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A collection of chilled classics personally selected by....Sir Michael Caine????
on 30 August 2007
Perhaps he's not the first name, which might spring to mind when considering the chillout genre, but venerable British actor Sir Michael Caine (Alfie, The Italian Job, The Prestige) has apparently been collecting this music for fifteen years and has "hundreds of CDs", not to mention thousands of his own compilation tapes
So it seemed reasonable for Universal to enlist this elderly expert to suggest tracks for what its in effect a chillout primer - cross-fading classics of the genre like Felix da Housecat's take on Nina Simone's Sinnerman with mainstream songs like Eva Cassidy's Sting-penned Fields Of Gold and altogether odder moments, like Get Carter composer Roy Budd's loungecore excursion Hurry To Me.
Every genre has its clunky moments, and the biggest piece of nonsense here is Craig Preuss's Jupiter, which twists Holst's big theme from The Planets painfully out of shape. Magnet's version of Bob Dylan's Lay Lady Lay (done as a cheesy duet with Gemma Hayes) also veers towards embarrassing.
Making up for that are sublime cuts like Silence from Delerium with Sarah McLachlan and Chrissie Hynde's gorgeous take on Donna Summer anthem State Of Independence - both almost too passionate to be called chillout. Stan Getz's Street Tattoo adds a Latin twist and folkie John Martyn's Sunshine's Better has a gloriously summery feel.
It's arguable whether Sir Michael's name will attract many new listeners to the genre, but the association certainly yields what is probably the perfect title for a compilation such as this.