minutes) was featured on the band's final LP, Goodbye Cream, which came out the following year.

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    It's Alright Ma, It's Only Witchcraft
Source:    British import CD: Fairport Convention
Writer(s):    Hutchings/Thompson
Label:    Polydor (original US label: Cotillion)
Year:    1968
    Fairport Convention has long been known for being an important part of the British folk music revival that came to prominence in the early 70s. Originally, however, the band was modeled after the folk-rock bands that had risen to prominence on the US West Coast from 1965-66. Their first LP was released in June of 1968, and drew favorable reviews from the UK rock press, which saw them as Britain's answer to Jefferson Airplane. One of the LP's highlights is It's Alright, It's Only Witchcraft, which features electric guitar work by Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol that rivals that of Jorma Kaukonen. This album was not initially released in the US. Two years later, following the success of Fairport Convention's later albums with vocalist Sandy Denny on the A&M label, the band's first LP (with Judy Dyble, known as much for her habit of knitting sweaters onstage as for her vocals) was given a limited release on Atlantic's Cotillion subsidiary. This album should not be confused with the first Fairport Convention LP released in the US (in 1969), which was actually a retitling of the band's second British album, What We Did On Our Holidays.

Artist:    Gurus
Title:    It Just Won't Be That Way
Source:    Mono CD: The Gurus Are Hear! (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jimmy Ryan
Label:    Sundazed (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1967
    Gurus were not your usual garage band. They were, in fact, the creation of Ron Haffkine, co-owner of CafĂ© Feenjon, a Greenwich Village coffee house/club that specialized Middle Eastern decor and music, who came up with the idea of a Middle Eastern flavored rock band. He recruited John Lieto (vocals), Pete ''Blackwood'' Smith (guitar), Michael ''Jason'' Weinstein (bass, harmonica), Victor ''Vittorio'' King (drums), Medulla Oblongata (guitar), Jonathan Talbot (bass) and used his connections to get United Artists to release the band's first single in late 1966. The record's moderate sales led to the band choosing a cover of a Critters song, It Just Won't Be That Way, for their 1967 followup single. The group then got to work on an album, which was completed but for some reason never released. This, along with internal conflicts, led to the group disbanding later that year.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    I Just Wasn't Made For These Times
Source:    CD: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Wilson/Asher
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    Early on Brian Wilson recognized that his greatest strength was in writing music, as opposed to performing or even writing lyrics. Being the leader and producer of the most successful recording artists in southern California, Wilson was able to take his pick of the best lyricists available, including Mike Love, Van Dyke Parks, and, on the Pet Sounds album, Tony Asher, whose introspective lyrics complemented Wilson's maturing musical themes perfectly. I Just Wasn't Made For These Times is an excellent example of how well the two worked together to capture a specific mood and theme.

Artist:     Left Banke
Title:     Pretty Ballerina
Source:     Stereo 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:     Michael Brown
Label:     Smash
Year:     1967
     The Left Banke, taking advantage of bandleader Michael Brown's industry connections (his father ran a New York recording studio), ushered in what was considered to be the "next big thing" in popular music in early 1967: Baroque Pop. After their debut single, Walk Away Renee, became a huge bestseller, the band followed it up with Pretty Ballerina, which easily made the top 20 as well. Subsequent releases were sabotaged by a series of bad decisions by Brown and the other band members that left radio stations leery of playing any record with the words "Left Banke" on the label.

Artist:    Primitives
Title:    The Ostrich
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Reed/Sims/Vance/Phillips
Label:    Pickwick City
Year:    1964
    When it comes to low budget record companies, one of the first names that comes to mind is Pickwick Records, a label that specialized in soundalike recordings of popular songs. In late 1964 they decided to launch a new label, Pickwick City, that would feature original material written by their own staff members. The first single issued on Pickwick City was The Ostrich, by the Primitives. The band was in reality a studio group led by staff songwriter and session musician Lou Reed, who along with fellow session player John Cale, left Pickwick to form the Velvet Underground in 1965. Pickwick City, meanwhile, would fold after releasing only four singles.

