Saturday, May 26, 2012

Various Artists - Percussion For Playboys (LP, 196?)

Various Artists
"Percussion For Playboys"
Omega OSD-2, stereo, 196?
(originally titled "Bedside Companion
For Playboys," Omega OSD-2, stereo, 196?)

Ahh, "Percussion For Playboys" -- yet another sexy, cheesecake-covered LP from the early years of stereophonic sound. A tall, thin woman posing in a negligé against a moonlit sky in some sort of semi-exotic (and erotic) type of environment. C'mon though, man. That ain't got nothin' to do with percussion, now. And if you (Omega) insist on using the "sex sells" principle, at least put a gong or something in the background! Jesus Christ!!

This is actually a pretty enjoyable album with well-above-average sound quality, especially for one of the more obscure '50s and '60s record labels. After I listened to this, I did some research on the 'net and managed to pull up a decent amount of information about Omega Records (known for their signature Omegatapes and Omegadisks), which you can access for yourself here --- worth looking into if you're into that kind of thing. I'll say too, in my own words, that Omega did indeed value audiophile-quality recording, and their 'agenda' becomes evident after reading the technical notes from the back sleeve of this release.

The label itself aside, this LP contains a collection of jazz standards and exotica tunes presented in well-mixed stereo. Most of these tracks are very appealing, however, this selection also includes two or three shorter, more jarring tracks (including one made up of race car sounds and vocal commentary), and they seem horribly out of place amongst all of the more smoothly-arranged and recorded songs. And, really, despite having the word "Percussion" in its title, this album is not constructed around that idea. What you hear turns out to be more along the lines of "Jazz Vocals And Mood Music For Playboys Who Want To Hint At Barbarian Sexuality When They Take The Girl Back To Their Bachelor Pad." Sorry for the long alternative title but I wanted to make sure I got my point across. ;)

I would have to say that this record is, all in all, something to look out for if you're a fan of early stereophonic technology and space age bachelor pad sounds. Its datedness and tackiness just makes it all the more fun!

Music: 4/5
Sound: 5/5

Track #5 - Island Of Desire:

Track #9 - Limehouse Blues:

Editor's Note: The artist/composer names, date of release and other information about this record is hard to come by (the back sleeve and label only give track names), however, I have managed to track down the artist names for the songs. Here is the link to the original image for reference but I'll post the info here too for easy accessibility (see below).

Side One:
  1. N/A - Sports Car Races from OMEGATAPE ST-2010: Clear The Grid!
  2. Dick Marx Quintet - Mickey Mouse Theme (Dodd) from OMEGA DISK OSL-2: Marx Takes Broadway
  3. Andre Montero Stereo Spectacular - Take The "A" Train (Strayhorn) from OMEGATAPE ST-53: Swing For Dancing
  4. Inez Jones with Oscar Moore's Quintet - Dancing On The Ceiling (Rodgers-Hart) from OMEGATAPE ST-7018: Have You Met Miss Jones
  5. The Hi-Lo's with Frank Comstock's Orchestra - Island Of Desire (Meyer-Jones) from OMEGATAPE ST-7006: The Hi-Lo's In Hi-Fi
  6. The Lighthouse All-Stars - Coop Salutes (Cooper) from OMEGA DISK OSL-5: Jazz Rolls Royce
  7. Los Gatos RĂ­tmos - Return To Paradise (Tiomkin-Washington) from OMEGA DISK OSL-29: Latin Rock
Side Two:
  1. The Bay Big Band Stereo Spectacular - Latin Heat (arranged by John Evans) from OMEGA DISK OSL-44: Latin Heat
  2. Ernestine Anderson with Dick Marx Quintet - Limehouse Blues (Furber-Braham) from [???]
  3. Brussels World's Fair Orchestra - Laura (Raksin-Mercer) from OMEGA DISK OSL-23: Strings Around The World
  4. The Bay Big Band - Daybreak (Grofe) from OMEGA DISK OSL-26: Swingin' High
  5. Oscar Moore and Leroy Vinnegar - Angel Eyes (Dennis-Brent) from OMEGATAPE ST-7012: Presenting Oscar Moore
  6. John Evans Group - It Ain't Necessarily So (Gershwin) from OMEGA DISK OSL-36: Porgy And Bess
  7. N/A - A Visit To A Hindu Monastery from OMEGATAPE ST-55: In A Hindu Monastery

1 comment:

Whaddaya think?