This song is absolutely full of class and confidence - over 8 minutes long, and over a minute at the start is without drums or bass, just to get you into the groove. Then, they don't pull out the best tunes straight away - instead, they build up to them gradually with variations on the theme before building into a bigger and bigger climax. The tunes are as simple as you expect from Kraftwerk - the confidence to just hold a single note for 8 beats without changing is just fantastic - but the cumulative effect is brilliant.
The song is both hypnotic and euphoric and I can't recommend it too highly. When I looked at the iTunes stats as to what songs I had listened to the most, it turned out I had listened to this a heroic four times as much as any other song.
This song has clearly been hugely influential on groups like depeche mode and new order, and yet it somehow sounds quite separate from the things it has influenced. For example, just can't get enough by Depeche Mode is clearly influenced by this, but Europe Endless is much less poppy and commercial.
This whole album is fantastic - there is a kind of sister song to this one later on the album called Franz Schubert.
from Trans-Europe Express (Capitol 7243 5 81685 2 5), available on CD
A really beautiful arrangement of this classic film number which I just found out was written in 1944, not the 1950s as I had always thought. Superb orchestral parts move in and out of the texture, through which a lot of harmonic interest not present in other versions is heard. Shearing's divine pianistic touch is shown at several key moments. I don't always like Shearing's recordings, but this one is special.
from White Satin (Capitol ST1334) available on CD - The Best of George Shearing (Capitol)
Crowded House seem to be deeply unpopular at the moment - perhaps they were too popular in the early 90s, or perhaps, as I tended to think, even more than with most groups, the simpler, less good songs were released as singles, achieved success, and sort of "labelled" the band, seemingly colouring their subsequent output.
Anyway, this is a well-executed Beatle-ish song, most of whose lyrics I've never fathomed. The album is by far the band's best, though I think it was the worst seller. (Not an unfamilair scenario, of course).
When you consider just how wonderful it is, Les Baxter's 'exotic' work is under-represented on this site. From a superb and reasonably easy-to-find album, this cut is an intoxicating mix of shimmering 50s style strings and gentle bongo rhythms.
'Nightingale' is a Xavier Cugat original that is very much in the style of classic Lecuona songs like 'Taboo'. Melodically, it also reminds me of another standard, 'Invitation'.
from Carribean Moonlight (Capitol T-733) available on CD - The Exotic Moods of Les Baxter (Capitol)