Mort Garson ‎– Mother Earth's Plantasia

Genre:
Style:
Year:

Versions (8)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
H-101 Mort Garson Mother Earth's Plantasia(LP, Album) Homewood Records H-101 US 1976 Sell This Version
FD5003-CD Mort Garson Mother Earth's Plantasia(CD, Album, RE, Unofficial) Fifth Dimension (2) FD5003-CD Europe 2015 Sell This Version
FD5003-LP Mort Garson Mother Earth's Plantasia(LP, Album, RE, Unofficial) Fifth Dimension (2) FD5003-LP Europe 2015 Sell This Version
FD5018-LP Mort Garson Mother Earth's Plantasia(LP, Album, Ltd, RE, Unofficial, Whi) Fifth Dimension (2) FD5018-LP Europe 2016 Sell This Version
TGT431 Mort Garson Mother Earth's Plantasia(LP, Album, RE, Unofficial) The Great Thunder TGT431 Europe 2017 Sell This Version
TGT437 Mort Garson Mother Earth's Plantasia(CD, Album, Unofficial) The Great Thunder TGT437 Europe 2018 Sell This Version
SBR-3030 Mort Garson Mother Earth's Plantasia(LP, Album) Sacred Bones Records SBR-3030 US 2019 Sell This Version
SBR-3030 Mort Garson Mother Earth's Plantasia(LP, Album, Ltd, Tip) Sacred Bones Records SBR-3030 US 2019 Sell This Version

Recommendations

Reviews Show All 47 Reviews

Add Review

Booj1Boy

Booj1Boy

March 25, 2019
referencing Mother Earth's Plantasia, LP, Album, SBR-3030
Good thing there are already people selling this for $200 three months before it's released
rietman

rietman

March 24, 2019
edited about 23 hours ago
referencing Mother Earth's Plantasia, LP, Album, SBR-3030
In the mid-1970s, a force of nature swept across the continental United States, cutting across all strata of race and class, rooting in our minds, our homes, our culture. It wasn’t The Exorcist, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, or even bell-bottoms, but instead a book called The Secret Life of Plants. The work of occultist/former OSS agent Peter Tompkins and former CIA agent/dowsing enthusiast Christopher Bird, the books shot up the bestseller charts and spread like kudzu across the landscape, becoming a phenomenon. Seemingly overnight, the indoor plant business was in full bloom and photosynthetic eukaryotes of every genus were hanging off walls, lording over bookshelves, and basking on sunny window ledges. The science behind Secret Life was specious: plants can hear our prayers, they’re lie detectors, they’re telepathic, able to predict natural disasters and receive signals from distant galaxies. But that didn’t stop millions from buying and nurturing their new plants.

Perhaps the craziest claim of the book was that plants also dug music. And whether you purchased a snake plant, asparagus fern, peace lily, or what have you from Mother Earth on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles (or bought a Simmons mattress from Sears), you also took home Plantasia, an album recorded especially for them. Subtitled “warm earth music for plants…and the people that love them,” it was full of bucolic, charming, stoner-friendly, decidedly unscientific tunes enacted on the new-fangled device called the Moog. Plants date back from the dawn of time, but apparently they loved the Moog, never mind that the synthesizer had been on the market for just a few years. Most of all, the plants loved the ditties made by composer Mort Garson.

Few characters in early electronic music can be both fearless pioneers and cheesy trend-chasers, but Garson embraced both extremes, and has been unheralded as a result. When one writer rhetorically asked: “How was Garson’s music so ubiquitous while the man remained so under the radar?” the answer was simple. Well before Brian Eno did it, Garson was making discreet music, both the man and his music as inconspicuous as a Chlorophytum comosum. Julliard-educated and active as a session player in the post-war era, Garson wrote lounge hits, scored plush arrangements for Doris Day, and garlanded weeping countrypolitan strings around Glen Campbell’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” He could render the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel alike into easy listening and also dreamed up his own ditties. “An idear” as Garson himself would drawl it out. “I live with it, I walk it, I sing it.”

But as his daughter Day Darmet recalls: “When my dad found the synthesizer, he realized he didn’t want to do pop music anymore.” Garson encountered Robert Moog and his new device at the Audio Engineering Society’s West Coast convention in 1967 and immediately began tinkering with the device. With the Moog, those idears could be transformed. “He constantly had a song he was humming,” Darmet says. “At the table he was constantly tapping.” Which is to say that Mort pulled his melodies out of thin air, just like any household plant would.
The Plantae kingdom grew to its height by 1976, from DC Comics’ mossy superhero Swamp Thing to Stevie Wonder’s own herbal meditation, Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants. Nefarious manifestations of human-plant interaction also abounded, be it the grotesque pods in Invasion of the Body Snatchers or the pothead paranoia of the US Government spraying Mexican marijuana fields with the herbicide paraquat (which led to the rise in homegrown pot by the 1980s). And then there’s the warm, leafy embrace of Plantasia itself.

