Your Top 20
Favorite Psychedelic Songs
Back in 2005, our then-9-year-old daughter asked me what PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC was. An interesting question for a nine year old, don'tcha think??? Now Paige has been an oldies music fan for as long as I've known her ... (or might that more-accurately be for as long as SHE's known ME?!?!?! lol) ... and, ironically enough, at the time that she first asked me this question, she had just written the winning essay for a Fathers' Day Contest at one of our favorite restaurants. (She won free dinner for the whole family!!!) So the creative wheels started rolling ... why don't we ask our FORGOTTEN HITS List Members to write THEIR definitions of PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC ... in terms that a nine-year-old could understand ... and then have HER judge the winners of the best explanations!!! In effect, our first-ever, full-blown FORGOTTEN HITS Contest!!!
Next, we got a few of the artists on our list to donate a few prizes (autographed CDs, magazine subscriptions, etc, etc, etc) and off we went.
Here, along with Your TOP 20 PSYCHEDELIC Favorites, are some of those winning entries!!!
A couple of months ago, I decided to share with the FORGOTTEN HITS Mailing List our nine year old daughter's winning entry in a Fathers' Day Contest that one of our favorite local restaurants had put together:
In fifty words or less, they asked their child patrons to complete the phrase:
"My Dad is the best Dad in the world because ..."
Here is part of what her winning entry said:
"He knows all about '60's music and other oldies.
He taught me about Elvis, The Beatles, Bobby Darin,
The Monkees and Herman's Hermits.
He listens to me and plays with me.
I Love Him."
I have to admit that, for a nine year old, she just may be one of the most oldies-informed kids on the planet!!! So when she asked me one day, "What IS Psychedelic Music?" it got me to thinking ... how do you explain PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC to a nine year old?!?!? In a way that she'd understand it ... without delving deeply into drug-infused states of mind and acid flashbacks??? So I decided to put the challenge to the list ... WHO out there felt that they could write a definition of PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC simple enough for a nine year old to understand? ... and then we turned it into a contest ... even gave away some prizes, donated by some of the folks we've helped to promote over the years here in FORGOTTEN HITS. And, to make it even MORE interesting, we let HER judge all of the entries received!!! We also asked you to send us a list of your five all-time favorite psychedelic songs so that we could put together a countdown to go along with the winning entries.
When all was said and done, we received 65 entries ... some as short as a single sentence ... some a paragraph or two ... a couple of essays ... and one virtual psychedelic encyclopedia. Paige saw and read each and every definition that we received. We also received nominations for nearly 200 songs ... and over 4000 votes spread amongst them. Here again, some folks simply listed their favorite song ... some their "Top Three" ... others their "Top Ten" ... and (in the case of the psychedelic encyclopedia guy again, about 180 ... in which case, we allowed for ten new titles as nominees and then awarded an additional point to any other title mentioned that was already on our list!)
I printed out all of the entries ... deleted the names of who submitted them so as not to in any way, shape or form, influence the outcome of the contest ... and then asked her to read them and grade them on a scale of 1-10. (And let me tell you, she REALLY got into the process, sitting there at a desk as if grading school papers ... in full "teacher-mode"!!! The ones she liked, she REALLY liked!!!) And, because when all was said and done we only had SEVEN prizes to award, we then ranked the winning entries accordingly. (In the case of ties, our daughter had to determine which ones were the best ... and, in fact, a FINAL tie necessitated the adding of an EIGHTH prize, which you'll see as we make our way through the countdown.) It is important to point out that the ONLY judge in this contest WAS our daughter ... there are some that WE liked that she didn't ... some that SHE liked that we thought might not have been as strong as others ... but the deal was that the decision of the judge was final ... and we in no way influenced her decision. The point was, after all, if you're going to determine how to best describe PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC to a nine year old ... then who BETTER to judge those explanations than a nine year old?!?!?
It was a perfect break in deciding which songs to include in our special PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Countdown ... exactly TWENTY of the nearly 200 songs nominated received fifty votes or more! Thanks again to everyone who participated ... we had a GREAT turn-out on this and feel that we truly have captured your favorites.
LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN!!!
Coming in at #20 are THE DOORS and their "Classic Rock" classic, LIGHT MY FIRE, a #1 song back in 1967. A constant radio staple (pretty much to the point now of "over-played" status), THE DOORS captured the mood of the moment when LIGHT MY FIRE was released and then almost single-handedly brought it to brand new musical heights. After becoming the hottest club band on the scene (thanks to a six month gig at THE WHISKY A GO-GO in Los Angeles), the band was signed to ELEKTRA RECORDS in 1966 ... the following year, their debut chart single, LIGHT MY FIRE, helped them to break on through to the other side, earning national attention for its extensive, progressive jam session-like instrumental break. Classically trained
pianist RAY MANZAREK played an organ solo unlike anything we had ever heard before on a record and the song instantly captured the attention of the American record buying public. LIGHT MY FIRE shot straight to #1. BTW, DIDJAKNOW?: It was PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC CONTEST Runner-Up ARTHUR LEE of LOVE (they JUST missed making our Top 20 Favorites) who first suggest that ELEKTRA RECORDS sign THE DOORS to a recording contract. He caught their show at THE WHISKY A GO-GO and was so impressed, he told label boss JAC HOLZMAN about the band and, after catching their performance for himself, he immediately signed up! LIGHT MY FIRE stood apart from everything else out on the airwaves at the time, helping to lead the way for some of the more experimental and progressive rock that was to come. At the same time a sensitive poet and The Lizard King, JIM MORRISON's on-stage antics have become legendary. (Let's just say he often exposed more than the deepest part of his soul when performing before a live audience!)
Our #19 song was the flip side of SHE'S A RAINBOW, THE ROLLING STONES single that just missed making our countdown on its own! 2000 LIGHT YEARS FROM HOME received all kinds of FM airplay (back when FM Radio was brand new and revolutionary.) Ironically, while SHE'S A RAINBOW was a Top Ten National Hit, this flip side never made the charts at all! (When all was said and done, however, it out-scored its A-Side counterpart by over 25 votes!!!) It's apparently gone on to become a STONES fan favorite, however ... and sounds quite a bit different than most of the other material they were recording at the time. (Check out our FAVORITE, FORGOTTEN B-SIDES Countdown elsewhere on this web page ... you'll see that 2000 LIGHT YEARS FROM HOME scored very well in THAT competition, too!) THE ROLLING STONES have always seemed to adapt to whatever the musical trend was at the time, while still keeping their rock and roll edge and identity intact. When THE BEATLES used a sitar on NORWEGIAN WOOD, THE ROLLING STONES wrote a whole song based around the instrument and issued PAINT IT BLACK as a single. When THE BEATLES issued the ultimate psychedelic album SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND (and stuck the words, "Welcome The Rolling Stones, Good Guys" on the revolutionary LP cover), THE ROLLING STONES released THEIR SATANIC MAJESTIES REQUEST, the album that begot 2000 LIGHT YEARS FROM HOME, scattering tiny little hidden BEATLES "button head" photos, in their own version of wild album cover art. (Let's just say that in hindsight 2000 LIGHT YEARS FROM HOME was far more believable as a psychedelic track than MISS YOU ever was as their lame ... and totally unnecessary ... attempt at disco!!!)
HOW'S THIS FOR A LITTLE BIT OF PSYCHEDELIC SYMMETRY: Back in 1966, THE ROLLING STONES were asked to change the lyrics to LET'S SPEND THE NIGHT TOGETHER to "Let's Spend Some Time Together" when they performed the song on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW. THE STONES complied. A year later, THE DOORS were asked to omit the line "Girl, we couldn't get much higher" from their performance of LIGHT MY FIRE. They, too, agreed ... and then MORRISON sang the line anyway!!! (THE DOORS were NEVER asked back to the program again!!!)
#18: When we first decided to do our PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC poll, I told Frannie that SHE had to nominate five songs, too. The very first song she chose was TIME HAS COME TODAY by THE CHAMBERS BROTHERS. I remember being kind of surprised ... I guess I just never really thought of this one as a psychedelic song ... and, for the first ten days of the poll, the rest of the list seemed to agree with me ... not another single vote was cast for this 1968 #11 Hit. And then the dam burst!!! (Were you sending out campaign emails behind my back, honey?!?!?) All of a sudden, it started appearing on EVERYONE's list of favorites ... so much so that before all was said and done, TIME HAS COME TODAY received 76 votes ... enough to come in at #18 in our final countdown! THE CHAMBERS BROTHERS (GEORGE, WILLIE, LESTER and JOE ... all real brothers in both the literal and musical sense of the word) first formed as a gospel group in the mid-'50's. In fact, they performed as a gospel group for quite a while before being bitten by the folk music bug in the early '60's. In 1965, they made a landmark appearance at THE NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL and began to change their overall sound, adding more blues and rock numbers to the act. (Ironically, years later as their overall sound continued to change and develop, they would become one of the biggest featured attractions at THE NEWPORT POP FESTIVAL!!!) Within the next year, they added drummer BRIAN KEENAN (a former member of MANFRED MANN) and their sound and musical direction began to change and evolve yet again. By 1967, they were becoming a high profile concert attraction, appearing with acts as diverse as fellow TOP 20 PSYCHEDELIC SONGS list members IRON BUTTERFLY and THE DOORS as well as biker band / hard-rockers STEPPENWOLF and rock / jazz legends BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS. When COLUMBIA RECORDS signed the band, the title track from their first COLUMBIA album, TIME HAS COME TODAY began to receive a substantial amount of FM airplay ... and soon the band was placed into the "Progressive Rock" category ... apparently (based on all of your votes) they've since crossed over to the psychedelic arena as well! A follow-up hit (the OTIS REDDING-penned I CAN'T TURN YOU LOOSE) peaked at #37 and the band never hit The Top 40 again. They did remain popular concert and television attractions for a few years to come, however, appearing most notably on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW and THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR ... and then as one of the special invited guests of JOHN AND YOKO the week they guest-hosted THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW!
Greetings to a nine-year old! Psychedelic music is pretty easy to explain. Remember when you used to go on a merry-go-round, and the faster it went, you could shut your eyes, then open, and the world was spinning? Or, when you twirl around as fast as you can, then stop suddenly, and your head is spinning? Well, imagine you’re listening to music and the musicians are all spinning like a top!! The sound that comes out is “psychedelic music”!! There are two really good examples, my friend: 1) the Strawberry Alarm Clock song, “Incense and Peppermint”, and 2) the Small Faces song, “Itchycoo Park”. Both are from late 1967, I believe, and they are my favorite examples of the “spinning top” feeling you get from a musical merry-go-round! Two other “psychedelic” songs that your Dad will also know are 3) the Who’s “I Can See For Miles” and 4) Tommy James & the Shondell’s “Crimson and Clover,” but nothing beats those first two songs! Sometime the words don’t make sense, but neither does your head feel right after you finish a merry-go-round ride, so that’s OK for psychedelic music! My 14-year old is also enjoying “oldies” music, so I hope you will continue to listen to it! Give your Dad a hug, and keep on listening to those great songs!!
(PS: I’m a New Colony Six fan, but they didn’t really sing “psychedelic” music, but if your Dad has the “Attacking a Straw Man” record album, take a look at the cover of it, and that’s what psychedelic pictures look like!)
Of COURSE Dad has the ATTACKING THE STRAW MAN album!!! (It's also the artwork that was used on the new TREAT HER GROOVY / MERCURY RECORDS Greatest Hits Import CD that we've been telling you about.) In fact, this LP Cover was referenced a COUPLE of times in our little contest ... most often referred to as "The PETER MAX Cover" (and the Pseudo-PETER MAX Cover!!!) I couldn't help but wonder if it REALLY was a PETER MAX drawing ... so I asked both RAY GRAFFIA, JR.and RONNIE RICE, both members of THE NEW COLONY SIX at the time that this album was first released: RAY didn't know for sure but "highly doubted" it was a PETER MAX drawing as THE NEW COLONY SIX were "a relatively unknown local band with pretty shallow pockets." RONNIE RICE told me that the cover was designed by MERCURY RECORDS and was "definitely NOT a PETER MAX drawing" (but obviously was designed to look like one because PETER MAX was hot at the time.) Neither could say for sure just exactly WHO was responsible drawing what became the final artwork ... but it SURE is a cool-looking, psychedelic album cover!!!
#17: After almost single-handedly inventing the whole folk-rock genre, THE BYRDS seemed to be as unlikely a candidate as anybody to end up on our list of GREATEST PSYCHEDELIC SONGS AND ARTISTS ... yet here they are, coming in at #17 with their Top Ten 1966 Hit, EIGHT MILES HIGH. Kicking off their careers with a couple of BOB DYLAN tunes (one could say THE BYRDS brought DYLAN's music to the
masses ... and even inspired HIM to plug in his guitar for the first time), MR. TAMBOURINE MAN (#1, 1965) and ALL I REALLY WANT TO DO (#9, 1965) were very impressive chart debuts. They topped the charts again (in both the pop and biblical sense) with TURN, TURN, TURN before 1965 was over. So it came as a bit of a surprise when the following year, THE BYRDS kicked things up a notch with the scorching guitar sounds that became EIGHT MILES HIGH. (I suppose one could say that at that time THE BYRDS ... and leader ROGER McGUINN ... couldn't get no higher ... but that was what they were aiming at! In fact, that's pretty much EXACTLY what JOHN PHILLIPS of THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS DID say in his musical history lesson known as CREEQUE ALLEY a couple of years later! McGUINN also shared the origins of EIGHT MILES HIGH with our FORGOTTEN HITS Readers in 2007!) For most of their career, THE BYRDS would remain true to their folk / rock roots, dabbling with a little harder-edged rock and roll in songs like SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROCK AND ROLL STAR ... and even a touch of novelty and country with songs like MR. SPACEMAN ... but EIGHT MILES HIGH remains their greatest triumph in the psychedelic arena ... and YOU folks liked it enough to rank it at #17 on our list of ALL-TIME TOP 20 GREATEST PSYCHEDELIC SONGS.
I WOULD SAY: ITS MUSIC THAT MADE MY MOM AND DAD DIZZY!
#16: Years before Midwestern Guitar Legend TED NUGENT was diagnosed with CAT SCRATCH FEVER, he was a member of THE AMBOY DUKES, a One Hit Wonder band who hit The National Top 20 (and Chicago's Top Five) with their high energy '60's Jam JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE MIND back in 1968. Coming out of Detroit during the peak of the MOTOWN music revolution, hard rocking NUGENT once told HIT PARADER MAGAZINE that his earliest influences were ELVIS PRESLEY and RICKY NELSON. There were SOME Detroit / MOTOWN ties, however ... as part of another early teenage band, THE LOURDS, he once opened for THE SUPREMES! NUGENT relocated to Chicago in 1965 when his father took a job working for the phone company here. He quickly started a new band, recruiting lead vocalist JOHN DRAKE, BILL WHITE (and then GREG ARAMA) on bass, DAVE PALMER on drums, STEVE FARMER on guitar and RICK LOBER (followed quickly by ANDY SOLOMAN) on keyboards. He swears that he never even heard of the popular IRVING SHULMAN novel THE AMBOY DUKES but instead copped the name from a now defunct Detroit R & B band, figuring no one here in Chicago would have heard the name before! (NUGENT figures that the Detroit combo must have taken THEIR name from the book!) After he graduated from High School, TED moved the band back to Detroit, which was enjoying a fertile home-grown period of its own musically thanks to the likes of BOB SEGER AND THE LAST HEARD, TIM TAM AND THE TURN-ONS, THE MC5 and THE RATIONALS, all of whom we prominently featured in one of our FORGOTTEN HITS / SHOW ME YOUR HITS / LOCAL HITS series. Despite coming in at #16 in our official poll of YOUR ALL-TIME TOP 20 FAVORITE PSYCHEDELIC SONGS, NUGENT insists that he has NEVER taken part in the drug culture for which some of his music provided the soundtrack. (In fact, his anti-drug stance is legendary ... NUGENT says "I have never smoked a joint. I have never done a drug in my life. I've never had a cigarette in my mouth. I don't drink. I've watched incredible musicians fumble, drool and not be able to tune their instruments. I've seen my fellow musicians die." (Ironically, many of the personnel changes within THE AMBOY DUKES were in some way drug related ... TED simply wouldn't play with other musicians who were high!) All the MORE ironic, I guess, since THE AMBOY DUKES' album cover for JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE MIND depicted ALL kinds of hash pipes!!!
(One has to wonder what OTHER kind of "journey" might this artwork imply???)
After THE AMBOY DUKES split up, NUGENT enjoyed a very successful solo career, selling close to 30 million albums as a hard-rock guitarist often compared to JIMI HENDRIX. He later formed DAMN YANKEES with ex-STYX guitarist TOMMY SHAW and bassist JACK BLADES of NIGHT RANGER.
