It must have been the year before last when I was enjoying a madcap musical romp through Thailand and its wildly imaginative bootleg EP scene — 7-inch picture sleeves using filched images, with four songs often (but not always) by four different artists, produced in renegade fashion without regard for legal or copyright considerations [see “Oddball Beatles EPs Worldwide“]. It was early 2018, most likely, when I made that fateful decision to print out a decent quality scan of a bootleg EP that had made the curious call to bring together the bubblegum sounds of The Archies and 1910 Fruitgum Co. (plus early Dave Clark Five) with “agit-pop” from The Rolling Stones, “Street Fighting Man” — a song that was banned from radio (and whose provocative sleeve was immediately withdrawn) in 1968, a year in which assassination and rioting dominated headlines.
Don’t recall why I printed out this image in the first place, but here’s the weird thing — Located this printout in my “scratch paper” pile and began to use it for correspondence, when the librarian in me prompted me to search the 45Cat database to affirm its existence but could no longer find it there … or anywhere else on the Internet! This scanned image, therefore, is the world’s only proof of a bootleg EP from Thailand that was almost certainly released in 1968, possibly 1969.
Did I somehow dream up this EP release – ColiseumCLS 1080 – or was it, in fact, actually birthed? 45Cat allows users to easily browse a list of cataloged Coliseum releases, which has entries for two somewhat nearby catalog numbers, CLS 1087 (from 1969, we think) and CLS 1099 (released 1968, confusingly).
Evidenceof Coliseum CLS 1080 EP’sexistence: If you Google the terms Coliseum + Archies + “CLS 1080” (as of October 10, 2019), Bill Rousell‘s music sales website will turn up in the search results, with a sales listing for this EP that names the four tracks in identical order.
Furthermore, if you poke around 45Cat’s database in the section tagged as “Poland,” you will quickly discover a vast underworld of “postcard discs” — sometimes plain, but often as not, “old-timey” renderings and travel scenes, as well as modernist art images, with one and sometimes two songs on a single-sided “sound postcard”!
It still boggles my mind that Ronco somehow found a way to compile an album featuring tracks from top pop acts – Jimi Hendrix, Buffalo Springfield, The Beatles, and the Byrds – one would not normally associate with TV-advertised hits labels, such as Ronco.
Jimi Hendrix – third artist listed after The Beatles
In light of this knowledge I began to wonder: Is it possible Jimi Hendrix has appeared on a K-Tel album?
Answer — Yes! K-Tel Japan would include “Purple Haze” on 1971’s 20 Dynamic Hits – an album that would also feature a Beatles track (admittedly, 1961’s “My Bonnie” with singer, Tony Sheridan).
Perhaps the strangest release of all would be K-Tel Australia’s The Legend of Hendrixalbum (date unknown).
3rd known photo of Hendrix on a K-Tel album cover
18 tracks in all – note the curious decision to include a Noel Redding composition, “She’s So Fine” (fittingly, the final selection):
1. Hey Joe
2. Purple Haze
3. The Wind Cries Mary
4. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp
5. Stone Free Again
6. All Along The Watchtower
7. Foxy Lady
8. Voodoo Chile
9. Crosstown Traffic
11. Like A Rolling Stone
12. Ezy Rider
14. Johnny B Goode
15. Blue Suede Shoes
16. Gypsy Eyes
18. She’s So Fine
“She’s So Fine” Noel Redding’s Jimi Hendrix Experience 1967
Of course, all of this begs the question — why no Hendrix tracks on US K-Tel releases? Was Warner Brothers afraid that the appearance of a Hendrix track on a K-Tel album might inflict damage on his viability in the marketplace, given the snobby rock press?
“My Bonnie” on this 1972 4-LP set = only US K-Tel LP Release to feature The Beatles!
The Stones on K-Tel: The Truth Is Out There
1982 would prove to be the year the band made the momentous decision that permitted K-Tel UK/Ireland to sell a 2-LP (mostly monophonic) “greats”-only package, Story of the Stones, in Great Britain, as well as Spain, Portugal and (“unofficially”) Japan and Singapore.
Track listing: any quibbles, Stones fans?
The following year, the Stones’ Organization then made the staggering decision to allow “Satisfaction” the honor of kicking off K-Tel’s Best Party Album in the World — a various artists release that would also include “Get Off My Cloud”!
Any Other Ronco LPs with Hendrix Tracks?
Q: Besides Do It Now, are there any other Ronco LPs that feature Jimi Hendrix tracks?
A: Yes! “All Along the Watchtower” would join 43 of its closest friends for Ronco UK’s soundtrack to the film, Stardust, from 1974.
Additionally, in 1974 Ronco Netherlands would release 44 Golden Hits of the Sixties, a 2-LP set that included (you guessed it) “All Along the Watchtower.”
