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Network's new TV Soundtracks

Saturday, 10 October 2009 17:32

In the beginning there came upon the land a plethora of releases from the ITC back catalogue onto DVD.  ITC, the international production arm of Lord Lew Grade’s ATV television network, had a reputation for creating series designed to sell to the world market – all of them quirky and with a British backbone running through them.  As would be expected, the releases sold extremely well, so when Network stumbled upon the music libraries for many of these series, it was the logical move to make these tracks available to the market.

Initially, the result was huge multi-CD collections dedicated to individual series – we covered these at Cineology here and here.  This wasn’t to everyone’s tastes, as these limited edition issues had to command a considerable price to be able to pay for themselves.  However, the demand was still considerable, so Network have decided to issue single CD highlights from The Prisoner, Danger Man, Man In A Suitcase, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and Department S, plus a double CD “Music of ITC” collection featuring music from these shows as well as a whole host of other ITC favourites.

New ITC Soundtracks

Thanks to Network DVD, we had a star prize of all six of these releases for the first voter drawn from the electronic hat after the closing date. The lucky winner was Catherine MacLennan of Kinlochleven. The second and third entries drawn from the hat receive the double CD “The Music of ITC” - these were Stuart Edwards of Wallingford and Michelle Luck of Warrington.

 

THE MUSIC OF ITC

The Music of ITCThis is an exceptionally well thought-out collection of theme and incidental music. It features those series that have got their own single CD releases - Man in a Suitcase, Department S, The Prisoner, Danger Man and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), but loads more besides. We’ve had The Protectors, The Champions, Jason King and Strange Report get their own dedicated extended releases, so for those who have already collected these titles, it’s the other stuff on this package that makes it an essential purchase.

Specifically, it’s the exclusive music suites from The Persuaders!, The Adventurer, The Saint, Return of the Saint, Gideon’s Way, The Baron and The Zoo Gang (including Paul McCartney and Wings!) that is the honey trap for TV music collectors everywhere.

Consisting entirely of original as-used-in-the-series recordings (no lacklustre cover versions here – this stuff is the ‘Real McCoy’), this set contains arguably some of the best music ever made for television. Celebrated composers Edwin Astley, Albert Elms, Ron Grainer, Robert Farnon, Roger Webb, John Cameron and Wilfred Josephs flex their creative muscles with a diverse range of musical styles and some legendary theme tunes.

Disc One

Danger Man (half hour series): Edwin Astley (1-6)

Danger Man (hour series): Edwin Astley (7-13)

Gideon’s Way: Edwin Astley (14-15)

The Baron:  Edwin Astley (16-22)

The Saint: Edwin Astley (23-31)

Man in a Suitcase: Ron Grainer / Albert Elms (32-37)

The Prisoner: Ron Grainer / Albert Elms / Robert Farnon (38-44)

The Champions: Tony Hatch/ Edwin Astley / Albert Elms (45-53)

Department S: Edwin Astley (54-61)

Disc Two

Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased): Edwin Astley (1-6)

Strange Report: Roger Webb (7-13)

The Persuaders!: John Barry / Jackie Trent & Tony Hatch / Ken Thorne (14-17)

Jason King: Laurie Johnson (18-25)

The Protectors: Mitch Murray & Peter Callander / John Cameron (26-33)

The Adventurer: John Barry / Unknown (34-36)

The Zoo Gang: Paul McCartney & Wings / Ken Thorne (37-44)

Return of the Saint: Brian Dee & Irving Martin / John Scott / Guido & Maurizio de Angelis (45-52)

The RRP for this two disc set is £15.99 and is available at the Network website.

 

THE PRISONER

The Prisoner CD SoundtrackOver the years, there has been a succession of original music compilations from The Prisoner that have made it on to vinyl, cassette and CD. Many of these have been collections gleaned from the Chappell Music Library, which provided some off-the-shelf compositions that suited the moods needed for various parts of Patrick McGoohan’s 17 episode opus.  For those of you new to all this, this is the show that has acted as a prelude to the Orwellian nightmare that is currently being rolled out worldwide, with hardly any of the general population batting an eyelid at what is being done in their name. McGoohan’s vision of what was to come has become remarkably prescient, and its allegorical tone is the only aspect that’s stopped people seeing the show as more of warning than it has been.

The music cues played their part in creating the surreal atmosphere that put people off the scent a little.  However, the fact that one episode, “Living In Harmony”, was not originally screened in the USA in the 1960s shows that some people in power cottoned on to what McGoohan was up to.  The episode was banned as it was considered a thinly-disguised commentary on the Vietnam War, and support for the pacifist movement that had sprung up in 1968.

Compiled from the original master tapes, this CD contains highlights from music that was especially composed for The Prisoner rather than the library music used. It sets the mood perfectly, and is great for slipping into your car stereo to recreate that essential action of the 1960s.

