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search results for “atmospheric”
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List songs by Song title | Performer | Year

You searched for ‘atmospheric’, which matched 56 songs.
click - person recommending, year, performer, songtitle - to see more recommendations.
"ghosts"  performed by japan  1981
Recommended by kohl [profile]

i'm listening to this right now, so i thought i'd add it. i love how atmospheric it is.

from Tin Drum


"view from a hill"  performed by the chameleons uk  1983
Recommended by kohl [profile]

a very atmospheric song. a quiet intro that slowly builds up. the vocals are frail and mysterious, they feel frail and light. the whole song seems to fade at the end, one keeps expecting it to stop, but it goes on for over six minutes.
it's no "swamp thing" (the obligatory comparison) but a very nice tune nonetheless.


available on CD - script of the bridge



  callgirlscene: "Atmospheric" as you say. I like that song, and virtually the whole album, Script of the Bridge. It's stood up to many, many listenings. I stumbled across it in 1990. What a nice discovery.
A moment to share  performed by Charles Fox  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Stunning. Atmospheric, laid back and hip mood instrumental by 'Barbarella' collaborator Charles Fox, featuring strings, picked electric guitar and some surprising chord changes.

from Goodbye Columbus - soundtrack (Warner Brothers)




  audiocarp: well, you know what we do with "collaborators"...
  masayo: Yeah, I agree with you. I do love this tune's chord changes. They are unexpected but dramatic. For me, So Kind To Me is my most favorite track in this soundtrack, especially the last overlapped chorus is terrific. Anyway, Love American Style, Girl, Love Boat...the more I know about Charles Fox's works, the more I think he is a genius.
  Swinging London: This is really, really nice. So typical of late '60's American soundtrack music. There was another film out at the same time called 'April Fools' and it had a very similar sound. Lovely horns!
Afro - Harping  performed by Dorothy Ashby  196?
Recommended by Arthur [profile]

Cool in the Xxtreme !
Sixties dance jazz funk instumental from harpist Dorothy. Complete with organs, flutes and bongos it is driving classy joyful music .

The album also contains the awesome "Action Line " which is weirdly atmospheric and deeply strange

from Afro - Harping ( CADET LPS809)


Bitter-Sweet  performed by Roxy Music  1974
Recommended by delicado [profile]

For someone like me, the strangest thing about getting really into Roxy Music is the overt rockiness of a lot of their material. Even on this track, which is one more of their slower, more mournful numbers, there are a lot of very heavy rocky moments. They work pretty well though, and I'm certainly not complaining.

The atmospheric opening is breathtaking, and Bryan Ferry's vocal as he sings 'I've opened up my heart' is incredibly beautiful. The words and music seem to meld together in a very pretty way, but then before long the track mutates into a stomping, carnival like passage that clearly influenced Nick Cave to a considerable extent. Throughout the song there's this interchange between delicate, melodic verses and the rowdy, discordant section. Like another favorite Roxy track, 'Just like you', this song finishes with a clever chord change.

I'm sure many people would find 'Bitter-Sweet' much too dramatic and serious - perhaps some days I would too - but it does have an incredible elegance and style that makes me keep on listening.

from Country Life, available on CD



Black and White Town  performed by Doves  2005
Recommended by avalyn [profile]

this is possibly the first Motown-influenced Doves number i've heard -- and it's fucken brill, with the right dose of thumping beaty-ness, atmospherics and excellent lyrics. as it is, i suspect that "Some Cities", the band's new album will be on my list of Top 10 Records of the year... but this track totally knocked my socks off, and is now slated to be a mixtape favourite too. :-)

from Some Cities, available on CD


Bob  performed by The Dodos
Recommended by Starr [profile]

Excellent duo from San Francisco, CA. I saw them live at the Troubadour and they were great. They delivered a high-energy and atmospheric performance.

from Beware of the Maniacs


Boys of Summer  performed by Don Henley  1982
Recommended by StAgGeR [profile]

OK, OK, OK........I know that many of you hipster types out there are probably wincing at this recommendation, but...deal with it. I'm sure that most people are all too aware of this track, and probably avoid it at all cost, but in my humble opinion, this is one of the best pop radio songs ever recorded. I think I heard it first when I was about 12 or 13 while on summer break from school. I was immediately drawn to the eerie, repetitious, heavy delayed intro guitar line. Granted, it has some cheezy lyrics, and a fairly melodramatic tone overall, but this song will forever hold a special place in my heart....awe.


available on CD - yes




  callgirlscene: Yeah, this is an absolutely great song, a classic to my mind, yearning for that perfect love, that perfect moment, and the chance to prove ones self. And this comes from an Eagle, who weren't bad but have been way overplayed these last years on radio.
  konsu: I agree, Don nailed it with this one.It's eerie simplicity is what was great about the Eagles better tunes. It is too bad about overplay, at least in the USA. FM radio is like a Coke machine in a vegatable garden...
  Archipelago71: This is one of those few 80's songs that is still valid today. Instead of being about the excesses of the period, it's a very haunting song about missing something. Or is it about not looking back and having no regrets? You could probably argue for both sides of it. It's a true classic.
Brilliant Trees  performed by David Sylvian  1984
Recommended by Mike [profile]

