To mix...the impossible mix.
January 10, 2020 5:04 PM   Subscribe

Once upon a time, I was given an extraordinary mix on cassette of "lounge music", with no artists or song titles listed. Over the years the original tape failed, the backup was permanently borrowed, and I figured the whole thing was lost to time. Then the internet happened, and I was finally able to track down a handful of songs from that mystery tape--but I need more than a handful to put a proper playlist together!

The mystery mix was given to me in Glasgow in 1995 by a friend of a friend, who had put it together from various vinyl albums he owned. Songs I've been able to retroactively identify include:

Rosemary Clooney and Perez Prado - Bali Ha'i
Incredible Bongo Band - Raunchy '73
Jean-Jacques Perrey - E.V.A.
Liberace - The Impossible Dream (The Quest)
Edmundo Ros - Hare Krishna
Hugo Montenegro - Dizzy
and some version of "Goin' Out Of My Head" with a female singer, which may be the Sergio Mendes version, but somehow that doesn't feel corny enough?

Overall the mix was entirely lighthearted and goofy, and while there were some songs with vocals (so much easier to track down), there were more than a few instrumental tracks as well. The sound isn't really from the Ultra-Lounge school of lounge music, but I'm not sure what style I would call it. That said, the process of writing this question up led me to the actual singer of that version of "The Impossible Dream," which I had always attributed to Bob Hope (who else would deadpan recite that song as if it were comedy?). Main mystery solved, so yay, but I still want a playlist of...whatever this is. What am I missing?
posted by Vervain to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Combustible Edison!
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 5:10 PM on January 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Light-hearted, goofy, a little corny, lounge music = Louis Prima.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:32 PM on January 10, 2020 [7 favorites]

Yma Sumac- Gopher Mambo
posted by oflinkey at 6:00 PM on January 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Going Out of My Head - The Fifth Dimension

Or this version by Little Anthony and the Imperials?
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:50 PM on January 10, 2020

Enjoy Yourself, Doris Duke
posted by Miko at 8:08 PM on January 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Sounds like your friend was involved in/touched by the UK 90s Easy Listening scene! The history behind this is pretty interesting, have a look at this article for some background. I think people would tend to call this music 'easy' or even 'funky easy' in the UK. Here are some classics:

Funky fever — make sure you stick around for the sick wah-wah at 1'28" on... the record is still to be found in charity shops for 99p!
Funky fanfare a very famous bit of library music (another area of the UK scene to look into, as it featured the same musicians).
Bang on a drum — Playschool breaks!!
Wall of sound — endless silly joy with cheap synthesisers.

There's so much good music here. Any LP on this page will slay!
posted by einekleine at 3:13 AM on January 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

Herb Alpert - Taste of Honey
Jorge Ben - Take It Easy, My Brother Charles
Jaan Pehechaan Ho
posted by Leontine at 6:49 AM on January 11, 2020

mid-90s UK easy listening scene? By law that tape would've had some John Barry
posted by scruss at 7:08 AM on January 11, 2020

Jerry Vale's Go Chase a Moonbeam
Shimmy Shimmy Ko ko Bop by Little Anthony & the Imperials
posted by pendrift at 11:23 AM on January 11, 2020

Response by poster: einekleine, you are amazing! I had no idea it was actually a trend at that time. I'll be keeping myself busy for quite a while with those links! Also, your mention of "library music" was unfamiliar to me, and it turns out that that is an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT RABBIT HOLE and good god I'm in music heaven right now, for some value of heaven at least.

And scruss, I'm gonna need some more specific recommendations for John Barry, who seems to have had a hand in composing half of all movies ever made.

Thanks Metafilter!
posted by Vervain at 9:12 PM on January 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

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