Ten Tracks Today – A TV Themes Special – 3rd November 2011

01 – “Main Title Take 4” – The ChampionsTony Hatch

A great punchy theme from my childhood this one. The 3 CD soundtrack set put out by Network in 2009 is, with hindsight, a bit excessive. There is a lot of memorable music from the show that is featured on these CDs but, as with the other releases that feature multiple discs, it is all a bit too much. The “Music of ITC” they released towards the end of that year that features 9 choice cuts is a much more manageable option.

02 – “Main Titles (Alternate 1)” – Space:1999 (Year 2) – Derek Wadsworth

Quite a bit different from the better-known version of this theme: various aspects of the theme mixed up to give the alternate. This energetic theme should be seen as a good title theme but it tends to suffer from comparisons with Barry Gray’s theme from Year One.

03 – “Theme” – Charlie’s AngelsAllyn Ferguson

Another childhood theme this one. Sweeping strings, prominent drum beat and a hint of sultry jazz all blend together preparing my teenager years for the upcoming hour! Everyone had their favourite Angel – and everyone had their favourite car. The perfect pairing? Kate Jackson and Farrah Fawcett-Major’s Ford Cobra (if my memory serves me correctly) would have been the perfect crime-fighting pairing.

04 – “Opening Titles” – Joe 90Barry Gray

Perhaps if this was not another sentimental theme from my younger years I may not like this as much as I do. Very 1960s, therefore very catchy. This version is without Joe 90’s spinning cage thing effects.

05 – “Cranford Theme” – CranfordCarl Davis

Ah, here we go…lovely scenery, lovely lives (where everything sorts itself out in an hour), Davis’ theme for this popular BBC series is quite comforting.

06 – “Title Theme” – Hill Street BluesMike Post

I couldn’t get enough of this cop show when it aired in the early 1980s. And I loved this theme, particularly the simplicity of it being predominantly played on piano. Quite a laid-back theme considering the chaos of the show itself.

07 – “Title Theme” – Blake’s 7Dudley Simpson

A super theme this one. Sweeping in its feel and justifiably fanfaric (is that a word?), it took me ages to find a version that approached the original. And even then, this 3-minute version I found has a meandering middle section (played on some weird synth organ) that I had to edit out.

08 – “Heavy Action (Theme)” – SuperstarsJohnny Pearson

People outside the UK may not know what I am on about but this is one of my favourite themes – ever! I don’t know if Pearson composed this specifically for the sports competition/gameshow, but it fits the programme like a glove. Insanely catchy – as themes from the 1970s were – this always gets me humming along no matter where I hear this being played.

09 – “The Plot” – Mission: ImpossibleLalo Schifrin

What can I say. A perfect marriage of strings and drum kit! Part of the enjoyment of this show was the music. The winning formula of the show itself also had the winning formula of the stock Schifrin musical sequences.

10 – “Theme” – DallasJerrold Immel

Another catchy theme from the 1970s. What I particularly liked about this theme – more than the actual melody – was the snappy brass punctuations (alongside the percussion) after the theme was initially played.


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