Luna – ‘Lunapark’ (1992) | A Deluxe Vinyl Reissue
‘Lunapark’ stands at a crossroads of sorts, between the material laid down by Galaxie 500 (Dean Wareham) and the future even more intoxicating numbers found on those later Luna albums.
In 1991, after the end of Galaxie 500’s US tour, Dean Wareham informed his bandmates Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang that he was quitting the band. Dean then signed a demo deal with Elektra Records and recorded a number of tracks with Mercury Rev drummer Jimmy Chambers. Some of these recordings were later released on the Anesthesia single, by No.6 Records in the US, and Mint Tea in the UK under the name Dean Wareham.
If Galaxie 500 were from a different part of this galaxy, then Luna were from a different region of the universe. Remember, the album ‘Today’ by Galaxie 500 was recorded, mixed and ready to go for $750, and though the production and sound are light years ahead of where Galaxie 500 had been, ‘Lunapark’ came in at an unexpected $100,000, where the band spent over six weeks in the studio working on the record, rather than the initial three days it took to put that wonderfully sleepy album ‘Today’ to bed. Since then, Dean had learned a thing or two, namely that this was his project, where the band began sliding more and more into the simple yet complex drone and feedback that would become their hallmark, a sound that both reaches back to what the Velvet Underground were doing in the 60’s, yet incorporating new steps along with fresh ears for the development of their slow driving sound.
With this in mind, the reissue has been released as a heavy double vinyl album complete with bonus and remix material to both flesh it out, add to the timeline and bring the album into the future with those delightful remixes. Back in the day, the vinyl was only released in Australia as a limited edition on Summershine Records (setting you back about $200 now), where I can assure you the sound quality is hands down better here, and happily on disc one you still get the original A & B as first presented. How often am I gonna listen to the extra material? I’ve no idea, though for my ears it’s all about the far better sonic quality of the new offering.
The music found here is entirely different than that found on any other Luna album, it’s a bit more scattered around the edges, less smooth and well defined, merely hinting at where Luna would be headed in the future. It’s a one time pressing limited edition of 2000 numbered copies, disc one on transparent blue, with disc two on transparent green, all designed to match the album jacket.
*** The Fun Facts: That’s not some sort of spaceship on the album jacket, that is the streamlined pencil sharpener created by Raymond Lowey back in the early 1930’s.
As to the album’s title, it’s named after the amusement park in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. Luna Park was located on a site bounded by Surf Avenue to the south, West 8th Street to the east, Neptune Avenue to the north, and West 12th Street to the west. Luna Park opened in 1903 and operated until 1944. The original Luna Park now houses a five-building cooperative apartment complex called Luna Park Houses. Today, Luna Park is a name shared by dozens of currently operating and defunct amusement parks. They are named after, and partly based on, the first Luna Park.
As to the band moniker-ing themselves as Luna², it seems there was a stripper who went by the name of Luna, who’d threatened to sue the band, so refusing to part with the name, the band simply mathematically squared Luna.
Luna – ‘Lunapark’ (1992 | 1/20/2023 / A deluxe vinyl reissue [blue/green vinyl] via Run Out Groove Records)