Sunday, June 2, 2024

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2423 (starts 6/3/24)

    From time to time Stuck in the Psychedelic Era features a Battle of the Bands between two (or sometimes three) popular groups from the late 1960s. This week, though, it's a battle of the singer/songwriters, as challenger George Harrison takes on Bob Dylan. As you will hear, it's not as lopsided as you might at first think. There are also a whole lot of returning favorites this week as well, although in a couple cases they sound just a touch different than the way you might remember them. And for those of you who keep track of such things, there are exactly eight songs in each of this week's four segments, including a set from the Animals in the first half hour and a Doors set to finish out the second hour.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Foxy Lady
Source:    Dutch import LP: The Singles (originally released on LP: Are You Experienced?)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Polydor (original UK label: Track)
Year:    1967
    The first track on the original UK release of Are You Experienced was Foxy Lady. The British custom of the time was to not include any songs on albums that had been previously released as singles. When Reprise Records got the rights to release the album in the US, it was decided to include three songs that had all been top 40 hits in the UK. One of those songs, Purple Haze, took over the opening spot on the album, and Foxy Lady was moved to the middle of side two of the original LP. The song was also released as a US-only single in 1967, but did not chart. Eventually a European single version of the song was released as well, albeit posthumously, warranting its inclusion on the Singles double-LP, released in Europe in the early 1980s.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Pictures Of Lily
Source:    Mono CD: The Who Sell Out (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    UMC/Polydor (original US label: Decca)
Year:    1967
    Pictures of Lily was the first single released by the Who in 1967. It hit the #4 spot on the British charts, but only made it to #51 in the US. This was nothing new for the Who, as several of their early singles, including Substitute, I Can't Explain and even My Generation hit the British top 10 without getting any US airplay (or chart action) at all.

Artist:    West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:    Tracy Had A Hard Day Sunday
Source:    LP: Volume II
Writer(s):    Markley/Harris
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    Once upon a time record producer Kim Fowley hired the Yardbirds to play a private Hollywood party. The Harris brothers, a pair of local art school students who had sent their homemade tapes to Fowley, were impressed by the band's musical abilities. Bob Markley, an almost-30-year-old hipster with a law degree and an inheritance was impressed with the band's ability to attract teenage girls. Fowley introduced the Harris brothers to Markley, who expressed a willingness to finance them in return for letting him be their new lead vocalist, and the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band was formed. Before it was all over the group had recorded five or six albums for at least three labels, churning out an eclectic mix of psychedelic tunes such as Tracy Had A Hard Day Sunday, which appeared on their second album for Reprise Records (their third LP overall), appropriately titled Volume II.

Artist:    Scott McKenzie
Title:    San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    John Phillips
Label:    Ode
Year:    1967
    Some people are of the opinion that Scott McKenzie's 1967 hit San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair was one of the primary factors that led to the decline of the San Francisco counter-culture, thanks to a massive influx of people into the area inspired by the song. I wasn't there, so I really can't say how much truth there is to it.

    Some people blame this next song as well...

