There haven't been many cover versions of the theme from Joe 90, but there have been an incredible number of albums that feature the original 1968 Pye single release by Barry Gray and his Orchestra. This is fairly comprehensive listing of the many releases with Joe 90 content, but if you know of any omissions or mistakes, please contact the webmaster by clicking on the W.I.N. communicator icon in the left hand frame.
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THE A.T.V. SERIES JOE 90
BARRY GRAY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
(P) 1968 Pye Records
The original Pye release of the title theme from Joe 90, with Hijacked (from the episode Hi-Jacked) on the B-side. Recorded 1900-2200 on Thursday October 3rd 1968 at C.T.S. Studios in London. Although nice enough, this version lacks the energy - and Vic Flick & Jim Sullivan's distinctive guitar work - of the version actually used on the opening titles (typical of many TV themes re-recorded for disc release).
Move your mouse over the sleeve to see the reverse side.
The single was also available as an Advance Promotion Copy. Click here to see the accompanying flyer in a pop-up window.
7" 7N 17625 45 rpm Mono.
CY PAYNE & HIS ORCHESTRA
(P) 1972 Contour Records
Twelve tracks, half of which are Barry Gray compositions, from Fireball XL5 to UFO. The cover version of the Joe 90 Pye single is nice enough, if a little slow in tempo.
LP 2870-185 33⅓ rpm Stereo.
|A TOUCH OF VELVET
- A STING OF BRASS
RON GRAINER ORCHESTRA
(P) 1978 Robert Kingston Productions Ltd
Released on November 24th 1978, the B-side of this single is a cover of the Joe 90 Pye single. More accurately, it is a cover version of a cover version: namely the Cy Payne recording six years earlier.
Apparently, the single reached number 60 in the charts, because BBC Radio 1 disc jockey Dave Lee Travis adopted A Touch Of Velvet - A Sting Of Brass as the theme to his daily show.
7" CC 5 45 rpm Stereo.
12" PROMO CUT
(P) 1978 Robert Kingston Productions Ltd
In delightful orange vinyl (pass the bucket please), this is a "Special Limited Edition Disco DJ Version" which was released towards the end of 1978 to promote the single above (CC 5) and also the next release (CC 6).
Side 1 has A Touch Of Velvet - A Sting Of Brass and Theme From Joe 90 from CC 5 segued together.
12" CC 5/6-12 45 rpm Stereo.
- CHAPTER ONE
Fourteen tracks including Theme From Joe 90 by the Ron Grainer Orchestra.
The album features tracks all associated with Wigan Casino, which might sound rather unglamorous, but apparently it was voted "Best Disco In The World" by Billboard magazine in 1978, even beating New York's famous Studio 54. Go figure.
One track is by an artist called Lenny Gamble, which was actually an alias for former BBC Radio 1 DJ Tony Blackburn. Sensational!
LP CCLP 1001 33⅓ rpm Stereo.
TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED
(P) 1980? R.K. Records
The unexpected thing about this album is that of its twelve tracks, five are not even Grainer compositions. Notable by their absence are the themes from The Prisoner and Steptoe And Son and, unfortunately, the album does feature the disco version of Tales of the Unexpected. Oh dear. Still, Ron's rendition of the Joe 90 theme with its Prisoner-esque bongos at the beginning is pleasant enough.
LP RK LB 1003 33⅓ rpm Stereo.
|THE MAIN THEME
THE BARRY GRAY ORCHESTRA
(P) 1965 & 1968 Precision Records & Tapes Ltd.
© ITC ENTERTAINMENTS [sic] 1981
Released in 1981, the B-side of this single is the Joe 90 Pye single A-side and Parker Well Done (a song featuring Lady Penelope, Parker and Jeff Tracy from Thunderbirds), and was the first time these three tracks had been available since the 1960s, but certainly not the last. Over the next twenty years, the tracks would turn up on numerous compilation albums, many of which are listed on this page.
7" 7P 216 45 rpm Mono.
|NO STRINGS ATTACHED
(P) & © 1981 Precision Records & Tapes Ltd.
To those of us who at the time had no recordings of Barry Gray's original themes, this 10" album was a welcome release. Includes The Barry Gray Orchestra performing the original 1968 Pye releases of Hijacked (from the Joe 90 episode Hi-Jacked) and the main theme.