Beautiful and atmospheric music, superbly recorded. Intensely poetic lyrics. What an incredible advance this represents from his work with the band Japan! Superb synth voices from longtime collaborator Ruichi Sakamoto sound a searching chord sequence over which a gorgeous, heavily treated trumpet solo comes in and out. Sylvian's voice is richly expressive.

from Brilliant Trees, available on CD




  ronin: Bought album of same name due to tracks "Red Guitar" and "Pulling Punches" getting major airplay on DC radio at time. Was not disappointed! Moody and nice bass lines! Sylvian's voice is ... unusual.
Cassiopeia  performed by Coheed and Cambria
Recommended by izumi [profile]

Well it bugs me beyond words that I can never find out which album this song came from but I love it nonetheless. It's the first C&C song I heard and one I loved the first time I heard it.

It's probably one of the most atmospheric songs I've heard that conjures up images of an autumn landscape, of someone wandering in a wood, feeling lost and staring at the sky. I don't know why the music makes me think of these things but it just does. The song is quite slow and calm to begin with, then picks up and crescendoes at the chorus/bridge and the guitar playing goes through some changes. It's a really unusual song and definitely recommended!




Cirrus Minor  performed by Pink Floyd  1969
Recommended by Mike [profile]

Pink Floyd are heard at their best with this piece of film music, keeping it simple and atmospheric. I find so much of their output over-ambitious, but here I think they got it right - a short melodic vocal section followed by a very simple organ chord sequence repeated to a very slow fade. This manages to sound gently, atmospherically organic and hypnotic where so often Floyd sound ludicrously overblown.

from More (EMI)
available on CD - Relics (EMI)



  konsu: Indeed. The Floyd records that are best are the soundtrack material. Mainly because they had to adapt to a medium outside their own dreamy minds. This is my second favorite after "A Saucerful of Secrets" LP. But their "Obscured By Clouds" LP is also a soundtrack piece for an unreleased film that has the same fine qualities... I hate to get long-winded about the whole Floyd thing, but I have to mention Hubert Laws LP "Crying Song" (CTI 1002/6000) which features two compositions from "More".
Comfort of Strangers  performed by Skin  2000
Recommended by Groucho_75 [profile]

Off the brillaint soundtrack for 'Timecode' by Mike Figgis and Anthony Marinelli, not sure who actually wrote this song but the whole album is really good. The film's pretty good as well. Skin has a great voice and this is a really moody, atmospheric song that makes me feel both warm and lonely at the same time. The Main Title track is great as well.

from Timecode Soundtrack



Cough/ Cool  performed by The Misfits  1976
Recommended by Kriswell [profile]

This is by no means a new release, but I've recently gotten back in to it. Most people have a misconception about The Misfits. Yes they have recorded some very 'crap' songs, and the newly re-vised band and almost everything Danzig has done lately is complete garbage in my eyes, however the original Misfits early recordings, circa 1975-77 are simply amazing. 'Cough/ Cool' is a Hammond/ Fender Rhodes driven, atmospheric masterpiece. Danzig croons like Jim Morrison in this emotionally charged ballad(?). Granted, the lyrics are kind of dark, "scent of blood when you cough, cool, cool, cool, cough, cool ", and most of the other words are relatively indeciphrable, yet shockingly 'pretty'...at least in their tonal quality. The song is very scaled-down and under produced (organ, electric piano, bass and drums), but this is a good thing, it's part of its charm. The amount of reverb and slap-back echo on Glenn's voice is brilliant. So, I urge anyone who has never listened to The Misfits due to the forementioned reasons to get off their collective 'high horses' and give it a listen, they have some really great songs. Other good tracks from the same era include; "Return of The Fly", "She", "Hybrid Moments", "Come Back", "American Nightmare", etc...

from the single Cough/ Cool (Caroline)
available on CD - Coffin Box Set (Caroline)




  yoakamae: Ya I'd have to say, the Misfits were an amazing band during the 70's. Their old work was all so original, I can't get a feel for Danzig's new material with his current band. Last Caress is a great old track as well, one of my favourites with that awesome guitar riff, circa '79?
Creole Love Call  performed by The Comedian Harmonists  1933
Recommended by delicado [profile]

An amazing and atmospheric track by this famous German vocal group. There are no words, and the music is produced largely accapella - from what I can hear, there's just piano accompaniment, with some incredible vocal effects that range from beautiful to plain bizarre. The trills and glissando effects are other-worldly, but what really steals the limelight is the tradeoff between a bizarre kitten-like voice and a deep foghorn at 2:12 (featured in the clip)!

None of this will make sense until you hear it, so let me just add that the whole thing has a really pleasant, lazy mood that strongly reminds me of that amazing scene in 'Wild at Heart' when Laura Dern is sat on the car at the gas station and Glen Gray and the Casa Loma band's 'Smoke Rings' is playing.


available on CD - The Comedian Harmonists (Hannibal)




  Turangalila: This track is marvelous, thanks for the heads up.
Dark On You Now  performed by The Ashes  1967
Recommended by artlongjr [profile]

This song is a classic of the psychedelic era, by a group that later became known as the Peanut Butter Conspiracy. I first discovered it years ago on a 1967 compilation album called "West Coast Love-In" which featured about four of the Ashes' songs. It was "Dark on You Now" that really wigged me out-it is an awesome, slow-paced, moody number that features the spine-tingling vocals of Sandi Robison and the prominent 12-string guitar of John Merrill. The song is incredibly atmospheric and reminds me of a combination of the Byrds and Jefferson Airplane when both of those groups were in their prime. It is also at four minutes plus quite long for the era. I listed this as being recorded in 1967 but it may have been waxed in 1966...at any rate it is surely one of the great songs of the early psychedelic era.

I have the first Peanut Butter Conspiracy album which contains a re-recorded version of this song, harder rocking and not nearly as good. The original Ashes version was recorded as a 45 for the Vault label (which also issued "West Coast Love-In").


from Spreading from the Ashes (Big Beat)
available on CD - Spreading From the Ashes (Big Beat)



  n-jeff: I'm sure I have this on one of the pebbles "Highs of the mid sixties" series ("volume 3 Hollywood a go-go" IIRC) although I believe they credit it as "Follow the sun", I'm sure. Great summer song.
  artlongjr: That is a cover version by a band called the Love Exchange..."Swallow the Sun" is a key lyric in this song, but I really don't know what it means!
Death Valley  performed by The Bellyachers  2002
Recommended by TippyCanoe [profile]

an atmospheric l-o-v-e waltz.

from Heavy In My Hands (Gut GUT0002)


Dolphins  performed by Tim Buckley  1968
Recommended by DecemberGuy [profile]

Live cover of a Tim Hardin..I think Beth Orton & Billy Bragg have covered it as well. What can I say..the vocal on this is mindblowing. I'd heard Tim Buckley's son Jeff Buckley before..and you can tell that he learned a lot from his old man..this song has been floating through my head now for a couple of days..like some kind of wierd somnambulent dream..awesome

from Dream Letter:Live in London 1968, available on CD


Duel  performed by Propaganda  1984
Recommended by Mike [profile]

More first rate synthesizer music from the 1980s. The album also features a remixed/re-recorded version "Jewel". Catchy. Unfortunately this line-up only recorded this one "proper" album plus an album of remixes before splitting up. The album is excellent almost throughout, the band's slightly artsy aesthetic conveyed lyrically and through mixing atmospheric chordal writing, inventive instrumentation/production and some almost industrial-sounding beats. Kraftwerk were never remotely this musically interesting. Propaganda were also better looking...

from A Secret Wish, available on CD



  audioadventures: Another one of my all time favourites. The extended 12" is outstanding.
Escape  performed by Armando Trovaioli  1967
Recommended by bobbyspacetroup [profile]

Most of the soundtrack to this comedy-caper flick is pretty standard '60s soundtrack material. This track, however, is moody, top-notch crime jazz... The arrangement is chaotic but stirring with some really heavy bass-piano, wailing brass, and organ (used more as an atmospheric sound effect than to deliver any melody). Special thanks to Darrell Brogdon for playing this on his Retro Cocktail Hour.

from Treasure Of San Gennaro (Buddah BDS-5011)
available on CD - Jazz In The Movies, Cinecitta (CAM (Italy))



Et si en plus y’a personne  performed by Alain Souchon  2005
Recommended by Mike [profile]

Corny, repetitive (as Souchon/Voulzy music always is), yet very good.

Atmospheric, thoughtful, catchy.




Everybody’s Got to learn Sometime  performed by The Korgis  1979
Recommended by Mike [profile]

An absolute classic of British pop. Beautiful song whose verses and chorus each use original and stunningly effective chord sequences. The verse's melody line is exceptionally fine, as is the atmospheric production.

from Dumb Waiters (Rialto)
available on CD - Don't Look Back - the very best of the Korgis (Castle)


Fadeaway  performed by Laika and the Cosmonauts  1990
Recommended by delicado [profile]

No one talks about this band much. Not in my experience, anyway. It's all instrumental, so I guess they're not for people who are lost without vocals and lyrics. But have a listen - to me they really seem utterly superb. I would love to see them live.

