This was an oops purchase, well, the second copy anyway. Meco Monardo, known primarily for his disco-infused Star Wars album, Music Inspired by Star Wars and other Galactic Funk, continued to tackle box office monsters with his 1978 release of The Wizard of Oz, and this 1979 offering, Superman and Other Galactic Heroes. So nice, we had to buy it twice… by sheer accident. If you can stomach disco, and have an ear for cinematic familiarity, Meco is your man.
Every once in a while I’ll stumble across a record in the ol’ collection that 1) I had no idea I had and, 2) have no recollection of acquiring. Gloria Gaynor’s Love Tracks is one of these albums. The $0.99 price sticker on the cover offers a clue that it was purchased at a thrift store in Oxnard, CA in / around the mid 2000s, but that’s left to speculation. Anyway, disco has always gotten a bad rap from the corners of where I came from, but as an avid fan of electronic music of all sorts, I can get behind this drug-induced display of excess in a big way. 1978 was a good year for this lifestyle, and I halfheartedly believe that ol’ Gloria was speaking for the genre when she cried, I Will Survive, the feature track from this roller-disco favorite. Anyway, don’t forget to dance, kids.
The name looks right, at least, familiar, but the characters on the cover… not exactly sure what’s going on here. More disco than initially expected, the Now Sound Orchestra’s flamboyant interpretations of classic, sci-fi favorites is something, SHOULD be something, worthy of this amazing cover art. A classic, ready for reevaluation. You’re welcome.
Comps! Comps! Get ‘yer Comps! I grew up on comps, and found them to be a lucrative open door into an unknown, and possibly euphoric new world. Sometimes this world is filled with lavish new shapes and colors presented by then unknown artists with which to analyze and follow, and other times the world is a stale, duct-taped collage of one-note forgettables.
Released in 1979, this Casablanca Records 2 LP comp was my “go-to” disco album (as much as a 17-year-old “goes-to” disco in rural Wisconsin) back in 1997, and is a golden what’s-what of radio-raging jams. Shake Your Groove Thing, Y.M.C.A., Last Dance, Hot Jungle Drums and Voo Doo Rhythm, and Le Freak unveil the shawl to many more sweaty, overheated body-gyrating grooves. If you can stomach disco, A Night at Studio 54 is a great beginner’s guide to the ruckus genre, and comes “high”-ly recommended.
Q: What’do’ya get when you mix two parts 1977 dansco (dance-disco), one part swing / big band, and a fist-full of ice? A: If put into a shaker, shook until your arms felt numb, then poured into a martini glass, you’d get the perfect, intoxicating blend of traditional American fanfare with the (then) modern, club-packing, rhythmic-gyrating, pelvic-thrusting, controlled substance-ingesting roars of disco.
Days, and posts, like this really make me happy I started this little time-suck (the PG). I found this album several years back, and doubt if I’d ever listened to it… until right now. Attracted to its alluring, golden glow, the first in my (then) budding collecting, I snatched it up like a thief with an opportunity, then got distracted (probably by Image Comics, work, or God forbid, tech school) and forgot all about it. Listening to it now, with crestfallen, virgin ears, I can say it’s certainly not a record this collection needs, but it’s a fun trip to take, even if the ticket was purchased some 17 years ago.
Meco’s nightclub talents are sprinkled throughout my collection in healthy, respectful numbers, which is fairly gracious considering his brand of big screen-nabbing, dance floor-packing, Disco Duck-inspiring, funk-fused disco is little more than the same groove, repeated over several, action-packed themes, ad nauseum. Somebody somewhere likely said, “Slap a Star Wars logo on it, and the kids will eat it up!” Mr. / Mrs. Somebody was right, or at least, I can think of no other terrestrial reason to own this 10” RSO Records release from 1980.
This five track EP is exactly what you’d expect from Meco. Heavy synths, big brass, groovy bass and a hefty, four-on-the-floor disco beat. Meco mainly lives within the bowels of obscurity these days, but the man demands respect for creating a recognizable and danceable sound both familiar to big screen enthusiasts, and Saturday night ragers alike. If Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk isn’t enough for your calloused ears, seeking out this 10” may feed that Meco bug.
A: Why, this compilation of disco-fied movie themes from the late 70s, of course!
I mean, let’s be honest. What kid doesn’t want to hear the Marty Gold Orchestra perform the main theme from The Deep? I know for damn certain this here kid does! A self-proclaiming “Stupendous!” “Far out!” and “Exhilarating!” collection straight out of Newark, New Jersey, Themes from the Movies combines the disco fever that made the decade of brown and orange famous, with the silver screen classics that made film executives filthy rich… but, you know, marketed to kids via Peter Pan Industries. Nothing says kid-friendly-jams quite like a disco version of the Theme from Orca, am I right?
As “a galaxy of celestial delights,” Themes from the Movies is certainly one of those niche records (AKA “best album on the market” as the back cover exclaims) that is better left on the shelf at the record store.
This is the class of disco I can get behind… lavish arrangements of dance funk and soulful electronic grooves (as apposed to soulless electronic grooves) based on popular Sci-Fi films. Meco launched his historic career with his masterwork, 1977’s Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk, continued his platform-shoe-shaped torch with 1977’s dicso-tastic take on Close Encounters of the Third Kind with, Encounters of Every Kind, returned in 1978 with the bass-bleeding Meco Plays The Wizard of Oz, until landing in the superhero genre with Superman and Other Galactic Heroes in 1979.
Not unlike Electric Light Orchestra and their amalgamation of rock and classical music, Meco bridges the much needed gap between the symphony, and the sweat-inducing-body-river of late 70s dance floors. Definitely worth checking out for even the casual fan of disco and/or Sci-Fi film related music, Meco’s fourth studio album is classic, 70s feel good, groove music.
“I am delighted that the words DISCO and MECO are now household words.” – John Williams