Monday, October 24, 2016

The 2015/1967 Countdown - 10/24/2016 Update

Today, we return one last time before the start of our countdown proper to our 1967's Super Spectacular Singles Superstars mix, and take a listen two a pair of 1967 garage hits that obtained even higher cache in the mid-70s with their inclusion of the opening edition of Lenny Kaye's infamous Nuggets compilation series.

Another 1967 garage single with a knotty start was The Strawberry Alarm Clock's Incense And Peppermint. At the time it was recorded, the band actually went by the name Thee Sixpence, and had already issued three singles under that moniker.  But in the Peppermint sessions, members of the band objected to the original lyrics by John S. Carter, and as acrimony developed in the studio, vocals were handed over to a friend visiting the session who wasn't even in the band, Greg Munford. Further complicating matters, producer Frank Slay denied fellow band members Mark Weitz and Ed King (who would go on to much greater success as a member of Leonard Skynyrd) writing credits for not coming up with the lyrics or core melody even though the song was primarly built around and instrumental composition of their own making.

Finally released as Thee Sixpence b-side to fourth single The Birdman Of Alkatrash, it was Incense and Peppermint that caught the attention of local DJs, and as it became clear the band was about to have a national hit, they quickly changed their name to The Strawberry Alarm Clock to avoid legal conflicts with another similarly named band. The song peaked at number 1 for one week in the weeklies, and finished 1967 in the #23 year-end spot. The band would produce a few more singles and a couple of albums, but would never have as big of a hit again.

For the Taft High School-forged Electric Prunes, songwriting credits were easier to sort through, as all of their hits and a heavy chunk of their album tracks were written by outside parties at the behest of record label Reprise, who loved the band's sound and commanding take on experimental feedback sonics, but felt they weren't quite strong enough songwriters to develop enough material on their own.

So the bulk of the songwriting chores fell to the slightly older female team of Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz, who penned both of their biggest hits, the LSD-pun on the classic age-old adage I Had Too Much Too Dream Last Night, featured here, and Get Me To The World On Time.

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