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  • Lovely Thunder
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Lovely Thunder


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Audio CD, August 31, 1990
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$69.68 $4.45
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$44.44 $9.60

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

On first inspection it might appear that nothing so plosive as thunder threatens the peacefulness that comprises this album. But as early as the second cut, "Sandtreader," remote booms impose the corporeal on the ethereal. This tension typifies the nexus of new age, ambient, and avant garde synonymous with Harold Budd. He recorded Thunder at the studio of the Cocteau Twins, the mid-'80s band whose foreboding atmospherics anticipated trends in "shoegazing" pop and ambient electronica; the record benefits from the Twins' palette of shimmering yet Gothic textures. Released prior to the CD's advent, the album is best heard as two halves: a handful of aural soundscapes and a 20-minute-long mélange of synthetic chorus, B-movie modulations, and gaseous sonics, wrapped up in the evocative title "Gypsy Violin." --Marc Weidenbaum

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. The Gunfighter 3:17$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Sandtreader 5:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Ice Floes In Eden 3:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Olancha Farewell 2:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Flowered Knife Shadows 7:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Valse Pour Le Fin Du Temps 4:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Gypsy Violin20:49$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 31, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Editions Eg Records
  • ASIN: B000003S33
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,807 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Harold Budd's 'Lovely Thunder' is, to me, the very touchstone of the dark ambient genre.
Jeff
His poetry is beautiful and whenever I hear him say it against his music I feel like I have never heard it done any better.
Deven Gadula
An important New Music release, as well as critical for those into ambience and/or electronic music.
DAC Crowell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark Zika on June 16, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
the review by deven gadula on this recording is so excellent that i cannot add anything. he says it all and more. therefore, i'll tell a short story regarding my personal experience with this music. mesmerized by it's profound beauty, i fell in love with this recording from the start. holding us suspended; caught up in the suspension of time and the finality of the thunder reaching down deeper and deeper inside our primitive soul... unique, this work of art is. i had a photo assignment photographing in the north pole region for scientific research project{s} in 1988. i brought with me my sony walkman and favorite cassettes. this being one. we had already been on the ice for almost three months living in a camp we erected ourselves right on the pack ice. flying out by plane or helicopter for assignments. towards the end of the project we were getting a little stir crazy. finally towards the end people were leaving. we were down to five of us and i being the photographer had to remain to the end although, i sure didn't mind. one day, bored stiff i walked out onto the ice from my tent. far i roamed, but not too far for polar bear can smell you. i put my headphones on and listened to lovely thunder in it's entirety. staring at the white horizon of old ice with the beautiful blue sky like you cannot experience anywhere else; the arctic light so pure. there is actually a softness to it that comes from the frozen air. the clouds were magnificent that day. i nearly had an out of body experience. a couple years later i attended a performance harold budd was giving at the walker art center in minneapolis. he came out before the performance to talk with the audience. i heard that is something he does.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Deven Gadula on December 2, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Music of Harold Budd surrounds us with its majestic limited approach more than it attracts us to its beauty. The way the sound grows and unfolds relates to, or at least it makes me think of the laws of nature. The experience can end up being solemn or magical, depending on one's attitude towards the unknown. This music really does overwhelm me with some strange respect towards the act of creation, much stronger than I usually get while listening to music. Harold Budd relaxes and focuses us at the same time. His music usually limits our attention to a couple of basic chords and surrounds us with the improvisations fulfilling their completeness. The mood created is airy and meditative. The sound of his ambient piano, played slightly off key, in relax timing against an atmospheric background fills our space with harmony. And when I find myself within Harold's landscapes for a while I almost feel like this particular ambience lowers my appetites and makes me want less of everything not essential. For a long time I have known beauty in simplicity and Harold just keeps on reminding me of it.

As much as his solo acts do cause in me all if the above, his many amazing collaborations truly add so much texture and variety to my overall experience of what he has been leaving behind. Just by looking in a rear view mirror i can point to so many spectacular songs which came out of these various sessions. It is almost like the presence of Harold Budd brings the best creative energy in his partners, perhaps because as they all say, his energy is so focused and so down to earth. Harold Budd had said once that he had minimized himself out of career.
Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ingalls on March 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you liked "The Pearl" then you will like this one. Harold Budd doesn't have Brian Eno on board for this one, but he seems to have been able to color his pieces almost as well as Eno could have done. Simple, altered piano pieces with undertones of rumblings, drones, hums, etc. "Gypsy Violin" is not too long to my ears. I found it to be one of the most enjoyable pieces on the album. A good addition to your ambient collection if you like your ambient music to be brooding and contemplative (which I do).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DAC Crowell on January 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This album by Harold Budd is perhaps his best-represenative work, I think. One half of this release is a set of shorter pieces that echo both his work with Brian Eno (as on "The Pearl") and the Cocteau Twins (see "The Moon and the Melodies"), and these atmospheric little gems are perhaps some of his finest short works. But the capstone here is truly the 20+ minute "Gypsy Violin", which hearkens back to long works as those found on his initial Obscure release or on solo compositions like "Abandoned Cities", where the sounds sprawl out into atmospheric, darkened vistas that seem to have no end. This thing is worth buying for this one work alone; just consider the first half as fine, premium-grade extra cuts, just as good but shorter. An important New Music release, as well as critical for those into ambience and/or electronic music.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By I X Key on March 28, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I have a lot of ambient albums, & this one is my very favorite. The very long piece at the end of the cd, Gypsy Violin, is so beautiful, with misty drones & occasional low-key, low-pitch booms & near-melodies (maybe where Harold Budd got the album title Lovely Thunder?). Gypsy Violin isn't limited to that, though. It stretches & reaches & almost leans back but stretches & reaches more with other long tones, slow treble tremors, & melodies that drift & fade in & out so easily that you can listen to them & be rapt or not even notice with your conscious mind & just FEEL it all. The shorter pieces on the cd before Gypsy Violin, that stunning finale, a great masterpiece, are in some ways like minimalistic classical music, with the repetition. & very slow. & brilliantly composed, like how a poet crafts a poem so that no word has more or less weight than it should, so that every careful placement of syntax makes for a balanced poem. Also, by the way, basically all the music on this cd is electronic.
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