BBC Radiophonic Workshop – Fourth Dimension

(How has Dinosaur Gardens managed to avoid all references to the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop until this post?  Surprising…)

So much has been written and said already about the infamous and influential BBC Radiophonic Workshop that I start this post at a loss.  I mean, they deserve the praise — their legendary status is well-deserved — but with so many articles and other dissections of their career and influence, I think I’ll take the easy way out and stick to a short obituary of their accomplishments.

If you know only one thing of their work, it would be the theme to Doctor Who, the venerable BBC sci-fi television series.  They also did the sound effects.  And incidental music.  In fact, they were a BBC department that produced all manners of strange noises and sound effects (and theme songs) for over 200 other BBC shows.  In doing so, they paved a superhighway of innovation that led electronic music growth for decades, from studio engineering to electronic composition to sound collage to synthesizer technology.

I came across this album in a dilapidated Leeds (UK) record shop for just a couple quid and have held onto it for dear life — BBC Radiophonic Workshop on vinyl doesn’t sell cheap.  The standout track for me is easily Vespucci, a funky saunter with a very sampleable cool synth melody.  The abstract cover from this 1973 release looks quite a bit like a CD exploding, perhaps another ahead-of-their-time move from these old-timers.  And finally, this great closing line from the liner notes:

“The specially created stereo is not an attempt at realism, but is used as a sound object in its own right.”

  1. Scene & Heard
  2. Just Love
  3. Vespucci
  4. Reg
  5. Tamariu
  6. One-Eighty-One
  7. Fourth Dimension
  8. Colour Radio
  9. Take Another Look
  10. Kaleidoscope
  11. The Space Between
  12. Flashback

Survive-All Fallout Shelter Radio Ads

The international struggles of our world may lead to… (ka-boom) NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST!

Nothing lends itself better to a fear-based advertising campaign than your family’s radioactive death. So when the Mort Kridel Advertising Agency was asked to create a radio ad campaign for Survive-All Fallout Shelters, they did their PR-darnedest to scare the Wonder Bread crap out of nuclear families everywhere. Tense horn stabs and canned explosions bracket sales pitches like:

Radioactive fallout, that deadly by-product of a nuclear attack, will kill literally millions of unprotected families in the event of an atomic attack. Is YOUR family protected? Do YOU have a fallout shelter?

Each Civil defense approved, basement-type, Do-It-Yourself fallout shelter includes: A complete fully-stocked first aid kit! Extra strength saran and rayon bunks! A radiation meter and individual dosimeters!

Civil defense approved, FHA approved, no money down, five years to pay!

Economical… but Priceless!

These are ripped from the original LP that would have gone to radio stations from the ad agency. There are 6 long versions and 3 shortened versions, each fairly different. Since it was promotional there was no record cover, but a scan of the record’s label is included.  No year is evident, but since the zip code is two digits, it’s presumably pre-1963, and I would guess late 1950’s.

  1. Maximum Protection (General)
  2. Comparison
  3. Value
  4. Equipment
  5. DYS
  6. Maximum Protection (Steel and Concrete)
  7. DYS (short)
  8. Maximum Protection (Steel and Concrete) (short)
  9. Maximum Protection (General) (short)
  10. Survive-All Shelters Radio Ads LP Label

Survive-All Shelters Radio Ads.zip

8-Tracks of 69: Porno 8-tracks, Part 6 (final post)

This is the sixth and final installment of the series 8-Tracks of 69: Porno 8-tracks. The introduction from the first post bears repeating for latecomers:

The phrase just doesn’t make sense to people when I first say it: Porno 8-track tapes. No, not videos — 8-track tapes, like from the 70’s. Audio only. No, not recordings of porno movie soundtracks. It’s like porno for the blind, or X-rated radio theater: improbable scenarios, occasional sound effects, awkward play-by-play of all the action. Arousing? Stilted? Downright hilarious? You decide.

Fornicating Female Freaks Spine Art

Naturally, I saved one of my faves for last: From the great voices, to the too-busy artwork, “Fornicating Female Freaks” is one of the high cards from these crazy 8’s. Even the sparse, minimalist touches of post-production and mild foley work show that someone, somewhere, had aspirations for this little gem, at least for a few cocaine-fueled mixdown moments. The cover art’s promise to allow you to “Actually listen to desire filled conversations, naked abandoned actions, hear absolutely everything” is not an empty promise; certainly not as empty as the cover baseless proclamation that you will find a “Free Gift Inside! — A Genuine French Tickler Novelty”. There’s a full synopsis printed in teeny-tiny little type on the cover, but it’s more fun to just reprint the red-ink, all-caps, italicized teaser phrases:

With your own ears you hear Rana / built / brick out-house / sex pervert! / Listen to Joanne / nymphomaniac / even / wild / desires. / Freaking off orgy / around the clock sex / fornicating fun and games / balled by a woman. / Fast / Head-Nose-Tongue, / mechanical sex gadgets.

