Poe through the Glass Prism

Quoth the Raven, "Oh my God!"

Here's another one of those "concept albums" that people used to do back in the 70's before musicians realized that it was a bad bet to expect people to have any interest in actual artistry. This one has the bold idea of recording a series of rock tunes set to the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe. All in all, it's not a bad idea, and one that must have been largely lost on the dope-smoking rock-n-roll record buyers of the era.

The music on this album is really pretty cool. Check out "The Raven", which I understand hit the charts for at least a little while in 1974. Its wailing Hammond organ sounds and monotone vocal delivery are pretty catchy. I also enjoy the way the band combines early-Beatles haircuts with late-Beatles costuming. Who can possibly resist a band with a velvet jacket and a giant black bird? Not me!

Poe through the Glass Prism
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The Raven (MP3) Once upon a midnight dreary...

See Also: The National Gallery

Your Comments:

Zack says:
On a related note, there was a record released in 1997 called "Closed on Account of Rabies: Poems and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe" featuring, among other things, Christopher Walken reading The Raven and Iggy Pop reading The Tell-tale Heart. Pretty good stuff. (01-19-2007)

Griff says:
I expected garbage along the lines of Partridge Family but this is really a pretty good song for the time. Lead singer has a good voice and music works. (01-19-2007)

Mr. Knox's Civics class ( says:
Our second-hour social studies class found this selection disturbing, pointless, sexy, discoish, and thrilling (01-19-2007)

FatFred says:
I own a copy of this. It's still there, in my record collection. Amazing what one finds on the web! (01-19-2007)

Gary says:
Lou Reed released something similar titled "The Raven". Reed mixes Poe's poems and stories with his own words. (01-19-2007)

bollixin novate says:
Actually, maybe Kennelmus came a year or two later than these guys. (01-19-2007)

bollixin novate says:
Interestingly, a band called Kennelmus did a psychedelic version of "The Raven" earlier. And their album was called "Folkstone Prism." (01-19-2007)

Sam says:
I haven't heard this one but I do have an album by The Alan Parsons Project (Tales of Mystery and Imagination) that has a lot of Poe's works as the titles. None of it really has much of the poetry actually spoken in it, but I thought you might want to know. (01-19-2007)

dr dave ( says:
Is it me, or does the singer sound just a little bit like "Hootie"?? (01-19-2007)

Debbie Davids ( says:
Anyone no how I can get a copy of the song "The Raven"?? Thanks much............. (12-30-2006)

Joe McGavin ( says:
Bought this album, as I recall, in the summer of '69, just before my senior year at Coughlin in W-B. Much later, I bought Of Joy & Sorrow from a collector.

I don't remember ever seeing Glass Prism (originally the El Caminos?) live, but later say all four members perform in separate bands -- The Buoys (Carl), Shenandoah (Tom & Rick) and Button Gwinnett (Augie) -- while attending Bloomsburg State College (now Bloomsburg U).

Good times! I'd love to hear reunion news about ANY of those bands. (12-18-2006)

Craig Boden ( says:
My Grandmother bought this LP (Poe through the Glass Prism) for me in the early seventies when I was about seven or eight years old. About ten years afterwards I finally played it and realized how great of an album it really was. I still listen to this LP from time to time. My favorite song is The raven. Years after this album was released, the Allan Parsons Project mimicked the Glass Prism with their version of The Raven; it was o.k., but I still prefer the original version by the Glass Prism.

Anyone who is a big fan of Edgar Allen Poe will appreciate this album.

Craig (12-11-2006)

DW ( says:
What a find!!! I freaking LOVE it!!! (11-27-2006)

Jack Hamlin says:
Poe Through The Glass Prism was released in 1969. The single, The Raven, was also released in 1970. The second album by The Glass Prism, On Joy and Sorrow, was released in 1970. I have both albums. Collectors can find them on ebay etc.

There is a third unreleased album which features some of the original members under a different name, Shenandoah. Any information on this album would be appreciated. (11-26-2006)

Roy Bob says:
Long ago I was riding with my parents in the family car when "The Raven" by The Glass Prism band was played on the radio. I never heard it again, although I requested it from radio stations and otherwise looked for it.

It has stayed in my mind all of these years. Today is the first time I've listened to it since that time in the family car so long ago. Thanks for posting it on the web!It really brings back memories.

By the way, what year did this come out? I think it was earlier than 1974 (the year referenced above). Maybe 1969 or '70? (11-19-2006)

Sid says:
Bruce, thanks for the lyrics. Cool. As you know The Raven has many more stanzas. I understand that when The Glass Prism performed the song live they did eight as apposed to the four stanzas on the 45 and album. Obviously, too long for am radio of the day. However, the Beatles pulled off that long ending on Hey Jude. The Beatles, The Glass Prism, in the same breath.
Also, cool. (10-11-2006)

Bruce Lee says:
The Raven - LYRICS

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore--
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door--
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;-- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow-- sorrow for the lost Lenore--
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore--
Nameless here for evermore.

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door--
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door--
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore--
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."


E. A. Poe says:
Allan Parsons Project did a much better job of this in 74. (09-12-2006)

Phil says:
What are you listening to, dont you know that sort of music will rot your brain? Check out 'El Dorodo' a fine track on the same album. Also by the Glass Prism, 'I Laugh' off of 'Oh Joy and Sorrow' will knock you over. If you liked 'The Raven' you might also like 'The Nickel Bag' "Doin there Love Thing"; 'The Night is Darkening Round Me' or 'She was a Phantom of Delight' are both trippy little psych poems. (09-08-2006)

Nikki says:
the raven is so awesome!! (08-29-2006)

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