10" LP DOW3 33⅓ rpm Mono.
The album was released twice more in 1986, in the form of two picture discs. The first (DOWP3) featured a picture of Scott Tracy from Thunderbirds on the A side, and the Tracy family in evening dress on the B side. The second (DOWX3) was a Christmas release, with the Tracy family in evening dress and Jeff Tracy as Father Christmas on the A side, and the group opening presents and pulling crackers on the B side.
After a long wait, the album was eventually released on CD on the Castle Classics label in 1990. Unfortunately, the main theme and Parker Well Done both suffer from a "wow" at the start of the track. This problem persisted with every CD release of the main theme for many years, as the same faulty master was used.
CD CLACD204 Mono.
THE KLUB FOOT
(P) © 1984 Head Music Publishers
Recorded at The Klub Foot in Hammersmith, London on 22nd September 1984, this LP features live tracks by four bands: Restless, Thee Milkshakes [sic], The Stingrays and Guana Batz. The final band launch into an "interesting" rendition of the Joe 90 theme at the beginning of side two.
Nice. If you like that sort of psychobilly thing.
LP ABCLP3 33⅓ rpm Stereo.
|JOE 9086 CLUB
(P) 1986 Precision Records & Tapes Ltd.
A nice remix by Bob Mallett of the Joe 90 theme, taking the original 1960s commercial release and adding a new rhythm track and keyboards by Peter Beckett. The single reached no.53 in the BBC chart, and no.47 in the Network chart. The B side was the Barry Gray commercial release of Captain Scarlet with no remix.
7" 7PX354 45 rpm Stereo (B side mono).
Also available in an extended version on a 12" single (not pictured), with the addition of the original commercial release version of the main theme on the B side. Identical cover, except the Joe 90 logo was cyan and white, not green and yellow.
12" 12PX354 45 rpm Stereo (B side mono).
The 12" version was also released as an Advance Promotional Copy with a slightly different catalogue number, and would have been given away to DJs and radio stations.
12" 12PX 354 DJ 45rpm Stereo (B side mono).
|JOE 9086 CLUB
MIX PICTURE DISC
(P) 1986 Precision Records & Tapes Ltd.
Exactly the same content as the standard 7", but in the form of a square picture disc. The B side had a flopped picture of Captain Scarlet wearing a jet-pack from the Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons episode The Trap.
7" 7PXD354 45rpm Stereo (B side mono).
THE SILVER SCREEN ORCHESTRA
(P) 1989 Pickwick International Inc. (Great Britain) Ltd.
For "Silver Screen Orchestra", read "Bloke with a Keyboard". Actually, quite a nice re-recording of the classic 1960s Barry Gray version, albeit rather synthesised.
See also "Ki.Tv Themes".
CD PWK 108 Stereo.
© 1990 François Evans
Not strictly a commercial release, this cassette was given away as a Fanderson membership item. On the B side are four tracks performed by François Evans: "Joe 90: 1990", "Off To School, Master McClaine", "Into the RAT", and "WIN's Win & End Title".
In my opinion, it is truly dreadful. Possibly the worst thing Fanderson have ever inflicted on its membership. The Joe 90 stuff is actually better than the Thunderbirds stuff on the A side, but it's still nasty. Letters appearing in the first two issues of the club's magazine FAB echoed my feelings with comments like "very disappointed... played on something which sounded like a Casio keyboard with low batteries... to be honest it just didn't work", "that dreadful 'Variations' cassette" and "the awful 'Variations' tape". Only one reader wrote in praise.
According to François' web site, the cassettes "have become quite collectable". Well, I've seen it appear on eBay a few times and I don't recall a single bid ever being placed...
MC MAF3 Stereo.
(P) & © 1990 Telstar Records Plc
"If you don't understand, I'm gonna make it plain,
Features Joe 90 (Main Man Mix) (N Titchener/C Peter/C Ward/original material by Barry Gray) produced by 3 To The Power for The Brothers Organisation. This new recording features voice and effects samples from the series, and bears a vague resemblance to parts of the theme. Not the best track on the album though.
There were music videos for some of the tracks on the album, although sadly not for little Joe. However, there is a very nice fan-made version on YouTube here which makes up for it.
