A Bit Like You And Me Radio

February 28, 2013

The Four Freshmen - Their Hearts Were Full of Spring (1961)

This singing quartet was formed by brothers Ross and Don Barbour at Butler University in early 1948. Originally known as Hal’s Harmonizers and briefly the Toppers, they first went on the road in September 1948 under their finalized name, read above, where they were discovered by band leader Stan Kenton in Dayton, Ohio. Later that same year, they were signed to Capitol Records and began recording songs. Their first hit came in 1952 in the form of “It’s a Blue World.” Multiple hits soon followed and the group’s popularity went national. Unbeknownst to the quartet at the time, a young Brian Wilson was studying the vocal arrangements of each of their records as early as the mid-‘50s and practicing them with his brothers and friends, what would eventually evolve into The Beach Boys. Although the popularity of this group faded with the bands of the British Invasion, they remained intact and performed with at least one original member all the way through 1992. Since, a new lineup of the band exists and consistently tours across the United States.

Now, more than fifty years after the formation of The Beach Boys, people hearing this quarter for the first time tend to think that they were either inspired by The Beach Boys or that they are in fact The Beach Boys. But it was in fact The Beach Boys who were inspired by this quartet and using them as a template to perfect their own vocal harmonies. This song, written by the same guy who wrote “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66”, Bobby Troup, originally appeared on the group’s 1961 album, The Fresh-Man Year, on Capitol Records. It would later be covered by The Beach Boys numerous times.

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The Four Freshmen - Their Hearts Were Full of Spring (1961)

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Lyrics:

There's a story told of a very gentle boy
And the girl who wore his ring
Through the wintery snow
The world they knew was warm
For their hearts were full of spring

As the days grew old
And the nights passed into time
And the weeks and years took wing
Gentle boy, tender girl
Their love remained still young
For their hearts were full of spring

Then one day they died
And their graves were side by side
On a hill where robins sing
And they say violets
Grow there the whole year round
For their hearts were full of spring

February 27, 2013

New Riders of the Purple Sage - Rainbow (1972)

Often shortened to the New Riders or NRPS, this country rock band was formed in San Francisco, California in 1969 by a handful of notable musicians in the Bay area. As far back as the early ‘60s, John Dawson, nicknamed “Marmaduke,” had been known by his friends to have a penchant for the country music heard in the eastern parts of the United States. In 1966, Dawson’s tastes had expanded quite a bit (along with his mind) through the blooming drug culture and acid experimentation popular at the time. After some short stints performing in various bands in 1967 and ’68, Dawson began performing in local coffeehouses where he blended his new found love of psychedelics with his classic love of country and bluegrass. By 1969, Dawson began featuring his old friend, Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, in his shows when the Dead were taking a break from touring. As luck would have it, country rock had been climbing in popularity over the past few years in thanks to artists like The Band, Gram Parsons' era of The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Bob Dylan all releasing country-inspired albums. Thinking that they should have a full-fledged band to back them, Dawson (on acoustic guitar) and Garcia (on the pedal steel guitar) picked up David Nelson of Big Brother and the Holding Company to play lead electric guitar and Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead to play bass and drums, respectively. Although this lineup would change very frequently over the next forty-plus years, these noted musicians became the first lineup of the New Riders of the Purple Sage.

In 1970, Spencer Dryden of Jefferson Airplane replaced Mickey Hart on the drums while Dave Torbet of the Grateful Dead replaced Phil Lesh on the bass. In 1971, Buddy Cage replaced Jerry Garcia on the pedal steel guitar. The band’s second released album, titled Powerglide, was this new lineup’s first album together. It was the highest charting album released by any incarnation of the band, reaching number thirty-three on the Billboard 200 in 1972. Although the album featured guest appearances by Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann, and Nicky Hopkins, this particular song only featured the new official lineup mentioned above. Written by John “Marmaduke” Dawson, this song was the second track and one of six original songs on the Powerglide album.

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New Riders of the Purple Sage - Rainbow (1972)

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Lyrics:

Sing me a rainbow, shine me a dime
Drop in and see me any old time, honey
And if you love me, tell me you do
Reason I’m asking is ‘cause I love you, honey
Oh, don’t you know that I love you?

When I was living, I felt so ashamed
Well, now I’ve been giving and feeling less pain
So, honey

Sing me a rainbow, shine me a dime
Drop in and see m any old time, honey
And if you love me, tell me you do
Reason I’m asking is ‘cause I love you, honey
Oh, don’t you know that I love you?

Oh, yes, you are magic, I know that you are
‘cause I saw you riding last night on a star, honey

Sing me a rainbow, shine me a dime
Drop in and see me any old time, honey
And if you love me, tell me you do
Reason I’m asking is ‘cause I love you, honey
Oh, don’t you know that I love you?

Oh, honey
Oh, don’t you know that I love you?

