|Studio album by|
|Studio||Sounds Interchange, Toronto|
|Genre||jazz-rock fusion, Space rock, progressive rock|
|Label||CBC, Visa, Passport, Now See Hear|
|Producer||FM and Keith Whiting|
Black Noise is the debut studio album by Canadian progressive rock group FM. Released in a limited edition by CBC in early 1978, it didn't receive widespread release until later that year when GRT/Passport Records did a full release of the album that shot up the Canadian record charts fueled by the hit single "Phasors on Stun". The B-side was the instrumental song "Slaughter in Robot Village". A second single was released, "Journey", with the B-side, "Hours". It didn't sell as well, and barely charted.
In 2015, Rolling Stone released its list of 50 of the Greatest Progressive Rock Albums of All Time, and Black Noise made the list at number forty eight (#48).
All songs with lyrics have science fiction themes. The title "Phasors On Stun" (sometimes announced as "Set Your Phasors On Stun" when performed live) is a reference to the futuristic weapons from Star Trek; the phrase does not appear in the lyrics. "One O'Clock Tomorrow" was inspired by an interview with Timothy Leary as broadcast on The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder (which came on at one o'clock a.m.), on which Leary talked about his ideas on space travel; or as explained by Hawkins in an introduction to the song during a live performance (from a radio broadcast), "Old Dr. Tim thought, a couple of bags of this, and a couple of bags of that, and he'd just take off into outer space"; but again, neither the title nor Leary are referenced in the lyrics. "Journey" and "Aldebaran" (misspelled "Aldeberan" on vinyl editions) are both about a mass exodus to another planet. "Dialing for Dharma" (an instrumental) is a pun on Dialing for Dollars , a popular live daytime television program which gave away cash prizes via telephone. "Hours" and "Slaughter in Robot Village" are also instrumentals. "Black Noise" is about mutants who live in a secret underground world beneath a city, and rise up through the sewers at night.
The album was originally released by CBC Records in early 1978, commissioned after the group appeared on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) TV variety show Who's New. The group expected it would be distributed in stores like a normal release, but the CBC chose to sell it by mail order, and only announced its availability during several radio shows. The album was issued as a limited edition of 500 copies, which was sufficient to meet the response from this limited promotion.
The album was given wider release in the summer of 1978 on Visa Records in the US, and on Passport Records in Canada later that year. (Passport was a sub-label of Visa, although Passport was the more prolific of the two labels.) The CBC still owned the rights to the album, and licensed it to Visa for reissue. In Canada, the Passport label was distributed by GRT Records, then by Capitol Records in 1979, and finally by A&M Records in 1981, each distributor producing a reissue. Cameron Hawkins claims the group never received royalty payments from any of the Canadian LP editions, as their contract specified all payments were to come through Visa Records in the US, and none of the three Canadian distributors passed royalties on to Visa.
At the end of a performance at the Ontario Place Forum, the group were presented a gold record award for the album's sales (gold in Canada representing 50,000 sales).
In 1994 Cameron Hawkins created a new record company called Now See Hear Records (initially self distributed, but later distributed by MCA Records as of 1996), and purchased the rights to Black Noise which was still owned by the CBC, but ownership was set to expire that year. Hawkins was surprised to find a competitor bidding for the rights, but his label emerged as the winning bidder. By this time, the CBC no longer possessed a master tape of the album. A search for the tape at the CBC turned up a reel tape box with an inferior cassette copy inside. Hawkins then travelled to the US to search the former Passport Records vaults for the tapes of this, and the other Passport albums, without success. Ultimately, the Now See Hear reissue of Black Noise was made from a transfer from vinyl.Now See Hear also licensed the recording to One Way Records, a company specializing in reissues, who released an American edition.
The original CBC album has black and white cover art of a manhole cover, unique to that edition. All others have an alternative cover by Paul Till.
The first single from the album, "Phasors on Stun" / "Dialing for Dharma", was issued on Passport in 1978. A second single, "Journey" / "Hours", was issued by Passport in 1978 as a follow-up single.
Produced by Keith Whiting (with FM co-credited, for no apparent reason, on CD editions)
Mars was an American, New York City-based rock band, formed in 1975 when China Burg and artist Nancy Arlen (drums) brought Mark Cunningham (bass) and vocalist Sumner Crane together to talk about music. They were joined briefly by guitarist Rudolph Grey. The band played one live gig under the name China before changing it to Mars. They played a mixture of angular compositions and freeform noise music jams, featuring surrealist lyrics and non-standard drumming. All the members were said to be completely untrained in music before forming the band.
Pussy Galore was an American garage rock band that formed in Washington, D.C. in 1985. They had a constantly fluid line-up until their demise in 1990. They took their name from the character in the James Bond film Goldfinger, and their sound was inspired by The Rolling Stones and Einstürzende Neubauten.
Buddah Records was an American record label founded in 1967 in New York City. The label was born out of Kama Sutra Records, an MGM Records-distributed label, which remained a key imprint following Buddah's founding. Buddah handled a variety of music genres, including bubblegum pop, folk-rock (Melanie), experimental music, and soul.
