Sunday, May 12, 2024

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2420 (starts 5/13/24) 

    This week we feature what will undoubtably be our loudest artists' set ever heard on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, with three tracks from Vincebus Eruptum, the first Blue Cheer album. And as always, we have plenty of singles, B sides and album tracks from 1964-1970, including two from somewhat obscure artists (The Troys and the Sunshine Company) making their Stuck in the Psychedelic Era debut.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    It's Only Love
Source:    Mono CD: Rubber Soul
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1965
    It's not often that you hear a Beatles song referred to as "filler", but that is exactly the term used by Paul McCartney when describing It's Only Love, a song that first appeared on the British version of the Help album, but was held back and included on Rubber Soul in the US. Even John Lennon, who mostly wrote the song (with some help from McCartney), later told an interviewer that "I always thought it was a lousy song. The lyrics were abysmal. I always hated that song." That said, the tune does have a nice melody and a decent chord structure and arrangement. The rhythm tracks for It's Only Love, which originally had a working title of That's A Nice Hat, were recorded in six takes in June of 1965, with Lennon's lead vocal and Harrison's lead guitar track added as overdubs.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    Fly Away
Source:    Mono CD: Projections
Writer(s):    Al Kooper
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Verve Folkways)
Year:    1966
    The Blues Project has a permanent place in rock history, both for pioneering the idea of touring coast to coast playing college venues and as the first jam band. Still, they were never able to break into top 40 radio at a time when a top 40 hit was considered essential to a band's commercial success. Keyboardist Al Kooper, on the other hand, was no stranger to hit records, having co-written This Diamond Ring, a song that became the first number one hit for Gary Lewis and the Playboys (although Kooper himself hated their arrangement of the song) in 1965. One of Kooper's attempts at writing a hit song for the Blues Project was Fly Away, included on their second LP, Projections.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Flaming
Source:    CD: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (not included on original US release)
Writer:    Syd Barrett
Label:    Capitol (original UK label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    Despite his legendary status as the original driving force behind Pink Floyd there is actually very little recorded material by the band itself that is credited to Syd Barrett. Most of that material is on the first Floyd album, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, and on a handful of singles released by the group at a time when single releases in the UK seldom appeared on albums. Unlike Barrett's singles, which managed to be commercial without sacrificing their psychedelic qualities, album tracks such as Flaming (from Piper) show a willingness to go off into unexplored musical territory. It was these types of explorations that would set the direction the band would take once Barrett became unable to continue with the group. Flaming, for many years, was almost impossible to find in US record stores, as it was left off Capitol Records' original 1967 release of Piper At The Gates Of Dawn on their Tower subsidiary.

Artist:    Gods
Title:    Toward The Skies
Source:    British import CD: Insane Times (originally released in UK on LP: Genesis)
Writer(s):    Joe Konas
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    It was probably pretty pretentious for a band to call themselves the Gods, but when you consider that, at various times, the band's lineup included Greg Lake and  Mick Taylor (both future rock gods), as well as two future members of Uriah Heep, the claim somehow doesn't seem quite so outrageous. By the time their first album, Genesis, came out in 1968 both Taylor and Lake had moved on, but between guitarist/keyboardist Ken Hensley, drummer Lee Kerslake (the two aforementioned Heepsters), bassist John Glascock (who would eventually serve as Jethro Tull's bassist until his untimely death in 1979) and guitarist Joe Konas, who wrote the album's opening track, Toward The Skies, the Gods had talent to spare.

Artist:    B.B. King
Title:    You're Mean
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    King/Jemmott/McCracken/Harris/Lovelle
Label:    Bluesway
Year:    1969
    I can't imagine that anyone reading this has not heard of B.B. King, so all I'll say is that this edited version of an instrumental jam from the 1969 LP Completely Well was included as the B side of King's biggest hit, The Thrill Is Gone, in 1970.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Satisfied Mind
Source:    LP: Turn! Turn! Turn!
Writer(s):    Hayes/Rhodes
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Satisfied Mind (alternately known as A Satisfied Mind) is one of several cover songs on the second Byrds LP, Turn! Turn! Turn! It was the first Byrds cover of a country song, with versions by Porter Wagoner, Red and Betty Foley, and Jean Shepherd all appearing on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 1955. A jazz version of the song by Ella Fitzgerald also charted that year, and the song had already been recorded by several more artists before the Byrds got ahold of it. All in all there have been over 40 different versions of Satisfied Mind recorded over the years, the most recent being a single by Eilen Jewell released in 2020.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert MacNamara'd Into Submission)
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released on LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    Paul Simon's sense of humor is on full display on A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert MacNamara'd Into Submission). The song first appeared, with slightly different lyrics on Simon's 1965 LP The Paul Simon Songbook, which was released only in the UK after Simon and Garfunkel had split following the disappointing sales of their first Columbia LP, Wednesday Morning 3AM. When the duo got back together following the surprise success of an electrified version of The Sound Of Silence, they re-recorded A Simple Desultory Philippic, including it on their third Columbia LP, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. The song is a deliberate parody/tribute to Bob Dylan, written in a style similar to It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), and is full of sly references to various well-known personages of the time as well as lesser-known acquaintances of Simon himself.

Artist:    Sunshine Company
Title:    Back On The Street Again
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 10-Folk Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Steve Gillette
Label:    Rhino (original label: Imperial)
Year:    1967
    Los Angeles' Sunshine Company may not have invented the term "sunshine pop" but they were certainly one of its most ardent practitioners. Originally formed as a duo by Mary Nance (vocals) and Maury Manseau (vocals, guitar), they added bassist Larry Sims and drummer Merel Bregante when the signed with Imperial Records, releasing the debut LP, Happy Is The Sunshine Company, in 1967. Their first single from the album, Up, Up And Away, was scheduled to be released in May of 1967 but was withdrawn when the Fifth Dimension beat them to the punch. The followup title track from the album went nowhere, but their next single, Back On The Street Again, released in November, managed to make it to the #36 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Two more albums and several more singles followed, but none were as successful as Back On The Street Again and the group disbanded in 1968.

