RFI: Psychedelic Motown

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So I'm pretty fascinated by the extended semi-psychedelic deep funk that Motown was occasionally turning out for a couple of years: the Temptations' "Ball of Confusion" and "Papa Was A Rolling Stone," the Undisputed Truth's "You Make Your Own Heaven and Hell Right Here On Earth," Eddie Kendricks' "Girl You Need a Change of Mind," etc. What else do I need to seek out on the Norman Whitfield-and-his-pals front from that period?

Douglas (Douglas), Friday, 7 March 2003 04:47 (nineteen years ago) link

do you know the temptations' "masterpiece" album? you probably do. anyway thats pretty great.

duane, Friday, 7 March 2003 07:53 (nineteen years ago) link

Yeah basically every Temptations album that Whitfield was involved in from 1969 to 1973 featured a token extended freak-out jam. And they're all great! Don't overlook 1990, it was one of the last ones and I recall there is a good long track on there. But fuck if I can find my copy of the lp right now. I think it's the title track though. The Undisputed Truth stuff is all really good too. That's about all I know and yeah I'm also curious about what else Whitfield was involved in..

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Friday, 7 March 2003 08:10 (nineteen years ago) link

Don't overlook the immediate post-Whitfield stuff. Particularly 'Shakey Ground' - obscenely funky and with the BEST, most skull-crunching bass-sound ever recorded.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 7 March 2003 10:54 (nineteen years ago) link

I still cannot see what makes James Brown-wanna-be funk "psychedelic".

Apart from a couple of R.Dean Taylor records, there was never ever such a thing as "psychedelic" Motown. The first ever truly psychedelic album by an African American act probably was Prince's "Around The World In One Day".

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 7 March 2003 11:33 (nineteen years ago) link

**The first ever truly psychedelic album by an African American act probably was Prince's "Around The World In One Day"**

WTF!! Have you heard of George Clinton? Jimi Hendrix? Sly Stone?

If I had more time I'd point out the differences between the Temptations/Whitfield and JB approach. But since it's you Geir, I can't see the point.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 7 March 2003 12:35 (nineteen years ago) link

*bangs head on desk*

Jimi Hendrix?
Stevie Wonder??
Funkadelic???
fucking DUB??????

make it stop, please

pete b. (pete b.), Friday, 7 March 2003 12:37 (nineteen years ago) link

Funk isn't psychedelia. None of those albums sounded anything like the blueprint for all true psychedelia, which was "Sgt. Pepper".

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 7 March 2003 12:37 (nineteen years ago) link

!!!!

geeta (geeta), Friday, 7 March 2003 12:38 (nineteen years ago) link

Prince, on "Around THe World In a Day", was the first ever African-American artists who did actually manage to sound like 1967 era The Beatles, thus he was the first one who made psychedelic music.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 7 March 2003 12:40 (nineteen years ago) link

I am trying to think of a nice yet firm way to say "Arthur fucking LEE, Geir."

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Friday, 7 March 2003 13:02 (nineteen years ago) link

Love made some nice pop albums, but I cannot quite see what was very psychedelic about them. More folk rock. I mean, where are the sitars, where are the guitars recorded backwards, where are the typical psychedelic backing vocals (you know, like the ones in "Magical Mystery Tour"), where are the lyrics about pink elephant flying through marshmallow skies? Where are the nursery-rhyme-like melodies? Where are the mellotrons?

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 7 March 2003 13:28 (nineteen years ago) link

Shit, you're right Gier. Where ARE they?

