Saturday, July 13, 2024

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2429 (starts 7/15/24)

    They say that opposites attract. That may be so, but as illustrated in a battle of the bands on this week's edition of Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, they don't attract the same audience. These two groups actually tried touring together (at the request of the headliners), but after just three gigs went their separate ways. When you hear who they are in our second hour, you'll understand why. There's lots of other good stuff this week as well, including a seldom heard Bob Dylan non-album single release from 1965 and a tune from the original 1967 Off-Broadway production of the musical Hair.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Midnight Rambler
Source:    LP: Let It Bleed
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1969
    1969 was, with a couple of rather significant exceptions, a good year for the Rolling Stones. Their Beggar's Banquet album, released late in 1968, had reestablished them as one of the world's premier rock bands, and their first single of 1969, Honky Tonk Women, was nothing short of a masterpiece. The song had introduced Stones fans to the band's newest member, Mick Taylor, who had replaced Brian Jones, who had left the band he founded just a few weeks before he was found dead in his swimming pool (the first of those exceptions) on the very night that Honky Tonk Women was recorded. The timing of it all gave fuel to all kinds of conspiracy theories, of course, but the band itself was already hard at work on what would be their final album for the British Decca label (and it's US counterpart, London) before starting their own label. One of the most enduring tracks on Let It Bleed was Midnight Rambler, which would become a staple of the band's live performances for years to come. That other previously mentioned huge exception, incidentally, was the infamous Altamont Speedway Free Festival, which Rolling Stone magazine later called  "rock and roll's all-time worst day, December 6th, a day when everything went perfectly wrong."

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Meadowlands
Source:    CD: Volunteers
Writer(s):    Lev Knipper
Label:    BMG/RCA
Year:    1969
    One of the most unexpected tracks on the fifth Jefferson Airplane album, Volunteers, was a one-minute instrumental version of a Russian tune written in 1933 played entirely on keyboards by guitarist Jorma Kaukonen with very faint sounds of what sounds like street vendors off in the right channel. I still haven't figured out exactly why it was included on the album.

Artist:    Peter Howell & John Ferdinando
Title:    Jabberwocky
Source:    Mono British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution (originally released on LP: Alice Through The Looking Glass)
Writer(s):    Carroll/Howell
Label:    Grapefruit (original label: Sound News Productions)
Year:    1969
    Once upon a time, somewhere south of London, there was (and still is) a village called Ditchling. This village was home to a theatre group known as the Ditchling Players. In 1968 the Ditchling Players decided to put on an ambitious adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Through The Looking Glass. In addition to elaborate costumes and stage props, the production used original music provided by two local teenagers, Peter Howell and John Ferdinando. The two had played together in various amateur bands since the pre-Beatle days and Howell, in particular, had taken an interest in the recording process. Using a primitive version of track bouncing, the two composed complex musical pieces that were soon collected for a soundtrack album. Only 50 copies of the album were made, most of which were sold to members of the Ditchling Players themselves, along with interested audience members. In addition to the music from the stage production, the album included four "bonus" tracks based on the same concept. One of those was Jabberwocky, which combines music by Howell with Carroll's words. Howell would eventually become known for his work on Doctor Who as a member of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop from 1974-1997.
Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Unlike Positively 4th Street, which used the same musicians that played on Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited album, Bob Dylan's December 1965 single Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window features a backing track by the Hawks, who would go on to be Dylan's tour band and later become famous in their own right as...The Band. The mono non-album track was not made available in any other form until 1978, when it appeared on a compilation called Masterpieces. An extended stereo mix of Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window was finally released in 2015, on the limited Collector's Edition of The Bootleg Series Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965–1966. Although most sources say the song was recorded on November 30, 1965, there is a problem with that date, since a Long Island band called the Vacels had released their own version of the song on the Kama Sutra label in October of that year; hardly possible with a song that Dylan had not yet recorded himself, unless they had somehow laid hands on a demo of the song that has never surfaced.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Nowhere Man
Source:    CD: Rubber Soul (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1965
    The original UK version of Rubber Soul, released in December 1965, had several songs that were left off the shorter US version. In the case of Nowhere Man, it was because Capitol Records decided to hold back the song for release as a single in early 1966. Although Nowhere Man was one of the most popular songs of the year in the US, the song was never released as a single in the UK.

Artist:    Standells
Title:    Dirty Water
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Ed Cobb
Label:    Elektra (original label: Tower)
Year:    1965
    Dirty Water has long since been adopted by the city of Boston (and especially its sports teams), yet the band that originally recorded this Ed Cobb tune was purely an L.A. band, having started off playing cover tunes for frat parties in the early 60s. Drummer Dickie Dodd, who sings lead on Dirty Water, was a former Mouseketeer who had played on the surf-rock hit Mr. Moto as a member of the Bel-Airs.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine
Source:    LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    While not as commercially successful as the Jefferson Airplane or as long-lived as the Grateful Dead (there's an oxymoron for ya), Country Joe and the Fish may well be the most accurate musical representation of what the whole Haight-Ashbury scene was about, which is itself ironic, since the band operated out of Berkeley on the other side of the bay. Of all the tracks on their first album, Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine probably got the most airplay on various underground radio stations that were popping up on the FM dial at the time (some of them even legally).

Artist:    "Hair" Original Off-Broadway Cast
Title:    Aquarius
Source:    LP: New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater Presents Hair - An American Tribal Love-Rock Musical
Writer(s):    Ragni/Rado/MacDermott
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1967
    Two years before Hair became a national phenomena, RCA Victor released the original Off-Broadway version of The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, with a significantly different cast than the more popular Broadway version. The songs were a bit different as well, with several of the later additions, such as Let The Sunshine In, not yet part of the Off-Broadway production. The song Aquarius, which opens the show in the Broadway version, comes much later on the original 1967 Off-Broadway soundtrack album, and is sung by the entire company rather than vocalist Ronnie Dyson, who joined the cast in 1968.

Artist:     Flock
Title:     Tired Of Waiting For You
Source:     German import LP: Underground '70 (originally released on LP: The Flock)
Writer:     Ray Davies
Label:     CBS (original label: Columbia)
Year:     1969
     The Flock was one of those bands that made an impression on those who heard them perform but somehow were never able to turn that into massive record sales. Still, they left a pair of excellent LPs for posterity. The most notable track from the first album was their cover of the 1965 Kinks hit Tired Of Waiting For You, featuring solos at the beginning and end of the song from violinist Jerry Goodwin, who would go on to become a charter member of John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra a couple years later.

Artist:    Blue Cheer
Title:    Summertime Blues
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Vincebus Eruptum)
Writer:    Cochrane/Capehart
Label:    Rhino (original label: Philips)
Year:    1968
    If 1967 was the summer of love, then 1968 was the summer it all went straight to hell. 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 of its time.

Artist:     Electric Prunes
Title:     Are You Lovin' Me More (But Enjoying It Less)
Source:     45 RPM single B side
Writer:     Tucker/Mantz
Label:     Reprise
Year:     1967
     For a follow-up to the hit single I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), producer Dave Hassinger chose another Annette Tucker song (co-written by Jill Jones) called Get Me To The World On Time. This was probably the best choice from the album tracks available, but Hassinger may have made a mistake by choosing Are You Lovin' Me More (But Enjoying It Less) as the B side. That song, written by the same Tucker/Mantz team that wrote I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) could quite possibly been a hit single in its own right if it had been issued as an A side. I guess we'll never know for sure.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Over Under Sideways Down
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Dreja/Relf/Samwell-Smith/McCarty/Beck
Label:    Epic
Year:    1966
     The only Yardbirds album to feature primarily original material was released under different titles in different parts of the world. The original UK version was called simply The Yardbirds, while the US album bore the Over Under Sideways Down title. In addition, the UK album was unofficially known as Roger the Engineer because of band member Chris Dreja's drawing of the band's recording engineer on the cover. The title cut was the last single to feature Jeff Beck as the band's sole lead guitarist (the follow-up single, Happenings Ten Years Time Ago, featured both Beck and new member Jimmy Page).

