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Ken NordineAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Colors + 7 Classic Albums - Ken Nordine + Transparent Mask
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 9, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Asphodel Records
  • ASIN: B000001PAI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,297 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Olive
2. Lavender
3. Burgundy
4. Yellow
5. Green
6. Beige
7. Maroon
8. Ecru
9. Chartreuse
10. Turquoise
11. White
12. Flesh
13. Azure
14. Puce
15. Magenta
16. Orange
17. Purple
18. Muddy
19. Russet
20. Amber
See all 34 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

The voice-over man from a thousand commercials, Ken Nordine registers in your subconscious instantly: Wait, I know that guy! Smooth as an ice sculpture and ringing with "the voice of our sponsor," Nordine has personified authority since the 1960s. It's disorienting at first to hear the way Nordine lets go on this record with a Beat-inspired, mellifluous-sounding, Dr. Seuss-like exploration of the meanings of different colors. Many of the pieces are parables on racism and human behavior, but they're also totally silly, and meant to be. Recorded in the late 1960s, the 34 tracks manage to be sort of psychedelically goofy but charming at the same time. "Absolute gray is the grayest gray / That's the same distance from absolute white as it is from absolute black," Nordine almost-sings to a delightful, freeform studio backing of hip jazz. All your mix tapes will be very happy that you've bought this strange record to flavor them with. --Mike McGonigal

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Ken Nordine's free-form associations on the topic of colors is delivered in a soothing, smoky 50's jazz-lounge voice and set to a busy jazz accompanyment. This is a real treasure for anyone who is interested in spoken word, psychadelia, beat poetry, advertising copywriting, radio advertising, and even graphic design. This guy is the mad master of visual metaphor. Buy it !!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the beginning, or long before that. January 19, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Ken Nordine was commisioned by a paint company to write several commercials about colors. He recorded the spoken word ads backed by free form jazz. The commercials got so much acclaim, that he decided to record an album where he redid the spots (without mentioning the name of the paint company this time), adding many more colors. All the pieces are around a minute and a half long. Some of the tracks can be taken as social commentary, but most of them are just Nordine having fun saying whatever a particular color makes him think of. The CD adds ten bonus tracks to the original album, for a total of 34 (Nordine says he recorded 44 in all). This is a fun album, if you like music that is a little "out there".
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Ken is a true original, blending the lost arts of true storytelling with wit, pathos and sheer idiotic charm. He is above all others, a master wordsmith and poet.
I saw this artist perform live in London at Laurie Anderson's 'Meltdown festival 1997'. If you EVER get the chance to see some of this work performed live, with Ken backed by his orchestra or Jazz artists, then do so, It will be like nothing you expect. OK - i'll try... Imagine William S Boroughs crossed with Ivor Cutler by way of.... er..... Hong Kong Phooey? ... and you 're still nowhere near it....
The Colurs album should be sampled randomly and in bite sized amounts.... be patient and the silliness will slowly infect your soul... When you are ready, check out Word Jazz Vol 1 for a taste of the bigger Nordeine picture..
Finally, if Volume two ever surfaces, can someone send me a copy?
Pick a colour, any colour and smile..
My personal choices are , Beige, Puce, Russet, maroon and Orange....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "There's the month of June....MAROON." July 28, 2007
By arb
Format:Audio CD
This album truly is weird as heck, but man, I love it anyway.

"Colors" is a strange little jewel of a relic from the mid-1960s, featuring the deep-voiced Ken Nordine reading groovy poetry over jazzy instrumentals. Each, (if you can call them that?) is about half a minute long and tells a little story about every color imaginable, from Black and White to Azure, Beige, and Muddy. Many of the colors are personified: Olive and Russet are trendy hipsters, Puce suffers from low self-esteem, Crimson is a bit of a psychopath. Other songs, such as "Flesh" and "Gold" are witty social commentary.

One of my favorite things about "Colors" is that the tracks can be used to add something pleasantly surreal and unexpected to mix CDs and iPod playlists.

But this is definitely an album to own, not just download from the Internet--because to truly appreciate the "Colors" experience, you've also got to have the album art, which features a bizarre gameboard and plenty of pop-art illustrations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Burgundy is FAT." August 25, 2013
Format:Audio CD
If an even more gleefully askew Dr. Seuss had been a declaiming poetry in a 1950s coffeehouse with a few jazz musicians providing background, it might have sounded a lot like this delightful album by Ken Nordine. He hits just the right note between clever wordplay & whimsy, always enjoyable & often providing some interesting food for thought. In pieces like "Lavender" & "Burgunday" his rich, sensuous voice evokes rich mind pictures, complete with unfinished narratives like mysterious fairy tales. In others like "Flesh" & "Gold" he presents wry social commentary, never too heavy for the occasion, but always striking a note of acknowledgement in the listener. I've found that this album stands up to many replayings, clearly removing it from the narrow niche of "gimmick" & firmly establishing it as the classic it is -- highly recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ken Nordine's "Colors" July 2, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I was first introduced to this recording in the 60's when Ken sent me a tape preview of this fascinating album. Over the years I lost the tape and missed his magnificent voice describing the very essence of each color so vividly you could "see" them dance inside your mind! Now I can finally relive the experience with this new album!!

Cullen Newman
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ken Nordine is the coolest. October 20, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I heard Ken Nordine on the radio when I was very young, but did not know who it was. As an adult I searched music catalogues until I discovered that Voice again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Ken's so cool
This is Ken Nordine we're talking about. What's not to love? I do like his longer form pieces better (hence the four stars not five) but this one is full of short and snappy stuff. Read more
Published on November 8, 2010 by J. Levy
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius
I have only recently been introduced to Ken Nordine and since them moment i listened to "Colors" I've been preaching its glories to all around. Read more
Published on March 28, 2005 by Ted Hughes
3.0 out of 5 stars Psychedelic And Pretentious
I have no idea whether to give this CD one or five stars, because it is wholly based on what vantage point you approach this thing from, so in the end it gets three. Read more
Published on July 22, 2004 by Robert I. Hedges
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasing pallette of punnery addressing social woes.
Ken Nordine's powerful anti-racism statement didn't quite explode like the loaded paint ball that it was supposed to. Read more
Published on October 27, 2000 by Brandon Douglas-Sterling Hatch
5.0 out of 5 stars The crazy ol' color that lives next to Red...
The cover promises 'a sensuous listening experience', and the promise is kept. Not only do you see the color in question before you, you also feel its texture and personality, it's... Read more
Published on October 22, 2000 by Tore T. Nielsen
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a SPOKEN WORD album about COLORS by THAT VOICE GUY!
Life has its twists and turns; its paths, and music appreciation has
them too. For example, I love Robyn Hitchcock, and own all of his
albums. Read more
Published on October 7, 2000 by John O'Hara
1.0 out of 5 stars GET HIM OUT OF MY HEAD
very annoyingly annoying absolute annoying is as further away from absolute bliss as absolute hell listen to it once for the expierence dont bye it though get it at a tag sale
Published on November 28, 1999
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