Cover image for Greatest hits easy listening for intergalactic travel
Greatest hits easy listening for intergalactic travel
Sun Ra, composer, performer.
Publication Information:
Conshohocken, PA : Evidence Music, [2000]

Physical Description:
1 audio disc : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Jazz, principally composed by Sun Ra.

Title from container.

All selections previously released. "Fifteen different Saturn LPs, one movie soundtrack and two Saturn 45-rpm singles comprise this 'greatest hits' collection ... recorded between 1956 and 1973"--Insert.

Compact disc.

Program notes by Jerry Gordon inserted in container.
Saturn (3:00) -- Kingdom of not (5:32) -- Medicine for a nightmare (2:16) -- Enlightenment / Dotson, Ra (5:02) -- 'Round midnight / Bernard Hanighen, Thelonious Monk, Cootie Williams (4:00) -- Velvet (4:36) -- Rocket number nine take off for the planet Venus (6:11) -- I loves you, Porgy / Heyward Dubose [sic], George & Ira Gershwin (3:30) -- We travel the spaceways (3:20) -- When angels speak of love (4:32) -- Thither and yon (4:03) -- Pleasure (3:10) -- The alter destiny (Sun Ra, solo piano) (3:04) -- Yucatan (3:38) -- Otherness blue (4:46) -- We'll wait for you (4:11) -- The order of the pharaonic jesters (7:21) -- The perfect man (4:54).
Subject Term:
Format :
Music CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BK 1576 Compact Disc Open Shelf
JAZZ .S957 G Compact Disc Central Library

On Order



"Those wondering where to begin when buying their first Sun Ra album, this is it!," declares an Evidence Music press release on their Sun Ra anthology Greatest Hits: Easy Listening for Intergalactic Travel. It also notes that, since Sun Ra never had any actual "hits," the 18 tracks from 15 Sun Ra albums, plus two singles and a soundtrack excerpt, were chosen because they were fan favorites, because they displayed the artist's development over the years 1956-73, and because of "their musical 'accessibility' -- relatively speaking of course." True enough. Proceeding chronologically, the album finds a bebop-influenced big band on its earliest tracks, which include the familiar jazz covers "'Round Midnight" and "I Loves You, Porgy." As early as 1960's "Rocket Number Nine Take Off for the Planet Venus," however, the band is beginning to exhibit its interest in space travel and equally spacy music, including chanting and an odd bass solo. From here on out, things get strange, but most of the tracks are low-key and at least somewhat composed. Within those "easy listening" parameters, however, there is room for everything from the outside saxophone work on the ballad "When Angels Speak of Love" to the heavily percussive "Yucatan" and the set-closing fractured pop of "The Perfect Man." If the album succeeds in its mission, it's because it does treat accessibility as a relative term that includes tracks like "Thither and Yon," with its wild reed solo, as well as fairly straight-ahead performances. Listeners looking for clues to the rest of Sun Ra's catalog in this compilation should be warned that there is more of the experimental stuff proportionally than is found here, but they can be eased into Sun Ra's cock-eyed vision by starting here. ~ William Ruhlmann