Sun Ra – Nuclear War (Atavistic 1982/2002)
Sun Ra told everyone that would listen to him that he hailed from Saturn, and the A & R people at Columbia Records must have believed him when he tried to pitch this record to them in the Early 1980’s. Ra thought he had a hit in the making with the title track (who knows, he may have if he had a chance!) but it would have been hard to believe that this chorus could have come out of Regan-era radio:
It’s a motherfucker
When they push that button
Your ass gotta go!
Whatcha gonna do
Without your ass!
The epic title track was eventually re-made into an EP by Yo La Tengo and caused a brief stir when this disc was re-released last year. The rest of the disc is fine latter-day Sun Ra with Ra running down some standards (late is his career, Ra took on a lot of standards) and some fine originals. June Tyson gets some fine vocal spots, and Sun Ra shows off his organ chops.
All is all it’s a fine record, one of the many quirks and turns of the interesting career and life of Sun Ra.
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