Artist:    The Raik's Progress
Title:    Why Did You Rob Us, Tank?
Source:    Mono LP: Sewer Rat Love Chant (originally released in US as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Krikorian/Shapazian/van Maarth/Olson/Scott
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1966
    Fresno, California, was home to the Raik's Progress, once described as "a bunch of 17-year-old quasi-intellectual proto-punks" by frontman Steve Krikorian, who later became known as Tonio K. The Raik's progress only released one single, Sewer Rat Love Chant, which appeared on the Liberty label in 1966. The B side of that single, Why Did You Rob Us, Tank?, was an apparent dig at their manager, but when questioned about what prompted the title, Krikorian was a bit vague in his answer, saying it could have been about anything from gate receipts to not paying for burgers.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Spanish Castle Magic
Source:    CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    When the second Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Axis: Bold As Love came out it was hailed as a masterpiece of four-track engineering. Working closely with producer Chas Chandler and engineer Eddie Kramer, Hendrix used the recording studio itself as an instrument, making an art form out of the stereo mixing process. The unfortunate by-product of this is that most of the songs on the album could not be played live and still sound anything like the studio version. One notable exception is Spanish Castle Magic, which became a more or less permanent part of the band's performing repertoire.

Artist:    Moby Grape
Title:    Murder In My Heart For The Judge
Source:    LP: Wow
Writer(s):     Don Stevenson
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    Moby Grape was one of those bands that probably should have been more successful than they were, but were thrown off-track by a series of bad decisions by their own support personnel. First, Columbia damaged their reputation by simultaneously releasing five singles from their debut LP in 1967, leading to accusations that the band was nothing but hype. Then their producer, David Rubinson, decided to add horns and strings to many of the tracks on their second album, Wow, alienating much of the band's core audience in the process. Still, Wow did have its share of fine tunes, including drummer Don Stevenson's Murder In My Heart For The Judge, probably the most popular song on the album. The song proved popular enough to warrant cover versions by such notables as Lee Michaels, Chrissy Hynde and Three Dog Night.

Artist:     Guess Who
Title:     No Time
Source:     CD: American Woman
Writer(s): Bachman/Cummings
Label:     Buddha/BMG (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:     1970
     The Guess Who hit their creative and commercial peak with their 1970 album American Woman. The first of three hit singles from the album was No Time, which was already climbing the charts when the LP was released. After American Woman the band's two main songwriters, guitarist Randy Bachman and vocalist Burton Cummings, would move in increasingly divergent directions, with Bachman eventually leaving the band to form the hard-rocking Bachman-Turner Overdrive, while Cummings continued to helm an increasingly light pop flavored Guess Who.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Peace Frog/Blue Sunday
Source:    LP: Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine (originally released on LP: Morrison Hotel)
Writer(s):    Morrison/Kreiger
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1970
    The Doors' Peace Frog, in a very basic sense, is actually two separate works of art. The track started off as an instrumental piece by guitarist Robbie Kreiger, recorded while the rest of the band was waiting for Jim Morrison to come up with lyrics for another piece. Not long after the track was recorded, producer Paul Rothchild ran across a poem of Morrison's called Abortion Stories and encouraged him to adapt it to the new instrumental tracks. Peace Frog, which appears on the album Morrison Hotel, leads directly into Blue Sunday, one of many poems/songs written by Morrison for Pamela Courson, his girlfriend/significant other/co-dependent substance abuser/whatever since 1965.

Artist:    Chants R&B
Title:    I'm Your Witch Doctor
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in New Zealand as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    John Mayall
Label:    Rhino (original label: Action)
Year:    1966
    The Chants R&B were formed in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1964 and were heavily influenced by such punkish UK bands as the Pretty Things and Them. Shortly after the released of their first single in mid-1966, the group got a new guitarist, Max Kelly, whose efforts helped make their second single, a wild cover of John Mayall's I'm Your Witch Doctor, a national hit. Before they could return to the studio however, it was discovered that Kelly, whose real name was Matt Croke, was actually a deserter from the Australian Air Force, and was soon deported. The rest of the band followed him to Sydney, but things didn't work out and the band split up in early 1967.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Double Yellow Line
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Original Sound, stereo LP version released on Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
    One of the Original Sound singles that also appeared on the Warner Brothers LP Bonniwell Music Machine, Double Yellow Line features lyrics that were literally written by Bonniwell on the way to the recording studio. In fact, his inability to stay in his lane while driving with one hand and writing with the other resulted in a traffic ticket. The ever resourceful Bonniwell wrote the rest of the lyrics on the back of the ticket and even invited the officer in to watch the recording session. The officer declined the invitation.

Artist:    Troys
Title:    Take Care
Source:    Mono CD: If You're Ready! The Best Of Dunwich Records...Volume 2 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Mike Dixon
Label:    Sundazed/Here 'Tis (original label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    For all its legendary status as one of the first and most successful garage-punk-oriented labels, Dunwich Records in reality was only around for a couple of years. By 1968 the label itself had, in fact, ceased to exist, although Dunwich Productions would continue on for some time, supplying recordings of bands like H.P. Lovecraft to larger labels. One of the earliest of these was a single called Gotta Fit You Into My Life by a group called the Troys, released in April of 1968 in the US on the Tower label and in Canada on Capitol. The Troys were a popular suburban college cover band formed in 1965 by bassist Randy Curlee and lead guitarist Jack "Hawkeye" Daniels, with Mike Dixon on keyboards, Mike Been on guitar, and Dave Nelson on drums, with Mark Gallagher handling the lead vocals. In 1967 they began to add in original material, including Dixon's Take Care, which was released as the B side of their 1968 single. Internal problems caused the band to change musical direction, taking a Vanilla Fudge inspired approach that did not go over well with their fan base, leading to the group's eventual demise.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Little Miss Queen Of Darkness
Source:    Mono British import CD: Face To Face
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Sanctuary (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    Although the Kinks were putting out some of their most classic recordings in 1966 (A Well Respected Man, Sunny Afternoon), the band was beset with problems not entirely of their own making, such as being denied visas to perform in the US and having issues with their UK label, Pye Records. Among those issues was the cover of their LP Face To Face, which bandleader Ray Davies reportedly hated, as the flower power theme was not at all representative of the band's music. There were internal problems as well, with bassist Peter Quaife even quitting the band for about a month during the recording of Face To Face. Although a replacement for Quaife, John Dalton, was brought in, the only track he is confirmed to have played on was a Ray Davies tune called Little Miss Queen Of Darkness.