The composer, Ron Grainer, was a hugely successful composer, with the extremes of Doctor Who and Steptoe and Son being within his repertoire. The original limited edition set from Network devoted to The Prisoner took up a total of three CDs.

Tracks

Composer - Ron Grainer (except where stated)

 

Opening titles theme, parts 1 and 2 (1-2)

Incidental Cues: “Arrival” (3, 4 and 8-10: Wilfred Josephs; 5: Johann Strauss;

6 & 7: Robert Farnon)

Incidental Cues: “A, B, & C” (working title - “Play in 3 Acts”) (11-14)

Incidental Cues: “Free For All” (15-19)

Incidental Cues: “The General” (20-29)

Incidental Cues: “Hammer into Anvil” (30-33)

Incidental Cues: “Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling” (working title – “Face Unknown”) (34-37)

Incidental Cues: “Living in Harmony” (38-43)

Incidental Cues: “Once Upon a Time” (working title – “Degree Absolute”) (44-54)

Incidental Cues: “Fall Out” (55-57)

Closing Titles (58)

 

There’s a huge running time of 71 minutes here, with a RRP £9.99, and is available from the Network website.

 

DANGER MAN

Danger Man single CD SoundtrackWith Danger Man, there’s the need to compress a total of seven CDs that were released in two previous Network CD collections – a double CD from the half hour variant of the format, and the rest from the subsequent one hour series. This is the show that made a star of Patrick McGoohan, playing the spy John Drake, in a variety of adventures scripted as being set at various locations across the world.  As was the case with many ITC adventures, the action involving the stars was actually filmed in the UK, on many a backlot here and there.


As is the case with the other single CD releases of specific shows noted here, the tracks are all sequenced so that there is hardly a breath between one track and the one that follows. As a soundtrack for your life, this little touch makes all the difference, and a cute trick is to set your CD to a random setting, helping make up all sorts of variables in the story that might meander through your brain as you listen.

Tracks

Composed - Edwin Astley (except where stated)

 

Half hour series:

Opening Titles (1)

Incidental cue: “The Key” (2)

Incidental cue: “Time to Kill” (aka “Handcuffed”) (3)

Incidental cue: “View From The Villa” (4)

Incidental cue: “Deadline” (5)

Generic library cues (6-9)

‘The Fair Made of Sorento’, featured in “The Contessa” (Trad - arranged by Edwin Astley (10)

‘You’ve Got Love’, featured in “Colonel Rodriguez” (11)

‘You’re The One For Me’, featured in “Hired Assassin” (12)

Closing Titles (13)

One Hour Series:

Teaser Titles (14)

Incidental cue: “Fish on the Hook” (15)

Opening Titles (16)

Incidental cues: “Fish on the Hook” (17-18)

Incidental cue: “Don’t Nail Him Yet” (19)

Incidental cues: “The Professionals” (20-21)

Incidental cue: “Colony Three” (22)

Incidental cue: “That’s Two of Us Sorry” (23)

Incidental cues: “To Our Best Friend” (24-26)

‘Man Smart, Woman Smarter’, as featured in “The Man on the Beach” (Composer: King Radio)

Incidental cues: “The Man Who Wouldn’t Talk” (28-31)

Incidental cue: “The Hunting Party” (32)

Incidental cue: “Two Birds with One Bullet” (33)

Incidental cues: “The Man With The Foot” (34-35)

Incidental cues: “Koroshi” (36-37)

Incidental cues: “Shinda Shima” (38-39)

Closing Titles (40)

 

The CD has a running time of 76 minutes and a RRP £9.99. It is available from the Network website.

 

DEPARTMENT ‘S’

Department S - Single CD SoundtrackVery much a precursor to the likes of Fringe, ITC’s Department ‘S’ starred Peter Wyngarde as Jason King, a successful crime fiction writer who had such an impact on the watching audience that, not only did he get his own spin-off series, but can also claim to be why ‘Jason’ was one of the most popular baby names chosen in 1971.

This single disc is compressed from the original three-CD version from Network, and it has to be said that the selection comes over as a little bemusing.  There are not as many action-based tracks for my personal liking, with the space they could have occupied being taken up by some fairly morose and downbeat incidental music and songs. This is perhaps one of the disadvantages of trying to capture the atmosphere of a series from a much greater whole – the mood of a show is very much in the eye (or ear) of the beholder.  Choosing songs might add a little variety to what could easily have been a far more instrumental selection, but let’s face it, none of these are going to spin off into being released as a single!

