THE ORGONE BOX
The following CDs by The Orgone Box are available:
£15.00-UK £17.00-Europe £18.00 - ROW
We were as pleased as Punch to be able to release the first Orgone Box album, doubly pleased to see all the rave reviews come in, proof that many of you felt the same way we did about this masterpiece and now we're overjoyed at being able to release this new album - Things That Happened Then.
Basically a collection of songs Rick recorded between 1992 - 1995, this album contains some of Rick's finest writing & playing.
- recorded on 4 tracks, 1990. I was on Bournemouth pier one night and
heard a funfair tannoy announcing 'anyone for the last ride on the jets'
- thought it was a great title. The sound fx on the beginning are from
holding a mic in front of the radio (sheep,dogs and birds, Phil Collins
and Anna Raeburn I think) and the TV (Countdown, Godfather and Apocalypse
Now), Sheen narrates the middle 8.
The Orgone Box is het eenmansproject van Rick Corcoran. Het gelijknamige
debuut van The Orgone Box lag al vijf jaar op de plank voordat de eigenaar
van Minus Zero, een gereputeerde platenwinkel in London, Corcoran ontdekte
en het album uitbracht. De opvolger, Things That Happened Then, is nog
ouder; de viersporenopnamen stammen uit de periode 1992-1995. Het grootste
bezwaar van deze collectie songs – die overigens volkomen terecht nu het
levenslicht zien – is dan ook de bij tijd en wijle gebrekkige opnamekwaliteit.
Los daarvan is het een prima collectie (neo)psychedelische popsongs met
een hoog Beatles-gehalte. Corcoran heeft een stem die veel weg heeft van
die van John Lennon, dus dat verklaart de gelijkenis, maar daarnaast heeft
Corcoran goed geluisterd naar Revolver. De liedjes zijn volgestopt met
dominant gitaarwerk, dat soms herinnert aan de riffs van The Who, zozeer
zelfs dat een rustpunt hier en daar welkom was geweest. Gelukkig komen
de mid-tempo nummers aan het eind van de cd aan bod en die zijn dan ook
meteen erg mooi. Al met al is Things That Happened Then een heel lekkere
cd, propvol ambachtelijke rammelpop en met een vette knipoog naar de sixties.
Vooral de liefhebbers van poppy psychedelica, van Cotton Mather, The General
Store en Myracle Brah, zullen veel plezier beleven aan The Orgone Box.
POPISM (Yugoslavia) radio show newsletter
Talking about the moderndaze power-pop sound, the first thing that comes
to mind is the American wing of the scene, which is pretty natural as
well, considering the number of bands coming out of the US in the last
ten years or so. Still, every now and then, the world is graced with a
British release that remind us where it all started when it comes to the
"melody men". If "Lennonized popsike" is what you'd call your cup of tea
(with maybe just a little something in it), then it's more than likely
that you already have the Orgone Box debut, alongside the Rooks and Cotton
Mather albums. Just like it's the case with Rick Corcoran's source of
inspiration, when it comes to his albums' chronology, strangely enough,
it also tends to go backwards. After the last year's self titled album,
recorded in '95 (!), these recordings come from even further aback, from
the first half of the '90s, bringing us more of Rick's popcyclopedic sounds.
The lead off track, "Last ride on the jets", clearly shows what this "revolver"
is loaded with, to be followed with "Just like a woman", written with
Roy Orbison in mind, but to me, it's more like reaching for the "big star"
and it's gentler moments, taking Dylan's initial concept to another level.
The power-pop jangle of "Hello wonderland" mixes all the important "B-bands"
ingredients, "Cheerfully hopeless" is like something that's been hidden
in Michael Mazzarella's "undone box", and "Wonderful mind" could've been
the best song on Radiohead's "OK computer". While writing the song "Hard
for me", Rick says that he was pretending to be The Beatles, though it's
really more Xanadu-bound than Liverpool, even besides it's almost garagey
edge, and to round up the wide sound-range, there's also "Storytime",
which is probably the only thing that waltzing and "Revolver" have in
common. I don't know if Mr.Corcoran has some more recordings in the vaults,
but if not, I'm almost afraid to think about the possible results of his
new efforts. Get ready for a popsike overdose!
Those of you who have been waiting with bated breath for more Orgone
Box will flip at this 'new' album which rescues 14 Rick Corcoran tunes
(recorded during 1992 to 1995) from oblivion. As blissfully psychedelic
as last year's sleeper 'debut' hit was, groovy songs like "Last Ride On
The Jets," "Everybody's A Star," "Hard For Me," "Wonderful Mind," "Hello
Wonderland" and "Bestbird" once again exploits all the best freakbeat
references e.g. Syd Barrett, John Lennon, Robyn Hitchcock, Julian Cope.
