Atomic Platters: Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security
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(5-CD/1-DVD box set with hardcover book) This collects over 100 Cold War songs and over 2 dozen Public Service Announcements (voiced by Groucho Marx, Bob Hope, Pat Boone, Johnny Cash and others). Artists on this set who sing about the Bomb and the Red Scare include Bill Haley and His Comets, The Louvin Brothers, Marty Robbins, Wanda Jackson, The Goldwaters, Janet Greene, Dr. Strangelove and the Fallouts, and many others. This also has 2 unintentionally hilarious full-length spoken word civil defense 'scare' LPs: 'If The Bomb Falls' and 'The Complacent Americans. ' A DVD of 9 bizarre civil defense and anti-Communist short films from the '50s and '60s is also included.
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The selection of actualities and radio spots from those days is inspired. Don't miss Art Linkletter warning you, "Don't Use the Phone" or Fred MacMurray's advice on how you can build a fallout shelter for "as little as $100."
The fat book included with the set is a treasure. Full of terrific old posters, magazine ads and government handouts as well as short vignettes placing the songs and artists within the context of the time.
This years in the works set is a five cd, DVD, hardcover book, box set collecting "Cold War Music From The Golden Age Of Homeland Security", 5 plus hours of fifties and sixties, rock and roll, R&B and soul, either warning us of the dangers of Communism and the impending atomic war, or more playfully using the A bomb and Uranium and Communism as metaphors for love and romance and partying ("You Hit Me Baby Like An Atom Bomb", "Atomic Baby", "Fujiyama Mama", "Uranium Rock", etc.). Scattered throughout are loads of civl defense spots, most appallingly naive and utterly ridiculous, there's Groucho Marx explaining that we have a good chance of surviving an atomic war, Art Linkletter warning us to not use the phone in case of an atomic attack, and lots of other misguided warnings and advice from Bob Hope, Tony Bennett, Fred MacMurray, Tom Lehrer, Pat Boone, Connie Francis, Don Pardo, Johnny Cash, Boris Karloff and lots more, as well as tons of bizarre civil defense dramatizations and creepy little Leave It To Beaver style vignettes.
Then there's the music, lots of favorites you've heard on other comps, but an amazing amount or material you've never heard (and probably never thought you'd hear) anywhere as well as totally obscure tracks from some not so obscure artists. Some of the more recognizable folks: Roy Acuff, The Sons Of The Pioneers, Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, Bo Diddley, Dexter Gordon, The Louvin Brothers, Carl Perkins, Bing Crosby, Bill Haley, Doris Day, Hank Williams and more, but the lure is definitely the hundred or so other tracks, all catchy or bizarre or both, from a wild cast of one hit wonders.
As if that weren't enough, there is also a disc containing two full length spoken word records released in 1961, If The Bomb Falls and The Complacent Americans, both ridiculous and paranoid, laughable and goofy, but also sort of sad and creepy. Wow. Then there's the DVD which contains 9 short films, over two hours of educational films, teaching us about Communism, the impending Atomic War, and the infamous "Duck And Cover" method of surviving an atomic bomb attack (and I'm fairly sure that the narrator of one of the films is none other than Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, and the singer of the "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch").
Finally, there is the book, a massive 11" x 12" hard cover tome, chock full of illustrations, liner notes, photos, and a full page description with pictures and all sorts of extra info for every track in the box. Unbelievable. This is absolutely essential for all lovers of strange sounds and weird music as well as being perfect for history buffs too. And as it's that gift giving season, I can't possibly imagine a more perfect and amazing gift! WOW!
Finally, in order to post this response, Amazon forced me to rate my own box set. I hope the vast Amazon public will excuse the fact that I gave it five stars.