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Enoch Light

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Biografia

Enoch Light (August 18, 1905 - July 31, 1978) was a classical violinist, bandleader, and recording engineer. He is credited with being one of the first musicians to go to extreme lengths to create high-quality recordings that took full advantage of the technical capabilities of home audio equipment of the late 1950s and early 1960s, particularly stereo effects that bounced the sounds between the right and left channels (often described as “ping-pong”). He arranged his musicians in ways to produce the kinds of recorded sounds he wished to achieve, the first to do so. The first of the albums produced on his record label, Command Records, Persuasive Percussion, became the first huge hit based solely on retail sales. His songs received little or no airplay on the radio, because AM radio, the standard of the day, was monaural. Light went on to release several albums in the Persuasive Percussion series, as well as a Command test record.

The album covers were generally designed with abstract, minimalist artwork that stood out boldly from other album covers. These pieces were usually the work of Josef Albers. Light was so interested in the sounds of his music that he would include lengthy prose describing each song’s sounds. In order to fit all of his descriptions on to the album sleeve, he doubled the size of the sleeve but enabled it to fold like a book, thus inventing the gatefold packaging format. The gatefold sleeve became extremely popular in later decades, and was used on albums such as The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

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