“The Plastic Cow Goes MOOOOOOg” Composer/arranger/performer Mike Melvoin. Dot Records (1970)
From the Liner Notes: “This album is based on musicianship, performances, and repertoire more than effects. I think it’s the first pop electronic album with a soul. It’s a very human electronic album.”
The Moog is an electronic device that can create the four different basic sound waves with their characteristic tambours. After the initial production of the basic sound wave, a variety of different modulation devices enable the player to create innumerable different sounds and effects. The sounds of “old” standard musical instruments can be simulated, but more importantly, as in this album, entirely new musical instruments can be created.
The first recording session for this album produced the rhythm tracks for all the cuts. Guitarist Dennis Budimir, drummers Paul Humphrey, Earl Palmer, and Colin Bailey, and Melvoin playing the bass register on the Moog laid down the rhythmic base for all the tunes. Future sessions involved Melvoin playing only the Moog as a composer/conductor “plays” an orchestra. The sounds in this album are within the ranges of all the standard musical instruments, but were not designed to duplicate their sounds.
Technical assistance was provided by Bernie Krause and Paul Beaver, electronic masters of the Moog synthesizer. They, along with producer Tom Mack, and Melvoin are the men responsible for the creation of the new Moog language needed to put together this album. Listen, if you will, for such onomatopoetic sounds as a “phased rubber band,” a “glass shower,” “damped bells,” and a “soprano with a gurgle.” They’re there. You’ve never heard them before, but you will hear them again!
Mike Melvoin, originally from the jazz world, was the Musical Director of the nationally syndicated Woody Woodbury television show, and in the last several years has recorded with and for every major West Coast recording artist as a keyboard performer. One of America’s most talented young musicians, he here makes great inroads in the electronic music field. The trail has been blazed, the sound has been phased. Sopranos with a gurgle . . . and listeners with an ear . . . may never be the same!
Thanks to 36 15 Moog for the download!