Biddu Orchestra

Serenade for Lovers

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Serenade for Lovers was a budget-priced compilation centering on the remarkable string of successes Biddu racked up during the mid- to late '70s. All three of his U.K. hit singles, "Summer of ‘42," "Rain Forest," and "Journey to the Moon" are included, although the album's emphasis is as much upon his skillful reflecting of the musical roots of the time as it is upon his own accomplishments. Thus, "Bionic Boogie" chases that short-lived public fascination with television's Six Million Dollar Man, "Journey to the Moon" hinges on the post-Star Wars science fiction frenzy, and the standout "Blue Eyed Soul," of course, picks up on one of 1975's most popular music press catch phrases. Surprisingly absent from the collection are Biddu's occasional appropriations of songs that scored for his manifold protégés -- "You Don't Stand a Chance If You Can't Dance," from 1975's Blue Eyed Soul, and also from Jimmy James' debut of the same name, is the most glaring omission. It would also have been informative to reacquaint listeners with his magnificent rearrangement of Rodrigo's "Aranjuez Mon Amor." Nevertheless, Serenade for Lovers is a powerful collection that certainly pulls some of the finest material from Biddu's best-loved albums, and makes an excellent case for the release of a further-reaching examination of this visionary producer and performer's back catalog.

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