ANOTHER RUNNER-UP ENTRY:
What is psychedelic music?
Psychedelic music was to the 1960's what rap music is to today. In other words, it's nothing you need to hear. Go out and buy a Julie London album instead.
My five favorite psychedelic songs are:
2. Time Has Come Today - The Chambers Brothers
1. The Wind Cries Mary - Jimi Hendrix Experience
*These spaces were left intentionally blank.
#15: A QUESTION OF TEMPERATURE was yet another One Hit Wonder ... it peaked at #11 here in Chicago back in 1968 but stopped at #37 in Billboard ... and #77 in Cash Box!!! THE BALLOON FARM were an East Coast band (mostly likely out of New York City but also reported to be out of Florida, depending on which source you choose to believe!) I've also seen them listed as both a quartet and a quintet ... however, the KNOWN members of the band included MIKE APPEL, DON HENNY, JAY SAKS and ED SCHNUG ... and A QUESTION OF TEMPERATURE (mis-spelled on some pressings as "TEMPATURE") is pretty much their ONLY claim to fame. YOU guys were certainly familiar with it, however ... It comes in at #15 in our special PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Countdown! HOW WHACK IS THAT?!?!?: After his psychedelic phase passed, MIKE APPEL later went on to write songs for THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY and then managed BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN!!! That makes him the picture of musical diversity, wouldn'tcha say???
ANOTHER RUNNER-UP ENTRY:
The recipe for psychedelic music:
Add wah-wah guitar, sitar, mellotrons
and backward tape loops. Layer lyrics about
altered conscience, trippy vocals and whole lotta love.
Sprinkle with a kaleidoscope of audio colors and textures.
Bake "quite-right-ly" to a Mellow Yellow. Enjoy - (I did)!
#14: OK, I'm confused ... just exactly what is a "NUGGET"??? In order to qualify for "NUGGET" Status, does this mean that you are a GARAGE BAND or a PSYCHEDELIC BAND??? Judging by all the different compilations issued over the years, apparently you're either one or the other. If this is the case, then COUNT FIVE must be the PREMIER "NUGGET" Band ... PSYCHOTIC REACTION seems to fit perfectly into BOTH the "garage band" and "psychedelic band" categories ... and yet it was still popular enough with mainstream America when it was released back in 1966 to go all the way to #4 on the Pop Charts, indicating an across-the-boards appeal to ALL of the teenage record-buying public at the time. Another true One Hit Wonder, COUNT FIVE hailed out of San Jose, California, and were led by lead singer KENN ELLNER. Drummer CRAIG "BUTCH" ATKINSON, guitarist SEAN BYRNE, bassist ROY CHANEY and lead guitarist JOHNNY "MOUSE" MICHALSKI rounded out the quintet. (Quintet ... did you COUNT FIVE???) The band members hailed from virtually EVERYWHERE!!!! (ELLNER was born in Brooklyn, New York ... ATKINSON came from Springfield, Missouri, CHANEY from Indianapolis, Indiana, MICHALSKI from Cleveland, Ohio, and rhythm guitarist SEAN BYRNE came all the way from Dublin, Ireland!!!) In fact, MICHALSKI was still in High School when the band first started gigging on a regular basis! (The other boys all met while attending college in San Jose.)
In their early club days, the boys used to dress up in Dracula gear.
(Get it??? COUNTS???)
Wha'?!?!? You didn't watch SESAME STREET when you were a kid?!?!?
They often appeared in local area clubs with other soon-to-be-recording artists like THE SYNDICATE OF SOUND (LITTLE GIRL, #8, 1966) and THE GOLLIWOGS (who later, of course ... after dropping their OWN ridiculous wigs and costumes ... became CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL.) San Jose DJ BRIAN LORD first came across the band at one of these local clubs and brought them to the attention of IRWIN ZUCKER at local DOUBLE SHOT RECORDS. ZUCKER signed the band based on their infectious group composition, PSYCHOTIC REACTION. It was an immediate hit, shooting all the way into the National Top 5 and soon THE COUNT FIVE were off touring with the likes of THE BEACH BOYS, THE HOLLIES, THE YOUNG RASCALS, THE BYRDS, THE DAVE CLARK FIVE, THE DOORS, SONNY AND CHER, PETER AND GORDON, FUNK AND WAGNALLS, THEM and several other headlining acts of the day. (Just checking to see if you were still paying attention!!!)
Unfortunately, in typical "One Hit Wonder" fashion, they could not duplicate the success of PSYCHOTIC REACTION with their other releases. A follow-up single, PEACE OF MIND, "bubbled under" at #125 for one week later that year and, after a series of flops, they decided to call it a day in 1969. YOU guys liked PSYCHOTIC REACTION enough to vote it in as the #14 Song in this special PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Countdown!
Cool COUNT FIVE PSYCHEDELIC POSTER, circa 1967
ANOTHER RUNNER-UP ENTRY:
Here's one of the RUNNER UP ENTRIES from our PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Contest ... this one comes from BROTHER MARK (or, in this case ... since it was our daughter judging the entries, UNCLE MARK), who decided to use all kinds of fancy colors ... and cool pictures ... to illustrate his point. (A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words, right???) Proving that there was NO nepotism going on in this contest (all the entries that she judged had no names on them so as not to influence or prejudice her opinion), this clever entry fell by the wayside ... so we're sharing it here with you today.
#13: How much can you write about a "non-hit wonder" band?!?!? We've covered SAGITTARIUS and their psychedelic favorite MY WORLD FELL DOWN several times before in FORGOTTEN HITS ... a BIG hit here in Chicago (where it went all the way to #19 during The Summer Of Love, despite a #70 national showing). It's also always been a personal favorite of mine ... so NATURALLY I voted for it again when this whole PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Contest came up!!! But so did 116 of you OTHER guys out there ... so either you, too, recognize just what a great piece of music this really is ... or, my repeated airings of this song have in some small way come to convince you!!! In any event, MY WORLD FELL DOWN comes in at #13 in this special PSYCHEDELIC COUNTDOWN ... so the LEAST I can do is recap the basics ... if only for the benefit of some of the new folks who may be seeing this for the first time:
To my mind, this song DEFINES the sound of psychedelic pop, circa 1967 and The Summer of Love. Put together by several BEACH BOYS friends and sidemen, for whatever reason this song failed to capture the hearts (and ears) of most of America, crapping out at #70 in Billboard and #79 in Cash Box. (Here in Chicago, it went all the way to #19.) The studio-assembled band consisted of BRUCE JOHNSTON and TERRY MELCHER (both featured many times before in FORGOTTEN HITS as both BRUCE AND TERRY and THE RIP CHORDS ... in fact, THE RIP CHORDS donated one of our GRAND PRIZES for this Special Contest!), GARY USHER (long-time BRIAN WILSON collaborator and crony), GLEN CAMPBELL (oft-times used as a BEACH BOYS studio musician and one-time BRIAN WILSON tour stand-in who, by 1967, was starting to have chart hits under his OWN name ... you may recall from our special BEACH BOYS series that MIKE LOVE commented that GLEN CAMPBELL left the BEACH BOYS "to become GLEN CAMPBELL" ... LOL!!!) ... fellow studio legends (and elite WRECKING CREW members) HAL BLAINE (on drums) and CAROL KAYE (on bass), future BREAD keyboardist (and Grammy winning pianist on SIMON AND GARFUNKEL's classic BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER) LARRY KNECHTEL ... in fact, future BREAD member JAMES GRIFFIN (who we recently featured in our LOCAL HITS series with his 1964 solo hit, a cover of THE BEATLES' classic ALL MY LOVIN') also wrote one of the tracks on the SAGITTARIUS album, PRESENT TENSE ... and CURT BOETTCHER, who co-produced the album with USHER. Believe it or not, that's CAMPBELL on lead vocals!!! (As far as I'm concerned, he's never sounded better.) Later, SAGITTARIUS would pay homage to THE BEACH BOYS by recording their classic track IN MY ROOM ... it, too, failed to make much of a chart impression, peaking at #84 in 1969.
Although this song didn't make much of a dent on the pop charts when it was first released in the Summer of 1967, it gained a whole new following and allegiance when it was featured on the NUGGETS LP (and, later, the CD Box Set.) We're featuring it here in FORGOTTEN HITS for what I believe now is the SIXTH time in six years!!! But, since you pretty much NEVER hear this one on the radio, that's still not nearly enough airplay for my tastes!
DIDJA REMEMBER?: When we previously featured this song, we told you that USHER had originally planned on recording MY WORLD FELL DOWN with the British pop duo CHAD AND JEREMY ... but they HATED the song. In addition to CHAD AND JEREMY, by 1966, USHER was also producing albums for THE BYRDS and SIMON AND GARFUNKEL and was still hanging out with the likes of BRIAN WILSON and THE BEACH BOYS. (As part of BRIAN's inner circle, he was there for a number of the aborted SMILE recording sessions ... in fact, a rumor has persisted for years that the bullfight sequence stuck in the middle of the psychedelic interlude on MY WORLD FELL DOWN actually came from the original SMILE tapes ... although this has never officially been substantiated. By the way, there IS no bullfight sequence on the recently released, re-recorded SMILE CD.)
DIDJAKNOW?: MY WORLD FELL DOWN was written by GEOFF STEPHENS ... who ALSO wrote the '60's #1 Classic Hit WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL!!! It was first recorded by THE IVY LEAGUE in Great Britain. (Their version failed to chart on either side of the ocean!)
definition of psychedelic music ---- play the mickey mouse club song backwards after spinning yourself around for three minutes. recordlover69
#12: A couple of years ago, we gave KENNY ROGERS the spotlight treatment in FORGOTTEN HITS. Here ('60's FLASHBACK style) is part of that article pertaining to the forming of THE FIRST EDITION and their monster break-through hit JUST DROPPED IN, which comes in at #12 on your list of 20 ALL-TIME FAVORITE PSYCHEDELIC SONGS.
KENNY was disenchanted singing OTHER people's hits with THE NEW CHRISTY MINSTRELS ... and opening for acts like DINAH SHORE in Las Vegas...so he decided to form his OWN group, using the money he earned from songwriting royalties for an EDDY ARNOLD hit, DON'T LAUGH AT MY LOVE. ROGERS convinced fellow MINSTRELS MIKE SETTLE, TERRY WILLIAMS and THELMA CAMACHO to join him in this new venture and one night, while performing at LEDBETTER's in Los Angeles (a club ironically OWNED by THE NEW CHRISTY MINSTRELS founder, RANDY SPARKS), they were seen by THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS' manager KEN KRAGEN, who quickly signed them to a development deal. Auditioning for renown producer JIMMY BOWEN, they were signed to FRANK SINATRA's REPRISE RECORDS label and, with KEN KRAGEN in their corner, made their television debut as THE FIRST EDITION on THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR in December of 1967.
Two months later, their first hit, the pseudo-psychedelic sounding JUST DROPPED IN, was on its way to the #5 position on both National Pop Charts. Sounding NOTHING at all like anything else that they would go on to record, the record was most certainly recorded in an effort to capture the sound "of the times" ... and it worked. Although the rest of their chart hits would strongly favor the country sound, JUST DROPPED IN was a HUGE smash. (Amazingly, their other '60's hits did not perform well on the country charts, despite their definite leanings in that direction. KENNY ROGERS would not become a COUNTRY MUSIC superstar until he told the tale of LUCILLE's "four hundred children" ten years later .... oh ... it's four HUNGRY children!!! I've ALWAYS gotten that line wrong!)
THE FIRST EDITION's follow-up hit, BUT YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU (#15, 1969), featured more of a group-ensemble vocal, wrapped around KENNY's lead ... and a much more country-oriented arrangement. It was on the group's third single that KENNY's name moved up front ahead of the rest of the band ... RUBY, DON'T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN was officially released as by KENNY ROGERS AND THE FIRST EDITION ... and it went all the way to #6.
FOR THE RECORD: Contrary to what KENNY ROGERS has told ANYONE who would listen for the past 37 years, JUST DROPPED IN (released as a single in 1968) was NOT the first record to ever feature backwards guitar!!! (Guess all that BEATLES stuff from the previous two years didn't really count!)
DIDJAKNOW? 1: That "ground-breaking" backwards lead guitar was played by none other than GLEN CAMPBELL, one of the most successful studio musicians of all time. Amazingly, he was already on the way to getting his OWN solo career off the ground, yet was still fitting in those very lucrative studio sessions ... and, I'm sure it's no small coincidence that THE GLEN CAMPBELL GOODTIME HOUR would become the summer replacement series for THE SMOTHERS COMEDY BROTHERS HOUR a year later!!! (Don'tcha just love it when this stuff all ties in together???) We featured GLEN CAMPBELL earlier in FORGOTTEN HITS / PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Countdown in yet another one of his "side jobs" ... GLEN was the lead vocalist on the SAGITTARIUS hit MY WORLD FELL DOWN.
DIDJAKNOW? 2: When JUST DROPPED IN was written (by country songwriter MICKEY NEWBURY), it was first offered to JERRY LEE LEWIS, who turned the song down flat!
DIDJAKNOW?-3: A Boston radio station began playing RUBY, DON'T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN as an album track while BUT YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU was still on the charts. To avoid confusion, the record label decided to issue it as a single under the new moniker KENNY ROGERS AND THE FIRST EDITION in an effort to avoid competing with themselves on the charts! Originally written about the Korean War (by Country Music Superstar M-M-MEL TILLIS), the song tapped in to all the focus pertaining to what was going on in Viet Nam at the time and struck a nerve with the youth of America, returning KENNY ROGERS AND THE FIRST EDITION to The National Top Ten.
DIDJAKNOW?-4: In 1969, it was decided that the group should be permanently renamed KENNY ROGERS AND THE FIRST EDITION because of all the attention he was receiving as the principal vocalist. It may only be a coincidence, but right around the same time, THELMA CAMACHO quit the group and was replaced by MARY ARNOLD.
DIDJAKNOW?-5: Reportedly, one of the girls who FAILED the audition to take CAMACHO's spot was KAREN CARPENTER!!! MARY ARNOLD, who won the gig, was, at one time, CAMACHO's roommate and didn't feel right auditioning until THELMA gave it her blessing. She did ... and ARNOLD ultimately replaced her in the group.
#11: JIMI HENDRIX's name has certainly come up a number of time in FORGOTTEN HITS over the years. We did a week-long feature on HENDRIX in 2004 ... he was also recently featured in both our HONEST INJUN series (because of his Cherokee Indian heritage) and our last LOCAL HITS series ... then he popped up in our Tribute to The Music of BOB DYLAN series ... and now he is one of the featured artists again in this new PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Series!
In fact, SEVEN of JIMI's songs were nominated for this special countdown: ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER received 14 votes, THE WIND CRIES MARY received 13 votes, FIRE received 11 votes, 1983 received 10 votes, AXIS BOLD AS LOVE received 8 votes and JIMI's version of HEY JOE received 5 votes (THE LEAVES' original version was also nominated.)
But it was his classic PURPLE HAZE that received enough votes to qualify for our Top 20 Countdown, earning 123 votes as your ALL-TIME FAVORITE PSYCHEDELIC SONG ... and THAT was good enough to place at #11 in our special countdown. Let's revisit one of our JIMI HENDRIX features via yet another '60's FLASHBACK:
Despite all his legendary cult status .... despite writing what many people perceive to be one of The '60's Greatest Rock Anthems ... when you break it all down in black and white, JIMI HENDRIX was, by chart definition, a One-Hit Wonder. When you consider all of the things that JIMI HENDRIX is famous for, success on the Pop Charts isn't one of them ... yet there's no denying the fact that he played a vital role in shaping the sound of hard rock / heavy metal guitar for the next several decades to come.
And, perhaps the most amazing thing about that statement, is that that one hit is NOT PURPLE HAZE, the song that MOST folks would agree is JIMI's best known rock classic. It really wasn't all that popular of a song when it was first released, peaking at #64 on the National Charts in early Fall of 1967. Prior to this minor US Chart success, JIMI had already hit Great Britain's Top Ten three times: HEY JOE went to #6, PURPLE HAZE to #3 and THE WIND CRIES MARY also hit #6, all within the first six months of 1967.
JIMI's landmark hit PURPLE HAZE was released here in the States the last week of August, 1967 ... incredibly, on The Chairman Of The Board FRANK SINATRA's REPRISE RECORDS label!!! Despite ALL the hype and hysteria, it fizzled out at #64 on the Cash Box Chart. (However, here in Chicago, it went to #7 ... and has never really been off the radio since!) His British breakthrough single, HEY JOE, was delegated to the B-Side of REPRISE's next single release, but FOXEY LADY (despite being an FM staple) fared no better ... it stopped at #67. (For the record, HEY JOE was actually released as HENDRIX's first single here ... it failed to chart at all.)
