Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Building a Better Way

When I was a kid I came across a strange record called Go Fly A Kite, which had tantalizing song titles such as "Atom is Evil" and "Heaven Out of Hell."  It was also credited to General Electric as the artist, which I knew as a company that made appliances and got made fun of by Letterman on Late Night when I'd sneak out to watch TV in my insomniac childhood.  The consignment shop in my hometown (not called a thrift store - I wouldn't encounter those until I was able to venture into larger towns) had an upstairs loft where they kept sundry items that hadn't made it on to the shelves in the main part of the store, and when I was a kid, as long as I tucked in my t-shirt, they'd let me go up there and rummage through boxes of things.  It was often just garbage - often religious stuff, gospel or Sunday school lessons - though I did find John Rydgren's Silhouette LP in there (which is religious but also amazing and insane).  But every once in a while something truly magical would turn up.  I immediately bought Go Fly A Kite for a pretty meager sum (I'm absolutely certain it was less than a dollar) and my affinity for industrial musicals was born.  I held on to that record - I still have it in storage.  (I will have to dig it out and post it eventually - it s fabulous.)  Once I was a little older I was able I cane across a couple other industrial musicals/ad music, and have a few.  (I have many digital copies of ones I haven't been able to get physical copies of, which is generally good enough for me.)

One day I came across a copy of an album credited to Chevrolet called Music From Building A Better Way.  Believe it or not, I actually had a 45 put out by Chevrolet - who had their own label - featuring The Cyrkle (the band that brought you this madness) and Paul Revere and the Raiders - it's worth f**k-all; you can get a copy for under $5 USD.  (Don't - get it for free, it's out there.)

Apparently there was a promotional film Chevrolet released around 1974 called Building a Better Way which showcased the things you'd expect it would, and Chevrolet's label released the soundtrack to it, which is largely wordless.  (Voices appear, but only as a musical instrument for the most part.)  And I think it is a pretty fantastic album.  The music is surprisingly good.  Especially "Designing" and "Building."  "Building" is amazing, with tonal and mood shifts (it's very nearly a song suite) and Moog and an almost Beach Boys-esque vocal harmony segment, etc.  Put this album on divorced from the fact that it is a Chevrolet promotional item for hawking their cars and it's a pretty decent funk rock album.  I suppose it's cheese - especially in parts.  I played "Building" on one of my Near Mint guest bits and more than one person asked me about it.  I thought I would upload and share it.  It does appear to be somewhat rare - Discogs has two copies for sale starting at $145.  I think it's quite good, and I hope you will agree.

Download here.

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