60's album sequencing

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#1 Tue, 2003-10-28 12:00
Steve Espinola
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60's album sequencing

(forgive me if this is going out twice!!)

I'm thinking about the way Arkestra albums were put together when Saturn really got going in the 60's.

I'm wondering if the albums were sequenced at that time that they were recorded, more or less, or if that was all done closer to the release dates.

For example, the performances on "Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow" were recorded in 1961, but came out 4 years later. When did Sun Ra decide, "OK, this record will have a really out-there intro, and then we'll put a version of Anhk in there"? The record as a whole feels very composed in terms of its sequencing, but that could have been a much later decision.

The records have themes. "Holiday for Soul Dance", obviously, is a record of cover tunes. It is not merely a session that was devoted to cover tunes, but a bunch of cover tunes pulled out of a period when a lot of other stuff was going on. "Nubians"/"Golden Slippers" seems to have a theme of "loose, lo-fi rehearsal jams that came out pretty cool, from around 1958-9". "Interstellar Low Ways" in terms of sound quality and takes used, seems designed to be a more commercial album, along the lines of "Jazz in Silhouette". "Angels and Demons" has two themes: Side 1 is "Spotlight on Boykins, 1960" and Side 2 is "Two Early singles, 1956" And both sides have titles that mention demons.

"We Travel The Spaceways" is interesting in that every single song on it exists in an alternate take on another album. The theme seems to be, "Thinner sounding, more echoey versions of songs you already had a chance to buy elsewhere". (Though some of the takes are superior to the previously relased ones, especially "Asteroid") It spans a longer time period --1956 to 1960-- and seems to encompass more sessions-- than many of the others.

Discuss?