Casablanca Moon is a 1974 (or 1973 or 1980 still) album by Slapp Happy, the history of which is pretty complicated. It was first recorded by the band in 1973 with ascetic, austere instrumentation. Its genre can be definited as a mix of art-pop and avant-pop with a share of progressive-pop. The band's label, Polydor Records, rejected it and its release was cancelled.
It was rerecorded in 1974 for Virgin Records with the addition of many instruments so that it sounded much more lush. The refreshed material was released with the album under two names: Slapp Happy and Casablanca Moon.
The band members, Anthony Moore and Peter Blegvad, were not entirely satisfied by the result and later managed to reissue the original versions of the tracks which were more to their liking. It happened in 1980 already after Dagmar Krause had left for Henry Cow and Moore and Blegved had parted ways too. Now everyone can compare the versions and decide which are better in every case.
The Word of God goes: "For the more direct approach it would have to be Acnalbasac Noom. It had a naïve spontaneity to it. Naïve in the nicest sense of the nicest sense of the word."
The 1980 release was first named Slapp Happy or Slapphappy. Which deninitely confirmed who were the band behind the music and the lyrics so that no-one would doubt about that. Probably. Then in 1982 it was reissued once more as Acnalbasac Noom.
The new reissue of 1990 contained four worthy bonus tracks added to the 1980 version of the album.
For the 1974 release known as Casablanca Moon or Slapp Happy:
- "Casablanca Moon" (2:45)
- "Me and Parvati" (3:22)
- "Half Way There" (3:14)
- "Michelangelo" (2:33)
- "Dawn" (3:17)
- "Mr. Rainbow" (3:49)
- "The Secret" (3:28)
- "A Little Something" (4:30)
- "The Drum" (3:34)
- "Haiku" (3:01)
- "Slow Moon's Rose" (2:53)
For the 1980 release, known as Slapp Happy or Slapphappy which later in 1982 was reissued as Acnalbasac Noom:
- "Casablanca Moon" (2:57)
- "Me and Parvati" (3:25)
- "Mr. Rainbow" (3:45)
- "Michelangelo" (2:34)
- "The Drum" (3:45)
- "A Little Something" (3:15)
- "The Secret" (3:20)
- "Dawn" (3:30)
- "Half-Way There" (3:02)
- "Charlie 'n Charlie" (2:18)
- "Slow Moon's Rose" (3:06)
In 1990 four bonus tracks were added to the new release of the latter version:
- "Everybody's Slimmin' (Even Men and Women)" ( 4:07)
- "Blue Eyed William (demo)" (3:32)
- "Karen (demo)" (3:16)
- "Messages" (2:07)
- Anthony Moore keyboards, guitar
- Peter Blegvad guitar, vocals
- Dagmar Krause vocals
- Ac CENT Upon The Wrong Syl LA Ble: Dagmar sings Hoboken in the song "Casablanca Moon", stressing the second syllable instead of the first.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Lyrics for "Me and Parvati":Scattered like scars
On the skin of the stars
- In the same song:
Hounding the hunt of heaven
- Also lyrics for "Blue-Eyed William":
- Album Title Drop: A curious retrospective variant. Acnalbacas Noom is mentioned once in the song Casablanca Moon released in 1974 in the end of the second verse. It is only later in 1982 that an album with the Sdrawkcab Name was released. Thus it became a proper title drop only 8 years after the song became available.
It's better with a friend but you can do it alone
- Played much straighter with the phrase "Casablanca Moon", which is mentioned several times throughout the tracks.
- The name of the band themselves (and also somewhat of a title for some of their albums) is mentioned in the song "Everybody's Slimmin'", a 1990 bonus track. Except that an article "a" is put between two words.
Just slapp a happy platter on the gramophone
Stroke the air like you're buttering toast
Shake you yamma yamma like you're humping a ghost
- Bonus Material: Four great tracks on their 1990 reissue of Acnalbasac Noom. Including "Everybody's Slimmin'" which was a non-album single in 1983 complete with its B-Side "Blue-Eyed William".
- Bookends" On both versions of the album, "Casablanca Moon" is the first song and "Slow Moon's Rose" is the last.