Possibly matched only by Myracle Brah in its spaced-out intensity, Things
That Happened Then is a pop treasure to have and to hold. A-
In een zijstraat van de Londense Portobello Road zitten twee kleine winkeltjes, die samen een pand delen. De eigenaars zitten vaak nors tegenover elkaar, maar het is een lusthof voor de liefhebber van goede pop. De ene winkel verkoopt vooral muziek uit de sixties en een beetje powerpop, terwijl de andere winkel vooral powerpop verkoopt en een enkel plaatje uit de jaren ’60. Deze laatste winkel heet Minus Zero Om goede muziek te promoten is deze winkel ook een eigen label begonnen en op dit label verscheen verleden jaar (maar in 1995 opgenomen) The Orgone Box, een project van de Britse powerpopper Rick Corcoran. En gelukkig is er nu een tweede plaat verschenen: Things That Happened Then. Geen nieuwe opnamen, maar een verzameling leftovers. Desondanks is het een klasseplaat, die het niveau van zijn voorganger moeiteloos haalt. Met een aan John Lennon herinnerende stem en verder veel Beatles-invloeden, maar ook zitten er psychedelische elementen en Byrds-achtige gitaren in. Een van de prijsnummers is het geweldige Just Like A Woman, waarin de melancholie door je hart snijdt. En de nummers Hard For Me en Mom Can I Fly hadden mijns inziens niet misstaan op Rubber Soul! Voor de fans van genoemde namen, maar ook de liefhebbers van Myracle Brah en Cotton Mather een verplichte aanschaf. Grandioos!
Su primer disco, el homónimo “The Orgone Box”, supuso una de las más
gratas sorpresas del 2001 para la mayoría de la crítica y prensa especializada
de medio mundo, copando las clásicas listas de favoritos del año. No era
para menos, pues se trataba de una de las más consistentes y deslumbrantes
colecciones de canciones y sonidos de los últimos tiempos. Todo facturado
por el prodigioso talento, no exagero, de Rick Corcoran, un inglés de
Sheffield que lleva haciendo guitar pop de corte psicodélico desde finales
de los 80, al frente de formaciones como The Green Tambourines o Orange
(que editaron la seminal “Judy Over The Rainbow” para Chrysalis en 1994),
pero que sólo ahora está recibiendo el reconocimiento merecido. De hecho,
este “Things That Happened Then” es su segundo disco, y comprende canciones
grabadas entre 1990 y 1995. Comparado con su anterior entrega, y en líneas
generales, el sonido puede parecer a primera escucha más sobrecargado
–mayor presencia en primer plano de las guitarras y los ambientes saturados
de deliciosos ecos psicodélicos- y menos directamente pop. Pero a medida
que escuchas posteriores van calando, se revela como un nuevo clásico
de psych-pop, donde vuelve a brillar el talento musical de Corcoran, en
una colección de 14 temas sin desperdicio, sensacionales. Lo suyo no es
un ajustado ejercicio de pura nostalgia sónica, sino una correcta asimilación
y puesta al día de ingredientes conocidos, sí –Beatles, los primeros Pink
Floyd, hasta Tomorrow y lo mejor del psico-pop inglés de los 60-, pero
que se confirma atemporal a la vez que moderna y actual. Más si tenemos
en cuenta que muchos de los temas aquí contenidos fueron concebidos y
grabados hace más de 10 años, y grabados en un 4 pistas en su propia casa.
Olvídate de los últimos hypes del Reino Unido, The Orgone Box son the
real thing. Y si no, tiempo al tiempo.
Fourteen more tracks by Rick Corcoran, this time from the 1990-1995 period.
Once again, "Revolver" (Beatles) and "Evolution" (Hollies) are the major
influences, even if the Lennonesque voice of Corcoran isn't complemented
by other voices. Productionwise, however, this collection also sounds
a bit like one of those Big Star & Byrds-influenced American bands from
the eighties-nineties, with their jinglyjangly guitars but also - unfortunately
- their fierce drum sound and all... The highlight of this album, however,
is an a-typical track, viz. "Barbican", a beautiful, orchestrated piece
which calls to mind the baroque Roy Harper and his contemporaries; it
should please those of you who love the Clientele as well - just like
La's fans should find some fine fruits on this cd too. Actually, "Barbican"
comes as a welcome breath of fresh air, since its feel is so radically
different from most of the other songs here. Because of "Barbican", the
track which follows it, the excellent "Life happening" suddenly sounds
extra fresh. Indeed, although each track is worthwhile on this compilation
of older material, listening to them all at a time might make you lose
your focus on the innate finesse of each individual composition, e.g.
the singalong title track. The opening track, with its soundtrack bruitage,
deserves a special psychedelic mention too.
Psych maverick Rick Corcoran makes overdue run for legend status armed
with a Casio and many tambourines. Genuine throwbacks like Sheffield-born
Rick Corcoran, people who can't be bothered with the mainstream but delight
in pursuing a singular vision, are rare indeed. This addition to his work
with Orange and the original Orgone Box collects many '90s nuggets. Bournemouth
Pier's loss is our gain on "Last Ride On The Jets", and the Beatles negative
of "Hard For Me" transcends copycat status. If you like Revolver, the
denim-patched Neil Young and classic pop in general, these things could
happen for you, right now.
The new Orgone Box record is not the new Orgone Box record. That is,
it is newly released, but, as the title indicates, all of the material
on this disc predates the material on the first album. So, here in 2002,
we have two full Orgone Box records and not a single song on either was
recorded after 1996. What do we make of this? Optimistically, the man
who is the Box, Rick Corcoran, has been stockpiling six years worth of
material equal to or greater than the delights on this platter. Pessimistically,
Corcoran, perhaps due to CIA mind control experiments or a chance meeting
with Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf, has lost his ability to sing.
One of last year's best stories involved the re-discovery of the music
of Rick Corcoran as The Orgone Box. That great D.I.Y. psych-pop masterpiece
handily made my top ten of 2001, but left me wondering what was next.