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 7 March 2003 15:17 (nineteen years ago) link

I guess it's not worth pointing out how narrow a definition you have of what psychedelia is, but I'll do it anyway. Just because one group of (admittedly very popular) musicians took psychedelics and then made an album that's supposed to evoke that sensation, doesn't mean it's the "one true blueprint" and the only way psychedelia can sound. Different brains react differently to psychedelics, and different artists interpret these sensations in different ways.

die9o (dhadis), Friday, 7 March 2003 16:23 (nineteen years ago) link

And to answer the original question, I like the Whitfield-produced "Psychedelic Shack" quite a bit.

die9o (dhadis), Friday, 7 March 2003 16:24 (nineteen years ago) link

Geir's right, dub music isn't psychedelic at all. Nope, sure isn't.

oops (Oops), Friday, 7 March 2003 16:26 (nineteen years ago) link

It can't be without sitars and mellotrons. No, sir.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 7 March 2003 16:29 (nineteen years ago) link

I've long felt that Whitfield was a bit overrated. His ambition was to bring Motown up to date by folding in elements of rock music--sonically and w/r/t attitude. But the "poltical" songs that came out of this were, like their rock counterparts, pretty toothless ("Ball of Confusion" being my least favorite Temptations song by a country mile), and a lot of the psychedelic musical accoutrements haven't dated very well. I used to have the Marvin Gaye CD The Norman Whitfield Sessions (I think it's out of print now), which was better than some of Whitfield's more strident stuff for the Temptations and the terrible Undisputed Truth, but still compared unfavorably with contemporary work by the Corporation, Ashford-Simpson, and even Holland-Dozier-Holland's post-Motown stuff.

However Whitfield's role in giving Gaye the confidence to go out on his on, and to incorporate "rock" elements in his own work, is important.

Amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 7 March 2003 16:31 (nineteen years ago) link

You learn something new everyday.
Today I learned that 'psychedelic' is just means 'sounds like Sgt Peppers'

oops (Oops), Friday, 7 March 2003 16:33 (nineteen years ago) link

Oops I challenge you to write a post longer than 40 words.

Amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 7 March 2003 16:35 (nineteen years ago) link

Amateurist, I challenge you to come to my work while I write long posts

oops (Oops), Friday, 7 March 2003 16:36 (nineteen years ago) link

"come do my work"

oops (Oops), Friday, 7 March 2003 16:37 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm a man

oops (Oops), Friday, 7 March 2003 16:37 (nineteen years ago) link

of few words

oops (Oops), Friday, 7 March 2003 16:37 (nineteen years ago) link

And what should be a brilliant thread dies like a small unloved rat.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 7 March 2003 16:51 (nineteen years ago) link

I blame you, Ned.

Okay, let's agree that psychedelic does not mean exclusively Peppersesque Beatles. Now, on with the thread!

Matt Maxwell (Matt M.), Friday, 7 March 2003 16:54 (nineteen years ago) link

I blame you, Ned.

Dammit!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 7 March 2003 16:56 (nineteen years ago) link

first and foremost: why haven't you guys just learned to ignore him? or at least take him with a grain of salt.

secondly: and although it's not motown, have you heard Muddy Waters "Electric Mud"? it's a great psychedelic blues funk album on Cadet Concept. muddy actually hates this album, thinking that he was tricked into doing something 'of the times' or 'for the kids'. but i love it. it's got fuzzed out guitar, heavy drums, even some flute. it's up there with eddie hazel and jimi hendrix. (my gf even asked me if it was jimi). and cypress hill sampled it.

JasonD (JasonD), Friday, 7 March 2003 18:00 (nineteen years ago) link

(pointless personal fact of the day: my uncle used to work at the liqour store that Muddy frequented in his later years)

oops (Oops), Friday, 7 March 2003 18:04 (nineteen years ago) link

I want to reiterate what Diego said upthread -- that Psychedelic Shack is, at times, stunning.

