Music from the Penguin Cafe

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Music from The Penguin Cafe
Studio album by Penguin Cafe Orchestra
Released 1976
Recorded 1974-1976
Genre Instrumental folk
Length 43:07
Label E.G.
Producer Simon Jeffes
Steve Nye
Brian Eno (executive)
Penguin Cafe Orchestra chronology
Music from The Penguin Cafe
Penguin Cafe Orchestra
(1981)Penguin Cafe Orchestra1981
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [1]

Music from The Penguin Cafe was the first album by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra. It was recorded between 1974 and 1976, and released in 1976.

The artist credited for the work varies with different issues. Upon original issue, the label credited the artist as Simon Jeffes, while the cover gave the artist as "members of the Penguin Café Orchestra". The line-up for tracks 1, 9, 10 and 11 consisted of the original "Penguin Café Quartet" (as they are referred to in the liner notes): Simon Jeffes (electric guitar), Helen Liebmann (Cello), Steve Nye (electric piano), and Gavyn Wright (violin). Tracks 2-8, meanwhile, were performed by the ensemble "Zopf", which includes all four members of the quartet as well as Neil Rennie (ukulele) and Emily Young (vocals).

Reissues from 1987 forward generally credit the artist as the Penguin Café Orchestra. These later reissues have mistakenly listed pieces 2-8 as though they were movements of a suite entitled "Zopf", instead of 7 separate pieces performed by "Zopf".

The executive producer for the album was Brian Eno, who released this album on his experimental Obscure label, with catalogue number "Obscure 7". The original cover was by John Bonis. The reissue cover painting was by Emily Young. The album was later released on CD by E.G. Records in 1991 and later in remastered form in 2006 - both using the reissue cover instead of the original.

The album was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[2]

Track listing[edit]

All words composed by Neil Renniw

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Penguin Cafe Single" Simon Jeffes, Steve Nye, Gavyn Wright, Helen Leibmann 6:16
2. "From the Colonies" (for N.R.) Jeffes 1:38
3. "In a Sydney Motel" Jeffes 2:28
4. "Surface Tension (Where the Trees Meet the Sky)" Jeffes 2:22
5. "Milk" Jeffes 2:22
6. "Coronation" Jeffes 1:33
7. "Giles Farnaby's Dream" Jeffes, Giles Farnaby 2:19
8. "Pigtail" Jeffes 2:44
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
9. "The sound of someone you love who's going away and it doesn't matter" Jeffes, Nye, Wright, Leibmann 11:46
10. "Hugebaby" Jeffes, Nye, Wright, Leibmann 4:48
11. "Chartered Flight" Jeffes, Nye, Wright, Leibmann 6:41

Tracks 1, 9-11 performed by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra.

Tracks 2-8 performed by Zopf.


  • Simon Jeffes - electric guitar, bass, ukelele, cuatro, spinet, electric piano, mouth percussion, sheng, ring modulator, vocals
  • Steve Nye - electic piano, engineer
  • Helen Liebmann - cello
  • Gavyn Wright - violin, viola


  • Emily Young - vocals on "From the Colonies", cover painting
  • Neil Rennie - ukelele on "Giles Farnaby's Dream"


  1. ^
  2. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.