The CD was also released with very similar packaging in Japan by Jimco Records in 1992 (JICM 89002)
LP STAR 2430 Stereo.
(P) 1991 JIMCO RECORDS
A very nice set of six two-track 3" CD singles from Japan available in a variety of different packaging: for example, one was a small box which also included an Imai model kit of Virgil Tracy & Thunderbird 2 and some series logo stickers, another set resembled a 12" album. Disc 3 features Joe 90.
Owners of the Power Themes 90 album will recognise most of the tracks, although the set does include the B sides that only appeared on the Thunderbirds Are Go!, The Stingray Megamix and The Prisoner singles.
CD JIMS 1007-1012 (Disc 3 JIMS 1009) Stereo.
|FAB - MUSIC
FROM THE TV SHOWS
BY BARRY GRAY
THE ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
CONDUCTED BY KONSTANTIN PAVLOV
(P) 1992 Apollon, Inc.
© Silva Screen Records Ltd.
Recorded at EMI Abbey Road Studio 1 in May 1992, this CD features 13 tracks, including a reasonable extended rendition of the closing titles. Sadly, some sloppy music transcription means there is a key change in the middle eight that shouldn't be there, which in my opinion ruins an otherwise nice recording.
CD FILMCD 124 Stereo.
|THE MAN FROM
(P) & © 1992 Silva Screen Records Ltd.
"Cult TV Classics"
Features three Joe 90 tracks: The Barry Gray Orchestra versions of the main theme and Hi-Jacked (from the episode Hi-Jacked) and the 12" version of the Joe 9086 Club Mix (here simply labelled Joe 90 Remix). The main theme and Parker Well Done both suffer from the "wow" mentioned previously.
CD FILMCD 712 Mono/Stereo.
(P) & © 1993 Castle Communications Plc
A four CD set with 47 themes covering a wide range of programme genres, from The Avengers to General Hospital to Mr. & Mrs.
Volume One features The Barry Gray Orchestra version of the main theme, Volume Two features Hijacked (from the episode Hi-Jacked). Once again, the main theme and Parker Well Done both suffer "wow" at the beginning of each track (and in this compilation, appear next to each other).
Curiously, although The Monkees are mentioned and pictured on the front cover, the theme from their TV series isn't included! However, there is a small picture of Rupert Davies (voice of Professor McClaine) in his role as Maigret.
CD MBSCD 412 Mono/Stereo.
|TOP TV THEMES
(P) & © 1993 Castle Communications PLC
18 tracks, including The Barry Gray Orchestra version of the main theme with the usual "wow", and Hijacked (from the episode Hi-Jacked).
CD MACCD 152 Mono/Stereo.
|JUKE BOX GIANTS
(P) & © 1993 Castle Communications PLC
You have got to be kidding. If anyone has EVER found the theme from Joe 90 on a juke box I would be very surprised. Another Castle Communications compilation, featuring the likes of Dollar, Kelly Marie, Petula Clark - and The Barry Gray Orchestra?
Whoever decided on the track listing should be commended for their sense of humour, and for producing a CD with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. And what on earth is the Joe 90 theme doing on an 80s compilation anyway? It's not even the 1986 remix! And of course it "wows" at the start.
15 tracks, possibly disc four in a set judging by the catalogue number. Blimey, so there may have been at least another three discs like this?
CD MBSCD 414/4 Mono/Stereo.
|DOCTOR WHO &
RON GRAINER THEMES
© 1994 Play It Again
Boasting a hideous cover, this compilation runs to more than 80 minutes and includes Ron Grainer's interpretation of Cy Payne's interpretation of the Pye single. Also includes the A-side A Touch Of Velvet - A Sting Of Brass, an interesting early version of The Prisoner, and an appalling "disco" version of Doctor Who.
CD PLAY 008 Mono/Stereo.
|THE A TO Z OF
BRITISH TV THEMES
- THE RON GRAINER YEARS
© 1994 Play It Again
A repackaged version of the above CD. Maybe there was a problem with using the Doctor Who logo, or maybe Play It Again just wanted to bring the CD in line with their other "A to Z" releases. Instead of a nasty painting, we get a rather bland cover with a photo from Man In A Suitcase (probably at no charge from PolyGram in exchange for the centre spread colour advert in the booklet for their cult video releases).
