Another kind of gold record


Sagan's message in a bottle from Earth.

All bands want a gold record to call their own, but the kind I'd like is the Voyager Golden Record, also called The Sounds of Earth. A Carl Sagan chaired creation (the renowned astronomer was appointed by NASA to do the job), the record includes compiled sounds that would ideally serve as an audio representation of Earth, should aliens ever get their hands (?) on it and was included in the two Voyager spacecraft that were launched in 1977.

115 sounds in all, they include samples of surf, wind, and thunder, animal sounds, as well as musical selections from different cultures (ranging from Germany's choice, Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F to the old U.S. of A.'s selection, "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry), greetings in 55 languages, and printed messages from President Jimmy Carter and U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim. It does not include "Here Comes the Sun" however, though Sagan asked for permission to use it, EMI declined despite the Beatles' being in favor of it.

The records are still floating out there in space, and though it was released on Earth in CD form, 1992 in conjuction with Sagan's book Murmurs of Earth, it's out of print now. Sadly, it seems I've got about as good a chance of snagging a copy as an Extraterrestrial does.

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