Project Comstock, detail with portrait inset

Early "space" albums almost invariably offer a great, if camp, full-color jacket sketch of a lurid planetary landscape, perhaps one accessorized with rocketship, girl, or robot. The music, however, is strictly orchestral mush. There may be token "ethereal" effects and even liberal use of startling percussion to symbolize Martians or a confrontation with same. But the outer space of the mid-1950s apparently had an orchestra pit, as the cold, foreboding death of the final frontier is conjured by warm, lush, familar, sentimental strings. Yuck.

The popular 1950s vision of space extended no farther than the moon, that mystical ball of cheese with people just like us living on its far side. The most famous space-themed LP, Les Baxter's Space Escapade, epitomizes such sci-fi quaintness, as does the earlier theremin outing, Music Out of the Moon. As with Pete Rugolo's Music from Out of Space, these are really "jacket" albums. In contrast, The Three Suns Swingin' On a Star succeeds marvelously as a musically camp space romp, thanks largely to the addition of earthy but versatile King Curtis.

Buying: Most collectors want the early records, if only for the jackets. While these are nice to look at, only the 1960s and early 1970s LPs have the desired sounds.

Space--Orchestral/Early LPs

7Sheldon Allman: Folk Songs for the 21st Century; HiFi R415 (space rock[abilly] & space folk/spoofs a la Katie Lee)
4Ames Brothers/Sid Ramin: Destination Moon; RCA Victor LSP-1680; 1958
4Sid Bass: From Another World; RCA Vik LX-1053; 1956
5Les Baxter/Dr. Samuel J. Hoffman: Music Out of the Moon; Capitol H-2000; 195?/1947 (originally 78 album)
4Les Baxter: Space Escapade; Capitol ST-968; 1957
5Bobby Christian: Strings for a Space Age; Audio Fidelity AFSD-5959; 1962
6Dorothy Collins & the Singing Scientists (with Adam)/Tony Mottola Orch.: Experiment Songs; Argosy/Motivation MR-0316; 1961 ("The Earth Goes Around the Sun"; children's; w/lyric booklet; comp. Lou Singer & Hy Zaret)
7Frank Comstock: Project Comstock--Music from Outer Space; Warner Bros. WS-1463; 1962 (also electronic)
6Russ Garcia & his Orchestra: Fantastica--Music from Outer Space; Liberty LST-7005; 1958 (some electronic effects)
4Russ Garcia: The Time Machine (w/Atlantis & The Lost Continent); GNP Crescendo GNPS-8008; 1987/1960
8Tom Glazer/Dottie Evans/Tony Mottola: Space Songs; Argosy/Library of Science/Science Material Center 101; 1959 (children's; w/lyric booklet; comp. Lou Singer & Hy Zaret; reissued as Argosy/Motivation MR-0312)
6Ron Goodwin: Music in Orbit; Capitol [of the World] T-10188; 1958 (rec. in England)
4Jay Gordon: Music from Another World; Tops
6Col. Frank Erhardt & Cast w/Marty Gold: Adventures in Sound & Space; RCA Victor LBY-1013; 1958 (spoken w/sound effects; science fiction in the Bluebird children's series)
7Hollywood Cinema Orchestra: Destination Moon & Other Themes; Cinema LP-8005
6Richard Marino: Out of This World; Liberty LSS-14007
6Andre Montero & his Orchestra: Music for Heavenly Bodies; Omega OSL-4 (Paul Tanner, electro-theremin; arr. Warren Baker)
6Stuart Phillips & his Orchestra: Harry Revel's Music from Out of Space; MGM E-3287; 1955 (orchestra w/vocalese chorus, some percussion/guitar/etc. effects)
6Heinz Sandauer & the Omega Orchestra: Destination Moon; Omega OSL-3; c.1958 (Leith Stevens ST score)
7Satellite Singers & Orchestra: Journey to the Moon [& more about outer space]; Golden LP-158 (spoken w/music/effects; space/kids; music by Jim Timmens)
4Herm Saunders & his Celestial Music: That Celestial Feeling; Warner Bros. WS-1269; 1959 (celeste, arranged by Frank Comstock)
5Walter Schumann: Exploring the Unknown; RCA Victor LPM-1025; 1955 (spoken w/music; comp. Leith Stevens)
5Leith Stevens: Destination Moon ST 10"; Columbia CL-6151; 1950
7The Three Suns: Swingin' On a Star; RCA Victor LSP-1964; 1959 (w/King Curtis)
6Uncredited: Man in Space--The Story of the Journey; Folkways FX-6201 (spoken w/sounds)
5Various: The Twilight Zone Vol. 1; Varese Sarrabande STV-81171; 1983 (1st of multi-volume series of original TV scores & incidental music; this set by Marius Constant, Jerry Goldsmith, Nathan Van Cleave, Bernard Herrman, Franz Waxman)

