Joe Meek – I Hear a New World (1959)

I Hear a New World – an Outer Space Music Fantasy is a concept album devised and composed by Joe Meek in 1959. It was partially released in 1960 and completely released in 1991 by RPM records.

I Hear a New World was a pet project for Meek, who at the time was an up and coming English record producer (he would go on to compose The Tornadoes hit song “Telstar,” which would become the first record by a British group to hit #1 on the Us Hot 100 Charts). Meek was obsessed with the then new space program, and  he strongly believed that life did exist outside of our solar system.  I Hear a New World was Meek’s attempt “to create a picture in music of what could be up there in outer space,” he explained. “At first I was going to record it with music that was completely out of this world but realized that it would have very little entertainment value so I kept the construction of the music down to earth.”

In keeping with his concept for I Hear a New World, Meek wrote sleeve notes for each track, in order that he might set the scene for each piece. For instance, the notes for the track “Magnetic Field” read: “This is a stretch of the Moon where there is a strange lack of gravity forcing everything to float three feet above the crust, which with a different magnetic field from the surface sets any article in some sections in vigorous motion, and at times everything is in rhythm.”

At the time it was released, Meek’s cutting edge production techniques, incorporation of primitive computer noises and synthesizers, and very early use of stereo tracking was at the fore-front of sonic innovation (Meek recorded it in stereo, although he was using his home studio at Arundel Gardens (pre-Holloway Road), which was outfitted with three mono recording machines. To this day, no one has been able to figure out how he actually recorded the album in stereo). Today, I Hear a New World sounds like a novelty item from yesteryears; a space-age, pop culture artifact to attribute to a developing technological society.

LISTEN to Magnetic Field from I Hear a New World

LISTEN to The Entry Of The Globbots (Part I) from I Hear a New World

(Please allow a few moments for tracks to load)

E.

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