Plunderphonic ‎– Plunderphonic

CD, Album

Tracklist Hide Credits

1 Beatles
Composed By [Original] – George Martin
2 Dab
Recorded By – Bruce SwedienSounds [Borrowed, Electronically Unaltered], Written-By, Vocals [Sung By] – Michael Jackson
3 Way
Composed By [Original] – Harrison*, Lennon*Performer – The Beatles
4 Replica
Bass – Mark (Rockette Morton) Boston*Guitar – Bill (Zoot Horn Rollo) Harkleroad*Percussion – John (Drumbo) French*Synthesizer [Synclavier] – Tom ConstantenVocals [A Capella] – Don Van Vliet
5 White
Performer [With] – John Scott Trotter Orch.*Vocals [Sung By] – Bing Crosby, The Ken Darby SingersWritten-By – Irving Berlin
6 Dont
Bass [Basses] – Marvin GreenGuitar [Guitars] – Bill FrisellPercussion [Brushes] – Greg KozakPiano – Bobby Wiseman*Piano [Pianos] – Michael SnowVocals [Sung By] – Elvis PresleyWritten-By – Jerry Leiber And Mike Stoler*
7 Pretender
Vocals [Sung By] – Dolly PartonWritten-By – Buck Ram
8 Black
Alto Saxophone – Charlie ParkerComposed By [Original] – James Brown
9 Brown
Alto Saxophone – Charlie ParkerComposed By [Original] – Public Enemy
10 Fabulous
Composed By [Original] – Dick HymanPerformer – Aka Pygmies*Performer [With] – Dick Hyman At The Lowery Organ*Written-By ["S'posin'"] – A.Razaf*, P.Denniker*
11 Untitled
Written-By – Earle Hagen
12 Prelude
Composed By [Original] – Franz Liszt
13 Net
Performer [Played By] – MetallicaRecorded By – Flemming Rasmussen
14 Birth
Recorded By – The BeatlesWritten-By – Paul McCartney
15 Pocket
Performer – Harry James And His Big BandWritten-By – Count Basie
16 Mirror
Double Bass – Barre PhillipsDrums – Larry DubinPerformer – Cecil TaylorSoprano Saxophone [Soprano Sax] – Steve Lacy
17 Mist
Arranged By – Joseph Byrd, Lew Davies And His Orchestra, Ry CooderComposed By [Original] – Bix Beiderbecke
18 Ten4 (Tenfour)
Written-By – Anton Webern
19 Tune
Composed By [Original] – Giuseppe Verdi, György LigetiViolin [Solo Violin] – David Prentice (2)
20 Spring
Composed By [Original] – Igor StravinskyPerformer [Played By] – The Cleveland Orchestra, Lorin Maazel
21 7th (Seventh)
Composed By [Original] – Ludwig Van BeethovenPerformer – The Cleveland Orchestra
22 Untitled
Written-By – B. Bacharach*, F.Lai*, M.Jarre*, P.Anka*
23 Aria
Performer [Original] – Glenn Gould
24 Rainbow
Composed By [Original] – 101 String Orchestra*Performer – 101 Strings Orchestra*Written-By – Harold Arlen
25 Untitled 0:04

Companies, etc.


  • Creative Director [Project Director]John Oswald
  • Design [Package Design]John Oswald
  • Management [Public Relations]Geo.Ray Brain*
  • Mastered By [CD Mastering]Clive Allen
  • Mixed By [Assistant Mixer]Holly Small
  • Other [Source And Equipment Donations] – Bobby Wiseman, Christopher Butterfield, Henry Kaiser, Henry Kucharzyk, Jim Paterson, Kirk Elliot, Lloyd Dunn, Marvin Green, Phil Saunders, Rik Sacks


Track 1 Source: The final chord from The Beatles "A day in the life" (Lennon McCartney) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Capitol 4XT 2653), plus an interpolation of the fanfare chord from "A hard day's night", by the same group. Track 1 segues into Track 2

Track 2 Source: All sounds are borrowed, electronically unaltered, from "Bad", produced by Quincy Jones. Index 1: revised. Index 2: improvised. Index 3: homogenized. Refer: "Gesang der jüngling" by K.Stockhausen.