Partly Space-Orchestral LPs

7The John Barry Seven & Orchestra: Best of; EMI; 1979 (clavioline on "Human Jungle" & "Like Waltz"; Hit & Miss; Charly CM-110; 1982)
7Les Baxter: Cry of the Banshee/Edgar Allan Poe Suite; Citadel CTV-7013; 1980/1972
5Milton & Anne Delugg: Gulliver's Travels Beyond the Moon ST; Mainstream S54001
4Don Elliott: Music for the Sensational Sixties; Design DCF-1028
6Bernie Green: Futura; RCA Victor Stereo Action LSA-2376; 1961
9Johnny Gunn w/Don Ralke: Introspection IV; Warner Bros. WS-1372; 1960 (spoken w/music; WILD poetic narrations "flip-end vignettes")
5Richard Marino: Out of This World; Liberty LSS-14007 (some electronic effects)
8Mel Henke: La Dolce Henke; Warner Bros. WS-1472; 1962 ("Woman in Space")
6The International Studio Orchestra: Zenith--Music for Space & Oceanographic Science by Eric Towren; Sylvester Music Company SMC 505; 1967
6Alexander Lazlo: This World-Tomorrow; Capitol Custom/Guild Publications of California GP-6258/6256l; 1965 (spoken w/music/space-orchestral/space-electronic; narrated by Vincent Price; w/State Symphony of Hamburg, Pacific Male Choir)
7Leon & Malia: Mokulana; Banyan BR-700; 1979 (bizarre Hawaiian spoken/kids LP mainly about menehune, w/Sol K. Bright, Sr.)
3London Philharmonic: Stereo Space Odyssey; Stereo Gold Award MER-372; 1973/1972
3Ray Martin: The Sound of Sight; London Phase 4 SP-44040
8Freddie McCoy: Gimme Some!; Buddah/Cobblestone CST-9004 ("Light My Fire")
6Buddy Morrow: Double Impact; RCA Victor LSP-2180; 1960
4The Mystic Moods Orchestra: Extensions; Philips PHS-600-301 ("There's a Good Earth Out Tonight")
7Leonard Nimoy: Mr. Spock's Music from Outer Space; Dot DLP-25794
6Leonard Nimoy: Space Odyssey; Pickwick SPC-3199 (compilation from Dot LPs)
3Pete Rugolo: Music from Out of Space; Mercury SG-60118 (reissues non-space tracks; only "space" aspect is jacket)
6Raymond Scott & The Secret 7: The Unexpected; Top Rank RM-335 ("And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon")
7Don Sebesky: The Distant Galaxy; Verve V6-5063
8The Silhouettes: Conversations with; Segue 1001
6Sounds Galactic: An Astromusical Odyssey; Decca/London SP-44154 (John Keating)
6Sounds Galactic: Nova; Decca PFS-4306; 1974 (Roland Shaw)
4The Creed Taylor Orchestra (Kenyon Hopkins): Panic--the Son of Shock; ABC-Paramount ABCS-314 ("Out of This World")
6The Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra: Chariots of the Gods ST; Polydor PD-6504; 1970
6The Ventures: The Ventures in Space; Dolton BST-8027; 1964 ("Fear")
8Martha Wentworth as The Old Sea Hag: Terror Tales!; Liberty LST-7025; 1959 (Louise Heubner-esque original horror tales w/effects; "[Ghost] Mice from Outer Space")
7Westway Studio Orchestra: Southern SLLP-1 (production)
8Kai Winding: Mondo Cane #2; Verve V6-8573 (his best use of ondioline)
5Uncredited: Bob & Betty Go to the Moon; Happy House C-20 (spoken/music w/effects; covers "Papa's Gotta Brand New Bag")
6Various: [no title]; Chappell LPC 535-540 ("U.F.O."; Melodi Light Orchestra/Telecast Ensemble/Roger Roger)

Space 45s

8The Astros: Space Walk/same; Golden State 653 (post-"Telstar" organ/vibes/out)
6Paul DeWitt & the Cricketones: With Bobby & Jane--A Rocket Trip through Space; Cricket C101 (spoken w/music)
8The Casuals: Moonbound/A Trip to the Moon; Liberty/Trans International Airlines; c.1969 (hip narrated hypothetical moon flight; picture sleeve)
8Al "Jazzbo" Collins: Max/Sam; Coral 9-61589 (hip satellite rap)
8Al "Jazzbo" Collins: Space Man/Jazzbo's Theory; Coral 9-61693 (A-side w/Alan Freed, Steve Allen, & the Modernaires; B-side rec. at Max's Pawn Shop w/"talking instruments")
6+Gene Darby: Leonard Visits Space EP; Field Educational Publications, Inc./Time Machine Series 514-00613-7; 1968 (spoken w/picture sleeve; sound cues for audio-visual presentation)
7Charles Dodge: The Earth's Magnetic Field Parts 1-8; Nonesuch NPR-1 (avant/electronic promo EP)
7The Echoes: Scratch Me Back/The Little Green Man; Swan S-4013 (B-side space-calypso)
7Dickie Goodman: Lunar Trip; Cotique C-173 (spoken w/music; b/w Joey Pastrana: "My Victrola"; 1 of at least 2 from rare McDonald's-promo LP)
8Gloria Lambert: Moon Man/Anyone Would Love You; Columbia 4-41402
7Raymond Scott Quintet & the Gene Lowell Chorus: By Rocket to the Moon (Parts 1 & 2); Young Peoples Records YPR-45X-437 (spoken w/music; also a 78)
9Don Spencer: Fireball/XL5 (Zero G); 20th Century Fox 440
5JoAnn Thomas: Lunar Flip/instrumental; American Voice 1

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