“My mom had a lot of plants,” Darmet says. “She didn’t believe in organized religion, she believed the earth was the best thing in the whole world. Whatever created us was incredible.” And she also knew when her husband had a good song, shouting from another room when she heard him humming a good idear. Novel as it might seem, Plantasia is simply full of good tunes.

Garson may have given the album away to new plant and bed owners, but a decade later a new generation could hear his music in another surreptitious way. Millions of kids bought The Legend of Zelda for their Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1986 and one distinct 8-bit tune bears more than a passing resemblance to album highlight “Concerto for Philodendron and Pothos.” Garson was never properly credited for it, but he nevertheless subliminally slipped into a new generations’ head, helping kids and plants alike grow.

Hearing Plantasia in the 21st century, it seems less an ode to our photosynthesizing friends by Garson and more an homage to his wife, the one with the green thumb that made everything flower around him. “My dad would be totally pleased to know that people are really interested in this music that had no popularity at the time,” Darmet says of Plantasia’s new renaissance. “He would be fascinated by the fact that people are finally understanding and appreciating this part of his musical career that he got no admiration for back then.” Garson seems to be everywhere again, even if he’s not really noticed, just like a houseplant.

-Andy Beta (Pitchfork)

Source: https://mortgarson.bandcamp.com/album/mother-earths-plantasia
Marlow_Marlow

Marlow_Marlow

March 22, 2019
referencing Mother Earth's Plantasia, LP, Album, H-101
Rough Trade, Bleep, and eventually VinylMePlease will have exclusives of this.
Discogs has a cassette version for this too https://exclusives.discogs.com/product/mort-garson-cassette/
ifeelfatnsassy

ifeelfatnsassy

March 22, 2019
referencing Mother Earth's Plantasia, LP, Album, RE, Unofficial, TGT431
Sacred Bones announced an official reissue today, including a discogs-exclusive cassette. As an owner of this bootleg, I'm excited to get the full version.
rockerinrags

rockerinrags

March 22, 2019
referencing Mother Earth's Plantasia, LP, Album, H-101
Sacred Bones are taking preorders for an official reissue of Plantasia in both black and green vinyl. Out this June! :-)
mcnish

mcnish

March 22, 2019
referencing Mother Earth's Plantasia, LP, Album, H-101
Looks like an official reissue is coming out on Sacred Bones Records on LP and cassette in June.
johanvanderknijff

johanvanderknijff

March 17, 2019
referencing Mother Earth's Plantasia, CD, Album, Unofficial, TGT437
I just made the mistake of buying this, assuming it was an official reissue. Instead, it turns out to be a truly godawful sounding bootleg, sourced from a vinyl copy. The first 5 tracks are represented here as "degraded mono" with only one of the stereo channels of the original recording on both left and right (apparently the source is identical to an earlier Fifth Dimension reissue, for which I've come across similar complaints). Avoid!
josefuk

josefuk

March 1, 2019
referencing Mother Earth's Plantasia, LP, Album, H-101
From a 2016 interview with Mort's daughter:

- "But she says her father never stopped writing until his death in 2008. “He still kept his studio, he wrote every day,” she says. “He never stopped. We have boxes and boxes and boxes of my father’s music. Because I don’t understand music, I don’t read music. I have tons of music that could be really important, but I don’t know what to do with it.” -

http://daily.redbullmusicacademy.com/2016/09/mort-garson-feature

I hope there's an archivist out there who can help collate Garson's unreleased material. His legacy deserves some careful attention. May be the only route to an official reissue of Plantasia too. I believe Homewood Records was his own label. So his daughter most likely has the original recordings / copyright now.
Karn9

Karn9

November 5, 2018
referencing Mother Earth's Plantasia, LP, Album, RE, Unofficial, TGT431
BEWARE of missing channel before purchase. One day I hope it has a proper re-release.
thomaskick

thomaskick

May 29, 2018
referencing Mother Earth's Plantasia, LP, Album, H-101

My favourite Moog-ambient album and my favourite release from Mort Garson. Bless this masterpiece