Artist:    Second Hand
Title:    Reality
Source:    British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Reality)
Writer(s):    Elliott/Gibbons
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1968
    Formed in Streatham, South London, in 1965 by vocalist/keyboardist Ken Elliott, guitarist Bob Gibbons and drummer Kieran O'Connor, the Next Collection soon won a local battle of the bands and the opportunity to make a demo recording at Maximum Sound Studios. This brought them to the attention of producer Vic Keary, who got them signed to Polydor in 1968 under the name Moving Finger. Just as the album Reality was about to be released, however, another band called the Moving Finger released a single on another label, forcing Elliot and company to come up with a new band name, as well as new packaging for the LP. The name they chose was Second Hand, since all of their equipment had been bought used. Apparently the delay also caused some rethinking on the part of the people at Polydor, who had initially been enthusiastic supporters of the band. When Reality was released in late 1968 it got no promotional support whatsoever from the label, and was a commercial failure. In recent years, however, Second Hand's Reality, including the title track, has come to be recognized as one of the pioneering albums of the prog-rock movement, predating bands like Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer by several years.

Artist:    Blue Cheer
Title:    Rock Me Baby
Source:    Dutch import LP: Vincebus Eruptum
Writer(s):    King/Josea
Label:    Philips
Year:    1968
    The first Blue Cheer LP, Vincebus Eruptum, is cited by some as the first heavy metal album, while others refer to it as proto metal. However you want to look at it, the album is dominated by the feedback-laden guitar of Leigh Stephens, as can be plainly heard on their version of B.B. King's classic Rock Me Baby. Although there seem to be very few people still around who actually heard Blue Cheer perform live, the power trio has the reputation of being one of the loudest bands in the history of rock music. 

Artist:    Blue Cheer
Title:    Summertime Blues
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on LP: Vincebus Eruptum)
Writer(s):    Cochrane/Capehart
Label:    Rhino (original label: Philips)
Year:    1968
    If 1967 was the summer of love, then 1968 was the summer of violence. Framed by the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, both major anti-establishment movements of the time (civil rights and anti-war) became increasing radicalized and more violent. The hippies gave way to the Yippies, LSD gave way to crystal meth, and there were riots in the streets of several US cities. Against this backdrop Blue Cheer released one of the loudest and angriest recordings ever to grace the top 40: the proto-metal arrangement of Eddie Cochrane's 1958 classic Summertime Blues. It was the perfect soundtrack song for its time.

Artist:    Blue Cheer
Title:    Doctor Please
Source:    Mono LP: Vincebus Eruptum
Writer(s):    Dick Peterson
Label:    Philips
Year:    1968
    With it's raw feedback-drenched guitar and bass and heavily distorted drums, Blue Cheer is often cited as the first heavy metal band. If any one song most demonstrates their right to the title it's Doctor Please from the Vincebus Eruptum album. Written by bassist Dick Peterson, the song is exactly what your parents meant by "that noise". Contrary to the rumor going around in 1970, guitarist Leigh Stephens did not go deaf after recording two albums with Blue Cheer. In fact, he went to England and recorded the critically-acclaimed (but seldom heard) Red Weather album with some of the UK's top studio musicians.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Voodoo In My Basement (instrumental backing track)
Source:    LP: Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful
Writer(s):    John Sebastian
Label:    Sundazed/Kama Sutra
Year:    1966
     With their 1966 LP Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful, New York's most popular band set out to make an album on which each song sounded like it was performed by a different group. For the most part they succeeded, with songs like Nashville Cats and Summer In The City having few similarities. One of the more notable tracks on the album is Voodoo In My Basement, which acknowledges the folk-blues scene of New York's Greenwich Village, where the band was formed. The backing track heard here was included as a bonus track on the 2003 reissue of the album.

Artist:    Kingsmen
Title:    The Jolly Green Giant
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Easton/Harris/Terry
Label:    Wand
Year:    1964
    Following the success of Louie Louie in 1963, the Kingmen signed a long term contract with New York's Swan Records, although they continued to record for Seattle-based Jerden Productions. Besides Louie Louie, their only top 10 single was The Jolly Green Giant, released in 1964. Originally credited to lead vocalist Lynn Easton, the song was later determined to be a rewrite of the Olympics' Big Boy Pete, and subsequent issues  have included that song's writers, Don Harris and Dewey Terry, in the credits.

Artist:    Kim Fowley
Title:    The Trip
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Hardesty/Fowley/Geddes
Label:    Rhino (original label: Corby)
Year:    1965
    Kim Fowley was well-known among the movers and shakers of the L.A. music scene as an important promoter and record producer, as well as the guy who threw some of the best parties in town. To the general public, however, he remained largely unknown except as the guy who recorded possibly the first, and probably the only, psychedelic novelty record, The Trip, in 1965.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    Don't Bring Me Down
Source:    CD: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals (originally released on LP: Animalization)
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1966
    Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Don't Bring Me Down is reportedly one of the few songs written for the Animals by professional songwriters that lead vocalist Eric Burdon actually liked. The song was one of the last hit singles recorded by the original Animals before they disbanded in late 1966.

Artist:    Janis Ian
Title:    Pro-Girl
Source:    LP: Janis Ian
Writer(s):    Janis Ian
Label:    Polydor (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:    1967
    It took guts for a fifteen-year-old to write and record a song that is basically an open letter to a prostitute. It took maturity to do it without either condoning or condemning that kind of life. Janis Ian displayed both with the song Pro-Girl on her 1967 debut LP.
Artist:    Zombies
Title:    This Will Be Our Year
Source:    Mono 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Chris White
Label:    Varese Vintage (original label: Date)
Year:    1968
    The Zombies second (and final) album, Odyssey And Oracle, was made pretty much under duress. The band had secured a contract with the British CBS label, but because of budget and time constraints, the recordings were done quickly, with no outtakes or unused songs from the sessions. Like many songs recorded at Abbey Road Studios at the time, This Will Be Our Year was first mixed monoraully, with horns added during the mixing process. As a result, the stereo version of the album contained a fake stereo mix made from the mono master. Since mono pressings were being phased out in the US, only the fake stereo version was available to American record buyers. Recently, Varese Vintage has included the original mono mix as the B side of a single made for a recent Record Store Day event.

Artist:     Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title:    Down By The River
Source:    CD: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    Down By The River is one of four songs on the album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere that Neil Young wrote while running a fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit (that's 39.5 degrees for people in civilized nations that use the Celsius, aka centrigrade, scale). By some strange coincidence, they are the four best songs on the album. I wish I could have been that sick in my days as a wannabe rock star.

