HOT R.S.
Forbidden Fruit

Album cover

album cover

Alternate "government approved" version

Alternate album cover

Tracks:

  1. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (Act 1) (Doug Ingle) (6:45)
  2. The Garden of Eden (D Norwood) (4:57)
  3. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (Act 1) (Doug Ingle) (3:09)
  4. Temptation (A. Freed/N.H. Brown) (6:22)
  5. Adam's Apple (K. Kruger) (9:08)
  6. Snake Dance (K.Kruger) (5:22)

Produced by Kevin Kruger
Arranged by Dan Hill & Kevin Kruger
Engineer - Hennie Hartmann
Recorded and Mixed at RPM Studios

Release information:

1978, RPM, RPM 1125
1997, Gallo, CDRED 605 J (CD re-issue with bonus tracks - see Forbidden Fruit and Other Delights)

Comments:
Cover scan and track info supplied by John Samson, January 2001.

'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida' is a cover of Iron Butterfly's classic metal anthem from 1968. 'Garden Of Eden' was originally a UK#1 hit for Frankie Vaughan in 1957. It was also a US#12 for Joe Valino in 1956.

Review:

Listening to the disco music coming out of South Africa, one thing that immediately stands out is how it rocks. International disco classics tended to be somewhat lightweight, relying on the repetitive disco beat for character (e.g. 'I Feel Love' by Donna Summer) or were funk laden floor stompers like Hot Chocolate's 'You Sexy Thing'. Not that there was anything wrong with this. They are rightfully classics, they just don't rock.

Like their contemporaries Buffalo, Hot R.S. created some memorable floorfillers with disco covers of rock classics. In the case of 'Forbidden Fruit', the centrepiece is a cover of Iron Butterfly's 1968 classic 'In a Gadda Da Vida', a song that would rock even if Carike Keuzenkamp were to sing it (...then again, maybe not). Hot R.S.' version fairly pounds along at a pace more furious than the original, with added Russian Cossack type chanting of "Hey!", a stirring guitar contribution and an interlude for a bit of serious drum banging. This was destined to be a classic cover.

Side 1 of the album is essentially one long megamix, starting with 'In a gadda...' merging into 'The Garden of Eden' and flowing back into Act II of 'In a gadda...'. It's a practically seamless piece, although the middle track does tend to conform more to the international standards of disco music with a strong female vocal, standard disco beat and some brassy bits for good measure.

The opening track on side 2, 'Temptation', lives up to the expectations of the rather naughty cover featuring a naked man & woman sitting 'inside' an apple. The male vocals are somewhat seedy while the breathy female French vocals includes some heavy breathing that doesn't quite rival Meg Ryan's 'When Harry met Sally' faking, but is more convincing than the average German porn film.

The other two tracks on this side conform more to the normal rules of disco with 'Adam's Apple' being a brassy, sassy somewhat funky number and 'Snake Dance' being pretty straightforward disco complete with girly 'Na na na' chorus backing the main strong male vocal.

All in all it is surely one of the greatest South African disco albums, for the most part rocking, but leaving space for some conventional vanilla disco tunes (Hagen-Dazs vanilla mind you).
-- John Samson, June 2001

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