Thursday, November 05, 2009

Single of the Week: Meco

Meco - Star Wars Theme/Cantina Song
Meco - Funk

When people ask me about the first album I ever owned, I'm never really sure about the answer. The Star Wars soundtrack was the first, but my dad just bought that home. The first album I actually picked out in the store was Meco's Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk, aka the disco version of Star Wars. This was actually much cooler than the real Star Wars soundtrack, because it had all these cool sound effects from the movie mixed in. I liked it so much that I bought the follow-up, Encounters of Every Kind, which is like a disco concept album about traveling through time, from the dinosaurs to ancient Rome to...I actually can't remember what else, except that it climaxes in a disco-ized version of (of course) the theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I'd love to hear this album again. Anyone have a copy?

Anyway, the cool record store across the street from me just went out of business, so I bought a big pile of singles for 50 cents a pop, a good enough reason to revive this weekly feature. And one of them was the single version of Meco's Star Wars theme, probably a better bit of music than the half-an-album-length version I had when I was a kid. The b-side, called "Funk" on the single and "Other Galactic Funk" on the album, is pretty odd: basically a disco-ized marching band. At the time, I didn't know anything about New Orleans second lines, or the southern tradition of drumlines, so it seemed even more unlikely. The album version stretches out for something like 15 minutes, and is pretty boring, but this shortened version isn't much better.

By the way, I love the cover to the album. Clearly, they couldn't get the rights to any images remotely associated with Star Wars, to you get this cheesy retro-Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers thing, which is so awesome!


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