In 2016, Heritage Auctions (“the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer”) sold two acetates of Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland album — note that the Columbia label for the left image reads “Electric Landlady“(!)
double-Click on image for Super-maximum resolution
“Electric Landlady”: Inspiration for Kirsty MacColl’s 1991 album
In the inevitable Beatles vs. Stones (straw man) debate, I intensely resent having to pick sides, since the very idea of one without the other is laughable at best. Nevertheless, this lifelong Beatles fan takes a certain fiendish thrill in devoting an entire blog post to those albums in which non-Stones groups play nothing but Rolling Stones tunes.
Kicking off this Stones-ploitation trend, appropriately enough, is their manager and svengali, Andrew Loog Oldham, who would arrange “polite” instrumental versions of early Stones songs for 1965’s The Rolling Stones Songbook under the name Andrew Oldham Orchestra. The Verve, you may recall, sampled the album’s final cut – “The Last Time” – for use in the dramatic opening strains of their huge 1997 hit “Bitter Sweet Symphony” but would not get to enjoy any of the royalties generated (sales, Nike ads, sporting event performances) due to the hardball tactics of the composition’s holder of copyright, ABKCO’s Allen Klein — as this exclusive excerpt from Fred Goodman’s new biography makes clear.
Joe Pass – as noted early in this blog’s existence – would release his seminal survey of mid-60s Stones, Stones Jazz, the following year in 1966. But a couple of other notable ‘Stones-centric’ albums would hit the marketplace that same year: (a) Baroque ‘n’ Stones by The New Renaissance Society and (b) A Tribute to The Rolling Stones by The Pupils.
Four years hence,The Winstons would record their unabashed tribute to the Rolling Stones, notable primarily for its provocative “jail bait” cover, while two years later, The Collection would issue the only album of their career — a musical salute to the Stones, naturally — with a similarly risque front cover image.
The Winstons 1970 The Collection 1972
1972 would also bear witness to one more cash-in effort, Rolling Stones Vol. 2 (unclear whether Vol. 1 was ever issued), by the confusingly-possessive Monkey’s Pop Group, whose only known LP was issued on French label, Les Tréteaux.1973 would bring five (count ’em) Rolling Stone tribute albums, including —
(1) a pair of delightfully kitschy covers from the “group” Rockery:
(5) a tribute album by a group of Dutch musicians who departed at recording’s end with such frenzied haste, history never had a chance to record their identity:By the 1980s, unfortunately, it was clear that Stones-ploitation’s Golden Age had passed. Flash would issue Keep on Rolling in 1981 – impressively on CBS imprint, Epic – while that same year would see the release of Rolling Hits’ one and only album, Rolling Hits Medley, incredibly on major labels (Mercury, Polydor, Philips) in at least 10 countries, including Peru.
I was perhaps five when I encountered my first soundalike cash-in album in the form of a Beatle knockoff group, The Liverpools (as previously recounted), and then again not long after when I got suckered by one of those TV ads for 18 Golden Hits of 1971, as rendered by The Sound Effects (though it is possible I fell for the previous year’s 18 Golden Hits of 1970, which does not even bear the name of the artist-for-hire).
UDiscoverMusic, similarly, writes of a curious and confounding time “when cut-price soundalike recordings ruled the British charts” — 45 years ago, to be precise, when there was a brief change in the chart eligibility rules, and before you knew it, Top of the Pops 18 was dislodging The Moody Blues’ Every Good Boy Deserves Favour from the #1 spot!
Richie Unterberger confirmed my hunch in his review of Rolling Stones B-side “Sad Day” for AllMusic:
“‘Sad Day’ is one of the least-known early Rolling Stones songs. It was never even issued in their native U.K. until 1973, and it didn’t make it onto an American album until it appeared on the 1989 box set Singles Collection: The London Years.”
The song originally came to my attention due to the use of the quirky and futuristic “Rugby” typeface on a 7-inch picture sleeve released in Italy — eight years after it was recorded.
Mick Jagger: Vocals Keith Richards: Guitar & Backing Vocals Brian Jones: Guitar Bill Wyman: Bass Charlie Watts: Drums Ian Stewart: Organ Jack Nitzsche: Piano & “Nitzsche-phone”
Even more amusing to note that “Sad Day” would be the A-side (!) in 1973 over “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” not only in Italy but all of the other international markets indicated below — except Japan, for reasons that will likely never be known.
Those who pay attention to detail are no doubt wondering – what, uh, is a “Nitzsche-phone”? As former Stones manager (and co-founder of the UK’s great indie label, Immediate) Andrew Loog Oldham would explain in an obituary written for Gadfly Online:
“And then there was the nitzschephone, that mythical instrument! I made that up for the credits on those Stones albums—it was just a regular piano (or maybe an organ) miked differently. It was all part of this package that was created around the Stones. People believed it existed. The idea was meant to be: ‘My god, they’ve had to invent new instruments to capture this new sound they hear in their brains.’ And they were inventing fresh sounds with old toys—therefore, it deserved to be highlighted—it was the read-up of creation, of imagination—getting credit for a job well done. I mean you wouldn’t, for instance, have found a “nitzschephone” on a Freddie and the Dreamers record.”
