Song Of The Day 8/10/2016: Claude Denjean – “Lay Lady Lay”
The Moog Synthesizer, this incredible and new electronic musical wonder, has had an uneven ride on records, especially in the popular field. Effectively used on two great-selling albums (Switched-on Bach and The Well-Tempered Synthesizer), the Moog served the classics as a kind of musical duplicator, that is, reproducing and imitating the sound of real instruments. In the "pop" field it has been a fairly different story. Most often used as a gimmick for the odd effect, the Moog has not fully come into its own in the popular field. This may be due to the Moog's personality: it speaks with strength, it doesn't care to be in the background and if used improperly it completely overshadows everything else that is going on. On this LP Claude Denjean comes to terms with the problem by giving the Moog its rightful place in a fair exchange between synthesizer and orchestra.
Well, I believe that you believe. Short of Stevie Wonder and Pete Townshend, who somehow managed to give the Moog contours of humanity while conceding the fact that it's plugged in, nobody was ever able to naturalize the Moog in the same room as cellos. Just on that basis I would say Denjean wasn't quite able to pull it off (though I like his version of "Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)" better than anybody else's). In the end, though, I guess it's no weirder to shoehorn the Moog into a background of organics than it is to try and make Bob Dylan a sexytime crooner. So it evens out. Or compounds the problem. Whatever. It's the thought that counts.