Quiet Village

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"Quiet Village"
Song by Les Baxter from the album Ritual of the Savage (Le Sacre du Sauvage)
Released 1951 (1951)
Format 10-inch and 12-inch LPs
Recorded May 17, 1951
Genre Easy listening
Length 3:19
Label Capitol
Composer(s) Les Baxter

"Quiet Village" is an orchestral pop instrumental that was written and originally performed by Les Baxter in 1951. In the liner notes to his album, Ritual of the Savage (Le sacre du sauvage), Baxter described the themes he was conveying in the work:[1]

[t]he jungle grows more dense as the river boat slowly makes its way into the deep interior. A snake slithers into the water, flushing a brilliantly plumaged bird who soars into the clearing above a quiet village. Here is a musical portrait of a tropical village deserted in the mid-day heat.

Cover versions[edit]

In 1957, Martin Denny released a cover of the song featuring exotic instruments and sounds that made it to number four on the pop singles chart on June 1, 1959 and number eleven on the R&B chart.[2] Denny also recorded a stereo version of the song in 1959, a bossa nova version in 1964, and a version performed on a Moog synthesizer in 1969.

"Quiet Village"
Single by Martin Denny
from the album Exotica
B-side "Llama Serenade"
Released 1958 (1958)
Format 7-inch single
Recorded Hollywood, California, December 1956
Genre Exotica
Length 2:42[3]
Label Liberty
Writer(s) Les Baxter

In 1977, The Ritchie Family recorded a disco version and added vocals. The single was included on their African Queens album. Along with the album's title track and "Summer Dance", "Quiet Village" hit number one for three weeks on the disco/dance chart in 1977.[4] However, unlike the Martin Denny version, The Ritchie Family recording did not chart on the pop singles chart. It did peak at #68 on the R&B singles chart.[5]

"Quiet Village"
Single by The Ritchie Family
from the album African Queens
B-side "Voodoo"
Released 1977 (1977)
Format 7-inch single
Genre Disco
  • 3:08 (single version)
  • 5:45 (album version)
Label Marlin
Writer(s) Les Baxter
Producer(s) Jacques Morali
The Ritchie Family singles chronology
"Life Is Music"
"Quiet Village"
"American Generation"

In 1993, influential noise artist Boyd Rice and writer/publisher Adam Parfrey released a comedic version of the song entitled "Quiet Village Idiot" under the moniker "The Tards".[6]


  1. ^ Baxter, Les (1952). "Ritual of the Savage (Le sacre du sauvage)" [sleeve notes]. Capitol Records.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 155. 
  3. ^ The original length on the "Exotica" album was 3:38, but this was shortened for the single version.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 218. 
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 494. 
  6. ^ "The Tards (2) - I'm Just Like You". Discogs. Retrieved 2015-09-14. 
Preceded by
"Accidental Lover" / "I Found Love (Now That I Found You)" by Love & Kisses
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
(The Ritchie Family version)
(with "African Queens" and "Summer Dance")

August 13, 1977 – August 27, 1977
Succeeded by
Village People (all cuts) by Village People