Kevin Swift would chronicle this December, 1965 recording session at RCA’s Hollywood Studio in a 1966 issue of Beat Instrumental (via Ian Stewart Sixth Stone music blog):
“Keith Richards and Mick Jagger acted as musical directors until the others got the gist of the numbers and then it was a free-for-all with everyone chipping in with their own particular ideas. Charlie Watts was in great form and played the bongos and conga drums like a native. He also tried his hand on a set of gigantic timpani which an orchestra had left behind. Brian Jones, Stu and American session player Jack Nitzsche took it in turns to play the harpsichord, piano or organ. Brian told me that there is a keyboard instrument on every track recorded. He and Stu handled the groovy numbers while Jack Nitzsche played on the slower tracks.
On ‘Sad Day’ and ‘Ride On Baby‘, two rather obscure tracks dating from these December 1965 sessions, Ian Stewart and Jack Nitzsche even handle the keys together. Nitzsche plays some piano on both tracks, while Stu plays piano on ‘Ride On Baby’ and organ on ‘Sad Day’, some kind of a rocked-up ballad, which ended up as the US flip-side for the band’s next single release, ’19th Nervous Breakdown’.”
Greg Prevost, in 2014’s Rolling Stones Gear, would pull back the lens and reveal the carnival-like atmosphere surrounding the Stones on their musically fruitful recording expedition to Hollywood (courtesy of Rock N Roll Freaks music blog):
“Tiger Beat magazine reported: ‘The normally quiet corner of Sunset and Ivar was transformed into a wild impromptu teenage street carnival for days and nights while the Rolling Stones were taping in the RCA-Victor building there.’ Visitors at the session read like a Hollywood ‘Who’s Who,’ and, to make things even more chaotic, the Monkees were recording in another RCA studio. DJ and Hollywood hipster Rodney Bingenheimer, who was attending the Monkees session, wandered into the Stones’ studio and recalled: ‘It was chaos. It was very crowded. There were a lot of kids outside, hanging around, a lot of kids everywhere. Someone brought a big white duck into the studio, and it was wandering around! Brian Wilson was there too; the Stones invited him down . . . As all this is going on, The Monkees were recording in the same studio at the same time as the Stones were recording. The Stones in one studio at RCA, The Monkees in another.’”
“Sad day indeed, oh my little brothers. This track dates from 1966, when it was the American B-side of ’19th Nervous Breakdown’, and apart from Jagger’s singing and a couple nice lyric touches, it doesn’t really stand out. It’s a little laid-back by current Stones standards, and presumably Brian Jones [Jack Nitzsche] is responsible for the electric piano touches. I can’t see Mick, Keith, and the lads being too happy about this resurrected oldie. The B-side is ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ which was on the B-side of ‘Honky Tonk Women’. For archivists only.”
Puzzled by other similarly dismissive statements made online about “Sad Day” – a song that gets better with each listen – Zero to 180 would help settle the matter by bringing in 45s historian extraordinaire, So Many Records So Little Time, to speak authoritatively on the legacy of this proud and mighty B-side:
“A terribly under rated and overlooked Rolling Stones classic, ‘Sad Day’ got played as much as A side ’19th Nervous Breakdown’ in my bedroom growing up. It wasn’t even name checked on the US picture sleeve [below], and never included as part of a proper album.
Someone at Decca UK had the seemingly good sense/terrible judgement to make it a British A side in April ’73. Huh? Must have been a featured track on one of the many, theme-less compilations Decca were shoveling out at the time.
Corinne hates that I put my foot down recently and situated a small, 45 only, early 60′s RCA stacker on the headboard of the awesome blond Hollywood bedroom set I found at a house sale almost twenty years ago, in factory fresh condition. And ‘Sad Day’ has gotten many more plays in the past few weeks than it’s equally fantastic A side. Just for the record.
Always scour sleeves in used vinyl shops for jukebox tabs. It’s amazing the ones you will find, and the shops could care less about them. A warning though, once you start you’ll have a hard time stopping.”
Remember the Las Vegas Roulette record with the “multi-groove” in which the tonearm stylus randomly selects (at least, in theory) one of 38 separate grooves – one for each slot on the roulette wheel – so as to allow partygoers the ability to play roulette from the comfort of home? That’s right, you, too, can be the croupier. Spoiler: The house wins. *(Link to original piece)
In 1980, Mad Magazine pulled off an even more ambitious vinyl feat: a “multi-groove” flexi-disc! 45Cat’s 23skidoo rightly emphasizes:
“A random groove record. A different ending (usually) is heard each time the record is played. Very rare for a flexi-disc to have this feature.”
