Sunday, March 31, 2019

"Peter Gunn" by The Art of Noise with Duane Eddy

Grammy Alert!
Song#:  2724
Date:  05/17/1986
Debut:  88
Peak:  50
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Electronic, Synthpop

Pop Bits:  The Art of Noise was not a standard band. It was initially made up of five people (Trevor Horn, Anne Dudley, Gary Langan, J.J. Jeczalik, and Paul Morley) who had worked in the music industry in various jobs such as engineering, production, programming, arranging, and even music journalism. Initially, Horn, Dudley, Langan, and Jeczalik worked as a production team and worked on hit recordings like Yes' 90210 album and Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Welcome to the Pleasuredome. They then worked on their own electronic music experiments mainly through the latest, greatest thing in music technology - the Fairlight sampler. After Morley came into the group, they began to create instrumental tracks based on samples. Their first EP was issued out in 1983 with their formal debut album, Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise?, coming out the following year. Their first two singles, "Beat Box" and "Close (To the Edit)," were hits on the Dance chart reaching #1 and #4, respectively. But then problems within the group caused a split. Horn and Morley were out leaving the other three to continue on as Art of Noise. The trio then worked on a second LP titled In Visible Silence. The first single from the album, "Legs," got to #27 at Dance but failed to make the Pop chart. However, this second single captured people's attention and it got to #2 at Dance while making it halfway up the Pop chart. The song would end up winning the Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.

ReduxReview:  This famous theme song gets an updated treatment by Art of Noise and it works surprisingly well. The jazzy tune seemed to fit in well with Art of Noise's electronic sampling and experimentation while the addition of Eddy and his guitar kept everything grounded. It was a fun interpretation of the theme and one that really put the avant-garde trio on the mainstream map.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is a remake of a song originally written and recorded by composer Henry Mancini. He wrote this for the 1958 TV private-eye series Peter Gunn, which starred Craig Stevens. While the show would only have a total of three seasons, this theme song would be a significant entry in Mancini's catalog. His score to the TV show would be captured on a soundtrack album titled The Music from Peter Gunn. The LP was a major hit and it would go on to be the first album to ever be awarded a Grammy for Album of the Year and the inaugural 1959 ceremony.  2) Guitarist Duane Eddy recorded a version of this song in 1959. The following year it would make it to #27 on the Pop chart. From 1958 to 1964, Eddy had twenty-eight singles reach the Pop chart including three Top 10's. His hits and influential style got him inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Although they normally did everything themselves (and in an electronic way), the Art of Noise reached out to Eddy and asked him to perform the guitar part on this song. Eddy obliged and it ended up getting him his first and only Grammy.


No comments:

Post a Comment