THE LIBRARY ARCHIVE VOLUME 1 AND 2-FUNK, JAZZ, BEATS AND SOUNDTRACKS FROM THE ARCHIVES OF CAVENDISH MUSIC-COMPILED BY MR THING AND CHRIS READ.

The Library Archive Volume 1 and 2-Funk, Jazz, Beats and Soundtracks From The Archives Of Cavendish Music-Compiled By Mr Thing and Chris Read.

Label: BBE Music.

Format: 2CD Set.

The names Sonoton, De Woife, Amphonic, Conroy and Cavendish Music roll off the tongue of aficionados of library music. This ranges from a coterie of collectors to sample hungry hip hop producers to DJs and compilers like Mr Thing and Chris Read.

One of their favourite library music companies is Cavendish Music. In 2014, the two BBE Music stalwarts entered the vast Cavendish Music vaults for the first time. They were participating in WhoSampled’s Samplethon event. This was a competition where producers had to create new tracks using samples of tracks from the Cavendish vaults. There was a catch though. Everyone participating was against the clock.

This must have been hugely frustrating for Mr Thing and Chris Read. At last, they had gained access to the what many collectors of library music called the holy grail, the vaults of Cavendish Music. It’s the largest independent library music publisher in Britain, and also represents many music catalogues from the four corners of the globe. 

That day in 2014 time was at a premium, and Mr Thing and Chris Read were unable to take time to discover all of the treasure and hidden gems within the Cavendish vaults. However, whilst looking through a box of records and tapes the pair discovered an eclectic selection of timeless library music that they felt deserved to be heard by a wider audience in its original form.

Some of that music found its way onto a compilation released to critical acclaim in 2017 by BBE Music. This was The Library Archive-Jazz, Beats and Soundtracks From The Archives Of Cavendish Music-Compiled By Mr Thing and Chris Read. It was a captivating and fascinating insight into the little known world of library music.  

However, there was plenty more music in the Cavendish Music vaults that deserved to feature on a compilation. Three years later, in 2020, the pair returned with The Library Archive 2-More Funk, Jazz, Beats and Soundtracks From the Archives of Cavendish Music-Compiled By Mr Thing and Chris Read. Just like its predecessor it was released to plaudits and praise and was welcomed by both collectors of library music and newcomers to the genre. For many, it was a fascinating insight to the little known world of library music and one of biggest and best known companies, Cavendish Music.

Given the popularity of the two Cavendish Music compilations it was no surprise when BBE BBE Music recently announced that it was releasing them as a two CD set. The Library Archive Volume 1 and 2-Funk, Jazz, Beats and Soundtracks From The Archives Of Cavendish Music-Compiled By Mr Thing and Chris Read is a tantalising taste of Britain’s biggest library music company during the genre’s golden age.

The origins of Cavendish Music can be traced back to 1930. That was when two of Britain’s long-established and well-respected musical companies Boosey and Company and Hawkes and Son agreed to merge. A new company was born, Boosey and Hawkes.

By the time Leslie Boosey and Ralph Hawkes’ companies became one, the combined company manufactured brass, string and woodwind instruments. It was also well on the way to becoming the world largest classical musical publisher.

Later, Boosey and Hawkes became the largest independent library music publisher in Britain, and represented many different music catalogues from around the world. That was still to come.

For Boosey and Hawkes and the other British library music companies, the birth of television in the mid-fifties was a game-changer. Up until then, classical music had long been a staple of their business and popular among their clients.

As a result, Boosey and Hawkes decided to diversify into library music publishing. By then, there was already a huge demand for music to provide the soundtrack to radio, television and film. 

Originally, library music was meant to be used by film studios or television and radio stations. It was never meant to be commercially available. The music was recorded on spec by music libraries who hired often young unknown composers, musicians and producers. This ranged from musicians who were known within publishing circles, to up-and-coming musicians who went onto greater things, and later, looked back fondly at their time writing, recording and producing library music. This they now regard as part of their musical apprenticeship. 

For the musicians hired to record library music, their remit was to provide companies like Cavendish Music with a steady stream of new music, which was originality referred to as production music. During some sessions, the musicians’ remit was write and record music to match themes or moods. This wasn’t easy, but after a while they were  able to this seamlessly. Soon, the musicians were able to enter the audio and write and record a piece of music that matched a theme or mood for a film or television show.

Once the library music was recorded, record libraries like Boosey and Hawkes, which is now known as Cavendish Music, sent out demonstration copies of their music to production companies. If the production companies liked what they heard, they would license a track or several tracks from the music libraries. That was how it was meant to work.

Often, the music recorded on spec by library companies was never licensed. Since then, many of the tracks have lain unheard in the vaults of music libraries like Cavendish Music. That was no surprise, because during the sixties and seventies, which was the golden age for library music, and indeed Cavendish Music, when a vast quantity of music was recorded in the hope that it would license the tracks and use them in films, television or radio.

Sometimes that proved to be the case. Especially during the sixties and seventies when the music created by these groups of largely anonymous composers, musicians and producers provided the soundtrack to some of the biggest television programmes on British television. This included everything from The Sweeney and The Professionals to cartoons like Dangermouse and current affairs to quiz shows. Many of these themes became part of the soundtrack to British life and are fondly remembered by a generation of adults. However, not everyone in Britain was a fan of library music.

