Don’t Panic

Yay! Been after this one for quite a while, actually. After the original Radio 4 series, but just before the BBC2 TV series, came this specially-recorded double-vinyl gatefold version of Douglas Adams’ brilliant Hitch-hikers Guide To The Galaxy, recorded July-August 1979 with music by Tim Souster and the Radiophonic Workshop’s Paddy Kingsland.

Sleeve design by Hipgnosis, featuring the same graphics as the Pan paperback edition from the same period, which I can still remember buying with my pocket money for 95p in the gift shop of a campsite in Charmouth in 1980 (and I still have the book – see above pic).

And yes, I know there’s a second volume, I already thrifted that one yonks ago.

Published in: on April 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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2000 Words in the English Language Frequently Mispronounced – Spoken by Carlton Hobbs

Look mate – if you don’t bleedin well get those goddam words aht the way them meant to be – I’ll ave-yah – fink oim jokin loike – don’t give me that zummerzit twang matey – standup straight – use those lungs – speak the BBC-english propaaahhh way – NOW !!  

2000 werdzzz – yep – you have it in full – 2000 words that MATTAHHH … split into categories ranging from let me see now – oh yeah A-Z that’s it ….   

A classic break-beat-groove for the post-industrial generation – just in time for the royal wedding – at which U-WILL-BE-JUDGED – by nothing more than how you pronounce abattoir !!  

This disc is THAT IMPORTANT !!!  TRUST ME – I’m a speech-therepist – ain’t oi!!

Published in: on April 1, 2011 at 12:37 pm  Comments (8)  
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The Greatest Adventure Yet From Captain Kremmen

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Back in 1980, when this record was released, I probably thought Kenny Everett was the funniest, most anarchic, irreverent, saucy, outrageous, cutting-edge comedian working in mainstream entertainment. But what did I know? I was only 11 years old!

But still, I have fond memories of the Kenny Everett Video Show, from whence the Captain Kremmen character, along with his sidekicks Lady Carla and Doktor Heinrich Von Gitfinger, were born, as an animated feature. This is a Wireless Workshop production, featuring lots of electronic special effects, but Everett remains the star of the show, providing all the voices for the various characters. It still has a few moments worth a chuckle, but clearly humour could be a lot different back then. Here’s a typical ‘gag’ from the record…

CARLA: Captain!! I’ve just been graped!!

KREMMEN: Don’t you mean raped?

CARLA: No, there was a whole bunch of ’em!

The storyline for this futuristic sci-fi romp was set in the year 2009, which makes me feel even older than I already did…

Published in: on May 13, 2010 at 7:14 pm  Comments (2)  
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The War Of The Worlds (reprise)

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Following on from my colleague’s post yesterday, it reminded me that I never got around to posting the full double-gatefold album version of Jeff Wayne’s classic which I came across last year, complete with original booklet insert featuring more superb artwork from Geoff Taylor and others…

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Back when this was released in 1978, I remember there was a real buzz about it at school. My parents never bought it, unfortunately, so I had to make-do with listening at friends’ houses whenever possible. When I found this copy for a couple of quid, it felt like closure; a resolution of a niggling resentment that had been quietly simmering in my soul since I was nine. At last! I can finally listen to my own copy!!

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I still reckon it’s a bloody good listen for about 90% of the time (sorry, I can’t agree with my colleague’s assertion that ‘Horsell Common And The Heat Ray’ ‘sucks’ – it’s wicked, but perhaps best heard in context of the overall narrative) and some of those sound effects still have the power to send a chilly ripple down the spine. In fact, the only other record designed for children’s entertainment that I can think of that makes comparable use of scary electronic sounds is “Dr. Who & the Pescatons” (more on that another time).

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Quite possibly Richard Burton’s finest hour…

Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 9:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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Camberwick Green/Trumpton

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I would buy more kids’ records, but the problem is finding them in good (ie, ‘playable’) condition. Having despairingly observed my own children’s careless handling of their CDs and DVDs, it comes as little surprise that most vinyl records designed for, and used by, kids will be scratched to buggery by the time they’ve finished with them. In my experience, the only media that are reasonably kid-proof are cassette and video tapes.

I found these two together, so thought I’d post them together as well. Although the sleeves have been quite badly sun-bleached, the platters within are remarkably well preserved considering their age (1966 and 1967 respectively).

Anyone who was a child in Britain during the ’60s will be familiar with these charming shows created by Gordon Murray, as will ’70s kids like me, thanks to their creator’s astute decision to film the shows in colour, thus ensuring their repeat potential in the following decade.

Listening to these audio-only versions helps to focus attention on the timeless qualities of Freddie Philips’ musical accompaniment, plus the eerie sound effects provided by Music Features. Then of course there’s the reassuring tones of narrator Brian Cant – a man so ubiquitous on kids TV in the seventies, he was practically a second father-figure for many of us.

Published in: on January 8, 2010 at 8:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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Children Talking

Children Talking

As the title suggests, this features the ‘mashed potato’ sample as used by Aphex Twin on the track “Children Talking” (spoken by a boy from Burnley, in case you were interested).  There’s a couple of other bits I recognise that were sampled by lesser dance artists, too.  But let’s face it, an all-spoken word record like this was begging to become sample fodder for the more eccentric producers.

I don’t remember the original BBC series as it was back in the ’60s, but it’s still an amusing listen. As any fellow parent will know, little kids come out with the funniest, most bizarre comments sometimes!

Interesting to note how polite most of the children are, usually refering to the interviewer as ‘sir’. Y’see, this was back in the days when kids could expect a good clip round the ear if they forgot their manners.

Published in: on August 28, 2009 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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