The only JIMI HENDRIX single to make it into BOTH National Top 40 Charts here in the States was his version of the BOB DYLAN tune, ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER, which peaked at #18 in Cash Box and #20 in Billboard. (To be fair, the follow-up single, CROSSTOWN TRAFFIC, DID hit #36 in Cash Box, but stopped at #52 in Billboard Magazine.) WATCHTOWER was a #5 smash in Great Britain, where JIMI also topped the charts in 1970 with VOODOO CHILE two months after his death.
DON'T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD: For all the kidding around over the years about JIMI's famous PURPLE HAZE line "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy" (it's even the title of a very popular book regarding mis-heard song lyrics), HENDRIX actually DID sing the song that way in concert quite often ... and would alternately point to either drummer MITCH MITCHELL or bassist NOEL REDDING as he sang it!!! According to both of them, it was NOT a mis-heard lyric at all ... HENDRIX intentionally performed the song that way in concert. (JOHN FOGERTY often would sing "There's a bathroom on the right" in concert, too, while performing the big CCR hit BAD MOON RISING.)
"Purple Haze" is the #1 song in a book we have called "He's Got The Whole World In His Pants - a book a misheard song lyrics. I'm sure everyone has "heard" "Excuse me while I kiss this guy." LOL Diana
JUST PLAIN FOLKS: Because of the close proximity of their deaths (and the way that they both died), JIMI HENDRIX is quite often linked together with fellow Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer JANIS JOPLIN. HENDRIX and JOPLIN were reportedly romantically involved for a short time but JOPLIN ultimately broke things off because she knew that her mother never would have accepted her relationship with a black man. It's amazing to think that, for all the rebellion normally associated with these two artists, JANIS JOPLIN still held her mother's wishes high on her priority list and JIMI HENDRIX still wrote home to his father on a regular basis! In fact, for all that can be said about the crazy, decadent lifestyle that JIMI HENDRIX may have lived, much of his story can be traced through the postcards and letters sent home to his father and the diary he kept, noting momentous occasions as he met and jammed with other celebrities. As much as everyone who ever crossed paths with JIMI were in awe of him, he was equally in awe of every musician he met along the way.
DIDJAREMEMBER: In our original JIMI HENDRIX Series, we told you that JIMI was, at one time, supposed to play lead guitar on the DONVOAN hit HURDY GURDY MAN. The truth is, DONOVAN actually wrote his #3 smash HURDY GURDY MAN for JIMI to record but, when JIMI failed to do so, DONOVAN decided to cut the track himself. HENDRIX then agreed to play guitar on DONOVAN's version. When those plans ALSO fell through, DONOVAN went ahead and recorded it on his own (with ALLAN HOLDSWORTH on lead guitar.) Amazingly, also present in the studio that day were JIMMY PAGE on guitar, JOHN PAUL JONES on bass and JOHN BONHAM on drums ... three-quarters of LED ZEPPELIN a full year before they joined with ROBERT PLANT and launched their own hard-rock career!
THE TOP TEN:
#10: Ages ago (WAY back in 2000) during our very first ONE HIT WONDER Series, original FORGOTTEN HITS member SN0REFEST wrote an EXCELLENT piece on BUBBLE PUPPY and their 1969 Top 20 Hit HOT SMOKE AND SASAFRASS. Unfortunately, it's now LONG gone from the archives so now we'll have to improvise a brand new bio on the band for this special PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC COUNTDOWN ... because HOT SMOKE AND SASAFRASS came in as your TENTH FAVORITE PSYCHEDELIC SONG!!!
You wouldn't expect a song or band THIS psychedelic to come out of San Antonio, Texas ... and they actually started out with a far tamer name (WILLOWDALE HANDCAR) ... but one night bassist ROY COX, drummer DAVID FORE and guitarists TODD POTTER and ROD PRINCE got high on acid at a JIMI HENDRIX concert and, after flipping through the ALDOUS HUXLEY novel BRAVE NEW WORLD, changed their name to THE BUBBLE PUPPY. (We featured JIMI HENDRIX at #11 in this special PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Countdown.) After a move to Austin ... and then to Houston ... the band clicked with INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS RECORDS, who released their only chart hit, HOT SMOKE AND SASAFRASS, in the early days of 1969. During a 1970 tour with STEPPENWOLF, they were persuaded to move to California, where they were assured greener pastures loomed large in their future. It never happened ... several more singles for INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS and then STEPPENWOLF's label, ABC/DUNHILL, failed to make a dent on the charts ... and name changes to DEMIAN in the early '70's and SIRIUS in the late '70's fared no better. In 1987, they reformed as THE BUBBLE PUPPY (and even re-cut a brand new, re-worked version of HOT SMOKE AND SASAFRASS) but by then, nobody cared.
You guys, however, loved the original enough to bring it in at #10 in our special ALL-TIME GREATEST PSYCHEDELIC SONGS Poll, just ONE vote ahead of our #11 Hit, PURPLE HAZE.
DIDJAKNOW?: The little Texas-based INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS RECORDS was ALSO home to psychedelic king-pins, THE 13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS ... obviously, there was a certain sound this label was going for that was lightyears away from the Texas Two-Step!!!
This contest reminds me of the blind men who each were asked to describe an elephant ... but here goes. You know how when you daydream your mind wanders from one thing to another for no particular reason? Psychedelic music is sort of like that. The sounds are bright and get your attention, and the words are clever and sound good, but they don't necessarily mean anything. "Crimson and Clover?" "Incense And Peppermints?" The song itself doesn't necessarily "go" anywhere, at least not anywhere you'd expect. Suddenly the song may run backwards, as in Strawberry Fields Forever, or might be interrupted by a series of random sounds, as in My World Fell Down, or the music may speed up or slow down. It can wander through ideas in a sort of "stream-of-consciousness" manner, trying whatever sounds good at the time. Psychedelic music isn't concerned with the destination, but rather with the scenery along the "trip". Ed Erxleben
#9: One of my VERY favorite songs of the 1960's has just GOT to be CRIMSON AND CLOVER by TOMMY JAMES AND THE SHONDELLS ... I loved it the very first time I heard it and still love it today no matter how many times I hear it played. And apparently many of YOU love it, too ... CRIMSON AND CLOVER comes in at #9 in our BEST PSYCHEDELIC SONGS Poll with 126 votes! But a couple of you have questioned the validity of the inclusion of this song in the psychedelic category ... the mere mention of the fact that it was a leading vote-getter prompted this response early last month:
Really -- guess I'll have to compile a little list of my own. While Crimson And Clover has some psychedelic overtones, it doesn't strike me as being all that psychedelic ... I wonder how many on your list have heard Floyd's Ummagumma ... Bob (RockABOB)
However, list member CLARK BESCH shared part of a recent interview between TOMMY JAMES and FORGOTTEN HITS List Member STUART SHEA (that ran here in THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE a couple of weeks ago). In part, TOMMY addresses the change in their style of music:
TOMMY JAMES: "The singles market really died and the album market took over in late 1968. We were on the road with Humphrey on the ’68 campaign. When we left, The Turtles, The Buckinghams, and The Rascals were selling a lot of singles. When we came back in November 1968 the big acts were Blood Sweat & Tears, Led Zeppelin, Crosby, Stills and Nash and Joe Cocker ... all album acts. If we were gonna stick around, we had to be involved in making our own albums."
CRIMSON AND CLOVER was certainly a far cry from the nursery rhyme nonsense of HANKY PANKY that first put TOMMY JAMES AND THE SHONDELLS at the top of the charts in 1966. More sophisticated songs followed it up the charts ... SWEET CHERRY WINE went to #7 later in 1969 and CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION (which also received a few votes in our psychedelic survey) went all the way to #2. BALL OF FIRE (#11, 1969) and another one of my favorites, SHE (#19, 1970) both had a much fuller sound ... but by 1970 the musical tastes of our generation were changing again, soon echoing in the singer / songwriter phase of the Early "Soft Rock" '70's.
SIZE DOES MATTER: As much as I love CRIMSON AND CLOVER ... and it truly is one of my all-time, all-time favorite songs ... I just can't STAND the long version of this song!!! The single represents the PERFECT edit in my mind and I cringe every time this song approaches the middle when it's played on the radio for fear that the station may be playing the far-inferior long version. However, I will also be the first to admit that the long version better demonstrates just how well this song really DOES fit into the PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC category ... in a "bubblegum / pop" sort of way ... so, in the interest of "Majority Rules," which one do YOU like better???
ONE LAST RUNNER UP!:
Psychedelic music is the heavy purple wind howling through the tendrils of your hair on one of the blue-sand beaches of the moon. It is a soft silk balloon filled with the liquid light of a dwarf star from a galaxy far within your mind. It is the flashing neon sign above the door to your soul that blinks on and off with the warning, "Abandon logic all ye who enter here." It is an orange fish with monkey eyes and the tail of a phoenix, swimming through the ponds of . . . of . . . uh . . . oh, wow . . . what was the question again?
#8: According to our poll, your EIGHTH Favorite PSYCHEDELIC SONG is ITCHYCOO PARK by THE SMALL FACES!!! It went to #13 on the Cash Box Chart in early 1968 (and was a #11 Hit here in Chicago). Back home in England, ITCHYCOO PARK went all the way to #3 ... and while it was their first (and only) U.S. hit record, ITCHYCOO PARK was the FIFTH Top Ten Single for THE SMALL FACES in Great Britain!!! (In fact, one of their earlier hits, ALL OR NOTHING, went all the way to #1 in the U.K. in 1966!)
THE SMALL FACES seem to be another one of those bands more famous for who passed through their ranks (and who and what they would all ultimately become) than for any specific contribution they made to music. (Don't get me wrong ... ITCHYCOO PARK is a GREAT song ... always one of my favorites ... and as unique as it sounded back in late 1967 when it first appeared on the radio, it STILL sounds great today!) YOU guys all certainly seemed to like it ... it received 131 votes!
THE SMALL FACES were formed back in 1965 when bassist RONNIE LANE, drummer KENNEY JONES, keyboardist JIMMY WINSTON and lead vocalist / guitarist STEVE MARRIOTT, inspired by British bands like THE WHO and THE ANIMALS, banded together to play their own version of "mod" British R & B. Signed almost immediately to DECCA RECORDS, their first single WHATCHA GONNA DO ABOUT IT hit the charts before the end of the year. Almost immediately thereafter, WINSTON was replaced with IAN McLAGAN on keyboards and that is the lineup that took them through their '60's hey-day.
In 1966, their biggest British Hit, ALL OR NOTHING, knocked THE BEATLES' YELLOW SUBMARINE / ELEANOR RIGBY single out of the #1 position on the U.K. Chart. Their follow-up hit, MY MIND'S EYE, went to #4 on the British Chart but their next single, I CAN'T MAKE IT, was banned by the BBC. After a label switch a couple of months later to the newly formed IMMEDIATE RECORDS (founded by ANDREW OLDHAM), THE SMALL FACES put together a string of three straight Top Ten singles: today's psychedelic classic ITCHYCOO PARK (#3, 1967), TIN SOLDIER (#9, 1967) and LAZY SUNDAY (#2, 1968).
In early 1969, STEVE MARRIOTT announced that he was leaving the group to form HUMBLE PIE with PETER FRAMPTON. (Story goes that MARRIOTT was in search of "rock credibility" as a guitarist, rather than the teen pop stardom normally associated with a successful British singles band.) After first announcing that they were disbanding, the remaining SMALL FACES (RONNIE LANE, KENNEY JONES and IAN McLAGAN) instead hired guitarist RON WOOD and simply changed their name to THE FACES. (You were expecting, perhaps, The LARGE Faces???) They went looking for a new lead singer and happened across a guy by the name of ROD STEWART ... and soon a whole new phase began. Ironically, in 1976, ITCHYCOO PARK was re-released as a single in Great Britain and went right back into The Top Ten, peaking at #9. STEVE MARRIOTT decided to reform the band and soon KENNEY JONES and IAN McLAGAN were back on board to do a reunion tour. (RONNIE LANE refused to participate and was replaced by bassist RICK WILLS.)
Once the band members scattered for good, they all pretty much landed on their feet. KENNEY JONES eventually replaced KEITH MOON on drums with THE WHO, the early success of whom inspired THE SMALL FACES to form in the first place! RICK WILLS moved to The United States and joined FOREIGNER, RON WOOD, of course, became a ROLLING STONE (IAN McLAGAN became a STONES sideman for a while as well) and STEVE MARRIOTT worked on a variety of solo projects (including a couple more things with PETER FRAMPTON) over the next 15 years. (He died in a fire in his home in 1991 after reportedly taking a mixture of cocaine, valium, beer and wine.) RONNIE LANE was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1982 and pretty much became their poster child ... several fund-raising benefit concerts were staged in his behalf ... he ultimately died from the disease in 1997. ROD STEWART went on to have an incredibly successful solo career (despite the fact that he wore women's underwear ... yeah, we think you're sexy!) ... and recently has recorded four very successful albums worth of old musical standards.
OUR EIGHTH PLACE WINNER:
One way I can describe psychedelic music to a nine year old is to say that .... It is music which was created to help listeners combine lively music with the idea of picturing in their minds things that are very colorful by using iridescent colors (like purple, pink, orange yellow, red usually) with different hypnotic swirling artistic patterns (like a bull's eye) and rainbows too ... They also liked to incorporate the image of tie dyed things, flowers, and bubble lettering when the music was played .... "Strawberry Alarm Clock" Incense and Peppermints to me is the quintessential psychedelic song .... It's like artistic music .... Hope this helped : ) Blossmwrld
Congratulations!!! Paige picked YOUR entry as the EIGHTH best definition of PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC!!! And you just won the GREAT CD ROCK AND ROLL ROOTS, VOLUME 9, a collection put together by THE DRIVE's BOB STROUD (who just HAPPENS to be a FORGOTTEN HITS List Member, too!!!) It offers a GREAT selection of music ... in fact, we have featured nearly every song on this CD during the past six years of FORGOTTEN HITS' existence.) And, besides, the money raised by sales of this CD goes to a very good cause ... a percentage of every CD sold is donated to THE CHICAGO CHILDREN'S CHOIR ... in fact, at the CD Launch Party, dee-jay BOB STROUD presented the organization with a check for $10,000! In STROUD's own words, THE CHICAGO CHILDREN'S CHOIR is "a multiracial, multicultural children's choir dedicated to making a difference in young people's lives through musical excellence. They provide a unique platform for children of varying cultures and socio-economic backgrounds; the singers experience the world through music, working together to produce songs that are both beautiful and poignant. THE CHICAGO CHILDREN'S CHOIR is creating a better world through music, and we're pleased to help support their efforts." Hey, we've certainly done our part ... by buying another copy of the new CD (our FIFTH, btw!!! LOL), we, too, are able to help with these efforts as well as share some GREAT music ... check out this awesome track selection:
RESURRECTION SHUFFLE by ASHTON, GARDNER AND DYKE; POLK SALAD ANNIE by TONY JOE WHITE; RUN TO ME by THE MONTANAS (one of the TWO songs we featured by THE MONTANAS during our LOCAL HITS Series); IT COULD BE WE'RE IN LOVE by THE CRYAN' SHAMES (it was Number One here in Chicago for FOUR WEEKS yet virtually ignored on the National Charts ... we've made HUGE CRYAN' SHAMES fans all over the country by featuring this song several times over the past six years); COME AND GET YOUR LOVE by REDBONE (recently featured in our HONEST INJUN Series); SHAME, SHAME by THE MAGIC LANTERNS (one of my personal favorite songs of the 1960's); SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME by MAX FROST AND THE TROOPERS (the VERY first song EVER featured in FORGOTTEN HITS back in 1999); LOVE YOU SO MUCH by THE NEW COLONY SIX (we gave THE NC6 the spotlight treatment for a whole month earlier this year!); RIDE CAPTAIN RIDE by BLUES IMAGE; 13 QUESTIONS by SEATRAIN (another early FH favorite ... and one of the songs that I voted for for inclusion on the new CD!); INDIAN RESERVATION by DON FARDON (also featured in our HONEST INJUN series ... as well as during the very first week of FORGOTTEN HITS back in 1999) and TAKE ME BACK by THE FLOCK (another personal favorite ... first time ever on CD ... we've featured this song THREE times before and now ... FINALLY ... have a CLEAN copy to share!!!)
Congratulations, Blossmwrld from New Providence, New Jersey ... (wtg Sandy!!!) Here's what SHE had to say when we told her that she had won:
I won? ..... Oh My Goodness Kent .... ((((((((( Kent and daughter ))))))) Awesome ... really awesome!!! ...... I won!!! YaaaY!! .... Thank you so much!!! ... I am so surprised ... Please thank your lovely daughter for her vote of confidence .... This is encouragement for me ... I am thrilled as I have never won any contest before ... lol .... This is great .... Thanks so very much...!!!! Mwwahhh!!! : ) WooHOO! : )
Damn!!! I've heard radio station contest winners exhibit WAY less enthusiasm than that!!! (LOL) WTG, Sandy ... enjoy your prize.
