Halley's Comet: The Complete Adventure (PAM, 1985)


Turns out, the COMPLETE ADVENTURE is a postage stamp's worth of information, and synthesizers.

Some records can be very rare AND a huge disappointment, all at the same time.  But first, a little story.  

When I was a kid, I took educational summer classes for a summer or two (they were trying to get me out of the house, obviously).  You were allowed to choose from a short list of topics, at least, and small me chose "photography" (skills and knowledge which, of course, are now completely worthless for me, in modern times), "the abacus" (big mistake...completely forgot I hated math...also, extremely obsolete, even then), and a thing called "Halley's Comet."  There was a big hoopla about it returning the following year.  It only was visible every 76 years, and people generally got one shot at seeing it in their lifetimes.  It was going to be a big deal and change life as we knew it.  

The short answer was:  it was a huge dud.  In fact, even Wikipedia says that 1986 was the worst appearance of the comet in the history of the universe, because of lots of factors.  It was pretty much a waste of time, from the ground anyway.

This record is part of that excitement built up around the event, and as previously stated, it's also a huge disappointment, much like the comet itself.  There is hardly a postcard's worth of information on Side One, which is spaced out (pun not intended) a sentence at a time, and intoned creepily over a synthesizer soundtrack that goes wildly all over the place, from "fanfare," to quiet, to loud, to everything in between, like it was composed to accompany something else entirely, and then got used for this.  So much so that the entirety of Side Two is the synthesizer score again, this time by itself...because we have nothing else to say about the comet, anyway.  [This is random, but it reminds me of the English dubs of ULTRA 7 that used to air on TNT, which also added a hyperactive synthesizer score, which actually detracted from the show you were trying to watch.  Just in case anyone else had that same experience!]

What they should have done was make a record of angry people's comments who fell for the hype, and yet never saw the actual Halley's Comet at all.  That would've been far more interesting to hear.

Halley's Comet: The Complete Adventure

P.S.:  Oh, and the record actually came with a "Star Tracker" dial thingy, which was actually well-made.  It has much more information than the actual recording itself.  I can only assume this record was sold in science museums, because there is no bar code, and I imagine selling this in an actual record store would've caused looting and riots.

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