Music from The Penguin Cafe is the first studio album by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra. It was recorded between 1974 and 1976, and released in 1976. The artist credited for the work varies with different issues. Upon original issue, the label credited the artist as Simon Jeffes, while the cover gave the artist as "members of the Penguin Café Orchestra". The line-up for tracks 1, 9, 10 and 11 consisted of the original "Penguin Café Quartet" (as they are referred to in the liner notes): Simon Jeffes (electric guitar), Helen Liebmann (Cello), Steve Nye (electric piano), and Gavyn Wright (violin). Tracks 2–8, meanwhile, were performed by the ensemble "Zopf", which includes all four members of the quartet as well as Neil Rennie (ukulele) and Emily Young (vocals). Reissues from 1987 forward generally credit the artist as the Penguin Café Orchestra. These later reissues have mistakenly listed pieces 2-8 as though they were movements of a suite entitled "Zopf", instead of 7 separate pieces performed by "Zopf". The executive producer for the album was Brian Eno, who released this album on his experimental Obscure label, with catalogue number "Obscure 7". The original cover was by John Bonis. The reissue cover painting was by Emily Young. The album was later released on CD by E.G. Records in 1991 and later in remastered form in 2006 - both using the reissue cover instead of the original. The album was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.Wikipedia
Album number 99. For what it's worth, the Spotify link here takes you to a version of the album that's missing a track. I doubt that will matter in forming your opinion one way or the other. Me, I went and listened to that missing song. I like simple pleasures, like butter in my ass, lollipops in my mouth. That's just me. That's just something that I enjoy. The naked dude just chilling on the album cover isn't fooling that penguin or me for that matter. He's just a guy who stayed a little too long at an "Eyes Wide Shut" orgy and now refuses to take his mask off. There are parts of this album that would fit right in at one of those orgies as long as an actual penguin is involved. A good chunk of it sounds like it's trying to be weird just to be as Avant Garde as possible. But I'm guessing Stanley Kubrick loved this album. It made me think a little too much about Penguins and the actor's who portrayed the Penguin in Batman's world. My favorites are Burgess Meredith, the naked guy on the album cover, and I guess Danny DeVito. Honorable mention to former Dodger and Cub great Ron "The Penguin" Cey, who might have been the greatest Penguin of them all. Now that I think about it, that penguin looks like he's the one who stumbled into an orgy. My favorite song, that I think sums up the entire album, is called, "The Sound Of Someone You Love Who's Going Away and It Doesn't Matter". It's almost 12 minutes long, but that thing takes you on a JOURNEY. Ultimately you end up back to staring at that album cover, wishing you were at an outdoor orgy.
I can see how important this album probably was I just don't care.
Cannot understate the dread and delight of this album. The chirpy bright notes are ominous when juxtaposed with the frantic tunes following. Feels like the end of the world.
superb album cover. perfectly apt too, i've never heard the penguin cafe before but i saw the album cover and knew what i was getting, some oddness. fucking brilliant eccentric shit.
The main reason I'm listening through the 1001 is to find stuff like this. Super chill, experimental and simply very well done.
After finding out that this album was produced by Brian Eno, I'm not surprised that I liked it right away. What I am surprised about is that I've never heard of it before. It's really cool for a mostly instrumental album. Laid back, if not quite ambient, with a really cool sound to it. I think I'm going to try and pick up this album on vinyl based on my first listen. This was a great palette-cleanser after having to review a fucking KISS album yesterday 4/5
Quel bonheur de faire respirer le générateur avec un documentaire animalier. La voix de Pierre Arditi donne aux images de drones volant au-dessus de la banquise une poésie qui ravira petits et grands.
Je n'ai pas trop compris ce que cet album venait faire dans cette liste, quand des artistes comme Céline Dion se sont vus refuser l'accès à ce cercle de petit privilégiés. Néammoins, l'album débutait sur de belles notes, un début d'écoute plutôt amusante, moi et mes camarades procédant à une bataille de polochons. Toute cette petite troupe était hilares, hurlant des phrases en allemand n'ayant pas le moindre sens sorties de leur bouche. Quand tout d'un coup, l'ambiance change du tout au tout. Jurgen fait son apparition dans la pièce, et jette immédiatement un froid dans l'assemblée. Il fixe de ses yeux de glace le denommé Ludvig, tenant une chaise en plastique entre ses deux mains, et le sermonna immédiatemment d'un "Die Stuhle musst mie die Stuhle sein". S'en suivirent de pénibles heures pour notre joyeuse troupe, bien moins guillerette qu'à l'accoutumée. A suivre donc
Just boring ambient sounds. 2/10.
