Orbit III

Here’s another obscure but not-undistinguished album of electronic retro-pop. This one has the double distinction of not only being synthesizer driven, but also leaning heavily on songs from the Beatles’ “White Album. Named after its primary instrument, Wurlitzer’s popular synth/organ combo (your church probably had one), Orbit III is actually producers Jerry Styner and Larry Brown. The back cover says that much. Little else is available on either this album or its players. The label, Beverly Hills, is still in operation, but they are much more interested in shilling for their own current product than shedding light on the obscurities in the dark, best-forgotten corners of their back catalog.

A quick check on the IMBD reveals Jerry Styner as the composer of such evergreens as “Beach Blanket Bingo,” “The Perfect Boy” and “It Only Hurts When I Cry.” So we know at least that he’s in good company on this site. And while a name like “Larry Brown” gains a search with more links to basketball than teen movies, IMBD does suggest that a Larry Brown composed the music for the seminal Joe Don Baker classic, “Mitchell,” which would put him in a truly exalted realm.

But what about this album? Well, along with some tasty Beatles (”Glass Onion,” “Back In The USSR,” “Ob La Di ,Ob La Da,” “Mother Nature’s Son”), we get Otis Redding’s “Dock Of the Bay,” Frank Sinatra’s “It Was A Very Good Year,” and the two standouts, the Moody Blues’ “Tuesday Afternoon” and Nillsson’s “I Guess The Lord Must Be IN N.Y.C.” Three nondescript selections from the Styner/Brown songbook round out the proceedings, entirely serviceable muzak of the early Seventies variety, but not of much use unless you need an audio bed for a local television ad.

I’m surprised this l.p. survived the moog retro-fad without being blogged or reissued. Despite its being in no way worse than the more celebrated entries into that genre, I’ve never seen the album anywhere except on eBay. Either it resurfaced after the craze was played out, or else all of its links have expired. Or else I’m just not looking hard enough. At any rate, here it is again for anyone out there who still cares about such things.

visit BOSTWORLD to hear this album

[Bostworld - Derrick Bostrom]