Sunday, July 7, 2024

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.

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