Monday, July 22, 2013


With all my recent postings regarding the 1975-77 television series Space: 1999, now it's time for some ink on its music. Like many young men I liked the show and bought as much tie-in material as I could find: The Charlton "Space: 1999 magazine" was one (I bought a few issues, including the first), but no model kits at all as the Airfix "Eagle Transporter", for instance, never made it to my town. (The Eagle was the only model kit that I would have been interested in anyway.)

One element of Space: 1999 that I like, although more then than now, is the Barry Gray music scores. When RCA records released an "original television soundtrack recording" vinyl record LP of the Gray music I snapped it up... well, when I saw it in the bin at Sam the Record Man, that is. This would have been late 1976. I remember playing it for the first time at home and being a little disappointed in the music selections. After I had grabbed the record in the store and flipped it over to the back side I scanned the track titles. These were all named after episode titles (no track called "Koenig Pops His Top, Again" or "And Yet Another Explosion") and after spinning the vinyl I realized that the titles were arbitrary; there was no music from "Breakaway" on the cut called "Breakaway". And the cool 'travelling' music from "Dragon's Domain" was not on there -- I did not know at the time that the piece was called "Adagio in G-minor" and it had been written by a composer named Tomaso Albinoni... although that attribution is debated today. Also, I had seen the Norman Jewison picture Rollerball (1975) and remembered the tune being used there, too. To top off the Confusion in F major, there were two "that's not from the show" moments while listening to the album for the first time.

The album jacket opened.
Once I got past the little surprises including the rather brief track lengths -- there was a lot of looped "bing bong boong baa, bing bong boong baa" gobbling up valuable time between each cut -- the album was a fan's fix.

I still have the record; it's packed away in a box somewhere (I know where). One of the very few times I have pulled it out in the last thirty years was back in the summer of 1994 when I had friends over at the house. We played the record on my Akai direct-drive turntable and considering we were no longer fans of the program -- some of us may have been mild ones at best back when Space: 1999 originally ran -- we had a warm and fuzzy time that evening.

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