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zORBa, the G|r|eek

Entry 1006 posted in: 4. Orb Weavers

The (origina) Peel Sessions The Orb hasn’t been sitting still the past year. In February they released a new album, called The Dream and five disks of their back catalogue have been re-released, with extra tracks to draw the money out of the collector’s pocket.

Not that long ago they already had unleashed two rarities albums called Orbsessions One and Two and an ambient volume in the The Art Of Chill collection (a previous volume of that same collection, mixed by Steve Hillage from System7, also contained a Paterson collaboration). March also saw a promo-mix-cd called The Orb vs Freeze, containing 3 unreleased tracks, only available as an extra with a Greek music magazine.

But the best was yet to come and this week saw the release of The BBC Sessions 1989-2001. Of course completists have been complaining that not all Orb sessions (especially those with John Peel) have been put on the double cd set, so the original ‘working’ title of the compilation (The Complete BBC Sessions) had to be shortened a bit (Amazon USA however is still advertising it as the complete sessions).

It obviously starts with A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Underworld (Loving You). Did I just wrote underworld? Seems that there is a typo on the cover. The track in question is of course titled: A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Ultraworld (Loving You). I once compared this ambient pièce de résistance to Pink Floyd’s A Saucerful Of Secrets. This BBC version uses samples from Minnie Riperton’s Loving You, Grace Jones’ Slave To The Rhythm and Pink Floyd’s Shine On You Crazy Diamond. For obvious, copyright, reasons the tracks isn’t credited to Jimmy Cauty and Alex Paterson alone, like it used to be when it was first released, but to a Pleiades of composers and authors, in alphabetical order:
Jimmy Cauty
Simon Darlow
Trevor Horn
Stephen Lipson
Alex Paterson
Minnie Riperton
Richard Rudolph
Bruce Wolley.

From the 17 tracks on the album 5 come from The Orb’s debut, 2 (3 if one counts Assassin as well) from U.F.Orb , 3 from Orbus Terrarum, one from Orblivion and 3 from Cydonia.

The collector will find it amusing that the Stooges cover of No Fun is added as well (a reminder of the days that Alex Paterson was a roadie for Killing Joke and used to sing that song to test the PA) and a live rendition of an excellent, and mostly forgotten ambient tune by The Orb I Am The Red Worm that was originally issued (in very limited form) on the Badorb label.

All in all this double cd is a nice greatest hits compilation, if one can use the term hits for The Orb, classic tunes would perhaps be more appropriate. Now if only I could find the time to give The Dream a spin.

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