For the truly impatient and A.D.D., I’ve included some choice soundbites. But surely, those soundbites will merely whet your appetite for the full 30 minute meal… and so I say to you, gorge!Stuff your gils with fluff girls and muff thrills! Then relive awkward 8-track porn moments with handy links to all previous posts! Revel in them all… All… of the 8-Tracks of 69!

Fornicating Female Freaks Cover Art

Fornicating Female Freaks Rear Art

Juicy extracted soundbites

  1. “We’re just two lonely bitches on the loose for the weekend.”
  2. “Start the countdown baby”
  3. “Not my cunt ya dumb bitch, put your tongue up my asshole!”
  4. “I want to suck your cum, not your blood.”
  5. “Fuck the bastards / This dump is starting to fill up with those slimy cocksuckers”

(Also see the rest of this series)

8-Tracks of 69: Porno 8-tracks, Part 5

Apartment #69 Spine Art

In the home stretch… just Part 6 left in this series.

And here we take a turn for the dark, with Apartment #69. It’s the saga of two ordinary girls seeking to make a simple modelling living, only to find themselves drugged, then injected “accidentally” with a “superdose” of heroin. But why? Because the mafia needs sex slaves! Duh!

Once the plot kicks in, then the sex sounds ensue — plenty of moaning, groaning, and overly-described titillating actions. The only story in this series that relies on power plays to get you off, Apartment #69 succeeds in its plot extremity at the cost of memorable vocal talent. On the other hand, other porno 8-tracks with more extreme character voices tend to distract the listener from the real job at hand. Perhaps forgettable voices get in the way less.

Apartment #69 Cover Art

Apartment #69 Rear Art

8-Tracks of 69: Porno 8-tracks, Part 4

The character voices in this one, while not as ridiculous as Part 3, are quite the pair: a wholesome, perky woman with an overly stereotyped Irishman keep giving me visions of a wayward Florence Henderson blowing the Blarney Stone on a sex rampage (perhaps after her fling with the clown jewels).

The bad Irish accent comes off sounding drunker than I think he intends, not that anyone’s going for dialectic accuracy here. Combine that with the meager cover art and this is actually one of my least favorite of the porno 8-tracks series. But it still provides some good moments:

“Ah Daisy, I’m in love with you…”
“Aw crap, you’re just in love with my ass.”
“What the hell is the difference between you and your ass anyway!”

“I think your multiplication tables are as screwed up as your fingers are!”

Sex Love Story (LPH5) cover

(Also see the rest of this series)

8-Tracks of 69: Porno 8-tracks, Part 3

Is he a real doctor? Is she a real nymphomaniac?

Either way, it’s real hard to get turned on by a porn scene where the male imitates Arte Johnson imitating Sigmund Freud. But if you didn’t, too bad: this short skit is the only thing on all 8 tracks of this tape! It’s repeated on each of the four bands, though at slightly skewed times (a fraction of a second off for each track). This makes for surreal channel-skipping if you hit the Track Change button repeatedly… probably my favorite thing about the tape, actually.

The cover art is my least favorite thing about it — not only is it a stock porn shot with no text or liner notes, but it’s the same stock porn shot as the previous 8-track tape in this series.

8-Tracks of 69: Porno 8-tracks, Part 2

This is part 2 of 6; you might also enjoy part 1.

“The name of this recording, Suck and Screw Orgy, by Allen Karminsky. This is an educational recording!”

And so begins this 8-track tape of a southern belle visiting a verile dentist. And it continues into the absurd as the writer reaches — and reaches far — for synonyms to keep from repeating the usual “parts of the body” nouns, and the actions that one conducts with them.

“Ah, thank you Miss Firth. You can rinse now.”

Comic relief is achieved with a bad Abbot & Costello ripoff, giving way to a three [way] with the receptionist.

“Oh, excuse me — am I interrupting something?”
“Well, I was just about to begin some oral surgery, nurse, it’s quite a delicate operation…”

NSFW, mainly because of the moaning rather than much of the language, which is not so much prurient as awkward, since any and all lurid actions must be explicitly described. The cover is also NSFW, and seems to be a generic stock photo that was also used on the 8-track “Dr. Kaufman Examines Crystal”, the next part of this series.

8-Tracks of 69: Porno 8-tracks, Part 1

The phrase just doesn’t make sense to people when I first say it: Porno 8-track tapes. No, not videos — 8-track tapes, like from the 70’s. Audio only. No, not recordings of porno movie soundtracks. It’s like porno for the blind, or X-rated radio theater: improbable scenarios, occasional sound effects, awkward play-by-play of all the action. Arousing? Stilted? Downright hilarious? You decide.