After all, that great music was from 1995 - I couldn't wait to hear what
Corcoran had been up to since then.
ORGONE BOX ALBUM
This may be the best marriage of pop and psych since Strawberry Fields Forever.
Minus Zero is incredibly pleased, honoured and downright tickled pink to be involved in making the ORGONE BOX album available. It has taken some searching, some astonishing serendipity and above all the discovery of some of the very best music to come from England in a long, long while. Music far too special to be left unheard.
Upon a solid framework
of Beatles inspired melodic inventiveness, Rick Corcoran (who is
The ORGONE BOX) adds layers of pulsing psychedelia, post punk/new wave
dynamism and a dazzling overlay of classic blazing-guitar rock. It's a
totally winning combination made all the more scintillating by appearing
to be so effortless. There's no energy lost on style or attitude - every
ounce of talent goes into creating Great Songs and that, in the end, is
what it's all about.
Check out the sound
clips to get a taste of what's in store and then get ordering or ask at
your local record shop - if they don't have it, tell them they should!
...This is most definitely English Music at its best - rooted in the best of 60's Psych-Pop with an all encompassing pop sensibility...more than just a collection of undiscovered gems, this is an important release... - Bucketful of Brains
Glorious, pulsing psych-drenched power pop
of the highest order; lyrically intelligent and driven by joyous
energy and majestic melodies with more hooks than a lifetime subscription
of Angler's weekly.
The Orgone Box is one full of pop delicacies, candy for the ears and mind of the more discerning listener. And not a single-layered budget box either, but a collection of surprising depth given its roots in the sugary world of The Beatles' more psychedelic outings...this is an album destined to become legendary among the ever-burgeoning legions of power-pop afficionados. - Comes With A Smile
...You'll be convinced that Corcoran is a giant in his field and that The Orgone Box is an essential purchase. - Sunday Times
A major find, purely and straightforwardly stated... Talk about digging into the tombs of Beatle-psych pop of "Revolver/Pepper", this is not only a must for any fan of great Beatle inspired pop, but fans of more modern excursions to this territory like Cotton Mather, XTC, Martin Newell, Cherry Twister or even Let's Active (singer sounds like Mitch Easter as well) will freak out...Will be right at the top of a ton of end of the year lists, you can bet on it. - Not Lame
When lead vocalist Rick Corcoran intones "I've got a psychedelic mind," you can take that to the bank!...This album is swirling, pop-psychedelia all the way, and is definitely of the first order. - Toast Magazine
...the CD is psychedelic as hell. It's also poppier 'n hell, with its big, lush waves of sound, irresistible hooks, and rolling harmonies...In fact, with his heliumated Lennonesque vocals, this may be the best marriage of pop and psych since 'Strawberry Fields Forever'. - Toast Magazine
...World Revolves has a circular melody, a variety of jangling guitars snaking in and out of the mix, leading to the type of chorus that makes you want to cruise down the highway in a convertible with the top down - Fufkin webzine
There really isn't much more I can say about
this record, other than GO BUY IT!
It's all brilliant but 'Hello Central... Give Me Ganymede', 'Anaesthesia' and 'Ticket With No Return' are sensational. - Evening Standard
Above parody, beyond revival, Corcoran knew, and maybe still does, exactly what made the Beatles chord-progressions and lysergic-world special. And it shows! Well worth investigating!! - Record Collector.
It's exceedingly rare these days to find rediscovered Classics that live up to their status but The Orgone Box is one that lives way larger than the myth. - Q
The opening, Hello Central...Give Me Ganymede will have you in a hallucinatory state of mind without any, um, additional help- Shake It Up
Basically, the songwriting and musicianship are superb. - Uncut
Find The One...a song that deserves to resonate from radios all over the world as Corcoran hits the upper register to send chills tingling down spines. - powerofpop.com
Hello Central . . . Give Me Ganymede sets the stage for what might be one of the strongest pop collections of the past decade. - popmatters.com
Hello Central...Give Me Ganymede has so much trippy buzzing around the tape mix that listening on headphones might cause whiplash. - Magnet
...more gorgeous chunes will not be heard this year, or likely any other. - Miles Of Music
The results are absolutely mind-blowing when everything clicks, as it does on just about every track...Easily a contender for album of the year, I'd say. - Goldmine
The collective result resembles a fantastic Baroque pop construct of Sgt. Pepper-y proportions, the kind of record that headphones were invented for. - All Music Guide
Distributed in the UK by Shellshock/Pinnacle
incl post & packing - UK: £7.99
Central...Give me Ganymede mp3
All songs written and performed by RICK CORCORAN with Tam Johnstone on drums & orchestral arrangements on Find The One by Tim McTighe.
