Tag: 1967

Love – Da Capo


TITLE: Da Capo



SINGLES: 7 and 7 Is (#33), She Comes in Colors, Que Vida


LINEUP: Arthur Lee, Brian MacLean, Johnny Echols, Ken Forssi, Snoopy Pfisterer, Tjay Cantrelli, Michael Stuart

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second album from LA scensters reveals a lot about themselves and their eclecticism.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The second album from Love shows a band that was confident in many motifs. The big single (“7 and 7 Is”) was hard rock for 1966, “Que Vida” was an amalgam of styles, and “Orange Skies” and “She Comes in Colors” were brilliant sunshine pop.

The first side was a brilliant 1967 psychedelic pop-rock record. I’d maybe resequence it, but that’s a quibble. Then there’s the second side.

“Revelations” was the only cut on side two. Dylan and Zappa had done in 1966, but those were on double albums. Here, Love devoted an entire side to a rambling, long, jam that started out with Bach, and then incorporated Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker. It had everything a 60’s psychedelic band threw at their audiences – drum solos, woodwind excursions, harmonicas, guitar solos, meandering jams. The works.

After such a brilliant side one, it was such a come down to flip the record over. That wouldn’t be a problem on their next album.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Snoopy Pfisterer moved to harpsichord and keyboards for this album from drums, instruments he was much more comfortable in playing.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A reissue with mono and stereo mixes.

GRADE: B: Six fantastic tracks on side one (even if the sequencing is a bit off for me), then that jam on side two.

The Amboy Dukes – The Amboy Dukes

ARTIST: The Amboy Dukes 220px-The_Amboy_Dukes_album

TITLE: The Amboy Dukes



SINGLES: Baby Please Don’t Go (#106)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They cover I Feel Free and Let’s Go Get Stoned

LINEUP: Ted Nugent, John Drake, Steve Farmer, Rick Lorber, Dave Palmer, Bill White

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Detroit garage / psychedelic rock stuck out from the usual hippy/dippy psychedelic crowd thanks to Ted Nugent.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Starting with a frenetic cover of “Baby Please Don’t Go”, Detroit’s Amboy Dukes rolled through a set of covers and originals in a half psychedelic, half garage motif.

Nugent formed this band after relocating from Chicago, and found Steve Farmer, who could write lyrics and put together truly psychedelic tracks that utilized Nugent’s guitar playing. John Drake was the vocalist, and sometimes his soul-tinged vocals didn’t fit the material. One interesting point was keyboard player Rick Lorber who added some piano to the mix – not a usual garage or psych instrument and his playing adds some color to a few generic sounding tracks.

It’s a spotty record, with Nugent being the star as his guitar prowess was already shining through. They do sound like they’re having fun – but psychedelic weirdness like “Psalms of Aftermath” are rather dated and tiresome. However, they’ve got a depth of tracks that many other younger garage bands didn’t have.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Mainstream was a jazz label that decided to take an interest in rock at this time, and the Amboy Dukes was one of their first signings.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with a couple of spare tracks.

 GRADE B-: It’s pretty decent for what it is, and Nugent adds a couple of points as well with his guitar work.

The Moody Blues – Days of Future Passed

ARTIST: The Moody Blues 220px-TheMoodyBlues-album-daysoffuturepassed

TITLE: Days of Future Passed



SINGLES: Nights in White Satin (#103 US, #19 UK originally, #2 US, #9 UK on 1972 release), Tuesday Afternoon (#24 US)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not really, but you could surprise me

LINEUP: Justin Hayward, John Lodge, Mike Pinder, Ray Thomas, Graeme Edge

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A last chance record, aimed to help Decca incorporate stereo in pop music by demonstrating its classical stereo technique, turns into a defining record for the 60’s.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Moody Blues changed personnel, and released a few singles with their new group to no notice. They had one last chance with Decca – make a record demonstrating their classical music “Deramic Sound” for their Deram imprint.

