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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Five-Star First Half; Two-Star Second, 25 April 2010
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Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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I possessed and cherished the original LP of the first half of this CD and it was a formative influence in my appreciation of what an orchestra with imaginative arrangements could do. Alas, this CD version has ditched one of the original tracks (`When Worlds Collide') but has tagged on to the end a plethora of inane and boring disco versions of other space themes (including some already appearing in the first half). I would have freely given up all of these to have had `When Worlds Collide' re-instated. This is because the lack of variation in the treatment of these latter tracks and their incessant thump for the dance-floor made me become bored very quickly.

So, what do we have here in the first half? Well, you have some tracks that are faithful to the originals, such as `Star Wars' and Holst's `Mars, the Bringer of War' (all seven-and-a-half minutes of it). And some arrangements are even better than the originals, namely the Barry Gray themes for `UFO' with its wah-wah guitar and `Space 1999'. As for the theme to `2001', Geoff Love reworked the forty minutes of Richard Strauss's `Also Sprach Zarathustra' into a clever four-minute piece that ends up where it began. I was a little disappointed at first with the arrangement of the `Thunderbirds' theme: it opens as a jaunty pop song but the arrangement thankfully gains stature in its middle section.

I guess all this is a piece of nostalgia for me, and I could say that you needed to be there in the 1970s to fully appreciate it, but with old TV sci-fi programmes making something of a comeback (Dr Who, Blake's Seven), this CD might open new ears to the joys of the old sci-fi theme tune.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a blast from the past, 31 Mar 2010
I bought the original vinyl LPs that this CD is taken from, way back in the late seventies, so this is a very nostalgic collection for me. Originally these recordings were marketed as "cheap alternatives" to the official soundtracks, or as collections of tunes not otherwise available. But this does not lessen their appeal. While some of the arrangements are a bit peculiar (Star Trek and Thunderbirds), others capture the style of the originals (Star Wars main theme) exactly.

UFO and Space 1999, although recognisably different are by no means cheap rip-offs, but are valid new (as they were) versions. Actually, I always preferred this version of Princess Leia's theme to the original used in Star Wars. Here the arrangement has a variety of textures within it and the piece builds from a delicate piano arrangement to an emotionally charged full orchestral climax.

Things to Come, Mars and Zarathustra are perfect arrangements of magnificent music.

Unfortuinately the compilers have used Mr Love's disco version of Blake's 7 rather than his original version which had a dark melancholy about it that suited the aspirations of the series.

I'm not sure I'd pay the full collector's price for a new CD, but I suspect I wouldn't be able to resist.
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Star Wars And Other Space Themes
Star Wars And Other Space Themes by Geoff Love & His Orchestra
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