presents...

Poe through the Glass Prism

Quoth the Raven, "Oh my God!"

Here's another one of those "concept albums" that people used to do back in the 70's before musicians realized that it was a bad bet to expect people to have any interest in actual artistry. This one has the bold idea of recording a series of rock tunes set to the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe. All in all, it's not a bad idea, and one that must have been largely lost on the dope-smoking rock-n-roll record buyers of the era.

The music on this album is really pretty cool. Check out "The Raven", which I understand hit the charts for at least a little while in 1974. Its wailing Hammond organ sounds and monotone vocal delivery are pretty catchy. I also enjoy the way the band combines early-Beatles haircuts with late-Beatles costuming. Who can possibly resist a band with a velvet jacket and a giant black bird? Not me!

Poe through the Glass Prism
(click picture to magnify)
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Songs:

The Raven (MP3) Once upon a midnight dreary...

See Also: The National Gallery

Your Comments:

Jill (Jilgirl83J@aol.com) says:
Oh my God indeed! I'm equally suprised and thrilled that a "incredibly strange" music site such as yours is displaying this album favorably. I thought only people from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area, where the Glass Prism hailed from, knew about this band. I proudly own this album myself, and it's a shame that nobody has considered releasing this on CD. (04-24-2003)

Wayne Rogers says:
I just found out about this site a few days ago. I to am a fan/former fan of the Glass Prism. Fan, because I loved their live shows and bought their first and second albums. Former fan, because they are no longer together. I do appreciate what they accomplished in their time. As far as how they are doing today, I have no idea. It's interesting to note that some are still following their lives. To the "former fan" we all need direction. To the "Glass Prism" great job, great memories. If there is ever a reunion I'll be the first in line. (04-23-2003)

A former fan says:
In regards to the comment from the person below:

Augie does not "...rule." While Tom, Rick, and Carl are all successful in one way or another, not necessarily the music business, Augie sadly has turned into a paranoid religious lunatic who would rather live off other people than work for a living! (04-22-2003)

Big Daddy says:
Augie rules!!!! (04-10-2003)

Pat Mia says:
I just listened to the Raven and I loved it. I found the album on line in a number of places and have ordered it. I am looking forward to receiving it. (03-20-2003)

Chris Kraynak says:
I guess as my good friend Mark Hanko, who has also posted on this site, tells me often, I have too much time on my hands because I do sometimes spend more than I should surfing the web. This time it paid off! I have found a company called Vintage Vinyl (VVMO on the web) who had a CD of "Poe Through the Glass Prism". This is no joke, I bought it! I was told it was a CD-R (not sure how they know that as the lettering on the CD is painted on as opposed to a stick-on label) from some distributer in England. I have included the link to VMMO at the end of this post, but before you rush down there I am going to warn you that I got the last one they had (and it wasn't cheap as you'll see when you get there). I was told by the gentleman I spoke with on the phone that they were ordering more this week, but he wasn't sure how many, if any they would get. He said they only got half as many as they ordered in the last shipment. So give it a shot, maybe they can get more in. Now for the important part. How does it sound? GREAT! I don't know what they used as a master, but I don't hear any pops clicks or hiss, so it is not (as far as I can tell) from vinyl or cassette. I also enquired if they knew if the 2nd album "On Joy and Sorrow" was available, he said it was not as far as he knew and he had no idea if the company in England would be releasing it. And unfortunately there is no listed company name on the CD except for the word GEMA, which I believe is the German Copyright association.(?)
Anyway, if anyone is interest you may want to give the folks a VVMO some emails and see if they can get more of these. Here is the web address:
http://www.vvmo.com/cgi-local/catalog.pl?clrockcd-4
Good Luck! (03-12-2003)

Amanda says:
After reading some of the coments I decided to track down one of their albums. Not bad. I really like The Raven and many of the other songs. (03-06-2003)

GRAY BILL says:
FOLLOWED THESE GUYS ON AND OFF FOR YEARS. GREAT LIVE BAND. THEY COULD COPY ANYBODY. THE BEATLES, THE TEMPTATIONS, YOU NAME IT. ANY SONG THEY PLAYED, SOUNDED AS GOOD OR BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL. THEY DID MOSTLY ORIGINALS OR THEIR OWN ARRANGEMENTS OF OTHER SONGS WHEN THEY BECAME SHENANDOAH. BY THE MID 70'S THEY WERE AT THE TOP OF THEIR GAME. NEVER BEEN ANYONE TO TAKE THEIR THRONE. NEVER WILL BE. (03-05-2003)

Ann says:
This is a great album. For it's time this must have been one of the best bands around. I wonder what happened to them. Are there more recordings? (03-05-2003)

Dave B says:
In reading some of the comments I noticed many are written by long time fans of this group.
That is very impressive. I have never seen The Glass Prism so my comments are based purely on the merits on one song recorded years ago. The song is "The Raven". I am a studied musician and although this song was recorded a long time ago I can honestly say it stands on it's own as a rather interesting piece. For example if you listen to the instruments, the piano, organ, and bass are all playing a counter melody, some call it "counter point", to the vocal melody. That is rather unique for it's time or any time. Some classical music will do point and counter point but to pull off four actual melodies without stepping all over each other is remarkable. Whoever arranged this knows alot about music. The writter has also written a great piece of music. His ability to capture the exact mood of the poem turned song is rather stunning. The fact that this was written and recorded 34 years ago is just amazing. Congratulations boys, you realy had your act together on this one. Bravo. (03-04-2003)

Amanda says:
This absolutely rocks. Very cool. (02-18-2003)

Tara says:
poe's flippin' around in his grave in baltimore for this, screaming "nevermore!!" :) (02-13-2003)

