A Bit Like You And Me Radio

May 31, 2012

The Leaves - War of Distortion (1966)

This California group was started by college-student Jim Pons who was inspired to form a band after hearing The Beatles on the radio. He gathered up his fraternity brothers and, none of them knowing an instrument, they taught themselves how to play. Their first gig was in a school gym on the same bill as Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band. They would later replace The Byrds, who had just been signed, as the house-band at a local nightclub until being discovered by Pat Boone. In November 1965, they became the first group to release the (now) rock standard “Hey Joe” and had a hit with it in 1966 when they released a re-recorded version. The group disbanded when Pons left to join The Turtles in 1967.

This song appeared on the group’s 1966 debut album, Hey Joe.

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The Leaves - War of Distortion (1966)

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Lyrics:

The “War of Distortion” rages
Like a forest fire
Giant monsters scream and yell
And they never tire

The greedy hands of Mr. Lee
Makes the un-hips eardrums bleed

Simple folks, though wild appearing
The freaky fox with one gold earring

Things that make it
Things that dangle
Distorted sounds from every angle

Secret dreams exposed by night
Change the dimming to the light

Everything is like it seems
No crashing thunder from machines

May 30, 2012

Magna Carta - Romeo Jack (1969)

Having been performing for over thirty-five years, this London group first got together in April 1969 surrounding musician Chris Simpson. Simpson, after attending college and before forming the group, was working odd-jobs while doing gigs at night. He once had the pleasure (and luck) to open for Cream. That night, Eric Clapton hadn’t brought any guitar picks with him and Simpson gave him his. As a means of gratitude, Clapton allowed Simpson to use Cream’s stage gear. Simpson recalled that Clapton “came out with a beautiful lady and danced to our set.”

Written by Simpson, this song comes from the group’s debut album, Magna Carta / Times of Change. Besides Simpson, who was on guitar and vocals, it featured Lyell Tranter on guitar/vocals and Glen Stuart on vocals. The album didn’t reach the success of their next release, Seasons, but still went silver (sold over 60,000 copies).

EDIT: Lyrics completed by Peter from Peter's Power Pop. Thank you!

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Magna Carta - Romeo Jack (1969)

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Lyrics:

The wind blows the ashes of summer
And pulls at a torn paper face on the hoarding
And a marmalade cat with dark mangled ears
Slips through the fence without speaking

This was my world, alone
Football and marbles and coming home late if you dare
I look at the face in the mirror
I know it so well
But I don't know at all

And the child books are weary
Faint on the shelves
And the things that were precious
Now dusty

This was my yesterday
And the friends that I knew have all gone
Now, and now
Now is the time
For the leaving

In the corner, she sits by the fire
And seeks for the words that somehow elude her
And a yesterday face with the Kitchener mustache
Looks down, faded brown, from the mantelpiece

This is her world alone
A blue cotton dress
And the man on the cross on the wall

"Oh, why must you go?" were the words that she found
"There's a job with a paperback firm
Five minutes away and the pay is real good
And the prospects get better, they say"

"How can I tell you now?
'Goodbye' must be all I can say"
Now, and now
Now is the time
For the leaving

Now, and now
Now is the time
For the leaving

May 29, 2012

Wishbone Ash - Valediction (1971)

Formed in 1969, this British group is remembered for being innovators in using two lead guitars. Originally the band was trying to choose between Ted Turner and Andy Powell for who would become their guitarist. Unable to make a decision, they decided to see what would happen if they both played simultaneously. It was a success. Both of the guitarists would later be put in the Top 20 of Rolling Stones’ “Greatest Guitarists of All-Time”. Although many members of the band have come and gone since, the group still performs to this day, having released twenty-three albums.

This song comes from the group’s second album, Pilgrimage, released in 1971. The album featured a more folk-oriented sound, which differed from the blues rock style found on their first album. This song in particular features a four-part harmony that was attempting to capitalize on the success of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Although the song and album did well, it wasn’t until their third album that they were considered to reach their peak.

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Wishbone Ash - Valediction (1971)

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Lyrics:

Breathing is a sin, they say
‘Loneliness’ is the price to pay
Sad for you, I go once more
I'll dry my eyes on a distant shore

No way of freezing your rising tide
No way of keeping you by my side
Like a bird, I'll fly high
Guarding over this love of mine

Room of trust
A room of fears
A room of laughter with a few sweet tears
There we lay that sunny dawn
Calm but helpless as it lingered on

No way of breaking the march of time
No way of keeping our love sublime
Like a bird, I'll fly high
Watching over this love of mine

Many times we hurry by
Lose our problems in a knowing smile
Many days were swept along
Left unnoticed as our love grew strong

Knowing that each of us would always know
Believing one of us will never go
Like a bird, I'll fly high
Watching over this love of mine

May 28, 2012

Dean Martin - Sway (1954)

Known as “The King of Cool,” this iconic legend was a television star, movie actor, comedian, and singer. Born in 1917, Dino and his friends Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. made up the core of the ‘60s version of the “Rat Pack”. He is also remembered as the straight man in a comedy act with friend Jerry Lewis (father of Gary Lewis from Gary Lewis and the Playboys). As with all stars of this caliber, his life and legacy couldn’t possibly be summarized here.

This song, originally titled “¿Quién será?,” was a Mexican mambo song by bandleader Pablo Beltrán Ruiz in 1953. This version’s lyrics, in English, were written by Norman Gimbel. It reached number sixteen in the US and number six in the UK. Although it doesn’t fit in with the usual genres of music found on this site, I figured it wouldn’t be a bad thing for a little variety now and again. I hope you’ll agree.

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Dean Martin - Sway (1954)

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Lyrics:

When marimba rhythms start to play
Dance with me; make me sway
Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore
Hold me close; sway me more

Like a flower bendin’ in the breeze
Bend with me; sway with ease
When we dance you have a way with me
Stay with me; sway with me

Other dancers may be on the floor
Dear, but my eyes will see only you
Only you have the magic technique
When we sway I go weak

I can hear the sound of violins
Long before it begins
Make me thrill as only you know how
Sway me smooth; sway me now

Other dancers may be on the floor
Dear, but my eyes will see only you
Only you have the magic technique
When we sway I go weak

I can hear the sound of violins
Long before it begins
Make me thrill as only you know how
Sway me smooth; sway me now
(Sway me now)

You know how
Sway me smooth; sway me now

May 25, 2012

The Orange Alabaster Mushroom - Your Face Is In My Mind (1993)

This “group” was the name given to the psychedelic recordings of one man: Greg “Grog” Watson. Born in Canada, Grog’s earliest solo psychedelic work was being laid down as early as 1991, but didn’t start to get released to the public until 1996. Anyone hearing his compositions for the first time would unmistakably think they were a product of the psychedelic ‘60s, as his music not only included the ‘60s-sounding Farfisa organ, fuzzy guitars, and Indian sitar, but also had all the style and hooks that were popular during that time. Though his music put out through this name is now primarily known only to his cult following and psychedelic aficionados, both he and his work should not be forgotten when speaking of incredible psychedelic tracks.

This song, the opening track on Space & Time: A Compendium of The Orange Alabaster Mushroom, could have been presented as either being released by The 14th Wray (Grog’s prior garage-rock group) or The Orange Alabaster Mushroom (his later solo work). It has quite a detailed history, and is best explained by Grog himself, which you can read below.



A Special Edition post with Greg "Grog" Watson from The Orange Alabaster Mushroom!

I am proud to present yet another exclusive story! This time, we were lucky enough to catch up with the man behind The Orange Alabaster Mushroom: Greg “Grog” Watson. Grog was generous enough to share the history of “Your Face Is In My Mind,” which you can hear below. Enjoy!
Hi A Bit Like You And Me and readers,

Here's the story - at least, my recollection - about "Your Face Is In My Mind":

The first couple of years I was in university, I played with a garage-punk band called The 14th Wray. The drummer, Alan Wright (RIP), had given me a bunch of his poems to try to incorporate into songs; one of them, once I had rearranged it a bit, worked well with some music I'd written based around a cool Farfisa organ riff. The only problem was that the song was definitely more in the “psychedelic” vein and consequently did not really fit with what The 14th Wray were doing musically.

Nonetheless, one night during our recording sessions, the other guitarist, Patrick, could not make it, so Alan suggested we "try one of Grog's songs". I had already practiced "Your Face Is In My Mind" with our bass player Gordon, so we ran through it a couple of times. Since the second take sounded surprisingly good, I then added the tremolo-fuzz, backward guitar parts, and sang the vocal track. I remember Alan getting a little peeved that I'd changed one of his lines from "my attraction is not blind" to "...ain't blind" in order to get the lyrics to fit the meter of the song. At any rate, once the rough mix was finished, we were all impressed by how cool it turned out.

While Alan was very keen to include it on our cassette release, Wig, Man! Wig!!!, I was reluctant since Patrick, [the other guitarist], did not play on it and we had never performed it live as a band. As it turned out, we recorded a few more songs which leaned more toward the psychedelic end of the garage spectrum, mainly with just a few members at a time, so the B-side of our cassette ended up as a compilation of these psych oddities (which we didn't play live, unlike the A-side).

Then things started to get weird when Moxie Records asked to include "Your Face Is In My Mind" on a four-song, seven-inch EP. As an aside, The Worst ([band] from Vancouver BC) were also on that EP, and when I moved out to Vancouver in 1994, I met the singer for The Worst, Greg Johnson (also RIP), at a Sky Saxon concert. Greg asked me to join his new band, The Fiends, that night, and I played guitar and organ with them for the next three years. Anyway, a couple years later, "Your Face Is In My Mind" again appeared (along with the aforementioned Worst and Fiends) on a CD compilation of Canadian garage bands from the '80s and '90s, called Time Machine.

A few years after that, in 2000, I released my compendium of The Orange Alabaster Mushroom on Earworm Records; I decided to include "Your Face Is In My Mind" on it since it was a proto-Orange Alabaster Mushroom song and fit with the other songs I'd recorded myself in the early days. At the end of the day, I guess the song lies in a gray area of sorts: neither a true 14th Wray nor Orange Alabaster Mushroom song, but a little bit of both, in a way.

Thanks for your interest and support!

Grog
The Orange Alabaster Mushroom
That should clear up any remaining confusion about “Your Face Is In My Mind”. On behalf of our readers and myself, I’d like to send a huge ‘thank you’ out to Grog for sharing this song’s history. It's always interesting to learn more about something you enjoy and it's most definitely appreciated to get this kind of detail from the man himself.

If you’re interested in hearing the other tracks from Grog’s psychedelic work, I’d highly suggest you purchase Space & Time: A Compendium of The Orange Alabaster Mushroom, which can be found here. If you’d like to connect with Grog, you can find The Orange Alabaster Mushroom on Facebook, here.

And now that you've enjoyed this exclusive story, why not check out what other exclusive stories we've received?



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The Orange Alabaster Mushroom - Your Face Is In My Mind (1993)

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Lyrics:

Those few words you said to me
Meant something
But at the same time, nothing
For I wasn't listening
I was gazing into your soul
Your face has left an impression
Deep inside my cranium
When those thoughts are realized
It's here I find

That your face is in my mind
Yeah, your face is in my mind

If I wanted you before
I didn't know and you didn't owe me
You probably never will find out
Who or what I'm all about
But I could lead you into the dark
Recesses of my being, yeah
I can picture your beauty
My attraction lies

For your face is in my mind
Yeah, your face is in my mind

Well the future hasn't gone away
I see it all too clear today
And there are things I'd like to say
But I don't know if there's a way

Your face has left impressions
Deep inside my cranium
When those thoughts are realized
It's here I find

That your face is in my mind
Yeah, your face is in my mind
Yeah, your face is in my mind
Yeah, your face is in my mind- my mind- my mind- my mind
Your face is in my mind
Yeah, your face is in my mind
Yeah, your face is in my mind- my mind- my mind- my mind- my mind
My mind, mind, mind, mind, mind…

May 24, 2012

Moby Grape - Ain't That a Shame (1969)

Emerging out of the San Francisco music scene, this group featured all five members as songwriters and singers. Co-founded by their guitarist Skip Spence in 1966, they were managed by Matthew Katz, who was also the manager for Jefferson Airplane and It’s a Beautiful Day. Spence was also Jefferson Airplane’s drummer for their first album before parting ways with them. With this group, Skip and his bandmates would receive critical praise for their debut album, but would later become plagued with bad luck and misguided decisions. Despite going on hiatus six times since their formation, the group still performs to this day.

This song comes from the album Moby Grape ’69, the first album after the departure of Skip Spence, who the group had assumed would be returning to them but never did. The album wasn’t appreciated by many of their fans who considered it to be too country-rock oriented. In all actuality, it was a precursor to the sounds which would later be put out by country-rock groups like the Eagles. The song was written by Jerry Miller, Don Stevenson, and Peter Lewis.

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Moby Grape - Ain't That a Shame (1969)

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Lyrics:

I'm getting’ tired of waitin’
If you don't come home, I'm leavin'
It's a hard life I'm leadin'
About to lose my mind

Ain't that a shame
Ain't that a shame
Ain't that a shame

Way I've been treated so unkind
Way you stay away for days
I believe I'm about to lose my mind
Woman, you've got to change your ways

Ain't that a shame
Ain't that a shame
Ain't that a shame

I'm so depleted
I'd steal everything I needed
What could I do?
I ’s down to the bone

Ain't that a shame
Ain't that a shame
Ain't that a shame

I'm gettin’ tired of waiting
If you don't come home, I'm leavin'
It's a hard life I'm leadin'
It's a hard row I'd hoe

Ain't that a shame
Ain't that a shame
Ain't that a shame

May 23, 2012

Gerry and the Pacemakers - La La La (1966)

Coming from Liverpool, England in 1959, this group shared more than just the same hometown as The Beatles. They were also managed and recorded by the same men: Brian Epstein and George Martin, respectively. They were originally known as Gary Marsden and The Mars Bars, but had to rename themselves when the company who owned the candy bar of the same name got upset. Their first three UK singles all reached number one, a claim no one else could make for nearly twenty years. Unfortunately, they never had a number one hit after that (though they did have other successful songs) and the group eventually split in 1966.

Released in February of 1966, this song failed to chart on the UK Singles Chart. It managed to reach number 90 on the US’s Billboard Hot 100 and featured the B-side “Without You”.

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Gerry and the Pacemakers - La La La (1966)

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Lyrics:

Now I'm gonna try and find a girl
Who will make me feel so good
And when I do, I'll sing this song
And I know I'll love her like I should
I'll sing:

“La la la la, la la la la la la la la
La la la la, la la la la la la la”

Whenever I am lonely, girl
And I ain’t got no place to go
I don't sit around and mope all day
I get up and here's what I say-
I say:

“La la la la, la la la la la la la la
La la la la, la la la la la la la”

You get no fun out of hangin' around
Or moanin' every day and night
It's so much better if you take it all
I cannot shout unless I’m right
Well let me hear you now

La la la la, la la la la la la la la
La la la la, la la la la la la la

Now if you got your troubles
Just like all the other guys
Don't be a jerk like them, my friend
Just shout this and your mouse and hide
Let's shout:

“La la la la, la la la la la la la la
La la la la, la la la la la la la”

La la la la la

May 22, 2012

The Bee Gees - New York Mining Disaster 1941 (1967)

Composed of three brothers, Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb, this group found success in the late ‘60s with pop and R&B hits. They found monumental stardom in the ‘70s, arguably standing as the kings of disco. In their early years, their father, Hugh Gibb, sent a demo to The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, for consideration in 1966. Epstein passed the demo to Robert Stigwood, a new employee at EMI Studios, and he signed them to a five year deal. Despite the majority of their hits not fitting in with what’s usually reviewed on this site, the group did have some early songs that reflected the ‘60s music scene.

