Acoustic Alchemy wasn’t one of the first signed to the label, so they weren’t included on the first sampler disc. But of all the artists, Acoustic Alchemy probably had the greatest success, or at least their name has continued to live on well after the label’s closure.
Acoustic Alchemy brought a hard-to-define brand of instrumental jazz, which got pigeonholed into “New Age”. The success of AA balanced out the heavy country/bluegrass sound of the first artists, complementing Larry Carlton’s smooth jazz sound with more upbeat tempos and brighter lead lines.
Red Dust & Spanish Lace
The first AA album for the label provided the hit, Mr. Chow. This song would go on to become a Muzak standard.
The artwork for the album is early in the second design style, using a large border (although off-white) and colorful artwork. In the early releases of the label, the artwork was illustrative instead of photographic, and Red Dust is no exception. The style of breaking the borders is used as well. Later releases of the album would use a completely different cover, distancing it from its original label.
The second album improves on the jazz sound of the band and was featured on MCA Master Series sampler discs.
The artwork of the album is in the second design style, with a large border, color bar and photographic center art. The artwork is more moody than other albums, which may influence the listening of the album.
The third and final album AA did for the label has many songs that would be featured on their live-studio album, Arcanum, once they left MCA Master Series.
The artwork for the album would be considered in the third design style, since it is a photograph of the band members. The color bar and artist name are still to the label’s standards. Later editions of the album would feature a cover completely different, shedding the MCA styling altogether.