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Penguin Cafe Orchestra

Penguin Cafe OrchestraAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 15 Songs, 2008 $9.49  
Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, 2008 $44.66  
Audio CD, 1990 --  
Vinyl --  
Audio Cassette, 1990 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 31, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Editions Eg Records
  • ASIN: B000003S2G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,590 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Air A Danser
2. Yodel 1
3. Telephone And Rubber Band
4. Cutting Branches For A Temporary Shelter
5. Pythagoras's Trousers
6. Numbers 1-4
7. Yodel 2
8. Salty Bean Fumble
9. Paul's Dance
10. The Ecstasy Of Dancing Fleas
11. Walk Don't Run
12. Flux
13. Simon's Dream
14. Harmonic Necklace
15. Steady State

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soothing July 15, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Penguin Cafe Orchestra's self-titled album is lush, ambient music which sometimes recalls the quieter tracks on, say, Brian Eno's Another Green World. But PCO's ambience, at least on this album, is brighter (bright, as in mood, not intelligence) and more soothing than the sombre Eno melodies.
Penguin Cafe Orchestra is, if not a true orchestra, a rather large group; but rest assured they don't violate or abandon their minimalist aesthetic. The core of most of these songs are quite simple actually. Telephone and Rubber band, perhaps the most minimal of the songs here, begins with a spliced tape loop of, yes, a telephone ring. Soon a guitar, bass and other intstruments join in around the telephone signal and create an irresistably engaging song. Air A Danser, likewise, is lush yet simple, but when all of the harmonies and instruments are in full swing, swirling in and among one another like small-winged insects fluttering near a porch light, believe me, you'll swear that this music is quite complex.
My favorite, however, is Cutting Branches For a Temporary Shelter, one of the longer cuts that--and, gosh, forgive me for being so sentimental--actually reminds me of raindrops falling.
I strongly recommend this disc for anyone who appreciates beautiful, simple and intelligent instrumental music.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something Slightly Less Rich and Strange March 28, 2000
Format:Audio CD
The Penguin Café Orchestra's second album (released half a decade after 'Music from the Penguin Café'), this is much less experimental and odd, although it's not bad for all that. Not that anything here could pop up on a Shania Twain album, however. The key tracks are 'Air a Danser' ('Tubular Bells' with sunshine, a piece which evokes green summer lawns and tea parties but in a good way) and 'Telephone and Rubber Band', the latter of which has become the group's signature tune, blending a catchy, unusual tune with a quirky orchestration (DTMF tones and a twangy bass noise). It has since been used in a film soundtrack ('Malcolm') and a series of television adverts for mobile telephones, and, along with 'Music from a Found Harmonium' (a couple of albums later), is the piece you're most likely to recognise. Apart from that the album is gently disappointing - 'The Ecstasy of Dancing Fleas' is one of the greatest song names ever, but along with everything from the third track onwards it's undistinguished (for the PCO) folky world-music with quirky touches. This is all relative, of course. Even at their least interesting the PCO are still unique and strange.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Skating on Smooth Ice March 3, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Upon first listen of this disk I was amazed how utterly unique yet palatable the music is. Yes, the approach is strange but this disk is so affectionately addicting in its dreamy presentation one cannot stop listening. So smooth, each track blends with one another yet the styles covered here range from classical ("Numbers 1-4"), to experimental ("Telephone and Rubber Band" - excellent I might add); from light jazz (The Ecstasy of Dancing Fleas) to bluegrass (Yodel 2); and from Cajun-light (Salty Bean Fumble)to even a Penguin Cafe cover of the surf rock classic "Walk Don't Run"! Do not be fooled, ths is not your typical _New Age_ music. This is for those who are a bit adventurous and even admire a tad of humorous, elements in their listening experience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Penguins Pleasing June 9, 2005
Format:Audio CD
