Crappy Album Covers #87 — Belly Dancing II

album_cover_crap_114_-_orienta I’ve noticed that in the past copule of posts, album covers of middle eastern music/belly dancing of the ’50s and ’60s appear to prefer redheads. Here, even the blonde has to settle for being upstaged by this redhead. If the bald fella hits the gong, the performance is over and the dancer gets escorted off the stage.
album_cover_crap_114_-_orienta_back “Orienta: The Marco Polo Adventures” could have been made in the late 50s and early 60s when most blockbuster movies consisted of stories of history and exploration. But no exact information exists.
album_cover_crap_108_-_mambobelmontemidnight Mambo at Midnight, by Belmonte and his Afro-American Music. At least it’s not that other Midnight Mambo: the horizontal one. 

Click here to hear a sampling of what Belmonte sounds like.

Crappy Album Covers #83 — Belly Dancing I

album_cover_crap_116_-_port_said Port Said (Bur Sa’id), an Egyptian city lying on the Mediterranean Sea, was originally built in the mid-1800s, so the story goes, to house people hired to costruct the Suez Canal. The Canal runs through Port Said and ends at the Red Sea. 

I would imagine that belly dancing became popular in Western culture precisely by Europeans and Americans coming to Egypt to work on the canal.

I wonder what the deal is with the concentric circles emanating from the dancer’s left nipple. It could be a GPS transmitter.  Ships entering Port Said can use her as a navigation aid.

“Belly Dance Music From Port Said” is one of at least 3 albums from Saffet’s Oriental Orchestra.

album_cover_crap_117_-_belly_2 Exactly how does one convey the music of belly dancing on an album cover? If you have a beautiful wife, you can photograph her in Egyptian garb and have her do various poses and contortions. Take a bunch of polaroids, and paste it as a mini-montage on a hot pink canvas, then title it using a Arabic-style calligraphy. 

Many Westerners who don’t understand Islamic culture (or who understand it only enough to know the tightly-held taboos, especially on women’s mode of dress) have trouble reconciling themselves to this apparent contradiction in their acceptance of belly dancing. But I guess it wouldn’t be a true culture if it didn’t have contradictions.

Ray Mirijanian has had at least 6 albums produced in the mid to late 1960s on Middle Eastern music.