Artist:    Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:    San Franciscan Nights
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1967
    In late 1966, after losing several original members over a period of about a year, the original Animals disbanded. Eric Burdon, after releasing one single as a solo artist (but using the Animals name), decided to form a "new" Animals, keeping only drummer Barry Jenkins from the previous lineup. After releasing a moderately successful single, When I Was Young, the new band appeared at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967. While in the area, the band fell in love with the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, during what came to be called the Summer Of Love. The first single to be released from their debut album, Winds Of Change, was a tribute to the city by the bay called San Franciscan Nights. Because of the topicality of the song's subject matter, San Franciscan Nights was not released in the UK as a single. Instead, the song Good Times (which was the US B side of the record), became the new group's biggest UK hit to date (and one of the Animals' biggest UK hits overall). Eventually San Franciscan Nights was released as a single in the UK as well (with a different B side) and ended up doing quite well.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (US version)
Source:    Mono LP: The Best Of The Animals (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mann/Weil
Label:    Abkco (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1965
    In 1965 producer Mickey Most put out a call to Don Kirschner's Brill building songwriters for material that could be recorded by the Animals. He ended up selecting three songs, all of which are among the Animals' most popular singles. Possibly the best-known of the three is a song written by the husband and wife team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil called We Gotta Get Out Of This Place. The song (the first Animals recording to featuring Dave Rowberry, who had replaced founder Alan Price on organ) starts off with what is probably Chas Chandler's best known bass line, slowly adding drums, vocals, guitar and finally keyboards on its way to an explosive chorus. The song was not originally intended for the Animals, however; it was written for the Righteous Brothers as a follow up to (You've Got That) Lovin' Feelin', which Mann and Weil had also provided for the duo. Mann, however, decided to record the song himself, but the Animals managed to get their version out first, taking it to the top 20 in the US and the top 5 in the UK. As the Vietnam war escalated, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place became a sort of underground anthem for US servicemen stationed in South Vietnam, and has been associated with that war ever since. Incidentally, there were actually two versions of We Gotta Get Out Of This Place recorded during the same recording session, with an alternate take accidentally being sent to M-G-M and subsequently being released as the US version of the single. This version (which some collectors and fans maintain has a stronger vocal track) appeared on the US-only LP Animal Tracks in the fall of 1965 as well as the original M-G-M pressings of the 1966 album Best Of The Animals. The original UK version, on the other hand, did not appear on any albums, as was common for British singles in the 1960s. By the 1980s record mogul Allen Klein had control of the original Animals' entire catalog, and decreed that all CD reissues of the song would use the original British version of the song, including the updated (and expanded) CD version of The Best Of The Animals. This expanded version of the album had first appeared on the ABKCO label in 1973, but with the American, rather than the British, version of We Gotta Get Out Of This Place. Luckily I have a copy of that LP, which is where this track was taken from. It's not in the best of shape, but it's worth putting up with a few scratches to hear the song the way the troops heard it back in '65.

Artist:    Eric Burdon And The Animals
Title:    Good Times
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1967
    By the end of the original Animals' run they were having greater chart success with their singles in the US than in their native UK. That trend continued with the formation of the "new" Animals in 1967 and their first single, When I Was Young. Shortly after the first LP by the band now known as Eric Burdon And The Animals came out, M-G-M decided to release the song San Franciscan Nights as a single to take advantage of the massive youth migration to the city that summer. Meanwhile the band's British label decided to instead issue Good Times, (an autobiographical song which was released in the US as the B side to San Franciscan Nights) as a single, and the band ended up with one of their biggest UK hits ever. Riding the wave of success of Good Times, San Franciscan Nights eventually did get released in the UK and was a hit there as well.

Artist:    The Craig
Title:    I Must Be Mad
Source:    CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Geoff Brown
Label:    Rhino (original label: Fontana)
Year:    1966
    The Craig hailed from Birmingham, the UK's second-largest city. Led by vocalist/songwriter Geoff Brown, the band also included guitarist Richard Pannell, bassist Len Cox and drummer Carl Palmer. They signed with Fontana in 1966 and released two singles. The first was a beat version of the 1961 Jarmels hit A Little Bit Of Soap, but it is the second one that the group is best remembered for. The band had gone into the studio with a Brown original called Suspense that was intended to be the A side. Their producer, Larry Page, asked the band if they had any other songs they could record, and they responded by playing a song that Brown had recently written called I Must Be Mad. Page had the tape running and ended up making it the A side. The song features some thunderous drum work from the then 16-year-old Palmer, who would go on to greater fame as one third of the prog-rock trio Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Artist:    Guilloteens
Title:    For My Own
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bruell/Paul/Hutcherson/Davis
Label:    Rhino (original label: Hanna-Barbera)
Year:    1965
    Sometimes you don't quite end up where you expected to. The Guilloteens were a band from Memphis, Tennessee, who relocated to Los Angeles in the hopes of hitting the big time. At first it looked like things might just work out for the group, especially when Phil Spector himself took an interest in their music. Then their path took a strange turn when their manager instead got them a contract with the new Hanna-Barbera label being started by the successful animation team. As one of the band members put it: "We went from the wall of sound to Huckleberry Hound." The result was the single For My Own, released in 1965.

Artist:    Standells
Title:    Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Ed Cobb
Label:    Tower
Year:    1966
    The Standells were probably the most successful band to record for the Tower label (not counting Pink Floyd, whose first LP was issued, in modified form, on the label after being recorded in England). Besides their big hit Dirty Water, they hit the charts with other tunes such as Why Pick On Me, Try It, and the punk classic Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White. Both Good Guys and Dirty Water were written by producer Ed Cobb, who has to be considered the most prolific punk-rock songwriter of the 60s, having also written songs for the "E" Types and Chocolate Watchband (both of which he also produced).

