Remarkable 1969 Box Set: Capitol STCR-288

During the early days of rock and roll, there occasionally appeared interesting box sets (vinyl, obviously), but perhaps the best of the bunch was Capitol Records STCR-288, a box set with a pullout booklet which housed three albums, all of which were released in their single forms in 1968:

The Steve Miller Band — Sailor

The Band — Music From Big Pink

Quicksilver Messenger Service

Sailor was the second offering from The Steve Miller Band, following the group’s debut earlier in 1968 with Children of the Future. Sailor was produced by the band and Glyn Johns. By the time this set came out, “Living in the U.S.A.” was a hit on both underground radio shows and on Top-40 stations as well, with that famous coda: “Gimme a CHEESEBURGER!” The album also included two fine covers: Jimmy Reed’s “You’re So Fine” and “Gangster of Love” by John Watson (you might know him better as Johnny “Guitar” Watson).

Here are the liner notes by Dan Davis from the box set:

The sounds of sound
The complex existence of
Intangibles realized . . .

Heard by word, by created device
Eared decibelically by amplification—deafening
Soundings quiveringly silent—dappled
Expressions intuitively uninhibited.
Guitars of melody . . . of movement
Voices of song . . . of expressed excruciation
Audibilizing the super-here of electricity
Hearing impulses otherwise overlooked.
Creating searching sound chambers of
Whatever it is
Whatever it is
Sensed by the expansive being
of
Audibilized Sound.

Familiarized the San Francisco
Underground with a significant kind of offering…
they received it with Underground enthusiasm
that started emerging to the surface. Five
musicians (or five innovators . . .
take your choice):

STEVE MILLER — guitarist and “harmonicist”;
BOZ SCAGGS — guitarist;
LONNIE TURNER — bassist & guitarist;
JIM PETERMAN, organist;
TIM DAVIS — percussionist & “vibist”;
(vocals by some or another of them).

Brought to the surface (and higher)
by recording achievements.
Miller and company stand today as
looked-upto concept
and sound merchants . . . everywhere.

Music From Big Pink was The Band’s introduction to the world. Who would have the audacity to call themselves “The Band”? They played with Bob Dylan? Well, OK. “Wheels On Fire” was co-written by Rick Danko and Dylan, and “I Shall Be Released” is also a Dylan composition. “The Weight” got heavy radio airplay at the time. The album was produced by John Simon.

Here are the liner notes by Dan Davis from the box set:

The sounds of sound
The complex existence of
Intangibles realized . . .

Seen by strobe, by klieg
Eyed in movement of moods magnified
Meaning maximus
Pomposity minimum.
Ogled high skirts, low tops, long hair
Multi-intensified coloration of all things surfaced
Visualizing the empty intensity of living dark
Seeing the sparkling glitter of dull day.
Creating panoramic vistas of
Whatever it is
Whatever it is
Sensed by the expansive being
of
Visualized Sound.

Created a startling awareness
on Overlook Mountain (West Saugerties, New
York) in a house painted pink.
Five musicians with no group name
(so appreciators started calling them
the band for want of something better):
JAIME ROBBIE ROBERTSON—lead guitarist;
RICHARD MANUEL—pianist;
LEVON HELM—drummer;
RICK DANKO—bassist;
GARTH HUDSON—organist;

(vocals by all of them).

Born in Canada . . . all except Arkansan Helm.
Made sound in and around Woodstock (N.Y.)
for themselves and for a few others.
Dylan came along and they made music together
. . . and all concerned learned.
The 5-man band: distinguished by commodities
called creation and innovation . . .
recognized and considerable amounts
of both.

This was also the initial entry from Quicksilver Messenger Service, self-titled, jumping into the psychedelic fray with a great sound and brilliant guitar player, John Cipollina. The album included a fine version of Hamilton Camp’s “Pride of Man.” Producers were Nick Gavenites, Harvey Brooks, and Pete Welding.

 

Here are the liner notes by Dan Davis from the box set:

The sounds of sound
The complex existence of
Intangibles realized . . .

Felt by physical vibration, by emotions’ paw
Touched by fingers on steeled gut
Feelings of sound on body
Awareness of bodies’ reactions.
Limbs caressing audible spirit
Sensations cold of mind and impulse
Tactilizing hot with conclusion and desire
Compulsed by the immediacy of release.
Creating unceasing swirlpools of
Whatever it is
Whatever it is
Sensed by the expansive being
of
Tactilized Sound.

Formed in Mill Valley
(California, 1965). Four musicians (art, guts,
desire . . . talent):

JOHN CIPOLLINA—guitarist;
GARY DUNCAN—guitarist;
DAVID FREIBERG—bassist;
GREGORY ELMORE—drummer;
(Vocals by the ones who happen to sing them).

Knocked around in
little-known North Beach (San Francisco)
Clubs. S.F. (Underground or Overground,
wherever it’s most) had given sound a group of
its finest purveyors and exponents.

Two important questions come to mind:
[1]  Who came up with this concept?

[2]  What on earth was Dan Davis smoking?

 

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