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You searched for ‘gentle’, which matched 80 songs.
click - person recommending, year, performer, songtitle - to see more recommendations.
A Family. A Tree  performed by We Are The Willows
Recommended by seike17 [profile]

Soft folk rock song. Beautiful, heartwarming, she has such a gentle voice.




Argomenti  performed by Isobel Campbell  2004
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Isobel Campbell was, of course, a member of Belle & Sebastian as well as the lead singer in The Gentle Waves, a disguised solo project backed by members of Belle & Sebastian. Her first "real" solo record "Amorino" was finally released in 2003. This wonderful cover version was only released on her 2004 EP "Time Is Just The Same". And while it's already great to see a Morricone cover version these days, this one is really amazing too. It just suits Mrs. Campbells airy, fairy-like voice perfectly. Compared to the Astrud Gilberto from 1971 this version feels even lighter, calmer, more stripped down since it's not orchestrated with strings.

from Time Is Just The Same, available on CD (Snowstorm)




  Issie: The singer has a great first name!!!
August Day Song  performed by Bebel Gilberto  2000
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Bebel Gilberto had quite a musical career before her debut album was released in 2000 and, of course, stems from a famous family (her father is Joao Gilberto, Miucha is the mother with stepmother Astrud Gilberto and uncle Chico Buarque de Holanda). This is a very lovely, soothing, gentle track, a duet with Nina Miranda (from "Smoke City"), sung in english and portuguese.

from Tanto Tempo, available on CD (Six Degrees)



Broken Heart  performed by Spiritualized  1998
Recommended by tinks [profile]

A different version than the one that appears on "Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space", this one features a slightly slower tempo, a full gospel choir and some lushly arranged strings and horns. Absolutely beautiful...a longer instrumental version also appears on the EP.

from Abbey Road (EP), available on CD (Arista)



  delicado: this was on my list to recommend too...but I've only heard the album version...what an astounding track! Will have to check out the EP...
Campground Daughter  performed by School for the Dead  2004
Recommended by catmarigold [profile]

Melancholy but hopeful. This is a gentle song, with acoustic and electric guitars, electric piano, bass, drums, and voice. Excellent lyrics, terrific mood.

There's a little story here, punctuated by flashes of images and moments.

The song is written by Henning Ohlenbusch who has worked with Chris Collingwood (Fountains of Wayne), Mark Mulcahy, and Lloyd Cole. If those names mean anything to you, then chances are you will enjoy this warm track.

from The New You, available on CD


Catolé  performed by Orquestra Jean Kelson  1965
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This is a jazzy, haunting track from an LP I bought in Brazil last year. I've tried hard to find information about Jean Kelson, but the only mention I've found (other than those I've made myself) is in one of Ed Motta's excellent archived radio shows at his official site (http://www2.uol.com.br/edmotta/sala.htm). Ed plays a different track from this album, Munganga.

Catolé sounds musically like a variation of Baden Powell's classic 'Berimbau', and opens with an incredibly catchy refrain featuring piano, percussion and trumpet. Gentle male voices then come in and flesh out the melody. The entire album is great. I wonder what the chances are of it coming out on CD...

from Berimbau e Bigorrilho (Copacabana CLPS 21012)



Conversazione  performed by Mina  1967
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Opposed to the dramatic Morricone interpretation of "Se telefonando", recommended elsewhere on Musicaltaste, Mina is in a beautifully light bossa mood here on "Conversazione". And the arrangement adequately reflects this with joyful flutes, gentle electric guitar and rather muted strings.


available on CD - Una Storia, Il Mito (Universal)



Cucumbe  performed by Edda Dell’Orso  1975
Recommended by human-cannonball [profile]

Italian singer Edda dell'Orso is the voice backing many soundtrack scores and lounge-beat tracks by Ennio Morricone, Alessandro Alessandroni, Armando Trovajoli (and his 'Mark 4'). This is a Cinecitta-composer Romolo Grano composition for the cult fantasy-drama TV-series 'La Montagna della Luce'. A very deeply and sensually voiced Edda accompanies the slightly latin-flavoured, percussive funky-jazz piece; the haunting funky bassline and a very gentle tenor present throughout the track complete this exotic, obscure jazzy soundtrack.


available on CD - Up!!! The Second (Schema (Italy))


Die herren dieser welt  performed by Hildegard Knef  1970
Recommended by delicado [profile]

From the same album which spawned the mindblowing 'Im 80 Stockwerk' comes this superb track. It opens slowly, with a moody guitar/vocal introduction. Soon the heavy Burt Bacharach influence of 'Stockwerk' returns, as the strings come in and the song develops. The beat is funky in a gentle late-sixties pop kind of way. I have no idea what Hildegard is singing, but it sounds rather positive and uplifting, and I’m a big fan of her smoky voice.

from Knef (Decca)
available on CD - Fur Mich... (box set) (BMG Germany)




  AndreasNystrom: Really great song!, nice rhythm and harmonys.
  bellboy: this song is about "masters of this world" - the text would stir you up rather than just lift you up. It breathes the same air as a song by Alexandra "Mein Freund der Baum". Heavy bittersweet german Weltschmerz. One of the Knef's best songs is "Von nun an ging's bergab" which means "From now it went downhill". She tells us her story: Her birth in cold winter, her film career in the USA, her return to Germany, starting a second career as a singer - and everytime she comments ironically: "From now it went downhill" which is VERY funny! The last words of this song comment herself as a singer: "Es war nicht meine Schuld - ich bitte um Geduld" - "It wasnn't my idea to start singing, please be patient with me"
  heimwehblues: To "bellboy": "Von nun an ging's bergab" is performed by Hildegard Knef as "From Here On It Got Rough" (LP "The World of Hildegard Knef"), last lines: "A change was overdue, from here it's rough on you.".
  eftimihn: Warner Music Germany finally released "Knef" on CD ahead of the celebration of Hildegard Knef's 80th birthday. While it's completely beyond me why people had to wait until 2005 to get this masterpiece in it's entirety, i'm thrilled that it's finally arrived. Also, Hildegard Knef repeatedly expressed "Knef" was her best album.
  n-jeff: "From Here On It Got Rough" is the opening track on teh recent (2005) compilation "the in-kraut". And very witty it is too. But also a very groovy song.
Don't Go Breaking my Heart  performed by Roger Nichols and the Small Circle of Friends  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A beautifully gentle and textured version of this song, led by some great group harmony vocals. These are backed by a gentle bossa nova beat, electric harpsichord, and strings which sweep in and out. Gentle and addictive listening.