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

Artist:    Crosby, Stills and Nash
Title:    Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Source:    Crosby, Stills and Nash
Writer:    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    After the demise of Buffalo Springfield, Stephen Stills headed for New York, where he worked with Al Kooper on the Super Session album and recorded several demo tapes of his own, including a new song called Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (reportedly written for his then-girlfriend Judy Collins). After his stint in New York he returned to California, where he started hanging out in the Laurel Canyon home of David Crosby, who had been fired from the Byrds in 1967. Crosby's house at that time was generally filled with a variety of people coming and going, and Crosby and Stills soon found themselves doing improvised harmonies on each other's material in front of a friendly, if somewhat stoned, audience. It was not long before they invited Graham Nash, whom they heard had been having problems of his own with his bandmates in the Hollies, to come join them in Laurel Canyon. The three soon began recording together, and in 1969 released the album Crosby, Stills and Nash. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes was chosen as the opening track for the new album and was later released (in edited form) as a single. About a week after the song had been recorded Dallas Taylor overdubbed a drum track for the song that was ultimately left off the album. That version finally became available in 1991 as part of the CSN box set, although engineer Bill Halverson insists that the original album version is superior to the version with drums.

Artist:    Pleasure Seekers
Title:    What A Way To Die
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Dave Leone
Label:    Elektra (original label: Hideout)
Year:    1966
    One of the first all-female bands that played their own instruments in rock (and almost certainly the first in Detroit) was the Pleasure Seekers. Formed by then 16-year-old Patti Quatro and her 14-year-old sister Suzie, they were soon joined by the Ball sisters, Nancy and Mary Lou, and pianist Diane Baker. Brashly claiming they could play better than any of the bands currently appearing at the Hideout, the local teen night club, Patti convinced the club's owner Dave Leone, to give them a tryout. They soon became regulars and began to build a local reputation, which in turn led to the release of their first single on Leone's Hideout label. The B side of that single, What A Way To Die, features Suzie Quatro on lead vocals, and was covered by the Mummies in the 1988 cult film Blood Orgy of the Leather Girls.

Artist:    Cuby And The Blizzards
Title:    Your Body Not Your Soul
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in the Netherlands as 45 RPM single B side and included on LP: Desolation)
Writer(s):    Muskee/Gelling
Label:    Rhino (original label: Philips)
Year:    1966
    In the Netherlands it was a given that if you wanted to hear some live blues you needed to check out Cuby And The Blizzards. Led by vocalist Harry "Cuby" Muskee and lead guitarist Eelco Gelling, C+B, as they were known to their fans, had been in a couple of local bands as early as 1962, but had made a decision to abandon rock 'n' roll for a more blues/R&B approach in 1964. After cutting a single for the small CNR label in 1965, C+B signed a long-term contract with Philips the following year. Your Body Not Your Soul, the B side of their first single for the label, shows the influence of British blues/R&B bands such as the Pretty Things and the Animals. The group hit the Dutch top 40 nine times between 1967 and 1971, and released several well received albums as well.

Artist:    Surfaris
Title:    Wipe Out (2nd version)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Berryhill/Connolly/Fuller/Wilson
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1966
    Wipe Out is generally considered one of the all-time greatest rock and roll instrumentals, having hit the top 20 on more than one occasion. Ironically, the track was originally considered a throwaway, recorded quickly as a B side to the Surfaris 1962 recording of Surfer Joe. Although Surfer Joe eventually charted, it was Wipe Out that got the most airplay, going all the way to the #2 spot in 1963 and then recharting in 1966, hitting the #16 spot (it also bubbled under the Hot 100 in 1970). The song was originally released on the tiny DFS label in January of 1963 and the reissued on the Princess label the following month. In April, Dot Records picked up the record for national distribution. Surfer Joe was still considered the A side for the DFS and Princess releases, but by the time Dot got ahold of the rights it was obvious that Wipe Out was the real hit. Not long after that the Surfaris signed a long term contract with the Decca label, releasing several singles, albums and EPs for the label over the next three years. In April of 1965 Dot reissued the original version of Wipe Out, but it did not hit the charts until they reissued it a second time in June of 1966, at which time it climbed up to the #16 spot. In response, the Surfaris recorded a new version of the tune for Decca, releasing it in August of 1966, but radio stations continued to play the original Dot version with its maniacal laugh and spoken "wipe out" from manager Dale Smallin. To this day, Wipe Out is the song of choice for tabletop (or countertop or just about any flat surface) drummers all over the world.

