The Hellers 'Singers, Talkers, Players, Swingers and Doers'

The Hellers 'Singers, Talkers, Players, Swingers and Doers'

This 1968 LP stands as a particularly strange UFO in the UFO-filled sky of the psychedelic and kitsch record collector.

In 1968, producer Enoch Light commissioned an LP from Hugh Heller, a publicist who used to put together albums of skits and short musical spoofs his agency privately distributed to industry people.

Heller teamed up with his agency's commercial jingle composer Dick Hamilton. Together, they wrote 12 light comedy tracks and brought in visionary electronician Robert Moog (inventor of the Moog synthesizer) to give their project a space-age feel.

This half-hour of material has aged tremendously, but to most connoisseurs of the genre, that is where its value resides.

You'll know the vocal in the featured track "Life Story", as it was lifted by Grandmaster Flash for his "Adventures on the Wheels of Steel" track.

Nichelle Nichols 'Down To Earth'

Nichelle Nichols 'Down To Earth'

Although arguably best-known for her portrayal of communications officer, Lieutenant Nyota Uhura on the original sci-fi television program Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols is likewise a formidable vocalist.

Her abilities actually predate her acting prowess, as she was performing in nightclubs and had garnered a solo spot during a brief stint with Duke Ellington & His Orchestra, all of which she accomplished before 1960.

Concurrent with her work on Star Trek, Nichols was recording for Epic Records, releasing a 45 rpm featuring "Know What I Mean" b/w "Why Don't You Do Right" in 1967. She then teamed up with jazz arranger Gerald Wilson to create Down to Earth.

Her tremendous talents stylistically run the gamut from the up-tempo and soulful "Feelin' Good" to the torch balladry of "Tenderly" and the touching "The More I See of You." She effortlessly takes on "The Lady Is a Tramp," adding a few hip and timely humorous asides. The lesser-known title "You'd Better Love Me" and the cover of Georgia Gibbs' "Home Lovin' Man" are brought to life with equal aplomb.

A nice little curio.

Frank Sinatra 'In The Wee Small Hours'

Frank Sinatra 'In The Wee Small Hours'

One of the very first, and still one of the very best concept albums (organised around a central mood of late-night isolation and aching lost love, supposedly due to Sinatra's separation from Ava Gardner). His voice had deepened and worn to the point where his delivery seems ravished and heartfelt, as if he were living the songs.

The featured cut, "Mood Indigo", is a Jazz standard from c. 1930, and Sinatra sings it with heartfelt warmth.

If you're pining for that special someone, look no further.

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.

Syndicate content

Back to top