Friday, August 10, 2007

Rescued From The Bargain Bins Of History: 3

Mort Garson's Electronic Hair Pieces:
Walking In Space
(A&M, 1969)

A general rule of thumb when buying junk shop LPs: if the record was made between 1966 and 1973 and the cover is interesting, buy it. If the cover features a crazily made-up woman / mannequin character with wires coming out of her head, really buy it. If the LP features envelope-pushing cover versions of hits of the day played by a balding man in thick spectacles playing a synthesizer bigger than your own house, run to the counter with your money and get it in the bag quick.

I got this little gem in the Scope shop on the Goldhawk Road. I can't pretend I was a huge Mort Garson fan because I wasn't - I'm still not - but when you see a sleeve like the one for his Moog experiments upon the soundtrack to hippie musical Hair then the only sensible thing to do is to get your 25 pence ready and invest. Not because the record is amazing from beginning to end - it isn't - but because your pennies are buying you a brilliant piece of history. Released the same year I was born, this LP comes from a time when so many millions of people bought so many millions of LPs that ridiculous, utterly un-commercial nonsense like this could get recorded and released by otherwise quite sensible labels (A&M made most of their money from Herb Alpert). This was a time of plenty when even a late middle-aged Canadian slap-head like Garson could get bunged a tasty few quid to record the noodlings he squeaked out of the crazy, new-fangled instrumentation he kept in his garage.

I salute you, Mort. I salute your A&R man too. What a generous, easily excitable, cheque-book-at-the-ready time that must have been.

Anyway, these people seem to be in the right mood...

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