Senses (Polygram TV, 1994)

Review
Senses was released by Polygram TV in 1994 and bore the tagline “20 Contemporary Moods And Themes” and compiled in association with Art of Landscape, BMG Records, Brian Bennett, China Records, Cube Records, Decca, Hapax International Pictures, Island Records, Phillips, Phonogram, Polydor and Sony Music Entertainment. It’s really a fine cinematic collection which got plenty of airplay after a trip to the cinema and in particular, during those late nights after volunteering at the Dublin Film Festival in the mid 1990s.

While the original was featured on The Young Americans soundtrack and later issues of Debut, we start with Play Dead (Tim Simenon Instrumental). This version really has a James Bond feel to it and sets the scene perfectly. Other people hear it and say Vauxhall Vectra 1995 commercial. Haunted by you: Clannad’s Robin (The Hooded Man) is next where the expression of the spirituality of nature really hits home. I was glued to Robin Of Sherwood in 1984 and have revisited it a number of times since then. And then the very beautiful vision of Vangelis; Blade Runner’s Love Theme. Do not try to replicate at home. Meanwhile Between The Lines centred on the eventful life of Detective Superintendent Tony Clark, played by Neil Pearson. Clark was an ambitious member of the Complaints Investigation Bureau (CIB), an internal organisation of the Metropolitan Police that investigates complaints against officers as well as claims of corruption inside the police force. Hal Lindes theme is impressively moody clocking in at a taut 2:02.

Track 5 is Ennio Morricone’s superb Cockeye’s Song – from the scuzzy Once Upon A Time In America, shown over two Sunday nights on Channel 4’s De Niro season that year. Gheorghe Zamfir plays the pan flute to devastating effect. Equally spellbinding is Giorgio Moroder’s Love Theme, lifted from Midnight Express. A stupendous composition that simply shines, soundtrack to a cult movie for us teenagers during the latter part of the 1980s and beyond into the next decade. Cans, VHS and darkened rooms. Next: the Art Of Noise’s excellent interpretation of Robinson Crusoe. Fond memories of watching repeats of the ’60s series. This leads into Brian Bennett’s stormy Nomads Of The Wind which in turn begat Marcello’s brooding Oboe Concerto In D Minor. Taking us up to half time is Erik Satie with the well known tearjerker Gymnopédie No.1. Do as Christian Estrella says! “I imagine being lonely & sad walking around New York City at night. People walking past you unnoticed, cars and taxis rolling by, steam escaping from the bowels of the jungle. Walking & walking with no particular destination trying to reconcile thoughts.”

There’s a slight change of pace – Jean Michel Jarre’s almost-disco Equinoxe Part 4 cut by more than half its length – seems slightly shorter than the 7″ edit. Still a banger though even if Davitt Sigerson would strongly disagree. It’s followed by the single version of Jeff Wayne’s Eve Of The War. This was everywhere in 1978 and the parent album Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds was a staple in many households during the early ’80s. A prominent LP from my pre-collecting days. Meanwhile Incantation’s Cacharpaya finally got a CD single release in 1992. Originally a hit 10 years earlier – from a multinational group of musicians who originally met while writing for the Ballet Rambert. They later contributed to The Mission soundtrack. And then Capercaillie, the Scottish folk group founded in 1984 who went down the ambient & dub remix route in the early ’90s. Coisich A Ruin (Walk My Beloved) has great crossover potential and works very well against the haunting Rowena’s Theme, a dazzling & deep mix of guitar and French horn from Captive soundtrack, as scored by The Edge and Michael Brook.

You can read my review of Ronco’s Overload to get some memories of The Deer Hunter. John Williams’ Cavatina theme will bring out the tears; the film also showing on that De Niro season. Pair with Nicolas De Angelis’ melancholy Concerto De Aranjuez. Moving to winter, Howard Blake wrote Walking In The Air for The Snowman film, released in 1982. Peter Auty sings it beautifully. In 1985, an altered version was recorded for use in a TV advertising campaign for Toys “R” Us. As Auty’s voice had broken by that point, Blake recommended the then 15 year old Welsh chorister Aled Jones who got it to #5 in the charts and became a household name as a result. The association of the song with Jones, combined with the fact that Auty was not credited on The Snowman, led to a common misbelief that Jones performed the song in the film. More 4: Hank Marvin’s neat take on Oxygene, memories of RTE’s Replay ’81 series. Finally there be only one ending: Mark Knopfler’s spellbinding Going Home, here in its single version which is a nice bonus. Perfect for ending concerts – Alchemy – and funerals. And the film, Local Hero, is equally evocative. “Can you imagine a world without oil? No automobiles, no heat.”

Favourite tracks
Mark Knopfler – Going Home (Theme From Local Hero)

Clannad – Robin (The Hooded Man)

Ennio Morricone – Cockeye’s Song

Lest we forget
Art Of Noise – Robinson Crusoe

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2 Responses to Senses (Polygram TV, 1994)

  1. Pingback: Instrumental Moods (Virgin, 1995) | A Pop Fan's Dream

  2. Pingback: Ambient Moods (Polygram TV, 1996) | A Pop Fan's Dream

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