Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Kim Fowley - Born To Be Wilddotdot
artworkThis is Kim Fowley's 1968 Sunset Strip discotheque au go-go record. Crunchy guitar chords and combo organ playing dramatic swoons and swills. Amazingly, it's quite fun, especially when you realize no one sings. The chameleon changes his jacket again. You wouldn't want to take this seriously, but on the other hand, you'll relish the faces of your guests at your next party.
Picks: Born To Be Wild, I Can't Stop Dancing, Shake A Lady, Hello I Love You, Soul Limbo, Space Odyssey, Wild Weekend, Pictures Of Matchstick Men, Savage In The Sun, Sunshine Of Your Love, Classical Gas, Fresno, 1963, Wild Weekend, Untitled

Track by Track Review


Born To Be Wild dotdotdot
Discotheque (Instrumental)

The Mars Bonfire classic, slowed, souled, and schmoozed. Kim Fowley makes this over into what Booker T. and the MG's might have, had only they lived in a different Memphis suburb and hung with the pale boys more. Pretty fun. What's interesting is that it's actually closer to writer Dennis Edmunton's version under his pseudonym Mars Bonfire than the hit he recorded when he was a member of Sparrow and then Steppenwolf.

I Can't Stop Dancing dotdot
Discotheque (Instrumental)

In a nearly perfect Archie Bell and the Drells, Mr. Fowley slushes out this corner bar rendering of an archetypal sixties pre-disco dance number. I can't stand it.

Shake A Lady dot
Discotheque (Instrumental)

The "I'm so talented" organ, and the restrained and strained fuzz guitar blend perfectly into a swirl of mid tempo club groove of the era.

Hello I Love You dotdotdot
Discotheque (Instrumental)

Here you go, now. If you thought the Doors were selling out as they dipped further and further into the pop arena from their lofty surf roots as Rick and the Ravens or after the power of "Break On Through" or the nightmare of "The End," you ain't heard nuthin' yet... The organ replaces Jim Morrison's voice, and it slides down from there. Pure discotheque cheese.

Soul Limbo dotdot
Discotheque (Instrumental)

Booker T. and the MG's classic "Soul Limbo" is removed from the Memphis groove to the post riot neon of Sunset Strip, where is retains the Latin limbo feel, but substitutes the soul for wonder bread.

Space Odyssey dotdot
Discotheque (Instrumental)

No, this isn't the theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey." It's a midway classic, all spruced up with dramatic mall organ pomp, with almost mariachi horns. Remarkably, it sneaks into your psyche like that well done commercial you hate.

Wild Weekend dotdotdot
Discotheque (Instrumental)

The Rockin' Rebels didn't mean this to happen. With the added girls carrying on with shouts of party jive, it takes on a surreal air. This is everything Hollywood did with rock 'n' roll in films, fake enthusiasm, and only the science lab structure of the real thing. Hilarious.

Pictures Of Matchstick Men dotdotdot
Discotheque (Instrumental)

The phasing swirl is gone, the Leslie vocals too. Only the liquid lights of the Whisky A Go-Go while the janitor cleans up the morning after survive. The thing is, their serious. The grin is only on your face, not theirs.

Savage In The Sun dotdot
Discotheque (Instrumental)

Another Mars Bonfire tune dragged away from it's Canadian roots and into a Memphis back alley where it's mugged and left for dead. Extra strange.

Sunshine Of Your Love dotdotdot
Discotheque (Instrumental)

You know what happens when you run outta gas, don't you... The power is gone and you go nowhere. Well, here it is. This is spectacularly bad, so bad that you need it for your next party. It's completely amazing, like the inverse of Cream's original. Oh the mind of Fowley!

Classical Gas dotdotdot
Discotheque (Instrumental)

This is a guitar song, right? You can't imagine the bleach it took to get the dramatic catgut soul out of it, but Kim Fowley found a way. You skin will crawl. It's a lot like Haystacks Balboa (pre-Mountain band of Leslie West) with the stacks of Marshalls removed. Too funny.

Fresno, 1963 dotdot
Discotheque (Instrumental)

I don't think this is aimed at Jim Waller and the Deltas, or even Jim Doval and the Gauchos. Cheesy, with maple syrup.

Wild Weekend dotdotdot
Discotheque (Instrumental)

The Rockin' Rebels didn't mean this to happen. With the added girls carrying on with shouts of party jive, it takes on a surreal air. This is everything Hollywood did with rock 'n' roll in films, fake enthusiasm, and only the science lab structure of the real thing. Hilarious.

Untitled dot
Discotheque (Instrumental)

Not listed on the sleeve or the back, and unrecognized by me, this is a basic organ riff based on a line from Barrett Strong's "Money," with Memphis horns and a vacancy in the soul department.