Two Lost Concept Albums

Back in the 80s - that's the 1980s! - I wrote the lyrics for two concept albums. The first was to be called Children of The Damned; Side One was based on the tale of Frankenstein; Side Two on Dracula. The second concept album was to be called Arthur C. Clarke. I wrote all the words, and made a start on the music, but although I tried to do it all by myself, I really needed some help with this. The music - or a good 95% of it - is probably lost forever, but the incomplete songs, for what they are worth, are listed below together with some notes reconstructed years later.

The last notes I made on these projects were 1996, so the blank spaces I have filled in may not be entirely accurate.

Children Of The Damned

Side One - Prince Of Darkness

Bad Vibrations
Dracula
The Music Of The Dead
Lucy Westenra
Lady Of The Shroud
The Lair Of The White Worm

Side Two - Frankenstein

The Spoken Word (Parts 1 & 2)
Permafrost
The Winter Of Our Discontent
The Wine Dark Sea (Leave Me To The Tundra)

Notes On Prince Of Darkness

The introductory track Bad Vibrations was to be an instrumental. I actually made a decent start on that because it was to be based on a well known piece of classical music (the name of which now eludes me!)

Dracula - this is a slow song, almost in free verse, and related from the viewpoint of Jonathan Harker.

The Music Of The Dead - I wrote the complete lyrics for this, but they are probably lost forever, although the song begins “This is the music of the dead”; it was inspired by a vampire B movie, the title of which I have long since forgotten. In this film, the Count - or whoever - was sitting at the piano, or maybe it was a harpsichord, playing to the damsel. I recall him saying “It is the music of the dead” or “This is the music of the dead”, which I figured was a good starting point.

Lucy Westenra - this begins with the voice of a young boy relating his encounter with “a bloofer lady” as per the book. The rest is lost forever.

Lady Of The Shroud is based rather loosely on The Lady Of The Shroud, another of Stoker's novels. This was I recall, a passably good book, apart from the rather boring letter at the end, and no, she was not a vampire. There is nothing of substance to this song.

The Lair Of The White Worm - a fun track in spite of its theme; I wrote quite a bit of the music for this as it is basically a 12 bar blues - that was back in the days when I could write music! The Lair Of The White Worm was another of Stoker's Gothic horror novels; Lady Arabella would certainly have given the Count a run for his money in the evil stakes.

Three or four years after I wrote this, a film was released based on the book, perhaps a bit surprisingly the only one to date. As I recall, although updated it was reasonably true to the original, but the book is to be preferred.

Notes On Frankenstein

I think I may have missed the moral of Frankenstein, which seems to be about taking responsibility for one's actions. I've always rather fancied that instead it should be never judge a book by its cover, coupled with give a dog a bad name. In spite of his suffering, I've always considered Frankenstein himself to be the real monster in this story.

The Spoken Word (Parts 1 & 2)

I figured having some instrumental background music with this. The first part is, obviously, Frankenstein, who at that point is pursuing the Daemon to the top of the world. The second part is after he succumbs to the cold, and his creation realises how truly empty is his victory.

Those who like this might also like The Alchemist, which I wrote at the same time. Then again...

Permafrost - this appears to have been lost.

Correction! I found
a typed copy of the lyrics on April 9, 2011

The music goes something like this

Curséd be the name of Frankenstein,
 E   E  E  E   E    G  G    F   F

What have I unleased on the world?

D    D    D  D       E   F     E  

Well, something like it! Don't ask me for the time signature!

The Winter Of Our Discontent is a fairly straightforward piece, and brings us to the climax of this modern mini-opera

The Wine Dark Sea (Leave Me To The Tundra)

I figured having some fine axe work on this; the song would run to perhaps ten minutes with an extended middle instrumental section, perhaps orchestrated. Sigh.

Arthur C. Clarke

Part 1

Primaeval Night
Earthlight
Jovian Days
HAL 9000
Man Alone
Rings Of Saturn - instrumental

Part 2
Journey's End (Part 1)
Through The Stargate - instrumental
Journey's End (Part 2)

A Fall Of Moondust

Notes On Arthur C. Clarke

Part 1 would be Side 1; this is largely vocal.

Primaeval Night is the opening sequence from 2001: A Space Odyssey. About the only lyrics I can recall are “Moonwatcher, Moonwatcher, you are the Chosen One”.

Earthlight - not too sure about this, but it definitely had words!

Jovian Days - this is a sort of serenade to the planet Jupiter, also from 2001...

HAL 9000 - the renegade computer sings in a metallic voice. Nothing of this has survived.

Man Alone begins with the chant “David Bowman. David Bowman”.

Rings Of Saturn is instrumental piece; at this point, Bowman is on his way out of the Solar System.

Notes On

Arthur C. Clarke - Part 2
Journey's End (Part 1) - all lost
Through The Stargate - instrumental
Journey's End (Part 2) - all lost

A Fall Of Moondust begins with the words “Maybe in the end, they realise where they went wrong” and ends with

“Falling with the Moondust, the wisdom of the books they burned,
Falling in the Moondust, the wisdom of the books they burned”.

This is based on another Arthur C. Clarke book, which although set on the Moon is not really science fiction.

I think one part of Through The Stargate was to include an allusion to Rendezvous With Rama. I may have even written - or planned to write - a song with that title.

A Fall Of Moondust is more of a tailpiece to the album rather than part of it, if you know what I mean.

*************************

Sydenham,
London

October 14, 2010


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