Monday, October 16, 2017

FM Rock: February 1969

"Rock's Coming of Age" - indeed, as the sillier elements of psychedelia fade away and a more mature sensibility provides a strong framework, the "& roll" bit is more commonly lopped off and it's just ROCK now in the general vernacular. Interestingly, in the trade publications there's a bit of a shift as Billboard had been reguarly reporting on the underground radio phenomena and publishing picks and playlists from some of the key stations, but it has swiftly started to be ignored by that magazine. They've stopped printing the small playlist adds and there's no longer a "Progressive Rock" header among the other station formats. However, Record World picked up the slack and in a February '69 issue they devoted a large section to the underground scene with many pages of essays (from which the above attachment comes) and lots of full page adverts from the record labels touting their underground bona fides by highlighting their successful progressive acts.

One of the key underground acts from the start of this whole shebang was Cream and February saw the release of their farewell album, appropriately titled "Goodbye". One door closes and another one opens as Led Zeppelin are more than ready to enter this new age of rock. Buffalo Springfield had already said goodbye and this month saw the release of Neil Young's debut solo album. The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix are still ruling the album sales chart which also contains new entries from Iron Butterfly, Jethro Tull, a new live Jefferson Airplane album and a greatest hits package from Donovan (with a couple of newly recorded versions of hits that weren't able to be licensed by his current record label including the version of "Colours" included in the mix which features John Paul Jones on bass and keyboards, Big Jim Sullivan on guitar and the great Clem Cattini on drums).Jeff Lynne makes one of his early appearances on American radio with the Idle Race's debut album, though it didn't really catch on at the time, but as we all know, things would get much better for him in the seventies. His talent was certainly already in full bloom in '69 however. Another future 70's (and beyond) rock superstar, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fame makes a slight appearance as a background vocalist on The Left Banke's "Dark Is The Bark" track, also included in this mix, although back then he was known as Steve Tallarico, his birth name. Yet another artist who would make a major impact in the following decade released his debut album this month (on the Beatles' Apple label, no less), James Taylor - the album is represented by "Carolina In My Mind" which he would later re-record for his first greatest hits album. One of the more remarkable tracks included in this mix is Dick Hyman's moog extravaganza "The Minotaur" which was exposed heavily on freeform radio enough that it eventually seeped into the mainstream and became a top 40 hit in the summer of '69, but hipper listeners heard it first on underground radio.

1. Cream - Badge
2. Neil Young - The Loner
3. Jefferson Airplane - Plastic Fantastic Lover (live)
4. Mike Bloomfield & Al Kooper - The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) (live)
5. Traffic - Medicated Goo
6. Steppenwolf - Rock Me
7. Ten Years After - Hear Me Calling
8. Jimi Hendrix Experience - Gypsy Eyes
9. Iron Butterfly - Soul Experience
10. The Beatles - Hey Bulldog
11. Led Zeppelin - Dazed And Confused
12. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Born On The Bayou
13. Jethro Tull - A Song For Jeffrey
14. Savoy Brown - She's Got A Ring In His Nose And A Ring On Her Hand
15. Kak - HCO 97658
16. Moby Grape - Going Nowhere
17. The Kinks - Starstruck
18. The Idle Race - Morning Sunshine
19. Bee Gees - Edison
20. The Beach Boys - Our Prayer
21. The Left Banke - Dark Is The Bark
22. Vanilla Fudge - Some Velvet Morning
23. Dick Hyman - The Minotaur
24. Collectors - Teletype Click
25. The McCoys - Daybreak
26. Spirit - Jewish
27. T.I.M.E. - Trust In Men Everywhere
28. The Beatles - Mother Nature's Son
29. Fats Domino - Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
30. James Taylor - Carolina In My Mind
31. Donovan - Colours
32. The Rolling Stones - Salt Of The Earth

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