The Bermuda Triangle by Isao Tomita (RCA, 1978)

Tomita BT-1

Tomita BT-2

Tomita’s The Bermuda Triangle is essential electronica from one of the genre’s pioneers. Moog music hit the mainstream when Wendy Carlos’ Switched-On Bach (Columbia, 1968), a note-by-note rendition of various compositions by the beloved composer, landed on the Billboard top 10. Tomita, heavily influenced by Carlos, here mixes classical phrases and original music to contribute his own quirky version of the Triangle myth, at one point quoting the famous contact music from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Like Bigfoot and all manner of strange beasts, ancient aliens, and lost worlds, interest in the Bermuda Triangle had been building for more than a decade. The area’s supposed supernatural origins became entrenched in the popular imagination thanks mainly to three books: Invisible Horizons (1965) by Vincent Gaddis (who coined the phrase “Bermuda Triangle” in an earlier Argosy article), Limbo of the Lost (1969) by John Wallace Spencer, and The Bermuda Triangle (1974) by Charles Berlitz. (A “documentary” based on Berlitz’s “non-fiction” book was released in 1979.)

The cover art for the American release of Tomita’s The Bermuda Triangle is by Don Punchatz (1936-2009), who made a name for himself with cover art for new editions of Asimov’s Foundation trilogy published by Avon Books in 1966. He had a distinguished career in a golden age of commercial illustration—Ray Bradbury called his work “endlessly stunning”—and is probably best known for his cover and logo art on id’s Doom (1993), one of the more iconic pieces of video game art in creation.

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