When Stigwood proclaimed that this group was the “The Most Significant New Talent Of 1967,” immediate attention was drawn to the band. Many people speculated that “Bee Gees (B.G.’s) stood for “Beatles Group” and was a side-project for The Beatles. Stigwood took advantage and sent this song to radio DJs on a plain white record, telling them only that the song was by “a group that started with the letter ‘B’.” Naturally, DJs thought it was the latest work from The Beatles, and it received heavy air play.

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The Bee Gees - New York Mining Disaster 1941 (1967)

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Lyrics:

In the event of something happening to me
There is something I would like you all to see
It's just a photograph of someone that I knew

Have you seen my wife, Mr. Jones?
Do you know what it's like on the outside?
Don't go talking too loud
You'll cause a landslide, Mr. Jones

I keep straining my ears to hear a sound
Maybe someone is digging underground
Or have they given up and all gone home to bed?
Thinking those who once existed must be dead

Have you seen my wife, Mr. Jones?
Do you know what it's like on the outside?
Don't go talking too loud
You'll cause a landslide, Mr. Jones

In the event of something happening to me
There is something I would like you all to see
It's just a photograph of someone that I knew

Have you seen my wife, Mr. Jones?
Do you know what it's like on the outside?
Don't go talking too loud
You'll cause a landslide, Mr. Jo-

May 21, 2012

The Turtles - Eve of Destruction (1965)

This song was written by P.F. Sloan when he was only nineteen years old. In 1964, Phil “Flip” Sloan wrote this song in a style similar to what Bob Dylan was putting out at the time. After being rejected by The Byrds, it was given to the group who usually recorded their rejected material: The Turtles. It didn’t do well.

Luckily for Sloan in the long run, it would soon be recorded by Barry McGuire and become a nationwide hit. Personally, I’ve requested my local radio station to play The Turtles’ version of the song, but they always insist that they “don’t have it”. Because of this, I assume there’s many people who don’t realize The Turtles ever recorded the song, let alone put it out before McGuire’s version. Although it lacks the grit and punch of McGuire’s, it’s nice to hear it being done by this group.

There’s also a great history of today’s song, as told by P.F. Sloan himself, which I encourage you to read here.

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The Turtles - Eve of Destruction (1965)

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Lyrics:

The Eastern world- it is explodin'
Violence flarin', bullets loadin'
You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin'?
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin'

But ya tell me over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, ya don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

Don't you understand what I'm tryin' to say?
And can't you feel the fears that I'm feelin' today?
If the button is pushed, there's no runnin’ away
There'll be no one to save with the world in a grave
Take a look around ya, boy; it's bound to scare ya, boy; and ya

Tell me over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, ya don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for four days in space
But when you return, it's the same old place
The poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don't leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don't forget to say grace

And tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

Aw, no, no, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

May 18, 2012

Deep Purple – Help (1968)

Originally known as Roundabout and almost known as Concrete God, this English group is considered a pioneer to the hard rock and heavy metal genres. Formed in 1968, they’ve featured numerous members over their lengthy history and have released such memorable tracks as “Hush,” “Smoke on the Water” and “Woman from Tokyo”.

Originally written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon/McCartney, this song first appeared on The BeatlesHelp! album, released in 1965. Considered by Lennon to be one of his most genuine songs, he claims he was “fat and depressed” and actually “was crying out for help." This particular version of the song was released on Deep Purple’s debut album, Shades of Deep Purple, and features a much, much slower tempo.

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Deep PurpleHelp (1968)

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Lyrics:

When I was younger- so much younger than today
Never needed anybody's help in any way
But now, these days are gone- I'm not so self assured
Now I find I've changed my mind- opened up the door

Help me if you can I'm feelin’ down
But I do appreciate your being ‘round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please help me?
Yeah

And now my life has changed in, oh, so many ways
My independence seems to vanish in the haze
But every now and then, I feel so insecure
Now I know I need you like I never done before

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down- down
But I do appreciate your being ‘round me
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please help me?
My love?

(Help)
I need somebody
(Help)
Not just anybody
(Help)
I need someone
Help

Won't you please help me?
My love?
Help me, baby
Help me

May 17, 2012

Bert Weedon - Guitar Boogie Shuffle (1959)

Born in 1920, this guitarist has the honor of being very influential to many future guitarists of the 1960s. Born in London, he worked with numerous big name stars, such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Nat King Cole, as well as making a name for himself as a solo artist. His best-selling tutorial guides on how to play guitar, titled Play in a Day, were highly influential on many future legends like John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page to name a few. He passed away April 20, 2012, a few weeks before this feature was written.

Originally released in 1948 under the title of “Guitar Boogie,” this song was originally a country and western track recorded by Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith. In 1958, it was recorded by The Virtues, a group out of Philadelphia, using a rock ‘n’ roll approach and renaming it the “Guitar Boogie Shuffle”. By 1959 it was climbing the charts in the US while its UK counterpart, recorded by today’s artist, reached number ten in the UK.