February 26, 2013

The Sure Cure - Anything You Want (1966)

Though I haven’t been able to research too much information about this band, it appears to be one of the various projects of the blues guitarist Ed Wool. Wool, who started in Ed Wool and The Nomads, was from Watertown, New York, as was each of his various bands. Besides Ed Wool and The Nomads, Wool was also in this group, The Pineapple Heard, and WOOL, with WOOL being his most recognizable work. It appears that under the Sure Cure name only one single was released, of which you can hear the A-Side below.

Written by Tandyn Almer, this song was released in 1966 on Cameo-Parkway Records and featured the B-Side “I Wanna Do It.” Almer, who had a genius-level IQ and invented the Slave-Master bong, was notable for his hit song “Along Comes Mary,” which brought national attention to The Association. A musician, composer, lyricist, and record producer, Almer passed away on January 8th, 2013.

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The Sure Cure - Anything You Want (1966)

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Lyrics:

Forgive my coming out like this
But I want you for my own
You wouldn’t want me to feel sorry
Just ‘cause I’m on my own
Fireworks and tiny bells inside my head each time you smile
And hope that we may sometime be together for a while

And you’re just a fantasy I dreamed of
A diamond in the rough
I could adore you just forever
And never get enough
Other guys will take you out and leave you wanting to yourself
And tell you lots of pretty things and leave you on the shelf

But I’ll give you anything you want

This life’s not worth it without you, babe
I really can’t exist
You’re just a miracle to save me
I knew it when we kissed
In your eyes, I see the milk and honey promise of your kiss
The lips that only could give satisfaction such as this

And I’ll give you anything you want
I’ll give you anything you want
I’ll give you anything you want…

February 25, 2013

The Cryan' Shames - The Sailing Ship (1967)

This song comes from the group’s second album, A Scratch in the Sky, released in 1967. Although they abandoned the British Invasions sounds that had summarized them in their earlier years, the band couldn’t seem to figure out which style they wanted to move forward with on this album. The songs range from highly whimsical sunshine-pop to harmonic psychedelics featuring bagpipes. Although the album has its ups and downs both in mood and greatness, there are a few good tracks to be found.

This song in particular, written by band members Jim Fairs and Lenny Kerley, is probably my favorite track on the album. It appears as the second track on A Scratch in the Sky and is played here in its entirety (versus the single version which was forty-one seconds shorter). If you like it, be sure to check out the tracks “A Carol for Lorelei” and “Cobblestone Road (She’s Been Walkin’).”

After you've listened to the song below, check out all of the songs posted featuring The Cryan' Shames.

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The Cryan' Shames - The Sailing Ship (1967)

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Lyrics:

I'm sailing my ship away to sea
The stars are guiding me

I'm going where no one else can be
Across the shining sea

I am, that is, I was or I will be
Upon confusing seas

I'm sailing my ship away to sea
And I'm so lonely
(And I'm so lonely)
(And I'm so lonely)

February 22, 2013

H.P. Lovecraft - Spin, Spin, Spin (1968)

In 1967, an ex-folk singer now session vocalist by the name of George Edwards walked into Dunwich Records with the intention of covering Chip Taylor’s “Anyway That You Want Me,” which had recently been successfully been covered by The Troggs. Assigned to assist Edwards was classically trained multi-instrumentalist Dave Michaels. When Dunwich Records decided to put out the record, they wanted to use the name “H.P. Lovecraft” for the duo, as they were both fans of the horror author of the same name. In fact, they had named their record company, Dunwich Records, after the Lovecraft short-story The Dunwich Horror. After securing the rights from the author’s estate, the band was formally able to keep their name. All that remained was to pick up some more musicians. The most notable member to join the band at that stage was Jerry McGeorge on the bass, who had previously been the guitarist for the local Chicago band The Shadows of Knight. The band put out two mildly successful albums, H.P. Lovecraft in 1967 and H.P. Lovecraft II in 1968, before Michaels left the group to go back to college in late 1968. Resulting from Edwards’ departure, the rest of the group soon split up in early 1969. A few spin-off groups, Lovecraft and Love Craft, were later formed with ex-members of the group, but neither is really regarded as being officially connected to the original band.

Both of this band’s albums mixed the folk singing style of George Edwards with the operatic singing style of Dave Michaels and laid them on top of a psychedelic folk sound. This song in particular, which exemplified such vocals, was written by the American jazz, soul, and folk guitarist Terry Callier. As a side note, Edwards would later co-produce several of Callier’s songs in 1969. It’s rumored that the album this song appeared on, H.P. Lovecraft II, was the first instance in musical history where the entire album was recorded by members who were all under the influence of LSD while recording. But I bet the 13th Floor Elevators would have something to argue about that claim.

