Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Synthesizer instrumentals

"Untamed World Theme"
Zeroto180

“Untamed World”: Top TV Theme

Unless you were a nature nerd in the late 1960s to mid-1970s, chances are you have never heard Mort Garson‘s mysterious and exotic instrumental theme for the CTV television series, Untamed World. “Untamed World Theme”     Mort Garson     196? Uncanny emulation of steel drums that is/are undergirded by a

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Paul Beaver Played Clavinet, Too (plus Emil Richards Tribute)

Remember last month when I was hot on the trail of identifying the first recording of a clavinet, thanks to a tip from Jim Kimsey: “Six O’Clock” by John Sebastian & The Lovin’ Spoonful?  Was John Sebastian‘s “electric harpsichord” (as he referred to the instrument), in fact, a clavinet?  Sebastian

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Early 90s Ohio Valley EDM

In retrospect, I now realize that Ed Goldstein was the first musician I knew personally to  obtain formal permission to record another musical artist’s work.  This was in 1992 — before the Internet would so much more readily facilitate this kind of information sleuthing — and I remember being somewhat

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Larry Fast: Digital, Experimental

Tip of the hat to my old tennis partner and high school music rival. Ed Goldstein [he was in The Head Band with future “Smooth” songwriter, Itaal Shur, and one-time-bassist-for-Sleepy-Labeef-turned-sociology-professor, Adam Moskowitz, while I was in The Max, formerly Max & the Bluegills], who recently paid tribute to Peter Gabriel and

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“Capricorn Flight”: It’s the Bass II

As with Waylon Jennings‘ deeply-felt “Abilene” or Ruby Wright’s surprisingly bass-centric  “Adios Aloha,” one cannot but feel alarmed by the depth of bottom in the opening synth notes of this charmingly analog production – recorded at Cincinnati’s Counterpart Studios, with Shad O‘Shea and Wes Boatman at the helm (get it?):

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“Space Funk”: Groovy Synths

Is Cincinnati aware the degree to which Manzel‘s two 45s “Space Funk” (from 1977) & “Midnight Theme” (1979) have become revered dance tracks around the globe?  Note the trippy backwards drumming intro that immediately draws in the listener on “Space Funk”: “Space Funk”     Manzel     1977 The number of times Dopebrother

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“Chef d’Oeuvre”: Negative Radio Plays?

I am reading the memoir of music industry legend, Bob Thiele — producer at Coral Records who “discovered” Buddy Holly and would later work with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Albert Ayler, Joe Turner, Otis Spann, Gil Scott-Heron, and Bernard “Pretty” Purdie & the Playboys,

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"Roly Pin"
Zeroto180

“Roly Pin”: Slide Guitar & Synth

Did this synth-and-slide-guitar instrumental B-side enjoy much UK radio play when it was released in 1978?  Likely not, I suspect – but who knows: Roly is a side project by Rob “Roly” Davis & Ray Stiles of UK glam rockers, Mud.  Released on Logo. This discography of Logo releases from

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“Swan Lager”: Prog Rock Reggae

Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman‘s beery take on Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” became the A-side of a 45 released by A&M in 1979: “Swan Lager”     Rick Wakeman     1979 “Swan Lager” also served as side two’s closing track for 1979 double LP, Rhapsodies.  Cash Box‘s review in their June 23, 1979

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“M1”: Modern Sound for a Modern Roadway

From Sound on Sound‘s wonderfully detailed history of the Clavioline (the otherworldly keyboard sound that steals the show on Beatle B-side, “Baby You’re a Rich Man“) we learn that “electrical instruments first appeared at the close of the 19th century.”  However, it was only with the introduction of the Clavioline

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