New Category on Jukebox Heart: Incredibly Strange records

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ARTIST: Recordio One-Off records
TITLE: One of One
TRACK: 10. Eat To LIve
LABEL: Dish Recordings

As the wait for the next full-length podcast continues (Jukebox Heart 015: All We Have Is Kisses), I’m bringing you another single-track category to give even more breadth and depth to Jukebox Heart. This new category takes its name from a book describing films of a similar nature, “Incredibly Strange Movies”. Invariably, the styles of music presented in this category could easily be soundtracks to these movies.

But rather than kicking off this category by brining you an actual ‘strange’ record, I am presenting a really unique compilation of recordings called ‘One of One’. If you are a record collector, you immediately get the joke; for decades, artists and labels strapped for cash have compensated by creating a mystique of highly desirable obscurity and unavailability by labeling their output as ‘limited, numbered edition, 100 copies only’ and so on. In fact, even predating this compilation, one of our favorite labels up in Lowell reportedly canceled a regular release, but released the single test pressing as a limited edition of one.

So, this compilation, ‘One of One’, pushes that to its limit by stating the records documented by this collection existed as single copies only; the owner of which owned the entire, hopelessly obscure edition of one copy.

I am referring, of course, to those objects of a time-gone-by, the recordio-gram. Recordio-grams were blanc discs invented to be recorded in real time by anyone with access to a recording device and then playable on any home record player. They were in commercial use for decades along beachside boardwalks and then for in-home use, as shown on the cover art above, to record sound direct-to-record for loved ones far away. Obviously, the advent of magnetic tape and ultimately of digital optical techniques would render this medium obsolete. Nevertheless, thousands of these historical documents can be found in thrift shops everywhere. These are moments captured in time – letters to loved ones overseas at war, first birthday parties. Taken individually, these are sappy and irrelevant, but you don’t have to be much of a romantic to feel your heart tugging after listening to a collection of them.

I have not been able to find any additional information on this CD, and i am surprised a second volume has not yet appeared. I selected this particular track in the spirit of the Incredibly strange Theme usually posted here, as it is the oddest of the bunch. Given that these were made as single copies, for whom could this possibly have been intended?