1979 repressing, handmade cover, found on eBay 9-11-01
on eBay, April 13 2003 / $8.99 (no bids) "Original Complete Phonography (1978 reissue of the 1976 LP HPS-30734) in an unusual cover with right side corners clipped & middle of left side, HP Music address stamped all over the cover & sticker on the front & #69 written on the back cover very small in pen, also something very large letters in pink (can't quite read it). Somebody wrote defective in red on the front cover, but the record looks absolutely mint to me."
tape box for Dad's 1975 birthday gift
First off, congratulations Stewart! A win for the good guys. Your efforts are worth it, because "Phonography" is a tremendous album by a tremendous artist, and it deserves maximum exposure. R. Stevie Moore: Godfather of DIY? I believe so! Sure, anybody these days can write quirky songs and record them on minimal equipment (See Guided by Voices). But this guy was doing it almost 30 years ago, when virtually no one else was doing it, certainly not in a way that still sounds so fresh today. Think about what the typical obscure singer/songwriter with a clunky tape machine in 1974 would have recorded...It almost certainly would have sounded like amateurish versions of what was on the radio then. But here's this Moore guy writing songs like the Mickey-Mouse-Voiced "Goodbye Piano". Or consider "Showing Shadows", which contains the line "On the screen, the graphics would not move/Put your money there inside the estrus box". You really get the true sense, just by listening, that this guy is an oddball, to say the least.
OK, so he was quirky and strange way ahead of his time. But what makes it all work is that RSM is a great player, writer, arranger, producer, lyricist, melodicist, etc. etc. etc. I compare RSM to Robert Pollard of GbV for obvious reasons. But Pollard doesn't have the playing chops and light, skillful, crafty touch that RSM has. Check out the guitar and bass work on "California Rhythm", just frexample.
Aren't convinced? Then indeed, go to the RSM site and read the Dennis Diken liner notes. Then, BUY THIS RECORD AND DISCOVER A WEIRD, WONDERFUL, ONE-OF-A-KIND ARTIST.
Wishing you Hobbies Galore, and plotting
a faithful cover of "California Rhythm",
KC Bowman 12/99