Give Yourself Over To Absolute Displeasure: The Rocky Horror Disco Show

rocky-horror-disco-show

A shocking Hi-NRG megamix of songs from the camp classic.

Richard O’Brien’s gender-bending rock ‘n’ roll sci-fi musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show has suffered plenty of indignities over the years, from countless substandard theatrical versions to the unspeakable misfire that was the TV movie remake a few years ago. But every indignity pales into insignificance compared to the 1985 vinyl release The Rocky Horror Disco Show.

This Eurodisco megamix seems to be a mad folly of colossal proportions. If a Rocky Horror disco edition had emerged in the late Seventies, it might have made some sense – after all, that was the era of Meco and the like knocking out disco versions of famous movie theme tunes. But in 1985? Still, the Rocky Horror Picture Show continued to be a major midnight movie phenomenon at the time across America, and the stage show had been given a new lease of life on the back of it (British audiences wanting to be part of what was happening in the USA but not quite getting it… how little things change, eh?), and the ‘megamix’ had proven to be a chart bothering concept, so in theory, this 12 inch from Euro Ferrari – a workmanlike Italian producer of countless slices of Hi-NRG crap – might have worked. In practice – not so much.

Side One features nine of the film’s songs, rendered over an anonymous, soulless Euro Disco beat that varies not one jot throughout, as jobbing session singers Roxana Frankl and David SRB mangle the vocals. David SRB is especially grating with his attempts to sound eccentric and – I assume – English. The result is like listening to cats being tortured to the empty beat of Italo-Disco. Should you believe that you could do better – and you could – then side two offers an instrumental version of the same megamix. Oddly, this has not become a karaoke staple.

The strangest thing about this release is the fact that actual film stills appear on the sleeve, giving the impression that this has some official legitimacy. Presumably, German record label ZYX paid more to licence these images than it did for the actual recording – at least, I would hope so.

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