- Commitment Issues: For the title character of the song "Karen":I bet she's found another
Probably he's my best friend
Takes no Columbus to discover
That's how these things tend to end
- Dark Reprise: On the 1974 album, "Mr. Rainbow" is performed with more instrumentation and with Blegvad delivering half of the lines in a much more sinister style than a previous take made earlier but released on the 1980 album. In the former version, the vocals are exclusively by Krause and entirely lack the menacing edge.
- A Day in the Limelight:
- Blegvad has a huge vocal presence on "Mr. Rainbow" in 1974 version while the other tracks are sung by Krause.
- "Slow Moon's Rose" is the only original song credited exclusively to Moore while the rest of the songs is credited to Blegvad or both Moore and Blegvad.
- Also the last 1990 bonus track, "Messages", is credited to Dagmar Krause.
- Blegvad sings on "Karen" - another 1990 bonus track.
- Double Agent: The main character of "Casablanca Moon" is apparently that.
- Either/Or Title: "Everybody's Slimmin' (Even Men and Women)".
- Epic Rocking:
- Averted by "Mr. Rainbow", which while sounding huge is actually only 3:49 (or 3:45) long. In the 1980 album it is still the longest track because the songs generally last between 2:30 and 3:30.
- The 1974 version of "A Little Something" is the closest to this trope, lasting 4:30 even though it is cute and by no means bombastic.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: As proved by "Mr. Rainbow".
- Film Noir: Invoked in "Mr. Rainbow". Even the very word "noir" is mentioned.
- Gratuitous French: How about "Quéquette d'ivoire" in "Mr. Rainbow" for starters. The song is full of similar treasures.Casquette de moire,
Toilette très noire,
Paul guette l'armoire,
Projette languette sur poire,
S'apprête baguette et foire.
- Gratuitous Latin: On "Mr. Rainbow" too: "nebula's sine qua non"
- Hot God: Parvati, the titular goddess in "Me and Parvati".
- Intercourse with You: "Karen" is very explicit.I loved a girl named Karen
She was from the Phillippines
She had the nicest face
& body I had ever seen
We made love on water
On land & in the air
Daytime or night time
Karen didn't seem to care
- Irony: The album. A very playful kind of irony. This album always holds its tongue in its cheek.
- Mind Screw: The history of this album is this. Two names for two versions released in the odd order.
- Non-Appearing Title: Played with in "Michelangelo". It is a song about an artist named Buonarroti. Of course he is Michelangelo but this first mononymous name is never mentioned in the lyrics, only a less-known surname.
- One-Woman Song: Karen of the same song (a bonus track), a very attractive girl from the Philippines.
- Overly Long Gag: The name of the 1980 reissue - Slapp Happy or Slapphappy
- Rearrange the Song: And Omnipresent Trope for this album. Every track has two versions which are variously arranged.
- Sdrawkcab Name: The smubla.
- Sexophone: "Slow Moon's Rose" contains a sax solo.
- Shout-Out: "Mr. Rainbow" is an allusion for Arthur Rimbaud.
- Silly Love Song: "The Secret".There he goes,
my hero in wonderful clothes - passing me by,
giving me the eye - he's my guy
- Soprano and Gravel: A very early example of that on 1974's version of "Mr. Rainbow" which is sung intermittently by Krause and Blegvad.
- Spy Fiction: In "Casablanca Moon", complete with cocaine stains on a moustache.He lurks behind a paper in the shadow of a mosque
He can't count all the continents he's crossed
Trailing party members leaving footprints in the frost
Underneath the Acnalbasac Noom
His cover was broken somewhere in Hoboken
The Man said his case was lost
He was sent to the Orient
A double agent double crossed
- Sophomore Slump: Averted as this album is held in much higher esteem than Sort of... Slapp Happy.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "The Secret". Especially on the 1974 version where it follows "Mr. Rainbow".
- A Weighty Aesop: "Everybody's Slimmin'".You don't notice 'cos you're having a gas
But as your body's working it diminishes in mass
Eat light that's right
You can see the fat evaporate into the night
- Word Salad Lyrics: Many of them.