ii last night an mp3 saved my wife

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


The Tornados - Telstar.mp3

Spirit-lifting optimism - that's what we could do with!

For those watching in black and white, this one's in technicolor.

The very first British-made No 1 single in the USA fired all kinds of inspirational thoughts and imaginary pictures of space orbits and other worlds beyond the dark satanic mills. The pathfinder to an instumental transatlantic beat-boom, Telstar also paved the way for the mighty 'British Invasion' which was to soon follow. (Other key events in October 1962; The Beatles were releasing 'Love Me Do' and I was being born .. on a red leatherette sofa!)

The Tornados were a highly competent group of young musicians produced by the now legendary Joe Meek. (Buy their CD here). This was his homage to the other historical event of that time - the first trans-Atlantic TV broadcast - made possible by the satellite named 'Telstar'.
Ah yes, technology. The sound was achieved using a small monophonic battery-operated electronic keyboard (which foreshadowed the synthesizer) called the Clavioline. With one foot in steam-powered record production and the other treading in a free-er and wider life, Meek caught the mood perfectly. It took 25 years before ELO's 'answer record' - "Calling America" appeared. We now take satellites and continent-spanning music for granted, but Telstar remains the earliest musical memory for many a baby-boomer.

Why not leave a comment as you download? I'd be interested to know what you think of this - particularly those of you under 30. Is this a timeless classic, or is it woefully lost in space?'
And what was the Number 1 when you were born?
(click here to buy Telstar From AmazonUK)
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