1978 Meco – Theme From Close Encounters
Meco Monardo grew up in Pennsylvania, the son of a trombone player. While he wanted to play the drums, his father helped steer him to the trombone instead. Meco became accomplished enough to join the high school band while he was still in elementary school. He studied classical music and jazz in college and became a session musician from 1965 to 1974. He also began arranging music, especially horn sections for pop songs.
Meco began producing music, including co-producing the hit Never Can Say Goodbye for Gloria Gaynor.
The first Star Wars film came out in 1977 and created quite a stir. The soundtrack by John Williams impressed just about everybody, and the result was a good-selling soundtrack album. They released the single Star Wars (Main Title), and it quickly reached #10 on the Hot 100.
Meco attended the movie on its opening day and saw the film at least three more times by the next day. Disco was rapidly becoming mainstream, and he spoke with Neil Bogart at Casablanca Records and pitched recording a disco version of the soundtrack. Neil initially brushed off the idea, but when the film and soundtrack became more popular, he relented.
Meco released the single Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band and reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
Near the end of 1977, the next Science Fiction film to feature a John Williams soundtrack came out: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. Once again, John Williams released a single that featured music from the film and reached #13 on the Hot 100 in 1978.
Meco covered the theme song again with his own single, Theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Unfortunately, the single did not outperform the John Williams single; it peaked at only #25 on the Hot 100 in 1978.
Meco continued to create albums and singles based on film soundtracks through 1985, after which he retired from music and began work as a commodity broker.
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