This album is interesting, not because of the music, but because of the story behind it-- forget the music, it’s rubbish. Oh Calcutta was a musical which featured all nude performers. As expected, it was a sensation, since it was the first such nudist live act or one of the first. Think about how shocking that must have been back in the late sixties before there were strip clubs and video stores on every big suburban city block. Even now it’s a little risqué to think you’d force your whole cast to perform naked, as a producer. And what kind of audience are you looking to attract??
I’m surprised to see how many soundtracks were released from the same musical. Obviously that testifies to how popular it was. This one is notable in my opinion because its cover is such a remarkable Magritte-like work. The cover really is everything with this record today, although there is such a history behind it. Here are some excerpts from the write-up on wikipedia to give you an idea.
"It ran in London for over 3,900 performances, and in New York initially for 1,314. Revivals enjoyed even longer runs, including a Broadway revival that ran for 5,959 performances, making the show the longest-running revue in Broadway history.
The title is taken from a painting by Clovis Trouille, itself a pun on "O quel cul t'as!" French for "What an ass you have!".
Peter Schickele (aka "PDQ Bach"), Robert Dennis and Stanley Walden were the revue's composers.
An excerpt from a sketch:
A boy and a girl who just met are in their own playland, with the boy constantly trying to find ways to seduce the girl who is afraid of him because he's a boy. The girl is eventually raped by the boy at the end of the sketch and is comatose from the experience ("Jack & Jill")."
( --I think all of you will have the same reaction as me— “What the +++ ????”)
Anyways, this record sells for a lot of money. Whatever possessed me to buy it???
Like so many of these vinyl artefacts, the price has nothing to do with the quality of the music, everything to do with reputation and rarity and record shops. In the days before mp3s it was perhaps a cheat tactic to sell these with a caveat emptor, the buyer had no idea he was being ripped off. Nowadays of course we can listen beforehand and decide for ourselves if we want to buy the vinyl. What other art genre can you overprice like this? I have never heard of a great novel being sold for a lot of money, in fact, you can get them free at the library and I usually see Charles Dickens selling for a couple bucks at barnes and noble. In art the high price for van goghs is a reflection of how much we value his art, it would be like paying millions for Genesis' Selling England album, which in theory is what it is worth. In any case we can go to museums, galleries, or buy a book of his paintings. Otherwise, we might as well be stamp collecting, where rarity defines price, not quality.