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Friday, 7 March 2003 18:06 (nineteen years ago) link

What Public Enemy song samples the song "Psychedelic Shack"? I think it's on Nation of Millions...

die9o (dhadis), Friday, 7 March 2003 18:32 (nineteen years ago) link

not motown but...Swamp Dogg has some phyche stuff on his first...

thomas de'aguirre (biteylove), Friday, 7 March 2003 19:31 (nineteen years ago) link

I love Undisputed Truth's 'Smiling Faces(Sometimes)'also check out The 5th Dimension,Temptations''Cloud Nine'

Paul R (paul R), Friday, 7 March 2003 20:27 (nineteen years ago) link

Mr. Hongo I'm assuming you know that the Beatles can't be credited with defining (or even coining) psychedelia. That honor belongs to the 13th Floor Elevators, who don't have any sitars, mellotrons, backwards vocals, nursery rhyme melodies, or goofy lyrics about pink elephants. In fact, I think a decent argument could be made that the Elevators' brand of psychedelia is closer to Hendrix/early Funkadelic/"psychedelic" Motown than it is to the Beatles, what with it's emphasis on repetitive RHYTHMS, distorted guitar solos, and freaky Echoplex effects.

Shakey Mo Collier, Friday, 7 March 2003 20:35 (nineteen years ago) link

However we describe this Motown stuff, it's wonderful. Norman Whitfield is one of my all-time five favourite producers, especially for his work with the Temptations around this time. Most of these albums are available on cheap twofers, too. The Psychedelic Shack/All Directions one is particularly unmissable, but you need Cloud Nine/Puzzle People too.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Friday, 7 March 2003 20:51 (nineteen years ago) link

Mr. Hongo I'm assuming you know that the Beatles can't be credited with defining (or even coining) psychedelia. That honor belongs to the 13th Floor Elevators, who don't have any sitars, mellotrons, backwards vocals, nursery rhyme melodies, or goofy lyrics about pink elephants.

13th Floor Elevators may have invented punk, but they didn't invent psychedelia. The first ever psychedelic piece of music was "Tomorrow Never Knows". That's when the psychedelic sound was created.

Other than The Beatles, Pink Floyd were making early psychedelic music, after those acts, the most archetypical psychedelic bands were (early) Traffic, Nirvana, Kaleidoscope and Idle Race. Even Rolling Stones made a brilliant psychedelic one-off album though, as did Zombies (who were great before that too, only not psychedelic)

And, yes, all of these acts were of course English.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 7 March 2003 20:52 (nineteen years ago) link

Echoplex effects

Ha! I knew that echoplex I got would come in handy when I wanted to eventually play in a psych or funk band. (I guess I should cancel my orders on that sitar and the pink elephants now...)

die9o (dhadis), Friday, 7 March 2003 20:55 (nineteen years ago) link

In a way, Motown had to do something, because the typical Motown sound - brilliant as it might have been - sounded terribly unfashionable in the summer of love. But then, they chose to do funk rather than joining those wacky and quirky psychedelic bands.

R. Dean Taylor did release a couple of slightly psychedelic Motown singles in the late 60s though.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 7 March 2003 20:55 (nineteen years ago) link

(The Fall covered both RDT singles.)

I'm surprised that there's so much love for Whitfield's Temptations productions. Maybe I'm not listening to them in the right way, or closely enough. But many of them have always felt overblown to me, cartoonish. That's something that's long bugged me about the Temptations: even a beautiful song like "Just My Imagination," in its most famous arrangement, seems to go over the top with the sound effects and hushed lead vocal. It mitigates the effect of the song for me. I prefer the Rolling Stones' cover (ducks).

Amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 7 March 2003 21:01 (nineteen years ago) link

Geir, aside from maybe "Tomorrow Never Knows" you're mostly talking about psych-pop.

die9o (dhadis), Friday, 7 March 2003 21:04 (nineteen years ago) link

another great psychedelic soul band: Rotary Connection. also on Cadet Concept. fronted by lead singer Minnie Ripperton. less on the distorto-rock. more of great arrangements by Charles Stepney.

AND THERE'S SITAR!!
(most famously sampled by ATCQ on bonita applebaum and the fugees on killing me softly.)

