Sunday, April 28, 2024

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2418 

    This week's show includes an Advanced Psych segment made up entirely of tracks never played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era before. In fact, there are a half dozen more "new" songs sprinkled throughout the show as well.

Artist:    Them
Title:    Gloria
Source:    Mono LP: Son of KRLA's Solid Rocks (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Van Morrison
Label:    Take 6 (origina US label: Parrot)
Year:    1964
    Gloria was one of the first seven songs that Van Morrison's band, Them, recorded for the British Decca label on July 5, 1964. Morrison had been performing the song since he wrote it in 1963, often stretching out the performance to twenty minutes or longer. The band's producer, Dick Rowe, brought in session musicians on organ and drums for the recordings, as he considered the band members themselves "inexperienced". The song was released as the B side of Them's first single, Baby Please Don't Go, in November of 1964. The song was also released in the US in early 1965, but was soon banned in most parts of the country for its suggestive lyrics. Later that year a suburban Chicago band, the Shadows Of Knight, recorded their own version of Gloria. That version, with slight lyrical revisions, became a major hit in 1966.

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

Artist:    Otis Redding
Title:    Respect
Source:    LP: Smash Sounds (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Otis Redding
Label:    Atco (original label: Volt)
Year:    1965
    Released well over a year before Aretha Franklin's version, Otis Redding's Respect was a hit on the R&B charts and managed to crack the lower reaches of the mainstream charts as well. Although not as well known as Franklin's version, the Redding track has its own unique energy and is a classic in its own right. The track, like most of Redding's recordings, features musical backing from Booker T. & the MGs, supplemented by the Bar-Kays on horns.
Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Cold Rain And Snow
Source:    CD: The Grateful Dead
Writer(s):    McGannahan Skjellyfetti
Label:     Warner Brothers
Year:     1967
    Although credited to the entire band (using the pseudonym McGannahan Skjellyfetti), Cold Rain And Snow, from the first Grateful Dead album, is actually a traditional folk song that dates back at least 100 years. The song first appeared in print in a 1917 compilation called English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, with a note that it was collected from Mrs. Tom Rice from Big Laurel, NC in 1916. In 1965 Dillard Chandler recorded a version of the song which he claimed was based on events that happened in Madison County, NC in 1911. Chandler's version is notable in that it expanded on the song's basic theme of a man working himself to death to satisfy a greedy wife into a full-blown tale of murder, complete with trial. Several variations of the song have appeared over the years, including one by Obray Ramsey that was the inspiration for the Grateful Dead version.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    A Sunny Day
Source:    British import CD: The Hurdy Gurdy Man
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    EMI (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    There's not a whole lot I can say about A Sunny Day, from Donovan's 1968 Hurdy Gurdy Man LP. The main reason for that is that it's the shortest track on the album, clocking in at less than two minutes. Like much of Donovan's earlier work, the song is lighthearted and somewhat whimsical, with very little instrumental ornamentation.

Artist:     Arlo Guthrie
Title:     Coming Into Los Angeles
Source:     LP: The Big Ball (originally released on LP: Running Down The Road)
Writer:     Arlo Guthrie
Label:     Warner Brothers (original label: Rising Son)
Year:     1969
    Coming Into Los Angeles is one of Arlo Guthrie's most popular songs. It is also the song with the most confusing recording history. The song first came to prominence when Guthrie's live performance of the tune was included in the movie Woodstock. When the soundtrack of the film was released, however, a different recording was used. At first I figured they had simply used the studio version of the song, from the 1969 album Running Down The Road, but it turns out there are significant differences between that version (heard here) and the one included on Woodstock album. Complicating matters is the fact that the version included on The Best Of Arlo Guthrie later in the decade seems to be an altogether different recording than any of the previous releases. If anyone out there (Arlo, are you reading this?) can shed some light on this for me, it would be greatly appreciated.

Artist:    Savoy Brown
Title:    Stay While The Night Is Young
Source:    LP: Raw Sienna
Writer(s):    Chris Youlden
Label:    Parrot
Year:    1970
    One of Savoy Brown's best albums, Raw Sienna, was also the last to feature the lead vocals of Chris Youlden, who wrote several of the songs on the LP, including Stay While The Night Is Young before embarking on a solo career. Sadly, that career has been less than stellar, although I suppose he makes a living at it.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Good Vibrations
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Wilson/Love
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    Although I had originally discovered top 40 radio in 1963 (when I received a small Sony transistor radio for my birthday), it wasn't until 1966 that I really got into it in a big way. This was due to a combination of a couple of things: first, my dad bought a console stereo, and second, my junior high school went onto split sessions, meaning that I was home by one o'clock every day. This gave me unprecedented access to Denver's two big top 40 AM stations, as well as an FM station that was experimenting with a Top 100 format for a few hours each day. At first I was content to just listen to the music, but soon realized that the DJs were making a point of mentioning each song's chart position just about every time that song would play. Naturally I began writing all this stuff down in my notebook (when I was supposed to be doing my homework), until I realized that both KIMN and KBTR actually published weekly charts, which I began to diligently hunt down at various local stores. In addition to the songs occupying numbered positions on the charts, both stations included songs at the bottom of the list that they called "pick hits". These were new releases that had not been around long enough to achieve a chart position. The one that most stands out in my memory was the Beach Boys' Good Vibrations, a song I liked so much that I went out to the nearest Woolco and bought it the afternoon I heard it. Within a few weeks Good Vibrations had gone all the way to the top of the charts on both stations, and I always felt that some of the credit should go to me for buying the record when it first came out (hey I was 13, OK?). Over the next couple of years I bought plenty more singles, but to this day Good Vibrations stands out as the most significant 45 RPM record purchase I ever made.
Artist:    Cream
Title:    Four Until Late
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Robert Johnson
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    By the time Cream was formed, Eric Clapton had already established himself as one of the world's premier blues-rock guitarists. He had not, however, done much singing, as the bands he had worked with all had strong vocalists: Keith Relf with the Yardbirds and John Mayall with the Bluesbreakers. With Cream, however, Clapton finally got a chance to do some vocals of his own. Most of these are duets with bassist Jack Bruce, who handled the bulk of Cream's lead vocals. Clapton did get to sing lead on a few Cream songs, however. One of the earliest ones was the band's updated version of Robert Johnson's Four Until Late, from the Fresh Cream album.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    I Want You
Source:    Mono LP: Blonde On Blonde
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    I Want You, Bob Dylan's first single of 1966, was released in advance of his Blonde On Blonde album and was immediately picked by the rock press to be a hit. It was.
Artist:    Paupers
Title:    Black Thank You Package
Source:    Mono LP: Magic People (also released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Mitchell/Prokop
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1967
    The Paupers were formed in Toronto in 1965, but did not really catch fire until Scottish immigrant Adam Mitchell became the group's lead vocalist and (with drummer Skip Prokop) primary songwriter. He made his debut with the band on August 14th; within a month the group had signed a contract with M-G-M Records, at the time one of the major US labels. In early 1967 the group came under the guidance of Albert Grossman, who was already well-known as Bob Dylan's manager. Grossman quickly re-negotiated the contract with M-G-M and got the band signed to its associate label, Verve Forecast, releasing a single, If I Call You By Some Name. The band quickly established a reputation for its live performances, reportedly upstaging the Jefferson Airplane on that band's first trip to New York. For some reason the band was unable, however, to create the same kind of excitement in the studio that characterized their live performances. Their debut LP, Magic People, barely cracked the Billboard top 200 album charts and none of their singles charted at all. The band started experiencing personnel changes, although they continued to play high-profile gigs, such as opening for the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Soft Machine in February of 1968. A second album and corresponding tour followed, but by then drummer Skip Prokop was getting interested in doing session work (appearing on Peter Paul And Mary's I Dig Rock And Roll Music, among others), and by 1969 the Paupers were history and Prokop was back in Toronto forming a new band, Lighthouse.

Artist:    Fingers
Title:    Circus With A Female Clown
Source:    Mono British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Robin/Mills/Ducky
Label:    EMI (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    One of the first British bands to label themselves as "psychedelic", the Fingers included as part of their stage show a monkey named Freak Out, whom the band members claimed produced "psychotic" odors (having met someone with a pet monkey, I find that easy to believe). The band only released two singles, however. The second of these had the truly strange Circus With A Female Clown on its B side. The somewhat more conventional A side failed to chart, however, and the group broke up soon after the record was released.
Artist:    Evil
Title:    Whatcha Gonna Do About It
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2 (originally released as 45 RPM single_
Writer(s):    Samwell/Potter
Label:    Elektra (original labels: Living Legend/Capitol
Year:    1967
    In 1965 Miami guitarist Stan Kinchen formed a band that was heavily influenced by the "darker" British invasion bands such as the Yardbirds and Pretty Things, with a touch of rockabilly and blues thrown into the mix. He didn't have a name for the band, however, until joined by vocalist John Doyle. As all the band members were fans of Edgar Allan Poe they considered using that as a band name, but instead went with one of his best known works, Raven, before finally deciding to take it to the limit and call the band Evil. After winning a battle of the bands in 1966 they got to do a marathon one-day session at a local Miami studio, recording several original compositions. After going through a series of personnel changes, Evil recorded a cover of the Small Faces' Whatcha Gonna Do About It, which they released locally on the Living Legend label in April of 1967. Seven months later Capitol picked up the single for national distribution, editing it slightly to make it more radio friendly. The single went nowhere, however, and by the end of the year the band had called it quits.