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Tripmaker
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: A Web Of Sound)
Writer(s):    Tybalt/Hooper
Label:    Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1966
     Although the second Seeds album, A Web Of Sound, came out in both stereo and mono versions, there are very few copies of the mono version in existence, let alone in playable condition. Apparently Rhino Records has access to one of them, allowing them to use this mono mix of Tripmaker, showing the advantages of being a record label that started off as a record store.
Artist:    Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:    Monterey
Source:    CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Twain Shall Meet)
Writer:    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1968
    One of the first appearances of the New Animals on stage was at the Monterey International Pop Festival. The experience so impressed the group that they wrote a song about it. The song was issued both as a single and on the LP The Twain Shall Meet. The single used a mono mix; the LP version, while in stereo, was overlapped at both the beginning and end by adjoining tracks, and was missing the first few seconds of the single version. The version used here was created by splicing the mono intro onto the stereo main portion of the song, fading out at the end a bit early to avoid the overlap from the LP. This process (called making a "cut down") was first done by a company called Drake-Chenault, which supplied tapes to radio stations using the most pristine stereo versions of songs available. Whether M-G-M, which included Monterey on The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals Volume 2, used the Drake-Chenault version or did the cut down itself, the result is the same.

Artist:     Beacon Street Union
Title:     The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens
Source:     LP: The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens
Writer(s):    Ulaky/Wright
Label:    M-G-M
Year:     1968
    While the first Beacon Street Union album is considered a psychedelic masterpiece, the followup LP, The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens, has a decidedly different feel to it. Some of this is attributable to a change in producer from Tom Wilson, whose work with Bob Dylan, the  Mothers of Invention and others is legendary, to Wes Farrell, whose greatest success would come producing the Partridge Family in the early 1970s. Farrell used strings extensively to create a noticably more mainstream pop sound, as can be heard on the album's title track.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Turn! Turn! Turn!
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Turn! Turn! Turn!)
Writer(s):    Pete Seeger
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1965
    After their success covering Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man, the Byrds turned to an even more revered songwriter: the legendary Pete Seeger. Turn! Turn! Turn!, with lyrics adapted from the book of Ecclesiastes, was first recorded by Seeger in the early 60s, nearly three years after he wrote the song.
Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Peter Gunn's Gun
Source:    CD: Headquarters (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Henry Mancini
Label:    Rhino
Year:    1967
    Sometimes you just gotta cut loose and do something silly. Sometimes you even do something silly in a situation where someone can see or hear you. And if you happen to be in a recording studio, sometimes you do something silly with the tape rolling. Such is the case with the Monkees goofing on Henry Mancini's Peter Gunn theme. I can remember doing the same kind of thing with my first band, except three of us had to share an amplifier and the drummer was using a set of toy drums. And we didn't tape it. I do have a cassette tape of one my 80s bands doing the same thing; in this case however we actually had real instruments, amps and toys to play with. And no, I don't have any intention of playing it on the air, but if you really want to hear it that bad contact me through and I might be persuaded to send you a link to an MP3 copy.

Artist:     Jimi Hendrix Experience (Mk II)
Title:     Stepping Stone
Source:     CD: First Rays of the New Rising Sun (originally released on LP: War Heroes)
Writer:     Jimi Hendrix
Label:     MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1970
     The last single released by Jimi Hendrix (with bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles as Hendrix Band Of Gypsys) during his lifetime was Stepping Stone, recorded in February of 1970 and released two months later. In June, Hendrix and drummer Mitch Mitchell recorded new instrumental parts for inclusion on Hendrix's new double LP, tentatively titled First Rays Of The New Rising Sun. Hendrix's death on Sept 16, 1970 sidetracked the double LP until it was finally finished by Mitchell and engineer Eddie Kramer in 1997 and released on CD. Meanwhile the revised version of Stepping Stone was included on 1972's War Heroes LP, as well as on other collections over the years.  

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Your Auntie Grizelda
Source:    CD: More Of The Monkees
Writer(s):    Hilderbrand/Keller
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1967
    Despite being, in the words of bandmate Michael Nesmith, the best musician in the Monkees, Peter Tork had very little to do on the band's second LP, More of the Monkees. This was mostly because Don Kirschner, the music director for the Monkees project, did pretty much what he wanted with little regard for the wishes of the band members themselves. In fact, when More of the Monkees was released in January of 1967, the band members were unaware of the album's existence. Since Kirschner's policy was to use studio musicians exclusively for the instrumental parts, Tork was left with a few backup vocals and one track, Your Auntie Grizelda, that he sang lead on. The song was played for laughs, as Tork was generally portrayed as the goofy guy in the group on the Monkees TV show. This lack of respect would soon change, however, as a Tork composition would end up being used as the show's closing theme for the second and final season, and Tork himself would be featured playing a variety of instruments on subsequent Monkees records following Kirschner's dismissal.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Foxy Lady
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    The US and UK versions of the Are You Experienced differed considerably. For one thing, three songs that had been previously released as singles in the UK (where single tracks and albums were mutually exclusive) were added to the US version of the album, replacing UK album tracks. Another rather significant difference is that the UK version of the album was originally issued only in mono. When the 4-track master tapes arrived in the US, engineers at Reprise Records created new stereo mixes of all the songs, including Foxy Lady, which had led off the UK version of Are You Experience but had been moved to a spot near the end of side two on the US album. The original mono single mix of Foxy Lady, meanwhile, was issued as a single in the US, despite the song being only available as an album track in the UK.
Artist:     Monkees
Title:     Mr. Webster
Source:     CD: Headquarters
Writer:     Boyce/Hart
Label:     Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:     1967
     After scathing criticism from the rock press for not playing their own instruments, the Monkees were determined to show that they could do it themselves with their third LP, Headquarters. One of the better, yet often overlooked tracks is Mr. Webster, a folk-rock song about an underappreciated bank security guard who decides to determine his own retirement bonus. Although their musicianship was nowhere near being on a level with the studio musicians who had played on their first two albums, the Monkees, in the words of Peter Tork, finally felt like a "real band". Unfortunately the damage to their reputations was already past the point of redemption, and subsequent LPs all used studio musicians, albeit under the direct supervision of the Monkees themselves.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix
Title:    Belly Button Window
Source:    CD: First Rays Of The New Rising Sun (originally released on LP: The Cry Of Love)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1971
                Following the death of Jimi Hendrix, Reprise Records got to work compiling tracks for The Cry Of Love, the first of many posthumous Hendrix albums released by the label. The final track on the LP was an unfinished piece called Belly Button Window that featured Hendrix on vocals and electric guitar, with no other musicians appearing on the track. In the late 1990s the Hendrix family released a CD called First Rays Of The New Rising Sun that was based on Hendrix's own plans for a double-length album that he was working on at the time of his death. First Rays Of The New Rising Sun ends with the same bare bones recording of Belly Button Window that was used on The Cry Of Love.

