Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Chuck Mangione - Land Of Make Believe (1973)


I love that album cover because it is pure '70s. Back then, a musician riding in a hot air balloon with a bunch of kids was innocent.

Recorded live in concert in Toronto, this album attempts to merge latin, pop, classical, and jazz styles and almost succeeds. It's no Sketches Of Spain, but you can tell Mangione was very familiar with that work. Later in the decade, he would be more successful with his big-thinking orchestrations with his Hollywood Bowl and Tarantella albums. Taken as a whole, this album is diverse to the point of being unfocused. Mangione isn't the best player, but his writing and arranging can make up for it. The recording quality is bad, but I guess for Canada in '73, it is as good as could be. This doesn't get much playing time around here; I'd much rather listen to the Hollywood Bowl CD (I'll get to that one later).

Speaking of the 1981 Tarantella album, I'd love to get my hands on a digital copy of that thing. I lost my cassette long ago. I may need to find another and convert it myself. It's been too many years; I'd like to revisit that set. (Update: Tarantella album was purchased and transferred to mp3 files this morning! - July 7, 2012)

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #157

Tracks: The highlights are the title track, Legend Of The One-Eyed Sailor, and El Gato Triste. I could do without the other three tracks, even though guest vocalist Esther Satterfield has a great voice.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Because of its simplicity, the title track is a very popular marching band piece and I was very familiar with those arrangements before ever hearing this original recording. Needless to say, the fact that it had vocals threw me for a loop.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Everything For Love (2000)
Feels So Good (1977)

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