Birdy (birdyjuice@aol.com) says:
Ah... The good old days! The Elcamino's , Eighth Street Bridge, Ralph, Mel Wynn, Humane Society, Wazoos. Later, the Glass Prism, Shenandoah, Dadota, Bouys etc.
How about Newton Lake Park!
Those were the days when people appreciated and loved to hear a live band.
What I remember most about the Elcamino's was that they were great collectively. Great imitators. Rick was a great drummer, and a good voice. He could actually stand on his own.
Later after the Glass Prism became Shenandoah, Louie Cossa also fit the same discription.
Great on his own.
In fact, the only one of the group that still plays is Louie. He does a duet with a gal named Nancy Graziano. Great voices! They are usually at a place called Amecci's on the morgan highway in Clark Summet. Sometimes Rick or Augie stop by.
Loui also owns a music store in Scranton, (Cossa Keyboards & Sound). (02-13-2003)

donc says:
Great act, recall seeing them in venues throughout NE PA. What happened to RALPH, another band that diserved a major break. (02-08-2003)

Leland Smith (spaceboy@yahoo.com) says:
I remember Glass Prism doing the entire album at a high school dance when I was in about tenth grade. Augie had a Fireglo 4005 bass. That's when having bands at the high schools meant something. Now it's all DJ's. (01-29-2003)

emma mouse (emmajaneconnolly@hotmail.com) says:
I am so glad that I found out about these guys through Frank's site, thankyou Frank!
Have just bought POE THROUGH.. over the internet
and soon a copy will be winging its way over to me in London. Cool!
What other albums did these guys do that anyone can recommend? (01-22-2003)

SANDY says:
THE ELCAMINOS TOURED THROUGHOUT THE NORTHEAST IN THE 60'S. THE MEMBERS WERE TOM VARANO, GUITAR, CARL SIRACUSE, GUITAR, GEORGE FOX, PIANO, JIM SHRADER, SAX AND BASS, STEVE BOND, DRUMS. ALL SANG. GEORGE LEFT FOR COLLEGE, THEN JIM FOLLOWED. HE WAS REPLACED BY AUGIE CHRISTIANO. STEVE DIED IN A CAR ACCIDENT AND WAS REPLACED BY RICK RICHARDS. IN 1969 THE SIGNED WITH RCA AND RELEASED POE THROU THE GLASS PRISM, AND CHANGED THEIR NAME TO THE GLASS PRISM. THE ALBUM FEATURED A COLLECTION OF EDGAR ALLAN POES POEMS PUT TO WELL THOUGHTOUT MUSIC AND MELODIES. THE SINGLE,THE RAVEN HIT THE CHARTS. IN MANY STATE INCLUDING HI, IT BECAME NUMBER 1. IN NORTHEAST PA IN WAS NUMBER 2 FOR THE YEAR. THE SECOND ALBUM ON JOY AND SORROW FEATURE A SINGLE CALLED SHE'S TOO MUCH. WHEN CARL DEPARTED THE GROUP CHANGED ITS NAME TO SHENANDOAH. SOON AFTER AUGIE WAS REPLACED BY LOUIE COSSA. THE GROUP RECORDED AN UNRELEASED ALBUM WITH GREAT SONGS LIKE DOWN THE ROAD, DREAMFIELD, TOO STONED. THEIR BEST WORK EVER. THE GROUP PERFORMED UNTIL 1976. THEY WERE LEGENDARY. THEY PERFORMED LITTERELY THOUSANDS OF TIMES.THEY OPENED FOR THE BIGGEST ACTS OF THE DAY. THEY HEADLINED MANY TIMES AND DID MANY TV APPEARANCES. THEY GAVE US MUCH. THERE IS A MOVE TO REUNITE THESE GUYS FOR A REUNION. IT STARTED IN 1999 WHEN AUGIE CALLED TOM VARANO. IN OCTOBER OF 2002 TOM, AUGIE, RICK, AND LOUIE MET FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 27 YEARS AT RICKS SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY. REUNION WAS DISCUSSED. THEY GAVE US MORE THAN THEY COULD EVER KNOW. NOW IT IS OUR TURN. WE MUST RUN ADS, GET WRITTERS TO WRITE ARTICLES, SEND EMAILS, LETTERS, WHATEVER.I WAS ABLE TO GET TOM VARANOS EMAIL ADDRESS AT HIS ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY IN NY. HMI67@AOL.COM. LET'S GET A PETITION TO REUNITE THE GUYS NOW. (01-18-2003)

RAYBE (Rmeoni327@com) says:
I'VE SEEN THE GLASS PRISM MANY TIMES IN 69-70,THEY WERE MY FAVORITE BAND,THEN FOLLOWED THEM WHEN THEY BECAME "SHENANDOAH".THESE GUYS WERE THE GREATEST IN THEIR DAY,AUGIE AND THE BOYS ACTUALLY PRACTICED ACROSS THE STREET FROM MY HOUSE IN 1971! (01-05-2003)

Denny in Berwick (tunes@denoria.com) says:
Glass Prism had a second album titled "On Joy and Sorrow". It was released in 1970 and also on the RCA label. Another great album by a great band.

A few years back, Joe Nardone's Gallery of Sound put a few copies of both LP's on the shelf in each of his stores and I bought 5 of each at $2.99 a piece. They're still sealed and packed away.

Last I know (mid 90's), Tom Verano was running a Talent and Booking Agency in Binghamton, NY.

Would love to hear from any of the band members.

Always looking for info on the ElCaminos, Buoys, etc. And of course the weekend gigs - Rumpus Room, West Side, Varsity Grill, Sans Souci and Hanson's. (01-01-2003)

Dick Tater says:
Pretty damn good!! I've got to hear the rest of this album. I'm keeping my eyes out at garage sales for this one! (12-31-2002)





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