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.
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!
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.
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!”
Dudley Moore is known as the piano-playing drunk millionaire Arthur on this side of the Atlantic, but in England he’ll always be known as one half of a comedy duo with Peter Cook, who wrote and co-starred in Bedazzled along with Moore, who wrote the music for it in 1967. (It was remade in 2000 with Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley.) They’d come fresh from success after success in the UK for their radio and TV sketch-comedy shows, in which Cook was often the antagonist to Moore. In Bedazzled Cook is the ultimate antagonist — the Devil — come to Swinging London to claim a sad-sack short-order cook’s soul. Cook saw the film as his chance at transatlantic moviestardom; he took sole charge of the screenplay and made sure Satan got all the best lines (“We’ve been hit very badly by this peace scare”). Ironically, his intentionally subdued performance (the better to contrast himself with Moore’s pathetic, desperate, but sympathetic character) did too good of a job: Bedazzled was the beginning of Moore’s brief reign as American box-office king with films like 10 and Arthur, and the beginning of Cook’s slide into undeserved relative obscurity (American audiences know him from his cameo as the speech-impaired bishop in The Princess Bride).
The disparity between their characters’ natures is used to great effect in the film’s pop-star sequence, in which Moore, having requested that the Devil make him an adored figure, is transported to a Ready Steady Go–like studio set. Moore belts out a Tom Jones–esque song pleading for the audience to “Love Me”, and the audience duly screams for him in a perfect parody of Hard Day’s Night. Cook, again turning up to crush Moore’s fantasies, arrives on set after him as “Drimble Wedge and The Vegetations” and delivers “Bedazzled,” a bizarre tune that features Cook intoning “I’m callous / I’m dull / you bore me” in a monotone while undeterred backup singers sing “you drive me wild!” The challenge of “I’m not available” is too much for the studio audience, who forget all about Moore and swarm Cook.
The film’s soundtrack, composed by Moore, has some great pieces on it; besides the two songs above, the film’s main title is memorable. There’s some easy-listening filler, but it’s intended as schmaltz to underscore the vapidity of the characters in certain sequences. There’s some good strip-club music to showcase Raquel Welch (Cook wanted to call the film “Raquel Welch” so the posters could read “Peter Cook and Dudley Moore in Raquel Welch”), as the personification of the deadly sin Lust.
Maureen “Moe” Tucker, the Velvet Underground’s drummer, was notable in that even people who don’t pay a lot of attention to drummer styles can immediately pick her out. Her style — mallets, not sticks; no snares on the drums; very few cymbals; all to a Bo Diddley–influenced beat — was even more vital to the VU’s sound than John Cale’s viola, and it’s no coincidence that the only VU album she wasn’t on, 1970’s Loaded, was also by far their worst.
After the Velvets broke up, she moved to Texas and got a job at Wal-Mart, and concentrated on raising her large family. She finally went back to music in 1981, when she recorded her first album, Playin’ Possum. She recorded it in her living room (“between diaper changes”, she says) over a period of six months, overdubbing every instrument, and the result was quite odd; it doesn’t really sound like anything else. It’s one of my favorite albums (although I think her more conventional I Spent a Week There the Other Night is even better).
This is a difficult LP to find, and unlike the rest of her catalog it hasn’t been issued on CD. It was released on “Trash Records”, which I think was just Tucker’s own label. I managed to find a copy at a used-record store back in the late 1980s; I put it in storage with all my other records in a rural farmhouse I won in a bet and left it there for years. I went back a couple years ago and the roof had sprung a leak. Just one. In a giant house. And where else but directly above the one box that had most of my hard-to-find records like this one and a mono copy of the Velvet Underground’s first album with an unpeeled banana and Eric Emerson on the back (basically the equivalent of the Beatles’ “Butcher Cover”). The covers were destroyed by the water and mold was growing in the grooves. Sigh.
I managed to find another copy, finally, and it’s pretty clean, so here it is. Unfortunately, the cover has stickers all over it, so I can’t get a scan of it. I’m using the only image I can find on Google, which is much lower resolution than I would normally use. Sorry about that. I’m pretty happy with how the MP3s came out, though, so I guess that’s the important thing.
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.
Ennio Morricone, one of the world’s greatest and most prolific film composers, picked up an honorary Oscar at the last Academy Awards. Clint Eastwood’s introduction was doddering, and the montage of “famous Morricone moments” could have been better (they didn’t even use the original music from the films in some cases!), but the gesture was appreciated and long overdue. “I have received so many beautiful, incredible prizes, but there was a little hole – maybe the Oscar fills the hole.”
Here’s 17 tracks from the man they call Il Maestro.
I’d written that Alejandro Jodorowsky had settled with Allen Klein, clearing the way for theatrical and DVD releases of his films, and now it’s been announced that May 1 is the release date for a boxed set of Jodorowsky’s El Topo, The Holy Mountain, and Fando y Lis. Prints of El Topo and Holy Mountain are currently touring the country. Not as spectacular as the Japanese box, but fantastic news nonetheless.
Turns out Shiina Ringo’s solo career hasn’t ended after all: February 21 brings us Heisei Fuuzoku, featuring mostly orchestral rearrangements of tunes from Kalk Samen Kuri No Kana as well as other Ringo records. My guess is that this is Ringo’s bid for overseas recognition as the album will be available through iTunes UK, and Ringo sings in English on some tracks.
The obscure doo-wop group The Poets were five teenagers from Thomas Jefferson High School in Los Angeles, arguably the birthplace of doo-wop music (its alumni included Richard Berry of The Pharaohs and The Robins, Cornell Gunter of The Platters and The Coasters, and Curtis Williams of The Penguins). They recorded one single for Flash Records in 1958, “Dead” b/w “Vowels of Love”.
Although “Vowels” ended up being better-known after the 1960s doo-wop revival (and is a perfectly fun little song), “Dead” is the real gem. A proto-rap Halloween-themed piece, where the kids make monster noises over spooky, heavily echoed minimal piano accompaniment. Some great lyrics, too.
The single went nowhere, and four of the five Poets went on to normal lives. The fifth, however, was Roy Ayers, soon to become the most famous jazz vibraphonist since Lionel Hampton.
Here are the released versions and early takes of both songs. The piano solo on the early take of “Dead” is a bit… dull. I imagine the engineer saying, “Uh, guys? Can you do something over the solo? Like laugh maniacally?”