A few years ago, website my wife came home from one of her estate sale adventures with a enormous crate of LPs, a entire record collection boxed up and sold for a fiver.
The albums were (with the puzzling exception of a still-shrinkwrapped copy of Born in the USA) all easy listening and “beautiful music” fare roughly spanning the period between 1960 and 1980. Despite the presence of a few gems like Al Hirt’s tribute to the Green Hornet TV show, the stuff was strictly industrial grade music material — holiday albums and soporific standards cranked out by an army of faceless session musicians and sold on the cheap to the coveted “spinster great aunt” demographic.
This was back when I was still music blogger and shortly after I acquired a USB turntable, so I spent a fair amount of time cataloging the collection in hopes of finding suitably bizarre obscurities worthy of ripping and posting to the site. Nothing came of it besides instilling a reflexive revultion for whitewashed calypso and tepid dixieland jams, and the most promising item of the lot turned out to be the most disappointing.
The Disco Gold #2 compilation was one of those “hot hits” facsimile jobbers which used a super-low price point to entice purchasers more familiar with popular songs than they were with the artists who made them famous. Oh, sure, you could drop seventy-five cents for the “Dancing Queen” 7″ recorded by ABBA, but another four bits could get you a reasonable approximation of the track along with nine other reconstructed pop hits thrown in as well!
(This is the same marketing logic that keeps the fast food industry afloat, for the record.)
My hope was that “covers by session musicians” plus “trend-biting branding” would translate to bizarre discofied renditions of Fleetwood Mac and Bob Seger tunes, classic rock standards glittered up with Latin dance rhythms and a glorious excess of wakka-chikka.
Sadly, the “disco” part of Disco Gold #2 was part of the con. All the tracks are competently faithful replications of the originals, delivered with all the artistry of a metal press cranking out door panels for a 1976 Buick.
Oh well. I guess we’ll always have Korea…