Artist:     Astronauts
Title:     Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     Boyce/Venet
Label:     RCA Victor
Year:     1965
     The Astronauts were formed in the early 60s in Boulder, Colorado, and were one of the few surf bands to come from a landlocked state. They had a minor hit with an instrumental called Baja during the height of surf's popularity, but were never able to duplicate that success in the US, although they did have considerable success in Japan, even outselling the Beach Boys there. By 1965 they had started to move away from surf music, adding vocals and taking on more of a garage-punk sound. What caught my attention when I first ran across this promo single in a commercial radio station throwaway pile was the song's title. Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day, written by Tommy Boyce and producer Steve Venet, was featured on the Monkees TV show and was included on their 1966 debut album. This 1965 Astronauts version of the tune has a lot more attitude than the Monkees version. Surprisingly the song didn't hit the US charts, despite being released on what was then the biggest record label in the world, RCA Victor.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Summer In The City
Source:    CD: Billboard Top Rock 'n' Roll Hits 1966 (originally released on LP: Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful)
Writer(s):    Sebastian/Sebastian/Boone
Label:    Rhino (original label: Kama Sutra)
Year:    1966
    The Lovin' Spoonful changed gears completely for what would become their biggest hit of 1966: Summer In The City. Inspired by a poem by John Sebastian's brother, the song was recorded for the album Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful. That album was an attempt by the band to deliberately record in a variety of styles; in the case of Summer In The City, it was a rare foray into psychedelic rock for the band. It's also my personal favorite Lovin' Spoonful song.

Artist:    West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:    1906
Source:    CD: Part One
Writer:    Markley/Morgan
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    I have recently been in contact with Robert Morgan, brother of the late Ron Morgan, guitarist for the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. I asked him if his brother had ever received royalties from songs like 1906, which was essentially a Morgan composition with spoken lyrics tacked on by bandleader/vocalist Bob Markley. He replied that Ron had received a check for something like eight dollars shortly before his death, but that he had always felt that Markley had paid him fairly for his services. He then went on to say that Ron Morgan was more interested in making his mark than in getting any financial compensation. Attitudes like that are why I do this show. It's hard to imagine anybody recording for a major label today making a statement like that and meaning it.
Artist:    Doors
Title:    Five To One
Source:    CD: The Best Of The Doors (originally released on LP: Waiting For The Sun)
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1968
    Despite the fact that it was the Doors' only album to hit the top of the charts, Waiting For The Sun was actually a disappointment for many of the band's fans, who felt that the material lacked the edginess of the first two Doors LPs. One notable exception was the album's closing track, Five To One, which features one of Jim Morrison's most famous lines: "No one here gets out alive".

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    1984
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of Spirit (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Randy California
Label:    Epic
Year:    1969
    One of Spirit's best known songs is 1984, a non-album single released in 1969 in between the band's second and third LPs. Unlike the Rolling Stones' 2000 Man, 1984 was not so much a predictive piece as an interpretation of concepts first expressed in George Orwell's book of the same name. Of course, by the time the actual year 1984 arrived it had become obvious that politics had moved in an entirely different direction than predicted, although some of the mind control techniques described in both the book and song were already being used, while others had to wait until the 21st century to come to pass.

Artist:    Mungo Jerry
Title:    Johnny B. Badde
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Ray Dorset
Label:    Janus
Year:    1970
    Mungo Jerry is not your typical rock band. Multi-instrumentalist Ray Dorset and and pianist Colin Earl were members of a group called the Good Earth that fell apart when their bassist quit to join another band. The Good Earth still had one booking to fulfill, the Oxford University Christmas Ball, in December 1968, so they recruited a new bassist and performed as a three-piece, playing a mixture of blues, skiffle and American-style folk and jug band music. The group, still known as the Good Earth, built up a following over the next year, eventually ending up with a lineup consisting of Dorset, Earl, Mike Cole, who played double bass, and Paul King, who played banjo and jug. The band soon got a contract with Pye Records and scored big with their first single, a song called In The Summertime that Dorset later said took about ten minutes to write. The song was an international smash, going to the #1 spot in sixteen countries (including the UK) and hitting #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. Their followup single, Johnny B. Badde, is notable for King's jug solo at the end of the song. Although the group, with an ever-changing lineup, never again had a hit as big as In The Summertime they continued to perform and make records for decades, with the most recent being Cool Jesus, which was released in 2012.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Hold Me Tight
Source:    Mono CD: With The Beatles (US LP: Meet The Beatles)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone
Year:    1963
    In the early 1960s, virtually every pop album released contained a generous supply of what is known as "filler". Usually these were covers of songs made popular by other artists, most of which were fairly recent hits. Even the Beatles used filler on their early LPs, but some of those tunes were band originals such as Hold Me Tight. The song was so forgettable, however, that Paul McCartney himself, who wrote Hold Me Tight, reused the song title ten years later on his Red Rose Speedway album without even realizing what he had done.

Artist:    Infrared Light Orchestra
Title:    Kulu Se Quasar Suite
Source:    CD: Sumus Quo Sumus
Writer(s):    Draheim/McAvoy/Quasar/Ribakove
Label:    GTG
Year:    2018
    I was hoping to get Kim Draheim, leader of the Infrared Light Orchestra, to drop by and explain what this fourteen minute long track is about, but he wasn't available, so here's what I know: In 1972 Draheim and Gary Quasar were in a band called the Gurls, whose entire professional career consisted of performing one and a half songs before having the plug pulled on them by the sound man, precipitating a near-riot. What happened to Quasar after that is unknown to me, but apparently some of his music is incorporated into the Kulu Se Quasar Suite on the 2018 CD Sumus Quo Sumus. The track (whose title may have been inspired by Kulu Sé Mama, the last album released by John Coltrane during his lifetime), incorporates spoken word and electronic effects to build to a truly chaotic climax.

Artist:    Beyond From Within
Title:    Free Of Freedom
Source:    CD: Beyond From Within
Writer(s):    Steve Andrews
Label:    self-released
Year:    2015
    Beyond From Within is the brainchild of vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Steve Andrews. Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the band also includes producer Dino Pandolfo, who also provides bass, keyboards and backup vocals, and drummer Nick Spagnolo. Their self-titled (and self-released) album is full of quality original garage/psych tracks such as Free Of Freedom.

Artist:    Crawling Walls
Title:    Bittersweet Days
Source:    LP: Inner Limits
Writer(s):    Bob Fountain
Label:    Voxx
Year:    1985
    The first band to record at Albuquerque's Bottom Line Studios was the Crawling Walls, led by vocalist/keyboardist Bob Fountain (using a vintage Vox organ) and featuring guitarist Larry Otis, formerly of the Philisteens, along with bassist Nancy Martinez and drummer Richard Perez. One of the first 80s bands to truly emulate the classic 60s West Coast psychedelic sound (as defined by bands like the Seeds), the Crawling Walls released one LP, Inner Limits, in 1985 on the local Voxx label. The album was also reissued in France on the Lolita label, where it became a cult favorite. Bittersweet Days, which closes out the album, is the longest track on the LP, and the only one that exceeds the five minute mark.

