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A Vintage 1970s BBC LP... Now on CD,
This review is from: Doctor Who Sound Effects (Vintage Beeb) (Audio CD)
Originally issued in the late 1970s as part of an extensive collection of LPs featuring selections from the BBC sound effects library, 'Doctor Who Sound Effects' has now been re-released as part of the Vintage Beeb series. As with others in the series, the CD (in a standard jewel case) features a booklet reproducing the original front and rear sleeve artwork, and the disc itself is designed to give the appearance of the original record as well. Interestingly - and presumably for reasons linked to the way in which these effects were originally archived - various tracks are listed with reference to earlier versions of their respective story titles, so you can now thrill to the sounds of such forgotten tales as 'Dr Who and the Exillons', 'The Desructors' and 'The Enemy Within'. As with all the Vintage Beeb titles, the retro packaging is nice, particularly for a budget range where more elaborate replica sleeves etc may not be commercially viable.
Moving on to the contents, the 30 tracks on the disc hail mainly from the 1970s, and consist of atmospheres and special sounds created for the series by the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The first half (Side A of the original LP) is weighted more towards the atmospheric effects, which include the famous pulsating Dalek control room noise which haunted young viewers back in the day, and the ambient sounds of the Exillon City and Metebelis III among others. The second half veers more in the direction of shorter effects, including various alien gun blasts (some of which immediately evoke memories of the stories in which they originally appear) and the sounds of the Doctor's TARDIS and Sonic Screwdriver. Well, some of them. Disappointingly, the original release didn't feature the famous wheezing, groaning (or Vworp Vworp, if you prefer) that accompanies the TARDIS' taking off and landing, and so this is a notable omission from the disc. Given that this disc is essentially an exercise in nostalgia, I can entirely understand why it's been decided not to interfere with the contents of the album. It's still a little disappointing, though.
Ultimately, this is a great bit of nostalgia for fans who owned the LP the first time round. Whether it'll have much appeal beyond that is debatable. It's difficult to think of a situation where you'll get the urge to sit down and listen to 'Gallifreyan Staser (3 Blasts)' or 'Sutekh Time Tunnel', and unless you have a desire to use the sounds for some purpose or other, it may not be worth bothering. But at this price point, it's worth a shot. 3 blasts, of course.