Saturday Night Fiedler

For my first odd LP post, I’m actu­ally going with the first weird record I bought:

I picked up Sat­ur­day Night Fiedler about three years ago in the small clas­si­cal sec­tion at The Great Escape in Nashville. It was still sealed, so I didn’t lis­ten to it there. But, how could I pass up an album with Arthur Fiedler, long-time con­duc­tor of the Boston Pops, awk­wardly posed in a white leisure suit on the cover? I kept the record sealed for awhile (partly because I didn’t yet really have a stereo), and finally cut the plas­tic for one of the Audio Odd­i­ties par­ties that the staff of Mills Music Library hold from time to time.

Side 1 (each side con­sists of a sin­gle long track) is a med­ley of tunes from the movie Sat­ur­day Night Fever: “Stayin’ Alive,” “Night Fever,” “Man­hat­tan Sky­line,” “Night on Disco Moun­tain,” and “Disco Inferno” (for some rea­son, they don’t include “A Fifth of Beethoven”). On Side 2 is an eleven-an-a-half minute piece called “Bacha­ma­nia,” which is a disco treat­ment of well-known themes by J.S. Bach, includ­ing both his “Toc­cata and Fugue in D minor” and “Air on a G String.”

The play­ing on both sides of the disc is lack­lus­ter, and in places painfully out of tune. It’s pretty appar­ent that the orches­tra just wanted to get through the record­ing ses­sion, and get on to more ‘seri­ous’ music. Who can blame them? I feel par­tic­u­larly bad for the poor per­cus­sion­ist (who­ever s/he was) who had to crank out a disco beat for nine­teen min­utes on one side and almost twelve on the other. Plus, accord­ing to Harry Ellis Dickson’s Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops: An Irrev­er­ent Mem­oir, Fiedler was too ill to con­duct at the record­ing ses­sions for this album. It was Dick­son him­self who wielded the baton.

I plan to usu­ally post a sin­gle track from each weird record. But, since the tracks on this one are so long, I’ve just put up the first 6 min­utes or so of the Sat­ur­day Night Fever medley.

Lis­ten to Sat­ur­day Night Fiedler:

Listen to Saturday Night Fiedler

And for some­thing to look at while you lis­ten, here’s the Fiedler Trip­tych from the back cover:

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2 Responses to Saturday Night Fiedler

  1. Keith says:

    Oh, hell yes!

  2. Kevin MacNutt says:

    While I have always thought of the Boston Pops as light clas­si­cal, they could pro­duce an occa­sional great album (for exam­ple the Boston Pops and Chet Atkins col­lab­o­ra­tions). This how­ever is an all time low for the Boston Pops. Not only are the arrange­ments cheezy, but the per­for­mance is sloppy.

    Def­i­nitely an odd album, although I think I would be less appalled if it were some­one other than Arthur Fielder and the Boston Pops.