People who know me (and even some who don’t) know that I’ve been a huge Frank Zappa fan for many years. I’d like to honor FZ’s life and work by releasing a Zappa tribute album through this web site. If you’re a musician (or know one) and would like to participate you can find details on the project here. Thanks for your support.
I was driving around the other day when my iPod coughed up a sonic hairball from The Ethel Merman Disco Album. The throbbing beat made me nostalgic for the simpler days of the Disco Era. I was slightly too young to take advantage of the polyester leisure suits, cocaine, and cheap meaningless sex that I knew millions of others were enjoying, but if you’re just a little older than I am I’m sure these songs will bring back memories that are probably best forgotten.
Snuff “I Will Survive” (Gloria Gaynor)
It’s loud and fast and raw and you’d never know it was originally a disco song.
The Bobs “Disco Inferno” (The Trammps)
If you ever get the chance to see the Bobs perform live, take advantage of it. Kill if you must. They are the most amazing singers I’ve ever heard. Especially Richard Bob, who sings bass. I talked to him after a show once and his regular speaking voice rattled my breastbone. Here they deliver a flaming, multi-layered disco joyride.
Zen For Primates “Funky Town” (Lipps Inc.)
This is one of those genre-hopping covers that works despite all odds. There’s folk, flamenco, and horn-driven funk all thrown into the blender. And like a V8, the whole is much more than the sum of its parts.
Trenchmouth “That’s The Way (I Like It) (KC And The Sunshine Band)
It’s got the loose-limbed feel of a bar band at 2:00 a.m. You’ve got the wailing guitars, the sloppy chorus, and the drummer beating his drums like he’s mad at them. I wonder how drunk these guys were when they recorded this one.
Eldissa “Staying Alive” (Bee Gees)
Anybody ever watch Welcome Back Kotter reruns? Watch John Travolta’s hair and you can tell when he was filming Saturday Night Fever. His hair goes from a shaggy high school burnout look to a highly-processed disco puff. And amusingly nobody else in the cast got a new hairdo so his really stands out. In reality if he went with that haircut the rest of the Sweathogs would have beaten the crap out of him just on general principles.