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EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG
1974 - Everything you know is Wrong!: Columbia KC 33141 (Quadrophonic)
Perhaps the most accessible work of the Firesign Theatre, "EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG" represents the guys at the peak of their powers. For some reason, it's not generally regarded as one of the "classic" recordings, yet it has all the ingredients of great audio theatre.
"EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG" draws the listener in at the very outset: "...you are now embarked upon a journey that must certainly lead you to change your life forever! If you were never a special person, you are a special person now!" (Yeah! I want to change my life! I want to be a special person!) The listener is immediately hooked.
"Hello seekers, here we go again..."
Where are we going? We're going to the "New Age" where, "...if you dig a hole deep enough, everybody will want to jump into it." (The 4 or 5 crazee guys predicted the "New Age" movement! A hell of a lot of people jumped into the hole. I like to think that the Firesign Theatre coined the term "New Age..." but everything I know is probably wrong.)
It's interesting to note that the guys used "EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG" as the theme for the '96 NPR Piece and their own website. A film was made as well, available from LODESTONE MEDIA .
Presented with precision and flawless timing, "EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG" overflows with the multi-layered obscure references that fans have come to know and love, yet the story is very linear and allows even the casual listener to follow along without having to work too hard.
The only disappointing moment
on the recording comes when Happy Harry Cox says: "...no, it's
the end." This is the hallmark of a "classic" work
of any stripe - leaving the audience wanting more.
The FST may or may not have invented the term "New Age," but I tell you what... this album foretold the coming of the "X-Files" phenomenon in a big way! Harry Cox as a Fox Mulderian truth-seeker, and the whole treatment of consiracy theories, all those long "lost" government training films about UFO's that theorists have wet dreams about, even Gary the Seeker vs. th Lone Gunmen... all pretty prophetic, if you ask me. A big enough whole has finally been dug and everybody seems to be jumping in though, at the bottom, they don't find blue moss, they find a Roswell Alien Head(tm) T-shirt to call their own and a copy of the "Book of the Subgenius." Scary, isn't it?
This is perhaps the Firesign
Theatre's most accessible album. It takes a swipe at New Age beliefs
and our fascination with UFOs & conspiracy theories, which has
only increased with time (and "The X Files"). Though still
conceived on a large scale, it manages several moments of intimacy
chiefly because of a smaller number of characters (each member essays
no more than a handful of roles, many of which re-appear throughout
the album) and the device of having the lead (Austin as Dr. Happy
Harry Cox) address the audience directly (this is the closest the
Guys have come to an interactive or instructional record, an idea
they'd toyed with since "I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus").