The Mandalorian: Chapter 2 – music by Ludwig Goransson

If there was an episode of The Mandalorian in which Ludwig Goransson could shine brightly, Chapter 2 was definitely it – there’s a lengthy stretch of the episode where not a word of English is spoken, and the story is punctuated by grunts, groans, and Jawa-speak. It’s not until Mando returns to Kuill’s settlement to ask for help that anyone in this episode talks. Everything during that time is conveyed by body language, visual effects…and the music.

That’s part of what makes “Jawa Attack” such an unashamedly big piece of music. Aside from sound effects, the show’s main character grunting as he tries to muscle his way through his opposition, and the Jawas doing what Jawas always do in Star Wars mythology – namely, stripping ships and vehicles and leaving them on blocks – there’s nothing in the music’s way. Though not as action-packaged, “Trahsed Crest” is also a musical moment that gets to happen with minimal interruption. “To The Jawas” is an in-your-face travelogue that takes the Manadlorian from Kuill’s settlement to the Jawas’ sandcrawler, with echoes of “Jawas Attack” thrown in as a motif. The Jawa motif returns in full force at the beginning of “The Egg”, which then gradually becomes more moody and electronic as Mando (and the tiny child who is now, almost inexplicably, tagging along on one of Mando’s most dangerous encounters).

“The Mudhorn” is largely electronic, giving the beast a truly otherworldly yet primal rhythm, an element that is brought up short when the child brings the Mudhorn to a standstill with the Force, culminating in a much more full-bodied version of the theme for the child hear at the end of the show’s first episode. “Celebration” brings the Jawa motif back in a major key, as we discover that they sent the Mandalorian into a life-threatening situation to fetch them a snack. I mean, really, it’s like he got them a bag of real Cheetos instead of the store brand bag that doesn’t quite taste the same. Remind me never to go 4 out of 4grocery shopping for Jawas.

This episode may well be the strongest, musically, until the closing two episodes of the season, giving Goransson a chance to go nuts and really lay out the show’s musical manifesto with a minimum of spoken dialogue to get in the way. This was where we really found out that this show’s musical voice was an amazing character in its own right.

Order this CD

  1. Walking On Mud (1:38)
  2. Jawas Attack (3:46)
  3. Trashed Crest (2:18)
  4. To The Jawas (1:35)
  5. The Egg (2:54)
  6. The Mudhorn (3:00)
  7. Celebration (3:31)
  8. The Next Journey (2:35)

Released by: Disney Music
Release date: November 15, 2019
Total running time: 21:17

Vangelis – Rosetta

Maintaining public interest and support of a space mission that’s expected to take years to complete is something of an arms race in the age of constant internet distraction. There’s social media outreach, classroom outreach, a constant battle to get the mission to even register as a blip in an increasingly polarized 24-hour news cycle, and of late, there are the citizen-scientist angles and engagement in the arts to consider.

It’s that latter category where the European Space Agency has excelled in recent years. The landmark Rosetta mission to Comet 67/P Churyumov–Gerasimenko was one of those missions for the ages, right up there with the Voyagers, Veneras, and Vikings – it was a robotic space probe that would chase a comet, maintain a close distance for further observations, and finally drop a lander onto the comet itself. That was quite a laundry list of goals for a single mission to achieve, and Rosetta checked off all the boxes. It was a mission any nation or group of nations could’ve called an achievement, and it was one of ESA’s finest moments.

To celebrate this, even as the mission was only just leaving the ground, ESA commissioned musical works, short films, and yeah, there were even plushies of Rosetta and its Philae lander. Vangelis was originally commissioned to create three pieces of music depicting three key events in the mission, including the comet landing; those three pieces are joined on the Rosetta album, by others, adding up to a musical narrative of the mission from beginning to end. And Vangelis – he of Chariots Of Fire and Blade Runner fame – is an inspired choice, though there’s much more in common with his non-soundtrack works (and lesser-known soundtrack works) here. (It’s worth noting that Vangelis had been tapped by NASA to create a musical experience for the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission as well.)

