- Audio CD (29 May 2000)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Soundtrack
- Label: BBC Music
- ASIN: B00004TFML
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 501,484 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Doctor Who at the Radiophonic Workshop, Vol. 2: New Beginnings, 1970-1980
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Picking straight up from Volume One, the Pertwee years and the transition into the scarf-wearing Baker are covered. It was perhaps the greatest period of change for the series: colour, Earth-bound setting, a greater sense of continuity and behind-the-scenes, a ceaseless experimentation to be at the forefront of electronic music and sound design by the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop. Chiefly responsible for the beeps and squeaks were Dudley Simpson and Brian Hodgson. Their work from "The Mind Of Evil" and "The Claws Of Axos", together with Delia Derbyshire's "Inferno", make up the album's first half. The chronology then passes on to Malcolm Clarke's revolutionary dabblings with the "Delaware" (a room-filling modular analogue synthesiser) for "The Sea Devils". Like Volume One, there's more electronic history than musical artistry to be appreciated, and this is especially true of the Sound Effects suite which includes great titles like "Nerva Beacon Infrastructure & T-Mat Couch". Finishing on the demos that landed Peter Howell further work in the show's third decade, the album closes with his long-lastingly stunning re-working of the classic title theme. --Paul Tonks
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I purchased these CDs on the strength of having a high quality copy of the theme music, whilst being open-minded about the other tracks of which I had only a moderate understanding. What a discovery these albums have been! Perhaps it's the sound reproduction from my own stereo; nevertheless, they open up, explore and hold high the many wonderful atmospheres and ambiences from the program's (aural) history.
Listening to the tracks in isolation from picture, they add a new dimension to Doctor Who. One is acutely aware of the sense of imagination that has gone into their production, something that is not always gleaned from a typical Doctor Who viewing. Alternative music buffs will delight in recognising some of the tones and structures now used in modern electronic compositions - here underlies the BBC Radiophonic Workshop's identity as a pioneer in its field.
Apart from the opening and closing titles music from 1970 and 1980, highlights of Doctor Who at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop Volume 2 include Aggedor Temple and Metebelis III Atmospheres, Nerva Beacon Infrastructure and T-Mat Couch (very special) and The Planet Karn. These tracks inspire much more than the clashing symbols of orchestras so widely used in the big budget movies of today - their unadulterated richness and depth makes me proud to be a fan of Doctor Who.
Contributions from "The Mind of Evil" and "The Claws of Axos" demonstrate the adolescence of the music from the period, proving to me why I find these stories so compelling. Delia Derbyshire's compositions used for "Inferno" resonate as a kind of tasty prelude to Malcolm Clarke's uncompromising electronic weirdness for "The Sea Devils". The creativity of these tracks may have been controversial at the time, but today would no doubt be celebrated by the many pop bands and artistes who seek to "find themselves" in their music.
An ideal way to listen to these albums is out of doors (in the car perhaps), at night, under the stars. With the advantage of CD player technology you can arrange tracks to preference, creating your own audio adventure. If you've ever been inspired by the music of Doctor Who, then do yourself a favour and purchase these albums. You'll find they are just what the Doctor ordered!
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