In a break from the usual reviews – tis week I have chosen to do something a little different – hope you enjoy it.
I have been a BIG fan of National Lampoon Magazine for years, the movies, not so much, the records… heck yes! The radio series – YEAH!!!!
So when I was gifted a copy of a long sort after The Official National Lampoon Stereo Test and Demonstration Record – I was as happier than a Clark Griswold at Christmas.
Before we proceed I want to say that you have to remember the era that it was made in, and the comedy sensibilities of the time – which these days may offend some people – so be warned there are a LOT of very, VERY big issues with the ‘comedy’ of the album and if you are easily offended – don’t listen to it. Seriously – don’t! Avoid it, go to another post – don’t read on, don’t press play on the youtube links. You have been warned!
The Official National Lampoon Stereo Test and Demonstration Record was released in 1974, in Vinyl (as all good comedy albums should be).
At its core is being a parody of the old stereo test and demonstration records which were used by hi-fi enthusiasts and shop sales teams to test the performance of their audio systems.
The album, liner notes, and booklet were conceived and written by Ed Subitzky. Windy Craig was the producer, and John Hechtman was the sound engineer. The album was voiced by Subitzky, John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Emily Prager. It was narrated by Stan Sawyer.
Below is a recording of the album that I found on YouTube – enjoy.
The tracks are each titled as if they are normal audio test tracks, but in reality each one is a piece of sketch comedy.
But the album does also function as a real stereo test recording. Included with the record is a 32-page booklet entitled The Official National Lampoon Hi-Fi Primer, which is a parody of a hi-fi glossary. It includes real advertisements from stereo equipment manufacturers. Which I am led to believe they actually charged advertisers for to pay for the production of the album – clever!
The liner notes for the album, on the back of the sleeve, stand up as fantastic humour pieces in their own right. After each section of liner notes, the reader is “required” to take a multiple choice test to see if he/she has understood the material. GOLD!
A couple of years ago I found out that they actually did a car audio version too -it was on cassette- see the you tube link below:
The Official National Lampoon Stereo Test and Demonstration Record is a great listen, and shows what was considered comedy in the 70’s. And some of the sketches where extensions of pieces from the National Lampoon Radio Show – which I can highly recommend too.
I enjoyed it – but wanted more from it – but that’s because I have wanted to get a copy for so long that I may have imagined what it was going to be like.