from Roger Nichols and the Small Circle of Friends (A&M)
available on CD - Complete (Polydor Japan)




  rum: Oh there’s certainly no denying it, this track has an irresistibly seductive melody but there’s no chance I’d be seduced. Oh rum, you’re just being silly, she’d say, “don’t make a mountain out of a grain of sand…” silly?! I caught you in bed with the Mayor of Pensacola, Florida… this is no grain of sand my dear! But rum, it was just one time, a silly mistake, “one drop of rain doesn’t make the sun run away”, does it? Are you mad? What kind of reasoning is that? 17, 18… eighty-seven drops of rain wouldn’t either. So what are you trying to tell me? Am I to hold out for a rainstorm of two-timing before getting in a huff? The summer of love ended last September. This is 1968, the year of revolution, of fighting in the streets, of… but then she’d put her finger on your lips, “DON’T… go breaking my heart…” and look up at you with the innocence of a wee lamb. Oh, you so want to forgive her. Maybe I’ll give her just one more chance, it is such a beautiful melody… “I’ll love you till the sky falls down, even then… you’ll remain in my heart” Ahh, no, no, I’m not falling for that. I’m not an idiot, that’s impossible. Now I know you’re having me on. I’m not getting caught in your web of lies you, you, you… Your melody maybe sweet but your argument stinks. Go on get out, strumpet! “…come to my arms, forever…” No, no, clear off. “…teach my heart how to smile?...” OUT!
Eleanor Rigby  performed by Oscar Peterson  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Eleanor Rigby does not immediately seem like the kind of song which would sound good as a cover version, but this fantastic version by Oscar Peterson proves otherwise. It opens with a simply heavenly string sequence from Claus Ogerman. Then Peterson’s gentle and percussive piano comes in backed with an driving bossa nova guitar and a huge, rich string arrangement. The tempo then switches over to a more jazzy style with a walking bass.

from Motions and Emotions (MPS 21207137)




  n-jeff: For a version on another tack theres Enoch Lights' (I can't remember if its from Spaced Out or Brass Menagerie 73). But its a cracker. Driving bass, swinging horns and electric guitar taking it to a whole groovy level the Beatles wouldn't imagined for their ballad.
Falling From Grace  performed by The Gentle Waves  2000
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

"The Gentle Waves" was the guised solo project of Belle & Sebastian's Isobel Campbell, before she eventually recorded under her own name after leaving the group. This is pure etheral, introverted, delicate indie pop with a strong late 60s feel to it. The track starts with toned down drums, bass and acoustic guitar to complement Isobel Campbells's airy vocals. Later a wonderful harpsicord joins in, together with some violins and cello giving it a flowing, autumnal feel.

from Swansong For You, available on CD



Fiesta In Belo Horizonte  performed by Martin Böttcher  1974
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Incredibly breezy, silky smooth and gentle sounding tune this one. With a laid back samba rhythm, male/female wordless vocals some soft strings in the backround and some electric and acoustic guitars thrown in, this track is a great example for Martin Böttchers superior talents as arranger and orchestrator. The whole compilation "Sound Kaleidoscope" is very well done, featuring 25 tracks from the mid 60s to the mid 70s. Highly recommended.

from Sound Kaleidoscope, available on CD



Fim de Semana em Guaruja  performed by Os Tres Brasilieiros  1969
Recommended by tinks [profile]

A lovely, gentle samba with wordless three-part mixed harmonies, gently swinging organ and subtle percussion.

from Brazil: LXIX (Capitol ST-301)




  delicado: I still don't have this album (and it just sold for a whopping $79 on ebay!) but from the picture on the back cover, I'd say this is definitely the same group as Os 3 Morais.
  tinks: 79 bucks! i paid a quarter! i listened to the clip on your morais recommendation, and it definitely sounds like the same people. mystery solved!
Goin' Home  performed by Ike Quebec  1962
Recommended by tinks [profile]

Beautiful samba, with great mellow sax playing from one of the masters of the Coleman Hawkins-influenced tenor on his final album. The counterpoint of Kenny Burrell's guitar and Garvin Masseaux's gentle percussion with Quebec's long warm tones really make this track.

from Soul Samba, available on CD



Golden Lights  performed by Twinkle  1965
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This is a simple but rather bitter pop song, although on the surface it sounds quite sweet. If I recall correctly, it was written about the singer that Twinkle was seeing at the time. The gentle arrangement features acoustic guitar and some brass. It's not hard to hear why Morrissey liked this song enough to cover it with The Smiths.

Twinkle has a lovely clear voice, and much as I respect Moz, this version towers above the one done by The Smiths, which suffers from a strange mix of production styles. That said, I have a strange mix of emotions on hearing the song, since I heard the Smiths version at 14, but only got into this one in the last few years.

from the single Golden Lights
available on CD - Twinkle (RPM)



Groovin’ With You  performed by The Gentle People  1999
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

What a great blend of electronica and easy listening this track is. Think of it as a trippy, chillin' "A Summer Place" in outer space with gentle male/female vocals, some french whisperings and sparse, delicate electronica intertwined with the memorable, lush string melody sample of "A Summer Place".

from Simply Faboo, available on CD




  n-jeff: Great track, it made me buy the LP, which was a little disappointing, but the first four or five tracks are great, and for me this song is the opeak of them, and the whole LP.
Hammer in the sand  performed by Steve Hackett  1980
Recommended by Mike [profile]

A beautiful piano-led instrumental, mainly gentle in mood, and an affecting vehicle for the distinctive harmononies and layered textures that characterise Steve's work.

from Defector, available on CD


How High The Moon  performed by June Christy  1959
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

Got a haircut today (short, choppy, fab). Getting a haircut often makes me think of June because she did have the greatest barnet ever - that fringe!

So I've pulled out my June collection - a paltry 4 LPs but growing - and am lovin' a bit of this tonight. The instrumentation here reminds me a lot of Ella Mae Morse's corner of the market, someone I should really get around to recommending on this site.

How High The Moon opens gentle as duck down, moving into a light finger snappin' mood then onto a heavy big band scat rhythm. Christy's technique is superlative and you can almost hear her intuitively measuring the band, taking each note perfectly.