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H.P. Lovecraft - Spin, Spin, Spin (1968)

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Lyrics:

Spin, spin, spin my little darling
Spin, spin, spin my little babe
Stay in the garden, let your mind tarry
Dance to the sunlight, smell the strawberry, spin
My little darling, spin

Turn, turn, turn my little darling (my little darling)
Turn, turn, turn my little babe (my little babe)
Seeing yourself as you climb through the meadow
Seek out the answer, follow the bright glow, turn
My little darling, turn

Turn, turn, turn my little darling (my little darling)
Turn, turn, turn my little babe (my little babe)
Watching the colors change with the season
Discovering truth while searching for reason burns
My little darling, turn

Spin, spin, spin my little darling
Spin, spin, spin (spin) my little babe (my little babe)
Stay in the garden, let your mind tarry
Dance to the sunlight, smell the strawberry, spin
My little darling, spin

Spin, spin, spin

February 21, 2013

Graham Nash - Be Yourself (1971)

A legendary singer-songwriter and instrumentalist, this man has been inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, once with his group The Hollies and the other with the super-group Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Although his family comes from Salford, Lancashire and he was raised there as a child, Graham Nash was actually born in Blackpool, Lancashire on February 2nd, 1942, after his mother had been evacuated to that location during the Second World War. He co-founded the wildly successful pop group The Hollies while still in high school with his friend from school, Allan Clarke. In 1966, he met David Crosby (of The Byrds) and Stephen Stills (of Buffalo Springfield) during a tour of the United States with The Hollies. Two years later in 1968, Nash quit The Hollies and met up with Crosby and Stills in L.A. to form their new “super” group, while also beginning to partake in many political events around that time. A short-while later, CSN would involve the talents of Neil Young and, for those times, would be known as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Two of Nash’s penned songs, “Our House” and “Teach Your Children” have become well known songs that still receive significant use in television and movies. In more recent years, Nash was seen performing alongside David Crosby at the Occupy Wall Street protest movement in New York, 2011.

This song, written by Graham Nash and Terry Reid, was the last track of the first side on Graham Nash’s first solo album, Songs for Beginners, released in 1971. It features Nash on guitar and lead vocals; Rita Coolidge on piano; Calvin “Fuzzy” Samuels on bass; Johnny Barbata on drums; and the Everyone Loose There choir performing the chorus. Rita Coolidge is particularly noted for breaking up CSN, temporarily in 1970, after she left her relationship with Stephen Stills for one with Graham Nash. Fuzzy Samuels would go on to play with Stephen Stills in the group Manassas, whereas Johnny Barbata was the drummer for The Turtles during the height of their success and later drummed for Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and many other notable stars as a session musician.

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Graham Nash - Be Yourself (1971)

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Lyrics:

How does it feel when life doesn't seem real
And you're floating about on your own?
Your life is uncertain, so you draw the curtain
Pretending there's nobody home

But don't theorize
Look in your eyes
They can't tell lies
Though you disguise what you see
The mirror is free

We once had a savior, but by our behavior
The one that was worth it is gone
The song birds are talking and the runners are walking
A prodigal son is coming home

And don't theorize
Look in his eyes
They won't tell lies
But if he defies what you see
He'll give you the key

(Be yourself, be yourself)
(Be yourself, be yourself)

We needed a tutor, so built a computer
And we programmed ourselves not to see
The truth and the lying, the dead and the dying
A silent majority

But don't theorize
Look in their eyes
Are they telling lies?
The ones that they learned on T.V.?
What a way to be free

(Be yourself, be yourself)
(Free yourself, free yourself)

Yes, you can
(Be yourself)
(See yourself)

Then you can
(Free yourself)
(Be yourself)

Why don’t you
(Be yourself)
(Be yourself)
(Be yourself)…

February 20, 2013

The Cherry People - Ask the Children (1968)

Formed in Washington D.C. in 1964 as the Intruders, this band was primarily composed of brothers Chris and Doug Grimes along with Edwin Meadows, who used the nickname Punky ever since he was a kid. Later changing their name to the English Setters, the group got their first contract with Heritage Records around the summer of 1967 and began using the name seen above. The band’s first single, “And Suddenly,” reached number forty-four on the charts, barely missing the Top 40. It was the closest shot at success that the band ever would reach. After the release of their first album, the sunshine pop-oriented The Cherry People, the band switched to a genre that they felt was more in tune with how they wanted to sound: hard rock. For the remainder of 1968 until the band broke up in 1972, the group primarily played hard rock songs, but failed to reach any sort of commercial success. After breaking up in ’72, Punky Meadows went on to form the glam rock band, Angel, where he found a more lasting success.

This song comes from the group’s first album, The Cherry People, released in 1968. It was the only album by the group to take on a pop-heavy bubblegum sound before making their switch to hard rock. It was recorded at Bell Sound Studios in New York, New York and arranged by Jimmy Wisner.

