The most far-out record in the galaxy — literally — is NASA’s Voyager Golden Record. In 1977, the agency sent the LP, which features images, sounds, and songs thought to represent Earth, into space on the Voyager missions as a potential way to introduce mankind to vinyl-loving aliens. Now, finally, the record is getting a re-release on Earth.
Only 12 copies of the record were made in the first pressing. One was given to President Jimmy Carter, nine were awarded to NASA centers, and the other two are each about 10 billion miles away from Earth somewhere deep in space onboard the Voyager 1 and 2 missions.
In other words, if you wanted to jam out to the same smooth tunes as E.T. might be dancing to right now, you were probably out of luck. (On vinyl, at least. The audio is on NASA’s Soundcloud account.) However, a Kickstarter spearheaded by Boing Boing editor and Institute For The Future research director David Pescovitz is bringing the Golden Record back to Earth.
The Kickstarter has already well surpassed its goal, and Pescovitz teamed up with Amoeba Music and a graphic designer to reissue the remastered record. It’s going to be pressed on golden vinyl, because the originals were made of gold-plated copper disks that were better equipped to deal with the harsh nature of space travel.
The reissue will cost $98, and should be ready for release in time for the Voyager mission’s 40th anniversary next year.
Here’s the track list for Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition. The tracks include classical mainstays, world music, nature sounds, and spoken word addresses.
Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F. First Movement, Munich Bach Orchestra, Karl Richter, conductor
Java, court gamelan, “Kinds of Flowers,” recorded by Robert Brown
Senegal, percussion, recorded by Charles Duvelle
Zaire, Pygmy girls’ initiation song, recorded by Colin Turnbull
Australia, Aborigine songs, “Morning Star and Devil Bird,” recorded by Sandra LeBrun Holmes
Mexico, “El Cascabel,” performed by Lorenzo Barcelata and the Mariachi México
“Johnny B. Goode,” written and performed by Chuck Berry
New Guinea, men’s house song, recorded by Robert MacLennan
Japan, Shakuhachi, “Tsuru No Sugomori” (“Crane’s Nest,”) performed by Goro Yamaguch
Bach, Gavotte en rondeaux” from the Partita No. 3 in E major for Violin, performed by Arthur Grumiaux
Mozart, The Magic Flute, Queen of the Night aria, no. 14. Edda Moser, soprano. Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Wolfgang Sawallisch, conductor
Georgian S.S.R., chorus, Tchakrulo,” collected by Radio Moscow
Peru, panpipes and drum, collected by Casa de la Cultura, Lima
“Melancholy Blues,” performed by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven
Azerbaijan S.S.R., bagpipes, recorded by Radio Moscow
Stravinsky, Rite of Spring, Sacrificial Dance, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky, conductor
Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Prelude and Fugue in C, No.1. Glenn Gould, piano
Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, First Movement, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer, conductor
Bulgaria, “Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin,” sung by Valya Balkanska
Navajo Indians, Night Chant, recorded by Willard Rhodes
Holborne, Paueans, Galliards, Almains and Other Short Aeirs, “The Fairie Round,” performed by David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London
Solomon Islands, panpipes, collected by the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service
Peru, wedding song, recorded by John Cohen
China, chin, “Flowing Streams,” performed by Kuan P’ing-hu
India, raga, “Jaat Kahan Ho,” sung by Surshri Kesar Bai Kerkar
“Dark Was the Night,” written and performed by Blind Willie Johnson
Beethoven, String Quartet No. 13 in B flat, Opus 130, Cavatina, performed by Budapest String Quartet
Greetings from the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kurt Waldheim
Greetings in 55 languages
United Nations greetings
The Sounds of Earth: “Music of the Spheres” by Laurie Spiegel, Volcanoes, Earthquake, Thunder, Mud Pots, Wind, Rain, Surf, Crickets, Frogs, Birds, Hyena, Elephant, Chimpanzee, Wild Dog, Footsteps, Heartbeat, Laughter, Fire, Speech, The First Tools, Tame Dog, Herding Sheep, Blacksmith, Sawing, Tractor, Riveter, Morse Code, Ships, Horse and Cart, Train, Tractor, Bus, Auto, F-111 Flyby, Saturn 5 Lift-off, Kiss, Mother and Child, Life Signs, Pulsar