This LP is a set of re-interpretations of songs June originally sang with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Being a June novice, I'm not aware of the original version but I doubt I could like it more.

from June Christy Recalls Those Kenton Days (Capitol ST 1202)



How to open at will the most beautiful window  performed by Lalo Schifrin  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A beautiful, lush masterpiece with a bossa nova beat (hmm, is there a pattern to the songs I'm submitting?), 'how to open...' is one of my top tracks ever. It opens quietly with a slightly cheesy flute sound over a gentle guitar. A great wordless vocal then comes in coupled with strings. Superb. If you never listen to music like this, what I'm saying probably doesn't exactly make it sound cool. But it really is cool, very very cool indeed.

from There's a Whole Lalo Schifrin Goin' on (Dot)




  Sem Sinatra: A lot of Lalo Schifrin's music doesn't seem to adhere to a formula, and this is one of those ... I never get tired of hearing it
  Fox: This track is so quiet and peaceful. Lalo is a genious. We got in France, an electronic artist called Alex Gopher (I think he took his name from the soap opera "Love Boat", it's a sign!) that sampled the three first strings notes from that track. His album is called "You, my baby and I" but is more famous for the interpretation he made on "The child" based on a beautiful song from Billie Holliday "God bless the child". For those who want notice the fruits that have grown from the roots! Ennio Morricone made a concert recently in Paris, if Lalo could do the same soon...
Hurry to Me  performed by Roy Budd  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A superb recording of a really perfect song. Ennio Morricone's theme to the obscure movie 'metti, una cera a cena' (one night at dinner) is here performed in a classic crisp, clear version by Roy Budd. I'm not sure if I love this recording so much because it was the first version I heard, but I think it may even be better than the Morricone recording. Anyway, if you don't know this song, you will probably recognise it when you hear it. It features an infuriatingly catchy repetitive female wordless-vocal over a gentle bossa beat, with rich strings and piano. Every now and then everything goes quiet and all you hear are the vocals and a faint tremelo guitar. It is really amazingly beautiful. There is also a great italian version of this song by Milva, which sounds amazingly like the group Stereolab.

from Soldier Blue (Pye NSPL 18348)
available on CD - Sound Spectrum (Sequel)




  leonthedog: The Budd version is also available on "Rebirth of the Budd," for those (like myself) wanting an introduction to his work. The Sandpipers' version on "Canto Morricone Vol." is equally nice.
  DickieB: I just wanted to recommend ‘The Sound Spectrum’ which this is on. I’ve had a copy of years but have only just realised that it’s essential listening - if you like this sort of thing, probably drive you mad otherwise.
  delicado: Yes, it\'s a cracking compilation. It\'s so well done that if you listen to the tracks out of context (e.g. on the original LPs), they don\'t sound as thrilling as they do on this mix!
i don’t know what i can save you from  performed by kings of convenience  2001
Recommended by device [profile]

personally, i enjoy this song in a large part because of the story it tells. i would really like for this to happen to me... it's just a very poignant thing. as to the mechanics of the song, however, some gentle strumming and a bit of classical guitar-style picking lends to the mellow and comforting quality of this song (and the whole album).

from Quiet is the New Loud, available on CD



  FCS: I like this song also, both because of lyrics and melody. And I suggest you check out Royksopp's remix of this song
Jellypop Perky Jean  performed by Julian Cope  1991
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A lovely little pop song, Jellypop perky Jean uses a standard Julian Cope trick - having a nice little repetitive musical phrase running in the background throughout the whole song. He then builds things up with a simple organ sound. The effect is very gentle and ambient and wonderful. At one point late in the song, Julian stunningly stops singing and starts talking. Here the real genius cuts through, and I start wondering why more people don't rant on about this guy as much as I do.

from Droolian
available on CD - Floored Genius (Sony)



Julie Ocean  performed by Undertones   1981
Recommended by geezer [profile]

The innocent punky charm of Teenage Kicks was a distant memory by the time this yearning gentle beatbox ballad was recorded ,a sad summer song to lost love and playground nostalgia with a beguiling maturity not often assciated with The Undertones .

from The Positive Touch
available on CD - The Positve Touch


Kites Are Fun  performed by The Free Design  1967
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Well, i guess musicaltaste is a rather safe place to recommend some Free Design without getting laughed at. It always strikes me they haven't been more popular back in the late sixties. "Kites Are Fun" is one of their more popular and one of their best tracks for sure. Uber-jolly, playfull, catchy with superb vocal harmonies, gentle guitar, flute, bass and drums and some keyboards.

from Kites Are Fun, available on CD




  nighteye: This is great song! Sunshine pop at its best, how can you not feel happy listening to this song? I like kites!
  Festy: I really dig "My Brother Woody" from the same album. Whoever the drummer is, he really cooks on this track.
  konsu: The drummer's name is Bill LaVorgna. He has an unmistakable touch on the drums. He's also on some of Pat Williams Verve LP's.
Knight Moves  performed by Chilly Gonzalez  2010
Recommended by geezer [profile]

A gorgeous ,lively instrumental set to a gentle piano driven house beat.Uplifting and glad retaining the joy of disco music

from Ivory Towers, available on CD


Kortisin  performed by Plaid  1997
Recommended by Mr Tom [profile]

A lovely triptych. Plaid keep their trademark odd noises (creaking doors and weird duck quacks in this track) more in check than usual, and the result's a little more conventional than a lot of their work, but it's also very pretty. It's tightly structured, with a happy little introduction followed by three sections marked by their different, though related, warm basslines. Each has a gentle melody of its own, and between each there's an interesting break. Warm, sophisticated, and full of beauty.

from Not For Threes (Warp)



ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space  performed by spiritualized
Recommended by morning belle [profile]

holy monk. ethereal. just ethereal.




Latitudes  performed by Ollano  1996
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

This track is delicately built upon a sample from the first opening bars of "The End Of A Love Affair" by Julie London, a song i absolutely love (and was recommended by delicado somewhere else on this site). Further on Ollano add a gentle bossa nova rhythm to the track and light, breezy vocals (in french) by Helena Noguerra. Evokes a feeling of a mild, sunny day at a lovely seaside.

from Ollano, available on CD




  jeanette: Oooo, I've recently come to really admire this. I have it on a not-that-great Bungalow compilation, Atomium 3003; it's kind of hidden somewhere in the middle and I didn't pay much attention to it when I first bought the CD a few years ago. But thanks to the wonders of mp3 shuffle technology it came up on a playlist last week - I thought, "what is this?" - and played it several more times on the trot. Marvellous stuff.
legal man  performed by belle & sebastian  2000
Recommended by shaka_klaus [profile]

i once met these guys at a festival. we discussed belle & sebastian and they went 'let stuart sing his songs and kick the looper-man out of the group as well as that gentle waves-chick' i don't remember my reply... legal man is a perfect example of belle & sebastian as a group i think. the fact that i like sitar and the tempo makes me like it even more.

from legal man e.p. (jeepster)
available on CD - legal man (jeepster)




  delicado: Although I have most of their records, I'd never heard this track before, and it really surprised me. It sounds almost like a vintage organ/sitar instrumental, but then the drumming gives it kind of a stone roses feel. Interesting stuff!
Long Live the King  performed by Gary McFarland  1967
Recommended by delicado [profile]

It's hard to pick a particular Gary McFarland song to recommend: although I love almost all of them, there aren't that many that particularly stand out. Most have some of the same trademarks: whistling or wordless vocals, brass, guitar, and a gentle bossa nova beat. They're slightly wistful, and make me feel like it's summer whenever I hear them. McFarland also worked with some outstanding musicians, including Gabor Szabo and Kenny Burrell on guitar, Grady Tate on drums, and Willie Bobo on percussion.