JasonD (JasonD), Friday, 7 March 2003 21:16 (nineteen years ago) link

check the chronology Geir. Despite your moving the goalpost from Sgt. Pepper's to Tomorrow Never Knows, YOU ARE STILL WRONG.

http://members.tripod.com/~lysergia_2/lamaEarlyPsychedelia.htm

Shakey Mo Collier, Friday, 7 March 2003 22:10 (nineteen years ago) link

Martin, Doug: more thoughts on Whitfield?

please don't argue with Geir

Amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 7 March 2003 22:13 (nineteen years ago) link

Yeah, Rotary Connection are great,well worth checking out.I like their 'Aladdin'LP

Paul R (paul R), Friday, 7 March 2003 22:16 (nineteen years ago) link

personally I love Whitfield's production sound, overblown and "cartoony" though it may be. "Psychedelic Shack" in particular is thoroughly enjoyable all the way through - it really does sound like a psychedelic-summer-houseparty. As someone else said upthread, "Electric Mud" also fits well into this category - a lot of the same production techniques and effects are used (especially that great wah-wah+fuzzbox guitar sound) and it's clearly a product of a "hey let's cash in on this trend!" phenomenon that nevertheless produced some genuinely weird and interesting sonic artifacts.

Shakey Mo Collier, Friday, 7 March 2003 22:19 (nineteen years ago) link

Color me humorless, but I've never taken to things that try to appropriate the gravity of contemporary politics without actually taking a position on anything. "Ball of Confusion" is carefully calibrated so as to say as little as possible. At least "Inner City Blues" located its litany of tribulations and confusions in the ghetto. And the music is far, far too strident for my liking.

Amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 7 March 2003 22:31 (nineteen years ago) link

In a way, Motown had to do something, because the typical Motown sound - brilliant as it might have been - sounded terribly unfashionable in the summer of love.

B-b-but being fashionable isn't important as long as you have great MELODIES!

man, Friday, 7 March 2003 22:53 (nineteen years ago) link

I give up.

Amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 7 March 2003 23:14 (nineteen years ago) link

Amateurist, I'm not going to even try to argue that there is any substantial content to these records, because I don't think I'd win that. I Heard It Through The Grapevine was a big success in 1968 and Whitfield maybe saw new things happening in pop (I think the richness of Pet Sounds is as likely an influence in some ways as Love or the Beatles, at least in terms of the sonic ambition) and tried a new direction. I think it worked. I find the sound of these records compelling and fascinating and very beautiful, which last adjective is what I think Whitfield did better than maybe anyone, before this on things like Just My Imagination and later with stuff like Rose Royce's Love Don't Live Here Anymore. (As so often when I come over to ILM, I wish I could write about music the way Tom Ewing can.)

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Friday, 7 March 2003 23:22 (nineteen years ago) link

As so often when I come over to ILM, I wish I could write about music the way Tom Ewing can.

In my case, him or Ally or Tim Finney or...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 7 March 2003 23:24 (nineteen years ago) link

Apart from maybe the San Francisco bands, only Brits made psychedelia.

Sigh. Why can't you go away?

Kenan Hebert (kenan), Saturday, 8 March 2003 00:46 (nineteen years ago) link

It's not on Motown, but since this thread has moved from what Douglas asked about initially into a "prove Geir wrong" forum, I have to express my utter shock that no one has mentioned the fucking Chambers Brothers' epochal "Time Has Come Today".

It's got reverb galore, it actually uses the word "psychedelicized" (sp?) and to top it all off it's from 1967. Plus it grooves like a motherfucker and stirs up images of protestors, LBJ, and acid tests almost as vividly as "For What it's Worth".

Dr. Annabel Lies (Michael Kelly), Saturday, 8 March 2003 02:07 (nineteen years ago) link

"For What It's Worth" wasn't particularly psychedelic anyway. Buffalo Springfield's only song that could almost be called psychedelia (or at least mild psychedelia) was "Expecting To Fly" (the best song Neil Young has ever been involved with IMO)

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Saturday, 8 March 2003 02:10 (nineteen years ago) link

