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Music for TV Dinners

Various Artists Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 26, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Scamp
  • ASIN: B000000IAW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,893 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. In The Limelight - David Lindup
2. Happy Go Lively - Laurie Johnson
3. Hackney Carriage - King Palmer
4. Trafficscape - Eric Winstone
5. Workaday World - Jack Beaver
6. Curley Shirley - Otto Sieben
7. Bell Hop - John Shakespeare
8. Man About Town - Laurie Johnson
9. Holiday Playtime - King Palmer
10. Bargains Galore - Stuart Crombie & Dennis Berry
11. Speaking Guitar - Gerhard Narholz
12. Shopping Spree - Laurie Johnson
13. Stop Gap - Wilfred Burns
14. Toys For Boys - Boris Schoska
15. Gala Performance - Laurie Johnson
16. Sleepy Shores - Johnny Pearson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maddeningly memorable background music February 12, 2002
Format:Audio CD
These sixteen production library compositions, used variously in educational shorts, commercials, television shows and feature films, constitute some of the most invisible, yet best remembered, musical melodies in American culture. Even stranger is that most of this music was produced by the British KPM company. Further examples (including EMI and Pye's contributions to the canon) can be found on UK anthologies such as "The Sound Gallery" and "The Sound Spectrum." The collected composers and arrangers construct brilliantly memorable productions whose purpose is to serve as musical beds beneath narration or to signal mood and plot shifts in films and television programs.

Though not designed as firmly for the background as true Muzak [tm], there is still an unnerving contextual shift in compiling these tracks for foreground listening. Though originally used in more subliminal contexts, these tunes have been drawn on in recent years as a simple way to evoke nostalgic moods, with or without irony in mind. In addition to appearances on boomer throwbacks like Nick at Night and Ren & Stimpy, these titles also appear in films like "The Hudsucker Proxy" and "Natural Born Killers." The most recognizable tune (at least, for 1960's television viewers) will be Wilfred Burns' "Stop Gap," which served as the theme to "Truth or Consequences." You can't help but feel that Bob Barker will step out in front of the curtain at any moment.

As calculated as this music may be, its composition, arrangement and performance hold tremendous charms. This is more mood music than easy listening, in that its purpose is to attract your attention and shape your experience, rather than provide any sort of sedation. Many of the musical cues will haunt you with inscrutably faint memories of products like Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion and Midol. This is an excellent volume for listening or for adding unique musical cues to your home video.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So that's what it's called. May 20, 2003
Format:Audio CD
What a knockout collection of all the snippets of music that you never seem to hear all the way through or know anything about. Here is some of the most popular production music produced from 1950 to 1980. Most of the tracks come from England but three are from continental Europe (Curley Shirley, Speaking Guitar and Toys for the Boys) with the orchestration just a bit more quirky and strident than English library music. Unfortunately the notes give very little information about the arrangers and orchestras. All of the tracks are beautifully performed and recorded, as one would expect from music that was produced to be sold over and over again in the commercial arena. I always found it annoying that a lot of production music is not available to the public so I was very pleased to get this CD.
If you are a fan of this musical genre click over to Amazon UK and look out for the `Test Card Music' series on Apollo Records (or checkout their website) they are up to volume eight so far. Each CD has sixty minutes plus and this brings me to why I only gave `Music for TV Dinners' four stars, I would have expected a lot more than the thirty-four minutes it contains, after all there is plenty of production music available. The second volume (almost thirty-five minutes) would easily have fitted on this disc making it real value for money.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely heavenly November 14, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I was born in 1978, so all of this music is before my time. But man oh man, this is the kind of stuff that makes me wish I was alive in the 50s. This compilation of production music is positively stunning. It effectively captures the feel of late 50s mass consumerism in music. This CD has got it all - plucky pizzacato strings, fast, upbeat tempos, and the lure of the vibraphone.
This CD is a wonderful listen, although it is a bit short clocking in at just under 35 minutes.
This is an excellent album, and I would hope that we'll see more of these releases from Scamp records in the future. They've already released a "TV Dinners" album from the 60s and it was o-kay, but let's hope they crank it back a decade to give us another album of this caliber.
Gotta have it!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SONIC EQUIVALENT OF KLEENEX, AND EVERY BIT AS USEFUL! October 20, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Do you know what "production music" is? It's disposable music (hence my allusion to Kleenex,) composed by lesser-known musicians, sort of like the indy MP3-download bands in our times. It is sold by the yard for use (and reuse after reuse) in TV shows, advertisements, industrial films etc.
You wouldn't expect a Ninth Symphony from this genre, at least by its definition, but this compilation of "TV Dinners" is fabulous! Every number is perfectly, splendidly evocative of memories that may not even be our own. If you buy the notion that we have a collective unconscious, this is what our collective unconscious whistles when it's the late night show.
Come to think of it, although the title says "TV Dinners", I use it as background music for studying, sleeping, doing is a bit more psychedelic and thus interesting than jazz for instance, which is just another musical doctrine.
Open your mind, and give it a try. Especially if you like lounge music in general (K&D, Thievery, etc.)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goofy but wonderful May 27, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
If you've ever wished to live within an episode of "Leave it to Beaver" or "The Donna Reed Show" you'll need a sound track. This disc is perfect for that. Put it on while your stuck in traffic and everything will seem a little less serious or urgent. It's a lighthearted cure for a sick world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I expected
This was recommended when I did a search for this type of music and it was exactly what I was looking for.
Published 19 months ago by Al Rives
5.0 out of 5 stars Music for TV Dinners
This is a remarkable collection of music that fits just about no category in today's music. The nearest I can come up with would be
British Light Music but it's mostly... Read more
Published on June 15, 2011 by Bop
5.0 out of 5 stars Too much fun NOT to own!
This CD is simply too much fun not to have in your music collection. Worth every penny.

For, ahem, more mature listeners such as myself, the tunes will absolutely remind... Read more
Published on January 6, 2009 by Diane H K
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun CD
Bought this for the "Sleepy Shores" cut, but the rest of the CD was a bonus. Reminiscent of the 60's tv music and jingles; fun to listen to with your TV dinner!
Published on December 24, 2008 by Princess Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Music for TV Dinners is great
I have been looking for this music collected since about 1969 when I started first grade. I loved the music of the school educational movies, and I never knew there would be some... Read more
Published on April 1, 2008 by Suzn
4.0 out of 5 stars Wrap my World in Foil and Heat It Up
Music for TV Dinners is a compilation of music composed by artists working for KPM, a British firm that developed a niche for providing music scores for commercial and industrial... Read more
Published on March 10, 2007 by G. N. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars CAN'T GET ENOUGH!!!
I LOVE this CD. It's charming, bubbly, campy and just giddyly nostalgic.

I want more, much more of this. Read more
Published on February 13, 2007 by Marilyn Graulau
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Buy
This item is great, I dunno why I find the 50's era so facinating. Is it the cars....? Nope. Is it the stylish appliances? Nope. I know....its gotta be the music. Read more
Published on March 11, 2006 by James Burke
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertainingly dated corporate music (3.5 stars)
You gotta love an album where every song sounds like "Ren & Stimpy" music. One word comes to mind when listening to this music - industry. Read more
Published on October 16, 2005 by TimothyFarrell22
5.0 out of 5 stars fun, nostalgic
This CD is a fun collection of quirky 60's type plucky music. We listen to it just to give us a lift. Recently we listened to it with friends at a BBQ. Read more
Published on January 30, 2003 by Marian Nicola Spencer
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