Artist:    Lollipop Shoppe (actual name: The Weeds)
Title:    You Must Be A Witch
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Fred Cole
Label:    Rhino (original label: Uni)
Year:    1968
    The Weeds were formed in Las Vegas in 1965 by vocalist Fred Cole, who at age 16 was already a recording studio veteran. They showed up at the Fillmore to open for the Yardbirds in 1966 only to find out that their manager had lied to them about being on the playbill (in fact Bill Graham had never even heard of them). Disenchanted with their management and fearing the Draft, the entire band decided to head for Canada, but ran out of gas in Portland, Oregon. They soon landed a regular gig at a club called the Folk Singer (where Cole met his future wife Toody) and after relocating to Southern California in 1968 attracted the attention of Seeds' manager Lord Tim, who got them a contract with MCA Records (now Universal). They recorded one album for MCA's Uni label, (discovering after the fact that Lord Tim had changed their name to the Lollipop Shoppe), which included the single You Must Be A Witch. Fred Cole has since become an icon of indy rock, returning to Portland to co-lead the band Dead Moon with his wife Toody from 1987-2006.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Let's Spend The Night Together
Source:    CD: Flowers (originally released on LP: Between The Buttons)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    The Rolling Stones second LP of 1967 was Flowers, one of a series of US-only albums made up of songs that had been released in various forms in the UK but not in the US. In the case of Flowers, though, there were a couple songs that had already been released in the US-but not in true stereo. One of those was Let's Spend The Night Together, a song intended to be the A side of a single, but that was soon banned on a majority of US radio stations because of its suggestive lyrics. Those stations instead flipped the record over and began playing the B side. That B side, a song called Ruby Tuesday, ended up in the top 5, while Let's Spend The Night Together barely cracked the top 40. The Stones did get to perform the tune on the Ed Sullivan Show, but only after promising to change the lyrics to "let's spend some time together." Later  the same year the Doors made a similar promise to the Sullivan show to modify the lyrics of Light My Fire, but when it came time to actually perform the song Jim Morrison defiantly sang the lyrics as written. The Doors were subsequently banned from making any more appearances on the Sullivan show.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2420 (starts 5/13/24) 

    This time around, after a quick introductory tune from Spirit, we work our way back through the years, starting with a track from Patti Smith's 1975 debut LP and ending up with one of Black Sabbath's quieter tunes from their 1971 Master Of Reality album. The highlight of the musical journey is the inclusion of the entire first side of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells (and it's not even Halloween). As an added bonus we toss in a mid-70s Rolling Stones classic to finish out the show.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Fresh Garbage
Source:    CD: Spirit
Writer(s):    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Ode/Epic/Legacy
Year:    1968
    Much of the material on the first Spirit album was composed by vocalist Jay Ferguson while the band was living in a big house in California's Topanga Canyon outside of Los Angeles. During their stay there was a garbage strike, which became the inspiration for the album's opening track, Fresh Garbage. The song starts off as a fairly hard rocker and suddenly breaks into a section that is pure jazz, showcasing the group's instrumental talents, before returning to the main theme to finish out the track.The group used a similar formula on about half the tracks on the LP, giving the album and the band a distinctive sound right out of the box.
Artist:    Patti Smith
Title:    Birdland
Source:    LP: Horses
Writer(s):    Smith/Sohl/Kaye/Krol
Label:    Arista
Year:    1975
    In spring of 1975 Patti Smith and her band shared a two-month residency at New York's CBGB club with the band Television, led by Tom Verlaine. Around that same time Clive Davis was looking for acts to sign to his new record label, Arista, and he offered Smith a record deal, with work to begin on her debut LP that summer. After early plans to record the album in Florida with producer Tom Dowd fell through, the sessions began in August at New York's Electric Ladyland studios, with the Velvet Underground's John Cale serving as producer. Most of the material on the album was written by Smith, usually in collaboration with one or more of her band members, which included Jay Dee Daugherty on drums, Lenny Kaye on lead guitar, Ivan Kr├íl on bass and Richard Sohl on piano. All but Daugherty are credited with the creation of Birdland, which at over nine minutes clocks in as the longest single piece on the LP.

Artist:    Mahogany Rush
Title:    Child Of The Novelty
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Frank Marino
Label:    20th Century
Year:    1974
    The second Mahogany Rush album, Child Of The Novelty, saw the addition of keyboardist Phil Bech (who had played on one track on the band's first LP) as an official member. Although they were not a top 40 kind of band, they did release a song from the album called A New Rock And Roll as a single, with the album's title track on the B side. Although the single was released commercially in stereo, promotional copies were monoraul on both sides.

Artist:    Mike Oldfield
Title:    Tubular Bells
Source:    LP: Tubular Bells
Writer(s):    Mike Oldfield
Label:    Virgin
Year:    1973
    So you probably immediately recognize this piece as the theme from The Exorcist. But have you ever heard the entire album-length version of the piece, entitled Tubular Bells? Well, you're hearing the first half of it now. A bit of trivia: Tubular Bells was the first album ever released by Virgin Records. Several sequels have been recorded in the years since the album's original 1973 release, including Tubular Bells II and III and The Millenium Bell (released in 1999).

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    A Salty Dog
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single (taken from LP: Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra)
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    A&M
Year:    1972
    Originally released on Procol Harum's 1969 album of the same name, A Salty Dog is better known to US audiences for its performance on the LP Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, which went to the #5 spot on the Billboard LP charts in 1972. The song itself has been cited by lyricist Keith Reid as one of his personal favorite Procol Harum songs and was released as a single twice; the studio version in 1969 and the aforementioned live performance in 1972. Radio stations ended up flipping the record over, however, making its B side, Conquistador, a surprise hit, becoming the band's second-highest charting single.

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    Solitude
Source:    LP: Master Of Reality
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osborne/Butler/Ward
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    I have to admit I'm a sucker for the slow, moody songs that appear as a change of pace on Black Sabbath's early albums. One of my favorites is Solitude, from the band's third LP, Master Of Reality. The song sets a mood that is in sharp contrast with the early heavy metal sound of the rest of the album. Guitarist Tony Iommi also plays piano and flute on the track.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It)
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single (promo)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Rolling Stones
Year:    1974
    You'd think that after writing such legendary classics as (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Jumpin' Jack Flash and Honky Tonk Women, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards would be pretty much tapped out for the rest of their lives. But, nope. They had to come up yet another iconic song in 1974, It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It). Hell, the title alone probably should be inscribed over the entrance of the Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame. The song itself was reportedly written in response to critics who seemed to think that the Stones, and Mick and Keith in particular, somehow had a responsibility to be role models, and were not living up to those critics' expectations of how they should be conducting themselves.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2419 (starts 5/6/24) 

    This week's edition of Stuck in the Psychedelic Era includes an Advanced Psych segment that includes bands from New York to New Mexico. We also have an all-monoraul Bob Dylan set from 1965, and, as always, an intriguing mix of singles, B side and album tracks from 1965-1970.

