FINALLY on CD after all these years, Space Escapade FINALLY gets proper attention on this fine edition from El Records. I am a huge Baxter fan/collector and can tell you that they have done a fine job. Let's breakdown the this edition piece by piece. First off, the cd booklet looks fantastic....they obviously got the rights to the real artwork because it's flawless! The back of the original album jacket is on the back of the booklet and has been reproduced clearly and beautifully. There is an 8 page booklet inside featuring a few rarely seen Baxter photos and a nice essay on his 50's recordings.
Ok, now to the music. As you know, a couple of tracks from Space Escapade were featured on a couple of the 90's Capitol Ultra Lounge cd releases taken from the masters, so I was curious to see how the quality holds up to those....(i.e. some Baxter cd releases have been put out by other companies in the past and were just bad LP transfers). There is a differnce that is neither good or bad depending on what side of the mono/stereo fence you're on. The Ultra Lounge releases are in clear stereo. The new Space Escapade by El is the mono mix, but clearly taken from some sort of master. It sounds crystal clear and beautiful, but IS in mono, so, when played side by side with the Ultra Lounge 2 songs, sounds a bit "smaller" purely because of mono vs. stereo mixes. Some might view this as a good thing since the mono version came first anyways. All in all, it sounds wonderful and is nice to finally see a proper release with great artwork. The bonus tracks are wonderful as well with some real rare Baxter gems none of us have heard before. I give this 4 stars because it is a very very good release. But, I think everyone would agree that 5 stars would be in order if Capitol would get off their behinds and put this out ultra-proper, meaning a deluxe edition straight from the source with proper recording and log dates inside the booklet with alternate shots from the album cover (the way they used a few of them inside the Space Capades Ultra Lounge CD). Overall, if you are a Baxter fan and already have the LP they way I have for years, or you are just getting into the exotica/space music of yesteryear, BUY THIS NOW!