I happened on Public Service Broadcasting while watching a BBC documentary on concept albums. Thinking the concept of the concept album was dead, I watched with the pre-conceived notion that I had already heard the ones they were going to talk about.
For the most part I was correct. Some of the albums featured on the program were:
- Pink Floyd – The Wall & Dark Side Of The Moon
- Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
- Jethro Tull – Thick As A Brick
- Yes – Tales From Topographic Oceans
- Public Service Broadcasting – The Race For Space
The other artists and albums I was already familiar with, but it was the last one that pricked my ears.
It was touted as an album made in 2015 with the only vocals being samples of newscasts and other audio from the BBC. Essentially an album of instrumentals with audio clips thrown in. I lamented that it would probably sound like one of those “movie remixes” of a popular song that was in a very popular movie (see “Secret Garden” by Bruce Springsteen from Jerry Maguire)…but I was wrong.
What I heard after buying the album seemed to be something that was well-assembled and thought out. Telling the story of the Space Race between the USA and the Soviets. The album opens up with President John F. Kennedy’s speech about going to the moon before the end of the decade. Touches on the launchpad disaster of Apollo I and uses not only the major archived audio that we know of, but some that we may have missed in passing like, “…we have added a new word to our vocabulary: Sputnik.”
The music itself is enjoyable, even without the audio clips from the BBC. For the most part it is upbeat, snappy and takes it down a notch when needed.
By know means is The Race For Space a complete history lesson, but certainly an enjoyable reminisce on a time when men, women and dogs were being launched into the atmosphere in an attempt to see who could get there first.
|The Race For Space||2:40|
|Fire In The Cockpit||3:02|
|The Other Side||6:20|