23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
I would imagine that most people reading this review would already know who John Baker is, in which case I will simply say that this wonderful compilation is even better than I'd hoped and I recommend it without reservation. In addition to the CD, Richard Baker's fascinating biographical sketch of his brother's ultimately tragic life makes heartbreaking reading and answers a lot of questions.
If you don't know anything about John Baker, he was a very gifted musician who worked for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in the 60s and early 70s, producing theme tunes and incidental music for television and radio. Working without the aid of synthesizers or digital technology, Baker created 'radiophonic' music by recording everyday sounds on tape, then manipulating them electronically until they were virtually unrecognisable. Wine bottles were a particular favourite and Baker managed to create whole theme tunes around a few simple sounds.
What comes across in this compilation is how versatile John Baker was. He was a natural tunesmith, creating many jingles for local radio, but he was also equally at home composing avant garde electronica or contemporary jazz.
Baker was incapable of writing bad music. Even the most banal jingle had something about it that transcended the genre and some pieces like Baker's music for BBC Wales were, in their own way, masterpieces.
If you're over 45 and grew up in Britain, you'll have definitely heard John Baker's music and this compilation is not just a fitting tribute to a very talented man, but is also a wonderful evocation of a bygone age.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2010
this is a typically brilliant trunk release, but is especially brilliant because of the awesome library cue "banshe boogie."
you may buy a plethora of library compilations, but will never stumble upon the funky synth brilliance of this. and perversely, it is not on vinyl.
beyond all that, this is a superb document of the parallel career of one of the brightest stars of the radiophonic workshop.
if that floats your boat, then buy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 December 2012
There's no doubt that the best of Trunk Records' John Baker releases can be found on the JB Tapes Volume One. For a start there's more identifiably 'Radiophonic' material to be found there. Volume Two revolves around his recordings for the Southern Music Library in the 1960s and '70s (as John Mathews), along with collaborations with Jingle-meister Johnny Johnston, home recordings and so on. It's a very mixed batch and won't appeal in its entirety - some of the abstract electronica from the 1970s grates a little to my ears.
Perhaps when Vols 1 and 2 are long-deleted, Jonny Trunk could combine the best bits of the two, and add in further material (e.g. more from the JB-Johnny Johnston output, I know there's more), for completists like me?