January 20 – Judy in Disguise, Prophet-5 and CS-80, Echo & the Bunnymen

1968

The Beatles-parody song (they’re rare!) Judy In Disguise by Louisiana swamp pop singer John Fred amazingly reaches to US#1, UK#3.
 
Silly times! (Just in case: the song being parodied is Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Yellow Sub scene )
▷John Fred & the Playboys▹

1978

The analog Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 synthesizer — co-designed by Dave Smith and EMU‘s Dave Rossum (*) — debuts at Winter NAMM in Anaheim.
 
It’s the first musical instrument with a built-in microprocessor, which enables the first analog patch memory. The Z-80 CPU has a whopping 4K of RAM.
 
Equally impressive, the Prophet-5 is a polyphonic synthesizer (with 5 voices), and it ends another synth limitation — it has auto-tuning. The synth costs $4,600. Sequential is sold to Yamaha in 1987.

Also debuting is the Yamaha CS-80 synth, the first polyphonic (8-voice) analog (it was released in 1977). It has a ribbon controller (invented by Bob Moog).
It will be used by Vangelis to make nearly all the music for Ridley Scott‘s famous sci-fi film Blade Runner

While Moog invented a modern ribbon controller, the concept dates to Maurice Martenot‘s 1928 Ondes Martenot and the 1930 Trautonium. (*)

1984

Brit post-punk band Echo & the Bunnymen releases hit single The Killing Moon.
 
Climbing to UK#9, it’s included on their 4th studio album Ocean Rain. The band formed in Liverpool in 1978 landed 6 albums in the UK top-20. Since 1986 many of Ian McCulloch‘s songs have appeared in film soundtracks.
( Website )

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