Long live the king is actually slightly different - it's a simple, upbeat number with a rock beat, bacharach-style trumpet, and picked guitar; a boogaloo-style saxophone also makes an occasional appearance, as does a hammond organ. The German 'Latin Lounge' CD showcases his work on the Verve label, and it's all excellent.

from Scorpio and other signs (Verve V-8738)
available on CD - Latin Lounge (Motor)



  tinks: i'm glad to hear that mcfarland has finally been put on cd in some sort. i absolutely love him, just because he's so ridiculous. if you like this, you should check out the album he produced for cal tjader entitled "tjader sounds out burt bacharach".
  b. toklas: There actually is at least one album that´s standing out a bit. It´s called "Butterscotch Rum" (1971) and has a guy called Peter Smith accompanying Gary McFarland. He sings and wrote the lyrics and even illustrated the cover! I suppose he´s an Englishman, because his voice has a kind of Robert Wyatt-ish timbre. It´s a very good album with a slightly melancholic mood, and with that special laid-back and somewhat loose instrumentation that is characteristic for a lot of McFarlands later work. Very cool and heartwarming at the same time. Would like to have met him and have little chat sitting in rocking chairs. (Oh I forgot: some of the songs on "Butterscotch Rum" are Seventies Rock´n´Roll. They are not too bad, but usually I skip them.)
love song for the dead che  performed by the united states of america  1968
Recommended by olli [profile]

spacy female vocal-based sadpop, perfect for cold weather and sunday afternoons. these guys pioneered this kind of music, if you're familiar with white noise,
os mutantes or even broadcast this album is your jackpot.
it's one of the more calm and mellow tracks on the albums, and one of my favourites.
absolutely gorgeus chorus, totally wide, deep string based arrangement.

..And dig the gentle, almost non-audible rhythm track.

from the united states of america



Make It Easy On Yourself  performed by Connie Francis  1968
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Always loved this song by Burt Bacharach and this version sounds just heavenly. From the credits, it's easy to spot why: Claus Ogerman. He's in top form here, transforming the song into a gentle bossa nova with all the Ogerman magic of that time, very similar in sound and texture to his work on Antonio Carlos Jobim's "The Composer Of Desafinado Plays": Gentle basic rhythm section, subdued piano, airy flutes and trumpets and of course those impeccably arranged strings swirling in and out during the song.

from Connie Francis Sings Bacharach And David (MGM 4585)



Mandato  performed by Osmar Milito e Quarteto Forma  1972
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A very cool sunshine pop style number from the soundtrack to the Brazilian soap opera 'selva de pedra'. This two-minute track has an irresistable groove and some nice harmonized group vocals. The vocals are mostly gentle and smooth, like strings, but there are also some jazzier scat phrases thrown in. The entire soundtrack is highly recommended.

from Selva de Pedra, available on CD



Marquee Moon  performed by Television  1975
Recommended by theothercynic [profile]

The title track of Television's 1975 album is the greatest statement of their cumulative abilities as a band. A majestic epic of dual guitar interplay, metronome bass playing, unconventional jazz drumming, and the strangled vocal screeds of Tom Verlaine, Marquee Moon begins with a double-stop riff. A second tangled guitar weaves in, a bass thuds upward, and a lockstep rhythm forms behind the surreal lyrics. From the chorus to the long, flowing jams that follow the third verse, the guitar interplay between Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd amazes again and again. Instead of rhythm and lead guitar, the two guitarists trade solos and phrases, tones and colors. Even when Richard Lloyd plays simply, he dominates the color and tone of the solo he underscores, and when he lets loose a solo, it flows like poetry, phrasing and declaiming the beauty of the notes it contains. Band leader Tom Verlaine twists and curves his notes all over here, careening in on himself and threatening to implode before finding a perfect spot. The majestic peaks this song climbs to seem almost impossible, and it very nearly stumbles by running long. However, nothing can detract from the climactic jams that culminate in Tom Verlaine's singing bird-call guitar notes and gentle spills of warbling riffs.


available on CD - Marquee Moon (Elektra)


Modesty (The Modesty Blaise Theme)  performed by Cal Tjader & Eddie Palmieri  1966
Recommended by tinks [profile]

Excellent gentle mambo arrangement, courtesy of Claus Ogerman, of this spy theme featuring Tjader's vibes and George Castro's flute in nice counterpoint with Palmeiro's piano and some very lively percussion.

from El Sonido Nuevo: The New Soul Sound, available on CD



Molienda Cafe  performed by Charlie Byrd & Aldemaro Romero  1970
Recommended by tinks [profile]

Very rhythmically complex track with gentle finger-picked guitar courtesy of Byrd. Romero was at the forefront of Venezuela's "onda nueva" movement, which was an interesting conflagration of Latin jazz, American pop, calypso & traditional Spanish styles. According to this album's liners: "The time is 3/4, but the drummer often plays 2, giving the beat a 4/4 quality. Or the measure is played in 6, spraying accents in such a way that one hasn't time to count beats to the bar." If that seems perplexing to you, you're not alone. In a 1997 interview, Byrd called this album the most challenging recording he had ever made.

from Onda Nueva/The New Wave (Columbia)


Moon Time  performed by Dudley Moore  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

The soundtrack to Bedazzled is remarkably good, one of a few much-hyped records floating around in my head that has actually lived up to my expectations. This instrumental is notable for its haunting mood and astonishingly beautiful chord sequence. The flute melody, lush strings and gentle latin percussion combine beautifully. Musically, it's one of those pieces that's so good you want to cry.

from Bedazzled OST, available on CD




  standish: Hats off to Dudley for the whole soundtrack. Sparkling, serious and intelligent music - I totally agree about the goosebump chord sequence that reappears throughout the album. Haven't found any other stuff by him that's as good - maybe "Genuine Dud" if you're into piano trio jazz.
  Mike: What a gem! Very arresting, and good enough to listen to several times in a row, each time finding things to marvel at in the harmony, texture, overall structure, melody...well, pretty much everything.
mykonos  performed by fleet foxes
Recommended by joysoph89 [profile]

wonderful harmonies, gentle sound,lyrics really make you think about them and reminds me of crosby stills nash and young particularly on the chorus.




Natacha  performed by Czerkinsky
Recommended by avalyn [profile]

simply because it's gentle, chiming and so full of yearning. i'm a sucker for that.




Nightingale  performed by Les Baxter  1956
Recommended by delicado [profile]

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)



Oh, Calcutta!  performed by Dave Pell Singers  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This short track opens the classic 1995 easy listening compilation The Sound Gallery. I'm sure it's well known to anyone with a remote interest in the whole revival scene. It's a really beautiful track, with funky drums, organ, a gentle, whispery vocal chorus, and some great jazz piano. Evocative and glamorous, this evokes a swinging party attended by people wearing sparkly dresses. For me, this is perhaps the ultimate stylish/glamorous 60s recording.

from Mah-Na-Mah-Na (Liberty)
available on CD - Sound Gallery (EMI)




  n-jeff: Its funny that it should make you think of people wearing sparkly dresses, when of course the show itself was primarily famous for having large numbers of hairy hippies naked onstage.
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)


Peaceful  performed by Georgie Fame  1969
Recommended by Swinging London [profile]

I'm very surprised there are no other Georgie Fame songs here.

