Various Artists

Sounds in Space

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Because we've been living with stereophonic sound for decades, it's easy to forget that there was a time when everything was in mono. Sounds in Space was an RCA compilation designed to show off some of the benefits of moving to stereo, and it contains a guided tour of some new stereo recordings in a few different genres. It's focused mostly on classical and jazz, so there's bits of Stravinsky, Prokofieff, Lena Horne, and Glenn Miller -- nothing along the lines of Elvis Presley -- and because most of the album consists of brief sections of longer works, there's very little here that will be of interest to most people. Obscurists may be lured in by the fact that narration here is provided by none other than Ken Nordine, modestly famous for his work on radio, television, and his own series of Word Jazz albums; be forewarned, however, that there's not actually much Nordine here -- there's only a bit on side one, and side two is all music. Trivia buffs may want to take note as well: A small section of this record was sampled by Orbital for the song "Toxygene." Those without alternative motives will probably find this a curiosity more than anything.