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Themes for Young Lovers

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Album Review

Moods get ugly in the research lab when the muzak experimentation sessions are underway, nonetheless Percy Faith gets a special tip of the hat for knowing what he is doing, for figuring out what the essential elements of any song are, combining them as if brewing tea and then always making sure there is a drum part that could drown everything else out were it just nudged up a touch.

Faith versions of songs are so well known, some of them actually having followed up the Rolling Stones on radio shows during the psychedelic era, that listeners can actually recognize them. Essentially, this means Faith doesn't exactly create muzak at all, since nobody in their right mind would "recognize" an easy listening track. Generously buoyed by tunes from the best known pop hitmaking teams of the late '50s and early '60s, this selection grooves along with a rhythmic bounce all its own. Orchestra members are not identified, meaning there's no way to personally thank the fine saxophonist for a nice solo "On Broadway," Faith in this case makes the familiar surprising by overlapping an ascending harmonic variation, a bit like looking off the boardwalk and seeing the waves moving backwards. One thing Faith never did on these types of records was turn the rhythm section down too low. While the melodies of "Can't Get Used to Losing You" or "My Coloring Book" are turned into overly large washes of sound by excessively expanded sections, the pulsations of the rhythm instruments are a secure reminder of the song's actual origin, a close relation to if not exactly rock & roll. [Sony reissued the album with a bonus track in 2007.]

Customer Reviews

Memory laden

This classic album from the early sixties elicits memories of solitude, an adolescent's room, and rain on the windows....

Ohhh, those slow dances at the 'sock hops'

Ohhh those slow dances at the sock hops and the lush arrangements playing on the old portable Voice of Music record player in my girl friend's basement. Nice memories from the 60's, the good old days that were just that, oh so good . . .

One of the best of its kind! And a Grammy winner too!

Many of the early arranger/conductors of instrumental music tried to incorporate more pop/rock sounds into their music in the 60s, but no one succeeded like Percy Faith! With "Themes for Young Lovers", his first effort doing so, he found the perfect middle ground between the 2 genres and received a well-deserved Grammy. The arrangements absolutely sparkle! His follow up album, "More Themes for Young Lovers" was also quite good. For sheer originality Percy had few peers, and fans knew he never fell into that dreaded "elevator music" category reserved for hacks like Lawrence Welk or Mantovani. To be honest, not all his pop albums were successful, especially when his producers made the regrettable decision to add a female chorus in the 70s----a sound that absolutely set him back 20 years. And not every rock song lends itself to instrumental treatment either. But with this album Percy found the magic and it's a classic of its type.

Themes for Young Lovers, Percy Faith and His Orchestra
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Customer Ratings