Before we begin, please check out my previous post containing not one, but two LPs featuring the music of Hawaii.
With that done, I’ve turned up another vinyl record exploiting the phenomenon that was Polynesia with it’s culture and music. This pressing is from 1967. Hawaii became a State in 1959.
Is this album all about Hawaii? Not really. Is this album all about Frank Chacksfield and his Orchestra? Nope. It’s really all about Phase 4 Stereo. How do we know? Well, cutting off the beautiful Hawaiian dancer’s head with a number 4 shape on the cover kind of tells us the focus the producers had in mind!
And including a 1,000-word essay about the history of the many phases of stereo, with a funky diagram no less, also tells us that the producers thought people would buy this album for the technology used in its recording no matter what music was pressed on the vinyl. I think that takes promotion for what is essentially a behind-the-scenes product a bit too far!
Francis Charles Chacksfield (9 May 1914 – 9 June 1995) was an English pianist, organist, composer, arranger, and conductor of popular light orchestral easy listening music. He had great success in Britain and internationally in the 1950s and early 1960s but was active with releases after that time period.
His version of the Hawaiian War Chant is recognizable but very heavy on the orchestration compared to more traditional Hawaiian cuts, similar to the version performed by the house band for Pickwick International. You can hear that version here (“No, the other here!”) for comparison. Now hear it with about 100 more instruments, and… here we go:
I’m not hatin’ it! Even if you are not a connoisseur of fine Hawaiian music, I’m sure you will recognize the Hawaiian War Chant. If you’re a Disney fan and enjoy the Enchanted Tiki Room attraction, then you have definitely heard it before!
We have to wait until the back cover to get the complete image of the Hawaiian dancer and a little bit of text about the Islands and their music. Remember, this album was put out primarily to showcase Phase 4 technology! And who cares about the drummer? No one, apparently.
I like picking these old LPs up for the album covers and often corny copy they contain. It’s an interesting look back on how cultures were represented to the world before Cultural Appropriation and Cancel Culture were the buzz words of the day!