5/21/2007

Radiophonic Music In A Round House

(Click on the picture to download.)

This is basically a personal best-of cobbled together from the various Radiophonic Workshop albums posted on the
XYZ Cosmonaut blog. (Thanks a lot, by the way!) While I think that all the praise heaped upon the Workshops 60's and early 70's output is largely justified, both BBC released Radiophonic compilations are marred by slightly annoying station id's and tracks that haven't really aged that gracefully. And the cds from the Dr. Who At The BBC Radiophonic Workshop series contain mostly sound effects and very short cues of incidental music that may be highl
y imaginative. But seriously, how often are going to listen to a few seconds of swooshing, whooping and bleeping?

So I did my own compilation, basically condensing the two BBC compilations down to those tracks that are of more than just historical interest and adding some tracks from the Dr. Who cds and the pretty great soundtrack of
The Tomorrow People. Strictly speaking, the latter is actually not a Radiophonic record. The music for this ITV produced series was mostly cobbled together from a library record by the Workshop's Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson (working under the pseudonyms of Li De La Russe and Nikki St. George) and David Vorhaus, the three of them also forming the initial line-up of White Noise. Also, the show's theme was created by Dudley Simpson, a freelance composer who worked
on a lot of Dr. Who episodes at the Radiophonic studios.

Bookended by the o
riginal Dr. Who Theme and it's 1980 re-working by Peter Howell, the bulk of this collection is made up of Delia Derbyshire's wonderfully otherwordly and sensous creations, John Baker's quirky and inventive rhythmic workouts and three fantastic tracks by Glynis Jones (wrongly spelled Johns in the ID3-tags, by the way). Also included are Dudley Simpson's theme for The Tomorrow People and two tracks by David Cain, the short but charming Crossbeat and the impressive musique concrète-piece War Of The Worlds.

If you want to get the
full albums, head over to the XYZ Cosmonaut. And here's a pretty fantastic and insanely well researched essay that's well worth reading, even if you only have a passing interest in the Workshop.

The knob-twiddling lady on the photo is Delia Derbyshire and that's Ron Grainer looking over her shoulder. The painting by Bridget Riley doesn't really have anything to do with the Workshop, I just thought it suits the music's proto-psychedelic pop modernism quite nicely.

6 comments:

XMP said...

Hey thanks for the Wartime comment! And I really love your blog. linking up. Plus I'm cracking up that you got that Sleeparchive picture up from the Flex set - I saw that months ago and thought HE MUST BE TOASTED! Wicked set though... cheers

square dancer said...

Hey, thanks a lot for all the nice comments and the linkage! Really appreciate it. Cheers!

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Anonymous said...

Great blog, some great tunz, cheers. (Love early BBC RW)

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