Lennon reincarnated. John Lennon is alive and well, and before you ask, no, he doesn't have a monobrow. These days he passes himself off as Rick Corcoran, whose Orgone Box album from 1996 does Beatles-era Revolver better than any of those oh-so-hip US bands you could care to mention. It's a real contender for the best pop-psyche album of the last decade. Named after a device created by Wilhelm Reich to capture the energy of the universe, The Orgone Box is a moniker for one-man pop-psych genius Rick Corcoran. Actually, Corcoran’s sound is more akin to Across The Universe, as he takes his inspiration directly from Lennon and The Beatles. Just listen to the pleading Find The One – it sounds so like Lennon, it’s scary. Liam Gallagher would give his monobrow to have written it. “I’ve got a psychedelic mind,” sings Corcoran on the brilliant Anaesthesia – and you’re inclined to believe him. In the mid-‘90s, Corcoran was part of Orange, who had a minor hit with the fantastic Judy Over The Rainbow. This album includes a version of that song as well as plenty of other modern pop-psyche nuggets. Originally released in Japan in 1996, The Orgone Box’s self-titled debut lay undiscovered until our friends at Minus Zero Records decided to release it. Thank god they did, it’s easily one of the finest British pop albums of the last ten years. Drawing comparisons to Revolver/Sgt Pepper-era Beatles, Corcoran has an ear for an irresistible melody – the album is shot through with instantly memorable tunes. From the Byrdsy jangle of Hello Central… Give Me Ganymede; to the dreamy Bubble and the sad-eyed Guilt Trip, this is classy stuff, Corcoran’s FX-laden Lennonesque vocals drifting in from another galaxy over a head-spinning mix of chiming guitars, hazy sounds and layered instrumentation. There’s also a temporary diversion into fuzzed-up power-pop (Noddyland) and the Dylan meets Robyn Hitchcock gem Ticket With No Return. If you like this, you’ll also love Cotton Mather’s Kontiki – more of the same Fab Four-friendly, psychedelic earcandy. It’s perfect for Mellotroning out to…. www.popjunkie.tv
All Music Guide
Rick Corcoran, who plays nearly every instrument here, is the only member
of the Orgone Box. He reportedly used four eight-track tape machines,
a 32-channel mixing desk, three guitar amps, a half-dozen effects-laden
guitars, and laid down guide drums to a click-track during the initial
home-recording sessions. Later, during four days of overdubbing at a mansion
called "the House in the Woods," Corcoran was aided by a couple of friends,
drummer Tam Johnstone (ex-the Green Tambourines, the General Store) and
bassist/keyboardist Tim McTighe, who provided "orchestral arrangements"
on a Roland MC300. The result, of course, is that the Orgone Box has that
identifiable studio sheen that low-budget self-produced solo efforts of
this ilk often have, where the drum/bass rhythm tracks are purposefully
simplified in the early stages of recording to easily allow for sonic
layers to be added above. Even so, unlike most albums that are built this
way, brick by brick, from the foundation to the penthouse, the more you
listen this CD, the more you realize the Orgone Box is a stylish triumph
of substance over simple revisionist psych-pop. Corcoran was evidently
inspired by listening to his favorites from the original 1967 era -- the
Fabs, Butterfly-era Hollies, early Pink Floyd are a few that come to mind
-- and "informed" by later albums released by the Dukes of Stratosphear,
Robyn Hitchcock, and Oasis, but he doesn't seem to be too interested in
ripping off any of his precursors. On the second track, "Anaesthesia,"
Corcoran even lets listeners know that he's "not into psychedelia/I've
got a psychedelic mind...whatever," probably meaning that his music simply
pours out of him whenever he hits "record," without him having to "psychedelicize"
to get into the mood. Each track abounds with effective Lennon-esque vocals,
ringing Byrds-ian 12-strings, phase-shifting guitar solos, and mellifluous
multi-tracked vocal harmonies, all swirling amid confectionery pop melodies.
The collective result resembles a fantastic Baroque pop construct of Sgt.
Pepper-y proportions, the kind of record that headphones were invented
* * * * *
Here's the history behind this one: a British chap called
Rick Corcoran penned and released a pulsating little pop-psych track (under
the name Orange, on UK Chrysalis Records) titled "Judy Over the Rainbow"
during 1994, and promptly disappeared from the scene for a bit. Apparently
this album was originally a collection of demos and was released in 1996
(in Japan only, yet) and quickly vanished, but the good folks at Minus
Zero somehow unearthed it and are giving it a much-deserved second life.
* * * * *
Miles Of Music
My most recent jones is for late '60s British psych pop,
and lately I've been getting a pleasant lysergic buzz off of such long
forgotten bands as the Flowerpot Men, Kaleidoscope and Tomorrow. Imagine
my earthly delight when I came upon this ornate pillbox of sweet candy-colored
songs. Turns out, the Orgone Box is no throwback to day-glo decades gone
by; rather it's the contemporary masterwork of one-man-band Rick Corcoran,
who released it in 1996 on a small Japanese label and is only now being
made widely available. With its charming melodies and chiming guitars,
this album will set your head spinning on tracks like Judy Over
the Rainbow, World Revolves, Find the One
and my fav, Guilt Trip. Fortunately, the music herein is not,
as they say, an incredible simulation - Corcoran's oeuvre moves well beyond
the nostalgia and self-conscious imitation of bands like the Dukes of
Stratosphere and into a world (or should I say, dimension) that's unique
and authentic in any age. Beyond that, more gorgeous "chunes" will not
be heard this year, or likely any other. Slip in The Orgone Box, slap
on your headphones - and give yourself a natural high.
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *
An orgone box is a device created by Wilhelm Reich to capture
the energy of the universe, while The Orgone Box is a musical device created
by Rick Corcoran to capture the energy of late '60s pop-psychedelia. While
skeptics lambasted Reich's device, Corcoran's device deserves wide praise.
