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Friday on my Mind 107: Hung Up On a Dream

It’s possible the Zombies may have been listening to Nirvana (the real Nirvana, see link and my Nirvana category) before they recorded this album track.

Whether that’s true or not there’s a great mellotron sound on this song, which was written by keyboard player Rod Argent.

The Zombies: Hung Up On a Dream

Friday on my Mind 103: Reputation

A bit of proggy psychedelia. Just for a change.

This sounds a bit like Nirvana (the real Nirvana) but it’s a bit too fuzzy and fussy.

One of Shy Limbs’ members was a certain Greg Lake.

Shy Limbs: Reputation

Friday On My Mind 93: We Can Help You

Two for the price of one this week.

Same tune, different treatments. (Any excuse to play Nirvana.)

It’s not the most psychedelic of Nirvana’s tracks, though.

The Alan Bown!’s wiki entry is here. Robert Palmer was a member for a while.

The Alan Bown!: We Can Help You

Nirvana: We Can Help You

Friday On My Mind 91: Baby You’ve Gotta Stay

The intro and the verses sound like Nirvana. The real Nirvana.

Bit of a “pop”py chorus though.

Unfortunately the sound quality on this clip isn’t the best.

Angel Pavement: Baby You’ve Gotta Stay

Friday On My Mind 1. Friday On My Mind

The Branch Manager at my workplace had the thought that we workers weren’t having enough fun (thank you David Brent) and came up with the glorious idea of having a competition. We were to name our favourite 1960s hit – that is no purely album tracks were allowed – and pay £1 for the privilege of entering it.* A committee was formed to adjudicate the results. The winner was announced and played over the tannoy – wait for it – after work on the day we broke up for Easter. Some fun!

Runner-up was the now ubiquitous but at the time relatively ignored Hi-Ho Silver Lining as by The Jeff Beck Group. It came second to Daydream Believer by the Monkees. You’ll have guessed I wasn’t on the committee. I will admit to a softish spot for the Monkees but Daydream Believer is a bit twee.

Anyway this all got me to thinking which song I would have considered. I soon realised that choosing just one is impossible but if I had to it would probably be Rupert’s People’s Reflections of Charles Brown but really it depends on the mood I’m in.

I’ve already featured a lot of 1960s songs here and any of them could have been contenders. So pick one from Rainbow Chaser, Tiny Goddess or Pentecost Hotel by the true Nirvana, the real Nirvana (see my category and scroll down.)
Or there’s America by The Nice, with which I started off my prog rock musings, plus their The Diamond Hard Blue Apples Of The Moon – even if it was a B-side – and The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack,
The Electric Prunes’ I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night and Get Me To The World On Time (both here,)
The Small Faces’ Tin Soldier,
The Who’s I’m A Boy,
Python Lee Jackson’s In A Broken Dream,
Procol Harum’s Homburg,
R Dean Taylor’s Gotta See Jane and Indiana Wants Me.
I would also have included Nights In White Satin by The Moody Blues if it hadn’t been turned into a cliché by excessive re-releasing and overplay.

That’s most, but not all, of the 1960s songs I’ve mentioned before.

But there is a host more, of which I have fond memories and which I might have chosen.

So to start what may be a regular series this is The Easybeats and Friday On My Mind.

*Edited to add:- The money collected was to be split two to one between the respective submitters of the winner and the runner-up.

Rampant Psychedelia From An Unlikely Source

It’s often repeated that the 1983 Labour Party election manifesto was the longest suicide note in history.

This might be true of British politics but in the area of popular entertainment an argument could, instead, be made for the film Head from which the song I’m featuring comes and which was, perhaps, deliberately designed to alienate the following the band which recorded it had accrued. Along with the bad publicity for apparently not playing instruments on their hits, it more or less did for their pop career, though over-exposure also had a lot to do with it. Head as a title, of course, has many resonances and connotations I needn’t go into and which no doubt contributed to their demise.

The film itself is now, of course, regarded in some quarters as something of a masterpiece. In the time since their heyday the group has also been critically reappraised. They did bang out some cracking pop tunes in their time (including a disguised ditty about the Vietnam War.)

Though apparently out of their normal oeuvre the film’s theme, Porpoise Song, was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. It has overtones of the Beatles – naturally – but also of the 1960s Nirvana and manages to prefigure some of the prog rock which was to come in the 1970s.

On You Tube The Wondermints have a (reasonably faithful) cover over a sequence from the film while this does have the single but someone talks for a while before playing it.

Below is a clip from the first eight or so minutes of the film itself. Porpoise Song does not appear till some way into the clip and finishes about three minutes in.

This is rampant psychedelia.

From the Monkees no less:-

Aphrodite’s Child: It’s Five O’Clock

I don’t believe I’d ever heard this song by Aphrodite’s Child until it was on Radio 2’s Sounds Of The Sixties recently. It’s clearly influenced by the mid 1960s British group Nirvana whom I featured some time ago – see my category. (Or perhaps it’s a Greek thing. Nirvana’s composer was Greek as were at least two members of Aphrodite’s Child.) There’s also a touch of Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade Of Pale in the bass line and the organ.

It’s Five O’Clock:

The Aphrodite’s Child song I most remember, though, is Rain And Tears. There’s a murky sound quality film/video of them playing it on You Tube but I also came across this crisper version. A hint of Pachelbel’s Canon in the intro methinks. It gets everywhere.

Aphrodite’s Child: Rain and Tears

As I recall (and Wikipedia confirms) Aphrodite’s Child spawned Demis Roussos and Vangelis but I’ll not hold that against them.

On second thought….

Hotels In Song

I featured the real Nirvana‘s Pentecost Hotel recently. After the posting I began to think about songs featuring named hotels in their titles. There aren’t all that many that came to mind. Hotel California, obviously, and Heartbreak Hotel. A quick scan of You Tube – up to page 16! – only revealed Procol Harum’s Grand Hotel as one I hadn’t heard. (I’ve listened to it now and it’s a bit overblown.)
The only other named hotel song I can remember is this from Mike Batt. From the sublime (Nirvana) to the bathetic.

The Railway Hotel

Perhaps that bathetic should have been pathetic after all. Or is that too harsh?

Nirvana (3)

This is the real Nirvana‘€™s track, Rainbow Chaser, their third single, which is said to be the first to utilise throughout what became almost a trademark of musical psychedelia, phasing.

I must confess that, to me, the verses seem to be without phasing.

This alternative version (not the one I remember) does seem more phased but otherwise its arrangement is more conventional.

The Trouble With Kurt Cobain and Nirvana (2)

Apart from calling his band Nirvana I once thought that Cobain’s use of the song title Smells Like Teen Spirit was pretty cool, a nice metaphorical touch. Then I found out Teen Spirit is actually some sort of American deodorant.

Not so cool at all, then. (Except under the arms of course.)

Here is the real Nirvana‘s track, Pentecost Hotel, their second single.

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