Friday, July 24, 2020

McQ's Best Of 1969 Vol 9 - Jam On... And On... And On... And On...

Musically speaking, 1969 was so many things, but above all else, it was jammy.

I don't think I've ever worked through a music year where so many artists completely abandoned the concept of brevity.  It seems like every music in 1969 wanted to see, just like Tom Hulce as Mozart in Amadeus, how long the could sustain and extend a musical moment.

This mix here captures the psychedelic interpretation of that sensibility, best epitomized by the Grateful Dead in their definitive 1969 Live/Dead release, and newcomer's Santana and Chicago, who added whole new dimensions and latin rhythms to the psychedelic jam aesthetic.

Buried in between are a few crazy curveballs by the likes of The Doors, Frank Zappa, The Guess Who, and early electronic pioneer Terry Riley, but for the most part, this is mix is exactly what it claims to be... one never ending (okay, actually it's exactly 4 hours, but close enough) jam.

Here's the Spotify link. Enjoy!

Set 1 (Many-Flavored Jam)

1. Soul Sacrifice - Santana (6:37)
2. Introduction - Chicago (6:36)
3. Son Of Mr. Green Genes - Frank Zappa (8:57)
4 & 5. St. Stephen/The Eleven - The Grateful Dead (15:51)
6. Friends Of Mine - The Guess Who (10:06)
7. Keep On Chooglin' - Creedence Clearwater Revival (7:40)
8. 3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds - The Jefferson Airplane (4:39)
9. A Rainbow In The Curved Air - Terry Riley (18:39)
10. Treat - Santana (4:43)
11. I'm A Man - Chicago (7:43)

Set 2 (If We'd All Been Living In California)

12. Dark Star - The Grateful Dead (23:19)
13. Into The Sun - Grand Funk Railroad (6:30)
14. Do What You Like - Blind Faith (15:18)
15. If We'd All Been Living In California - The Mothers Of Invention (1:14)
16. King Kong (Live On A Flat Bed Diesel...) - The Mothers Of Invention (7:29)
17 - 22. Who Do You Love - Pt. 1/When You Love/Where You Love/How You Love/Which Do You Love/Who Do You Love - Pt. 2 - Quicksilver Messenger Service (25:00)
23. The Soft Parade - The Doors (8:35)
24. Get Ready - Rare Earth (21:32)

Encore 1

25. Cowgirl In The Sand - Neil Young & Crazy Horse (10:07)

Encore 2

22. Persuasion - Santana (2:33)
23. The Gumbo Variations - Frank Zappa (12:54)
24. Liberation - Chicago (14:37)

Meet The Jam On and On Jam Band Virtuosos:

Santana: We tap Santana's marvelously jammy 1969 self-titled debut (Highest Recommend) for three more fantastic songs here, letting album closer and Woodstock wowza Soul Sacrifice kick our whole jam mix off, then cooling things down at our mix midpoint with the album's mesmerizing chill Treat, and finally opening our final encore with the Greg Rollie-powered banger Persuasion.

Chicago: Nancy has already featured Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is on Vol 1 - Nancy's Favorites, and we'll listen to Chicago Transit Authority's self-titled debut's (Strong Recommend) other huge hit, Beginnings, on our blue-eyed soul collection Vol 15 - Croony, Croony, Croon, but here, we embrace the double album's omnipresent wailing brass spirit with three of its most exhilarating numbers, the multi-parted Introduction, an exhilarating cover of Stevie Winwood/Spencer Davis Group's I'm A Man, and to close out this entire mix, the exploratory, crescendoing fourteen-minute epic Liberation.

Frank Zappa: After touching on Frank Zappa's solo debut Hot Rats' (Strong Recommend) best progressive number Peaches En Regalia on Vol 5 - Prog Gods, Krautrock Kings & Canterbury Chaps, here we basked in the eternal glory of two of Hot Rats' three absolutely spectacular and inventive extended jams, the blistering guitar-driven Son Of Mr. Green Genes, and the even better strings-anchored The Gumbo Variations.  Seriously, as great as so many of the jams are on this mix, I'm not sure you'll find any better than these songs here. And that third great jam not included on this mix, the Captain Beefheart-fronted fan-favorite Willie The Pimp. 

The Grateful Dead: Considered by many the definitive Grateful Dead statement of the 1960s, 69's Live/Dead (Strong Recommend) captures Jerry Garcia and company at their acid-drenched improvisational best. Many of their best know early numbers receive knock-out treatments here, and we're highlighting three of the double album's seven tracks - starting with the wondrous tandem of St. Stephen into an explosive version of The Eleven, and the to open our second set, an epic twenty-four minute rendition of possibly the quintessential Dead song, Dark Star.

The Guess Who: A jammy outlier from The Guess Who's otherwise psych-pop-anchored first full-length of 1969 Wheatfield Soul (Mild Recommend), Friends Of Mine finds the Canadian singles masters stretching out both figuratively and literally into a meandering, silly and apocalyptic but still inexplicably appealing ten minute Doors-inspired groove.

Creedence Clearwater Revival: The first and by far the jammiest of CCR's three 1969 releases, Bayou Country (Solid Recommend) only had room for seven total tracks, given the extensive run time of many of its numbers.  Here, we enjoy one of those long-players, with the album closing swamp-rock exorcism Keep On Chooglin'.

The Jefferson Airplane: More coming soon!

Terry Riley: More coming soon!

Grand Funk Railroad: More coming soon!

Blind Faith: More coming soon!

The Mothers Of Invention: Having already touched base on a couple Uncle Meat (Strong Recommend) highlights on Vol 2 - Best Of The Best and Vol 5 - Prog Gods, Krautrock Kings, and Canterbury Chaps, here we take a listen to a cut from the album's phenomenal side four instrumental suite The King Kong Variations with the suite's final live chapter, King Kong (Live On Flat Bed Diesel Truck In The Middle Of A Race Track At A Miami Pop Festival...The Underwood Remifications), preluded by another of the album's humorous spoken word asides, If We'd All Been Living In California.

Quicksilver Messenger Service: More coming soon!

The Doors: More coming soon!

Rare Earth: One of the most successful white acts ever signed under the Motown umbrella, Rare Earth (also the name of the Motown subsidiary to which they were signed) had several hits in the late 60s/early 70s converting classic Motown singles into jam-rock epics.  Never were they more successful at this ploy than with their oft-thrilling, seemingly never-ending 22-minute cover of Get Ready, which significantly out-sold the Temptation's Eddie Kendrick-fronted original.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse: More coming soon!

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