What does it sound like?:
Woke up around three-ish with my foot throbbing (I’ve sprained my ankle) and couldn’t get back to sleep. After a bit of radio comedy, I stuck on The Race For Space for my second listen. Being in that space between sleep and awake allowed the music to seep in nicely. What’s coming through is the pathos. I don’t think the single version of Gagarin includes the mournful strings towards the end, signifying – so say the liner notes – his tragic death just a few years later. Fire in the Cockpit is obviously a downbeat moment of great solemnity but I was caught out by the tension in The Other Side when Apollo 8 goes out of radio contact during the first orbit of the moon. Given I knew full well it panned out the sense of relief when they get back in contact is quite tremendous. I don’t mind saying it quite dampened the eye.
On the more upbeat front Go! is another highlight, with the famous system check of the Apollo 11 ground crew providing the basis for an ebullient number. Valentina is a rather pretty tune, and the Smoke Fairies’ vocals are sublime but I can’t help but feel that a woman that had been chosen for such a task was probably quite a robust character and unlikely to have been as slight as the tune.
What does it all *mean*?
Space is cool?
I don’t know that it particularly means that much, but it’s certainly an interesting – and unexpectedly dramatic – way to spend an hour. One might call it informative, educative and entertaining.
Goes well with…
A sprained ankle and Co-codamol, apparently.
Might suit people who like…
Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds. Nerds. Hang on, that’s the same people.