Here's yet another British solo singer of the 1960's who never really made it in America...except, I think, with the song 'Bonnie & Clyde'.

By 1969 Georgie Fame's success as a hit-maker was starting to wind down, before, in the early '70's, he teamed up with Alan Price and had a hit with the forgettable 'Rosetta'.

I think this song has been forgotten, this version anyway, but it's far from forgettable.

A really terrific late '60's chart hit, that only made it to no.16 on the British charts, but should have done so much better.

A really upbeat, summer song.

It was covered by someone else sometime in the '70's, I think, but that version was far inferior to this.

Wondeful gentle arrangement...lots of mellow brass & Georgie's voice at its understated, confident best.


available on CD - yes (Raven)




  konsu: This song was written by Kenny Rankin. A legend in his own right in the US. The Fame version is awesome indeed, i've heard a lot of takes on this one and his takes the prize.
  audioadventures: I agree I re-discovered this song recently and it has been added to my best songs of all time.
Ride The Wind (live)  performed by The Youngbloods  1969
Recommended by opl3003 [profile]

This live recording of "Ride The Wind" is a wonderful nine minute take on the six minute studio version available on The Youngbloods 1969 "Elephant Mountain" album.

Recorded live in NYC as a trio, The Youngbloods never sounded better. Jesse Colin Young is on bass. Banana plays guitar and keyboards, and Joe Bauer on drums. Sparse, almost scatted vocals mixed with improvisational instrumentaion help this song lightly float along. The bass solo gives me goosebumps, and accents the playfulness of the improv style the Youngbloods exhibit on this song.

I really like this song because it sounds so mellow and free. One of the best ways you can spend almost 10 minutes of your life. Give it a listen, you won't be sorry.

from Ride The Wind (Raccoon / Warner Bros. Raccoon #4)



  DRMUSE: I went to a concert in longmont Colorado on a June Night in 1970 in the Full Moon Light, where I heard Ride the Wind and Sunlight and On Sir Francis Drake, and Banana's Fender Rhodes with the picture of Elephant Mountain painted on the front could be seen for miles. The CD i recently found these treasures on is One Way # OW 34535, available through Amazon, GET IT ! It has some of the most amazing music you ever heard if you are a Youngbloods fan. It is also demarcated BMG Specialty Products DRC11575. Whatever your music is, people, enjoy it , sometimes it is all you have. And everybody learn to play. Maybe we could have a battle of the guitars instead of the guns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Riverman  performed by Nick Drake  1969
Recommended by geezer [profile]

The most beautiful song ever recorded ,hard to qualify,hard to measure,i know ,but one listen of this gentle folk infused languid samba will convince and convert.
Everything on this is right,the apologetic vocal,the crying strings and a portentous forboding lyric,everything seems to move along at a rivers pace.it could last for two minutes or two hours,its effect on your senses would still be divine

from Five Leave Left
available on CD - Five Leaves Left


Rose Kennedy  performed by Benjamin Biolay  2001
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

In his home country France Benjamin Biolay often is praised as the "nouveau Gainsbourg", he's a singer, songwriter, arranger, producer, orchestrator and plays various instruments. His debut album "Rose Kennedy" shows the impact "Histoire de Melody Nelson" had on him, as this is also conceived as a concept album. The track "Rose Kennedy" sounds very 60's in its instrumentation and feel, with lush, rich strings, warm Fender Rhodes keyboard, gentle and dreamlike vocals with a sparse dose of electronica and some samples thrown in.

from Rose Kennedy, available on CD




  nighteye: Can you call him the french version of Scott Walker? This song reminds me of some of Walkers songs from the '60s, and what a great song 'Rose Kennedy' is. I love the strings and Biolay's deep voice.
Rose Petals, Incense and a Kitten  performed by The Association  1968
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

This is a pretty much overlooked gem by The Association. Somewhere described as a "total pacific beach fantasy", that's exactly how the song sounds. With it's idealized lyrics, great vocal harmonies, lush strings and a very nice acoustic guitar solo you can almost feel a gentle pacific breeze, evoking a similar kind of "lost summer" mood Chad & Jeremy's "Distant Shores" provide (at least for me)...

from Birthday, available on CD




  tinks: yummy song! i love this whole lp.
Rose Petals, Incense, and a Kitten  performed by The Association  1968
Recommended by artlongjr [profile]

This song has been a favorite of mine ever since I first heard it on the album "Birthday" back in the 80's. It reminds me of walking along the beach with my girlfriend, looking at a gorgeous sunset. The song was written by Jim Yester, who also sings lead...the string arrangement, great vocal harmonies, lush melody and delicate guitar solo by Tommy Tedesco make this a sunshine pop classic. Jim Yester also contributed two other equally great tunes on this album, "Birthday Morning" and the stunning, majestic "Barefoot Gentleman". I recommend the entire album to fans of 1960s harmony pop-it is their most psychedelic record, hands down, and my favorite by them,although I still haven't heard their first LP yet, which others have recommended to me as their best.

from Birthday, available on CD



  delicado: This is a truly exquisite track. I've been listening to this album a lot recently actually.
  eftimihn: A track so great it abolutely deserves to be recommended twice, here is my entry: http://www.musicaltaste.com/filter.php?songtitle=Rose%20Petals%2C%20Incense%20and%20a%20Kitten
  artlongjr: I'm glad so many people like this song...you can't go wrong with this album, in addition to "Rose Petals", there is "Everything That Touches You", "Toymaker", "Hear in Here", and "The Time it is Today", all great tunes. I just wonder what the results would have been if the Association had recorded "MacArthur Park" like they were requested to at that time!
  Major Minor: Seconded! Birthday is my favorite Association album containing some of the finest Sunshine Pop tracks ever!
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!
São Paulo  performed by Nelson Riddle  1970
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A superbly catchy mood music piece, with a gentle bossa rhythm and Claus Ogerman-arranged strings. Very cool, and from the same album which featured strongly on the superb 'Snowflakes' CD compilation of the best mood music from the German MPS label. This track arrived in my head after I woke up this morning and demanded to be played. Very sleek and cool.

from Colors (MPS/BASF)



Se telefonando  performed by Mina  1966
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A dramatic pop number from the 60s in which Mina passionately belts out the tune. The opening is gentle, with a delicate trumpet melody; it then builds up to a huge climax with full orchestra. The song is infuriatingly catchy and familiar; I'm sure I had heard it many times before I finally identified it about five years ago. Very highly recommended.


