Bee Gees Vs. Dragon!
:: Night Fever ::
:: Shadow Dancing ::
:: Stayin' Alive ::
There's a heavily sequined horse fitted with an open collared silk blanket and mirrored saddle. It died of a cocaine overdose. This is the dead horse I like to beat here on the Robot; its name is Disco. I am constantly finding further evidence that Disco saturated nearly every fiber of popular culture during the late 70's, even though the real movement was far dead by then, and evidently I continue to get some sort of perverse thrill from it.
Finding a symphony orchestra doing up the Disco hits of the Bee Gees isn't exactly novel. That sort of thing has been done before, most famously with Saturday Night Fiedler, and seeing as a great many popular Disco hits had strings and flutes on them, it's a fairly easy transformation. That being said, the mirror balls in my eyes did light up and spin a little when I saw this combination of Carmen Dragon and the Bee Gees.
I'm sure no one needs an introduction to the Bee Gees (although I am sure a lot of people don't realize how solid and different a band they were long before they blew up with the Saturday Night Fever stuff,) but Carmen Dragon isn't a name you hear that often these days. Over his distinguished career he conducted many a famous orchestra (Royal Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl,) won an Academy Award and an Emmy, released over 75 albums, and perhaps most interestingly, begot the owner of one of the most famous moustaches of the Seventies, Daryl Dragon, more commonly known as The Captain (of Captain and Tennille, natch.) He also sired his brother, Dennis, who was in the Surf Punks. Here Carmen and the Glendale Symphony Orchestra teamed up with chest-baring rock act Sabu, featuring Paul Sabu, son of the actor, Sabu. It's very Hollywood in here, ain't it?
So, onto the music. Well, these are pretty interesting treatments, and this was supposedly one of the first, if not the first, direct digital recordings. They're reasonably faithful to the originals, at least on the ones with rock instrument accompaniment, but the arrangements somehow manage to transform these songs into what sounds to me more like marching band or 70's Italian gangster movie music. I guess what I mean to say is that these numbers could have been played on The Love Boat. On the Sabu-less arrangements, things are taken down so many notches that you might not even hear the original. Emotion, for one, puddles along very romantically and when it finally crescendos and becomes recognizable, it sounds straight out of Dr. Zhivago or something. I suppose that's more interesting from a reconstruction standpoint, but it also sucks out all the energy. So I've included the upbeat numbers with funky drumming and bass; now make yo granny dance!