This album should please anyone who likes quirky chamber music, and many of the PBS crowd. "Air A Danser" shows that fiddles can be fun. "Yodel 1" has rhythmic acoustic guitar and drum with some piano runs overlaid, very active yet quiet. "Telephone And Rubber Band" has what sounds like a repeating telephone tone sample combined with some violin full of tonalities. "Cutting Branches" has peaceful vibraphone/bell runs. "The Ecstasy of Dancing Fleas" has an upbeat rhythm suitable for dancing fleas or penguins or dancing anything, really quirky. "Flux" is a pulsating mood with plucking acoustic guitar strings and surging violin tones. Highly recommended, my favorite PCO album!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars really a review...or maybe a statement? January 13, 2011
Format:Audio CD
As with any album by The Penguin Cafe Orchestra this one resists any kind of cathegorization... It's just a collection of amazingly beautiful music...with no pretentions of being anything else...
After listening to Fahey, Moondog, Jarret, EST, Bach, Return To Forever or You just name it, it is always a relief, something of a "homecoming" to just step in to the soundscapes of Simon Jeffes and PCO...
A must for all music lovers (and everybody else)
p.s. Put Your past ahead of You!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching the surface of heaven. October 14, 2010
Format:Audio CD
The first three albums by Penguin Cafe Orchestra could easily be on any list of the top 100 albums of all time (cross musical genres too!!!). This music creates a category of music unto itself and it belittle it by trying to name it or pigeon hole it. If there are angels in the heavens, I am quite certain this this what they listen to.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars soundtrack to my life... when I was 20 September 7, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I heard Telephone and Rubber Band on Public Radio, and assiduously tracked down the album (on cassette, which I wore out.) There are still times when the music enters my mind again. Air a danser goes with a half-dozen extraordinarily lovely instrumental tunes: Last Song for Shelby Jean on Hillbilly Jazz is another. Highly recommended
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Careful when buying songs from Amazon. They may disappear.
When you buy an online song from Amazon and Amazon decides not to carry that music any more (for example because they are in conflict with the production house) you are in bad... Read more
Published 3 months ago by EVdS
5.0 out of 5 stars Happiness Is A Warm Penguin!
Well what can one say. Penguin Café Orchestra are a musical smile! Taking repetition, minimalism and excellent musicianship out of the high reflective, internalised... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Lady Fancifull
1.0 out of 5 stars Directionless and unmemorable
When I was searching for "new" music to buy after finding out from Joe S. Harrington that the commercial music of the eighties I grew up on was totally derivative and synthesised... Read more
Published 19 months ago by mianfei
5.0 out of 5 stars Holds up well
I bought this, on vinyl, a couple years after the original release. I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy it after a few decades, but I found that the music holds up very well. Read more
Published on July 6, 2011 by N. Isaacson
5.0 out of 5 stars easy a good way!
You know, I can't think of another CD that my parents, my brother, my piano students...well, everybody that hears this CD seems to like it. Read more
Published on January 11, 2011 by Deborah L. Wilson
2.0 out of 5 stars Mainly frigid
2 1/2

Most of the album maintains nothing above highbrow pseudo-cultural background, but PCO works its way up towards something more meaningful, culminating only in the... Read more
Published on April 17, 2010 by IRate
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Listening!
The Penguin Cafe Orchestra is a very good CD. It's great music to work or relax by or as a background to a party. Their selections are varied and well put together.
Published on June 4, 2009 by Nedra M. Matteucci
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
This CD is simply amazing! The firts time I heard about this band was watching a TV show, I got totally attracted to its music. I finally got this CD and I love every single track. Read more
Published on February 3, 2009 by Thais Rojas
5.0 out of 5 stars great cd
I had this on tape from many many years ago- the tape was dying. Time to get a cd of one of my favorite albums. Read more
Published on September 15, 2008 by J. Lannin
4.0 out of 5 stars Great music
it's that simple, this music is fantastic, especially during a lazy Sunday where chill music is needed!
Published on December 3, 2007 by T. Willis
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