February 21, 2012

The Tornados - Telstar (1962)

Predominately known as a backing group for various artists being managed by Joe Meek, this English group was considered to be a rival of The Shadows (Britain’s hit group prior to The Beatles). They also spent time as the backing group for Billy Fury in 1962 and 1963. They had multiple songs that they performed on their own chart, with the most successful one being heard below.

This song, named after the AT&T satellite that launched five weeks earlier, was the first song by a British group to reach number one in the United States. It also reached the top spot in the UK, making it the only instrumental song in history to reach number one in both the US and UK. Taking advantage of the birth of the space age, it was said that to achieve its strange noises, the song had been transmitted to the Telstar satellite before being produced back here on Earth.

album art

The Tornados - Telstar (1962)

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  1. This record is definately in my Top 20 of all time. The flip side Jungle Fever should have been released as an A side too!

    1. They're both great songs, aren't they? I sometimes have to play the group in moderation. I feel that if I stick with them for too long the music becomes slightly repetitive (with "Telstar" and "Jungle Fever" being excluded from that).

      There's an album called Telstar: The Complete Tornados, if you don't already have it!