Mallman on Moog

Categories: Obituary
bob moog.jpg
In honor of synthesizer pioneer Bob Moog, who died on Sunday, August 19, we asked local keyboard hero Mark Mallman for some thoughts on Moog and a list of his favorite Moog-driven or Moog-accented recordings. Here's what he came up with:

My father took me to a dusty garage just off the Milwaukee River when I was 12 years old. "Your cousin Randy has a synthesizer in here, if you want it," he said. On a card table was a white spaceship of a keyboard called a Moog CDX. This Moog could have been my first synth, but in 1985, analog was on the outs. I bought a Casio instead. Regrets, I've had a few..., and that decision goes in my top 10 list.

Ever go to Texas and order a Coke? But in Texas a Coke can mean any soda at all, grape or whatever. That's how essential Moog has become in the vocabulary of rock. When I'm in a session, producing or whatever, and someone says, "Let's put some Moog on it," that means the whirring of electrons in a musical phrase, the fat analog of tubes and circuits pulsing waveforms, square and triangular. A person may chuckle at the bygone imagery suggested by the word, but those associations become fewer as trends fade and truths remain steadfast. That truth being that Bob Moog is as pivotal to the keyboard as Les Paul is to the guitar, or Colonel Sanders to Fried Chicken.

Below is a list of what I feel to be essential albums in the history of (the) Moog, from 1969 through 1980:

The Beatles, Abbey Road (1969)
Dick Hyman, Moog, The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman (1969)
Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, self titled (1970)
A Clockwork Orange, original score by Wendy Carlos (1971)
Yes, Close to the Edge (1972)
Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
Tangerine Dream, Phaedra (1974)
Kraftwerk, "Autobahn" (1974)
Brian Eno, Another Green World (1975)
Jean Michel Jarre, Oxygene (1977)
Gary Numan, Telekon (1980)


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