12-3-09 Time Machine: 1969 #3
I have been ‘reading’ the Japanese magazine “Strange Days” for all of 2009. A regular feature of this magazine has been “Time Machine – 40 Years Ago” – listing records all released in 1969.
Strange Days 2009.07 lists “May 1969 Albums” as John Lennon & Yoko Ono “Unfinished Music No. 2 – Life With The Lions) (Zapple
I loved Procol Harum and The Who. “Tommy” drove us all nuts, making me go back and find inexpensive mono LP’s of “Happy Jack” and “The Who Sell Out”. I actually bought these albums at the time “with my own money”. “A Salty Dog” by Procol Harum has not left my turntable for 40 years now. What are Keith Reid’s lyrics on about? A friend of mine bought these dodgy Beatles’ solo albums, so I stayed away. I didn’t hear Scaffold for another few years, but loved ‘em totally when I did. The Hollies were off my radar by 1969 – relegated to being a
Strange Days 2009.08 lists “June 1969 Albums” as Crosby Stills & Nash – self-titled album (Atlantic US SD 8229), Savoy Brown “Blue Matter” (Decca UK SKL 4994), Amen Corner “The National Welsh Coast Live Explosion Company” (Immediate UK IMSP 023), The Casuals “Hour World (Decca UK SKL-R 5001) and in their footnotes (but not on their list), they mention Pete Brown & The Battered Ornaments “A Meal You Can Shake Hands With In The Dark” (Harvest UK SHVL 752).
You couldn’t not hear Crosby Stills & Nash in 1969! The FM hippie radio was playing them, ‘everybody’ was talking about them in the rock press and hippie record stores – I knew Steve Stills from Buffalo Springfield and David Crosby from The Byrds – oh, and the guy from The Hollies. I definitely heard Savoy Brown on the FM radio – “Train To Nowhere”, without a doubt. I bought a 45 of it! Did not hear Amen Corner or The Casuals (I still don’t know much about The Casuals!). I saw the gorgeous Mal Dean covers of the Pete Brown albums on the innersleeves found in Harvest UK LP’s, so I knew I had to have ‘em – after all, Mr. Brown (who I now count as a friend of 20+ years) wrote lots of lyrics for the much-lamented Cream.
As I write briefly about these 1969 releases, I recognize that these are records still very much in my consciousness, present tense. You must hear The Scaffold! Yes, “Tommy” by The Who is over-rated, but the SACD of it sounds AMAZING. Procol Harum are one my top 5 British artists, and I recommend “A Salty Dog” to you unconditionally. For Pete Brown (& Piblokto!), please try and hear “Things May Come and Things May Go, But The Art School Dance Goes On Forever” (1970).