Yes, that is Spock in the headphones. The year was 1979. These are some of my LPs, themed compilations, and the like.


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Monday, June 30, 2014

Gene Page's Close Encounters

A mix of disco and jazz (and maybe funk -- how would this white guy know?), this if a lot of fun.

The crinkled-up-eyes smile Page is sporting reminds me of a famous humorous photo from the 1960s or 1970s, which I believe I first encountered in a LIFE magazine:

Alternately maybe the photo of Page on the cover is squinting because of the sticker that covers one lenses of his glasses!

Here are the songs for this bumpin' 1977 LP:

01 - Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
02 - Theme From 'Star Trek'
03 - C E 3 K / Moonglow / Love Theme
04 - Dancin' in the Sky
05 - I Feel Like I've Been Livin' (On the Dark Side of the Moon)
06 - Beyond the Hole in Space
07 - When You Wish upon a Star
08 - Sho' Like to Ride on Your Star
09 - Saturn

So, get off the dark side of the moon and listen to some great fun music for a Close Encounter of your own.

See you Thursday!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Music Inspired by 2001

On the Christmas Day of 1968, I was twelve years old.  2001: A Space Odyssey had been released at the beginning of the year, and I'd seen it with my big sister.

For my birthday a couple of months ago, my wonderful parents had given me an actual stereo record player -- separate speakers and all -- and I'd had great (and probably annoying) fun by playing the OST album for 2001 over and over.

Well, in the record bin at Montgomery Ward at Christmastime, I found this follow-up (or tie-in, or "cash-in") record.  And I immediately snapped it up for the $1.98 purchase price.

What's interesting to me is that it seems to be duo-labeled.  It is not "Music inspired by 2001 Volume Two," as the label proclaims.  It is the ONLY record released by MGM of "music inspired by 2001."  Or alternatively, it's the 2001 soundtrack "Volume Two."

Anyway, it has some music from the film, and more in imitation of the mix of romantic / clashingly modern music heard in the film.

This track list contains the liner note comments:

1. Richard Strauss – Also Sprach Zarathustra
This selection composed by Richard Strauss is heard at the opening of the motion picture “2001: A Space Odyssey” Karl Böhm conducts the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
2. Leo Delibes – Coppélia
(This) was composed by Leo Delibes and conducted by Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. As in the film. Mr. von Karajan’s performance conveys the feeling of the graceful rocket ships speeding through space.
3. György Ligeti – Lontano
Ligeti’s contribution to the music in “2001:” was very important. This selection, which does not appear in the film, was conducted by Ernest Bour and the Südwestfunk Orchestra.
4. Anton Webern – Entflieht Auf Leichten Kähnen
Written by one of the innovators of modern music with words by Stefan George. It is performed by Clytus Gottwald and the Stuttgart Schola Cantorum, whose performances also appeared in the motion picture.
5. Richard Strauss – Waltzes From Der Rosenkavalier
Karl Böhm conducts the Berlin Philharmonic. Again, spacious music for outer space.
6. Richard Strauss – Thus Sprach Zarathustra (Part 2)
Additional exciting music from Richard Strauss symphonic poem from the original recording by Karl Böhm and the Berlin Philharmonic.
7. György Ligeti – Volumina
Performed by organist Karl-Erik Welin. This impressive Ligeti music gives the feeling of rushing through space.
8. Aram Khachaturian – Berceuse
From Khachaturian’s “Gayne Ballet Suite.” This was conducted by Gennadi Rozhdestvensky and the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. Both the conductor and the composer were well represented in the motion picture.
9. György Ligeti – Requiem
This is another part of Ligeti’s "Requiem,” a portion of which appeared in the original film. This, however, is performed by the Hessian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Gielen.
10. Charles Gounod – Margarethe
Charles Gounod’s music by the Radio-Symphony orchestra of Berlin and conducted by Ferenc Fricsay, also gives impressions of graceful objects speeding through space to the accompaniment of graceful music.

Listen to the music, Dave.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Too Late to Duck

You know those bumper stickers that say, "If you can read this, you're too close"?

Well, if you see a smoking gun pointed at you, then you've probably been shot!

As far as I can tell, unlike some other "spy" records (can you say "Jazz All-Stars"? I thought you could), these all appear to be actual TV or film themes.