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Bert Weedon - Guitar Boogie Shuffle (1959)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

May 16, 2012

The Squires – Going All the Way (1966)

This group is another example of talented kids in high school who never made it as big as their talents should have taken them. The original group, known as The Rogues, was formed by high school friends Michael Bouyea, Thomas Flanigan, Kurt Robinson, and John Folcik in Bristol, Connecticut circa 1965. After finding regional success, they went to Capitol Records in New York and switched their name at the record company’s insistence.

They recorded this song during that New York visit and released it in 1966. Unfortunately, it didn’t make much of an impact, even on the local scene, and Folcik and Robinson left the group. Bouyea, their lead singer, was drafted to Vietnam a year later, and would later in life go on to become a radio personality in Toronto. The B-Side of this release was “Go Ahead”.

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The Squires – Going All the Way (1966)

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Lyrics:

I’m going all the way, pretty baby
Before my time is through, yeah
I’m going all the way, pretty baby
To see what I can do

All the things that I’ve been looking for, yeah
Everyone I find
I’ll see the sights, I’ll hear the sounds
Before the end of my time

I’m going all the way, yeah
I’m going all the way
I’m going all the way, yeah
Oh

My hopes are gettin’ so much higher
My soul is burnin' inside, yeah
That flame has turned into a fire
Just like the change in the tide

I'll see the towns from the north to the south
From the east to the west, yeah
Well all the cities, all the countries
Before that long, long rest, yeah

I’m going all the way, yeah
I’m going all the way
I’m going all the way, yeah

May 15, 2012

The Brass Buttons – Hell Will Take Care of Her (1968)

Coming from Rochester, New York, this group was originally known as The Show Stoppers when they formed together in high school. Their lead singers were Jay Capozzi and Eric “ET” Thorngren. Other members in the band were drummer Bob Guglielmino, keyboardist Joe Graziano, saxophonist Danny Labatte, and bassist Mike Julian.

Written by Jay Capozzi, this song was the B-side on the single that featured the A-side “My Song”.

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The Brass Buttons – Hell Will Take Care of Her (1968)

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Lyrics:

Don’t believe her when she says she’s sorry, boy
Don’t you listen to the things she says
She will hurt you any time she gets bored
Wind you up and treat you like a kid’s toy

Though her eyes are blue, her heart’s as black as night
Even if she’s wrong, she claims she’s always right
Don’t give in to any of her schemes
She always makes them brighter than they seem

Boys’ll think that she’s so fine
But her heart’s as cold as wine
As wine
As wine

When her tears are so impressive
She uses them to get the best
Of you
Of you

Curses things that other girls just wish they had
Praises all the things that are all so bad
Leave her now and hurt her with your exit plan
Hell will take care of this girl when it’s her time

Hell will take care of this girl when it’s her time
Hell will take care of this girl when it’s her time

May 14, 2012

Chad & Jeremy - A Summer Song (1964)

Composed of Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde, this English folk rock duo began in 1960 and had seven hit songs reach the Top 40 from 1964 to 1966. At one point, they applied for American citizenship, but canceled the process after being informed citizenship would make them eligible for getting drafted into America’s Vietnam Conflict. The duo released psychedelic albums in 1967 and ’68, but they sold poorly and they split up. After a reunion in the ‘80s, they got together again in 2003 and continue to perform to this day.

This song was the duo’s second hit song, released ten months after their first and most well-known hit “Yesterday’s Gone”. There were two versions of the song: the UK version and the US version. The UK version opened with only Chad singing, while the US version featured both artists singing at the same time throughout the song. Although not a hit in the UK, it reached number seven in the US, the duo’s best ranking of any release they put out.

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Chad & Jeremy - A Summer Song (1964)

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Lyrics:

Trees swayin' in the summer breeze
Showin' off their silver leaves
As we walked by
Soft kisses on a summer's day
Laughing all our cares away
Just you and I

Sweet, sleepy warmth of summer nights
Gazing at the distant lights
In the starry sky

They say that all good things must end someday
Autumn leaves must fall
But don't you know that it hurts me so
To say goodbye to you
Wish you didn't have to go
No, no, no, no

And when the rain
Beats against my window pane
I'll think of summer days again
And dream of you

They say that all good things must end someday
Autumn leaves must fall
But don't you know that it hurts me so
To say goodbye to you
Wish you didn't have to go
No, no, no, no

And when the rain
Beats against my window pane
I'll think of summer days again
And dream of you
And dream of you

May 11, 2012

Led Zeppelin - The Rain Song (1973)

They were said to be as important to the 1970s as The Beatles were to the 1960s. They were born from the ashes of The Yardbirds and were originally intended by Jimmy Page to be a supergroup featuring Keith Moon, Jeff Beck, and others. Moon said the idea would “go over like a lead balloon” and the group only recorded one song (heard here). What eventually came together was one of rock’s most legendary lineups: Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones. With a small twist of Moon’s “lead balloon” comment, Led Zeppelin had just begun.

This ballad comes from the group’s fifth album, Houses of the Holy. The idea of the song came about after former member of The Beatles, George Harrison, commented to John Bonham how the group didn’t have any ballad-type songs. What eventually transpired was music written by Jimmy Page and lyrics penned by Robert Plant. In tribute to Harrison, you can hear that the opening of the song borrows chords from the opening of “Something” by The Beatles, which was written by Harrison.

