This issue features:

Les Paul


    This issue's cover spot is occupied by multi-talented maverick Les Paul. Besides revolutionizing the music world with the invention of his namesake electric guitar, he pioneered crucial advancements in studio recording and used his magnificent 'New Sound' to storm the Hit Parade throughout the 1950s.

    His innovations prompted countless aspiring artists to approach both the guitar and the recording process in new ways. Still playing gigs after more than six decades in the business, the living legend sits down with C&SM's Frank M. Young to chat about his expansive career.

Andre Popp - Delirium In Hi-Fi ANDRÉ POPP


    The bulk of French composer-arranger André Popp's output is often associated with the 'Easy Listening' era of European big bands, but he transcended the genre with a remarkably inventive 1957 album entitled Elsa Popping et sa Musique Sidérante. The record's sonic scope rivals the most inventive material by such C&SM heroes as Juan Esquivel, Spike Jones, and Jean-Jacques Perrey, and, most remarkably, its mastery was achieved within the realm of mono recording.

    Painstakingly assembled from a plethora of tape splices, Popp augmented his wild arrangements with a variety of sound effects courtesy of Pierre Fatosme and employed innovative audio tricks that would be impossible to replicate in a live session. Emerson Dameron provides this celebration of the seminal Space Age Pop masterpiece, dissecting the album track by track to appreciate the studio wizardry that spawned it.


    When the fad of belly dancing swept through the States in the 1950s, record companies filled the bins with pseudo-Arabian sounds and instructional exotic dance records in hopes of luring cash from the purses of uncultured housewives.

    The idealized aural impressions offered up by these cheap records went down a lot easier on the average American's turntable than the jarring dissonance and unfamiliar scales of authentic Middle Eastern music. Jesse Walker takes us on a tour of this peculiar sub-genre of exotica!


    Whether it's a knock-off sleeve of Command Records' graphic design, or a questionably credited attempt at cashing in on the Baxter/Denny/Lyman world of exotica, every veteran thrift store scavenger has probably come across a fair share of them.

They were repeatedly thrown together, repackaged, retitled, and recaculated to ensure continuous business from the unobservant consumer. Jessica Ford Cameron shares the joy and pain of budget label collecting, highlighting some dollar bin gems and tracing their curious evolution through various musical trends.


SCIENCE FICTION SOUNDTRACKS Forbidden Planet - Soundtrack

    The heyday of drive-in theaters, flying saucer mania, and Atomic Age anxiety produced a wealth of memorable science fiction films. Classic movies like The Day The Earth Stood Still, Forbidden Planet, and The Time Machine presented fantastical visions of possible futures and impossible worlds. The soundtracks for these big screen escapades required music that was equally adventurous and forward-looking.

    Earthling Wil Forbis transmits this appreciation of great outer limit scores by Bernard Herrmann, Russ Garcia, Les Baxter, Jerry Goldsmith, and Louis and Bebe Barron.


Monster Melodies

    "Monster Mash," the notorious 1962 hit by Bobby "Boris" Pickett, is just one headstone in a sprawling cemetary of Halloween novelty numbers. During the 1950s and '60s, a slew of these sinister slabs haunted listeners with hammy Transylvanian accents, horrific puns, and killer album cover art.

    Music fiend Julian West runs through a motley crew of spooktacular platters by notables and nobodys alike, including the cryptic catalog of releases by Frankie Stein and his Ghouls!


   Altough he's never officially released an album or even a single, Shooby Taylor's name and music is well known and loved among a wide variety of eccentric listening enthusiasts. Disc jockeys, musicians, and tape traders have been circulating a bootleg cassette of his recordings for the past decade. His unique and unusual scat technique must truly be heard to be believed.

    The origins of the man and his music have long been shrouded in mystery and myth, but the riddle of Shooby Taylor was recently answered when he was found residing in a New Jersey nursing home by a dedicated fan. Myke O'Clock delivers this brief overview of 'the Human Horn' phenomenon.

Modern Artist Profile: SEKS BOMBA

    This 5-piece instrumental combo has been carrying out their masterful musical mission since 1994. By twisting the plot with everything from spy jazz, surf guitar, and porn scores to go-go beats, cocktail rock, and sultry swing, this suave team of secret agents create a quasi-soundtrack of cool and strange delights.

    Rachel Holzer opens the file on the Boston quintet for this special report. Get briefed on one of the more promising groups to survive the hype of the loungecore '90s!



    This issue's Cover-Mania! Photo Spread has left an assortment of cool and strange holiday LP sleeves under the tree. Courtesy of Robert Bielski's collection, these festive covers range from the naughty and the nice to the just plain nutty!

Add to all of that a ton of CD reviews and other goodies, & you've got yourself one full sleigh of

So get on board!
It's gonna be a cool ride through
the wild, wacky and sometimes tacky
world of records!