Artist:    Gods
Title:    Genesis-side one: Towards The Skies/Candles Getting Shorter/You're My Life/Looking Glass/Misleading Colours
Source:    Mono British import LP: Genesis
Writer(s):    Konas/Hensley/Kerslake
Label:    Parlophone (original UK label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    The Juniors were a British pop band formed in 1962 made up entirely of adolescent boys who played their own instruments. The membership included 13-year-old rhythm guitarist Mick Taylor, 14-year old Brian Glascock on drums and his brother, 11-year-old John Glascock on bass. in 1965, the band underwent some changes, adding keyboardist Ken Hensley and lead vocalist/guitarist Lee Konas and changing their name to The Gods. They became part of the British blues scene, opening for Cream in 1966. The following year Taylor, who by this time had developed into a quality lead guitarist, accepted an offer to join John Mayall's Bluesbreakers as Peter Green's replacement, and they were forced to regroup, replacing the remaining two former Juniors with drummer Lee Kerslake and bassist Paul Newton, who in turn was replaced by bassist Greg Lake. In 1968 Lake was invited to join Robert Fripp's new group, King Crimson, and John Glascock returned to the band. It was this lineup (Konas/Hensley/Glascock/Kerslake) that recorded the 1968 album Genesis. As was becoming more common that year, all the songs on each side of Genesis ran together as a single track, with various electronic effects being used to bridge the individual songs. After releasing a second album, the band officially disbanded, with a group called Toe Fat, featuring several of the same members, replacing it. The four ex-Gods who recorded Genesis reunited once more under the name Head Machine for an album called Orgasm in 1970 before moving on to other projects, including Uriah Heep (Hensley and Kerslake) and, eventually, Jethro Tull (John Glascock).

Artist:    First Crew To The Moon
Title:    The Sun Lights Up The Shadows Of Your Mind
Source:    Mono British import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jerry Milstein
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Roulette)
Year:    1967
    Originally known as the Back Door Men, and later the Bootleggers, Brooklyn, NY's First Crew To The Moon signed with the Roulette label on the recommendation of legendary songwriter Doc Pomus. Unfortunately for the band, their only record for Roulette, a song called Spend Your Life With Me, was released just as the label's entire promotional budget was being spent on the latest single by labelmates Tommy James And The Shondells, a tune called I think We're Alone Now. To add insult to injury, Roulette misspelled the band's name on both sides of the record, inadvertently rechristening them First Crow To The Moon, a name that actually fits the record's B side, a psychedelic masterpiece called The Sun Lights Up The Shadows Of Your Mind, quite well. As it turned out, none of this really mattered, as the band soon disbanded following the death of lead guitarist Alan Avick of leukemia. Perhaps the group's greatest legacy, however, was to serve as inspiration to their friend Chris Stein, who several years later would team up with Deborah Harry to form a group called Blondie.

Artist:    Rising Sons
Title:    Walkin' Down The Line
Source:    CD: Rising Sons featuring Raj Mahal and Ry Cooder
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1965, released 1993
    The Rising Sons had their roots in both the East and West Coast underground music scenes. The genesis of the band can be traced to a 1964 hootenanny in Cambridge, Mass.organized by a young bluesman named Taj Mahal. One of the performers was a 12-string guitarist named Jesse Lee Kincaid, who had learned his technique from his uncle Fred Gerlach, a West Coast based recording artist for Folkways Records. Kincaid persuaded Mahal to relocate to Los Angeles, where they hooked up with another Gerlach student, Ryland Cooder to form the Rising Sons. With the addition of bassist Jeff Marker and drummer Ed Cassidy the group began to hit the local club scene, making enough of a name for themselves to get signed to Columbia Records in 1965. Before they can actually get into the studio, however, Cassidy hurt his wrist, forcing the band to find another drummer, Kevin Kelley (Cassidy, by the way, would go on to become a founding member of Spirit with his stepson Randy California). Although the Rising Sons did write some of their own songs, much of what they recorded was their own arrangements of blues classics, and even a Bob Dylan tune, Walkin' Down The Line. Columbia never really had a handle on how to market an inter-racial underground folk-rock-blues band like the Rising Sons, and, with the exception of one single, the band's recordings ended up on the shelf until 1993.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Universal Soldier
Source:    CD: Songs Of Protest (originally released in UK as 45 RPM EP and in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Buffy Sainte-Marie
Label:    Rhino (original labels: UK: Pye, US: 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:    Factory (UK band)
Title:    Path Through The Forest
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Clifford T Ward
Label:    Rhino (original label: MGM)
Year:    1968
    Originally known as the Souvenier Badge Factory, the Factory was a British power trio who released their first of two singles, Path Through The Forest, while the band members (Jack Brand, Ian Oates and Bill MacLeod) were still in their teens. When a second single failed to chart the following year the group faded off into obscurity. Although originally credited to "Rollings", Path Through The Forest is now known to have been written by English singer-songwriter Clifford T Ward, who published the song under his wife's maiden name because of royalty issues.

Artist:    Moby Grape
Title:    Hey Grandma
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Miller/Stevenson
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    One of the most talked-about albums to come from the San Francisco music scene in 1967 was Moby Grape's debut album. Unfortunately a lot of that talk was from Columbia Records itself, which resulted in the band getting a reputation for being overly hyped, much to the detriment of the band's future efforts. Still, that first album did have some outstanding tracks, including Hey Grandma, which was one of five singles released simultaneously by Columbia as part of their over-hyping of the band.

