Various Artists

Unusual Sounds: The Hidden History of Library Music

Anthology Recordings

Jan 02, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

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Imagine a career as a musician logging countless studio hours in the creation of cool music that the public might hear only in a fleeting moment. Also, not only would that music be unavailable for commercial consumption or purchase, it would be nearly impossible to find outside of its brief exposure. Welcome to the world of "library music."

Unusual Sounds offers a collection of recordings that are also known as "production" or "cue" music. With radio, movies, and television, library music has been used for decades in addition to original soundtracks, or even in place of them. Hired composers, musicians, producers, and engineers would be provided with requested artistic and technical guidelines and a general mood to complement a type of scene, such as "Drama," "Industry," "Anticipation," or "Sudden Shock." The music may be used as guide pieces before original music is set in place, though sometimes the library music remained in place if it suited the need (and was likely less expensive). 1970s adult films made considerable use of library music, and the 1968 Night of the Living Dead was but one movie that relied exclusively on these recorded moods.

With many of these recordings having been eventually disposed of over the years, if not salvaged by collectors, Unusual Sounds will likely be the first time that listeners will have heard such music outside of placement in a long-gone movie. The quality of the compositions is often striking and the musicians top-notch, and you'll have a great time conjuring your own mental footage to match titles such as "Funky Fanfare," "Running Fast," "Fancy Good," and the electronic dread of "Survivor." For further exploration on the genre and its composers, seek out the informative book under the same title as this compilation, which also includes images of numerous library music album covers that a lifetime of crate-digging probably won't unearth. (

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January 2nd 2019

I would give this 9 star out of 10.

January 3rd 2019

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