Sunday, January 10, 2016

"Ewok Celebration" by Meco

Song#:  1516
Date:  07/02/1983
Debut:  85
Peak:  60
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  He's baa-ack! With the release of the third Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi, it was pretty much a given that Meco would be back to put his own spin on music from the soundtrack. This time around he chose to spruce up the tune that was used near the end of the film. Known as "Yub Nub," which is Ewokese for "freedom," the song was played by Ewoks during the final celebration scene. Meco's previous Star Wars themed records were based in disco, but since that format had gone the way of the dodo, he had to do something different. This time around, Meco gave the song a more international beat and added a rap section that was performed by Duke Bootee (of "The Message" fame). Unlike his previous two hit takes on the Star Wars themes, this one couldn't even make it halfway up the chart and disappeared after a couple of months. It would end up being Meco's final Pop chart entry. Meco would go on to do an album for the "Hooked On" franchise called "Hooked on Instrumentals," but it failed to get any attention and his solo recording days came to an end.

ReduxReview:  Just when you thought the charts were gonna be Meco-free, here he comes. Thankfully, it is his last chart entry. And oh what a doozie. I'm not a big Star Wars nerd, but I remember sitting in the theater watching the original Jedi and when the last party scene came up I just thought "what the hell is this?" For me, that last little bit with the "Yub Nub" song was the worst scene in the entire first trilogy. Me and all my geeky friends made fun of it. And if that wasn't enough, we got subjected to this Meco version that arguably made it worse. And poor Duke Bootee. I hope he got paid a lot for his appearance because it's pretty embarrassing. This is not the way the original trilogy should have closed out, but there you have it. The only bright side? No more Meco!

ReduxRating:  1/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) It is not surprising that this song did not do so well. The final scene and "Yub Nub" were a bit polarizing with many folks hating the song. Therefore, Meco enhancing the tune was probably not the smartest choice. In George Lucas' Special Edition version of Jedi, the last scenes were redone with "Yub Nub" taken out and replaced with a new John Williams orchestral piece. Again, the new ending was polarizing. Many like it and thought it made the ending more powerful, while others were more traditional and loved their "Yub Nub."  2) There are two sets of lyrics for "Yub Nub." The Ewokese lyrics were written by Ben Burtt while the English lyrics were written by John Williams' son, Joseph. Burtt was mainly a sound designer/engineer. Among his notable achievements are sounds for the lightsaber and for R2-D2. He has won four Oscars.  3)  On Meco's Ewok Celebration album, there are sax and lyricon solos credited to one Kenny G. This may seem to be a strange place for Kenny G to lay down some smooth sax sounds, but it ends up making a little sense. The previous year, Meco co-produced Kenny G's self-titled debut album.


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