Wednesday, 28 November 2018


You say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too, yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you

Yes we're going to a party party
Yes we're going to a party party
Yes we're going to a party party

I would like you to dance - Birthday!
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance - Birthday!
I would like you to dance - Birthday!

I would like you to dance - Birthday!
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance - Birthday!
I would like you to dance - Birthday!

You say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too, yeah
You say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday!

[from the lyrics of "Happy Birthday"]

It's time for another post concerning a record included in the impressive ECHK / S-ECHK series published in Southeast Asia by EMI / Columbia starting from the second half of the '60s up to the early '70s.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to discover much information about Pietro Attila and The Warlocks, but as usual I'd like to share them with you. Most of the details were sourced from the description of this clip on YouTube and the booklet included in the "Steam Kodok" CD compilation... Here we go:

Pietro D'Angelo was born in Sicily, Italy, sometime during the late '30s. He spent the first part of his life in his native island mastering the tenor saxophone; here he got married and also had a daughter. During the late '50s / early '60s he moved to Hong Kong and made his base there.

Later he adopted the stage name Pietro Attila and his charactheristic 'bald dome and pony tail' look. He came to Singapore in 1968 with a foreign edition of The Warlocks and they did gigs in local clubs.

At some point, the group went back home but Pietro stayed and formed a new edition of The Warlocks comprising mainly Asian musicians. They got signed by EMI and in 1969 they released an album, "Something In the Air", and an untitled EP of exclusive tracks, which is the subject of this post. A single with two cuts taken from the album ("Something In the Air" and "Dizzy") was also released the same year.

Subsequently, the group changed again. In the early '70s, drummer Lim Wee Guan performed with Pietro and The Warlocks for six months at the New Latin Quarter nightspot in the Akasaka district in Tokyo after The Quests split. Thereafter he moved on with them to Guam for another six months.

The following Lim Wee Guan quote is taken from the book "Call It Shanty! - The Story of The Quests" written by Henry Chua:

«After The Quests broke up, I was still playing with other groups. I was with this group called The Black and White Rainbow which had Robert Suriya on lead. After that, they joined up with Pietro and The Warlocks and then they asked me whether I could travel and I thought why not, I had nothing on so I joined Pietro with Robert and Colin Rozario. So we went to Japan, we stayed there for about six months, then from there we went to Guam. After that, I found the music was getting too commercial and I wasn't getting anywhere so I came back. The group later broke up and Pietro left Singapore. I think it was about 1973.»

A rare picture of Pietro Attila and The Warlocks in the early '70s, from left: Robert Suriya, Colin Rozario, Pietro, Lim Wee Guan and Steve Bala

Here's the track list for this 7" EP:

01. Happy Birthday (2:47)
02. This Guy Is In Love With You (3:17)
03. Beggin' (2:47)
04. Turn Around, Look at Me (3:11)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in November 2018 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with scans of the original item.

Please have a look at the comments section for the download link.

The "Pietro and The Warlocks" EP was released by EMI /Columbia in Singapore sometime in 1969 with cat. number ECHK 625. I assume that this was the group's debut release and that their album entitled "Something In the Air" - which will be the subject of another post in the future - was released months later. Of course it could also be the other way round, who knows...

Also, in this post I always refer to the group as Pietro Attila and The Warlocks, as they are credited on their LP release, but their name is spelled as the simpler Pietro and The Warlocks both on this EP and their "Something In the Air b/w Dizzy" 7" single excerpted from the album...

Anyway, the EP comes in a colourful cover that portrays the group in stylish suits and medallions on the front, while on the back an emphasys is given on Pietro, who seems to hold the band in his hand giving the impression of a caring but authoritarian leader.

Side 1 opens with a wild rendition of The Beatles' "Birthday" which is re-entitled as the more popular "Happy Birthday". The original version, which is no less full of energy, was recorded in September 1968 and was included on the remarkable White Album a few months later.

A cover of the popular Bacharach-David song "This Guy Is In Love With You" follows. The original was recorded by trumpeter Herb Alpert in early 1968. In this recording Pietro Attila's English pronunciation is not exactly perfect and clearly shows some limits...

On Side 2 we find "Beggin'", a song which was made popular by The Four Seasons in 1967 - my favourite cut from the EP - and the slow-paced "Turn Around, Look at Me", a song written by Jerry Capeheart, which since its first version recorded by Glen Campbell in 1961 was also covered by The Lettermen, the Bee Gees and The Vogues.

The following clips offer a complete preview of the remastered EP, enjoy!

More information about Pietro Attila and The Warlocks is available here:

If you have any other useful information about Pietro Attila and The Warlocks or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Tuesday, 30 October 2018


«Joe Carlton, Command Records president, is moving on several roots to advance the field of electronic pop music. He is proposing to guitar companies that they manufacture a guitar synthesizer which, he believes, will be the perfect device for electronic rock. On another level, he is working with key chains such as E. J. Korvette, Sears, Roebuck, Whitefront and others to establish a separate category for electronic music, with separate browsers and racks. Carlton added: "We have plans for a synthesizer which will go beyond Moog. The present Moog synthesizer, both monophonic and polyphonic, is based on a keyboard instrument approach... But the biggest contribution of the rock musicians derives from their guitar rather than keyboard technique... Use of a guitar synthesizer would be superior to the present method of taking a hard rock performance on conventional guitar and putting it through the keyboard synthesizer." Carlton, who has produced such hits as "Moog: The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman" and the single "The Minotaur", says that this music, because it is new and futuristic, appeals to all young and old and black and white. He added, "As electronic music comes to the fore, as it becomes more familiar, people will recognize its artistic values." He pointed out that the sounds of Stravinsky, Charles Ives and other pioneers were initially attacked but today they are celebrated. "This is the beginning of the world of electronic music," he said.»