This one truly resurrects the magical sounds of that era with a wry insouciance
that is positively endearing. Once upon a time in the UK — mid-'90s, to
be precise — there was a combo called Orange that scored a minor radio
hit with Judy Over the Rainbow. From this minor hit and the
mind and talents of one Rick Corcoran came a stripped down version of
this hit and 11 other pop/psych gems assembled collectively as The Orgone
Box. This self-titled CD featured all vocals and instruments by the gifted
Corcoran, except for drums and a Roland MC300 part. Launched on an obscure
Japanese label in 1996, it landed somewhere in musical limbo, where its
relative anonymity remained undisturbed — a musical crime of the highest
order. Thank goodness Bill Forsyth and the folks at Minus Zero Records
have seen fit to finally right that wrong by re-releasing its wonderful
music this past March.
* * * * *
Bill Forsyth, the owner of Minus Zero Records has boldly
declared, “this (i.e. The Orgone Box) is the very best Pop album to come
out of England in the last 20 years…” Whilst you may have cause to quibble
with his assessment, you will be hard pressed to ignore The Orgone Box’s
stake to British pop greatness. Consisting mainly of demos made by Rick
Corcoran with Tam Johnstone and Tim McTighe (from Corcoran’s previous
band The Green Tambourines) and released by a small Japanese label in
1996 to obscurity, Minus Zero Records have managed to obtain Corcoran’s
consent to re-issue this unknown legend for the benefit of modern power
pop listeners. Corcoran’s prior claim to fame was a critically acclaimed
EP (Judy Over The Rainbow b/w Disposable & Bed) on Chrysalis Records in
1994 (at the ascent of Britpop) under the Orange moniker. However, Orange
could not survive internal differences to progress further. Whatever misfortune
Corcoran may have encountered in the 1990s, hopefully the re-issue of
this truly sublime album will spark a reversal of fortune in the new millennium.
After all, listening to the magnificent psychedelic pop on The Orgone
Box, there is surely a place in every power pop fan’s heart for the music
of Rick Corcoran. Reference points are obvious – The Beatles, The Kinks,
Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd, The Soft Boys, XTC’s Dukes of Stratosphear phase,
The Cleaners from Venus, The Green Pajamas and the irrepressible Robyn
Hitchcock. Fortified with these tremendous influences, Rick Corcoran is
able to fashion something so fresh and effervescent that you never ever
entertain thoughts of dismissing this as derivative. How can you when
a song like the gorgeously freaky “Anaesthesia” slithers and embraces
your senses with phased vocals, effects-laden guitars and tongue-in-cheek
lyrics like, “I’m not into psychedelia/ I’ve got a psychedelic mind.”
Or the Ray Davies-evoking Anglo folk-rock reverie of “There’ll Always
Be Attitudes” with its quirky sentiments – “If you want to lead a proper
life you've got to listen to the wife a bit/ You're all night in the pub
and you're with your mates and your brain begins to equate with little
more than laughing at the size of her tits.” And what about the lively
and animated “World Revolves” with its world-weary cynicism – “You wanna
fight but you can't make a fist/ You're getting mad at yourself but you
make yourself sick.” The clincher, in my mind, is the stunning “Find The
One,” a love song in the Roy Orbison/Jeff Lynne mode, emotional and touching
where Corcoran is unafraid to sing, “Find the one you love the one who's
always there who always cared for you/ Find the one you love if this is
a time for being hopeful,” a song that deserves to resonate from radios
all over the world as Corcoran hits the upper register to send chills
tingling down spines. The Orgone Box may not be the best British pop album
of the last twenty years but it’s certainly close. Hopefully, this will
point the way for future magical moments from Rick Corcoran. (9) .
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *
Reading over some British reviews of The Orgone Box, I become painfully
aware that my knowledge is seriously lacking when it comes to the origins
of Rick Corcoran, his former band Orange, and what was apparently a radio
hit in the UK in the mid-nineties, Judy Over the Rainbow.
All I have to go on is my own nostalgia for a sound and a time I remember
fondly as well as my gut reaction to a record so charming and wise and
brilliant, I wish I could go over to London and kiss the feet of Bill
Forsyth for pursuing the avenues that led him to re-release this wonderful
record. The history behind The Orgone Box can be followed on the Minus
Zero website, so I feel no need to rehash that. By all means, if you are
interested in the coincidences, serendipities, and passions that fuel
indie music as we know it, please have a look. As I'm listening to this
record yet again and writing this, superlatives tumble from my frazzled
brain that could never do The Orgone Box justice. It comes from an era
in the UK that saw Blur and Oasis duking it out daily on the charts and
in the headlines, a wonderful time for pop music in some ways, but also
a time when a smart, smaller release could easily be overshadowed. Skip
ahead to 2001, Minus Zero, and a timeless collection of songs. The Orgone
Box is an album true to itself. Seemingly unaffected, Rick Corcoran revels
in Briticisms like "You're all night in the pub and you're with your mates"
from There'll Always Be Attitudes. Slightly reminiscent
of Robyn Hitchcock both sonically and lyrically is the trippy Bubble,
(this song makes me think of John Travolta, for what it's worth…,) it's
dripping with hooks and a beautiful watery sound. I can't help but make
a comparison with Cotton Mather's Kon Tiki only because it's a more well-known
(for now!) pop touchstone. Obviously, the two are not connected in any
way, other than Kon Tiki came out only a year after The Orgone Box appeared.