CD PLAY 008 Mono/Stereo.
(P) & © 1994 Future Legends Records
12 tracks featuring new versions of cult TV themes, with no dodgy easy listening themes in sight. I know, because that's what is says on the cover.
A variety of styles and degrees of success; some tracks are very good, some not quite so good. Features a version of the Joe 90 theme by the band Summer.
CD FLEGCD 2 Stereo.
|THIS IS CULT
(P) & © 1995 Circa Records Ltd.
28 cult TV & movie classics. This album had several sequels and many imitators. An eclectic mix of tracks, with music from Blue Velvet, Prêt A Porter and Twin Peaks nestling uncomfortably alongside The Sweeney, Shaft & Pulp Fiction. For some reason, the Joe 90 theme also makes an appearance, with the customary "wow".
The US release had only 17 tracks, and an almost completely different track listing. It did not include Joe 90.
CD VTCD 59 Mono/Stereo.
(P) 1995 Telstar Records Plc
© 1995 Telstar Records Plc
"30 Fun Filled Kiddy Favourites"
Something for kids of all ages, from Rupert The Bear by Jackie Lee and the theme from The Banana Splits, to more modern stuff like Power Rangers and Biker Mice From Mars. Also several things for no-one of any age, like Mr Blobby and The Birdy Song by The Tweets.
Features the Joe 90 theme, "wow" included.
CD TCD2798 Mono/Stereo.
(P) 1996 Castle Music Ltd
© 1999 Castle Music Ltd
"TV Themes For Grown Up Kids"
22 tracks, seven of which are by Barry Gray. Despite claiming to be "Digitally Remastered", it includes The Barry Gray Orchestra version of the main theme with the usual "wow".
Also available with slightly different packaging.
CD PLS CD 195 Mono/Stereo.
(P) 1996 Castle Communications Plc
© 1999 Castle Communications Plc
20 tracks, including all eight Barry Gray tracks from "No Strings Attached". No "Digital Remastering" this time, and of course The Barry Gray Orchestra version of the main theme with has the customary "wow".
CD SUMCD 4104 Mono/Stereo.
THE TIKI TONES
(P) & © 1996 Mai Tai Records
"The Tiki Tones play music to satisfy your most primitive urges."
A kind of "lounge surf" album is probably the best way to describe this collection of tracks such as Tijuana Taxi, Sneaky Tiki, Island Uprising... and Joe 90.
The Tikis' line-up of guitar, drums and organ lends itself perfectly to a no-nonsense cover version of the Pye Joe 90 single - and they make a rather nice job of it too. You can hear the track direct from their web site by clicking here (requires RealPlayer).
CD MAI TAI DD0120 Stereo.
|THIS IS... CULT
(P) & © 1997 Circa Records Ltd.
A somewhat overpriced twin CD collection of 47 tracks from a variety of sources: some are the commercial releases of certain themes, others are taken directly from episodes. Some of the "editing" leaves a lot to be desired (the repetitive Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased) track is dreadful). Includes The Barry Gray Orchestra version of the main theme with the usual "wow".
Also includes the ATV Colour "Zoom 2 (Extended)" ident as an Easter egg hidden away at the end of disc 2. Nice touch.
CD VTDCD151 Mono/Stereo.
|THE CULT FILES:
(P) & © 1997 Silva Screen Records Ltd
A 2 CD set, featuring classic themes from cult TV and film in Dolby Surround™. Joe 90 is represented by two tracks, performed by The City Of Prague Orchestra conducted by Derek Wadsworth (who composed the music to Year II of Space:1999). Joe 90 - Theme is a good cover version of the Pye single, although it ends rather abruptly. Joe 90 - High Jacked/Theme (Reprise) is the only cover version of Hijacked ever recorded.
Apparently, there were some problems encountered during the sessions, because the orchestra have a really hard time keeping together on some of the tracks. Lost In Space is actually quite painful to listen to.
Did you know there were 32 episodes of Joe 90 and 52 episodes of Space:1999? There were according to the booklet. The author should know better!
CD FILMXCD 191 Dolby Surround™.
|THE NO.1 SCI>FI
(P) & © 1997 PolyGram TV
40 tracks on two CDs. A good variety of film and TV themes, sometimes original releases, sometimes cover versions. Disc 2 has The Barry Gray Orchestra version of the main theme with the usual "wow".
