This is the strangest set of music compilation CDs I own. If you look at the various Track Lists, you’ll see what I mean. The songs are from various eras of Rock-and-Roll, various styles, some obscure groups, odd choices, and strange combinations of songs/artists. The accompanying documentation goes into some detail about how these songs came about: songwriters, producers, etc.

The “concept” behind this series was to take songs from the Columbia Records and Epic Records vaults and remix and remaster the sound. Several of these songs appear in true stereo for the first time on these discs. The choices seem bizarre to me, but there are some gems here. And, the sound is fabulous! These buffed up songs are all spiffed up for new audiences.

Do you recognize these songs? Any favorites here? GRADE: B+

Tracklist: Volume 1

1The Looking Glass*Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne Written-By – E. Lurie*3:24
2GrinWhite Lies Written-By – N. Lofgren*3:27
3Chase (5)Get It On Written-By – B. Chase*, T. Richards*2:59
4Pacific Gas & ElectricAre You Ready? Written-By – C. Allen*, J. Hill*5:46
5SweathogHallelujah Written-By – G. Zekley*, M. Bottler*, R. Twain*2:58
6MashmakhanAs The Years Go By Written-By – P. Senecal*3:45
7Chi ColtraneThunder And Lightning Written-By – C. Coltrane*3:01
8The Spiral Starecase*More Today Than Yesterday Written-By – P. Upton*2:54
9Sly & The Family StoneHot Fun In The Summertime Written-By – S. Stewart*3:03
10RedboneMaggie Written-By – L. Vegas*5:07
11ArgentHold Your Head Up Written-By – C. White*, R. Argent*6:16
12The Spiral Starecase*No One For Me To Turn To Written-By – P. Upton*2:31
13Keith BarbourEcho Park Written-By – B. Clifford*3:43
14ChristieYellow River Written-By – J. Christie*2:45
15RedboneThe Witch Queen Of New Orleans Written-By – L. Vegas*, P. Vegas*2:55
16The Isley BrothersThat Lady Written-By – The Isleys*5:02

Tracklist: Volume 2

1The Addrisi Brothers*We’ve Got To Get It On Again Written-By – D. Addrisi*, D. Addrisi*2:45
2The ArborsThe Letter Written-By – W.C. Thompson*3:30
3CymarronRings Written-By – A. Harvey*, E. Reeves*2:31
4The Looking Glass*Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl) Written-By – E. Lurie*2:55
5Chicory*Son Of My Father Written-By – G. Moroder*, M. Holm*, P. Bellotte*3:11
6Clint HolmesPlayground In My Mind Written-By – L. Pockriss*, P. Vance*2:54
7Johnny NashStir It Up Written-By – B. Marley*3:02
8RedboneCome And Get Your Love Written-By – L. Vegas*4:58
9Albert HammondIt Never Rains In Southern California Written-By – A. Hammond*, M. Hazlewood*3:50
10Dave LogginsPlease Come To Boston Written-By – D. Loggins*4:08
11Johnny NashI Can See Clearly Now Written-By – J. Nash*2:43
12Michael Murphey*Wildfire Written-By – L. Cansler*, M. Murphey*4:48
13Albert HammondI’m A Train Written-By – A. Hammond*, M. Hazlewood*3:21
14Burton CummingsStand Tall Written-By – B. Cummings*3:43
15Walter EganMagnet And Steel Written-By – W. Egan*3:24
16Paul Davis (3)I Go Crazy Written-By – P. Davis*3:54

Tracklist: Volume 3

1Derek (3)Cinnamon2:43
2The BuckinghamsHey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song)2:48
3The CyrklePlease Don’t Ever Leave Me1:57
4Scott McKenzieSan Francisco2:59
5The Pozo-Seco SingersI Can Make It With You2:17
6Don & The GoodtimesI Could Be So Good To You3:18
7Chad & JeremyI Don’t Wanna Lose You Baby3:07
8The TremeloesEven The Bad Times Are Good2:37
9LuluTo Sir With Love2:44
10The BuckinghamsSusan2:56
11The CyrkleI Wish You Could Be Here2:49
12Scott McKenzieLike An Old Time Movie3:16
13The Third RailRun Run Run1:57
14The Avante-Garde*Naturally Stoned2:12
15The Clefs Of Lavender Hill*Stop!-Get A Ticket2:22
16Sagittarius (2)My World Fell Down2:55

