BBW Tribute Album Producer Talks Size Acceptance with "The Aquarian"

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Goddess Patty

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Respected music and entertainment journalist Bryan Reesman has written an expose profiling the unorthodox new tribute album, "WHOLE LOTTA LOVE: An All-Star Salute To Fat Chicks." Appearing in East Coast music newspaper "The Aquarian," the article spotlights the new project featuring members of such bands as Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, Cinderella, Danger Danger and L.A. Guns performing well-known songs praising the fuller female form. Interviewed in the article is the album's executive producer A.J. Confessore, with additional comments from L.A. Guns singer Phil Lewis and blues diva Candye Kane. An excerpt from the article follows.

"Whole Lotta Love" Compilation: Divas Deluxe

by Bryan Reesman

Tribute albums are a dime a dozen these days. Whether it's a string quartet homage to a metal band or a half-assed holiday collection, conjuring up an original concept is a challenge. Producer A.J. Confessore created an unusual one near and dear to his heart, "Whole Lotta Love: An All-Star Salute To Fat Chicks," that is quite sincere. Confessore has been a lifelong aficionado of big and beautiful women. "I suppose it's largely a matter of more," he says of his extra curvy muses. "More hips. More curves. More softness. More of everything round and feminine. It's all exaggerated and amplified. To put it in rock and roll terms, these girls go to 11."

"WHOLE LOTTA LOVE" features a cornucopia of catchy rock odes to large and lovely ladies reinvented in each artist's style. Singer Stevie Rachelle, Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French and drummer Stet Howland offer their raunchy take on Ted Nugent's "Thunder Thighs." Newcomer Celisa Stratton gives Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" a slow, sensual twist. Rock comedian C.C. Banana and Banana 7 reinvent Kiss' "Spit" as "Split" with a male and female vocal interplay, Eddie Ojeda's Band of Steel add snarling guitars to Spinal Tap's bass heavy "Big Bottom" and "That Metal Show" co-host Don Jamieson rocks up Sir Mix-A-Lot’s "Baby Got Back." And there's more. It's an eclectic mix of songs and performers for sure. One imagines what doing the research for this collection entailed.

"In the days before the advent of the Internet -- where you now can find practically any song at any time -- I worked as a disc jockey at my college radio station," recalls Confessore. "One of the perks was access to a massive music library, crammed to the rafters with all the songs my young self could ever want. As a budding admirer of the fuller female figure, I was inspired to compile a mix tape of all the songs I could find devoted to big girls. At the time, I knew of only four: 'Fat Bottomed Girls,' 'Unskinny Bop,' 'All Lips N' Hips' and 'Spit,' and two of them technically weren't even about fat women. But a seed had been planted and the idea stayed in my head."

The producer is not alone in his love for large ladies. L.A. Guns frontman Phil Lewis, who covers Queen's "Fat Bottom Girls" for the album, shares Confessore's passion for Rubenesque figures. "Skinny little spinners have never done it for me," Lewis proclaims. "They were always too boney for my particular taste. So ignore those magazine mannequins with their celery and their treadmills. Let's hear it for the plush princesses who are confident in their curves!"

One performer whom Confessore was ecstatic to receive was famed blueswoman Candye Kane, who contributed her own song "You Need A Great Big Woman," which originally came out on her 1997 album "Diva La Grande." She says she's honored to be included and has always extolled the virtues of being a big woman because "I never did see myself, or women like me, on the cover of 'Cosmo' or 'Vanity Fair.' I only saw myself on the cover of 'Plumpers & Big Women' and 'Hefty Mamas.' But my message to you is, you've got to love your body and love yourself."

"Candye Kane is a national treasure, and I could not be more honored to feature one of her size-positive original recordings," enthuses Confessore. "Like most heterosexual American males, I first discovered Candye through her adult modeling work, when she was one of but few plus-sized women confident enough to pose for the nudie mags. It was only after I'd managed to pull my eyes off her photos, and read the accompanying text, that I learned she was also a singer and songwriter. Hearing my first Candye Kane song made me an instant fan and seeing her perform live simply sealed the deal. Even though this woman has more curves than a roller coaster, her voice alone can make a man weak in the knees."

