Top positive review
21 people found this helpful
Well worth tracking down... the best 'easy' collection ever
on 2 April 2009
By the mid Nineties a generation of thirty somethings were ready to explore their parents' record collections. But not the 'hip' stuff; no, we're talking the easy listening music that was so far 'out' it had started to be 'in'. And so the whole 'loungecore' concept came into being. Whether savoured 'ironically' as kitsch or a retro guilty pleasure, this once mundane muzak now seemed oddly exotic, a relic of a lost world of formica, tupperware and a life lived in man-made fibres.
So rummaging through mum and dad's grammophone player what do we find here? Well, there's the 'easy' legends of Aretha, Dionne, Nancy, Sandie and Mr Burt Bacharach, of course; and we have the more cultish pleasures of Esquivel, Sérgio Mendes and the ever dependable John Barry. This collection, spanning over 50 tracks from the Sixties and Seventies, covers cult film scores (Get Carter, Midnight Cowboy, The Thomas Crown Affair, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid) and ancient British 'light entertainment' and kids TV themes (Black Beauty, Animal Magic, Superstars, Crossroads, This Is Your Life), as well as a touch of exotica (Martin Denny), the odd polo-necked crooner and a sprinkling of pop standards.
And guess what? Listening to this music is gloriously liberating. You're freed from the restraints of current spurious notions of 'cool' and hackneyed macho rock posturing. Unshackled from the modern tyrrany of guitar and drums, the sonic palette here embraces real orchestras, featuring for your listening pleasure the exotic strains of marimbas, swirling strings, trumpet and saxophone.
This is the soundtrack to a simpler, gentler era when music combos were headed by gentlemen called Ray, Ron, Geoff, Bert, Hugh, Harry and Percy. Then the listener aspired to the Riviera, not 'da hood', in a time before baseball caps and sneakers had swept away the crushed velvet trouser suit and crimplene flare. Yes, it's all very Austin Powers at home in his bachelor pad; that's part of the appeal. So unbutton that safari suit, loosen your cravat and pour yourself a Martini. This is "groovy, baby!"