Music from Outer Space

I was a bit hesitant about this post as my overwhelming shame for not having owned Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music from Outer Space would be exposed. This kitchy novelty album from 1967 sits next in our office rotation, and is sure to please, if the cover is any indication. Tracks like A Visit to A Sad Planet, Beyond Antares, and of course Music to Watch Space Girls By should make for a rather interesting “easy listening” spin. My shame is now a distant shadow in a vibrant nebula of time and space.

Tamboo!

Latin, jazz, pop, space-age, and easy listening are just a few terms to describe Les Baxter and His Chorus and Orchestra’s 1955 classic, Tamboo!. If songs like Cuchibamba, Zambezi, Mozambique, and Oasis of Dakhla aren’t enough for you, the mid-century exotic cover should do the trick. A deal at $2.99, a steal as a free gift. Thanks, choch.

Music, Martinis, and Memories

mmamAnother day, another Jackie Gleason reissue. This time, Music, Martinis, and Memories. Oh, how wayward evenings must have been in the chilly Decembers of the mid 1950s. As heavy on the piano as it is on the strings, Music, Martinis, and Memories sprinkles in a cool layer of lustful trumpeting, while never grooving faster than a slow, lovers walk… or a prowler’s strut. Music, Martinis, and Memories is, quite simply put, all you and your lover need for a successful, Jackie Gleason-inspired evening.

Invisible Tears

tearsOn Invisible Tears, Ray Conniff (and the Singers) offered their laid back, pop-jazz renditions of popular tunes of the 1964 era. With tracks like, I Walk the Line, Waitin’ for the Evening Train, and yes, you guessed it, Invisible Tears, your evening of quiet, unassuming dining room waltzes is only an invisible tear away.

The Unique Rhythms of…

marinoRichard Marino and his Orchestra, straight from the pre-British Invasion days of 1961. Titled, quite magnificently, The Magic Beat!, this easy-listening, metronome-pace-keeping, jazz-pop (corn) masterwork features finger-licking tracks like, Lisbon Antiqua, Hot Sombrero, and Rots-O-Ruck (fairly certain that last one hurdles the line of racism in a pretty big way). Anyway, you’ll have the best luck finding The Magic Beat! in the magic dollar bin at your local brick and mortar, and, as with most records featured here, comes highly recommended.

‘S Marvelous

s'marvelousA precursor to 1958’s ‘S Awful Nice, 1957’s ‘S Marvelous features another pack of serenaded love woos, and another “girl tells hilarious joke while pack of horny lapdogs rigidly struggle to bury their bones” cover. It’s 1957 sweet as candy living room music by Ray Conniff and His Orchestra, and it’s spectacular.

‘S

AwfulFormer supporting member to significant heads of the 1940’s pop-jazz sound (Bob Crosby, Artie Shaw, and Harry James respectively), singer-composer Ray Conniff follows his first two “‘S” releases with 1958’s ‘S Awful Nice. ‘S Awful Nice is, in fact, awful nice. It’s tame, late 50s swell music for late evening lovers and their romantic cocktails. It’s, what I imagine to be, the last in a flood of easy listening releases that would be properly dammed by the rockabilly and rock n’ roll sound some few short years later. The word “innocence” comes to mind, often, when listening to Mr. Conniff and His Orchestra, and although on any given day of any given week of any given year I’d prefer both rockabilly and early rock to this easy listening bubble, it sure is a pleasant vacation every once in a while. Diversity, kids.

Misty Music for Lovers Only

MistyTruth & Honesty 101 here, kids. I know nothing of Mr. Jackie Gleason outside his reference in Robert Zemeckis’ 1985 time traveling classic, Back to the Future. Shame on me, for sure, don’t’cha know? So how better to dive into this pool-playing hustler’s repertoire than a single LP of his first two albums? I can think of no better way to begin the Gleason journey, than at the very beginning. On a side note… what, exactly, are we referring to when we use the term “misty” here? Inquiring minds want to know…

Viva Cugat!

Viva CugatWhile finishing up yet another spin of 1961’s Viva Cugat! by Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra, and immediately before launching a Taiwanese bootleg of The Best of Frankie Lane, I felt inclined to gander upon the heavily worded inner sleeve to the vivacious Viva Cugat! For reasons that are not entirely clear, Hal Mooney, Mercury Recording Director, made sure to include diagrams to the band arrangement for the three differing recording sessions (spanning three days) used to create this exciting Airport Lounge album. (I’m now using the term Airport Lounge when referring to late 50s, early 60s easy listening lounge of an international nature.)

Xavier CugatI’ve been heavily into the space age pop, easy listening, cool lounge vibe lately. I’m not entirely sure why this particular genre is monopolizing my ear, but Viva Cugat! is certainly a welcoming addition, which has yielded multiple spins within the past week. Stick with what’cha dig, I suppose. On a side note, I just learned that the plural for cello is celli, so, that’s something.Arrangement