Summer of Love 40th Anniversary: Deep Cuts

Summer of Love
Deep Cuts

Music Home / Bullz-Eye Home

We’ll be honest: the best claim that anyone on the BE staff can make to being around for the Summer of Love was that they had been born before 1967 (three writers, count ‘em). Still, the music of the ‘60s had a profound impact for a good 20 years after the decade ended, so the fact that most of us weren’t there doesn’t mean we don’t remember. Bullz-Eye pores through their record collections (which, in some cases, actually includes vinyl records) to assemble a list of their favorite songs from the time where everyone was in love, man. Or high. Or possibly both.

"Bluebird,” Buffalo Springfield (Buffalo Springfield Again)
From their seminal second album Buffalo Springfield Again, this song is about Stephen Stills then-lover Judy Collins, also the subject of the more-famous CSN Stills song “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” On the album it’s a great song; in concert it became a phenomenal extended jam session.  – Una Persson

"Painter Man," The Creation (We are Paintermen)
This almost-forgotten mod group from ‘60s Swinging London was every bit as good as their peers the Who and the Kinks, but for some reason have only started achieving cult status since the mid-‘80s. The Creation are most famous for their pop-art shenanigans, including lead guitarist Eddie Phillips’ trademark of playing his instrument with a violin bow (an idea Jimmy Page copped to much greater acclaim), which can be heard in the second half of this song.  – Una Persson

“Dark Side of the Mushroom,” The Chocolate Watchband (No Way Out)
A staple of just about every version of the Nuggets set that’s ever come out, The Chocolate Watchband are usually mentioned hand in hand with their classic ’67 single, “Are You Gonna Be There (At the Love-In),” but this fuzz-laden instrumental from their debut album is equally timeless…well, depending on your tastes, of course. – Will Harris

Jimi Hendrix"Manic Depression," Jimi Hendrix (Are You Experienced)
Somehow, Jimi Hendrix made manic depression sound like a good thing. Actually, Hendrix could make anything sound cool, and not just because he wore funky headbands and played the lefty guitar like a man possessed. He just had a cool voice and delivered his songs smoothly, no matter what the subject matter or tempo. This song wasn’t the most recognized on an album that featured “Purple Haze” and “Hey Joe,” but it’s just as good.  – Mike Farley

“Death of a Clown,” The Kinks
(Something Else by the Kinks)

Sung (and co-written!) by guitarist Dave Davies – which is interesting enough, given that big brother Ray, for all intents and purposes, was the Kinks – this song became something of a hit for Dave, so much so that he began work on a solo career (not that it amounted to anything). Oddly enough, this song was released as a Dave Davies solo single, but then included, months later, on the Kinks’ Something Else album.  – Una Persson

“It’s Now Winter’s Day,” Tommy Roe (It’s Now Winter’s Day)
If you only know Tommy Roe for the stuff of his that you hear on oldies radio stations nowadays, you’re not giving the man his due. After scoring a big hit with “Sweet Pea,” Roe teamed up with the legendary Curt Boettcher to record an album, and although it was, compared to its predecessor, a flop, It’s Now Winter’s Day is one of those records that’s worthy of applause if only because it found an artist stepping outside his commercial comfort zone and trying something different. The title cut is probably the most interesting experiment of the bunch, with Boettcher providing appropriately icy instrumentation behind Roe’s forlorn vocals. – Will Harris

"Dear Mr. Fantasy," Traffic (Mr. Fantasy)
Steve Winwood was everywhere in the Summer of Love, landing hits with the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic. Pretty good for an organ player with a nasal voice faking blues and soul with a British accent. In Traffic, his graceful organ lines brought a jazzy sophistication to the radio airwaves and signaled the earliest beginnings of progressive rock at a time when musicians were making their living off simple, folky pop.  – Mojo Flucke, PhD

“Funky Broadway,” Wilson Pickett (The Sound of Wilson Pickett)
It wasn’t all folk-rock and psychedelia during the summer of ’67. Soul and R&B made up as much of the soundtrack as all that hippy-dippy stuff. And this classic is a perfect example.  – Una Persson

“Windows and Doors,” Jameson (Color Me In)
Another Curt Boettcher production? You bet. I didn’t even know who the guy was until I first heard Sagittarius’s “My World Fell Down,” but after doing so, I immediately knew I was hearing someone who had production skills that were on par with Brian Wilson. (Okay, actually, the first thing I thought was that I was actually hearing a Brian Wilson production, but that doesn’t disprove my premise that Boettcher’s got mad skills.) Unfortunately, despite Boettcher’s assistance, Jameson – full name Robert Parker Jameson – was never a tremendous commercial success. It’s a shame he didn’t at least to loan out a few of these songs to other artists; in particular, you can easily imagine “Color Me In” being taken sky-high in the charts by, say, the Monkees. (It’s got a slight “I’m A Believer” feel to it.) – Will Harris

“Driftin’ and Driftin’,” Butterfield Blues Band (The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw)
Blues rockers were in abundance in ’67, and this tune represents just fine. It’s one of many fine cuts off of the BBB’s ’67 album The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw (a reference to Elvin Bishop, whose role shifted to lead guitarist after Mike Bloomfield left the band).  – Una Persson

The Beatles during an interview“Your Mother Should Know,” The Beatles (Magical Mystery Tour)
We admit that there really are no Beatles songs from 1967 that escaped the attention of, well, anyone, but this little dancehall ditty by Sir Paul comes as close as anything. The most surprising thing about this happy little song (“Let’s all get up and dance to a song that was a hit before your mother was born”) is how utterly melancholy it is. Wasn’t it John’s responsibility to write the sad songs about his mother?  – David Medsker

“Story of My Life,” Canned Heat (Canned Heat)
From their ’67 debut – released after their blistering appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival that summer – these blues-rockers helped bring the electric blues (and the careers of some of the original old bluesmen) to the masses in the Summer of Love.  – Una Persson

“The Intrepid Balloonist’s Handbook, Vol. 1,” Blossom Toes (We Are Ever So Clean)
I’m not going to lie to you: for several years, the only song I knew by this band was “When the Alarm Clock Rings,” which had appeared on the second Nuggets box set. I had, however, continued to see the band’s name pop up in discussions about ‘60s psychedelia, so when reports began to surface about the Blossom Toes back catalog being reissued, I knew I had to check them out. Given the overall quality of We Are Ever So Clean (their debut) and the band’s lack of commercial success in the U.S., it would’ve been safe to include this entire album on a list of 1967’s best Deep Cuts, but I’m opting for this one because it’s got one of those titles that screams, “Only in swinging ‘60s Britain.” – Will Harris

“Ye Olde Toffee Shoppe,” The Hollies (Evolution)
Not a Graham Gouldman composition, but an incredible simulation! Evolution was a bit of an odd record for the Hollies, given that no song from the album ever saw release as a single in the UK, but it’s still one of the band’s strongest releases. The title and feel of this song are both such that only a British band could get away with them, but the baroque instrumentation makes it a quaint and fun listen. – Will Harris

“Don’t Know What I’m Gonna Do,” Harumi (Harumi)
What can you say about a Japanese flower-pop artist whose history is so couched in mystery that even the 2007 reissue of his album only contains a 1989 quote from Frank Zappa about the man and nothing more? Produced by Tom Wilson, who also worked with Zappa, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, and the Velvet Underground, Harumi starts off as a lovely, almost-baroque pop album with gorgeous arrangements; unfortunately, it ends with two truly bizarre tracks which, when combined, last for over 42 minutes! But, wow, with the strength of the first half of the double-record set, it’s still an obscurity that’s worth discovering. This particular track is right up there with the best of Bacharach…and, yes, that’s a bold statement, but, rest assured, the sonic evidence will bear out its accuracy. – Will Harris

“A Record Hi,” Friar Tuck and his Psychedelic Guitar (Friar Tuck and his Psychedelic Guitar)
Son of a bitch: it’s Curt Boettcher again! This, however, is a downright weird item from his production history, one which found him teaming up with session guitarist Mike Deasy for a mixture of truly bizarre covers (there’s a version of “Louie Louie” that needs to be heard to be believed) and guitar instrumentals which have been layered with Boettcher’s trademark harmonies. This song falls into the latter category, and, man, Deasy just fucking shreds on this track; his playing may not really be what you’d call psychedelic, but it sure as hell kicks ass, that much is for certain. – Will Harris

Pink Floyd“Apples and Oranges,” Pink Floyd

The third and final Pink Floyd single (a love song, no less!) written by founder and psychedelic casualty Syd Barrett, the group (along with Barrett) actually mimed this song on “American Bandstand,” in their first US televised performance. Barrett was later replaced by David Gilmour.  – Una Persson

“I Think I’m Going Weird,” Art
(Supernatural Fairytales)

These guys may…or, more likely, may not…be known for the fact that, not very long after recording their lone album, they evolved into the slightly-better-known Spooky Tooth. This particular track leads off that album (which also included a rather heavy version of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”), and although its guitar work echoes the Who’s “I Can See For Miles,” the more interesting thing – at least to my ears, anyway – is that there’s a piano lick in the mix that sounds rather a lot like one from ABBA’s “Waterloo”! – Will Harris

“San Franciscan Nights,” Eric Burdon and the Animals (Winds of Change)
One of the first hits of the reformed second-phase Animals was, along with “Monterey,” a tribute to the Summer of Love and the Monterey Pop Festival. Not sure why Burdon thinks nights in SanFran are warm, but whatever. He left two years later to front the funky Latin-tinged band War.  – Una Persson
“Dr. Do-Good,” The Electric Prunes (Underground)
It’s clear from this song that The Electric Prunes weren’t afraid to re-mine the sonic territory they’d already conquered on their classic “I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night,” but even with that familiar guitar sound rearing its had again, this blend of the spooky and the ridiculous (the latter coming from a Popeye-esque laugh at the end of the song) is too much fun to dismiss. – Will Harris

“Ball and Chain,” Janis Joplin/Big Brother & the Holding Company (Cheap Thrills)
While not on their debut album in ’67, they performed this classic at the Monterey Pop Festival that summer, and you can’t overlook Janis on a collection of Deep Cuts from the Summer of Love.  – Una Persson

“Kites Are Fun,” The Free Design (Kites Are Fun)
If you’ve ever thought Belle & Sebastian were somehow breaking new ground with their bouncy, catchy brand of twee pop, you’ve clearly never heard the Free Design. They pretty much wrote the book on twee pop, and they did so from their very first song on their very first album…which, coincidentally, happens to have been “Kites Are Fun.” Spin this, and you’ll be sending Stuart Murdoch nasty E-mails, asking him to send at least half of his royalties to the Free Design. It’s easy listening, sure, but it’s the good kind that sends you into a dreamlike state of bliss. – Will Harris

“Reflections,” Diana Ross & the Supremes (Reflections)
This was a pretty big hit, actually (#2 on the US charts, #5 in the UK), but it’s usually left off lists like this. The so-called psychedelic soul number was the first Supremes song released under the new band moniker Diana Ross & the Supremes. It was later used as the theme song for the TV show “China Beach.”  – Una Persson