In the early 90s there was a bubbling up of cocktail music coming from the unsorted Goodwill record bins all the way to the dusty film music libraries of long dead or dormant record labels. Like a slow burn it crackled and hissed its way from one hi-fi set to the next, reviving memories of the yesteryear of 50s and 60s music, mostly amongst folks (like yours truly) just a tad to young to actually have such memories.
In 1993 a little book called Incredibly Strange Music Volume 1 accompanied by a CD compilation arrived to little fanfare. Like they say it only takes a spark. The fire that got going not only included an explosion of lounge music compilations (multiple volumes of Music For a Bachelor's Den, the Beat at Cinnecita and Easy Tempo series, and the grand-daddy of lounge mixes, Capitol's Ultra-Lounge series which is still going strong) but also original acts like Love Jones and Combustible Edison who were echoing the smooth, suave, and sometimes silly and screwy, sounds of Esquivel, Martin Denny, Les Baxter and even Burt Bacharach and The Rat Pack among others. The lounge revival was in full swing, complete with it's own movie, Swingers. And later it's own parody, Austin Powers.
It's not surprising that mods like myself, lovers of all things 60s, grew up and into the lounge revival. The music evokes some of the best aspects of 60s culture above and beyond the typical British Invasion, soul, and garage rock sounds most mods were weened on.
Joining me on this week's loungecast is loungemaster extraordinaire, Ken from The Shingles, a long time mod friend, and he who is guilty of turning me on to the sounds of the cocktail nation all the way back in the early 90s. Here then is our primer on lounge music with a few better known tracks, some lesser lights, some easy listening, and some more jazzy stuff. Overall this is as good a lounge sampler as you might stumble across anywhere.
And, for those so inclined here are a few recommendations for what to spin during your next cocktail hour.
Be sure to slip over to Mr. Suave's for a complete track list and other goodies.