Thomas Edisun’s Electric Light Bulb Band — “No One’s Been Here for Weeks”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 18, 2022


673) Thomas Edisun’s Electric Light Bulb Band

Vaudevillian pop-psych ’67 A-side by Louisiana forerunners to power-pop band Zuider Zee.

Igor Igorev tells us:

[This is a] previously unreleased album from 1967 by [an] obscure US psychedelic band . . . . Thomas Edisun played Beatlesque, psychedelic-pop/proto power-pop of the highest order with amazing songs and incredible harmony vocals. In 1967, just after ‘Sgt. Pepper’ had c[o]me out, the band decided to register their own psychedelic masterpiece, so they entered a rudimentary studio and recorded a whole album during a weekend, under the influence of “smoking” and “mind altering” substances. The album was never released, the tapes were stored in attics and basements and the band broke up with some of their members forming cult power-pop band Zuider Zee. “The Red Day Album” ranges from pure Emitt Rhodes-Macca pop to Forever Amber/Lazy Smoke styled lo-fi pop-sike and almost early Caravan keyboard freak-outs.

Mars Russell adds:

“The Red Day Album” was recorded and mixed from a Friday night to a Sunday evening, sometime on a week-end after the release of “Sgt Peppers” . . . .

Richard Orange . . . . met Gary Simon Bertrand . . . . [whose] mother . . . was also a cabaret owner from Paris, who had settled in Louisiana to continue her nightclub and cabaret ventures. “Edisun”, as they came to be called, continued honing their craft in several of [her] nightclubs and cabarets. . . . [and] would go on to win multiple “battle of the band” competitions and commanded larger and more adoring crowds. Before Richard Orange had reached his 18th birthday, Edisun would release a self-promoted single on the Tamm label [yes, today’s song] that received considerable radio airplay and attention . . . .

Orange would carry on his talent in “Zuider Zee”. He would write his first international hit song for Cyndi Lauper . . . . [and] write as staff-writer for groups and artists varied as “Starship” to Jane Wiedlin of “[the Go Go’s]” and Brazilian Pop Star Deborah Blando and “Missing Persons[‘]” Dale Bozzio.

Finally, Beverly Paterson:

Plastered with plucky and polished choruses, circled by experimental detours, The Red Day Album proves to be . . . ambitious and challenging . . . . The influence of the Beatles, the Kinks, the Zombies, and the Monkees can’t be denied, but all songs on the disc are original and sail beyond mere parroting. In fact, some of the expressions presented here are so peculiar that, if you didn’t already know, it would be impossible to tell exactly when the album was recorded. . . . A fondness for mixing vaudeville, cabaret styled moves, and dance hall music with modern maneuvers frequents much of the material . . . . Shaped of unusual hooks, melodies and arrangements, The Red Day Album makes for a very fine psychedelic pop experience. Not bound by rules, Thomas Edisun’s Electric Light Bulb Band aimed to craft a piece of music pairing conventional ideas with freaky insights, and if you ask me they succeeded in doing so.

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