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Led Zeppelin - The Rain Song (1973)

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Lyrics:

It is the springtime of my loving
The second season I am to know
You are the sunlight in my growing
So little warmth I've felt before
It isn't hard to feel me glowing
I watched the fire that grew so low

It is the summer of my smiles
Flee from me, keepers of the gloom
Speak to me only with your eyes
It is to you I give this tune
Ain't so hard to recognize, oh
These things are clear to all from
Time to time

Talk, talk, talk, talk

Hey
I've felt coldness of my winter
I never thought it would ever go
I cursed the gloom that set upon us
But I know that I love you so
Aw, but I know that I love you so

These are the seasons of emotion
And like the wind, they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion
I see the torch we all must hold
This is a mystery of the quotient- quotient
Upon us all- upon us all a little rain must fall

Just a little rain, oh
Ooh, yeah

May 10, 2012

The Nightcrawlers - The Little Black Egg (1965)

Having been created in Daytona Beach, FL in 1964, this group reflected the sounds of The Byrds and The Beau Brummels. Although not as polished as those groups, they did manage to put together enough material for one full album, released on Kapp Records. In the spring of 1967, the principal songwriter, Charlie Conlon, left the group. The band attempted to carry on without him, but folded in a few months. Conlon later tried to revive the group under the name Conlon and the Crawlers, but met no success. Other previous members of the group continued to tour in Ohio under the original name, but never again recorded, and finally disbanded for the last time in 1970.

This song was a local hit in Daytona Beach upon its first release in 1965, that is, up until it was rumored that its lyrics dealt with interracial sex and it was banned. Thinking they hadn’t gotten a good enough response after its banning, the song was released twice more in other locations throughout the US, the final release being in 1967 after the band had already broken up. The song reached its highest position during that third release, reaching number eighty-five on the national charts. Each release had featured the B-side “You’re Running Wild”.

[Update 05/24/2013: Via email submission, The Nightcrawlers' own Sylvan Wells verified the lyric "Oh, Gol-durn, what can I do?" which has often caused confusion amongst fans. "Gol-durn" is an old expression which was common in the American Old West, synonymous with the phrase, "God d*mn it."]

[Update 06/07/2013: The Nightcrawlers' Sylvan Wells was kind enough to share a story with us. In it, he talks all about the events of the band that led to "The Little Black Egg." You can read the story here.]

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The Nightcrawlers - The Little Black Egg (1965)

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Lyrics:

I don't care what they say
I'm goin’ to keep it anyway
I won't let them stretch their necks
To see my little black egg with the little white specks

I found it in a tree
Just the other day
And now it's mine, all mine
They won't take it away

Here comes Mary; here comes Lee
I'll bet what they want to see
I won't let them stretch their necks
To see my little black egg with the little white specks

I found it in a tree
Just the other day
And now it's mine, all mine
They won't take it away

Oh Gol-durn, what can I do?
The little black egg's gonna tell on you
I won't let them stretch their necks
To see my little black egg with the little white specks

My little black egg
My little black egg
My little black egg
My little black egg
My little black egg…

May 09, 2012

The Action – I Can’t Make a Friend (1967)

Though they share the same name, this group was not the same The Action from England. This group was formed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1966. They were popular at many of the local clubs with a soul-influenced pop noise. Many of their records featured an A-side that wasn’t soul-influenced, thinking it would help broaden their popularity. After establishing themselves in the Sydney music scene in Australia, the group disbanded in 1968.

This song was from a single released in 1967 that featured the B-side “Romeo and Juliet”. It was sung by Evan Silva, who joined the band after leaving the group Nobody’s Children earlier that year. This was one of those A-sides previously mentioned that didn’t have as much of the soul-sound that the band was used to playing at their local gigs. Fortunately for us, it’s a great song.

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The Action – I Can’t Make a Friend (1967)

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Lyrics:

No one wants to live a lie
Being lonely day and night
I won’t go without a fight

Every day it’s the same
Along their field and chain
I’m a man with no one close
I’m tired of the pain

‘cause I can’t make a friend
(That’s what they told me)
No, I can’t make a friend
(No, no, baby)

Livin’ alone and feelin’ down
In my room, not makin’ a sound
I’m tellin' ya that there’s no one around

I just walk the floor
And sit up all alone
Why do they hide from me?
I want to be known

‘cause I can’t make a friend
(Tell me the truth)
No, I can’t make a friend

How can I expect to laugh?
What makes ya smile and then walk past?
My weak mind is goin’ fast

No one wants to live a lie
Being lonely day and night
I won’t go without a fight

‘cause I can’t make a friend
No, I can’t make a friend

How can I expect to laugh?
What makes ya smile and then walk past?
My weak mind is goin’ fast

‘cause I can’t make a friend
(Alright, baby)
No, I can’t make a friend
(No, no, no)
‘cause I can’t make a friend

May 08, 2012

Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs - Li'l Red Riding Hood (1966)

Led by the Mexican-American Domingo “Sam” Zamudio, this group is primarily remembered for their hits “Wooly Bully,” the song heard below, and their pharaoh stage costumes. They were also known to drive to their concerts in a 1952 hearse with dark red velvet curtains, which held all of their gear. After the breakup of the group, Zamudio went on to a solo career and worked with Duane Allman.