Artist:     Monkees
Title:     Randy Scouse Git
Source:     CD: Headquarters
Writer:     Mickey Dolenz
Label:     Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:     1967
     The original concept for the Monkees TV series was that the band would be shown performing two new songs on each weekly episodes. This meant that, even for an initial 13-week order, 26 songs would have to be recorded in a very short amount of time. The only way to meet that deadline was for several teams of producers, songwriters and studio musicians to work independently of each other at the same time. The instrumental tracks were then submitted to musical director Don Kirschner, who brought in Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith to record vocal tracks. Although some of the instrumental tracks, such as those produced by Nesmith, had Nesmith and Tork playing on them, most did not. Some backing tracks were even recorded in New York at the same time as the TV show was being taped in L.A. In a few cases, the Monkees themselves did not hear the songs until they were in the studio to record their vocal tracks. A dozen of these recordings were chosen for release on the first Monkees LP in 1966, including the hit single Last Train To Clarksville. When it became clear that the show was a hit and a full season's worth of episodes would be needed, Kirschner commissioned even more new songs (although by then Clarksville was being featured in nearly every episode, mitigating the need for new songs somewhat). Without the band's knowledge Kirschner issued a second album, More Of The Monkees, in early 1967, using several of the songs recorded specifically for the TV show. The Monkees themselves were furious, and the subsequent firestorm set off a chain of events that led to the removal of Kirschner from the entire Monkees project. The group then hired Turtles bassist Chip Douglas to work with the band to produce an album of songs that the Monkees themselves would both sing and play on. The album, Headquarters, spent one week at the top of the charts before giving way to the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. There were, however, no singles released from the album; at least not in the US. It turns out that the seemingly nonsensical title of the album's final track, Randy Scouse Git, was actually British slang for "horny guy from Liverpool", or something along those lines. The song was released as a single everywhere but the Western Hemisphere under the name Alternate Title and was a surprise worldwide hit.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Gomper
Source:    LP: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    Probably the most overtly psychedelic track ever recorded by the Rolling Stones, Gomper might best be described as a hippy love song with its references to nature, innocence and, of course, pyschedelic substances. Brian Jones makes one of his last significant contributions as a member of the band he founded, playing the dulcimer, as well as tablas, organ, pan flutes and various percussion instruments throughout the song.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Change Is Now
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    McGuinn/Hillman
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    1967 saw the departure of two of the Byrds' founders and most prolific songwriters: Gene Clark and David Crosby. The loss of Clark coincided with the emergence of Chris Hillman as a first-rate songwriter in his own right; the loss of Crosby later in the year, however, created an extra burden for Hillman and Roger McGuinn, who from that point on were the band's primary composers. Change Is Now was the band's first post-Crosby single, released in late 1967 and later included (in a stereo version) on their 1968 LP The Notorious Byrd Brothers.

Artist:    Janis Joplin
Title:    My Baby (alternate take)
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Ragovoy/Schuman
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 2012
    By far the most polished of Janis Joplin's albums was Pearl, recorded in 1970 and released in January of 1971. Much of the credit for the album's sound has to go to Paul Rothchild, who had already made his reputation producing the Doors. Another factor was the choice of material to record. In addition to some of Joplin's originals such as Mercedes Benz and Move Over, the LP featured several songs from songwriter Jerry Ragovoy, who had co-written (with the legendary Bert Berns) Joplin's first big hit with Big Brother and the Holding Company, Piece Of My Heart. Working with another legendary songwriter, Doc Schuman, Ragovoy provided some of Joplin's most memorable songs on the album, including My Baby, a song that suited Joplin's vocal style perfectly, as can be heard on this early version of the song that was prepared for release as a single in 1970, but withdrawn at the last minute.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Power Play
Source:    CD: Monster
Writer(s):    John Kay
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1969
    1969's Monster album is generally considered the most political of Steppenwolf's albums. A listen to Power Play certainly lends credence to that viewpoint.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Bookends Theme/Save The Life Of My Child/America
Source:    LP: Bookends
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia/Sundazed
Year:    1967
    An early example of a concept album (or at least half an album) was Simon And Garfunkel's fourth LP, Bookends. The side starts and ends with the Bookends theme. In between they go through a sort of life cycle of tracks, from Save The Life Of My Child (featuring a synthesizer opening programmed by Robert Moog himself), into America, a song that is very much in the sprit of Jack Kerouak's On The Road. One of these days I'll play the rest of the side, which takes us right into the age that many of us who bought the original LP are now approaching (or in some cases have already gotten to).


Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2418 (starts 4/29/24) 

    It's back to somewhat longer tracks this week, as we take a journey from 1969 to 1975 that takes us places we haven't visited before. Then it's back to 1973 for a pair of more familiar tunes to wrap things up.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Country Honk
Source:    LP: Let It Bleed
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1969
    One of the biggest hits of 1969 was Honky Tonk Women, the first Rolling Stones release with the band's new guitarist, Mick Taylor. This was not the first version of the song to be recorded, however. According to guitarist Keith Richards, Country Honk, which appeared five months later on the LP Let It Bleed, is the song as originally written. Whereas Honky Tonk Women is a rocker supplemented by horns and piano, Country Honk is an acoustic piece, with Taylor playing steel slide guitar and guest musician Byron Berline adding Appalachian styled fiddle. Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman does not appear on the recording at all.

Artist:    Jeff Beck Group
Title:    Rice Pudding
Source:    LP: Beck-Ola
Writer(s):    Beck/Hopkins/Newman/Wood
Label:    Epic
Year:    1969
    As early as 1966, guitarist Jeff Beck was recording the occasional instrumental track with bands that had a resident vocalist. Rice Pudding, from his 1969 album Beck-Ola (the first to be officially credited to the Jeff Beck Group), is actually the longest track on that album, and has perhaps the most memorable signature riff on the LP as well. The tune features Beck on guitar, Nicky Hopkins on piano, Ronnie Wood on bass and Tony Newman on drums. By the mid-1970s Beck would be recording instrumentals almost exclusively, and would not release anything with a vocal track again until 1985.

Artist:    Allman Brothers Band
Title:    Hoochie Coochie Man
Source:    CD: Beginnings (originally released on LP: Idlewild South)
Writer(s):    Willie Dixon
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1970
    The second Allman Brothers Band, Idlewild South, generally got better reviews than the group's debut LP, mostly because of shorter tracks and tighter arrangements, both of which appealed to the rock press. Their version of Willie Dixon's Hoochie Coochie Man, for instance, actually comes in at less than five minutes. The band's next album, Live At The Fillmore East, proved to be the Allman's commercial breakthrough, however; the fact that the album is made up almost entirely of long jams with extended solos from guitarists Duane Allman and Dickie Betts and keyboardist Gregg Allman only goes to show that sometimes what the public wants is not the same thing as what the critics think they should.

Artist:    Lighthouse
Title:    One Fine Morning
Source:    LP: One Fine Morning
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.

Artist:    Neil Young
Title:    Are You Ready For The Country
Source:    CD: Harvest
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1972
    Some people think Neil Young's Are You Ready For The Country, from his 1972 album Harvest, is about certain geographical areas, while others see it as an invitation to join Young in an exploration of country music. Me, I think it's more about a non-city lifestyle. Who knows? Well, Neil Young, obviously, but he's never been one to explain his lyrics explicitly.

Artist:    Black Oak Arkansas
Title:    Up
Source:    CD: Raunch 'N' Roll-Live
Writer(s):    Black Oak Arkansas
Label:    Wounded Bird (original label: Atco)
Year:    1973
    I first saw Black Oak Arkansas play in a huge arena in Norman, Oklahoma in late summer of 1971. I had only arrived back in Oklahoma the previous day after spending a few weeks in New Mexico with my parents before attempting to revive our band, Sunn, as a potential bar band in Weatherford, Oklahoma, a college town sitting on the old Route 66. DeWayne and Mike, our rhythm guitarist and drummer, were newly enrolled at Southwestern College, and I spent that first night crashed out in a sleeping bag on their dorm room floor. The next day they planned to go down to Norman to see Grand Funk Railroad in concert, and they (and a couple other guys) took me along, figuring I could get a ticket at the door. When we got there the only tickets left were up in the high bleacher seats, while the rest of the group had floor seats. I dutifully trudged my way up to those high bleacher seats to watch the concert. That was about the time I started coming onto the acid, so I soon found myself imagining what it would be like to be a rock critic hearing a new group for the first time. This was actually pretty appropriate, since the opening act was a band I had never heard of called Black Oak Arkansas. They had just released their first album, and, as I later found out, their setlist pretty much followed the album itself. Two years later they released an album called Raunch 'N' Roll Live that included a whole lot of other tunes that weren't in their repertoire when I first heard them. Among those new tunes was Up, featuring a drum solo from Tommy Aldridge, who has since gone on to become one of the most respected drummers in the rock world.

Artist:    Credibility Gap
Title:    16 Golden Greats
Source:    LP: A Great Gift Idea
Writer(s):    Shearer/Lander/Beebe/McKean
Label:    Sierra Briar (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1974
    Originally formed by news staff at the popular Los Angeles radio station KRLA in 1968 to present a satirical take on the news, by the mid 1970s the Credibility Gap consisted of Harry Shearer, David Lander and Michael McKean, along with founding member Richard Beebe, by then the only remaining newsman in the group. They performed regularly on Pasadena radio station KPPC until that station sacked its entire staff as part of a format change, at which point they began performing in clubs and concert halls. Their peak of popularity came with the album A Great Gift Idea. Released in 1974, the album combined musical parodies with short comedy bits such as 16 Golden Greats, which featured all four members doing impressions of famous comedians. With the exception of Beebe, who opted to remain a journalist, the members of the Credibility Gap went on to have successful careers in television and film, with McKean and Lander becoming well known as Lenny and Squiggy on the show Laverne And Shirley and Shearer and MaKean making the big time as members of Spinal Tap.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Sugar Magnolia (live version)
Source:    CD: One From The Vault
Writer(s):    Hunter/Weir
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:     1975
            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, including one recorded on August 13, 1975, at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco that would later be released on a double-CD called One From The Vault.