Artist:     Daily Flash
Title:     Jack Of Diamonds
Source:     Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Lalor/MacAllistor/Kelihor/Hastings
Label:     Rhino (original label: Parrot)
Year:     1966
     The practice of writing new lyrics to an old tune got turned around for the Seattle-based Daily Flash's feedback-drenched recording of Jack Of Diamonds, which pretty much preserves the lyrics to the old folk song, but is musically pure garage-rock, which is itself an anamoly, since the Daily Flash is generally known for NOT being a garage-rock band. Instead they are considered a forerunner of such San Francisco bands as Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service.

Artist:    Velvet Underground
Title:    Femme Fatale
Source:    CD: The Velvet Underground And Nico
Writer:    Lou Reed
Label:    Polydor (original label: Verve)
Year:    1967
    The debut Velvet Underground LP, released in 1967, was not a huge commercial success, despite the striking album cover designed by Andy Warhol, who also produced the album. In the years since it has come to be regarded as a true classic of both the psychedelic and punk genres. Despite all that the album has some serious flaws, not the least of which is the relative lack of talent of Nico, who sings lead on Lou Reed's Femme Fatale.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Castles Made Of Sand
Source:    LP: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA/Experience Hendrix
Year:    1967
    When I was a junior in high school I used to fall asleep on the living room couch with the headphones on, usually listening to pre-recorded tapes of either the Beatles' Revolver album or one of the first two albums by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. One song in particular from the second Hendrix album, Axis: Bold As Love, always gave me a chill when I heard it: Castles Made Of Sand. The song serves as a warning not to invest too much of yourself in your dreams, and stands in direct contrast to the usual goal-oriented American attitude.

Artist:    Chambers Brothers
Title:    Time Has Come Today
Source:    CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: The Time Has Come)
Writer(s):    Joe and Willie Chambers
Label:    Priority (original label: Columbia)
Year:    LP released 1967, single edit released 1968
    Time Has Come Today has one of the most convoluted histories of any song of the psychedelic era. First recorded in 1966 and released as a two-and-a-half minute single the song flopped. The following year an entirely new eleven minute version of the song was recorded for the album The Time Has Come, featuring an extended pyschedelic section filled with various studio effects. In late 1967 a three minute edited version of the song was released that left out virtually the entire psychedelic section of the recording. Soon after that, the single was pulled from the shelf and replaced by a longer edited version that included part of the psychedelic section. That version became a hit record in 1968, peaking just outside the top 10. This is actually a stereo recreation of that mono second edited version.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Uncle John's Band
Source:    LP: Workingman's Dead
Writer(s):    Hunter/Garcia
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    For many people who only got their music from commercial radio, Uncle John's Band was the first Grateful Dead song they ever heard. The tune, from the 1970 LP Workingman's Dead, was the first Dead song to crack the top 100, peaking at #69, and got significant airplay on FM rock radio stations as well. The close harmonies on the track were reportedly inspired by Crosby, Stills and Nash, whose debut album had come out the previous year.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2408 (starts 2/19/24)

https://exchange.prx.org/p/517531


    This week, Rockin' in the Days of Confusion presents, in its entirety, the 45 minute long Mountain Jam performed by the Allman Brothers Band at Cincinnatti's Ludlow Garage on April 11, 1970. That doesn't leave room for a whole lot of other tracks, but we do manage to fit in tunes from Badfinger, Ten Years After and The Beatles, along with a short Firesign Theatre excerpt from their very first album before getting into the main event.

Artist:    Badfinger
Title:    No Matter What
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Pete Ham
Label:    Apple
Year:    1970
    Aside from the Beatles, the band most closely associated with Apple Records was Badfinger. Originally known as the Iveys, Badfinger was the first band signed to Apple and remained with the label throughout its existence. Led by Pete Ham, Badfinger had a string of successful singles for the label, including No Matter What, a Ham composition from the band's second LP, No Dice. The song, released in 1970, is considered by many to be the earliest example of what would come to be known as power pop later in the decade.
        
Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    Me And My Baby
Source:    CD: Cricklewood Green
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Deram)
Year:    1970
    Cricklewood Green, the fourth studio LP from Ten Years After, is generally considered to be the British blues rockers' best. All the tracks were written by guitarist/vocalist Alvin Lee, including Me And My Baby, which showcases the band's ability to emulate a Wes Montgomery-like 1950s jazz style. The track opens side two of the original LP.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I've Got A Feeling
Source:    LP: Let It Be
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:    1970
    One of the three songs on the Let It Be album recorded live from the band's famous "rooftop performance" on January 30, 1970, I've Got A Feeling is actually a combination of two unfinished tunes, one written by Paul McCartney and one by John Lennon (it's pretty easy to figure out which parts were written by which band member). The four Beatles were joined by Billy Preston for the performance, playing Fender Rhodes piano.

