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Re: Oddball Albums You Owned As a Child

Oddball Albums You Owned As a Child
July 23, 2020 04:35PM
When I was a child, I owned several oddball albums that either my parents or my grandmother bought for me. These were records that I listened to constantly, and five of them are seared into my brain. One such album was The Touch of Leonard Nimoy, which Dot released in 1969. (It’s hard to believe, but this was actually Nimoy’s fourth platter.) My grandmother gave me this record because she loved Mr. Spock, and she knew that I was a fan of Star Trek, which I’d recently begun watching in syndication. I was mildly disappointed that Nimoy sported no Vulcan ears on the cover, but I soon became fascinated with the contents of this record, especially “Maiden Wine” (the song Spock sang in “Plato’s Stepchildren”), his cover of Randy Newman’s “I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today”—a version I still love—and the truly bizarre “Contact,” which was probably the most out-there recording I’d ever heard by the tender age of five.

Another album that I adored was a weird 1966 project by the Capes & Masks Orchestra called Comic Book Heroes. This record, released by Mainstream, combined bizarre dialogue with “action” music, and featured such Bill Nelson-sounding track titles as “The Wedding of Mr. Universe and Fantastic Gal,” “The Atom Smasher Fights the C.A.N.A.R.Y. Gang From the Planet Zeroxa,” and “Hey, What Th……….?” (which should have been reused for an Orchestra Arcana album). Side Two of this disc recycled music from Irving Joseph’s 1960 Murder, Inc. album.

Another essential disc was Disneyland’s The Story of the Aristocats, with narration by Sterling Holloway and other original cast members. I’d been mesmerized by the film, and was addicted to the song “Thomas O’Malley Cat.” Siouxsie and the Banshees released a gorgeous cover of The Jungle Book’s “Trust in Me,” and “O’Malley,” in my opinion, cries out for a Bryan Ferry re-make/re-model. (“I’m king of the highway / Prince of the boulevard / Duke of the avant-garde / The world is my backyard.”)

The fourth record was Carl Stevens’ 1962 African Sounds, which actually belonged to my mother. This Mercury release, whose cover proclaimed the album to be a “Perfect Presence Sound Recording,” featured Stevens’ rendition of Henry Mancini’s “Baby Elephant Walk,” as well as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh).” The album, in retrospect, was my introduction to what has come to be known as “world music.” Too bad Mother didn’t have any Martin Denny discs—I would surely have been entranced by their Sandra Warner covers, which Throbbing Gristle memorably parodied years later.

The final record was one that a friend gave me; I’m not sure why, but perhaps I traded him some comics for it. It was the Jeff Wayne Space Shuttle’s 1975 Wonderland release Theme From Star Trek / Theme From “Planet of the Apes” T.V. Series (Apes’ Shuffle) / Batman Theme / Superman Theme. (Yes, that’s how the album is listed on Discogs.) This is an interesting, mostly instrumental record which features the occasional Surf sound, as ideal as Comic Book Heroes for the imaginary movies that unreeled constantly inside my skull. I’m pleased to say that I found a vinyl rip of this release online several years ago.

These records—with the exception of the Disney soundtrack—fall, I suppose, under the RE/Search category of “Incredibly Strange Music.” They’re strange, all right, and they bring back fond memories for me when I listen to them on YouTube. I’m curious to know what oddball albums the rest of you on this forum had in your childhood, before we all became the musical sophisticates we are today.
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Re: Oddball Albums You Owned As a Child
July 23, 2020 09:52PM
This could also slot into Bip's thread on music and sports I guess, but I had (and still have!) Buddah's 1969 release of The New York Mets' "The Amazing Mets". Yeah, the '69 Mets team singing. (Also included are compositions by New Yorkers to-the-core Leiber & Stoller and Neshui Ertegun.)
Re: Oddball Albums You Owned As a Child
July 23, 2020 10:32PM
I used to have a pair of records that had original audio stories featuring Godzilla and Spider-Man (this isn't exactly what I had, but I do remember "Invasion of the Dragon-Men"). I didn't have the comic books that are listed on Discogs as coming with the records, though. I of course got rid of them at some point, and now wish I'd held onto them.

Edit: Ah, YouTube, is there anything you haven't dug up? Here's one of the Spider-Man stories, and here's one of the Godzilla stories.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/23/2020 10:42PM by Michael Toland.
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Re: Oddball Albums You Owned As a Child
July 24, 2020 09:31AM
I had a copy of that Invasion of the Dragon-Men disc, Mr. Toland, as well as Golden Records' 1966 The Avengers and Captain America, which contained an audio rendition of Avengers #4. Neither album, alas, came with any actual comic books.

