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Ambient 1: Music for AirportsAmbient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror
Ambient 3: Day of RadianceAmbient 4: On Land
Description
Ambient 1-4 Series

The Ambient series was kicked off by Brian Eno in 1978 with "Music for Airports." With this release he created the style of music called ambient. Ambient music concerns itself with sonic textures and less with songwriting in a traditional sense. It is designed to work in the background, to enhance atmospheres, but not to regulate them with lightweight, orchestrated familiar tunes. Eno choose the term ambient to help distinguish his efforts from "canned music" such as Muzak. The rest of the series includes "Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror" (1980) with Harold Budd, "Ambient 3: Day of Radiance" (1980) with Laraaji and "Ambient 4: On Land" (1982).

Millennium Series, The
To celebrate the turn of the millennium, MCA released the "20th Century Masters" series, serving as a good introduction to both mainstream artists as well as lesser known but equally important artists.

Women Profiled in the Verve Jazz Series
In recognition of its 50th anniversary, the Verve label released the Jazz Master series in 1994. The women artists profiled in this series include Nina Simone, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Astrud Gilberto. These women although included in this jazz series often worked equally in the jazz, blues, R&B and pop genres.

Tubular Bells
Mike Oldfield's 1973 progressive electronic album, "Tubular Bells" became renowned based on its use as the theme for the classic 1973 horror film "The Exorcist." Another interesting fact was that "Tubular Bells" was the first release on the then new record label, Virgin. Oldfield released sequels in 1992 and 1998. In 2003, he re-recorded the "Tubular Bells" with an expanded instrument palette.

A Very Special Christmas Series
The Very Special Christmas series was began in 1987. The profits from these Christmas-themed releases benefits Special Olympics. It is a chance for music fans to hear their favorite artists sing old and new Christmas favorites. Pop artist Keith Haring's (1958-1990) distinctive artwork graces each cover.

Winter Solstice Series
The Winter Solstice series from Windham Hill is an alternative holiday musical celebration. The series avoids the more overt commercial offerings of typical Christmas recordings. The series started with original and traditional compositions in a mostly acoustic setting in classical and new age styles. As the series progressed, other styles such as smooth jazz were embraced. Volume 1 in the series appeared in 1985.

Johnny Cash's American Recordings
The contribution of Johnny Cash (1932-2003) to the country music scene was immense. With a deep baritone, spare guitar accompaniment, the "Man In Black" as he was known, battled many ups and downs in his career, specifically drug addiction. In 1993, Cash signed with American Records and through a number of releases was introduced to the younger rock-oriented audiences. On these releases, Cash performs covers of contemporary songwriters. One highlight on the forth release is his cover of the 1990 synth pop hit, "Personal Jesus," by Depeche Mode.

The Nude Dimensions Series
Featuring a retro look and cartoon-like images of naked women, the Nude Dimensions series from the New York-based label, Naked Music. The label was formed in 1998 with the mission of releasing forward-thinking, urban soul music from up-and-coming artists. The style of music featured on the Nude Dimensions series is often classified as deep house - a name given to classic house music from Chicago and New York.

The Carte Blanche Series
Featuring provocative drawings of women with psychedelic backdrops, the Carte Blanche series is from the New York-based label, Naked Music. The label was formed in 1998 with the mission of releasing forward-thinking, urban soul music from up-and-coming artists. The phrase "carte blanche" translates roughly to "blank slate" –and is fitting to the label's goal of introducing listeners to an eclectic selection of jazz, funk, soul, breakbeat, trip-hop, deep house and more.

VH-1 Divas
The music channel VH-1 began the Divas series as a way to raise money for the Save the Music Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of education in America's public schools by restoring music programs and raising awareness about the importance of music participation for our nation's youth. The series includes a who's who of the diva world of the late '90s and early '00s including Cher, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner and others.

Switched-On Bach
Upon its initial release, 1968's "Switched-On Bach" by Wendy Carlos was greeted with mixed reaction. The album consists of a selection of pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), performed on a Moog (rhymes with vogue) Modular synthesizer system. Inventor Robert Moog (1934- ) invented the first playable synthesizer in 1964. An example of such a synthesizer can be seen at on the cover of Carlos' 1968 album. In time, Carlos' work was hailed as groundbreaking and fresh. As in the case with many successes, there were many "Switched-On" knockoffs. Carlos herself released "Switched-On Bach II" in 1974 and "Switched-On Bach 2000" in 2000 to celebrate the 25 year anniversary of the original release.

Pickin' On Series
The CMH Record label has been introducing new fans to bluegrass since 1994 when it inaugurated the "Pickin' On" series. Albums in the series feature bluegrass versions of classic rock artists' greatest hits. Often, the cover art includes a design element to visually reinforce the connection to the artist in question. Examples include "Pickin' On Floyd" (2001) featuring a cow which references Pink Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother" (1970), "Pickin' on the Eagles" (1994) with the backdrop of the Hotel California, "Pickin' on ZZ Top" (2000) featuring a car which references a frequent design motif on ZZ Top covers. Finally, the "Pickin' on the Beatles" (1995) cover references the often used Abbey road motif.

Pickin' On Series
The CMH Record label has been introducing new fans to bluegrass since 1994 when it inaugurated the "Pickin' On" series. Albums in the series feature bluegrass versions of classic rock artists' greatest hits. Often, the cover art includes a design element to visually reinforce the connection to the artist in question. Examples include "Pickin' On Elton John" (2001) featuring a cover theme similar to John's "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy" (1975), "Pickin' on the Grateful Dead" (1997) with the Grateful Dead's skull and rose icons, "Pickin' on Zeppelin" (2000) featuring a zeppelin. Finally, the "Pickin' on the Hendrix" (1999) features a banjo on fire and referencing Hendrix's performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop where he ended by lighting his guitar on fire and holding it over his head.

