The Ethel Merman Disco Album is a 1979 album by American Broadway performer Ethel Merman. It was released on A&M Records. Over the years, the record became a camp classic, with vinyl copies highly sought out by collectors. Merman recorded 14 songs for The Ethel Merman Disco Album, although only seven were released on the finished record. Each of the songs was recorded in only one take and arranged vocally the way she always recorded them, with disco instrumentation added later as a backtrack.
Broadway belter Ethel Merman decided to jump on the disco bandwagon in 1979 and recorded disco versions of several Broadway show-stoppers including "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and "There's No Business Like Show Business". Peter Matz's arrangements are quite good, they feature the swirling strings, honking horns and steady "four on the floor" beats typical of the era. If this album had been recorded with a disco singer of the time such as Roberta Kelly or Madleen Kane it probably would have been a modest sucess. Here's one straight from the "what were they thinking" department: "The Ethel Merman Disco Album. With a concept like that what could possibly go wrong? As it turns out, quite a lot. If you really enjoy either disco or Ethel Merman, this is likely not a recording that you will savor.
The Ethel Merman Disco Album Tracklist. 1. There's No Business Like Show Business Lyrics. 3. I Get a Kick Out of You Lyrics. 4. Something for the Boys Lyrics.
Now, at long last, this cherished "wrinkle in time" gets a proper CD issue for die-hard fans, the curious, and the uninitiated alike. Along with other titanic musical oddities like William Shatner Sings, Tammy Faye Bakker's "Ballad of Jim and Tammy," Goldie Hawn's Goldie, and Jackie Gleason Presents Aphrodisia, The Ethel Merman Disco Album is one of those priceless anomalies in popular music that's too surreal to ignore.
Ethel Merman – the Unforgettable. Famous Hits by Ethel Merman.
But Ethel Merman? The seventy or so Broadway diva was 20 years past her last big success on the Great White Way and, you'd have thought, ready for retirement. Yet she agreed to sing some of her best-known songs in disco arrangements by the estimable Peter Matz (the man who, for example, helped Barbra Streisand put together her first albums). The result sounds pretty much like you'd expect. Matz creates fairly typical disco tracks, and Merman sings the way she always does, sounding like she has nothing to do with the background at all. Actually, she sounds good for a 70-year-old, but.
Merman recorded 14 songs for The Ethel Merman Disco Album, although only seven were released on the finished record. In 2002, Fynsworth Alley Records acquired the rights to release the album on CD. The CD release contains one bonus track, a recording of They Say It's Wonderful. There are no plans yet to release the other six tracks. Arranger Peter Matz creates typical disco arrangements - and Merman sings the way she always does, sounding like she has nothing to do with the background at al. Ruhlmann concluded: "The record is really only good for a laugh, but there's just one joke.