Tuesday, May 21, 2019
The weirdest budget label EP of all time. Or, "Ya had enough, cats?"
This is the weirdest budget label EP of all time. Quite a big claim, I realize. But it's me making it, and you know the kind of stuff I collect and post, and I don't proclaim something weird, bizarre, or flat-out odd without a good deal of cause. I mean, I do not know what to make of this. Sure, Discogs gives a nice, brief history of the label, which was imaginatively named EP Records. (Maybe "EP Records with Grooves on Them" was already taken.) But a reasonable person reads that capsule summary and reasonably concludes that EP Records was just another no-budget, save-on-ink-by-not-giving-performer-credit operation. But what we encounter with this release is... something else. And I don't mean "something else," as in, "The Monkees are really something else." I mean, something indescribable. Indescribably indescribable. But I'll try.
Side A has Honey Babe and Don't Be Angry--two versions I've never heard before and which sound like they were recorded off of a TV broadcast with a hand-held microphone connected to a home disc-cutting machine. Only it's even more bizarre--at the start of Honey Babe, a trumpet fanfare has been tacked on. It was probably lifted from a sound-effects disc. The extreme surface noise on both numbers was present on the source discs--this copy is pretty clean. I left enough space after each number to demonstrate as much. At first, I thought someone had played this with a sewing needle....
Side B starts in a normal enough fashion with Learnin' the Blues (the huge 1955 Frank Sinatra hit), and it's the same fake version credited to Jerry Rudolph on the Today's Records EP I recently featured, except this is unedited. Fidelity is a sold C--. Fine. But then comes Rock Around the Clock, and all conventional theories go out the window. "Go, man, go! Eddie Randolph and His Sextet!" announces a fake DJ. (Eddie Randolph and His Sextet?) This is followed by what sounds like Bill Haley's original recording, only slightly sped up and with the treble almost completely clipped, and with two incredibly awkward edits before the fake DJ returns: "Cool Eddie Randole (sp.?)! Ya had enough, cats? Oh, you want some more. Yesss? Well, here it is!!" More Bill Haley--the ending chorus. Then: "Real gone, Eddie--but that's enough, man." End of track.
A Bill Haley fake that's not a fake but actually a pirated recording of Haley, with some idiot telling us it's "Eddy Randolph (or Randole)"? I mean, did I dream this? No, the record's still here. The screen is still up. I'm fully awake. My God, this is reality! Or something filling in for it.
You can download the entire awful EP (first link), or you can subject yourself to only the Bill Haley--er, Eddie Randolph/Randole--side (second link). A side which can only be described as "real gone."
What were they thinking when they produced this? Anything?
DOWNLOAD Entire EP: EP 4 Hits (EP Records 325)
DOWNLOAD RATC only: Rock Around the Clock (EP Records 325)
Don't Be Angry
Learnin' the Blues
Rock Around the Clock
Arrangements and Vocals by Popular Artists (EP Records 325; 45 rpm EP)