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 The tune, originally released as a single in October of 1966 but quickly withdrawn in favor of She Comes In Colors, also features the harpsichord playing of "Snoopy" Pfisterer, who switched over from drums to keyboards for the LP, making way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.

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