Sunday, January 28, 2024

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2405 (starts 1/29/24)

    This week's show starts off with a whole bunch of attitude that doesn't entirely disappear over the course of two hours, but does get tempered with things like a Beatles set, some philosophical musings and a bit of psychedelic storytelling. Yeah, just a typical episode of Stuck in the Psychedelic Era.

Artist:    Standells
Title:    Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ed Cobb
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1966
     If ever a song could be considered a garage-punk anthem, it's Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White, the follow-up single to the classic Dirty Water. Both songs were written by Standells' manager/producer Ed Cobb, who might be considered the record industry's answer to Ed Wood.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Wrong
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Ultimate Turn On (originally released as 45 RPM single B side and included on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1967
    Sean Bonniwell was a member of the mainstream (i.e. lots of appearances on TV variety shows hosted by people like Perry Como and Bob Hope) folk group The Lamplighters in the early 60s. By 1966 he had morphed into one of the more mysterious figures on the LA music scene, leading a proto-punk band dressed entirely in black. Bonniwell himself wore a single black glove (Michael Jackson was about seven years old at the time), and was one of the most prolific songwriters of the time. His recordings, often featuring the distinctive Farfisa organ sound, were a primary influence on later LA bands such as Iron Butterfly and the Doors. One of the first Music Machine tracks to appear on vinyl was Wrong, which was released as the B side of the band's first single and included on their debut LP.

Artist:    Sonics
Title:    He's Waitin'
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 8-The Northwest (originally released on LP: Boom)
Writer(s):    Gerald Roslie
Label:    Rhino (original label: Etiquette)
Year:    1966
    If you were to ask a punk rock musician about his or her influences, one name that would certainly be near the top of the list is the Sonics. Formed in Tacoma, Washington in 1960 by guitarist Larry Parypa, the group began to take off with the addition of keyboardist Gerry Roslie, who took over lead vocals in 1964. Their first single, The Witch, released in late 1964, became the biggest selling locally produced single in the history of the entire Northwestern US, despite a lack of airplay due to its controversial subject matter. An LP, Here Are The Sonics, soon followed, along with several more singles on the local Etiquette label. Throughout 1965 the band continued to record new material between gigs, releasing a second LP, Boom, in February on 1966. I highlight of the album was He's Waitin' a song written to an unfaithful girlfriend. The final lines of the song make it clear just who "he" is:      
"You think you are happy, I got news for you
Well, Satan found out, little girl, you're through"

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    The Pusher
Source:    CD: Easy Rider Soundtrack (originally released on LP: Steppenwolf)
Writer(s):    Hoyt Axton
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    While AM radio was all over Born To Be Wild in 1968 (taking the song all the way to the # 2 spot on the top 40 charts), the edgier FM stations were playing heavier tunes from the debut Steppenwolf album. The most controversial (and thus most popular) of these heavier tunes was Hoyt Axton's The Pusher, with it's repeated use of the line "God damn the Pusher." Axton himself did not record the song until 1971, by which time the song was already burned indelibly in the public consciousness as a Steppenwolf tune.

Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    Codine
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Revolution soundtrack)
Writer:    Buffy Sainte-Marie
Label:    Rhino (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1968
    Buffy St. Marie's Codine was a popular favorite among the club crowd in mid-60s California. In 1967, L.A. band The Leaves included it on their second LP. Around the same time, up the coast in San Francisco, the Charlatans selected it to be their debut single. The suits at Kama-Sutra Records, however, balked at the choice, and instead released a cover of the Coasters' The Shadow Knows. The novelty-flavored Shadow bombed so bad that the label decided not to release any more Charlatans tracks, thus leaving their version of Codine gathering dust in the vaults until the mid 1990s, when the entire Kama-Sutra sessions were released on CD. Meanwhile, back in 1968, Quicksilver Messenger Service were still without a record contract, despite pulling decent crowds at various Bay Area venues, including a credible appearance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967. Not long after that the producers of the quasi-documentary film Revolution decided to include footage of three as-yet unsigned Bay Area bands, one of which was Quicksilver Messenger Service, who performed Codine in the film. Rather than use that performance for the soundtrack album, the producers chose to have the band re-record the song, making Codine the group's first officially released studio recording.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    Baroque # 1
Source:    LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer(s):    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1967
    Of the half dozen or so major US record labels of the time, only two, Decca and M-G-M, failed to sign any San Francisco bands in the late 1960s. Decca, which had been bought by MCA in the early 60s, was fast fading as a major force in the industry (ironic considering that Universal, the direct descendant of MCA, is now the world's largest record company). M-G-M, on the other hand, had a strong presence on the Greenwich Village scene thanks to Jerry Schoenbaum at the Verve Forecast label, who had signed such critically-acclaimed artists as Dave Van Ronk, Tim Hardin and the Blues Project. Taking this as an inspiration, the parent label decided to create interest in the Boston music scene, aggressively promoting (some would say hyping) the "Boss-Town Sound". One of the bands signed was Ultimate Spinach, which was led by keyboardist Ian Bruce-Douglas, who wrote all the band's material, including Baroque # 1, an instrumental that shows the influence of West Coast bands such as Country Joe And The Fish.
Artist:    Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Title:    Prelude/Nightmare
Source:    British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Arthur Brown
Label:    Polydor (original UK label: Track)
Year:    1968
    One of rock's first "theatrical" performers, Arthur Brown first began to get noticed in Paris, where he spent a year developing his stage show and unique vocal style with his band the Arthur Brown Set, which was formed in 1965. On his return to England he joined up with keyboardist Vincent Crane. By 1967 the Vincent Crane Combo had changed its name to The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and was becoming a major force on London's underground music scene. In late 1967 the band went to work on their self-titled debut LP, which was released in the UK on the Track label in June of 1968. Spurred by the success of the single Fire, the album was picked up for American distribution by Atlantic Records that same year. The people at Atlantic, however, felt that the drums were a bit off and insisted on adding horns and strings to cover the deficiency. The result can be heard on tracks like Prelude/Nightmare, which opens the album.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Let Me Be
Source:    CD: 20 Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: It Ain't Me Babe and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    P.F. Sloan
Label:    Rhino (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1965
    The Turtles were nothing if not able to redefine themselves when the need arose. Originally a surf band known as the Crossfires, the band quickly adopted an "angry young men" stance with their first single, Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe, and the subsequent album of the same name. For the follow-up single the band chose a track from their album, Let Me Be, that, although written by a different writer, had the same general message as It Ain't Me Babe. The band would soon switch over to love songs like Happy Together and She'd Rather Be With Me before taking their whole chameleon bit to its logical extreme with an album called Battle Of The Bands on which each track was meant to sound like it was done by an entirely different group.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Just Let Go
Source:    LP: A Web Of Sound
Writer(s):    Saxon/Hooper/Savage
Label:    GNP Crescendo
Year:    1966
    After listening to Just Let Go, from the second Seeds album, A Web Of Sound, it's easy to see why there were some in Los Angeles that were convinced that the band was actually from another planet. An acid-rock classic.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    Levitation
Source:    British import CD: Easter Everywhere
Writer(s):    Hall/Sutherland
Label:    Charly (original US label: International Artists)
Year:    1967
    The first album by the 13th Floor Elevators has long been considered a milestone, in that it was one of the first truly psychedelic albums ever released (and the first to actually use the word "psychedelic" in the title). For their followup LP, the group decided to take their time, going through some personnel changes in the process. Still, the core membership of Roky Erickson, Tommy Hall and Stacy Sutherland held it together long enough to complete Easter Everywhere, releasing the album in 1967. The idea behind the album was to present a spiritual vision that combined both Eastern and Western religious concepts in a rock context. For the most part, such as on tracks like Levitation, it succeeds remarkably well, considering the strife the band was going through at the time.

Artist:    Mad River
Title:    Amphetamine Gazelle
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Mad River)
Writer:    Lawrence Hammond
Label:    Rhino (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1968
    By 1968 acid was no longer the drug of choice on the streets of San Francisco. In its place, crystal meth was beginning to dominate the scene, with a corresponding increase in ripoffs and burns. The local musicians often reflected this change, with some, such as Canned Heat, declaring that Speed Kills and moving south to Laurel Canyon. Others, such as Mad River (originally from Yellow Springs, Ohio, but Bay Area residents since early 1967), attempted to use ridicule to combat the problem, but with no appreciable success, speed freaks not being known for their sense of humor (or any other kind of sense for that matter).

Artist:    Misunderstood
Title:    Children Of The Sun
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):    Hill/Brown
Label:    Rhino (original label: Fontana)
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1969
    Formed in Riverside, California in 1965, the Misunderstood relocated to London in 1966, where they soon became one of the top bands on the local underground scene. Unfortunately, the band was plagued by issues involving draft eligibility, resulting in original rhythm guitarist and primary songwriter Greg Treadwell returning to the states soon after arriving in the UK. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as his replacement, Londoner Tony Hill, teamed up with vocalist Rick Brown to write even better songs, augmented by the talents of Glenn Ross Campbell, who played his leads on a pedal steel guitar.  The band soon signed with Fontana, releasing a single in December of 1966 before once again running into problems with the draft board, this time concerning Brown. With their frontman gone, the Misunderstood soon disbanded, with the remaining American members returning to California. Two years later Fontana released a second single by the Misunderstood, Children Of The Sun, which has since come to be regarded as a classic example of garage-flavored psychedelic music.