The booklet has several inaccuracies and typos - for instance, BIG RAT is apparently an acronym for Brain Impulse Galvanoscope, Receive And Transmit, Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons ran for 30 episodes, and Apollo 13 launched on 13th April 1970 (correct answers are Record And Transfer, 32 episodes, and 11th April 1970).
CD 553 360-2 Mono/Stereo.
|TOP TV THEMES
THE ADVENTURES OF PARSLEY
(P) & © 1997 Damaged Goods.
Twelve tracks performed by The Adventures Of Parsley, well known amongst fan circles for their cracking renditions of cult television themes. Includes a nice version of the original Pye Joe 90 single, as well as Fireball from Fireball XL5, Captain Scarlet from Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons, and Avenues And Alleyways from The Protectors.
LP DAMGOOD LP-123 33⅓ rpm
(P) & © 1997 K-tel Entertainment (UK) Limited
20 tracks, none of them original versions, and most of them "interpretations" rather than covers - which makes them even less satisfactory. I wonder if the person responsible ever actually heard the original Joe 90 theme...
See also The World Of Science Fiction.
CD ECD 3340 Stereo.
|CULT TV THEMES
(P) 1997 Carlton Home Entertainment Limied
© Marathon Music International Ltd
They must have had a crack team of boffins on board to come up with that title. How inventive!
18 "great" themes, all covers, with a lot of it sounding pretty synthesised - but I've heard plenty worse. The cover of the Pye Joe 90 single isn't bad at all. At the other end of the spectrum, Star Trek is some kind of 70s disco remix nonsense with all the hideousness that entails.
CD 306742 Stereo.
|THE WORLD OF
THE LIGHTNING ROCKET ORCHESTRA
(P) & © 1997 Prism Leisure Corporation plc
18 covers of a variety of sci-fi film and TV themes. Many of the tracks are the same versions that appear on Other Worlds, including the rather weird interpretation of Joe 90.
CD PLATCD 234 Stereo.
(P) 1997 Music Factory
Issue 128 of the "for DJ use only" series - presumably DJs who would rather use other people's mixes because they are either too lazy or talentless to do it themselves. Must be a lot of them around, because at time of writing (July 2008) there have been 265 of these...
The Joe 90 theme appears - briefly - as part of the track Hooked on Crap 2 (The TV Years). Call me Mr. Cynical, but I would say you need a lot more talent to compose music than mix a few TV themes together and give it an "amusing" name. I don't know, young people today, they've got no respect...
CD MFMM CD 128 Stereo.
TOP SIXTIES TV THEMES
(P) & © 1998 Sequel Records.
60 tracks on two CDs, so not bad value as long as you don't have them already on numerous other compilations. Disc 1 has The Barry Gray Orchestra version of the main theme from Joe 90 with the usual "wow", but the fold-out booklet is very nice.
CD NEM CD 976 Mono/Stereo.
ORIGINAL TELEVISION SOUNDTRACK
© 1998 Fanderson Records/International Lunar Finance Committee
The second in Fanderson's range of Barry Gray soundtrack CDs, this is a double disc set produced in limited numbers for sale to its members by mail order only - and sadly no longer available. Although the bulk of the music used in Space:1999 was specifically composed for the series, Barry did reuse some material from previous shows. As well as music from Supercar, Stingray, The Secret Service and the feature film Thunderbird 6, the series also utilised some music from the Joe 90 episodes Operation McClaine, Big Fish, King For A Day and Arctic Adventure. These tracks are included on disc two.
I was proud to be Co-Producer of this album, as well as doing the digital compilation and mastering.
CD FANSF7 Stereo/Mono.
(P) & © 1998 Crimson Productions Ltd.
37 tracks, some original versions, some covers (mostly from the Silva Screen, Castle and Tee Vee Toons libraries). The original Pye Joe 90 theme finishes the compilation off with the obligatory "wow".
