Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Disco Delivery #47:
Hot Blood - Disco Dracula (1977, Dynamo)
Hot Blood - Soul Dracula
Hot Blood - Sex Me
Hot Blood - Terror On The Dancefloor
Okay, so it's Halloween, and aside from Christmas, no other occasion has inspired more strange disco novelties.. Needless to say, I thought I'd be putting the novelties away with the last post, but with this thing arriving at my door yesterday (perfect timing!), it appears I've got one more to put up..
Perhaps best known for "Soul Dracula" (included here, naturally), Hot Blood was a rather anonymous German disco production, featuring a number of notable Munich session players, like Keith Forsey, Gary Unwin and Pepe Solera, to name a few.. The record is so anonymous in fact, that the production credit is given as 'Produced by Hot Blood,' which doesn't exactly illuminate things, although looking at the credits, one could speculate that the major player behind this was arranger Stefan Klinkhammer. Klinkhammer is perhaps best known for his work as both arranger (and sometime songwriter) on the majority of Boney M's albums along with a few other Frank Farian productions.. There doesn't seem to be much information on Klinkhammer available in English, but former Boney M member, Marcia Barrett has a couple of pictures with him on her official website. Unfortunately, I can only speculate from her captions that Klinkhammer has since passed away..
As far as the record itself goes, don't be fooled by the lipstick lesbian vampiress action on the cover (the vampire is apparently Calvin Klein model Lisa Taylor, thanks to Enrique for this tidbit.). This thing is a far cry from any Saint Tropez disco sapphic soap-opera.. The major track on the record, "Soul Dracula" has every cliché one would expect from a novelty 'dracula' track: maniacal laughing drrrracu-la with exaggerated Bela Lugosi-esque accent, catchy/annoying background gimmicks that drill themselves into your head, cheesy sexual overtones, not to mention a bit of pointless appropriation in the song title. I mean, somebody tell me what's so soulful about the 'Soul Dracula," anyway..
Still though, cliché's aside, this track is probably one of the better, more enjoyable Halloween disco records I've come across.. Unusually (although some might say mercifully) short at just around two and a half minutes, ironically enough, it's the shortest song on the album. Apparently there's a slightly longer version out there running at least 3.57 (thanks Kenneth!) which they didn't put on the album, for some reason...
Although this was released on a rather obscure indie label in the US two years following "Soul Dracula's" original single release, apparently, judging from what I've come across, "Soul Dracula" was a pretty sizeable hit in parts of Europe. I suppose it had to be, to have been 'performed' on TV. And as intriguing as the song is on it's own, I personally think it's best enjoyed with a little visual aid. Check out one of the performances archived on good ol' YouTube, complete with masked dracula and hilarious choreography:
Hot Blood - Soul Dracula
Uploaded by Kommog
Okay so the quality is shit, but you get the idea.. I could say more about that craziness, but I think one of the commenters on YouTube, brightonbits, summed it up best: "If Vampires sucked blood exclusively to get the cocaine in your system, I suppose this would be the logical theatrical interpretation.." That's right, move over, Thriller!..
Anyway, the rest of album is not all cheesy dracula tracks, there are actually a couple of half-way pleasant instrumentals, like "Even Vampires Fall In Love" and "Dracula Does Dreamy." Aside from those, the one track here that somewhat rises above the kitsch would have to be "Sex Me," the final track on Side 1. Instrumentally speaking, it's a nice sleazy, sexy slow-burner complete with a moaning female, sly guitar and string arrangements. If weren't for the ol' "Soul Dracula" getting in on the action, repeatedly whispering: "sex me.. sex me.. give me satisfaction" and my personal favourite: "do it..right there.. I like it.. I need it fresh!", it would probably make for a seriously substantial track on it's own. I suppose if Vampires can fall in love, they can get horny too, I guess..
Another bit of craziness that I also had to include here was the last track on the album, "Terror On The Dancefloor" (evidently released as a 12" in the US) which basically consists of our "Soul Dracula" mentioning a few of the other song titles over a litany of screams and a template Munich disco backing. With those catchy basslines and those strings (courtesy of the Munich Philharmonic) chased by some killer horn arrangements, it's quite possibly the best damn thing on the album..
Overall though, "Disco Dracula" is your typically harmless, fun novelty record, firmly entrenched in the realm of kitsch and camp, yet not without it's moments of inspired musicianship. Not something to break the bank for, yet nothing to pass on either..
Anyway, that's my Halloween post for this year. Happy Halloween!
And just a final note: by popular demand, I've also re-uploaded (for a limited time) last year's Halloween Post as well.. Enjoy!
PREVIOUS RELATED ENTRIES:
LOVE IN SPACE AND TIME.. (WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 8, 2006)
I WANNA SUCK YOUR..OOOOH! (TUESDAY OCTOBER 31, 2006)
HOT BLOOD - DISCO DRACULA (US LP) @ DISCOGS
HOT BLOOD - DISCO DRACULA (US LP) @ DISCOMUSIC.COM
STEFAN KLINKHAMMER @ ALL MUSIC GUIDE
STEFAN KLINKHAMMER @ DISCOGS
SCANNER: 'THRILLER' OVERLOAD? PERHAPS YOU SHOULD TRY 'SOUL DRACULA' (OCTOBER 31, 2007)
THE A.V. CLUB: WE DRINK BLOOD: 14 SONGS ABOUT VAMPIRES (OCTOBER 26, 2007)
THE ESSENTIAL GHOUL'S RECORD SHELF: SOUL DRACULA | HOT BLOOD (JULY 14, 2005)
CATEGORIES: DISCO DELIVERIES, VISUAL DISCO