Artist:     Them
Title:     I'm Your Witch Doctor
Source:     British import CD: Now and Them
Writer(s):    John Mayall
Label:     Rev-Ola (original US label: Tower)
Year:     1968
     Them's version of I'm Your Witch Doctor is an oddity: a pyschedelicized version of a John Mayall song by Van Morrison's old band with a new vocalist (Kenny McDowell). Just to make it even odder we have sound effects at the beginning of the song that were obviously added after the fact by the producer (and not done particularly well at that). But then, what else would you expect from the label that put out an LP by a band that didn't even participate in the recording of half the tracks on the album (Chocolate Watchband's No Way Out), a song about a city that none of the band members had even been to (the Standells' Dirty Water), and soundtrack albums to films like Wild In the Streets, Riot On Sunset Strip and The Love In? Let's hear it for Tower, the American International of the record industry!

Artist:    Tim Rose
Title:    Hey Joe (You Shot Your Woman Down)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Billy Roberts
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The folk music revival of the late 50s and early 60s is generally thought of as an East Coast phenomena, centered in the coffee houses of cities such as New York, Boston and Philadelphia. California, though, had its share of folk music artists, especially in the San Francisco area, where the beatniks espoused a Bohemian lifestyle that would pave the way for the Hippy movement centered in the city's Haight-Ashbury district. Among the California folkies were Billy Roberts, who copyrighted the song Hey Joe in 1962, and Tim Rose, who (along with the Music Machine's Sean Bonniwell) came up with a slower version of the song. Rose's version, released as a single in mid-1966, got considerable airplay on San Francisco radio stations and was the inspiration for the more famous Jimi Hendrix version of the song that made the British top 10 toward the end of the year. Rose's version was not widely available until 1967, when his debut LP for Columbia was released. By then, however, the Hendrix version was all over the progressive FM airwaves in the US, and the Rose version (now in stereo) remained for the most part unheard.

Artist:     Shadows of Knight
Title:     Dark Side
Source:     CD: Dark Sides
Writer:     Rogers/Sohns
Label:     Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year:     1966
     Dark Side, written by guitarist Warren Rogers and singer Jim Sohns, is probably the quintessential Shadows of Knight song. It has all the classic elements of a garage rock song: three chords, a blues beat and lots of attitude. Oh, and the lyrics "I love you baby more than birds love the sky". What more can you ask for? Backup vocals, barely on key? Yeah, it's got those too.

Artist:    Love
Title:    My Flash On You
Source:    Mono CD: Love Story (originally released on LP: Love)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1966
    Sounding a bit like the fast version of Hey Joe (which was also on Love's debut LP), My Flash On You is essentially Arthur Lee in garage mode. A punk classic.

Artist:    Janis Ian
Title:    Society's Child (Baby I've Been Thinking)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Janis Ian
Label:    Verve Folkways
Year:    1966
    Janis Ian began writing Society's Child, using the title Baby I've Been Thinking, when she was 13 years old, finishing it shortly after her 14th birthday. She shopped it around to several record labels before finally finding one willing to take a chance on the controversial song about interracial dating. The record was released in September of 1966 by M-G-M subsidiary Verve Folkways, a label whose roster included Dave Van Ronk, Laura Nyro and the Blues Project, among others. Despite being banned on several radio stations the song became a major hit when re-released the following year after being featured on an April 1967 Leonard Bernstein TV special. Ian had problems maintaining a balance between her performing career and being a student which ultimately led to her dropping out of high school. She would eventually get her career back on track in the mid-70s, scoring another major hit with At Seventeen, and becoming somewhat of a heroine to the feminist movement.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    A Most Peculiar Man
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released on LP: Sounds Of Silence)
Writer:    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    You would think that a high school on a US military facility would be inclined to use the most staunchly traditional teaching methods known to mankind. Surprisingly, though, this was not the case at General H. H. Arnold High School in Weisbaden, Germany, in 1967. In fact, the English department was teaching some sort of new system that dispensed with terms such as verb and noun and replaced them with a more conceptual approach to language. What I best remember about my Freshman English class is the day that my rather Bohemian teacher (he wore sandals to class!), actually brought in a copy of the Sounds Of Silence and had us dissect two songs from the album, Richard Cory and A Most Peculiar Man. We spent several classes discussing the similarities (they both deal with a suicide by someone representing a particular archetype) and differences (the methods used and the archetypes themselves) between the songs. I have forgotten everything else about that class and its so-called revolutionary approach (and even the teacher's name), but those two songs have stayed with me my entire life. I guess that teacher was on to something.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Withering Tree
Source:    LP: Last Exit (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Winwood/Capaldi
Label:    Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1968
    One of Traffic's best-known songs is Feelin' Alright from their eponymous second LP. When the song was issued as a single in 1968, a brand-new song, Withering Tree, was included as a B side. The stereo version of Withering Tree would not be heard until 1969, when it was included on the post-breakup Traffic LP Last Exit.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Exposition/We Can Work It Out
Source:    CD: The Book Of Taleisyn
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Lord/Simper/Paice/Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Eagle (original label: Tetragrammaton)
Year:    1968
    The original Deep Purple was sometimes referred to as England's answer to Vanilla Fudge. Tracks like Exposition (a band original based on a piece by Tchaikovsky) and We Can Work It Out, from their second LP, The Book Of Taleisyn, show how they got that reputation.

Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    Pride Of Man
Source:    CD: Quicksilver Messenger Service
Writer(s):    Hamilton Camp
Label:    RockBeat (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1968
    There are differing opinions on just how serious legendary San Francisco singer/songwriter and all-around iconoclast Dino Valenti was being when, at a jam session with guitarist John Cippolina one night, he suggested that the two of them form a band. Since Valenti was busted for marijuana possession the very next day (and ended up spending the next two years in jail), we'll never know for sure. Cippolina, however, was motivated enough to begin finding members for the new band, including bassist David Freiberg (later to join Starship) and drummer Skip Spence. When Marty Balin stole Spence away to join his own new band (Jefferson Airplane), he tried to make up for it by introducing Cippolina to vocalist/guitarist Gary Duncan and drummer Greg Elmore, whose own band, the Brogues, had recently disbanded. Taking the name Quicksilver Messenger Service (so named for all the member's astrological connections with the planet Mercury), the new band soon became a fixture on the San Francisco scene. Inspired by the Blues Project, Cippolina and Duncan quickly established a reputation for their dual guitar improvisational abilities on songs like Hamilton Camp's Pride Of Man (which a reviewer from Rolling Stone magazine claimed was better than Camp's original). Unlike other San Francisco bands such as the Airplane, Moby Grape and the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service did not jump at their first offer from a major record label, preferring to hold out for the best deal. This meant their debut album did not come out until 1968, missing out on the initial buzz surrounding the summer of love.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2429 (starts 7/15/24)

    From time to time in the early 1970s, an FM rock jock would show up for his or her airshift in a, let us say, not fully prepared state. This week we present a typical result of such a situation. The hour begins, appropriately, with a song reflecting the jock's state of mind and quickly segues into a series of unrelated, but still pretty cool tunes from the likes of Black Oak Arkansas, Grand Funk and Badfinger. After a couple more album tracks from 1972 the jock decides it's time for some blues, and finds a previously unreleased track on a Duane Allman anthology album that features him providing counterpoint to his friend Eric Clapton on an old standard. The blues-rock continues for several more tunes, including one from a totally unexpected source (and a B side at that) before the jock comes up with a devilishly clever way to finish out the hour.

