Pure Moods CD Ad

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This will seem a little bit unbelievable to anyone born in the 21st century, but there was a time not long ago that people made mixtapes (a hardcopy version of a Spotify list, recorded personally.) That often meant having a radio / cassette tape combo, and hitting record the moment the right song came onto the radio. The mixtape was an important cultural artform in the late 20th century and they were usually created with care. If you really liked someone, you might give that person a mixtape of your personal favorites, or alternatively you might give a tape of songs you hope that your giftee might enjoy. If the exchange went well, it could draw you and that person closer together.

As this was a personal and important pastime, it only made sense that corporations started making compilation albums for mass distribution. The odd thing about this was that people did not need to buy them, as they could still be “hand made” – but paying $20 for a pre-made cassette or CD was easier than putting the work into making them. (Alas, the transition away from doing the work oneself of selecting and recording the music eroded the import of making the mixtape a gift.)

One of the most well-remembered corporate compilation albums was put out by Virgin Records and advertised late at night on cable television. That mix was called “Pure Moods.” Press play on the imbedded video below and bathe yourself in the soothing world music nostalgia of the 1990s. If the ad works, you’ll take that mind bath on a sandy beach, hidden away in an exotic locale, surrounded by smiling and musically gifted indigenous folks.

From wiki:

Pure Moods is the first United States release of a series of compilation albums of new-age music released by Virgin Records. The original was titled Moods – A contemporary Soundtrack and released in the UK in 1991. This was followed by Moods 2 in 1992. The series focuses on the genres of new-ageambientworld music, and to a lesser extent, downtempo, trip-hop and smooth jazz. Several artists are featured regularly throughout the series such as Massive Attack, Moby, Delerium, Enigma, Enya, Adiemus, Sacred Spirit and Yanni.

The original volume of the series was initially promoted and sold by direct response television commercials. The first volume was initially released in 1994, with a different track listing from the 1997 re-release. There are twelve albums released by Virgin Records in the series — five “main entry” albums and six spin-off albums (Celtic, Scottish, Instrumental, Romantic, Gregorian and Christmas). Scottish Moods stands alone as an album featuring a single performer, David Methen and The Munros, while all the others are albums featuring multiple artists.

Today, the album is probably best remembered for that above imbedded television advertisement. Almost everyone I know remembers only the snippets of these songs which were featured in the ad. Go beyond the “ah ooh ah” opening of Return to Innocence by Enigma, and you have gone too far. As for myself, I overachieved, learned most of the music, and even today a high percentage of the sound track playing in my mind at any given time is just Adiemus on repeat.

Fortunately, you can find the entire “Pure Moods” compilation for free on Spotify. Someone has already created the list. I do wonder whether the number on the ad still works. If someone reading this tries it out, please let me know.

4 thoughts on “Pure Moods CD Ad

  1. Man, I remember these. Mainly because I was just getting in Enya and Yanni in a big way and anything with their name was a selling point for me. Of course, once I realized it was just singles of their pre-existing stuff, I was gone….