Like many of the real gems in my audio holdings, I acquired this from Goldmine Records, Columbus Ohio. I need to take a few moments here to briefly canonize Goldmine and especially Goldmine’s owner, Joe (both RIP). Goldmine for me was… well… a goldmine: it was nearby, it was cheap, and good stuff came through regularly. Joe was just right for it. Half rock casualty, half Simpsons comic book guy, Joe was a Zappa-worshipping music lover who ran this store for MEN. And not just all men: the list of people who had been kicked out of the store and banned for life was not short. The infraction could be anything from questioning Zappa’s genius (the signed show poster behind the counter should’ve warned you) or “using the lord’s name in vain” as a hand-written notice near the Zappa poster warned. Joe’s appreciation for Zappa wasn’t just in life — he died the same way as Zappa, too (prostate cancer).

Although I was never big Zappa fan or even for most of Joe’s likes, he took a shining to me. I think he simply understood that even though I appreciated confusing things like inappropriate religious records and other shitty sounds, I liked what I liked, and I liked it hard and by the dozen. And he gave me quantity discounts on those dozens, for which I am so grateful that I’ll spend paragraphs canonizing him on a blog. (Record stores, take note…)

These six 8-tracks, which will be posted in six parts over the next few weeks, were no exception. Joe held these for me at the store and left one of his characteristically gruff messages on my answering machine to get over there. Mouth agape, I inspected these 8-track treasures while he went on about how amazing they were, how rare they were, how he’d never seen anything like them before. I was bracing myself for the worst…

“Alright Joe… how much?”
“Eh — dollar each.”

I miss Joe.

The Lustful Sexlife of a Perverted Nympho Housewife spine artwork

Wild sex crammed story – The greatest stag album ever! You actually hear crystal clear everything that goes on….THE LUSTFUL SEXLIFE OF A PERVERTED NYMPHO HOUSEWIFE

The first and last tapes of this series are my favorites for many reasons, mainly the voice actresses/actors, the 8-track artwork, and also the production quality. The artwork is the first thing to hit you — it’s dense, way too busy for a small 8-track. This is because of that bad habit labels had of just shrinking the 12″ album artwork down for 8-track releases, but get out your magnifying glass because it’s worth the look for liner notes like: (enjoy the inappropriate caps)

The first to stick you in the ear with what you want to hear! YOU’LL BE AMAZED listening to this sexciting audio stage recording, it is many times more stimulating than reading a book, each participant in this sensuously exciting story is alive, you hear real MEN and WOMEN actually SPEAKING with EACH OTHER saying the real words real people say, DRAMATIZING the REAL ACTS that real people do. There is no doubt about it, you will enjoy being SEDUCED by these tantilizing-tittillating characters. Get ready for many thrilling nights of listening pleasure, you will be delighted by the drama and stimulating power of this new wave of audio stag recordings.

“Actually speaking to each other”…! Ain’t that a toe-curler? But “dramatizing” is a key word here: this audio porn, meaning that all the action must be verbally described. If you thought fumbling with a difficult bra hook is an awkward moment in bed, try play-by-play narrative about every relevant action, excretion, and orifice.

But… writing about audio porn is like dancing about architecture. Just go listen. The full MP3 transfer is below. Apologies for the lousy sound quality — blame the lousy 8-track tape player I used, after failing to find a better one at five thrift stores. But bad recordings are better than no recordings, right? Send me a better 8-track deck and I’ll send you the resulting improved transfers.

Free gift inside! (worth $2.00) A genuine French tickler novelty

This release is catalog number A8T-1002 from Audio Stag Records, “A product of Unique Ideas, Inc. / 1674 Broadway, N.Y.C., N.Y. 10019”.

  1. The Lustful Sexlife of a Perverted Nympho Housewife

The Lustful Sexlife of a Perverted Nympho Housewife cover art.

The Lustful Sexlife of a Perverted Nympho Housewife rear art.

Dedicated to Joe (RIP) and Goldmine Records (Columbus, Ohio) for providing this gold, and so many more treasures.

Don’t Miss The Great Snatch

Happy birthday, Art!

For those that aren’t familiar with my band, The Evolution Control Committee has been doing sample-heavy, cut-n-paste music for a long, long time (in our 20th year!). It’s somewhere between pop and experimental; funkier than Negativland, but smarter than Coldcut. So in collecting sample material for The ECC (and a little similar to Coldcut’s label name, Ninja Tune) I am a black belt crate digger.

To gather samples and raw materials to mash into The ECC’s music, I have frequented dusty record shops, thrift stores, and flea markets worldwide, scouring the endless bins of vinyl… sweet vinyl. And you, the discerning reader and listener of Dinosaur Gardens, are now the beneficiaries of some of the best nuggets of this black gold. In fact, there’s a category in my record collection which holds the best of the best. It is appropriately labelled “Cream of the Crap.”

