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The Penguin Cafe Orchestra

Eclectic Prog

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The Penguin Cafe Orchestra Penguin Cafe Orchestra album cover
4.18 | 40 ratings | 2 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Air Danser - 4:30
2. Yodel 1 - 4:07
3. Telephone and Rubber Band - 2:28
4. Cutting Branches for a Temporary Shelter - 3:09
5. Pythagoras's Trousers - 3:18
6. Numbers 1-4 - 6:57
7. Yodel 2 - 4:34
8. Salty Bean Fumble - 2:11
9. Paul's Dance - 1:45
10. The Ecstasy of Dancing Fleas - 4:01
11. Walk Don't Run- 3:01
12. Flux - 1:48
13. Simon's Dream - 1:48
14. Harmonic Necklace - 1:12
15. Steady State - 3:36

Total time: 48:15

Line-up / Musicians

Simon Jeffes - guitar, cuatro, ukulele, violin, pennywhistle, piano, harmonium, various other instruments
Geoffrey Richardson - guitar, ukulele, viola, bass instrument, bongos
Steve Nye - cuatro, electric piano
Neil Rennie - ukulele
Peter Veitch - violin, accordion
Gavyn Wright - violin
Helen Liebmann - cello
Giles Leaman - oboe
Braco - drums, bongos, shaker
Julio Segovia - cymbals

Releases information

E.G. Records / Virgin

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
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THE PENGUIN CAFE ORCHESTRA Penguin Cafe Orchestra ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE PENGUIN CAFE ORCHESTRA Penguin Cafe Orchestra reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by thellama73
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars Aside from having one of the best album covers in the history of recorded music, this self-titled second album from the Penguin Cafe Orchestra is also one of the most unique, humorous and downright pleasant records I've ever encountered.

The Band is the creation of Simon Jeffes (alas, no longer with us) who wrote all the music and meticulously rehearsed his diverse group of extremely talented musicians. He also played about a dozen of the instruments himself. The sound he created is difficult to define. Most record stores list the PCO under New Age, which in my opinion is absurd. The truth is that the songs are a mishmash of Jeffes' eclectic influences including, but not limited to, jazz, world music, classical, ambient, lounge and maybe even a little pop. It's all instrumental and all acoustic, although I suspect there has been a certain amount of studio manipulation on one or two tracks, and all delightful.

I mentioned before that the music is humorous, and indeed it is, but not in a Frank Zappa, or even Spike Jones, kind of way. It makes you laugh in the same way a small child laughs when he sees something wonderful and utterly unexpected. It is the humor of joy unbridled. This is revealed in track titles like "Telephone and Rubber Band" and "The Ecstacy of Dancing Fleas." Elsewhere, the album ventures into slightly more sober territory, while still not taking itself too seriously. "Cutting Branches For A Temporary Shelter" remains one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard. At times it's almost heartbreaking.

Let me tell you folks, to produce an album so relentlessly innocent and optimistic without it turning into insipid treacle is no small feat. Simon Jeffes has achieved it, and yet remains unjustly obscure.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Interesting band this Penguin Cafe Orchestra, probably the last 70's Prog band to born. This is the creature of Simon Jeffes and have a strange line-up with other 10 musicians and in my opinion Penguin Cafe Orchestra is a chamber version of E.L.O., not just to be accurate but not so much to gi ... (read more)

Report this review (#362144) | Posted by 1967/ 1976 | Thursday, December 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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