Hey Kent ...
Thanks so much for this fabulous cd ... I received it on Wednesday ... It arrived safe and sound .... I haven't had a chance go listen to it yet... I will let you know what I think ... Interesting cover ... LOL .... I appreciate it Kent ... You rock! ....: ) ...
((((((( Kent and Cherri and family))))))))))) : )
#7: THE BEATLES led the pack with a total of 23 different song titles nominated as your favorite PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC OF ALL TIME ... and TWO of those titles made our Final TOP 20 list! Coming in at #7 is STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER, the very first track THE BEATLES recorded for what would become the SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND album. (Of course, STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER never made it on to the LP ... it was, instead, released as a single, coupled with PENNY LANE, in February of 1967 ... several months before the LP was released ... single-less.) Ironically, TWO people voted for the entire SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND album as THEIR favorite PSYCHEDELIC SONG ... which pushed THE BEATLES' tally of song titles up considerably.
THE BEATLES entered the recording studio for the first time in five months on November 24, 1966 to start the recording sessions for the next LP and, in a 7 1/2 hour session, laid down the first take of JOHN's new song, STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER. It would go through a number of changes over the next several weeks before being COMPLETELY re-recorded in mid-December. In fact, just before Christmas, LENNON told Producer GEORGE MARTIN that he liked BOTH versions of STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER ... MARTIN says, "He said, 'Why don't you join the beginning of the first one to the end of the second one?' 'There are two things against it,' I replied. 'They are in different keys and different tempos. Apart from that, fine.' 'Well,' he said, 'you can fix it.'" And that's exactly what MARTIN and Recording Engineer GEOFF EMERICK set off to do. They discovered that if they sped up the remix of the first version (Take 7) and then slowed down the remix of the second version (Take 26), they nearly matched. (They were, in fact, off by a semitone.) "With the grace of God ... and a little bit of luck ... we did it," says MARTIN. "We gradually decreased the pitch of the first version at the join to make them weld together," says GEOFF EMERICK. And that's the version that was ultimately released to the public. To this day, GEORGE MARTIN says the "splice" bothers him ... "I can hear it every time. It sticks out like a sore thumb to me!" Author (and BEATLES historian) MARK LEWISOHN says (in his book THE BEATLES RECORDING SESSIONS: THE OFFICIAL ABBEY ROAD STUDIO SESSION NOTES, 1962-1970), "For those who want to know, the edit can be found precisely sixty seconds into the released version of the single, after one of the 'let me take you down' lines."
In hindsight, it also bothered GEORGE MARTIN that STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER was paired with PENNY LANE as a "Double A-Side" Single, the very first BEATLES single NOT to go to #1 in Great Britain since 1963's FROM ME TO YOU kicked off a string of eleven straight chart-toppers. He feels that the songs ended up competing with each other, losing out in the end to ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK's hit RELEASE ME. (Can you believe it?!?!?) The only other track ready in time that could have been paired with either of the single tracks was PAUL's WHEN I'M SIXTY FOUR, a more "suitable" B-Side in MARTIN's opinion. In this way, PENNY LANE and STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER could have been released as the back-to-back A-Sides of the next two BEATLES' singles ... and potentially, he believes that BOTH could have gone on to hit the #1 position.
WINNING ENTRY #7:
Dear Kent's nine-year-old daughter,
It's really hard to explain what psychedelic music is. You know how most music makes you feel happy when you listen to it or maybe the words might make you feel sad when you listen?
Psychedelic music usually has words that don't make a lot of sense, so you don't feel happy or sad, you just feel confused. The music itself can be sometimes very confusing. The instruments sometimes sound like they are out of tune and sometimes the instruments make very unusual sounds and there are a lot of echoes in the music. Psychedelic music is very hard to sing along with. Sometimes the music can make you feel kind of creepy. I hope this explains a little bit about what I think psychedelic music sounds like.
My five favorite psychedelic songs are:
Time Has Come Today by the Chambers Brothers
Pictures of Matchstick Men by Status Quo
Itchycoo Park by the Small Faces
Journey to the Center of the Mind by Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes
A Day in the Life by the Beatles
Elk Grove Village, IL
Well, STEVE, not only did you win THE RIP CHORDS' latest CD ... our 7th Place Prize ... but you ALSO managed to pick several of the songs that made our final TOP 20 COUNTDOWN!!! Congratulations and thanks for your entry and continued support!!! (Here's what STEVE had to say when we told him that he was one of our PSYCHEDELIC Finalists:
Short ... sweet ... effective. WTG, STEVE!!!
I'd like to thank you for picking my definition of psychedelic music as a winner in The60sShop contest. The Rip Chords CD is very cool! Thanks again and keep listening to the oldies!
We want to thank BOB RUSH and THE RIP CHORDS for donating a copy of their latest CD, HOT ROD DAYS, for our PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Contest Give-Away! It's been autographed by the band: RICHIE ROTKIN, MITCH SCHECTER, FREDDY BROG, PAT MALEY and BOBBY RUSH. The CD features a cool mixture of live and studio tracks, including brand new recordings of their two biggest hits HEY LITTLE COBRA and THREE WINDOW COUPE. (In fact, these two songs are presented TWICE ... once in a live concert format and then again karaoke-style so that you can sing along with THE RIP CHORDS ... as your personal backing band ... at home!!! The lyrics are even printed on the inner sleeve!) Along the way, they do some great '60's cover tunes. (I especially like their version of WALK AWAY RENEE, which we've featured before in FORGOTTEN HITS.) The CD also includes THE RIP CHORDS' versions of 409, SOLITARY MAN, SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROCK AND ROLL STAR and that SYNDICATE OF SOUND FORGOTTEN HIT, LITTLE GIRL. (Hey!!! I thought WE were the only guys who did that one!!!) And ... just in time for Christmas ... SANTA'S GOT A COBRA! All-in-all, a VERY fun CD to listen to. (You can order YOUR OWN COPY right from THE RIP CHORDS' website ... just be sure to tell them that FORGOTTEN HITS sent you!) Thanks again, guys!!!
#6: Until the day he died, JOHN LENNON insisted that the title LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS was based solely on a drawing that his son JULIAN had done in school ... and that he made absolutely NO connection between that title and the LSD initials reference it has come to be known for (despite the fact that LENNON was heavily using drugs himself at the time!)
I suppose (in hindsight) we can all be thankful that young JULIAN hadn't drawn PATTY or CATHY or JULIE In The Sky With Diamonds or some of the mystical legend that has always surrounded this BEATLES classic would not exist!
Without question, one of the stand-out tracks from their landmark album SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS (or LSD) contained some of the most vivid yet abstract lyrics ever written. (You'll find them quoted in one of our upcoming winning entries!) Earlier in his career, JOHN LENNON's writing was often compared to that of LEWIS CARROLL (of ALICE IN WONDERLAND fame ... CARROLL, was, in fact, a great inspiration and influence for young JOHN when he was growing up writing his nasty poems in art class!) The imagery it creates surpasses anything else JOHN ever wrote (although some will argue that I AM THE WALRUS comes close. BTW, WALRUS earned 22 votes of its own during this contest!) The lyrics seem all the more amazing when you consider the fact that the lyrics to another song from that same album, BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR. KITE, were lifted virtually word-for-word from an old circus poster!!!
Although it was never released as a single (and was, at the time, banned on several radio stations ... along with LP closer A DAY IN THE LIFE ... because of their perceived drug references), LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS remains one of the most popular BEATLES songs ever recorded. In 1974, LENNON would contribute guitar and backing vocals (as his famed alter-ego DR. WINSTON O'BOOGIE) to his buddy ELTON JOHN's remake version ... and watch it go all the way to #1. (To a degree, he was repaying a favor ... ELTON sang harmonies and backgrounds on LENNON's #1 Hit WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH THE NIGHT earlier that same year!)
Word for word, without a doubt, the lyrics to LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS are one of the best examples one could give for this whole genre of PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC ... and you guys liked it enough to bring it in at #6 in our PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Countdown!
Originally written in 1970 (by a then 17-year old KENT KOTAL) and then published again in 2000 (in both MYSTERY LYRICS and FORGOTTEN HITS) was this tale of DIAMOND JIM:
Diamond Jim was a diamond miner ...
In fact, he was the BEST diamond miner the world has ever known.
Because of his uncanny talent, he had picked the mines clean all around the world
Until there were simply no diamonds left.
Suddenly, he was bored ...
What was the world's greatest diamond miner to do
If there were no more diamonds to be found on earth???
The solution was simple ...
He fashioned the longest rope ever made,
Tossed it up into the air and lassoed the moon.
If there were no more diamonds to be had here on earth,
Then he would simply go and mine them on the moon!!!
Diamond Jim had the magic touch ...
In virtually no time at all, he filled his bag with diamonds
Dug from deep inside the craters of the moon.
He decided to bring the bag back down to earth,
Empty it into his own private diamond mine
And then climb back up to fill the sack with another batch.
However, on his way back down the rope he encountered a problem ...
The bag of diamonds was just too heavy ...
The rope simply couldn't support them!!!
It began to break ...
... and, suddenly, it snapped!!!
And soon ...
There He Was ...
In The Sky With Diamonds!!!
Each of THE BEATLES described JOHN's song LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS(and their experiences making the SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND album) briefly in their autobiography, ANTHOLOGY ... ironically (I suppose) on the very same page where JOHN discusses the first time he ever used LSD in the recording studio!
RINGO: "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" and all the madness that went on around it was absolutely bonkers. I was actually with John when Julian came in with this little kid's painting, a crazy little painting, and John (as his dad) said, "Oh, what's that?" and Julian said, "It's Lucy in the sky with diamonds." And then John got busy."
PAUL: I showed up at John's house and he had a drawing Julian had done at school with the title "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" above it. Then we went up to his music room and wrote the song, swapping psychedelic suggestions as we went. I remember coming up with "cellophane flowers" and "newspaper taxis" and John answered with things like "kaleidoscope eyes" and "looking glass ties." We never noticed the LSD initials until it was pointed out later ... by which point people didn't believe us.
GEORGE: I liked "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" a lot. John always had a way of having an edge to his songs. I particularly liked the sounds on it where I managed to superimpose some Indian instruments onto the Western Music. Under normal circumstances, that wouldn't work on a Western song like "Lucy," which has chord changes and modulations (whereas tambouras and sitars stay in the same key forever). I liked the way the drone of the tamboura could be fitted in there.
JOHN: I saw Mel Torme introducing a Lennon-McCartney show, saying how "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" was about LSD. It never was and nobody believes me. I swear to God, or swear to Mao, or to anybody you like. I had no idea it spelt LSD. THIS IS THE TRUTH! My son came home with a drawing and showed me this strange-looking woman flying around. I said, "What Is It?" and he said, "It's Lucy in the sky with diamonds," and I thought, "That's beautiful!" I immediately wrote a song about it. And the song had gone out, the whole album had been published and somebody noticed that the letters spelt out LSD. I had no idea, and, of course, after that, I was checking ALL the songs to see what the letters spelt out. They didn't spell out anything, none of the others. It wasn't about that at all. The images were from "Alice In Wonderland." It was Alice in the boat. She is buying an egg and it turns into Humpty-Dumpty. The woman serving in the shop turns into a sheep and the next minute they're rowing in a rowing boat somewhere ... and I was visualizing that. There was also the image of the female who would someday come save me ... "a girl with kaleidoscope eyes" ... who would come out of the sky. It is NOT an acid song!
and, one of my favorite lines about the recording of the SGT. PEPPER album:
RINGO: John, Paul and George ... the writers ... were putting whatever they wanted on the tracks and we were spending a long time in the studio. We were still recording the basic tracks as we always did, but it would take weeks to do the overdubs for the strings or whatever, and then the percussion would be over dubbed later and later. SGT. PEPPER was great for me because it's a fine album ... but I did learn to play chess while we were recording it!
WINNING ENTRY #6:
Description of the era to a nine year old:
Think of bright colors -- men and women in tye dye shirts, osh kosh b'gosh's, sandals, long hair for women and men (often longer than the women), rooms filled with smells like incense, volkswagon busses painted with peace signs, faces painted with peace signs and most of the people looking like they're not sure where they are supposed to be going, kind of like walking around in a fog! Also, for some reason, everyone looked like they needed a bath! Fun huh?
Well, it evidently sounded "fun" enough to earn you SIXTH PRIZE in our special contest. DANNY recently had knee replacement surgery ... these issues of ESQ will provide some great reading during your time of recovery!!! Here's what DANNY had to say after we finally got a hold of him to notify him of his winnings:
I'm excited to see that your daughter chose my description as one of the winners -- it was fun thinking as a 9 year old again (although my wife says I do it often) LOL.
We want to extend our very special thanks to both DAVID BEARD and LEE DEMPSEY of ENDLESS SUMMER QUARTERLY MAGAZINE for donating the Sixth Prize of our PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC CONTEST!!! You may recall that earlier this year ... in one of our FOLLOW-UP Series spotlights ... we ran an EXCLUSIVE interview conducted by ESQ with the members of THE RIP CHORDS ... and we told you what a GREAT publication ESQ is for BEACH BOYS and BRIAN WILSON fans. DAVE and LEE have graciously donated FOUR Back-Issues of this excellent publication to one of our winners (in the hopes of "hooking you" for a brand new subscription!) LOL And my guess is, it'll work!!! Believe me, you WON'T be disappointed!!! LOTS of exclusive interviews and features, collectors' CDs and more ... I've personally been a subscriber for years. For anyone else on the list interested in checking out this fine publication, please visit their ENDLESS SUMMER QUARTERLY website ... and remember to tell them that FORGOTTEN HITS sent you!
Thanks for including us, and thanks for your interest in ESQ!
ENDLESS SUMMER QUARTERLY, INC.
Our thanks are to YOU, LEE and DAVID, for your generous donation. A quick check of the website shows that nearly ALL of the back-issues are already sold out so this should make for a very interesting (and collectible) prize!!! (And, thanks to this great little RIP CHORDS piece that we did, we were also able to give away an autographed copy of the latest RIP CHORDS CD as another one of our PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Prizes!
When I first proposed the idea of doing this contest, I kinda had some songs in mind that I felt SURE would place near the top of the list. In fact, most of MY personal choices for THE TOP FIVE BEST PSYCHEDELIC SONGS EVER Poll placed in the final Top 20. Honestly, I can't say that I was surprised by any of the songs that made the final cut ... but I was most definitely surprised by one of the songs that didn't!!!
I felt that GOOD VIBRATIONS by THE BEACH BOYS was a shoe-in for The Top Ten ... it revolutionized the way recordings were made back in 1966 and the layers and layers of sounds and strange instruments incorporated (who here even knew what a theramin was prior to this recording???) along with the length of time and amount of money spent (and the number of studios used) to make this landmark recording are legendary ... and mind blowing!
When all was said and done, it received 31 votes ... not enough to make the final countdown but still a pretty respectable showing. (Some might argue that GOOD VIBRATIONS ushered in the psychedelic era ... and I'd be hard pressed to disagree with them!) Some might ALSO argue that it's hard to think of THE BEACH BOYS as anything other than a surfing or hot rod band ... but BRIAN WILSON produced some of the most innovative music of the '60's ... THE BEATLES may have never recorded their SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND were it not for THE BEACH BOYS' PET SOUNDS LP.
Way back in 2000 ... during our very first ONE HIT WONDERS Series ... we featured an EXTENSIVELY (and EXTREMELY) long piece written by one of our readers covering the career of IRON BUTTERFLY, one of the premier hard rock / acid rock bands of its day. (I remember making the comment at the time that if you put the LONG VERSION of IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA on your stereo ... and listened to it TWICE ... that MIGHT be enough time to finish reading the article!!!)
Well, today ... nearly six years later ... it's time to feature these guys again ... because IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA is your FIFTH favorite PSYCHEDELIC SONG of all time!
And IRON BUTTERFLY truly were "in the zone" when this came out ... the IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA album rode Billboard's Album Chart for nearly THREE YEARS ... ultimately peaking at #4. Over the years, it's sold close to ten million copies. Their follow-up LP, BALL, charted even higher at #3 ... but IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA would be their only pop chart hit ... a GREATLY shortened single version (the album track ran over 18 minutes!) peaked at #30 on the Billboard Chart in 1968.
Unfortunately, the original ONE HIT WONDER article is long gone from the archives ... three good computer crashes saw to that!!! But today we've got the next best thing!!!