Artist:    Shel Silverstein
Title:    I Was Stoned And I Missed It
Source:    LP: Freakin' At The Freaker's Ball
Writer(s):    Shel Silverstein
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1972
    Shel Silverstein was a multi-talented guy who found success in several different fields in his nearly 69 years. He began teaching himself to draw at age seven by tracing L'il Abner comic strips from the local Chicago newspaper, and got his own first drawing published in the student newspaper at Roosevelt University in the late 1940s. He joined the army in 1949 and saw several of his cartoons published in the Pacific Stars and Stripes, a newspaper published for US military personnel on overseas assignments. In 1955 a compilation of those strips entitled Take Ten was published in book form. After leaving the military he began submitting cartoons to various magazines, including Look and Sports Illustrated. In 1957 he landed a job with Playboy magazine creating an illustrated travel journal from various locations across the globe. In 1964 he wrote and illustrated The Giving Tree, one of the most celebrated children's books ever published. In the 1960s Silverstein established himself as a singer and songwriter as well. His most famous tune from the decade was A Boy Named Sue, which was covered by Johnny Cash in 1969. In 1972 he recorded what was probably his best-known album, Freakin' At The Freaker's Ball, which featured tunes like I Was Stoned And I Missed It, giving him street cred with various counter-cultural types. He continued to write songs (many of which were recorded by Dr. Hook And The Medicine Show), books (including A Light In The Attic), poems, short stories and over 100 one-act plays until his death from a heart attack in 1999. If there was ever anyone deserving the title "Renaissance man" it was Shel Silverstein.

Artist:    Black Oak Arkansas
Title:    Jim Dandy
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Lincoln Chase
Label:    Atco
Year:    1973
    My first exposure to Black Oak Arkansas was at a Grand Funk Railroad concert in August of 1971. I had literally arrived on the campus of Southwestern University in Weatherford Oklahoma the night before the concert, having hitchhiked there from New Mexico. On arrival I soon learned that my bandmates DeWayne and Mike, whose dorm room I was crashing in, already had tickets for the concert in Norman, Oklahoma. They invited me to come along, assuring me that I could easily score tickets at the gate. As it turns out they were right, but by the time we got there the only tickets left were bleacher seats. Of course, the rest of the group that made the drive to Norman all had floor tickets, so I ended up sitting by myself up in the nosebleed section for the opening act, a group I had never heard of called Black Oak Arkansas. I decided that, for the next 45 minutes or so, I would be a reviewer, and started analyzing this new band one song at a time. To be honest, I wasn't all that impressed at first, but found each successive song to be a little bit better than the one before it. By the time the band had finished their set, I was electrified (literally, since the last song was called The Day Electricity Came To Arkansas). I eventually bought a copy of the album Black Oak Arkansas, and was pleased to discover that the songs were in the exact same order on the LP as I had first heard them in concert. Over the years I continued to follow the band's progress, and was happy to hear, in 1973, their remake of an old LaVerne Baker song, Jim Dandy, on the local AM radio station. In fact, I went out and bought a copy of the 45 RPM single (which has since been replaced more than once with less scratchy copies).

Artist:    Grand Funk (Railroad)
Title:    Ain't Got Nobody
Source:    LP: We're An American Band
Writer(s):    Farner/Brewer
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1973
    Grand Funk Railroad's seventh album, We're An American Band, was a huge departure from the group's previous efforts. For starters, the band shortened its name (temporarily, as it turned out) to Grand Funk. They also brought in a new producer, Todd Rundgren, which changed their overall sound considerably. Previously, nearly every non-cover song recorded by GFR had been written solely by guitarist Mark Farner, who also provided the lead vocals. On We're An American Band, however, drummer Don Brewer wrote of co-wrote five of the album's eight songs, including Ain't Got Nobody. This trend would continue for the remainder of the band's existence with Farner (who sings on Ain't Got Nobody) and Brewer splitting lead vocal duties roughly equally.

Artist:    Badfinger
Title:    No Matter What
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Pete Ham
Label:    Apple
Year:    1970
    Aside from the Beatles, the band most closely associated with Apple Records was Badfinger. Originally known as the Iveys, Badfinger was the first band signed to Apple and remained with the label throughout its existence. Led by Pete Ham, Badfinger had a string of successful singles for the label, including No Matter What, a Ham composition from the band's second LP, No Dice. The song, released in 1970, is considered by many to be the earliest example of what would come to be known as power pop later in the decade.
Artist:    Steely Dan
Title:    Fire In The Hole
Source:    CD: Can't Buy A Thrill
Writer(s):    Becker/Fagen
Label:    MCA (original label: ABC)
Year:    1972
    Donald Fagen's unique piano style is on display on Fire In The Hole, a track from the first Steely Dan album, Can't Buy A Thrill. The tune also appeared as the B side of Steely Dan's second single (and first hit), Do It Again.

Artist:    Graham Nash/David Crosby
Title:    Strangers Room
Source:    British import LP: Graham Nash David Crosby
Writer(s):    Graham Nash
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1972
    In fall of 1971, after each releasing successful solo albums following the first breakup of Crosby, Still, Nash & Young, Graham Nash and David Crosby embarked on a series of concerts together, performing several new songs that would appear the following year on the album Graham Nash David Crosby. Most of the songs on the album, including the Nash composition Strangers Room, feature backing tracks by the Section, a group of in-demand studio musicians based in southern California consisting of Craig Doerge, Danny Kortchmar, Leland Sklar, and Russell Kunkel.

Artist:    Eric Clapton/Duane Allman
Title:    Mean Old World
Source:    LP: An Anthology
Writer(s):    Walter Jacobs
Label:    Capricorn
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 1972
    Not long before the second Allman Brothers Band album, Idlewild South, was released, producer Tom Dowd took Eric Clapton and some of his Derek & the Dominos bandmates to see the Allman Brothers perform live. Of course they all met backstage after the gig, and Clapton and lead guitarist Duane Allman ended up staying up until about 5 in the morning, trading guitar licks and stories. Clapton, who had just started work on the LP Layla And Assorted Love Songs, asked Allman if he would be interested in playing on the album. Allman said yes, and the result was one of the most legendary rock albums ever made. During the sessions for the album, Allman and Clapton would often sit down together and just jam on old blues tunes like Mean Old World, which was originally written and recorded by T-Bone Walker in 1942 and then extensively rewritten ten years later by Little Walter, whose version Allman and Clapton were both familiar with. In this particular case, on Oct. 2, 1970, the tape was rolling, and the recording ended up being released two years later on the posthumous Duane Allman double-LP An Anthology.

