THE SOUND EXPLOSION - An informative study of the early years of the band with leader JOHN ALEXOPOULOS - Part 4

 
THE SOUND EXPLOSION - 'Hangover Baby' / 'Some Other Guy' (Pegasus 010 ) June 1993

THE RELEASE

Q5. How did the release of the record come about, how many were pressed and were you all happy with the results?

It was the first time we were very satisfied with the final result of a recording session. We finished the recordings and send the tape to Mike. Time passed on and he kept delaying the release of the 45 coming up with all sorts of excuses, so we decided to end the deal with him.

We were in a very difficult position, being a new band, unfashionable by the local press and media, that had recorded a 45 that we financed and which no one wanted to release! We were lucky that almost immediately after that, Petros Koutsoumbas, who apart from looking like Rocky Erickson’s long lost twin brother, was the manager of “AN club”, where we played almost exclusively, and owner of the Pegasus label who had released some great and cult LP’s in the 80’s, made us an offer to release it.


It was the 1st 45 on the label and we decided to press it on green coloured vinyl using a pressing plant on the Czech Republic. The cover of the 45 was made by our friend George Paraskevopoulos who, with his brother Thodoris designed our gig posters. We used two colours for the sleeve, Green and Purple, as a kind of homage to the song “Voices Green And Purple”. I think the first and second pressings, came enclosed in a cellophane wrapper, too.

As you may have noticed the sleeve opens from the left side, while the norm is to take out the record from the right or the top of the sleeve. Well, this was actually a mistake, that we found out, after the sleeves of the first pressing (500 of them) were made. We could either dump them or keep them, but as they cost a lot of money to Petros and the mistake was on our own part, we decided to leave them as they were. The funny thing is that most people thought that this was done on purpose and they always came to us saying stuff “hey, what a great gimmick” or “really nice and inventive idea”!!! Yeah, whatever you say mate!!!



The 45 was released on June 1993, a very bad time to release a record in Greece, as no one buys records here and instead prefers to hit the islands and beaches. To our surprise the first pressing was sold out within a week. It got some airplay here on local rock’n’roll radio stations. I still remember my excitement the first time I heard it on the radio. It was like that famous scene from the film “That Thing You Do”. It also got some nice reviews on local magazines, which were snubbing us till then, and most surprisingly on the local equivalent of “Time Out”, in which it was something like “record of the week”.

The 45 was repressed more times in the few years following, the total sales reaching the range of about 2500 copies overall, which was a big deal at the time for a small band like us. Most copies were sold here in Greece, but we sent some copies to mail orders and record stores mostly in Germany, Italy and France. It got airplay on foreign radio stations and some garage zines from abroad gave it favourable reviews. Remember, back in 1993 no internet or MySpace or blogs existed and the international garage scene exchanged information exclusively by mail!


A funny story happened years after the 45 got released. I had left 2 boxes of 45’s of “Hangover Baby” and a separate bag with their sleeves on my parents’ apartment and after a while the apartment got renovated. After the renovation, I tried to find my boxes and sleeves. While my boxes were intact, I couldn’t find the bag with the sleeves. When I asked my mother about it, her reply was “Oh, this bag! I threw it away! I thought it was garbage! Your room is filled with garbage anyway!”…





Comments

  1. Thanks for these great interviews. The Sound Explosion have been one of my all-time favourite garage bands since I stumbled across their Teen Trash album in Athens 10 years ago. Classic sound!

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