Song Of The Day 1/7/2016: Walter Murphy & the Big Apple Band – “California Strut”

B-Sides Week '16 – This is the B-Side to a clever disco number from the '70s called "A Fifth of Beethoven." I should warn you that in a couple of weeks we're having a full-on disco feature, including the most elaborately produced mixtape yet, and in the "halo" effect some of the disco has spilled out onto other weeks this month. I apologize if it's not your thing. It's not necessarily my thing either, but it's just so easy to match the beats, you know? It's like setting tabs in a word processing program.

Anyway. "A Fifth of Beethoven" was a disco reworking of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. It's a conceptual descendant of Deodato's outstanding arrangement of Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra," with all of the dramaticism and fairly little of the will to power. They called it "A Fifth of Beethoven" because a "fifth" of alcoholic beverages was a standard measurement, and people drank lots of alcoholic beverages in discotheques. A "fifth" was, from all the inexact data I've been rifling through this evening, somewhere around 30 fluid ounces. So a fifth of Beethoven, or any romantic composer really, would get you really messed up. Then you'd almost have to move on to Strauss just to bounce off the Beethoven. It was all very manageable; it was only when people started doing fifths of Stravinsky that the world started going to hell.

"California Strut" was the B-side of "A Fifth of Beethoven." It has no Beethoven, no Strauss, no Stravinsky. It might have a touch of the Love Unlimited Orchestra. And there was no stopping at just one fifth of them, let me tell you.

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