Category: Albums of 1967

Love ‘Forever Changes’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Andmoreagain” by Love Love were the biggest rock act on the Elektra Record label, and along with The Byrds, were the darlings of the Whiskey a Go Go rock music scene on the Sunset Strip. That was until The Doors came along… The Summer Of Love wasn’t all sunshine and flower power, and Arthur Lee wasn’t your average psychedelic band leader. For one, Lee was an African American in a white man’s rock world who was leading a mixed-race band. His music was based on his reality reflecting the trials and tribulations of inner city life channeled through a prism of drug addiction, street violence and the Vietnam War. His world...

Count Five ‘Psychotic Reaction’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Psychotic Reaction” by The Count Five “I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night” by The Electric Prunes, “Dirty Water” by The Standells, “Pushin’ Too Hard” by The Seeds, “Hey Joe” by The Leaves, “Farmer John” by The Premiers – these are some of the greatest garage rock classics of all time. But, perhaps the gnarliest rave up of them all is today’s Song Of The Day, “Psychotic Reaction” by The Count Five. The Count Five formed in San Jose, California in the early 1960s and consisted of John “Mouse” Michalski on guitar, Roy Chaney on bass, John “Sean” Byrne on vocals and rhythm guitar, and Craig “Butch” Atkinson on drums....

The Four Tops (with the Moody Blues) ‘Simple Game’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Simple Game” by The Four Tops Today’s Song Of The Day could have only happened in that strange and mystical place where the worlds of The Moody Blues and The Four Tops intersect. “Simple Game” was originally the B-side to the Moody Blues’ 1967 single “Ride My See-Saw.” The song was written by Michael Pinder, and didn’t appear on a Moody Blues album until the two record compilation This Is The Moody Blues in 1972. Moody Blues’ producer Tony Clark went to see the Tops in England and approached them with a demo of the song. The group didn’t know who Clark was, but liked the song and agreed to record...

Jerry Reed ‘Guitar Man’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Guitar Man” by Jerry Reed It was difficult to take Jerry Reed seriously, and one suspects it was all by his own design. Reed’s larger than life persona was that of a goofy country hick who sure could tell a tall tale, and numerous TV appearances on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour and The Johnny Cash Show, novelty story-song records like “Lord, Mr. Ford” and “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot,” and numerous movie appearances with the likes of Burt Reynolds and Adam Sandler cemented this notion in the psyche of the American music loving public. But Jerry Reed was a C.G.P. The C.G.P., or Certified Guitar Player, was a title originated...

Cream ‘SWLABR’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “SWLABR” by Cream While some were spray painting the buildings of England with proclamations that Eric Clapton was God, the real star of Cream was bassist Jack Bruce. Not only was Bruce the songwriter behind some of the group’s biggest hits, but it was his voice that defined the group’s sound. Ginger Baker, of course, laid down the backbeat that drove the machine to greatness, and as for Clapton, he’s been literally coasting on the stellar guitar work he laid down with this group for over 40 years ago. They were, indeed, one of the early “supergroups” with very high pedigree. Clapton had played with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, The Yardbirds and...

Ray Berretto ‘Acid’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Soul Drummers” by Ray Barretto Like Tito Puente before him, Ray Barretto is one of the all-time greatest “Soul Drummers” of them all.  He gave us the “El Watusi” in 1961, “Senor 007” in 1969 and this gem in 1967.  The music emanated from el barrio, the South Bronx and Spanish Harlem in New York City, via the then-fledgling Latin record labels like Tico and Fania. Like Rap music in the early 1980s, this music sprang up from the streets and changed the world forever. Ray Barretto was born in New York City and cut his teeth playing conga with Charlie Parker, José Curbelo and Tito Puente.  He replaced Mongo Santamaria...

The Beatles ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Lovely Rita” by The Beatles I just heard The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for the first time today! Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve been listening to this record since it was new. I guess that’s one of the big positives of having older siblings, you got to hear cool records when they came out, way before your peer group caught on to them. I’ve been reading the Howard Kaylan biography Shell Shocked which was written by Kaylan and Jeff Tamarkin. Howard Kaylan was a member of The Turtles and The Mother’s Of Invention. He was also Eddie of Flo & Eddie. So far, the book is a...

Whistling Jack Smith ‘I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman” by Whistling Jack Smith Whistler’s brother? Actually, no. Then who was Whistling Jack Smith, and why is his sole hit from 1967 haunting me? I played an album of British Invasion hits released on the Parrot Record label from the late ‘60s before I went to work this morning. When this song came on, my ears quickly perked up. Although I recognized the recording, I hadn’t heard it in years and didn’t even know who it was or what it was called. Ever since then, this little ear worm has ceased to leave me alone. The song was initially titled “Too Much Birdseed” and was written...

The Zodiac ‘Cosmic Sounds’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Aries: The Fire Fighter” by The Zodiac At any other time in music history, this record would have never happened. But the timing was right for Cosmic Sounds by The Zodiac in 1967, and Elektra Records boss, Jac Holzman, was just the man to make it happen. The album cover promised “Celestial counterpoint with words and music,” and the resultant record delivered the sublime and the ridiculous, all in one place. But first a little background… Holzman was basking in the glory of the success of The Doors’ debut album when he got the idea to create a record that would match the psychedelic music that was currently all the...

The Buckinghams ‘Made in Chicago’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Susan” by The Buckinghams Transistor radios…beaches…the warmth of the sun…crashing waves…Chicago? Yup! The Bucking hams were the epitome of 1960s sunshine pop with their perfect blend of warm harmonies and sophisticated horn-drenched productions. Their sound was more akin to California than their native Chicago, and they were responsible for a string of perfect pop singles during the late sixties like the number one hit “Kind Of A Drag,” “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” the sublime “Don’t You Care,” “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” “Hey Baby, They’re Playing Our Song” and today’s Song Of The Day. Digging a little bit deeper than the singles also proved rewarding with some great would-have-been, should-have-been hits from their...

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