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Strange Cargo [CD]

William Orbit Audio CD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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William Orbit is probably best known to American audiences for his Grammy winning production work on Madonna’s multi-platinum record Ray of Light in 1998. Orbit and Madonna received six Grammy nominations for the record and took home statues for Best Pop Album and Best Dance Record, but Orbit has been pioneering his unique combination of ambient electronica and acoustic music since the ... Read more in Amazon's William Orbit Store

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Strange Cargo + Strange Cargo 2 + Strange Cargo III
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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Jan 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: I.R.S. No Speak/EMI
  • ASIN: B000000QGK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,627 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Via Caliente 2:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Fire And Mercy 5:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Jump Jet 2:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Silent Signals 5:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. The Secret Garden 3:38£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Out of The Ice 3:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Scorpion 2:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Riding To Rio 3:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Jimmy's Jag 3:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. The Mighty Limpopo 4:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Theme Dream 2:05£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Best known for his production duties on Madonna's Ray Of Light--hauling the diva into the post-electronica world, investing her sound with a tougher, more contemporary edge--Orbit's own music has been overlooked. Apart from being the man who bought Beth Orton (his onetime lover) to attention, he's also released four solo albums--all appearing under the Strange Cargo banner--of which this 1987 effort was the first. If nothing else, it serves as a showcase for his technical proficiency: traditional muso-types who dismiss Orbit as a mere knob-twiddler, lost without his machines, will be astounded by the level of guitar virtuosity on display here. And the production is as immaculate as one would expect. But for all its flawless surface, there's a discernible lack of heart to this album: many tracks ("Fire And Mercy," "Out Of The Ice") seem more like problem-solving exercises than actual compositions, while others ("The Mighty Limpopo", "Theme Dream") sound like nothing so much as factory-installed demos for particularly expensive pieces of software. --Andrew McGuire

Product Description

WILLIAM ORBIT Strange Cargo (Deleted 1988 UK I.R.S. 11-track CD album picture sleeve)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unknown Great 11 Feb 2011
By kyrrith
Format:MP3 Download
I first purchased this album on vinyl in 1988 after coming across it and simply being intrigued by the title. I had no idea what to expect, but as soon as I played it I fell in love with it, and literally played it to destruction. The songs, all instrumentals, are like the soundtracks to imaginary film scenes from thriller to romance to adventure. The music is paradoxically both eclectic and consistent, and impossible to pigeonhole into anyone genre. This album is an almost unknown, and very under-appreciated, great and should have a place in everyones album collection.
Yes, this is the same William Orbit who produced albums by Madonna and Katie Melua.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shocking 3 Jan 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Considering he has written one of Madonnas albums (in my opinion - her best album) this is pony!
avoid, if you were expecting some of the same!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange Cargo by William Orbit.... 31 Dec 1998
By Jeff Long - Published on
Format:Audio CD
The Strange Cargo series by William Orbit is by any means wonderful music. This particular album is the first of the series. It's got fast rhythms and some slow ones, so it's going to meet the varying tastes of different listeners. If you have questions or doubts about buying this album, get William Orbit, The Best of Strange Cargos. Best of Strange Cargos is a compilation of songs from his 4 cd series, which includes 4 songs from the first Strange Cargo album. The Strange Cargo series wil provide hours of listening enjoyment to all who purchase this album. I recommend it with flying colors and hope you enjoy it too.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Proto-Ambient Classic. 10 April 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Most people hadn't even heard of 'ambient' when this album came out. I first bought it on vinyl when it came out on the IRS NoSpeak label which was dedicated to instrumental music (other releases included Billy Currie and Stewart Copeland). At the time it was a novel idea. Not many people were making instrumental music. Nor had the popularity of electronc music in general surged to the proportions it enjoys today. There are moments of sheer brilliance on this album. Orbit chose not to craft his sound as discreetly as Eno's but instead used the addition of electric guitar solos, drums and lots of keyboards. What you got was a sort of spaceman-crime fighter soundtrack. Don't forget, Miami Vice was still on TV when this bad boy came out and people thought Jan Hammer was a genius! The dance beats that permeated the later Strange Cargo releases didn't appear on this album because no one at the time had thought to mix the elements. Moby and the Orb still had yet to appear! Given that, this album made a great contribution to the thriving electronic scene we enjoy today. Pick it up now, enjoy and file under proto-ambient.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid early electronica 26 Feb 2000
By Michael Strom - Published on
Format:Audio CD
The 1st Strange Cargo CD is a very satisfying varied mix of electronic styles, beats with some good old fashioned electric guitars (well, at least that's what they sound like). Some of it sounds like dramatic background music from a spy flick, some is slow, some is fast, the themes tend to develop in interesting lines.
Despite what the Amazon reviewer says, this is not soulless machine music. If you are not fond of synths & sequencers, this won't work for you, but you don't have to be a tech-geek to like this stuff. I think it is easily the most interesting and varied of Orbit's Strange Cargo series, although all three have their own merits.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defying the editorial review 15 Feb 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Contrary to the editorial review (are you guys trying to sell this album or what?), I found Strange Cargo to be absolutely brilliant. Along with other William Orbit projects, this album soars. The human touch is the layering and building of the arrangement of each track. Well thought out and constructed, Strange Cargo is an example of the power of technology in music and a landmark effort in this genre.
4.0 out of 5 stars William Orbit: Strange Cargo (1987) 29 Jan 2014
By Olav M. Björnsen - Published on
Format:Audio CD
UK composer, musician and producer William ORBIT is a household name today, his career taking off big time following the work he did on Madonna's "Ray of Light" album from yesteryear. Prior to his career skyrocketing into pop producer stardom he plied his craft as an artist and producer for quite a few years, at first as a member of synth pop band Torch Light with a fledgling solo career in development on the side.

"Strange Cargo" from 1987 is his second solo album, and was released by Miles Copeland's label IRS as the fourth installment in their No Speak series of productions, a series that sought to highlight and give more attention to instrumental music. Orbit was probably a somewhat unexpected but low cost addition to the artist roster there, as he was an in house producer for that label at the time if I have understood matters correctly.

The end result is a strange little album, clocking in at just under 40 minutes, that appears to have been an assembly of various odds and ends Orbit for some reason or other didn't find suitable to his band project at the time. We're treated to pleasant and careful Spanish and Latin inspired atmospheres with subtle futuristic synth details on Via Caliente and Riding to Rio, careful ambient excursions on the dystopian Silent Signals, the somewhat more cosmic tinged The Secret Garden and with traces of nature effects of the kind used in soundtracks for jungle scenes on The Mighty Limpopo. The concluding piece, The Dream, is also a fairly relaxed affair, albeit with a stronger futuristic touch to it in a Blade Runner and Vangelis sort of way.

The remaining compositions are much closer to synth pop in style, form and execution. Sometimes with more sophisticated effects and arrangements thrown in, of the kind that inspires thoughts to early 1980's Tangerine Dream first and foremost, but with distinct drum patterns, presumably programmed, and a matching synth bass that has mid 1980's written all over them. In capital letters. That some of them also incorporate traces of jazz and funk might be noted, the spirited Fire and Mercy perhaps the best example of just that. That particular song also, arguably, the album highlight.

This is a CD that, indeed, contains a Strange Cargo, and one that is very much a product of the time it was created as well. It was still early days for William Orbit, but while the music may be a bit dated by now his talents in the production department does shine through. An album to seek out for those with a special interest, and if a key audience beyond fans of Orbit as a producer should be defined I'd guess that those with a deep interest in 80's synth pop might be the answer, especially if they prefer music of that type to be instrumental.

My rating: 71/100
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