Sunday, September 18, 2022

The Day After The Sabbath 142: Sweet Marie [USA HARD ROCK HEAVY PSYCH 1970]

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Welcome to TDATS volume 142! Here's a great cross section of hard n' heavy happenings in the USA in the year 1970. Back when rock music was at a post-Garage Rock, post Hendrix & Cream, pre-FM rock phase, when everything that had come before and all that was emerging mingled in the earthy, organic and analogue sounds you'll hear in this set. I present to you fourteen acts that are totally new to the blog, plus one returning name that fully deserves some more attention.

In 1970:
 - The Beatles release final album & announce break up 
 - Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin both die in hotel rooms
 - Black Sabbath release debut album
 - All the killer music in this volume is released!

There’s something here for everyone, from hard rock to jazz-prog, heavy blues to brooding psych. and funky country to pop rock. One distinguishing difference from Europe at this time is the element of American country music, very present in some of the music in this volume and giving it nice regional flavour.


TRACKS

01. Rock Candy - Cause We Want To Please You (1970)
from album Rock Candy
02. Raymond Louis Kennedy - Miss Goody Two Shoes (1970)
from album Raymond Louis Kennedy
03. Beast - Move Mountain (You Got It) (1970)
from album Beast
04. Dirty John's Hot Dog Stand - I Won't Quit (1970)
from album Return From The Dead
05. Podiṕto - Good Morning Blues (1970)
from album Podiṕto
06. Euclid - 97 Days (1970)
from album Heavy Equipment
07. Morning Dew - Gypsy (1970)
from album Morning Dew
08. Goodness And Mercy - You Can't Make Me Love You (1970)
from album Goodness And Mercy
09. Crowfoot - No Don't Leave (1970)
from album Crowfoot
10. Hammer - Hangover Horns (1970)
from album Hammer
11. Dennis Linde - The Fat Of The Land (1970)
from album Linde Manor
12. Pure Love & Pleasure - Relax (1970)
from album A Record Of Pure Love & Pleasure
13. Elliott Randall - Bustin' My Brains (1970)
from album Randall's Island
14. Pacific Gas And Electric - Love, Love, Love, Love, Love (1970)
from album Are You Ready
15. Sweet Marie - Dr. Feelgood (1970)
from album Sweet Marie 1 


Rock Candy LP 1970
Rock Candy LP cover
Rock Candy - Cause We Want To Please You (1970)
Here’s a great intro track for this collection, ‘cause we really do want to please ya! A fun song with every hard rock and garage rock cliché thrown into its compact duration. The rest of the album is of variable quality, as a whole I don't recommend it as a great album. This was the only LP by the Minnesota band Rock Candy, formed in 1969, existing until 1972. Guitarist Brian Naughton later played in Rockicks, who have a rather excellent track in the NWOBHM-ish TDATS vol 67 (link).


Raymond Louis Kennedy
Raymond Louis Kennedy
Raymond Louis Kennedy - Miss Goody Two Shoes
Here’s a killer track with everything you could want from a fuzzy stomper. ‘Miss Goody Two Shows’ starts perfectly, over-driven guitar playing a simple, driving riff, then the funky drums cut in, and the throat-shredding vocals complete the trifecta of heavy perfection. The rest of his 1970 LP is extremely solid country rock in the vein of CCR, which I can happily recommend in entirety, if that’s your thing. Philadelphian Ray Kennedy only made two solo albums, but that's because his day-job was behind the scenes and he has various technical/instrumental credits on over 160 records, including singing for Brian DePalma’s cult film Phantom of the Paradise. There’s a bunch more to read about Ray on his wikipedia page (link).

Beast s/t 1970
Beast s/t 1970
Beast - Move Mountain (You Got It) (1970)
Here's a head-nodder which subscribes to the less-is-more philosophy of heavy bluesrock, something similar to Free and Bad Company’s rockers, and in the world of TDATS, the brilliant Fanny Adams, featured on the Australia special vol 21 (link). The rest of their 1970 album is pleasant and well-played prog-pop, with some influence from The Beatles, worth hearing if that’s your bag. Beast were a Denver, Colorado band with guitarist Robert Yeazel, who also played in Sugarloaf, featured on the TDATS Heavy Hammond vol 73 (link). You can read a bunch of info about Beast which was available on Robert Yeazel's personal website until it shut down recently (I hope he’s OK!) but you can still read it thanks to the invaluable Wayback Machine (link).

Dirty John's Hot Dog Stand
Dirty John's Hot Dog Stand
Dirty John's Hot Dog Stand - I Won't Quit (1970)
This is a total banger, choc-full of nimble heavy blues riffs that would make Led Zep proud. I discovered this band's sole album back in 2012 when I used them in the heavy bluesrock vol. 79 where you can read a lot more about them (link), and it totally deserves more attention. I can wholeheartedly recommend the complete album for your heavy archives! Guitarist Kenny Paulson from this Boston, MA band was seemingly plagued by addiction problems which stifled his career and ended his life early in 1981, a huge shame as he surely would have created a lot more excellent music otherwise.