[from "Carlton's Electronic Pop Music Campaign on Move", Billboard, August 9, 1969]

Richard "Dick" Hyman (born March 8, 1927, New York City) is an American Jazz pianist/keyboardist and composer, best known for his versatility with Jazz piano styles. Over a 50-year career, he has functioned as a pianist, organist, arranger, music director, and, increasingly, as a composer. His versatility in all of these areas has resulted in well over 100 albums recorded under his own name and many more in support of other artists. [1]

Hyman's career is pretty intimidating in its achievements and scope. He has scored, arranged and/or performend for Broadway, movies, television and live radio, and he's recorded in every format, from 78s to CD-ROMs. He's got a whole gamut of music genres covered, from Jazz and Blues to Classical to Pop and Electronic Psychedelia. Hyman is exceptionally renowned as a professional musician, and was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame in 1995. His articulate and wry anecdotes, commentary on the business, and techniques of making music have been published along with sheet music in a series of books. [2]

Beginning in the mid-1950s he started recording with his own name for MGM. His cover of "Moritat", on harpsichord with his trio, sold over a million copies in 1956 and was the most successful recording of the tune until Bobby Darin did it as "Mack the Knife". He was the musical director of The Arthur Godfrey Show from 1958 to 1961. He was an early staple of Enoch Light's Command label, for which he recorded light classical, swinging harpsichord, funky organ, and "now sound" combo albums. He also demonstrated his continuing interest in new keyboard instruments, releasing two of the earliest Moog albums. Hyman has stayed in demand as much as any musician around, working for TV, scoring film soundtracks for Woody Allen, and, more recently, as a Jazz pianist and organist. [3]

So, here comes the last chapter in Hyman's Electronic / Experimental triptych. The 1963 masterpiece "Moon Gas", credited to him and Mary Mayo, was covered on Stereo Candies both in mono and stereo some time ago. More recently it was the turn of the seminal "Moog - The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman", an album of original compositions and improvisations recorded in late 1968 using mainly the Moog Modular. Now it's time for "The Age of Electronicus", his second - and last - Moog album on Command Records. More of Hyman's recorded output will be featured on these pages in the future, now let's take care of this primordial little jewel of Electronic Pop Music.


[1] from Wikipedia

[2] from the introduction to an interview with Dick Hyman conducted by Michael David Toth, published on Cool and Strange Music!, issue #7, 1997

[3] from Space Age Pop Music

"The Age of Electronicus" outer gatefold reconstruction

"The Age of Electronicus" inner gatefold reconstruction

The following liner notes, written by Dick Hyman and entitled "Working with the Moog Synthesizer", are included in the inner gatefold of "The Age of Electronicus". They give a hint about how the album was made - basically by recording one different sound at a time on a multitrack reel-to-reel system that you can see pictured on the inner gatefold of the album, probably an Ampex AG440-B - and the way he approached this work.

«It is a lot of work; it is painstaking, repetitive, and even frustrating work. And yet the results, when they come off, are a kind of music, very much worth all that effort. I began working with the Moog Synthesizer when Joe Carlton, the head of Command Records, assigned me to produce the album prior to this one, "Electric Eclectics". Walter Sear, the expert programmer with whom I work, initiated me into the electronic intricacies of Synthesizer sound, and gradually I learned some of the things that the Synthesizer can do.

The Moog Synthesizer is a new instrument and, like many new things, it is somewhat misunderstood. I think of it as a super-organ which offers the player vast new possibilities in tone production, and which at the same time requires him to organize his thoughts in a serial way, as opposed to creating an entire performance at one sitting. In other words, it is not all done at once. Successive lines of tones are recorded in conjunction with a multi-track recorder. The Synthesizer is not analogous to a player piano, nor will it make up its own arrangements. It is very much a played device, and the programming which is involved relates to the production of individual tones (their timbre, duration, attack, decay, etc.). It is the arranger-composer, not the Synthesizer, who groups these tones into the desired musical organization exactly as he would do if he were playing a conventional instrument or writing a score.

Another common misunderstanding about the Synthesizer is the notion that it is a perfect substitute for all instruments and types of orchestras which have preceded it in musical history. The Synthesizer is not about to replace any of these instruments or orchestras. It is not nearly as efficient, although it can do some pretty imitations. An orchestra sounds more like on orchestra than a Synthesizer can, and a lot more quickly and economically too. But when the Synthesizer is used to create its own thing, the new aural events are remarkable for both the player-arranger and the listener. The new sounds (unlike those which any orchestral instrument can produce), the unexpected alterations of the old sounds, the convenience of being able to play them on a keyboard and have them recorded directly on a multi-track recorder — these are the factors which encouraged an imaginative and programmatic approach to the arrangements in the present album.»

"The electronic soul of Command", reconstruction of a double-page spread advert originally published on the August 9, 1969 issue of Billboard

"The Age of Electronicus" contains the following tracks:

01. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (2:48)
02. Give It Up or Turn It Loose (3:13)
03. Blackbird (3:12)
04. Aquarius (2:49)
05. Green Onions (7:53)
06. Kolumbo (7:42)
07. Time Is Tight (3:08)
08. Alfie (3:44)
09. Both Sides Now (3:04)

Bonus tracks:

10. Green Onions (Single Edit, Stereo Version) (3:08)
11. Strobo (Simulated Stereo Version) (2:58)
12. Lay, Lady, Lay (Simulated Stereo Version) (3:18)

All tracks were remastered in October 2018 from the original vinyl records, except "Give It Up or Turn It Loose", "Kolumbo" and "Time Is Tight" which were remastered from the expanded CD version of Hyman's "Moog - The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman". They are available in FLAC lossless format along with complete artwork reconstruction and printable PDF files.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download links.

Dick Hyman, circa late '60s / early '70s

Here's the complete credits and personnel list of the album:

Dick Hyman - Moog Modular synthesizer, Baldwin electric harpsichord, Lowrey organ, Maestro Rhythmaster unit, Echoplex tape delay unit, triangle

Billy LaVorgna - drums

Arranged and Produced by Dick Hyman.

Programming by Walter Sear.

Mixing: Fred Christie at Fine Recording

Mastering: Lee Hulco at Sterling Sound

Cover and Liner Design: Byron Goto / Henry Epstein

Photos: Roger Pola / Eric Goto

Coming just months after the successful "Moog - The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman", "The Age of Electronicus" was released by Command-ABC Records in August 1969 with catalogue number 946-S. The album was also released as a Reel-To-Reel stereo tape with catalogue number X 946, and was preceded by a 7" single containing two of its most favourable tracks, namely the covers of the well-known "Green Onions" by Booker T. & The M.G.'s and "Aquarius" by The 5th Dimension.

When the LP was released, the previous "Moog - The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman" was still in the Billboard Top 100 LP Chart. Surprisingly, "The Age of Electronicus" failed to repeat the success experienced by its predecessor, even though everything was apparently made to enhance its accessibility and Pop charm.

Coming in a colourful gatefold cover, "The Age of Electronicus" was released as part of an Electronic Pop Music series which, as you can see from the Command Records advert featured in this post, also included Walter Sear / The Copper Plated Integrated Circuit's "Plugged In Pop" and Richard Hayman's "Genuine Electric Latin Love Machine". Both these albums will be investigated at a later date here on Stereo Candies.

The main difference between Hyman's two Moog albums is that "Moog - The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman" is entirely made of original compositions and improvisations created by Hyman himself, while "The Age of Electronicus" is mostly based on the re-elaboration of successful Pop tunes with the only exception of "Kolumbo", a more experimental track someway similar to the now legendary "The Minotaur", also by Hyman: that was the track which got picked up by radio stations months earlier and was fundamental to the success of the previous album, becoming the very first single featuring a Moog synthesizer to chart.

