Archive for the '’70s Music' Category

Marc Bolan with Man-Wolf, Circa 1975

Marc Bolan 1975

The magazine behind Creatures on the Loose #33, identified by Richard McKenna, is Modern Screen (November 1974). Bolan was a huge Marvel fan who interviewed Stan Lee on the BBC’s Today show in 1975, where Lee revealed that Angie Bowie was interested in doing a Black Widow TV series—which would have been so much more entertaining than whatever morbidly expensive glob of superhero goo that came out last week (or the week before, or the week before, or the week before…). Bolan himself was interviewed about comics in 1975 by soon-to-be Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant (credit to McKenna once again). You can read the transcript here, and there’s a picture of the article below.

Bolan Interview

Bonus: here’s Bolan with Stan Lee and Roy Wood (ELO, Wizzard) at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1975. The Marvel exhibit ran from October 18 through November 2. Bolan died in a car wreck two years later, on September 16, 1977.

Marvel I.C.A. 1975

(Photos via @jackellyreed and everything second-hand)

Disco Snoopy Colorforms Set (Colorforms, 1978)

Disco Snoopy 1978-1

Disco Snoopy 1978-2

Colorforms took the transfers from a previously released Peanuts set and added a disco ball-illuminated dance floor, whereas the Star Snoopy set came with all new transfers. The dance floor is pretty cool, though. Snoopy as the World Famous Disco Dancer was introduced in the Peanuts strip in October 1978.

Disco/Anti-Disco Iron-On Transfers, Circa 1979

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Disco-1

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Disco was so contentious, in fact, that it led to a near riot in 1979.

The second transfer was illustrated by Mort Drucker.

UPDATE: Rick Shithouse sent me two more (below), and they are impressive.

Rock Rules

Disco is Dead

(Images via eBay)

TV Guide Ads for TV Movies (1978): Special Halloween Edition

TV Guide 1978-1

TV Guide 1978-2

TV Guide 1978-3

TV Guide 1978-4

TV Guide 1978-5

Highlights from the week of October 28 through November 3, 1978, via Garage Sale Finds, where you can see a lot more.

Kiss Meets the Phantom is actually Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park, and it’s one of the more notorious TV productions of the 1970s. Produced by Hanna-Barbera, it plays like a demented, less well-acted, live action Scooby-Doo episode with a hard rocking soundtrack, and for all those reasons is a must watch. A slightly different, slightly more coherent version titled Attack of the Phantoms was released in theaters outside the U.S. in 1979, and you can watch it (as of now) here. Incidentally, if there’s a place to put your “Get Your High School Diploma” ad, it’s underneath a Kiss promo.

I talk about Devil Dog: Hound of Hell here. Stranger in Our House is a fun chiller directed by Wes Craven about a satanic, teenage witch who infiltrates and terrorizes a suburban family, with Linda Blair playing the good girl. (1981’s Midnight Offerings was another TV movie with the same theme). Both films aired on Halloween night.

Disco Dracula by Hot Blood (Dynamo, 1977)

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Disco Dracula is so much more fun than Halloween’s Come See What It’s All About (1979), and actually evokes some groovy, sexualized monster vibes. Read a review and see some hilarious European video at Disco Delivery. As of now, you can listen to the whole album here. A recommended seasonal treat! Lesbian vampire lovers not included.

Come See What It’s All About by Halloween (Mercury, 1979)

Halloween LP

Halloween LP-2

The cover is a bit of a misnomer, since the album isn’t space disco and has nothing to do with Halloween, but who cares? Dr. Mime N Time is coming out of a goddamn wormhole and Captain K-9 has laser claws! What we have here are pretty standard disco tunes wrapped in a deceitful yet irresistibly kitschy package. All of the songs were written by Jerry Marcellino, who wrote and produced for The Jackson 5 (and solo M.J.), Diana Ross, The Supremes, and lots of others. I made a playlist of all of the songs on the album but two. Listen here.

Cosmic Cowboy by Barry McGuire (Sparrow Records, 1978)

Cosmic 1978

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Cosmic 1978-3

Here’s the beginning of the title track:

I met a Cosmic Cowboy

Ridin’ a starry range

He’s a supernatural Plowboy

And he’s dressed up kinda strange

And at first I didn’t see ‘im

Bein’ out there on the run

Yeah, but that old hat that he’s wearin’

It’s shinin’ brighter than the sun.

Get it? The Cosmic Cowboy is Jesus! The album is on Spotify. At least listen to the title track.

Album cover art, which was also available on a t-shirt(!), is by John Lykes, who did an interesting cover for Sun Ra’s Atlantis (1973).

Queens of Space by Akka B (Goody Music, 1978)

Queens 1978

I here present the Italian release of a French space disco single (sung in English) representing the entire musical output of one Akka B, which is really not all that surprising, though still kind of a shame. With lyrics or without?

Cover artist is Francis Bergèse.

The Bermuda Triangle by Isao Tomita (RCA, 1978)

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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.

Music from ‘In Search of…’ by the ‘In Search of’ Orchestra (AVI Records, 1977)

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In Search 1977-2

As far as I can tell, none of the cuts on the album made it onto the show, at least not in the version heard here. That’s why it’s billed as “music themes from and inspired by the series,” I guess, instead of a proper soundtrack. Lauren Rinder and W. Michael Lewis were prominently associated with the disco scene, which is obvious upon first listen. Even the instantly recognizable main theme is much more upbeat and funky than what you remember.

Very little of the spooky incidental music is here, unfortunately, although it’s a fun listen throughout, and an interesting fringe relic (filed under both the Disco and Occult/Supernatural categories!). According to Nimoy, Rinder and Lewis “added their unique talents to the mysteries we were exploring,” and they are credited with all music used on the first season. Good enough.


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