Thematic Thursday: Lonely Planet

Welcome back to Thematic Thursdays where I share from my collection of soundtracks suitable for writing or working! This week I am giving you a blessed break from Christmas music with another blast from the past.

Last week I shared a trifecta of nostalgia inspired by the 80s; this week I’m offering a similar a variety of song styles and tempos to chose from, except it’s from one source in the 90s: the Lonely Planet TV series.

Running from 1994 to somewhere in the mid-oughts when it became Globe Trekker, Lonely Planet explored different locales with different hosts, each week giving an interesting look into remote cultures and places long before Instagram and travel blogs were a thing. In fact, just to let you know how long ago this all was, I taped the theme song for myself by literally holding a tape recorder close to the TV. (It was later one of the first MP3s I downloaded from a new interesting program called Napster.)

The soundtrack is just as varied as the episodes, and samples from an assortment of musical backgrounds (including traditional songs, such as on tracks Vanuatu Voices and My Eyes). And yet it all still works as background, despite the disparities (or perhaps because of them).  There are moody pieces (Saga, which I still associate heavily with a story Grace wrote in the late 90s, even though I haven’t read said story in a good 15 years) and lighter, peppier songs (such as Ranchero). There is something for every kind of scene/mood/tone, but more than writing, it remains a great soundtrack for focused working. My older sister uses it still for jogging. It’s a perfect example of music that is complex and interesting but easy to fade to the background when you need to concentrate.

If, for instance, you’re busy editing, and daydreaming about travelling again.

Enjoy Lonely Planet, and happy exploring, whatever form it takes.

Original 2-part CD (retitled Globe Trekker: Ambient Journeys) on Spotify | Youtube Playlist, including music released more recently

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