Various – Best of Moog

Cheesy, funky, spacey, dated, far-out, switched-on and surprising – this CD is a must-have for electronica fans.

Anybody that was alive at the end 60’s know what a crazy time it was, and how important the Moog synthesizer was for a brief time to the world of pop music.

This CD documents the first electronic pop music, from around 1968-1970. The space age was going full-tilt, people were tuning in, turning on, and dropping out, and the Moog synthesizer was the “now” sound. This collection of “Moog rock” is put together by Richard Metzger, of Boog Moog wrote the liner notes, which lends a bit of credibility to this otherwise incredible collection.

The first cut is Gershon Kingsley’s “Popcorn”. This is cheesy popcorn. Nevertheless, you can hear why this was a hit – the melody is relentlessly catchy, and the synth work is varied. A lot of the sounds in this early synth hit would be at home on current electronic tracks.

There are a few standout cuts. “One Note Samba” is Mooged by Perrey-Kingsley, and comes out sounding remarkable fresh. “Bond Street” captures the swinging sound of the 60’s, and could back Austin Powers on his next adventure. Mark Bolan’s “Jeepster” is a Moog version of the song of the same name. “Kinky Peanuts” is a sort of funky Moog samba.

Some of the other cuts serve as a reminder of how weird the heyday of popular Moog music was. “Baroque Hoedown” is a Mooged-up take on hoedown music, complete with harpsichord. The cut is dated as hell, but there’s a wonderful section at the end where Kingsley cuts loose with the “switched-on” sounds that makes the whole track worth it.

The last cut on the album is a remix of E.V.A by Fatboy Slim. This seems a little out of place, but by placing it at the end of the ablum, it serves the purpose of re-contextuallizing this music for today’s listeners. Anybody under 30 listening to this CD will probably have difficulty hearing this music as anything other than cheesy or quaint. Fatboy Slim’s remix helps you hear how some of the sounds of the 60’s can be recycled and rethought, just like bell-bottoms and mini-skirts keep coming back in new guises.

This music is the perfect accompanament to the book Analog Days, because it gives you a great idea of what this strange period in music was about.  Listen to this and laugh; if you’re old enough, listen and remember the psychedelic days; or listen and enjoy it in the same way that you can enjoy an Esquivel or Martin Denny cd.

Best of Moog is bad enough to be good, and good enough to be great, and great enough to make you want to kick your shoes off, mix a martini, and dream of a time when spaced-out bachelors could get away with listening to the switched-on music of the Moog.

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