I only have a couple of albums, but they're great. This one was released in 1996 (shit - that was 9 years ago!), but recorded in 1990. Really beautiful twangy surf-pop that fits in perfectly with the whole David Lynch mood that I find so appealing. The album is an intoxicating mix of energetic surf tracks and slower, more atmospheric ones like this. Their recent 'Local Warming' album is great too. Can anyone recommend me any more of their tracks?

from Zero Gravity, available on CD



  olli: Yeah, they're certainly one of the better neo-surf acts out there. See Laika! Se Laika run! Go laika, go!
Fault Lines  performed by Radiogram  2000
Recommended by mitchiavelli [profile]

'Fault Lines' is a beautiful, slow melodic number from Radiogram's debut album 'Unbetween'.

After listening to 'Fault Lines' and 'Unbetween' it came as no great surprise to discover that this band has enjoyed great success in roots music circles in Canada and the UK.

Strangely, the 'ethereal' sound achieved by the producer [Chon] reminds me of Jane Siberry's 'When I Was a Boy'.

from Unbetween, available on CD


Great Southern Land  performed by Icehouse
Recommended by Sulku [profile]

Very atmospheric and yearning.




I don't intend to spend Christmas without you  performed by Claudine Longet  1968
Recommended by jezandliz1 [profile]

Really cheering to find so many other Longet recommendations on the site. This festive gift seems only to be available on the Japanese "Best of" but repays handsomely the effort in seeking it out. Highly melodic and atmospheric it begs you to curl up in front of a real fire with a loved one in a cottage miles from anywhere...

Claudine recorded a number of Margo Guryan songs which are all impossibly fey, seductive and bewitching and I couldn't get through a week without them. (BTW I would also recommend all of the tracks (not one duffer) on Margo Guryan's album Take a Picture)


available on CD - A & M Digitally Remastered Best (A & M Japan)


Inward Movement  performed by Gojira  2002
Recommended by basserman112 [profile]

It encompases many of the different sounds that Gojira employ to blow your mind.

from The Link (no idea)


La Lucertola  performed by Ennio Morricone  1970
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This is an extremely atmospheric soundtrack piece, with a wordless vocal melody from Edda Del Orso. Strings, electric harpsichord and some subtle electronic effects set the scene. There are also some beautiful Bacharach-style twists with brass. Overall it's a deadly serious and delicate number, incredibly intense, while still sounding very 'cool' (whatever that means...).

from La Lucertola (Soundtrack)
available on CD - Mondo Morricone (Coliseum)




  eftimihn: Perfect description, delicado. This track is firmly in my Morricone Top 10, though it would be impossible for me to actually write down a top 10, maybe top 20, no, a top 50 would be possible...maybe...damn, one man - so many terrific tunes!
  dominb: I got the first Mondo Morricone cd on its original release nearly 10 years ago now,I was familiar with Morricone's stuff but when I heard this it totally changed me.I became a Morricone devotee and this first track along with "Metti..." blew me away.The version on Mondo is actually about a minute shorter than the original version,so is "Metti" and some of the other "Mondo" tracks,they've abridged them no doubt to fit the cd...I found this out gradually from hearing the complete versions,they're not different versions,they've just been cut down....This is one of Ennio's all time great themes.
Laura  performed by Julie London  1955
Recommended by delicado [profile]

'Laura' has long been my favorite standard. The tune is elegant and haunting, and completely devoid of some of the schmaltzy feel that plagues many popular standards.

Written as an instrumental for the 1944 film of the same name, this was composed as a piano-based number, and so Julie's version is perhaps not the most orthodox recording. However, it's incredibly powerful and atmospheric, and I *think* it's my favorite version.

The entire track lasts just 1 minute and 40 seconds. The first verse is sung as a solo voice without any accompaniment other than the spooky reverberation effect. When the music does come in, it's provided by a small jazz trio led by Barney Kessel. Kessel's delicate jazz chords and picking complement Julie's voice beautifully.

from Julie is her name, available on CD



Like to get to know you  performed by Spanky and our Gang  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This lovely late 60s pop track is wistful and atmospheric. The instrumentation is exquisite (vocal group with a delicately strummed/picked acoustic guitar, strings), and there is a cool false ending. The result is a very rich sound, evocative of lost summers. A sound which I'm very fond of...

from Like to get to know you (Mercury 61161)
available on CD - Spanky’s Greatest Hit(s)




  tempted: I just found the original album of the same name this song is on. It's beautiful with just the right kind of softly psychedelic artwork and some crazy, groovy spoken word passages on some tracks. "Like to Get to Know You" stands out as the definitive song and remains one of the most mesmerizing soft pop tunes in the world.
  gregcaz: It's also worth noting that the single version, found on the 1969 "Spanky's Greatest Hit(s)" album, is the definitive one, free as it is from the pickup-line chatter that obscures the intro on the original album, as well as featuring the gorgeous coda which is included separately on the "LTGTKY" LP.
  artlongjr: This is my favorite Spanky and Our Gang tune, a gorgeous and wistful number. I also have the original LP, which features a different version from the 45 as gregcaz mentioned. There is a video of the band performing this on Youtube that I think originally aired on the Smothers Brothers. I saw Spanky and the Gang a number of times on TV as a kid.
Look Away  performed by Eternitys Children
Recommended by Mr. E [profile]

