Friday, 6 September 2013

Retro Vinyl: Top T.V. Themes by The Pandora Orchestra (Starline, 1972)

Amazing to think that before soundtrack albums became the norm, TV Theme LP's were the only way of acquiring your favourite tunes from a television series. Some albums would have a theme, children's television for instance or drama. Others would be a cornucopia collection of tunes from various shows, usually reflective of the era they were released in.

Top TV Themes was a release on EMI's Starline label in 1972 bringing together 13 tunes recorded by The Pandora Orchestra (with the exception of The Onedin Line which was recorded by The London Symphony Orchestra).

This release featured faithful renditions of themes for On The Buses, Doctor At Large, Catweasle and Please Sir! alongside iconic themes for Upstairs Downstairs and New Scotland Yard. In the case of many of these tunes they do actually sound close to the TV originals making for a lively release.

All tunes (with the exception of The Onedin Line) were from ITV shows of the early 70s. The Onedin Line therefore was a rerecording by The London Symphony Orchestra. Its by far one of the most outstanding recordings of the theme tune (The Love Theme from Spartacus) suitably attired with thunderous sound effects projecting a minds eye image of life at sea.

These versions of Please Sir, Doctor At Large (or Bond Street Parade or Doctor In The House) have surfaced on CD compilations in recent years. This LP is worth tracking down though for its curious collection of tracks particularly the theme to a Dora Bryan sausage factory sit-com Both Ends Meet.

I found my copy of this LP for a mere 30p back in 1984 at Something Old, Something New, a now long out of business shop dealing in second hand material in Hildyard Row, Catterick Garrison.

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