AFRTS – Simple Gifts
Remember last week when I shared that Relaxation and Self-Hypnosis album I stumbled across? Well, I think at the time I called it one of the weirder LPs I’ve ever heard. And then, like, a day later, ‘A Simple Gift’ found its way into my life when I was processing a record collection at work. Holy shit, you guys, this one is out there.
As best I can tell, this double-record set was intended by Armed Forces Radio and Television Services to be a therapeutic tool for soldiers. Like the kind of messages you would transmit to soldiers in the field to help them overcome the stress of warfare. Each track ends in a locked groove so it was impossible for those broadcasting these messages to play a full album all the way through.
Track two, “I Am A Number” is really fucked up. The heavy breathing, the deliberate delivery, it’s truly unsettling. I think it’s an anti-drug message, but the verses are just so macabre I can’t understand how this would settle frayed nerves. Speaking first about cockroaches, I guess in some dingy shooting gallery, the voice intones “And finally creeping across the dresser to bathe in a glass of bloody water, next to an eyedropper and needle. Two glassine bags torn and empty, and a bottle top still containing traces of yesterday’s hope. There is no more. The door is locked. The bed is cold. And I…I am a number.” Now go out there and win that war, solider!
On the Gatefold Sleeve (click here to enlarge) you get a great description of each of the tracks’ intended purposes (???). For example, on “Show Me My Door” we are told, “How grand is that moment when a crushed brother finds the way to rise beyond himself and the hurts of this world…the way that leads to freedom.” I know guys, right?
Anyways, I could write about all the messages, all the music, and all the weirdness contained in these grooves, but I’d rather you experience it all for yourself. This one’s just-plain bizarre. Just look at the cover? Isn’t it the most uplifting album artwork you’ve ever seen!?
Armed Forces Radio & Television Servies
MediaFire DL Link
01. The Sea
02. I Am A Number
03. His Childish Face Grown Old Too Soon
04. Look To This Day
05. I Pity The Drunk
06. Who Has Woe?
07. Good Old Days
08. The Committee
09. The Door
11. Show Me My Door
12. Beggars On Church Steps
13. Hearts Unlovely And Unloved
14. Don’t Be Angry
15. Who Is Man?
16. Simple Gift
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