Various Artists

Pink Panther's Penthouse Party

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By 2004 it might have seemed a few years late to be cashing in on the fad for lounge music, but Virgin Records had a specific occasion in mind with this compilation, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of The Pink Panther and its deathless Henry Mancini-penned theme (and, not coincidentally, a DVD box set of the film series). Four new versions of Mancini recordings were commissioned: a Fischerspooner mix of "The Pink Panther Theme," Ludovic Navarre's (aka St. Germain) "The Pink Panther Theme Revisited," Chris Mancini (the composer's son) and Lennart Maven's "Shot in the Dark/Peter Gunn [Under the Gunn Mix]," and a "Malibu Remix" of "The Pink Panther Theme." Needless to say, Mancini's spare, arch melody was never far from being heard again, but it was accompanied by similar mixtures of the old and the new, including the "Gabin Remix Edit" of Peggy Lee's "Fever" and Pizzicato Five's "The Girl from Ipanema." The result was a set of cool background music in the by now familiar lounge manner of tongue-in-cheek hipness.

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