First of all let me say that I have been violently blindsided by this group! ...they very quickly entered my favorite 60's pop group stratosphere and have not budged from my rotation for months now. I first got "From you unto us", the singles collection which is good for what it is, but I think the best introduction to the band is the albums themselves, original ordering of songs in this case is vital to the listening experience.
I liked the singles collection OK, but my first impression was muted and okish until I noticed a couple songs later on sticking in my head for hours... picked up the first album on CD (Wondering the whole time if I should be doing this as I have most of the tracks on the comp, CD right? I like the original ordering BEST! Glad I did, no regrets at all...) and have played little else for some time...

I just got Timeless and I'm choosing one off their second album because the first album is one of the few immaculate pop albums of all time IMO and choices there are easy favorites... the second album seems to be less popular, but there are some serious gems here too and It's also a stone cold favorite...

I am choosing Look Away because I think the most distinctive sonic quality of Eternity's Children are these wonderful uplifting bouncy organ driven songs... ET have several tracks that deliver a great song, beautiful and original atmospheric production, great performances in a deeply satisfying way that is rare... This song is pure pop bliss from the opening notes to the end. I honestly can't think of a better compliment than that this song makes me glad to be alive.

For those of you who played in the band and stumble across this:
From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!

from Timeless
available on CD - Y (Rev-Ola)



  Mr. E: Eternity's Children. Somehow the name got messed up and I can't edit it so I'm posting this correct spelling to help the search engine.....
  artlongjr: Eternity's Children are a fantastic group...I remember when I first heard "Mrs. Bluebird" and was blown away. That was around 1985 and just last year I picked up their singles collection on CD. Thanks for recommending their individual albums, I definitely want to check them out.
  Mr. E: I can't recommend the first album highly enough ... it's a pop masterpiece... My introduction to ET was through that singles package, which is good enough for what it is, but trusty me the first album really needs to be heard in the original order with all the tracks.
  scatdaddy2002: I had the great experience of working with Mike "the Kid", Linda, and Charlie. you oughta hear linda do 5th Dimension live ot Mike kick it with a keyboard. First worked with some of them in memphis with Tommy Cogsbill. Linda was present-we were friends socially in '69 and then again with Mike, Charlie, drummer Johnny Thomasie from N.O.,sometime later. I can't remember the Guitar player's name-maybe Norman or something like that. We were doing the "B" side to a single of mine at Robin Hood Bryan's studio. All of us lived in Baton Rouge at the time and worked respectively for Crocked Fox Prod.(but this session was maybe a solo adventure with co-member of the production team, Guy Bellello [[R.I.P.]}since only he was present-who knows.) The "A" side was done at one of my sessions at American Studios, Memphis and featured the Memphis Horns, the Sweet Inpirations as female back ups, Cimmaron as writer/male harmonies. Elvis had been there the week before (recorded In the Ghetto, I think)and Neil Diamond was due the following week there in Memphis. I felt like such a nobody with life-sized pics of Elvis everywhere and everybody making their comparisons of Alex from the "Boxtops" and me. Pinning a VU meter the same way Alex did was not exactly the feedback I was looking for. Anyway, I guess I am saying we spent a little time together, I miss listening to and working with them. If anyone hears from them, it would be great to STS again. I started back playing professionally a couple of years ago and still consider them the gold standard in terms of harmony and think that the Hammond B3 has "the Kid's" name on it. As an update, Guy died an untimely death about 10 years ago and I only wish I could find Bubba Anthony if living, a sometimes ET drummer and any of that crowd. Kindest regards, Scatdaddy2002
Lullaby  performed by Krzysztof Komeda & Mia Farrow  1968
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

And I am not just including this because it is from Rosemary's Baby, my very favourite film of all time. Well, maybe I am a little - the opening credits where Polanski guides us over the rooftops of the Bramford while Mia murmurs her "la la la"s sets up perfectly the movie heaven that is to come.

Actors usually make a hash of singing (and, of course, vice versa - Bjork is great in Dancer In The Dark but that's all I can come up with), although I've heard that Cybil Shepherd makes a decent stab. But Mia can't fail to impress with her innocent singing voice, keeping in the character of Rosemary even though she doesn't speak a word in this song. Komeda maintains his usual atmospheric wonder, with the sort of piano based joy that gave such a fruitful relationship with Polanski's films.

