The Astronauts

The Legendary Group at Their Best

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The Astronauts are one of the many bands to be included in the Legendary Group at Their Best collections. Unlike many of the other groups in the series, the Astronauts did not have much musical credibility or strong songs to back them up. They were mostly a cover band, and although they performed their covers with a strong vigor and energy, they never really came very close to the quality of what they were covering. Besides "Baja," their lone charting hit, there are almost a hundred songs here that will probably be familiar to fans of '60s rock. The Astronauts covered everyone from Henry Mancini to Wilson Pickett, and, over the eight albums included in this set, there are maybe 15 songs that had not been recorded by another group when they covered them. On the group's first few albums, it is obvious that their enthusiasm and playing skills kept them going strong. These albums contain the best songs on the set, not only are many of their excellent surf instrumental covers included, but their covers still had that Fender reverb sound that made them charming. But as the albums continue to go on, they begin to turn into a pop band. The surf guitar is still there, but on tracks like "Where There's Smoke There's Fire" they practically bury it to try and showcase their minimal harmonizing talents. Nothing here is really that bad, it is just a little bit of overkill with so many covers and such a large volume of music. Fans of the band may want to get this to have the complete '60s recordings, but most casual listeners will probably find this to be a hard pill to swallow despite the obvious talent behind it. The albums included on the four CDs here are Surfing With the Astronauts, Everything Ds A-OK!, Competition Coupe, Astronauts Orbit Kampus, Go...Go...Go!!!, For You From Us, Down the Line, and Travelin' Men.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:09
2 2:17
3 2:17
4 1:56
5 2:14
6 2:14
7 2:25
8 2:11
9 2:00
10 2:03
11 2:04
12 1:58
13 2:48
14 2:13
15 2:36
16 2:21
17 3:23
18 2:06
19 3:16
20 3:06
21 3:34
22 2:38
23 2:37
24 2:08

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:25
2 2:51
3 2:20
4 1:58
5 2:07
6 2:00
7 1:59
8 2:12
9 2:26
10 2:35
11 2:01
12 2:18
13 2:22
14 2:27
15 2:12
16 2:05
17 3:11
18 2:35
19 3:06
20 2:59
21 2:09
22 2:27
23 3:25
24 2:20
blue highlight denotes track pick