The group had worked up a song cycle about the day and night of an everyman, and it was this cycle that they recorded and allowed Peter Knight and his orchestra to add the classical pieces. Graeme Edge wrote two poems to begin and end the cycle (recited by Mike Pinder) and the album was complete and released. Surprisingly, it took off on FM radio in the States and became a constant seller even with the original single not doing that well.

As important as the album is (the first real progressive rock album many say), as a piece, it seems both short and bloated. The orchestral pieces fluff out the songs, sometimes to the detriment of the actual songs themselves. (Some would say the orchestral pieces are mainly fluff themselves). Meanwhile, there are only eight tracks of songs (many are combined into suites on side two) and at times those are shortchanged. Yet the quality of many of the tracks is high, especially “Forever Afternoon (Tuesday)” (listed as “Tuesday Afternoon” on the single), “(Evening) Time to Get Away”, and “Twilight Time”.

The band left their beat group roots behind (only “Lunch Break: Peak Hour” has any traces of their past), and became a leader in the progressive / psychedelic genre. This is an album to have for what it is, though as a record it’s overrated a tad.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: By 1972, when they wanted to re-release “Nights in White Satin”, it was found the masters for the record were in bad shape, so they remixed the album for use (altering it a bit) and only could restore the original mix in 2017 (by recording a pristine copy of the LP digitially).

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, several. One has the singles that the new version of the group recorded before this album released. They weren’t hits for a good reason.

GRADE B+: Fluffy strings, poems, and some pretension somewhat mar a decent cycle of songs.

The Mamas & The Papas – Deliver

ARTIST: The Mamas & The Papas Deliver

TITLE: Deliver



SINGLES: Look Through My Window (#24 US), Dedicated to the One I Love (#2 US, #2 UK), Creeque Alley (#5 US, #9 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Covers of My Girl and Twist and Shout

LINEUP: Denny Doherty, Cass Elliot, John Phillips, Michelle Phillips. The Wrecking Crew provided the backing.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: “Let’s Put On A Show!”

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Mamas & The Papas were still big business in 1967, with hit singles, album sales, TV appearances, and spearheading the Monterey Pop Festival. What happened was that when this album was put together, instead of seminal sunshine pop, it was time for show-biz! At least for side one.

Cover songs of well known songs and show tunes (though “Dedicated to the One I Love” is breathtaking), accompanying a kinda novelty that re-tells their story (“Creeque Alley” – charming in its own way). They exploit Cass Elliot’s natural charisma to propel the songs into something fitting for a variety show.

Which is kind of disappointing, really. Side two is much more in vogue with their other records – a combo of folk and sunshine pop with great harmonies, except for an instrumental (this was a vocal group, really, right?) Still, kind of a downer given the first two releases.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The title is a sly reference to Elliot’s pregnancy and delivery of a baby in 1967.



GRADE B-: Could have been better. Some is great and some cringeworthy.

Jefferson Airplane – After Bathing at Baxter’s

ARTIST: Jefferson Airplane 220px-After_bathing_at_baxters

TITLE: After Bathing at Baxter’s



SINGLES: The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil (#42), Watch Her Ride (#61)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Martha, Won’t You Try/Saturday Afternoon

LINEUP: Marty Balin, Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Spencer Dryden

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The Airplane decided to go full-tilt psychedelic, and the album has a lot of trippy elements to it, man.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I don’t think this was Marty Balin’s group anymore, but he had to have gone along with it. His voice, as harmony singer mostly, is all over the place, and his “Young Girl Sunday Blues” is one of the highlights.

Starting with the outstanding yet challenging “The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil” and ending with Kantner’s statement “Won’t You Try / Saturday Afternoon”, the Airplane moves the listener through a truly acid-drenched trip, complete with experimental sounds, anti-war statements, hippie imagery, and general electrical tom-foolery.