 

Tracks

Composer - Edwin Astley (except where stated)

 

Opening Sting (1)

Incidental cue: “The Man in the Elegant Room” (2)

Opening Titles (3)

Incidental cues: “The Man in the Elegant Room” (4-9)

Incidental cues: “The Pied Piper of Hambledown” (10-13)

Incidental cues: “A Cellar Full of Silence” (14-18)

‘Sevillanas’ (Trad): “The Treasure of the Costa Del Sol” (19)

Incidental cues: “Handicap Dead” (20-24)

Incidental cues: “The Man Who Got a New Face” (25-29, 31, 33)

‘C’Etait Peut-etre’ (composer: André Lutereau; lyrics: Jacques Touray): “The Man Who Got a New Face” (30)

‘Lorsqu’on est Heureux’ (composer: Francis Lai; lyrics: Claude Delécluse): “The Man Who Got a New Face” (32)

Incidental cues: “Dead Men Die Twice” (34-39, 41)

‘Clair de Lune’ (composer: Claude Debussy): “Dead Men Die Twice” (40)

Incidental cues: “A Fish Out of Water” (42-48)

Incidental cues: “A Small War of Nerves” (49-53)

Closing Titles (54)

 

This CD has a running time of 76 minutes, a RRP of £9.99, and is available from the Network website.

 

RANDALL AND HOPKIRK (DECEASED)

Randall and Hopkirk - Single CD SoundtrackThis is a much-remembered series.  Known as My Partner, The Ghost in the USA, Reeves and Mortimer did their own version of the format several years ago – and their success in delivering a suitable ‘reimagining’ is something much debated amongst television fandom. Part of the problem is that the original was not just a product of its time, but actually gained an ongoing reputation far beyond anything that could have been anticipated from its original screening.

Ghosts coming back from the dead to hook up again with their detective colleagues was something that, for most critics of the time, a little bit of a stretch. Rather than take this format at face value, it was being compared to the likes of Dixon of Dock Green and Z Cars; hardly a fair match-up, but it says a lot about the snobbery that existed against formats that were fantastic rather than ‘realistic’.  Indeed, it’s something that you still see against different targets today, although the new Doctor Who has helped greatly in changing that attitude.

The music for Randall is suitably gothic in tone, although very little of it hints at the humour actually being witnessed on-screen. We have a very representative slice of the original Network three-CD collection here, but probably not something you want to bring out to play at funerals!

 

Tracks

Composer - Edwin Astley

 

Opening Titles (1)

Incidental cues: “My Late Lamented Friend and Partner” (2-9)

Incidental cues: “But What a Sweet Little Room” (10-16)

Incidental cues: “For the Girl Who Has Everything” (17-24)

Incidental cues: “Who Killed Cock Robin?” (25-31)

Incidental cues: “The Smile Behind the Veil” (32-37)

Incidental cues: “All Work and No Pay” (38-43)

Incidental cues: “Money to Burn” (44-51)

Incidental cues: “Just for the Record” (52-56)

Incidental cues: “Murder Ain’t What It Used to Be!” (57-61)

Closing Titles (62)

 

This CD has a total running time of 77 minutes and a RRP of £9.99. It is available from the Network website.

 

MAN IN A SUITCASE

Man in a Suitcase - Single CD SoundtrackThe original Network DVD release of Richard Bradford’s definitive performance as the lone detective McGill stretched to a whopping five CDs. The format describes the adventures of a discredited ex-CIA agent, who is reduced to working as a private investigator. McGill travels the world as a ‘gun for hire’, and his unorthodox approach and strong sense of personal integrity often bring him into conflict with both his employers and the authorities. This can make him more enemies than friends.

Bradford was very much a method actor, and had very firm ideas of how his character would behave and react to the situations he was placed within. This edgy, uncompromising attitude is reflected in much of the incidental music, which always has a sense of momentum and purpose. The theme music was used by Chris Evans for his TFI Friday television series and indeed for his BBC Radio 2 drivetime show. Regrettably, few people are aware of the series for which it originally became an ‘earworm’ to many – a shame, as it means that they get tripped up in many a pub quiz where the question is a popular one to bemuse and annoy!

 

Tracks

Composer - Albert Elms (except where stated)

 

Opening Titles (Composer: Ron Grainer) (1)

Incidental cues: “Man from the Dead” (2-5)

Incidental cue: “All That Glitters” (6)

Secondary Theme (Composer: Ron Grainer): “All That Glitters” (7)

Incidental cue “All That Glitters” (8)

Incidental cues: “Find the Lady” (9-10)

Incidental cues: “Brainwash” (11-13)

Incidental cues: “The Girl Who Never Was” (14-19)

Incidental cues: “Variation on A Million Bucks: Part One” (20-26)

Incidental cue: “Variation on A Million Bucks: Part Two” (27-29)

Incidental cue: “The Bridge” (30-32)

Incidental cue: “The Man Who Stood Still” (33)

‘Nana’s Song’ (Poem: Bertolt Brecht; music: Hanns Eisler): “Somebody Loses, Somebody … Wins?” (34)

Incidental cues “Who’s Mad Now?” (35-38)

Incidental cues: “Castle in the Clouds” (39-43)

Closing Titles (Composer: Ron Grainer) (44)

 

This CD has a total running time of almost 77 minutes and a RRP of £9.99. It is available from the Network website.

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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