Thursday, 23 December 2010
OK, here's another one for the Close Encounters fans. I always especially enjoyed the "tape recorder starting up" effect, but there are many reasons to relish this.
The track first appeared - under the heading "Venus in a Space Uniform Shining in Fluorescent Light " - on Isao Tomita's album The Bermuda Triangle, which was initially available on coral pink vinyl inside a gatefold sleeve with delirious artwork by Don Punchatz (this tribute includes the full original artwork).
As Tomita explains in the sleeve notes, the LP contains an encoded message: "Each side of this record contains coded data in the form of certain sound effects. The message can be recovered if the electrical signal from the record is interfaced with the input of a micro computer programmed to the TARBEL system".
Unfortunately, nobody on this planet seemed to have a computer programmed to the TARBEL system...
The RCA edition was imported to the UK, but with the "Nipper the dog" logo on the labels censored with black tape. The mysterious disappearance of Nipper was probably less to do with aliens than the fact that in the UK the logo belonged to HMV.