The follow up to 1991’s Moods appeared the following year and contains a more wide-ranging selection than its predecessor. The concept and compiling are credited to Ashley Abram for Box Music Limited in association with Peter Duckworth of Virgin Records.
The first track is Enya’s Caribbean Blue; floating by on a sea on tranquility. We go back over 20 years for the feather oar blades of Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross. Their 1971 Greatest Hits album remains one of the mainstays of my collection, a wonderful summary of those hazy, early Green years. The Green Manalishi, Oh Well, Rattlesnake Shake, and Dragonfly were licensed from Warner and Man Of The World from Immediate; the others were on Blue Horizon originally. We go to 1973 for the next pair; an edited version of Tubular Bells Part 1 and Genesis’ sublime After The Ordeal, a highlight from Selling England By The Pound. Over to Cynewulf – “Not the longest song of this album, and not the most complex one, but to me perhaps the most beautiful: with its pushing tempo and the classical instruments, played in an apparently ancient style, it evokes wild romantic imagery of England, like driving through the countryside when dark clouds are gathering.”
Captive is a 1986 Anglo-French film loosely based on the experiences of Patty Hearst. Its soundtrack was provided by The Edge and Michael Brook working with Sinead O’Connor. While Heroine is the most well-known track from the album, here we get the haunting Rowena’s Theme, a dazzling & deep mix of guitar and French horn. Next is Jean-Michel Jarre’s Oxygene (Part 4), his most successful single, a smash in 1977 and picked up by RTE 2 for their Replay ’81-’82-’83-’84 series of sporting highlights. Fred Cogley in the house. Music to listen to when driving on an empty endless road in the middle of the night. And then The Beloved’s The Sun Rising, a sublime dawnbreaker and fabulously uplifting classic. The sample featured is O Euchari sung by Gothic Voices’ Emily Van Evera. Always remember and never forget: “Love is just a state of mind / That we leave behind.”
We Are Detective: the mysterious Codex? provide an instrumental version of their one-off single Morse (He’s A Mystery To Me). Dig those sopranos! The A-Side includes repeated Kevin Whateley samples. In tandem, Christopher Gunning’s Theme From Poirot and some thoughts from Penkima: “The C-section being a mere repetition, prevents this extended version’s competition on the overall music field. Still, it is the pinnacle among TV theme music. The descriptiveness of the mystery thriller genre, the instrumental prowess, the curlicues of musical theory.” Elsewhere Roger Eno’s Through The Blue offers a gorgeous melody, a serene type of intensity and a fantastic way to end a day. Parent album Voices – under the steer of Daniel Lanois – (1985, when else?) is one record that you’ll never forget.
Tonight on Top Gear! Things move in a slightly different direction with the lively Jessica, a fine rock instrumental by The Allman Brothers. And then, back up to date ’92 style with Ronny Jordan’s acidic jazz So What! before Dave Brubeck’s timeless Take Five, not a Northside cover. Keeping the theme, next is the wonderful Theme From Film ’92 – I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel To Be Free) by Billy Taylor. The ’92 of course is a misnomer. While the track was adopted as an unofficial anthem for the US civil rights movement in the late ’60s, the BBC’s Film show, which started in 1972, also picked up the tune and made the instrumental version into an instantly recognisable classic in Britain. It’s then followed by Miles Davis surprisingly not-horrid cover of Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time.
“Sometimes when I’m playing something, I’m just sort of humming along with it, and that’s got a different vibration than an actual song. So the instrumentals just come from trying to get that form of expression, which is not the same as writing a song.”
Van Morrison’s Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart remains an unsung classic and the title track (No 1) is sublime. Meanwhile Ennio Morricone’s The Mission remains deeply moving – especially its live performance in Belfast back in 2007. It’s followed by the Art Of Noise’s Moments In Love, their third single which came out in 1985. We get the 7″ mix, now a key work in the chill out genre. Finally we conclude with two neat selections – Daniel Caine’s moody theme from Thirtysomething and Roxy Music’s succinct sophisti-pop of Tara.
In 1994, a compilation also named Moods 2 was issued in The Netherlands with a very different sleeve, unlike the first volume. EVA was the label and there is minimal crossover (just Oldfield & Jarre). While some of the the following tracks would appear on Virgin’s Pure Moods, this Dutch release is still worth a purchase given that it offers Enigma – Age Of Loneliness, Deep Forest – Sweet Lullaby, Ryuichi Sakamoto – Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, Jan Hammer – Sunset, Brian Eno – Another Green World, Praise – Only You, Alan Parsons Project – The Gold Bug, Jon & Vangelis – I’ll Find My Way Home, Kenny G – Forever In Love, Enigma – Cross Of Changes, Clannad & Bono – In A Lifetime, KTD – The Fine Line, Vangelis – Theme From Blade Runner, Eleanor McEvoy – Not Quite Love, Malcolm McLaren – Aria On Air, Jan Vayne – November Rain. Check it out here.
Roger Eno – Through The Blue
Genesis – After The Ordeal
The Edge – Rowena’s Theme
Lest we forget
Codex? – Morse (He’s A Mystery To Me) (Instrumental)