Their status, after one successful album, was such that they got to do what they wanted, and how they wanted. While the freedom was welcome by the band (after RCA put the screws to them on their first album), it’s lack of direction meant fewer sales and less radio play on AM stations.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The album title was code for “tripping on acid”.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. Alternate cuts and mixes.

 GRADE B+: The weird for weird-sake cuts drag it down.

Jefferson Airplane – Surrealistic Pillow

ARTIST: Jefferson Airplane

TITLE: Surrealistic Pillow220px-Jeffair



SINGLES: My Best Friend (#103), Somebody to Love (#5), White Rabbit (#8)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Today, Plastic Fantastic Lover

LINEUP: Marty Balin, Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Spencer Dryden

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Changing drummers (a big plus) and female singers (who brought a couple of songs from her old band that you may have heard of), the Airplane make a psychedelic folkie LP that puts them on the map.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: This was still mostly Marty Balin’s group. His folkie instincts came through on some of the cuts (especially at the end of side 1), but it’s not all in his voice, nor his songs. Former drummer Skip Spence has a track, as well as mysterious ‘friend’ Tom Mastin. Kantner and Kaukonen each have a solo credit, and then there’s the two songs the new singer Grace Slick brought them. I think you know them.

“Somebody to Love”, written by Slick’s brother in law, and “White Rabbit” were songs that Slick’s former band, the Great Society, had in their repertoire, to very minor success. The Airplane versions were turned up and turned on, and along with tracks like “She Has Funny Cars”, “3/5 of a Mile in 10 Second” and “Plastic Fantastic Lover”, the Airplane really took off.

The really slow ballad and a couple of the folkie tracks detract from the psychedelic onslaught, somewhat to the album’s detriment. But it’s still a good snapshot of a group ascending to its apex, quickly.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Jerry Garcia played on this album, unless he didn’t, and he arranged many of the tracks, unless he was just a ‘sage counsel’. I think people were too stoned to really remember.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. B-sides and cuts left off for…reasons I guess.

 GRADE A-: They flew pretty high here, and became the ‘voice’ of hippies and San Francisco.

The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour

ARTIST: The Beatles 220px-TheBeatlesMagicalMysteryTouralbumcover

TITLE: Magical Mystery Tour


CHART ACTION: #1 US, #31 UK (as an import)

SINGLES: the EP hit #2 in the UK. Penny Lane (#1 UK, #1 UK), Strawberry Fields Forever (#8 US), All You Need is Love (#1 US, #1 UK), Hello Goodbye (#1 US, #1 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: I Am the Walrus, Fool on the Hill, Baby You’re A Rich Man

LINEUP: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr. Session players added things.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The soundtrack to the first real commercial oopsy by the Beatles sold well, but it was saved by singles found on the second side of the album. (No such luck in the UK at first release).

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: In the UK, the six songs for the TV special Magical Mystery Tour were released as a double EP set. In the US, where that wouldn’t fly, they added five tracks from recent singles onto the B-side. Thank goodness for that.

Not to say that the movie songs are horrible, but they seem like leftovers or derivatives (especially the title track, “Flying” and “Your Mother Should Know”). The best tracks, “Blue Jay Way” and the all-timer “I Am the Walrus” were the last true gasps of the psychedelic experimentation that the Beatles performed. 220px-MagicalMysteryTourDoubleEPcover

The single tracks on the B-side included the brilliant double-sided hit “Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields Forever” (the best value of any 45 ever, perhaps), and the almost as great “Hello, Goodbye”. That made the album a definite value for the US market, especially since the TV special  never was released here until much, much later.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: John and the Beatles just wanted the stand-alone soundtrack released in the US, but they didn’t have control over that.


 GRADE B+: An A+ second side for sure, but a B first side and I’m downgrading a bit as well for the patched together LP.

