May 1970 – Music Release Wrap-Up

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.

CJ Fish - Wikipedia

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.

HotTunaCD.jpg

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.

They Long to Be Close to You by The Carpenters 7-inch US vinyl single.jpg

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.

The Green Manalishi (Fleetwood Mac single - cover art).jpg

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.

Mama Told Me (Not To Come) (Single Version) by Three Dog Night on ...

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.

Spill the Wine - Eric Burdon & War.jpg

-Stephen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CJ_Fish

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Tuna_(album)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/(They_Long_to_Be)_Close_to_You

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Green_Manalishi_(With_the_Two_Prong_Crown)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mama_Told_Me_Not_to_Come

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spill_the_Wine

September 1968 Wrap Up – A Singularly Singles-Oriented Month

September of 1968 was the quietest month of the year on the 33 1/3 rpm scene, but there were a handful of significant singles releases, some of which continue to maintain a cozy existence on oldies radio stations heard in dentist’s offices across the land.  Let’s give ’em a spin and move on to October, what say ye?

9/7/68  Led Zeppelin perform for the first time as The New Yardbirds:  Jimmy Page and his new recruits played their first gig – a show booked while the Yardbirds were still together for which there was still a contractual obligation to play.  It was held at the Gladsaxe Teen Club of Gladsaxe, Denmark.

L_new_yardbirds.jpg

9/68  Three Dog Night – Single:  One

One, so they say, is the loneliest number.  It’s also a number that was written by Harry Nilsson.  It was the second single from Three Dog Night’s first album, and it reached #5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

9/68  The Turtles – Single:  Elenore

This track was included on LP The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands, and was a satire of their own hit record, Happy Together, which their label wanted them to record more songs like.  It reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Oddly, Elenore, their satire of Happy Together, also sounds kind of like Three Dog Night’s version of Harry Nilsson’s One.  Hmm…

9/68  Steppenwolf – Single:  Magic Carpet Ride

This was the lead single from Steppenwolf’s second album, thoughtfully titled The Second.  Good late-60’s guitar and keyboard driven rock music.

9/68  Gordon Lightfoot – Single:  Bitter Green

While not a major hit – not even in Canada (peaking at #44) – this is one of the earlier tunes of Lightfoot’s that I like.

9/18/68  The Who – Single:  Magic Bus

Magic Bus was written by Pete Townshend in 1965, but not recorded until May 1968.  It wasn’t a particularly successful single, but went on to become one of the Who’s more famous tunes.  I wwaaaaanit, I wwaaaaaanit…(You caaaaaaaan’t have it!)

9/30/68  Diana Ross & the Supremes – Single:  Love Child

No longer known simply as the Supremes, this Motown track is from their LP of the same title, and it reached #1.

-Stephen

http://ultimateclassicrock.com/led-zeppelin-first-concert/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_(Harry_Nilsson_song)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elenore

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Carpet_Ride_(Steppenwolf_song)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_Green

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Bus_(song)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Child_(song)