Another update, reading proles. Last November I got all enthusiastic about Roger Doyle’s Lyric FM program Electrolight on the History of Electronic Music and provided links to a series of podcasts which were doing a similar thing, but in more depth – although I acknowledged at the time that they lacked the same level of finesse and polish.
The sixth in the latter series – simply called The History of Electronic Music and much delayed due to a house move and being busy at work John Search tells us – has now finally been posted.
This most recent offering deals with the use in commercial music of the synthesizer between the 1950’s and the 70’s. While I enjoyed listening to it this morning, I wasn’t too enamored with the excerpts of 1950 and early 60s radio ads that started to use the synth sounds to give that B-Movie/News from the Not So Distant Future element to a new brand of sparkplugs, for example.
However, where it does get interesting is when he discusses how the synthesizer was introduced into pop music, via John Cage and John Cale of the Velvet Underground, and even in some of the Beatles and the Stones music.
Clearly the use of the synth, now so all pervasive in pop music, hit a nadir with the heavy of use of it in The Alan Parsons Project but thankfully Mr. Searches examples are catholic enough to make you forget the long excerpt he plays from these musical nob-heads.