Monday, January 10, 2011

Warning: Do Not Operate Heavy Machinery While Listening to This Song

From the amazing and mind-altering piece of cheese that is the Nirvana Sitar and String Group's 1968 psychxploitation album Sitar and Strings -- please enjoy their thoroughly confounding cover of The Box-Tops' "The Letter."

Seriously -- this thing just makes me dizzy. I haven't felt so weird listening to a song under the headphones since the first time I heard The Shaggs' Philosophy of the World.

This came out on a subsidiary label of Audio Fidelity Records. For our younger readers, Audio Fidelity was an oddball outfit that mostly made schlocky stereo LPs designed for the the hi-fi nut market. The bulk of their product was low-budget classical stuff (Scheherezade played by a pick-up orchestra) and sound-effects discs, but they also dabbled in pop. In fact, I was recently surprised to learn that they issued an American version of the debut album by my beloved Los Shakers, an LP that -- had I heard it in 1966 -- would have changed my life in unfathomable ways.