1973: the sexual revolution was on, streaking was taking college campuses by storm, and Deep Throat was edging pornography ever closer to the mainstream. Against this backdrop, a talented New York band with the unlikely moniker of Pool-Pah teamed up with up-and-coming singer-songwriter, musician, and arranger Rupert Holmes to write and record an unforgettably far-out soundtrack blending rock, psychedelia, jazz, prog, pop, and electronica. It had to be heard to be believed...and far too few heard it. That all changes tomorrow, when Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music release our wildest title yet.
The soundtrack was to an X-rated film initially called Forbidden Under Censorship of the King (Get it? Think acronym...) which was quickly retitled The Flasher. The movie, directed by Barry Kerr and featuring adult film superstar Harry Reems (Deep Throat), even inspired a first-of-its-kind theatrical concert at New York's Beacon Theatre. But when the brass at Paramount Pictures affiliate Greene Bottle Records got wind of the fact that Pool-Pah's debut album was, in fact, the soundtrack to a porno, promotion stopped and the album disappeared. Rupert Holmes, of course, went on to score the final No. 1 hit of the 1970s and one of the first of the 1980s with his timeless "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" and forge careers as a best-selling mystery novelist and Tony Award-winning playwright and songwriter. The members of Pool-Pah - lead singer/multi-instrumentalist Lenie Colacino, bassist/trumpeter Bruce Handelman, guitarist/saxophonist Seth Handelman, guitarist Billye Arrington, and drummer Rick Stabile - went their separate ways, though many remained active in music. Over time, the cult reputation of Pool-Pah's The Flasher rightfully grew.
Grammy winner Beck famously featured The Flasher in a 2001 Vanity Fair feature (calling it "a Superfly version of electronic music for plants") while the hypnotic Holmes-penned groove "Sour Soul" became a favorite sample of hip-hop artists including Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, and Big Sean on "O.T.T.R." in 2011. Now, in time for its 50th anniversary, Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music are proud to expose The Flasher in its first-ever reissue in any format.
This incredible soundtrack may be the best album you've never heard. It recalls The Beatles and The Bee Gees one minute, and Shaft and Superfly the next. It's filled with memorable songs written, individually and collectively, by the band members and Rupert Holmes, all crafted in the spirit of the anything-goes era in which they were recorded. (Jeff Mitchell plays the "magic ARP" and Rupert is heard on keyboards and clarinet!)
The Flasher returns to vinyl as sourced from the pristine original tapes housed in the Universal vault. The LP features a four-page insert with rare photos and brand-new liner notes by The Second Disc's Joe Marchese drawing on interviews with Lenie Colacino and Rupert Holmes and the participation of Bruce Handelman, Seth Handelman, and Billye Arrington. John Sellards has designed the new package which incorporates and replicates the original album artwork. It's been pressed on "night sky" (black with white swirl) vinyl at Gotta Groove Records.
If you like spacey synths, heavy guitars, funky rhythms, and just-plain-great songs and vocals (piña coladas don't hurt, either!), come with us and escape. Pool-Pah's ultra-rare soundtrack to The Flasher is no longer forbidden. Look for it tomorrow at the links below! An exclusive creamsicle-colored variant is available now from Mondo! And don't miss out: Rupert Holmes has autographed a very limited quantity of LPs which are available now directly from Real Gone Music!
Pool-Pah, The Flasher: Original Soundtrack Recording (Greene Bottle Records GBS-1008, 1973 - reissued Real Gone Music/Second Disc Records RGM-1532, 2023) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Real Gone Music)
- Winter in April's Eyes
- Sour Soul
- Laughter and Pain
- Two Way Road
- April Witch
- Flasher Theme