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4.1 out of 5 stars7
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Featuring music primarily sourced from the vaults of De Wolfe and KPM this is a welcome release by Soul Jazz Records. Featuring 36 tracks commissioned by film and television studios between 1956 and 1980, much of the music will be familiar to people of a certain age. Covering a range of styles including orchestral, moody jazz, organ led upbeat numbers, electronia and even folk, there's a diverse range of music on offer. And there's an over-load of trippy Easy Listening vibes.

Highlights (and there are many) include the Brian Fahey Orchestra's 'At the Sign of the Swingin' Cymbal' - the theme to Alan 'Fluff' Freeman's Pick of The Pops, the dense funk-groove of Barry Stoller's 'Condition Red' and Roy Budd's theme to 'Get Carter'. Elsewhere, Harry Roche Constellation's 'Spiral' is a 10½ minute mind bender featuring snatches of fuzzy guitar, breathy wordless female vocals and plenty of funky jazz vibes - it's epic! Most of the big names are here - John Barry, Keith Mansfield, Barry Gray, Syd Dale, Roy Budd etc. The inclusion of Pentangle's 'Light Flight' is an odd - some might claim inspired - choice. Featuring the gorgeous vocals of Jacqui McShee, there's no doubting it's quality, however it does seems at odds with much of the music here.

The combined playing time of both discs is 1 hour & 50 minutes. The CDs are presented in a jewel case that is housed in a cardboard slip case alongside a 48 page booklet. Featuring biographies on all of the featured artists (written by Jonny Trunk), a brief history of Library music, a short essay about de Wolfe Music and archive photos, it's of the standard expected from Soul Jazz Records. Confusingly, the introduction highlights a couple of theme tunes - 'Mastermind' and 'Match of The Day' - to explain how Library music has worked its way into the consciousness of UK television audiences even though neither tune features on the album. 4½ stars and recommended

The artist / track list:

CD 1

1. Barry Stoller - Condition Red (2.01)
2. Pentangle - Light Flight (Theme From Take Three Girls) (3.13)
3. Geoff Love And His Orchestra - Three Days Of The Condor (3.12)
4. The Tony Hatch Sound - Man Alive (2.01)
5. Richard Denton And Martin Cook - Tomorrow's World (4.10)
6. Brian Fahey And His Orchestra - At The Sign Of The Swingin' Cymbal (2.05)
7. Bullet - The Contract Man (2.27)
8. Syd Dale - Man Friday (2.35)
9. The Laurie Johnson Orchestra - Echo Four-Two (2.12)
10. Keith Papworth - Hard Hitter (2.53)
11. John Barry - The Persuaders (2.07)
12. Roy Budd - Getting Nowhere In A Hurry (3.08)
13. The Simon Park Orchestra - Dawn To Dusk (3.07)
14. The Marylebone Orchestra - Fiesta Numero Uno (2.15)
15. Sort Of Soul - Bird 'n Brass (2.47)
16. Johnny Gregory And His Orchestra - The Avengers (2.06)
17. Johnny Harris - Fragment Of Fear (4.07)
18. Roy Budd - Get Carter (2.58)
19. Neil Richardson - Guide Path (1.43)

CD 2

1. Brian Bennett - Canvas (2.34)
2. Wil Malone - Death Line (3.06)
3. Syd Dale - Huckleberry Fine (3.28)
4. The Harry Roche Constellation - Spiral (10.36)
5. The Ivor And Basil Kirchin Band - Jungle Fire Dance (2.36)
6. The Laurie Johnson Orchestra - The New Avengers Theme (2.21)
7. James Clarke + Sounds - Folk Song (3.10)
8. The Reg Tilsley Orchestra - Strike Rich (2.49)
9. The Barry Gray Orchestra - Joe 90 (1.57)
10. Keith Mansfield - Soul Thing (3.15)
11. C.C.S. - Whole Lotta Love (3.32)
12. Syd Dale - Artful Dodger (2.34)
13. John Gregory And His Orchestra - Jaguar (3.37)
14. Nick Ingman - Down Home (2.59)
15. Barbara Moore - Steam Heat (2.53)
16. Alan Parker - Angels (2.58)
17. Alan Moorhouse - Face Up (2.30)

**The cover shown here is different to the actual CD cover which gives the dates as 1956-80**
66 comments24 of 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 May 2013
I heard a track from this cd on Radio 6 and was intrigued enough to buy it from Amazon. Well, I've been amazeD. What stands out is the sheer breadth of musical imagination on show, the quality of arrangements and of playing too. I've been a fan of the Cinematic Orchestra for some time, only losing interest in them recently with their pseudo-orchestral doodlings. They should stick to jazz. These cds show somethings of the musical origins of bands like CO. Except, this is the real thing. A friend who is into 60s and 70s fashions and home decor said this is the aural equivalent. So lots of style and quality too. Buy it!
0Comment2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 July 2014
Probably an age thing but nice to here some of that music to remind you of your past.
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 July 2012
If the tracklisting for the vinyl version was the same as the CD set, I'd recommend this over it, all this music was recorded with vinyl reproduction in mind. Unfortunately the quoted tracklist is as follows:-

1 - Barry Stoller - Condition Red
2 - Pentangle - Light Flight
3 - Geoff Love and his Orchestra - Three Days of the Condor
4 - The Tony Hatch Sound - Man Alive
5 - Richard Denton and Martin Cook - Tomorrow's World
6 - Brian Fahey and his Orchestra - At The Sign Of The Swingin' Cymbal
7 - Bullet - The Contract Man
8 - Syd Dale - Man Friday
9 - The Laurie Johnson Orchestra - Echo Four-Two
10 - Keith Papworth - Hard Hitter
11 - John Barry - The Persuaders
12 - Roy Budd - Getting Nowhere in a Hurry
13 - The Simon Park Orchestra - Dawn to Dusk
14 - The Marylebone Orchestra - Fiesta Numero Uno
15 - Sort of Soul - Bird 'n Brass
16 - Johnny Gregory and his Orchestra - The Avengers
17 - Johnny Harris - Fragment of Fear
18 - Roy Budd - Get Carter
19 - Neil Richardson - Guide Path

Under the circumstances and assuming that there's no error in the quoted track lists, I'd have to say that this version is only for vinyl junkies and people who are only buying it for Syd Dale's 'Man Friday' (Or 'The Chris Tarrant theme' as most people know it...) or 'At the sign of the swingin' cymbal' (Alan Freeman's 'Pick of the pops theme'). Or I guess because they want a bigger picture of the girl on the cover... A shame.
55 comments6 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 December 2012
Nowadays, there are quite a number of library music collections. This one includes some fine numbers from the KPM and De Wolfe vaults plus a number of TV and British film tunes.

As a Swede, I haven't got the memories or the nostalgia connected with many of the tracks as I suspect that Britons do. Nonetheless, this is a fine collection with great sound quality, track order and a booklet with long introductions to the artists. As one could expect from a Soul Jazz release.

So, why 4 stars out of 5? Well, there could have been some more variation.
0Comment0 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 March 2015
Very poor selection of themes that are not originals but are just regular commercial covers of TV & movie soundtracks
0Comment0 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 April 2013
I like the Simon Park Orchestra and Barry Gray, plus other various TV Themes from 1955 to 1978. Especially the New Avengers, which is on this complication.
0Comment0 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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