Ethel merman the ethel merman disco album, From Broadway to Hollywood, Ethel Merman has been a household name for decades. Known as the “First Lady of Musical Theatre,” Merman is celebrated for her powerful voice and larger-than-life personality.
But what many may not know is that she also ventured into the disco scene with her self-titled album, The Ethel Merman Disco Album. In this blog post, we will dive into the history, impact, and legacy of this iconic album and explore why it still matters today.
Introduction to Ethel Merman the Ethel Merman disco album
Ethel Merman was born in 1908 in Astoria, Queens, New York. She began her career in musical theatre in the 1920s and quickly rose to fame with her standout performances in shows such as “Girl Crazy” and “Anything Goes.” Her booming voice and comedic timing made her a fan favorite on Broadway and eventually led her to Hollywood, where she starred in movies like “Anything Goes” and “Call Me Madam.”
Merman’s career spanned over five decades, and she became a household name known for her larger-than-life persona and unforgettable performances. She was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1972 and received numerous accolades throughout her career, including a Tony Award and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Ethel Merman Disco Album: A Brief History
In 1979, at the height of the disco craze, Merman decided to try her hand at the popular genre. She teamed up with producer Bob Crew, known for his work with artists like The Four Seasons and Frankie Valli, to create The Ethel Merman Disco Album.
The album featured disco-fied versions of classic songs from Merman’s Broadway repertoire, such as “I Get a Kick Out of You” from “Anything Goes” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business” from “Annie Get Your Gun.” It also included two original songs, “I’ve Got the Music in Me” and “There’s No Cure Like Travel.”
While some may have been skeptical of Merman’s foray into disco, the album was a commercial success. It reached number 12 on the Billboard Disco chart and even landed Merman a spot on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” to promote the record.
Why Ethel Merman is a Music Icon
Merman’s career spanned over five decades and left an indelible mark on the world of music. She was known for her powerhouse voice, often referred to as a “brass instrument,” and her larger-than-life personality. Merman was a trailblazer in musical theatre, breaking boundaries and paving the way for future generations of performers.
But it wasn’t just her talent and stage presence that made Merman a music icon. She had a commanding presence and a unique ability to connect with her audience, making her performances unforgettable. Her songs were not just melodies; they were stories that she brought to life with her powerful voice and expressive delivery.
Exploring the Songs on The Ethel Merman Disco Album
The Ethel Merman Disco Album features nine tracks, each showcasing Merman’s signature style and flair. Let’s take a closer look at some of the standout songs on the album.
“There’s No Business Like Show Business”
This classic song from “Annie Get Your Gun” is given a disco twist in this album. Merman’s powerful vocals are still front and center, but the addition of a funky bassline and disco beat gives the song a fresh, new sound. This version was a hit on the dance floors and continues to be a fan favorite today.
“I Get a Kick Out of You”
Originally from “Anything Goes,” this song is transformed into a disco anthem on The Ethel Merman Disco Album. Merman’s vocals shine as she effortlessly hits the high notes, and the added disco elements give the song an energetic boost.
“There’s No Cure Like Travel”
One of the original songs on the album, “There’s No Cure Like Travel” is a fun and catchy tune that perfectly captures Merman’s playful personality. The disco-infused beat and catchy chorus make it a perfect addition to the album.
Critics’ Reviews of The Ethel Merman Disco Album
Upon its release, The Ethel Merman Disco Album received mixed reviews from critics. Some praised Merman for her willingness to try something new and appreciated the album’s fun and light-hearted nature. Others were not as impressed, claiming that Merman’s powerful voice was not suited for the disco genre.
Despite the mixed reviews, the album was a commercial success and has continued to gain recognition over the years. In 1996, The Ethel Merman Disco Album was reissued on CD, introducing a new generation to this unexpected gem in Merman’s discography.
Ethel Merman’s Impact on the Disco Genre
The Ethel Merman Disco Album may have been a surprising move for the Broadway star, but it also had a significant impact on the disco genre. Merman’s crossover into disco helped to break down barriers between different styles of music and showed that artists could successfully experiment with different genres.
Merman’s presence in the disco scene also brought attention to the genre and introduced it to a wider audience. Her iconic status and established fan base helped to bring legitimacy to disco music and solidify it as a popular genre in the late 1970s.
Behind the Scenes of Recording The Ethel Merman Disco Album
Recording The Ethel Merman Disco Album was a collaborative effort between Merman and producer Bob Crew. Crew brought in a team of talented musicians, including drummer Hal Blaine and bassist Chuck Rainey, to create the disco-inspired sound for Merman’s songs.
Merman was reportedly hesitant about recording a disco album at first but quickly embraced the challenge. She brought her signature style and energy to each track, making the songs uniquely hers while still staying true to the disco genre.
The Legacy of The Ethel Merman Disco Album
While The Ethel Merman Disco Album may have been a one-time venture into disco for Merman, its impact has lasted for decades. The album has gained a cult following and continues to be celebrated for its fun and campy nature.
The album’s legacy also extends to other artists who have embraced the disco genre, showing that it is not just a passing trend but a timeless style of music that can be reimagined by artists of all backgrounds and genres.
Comparing The Ethel Merman Disco Album to Other Disco Albums
The Ethel Merman Disco Album may seem like an unconventional addition to the disco genre, but it is not the only unexpected disco album out there. In the late 1970s, many artists from different genres experimented with disco, resulting in some surprising and memorable albums. Let’s take a look at some other notable crossover disco albums:
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by The Beatles (1978)
This album features disco covers of classic Beatles songs performed by various artists, including Earth, Wind Fire and The Bee Gees. While it received mixed reviews, it was a commercial success and introduced disco to a whole new audience.
“Don’t Stop Believin'” by Olivia Newton-John and ELO (1980)
This collaboration between pop star Olivia Newton-John and rock band ELO featured disco versions of popular songs from the film “Xanadu.” The album reached number eight on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified Gold in the United States.
“Love You Inside Out” by The Bee Gees (1979)
Known for their disco hits like “Stayin’ Alive” and “Night Fever,” The Bee Gees released this album, featuring a mix of disco, RB, and soul. While it may not have been as successful as their previous albums, it still showcases their talent for creating catchy disco tunes.
Conclusion: Why The Ethel Merman Disco Album Still Matters Today
Over 40 years since its release, The Ethel Merman Disco Album continues to captivate listeners and spark conversations about the intersection of genres in music. It remains a testament to Merman’s versatility and impact on the music industry.
While some may view The Ethel Merman Disco Album as a novelty or a footnote in Merman’s illustrious career, it is much more than that. It represents a significant moment in music history when boundaries were broken, and new sounds were explored. The legacy of this album lives on, inspiring future generations to embrace their creativity and push the boundaries of what is possible in music.