James Jeffrey "Jeff" Plewman, better known by his stage name Nash the Slash, was a Canadian musician. A multi-instrumentalist, he was known primarily for playing the electric violin and mandolin, as well as the harmonica, keyboards, glockenspiel, and other instruments.
FM is a Canadian progressive rock music group formed in 1976 in Toronto, by Cameron Hawkins and Jeff Plewman. The band existed from 1976 to 1989, 1994–1996, 2006, and 2011–present. They have had periods of inactivity during their existence. Their music has been categorized as space rock, and lyrics are dominated by science fiction themes. In November 2011, Hawkins reformed the band with two new players.
Morbid Tales is the debut EP by the Swiss extreme metal band, Celtic Frost, released in November 1984. The first European release on Noise Records was a mini-LP with six tracks, while the American release by Enigma/Metal Blade added two tracks, bringing it to the length of a regular LP.
"Starless" is a suite by English progressive rock band King Crimson. It is the final track on their seventh studio album, Red, released on 6 October 1974.
Hollies is the Hollies' third studio album for Parlophone. It is also referred to as Hollies '65 to differentiate it from the similarly titled 1974 album. It went to No. 8 in the UK album charts. Originally available in mono only, it was reissued in stereo under the title Reflection in 1969. In 1997, British EMI put both mono and stereo versions of this album onto a single CD.
4 Way Street is the third album by Crosby, Stills & Nash, their second as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and their first live album. It was originally released as Atlantic Records SD-2-902, shipping as a gold record and peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. A document of their tour from the previous year, the live recordings presented were taken from shows at the Fillmore East on June 2 through June 7, 1970; The Forum on June 26 through June 28, 1970; and the Auditorium Theatre on July 5, 1970.
This is an Atlantic Records Discography, albums released on the Atlantic Records label from its founding up until 1982, ordered by catalog number. Two of the major series of LP recordings were the "1200" and "8000" series, started by Nesuhi Ertegun. The "1200" series was reserved for jazz albums. The "8000" and subsequent series, started shortly after the 1200 in 1956, featured Atlantic's R&B and pop albums; when the "1200" series was discontinued in the 1970s, the jazz albums were mixed with the R&B and pop albums in their respective series. This list includes albums using Atlantic's numbering system that were released under their numerous subsidiary labels. There is a section containing albums related to the label as well.
Con-Test is the fifth album by FM, a progressive rock band from Toronto, Canada, released in 1985.
Direct to Disc is the second album by FM, a progressive rock group from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, recorded late 1977 and released May 1978. It was also issued under the title Head Room. It was the first FM album to feature Ben Mink, who replaced founding member Nash the Slash on electric violin and electric mandolin, instruments which Nash also played.
Surveillance is the third album by FM, a progressive rock group from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, released on Passport Records in summer 1979, the first to be "widely issued." It has been re-released for the first time in CD format on Esoteric Records in March 2013.
City of Fear is the fourth album by FM, a progressive rock group from Toronto, Canada, released in 1980 on Passport Records and distributed in Canada by Capitol Records, catalogue number PB-2028, and in the USA on Passport distributed by Jem Records, catalogue number PB-6004. It was produced by Larry Fast who was notable for his Synergy series of electronic music albums. A remastered edition was released by Esoteric Records (ECLEC2383) on March 25, 2013.
Tonight is the sixth album by FM, a progressive rock group from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, released on Duke Street Records in 1987. It was their last studio album for 28 years. Further albums of live and demo material were issued between this period.
Cut-throat Records is a record label created and run by Canadian musician Nash the Slash. It has been active from 1978 to the present. Cut-throat is also the name of Nash's recording studio, originally located above the Roxy Theatre on Danforth Avenue in Toronto.
GRT Records was the name of both a U.S. and a Canadian record label, both created by General Recorded Tape, a California-based company that existed from 1969 to 1979. Their demise was concurrent with the bankruptcy of their owner, General Recorded Tape.
Passport Records was a U.S.-based independent record label that existed between 1973 and 1988. It was notable for popularizing such artists as Larry Fast, FM, Richard Barone, and Wendy O. Williams. It was distributed by Jem Records in the United States and by GRT Records in Canada.
Sparks in a Dark Room is the second studio album by Dutch experimental electronic post-punk/ultra band Minny Pops. After signing to Factory Benelux in 1982 following their "noisy" and "goofy" debut album Different Measures, Drastic Movement (1979), the band settled into a new, less aggressive sound featuring influences of industrial music and funk. Recording Sparks in a Dark Room in late 1981, the band headed for a more clinical and clean sound. Considered a high point of the ultra movement, the record features cold, electronic tones and darkly humorous lyrics from lead singer and songwriter Wally van Middendorp.
Love Lies is a studio album by American Christian and country music artist Cristy Lane. It was released in December 1978 via LS Records and contained 12 tracks. The album was the third released in Lane's music career and contained two singles. Its second single release, "I Just Can't Stay Married to You," became a top five country hit in both the United States and Canada. Love Lies received positive reviews from music critics and publications.