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The Cherry People - Ask the Children (1968)

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Lyrics:

When you're down and you’re feeling lonely
Take the time for a walk on Sunday
Ask the children, they'll tell you it's all right
The world's out of sight

All these little things you call problems
And you don't just know how to solve them
Ask the children they'll tell you it's all right
The world's out of sight

Sunshine
Use the sunshine

Hear the sound of laughter
From the tree-tops where they hide
Cowboys shooting Indians
No one died (No one died)
No one died (No one died)

If everyday life don’t thrill you
Take a trip to the park on Sunday
Ask the children, they'll tell you it's all right
The world's out of sight

Sunshine
(Ask the children)
Sunshine
(Ask the children)

February 18, 2013

The Lollipop Shoppe - You Must Be a Witch (1968)

Originally formed as The Weeds in Portland, Oregon, this group never managed to appear on any charts. They were managed by “Lord” Tim Hudson, who was also the manager of The Seeds and would later be a voice actor for characters in the Disney films The Aristocats and The Jungle Book. Once under the tutelage of Hudson, the group was convinced that they should change their name to something that would fit in with the popularity of bubblegum music and that wouldn't sound so similar to his other group, The Seeds. The name seen above is what resulted, but the band still continued to play their garage/psychedelic material that they preferred. Although they never managed to score a hit song, they did open for acts such as The Doors and Janis Joplin, as well as appearing on the soundtrack to a ‘60s biker movie called Angels from Hell. Releasing only one album and a handful of singles, the group decided to call it quits in 1969 soon after their last single was released.

This song, arguably the most “successful” by the group, was released in 1968 as the single to the group’s only full length album, Just Colour. The band was clearly attempting to make listeners think they were from England, as they chose to spell “color” with its English spelling. Unfortunately for the band, the album passed by with only lukewarm attention. Luckily for us, the song is a great garage rocker that sounds nowhere near what the band’s bubblegum-sounding name would suggest.

[Update: Fred Cole of The Lollipop Shoppe provided us with an exclusive story. Check it out.]

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The Lollipop Shoppe - You Must Be a Witch (1968)

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Lyrics:

Why do you try and look into me?
Why do you always look and never see?
Always look and never see
Always look and never see

You plea and decree
You're talking obscene
You’re making my life into a dream
You're wearing your colors
To be like the others
An easy life in heaven
With a thousand other guys
Yeah, yeah

The place, the time
Don't seem to matter much
'cause “guys” to you
Is pushing people with your touch
Pushing people with your touch
Pushing people with your touch

Your willing decree
You're talking obscene
You’re making my life into a dream
You're wearing your colors
To be like the others
An easy life in heaven
With a thousand other guys
Yeah, yeah

You must be a witch
I don’t need your love now
You must be a witch
I don’t need your love now
Yeah, oh

Easy life in heaven
With a thousand other guys
Yeah, yeah

Your eyes can't see
There's something wrong with you
It's sad to say
I never wanna be like you
I never wanna be like you
No, no, no
I never wanna be like you

February 15, 2013

Cream - As You Said (1968)

One night in 1966, Ginger Baker had gone to see Eric Clapton play in a concert with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Giving Clapton a ride home, Baker informed him about the creative stifling he was feeling in his current group, the Graham Bond Organisation. It was Baker’s idea and invitation for him and Clapton to start a new group together that would allow them to explore their creative desires. Clapton, equally admiring Baker’s playing, suggested that they pick up Jack Bruce as the bassist, also admiring his work from having played with him briefly in the Bluesbreakers and Powerhouse. Allegedly, Baker was so distraught at this suggestion that he nearly ran off the road and crashed the car. Unaware to Clapton at the time, Baker and Bruce had been known for their feuding while they were in the Graham Bond Organisation together. The two musicians were allegedly known to sabotage one another’s instruments and fight with one another on stage. At one point Baker had verbally fired Bruce from the band, but Bruce kept showing up at their practices and gigs. Bruce finally got the picture and left permanently when Ginger Baker threatened him up close and personally with a knife. Putting his differences aside and obeying Clapton’s wishes, Baker and Bruce saw past their differences and came together to form the band. With each of the three members having been renowned as “the cream of the crop” of their respective instruments, the band thought “Cream” might make for a good band name.

After the band’s first two albums, Fresh Cream and the legendary Disraeli Gears, they decided to release a double album that was going to be laced with a combination of studio tracks and live recordings. Calling it Wheels of Fire, the band split whose songs they would record pretty evenly three ways. Although the album is remembered for songs such as “White Room” and Clapton’s arrangement of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads,” the entire album is something to enjoy. This song, written by Jack Bruce and lyricist/poet Pete Brown, was the closing track to side one of the first disc and showed that the group didn’t have to “rock” to make great music.