Artist:    Johnny Winter
Title:    Leland Mississippi Blues
Source:    German import CD: Johnny Winter
Writer(s):    Johnny Winter
Label:    Repertoire (original US label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    Leland, Mississippi native John Dawson Winter Jr. was a guitarist/saxophonist who played and sang at churches, weddings and various other gatherings before moving to Beaumont, Texas, where he sired two albino sons, Johnny and Edgar. The two made their first professional appearance on a local children's TV show, with Johnny playing ukelele. At age 15, Johnny Winter entered a recording studio for the first time with his band Johnny And The Jammers, recording a pair of self-penned tunes for Houston's Dart label in 1960. He recorded several more singles over the next few years for a variety of labels, including MGM and Atlantic, but did not record his first LP until 1968 when he and his band, which included future Double Trouble member Tommy Shannon on bass and Uncle John Turner on drums, recorded The Progressive Blues Experiment for the Austin-based Sonobeat label in 1968. The album caught on so quickly that is was reissued nationally on the Imperial label the same year. That December he accepted an invitation from Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper to join them for an onstage jam as the Fillmore East. Reps from Columbia Records were present at the performance, and less than a week later Winter had signed with the label for a record $600,000. His first album for Columbia was made up mostly of cover songs. One of the three original tunes on the album was Leland Mississippi Blues, an obvious reference to his father's birthplace.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Parachute Woman
Source:    LP: Beggar's Banquet
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1968
    The last Rolling Stones album to feature the band's original lineup was Beggar's Banquet, released in 1968. The album itself was a conscious effort on the part of the group to get back to their roots after the psychedelic excesses of Their Satanic Majesties Request. The band's founder, Brian Jones, was fast deteriorating at the time and his contributions to the album are minimal compared to the band's earlier efforts. As a result, Keith Richards was responsible for most of the guitar work on Beggar's Banquet, including both lead and rhythm parts on Parachute Woman.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    I Can't Quit You/How Many More Times
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin
Writer(s):    Dixon/Page/Jones/Bonham/Burnett
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    Led Zeppelin has come under fire for occassionally "borrowing" lyrics and even guitar riffs from old blues songs (never mind the fact that such "borrowing" was a common practice among the old bluesmen themselves) but, at least in the case of the first Zeppelin album, full songwriting credit was given to Willie Dixon for a pair of songs, one of which was I Can't Quit You. Still, it can't be denied that messrs. Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones completely revamped the blues classic into something uniquely their own. 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 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:    Bee Gees
Title:    On Time
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Maurice Gibb
Label:    Atco
Year:    1972
    I've always thought that Maurice Gibb wrote (and usually sang) on songs that were just a touch cooler than those by his brothers Barry and Robin. Case in point: On Time, a non-album track released as the B side of My World in 1972. The song is representative of what he called his "swamp period" and features Maurice Gibb on all vocals and acoustic lead guitar, accompanied by Alan Kendall on electric lead guitar and Geoff Bridgford on drums. Although there are strings arranged by Bill Shepherd that come in toward the end of the song, they surprisingly don't ruin it.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Friend Of The Devil
Source:    CD: Skeletons From The Closet (originally released on LP: American Beauty)
Writer(s):    Garcia/Dawson/Hunter
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    The Grateful Dead spent three years and four albums trying to capture the energy of their live performances on vinyl. Having finally succeeded with the 1969 Live Dead album the group began to focus more on their songwriting capabilities. The result was two outstanding studio albums, both released in 1970: Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. Of the two, American Beauty is made up almost entirely of songs played on acoustic instruments, including pedal steel guitar, which was played by Jerry Garcia. One of the best-known tracks on American Beauty is Friend Of The Devil, which lyricist Robert Hunter referred to as "the closest we've come to what may be a classic song."

Artist:    Canned Heat
Title:    I'd Rather Be The Devil
Source:    LP: Live At Topanga Corral
Writer(s):    James/Johnson
Label:    Pickwick (original label: Wand)
Year:    1971
    The first thing you need to know about the album Live At Topanga Corral is that, although live, it was actually recorded at the Kaleidoscope, a converted stage theater in Hollywood. The reason for this bit of deception stems from the fact that the members of Canned Heat wanted to release a live album, but they had been under contract to Liberty Records since 1967, and Liberty, having released a live Canned Heat album the previous year, was not ready to put out another one so soon. So the band's manager, Skip Taylor, came up with the idea of telling the folks at Liberty that the live performance they wanted to release had actually been recorded at the Topanga Corral before Canned Heat had signed their contract with Liberty, thus allowing them to sell the tapes to a different label. The album, made up entirely of blues covers such as I'd Rather Be The Devil (miscredited to A Leigh but actually the work of Robert Johnson and Elmore James), came out on the Wand label in 1971 and has been reissued in various configurations several times since then.

Artist:    James Gang
Title:    The Devil Is Singing Our Song
Source:    CD: Bang
Writer(s):    Bolin/Tesar
Label:    Atco
Year:    1973
    The James Gang, following the departure of guitarist/vocalist Joe Walsh, could have just called it quits right then and there. Instead, however, bassist Dale Peters and drummer Jim Fox chose to instead add two new members, Canadians Roy Kenner (vocals) and Dominic Troiano (guitar), and carry on in the same vein as they had been. After a pair of albums that failed to catch on, however, Troiano accepted an offer to replace Randy Bachman in the Guess Who. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the James Gang, however, as the addition of former Zephyr guitarist Tommy Bolin revitalized the band for a time. Bolin had a hand in writing much of the material on the band's next LP, James Gang Bang, including The Devil Is Singing Our Song. With a strong signature riff and a gritty guitar solo, the song has a feel to it that presages Bolin's later solo work on his albums Private Eyes and Teaser.

Sunday, July 7, 2024 

    This week we have several tunes that haven't been played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era before (mostly in the first hour) and a new Advance Psych segment that takes up a good portion of the second. Other than that, it's the usual mix of hits, obscurities, B sides and album tracks from the late 60s.

Artist:    Nashville Teens
Title:    Tobacco Road
Source:    Mono CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    John D. Loudermilk
Label:    K-Tel (original US label: London)
Year:    1964
    The Nashville Teens were not teens. Nor were they from Nashville. In fact, they were one of the original British Invasion bands. Their version of John D. Loudermilk's Tobacco Road was a huge international hit in the summer of 1964. The lead guitar parts on the recording are the work of studio musician Jimmy Page.

Did someone just mention Jimmy Page?

Artist:    Jimmy Page
Title:    Keep Moving
Source:    European import 45 RPM single B side (reissue)
Writer(s):    Page/Mason
Label:    Fontana
Year:    1965
    Already established as a studio guitarist and harmonica player, 21-year-old Jimmy Page cut his first single under his own name in 1965. The A side, She Just Satisfies, also featured vocals. It was his last release as a solo artist until 1988.

Artist:    Love
Title:    Stephanie Knows Who
Source:    Mono Germian import CD: Da Capo
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1966
    Following up on a strong, if not spectacular debut LP followed by a national hit record (7&7 Is), Love went into the studio with two new members to record their second album, Da Capo. By this point Love had established itself as the most popular band on the Sunset Strip, and the music on Da Capo is a fair representation of what the group was doing onstage (including the 17 minute Revelation, which takes up the entire second side of the LP). The opening track, Stephanie Knows Who, is hard proto-punk, showcasing the band's tightness with abrupt changes in tempo throughout the song. The tune, originally released as a single in October of 1966 but quickly withdrawn in favor of She Comes In Colors, also features the harpsichord playing of "Snoopy" Pfisterer, who switched over from drums to keyboards for the LP, making way for Michael Stewart, who stayed with the band for their next LP, Forever Changes.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    There's A Chance We Can Make It
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Gilbert/Scala
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1967
     Following up on their biggest hit, (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet, the Blues Magoos released a song called There's A Chance We Can Make It backed with Pipe Dream for their next single. Unfortunately for both songs, some stations elected to play There's A Chance We Can Make It while others preferred Pipe Dream. The result was that neither song charted as high as it could have had it been released with a weaker B side. This had the ripple effect of causing Electric Comic Book (the album both songs appeared on) to not chart as well as its predecessor Psychedelic Lollipop had. This in turn caused Mercury Records to lose faith in the Blues Magoos and not give them the kind of promotion that could have kept the band in the public eye beyond its 15 minutes of fame. The ultimate result was that for many years, there were an excessive number of busboys and cab drivers claiming to have once been members of the Blues Magoos and not many ways to disprove their claims, at least until the internet made information about the group's actual membership more accessible.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    As You Said
Source:    LP: Wheels Of Fire
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    RSO (original label: Atco)
Year:    1968
     Cream started off as a British blues supergroup, but soon found themselves putting out some of the finest psychedelic tunes east of the Atlantic. Much of the credit for this goes to the songwriting team of bassist Jack Bruce and Pete Brown. Brown was originally brought in as a songwriting partner for Ginger Baker, but soon found a better synergy with Bruce. The two went on to write some of Cream's most memorable songs, including Tales of Brave Ulysses, Deserted Cities of the Heart and White Room. As You Said, from Cream's third LP, Wheel's Of Fire, is somewhat unusual in that it features acoustical instruments exclusively (including Ginger Baker setting aside his drumsticks in favor of brushes).