And now for something completely different:

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Friend Of The Devil
Source:    LP: American Beauty
Writer(s):    Garcia/Dawson/Hunter
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    The Grateful Dead spent three years and four albums trying to capture the energy of their live performances on vinyl. Having finally succeeded with the 1969 Live Dead album the group began to focus more on their songwriting capabilities. The result was two outstanding studio albums, both released in 1970: Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. Of the two, American Beauty is made up almost entirely of songs played on acoustic instruments, including pedal steel guitar, which was played by Jerry Garcia. One of the best-known tracks on American Beauty is Friend Of The Devil, which lyricist Robert Hunter referred to as "the closest we've come to what may be a classic song." Not to take anything away from Friend Of The Devil, but I'd have to say that at least three other songs (Ripple, Sugar Magnolia and Truckin') on American Beauty also qualify as classics.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Psycho Daisies
Source:    Mono CD: Roger The Engineer (bonus track originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    The Yardbirds
Label:    Great American Music (original British label: Columbia)
Year:    1966
    Happenings Ten Years Time Ago was the only single released by the Yardbirds to feature both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page on lead guitar. The US version of the single featured a track from the band's 1966 LP Over Under Sideways Down (aka Roger The Engineer) on the B side, while the British single featured a unique recording of a song called Psycho Daisies that featured Beck on lead guitar, Page on bass and Jim McCarty on drums. Although credited to the entire band, Psycho Daisies was reportedly written about a woman that Beck was in love with at the time, and features a rare lead vocal performance by the guitarist.

Artist:     Cream
Title:     Take It Back
Source:     Mono European import LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer:     Bruce/Brown
Label:     Lilith (original US label: Atco)
Year:     1967
     After seven years of serving in the Air Force liason office at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, my dad got transferred to Weisbaden Air Force Base in Germany. Standard practice at the time was for the married GI to go on ahead of the rest of the family and find a place to live "on the economy." My dad, already having quite a bit of time in the service, was able to instead get a spot in a place called Kastel, which was a group of WWII Panzer barracks that had been adapted for use by American military with families. When the rest of us arrived in August I was happily surprised to find that my dad, in addition to finding us a place to live, had bought a state-of-the-art Akai X-355 Tape Recorder using money he had won at Lotto, along with a pair of Koss headphones. I of course had to go to the Base Exchange to look for pre-recorded tapes. Already having experience with reel to reel machines, I knew that tapes recorded at 3 3/4 ips had more tape hiss than those recorded at 7 1/2 ips, so I was resolved to only buy tapes recorded at the faster speed. Unfortunately several albums I wanted were only available at the slower speed. The problem was resolved a year later when my dad finally got a Dual turntable to hook up to the tape recorder. I immediately went out and bought a reel of blank tape; the first album I made a copy of was Cream's Disraeli Gears. I would often fall asleep listening to that tape, which meant I ended up sleeping through the last songs on the album, including Take It Back. I must have done some kind of sleep learning, though, since to this day I can quote the lyrics of the entire song.

Artist:    Jelly Bean Bandits
Title:    Tapestries
Source:    British Import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released on LP: The Jelly Bean Bandits)
Writer(s):    Buck/Donald/Dougherty/Raab/Scalfari
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1968
    Of the various albums released on Bob Shad's Mainstream label from 1966-1969, one of the most fully realized was the first (and only) album by the Jelly Bean Bandits. Formed as the Mirror in 1966, the Bandits built up a following in the native Newburgh, NY and surrounding areas over a period on months. The particularly brash move of tearing pages out of the yellow pages and showing up unannounced at the offices of various record labels led them to a meeting with Shad at Mainstream's New York offices. After listening to the band's demos Shad offered the Jelly Bean Bandits a contract to record three albums, but, sadly, only one was released. One of the highlights of that album was Tapestries, sung by drummer Joe Scalfari. The Bandits immediately got to work on a second album, but a combination of internal and financial difficulties, coupled with lack of promotional support from their label, led to the group's early demise.

Artist:    Peanut Butter Conspiracy
Title:    Captain Sandwich
Source:    CD: Is Spreading/The Great Conspiracy (originally released on LP: The Great Conspiracy)
Writer(s):    John Merrill
Label:    Collectables (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    The second album by the Peanut Butter Conspiracy saw the band asserting its independence from producer Gary Usher, whose Brian Wilson influenced production style had included bringing in studio musicians to make the band sound more commercial. The Great Conspiracy, however, was a much more psychedelic album, although in some cases, such as Captain Sandwich, the psychedelia borders on the excessively bizarre.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Back In The USSR/Dear Prudence
Source:    CD: The Beatles
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Apple)
Year:    1968
    The day it appeared in the Ramstein AFB Base Exchange, I bought a numbered copy of The Beatles (aka the White Album) without ever having heard a single track from it. I took it home, unwrapped it from the cellophane and put it on the turntable. My first thought when I head the album's opening track, Back In The USSR, was "this sounds like the Beach Boys!" The song was, according to Paul McCartney, written from the point of view of a Russian spy returning home to the USSR after an extended mission in the United States, and that he intended it to be a "spoof" on the typical American international traveller's contention that "it's just so much better back home" and their yearning for the comforts of their homeland. The song ends with the sound of a jet plane that cross fades into John Lennon's Dear Prudence, a song written with the intention of bringing Mia Farrow's sister Prudence out of her shell while they were all in India to study with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Getting Better
Source:    CD: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    Following their 1966 North American tour, the Beatles announced that they were giving up live performances to concentrate on their songwriting and studio work. Freed of the responsibilities of the road (and under the influence of mind-expanding substances), the band members found themselves discovering new sonic possibilities as never before (or since), hitting a creative peak with their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, often cited as the greatest album ever recorded. The individual Beatles were about to move in separate musical directions, but as of Sgt. Pepper's were still functioning mostly as a single unit, as is heard on the chorus of Getting Better, in which Paul McCartney's opening line, "I have to admit it's getting better", is immediately answered by John Lennon's playfully cynical "can't get no worse". The members continued to experiment with new instrumental styles as well, such as George Harrison's use of sitar on the song's bridge, accompanied by Ringo Starr's bongos.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I'm So Tired
Source:    CD: The Beatles
Writer:    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Apple)
Year:    1968
    Somehow I can't help but thinking of the Firesign Theatre's Further Adventures of Nick Danger every time I hear this song. I guess that's better than thinking of Charles Manson's group, which some of the other songs on the "white album" make me do.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Away Bounce My Bubbles
Source:    LP: Together
Writer(s):    Chicken Hirsh
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1968
    The third Country Joe And The Fish LP, Together, was the group's most commercially successful album, despite the fact that Country Joe McDonald himself had left the band not long before sessions for the album started, returning in time to appear on the album's first track, along with most of side two. As a result, only two of the album's eleven tracks are credited solely to McDonald as a songwriter. Chicken Hirsh, whose previous contributions had been limited to co-writing one song with David Cohen and participating in a couple group compositions, had five writing credits on Together, including Away Bounce My Bubbles, one of two solo compositions from the drummer (who also sings on the track).

Artist:     Bob Seger System
Title:     Death Row
Source:     45 RPM single B side
Writer:     Bob Seger
Label:     Capitol
Year:     1968
     I like to play Bob Seger's Death Row, written from the perspective of a convicted murderer waiting to be executed, for fans of the Silver Bullet Band who think that Turn the Page is about as intense as it gets. I consider myself lucky to have stumbled across this rare single at a radio station I used to work for. Even better, the station had no desire to keep the record, since the A side, the equally intense anti-war song 2+2=?, never charted. Their loss.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    One More Rainy Day
Source:    LP: Shades Of Deep Purple
Writer(s):    Evans/Lord
Label:    Tetragrammaton
Year:    1968
    The last song to be recorded for Shades Of Deep Purple was a song called One More Rainy Day. Quite honestly, I find it to be the weakest track on the album, but that still puts it ahead of 90% of what was being played on top 40 radio in 1968. The song also appeared as the B side of the Hush single, which made the top 10.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    The Dangling Conversation
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The first Simon and Garfunkel album, Wednesday Morning 3AM, originally tanked on the charts, causing Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel to temporarily pursue solo careers. Simon went to England, where he wrote and recorded an album's worth of material, while Garfunkel went back to school. Meanwhile, producer Tom Wilson, fresh from producing Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone, went into the studio with the original recording of the song Sound of Silence and added electric instruments to it. The result was a surprise hit that led Paul Simon to return to the US, reuniting with Art Garfunkel and re-recording several of the tunes he had recorded as a solo artist for a new album, Sounds of Silence. The success of that album prompted Columbia to re-release Wednesday Morning, 3AM, which in turn became a bestseller. Meanwhile, Simon and Garfunkel returned to the studio to record an album of all new material. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme was yet another success that spawned several hit songs, including The Dangling Conversation, a song Simon described as similar to The Sound Of Silence, but more personal. The song was originally released as a single in fall of 1966, before the album itself came out.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    There Was A Time
Source:    LP: Wear Your Love Like Heaven (also released on LP: A Gift From A Flower To A Garden)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Epic
Year:    1967
    Following the success of his Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow albums and a subsequent pair of hit singles, Donovan released a boxed double LP set called A Gift From A Flower To A Garden in December of 1967. His US label, Epic, had reservations about the public's willingness to shell out the money for a package that included extensive lyric sheets in addition to the two discs, each of which carried its own subtitle. To hedge their bets Epic decided to release each disc as a separate album as well. The first, entitled Wear Your Love Like Heaven, used studio musicians to back up the singer/songwriter and was more in line with his previous albums musically. Lyrically, though, Donovan had changed his tune concerning drug use, having seen too many friends become addicted to harder drugs as well as doing some jail time himself for marijuana possession. For the most part the songs on the Wear Your Love Like Heaven disc are shorter than on his previous two albums. There Was A Time, which closes out the album's first side, runs a second short of the two minute mark and yet is only the third shortest track on the ten-song LP. In fact, the entire album runs less than 24 minutes, making it even shorter than a typical US Beatles album.