I just hear a similar aesthetic, an overdubbed, voice in a tin can, tambourine
flourish that instantly brings to mind Harrison and co. There really isn't
much more I can say about this record, other than GO BUY IT! We've been
given a wonderful gift with the discovery and re-release of this pop gem…I
worry that if I say too much, the magic of that first listen will elude
you. Come up with your own superlatives
* * * * *
I'm not into psychedelia/I've got a psychedelic mind - whatever.
Though Rick Corcoran may sing otherwise (on the tune Anaesthesia),
trust me - this is psychedelia - electric kool aid acid pop of the highest
order. Appropriately enough this 2001 release is actually a flashback,
Corcoran recording it back in 1996. Corcoran is clearly inspired by the
great British psych-pop of 60's, with The Beatles, S.F. Sorrow-era Pretty
Things, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd and Butterfly-era Hollies numbering
among just some of the reference points that are appropriate. And you
could also mention The Orgone Box in the same breath as modern eccentric
psychpopsters like Robyn Hitchcock, Martin Newell and The Chrys&themums.
But unlike that trio, the music here is more accessible, making it a best
of both worlds - great tunes with some occasional wiggy edges. None of
those edges are needed on the brilliant Find The One,
in which Corcoran becomes a balladeer, making a song that blends the paisley
tones of John Lennon circa 1967 with pure drama on par with Roy Orbison.
The little George Harrisonish lead guitar fills and final dramatic choruses
just make this all the more classic. Other songs rock in a manner that
will win over fans of like minded groups like Guided By Voices, Photon
Band and The Ringles. World Revolves has a circular
melody, a variety of jangling guitars snaking in and out of the mix, leading
to the type of chorus that makes you want to cruise down the highway in
a convertible with the top down (presuming you've already come down in
the acid tent and are fit to drive!). Whilst on The Song Formerly
Known As Mirrorball, Corcoran adds a tad of reverb on his vocals,
which in combo with his thick bass line, gives the song a heavy feel which
contrasts with the airy melody. Corcoran also has a bash at plain straightforward
pop. There'll Always Be Attitudes has a jaunty early
Bee Gees feel, which gives its indictment of the class system an extra
sting. Likewise, the splendid folk rock arrangement of Ticket
With No Return, with the strummed guitars, moody keyboards and
deftly placed backing vocals supports forboding lyrics (there's
a point of no return I wanna go to/not the harsh reality I have to face).
This disc demands repeated listens and rewards them, as this obviously
low budget recording is bursting at the seams with sounds and ideas. In
fact, I don't even think a producer like Brad Jones could improve on the
product here - the tunes are here, the production is here and finally,
The Orgone Box is here - let's hope Rick Corcoran comes back with more
musical gifts for us.
* * * * *
Here's a find. Filching inspiration from Wilhelm Reich's
device for harnessing the psycho-sexual energy that surrounds us and inventing
a virtual vibrator, as t'were, the Orgone Box blows your mind and stimulates
the bits beneath. Attuned to this Orgone Box (alias Sheffield-born Rick
Corcoran) is a one-man, many-handed band who specialises in fantastic
soundscapes of psychedelia filtered via an an autobiographical narrative
that cuts to the chase like his kindred spirit David Gray, of American
legends the Idle Wilds. It's all brilliant but 'Hello Central... Give
Me Ganymede', 'Anaesthesia' and 'Ticket With No Return'
are sensational. A vat of Kool-Aid next to a shelf full of Diet Sprite.
* * * * *
When lead vocalist Rick Corcoran intones I've got
a psychedelic mind, you can take that to the bank! The Orgone Box
( named for a device developed by psychoanalyist Wilhelm Reich, which
could supposedly capture the energy of the universe) is essentially
Corcoran, who sings and writes all the songs and plays all the instruments,
save drums. This album is swirling, pop-psychedelia all the way, and is
definitely of the first order. Cotton Mather fans will love Corcoran's
dirty, muted lead vocals and the serpentine psych of songs like Hello
Central...Give Me Ganymede, Noddyland, and
the cooking World Revolves, which has an undeniable,
layered chorus. Corcoran knows how to mix things up as well; he adds some
Hall and Oates-esque lead/harmony vocals to Anaesthesia;
Disposable is the kind of quirky, authentic psychedelia
that made vintage bands like Rainbow Ffolly so delightful; and There'll
Always Be Attitudes borrows a page from the soft pop primer.
As good as the aforementioned tracks are, there's even better in Find
The One, which is as beautiful a breakup song as you'll ever
hear, with strains of a Roland MC300 (courtesy of Tim McTighe) punctuating
the dreamy mood; Judy Over The Rainbow, (an earlier
version of this song was released as a single on Chrysalis Records by
Corcoran's previous band, Orange ) which features cool, phased vocals,
Revolver-esque guitar licks, and is catchy as all get out; and Ticket
With No Return, a wonderful song that could have snuck onto
Jon Brion's new album without anybody finding out. (The story of how The
Orgone Box came to be is marvelous, and can be read in the latest issue
(#58) of Bucketfull of Brains magazine.)
