Thursday, 2 July 2009

Review - Various - Moondust - The Soundtrack

Various - Moondust - The Soundtrack

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8 out of 10

After a chance encounter with one of the men who'd walked on the moon, in the Summer of 2002, journalist Andrew Smith set out to find all if the 12 who had enjoyed what Norman Mailer described as 'this surreal adventure' and what had become of them.

With this in mind, he set out to find the Moonmen and his search became the book Moondust, which was nominated for two British Book Awards in 2006 and remained in the top ten of the Sunday Time best-sellers list for four straight months, a rare feat for non-fiction.

One of the first things to strike Smith was the way music intersected the story at every turn. It swirled around the politics which gave rise to the Space Race, the people who conducted it (the average age of Mission Control staff was 26) and the astronauts themselves, who were allowed to take a cassette of their own music. As such the 24 Page booklet with specially written sleeve notes is effectively a musical appendix to the book.

The music itself as you'd imagine has many references to the moon and space and all the tracks have been mixed together in a dreamy way by Richard Norris. I particularly like the way the Interludes were mixed into existing songs such as Jeff Buckley's version of Hallelujah to make it a new song. And the mixing together of Bowie's Moonage Daydream and Howlin' Wolf's Smokestack Lightning makes for very interesting listening.

The musical styles on the album go from Strawberry Alarm Clock of the swinging sixties right up to modern day releases by bands like The Flaming Lips and American Music Club. Smtih has also managed to get rare inclusions on the album by the likes of Ringo Starr and Creedance Clearwater Revival.

1. Bernard Herman - Prelude And Outer Space (From 'The Day The Earth Stood Still') /
The Byrds - Eight Miles High
2. Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense And Peppermints
3. Creedance Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising
4. Moby Grape - Indifference
5. David Bowie - Moonage Daydream / Howlin' Wolf - Smokestack Lightning
6. Ignition (Interlude)
7. The Flaming Lips - Do You Realize??
8. Ringo Starr - It Don't Come Easy
9. We're Floating In Space (Interlude)
10. Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah
11. Richard Hawley - Cry A Tear For The Man In The Moon
12. Grateful Dead - Candyman
13. The Handsome Family - Our Blue Sky
14. View Of Earth (Interlude)
15. Jimi Hendrix - Star Spangled Banner / Last Poets - Mean Machine
16. A.R. Kane - A Love From Outer Space
17. Gyorgy Ligeti - Lux Aeterna
18. Brian Eno - An Ending (Ascent)
19. Dr Samuel J Hoffman And Les Baxter - Celestial Nocturne (From 'Music Out Of The
20. Danny Williams - Moon River
21. American Music Club - Western Sky

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