Another significative difference between the albums is that the tracks on "The Age of Electronicus" don't feature any regular instrument except Billy LaVorgna's great drumming on selected tracks: most of the sounds are generated by the Moog and a few other devices as detailed on the album credits and the liner notes that follow.

The album only spent 11 weeks in the Billboard Top 200 LP Chart - peaking at #110 - and the poor performance of the "Green Onions b/w Aquarius" single, which peaked at #126, didn't help the LP to reach the success I think it deserved. Furthermore, by the time "The Age of Aquarius" was released, record shops were also offering many other Moog albums and, despite the hype and curiosity surrounding the all-new electronic instrument, without the help of another groundbreaking single the record failed to make a difference.

Hyman's memories about the recording of "The Age of Electronicus" and "Moog - The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman" are available in a great piece written by Thom Holme for the Bob Moog Foundation website. Pictures of a Moog Modular system very similar to the one used on these albums are available here.

The following track-by-track commentary is a slightly edited version of the original liner notes included in the inner gatefold of the album.

"Green Onions / Aquarius" single, Side A

Side 1 opens with "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", originally by The Beatles. The song features a not-quite piccolo sound, a sort-of bass clarinet sound, and a spitting-tobacco kind of sound in which the timbre changes as an individual tone is sustained. A Baldwin electronic harpsichord provides the plectrum effect. The rhythm section, recorded after the Synthesizer tracks were completed, is composed of Billy LaVorgna on drums and the arranger on triangle. The by-play among the three 'horns' is the result of recording each line separately on the multi-track recorder and is particularly effective here in giving the impression of the kind of playful communication three musicians might have with each other.

"Give It Up or Turn It Loose" is an experiment in Electronic Soul, specifically that of James Brown, whose recording is the basic model for this arrangement. The excitement of James Brown's singing and dancing is expressed electronically by the Synthesizer in swooshes, sweeps, and explosions of what engineers call, ironically, 'white noise'. Live drums play along with the Maestro Rhythmaster, a metronome-like mechanical drum device.

"Blackbird" is arranged as an electronic orchestration of the Beatles' recording. The Synthesizer elaborates on the original sparse elements and dwells unexpectedly on a section of bird calls. The sound of the Baldwin electronic harpsichord was fed through the Synthesizer to provide the moving tenths.

"Aquarius" demonstrates the Synthesizer's impression of how the Inhabitants of Saturn might perform the hit song from the musical "Hair". It should be emphasized that the inhabitants of Saturn are an extremely smooth-skinned race, but they do their best. Bill LaVorgna, however, who is quite hirsute, is added on drums. The arranger plays electronic harpsichord and Lowrey organ in addition.

"Green Onions" takes as its premise the classic recording by Booker T. & the M.G.'s and goes on from there. The organ-like sound of the first soloist becomes unexpectedly slippery as the Synthesizer's portamento possibilities are explored. The second and third soloists join in until a feeling of New Year's Eve in Times Square reaches us. After some frantic polyphony, we return to Booker T. in Memphis. (Lowrey organ, drums and electronic harpsichord added).

"Green Onions / Aquarius" single, Side B

Side 2 starts with "Kolumbo", an original number created by Dick Hyman. This track was performed simultaneously on the Synthesizer and the Maestro Rhythmaster, the mechanical drum device, the tones of which were fed through an Echoplex tape reverberation unit. Not only the duration and the frequency of reverberation but the fundamental rhythms were altered during the improvised performance, so that there is an effect of a battery of African drummers following an improvising soloist. The listener can provide his own scenario of what seems to be a musical battle, as a second soloist abruptly materializes, challenging the first man. At the end, the original soloist states a brief epilogue, packs up his horn, and splits.

"Time Is Tight", a song by Booker T. & the M.G.'s, begins with a banjo-like effect obtained by running the sound of the electronic harpsichord through the tape reverberation unit. The Synthesizer states the melody by means of a sine wave programmed to develop an increasingly wide vibrato. (There is a resemblance to a certain type of girl singer who used to work with the big bands). The other 'soloist' is expressed by use of a pulse wave programmed to incorporate a gradual timbral change. Live drums are added.

In "Alfie" the melody undulates over a shifting landscape as the two moons of Mars inscrutably look down. The title translates into Martian as, "What's it all about, Alpha Centauri?" This is my favourite track from the album, it took hours of work to properly clean it from but it was worth every single second!

"Both Sides Now", the Joni Mitchell song, developed into a program piece which postulates what might happen if a bagpiper wandered into an orchestral performance of some characteristic nineteenth century music. The Synthesizer constructs a cartoon symphony, playfully adding to its impression of standard instrumentation a honky-tonk piano (actually the electronic harpsichord). "After an elaborate exposition", as Deems Taylor would have explained, "the main theme returns in a grand Wagnerian finale, our undaunted bagpiper skirling above the orchestral tutti". As mentioned here, this is Hyman's favourite track from the album.

"Strobo / Lay, Lady, Lay" promotional single, Side A

My remaster of "The Age of Electronicus" also includes three bonus tracks:

"Green Onions (Single Edit, Stereo Version)", as the title implies, is an edit of the longer version originally included on the album. In brief, the structure of this edit is the same that was released as a single but uses a stereo mix instead of the mono mix.

"Strobo (Simulated Stereo Version)" and "Lay, Lady, Lay (Simulated Stereo Version)" are enhanced versions of the tracks that originally appeared on the "Strobo / Lay, Lady, Lady" promotional single released in late 1969, which I have already featured here months ago. Basically, I tweaked the Eq of the left and right channels of the mono versions and used the subtle differences between them to assign different pan positions to groups of frequencies achieving a pseudo-stereo effect. This is the first time I experiment with such possibilities, so I would be quite pleased to know what you think about the result.

Here's what I wrote about these two tracks in the original post:

"Strobo" is an original number written by Hyman himself. In a similar fashion to the hit "The Minotaur", recorded in late 1968, the track is built on the top of a dense rhythm played by the Maestro Rhythm Unit, probably feeded through an Echoplex. Some people describe this music as Proto-Techno and others even catch a glimpse of Drum 'n' Bass in its skittering beat. Whatever your view on the subject is, "Strobo" was pretty ahead of its time and its shrill keyboard lines undeniably have a futuristic charm.

"Lay, Lady, Lay" is an instrumental version of the song written by Bob Dylan which was released months earlier on his "Nashville Skyline" album. Hyman replaces the original vocal lines with the Moog, giving the song a very strong imprint. The acoustic rhythm section in the background adds to the value of this cover, creating a somewhat pleasant alienating effect. As much as I enjoy "Strobo", I must admit that this piece induces me in a compulsive state, and I can't help to press the repeat button again and again...