Track 3 Sources: "Blue jay way" (George Harrison) and "Strawberry fields forever" (John Lennon), taken from the Magical Mystery Tour collection (EMI / Capitol / Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab C-047). Index 1: Molly's budgies. Index 2: sfield. Refer: Faithful by Todd Rundgren.

Track 4 Sources: Index 1: "Well" (a cappella) from Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band (Reprise 1 2027-2 SRC=05 M1 S3). 'i froze in solid motion well well" etc. Index 2: Simultaneously "Bellerin' plain" bass; "Petrified forest" and "I wanna hold your big toe" guitar; "Flash Gordon's ape" and "Bellerin' plain" percussion; all of which, along wtih the title track vocal, are from the LP Lick My Decals Off Baby by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band (Straight/Reprise 6420). Refer: Mirror.

Track 5 Source: Index 1: Entirely "White Xmas" (Decca Album No.A-403 1065-A), since 1943 THE best selling single record. Refer: "I'm dreaming of a black Christmas", a series of paintings by Richard Hamilton. Segue to: Sources: Index 2: Aka Pygmies (Unesco Phillips 6586 016) and an unidentified tango record from Claude Vivier's collection. Refer: Fabulous.

Track 6 Source: "Don't" (RCA Victor 6382-2R). Added: guitars (x3); basses (x4); brushes (x3); pianos (÷3 : index1); piano (x1 : index2). Refer: Phil Spector.

Track 7 Source: Entirely "The Great Pretender" (RCA PB-13756-B). Refer: Ray Charles LP's played at 45rpm.

Tracks 8/9 Sources: Selections from the "James Brown Audio Utterance and Riff Archive" (distilled from two dozen LP's), Prince's "The Black Album", It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back by Public 'yo can't copyright no beats man' Enemy (CBS/Def Jam BFCT-44303), "Beat dis" by Bomb The Bass (Island / 4th & B'way IS1192), "Pump up the volume" by M.A.R.R.S. (Vertigo / 4AD SOVX 2400), alto saxophone cadenza from "A night in Tunisia"(Dial?), street traffic, and Mystery Lab gunfire file. Refer: "I'm real" by James Brown and Full Force.

Track 10 Sources: Aka Pygmies and "S'posin'" from Fabulous (Sparton / Command RS862SD). Refer: White; Peter Gabriel.

Track 11 Source: "The Andy Griffith Theme" simulated by TeeVee Toons (A&M 91002).

Track 12 Source: The piano score for "Etudes d'exécution transcendante:1. Prélude". Refer: Spike Jones.

Track 13 Source: Several tracks from ...And Justice For All (Elektra CD 60812). Refer: Pocket.

Track 14 Source: "Birthday" from "White Album" (Parlophone CDP 7 46444 2 DIDX 1905 LC 0642 #108078). Index 1: Index 2: Index 3: Refer: Prelude.

Track 15 Source: "Corner Pocket" from "Crème De La Crème" (Nakamichi / Sheffield Lab RA-4000). Refer: "Porner cocket", a dance by Bill Coleman and his North American Experience.

Track 16 Sources: 4 soloists: solo soprano sax concert at Music Gallery (22March'76); (1977), from the Mystery Lab K7 "Drums"; solo double bass concert at the Music Gallery (25February'84); "Mirror and water gazing" in Berlin (9April'86) from For Olim (Soul Note SN 11150 CD). Refer: Replica, MIst, White, and Fabulous.

Track 17 Sources: 2 arrangements of "In a mist" (from Strange Interlude (Sparton/ Command RS 829 SD); and from Jazz (Warner Bros. CD 3197).

Track 18 Source: "Pieces for orchestra, opus 10: #4" for 9 instruments. Refer: Prelude.

