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Phonography


Commemorating the sale of more than 500,000 copies

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of the
VITAL RECORDS
Long-Playing Record Album

PHONOGRAPHY




S T E V I E   M O O R E ' s
F i r s t   A l b u m

APRIL 1976

(100 copies pressed)

| lyrics |

Total Time = 73:02




B U Y

Street date 15 June 2010, OUT NOW: Sundazed Records reissues PHONOGRAPHY on deluxe high-grade 180gram vinyl!


September 2009: PHONOGRAPHY CD is reissued on Chris Cutler's RECOMMENDED RECORDS UK. ORDER IT HERE (USA) or THERE


Buy at iTunes

Buy at BANDCAMP


also
STILL (Barely) AVAILABLE on CD (factory sealed)
Original 1998 Flamingo pressing
US$75

(Hurry, supplies extremely limited, ultra-rare + out of print)
(Urgent note: stock running out FAST; regrettably having to raise the price for original issue -- very soon will have to increase again.)


Attention: You can always obtain Phonography on CD-R for only $13. Click here for the homemade burn (sorry, no deluxe booklet insert):



end of sales pitch

IMAGES:
Early H.P. promo letter
Orig. Vital Records label / flip
H.P. reissue label






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TROUSER PRESS Magazine

Note: This record has never been com-
mercially released. We obtained it as a
limited edition demonstration record. How-
ever, we understand that it may become
available more generally in the near future,
so we thought our readers might like to
hear about it.


Somewhere in Nashville, Tennessee sits
(in a bathtub) a young chap by the name of

Stevie Moore. In his living room, two tape
decks are set up. Microphones and wires
are strewn everywhere. Over the space of
several years (1974-1976), our hero sits
down with his tape recorders and (all by his
lonesome) puts down a heap of tracks
featuring many of his multiple musical
talents. This record is an edited distillation
of a few of those, intermixed with some chit
chat and narration by the venerable Mr.
Moore. The result is an outrageous collec-
tion of
musical brain spewage that sounds,
at times, like Thunderclap Newman, Todd
Rundgren, and the Bonzo Dog Band. The
sound quality isn't exactly spectacular, but
you get the idea, and listening is a lot of
fun, as the entire TP staff can attest. The
better tracks (in case you want to call up
your local dj and request them) are called
"Goodbye Piano," "I Wish I Could Sing,"
"She Don't Know What To Do With
Herself", and a little ditty entitled "Theme
From A.G." "AG" turns out to be Andy
Griffith, and the track is simply a multi-
guitared reading of that fabulous whistling
tomboy music from the old show. A true
slash of genius, and the killer cut of the
record. Don't rush out looking for
Phono-
graphy
. It'll find you.

•Ira A. Robbins, NYC
Trouser Press magazine
•December 1977
•Page 36



IMAGES:
-> TP24 front cover (12-77)
-> The Review
-> H.P. advert #1
-> TP25 front cover (1-78)
-> H.P. advert #2
-> 1st RSM-designed advert (6-78)
-> Another RSM-designed advert (79)



phonogcd

PHONOGRAPHY
was reissued on CD (late '98) with 7 bonus tracks, from the FLAMINGO label out of Albuquerque NM


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altrockarama.jpg March 1996
Rob O'Connor says:
("The Fifty Most Significant Indie Records")
"By the mid-seventies there was enough rock and pop music around that an artist with the right combination of gumption and talent could make interestingly personal music by mixing and matching styles at will. Finding other musicians with similarly eclectic inclinations, however, could prove frustrating. Nashville-raised, New Jersey based iconoclast R.STEVIE MOORE never bothered looking for others to fill out his sound. Instead, he did it himself, overdubbing with two reel-to-reel tape recorders in his bedroom until it sounded like he'd just jammed with the hottest band in town.

Nowadays, with home-recording technology vastly improved and more accessible, it's not such a big deal, but at the time it took a lot more effort. Couple that with the fact that Moore launched his own mail-order cassette club, which now boasts over 200 titles, and you have the man who can safely be credited with bringing home recording to the forefront.

Phonography, Moore's first longplayer, is a neat little record ranging from rudimentary experimentation to adventurous compositional sophistication. Pressed up twice in limited-edition vinyl runs, it's currently available on CD through Moore's cassette club."
  




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FOUR FROM PHONOGRAPHY
All Music Guide
by Stewart Mason 2001


R. Stevie Moore's Phonography was a minor classic of pre-punk D.I.Y. pop, but its initial 1976 pressing was limited to a mere 100 copies, which meant its potential sphere of influence was rather limited. So the Nashville-born Moore pulled up stakes and moved to northern New Jersey, where his uncle Harry Palmer, then the president of Atco Records (sic), offered to reissue Phonography on his own HP Records. Prior to the full-fledged reissue, Palmer released the 7" EP Four From Phonography, a teaser that attracted a fair amount of attention in New York's burgeoning new wave scene, receiving excellent reviews in magazines like Trouser Press and New York Rocker and radio airplay on stations like the iconoclastic freeform WFMU. Four From Phonography distills the album into 11-and-a-half minutes, and wisely showcases not just Moore's knack for catchy power pop in the form of "I Wish I Could Sing" and the early Sparks-like "She Don't Know What to Do With Herself," but also his experimental bent. "Theme From A.G.," a witty recasting of the theme from The Andy Griffith Show, and the manic "Goodbye Piano" are nowhere near as weird as some of the other Phonography tracks, but they're a good sight more bizarre than anything you were going to get from Todd Rundgren, or even the Ramones. S.M.


