4 – Music Sampler

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Artist: Various
Title: 4 channel stereo Musical Sampler (Limited Edition)
Released: unknown exactly, but could not be past the early 70s.
Label: Evolution
Format: Vinyl
Producer: Loren Becker
Remixing Engineer: Chuck Irwin
Mastering Engineer: Gilbert King
“Processed in the Electrovoice Stereo 4 System”

I love picking up sampler LPs and the like, they are like fun surprises sometimes. Sometimes you get versions of songs from the original artists that were never released on their albums. Sometimes you get different versions from other artists covering another artist that are interesting. Sometimes you get instrumental versions of songs you know that are different. Sometimes you get something entirely different such as the jazz version of a rock song or what have you. Sometimes you even get songs from artists that were never released on anything else, the possibilities are almost endless.

As fun as most of the sampler and various artists and such LPs are, this one is kind of an exception, but still has some merit. One point is that it is a limited edition and fairly scarce.

This one is called simply, 4 Music Sampler. It states that it is s special limited edition that will play brilliantly on regular 2 channel stereo systems as well as on the revolutionary new 4 channel players. Incidentally, the 4 channel scene never really took off  that well, although a few folks had those systems, but not enough for it to have any real catch and endurance. Part of the problem was that there were not that many quad recordings available anyway. Kind of like 3D TV, it fizzled fast, but I digress.

The one note worthy thing that popped up to me first was that the group Lighthouse was one of the artist featured on it and they happen to be on my larger favorites list.

So, what is this record like?

Side #1:
A Shade Of Brass – by Bobby Byrne – This is an original song by this artist as far as I know. Bobby Byrne was an American jazz trombonist and orchestra leader. This track is basically a mix of electronics and brass instruments. It’s an instrumental number and seems a bit strange, but works. It is well recorded.
Leaving On A Jet Plane – Covered here by Gloria Loring. This song was written and performed originally by John Denver. Gloria Loring is an American Singer and Actress and had a number or albums. However, I’ve heard this song done much better by other artists.
Aquarius – Covered by The Electric Hair – This song originally written by  James Rado & Gerome Ragni for the musical Hair was also famously recorded by The 5th Dimension. This version is an electronica instrumental and I found it a little too weird.
You’ve Made Me So Very Happy – Covered here by Today’s People – This was originally written by Brenda Holloway, Patrice Holloway, Frank Wilson and Berry Gordy, and was released first as a single in 1967 by Brenda Holloway on the Tamla label. The song was later a huge hit for jazz-rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1969, and became a Gold record. Here the song is treated by this vocal group. It kind of works for something a little different, not bad.
Hats Off (To The Stranger) – by Lighthouse – This is an original by the group Lighthouse, a Canadian rock band formed in 1968 in Toronto. I classify them as Progressive Rock. Good band in my opinion, I have many of their LPs.

Side #2:
Help Yourself – Bobby Byrne – Not sure if this is an original or not, but I found it somewhat annoying. It’s a strange mix of brass and electronica scattered about.
What The World Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love – Covered by Today’s People – This is a 1965 popular song with lyrics by Hal David and music composed by Burt Bacharach. First recorded and made popular by Jackie DeShannon. This version is a little different and I still think I like the way Dianne Warwick did it.
Be In (Hare Krishna) – Covered by The Electric Hair – I think this was originally done for the musical Hair. I’ve heard far better from many other artists. This version is so bad it almost makes you laugh in disbelief.
Everybody’s Talkin – Covered by Gloria Loring – “Everybody’s Talkin'” is a folk rock song written and originally released by Fred Neil in 1966. A version of the song performed by Harry Nilsson. This is one of the worst versions I’ve ever heard.
Respect – Covered by Bobby Byrne – “Respect” is a song written and originally released by American recording artist Otis Redding in 1965. The song became a 1967 hit and signature song for R&B singer Aretha Franklin. This version is a bit different and not all that bad.

Music = 5_Star_Rating_System_2_and_a_half_stars
Sound = 
5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars