The Best of Retrospace (Part 3)

NOTICE: I have stopped updating these "Best of" pages, so none contain posts beyond July 2009.  This is due primarily to the fact that it is time consuming, but also because Retrospace is fairly easily navigated without the need for a "Best of" page to assist readers.  I decided to leave these pages up because I figured they aren't hurting anything or costing me anything - so why not?


So, by all means, scan around the "Best of" pages, but please be sure to check in at retrospace. We're sure to have some new stuff you'd like! 

The Best of Retrospace (Part 1)


The Best of Retrospace (Part 2)


Retrospace Christmas Posts


About Retrospace


Retrospace Blog



The Carpenters Make Contact

"Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" has to be one of the strangest and most interesting songs in history. Why, you ask? Let me count the ways. 




Depressing Songs of the Seventies

The 1972 hit "Alone Again (Naturally)" by Gilbert O'Sullivan is without question the most depressing song ever recorded. It describes the singer's plans to commit suicide and goes on to describe in excruciating detail the death of his parents. The rhythm is so plodding and downtempo that it would be devastating without a single word being sung.


The Kids Super Power Hour

The Kids Super Power Hour featured animated segments ("Hero High") integrated with the lame live performances. Now, I know the show was intended for children, so perhaps their lameness can be forgiven. But it's still fun to watch. Here's a couple odd and interesting things about the show.



The Ventriloquist and the JFK Assassination

The biggest oddity surrounding this album is not the strangeness of the record, but Beverly herself. Many believe she is actually the Babushka Lady.


Sex, Drugs and Custom Vans

Forgot how omnipresent adult themes were in the 70's? Look no further than the custom van culture that bloomed in the latter half of the decade. The 1977 film, The Van, and its theme song, "Chevy Van" are perfect time capsules of a time when attitudes towards sex were overt and uninhibited. Let's face it, the vans were customized for two, and only two, purposes: loose sex and drug abuse.

The Top 6 Horror Board Games


Retrospace Takes a Look at Frankenstein

It all began with a meeting in 1816 between friends Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, Percy Bysshe Shelley and that ladies man, Lord Byron. Who would have imagined that the novel inspired from that fateful gathering would still be an object of cultural significance almost 200 years later!
Here's the official retrospace favorite pop culture Frankensteins.


Shirly MaClaine, Her Daughter and Pazuzu

Shirley MacLaine has a couple suprising connections to The Exorcist - and here they are.






 Dynamite Remembered

magazine - the greatest magazine for 70s kids bar none. What made it so great? Let me count the ways.

The Legend of the Screaming Funk Model

The legend goes that the girl featured on the fold-out cover of their Honey album was brutally murdered. Her screams can be heard at the beginning of their song "Love Rollercoaster



Cheesecake Album Covers of Yesteryear

Take a look at your dad's (or grandpa's) old record collection. You'll find lots of cheesy stuff worthy of Lawrence Welk, maybe a lounge singer or maestro of the Hammond organ. What you'll begin to notice is these records were pretty heavy handed with the cheesecake. Here's a look at some of them.


Celebrity Albums

Let's take a brief tour through some interesting examples of celebrities who've attempted a career in music.





Maybe Going Shirtless Wasn't Such a Good Idea

I like Telly Savalas. I'm a fan of his television and film work, and even like his music, so I mean no disrespect... but what the hell? This is just wrong. Here's a look at Kojak and others who should have kept their shirts buttoned.



The Boo Tube: Halloween on TV

Here's a few notable Halloween moments from TV history.



The Rise and Fall of the Mini Skirt

I was interested to learn that many believe that hemlines rise during economic prosperity and fall during economic decline. That prompted me to do a little looking around to get a brief background on the ups and downs of the hemline.




Robots Are Making Love to Our Women

Well, they haven't yet. But if comics, magazines, TV and movies are any indication, it's just a matter of time before these metallic Romeos start moving in on the ladies big time.



