Posted by: markfender | March 12, 2013

Headphone Diaries – December 3, 1990

1990 is almost over. So it’s the perfect time for Gregorian chants.


Remember that one tiny minute in the ’90s when Gregorian chants were a thing again? All thanks to German electronica. Enigma was one of those electronic acts circulating in the mid-90s that combined world music with typical dance beats. Deep Forest was another one. Hell, even Peter Gabriel gave it a go at one point. All of these bands pretty much had one hit that was played everywhere, but their albums were pretty boring. The annoying thing about these particular albums was that everyone bought them and then would put them on in the background at parties or something. So, you ended up hearing these a lot as innocuous background music, which is what they’ll always be linked to in my mind.

So, “Sadeness Part I” certainly isn’t a bad song in that genre. It was pretty groundbreaking at the time. But it eventually became really annoying to me. The town I lived in had the one movie theater. And the owner of this one movie theater bought an Enigma CD. And then played it as the background music before the movie started for about 10 years. So, I’m really familiar with this album – far too familiar. When I first played that Youtube clip (about five seconds ago), even though I hadn’t heard this song in 15 years, every single little bit came rushing back. Just to make sure, I also played the next song on the album and I intimately remember that one too. While I always think of “Everything I Do (I Do It For You)” as the poster child for radio overplay, I guess I should include this whole album in that as well.

Enigma had other albums. Did you listen to them? I know I didn’t.

Did it age well? That whole “world electronic” music thing had a few hits but ultimately seems pretty dated.

Should this go on your iPod? Would you put background music on your iPod? Would you?


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