Apparently I had to hear this album once before I die, so I did. That was plenty...1 🌟
Hefts a pure carcinogen that is as mysterious as its inclusion in this list
I honestly... Just what can I say? It was awful, I didn't vibe at all to this... The worst album I've heard so far. It is now my benchmark for 1's.
No, just no. This is terrible, and I have no idea why I had to hear it at all. Anytime it started to get almost (and almost is a loose term here) listenable, it went in some weird ass, left-field direction and totally pulled me out of it.
I love penguins
This was a real winner for me. I don’t know why it resonated with me so much. But the intermingling of the instruments was great. Definitely on the list to pick up.
Quite nice, atmospheric music.
Very pleasant listening. It's an interesting combination of instruments and genres they normally aren't heard in. Some of the songs remind me of songs in the style of Apocalyptica (who came much later, but I heard first). I wonder if these people were an influence.
I'm pleasantly surprised that this album was included on the 1001 list. Most of the curator's choices are obvious, boneheaded or both; this is neither. Music From The Penguin Cafe is unique, both in The Penguin Cafe Orchestra's discography and more generally. It seems to me that the group's driving force, Simon Jeffes, was still trying to figure out what his group was all about. Seemingly irreconcilable elements fight for dominance, sometimes in the same song. You have feints at pop songs, pastoral violins, world music tropes boiled down to their essence, and avant guarde noodling, flavored from time to time with producer Brian Eno's effects processing. Adding to the strangeness is the prominence of Fender Rhodes (mostly used in jazz fusion) and electric guitar. Sometimes Music From The Penguin Cafe is awkward, sometimes it's gorgeous, but it sure as hell ain't boring.
Pingviinikahvilassa ois varmaan toiminu paremmin ku kotikoneella töitä tehdessä
lovely orchestra music
Has big avantgarde energy
Wow, dette var deilig musikk! Elsker lydbildet, føler jeg blir dratt inn i en behagelig sinnstilstand, nesten til å drømme seg litt bort i. Minner meg nesten mest om spill-soundtrack enn noe annet. Er en del sære, alternative seksjoner inni der, men det bidrar bare til stemningen og gir litt variasjon. Herlighet, hvis ikke den kombinasjonen av clean gitar og fiolin ikke er det deiligste man kan høre, så vet ikke jeg. Beste sanger: Penguin Café Single, The Sound Of Someone You Love og In A Sydney Motel.
Gostei, muito bom para estudar. Destaque para "Zopf: Milk" e "The Sound Of Someone You Love Who's Going Away And It's Doesn't Matter", sendo que a última me lembra muito "Espatódea" do Nando Reis.
Really like this.
No idea who/what/when. But damn, sounds very joyful 5/5
Fabulous, always happy to listen to these guys
HAVE YOU EVER FUCKED A PENGUIN IN THE ASS? HAVE YOU FUCK! HAVE YOU EVER FUCKED A PENGUIN IN THE ASS? HAVE YOU FUCK! HAVE YOU EVER FUCKED A PENGUIN, EVER FUCKED A PENGUIN, EVER FUCKED A PENGUIN IN THE ASS? HAVE YOU FUCK!
LOVE IT OMG
Fantastic. A sample flippers paradise.
This is such an strange yet earnest album. The orchestration is beautiful and expertly oscillates through moments of beauty, strangeness, and dread. Simply put, it is an avant-garde masterpiece. The use of traditional orchestration within an experimental folk framework packaged as an album of popular music manages create something that stands out among the experimental and progressive music of the 70s and that says an awful lot.
I have never, before today, heard of these people. I approached it knowing literally nothing. And it's really good. Tracks that are just on the edge of familiar while being absolutely new. This will definitely be listened to again.
Johnny Greenwood came to mind while listening to this. I love it when I'm surprised. I really enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. Great discovery.