Artist:    Masters Apprentices
Title:    Theme For A Social Climber
Source:    Australian import LP: The Master's Apprentices
Writer(s):    Michael Bower
Label:    Astor
Year:    1967
    Formed in 1964 by guitarists Mick Bower and Rick Morrison, drummer Brian Vaughton and bassist Gavin Webb, the Mustangs were an instrumental surf music band from Adelaide, South Australia that specialized in covers of Ventures and Shadows songs. In June of that year the Beatles came to Adelaide and were greeted by the largest crowd of their career (around 300,000 people). The popularity of the Beatles among the locals prompted the Mustangs to add vocalist Jim Keays and switch to British-influenced Beat music. In late 1965, having been introduced to the blues through records by bands like the Yardbirds and Rolling Stones, the band changed its name to the Masters Apprentices, with Bower explaining that  "we are apprentices to the masters of the blues—Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, Elmore James and Robert Johnson". The band decided to relocate to Melbourne in early 1967, taking on Steve Hopgood as the band's new drummer when Vaughton decided to stay in Adelaide. The group had already released their first single, Undecided, in late 1966, and soon after the move to Melbourne followed it up with a four song EP. Undecided ended up peaking at #13 on the Australian charts on its 16-week run, prompting the band's label, Astor, to ask the band for enough more songs to fill an entire album. The band responded by recording five cover songs and two new originals by Bower. The shorter of the two was Theme For A Social Climber, a song lamenting the loss of a girlfriend to upward mobility. Unfortunately, Bower suffered a nervous breakdown in September, and the band was left without a songwriter. By the end of 1967 the band was on the verge of disintegrating, which led Keays to reorganize the band in January of 1968 with several new members, retaining only Gavin Webb from the original Mustangs lineup. He also ended up leaving the group due to stomach ulcers in April of 1968.

Artist:    Lamp Of Childhood
Title:    No More Running Around
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mekler/Hendricks/Tani
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1967
    I've often wondered how it was that a somewhat raunchy rock band like Steppenwolf ended up on the same pop-oriented record label (Dunhill) as the Mamas and the Papas, the Grass Roots and 3 Dog Night. It turns out the Dunhill connection was from the man who produced Steppenwolf, Gabriel Mekler. Mekler was a member of the Lamp Of Childhood, a group that also included Cass Elliot's husband James Hendricks. Although the Lamp had a solid pop sound, they never really caught on and by the time their third and most successful single, No More Running Around, was released, the members had already moved on to other things (like, for instance, producing Steppenwolf records, or in the case of drummer Billy Mundi, joining the Mothers Of Invention).

Artist:    Moody Blues
Title:    Tuesday Afternoon (Forever Afternoon)
Source:    CD: The Best Of 60s Supergroups (originally released on LP: Days Of Future Passed and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Justin Hayward
Label:    Priority (original label: Deram)
Year:    1967
    Tuesday Afternoon was the second single released from the Moody Blues' breakthrough 1967 LP Days Of Future Passed. At the insistence of producer Tony Clarke the album version of the song was retitled Forever Tuesday and was used as part one of a track called The Afternoon. When released as a single the following year, composer Justin Hayward's original title was restored to the piece, which was initially edited down to less than two and a half minutes for the 45 RPM pressing. The original album version of the song includes a separately recorded orchestral coda that segues directly into the next phase of the album, entitled The Evening. The version heard here includes the orchestral coda but does not segue into the next track.

Artist:     Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:     Castles Made Of Sand
Source:     CD: The Ultimate Experience (originally released on LP: Axis: Bold As Love)
Writer:     Jimi Hendrix
Label:     MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1967
     Although born in Seattle, Washington, James Marshall Hendrix was never associated with the local music scene that produced some of the loudest and raunchiest punk-rock of the mid 60s. Instead, he paid his professional dues backing R&B artists on the "chitlin circuit" of clubs playing to a mostly-black clientele, mainly in the southern US. After a short stint leading his own soul band, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, Hendrix, at the behest of former Animals bassist Chas Chandler, moved to London, where he recuited a pair of local musicians, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding, to form the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Although known for his innovative use of feedback, Hendrix was quite capable of knocking out some of the most complex "clean" riffs ever to be committed to vinyl. A prime example of this is Castles Made Of Sand. Hendrix's highly melodic guitar work combined with unusual tempo changes and haunting lyrics makes Castles Made Of Sand a classic that sounds as fresh today as it did when Axis: Bold As Love was released in 1967. The first time I ever heard this song it gave me chills.

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

Artist:    Peter, Paul And Mary
Title:    Blowin' In The Wind
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1963
    Just as knowing the chords for Van Morrison's Gloria was pretty much a prerequisite for being in a garage band, being able to play Bob Dylan's Blowing In The Wind was a must for anyone attempting to play folk music at a party in the mid-1960s. If there was more than one of you singing, you most likely used the Peter, Paul and Mary arrangement of the tune, with its three-part harmony. Their version was by far the most popular recording of the song, going all the way to the # 2 spot on the top 40 charts in the summer of '63.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2405 (starts 1/29/24) 

    This week we manage to fit hard rock, soft rock, heavy metal, progressive rock and even a bit of R&B into the first set before getting down to a 1972 set that includes live tracks from Deep Purple and the Grateful Dead.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Fresh Garbage
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Spirit)
Writer(s):    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Sony Music (original label: Ode)
Year:    1968
    Much of the material on the first Spirit album was composed by vocalist Jay Ferguson while the band was living in a big house in California's Topanga Canyon outside of Los Angeles. During their stay there was a garbage strike, which became the inspiration for the album's opening track, Fresh Garbage. The song starts off as a rather bouncy rock tune and suddenly breaks into a section that is pure jazz, showcasing the group's instrumental talents, before returning to the main theme to finish out the track.The group used a similar formula on about half the tracks on the LP, giving the album and the band a distinctive sound right out of the box.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Something
Source:    CD: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1969
    For years, the Beatles' George Harrison had felt that he was not getting the respect he deserved from his bandmates for his songwriting ability. That all changed in 1969 when he introduced them to his latest tune for inclusion on the Abbey Road album. Something impressed everyone who heard it, including John Lennon (who said it was the best song on the album), Paul McCartney (who called it Harrison's best song ever) and even producer George Martin, who made sure the song was released as the A side of the only single from Abbey Road. Commercially, Something was a major success as well, going to the top of the US charts and placing in the top 5 in the UK. Perhaps even more more telling is the fact that Something is the second most covered song in the entire Beatles catalog (behind Paul McCartney's Yesterday), with over 150 artists recording the tune since it first appeared.

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    Black Sabbath
Source:    CD: Black Sabbath
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osbourne/Butler/Ward
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    This track has to hold some kind of record for "firsts". Black Sabbath, by Black Sabbath, from the album Black Sabbath is, after all, the first song from the first album by the first true heavy metal band. The track starts off by immediately setting the mood with the sound of church bells in a rainstorm leading into the song's famous tri-tone (often referred to as the "devil's chord") intro, deliberately constructed to evoke the mood of classic Hollywood horror movies. Ozzy Osborne's vocals only add to the effect. Even the faster-paced final portion of the song has a certain dissonance that had never been heard in rock music before, in part thanks to Black Sabbath's deliberate use of a lower pitch in their basic tuning. The result is something that has sometimes been compared to a bad acid trip, but is unquestionably the foundation of what came to be called heavy metal.

Artist:    Genesis
Title:    The Musical Box
Source:    CD: Nursery Cryme
Writer(s):    Banks/Collins/Gabriel/Hackett/Rutherford
Label:    Atlantic (original label: Charisma)
Year:    1971
    In a sense, the story of the rock band known as Genesis gets underway with the release of the 1971 album Nursery Cryme. Technically it was the third Genesis album. However, the first two albums, From Genesis To Revelation and Trespass, were not really rock albums at all. It was only after the departure of original guitarist Anthony Phillips and his replacement by Steve Hackett, along with the addition of drummer Phil Collins, that Genesis became a true electric rock band, albeit one with a heavy element of British folk music. Although Genesis sounded nothing like harder British progressive rock bands like Yes or Emerson, Lake and Palmer, their music was every bit as innovative and complex, as plainly can be heard on the ten minute long opening track from Nursery Cryme, The Musical Box. The lyrics of the song are based on a fairy tale by Peter Gabriel about two children in a country house, one of which (a girl) kills the other by beheading him with a croquet mallet. From there, it only gets weirder (and more adult). The Musical Box is considered one of Genesis' s most influential works, and has even inspired a group of young musicians to call themselves The Musical Box.