Artist:    Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Title:    Still...You Turn Me On
Source:    CD: Brain Salad Surgery
Writer(s):    Greg Lake
Label:    Rhino (original label: Manticore)
Year:    1973
    By 1973, Emerson, Lake & Palmer had established somewhat of a pattern with their albums. Most of each LP was dominated by the bombastic stylings of Keith Emerson's keyboards, supplemented by Greg Lake's bass and vocals (and occasional guitar) and Carl Palmer's percussion work. There was almost always one ballad on the LP, however, that was penned by Lake, and often became the only single released from the album. On the album Brain Salad Surgery that ballad was Still...You Turn Me On. By this time, however, ELP was not even bothering to release singles from their albums, although Still...You Turn Me On did show up as a promo B side in 1974 that was never released commercially.
Artist:    Genesis
Title:    Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
Source:    CD: Selling England By The Pound
Writer(s):    Banks/Collins/Gabriel/Hackett/Rutherford
Label:    Rhino/Atlantic (original label: Charisma)
Year:    1973
    In early 1973 Genesis was coming under fire by some British music critics for trying too hard to appeal to an American audience. The band responded with the album Selling England By The Pound. The title was chosen by vocalist Peter Gabriel, who borrowed it from a slogan used by the UK's Labor Party at the time. The lyrics of pieces such as Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, which opens the album, puts an emphasis on the decay of British folk culture in favor of rampant Americanization. The song itself is based on piano pieces composed by Gabriel, embellished with guitar parts from Steve Hackett and a choir effect (created on a mellotron) from keyboardist Tony Banks. Although Selling England By The Pound got a mixed reaction from both audience and critics at the time it was released, it has since gone on to achieve gold record status and has been cited by Hackett as being his favorite Genesis album.


Sunday, April 21, 2024

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2417 (starts 4/22/24)

    1969 was a banner year for live performances. In fact, the highest paid rock star in the world that year did so well as a live performer in 1969 he didn't have to release any new studio recordings the entire year. This week our entire third segment is made up of tunes from 1969, including a live performance from the aforementioned highly paid rock star. As a bonus we have an entire half hour of tunes from 1967 to finish out the show. Our first hour is, as usual, a mixture of singles, B sides and album tracks from 1964 to 1969.

Artist:    Zombies
Title:    She's Not There
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer:    Rod Argent
Label:    London (original label: Parrot)
Year:    1964
    Most of the original British invasion bands were guitar-oriented, like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. One notable exception was the Zombies, whose leader, Rod Argent, built the group around his electric piano. Their first single, She's Not There, was a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic and is ranked among the top British rock songs of all time.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Pushin' Too Hard
Source:    LP: Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: The Seeds)
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    Elektra (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1965
    Pushin' Too Hard is generally included on every collection of psychedelic hits ever compiled. And for good reason. The song is an undisputed classic, although it took the better part of two years to catch on. Originally released in 1965 as You're Pushin' Too Hard, the song was virtually ignored by local Los Angeles radio stations until a second single, Can't Seem To Make You Mine, started getting some attention. After being included on the Seeds' debut LP in 1966, Pushin' Too Hard was rereleased and soon was being heard all over the L.A. airwaves. By the end of the year stations in other markets were starting to spin the record, and the song hit its peak of popularity in early 1967.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Eight Miles High
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Clark/McGuinn/Crosby
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    By all rights, the Byrds' Eight Miles High should have been a huge hit. Unfortunately, the highly influential Gavin Report labelled the tune as a drug song and recommended that stations avoid playing it, despite band's insistence that it was about a transatlantic plane trip. The band's version actually makes sense, as Gene Clark had just quit the group due to his fear of flying (he is listed as a co-writer of the song), and the subject was probably a hot topic of discussion among the remaining members.

Artist:     Cream
Title:     Take It Back
Source:     CD: Disraeli Gears
Writer:     Bruce/Brown
Label:     Polydor/Polygram (original 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:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    On The Way Home
Source:    CD: Retrospective (originally released on LP: Last Time Around)
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Atco
Year:    1968
    Things fell apart for Buffalo Springfield following the drug bust and deportation of bassist Bruce Palmer in January of 1968. Neil Young stopped showing up for gigs, forcing Stephen Stills to carry all lead guitar duties for the band. By March, the band was defunct in everything but name. However, the group was still contractually obligated to provide Atco Records with one more album, so Richie Furay, along with replacement bassist Jim Messina, set about compiling a final Buffalo Springfield album from various studio tapes that the band members had made. None of these tapes featured the entire lineup of the band, although Neil Young's On The Way Home, which was chosen to open the album, came close, as it featured  Furay on lead vocals, Stills on guitar and backup vocals, and Palmer on bass as well as Young himself on lead guitar and backup vocals.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills And Nash
Title:    Long Time Gone
Source:    LP: Crosby, Stills And Nash
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    In addition to showcasing some of the most popular bands of 1969, the Woodstock festival helped several relatively new acts attain stardom as well. Among these newer artists were Santana, Ten Years After and Creedence Clearwater Revival. The biggest Woodstock success story, however, was Crosby, Stills and Nash, whose appearance at the event was only their second live performance. In addition to the group's live set, the movie and soundtrack album of the event included the original studio recording of Long Time Gone from the debut Crosby, Stills and Nash LP.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    In The Morning
Source:    LP: Early Flight
Writer(s):    Jorma Kaukonen
Label:    Grunt
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1974
    One of the earliest and best collections of previously unreleased material from a major rock band was the Jefferson Airplane's Early Flight LP, released in 1974. Among the rarities on the LP is In The Morning, a blues jam recorded in late 1966 with Jorma Kaukonen on vocals and lead guitar, Jack Casady on bass, Spencer Dryden on drums, and guest musicians Jerry Garcia (guitar) and John Paul Hammond (harmonica). The track's long running time (nearly six and a half minutes) precluded it from being included on the Surrealistic Pillow album, despite the obvious quality of the performance.  In The Morning is now available as a bonus track on the CD version of Surrealistic Pillow.

Artist:    Others
Title:    I Can't Stand This Love, Goodbye
Source:    Mono LP: Pebbles Vol. 8 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Brand/Costa/Shepley
Label:    BFD (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1965
    Not much is known about the Rhode Island band known as the Others (not to be confused with either the California or Florida bands called the Others), other (sorry) than the fact that they were apparently popular enough to land a contract with the largest record label in the world, RCA Victor, recording two singles for the label in late 1965. The first of these was I Can't Stand This Love, Goodbye, released in September of that year.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Rhino (original label: Rag Baby)
Year:    1967
    A relatively new arrival on the highly politicized Berkeley folk music scene in 1965, Country Joe McDonald had already organized a loose group of musicians to play at "teach-ins" designed to educate the public about what was really going on in Vietnam. He was also attempting to put together a newspaper with a similar focus, but found himself short of usable copy. His solution was to create a "talking issue" by inserting a 7" 33 1/3 RPM record into the paper. His own contribution to the record was the first recorded version of a song that would later become one of the best-known antiwar tunes ever penned: the iconic I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag. McDonald intended to include a new recording of the song on the first Country Joe And The Fish LP, but producer Sam Charters vetoed the idea. McDonald eventually prevailed, however, and the song was not only included on the band's next album, it ended up being the title track.

