Ken Nordine 'Colors'

Ken Nordine 'Colors'

'Colors' began as a short-lived series of radio commercials written and voiced at the behest of the Fuller Paint Company. The spots ran as scheduled; however, at the end of the campaign listeners began calling radio stations to request they be rebroadcast. Once word got back to Nordine, he rewrote the scripts.

Each selection runs roughly 90 seconds and represents a specific shade -- most of which are variations of those found on the primary spectrum. The record kicks off with "Olive" being hailed as "about-to-be-named color of the year by those with the nose for the new, by the passionate few."

All your mix tapes will be very happy that you've bought this strange record to flavour them with.

Barbara Dane and the Chambers Brothers

Barbara Dane and the Chambers Brothers

It only takes a moment to understand the motivation behind what's going on here - it's a revolt against racism in America. It's done in a very uplifting way, you know, so it's positive sounding.

For the most part it's a gospel record. You get lots of great handclappy gospel rhythms which as you well know always goes down well with me. Though actually, there's some sort of weird synchronisation going on in one of the songs, I can't remember which. The claps on the left and right channels are just far enough out of line to be a tad off-putting.

The first half is upbeat then it gets more acapella based during the 2nd half. I really love the major->minor key changes in the harmonies - in Freedom Is a Constant Struggle it's used to great effect. Check out We'll Never Turn Back for that matter.

Interestingly there's a cover of Come By Here (more commonly known as Kumbaya) on here (ah, this has the crazy handclaps in it). I had never looked into the history of the song before. Seems there's a bit of debate about who actually wrote it. Turns out that a cheeky white reverend may well have stolen it and claimed it as his own. Sums up the tone of the album really, eh?

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