"Strobo / Lay, Lady, Lay" promotional single, Side B

The following clips offer a complete preview of the remastered album, enjoy!

More information about Dick Hyman, "The Age of Electronicus" and the Moog Modular synthesizer is available here:

If you have any other useful information about Dick Hyman and "Moog - The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman" - especially corrections and improvements to this post - or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Friday, 28 September 2018


«Enjoy a wild, all-out performance of “Puppet Man” featuring Julio Ruggiero on Fender bass, Bernie Glow and Mel Davis on trumpets, Dick Hyman on electric organ, Arnie Lawrence on alto sax.

Experience the new Beatles hit “Let It Be” starring the solo performances of Derek Smith on piano, Bob Tricarico on tenor sax, Dick Lieb playing the Moog.

Travel on the “Marrakesh Express” featuring Vinnie Bell on guitar, Arnie Lawrence on alto sax, Billy LaVorgna on drums.

Hear beautiful “Scarborough Fair” with unbelievable Moog excitement.

Reminisce with “It Was a Very Good Year” starring Arnie Lawrence, sax; Bob Alexander, trombone; Al Klink, flute - all three using new electronic equipment which adds fantastic “sound expansion” to their great performances.

These and many other provocative hits make “Permissive Polyphonics” a new, highly personalized experience in listening excitement.

Every explosive advance in modern arranging and modern instrumentation has been explored in this fascinating album.»

[from the back sleeve notes of "Permissive Polyphonics"]

Hey, long time no see! Another long hot summer is gone and autumn has begun... Almost two months are already passed since the last post, so it's high time for something new here on Stereo Candies.

Before I start rambling on this mindblowing Stereo-4 Quadraphonic version of Enoch Light and The Light Brigade's "Permissive Polyphonics", I would like to express my gratitude to Steve K., a follower of this blog who donated his precious and pristine copy of the album so that we all could enjoy: thank you Steve!!!

So, for those who may not be aware of his importance, let's start with a short biography of Enoch Light just slightly adapted from those available on Wikipedia and Space Age Pop:

Enoch Henry Light (18 August 1905, in Canton, Ohio – 31 July 1978, in Redding, Connecticut) was a classically trained violinist, danceband leader, and recording engineer.

As the leader of various dance bands that recorded as early as March 1927 and continuing through at least 1940, Light and his band primarily worked in various hotels in New York. For a time in 1928 he also led a band in Paris. In the 1930s Light also studied conducting with the French conductor Maurice Frigara in Paris.

Throughout the 1930s, Light and his outfits were steadily employed in the generally more upscale hotel restaurants and ballrooms in New York that catered to provide polite ambiance for dining and functional dance music of current popular songs rather than out and out jazz.

"Permissive Polyphonics" back cover

At some point his band was tagged "The Light Brigade" and they often broadcast over radio live from the Hotel Taft in New York where they had a long residency. Through 1940, Light and his band recorded for various labels including Brunswick, ARC, Vocalion and Bluebird.

He broke up the band toward the end of the 1940s and went into management, working for several record companies before becoming president of Waldorf Music Hall Records in 1954. Later on, as A&R (Artists and Repertoire) chief and vice-president of Grand Award Records, he had several successes with Dixieland and Honky-tonk piano albums.

He sold Grand Award to AB-PT (...then ABC Records...) and formed Command Records in 1959 with the specific aim of capitalizing on the emerging market of stereo fanatics. His music was intended for older audiences, presumably because he saw them as more-serious audiophiles who had more money to spend on high end stereo equipment, as opposed to most popular music of the time, which was generally intended for teenagers and young adults.

Light is credited with being one of the first musicians to go to extreme lengths to create high-quality recordings that took maximum advantage of the technical capabilities of home audio equipment of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

He fully explored left-right channelization without stooping to tricks like ping-pong effects, and his experiments had a huge influence on the whole concept of multi-track recording that would become commonplace in the ensuing years.

"Permissive Polyphonics" inner gatefold, left panel

Light was a meticulous engineer and put as much effort into the quality of his recording equipment and production systems as into the music itself. He tested a number of New York studios before selecting. Doing so, he arranged his musicians in ways to produce the kinds of recorded sounds he wished to achieve, even completely isolating various groups of them from each other in the recording studio.

The first of the albums produced on Command Records, "Persuasive Percussion", became one of the first big-hit LPs based solely on retail sales. His music received little or no airplay on the radio, because AM radio, the standard of the day, was monaural and had very poor fidelity. Light went on to release several albums in the Persuasive Percussion series, as well as a Command test record.

The Command album covers were generally designed with abstract, minimalist artwork that stood out boldly from other LP jackets. These pieces were usually the work of Josef Albers. Light was so interested in the sound of his music that he would include lengthy prose describing each song's sounds. In order to fit all of his descriptions on to the album sleeve, he doubled the size of the sleeve but enabled it to fold like a book, thus popularizing the gatefold packaging format.

During his years at Command, he pioneered many recording techniques such as the use of 35 mm magnetic film instead of magnetic tape, thereby reducing the effects of "wow" and "flutter". These recordings were released under the "35MM" series, starting from "Stereo 35/MM" released in 1961.

Musicians who appeared on Light's albums include The Free Design, The Critters, Rain, Doc Severinsen, Tony Mottola, Dick Hyman and organist Virgil Fox (on the Wanamaker Organ). As an arranger, Lew Davies was one of the label's most important contributors.

"Permissive Polyphonics" inner gatefold, right panel

In 1966, Light sold the Command record label to ABC Records. Unfortunately the quality of the Command LPs released after Light's departure deteriorated until ABC discontinued releasing new material on the label in 1971. The Command name was then used by ABC on quadraphonic LP releases from the ABC, Dunhill, Westminster and Impulse! catalogues and on double album compilations and special anthologies from Command's catalogue until 1976, when the label was officially retired.

After the sale of Command Records, Light launched a new label called Project 3 and continued recording. Light produced several successful big band albums with an ace-group of studio musicians, many of whom were veterans of the greatest bands of the Swing Era who were still regularly working in New York's television and recording studios.

Released as Enoch Light And The Light Brigade, the arrangements used on those recordings were transcribed note-for-note from some of what were the hallmark original recordings. The arranging reconstructions of these now "classic" arrangements were completely reconstructed by arrangers Dick Lieb, Dick Hyman, Tony Mottola and Jeff Hest.

Among Light's later works, also released as Enoch Light and The Light Brigade, we'd like to mention at least two gems that benefited of the then recently invented Moog synthesizer, namely "Spaced Out" (1969), and "Permissive Polyphonics" (1970), the subject of this post.

