1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful, if you like that sort of thing,
This review is from: The Music Of Laurie Johnson Vol 3: The New Avengers (Audio CD)
Let me start by saying that I'm a card carrying fan of the Avengers, New or otherwise, and therefore an open door in terms of market reach. In addition The House of Cards is my favourite episode of the 1970s version, and so (again) I was an easy sell, given that that episode's entire score is included in disc 1 of this set, although the scores for The Midas Touch and (particularly) To Catch a Rat are equal in musical quality, if not better. To be brief, what the listener is going to get out of this depends almost entirely on what they themselves bring to the table. The uninitiated are going to get 20 odd minutes per episode of very brief muscial cues that don't mean anything to them and don't really have time to amount to very much. A fan, familiar with the episodes in question will, on the other hand, thrill at hearing those cues in isolation for the first time.
There have been other reviews dealing with the pros and cons of the choices made in earmarking the three complete scores included over other possibilities. Johnson's work on the series was vital to the success of (at least) the first season, and there are many other scores that stand out as deserving this kind of exposure. For my money, however, the three chosen are more than justified; Perov's syncopated "Peter and the Wolf" woodwind motiff from House of Cards, the Harry Lime chimes soundtracking The White Rat's pernicious progress, and the admittedly dated but completely in keeping 70's wah-wah of The Midas Touch are all great. Those parts taken directly from the episodes themselves are less impressive (the whiff of Cybernaught and Red Mask Party from Midas Touch in particular), but still worth having in the collection.
The real treat here though is the re-recording of the theme from Tale of the Big Why. Already a bit of a fan favourite, the theme's blokey swing sounds fantasic here in expansive stereo. Had Johnson allowed his band to stretch out and jam with it a little more I could quite happily have listened to this for twice as long as the version we're given.
Discs 2 and 3 haven't yet come anywhere near my CD player, but disc 1 is, to the right punter, worth the admission price alone. Any fans who are in two minds about picking up a copy should waiver no more. An essential purchase.