David Byrne Meets Fatboy Slim Meets...Imelda Marcos! WTF?!

In a stroke of some kind of bizarre musical genius, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim joined forces to create an epic, 22-song disco opera album about the life and times of Imelda Marcos—that controversial, shoe-loving widow of Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Yup, for me, it's one of the biggest WTF?!'s of the year, but, damn, it's good. Some of it is great, even.

Each song on Here Lies Love features vocals from a different powerhouse singer, mostly women, representing the voice of Imelda and the people in her world. The jaw-dropping line-up includes Tori Amos, Nicole Atkins, Sharon Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Natalie Merchant, Santigold, and The B-52s' Kate Pierson.

After the album's prologue track, the whole affair kicks off with the wonderfully catchy "Every Drop of Rain," featuring Candie Payne & St. Vincent. The song is meant to be a duet between a Estrella, the housekeeper, and a young Imelda. The album notes explain:

During Imelda's childhood, Estrella, the housekeeper, raised her. They were fairly close in age, but Estrella became a mother to Imelda—she took care of her and the rest of her family in every way. Estrella, Imelda, her mother, and her brother lived in a leaking garage alongside a broken-down car. They slept on boards, while their wealthier relatives lived in the big house next door. At night Imelda's mother often cried, so the children usually slept with Estrella.

I think you might love this. Listen:

More information about Here Lies Love can be found on David Byrne's website.

And there's a great behind-the-scenes Time interview with David Byrne here.

1 comment:

  1. Next comes the stage show. 'Don't cry for me Filipino's ..' (as I recall they didn't ...)