Wonderfully chilled, no where near as wierd or abstract as some of the reviews on here suggest. Really liked this.
This was superb.
I was intrigued by the strange name and cover, and the wiki info and initial sound very much lived up to the strange expectations. This is the type of album I love seeing on this list: strange novelties and oddities. Music is only solid, but I have to give a full five for exemplifying what I want to see out of this list. Would love to stumble upon this at a used record store.
Way ahead of its time.
I figured this would just be a fun name/cover, with average/bad music - boy, was I wrong. I really loved this one for a number of reasons. Wide range of instruments help create a diverse vibe, jumping between orchestral rock and psychedelic experimentation. The title track is my favorite, but I enjoyed every song on the album, and added 2 total. I actually listened to this on the way to work, and then again on the way home, and have a feeling I will be listening to this one a lot in the future. This album is exactly the type of stuff I came into this project searching for. 9.3/10
I kind of assumed it wouldn't be some boring gift shop music and boy was I right. I like the subversive name and cover, and really enjoy the minimalism. Good background music. Favorite tracks: "Surface Tension", "Milk"
Strange, but beautiful.
Beautiful music, folk style orchestral mixed with 70s electric sounds and some improv, produced by eno, very pretty and soothing.
I liked this. Some tracks excited me, others quite sombre and sad. Good variety and experimentation, but perfectly listenable.
Música de ambiente. Bastante agradable.
some good tunes here, but it felt forgettable and just blended into the background
В принципе, слышу тут старый прог- и артрок. Но Вики говорит, цэ - авантпоп, значит авантпоп. Атмосферная музыка, прям чувствуешь, как сидишь в пингвиньем кафе, а они носят мороженку в высоких стаканах этих. Баланс между интересным оригинальным саундом и душной какофонией порой немного отклоняется в во вторую сторону, как на треках From the Colonies, Milk, Pigtail, но остальное - неплохо. Даже хорошо. Залипательно. Авангард, который мы заслужили, так скать. Да ещё и печать интеллекта на яйце есть. В общем, одобряем.
наконец-то действительно новый для меня арт-альбом. ну ладно, музыка не то чтобы совсем ломает воображение, но время от времени удивляет, а когда вокал добавляется — вообще кайф же, прям из разряда чилла переходит в адекватную песню. Единственное, что немного смутило — собсна первый трек, который сингл. Мне кажется, или основной мотив пизжен откуда-то? Хотя, учитывая год выхода этой пластинки, вероятно шо пиздили у них. Но всё равно тема странная, и я всё никак не могу вспомнить, где эту мелодию уже слышал, немного напомнило Don't Stop Me Now королевы, но не совсем то. Вот, а в остальном вообще кайф, охуенное музло на подумать именно, т.е. не то чтобы совсем фоновое, а задающее определенное настроение, но и не сильно отвлекающее. 8/10
It’s a very unique and pleasant album this. Mostly instrumental pieces with some avant guard flairs to it, that helps to keep it interesting.
I liked this one actually. A nice instrumental album that is pretty good to work to.
Kanskje det er fordi jeg aldri har hørt noe som dette før, men det her slo virkelig ann! Bygger opp noen skikkelig fredfulle stemninger, men er heller ikke redd for å bli skikkelig sær (for eksempel på Milk, for en låt!), og det er mye forskjellige eksperimenteringer fra folk, jazz og klassisk her. The sound of someone you love... er nok høydepunktet, men hele albumet danner et lydbilde jeg ser for meg er akkurat det de spiller på pingvinkafeer i virkeligheten.
Very Cool Album!
Really liked it. Peaceful music
Enjoyed it, I'm glad stuff like it exists
Delightfully weird album. Enjoyed this a lot.
Not like anything I've listened to before. Enjoyed the final few tracks. Will probably seek out more of their back catalogue
Interesante álbum, experimental. Creo que debió ser muy vanguardista para su tiempo. Es bueno haberlo escuchado pero no sería música que escucharía seguido.
This was fascinating and a really interesting departure from the recent music.
SUPER chill album. I have never heard of the album or band before this, but I really enjoyed the peacefulness of this album. It's really nice to wind down with before bed. I'll definitely be listening to more of PCO.
