Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vinyl Find: Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen - Lost in the Ozone

I found this gem at Webster's Bookstore in State College, Pa. for $8.

Commander Cody was the bandleader and pianist for the Lost Planet Airmen, a demented group that strove to combine rockabilly, country, straight-ahead rock 'n' roll and R&B. The group was known for its energetic live performances; 1971's Lost in the Ozone was its debut release.  Though Cody was the leader, Billy C. Farlow actually handles vocal duties on most of these tracks.

Lost in the Ozone features Chris Frayne's horrifying album cover. Look closely at the left end of the cigar to see the evil music note springing from the smoke.

A quick glance at the back cover reveals that the Lost Planet Airmen had a man named "West Virginia Creeper" playing pedal steel, a dubious distinction.  That's him in the upper lefthand side of the photo.

The star on this album is Commander Cody's own novelty song, "Hot Rod Lincoln." It's a humorous and surprisingly catchy country shuffle about the narrator's Model A hot rod with a Lincoln V8 engine with the memorable chorus of "Son, you're gonna drive me to drinkin'/If you don't stop drivin' that hot rod Lincoln."

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