AG-2086 Saving The Wildlife
Produced by Chip Davis
Released on 1986
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
AG-2086 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

K ronomyth 8.0: LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS. Saving The Wildlife is the soundtrack to a PBS special of the same name, which focused on endangered species around the world. It was subsequently released as the new Mannheim Steamroller album, though it didn’t sell particularly well (neither did the band’s second tour of nature, Yellowstone). As soundtracks go, Wildlife is a fun record. The Wizard of Omaha and Jackson Berkey get some support from fellow C.W. McCall alum Ron Agnew, local musician (and touring member) Joey Gulizia and American Gramaphone artist Ric Swanson in creating short pieces that evoke the personalities and localities of various animals. The opening “Rhinos and Elephants,” with its African percussion, is fair warning that Saving The Wildlife isn’t business as usual. Instead, Davis and company are earnest in their efforts to create suitably exotic landscapes for their animals. It’s a playful bestiary, accessible enough for children, clever enough that Vangelis and (of course) Mannheim albums past come to mind. As I pointed out in my awesome review of this on AMG, Saving The Wildlife is guilty of perpetuating musical stereotypes; I’ve docked the album an imaginary and invisible star for this. If it had been Jean-Michael Jarre lampooning Americans on “Florida Suite” or “Grizzly Bears, and not Chip Davis, we would be burning french fries in the streets. (And we would be calling the patriots behind them French Friers.) While it’s not quite a match for the Fresh Aire albums, Saving The Wildlife is no stuffy PBS soundtrack either. In many ways, it’s the lighter side of Mannheim, and a harbinger of what was to come in the 90s.

AG-2086 inner gatefold AG-2086 back cover
AG-2086 inner gatefold AG-2086 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. RHINOS AND ELEPHANTS
  2. DOLPHINS AND WHALES
  3. WOLFGANG AMAEDEUS PENGUIN
  4. FLORIDA SUITE
    Barbeque
    Everglades
    Sunset
  5. WOLVES
  6. TAMARIN MONKEYS
  7. GRIZZLY BEARS
  8. TIGERS AND LIONS
  9. EAGLES
  10. AMANDA PANDA
  11. HARP SEALS

    Composed by Chip Davis

CREDITS

RON AGNEW -- guitar
JACKSON BERKEY -- keyboards
CHIP DAVIS -- drums and recorders
JOEY GULIZIA -- ethnic percussion
RIC SWANSON -- percussion
Wayne Jesz -- noises
Louis F. Davis, Sr. -- keyboard technician
John Boyd -- engineer
Don Sears -- engineer
Dr. Lee G. Simmons -- cover photo
Les Hayes Studio -- art direction and production

return to MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US 1986 American Gramaphone LP/CD/CS AG/AGCD/AGC-2086 gatefold cover

 

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