Main: Hits In Hi-Fi

Here in the UK it’s Record Store Day — where we cel­e­brate the inde­pen­dent record show and the resur­gence of vinyl. It’s also cold and pour­ing with rain over much of the coun­try. Oh, well… Today we’ll take anoth­er nos­tal­gic jour­ney back to the 1950s and 1960s, when music was on vinyl (and on the radio!) and home audio was new and excit­ing­ly futur­is­tic… with Hits In Hi-Fi.

In the ear­ly days of stereo, a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of albums were released that were designed espe­cial­ly to show off the won­ders of this new way of pre­sent­ing musi­cal enter­tain­ment. Sounds “ping-ponged” across the stereo sound­stage; instru­ments appeared hard on one side and then hard on the oth­er… and there were a lot of space ref­er­ences, bloops and bleeps start­ing and end­ing the pieces — and once the Moog Syn­the­sis­er became avail­able, that was includ­ed in the mix too.

A selec­tion of these albums forms the core of our music today. Often the tracks con­sist of instru­men­tal arrange­ments of pop­u­lar songs, but there are also plen­ty of orig­i­nal tunes too. Aimed at the imag­ined bach­e­lor in his pad, invit­ing his friends around to blow them away with the lat­est stereo­phon­ic sounds, the genre is some­times called “Space-Age Bach­e­lor Pad Music” or “SABPM”; lat­er “Jet Set Pop”; or more broad­ly, “Space Age Pop”.

We have a bunch of orig­i­nal hits from the 50s and 60s in today’s pro­gramme along­side the instru­men­tal re-work­ings that both char­ac­terise the “Easy Lis­ten­ing” genre of the era.


Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. If you are in the Unit­ed States or Cana­da, please click here to launch the Stream Licens­ing play­er. To lis­ten from out­side North Amer­i­ca, click here to start your play­er .

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