Dancing in Your Head

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Dancing in Your Head
Dancing in Your Head.jpg
Studio album by Ornette Coleman
Released 1977
Recorded January 1973 – December 28, 1975
Genre Jazz-rock,[1] jazz-funk,[2] free jazz[3]
Length 35:31
Label Horizon
Producer Bryan Koniarz
Ornette Coleman chronology
Skies of America
Dancing in Your Head
Soapsuds, Soapsuds
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[5]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide 4/5 stars[6]
The Village Voice A[7]

Dancing in Your Head is a studio album by jazz artist Ornette Coleman, released in 1977 by Horizon Records.[7]


"Theme from a Symphony" was the first recording to feature Coleman's electric band, which later became known as Prime Time. The symphony referenced is Coleman's own Skies of America.

William S. Burroughs was present for the recording of "Midnight Sunrise",[8] which was recorded with the Master Musicians of Jajouka in 1973. The compact disc reissue features an alternate take of this composition, which is not present on the vinyl or earlier CD issue.


Dancing in Your Head was released originally on A&M Records, but it was re-mastered and re-released in 2000 on A&M/Verve/Universal Records. Its catalog number is 543 519.

Critical reception[edit]

Dancing in Your Head was voted the 15th best album of the year in The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics poll for 1977.[9] It was the first album by a jazz artist to make the poll. Robert Christgau, the poll's creator, ranked it number 11 on his own year-end list.[10] The album was identified by Chris Kelsey in his Allmusic essay "Free Jazz: A Subjective History" as one of the 20 Essential Free Jazz Albums.[3]


"Midnight Sunrise" was featured in the film Naked Lunch, an allusion to the fact that William S. Burroughs, the author of the book of the same name, which the film is partially based on, was present during the recording sessions of this composition.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Theme from a Symphony (variation one)"
  2. "Theme from a Symphony (variation two)"
  3. "Midnight Sunrise"
  4. "Midnight Sunrise (alternate take)" *
    • Bonus track on 2000 CD edition



  1. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony; Henke, James; George-Warren, Holly, eds. (October 27, 1992). The Rolling Stone Album Guide (3rd ed.). Random House. p. 152. ISBN 0679737294. Dancing in Your Head (1977) brought another breakthrough, as Ornette turned himself loose on a very funky version of rock-jazz fusion 
  2. ^ Trager, Oliver (1997). The American Book of the Dead. Simon & Schuster. p. 68. ISBN 0684814021. Retrieved August 25, 2013. Their jazz-funk fusion mode resulted in one of Coleman's most popular albums, Dancing in Your Head (1977). 
  3. ^ a b Kelsey, C. Free Jazz: A Subjective History accessed December 7, 2009.
  4. ^ Al Campbell, Allmusic review
  5. ^ Rolling Stone review
  6. ^ Swenson, J. (Editor) (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 45. ISBN 0-394-72643-X. 
  7. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (June 27, 1977). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  8. ^ Ranaldo, Lee (2012). "Interview with William S. Burroughs". In Colin Fallows & Synne Genzmer (eds), Cut-ups, cut-ins, cut-outs, p. 48. Vienna: Kunsthalle Wien. ISBN 3869843152.
  9. ^ "The 1977 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. January 23, 1978. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert (January 23, 1978). "Pazz & Joppers Dig Pistols--What Else Is New?". The Village Voice. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 

External links[edit]