Band members Related acts
- Dick Hyman -- keyboards, synthesizers
- Chet Amsterdam -- bass
- Jay Berliner -- guitar
- Art Ryerson -- guitar
- Buddy Salzman -- drums, percussion
- Walter Sear -- synthesizers
- none known
Rating: **** (3 stars)
Title: The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman
Company: ABC Command
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: gatefold sleeve
Catalog ID: 4340
Yeah, I'm kind of surprised this album's in my collection ... Dick Hyman's been recording since the 1940s, but most of his catalog is jazz oriented, which is an area that I don't have a great deal of interest in - guess I'm simply too dense to understand the genre's complexities.
As you've probably guessed, this 1969 album is way different from Hyman's normal repertoire. Regardless, this is one I picked up for the wild cover art. It wasn't till I played it that I even knew I'd heard the track 'The Minotaur' before.
Hyman's one of the first well known musicians to embrace synthesizer technology and 1969's "The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman" is basically a 'look at what you can do' showcase for those experiments with the new fangled technology - particularly the Moog synthesizer. Self-produced, the album showcased a series of nine Hyman originals, including the unexpected hit 'The Minotaur' (which ELP basically ripped off for their own 'Lucky Man'). An all instrumental set, the collection bounced all over the musical spectrum from conventional pop ('The Legend of Johnny Pot'), to outright experimentation (''Four Duets In Odd Meters'). The sound's certainly somewhat dated, occasionally recalling an early Atari video game (remember this album's now some 45 + years old), but the LP has a bizarre charm that's simply hard to adequately describe. Call it a personal favorite in the bizarre category ... Hyman provided great liner notes that described what he was trying to do with each composition.
By the way, I wasn't kidding. Released as a
single 'Topless Dancers of Corfu' b/w 'Minotaur' (Command catalog number 45-4128)
actually went top-20 in the States when radio stations started playing the
1.) Topless Dancers of Corfu (instrumental) (Dick Hyman) -
2.) The Legend of Johnny Pot (instrumental) (Dick Hyman) -
3.) The Moog and Me (instrumental) (Dick Hyman) -
4.) Tap Dances In Memory Banks (instrumental) (Dick Hyman) -
5.) Four Duets In Odd Meters (instrumental) (Dick Hyman) -
2.) Total Bells and Tony (instrumental) (Dick Hyman) -
3.) Improvisations In Fourths (instrumental) (Dick Hyman) -
4.) Evening Thoughts (instrumental) (Dick Hyman) -
The album's been rediscovered by a younger audience thanks in part to Beck having sampled it for his 1996 "Odelay" LP. I think De La Soul borrowed part of 'Improvisations In Fourths' for one of their albums. Anyhow, the album's even seen a CD reissue, with a couple of bonus tracks.
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