VARIOUS ARTISTS Destination Moon 50 Years - First Man On The Moon Bear Family BCD 17527
It's a shame this compilation wasn't available when Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and myself took our little trip to the Moon 50 years ago. It would've kept us entertained as we zoo-med through infinity and beyond. I had no idea there were so many songs from the '50s and '60s with the words 'Rocket' and 'Moon' in the title! Mind you, not everything here will send you into Outer Space because there's a fair bit jazz, pop, novelty and MOR stuff that will only appeal to squares, ya dig?
Even some stuff sent over by those Limeys and other Europeans. And let's face it, once you've heard one Joe Meek production or one Spotniks record, you've heard 'em all. And in both cases, one's too many... "Rock n roll is everywhere" sing youthful bopcats Joe Bennett & The Sparletones in the groovy 'Rocket', and while that ain't exactly true here, there's still stuff that sends, like Narvel Felts & The Rockets playing at Apollo 11-like speed on 'Rocket Ride', Jackie Lowell swinging it up on 'Rocket Trip', 'Deacon' & The Rock & Rollers with the movin"Rockin' On The Moon', Lynn Vemon's pounding instrumental, Jimmy Stewart's raucous rockabilly 'Rock On The Moon' and even some dreamy white doo-wop from The Chaperones.
Elsewhere, does anyone know who told Monte Meade he could sing? Like, ouch!, dad... Buck Griffin is nothing like his hot MGM rockabilly sides and Rusty Wellington's 'Rockin' Chair OnThe Moon' ain't as good as Bill Haley's original. Les Vogt does his best to be all sultry and moody but ends up sounding like that Cliffie Richard fellow from England. The closing track is 'Fly Me To The Moon' by Anita O'Day, but all of us astronaut types prefer the Legendary Stardust Cowboy's definitive version. Bear Family are fond of these genre-crossing compilations, but you'll need very wide tastes to enjoy everything that's here. Still, there's always my buddy Neil and those legendary words he uttered on July 21st 1969: "That's one small bop for man, when's the Jerry Lee Lewis box-set coming out...?"