A Most Immaculately Hip Record Label
A Guide To Straight Label Records & Compact Discs
Dean R. Hegerty

Dean R. Hegerty
2002, 1st edition 1999
ISBN
64 pp, stapled, 21,5 x 17,5 cm
English


INTRODUCTION

I was introduced to the music and artists of the Bizarre/Straight labels in the fall of 1970, when a shiny new copy of Zappd (for which I was charged $1) arrived in the mail. At the time, I wasn't very familiar with the music of Frank Zappa, nor had I even heard of any of the other artists included. However, alter seeing an ad for the album, I figured that there had to be something decent an there. Besides, the risk was minimal at the worst, I'd only be out a buck!

Needless to say, my spirit of adventure rewarded me. This $1 album succeeded in doing exactly what it was designed to do it got me hooked an the music, and it left me wanting more! To satisfy my appetite, I decided to pay a visit to (what was then) the best record store in Milwaukee: Radio Doctors. I cheerfully forked over my hard-earned cash for Hot Rats by Frank Zappa, and Easy Action by Alice Cooper. And today, those two albums still remain among my very favorites.

Zappa's recordings have been written about profusely in numerous books and magazines, his entire recorded output is still available (courtesy of Rykodisc), and there are several websites an the Internet devoted exclusively to the man and his music. However, the musical output of his Straight Records label is often neglected, or just mentioned in passing. The fact is, many of the artists on the Straight roster had been part of the sixties music scene before coming to Straight; moreover, several of them went on to bigger and better things after leaving the label. It is the recordings of the artists signed to the Straight Records label that are the focus of this publication.

Here's a few notes about the bock itself: I have divided this book into two basic sections. Section I contains a brief history of the Straight label, followed by a discography presented in three parts. The first part is a listing of pre-Straight, non-Zappa/Mothers releases on Bizarre. I have included these releases because they are crucial to the Straight story; in fact, they probably would have appeared an Straight had it then existed. The second part is a listing of Straight singles, albums and CD's. The third part is a listing of special promo-only releases. Section II contains profiles of Straight label artists.

In his liner notes for Zappd, John Mendelsohn writes that Frank Zappa's "the creep who started it all, the man who keeps digging up these perverts and encouraging them and producing them and foisting them on a defenseless public that he's rendered a pushover with his wild eyes and intimidating wit''.

And we're glad that he did. Thanks Frank!

 
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1st edition