This is one of those records. Cover Artwork (small)

The story begins in Columbus Ohio, where I used to live. The thrifting was grand, and I had the thrift paths well-beaten. One particular fave destination was a thrift store very far out, a bit of a drive but often well worth it. I remember this was near the tail end of the thrift era; even in Ohio — especially in Ohio — the thrifts were quickly depleted of joyous booty as eBay blew up.

In Ohio, as in much of the bible belt and truly in thrift stores in general, religious records are almost literally a dime a dozen. There are so many albums of sermons, of gospel singers, of televangelists, and of Christian kids’ records (in my collection, that category is “Opiates for the Lasses”). Many are forgettable. Some are just good for the cover. Some are kinda fun and/or funny. Some are a scream. And some are all of the above.

I can visualize the moment — flipping through the awkwardly-shelved records, the usual cruft of Herb Alpert, Frampton Comes Alive, Ray Coniff… and then, this headline pops up: DON’T MISS THE GREAT SNATCH. I froze, stunned. In the crate-digging mindset, one gets a lot of practice summing up records quickly, initially based off the cover artwork and title. But this didn’t match: “Snatch” in the title? Adult comedy, probably. But the primitive, amateur artwork didn’t match. Flipping the record over deepened the mystery: There was the Elder Marshall Taylor, bible in one hand looking skyward. er… huh?

I’ll skip right to the punchline: “Snatch”, in this case, is the rapture. Still, I had to wonder if anyone told Elder Taylor “snatch” has some, er, other meanings. Needless to say, I snatched (sorry) the record up immediately, along with another album of Taylor’s that I found nearby: “Don’t Let The Devil Blow Your Mind.”

When I got home it was the first of the day’s thrift scores to go on the turntable. It didn’t disappoint. For out-of-context soundbites, this was aural caviar:

“Two would be in the bed, and one snatch!”
“Many pleasures of life are used… but I happen to prefer The Snatch.”
“There is one thing that all of us should be aiming for… and that is The Snatch!”

Even the non-snatch samples were great:

“…and let me go on to the disco, and get the Saturday Night Fever, Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye, and I’ll just have me a TIME!”

The Elder Marshall Taylor is a soul preacher. black and proud. The shaky press-type liner notes on the back proclaims “DETROIT, MICHIGAN” in large type, and the sermon sounds it. It’s great, actually. The gospel music that opens it gives way to Elder Taylor, timid and almost apologetic at first. But he builds — boy, does he build — becoming bolder, louder, more animated. The “amens” appear more and more, and before long, he gets rhythm: the sermon is morphing from speech into song. The audience is into it too: yelling and screaming, they’re getting sucked into the raw energy of it. By the end, it’s at fever pitch — the reverend, the congregation, the band, the din, the chaos. Now THAT’S religion.

It took a few years, but I finally coaxed the samples into a pretty worthwhile song, also called “Don’t miss the great snatch”, which appeared on our album Plagiarhythm Nation, v2. As for the Elder Marshall, some web sleuthing leads me to suspect that he (or perhaps his son) is still preaching the gospel up in Detroit. But as for his albums, I can find nothing anywhere mentioning them.

Here are my ten favorite samples from the album:

  1. Don’t miss the great snatch
  2. Don’t go to hell second class
  3. I appreciate the word Snatch
  4. I happen to prefer the snatch
  5. One thing all of us should be aiming for
  6. So don’t miss that snatch
  7. Two in the bed and one snatch
  8. Sisters make the snatch
  9. Brothers make the snatch
  10. The snatch could come any day now

Here’s the main snatch-related parts of the sermon. Part 1 sets up the groundwork for what the snatch is. Part 2 has elder Taylor riffing on his own personal low points before he got wise to the snatch. Part 3 continues with snatches in the bible.

Cover Artwork

Back Artwork

And finally, the song that The Evolution Control Committee made out of it:

1960’s John Deere sales soundtrack: “Manure Handling Equipment”

Manure Handling Equipment record label

I just don’t even need to say anything about this, do I?

Well, I will say a few things. As the opening stock-music fanfare gives way to the manly announcer proclaiming, “When it comes to handling manure, you need dependable equipment!” you know you’re in for a good thing. Plenty of fun quotes, such as “Teeth are arranged to pull manure inward,” though for some reason I just love the brief statement, “Adjust suck.”

Incidentally, the reason I have it is that my grandfather and my uncle ran the John Deere store in Plain City, Ohio (yes, “Plain City”… you can’t make that stuff up) for many years. Although my family was far from rural or white trash, this meant we had John Deere everything: John Deere calendars, John Deere bicycles, John Deere wall thermometers. When they closed up shop, my parents managed to hold onto a couple dozen of these records, all 45 RPM soundtracks to sales presentations. This is easily my fave.