Signs Of The Zodiac ‎– Cancer

Label:
A&M Records ‎– SP 4214, A&M Records ‎– SP-4214
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Vinyl, LP, Album
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Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
SP 4214 Signs Of The Zodiac Cancer(LP, Album, Promo) A&M Records SP 4214 US 1969 Sell This Version
AMC 2097 Signs Of The Zodiac Cancer(LP, Album) A&M Records AMC 2097 South Africa 1969 Sell This Version
SP 4214, SP-4214 Signs Of The Zodiac Cancer(LP, Album) A&M Records, A&M Records SP 4214, SP-4214 US Unknown Sell This Version

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progfan97402

progfan97402

April 4, 2016
edited over 2 years ago
It'll be rather useless to review all these albums, as each album does follow a similar path, only the subject matter changes on each to reflect on the astrological sign in question. Here I chose Cancer as it was the first album I bought in the series, I bought this in 2009, obviously used. In 1967 Elektra released an album called The Zodiac Cosmic Sounds. This album had twelve cuts, each cut regarding one of the twelve astrological signs. The music featured narration from Cyrus Faryar, with help from various respected L.A. session musicians, plus Paul Beaver on an early Moog synthesizer. One of the people who helped create this album was none other than Mort Garson. So it's little surprise that he'd run with that idea, and instead of recording one album on the astrological signs, record twelve albums, each one focusing on a particular sign. So A&M released this, and the other eleven, all at once. So it's a bit like Cosmic Sounds if it were all electronic, with the psychedelic rock absent, and three narrators instead of one. The narrators are all renowned voice actors, with John Erwin, Michael Bell, and Nancy Priddy. John Erwin was later the voice of Morris the Cat and He-Man on the 1980s cartoon series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Even in 1969 that deep voice is still recognizable as the future voice of said characters. Michael Bell later involved himself on computer games, but I don't believe I ever played any games he was involved in. Nancy Priddy was also a folk singer and the mother of Christina Applegate of Married... With Children fame. What you basically get is Mort Garson's Moog playing and the narrators. For example, "I Know You Cancer", each three narrators describe how a Cancer is like. "Cancer at Work" tells you how to handle a Cancer at work, or suggestion not to work with one if your personality doesn't fit. "Where Was Your Moon" describes how Cancer is born under a certain Moon (that is, the day and year). For me, I am a Virgo so none of this would describe me. Each LP comes with a moon chart, unfortunately (even on Virgo, which I own a copy of that one, for rather obvious reasons) that rules me out, as the chart covers those born between 1919 and 1960, and I was born in 1972, but luckily there is the Internet. "In Love, Cancer" tells you what to do if in love, and what happens if that love fails, try someone of one of the two signs recommended on the album. "Those Who Knew" are basically quotes from various historical figures, this same cut is used on all twelve of the albums.

What needs to be mentioned is on each album, the music varies, although some themes are reused, probably because the mood seemed appropriate. I have to say on the musical end of things, Mort Garson certainly made some great music here. At a time when Tangerine Dream were a Krautrock group performing at the Zodiac Club in Berlin with no albums under their belt, and Jean Michel Jarre had just recorded the avant garde "La Cage"/"Erosmachine" single (which didn't get released until 1971) and his international breakthrough Oxygene did not appear until December 1976, the Signs of the Zodiac series shows all the great quality of electronic music, at a time when it still hadn't received mainstream acceptance (with the possible exception of Switched-On Bach, but the mainstream public didn't accept electronic music that were all original compositions at the time, like what Mort Garson did). The narration, on the other hand is a bit pretentious and cringeworthy, on the other hand I can forgive it because it's a product of its time, so it does seem dated. To me, it's not difficult to smirk at the narration, but what really matters is the musical quality, which Mort Garson delivers. Well worth getting for those who fancy the idea of an astrological Moog album, as well as those who enjoy the Elektra album Zodiac Cosmic Sounds album.