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Tuesday, September 30, 2008
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS-THE VOYAGES OF SINBAD THE SAILOR
This seemingly innocent kid’s record — from Disneyland Records no less — is a beautifully disguised gem that introduced me to the concepts of adultery, subterfuge as self-defense, wholesale misogyny as enforced local policy, Islamic vengeance, and lust built through anticipation. It focuses on the famous story of how Scheherazade kept a bitter, cuckolded sultan from serially marrying, fucking and killing the young women of Baghdad by telling him serialized fantastic tales for one-thousand and one nights, during which time he grows to love her for her fascinating yarns (to say nothing of her drop-dead beauty), all of which, though somewhat cleaned up for a younger audience, is presented in a completely straightforward manner that does not talk down to the kiddies and accents the proceedings with excerpts from Rimsky-Korsakov’s beautifully evocate Scheherazade suite. And as for Scheherazade herself, the actress who gives her voice sounds sexy and exotic as hell! No joke, this has been one of my favorite records for thirty-seven years — I got it from my grandmother when I was six — and if given a choice of keeping only ten of the albums out of the 2000-plus I’ve acquired, this would absolutely make the cut.