The icy synthesizers running throughout the album – utterly appropriate for the vacuum of space – bring Vangelis’ soundtrack from Antarctica to mind (and, yes, there’s a bit of Blade Runner to be found there too). But Vangelis, even when working with electronics, tends to arrange his music as if an orchestra’s going to be playing it, so it still manages to sound organic in its own way. “Sunlight”, in particular, is appropriately warm and shimmering. “Rosetta” also falls into that uncanny musical valley of human and synthetic, reminding me of the delicate “La Petite Fille de la Mer” from L’Apocalypse des Animaux, as well as bringing some recognizably Greek elements to its arrangement.

“Philae’s Descent” and “Perihelion” are the closest the album really gets to some of the pulse-pounding excitement one might expect if this were a soundtrack, pointing up the precision (and the hazards) of the descent to the comet’s surface. “Mission Accomplie (Rosetta’s Waltz)” releases some of that tension in a much more relaxing musical victory lap. (These were the pieces 3 out of 4originally commissioned by ESA.) “Elegy” and “Return To The Void” give the mission a bittersweet sendoff since, as is often the case with deep space missions, none of the hardware was ever going to return to Earth.

I can’t think of anyone better than Vangelis to provide the musical chronicle of Rosetta’s flight. The album may, if taken in in a single sitting, be a little too ethereal for some, but it does conjure up that sense of wonder that the mission itself brought us as well.

Order this CD

  1. Origins (Arrival) (4:21)
  2. Starstuff (5:14)
  3. Infinitude (4:30)
  4. Exo Genesis (3:33)
  5. Celestial Whispers (2:31)
  6. Albedo 0.06 (4:45)
  7. Sunlight (4:22)
  8. Rosetta (5:02)
  9. Philae’s Descent (3:05)
  10. Mission Accomplie (Rosetta’s Waltz) (2:12)
  11. Perihelion (6:35)
  12. Elegy (3:06)
  13. Return To The Void (4:19)

Released by: Decca Records
Release date: September 30, 2016
Total running time: 53:36

Doctor Who: The Five Doctors – music by Peter Howell

It says a lot for the evolution, over time, of what listeners expect from a soundtrack purchase, when one considers that The Five Doctors – the 90-minute Doctor Who 20th anniversary special – once lent its name to an LP of “suites” from various 1980s Doctor Who stories, but didn’t merit its own full soundtrack release until 35 years after its 1983 premiere. But now that it’s here, was it worth the wait?

In the liner notes, composer Peter Howell himself says that he was firing on all creative cylinders in a way that he hadn’t before. The Five Doctors was a special production, not part of an ongoing season, so there was a bit of breathing room to come up with ideas. The Five Doctors score is one of the high water marks of 1980s Doctor Who soundtrack music, being possibly the first use of sampling, or at least the first use of sampling as a key part of the music. The unearthly, menacing exclamation point of the Cybermen’s percussive music cues is the slowed-down sound of a lid being pulled off of a metal can. The foreboding horn heard in the Death Zone on Gallifrey isn’t a brass musican instrument, but a sampled ship’s horn. And the Time Lord-centric story gets appropriately clock-like percussive elements, very much a first in Doctor Who.

Of course, none of that would really matter if Peter Howell wasn’t one of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s masters of memorable melodies. It really wasn’t until the Radiophonic Workshop came along that any of the show’s various resident composers had employed Ron Grainer’s theme tune as a leitmotif; even Dudley Simpson crafted his own theme for the Doctor that had virtually nothing to do with Grainer’s theme. But here, Howell leans hard on the show’s signature theme throughout the adventure, which really helps to point up the momentous nature of the story being told: the story doesn’t just involve the Doctor, it’s about the Doctor and the Time Lords. And it’s not just the motif itself, but the fact that it’s still – after 20 years – the BBC Radiophonic Workshop doing the honors, bringing all of the lovely analog tricks and reverb to the table in quoting that theme authentically. The Five Doctors was really the first Doctor Who music that even a non-fan could listen to and say, “That’s Doctor Who music, isn’t it?”