It seems like most of the disagreement with Geir revolves around semantics. Geir has a very strict, narrow definition of the word psychedelic, which while it may make total sense to Geir, is more limited than the way that many others on this thread are using the term. If "psychedelia" can only be used to refer to a handful of self-similar English groups, then perhaps we need to find another term that can be used to describe the commonality between bands including Love, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, 13th Floor Elevators, and others. Perhaps those are the psychedelic-hyphen bands, because they are usually described as psychedelic-hyphen-something, such as psych-punk or psych-garage or what-have-you, whereas maybe the bands Geir is talking about are just "psychedelia" with no hyphens.

o. nate (onate), Saturday, 8 March 2003 02:28 (nineteen years ago) link

three years pass...
Well, on the one hand, I want to thank people in this thread for pointing to a couple of bands that I hadn't heard of and am now looking forward to listening to. On the other, man, Geir makes my brain hurt some days.
(Oh, and The Mothers of Invention were psychedelic before the Beatles, Geir. Unless you're prepared to admit that you're again trying to conflate a tautology with an argument).

js (honestengine), Wednesday, 31 May 2006 23:16 (sixteen years ago) link

you have to remember something: geir doesn't actually understand english.

j blount (papa la bas), Thursday, 1 June 2006 02:57 (sixteen years ago) link

The Supremes had a few psychedelia-influenced singles, like Reflections, No Matter What Sign You Are, and The Happening. Hardly Sgt Pepper but for Motown, and especially the Supremes, it was the most they'd go for.

musically (musically), Thursday, 1 June 2006 03:17 (sixteen years ago) link

the Supremes album "New Ways But Love Stays" is especially psychedelic (especially the cover of "Come Together")

http://www.tonygreen.com/images/stoned.jpg

jäxøñ (jaxon), Thursday, 1 June 2006 04:19 (sixteen years ago) link

That Yardbirds clip in Blow-Up sounds knida psych to me...does that pre-date Sgt Peppers...then again I'm probably mistaking loud noisy geetars for psych rock.

I've got this cd
MOTOWN : THE HISTORY - VOLUME ONE - FUNKY PSYCHEDELIA
POLYGRAM 1997 CAT NUMBER : 5307122

it's great...but to be honest not much of it sounds pyschedelic to my ears...I mean - its got "ABC" on it.

coincidence : the CD I just threw on before I logged on and now listening to is :
MOTOWN MEETS THE BEATLES....full of gems !


grapple (grapple), Thursday, 1 June 2006 04:39 (sixteen years ago) link

the Four Tops - Fool on the Hill....nice !

grapple (grapple), Thursday, 1 June 2006 05:01 (sixteen years ago) link

The only Motown stuff that sounded truly psychedelic (that is, twee, not funky) was by R. Dean Taylor.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Sunday, 11 June 2006 17:21 (sixteen years ago) link

Oh, and The Mothers of Invention were psychedelic before the Beatles, Geir

I never think of the Mothers as psychedelic, just arty and weird like The Residents. It doesn't help that the leader/composer was anti-drug. I never got much out of listening to Zappa when I was on acid. In fact, I hated it.

Uri Frendimein (Uri Frendimein), Tuesday, 13 June 2006 19:53 (sixteen years ago) link

oh geirpaws.

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 13 June 2006 20:02 (sixteen years ago) link

I think it is so nice of all you kids to tell those of us who lived through that era who was and who was not considered psychedelic. Unfortunately for us, your crystal-clear 20/20 hindsight granny glasses weren't available to us.

One thing we were able to appreciate,even though the memories are calcified through advancing ravages of time, is that psychedelic music did not spring full formed from the breasts of Lennon/McCartney. They were influenced by things they had heard and certainly that included eastern ragas and musique concrete.

It was de rigueur to have a Ravi Shankar lp as well as an Edgar Varese to toss on the turntable to enhance the mood. But we were too stupid to realize that we had to wait, here in America, for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club to understand psychedelia.

Instead, we could hear the new sounds forming in the Yardbirds, Donovan, and yes, despite his anti-drug stance, Zappa's MOI Freak Out with its Help I'm a Rock, Who Are The Brain Police, and

J Arthur Rank (Quin Tillian), Wednesday, 14 June 2006 11:12 (sixteen years ago) link

I think it is so nice of all you kids to tell those of us who lived through that era who was and who was not considered psychedelic. Unfortunately for us, your crystal-clear 20/20 hindsight granny glasses weren't available to us.