available on CD - Canto Morricone, Vol 1 (Bear Family)




  andyjl: This song was covered in a great version by Francoise Hardy (as "Je changerais d'avis"). It's on several compilations of her 60s recordings.
  delicado: Francoise also recorded it in English (the recording is exactly the same apart from the vocals) as 'I will change my life'. Great stuff!
Sidewalk  performed by Birdie  2001
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Great soundtrack to a sun-drenched sunday afternoon. Birdie members Paul Kelly and Deborah Wykes met as tour musicians for Saint Etienne, and in fact they sound similar with Deborah Wykes sounding like a somewhat subdued, toned down Sarah Cracknell. But you can hear more influences, with all the warm instrumentation in the song (acoustic guitar, flutes, muted trumpet, various analogue keyboards) it's close to late 60s easy listening pop, Bacharach and The Carpenters.

from Triple Echo, available on CD



Someone To Watch Over Me  performed by Blossom Dearie  1959
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

Just about everyone has a favorite version of this song and Blossom Dearie's recording is mine. Sitting quietly at the piano with bass and percussion joining in Blossom maps out the man of her dreams and what she plans to do when she finds him. Another gem from the sadly out-of-print album 'My Gentleman Friend'.

from My Gentleman Friend (Verve MGV 2125)
available on CD - The Gershwin Songbook / Blossom Dearie - Verve Jazz Masters 51 ((Verve 314 513 928) / (Verve/Polygram 529906))



  FlyingDutchman1971: a reliable source tells me that this original album will be released to CD sometime in late 2003. I highly recommend it!
  Nycteris: Una cancion conmovedora, en el registro que solo Blossom puede ofrecer, como curiosidad la version de Blossom de esta cancion y "Manhattan" estan catalogadas como insuperables. La puedes encontrar en el disco de Verve "Jazz Masters" vol. 51 (que es una joya).
Speed Trials  performed by Elliott Smith  199?
Recommended by Open Book [profile]

His choice of lifestyle may have been questionable, yes. A prolific user of drugs and prostitutes, Elliot Smith was certainly not a healthy man physically or mentally toward the end of his life. What isn't questionable is the fact that Elliot Smith was an amazing, soulful, passionate musician. I don't really know why I picked Speed Trials. I suppose it's my personal favorite.
Suicide is a subject that always baffles me, and nothing hurts more to see a man with such beautiful music in his soul gone... especially at such a young age. What we do have, however, are the recordings of his maticulously constructed chord progressions, his sweet, wispy voice, and gorgeously poetic lyrics. Pieces of history we can all forever hold onto and remember him for how he may have affected each of our lives. I know his music certainly had an impact on mine. I will miss Elliott Smith.

from Either/Or, available on CD



  delphiblue: "a prolific user of drugs and prostitutes..." ??? sure, okay, we all know that he used drugs, but that prostitutes thing is entirely new to me. is there actual proof of this, or can one just assume that having sex with prostitutes is a natural progression from using drugs?
  delicado: Ok - I just deleted a couple of comments from here because someone disobeyed my 'be nice' rule. First time I've had to do that in nearly 6 years! I dunno - if it's not spammers it's nutcases! Sorry you were bothered by this, Open Book...
Spirit Ditch  performed by Sparklehorse  1995
Recommended by executiveslacks [profile]

I really could've picked any song from this album, but this was the song that stood out the most when I first heard it.
A gentle, almost fragile, home recording. Hushed vocals, simple guitar lines, and minimal drums, its intimacy is compounded tenfold towards the end when he samples what could very well have been a message left on his answering machine.

from Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot, available on CD


Step Out  performed by The Mamsa and Papas   1971
Recommended by geezer [profile]

If you are familiar with the,by now,well played M and P sound this will surprise you ,a gentle ,light funky ballad with an entirely male led vocal .The measured ,considerate vocal by John Phillips takes the Mamas and Papas into a new mature almost sophisticated territory.Regretably short at 2.20,the previous sunshine pop makes way for new feeelings and concerns ,from a fantastic album callled "People Like us " which seemed to pave the way for what came to be known as AOR,the relentless sunshine of California discovers the humidity of 70,s L.A .This was their last record

from People like us
available on CD - People Like Us


Sugar In The Rain  performed by Sid Ramin  1969
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

An incredibly light and gentle bossa nova track with an impeccable, delicate arrangement. Originally released on the "Stiletto"-Soundtrack, it's due to compiler Toru Hashimoto's excellent work on the "Cafe Apres-Midi" series that this gem didn't fade into obscurity.

from Stiletto (Columbia)
available on CD - Cafe Apres-Midi - Rose (Sony)




  tapler: Sid Ramin was a phenomenally talented arranger and orchestrator. His old RCA LPs exhibit his imaginative approach to big band music.
Summer Sound  performed by Joe & Bing (aka Best Of Friends)  1970
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Fantastic piece of gentle soft rock, filled with simple and effective bittersweet lyrics. Soundwise, delicado appropriately described it in his review as a "cooler and classier take on the Chad & Jeremy sound with superior performances, songwriting and arrangements". I can absolutely subscribe to that description, the whole album is a long lost softrock gem.

from Daybreak, available on CD



Sunday Morning  performed by Acid House Kings  2002
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

The opening track from Acid House Kings' latest record "Mondays Are Like Tuesdays and Tuesdays Are Like Wednesdays". For me the song captures perfectly what a sunday morning should feel like : it´s gentle, light, clear blue sky, sun-drenched yet with a light breeze, a certain freshness. The song represents all that with a very light, transparent, mostly accoustic arrangement, enriched with some synth strings and guitar and with the charming voice of Julia Lannerheim including some nice ba-ba-ba's. The whole album is excellent and highly recommended.

from Mondays Are Like Tuesdays and Tuesdays Are Like Wednesdays, available on CD



Sweet Cinnamon Punch  performed by Tipsy  2000
Recommended by delicado [profile]

It took me some time, but I'm finally really getting into Tipsy's second album, 'Uh Oh!' This track is a beautiful sound collage, with a slightly more complex structure than a lot of predominanty sampled tracks have. Its samples include celestial harps, gentle beats, middle eastern snake charmer sounds, old wordless vocals, and lots more wonderful sounding stuff I can't identify. The overall effect is rather intoxicating. My admiration for this track mixed with a touch of jealousy - I have some of the records being sampled here (for example, the 'Bacharach Baroque' version of 'Close to you' is clearly audible), but my own audio assembling skills are rather poor compared with those of Tipsy. If you haven't listened to Tipsy since 'Trip Tease', or even if you're just interested in creative sampling, I recommend checking this out.

from Uh-Oh!, available on CD



Sweet Surprise  performed by Blossom Dearie  1970
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