Podiṕto
Podiṕto LP front
Podiṕto - Good Morning Blues (1970)
Here’s a fast and insistent track that chugs along like a locomotive. Podiṕto were from Minnesota and among the pleasant country rock of their debut LP there’s a couple of tracks that warrant a listen, this one, and ‘Mississippi Woman’, both of which have some excellent acid guitar leads. According to their website (link), Podiṕto existed from 1969 to 1974, were a local success, and toured the country supporting acts such as Elton John, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Kenny Rogers, The Guess Who and Poco.

Euclid - Heavy Equipment
Euclid - Heavy Equipment
Euclid - 97 Days (1970)

Here’s a band from Haverhill, Massachusetts that I think many of you may know, and have probably wondered when they would show up, so here they are! It’s hard to pick a best track from the four or so harder-rocking numbers on this LP, as they are all of equal quality, I've gone with the slightly bluesier ‘97 Days’. The album has a distinctly Garage Rock feel with the immediate, wall-of-sound approach you expect from that, plus some very tasty hard rock riffing of the style that was evolving around the late '60s/early '70s, and the whole album is highly recommended! I was very happy to discover exclusive info that members and family of Euclid have chimed-in, responding to a blog post you can read at psychedelic-rocknroll (link)

Morning Dew - Gypsy (1970)
Here’s the longest track in the set, a brooding piece verging on early prog that conjures images of wind-swept plains in Spaghetti Westerns, then ramps things up toward the end. Really good stuff for a half-time change of pace. Kansas's Morning Dew only released one official album at the time, then some previously unreleased sessions in 1995, and it’s a listen of two halves. About half the album has the agreeably downer (proto-doom?) vibe of Gypsy, that other reviewers have compared to Grateful Dead, the other is conversely upbeat country-tinged pop with a sound much more of the ‘60s. It’s all solid though, and an album worth checking out. They have a wikipedia page (link).

Goodness And Mercy front
Goodness And Mercy - You Can't Make Me Love You
As a lot of you may know, one of my digging delights is finding Brass Rock albums (see vols 60 & 93) featuring tracks that rock much harder than the standard fare of Chicago, BS&T etc. Well, my searches through 1970 have come up trumps with this band, and this song hits the horn rock mother-load of good horns with fuzz guitar and the usual amusing, over the top lyrics & vocals. Here is some useful info paraphrased from RYM reviewer, ZenBa: Goodness And Mercy consisted of Dave Talisman (lead vocals), Peter Martin (organ-piano-background vocals), Joe Bellamy (bass-background vocals), Ric Miller (drums), Elvio Ditta (percussion-cowbell), John Trombatore (guitar), Harry Kim (trumpet), Jerry Grant (alto, tenor sax), and Steve Davis (trombone). Drawing influences from Blood, Sweat & Tears with fine vocals and superb playing.

Goodness And Mercy rear
The album was produced by former West Coast Pop Experimental Band member Bob Markley who along with another WCPEB member Michael Lloyd, produced several albums for MGM Records in the early seventies (among them, Tobias, Friends, and Moccasin). Markley also contributed some writing along with Shaun Harris (yet another WCPEB member). Markley was able to produce the band "Live" in the studio, utilizing two different West Coast studios, Larabee Sound on side one, and Harmony Recorders on side two. Some great tunes are featured on this LP, including "You Can't Make Me Love You”, "The Circus Man" and a cool cover of the Lesley Gore hit “You Don’t Own Me” (Originally written by Jack Dominilla at red telephone 66 blog)

Crowfoot LP
Crowfoot s/t LP
Crowfoot - No Don't Leave (1970)
Somewhat like Morning Dew’s inclusion, here’s another track that conveys heaviness through tone and mood as much as riffs. Songs like this often remind me of The Doors, and ‘No Don't Leave’ has a middle-eight where the guitar and organ take prominence, that would suit a Doors song. Crowfoot’s debut album has four decent tracks so it gets another ‘check it out’ seal of approval. Crowfoot was essentially the solo act of one Russell DaShiell, who had played lead guitar on Norman Greenbaum’s hit Spirit In The Sky, and the second Crowfoot album sounds twee and forgettable, like a totally different band, which it basically is. There’s more to to read about Florida’s Crowfoot at wikipedia (link).

Hammer LP front
Hammer LP front
Hammer - Hangover Horns (1970)
Here’s a fantastic track which heralds the sounds of the '70s more so than most in this set, especially in John DeRoberts’ vocals, which display some of the proto-power metal histrionics of singers such as Ian Gillan. The rest of this particular song also mirrors Deep Purple’s driving sound, down to Norman Landsberg’s hammond adding power to the main riff. The album as a whole is a mixed bag which will disappoint if you are looking for more like ‘Hangover Horns’. There are some other interesting prog tracks here such as ‘Death to a King’, but the band chose too much reliance on radio-friendly material to make the LP of major interest to heavy-hunters such as ourselves. Hangover Horns is excellent though, and one can only dream of what an entire album like this might have been. A lot more can be read about this San Francisco-based band at the eternally informative badcatrecords.com (link).

