Conductor, composer, violinist, and pianist Mantovani was one of the most popular and prolific easy listening artists of all time. His trademark "cascading strings" (or "tumbling strings") effect gave him an instantly recognizable sound, and his heavy reliance on the string section in general helped map out the blueprint for much of the light orchestral music that followed in his wake. His repertoire did feature original compositions, but was built chiefly on lush adaptations of familiar melodies: TV and movie themes, show tunes, pop hits (chiefly of the MOR variety), classical material, and the like. Starting his career in the '20s, Mantovani was very much a product of the recording age: he focused almost entirely on recording, instead of live performance; he was one of the first artists to utilize the LP as a primary medium for his releases (as opposed to singles); he was one of the first popular artists to use stereo recording technology, and likely the first to sell over a million records in the stereo format. Fascinated by the studio recording process, he experimented restlessly with miking methods and other technical nuances over the course of an astoundingly large discography – more than 50 albums from the early '50s until his death in 1980 (not counting his numerous 78 rpm records, dating back to the late '20s).
Formed in the early '60s, Los Angeles R&B quintet the 5th Dimension first appeared as the Hi-Fi's before changing their name in 1966 to better reflect the changing landscape of popular music. Their interpretations of some of the era's popular hits as well as songs by more obscure writers were radio mainstays in the late '60s and early '70s. This collection offers up most of their highest-charting and best-known singles like "Up, Up and Away," "Stoned Soul Picnic," and their chart-topping version of "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" from the musical Hair. Working in multiple styles, these performances show just how versatile and dynamic the 5th Dimension were.
UK compilation from the British Rock legends featuring 20 of their classic '60s hits for the Pye label. Includes 'You Really Got Me', 'All Day And All Of The Night', 'Tired Of Waiting For You', 'Till The End Of The Day', 'Dedicated Follower Of Fashion', 'Lola', 'Victoria' and many others.
The Best of Ultravox is a fairly comprehensive compilation that disregards the era during which guitarist Robin Simon and vocalist John Foxx were in the group. It's actually comprehensive to a fault, since it's a little too fair to the group's later and lesser singles off 1986's U-Vox – an album that was almost as poor as its title…