Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Review by Ian King
Issue 355 – September 2017
(Double CD) Klaus Wunderlich – 48 Unforgettable Melodies
Running Time 1 hour 26 minutes – Price £6.95
This is the fourth double CD release of Klaus Wunderlich material from the ‘Not Now Music,’ label, following on from “Absolutely Wunderlich,” “The Great Pop Organ Sound Of…” and “An Evening With…” which were all released in 2016. This is a re-release of both volumes of his “24 Melodies You’ll Never Forget” LPs that were released in the late 1950s, so pretty much sixty-year old material.
Now we stocked volume one when it was released by Bell Musik back in 1999. That was called “24 Melodies You’ll Never Forget” (not to be confused with “48 Film & Opera Melodies You’ll Never Forget” which was a whole different thing). “24 Melodies” was Bell Musik’s first re-release of old Klaus material after repackaging his final two recordings; “Special” (that he self-released about four years previously) and “Concerto Grosso” which was a new one. The “24 Melodies” release only contained volume one, but this is the first time the second volume has been available on CD. Volume two was actually originally released in Germany under the title “So Tanz Man In Der Hammond Bar” in case you’re confused.
I’m not sure the original two LPs could really be described as two volumes along the same theme as volume one featured straight recordings, while volume two was recorded ‘in-sequence’ as various dance medleys. Volume one only contained two medleys (one per LP side) which were around twenty-one minutes each, while volume two had eight of them varying from around four to six minutes. Having said that, the sound matches up perfectly on both discs and unlike todays sequence CDs, you don’t really notice you are listening to anything with a strict tempo as you do get Klaus’s lovely relaxed playing and semi-improvisations all performed on the Hammond C3 with his rhythm group sitting in. This group consisted of Rolf Ahrens on drums, Franz Rasch on bass and Bert Helsing on guitar. These musicians are only credited on the second volume, but its pretty likely that most (if not all) are playing on the first volume too.
The recordings were again remastered by long time friend and recording engineer Werner Kohlhammer, who’s idea it was to release them as one set. After pretty much completing everything, Werner found a DAT recording of the original masters while searching through Klaus’ archive so the whole thing was remastered to a higher standard. The result is a lovely clean sound with the C3 and rhythm instruments sparkling through. The stereo spread and ping-ponging effects are very nice too and don’t even make you go all giddy when listening on headphones.
As these are 1950s recordings and aimed at the German market, don’t expect every tune to be recognisable as they probably won’t be (not really a full “48 Unforgettable Melodies You’ll Never Forget”), but you will get a good few that are very familiar, including, “Always,” “Falling In Love Again,” “Exactly Like You,” “Kiss Me, Honey Honey Kiss Me,” “Blue Tango” and a six-minute Glenn Miller medley from Volume 2. Having said that, what you do get is a lovely sound and the musical perfection we came to expect from Klaus during the next forty years. All that is evident here and whether the tunes are known or not, they soon get under your skin.
Praise should be given to Not Now Music who are releasing these classic recordings. Hopefully, if they continue to sell well, then a few more nuggets may follow.
If you did buy the first disc, then this double is £3.00 less than we originally sold that for, so it’s a good price for volume two alone. You also get a lovely packaged product with booklet, outer sleeve and liner notes by Alan Ashton and Ian Wolstenholme.
FULL TRACKS: Disc One (Running Time: 42:27) – MEDLEY 1: Ich Werde Jede Nacht von Ihnen Träumen / My Foolish Heart (Die Nacht ist Voller Zärtlichkeit) / Blue Tango / Jalousie / Junger Mann aus Gutem Hause / Bel Ami / Charmaine / Ich bin Heute ja so Verliebt / Mein Herz hat Heut’ Premiere / Kann denn Liebe Sünde Sein? / Sing Nachtigall Sing / Dieses Kleine Liebeslied • MEDLEY 2: Indian Love Call (Über die Prärie) / La Vie en Rose / Kiss Me, Honey Honey Kiss Me (Küß Mich, Bitte, Bitte Küß Mich) / Der Wind hat mir ein Lied Erzählt / Tango Notturno / Wenn der Weiße Flieder Wieder Blüht / Abends in der Taverne / Von 8 bis um 8 / Ich Liebe die Sonne, den Mond und die Sterne / Ganz Leise Kommt die Nacht / Frauen Sind Keine Engel / Non tl Scorte dl me.
Disc Two (Running Time: 43:10): FOXTROTS-MEDLEY (4:42): Exactly Like You / You Are My Lucky Star / Red Roses for a Blue Lady • SLOWFOX-MEDLEY (6:06): Wenn ich dich seh’, dann fange ich zu Träumen an / So Wird’s nie Wieder Sein / Penny-Serenade • FOXTROTT-MEDLEY (4:12): Unter Einem Regenschirm am Abend / Du Glaubst mir Nicht, daß ich Dich Liebe / Wenn ein Junger Mann Kommt • TANGO-BEGUINE-MEDLEY (6:28): Stern von Rio / In Einer Kleinen Konditorei / Immer und Ewig (Barcarole) • LANGS-WALZER-MEDLEY (5:08): Always / Glaube Mir / Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss auf Liebe Eingestellt • SHUFFLE-FOX-MEDLEY (5:52): Nachts Ging das Telefon / Du Bist Meine Große Leidenschaft / So Schön wie Heut’, so Müßt es Bleiben • SLOWFOX-MEDLEY (5:57): Moonlight Serenade / I Know Why / Somewhere Over The Rainbow • FOXTROT-MEDLEY (3:26): Sie Will Nicht Blumen und Nicht Schokolade / Linger Awhile (Mein Liebling Heisst Mädi) / Wir Machen Musik • All tracks are played on Hammond C3 with Rolf Ahrens on Drums, Franz Rasch on Bass and Bert Helsing on Guitar.
Review by Ian King from Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Magazine.