Tracklist: Volume 4

1The BuckinghamsKind Of A Drag2:07
2The Rip ChordsThree Window Coupe1:57
3Chad & JeremyDistant Shores2:44
4Jan & DeanYellow Balloon2:35
5The Cryan Shames*Sugar And Spice2:29
6The TremeloesSilence Is Golden3:08
7LuluBest Of Both Worlds3:02
8The BuckinghamsLawdy Miss Clawdy2:06
9Chad & JeremyTeenage Failure3:27
10The Cryan Shames*I Wanna Meet You2:06
11The ArborsA Symphony For Susan2:35
12Georgie FameThe Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde3:10
13The Union Gap*Woman Woman3:33
14LuluMorning Dew2:48
15Chad* & Jill*The Cruel War3:09
16Tim RoseHey Joe (You Shot Your Woman Down)4:52

26 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN MUSIC #99: ROCK ARTIFACTS, VOLUMES 1, 2, 3, & 4

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    Lot of stuff I don’t know here. Lot of stuff I wish I didn’t know here. Not a single track that I own. I don’t mind Johnny Nash ( reggae lite), Isley Brothers , Sly and the Family Stone, Grin and Tim Rose but a lot of light weight stuff here. Always intensely disliked The Buckinghams, Gary Puckett Scott McKenzie, Lulu, and Redbone.
    The Sly Stone track would be my favorite here. Way too heavy on the easy listening side for my tastes. I find a B+ very kind. I would give it a D

    1. george Post author

      Steve, I suppose my B+ was a result of listening to these songs in remixed, remastered sonic quality. I admit I was swayed.

  2. Michael Padgett

    Finally, a compilation so weird I can’t think of anything to say about it. You probably got this out of a cutout bin for 15 cents or so, but surely the people who put this thing together did so with the idea that people would actually buy it. I wonder who those people are–both the compilers and intended audience.

    1. george Post author

      Michael, I did find three of these volumes in a thrift store. But, I had to search the Internet for Volume 4. I confess, I’m a completist.

  3. Steve Lewis

    As I understand it there are more than one version of these CDs. If you have the ones with extended liner notes, you have true collector gems here. I love compilations like this. Even though I’ve not heard all of the songs on these, just based on the ones I do know, I’d give each of the individual CDs an A plus. The remastered sound is only a bonus.

    1. george Post author

      Steve, now that I know there are “alternative versions” of ROCK ARTIFACTS I’ll have to seek them out. The only volume I have that doesn’t have extended liner notes is Volume 1. The liner notes are detailed and compelling.

  4. Deb

    Kind of more interesting as a cultural artifact than as music I’d really listen to. Who knew Redbone, The Looking Glass, and Spiral Staircase had more than one hit? And I’d forgotten that Nils Lofgren had a long career before he joined the E Street Band. OTOH, I’d listen to those obscure gems by Chi Coltrane, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Christie over and over again.

    1. george Post author

      Deb, I need to dig out my Nils Lofgren CDs. I originally bought Lofgren’s albums in vinyl, but later bought them again on CD. I played them over and over again just like you!

      1. Steve Oerkfitz

        Nils did a solo cd earlier this year. He also early on did a stint with Crazy Horse backing up Neil Young. I remember when he used to do back flips while playing the guitar but he’s gotten a little too old for that now. He was gymnast in high school.

      2. george Post author

        Steve, I played Nils Lofgren’s CRY TOUGH until I wore the grooves out. I need to unearth my CRAZY HORSE CDs and resisted to them. I remember Lofgren doing backflips while playing his guitar. Amazing!

  5. wolf

    Some of the songs (but not too many …) I remember – could even sing them for you, but the others?
    I Can See Clearly Now was a favourite like
    Hey Joe (of course the Jimi Hendrix version).
    And the all time favourite: San Francisco – I was a kind of hippie too as a student … 🙂

    Typical for those times:
    Almost all songs are below 3 minutes, some even just 2 minutes – made more money in the juke box … 🙂

    1. george Post author

      Wolf, it wasn’t until FM radio and independent stations emerged in the latter half of the Sixties that longer songs (5+ minutes) gained an audience. Until then, AM radio and juke boxes favorited 2-3 minutes songs.

  6. Rick Robinson

    There are a few songs here I’d download and add to a playlist, but that’s about it. I’ve always liked Scott MacKinzie’s “San Francisco”. That may have been because of the time I was in when I heard it.

    The Spiral Starecase* – More Today Than Yesterday
    Sly & The Family Stone – Hot Fun In The Summertime
    Argent – Hold Your Head Up
    The Looking Glass – Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)
    Johnny Nash – Stir It Up
    Albert Hammond – It Never Rains In Southern California Written
    Dave Loggins – Please Come To Boston
    Johnny Nash – I Can See Clearly Now
    Scott McKenzie – San Francisco

    That’s about it, and I’m assuming the ones I named are by the original artists.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, yes, all the songs on this four volume set are performed by the original artists. The difference is in the sound. These songs never sounded so good!

  7. Beth Fedyn

    I didn’t see anything there that would make me buy that CD.
    This is an instance where I’d like to meet the person who pitched the idea. He/she could probably sell ice to Eskimos.

    1. george Post author

      Beth, you may be right. I don’t know what audience this eclectic set of discs was supposed to attract. But, I bought them and found them fascinating because of the new sound.

  8. Jeff Smith

    As someone who has spent a lot of time making mixes of favorite music, just looking at these makes me cringe. They are appalling programs, despite the fact that some of the songs are quite good.

  9. Jeff Meyerson

    OK, just getting here and haven’t read any other comments yet. This is indeed weird. The songs I know: More Today Than Yesterday (Spiral Starecase), That Lady (Isleys), Hot Fun in the Summertime (Sly & Family Stone) from #1.

    #2″ Brandy (Looking Glass), Playground in My Mind (Clint Holmes; dislike this, which was on another compilation you had recently, as I recall), Stir It up (Johnny Nash cover of Bob Marley), Come and Get Your Love (Redbone), It Never Rains in Southern California (Albert Hammond), Please Come to Boston (Dave Loggins), I Can See Clearly Now (Johnny Nash), Stand Tall (Burton Cummings), Wildfire (Michael Martin Murphey), I go Crazy (Paul Davis). So, a lot more this time.

    #3 Cinnamon (Derek – aka Johnny Cymbal of Mr. Bass Man fame), Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song) and Susan (Buckinghams), San Francisco (Scott McKenzie), Even the Bad Times Are Good (Tremeloes – a favorite of mine), To Sir With Love (Lulu).

    #4 Kind of a Drag (Buckinghams), Silence is Golden (Tremeloes – this was originally the flip side of Rag Doll by the Four Seasons, FYI), Bonnie & Clyde (Georgie Fame), Woman Woman (The Union Gap).

    1. Deb

      I have a story about “Susan” by the Buckinghams: on the first day of school in 8th grade (1970), the new Speech teacher introduced herself. Her name was Susan Something—Henderson, Richardson, something like that. Anyway, during the course of her introduction, she said, “Do any of you know the song ‘Susan’ by the Buckinghams?” A few hands were raised (including mine, of course, I was always a radio junkie). “Well,” she continued, “that song was written about me. I was dating a guy in the Buckinghams back then.” Obviously, the relationship didn’t end well, but she’d always have “Susan” to remember the romance—which may or may not have been a good thing.

      1. george Post author

        Deb, very cool story! I don’t know anyone who’s been the subject of a rock song. But I do know that “Susan” got a lot of airplay on the radio when it was first released. Obviously, a lot of Susans thought the song was about them!

    2. george Post author

      Jeff, the key to ROCK ARTIFACTS are the extended liner notes and the spiffy sound on many of these songs. See Jeff Smith’s comment for more information.


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