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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Motion In Percussion - The Hollywood Pops Symphony

Voodoo Moon
Motion In Percussion
The Hollywood Pops Symphony
Conducted By Robert Lowden
Miller International
Sonic Workshop - Project No. 0100
1960

This is a curious album, produced by D. L. Miller. Miller was Somerset Records, a budget label he owned that produced some good product, along with tons of budget records, including 101 Strings (there are some great 101s out there).

Miller seems to have distanced himself from the "budget" side of his business for this project. I'm thinking that he wanted to try his hand at producing a slick and trendy album. This package was obviously influenced by Enoch Light and Command. The jacket is a gatefold and more, the red panel featuring the word "MOTION" is die cut into the jacket. The insert is one of those ridged pieces of plastic that when you turn the jacket one way, it changes from red to yellow and the word motion repeats, but in red and at a different scale. This was an EXPENSIVE jacket to produce. Design credit goes to W. Dressler.

The engineering is very good on this record (recorded at United Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA). The quality is close to what I hear on Command and Mercury from the period. Somerset recordings, in general weren't necessarily low in quality.  But so much of the content came from where ever he could beg barrow or steal it. There was little control or emphasis on quality recording.

The content of this album is as good as many of the fun, light pop records coming from Command at the time. And Miller is right on top of the trend, borrowing ping pong and percussion stylings from Light. Voodoo Moon is probably one of the cooler tunes off the album. There is also a cool cover of Caravan on this album and a dramatic cover of Ski Run from the movie Spellbound.

This is a fun record! Enjoy the sample!

3 comments:

  1. My father had this record when I was a kid and I got into it. He wound up giving it to me and I wound up breaking it. I really missed hearing it over the years. In the late 1990s a friend took me to a huge used record store I had never been to. I told him about this album and he said maybe the store would have it. I said if they would have this obscure record from the early 60s it would be a miracle. At that point I even forgot the album's title, just remembering the unique cover. He started looking through the New Arrivals bin and after about five minutes he held up an album and asked if this was it. It was it! I started to scream loudly "That's it!" over and over with people looking at me like I was crazy. I just couldn't believe it! So I am now reunited with one of my favorite childhood memories and believe me I treat it ever so gently!

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  2. In Germany it has been released by Sommerset, simpel cover, German back side.
    But ist says on the back: Die perfekte Stereo Demonstration ( The perfect Stereo demonstration. It has been one of these endless records everybody wanted these days to check his new stereo equipment. It never really works, but we sold a lot LPs like this. However, good wired music.
    - But I'm still a Phil Sepctor fan - Back To Mono!

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