Artist:    Vanilla Fudge
Title:    You Keep Me Hangin' On
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Holland/Dozier/Holland
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    You Keep Me Hangin' On, a hit for the Supremes in 1967, was the first song recorded by Vanilla Fudge, who laid down the seven-minute plus track in a single take. Producer Shadow Morton then used that recording to secure the band a contract with Atco Records (an Atlantic subsidiary) that same year. Rather than to re-record the song for their debut LP, Morton and the band chose to use the original tape, despite the fact that it was never mixed in stereo. For single release the song was edited considerably, clocking in at around three minutes.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid/Fisher
Label:    A&M (original label: Deram)
Year:    1967
    Often credited as being the first progressive rock band, Procol Harum drew heavily from classical music sources, such as the Bach inspired theme used by organist Matthew Fisher as the signature rift for A Whiter Shade of Pale. Fisher initially did not get writing credit for his contributions to the song, but finally, after several lawsuits, began collecting royalties for the song in 2009. A Whiter Shade Of Pale, incidentally, holds the distinction of being the most-played song on the British airwaves over the past 70+ years.

Artist:    Wild Flowers
Title:    More Than Me
Source:    Mono CD: A Heavy Dose Of Lyte Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    The Wildflowers
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Aster)
Year:    1967
    Phoenix, Arizona, was home to the Wild Flowers, a band that included bassist Michael Bruce, who would go on to become a founding member of Alice Cooper. The Wild Flowers only released a couple of singles on the local Aster label, the second of which was More Than Me, released in 1967.
Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I Am The Walrus
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1967
    There were actually three different versions of the Beatles' I Am The Walrus released in late 1967, all of which were made from the same basic master tape. The first (heard here) was a mono single version that was issued as the B side of the Hello Goodbye single in late November. This version features a four-beat intro and has an extra bar of music immediately preceding the words "yellow matter custard" in the middle of the song. The second version was the stereo version featured on the US-only Magical Mystery Tour album. This version is basically the same as the mono version, but does not contain the extra bar in the middle. The third version appeared in early December in Europe and the UK on the stereo version of the Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack EP. This version features a six beat intro, but is otherwise identical to the US stereo version. In the early 1980s engineers at Capitol Records created a fourth version of I Am The Walrus that uses the six beat intro from the UK stereo version and includes the extra bar in the middle of the song from the US single version. That fourth version was included on the US version of the Beatles' Rarities album.
Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Bottom Of The Soul
Source:    CD: Beyond The Garage (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
    After severing ties with Original Sound Records in early 1967, Sean Bonniwell and his band, the Music Machine, signed a contract with Warner Brothers, a label that was already well on its way to becoming one of the world's top record companies. Although the first single released on the label featured the original lineup, the song, Bottom Of The Soul, was credited to the Bonniwell Music Machine, as were all subsequent releases by the band. The song itself, in the words of Bonniwell himself, "celebrates the courage of those homeless whose criterion...measures the burdon of living life at the bottom of the soul".

Artist:     Cream
Title:     Deserted Cities Of The Heart
Source:     LP: Wheels Of Fire
Writer:     Bruce/Brown
Label:     Atco
Year:     1968
     The most psychedelic of Cream's songs were penned by Jack Bruce and his songwriting partner Pete Brown. One of the best of these was chosen to close out the last studio side of the last Cream album released while the band was still in existence. Deserted Cities Of The Heart is a fitting epitaph to an unforgettable band.

Artist:    Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title:    Cinnamon Girl
Source:    LP: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    My favorite Neil Young song has always been Cinnamon Girl. I suspect this is because the band I was in the summer after I graduated from high school used an amped-up version of the song as our show opener (imagine Cinnamon Girl played like I Can See For Miles and you get a general idea of how it sounded). If we had ever recorded an album, we probably would have used that arrangement as our first single. I finally got to see Neil Young perform the song live (from the 16th row even) with Booker T. and the MGs as his stage band in the mid-1990s. It was worth the wait.

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

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Section 43 (Original EP version)
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Berkeley EPs (originally released on EP)
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Rag Baby)
Year:    1966
    Rag Baby was an underground journal published by Country Joe McDonald in mid-60s Berkeley, California. In 1965 McDonald decided to do a "talking issue" of the paper with an extended play (EP) record containing two songs by McDonald's band, Country Joe and the Fish and two by singer Peter Krug. In 1966 McDonald published a second Rag Baby EP, this time featuring three songs by Country Joe and the Fish. Among those was the original version of Section 43, a psychedelic instrumental that would appear in a re-recorded (and slightly rearranged) stereo form on the band's first LP, Electric Music For The Mind And Body, in early 1967.

Artist:    Vagrants
Title:    A Sunny Summer Rain
Source:    Mono LP: I Can't Make A Friend 1965-1968 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sommer/Pappaalardi
Label:    Light In The Attic (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Not many people outside of the New York (city) area ever heard of the Vagrants. This is a shame, since their influence was greater than their fame. The group consisting of Peter Sabatino on vocals, harmonica, and tambourine, Leslie Weinstein on vocals and guitar, his brother Larry on vocals and bass guitar, Jerry Storch (also known as Jay Storch) on organ, and Roger Mansour on drums, were the first to do slowed down, heavier versions of current pop hits, a technique "borrowed" by fellow Long Island band Vanilla Fudge to great success. The Vagrants, however, never recorded an entire album, although they did release a series of singles on the Atco label from 1966 to 1968. The limitations of the single format, however, forced the band to concentrate on shorter, less experimental tracks, although some of them, such as the 1967 release A Sunny Summer Rain, show at least a glimpse of the band's true style. Eventually, though, the group called it quits, although the story does not quite end there. Following the breakup of the Vagrants, guitarist Leslie Weinstein changed his name to Leslie West, and along with the band's producer, Felix Pappalardi, recorded a solo LP for the Windfall label, which led to the formation of Mountain in 1969. Following a well-received appearance at the Woodstock festival, Mountain went on to become one of the more successful bands of the early 1970s.