Much of the second half of the disc repeats the score, but with some sonic enhancements Howell added for a 1990s extended VHS reissue of the story, which restored some deleted scenes and added new effects, forcing Howell to rethink sections of the score to match the new edit. Bonus tracks include the “cliffhangers” composed for syndicated versions of The Five Doctors that broke the story up into a traditional four-parter, as well as some Radiophonic Workshop sound effects.

4 out of 4It all adds up to a long, long overdue package. I know that there was a fairly comprehensive suite of highlights from the score of The Five Doctors on CD and, before that, on LP going back to 1984, and I know that the score was available on DVD as an isolated audio track…but it really has been a long wait for a properly remastered release of the original, pre-special-edition score as I remember hearing it back in 1983 when The Five Doctors blew my mind by finally showing me all of the Doctors and companions that I’d only read about in Starlog. It’s nice to finally have it, and even with all of the widescreen orchestral grandeur that has become the sound of Doctor Who since the turn of the century, The Five Doctors remains one of the show’s all-time great scores.

Order this CD

  1. Doctor Who – Opening Theme (0:36)
  2. New Console (0:24)
  3. The Eye Of Orion (0:57)
  4. Cosmic Angst (1:18)
  5. Melting Icebergs (0:40)
  6. Great Balls Of Fire (1:02)
  7. My Other Selves (0:38)
  8. No Coordinates (0:26)
  9. Bus Stop (0:23)
  10. No Where, No Time (0:31)
  11. Dalek Alley and The Death Zone (3:00)
  12. Hand In The Wall (0:21)
  13. Who Are You? (1:04)
  14. The Dark Tower / My Best Enemy (1:24)
  15. The Game Of Rassilon (0:18)
  16. Cybermen I (0:22)
  17. Below (0:29)
  18. Cybermen II (0:58)
  19. The Castellan Accused / Cybermen III (0:34)
  20. Raston Robot (0:24)
  21. Not The Mind Probe (0:10)
  22. Where There’s A Wind, There’s A Way (0:43)
  23. Cybermen vs. Raston Robot (2:02)
  24. Above And Between (1:41)
  25. As Easy As Pi (0:23)
  26. Phantoms (1:41)
  27. The Tomb Of Rassilon (0:24)
  28. Killing You Once Was Never Enough (0:39)
  29. Oh, Borusa (1:21)
  30. Mindlock (1:12)
  31. Immortality (1:18)
  32. Doctor Who Closing Theme – The Five Doctors Edit (1:19)
  33. Death Zone Atmosphere (3:51)
  34. End of Episode 1 (Sarah Falls) (0:11)
  35. End of Episode 2 (Cybermen III variation) (0:13)
  36. End of Episode 3 (Nothing to Fear) (0:09)
  37. The Five Doctors Special Edition: Prologue (Premix) (1:22)