Enoch Light, circa 1966

"Permissive Polyphonics" contains the following tracks:

01. Marrakesh Express (3:13)
02. Let It Be (3:54)
03. Easy Come, Easy Go (3:35)
04. Puppet Man (3:10)
05. Prelude For Young Lovers (2:26)
06. It Was a Very Good Year (2:38)
07. Mas Que Nada (3:12)
08. Monday, Monday (3:25)
09. Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay (3:09)
10. Scarborough Fair (2:26)
11. Michelle (3:08)
12. Pass and I Call You (4:20)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in September 2018 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with complete artwork reconstruction and printable PDF files.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download link.

"Permissive Polyphonics" was released on Project 3 Total Sound in 1970. I wasn't able to discover the specific recording and publishing dates, but since the original version of the most recent song on the album, The Beatles' "Let It Be", was released as a single in early March 1970, I guess that a mid-year release date is fairly correct.

The album was made available in three formats: LP, Reel-To-Reel and 8-Track Cartridge. In addition to the classic Stereo mix, the album also received the Quadraphonic treatment and, according to the thread going on in this forum, different quadraphonic mixes exist.

I must admit that I'm not an expert on this matter, and just reading the discussion linked above I came down with a big headache... Anyway, the quadraphonic version of "Permissive Polyphonics" that I'm offering in this post is the "Stereo-4", also called "EV" or "EV-4".

I haven't had the chance to listen to the other quadraphonic mixes of the album, but according to Steve K. - who, as you may remember, is the donor of the vinyl record that I used for my remaster and also a great fan of this album - this is by far the superior mix.

Catalogue number is "50-2019" in the top right corner on front of the sleeve, "PR5048SD" on the spine and "PR 5048 QD" on the center labels. Five writings differentiate the cover of this particular version of the album from all the others:

- "Realistic" is printed in the top left corner;
- "Processed in STEREO-4™" is printed below the "this is the NEW stereo." blurb that also appear on the top left of cover (...which in turn is also usually written on a white sticker, and not directly printed on the cover...);
- "TM" is written just above the end of the album title, suggesting that it is a trademark;
- "Allied Radio Shack - A Tandy Corporation Company" is printed in the bottom left corner, making it clear that this item was sold through the old RadioShack chain of electronics stores;
- "20 TO 20,000 CPS AUDIOPHILE SERIES" is printed in the bottom right corner.

By the way, there is no trace of this version of the album among the many listed in the pertinent Discogs entry; it may be that it's a bit of a rarity or... Who knows.

A credit for the album design does not appear anywhere in the sleeve notes. It's a pity that the author of the simple but effective artwork featured on the cover is left unknown, but it happens sometimes...

As far as I am concerned, this album sounds great and for once please allow me to say that I'm completely satisfied with the results of my remaster: the vinyl was almost flawless, the original mix is superb and I was able to get rid of all the usual vinyl-related imperfections without compromising: mission accomplished!

Enoch Light conducting, circa 1967

Dick Lieb, Dick Hyman and Tony Mottola have discussed their personal and professional relation with Enoch Light in three precious interviews conducted in 1996-97 by Robbie Baldock for the Spaced Out / Enoch Ligth website.

As author of all the arrangements of "Permissive Polyphonics" and player of the Moog synthesizer parts used on all its tracks, Lieb's interview is particularly interesting because offers first-hand commentary about the album. It also makes it clear that, contrary to what many believe, The Free Design were not involved as vocalists on this project.

The following liner notes and track-by-track commentary are taken from the inner gatefold of the album. Audio previews of all the tracks are also included along with a detailed credits and personnel list at the bottom.

Oh, and since we are on the subject: the track-by-track commentary on this particular version of the LP is slightly different from the one that was included on the regular stereo copies: it omits a few details about the position of the instruments and also doesn't mention Bob Haggart's participation to the recordings.

Here we go:

«This new Enoch Light album integrates most of the new discoveries in the field of electronic music and exploits them through the highly personalized and professional work of many of the world's finest musicians.

Enoch Light has consistently been a pioneer in recording innovations. He produced the first really significant musical stereo recording "Persuasive Percussion", and has participated in the development of many new recording techniques. These include multi-microphone placement, recording on 35 mm. magnetic film, the use of special microphones which complement the characteristics of the various orchestral instruments and experimentation with the Dolby system and with the Neumann automatic mastering lathe equipped with the SX68 cutter head.

In selecting the songs for this album we have taken advantage of the great changes in modern popular song composition and combined these wonderfully fresh, inventive ideas with the newest of recording techniques. We do hope that this album will give you great pleasure and that you will enjoy the musical excitement which motivated all of us at these recording sessions.

Marrakesh Express
(written by Graham Nash, originally performed by Crosby, Stills & Nash)

We're off and running on the Marrakesh Express, with the Moog synthesizer supplying the train whistle effect. Vinnie Bell's electric sitar presents the tune. This exciting arrangement is spurred on by the swinging jazz of Arnie Lawrence's electric alto sax, Billy LaVorgna's great drumming and Julio Ruggiero's driving bass. The vocal group takes over in the second chorus, complemented by the power-packed horn ensemble. The Marrakesh Express roars out of sight with Arnie Lawrence wailing again on electric sax.


Let It Be
(written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, originally performed by The Beatles)

Gospel-style piano, played by Derek Smith, opens this arrangement, answered by the soulful tenor sax of Bob Tricarico and a brass choir. The Moog is featured melodically in a variety of timbres in this version of the Beatles' classic. Also featured is the vocal group "speaking words of wisdom" against a driving rhythm section and insistent horns.


Easy Come, Easy Go
(written by Jack Keller and Diane Hildebrand, originally performed by Cass Elliott, it was later brought to success by Bobby Sherman)

Marimba, Fender bass and drums establish a rhythmic figure and are joined by the delightful combination of three alto flutes and one bass flute. Phil Kraus' marimba and Dick Hyman's electric harpsichord takes up the rhythm and introduce the vocal group. The Moog is again heard in a featured melodic role, followed later by a "shuffle" feeling and a sumptuous flute solo by Don Ashworth.


Puppet Man
(written by Howard Greenfield and Neil Sedaka, originally performed by Neil Sedaka, it was later covered by The Fifth Dimension)

Vinnie Bell's guitar is pitted against a wailing sax section before the brass make their introductory statement. The Moog states the first chorus of the tune, punctuated by hard-hitting brass figures. A climactic explosion on the Moog is heard before the brass take over. This arrangement also features great organ fills by Dick Hyman behind the chorus and some fine jazz by Arnie Lawrence on electric alto sax.


