July 31, 2006
CHEVY SHOWROOM MUSIC 1972
It should be of no surprise that listening to vintage music is a favorite pastime of mine. I've also noticed that there's something extra fun about music that was never intended for consumer use. I have a number of recordings that were meant to be played during a certain time, in a certain place and then discarded. This is an ephemeral favorite of mine.. it's a record that Chevrolet distributed to their dealers called Building a better way to see the U.S.A. Music. Here's a description from the back of the jacket...
"Looking for a happy, encouraging sound- listen to this complimentary record. It's the theme music taken from the '72 Announcement meeting. We encourage you to share this happy sound with your showroom visitors. It's all part of a great new advertising campaign that will be seen and listened to by your prospects in the next few months...a better way to sell Chevrolets."
(The record is only a half hour long, so the salespeople could potentially hear it up to sixteen times a day. And hopefully they had a record player that could restart automatically.)
The LP opens with a vocal track that's all about the vastness and diversity of the United States...
"It's a land that's made from differences
but where all the edges touch
from the Mormons out in Utah
to the Pennsylvania Dutch"
After some hopeful introductory music there are a couple tracks dedicated to Chevy history (musical stylings that are synonymous with black and white footage of jalopies spouting smoke). These finally lead into the relaxed beat of the "modern" showroom. The remainder of the album consists of distinct variations of the main theme, each representing a different Chevy model. From easy going ditties for the Station Wagon, Nova, and Monte Carlo to the sophisticated melodies of the Impala and the Caprice (which is seen on the cover). Naturally the Corvette and Camero are musically portrayed with brassy excitement. The El Camino music is particularly interesting because it's your standard, twangy "chase music" that brings Smokey and the Bandit to mind. Are they implying that the El Camino is the ultimate getaway car?
The scene on the cover is actually pretty inspiring even though the "family" is so ridiculously staged. Like action figures, everyone has their own accessory.. and little Billy had to bring his baseball mitt to the mountains.
This is one of my favorite records and I've always thought it would make perfect road trip music. So I finally took the time to convert it into highly portable MP3s. I see that this album is being offered for 200 bucks on a rare vinyl web site (I paid one dollar at a thrift store). Save yourself the expense and just download it here...
Download via Mediafire: HERE
Size: 41.7 meg
Run time: 29.5 min
Bit Rate: 192 kbps