“I just take songs that I like, make new arrangements and millions of people from China, Australia, America and Britain like what I do,” James Last
• Adored by his public and loathed by the critical elite, and known to his UK fans as Hansi, he sold more than 100 million albums around the world in a career spanning six decades. James Last was an international phenomenon; the man who made an industry out of easy listening.
• Influenced by jazz, swing, the Beatles and rock and roll in 1960′s Hamburg, Last would become one of the most famous bandleaders of all time. He came to symbolise an area of music which the snobs tend to classify as music for people who don’t like music. At the height of his popularity it was said that on the black market in England, you might get a ticket for the World Cup Final or an invitation to the Queen’s garden party, but definitely not a ticket for a James Last concert.
• James Last’s arrangements of British and American pop-music, often performed in non-stop medleys with an emphasis on dancing and having a good time, would become hugely popular with older audiences uncomfortable with the originals. It was the beginning of a strange shadow world in which easy listening would deliver an alternative, more middle-aged, pop culture.
• Last’s debut long-player from 1963, “Die Gab’s Nur Einmal” (“It Only Happened Once”) “Happy Sounds Forever” – A potpourri of popular music from the past 50 years, evidences the blueprint for the medley-style which would take him to the top.
• Contemporary, fellow-countryman and fellow-giant of easy listening Bert Kaempfert composed such world-famous easy listening standards as Spanish Eyes and ‘Strangers In the Night’(a No. 1 US single hit for Frank Sinatra), topped the American hit parade in his own right with ’Wonderland by Night’; arranged ‘Wooden Heart’ from a German folk tune for Elvis Presley in the film G.I. Blues (a No.1 hit in the UK) and, in Hamburg, discovered the Beatles.
• Kaempfert had his own unique and vastly popular style; a sound delineated by his guitarist Ladi Geisler who developed the distinctive “Knack-Bass” percussive signature rhythm line which would bind together the composer’s musical palette of traditional German folk tunes and modern American-style arrangements with more exotic world music rhythms. It’s one of the most addictive beats in pop history and it became Kaempfert’s musical trademark.
• The Kaempfert selections in this anthology, include many numbers that encapsulate his sound; the international hit ‘A Swingin’ Safari’, ‘Highland Dream’, and, from the film 90 Minuten nach mitternacht, ‘Mexican Road Twist’.
HANS (JAMES) LAST
DIE ROSENKAVALIERE UND DAS ORCHESTER HANS (JAMES) LAST
(HANS (JAMES) LAST AND THE KNIGHTS OF THE ROSE)
DIE GAB’S NUR EINMAL (IT ONLY HAPPENED ONCE)
GROßES SORGENBRECHER – POTPOURRI MIT SCHLAGERN DER LETZTEN 50 JAHRE (HAPPY SOUNDS FOREVER – A POTPOURRI OF POPULAR MUSIC FROM THE PAST 50 YEARS)
1. DAS GIBT’S NUR EINMAL – YOU ARE MY LUCKY STAR – SOLANG NOCH UNTERN LINDEN – WHISPERING
2. WINI-WINI – TANZE MIT MIR IN DEN MORGEN – PIGALLE – MACKY MESSER
3. IN EINER KLEINEN KONDITOREI – FRAULEIN, PARDON – ALTE KAMERADEN – WAS KANN DER SIGISMUND DAFÜR
4. WAS EINE FRAU IM FRÜHLING TRÄUMT – ZWEI ROTE ROSEN, EIN ZARTER KUSS – WO HAST DU NUR DIE SCHÖNEN BLAUEN AUGEN HER – SIE WILL NICHT BLUMEN UND NICHT SCHOKOLADE
5. SCHÖNER GIGOLO, ARMER GIGOLO – WENN DER WEISSE FLIEDER WIEDER BLÜHT – ICH KÜSSE IHRE HAND, MADAM – ICH HAB’ DAS FRÄULEIN HELEN BADEN SEHN
6. KALKUTTA LIEGT AM GANGES – DU, DU, DU – ZUCKERPUPPE – JUNGE, KOMM BALD WIEDER
7. PUPPCHEN, DU BIST MEIN AUGENSTERN – MEIN LIEBLING HEISST MÄDI – GLÜHWÜRMCHEN – WENN DIE ELISABETH
8. WEISSE ROSEN AUS ATHEN – EIN SCHIFF WIRD KOMMEN – ROSAMUNDE – AUF WIDERSEHN
BERT KAEMPFERT AND HIS ORCHESTRA
SELECTIONS FROM LIGHTS OUT, SWEET DREAMS
10. MAGNOLIA BLOSSOMS
11. HIGHLAND DREAM
SELECTIONS FROM THE ORIGINAL FILM SOUNDTRACK 90 MINUTEN NACH MITTERNACHT
12. INTRODUCTION (LOVE THEME)
13. JULIE IN DER GEWALT IHRES ENTFÜHRERS
14. LET’S GO BOWLING
15. LOVE THEME
16. MEXICAN ROAD TWIST 1
17. FORGOTTEN MELODY
SELECTIONS FROM A SWINGIN’ SAFARI
19. A SWINGIN’ SAFARI
20. THAT HAPPY FEELING
21. MARKET DAY
24. HAPPY TRUMPETER
25. TOOTIE FLUTIE
26. BLACK BEAUTY