January 12, 2021 2 min read

Vinyl-a-Day #9:
Alan Jefferson - Galactic Nightmare (Trunk Records, 2015)

Vinyl-a-Day #9: Alan Jefferson - Galactic Nightmare (Trunk Records, 2015)

Today,  Director of PR, and connoisseur of all things esoteric, Mark Finch shares one of his favorites from his collection. From Mark...

Recorded over a six year period (being 1979-1985), Alan Jefferson's Galactic Nightmare is a prog-electronic - progtronic? - concept album originally released exclusively on home-recorded (with Dolby C NR) C-90 cassette tapes, made available via mail order through home computer magazines and science fiction fanzines in the UK.

It all started when Jefferson listened to Jeff Wayne's seminal symphonic rock album "War Of The Worlds" and thought to himself "hey, I can do that!" And so he did, utilising electronic musical equipment secured in his bedroom. Galactic Nightmare is a sprawling, epic fantasy sci-fi adventure, around 90 minutes in length, and sounds so of its time that it actually transcends time. I can't - and won't - even begin to explain the story (that would undoubtedly ruin it), except for that it begins with a scientist being awoken from sleep after his super computer receives an incoming transmission from deep space...

If that doesn't get your juices flowing then I don't know what to tell you.

The cassette reached a somewhat holy grail distinction amongst the chosen few in the 80s, with copies being passed clandestinely around in schools like a trendy yet secretive drug, and slightly more brazenly in work offices (but not that much more brazenly: nerd culture was still underground in the mid-80s). The album was pretty much forgotten about except by a few die-hard fans in the 90s and beyond. Thankfully, one of those die-hard fans played the cassette for one of his friends who was round for dinner. This had a somewhat interesting snowball effect: that friend played it for another friend. And that friend played it for another friend. And THAT friend, my friends, was the owner of a record label. And so, in 2015, Galactic Nightmare made a very welcome return, albeit in vinyl form, remastered from the original master tapes, with only 500 pressed.

It's glorious.

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