01 - The James Bond Theme
02 - Burke’s Law Theme
03 - Mr Lucky
04 - Dragnet
05 - The Third Man Theme
06 - Peter Gunn
07 - From Russia With Love
08 - M Squad Theme
09 - Charade
10 - Bond’s “007” Theme
11 - The Man With the Golden Arm
12 - The Fugitive Theme


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Marty Wilson's Jun'gala

Riding the Exotica wave, this LP was released in 1959.  The title is a combination of the words "jungle" and "gala" and maybe "gal."  As Groucho Marx once said, "This is a gala day ... and a gal a day is about all I can handle."

This record is also infamous to those with a third-grade mentality for the title of Track Three.

1) Jungle Fantasy
2) Taboo
3) Misty Poo
4) Passion
5) Enlloro
6) Babalu
7) Harlem Nocturne
8) Champs de Cuba
9) Yumba Murumba
10) Manteca

Now you too can get wild.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Golden Barbershop Ballads

 I admit that sometimes I'm a sucker for sentimentality.  Some kinds.  For instance, I remain unmoved by photos of big-eyed kitty-cats or babies playing with puppies.

But I tear up when watching the kids run home to their families at the end of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  And some (admittedly silly) pop songs about being cheerful because it's a gift to be alive also made me go a little squishy.  James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend" may signify overwrought, overplayed narmy sappiness to most people ... but for Joyce and I, it's ALSO the 45RPM record we played on the Pizza Hut jukebox as we ate together as friends BEFORE knowing that we were also falling in love with each other.

And secondarily, one of my fond memories of being in the Sooner High School Concert Choir was doing some barbershop songs.

So, knowing that expressions of love and devotion may reach a dubious audience, I STILL present to you some Golden Barbershop Ballads.

I found this as a cassette at the local DAV thrift store a couple of years ago.  At home I looked it up.  It's from 1966, and here's a mention of it in Billboard Magazine's February 5th issue:

And here's what we got:

01 - When You're A Long, Long Way From Home - Four Hearseman
02 - Little Pal - The Rascals
03 - My Ideal - The Gala-Lads
04 - A Little Street Where Old Friends Meet - Sun Tones
05 - I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen - Easternaires
06 - Did Your Mother Come From Ireland - Play Tonics
07 - For Me And My Gal - Sidewinders
08 - Love Me and the World Is Mine - Lads of Enchantment
09 - Cabin On The Hilltop - Play Tonics   
10 - That Old Gang Of Mine - Four Pitchikers
11 - Danny Boy - Easternaires
12 - Down By The Old Mill Stream - The Rhythm Counts

Do you suppose that the Four Hearsemen are undertakers in their day jobs?

This is a facet of my musical appreciation society.  It's up to you whether this body of musical eclecticism reflects PASS or FAIL

If you want to give it a try . . .


Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Kynge's Musicke

PSST ... tell the Kynge that if he ever wants to hear his music again, he'll pay the ransom ...

This is, as advertised, "Instrumental Music of the Tudor Court from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I."  And like most such fine music from this era, it has enough familiarities to be easily understood and liked; yet it's different enough from "modern" melodic and chord progressions to catch our ear for something distinctive.  I like it!

Another great LP from ProMusica.

Early Tudor Dances and Fantasias
01 - Three Popular Dances (Anonymous)
La bounette
La doun cella
La chymyse
02 - Six Fantasias
Henry VIII:  Tanndernaken
Robert White:  In nomine
Thomas Tallis:  A point - Veni redemptor - Clarifica me pater
John Mundy: Tres partes in una
03 - William Cornysh:  Fantasia: Fa la sol
04 -  Master Newman:  Pavane
Anonymous:  Galliard
05 - William Byrd:  Fantasia

Elizabethan Popular Tunes and Consort Music
06 - William Byrd:  My Lord of Oxenford's March
John Dowland:  Frog Galliard
07 - Elway Bevin:  Browning
John Ward:  Arye
08 - William Byrd:  O Mistress Mine
09 - John Ward:  Fantasia
10 - Giles Farnaby:   Rosasolis
John Dowland:  Lachrymae Triste
11 - John Coperario:  Fantasi

Here's the deal . . .