Artist:    Motherlode
Title:    Dear Old Daddy Bill
Source:    LP: Heavy Mix (originally released on LP: When I Die)
Writer(s):    Kennedy/Smith/Marco
Label:    Pickwick (original label: Buddah)
Year:    1969
    After years of playing in varios cover bands in and around Toronto, keyboardist/vocalist William "Smitty" Smith, saxophonist Steve Kennedy, guitarist/vocalist Ken Marco and drummer Wayne "Stoney" Stone relocated to nearby London, Ontario to form Motherlode, a band specializing in original music. Their single, the title track of their debut LP When I Die, failed to get airplay until the band signed a deal to have their album appear in the US on the Buddah label. The song eventually went into the top 20 in the US and made all the way to #1 in Canada. The third single from the album, Dear Old Daddy Bill, also featured session players Carole Kaye on bass and Andy Cree on percussion. Only released in Canada, the tune stalled out in the # 69 spot.

Artist:    Allman Brothers Band
Title:    Whipping Post
Source:    CD: Fillmore East, February 1970
Writer(s):    Gregg Allman
Label:    Bear's Sonic Journals
Year:    1970
    Owsley Stanley, who ran sound for the Grateful Dead, had never had the opportunity to hear the Allman Brothers Band live before the two bands shared the bill at the Fillmore East in February of 1970s, but quickly realized that the two groups had a lot in common, including the presence of two drummers. Accordingly, he was able to get a good live sound out of the fledgling band that had only recently released their debut LP. Heard here is an early version of Gregg Allman's Whipping Post, which would attain classic status when recorded at the same venue 13 months later.

Artist:    Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs
Title:    Ain't Gonna Move
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Davidson/Kesler
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1964
    In 1964, Sam The Sham (Domingo Samudio) and his band the Pharoahs, entered the Sam C. Phillips Recording Studio in Memphis, Tennessee to record one of their more popular dance tunes, Ain't Gonna Move. They didn't however, have a B side, so they quickly threw together a reworked version of a song called Hully Gully Now, calling it Wooly Bully. Everyone who heard the recording was blown away, and it was decided to make Wooly Bully the A side, and Ain't Gonna Move the B side. After achieving regional success on the local XL label, the record was reissued in 1965 by M-G-M Records, becoming a worldwide hit.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Porpoise Song
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: Head soundtrack)
Writer(s):    Goffin/King
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1968
    In 1968 the Monkees, trying desperately to shed a teeny-bopper image, enlisted Jack Nicholson to co-write a feature film that was a 180-degree departure from their recently-cancelled TV show. This made sense, since the original fans of the show were by then already outgrowing the group. Unfortunately, by 1968 the Monkees brand was irrevocably tainted by the fact that the Monkees had not been allowed to play their own instruments on their first two albums. The movie Head itself was the type of film that was best suited to being shown in theaters that specialized in "art" films, but that audience was among the most hostile to the Monkees and the movie bombed. It is now considered a cult classic.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Water Woman
Source:    CD: Spirit
Writer(s):    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Ode/Epic/Legacy
Year:    1968
    Water Woman is a song from Spirit's 1968 debut LP that sounds like it could have been written by the demigod Pan himself. In reality the song came from the muse of Jay Ferguson, who wrote most of the songs on Spirit's first album.

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Turtle Blues
Source:    LP: Cheap Thrills
Writer(s):    Janis Joplin
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    Sometimes I do play favorites. Turtle Blues, from the Big Brother And The Holding Company album Cheap Thrills, is certainly one of them. Besides vocalist Janis Joplin, who wrote the tune, the only other band member heard on the track is guitarist Peter Albin. Legendary producer John Simon provided the piano playing.

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

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Born To Be Wild
Source:    CD: Steppenwolf
Writer(s):    Mars Bonfire
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    Born To Be Wild's status as a counter-cultural anthem was cemented when it was chosen for the soundtrack of the movie Easy Rider. The popularity of both the song and the movie resulted in Steppenwolf becoming the all-time favorite band of bikers all over the world.
Artist:    Sonics
Title:    Louie Louie
Source:    Mono LP: The Best Of Louie Louie (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Richard Berry
Label:    Rhino (original label: Etiquette)
Year:    1965
    Of course, being from the Pacific Northwest, the Sonics had to record their own version of Louie Louie. This one rocks out harder than most.

Artist:    Wailers
Title:    Hang Up
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets vol. 8-The Northwest (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Ron Gardner
Label:    Rhino (original label: Etiquette)
Year:    1965
    Etiquette Records was formed in Tacoma, Washington in 1961 by members of the Wailers, sometimes credited as being America's first garage band. Vocalist Ron Gardner, who joined the band in 1962, had by 1965 become one of the band's most prolific songwriters, coming up with tunes like Hang Up, which was released as a B side that year.

Artist:    Elvis Presley
Title:    Stranger In My Own Home Town
Source:    LP: Reconsider Baby (originally released on LP: From Memphis to Vegas / From Vegas to Memphis)
Writer(s):    Percy Mayfield
Label:    RCA
Year:    1970
    You would expect that a white kid from Tupelo, Mississippi whose style was heavily influenced by black artists would have an affinity for the blues, and sure enough, Elvis Presley was quite capable of knocking out more than a few blues tunes over his long career. One of the best was Percy Mayfield's Stranger In My Own Home Town, which was released on the Back To Memphis portion of his 1970 dougle LP set From Memphis to Vegas / From Vegas to Memphis.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Doctor Doctor
Source:    Mono Canadian import CD: Magic Bus-The Who On Tour (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    John Entwistle
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1967
    Keeping an accurate chronology of recordings by the Who in their early years can be a bit difficult, mainly due to the difference in the ways songs were released in the US and the UK. Since the British policy was for songs released on 45 RPM vinyl not to be duplicated on LPs, several early Who songs were nearly impossible to find until being released on compilation albums several years after their original release. One such song is Doctor Doctor, a John Entwhistle tune released as the B side to their 1967 hit Pictures Of Lily. The single was released on both sides of the Atlantic, but only received airplay in the UK, where it made the top 10. In the US the record failed to chart and was out of print almost as soon as it was released. The song was included on the early 70s LP, Magic Bus-The Who On Tour. However, that album has never been issued in the US on CD (although it is available in Canada). Finally, in 1993, Doctor Doctor was included as a bonus track on the CD version of the Who's second album, A Quick One.

Artist:    Dukes Of Stratosphear
Title:    25 O'Clock
Source:    CD: Chips From The Chocolate Factory (originally released on EP: 25 O'Clock)
Writer(s):    Andy Partridge
Label:    Caroline (original label: Virgin)
Year:    1985
    In 1985, XTC decided to take a break and record an EP, 25 O'Clock, anonymously as the Dukes of Stratosphear. They circulated rumours that this was some previously undiscovered psych band from the late 1960s. Of course, everyone should have suspected that something was not quite as it seemed with the Dukes, as the EP (or "mini-album") was released on April Fool's Day of 1985. Still, the authentic recreation of mid to late 60s production techniques, as well as its Disraeli Gears-inspired album cover, were enough to keep people guessing, at least for a while. Ironically, 25 O'Clock actually outsold the then-current XTC album, prompting the band to record a full-length followup album.