Although NOT one of our winning finalists in our PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Contest, ambitious list member CLARK BESCH turned in a magnificent piece detailing the definition of PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC. Much more of an ENCYCLOPEDIA than as ESSAY, you may need to put the 18-minute track on and then just hit the REPEAT button a few times in order to have enough time to read this one ... but it certainly DOES capture the spirit of the times. IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA is your #5 PSYCHEDELIC Pick Hit ... man, talk about your acid flashbacks!!!
YEP!: The original lyrics WERE "In The Garden Of Eden, Baby" ... but the band decided that by slurring their delivery they could achieve TOTAL heavy-ocity ... look THAT one up in your FUNK AND WAGNALLS!!!
FIFTH PRIZE WINNER: The only thing I can think to describe psychedelic music simply, is to use the word "groovy." Any song that has excess noise, funky stuff that makes no sense to the song, makes it groovy-worthy. Especially any song that came out in the last few years of the '60s. One of my faves is Itchycoo Park by Small Faces. The lyrics are toally silly, too -- 'we'll feed the ducks with a bun." Who says stuff like that??!! --Kristy (CGals)
Kristy White of LaGrange Park, IL
After giving THE NEW COLONY SIX the month-long spotlight treatment a while back here in FORGOTTEN HITS, how could they POSSIBLY refuse to donate a copy of their Live CD, "A 'LIVE' AND WELL", for one of the winners of our PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Contest?!?! Most of their biggest hits are here: I CONFESS, LOVE YOU SO MUCH, I COULD NEVER LIE TO YOU, a NEW COLONY SIX Hits Medley (featuring YOU'RE GONNA BE MINE, TREAT HER GROOVY and CADILLAC), I'M JUST WAITING, ANTICIPATING (FOR HER TO SHOW UP), I WANT YOU TO KNOW, I LIE AWAKE, I WILL ALWAYS THINK ABOUT YOU, THINGS I'D LIKE TO SAY plus that KILLER acoustic version of CAN'T YOU SEE ME CRY that we sent along during our series. In addition, they do a CHICAGO GOLD Medley (featuring the hits of some of our other local talent), that GREAT RAY GRAFFIA, JR. / JOE COCKER / JOHN BELUSHI version of THE LETTER and a few other "cover" surprises (including hits by THE GRASS ROOTS, THE MOODY BLUES, LOVERBOY, THE BEATLES and ELTON JOHN!) All-in-all, a REAL fun time. Congratulations, Kristy!
Holy Crap! I thought I was reading an email you'd sent to everyone about the winner. When I looked up and noticed it was only my name there I actually blushed! Hehe, I'm really excited about this!!! Yay me!!!
Don'tcha just LOVE reading the reactions of the winners once they've been notified!!!
Although not one of our winning finalists, this entry was just TOO good (and informative) not to share. Credit FORGOTTEN HITS list member CLARK BESCH with writing the MINI-ENCYCLOPEDIA on PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC ... (or would that be EN-PSYCHEDELIC-OPEDIA???) and then come up with your OWN mix-tape from these EXCELLENT song selections!!!
An essay on "psychedelic music" by Clark Besch
First, I was recently asked for a definition of "psychedelic music." I looked the word up in a 1941 Webster dictionary and it did not exist, then. I am guessing the word did not appear until the mid 60's at the earliest. The online dictionary had this definition:
adj. 1: producing distorted sensory perceptions and feelings or altered states of awareness or sometimes states resembling psychosis; "psychedelic drugs like psilocybin and mescaline" 2: having the vivid colors and bizarre patterns associated with psychedelic states; "a psychedelic painting" 3: of a mental state characterized by intense and distorted perceptions and hallucinations and feelings of euphoria or sometimes despair; "a psychedelic experience"
A good summary. HOWEVER, for the question, "What is psychedelic music?," I don't think a definition is what you look for. It is more a recipe. So many things can make up a "psychedelic song" and yet you don't need all of these to make a great one. Like a recipe, it's the dabs of this and that that make it so special! It's even OK to overcook it! Certainly, the above definitions help make up a basis for the musical side of psychedelia. The definition above mentions the words "distorted," "feelings of altered states," "drugs," "vivid colors," "mental state," "euphoria," "despair." Those fit in psychedelic songs very well, but usually not all at once. The common (and usually correct) perception is that psychedelic music incorporates the above in the forms of "distortion" in the usual form of the fuzz electric guitar found often in these songs. It does indeed give a feeling of being in an "altered state." Drugs certainly fit into this sound and give this feeling also, although you could be completely free of drugs and enjoy the music (almost!) as much. The vivid colors presented by these songs help present the euphoria and despair in great clarity as well. I don't think I ever heard the word "psychedelic" until the summer of 67, but I am sure it was around before then. One of the greatest (and often overlooked) contributors to the birth of this genre is production techniques. During this period, artists were suddenly freed from the world of 2 track and 4 track recording. Dealing now with 16 and 24 track recording studios, an artist could add SO much to their songs that was impossible just 6 months before. Radio became a big part of it. Tight playlists became the rule on AM radio in 67 and artists experimenting in psychedelic music often needed another outlet to get the message out--FM. It was the anti-AM! Instead of fast talking jocks, it used laid back (sometimes drugged-out) guys who were "into" the music, talked to the artists on the air and presented it all in anti-AM STEREO! Mixing 24 tracks to stereo instead of mono made a world of difference in sound. People began buying stereo systems to hear "it all." Headphones, stereo chairs, woofers, tweeters instead of transistor radios under the pillow. It wasn't just folk music sending real messages out now. The thing was, you had to listen closer now because the music was as much a part of the song as the words were! Things we take for granted today were NEW then--and that was exciting! Paisley prints and Peter Max art were great experiences that added a new dimension to the music. You might be staring at a fluorescent black light poster (or many, in my case), a 7-Up can with a light bulb that pulsated out of the top, or some other concoction sold in the new head shops of the day. You could buy fluorescent paint and make your own designs! Incense burning (or one of those illegalities) added another perception. Nehru jackets and wild colorful clothes and ties and tie-dye shirts and HAIR! It became a part of TV and movies. Suddenly, the LP was important! You might actually love 2 or 3 songs more than the hit 45 and HAVE to have the LP! Instead of fights over morals in rock 'n roll like the 50's, now teens just up and left for San Francisco on a whim! It was like a 20th century trip to the "New World"! Even AM radio had to succumb to the biggest psychedelic hits, often creating legacies in the process, but most AM DJs hated this music, opting for their more safe rock and "3 in a row" formats with the fast talking guys. Luckily, in this period in time, there was room for it ALL! The fragmentation of radio was not far enough along to keep the psychedelic songs from being aired over both bands of airwaves. It was a great musical kaleidoscope!
Politics were a big part, mostly in the form of antiwar sentiments. Much of this music was built around the "Make Love Not War" mentality. Instead of mop top long hair, the hair was LONG and beards were common and it helped create a new division between generations. Group performances and concerts became light shows and "experiences"!! Where in '64, kids picked up guitars for the first time after hearing the Beatles, these same kids were a few years older and had honed their devices and were now creating a new level of sophisticated teenaged/young adult music.
So, that said, what is my recipe for psychedelic music? A great mix and match of as many as possible of the following:
Obscure lyrics (Love, life, drugs, hair, incense, poetry, imagery, time, feelings, the changing world, butterflies, "ba ba bahs, la la lahs," etc.)
Message lyrics (Love, life, drugs, hair, incense, poetry, imagery, time, feelings, the changing world, Vietnam, specific events or places, etc.) Haha.
Controversial lyrics (Love, life, drugs, hair, incense, poetry, imagery, time, feelings, the changing world, Vietnam, hatred, serenity, specific events or places, etc.)
Usage of many instruments (fuzz guitar, keyboards, bells, flutes, harpsichords, mega-drum kits, bongos, orchestrations, etc.)
Colorful records (Uni 45 labels, fluorescent album covers, colored vinyl all made for a visionary delight)
Phasing (that "airplane swooshing" sound was one of the greatest sounds in this type of music)
Stereo (it created amazing new feelings hearing different things coming out of 2 speakers than the mono sound we'd grown up with)
Recording Techniques (distortion, backwards tapes, cross channeling sound from right to left, tape loops, varying speeds, double tracking, echo, reverb, wah-wah pedals, fades, sound effects, etc.)
Vocal Techniques (whispering, voice phasing, screaming, chanting, etc.)
Time period (mid 67 thru 1968--the prime time for psychedelic music)
All of my 40 songs (20 hits and 20 obscurities) incorporate many of these above things. Only 4 of the 40 step slightly outside of the time period listed above, but only by a few months either way. Before mid-67, the use of the word "psychedelic" was almost nonexistent and by 1969, "Psychedelic music," like radio, was being splintered and broken into other categories like progressive rock, hard rock, country rock, etc., and was not described nearly so often as "psychedelic" even though the "sound" or "feeling" was often still there. People may disagree with my 18 month time period, but if nothing else, it was the prime time for this genre.
My friend, Stuart Shea, just interviewed Tommy James and he had a great story on how things changed so fast in this 18 month period:
TJ: "the singles market really died and the album market took over in late 1968. We were on the road with Humphrey on the ’68 campaign. When we left the Turtles, the Buckinghams, and the Rascals were selling a lot of singles. When we came back in November 1968 the big acts were BS&T, Led Zeppelin, CSN, Joe Cocker, all album acts. If we were gonna stick around, we had to be involved in making our own albums."
Thanks Stu, for this great commentary!
WITH detail, here's my non-definitive top 40 "psychedelic music" lists. For a VERY detailed and expanded list, please email and I'll send it to you.
First, the Top 20 psychedelic HITS:
1. INCENSE & PEPPERMINTS-Strawberry Alarm Clock
Almost a perfect choice. The title, group name and even the great swirl label reek of psychedelia! AND it was the "B" side!
2. LIGHT MY FIRE-Doors
Jim Morrison, period. Many or most of the Doors' songs can fall into this type of music!
3. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE-Beatles
Without the Beatles, we might have skipped thru this period right from Elvis to Disco! What a terrible thought! HOW do you pick one song by them? So many psychedelic Fab 4 songs, but this one was the anthem of the summer of love and conjures up memories of the world wide broadcast of the song with group in their
psychedelic Sgt. Pepper outfits singing it--what better choice?
4. SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE-Cream
A little hard rock, but so many of Cream's songs were geared toward the psychedelic sound.
5. A WHITER SHADE OF PALE-Procol Harum
A one song anthem for the period.
6. IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA-Iron Butterfly
Another anthem with 18 minutes of nonsense lyrics, drums and fuzz.
7. ITCHYCOO PARK-Small Faces
One more "2nd Brit invasion" great.
8. WHITE RABBIT-Jefferson Airplane
San Francisco. So many song choices for this group too.
9. LOVE IS ALL AROUND-Troggs
Their 1966 outrageousness ("Wild thing," etc.) eventually led to another anthem.
10. GET TOGETHER-Youngbloods
So important to get the message out, it was a hit twice in 2 years!
11. Just Dropped in (To See What Condition my Condition was in)-First Edition
Hey, we didn't know it was Kenny Rogers then, we just knew it was wyld.
12. Purple Haze-Jimi Hendrix Experience
Which do you choose? So many by him to choose from.
13. Time Has Come Today-Chambers Brothers
What the hell was this, but cool!
14. Wear Your Love Like Heaven-Donovan
Donovan was a psychedelic peace leader and this was the "period" piece.
15. Pictures of Matchstick Men-Status Quo
Outta nowhere came this meaningless masterpiece.
16. Monterey-Eric Burdon & Animals
Monterey Pop was a magical event and Eric & Co. captured the essence here!
17. She's A Rainbow-Rolling Stones
Their most psychedelic 45 with cool instrumentation and orchestration.
18. Strawberry Fields Forever-Beatles
Just a little ahead of its' time, yet it was a hit anyway.
19. I Can See For Miles-Who
Another group that had so many great musical ideas in the period.
20. Can't Seem to Make You Mine-Seeds
This hit right at the beginning of the summer of love 67, although originally out in 65, but Sky Saxon had to be in this mix and this fits well in the crossover from garage rock to psychedelic rock.
(Interesting to see how many of CLARK's Top 20 Picks mirrored your votes!!!)
Next, the top 20 psychedelic obscurities. In many cases, these are better than the above 20, but without the above top 20, this top 20 might not have ever existed!
1. San Francisco Girls-Fever Tree
This mindblower scraped the bottom nationally, but is incredible. If you turned this way up on your speakers, you might blow them at the end or have to cover your ears to keep from going deaf!
2. Best Way to Travel-Moody Blues
Stereo! Before there was quad and 5.1, there was this studio created 2 track stereo track that sent space ships revolving around your head in headphones!
3. Soul Experience-Iron Butterfly
The crashing breaks are not to be believed. More great stereo!
4. I Need Love-Third Booth
Illinois' finest psychedelic output. The beginning and ending hooks us!
5. Open My Eyes-Nazz
Todd who? Fuzz and bongos and a rhythm that begged an "instant replay,"
6. My World Fell Down-Sagittarius
Glen Campbell singing lead? Whatever. This started all the sound effect middle breaks and there's good reason! Throw in great harmonies as well.
7. Question of Temperature-Balloon Farm
You'll have the fever after hearing this somewhat bubblegummy masterpiece. The label speeded up the original version to give it more oomph!
8. Hole in my Shoe-Traffic
The LP title tells it all, "Dear, Mr. Fantasy." "Supergroup" became a new moniker here!
9. Sailing Ship-Cryan Shames
My fave group doing a departure from their usual, complete with bagpipes and backwards percussion. It WORKS!
10. Arnold Layne-Pink Floyd
Bizarre group from then to now, but they weren't so laid back in 1967!
11. Let's Go to San Francisco-Flowerpot Men
The Brit anthem for the era!
12. Love Heals-Colours
No one ever mentions this song, but asking the musical question, "Do you love one another?," is great! "We do!"
13. Sit Down, I Think I Love You-Mojo Men
OK, it was a hit, but not overly well known. Its' spacey sound makes you think they recorded this Buffalo Springfield song in psychedelic heaven!
14. Mrs. Bluebird-Eternity's Children
Sound effects, a nice fuzz guitar break and spacey 'ba ba bas" create more greatness.
15. Space Oddity-David Bowie
Just into 69, this wild idea needed to be out in 68, but coulda been a hit in the moon walk era--missed both by a few months. In the 70's, it got chart revenge big time! Also bad timing for Mercury records, as RCA ended up cashing it in!
16. Flowers in the Rain-Move
Roy Wood and company were perfect for the era, complete with rain sounds.
17. Naturally Stoned-Avant Garde
Chuck Woolery and Co. only recorded 5 songs under this guise, but all were great psychedelia.
18. Dear Delilah-Grapefruit
Signed to Apple (originally) before it was a label and produced by Terry Melcher, add some great phasing and another great song appears.
19. Lather-Jefferson Airplane
How bout weird body sounds? I'm almost 50 and "lather" over this one, myself!
20. My White Bicycle-Tomorrow
Keith West whispers us through another Brit piece.
Hey Clark ... did you notice that TEN of your Top 20 choices ALSO made OUR Official Top 20 Countdown??? And, so did TWO of your pick-obscurities!!! (Maybe they're not QUITE so obscure after all!!!)
Since you asked for the LONG (LP) version, here's "the rest of the story."
To get to the mid-67 era, there had to be some ground layers. Many will consider these "psychedelic records" today, but I still believe that due to their earlier release dates, no one called them "psychedelic" in their own period. Now, in 20/20 hindsight, let's give the pioneers their due. In no particular order.
Happenings 10 Years Times Ago/Heart Full of Soul/Shapes of Things/Over Under Sideways Down - Yardbirds (and many more!)
Rain/I'm Only Sleeping/She Said, She Said/Norwegian Wood-Beatles (and so many more!)
I Had too Much to Dream (Last Night)-Electric Prunes (add a few months on and it would be in my top 20 hits list for sure)
Psychotic Reaction-Count 5 (another that had it all, nearly the word "psychedelic", but too early)
Grim Reaper of Love-Turtles (Title's as good as the song!)
Persecution Smith-Bob Seger & Last Heard (what is that, a flute??)
8 Miles High/It Won't Be Wrong-Byrds (too bad they got a little too country during our psychedelic time frame)
Good Vibrations-Beach Boys (helped pave the way for what good production would bring)
(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet-Blues Magoos (and many others before they got "just poppy")
Sunshine Superman/Mellow Yellow-Donovan (we knew it was coming, after these!)
Shakin' All Over-Guess Who (That guitar crescendo sends "shivers down my backbone")
Hey Joe-Leaves (That paisley LP cover is cool, too)
Til the End of the Day-Kinks (How 'bout that amazing beginning and that "early form of phasing" end on this song?)
Last Time Around-DelVetts (Chicago gets their fuzz going)
Next, we explore the songs that didn't make our top 40, but were in our psychedelic tyme era:
Summertime Blues-Blue Cheer (the loudest band of the era?)
