Other than some mystical musings by the Moody Blues, I can think of only one album in my entire collection with a poem on it. That would be Chicago III. The first track on side four is a poem called “When All The Laughter Dies in Sorrow.” It’s read by Robert Lamm and was written by a guy named Kendrew Lascelles. Lascelles is an English writer best known for an anti-war poem called “The Box” which he recited once on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, around 1971. John Denver recited it for the last track of his album Poems, Prayers, and Promises. If you’re interested, you can find that on You Tube. In any event, today’s batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl revolves around a mix I used to do back in the day where I took “When All The Laughter Dies in Sorrow” and played it over Steve Miller’s “Space Intro” timed so that the poem ends just as “Fly Like an Eagle” begins.
As for the rest of the set, it’s a completely characteristic combo platter of FM rock classics, some of which were hits, some of which weren’t. Since I don’t need to tell you about the hits, I’ll tell you about The Sopwith Camel instead. According to their web site it was the second Bay Area band signed to a national record label, the first being Jefferson Airplane and the third being the Grateful Dead. Sopwith Camel had one hit with a kitchy little number called “Hello Hello” when they recorded for the Kama Sutra label. A couple of years later, on Warner Brothers, they released The Miraculous Hump Returns From the Moon from which we’ll hear a song called “Fazon.” But first, some Pink Floyd. Depending on how you look at it, there are either three songs titled “Another Brick in the Wall” or there’s one song by title, done in three parts. “Another Brick in the Wall (part 2)” was a huge single, topping the charts in 1980, the most over-played Pink Floyd song since “Money.” And that’s just one of the reasons we’re going to play “Part 1” instead.
|Pink Floyd||Another Brick in the Wall (part 1)|
|Steve Miller Band||Space Intro|
|Chicago||When All the Laughter Dies in Sorrow|
|Steve Miller||Fly Like an Eagle|
|Joni Mitchell||Just Like This Train|
|Canned Heat||On the Road Again|
Wrapping up a set that sounds like FM rock radio on a Saturday afternoon circa 1970, at least there at the end, that’s Donovan with the Jeff Beck group doing “Barabajagal” a single that made it all the way up to #36. Before that, another FM rock classic that crossed over to AM success, Canned Heat’s “On the Road Again” made it to #16 on the charts. Now my sources are conflicted when it comes to whether or not “Nature’s Way” was released as a single. But even if it wasn’t, it got enough air play on FM radio to make you think it had been. That’s from Spirit’s celebrated album The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus. Before that, a couple of songs that definitely weren’t released as singles: Joni Mitchell’s “Just Like This Train.” And “Fazon” by the Bay Area band, The Sopwith Camel from their album The Miraculous Hump Returns From the Moon which was best described by Mark Allen for the All Music Guide, thusly: “Imagine a jazzy John Sebastian who’s into Eastern culture and vaudeville. This is pleasant, unambitious hippie groove music for a lazy, sunny afternoon. If you’re in that mood, it will take you to a warm, fuzzy place.” Ain’t that the truth?
At the top of the set, also not released as a single, “Another Brick in the Wall (part 1).” Part 2 was a single, in fact it was a #1. We followed the Floyd with a favorite old mix of mine: we took the poem “When All the Laughter Dies in Sorrow” from Chicago’s third album and played it over Steve Miller’s “Space Intro” before going into his big hit, “Fly Like An Eagle.” Well it’s like Steve said, time keeps on slippin’ slippin’ slippin’ into the future which is where you’ll find me, in the Way Back Studios. I’m Bill Fitzhugh. Thanks for listening. I’ll be back with another batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl before you know it, right here in the Deep Tracks.