Poe through the Glass Prism
February 15, 2011 7:58 AM   Subscribe

In 1969, a psychedelic rock group from around Scranton, PA released an album featuring lyrics by Edgar Allan Poe.

Poe Through the Glass Prism featured 11 songs with lyrics taken from Poe poems (some abridged). "The Raven" / "Eldorado" was released as a single.

Track listing:
1. The Raven (poem)
2. To- (poem)
3. To One in Paradise (poem)
4. Eldorado (poem)
5. The Conqueror Worm (poem)
6. A Dream Within a Dream (poem)
7. “The Happiest Day, The Happiest Hour” (poem)
8. Alone (poem)
9. Beloved (.wma) (poem "To F-")
10. Hymn (poem)
11. A Dream (poem)

The band was formed as the El Caminos in 1960, and signed to RCA on a two-album contract in 1968, changing their name to The Glass Prism.
"Finally, in 1968 we began work on The Edgar Allan Poe project. Word spread to producer Gene Weiss and Mort Lewis. Mort managed Simon and Garfunkle, B,S&t, Dave Bruback, and now us. The name change to The Glass Prism suited the concept and the album "Poe Through The Glass Prism" was born. RCA signed us immediately. Les Paul was hired as our engineer and the album was recorded in three days and released weeks later in 1969." - Tom Varano, founder

The Glass Prism put out a second album the next year, entitled On Joy and Sorrow, featuring original tracks.
In 1971, the band broke up and three of the former members formed Shenandoah. Shenandoahs' recordings are available to download on the band's site along with several Glass Prism tracks. Shenandoah disbanded in 1976, but has recently been reunited.

A 56-minute documentary was also filmed about the band, On Joy & Sorrow - The Glass Prism Story. (trailer) It has been screened at a few film festivals.
An interview with guitarist & founder Tom Varano.
posted by Gordafarin (6 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Also of note, The Alan Parsons Project's Tales of Mystery and Imagination.
posted by timsteil at 8:03 AM on February 15, 2011

Please tell me Joe Biden played lead tambourine.
posted by hackly_fracture at 8:24 AM on February 15, 2011

Tangentially: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKYvdvSs8n8, Max Fleischer's 1942 riff on The Raven.
posted by mwhybark at 8:45 AM on February 15, 2011

Easier than making up your own lyrics, for one thing. Which I do not mean to sound as snarky as you might think. There's piles and piles of crap lyrics out there, even from good bands.
posted by IndigoJones at 8:51 AM on February 15, 2011

Totally read that as "In 1971, the band broke up and three of the former members formed Sebadoh."
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:27 AM on February 15, 2011

Oh sure, but they were no HP Lovecraft
posted by lumpenprole at 10:56 AM on February 15, 2011

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