Electric Eclectics

Added three more classic albums to my library!

First I spotted Moog: The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman at a flea market.

moog the electric eclectics of dick hyman

If you’re not familiar with the album, it’s got some great Moog tunes, including a track that Beck sampled on his album, Odelay.  The first few seconds of the track should be instantly familiar.

Here’s “The Moog and Me.”

Next up I found a copy of a double LP Underworld album missing from my vinyl collection at a great price (and in the States, no less) so I couldn’t resist ordering it.

Beaucoup Fish came out in 1998/99 and includes both cerebral headphone tunes (such as “Winjer”) and floor-stomping concert-encore anthems like “Moaner.”

But I saved the best for last.  I’ve been on the look out for modal and more downtempo works by Miles Davis as I better acquaint myself with his catalog.  In a local record shop I passed a repressing of an album called In a Silent Way.

The title had “ambient” potential so I went home and looked it up.  Ten minutes into side B I was tracking down a mint first pressing on the Web.

Astonishingly, I found a man who had purchased a copy in 1969 when it came out, played it for a few minutes on his turntable, and then shelved it for 43 years because he thought it was, “boring!”

Have a listen to the title track from side B.

And watch for the funky little bass line that creeps up on you at 08:18.  I think that was the moment when I smiled and said, “it will be mine.”

Treasures Untold

Between my recent motherboard failure and setting up the replacement PC my stepfather so generously donated to me, I’ve picked up a lot of vinyl that didn’t make it to my blog.  I thought I’d take a moment to highlight some of the better ones that I’ve neglected.

First, I found Funkadelic’s Electric Spanking of War Babies in NM shape at an antique shop.  It is another outstanding example of Pedro Bell’s artwork.

The next item I picked up was the first album to feature regenerative tape loops which Robert Fripp and Brian Eno dubbed ‘Frippertronics.’  The album is an ambient classic – No Pussyfooting.

Side A is the standout track at over 20 minutes in length, titled “The Heavenly Music Corporation.”

I insist on tracking down original pressings whenever possible, and I was lucky to find an extremely clean copy at a great price.

And thanks to my friend Brrrn and good timing at a flea market, two more early Eno recordings fell into my hands.  One was Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) – Eno’s second solo album and the other was a long-time favorite collaboration with Harold Budd titled Ambient 2 – Plateaux of Mirror.  Plateaux was one of my first digital ambient albums many years ago.

The next treasure is a deep cut, and one of historical significance.  I was exploring The Orb’s catalog and read about a curious track called “The Blue Room,” a 17 minute song which appeared on the album u.f.orb.  What I discovered was that the original single was in fact 40:00 long.

From Wiki:

The UK charts had recently decided that any release with more than 40 minutes of play would be classified as an album rather than single. The Orb thus decided to record a 39:57 version of “Blue Room” for a special release. “Blue Room” is the longest single to ever reach the UK charts, peaking at number eight.

If you have ANY interest in ambient house, you need to hear this song.

The last find in the spectrum of ambient music was a dollar bin neoclassical LP by David Lanz.  Nightfall is one of his best works.

There were several other discoveries including a number of Yes albums previously missing from my collection and Zappa’s Hot Rats which features wonderful contributions from Don Van Vliet.

Last but most certainly not least, I found a number of Sesame Street albums to add to my Jim Henson library.  It’s getting harder and harder to find ones I don’t already have, (over 40 at last count) so these were a treat.

The Ernie LP is extra special.  Mint in shrink, it includes some of my most beloved memories from the Street – “Rubber Duckie,” “Imagination,” “I Don’t Want to Live On The Moon,” and the hilarious “Dance Myself to Sleep.”

If only it featured “Put Down the Duckie” it would be my favorite Sesame record ever.  Sadly, that duet between Ernie and Hoots the Owl never made it to vinyl.

Here’s the video for “Dance Myself to Sleep.”  If you’re really savvy you might just catch the Andrews Sisters reference Ernie makes to a hit from 1941.  Watch for it!