1984/I Got a Line On You-Spirit (many choices here, too)
Journey to the Center of the Mind-Amboy Dukes (Ted Nugent and Co. takin' a little trip)
Living in the Past-Jethro Tull (just finding a category for this group is a hard one)
Hot Smoke & Sassafras-Bubble Puppy (Loudness can be a fine quality)
Hello, I Love You/Moonlight Drive/Break on Through/Love me Two Times/ Crystal Ship-Doors (and many more!)
Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds/I am the Walrus/A Day in the Life/Revolution #9/Helter Skelter/Savoy Truffle/Birthday/Across the Universe (original version)-Beatles (again, so many choices)
Born to Be Wild-Steppenwolf (dark glasses are always a good touch)
You Keep me Hangin' on-Vanilla Fudge (based just on creating such a weird version!)
Bluebird/Rock & Roll Woman/Mr. Soul-Buffalo Springfield (fits the bill!)
Shape of Things to Come-Max Frost & Troopers (Kinda "prefabricated Psychedelia" song from the "Wild in the Streets" movie--the perfect Psychedelic era movie)
Jumbo/New York Mining Disaster, 1941/Turn of the Century-Bee Gees (they could do it all!)
Still as Stone-Alan Bown (Deram cut that got away from many-"the test tube of life"??)
Blues Theme-Davie Allan & Arrows (more movie madness from "Hell's Angels" days)
Piece of My Heart-Big Brother & Holding Company (Janis had a few moments of psychedelia)
I Feel Free/SWLABR/Passing the Time/As You Said/Strange Brew-Cream (LP covers, double albums and the songs--amazing!
Tin Angel (will You Ever Come Down)-Hearts & Flowers (known more for their clothes than music, this song was weird in the best way)
Difference of Opinion-Montanas (poppy fluff, but funny--"want a flower?--Here, take one or I'll punch ya")
It's You-Millenium (More from the Sagittarius gang with phasing)
Ruby Tuesday/Soul Man-Rotary Connection (These Chicagoans could psychedelicize any cover song!)
Magic Bus/Boris the Spyder/Call me Lightning-Who (these guys were nuts)
Tin Soldier-Small Faces (Not from "Ogden's Nutgone Flake"--the ROUND LP COVER, but had to mention this great idea too!)
Somebody to Love-Jefferson Airplane (and so many more)
San Franciscan Nights/Sky Pilot-Eric Burdon & Animals (Animal evolution--a good thing)
Yellow Beads/Fly With Me!-Avant Garde (so cool how they create "atmosphere in song")
Time of the Season-Zombies (How many of us uncovered the great "Odyssey & Oracle" LP in its' own time--1967?)
In the same period, there were the established artists we'd all know and love that would get their fingers covered with fluorescent paint a couple of cool times!
I'll try it once or twice, anyway :
Easy to be Hard-Three Dog Night (Trying a song from "Hair" makes it worth it)
I Had a Dream/Too Much Talk-Paul Revere & Raiders (Yawning in an intro--works for me!)
We Love You/Dandelion/2000 Light Years from Home-Rolling Stones (+ Wyman's "In Another Land")
The Beat Goes on-Sonny & Cher (a certain hipness returned from the once hipsters of 65)
Fakin' It-Simon & Garfunkle (the middle break is cool enough to add this)
Watch the Flowers Grow/Electric Stories-4 Seasons (hey, they tried)
Pandora's Golden Heebie Geebies-Association (title not in lyrics--that works!)
Wild Honey-Beach Boys (dig the bongos and crazy organ solo!)
Suzie Q-Creedence Clearwater Revival (not a psychedelic group, EXCEPT when this came out!)
Crimson & Clover-Tommy James & Shondells (a hitmaker saying I can write and produce my own records? Gutsy....and correct!)
Green Tambourine/Jelly Jungle (of Orange Marmalade)-Lemon Pipers (yeah Buddah, but nonsense lyrics and tom-toms sound great with "sunshine fun!")
Sunny Afternoon-Kinks ("drunkeness and cruelty"--perfect!)
Zilch!-Monkees (bizarre and so cool--4 lines repeated simultaneously!)
Too Much of Nothing-Peter, Paul & Mary (the Mamas & Papas' psychedelic song they did not do, but should have)
Right Relations-Johnny Rivers (hold hands and sway back & forth, singing)
It's Wonderful-Young Rascals (party sounds at end make it here)
Ride My See-Saw/Tuesday Afternoon-Moody Blues (and so many more!)
America-Nice (Keith Emerson keyboards are mind expanding in themselves!)
Museum-Herman's Hermits (Peter Noone tries Donovan song--"I WOULD do a thing like that!")
I've listed a few already, but there were songs on the "poppy" side and some almost ballad-like songs that also dripped psychedelia to me for oddness or "love child" mentality or just plain "grooviness! And almost all from the 18 month period of psychedelia.
Getting psyched in tyme:
My Best Friend/How do You Feel-Jefferson Airplane (2 sided 45 that had promises of what was soon to come)
The Flower Children-Marcia Strassman (Yes, Kotter's wife. A top 5 hit in LA--just weird enough)
Society's Child-Janis Ian (Perfect lyrics for a perfect time--at age 15!)
The Letter-Arbors (just out of the tyme frame, but these crewcut guys defied possibility by putting out this laid back phasing masterpiece)
Run, Run, Run-Third Rail (predating his bubblegum heyday, Joey Levine and Co. tell us what's wrong with the world--a good bid fer sure for this list!)
Tip-Toe Through the Tulips/The Other Side-Tiny Tim (huh? That nose had to be in the right place, right time to qualify here! We all tried that "Tip-Toe" ending, didn't we?)
Valley of the Dolls-Dionne Warwick (WHAT? Psychedelic? OK, forget it's Dionne, remember it's the movie, and hear the lyrics "Is this a dream, am I here, where are you? When will I know, How Will I know? Why?" Am I wrong?)
Hello, Hello-Sopwith Camel (shuffling along in Spoonful style, the oddness is creative)
Like to Get to Know You-Spanky & Our Gang (68 really got them moving in a different direction)
Back on the Street Again-Sunshine Company (Groovy pop was their game and this had just great effect vocally and musically for this list)
Tomorrow/Sit With the Guru-Strawberry Alarm Clock ("meditation" with these guys was never so much fun!)
For Pete's Sake-Sweetwater (a song made up completely of "ba's" and flute / keyboard playing!)
I Know You (Your nature is Like Mine)-MC2 (Nice feel of spaceyness)
I've Never Seen Love like This/Can't Find the Time-Orpheus (Bosstown with bass-town vocals!)
Sunshine Girl-Parade (A&M had some groovy tunes in the summer of love, like this and the next...)
Out & About-Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart ("I gotta run outside & see what's happenin'"--that summer of 67--and 68--it was true!)
It's a Happening Thing-Peanut Butter Conspiracy (off-key singing is a turn-on if used properly--listen to the first words, here)
San Francisco (Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair)-Scott MacKenzie (Just put "San Francisco" in a song in 67 and it helps! What, no Mamas & Papas in the list? I just couldn't find the right song, I guess)
Not too many soul/r&b/black artist songs made psychedelia because as I just pointed out, these were already categorized, but a few crossed over in big ways.
Psychedelic Shack-Temptations ("so low you can't get under it")
I Want to Take You Higher-Sly & Family Stone (more Woodstock stuff)
Reflections-Diana Ross & Supremes (This raised some eyebrows in 67!)
1969 and 1970 had some great Psychedelic sounds, but the description was dying for new songs. It was hard rock, FM rock, underground rock, but seldom was "psychedelic" used in line with current songs. A shame, because many were.
Just outside the gates of psychedelia:
Imagine the Swan-Zombies (regrouped and ready for action)
Wasn't Born to Follow-Byrds (doing country-psych from "Easy Rider"?)
Knock on Wood-Harpers Bizarre (who woulda thunk this could happen?)
Something in the Air-Thunderclap Newman (Speedy Keen's voice and that piano make it a "Strawberry Statement"!)
Hello World-Tremeloes (Echo, echo the word "Hello" and it sounds cool here)
Cinnamon Girl-Neil Young (pretty great ending guitar solo!)
Back to the River-Damnation of Adam Blessing (Play loud to get full effect)
Stoned Cowboy-Fantasy (the title AND group name gives the music away)
Nature's Way-Spirit ("something's wrong"--who knew?)
White Bird-It's a Beautiful Day (what about these guys????)
A Hard Way to Go-Savoy Brown (just the left to right panning at the end is great enough!)
Band in Boston-Bob Dileo (very poppy, but phasing is so cool here!)
Mouthful of Grass-Free (another incredible use of phasing--the end note will not ALLOW you to have the volume up loud without ruining your speakers! Great job with distortion!)
Aquarius-"Hair" cast (RCA Soundtrack version has great weirdness to it that the 5D cannot match)
Whole Lotta Love/What is & What Should never Be/Livin' Lovin' Maid-Led Zeppelin (these have great use of crossfading, but most of their early titles are as great as the songs themselves)
Fresh Air-Quicksilver Messenger Service (these guys missed it by a year of being much bigger)
Green-Eyed Lady-Sugarloaf (Things were already fragmenting when there was a really long LP version as well as 2 in-store edit 45s! One at 3:33 and one 2 minutes longer. More bang for your buck--IF you picked the right 45 off the shelves!)
After 1970, there were still some bright moments of "Psychedelic" passion although many of these were more "hard rock" or "underground rock" artifacts.
Born outta tyme wannabe's:
Hold Your Head Up-Argent (why not start with these Zombies off shoots--great middle break)
Lucky Man-Emerson, Lake & Palmer (couldn't be here without that unforgettable moog ending--wyld!!)
I'd Love to Change the World-Ten Years After (Woodstock heroes get a hit!--"but I don't know what to do"!)
All the Young Dudes-Mott the Hoople (OK, let's just talk the lyrics and then scream them!)
Frankenstein/Free Ride-Edgar Winter Group (two more great middle breaks make these memorable)
Rocky Mountain Way/Walk Away-James Gang (Joe Walsh was more "hard rock" here, but great distortion and stereo panning)
We're all Playing in the Same Band-Bert Sommer (Great song idea and rendering from guy from "Hair")
13 Questions-Seatrain (wonder what they were?--who cares, great organ ditty--"hey look ma, I can play one note over and over and have a hit!")
David-Creation of Sunlight (cool obscure swirling sound from 71 that was "born too late"--an "Incense & Peppermints" wannabe if there ever was)
Stop/Son of my Father-Giorgio ("Stop" was actually a 45 on both London & Atco, but the Atco one is the one to hear with great phasing and percussion--2 label Troggs, move over!)
Woodstock-Matthew's Southern Comfort (Ian Matthew's ballad version has a great spacey vocal!)
(Don't Fear) The Reaper-Blue Oyster Cult (great middle experimentation and crashing guitars)
Rock On-David Essex (another classic psychedelic line: "and where do we go from here?")
No Time-Guess Who (The long "Wheatful of Soul" version with the wilder guitar ending, please)
D.O.A.-Bloodrock (so morbid and such great stereo, that it needed to come 2 years earlier, at least)
Jump Into the Fire-Nilsson (Great guitar licks that morph into oblivion by end!)
Hey, I'm burned out. I had to take some whites (speed) just to do this! Just kidding. Maybe in the 70's, though. I know I missed a bunch of great ones, but these were many off the top of my head. No wonder I have no hair left! Hope you enjoyed the ride! Clark Besch
Speaking of REALLY cool stuff, look what PSYCHEDELIC EDNA sent us!!! (This isn't one of our entry winners ... but sure is AWESOME to look at!!! Enjoy!!!)
Psychdelic Rock emerged in the mid-'60's. Instead of confining themselves to the brief, concise verse-chorus-verse patterns of rock & roll, the moved toward more free form, fluid song structures. The groups began incorporating elements of Indian and Eastern music and free form jazz in their sound, as well as experimenting with electronically altering instruments and voices within the recording studio. Initially, around 1965 and 1966, bands like the Yardbirds and the Byrds broke down the boundaries for psychedelia, creating swirling layers of fuzz-toned guitars, sitars and chanted vocals. Soon numerous groups followed their pattern, including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, both of whom recorded psychedlia in 1966. In other corners of America, garage bands began playing pschedelic rock without abandoning their raw, amateurish foundation of three-chord rock -- they just layered in layors of distortion, feedback and effects. Eventually, psychedelic evolved into acid rock, heavy metal and art rock.
13th Floor Elevator Iron Butterfly
Here are, in my opinion, two great examples of bands who used Psychedelic Muisc. However, they may not be the greatest bands. The Doors, Blue Cheer, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane are just a few bands who became well known during the psychedelic music era. Other less known bands include Peanut Butter Conspiracy, Cryan' Shames, Mods, Children of the Mushroom. When the psychedelic music scene exploded so did music festivals. Monterey Pop Music Festival and Woodstock to name a few.
#4: The song that I placed at the top of MY list of ALL-TIME FAVORITE PSYCHEDELIC SONGS came in in FOURTH PLACE in our official countdown ... with a total of 179 votes, PICTURES OF MATCHSTICK MEN by STATUS QUO seems to have also appealed to an awful lot of you music lovers out there!
In the Spring of 1968, STATUS QUO took their only U.S. Top 40 Hit all the way to #11 on the Cash Box Chart ... and it soared to #2 here in Chicago. That opening guitar riff was an immediate attention grabber ... I remember loving this song the very first time I heard it ... yet they couldn't seem to duplicate their success here in The States. (A follow-up single, ICE IN THE SUN, peaked at #54 in Cash Box and #34 here in Chicago.)
Back home in Jolly Ol' England, however, the band enjoyed a 30+ year career, placing over 50 songs on the U.K. Charts during that timeframe, including 20 Top Ten Hits. (PICTURES OF MATCHSTICK MEN peaked at #7 in Great Britain ... their biggest U.K. Hit was a song called DOWN DOWN, which topped the charts there in early 1975.)
The earliest roots of the band can be traced back to 1962 when original STATUS QUO bassist ALAN LANCASTER talked some friends of his from their school orchestra into starting a trad-jazz combo. By 1964, guitarist FRANCIS ROSSI and drummer JOHN COGHLAN had come on board and (after a style change to compete with some of the other British beat groups ... as well as a name change from THE SCORPIONS to THE SPECTRES) they soon landed a gig backing up THE HOLLIES.
In 1967, THE SPECTRES released three singles in Great Britain that were all hits here in The States for other artists. (I, WHO HAVE NOTHING, HURDY GURDY MAN and WE AIN'T GOT NOTHIN' YET .... the latter two earning a fair amount of votes in this special PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC poll for DONOVAN and THE BLUES MAGOOS respectively!) When all of these singles failed to make the charts, they changed their name to TRAFFIC JAM ... unfortunately at virtually the same time, STEVIE WINWOOD formed HIS new band and named them TRAFFIC. At the suggestion of their manager (PAT BARLOW), the band became STATUS QUO, a name that would stick for the duration of their career. (A quick look at their British Chart Hits shows that they quite often covered songs that were hits for other artists. In fact, a few years back we featured their version of THE BEACH BOYS' classic FUN, FUN, FUN ... which actually featured THE BEACH BOYS on backing vocals!)
By the end of 1967, guitarist / vocalist RICK PARFITT had also joined the band and the line-up was now set for their big breakthrough hit. (Ironically, while STATUS QUO was waiting for one of their own records to click, they were working as MADELEINE BELL's back-up band! We featured MADELEINE's version of I'M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME as part of our LOCAL HITS series a while back ... her name ALSO came up during our expanded DUSTY SPRINGFIELD series, as she also worked as one of SPRINGFIELD's back-up singers.)
In the early '70's, their music took another turn, encompassing more of a blues sound. (British Music critics have always found fault with their "three-chord" rock material ... but the fans just seem to love them.) Despite a number of personnel changes, they remained a very popular live act in Europe throughout the '70's and '80's, racking up 36 Top 40 British Hits between 1970 and 1989.
On September 21, 1991, the band celebrated their 25th anniversary by appearing at FOUR different venues in a 12-hour period as part of their ROCK 'TIL YOU DROP promotion. (In quick succession, STATUS QUO appeared at The Sheffield International Centre, The Glasgow Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, The Birmingham National Exhibition Centre and Wembley Arena!) This feat landed them in THE GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS. (Kinda makes PHIL COLLINS' LIVE AID stunt ... where STATUS QUO ALSO appeared ... look like kids' stuff, eh???)
DIDJAKNOW?: When STATUS QUO recorded FUN FUN FUN with THE BEACH BOYS, it became their 50th British Chart Hit, peaking at #24 ... however, BBC RADIO refused to play the record, publicly calling the band "too old." STATUS QUO filed a writ against the station, charging them with "ageism"!!!