    Special Edition

  38. Doctor Who – Opening Theme (0:35)
  39. Prologue (1:17)
  40. The Eye Of Orion / Cosmic Angst (2:22)
  41. Melting Icebergs (0:56)
  42. Great Balls Of Fire (0:56)
  43. My Other Selves (0:35)
  44. Nothing Can Go Wrong (0:35)
  45. Bus Stop (0:22)
  46. No Where, No Time (0:36)
  47. Enter Borusa (0:28)
  48. Enter The Master (0:14)
  49. Dalek Alley and The Death Zone (3:06)
  50. Hand In The Wall (0:20)
  51. Recall Signal (0:34)
  52. Who Are You? / Tell Me All About It (0:49)
  53. Thunderbolts (0:33)
  54. The Dark Tower (0:25)
  55. My Best Enemy (1:11)
  56. The Game Of Rassilon (0:17)
  57. Cybermen I (0:22)
  58. Below (0:43)
  59. Cybermen II (1:12)
  60. The Castellan Accused / Cybermen III (0:35)
  61. Raston Robot (0:24)
  62. Not The Mind Probe (0:32)
  63. Where There’s A Wind, There’s A Way (0:31)
  64. Cybermen vs. Raston Robot (2:04)
  65. Above And Between (1:41)
  66. The Fortress Of The Time Lords (1:04)
  67. As Easy As Pi (0:22)
  68. I Hope You’ve Got Your Sums Right / Phantoms (2:29)
  69. The Tomb Of Rassilon (0:29)
  70. Killing You Once Was Never Enough (1:26)
  71. Oh, Borusa (1:21)
  72. Mindlock (1:11)
  73. Immortality (1:17)
  74. Doctor Who Closing Theme – The Five Doctors Edit (1:16)
  75. The Eye Of Orion Atmosphere (3:07)
  76. Time Scoop (0:24)
  77. Transmat Operates (0:09)
  78. Rassilon Background (3:49)
  79. Borusa Ring Sequence (0:37)
  80. The Five Doctors Titles Zap (0:10)

Released by: Silva Screen
Release date: September 14, 2018
Total running time: 77:56

The Tourists – Reality Effect

The Tourists seem to be doomed to forever occupy an odd footnote in history, relegated to the description “the band Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart were in before they started the Eurythmics”. Technically, that’s not inaccurate, but there’s quite a bit more to it than that. Led by Peet Coombes, the Tourists were a new wave five-piece that rocked harder than some of their peers, leaving real guitars and drums in the mix as quite a few other bands in that genre abandoned them for wall-to-wall synths and drum machines. In many other respects, though, the Tourists were an absolutely typical new wave group, doing more modern cover versions of older songs (such as Dusty Springfield’s “I Only Wanna Be With You”, which was a moderate hit from this album, probably due in no small part to an early music video that demonstrated that Lennox was both a sonically and visually arresting performer).

But let’s not forget that Dave Stewart was in the Tourists as well (it’s bad enough to keep having to remind everyone that he was half of the Eurythmics). His classic rock guitar riffs are unmistakable, and give the Tourists a sound that wasn’t typical in those early days of new wave.

The wild card that really defines the Tourists’ sound, however, is Coombes’ duets with Lennox throughout. Their harmonizing is a sound unique to the Tourists; even on songs where one or the other seems to be taking the lead (as Lennox does on the aforementioned cover of “I Only Want To Be With You”), the other is a prominent co-lead, and their similar vocal ranges make for a unique sound. Really, the Tourists end up barely fitting into the new wave category, perhaps more due to their look than their sound, because in most respects they were very much a classic rock band, applying some of the new aesthetics of the late ’70s and early ’80s to rock ‘n’ roll. The highlights include “Nothing To Do”, “So Good To Be Back Home”, and “In The Morning 3 out of 4(When The Madness Has Faded)”, but even in less stand-out-ish tracks such as “In My Mind (There’s Sorrow)”, there’s a lot to love about the Tourists’ sound (and Coombes’ songwriting).

Are the Tourists just the Eurythmics with three extra people tagging along? Hardly. You can hear, in Lennox’s vocal stylings and Stewart’s precision guitar work, some of the seeds being planted, but if the Tourists had scored a bigger hit before breaking up, the ’80s music scene might have taken a very different shape with regard to one of its major success stories.

  1. It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way (3:38)
  2. I Only Want To Be With You (2:21)
  3. In The Morning (When The Madness Has Faded) (3:57)
  4. All Life’s Tragedies (3:43)
  5. Everywhere You Look (3:11)
  6. So Good To Be Back Home Again (2:33)
  7. Nothing To Do (3:22)
  8. Circular Fever (3:00)
  9. In My Mind (There’s Sorrow) (4:37)
  10. Something In The Air Tonight (4:04)
  11. Summer’s Night (3:16)

Released by: Epic
Release date: October 19, 1979
Total running time: 37:42

[…]

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu – music by Henry Jackman

I all but had to invent a new movie category for Detective Pikachu, because this is a movie that falls under the “well, that worked so much better than I was expecting it to” category. Given that the Pokemon IP holders were going to throw whatever was necessary at this film to make sure it didn’t fail, I wasn’t expecting abject failure, but I wasn’t expecting a movie that I’d be so utterly engrossed in.