Lots of others have had a pop at this, usually with some degree of success as the melody is so strong (discounting a dodgy metal version of it by some chancers whose name escapes me). My favourites are Hugo Montenegro's (on Good Vibrations) and Claudine Longet's lyric-added version, Sleep Safe And Warm.

from Rosemary's Baby, available on CD




  Swinging London: I love this too! It seems to pull the whole movie into a class of it's own. I've been trying to find the Claudine Longet version for years!
Mahahbalipuram  performed by Stu Phillips  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

An exotic, atmospheric and unique masterpiece, this is taken from the portion of surfer flick 'Follow Me' in which the surfers visit India. The tune drifts along with some sitar and spooky vocals before exploding into life with a furiously catchy and groovy segment with piano and plucked strings.

from Follow Me (soundtrack) (Universal City 73056)




  chukelley: Great taste!
  bsgkr: Thank you "delicado" for your wonderful review of "Mahabalipuram." I'm only three years late in thanking you, so please forgive me. Stu Phillips
Muscle Museum  performed by Muse  1999
Recommended by amused [profile]

Amazingly atmospheric, great bass line with the vocals, guitar, bass and drums interwoven incredibly. Hard to describe but deffinitely my favourite song from this excellent album.

from Showbiz (Mushroom)


Never Young Again  performed by Mirwais  2000
Recommended by Mike [profile]

A good chunk of knob-twiddling electro-dance layered over a beautifully atmospheric string backing.

From the originator of Madonna's "Paradise" which is also included on the album.

from Production, available on CD


Orpheus  performed by David Sylvian  1987
Recommended by Cyninglich [profile]

This song - like the whole Secrets of the Beehive album - leaves me breathless... awash with gentle melody, so atmospheric and dripping with beauty.
Acoustic guitars roll on a painted lanscape; subltle fingers tug at long-forgotten memories...

"Sunlight falls, my wings open wide..."

Indeed, the kind of song that could make you fly!

from Secrets of the Beehive (Virgin TVC 2471)


Red  performed by King Crimson  1974
Recommended by Stian______ [profile]

Guitars and more guitars. These are the gods of heavy prog rock. Robert Fripp on lead guitars pounds out an unforgettable growling monster of an instrumental. Its atmospheric,dreamy,nightmarish and kind of taunting in places .Its simply great.

from Red, available on CD



  ronin: The entire album is a gem of guitars and pounding beats, much harder overall than, say, "Lizard." "One More Red Nightmare" is another hard out rocker featuring the vocal talents of bassist John Wetton, but I find the most haunting song to be the West Side Story-esque "Fallen Angel."
Royal Blue  performed by Henry Mancini  1963
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A beautiful Mancini piece from one of his best-known soundtracks that I had somehow managed to neglect completely. The Pink Panther was never at the top of my wish-list, but after picking up the CD last week for a mere 50p, I was very impressed. The score utilizes the accordian slightly more than I would have liked, but has some fantastic textured tracks, such as this one.

The track opens with a 'Blues in the night' style riff on the piano. The lead is then taken by a blistering muted trumpet sound. I've always thought of Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks work as being heavily Mancini-influenced, but that link has never been more clear to me than on this track, which has a similar moody tone to some of the best tracks on the Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me soundtrack. The classic Mancini string sound is also in evidence, as well as a gentle wordless chorus. About half-way through, legendary tenor saxophonist Plas Johnson takes up the melody. The dreaded accordian gets a brief look-in before the track concludes with some more riffing on the trumpet. Fantastic stuff; Mancini really was an inspirational arranger.

from The Pink Panther, available on CD




  Issie: I like Pink Panther so I bet I like this song!
Running Thoughts  performed by Deerhoof  2005
Recommended by Solo [profile]

Somewhat Math-y rock with beautiful instrumental guitar tones, unusual atmospherics, and a mind-blowing conclusion

from The Runners Four (Kill Rock Stars)


She’s Dead  performed by Pulp  1992
Recommended by Mike [profile]

A particularly gloomily atmospheric track which pre-dates the band's chart success by only a year or so. I find the chorus to be the band's catchiest of all, but nevertheless haven't entirely worked out why I find the song as a whole to be so absorbing.

from Separations, available on CD


Skin Trade  performed by Duran Duran  1986
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

Beneath the avant-garde lyrics and futuristic synth textures, there was always a pulsing dance music quality that drove the classic Duran Duran sound. As they progressed into the late '80s, they allowed that dance element to move up front and dominate their style. A good example of this tactic is "Skin Trade," a hit whose silky and funky style led to it being mistaken for a Prince song. The lyrics have a surprisingly direct, soul-searching feel to them as they lay out scenarios of people shortchanging their dreams to make money. These moments are followed with the dramatic proclamation that makes up the chorus: "Will someone please explain/The reasons for this strange behavior?/In exploitation's name/We must be working for the skin trade." The music lends contrast to the angry tone of the lyrics by creating a sultry, mellow melody that juxtaposes verses with a soft, hypnotic ebb and flow with an ever-ascending chorus that revs up the song's inherent drama. Duran Duran's recording is fuelled by funky but gently layered guitar textures and subtle drum work that push its groove along, plus some atmospheric synth textures on the chorus. Interestingly, Simon LeBon uses his normal tenor voice for the choruses but sings much of the verses in a lush, soulful falsetto that led many pop fans to initially mistake "Skin Trade" for a Prince ballad. The result was a perfect blend of slow-dance textures and adult social critique. It didn't do as well as "Notorious," just barely making the Top 40 in the U.S., but it got plenty of radio airplay and is fondly remembered by the group's fans as one of Duran Duran's most mature achievements of the late '80s.
(AMG)

from Notorious, available on CD


Sleep  performed by Godspeed You! Black Emperor  2000
Recommended by mardikas [profile]