Artist:    Impressions
Title:    Check Out Your Mind
Source:    CD: Curtis Mayfield And The Impressions: The Anthology 1961-1977 (originally released on LP: Check Out Your Mind)
Writer(s):    Curtis Mayfield
Label:    MCA (original label: Curtom)
Year:    1970
    The Impressions scored their first hit single in 1958 with a song called For Your Precious Love. Not long after that lead vocalist Jerry Butler left the group for a solo career, and the Impressions faded off into obscurity. That would have been the end of the story if not for the efforts of 19-year-old Curtis Mayfield, who gathered the group together in 1961 to record their first single for the ABC Paramount label, a tune called Gypsy Woman. The song was a success, prompting several more singles for the label. By 1963 the group was pared down to the trio of Mayfield, Sam Gooden and Fred Cash. The group's style was truly established in August of that year with the song It's All Right, which went all the way to the top of the soul charts. An even bigger hit came the following year with the release of Amen, from the album Keep On Pushin'. The Impressions continued to be a presence on the R&B charts for the remainder of the decade, even after switching over to Mayfield's own Curtom label in 1968. The final Impressions album with Mayfield was Check Out Your Mind, released in 1970. By then Mayfield's songwriting had become highly topical, with virtually every song containing some sort of message. This trend continued after Mayfield left the Impressions for his solo career, notably on the soundtrack of the film Superfly. In August of 1990 a tragic stage accident left Mayfield permanently paralyzed from the neck down, ending his career as a performer.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    Hear Me Calling
Source:    CD: Stonedhenge
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Deram
Year:    1969
    Ten Years After's third album, Stonedhenge, was the band's first real attempt to take advantage of modern studio techniques to create something other than a facsimile of their live performances. Included on the album are short solo pieces, as well as half a dozen longer tracks featuring the entire band. One of the most popular of these full-band tracks is Hear Me Calling, which finishes out side one of the original LP. The song itself follows a simple blues structure, but is augmented by dynamic changes in volume as well as dizzying stereo effects. TYA would continue to develop their studio technique on their next LP, the classic Cricklewood Green.

Artist:    Moody Blues
Title:    I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    John Lodge
Label:    Threshold
Year:    1972
    Following the release of their eighth LP, Seventh Sojourn (don't ask), the Moody Blues decided to take a sojourn of a different kind: a five-year hiatus, allowing the individual members to pursue various solo projects. Before calling it quits, however, they released one last single. As the last track on Seventh Sojourn, I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band) was an appropriate choice for a final effort, and did reasonably well on the US charts, peaking at #12, although it barely made the top 40 in their native England. Since reforming in 1978, the Moody Blues have established themselves as a consistent concert draw, especially around PBS pledge drive time.

Artist:    Mickey Hart
Title:    Blind John
Source:    LP: Days Of Wine And Vinyl (originally released on LP: Rolling Thunder
Writer(s):    Stetson/Monk
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1972
    After leaving the Grateful Dead in 1971 (temporarily, as it turned out), drummer Mickey Hart got to work on his first solo LP, Rolling Thunder. The list of supporting players on the album reads like a Who's Who of San Francisco musicians, including Grace Slick and Paul Kantner from Jefferson Airplane, Barry Melton from Country Joe And The Fish, Greg Errico from Sly & The Family Stone and David Freiberg from Quicksilver Messenger Service, not to mention the entire Tower Of Power horn section, all of whom can be heard on Blind John, the final track on side one of the LP.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Sugar Magnolia
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Hunter/Weir
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:     1972
            One of the most popular songs in the Grateful Dead catalog, Sugar Magnolia also has the distinction of being the second-most performed song in the band's history, with 596 documented performances. The song, written by Robert Hunter and Bob Weir, first appeared on the 1970 album American Beauty, but was not released as a single. A live version two years later, however, did see a single release, charting in the lower reaches of the Billboard Hot 100.

Artist:     Grand Funk Railroad
Title:     Rock 'N' Roll Soul
Source:     45 RPM single (promo)
Writer:     Mark Farner
Label:     Capitol
Year:     1972
     By 1972 Grand Funk Railroad's performances were no longer all sellouts, and the band began to shift emphasis to their recorded work. Problems with Terry Knight's management practices were also becoming an issue, and their sixth studio LP, Phoenix, would be the last to be produced by Knight. Rock 'N' Roll Soul, a somewhat typical Mark Farner song, was the first and only single released from the album, and would have only minor success on the charts. The next record, We're An American Band, would signal a major change of direction for the band, with other members besides Farner taking a role in the songwriting and a much greater emphasis on hit singles than ever before.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Highway Star (live version)
Source:    CD: Made In Japan
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1972
    Deep Purple's most successful album was Machine Head, which hit #7 on the Billboard album charts in 1972 and went all the way to the top in several countries, including the UK. The LP starts off with Highway Star, a song that was written on the band's tour bus as a demonstration of how the band created new material. It was first performed the same day it was written. The song is a hard rocker that features extended solos from both guitarist Richie Blackmore and organist Jon Lord. Both solos were inspired by the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The song became a concert staple and was often used as the show opener throughout the band's existence, as can be heard on the band's immensely popular 1972 live album Made In Japan.

Artist:    Lighthouse
Title:    One Fine Morning
Source:    Mono 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Skip Prokop
Label:    Evolution
Year:    1971
    After being dropped by RCA Victor in 1970 after releasing three LPs, the Canadian band Lighthouse signed with GRT Records of Canada, also releasing their records in the US on the Evolution label, a subsidiary of Longines Symphonette. Their first album for their new label was One Fine Morning, with an edited version of the title track hitting the #2 spot on the Canadian charts and #24 in the US. Recorded in Toronto, the album was the first to feature new lead vocalist Bob McBride.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2404 (starts 1/22/24) 

    It's time for another Battle of the Bands on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era and this time around it's a big one. On one stage we have the Rolling Stones, circa 1967-68, while on the other we have the Jimi Hendrix Experience, with Band Of Gypsys serving as a warmup act. We're a little heavier than usual on the A sides in the first hour with regulars like the Yardbirds and the Doors being joined by lesser heard people such as, well, People. We also have a Blues Project set that includes vocalist Tommy Flanders' first single as a solo artist. Wrapping it all up is a truly psychedelic set from 1967.

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

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Source:    CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Electric Prunes)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Mantz
Label:    BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    The Electric Prunes biggest hit was I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), released in late 1966 and hitting the charts in early 1967. The record, initially released without much promotion from the record label, was championed by Seattle DJ Pat O'Day of KJR radio, and was already popular in that area when it hit the national charts (thus explaining why so many people assumed the band was from Seattle). I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) has come to be one of the defining songs of the psychedelic era and was the opening track on both the original Lenny Kaye Nuggets compilation and Rhino's first Nuggets LP.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Within You Without You
Source:    LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1967
    George Harrison began to take an interest in the Sitar as early as 1965. By 1966 he had become proficient enough on the Indian instrument to compose and record Love You To for the Revolver album. He followed that up with perhaps his most popular sitar-based track, Within You Without You, which opens side two of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Harrison would record one more similarly-styled song, The Inner Light, in 1968, before deciding that he was never going to be in the same league as Ravi Shankar, whom Harrison had become friends with by that time. For the remainder of his time with the Beatles Harrison would concentrate on his guitar work and songwriting skills, resulting in classic songs such as While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Something and Here Comes The Sun.

Artist:    People
Title:    I Love You
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Chris White
Label:    Rhino (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1968
    By 1968 the major labels had signed just about every San Francisco band with any perceived potential. Capitol, having had some success with the Chocolate Watchband from San Jose on its Tower subsidiary, decided to sign another south bay band, People, to the parent label. The most successful single for the band was a new recording of an obscure Zombies B side. I Love You ended up hitting the top 20 nationally, despite the active efforts of two of the most powerful men in the music industry, who set out to squash the song as a way of punishing the record's producer for something having nothing to do with the song or the band itself.

Artist:    Small Faces
Title:    The Autumn Stone
Source:    British import 45 RPM single (originally released on LP: The Autumn Stone)
Writer(s):    Steve Marriott
Label:    Immediate
Year:    1969 (single mix: 2016)
    The Small Faces went into a recording studio together for the final time on September 11, 1968 to record two sides of a projected, but ultimately unreleased single. The A side, a Steve Marriott tune called The Autumn Stone, ended up being the title track of a double LP released a year later, after the group had officially disbanded. By this time Marriott had already formed Humble Pie (with Peter Frampton) while the remaining members of the Small Faces had regrouped with new members Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, shortening their name to Faces in the process.

Artist:    Chicago
Title:    25 Or 6 To 4
Source:    CD: Chicago
Writer(s):    Robert Lamm
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1970
    For their second LP, Chicago (which had just dropped the words "Transit Authority" from their name in response to a threatened lawsuit) tried out all three of their vocalists on each new song to hear who sounded the best for that particular song. In the case of Robert Lamm's 25 Or 6 To 4, bassist Peter Cetera did the honors. The song became a top 10 single both in the US and UK. Despite rumors to the contrary, Lamm says 25 Or 6 To 4 is not a drug song. Instead, he says, the title refers to the time of the morning that he was awake and writing the tune.
Artist:    John Mayall And The Bluesbreakers
Title:    I'm Your Witch Doctor
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: British Archives-Volume 1 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    John Mayall
Label:    RCA Victor (original label: Immediate)
Year:    1965
    Although John Mayall was under contract to British Decca, he somehow managed to sneak in a single on the Immediate label in 1965. I'm Your Witch Doctor was the only Mayall single produced by Jimmy Page, who had this to say about the song: "It was recorded at Pye Studios with jazzer Hughie Flint on drums, John McVie on bass, John Mayall on keyboards and vocals and Eric Clapton on guitar. It was recorded in June of 1965. When 'Witch Doctor' came to be overdubbed, Eric had this idea to put this feedback wail over the top. I was with him in the studio as he set this up, then I got back into the control room and told the engineer to record the overdub. About two thirds of the way through, he pulled the faders down and said: "This guitarist is impossible to record". I guess his technical ethics were compromised by the signal that was putting the meters into the red. I suggested that he got on with his job and leave that decision to me! Eric's solo on 'Telephone Blues' was just superb." Following the success of Cream, I'm Your Witch Doctor was reissued internationally in 1967 (1968 in the US) and included on an Immediate compilation album called Blues Anytime Vol.1 - An Anthology Of British Blues. That album was in turn reissued in the US under the title British Archives-Volume 1 on the RCA Victor label in 1970.

