A very mixed musical bag . . .
trebe | 05/14/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This recording is a primarily a collection of themes, and music from British television programs, from the 60's and early 70's. These are not the original recordings, but updated versions recorded presumably just for this compilation. Most of the music is performed by various orchestras, including those led by Laurie Johnson, Barry Gray and Tony Hatch. Being from TV, the pieces are mostly short, and are taken from various kinds of programs including comedies, dramas, and adventure/action type shows. There is great variety in the sounds you hear, and there really isn't an overall "theme" to this collection of themes. The rather detailed CD notes provide informative background and some vintage photos.
Music from programs that made it to America, like The Avengers, The Saint, or Danger Man/Secret Agent Man, may be familiar to American listeners, but unless you have been exposed to British television, much of this music will be unfamiliar. There are also some themes from American TV, like Perry Mason, The Fugitive, Peyton Place and Ben Casey, which may be recognizable. Taken for what they are, some pieces are well done. For those who favor upbeat, action type themes, there is High Wire from Danger Man, the twangy Maigret's theme, and the themes from Riviera Police and Department S. The version of the theme from the Avengers, performed by original composer Laurie Main's orchestra, is stirring, as you would expect. The same cannot be said for the disappointing version of the theme from The Saint. There are a few vocal tracks as well, such as the rousing Stingray, sung by Gary Miller. Many pleasant and easy to listen to tunes such as Roy Budd's Mr. Rose, and the themes from M. Somerset Maughham and Dr. Findlay's Casebook can be found. Though there will probably be something here for everyone, such a mixed musical bag makes a general recommendation most difficult. For most, the purchase of this set is very much a roll of the dice. If the track list does not look familiar, you might want to look elsewhere."