This is a track of off Dearie's second Fontana album "That's Just The Way I Want To Be". An overlooked gem of a record, unusual sounding for Blossom, blending together jazz, bossa nova and folk with nicely arranged orchestration. "Sweet Surprise" has a dream-like, airy feel with it's jazzy waltz rhythm. The album is available on the japanese "Whisper for you" compilation. Unfortunately, her first Fontana album "Soon It's Gonna Rain" from 1967, featuring lots of Jobim and Bacharach songs, has yet to be released on CD.

from That's Just The Way I Want To Be (Fontana)
available on CD - Whisper For You




  FlyingDutchman1971: The album 'Thats Just the Way I Want To Be' is now available on CD. There is also a really good Japanese compilation CD of the Fontana and Verve years called 'For Cafe Apres-midi'. Several tracks from 'Soon Its Gonna Rain' are featured so those of us who love Blossom will have to savor these meager crumbs unless the evil music overlords open the vaults.
  eftimihn: You're right and i forgot to mention the "For Cafe Apres-midi" compilation, this one features all tracks of "That's Just The Way To Be" except one track (they left out the opening track, not a bad choice though since it's the weakest track on the album and not quite fitting to the rest of the songs). Unfortunately there are just 2 songs from "Soon It's Gonna Rain", Meditation and Dindi, on it. But these sound absolutely gorgeous, arranged with some very cool harp embellishments. Too bad the entire album hasn't been picked up by some japanese label yet.
  konsu: Great song, great album, great singer/composer. Why she's not completely worshipped in the USA I have no idea. I really have to disagree with eftimihn on the opening track, it's in my opinion one of the coolest things she ever did! Sure her jazzy renditions of evergreens and her more hip stuff are great, but to stretch out like she does on "That's Just the Way" is just sublime. What was she doing there? Some kind of CA inspired latin/folk/psyche-pop? Genius! True, it isn't like the rest of the album... Also her great take on Frishbergs "Long Daddy Green" is worth mentioning for it's uniqueness.
Sympathy For the Devil  performed by The Rolling Stones  1968
Recommended by xfanatic50 [profile]

With the wild African rhythms, yelped back-up vocals and honky-tonk piano, this song is bizarre and crazed and lot of fun. Lyrically it's also very cool with Mick Jagger singing from the persona of a very gentlemanly and straightforward Satan. It's also incredibly timeless and influential. Listen to Outkast's recent album, or the Libertines, or the Music and you can hear shades of this song without a doubt.

from Beggar's Banquet (Abko)


Tear It All Away  performed by The Church  1981
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

Following shortly on the heels of Of Skins and Heart, "Tear It All Away" still was the picture of a developing band, but one already more comfortable with the studio, able to use subtlety and quiet drama to inform its cool, soothing yet tense take on post-punk filtered through psychedelic touches. The familiar Byrds-derived guitar and Bowie-tinged lyrical regret and sighing crop up as they so often would in the earliest days, but there's a clean, blue tinge to the whole performance, something that feels inexpressively like an eighties recording rather than a sixties throwback. Call it the space in the mix, the gentle keyboards here and there, or the substituting of folk and country roots for something more urban and faster-paced. The lovely mid-song solos show the Marty Willson-Piper/ Peter Koppes team still well within its element, and the whole composition has a rich, lush feeling to it that's most attractive.
(AMG)

from Of Skins and Heart, available on CD


The end of a love affair  performed by Julie London  1963
Recommended by delicado [profile]

'do they know, do they care, that it's only/that I'm lonely and low as can be.../And the smile on my face...isn't really a smile at all...'
This is a brilliant, devastating recording. Julie's gentle, heartfelt vocal, the lush background... I'm speechless!

from Love on the Rocks (Liberty)
available on CD - The Liberty Years (EMI)




  G400 Custom: Julie London's version of 'Fly Me To The Moon' is the best I've ever heard.
  followyourbliss: I love Julie London - I agree with G400. Her Fly Me To The Moon is on Ultralounge's Bossanovaville and it's even better than Sinatra's
  rio: great choice; the whole album is one of my favorites by julie.. how about "guess who i saw today"?
  masten: I am looking for a CD of Julie London titled "Love on the Rocks". Does anyone know if this exists?
  vanguard77: It will be released on Feb 6 by EMI-UK, coupled with "Julie." :) http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000DNVJSQ/qid%3D1134833868/202-9396444-0797459
the end of the world  performed by skeeter davis  1963
Recommended by olli [profile]

the perfect teen heartbreak country ballad. the arrangement on this just BLOWS me away. check out the dissonant strings and the gentle steel guitar! not to mention skeeters vocals.. she never sounded better in my opinion, it just comes across as so goddamn heartfelt. marvel at the heavy, deadpan spoken word section at the end!
A desert island break-up song if there ever was one:)

Why does my heart go on beating
Why do these eyes of mine cry
Don't they know it's the end of the world
It ended when you said goodbye

from the end of the world (rca)



  jeanette: Skeeter sadly died earlier this month. This is a gorgeous song, also brilliantly done by brit-chick Twinkle who I've enthused about elsewhere on these pages. I also love Skeeter's poppier moments, in particular the superlative I Can't Stay Mad At You.
  olli: twinkle covered this? ooh, can't wait to hear it, i totally dig "golden lights"!
The Look Of Love  performed by Diana Krall  2001
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

For "The Look Of Love" Diana Krall managed to bring the legendary Claus Ogerman out of his retirement as an arranger (in fact, at that point, he didn't arrange for other people for 15 years or so). That was due to the fact that Krall's longtime producer, Tommy LiPuma (who did some marvelous production work for A&M in the late 60s e.g. for Claudine Longet or The Sandpipers) used to work with Ogerman in the past and so Claus got on board. While Krall's jazz followers found the result all too schmaltzy i just love it. The track is a very laid back, gentle, cool sounding version with a subtle bossa rhythm. And the arrangement and production is as immaculate as you might expect with Mrs. Krall giving a fine vocal performance, reminding me a lot of Julie London.

from The Look Of Love, available on CD




  konsu: It reminds me of some of Ogerman's work for Verve/CTI in the late 60's. Really the nicest version of this song in years.
The Next Step You’ll Take  performed by Club 8  2003
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Club 8, consisting of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Johan Angergaard and vcalist Karolina Komstedt, started of in the mid 90s with a twee indie pop sound, with jangly guitars (Angergaard being a major Smiths fan) and simple instrumetation. With the release of their self- titled album in 2001 they added some electronica without losing the general tone of their music which is basically well crafted, melodic, gentle, airy, etheral, melancholic indie pop. Karolina Komstedt vocals are quite similar to early Nina Person of The Cardigans or Claudine Longet in their airy, angelic, dreamlike delivery. "The Next Step You'll Take" is a bossa nova influenced track, with gentle acoustic and electric guitars, some percussion and vibraphone. Nothing groundbreaking, but they combine well known elements in such a charming, delicate way i find them hard to resist.

from Strangely Beautiful, available on CD



The Tide  performed by Neurosis (US)  2001
Recommended by BM_DM [profile]

