Tuesday, August 31, 2004

This week is devoted to the band Slapp Happy and its derivatives.

For their second album, Slapp Happy again teamed up with Faust and recorded another great set of catchy, clever and eccentric songs. After that, though, things get complicated.

The Faust recordings were rejected by Slapp Happy's label, Virgin, and so Peter, Anthony and Dagmar re-recorded the songs with all sorts of session players (I mean strings and woodwinds and such). The album that resulted is the one that got released, and it's great. A lot of Slapp Happy fans consider it the group's best.

From that, here's The Drum (Bongwater oh so cleverly changed a word when they covered this). And here's the first track Casablanca Moon, which has one of the better opening lines that I know of:

He used to wear fedoras, but now he sports a fez
There's cabalistic innuendoes in everything he says

The Faust-assisted recordings eventually did get released years later. There's a lot of confusing naming and re-naming of the albums. To keep things simple for today's shoppers: the Faust recordings are on a CD that looks like this:

and it's called Acnalbasac Noom and I don't know if it's still in print. Maybe in Japan? Anyone?

The Virgin re-recordings are on a CD that looks like this:

and it's called Casablanca Moon/Desperate Straights and you can buy it from Amazon and elsewhere (the CD contains two full albums: Desperate Straights is Slapp Happy's next album and I'll get to it tomorrow).

From Acnalbasac Noom, here's The Drum (a pretty rocked-out version) and Casablanca Moon. Each album has its fans; I lean ever so slightly towards the Virgin version, but if you buy one you'll probably end up buying both. Each CD has one song that's not on the other, but Acnalbasac Noom also some additional semi-interesting bonus tracks.

Tomorrow: what the hell does Mark Robinson have to do with any of this?

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