Haha. Found at 70s Sci Fi Art. I owned this as a kid. I still vividly recall their mad arrangement of the DOCTOR WHO theme, which — and I just checked, here’s the YouTube — you have to hang in there to get to the part that starts around 1.27. I seem to recall there was a storming “Thunderbirds” on there, too. Note how the cover very carefully avoids copyright issues with the weird tweaks on recognisable imagery – the pointy four-nacelled Enterprise, the 2001 space station with two rings. Also the misspelling of “Quatermass,” in case you were thinking this was not a very cheap project. Here’s a nice little article on the making of this and the sequel album, from which I only remember one tune.
Geoff Love was an interesting guy. Born in Yorkshire to an African-American entertainer and an actress from Yorkshire, he was immersed in music from birth, and spent his time in WW2 “learning orchestration by questioning musicians how best to write for their individual instruments.” That, to me, is the true mark of a collaborative artist – asking the damn questions so you can do better for your collaborators. He spent years at Abbey Road, arranging for the likes of Marlene Dietrich, Eartha Kitt and, Paul Robeson. And it was at Abbey Road that he suddenly threw off decades of easy-listening recording and made four albums under the name of, um, Mandingo:
Working again with Norman Newell in Abbey Road, he recorded four albums from 1974 using the same title as a novel he had read about the exploits of a southern black slave called Mandingo on a plantation in Alabama during the 1830s. The records, done mostly in Studio Two, bring an eclectic mix of instruments and sounds drawing on African influences, experimental drums, layers of brass and electronic devices. The result is an explosive sound that’s completely unique, although at the time, sales of the records came nowhere near expectations.
Like Sun Ra, Love’s jazz background informs these weird new albums, and there are some full-on freak-outs to be found on the first record. For an “unashamed populist,” going full Space Is The Place must have been joyous.
Space is cool. There is even ice at Mercury’s poles.