CD CRIMCD186 Stereo/Mono.
|NO STRINGS ATTACHED
AN ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK RECORDING
(P) & © 1999 Castle Music Ltd
In 1999, Castle Music's Cinephile label re-released the 1981 No Strings Attached album with the addition of the Stingray track March Of The Oysters (incorrectly titled March Of The Oyster). The "wow" problem on the main theme and Parker Well Done was finally rectified with this release on the advice of some clever technical person at Fanderson. Oh alright, it was me.
10" LP CINLP 011 Mono.
& OTHER TOP
SIXTIES TV THEMES VOLUME 2
(P) & © 1999 Sequel Records
Sequel Records is a division of Castle Music Ltd., but despite this (!) there are quite a few tracks on this CD that makes it worth buying - mainly the weird collection of b-sides and cover versions, some of which have to be heard to be believed. Includes The Barry Gray Orchestra version of Hijacked (from the episode Hi-Jacked). Rather irritatingly, the version of Parker Well Done has the "wow" at the front, but as with Volume 1, the fold-out booklet is good.
CD NEBCD 425 Mono/Stereo.
(P) & © 1999 Castle Select Records
Or "Classic 60s Cult TV Themes", according to the back and side of the CD case, and the back of the booklet. Or "Classic Sixties Cult TV Themes" according to the CD itself. Obviously the designer couldn't make up their mind. Castle Select Records is also a division of Castle Music Ltd., so the same old titles get another airing. Includes The Barry Gray Orchestra version of the main theme - sadly, the version with the "wow".
CD SELCD 561 Mono/Stereo.
THE A TO Z OF FANTASY TV THEMES
(P) & © 1999 Silva Screen Records Ltd
A 2 CD set with 45 tracks in Dolby Surround™, culled from several previous releases such as "The Cult Files". As with "The Cult Files: Re-opened", the orchestra have a really hard time keeping it together on some of the tracks.
The version of Joe 90 is from "The Cult Files: Re-Opened", performed by The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, although the conducting is wrongly attributed to Nic Raine, not Derek Wadsworth. This time, it is not followed up by a version of Hijacked, and so the abrupt end seems even more abrupt.
N.B. The US release of this album (STD 5024) has far fewer tracks, and does not include the Joe 90 track.
CD TVPMCD 806 Dolby Surround™.
(P) & © 1999 Cable Guide
Presumably free with the December 1999 issue of Cable Guide magazine, this CD features 20 tracks culled from the Silva Screen archives, with everything from Brideshead Revisited, The Bill and Roseanne right through to The X Files, Xena: Warrior Princess and Twin Peaks. Joe 90 somehow creeps in amongst that selection with the version that originally appeared on "The Cult Files: Re-Opened", performed by The City Of Prague Orchestra conducted by Derek Wadsworth.
Joe appears on the cover in a small picture from the episode Relative Danger.
|THE CULT FILES
(P) & © 2000 Silva Screen Records Ltd
4 CDs, 85 tracks in Dolby Surround™, this is simply "The Cult Files" and "The Cult Files: Re-Opened" in a box. The two Joe 90 tracks are from "The Cult Files: Re-Opened": Joe 90 - Theme and Joe 90 - Hi-Jacked, performed by The City Of Prague Orchestra conducted by Derek Wadsworth.
CD FILMXCD 343 Dolby Surround™.
|SOUNDS OF THE
SIXTIES - 1968
© 2000 The Reader's Digest Association Limited
A three disc set, one of many released by Reader's Digest under the Sounds of The Sixties banner.
Disc 2 - Something Here In My Heart - The Memories Of 1968 features the usual Barry Gray recording with its trademark "wow". But on the plus side - oh joy - it also features "The Shat" and his inimitable rendition of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.
Nice booklet which runs to more than 30 pages, with a section about the first transmission of Joe 90 on September 29th.
CD RDCD2871-3 Mono/Stereo.
(P) & © 2000 Future Legend Records U.K.
Released at the beginning of 2001, this was a limited edition of 100 CD-Rs featuring 13 tracks, ranging from Doctor Who to A Clockwork Orange. The album has all the sci-fi themes from FLR's five previous 'Cult Themes' albums, including all the Barry Gray themes that have been covered. Track 8 is a version of the Joe 90 theme by C.B.U. - curious, because the same version appears on "Themes From The 60's Volume 2" and is credited to the band Summer.
