Ethel Merman

The Ethel Merman Disco Album

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The idea is, of course, absurd. By the end of the 1970s, everyone, it seemed, was adding a disco beat and trying to cash in on the current -- and temporary -- fad. But Ethel Merman? The seventy or so Broadway diva was 20 years past her last big success on the Great White Way and, you'd have thought, ready for retirement. Yet she agreed to sing some of her best-known songs in disco arrangements by the estimable Peter Matz (the man who, for example, helped Barbra Streisand put together her first albums). The result sounds pretty much like you'd expect. Matz creates fairly typical disco tracks, and Merman sings the way she always does, sounding like she has nothing to do with the background at all. Actually, she sounds good for a 70-year-old, but it doesn't matter. The record is really only good for a laugh, but there's just one joke.

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