This record, normally $6, was bought during Half Price Book’s Memorial Day Sale so with discount, it came out to $4.80. Call it inflation, but I have realized an increase in second hand records over the last year. So I am in the ethical quandary of either raising my spending limit to $6 or lying about the prices of records. Anyway, I got this on the suggestion of sorts from my friend Scott.
Yes, my friend Scott told me about this record as this as well as the Ethel Merman disco album (posted on this blog in 2014 I believe), were in his father’s record collection. So when I found a copy, I took it up to legendary Houston spot Dan Electro’s, (where Scott is also a co-owner) and we gave the record a spin. It was insisted by Scott that we listen to both sides.
This led to a pretty decent conversation regarding pop orchestras, in which I theorized that pop performance, for the most part will get scant attention and effort from classical symphonies that perform them. This is based on articles I have read for this blog from conductors of orchestras focused solely on pops. Oddly enough, I ran into a woman later than night whose mother was in the Houston Symphony. She confirmed what I had thought, that pops was just something they were contractually obligated to play and that is where it ends (although I had 10 minutes of what may have been the second most asinine conversation of recent times to get this answer).
As Scott would say, this was probably Arthur Fiedler’s ultimate album. The liner notes were written on June 9, 1979. A month later Fiedler wound die of cardiac arrest. He had been in failing health for some time. Part of me wonders if he would have liked something more traditional to end his career with. The other part of me thinks that this is probably as good as any way for the most famous pop conductor to go out on.
Anyway, this record, recorded live at Symphony Hall in Boston Mass, features long standing pops conductor Fiedler and his Boston Pops with their take on the disco craze of the time. Fiedler always did have a knock for translating current popular music in the orchestrated form. This record came out while the genre of disco was in decline. But here it is, regardless. Side one contains a medley of songs from the disco high watermark moment, the movie Saturday Night Fever. The second side contained a disco-esque arrangement of to Bach classic’s, “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” and “Air for the G String”. Interesting stuff.
For a sample, I went with the latter, which I think Scott really liked anyway, simply titled “Bachmania”.
I do not like posting Fiedler’s record due to the high amount of auto correct I get on his last name but decent enough album. Satisfactory.