Monday, April 15, 2013

Superstar From the Far East

Antony Villa - Superstar From the Far East Sings a Special Tribute to Elvis

Quick recap: Bad neighbors are out, new neighbors are pretty much up there like ghosts, have a new roommate. All of which equals less stress mentally and monetarily, so maybe I'll buy another record sooner or later. Everything's go.

So, here's another gold hit of vinyl that has had a fair run through the "bad LP" sites and has apparently also pleased/spiritually-benumbed many an unsuspecting listener over the many years since it's unleashment into this world: "Anto..." well just look at the title above again. 

Okay. Perhaps a year after E.Presley's ungainly death one might have had one's eye unceremoniously mugged with the 12x12" vibrant hues of blue/green jacketry offset by the familiar Bejewelry-implanted white jumpsuit now adorned by a fellow of seemingly Asian heritage while strolling past your favorite record-parlour.
I really don't know how an adult human brain functioned in 1978, but would an adult who was a fan of EP grab something like this product, maybe in a fit of grief or "dear-god-Elvis-will-never-release-another-album-again-because-of-all-the-deadness-so-THIS-will-help-deal-with-the-loss"-thinking? 
See, I simply don't know. Why the tribute album at all? If you like music and saw the mid-90's you also saw AT LEAST nine hundred 'tribute' albums dedicated to everyone from Nirvana to that guy busking outside of your local Safeway and how many of those survived any mental replay? Tribute albums have always been a higher form of novelty item, so why do people still throw their talent at the things like crumpled foil Teen-burger wrappers at a dustbin? For many it's the only way to showcase what they have if what they have isn't uhhh, say, history-making. In that, they went and wrote their own history anyway.

Antony Villa AKA Antony Starluck AKA Antony Starluck Villa-Real AKA "The Singing Inventor" recorded this LP here in Vancouver in '78 at Total Sounds West studios - a studio owned by Vancouver jazz player Dale Jacobs who also poked around some piano & synth on some tracks (and also had his own couple of bands, "The Dale Jacobs Group", and simply "Dale Jacobs" who a year later would release "Cobra" - something you've most likely come across in the thrifts, the cover featuring a very large snake let loose in a very fine apartment) and put it out on the ubiquitous (no, not really) "Golden Constellation International Records Ltd" label located at what is now Al Halal Meats up on Victoria Drive near the Dairy Queen. Tiny shop. 

Anyways, Let's look at the back of the LP cover.


READ all of that and decide not to hear it, I dare you.

The music is balanced out between soft rock-ish balladeering and disco, but a kind of disco that that group of older teens in the neighborhood worked for years at engineering, felt it was the high point of their lives and then later they all just went different ways and landed jobs managing lube-shop franchises in placed like Franklinville or something.
 
The mystery as to why this Ernie Manuel gets his own photo-box and blurb may never be resolved, since he only gets co-writing creds on one track along with back-up vocals. Other than this the internets reveal nothing on the man.
As for Antony himself, the man holds several patents - mostly on medical items - and still does musical work, although you can judge for yourself  if his talents have been honed to perfection in the years since. And then there's his own Facebook profile. A man of varied talents, to be sure.
 
You can preview what this thing will sound like here, just to see if it's worth downloading the whole album HERE.
Then we can all do the Moon Cat Dance!

3 comments:

KL from NYC said...

Most people from The Philippines have Spanish surnames, so that's my guess about his origin. The LP could have been sold during his (shudder!) lounge act at Harry's Tiki Lounge & Bowling Alley, or it could have been exported (legally?) to The Philippines.
BTW, are you still Mr. Panaflex, or are you a new person who has taken over the blog?

Darcy Jansen said...

Yep, same guy!

KL from NYC said...

I thought of this post when I saw the one here:
http://mrweirdandwacky.blogspot.com/2013/11/orion-jimmy-ellis-reborn.html
The guy has lots of offbeat records posted. You might want to take a look when you have the time.
He even has an Elvis Seance LP from the UK (it turned out to be really boring, but I had to hear it).
Hope you're doing well with your new neighbors.