One thing we were able to appreciate,even though the memories are calcified through advancing ravages of time, is that psychedelic music did not spring full formed from the breasts of Lennon/McCartney. They were influenced by things they had heard and certainly that included eastern ragas and musique concrete.

It was de rigueur to have a Ravi Shankar lp as well as an Edgar Varese to toss on the turntable to enhance the mood. But we were too stupid to realize that we had to wait, here in America, for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club to understand psychedelia.

Instead, we could hear the new sounds forming in the Yardbirds, Donovan, and yes, despite his anti-drug stance, Zappa's MOI Freak Out with its Help I'm a Rock, Who Are The Brain Police, and Return of the Son of Monster Magnet.

I suppose if your idea of psychedelia is limited to lace bodice foppery, gamboling in a fen while contemplatinng the radiant beauty of Lady Farquar, Sgt. Peppers is the ideal vehicle.

Wait--loan me those tea shades of yours, they help one see so clearly...

Ahhhhh. Here are some antecedents of psychedelia, though not themselves psychedelic:

Karlheinz Stockhausen--Kontakte
Kristof Penderecki--Threnody
Ornette Coleman--Shape of Jazz to Come
John Coltrane--My Favorite Things
Moondog--Moondog (on Prestige)
Edgar Varese--Ionisation
The Byrds--Mr Tambourine Man
Donovan--Sunshine Superman
Harry Partch--Barstow/Petals Fell on Petaluma
Terry Riley--In C

That's ten, and I'm leaving out tons of precedents in jazz, rock, blues, and classical. Here's your glasses back, Geir. Go listen.

J Arthur Rank (Quin Tillian), Wednesday, 14 June 2006 11:17 (sixteen years ago) link

and since this thread is supposed to be about the black funk psychedelic connection...
Yes to Chambers, Isleys, the Parliaments (and the entire P-funk empire), Norman Whitfield, the Rotary Connection. And others.

J Arthur Rank (Quin Tillian), Wednesday, 14 June 2006 11:26 (sixteen years ago) link

>Prince, on "Around THe World In a Day", was the first ever African-American artists who did actually manage to sound like 1967 era The Beatles<

What about the Brothers Johnson, in "Strawberry Letter 23"? (Maybe also the Shuggie Otis version, who knows.) Though, obviously, equating "psychedelia" with "just Sgt Peppers" is still moronic.

xhuxk (xheddy), Wednesday, 14 June 2006 11:28 (sixteen years ago) link

Mathematical proposition.

If Maggot Brain /= Psychedelicized,
then solve for X where X=WTF planet are we on?

J Arthur Rank (Quin Tillian), Thursday, 15 June 2006 23:32 (sixteen years ago) link

Why do some people interpret Motown = any black soul artist from 1960-1980? Not pointed at anyone in this thread, but I've always noticed that Motown has become some catch-all term.

I've been inspired by this thread to make a mix CD of psychedelic Motown songs...I'll comb through my LPs and mp3s and hopefully come up with something great. I'll post my results here if anyone's interested (dunno if the OP is still around).

musically (musically), Friday, 16 June 2006 00:36 (sixteen years ago) link

J Arthur Rank, dude, don't even listen to geir, the rest of us don't.

jäxøñ (jaxon), Friday, 16 June 2006 03:34 (sixteen years ago) link

J Arthur Rank, dude, don't even listen to geir, the rest of us don't.

i know, i know, i know. It's just, sometimes I just gotta let little air out...

J Arthur Rank (Quin Tillian), Friday, 16 June 2006 12:10 (sixteen years ago) link

The only Motown stuff that sounded truly psychedelic (that is, twee, not funky) was by R. Dean Taylor.

And what colour was he again Geir? Was he Norwegian too by any chance?

Il mio nome e' Dadaismus (Dada), Friday, 16 June 2006 12:14 (sixteen years ago) link

O. Nate got it right OTM way back when he said that the chief argument was one of mere semantics ie. the word "psychedelic" itself. And I further remember Wayne Coyne years ago, talking to Xhuxk (I think) and drawing a distinction between "psychedelia" and "acid rock". So why not just agree, for Geir's sake, that the Beatles defined "psychedelia" and move on? Change the thread topic to "acid Motown" or "acid funk" - something which even Geir can't deny exists.

M. Agony Von Bontee (M. Agony Von Bontee), Friday, 16 June 2006 16:36 (sixteen years ago) link

I mean, just 'cause it's too interesting a topic to waste on a bunch of hair-splitting...

M. Agony Von Bontee (M. Agony Von Bontee), Friday, 16 June 2006 16:54 (sixteen years ago) link

(there's already several acid funk threads, btw)

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 16 June 2006 16:58 (sixteen years ago) link

Chambers Chambers Chambers

trees (treesessplode), Saturday, 17 June 2006 05:25 (sixteen years ago) link

This thread is great for two reasons:

It made me curious enough to scrabble together a copy of The Temptations' 'Psychedelic Shack' and 'All Directions.' Fabulous stuff.

The sheer wrongness of Geir's posts and yet he still continues on.

righteousmaelstrom (righteousmaelstrom), Friday, 23 June 2006 15:59 (sixteen years ago) link

It would've been more effective, IMO, if someone had tried to come up with a broader definition of "psychedelia" to counter Geir's very narrow one, rather than simply citing examples of things most people would consider psychedelic that Geir doesn't.

For anyone who's bothering to look, here's a better link for the one upthread that doesn't work (for me, anyway): http://members.tripod.com/~lysergia_2

pleased to mitya (mitya), Friday, 23 June 2006 18:40 (sixteen years ago) link

His argument is bizarre. There are a million examples of psychedelia that are not twee.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 23 June 2006 18:55 (sixteen years ago) link

two years pass...

pulled out Quincy Jones' soundtrack to Body Heat and damn if those songs don't sound like lost whitfield produced Temptation songs.

(jaxon) ( .) ( .) (jaxon), Thursday, 2 April 2009 22:29 (thirteen years ago) link

thirteen years pass...

bumping this thread because i don't feel like making a new one

was listening to an old recording of the jefferson airplane doing syl johnson's "dresses too short" and i feel like this is something i've maybe underappreciated over the years, "heavy" sixties rock bands doing old soul tunes, tunes that are pretty new for me because they didn't make it as part of the "classic rock" canon (ref recent thread about "got my mind set on you". like, for a long time i didn't know "lovelight" wasn't a dead song. and then you have those early zep concerts from their first us tour where they do a very, very zep style version of garnet mimms' "long as i have you".

anyway, i'm sure there's tons more examples like this but i just don't know enough about sixties soul. thoughts?

Kate (rushomancy), Saturday, 23 July 2022 01:28 (three weeks ago) link

I guess by "old soul tunes" you mean old in 2022, because "Dresses Too Short" was more or less contemporary to the Airplane, and "Long As I Have You" would only have been four or five years old?
The first thing that came to mind was James Gang doing "Stop" by Howard Tate on their first album, and that song had only been out for a year. Also, the Beach Boys weren't heavy, but they did cover "I Was Made to Love Her" in 1967.

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 23 July 2022 01:55 (three weeks ago) link

check out the animals covering eddie & ernie's "outcast"

budo jeru, Saturday, 23 July 2022 01:56 (three weeks ago) link

Alot of the Airplane archival albums credit "Dresses..." to Balin, so imagine my surprise when I heard the Syl for the first time at the local "Soul Night" and thought it was the Dap Kings or somebody doing JA!

The Dead also did "Hard To Handle".

Paul Butterfield (not the heaviest) did "Get Out of My Life, Woman" (by Lee Dorsey) and "One More Heartache" (by Marvin Gaye) when they were brand spanking new singles.

