Genuinely 'from the sublime to the ridiculous, back again, a journey into space, back to the sublime....'. This compliation is a strangely mesmeric listen, the audio version of a couple of hours of a very obscure TV channel, that you just love without really knowing why. Is there anything like it? If so, where? Come on, trunk, do vol 2...but make it as good as this.
Listening to this budget sampler from Trunk Records is like having a variety show performed in your living room. From the absurd (Rolf Harris performing a cha-cha version of 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down') to the laugh out loud funny (Terry Thomas re-telling his encounter with a piano playing cat) to the utterly gorgeous, there is never a dull second. Comprising of 30 tracks from Jonny Trunk's imprint label's recent output, there are, amongst the moments of madness, jaw-dropping moments of beauty aplenty. Drawing on long lost and forgotten tracks mostly recorded in the 50s, 60s and 70s, it's so good that it's difficult to select highlights.
Bill Evans' 'Peace Piece' is a sublime melancholy piano motif that'll send shivers down your spine as will Helen Merrill's rendition of 'Willow Weep For Me'. The Little Folk's 'Jimmy Whalen' is as enchanting as it is haunting and Alex North's 'Love Theme from Spartacus' features the sort of lush string arrangements that Hollywood long stopped commissioning. Del Close & John Brent's spoken word 'Basic Hip' (taken from their 1959 album 'How to Speak Hip') is a hilarious introduction to hipster slang - "Dig yourself baby; you gotta way to go". Elsewhere there are a few jazz numbers, gorgeous female vocals, children singing, folk, avant-garde spookiness, a few more spoken numbers and even a jingle.
Clocking in at 77:19, the CD is housed in a cardboard sleeve with a cover design based upon Sainsburys own brand packaging for refined lard from the 1970s... It looks amazing. In the sleeve notes Trunk admits that this release hasn't been remastered but the sound quality is, on the whole, very good.
I often found myself looking in the "Other" section of the record shops. This budget collection from Trunk is indeed a collection of the odd, the unexpected, the surprising. This is the kind of music and sounds that makes me smile, wanting to know and hear more.
Lovely stuff. I just ordered another collection of Trunk music: Now We Are Ten.