A long track (23 min) with orchestral sound. About the album: "Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven is unusual in being structurally and conceptually closer to a symphony than a conventional pop or rock album. The four tracks are composed of internal movements, with different sub-titles, that fade into each other. The whole album is instrumental, except for sampled voice inserts, and starts with an almost orchestral crescendo somewhat reminiscent of Ravel's Bolero." (http://en.wikipedia.org/) <- basically the same goes for the track.

I like it because of the dark and powerful feeling it conveys.

from Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven


Spacebeach  performed by Arling & Cameron  1999
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A stunning instrumental from the Dutch duo Arling & Cameron, whose tunes are often more jaunty and upbeat than this one, which is a more moody, atmospheric number. Using similar synth sounds to some of Massive Attack's best work, live strings, a wordless female vocal and a nicely picked acoustic guitar sound, they weave together an intoxicatingly brilliant blanket of sound.

from Music for Imaginary Films, available on CD




  robert[o]: great track - best song on the LP
Subdivisions  performed by Rush  1982
Recommended by Mike [profile]

Heavy rock with synths - an effective combination as heard here. The famous Candadian heavy rock band of dubious politics here come up with a really gloomily atmospheric number. OK, I won't pretend it's great, but it has a certain something. And I love the chord textures generated on their synths, providing a backbone for the number.

from Signals, available on CD


The Call  performed by Gene Page  1972
Recommended by delicado [profile]

An atmospheric soundtrack instrumental, with a superb blend of strings harpsichord, brass and woodwind. Everything is underpinned by a gently funky beat that delights me, and is typical of early 70s mood instrumentals.

from Blacula, available on CD




  Mike: Nice dense arrangement with the harpsichord penetrating attractively (try to remember that penetration can be unattractive at times). I enjoyed the excerpt very much.
  delicado: Yeah, the clarinet/sax you hear at the end of the sample nearly ruins it for me, but not quite. Those chords at the beginning recall that great song 'Life is Mono' by Mono, don't you think?
The Conductor  performed by the faint  2001
Recommended by elvisneedsboats [profile]

arguably one of my favorite faint songs. but they're all good. the faint is all about the eighties synth-pop aesthetic, but they reach out of that style enough to keep it interesting. a lot of their stuff, this song in particular, shows this keen sense of being able to combine the dark("macabre" even, if you will.) synth/drum machine sound and equally dark lyrics with catchy riffs in a way that keeps the pessimistic, shadowy side bubbling at the surface. kinda reminds me of joy division, not so much in the style (even though there are some points where the two sound similar) but in the general tone. 'the conductor' is all about the atmospheric key board drones and 'plunk' sounds, plus the vocoder thing they use on the vocals.

from danse macabre, available on CD



The Drapery Falls  performed by Opeth  2001
Recommended by bleakest harvest [profile]

A 10 minute progressive rock epic, that builds from an atmospheric beginning before climaxing in a flurry of death metal brilliance and winding back down again.

from Blackwater Park (Music for Nations)



  devorzhum: pull me down again and guide me into pain. this is a beautiful song.
The Only Living Boy in New York  performed by Simon and Garfunkel  1969
Recommended by Mike [profile]

A simple but catchy track with an excellent arrangement which is helped along by a nice slice of organ in the mix. Dreamily atmospheric, and of course beautifully sung.

from Bridge Over Troubled Water, available on CD


The Shark  performed by Hugo Montenegro  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A stunning soundtrack piece, 'the shark' opens with a catchy bass riff. Montenegro then uses an Ennio Morricone-style instrumentation with harpsichord and strings to build the theme. The tempo changes unsettlingly as the theme continues through an incredibly atmospheric three minutes.

from Lady in Cement
available on CD - Ninfadelica (Irma)



The Spook Walks  performed by Spooks  196?
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A murky and twangy instrumental, drenched with reverb and strange sound effects, courtesy of Joe Meek. Ridiculous, but superbly atmospheric.

from the single The Spook Walks
available on CD - Intergalactic Instro's - The Joe Meek Collection (Diamond)


This Way Mary  performed by John Barry  1974
Recommended by delicado [profile]

I love John Barry. Actually he doesn't seem like such a great guy personally, but I love a lot of his music. This track was originally composed for the soundtrack of the 1971 film 'Mary, Queen of Scots'. However, the sound is very modern. The track is built around a recurring piano riff (which incidentally was sampled by the group Chapterhouse on their 1991 indie/shoegazing single 'mesmerize'), and the tune is played by a synthesized, echoey harpsichord. It's a delightfully simple but very catchy track which stands up to repeated listening.

