Rick Berlin

"Sort of a cross between the Bonzo Dog Band
and the
Manhattan Transfer..."

-Me (1982)

Orchestra Luna

Links to Special Features!

Acetate Demo LP of the Original Orchestra Luna Album (October, 1974)! OL Acetate Demo Page!

Market Square Reissues CD in 2007! Orchestra Luna CD Reissue page!

NEW Memorabilia and Photos!! Orchestra Luna Image Index page!

Orchestra Luna Biographies page!

Orchestra Luna FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page!

OK, I give up!! Here's a PDF version of the lyrics and album liner notes!

Orchestra Luna
(click to enlarge)

Orchestra Luna
(click to enlarge)

Orchestra Luna
(click to enlarge)

It was 1974. Two of my roommates spent much of the summer working on Cape Cod. When they came back to school, they told me about an "interesting" band they had seen in clubs on the Cape. The band was called Orchestra Luna. The way my roommates described the band's music totally confused me. I had no idea what to expect when their eponymous album finally showed up in stores, but we had to buy it immediately.

The album was "interesting". So interesting, in fact, that hardly anybody except my roommates and me could bear to listen to it. What a mistake on their part! The album was great! It became so hard to describe it to others that I just gave up.

We just about wore that album out. It belonged to one of my roommates, so he took it when we graduated. I had made a cassette of the album, but it had broken after a couple years. Of course, I held no hope of ever finding a copy of the album, since it never went anywhere on the charts.

In early 1979, I was browsing in a Spin-It record store in Chicago. A clerk came up and asked me if I could find everything I needed. More to be a wise ass than for any other reason, I said, "No. I'm looking for an Orchestra Luna Album and can't ever seem to find it. Have you got one?" He replied, "Yeah, we've got one over here," and walked over to a cutout bin. He deftly reached in and produced a promotional copy of the album in perfect condition.

I still have that album, though it's gotten a little worse for wear. I have had it professionally cleaned twice and play it only to make tapes or to dub it to a CD-ROM. For many years, the only other copy of this album I had ever seen was my roommate's.

Orchestra Luna (1974)
Front Cover

Epic KE33166, Orchestra Luna, 1974 CBS Inc.

"And they say that we are agents, all of us together. And the forces file between us from some outer spheres of style. And while we watch our mouths move, with tongues too honed to be our own, words slip in and tell us what we must always have known." (from the album cover)

I really like the cover on this album: a photo montage of the group on a sandy beach as the moon goes through its phases in the background. The small scanned images here do not do it justice.

Have you seen this album? If so, give it a listen. If it's in good condition and includes the promo pictures, drop me a line.

Click on either album cover for a larger image. For a larger picture of the group identifying the individual members, click here.

Orchestra Luna (1974)
Back Cover

Personnel (click on a name to go to their bio information):
Richard Kinscherf - Keyboards, Vocals
Lisa Kinscherf - Vocals
Liz Gallagher - Vocals
Scott Chambers - Bass, Vocals
Randy Roos - Guitars
Don Mulvaney - Drums, Vocals
Peter Barrett - Vocals, Narration

If you're really curious, you can also see the record labels from both the promo and commercial LP's. Here's side 1 of the promo version and here's side 2 of the promo version. Here's side 1 of the commercial version and here's side 2 of the commercial version. You'll notice that the record labels have a copyright date of 1975, not 1974 like the album cover and liner notes have. According to information on the Japanese CD packaging, the album was released on June 1, 1974. This is impossible, since the album was recorded in the studio in July and August of 1974. I'm still researching this.

Orchestra Luna (1974)
Inner Sleeve Front

Side 1 opens with "Were You Dancing on Paper?", one of only two songs on the album not written by Richard. The quality remains high with "Miss Pamela" and the haunting "Little Sam." The side slows with a camp version of "Heart," but ends in gorgeous style with "Love is Not Enough," which features a typically outstanding, though understated, Roos guitar solo.

Roos' guitar work is just exhilarating, with a heavy emphasis on his roots in jazz. Roos manages to pull it off without sounding cliched.

For a larger image of the inner sleeve, click here. This is a fairly large (over 300 KB) file. The greenish tint to the print is original and is approximately the same shade on each copy of the album that I own. In certain versions of Internet Explorer, the image will shrink to fit the window. You can enlarge it and read the print by hovering your mouse over the image and using the icon that appears in the lower right-hand corner.

Orchestra Luna (1974)
Inner Sleeve Back

"Boy Scouts," another camp number, opens side 2. "Fay Wray" follows, with it's haunting melody and narrative. The pace picks up quickly with "But One", featuring a short and blisteringly compact Roos guitar solo, and then ends with "Doris Dreams." "Doris Dreams" is a sort of ballad/show tune/story/poetry reading which has some powerful moments, but is a little unusual. Again, Roos contributes some great guitar work.

Vocals on all songs are competent, but a little ragged, which makes them very personal. I prefer them to the over-produced and electronically sweetened stylings of Celine Dion or Mariah Carey, to name just a couple.

For a larger image of the inner sleeve, click here. This is a fairly large (over 300 KB) file. The greenish tint to the print is original and is approximately the same shade on each copy of the album that I own. In certain versions of Internet Explorer, the image will shrink to fit the window. See the section above to learn how to enlarge the image for better legibility.

