Who Built The Pyramids?

 “And the space-craft came on down to Egypt land, part of a blue star which was called “the earth”. There they stood on desert ground, walls of stone so tall and proud, as witness of the holy writ. But who had set up these pyramids? ”  

ORS (Orlando Riva Sound) – Who Built The Pyramids?


While anyone with more than a passing interest in seventies disco music will be aware of the group ORS (Orlando Riva Sound) I am sure many people will initially have assumed like I did, that they were an American outfit, mainly for the fact their most well known tracks Moon-Boots and Body To Body Boogie (mixed by Tom Moulton  & the late  Bobby ‘DJ’ Guttadaro respectively) were released on the Salsoul Records label.

In fact they were members of the seventies unstoppable German disco machine populated by legends such as Giorgio Moroder, Frank Farian, Michael Kunze and I would strongly argue kosmische pioneer Conny Plank. Formed by core members Anthony Monn & Rainer Pietsch and later joined by Stefan Zauner and the exquisitely beautiful singer Sophia Reaney, they were signed to the Ariola label and released their first single ‘Verde‘ in 1976. However it was the b-side track ‘Moon-Boots‘ where the real excitement lay and in 1977 a 12 Inch Tom Moulton remix version of the track was released on Ariola in Europe and Salsoul Records in America.

A year later they released their debut album Body To Body which was again picked up in America by Salsoul and re-named Body To Body Boogie (a couple of tracks were remixed at the legendary Bob Blank studio by Moulton & Guttadaro). After the success of their debut album they released a few more singles but by then the zeitgeist was infused with the disco sucks meme and their last four releases between 1980 and 1982 were in Germany & the Netherlands only (which is probably why the tracks below are not that well known).

The first two tracks are taken from the rare Untitled 1981 four track 12 inch promo for the unreleased Neonlight Children album:

ORS (Orlando Riva Sound) – Who Built The Pyramids? [1981]

ORS (Orlando Riva Sound) -Wall Of Sound [1981]

The second two tracks are taken from the 1981 12 inch single O.T.T. (Over The Top)

ORS (Orlando Riva Sound) – O.T.T. (Over The Top) [1981]

ORS (Orlando Riva Sound) – O.T.T. (Over The Top) [Vox Mix]

As a side note, all the tracks featured here were due to be included on the unreleased album (Who Built The Pyramids? was also released as a 7 & 12 Inch single) and hopefully in the future it will finally see the light of day as more record companies grasp the demand for these kind of albums. As for the music itself, it has a real ‘cosmic‘ feel about it (albeit expressed in the language of seventies sci-fi) with the ‘Who Built The Pyramids?’ track espousing the themes of extraterrestrials and alien spacecraft with a tale of future ET explorers landing on a desolated earth only to discover life itself has been wiped out with only the pyramids left standing in mute witness to humankind’s self-destruction.

The other tracks, two versions of “O.T.T.(Over The Top)” have some of the strangest lyrics I have ever encountered; essentially a story of society’s obsession with acronyms. Here is but a brief sample to give you some idea of the high literary weirdness involved:

It’s O.R.S. not a U.F.O., Come back “nobel” with your T.N.T., Here’s an I.O.U. signed L.S.D

Hell, yeah!

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  • Comment | 13/08/2010

    oh! I really thought they were disbanded in 1980, I’m greatly pleased to discover that they produced more tracks than the hits you mentioned.

    And it also inspires me to write longer and more comprehensive blog tickets, it makes a difference.

  • Comment | 13/08/2010

    Glad you found the ORS post informative okay_awright, I was kind of worried it was a little too long but I guess the beauty about Overfitting Disco is the fact there is room for all kinds!

  • Comment | 16/08/2010

    I got a cool version of Who Built The Pyramids credited to Tony Monn Concept, by Anthony Monn of course. This is somewhat different from the ORS track – maybe I should post this, nein?

  • Comment | 18/08/2010

    Mate, thanks for this great post. I just want to drop a line as you mentioned Frank Farian – he potentially became one of the top 5 pop music producers in Germany ever after his early 70s disco start …and he comes from St.Ingbert, a town 10 km away from Saarbrücken where the headquarters of The Robot Scientists are located. Maybe a good omen…;)

  • Comment | 23/08/2010

    Hey there Markus, thanks for your kind words, yeah Frank Farian is one of the key German disco producers and a studio genius!

    There must be something in the water around Saarbrucken, producing all these talented German artists and DJs!

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