These sixteen production library compositions, used variously in educational shorts, commercials, television shows and feature films, constitute some of the most invisible, yet best remembered, musical melodies in American culture. Even stranger is that most of this music was produced by the British KPM company. Further examples (including EMI and Pye's contributions to the canon) can be found on UK anthologies such as "The Sound Gallery" and "The Sound Spectrum." The collected composers and arrangers construct brilliantly memorable productions whose purpose is to serve as musical beds beneath narration or to signal mood and plot shifts in films and television programs.
Though not designed as firmly for the background as true Muzak [tm], there is still an unnerving contextual shift in compiling these tracks for foreground listening. Though originally used in more subliminal contexts, these tunes have been drawn on in recent years as a simple way to evoke nostalgic moods, with or without irony in mind. In addition to appearances on boomer throwbacks like Nick at Night and Ren & Stimpy, these titles also appear in films like "The Hudsucker Proxy" and "Natural Born Killers." The most recognizable tune (at least, for 1960's television viewers) will be Wilfred Burns' "Stop Gap," which served as the theme to "Truth or Consequences." You can't help but feel that Bob Barker will step out in front of the curtain at any moment.
As calculated as this music may be, its composition, arrangement and performance hold tremendous charms. This is more mood music than easy listening, in that its purpose is to attract your attention and shape your experience, rather than provide any sort of sedation. Many of the musical cues will haunt you with inscrutably faint memories of products like Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion and Midol. This is an excellent volume for listening or for adding unique musical cues to your home video.
Combine this one and the one above on 1 disc for about 79 minutes of kitschy bliss. Yowza!
1. In the Limelight - David Lindup 2. Happy Go Lively - Laurie Johnson 3. Hackney Carriage 4. Trafficscape - Eric Winstone 5. Work-A-Day World - Jack Beaver 6. Curley Shirley - Otto Sieben 7. Bell Hop - John Shakespeare 8. Man About Town - Laurie Johnson 9. Holiday Playtime 10. Bargains Galore 11. Speaking Guitar - Gerhard Narholz 12. Shopping Spree - Laurie Johnson 13. Stop Gap - Wilfred Burns 14. Toys for Boys 15. Gala Performance - Laurie Johnson 16. Sleepy Shores - Johnny Pearson
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