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Cream - As You Said (1968)

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Lyrics:

Let's go down to where it's clean
To see the time that might have been
The tides have carried off the beach
As you said, “The sun is out of reach”

Let's go back to where it's clean
To see what year it might have been
The roads have carried off the smile
As you said, “To judge them at the trial”

So let's go back to now that's bad
To see what time we might have had
The rails have carried off the train
As you said, “I'll never come again, again, again, a-”

February 14, 2013

The Seeds - Flower Lady & Her Assistant (1967)

This highly garage-sounding band is considered to be a forefather of the entire punk rock genre. Formed in 1965 by Daryl Hooper (keyboard), Jan Savage (guitar), Rick Andridge (drums), and Jeremy Levine (guitar), the almost-complete band put out an advertisement in the Los Angeles newspapers looking for a lead singer. Answering the ad and getting the job was the future frontman for the group, Sky Saxon (b. Richard Elvern Marsh). Soon after their first recording session, Levine left the group and they continued on as a four-piece band. Although Saxon was credited as their lead singer and bass player, he never actually played the bass on their albums. In the studio, they (almost always) used a session musician by the name of Harvey Sharpe. In concert, Hooper bounced back and forth between the keyboards and the bass. The band’s first single, “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine,” was a large hit in Southern California; later hits included “Pushin’ Too Hard,” “Mr. Farmer,” and “A Thousand Shadows.” “Pushin’ Too Hard” was their only Top 40 hit in the USA, reaching number thirty-six. With their simple song structures and catchy vocal hooks, the band helped lay a clear groundwork for future punk bands and the punk rock genre in general. Not everyone liked Sky Saxon’s singing, however, as famed music critic Lester Bangs once referred to Saxon’s vocal styles as a cheap impersonation of The Rolling StonesMick Jagger. More recently, Saxon had begun recorded with The Seeds again in 2008 and agreed to join a 2009 tour that included The Electric Prunes and Love. Unfortunately, Saxon died just before the tour could get under way on June 25, 2009. The cause of death was a small infection that he had never had treated and, as a result, spread through the rest of his body cause simultaneous heart and kidney failure. It took quite a bit of research before anyone knew his actual age at the time of his death, as various birth years had been discovered, referencing Saxon’s belief that age is irrelevant. Finally, they verified that he was born on August 20th, 1937. He was seventy-one years old.

After the band had released two “garage rock” albums, The Seeds and A Web of Sound, in 1966, they decided to dabble in the craze sweeping the nation, psychedelia, when they released their next album, 1967’s Future. The only problem was that the band hadn’t really come up with any new ideas for material. Two songs on the album, “A Thousand Shadows” and the song heard below, were more or less melodic rip-offs of their own “Pushin’ Too Hard,” a hit released the year prior. This song, written by Sky Saxon, appeared as the sixth track on the album and is one of the few highlights to be found.

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The Seeds - Flower Lady & Her Assistant (1967)

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Lyrics:

There she is a’workin' her yard
The flower lady and her assistant
Lilacs and poppies, blood-red flowers
Sunlight preachin’ to touch the sky
Workin' so hard ‘til the day she dies
The flower lady and her assistant
The flower lady and her assistant

Yellow-print dress, she outgrows the rest
Working so hard right back in her yard
Lost in daydreams, forgotten by time
The flower lady and her assistant
She dances through life like a butterfly
Working so hard ‘til the day she dies
The flower lady and her assistant
Lilacs and poppies, blood-red flowers
Forgotten everything in search of peace
The flower lady and her assistant

There she is plantin' her yard
The flower lady and her assistant
Lilacs and poppies, blood-red flowers
Reachin’, touchin’, touch the sky
A painted billboard that hides her yard
The flower lady and her assistant
The flower lady and her assistant

A yellow-print dress, she outgrows the rest
Working so hard right back in her yard
Lost in daydreams, forgotten by time
The flower lady and her assistant
She dances through life like a butterfly
Working so hard ‘til the day she dies
The flower lady and her assistant
Just living in uncertainty
The flower lady and her assistant
Lilacs and poppies, blood-red flowers
Forgotten everything in search of peace
The flower lady and her assistant
The flower lady and her assistant
The flower lady and her assistant

February 13, 2013

The Butts Band - I Won't Be Alone Anymore (1974)

When The Doors’ lead singer, Jim Morrison, died in 1971, the remaining members of The Doors were in disarray about their group’s future. Should they find a replacement? They released two albums without their lead man before considering the idea of bringing in a new lead vocalist. After a few failed auditions in London in 1973, The Doors’ keyboardist Ray Manzarek decided to head back to California and consequently left the band. The remaining members, John Densmore and Robby Krieger, decided to form an entirely new band that same year. Gathering a group of musicians to play by their side, they chose a name to mimic their feelings of desperation and desire to start creating again; the chosen name was what you read above. After the release of their first album, The Butts Band, the pressure of the band members’ homes being split between Los Angeles and London was too much for the group and they split up. Densmore and Krieger continued under the same name by bringing together new musicians. They released one last album, Hear and Now, in 1975, before calling it quits for the final time.

Written by Robby Krieger, this song was the opening track to the group’s first album, The Butts Band, released in 1974. With a juvenile name for their band and the public’s pre-conceived notion that they were going to be as close as one could imagine to The Doors’ continuation, the general populace was somewhat surprised when they heard tracks like the one heard below. Gone was the intensity and keyboard-centered songs of yesteryear. In its place was a laid-back folky sound leaning toward the jazz that would soon take over Robby Krieger’s style. Don’t expect to hear The Doors here.

