Mike Simpson Jungle Odyssey LP (Evolution, 1966)
Let's start off the new year right, with a record that exemplifies everything that was right about the music industry from the late 1950s to the late 1960s, an era when the record labels had yet to gotten their sales down to a science. Not sure what the hell would take off, their release process was the musical equivalent of throw shit against the wall to see what stuck. This uncertainty lead to many sounds that would not have come about under a strict hits hits hits regime and resulted in a lot of records that probably "should have not" been made, Mike Simpson's Jungle Odyssey being one of them. A fusion of animal sound effects record and exotica, Jungle Odyssey is a very strange record when you think about it. The animal sounds on the record - elephant, hippo, hyena, monkey, etc. - are noises you market to kids. The music - heavy on the easy listening, light on the exotica - is adult territory. Sure, Martin Denny got away with jungle calls, but he also created a music that was a bit more than faux Enoch Light. The album cover isn't quite children's record, nor is it standard exotica. And the record label, Evolution, is one of the strangest that I've come across. Not that they release weird records, it is that none of the records they put out (at least the ones I've stumbled on) really fit snuggly in one genre. There is always something "wrong" about them. By the early 70s, labels like Evolution had either died or figured out a formula to market, and experimentation was left to those putting out private pressings and a handful of indie labels. Of course, the music industry got things wrong with assuming that the public's taste could be reduced to a science and are late to many new sounds. And fine by me, those blind spots enable indie labels to thrive.
Those hyenas kick ass.
Its pretty damn good, I'd say its better than Tubular Bells.
Thanks for posting this.