Artist:    Orphans
Title:    20 Light Years Away
Source:    Mono British import CD: All Kinds Of Highs
Writer(s):    The Orphans
Label:    Big Beat
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 2012
    Starting around 1967 Bob Shad, owner of Mainstream Records, criss-crossed the nation looking for local and regional rock bands to sign to both the Mainstream and Brent labels. Most of the bands he signed recorded at least an album's worth of material for him, but not all of it made it to vinyl. Among the bands whose material remained unreleased was a group from "somewhere in the Midwest" called The Orphans. In 2012 Ace Records, on their rock-oriented Big Beat label, made a single track from the Orphans available on a collection called All Kinds Of Highs. This six-minute long piece, 20 Light Years Away, remains the only released recording by the band. Other than what can be heard here, nobody seems to know anything about the Orphans at all, making them perhaps the most well-named band of the entire psychedelic era.

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    Crazy Man Michael
Source:    LP: Liege And Lief
Writer(s):    Thompson/Swarbrick
Label:    A&M
Year:    1969
    1969 was a singularly prolific year for Britain's premier folk-rock band, Fairport Convention, who released no fewer than three albums over a period of less than twelve months. It was also the only year that vocalist Sandy Denny was a member of the band; in fact, by the time Liege And Lief was released she had already left the group to form Fotheringay. 1969 was also a year of transition for the band. Their 1968 debut LP had drawn comparisons to early Jefferson Airplane. Leige And Lief, their fourth effort, is considered by some to be the seminal British folk-rock album, combining new arrangements of traditional material with original compositions in a similar style, one example being Crazy Man Michael, which closes out the LP.

Artist:     Traffic
Title:     No Face, No Name, No Number
Source:     CD: Smiling Phases (originally released on LP: Mr. Fantasy, aka Heaven Is In Your Mind)
Writer(s): Winwood/Capaldi
Label:     Island (original US label: United Artists)
Year:     1967
     When the first Best of Traffic album was issued in 1969 (after the group first disbanded) it included No Face, No Name, No Number, a non-hit album track. Later Traffic anthologies tended to focus on songs recorded after the group reformed in 1970 and No Face, No Name, No Number was out of print for many years until the first Traffic album was reissued on CD. The song itself is a good example of Winwood's softer material.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Have You Seen Her Face
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    Chris Hillman
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1967
    Perhaps the greatest surprise on the fourth Byrds album, Younger Than Yesterday, was the emergence of bassist Chris Hillman as a top-tier songwriter, already on a par with David Crosby and the recently departed Gene Clark, and even exceeding Roger McGuinn as a solo writer (most of McGuinn's contributions being as a collaborator rather than a solo songwriter). Although Hillman would eventually find his greatest success as a country artist (with the Desert Rose Band) it was the hard-rocking Have You Seen Her Face that was chosen to become his first track to be released as a single.

Artist:    Dinks
Title:    Nina-Kocka-Nina
Source:    Mono LP: Also Dug-Its (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Waddell/Bergman
Label:    Elektra (original label: Sully)
Year:    1965
    The Ragging Regattas were a fairly typical regional band from the early 1960s, playing mostly instrumental rock songs at venues throughout the Great Plains states of Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. In 1965 Ray Ruff, proprietor of Sully Records of Oklahoma City, hired the band to record a song he had co-written called Penny A Tear Drop. Ruff had recently relocated Sully to Texas, and the band ended up going to Amarillo to record the song. After spending several hours perfecting the tune, everyone realized they still needed a B side for the record, so the band members themselves quickly came up with a couple minutes of insanity (or maybe just inanity) they ended up calling Nina-Kocka-Nina (perhaps inspired by the Trashmen hit Surfin' Bird). The resulting recording was so unique they ended up making it the A side, and even changed their name to The Dinks to better fit the song itself. Ruff promoted the record heavily, taking out ads in various music industry publications, including one that contained a quote from none other than Bill Gavin, publisher of the Gavin Report and considered by many to be the most powerful man in radio. In the ad, Gavin called Nina-Kocka-Nina "My Personal Pick-Worst record I ever hear...people will buy it because they don't believe it". Whether many people actually did by Nina-Kocka-Nina is questionable, but in 2023 was included on an album called Also Dug-Its, a kind of addendum to Lenny Kaye's Nuggets collection that was included in the 50th anniversary edition of the original Nuggets album.

Artist:    London Souls
Title:    Old Country Road
Source:    CD: Here Come The Girls
Writer(s):    Neal/St. Hilaire
Label:    Feel/Round Hill
Year:    2015
    Despite the implications of their name, the London Souls were actually a New York City band that was formed in 2008 by guitarist Tash Neal and drummer Chris St. Hilaire. The two met as teenagers, jamming with friends in rehearsal rooms rented by the hour. After recording a 16-song demo in 2009 they released their first actual album, The London Souls, in 2011. The duo made their mark by applying a 21st century sensibility to psychedelic era and classic rock concepts, resulting in songs like The River. A second album, Here Come The Girls, was originally planned for a 2013 release, but was delayed until 2015 after Tash Neal was injured in a hit-and-run accident. Although they never officially disbanded, the London Souls have been inactive since 2018.

Artist:    Chesterfield Kings
Title:    Don't Blow Your Mind
Source:    Spanish 10" EP: Tripin Out
Writer(s):    Dunaway/Furnier
Label:    Impossible
Year:    1997
    Fans of 70s rock may recognize the names Dennis Dunaway and Vince Furnier, co-writers of the song Don't Blow Your Mind. The two of them were founding members of a band that originally called itself the Earwigs, quickly changing it to the Spiders to secure a gig with a club in Phoenix. They later tried calling themselves the Nazz before finally settling on the name they would make famous: Alice Cooper. As the Spiders they cut two singles, the second of which was Don't Blow Your Mind, released in 1966. Over thirty years later the Chesterfield Kings recorded a cover version of the song for a six-song EP called Tripin Out that was released in support of the band's Spanish Tour. As always, the Kings did the song justice.

Artist:    Splinterfish
Title:    Milo's Sunset
Source:    LP: Splinterfish
Writer(s):    Chuck Hawley
Label:    StreetSound
Year:    1989
    Albuquerque, NM, like most medium-sized cities, had a vibrant club scene throughout the rock and roll era, with many of these clubs featuring live music. Until the late 1980s, however, very few bands were able to find gigs performing their own material. This began to change, however, with the emergence of alternative bands such as Jerry's Kidz and F.O.R., and underground venues such as the Club REC and the refurbished El Rey theater. One of the best bands to emerge at this time was Splinter Fish. Formed by guitarist/vocalist Chuck Hawley in 1988, the band also featured Jeff Bracey on bass, former F.O.R. member Deb-O on vocals, and the prolific Zoom Crespin on drums. The group released one self-titled LP in 1989, which featured a strong set of tunes, including Milo's Sunset, a song somewhat reminiscent of the Beatles' Tomorrow Never Knows.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    Don't Bring Me Down
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    I originally bought the Animals Animalization album in early 1967 and immediately fell in love with the first song, Don't Bring Me Down. Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Don't Bring Me Down is one of the few songs written for the Animals by professional songwriters that lead vocalist Eric Burdon actually admitted he liked.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Somewhere They Can't Find Me
Source:    LP: Sounds Of Silence
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The first Simon And Garfunkel album, Wednesday Morning 3AM, was a fairly traditional type of folk LP. The album was originally released in late 1964, but due to lackluster sales was soon deleted from the Columbia catalog. In 1965 Paul Simon relocated to London, releasing a solo LP called the Paul Simon Songbook there. Before leaving the country, however, he and Art Garfunkel recorded two new songs in a more upbeat style. One of those two, We've Got A Groovey Thing Goin', was used as the B side for an electrified version of The Sound Of Silence, a tune from Wednesday Morning 3AM that was issued without the knowledge of either Simon or Garfunkel. The other song, Somewhere They Can't Find Me, was, lyrically, a reworking of the title track of Wednesday Morning 3AM, but with entirely new music inspired by a Davey Graham tune called Anji. It remained unreleased until 1966, when the duo reunited in early 1966 and quickly put together a new album, Sounds of Silence, to capitalize on the success of the unauthorized (but happily accepted) single. On the album itself, Somewhere They Can't Find Me is followed by Simon's cover of Anji.

Artist:     Donovan
Title:     Sunshine Superman
Source:     CD: Sunshine On The Mountain (originally released in edited form as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Donovan Leitch
Label:     Sony Music Special Products (original label: Epic)
Year:     1966
     Donovan's hugely successful Sunshine Superman is sometimes credited as being the tsunami that launched the wave of psychedelic music that washed over the shores of pop musicland in 1967. OK, I made that up, but the song really did change the direction of American pop as well as Donovan's own career. Originally released as a three and a quarter minute long single, the full unedited four and a half minute long stereo mix of the song heard here did not appear on vinyl until Donovan's 1969 Greatest Hits album.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Two Heads
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: After Bathing At Baxter's)
Writer(s):    Grace Slick
Label:    Sony Music (original US label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1967
    The third Jefferson Airplane album, After Bathing At Baxter's, saw the group moving in increasingly experimental directions, as Grace Slick's two contributions to the LP attest. The more accessible of the two was Two Heads, which was the first part of the fifth and final "suite" on the album.

Artist:    Canned Heat
Title:    Boogie Music
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Living The Blues and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    L.T.Tatman III
Label:    United Artists (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1968
    Canned Heat was formed in 1966 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area blues purists. Although a favorite on the rock scene, the band continued to remain true to the blues throughout its existence, even after relocating to the Laurel Canyon area near Los Angeles in 1968. The band's most popular single was Going Up the Country from the album Living the Blues. The B side of that single was another track from Living The Blues that actually had a longer running time on the single than on the album version. Although the single uses the same basic recording of Boogie Music as the album, it includes a short low-fidelity instrumental tacked onto the end of the song that sounds suspiciously like a 1920s recording of someone playing a melody similar to Going Up The Country on a fiddle. The only time this unique version of the song appeared in true stereo was on a 1969 United Artists compilation called Progressive Heavies that also featured tracks from Johnny Winter, Traffic, the Spencer Davis Group and others.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Subterranean Homesick Blues
Source:    Mono LP: Bringing It All Back Home
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Sundazed/Columbia
Year:    1965
    1965 was the year Bob Dylan went electric, and got his first top 40 hit, Subterranean Homesick Blues, in the process. Although the song, which also led off his Bringing It All Back Home album, stalled out in the lower 30s, it did pave the way for electrified cover versions of Dylan songs by the Byrds and Turtles and Dylan's own Like A Rolling Stone, which would revolutionize top 40 radio. A line from the song itself, "you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows", became the inspiration for a radical offshoot of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) that called itself the Weathermen (later the Weather Underground). My own favorite line from the song is "Don't follow leaders, watch the parkin' meters". Words to live by.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Tombstone Blues
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of The Original Mono Recordings (originally released on LP: Highway 61 Revisited)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1965
    One of the most influential albums in rock history was Bob Dylan's 1965 LP Highway 61 Revisited. Although he had experimented with adding electric guitar, bass and drums to some of the songs on his previous album, Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited was his first LP to feature electric instruments on every track. Of these, the most notable was probably the guitar work of Michael Bloomfield, who would soon come to prominence as lead guitarist for the Butterfield Blues Band. Bloomfield's work is most prominent on blues-based tracks such as Tombstone Blues, which follows the classic Like A Rolling Stone on side one of the original LP.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Bob Dylan's 115th Dream
Source:    Mono LP: Bringing It All Back Home
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Sundazed/Columbia
Year:    1965
    Bob Dylan presents a somewhat twisted parallel history of the United States on a six and a half minute long track called Bob Dylan's 115th Dream, from his 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home. The track itself starts off with a magical moment in which Dylan starts the song without realizing the rest of the band is deliberately doing nothing. After a bit of laughter he starts over and the band is right there with him. Fun stuff that is also about as compelling as it gets.
Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    How Many More Times
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Led Zeppelin)
Writer(s):    Page/Jones/Bonham
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1969
    Like many early Led Zeppelin songs, How Many More Times was originally credited to the band members (except, for contractual reasons, singer Robert Plant). More recent releases of the song, however, list Chester Burnett (Howlin' Wolf) as a co-writer, despite the fact that he and the members of Led Zeppelin had never met. This is because of the similarity, especially in the lyrics, to a 1951 Howlin' Wolf record called How Many More Years. The band reportedly tried to trick radio programmers into playing the eight and a half minute song by listing it on the album cover as being three minutes and thirty seconds long. I doubt anyone was fooled.