Track 19 Sources: In order of overlapping appearance: sine tone at concert pitch; generic Symphony Orchestra tuning; samples from "Jaeger Master Violin Library"; introduction to "Atmosphères for large orchestra without percussion" (from Wergo 60162-50); "Prelude to act 1 of La Traviata" from "Anechoic Orchestral Music Recording" (Denon PG 6006); solo violin orchestra tuning (Mystery Lab). Refer: "Lontano" (far) by György Ligeti.

Track 20 Source: "Le sacre du printemps" (Telarc CD-80054 DIDZ-10019).

Track 21 Source: "Symphony #7, op.92, in A major, movement 4: allegro con brio" (Telarc CD-80163).

Track 22 Source: "Raindrops keep falling on my head"; "My way"; "Theme from love story"; and "Somewhere my love" scored on 4 music boxes. Refer: Charles Ives.

Track 23 Source: The aria from Glenn Gould's 2nd recording of the "Goldberg variations, BWV 988" (CBS MK 37779).

Track 24 Source: "Over the rainbow" from "Magnificent Digital Sound" (Alshire ALCD 28). Refer: "Music for mike, piano, tape recorder and whistling" by Michael Snow.

Track 25 is the sound of a vinyl runout groove.

Suggested track sequences:
7 / 6 / 3.2 / 5 / 17 / 22 = 12'
19 / 24 / 22 / 2.3 / 5 / 11 = 14'45
15 / 13 / 2.1 / 9 =13'15
21 / 13 / 4.2 / 14.3 / 2.2 / 8.2 / 20.1 / 10 = 17'55
6 / 16 / 9 / 10 / 23 = 15'40

Rerecorded at Mystery Lab, Toronto, except: Glenn Gould's pianos recorded at Government House and the National Archives, Ottawa, with the permission of the Glenn Gould estate. Michael Snow's tracks for Track 6 recorded at Music Gallery, Toronto. portions of Track 19 assembled in Henry Kaiser's garage, Oakland.

Bobby Wiseman appears courtesy of WEA / Risqué Disque.

Shareright Mystery Laboratory.

Distributed freely to radio stations, libraries, critics and musicians. ("No attempt is being made to derive revenue from this project. It's purely a gift to interested listeners." "This disc may be reproduced but neither it, nor any reproductions of it are to be bought or sold. Copies are available only to public access and broadcast organizations, including libraries, radio and periodicals; shipping charges applied to the receiver.") Canadian Recording Industry Association sued John Oswald and forced him to destroy all remaining copies, also prohibiting Oswald from distributing or reproducing the disc.



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March 30, 2010
The distribution of "Plunderphonic" stopped as of December 1989 after Canadian Recording Industry Association & CBS Records, representing Michael Jackson took a legal action against John Oswald.

"We finally agreed on a list which made me quite happy” says Oswald. “lt effectively took me out of the Plunderphonic CD distribution business. I could no longer send these things around for free. I was ordered to destroy the CDs which l had remaining in my possession, which were about 300. They were delivered to CRIA's lawyers by my lawyers and were subsequently crushed by somebody they hired. This made me quite happy because it put them in a position of being CD crushers, audio book burners and all the things we can associate with those fascist type tactics. Their initial demands were that all copies be recalled. I said I wasn‘t willing to do that, and I got my lawyer to convince them that it was impractical and unnecessary. But to back that up, I had statements from several radio stations, most particularly KPFA in San Francisco, that they weren’t willing to give up their copy, and they would welcome a visit from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police trying to take it back. We also had an agreement that if I fulfilled those requirements I could talk all l wanted about the thing.”

Ultimately, John Oswald wasn’t concerned about the destruction of the master, because of the disabled copy-protection flag, any of the existing CDs could be recorded digitally, and after all, it could be listened to in libraries and radio stations across the country. Distribution was then taken up by radio stations and organizations like the "Copyright violation squad" in Iowa who would dub copies free of charge if supplied with a blank cassette.