Dave Waugh: This Week’s Record Reviews
By Dave Waugh
So I’ ll begin this weeks record reviews from low to high. It was a good score from Emmittsburg this week with both lows and highs. And lows that should have been highs. Up first, a bland 60′s comp of “danger music” movie and TV theme songs…
Cover looks cool but not really. I mean, would Sean Connery really be standing by the Man From U.N.C.L.E. while molesting a bikini girl? No. I’ve got better danger music comps. More on those another time. Next, The Six Million Dollar Man story album.
Despite what you might think, it’s not excerpts from the TV show (which would have contained kick ass music, bionic sound effects and dialog from Lee Majors and Oscar Goldman saying “bionics” every other word). Nope. Instead we got dumb new stories, no bionic sound effects and no Lee Majors. But some guy trying to sound like him. And not succeeding. He would need a bionic voice box to do that. But we do get the real Oscar Goldman and Rudy, and some killer Neal Adams art.
This next should have been a high but revealed to be a low. Kermit Schaefer was the “king of bloopers” in the 50s and 60s. And this is Volume 4 of his narrated intro television and radio bloopers.
This was funny until I found out ol’ Kermie faked and or re-enacted almost all the bloopers because most he didn’t have. And I guess that’s wrong? Well, if maybe he misquotes a minor celebrity of the time to make his blooper a bit more on the funnier side by making him sound like either a racist or a sexual deviant, and if it ruins that guys life because he can’t get work anymore because all he ends up doing for the rest of his life is denying those accusations, well then yeah, guess it is wrong?
Oh yeah, and it has the word “BONERS” on it and has a theme song about boners coming out of celebrities mouths.
A shrink wrapped a.k.a. still sealed copy of Eddie Murphy: Comedian. This was the album that turned into the classic HBO Eddie Murphy Delirious movie. I am the first human to listen to it! (Yes, in case you’re wondering, the recording is on there.)
Recorded in 1983 right here in DC at Constitution Hall, it is what made Eddie Murphy a legend. Even though the first track on the album “Faggots Revisited/Sexual Prime” has some… well let’s just say… some jokes that might be considered in bad taste. Remember, A.I.D.S. had just been “discovered” and was still considered a gay disease. And A.I.D.S. isn’t funny. But to be fair, turns out Eddie was bi-sexual the whole time after all! He just wasn’t when he was 22.
Next, I’m always down to hear disco versions of sci-if movie themes (Star Wars, Close Encounters, 2001, etc.) and I found this one, which has the distinction of being THE first band asked to record a pop/disco/radio version of some of John Williams’ Star Wars music.
This one by band leader and superbone player Don Ellis and his band/orchestra Survival. Nice classical type light orchestra enhanced by synths, electric bass and rock drums. The two Star Wars songs are great, the rest are originals that were written and recorded in less than a week. And have space names. The next year, 1978 at age 44, Don Ellis died from a heart attack.
Now, the gem of this lot is funk band extraordinaire Heatwave. Heatwave had two really major hits: “Boogie Nights” and the single from their second LP “Central Heating.”
This album contains one of the most ultra funky rock songs of all time “Groove Line.” This band also had some interesting goings on with its members. This band was fronted by two brothers, one which was like a gay version of Jamie Foxx.
And another who was a bit more funky…
And each backing band member (two guitars and bass) all did the same synchronized dance moves the singers did…
But here’s the weird part: all these songs were written by a white English dude who played keyboards. I shit you not. His name is Rod Temperton.
So what’s weirder, this nerdy white honky might be the funkiest mother-fucker around and has the distinction of co-writing some later hit songs, with titles like “Rock With You,” “Off The Wall” and a little ditty called “Thriller”? Or…
Or that this Swiss bass player rocking the sweet ‘stache (Mario Mantese, above) was stabbed in the heart a year after this recording by his girlfriend after they left a party held by Elton John. He died, then was revived and when he awoke from a coma he was deaf and mute and completely paralyzed. He then wrote his memoir about being in this state and feeling more alive then he was before. Again, I shit you not. Quoted from Wikipedia:
“My consciousness was luminous, powerful and clear. At the same time, I was lying there in a paralyzed body, without any possibility to communicate with the outer world. By being blind, I learnt to look inside and became able to see in a special way. Being mute taught me the active power of silence and by being totally paralyzed, I learnt patience and within it, deep contentment ["Zufriedenheit"].
By this change, currents of light revealed themselves to me, which took me deeper and deeper into the universe and opened up for me entirely new understanding of life in the universe. A spiritualization of the senses happened and I realized, that man, indeed, is a cosmic, multidimensional being…”
Or the fact that this guy was their drummer…
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