Dennis Linde - Linde Manor
Dennis Linde - The Fat Of The Land (1970)
Here’s another countrified fuzz rocker from a similar type of artist to this set’s earlier inclusion of Ray Kennedy. This track is a self-explanatory ode to freedom and life on the road, which beats you into submission with that rock solid riff. Again we have a solo album from a guy who's bread & butter was behind the scenes, this time as a writer. Dennis Linde has writing credits on almost 700 records, including a 1972 hit for Elvis. He did however release four solo records in the '70s and the one of interest to us is his first, Linde Manor, which amongst the polite country pop, contains three decent rockers. More can be read about Dennis on wikipedia (link)

A record of Pure Love
& Pleasure
Pure Love & Pleasure - Relax (1970)
Here’s a slab of somewhat doomy rock (for the USA in 1970 at least) from another band with only one album. The track is truly excellent and to my ears, has a particular English sound to it, it's the equal of most UK heavy bands in 1970 and could fit seamlessly into any albums from the likes of Hard Stuff to Incredible Hog. Although the rest of the LP is not in the same heavy style as ‘Relax’, it’s still an excellent record with shared female and male vocal duties that's an uplifting and consistently groovy listen, with a lot of instrumental variety, so it gets my thumbs-up. Some notable names from this apparently California-based band are Bob Bohanna, who was in the Bay Area's Morning Glory, and Rob Moitoza who joined Sweet Pain on their 2nd album, a band that started-out fairly heavy and may appear on TDATS in the future.

Elliott Randall
- Randall's Island LP
Elliott Randall - Bustin' My Brains (1970)
Here’s a hard to classify track with a heavy and unusual riff, it subverts expectations at every turn, so this has much more in common with jazz than hard rock, although it’s played with the typical instruments and effects of hard rock, and is a heavy delight throughout. Elliott Randall is a session guitarist who is most well known for his contributions on many records by Steely Dan, but he has played for a long list of other famous names. He made a solo record in 1970 which is most easily classifiable as jazz rock, and was clearly made in the spirit of adventure, humour and experimentation, reminding of Frank Zappa. I’d recommend this album for anyone into Zappa and anyone who likes this track. There’s another on the record called ‘Sour Flower’ which gets even heavier and really is quite a trip.....You can read much more at Elliot’s website (link).

Pacific Gas And Electric
Pacific Gas And Electric - Love, Love, Love, Love, Love (1970)
Here’s a big sounding tune with a Hendrixian feel. I love the way it builds, and the main riff reminds me of Hendrix devotee, Frank Marino, and specifically the Mahogany Rush track I included on the first Canadian TDATS (link).

PG&E probably don’t need much introduction to Americans, but as far as I know they aren't well known here in the UK. They were a quality band who touched on everything from blues, hard rock and soul to jazz rock, all with top class musicianship, with a big line-up including names coming and going from bands such as Canned Heat, James Gang, Stills-Young, Blues Image, Cactus, Rare Earth, Coven and Buddy Miles Express. So there’s a few TDATS names in there. Their album “Are You Ready” is a good place to start, having had their greatest success.  You can read a full PG&E bio and its individuals’ personal accounts via the magic of Way Back Machine, on their now defunct web site (link).

'Sweet Marie 1' LP front
Sweet Marie - Dr. Feelgood (1970)
And we end on a great funky little number, seemingly singing the praises of the herb, the muse of many a great rock song, damn, even the name Sweet Marie is probably in honour too. Just wait for the glorious fuzz break in this song, I guarantee you’ll dig it. They released two albums which are an accessible mix of pop and funk rock, with a handful of bangers on each one. Thanks to the ever-informative psychedelicbabymag.com for this account, where you can read more (link). Formed in 1969 when bassist/vocalist/songwriter Prince Teddy approached guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Sonny Lathrop and drummer/vocalist Willy Bims, who had been the drummer for songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart and thus played on many hit records of the 1960s including those of The Monkees, to form a band. 

The group started playing after hours gigs in Hollywood and by 1970 had recorded ‘Sweet Marie 1’ at Commercial Recording Company, Honolulu, HI working with engineer Ken Hiller.  The band produced, arranged and played all the instruments and sang all the vocals on the LP.  Sweet Marie released the single ‘Remember Mary’ c/w ‘Don’t You Understand’ on the Yard Bird label in 1970 and the single did extremely well on the Hawaiian charts and even made waves in several states within the US.  The a-side is evidence of the huge influence Jimi Hendrix had on the band, Lathrop in particular, with its references to ‘Foxy Lady’, ‘Fire’ and ‘The Wind Cries Mary’.

That wraps it up for this volume. Until next time, so long, folks!
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Further listening:
The Day After The Sabbath 44: Ridin' High [first all-American collection]
The Day After The Sabbath 117: Boston Tea Party, 'Bosstown Sound' tribute
The Day After The Sabbath 79: Dusty Track [second Heavy Blues special]
 

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