Artist:     Barbarians
Title:     Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl
Source:     Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Morris/Morris
Label:     Rhino (original label: Laurie)
Year:     1965
     From Boston we have the Barbarians, best known for having a  drummer named Victor "Moulty" Moulton, who wore a hook in place of his left hand (and was probably the inspiration for the hook-handed bass player in the cult film Wild In The Streets a few years later). In addition to Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl, which was their biggest hit, the Barbarians (or rather their record label) released an inspirational tune (inspirational in the 80s self-help sense, not the religious one) called Moulty that got some airplay in 1966 but later was revealed to have been the work of Bob Dylan's stage band, who would eventually be known as The Band, with only Moulty himself appearing on the record.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Just Like Me
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets vol. 8-The Northwest (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dey/Brown
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1965
    Just Like Me was the first top 10 single from Paul Revere And The Raiders, a band that deserves much more credit than they are generally given. The group started in the early part of the decade in Boise, Idaho, when Revere (his real name) hooked up with saxophonist Mark Lindsay. Like most bands at the time, the Raiders' repertoire consisted mostly of instrumentals, as PA systems were a luxury that required more space than was generally allotted to a small town band. It wasn't long before the Raiders relocated to Portland, Oregon, where they became a popular attraction at various clubs. After a hiatus caused by Revere's stint in the military, the band resumed its place as one of the founding bands of the Portland music scene. They soon made their first visit to a recording studio, recording Richard Berry's Louie Louie at around the same time as another popular Portland band, the Kingsmen. The Kingsmen's version ended up being a huge national hit while the popularity of the Raiders' version was mostly restricted to the West Coast, thanks in large part to the active lack of support from Columbia Records, whose head of Artists and Repertoire (A&R), Mitch Miller, was an outspoken critic of rock 'n' roll. Undeterred, the band continued to grow in popularity, recording another single in 1964 (Like Long Hair) and going on tour. It was while playing in Hawaii that the band was noticed by none other than Dick Clark, who hired them to be the house band on his new afternoon TV show, Where The Action Is. Under the leadership of Mitch Miller Columbia Records had done their best to ignore the existence of rock 'n' roll (an effort that was somewhat undermined by one of their most popular artists, Bob Dylan, in 1965, when he went electric). Columbia had, however, a more open-minded West Coast division that included producer Terry Melcher, son of singer Doris Day and co-producer of the Rip Chords' hot rod hit Hey Little Cobra. With the Raiders now being seen daily on a national TV show, the label assigned Melcher to produce the band's records. It was a partnership that would lead to a string of hits, starting with Steppin' Out in 1965. The next record, Just Like Me, was the first of a string of top 10 singles that would last until early 1967, when rapidly changing public tastes made the band seem antiquated compared to up and coming groups like Jefferson Airplane. Just Like Me, which was actually a cover of a song first recorded by another Pacific Northwest band, the Wilde Knights, still holds up well after all these years. Much of the credit for that has to go to Drake Levin, whose innovative double-tracked guitar solo rocked out harder than anything else on top 40 radio at the time (with the possible exception of a couple of well-known Kinks songs).

Artist:    Hollies
Title:    Stop Stop Stop
Source:    CD: The Best of 60s Supergroups (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Clarke/Hicks/Nash
Label:    Priority (original label: Imperial)
Year:    1966
    The last Hollies song to be released in 1966 was Stop Stop Stop, a tune that was actually a rewrite of a 1964 B side. The song was written by Allan Clarke, Terry Hicks and Graham Nash, and was one of the first songs to be published under their actual names (as opposed to the fictional L. Ransford). The song itself was a major hit, going into the top 10 in eight countries, including the US, UK and Canada.

Artist:    Vanilla Fudge
Title:    Take Me For A Little While/Eleanor Rigby
Source:    LP: Vanilla Fudge
Writer(s):    Martin/Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Atco
Year:    1967
    Vanilla Fudge made their mark by doing slowed down rocked out versions of popular songs such as the Supremes' You Keep Me Hangin' On. In fact, all of the tracks on their debut LP were songs of this nature, including two Beatles tunes. Side two of the original LP featured three tracks tied together by short psychedelic instrumental bridges known collectively as Illusions Of My Childhood. In addition to the aforementioned Supremes cover, the side features a Trade Martin composition called Take Me For A Little While that takes a diametrically opposed viewpoint to the first song, which leads directly into Eleanor Rigby, which sort of sums up both of the previous tracks lyrically. Although the Vanilla Fudge would stick around for a couple more years (and four more albums), they were never again able to match the commercial success of their 1967 debut LP.

Artist:    Blue Cheer
Title:    Summertime Blues
Source:    CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Vincebus Eruptum)
Writer(s):    Cochrane/Capehart
Label:    Priority (original label: Philips)
Year:    1968
    European electronics giant Philips had its own record label in the 1960s. In the US, the label was distributed by Mercury Records, and was known primarily for a long string of hits by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. In 1968 the label surprised everyone by signing the loudest band in San Francisco, Blue Cheer. Their cover of the 50s Eddie Cochrane hit Summertime Blues was all over both the AM and FM airwaves that summer.

Artist:    Charlatans
Title:    Time To Get Straight
Source:    CD: The Charlatans
Writer(s):    Darrell DeVore
Label:    One Way (original label: Philips)
Year:    1969
    1969 was not a great year for the Charlatans, a legendary San Francisco band that had been formed in 1964 and is often credited with creating the so-called San Francisco sound (and being the first band to take LSD prior to a performance when it was still legal). Only two of the original members, guitarist Mike Wilhelm and bassist Richard Olson, were still in the group at this point, and the band's sound was no longer considered anywhere near the cutting edge. Nonetheless, 1969 was the year the group finally got to record their only LP, entitled simply The Charlatans, for Mercury's subsidiary label Philips, which was also home to one of San Francisco's hardest rocking bands, Blue Cheer. Arguably the strongest material on the album was provided by one of the band's new members, keyboardist Darrell DeVore, who wrote Time To Get Straight. Predictably, the record was not a commercial success, and after a brief reunion of the original members later in the year, the Charlatans finally called it quits shortly before the beginning of the new decade.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Turn On Your Love Light
Source:    LP: Live Dead
Writer(s):    Scott/Malone
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1969
    After two years' (and three albums) worth of trying to capture their live sound in the studio, the Grateful Dead decided just to cut to the chase and release a live album. The result was the double LP Live Dead, one of the most successful releases in Grateful Dead history. The album itself is one continuous concert, with each side fading out at the end, with a bit of overlap at the beginning of the next side. Most of the material on Live Dead was written by the band itself, the sole exception being a fifteen-minute long rendition of Bobby Bland's 1961 hit Turn On Your Love Light, featuring vocals by organist Ron "Pigpen" McKernan.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix/Gypsy Sun & Roses
Title:    Get My Heart Back Together (aka Hear My Train A Comin')
Source:    CD: Woodstock Two
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Atlantic (original label: Cotillion)
Year:    Recorded 1969, 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, with his ad hoc band known as Gypsy Sun & Roses.

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:    Them
Title:    Square Room
Source:    Mono LP: Now And Them
Writer(s):    Them
Label:    Tower
Year:    1968
     After Van Morrison left Them to try his luck as a solo artist, the rest of the band returned to their native Ireland to recruit a new vocalist, Kenny McDowell, before relocating to California. After securing a record deal with Tower Records they went to work on the Now and Them album in late 1967, releasing the LP in January of '68. The standout track of the album is the nearly ten minute Square Room, an acid rock piece that showcases the work of guitarist Jim Armstrong.

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

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Daily Nightly
Source:    CD: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn And Jones, LTD.
Writer(s):    Michael Nesmith
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1967
    One of the first rock songs to feature a Moog synthesizer was the Monkees' Daily Nightly from the album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones LTD. Micky Dolenz, who had a reputation for nailing it on the first take but being unable to duplicate his success in subsequent attempts, was at the controls of the new technology for this recording of Michael Nesmith's most psychedelic song (Dolenz also sang lead on the tune).

Artist:     Young Rascals
Title:     Too Many Fish In The Sea
Source:     LP: Collections
Writer:     Holland/Whitfield
Label:     Warner Special Products/Rhino (original label: Atlantic)
Year:     1967
     My first high school dance was a Sadie Hawkins Day dance held at the General H. H. Arnold High School gym in Weisbaden, Germany. Onstage was a band of military brats calling themselves the Collections, so called because they covered every tune on the second Young Rascals album. That night (probably the best night of my entire freshman year, thanks to a sophomore whose name I've long since forgotten but who looked a lot like Cindy Williams in American Graffiti) inspired me to A): talk my parents into buying a cheap guitar and amp so I could join up with other guys who lived in our housing area to form "The Abundance Of Love", aka "The Haze And Shades Of Yesterday", aka "The Shades", and B) find and buy a copy of the Collections album (which ended up taking over 40 years to do). The real Rascals were the premier blue-eyed soul band of the 1960s (in fact, the term blue-eyed soul was coined specifically to describe the Rascals). Originally from New Jersey, the group changed its name to the Young Rascals at the behest of Atlantic Records for reasons that are lost to history before releasing their debut LP. In addition to the hit single Good Lovin', the album boasted several R&B cover songs. Their second LP, Collections, focused more on the band's original material but still included a few R&B covers, including Too Many Fish In The Sea, a song that first been a hit for the Marvelettes in 1964.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Get Me To The World On Time
Source:    CD: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) (originally released on LP: The Electric Prunes)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Jones
Label:    Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    With I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) climbing the charts in early 1967, the Electric Prunes turned to songwriter Annette Tucker for two more tracks to include on their debut LP. One of those, Get Me To The World On Time (co-written by lyricist Jill Jones) was selected to be the follow up single to Dream. Although not as big a hit, the song still did respectably on the charts (and was actually the first Electric Prunes song I ever heard on FM radio).