Henry Jackman’s score was a big help in that regard. While it does have some synth elements lending it something of an “old video game” feel (and Jackman has become the de facto “video game movie” composer in recent years, with the Wreck-It Ralph franchise and Pixels under his belt), the bulk of the score wisely plays to the movie’s emotional core. You know, that thing that I wasn’t expecting to be there, and wasn’t expecting to be engrossing.

The music also does a lot to play up the sheer wonder of the movie’s universe, a world where Pokemon do, in fact, exist and have always been there alongside human beings. Absent from this universe are cats, dogs, and other familiar animals; in their place are the fictional creatures from the Pokemon franchise down through the years – Skitties and Growliths instead of cats and dogs.

Some of my favorite music cues are those, like “Apom Attack”, “The Roundhouse,” and “Pikachu vs. Charizard”, accompanying scenes that really highlight what that kind of a world would be like (in both good and bad ways). Taking a world of trainers and gym battles and so on into something resembling our physical reality is not an easy task; the score sells the viewer on these things as a reality (maybe not the viewer’s reality, but a reality for the characters in the movie). Some of this music gets almost hyperkinetic, bordering on dubstep, and it’s fun to hear that colliding with a more traditional orchestral treatment.

4 out of 4Other tracks, like “Embrace” and “Digging Deeper”, to name just a couple, have more traditional supporting roles to play in underscoring the emotional thrust of their respective scenes, helping lend weight and menace to the movie’s central mystery (what happened to Pikachu’s former partner?), which, if the whole movie hadn’t hung together so well, might have been seen as a really silly solution to that portion of the plot. Overall, Detective Pikachu is as engrossing a listening experience as it is a viewing experience, and one can certainly hope that Jackman is on board for whatever next installment might be waiting in the wings to happen.

Order this CD

  1. Mewtwo Awakes (1:19)
  2. Catching A Cubone (2:05)
  3. Bad News (1:17)
  4. Howard Clifford (0:56)
  5. Ryme City (2:11)
  6. A Key To The Past (2:06)
  7. Aipom Attack (1:58)
  8. On The Case (1:26)
  9. Childhood Memories (1:42)
  10. Buddies (1:08)
  11. Interrogation Of Mr. Mime (1:53)
  12. The Roundhouse (1:50)
  13. Pikachu vs. Charizard (3:06)
  14. Embrace (3:07)
  15. Digging Deeper (3:55)
  16. Unauthorized Access (3:38)
  17. Greninja & Torterra (2:59)
  18. The Forest Of Healing (3:53)
  19. Shock To The System (1:19)
  20. Save The City (1:07)
  21. True Colors (2:11)
  22. Merge To One (2:08)
  23. Game On (1:05)
  24. Ditto Battle (2:26)
  25. Howard Unplugged (2:35)
  26. Epiphany (2:22)
  27. Together (2:20)

Released by: Sony Classical
Release date: May 3, 2019
Total running time: 58:02

Röyksopp – The Inevitable End

The Inevitable End isn’t the inevitable end of Röyksopp as a recording entity; the grimly titled album was their farewell to the album as the format in which they’d be releasing their work. That’s a very sad farewell indeed, because some of Röyksopp’s back catalog, including Melody A.M. and Junior, convinced me that maybe the album still had something to offer, and that the entire world wasn’t giving up to the whims of streaming and issuing singles only. And ironically, The Inevitable End falls into that category as well – an album so thematically cohesive that listening to it in one sitting is more rewarding than just hearing any one song from it in isolation.

