Friday, 13 May 2016

James Last - Träum was Schönes (1979)

So... how to round out a week in which I've been posting Luigi Nono at his most harrowing, and SPK at their most extreme?  It is, of course, time for Träum was Schönes (Sweet Dreams), a late 70s collection of Hansi's best work in his 'Classics Up To Date' mode.  Just look at him on the cover of this album, released outside of Germany as 'Classics For Dreaming' - he'll make sure your romantic reveries go undisturbed.  Or maybe he just likes to watch...

I promise I'll only be posting easy listening albums once in a while - for those who do want more, there's a couple of my favourite easy listening blogs in my blogroll down the right hand column.  But since music like this has been hardwired into my DNA from a very, very early age, I make no apologies for occasionally indulging it here - especially when it's top-notch stuff from the master.

What always drew me to James Last's pop-medley music was the texture of the sound; it's really difficult to describe, but it has a unique aural quality that gives a sense of time and place like no other - like discovering grainy, washed-out Super 8 footage from a 60s/70s holiday camp, or cruise ship.  The 'Classics Up To Date' stuff adds another dimension, and still sounds to my ears like some of the most transcendent, otherworldly elevator music ever recorded (without going into the exotica realm of course).  Just check out Schumann's Träumerei with the shimmering electric piano up front (might even be a Fender Rhodes).  The image I always get from this sort of stuff is of being a child, at Christmas, walking around a shopping mall whilst coming down off a dental anaesthetic.  Beautiful music indeed.

Träum was Schönes

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