The Shadows

Moonlight Shadows

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The Shadows' first trip to the Top Ten of the album charts for seven years since the golden days of their late-'70s revival, Moonlight Shadows was designed for the generation that preferred its music uncomplicated and easy. Despite the accepted brilliance of Hank Marvin in getting a very distinctive sound out of his instrument, here was an album with 16 tracks of contemporary hits ranging from the very recent (at the time of its release) "Every Breath You Take," "Hello," "Against All Odds," and "I Just Called to Say I Love You" back to the 1960s songs "Hey Jude," "A Whiter Shade of Pale," and "Nights in White Satin," all played with the minimum of effort (don't the great ones always make it seem easy) by Hank on the guitar with his trademark reverb effect, backed by an unobtrusive rhythm section. By mass marketing an album such as this with prime-time TV advertising aimed not at Shadows fans (for by the mid-'80s they were a little thin on the ground) but at the easy listening, late-night, after-dinner party crowd, Polydor had a winner. Not that this would thrust the Shadows back in to the limelight; it would be another four years before they had another Top Ten album (Reflection) backed by a very similar campaign. But this was the beginning of a trend by most of the record companies that -- having exhausted their supplies of artists to promote greatest-hits albums -- would concentrate on TV advertising of relatively anonymous instrumental recordings featuring saxophones, pan pipes, and harps to supplement their products by mainstream artists.

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