Celebrity Golden Throats Series
Famous movie and television actors singing pop/rock favorites –if not rejected outright - certainly must appeal to the part of one's brain that processes the "that's-so-aweful-it's-good" type of entertainment. The Golden Throat series does just that. The series was kicked off by Rhino Record's release in 1988 of "Golden Throats: The Great Celebrity Sing Off." Volumes 2, 3 and 4 followed in 1991, 1995, 1997, respectively. The highlights of the series include the numerous contributions from of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, both of Star Trek fame. But, not to be missed are Mae West covering "Twist and Shout" and Phyllis Diller covering "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.

Ambient 1-4 Series
The Ambient series was kicked off by Brian Eno in 1978 with "Music for Airports." With this release he created the style of music called ambient. Ambient music concerns itself with sonic textures and less with songwriting in a traditional sense. It is designed to work in the background, to enhance atmospheres, but not to regulate them with lightweight, orchestrated familiar tunes. Eno choose the term ambient to help distinguish his efforts from "canned music" such as Muzak. The rest of the series includes "Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror" (1980) with Harold Budd, "Ambient 3: Day of Radiance" (1980) with Laraaji and "Ambient 4: On Land" (1982).

Hôtel Costes Series
The Hôtel Costes is considered one of the trendiest hotels in the Paris and is a favorite of celebrities. The hotel is located in the heart of Paris on the famed Rue Saint Honoré. The hotel was founded by brothers Jean-Louis and Gilbert Costes and includes a bar and nightclub. In the hotel's nightclub, resident DJ Stéphane Pompougnac mixes electro-jazz tinged downtempo music for the who's who of Parisian nightlife. For those less inclined to travel to Paris to sample the vibe, a series of releases provides a handy substitute. The first in the series, simply titled "Hotel Costes," was released in 1999. The eighth in the series was released in 2005.

Hôtel Costes Series
The Hôtel Costes is considered one of the trendiest hotels in the Paris and is a favorite of celebrities. The hotel is located in the heart of Paris on the famed Rue Saint Honoré. The hotel was founded by brothers Jean-Louis and Gilbert Costes and includes a bar and nightclub. In the hotel's nightclub, resident DJ Stéphane Pompougnac mixes electro-jazz tinged downtempo music for the who's who of Parisian nightlife. For those less inclined to travel to Paris to sample the vibe, a series of releases provides a handy substitute. The first in the series, simply titled "Hotel Costes," was released in 1999. In 2003, the seventh in the series was released.

United DJ's of America Series
The United DJ's of America series captures the essence of house music across America by featuring DJ's such as Kimball Collins (Orlando, volume 1), David Morales and Frankie Knuckles (volume 4), Fankie Bones (Brooklyn, volume 6) and Roger Sanchez (New York, volume 8). Volume 1 in the series was released in 1994. Design-wise, a number of the releases in the series feature the heart with the American flag and a banner across it reading "United DJ's of America."

The Millennium Series - 70's Rock Acts
To celebrate the turn of the millennium, MCA released the "20th Century Masters" series, serving as a good introduction to both mainstream artists as well as lesser known, but, equally important artists. 1970s rock acts in the series include Poco, Bachman Turner Overdrive, The Allman Brothers Band and Pablo Cruise.

The Millennium Series – Hard Rock Acts
To celebrate the turn of the millennium, MCA released the "20th Century Masters" series, serving as a good introduction to both mainstream artists as well as lesser known, but, equally important artists. Hard rock acts in the series include the Scorpions, .38 Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Steppenwolf.

The Millennium Series – Soul/Funk Acts
To celebrate the turn of the millennium, MCA released the "20th Century Masters" series, serving as a good introduction to both mainstream artists as well as lesser known, but, equally important artists. Soul and funk acts in the series include L.T.D., Gap Band, Dazz Band and James Brown.

The Millennium Series – Solo Female Acts
To celebrate the turn of the millennium, MCA released the "20th Century Masters" series, serving as a good introduction to both mainstream artists as well as lesser known, but, equally important artists. Solo, female acts in the series include Dusty Springfiled, Gloria Gaynor, Connie Francis and Rita Coolidge.

The Millennium Series – Solo Female Acts
To celebrate the turn of the millennium, MCA released the "20th Century Masters" series, serving as a good introduction to both mainstream artists as well as lesser known, but, equally important artists. Solo, female acts in the series include Brenda Lee, Etta James, Patti Labelle and Mary Wells.

Hôtel Costes Series
The Hôtel Costes is considered one of the trendiest hotels in the Paris and is a favorite of celebrities. The hotel is located in the heart of Paris on the famed Rue Saint Honoré. The hotel was founded by brothers Jean-Louis and Gilbert Costes and includes a bar and nightclub. In the hotel's nightclub, resident DJ Stéphane Pompougnac mixes electro-jazz tinged downtempo music for the who's who of Parisian nightlife. For those less inclined to travel to Paris to sample the vibe, a series of releases provides a handy substitute. The first in the series, simply titled "Hotel Costes," was released in 1999. The eighth in the series was released in 2005.
Associated Albums
Ambient 1: Music for Airports Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror Ambient 3: Day of Radiance Ambient 4: On Land
Further Exploration
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