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Joe Meek: 1962 – From Taboo to Telstar, Hits, Misses, Outtakes, Demos and More

    Joe Meek wrote and produced “Telstar” by The Tornados, released in 1962, marked a significant milestone in music history. The track not only reached number 1 in the UK charts but also topped the U.S. charts in the same week. As one of the earliest pop tracks influenced by science fiction, “Telstar” was ahead of its time, with a sound that remains uniquely futuristic even today.

    Joe Meek’s lifelong fascination with science fiction and outer space began during his national service from 1948 to 1950, where he worked as a radar operative. This role allowed him to immerse himself in his passion for all things cosmic. When Meek transitioned into the music industry, starting in radio broadcasting and later becoming a producer, he channeled this fascination into his work. He enthusiastically embraced cosmic themes and proto-electronica, infusing his productions with innovative sounds that were ahead of their time.

    In recognition of Joe Meek’s influential career and his contributions to various musical groups, Red Cherry Records will be releasing an exceptional collection of his works. This repertoire will highlight the songs that solidified Meek’s legacy in the music industry, showcasing his innovative production techniques and the distinctive sound that he brought to the pop music scene.

    In the pre-Beatle era, British pop was a diverse mix of genres and musical ideas, lacking a dominant narrative. During this time, Joe Meek sampled a wide array of styles, producing everything from novelty hits to sound effect-laden masterpieces, straightforward pre-beat pop, light instrumentals, and cinematic ballads. His collaborations with outstanding singers like John Leyton and Mike Berry, along with talented writers such as Geoff Goddard and Ray Dexter, consistently showcased his innovative studio techniques, which were years ahead of many major commercial studios.

    “From Taboo to Telstar” is the first installment in a series of chronological collections that document the work at Meek’s studio year-by-year. This set includes singles and B-sides, many of which are heard in stereo for the first time, as well as alternate versions, demos, and previously unreleased tracks. It offers not only a glimpse into a world on the brink of the Beatlemania explosion but also a window into the incredible creativity fostered by one man and his vision of independence and experimentation. Experience the evolution of “Telstar,” appreciate the grandeur of “Lone Rider,” and enjoy the kitchen sink humor of Alan Klein’s “The Cat.” Additionally, the genius of Geoff Goddard shines through several unreleased tracks, while Jenny Moss, Billie Davis, Gerry Harlow, and others champion the female voice in this collection. The Moontrekkers, Cliff Bennett, Andy Cavell, Tony Victor, Houston Wells, Peter Jay, Ricky Wayne, and Kenny Hollywood are all featured here as they’ve never been heard before, straight from the original tapes.

    This collection is a must-have for fans of Joe Meek and his artists, historians of British pop, students of the 1960s, and anyone nostalgic for that simpler, pre-Fab, black-and-white era.

    Details: 

    • AN IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF JOE MEEK’S 1962 WORK, CULMINATING IN THE GLOBAL HIT ‘TELSTAR’.

    • FEATURING JOHN LEYTON, THE TORNADOS, MIKE BERRY, THE OUTLAWS, MICHAEL COX, GEOFF GODDARD, RAY DEXTER AND MORE.

    • INCLUDES 52 PREVIOUSLY UNHEARD RECORDINGS – STEREO VERSIONS, ALTERNATE TAKES AND MIXES, DEMOS AND PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED SONGS. WITH A DETAILED CHRONOLOGY, SLEEVENOTES AND TEA CHEST TAPE NOTES.

    • ALL MATERIAL TAKEN FROM THE ORIGINAL TAPES AND RESTORED AND MASTERED BY ALAN WILSON AT WESTERN STAR.

    TRACK LISTING:

    DISC ONE

    1 The Charles Blackwell Orchestra – Taboo

    2 The Charles Blackwell Orchestra – Midnight In Luxembourg (Alternate)*

    3 Michael Cox – Young Only Once

    4 Michael Cox – Stand Up (Alternate Version)*

    5 Don Charles – Walk With Me My Angel (Stereo)*

    6 Don Charles – Crazy Man Crazy

    7 Don Charles – Moonlight Rendezvous (Alternate Version)

    8 Don Charles – It’s My Way Of Loving You (Stereo)*

    9 Mike Berry – It’s Just A Matter Of Time

    10  Mike Berry – Every Little Kiss

    11  Mike Berry – Don’t You Think It’s Time

    12  Mike Berry – Loneliness

    13  John Leyton – Lone Rider (Stereo)*

    14  John Leyton – Lonely City (Vocal Take 9)*

    15  John Leyton – It Would Be Easy

    16  John Leyton – Down The River Nile (Alternate Version)*

    17  The Outlaws – Last Stage West

    18  The Outlaws – Ku-Pow!

    19  The Outlaws – Sioux Serenade

    20  The Stonehenge Men – Big Feet

    21  The Stonehenge Men – Pinto (Stereo)*

    22  The Tornados – Love And Fury (Guitar Take 4)

    23  The Tornados – Telstar (Alternate Edit)

    24  The Tornados – Globetrotter (Original Speed/Extended)

    25  The Tornados – Popeye Twist (Original Speed)

    26  Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers with The Peppermints – Poor Joe (Alternate Vocal)*

