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R. Stevie Moore
4 From "Phonography"

7" 33rpm EP, HP Music (US) 30732, Dec 1977

Side A:

1. I Wish I Could Sing

2. Theme from A.G.

Side B:

1. She Don't Know What To Do With Herself

2. Goodbye Piano

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All songs recorded at homes alone, Nashville TN 1975-76

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I Wish I Could Sing
taped Dec 3, 1975
I wish I could sing lullabys to you
Can you teach me how?
All I do is talk a melody
But it don't come out a rhapsody
Cover up your ears if you can
You don't know how bad I am
I wish I was Bing, young at 24
Entertaining now
When I try to sing a melody
They all throw tomatoes at me
Listen to Sinatra and see
God didn't give that to me
I escaped the draft by my ear
I told them I couldn't hear
Tony Orlando won't teach me
Nobody thinks they can reach me
I wish I could sing on the radio
I could teach me how
All I do is talk a melody
But it don't come out a recipe
I wish I could sing lullabys to you
I wish I could sing lullabys to you
I wish I could sing just as good as you
I wish I could sing harmonies for you.

Theme from A.G. (Earle Hagen-Herbert Spencer)
taped March 26, 1975
Copyright Larrabee Music (BMI)

"Now when I play an A
it sounds like this.
Now when I play an E run on the bass
it sounds like dis."

She Don't Know What To Do With Herself
taped May 3, 1975

There's a girl over there sittin' up in the chair
I would not be caring if she didn't keep on staring at me hair
Here she comes walking fast with her head in a cast
I should be excited but I'm not all that delighted with her
She don't know what to do with herself
She don't know how to see
She is boring and talks to herself
She don't know a thing about me
As she talks to my ear, I don't know why I'm here
Everything she's stated is usually related to me hair
Though she looks very nice, she could use some advice
No one sees the glory of her formulated story, pity
All she needs is a boy who can show her the ropes
I hope
All she needs is some dope
All she needs is some hope
Now she's gone back to school 'cause she hates ridicule
I could see her crying as I shouted out "goodbye forever"
She don't know what to do with herself
She don't know how to see
She is boring and talks to herself
She don't know about me

Goodbye Piano
taped Nov 5, 1975

Goodbye piano
You're too overweight for me to take you with me
Into the hills, where rings are round the collar
They tell me not to worry 'bout the dollars
If it were not for you, I wouldn't bother, so
Goodbye piano
You're so out of tune that I assume you're dead
Goodbye piano, cause you're so old I should have sold instead
Goodbye piano, you're so out of tune that I assume you're dead
"Goodbye piano! It was glorious knowing you the past month or two
But as usual, they're sending me away
because I cannot supply the money they want
But wherever I go I know I'll meet your brothers and sisters
And of course they would gladly let me play their boards all day long
Now you rest right here, okay?
You rest right here like a good little set of keys should
And don't let anyone give you a whipping as long as you live, okay?"
Copyright H.P. Music/Spunky Monkey Music (ASCAP), except AG.



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FOUR FROM PHONOGRAPHY
All Music Guide
by Stewart Mason 2001


R. Stevie Moore's Phonography was a minor classic of pre-punk D.I.Y. pop, but its initial 1976 pressing was limited to a mere 100 copies, which meant its potential sphere of influence was rather limited. So the Nashville-born Moore pulled up stakes and moved to northern New Jersey, where his uncle Harry Palmer, then the president of Atco Records (sic), offered to reissue Phonography on his own HP Records. Prior to the full-fledged reissue, Palmer released the 7" EP Four From Phonography, a teaser that attracted a fair amount of attention in New York's burgeoning new wave scene, receiving excellent reviews in magazines like Trouser Press and New York Rocker and radio airplay on stations like the iconoclastic freeform WFMU. Four From Phonography distills the album into 11-and-a-half minutes, and wisely showcases not just Moore's knack for catchy power pop in the form of "I Wish I Could Sing" and the early Sparks-like "She Don't Know What to Do With Herself," but also his experimental bent. "Theme From A.G.," a witty recasting of the theme from The Andy Griffith Show, and the manic "Goodbye Piano" are nowhere near as weird as some of the other Phonography tracks, but they're a good sight more bizarre than anything you were going to get from Todd Rundgren, or even the Ramones. S.M.

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