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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Space 1999 Exciting New Hit Series

Breakaway
Space: 1999
Independent Television Corporation 1975
Power Records A Division Of Peter Pan Records, Newark NJ
No. 8162

Splashy cover art and stories created for the purpose of capitalizing on the success of the TV series.

The first track on the A side is a tale that uses "magnetic energy" as a foil. Apparently there was a problem with cell phones and refrigerator magnets on the dark side of the moon. This is serious. "Emergency Code Alpha 1"!

Actually, this is the story about The Moon breaking away from The Earth. The crew on The Moon wants to go back to The Earth. But The Earth is pretty much screwed and a second later a new planet on which it is possible to create new waste dumps filled with cell phones and refrigerator magnets is discovered!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Space 1999 The Future Is Fantastic

Return To The Beginning
Space: 1999
Independent Television Corporation 1976
Power Records A Division Of Peter Pan Records, Newark NJ

Splashy cover art and stories created for the purpose of capitalizing on the success of the TV series.

The first track on the A side is a tale that uses Noah's Ark, as a "factual" foundation for the story.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

From Another World

Stormy Weather
From Another World
Arranged And Conducted By Sid Bass
Vik Record (RCA) LX-1053 1956
Recording Engineer: Fred Elsasser
Sound Effects Engineer: Donald Hoefler

Terrific space age recording with very cool cover art. Space age "sounds". For the most part the "space" audio are lead in and lead outs on each track. But the manipulated audio blends very well into and out of the big band arrangements. And the arrangements aren't stuffy and trend towards exotica. I found the LP a lot of fun.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Star Dancing

Star Dancing
Ray Anthony
Plays For Star Dancing
Capitol Records T831 1959

Instrumentals with a few tunes sung by The Belvederes.

Other Worlds Other Sounds - Esquivel And His Orchestra

Nature Boy


Other Worlds Other Sounds
Esquivel And His Orchestra
Produced by Johnnie Camacho
RCA Victor LPM-1753
1958

From the back cover: "Esquivel is one arranger why really writes for stereophonic sound!" This was said by Johnnie Camacho, RCA Victor's musical director for international releases who was responsible for bringing the Mexican maestro to the United States not long ago for his first truly hi-fi recording dates in California. The claim is fully borne out by the contents of this album.

Fronting a 26-piece orchestra of outstanding musicians, Esquivel, who is also heard on piano, did all the arrangements for Randy Van Horne vocal group as well as for the sidemen. Throughout, he has demonstrated his uncanny knack for utilizing the latest, most super-stereophonic equipment–not for sound alone, but to bring out all the nuances and flavor of his arranging skill. Thus the listener can truly appreciate the musicianship of this extraordinary triple-threat man. All the numbers are standards except for Barclay Allen's new Playfull, and are performed in a somewhat subdued beguine tempo maintained by a rhythm section that includes, in part, two guitars, timpani, bongos, conga drum and an organ!

Juan Garcia Esquivel is a self-taught pianist and arranger who has been featured on many of the top Mexican radio and TV programs. One of his trademarks has long been his imaginative use of vocal groups. His unerring taste in this type of arranging demonstrates still another facet of his remarkable gifts. Esquivel, who plays one of the meanest pianos north or south of the border, gives the listener the impression that there are two pianists playing. There were no dual tracking or gimmicks during he performance: it's all just sheer pianistic magic. – Stanley Green


From Billboard - November 10, 1958: The original monaural version of the Mexican maestro's sound specialty album was a hi-fi standout. The colorful contrasts of the instrumentation in these Latin-tinged, big-band readings lend themselves to the stereo medium and the engineers made the most of the opportunity. Good listening set provides a good workout for the system.

Granada
Begin The Beguine
Night And Day
Poinciana
Playfully
Adios
That Old Black Magic
Nature Boy
Magic Is The Moonlight (Te Quiero Dijiste)
Speak Low
Ballerina
It Had To Be You

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ferrante & Teicher - Blast Off!

Blast Off!
Ferrante and Teicher
ABC-Paramount
ABC-285
1959

Hi Hopes Play & Sing

Hi Hope Play & Sing
Hi Hopes
Play & Sing
1975

Track List:

A Side
1. Freedom is the Song of My Country
2. Cantamos
3. Jam in G
4. Sharing Our Song With You
5. Celebrate Today

B Side
1. Sunrise Rock
2. It's A Beautiful World
3. Sunshine
4. You Can Do
5. You Were There

Hold on to your pile of oddball records! I have the Holy Grail Of Strange Records to share today.

This record is the gem of my collection and I deem it the Holy Grail.

The Hi Hopes were a group of students (15 to 21 years of age) attending The Hope School, Anaheim, CA. The students assembled together as a band and played during the 70s (maybe longer). The idea was to help increase self-confidence and therefore "increase efforts in other areas".

At some point, and somehow, The Hi Hopes caught on and did a lot of gigs, including The Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. You can click on the third image above and read all about the many venues the Hi Hopes played.

According to one online source The High Hope made three commercial albums: Ability, Hi Hopes and Journey. I thought that this LP may be a pre-release copy of one of the existing commercial albums. But this LP is not one of those albums.

There is mention of this LP online, but only briefly and with no real information. I've seen a Hi Hopes DVD and a 45 for sale. It is hard to say what's out there.

In addition, as you've noted in the images above, the record came with lot of information including some instructional material (how to play the songs) and song sheets.

To top it off the hand-made album cover is autographed! Apparently, from a notation found in the upper right corner, this album was a gift to someone. "Thanks For A Lovely Evening – The Hi Hopes (signed by the music teacher Doris E. Walker). And from what I can tell, five members of the group.

All the songs are wonderful and I decided to share the whole LP.

Anyone who like to make fun (when I say oddball or strange music I mean this in a good way)... consider that these kids have done more, seen more and meant more to the world than most of us ever will no matter how hard we try to make a dent!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cotton Fields - Arthur Lyman

Brazil


Cotton Fields
Arthur Lyman
Cover Photo: Werner Stoy - Camera Hawaii
Cover Design: Jac Brahm
Recorded by Richard Vaughn
HiFi Records, Inc.
Life Series STEREO L1010
Everest Records Production
1963

From the back cover: In the 4-member Arthur Lyman Group (which always sounds like 8), you'll hear versatile Leader Lyman playing vibes, marimba, congas, bongos and guitar. Allan Soares, pianist extraordinaire, plays also glockenspiel, chimes, clavietta and special percussive instruments. Bassist John Kramer puts out with a mellow flute and classical guitar. Harold Chang is seemingly everywhere, doubling on xylophone, ukulele, drums (14 of them) and special effects.

From Billboard - April 27, 1963: Lyman has always been a consistent performer in the album derby and a solid push should be generated for this by the single, "Cotton Fields," which is included and spotlighted on the LP jacket. The mood is very much in the usual Lyman style with "Greensleeves," "Hawaiian War Chant" and "Scarlet Ribbons" just a few of the other top-flight tracks beside the title tune

Jungle Drums
Greensleeves
Walk On The Wild Side
Limbo Rock (Bossa Nova)
And This Is My Beloved
Hawaiian War Chant (Ta Hu Wa Hu Wai) (Bossa Nova)
Cotton Fields (The Cotton Song)
Singing Bamboo
Brazil (Bossa Nova)
Little Girl Blue
Scarlet Ribbons (For Her Hair)
I Ain't Down Yet