Artist:    Firesign Theatre
Title:    Learning Turkish
Source:    LP: Waiting For The Electrician or Someone Like Him
Writer(s):    Proctor/Bergman/Austin/Ossman
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    The Firesign Theatre was formed in Los Angeles in 1966 by late-night radio talk show host Peter Bergman, along with his producers, Phil Austin and David Ossman, and his old college friend Philip Proctor. Bergman was the host of a show called Radio Free Oz on KPFK FM that, according to Austin, "featured everybody who was anybody in the artistic world who passed through LA." Bergman's show guests included such luminaries as Andy Warhol and the members of Buffalo Springfield, among others. On slow nights, Bergman and his cohorts, whom he christened the Oz Firesign Theatre (soon dropping the "Oz" after Disney and M-G-M threatened lawsuits), would pretend to be various characters without letting the audience know it was all a put-on. The members would create their characters individually without clueing in the other members, creating an atmosphere of improvisation as they played those characters off each other. By 1967 the Firesign Theatre was a regular feature on Radio Free Oz, performing half-hour skits that they had written themselves. The shows included weekly live appearances at a club called the Magic Mushroom on Sunday nights, as well as an appearance at L.A.'s first love-in at Elysian Park, that was broadcast on Bergman's show. This led to Radio Free Oz moving from KPFK to AM powerhouse KRLA, one of the city's most popular stations, which in turn led to their discovery by Gary Usher, who was a staff producer at Columbia Records. Usher signed the Firesign Theatre to a five-year contract with Columbia, and co-produced their first LP, Waiting For The Electrician or Someone Like Him. The short Learning Turkish, from that first LP, is typical of the Firesign brand of humor. The Firesign Theatre would go on to become one of the most popular acts in the history of comedy on vinyl, creating such memorable characters as noir detective Nick Danger and film star Porgy Tirebiter.

Artist:    Allman Brother Band
Title:    Mountain Jam
Source:    CD: Idlewild South (bonus track originally released on CD: Live At Ludlow Garage 1970)
Writer(s):    Lietch/Allman/Allman/Betts/Oakley/Johanson/Trucks
Label:    Mercury (original label: Polydor)
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 1990
    The Allman Brothers band spent 1970 touring relentlessly, mainly in the southern US. One of their favorite places to play was Ludlow's Garage in Cincinnatti, Ohio. It was literally an old garage that for some reason had a downward sloping floor, giving audience members a good view of the band regardless of where they were sitting. On April 11, their performance was recorded directly to 2-track tape without any overdubs added, by Dan Britt and Rick Lemker. That performance, including a 45-minute long rendition of Mountain Jam, was released 20 years later on a two-CD set called Live At Ludlow Garage-1970. 25 years after that, the entire performace was included as bonus tracks on the 2015 remastered edition of the band's second album, Idlewild South.


Sunday, February 11, 2024

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2407 (starts 2/12/24)

https://exchange.prx.org/p/516597 


    The emphasis is on the artists this week, with sets from The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Turtles. And to get things started, we have a battle of the bands between the Doors and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Plus, as always, lot of singles, B sides and album tracks from the original psychedelic era.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Light My Fire
Source:    CD: The Doors
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Once in a while a song comes along that totally blows you away the very first time you hear it. The Doors' Light My Fire was one of those songs. I liked it so much that I immediately went out and bought the 45 RPM single. Not long after that I heard the full-length version of the song from the first Doors album and was blown away all over again.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    House Burning Down
Source:    CD: Electric Ladyland
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    The third Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Electric Ladyland, was the first to be produced entirely by Hendrix himself, rather than with Chas Chandler (with more than a little help from engineer Eddie Kramer). It was also the first to use state-of-the-art eight-track recording technology (not to be confused with the later 8-track tape cartridge), as well as several new tech toys developed specifically for Hendrix to play with. The result was an album with production standards far beyond anything else being attempted at the time. One song that showcases Hendrix's prowess as a producer is House Burning Down. Using effects such as phasing, double-tracking and stereo panning, Hendrix manages to create music that sounds like it's actually swirling around the listener rather than coming from a specific location. It's also the only rock song I can think of that uses a genuine tango beat (in the verses).

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Horse Latitudes/Moonlight Drive
Source:    LP: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Much of the second Doors album consisted of songs that were already in the band's repertoire when they signed with Elektra Records but for various reasons did not record for their debut LP. One of the earliest was Jim Morrison's Moonlight Ride, which he wrote even before the band was formed. As was the case with all the Doors songs on their first three albums, the tune was credited to the entire band. Horse Latitudes, which leads into Moonlight Ride, was also an obvious Morrison composition, as it is essentially a piece of Morrison poetry with a musique concrete soundtrack provided by the rest of the band.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    If 6 Was 9
Source:    CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Before 1967 stereo was little more than an excuse to charge a dollar more for an LP. That all changed in a hurry, as artists such as Jimi Hendrix began to explore the possibilities of the technology, in essence treating stereophonic sound as a multi-dimensional sonic palette. The result can be heard on songs such as If 6 Were 9 from the Axis: Bold As Love album, which is best listened to at high volume, preferably with headphones on.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    I Can't See Your Face In My Mind
Source:    CD: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    One of the most haunting Doors ever recorded is I Can't See Your Face In My Mind, from their second 1967 LP, Strange Days. It also ranks among the most sadness-evoking song titles I've ever run across. Such is the power of poetry, I guess. Frankly I'm surprised that the Alzheimer's Association hasn't purchased the rights to the song to use on one of their TV fundraising spots. 