Artist:    Left Banke
Title:    Evening Gown
Source:    LP: Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina
Writer(s):    Brown/Feher
Label:    Sundazed/Smash
Year:    1967
    Although the Left Banke was known for their "baroque pop" sound, much of that sound was achieved by the use of studio musicians, particularly a string section brought in by producer Harry Lookofoski, himself an accomplished violinist. In fact, keyboardist Michael Brown, who was Lookofsky's son, was the only member of the Left Banke to actually play on every song on the group's first LP, Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina. The full band did play on a few songs, including (probably) Evening Gown, which sounds like it was played by a garage band with a harpsichord (trust me, that's a compliment). Unfortunately, Evening Gown is also the shortest track on the album itself, clocking in at one minute and forty-six seconds.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2417 (starts 4/22/24) 

    Most of early 1970s FM rock stations had a free-form format, which meant the individual disc jockey had a lot of leeway when it came to sequencing the songs played. Sometimes that meant delving into musical genres that weren't strictly considered rock, but that appealed to the kind of listener that chose to tune in an FM rock station in the first place. This week, in addition to several decidedly rock artists such as Santana, Traffic and Led Zeppelin, we have an eighteen and a half minute long piece from a group made up of British folk and jazz musicians, the Pentangle. It's worth a listen.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Everybody's Everything
Source:    LP: Santana (III)
Writer(s):    Santana/Moss/Brown
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1971
    Santana's third album, released in 1971, was called simply Santana. The problem is, their first album was also called Santana. The guitar solo on Everybody's Everything, by the way, is not by Carlos Santana. Rather it was performed by the then 17-year-old Neal Schon, who, along with keyboardist Greg Rolie would leave the band the following year to form Journey.

Artist:     Uriah Heep
Title:     Happy Birthday
Source:     European import CD: The Magician's Birthday (bonus track)
Writer:     Hensley/Box/Kerslake
Label:     Sanctuary
Year:     1972
     The title track of Uriah Heep's 1972 LP The Magician's Birthday was a ten-minute long hodgepodge of seemingly unrelated segments. The band also created, but did not release, an edited version of the piece that keeps the main verses and chorus without interruption, and actually flows much more smoothly than the released track. This edited version, retitled Happy Birthday, appeared as a bonus track on the European Expanded Deluxe Edition of The Magician's Birthday in 2003.

Artist:    Grand Funk
Title:    The Railroad
Source:    CD: We're An American Band
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1973
    After six albums working with producer Terry Knight, Grand Funk Railroad switched tracks in 1973, turning to Todd Rundgren, who had received critical acclaim for Something/Anything, a self-produced double LP solo effort from the previous year. The result was We're An American Band, which revitalized the band's career and spawned two hit singles, the title track and Walk Like A Man, both of which were sung by drummer Don Brewer. This was a major departure for the band, as guitarist Mark Farner had previously written and sung all of the band's singles. Farner still wrote and sang much of the material on the LP, however, including The Railroad (ironically the only use of the word "railroad" anywhere on the album, as the band had officially, albeit temporarily, shortened its name to Grand Funk prior to the album's release).

Artist:    Frijid Pink
Title:    Cryin' Shame
Source:    British import CD: Frijid Pink (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Mike Valvano
Label:    Repertoire (original label: Parrot)
Year:    1968
    With the possible exception of the Pacific Northwest, no region of the US has produced grittier rock 'n' roll than the Detroit area of Michigan. From 1966 to 1970 the region was home to such bands as Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels, The Heard (later known as the Bob Seger System), the Amboy Dukes (featuring guitarist Ted Nugent) and (from nearby Flint) Terry Knight and the Pack, which would evolve into Grand Funk Railroad. One often overlooked group from the area (and the era) is Frijid Pink, whose loud version of House Of The Rising Sun was a huge hit in 1970. Originally formed in 1967 when two members of popular cover band the Detroit Vibrations, drummer Richard Stevers and bassist Tom Harris, were joined by lead singer Tom Beaudry (aka Kelly Green) and guitarist Gary Ray Thompson, Frijid Pink released their first single in late 1968. The stereo version of the B side of that single, Cryin' Shame, was included on the band's debut LP in 1970.

Artist:    Eagles
Title:    Outlaw Man
Source:    LP: Heavy Metal (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    David Blue
Label:    Warner Special Products (original label: Asylum)
Year:    1973
    Although all the members of the Eagles are known for the songwriting abilities, some of the earliest singles were actually cover songs, including Peaceful Easy Feeling (by Jack Tempchin) and Outlaw Man (by David Blue). Blue was a recent addition to the Asylum roster, making him labelmates with the Eagles, and Outlaw Man was an obvious choice for inclusion on an album meant to have a modernized wild west theme. The song itself is a first person account of the life of an outlaw, with ambiguous enough lyrics to make it applicable to current times as well as the obvious 19th century.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Every Mother's Son
Source:    LP: John Barleycorn Must Die
Writer(s):    Winwood/Capaldi
Label:    Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1970
    Following the breakup of Blind Faith, Steve Winwood returned to the studio to work on his first solo LP, to be titled Mad Shadows. Winwood completed two tracks before deciding to invite Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi to reform his old band, Traffic. The group recorded four more tracks for the LP, which was retitled John Barleycorn Must Die and released in 1970 as the fourth Traffic album. Winwood's already completed recording of Every Mother's Son was included as the final track on the LP.

Artist:    Derek And The Dominos
Title:    Thorn Tree In The Garden
Source:    CD: Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs
Writer(s):    Bobby Whitlock
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atco)
Year:    1970
    Nearly half the songs on the landmark Derek And The Dominos album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs are collaborations between guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton and multi-instrumentalist Bobby Whitlock, written over a two-week period following the breakup of Delaney & Bonnie & Friends in 1970. Additionally, Whitlock wrote and played acoustic guitar on the album's final track, Thorn Tree In The Garden. In a technique reminiscent of early 50s orchestral recordings, Thorn Tree in the Garden was recorded with Whitlock, Clapton, Duane Allman, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon sitting in a circle around a single microphone.

Artist:     Pentangle
Title:     Jack Orion
Source:     European import CD: Cruel Sister
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Pentangle
Label:     Castle (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1970
     The showpiece of the 1970 Pentangle album Cruel Sister was this 18 1/2 minute version of the old English folk song Jack Orion. Done in a theme and variations type of format favored by classical composers and incorporating elements of jazz and rock, as well as folk music, Jack Orion was first recorded by Pentangle member Bert Jansch on his solo album of the same name in 1966.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Gallows Pole
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin III
Writer(s):    Traditional, arr. Page/Plant
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Following a year of intensive touring to promote their first two albums, Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page decided to take some time off, cloistering themselves in a small Welsh cottage known as Bron-Yr-Aur for several weeks. The place had no electricity, and the pair used the time to write and/or adapt acoustic material for the band to record for their third LP. One of the best of these "new" songs was Gallows Pole, which Page adapted from a 1962 recording by Fred Gerlach, although the song's roots go back several centuries.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2416 (starts 4/15/24) 

    This week we have an artists' set that, since it includes tracks from after the psychedelic era itself (barely), can also be considered an Advanced Psych segment. Other than that, it's (as always) a mix of singles, B sides and album tracks, with a bit of an emphasis on folk-rock in the first hour.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Nowhere Man
Source:    CD: Yellow Submarine Songtrack (originally released in UK on LP: Rubber Soul)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/CapitoI (original UK label: Parlophone)
Year:    1965
    Altough Nowhere Man had been included on the British version of the Beatles' 1965 Rubber Soul album, it was held back in the US and released as a single in 1966. Later that year the song was featured on the US-only LP Yesterday...And Today. It was remixed for the 2009 release of the Yellow Submarine Songtrack CD.

Artist:    Syndicate Of Sound
Title:    Little Girl
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2 (50th Anniversary edition) (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Baskin/Gonzalez
Label:    Hush/Bell
Year:    1966
    San Jose California, despite being a relatively small city in the pre-silicon valley days, was home to a thriving music scene in the mid 60s that produced more than its share of hit records from 1966-68. One of the earliest and biggest of these hits was the Syndicate Of Sound hit Little Girl, which has come to be recognized as one of the top garage-rock songs of all time. Little Girl was originally released regionally in mid 1966 on the Hush label, and reissued nationally by Bell Records a couple months later.
Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    2000 Light Years From Home
Source:    CD: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    Nowhere was the ripple effect of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band more blatantly obvious than on the Rolling Stones fall 1967 release Their Satanic Majesties Request. The cover featured the band members in various sorcerous regalia in a seven-inch picture on the kind of holographic paper used for "magic rings" found in bubble-gum machines and pasted over regular album-cover stock, which was a simple pattern of faded white circles on a blue background (it kind of looked like dark wallpaper). Musically it was the most psychedelic Stones album ever released. Interesting enough, different songs were released as singles in different countries. In the US the single was She's A Rainbow, while in Germany and the Netherlands 2,000 Light Years From Home (the US B side of She's A Rainbow) got significant airplay, making the top 5 in both countries.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Atlantis
Source:    CD: Donovan's Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Epic/Legacy
Year:    1968
    Although it was included on the 1969 album Barabajagal, Donovan's Atlantis was originally issued as a single in November of 1968. The tune went into the top 10 in several nations worldwide, including the US, but only managed to peak at #23 in the UK. At nearly five minutes in length, the song was considered by the shirts at Epic Records to be too long to get top 40 airplay in the US, and was thus relegated to B side status. They were proved wrong when DJs started flipping the record over and it went to the #7 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    Farewell, Farewell
Source:    LP: Fairport Chronicles (originally released on LP: Liege And Lief)
Writer(s):    Richard Thompson
Label:    A&M
Year:    1969
    Farewell, Farewell is the closing track of the first side of the fourth Fairport Convention album, Leige And Lief. Why it wasn't chosen as the final track on the album itself is a mystery to me. Liege And Lief is considered one of the most influential British folk albums of all time, and is considered a major influence on the development of British folk rock (not to be confused with American folk-rock, which had pretty much run its course by 1969).