The theme that recurs most often on The Inevitable End doesn’t become evident until you’re a couple of songs past the inevitable beginning. Beginning with “Sordid Affair”, whose subject matter is quite literally what it says on the box, the album seems to be chronicling different stages and perspectives of an extramarital relationship of some kind. (I always question this as subject matter for a song, especially since the songwriter’s going to be subjected to a lot of scrutiny afterward, i.e. “did you write this as a result of a personal experience?” “Sordid Affair” and “Compulsion” describe the rush of the illicit relationship while it’s happening, and “You Know I Have To Go” and “Save Me” explore the end of it from two perspectives. “I Had This Thing” mourns the relationship, and in a way, “Rong” does too, being an almost classically-flavored piece with a single repeating lyric (“what the f___ is wrong with you?”).

Röyksopp has become famous for its all-star line-up of guest vocalists, and while Robyn is all over the first two tracks of The Inevitable End, the real standout MVP who emerges is Jamie Irrepressible, vocalist on “You Know I Have To Go”, “I Had This Thing”, “Compulsion”, and “Here She Comes Again”. He’s got an incredible range and a great sense for dynamics, as his usual hushed delivery on “I Had This Thing” suddenly explodes into something more pleading and anguished toward the end of the song. (Spoiler: Röyksopp has continued as an entity that issues singles, and they continued to work with Jamie after this album, notably on the excellent “Something In My Heart”, so obviously they know a good thing when they hear it.)

“Coup De Grace” deflates the album’s somewhat steamy topic, filling the obligatory instrumental-only slot that’s become a tradition since “Röyksopp’s Night Out” on the first album. The album closer (and the farewell of Röyksopp as a duo that turns out albums) is “Thank You”, which works as effectively as part of the album’s storyline as it does without any of those trappings.

4 out of 4I’ll really miss Röyksopp as an “album band” – their best work has reminded me of the heyday of the Alan Parsons Project, both production-wise and as proponents of concept-based theme albums. It’s sad to hear them giving up on the latter. The singles that have arrived since The Inevitable End have been fantastic – “Never Ever” and “Something In My Heart” would be highlights of an album if they were on an album. But, I get it, album sales aren’t what drives iTunes…especially if no one wants to continue making them.

Order this CD

  1. Skulls (3:46)
  2. Monument (TIE Version)(featuring Robyn) (4:46)
  3. Sordid Affair (featuring Man Without Country) (6:19)
  4. You Know I Have To Go (featuring Jamie Irrepressible) (7:31)
  5. Save Me (featuring Susanne Sundfør) (4:38)
  6. I Had This Thing (featuring Jamie Irrepressible) (5:46)
  7. Rong (featuring Robyn) (2:32)
  8. Here She Comes Again (featuring Jamie Irrepressible) (5:04)
  9. Running To The Sea (featuring Susanne Sundfør) (4:52)
  10. Compulsion (featuring Jamie Irrepressible) (6:57)
  11. Coup De Grace (3:14)
  12. Thank You (6:15)

Released by: EMBAS
Release date: November 21, 2014
Total running time: 61:40

Doctor Who: The Sun Makers – music by Dudley Simpson

This is a Doctor Who soundtrack release I never expected to be holding in my hands or hearing. Composer Dudley Simpson was as close as classic Doctor Who had to the kind of singular composer-in-residence that seems to be the norm for the modern series; other composers were occasionally employed at the whim of individual directors, but from 1964 through 1979, Dudley Simpson was Doctor Who’s default musical “setting”, composing for and conducting a small ensemble occasionally augmented with synthesizers by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. But despite his music gracing most of the series across that fifteen-year span, most of the original session tapes of Simpson’s Doctor Who music have been lost. The only remaining specimens, in fact, can be traced to the Radiophonic Workshop – if they added their wobbly analog synths to Simpson’s music, a copy of that was retained in their archives. And that’s where the score from The Sun Makers, a 1977 Tom Baker four-part story, comes in – it’s one of only two Simpson scores that still exist in their entirety, both of them thanks to the Workshop’s involvement. (The other, still unreleased, is 1971’s The Mind Of Evil, a Jon Pertwee adventure that was the second-ever appearance of Roger Delgado as the Master, and as such heavily feature’s Simpson’s sinister theme for that character.) To have a complete Simpson score is a gift; for that score to hail from a fondly-remembered story featuring the fourth Doctor, Leela, and K-9 toppling a regime embracing capitalism-to-the-point-of-ridiculousness is just gravy.