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Bold As Love
Source:    CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    When working on the song Bold As Love for the second Jimi Hendrix Experience album in 1967, Jimi reportedly asked engineer Eddie Kramer if he could make a guitar sound like it was under water. Kramer's answer was to use a techique called phasing, which is what happens when two identical sound sources are played simultaneously, but slightly (as in microseconds) out of synch with each other. The technique, first used in 1958 but seldom tried in stereo, somewhat resembles the sound of a jet plane flying by. This is not to be confused with chorusing (sometimes called reverse phasing), a technique used often by the Beatles which electronically splits a single signal into two identical signals then delays one to create the illusion of being separate tracks.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Happy Together
Source:    French import CD: Happy Together (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bonner/Gordon
Label:    Magic (original US label: White Whale)
Year:    1967
    The Turtles got off to a strong start with their cover of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe, which hit the top 20 in 1965. By early 1967, however, the band had fallen on hard times and was looking for a way to return to the charts. They found that way with Happy Together, a song written by Gary Bonner and Mark Gordon, both members of an east coast band called the Magicians. Happy Together was the Turtles' first international hit, going all the way to the top of the charts in several countries and becoming one of the most recognizable songs in popular music history.
    
Artist:    Turtles
Title:    The Story Of Rock And Roll
Source:    CD: The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Harry Nilsson
Label:    Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1968
    Harry Nilsson was still an up and coming, but not yet arrived, young singer/songwriter when he penned The Story Of Rock And Roll. The Turtles, always in a struggle with their record label, White Whale, over whether to record their own material or rely on professional songwriters, were the first to record the tune, releasing it as a single in 1968. Although it was not a major hit, the song did set the stage for Nilsson's later successes.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Person Without A Care
Source:    French import CD: Happy Together
Writer(s):    Al Nichol
Label:    Magic (original US label: White Whale)
Year:    1967
    Al Nichol never seems to get the credit he deserves. Along with Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, he was the only original member of the Turtles to remain with the group for its entire existence; in fact, he was the lead guitarist for the Nightriders, the instrumental surf group led by Kaylan that eventually became the Turtles. Starting with their second LP, You Baby, Nichol wrote or co-wrote at least one song on each of the band's albums, and those songs were usually among the most original-sounding tracks on the album. A perfect example of this is Person Without A Care. While not particularly commercial, the song has a catchy hook and, for 1967, an innovative chord structure. Not much is known of Nichol's post-Turtles adventures, other than a short note on the Turtles' web site saying that he "lives in Nevada".

Artist:    Syndicate Of Sound
Title:    Little Girl
Source:    CD: Battle Of The Bands, Vol. Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Baskin/Gonzalez
Label:    Era (original labels: Hush & Bell)
Year:    1966
    San Jose California, despite being a relatively small city in the pre-silicon valley days, was home to a thriving music scene in the mid 60s that produced more than its share of hit records from 1966-68. One of the earliest and biggest of these hits was the Syndicate Of Sound's Little Girl, which has come to be recognized as one of the top garage-rock songs of all time. It's also one of the few original garage-rock hits recorded and mixed in true stereo. Little Girl was originally released regionally in mid 1966 on the Hush label, and reissued nationally by Bell Records a couple months later.

Artist:    Love
Title:    The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This
Source:    CD: Forever Changes
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1967
    There is avant garde and there is avant garde. Whereas most of the groups that have the label applied to them (Velvet Underground, United States of America, Fifty Foot Hose) sometimes were about as pleasant to listen to a nails on a blackboard, Love's Arthur Lee took an entirely different approach. Even though tracks like The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This (from the album Forever Changes) are full of time, key and phrasing surprises throughout, he manages to make it all sound pretty on perhaps his most avant garde recording ever.

Artist:    Sweetwater
Title:    My Crystal Spider
Source:    LP: Sweetwater
Writer(s):    Fred Herrera
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    Trivia question: who was the first band to perform at Woodstock? Most people would reply that Richie Havens was the first to take the stage, but Havens was essentially a solo acoustic act (with acoustic accompaniment) rather than an actual band. The reason Havens got to be the opening act was that the scheduled band was stuck in traffic and eventually had to be flown in by helicopter. That band was Sweetwater, who ended up being the first electric group to hit the stage at Woodstock. Based in Los Angeles, Sweetwater was made up of veterans of the L.A. coffee house scene, including Nansi Nevins on lead vocals, Fred Herrera on bass guitar and backing vocals, August Burns on cello, Elpidio Cobian on congas and other percussion, Alan Malarowitz on drums, Albert Moore on flute and backing vocals, R.G. Carlyle on acoustic guitar, bongos and backing vocals, and Alex Del Zoppo on keyboards and backing vocals. The group was not afraid to experiment either, as can be heard on My Crystal Spider, a tune that was also released as a B side.

