Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Melachrino Strings and Orchestra: The Ballads of Irving Berlin

Review #44
Artist: The Melachrino Strings and Orchestra
Title: The Ballads of Irving Berlin
Format: LP
Label: RCA Victor
Year: 1964
Songs: 12

Filed under "B" for Berlin (because I will never be looking for "Melachrino Strings" when I'm looking for something to listen to), this is yet another of the free records from my dad. This one I kept because I like Irving Berlin songs, even though I had no idea what the Melachrino Strings and Orchestra versions would sound like.

Turns out the answer is "sort of boring." It's all instrumental and, not surprisingly, mostly strings (although the somewhat strange cover featuring a woman in the woods surrounded mostly by wind instruments might suggest otherwise). This reminds me of a sort of nondescript score to a late 1950s or early 1960s film. Maybe something with Audrey Hepburn in it. It has that sort of feel to it. I guess it's something you might play at a certain type of cocktail party or something. Don't get me wrong, the tunes are still good (standouts are the medley featuring "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" and "Cheek to Cheek"), but these are just not the most compelling versions.

One thing that is pretty entertaining is the plug for "dyanagroove" records on the back of the cover, in which it is explained why dynagroove records are superior to other varieties: "highly ingenious computers--'electronic brains'--have been introduced to audio for the first time. These remarkable new electronic devices and processes grew out of an intense research program which produced notable advances in virtually every step of the recording science."

I'm sure they did. The "electronic brains" of 1964 were very sophisticated indeed, as was, I'm sure, the blurb writer's understanding of the music recording process.

Ok, just one more record before I review some punk rock again!

Total songs listened: 563

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