March 5, 2014

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 49: Canned Heat ~ The New Age

reel-to-reel tape label detail
photo by Styrous©

I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes in addition to my 20,000 Vinyl LP collection I'm selling. This is an entry about one of them (links below). I will have the reel-to-reel tape, The New Age by Canned Heat, for sale on eBay in a few days. Interested? Contact me by email please, not by a comment.

reel-to-reel tape album cover
Art Direction & Design by Dave Bhang
cover photo by Norman Seeff
photo of album cover by Styrous©

The historic photo archive from photographer Norman Seeff, The New Age cover photographer and former creative director of United Artists Records, is available for sale through ICAP Media (link below).

Canned Heat ~ The New Age
reel-to-reel tape album cover back
Art Direction & Design by Dave Bhang
cover photo by Norman Seeff
photo by Styrous©

Canned Heat is an American blues/boogie rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1965.
It was launched by Alan Wilson and Bob Hite, who took the name from Tommy Johnson's 1928 Canned Heat Blues, a song about an alcoholic who desperately turns to drinking Sterno, generically called "canned heat". 

Canned Heat was started within the community of blues collectors. Bob Hite had been trading blues records since his early teens and his house in Topanga Canyon was a meeting place for people interested in music. In 1965 some blues devotees there decided to form a jug band (see: Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band) and started rehearsals. The group has been noted for its own interpretations of blues material as well as for efforts to promote the interest in this type of music and its original artists.

Canned Heat ~ The New Age
reel-to-reel tape album cover back detail
Art Direction & Design by Dave Bhang
photos by Norman Seeff
detail photo by Styrous©

The first big live appearance of Canned Heat was at the Monterey Pop Festival on June 17, 1967. Richard Hite and Henry Vestine, with vocalist Bob Hite, performed the country and Chicago blues idiom of the 1950s so skillfully and naturally that the question of which race the music belongs to becomes totally irrelevant.

Canned Heat ~ The New Age
reel-to-reel tape album cover back detail
Art Direction & Design by Dave Bhang
detail photo by Styrous©

The New Age is the seventh studio album by Canned Heat, released in 1973. It was the first album to feature the talents of James Shane and Ed Beyer. Lookin' for My Rainbow was the last recording in which gospel singer, Clara Ward appeared. The music is a blend of blues and rock.

The New Age was released a year after I bought my BMW motorcyle. At the time, I liked any song having to do with motorcycles so, Harley Davidson Blues became one of my favorite songs. It's a bouncy, syncopated fun kind of tune .

Two of my all-time favorite songs (not on this album) are by Canned Heat, On the Road Again, became an international hit. On the Road Again was a cover version/re-working of the 1953 Floyd Jones song of the same name, which is reportedly based on the Tommy Johnson song "Big Road Blues" recorded in 1928. In turn, Road was covered by the French space rock band Rockets, released in April of 1978 on Tom n' Jerry Records. It's a fantastic version on their second studio album (links to music on YouTube below).

Let's Work Together (also not on this album) is the other song by Canned Heat I love, love, LOVE! Every time I hear it I just have to get up and move. But all the songs on the album are pretty terrific. 

Canned Heat ~ The New Age
reel-to-reel tape detail
detail photo by Styrous©

Canned Heat gained notoriety as "the bad boys of rock" for being jailed in Denver, Colorado after a Denver Police informant provided enough evidence for their arrest for drugs (an incident recalled in their song 'My Crime'). Band manager Skip Taylor was forced to obtain the $10,000 bail by selling off Canned Heat's publishing rights to Liberty Records President Al Bennett.

Canned Heat ~ The New Age
reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous©

Track list:
Side 1:
  1. "Keep It Clean" (Bob Hite) - 2:46
  2. "Harley Davidson Blues" (James Shane) - 2:38
  3. "Don't Deceive Me" (Bob Hite - 3:12
  4. "You Can Run, But You Sure Can't Hide" (Ed Beyer) - 3:15
  5. "Lookin' for My Rainbow" (James Shane) - 5:24
Side 2:
  1. "Rock and Roll Music" (Bob Hite) - 2:29
  2. "Framed" (Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller) - 5:07
  3. "Election Blues" (Ed Beyer) - 6:04
  4. "So Long Wrong" (James Shane) - 5:36
Canned Heat:
Additional personnel:
  • Skip Taylor - Producer
  • Jim Taylor - Production Coordination
  • Nick Venet - Production Assistant
  • John Stronach - Engineer
  • Dave Bhang - Art Direction, Design
  • Doug Saxe - Mastering

Released in 1973 on UA Records

UA - UST 049-C

Net links:

Canned Heat website
Canned Heat discography
Norman Seeff photo archive sale on ICAP Media

Music links:
The New Age (full album) on YouTube
Lookin' for My Rainbow on YouTube
Rock and Roll Music on YouTube
So Long Wrong onYouTube
Framed on YouTube
Election Blues on YouTube
Harley Davidson Blues on YouTube
My Crime on YouTube
Don't Deceive Me on YouTube 
You Can Run, But You Sure Can't Hide on YouTube 
On the Road Again by Floyd Jones on YouTube
Big Road Blues by Tommy Johnson on YouTube

reel-to-reel listings on eBay

Styrous® ~ Wednesday, March 5, 2014

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