Artist:    Buckinghams
Title:    Foreign Policy
Source:    LP: The Buckinghams' Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: Time And Charges)
Writer(s):    James William Guercio
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    The name James William Guercio is not as well-known as Peter Cetera or David Clayton-Thomas, yet if it weren't for Guercio, neither of the other two would have had the careers that made them famous in the first place. For that matter, if not for Guercio's intervention, the Buckinghams, who had a #1 hit in early 1967 with the song Kind Of A Drag, would have quickly faded off into obscurity as a one-hit wonder band. Born in Chicago in 1945, Guercio moved out to Los Angeles in the mid-1960s, becoming a session musician and songwriter, and was even briefly a member of Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention. In late 1966, after returning to his native Chicago he was introduced to the members of the Buckinghams, and soon became their producer, releasing the album Time And Charges on the Columbia label in 1967. The album included two top 10 singles, as well as more experimental tracks such as the politically-oriented Foreign Policy, which Guercio wrote for the band. The following year Guercio was approached by an old college friend, Walter Parazaider, who invited him to come hear his new band, the Big Thing. Guercio became that band's manager and producer, convincing them to move to Los Angeles and change their name to the Chicago Transit Authority, which later was shortened to Chicago. During sessions for the first Chicago album, Guercio was asked by the people at Columbia to produce the second Blood, Sweat & Tears album, featuring that band's new vocalist, David Clayton-Thomas. Although the album was a huge success, Guercio stayed with Chicago, producing a total of 11 albums and 17 top 25 singles over the next few years, making a star of vocalist/bassist Peter Cetera in the process. Since parting company with Chicago in 1978, Guercio has been involved in various enterprises, including founding a popular recording studio in Colorado that burned down in 1985 called the Caribou Ranch, and for a while was owner of the Country Music Television cable network.

Artist:        Yardbirds
Title:        Shapes Of Things
Source:       45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:        Samwell-Smith/Relf/McCarty
Label:        Epic
Year:        1966
        The earliest Yardbirds singles were either covers of blues classics or new tunes written by outside songwriters such as Graham Gouldman. The first hit song for the group that was actually composed by band members was Shapes Of Things, which made the top 5 in the UK and the top 10 stateside. The song was officially credited to vocalist Keith Relf, drummer Jim McCarty and bassist Paul Samwell-Smith, who later said that Jeff Beck deserved a songwriting credit as well for his distinctive lead guitar solo that was a major factor in the record's success.

Artist:    Tomorrow
Title:    Real Life Permanent Dream
Source:    British import CD: Insane Times (originally released on LP: tomorrow)
Writer(s):    Keith Hopkins
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1968
    One of the most prominent bands to emerge from London's psychedelic underground, Tomorrow never quite achieved the success it deserved, despite having several opportunities to show their stuff. Evolving out of the British soul cover band The In Crowd, Tomorrow was the band originally slated to appear in the film Blow Up, and even recorded the movie's theme song before having to bow out of the project (the Yardbirds appeared instead). They did get a decent amount of airplay for their 1967 single My White Bicycle, enabling them to record an entire album for Parlophone in 1968. Real Life Permanent Dream is a track from that album that showcases the talents of guitarist Steve Howe, who would go on to become a genuine rock star when he became a member of Yes in the early 1970s.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Not Guilty
Source:    CD: Anthology 3
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Capitol/Apple
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 1996
    One of the most legendary unreleased Beatles recordings, Not Guilty was written by George Harrison after returning from the band members' spiritual retreat in Rishikesh, India, where they studied Transcendental Meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The song addresses his growing dissatisfaction with his role in the band, while defending himself against accusations that he led the group "astray on the road to Mandalay". The recording process was a difficult one, taking over 100 takes to get right, and even then Harrison was unsatisfied with the final recording, which may explain why the song, originally slated for inclusion on the White Album, remained unreleased for nearly 30 years.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    If I Needed Someone
Source:    LP: Yesterday...And Today
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1965 (US 1966)
    Generally considered to be George Harrison's best song up to that point, If I Needed Someone is the earliest song to be included on the former Beatle's own Greatest Hits album. The song was covered by the Hollies, whose single version was actually released in the UK before Rubber Soul came out, leading some to believe that the Beatles were covering the Hollies. In the US the song was held back for release the following June on the Yesterday...And Today album, an LP that only appeared in North America.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Across The Universe (take two)
Source:    CD: Anthology 2
Writer:    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/Apple
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 1996
    John Lennon, in a 1970 interview, said that Across The Universe had "one of the best lyrics I've written. In fact, it could be the best". Unfortunately, despite several attempts by the Beatles at recording the tune, Lennon always felt that the song was never done properly. The first two takes of Across The Universe were recorded on Feb 2, 1968, with four more attempts made on the following day. The second take, featuring Lennon on acoustic guitar, George Harrison on Tambura and Ringo Starr on percussion, was considered the best of these, and a sitar intro by George Harrison, as well as a lead vocal track from Lennon were added to the recording before it was shelved in favor of a new take made on February 8th. Take two, sometimes referred to as the "psychedelic" version, was finally released in 1996 on the Anthology 2 CD. Personally, I like it better than any of the previously released versions, despite Lennon's odd tendency to take a breath in the middle of a line throughout the song.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    Love Seems Doomed
Source:    CD: Kaleidoscopic Compendium (originally released on LP: Psychedelic Lollipop)
Writer(s):    Gilbert/Scala/Esposito
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1966
    Unlike most of the tracks on the Blues Magoos' 1966 Debut LP, Psychedelic Lollipop, Love Seems Doomed is a slow, moody piece with a message. Along with the Paul Revere and the Raiders hit Kicks from earlier that year, Love Seems Doomed is one of the first songs by a rock band to carry a decidedly anti-drug message. While Kicks warned of the addictive qualities of drugs (particularly the need for larger doses of a drug to achieve the same effect over time), Love Seems Doomed focused more on how addiction affects the user's relationships, particularly those of a romantic nature. Love Seems Doomed is also a more subtle song than Kicks (which tends to hit the listener over the head with its message).

