Fans of outsider music know that one of the great examples of the genre is the 1978 release by a bunch of kids from a school in Langley, BC.
The Langley Schools Music Project’s Innocence & Despair features a 60-voice children’s choir singing a strange assortment of songs in a haunting, mysterious sort of way. The recordings were made the school gym in 1976 and 1977 on a two-track tape deck, all in one take each. Once complete, the recordings were issued as two LPs for students, teachers and parents, numbering about 200 copies. Total cost was around $40.
The record might have disappeared forever had it not be found in a thrift shop in 2000 Victoria, BC, by a record collector named Brian Hinds. He engineered a CD re-release through Irwin Chusid, outsider music’s foremost producer. The result was a cult sensation.
Excerpts from the CD made it onto the soundtracks for several movies and TV shows. There are stories that link the inspiration of the movie School of Rock to this record. And David Bowie himself was entranced by this recording.
Now it looks like the record is going to get a re-release. Read more here.