Two viewers requested HERC find that follow-up to the SPACE mixtape he alluded to a couple of weeks back. After spending nearly half an hour up to his waist in mixtapes, he was able to pluck PURE SPACE from among the hundreds of loose tapes and cases. The tape is decidedly not as he remembered it. But it does have custom artwork.
PURE SPACE shares exactly three songs with its predecessor SPACE: "Children Of The Sun", "Come Sail Away" and "Spirit In The Sky". HERC thought there would be more. The tape itself is a TDK CDPower 110 minute HERC doesn't remember ever buying. It is a decent enough looking tape and it feels sturdy.
SPACE was only a 90 minute tape so what did HERC do with the 20 extra minutes on PURE SPACE? First, he widened the scope of what a space song was and second, he peppered the playlist with audio clips from Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. The tape appropriately begins with the fade in spacey intro of "Planet Claire" and ends with Ben Kenobi in a loop that lasts nearly two minutes:
"You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."
The last words heard on the tape are actually "You can't win, Darth." then a few seconds of silence before the tape clicks off. Don't know what HERC was thinking at the time he made PURE SPACE but he wasn't above some bold experimenting. HERC admits to having an irresistible attraction to the Kraftwerk track "Radioactivity" ever since he first listened to it after finding the Radioactivity album on an abandoned runway used as a bike path on Chanute AFB. For this mixtape, he skipped his usual choice, the hypnotic "Geiger Counter"/(1975 album version) of the song, and went with the faster remix from 1991's The Mix.
Another interesting song choice was Z-Trip's scratch and glitch remix of Rush's "Tom Sawyer", first heard on the Small Soldiers soundtrack. Going back to his love of Erich Kunzel discs, HERC included the conductor's take on the darkly heroic "Terminator Theme" which is immediately preceded by the mechanically musical piece known as "Cybergenesis." As is always the case with Kunzel's work, the two parts also serve as workouts for any sound system.
Darth Vader kicks off side two, warning "You should not have come back" before the sitar, tabla and voices of "Insha Allah" come in. The track, or at least the first few minutes of it has been a HERC favorite since 1989, when he played it off the Just Say Mao CD, the third volume in Sire's seven volume Just Say Yes! sampler series. HERC cuts the song off early, even before it is halfway through its seven plus minute journey. Three tracks after that, Bootsy covers Hendrix on a mellow and moody but undeniably funky trip with "If 6 Was 9" from Axiom Funk's Funkcronomicon (1995).
Which brings us to "blasphemy", which is what a co-worker of HERC's called The Far Corporation's cover of Led Zeppelin's beloved/much hated "Stairway To Heaven." Twenty years down the road now, certain spacey elements in their interpretation are more apparent. Here's the rest of the artwork for PURE SPACE:
HERC's best guess is that PURE SPACE was made in August or September 1998 to entertain his children on way to and from school in the Grape Ape, HERC's purple Grand Caravan with a high-power Sony deck and upgraded 4-way speakers all around. If not then, then surely it was in early 1999 for the same reason.
|1978||Planet Claire||The B-52s||04:38|
|1997||Walkin' On The Sun||Smashmouth||03:26|
|1981||I Must Be Dreamin'||Cheap Trick||05:41|
|1991||*||Radioactivity (The Mix)||Kraftwerk||06:53|
|1998||Fly Away||Lenny Kravitz||03:41|
|1982||Planet Rock||Afrika Bambaata||05:20|
|1988||Doctorin' The Tardis||The Timelords||03:39|
|1998||*||Tom Sawyer (Z-Trip Remix)||Rush||06:37|
|1994||Cybergenesis/Terminator Theme||Erich Kunzel||04:53|
|1989||Insha Allah (HERC's edit)||Nasa||03:26|
|1979||Children Of The Sun||Billy Thorpe||06:44|
|1977||Come Sail Away||Styx||06:07|
|1981||Takin' A Ride||Don Felder||04:59|
|1995||If 6 Was 9||Axiom Funk||06:00|
|1988||Under The Milky Way||The Church||04:58|
|1989||So Alive||Love And Rockets||04:18|
|1995||Stairway To Heaven||The Far Corporation||09:34|
|1969||Spirit In The Sky||Norman Greenbaum||04:01|
|1982||The Hellion/Electric Eye||Judas Priest||04:22|