Sunday, February 11, 2024

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2407 (starts 2/12/24) 

    This week's show starts with a 1972 set that turns into a 1973 set, followed by what starts as a journey through the years, only to deviate from the path before it gets very far. Such is the nature of free-form rock radio, which sometimes seems to have a mind of its own.

Artist:    Argent
Title:    Hold Your Head Up
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: All Together Now)
Writer(s):    Argent/White
Label:    Sony Music (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1972
    Following the dissolution of the Zombies, keyboardist Rod Argent went about forming a new band called, appropriately enough, Argent. The new group had its greatest success in 1972 with the song Hold Your Head Up, which went to the #5 spot on the charts in both the US and UK. The song originally appeared on the album All Together Now, with a running time of over six minutes. The first single version of the tune ran less than three minutes, but was quickly replaced with a longer edit that made the song three minutes and fifteen seconds long. In the years since, the longer LP version has come to be the most familiar one to most radio listeners.

Artist:    Siegel-Schwall Band
Title:    I Wanna Love Ya
Source:    LP: Sleepy Hollow
Writer(s):    Rollow Radford
Label:    Wooden Nickel
Year:    1972
    Corky Siegel and Jim Schwall first met in 1964, when both were attending Roosevelt University in the Chicago area. Siegel, a saxophonist who would later switch to keyboards and harmonica, had an interest in the blues, while guitarist Schwall was more into country music. The two combined their interests, creating a sound that was as unique as it was purely American. As the house band at Pepper's Lounge on Chicago's south side, the Siegel-Schwall band often invited local blues artists to join them on stage, including some of the biggest stars in blues history. They soon signed to Vanguard Records, releasing their first album in 1966. In 1970, the band underwent a change in personnel, adding Rollo Radford on bass and Shelly Plotkin on drums. This version of the Siegel-Schwall Band would last until the group disbanded in 1974. In 1971 the band changed labels, signing with Chicago-based Wooden Nickel Records. Their second album for the label, Sleepy Hollow, was the first to include a song written by bassist Radford. In fact, I Wanna Love Ya was chosen to be the first track on the album itself. I'm not sure, but I believe Radford is the vocalist on the tune as well.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Conquistador (live)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    A&M
Year:    1972
    Although Conquistador was originally recorded for the first Procol Harum album in 1967, it was the 1972 live version with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra that became one of the band's biggest hits, second only to A Whiter Shade Of Pale.

Artist:    Paul McCartney And Wings
Title:    Jet
Source:    Eupopean import LP: Band On The Run
Writer(s):    Paul and Linda McCartney
Label:    MPL
Year:    1973
    Jet was the first single from the 1973 Paul McCartney And Wings LP Band On The Run. The song, which reached the top 10 in several countries, including the US and Britain, was reportedly named after a black labrador puppy. Band On The Run ended up being McCartney's most successful album as a solo artist, both commercially and critically.

Artist:    Van Morrison
Title:    Warm Love
Source:    LP: Appetizers (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Hard Nose The Highway)
Writer(s):    Van Morrison
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1973
    Warm Love was the first single from the album Hard Nose The Highway, and was actually released four months before the album itself. It soon became a concert favorite and remained in Morrison's repertoire throughout the 1970s.

Artist:    Jaime Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, Levon Helm (The Band)
Title:    The Weight
Source:    CD: 10 Great Songs (originally released on LP: Music From Big Pink)
Writer(s):    Robbie Robertson
Label:    Capitol/UMe
Year:    1968
    The group of Canadians who would come to be known as The Band spent ten years establishing themselves as one of rock's finest backup bands, first as the Hawks, backing up rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins, and then as Bob Dylan's stage band for his 1965-1966 tours. They spent the next year in West Saugerties, New York, working on material that would eventually come to be known as the Basement Tapes. In 1968, they made their official debut as The Band on the album Music From Big Pink. The single from that album, The Weight, was issued under the individual band members' names. Although it was not a major chart hit, The Weight got a considerable amount of airplay on FM rock radio, especially in the early 1970s.

Artist:    McKendree Spring
Title:    If The Sun Should Rise
Source:    LP: McKendree Spring (promo copy)
Writer(s):    McKendree Spring
Label:    Decca
Year:    1969
    From Glens Falls, NY, McKendree Spring was one of the last folk-rock groups to begin their recording career, and (to my knowledge) the only one to use synthesizers. The band, consisting of Fran McKendree (vocals and guitar), Fred Holman (bass), Dr. Michael Dreyfuss (electric violin, viola, Moog, Arp), and Martin Slutsky (electric guitar) kept recording steadily through 1976, and reunited for an album of new material in 2007. If The Sun Should Rise is the final track on their somewhat rare first album (the only one to include original bassist Larry Tucker), released in 1969.

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 Fleetwood Mac 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:    Mahogany Rush
Title:    Magic Man
Source:    LP: Maxoom
Writer(s):    Frank Marino
Label:    20th Century
Year:    1972
    Canadian Frank Marino wrote, played guitar, sang lead vocals on and produced the first Mahogany Rush album, age 17. The LP, released in 1972, was dedicated to the memory of Jimi Hendrix. Indeed, Marino's music in many ways represented possible directions that Hendrix himself may have taken had he lived past the age of 27. Magic Man is an example of one such direction.

Artist:     Led Zeppelin
Title:     Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman)
Source:     CD: Led Zeppelin II
Writer:     Page/Plant/Bonham/Jones
Label:     Atlantic
Year:     1969
     For years album (now called classic) rock radio stations have been playing Led Zeppelin's Heartbreaker and letting the album play through to the next song, Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman). Back when Stuck in the Psychedelic Era was a local show being played live I occassionally made it a point to play Heartbreaker and follow it with something else entirely. These days I tend to waffle a bit on the whole thing; currently I'm in favor of just playing the two songs together as they appear on the album. Next time, who knows?

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    Hand Of Doom
Source:    CD: Paranoid
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osbourne/Butler/Ward
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    Given the reputation and history of Black Sabbath, it may come as a surprise that Hand Of Doom, from the band's second LP, Paranoid, is actually an anti-drug song. It's also seven minutes of some of the heaviest rock recorded up to that point.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    Think About The Times
Source:    CD: Watt
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Deram)
Year:    1970
    The first Ten Years After I ever bought was Stonedhenge, which I picked up because a) I liked the cover, and b) it was the featured album of the month at the BX at Ramstein Air Base, costing a buck and a half instead of the usual $2.50. Not long after that my dad got transferred back to the States, and I somehow missed the release of the next TYA album, Cricklewood Green. A friend of mine had a copy, though, that we spent a lot of time listening to, so when I saw the next TYA album, Watt, on the racks I immediately picked it up. I wore that copy out, and only later learned that the album had gotten mostly negative reviews from the rock press. I think that's when I started to suspect that most rock critics were self-righteous individuals with no talent of their own, because I thought Watt was a good album then and I still think it's a good album. Take a listen to Think About The Times and tell me I'm wrong.

No comments:

Post a Comment