Friday, April 4, 2014

The Credibility Gap: A Great Gift Idea / Floats [1979]




...and here's Sierra/Briar's 1979 reissue of The Credibility Gap's A Great Gift Idea, which came packaged with a second, previously unreleased bonus LP, Floats. Every year for much of the 1970s, the Gap would get up early on New Year's Day and trundle over to Pasadena to do a live running radio commentary on the Rose Parade. They'd torture this kitchy river of pace-car-led Americana with fake celebrity interviews, documentary segments, and impressive descriptions of a helium-filled Gary Coleman flying high above the crowd's heads. This LP package had a double-obverse; no matter how you held it, each side was oriented to be the front. Correspondingly, the interior gatefold text flows in two directions, requiring the reader to make a 180-degree flip in the middle of reading. Definitely the goofiest of the Gap albums, this is a personal favorite - and if I had to choose between the 1974 and 1979 Great Gift Idea covers, not only does this reissue cover win, if I were a country it would be my flag.

The Floats album:

Parade Theme
Minidoc
Parade
Curt
Parade
Fred Cadaver
Parade
Dave Swarts
Parade
Curt
Parade
A Queen's Diary
Parade
Rabbi Korff
Parade
Pasadena
Parade
Dave Swarts
Parade
Mayor of Palmdale
Parade
Curt's Closing Thoughts
Parade Theme

And for additional fun, read along with the 88th Annual Tournament of Roses Program from 1977, where you can peek into a Queen’s diary, thrill to ads for Super 8 highlights from last year’s parade, and bleed your eyes out over concept paintings of all the year’s floats, including that perilously-balanced Bicycle-built-for-too-many from Bank of America.

LP art, "Floats" audio, Rose Parade program

DISCLAIMER: To the best of my knowledge, this work is out of print and not available for purchase in any format. If you are the artist and are planning a reissue, please let me know and I’ll remove it from the blog. Also please get in touch if you’ve lost your art &/or sound masters and would like to talk with me about my restoration work.

2 comments:

  1. I was unaware that "Floats" was an album. I have been a fan of the Gap since the '60s when I first heard them doing a parody of the news (this was a regular, daily feature) on then Top 40 KFWB. I believe they called the feature "The Ear Witness News". I possess a vinyl copy of "Great Gift Idea" as well as a copy of the Rose Parades on reel-to-reel. I made the copies while watching the parade live and listening to the simalcast. But, alas, I no longer possess said recorder. I believe they did a Woodstock parody called "Woodschtick" that they aired on KMET-FM Los Angeles. Their "Bronze Age of Radio" album comes from some of their work on KMET, if I'm not mistaken. I know I heard their "Who's On First" on the radio back in the early 70's.

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  2. I believe Harry Shearer, putatively perennial cloud hugger, was livid on hearing about SIerra/Briar's acquisition and distribution of the Floats material as well as the Great Gift Idea commercial Lp. A great deal of his genius (and that of the other members of the Gap) left me delirious with laughter and reeling from the expansion of my imagination. It had not occurred to me at first that perhaps the Gap was getting nothing at all from the transaction.

    Still adoring your recreation of Kyu Sakamoto's Sukiyaki, Taylor, and willing to stuff your square cash account a little as an expression of gratitude.

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