1/07/2011. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Trunk Records JBH039CD. 81 tracks 57 minutes. Price: about GBP 8.50 (UK) if you know where to look.
check out website: www.trunkrecords.com
For those of you only familiar with Barry Gray’s word on the Century 21 shows, this is only part of the work he did commercially. Accent on the word ‘commercially’ as Barry Gray was responsible for a lot of commercial jingles and such from the 50s-60s as well. As Ralph Titterton in the twenty-four page booklet points out, many of the companies let alone products are going to be distant memories even for old-timers like myself. Saying that, I definitely remember the Esso advert and hadn’t realised Gray had composed its famous advert tune from that time.
In many respects, this CD is for completests who want to own all the material available composed by Barry Gray, however I did have an ulterior motive in wanting to hear this album. Composers do have a habit of recycling music, not necessarily because they didn’t have any other ideas just that they saw other potential. I wasn’t wrong here. Much of it is the odd chords or snips that he expanded for the Anderson shows. I’ll point out which tracks to listen to but you’ll have to get a move on to buying this CD because it is selling out. With track 6, there is a snippet that sounds close to the Native Indian chant in ‘Four Feather Falls’. With track 37, there are a few chords that sound off at the end of ‘Aqua Marina’ in ‘Stingray. There’s a snippet of some incidental music from ‘Thunderbirds’ with track 57. The one that gets the most incidental snips, though, is ‘UFO’ from tracks 3, 11 and 79. The first of these is part of the space track. I doubt if there are more than these but no doubt any of you Anderson fans out there will try to see anything else similar to what they’re heard in the TV series.
All these tracks don’t exceed more than a couple minutes each, a lot don’t even make a minute. As they are all taken from old tapes left in storage and having to be cleaned and transferred to a CD medium, they’ve come out remarkably well and include Barry Gray’s voice identifying many of the tracks. They have a certain 50s-ish feel to many of them but the variety shows just how skilled a composer Barry Gray was. As a historical reference, this is priceless. More so, if you have enjoyed his more major work. Don’t miss out if you want everything Barry Gray has done.
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