Various Artists: Greatest Hits from Outer Space (Ace/Border)

 |   |  <1 min read

Ella Fitzgerald: Two Little Men in a Flying Saucer
Various Artists: Greatest Hits from Outer Space (Ace/Border)

Aside from the broad theme there's little to determine what “outer space” music might be, given this opens with Richard Strauss' dramatic Also Sprach Zarathustra (the 2001 theme and Elvis' intro music) then moves into the Ames Brothers' close-harmony 50s pop hit Destination Moon and the Les Baxter Orchestra with Lunar Rhapsody (featuring Samuel Hoffman on theremin).

Inevitably (and welcome) are the Ventures' terrific Joe Meek-produced Telstar (and with theme to The Twilight Zone), the BBC Radiophonic Workshop's theme to Dr Who, the Byrds' gimmicky Mr Spaceman and Bowie's first version of Space Oddity.

Interesting though David Rose's orchestrated music for Forbidden Planet is, the Barron's disconcerting electronic music from that film might have been a better inclusion -- and Bobby Womack tries too hard on Jonathan King's lonely Everyone's Gone to the Moon.

Here too is rock'n'roll (Billy Riley and His Little Green Men, Gene Vincent), Ella Fitzgerald (Two Little Men in a Flying Saucer), bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins (Happy Blues for John Glenn) and, oddest of all, the theme to Star Trek credited to Leonard Nimoy who remains mute throughout and doesn't play a note.

No wait, odder is I-Roy and Lee Perry with Space Flight.

Puzzling, well annotated and sometimes fun.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Impending Adorations: Further (bandcamp)

The Impending Adorations: Further (bandcamp)

The proposed quartet of beguiling download-only albums by Auckland's Paul McLaney under the name The Impending Adorations continues with this third installment, which -- given the quiet and almost... > Read more

Joe Henry; Civilians (Anti/Shock) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Joe Henry; Civilians (Anti/Shock) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

With a small band, and guests Bill Frisell (on guitar) and Van Dyke Parks (piano), the much ignored Henry continues his singular path which owes a little to a less grumbly Tom Waits but remains... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

T-Model Ford and GravelRoad: Taledragger (Alive/Southbound)

T-Model Ford and GravelRoad: Taledragger (Alive/Southbound)

At 90, the great and late-discovered bluesman T-Model Ford still sounds like he is one man who isn't going to let the road of life weary him. Here with his touring band GravelRoad, he delivers... > Read more

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to the Music of Palestine (Rough Guide)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to the Music of Palestine (Rough Guide)

The appearance of the Rough Guides in New Zealand and even other territories can be problematic. This one came out last year but if the few international reviews are anything to go by -- and its... > Read more