Science Fiction / Fact Bled Into Popular Music
As the Soviet Union and United States battled to win the early 60s space space, one of the music vicors emerged from London’s Holloway Road. Named after the world’s first communications satellite (nod to Arthur C. Clarke) launched on 10 July 1962, Telstar made the Tornados the first British group in the pre-Beatles era to have a US chart-topping single as well as topping the charts in the UK.
It also confirmed Joe Meek, a former Royal Air Force technician and the man who penned and planned space-age sound, as one of the era’s most successful producers.
The group - Alan Caddy, Hienz Burt, Roger Jackson, George Bellamy and Clem Cattini - briefy rivalled the Shadows as Britains’s premier instrumental combo, scoring UK a Top 5 follow-up with Globetrotter and three lesser hits in 1963 including The Ice Cream Man. But having survived Hienz’s departure for a solo career they split in 1965 with vocal groups clearly in ascendancy; Cattini went on to become British’s top session drummer.
If you like a good beat, and some weird sounds - go for it, get the album; or go get the single Telstar.
It’s a shame they got wiped out by vocal bands, because they actually do have voices on some of their songs, but to me they are a bit short - they’re still wanting to do their future sounds of Telstar - they had much more in them. I kinda hark back to this time, I don’t remember the last time someone wrote a song actually based or named after technology.
It gets me into the mood of 60s scifi.
It could also bring me onto another subject: why aren’t the general public as enthused and excited about space flight as they were in the 50s and 60s?