The Rascals – Collection

ARTIST: The (Young) Rascals 220px-Young_Rascals_Collections

TITLE: Collections



SINGLES: Come on Up (#43), I’ve Been Lonely Too Long (#16)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They cover a few tracks you know – the best known by them is Too Many Fish in the Sea

LINEUP: Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati, Gene Cornish, Dino Danelli

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: For their second album, the (Young) Rascals write more of their songs, with mixed results – mostly from the covers.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Recorded over seven months in 1966 (in between tour dates), the Rascals (still Young Rascals at this time) moved on from garage rock towards a more soulful blend of tracks. They’re dominated by the organ of Felix Cavaliere, who also wrote the strongest tracks by the band.

Because the sessions were spread out (two singles released in 1966 – one of those actually appearing on the next album), the sound of the album doesn’t flow well. A couple tracks (“No Love to Give, a song written by guitarist Gene Cornish) were downright regrettable. Their cover of “Mickey’s Monkey” is fun, but the real gem is “Come On Up”, a raving rocker that’s their last gasp as a true garage band,

There are tracks in here that are going to be exiled, but the best are good to fantastic. Such is the album game in the 60’s.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The single “You Better Run” was released in May of 1966, but wasn’t on this album though the B-side (“Love Is a Beautiful Thing”) is.


 GRADE C+: This has some real clunkers, so pick the good ones and exile the rest.

Big Brother and the Holding Company – Big Brother and the Holding Company Featuring Janis Joplin

ARTIST: Big Brother and the Holding Company   

TITLE: Big Brother and the Holding Company Featuring Janis Joplin


CHART ACTION: #60, #28 R&B

SINGLES: Bye Bye Baby (#118), Down on Me (#43), Blindman (#110), Coo Coo (#84)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Doubtful that you have, really.

LINEUP: Janis Joplin, Peter Albin, Sam Andrew, David Getz, James Gurley

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A rushed debut recorded before they (and Janis Joplin) hit it big at Monterrey. Eh.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Say what you want about Janis Joplin (me, I think she’s overrated, but that’s just me again), she deserved better than this band and this album.

There are flashes on goodness here. “Intruder” is first rate, and “Down on Me” would become a staple for her in her career. But the band here falters in both material (the originals, and even Joplin’s originals are meh), and performance (they really should have just picked songs that highlighted Janis). It’s also very skimpy – 23 minutes on first release.

If she didn’t wow the audiences wherever they played live, and then had a cult build around her, this would be a forgotten footnote.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They recorded two tracks in Chicago, then ten others in three days in LA. It sounds rushed for sure.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Originally 10 tracks on Mainstream – when Columbia picked it up they added two sides of a single and ramped the running time to 28:03! Score!

GRADE C-: For diehards. For the diehards of the diehards.

Cat Stevens – Matthew & Son

ARTIST: Cat Stevens                         220px-Matthew_and_Son_cover

TITLE: Matthew & Son



SINGLES: I Love My Dog (#118 US, #28 UK), Matthew & Son (#115 US, #2 UK)


LINEUP: Cat Stevens, John Paul Jones, Nicky Hopkins, other session players

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A young singer and songwriter releases and album with a surprise hit or two in the UK.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: This is more of a pop oriented album than his more famous work, but that doesn’t mean its  just trifly throwaways.

Cat Stevens was just 18 when he started to record this album with some sessions that became singles and slowly worked on the album as time allowed. When it was released, it was better than you’d expect. The original for “Here Comes My Baby” is surprisingly strong with interesting percussion and the two hits are definitely keepers.

His voice is pretty unmistakable, even in his teenage years. The downfall is some of the tracks are a bit over-orchestrated and Stevens struggles to find his voice in the midst of the orchestrations. Still it’s pretty darn decent as these things go.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: In the US, they cut it from 14 tracks to 12, of course.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes a later single “I’m Gonna Get Me a Gun” (#6 UK)

 GRADE B: A baroque-pop album with little filler but a tad too much orchestration at times.