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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Ethel Merman Disco Album (A&M, 1979)

There are some records you just can't make up even if you tried.

Whoever thought combining an aging Broadway singer like a then 71 year old Ethel Merman, who's star had largely faded by this time and disco music would be a smashing crossover success probably has been court-ordered to stay away from recording studios for life.

Her last big hit up until then was 20 years earlier and she was mostly doing variety and talk show TV appearances by the late '70s.

12" inch Ethel Merman single from the album.
The vocals are definitely vintage Ethel Merman. But the disco arrangements and instrumentation are by-numbers and nowhere do Merman's vocals and the disco interpretation of the music gel in any way. At all. Donna Summer's crown as Queen of Disco was secure.

But not for long, as the disco backlash was well underway at the time of this album's release. And to the cut-out budget bins this record went.

Ethel Merman died on February 15, 1984.

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