April 2, 2009

Space Songs Through The Ages

space_songs_1959_cover.jpg

As the husband of a NASA astrophysicist and the father of a space-fascinated kid, and as a fan of obscure, vintage kid culture, I really want to like Space Songs. Space Songs was one of a 6-album set, "Ballads for the Age of Science", written by Hy Zaret and Lou Singer, which were released in 1959. With track titles like "Ballad of Sir Isaac Newton" and "Why Are Stars Of Different Colors?" it seems promising enough.

But holy crap, even with Sting or the large-racked Amanda Congdon of Rocketboom fame [sic] lip synching along, the clips I've heard so far are practically unlistenable. [And speaking of Rocketboom, holy crap, were they all this stupid? Is this what our online culture was just a couple of short years ago? We were bankrupt then, and we didn't even know it.]

So yeah, bad 1950's science children's ballads. They Might Be Giants covered "Why Does The Sun Shine?" and it's not bad, but truth be told, I was never a huge TMBG fan before, and I don't really feel like settling now. If only there were another cover?

And voila, thanks to the random German music label Sopot Records, we have a 2008 techno/electronica remake of Space Songs by ChloƩ Leloup, Miss LaLaVox und Achim Treu, absolutely none of whom I've ever heard of. It's good enough to get me to link to their MySpace, though. Check it out.


Space Songs [wikipedia]
The Space Songs [myspace.com]
TMBG, "Why Does The Sun Shine?" - Nickelodeon version [youtube]
Space Songs remake, released by Sopot Records is available on iTunes or Amazon [sopot-records.com, itms, amazon]

2 Comments

They also covered " Shooting Star (Is Not A Star)", which is much better than "Why Does The Sun Shine? (The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas)".

One of the best things about TMBG is they actually stuff rather a lot of accurate info into some of their songs, which give you a wonderful meme, for instance, all the distances/measurements regarding the Sun and Earth.

I actually downloaded the full set of 'Science Songs' years ago for my wife, the teacher.

Love TMBG and their cover of "Why Does the Sun Shine". "Here Come the ABC's" is a hit with everyone in our family.

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