Thursday, 24 November 2011

Space Escapade - Les Baxter

Look at the astronaut – ‘Here’s to outer space – cheers!’. That’s moon juice they’re drinking, by the way. To be precise, a cocktail of liquids extracted from beneath the moon’s surface.
 When this album was made in 1958, the pesky Reds had already launched Sputnik the year before. The Space Race was on, but from the comfort of their armchairs, American citizens could spend ‘Saturday Night On Saturn’ courtesy of Les Baxter.
   Ah yes, dreams of outer space...swirling stars and mysterious planets to be maidens...with coils of wire sticking out of their heads...those are receivers which allow them to tune in to the cosmic vibrations of Space, by the way.
   You see, Space may be filled with evil aliens bent on ruling Earth by zapping the White House or snatching bodies, but that’s no reason not to crack open the moon juice and celebrate the brave new world of Space exploration, especially when your accompanied by foxy girls with pink and yellow skin wearing calf-length boots.
   This Space Escapade begins buoyantly with ‘Shooting Star, which you may wish upon as you fantasise about one day going there on a Space Cruiser. It’s all zippy strings and bouncy percussion – yes, Space is an Exotic realm, naturally. The ‘Moonscape’ is one suited to lush strings, being a beautiful, calming environment, not hostile at all. Hold on, here comes ‘Mr Robot’, a chirpy, somewhat comical fellow, who walks in a jaunty manner. He’s a lot of fun, and he’ll do household chores too.
   Space travel may not have quite worked out this way. But in 1958 the fantasy was still very much alive. If we close our eyes and listen to Les, we too may dream of space maidens and moon juice...

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