Various Artists - Moondust
Released to mark the 40th anniversary of the Moon landings this album forms the soundtrack to Andrew Smith’s best-selling book of the same name which tells the story of the 12 men who set foot on our Moon. The broad premise of the collection appears to be that the contemporaneous space race and counterculture of the USA are intrinsically linked by a desire to get high, both literally and metaphorically. A weakness in the argument would seem to be that if the astronauts and scientists had tuned in and dropped out then the space race would never have begun, but let’s not quibble about detail.
Conceptual lunar bobbins aside, what’s the music like? Well I was relieved to see that the album was left in the capable hands of Richard Norris who was involved in the production of one of my favourite 12” singles of all time Floatation by The Grid which mixed gentle beats with the Watership Down theme tune to mesmerising effect. This is a review and not the freeads but if anyone knows how to get a copy of Floatation on CD then get in touch.
Back to Moondust. For an old bugger like me it seems to be a bit of an unnecessary album but I would concede that there are many young bucks out there who don’t already have copies of amazing tunes like Incense and Peppermints by The Strawberry Alarm Clock or Candyman by Grateful Dead. There can be few however who lack classics such as Eight Miles High or Hallelujiah (The Buckley version thankfully) but they work wonderfully well in context here.
This is the perfect album for earnest young men who want some instant cred when they hit freshers’ week in a couple of months time. I’ve had it on repeat play for a week now and there’s no sign of anything upsetting that cosmic order in the near future. Far out maaaan!