The Bizarre Majesty Of Discoballs, A Pink Floyd Disco Tribute Album From 1977
These days odd, mismatched cover songs are a dime a dozen, and weird tribute albums are a cottage industry, but once upon a time they were rare birds. Still, even with their ubiquity Discoballs: A Tribute To Pink Floyd is almost mind-blowingly strange.
The album was cut in 1977, when Pink Floyd had turned from psych-rock to a more prog sound (Animals was their latest album at the time). While disco and rock had been colliding for a while - The Rolling Stones had really embraced funk and dance music on Black And Blue, especially with Hot Stuff - Pink Floyd seemed like the last band to go for the dance floor (it's worth noting that in 1979 Floyd would utilize a disco beat on Another Brick in the Wall Part 2). And yet the fusion of Floyd and disco sort of really works. Especially strange: the disco version of the nine minute head trip Interstellar Overdrive. Acid music revised for coke heads.
The band doing the covers is called Rosebud, but they're really just a bunch of French disco artists who got together for this one-off project. The guy spearheading the project was Gabriel Yared, who would go on to win an Oscar for his score to The English Patient. He also scored a bunch of other Anthony Minghella films, and I especially love his work on The Talented Mr. Ripley.
The big hit off the album was the disco version of Have A Cigar, which is utterly strange and kind of awesome.
The B side of that single was Money. Also incredible, this is probably my favorite track off the album.
Discoballs: A Tribute to Pink Floyd was released on CD a couple of years ago. Before that it had been a huge collector's item, but now everybody can have a copy for just like six bucks.