Tracks like “Mahogany”, which starts out with a somewhat plaintive bassoon before bringing the rest of the ensemble in to create a rich, warm harmony, exemplify what Simpson was best at. The same goes for “One Thousand Metres” and its interesting keyboard arpeggios floating over the acoustic instruments. Let’s be clear – a lot of people probably wouldn’t have chosen The Sun Makers to be one of the only complete surviving examples of Simpson’s work; they probably would’ve chosen City Of Death or Genesis Of The Daleks or a more “obvious” entry in Simpson’s canon, but The Sun Makers didn’t exactly burn itself into everyone’s memory the way those stories did. That’s actually what makes it a canny choice for a release: it’s a bit of a surprise because you probably don’t remember the score that well.

“Six Suns”, “The Others”, and “K-9, Bite!” remind me a lot of Blake’s 7, of which nearly every episode was also scored by Simpson. (The Sun Makers has a Blake’s 7 connection too – it’s where director Pennant Roberts met actor Michael Keating, giving Keating a hearty recommendation for the role of Vila.) “Subway 13” is a bit more menacing, and, at less than a minute in length, it’s a reminder some Doctor Who stories lent themselves to lengthier musical travelogues, and The Sun Makers wasn’t one of those stories. It’s comprised of shorter, punchier vignettes without the opportunity for the kind of extended musical interludes that, say, City Of Death afforded the composer. In that regard, The Sun Makers is absolutely a straight-down-the-line typical bit of Doctor Who scoring from the ’70s.

A word about the sound quality: The Sun Makers was remastered extensively by Mark Ayres, himself a Doctor Who composer of a later era (but also a die-hard Dudley Simpson fan, as he himself admitted to when he was interviewed for this site quite a few years back). Ayres is also behind the audio remastering of Doctor Who’s DVD and Blu-Ray releases, so it goes without saying 4 out of 4that this entire disc is as crisply, lovingly listenable as if the tape had just been recorded last week.

As a whole listening experience, The Sun Makers is a time capsule that may find an audience only among completist collectors, and the older generation of Doctor Who fans who were there for this story the first time around (he said, addressing the mirror). It may not appeal to everyone. But it’s a lovely little slice of the past where, rather than striving to be epic or futuristic, the sound of Doctor Who was quietly, politely going for baroque.

Order this CD

  1. Doctor Who Opening Title Theme (0:46)
  2. Death And Taxes (0:28)
  3. Mahogany (0:51)
  4. One Thousand Metres (2:12)
  5. Six Suns (1:53)
  6. The Others (1:29)
  7. Subway 13 (0:36)
  8. Subway 13 (continued) (1:07)
  9. A Heart As Big As Your Mouth (0:30)
  10. A Little Hop (0:23)
  11. Jelly Babies (0:31)
  12. Something In The Air (0:24)
  13. K-9, Bite! (0:54)
  14. Humbug (1:25)
  15. The P45 Return Route (1:08)
  16. The P45 Return Route (reprise) (0:55)
  17. Morton’s Fork (1:09)
  18. I’ve Heard That One, Too (1:05)
  19. The Rebellion Begins (0:46)
  20. Static Loop (3:20)
  21. The Steaming (1:18)
  22. The Steaming (continued) (1:10)
  23. Gentlemen, Good Luck (0:40)
  24. Nobody Works Today (2:11)
  25. The Gatherer Excised (0:43)
  26. Doctor Who Closing Title Theme (0:55)

Released by: Silva Screen Records
Release date: May 8, 2020
Total running time: 28:49