What’s the story?
Sometimes the cover of a book can say it all! This is definitely the case with BBE’s sunshine collection, which presents an anthology of rare tracks with a distinctly Balearic tint. Compiler Paul Hillery works from a flexible brief, allowing him to cast the net wider stylistically and include examples with a folk, MOR or funk flavour.
What’s the music like?
Ideal for hot weather. Most if not all of these names will be unfamiliar, which is a great starting point for future discoveries Airborne‘s Marie is a blissful example of the compilation’s ability to bring the sunshine directly out of the speakers, a reverie that sings “Spread your wings and fly me away”.
Among the others well worth noting Alex Crispin‘s Effert is a beauty, an airy loop of bell sounds and a chant-like vocal. The effortless groove of Checkpoint‘s I Send You All My Love makes its mark, with a lovely oboe countermelody – while there are a couple of notable flute solos in the selection too, tastefully played and not overdone.
There are particularly sultry offerings from David Datunashvili and Diana Pequeno, strong West Coast feels from Guy Maxwell and Mike Baumann / Tom Huntington, whose Man Of Misery channels the work of Gibb brothers a little. There is a burst of energy from Guy Schwartz, with the expert storytelling of Ride That Train, in contrast to the woozy harmonica, scrambled piano and ticking hi-hat of Michael Welch‘s Phone Home. Meanwhile Monica Rypma‘s Let Love Flow is a highlight, bigger 80s drums and appealing vocal reminiscent of Swing Out Sister. Pixie Lauer‘s regretful Sunday Morning adds a touch of sweet melancholy, and back on the instrumental solos theme there are some enjoyable, noodly guitar efforts, none more so than that on Phillip John Lewin‘s excellent song Fear Of Flying.
Does it all work?
It certainly does the job! A blissful time in the company of Hillery, who offers a nicely balanced set that never gets too cheesy but always stays well above 20 degrees.
Is it recommended?
It is, a blissful listen.