4FP Page




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from MUSIC.EXCITE.COM

Personnel includes: R. Stevie Moore (vocals, various instruments); Billy Anderson (vocals, bass, tambourine); Johna Lynn (background vocals).

Reissue producer: Stewart Mason.

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Originally released on Vital Music in 1976 and reissued on the HP label in November 1978.
Includes liner notes by Dennis Diken.
Digitally remastered by R. Stevie Moore (WFMU, East Orange, New Jersey).

Recorded in Nashville between 1972 and 1976 on a pair of four-tracks with one cheap microphone, then self-released in an initial edition of 100 copies, PHONOGRAPHY is the birth of the lo-fi DIY aesthetic. Artists from Guided by Voices and Pavement to the Apples in Stereo and Cornelius owe a tremendous debt to R. Stevie Moore, the first to make a viable career completely outside the musical mainstream. Containing inspired pop songs, Syd Barrett-meets-Brian Wilson ballads, Zappaesque experiments, spoken word pieces, whimsical oddities and one song ("Moons") that predated Stereolab's sound by 15 years, PHONOGRAPHY is an inspired grab bag and the first solid evidence that R. Stevie Moore was a refreshingly different musical personality. Lovingly remastered and adding eight 1972-76 bonus tracks along with extensive liner notes by Diken, this CD edition only improves on the original.




All Music Guide amglogo.gif

by Stewart Mason (2001)
One of the most unique albums of the 1970s, R. Stevie Moore's debut long-player is an uncategorizable mess that somehow keeps from falling apart completely, kind of like a one-man band version of the Beatles' White Album cross-pollinated with late-1960s Frank Zappa at his most antic. Yet just as the album seems hopelessly self-indulgent and bizarre, Moore suddenly veers into some of the sweetest and catchiest pop songs of the pre-punk '70s. That dichotomy is what makes Phonography special. Recorded in bits and pieces over the course of two years of living room sessions, with Moore playing and singing every part, barring the tambourine on the Soft Machine-like opening instrumental "Melbourne," the album shares much with such one-man band predecessors as McCartney, Todd Rundgren's Something/Anything?, and Roy Wood's Boulders. However, having been made on a cheap four-track with one microphone, a borrowed guitar, and no mixing deck, Phonography also has a funky lo-fi charm that anticipates post-grunge D.I.Y. savants like Guided By Voices and Pavement. (Also, the wordless vocals and skittering analogue synths in the middle section of the lovely closing track, "Moons," sound uncannily like Stereolab would over a decade and a half later.) The album is split down the middle between quirky but capable pop songs and strange interludes. Of the former, "Goodbye Piano," a falsetto music hall ditty that suggests a major Bonzo Dog Band fixation, is among Moore's most famous tracks, but it's the more serious tunes, like the beautiful Brian Wilson-inspired ballad "I've Begun to Fall in Love," the bouncily Beatlesque "I Want You In My Life" and the trippy "Showing Shadows," that are more indicative of the artist's estimable skills as a songsmith. The spoken word interludes are uniformly surreal, with the Harold Pinter-like talk show parody "The Lariat Wressed Posing Hour" a particular highlight, but the album is organized to such an off-the-wall blueprint that it's impossible to imagine it without even its most inexplicable elements. Originally released in 1976 in an edition of 100 copies, Phonography was reissued in 1978 and again in 1998 on a limited-edition CD featuring eight bonus tracks recorded during the same 1974-76 sessions. S.M.




From
PRICE GUIDE For Record Collectors
by Nick Hamlyn
Music Master (UK) 1991, 1993
Paperback; 829 pages; 38,000 entries

MOORE, R. STEVIE

R. Stevie Moore is one of rock music's eccentrics, preferring to issue his records through his own mail order scheme than to tangle with record companies who would doubtless attempt to compromise Moore`s quirky approach. The original issue of his first album Phonography was produced in an edition of just 99 copies and long ago sold out. Frank Zappa has one and so does UK collector Michael Gerzon, whose copy is likely to be the only one in the country.

Phonography; LP; Private issue; Vital US 0001; 1976; Value £200.00

book cover - rsm entry - nick - gerzon - 2



rare on eBay, 2005:

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2 3 4 5


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sheetmusic

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RARE PIX from the CD REISSUE

Complete DENNIS DIKEN CD LINER NOTES

More

MORE PHONOGRAPHY CONTENT HERE

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This stereophonic microgroove recording cannot become obsolete. It has been carefully engineered to provide the finest monophonic performance from any phonograph -- old or new, monophonic or stereophonic. Like all high-fidelity albums from H.P. Music, it is a top-quality product of the recording art, and will continue to be a source of outstanding reproduction, now and on the future.

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