Swallow – Party In Space (1983) (Charlie’s Records SCR 324)

Party In Space
1983 Charlie’s Records SCR 324


King Swallow is a famous Antiguan calypso and soca artist, but I confess that I picked up this album for the cover photo of the first Challenger space shuttle launch.  There is a rumor that when NASA became aware of this album, they tried to sue Swallow for the unauthorized use of a Department of Defense image (now in the public domain, you can see the original below).  They reached a settlement in which NASA received a thousand copies of the album and a promise not to do it again.  The copies were distributed to Challenger team members, and allegedly playing the record during launches became a tradition for the next nine missions.  Hence it is very likely that the sounds of “Party In Space” were last things heard by Challenger crew when it exploded a minute after takeoff in 1986.  You can hear it below.  Musically this is solid early-80’s soca.  But like nearly all soca albums, it probably works best if you drop a song here or there in a mix or a playlist.  Otherwise it can get repetitive.  These LPs were built around whatever song the artist was promoting to be a given year’s mas / carnival road march anthem, after all, so filler is nearly inevitable.

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Haboob – Haboob (1971) (HörZu Black Label / Reprise Records REP 3400)

Haboob – Haboob
1971 Hör Zu Black Label / Reprise Records REP 3400
Made in Germany

This is a rather difficult-to-describe rarity from a group that only made a single record, a trio of ex-pat Americans living in Germany. The driving force is James Jackson who rocks out on Farfisa, Choir Organ, and Hohner Piano. George Green, who also played in the Munich ‘drum orchestra’ band Niagara, gives a drum solo that is actually interesting (I appreciate drum solos in a live setting, when I’m there, but usually find them tedious on records. Continue reading