by Richie Unterberger
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, this was the easy listening music that tried to anticipate the space age. Utilizing theremin or spooky organ figures helped, as did then-novel tricks like stereo separation and then-exotic instruments and hi-fi effects. It wasn't just novelty artists that got in on the act; bandleaders Les Baxter and David Rose, who perform some of the 18 tracks assembled here, also tried their hands. This compilation still falls closer to novelty than either innovation or period kitsch (although there's plenty of the latter). Some will complain that I'm not getting into the spirit of the thing, but there's more banality than entertainment here. As amusing as some of these gimmicky records sound upon first or second hearing, it lends itself even less to repeated plays than most of the space age bachelor pad reissues.
1 Gay Spirits David Rose & His Orchestra
2 Lover Richard Marino & His Orchestra
3 Moon Moods Les Baxter & His Orchestra
4 Powerhouse Bobby Hammack Combo
5 Drivin' Around the Block Dickie Harrell
6 Calcutta Les Baxter
7 Holiday for the Strings Voices of Walter Schumann
8 You're the Top Dean Elliott & His Big Band
9 Istanbul (Not Constantinople) Joe Carr, Eighty Drums Around the World
10 Stumbling Tak Shindo
11 Sabre Dance Les Baxter & His Orchestra
12 This Room Is My Castle of Quiet Billy May & His Or ...
13 I Get a Kick Out of You Felix Slatkin
14 Satan Takes a Holiday Jack Malmsten