Norgine 45


It seems there was a trend amongst pharmaceutical companies at one point in time to press up records which would perform the same function as the drug salesman- to remind the listener of an illness and to talk up their drugs’ curative power, all within the comfort of one’s own home and without the tedium of an actual meeting. The first side of this 45 is “a representative visit”– the conversation the salesman and the doctor would have had had the salesman visited. It’s mostly highly technical engrossing colon talk. But the reason this record is documented here is the B-side. “Tableau of a Lithotomy” is a semi-mystifying theatrical piece that uses biblical language and concepts to describe a bladder operation, wherein the surgeon’s power to “maketh his incision” and give new life is exalted. It would seem that someone involved in the Norgine record was a weekend chamber music avant-gardist and was given free reign. Enjoy.

32 Comments

  • Awesome! Star Trek’s George Takei really should have done more like this.

  • I’m very much into pharmaceutical and medical records and many of them are…umm…kind of sick. But this tops everything I ever heard in this sector.

  • Pretty weird! But that piece of music is by Marin Marais.

  • The recording was chosen because they wanted to have a piece that the Doctor wouldn’t already have. After all why would the doctor play a poor quality floppy recording of a portion of Beethoven’s fifth. The company had a connection to a music professor in Boston (think at Berkelee) who made suggestions and organized the recording. There are about 5 or 6 similar recordings

  • Ask your doctor if this record is right for you. Side effects may include hiccups, swollen earlobes, toenail fungus, hernia of the uvula, and spontaneous transvestism.

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