Wednesday 15 August 2018

Stuff On My Phone (19)

It's been a while since the last SOMP post, and as other posts aren't exactly queueing up to splurge all over the blogosphere, here's my latest offering.

Last time out, there was a rather scientific slant to the whole thing, what with Professor Brian Cox explaining the creation of the elements within the life cycle of stars. This had me pondering some other scientists and science facts which have been included in popular music culture...

Within the lexicon that is the Tense Towers vinyl and CD collection, there loiters the 1976 Vangelis album, Albedo 0.39, named after the Earth's reflecting ability (39%). The eponymous and final track on the album features Vangelis (I presume) reading out all manner of Earth-centric scientific facts, culminating in the afore-mentioned Albedo 0.39.

In the 80s, of course, there was Dr Magnus Pyke, who featured in the Thomas Dolby hit, She Blinded Me With Science, all waving arms and booming voice.

Perhaps most famously, a sample of the voice of Professor Stephen Hawking was used on Keep Talking from Pink Floyd's 1994 The Division Bell album, having been previously used in a British Telecom television commercial.

However, the subject of this particular SOMP piece is a track found on Combination Head's 2008 album, Progress? Now, Combination Head, a band created by prog keyboard maestro Paul Birchall, aren't particularly famous, in fact, I had to send off to cdbaby in America for their first album, as it wasn't available in the UK at the time. Weirdly, some years later, I received an email to my personal address inviting me to add the sender to my LinkedIn contacts. This was a bit freaky, as LinkedIn don't operate like that, but when I realised who the sender was, it all made sense... Paul Birchall! So here's the track, it's Solid Ground and as well as some good old progressive rock keyboards, it features a few salient facts about the constitution of matter, read out by Lyn Christine (it says in the album notes).

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