Welcome to my Astro-Man archive

This site is meant to be a visual archive of every variation of every Man... or Astro-Man? 7" single ever released. Most of what you'll see here comes from my personal collection. As information pours in I will post it, so please comment if you think you have something to add. I have no intention of posting MP3s here. I'm sure you can find the music elsewhere. This is just an attempt to collect information about the band's prolific creation of singles into one spot. If you can get past the fact that I rarely clean my scanner, I think you'll enjoy what you find here.

Use the Table of Contents on the sidebar if you are looking for details on a specific 7".

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Needles in the Cosmic Haystack

Needles in the Cosmic Haystack was a Man or Astro-Man? 7" EP released in 1995. It was put out by a Tempe, AZ-based record store called East Side Records (ESR-001). East Side also put out a single by MOAM side project Servotron. The picture sleeve was the standard open-on-one-end pocket sleeve printed with very glossy ink. The A side, "Radio Fission," was later reworked and released on Experiment Zero as "Television Fission". The B side was a cover of Supernova's "Calling Hong Kong."

The single was released exclusively on slightly translucent black vinyl. Here is a scan:

There is one distinct variation of this single. The original sleeves were misprinted so that the title read simply: Haystack. The text on the back cover was also slightly different, both in font and size. This is especially noticeable with the letter S and with the name of the cover artist (Brian Marsland). The misprinted sleeve looked like this:

In addition to the misprinted sleeve, the center label on the original record was also misprinted. The band name Supernova was misspelled as Supernove. Here is a scan of the original record, and a close-up scan of the misprinted label:

These early, misprinted records were also pressed on much more translucent black vinyl. The S at the end of East Side Records was also cut off on the center label. This was true for both the error and the corrected records. There are also several copies floating around with mismatched records and sleeves-either the error sleeve with the corrected record or the corrected sleeve with the error record. I don't think that the label distributed any this way intentionally. I think that as collectors swapped out records and sleeves for more pristine copies of records and sleeves some were not as careful as they could have been. When buying one of these online be sure to ask about both the sleeve and the record.

I also have a test pressing of this one. I only scanned one side because the center label was identical on both sides. It was distributed with the original, misprinted sleeve. Here it is:

On a personal note, I spent a lot of time and tons of money in East Side Records. It was the record store that shaped much of my musical taste and where I met and spent time with some of my dearest friends. It was also the store that first introduced me to Man or Astro-Man?. East Side closed late last year, after many years of pointing music fans in the right direction. I just hope everyone associated with the place landed on their feet.

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