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".

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cliffs Notes on Man or Astroman?

The original intention of this site was to catalog Man... or Astro-Man? singles. The thought was that if I put everything I knew about each release online, then people would respond by telling me what they knew. As a project I think that it's been wildly successful. As information has come in I've posted it. At some point I think this could become the spot people turn to for all of their astro-facts (at least until astroman.com relaunches). An unintended benefit, though, has been how much else has been sent my way.

Case in point: a Cliffs Notes-themed band biography

Fellow collector Mike Noon told me about this booklet at the same time he sent me the sell-sheet for the Amazing Thrills in 3-D promo single. I know very little about this booklet. The one long essay, credited to the Quiz Master, is the exact same piece that ran in the Call of the Wild fanzine. If you remember, there was a four-band compilation flexi that came with that publication. If the essay appeared here first, then that would go far to explain why Birdstuff was wearing a sport coat made of Cliffs Notes books in the band photo. The only other bit of astro-trivia that this brings to mind is that I always heard that in an early version of the band's mythology, every member had a snack cake name (only Starcrunch decided to keep his). From this we see that there was also a Nutty Bar, a Zebra Cake and a Fudge Round at some point.

Noon was kind enough to scan the entire thing for me to share. If you're ready to see what late 1992 looked like in one rather cosmic corner of the American south, well, look no further than the following scans:

a big thanks to Mike Noon for holding on to this for so many years and for taking the time to share it.

Big Edit: Another version of the Astro-Man Cliffs Notes recently came to my attention. It was published to a MOAM? Facebook fan page by FB user Jett Strand. It came into her possession when she OUTBID ME on eBay. Here is that version:


  1. I did not know anything about this.Another great find indeed!

  2. Fun reading. Cliffs Notes are always somewhat enlightening! For instance, I learned that the Amazing Thrills 7" may originally have been slated for release on the Zontar Records label (of Woggles fame) and that the original name for "The Vortex Beyond" may have been "White Knuckles" and that "Clean Up on Aisle #9 (Turn Up the Monitors)" was also known as "Turn Up the Monitors / My Mama Wears Tacos".

  3. There was a planned MOAM?/Woggles split advertised on the insert for "Possession by Remote Control" that never ended up coming out. It could be that the split was also going to be a Homo Habilis/Zontar split. I'd like to know more . . .

  4. The label information at the back of Call of the Wild has the following listing:

    ZR-5 Man Or Astroman? 7" / ZR-6 The Woggles 7"

    My copy of Possession came without an insert, but I am wondering if this is the same information which is easily mistaken for a split single.

  5. Here's the link to the insert that lists a future MOAM?/Woggles split. Make of it what you will:


  6. Good point, well made. I should have checked the listing first.

  7. According to the Woggles discography at their website (http://www.thewoggles.com/html/discography.html), the Call of the Wild magazine came out in March of '93. The Lance Rock Records release mentioned in the COTW write-up ("Supersonic Toothbrush Helmet") was recorded on the 20th of that same March and "Is it..." is noted as having just been recorded, so we can date the first LP to having been recorded in the first quarter of '93 and being released on July 9th of that year.

    The song listings on page 11 of the "Cliffs Notes" account for the following MoA? releases:
    "Possession By Remote Control"
    "Supersonic Toothbrush Helmet"
    "Mission into Chaos"
    "Is it Man... or Astroman?"
    "Amazing Thrills in 3-Dimension"

    Assuming that the track listing on page 11 is comprehensive of the releases mentioned in the prior COTW write-up, one could conclude that it was actually "Mission Into Chaos" that was originally to be issued by Zontar Records, not "Amazing Thrills" as I had speculated above. Other evidence would be the involvement of Jeff Walls, who at this point was pretty closely associated with the Woggles. This change of plans could also account for why the eventual Zontar Records release in September of '93 (ZR-05, mentioned in comments above) ended up being a Woggles single and not the proposed MoA? single. At any rate, there's no evidence of any further Zontar releases.

    For comparison, here's a list of pertinent Homo Habilis 7" followed by the year they were released:
    HH701 MoA? "Possession by Remote Control" '92
    HH702 Insect Syren "Cranium Meltdown" '93
    HH703 Mortals "Coming Down" '94
    HH704 unreleased
    HH705 Teenage Caveman "Spirit of Wildwood" '94
    HH706 MoA? "Vs Europa" '93

    It's possible HH704 had been reserved for the proposed MoA?/Woggles split, but there's no way to be sure since the label numbers don't necessarily correlate to release order, as seen above. Despite that, I would still hazard a guess that the material intended for the proposed split likely ended up on the "Amazing Thrills" 7". One reason being it's tracks early inclusion in the Cliffs Notes and the other being that the "Is it..." ad in the Cliffs Notes makes no mention of a promo single giveaway, which, to anyone familiar with Estrus marketing strategy, suggests the bonus 7" idea was hatched sometime between the initial advertising and LP release date and was not it's original intended vehicle.

  8. Wow, that's some impressive research Benjamin, and you're probably right about what songs were intended for these releases, had Zontar Records continued to exist. We can add these aborted records to a long list of promised/discussed releases that never materialized, which include:

    Hyperspace Bonus Round
    Astro-Sonic Detection Agency
    Technical Difficulties Abound (VHS)
    Hyper Solids
    The second live album

    I know there's more, and this is just off the top of my head.

    Side Note: The spookiest thing about these Cliffs Notes: Star Crunch was almost called "Chaz." Ouch.


  9. There was what sounded like a bowling-themed ten-inch mentioned in one of the Estrus Updates. I'll look it up when I get home so it can be added to the list of Neverweres.

  10. Oops, not a ten-inch. Estrus Update Vol. 5 #2 mentions mentions 'Man ...Or Astro-Man? - "...At The Alley" 7" EP' in its upcoming releases column.

  11. I'm selling one on EBay currently. The auction ends Sunday Aug 2nd at 7:10 pm.

    Also selling a few few other old mercy items.