Artist:    Vertacyn Arc Materializer
Title:    Natgeo
Source:    LP: Tasting The Sea
Writer(s):    Vertacyn Arc Materializer
Label:    10 GeV
Year:    2018
    The city of San Francisco seems to produce more than its share of bands that go out of their way to maintain their anonymity. In the early 1970s the Residents even recorded an album called Not Available, intending to not release it until all of the band members had forgotten about its existence (it eventually got released in 1978 during a creative dry spell). These days the San Francisco anonymous band torch is carried by Vertacyn Arc Materializer, a band that is just as hard to describe as the Residents themselves. Their second LP, Tasting The Sea, is only available on Vinyl, and it's packaging is nothing less than spectacular. The front cover is the famous Rolling Stones "mouth" logo dissected by an actual zipper, mimicking the Stones' own Sticky Fingers cover, against a stark white background. Opening the zipper reveals a "circle c" copyright symbol. The back cover featuring "portraits" of each of the four band members: the Starbucks logo (bass, guitar), the US $20 bill version of President Andrew Jackson (drums, trumpet), Marilyn (guitar, bass, keyboards) and Homeland Security, represented by a snarling wolf (vocals, keyboards, guitar). There's even more fun stuff on the inside of the gatefold cover, but I'll let you find your own copy to check it out yourself (if you can find one; apparently there were only 500 pressed). Musically, Vertacyn Arc Materializer is harder to describe; I'd put them with bands like Killing Joke and Nine Inch Nails, with a little Pere Ubu thrown in, but even that comparison falls short of the reality of Natgeo, a track that somehow manages to name a check a famous magazine without any discernable sense of context.

Artist:    700 Miles
Title:    Are You Experienced
Source:    10" maxi-single B side
Writer(s):    Carlin/700 Miles
Label:    RCA
Year:    1993
    Formed in the late 1980s by Singer/guitarist John Carlin, the Next Big Thing decided to relocate from New York City to Detroit in the early 1990s, changing their name to 700 Miles (the distance from New York to Detroit) in the process. They released their self-title debut LP in 1993, along with a maxi-single featuring the last track on the album itself, Watershed. That same maxi-single, pressed on translucent blue marbled vinyl, features a non-album cover of Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced as a B side.

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

Artist:    Phil Ochs
Title:    I Ain't Marching Anymore
Source:    CD: Songs Of Protest (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Phil Ochs
Label:    Rhino (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1965
    Phil Ochs' I Ain't Marching Anymore didn't get a whole lot of airplay when it was released in 1965 (unless you count a handful of closed-circuit student-run stations on various college campuses that could only be picked up by plugging a radio into a wall socket in a dorm room). Ochs was aware of this, and even commented that "the fact that you won't be hearing this song on the radio is more than enough justification for the writing of it." He went on to say that the song "borders between pacifism and treason, combining the best qualities of both." The following year Ochs recorded this folk-rock version of the song (backed up by members of the Blues Project) that was released as a single in the UK.

Artist:    Modern Folk Quintet
Title:    Night Time Girl
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Kooper/Levine
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1966
    The Modern Folk Quintet can be seen two ways: either as a group that constantly strived to be on the cutting edge or simply as fad followers. Starting off in the early 60s, the MFQ found themselves working with Phil Spector in the middle of the decade, complete with Spector's trademark "wall of sound" production techniques. When that didn't work out they signed with Lou Adler's Dunhill Records, cutting Night Time Girl, a tune that sounds like a psychedelicized version of the Mamas and the Papas.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    See Emily Play
Source:    Simulated stereo CD: Works (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Syd Barrett
Label:    Capitol (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    Following up on their first single, Arnold Layne, Pink Floyd found even greater chart success (at least in their native England) with See Emily Play. Released in June of 1967, the song went all the way to the #6 spot on the British charts. In the US the song failed to chart as a single, although it was included on Pink Floyd's first US LP. The "Emily" in question is reportedly the sculptor Emily Young, who in those days was nicknamed the "psychedelic schoolgirl" at London's famed UFO club.

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

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Inside Looking Out
Source:    CD: Grand Funk
Writer(s):    Lomax/Lomax/Burdon/Chandler
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    Grand Funk Railroad never had a whole lot of success in the UK. In fact, their only charted single was a cover of the Animals' 1966 hit Inside Looking Out. The single was considerably shorter than the version heard on the 1969 album Grand Funk, which has a running time of nine and a half minutes, and is considered to be among the heaviest recordings ever made by the band.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help From My Friends
Source:    Mono LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol/EMI
Year:    1967
            One of the first tracks recorded for the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was the title track itself, which opens up side one of the LP. The following song, With A Little Help From My Friends (tentatively titled Bad Finger Boogie at the time), was recorded nearly two months later, yet the two sound like one continuous performance. In fact, it was this painstaking attention to every facet of the recording and production process that made Sgt. Pepper's such a landmark album. Whereas the first Beatles album took 585 minutes to record, Sgt. Pepper's took over 700 hours. At this point in the band's career, drummer Ringo Starr was generally given one song to sing (usually written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney) on each of the group's albums. Originally, these were throwaway songs such as I Wanna Be Your Man (which was actually written for the Rolling Stones), but on the previous album, Revolver, the biggest hit on the album ended up being the song Ringo sang, Yellow Submarine. Although no singles were released from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, With A Little Help From My Friends received considerable airplay on top 40 radio and is one of the most popular Beatle songs ever recorded.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Undecided Man
Source:    LP: The Spirit Of '67
Writer(s):    Revere/Lindsay
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The third Paul Revere And The Raiders album to be released in 1966, The Spirit Of '67 is also the most musically diverse, being heavily influenced by albums such as the Beatles' Revolver and the Rolling Stones' Aftermath. Undecided Man, for instance, was obviously inspired by Eleanor Rigby, and features strings arranged by Mort Garson. Although a few of the songs on the album feature contributions from studio musicians, the album mostly featured backing tracks by the band itself. This would not be the case on future albums, leading to several members of the group moving on to other projects.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 2428 (starts 7/8/24)

    This time around we have three sets. The first is from 1969, and includes a live performance at Woodstock. The third is from 1973, and includes a hard-to-find edit taken from a Jethro Tull concept album. In between we have a transition set connecting the two.

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    Who Knows Where The Time Goes
Source:    LP: Fairport Chronicles (originally released on LP: Unhalfbricking)
Writer(s):    Sandy Denny
Label:    A&M
Year:    1969
    Who Knows Where The Time Goes was one of the first songs ever written by Sandy Denny, as well as the last song she ever performed. Denny recorded her first demo of the song in 1966, following it up with a more refined version the following year. She re-recorded the song while a member of Strawbs in 1968, although she sang and played unaccompanied by the rest of the band. The recording remained unreleased until 1973, when it appeared on the Strawbs album All Our Own Work. That same year Judy Collins heard a tape of Denny's first demo of Who Knows Where The Time Goes and recorded her own version of the song, releasing it as the B side of Both Sides Now, making it the first version of the song to appear on vinyl. Meanwhile Denny had left Strawbs and joined Fairport Convention, replacing original vocalist Judy Dyble. Fairport recorded a new version of Who Knows Where The Time Goes for their 1969 LP Unhalfbricking. It soon became the most popular song on the album and a signature song for both Denny and Fairport Convention itself. The song has  been covered by over a dozen other artists over the years, as well as being used for various film and television soundtracks.

Artist:    Canned Heat
Title:    Going Up The Country
Source:    Woodstock: Music From The Original Soundtrack And More
Writer(s):    Alan Wilson
Label:    Cotillion/Rhino
Year:    1969
    Although the Woodstock movie used a studio recording of Canned Heat's Going Up The Country for its opening sequence, the accompanying soundtrack album used the band's actual performance of the song at the festival itself. The main difference is Alan Wilson singing the opening riff of the song (which is played on a flute in the studio version), with of course newly created lyrics.

