D-Sides, Orphans, and Oddities

Dave Mason, Cass Elliot, Laura Nyro, and a RARE disco single by Paul Revere and the Raiders.

August 16, 2021

Discogs: Dave Mason was a founding member of the group Traffic, but left following the release of their debut album, Mr. Fantasy (1967), only to rejoin halfway through the sessions for their next album, Traffic (1968), after which he left again. Last Exit (1969), a compilation of odds and ends, features little material by Mason apart from his song "Just for You". Traffic later re-formed without Mason, although he briefly began working with the band for a third time, touring with them in 1971 and playing on Welcome to the Canteen. In his brief spells with the group, Mason never quite fit in; Steve Winwood later recalled. In 1970, Mason was slated to be the second guitarist for Derek and the Dominos. He played on their early studio sessions, including the Phil Spector production of "Tell the Truth", which was later withdrawn from sale (and is now a collector's item). He also played at their first gig at the London Lyceum but left the group soon after that.

For a brief period in the mid-1990s, Mason joined Fleetwood Mac and released the album Time with them in 1995. He toured with them over the course of 1994–95. Over the course of his career, Mason has played and recorded with many notable pop and rock musicians, including Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones (e.g. on Street Fighting Man), George Harrison (appearing on All Things Must Pass), Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Steve Winwood, Fleetwood Mac, Delaney & Bonnie, Leon Russell, and...Cass Elliot. One of Mason's best-known songs is "Feelin' Alright", recorded by Traffic in 1968 and later by many other performers, including Joe Cocker, whose version of the song was a hit in 1969. For Traffic, he also wrote "Hole in My Shoe", a psychedelic pop song that became a hit in its own right. "We Just Disagree", Mason's 1977 solo US hit, written by Jim Krueger, has become a staple of US classic hits and adult contemporary radio playlists.

Cass Elliot was credited with creating the group name 'The Mamas and The Papas' while watching a TV program, with the other band members, while temporarily residing in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Although some releases were still credited to Mama Cass Elliot, it was around this time that she used her original stage name, Cass Elliot. She starred in many a TV show including two specials of her own. She was loved and is still admired for her pleasing alto and all-around ability to entertain. In her way, she was as troubled as her other drug-taking contemporaries like Jim Morrison, in addition to her life-long weight problems which probably kept her close to people but not so close that her loneliness abated. She, to me, sounds like an American Annie Haslam

So if you didn't know that these two members of the RRHOF did an album together, now you do! 

Wiki: After being introduced by a mutual friend, Mason and Elliot hit it off and decided to pursue singing together professionally. Elliot, having released two solo albums at that time, missed the collaborative effort of producing music, and Mason, who had just arrived in the U.S. after splitting with Traffic, was interested in a fresh collaboration. Originally Elliot was intended to be co-producer with Mason on an intended solo album by the latter: after Elliot sang background for Mason on some sessions the idea of the album being a Mason/Elliot collaboration emerged. 

Dave Mason and Cass Elliot - Glittering Facade (1971)

Dave Mason and Cass Elliot - Sit and Wonder (1971)

Dave Mason - Every Woman (1973)

Dave Mason - Shouldn't Have Took More Than You Gave (1970)

Dave Mason - Save Me (1980) Michael Jackson on backing vocals. 

Dave Mason and Cass Elliot - On and On (1971)

Cass Elliot - I'll Be There (1972)

Cass Elliot (billed as Mama Cass Elliot) - It's Getting Better (1969)

Cass Elliot - New World Coming (1970)

Dave Mason - The Lonely One (1973) Stevie Wonder on harmonica solo. 


Laura Nyro - Beads of Sweat (1970) Laura Nyro (rhymes with "Hero") was a female Jimmy Webb (or he a male Laura Nyro) who reinvented songwriting possibilities for a generation. She influenced so many writers that I cannot list them here. Her influence really shows itself in the works of Todd Rundgren, Elton John, Patti Smith, so so many. She merged the melodic gifts of Carole King with the lyrical ones of Bob Dylan. You know her songs. Between 1968 and 1970, a number of artists had hits with her songs: The 5th Dimension with "Blowing Away", "Wedding Bell Blues", "Stoned Soul Picnic", "Sweet Blindness", and "Save the Country"; Blood, Sweat & Tears and Peter, Paul and Mary, with "And When I Die"; Three Dog Night and Maynard Ferguson, with "Eli's Comin'"; and Barbra Streisand with "Stoney End", "Time and Love", and "Hands off the Man (Flim Flam Man)". Ironically, Nyro's best-selling single was her recording of Carole King's and Gerry Goffin's "Up on the Roof".

Laura Nyro - Eli's Coming (1968)

Laura Nyro - New York Tendaberry (1969)

Laura Nyro - Mr. Blue (1978)

Laura Nyro - Smile (1976)

Cockney Rebel - Psychomodo (1974)

Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel - Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) (1976)

Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel - Sebastian (1973)

Paul Revere and the Raiders - Ain't Nothing Wrong (1976) Everybody tried disco. Everybody. This song was written by Harry Casey and Rick Finch! Flopped.  

Johnny Cougar - Need Somebody Baby (1976) Like my unfortunate management deal that forced me to call myself "Sir Gilbert Slitherbottom VI", John Mellencamp's management had no idea who or what he was. He started out for a brief period of time as a "glam rocker" but then tried out for a solo career with his first album Chestnut Street Incident released by former David Bowie manager Tony DeFries on the Mainman (division of MCA) label. That album was a complete flop partly due to the fact that the record label wanted to mold John into something he was not (a pretty boy ala James Dean) and the fact that the album mostly consisted of cover songs. 

Johnny Cougar - The Man Who Sold the World (1976) What a strange curio from the early days of John Mellencamp

Queen - All Dead, All Dead (1977)

The Spotlights - Batman and Robin (1966) Produced by Leon Russell and Snuff Garrett. Gig's a gig!

Dion and the Belmonts - My Girl the Month of May (1966) This album features the song "For Bobbie" which was written by John Denver, and he recorded it himself in 1972, retitling it' "For Baby."

Mick Taylor - Leather Jacket (1979)

Moody Blues - Veteran Cosmic Rocker (1981)

Ruth Copeland - The Silent Boatman (1970) Do you prefer this version or the one by Parliament?

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