Artist:    Who
Title:    See My Way
Source:    Mono CD: A Quick One (album originally titled Happy Jack in the US)
Writer(s):    Roger Daltry
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1966
    One of the original concepts for the Who's second LP, A Quick One (released in the US as Happy Jack), was to distribute the songwriting equally among the band's four members. That didn't quite work out as planned, however, as vocalist Roger Daltry only came up with one song, See My Way. It's probably just as well.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    For Your Love
Source:    Mono CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Graham Gouldman
Label:    K-Tel (original label: Epic)
Year:    1965
    The last Yardbirds song to feature guitarist Eric Clapton, For Your Love was the group's first US hit, peaking in the #6 slot. The song did even better in the UK, peaking at #3. Following its release, Clapton left the Yardbirds, citing the band's move toward a more commercial sound and this song in particular as reasons for his departure (ironic when you consider songs like his mid-90s hit Change the World or his slowed down lounge lizard version of Layla). For Your Love was written by Graham Gouldman, who would end up as a member of Wayne Fontana's Mindbenders and later 10cc with Kevin Godley and Lol Creme.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Grim Reaper Of Love
Source:    Mono CD: All The Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Portz/Nichol
Label:    Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1966
    The Turtles had some early success in 1965 as a folk-rock band, recording the hit version of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe and PF Sloan's Let Me Be. By 1966, however, it was getting harder and harder for the group to get a hit record. One attempt was Grim Reaper Of Love, co-written by the Turtles' lead guitarist Al Nichol and bassist Chuck Portz. Personally I think it's a pretty cool tune, but was probably a bit too weird to appeal to the average top 40 radio listener in 1966. Grim Reaper Of Love did manage to make it to the # 81 spot on the charts, unlike the band's next two singles that failed to chart at all. It wasn't until the following year, when the Turtles recorded Happy Together, that the band would make it back onto the charts.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Light My Fire (speed corrected)
Source:    LP: The Doors
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    The first Doors album was the only one to be released in both mono and stereo versions. Due to an error in the mastering process the stereo version was slowed down by about 3.5%, or about half a step in musical terms, lengthening the entire piece by about 15 seconds. As the mono version was deleted from the Elektra catalog soon after the album's release, the error went unnoticed for many years until a college professor contacted engineer Bruce Botnick and told him of the discrepancy. This week we have the stereo LP version played 3.5% faster than the normal 33 1/3 RPM. Sure enough, everything is pitch perfect (and times out to 6:49).

Artist:    Fleetwood Mac
Title:    Albatross
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: English Rose
Writer(s):    Peter Green
Label:    Sony Music (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    Albatross was the third single released by Fleetwood Mac. Released in November of 1968, it hit the #1 spot on the UK Single Chart in January of 1969. The song, which is said to have been inspired by a series of notes in an Eric Clapton guitar solo (but slowed down considerably) had been in the works for some time, but left unfinished until the addition of then 18-year-old guitarist Danny Kirwan to the band, who, unlike the band's second guitarist Jeremy Spencer, was more than willing to help bandleader Peter Green work out the final arrangement. Although Spencer was usually the group's resident slide guitarist (as is seen miming the part on a video clip), Kirwan actually played the slide guitar parts behind Green's lead guitar work, with Mick Fleetwood using mallets rather than drumsticks on the recording. John McVie, of course, played bass on the tune.

Artist:    Illinois Speed Press
Title:    Hard Luck Story
Source:    German import LP: Underground '70 (originally released on LP: Illinois Speed Press)
Writer(s):    Kal David
Label:    CBS (original US label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    In 1967 someone coined the phrase "San Francisco sound" to describe the wave of bands coming out of the Bay Area that year, despite the fact that there really was no specific San Francisco sound. The following year, someone at M-G-M Records (which had missed out entirely on the whole San Francisco thing, with the exception of the Eric Burdon And The Animals single San Franciscan Nights) decided to sign a bunch of Boston bands and market them as the "Boss-Town Sound." This campaign went over like a lead balloon, actually hurting the chances of the bands to make a name for themselves. Undeterred, Columbia Records tried the same thing in Chicago in 1969, signing the Chicago Transit Authority, the Flock, Aorta and Illinois Speed Press and marketing them as the "Chicago Sound". Producer James William Guercio, who had previously worked with the Buckinghams and Blood, Sweat & Tears, was brought in to produce the first Illinois Speed Press album, which included the song Hard Luck Story, a somewhat atypical piece of blues-rock written by Kal David, who along with Paul Cotton formed the core of the band. David and Cotton soon wearied of being lumped in with other Chicago bands, and relocated to California, essentially becoming a duo in the process and helping pioneer the country-rock sound that would emerge from Southern California in the mid-1970s. Cotton later assumed a leadership role with the southern California country-rock band Poco.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Aimless Lady
Source:    CD: Closer To Home
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1970
    Despite being universally panned by the rock press, Grand Funk Railroad managed to achieve gold record status three times in the year 1970. The first two of these were actually released the previous year, but it was the massive success of their third LP, Closer To Home, that spurred sales of the band's albums overall. All of the songs on Closer To Home were written and sung by guitarist Mark Farner, including Aimless Lady, probably the best example on the album of a "typical" Grand Funk Railroad song.

Artist:    Move
Title:    Message From The Country
Source:    LP: Message From The Country
Writer(s):    Jeff Lynne
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1971
    The Move was one of those bands that was extremely popular in its native UK without having any success whatsoever in the US. Although primarily a singles band, they did manage to release four albums over a period of years, the last of which was Message From The Country. Even as the album was being recorded, several members, including Jeff Lynne, were already working on the first album by the Move's successor, the Electric Light Orchestra. A conscious effort was made, however, to keep the two projects separate, with the Move album getting the more psychedelic material (such as the title track), while ELO took a more prog-rock approach.

Artist:    David Crosby
Title:    Willie Jean
Source:    LP: Early L.A
Writer(s):    Jimmy Drew
Label:    Together
Year:    Recorded 1963, released 1970
    Although his first official solo release was the album If I Could Only Remember My Name in 1971, David Crosby had actually recorded a pair of solo demos around 1963, both of which ended up appearing on an album called Early L.A. on the Together label, a joint venture of producers Gary Usher, Curt Boettcher and Keith Olsen, in 1970. Both songs were covers, including Willie Jean, which was spelled Willie Gene on the album cover and attributed to Hoyt Axton. In reality the song, which was often thought to be a traditional tune in the public domain, was first released by Jimmy Drew in 1961 (Axton's version was recorded in 1963).

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix/Band Of Gypsys
Title:    Power Of Soul
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 2013
    1969 was a strange year for Jimi Hendrix. For one thing, he did not release any new recordings that year, yet he remained the top money maker in rock music. One reason for the lack of new material was an ongoing dispute with Capitol Records over a contract he had signed in 1965 as a session player. By the end of the year an agreement was reached for Hendrix to provide Capitol with one album's worth of new material. At this point Hendrix had not released any live albums, so it was decided to tape his New Year's performances at the Fillmore East with his new Band Of Gypsys (with drummer Buddy Miles and bassist Billy Cox), playing songs that had never been released in studio form. As it turns out, however, studio versions of many of the songs on that album did indeed exist, but were not issued until after Hendrix's death, when producer Alan Douglas put out a pair of LPs (Crash Landing and Midnight Lightning), that had some of the original drum and bass tracks (and even some guitar tracks) re-recorded by musicians that had never actually worked with Hendrix. One of those songs is Power Of Soul, which has finally been released in its original Band Of Gypsys studio version, recorded just a couple of weeks after the Fillmore East gig with background vocals provided by Cox and Miles.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Miss Amanda Jones
Source:    LP: Between The Buttons
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    The only thing I have to say about Miss Amanda Jones is that it is one of my favorite tracks on the 1967 Rolling Stones album Between The Buttons. Come to think of it, that kind of says it all anyway.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Red House
Source:    CD: Are You Experienced? (originally released on LP: Smash Hits)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1969
    There were actually two different versions of Red House released by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, both of which came from the same December, 1966, sessions. The original version was included on the European pressing of the Are You Experienced album, which was issued in early 1967. The album was not originally available in stereo, and a true stereo mix of this version of Red House was never made, as the track was left off the remixed American version of the LP. In spring of 1967 the band attempted to get a better version of the song, but neither Hendrix or bassist Noel Redding (who had played the original bass part on a regular guitar with its tone controls set to mimic a bass guitar) were satisfied with the later versions. Only one portion of these new recordings was kept, and was combined with the original take to create a new stereo mix for the US version of the 1969 Smash Hits album. This newer mix was also used by MCA for both the 1993 CD reissue of Are You Experienced and the Ultimate Experience anthology. 

