Saturday, 22 May 2010

The Little Record That Wished It Could

Credited to Flies Among The Maggots, this undated double picture disc was issued by Sympathy For The Music Industry with the appropriate catalogue number of SFTRI 45. The package consists of two discs in plastic sleeves which are bound into a sleeve which resembles a book, with two metal binding screws at the left edge holding all the components together. The cover is white textured card with the title displayed in script on the front and the company name on the reverse. There is a patterned page at each end, with drawings; and, at the front, a title page complete with a "This book belongs to :" space for the proud owner to crayon his/her moniker.
Reportedly, this record is completely silent; at least, the fragment of each side I play-tested bears this out. Flies Among The Maggots were Savage Pencil (the ace cartoonist who came to prominence towards the end of the 'seventies in British music weekly Sounds with his wonderful strip Rock 'N' Roll Zoo), along with one Long Gone John whose role I'm uncertain about - perhaps he designed the overall package ? Spread over the four seven-inch sides is a typically wonderful Sav strip concerning the pre-pubescent Gustav, who buys an unknown record at his local store. Getting it home, all excited, he discovers to his annoyance that he's been "jipped" as the disc contains a big fat nothing. Days later, having been instructed by his mom to tidy his room, and finding the offending disc where he'd hurled it, Gustav decides to give it a second spin - lo and behold, only the greatest rock music he's ever heard !! Gus gets worked up into such a sexually frenzied state that his folks have him carted off to a psychiatric unit. This was obviously inspired by classic bygone-age kids' records such as Sparky's Magic Piano - and I wonder if there might be a nod to Brian Wilson too : his Mount Vernon And Fairway story which accompanied the Holland album as a freebie E.P. ?
One to file alongside other silent discs - and other Sav treasures, too, such as the essential Angel Dust pic disc comp of biker movie soundtrack excerpts, and the fantastic Lion Vs. Dragon In Dub collection he assembled for the Trojan label.

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