I also had several G.I. Joe, Star Trek, and Space:1999 book-and-record 45's, as well as Barry Gray's excellent Space:1999 soundtrack on RCA. To the best of my knowledge, the Gray disc has never been reissued on CD.
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Re: Oddball Albums You Owned As a Child
July 24, 2020 01:01PM
I'd be willing to pay a few bucks for copies of those records, but not the prices Discogs is asking for good copies. I'm not that nostalgic. But at least I can listen to them on YouTube.
Re: Oddball Albums You Owned As a Child
July 24, 2020 12:16AM
Two albums I had as a child come to mind. One was a collection of kiddie/novelty favorites, including a version of the Royal Guardsmen hit "Snoopy vs the Red Baron." Discogs has it listed here. The other was a record of Morey Amsterdam telling his goofy versions of popular children's stories (listed here). I got them both when my family and I lived in Hawaii, so I probably was seven or eight years old.
Re: Oddball Albums You Owned As a Child
July 24, 2020 10:20AM
OMG delvin.... young bip had that very same Red Baron item as well!! I probably owned less than five albums as a little kid so that one is embedded in my brain.

I haven’t thought of it in probably 45 years.... but “Tie me kangaroo down” and “that’s what we learn in the school” I could surprisingly sing right now verbatim. Cool... and yes, a little creepy!

Also had the ‘Alfred Hitchcock presents ghost stories for young people’ lp which used to scare the living daylights out of me. To even think of it now fills me with a sense of dread.
Re: Oddball Albums You Owned As a Child
July 24, 2020 01:50PM
Does Free to Be...You and Me count?

I also had a record of scary sound effects. I don't remember the name of it but I think there was a haunted mansion on the cover. It might have been a Disney record associated with the haunted mansion attraction at Magic Kingdom, but I can't say for sure.
Re: Oddball Albums You Owned As a Child
July 24, 2020 02:26PM
It definitely counts!

The sound effects record you described sounds a lot like Disneyland's Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House, which was originally released in 1964. I had the 1973 orange cover reissue, which got a lot of play on my turntable, and not just at Halloween. Looking back, the album inadvertently prepared me for such later avant-garde experiments as David Sylvian's Manafon!
Re: Oddball Albums You Owned As a Child
July 25, 2020 09:08PM
Another boyhood fan of that record here! We played the (un)holy heck out of it. Years later i had a friend in college who also had that album, and could still recite parts from it.
Re: Oddball Albums You Owned As a Child
July 24, 2020 06:01PM
Magnificent Movie Music. A record that I appropriated from my father's collection. The movies used were rather slapdash - "How To Murder Your Wife", "The Glory Guys" and "I'll Take Sweden" to name some of them. The one that grabbed my attention was "Help!". I couldn't get enough of that somg. I thought it was so great that I took it to school to play in music class. Turned out that a girl had brought in Captain and Tennille to play that day. So we all listened to "Love Will Keep Us Together" and then my big break. I was sure after the song, the class would cheer and carry me out on their shoulders. Well, the teacher put the song on and after a couple of seconds, the entire class was talking and ignoring the song. I was crushed. To top it off, the girl that brought in the Captain and Tennille told me that everyone like her song better. Nothing like being marked with no taste in the 3rd grade. I lost that album a few years after that and haven't heard it until now - yes, this post prompted me to look it up. Yeesh - Help! is pretty awful. Maybe that girl had something.

I also had a record that came in a Mad magazine. Makin' Out by Smyle. I haven't listened to that since the `70s. I don't remember it being so long - 6 1/2 minutes! I remember being a little creeped out by the lyrics and picture on the cover - Jacque Cousteau and a dolphin?!? The muppets? Charlie Brown and Lucy???
Re: Oddball Albums You Owned As a Child
July 27, 2020 01:01AM
I used to play a ska version of Snoopy vs The Red Baron in a band many moons ago.
I also read that the first record Nick Cave ever owned was Spanish Flea by Herb Alpert. He couldn't remember where he got it.
Re: Oddball Albums You Owned As a Child
July 27, 2020 03:24AM
Much thanks for the tips, gang. Gotta keep an eye out for some of these, i.e. Capes & Masks Orchestra’s “Comic Book Heroes.“ Apart from the Disney haunted house record, I also had “Snoopy vs the Red Baron“ - it was on my treasured K-Tel album (we could probably start a whole K-Tel thread, eh?) “Goofy Greats,” which I saw advertised on TV and asked mom to buy for me at the drug store. How awesome was this album? Put it this way: one of the times I saw the Cramps, they started the show with covers of not one, but two songs I originally knew from this crucial childhood mind-warper: “Muleskinner Blues” and “Surfin Bird.” As the other kids were into Kiss and Barry Manilow...
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