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Sympathy For The Devil
Source:    CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released on LP: Beggars Banquet)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1968
    Beggar's Banquet was a turning point for the Rolling Stones. They had just ended their association with Andrew Loog Oldham, who had produced all of their mid-60s records, and instead were working with Jimmy Miller, who was known for his association with Steve Winwood, both in his current band Traffic and the earlier Spencer Davis Group. Right from the opening bongo beats of Sympathy For The Devil, it was evident that this was the beginning of a new era for the bad boys of rock and roll. The song itself has gone on to be one of the defining tunes of album rock radio, and occupies the #32 spot on Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list.

Artist:     Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:     The Wind Cries Mary
Source:     CD: Are You Experienced?
Writer:     Jimi Hendrix
Label:     MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1967
     The US version of Are You Experienced was significantly different than its UK counterpart. For one thing, the original UK album was only available in mono. For the US version, engineers at Reprise Records, working from the original multi-track masters, created all new stereo mixes of about two-thirds of the album, along with all three of the singles that the Jimi Hendrix Experience had released in the UK. The third of these singles was The Wind Cries Mary, which had hit the British charts in February of 1967.
Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Who's Been Sleeping Here
Source:    LP: Between The Buttons
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    Between The Buttons, released in early 1967, shows the Rolling Stones beginning to experiment with a more psychedelic sound than on previous albums. Brian Jones, in particular, took up several new instruments, including the sitar, heard prominently on the track Who's Been Sleeping Here. The next LP, Their Satanic Majesties Request, would take the group even further into psychedelic territory, prompting a back to basics approach the following year.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes
Source:    LP: Live At Town Hall
Writer(s):    Blind Willie Johnson
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1967
    Sometime in mid-1967 a new Blues Project LP was released. The album was titled Live At Town Hall, despite the fact that only half of the tracks on the album were in fact recorded live, and only one of those was actually recorded at Howard K. Solomon's Town Hall. To add insult to injury, the liner notes heavily emphasized the talents of keyboardist/vocalist Al Kooper, who had in fact quit the group shortly before the album was released, reportedly over musical differences with guitarist Danny Kalb over whether or not the band should add a horn section. Although I have not been able to determine exactly which track was recorded where, it seems likely that the album's opening recording, an energetic performance of I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes featuring some of Kalb's best guitar work, is the Town Hall performance, as it is a notably higher fidelity recording than the album's other live tracks.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    Steve's Song
Source:    CD: The Blues Project Anthology (originally released on LP: Projections)
Writer(s):    Steve Katz
Label:    Polydor/Chronicles (original label: Verve Folkways)
Year:    1966
    The members of the Blues Project came from a variety of backgrounds, including jazz, rock, classical and of course, blues. Guitarist Steve Katz had the strongest connection to the Greenwich Village folk scene and was the lead vocalist on the Project's recording of Donovan's Catch The Wind on their first LP. For their second album Katz wrote his own song, entitled simply Steve's Song. The tune starts with a very old-English style repeated motif that gets increasing complicated as it repeats itself before segueing into a more conventional mode with Katz on the lead vocal. Katz would write and sing similarly-styled tunes, such as Sometimes In Winter, during his tenure as guitarist for Blood, Sweat and Tears.

Artist:    Tommy Flanders
Title:    Friday Night City
Source:    Mono CD: The Blues Project Anthology (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Tommy Flanders
Label:    Polydor/Chronicles (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:    1967
    When the Blues Project was first signed to M-G-M Records, the label saw them as America's answer to the Rolling Stones. They had pretty good reasons for seeing things that way too. The band had one of Greenwich Village's rising stars, Danny Kalb, on guitar, the already well-known Al Kooper, who had played on Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisted album on organ, and the charismatic Tommy Flanders on lead vocals. The label was so high on the band, in fact, that they flew them out to L.A. and set them up in the Hilton for a big release party. It was then that things got weird. Flanders's girlfriend, who had accompanied the band to the West Coast, got it in her head that Flanders was the star of the band and was as such deserved special treatment. This did not sit well with the rest of the band members, and an argument ensued, culminating in the girlfriend announcing that her Tommy didn't need any of those guys and would stay in Hollywood to become a star in his own right. The Blues Project continued without Flanders and went on to become one of the most influential bands in rock history (albeit without a lot of commercial success). Flanders, on the other hand, recorded an album's worth of material (produced by Wilson), but only Friday Night City was actually released, and even then it was held back until 1967, by which time audience tastes had changed signficantly and the song went nowhere. Flanders did have a short solo career in the early 1970s, but never achieved the level of success his girlfriend had imagined for him (or even the level of success the rest of the Blues Project had without him, for that matter).

Artist:    Vanilla Fudge
Title:    Take Me For A Little While
Source:    M45 RPM single B side (reissue)
Writer(s):    Trade Martin
Label:    Atlantic (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    The original single version of Vanilla Fudge's cover of the Holland-Dozier-Holland penned Supremes hit You Keep Me Hangin' On was yet another cover of a tune written by a man but originally sung by female artists. Take Me For A Little While, written by Trade Martin, was first released in 1965, with two versions, one by Evie Sands and the other by Jackie Ross, coming out at about the same time. The Vanilla Fudge version of Take Me For A Little While was chose to be the B side of You Keep Me Hangin' On when it was first released as a single (that flopped) in 1967, but was replaced with a non-LP B side written by band member Mark Stein for the 1968 reissue (that was a big hit).

Artist:    Jake Holmes
Title:    Dazed And Confused
Source:    LP: Nuggets vol. 10-Folk Rock (originally released on LP: The Above Ground Sound Of Jake Holmes)
Writer(s):    Jake Holmes
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    On Auguest 5th, 1967 a little known singer/songwriter named Jake Holmes opened for the Yardbirds for a gig in New York City, performing songs from his debut LP The Above Ground Sound Of Jake Holmes, including a rather creepy sounding tune called Dazed And Confused. Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty, who was in the audience for Holmes's set, went out and bought a copy of the album the next day. Soon after that the Yardbirds began performing their own modified version of Dazed And Confused. Tower Records, perhaps looking to take advantage of the Yardbirds popularization of the tune, released Holmes's version of Dazed And Confused as a single in January of 1968. Meanwhile, the Yardbirds split up, with guitarist Jimmy Page forming a new band called Led Zeppelin. One of the songs Led Zeppelin included on their 1969 debut LP was yet another new arrangement of Dazed And Confused, with new lyrics provided by Page and singer Robert Plant. This version was credited entirely to Page. Holmes himself, not being a fan of British blues-rock, was not aware of any of this at first, and then let things slide until 2010, when he finally filed a copyright infringement lawsuit. The matter was ultimately settled out of court, and all copies of the first Led Zeppelin album made from 2014 on include "inspired by Jake Holmes" in the credits.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Bass Strings
Source:    LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    A lot of songs released in 1966 and 1967 got labeled as drug songs by influential people in the music industry. In many cases, those labels were inaccurate, at least according to the artists who recorded those songs. On the other hand, you have songs like Bass Strings by Country Joe and the Fish that really can't be about anything else. Then again, it was never going to be played on top 40 radio anyway.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2404 (starts 1/22/24) 

    We're digging pretty deep this time around, with only one certified hit single in the entire hour...and that's the very last song of the week. Everything else is an album track, ranging from the familiar (Neil Young's Cowgirl In The Sand) to the truly obscure (a demo by a group called T2 that remained unreleased until 2013), with lots of good stuff in between, including four tunes making their Rockin' in the Days of Confusion debut.

Artist:     Ten Years After
Title:     I Woke Up This Morning
Source:     LP: Ssssh
Writer:     Alvin Lee
Label:     Deram
Year:     1969
     Latecomers to the British blues scene, Ten Years After were in fact the original retro-rockers, taking their cues from the classic rock and roll artists of the 50s as much as from the rhythm and blues artists of the era. Alvin Lee's songwriting, especially in the band's early days, reflected both these influences, with slow bluesy numbers like I Woke Up This Morning co-existing with high-energy rockers like I'm Going Home.

Artist:    Atomic Rooster
Title:    The Rock
Source:    Russian import CD: In Hearing Of (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Vincent Crane
Label:    Castle (original US label: Elektra)
Year:    1971
    Atomic Rooster began as a fairly typical British progressive rock band, but by their third LP, In Hearing Of, were starting to move into new territority as a progressive jazz/rock/funk fusion band. Between the second and third albums the group released a single called Devil's Answer that made it into the top 5 in the UK (but did not chart in the US) that was not included on In Hearing Of. Its B side, however, The Rock, is a good example of the band's future sound, and would be included on the album as well.

Artist:    Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title:    Cowgirl In The Sand
Source:    CD: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer:    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    It has been said that adverse conditions are conducive to good art. Certainly that truism applies to Neil Young's Cowgirl In The Sand, written while Young was running a 102 degree fever. Almost makes me wish I could be that sick sometime.

Artist:    James Gang
Title:    Mystery
Source:    CD: Bang
Writer(s):    Bolin/Cook
Label:    Atco
Year:    1973
    It seems like every James Gang album (excepting the first one) ends with a long, grandiose track, complete with strings. For the 1973 album Bang, guitarist Tommy Bolin came up with Mystery, a song very much in the same vein as Joe Walsh's Ashes The Rain And I. Roy Kenner, who had joined the band in 1972, provides lead vocals on the track.

