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Quiet Revolution: 30 Years of Windham Hill

Quiet Revolution: 30 Years of Windham Hill Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, 2005 --  

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 8, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Label: RCA Victor
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,249 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. The Bricklayer's Beautiful Daughter- Will Ackerman
2. Wedding Rain- Liz Story
3. Dolphins- Darol Anger, Mike Marshall
4. Aerial Boundaries- Michael Hedges
5. Cloudy This Morning- George Winston
See all 17 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Requiem; Sanctus- Tim Story
2. True Story- Barbara Higbie
3. Gwenlaise- Scott Cossu
4. The Light & The Longing- Lisa Lynne
5. Reflection- George Winston,
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Angela Smiled- W.G. Snuffy Walden
2. Silky Flanks- Nightnoise
3. Escape of the Circus Ponies- Liz Story
4. Because It's There- Michael Hedges
5. Tideline- Barbara Higbie, Darol Anger
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. (You'll Be) Satisfied- Johnny Ray Allen
2. Time After Time- Tuck & Patti
3. Valentine- Martina McBride, Jim Brickman
4. Real Life- Ray Obiedo
5. Who Holds Your Hand- Patty Larkin
See all 18 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

In the 48-page booklet that accompanies the handsome, hardbound packaging of A Quiet Revolution, long-time producer Dawn Atkinson succinctly defines Windham Hill's core sound as "acoustically rooted music that is a blend of folk, classical and jazz influences." Guitarist Will Ackerman, who launched the label in 1976 with a tiny pressing of solo works, boils its essence down to a single word, adding "it's a word seldom associated with the music industry: innocence." Windham Hill rocked the music trade in the late 1970s by turning down the volume and cultivating intelligent, heart-probing, all-instrumental music that--largely through word of mouth--won over legions of fans attracted to the label's earthy vibe, elevated craftsmanship, and overriding sense of purity. Much of what gave Windham Hill its soul-stirring allure is nicely displayed in this four-disc anthology--a 67-track compilation that includes four previously unreleased live tracks (including "Because It's There" by guitarist Michael Hedges and "Clockwork" by Alex de Grassi).

The music on A Quiet Revolution is sorted by general style, not chronologically. Discs 1 and 2, Elements and Peace, focus more on the label's pastoral textures, and disc 3 (Artistry) explores more ambitious or ensemble pieces. Disc 4 (Excursions) might be viewed by some long-time fans as "Wayward Hill," with its assortment of latter-day vocal stylings and traces of smooth jazz. Beyond that and a few other head-scratching choices, there's much to like here, with stellar tracks from Liz Story (whose brilliant Solid Colors may be the label's finest release) to works from Ackerman, George Winston, Nightnoise, and lesser-known artists, such as guitarist W.G. Snuffy Walden and his small gem "Angela Smiled." Enlightening liner notes are by Echoes radio host John Diliberto and former Billboard writer (and past Windham Hill staffer) Sam Sutherland. For newcomers curious to know what the blissful fuss was all about a few decades ago, A Quiet Revolution provides an inviting overview. --Terry Wood

Product Description

Don't say "new age" around Will Ackerman, though his label has been the home to acoustic instrumental music for 30 years. The pastoral beauty prized by Windham Hill is conjured by the moon-and-evergreens label logo, by the four volume titles here ("Elements," "Peace," "Artistry" and "Excursions") and most of all by Clockwork Alex de Grassi; Moon George Winston; Peace Piece Liz Story; Time After Time Tuck & Patti; Hugh Nightnoise; several tracks by Ackerman; unique recordings by Janis Ian, Jane Siberry and Bobby McFerrin, and the rest of these 67 Windham Hill favorites!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thorough History of New Age's Premier Label September 1, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Sixty-seven tracks spread across four discs and nearly five hours of music provide a thorough look into the vision of Windham Hill's founder William Ackerman. Windham Hill, which began in 1976 with the release of Ackerman's SEARCH OF THE TURTLE'S NAVEL, became the leading proponent of new age music.

The first CD (entitled "Elements") begins with Ackerman's enchanting "The Bricklayer's Beautiful Daughter," one of his most gorgeous melodies. The earliest track is from Disc 3 (entitled "Artistry"): the energetic "The Townsend Shuffle," from Ackerman's second album released in 1977. The most recent track is "Calling You" from Joan Jeanrenaud & Paul McCandless' 2005 release CINEMA.

All of Windham Hill's major artists are here: Ackerman (4 tracks), Alex de Grassi (3), Jim Brickman (4), Liz Story (3), Michael Hedges (4), Nightnoise (4), and George Winston (5). There are also four previously unreleased tracks (all live recordings): David Arkenstone's "Dessert Crossing," Jim Brickman's "Open Doors," Barbara Higbie's "True Story," and Alex de Grassi's "Inverness."

The first three discs present a clear picture of the "Windham Hill sound." However, For listeners who have been drawn to the Windham Hill label for its instrumental new age ambience, Disc 4 will be an eye opener with all but five of the tracks featuring vocals. The music on this disc ranges from the blues of the Subdudes' "(You'll Be) Satisfied" and Tuck & Patti's jazzy take on Cyndi Lauper's "Time after Time" to the Latin rhythms of Ceseria Evora's "Vaquinha Mansa" and the country balladry of guest vocalist Martina McBride on Jim Brickman's "Valentine."

Overall, this is a welcome and satisfying addition to any music library for collectors who enjoy relaxing music.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised by other reviews October 15, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
1st, I could care less if this 4 disc set is missing a few of other "best" contenders (i.e. single pieces) from Windham's long and excellent history.

Here's why I give it 5 stars:

1. Knockout CD sound! Among the best sound of my best CD's.

2. Knockout mastering! Sound on these 4 discs is as if it were done recently, with excellent track to track volume matching; and has decent dynamic range.

3. It's a mix, where each successive track is generally a different instrument. 1st 3 discs have few if any vocals; 4th disc has more than a few vocals.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars relaxing music January 1, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a great way to tone down all the frustrations of driving. It is so enjoyable listening to it you don't even mind having to slow down in traffic jams. This was a lot less expensive than in some of the mail order catalogs you get. About half price.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet Revolution: 30 Years of Windham Hill February 8, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
One of the best collections of Windham Hill music I have ever listened to. I can listen to it again and again. It's super!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet Revolution CD December 18, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Four Cd set some new music to me some old favorites from Windham Hill. The set comes with a booklet about artist and songs.
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4.0 out of 5 stars OK January 18, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Nice packaging, and it's good to have (mostly) instrumental music for relaxing/projects, but there are a few lyrical pieces in there (one jewel: That Kind of Man by the Nylons,) but these are mostly not wanted. And finally, the instrumental music itself, though nice, is too repetitive and boring. Still, it's good to have some 'filler' music for reading.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Winner for Windham Hill January 14, 2008
Format:Audio CD
For those of you that appreciate this type of music, this is a wonderful compilation of the artists throughout the years. I ordered this because most my my Windham Hill collection is on tapes! This set gives a broad review of thing I've heard and pieces I haven't heard before.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Quiet REvolution: 30 Years of Windham Hil January 17, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Enjoyable listening for most of the tunes on CDs. Few tunes grate on the nerves somewhat. Not entirely easy listening.
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