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Ballad Of A Thin Man
Source:    CD: Highway 61 Revisited
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Bob Dylan himself plays piano on Ballad Of A Thin Man, from his controversial 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited. Up to that point in his career, Dylan had recorded mostly acoustic material, usually accompanying himself on guitar with little or no other instrumentation. On Highway 61 Revisited, however, he was joined by a full complement of electric musicians, including guitarist Mike Bloomfield (of the Butterfield Blues Band) and Al Kooper (who would go on to be a star in his own right as a member of the Blues Project and later as the founder of Blood, Sweat And Tears). Ballad Of A Thin Man itself was, according to Dylan, based on a real person, or an amalgam of real people who had crossed Dylan's path. The subject of the song, Mr. Jones, as referred to in the song's refrain "Something is happening here/ But you don't know what it is/ Do you, Mr Jones?" was based on the various establishment types who were virtually clueless when it came to understanding the youthful counter-culture that was developing in the mid-1960s. The following year the Grass Roots scored a regional hit in Southern California with their cover of the song, retitled Mr. Jones (A Ballad Of A Thin Man).

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    Gotta Get Away
Source:    LP: Psychedelic Lollipop
Writer(s):    Gordon/Adams
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1966
    As was common with most 1966 LPs, the Blues Magoos debut album, Psychedelic Lollipop, included a handful of cover songs, not all of which had been hits for other groups. One of the non-hits was Gotta Get Away, a fairly typical piece of garage rock that opens side two of the LP. The song was also selected as the B side for the group's second (and by far most successful) single, (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet. As the usual practice was to bring in outside songwriters for a new band's early singles and let the band write their own B side, it is possible that Gotta Get Away, which was co-written by Alan Gordon (co-writer of the Turtles' Happy Together and several other tunes) may have been the intended A side of the single.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Six O'Clock
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    John Sebastian
Label:    Kama Sutra
Year:    1967
    The last top 20 hit for the Lovin' Spoonful was Six O'Clock, released in 1967. Shortly after the record came out John Sebastian left the group. The remaining members tried to carry on without him for a while, but were never able to duplicate the success of the Sebastian years.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Turn! Turn! Turn!
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Turn! Turn! Turn!)
Writer(s):    Pete Seeger
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1965
    After their success covering Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man, the Byrds turned to an even more revered songwriter: the legendary Pete Seeger. Turn! Turn! Turn!, with lyrics adapted from the book of Ecclesiastes, was first recorded by Seeger in the early 60s, nearly three years after he wrote the song.
Artist:    Hollies
Title:    I Can't Let Go
Source:    LP: History Of British Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Taylor/Gorgoni
Label:    Sire (original US label: Imperial)
Year:    1966
    Of all the early Hollies hits, it is the 1966 hit I Can't Let Go that most showcases the voice of Graham Nash, singing a high counterpoint that Paul McCartney reportedly mistook for a trumpet part the first time he heard the song.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Sunshine Of Your Love
Source:    LP: Disraeli Gears (picture disc, if anyone cares)
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown/Clapton
Label:    RSO (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Although by mid-1967 Cream had already released a handful of singles in the UK, Sunshine Of Your Love, featuring one of the most recognizable guitar rifts in the history of rock, was their first song to make a splash in the US. Although only moderately successful in edited form on AM Top-40 radio, the full-length LP version of the song received extensive airplay on the more progressive FM stations, and turned Disraeli Gears into a perennial best-seller. Guitarist Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce constantly trade off lead vocal lines throughout the song. The basic compatibility of their voices is such that it is sometimes difficult to tell exactly who is singing what line. Clapton's guitar solo (which was almost entirely edited out of the AM version) set a standard for instrumental breaks in terms of length and style that became a hallmark for what is now known as "classic rock."

Artist:    Salvation
Title:    Think Twice
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Salvation)
Writer(s):    Joe Tate
Label:    Rhino (original label: ABC)
Year:    1968
    If there is any one band that typifies the San Francisco music scene of 1968 it would have to be Salvation. Originally known as the New Salvation Army Banned, the group came to the attention of ABC Records after a series of successful gigs at Golden Gate Park. The band was often seen cruising the streets of San Francisco in a converted bus and often found themselves sharing the playbill with acts like Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane and the Doors. After recording their debut LP, Salvation, the group did a coast to coast promotional tour "from the Golden Gate to the Village Gate", only to find themselves stranded on the east coast when their management team absconded with the band's advance money. The band's fate was sealed when they, to quote keyboardist Art Resnick, "acted so incredibly wild at the main offices of ABC Records in NYC when going there to meet all the top execs. It was totally insane! Wilder than any rock movie I've ever seen."

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Patterns
Source:    LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Sundazed/Columbia
Year:    1966
    Although it was the third Simon And Garfunkel album, 1966s' Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme was actually the first to contain songs written following the duo's shift from pure folk music to a more electric sound. The album was more adventurous overall, containing such sonic experiments as Silent Night juxtaposed with the 7 O'Clock News and Patterns, which opens with a guitar string being detuned (or maybe tuned) and features an African beat throughout. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme is now generally regarded as Simon's first true classic album.

Artist:     Buffalo Springfield
Title:     Go And Say Goodbye
Source:     CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield and as 45 RPM B side)
Writer:     Stephen Stills
Label:     Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:     1966
     After failing his audition for the Monkees, Stephen Stills met up with his former bandmate Neil Young, and, along with Richie Furay, Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin formed the Buffalo Springfield in 1966. Their first single was a Young tune, Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing, sung by Furay. The B side of that record, Stills's Go And Say Goodbye, is one of the first modern country-rock songs ever recorded.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    What Am I Living For
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Animalization
Writer:    Jay/Harris
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    Throughout their existence the original Animals were known for their love of American Blues and R&B music. In fact, hit singles aside, almost everything they recorded was a cover of an R&B hit. Among the covers on their 1966 LP Animalism (released in the US as Animalization) was What Am I Living For, originally recorded by the legendary Chuck Willis. The original version was released shortly after Willis's death from cancer in 1958, and is considered a classic. The Animals, thanks in large part to their obvious respect and admiration for the song, actually managed to improve on the original (as was often the case with their cover songs).

Artist:    Kak
Title:    HCO 97658
Source:    British import CD: Kak-Ola (originally released on LP: Kak)
Writer(s):    Yoder/Grelecki/Damrell/Patten/Lockheed)
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Epic)
Year:    1969
    Some songs sort of float around in a songwriter's head for months, or even years, before taking their final form. Others are created spontaneously in the recording studio. The opening track on the 1969 album Kak is an example of the latter. Although the title of the tune sounds like some sort of coded message (producer and co-writer Gary Grelecki is the son of one of the founding members of the CIA, after all) HCO 97658 was actually the studio session ID number of the track itself.

Artist:    Alice Cooper
Title:    Living
Source:    European import CD: Pretties For You
Writer(s):    Cooper/Bixton/Bruce/Dunaway/Smith
Label:    Bizarre/Straight/Rhino
Year:    1969
    Alice Cooper's debut LP, Pretties For You, was an odd mixture of avant-garde psychedelia and a rudimentary form of the hard rock they would later become known for. Living is perhaps the best example of the latter.

Artist:    Alice Cooper
Title:    Dead Babies/Killer
Source:    LP: Killer
Writer(s):    Cooper/Smith/Buxon/Bruce/Dunaway
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    Alice Cooper (the band) raised a lot of eyebrows when they released a song called Dead Babies on their 1971 Killer album. Because of the band's reputation for outrageousness, a lot of people assumed that the song must be about some sort of imaginary deviant behavior. Unfortunately, the truth is  far worse. Dead Babies, in fact, is about a very real form of behavior that is all too common in the modern world: child neglect, and its tragic consequences. The song was a highlight of the band's Killer and School's Out tours, where it was followed immediately (as it is on the LP itself) by the song Killer, which featured the most talked-about part of the band's stage show, in which frontman Alice Cooper (nee Vince Furnier) was led up to and hung on a gallows to close out the band's performance.