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The Butts Band - I Won't Be Alone Anymore (1974)

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Lyrics:

I’ve been alone most all of my life
Loneliness had me at the point of a knife
You came and you taught me what lovin’ was for
Now I feel fine ‘cause you opened the door

And we won’t be alone anymore, no
Together like the sea and the shore
Woah, we won‘t be alone anymore, no, no, no
So tell me, baby, what’s life for?
If ain’t to love you more and more?
I love you, babe, and that’s for sure

I’ve been alone and it wasn’t my choice
Needing an answer, the sound of a voice
The hope of an angel was I living for
You came along and you opened the door

And we won’t be alone anymore, no
Stick together like the sea and the shore
Woah, we won’t be alone anymore, no, no, no
So tell me baby, what’s life for?
If ain’t to love you more and more?
I love you, babe, and that’s for sure, now

And we won’t be alone anymore, no
Stickin’ together like the sea and the shore
Woah, we won’t be alone anymore, no, no, no
So tell me, baby, what’s life for?
If ain’t to love you more and more?
I love you, babe, and that’s for sure

February 12, 2013

Paul Revere & The Raiders - Kicks (1966)

Born Paul Revere Dick in Harvard, Nebraska on January 7th, 1938, this group’s namesake man made his start at life owning and managing multiple restaurants in the Caldwell, Idaho area in his early twenties. On the side, Revere had a band called The Downbeats. One day in 1958 while purchasing hamburger buns from a local bakery for his restaurants, Revere met one of the bakery’s employees, Mark Lindsay. Lindsay would eventually join Revere’s band as the group’s lead singer and, by 1960, the band had changed their name to Paul Revere & The Raiders (just before the release of their first single). A year later in 1961, the group had their first local hit with an instrumental song, “Like, Long Hair,” released in 1961. By April, the song had reached the national charts topping out at number thirty-eight and the group thought they were on their way. Unfortunately, it was around this time that Revere was drafted for military service. Claiming to be a conscientious objector, Revere managed to stay out of fatigues and worked as a cook in a mental institution for a year and a half. Initially, throughout the summer of 1961, Lindsay toured off of the success of their hit single with replacement band members, but then had to pump gas to make a living until the summer of ’62 when Revere was finally relieved of his duty. Rounding out their band, the group again thought they had struck gold when they recorded “Louie Louie” in 1963. What they didn’t know was that at the same time another band, known as The Kingsmen, had been recording the same song. As Mark Lindsay once summed it up, “they [The Kingsmen] got the huge hit single…but we got the career!”

Written by married couple Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, this song was inspired by the couple’s friend, Gerry Goffin, who had been ruining his marriage to fellow songwriting partner Carole King with excessive drug use. At a time when most songs were talking about using and abusing mind-altering substances, this song was firmly clear about taking a stand against drug us. Originally offered to The Animals, it was turned down by Eric Burdon and later given to this group in 1966. The release of the song garnered accusations that the band had “sold out” and had “become a part of the establishment,” while David Crosby of The Byrds had called it “a dumb anti-drug song.” Despite its unpopular anti-drug theme, the song still managed to reach number four in the United States and number three in Canada. It stills receives regular airplay on the radio to this day.

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Paul Revere & The Raiders - Kicks (1966)

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Lyrics:

Girl, you thought you found the answer on that magic carpet ride last night
But when you wake up in the mornin’ the world still gets you uptight
Well, there's nothin' that you ain't tried to fill the emptiness inside
But when you come back down, girl, still ain't feelin' right

(And don't it seem like)
Kicks just keep gettin' harder to find
And all your kicks ain't bringin' you peace of mind
Before you find out it's too late, girl
You better get straight

No, but not with kicks
You just need help, girl

Well you think you're gonna find yourself a little piece of paradise
But it ain't happened yet, so girl, you better think twice
Don't you see? No matter what you do, you'll never run away from you
And if you keep on runnin', you'll have to pay the price

(And don't it seem like)
Kicks just keep gettin' harder to find
And all your kicks ain't bringin' you peace of mind
Before you find out it's too late, girl
You better get straight

No, you don't need kicks
To help you face the world each day
That road goes nowhere
I'm gonna help you find yourself another way

(Kicks just keep gettin' harder to find)
Oh, you don't need kicks, girl
(And all your kicks ain't bringin' you peace of mind)
You just need help, girl
Before you find out it's too late, girl
You better get straight

And don't it seem like
(Kicks just keep gettin' harder to find)
Oh, you don't need kicks, girl
(And all your kicks ain't bringin' you peace of mind)
Oh, you just need help, girl
Before you find out it's too late, girl
You better get straight…

February 06, 2013

Quicksilver Messenger Service - Mona (1969)