* * * * *
What Mr. Bash doesn't tell you about that lyric is that
it's preceded by I'm not into pyschedelia, a claim which moves
him squarely into Dada territory. But Bash is right: the CD is psychedelic
as hell. It's also poppier 'n hell, with its big, lush waves of sound,
irresistible hooks, and rolling harmonies. Corcoran manages to avoid the
main pitfall of multi-track, overdub driven one-man affairs - the CD never
suffers from the static claustrophobia or mechanistic construction of
so many similarly fabricated discs. He also avoids the fatal flaw of self-consciousness
that mars so many psych recreations such as The Dukes Of The Stratosphear,
probably because he puts the pop first. In fact, with his heliumated Lennonesque
vocals, this may be the best marriage of pop and psych since Strawberry
* * * * *
London's Minus Zero, the hopeless obsessive's music store
of choice, has rescued the songwriter Rick Corcoran's 1996 Orgone Box
recordings from obscurity, and reissued them on it's own label. This is
English psych-pop in the tradition of XTC or the LSD-dabbling Beatles,
and deserves an audience. Upon exposure to the moment, 55 seconds into
Anaesthesia, where the song swells into the chorus, you'll be convinced
that Corcoran is a giant in his field and that The Orgone Box is an essential
* * * * *
Comes With A Smile
Essentially the work of Rick Corcoran, formerly of legendary UK combo
Orange, The Orgone Box is (as it's original title Confectionery suggests)
one full of pop delicacies, candy for the ears and mind of the more discerning
listener. And not a single-layered budget box either, but a collection
of surprising depth given its roots in the sugary world of The Beatles'
more psychedelic outings. Corcoran's Lennon-esque vocals at least boast
geographical authenticity (unlike the scouse stylings of, say, Texas'
Cotton Mather), and the strength of his songwriting soon overshadows any
lazy accusations of plagiarism. Lyrically he's clearly of English descent
and occasionally descends into 'laddish' nonsense but elsewhere the sheer
exuberance of World Revolves, Noddyland and Judy Over
The Rainbow (yes, a reworking of the Orange classic) and the affecting
Bubble show Corcoran to be a master of the genre. As would benefit most
pop offerings, The Orgone Box might have been a stronger set if the likes
of 'Attitudes' and the meandering Song Formerly Known As Mirrorball
had been relegated to b-side status but, if for the closing classic Ticket
With No Return alone, this is an album destined to become legendary
among the ever-burgeoning legions of power-pop afficionados.
* * * * *
Bucketfull Of Brains
Trapped in some far eastern vault for four years, these extraordinary
recordings have finally been freed to testify that the UK is also capable
of producing real talent! Think Cherry Twister or Jiffipop and multiply
the "Wow" factor by 10 and you'll be somewhere close to the
high echelon that these songs occupy. Rick Corcoran has already attained
legendary status with the Judy Over The Rainbow single that he
released on Chrysalis when he was in Orange. Judy makes a new appearance
in a more stripped down version as does it's wonderful b-side Disposable,
which was a lost classic known only to a few until now.
* * * * *
First there was The GREEN TAMBOURINES - a band formed round the prodigious talents of RICK CORCORAN. They played some memorable gigs around London but their guitar pop was out of step & time with the Acid house, ecstasy driven scene of the early '90s and they split after 18 months.
Shortly after, Rick was offered some studio time based on demos he'd written but the deal involved having a band so he hastily formed ORANGE and this led to Chrysalis Records releasing an amazing EP called Judy Over The Rainbow b/w Disposable & Bed. Cool radio stations picked up on it and it got quite a lot of airplay. Deservedly so, because it was considered by all right thinking Pop fans as being one of the very best records of its kind to come from an English band for a long time. ORANGE also did a couple of radio sessions and played live a few times but internal stresses caused the band to fold shortly afterwards.
Weary of bands and big record labels, Rick went back to making demos helped out by old mates from The Green Tambourines, Tam Johnstone and Tim McTighe. Eventually a small Japanese label got to hear them and very astutely put out an album in 1996 under the name, THE ORGONE BOX. Unfortunately it was only released in Japan and even then it got precious little attention. Whether it was deleted fast or the label went bust is unclear but whatever, it went unnoticed in the big wide world, and Rick's astonishing talent remained unheard.
Through a series of fortuitous chances and not a little searching, Minus Zero has acquired Rick's permission to re-issue this lost album. We consider it to be a Psychedelic Pop masterpiece; not only that, we also want to hear more from the mighty talents of Rick Corcoran and hopefully this re-release will bring that about.