“It’s a Super Spectacular Day” [all 8 endings] Frank Jacobs & Norm Blagman 1980
“Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in America! And in order to thoroughly commemorate, celebrate, salute and pay tribute to this historic event, we present the only time that all four Beatles appeared on our cover [September, 1968 cover above with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi] — which is still one more MAD cover than the Rolling Stones ever had!”
Mad Magazine’s Don Martin gets in on the act
Management requires I insert a plug for Zero to 180‘s Facebook page – like it or else!
According to Video Beat, Brian Jones wrote this Rolling Stones Rice Krispies jingle (shown only in the UK) with the J. Walter Thompson ad agency, who created this 30-second spoof of pop music TV show, Juke Box Jury:
“On Sunday’s Mad Men, Heinz executive Raymond Geiger (John Sloman) suggests to Don Draper (Jon Hamm) that he get the Rolling Stones to sing a version of ‘Heinz is on my side’ set to their hit song ‘Time Is on My Side’ for the commercial promoting the company’s baked beans.
Draper and Harry Crane (Rich Sommer) set off in pursuit of the Rolling Stones, managing to set up a meeting backstage at their concert at the Forest Hills Tennis Club. Don is dubious but Harry says, ‘The manager sounded greedy.’
Once they arrive at the concert, the meeting keeps getting delayed and Harry and Don end up talking to a couple of college women who managed to get backstage. When one expresses skepticism to Don that the Stones would do a commercial, he says, ‘They did one for cereal in England … three years ago.’ The coed rolls her eyes.”
It’s heartening to see how Vashti Bunyan‘s belated recognition – some thirty years or so after the release of her 1970 debut album, Just Another Diamond Day – has inspired her to record again, resulting in 2005’s well-received, Lookaftering, and this year’s, Heartleap.
The articles I’ve read about Vashti Bunyan’s unexpected artistic resurgence have given me the distinct impression of Just Another Diamond Day being the starting point of her career. I was a little taken aback, therefore, when I saw Vashti’s name on a 1965 Jagger-Richards song in Don’t Stay Up Too Late‘s very thoughtful (and poetic) “100 Great Singles of the 1960s (That Haven’t Been Played to Death on Oldies Radio)”:
“Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind” Vashti Bunyan 1965
Decca would release this Andrew Loog Oldham-produced 45 in May, 1965 in the UK only.
Joan Baez – with the very able assistance of Nashville’s finest sidemen – produces a soulful and tastefully understated cover of a classic Rolling Stones tune from their Beggars Banquet album:
Joan’s version was included on her 1969 Vanguard album, One Day at a Time, and was the A-side of a single for both the U.S. and German markets.
Grady Martin: Electric guitar & sitar, dobro
Hal Rugg: Steel guitar, dobro
Pete Drake: Steel guitar
Harold Bradley: Bass guitar
Norbert Putnam: Electric bass
Junior Huskey: String bass
Jerry Reed: Fingerpicking & rhythm guitar
Pete Wade: High rhythm guitar
Jerry Shook: Rhythm guitar
Tommy Jackson: Fiddle & viola
Buddy Spicher: Fiddle & viola
Hargus Robbins: Piano
Kenny Buttrey: Drums
Charlie McCoy: Organ, harmonica & vibes
David Briggs: Piano & harpsichord
If you search the web for information about a 1966 album on the World Pacific label by jazz guitar great, Joe Pass – The Stones Jazz – you will generally see uniform agreement that this album was recorded on July 20, 1966. I love that: one day to record an entire album. Around this same time period, the Beatles had just finished recording an album – Revolver – that had taken 77 times longer than The Stones Jazz to record.
On the back cover there are 10 Stones songs listed – all but one of them from their fertile 1965-1966 period:
“Lady Jane”; “I Am Waiting”; “19th Nervous Breakdown”; “Not Fade Away”; “As Tears Go By”; “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”; “Play With Fire”; “Paint It, Black”; “What a Shame”; and “Mother’s Little Helper.”
Mysteriously, the 11th song is not even mentioned, even though it’s the best song on the album – and the only Joe Pass original, “Stones Jazz”:
It’s nice to see four trombone players listed on the album credits with tenor sax being the only other member of the horn section. Album engineered by Bruce Botnick.
Joe Pass: Guitar Dennis Budimir: Guitar John Pisano: Guitar Ray Brown: Bass John Guerin: Drums Victor Feldman: Percussion Bob Florence: Piano Bill Perkins: Tenor Sax Milt Bernhardt: Trombone Dick Hamilton: Trombone Herbie Harper: Trombone Gale Martin: Trombone