Santana, Yes, The Rolling Stones
By Warren Kurtz
In our September 2015 issue, we feature acts including Santana, Yes, and The Rolling Stones. We continue to share some lesser known flip sides from the featured acts to discover or rediscover.
Flip side: “Hope You’re Feeling Better”
A side: “Black Magic Woman”
Top 100 debut: November 14, 1970
Peak position: 4
After their successful debut album, Santana took time to record their second album, “Abraxas,” which went to number one. Both singles released from the album were hits. The first was a cover version of the then lesser known blues band Fleetwood Mac’s “Black Magic Woman.” Gregg Rolie sang lead on this Latin style interpretation. On side one of the album, the song flowed into the instrumental “Gypsy Queen” immediately followed by the next hit single “Oye Como Va” written by Tito Puente. Near the end of the album and on the flip side of “Black Magic Woman” was the Gregg Rolie composition “Hope You’re Feeling Better.” His organ playing traded off musical lines with Carlos Santana’s guitar work, where his playing was in line with that of Jimi Hendrix. While much of Santana’s music from their first three albums were Latin rock, this powerful number was straight ahead rock.
Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon, who joined for the group’s third album, left after that record and formed Journey. Gregg Rolie is currently with Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band.
Flip side: “Long Distance Runaround”
A side: “Roundabout”
Top 100 debut: February 12, 1972
Peak position: 13
In 1971, Yes finally gained recognition in the U.S. with their third album. FM radio embraced Yes more than AM radio, playing their nine minute album opener “Yours is No Disgrace” and extending “Your Move” to their six minute “I’ve Seen All Good People” suite. In 1972, two more Yes albums did very well, beginning with “Fragile” and the group’s biggest hit of the decade “Roundabout.” The single version of “Roundabout” was a three-and-a-half minute edited version, from the eight-and-a-half minute album cut. The flip side of “Roundabout,” also from the “Fragile” album, was “Long Distance Runaround.” Jon Anderson sang the song in his signature upper range. Steve Howe’s guitar and Rick Wakeman’s keyboard playing were in sync. Chris Squire’s bass was prominent, giving the instrumental sections a jazz feel, tied to the bass and keyboard. Jon Anderson touched on religious disillusionment with the line “long time waiting to feel the sound” and, as always, offered imagery with “hot color melting the anger to stone.” In listening to this song on the “Fragile” album, the ending blended with the next song called “The Fish,” which was without lyrics, but had vocal harmonies from the group on par with those of Atlantic records label-mates Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. The album “Close to the Edge” followed later that year, which included the single “And You and I.”
The Rolling Stones
Flip side: “Bitch”
A side: “Brown Sugar”
Top 100 debut: May 1, 1971
Peak position: 1
Rolling Stones 45-19100
The first album on the Rolling Stones label was released in late April of 1971, called “Sticky Fingers.” AM radio loved the first single and opening guitar lines of “Brown Sugar” where Keith Richards provided a guitar hook as catchy as on “Satisfaction” and “Jumping Jack Flash.” The new progressive rock FM stations quickly latched on to the U.S. flip side, “Bitch,” which AM could not play or promote due to its title, an obscenity which would later be relaxed in 1974 with Elton John’s “The Bitch is Back.” “Bitch,” like “Brown Sugar,” had a strong instrumental hook at the beginning with a 22 note pattern split as 11-7-4. This same pattern was repeated throughout the song. The opening lyrics from Mick Jagger were, “Feeling so tired, can’t understand it, just had a fortnight’s sleep” and a bridge began with, “When you call my name, I salivate like a Pavlov’s dog.” There were strong brass parts from Bobby Keys on saxophone and Jim Price on trumpet. In 1974, jazz flautist Herbie Mann released the jazz rock album “London Underground” and “Bitch” was the opening number, extended to 8:21 with Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor as a guest.
Warren Kurtz writes the column Fabulous Flip Sides for Goldmine’s print publication.