Sunday, April 13, 2008
Disco Down The Yellow Brick Road
Last May I posted what was to become the most downloaded album on this blog. I am speaking of MECO's "Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk". At last count, it had been downloaded 506 times and I'm sure that number has gone up even as I type this. After such a huge reception to that album, I feel only right in bringing you the follow up record from Meco. After the success of "Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk", Meco was being pressured by his record label into doing yet another disco album based on a film score. Unfortunately there weren’t any current or new movies that satisfied him. He woke up one morning singing “We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz” and simply thought it was cute. He had seen it at least twenty times over the years and it was somehow buried in his sub-conscience. Unlike "Star Wars" where he only had about fifteen minutes worth of material, he soon realized that he had around eight good songs to begin with. Meco went back to his label and told them about doing “The Wizard of Oz” to which they laughed and commented, “the old Wizard of Oz at this point in time?” Before long Meco had them humming the old songs and they soon gave him the go-ahead to begin work. Around the same time, Meco’s old friend, Harold Wheeler had arranged a Broadway musical called “The Wiz.” The two got together and brainstormed for hours. They came up with about twenty-seven minutes of music, but because it was on two-sided vinyl it had to be cut in half at around the fifteen-minute mark. Now the second side was shorter so they decided to take the themes again and take out the Disco beat and leave just the orchestration. A John Williams style symphony so to speak for the last four minutes of side two helping to bring about a graceful ending. This was my first introduction to Meco. My father brought this album home and played it at dinner one night. I fell in love with it. It was and still is pretty darn cool in my book. Here it is for you now. Enjoy!
MECO-The Wizard of Oz