Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Adventures In Vinyl: Ron Grainer - Themes Like

In a career spanning over well over two decades Ron Grainer was responsible for many well known television and film themes, a handful of which found their way onto this RCA International 1969 LP entitled Themes Like...

The album itself  doesn’t feature everything by Grainer (the Doctor Who theme been an obvious omission), but does give an enjoyable overview of some of his recent compositions leading up to the albums release, as well as a few old favourites.

The opening track is an up-tempo revisit to Steptoe & Son, the theme to the Galton & Simpson sitcom starring Harry H Corbett and Wilfred Brambell that had run well into repeats by the time this LP was issued in 1969.

Then follows a series of gentle film themes, When Winter Comes, The Assassination Trot (from The Assassination Bureau) and Only When I Larf.

The contrast changes to the funky beat of Andorra (from the play of the same name) and then the atmospheric theme for the 1968 BBC series The Jazz Age.

Side two kicks off with another familiar Grainer composition, Maigret, the theme to the 60s drama series starring Rupert Davies. There are further recordings from this series including Arlette, Midnight in Montmartre (almost reminiscent of the Trad Jazz style), and Along the Boulevards.

The drama continues with the theme to two further BBC series, Detective and Boy Meets Girl.  The final track is the novelty song Wild Daffodil (also a recording for Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen), which captures Grainer giving a rare vocal performance.

All in all, the album is an enjoyable release, not only bringing together some hard to find theme tunes of the era but displaying some very listenable instrumental music in its own right.

Found: Charity Shop, Newport, South Wales, December 2015
Price: 50p
Cover Condition: Good
Vinyl condition: Very Good (some pops and crackles)

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