Artist:    Fleetwood Mac
Title:    The Green Manolishi (With The Two Prong Crown)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Peter Green
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1970
    Peter Green's final recording with Fleetwood Mac was an LSD-inspired non-LP single called The Green Manolishi (With The Two Prong Crown). Released in 1970, it was the last single by the band to make the UK top 10 until Tusk was released nearly 10 years later. According the Green, the song was written following a dream in which he was visited by a green dog that barked at him from the afterlife. "It scared me because I knew the dog had been dead a long time. It was a stray and I was looking after it. But I was dead and had to fight to get back into my body, which I eventually did. When I woke up, the room was really black and I found myself writing the song." Although it took an entire all-night session to get the sound Green wanted, he later called making the record one of his favorite times with the band.

Artist:    T2
Title:    Careful Sam
Source:    Mono British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution
Writer(s):    Peter Dunton
Label:    Grapefruit
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 2013
    T2, consisting of drummer Peter Dunton, bassist Bernie Jinks and guitarist Keith Cross, released only one album, It'll All Work Out In Boomland, in 1970. The album did not get much support from their label (British Decca) and plans for a second LP were scrapped before any new material got beyond the demo stage. One of those demo tapes, however, finally surfaced on a CD set called Love, Poetry And Revolution on the Grapefruit label in 2013. Written by Dunton, the track has some outstanding guitar work from Cross.

Artist:    Cheech & Chong
Title:    The Strawberry Revival Festival/Don't Bug Me
Source:    CD: Los Cochinos
Writer(s):    Marin/Chong
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Ode)
Year:    1973
    Much of Cheech & Chong's humor was derived from the interaction between characters created by Cheech Marin and Thomas Chong. Not all of these characters had names, however. The Strawberry Revival Festival, for instance, is simply a conversation between two roommates in a house occupied by several other people that can be heard in the background throughout the piece. The only named person is Strawberry, who is not even part of the conversation (and is apparently passed out on the floor). The piece segues directly into the short Don't Bug Me, which is more of a punchline-oriented bit (hey, I'm trying not to give anything away, OK?).

Artist:    ZZ Top
Title:    Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers
Source:    LP: Tres Hombres
Writer(s):    Gibbons/Hill/Beard
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: London)
Year:    1973
    The second single released from ZZ Top's 1973 breakthough album, Tres Hombres, could well qualify as a Texas state anthem, although a majority of the state's politicians no doubt would never allow that to happen. The title says it all: Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers.

Artist:    Blues Image
Title:    Love Is The Answer
Source:    CD: Open
Writer(s):    Blues Image
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Atco)
Year:    1970
    Blues Image started off in Tampa, Florida, but soon relocated to Miami, where they soon became the house band for the legendary club Thee Image. They moved out to Los Angeles in 1969, where they developed a following that included several prominent musicians, including guitarist Jimi Hendrix. It was Hendrix that pointed out to the band that they did great arrangements on other people's material but that their own tunes were lacking a certain flair. The solution, it turned out, was to set their own compositions aside for a time, then revist them, treating them the same way they would someone else's songs. Apparently it worked, as can be heard on songs like Love Is The Answer, the powerful opening track for their second LP, Open.

Artist:    Graham Nash
Title:    Better Days
Source:    LP: Songs For Beginners
Writer(s):    Graham Nash
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1971
    After the worldwide success of the 1970 LP  Déjà Vu, the members of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young all got the opportunity to record solo albums. Graham Nash's was called Songs For Beginners, and it was filled with highly personal songs like Better Days, which was reportedly written for Stephen Stills after Rita Coolidge left him (for Nash himself, as it turns out). Coolidge provides backup vocals on the song, which features Neil Young on piano (Nash plays organ).

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Wild Horses
Source:    CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: Rolling Stones)
Year:    1971
    Although it was recorded in 1969, the release of Wild Horses was held up for over a year because of ongoing litigation between the Rolling Stones, who were in the process of forming their own record label, and Allen Klein, who had managed to legally steal the rights to all of the band's recordings for the British Decca label (most of which had appeared in the US on the London label). Eventually both Wild Horses and Brown Sugar (recorded at the same sessions) became the joint property of the Rolling Stones and Klein and were released as singles on the new Rolling Stones label in 1971.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2403 (starts 1/15/24) 

    This week's edition of Stuck in the Psychedelic Era features several extended tracks. Some of these are actually medleys of tunes that all run together as if they were a single track, while others are long, mostly instrumental pieces featuring outstanding guitar work. One of the latter is part of our only artist's set this week which, unusually, starts the entire show.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Foxy Lady (live in studio)
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 2018
    In November of 1967 the Jimi Hendrix Experience was still very much an underground phenomenon in the US. Their June appearance at the Monterey International Pop Festival had introduced the band to an audience that numbered in the thousands, and their records were being played heavily on college radio, but for the most part mainstream America was still unaware of them. In Europe, however, it was an entirely different story. Jimi Hendrix was the hottest thing on the London scene by the time 1967 started; it wasn't long before the word spread to the continent about the outrageously talented guitarist with an equally outrageous stage presence. Most of that year was spent touring Europe, including stops at various TV and radio studios in several countries. One of these was in the Netherlands, where the Experience performed Foxy Lady live in the studio in November of 1967. The recording of this performance has surfaced as the non-album B side of the Lover Man single released (in limited quantity) for Record Store Day 2018.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience (II)
Title:    Hear My Train A Comin'
Source:    CD: Blues (originally released on LP: Rainbow Bridge)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA/Experience Hendrix (original label: Reprise)
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 1971
    Jimi Hendrix first came up with the song known as Hear My Train A Comin' (although he usually introduced it as Get My Heart Back Together) in 1967, but was never able to get a studio version of the tune recorded to his satisfaction. Nonetheless, he did play the song live on several occasions, including at Woodstock. What is generally agreed to be the definitive version of the song was recorded on May 30, 1970 at the Berkeley Community Theatre, with bassist Billy Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell, a trio billed as the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The recording of that performance was first released on the Rainbow Bridge album in 1971, and later included on the 1994 compilation album Blues.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix/Band Of Gypsys
Title:    Lover Man
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Experience Hendrix/Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 2018
    When the Jimi Hendrix Experience made their US debut at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967 they opened with a high-energy workup of the Muddy Waters classic Killing Floor. Hendrix' arrangement of the song was so radically different from the original that Hendrix eventually decided to write new lyrics for the song, calling it Lover Man. Several attempts were made to get the song recorded in the studio, including this one recorded on December 15, 1969 with bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles. Two weeks later they recorded a series of performances at New York's Madison Square Garden that were used for the 1970 album Band Of Gypsys, although Lover Man was not among the songs selected for the LP.

Artist:    Paul Revere & The Raiders
Title:    1001 Arabian Nights
Source:    LP: The Spirit Of '67
Writer(s):    Lindsay/Melcher
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The longest track on The Spirit Of '67, the sixth studio album by Paul Revere & The Raiders, is also the most unusual. In fact, it doesn't sound like Paul Revere & The Raiders at all. In fact, 1001 Arabian Nights may well be the most psychedelic recording ever made by the group, or at the very least the most experimental. It was also one of the last Raiders tracks not to use studio musicians.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Everybody's Wrong
Source:    Mono CD: Buffalo Springfield
Writer:    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atco/Elektra
Year:    1966
    Buffalo Springfield is one of those rare cases of a band that actually sold more records after disbanding than while they were still an active group. This is due mostly to the fact that several members, including Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Richie Furay and Jim Messina, went on to greater success in the 1970s, either with new bands or as solo artists. In the early days of Buffalo Springfield Stephen Stills was the group's most successful songwriter. The band's only major hit, For What It's Worth, was a Stills composition that was originally released shortly after the group's debut LP, and was subsequently added to later pressings of the album. Another, earlier, Stills composition from that first album was Everybody's Wrong, a somewhat heavy piece of folk-rock.

Artist:    Love
Title:    And More
Source:    CD: Comes In Colours (originally released on LP: Love)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Raven (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1966
Artist:    Love
    Although the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was already recording for Elektra, the first genuine rock band to be signed to the label was L.A.'s Love. The band had originally called itself the Grass Roots, but soon discovered that the songwriting team of Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan had already locked up the name (some versions of the story hold that Barri stole the name in retaliation for being slighted by the group's guitarist, Johnny Echols). Jan Holzman, owner of Elektra, was so high on Love that he created a whole new numbering series for their first album (the same series that later included the first few Doors LPs). Most of Love's songs were written by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Arthur Lee, with a handful of tunes provided by rhythm guitarist/vocalist Bryan MacLean. The two seldom collaborated, despite sharing a house in the Hollywood hills that had once belonged to Bela Lugosi. One of the few songs they did work together on was And More, a tune from the first album that shows the two songwriters' interest in folk-rock as popularized by fellow L.A. band the Byrds.

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:    Bob Dylan
Title:    4th Time Around
Source:    Austrian import CD: Blonde On Blonde
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    It's often been speculated that Bob Dylan felt that John Lennon had ripped off his style for the 1965 song Norwegian Wood, and that he wrote 4th Time Around specifically to admonish Lennon for it (artistically speaking). Then again, that could simply be a case of rock critics, needing something to write about, coming up their own interpretation of things. Regardless of origins or intentions, the song was included on what many feel to be Dylan's finest album, Blonde On Blonde, which was released in 1966. Still, the song's closing line "I never asked for your crutch, now don't ask for mine" is a bit cryptic, isn't it?

