Music Out of the Moon

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Music Out of the Moon: Music Unusual Featuring the Theremin - Themes by Harry Revel
Studio album by Les Baxter & Harry Revel with Dr. Samuel J. Hoffman
Released April 1947
Genre Lounge, Exotica
Length 18:07
Label Capitol
Samuel Hoffman chronology
Music Out of the Moon
(1947)
Perfume Set to Music
(1948)
Les Baxter chronology
Music Out of the Moon
(1947)
Perfume Set to Music
(1948)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]

Music Out of the Moon: Music Unusual Featuring the Theremin - Themes by Harry Revel (Capitol CC-47) is an album consisting of six songs on three 10-inch, 78 rpm records by bandleader Les Baxter and composer Harry Revel with theremin player Dr. Samuel J. Hoffman released on Capitol in April 1947.[3] Music Out of the Moon is considered the best-selling theremin record of all time.[1]

Music[edit]

The music was a mixture of late 1940’s lounge jazz and film music underpinned by Hoffman’s otherworldly theremin playing. According to the liner notes: "Harry Revel created the basic "idea" and themes while Leslie Baxter, conductor and arranger, has given them appropriately unique tone color, using mass harmonies of human voices as well as unusual instrumental effects with woodwinds, strings and bass; some without rhythm, others with a dominant, demanding beat."

Cover[edit]

Music Out of the Moon was noteworthy for being one of the first albums to feature a full color cover – a risqué photograph by Paul Garrison of partially clothed actress Virginia Clark of the Earl Carroll Theatre, Hollywood,[4] sprawled across a bed – which made it stand out in an era of monochrome album packaging.

Reissues[edit]

Music Out of the Moon was reissued by Capitol in 1950 on one 10-inch, 33⅓ rpm disc (Capitol H-2000).[5]

In 1954, Music Out of the Moon was combined with Music for Peace of Mind -- a six-song 1950 collaboration between Baxter, Revel and Hoffman -- on one 12-inch, 33⅓ rpm disc (Capitol T390).[6]

In 1999, Basta reissued Music Out of the Moon on a CD called Dr. Samuel J. Hoffman and the Theremin, which also included Perfume Set to Music (1948) and Music for Peace of Mind (1950).[7] In 2004, Rev-Ola issued the same three albums on a CD called Waves in the Ether: The Magical World of the Theremin.[2]

Played in space by Neil Armstrong[edit]

The Hollywood producer Mickey Kapp compiled a cassette tape of tracks from the album for astronaut Neil Armstrong, who brought the tape on the Apollo 11 moonfight in 1969.[8][9] He played it from the spacecraft during the flight back from the moon when it was about 275,000 kilometres from earth, and explained to Mission Control, "That's an old favourite of mine, about – It's an album made about 20 years ago, called Music Out of the Moon."[10] (NASA audio recording)

Track listing (CC-47)[edit]

Records 1-3[edit]

Track Song Title
A1. Celestial Nocturne
A2. Lunar Rhapsody
B1. Lunette
B2. Moon Moods
C1. Mist o’ the Moon
C2. Radar Blues

External links[edit]

Track recordings online:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ankeny, Jason. "Les Baxter: Music Out of the Moon". All Music Guide. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Unterberger, Richie. "Samuel J. Hoffman: Music out of the Moon". All Music Guide. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  3. ^ The Billboard Music Popularity Charts: Advance Record Releases. Billboard. 19 April 1947. p. 32. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Inside album cover: "Cover posed by Virginia Clark of Earl Carroll's Theatre, Hollywood. Photography by Paul Garrison."
  5. ^ "Harry Revel & Leslie Baxter* & Dr. Samuel J. Hoffman – Music Out Of The Moon: Music Unusual Featuring The Theremin". Discogs. 
  6. ^ "Harry Revel & Leslie Baxter* & Dr. Samuel J. Hoffman – Music Out Of The Moon / Peace Of Mind". Discogs. 
  7. ^ "Dr. Samuel J. Hoffman and the Theremin". All Music Guide. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Wagener, Leon (2004). One Giant Leap: Neil Armstrong's Stellar American Journey. New York: Forge. p. 206. ISBN 978-0-3128-7592-3. 
  9. ^ Hansen, James (2005). First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 423–4. ISBN 978-0-7432-5631-5. 
  10. ^ Apollo 11: Day 7, part 2: Television and Food Demonstrations NASA. Retrieved: 2013-12-23.