While Confessore is excited about his compilation, his discussion about large women is something that runs deeper than just lustful desire, and he gets quite serious when discussing body image. (This is a man to whom Jennifer Lopez possesses "a traditionally sized derriere.") He is certainly pleased with what he feels is an awareness of larger women in the media that has never been greater, even if they are still not the norm. He notes how "cute chubby girls are often included in ensemble television casts," how plus-sized women have been featured on "America's Next Top Model," and that "the newly minted Full Figured Fashion Week was a rousing success. Even mainstream programs like 'Entertainment Tonight' routinely cover plus-centric issues, with an obligatory celebrity slant."

At the same time, Confessore's complaint about this recent trend is that "few of these fuller femmes get to bask in the spotlight unless they're losing weight; or worse yet, gaining it." He stresses that it is nearly impossible for women of a certain size to make a name for themselves in Hollywood. "Even those precious few big girls who break through via the side door of the music industry -- I'm looking at you, 'American Idol' contestants -- tend to eventually give in to industry pressure and conform their bodies to a more acceptable standard. They can make a splash by celebrating their size, but rarely are they allowed to maintain their acceptance of it."

"The message this sends out is that it's okay to be fat… just so long as you're not happy about it," he continues. "Sure, they'll put a fat woman on TV, but only if she's getting smaller on 'The Biggest Loser.' They’ll feature fat dancers on 'Dance Your Ass Off,' but only because they're all trying to slim down. The beautiful lead actress in 'Drop Dead Diva' is allowed to be a big girl, but only because her character is being punished for being a vain skinny bitch in her previous life. Even sex goddess Kirstie Alley is permitted to be on TV again, but every one of her shows must be about her latest battle with the bulge." He says such programs are not entirely without merit, but he feels that their need to justify the inclusion of heavier women "speaks volumes about how these women are still regarded by the world at large."

"The 'WHOLE LOTTA LOVE' tribute album is here to acknowledge that fat women are fine, fat women are foxy and fat women are fabulous," declares Confessore. "Who knows? With more projects like this, maybe one day the word 'fat' will no longer carry the negative connotation it invariably does today."

The complete article is available here:

http://www.TheAquarian.com/2011/02/23/whole-lotta-love-compilation-divas-deluxe
___________________________

As previously reported, "WHOLE LOTTA LOVE: An All-Star Salute To Fat Chicks" is a musical homage to the big, beautiful women who make the rockin' world go 'round. It features all-new recordings of popular songs praising the fuller female figure, originally made famous by some of the biggest names in rock and pop music. These anthems to abundance are performed by renowned rock & rollers from yesterday and today, along with a select few rising stars. In direct opposition to the "no fat chicks" mantra espoused by some, "WHOLE LOTTA LOVE" is a star-studded celebration of large and lovely ladies.

"WHOLE LOTTA LOVE: An All-Star Salute To Fat Chicks" is now available directly from SplitScreen Entertainment. Further details can be found at the SplitScreen Entertainment website.

http://www.SplitScreenEntertainment.com
 

Stroker Ace

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Being a musician I too read about this project recently. While I've not picked a copy yet I'm quite intrigued. I know the cover art was done by Les Toil, a rather infamous artist who's done amazing portraits/pin up art of larger/curvy women. Truly beautiful art. Les' cover art is a take on the Led Zeppelin 'Swan Song' logo (itself a take on the painting "Evening: Fall of Day", an oil painting of the sun god Apollo by 19th century American artist, William Rimmer).

It's no secret that there have been plenty of songs about the more ample female figure in rock n' roll and blues in particular. "Fat Bottom Girls" (Queen), "Whole Lotta Rosie" (AC/DC), "Big Bottom" (Spinal Tap, although a parody still a great band and song!), some have said "Whole Lotta Love" (Led Zeppelin) is a subtle ode to fat women (in particular the song's 'mid' section with it's tribal rhythms, shrieking outer space like sounds of the theremin and feedback, and of course the vocal moans n' groans). I remember playing in the jazz/blues band at a local community college a rather long ways back and one of the female singers, who had that wonderful Bonnie Raitt like rasp, and who had a little more meat on her bones brought in a song called "Built For Comfort, Not For Speed". Pretty much a standard 12-bar blues song, but both she and the instructor liked my guitar playing on it enough to add it to the repitore and I got to play a solo too. Pretty sweet.

I've found that, especially in terms of personality and character, fat women always turn it up to "11"!

Now I got to track down the album, wonder if they have it on vinyl!:smitten:
 

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