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

Artist:     Bob Dylan
Title:     Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35
Source:     Austrian import CD: Blonde On Blonde
Writer:     Bob Dylan
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1966
     Some of the best rock and roll songs of 1966 were banned on a number of stations for being about either sex or drugs. Most artists that recorded those songs claimed they were about something else altogether. In the case of Bob Dylan's Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35, "stoned" refers to a rather unpleasant form of execution (at least according to Dylan). On the other hand, Dylan himself was reportedly quite stoned while recording the song, having passed a few doobies around before starting the tape rolling. Sometimes I think ambiguities like this are why English has become the dominant language of commerce on the planet.

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

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Positively 4th Street
Source:    CD: Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Recorded during the same 1965 sessions that produced the classic Highway 61 Revisited album, Positively 4th Street was deliberately held back for release as a single later that year. The stereo mix of the song was not issued until the first Dylan Greatest Hits album was released in 1967.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Love You To
Source:    LP: Revolver
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple/Capitol/EMI)
Year:    1966
    Following the release of Rubber Soul in December of 1965, the Beatles' George Harrison began to make a serious effort to learn to play the sitar, studying under the master, Ravi Shankar. Along with the instrument itself, Harrison studied Eastern forms of music. His first song written in the modal form favored by Indian composers was Love You To, from the Revolver album. The recording also features Indian percussion instruments and suitably spiritual lyrics.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    From A Buick 6
Source:    45 RPM single B side (promo copy)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Although there were several unissued recordings made during the Highway 61 Revisited sessions, Bob Dylan and his producer, Tom Wilson, chose to instead use one of the already released album tracks as the B side for Positively 4th Street in September of 1965. The chosen track was From A Buick 6, a song that is vintage Dylan through and through.
Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Within You Without You
Source:    CD: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    George Harrison began to take an interest in the Sitar as early as 1965. By 1966 he had become proficient enough on the Indian instrument to compose and record Love You To for the Revolver album. He followed that up with perhaps his most popular sitar-based track, Within You Without You, which opens side two of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Harrison would record one more similarly-styled song, The Inner Light, in 1968, before deciding that he was never going to be in the same league as Ravi Shankar, whom Harrison had become friends with by that time. For the remainder of his time with the Beatles Harrison would concentrate on his guitar work and songwriting skills, resulting in classic songs such as While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Something and Here Comes The Sun.

Artist:    Mick Jagger
Title:    Memo From Turner
Source:    CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: Decca)
Year:    1970
    Technically speaking, Memo From Turner is not a Rolling Stones song at all, since none of the instruments on the track are played by members of the band. Originally released in
England, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand as a single by Mick Jagger in 1970, the tune was taken from the film Performance, in which Jagger plays a performer named Turner. Despite bing recorded in Hollywood, the track was not made available in the US until 1989, when it appeared on Singles Collection: The London Years, which was a shame, as it features some nice slide guitar work from Ry Cooder, who, although already highly respected in the musicians' community at the time, could have really used the added mainstream exposure.

Artist:    Jeff Beck
Title:    Tallyman
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Graham Gouldman
Label:    Sundazed/Epic
Year:    1967
    Mickey Most (born Michael Peter Hayes) was a British record producer who was responsible for some of the biggest hits of the British Invasion, working with bands like the Animals and Herman's Hermits, as well as individual artists like Donovan and Lulu. In most instances he chose the songs himself for the bands to record, something that did not sit well with Eric Burdon of the Animals in particular. Nonetheless, he had the reputation as the man to go to for the best chance of getting on the charts and he rarely disappointed. In 1967, guitarist Jeff Beck, having recently left the Yardbirds, had dreams of becoming a pop star, and turned to Most for help in making it happen. Most, as usual, picked out the songs for Beck's first two singles, the second of which was Tallyman, a song written by the same Graham Gouldman that had provided the Yardbirds with their first Beck era hit, Heart Full Of Soul. Beck would continue to work with Most for the next couple of years, although by the time the album Beck-Ola was released, Beck himself was choosing the material to record and starting with his next LP, Rough And Ready, would be producing his own records.
Artist:    Chocolate Watch Band
Title:    Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In) (originally released on LP: No Way Out and as 45 RPM single)
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk
Writer:    McElroy/Bennett
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    It took me several years to sort out the convoluted truth behind the recorded works of San Jose, California's most popular local band, the Chocolate Watch Band. While it's true that much of what was released under their name was in fact the work of studio musicians, there are a few tracks that are indeed the product of Dave Aguilar and company. Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In), a song used in the cheapie teenspliotation flick the Love-In and included on the Watch Band's first album, is one of those few. Ironically, the song was co-written by Don Bennett, the studio vocalist whose voice was substituted for Aguilar's on a couple of other songs from the same album. According to legend, the band actually showed up at the movie studio without any songs prepared for the film, and learned to play and sing Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In) right there on the set. This, combined with the story of their first visit to a recording studio the previous year (a story for another time) shows one of the Watch Band's greatest strengths: the ability to pick up and perfect new material faster than anyone else. It also shows their overall disinterest in the recording process. This was a band that wanted nothing more than to play live, often outperforming the big name bands they opened for.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds
Source:    CD: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s):    Marty Balin
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1967
    Marty Balin says he came up with the title of the opening track of side two of Jefferson Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow album by combining a couple of random phrases from the sports section of a newspaper. 3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds works out to 216 MPH, by the way.