This song comes from the 1966 album Li’l Red Riding Hood, which featured an almost entirely different lineup of members than the previous years’ “Wooly Bully”. Zamudio was the only remaining member after financial disputes split the band apart. The premise of the song combines the fairy tale written by Charles Perrault and the term “wolf” to describe a man with a hidden sexual agenda toward a woman. It reached number two on the charts.

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Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs - Li'l Red Riding Hood (1966)

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Lyrics:

[wolf howl]

Who's that I see walkin' in these woods?
Why, it's Little Red Riding Hood

Hey there Little Red Riding Hood
You sure are lookin’ good
You're ev’rything a big bad wolf could want

Listen to me

Little Red Riding Hood
I don't think little big girls should
Go walkin’ in these spooky old woods alone

[wolf howl]

What big eyes you have
The kind of eyes that drive wolves mad
So just to see that you don't get chased
I think I ought to walk with you for a ways

What full lips you have
They're sure to lure someone bad
So until you get to grandma's place
I think you ought to walk with me and be safe

I'm gonna keep my sheep suit on
Until I'm sure that you've been shown
That I can be trusted walkin’ with you alone

[wolf howl]

Little Red Riding Hood
I'd like to hold you if I could
But you might think I'm a big bad wolf, so I won't

[wolf howl]

What a big heart I have
The better to love you with
Little Red Riding Hood
Even bad wolves can be good
I'll try to be satisfied
Just to walk close by your side
Maybe you'll see things my way
Before we get to grandma's place

Little Red Riding Hood
You sure are looking good
You're ev’rything that a big bad wolf could want

[wolf howl]
I mean baaaaa
Baaaaa?
Baaaaa

May 07, 2012

The Kirkbys - Don't You Want Me No More (1965)

This group from Liverpool was one of the many projects manned by musician Jimmy Campbell. First known as The Panthers in 1962, the group played at The Cavern Club, opening for The Beatles. During a radio broadcast, a DJ mistook the group’s hometown as their band-name and introduced them as The Kirkbys, which stuck until the psychedelic music scene began to evolve. The group once again changed names, for the last time, to The 23rd Turnoff, a reference to the highway exit leading to Liverpool.

This song comes from the group’s Kirkbys-era. There were actually two recordings of this song. The first version was recorded by the group in Finland, but the group was unhappy with the result and its release. Hoping to create a better version, they re-recorded the song in the UK. Although they succeeded, it was never released. Heard below is the previously-unreleased version. Because a 2004 compilation of Campbell’s material was released under The 23rd Turnoff’s name, this song has often been erroneously attributed to The 23rd Turnoff.

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The Kirkbys - Don't You Want Me No More (1965)

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Lyrics:

I’m worryin’ so much my head is sore
Your eyes don’t penetrate me like before
No longer do you satisfy
I need to know you’re only mine
Don’t you want me no more?

It’s obvious to me; don’t try to hide
The vessel of your thoughts, in me, confide
Sleep is catchin’ up on me
Let my head lie easily
Don’t you want me no more?

I’ve lost before; I lose some more
I’m worn out here again
But an in-between has got no dream
And I ain’t dreamed since when

I’m worryin’ so much my head is sore
Your eyes don’t penetrate me like before
No longer do you satisfy
I need to know you’re only mine
Don’t you want me no more?

May 04, 2012

The Mamas & The Papas - Creeque Alley (1967)

When the rock group known as The Mugwumps split up, the four members split into two pairs. John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky went on to form The Lovin’ Spoonful, while Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty got together with husband and wife, John and Michelle Phillips, to form this group. They were briefly known as The Magic Cyrcle, but changed their name after hearing a member of the Hells Angels on television refer to the gangs’ women as their “Mamas”. They were together from 1965 until 1968 (with a brief reunion in ’71), had a lot of internal conflict, including a love triangle, but were able to release five successful albums and eleven hit singles.

Pronounced "creeky alley," this song comes from the group’s third album, The Mamas & The Papas Deliver, released in 1967. It was written by John and Michelle Phillips, and serves as an autobiography telling the story of how the group was formed. The McGuinn and McGuire mentioned are in fact who you’re thinking they are: Roger McGuinn of The Byrds and Barry McGuire who had released “Eve of Destruction” in 1965.

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The Mamas & The Papas - Creeque Alley (1967)

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Lyrics:

John and Mitchy were gettin' kind of itchy
Just to leave the folk music behind
Zal and Denny workin' for a penny
Tryin' to get a fish on the line
In a coffee house Sebastian sat
And after every number they'd pass the hat
McGuinn and McGuire just a-gettin' higher in L.A.
You know where that's at
And no one's gettin' fat except Mama Cass

Zally said, "Denny, you know there aren't many
Who can sing a song the way that you do; let's go south”
Denny said, "Zally, golly, don't you think that I wish
I could play guitar like you"
Zal, Denny, and Sebastian sat (at the Night Owl)
And after every number they'd pass the hat
McGuinn and McGuire still a-gettin higher in L.A.
You know where that's at
And no one's gettin' fat except Mama Cass

When Cass was a sophomore, planned to go to Swathmore
But she changed her mind one day
Standin' on the turnpike, thumb out to hitchhike
"Take me to New York right away"
When Denny met Cass he gave her love bumps
Called John and Zal and that was the Mugwumps
McGuinn and McGuire couldn't get no higher
But that's what they were aimin' at
And no one's gettin' fat except Mama Cass