Artist:    Open Mind
Title:    Magic Potion
Source:    British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Brancaccio
Label:    Grapefruit (original label: Philips)
Year:    1969
    Originally known as the Drag Set, the Open Mind adopted their new name in late 1967. Not long after the change they signed a deal with Philips Records and recorded an album with producer Johnny Franz in 1968. Their greatest achievement, however, came the following year, when they released Magic Potion as a single. By that time, unfortunately, British psychedelia had run its course, and Open Mind soon closed up shop.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix/Band Of Gypsys
Title:    Born Under A Bad Sign
Source:    CD: Blues
Writer(s):    Jones/Bell
Label:    MCA/Experience Hendrix
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 2010
    Jimi Hendrix first met Albert King in the early 1960s, when Hendrix was a member of Little Richard's touring band. The two hit it off immediately, and King even showed Hendrix how to bend strings horizontally rather than vertically (the fact that they were both left-handed giving them common ground). When King made his Stax debut in 1967, Booker T. Jones and William Bell collaborated to give him what was to become his signature song: Born Under A Bad Sign. At the end of 1969 Hendrix, working with Buddy Miles and Billy Cox, recorded a seven and a half minute instrumental version of the tune that did not get released until 2010. It was worth the wait.

Artist:    Allman Brothers Band
Title:    Every Hungry Woman (live version)
Source:    CD: Idlewild South (originally released on CD: Live At Ludlow Garage 1970)
Writer(s):    Gregg Allman
Label:    Mercury (original label: Polydor)
Year:    1970
    Once upon a time there was a band called the Hourglass, featuring vocalist Gregg Allman. The group moved out to L.A from their native Georgia and established a solid reputation as talented blues-rockers among the local musician crowd. Unfortunately, they were unable to capture their sound in the recording studio. This is mainly due to their record label's insistence on treating them as a blue-eyed soul band (probably due to a myopic view of Allman's vocal style). After the group's first album bombed, the label loosened up a bit, but even with the addition of Allman's brother Duane on guitar, the Hourglass was unable to get the sound they wanted and soon disbanded. Eventually Gregg and Duane moved back to Georgia and formed the Allman Brothers Band. Reportedly Gregg had several songs written for the Hourglass that Duane rejected as unsuitable for the Allman Brother Band. One that did make the cut was Every Hungry Woman, which became a staple of the band's early live shows. And there were plenty of live shows in those early days, as the band reportedly played over 300 gigs in 1970 alone. One of their favorite places to play was a converted garage in Cincinnatti, Ohio called, appropriately enough, Ludlow's Garage. This live rendition of Every Hungry Woman was recorded there on April 11, 1970 and originally released on a CD called Live At Ludlow Garage 1970. That entire album is now available as part of the two-CD 45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of the Allman Brothers Band's second album, Idlewild South.

Artist:    Yes
Title:    Roundabout
Source:    CD: Fragile
Writer(s):    Anderson/Howe
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1971
    Some artists are one-hit wonders. Others have long and productive careers. Most, however, never really achieve the kind of success they hope for. Somewhere in the middle of all that are artists who make it big on the strength of one song, and then manage to stick around long enough to make a more permanent name for themselves. But still, if it weren't for that first big hit they probably would have faded off into obscurity without anyone knowing who they were. Such a band was Yes, and their big hit song was Roundabout, from their 1971 album Fragile. Ask yourself this: if it weren't for Roundabout, do you think anyone would have paid attention to Close To The Edge or Tales From Topographic Oceans? Would Owner Of A Lonely Heart even have been written? Doubtful.

Artist:    Captain Beyond
Title:    I Can't Feel Nothin'/As The Moon Speaks/Astral Lady
Source:    LP: Captain Beyond
Writer(s):    Caldwell/Evans
Label:    Capricorn
Year:    1972
    Occasionally someone will ask me a question along the lines of "Who was the best band you ever saw in concert?". My standard answer is Captain Beyond, which usually gets a blank stare in response. I then explain that Captain Beyond was the opening act (of three) at a concert I went to in El Paso in 1972. They so totally blew away the other bands that I can't even remember for sure who the headliner was. Essentially a power trio plus vocalist, Captain Beyond was made up of two former members of Iron Butterfly, guitarist Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt and bassist Lee Dorman, Deep Purple's original lead vocalist, Rod Evans, and drummer Bobby Caldwell, who was known at the time for his work with Johnny Winter and Rick Derringer, and eventually went on to have a moderately successful recording career. The band was so tight that I went out the very next day and bought a copy of their album, something I had never done before. Sure enough, the album was every bit as good as the band's live performance, which followed the exact same setlist as the album itself. I should mention here that, mostly to save space, I shortened the song titles a bit on the title line above. The actual full titles of the tracks heard on this week's show are as follows:
I Can't Feel Nothin' (Part 1)
As the Moon Speaks (to the Waves of the Sea)
Astral Lady
As the Moon Speaks (Return)
I Can't Feel Nothin' (Part 2)
Due to contractual issues, neither Dorman or Reinhardt (who were technically still members of Iron Butterfly) were able to receive songwriting credits on the original album label, although Caldwell has since said that Reinhardt actually co-wrote the songs with Caldwell and Evans, with some input from Dorman.

Artist:    Mothers
Title:    I'm The Slime
Source:    CD: Over-Nite Sensation
Writer(s):    Frank Zappa
Label:    Zappa (original label: Discreet)
Year:    1973
    In 1973, Frank Zappa, along with an array of talented musicians, recorded two albums' worth of material. The first, released as a Mothers album, was Over-Nite Sensation. Strangely enough, a single was released from the album, although it really didn't make much of a dent in the top 40 charts. That single was I'm The Slime, a song that only gets more relevant as time goes on. The song is basically a description of America's top drug of choice, as the opening lyrics make clear: "I am gross and perverted. I'm obsessed 'n deranged. I have existed for years, but very little has changed. I'm the tool of the government and industry too, for I am destined to rule and regulate you. I may be vile and pernicious, but you can't look away. I make you think I'm delicious, with the stuff that I say. I'm the best you can get. Have you guessed me yet? I'm the slime ooozing out of your TV set." Ironically, Zappa and his band performed the song on his first appearance on NBC's Saturday Night Live.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    A Passion Play [Edit #9]
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1973
    After the success of Thick As A Brick, meant to be the concept album to end all concept albums, Jethro Tull naturally went out and recorded another concept album. A Passion Play, released in 1973, presented a problem for radio programmers, however, who tended to avoid playing pieces that ran close to 45 minutes in length. This was especially a problem for top 40 radio, which depended on getting in as many commercial breaks per hour as they could get away with. Chrysalis, Jethro Tull's label, attempted to solve the problem by pressing a special edition of the LP just for radio stations that broke A Passion Play into several segments, referred to on the label itself as "edits". In addition, four of these edits were released as a pair of 45 RPM singles in the US. The first of these was A Passion Play [Edit #8], which featured A Passion Play [Edit #9] on the B side.

Artist:    Steely Dan
Title:    Show Biz Kids
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Becker/Fagen
Label:    ABC
Year:    1973
    Steely Dan's second LP, 1973's Countdown To Ecstasy, did not sell as well as their 1972 debut LP. The reason usually cited for this dropoff in sales is the lack of a hit single, although at least two singles were released from the album. The second of these was Show Biz Kids, a song that sums up the Los Angeles lifestyle, a theme that songwriters Walter Becker and Donald Fagen would continue to explore for the rest of the decade.