“Colorsː A Sensuous Listening Experience” by Ken Nordine - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1966Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

Sometime in 1965, the smoothest, most suave, most soothing voice in all of recorded history was commissioned to script and record a series of commercials for paint; I for one am not surprised to hear that those commercials had people phoning up stations requesting for them to be aired again. When did you ever hear that about an advert? That’s the Nordine effect for you. Ken himself explains the background to this wonderful LP:

A fellow by the name of Bob Pritkin, a very strange and talented man, worked at an advertising agency, called me up and wanted me to do the Fuller Paint commercials. The assignment was to take nine colors, and then one would be all colors—spectrum. From that I wrote the ten commercials, starting with “The Fuller Paint Company invites you to stare with your ears at yellow,” and then we would do yellow or blue or green. What I did was I wrote this out, and then I got a group of musicians together to depict—free form—as we were recording it. For example, “The Fuller Paint Company invites you to stare with your ears at yellow”: “In the beginning” (whatever the musicians thought “in the beginning” sounded like) “or long before that”—and it would continue as light was deciding who was going to be in or out of the spectrum—”yellow was in serious trouble.” Well, that was one. We also did another one which was a yellow canary, or a yellow lemon drop, or y’ello, can you hear me?—a lot of light-hearted things. At any rate, I wrote the ten commercials and was very pleased. They were only on the air for thirteen weeks, and then they went off. People would call up and say, “Hey—play that again,” and they couldn’t, because they were commercials. And so, they caused quite a stir. They won an International Broadcast Award, which was wonderful, you know—something to dust. Very strange to win this big award, and that was the end of it. I thought, “God, how ephemeral. That was so much fun, doing that, and now it isn’t going to be heard anymore.” So I added about thirteen more colors—we did forty-four, all told—and I went back to Universal Recording in Chicago, and did the whole series of the colors, taking out the name of the Fuller Paint Company and just doing the colors as you hear them on the record. Yellow is different, but the rest are pretty much the same as they were.

Although most of the 90 second pieces were surrealistic adventures through the vivid imagination of Ken’s brilliant mind, one or three proffered some insightful social commentary; and one piece in particular serves up Ken's finest hour… on every level. You and I both know that the proper colour for “Flesh” to be is the colour it is ; – )

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [01:33] 7.7.png Ken Nordine - Olive (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Jazz
A2 [01:31] 5.9.png Ken Nordine - Lavender (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Poetry
A3 [01:32] 6.2.png Ken Nordine - Burgundy (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Poetry
A4 [01:35] 8.0.png Ken Nordine - Yellow (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Poetry
A5 [01:34] 6.3.png Ken Nordine - Green (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Poetry
A6 [01:34] 9.4.png Ken Nordine - Beige (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Poetry
A7 [01:39] 6.5.png Ken Nordine - Maroon (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Jazz
A8 [01:40] 6.5.png Ken Nordine - Ecru (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Jazz
A9 [01:33] 5.7.png Ken Nordine - Chartreuse (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Poetry
A10 [01:34] 5.3.png Ken Nordine - Turquoise (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Poetry
A11 [01:41] 7.2.png Ken Nordine - White (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Jazz
A12 [01:33] 10.0.png Ken Nordine - Flesh (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Jazz
B1 [01:35] 6.5.png Ken Nordine - Azure (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Jazz
B2 [01:34] 8.3.png Ken Nordine - Puce (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Poetry
B3 [01:34] 5.5.png Ken Nordine - Magenta (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Poetry
B4 [01:29] 6.0.png Ken Nordine - Orange (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Poetry
B5 [01:35] 6.8.png Ken Nordine - Purple (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Poetry
B6 [01:35] 6.5.png Ken Nordine - Muddy (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Jazz
B7 [01:39] 7.1.png Ken Nordine - Russet (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Jazz
B8 [01:37] 6.1.png Ken Nordine - Amber (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Poetry
B9 [01:38] 7.0.png Ken Nordine - Blue (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Jazz
B10 [01:39] 7.9.png Ken Nordine - Black (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Poetry
B11 [01:34] 7.5.png Ken Nordine - Gold (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Poetry
B12 [01:34] 9.1.png Ken Nordine - Crimson (Ken Nordine, Dick Campbell) Blues / Rhythm n Blues

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