Weekly Vinyl – The Big Sounds of the Drags

15 Feb

The Big Sounds of the Drags: Volume 2
Jim Economides
(1964)
SONY DSC
Another car racing themed album popped out. I picked this up at a garage sale many years ago. On the cover it promises, “The hottest things on the strip come to life in this thrill-a-second recording!” It is overselling itself. I dosed off listening to the second side. The announcer, although using very dated hyperbole, is very muted. In fact, the whole album is very peaceful. Kind of like white noise. I remember listening to football and hockey on the radio when I was a kid and remember that it was fairly interesting. Listening to this is fascinating in a hipster-ironic kind of way. There are many moments of silence punctuated by engines revving for about eight seconds. Then just the popping and hissing of the album. Unlike watching drag racing on TV (which is a dubious viewing experience anyways), listening to this you have absolutely no idea what is going on. There is no modern context, as 1964, when this album was released, was the very early days of drag racing as an organized competition. Does this album give me the feeling that I’m “there as the top car drivers and mighty engines come screaming past the checkered flag”? No. But I enjoyed the quizzical looks I get from my family as I listened to this.

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