James Last – The Gentleman Of Music (1998)

FrontCover1James Last (also known as “Hansi”, born Hans Last; 17 April 1929 – 9 June 2015) was a German composer and big band leader of the James Last Orchestra. Initially a jazz bassist (Last won the award for “best bassist in Germany in each of the years 1950–1952[1), his trademark “happy music” made his numerous albums best-sellers in Germany and the United Kingdom, with 65 of his albums reaching the charts in the UK alone. His composition “Happy Heart” became an international success in interpretations by Andy Williams and Petula Clark.

Last is reported to have sold an estimated 200 million albums worldwide in his lifetime (figures vary widely, for example British Hit Singles & Albums (2006) reports 100 million at that time), of which 80 million were sold by 1973 – and won numerous awards including 200 gold and 14 platinum discs in Germany, the International MIDEM Prize at MIDEM in 1969,[7] and West Germany’s highest civilian award, the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany) in 1978. His album This Is James Last remained a UK best-seller for 48 weeks, and his song “Games That Lovers Play” has been covered over a hundred times. Last undertook his final tour months before his death at age 86, upon discovering in September 2014 that an illness (the exact illness was never disclosed) had worsened. His final UK performance was his 90th at London’s Royal Albert Hall, more than any other performer except Eric Clapton.

Last’s trademark sound employed big band arrangements of well-known tunes with a jaunty dance beat, often heavy on bass and brass. Despite at times being derided by critics and purists as the “king of elevator music”  or “acoustic porridge”, his style and music was popular in numerous countries and cultures, including Japan, the former Soviet Union, the USA and UK, and his native Germany, where it became “the archetypal soundtrack of any German cellar bar party”, and made him the “most commercially successful bandleader” of the second half of the 20th century. (by wikipedia)

This is a compilation album to promote his tour in 1998 … and he was – without any doubts – one of the greatest conductors in this “easy listening” world !


James Last Orchestra


01. Biscaya (Bookwood) 4.02
02. 7 A.M. Everything Is Fine/Morgens um Sieben (Last) 3.31
03. North Sea Waltz/Friesenlied (Wo Die Nordseewellen) (Krannig) 2.57
04. Little Dove From Helgoland/Kleine Möwe, Flieg Nach Helgoland (Cowler) 3.20
05. Tritsch Tratsch Polka (Strauß) 3.17
06. Trumpet Echo/Trompeten Echo (Avsenik) 3.15
07. Medley (4.11)
07.1. Thank You Very Much (McGear) 1.05
07.2. Mighty Quinn (Dylan) 0.54
07.3. John Brown’s Body (Traditional) 2.03
08. Medley (4.47)
08.1. Brazil (Barroso) 1.33
08.2. Paloma Blanca (Bouwens) 1.35
08.3. Funky Inn (Last) 1.39
09. Macarena (Monge) 4.06
10. Viva Espana (Caerts) 3.40
11. Türkischer Marsch (Mozart) 3.15
12. Capriccio Italien (Tschaikowsky) 6.00




More James Last in my German blog (click here)



James Last Band – Beat In Sweet (1965)

FrontCover1Big band leader James Last has died in Florida, aged 86.

The German-born musician’s manager said he died at his home “peacefully and in the presence of his family”.

Last sold millions of records with his trademark “happy music” – upbeat versions of pop and classical favourites performed by his orchestra.

He appeared at the Royal Albert Hall in the spring as part of a farewell tour he announced after becoming seriously ill last year.

Last started his music career in the 1960s, making instrumental recordings as James Last and His Orchestra – a big band with additional strings and a choir.

JamesLast1964Born Hans Last, his record company changed his name to James to make him sound less German when his debut album came out in the UK. He was not consulted about the change – but went along with it.

During his career, he charted with 65 albums in Britain alone, and at his peak was creating two albums a month.

He gained a large and loyal fanbase – but was derided by many music purists who did not like his middle-of-the-road versions of classic tunes.
The star played his final concerts earlier this year

His illness took a “life-threatening” turn last September and apparently forced him to face the fact that “a man full of plans, needs to not just slow down but give up his life on tour altogether”.

That led him to announce his final British shows – his 89th and 90th concerts at London’s Royal Albert Hall – which took place in March.

“I can’t talk about goodbye – it’s a terrible feeling,” he told the BBC at the time.

On Wednesday, the musician’s manager said: “Mr Last passed away yesterday in Florida, peacefully and in the presence of his family.

JamesLast01“In him, the world loses a unique ambassador whose expressive and all-encompassing language was music.

“We bid farewell to the man, friend and visionary, who by his impressive strength and openness, his professionalism, modesty and love of life served as a role model and as an inspiration for many generations worldwide.”

A public memorial service will take place in Hamburg, Germany, in the coming weeks. (by BBC)

And this is one of his early recordings with a lot of Beatsongs and some German tunes … it was the start of an unbelieveable career …

The James – Last – Band

01. I Got You Babe (Bono) 3.10
02. Frag’ den Abendwind (Gordoni) 3.33
03. Baby Don’t Go (Bono) 3.09
04. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (Spector) 3.00
05. Eve Of Destruction (Sloane) 2.31
06. Teenage Love (Stahl) 3.22
07. Mr. Tambourine Man (Dylan) 2.28
08. Du bist nicht allein (Arland) 3.21
09. For Somebody (Last) 3.02
10. Like A Rolling Stone (Dylan) 3.16
11. Du bist meine Liebe (Last) 3.18
12. Yesterday (Lennon/McCartney) 2.14