1. HELLO CENTRAL... GIVE ME GANYMEDE
tonight i'll walk around the streets thinking to myself about the hazards of habitual behaviour and then i'll lay between the sheets thinking in my head about a hundred different ways i can blame you i know you need to win freedom within everyday hum drum brain numb life i'm not into psychedelia i've got a psychedelic mind - whatever i suffer from anaesthesia when i look for that winning feeling so hard to find tonight i'll walk around a room thinking very hard about the hassle of the endless introspection it's hardly worth a mention no hum rhythm in the tune a conversation based upon the difference between art and information it's like the brains trust i'm not into memorabilia i've got a photographic mind - whatever i've suffered as life's got easier but i still get that winning feeling from time to time
life is in vain for the boy in the bubble starry is the outside world everything shines serves to remind him love is a game for the boy in the bubble played with a beautiful girl only to find you're deaf dumb and blind to most things and like most things the bubble's getting smaller all the time every day's the same gazing at the outside world through the cellophane gazing at the outside world i've got a brain like the boy in the bubble softer than lemon curd still undefined miles behind in most things and like most things the bubble's getting smaller all the time
|4. THERE'LL ALWAYS BE ATTITUDES
if you want to lead a proper life you've got to listen to the wife a bit you're all night in the pub and you're with your mates and your brain begins to equate with little more than laughing at the size of her tits the thought of her enjoying it you're hungry from the beer for a takeaway you've scrubbed a kitchen out to pay for it but you only have to hear the fella talk and you don't want what you've bought it's nothing short of contempt at the sight of your face we're all from the same place aren't we mate? there'll always will be an england as long as the thinking survives and you're always welcome in england and there'll always be attitudes you need me more than i need you if you want to lead a better life you've got to deal with the strife and the gits you can't be on a downer every day you've got to smile a bit and say you'll blow them all away someday there always will be an england... there will always be an england as long as the thinking survives
if you don't mind don't wear that bikini wear a costume if you wanna be mine don't think that it all happens in the bedroom it's twenty past nine i wanna seduce you there's wendy on the chart show i wish i was blind i wish her neckline was higher than her elbows i'm turning a curve learning to serve like catherine deneuve you bleed me and i'm disposable you need me now but i'm disposable i never thought i'd see the day when i'd say these things to you i didn't want to feel this way but i do you bleed me, and i'm disposable you need me now but i'm disposable i never thought i'd feel this way but i do
|6. WORLD REVOLVES
you wanna fight but you can't make a fist you're getting mad at yourself but you make yourself sick you're tranquilised and you're paralysed and i've realised what you're saying to me is we have to look through your eyes to see and there's nothing left for me - it's crazy please stop turning things around please shut your mouth now all we're hearing all we see is the world revolves around me you wanna fight but you can't make a fist you're getting mad at the world but you make the world sick you're tranquilised and you're evil-eyed and i've realised that you're blind to me if we have to look through your eyes to see there'll be nothing left for me - it's crazy please stop turning things around please shut your mouth now all we're hearing all we see is the world revolves around me
|7. FIND THE ONE
if this is a time for being thoughtful if this is a time when nothing is new if this is a time for being patient why would i spend my time with you? if this is a time for laying your heart on the line and truth find the one you love let them know how much show them how much find the one you love the one who's always there who always cared for you find the one you love if this is a time for being hopeful if this is a time for seeing through (to the other side) if this is a time for being faithful why would i spend my time with you? if this is a time for looking forward not behind find the one you love... if this is a time for laying your heart on the line and truth
|8. GUILT TRIP
i'm looking for something but i don't know what it is the reason i need it? who knows was i happy as a kid? does it show? and if i make do without you i'll always think about you whether you're alive or dead i wish that i'd said goodbye to you but i was too shy to say it now in a way i'm on a guilt trip when i say i'm sorry do i really mean it? i don't know the people who know me say i don't give a shit - it shows and though we were close and mates i feel the hand of fate is on us whether you're alive or dead...
|9. THE SONG FORMERLY KNOWN
hi it's me couldn't leave without a call you had doubts about me i've got my doubts about it all prepare a welcoming back for the hordes as they make their way back from spain i want to go there for the crack they say it's good they say you'll have a lovely day they say it never hardly rains gonna roll it into a mirrorball when i want to feel something wonderful and glittering and real - mirrorball if i should remain ill as a ghost i will follow you around up the hill and then down a bit to the coast to a little seaside town as the surf begins to pound what no welcoming back? for the hordes as they make their way from spain i won't go without you it's a golden future a mirrorball when i want to feel something wonderful and glittering and real - mirrorball
welcome to the show to the show looking through the window welcome to the show to the show can we know there's no tomorrow? why do you tell me? tell me nothing matters at all the earth is a ball we're very small i don't mind i welcome you all to the show - hello i'm not the man of the moment i don't have a message for you i'm not on a holy roller i don't have a lot to say i'm not the man of the moment 'cos no-one can touch me baby no-one can make me feel like the man i should be today - who are you? i don't have a reason for being here i live in a noddyland and my name is big ears i'm not the man of the moment i don't have a message for you i'm not in the music business i say what i say i say i'm not the man of the moment i'm not the man for the day - who are you?
|11. JUDY OVER THE RAINBOW
she said hers was a wonderful world to belong to one that happens exactly the way that your dreams do i said that dreamers dressed in filthy rags lived in plastic bags away she goes like judy over the rainbow smiling and waving look out below it's judy over the rainbow i waited up until 5 o'clock in the morning she showed at 6 hardly in the clothes she was born in she said that dreamers dressed like tramps in drag lived in neil young tracks away she goes like judy over the rainbow... will anyone break her fall? or understand her at all? i thought that dreamers dressed in union flags slept with bleach blonde hags away she goes like judy over the rainbow... with judy i recall nothing seemed bad at all
12. TICKET WITH NO RETURN
i'm getting used to waking up first thing in the morning with the night before descending on my head the thought police have won now i'm just like anyone baby's been crying all night mom and dad fight my sister's been complaining for ages now she's scared stiff of the violence in our uncertain times if you're looking for real concern take me with you girl there's a point of no return i wanna go to not the harsh reality i have to face i belong in a 'stardust' scene adam faith i should have been baby's been crying all night mom and dad fight my sister's been complaining for ages now she's heard things in the silence of her unstable mind get a ticket with what you earn a ticket with no return if you're looking for real concern take me with you girl
i've been down for ages now