March 5th 1972

“Recorded Side one of  Zero Time by Tonto’s Expanding Headband”

Seems weird that I should record just one side of an album? But what an album to record just one side of!!

Tonto’s Expanding Headband were – to say the least – so very, VERY ahead of their time, it’s almost criminal.

Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff made up Tonto, and created an ambient electronic landscape years before the likes of Eno or the Orb found their keyboards and ‘chilled out’ the world’s populace.

Tonto, or more properly “T.O.N.T.O.” was actually an acronym for “The Original New Timbral Orchestra”, the (then) world’s largest analog polyphonic synthesizer, and the album (the entire album I hasten to add) remains one of my firm favourites 36 years later, the cut “Jetsex” especially.

Although not in any way a commercial success as Tonto’s, Cecil & Margouleff were courted by artists such as Stevie Wonder to work on their albums. The contribution to classics like “Talking Book” and “Innvervisions” is now recognised as being innovative, and has influenced many other black pop acts to take their game – as it were – to the next aural level.

On a personal note, I find it somehow comforting that, even as far back as 1972, I appeared to experiment in a BIG way with the various sounds I was listening to. One week it could be 70’s bubblegum pop and Deep Purple. The next it might be psychedelic blues, singer/songwriter material by the likes of Cat Stevens, or frontier electronic stuff like this gem.

I honestly believe that my peculiar willingness, at an early age, to listen to “almost anything” is what helped propel me along later in life, when having an appreciation of all kinds of genres was necessary for the career I ended up pursuing in the business itself.


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