SPACE ESCAPADE - Les Baxter
TRACK LISTING: Shooting Star, Moonscape, Mr. Robot, The City, A Distant Star, The Commuter, Winds of Sirius, The Other Side of the Moon, Somewhere In Space, Earth Light, The Lady Is Blue, Saturday Night On Saturn
BONUS TRACKS: (On the El/Cherry Red cd reissue): Cornflakes, Toy Tiger, Havana, The Trouble With Harry, Sinner Man, The Left Arm of Buddha, The Clown on the Eiffel Tower, Melodia Loca (The Chilean Drive-You-Crazy Song), Venezuela, Cherchez La Femme, Rush Hour Romance, Designing Woman, Blue Echo, Ricordate Marcellino (Remember Marcellino), La Panse (The Little Flower), The Lonely Whistler, Love Song from "Houseboat", Please Mr. Sun
IMPRESSIONS: "Even today, in an era of science and satellites, the mystery of the universe has lost none of its magical appeal. We can close our eyes and dream of the future, wondering whether a starlit planet might soon replace a tropical island, the Riviera, or a distant mountain lodge as an ideal spot for a romantic holiday. Or, with the aid of the music in this album, we can drift into the future's lovemist with Les Baxter and make a spaceliner escapade by earthlight, tongue safely fastened in cheek." The cover of this album is probably one of the most famous in the lounge canon. But the music in the album isn't quite what one would expect from the album cover. Rather than weirdly spacey music, Baxter instead is working more on the lighter, easy listening side of his repertoire with music which sounds more like what I heard in my doctor's office when I was 5 years old. This is not a bad thing if you're in the mood for lighter Liberace lounge -- which I sometimes am -- but the promise of the wacky cover is not quite realized in the music itself. That having been said, this is still an enjoyable Les Baxter loungefest with its sugary strings and scintillating piano arpeggios. "The City" is actually one of Baxter's favourite compositions and late in life, when his memory was failing him, he still would often play "The City" for friends and family at his piano. While SPACE ESCAPADES is a nice, solid space age bachelor pad album, I think Les Baxter is better served with his more exotica-flavoured albums benevolently overseen by the Tiki gods.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Shooting Star, The City, Winds of Sirius, The Other Side of the Moon, Somewhere In Space, Earth Light, The Lady Is Blue, Saturday Night On Saturn, Cornflakes, Havana, The Left Arm of Buddha, Melodia Loca (The Chilean Drive-You-Crazy Song), Venezuela, Blue Echo, Love Song from "Houseboat", Please Mr. Sun
FACT SHEET: SPACE ESCAPADES is Les Baxter's 19th album; it's a little hard to come up with a proper number due to his frequent collaborations.