Once (self-billed) as The Greatest Single Act in the World ? and who are we to argue? ? Luie Luie began life as Californian Luis Johnston. He was a painter (that's his own work on the cover) and musician, who during the 70s 80s and 90s played his own blend of Mariachi-infused lounge-bar easy-listening in nightclubs and bars across America. His catalogue runs to just a handful of 45s and this solitary self-funded LP that sold no more than 25 copies when it was released in 1974.
Luie's unique gift was both a wonderful blessing and a terrible curse. A blessing in that he was able to so completely realise his own vision, but a curse in the sense that his vision is often so astonishingly cock-eyed. Multi-tracking is undoubtedly a wonderful invention, but Luie generally sounds like he's in competition, rather than in tune with himself. But none of those criticisms should give you the impression that Touchy isn't a great record, because it surely is. You just have to give in to it to really enjoy it. Luie is a tremendously brave trumpeter, Moog synth player and arranger; not for him the usual verse-chorus-verse nonsense when there are so many moods and emotions to mine. Have you ever wondered what a tortilla factory might sound like? Well, wonder no more. Luie even had a gimmick, a "Touchy" badge that you removed from the LP sleeve and attached to the part of your body you wanted your dance partner to pay special attention to with their own Touchy badge.
Truly, the 1970s were a rare and special time and records like this ? reissued by the crate diggers at Companion Records in 2008 ? only amplify that feeling. "I love everybody and I live in the beautiful palace of my heart," Luie says. "From the bottom of my heart I want to touch you ?" Amen to that.
This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk