2007   JANUARY 27   #027

General Electric - Go Fly A Kite

01 Be Direct With Me (2:53)
02 Witchcraft (1:12)
03 Supermink (1:52)
04 Manpower (1:53)
05 Dingo's Protest/We're Twenty-One/That Great Big Au Go-Go In The Sky (4:34)
06 Absolutely Available (3:02)
07 Perfect Control (2:51)
08 A Big Fat Wife (1:12)
09 We're Makin' Our Own (3:07)
10 No, No, Not That/PDM Can Do (4:42)
11 34 Years From Today (4:05)
12 Welcome To Williamsburg (2:24)
13 The Proper Perspective (2:26)
14 Through The Magic Door (1:40)
15 Let Me Put It To You This Way (3:36)
16 Go Fly A Kite (2:04)
17 Atom And Evil (1:16)
18 Heaven Out Of Hell (2:07)
19 Make A Woman Out Of Your Wife (6:31)
20 Times Have Changed (3:19)
21 Finale (1:01)

"Go Fly A Kite" by General Electric is one of the best examples of an Industrial Musical. Not only is this a double album, but the gatefold cover is chalk full of photographs of the actual live stage performance! For just about every single song, you get to see what the actors and singers were doing and wearing, along with the campy sets that draped the background.

I've had this LP for several years now and used to play it on my old radio shows (Oddity Rock Radio & Delirium In Hi-Fi) on KWCR. I'd like to list just a few favorite tracks along with some of the original liner notes that explain them.

Start listening with this one:

#1 - "Heaven Out of Hell" (Definitely the Standout Track of the Musical!)
"While George attends the Conference, Richard responds to Martha's wish to see the past, and particularly, Marie Antoinette. They end up in Hell, where the devil indignantly refuses to let Martha visit "that woman in the bakery." Unabashed, Martha tells the Devil his Hell isn't so hot, his transportation system is all snarled up, and, in general, he's operating inefficiently and uneconomically. She and Richard persuade the devil to electrify Hell through Richard's magic powers. Instantly, the air is purified, the furnaces operate efficiently, and traffic is unsnarled at the River Styx. Horrified, the devil realizes he has been tricked into making a Heaven out of Hell through electricity."

#2 - "Make a Woman Out of Your Wife" (The most epic song of the musical. This track almost seems to go on a bit longer than it should but it's hilarious imagining this woman dressed in a white gown caressing blenders, irons, clocks, electric fans, and egg beaters, like the pictured inside the record sleeve. To be placed on every Christmas compilations later this year :)
"Mr. Smith wishes for the magic to express the transformation which electrical products make possible in the life of the American woman. Richard obligingly evokes an enchanting woman and an overwhelming procession of housewares, kitchens, and home entertainment products."

#3 - "Atom and Evil" (For some reason I gave this track the most airplay. Possibly because of it's length. Love the characterized voices!)
"(Martha) ... asks George what the General Electric speakers are talking about next. George replies, "Nuclear Power". Hearing this, a group with picket signs erupts onto the stage and does a number good-naturedly spoofing unreasonable and misinformed views of nuclear power."

#4 - "Perfect Control" ( I just like this one :)
"In the course of his talk, Mr. White emphasizes the inherent simplicity of design of a boiling water reactor and its self-regulating nature, which keeps the reaction under perfect control. This inspires a beautiful blond girl in a Harlow dress to sing her version of the subject."

#5 - "No, No, Not That!"
"In the office of Dr. Jung, a psychiatrist, a burly victim of amnesia cannot recall anything until a pretty nurse enters and the doctor acknowledges the patient's healthy reaction by saying, "She's got a pretty good distribution, eh?" The word "distribution", plus a hefty shot of truth serum, triggers total recall in the patient, who remembers how his mother, wife, and daughter were always pressuring him about appearance, reliability and cost."

#6 - "Thirty-Four Years From Today"
"We find George during the coffee break after the distribution presentations, musing about transmission problems that have to be solved long before the end of the century. Martha says, "Thirty-four years? My, you are a long planner." But George reminds her that he asked for her hand only thirty-four years ago".

#7 - "Dingo's Protest" (Self-explanatory)
Not in any particular order, but I guess I had more favorites than I thought! Enjoy :)

PS. Coming up in February on 365 Days - "General Electric Silicone Products Department - Got To Investigate Silicones" (Wink)

- Contributed by: B.C. Sterrett (The Lost Media Archive)

Images: Front Cover, The Show!, More of The Show! (courtesy of: Jonathan Ward)

Media: 12" 2-LP
Album: Go Fly A Kite
Label: General Electric
Credits: Fifth Electric Utility Executives Conference, Williamsburg, Virginia
Date: September 19-21, 1966


•  Visit WFMU's Beware Of The Blog to view this post and comment  •