Mark IshamVapor Drawings

Label:Windham Hill Records – WH-1027
Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo
Genre:Electronic, Jazz
Style:New Age, Ambient


A1Many Chinas4:05
A2Sympathy And Acknowledgement8:17
A3On The Threshold Of Liberty7:27
A4When Things Dream2:43
B1Raffles In Rio4:38
B2Something Nice For My Dog2:49
B3Men Before The Mirror6:07
B4Mr. Moto's Penguin (Who'd Be An Eskimo's Wife?)3:18
B5In The Blue Distance4:06

Companies, etc.



This release is apparently identical to an Record Technology Incorporated pressing with RTI or RT1 in the matrixes, not in the database yet.
Recorded at Eastcote Productions, London, April-May 1983.
Mixed at Tapestry Studios, London, May 1983.
Matrix and pressings by The Pressing Plant, Irvine, CA.

Vinyl color: Although the vinyl on this release appears solid black under normal light, it is translucent brown under direct light.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Rights Society (A1): GEMA
  • Rights Society (A2 to B5): BMI
  • Matrix / Runout (A-Side label): WH-1027A
  • Matrix / Runout (B-Side label): WH-1027B
  • Matrix / Runout (A-Side runout etching): WH-1027-A1 1156-A1 Au♂
  • Matrix / Runout (B-Side runout etching): WH-1027-B1 1156-B1 Au♂
  • Matrix / Runout (Variant 2 Runout, Side A, Etched): WH-1027-A1 - 1156-A1 Au♂
  • Matrix / Runout (Variant 2 Runout, Side B, Etched): WH-1027-B2 - 1156-B2 Au♂

Other Versions (5 of 33)

View All
Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Recently Edited
Vapor Drawings (Cassette, Album)Windham Hill RecordsWT-1027US1983
Vapor Drawings (LP, Album, Stereo)Windham Hill Records, Windham Hill Records, Windham Hill Records6.26164 AP, 6.26164, TA-C-1027Germany1983
Recently Edited
Vapor Drawings (LP, Album)Windham Hill Records, A&M Records371027-1Germany1983
New Submission
Vapor Drawings (LP, Album, Purple Translucent)Windham Hill RecordsWH-91027Canada1983
Recently Edited
Vapor Drawings (LP, Album, Promo)Windham Hill RecordsC28Y5013Japan1983



  • LongHairedJazz's avatar
    I feel like this record is the Rumours of the modern New Age dollar bin. As in, you could find Rumours for 3 bucks 10 years ago and now it's gone before it hits the rack at a $20 min. Vapor Drawings won't exist in the dollar bin much longer especially with people finally catching up to the fact it's not just another Wyndam Hill release and a masterpiece.
    • DatGtrPlaR's avatar
      Great soundstage and mastering! I found this record by searching for ECM records and somehow I came across this. If you like ambient stuff ala Steve Reich, you’ll dig this. If you’ve read other reviews, you’ll come away with how it is ahead of it’s time as far as being recorded without sampling. The vinyl pressings of this most likely are on “quiex” vinyl or an equivalent audiophile pressing that is translucent when held up to light and has very little surface noise. A wonderful recording!
      • TrentonQuarantino's avatar
        This is vapor wave without the wink. No irony. I wish i could find more songs like "many chinas".
        • caramelsnowmusic's avatar
          I bought this on vinyl when it came out, listened to it a ton for years. Almost 40 years later, it still sounds divine and luscious. Just this morning, I reflected on how this is the kind of thing Vaporwave makes reference to. By reading the other reviews here, I see I'm not the only one to think of that! I was also thinking how "expensive" it sounds. The irony is, today you could make an album that sounds like this on any computer with a free DAW and a few cheap VST's. Of course, what distinguishes Vapor Drawings is that Mark Isham is a superb composer and arranger. I absolutely can find no fault in his musical ideas, nor in his execution of how to arrange for synthesizers. I think those qualities make the album a "classic."
          • EllSoutham's avatar
            Mark Isham's ''Raffles In Rio" is an absolute masterpiece of ambience and pensiveness.
            • -Seifer-'s avatar
              A dreamy retreat to a lodge steeped in mist and memories, the most peacefully developed and ambient of experiences. It’s like a trip into the sort of transient half-thoughts that pass through the mind during a good meal and a reflection on a full day. The cast of instruments featured are eclectic and largely oriented towards more Brazzy, breezy, and airy synthetic sounds.

              It’s a proto-vaporwave piece in that it follows the nostalgic 1980s (which was at the time current) styles of ambient jazz, but it has no sampling. This is a measure of talent beyond vaporwave in that none of it is sampled, it is completely created by Isham beyond assistance from Peter Van Hook on percussion.

              The tunes are all sort of veiled, like they slowly fall as sunbeams through glass, and refract into a myriad of ethereal notes on the wax. Beautiful beyond compare, and one of the best albums on Windham Hill records, possibly ever recorded. A work of ambient music to be heralded as one of the greatest classics of all time, from the long mournful and poignant notes of “On the Threshold of Liberty” to the murky jungly percussion of “Raffles in Rio” and soft ambivalence of “Men Before The Mirror”, this is truly a visionary work. Best enjoyed with a cup of coffee and ones own thoughts on a warm dawn.


              Favorite Track: Mr. Moto’s Penguin (who’d be an eskimo’s wife?)

              • g00dbye's avatar
                Contrary to what many might think is Macintosh Plus - Floral Shoppe, this is actually the first vaporwave album :)
                • Expansive09's avatar
                  Edited 2 years ago
                  Timeless? Creative? Dreamy? Pompous? Its all the above and much more. Isham a progeny of the jazz world transcends both time and space to create mood, form and function thru the medium of sound vibration. To The Threshold of Liberty(with guest ex-Van Morrison Peter Van Hooke on military bass drum) is a timeless piece of music that exemplifies the grand beauty of the North American continent free of the confines of linguistic bondage or political dogma. This is sheer beauty encapsulated in melancholic nostalgia via modern electronics (circa 1984).
                  The entire album is drenched in atmosphere and compositional hegemony conveyed in a very positive and airy tapestry. One of my top 20 favorites not only because there's so much creative energy captured but because of the sheer divinity of the diverse sounds. A truly masterfully executed piece of music gracefully gifted to us very early in Isham's long standing career.
                  • bugglesman1993's avatar
                    Came here after hearing Mark Isham's work with David Sylvian circa 1984-1986. Also liked his music in The Hitcher. This album is a mixture of the two, an otherworldly jazz album that takes you deep into the midnight desert, alone, in a soothing yet powerful sound experience.
                    • djdstone's avatar
                      This really is a great album and it sounds amazing on a decent system.


                      For sale on Discogs

                      Sell a copy



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