Artist:    Small Faces
Title:    Afterglow (Of Your Love)/Long Agos And Worlds Apart
Source:    CD: Ogden's Nut Gone Flake
Writer(s):    Marriott/Lane/McLagan
Label:    Charly (original label: Immediate)
Year:    1968
    London's East End has always had a bit of an unsavory reputation, and in addition was the hardest hit area when the city was bombed during World War II. It was natural, then, that the East End's own local pop stars were just a bit rowdier than some of their counterparts. The most popular band to emerge from the area was the Small Faces, so named because every member of the group was vertically challenged. The group first hit the UK top 40 charts in 1966, and scored a huge international hit the following year with Itchycoo Park. Although they never equalled the success of that record with subsequent releases outside of the UK, they did continue to pack in the crowds locally, and generated an audience excitement equal to that of the Beatles themselves in terms of raw screaming fans (in fact, this was a factor in lead vocalist Steve Marriot's decision to leave the band and form Humble Pie in 1969). The Small Faces also continued to crank out hit records in their native land, including the critically acclaimed LP Ogden's Nut Gone Flake. The entire second side was taken up by a suite of songs based on a fairy tale, while the first side showed the band's versatility as songwriters on tunes like Ian McLagan's psychedelic Long Agos And Worlds Apart. On the original LP, Long Agos And Worlds Apart is immediately preceded by a Steve Marriott/Ronnie Lane collaboration called Afterglow, which was issued a year later without the band's permission following their breakup in 1969 as Afterglow Of Your Love, using a radically different mix than the original LP version, which segues directly into Long Agos And Worlds Apart without a break between songs. After the departure of Marriot, the group officially disbanded, eventually hooking up with Ron Wood and Rod Stewart and shortening their name to Faces, as both new members were too tall to carry on with the band's original image.

Artist:    Nazz
Title:    Open My Eyes
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Nazz)
Writer(s):    Todd Rundgren
Label:    Rhino (original label: SGC)
Year:    1968
    The Nazz was a band from Philadelphia who were basically the victims of their own bad timing. 1968 was the year that progressive FM radio began to get recognition as a viable format while top 40 radio was being dominated by bubble gum pop bands such as the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Ohio Express. The Nazz, on the other hand, sounded more like British bands such as the Move and Brian Augur's Trinity that were performing well on the UK charts but were unable to buy a hit in the US. The band had plenty of talent, most notably guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Todd Rundgren, who would go on to establish a successful career, both as an artist (he played all the instruments on his Something/Anything LP and led the band Utopia) and a producer (Grand Funk's We're An American Band, as well as many others). Open My Eyes was originally issued as the A side of a single, but ended up being eclipsed in popularity by its flip side, a song called Hello It's Me, that ended up getting airplay in Boston and other cities, eventually hitting the Canadian charts (a new version would become a solo hit for Rundgren five years later).

Artist:    Monks
Title:    I Can't Get Over You
Source:    Mono German import CD: Black Monk Time (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Burger/Clark/Day/Johnson/Shaw
Label:    Repertoire (original label Polydor)
Year:    1966
    The Monks were formed in Germany by five American GIs stationed in Frankfurt. Right from the start, the Monks had a look and sound that was unlike anything that had come before. With military haircuts supplemented by shaved patches at the top and wearing black gowns with a hangman's noose for a necktie, the Monks spat out angry tunes centered on the dark side of human nature. Although they were enough of a curiosity to attract live audiences, their records did not sell particularly well, and for their second single, a song called I Can't Get Over You, they toned it down a touch, although if you listen closely to the vocals you can tell they weren't particularly happy about doing so.

Artist:    Mouse And The Traps
Title:    Maid Of Sugar-Maid Of Spice
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Fraternity Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Henderson/Weiss
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Fraternity)
Year:    1966
    Mouse (Ronnie Weiss) was, for a time, the most popular guy in Tyler, Texas, at least among the local youth. His band, Mouse and the traps, had a series of regional hits that garnered airplay at stations all across the state (and a rather large state at that). Although Mouse's first big hit, A Public Execution, had a strong Dylan feel to it, the band's 1966 followup single Maid Of Sugar-Maid Of Spice, has come to be considered a garage-rock classic.

Artist:    Zakary Thaks
Title:    Bad Girl
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Gerniottis/Stinson/Moore/Gregory/Lopez
Label:    Rhino (originally labels: J-Beck and Mercury)
Year:    1966
    Carl Becker, owner of the J-Beck and Cee Bee record labels in Corpus Christie, Texas, discovered the Zakary Thaks blowing away the competition in early 1966 at a battle of the bands at a local hangout known as the Carousel Club. At the time the lead vocalist, Chris Gerniottis, was all of fifteen years old; in fact, the oldest member of the band was only seventeen. Becker took the band into the studio in nearby McAllen to cut a pair of sides for J-Beck: a hot cover of the Kinks' I Need You and the Thaks' own composition, Bad Girl. Bad Girl became a big enough hit around South Texas to get picked up by Mercury for national distribution, becoming the first of half a dozen singles for the band.

Artist:    Tom Northcott
Title:    Who Planted Thorns In Miss Alice's Garden
Source:    Mono British import CD: My Mind Goes High (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Tom Northcott
Label:    Warner Strategic Marketing (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
    Canadian folk singer Tom Northcott temporarily relocated to Los Angeles to record a handful of singles for Warner Brothers Records staff producer Lenny Waronker. Among those was his self-penned B side, Who Planted Thorns In Miss Alice's Garden, which appeared in 1967.

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

Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    I'm A Man
Source:    Mono LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Winwood/Miller
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1967
    The Spencer Davis Group, featuring Steve and Muff Winwood, was one of the UK's most successful white R&B bands of the sixties, cranking out a steady stream of hit singles. Two of them, the iconic Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm A Man, were also major hits in the US, the latter being the last song to feature the Winwood brothers. Muff Winwood became a successful record producer, while his brother Steve went on to co-found the band Traffic. Then Blind Faith. Then Traffic again. And then a successful solo career. Meanwhile, the Spencer Davis Group continued on for several years with a series of replacement vocalists, but were never able to duplicate their earlier successes with the Winwoods.

Artist:    Purple Gang
Title:    Granny Takes A Trip
Source:    British import CD: Acid Daze (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: The Purple Gang Strikes)
Writer(s):    Bowyer/Beard
Label:    Uncut (original label: Transatlantic, LP released in US on Sire label)
Year:    1967
    Formed in the Manchester, England area as the Young Contemporaries Jug Band, The Purple Gang took on their new identity when they relocated to London and became part of the psychedelic scene there. Their first single, Granny Takes A Trip, was banned by the BBC for 1) having the word "trip" in the song title (even though it was named for an actual gift shop that had nothing to do with acid) and 2) the lead singer's nickname was Lucifer. Sounds pretty circumstantial to me, but that was the BBC in 1967, the inaugural year of BBC-1, and I suppose they were still a bit on the timid side at that point in time.

Artist:    Parade
Title:    She Sleeps Alone
Source:    LP: Nuggets-Vol 4: Pop, Part Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Roberds/MacLeod/Capp
Label:    Rhino (original label: A&M)
Year:    1967
    Although most 1967 45s were only released in mono, A&M sent out a few stereo promo pressings of their pop singles to FM radio stations, which explains why the Parade's She Sleeps Alone is heard here in glorious stereo. The group itself is a classic example of Hollywood insiders getting together to make a record or two (or in this case about half a dozen), then going their separate ways. The official group consisted of Jerry Riopelle, who played keyboards on several Phil Spector-produced records; Murray MacLeod, an actor who appeared on Hawaii Five-O and Kung Fu; and Allen "Smokey" Roberds, another actor. The actual instruments, however, were played by a group of Los Angeles studio musicians known unofficially as the Wrecking Crew, which included drummer Hal Blaine, bassist Carol Kaye and saxophonist Steve Douglas. Subsequent singles by the group, including 1968's She Sleeps Alone included yet another actor, Stuart Margolin, who would go on to be a cast member of the Rockford Files.

Artist:    Steve Miller Band
Title:    Little Girl
Source:    LP: Your Saving Grace
Writer(s):    Steve Miller
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    The fourth Steve Miller Band album, Your Saving Grace, was the lowest charting of the band's first five albums (generally considered their "psychedelic" period). Despite this lack of chart success, Your Saving Grace managed to provide four solid tracks, including Little Girl, for the band's 1972 Anthology album, released while Miller was recovering from a broken neck suffered in a 1971 car accident. Miller would reboot the band with the 1973 album The Joker, which touched off a string of chart toppers for the group.