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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lady O and Slave of Love (Marisa Mell on Record)

In 1979 the career of Marisa Mell was slowly coming to an end! Her latest succesful movie was "La belva col mitra" in 1977 with lover of that moment Helmut Berger. After this movie the offers were dwindling and she had to accept lesser and lesser movie offers to keep the cash flowing. In most of these movies she played a supporting role. Another way to keep the money coming in and being able to pay for a living was to accept several offers to pose in the nude in second class nude magazine's like "High Society" and other likewise. She hated it to do this but saw no other way to earn a living. Around the same time a german record producer with the name of Ralph Siegel got notice of the bad financial situation of Marisa Mell. Never to let an opportunity go by he offered her a record deal in the hope to cash in on her still well known name in Europe. It was a long shot but worth the risk he tought and maybe she could start a record career. Ralph Siegel was and still is a musician, composer and producer through his record label "Jupiter Records" based in Munich (Germany). The label is a real stable with dozen's of artists under contract. Siegel is best known as the man behind the only German Eurovision Song Contest winning in 1982 by German female singer "Nicole" and her peace song "Ein bisschen Frieden" or "A Little Peace". The song became a huge hit in Europe due to the cold war protest in the Regean era. The song made Ralph Siegel a very wealthy man. Later Ralph Siegel was put into the spotlight in France, Belgium and Luxembourg in face of a contract scandal he made for the two artists "Sophie and Magaly" with their song "Papa Pingouin". It was revealed that Siegel gave only 5000 Euros to each of the sisters, although more than one million records were sold. Ralph Siegel came up with the only 7" single Marisa Mell ever made with the title: "Lady O" as A-side and "Slave of Love" as B-side. The title of the songs are referring to a SM-relationship that Marisa Mell has with her lover for which she would do anything to get his love. The track has the actress begging, in a sexy husky speaking voice due to heavy smoking for many years, to be held down with heavy chains, beaten with sticks, and generally treated like "...your animal in a cage". The story refers to another well known SM-story "Histoire d'O" which was a big cinema hit in that period. The rhythm has an stop-and-go structure and the backing is minimal with just a drumbeat and some burbling synths, plus a chorus. The picture sleeve has Marisa on a motorcycle, wearing a red-black riding jacket. The record was one big farce and was horrible to listen to. It was a bomb and did not sell at all. Afterwards looking back one can only guess that Marisa Mell was very much in dispair to agree to such a monstrocity. Unfortunately she had to do almost anything to earn a living. Fact is that she had high hopes but was very disappointed when the single flopped in the charts and Ralph Siegel dropped her contract. It was the start of the definitive end of her career and the way down would be long and very painful untill the very end of her life!

Through the years the single has become a collector's item for fans of Euro-cult and it's actresses because of it's rarity and oddity. So finding it in good condition is not easy but occassionally the single is on offer on Ebay at a reasonable price.


the saucer people said...

I have spent the last hour searching for this single on blogs, youtube, torrent sites, P2P networks and of course Google and I cannot find it anywhere!

I have all kinds of strange and wonderful music and films so if you have a decent rip of the two songs I would love to do a swap! Or if the two songs are on the internet could you post the links....seventies disco music and the Story Of 'O'..I cannot think of a more sublime collision of cultural forces!

I appreciate you will not be around till May 2010, thought I would get my request in early!

the saucer people said...

Over a year later (see my last comment!) and I am still looking for a decent rip of the two tracks 'Lady O' and 'Slave Of Love' by Marisa Mell..if anyone has them I would be happy to pay for them or get you a gift in return...many thanks.