Alan Jefferson's one man, self-made space opera, Galactic Nightmare
September 12, 2016 3:05 PM   Subscribe

Alan Jefferson was inspired: he had heard War of the Worlds and wanted to make his own space epic, and he did, between 1979-1984, in his shed ("AJ Studios") in Hull. He wrote and played the music, wrote the story, narrates the story, sings the songs, made all the artwork, the poster, the storyfile etc. He started selling cassette copies of Galactic Nightmare in 1986 in the back of magazines such as C U Amiga and Future Music, but faded from view, with a few copies being traded by friends. Then a recording made its way to Trunk Records, who have now re-released the album, which you can now hear in full on YouTube.
posted by filthy light thief (14 comments total) 61 users marked this as a favorite
Yeeeeeeeeeees. I love Galactic Nightmare and was delighted when they finally released it officially a while back.

Alan Jefferson deserves so much credit for making it, which was emphatically not an easy thing to do in your own home at the time. Is it a bit raw and cheesy? Absolutely. But there's no finer testament to just doing something for passion and the sake of it out there than this album.
posted by garius at 3:12 PM on September 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

I originally read this as Allen Iverson (I guess because of the recent NBA HoF induction?). That would certainly have been something.
posted by oddman at 4:12 PM on September 12, 2016

This completely bonkers and holy shit, I love it.
posted by Sokka shot first at 4:49 PM on September 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is so great. Like a better, legit-outsider, Ariel Pink. The first song in Pt. 3 could be a Kevin Ayers song. THere's a keyboard part in the first song on Pt. 4 that sounds like Timmy Thomas. So many great interpolations and extrapolations. Bruce Haack meets Port Said meets loner, bedroom New Wave. AND the artwork!
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 7:17 PM on September 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

WHEEEE! Thank you!
posted by LuckyMonkey21 at 7:25 PM on September 12, 2016

i forgot to throw in Delia Derbyshire and Wendy Carlos.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 7:28 PM on September 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

This is awesome. I've only completed part 1, though.

The guy apparently gave up his musical career, but there's not much information about him around. Does anyone know what he did later? Is he still alive?
posted by Harald74 at 4:19 AM on September 13, 2016

Sounds as if he is, or at least was when they did the reissue:

Fast forward to 2014, and Stewart Lee ... found an old advert and sent it over. To start with Jonny could not find any more information out about the album or Alan Jefferson, the creative man behind the whole thing. So, he wrote to the address on the 1986 advert, and two days later Alan got in touch. This 2 LP Galactic Nightmare release is the result.
posted by rory at 5:23 AM on September 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

Holy hot hysterical shit

this is the best thing
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 7:45 AM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

The six and a half minute into music in part one made me forget that I was listening to . . . something other than a piece of music.
So, listening to this, I am experiencing it more like Machover's opera of Valis than a radio play of the book.
I have no idea what I am supposed to glean from this, but I am enjoying it.
posted by Seamus at 8:33 AM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also, the further I get in, I like that he was inspired by WotW.
So many people would have made something derivative and this is so not that!
posted by Seamus at 8:41 AM on September 13, 2016

From the second link:

Galactic Nightmare consequently tends to sound more original than the material it copies, resulting in a blend of pop culture and folk art that is both authentic and derivative at the same time.

I feel like much great "cult" art lies at that intersection between pop and folk. I hadn't thought of it that way and I like the observation. I started out expecting to listen to the first couple tracks to have a laugh, but I listened to the whole thing through and came away really impressed and entertained.

The magnitude of creativity that goes into something like this is powerfully inspiring.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 12:07 PM on September 13, 2016

As someone who played an incidental part in passing this around in its underground days (Dave Green and I would play it to anyone who would listen), I'm so so happy it finally got the vinyl double-album treatment.

I will also lobby anyone within earshot about how perfect it would be as a stage musical.
posted by ntk at 1:54 PM on September 13, 2016

Wow, this is quite good! I would have not heard about this except for MeFi, and I have a friend who is a huge Wendy Carlos fan, so you'd think he'd have turned me on to this by now!
posted by dreamling at 10:02 AM on September 14, 2016

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