Artist:     Left Banke
Title:     Pretty Ballerina
Source:     Stereo 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:     Michael Brown
Label:     Smash
Year:     1967
     The Left Banke, taking advantage of bandleader Michael Brown's industry connections (his father ran a New York recording studio), ushered in what was considered to be the "next big thing" in popular music in early 1967: Baroque Pop. After their debut single, Walk Away Renee, became a huge bestseller, the band followed it up with Pretty Ballerina, which easily made the top 20 as well. Subsequent releases were sabotaged by a series of bad decisions by Brown and the other band members that left radio stations leery of playing any record with the words "Left Banke" on the label.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Let's Get Together
Source:    LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer(s):    Chet Powers (aka Dino Valenti)
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    Although Dino Valenti recorded a demo version of his song Let's Get Together in 1964, it wasn't until two years later that the song made its first appearance on vinyl as a track on Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. The Airplane version of the song is unique in that the lead vocals alternate between Paul Kantner, Signe Anderson and Marty Balin, with each one taking a verse and all of them singing on the chorus.

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:    Cyrkle
Title:    Cry
Source:    Mono LP: Red Rubber Ball
Writer(s):    Danneman/Dawes
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The Cyrkle is best known as a light-pop band, as evidenced by their two biggest hits, Red Rubber Ball and Turn Down Day. The band did have its edgier side, however, as can be heard on Cry, an album track from their 1966 debut LP. Despite the group's obvious talent and brand name manager (Brian Epstein) the Cyrkle suffered diminishing returns with each record they released, and in 1968 decided to call it quits.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1966
    By mid-1966 there was a population explosion of teenage rock bands popping up in garages and basements all across the US, the majority of which were doing their best to emulate the grungy sound of their heroes, the Rolling Stones. The Stones themselves responded by ramping up the grunge factor to a previously unheard of degree with their last single of the year, Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow? It was the most feedback-laden record ever to make the top 40 at that point in time, and it inspired America's garage bands to buy even more powerful amps and crank up the volume (driving their parents to drink in the process).

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    High And Dry
Source:    CD: Aftermath
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1966
    High And Dry, from the Rolling Stones' 1966 LP Aftermath, is an early attempt at the sort of twisted country that would reach its peak with the Let It Bleed album in the early 70s.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Who's Driving Your Plane
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1966
    By 1966 Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were writing everything the Rolling Stones recorded. As their songwriting skills became more sophisticated the band began to lose touch with its R&B roots. To counteract this, Jagger and Richards would occasionally come up with tunes like Who's Driving Your Plane, a bluesy number that nonetheless is consistent with the band's cultivated image as the bad boys of rock. The song appeared as the B side (mistitled on the label as Who's Driving My Plane) of Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow.
 
Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    For What It's Worth (Stop, Hey What's That Sound)
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    By mid-1966 Hollywood's Sunset Strip was being taken over every night by local teenagers, with several underage clubs featuring live music being a major attraction. Many of the businesses in the area, citing traffic problems and rampant drug and alcohol abuse, began to put pressure on city officials to do something about the situation. The city responded by passing new loitering ordinances and imposing a 10PM curfew on the Strip. They also began putting pressure on the clubs, including condemning the popular Pandora's Box for demolition. On November 12, 1966 fliers appeared on the streets inviting people to a demonstration that evening to protest the closing of the club. The demostration continued over a period of days, exascerbated by the city's decision to revoke the permits of a dozen other clubs on the Strip, forcing them to bar anyone under the age of 21 from entering. Stephen Stills, a member of Buffalo Springfield, one of the many bands appearing regularly in these clubs, wrote a new song in response to the situation, and the band quickly booked studio time, recording the still-unnamed track on December 5th. The band had recently released their debut LP, but sales of the album were lackluster due to the lack of a hit single. Stills reportedly presented the new recording to label head Ahmet Ertegun with the words "I have this song here, for what it's worth, if you want it." Ertegun, sensing that he had a hit on his hands, got the song rush-released two days before Christmas, 1966, using For What It's Worth as the official song title, but sub-titling it Stop, Hey What's That Sound on the label as well. As predicted, For What It's Worth was an instant hit in the L.A. market, and soon went national, where it was taken by most record buyers to be about the general sense of unrest being felt across the nation over issues like racial equality and the Vietnam War (and oddly enough, by some people as being about the Kent State massacre, even though that happened nearly three years after the song was released). As the single moved up the charts, eventually peaking at #7, Atco recalled the Buffalo Springfield LP, reissuing it with a modified song selection that included For What It's Worth as the album's openng track. Needless to say, album sales picked up after that. As a matter of fact, I don't think I've ever even seen a copy of the Buffalo Springfield album without For What It's Worth on it, although I'm sure some of those early pressings must still exist.

Artist:    Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:    Good Times
Source:    CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Winds Of Change)
Writer:    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/McCulloch/Jenkins
Label:    Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    By the end of the original Animals' run they were having greater chart success with their singles in the US than in their native UK. That trend continued with the formation of the "new" Animals in 1967 and their first single, When I Was Young. Shortly after the first LP by the band now known as Eric Burdon And The Animals came out, M-G-M decided to release the song San Franciscan Nights as a single to take advantage of the massive youth migration to the city that summer. Meanwhile the band's British label decided to instead issue Good Times (an autobiographical song which was released in the US as the B side to San Franciscan Nights) as a single, and the band ended up with one of their biggest UK hits ever. Riding the wave of success of Good Times, San Franciscan Nights eventually did get released in the UK and was a hit there as well.

Artist:    Them
Title:    The Moth
Source:    LP: Time Out! Time In! For Them
Writer(s):    Lane/Pulley
Label:    Tower
Year:    1968
    After Van Morrison left Them to pursue a career as a solo artist, his old band decided to head back to Ireland and recruit Kenny McDowell for lead vocals. Them then moved out to California and hooked up with Tower Records, which was already getting known for signing garage bands such as the Standells and the Chocolate Watchband, as well as for issuing soundtrack albums for cheapie teen exploitation flicks such as Riot on Sunset Strip and Wild in the Streets. The 1968 LP Time Out! Time In! For Them was the second of two psychedelic albums the group cut for Tower before moving into harder rock and another label.

Artist:     It's A Beautiful Day
Title:     White Bird
Source:     CD: It's A Beautiful Day
Writer:     David and Linda LaFlamme
Label:     San Francisco Sound (original label: Columbia)
Year:     1968
     It's A Beautiful Day is a good illustration of how a band can be a part of a trend without intending to be or even realizing that they are. In their case, they were actually tied to two different trends. The first one was a positive thing: it was now possible for a band to be considered successful without a top 40 hit, as long as their album sales were healthy. The second trend was not such a good thing; as was true for way too many bands, It's A Beautiful Day was sorely mistreated by its own management, in this case one Matthew Katz. Katz already represented both Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape when he signed up It's A Beautiful Day in 1967. What the members of It's A Beautiful Day did not know at the time was that both of the aforementioned bands were trying to get out of their contracts with Katz. The first thing Katz did after signing It's A Beautiful Day was to ship the band off to Seattle to become house band at a club Katz owned called the San Francisco Sound. Unfortunately for the band, Seattle already had a sound of its own and attendance at their gigs was sparse. Feeling downtrodden and caged (and having no means of transportation to boot) classically-trained 5-string violinist and lead vocalist David LaFlamme and his keyboardist wife Linda LaFlamme translated those feelings into a song that is at once sad and beautiful: the classic White Bird. As an aside, Linda LaFlamme was not the female vocalist heard on White Bird. Credit for those goes to one Pattie Santos, the other female band member. To this day Katz owns the rights to It's A Beautiful Day's recordings, which have been reissued on CD on Katz's own San Francisco Sound label.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Straight Arrow
Source:    CD: Spirit
Writer(s):    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Ode/Epic/Legacy
Year:    1968
    Spirit was born when high school students and garage rockers Randy California, Jay Ferguson, Mark Andes and John Locke started jamming with California's stepfather, jazz drummer Ed Cassidy. The result was one of the earliest examples of jazz-rock, although the jazz element would be toned down for later albums. Unlike the later fusion bands, Spirit's early songs tended to be sectional, with a main section that was straight rock often leading into a more late bop styled instrumental section reminiscent of Wes Montgomery's recordings. Vocalist Jay Ferguson wrote most of the band's early material, such as Straight Arrow from their 1968 debut album.