Get those plates spinning

LeeAnn was kind enough to serve up a good object lesson in musical universality: classical themes in a metal mood, if you will.

Which reminded me of an old favorite I hadn’t spun in a while. Love Sculpture was a Welsh blues band (!) operating in the late 1960s. While most of their repertoire consisted of genre standards, they scored an unlikely UK #5 hit in 1968 with a power-trio version of the Sabre Dance from Khachaturian’s ballet Gayaneh. It wasn’t released in the States until 1970, and then only because leader Dave Edmunds had scored a solo hit with a cover of Smiley Lewis’ R&B shouter “I Hear You Knockin’,” prompting the usual Vault Raids. This isn’t technically metal — the guitar is way more Chuck Berry than Kirk Hammett — but it certainly passes the speed test. The video is billed as a live TV appearance; apart from the applause at the end, though, the sound is pretty much identical to what’s on my copy of the record.

The ending, of course, is more Puccini Rossini than Khachaturian, but what the hell.


  1. fillyjonk »

    4 December 2010 · 10:41 am

    Ha ha, that’s wonderful. (Actually, the ending sounds more like Rossini to me, but whatever.)

    All the more so because I can imagine the discussion between the bandmembers before they decide to attempt to convert the “Sabre Dance” to something they would play….

  2. CGHill »

    4 December 2010 · 11:20 am

    Actually, you’re right; it’s the tail end of the the overture to Guillaume Tell.

    I play this once in a while at work. Should anyone be within earshot, their eyes will bug out.

  3. Brett »

    4 December 2010 · 4:19 pm

    Edmunds revisited “Sabre Dance” on 1994’s Plugged In, and it sounds just as wild.

  4. LeeAnn »

    5 December 2010 · 6:41 am

    Well, any attempts by me to sound musically educated would be ridiculous. But I do know what I like, and I liked this. :)

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