“Donovan never really gets the credit he deserves for kicking the future into motion. I’ve said that already, I know. But seriously, here he is detailing an acid trip in all its cool-and-gone poetic glory at least half a year in advance of the Beatles Sgt Pepper. And better yet, he keeps the groove bluesy, the whole thing strutting comfortably along, the sunshine superman in full cosmic bloom. Nothing could stop him but a drug bust, which is precisely what happened.” (Philip Random)
“It’s 1970, there’s a new decade on the world, and with the Beatles officially broken up, there’s no more important band on the planet than Crosby Stills Nash + Young. At least that’s what Rog thought (boyfriend of my best friend’s big sister), who actually read Rolling Stone magazine and stuff like that. Their album of the moment was Déjà Vu and I guess eleven year old me liked some of it (the hits mostly). But the title track eluded me. Too smooth, I guess, and complicated. But jump ahead a few years, maybe halfway through high school, and it finally got me – so much happening in terms of shades and harmonies and changes, the music itself like a restless, living creature. Marijuana was involved.” (Philip Random)
“I’m twelve years old. It’s 1972 and there’s this band I keep hearing on the radio who can’t be the Beatles, because the Beatles broke up two years ago, but they sure sound like the Beatles. Bad-something. And then my friend Chris buys their latest single. It’s called Baby Blue, and it’s official. This band is called Badfinger. Maybe three years later, I’m finally buying albums on a regular basis, and one that I’m always looking for is Badfinger’s Straight Up (the one with Baby Blue on it). “Good luck finding that,” says a record store guy one day. “It’s impossible to find ever since Apple went under.” Which was not entirely accurate. I found Straight Up a few times over the years, used and stupidly expensive. Then finally, early-90s sometime, there it was at a flea market, cover a bit hacked but the vinyl itself looked okay. The weird thing is, the song that immediately grabbed then thirty-something me wasn’t Baby Blue, but Perfection. Solid sort of mid-tempo rock, with lyrics you actually heard: There’s no good revolution – just power changing hands – There is no straight solution – Except to understand. True enough and yet all too sad given the tragedies that tore Badfinger to pieces. All the more reason to keep playing the records, I guess.” (Philip Random)
The Solid Time of Change is our overlong yet incomplete history of the so-called Prog Rock era – 661 selections from 1965 through 1979 with which we hope to do justice to a strange and ambitious time indeed, musically speaking.
Part Forty-Six of the journey went as follows (38-29):
Donovan – hurdy gurdy man
Aphrodite’s Child – the four horsemen
Aphrodite’s Child – all the seats were occupied
Mothers of Invention – brown shoes don’t make it
Beatles – I am the Walrus
Genesis – dancing with the moonlit knight
Van Morrison – astral weeks
Gentle Giant – knots
King Crimson – 21st Century schizoid man
Mike Oldfield – Ommadawn [part 1]
Fresh episodes air pretty much every Saturday night, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.
The story on the Zombies is that they’d broken up before their best stuff was ever even released. A classic case of being too far ahead of the curve as a track like Indication indicates, a pumped up ride with some killer keyboards at the heart of it all, and all months before the Beatles had gotten around to releasing Revolver. The upside being that we’ve never really grown tired of it.
“Believe it or not, it was actually half-way normal in certain circles to hate the Beatles at a certain point in the later 1980s, mainly due to twenty plus years of over-adulation, overexposure, over-everything. I remember one guy in particular, Ray, who had it narrowed down to only one song, the only Beatles track he could abide anymore, and he didn’t even know the title, just ‘from the White album, I think, the one about Sir Walter Raleigh being a stupid git for bringing tobacco to England.’ Ray was trying to quit smoking at the time, suffering insomnia as a result, so he was miles past pleasantries. The Winter of Hate, we called it – those bile filled seasons of righteous aggravation and antipathy. The polar opposite of the Summer of Love. Ronald Reagan was also to blame.” (Philip Random)
“To my ears, the split that eventually sank the Beatles was evident as early as 1965-66. Because while Paul was getting all moist about Yesterday, John was penning a psychedelic love letter to lethargy, just wanting to roll over and sleep for a few more hours. Which is why John will always be cooler, better than Paul. Or as my friend Tim used to say, the key question isn’t, who do you like better, the Beatles or the Stones — it’s John or Paul? And anyone who says Paul needs immediate help.” (Philip Random)
“Speaking of darkness, I would’ve been eleven when George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass hit the world (and hit it did). The Beatles had just broken up and it was the first serious indication that all was not lost. The big singles were My Sweet Lord and What Is Life, but I got to hear the whole sprawling six-sided thing because my cousin got it for Christmas. I wouldn’t say I understood a song like Beware of Darkness but I got it anyway. That is, who cared about the specifics of the words? The title and mournful tone were enough, speaking volumes about the nature of a messed up world, all that hungry darkness floating around, wanting a piece of me.” (Philip Random)