    27  Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers with The Peppermints – Hurtin’ 28 Inside (Alternate Version)* 29 Danny Rivers & The River Men – We’re Gonna Dance (Longer Mix)*

    30  Danny Rivers & The River Men – Movin’ In

    31  The Moontrekkers – There’s Something At The Bottom Of The Well (Extended)*

    32  The Moontrekkers – Hatashai (Japanese Sword Fight)

    DISC TWO

    1 Iain Gregory – Mr Lovebug (Stereo)*

    2 Iain Gregory – Pocket Full Of Dreams (And Eyes Full Of Tears) (Stereo)*

    3 Tony Victor – Dear One (Alternate Version)*

    4 Tony Victor – There Was A Time

    5 Alan Klein – Striped Purple Shirt

    6 Alan Klein – Three Coins In The Sewer (Alternate Version)*

    7 Alan Klein – Danger Ahead

    8 Andy Cavell – Hey There Cruel Heart

    9 Andy Cavell – Lonely Soldier Boy

    10 Andy Cavell – Always On Saturday (Stereo)*

    11 Andy Cavell – Hey There Senorita (Stereo)*

    12 The Dowlands And The Soundtracks – Little Sue (Alternate Vocal Stereo Mix)*

    13 The Dowlands – Big Big Fella

    14 The Dowlands – Don’t Ever Change

    15  Pat Reader – Cha Cha On The Moon

    16  Pat Reader – May Your Heart Stay Young Forever

    17  Geoff Goddard – My Little Girl’s Come Home (Stereo)*

    18  Geoff Goddard – Try Once More

    19  Houston Wells And The Marksmen – This Song Is Just For You

    20 Houston Wells And The Marksmen – Shutters And Boards

    21 Houston Wells And The Marksmen – North Wind

    22  Mark Douglas – It Matters Not (Extended Version)*

    23  Mark Douglas – Upside Down (Stereo)*

    24  Neil Christian – The Big Beat Drum

    25  Neil Christian – The Road To Love (Early Version)*

    26  Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers – Redskins (304 Version)*

    27  Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers – Can Can ’62 (Early Edit)*

    28 The Packabeats – Evening In Paris

    29 The Packabeats – Theme From “The Traitors”

    30  Ray Dexter & The Layabouts – The Coalman’s Lament (Censored Version)*

    31  Ray Dexter & The Layabouts – Lonely Weekend

    DISC THREE

    1  Joe Meek – Telstar (Demo)

    2  Dave Adams & Joe Meek – Last Stage West (Demo)*

    3  Geoff Goddard – Lover, Lover*

    4  Geoff Goddard – Thunder Mountain (Demo)*

    5  Geoff Goddard – Guess That’s The Way It Goes (Demo)*

    6 Alan Klein – Striped Purple Shirt (Demo)*

    7 Alan Klein – The Cat*

    8  Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers – I Get Up In The Morning*

    9  Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers – Avenue Of Loneliness*

    10  Geoff Goddard & Kenny Hollywood – Magic Star (Demo)*

    11 Geoff Goddard & Kenny Hollywood – The Wonderful Story Of Love (Demo)*

    12  Kenny Hollywood – I’ll Cry Tomorrow*

    13  Kenny Hollywood – I Wanna Dance With No One Else But You*

    14  Kenny Hollywood – You Could Have Fooled Me*

    15  The Stonehenge Men – Outcast*

    16  Neil Christian – I Feel In A Mood (Demo)*

    17  Neil Christian – Just A Dream (Demo)*

    18  Gerry Harlow – Mr Right

    19  Billie Davis – Merry Go Round

    20  The Flee-Rekkers – Oh What A Charlie (Stereo)*

    21  Ray Dexter – Lonely Weekend (Demo)*

    22  Ray Dexter & The Layabouts – The Coalman’s Lament (Early Version)*

    23  Iain Gregory – Too Shy (Alternate Version)*

    24  Mark Douglas – Riding The Rails (Stereo)*

    25  Ricky Wayne – I’m Waiting For Tomorrow*

    26  Ricky Wayne – Pretend*

    27  The Ferridays – Two Brothers*

    28  The Foresters – It’s Almost Tomorrow*

    29  Unknown – Say Baby

    30  Jackie – Time To Go*

    31  Jenny Moss – When My Boy Comes Marching Home Again (Alternate Mix)*

    * PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

    Tony M.