This is the most chill prog-rock album I have ever heard. I like it. 4.4/5 stars
This is lovely. Not sure this is the PCO album I'd have picked, if I was only picking one, but sure, whatever. I'm a sucker for some instrumental ambient or indie chamber music or however you categorize this stuff. Fave track - "Penguin Cafe Single", perhaps, or "Chartered Flight". It's not the sort of album with standout individual tracks, is it? It's all about the overall experience...
Cool avant garde album. The only track I disliked was "Milk" (annoying). Standout tracks include the first track, Surface Tension, and The Sound of Someone... Can't call the album a 5 because I need to be in the right mood to listen - 5's are always great to me.
I can't believe I've never listened to this album before. I've heard tracks by them on samplers though. This was a great listen. Eclectic but still very approachable. I didn't know that Brian Eno produced it but I did know that they shared a label with King Crimson (which is how I've heard some of their material). I will be checking out more of their albums in the future.
Strange and wonderful. Of course Brian Eno was a producer - I didn't know much about him, Roxy Music or the Penguins but I'm learning...and that means eccentric. This album is like someone said "why don't you try to make classical instruments sound cool and modern?" It's all original stuff but for the all-instrumental pieces I find myself saying "this must be like an elevator cover of some song I know." Somewhere I read this group described as avant-garde. I still don't know what that means, but what a fun trip.
Avant garde meets classical and intersects with folk music artists? Or is this all experimental? Found myself intrigued by what they were doing on these tracks. Worth a listen or two.
experimental instrumentals, really enjoyed it.
забавная инструментальная музыка, порой есть слова, действительно атмосфера пингвиньего кафе
Perfect soundtrack to a 1970s Open University zoo trip.
wow never heard of this in my life, yet there are a couple riffs that I've definitely heard before. Not something I'm going to listen to a lot but rather like it.
Really enjoying the sound for a collective I had never heard of. Will have to listen to the rest of the catalogue. The sound of someone you love... is a highlight. 4/5
I love these groups that are hard to categorize, I would say they are Chamber/Folk/Rock. I particularly like them in their later albums when they become more minimalistic, similar to Glass or Nyman, but always very melodic and fairly accessible. This was a great debut by the Penguins, and I really enjoyed The Sound of someone you love and when it becomes very dissonant at around the 7 min mark. I'm glad they got recognized by 1,001.
Odd but interesting orchestral type music. Mostly confused about the impact of this album. 7/10
8/10. This was really nice.
Nice and relaxing
This is the album I didn't know I needed. Love me some experimental music, especially when it's mostly instrumental.
I thoroughly enjoyed this. Folky, orchestrally and a bit post-rocky (before post-rock was a thing).
Love the album cover to start with. Baroque fans is very fond of Giles Farnaby's Dream! I'm very happy meeting this album!
an interesting album. Early Floyd meets an Orchestra
Música de ambiente. Bastante agradable.
fozzie’s version of Simon Smith was a profound part of my childhood. Much to appreciate on this album
I love this band, and there's no better working music. Enough going on to get you through a large spreadsheet, slowly changing enough to not distract.
Bizarre and fantastic. I hardly know how to classify this, and it demands some context. But it is wildly enjoyable from start to finish. Way to go, classical pals.
Gostoso de ouvir.
I'm not sure what to say about this album but I know I liked it.
This was the best album that I'll never listen to again. Some really cool stuff there, but not my preferred genre.
I had heard "The sound of someone you love who’s going away and it doesn’t matter" which I enjoy quite a bit. I believe I listened to this album once before and it didn't quite live up to the feelings I had with this certain song. I'm not sure the inclusion of vocals helps the album, but I get the feeling they got a group of folks together and they just do what they want, which I can respect. Also if you told me Brian Eno was singing on the track "In A Sydney Hotel" I would believe you. I just looked it up and apparently he is a producer, ha. Also absolute banger of a band name. I respect the concept enough to but up from 3.5 to 4, but I don't wanna hear all the tracks, personally.
Was kinda disappointed each time the vocals came in throughout the album. I wanted to stay inside the instrumental landscape they were building. Might have been a five for me had it remained entirely instrumental, but still, gotta give it some major love and respect for daring to create something outside of typical genre boundaries.
Love this! Makes me think of Stereolab.