volume 6 of the rock sessions series again features a full load of psych, acid and garage rock just waiting for you. the first track is sort of a real evergreen if not a milestone – at least in the history of led zeppelin: one of my personal favourites aswell, the ‘immigrant song’ from the groups third lp still appears on numerous (hard) rock compilation and thus shall not be missing here. the next track is a driving psych-pearl by texan 60s heroes the 13th floor elevators, also highly recommended.
track number four is the obscurity-gem on this volume, a track recorded live in 1967 by a group called the maze – drummer and singer of whom were noone else but ian paice and rod evans, who would go on to form deep purple with blackmore, lord and simper the following year (jeeeeez, they were just my age then.. or in case of paicey even younger… hard to imagine!). most of you will be familiar with the version of ‘harlem shuffle’ that the rolling stones recorded in 1985, but originally this song was written and recorded by bob & earl in 1963, and it is their version that the maze covered four years later. as this is a live recording (they never did any studio recordings) the sound quality is rather poor, but nevetheless this is a highly energetic, driving dance number that will make you move at once, benefitting a lot from rods powerfull, thrilling voice.
another interesting song on this volume is ‘up the wooden hills to bedfordshire’ by the small faces, obviously a song about going to bed and dreaming. this is song is one of the many that werent sung by the small faces front figure steve marriott (the short, blonde one with the high voice – hardly taller than his guitar) but by their bassist and songwriter ronnie lane, who does a brilliant job here, but sadly never became as popular as marriott despite having been a member of the legendary faces with rod stewart and ron wood, who became a little more well-known than marriotts group humble pie (who nevetheless have a big following aswell of course). the next track is a kinks-favourite of mine, from their beloved, nostalgic album village green preservation society. ‘big sky’ is one of those beautifully arranged ray-numbers that get stuck into your head immediately and you have to hum or sing them all the time. with his amazing soft and melodic vocals he sings about people looking up into the sky to get relief from their problems and sorrows – there might be some criticism on religion in this, as it is typical for ray davies to criticise things, but as i havent read a detailed analysis of this song i wont claim this to be true.
track number 12 is a real classic again, ‘on the road again’ by canned heat (to be seen in the background on the left in the picture above; the pop-art head in the foreground by the way is taken from a cover art by post-van morrison them, showing the group themselves on the figures head). one of their most famous songs (the other ones that are as popular id say are ‘harley davidson blues’ and ‘going up the country’), this of course is also a favourite of mine and i wont say a lot about it as i guess youll be familiar with it. track number 15 was a the very first release of the electric prunes in 1966, just before their big big success ‘i had too much to dream last night’. ‘aint it hard’ however is just as great (the b-side of this record, ‘little olive’ is equally recommended), and shows the rockin garage rock origins of the amazing prunes, who just two years later would go on experimenting with psychedelic-progressive-religious albums produced by david axelrod and thus turning their style 180 degrees (i dont like those albums and prefer the early prunes, but if youre into such stuff go and give it a listen).
the next track is one rather belonging to general knowledge again, the beatles version of gordys and bradfords ‘money’ that appeared on their second lp in 1963 – timelessly marvelous. track 19 is a song worth mentioning, because its on of those songs that are obscure and unknown but perfect for any rock party for instance, maybe just because no one will recognize it. one way ticket recorded only one lp, which wasnt released until 1978, ten years after it had been recorded; thus it is mainly a collectors item. ‘right or wrong’ now is my secret tip here; this song is so loud, fast and heavy that anyone into late 60s or early 70s rock will just love it – a real blast!
click here to get the previous volumes.
- Immigrant Song ∙ Led Zeppelin ∙ 1970
- Livin’ on ∙ The 13th Floor Elevators ∙ 1968
- Plum Nellie ∙ Small Faces ∙ 1967
- Harlem Shuffle (live) ∙ The Maze ∙ 1967
- Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire ∙ Small Faces ∙ 1967
- Big Sky ∙ The Kinks ∙ 1968
- Wildwood Blues ∙ Nazz ∙ 1968
- Lay It on Me ∙ Tear Gas ∙ 1971
- Flight of the Rat ∙ Deep Purple ∙ 1970
- Gimme a Shot ∙ Red Dirt ∙ 1970
- On the Road Again ∙ Canned Heat ∙ 1968
- Giant Sunhorse ∙ The Electric Prunes ∙ 1969
- One More Rainy Day ∙ Deep Purple ∙ 1968
- Ain’t It Hard ∙ The Electric Prunes ∙ 1967
- Money (That’s What I Want) ∙ 1963
- She Put a Hex on You ∙ Them ∙ 1968
- Rat Bat Blue ∙ Deep Purple ∙ 1973
- Right or Wrong ∙ One Way Ticket ∙ 1968
- Evenin’ Boogie ∙ Fleetwood Mac ∙ 1968