All the recent hoo-hah over the 50th anniversary of the release of “Love Me Do” made me wonder with dread how many similar celebrations we’re in for over the next few years and how utterly sick we’ll be of it by the time they get to the 50th anniversary of “Let It Be.”
While it didn’t cause quite so much commentary, this week (Tuesday in fact) marked the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of this song on French television (during election coverage apparently) which made it a huge hit and Francoise a big star. I think that’s worth celebrating, don’t you?
“Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)” is one of those oddities in my mother’s record collection, maybe not quite as off-the-wall a choice for her as the Status Quo single or Rugby Songs album she had but trippy jazz-fusion instrumentals weren’t usually her bag either. I can see why she liked it though, it’s cool and elegant and groovily cosmic without being too far out there — if they had the expression back then it would have been called “chill out” music.
This was a big hit for Brazilian ivory-tinkler (and future Kool & The Gang producer) Eumir Deodato in 1972 and, of course, is a cover of the Richard Strauss tune used in 2001: A Space Odyssey which had blown everyone’s minds a couple of years before. Oddly enough, even though my mother usually hated science fiction films (she thought they were “unrealistic” which, I know, is kind of the point of them) she actually liked 2001 which is about the most difficult and hardcore mainstream SF film there is, even more light years away from being her usual cup of tea than this record is. But we watched it on television together once and though I imagined she’d think it was like watching paint dry when it was over she said to me “that was good, wasn’t it?” Maybe she was secretly doing drugs and had been tripping out on the couch during the “Beyond The Infinite” sequence without me noticing.
This song used to scare the crap out of me when I was a kid. Test tube babies! Withered limbs! Judgement Day! It was nothing like the future I saw on Thunderbirds.
I picked up an old Zager & Evans album on vinyl a few years ago just for this track but my God the rest of it was rubbish, a horrible Folky-Psychedelic stew with social commentary lyrics that would embarrass your average pretentious Sixth Former. This is still a great record though, silly though it might be.
This little blogging hiatus I’m on at the moment was supposed to be so I could get some personal shit done but I’ve been so swamped at work I haven’t had any time to get to what I wanted to get to the past couple of weeks which is very frustrating.
So if you’re as cream-crackered and stressed as I am at the moment you might need a little something to perk you up. You’d have to be dead not to get a jolt from this.