Formed in San Francisco, California in 1965, this band was pivotal to the emerging psychedelic rock scene in San Francisco during the 1960s. Although the idea of the group starting was because of Dino Valenti (a.k.a. Chet Powers), Valenti originally backed out and didn’t want anything to do with the group, as he wanted to focus on a solo career. As his solo career slowly developed into something less than he had hoped for, Valenti eventually came around and joined the band in 1969. Frequently referred to only as Quicksilver, the band never managed to reach the same heights of popularity as their Bay Area contemporaries, Jefferson Airplane or the Grateful Dead. But they did manage to release eight full-length albums and three singles that reached the Top 100. Their best known song, “Fresh Air,” was released in 1970 at the peak of their popularity and reached number thirty-nine on the charts. Although the band has had numerous members in their various lineups over the years, their most core members were/are Dino Valenti (a.k.a. Chet Powers), Gary Duncan, Greg Elmore, and John Cipollina. Other notable members from various incarnations included Nicky Hopkins and David Freiberg.

Written by Bo Diddley in 1957, this song has been covered numerous times, including famous renditions by Bo Didley himself in 1957, Buddy Holly in an unreleased demo from 1957, and The Rolling Stones for their debut album in 1964. This band’s version of the song was released on their second album, Happy Trails, released in 1969. Both John Cipollina and Gary Duncan perform guitar solos on the track, which led Rolling Stone magazine to rank it number eighty-eight on the “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.”

The art for the cover of the album was painted by George Hunter, referencing actor Roy Rogers and the album’s last track, “Happy Trails,” which was Roy Rogers’ radio and television theme song.

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Quicksilver Messenger Service - Mona (1969)

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Lyrics:

Hey, Mona
Hey, hey, hey, Mona
Ooh, Mona

I'm gonna tell you, Mona honey, what I'm gonna do
I'm gonna build my house next door to you
Can I make love to you once in a while?
Maybe we could do a little kissing and tellin' lies
When I come out on the front
You'll listen to my heart goin' bumpity-bump
I need you baby and it ain't no lie
Without your lovin’ I'd surely die

Hey, Mona
Ooh, Mona
Hey! Hey, hey Mona
Ooh, Mona

I'm gonna tell you, Mona, what I'm gonna do
I'm gonna build a house next door to you
Can I make love to you once in a while?
Maybe kiss and do a little lyin’
And when I come out on over the front
Girl, you'll listen to my heart go bumpity-bumpity-bump
I need you baby and it ain't no lie
Without your lovin’ I'd surely die

Hey, Mona
Ooh, Mona
Hey! Hey, hey Mona
Ooh, Mona

February 05, 2013

Thin Lizzy - Whiskey in the Jar (1972)

Formed in Dublin, Ireland in December 1969, this band’s birth began when Phil Lynott and Brian Downey, who had met while still in high school, were playing a gig at a local pub. Attending the gig were two ex-members of Van Morrison’s Them, Eric Bell and Eric Wrixon. After the show, Bell and Wrixon asked Lynott and Downey if they’d like to come together as a group, and they agreed after Lynott was assured he would get to play bass and that they would record some of his original songs. Although Wrixon and Bell would eventually part ways with the group before they had released their first single and after unsuccessful records, respectively, the band would go on to great success in the early-to-mid ‘70s with songs like “The Boys Are Back in Town,” “Jailbreak,” and their first successful single heard below. They opened for many famous groups while touring, such as Queen, Aerosmith, REO Speedwagon, and Rush, all while recording new albums and having their lineup constantly rotate through new members. Finally, amid bickering and declining sales, the band called it quits in 1983. After their breakup, Lynott experienced a constantly mild solo career which was cut short after he was hospitalized for abscesses, pneumonia, and septicaemia in 1986. Caused by his drug dependency over the years, the illnesses resulted in Lynott’s death on January 4th, 1986. He was thirty-six years old.

With roots dating back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, this traditional Irish folk song had been recorded by many artists, such as Burl Ives, The Seekers, Peter, Paul and Mary, The Dubliners, and others, before being recorded by this band. This version of the song, however, was immensely popular in Ireland when released in late 1972, staying at the top of the Irish charts for seventeen weeks. It also peaked at number six in in February 1973 in the UK and charted in many other countries around Europe. Released while the group was away on tour, the band had been angry that the song was released without their knowledge, feeling that it didn’t accurately represent a sound or image they wanted to be associated with. Soon after its immense success, they were happily performing it live at each of their shows.