CD FLEG.22CD Stereo.
|THE DJ BOX -
PARTY DANCES AND GENERAL UTILITIES
(P) 2000 Music Factory
Intended for DJ use only, this is "the box for all occasions". Disc 1 is "Major Occasion Tracks", disc 2 is "Sound FX and General Utilities", disc 3 is "Jingles and Yesteryear" and disc 4 is "Party Dances and General Utilities". General Utilities includes TV themes, and the Pye Joe 90 single appears as track 23.
The tracks seem to have come from a variety of sources, including vinyl. This is the case with Joe 90, so there are a few crackles, but at least there's no "wow" at the start.
CD DJBOX4 Mono/Stereo.
THE ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
CONDUCTED BY KONSTANTIN PAVLOV
A Japanese repackaging of the 1992 CD "FAB - Music from the TV shows by Barry Gray" with an identical track listing, including the rendition of the Joe 90 closing theme with the unfortunate key change in the middle eight. Still a nice CD however.
The booklet has some interesting Japanese-English translation mistakes (Barry Grey?), but I feel most sorry for assistant engineer Chris Ludwinski, who is credited as "Ass-Engineer". The mind boggles.
CD TKCA-72161 Stereo.
THE GORDON LORENZ
ORCHESTRA AND SINGERS
(P) & © 2001 Disky Communications Europe B.V.
"40 Classic Kids TV Themes"
There's a certain familiarity to this disc - as 15 of the tracks are taken from 1989's "ITV Children's Themes". Regrettably, they are also viciously truncated and mercilessly segued together in a hideous cacophony that is truly an assault on the ears. Some edits are like knife in the head, with little attempt to match tempo or key.
Other than that it's lovely. Go and buy it now. Give it to someone you don't like very much.
Joe 90 is actually the longest track on the CD and at 2'14" manages to escape the horror with just a flesh wound.
CD UKI 610072 Stereo.
YOU ARE AWFUL... VOLUME III
(P) & © 2001 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd.
"Childrens Classics and Toddler TV Themes of The 60s and 70s"
60 tracks across 2 CDs, described in the nice fold-out booklet as "a collection of strange and exotic music dragged screaming from the deepest vaults of Pye". Or to put it another way, yet ANOTHER compilation album from Castle Music. At least Joe makes it onto the cover.
Mick Dillingham's sleeve notes are wonderfully refreshing about many of the tracks though - words such as "painful", "shambles" and "inappropriate" are in abundance. Nice to see a bit of honesty!
The Pye Joe 90 theme is on disc 2, and it goes without saying that it has the now obligatory "wow" at the start.
CD CMDDD231 Mono/Stereo.
100 GREATEST TV THEMES
(P) & © 2002 Silva Screen Records Ltd
"The Ultimate Television Themes Collection"
An A to Z compilation from Silva Screen's now pretty large archive of cover versions. The Joe 90 track is once again lifted from "The Cult Files: Re-Opened" and is performed by The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Derek Wadsworth. As with "Battlestar Galactica - The A To Z Of Fantasy TV Themes" (of which this new 4 disc set is a kind of extended version), it is not followed up by a version of Hijacked, and so its sudden end seems rather abrupt.
CD TVPMCD 807 Stereo.
SONGS FROM T.V. ADVERTS
(P) & © 2002 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd.
Oh look, a compilation album from Castle Music. Not many of those about.
Actually there are some cracking songs on this, although it's a bit heavy on the ska.
49 tracks on 2 CDs, which have all been used in television commercials. The Pye Joe 90 theme with the "wow" is on disc 1 - apparently this was used in an advert for Ford, but I'm damned if I can remember it. Can anyone out there help us with information on this?
CD CMDDD 601 Mono/Stereo.
(P) & © 2002 Fastforward Music Ltd.
16 cover versions across a broad range of programmes and years, from I Love Lucy right up to Friends.
The quality varies, but on the whole it's not bad at all. The cover of the Pye Joe 90 single is actually pretty good.
CD SIGNCD2030 Stereo.
(P) & © 2003 Fastforward Music Ltd.
"Wonderful new recordings - all your favourites..."
Difficult to say whether these are wonderful or not, as I'm unfamilar with a lot of the kids' shows that are included on this CD. The cover of the Pye Joe 90 single is the same version that appears on "TV Generation", and the overall quality of the production on the other tracks is much better than a lot of covers CDs.