Mugwumps, high jumps, low slumps, big bumps
Don't you work as hard as you play
Make up, break up, everything is shake up
Guess it had to be that way
Sebastian and Zal formed the Spoonful
Michelle, John, and Denny gettin' very tuneful
McGuinn and McGuire just a-catchin' fire in L.A.
You know where that's at
And everybody's gettin' fat except Mama Cass

Broke, busted, disgusted, agents can't be trusted
And Mitchy wants to go to the sea
Cass can't make it; she says we'll have to fake it
We knew she'd come eventually
Greasin' on American Express cards
Tents low rent, but keeping out the heat's hard
Duffy's good vibrations and our imaginations
Can't go on indefinitely
And California dreamin' is becomin' a reality

May 03, 2012

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - Smell of Incense (1967)

If there was ever a phony frontman who was only in it for the girls and money, it was Bob Markley of this group. In 1965, record producer Kim Fowley attempted to match up musicians who had talent with Markley’s lyrics (and deep pockets). He threw the hopeful band a party at Markley’s home and hired The Yardbirds. Only after Markley noticed all of the young girls’ admiration for the musicians did he agree to join the group. Conflicts within the band were constant, as Markley was said to be egotistical, a bully, and completely talentless as a musician. The group released six albums, all spattered here and there with Markley’s nonsense.

Luckily, some of the material released by the group, such as the song heard below, was able to go unscathed by Markley and his ego. This song comes from the group’s third album, titled Vol. 2 (Breaking Through). (The first album, Volume One, had been primarily completed without Markley, and was therefore ignored when their second album, Part One, needed a name).

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The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - Smell of Incense (1967)

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Lyrics:

She stood as still as the shadows of stone
She stood on the edge of my mind
I tried to push her away
I shut and locked the door
Her eyes grew large and asking
And the smell of incense filled her room

She stood in the ever present fullness of expectation
What happened to her childhood dreams?
The sidewalk smothers us tomorrow
And the smell of incense filled her room

She stood as still as the shadows of stone
She stood on the edge of my mind
I tried to push her away
I shut and locked the door
Her eyes grew large and asking
And the smell of incense filled her room

And the smell of incense filled her room
And the smell of incense filled her room
(And the smell of incense filled her room)
And the smell of incense filled her room
And the smell of incense filled her room
And the smell of incense filled her room
And the smell of incense-
And the smell of incense-
And the smell of incense-
And the smell of incense-
And the smell of incense-
And the smell of incense-
And the smell of incense-
And the smell of inc-

May 02, 2012

Buffy Sainte-Marie - Universal Soldier (1964)

Born Beverly Sainte-Marie in 1941, this singer and songwriter was a part of the folk movement in the 1960s. As part Cree Indian, her songs (as well as her social activism) largely dealt with the indigenous people of the Americas. Secretly, much of her work was blacklisted by the Lyndon B. Johnson administration, which had been attempting to silence the protest movements of the time. Her songs have been covered by Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, Donovan, Neil Diamond, and many others.

In 1963, this artist witnesses wounded soldiers coming home from Vietnam at a time when the United States government was denying any involvement in the conflict. Inspired by what she had seen, she wrote this song. It was released on her first album, titled It’s My Way!, released in 1964. It wasn’t a popular hit, but would later become one when it was covered by Donovan in 1965.

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Buffy Sainte-Marie - Universal Soldier (1964)

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Lyrics:

He's five feet two and he's six feet four
He fights with missiles and with spears
He's all of thirty-one and he's only seventeen
He's been a soldier for a thousand years

He's a Catholic, a Hindu, an atheist, a Jain
A Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew
And he knows he shouldn't kill
And he knows he always will
Kill you for me, my friend, and me for you

And he's fighting for Canada
He's fighting for France
He's fighting for the USA
And he's fighting for the Russians
And he's fighting for Japan
And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way

And he's fighting for democracy
He’s fighting for the Reds
He says it's for the peace of all
He's the one who must decide
Who's to live and who's to die
And he never sees the writing on the walls

But without him how would Hitler have
Condemned him at Dachau?
Without him Caesar would have stood alone
He's the one who gives his body
As a weapon to the war
And without him all this killing can't go on

He's the universal soldier and he
Really is to blame
But his orders come from far away no more
They come from him, and you, and me
And brothers can't you see?
This is not the way we put an end to war

May 01, 2012

Link Wray and his Ray Men - Rumble (1958)

This man is responsible for pioneering the distorted noise made by electric guitars heard in nearly all rock music. He has the honored title of being the inventor of the “power chord” and thus making punk rock and heavy rock music possible. As part Shawnee Indian, he frequently incorporated his heritage into his performances and song titles. Unfortunately, he passed away from heart failure in 2005 at the age of seventy-six.

Originally titled “Oddball,” this song marks the defining moment where distortion and feedback became popular in rock and roll music. It’s said to be the first song to ever use the “power chord” and was banned in several regions because the guitar’s harsh noises “glorified juvenile delinquency.” Censors also weren’t fond of the title, which was a slang term for a gang fight. Despite its censoring, the song climbed to number sixteen in the charts and eventually made an impact all the way over in Britain, where groups like The Kinks and The Who have cited it as a large influence. To sum it up, Bob Dylan called it “the best instrumental ever.”

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Link Wray and his Ray Men - Rumble (1958)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)