Of course, it is very difficult to describe how music sounds, so here is a link to the Amazon.com site with music samples from the album tracks:

Amazon.com Site
for Orchestra Luna MP3 Samples

Frankly, I don't think that they picked very good samples from the songs, particularly since they skipped most of Randy Roos' guitar solos completely. But they're better than nothing and they at least give you an idea of the group's sound. These samples are taken from the 2007 Market Square reissue CD.

Many visitors to the site have commented on the absolutely awful transcription of the lyrics printed in the Japanese CD insert. Even Francesca Reitano, who actually wrote "Were You Dancin' On Paper" and who would obviously know the correct lyrics, has written about Rick's and her amusement at the "misheard lyrics." The original album liner includes the lyrics to all the songs (except for "Heart") but it omits Peter Barrett's narratives. Here is a PDF version of the COMPLETE AND CORRECT lyrics and liner notes, including all other credits listed on the album:

PDF version of the lyrics
and album liner notes

This is a PDF document. If you don't know how to view it, or if you can't figure out how to obtain the free reader/plug-in to view it, then you probably shouldn't be surfing the web anyway. I forget where I got this document....

Since this WAS the 1970's, the album was also released in an alternative format: 8-track tape! If you think that the vinyl LP is rare, try finding the tape!! I've managed to locate a sealed copy of the tape, Epic catalog number EA33166. The tape version has a slightly-different cover, which is a single photo of the group taken from the LP's photo montage. The tape does not have any liner notes or lyrics and does not include a list of personnel or any song credits. This is what the tapes look like (click on either one for a larger image):

What else can I say?! This album is unique and I can't really describe it adequately. You have to hear it. Please do so, if you ever get the chance. Alan Lewis, writing for New England Music Scrapbook, said this about the album:

"The album...is basically the original Broadway cast recording of a musical play that was never staged. It is a most peculiar record."

Alan Lewis (1/19/02)

One other reviewer says:

"Orchestra Luna: This group is so different that words almost fail me. The pieces are an amalgam of show tune type songs, rock, jazz, Motown-the promo insert even implies an Insect Trust influence! The masterful guitar work of Randy Roos also occasionally adds a somewhat prog feel to the proceedings. All in all, very unusual, but very good and undeniably unique. If you appreciate how different Sailor (the group on Epic) is from the average rock band, then this may be for you."


Orchestra Luna broke up in 1975 after it was dropped by Epic. The band reformed with a new lineup in 1976, serving as the band for Jim Steinman's play, Neverland, in 1977. (To download a facsimile copy of the program for the production, click here.) At this point, Karla DeVito was singing with the group. Then, in late 1977, the band broke up again and Richard organized a "smaller, more focused" group with the name Luna. Luna released at least one single, "Hollywood", and then found themselves doing the cover-band circuit. Luna disbanded in 1980. During this period, Richard changed his last name to "Berlin" because "nobody could spell Kinscherf". He remains very active on the music scene with his group, The Shelley Winters Project. Check out his web site and buy his albums! Randy Roos is on the faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music and has released five albums in the '90's. Scott Chambers, bassist and vocalist with the group, has also been busy working with various bands, doing studio work, and community development. After leaving Luna, Karla DeVito worked with Meat Loaf, singing Ellen Foley's part in live performances. I have an entire page devoted to biographical sketches on the various band members, both the original and later lineups, here.

I recently obtained two promotional photos of the group from their Epic days. Since they were intended for promotional purposes, I'm going to assume that it is OK for me to post them here. Click on either one for a larger version. (And if you want an image with higher resolution, e-mail me.)

Alan Lewis' entry in the New England Music Scrapbook is also extremely interesting and I encourage you to visit the site and learn more about the band.

There are many sources advertising the imported Japanese-released Orchestra Luna CD's and their prices vary from roughly $20 to $40. (Sony Music bought Epic Records and now owns the rights to the album.) Last year, I ordered three copies of the CD from three different vendors. One vendor canceled the order after failing to deliver in a little over a month. The two others came through and I now have two copies of the CD. The packaging is great, though the pictures are not reproduced very well. The liner notes and lyrics are also extensive...and quite a laugh. (Somebody needs to explain to the Japanese why you come down from Tuinols, not "two-in-all's." Go here if you want an accurate copy of the complete lyrics.) The sound quality is wonderful when compared to the vinyl LP's, but there's still a little residual noise. I understand that Amazon.com can special order the CD, but I have not tried to purchase one through them yet. This is what the CD's look like (click on either one for a larger image):

Fortunately, Market Square reissued the labum on CD in 2007. The reissue includes many intersiting photos and some great liner notes. Unfortunately, this CD is difficult to find and is unavailable at many on-line sites. You can learn more about this reissue at other place on this site.

Many thanks to Rick for taking time to visit this site and offer corrections. This is a labor of love, Rick.

If you want to correspond with me about Orchestra Luna, I'd be happy to give you my poor opinions. Just send mail to me. I would be particularly interested in your comments on the artists.

Go to Orchestra Luna Biographies Page

Go to Orchestra Luna FAQ Page

Go to Orchestra Image Index Page

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