Favourite film or TV theme...? PreviousNext
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Next message Bill posted on Tuesday, 14 June, 2005 - 10:48 am
Well "Robinson Crusoe" is special for me because it was the first tune I ever managed to figure out for myself on the piano.
Next message Richard Sliwa posted on Thursday, 16 June, 2005 - 01:31 am
Oh 'eck. I wrote a huge piece here last night about TV and movie music and it's disappeared. I suspect I hit the "preview" button but forgot to confirm (and post) the message. Have to keep my eye on that one in the future.

I can't be bothered to re-write it all, but the gist was that I have far too many favourites to list them; what is my favourite one moment doesn't necessarily mean it'll remain so the next.

But probably the most memorable TV series theme for me is Mission:Impossible. The great Lalo Schifrin at his best. I can hear the music and see the pictures in my mind as clearly as with my ears and eyes.
And a perfect match to the series. So many TV tunes nowadays seem to be mismatched but back in the 60s things were different.

I'm too tired to say more. Off to bed.
Next message Chris posted on Thursday, 16 June, 2005 - 11:03 am
I agree with Richard's sentiments, in so much as a great deal more thought seemed to go into TV music in the 'old days'. Lalo Schifrin also wrote the fantastically dark and powerful original theme to Starsky and Hutch, which inevitably gave way to the jauntier, more light-hearted theme as the series itself transmuted into something similar.

I have a soft-spot for the incredible output of Barry Gray - his themes to Stingray, Thunderbirds, UFO, Space: 1999, for example, must surely stand at the pinaccle of television music. The way he used the orchestra, small ensembles and modern swing/rock arrangements added so much to the atmosphere of these programmes.

Laurie Johnson wrote some brilliant stuff too - The Avengers, The Professionals - as did Harry South - The Sweeney.

I am of the opinion, no matter how biased, that the all time greatest TV theme is still probably Ron Grainer's Doctor Who. No matter how they choose to arrange and record it (and let's face it, has the original version by Delia Derbyshire ever been bettered?) it is always eerie and timeless.

There are numerous others that I haven't mention (Van der Valk, Star Trek, The Man from UNCLE, The Persuaders!, Black Beauty, The Tomorrow People), but so few modern themes that can honestly stand up against them. Sadly it seems that the likes of Grainer, Gray, Schifrin, Jerry Goldsmith and John Barry are a dying breed. And didn't the 'other' John Williams write the themes to some of those Irwin Allen sci-fi shows of the 60s? Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Lost in Space were always my favourites.

And on the subject of film themes, dare I suggest that the best film theme of all time (for a variety of reasons) has to be the original James Bond theme. No matter who wrote it - John Barry or Monty Norman - it still evokes powerful images better than just about any other and, as with the theme to Doctor Who, seems to be able to stand numerous rearrangements without really sounding dated.

Anyway, those are my views and nominations. Over and out!
Next message Bill posted on Thursday, 16 June, 2005 - 01:15 pm
I read somewhere that "Mission: Impssible" was the most recognisable of all theme tunes. I used it for my kids doing doing taekwondo forms!

But I agree that Dr Who and James Bond are way up there too. Like Richard, I don't have a favourite theme. It varies.

Same with "my favourite tune". (Mine was "Cavatina" for a while, until the rest of the world discovered it via "The Deer Hunter" and it became almost an "easy-listening" standard.)

However, I can't agree that the good old days have gone. Think about the themes for "Taggart", "The Chief", "The X Files". No hang on: they're old now! :-)

The hottest new thing in TV is the three CSIs and they all use old Who tracks! How about "Stargate: SG-1"? I love that theme and, surprisingly, it is a lot more powerful than the original movie theme.
Next message Tricky  posted on Thursday, 30 June, 2005 - 06:07 pm
I must have a strange mind! Whenever someone mentions tv theme tunes, "Blott on the Landscape" springs to mind. Allegedly created on an instrument called a fartophone, so far it's escaped being made into a ringtone.

(It's only taken the BBC 20 years to release the series on dvd. Pretty quick for them eh?)
Next message eugenio  posted on Thursday, 14 July, 2005 - 12:13 pm
There're several tv themes that I prefer; Tv programs from U.K. always gave fantastic music as o.s.t., expecially from the '70 or late '60. But, theme from "The Persuaders" by John Barry, it's a hit for me. I never get tired when I listen to that.
Also, themes from "U.F.O.-S.H.A.D.O." & "SPACE:1999", both by Barry Gray, are amazing.
Fave O.s.t. from films? Too manies....
Goldsmith (fantastic), Morricone, Rota, Elfman & Vangelis, are masters.
Next message greenstratman posted on Thursday, 22 September, 2005 - 08:49 pm
cavatina still does it for me. i can sit and play it for an hour at a time.

not that i want anyone to think i'm an arse licker!! ;o)

Next message Chris posted on Friday, 23 September, 2005 - 08:46 am
The only programmes from the '80s that really impressed me, as far as themes go, were Robin of Sherwood and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Robin... featured some beautiful gaelic-type music from Clannad, which you can get on CD and LP (or at least, you could) and Holmes, of course, featured music composed by Patrick Gowers and played (in part) by his daughter. I know that Bill D and myself have discussed the latter (think it was Bill) in another thread somewhere. I'll also admit (shamefully) to having quite liked the theme (by Alan Parker?) to Dempsey & Makepeace. The programme was awful, but the theme was OK. The 60s and 70s, for my money, produced the best theme music and one of the best later ones was the theme to Return of the Saint, which, coincidentally, I've recently discovered was conducted by Steve Gray!
Next message Bill D posted on Friday, 23 September, 2005 - 12:16 pm
You can still get the Robin of Sherwood theme ("The Hooded Man") on various Clannad compilations, along with "Harry's Game".

The Holmes CD was long deleted but has resurfaced.

The "Dempsey & Makepeace" theme WAS indeed by Alan Parker. Seems routine cop stuff and doesn't do much for me. (Sure it wasn't Harriet Makepeace you liked?)

Cop themes? I kinda liked the "Bergerac" theme."Inspector Morse" and "Hill Street Blues" have to be at the top. I like "The Chief". Other similarly "'atmospheric' ones include "Between The Lines" and "The Gentle Touch".

How about "No Mean City" ("Taggart" theme sung by Maggie Bell)?

Trivia time:
Which TV cop theme was a number one single?
Next message Tricky posted on Friday, 23 September, 2005 - 01:29 pm
Re: Trivia time...

I know this as I used to watch it in my late teens / early twenties - but I had to google to check, so I won't post it :-) :-)
Next message Bill D posted on Friday, 23 September, 2005 - 03:09 pm
Double quiz!

That's only a clue if know when Tricky was at that age. :-)

Actually, the show lasted about 20 years. Also, according to another chart, the theme only (ONLY!) reached number 2.
Next message Chris posted on Saturday, 24 September, 2005 - 01:18 pm
20 years...?

Hmmm... I was almost going to say 'Eye Level', which was, of course, the theme to Van der Valk, but this didn't run for 20 years (mind you, it was on in 1972 and then again in the early 90s, so could this be it?). If so, Van Der Valk, which was certainly played by the Simon Park Orchestra.

Bill, you have of course revealed my guilty secret! I, along with millions of others, I suspect, tuned in to Dempsey & Makepeace purely on account of the rather stunning Glynis Barber who played Makepeace. Funnily enough, I have seen photos of her recently and blimey she still looks hot! Also, it's actually very nice to know that she's still married to Michael Brandon, who played Dempsey in the series. Probably the only good thing that came out of it. Yes, it was rubbish - and vastly inferior to The Professionals, which it replaced - although those with fond memories will be pleased to know that it's coming out on DVD soon!

I seem to remember that Maggie Bell also sang the theme song to Hazell - which starred Nicholas Ball as a private eye in the late 70s. My favourite Cop Show Theme has to be The Sweeney. Never been bettered. Nor, in my opinion, has the actual series...

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, is it Van Der Valk...?
Next message Bill D posted on Monday, 26 September, 2005 - 12:51 am

When I posed the question, I hadn't realised that Van Der Walk lasted so long but www.imdb.com says 1972-1992!

Glynis Barber! What do you mean "RATHER stunning"? Come on man, what does it take? I mean she was nearly as cute as my wife!

Of course D&M was rubbish. So was "The Professionals" but they were good rubbish. Just fun.

D&M was kinda like the British "Moonlighting".
Next message Chris posted on Monday, 26 September, 2005 - 10:07 am
Had a sneaking feeling that was it...

I think the imdb is slightly misleading. As far as I know, Van Der Valk began in 1972 and ran for two series. It then disappeared until 1977 when it was brought back for one season (by Euston Films) as a kind of temporary replacement for The Sweeney. It was then off the air again until 1990 or 1991 when it was brought back for a couple of seasons of feature length adventures. I think, on each occasion, it was resurrected from the dead for either nostalgic reasons or because the producers at the time were looking for established properties that they could shoehorn into the then current trends and schedules. I think the only real elements of continuity were the theme tune and Barry Foster. I'm sure his boss and wife were played by different actors/actresses on each occasion. I would like to see some of the earlier ones and I'm sure at least some of them are available on DVD. But, yeah, it was certainly on in '72 and again in '92 - but with some pretty lengthy gaps in between!!!

Actually, Bill, I felt that D&M was more like a British version of a very short-lived US series called Dog & Cat. Does anyone else remember this? It was basically the offbeat, male cop/female cop pairing and, I suppose, was just a variation on Starsky & Hutch. They had the predictable abrasive relationship and drove a souped up car (in this case a VW Beetle with a Porsche engine!!!! - I know, totally believable stuff!). I cannot remember the name of the actor, but the female lead was played by non-other than a pre-fame Kim Bassinger! Needless to say it sank without trace and is not something she talks about now. I think it was on ITV in about 1978. All this is courtesy of my memory, as I haven't seen it since! Wonder why?!!! Moonlighting I thought was excellent - especially the occasional 'surreal' episode.

You're right, Bill. Glynis Barber was more than just 'rather' stunning. What was I thinking when I said that? Maybe I really ought to buy the DVDs to remind myself... Second thoughts, nah... I think my memories will suffice...
Next message Chris posted on Wednesday, 28 December, 2005 - 09:06 pm
In case anyone is interested, Tristan Fry was one of the percussionists on the sessions (in 1969) for Gerry Anderson's UFO. The music was, of course, written and conducted by the late great Barry Gray. Virtually impossible (I'd say) to identify which pieces he played on, although it might be fair to assume that most episodes feature him somewhere on the soundtrack. I gleaned this info, such as it is, from the extensive production notes in Chris Bentley's 2003 book 'The Complete Book of Gerry Anderson's UFO'. There's a fantastic drum solo used at the start of the opening episode ('Identified') which has always impressed me, but I can find no indication as to which 'percussionist' played this!
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