Monday, June 9, 2014

Enesco - Liszt Rhapsodies

The original LP had only Enesco's first Roumanian Rhapsody, but insane completist that I am, I just had to add the second one to "complete" the set.  And of course redo the packaging.

1)   Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1, Op.11
2)    Roumanian Rhapsody No. 2, Op.11
3)  Hungarian Rhapsody No. 1 In F Minor 
4)  Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 In D Minor 
5)  Hungarian Rhapsody No. 3 In D Major 
6)   Hungarian Rhapsody No. 4 In D Minor 
7)   Hungarian Rhapsody No. 5 In E Minor 'Heroide Elegiaque' 
8)   Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 In D Major 'Carnival In Pesth' 

This music makes me marvel once more at the genius and simple lyricalness of the cultures from which arose these melodies so well-woven by later composers.

Get rhapsodized!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Today – Live and Kickin’

These albums are by The Texas Playboys, who carried on after Bob Wills' demise.

 Today came out in 1977.  Live & Kickin' came out in 1978.  You can see part of the cover of Live & Kickin' in my blog banner art. 

These are both albums that I first borrowed from Mom, and then "inherited."  It's hard to have more fun than listening to this kind of stuff!

Today (1977)
01     Bring It On Down to My House       3:07
02     Gambling Polka Dot Blues           2:23
03     Lily Dale        3:10
04     T-U-L-S-A Straight Ahead           2:20
05     Osage Stomp          3:00
06     You’re O.K.   2:27
07     Sugar Moon   2:44
08     Panhandle Rag       2:31
09     The Convict and the Rose           3:48
10     Party for the Old Folks           2:49

Live and Kickin’ (1978)
11 Big Ball’s in Cowtown 2:36
12 Oklahoma Twister 3:50
13 Texas Blues 3:08
14 Texas Fiddle 2:45
15 Faded Love 4:57
16 Fiddle Tune  2:02
17 Marie  3:50
18 Steel Guitar Rag  3:14
19 Your Sweet Love Keeps Me Homeward Bound  3:44
20 Dusty Skies  2:59
21 Stay All Night, Stay a Little Longer  2:38

Kick back and have some fun!


Monday, June 2, 2014

Spy Memories

"Long have I traveled in the thrift shops dark,
In quest of who knows what to thrill my brain --
Some music that might bring a mem'ried spark,
Some tune to make my childhood sing again ...."

These are the first lines of a never-to-be completed rewriting of John Keats' "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer."

It sums up the thrift-store wanderings of my early twenties.  I came across many interesting LPs, and many more that were crappy either in production or performance.

But when I came across the works of Roland Shaw around 1983, I struck gold!

The arrangements, in some cases, aren't that close to what you consider "the originals" -- for instance, "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." is bold and brassy, in 4/4 time, and sounds as if modeled after the fine arrangement of "Thunderball" heard elsewhere on this record.

But the "I Spy" and "The Avengers" themes are magnifique.

In the mid 1980s, I worked the overnight shift in a convenience store that went from a small cinder-block building to a full-size 7-11 type.  Part of this process involved the amputation of one half of the small building (about 20 x 40 feet to begin with) to make room for the new construction.  But we stayed in business, the missing north end of the building covered with plywood.

Man, it got cold in there, in December in Oklahoma!  The owners at least provided a propane heater -- those ones that look like an old-fashioned Electrolux vacuum cleaner.  With this thing, you either had melting heat and a jet-plane roar, or silence and quickly dropping temperatures.

Such was the milieu during which I came to love this album.  You see, I had a cassette boombox that I took to work each night, along with a supply of cassettes.  I had this record dubbed onto cassette and it was one of the many I listened to during this winter of my discomfort.

I have a crystalline memory of Track 3 playing in the background as I looked through the half-building's service window into the night.  This record was a fine companion to the chill nights.

1)    The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
2)    Mr. Kiss-Kiss Bang-Bang
3)    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
4)    Goldfinger
5)    The Ipcress File
6)    The Saint
7)    Thunderball
8)    The Avengers
9)    From Russia with Love
10)    I Spy
11)    Our Man Flint
12)    The James Bond Theme

Etch your own memories!

See ya!