Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tripping The (Star)Light Fantastic

Let's face it: thanks to Meco Monardo, and his popular dance arrangements of John Williams' epic Star Wars themes, the science fiction of the late Seventies will always go hand-in-hand with disco music.

While that's a bitter pill for a lot of fans to swallow (I know one second-generation Star Wars fan who flat-out refused to acknowledge the existence of the Meco record), the fact is, I don't mind. I like disco, always have. And while I wouldn't want a steady musical diet of its thumping, mechanical bass line, neither do I object to the stuff in small doses. It's cheerful, and fun, and helps me remember my childhood.

I received the original Meco Star Wars And Other Galactic Funk LP as a birthday gift back in the day (still love that cover art!), and also picked up The Empire Strikes Back 45 RPM single a few years later. I vaguely recall having a couple of other disco "sci-fi" compilations on record and cassette over the years, too.

One I didn't own then was Geoff Love's Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Other Galactic Disco Themes. However, I recently stumbled upon a download of the album, and I can't seem to stop listening to it.

Aside from the CE3K theme, it also features a very catchy arrangement of the Logan's Run TV show theme, a couple of Star Wars themes, Blake's 7 (I really need to see some of those some day), The Omega Man (!) and couple of originals. Love and his orchestra recorded lots of TV and movie theme compilations, and many of them are quite good, but this one is my current favorite.

If you're interested, you can download it here.

Oh, and yeah - that is a Darth Vader disco ball.

Disclaimer: These links aren't mine, I didn't upload the albums, and take no responsibility for 'em. I'm just posting the links for informational purposes.


  1. I loved the Meco albums when I was a kid, particularly the "asteroid chase" theme from the Empire record. I have the "Galactic Funk" album on CD and still listen to it from time to time. I think I remember seeing the Love album in the record bins back in the day but I never got a listen, so thanks for the download link!

    Here's a Moog synthesizer version of the Star Wars soundtrack that I also used to listen to - on 8-Track!

  2. Nope. As far as I can tell, it's never aired on TV anywhere I've lived in the U.S., nor have I ever seen videos available for sale or rent.

    All i know about Blake's is what I read in Starlog decades ago.

  3. That artist for the Close Encounters album really needed to learn how to draw the Liberator.

  4. My friend used to own the "Galactic Funk" album on 8-track, and I'm convinced that's still the best way to appreciate it. Whenever I listen to the mp3 of "Star Wars," I keep expecting to hear the familiar "ka-thunk" of the track change.

    The "Electric Moog Orchestra" album is the one I bought back in '77 when I was looking for--and couldn't find--the official soundtrack. It's perfectly horrible, but I love it just the same. And I still own it!

    Apropos of nothing--except that I thought some of your readers might be interested--I'm going to start a weekly episode-by-episode review of "Max Headroom" over on my own blog this coming Monday. "Max" is, of course, well out of Space:1970's timeframe, but what are the 80s but the 70s with slightly better special effects?

    My introduction is up now at, and I'll tackle the first episode this coming Monday!

  5. Oh, and "Blake's 7" aired on a number of PBS stations--including the one I work for--back in the mid-to-late '80s. I had thought that it was still available in syndication, but it's not showing up in BBC Worldwide America's current catalog. Probably just as well; I suspect that it's aged far worse than "Doctor Who" of the same period.

    However, I'm really amazed that it's never hit DVD over here. Fer cryin' out loud, you can get "Sapphire and Steel" but not "Blake's 7!"

    1. Blake's 7 is unfortunately in a tangle of copyright issues these days: the BBC controls some rights, Terry Nation's estate controls others...and to make things worse, has licensed them out for development elsewhere over the years.

      The various parties were able to come to enough agreement to finally release the series on DVD in the UK some years ago (and a very well-done set it is), but US releasing (home video or broadcast) has been stymied for well over a decade.

  6. Equally deserving of praise is Georgio Moroder's Battlestar Galactica disco album. Not only is it enjoyable to listen to, but the wrap-around cover art, which features a partially nude space babe resembling Maren Jensen in a Darth Vader helmet, makes it a must-have!

  7. I did have the Geoff Love album. It sat in my garage for many years and now seems to have vanished altogether.
    Geoff Love was a familiar TV name here in the UK. He produced and arranged a lot of theme tunes and easy listening records and was a house band leader (think Paul Schaffer meets Andy Williams) on a few shows in the 70's and 80's.
    Also Chris, you HAVE to see 'Blake's 7'. Highly highly recommended, particularly seasons 1-3. You've got no excuse in this age of downloads and import DVD's