Vanilla Fudge lords over all with "You Keep Me Hangin' On".

Al Kooper & Mike Bloomfield did "Stop" as an instrumental on Super Session.

Jesus Christ @ the extra-ignorant Geir posts itt.

I guess by "old soul tunes" you mean old in 2022, because "Dresses Too Short" was more or less contemporary to the Airplane, and "Long As I Have You" would only have been four or five years old?
The first thing that came to mind was James Gang doing "Stop" by Howard Tate on their first album, and that song had only been out for a year. Also, the Beach Boys weren't heavy, but they did cover "I Was Made to Love Her" in 1967.

― Halfway there but for you

"Dolly Rocker, it's called Dolly Rocker
It's an old make of dress
Well, months old, you know
That sort of thing"

Kate (rushomancy), Saturday, 23 July 2022 04:19 (three weeks ago) link

mccain otm re: vanilla fudge + "hard to handle." good jams.

Vanilla Fudge also did "Shotgun" (Junior Walker). Deep Purple did "River Deep, Mountain High" (Tina Turner). The Small Faces did "Every Little Bit Hurts" (Brenda Holloway). The Jimmy Page-era Yardbirds did "My Baby" (Garnet Mimms). Of course Janis Joplin/Big Brother did "Piece of My Heart" (Erma Franklin) which became a hit + part of the classic rock canon, so I guess it's disqualified... likewise "(I Know) I'm Losing You" (The Temptations) by Rod Stewart with the Faces. Janis Joplin also did "Tell Mama" (Etta James) and various other soul tunes. The Who did James Brown songs and "Heat Wave" (Martha & the Vandellas) but that was early in their career. I thought the Velvet Underground might have done "Hitch Hike" (Marvin Gaye) but I guess they just swiped the intro of it. The MC5 did "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" (James Brown).

Josefa, Saturday, 23 July 2022 07:12 (three weeks ago) link

"Of course Janis Joplin/Big Brother did "Piece of My Heart" (Erma Franklin) which became a hit + part of the classic rock canon, so I guess it's disqualified"

no that's exactly the sort of thing i'm thinking of, i never heard the erma franklin version. a lot of the soul covers i _know_ them from oldies radio, but someone like garnet mimms, nah

the velvets were unique for the era in that they didn't _do_ covers, there's a recording of them doing "green onions" on the andy warhol tapes i think but that's about it.

Kate (rushomancy), Saturday, 23 July 2022 11:03 (three weeks ago) link

It's interesting that Jerry Ragovoy seems to be involved with many of these songs as a songwriter. He wrote or cowrote the Garnet Mimms songs and "Stop" by Howard Tate and "Piece of My Heart."

His Wikipedia entry lists several other compositions of his that fit the original question.

Josefa, Saturday, 23 July 2022 14:22 (three weeks ago) link

Yes, that is interesting. Wonder if he and Rudy Clark ever crossed paths. #onethread

Meme for an Imaginary Western (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 23 July 2022 14:25 (three weeks ago) link

XP He played piano on the James Gang's version of "Stop" too.

Speaking of Rudy Clark, the Dead also did "Good Lovin'" (originally by the Olympics and popularized by the (Young) Rascals).

Ha!--The Olympics' "Good Lovin'" (which had different lyrics from the actual original by Lemme B. Good) was produced by Ragovoy!

Paul Butterfield (not the heaviest) did "Get Out of My Life, Woman"

Also covered by Iron Butterfly on Heavy.

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 23 July 2022 16:08 (three weeks ago) link

(which is also not the heaviest)

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 23 July 2022 16:34 (three weeks ago) link

Al Kooper & Mike Bloomfield did "Stop" as an instrumental on Super Session.

Remembering too that they also did a straight vocal version of Gene Chandler's Curtis Mayfield-penned "Man's Temptation" on that same album.

...and speaking of Curtis, Vanilla Fudge did "People Get Ready" and later on Beck Bogert & Appice addressed "I'm So Proud".


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