from Play it again (Polydor)
available on CD - The very best of (Polydor Europe)



Threads  performed by This Will Destroy You
Recommended by urbangee [profile]

If you like Explosions in the Sky this band is for you. Beautiful, atmospheric, powerful--a whole journey of emotion.


available on CD - Young Mountain (Magic Bullet)


Threshold Of Transformation  performed by Isis  2009
Recommended by SamHall [profile]

The 9:52 long track immediately blasts you off your feet with a ethereally heavy series of riffs and Aaron Turner's rough vocals. Keeping it interesting, the structure continues to evolve, and drifts downward into a more dreamy movement which stays dense and builds the tension for the following verses. About halfway in, the song reaches the first climax that (I think) embodies the "Threshold" in the song title. After which, it moves into a more contemplative section, smoothing out the turmoil and tension brought on by the first half, while building its own. Beautifully, it succeeds in building yet another crescendo, only to end in free fall, with guitar and bass fantastically accenting the mood. The bass in this song is truly something to behold, wavering and powerful in its tone.

What I like about this song reflects on why I like Isis' music in general: it's complex, atmospheric, emotional, intricate, and smart. It truly is "thinking man's metal." Isis is all about themes and atmospheres, emotions and vibes, rather than clear ideas and lyrics. It's visceral, raw, and transcendent. And in some ways, I think this song embodies everything that makes them great.

from Wavering Radiant, available on CD


Through The Sky  performed by Swing Out Sister  2001
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

When mentioning Swing Out Sister casual listeners often dismiss them as forgettable, mere 80s martini pop kitsch. Or worse, one hit wonders due to the fact that their 1987 offering Breakout is still, by far, their biggest single hit. But this is completely wrong. In fact, they're enjoying an ongoing career for almost 20 years, recording 8 studio albums. Nowadays theyre fitting a niche no other group fits in so comfortably: escapist, late 60s oriented sophisticated glamorous easy listening pop music with all the right influences that spring to mind of that era: Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Webb, John Barry, late 60s european soundtracks in general, Ennio Morricone specifically and sunshine pop. Since these guys aren't necessarily household names in mainstream pop culture today, Swing Out Sister were practically invisible from the mid 90s on in Europe and the USA, releasing their records primarily in Japan, where easy listening music still gets the biggest exposure. The Sisters 2001 album Somewhere deep in the night is their most cinematic, most elegant and visually evocative album to date, where the Bacharach/Barry/Morricone spirit is prevailing the most: 60s arrangements with Bacharach-oriented songwriting, Barry-esque lush strings, Morricone-style harpsicord, saxophone, harps, jazzy guitars, muted trumpets, fluegelhorn, wordless vocals, blending vocal songs with atmospheric instrumentals, creating an imaginary soundtrack. The whole album is a truly underrated gem.

from Somewhere Deep In The Night, available on CD




  jeanette: I have to say I am thoroughly delighted at learning of the continued career of SOS. I always had time for them, and thought Breakout was actually the weakest of the singles I heard. I particularly remember liking 'Fooled By A Smile' and 'You On My Mind'. Hearing the snippets of these songs here, I can say I'm intrigued enough to try and seek out some of this later work. It reminds me of the more produced end of Siesta records' (Spanish easy-pop label) output.
  eftimihn: You probably should try "Shapes and Patterns" from 1997 first, it's pretty much in the vein of 1989's "Kaleidoscope World" and thus a good starting point to rediscover SOS. This and the aforementioned "Somewhere Deep In The Night" (2001) as well.
Time Operator  performed by Scott Walker  1970
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This song has a certain quality that really makes it stay with me. It's from 1970 - Til the band comes in. Clever use of the dialing tone to blend with the strings/orchestration. It's a slightly different blend from Scott's more revered work - slightly funky percussion and overtly croony vocals. Strings and a bit of trumpet. Wonderfully atmospheric stuff. Funny words

from Til the Band Comes In, available on CD


Yawn  performed by The Orchids  1989
Recommended by Rena Blue [profile]

One must be alone in a quiet darkened room, late evening, to feel the full atmospheric impact of this very moving tune.

Also available on the 'What will we do next' ep Sarah 23.

from Epicurean - A soundtrack (Sarah Records Sarah 611)



You, Assassin  performed by San Serac  2004
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Another shock modern recommendation! San Serac's second album, 'Ice Age', came out earlier in the year, and I had the pleasure of touring with the band. I got to be a big fan of several of their songs, but I think this one is the best. The singer describes the lyrical content as 'paranoid bullshit', but I find it quite compelling.

Musically, this is very percussive electronic music with a very fresh sounding 80s influence. It's atmospheric and relentlessly beaty. More info is available at http://www.frogmanjake.com/iceageinfo.html.

from Ice Age, available on CD



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