It’s been quite a while since I’ve written one of these “odd ‘n ends,” end of the month posts. As usual it’s a mixed bag.
May: Country Joe and the Fish – CJ Fish
Country Joe and the Fish released their fifth and final album until 1977’s Reunion in May of 1970. I own this one and the debut, and once had a solo McDonald album titled Superstitious Blues (1991) which I liked but for some reason is no longer in my collection. There are days when that mid-late 60’s San Francisco sound and vibe hits the spot, such as last weekend when C.J. & the Fish’s first album, Electric Music for the Mind and Body, fit in nicely between the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane.
May: Hot Tuna – Hot Tuna
When I reach these end of the month roundups there’s inevitably at least one band and/or album I feel I should know much better but don’t, hence its relegation to this post. Hot Tuna is definitely one of those bands on my “need to explore” list. I’m certainly familiar with Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady from their time with the Airplane, and I even sat about ten feet away from Jorma at his solo show a couple of years ago. But as much as I enjoyed his performance, the only thing I could tell you about that show today is that he didn’t play Embryonic Journey. That, and some guy right in front of Jorma was wearing a Dave Mason t-shirt. Fans are so silly. Anyway, Hot Tuna released their debut this month 50 years ago. It’s a live performance in Berkeley from September ’69.
5/14/70: The Carpenters – Single: (They Long to Be) Close to You
That’s right, I’m including the Carpenters. There’s no Carpenters music in my collection. It’s not my thing. It’s beyond fluffy, soft MOR music. Karen looked ridiculous behind a drum kit. Et cetera. However, there is no denying this Burt Bacharach/Hal David penned track was a smash hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts. And just between you and me, I freely admit that Karen’s silky smooth vocals were in a different league. If that’s your kind of thing. Seriously though, this inclusion is a nod to my big sis. This is one of those “upstairs songs,” a favorite she often played on her aqua-green record player when we were growing up.
5/15/70: Fleetwood Mac – Single: The Green Manalishi (with the Two Prong Crown)
Now we’re talkin’. While I prefer live versions of this song, such as the epic 12 minute jam on the Live in Boston, any version will do. The Green Manalishi was Peter Green’s final song with Fleetwood Mac.
May: Three Dog Night – Single: Mama Told Me Not to Come
One of Randy Newman’s hit songs, he originally wrote it for Eric Burdon who recorded it in 1967. Both Newman and Three Dog Night released versions in 1970. The latter’s version reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and was certified gold in July 1970.
May: Eric Burdon and War – Single: Spill the Wine
Spill the Wine was the first and only hit by Eric Burdon and War, and I’ve always liked it. As noted by our old friend Wiki, the song was inspired by an accident in which keyboardist Lonnie Jordan spilled wine on a mixing board. The song peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100.