AEIOU Sometimes Y by Ebn Ozn

86

A couple of weekends ago I ran across a big box of old cassette tapes in my garage. Last year I converted some of them to mp3 format but not all of them, so after connecting an old Kenwood cassette deck to my computer last week, I decided to finish the job.

Like many kids, I spent a lot of my time (and cassettes) recording songs off the radio. I wasn’t very organized in my efforts and so many of my old tapes contain duplicate songs. On one thirty minute cassette I managed to record two copies of “Spies Like Us” by Paul McCartney and another two copies of the Chicago Bears performing the “Superbowl Shuffle.” There are lots of abrupt stops and starts as well, as five seconds into some of the songs I must have simply decided… “nah.” Regardless of duplicate songs and false starts, I’ve certainly enjoyed listening to those tapes again. It’s a lot like listening to radio from the 80s, DJ banter and all.

One song I had completely forgotten about was Ebn Ozn’s “AEIOU Sometimes Y,” which appeared on the tape pictured above. The song was released in 1983 by the oddly named band which included Ned “EBN” Liben and Robert “OZN” Rosen. According to Wikipedia, AEIOU “has the distinction of being the first commercial single ever recorded entirely on a computer in the United States.” Although this song had some exposure both on the radio and on MTV in the early 80s, both the song and the band seem to have faded from existence. The pair only released on album together (“Feeling Cavalier”), and broke up in 1985. Ned “Ebn” Liben passed away in 1998.