In 1978 Linda McCartney, then a member of husband Paul's Wings, teamed up with British animator and director Ian Emes (known for his work with Pink Floyd) to create the hauntingly hypnotic cartoon short The Oriental Nightfish (so named after the Linda-penned composition it accompanies). The song features Linda's lead vocals as well as her electric piano and moog synth stylings with Wings filling in the gaps, providing a little extra sonic lift.
Trippy as all hell, in the best way, Ian Emes revealed to the Birmingham Post in 2010 just how this totally far out project achieved full realization:
I got pissed off whisky and put the music on as loud as it would go, and lay on my back in the living room and let it wash over me. The whisky did indeed help, and I came up with this weird idea where alien forces enter this building where someone who looks like Linda McCartney plays a Gothic Expressionistic Wurlitzer. This blonde female is penetrated, got naked and inhabited by the alien force, then she's replicated, before becoming a comet that explodes. The film was a bit weird and scary and a little bit sexual. Yet it was later put on Paul McCartney's Rupert The Bear video for children. The kids who watched it years ago are now in their 20s, and they've set up an internet site called The Oriental Nightfish Haunted My Childhood. I guess it freaked them out and opened their imagination.
Though the aforementioned site seems doomed to internet obscurity (if it even exists), the track "The Oriental Nightfish" is available on the studio/compilation album Wide Prairie released in 1998 following Linda McCartney's death earlier that year. The video for "The Oriental Nightfish" was made available on the VHS release of Rupert and the Frog Song -- a 1984 animated film based on the comic strip character Rupert Bear, written and produced by Paul McCartney -- a questionable placement given the not-so-vague sexual content of this short. There are some "import" vinyl collections out there that feature the song, one such release being the aptly titled Oriental Nightfish.
On this day in music history: May 27, 1972 - "Oh Girl" by The Chi-Lites hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week, also topping the R&B singles chart for two weeks on June 3rd. Written and produced by Eugene Record, it is the biggest pop hit, and the second R&B chart topper for the Chicago based R&B quartet. Record will write and demo the song, then forget about it for a time. Producer and arranger Carl Davis will hear the demo and tell The Chi-Lites lead vocalist that he has a potential hit on his hands. Recorded at Universal Recording Studios in Chicago, the track is engineered by Bruce Swedien (Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones) and features Record playing bass and guitar on the track along with other members of Brunswick's regular rhythm section including Quinton Joseph (drums) and Tom Washington, aka "Tom Tom 84," (piano). Issued as a single on March 2, 1972, the song will receive a major boost when The Chi-Lites appear on comedian Flip Wilson's top rated comedy/variety program. At first the producers of the show will expect them to perform their recent hit "Have You Seen Her," but after hearing the brand new song, they'll change their minds and emphatically agree to the group's request to perform their new single for the first time on national television. Entering the Hot 100 at #80 on April 8, 1972, it will climb to the top of the chart seven weeks later, ending Roberta Flack's six week run at the top with "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." "Oh Girl" will be certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: May 20, 1967 - "Groovin'" by The Young Rascals hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks (non-consecutive), also peaking at #3 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written by Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati, it is the second chart topping single for the New York City-based blue eyed soul/pop rock quartet. For the band's sixth single release, they will venture into new musical territory. Taking an interest in Afro-Cuban music, keyboardist and lead vocalist Cavaliere along with percussionist Brigati will come up with a leisurely paced groove with that sound in mind, and begin crafting a song around it. Lyrically, it will be about how the only time the two busy musicians could spend with their respective girlfriends was on Sundays. When they get into the studio to cut the track, they will enlist the assistance of veteran studio bassist Chuck Rainey to play on the song. Once it's completed, the band will present the song to Atlantic Records, who at first are unsure of the song's commercial potential. Famed New York DJ Murray "The K" will convince the label to release song after he expresses his enthusiasm for it. Released on April 10, 1967, it is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #79 on April 22, 1967, it will rocket to the top of the chart just four weeks later. "Groovin'" will prove to have major staying power once it reaches the summit. After two weeks at the top, it will be bumped from the #1 spot by Aretha Franklin's "Respect" for two weeks, then it will return to the top for an additional two weeks. "Groovin'" will be certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
Rockshow, the concert film featuring Paul McCartneyand Wings taken from the 1975 - 1976 tour “Wings Over America,” screens one night only at San Francisco’s Balboa Theatre on Thursday, May 16th at 7:30pm.
Filmed at the enormous Kingdome in Seattle, Rockshow was not premiered until November of 1980 in New York, April of 1981 in London and, until now, never in San Francisco!
Don't miss your chance to see this special film! Get your tickets HERE!
Remembering R&B legend Otis Redding (born Otis Ray Redding, Jr. in Macon, GA) - September 9, 1941 - December 10, 1967.
Also remembering Ronnie Caldwell, Carl Cunningham, Jimmy King, and Phalon Jones of The Bar-Kays.
On this day in music history: December 10, 1966 - “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, it is the third number one single for the Southern California based band. The song will have its origins in a conversation that Brian Wilson has with his mother during his childhood; she will tell him that dogs bark at people depending on the "vibrations" they sensed from them. Wilson tells this to his bandmate Mike Love and Love will come up with the title "Good Vibrations." Initially, Wilson will collaborate with lyricist Tony Asher on the song. Not entirely pleased with the lyrics, Love will completely re-write them. "Vibrations" will be recorded in 17 sessions over a period of six months in four different studios. The song will incorporate a number of instruments not typical for a pop song including cellos and a electro-therimin. At an approximated cost of over $50,000, it is the most expensive single record ever produced (at the time), with the final version being edited together from various sections recorded over the lengthy sessions. The song’s innovative production and structure will make it an immediate smash on both sides of the Atlantic, stoking demand for the band’s next album Smile, which is currently in the works. The album itself will not surface in its intended form until nearly 45 years later in 2011.