Forgotten Treasure: Luv You Madly Orchestra “Moon Maiden” (1978)
Telling someone that you’ve stumbled upon a track that sounds like an Arthur Russell disco joint is a very serious (if not blasphemous) claim, likely to be met with a heavy dose of skepticism and social rejection. It’s risky business, and understandably so, as no one comes close to the extraordinary percussive-heavy left-field dance floor a-bombs of Russell (Dinosaur L, Loose Joints, Felix). No one, except for maybe Walter Gibbons.
Luv You Madly Orchestra is a discofied tribute album to Duke Ellington put out by Salsoul in 1978. I know…sounds like a potential disaster right? Add to that the somewhat “I Love Lucy” – looking album cover and you have a very strong crate-diggers’ deterrent here. Luckily, my very knowledgable friend Francois (aka Dr. Love) was having a record sale and highlighted this one for me. He knows me well.
Moon Maiden, expertly mixed by Walter Gibbons, is an absolute mind-bender with it’s overwhelmingly sweepy and loopy string-sections, funky guitar riffs, repetitious female vocals (Alfa Anderson of Chic), cowbell/kick-drum combos, bubbly basslines, crunchy symbols, computer-like bleeps n’ bloops and that wonderfully melodramatic synth (best heard during the breakdown at 6:20). Very Russell-esque indeed. It’s no surprise they collaborated with each other.Luv You Madly Orchestra - Moon Maiden