Thursday, October 3, 2013

Demo Records 2013

Life has been very, very busy, so my many apologies for such a late return to writing an entry. If Google Adsense would pay me $50,000 per click, I would be writing entries every day. Perhaps I should sit down and draft a letter, proposing a raise from Google. Perhaps I'll mail them a sock too.

Now, onto other business. If you missed my third appearance on Amateur Hour, you can get it here. I played a lot of stuff on the show that I haven't posted here, so listening to it is a great idea if you want a brain aneurysm! The show was a lot of fun, and there were many great laughs to be had!

Now, I desperately need to tackle the ever-growing stack of records that have been collecting in my in-queue boxes (yes, there's two of them now) and I picked up three more at a garage sale the other weekend. So with this entry, I hoped to cut down a huge chunk of them, but I only had the time to analyze four of them. My dungeon will eventually be full of shit to blog about, and there won't be any path for me to get to the computer, and my blog will eventually fade into oblivion, and the world will rejoice because one less person is putting stupid shit on the internet to occupy people's work hours when they should be doing actual work, and you're probably tired of reading this extremely long sentence now so I'm going to put a period at the end so your brain can finally move on to the next paragraph which you have so desperately been waiting for.

So this time around, I've decided to tackle some demonstration records. Every time I see one, I buy it. I probably have more kicking around, but these are the first four I found. I'm not sure what the purpose of these were since I grew up in the era of cassettes. However, when I was five years old, my parents bought me a brand-new Sanyo cassette player from Zellers which came with a free cassette. This was it:

You can download it here if you so desire. For a five year old kid, getting a free cassette was the greatest thing in the world, and dare I say I even enjoyed the two songs on it. Side two was blank so you could record your own crappy instrumental songs on it!

The cassette was recorded in stereo which was a stupid thing to package with a mono cassette player with one speaker. Nevertheless, I enjoyed and loved the hell out of that cassette player until my uncle bought me one that played TWO cassettes and had TWO speakers. Unfortunately, that one did not come with a free cassette.

I'm guessing some of these records may have come with turntables, or perhaps they were used in stores to demonstrate stereo systems to convince the sucker that he should buy a record player made by some extremely reputable and well-known brand like "Morse" or "Garrara".

Grand Award - Stereophonic Spectacular Demonstration Record Limited Edition

The back of the record boasts "The most spectacular full stereophonic sound ever achieved". Fuck you, the Beatles achieved spectacular stereophonic sound by putting vocals on one channel, music on the other channel, and absolutely nothing in the center. If you only have one speaker, you've got a perfectly good karaoke record or an acapella record, depending on which speaker you didn't have.

Do you know why this record is a limited edition? Because they couldn't sell these circular plastic discs of garbage. I listened to the entire thing while I was searching for that Sanyo Demonstration Cassette. On the back of the record, they brag about the technical details and the love and care they used to bring you this collection of shitty old songs which knaw a good hour's life off your stylus. Songs like "Volare", "Sunrise Serenade" and "La Comparsa" are guaranteed to have you skipping over the download link, so I'm not going to bother posting anything off this one. Let's move on...

Shure - Audio obstacle course - era III

This isn't really a demonstration record, but a record to make sure your stereo system is capable of making noise. This thing was more enjoyable than the last record, although side two has some crappy music that I didn't bother listening to. If you want to make sure your computer system is capable of making noise, feel free to play this MP3...

Listen to Level, Balance and Phasing Tests

Since this record helped verify that my turntable is indeed in good working order, we can proceed to the next record.

The Sheffield Track Record - Rock Instrumental Tracks for Audio Component Testing and Evaluation

Well, that title is a mouth full! This one is quite a wonder though. This company put together a band, wrote some original songs, practiced the hell out of them, went into a studio, and recorded them in one take onto the master disc for pressing. So instead of getting 3rd, 4th or lower generation copies of the recording with additional tape hiss, you're getting a 2nd generation recording with the only potential defects being in the master disc or some idiot musician who messed up on the only possible take.

To really push the limits of the technology, they used maximum groove spacing. Because of that, there's only four songs on the entire record. It does sound phenomenal, but I had to go and fuck it up by encoding it into a shitty MP3. The worst thing about this record is it sounds exactly like the year it was recorded in: 1982. So, feel free to re-live this moment in 1982 where all the musicians and producers who put their efforts into making this record were sweating, shitting, and pissing themselves, hoping that nobody would make a mistake and ruin the entire master disc.

I chose this particular song because it has some groovy super funk bass on it.

Listen to "The Higher You Rise"

Audio Fidelity - Stereo Spectacular Demonstration & Sound Effects

This is by far my favorite. The narrator tells the story about the concept of sound and then throws in sound effects to make it all that much more corny. It sounds like the soundtrack to a shitty documentary that you would be forced to watch in a high school health class. I have included all of side one because the whole thing is entertaining. If you have a bit of time to kill, you may actually enjoy listening to this one. SPOILER: the narrator gets temporarily killed during a game of Russian Roulette.

Listen to Stereo Spectacular Demonstration & Sound Effects Part 1

And we've come to the end of another memorable blog entry which is always more fun than kicking Mickey Mouse in the balls at Disneyworld. If you would like video of how your family can put together a Disney package so you can all kick some mouse testes, write to Disney. I'm sure they'll accommodate you with a free DVD and a child molester in a creepy Winnie-The-Pooh costume.


Chris Sobieniak said...

You got to review my favorite record (the Audio Fidelity one). I found that one over 20 years ago at a Goodwill and played the hell out of it on my mom's stereo in the basement!

Anonymous said...

We'd like to hear Raffi's non-children album called "Good Luck Boy" by the time you get it.

Jackson Hearn said...

We had that Audio Fidelity one. I loved it too. My parents got it with the huge-ass Motorola Stereo system in 1958. Maybe they got the disc separately, who knows. It was fun to listen to as a kid. It's where I learned the song "St. James Infirmary."

"BANG!" Aha! You Lose!

Unknown said...

there's another Sanyo tape with another cover of Joshua, along with House of the Rising Sun. I had it as a child, but listened so much that it became tangled in the end :)