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Thin Lizzy - Whiskey in the Jar (1972)

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Lyrics:

As I was going over
The Cork and Kerry mountains
I saw Captain Farrell
And his money he was countin’
I first produced my pistol
And then produced my rapier
I said, “Stand o’er and deliver
or the Devil he may take ya”

Musha ring dum a do dum a da
Whack for my daddy, oh
Whack for my daddy, oh
There's whiskey in the jar, oh

I took all of his money
And it was a pretty penny
I took all of his money
And I brought it home to Molly
She swore that she loved me
Never would she leave me
But, the devil take that woman
For you know she tricked me easy

Musha ring dum a do dum a da
Whack for my daddy, oh
Whack for my daddy, oh
There's whiskey in the jar, oh

Bein’ drunk and weary
I went to Molly’s chamber
Takin’ my Molly with me
And I never knew the danger
For about six or maybe seven
In walked Captain Farrell
I jumped up, fired off my pistols
And I shot him with both barrels

Musha ring dum a do dum a da
Whack for my daddy, oh
Whack for my daddy, oh
There's whiskey in the jar, oh

Now some men like the fishin’
And some men like the fowlin'
And some men like to hear
The cannonball a’roarin'
Me, I like sleepin'
Especially in my Molly's chamber
But here I am in prison
Here I am with a ball and chain, yeah

Musha ring dum a do dum a da
Whack for my daddy, oh
Whack for my daddy, oh
There's whiskey in the jar, oh

I got drunk on whiskey, oh
And I loved, I loved, I loved, I loved, I loved, I loved my Molly, oh
And she’ll know we’ll never do that old dirty town
That dirty old town…

February 04, 2013

The Cyrkle - Walter's Riff (1967)

This band, previously featured on our site, is primarily remembered for their hit song, “Red Rubber Ball,” released in 1966 and heard previously on A Bit Like You And Me. Being the band’s first single, the song appeared to be what the group needed to start off on a successful career. Their next single release, “Turn Down Day,” although not as popular as their first hit, was still a success. Their next three singles along with their second album, Neon, were unfortunately overlooked by listeners and had the band on the brink of collapse. Wanting to give it one last shot, the band agreed to perform the soundtrack for an upcoming movie, The Minx.

Trying to pass as a “Rated X” movie when the fad to do so was occurring, The Minx movie completely bombed. Although I’ve never seen it, there isn’t a single positive review to be found in my searching. It appears that the biggest highlight of the film was indeed the soundtrack provided by this band. This particular song was recorded, with all the others for the film, in 1967. It sounds as if it could have been recorded for a Spaghetti Western and appeared as the eleventh song on the movie’s soundtrack. Entirely instrumental, the song is only one minute and twelve seconds long. The film, The Minx was released in 1969.

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The Cyrkle - Walter's Riff (1967)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

February 01, 2013

Fat Mattress - I Don't Mind (1969)

In The Jimi Hendrix Experience, there was no question that Jimi Hendrix was the leader. He wrote most of the songs, sang lead, and led the direction of the group. This made the group’s bassist, Noel Redding, feel creatively strangled. Redding, who preferred the guitar over the bass, began to dabble with the idea of starting his own band so he could work outside of Hendrix’s giant shadow and create songs he had written himself. In 1968, while still in the Experience, he got together with Neil Landon, Jim Leverton, and Eric Dillon to form this band. Leverton and Dillon had met while both performing in the backing band for Engelbert Humperdinck. Focusing their output on a lighter, folkier sound than the Experience, the band was given a leg up in exposure by opening for The Jimi Hendrix Experience on tour, where Redding, still being a member of both bands, would play both sets. Their most successful song was “Magic Forest,” which was popular in the Netherlands. In August 1969, they played at the Isle of Wight Festival alongside Bob Dylan, The Who, and others in front of a crowd of 300,000 people. During the recording of their second album, Fat Mattress II, Redding and Leverton couldn’t take one another any longer. Redding quit the band and Steve Hammond was called to fill in. During the recording of what would have been their third album, the band called it quits and split up.

This song was written by Neil Landon and Noel Redding in late 1968 before the creation of this band. The duo had written the song, as well as many others, with the intention of releasing it on Landon’s planned solo album. Unfortunately, his solo album was canceled and the duo had a heap of songs that they still wanted to record. Redding, knowing that he’d never have the songs chosen over Hendrix’s for release by the Experience, set out to create this band and have the tracks recorded. This song in particular was the second track to the group’s first album, Fat Mattress, released in 1969. The album itself went to number 134 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart and even featured Jimi Hendrix and Mitch Mitchell on the track “How Can I Live.” I recommend purchasing the album, as all of its songs are as great at this one.

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Fat Mattress - I Don't Mind (1969)

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Lyrics:

Looking from my pillow
I see ivy stains and people
Living grass
Looking in my mirror
I see clear blue strings
Of solid looking glass
Another nightly day is here
Illuminated by the powered fuzz

Life is slipping through my mind
I know, I see, I feel
But I don’t mind
I don’t mind
I don’t mind
I don’t mind

Staring holes in secrecy
Invade my mind and detonate my soul
My mind is running incompletely
I don’t think that I will reach my goal
‘til the day I find tomorrow
I will act and smile, not worry much

Time is slipping through my mind
I look, I feel, I heard
That I don’t find
I don’t mind
I don’t mind
I don’t mind

Clouds of happy laughing people
I hear them but they don’t seem to be
I guess I’ll just sit here thinking
Maybe find what I’m supposed to be

Life is slipping through my mind
I know, I see, I feel
But I don’t mind
I don’t mind
I don’t mind
I don’t mind