Roberta Flack – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (1969)

The song was popularized by Roberta Flack in 1972 in a version that became a breakout hit for the singer. The song first appeared on Flack’s 1969 album First Take. Flack’s rendition was much slower than the original as an early solo recording by Peggy Seeger ran two and a half minutes long whereas Flack’s is more than twice that length. This slower, more sensual version was used by Clint Eastwood in his 1971 directorial debut Play Misty for Me during a lovemaking scene. With the new exposure, Atlantic Records cut the song down to four minutes and released it to radio. It became an extremely successful single in the United States where it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Easy Listening charts in April 1972 for six week runs on each. It reached #14 on the UK Singles Chart.

Diana Ross & The Supremes – Someday We’ll Be Together (1969)

In 1969, Johnny Bristol was preparing a cover version of “Someday We’ll Be Together,” to be recorded by Motown act Jr. Walker & the All-Stars. Bristol had already recorded the instrumental track and the background vocals by Maxine Waters and Julia Waters when Berry Gordy happened upon the tracks and heard them. Gordy thought that “Someday” would be a perfect first solo single for Diana Ross, who was making her long-expected exit from the Supremes at the time, and had Bristol sequester Ross into the studio to record the song. Unable at first to get the vocal performance he desired from Diana Ross, Johnny Bristol decided to try something different: he would harmonize with Ross, helping her to get into the mood needed for the record. On the first take, the engineer accidentally recorded both Ross’s vocal and Bristol’s ad-libs. Bristol and arranger Wade Marcus liked the results, and Bristol had his vocal recorded alongside Ross’ for the final version of the song. Bristol’s ad-libs and words of encouragement to Ross can be heard in the background throughout the song. When Berry Gordy heard the completed song, he decided to release it as the final Diana Ross & the Supremes song. Ross’ first solo single instead, released early 1970, became “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand).” While the explicit subject of the song was that of Ross comforting a long-distance lover, “Someday We’ll Be Together” allowed for a number of other implications such that Ross and bandmates Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong would one day “be together.” Further, in concert, Ross would suggest that “someday, we’ll be together” in regard to contemporary troubles like civil rights and the ongoing demonstrations and protests against the Vietnam War.

[Dedicated to Bob Thorhauge and Stine Lyndgaard who are getting married today]

Neil Young – Down By The River (1969)

“Down by the River” is a song composed by Neil Young. It was first released on his 1969 album with Crazy Horse, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. Young explained the context of story when introducing it in New Orleans on September 27, 1984. It depicts a man who catches his woman cheating on him, then meets her down by the river and shoots her. A few hours later the sheriff comes to his house and arrests him. In the liner notes of his 1977 anthology album Decade, Young states that he wrote “Down by the River” and “Cowgirl in the Sand” while delirious in bed in Topanga Canyon with a 103 °F (39 °C) fever.

Read Guy Garvey’s notes about the song here.

Can – She Brings The Rain (1969)

“She Brings the Rain”, originally appearing in the 1969 film Bottom – Ein großer, graublauer Vogel by Thomas Schamoni (brother to directors Ulrich Schamoni and Peter Schamoni), was later featured in Wim Wenders’ 1994 film Lisbon Story, the 2000 Oskar Roehler film Die Unberührbare and Tran Anh Hung’s film Norwegian Wood, released in 2010.

Also check this post on one of our sister sites BERLINORDIC.COM (currently in development).

Tom Jones & Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – Long Time Gone (1969)

You know when you visit YouTube to watch a certain video, then end up watching another, and another, and another? Well here’s a video that is more likely to be stumbled upon rather than searched for. The video, which hit the website about a month ago, features Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young doing “Long Time Gone” with Tom Jones on lead vocals during an episode of his variety show in October 1969. [Source]

[via Niels Fez Pedersen]

Loos Foos & The Fiberglass Cornflake – Bless Me Father (1969)

‘Bless Me Father’ is a cool psychedelic song with haunting organ, distorted guitar and wah wah…’s also blessed with some fuzz. This song has turned up on the CD only ‘A Fistful Of Fuzz’ compilation in the late 90s. Both songs were written by R. Sousa. I don’t know anything about the band apart from the rumour that they hailed from Rhode Island in New England, so any information will be appreciated. [Source]

[via Christian Finne]

Roy Harper – She’s The One (1969)

The searing falsetto of “She’s the One” makes for one of Harper’s most intense and moving recordings as manic guitar-strumming accompanies his scornful upbraiding of an acquaintance for his self-pitying insensitivity to a “wonderful wife” whom the singer sees and apparently loves as “a very beautiful young woman”. Like “McGoohan’s Blues”, this track seems to butt-join two related but distinct songs on the album.

Roy Harper – One For All (1969)

I have it on confirmed rumor that a record shop in Minneapolis was named after my third record, ‘Folkjokeopus‘. The record features the epic ‘McGoohans Blues’, inspired by actor Patrick McGoohan’s depiction of the establishment rebel in his TV series, ‘The Prisoner’. Also included on the record are ‘Exercising Some Control’ and ‘Manana’, two irreverent pieces of comedy, the lung busting ‘She’s The One’, and ‘One For All’, dedicated to tenor saxist Albert Ayler, who I knew and loved during my time in Copenhagen. Sadly he was later found washed up on the bank of the Hudson in New York. He would have been one of the leading jazzmen of the age. Finally the record is rounded off with two pieces of mystery and the opening ‘Sgt. Sunshine’, on which I was ably accompanied by the beautiful Jane Scrivener. [Source]