A real journey, from a gentle acoustic introduction to an earth-moving riff-feast in the middle, and developing organically towards a satisfying ending. Neurosis really are an extraordinary band, and this is one of their very best tracks.

from A Sun That Never Sets (Relapse)


Tiao braço forte  performed by Marcos Valle  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A sophisticated and understated pop bossa. This song can breeze by the first time you hear it, but the unexpected hooks and chord changes make for addictive listening. There are strings, a gentle and high male vocal and a rhythmic piano. It really is heavenly. I should add that the CD compilation this appears on, 'the essential...volume 2', is really one of the very best single-artist compilations I've ever heard. The liner notes are not perfect though - this song is erroneously listed as 'Tiao branco forte'. Great compilation though, one which showed me that Marcos really is a genius.

from Viola Enluarada (Odeon)
available on CD - The Essential Marcos Valle, Vol 2 (Mr Bongo)



Ticket to Ride  performed by Mystic Moods Orchestra  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This probably sounds like an odd thing to recommend, but the more I hear this track, the more I love it. It's as if the arranger didn't actually like the song that much - he has changed it a great deal, but for better. Mixed with the trademark Mystic Moods sound effects, it begins lush and gentle. However, after the sound effects fade away, the quality of the arrangement and recording come through, with crisp drums, a nice bass and some great piano. It has a very cool funk-orchestral feel, recalling some of Pete Moore's best work.

from English Muffins, available on CD




  delicado: Erm- when I wrote this I think I hadn\'t yet got into the Carpenters. this is basically the Carpenters\' version of ticket to ride but an orchestral version. Still very cool, but that was the origin of the arrangement!
To Put Up With You  performed by The Sandpipers  1968
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Late 60s mellow sunshine pop with amazing vocal harmonies, composed by the legendary Roger Nichols with lyrics written by his long-time partner Paul Williams. A very gentle, breezy and light tune, due to excellent arrangement/production by Nick DeCaro and Tommy LiPuma with a delicately sounding trumpet playing the main melody. Like many Nichols songs, it's soft and mellow while being full of longing and melancholia at the same time.

from Softly (A&M)



Travolti Da Un Insolito Destino Nell’Azzurro Mare D’Agosto  performed by Piero Piccioni  1975
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Mixing light bossa nova guitar, gentle strings, flutes, subdued piano and muted trumpet (or trombone, not sure) this is a very elegant, romantic sounding track by Piero Piccioni, evoking, as the title suggests, images of the blue sea glittering in the summer sun. Moodwise it's quite reminiscent of Jobim's "Tide" and "Triste".

from Travolti Da Un Insolito Destino Nell'Azzurro Mare D'Agosto (CBS)
available on CD - Swept Away (King)



Trzeba Wracać  performed by Novi Singers  1967
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Listening again to a compilation I made almost four years ago, I heard this magical track, which really had a big effect on me. It's probably not for everyone. Meandering and rather wistful, it's not at all funky like some of their later work, but I find it utterly compelling.

As you might have heard, Novi Singers were an incredibly talented quartet of vocal singers recording in Poland in the late 60s and 70s. They did several amazing records. This is taken from what I think was their first, Bossa Nova. But rather than renderings of songs like 'One note samba' and 'Desafinado', the album consists of a delightful and varied collection of originals in a related mood. The result is like bossa nova from a parallel, slightly more melancholic universe.

The accompaniment is a slow, gentle bossa played by a small jazz group, with some rich strings dropping in and out, and the vocals (all wordless/scat) take centre stage. The chord sequence is staggeringly beautiful, and at times the vocalists take slightly extravagant scat solos.

It sounds strange to say it, but this is really one of those tracks that seems to tell an enormous, emotional story, in spite of the fact that it doesn't contain one word! It would make a fantastic soundtrack to a silent movie.

from Bossa Nova (Polskie Nagrania)
available on CD - Bossa Nova/Torpedo (Polskie Nagrania)



  delicado: just to reiterate, this IS the best song ever!
Una voce allo specchio  performed by Ennio Morricone  1968
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Well, i guess you just can't recommend too much Morricone. So, this is another track off the excellent "Mondo Morricone" trilogy (Note: With the completion of the trilogy with "Molto Mondo Morricone", the formerly out of print first two parts "Mondo Morricone" and "More Mondo Morricone" have been reissued with 2 bonus tracks each). This track has it all: Gentle bossa nova rhythm, subtle triangle, swirling, almost surreal sounding strings, harpsicord galore and on top of it magnificent vocals by the incomparable Edda Dell'Orso.

from La stagione dei sensi (Ariete)
available on CD - Mondo Morricone (Sony)



Waltz For Koop  performed by Koop  2001
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

The opening track off Koop's already classic and eponymously titled album, truly a shining example of sampled neo-lounge jazz music. Very floating, daydream like atmosphere with a looped stand-up bass riff, gentle, shimmery strings, analogue keyboard sounds and some electronic embellishments. With breezy, breathy and soft vocals provided by Cecilia Stalin on top of it.

from Waltz For Koop, available on CD



Wanderlove  performed by Claudine Longet  1967
Recommended by scrubbles [profile]

I always like Claudine Longet's whispery, French accented voice, singing cutesy little love songs with all the dreamy passion of a girl decorating her school notebook with detailed drawings of unicorns and flowers. But she sounds even better when performing a darker, vaguely forboding song like "Wanderlove". The gentle string arrangement and subtle sitar flourishes are the icing on the cake. Wherever you're going, Claudine, take me with you.

from Claudine, available on CD


Watching The World Go By  performed by Joanie Sommers & Laurindo Almeida  1965
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

The title of this Sommers/Almeida album is spot on: gentle, soft arrangements by Laurindo Almeida, simple yet effective with guitar and lush strings, embellished with flutes, harps and vibes and Joanie Sommers' vocals dominantly on top of it.

from Softly, The Brazilian Sound, available on CD



Whoever you are  performed by Prefab Sprout  1997
Recommended by Mike [profile]

A gentle, easy-listening inspired song which is pretty much perfect so long as you can manage to avoid finding it overbearingly kitsch. The naively optimistic, yet sophisticated lyric is beautifully matched by the music and arrangement.

from Andromeda Heights, available on CD


You Fascinate Me So  performed by Blossom Dearie  195?
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

A great track by a true american treasure. Blossom Dearie's one-of-a-kind voice is perfectly suited for this song. You can hear the vixen just below the sweet innocent exterior as she demurely praises the object of her affection with a raised eyebrow and knowing look. She knows that she is going to get her way, but decides to throw in a little flattery to ensure that her intended shows no resistence to her plan.
This song is only available on the criminally unavailable album 'My gentleman Friend'. You may occasionally find a copy for sale on Ebay (like I did) or shell out about $35 for a japanese import CD.

from My Gentleman Friend (Verve MGV 2125)


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