With 22 tracks in total, the CD has Early Learning Centre branding, so you have to be over 2 years old to listen...
CD ELCCD2013 Stereo.
|THE BEST OF
(P) & © 2004 Virgin Records Ltd
A nice selection of 55 cult TV and movie themes split across two discs, with all the TV stuff on disc 1 and the film stuff on disc 2.
However... ask yourself in all honesty - do Lovejoy and Bergerac qualify as cult shows? I'm not saying they're not nice pieces of music, but do they really belong on this album?
Does the Joe 90 theme "wow"? Do bears sh...
CD VTDCD 597 Mono/Stereo.
CULT TV & FILM THEMES
(P) & © 2004 Union Square Music Ltd.
23 tracks, all but two from the Castle library, so it's not as if we haven't heard it all before. The foldout sleeve notes by Michael Heatley are nice though and give a track by track commentary in case you're unfamiliar with any of the music. The Pye Joe 90 theme is track 14 and "wows" as usual.
CD METRCD127 Mono/Stereo.
|ITV50 CULT THEMES
(P) & © 2005 Granada Media Group / Virgin Records Ltd
The usual suspects get rolled out yet again for ITV's 50th anniversary. 49 tracks (wouldn't 50 have made more sense?) spread across two CDs, with an odd mistake. Track 9 on disc 1 should be Danger Man, but on some pressings is actually Avenues & Alleyways by Tony Christie (the theme from The Protectors). Which is fine by me as it's a cracking tune, but how did it slip through the net? I hope the MCPS know...
It's a mixture of commercially released singles and tracks recorded directly from the programmes. Much of it is lifted from 1997's "This Is... Cult Fiction Royale" (including some of the awful edits; blimey, doesn't Jason King go on and on and on... and Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased); please, kill me). Disc 2 is a bit of a Barry Gray-fest, with no less than ten tracks from Anderson shows. The quality is variable; Stingray sounds like it came from an old 16mm optical track, while Aqua Marina is clearly from a magnetic source and is very good (AND it's the actual version used on the show, not the Pye single version). Four Feather Falls is stereo (lovely), but Fireball XL5 is an odd montage of truncated opening/closing titles with a bit of dialogue in the middle. And of course, Joe 90 "wows" at the beginning.
CD VTDCD 748 Mono/Stereo.
AND OTHER CLASSIC THEMES
© 2005 Fanderson Records
"21 Tracks Of Adventure"
Not strictly a commercial release, this CD was given away as a Fanderson membership item. The tracks are mostly culled from Fanderson's earlier releases of music from Supercar, Fireball XL5, UFO, Space:1999 & Terrahawks, and Silva Screen's releases of Thunderbirds, with a few extra "unreleased" tracks thrown in.
There are two tracks from Joe 90, International Concerto (obviously) which is a 3'43" long "suite", and Joe 90 End Titles. Both are available here for the first time, and both tracks are "stereo" (although the mix is a rough one. I suppose it's better than nothing but it could have been improved).
I'm being picky here; one of the Thunderbirds tracks was actually recorded for Stingray, and should really be listed as such.
CD FANIC12 Mono/Stereo.
(P) & © 2005
Free with the Daily Star newspaper on 07/05/2005, this CD features fifteen tracks - seven of them recognisable sci-fi themes, the other eight just seem to be library music. The version of the Joe 90 theme is the same one that appears on "The Cult Files: Re-Opened", performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic and conducted by Space:1999 Year II composer Derek Wadsworth.
Disc two in a three disc "set" - on the previous Saturday a "Heroes" DVD was given away free featuring episodes of Battlestar Galactica (original series), Buck Rogers In The 25th Century and Quantum Leap. The following week a PC CD-ROM with classic arcade games (or at least, close approximations that don't require royalty payments to Taito and Atari) was given away.
CD TS054 Stereo.
"10 Rocking Retro Sci-Fi Themes"
Free with SFX Collection magazine (Special Edition 32) towards the end of 2007, this ten track, thirty minute CD features the cover version of the Joe 90 theme by the City of Prague Philharmonic which first appeared on "The Cult Files: Re-Opened" ten years earlier.
All of the tracks are licensed courtesy of Silva Screen Records - so nothing new here then.