Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Empire Strikes Back" by Meco

Song#:  0216
Date:  06/14/1980
Debut:  68
Peak:  18
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Disco, Pop, Instrumental



Pop Bits:  Producer, arranger, and trombonist Domenico Menardo and his friend Tony Bongiovi (second cousin to Jon Bon Jovi) created the production company Disco Corporation of America and went on to produce such disco hits as "Never Can Say Goodbye" by Gloria Gaynor. But when Menardi (Meco) saw "Star Wars," he set out on a project to do a disco version of the film's score. The result was the platinum single "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" (#1, 1977). He followed it up with other discofied themes from "Close Encounteres" and "The Wizard of Oz." As the 80s came in and disco was winding up its run, Meco was still putting out disco versions of movie themes. This single would be his second and last Top 20 hit.

ReduxReview:  Where the "Star Wars" single concentrated on the uplifting theme, this song's focus is more sinister sounding as it mainly uses what is considered to be Darth Vader's theme along with sounds of a light saber fight. As with the first song, it is pretty much disco-gone-wrong and a novelty tune. But with "Star Wars" at the time, most anything would sell. And this one did. Bleh. This ranks (and you can take that to mean "smells" too) right up there with Walter Murphy's "A Fifth of Beethoven" and the "Hooked on Classics" stuff. Dreck.

ReduxRating:  2/10

Trivia:  Meco was hired to arrange the horns for Diana Ross' 1980 album "Diana." He performed on the album as well and is featuring on the hit song "I'm Coming Out" playing a trombone solo (very rare in pop music).

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