WINNING ENTRY # 4:
FROM DONNY OSMOND TO PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC IN A FEW EASY STEPS
Snow cones taught me about psychedelic music.
It must have been the summer of 1973. My sister was 12 and a fan of Donny Osmond. Every 12-year-old girl was a fan of Donny Osmond that summer of 1973. They bought every issue of 16 Magazine (which always had Donny on the cover), practiced writing "Mrs. Donald Osmond" in their diaries, and--well, you get the idea. It was a well-known fact that Donny's favorite color was purple. My sister's softball team was called The Purple Turtles. The whole team was made up of 12-year-old girls, and they loved their Donny. I don't know where the turtle part came from.
I was almost 8 and I loved Donny a little bit, too. I did not love softball, but everyone else seemed to, so I tried to pretend like I did. It seemed like every night I was at the local ball diamond, watching the Purple Turtles. There wasn't much to do there in the bleachers. The Purple Turtles weren't very good, and I don't ever remember them winning a game, or even coming close to winning, so cheering seemed kind of beside the point.
My favorite part about the games was the concession stand. A very nice married couple ran the concession stand. They sold candy and pop and snow cones. There were 3 or 4 flavors of snow cones, including a red that may have been cherry or strawberry, a purple grape, an orange orange, and maybe a green lime. To be honest, all the flavors tasted the same, so you usually ordered your favorite color. Some kids couldn't decide which color they wanted, so the couple that ran the concession stand started selling snow cones that had squirts of every color, all swirled around. They looked sort of like when you tie dye a t-shirt. They called their new creation psychedelic snow cones. Of course, by 1973 the word psychedelic really wasn't cool anymore. But the couple who ran the concession stand thought they were really hip with their psychedelic snow cones, and we 8-to-12-year-olds thought we were really hip eating them.
So, this is what it comes down to: Because of Donny Osmond, the softball team was called The Purple Turtles. Because of The Purple Turtles, I was at the ball diamond. At the ball diamond concession stand, I learned the word psychedelic. And I learned that psychedelic music sounds like a tie dye snow cone looks.
--Laura (Jack's Trophy Wife)
As a big fan of DONNY OSMOND (not unlike her Mother!!! LOL), this one REALLY captured PAIGE's attention (and affection). She LOVED it ... and that earned you the FOURTH PLACE PRIZE in our special PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC CONTEST!!! Congratulations again, LAURA!
We've done a fair amount of plugging for the new MAUDS' CD, SOUL ATTITUDE recently ... but this one REALLY rocks our soul ... and we recommend it to the whole list for a real good, musical time. Thanks again to JIMY ROGERS and QUENT LANG for donating an autographed copy for our PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC give-away. (THE MAUDS are already at work on a follow-up CD, featuring ORIGINAL material!) This one has some GREAT soul / R & B covers like the AL GREEN tune LOVE AND HAPPINESS, the JAMES BROWN hit LIVING IN AMERICA, a remake of THE MAUDS' own first big Chicagoland hit, HOLD ON, I'M COMIN' (the old SAM & DAVE tune) and the JOE COCKER / TOM JONES / RANDY NEWMAN classic YOU CAN LEAVE YOUR HAT ON. In addition, there's a great new studio track called NEW DAY and a real crowd-pleasing live version of the '60's classic MUSTANG SALLY. (Ironically, THE RIP CHORDS ALSO covered MUSTANG SALLY on THEIR LIVE CD, which we gave away just the other day in our PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Contest.) Winner of THE MAUDS' new LIVE CD is JACK'S TROPHY WIFE, LAURA LEVIN of Wayne City, Illinois (WTG, LAURA!!!) and you'll find her winning entry follows below. In the meantime, you can order your own copy of this killer CD via THE MAUDS' website.
#3: There were certain songs that you just KNEW were going to make the Final Countdown. Coming in at #3 in our poll of your ALL-TIME FAVORITE PSYCHEDELIC SONGS is THE JEFFERSON AIRPLANE and their 1967 druggie classic WHITE RABBIT. (It was the #2 choice in my personal Top Five as well!)
WHITE RABBIT was a #6 National Hit (#4 here in Chicago) during The Summer Of Love, 1967 ... and it has pretty much found its way on to the soundtrack of ANY media form that covers the sights and sounds of the '60's ... whether it be the drug culture per se or just the sound of our generation. (Over the years, THE JEFFERSON AIRPLANE have had to endure their own little piece of controversy from time to time ... remember when GRACE SLICK caught all that flack for appearing on THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR in Black Face?!?!? Even TOMMY SMOTHERS looked shocked!!! LOL) If JOHN LENNON took the writing style of LEWIS CARROLL to new heights with his compositions of LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS and I AM THE WALRUS, then THE JEFFERSON AIRPLANE COMPLETELY reinvented the story of ALICE IN WONDERLAND with their trippy "Go Ask Alice" anthem ... and what a long, strange trip it was!!!
THE JEFFERSON AIRPLANE represented the sound of the counter-culture ... The Sound Of San Francisco ... The Sound Of The Whole Hippie Movement ... The Summer Of Love ... Haight-Ashbury ... The Woodstock Generation ... Monterey ... Altamont ... Revolution And Rebellion ... The Sound Of The '60's ... and everything it stood for. (Who would have EVER guessed that 15 years later they'd be recording as a soft-rock band renamed THE JEFFERSON STARSHIP ... and later STARSHIP ... cutting beautiful Top Five ballads like MIRACLES and SARA ... classic #1 pop hits like WE BUILT THIS CITY ... great "Classic Rockers" like JANE ... and ... OMIGOD ... even soundtrack music like NOTHING'S GONNA STOP US NOW from an incredibly lame ANDREW McCARTHY movie!!!)
But in 1967, they were in the zone ... SOMEBODY TO LOVE topped the chart here in Chicago ... and went to #5 nationally as well. (GRACE SLICK had first recorded this tune ... as well as WHITE RABBIT ... as part of THE GREAT SOCIETY a year earlier without chart success.) Their album SURREALISTIC PILLOW was one of the biggest hits of the year and CROWN OF CREATION, BLESS ITS POINTED LITTLE HEAD and VOLUNTEERS all followed it up the charts. In 1970, a Greatest Hits collection was released (cleverly titled THE WORST OF JEFFERSON AIRPLANE) but by then the pop chart hits had pretty much stopped. Singles like the LP title tracks CROWN OF CREATION and VOLUNTEERS failed to "start a revolution" ... but the eerie PRETTY AS YOU FEEL ... one of my favorites ... snuck into Cash Box's Top 40 (#35) despite a #60 Billboard showing. (DIDJAKNOW?: The final released version of PRETTY AS YOU FEEL was the result of an original track edited down in length from a 30 minute studio jam session that also included CARLOS SANTANA, JERRY GARCIA and PAPA JOHN CREACH.)
In 1974, the band re-invented themselves as JEFFERSON STARSHIP and, a year later, they released their across-the-boards classic MIRACLES (#3), which just HAS to be the ultimate make-out song of all time!!! Other soft-rock hits followed: PLAY ON LOVE (#47, 1976), WITH YOUR LOVE (#12, 1976), COUNT ON ME (#8, 1978), RUNAWAY (#12, 1978) and then, with new lead vocalist MICKEY THOMAS on board, the smash JANE (#6, 1980). In 1985, they topped the charts with back-to-back #1 Hit Singles, WE BUILT THIS CITY and SARA ... and, in 1987, they were back on top again with NOTHING'S GONNA STOP US NOW. Members MARTY BALIN and GRACE SLICK have had varying degrees of success as solo artists (BALIN's HEARTS was a #8 soft-rock pop hit in 1981) and, along the way, the band has also spawned musical off-shoots like MOBY GRAPE and HOT TUNA.
In 1996, THE JEFFERSON STARSHIP were inducted into THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME ... despite various reunions over the years, GRACE SLICK was a no-show at the awards ceremony.
WANNA GOOD READ???: Check out GRACE SLICK's autobiography, SOMEBODY TO LOVE ... some pretty amazing stories from someone who had a front row seat during a pretty amazing time!!!
THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME: GRACE SLICK was, in her own words, blonde until she reached puberty ... and, at the age of eight, dressed up as ALICE IN WONDERLAND for Halloween!
WINNING ENTRY #3: When we first announced our PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Contest, we invited our list members to submit definitions that would make sense and paint a vivid picture that could be seen through the eyes of a nine year old. Because we had never done a contest before here in FORGOTTEN HITS, we may have overlooked setting a rule or two ... such as the NUMBER of entries one person could submit!!!
Our third prize winner submitted FOUR different definitions ... and, to be COMPLETELY fair and honest, we never specified that you COULDN'T submit more than one entry ... and let's face it, through a variety of different writing styles and approaches, one never really knew for sure just which definitions might strike our daughter's fancy ... so we allowed them all to pass ... and, sure enough, she selected one of them as our THIRD PRIZE WINNER!!! So congratulations to DOONBIZ (RON KOLMAN of Highland Park, Illinois) who selected as his prize, the signed copy of ROCK AND ROLL ROOTS, VOLUME 7.
Hey, this is a GREAT compilation CD and features the tracks: RESURRECTION SHUFFLE by ASHTON, GARDNER AND DYKE, POLK SALAD ANNIE by TONY JOE WHITE, RUN TO ME by THE MONTANAS, IT COULD BE WE'RE IN LOVE by THE CRYAN' SHAMES, COME AND GET YOUR LOVE by REDBONE, SHAME SHAME by THE MAGIC LANTERNS, SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME by MAX FROST AND THE TROOPERS, LOVE YOU SO MUCH by THE NEW COLONY SIX, 13 QUESTIONS by SEATRAIN, INDIAN RESERVATION by DON FARDON and TAKE ME BACK by THE FLOCK. (Over the past six years here in FORGOTTEN HITS we have covered EVERY single one of these tracks except POLK SALAD ANNIE ... so it's DEFINITELY our kind of music!!!) And, to make it even better, this particular copy has been signed by BOB STROUD (radio host of ROCK AND ROLL ROOTS on WDRV ... and also the lead singer of THE CRYAN' SHAMES ... as well as a FORGOTTEN HITS List Member!), RAY GRAFFIA, JR. and MARK ESKIN of THE NEW COLONY SIX, CARL GIAMMARESE of THE BUCKINGHAMS, JIMMY PILSTER (HOOKE) of THE CRYAN' SHAMES, TOM WEBB of THE FLOCK and JIMY ROGERS of THE MAUDS. This CD is available EXCLUSIVELY at Chicagoland BORDERS Stores ... and when they're gone, they're gone. (This was a limited pressing of, I believe, 5000 copies ... and they've become REAL collectors' items over the years!) You can listen to BOB STROUD's ROCK AND ROLL ROOTS Radio Program live on Sunday Mornings from 7 am - 10 am (Central Time) on WDRV - THE DRIVE. It's a great recap of the music we grew up with in the '60's and '70's and well worth a listen ... my guess is you'll be hooked like most of us here in Chicago, who've been listening for 25 years now!!!
How remarkably cool! My 1st choice, Kent, would be: An autographed copy of the ROCK AND ROLL ROOTS, VOLUME 7 CD.
Your daughter obviously has superb taste, Kent ... warmsmile.
Now my daughter thinks I'm a bloody genius.
WINNING ENTRY # 3
Hope everyone is well. Here's my shot at helping a nine-year-old understanding Psychedelia. I know ... my propensity for verbosity ... gets in the way ... smile :
From about 1964, through the end of the 1960's, people were trying new things as their parents, and grandparents before them did. And it was a time when people seemed to question everything from what the president was doing, to people's rights, and almost everything else. As always, one of the things that seemed to help people express their feelings, what they loved - and feared, was music. Music has always been a way for people to express themselves, but during this time some special things happened. There was a really big change in the way people played and sang music. Music seemed to change from being kind of soft and simple. People were talking about our country, their feelings about people's rights, and trying to make things better. Those who played and sang found they could make their instruments louder and more interesting by making them electronic. The same way a microphone and speaker could change someone's voice, guitars and pianos, and a lot of other instruments took on new sounds. A lot of people, especially younger people, teenagers, found they loved the louder music, and the dances that went well with it. They had so much fun with the new sounds. There was a war going on in another country across the ocean, and people found they had a lot of different feelings about that too. They were curious if the war was right or wrong. People wrote music about the war, and the way people treated other people, with words that were very honest and created a lot of different feelings.
There were a lot of musical bands that were popular in England that became VERY popular in our country too. Their music was played over, and over, on radio stations. Maybe the most popular were named The Beatles. There were four of them. John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison who all sang and played guitar, and their drummer, Ringo Starr. People just fell in love with The Beatles and their music. It just so happens that The Beatles were not only good at making music, but they were pretty clever too. They thought about all the things going on in the USA, and all over the world. By the later 60's music was more important, it seemed, than maybe ever before. People wrote songs not just for dancing, but for what the songs had to say. The music was everywhere and very popular. During this same time, young people heard about some odd drugs. Not the proper kind that your doctor gives you when you're not well, but strange chemicals that actually changed the way people thought and saw things. These drugs were not good to use at all. But in the 1960's, people didn't understand the harm those chemicals could do, and the way they could make you sick...even hurt your brain. Sometimes it takes a while before people figure out that things aren't good for them. The Beatles, and some other people, were excited to see if these drugs could make them "special," and their music special too. The drugs were called Psychedelics. The first part of the word "psych" is a word that's about our brains. While it made some people feel like they were dreaming, they made others very sick. Some couldn't make the dreams go away ... and that's not good. But few knew how dangerous those psychedelics were back then. Some that used the drugs wore different kinds of clothes, played different kinds of music, and thought different ways. The drugs played with the way their brains worked. The whole piece of time people tried those unsafe drugs, and created music while using those chemicals, is sometimes called the psychedelic era. You can often tell music that was meant to be psychedelic. It has it's own kind of sound. The sounds aren't bad. They are sometimes strange and even interesting. Some played music backwards, or used very odd instruments. The words in those songs were odd too, often not really making much sense, because that's what the drugs did to the way people saw things. Today we know that those drugs were mostly dangerous, and that people should NEVER take ANY drugs that a doctor doesn't prescribe for you. In fact these days, most people feel the fewer drugs they take the better ... unless really needed if sick. But those who grew-up during the Psychedelic Era often remember the psychedelic songs that were played on the radio, and they often too remember the songs as part of being young with good memories attached...just like any other generation before them...and kids today will feel good listening to today's music when they get much older.
FIVE favorite psychedelic songs from the '60's :
1. I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night - Psychedelic Prunes
2. Incense And Peppermints - Strawberry Alarm Clock
3. Mr. Farmer - The Seeds
4. Crimson And Clover - Tommy James And The Shondells
5. I Am The Walrus - The Beatles
Congratulations, RON ... GREAT entry. I hope you enjoy the ROCK AND ROLL ROOTS CD!
Hi Kent ...
Reading FHs today, I realized I never knew (or had missed) your daughter's name. I'm completely embarrassed following FH so closely. I'm enjoying the heck out of the CD touched by those who made the music I listened to, cruising for girls Friday night in my father's car. It's ironic I'd end-up with that ... smile. Please send these words along to Paige for me:
My name is Ron, and YOU picked my explanation of "What Psychedelic Music Is," as your THIRD favorite. That's sooooo cooool! I won a great CD signed by people in bands who played great music in the 60s. It means a lot to have it ... ya know? THANK YOU Paige. I think you are a very, very, smart young lady.
My Warmest wishes for a Happy and Healthy Holiday, to You and your Whole Family.
P.S. You're right. Your Dad DOES know a LOT about "oldies music."
Have fun during Holiday break!
#2: Every step takes us closer to your ALL-TIME FAVORITE PSYCHEDELIC SONG!!! Here's the one that came in at #2!!!
We are pleased to announce the SECOND PRIZE Winner in our PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Contest ... Congratulations go out to Mr. STEVE GLOS of McHenry, Illinois. He will receive an autographed copy of the RON SMITH Book CHICAGO TOP 40 CHARTS, 1960-1969, a recap of the songs that occupied The Top 40 chart positions here in Chicago, as ranked each week by THE WLS SILVER DOLLAR SURVEY!!!
At the time that this series was first published, RON SMITH was currently the night-time dee-jay at REAL OLDIES 1690 AM ... and he remains a Chicagoland chart authority ... in fact, he's written books recapping the '60's, the '70's and the '80's music scene as it relates to our local WLS Chicagoland charts. (He has since published his WCFL Chart Compilation Book, too!) RON also maintains one of the coolest oldies websites on the planet ... if you haven't checked it out yet, please do so at:
Oldies Music -- history, trivia and charts of Fifties, Sixties and Seventies music
You'll see that it's chock-full of oldies information and trivia ... and you can also order your OWN copy of this great book (and all of the others) through this website!
RON was also responsible for counting down The Chicagoland Top 25 songs every weekend on REAL OLDIES 1690 ... what an EXCELLENT way to remember all of the great music that we grew up with back in the day.