Prelude For Young Lovers
(written by Frédéric Chopin, adapted by Dick Lieb)

Once the atmosphere is set by Dick Hyman on electric harpsichord, three flutes and an English horn engage the brass section in a cascading dialog. The theme of this piece (taken from Chopin's "Prelude No. 4") is first stated by the voices. The beautifully interweaving melodic lines cushioned on a flowing, rhythmic accompaniment add to this sensitive orchestration by Dick Lieb.


It Was a Very Good Year
(written by Ervin Drake, originally performed by The Kingston Trio, it was subsequently made famous by Frank Sinatra)

A recurring motif by the Moog structures the introduction and sets the verses off from each other. Electronically amplified horns are featured: Arnie Lawrence on alto sax, Bob Alexander on trombone and Al Klink on flute divide the solo work, each with his own inspired jazz flavoring. And notice how the electronically produced lower octave adds such a new spatial dimension to the normal sounds of their horns!


Mas Que Nada
(written by Jorge Lima Menezes a.k.a. Jorge Ben, originally performed by him, later covered by Sérgio Mendes)

Trumpets and the Moog join the happy jazz samba set by the rhythm section in anticipation of a luscious bass flute solo by Don Ashworth. Trumpets play the first chorus over the soft cushion of four flutes, vibes and voices. The arrangement also features a "swing" chorus. Reverberation fills the air as the tune fades out.


Monday, Monday
(written by John Phillips, originally performed by The Mamas & The Papas)

The "wah-wah" guitar of Vinnie Bell is featured along with piano, bass and drums in the introduction. The tune itself starts as a duet between Vinnie and the voices. A full sounding horn ensemble adds "punch" to the arrangement, as does an exciting "double-time rock" section. Later on Urbie Green's trombone is heard soaring over the ensemble as the tune goes in to a fade ending.


Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay
(written by Otis Redding and Steve Cropper, originally performed by Otis Redding)

The "white-noises" of the Moog are used to punctuate organ, bass and drums before they are joined by Vinnie Bell's guitar. The explosive brass chorus is followed by Walt Levinsky's alto sax solo. After Bob Rosengarden's drums do some fancy shuffling, Urbie Green's commanding trombone makes the first statement of this Otis Redding tune. The vocal group is again featured in some "soulful" swinging.


Scarborough Fair
(a traditional English ballad, adapted and brought to success by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel)

Bass and drums start on the left (in 5/4 meter!) and swing across to the right where they are joined by the drone sounds of Vinnie Bell's guitar, the vibes and the organ. The Moog takes up the melody, moving rapidly through the speakers with a unique timbre. The ensemble swings into a jazz waltz, as the voices enter on the third chorus, complemented by four saxes (who later switch to three alto flutes and one bass flute for some jazz figures). The Moog (played by arranger Lieb), flutes and voices follow each other as the arrangement fades to an end.


(written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, originally performed by The Beatles)

Bells, voices, bass and organ build a pyramid of sound after which the four flutes pile up for a similar pyramid. Bernie Glow (right) and Mel Davis (left) - an incredibly matched pair of giants! - engage in a beautiful and seemingly effortless flugelhorn duet on the melody. This arrangement also features a subtly blended vocal group and very sensitive flute playing.


Pass and I Call You
(written by Johann Sebastian Bach, adapted by Dick Lieb)

Pun intended! Bach's "Passacaglia in C minor" is at the core of Dick Lieb's writing here. Bass, drums and guitar pave the way for an explosive ensemble. The Moog takes over and announces the Bach theme which will be the basis for some very clever variations in the "top" part of the band. Featured in this arrangement are Vinnie Bell, Dick Hyman (with a remarkable solo on organ) and some really hard swinging musicians and singers!

Here's the complete credits and personnel list of "Permissive Polyphonics":

Dick Lieb: Moog synthesizer
Dick Hyman: organ, harpsichord
Derek Smith: piano
Vinnie Bell: guitar, electric sitar
Julio 'Julie' Ruggiero: Fender bass
Bob Haggart: Fender bass
Billy LaVorgna: drums
Bob Rosengarden: drums
Phil Kraus: marimba, vibes
Al Klink: flute
Don Ashworth: flute, bass flute
Bernie Glow: trumpet, flugelhorn
Mel Davis: trumpet, flugelhorn
Arnie Lawrence: sax, alto sax
Walt Levinsky: alto sax
Bob Tricarico: tenor sax
Bob Alexander: trombone
Urbie Green: trombone

Arranged by: Dick Lieb

Executive Producer: Enoch Light
Associate Producers: Tony Mottola / Jeff Hest

Recording Engineer: Donald Hahn
Mixing: Chuck Irwin
Supervising Engineer for 4 Channel Mixing: John Eargle
Mastering: Phil Austin

Enoch Light in the studio, circa 1967

More information about Enoch Light and "Permissive Polyphonics" is available here:

If you have any other useful information about Enoch Light and "Permissive Polyphonics", or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Wednesday, 1 August 2018


Piccola mia, dormi ancora che è presto
dormi ancora, il sole è lontano
Piccola mia, no, non voglio svegliarti
voglio solo accarezzarti

Il sole è nato, ancora addormentata
la tua pelle è tutta sudata
La casa è di amici, il letto ad ore
fatto apposta per fare l'amore

Ho diciassett'anni, tu se il mio grande amore
voglio darti la mia vita, il mio colore
Voglio spiegarti che non so come amarti
vorrei dirti mille cose, vorrei toccarti

Voglio svegliarmi insieme a te voglio volare
insieme a te voglio ridere e giocare
Voglio, voglio, quante cose voglio
non riesco mai ad accontentarmi

Parlare con te mi fa sentire più grande
un posto mio e tuo è solo un sogno
Il sole và via, la sera si avvicina
e siamo solo un bambino e una bambina

Voglio amarti, occhi di Luna voglio amarti
su una stella voglio portarti
Voglio scappare con te, voglio scappare
andare avanti e non tornare

Voglio amarti, occhi di Luna voglio amarti
Voglio scappare con te, voglio scappare
andare avanti e non tornare...


Keep on sleeping my little baby, it is still early
keep on sleeping, the sun is faraway
No my little baby, I don't want to wake you up
I just want to caress you

The sun is born, you're still sleeping
and your skin is all sweaty
At a friend's place, a bed by the hour
tailor-made for making love

I am seventeen years old and you're my great love
I want to give you my life and my colours
I want to explain you that I don't know how to love you
I would like to tell you a thousand things, I would like to touch you

I want to wake up with you, I want to fly with you
I want to laugh and play with you
I want, I want, I want so many things
I can never be satisfied

Talking to you makes me feel more grown up
a place of our own is just a dream
The sun has gone away, the night is getting closer
and we're still a little boy and a little girl

I want to love you Moon Eyes, I want to love you
I want to take you on a star
I want to run away with you, I want to run away
move forward and never come back

I want to love you Moon Eyes, I want to love you
I want to run away with you, I want to run away
move forward and never come back...

