Space age pop galore – from a trio of very groovy sources! The Spotnicks start out the set with three cool guitar instrumentals – "Telstar", "Moonshot", and "Rocket Man" – done in their great blend of Ventures guitar modes and offbeat Joe Meek production styles – with a sound that's years ahead of its time! Next is the excellent album Out Of This World – from Brit arranger Ron Goodwin, with production by the legendary George Martin! The album was billed as Music In Orbit here in the US – and is a wonderful album of space-age easy listening! The album features no electronics, but Goodwin's use of soaring strings is somewhere between the Fantastic Planet soundtrack and some of the later moogy albums in the 60s. Scoring is richly sophisticated, with a complicated approach to the material that would befit a high-end 50s sci-fi soundtrack – made even better by the excellent cover, which features a beautiful purple painting of a rocket blasting off of a planet in space. The whole thing's perhaps a bit more romantic than spooky, but the mood changes nicely from track to track to keep things fresh. Titles include "The Moon", "The Venus
Waltz", "Mercury Gets The Message", "The Sun", "Jumping Jupiter", and "Martians On Parade". Last up is Russ Garcia's Fantastica – one of the space-age bachelor pad electronic classics! Russ Garcia was mostly a jazz arranger in his day – but he does a good job of scoring some moody sci-fi tracks for this set – mixing full orchestrations with some great electronics handled by Ted Keep, all in a format that replicates a journey through the universe – with stops at lots of unusual galaxies along the way! The album's got a great mix of complicated strings and woodwinds, which offset the spooky electronics nicely – and although playful, the record also represents some of Garcia's most serious scoring on record. Titles include "Into Space", "Nova", "Monster's Of Jupiter", "Red Sands Of Mars", and "Moon Rise".