FM ‎– Black Noise -Extremely Rare 1977 CBC release on Vinyl (Mail Order Only) Cover Wear


FM  ‎– Black Noise -Extremely Rare 1977 CBC release on Vinyl (Mail Order Only)

Cover issues - 4 of 10 - vinyl great


Black Noise is the debut studio album by Canadian progressive rock group FM.

All songs with lyrics have science fiction themes. The title "Phasors On Stun" (sometimes announced as "Set Your Phasors On Stun" when performed live) is a reference to the futuristic weapons from Star Trek; the phrase does not appear in the lyrics. "One O'Clock Tomorrow" was inspired by an interview with Timothy Leary as broadcast on The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder (which came on at one o'clock a.m.), on which Leary talked about his ideas on space travel; or as explained by Hawkins in an introduction to the song during a live performance (from a radio broadcast), "Old Dr. Tim thought, a couple of bags of this, and a couple of bags of that, and he'd just take off into outer space"; but again, neither the title nor Leary are referenced in the lyrics. "Journey" and "Aldebaran" (misspelled "Aldeberan" on vinyl editions) are both about a mass exodus to another planet. "Dialing for Dharma" (an instrumental) is a pun on Dialing for Dollars, a popular live daytime television program which gave away cash prizes via telephone. "Hours" and "Slaughter in Robot Village" are also instrumentals. "Black Noise" is about mutants who live in a secret underground world beneath a city, and rise up through the sewers at night.

Release history

The album was originally released by CBC Records in 1977, commissioned after the group appeared on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) TV variety show Who's New. The group expected it would be distributed in stores like a normal release, but the CBC chose to sell it by mail order, and only announced its availability during several radio shows. The album was issued as a limited edition of 500 copies, which was sufficient to meet the response from this limited promotion.[1]

The album was given wider release in the summer of 1978 on Visa Records in the USA, and on Passport Records in Canada later that year. (Passport was a sub-label of Visa, although Passport was the more prolific of the two labels.) The CBC still owned the rights to the album, and licensed it to Visa for reissue. In Canada, the Passport label was distributed by GRT Records, then by Capitol Records in 1979, and finally by A&M Records in 1981, each distributor producing a reissue.Cameron Hawkins claims the group never received royalty payments from any of the Canadian LP editions, as their contract specified all payments were to come through Visa Records in the USA, and none of the three Canadian distributors passed royalties on to Visa.[2]

At the end of a performance at the Ontario Place Forum, the group were presented a gold record award for the album's sales (gold in Canada representing 50,000 sales).[2]

In 1994 Cameron Hawkins created a new record company called Now See Hear Records (initially self distributed, but later distributed by MCA Records as of 1996), and purchased the rights to Black Noise which was still owned by the CBC, but ownership was set to expire that year. Hawkins was surprised to find a competitor bidding for the rights, but his label emerged as the winning bidder. By this time, the CBC no longer possessed a master tape of the album. A search for the tape at the CBC turned up a reel tape box with an inferior cassette copy inside. Hawkins then travelled to the USA to search the former Passport Records vaults for the tapes of this, and the other Passport albums, without success. Ultimately, the Now See Hear reissue of Black Noise was made from a transfer from vinyl.[2] Now See Hear also licensed the recording to One Way Records, a company specializing in reissues, who released an American edition.

The original CBC album has black and white cover art of a manhole cover, unique to that edition. All others have an alternative cover by Paul Till.

A single from the album, "Phasors on Stun" / "Dialing for Dharma", was issued on Passport in 1978.

Vinyl, LP, Album

TracklistShow Credits

A1 Phasors On Stun 3:48
A2 One O'Clock Tomorrow 6:04
A3 Hours 2:35
A4 Journey 4:40
A5 Dialing For Dharma 3:12
B1 Slaughter In Robot Village 5:00
B2 Aldeberan 5:03
B3 Black Noise 10:01

Companies, etc.



Original CBC release of the album. Sold only by mail order via radio advertising. Includes printed inner sleeve with short bios of the band members.

© 1977 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Société Radio-Canada

A1, A2, A4, A5, B2 and B3 published by Willowdale Publishing

A1, A2, A5, B2 and B3 published by Marginal Music

A3, B1, B2 published by Black Pine Publishing

Cat# appears as LM 455 on label; LM455 on sleeve

MAPL logo indicates 100% Canadian content

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side A run-out area): LM-455 ̶F̶M̶-̶0̶0̶1̶ A JAMF Q
  • Matrix / Runout: LM-455 ̶F̶M̶-̶0̶0̶1̶ B JAMF Q

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