[from the lyrics of "Occhi di Luna" / "Moon Eyes"]

Well-known Italian musician, composer and director Andrea Liberovici was born in 1962 in Venice, where he spent his youth before moving to Genoa.

Son of Sergio Liberovici (one of the most active musicians in the Italian music scene after World War II and founder - along with Michele Straniero - of the Cantacronache group, prime movers of the folk music revival and important representatives of the new political song movement in Italy) and of Margherita Galante Garrone (better known as Margot, singer-songwriter and also part of the Cantacronache), Andrea grew up in a stimulating environment and easily followed his parents' footsteps.

Liberovici studied composition, violin and viola at the Venice and Turin conservatories, acting at the Scuola del Teatro Stabile in Genoa and singing with Cathy Berberian at the International Festival in Montalcino.

Anyway, legend has it that he discovered Rock music when he was twelve years old, while on holidays in London, after attending a Rolling Stones concert. So, feverish of rock, he didn't hesitate a moment to join a few groups that used to play in pubs in the city. Back in his home town, Liberovici bought the whole Stones discography and spent the winter listening to the records inside and out. During his next holidays he flew again to London for three months and, just like most of the artists on the road, he earned a living playing violin in the London Underground and found a roof occupying houses with other youngsters like him... [1]

Years later, as composer and director, he co-founded the Teatro del suono (Theatre of sound) in 1996, with the poet Edoardo Sanguineti and Ottavia Fusco. Over the last decade Liberovici has created a lot of projects which have explored the relationship between music, poetry, theatre and technology, in collaboration with such renowned artists as Peter Greenaway, Claudia Cardinale, Aldo Nove, Judith Malina, Vittorio Gassman, Giorgio Albertazzi, Enrico Ghezzi, Ivry Gitlis and Regina Carter.

"Liberovici", original inner sleeve"

More recently, his music has been performed by Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Montreal), Toscanini Orchestra, Teatro Carlo Felice Orchestra and others. These works have also been presented and produced by landmark cultural institutions such as Teatro di Roma, La Fenice in Venice and Salle Olivier Messiaen in Grenoble.

He has also worked in residence at INA-GRM and France Culture in Paris, STEIM Center for research and development in Amsterdam and GMEM National Centre of Musical Creation in Marseille. His music and shows have been presented in Italy and in international cities such as New York, Paris, Athens and Montreal.

"Liberovici", original inner sleeve"

«I was born in Giudecca ( of the islands in the Venetian Lagoon...) and I spent my entire youth in the city, studying at the Conservatory. I was a curious and restless spirit, before my sixteenth birthday I released my first album, "Oro" (..."Gold", already covered here...), which included songs of a transgressive nature, entirely composed by me, which were born from precocious musical experiences I had along with friends of mine when I used to play in the streets. The venetian producer Ermanno Velludo, also a great engineer, took care of production. A milanese producer passing by Venice produced the following album "Liberovici" (1980), but from that moment I decided to change direction, in controversy with the power of the record labels that often constrain the creativity of an artist.» [2]

"Liberovici", original insert - page 1

«Our home, in Venice, was populated by artists; the full Living Theatre lineup used to pay a visit. My playmate and buddy-buddy, both as a child and as an adolescent, was Serena Nono - daughter of Luigi - now a painter. She was my next-door neighbor and her home, as you would easily guess, was just as full of music and of meetings. Let's say that I was very lucky! My anarchist-creative spirit was not censored, but indeed profoundly encouraged by the people around me (friends, relatives and strangers).»

«I always played a bit of everything, before and during the Conservatory: from guitar to piano and flutes. I started the Conservatory when I was in junior high school and attended it, more or less, until the age of sixteeen. In the meantime I began to record and release my first albums, so I left the Conservatory for about one year. I took it up again when I was eighteen for three years, no longer in Venice but in Turin, studying violin and viola. Later in Turin I continued the study of the instrument and also began to study composition. I never finished the Conservatory and even if for a long time I felt this interruption as a sort of personal failure, now I'm proud of it.»

«My true icons were Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and then Patti Smith. I was fascinated by their singing style.» [3]

"Liberovici", original insert - page 2

«I think that "Oro" is a small declaration of absolute candour and amazement. I wrote it, lyrics and music, at the age of fourteen, but this wouldn't mean much. Indeed, generally speaking, the more you're young and the more you're inclined to refer to models. Instead I think that this album was, although born of many influences, very personal and, therefore, inevitably sincere. I love it very much. It's one of my creations that I love the most.»

«The "Liberovici" album was the beginning of disaffection. Music-industry executives, producers, press agents... At the age of seventeen I was touring Italy as a young star, with driver, fans, etc., and living in a Milan hotel suite. Above all I had no creative autonomy. My every intuition was examined, sifted through and censored. I still remember with horror the fights to the death (I was not easy to tame), with hunger strikes, locked inside the toilets of my record company, because they had rejected a song or mine or, even more serious, because they were putting on me an image that didn't belong to me. I even dared to refuse, with great dismay of the executives, the chance to go to San Remo festival. I literally told them to fuck off and I escaped to London to play my violin in the subway to survive.» [3]

"Liberovici", original insert - page 3

«I've been very lucky with my parents. All three. My mother Margot, an author, singer and puppeteer, my father Sergio, a composer and teacher with whom I lived for just a short time, and Giovanni Morelli, a musicologist who passed away some years ago, with whom I grew up. It was a wonderful family that deliberately throwed me into a magic potion cauldron, just like Obelix, filled with music and theatre. I came out from that pot ( one point I was about to drown...) with many efforts and also with a great indigestion. Once digested, I found myself in the cauldron again, but with a joyful gratitude for those wonderful flowers who have placed me in the world and that have chosen art literacy from the world for me.» [4]

"Liberovici", original insert - page 4


[1] translated from a short feature/interview published on "Albo Varietà Motori" magazine, 1980

[2] translated from a feature/interview by Riccardo Petito published in "Il Gazzettino", n. 174, 25th July 2004

[3] translated from the book "Officine Liberovici" published by Marsilio Editori, Venice, October 2006

[4] translated from an interview conducted by Filippo Bordignon, 2012

Andrea Liberovici performing live, circa 1979-80

"Liberovici" contains the following tracks:

01. L'eroe e l'eroina [The Hero and the Heroin] (3:46)
02. Ammorissimmo Mmio [Suupeer Loovee of Mmine] (3:04)
03. Padre Pio [Father Pio] (2:03)
04. Ciuff ciuff [Choo-Choo] (3:04)
05. Carino carina [Cute boy, pretty girl] (3:58)
06. Tira tira tira [Pull pull pull] (6:34)
07. Vorrei [I Would] (4:47)
08. Occhi di Luna [Moon Eyes] (4:26)
09. Uh caramellina uh uh [Uh Little Candy Uh Uh] (3:03)

All tracks were remastered in July 2018, they include complete artwork reconstruction and printable PDF files. For my remaster of this album I used audio tracks sourced from the rare CD re-release.