Spreading the Love for Land of the Lost

To give those unfamiliar with LOTL a taste of its greatness, let's take a look at a random episode, "Elsewhen", and let's have a quick rundown of all the reasons the show was so great.




The Shagadelic Mojo of The Silencers


A review and commentary on a great Dean Martin film.






The Brady Bunch Variety Hour

Remember The Brady Bunch Variety Hour? I just watched it for the millionth time and can't get enough of its campy goodness. It's somehow wonderfully delightful and horrifyingly strange at the same time. Nothing on TV has ever exhibited this level of badness and still been good, if you get my meaning. I'll spare you the history (that's what Wikipedia is for), and cut right to the weirdness...



The 1950s were definitely the decade of gross artery clogging food - I wasn't alive back then, but judging by the food advertising and published recipes from this era, the food was downright hideous. What was on the menu? How about a little Ketchup Pistachio Cake, maybe some Meat Pie with Meat Crust, or how about some Baked Peppers with Creamy Marshmallow Sauce? Gag!

When Truckers Were Cool

Ask some kids what they want to be when they grow up, chances are none of them will say a "trucker". Back in the 70s it was a different story - truckers were idolized by adults and kids alike. The Boomers had found that life in the work force wasn't exactly living up to their freewheelin' hippie expectations. However, the truckers still weren't tied down and roamed free on the highways like a drifter who didn't have to answer to "the man". Truckers were the last anti-establishment figure who didn't even have to answer to the government - no roadblock was big enough to stop a convoy!



The Dark Underbelly of the 1971 Doris Day Special

Well, I rented the Doris Day Special (1971) hoping for a little light-hearted nostalgic bliss, but instead it got me thinking about horrible things like Charles Manson and AIDS. I know you're probably thinking Gilligan has finally lost his grip on reality. On the contrary, I assure you that I am in full control of my senses. Bear with me as I walk you through it...


Respect the Jart

Can your mind comprehend a more deadly toy than a weighted spear that kids hurl through the air like a missile? No one ever obeyed the actual manufacturer's rules, we just flung these damn things everywhere. As Radar puts it: "You threw them. They stuck where they landed. If they happened to land in your skull, well, then you should have moved."

A Homage to Bad VHS Tapes

Remember when VHS and Beta first came out? The video stores that arrived on the scene were often tiny little rat holes that smelled like pot and body odor.

Reflections on Contempory Music (and Why It Sucks)...

Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston have been there and done that. Move on. No more of this nonsense - not on American Idol, not while you're singing the National Anthem, not ever! You are fracturing words into a soulless slur of syllables.



The 1970s were DYN-O-MITE!

There was something about the 1970s and the word "dynamite" (or its alternate groovier spelling "dyn-o-mite") that just went hand in hand. It was in a catch phrase, a movie, a magazine, a reggae band, a van accessory - it seemed we couldn't get enough of this eight-lettered word.







When Work Was Groovy


I always suspected it was a lot better to work back in the sixties and early seventies than today. Don't give me that "times were tough" garbage - I was there (I was still wearing footie pajamas, but I was there). Back then, a man could work at Walgreen's selling aquarium gravel all day and still earn a living wage - now it takes three jobs and a Capital One credit card to do that.



Let's Scare Jessica to Death


Just watched the 1971 film Let's Scare Jessica to Death and wanted to spread the good word. Here's a list of ten reasons why this film is do damn good.







Favorite Censored Album Covers

The title of this post speaks for itself. Here's a few of my favorite records with censored covers.

Lust for Lowbrow
In the 1970's, the working class was king. The entire decade was basically a celebration of blue collar culture: custom vans, CB's, southern rock, trucker movies, denim clothing, rednecks both real (Billy Carter) and imagined (Dukes of Hazzard), tube tops, beer, and Burt Reynolds.



Remembering Night Flight

 While the rest of mankind uses A.D. and B.C. to divide history, I prefer to use BNF and ANF - before and after Night Flight.

Okay, not really. But it was an important show - it introduced a variety of music and movies that would otherwise have gone completely beneath the radar for most Americans. It was a beautiful thing...