Sunday, August 5, 2012

O, Meco

A long time ago in a cinema far, far away...
On 25 May 1977, Meco watched the feature film Star Wars on its opening day. By the second day, 26 May 1977, he had watched it four times, and he watched it several more times that weekend. He then got the idea to make a disco version of the score by John Williams.

Meco was an American named Domenico Monardo, who originally formed a band... musical group... production team. Along with a "guitar genius," the current musical director for Dancing with the Stars (ABC-TV) and Jon Bon Jovi's 2nd cousin, they made an album.

"Star Wars" from Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk (1977)

Apparently, Tony Bongiovi would regularly advise: "It's not dumb enough – It's too good." Ever heard of Suzanne Ciani? "In 1977, Ciani provided the sound effects for Meco's disco version of the Star Wars soundtrack, which was certified platinum." She recently had a collection released by Finders Keepers. US CD from Forced Exposure. Check out a tune or another of hers.

I embedded the long (album) version up there, but there are a whole bunch of different ones. Such as the Cantina Band 7" edit, or some longer remix, some of which are probably not MECO originals... Who knows any more?!

Encounters of Every Kind, Side 1 (1977)

Because of the known hilarity of the Meco-Star Wars axis, I recently bought the unknown Meco Close Encounters of the Third Kind record, released the same year (1977). Same trip as the infamous Caroliner haul. Coincientally, it was "the last Meco album to gain significant prominence on the Billboard charts, though he continued to record film tie-ins with disco-inspired albums..." Surprising!!

Here's the tracklist for Side 1: "Time Machine" (0:43), "In the Beginning" (3:27), "Roman Nights" (1:26), "Lady Marion" (2:52), "Icebound" (1:20), "Hot in the Saddle" (4:27). Close Encounters, amirite?

"Theme from Close Encounters" from Encounters of Every Kind (1977)

O wait, there it is - last track on the record! There was also a "very rare" Close 7" version, but what you really care about is...



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