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Dear Mr. Fantasy
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Heaven Is In Your Mind)
Writer(s):    Capaldi/Winwood/Wood
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1967
    Steve Winwood is one of those artists that has multiple signature songs, having a career that has spanned decades (so far). Still, if there is any one song that is most closely associated with the guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist, it's the title track of Traffic's Mr. Fantasy album.

Artist:     Big Brother and the Holding Company
Title:     Piece Of My Heart
Source:     LP: Cheap Thrills
Writer:     Ragovoy/Burns
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1968
     By 1968 Big Brother and the Holding Company, with their charismatic vocalist from Texas, Janis Joplin, had become as popular as fellow San Francisco bands Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. Somehow, though, they were still without a major label record deal. That all changed with the release of Cheap Thrills, with cover art by the legendary underground comix artist R. Crumb. The album itself was a curious mixture of live performances and studio tracks, the latter being led by the band's powerful cover of the 1966 Barbara Lynn tune Piece Of My Heart. The song propelled the band, and Joplin, to stardom. That stardom would be short-lived for most of the band members, however, as well-meaning but ultimately wrong-headed advice-givers convinced Joplin that Big Brother was holding her back. The reality was that Joplin was far more integrated with Big Brother And The Holding Company than anyone she would ever work with again.

Artist:    Chicago
Title:    Poem 58
Source:    CD: The Chicago Transit Authority
Writer(s):    Robert Lamm
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    Poem 58, from the 1969 double-LP The Chicago Transit Authority, is actually two pieces in one. The first is essentially a long jam session built around an R&B guitar riff and featuring some outstanding solo work from guitarist Terry Kath. About halfway through this morphs into a different kind of R&B tune, done in a call and response style and featuring the band's horn section prominently. An edit of Poem 58 was also released as the B side of the band's second single, Beginnings.

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:    Sensational Country Blues Wonders
Title:    Music Of The Spheres
Source:    CD: The Adventures Of A Psychedelic Cowboy
Writer(s):    Gary Van Miert
Label:    self-published
Year:    2021
    Right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic I received a CD in the mail from on Gary Van Miert, who records as the Sensational Country Blues Wonders. Miert specializes in American Roots Music, including early 20th century blues, 40s and 50s gospel and 50s and 60s country. The CD he sent me adds a touch of 60s psychedelia into the mix, with the appropriate title of The Adventures Of A Psychedelic Cowboy. The lyrics of Music Of The Spheres in particular are in a decidedly psychedelic vein.

Artist:    Ace Of Cups
Title:    Medley
Source:    CD: Ace Of Cups
Writer(s):    Hollingsworth/Kaufman/Vitalich/Mercy
Label:    High Moon
Year:    2018
    Medley is the longest track on the 2018 Ace Of Cups album. It is also the track that features the most guest musicians. According to Mary Gannon, who founded the band in 1966, "the lyrics and harmonies, the sitar, the guitars, the different colors and textures in this peice reflect our '60s journey." Medley starts with The Hermit, which started as a poem written the band's first manager, Ambrose Hollingsworth, with music by Denise Kaufman, who provides lead vocals on the song. When Hollingsworth was sidelined by an accident that left him in a wheelchair, Ace Of Cups soon hooked up with the same manager as Quicksilver Messenger Service, often opening for them and appearing (as the Angel Chorus) on The Fool, a track on the first Quicksilver album in 1968. Quicksilver's David Freiberg returns the favor on The Hermit, providing harmony vocals and "one man choir". The Hermit segues into a short instrumental called The Flame Still Burns, which serves as a showcase for the stylish drum work of Diane Vitalich, supplemented by a lead guitar solo from Terry Haggerty of the Sons Of Champlin. A sitar intro by Norman Mayell leds into Gold And Green, a piece that features Mary Simpson (Mercy) on lead vocals and all guitar parts, and includes some tasty vibraphone work from Geoffrey Palmer. Medley wraps up with another Mercy piece, Living In The Country, which features Vitalich on lead vocals.

Artist:    Stranglers
Title:    Vietnamerica
Source:    British import 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    The Stranglers
Label:    Liberty
Year:    1981
    The Stranglers have always been difficult to pigeonhole, which may ultimately account for their longevity. Originally formed in 1974 as the Guildford Stranglers, the band soon became one of the first groups to be identified with Britain's punk-rock movement of the mid-1970s. They soon began to experiment with other musical styles, however, and ended up outlasting most of their contemporaries. By the early 1980s, punk-rock was waning in popularity, and the shirts at EMI hooked them up with producer Tony Visconti in an attempt at coming up with a more commercially viable sound. The result was La Folie, released in November of 1981. The lead single from the album was a song called Let Me Introduce You To The Family. The non-LP B side was Vietnamerica, a moody piece that reflects the influence on the Stranglers of 60s psychedelic bands like the Music Machine and the Doors.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Shades Of Time/Savor/Jingo
Source:    LP: Santana
Writer(s):    Santana/Rolie/Areas/Brown/Carabello/Shrieve/Olatunji
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    Santana started out as a jam band, but after taking on Bill Graham as manager began to work out more structured pieces. Both of these elements can be heard on their first self-titled LP, released in 1969. Shades Of Time is one of the more structured tunes, written by guitarist Carlos Santana and keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rolie, which leads into the instrumental Savor, credited to the entire band. This is turn leads into Jingo, a song written by Nigerian percussionist Babatunde Olatunji and featured on his first album Drums of Passion in 1959.

Artist:    Iron Butterfly
Title:    Filled With Fear
Source:    LP: Ball
Writer(s):    Doug Ingle
Label:    Atco
Year:    1969
    After the delayed success of their second LP, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Iron Butterfly went back to the studio to record their follow-up album, Ball. Although Ball did not have a monster hit on it, it is generally considered a better album overall, with a depth and breadth of songwriting not found on their previous efforts. One of the most memorable tracks on the album is Filled With Fear, a song about paranoia with music that complements the lyrics perfectly.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Monkey Man
Source:    LP: Let It Bleed
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1969
    Ever have a song get stuck in your head for days at a time? Monkey Man, from the Rolling Stones' 1969 LP Let It Bleed, is that kind of song. Admit it: now you've got Mick screaming "I'm A Monkey" running through your brain.

Artist:     Nice
Title:     America
Source:     LP: Autumn To Spring (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Bernstein/Sondheim
Label:     Charisma (original label: Immediate)
Year:     1968
     Sometime in 1969 I went to see a band called Marshall Hammond (named for their amps and organ, apparently) at the roller rink on Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany. None of us caught the name of the opening act, but I remember this version of this song in particular being performed by them. Were they the Nice? I kind of doubt it, but there's always the possibility, I suppose.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Girl In Your Eye
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Spirit)
Writer(s):    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Rhino (original label: Ode)
Year:    1968   
    Spirit was born in 1965 when drummer Ed Cassidy left the Rising Sons after breaking his arm and settled down with his new wife, who had a teenaged son named Randy. It wasn't long before Ed and Randy (who played guitar) formed a new band called the Red Roosters. The group lasted until the spring of 1966, when the family moved to New York for a few months. During that stay Randy became a member of a band called Jimmy James and his Blue Flames, but when the band's leader, a young guitarist who would soon become known as Jimi Hendrix, got an offer to relocate to London, Randy's parents refused to allow their son to accompany him. After returning to California, Randy ran into two of his Red Roosters bandmates, singer Jay Ferguson and bassist Mark Andes, and decided to form a new band with Cassidy and keyboardist John Locke. Both Cassidy and Locke had played in jazz bands, and the new band, Spirit, incorporated both rock and jazz elements into their sound. Most of the songs of the band's 1968 debut album were written by Ferguson, who tended to favor a softer sound on tracks like Girl In Your Eye. On later albums Randy California would take a greater share in the songwriting, eventually becoming the only original member to stay with the band throughout its history.

Artist:    Barry Goldberg Reunion
Title:    Hole In My Pocket
Source:    LP: Buddah 360°
Writer(s):    Danny Whitten
Label:    Buddah
Year:    1968
    The name Barry Goldberg may not be a household name, but his resume is impressive. His first recording session as a keyboardist was with Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels on this hit single Devil With A Blue Dress On. He's played on albums by Leonard Cohen, the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Ramones and many others, including a couple of tracks on the legendary Super Session album. In 1967 he co-founded the Electric Flag with Mike Bloomfield and Buddy Miles. Sometime in 1968 he found time to record an album called There's No Hole in My Soul for the Buddah label.Although Goldberg is himself an accomplished songwriter, he chose to release a song by Danny Whitten (who would go on to be a member of Crazy Horse) called Hole In My Pocket as a single from the album.

Artist:    Pretty Things
Title:    Talkin' About The Good Times
Source:    Mono British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    May/Taylor/Waller
Label:    EMI (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    Although the Pretty Things, co-founded by guitarist Dick Taylor and vocalist Phil May, had started off doing R&B cover tunes (as did their London contemporaries the Who and the Rolling Stones), by late 1967 they had moved into psychedelic territory, with Taylor and May developing their songwriting skills at the same time. Working with producer Norman Smith (who had just finished engineering Pink Floyd's debut LP), the band recorded a pair of sides for EMI's flagship Columbia label at Abbey Road studios in November. The resulting single, Talkin' About The Good Times, was successful enough to give the band the opportunity to record an entire album, the legendary S.F. Sorrow.