Friday, August 21, 2015

Jake Holmes – "Dazed and Confused" (1967)

Give me a clue as to where I am at
I feel like a mouse, and you act like a cat

I closed the last 2 or 3 lines by stating that Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused" may be the best track on the best rock album in history.

And I'm opening this 2 or 3 lines by stating that the lyrics to Jake Holmes's "Dazed and Confused" – which was released in June 1967 – are far superior to the lyrics of Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused" (which was recorded over a year later).

Jake Holmes
In fact, those lyrics are so good that I had a hard time deciding whether to open this post with the first verse (which is quoted above) or the last verse, which I will quote here:

I'm dazed and confused, and it's all upside down
Am I being choosed?  Do you want me around?
Secrets are fun to a certain degree
But this one's no fun, 'cause the secret's on me

"Dazed and Confused" was released on "The Above Ground Sound" of Jake Holmes, his 1967 debut album.  The ten songs on the album feature Holmes's vocals, two guitars, and a bass, but no drums.

Holmes released an album every year from 1967 to 1971, but none were very successful.  He also wrote songs for the Four Seasons and Frank Sinatra, but was most successful as an advertising jungle writer: his most famous jingles are "Be All That You Can Be" (for the U.S. Army) and "I'm a Pepper" (for Dr. Pepper).

Holmes opened for the Yardbirds at the Village Theatre in New York City on August 25, 1967.  Holmes performed "Dazed and Confused" that night, which he later described as the night that his song "fell into the loving arms of Jimmy Page" – who was then the lead guitarist of the Yardbirds.

The Yardbirds' drummer, Jim McCarty, said years later that he was so impressed by "Dazed and Confused" that he bought the Holmes album the next day so the group could work up a cover of the song.  

The author of a book about the Yardbirds quotes a man who says he saw Jimmy Page himself buying the Holmes album at a particular record store on Bleecker Street.

The next 2 or 3 lines will feature the Yardbirds' cover of "Dazed and Confused."  

Here's the original recording of that song.  It's fabulous, but it's very quiet at times – so turn up the volume!

Click below to buy the song from Amazon.

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