Artist:    Amboy Dukes
Title:    Baby Please Don't Go
Source:    CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released on LP: The Amboy Dukes)
Writer(s):    Joe Williams
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
            The Amboy Dukes were a garage supergroup formed by guitarist Ted Nugent, a Chicago native who had heard that Bob Shad, head of jazz-oriented Mainstream Records, was looking for rock bands to sign to the label. Nugent relocated to Detroit in 1967, where he recruited vocalist John Drake, guitarist Steve Farmer, organist Rick Lober, bassist Bill White and drummer Dave Palmer, all of whom had been members of various local bands. The Dukes' self-titled debut LP was released in November of 1967. In addition to seven original pieces, the album included a handful of cover songs, the best of which was their rocked out version of the old Joe Williams tune Baby Please Don't Go. The song was released as a single in January of 1968, where it got a decent amount of airplay in the Detroit area, and was ultimately chosen by Lenny Kaye for inclusion on the original Nuggets compilation album, although, unlike with the rest of the tracks on that first Nuggets collection, Kaye chose to use the longer album version of Baby Please Don't Go.
Artist:    New Dawn
Title:    Slave Of Desire
Source:    British import CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Leonti/Supnet
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
    New Dawn, from the small town of Morgan Hill, California (a few miles south of San Jose), was not really a band. Rather, it was a trio of singer/songwriters who utilized the services of various local bands for live performances and studio musicians for their recordings. Schoolmates Tony Supnet, who also played guitar, Mike Leonti and Donnie Hill formed the group in 1961, originally calling themselves the Countdowns. They released a pair of singles on the local Link label, the second of which was recorded at San Francisco's Golden State Recorders. It was around that time that Bob Shad, owner of Mainstream Records, was in the Bay Area on a talent search. Shad was holding his auditions at Golden State, giving bands that had already recorded there an automatic in. Shad was impressed enough to offer the trio a contract, which resulted in a pair of singles using the name New Dawn. Although most of the group's material could best be described as light pop, the B side of the second single, a tune called Slave Of Desire, was much grittier. Leonti is the lead vocalist on the track, which, like the group's other recordings, utilized the talents of local studio musicians.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Unhappy Girl
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer:    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    After the success of their first album and the single Light My Fire in early 1967, the Doors quickly returned to the studio, releasing a second LP, Strange Days, later the same year. The first single released from the new album was People Are Strange. The B side of that single was Unhappy Girl, from the same album. Both sides got played on the jukebox at a place called the Woog in the village of Meisenbach near Ramstein Air Force Base (which is where I was spending most of my evenings that autumn).

Artist:    Doors
Title:    I Looked At You
Source:    CD: The Doors
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    The first Doors album took about a week to make, and was made up of songs that the band had been performing live as the house band at the Whisky-A-Go-Go in the summer of 1966, including the dance floor friendly I Looked At You. Like all the songs on the first few Doors albums, I Looked At You is credited to the entire band.

Artist:     Doors
Title:     People Are Strange
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     The Doors
Label:     Elektra
Year:     1967
    People Are Strange, the first single from the Doors' second LP, Strange Days, was also the shortest song on the album, barely breaking the two minute mark at a time when songs were getting longer and longer.

No comments:

Post a Comment