Thursday, September 25, 2008

Single of the Day - "Deodato: Cosi' Parlo' Zarathustra"

Single of the Day
Eumir Deodato: "Cosi' Parlo' Zarathustra" (CTI TC 9703) 1973
Produced by Creed Taylor

This very interesting 7" single released in Italy is also an important document. The front cover reproduced the Billboard Pop & Jazz Charts of the week ending on March 31, 1973, when both the "Prelude" album and the "Zarathustra/2001" single reached their peak positions on Billboard, according to the official info of RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).

As shown on the cover above (you can click on the image to enlarge it and see for yourself), Deodato's "Prelude" album reached the top of the "Billboard Best Selling Jazz Chart", ahead of Crusaders' "Second Crusade" (#2) and Hubert Laws' "Morning Star" (#3, another CTI album).

And the edited single version of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" (2001), after 9 weeks on the chart, reached its peak position as #2 on the "Billboard Pop Singles Chart". The only reason that "Zarathustra" was not a #1 Pop Single, like many people predicted, is that Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly With His Song" monopolized the #1 position during all the period that both singles remained on the charts.

Ironically, Deodato had written two additional string arrangements for Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly" album, but not for the main track, "Killing Me Softly With His Song".
Deodato was invited by the late producer Joel Dorn to overdub a strings section on the tracks "Jesse" and "Suzanne", but not on the song "Killing Me Softly With His Song", which was exclusively arranged by Roberta Flack alone (actually, there's no orchestral arrangement on this hit song, performed only by Roberta on piano & vocals plus a rhythm section consisting of Ron Carter, Idris Muhammad and Ralph MacDonald).

The many stories and articles that mention Deodato as the arranger of the song "Killing Me Softly" are completely wrong. Even more ridiculous are the critics/writers that praise Deodato's "beautiful string arrangement" on the song. It shows that none of them gave a listen to the album track nor took a look on the album credits, since there are no strings on "Killing Me Softly With His Song".

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