Sunday Music – At The River

Posted on Sun 09/14/2014 by


Today’s music video is At The River, played here in this clip by the English Electronic Music Duo Groove Armada. This song features a sampling from Patti Page’s song Old Cape Cod.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by ♫ ♫ Inner Peace Music ♥♫ ♥♫

Sometimes, my career in the Royal Australian Air Force actually expanded my tastes in music, not just from the association with a number of different people with differing music tastes but in other ways as well.

One of those came about from actual work. I was on Flight Line duty, and it was one of those weeks when we had night flying, so that usually meant for a late night. Mine was later than everyone else as our 2 man crew drew the Photo Reconnaissance (PR) bird. We had Mirages in those days, (the early and mid 70’s here for me) an all weather Interceptor. As Australia is only a small Country, we had to have the ability for our aircraft to do a variety of tasks.

Normal night flying saw the bulk of the sorties as short duration in groups of four, mainly for pilot training in all weather all conditions, day and night, so these sorties were only of short duration, usually around a hour or so. There was always one of those Mirages configured for long duration flights also mainly for pilot training and these could extend anything out to three hours, if the bird had on the big fuel capacity drop tanks on each wing.

My crew had the last of those sorties for the night and it didn’t take off until around 10PM, around the same time as the last of the short duration four bird group, which was back by just before 11PM, refuelled, covered and gone, by Midnight.  Our PR bird was scheduled for 2.5 hours and he took a little longer, so he wasn’t back in the Lines until 1AM, long after everyone else had left. We had to see him in, do the after flights, then the refuel, then the covers, then the signing off, and then we got to go home. That refuel was the time intensive part. With the normal configuration, a full refuel could be done in around 15 minutes give or take. However, with those huge drop tanks of 374 Gallons, and one on each wing, plus the Internals, the refuel took closer to 30 minutes, so after everything was done, we finally got away to go home at closer to 2.15AM, and luckily, I was on night flying the following day also, so I didn’t have to be back at work until 2PM.

I was living on the base at that time, and in the barracks, and luckily, in a single room. I had to change, shower, and then roll into bed. Still pretty much awake, I read for a while, in fact, the latest copy of Rolling Stone magazine. In those days, it was in Tabloid newspaper style and done on newsprint, except unlike most tabloid newspapers of the day, Rolling Stone was done in colour as well as in normal black newsprint. While I was reading, I had the radio playing softly beside the bed, and the announcer gave a short intro for the next song. I only caught the two words, Kraftwerk and Autobahn, and he then put the track on. Being late night radio, he played the full long version instead of the (later released Single)  shorter version. The music was to run for almost 23 minutes.KraftwerkAutobahn

Now, why I picked it up when he said it was that I had only been reading about just this album in the magazine, barely 5 minutes earlier. While it played on the radio, I turned back the few pages and read the article again, having just quickly scanned it first time around. I found that I really liked the song, the driving beat, giving the evocative feeling of actually cruising on the German Autobahn.

So, now I had a new album to enquire about from my man in the record shop I frequented at that time. Usually it was he who informed me of new music, and knowing my tastes, he would recommend new music for me. This time, I asked him, and the first thing he said was that he thought I might be the first to enquire about that album.

The actual availability of vinyl albums in those days was not like these days, where you can get any CD virtually from its release date World Wide. In the 70’s, they had to ship the Masters to Australia for the albums to be pressed here, so while Rolling Stone magazine arrived within a week or so of its release in the U.S. actual albums did not get released here in Australia until many weeks after their original release. Now, what made this album I was asking after even more difficult to trace was that it was from Germany, and very little music came out of Germany, unless it sold well in the UK first. It was never going to be pressed here in Oz, so this album had to be sourced for me as an Import, and it took almost a Month before it did arrive.

It’s a great album, not just for the whole of Side One, with that 23 minute opus Autobahn, but the whole album. Later, the Single was actually released here in Oz, but only a much shorter three and a half minute version, and surprisingly it became a moderate hit. The album however did not make it here, and the only copies would have been those Imports, of which I have one of the originals, still in my collection. The image shows the album cover, but this is only for the original release from Vertigo Records. Later English versions differ with the addition of the white device in the upper left quadrant.

The band Kraftwerk is the genesis of what became known later as Techno Music, although in those days it was just referred to as Electronic Music, and while a variety of electronics was used to form the music for this wonderful piece of music, (the long version) it also included piano, guitar, violin and flute as well.

Techno music developed from this, and over the years it has become a niche music genre all its own. Other than this original, I could never quite get into techno, which is also referred to as Dance Music, Later, sampling was even added to techno music to expand that genre even further. Again, I never really got into sampling either, as more often than not, I preferred the original of the song, and not some new piece of music with little pieces of the original included in the melody as part of the new song, and then with the original tempo changed to suit the new dance styles.

GrooveArmadaAtTheRiverHowever, when I first heard the song I have featured for today, it made me take notice. It really was done so well. Admitted, it helped that the original Patti Page song, Old Cape Cod. was one of my favourite songs. However, while this version of the song includes just one or two phrases of Patti singing, the whole song is just so smooth and mellow. I also love the saxophone played here, an addition that further adds that mellow feel to the song. While this version was released originally in 1997, I didn’t hear the song until 2006/7. A local radio station announcer must have heard the song somewhere and played it a couple of times. From that original playing, he kept getting calls to play the song again. Virtually no one knew the real title of the song, and nearly everyone just asked him to play that song with the Patti Page Old Cape Cod phrase in it. It actually became a favourite song at that radio station at the time, and more often than not, that announcer would play the song at least once or twice a week.

The duo playing this song call themselves Groove Armada, and they are from London.  This song was the first Single lifted from their first album, Northern Star, They have since gone on to produce 8 studio albums, and have had a couple of minor hits, none of which I have ever heard.

It’s an odd thing how music tastes evolve over the years, the many songs which add richness to that particular taste in music you have personally, and luck also tends to play a role in that as well. Had it not been for one late night working on the Flight Line, I probably would not have even heard Kraftwerk in the first place, as I really don’t much recall that shortened version of their song which did actually receive some airplay, and become a minor hit in some places here in Australia.

Music adds to our life, and while some may think it has little impact, it is in fact quite a large part of the fabric of our lives.

It may seem that I have included a lot of detail about the Air Force and the aircraft which were operational at that time, but be aware that this was in the early 1970’s and those aircraft are now very long obsolete and not flown by our Air Force.

Posted in: Music, Videos