Slapp Happy

Acnalbasac Noom

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The history of this album is a bit complicated. Originally titled Casablanca Moon, it was recorded for Polydor in 1973, but scrapped when the group signed with Virgin; their first Virgin release was an entirely re-recorded version of the same material, although it was entitled Slapp Happy when released. To compound the confusion, the Virgin version was retitled Casablanca Moon when it was reissued on CD in 1993 (on a single-disc release that also included their 1974 Virgin album Desperate Straights). Acnalbasac Noom is the original, 1973 recording of the Casablanca Moon material, and not a mere archival curiosity; it's quite worthy on its own merits. The group's songwriting had improved since their debut, and Krause's German chanteuse-influenced vocals found catchier, more rock-oriented settings. The lyrics are witty and oddball without being pretentious. Tracks like "Mr. Rainbow" recall Yoko Ono's early-'70s song-oriented material, with an important difference: Krause's vocals are much better than Ono's, while just as distinctive. "The Secret," with its almost girl-group-worthy catchiness, and "Charlie 'n Charlie," with its nifty surfish guitar riff, even sound like potential commercial singles. The four bonus tracks include the delightful 1982 single "Everybody's Slimmin'," with its immortal opening line, "Listen my children and you will hear/You can shed weight and still drink beer."

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