This included the Musician’s Union in Britain who banned their members from working on recording sessions of library music. Somewhat shortsightedly, they thought that eventually, there would come a time when there was no need for any further recordings of library music. Their fear was that the sheer quantity of back-catalogue would mean no new recordings would be made and their members would be without work. Soon, the record libraries had worked out a way to circumvent the ban which suited all parties.

Some record libraries would fly out composers, arrangers, musicians and producers to Holland and Belgium, where local musicians would join them for recording sessions. This meant that often, the same musicians would play on tracks for several composers. These were lucrative sessions for the musicians involved who had the last laugh. 

Incredibly, it was only in the late seventies, that the Musician’s Union lifted their ban on new recordings of library music. By then, the golden age of library music was at an end. The Musician’s Union ban had cost their members dearly. 

Later, sample hungry hip hop producers who dug deep into the crates found albums of library music. This was the ‘inspiration’ that they were looking for, and many ‘borrowed’ samples from their newfound musical treasure. Soon, other producers, DJs and collectors went in search of these long-overlooked albums of library music.

Since then, they’ve become increasingly collectable, with producers continuing to sample them, while DJs incorporating library music into their sets.

There’s also a number of collectors who spend their time and money looking for, and buying albums of library music. Nowadays, many of these albums are rarities and are highly collectable. This includes many albums produced by Cavendish Music. They’re on the wish-lists of many producers, DJs and collectors.

They’ll also appreciate and enjoy The Library Archive Volume 1 and 2-Funk, Jazz, Beats and Soundtracks From The Archives Of Cavendish Music-Compiled By Mr Thing and Chris Read. There’s twenty-three tracks on the first instalment and thirty on the second. These two lovingly curated compilations feature a tantalising taste of the library music during the genre’s golden age.

Both volumes feature an eclectic section of music that was recorded by largely anonymous groups of musicians. They were given a variety of names by the staff at Cavendish Music. On Volume 1 this included Sound Studio Orchestra, The Cavendish Orchestra, The New Dance Orchestra and the groovy sounding Sound Studio Set. There’s also contributions from exotic The Latin American Orchestra and The New Percussion Octet. Eclectic describes the music on the compilation. It ranged from jazz and funk to big band and orchestral sounds right through to proto hip hop. The music ranged from atmospheric and moody to thought provoking, funky and groovy and played an important part in defining British culture as this truly talented and versatile group of musicians seamlessly switch between themes, moods and genres on twenty-three timeless tracks on The Library Archive-Jazz, Beats and Soundtracks From The Archives Of Cavendish Music-Compiled By Mr Thing and Chris Read.

That was also the case on The Library Archive 2-More Funk, Jazz, Beats and Soundtracks From the Archives of Cavendish Music-Compiled By Mr Thing and Chris Read. It featured thirty tracks from The Gentle Giants, The New Concert Orchestra, Dennis Farnon, Bob Adams and Chris Barron. They were joined by old friends including The New Dance Orchestra and the Sound Studio Set. The thirty tracks were even more eclectic. This included everything from jazz and funk as well music for soundtracks and some more experimental tracks. Other tracks were bluesy and soulful as the versatile and talented musicians hired by Cavendish Music switched between musical genres and seamlessly created different  themes and moods on tracks that it was hoped would feature in films and on television and radio. 

Many did and became part of the soundtrack to the seventies. However, other tracks lay unreleased in the Cavendish vaults, the holy grail of British of library music.

BBE stalwarts Mr. Thing and Chris Read dug deep into the Cavendish Music vaults for the fifty-three tracks on the two compilations released in 2017 and 2020. They struck gold unearthing a myriad of hidden gems and musical treasure. The two compilations have been reissued on a two CD set as The Library Archive Volume 1 and 2-Funk, Jazz, Beats and Soundtracks From The Archives Of Cavendish Music-Compiled By Mr Thing and Chris Read by BBE Music. This musical treasure trove will be of interest to anyone interested in library music. That’s no surprise.

The music on the compilation is a reminder of the golden era of library music. Many of the tracks are a reminder of the type of music that provided the soundtrack to films and television and radio shows during the seventies. For those of a certain age the music on The Library Archive Volume 1 and 2-Funk, Jazz, Beats and Soundtracks From The Archives Of Cavendish Music-Compiled By Mr Thing and Chris Read is a reminder of the seventies, which was a golden age for library music and many would say, British television.

The sixties and seventies was the golden age of library music, when companies like Sonoton, De Woife, Amphonic, Conroy and Cavendish Music commissioned a vast amount of music which fifty years later, has found an appreciative audience that includes DJs, sample hungry producers and record collectors.

Especially the music recorded and released by Cavendish Music, which was is the largest independent library music publisher in Britain.  Very few people outside of the environs of Cavendish Music have gained access to the company’s vaults until relatively recently. 

The Library Archive Volume 1 and 2-Funk, Jazz, Beats and Soundtracks From The Archives Of Cavendish Music-Compiled By Mr Thing and Chris Read features two of the best compilations of library music that has been released during the last few years. It’s a reminder of the golden age of library music and British TV and features a myriad of hidden gems, musical treasure and hidden gems aplenty.

The Library Archive Volume 1 and 2-Funk, Jazz, Beats and Soundtracks From The Archives Of Cavendish Music-Compiled By Mr Thing and Chris Read.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: