SUN RA

A Fireside Chat with Lucifer

Modern Harmonic

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A Fireside Chat with Lucifer was issued by Sun Ra in 1983 (Saturn Gemini 19841). Like many Sun Ra albums, Fireside Chat offered stylistic random shuffle, as was the artist's intent, reflecting his eclectic, seemingly irreconcilable approach to compositional extremes. With Sun Ra you get everything except consistency and predictability. Side B consisted of the inscrutable 21-minute title track, while Side A consisted of three unrelated, shorter works (the wryly apocalyptic "Nuclear War," a languid, atmospheric ballad titled "Retrospect," and the soul groove "Makeup"). Fireside Chat was pressed in limited quantities, with hand-made Xeroxed covers (sans personnel or credits), and sold at concerts. Original copies are incredibly rare.

Though a resident of Philadelphia since 1968, Ra frequently booked sessions in New York at Variety Recording Studios, under the supervision of owners (and his friends) Fred Vargas and Warren Smith. The association began in the 1960s, and countless Sun Ra dates were captured on Variety's soundboard. Fireside Chat, recorded in September 1982, was one of the final extended Arkestra sessions at Variety; except for three tracks recorded there with Phil Alvin in 1985, it would be six years before Sun Ra again made extensive use of Variety. In 1988 he recorded the Disney tune "Pink Elephants on Parade," as well as the album Blue Delight (A&M)—and that was it. The bulk of Sun Ra's recorded legacy during the 1980s was captured live in clubs and concert halls.

SIDE A

  • 1. Nuclear War
  • 2. Retrospect
  • 3. Makeup

SIDE B

  • 1. A Fireside Chat With Lucifer