24.11.2018 Update: sorry guys, no downloads and no audio previews are available for this release...

Recorded the previous year, "Liberovici" was released by CGD in Italy sometime in early 1980, probably in January, with catalogue number CGD 20194. The album was re-released on CD sometime during the mid-90s, probably in 1996. Although not a limited edition, this digital version has been unavailable since many years and rarely surfaces on the second hand market.

I came into possession of my vinyl copy of the album in 1987. It was part of a stock of LPs given to me by my older brother, who in turn had got them as a gift from someone else who wanted to get rid of them... Sigh, poor discarded and homeless vinyls, how can people treat you with so much cruelty? My little babies, I'll keep you warm and safe...

Ehm, in 1987 I was 17 years old, just the same age that Andrea Liberovici was in 1979 when he recorded this provocative second album and I couldn't help but identify with many of the verses of the songs included on it.

Given the young age of the musician, and aware that the LP was simply entitled with the author's surname, at that time I thought that "Liberovici" was his first and only album... Since I had enjoyed that record so much, a great joy filled me one year later as I discovered that Andrea had released his debut LP back in 1978: "Oro". I already dedicated a post to it and I almost can't believe that more than five years have already passed since I promised to offer you his second effort...

The difference between the two albums is clear right from the cover: while Oro" showed him offering a beautiful smile under a huge pair of glasses, a guitar over his shoulder and a nice "No Nukes" button, on "Liberovici" Andrea appears almost emaciated, gazing at us with a mixture of challenge and resignation.

Andrea Liberovici, feature on 'Albo Varietà Motori' issue 14, April 1980

L'Altritalia has already written the perfect review of this album and I truly hope they won't mind if I include it here below. I completely agree with them about the nature of "Liberovici", which in my opinion is absolutely not a trash album.

«Ridicule can be tragic, and tragic is often sublime. Andrea Liberovici was 18 in 1980. Son of Sergio, composer and etnomusicologist, he was kind of an infant prodigy, having released his first album "Oro" (Gold) in 1978, at the age of 15.

This first effort was sort of an end-of-course essay for a precocious, brilliant child musician who had studied at two different conservatories and had a great talent for theatre as well. The work of a teenager trying to impress the world, attempting to be profound and provocative, while he mostly sounded naive, and eventually innocuous. The music is a mash up of Canterbury-like pop with rockish rushes and some avant tricks. The whole album is actually interesting, but the one track that stands out is "Risotto", which is also a strong link, both musically and lirically, to his incredible second record.

Liberovici came out just at the beginning of what was later called riflusso (“reflow”): after more than twenty years of massive political engagement, the revolutionary movement was rapidly disbanding, and collective issues were soon replaced by individual commitment. La marcia dei quarantamila (“The march of the the forty-thousand”) is a milestone in Italy's contemporary history. More than 40.000 employees and managers from FIAT demonstrated against trade unions power and for a “return to order” in the factories. Restoration was coming. In the meantime, heroin consumption was reaching a peak, and terroristic attacks got more and more indiscriminate and useless.

The conflict was still there, but became a private issue. Something for your analyst, if you could afford one. Or something to sing at, if you were a musician.

The album reflected this end-of-an-era climate, being hysterical, confused, disturbing. It summarized seventies' glam, funk rock, new wave, cantautore style in a way that was already pure eighties' postmodernism. The lyrics as well were a collection of the past decade's alternative culture slogan and clichés: drugs, sex, new social and family relations, spirituality. Everything's fluorescent and overilluminated; exaggerated and yet stylized.

The boy took the risk of turning himself into a comics' character. And in a way he was a comics' character: look at him on the cover. But the thing is, he sounded totally serious about what he was doing. Serious and intransigent as only a young man can be. It's the same attitude that made great Cannibale and Frigidaire, two of the most important and influential italian magazines of those years, and the people from The Great Complotto. Even when he dedicated to Padre Pio – now a saint – a love song which somehow reminds of “Je t’aime, moi non plus”, it was not comedy. There's a no-way-out feeling here, a sense of loss and hate which rescues even the most embarassing moments.

In the end, i disagree completely from pals at Orrore a 33 giri. [...their review of "Liberovici" is available here...] This is not a trash album. It’s a great piece of contemporary art.»

Andrea Liberovici, feature on 'Intrepido' issue 26, June 1980

Here's the credits and personnel list of "Liberovici":

Music and lyrics by Andrea Liberovici.

"L'eroe e l'eroina" lyrics by Andrea Liberovici and Marziano Fontana.

Arranged by Tony Mimms.

"L'eroe e l'eroina", "Padre Pio" and "Tira tira tira" arranged by Liberovici, Angelo Turotti and Rockstarter.

Produced by Liberovici.

Mixed by Gigi Venegoni and Gianfranco Longo.

"L'eroe e l'eroina" produced and mixed by Marziano Fontana, Silvio Puzzolu, Liberovici and Pino Vicari.

Recorded in 1979 at Idea Recording, Milan, Italy.

Engineered by Gianfranco Longo and Pino Vicari.

Andrea Liberovici: viola, Fender Telecaster

Angelo Turotti: guitars
Roberto Possanzini: bass
Roberto Ricci: drums
Umberto Tenaglia: keyboards

William Marino, Dave Summer, Stefano De Carli, Giancarlo Brambilla: guitars
Michael Fraiser: keyboards
Michael Brill: bass
Andy Surdy, Fabio Amodio: drums
Tullio De Piscopo, Claudio Bassani: percussion
Bruno De Filippi: harmonica
Pierluigi Muccioli, Claudio Pascoli, Giovanni Capriolo: horns
Ornella Cherubini, Eloisa Francia, Marina & Monica Balestrieri: backing vocals

Backing vocals in "L'eroe e l'eroina": Rockstarter, Mixo and Silvio Puzzolu

Photography: Flavio Gallozzi

Cover and Logo Design: Marziano Fontana

Adverts for "Liberovici" on 'Il Discorriere' (CGD magazine), February 1980

A few original 1980 TV appearances which feature a short-haired Andrea Liberovici are included below courtesy of YouTube.

More information about Andrea Liberovici is available here:

If you have any useful information about Andrea Liberovici, or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...