Lazy Sunday Afternoon – Sunday Balearica

It’s horribly cold out there this morning so I thought I would try and warm your cockles up a bit with a mix of music that explores the classic sound of the Ibizan summer. This Lazy Sunday selection veers drunkenly off the beaten track and into the previously uncharted waters of Chris Rea, but please bear with me as I promise you some warm sunshine sounds!

Whilst people have been listening to calming music forever, it’s only in the last 20 years that ‘chilling’ has become an officially sanctioned activity. Many people don’t even realise that the inoffensive ‘chillout’ music that has become the soundtrack to every insurance commercial and naff high street bar was originally a far more lively part of the soundtrack of Ibiza. The proper Ibiza of hedonistic eurotrash wearing white billowy clothes and dancing around in open air clubs in the 1980’s. Balearic music is actually a fairly mongrel genre, as there’s no real defining sound or style  – it’s just about the ‘vibe’. In fact, almost anything could be called Balearic, as long as the person listening to it can somehow associate the sound with a nebulous feeling that it might sound great whilst off one’s nut and dancing in the sunshine. However, despite the lack of an agreed style, there are tunes that have come to be regarded as classics of the ‘genre’, of which here are a select few:

Whoever would have thought that easy listening staple Herb Alpert would one day lose his Tijuana Brass band and find himself recording an album of woozy electronic californian sex music? Not my gran, thats for sure. This video features a tune that became an Ibizan classic, along with awesome soft focus footage of Mr Alpert getting all frisky on Mrs Alpert, which is kind of like watching your parents dirty dancing at a wedding after their drinks have been spiked. Those many fans of gangsta rap amongst you will recognise the break from ‘Rise’ as being the sample used by The Notorious B.I.G in his 1997 classic Hypnotize.

Here I find myself posting a video of Chris Rea. It’s actually surprisingly good. I’m not sure how a man from cold, grey Middlesbrough managed to become the ibizan soundtrack of choice, but this record in particular is revered as one of 80’s Ibiza’s seminal tunes

Now for a record that doesn’t need any form of explanation as to why it’s Balearic – Flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia is an amazing musician who has an enviable skill with the guitar. Some of his fretwork seems almost imposssibly fast, yet his luxuriant sideburns remain glacially cool throughout.

And finally, here’s modern day chillout purveyors Groove Armada roping in Ritchie Havens for their live version of early 80’s ibizan anthem ‘Going Back to my Roots’. Havens looks like an Indian Fakir who’s been living on top of a pole for decades, but manages to turn in a pretty lively performance – despite having apparently forgotten how to hold a microphone…

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About Author Profile: Worm

In between dealing with all things technological in the Dabbler engine room, Worm writes the weekly Wikiworm column every Saturday and our monthly Book Club newsletters.

11 thoughts on “Lazy Sunday Afternoon – Sunday Balearica

    November 28, 2010 at 08:24

    Great selection Worm – particularly the Fakir, down from his pole. What a great voice he still has. Last saw him on the floor of his room at Blakes Hotel doing that strumming thing that was his calling card. He had just ‘supported’ Zepplin at…wherever they would have played in those days, early 70’s. Plant later tried it on with my missus – suppose I should have been flattered, but wasn’t. Don’t remember TV’s landing in the street. But I don’t remember much else either.

    November 28, 2010 at 10:40

    Excellent mahlerman! I was hoping that an Ibizan selection would bring out some tales of debauchery!

    November 28, 2010 at 12:57

    Admiring the fingering of Paco de Lucia it suddenly occurred to me to ask: when does a sideburn become a combover? I’ve watched the video three times now and I still can’t decide.

    November 28, 2010 at 15:29

    Ah, what mathematicians refer to as ‘the Nobby Stiles equation’

  5. Gaw
    November 28, 2010 at 15:52

    Havens explains it all in the lyric: ‘Got my head turned around’ (his ears are on upside down too). But if it produces a voice like that more singers should try it. Extraordinary.

    November 28, 2010 at 16:13

    Worm, I love the Herb Alpert – and the video is really sweet. The backing dancers are curiously cool (in a late 60s sort of way) – reminds me of an arts festival I happened upon in St Barts (not the hospital!) with jazz music and creative dance.

    November 28, 2010 at 16:38

    You’re right Susan- it’s quite romantic watching them together! The whole song and the video have a great ‘boogie nights’ sort of vibe

    November 28, 2010 at 22:07

    Lovely lazy stuff, Worm. Groove Armada of course the creators of ‘At the River’, surely the Balearicist of Balearics….

    November 30, 2010 at 11:48

    It occured to me this morning that, along with ‘Driving Home for Christmas’, Chris Rea has some nice earners all year round.

    If you can capture a particular universal mood with a tune, you’re sorted, innit.

  10. Worm
    November 30, 2010 at 11:55

    memo to self: must write amazing new song that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of queuing

  11. Worm
    November 30, 2010 at 11:57

    or going to the toilet

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