by Jennifer McKnight-Trontz
St. Martin's Griffin,1999
In the late 1940's
a magical thing happened--the 33 1/3-rpm LP was created. And with that
came the birth of all things hi-fi. Artists played with exotic sounds,
created stereophonic effects, and basically had fun incorporating the new
technology into their music. Exotiquarium covers the heyday
of space-age bachelor pad music--everyone from Martin Denny
to Esquivel to The Three Suns. The book not
only follows the technical advances and growth of specific genres, but
also spends a good deal of time talking about the art of hi-fi album covers.
Collectors know that one of the best parts of finding old cocktail and
exotica recordings is discovering those great album photos. These were
the ones that showed a South Seas vixen ready to lei you, a penthouse couple
sipping Manhattans, or green-skinned space women awaiting the landing of
the fearless space explorer. If the truth be told, sometimes the best reason
for owning certain lounge records were strickly for the album cover. A
good album cover good do wonders for a mediocre cocktail album. But then
you had those rare occasions where both the music and the cover were brilliant
(like Martin Denny's"Exotica" or Yma Sumac's "Voice
of the Xtabay").
Exoticaquarium hopefully will spark
a new wave of people into the joys of collecting and listening to these
gems of vinyl's heyday.
If you want to listen
and learn about more cocktail/lounge/exotica/hipster music, don't forget
to check out the Hi-Fi section.
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