Congratulations again to STEVE GLOS ... and now, here's your winning entry:
WINNING ENTRY # 2:
Psychedelic Music is music that makes you imagine COLORS ---- like flowers and balloons and clothes of every color in your crayon box!
It gives you a feeling of EXCITEMENT ---- like riding the Merry-Go-Round at Kiddieland, only REAL FAST!!
And most of all, it makes you feel HAPPY-HAPPY-HAPPY --- like running in a big open field on a bright, sun-shiney day!
Oh, yeah --- it's kind of funny, too, because the bands that play psychedelic music have really weird names like BUBBLE PUPPY!
I have to admit that it was kinda tough coming up with MY DEFINITION FOR A NINE-YEAR-OLD --- You understand, Kent, that it's awful tough not to refer to anything remotely like acid flashbacks --- Thanks for the memories ... Steve
This was a Great Idea!!! Here's my top 5 faves:
Hot Smoke & Sassafras Bubble Puppy
Incense & Peppermints Strawberry Alarm Clock
Journey To The Center Of The Mind Amboy Dukes
Pictures Of Matchstick Men Status Quo
2000 Light Years From Home Rolling Stones
Well, STEVE, all five of your nominations made the final list. (Not bad, eh??? And a SECOND PLACE PRIZE to boot!!!)
Thanks again for your entry ... our daughter loved it ... and I hope you enjoy your new book ... we use it as a cross-reference here in FORGOTTEN HITS all the time!
According to that RON SMITH book, CHICAGO TOP 40 CHARTS 1960-1969, the song that came in in second place in our Official Poll of Your Top 20 Favorite Psychedelic Songs was a Top Five smash here in Chicago in early 1967 ... however, it fell JUST short of The National Top 10, stopping at #11 in Billboard Magazine and #12 in Cash Box Magazine.
You will find it published virtually EVERYWHERE that THE ELECTRIC PRUNES came out of Seattle, Washington, but (according to original drummer PRESTON RITTER) that is something that a dee-jay in Seattle mistakenly informed the crowd during the band's first live performance to promote their new hit record, I HAD TOO MUCH TO DREAM LAST NIGHT. The record broke in Seattle (which is how this location was selected to first showcase the band) ... then became a big hit in Boston. Soon it was Top Five here in Chicago, too, and then pretty much Top Ten around the rest of the country, ultimately peaking at #11 on the official Billboard Chart.
For the record, THE ELECTRIC PRUNES REALLY hailed out of the San Fernando Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles (which is just a hop, skip and a jump down the coast from Seattle, I guess, if you're in the business of creating band folklore!) Their signing to FRANK SINATRA's REPRISE RECORDS label could be considered nothing less than shocking back in 1967. (At the time, the label's biggest stars were SINATRA himself, fellow Rat-Packers DEAN MARTIN and SAMMY DAVIS, JR. and various label offspring such as DINO, DESI AND BILLY and FRANK's own daughter, NANCY SINATRA.) However, as we've already seen in this special PSYCHEDELIC Series, before the year was up, SINATRA's label would also be home to JIMI HENDRIX (who came in at #11 in this special countdown) as well as KENNY ROGERS AND THE FIRST EDITION (whose psychedelic classic JUST DROPPED IN came in at #12), proving that (as a businessman anyway) SINATRA was just interested in music that would sell!
The original band members consisted of JAMES LOWE on lead vocals, autoharp and rhythm guitar, KEN WILLIAMS on lead guitar, JAMES "WEASEL" SPAGNOLA (also on guitar), MARK TULIN on bass and keyboards and PRESTON RITTER on drums. After a minor follow-up hit (GET ME TO THE WORLD ON TIME hit #27 in Billboard but stalled at #44 in Cash Box), the band released a couple of albums (neither of which broke Billboard's Top 100) and then called it quits. Remarkably, a completely NEW band was then created to take over the name. The NEW version of THE ELECTRIC PRUNES consisted of RICHARD WHETSTONE on lead vocals and drums, MARK KINCAIDE and RON MORGAN on guitar, BRETT WADE on bass and JOHN HERREN on piano. THIS version of the band recorded what can best be described as a "religious-rock" album called MASS IN F MINOR, but it, too, went nowhere. (How psychedelic is this? All of the material on MASS IN F MINOR was sung in Latin!!!)
The original version of THE ELECTRIC PRUNES garnered quite a following in Europe (particularly France) and, according to VERNON JOYNSON's excellent psychedelia book FUZZ ACID AND FLOWERS, bootlegs of some of the live appearances the band made in France have been circulating amongst collectors for years.
PRUNES FOR BREAKFAST???: THAT ought to keep you going all day!!! (LOL) What the heck, why not?!?!? ... we've already had ELECTRICAL BANANAS earlier in this series. I just hope they doesn't cause any nightmares ... or you may have TOO MUCH TO DREAM again tonight, too!!!
At long last ...
here is your #1 ALL-TIME FAVORITE PSYCHEDELIC SONG!!!
We've reached #1 ... both in our PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Countdown as well is on our PSYCHEDELIC ESSAY Contest!
The winning song won by a landslide ... in fact, during the entire competition, it never once fell from first place and out-distanced our second place runner-up by nearly 100 votes. It is, therefore, YOUR choice as the quintessential psychedelic song.
INCENSE AND PEPPERMINTS topped the Billboard Chart during the last week of November, 1967. We've featured THE STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK before in FORGOTTEN HITS, twice spotlighting their FOLLOW-UP hit TOMORROW ... first as a truly FORGOTTEN HIT (about four years ago), deserving of at least OCCASIONAL airplay ... and second as part of our MONTH OF SUNDAYS special series two years ago. (For some reason, radio continues to refer to THE STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK as a One-Hit Wonder band!!!)
Part of the hype that was put out in the press at the time of their hit single rushing up the charts was that THE STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK actually had their name chosen for them by a computer!!! The band wanted something unique and memorable, as well as fitting for the psychedelic times, so they fed in a bunch of OTHER odd, obscure band names into a computer and it spit out the moniker that would take them all the way to the top of the pop charts.
(The story told in BILLBOARD's BOOK OF NUMBER ONE HITS by FRED BRONSON states that after recording INCENSE AND PEPPERMINTS, the band ... then called THEE SIXPENCE ... picked up a copy of Billboard Magazine and found two new releases that week by bands named SYXPENCE and THE SIXPENCE ... and decided on the spot that they were in need of an immediate name change in order to have any chance of getting their new record noticed. According to FRED BRONSON's published account, the band "turned the page to the Hot 100, one of the group members closed his eyes and put his finger down on STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER by THE BEATLES" (ironically another one of your Top Ten favorites) and the band was immediately rechristened THE STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK. Interesting story, but that must mean that they were looking at about a six month old issue of Billboard, which also meant that the other SIXPENCE / SYXPENCE releases weren't "new" anymore either ... and, since NEITHER of those releases ever make Billboard's Chart, why the urgency to change the band's name?!?!?!) Yet ANOTHER story of how they got their name is told by the folks who made up their management team at the time ... they claim that the new name was an off-shoot (and homage) to THE CHOCOLATE WATCHBAND (with its reference to both flavor and time-keeping.) We'll let YOU choose which explanation best floats your boat!
Anyway, INCENSE AND PEPPERMINTS was another one of those songs that was SUPPOSED to be the B-Side of the record. (THE BIRDMAN OF ALKATRASH was the intended A-Side ... and has already received quite a few votes in our on-going FAVORITE UNDISCOVERED B-SIDES Poll!) An instrumental track of INCENSE AND PEPPERMINTS had already been worked up by the band but there were no lyrics at the time. The backing tape was sent to JOHN CARTER, who had recently written a song for THE RAINY DAZE that was a minor chart hit. He strung together a bunch of what he called "nonsense nouns" and sent it back to the band, whose initial reaction was pretty much, "Yeah, okay, so what, it's just a B-Side." When it came time to add the vocals to the track, CARTER attended the recording session and didn't like what he heard. He suggested that someone else in the band take a stab at the lead vocal. In fact, the lead vocal on the final record didn't even come from a member of the band, but rather a friend (GREG MUMFORD of THE SHAPES OF SOUND) who just happened to be hangin' out at the studio that day to help out with some of the high harmonies! He was never heard from again, leaving drummer RANDY SEOL to handle the lead vocal when the band performed their hit in concert!
The rest of the band was rounded out by ED KING on lead guitar, LEE FREEMAN on rhythm guitar, GARY LOVETRO and GEORGE BUNNELL (BOTH on bass guitar!) and MARK WEITZ on keyboards.
Their only other chart hit of significance was the aforementioned TOMORROW, which went to #14 in Cash Box Magazine in early 1968. SIT IN WITH THE GURU, another stab at psychedelia, stalled at #56 and their last chart showing was their version of GOOD MORNING STARSHINE from the hit musical, HAIR. The band (and their unique sound) remained popular for a few more years and they even appeared in a couple of motion pictures! (PSYCH-OUT with JACK NICHOLSON and BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, hidden amongst the cleavage.) INCENSE AND PEPPERMINTS was also featured in the first AUSTIN POWERS film. (Yeah baby!) After the band split up in the early '70's, guitarist ED KING joined LYNYRD SKYNYRD (and even co-wrote their big hit SWEET HOME ALABAMA!)
Our grand prize winning entry belongs to SHARON KURASH (SHARKURASH) of Howell, Michigan, who has selected the BRUCE SPIZER book, THE BEATLES ARE COMING! as her grand prize. It's an oversize, soft-cover edition that chronicles THE BEATLES first year here in America with lots of insightful behind the scenes looks at what made up that first visit to America, along with TONS of exclusive, never-before-seen photos.
Since BRUCE SPIZER didn't donate a copy, I couldn't offer an autographed edition (I had to go out and buy it myself at the store!!!), but I offered to sign the page where MY name appears ... you know, just in case I ever actually DO become famous for doing this. (And, crazy at it sounds, SHARON actually took me up on it!!!) I received research credit in BRUCE's book for my 2002 FORGOTTEN HITS article, WHICH RADIO STATION FIRST PLAYED A BEATLES RECORD HERE IN THE UNITED STATES. In fact, thanks to FH list member RON SMITH (whose book we gave away yesterday in our PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Contest), we were even able to hook BRUCE SPIZER up with legendary Chicagoland dee-jay DICK BIONDI (the man who holds that honor) for an exclusive interview that, along with some of my own research, makes up that portion of the book.
Congratulations again, SHARON ... your award-winning essay follows in a separate email to retain the integrity of the original piece. And thanks again to everyone who submitted entries, voted for your favorite psychedelic songs and donated prizes to our first-ever FORGOTTEN HITS Music Contest.
OUR GRAND PRIZE
Hello and welcome to my lame attempt at describing what is psychedelic.
I was born in 1961, and at some point I heard lots of music that could be called psychedelic music.
If you want to know what I think, see, and hear when I read the words psychedelic:
1) Swirls of Pink, Orange, Purple, and Lime Green.
2) Colors and styles that clash.
3) Songs with words that have strange or nonsensical meanings (Like Horse With No Name and Tin Man by America)
4) Lyrics that make you visualize odd things (Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and White Rabbit)
5) Organs playing in rock songs.
6) Lava Lamps
The Beatles ~ Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.
Starting with the first line, picture yourself in a boat on a river and from there in your minds eye try to see what the singer sees. Tangerine trees and marmalade skies. The only marmalade I ever saw was Orange Marmalade and I pictured the sky all orange and chunky and gooey with Tangerine trees on the shore of the river as I floated past. Someone calls my name and it’s a girl whose eyes keep changing colors and designs like a kaleidoscope …
the song goes on from there, and if you try to see what the words say its very strange and fun.
Picture yourself on a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes
Cellophane flowers of yellow and green
Towering over your head
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes
and she's gone
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds, ah
Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain
Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers
that grow so incredibly high
Newspaper taxies appear on the shores
Waiting to take you away
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds
and you're gone
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds, ah
Picture yourself in a train in a station
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile
The girl with kaleidoscope eyes
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds, ah
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds, ah
Jefferson Airplane ~ White Rabbit.
Alice in Wonderland, the story, was definitely strange. So is the song White Rabbit. I always thought the dormouse said “keep your head” because the Queen wanted to chop off everyone’s head in Alice in Wonderland, but if you read the lyrics its even odder than I thought it was.
One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small, And the ones that Mother gives you don't do anything at all. Go ask Alice when she's ten feet tall. And if you go chasing rabbits, and you know you're going to fall, Tell 'em a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you the call. Call Alice when she was just small. When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go, And you've just had some kind of mushroom, and your mind is moving low, Go ask Alice. I think she'll know. When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead, And the white knight is talking backward, and the red queen's off with her head, Remember what the dormouse said: "Feed your head! Feed your head!"
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly.
Forget the lyrics, this just sounds trippy!
This is a long song and it is one song that immediately comes to mind as psychedelic.
These are all images and songs that are psychedelic to me. The meaning may not be the same for you, but when I was your age this was all new and not accepted as art or music by everyone. Different would be the word to best describe it. Learning its okay to color outside the lines. Its okay if the sky is Orange and the sea is Red. The grass is yellow and the trees are purple. The cat barks and the chicken meows and the dog speaks spanish while walking on hind legs feeding the people who peck and paw at the ground wearing doughnut costumes.
So trip on out on some of the songs above and enjoy :)
I was trying to gear it for a kid, but not talk down (which I always hated when I was young) By necessity I left out some of the other '60's scene that seemed to go hand in hand with psychedelic music. Besides I wasn't much older when this was happening anyway, so it really is what I picture in my minds eye, as best I could find on the net, when I reflect on that era of music. I would have put in more songs, but those by necessity would have had drug references, although White Rabbit and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds had them, too. I chose to go with what I initially saw those songs as when I was young.
As you can tell, I have been enjoying working on this greatly, it's been fun :)
Congratulations ... you entry has been selected as the GRAND PRIZE WINNER in our PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC Contest!!! (WTG, Sharon!!!) Our daughter PAIGE absolutely LOVED it ... and so did we!!!
As such, you get first choice on which prize you'd like to receive:
... and this is what she selected:
The BRUCE SPIZER Book THE BEATLES ARE COMING, THE BEATLES ARE COMING. An oversized softcover account of the first year of Beatlemania with all kinds of behind-the-scenes info and never before published photos. Unfortunately, I can't offer an autographed copy as Bruce did not donate this book for our give-away (I had to go out and buy it myself!!!) If you want, I can autograph the page that MY name appears on ... you know, just in case I ever actually get really famous or anything!!! Retail Value = $30.
Wow! Thanks to Paige for selecting my entry. I don't think I ever won anything before ... in fact I am quite sure I haven't. Everything sounds great, but if I have to pick one item I guess The Beatles Are Coming, The Beatles Are Coming. After reading the FH serial on the first Beatle tune played when/where, its kind of whet my appetite for more. Plus, who can resist never before published photos of the Fab Four? Please sign on your page :) Who knows, I can see you as making it big and one day it might be your own book you are signing, which would make your autograph one of those "I knew him way back when" items.
its been groovy!
Once Sharon received her copy of the book, she sent us this little thank you note:
Hi Kent, Paige & Frannie,
I got the book "The Beatles Are Coming, The Beatles Are Coming" yesterday, and have yet to give it a thorough look through ... a good flip through though. Paige, I'd like to thank you for selecting my entry, and for the really great prize. I have a thing for books, just ask my husband Dennis. I collect books. Books of favorite writers, and books that I want to read someday but just haven't gotten the time to do so. I also love to re-read books I read ages ago. This book I will treasure for many many years and I will think of you guys whenever I pick it up. (It was a foregone conclusion that I would pick this book, but I did seriously consider some of the other prizes before I succumbed to my natural proclivity for books.) There are some fantastic photographs in this book. I haven't read much more than a snipper here and there of the text yet, but I plan on doing so soon enough. Again, THANKS so much!!!
It's a GREAT book ... definitely a keeper! Even with all that I already knew about THE BEATLES, I thoroughly enjoyed this one from cover to cover ... especially some of the "hands-on" remembrances. Thanks again to everyone who sent us their song nominations and PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC definitions. Very special thanks to those who donated prizes for our FH give-away!!!
And congratulations again, Sharon ... you are the VERY first GRAND PRIZE WINNER in our VERY FIRST FORGOTTEN HITS CONTEST GIVE-AWAY!!!
PLEASE NOTE: If you didn't see YOUR entry in this special series, we're sorry ... we received 65 definitions and couldn't print them all ... we simply ran out of time and space ... oooh ... wow ... time and space ... man, what a concept ... groovy ... awesome ... look at all the pretty lights ... what were we talking about again?!?!?
Copyright Kent Kotal / Forgotten Hits, 1998 - 2015 ... All rights reserved