Artist:    Nazz
Title:    Open My Eyes
Source:    LP: Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Nazz)
Writer(s):    Todd Rundgren
Label:    Elektra (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).

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2419 (starts 5/6/24)

    It's another week of free-form rock, with some long instrumentals competing with some well-known  tunes with vocals (with a short instrumental and a longer track with vocals thrown in to confuse things).

Artist:      Blues Image
Title:     Pay My Dues
Source:      CD: Open
Writer(s):    Blues Image
Label:     Sundazed (original label: Atco)
Year:     1970
     When I first heard Blues Image's Ride Captain Ride on the radio I wasn't all that impressed with it. Then the local club I hung out at got it on the jukebox and people started playing the B side, a song called Pay My Dues. Then I went out and bought the album, Open. Yes, Pay My Dues is that good. As it turns out, so is the rest of the album. Even Ride Captain Ride sounds better now. Shows the latent power of a B side, doesn't it?

Artist:    Neil Young
Title:    Walk On
Source:    CD: On The Beach
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1974
    In 1972 Neil Young released his most successful album, Harvest. The following year he released no albums at all. Finally, in January of 1974, On The Beach was released. It was so different than Young's previous work that his fans did not know what to make of it. As a result, by the early 1980s the album was no longer available in any form, and did not appear on a CD until 2003. A few of the songs from the album were included on Young's 1977 triple-LP retrospective Decade however, including Walk On, probably the strongest track on the original album.    

Artist:    Bad Company
Title:    Good Lovin' Gone Bad
Source:    LP: Straight Shooter
Writer(s):    Mick Ralphs
Label:    Swan Song
Year:    1975
    It's been pointed out that Rockin' in the Days of Confusion doesn't feature a whole lot of tunes from the mid to late 1970s, so here is the first single from Bad Company's second LP, Straight Shooter. Good Lovin' Gone Bad was a moderate success as a single in 1975, making it to #36 on the US charts. It fared slightly better in the UK, hitting the #31 spot.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Immigrant Song
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Page/Plant
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1971
    Although the third Led Zeppelin album is known mostly for its surprising turn toward a more acoustic sound than its predecessors, the first single from that album actually rocked out as hard, if not harder, than any previous Zeppelin track. In fact, it could be argued that Immigrant Song rocks out harder than anything on top 40 radio before or since. Starting with a tape echo deliberately feeding on itself the song breaks into a basic riff built on two notes an octave apart, with Robert Plant's wailing vocals sounding almost like a siren call. Guitarist Jimmy Page soon breaks into a series of power chords that continue to build in intensity for the next two minutes, until the song abruptly stops cold. The lyrics of Immigrant Song were inspired by the band's trip to Iceland in 1970.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    One For John Gee
Source:    CD: This Was (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Mick Abrahams
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol
Year:    1968
    Ian Anderson, in his liner notes to the remastered version of Jethro Tull's 1968 debut album, This Was, credits BBC disc jockey John Peel and Marquee Club manager John Gee for their help in gaining an audience for the band in their early days. While making This Was the band recorded a tribute track, One For John Gee, that was not included on the original LP but is now available as a CD bonus track. The short instrumental was written by the band's original guitarist, Mick Abrahams, who left the group shortly after the release of This Was to form his own band, Blodwyn Pig.

Artist:    Chicago
Title:    Liberation
Source:    CD: The Chicago Transit Authority
Writer(s):    James Pankow
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    Liberation, the last track on the Chicago Transit Authority album, was recorded live in the studio in a single take. Stop and think about that for a minute. It was the first time they had ever, as a band, set foot in a recording studio.

Artist:    Delaney & Bonnie
Title:    Only You Know And I Know
Source:    British import LP: The New Age Of Atlantic (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dave Mason
Label:    Atlantic (original US label: Atco)
Year:    1971
    Dave Mason released Only You Know And I Know as the first single from his debut LP, Alone Together, in July of 1970. A live version of the song, however, had already appeared on the album On Tour With Eric Clapton by Delaney & Bonnie & Friends two months earlier, and it turned out that Delaney & Bonnie had recorded a studio version of the tune in 1969. That studio version of Only You Know And I Know was released as a single in 1971 and ended being a bigger hit for the husband and wife duo than it had for Mason himself. The song was included on their 1972 LP Country Life, but problems between the Bramletts led to Atlantic's Jerry Wexler recalling the album, terminating their contract and selling the master tapes to Columbia, which changed the song order and renamed the album D&B Together (ironic, considering they were in the process of breaking up). Atlantic did, however, include Only You Know And I Know on a British sampler LP called The New Age Of Atlantic in November of 1972, eight months after D&B Together was released in the US.

Artist:    Pentangle
Title:    Pentangling
Source:    LP: The Pentangle
Writer(s):    Cos/Jansch/McShea/Renbourne/Thompson
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    Once in a while an album comes along that is so consistently good that it's impossible to single out one specific track for airplay. Such is the case with the debut Pentangle album from 1968. The group combined the talents of guitarists John Renbourne and Bert Jansch, who were both already well-established among the British coffee-house crowd, as was vocalist Jacqui McShea. They were joined by bassist Terry Cox and drummer Danny Thompson, both of whom came from a jazz background. As a group, the Pentangle had more talent than nearly any band in history from any genre, yet never succumbed to the clash of egos that characterize most supergroups. Enjoy all seven minutes of Pentangling from their 1968 debut LP.

Artist:    Jeff Beck
Title:    Thelonius/Freeway Jam/Diamond Dust
Source:    CD: Blow By Blow
Writer(s):    Wonder/Middleton/Holland
Label:    Epic
Year:    1975
    Following the dissolution of Beck, Bogert And Appice in 1974, guitarist Jeff Beck, after doing session work for various bands, decided to work on his first entirely instrumental solo album. To help with the project he recruited keyboardist Max Middleton from the second Jeff Beck Group and hired George Martin to produce the album. Filling out the group instrumentally were bassist Phil Chen and drummer Richard Bailey. The songs on Blow By Blow have a tendency to run together, including the sequence of three tunes that end the album. The first of those three, Thelonius, is a tribute song written by Stevie Wonder (who also played clavinet on the track), while Freeway Jam is an easily recognizable tune from Middleton. The trilogy of tunes winds up with Diamond Dust, written (but not recorded) by Brian Holland, who had been Beck's backup guitarist in the second incarnation of the Jeff Beck Group and had gone on to become a founding member of a group called Hummingbird.