Werner Müller

Percussion in the Sky/Wild Strings

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

Bandleader Werner Müller's LPs for the London Phase 4 label remain some of the most seriously deranged easy listening records ever released. A bizarrely beautiful mélange of wordless vocals, pioneering production techniques, and oddball instrumentation, the music possesses an otherworldly splendor unique in the annals of space age pop. Released in 1962, Percussion in the Sky remains Müller's masterpiece: a concept record assembling a dozen pop standards linked thematically by their celestial titles (e.g., "You Are My Lucky Star," "I Got the Sun in the Morning," "Over the Rainbow"), its use of cosmic sound effects, vocal delays, and other chicanery still sounds revolutionary -- if Spike Jones collaborated on an album with Galileo, it would sound exactly like this. This two-fer release also features 1963's Wild Strings, a similarly far-out subversion of more traditional favorites -- though not quite so over the top in its stereo gimmickry, the album retains its predecessor's disdain for conventional sound and structure, stretching compositions like "The Breeze and I," "Lady of Spain," and "Hora Staccato" far past their breaking points.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:44
2 2:28
3 2:13
4 2:30
5
2:30
6 2:25
7
2:26
8 2:55
9
2:33
10 2:41
11 2:11
12 2:20
13 2:24
14 3:20
15 3:00
16 2:38
17 3:10
18
2:45
19 2:54
20 3:09
21 2:42
22 2:17
23 2:58
24 2:53
blue highlight denotes track pick