25 November 2008

Second Hand Record Dip Part 21 - Ron Grainer Orchestra - Theme from "Tales of the Unexpected"

Tales of the Unexpected

Who: The Ron Grainer Orchestra
What: Tales of the Unexpected (b/w "Theme from 'Paul Temple'")
Label: RK Records
When: 1979
Where: Music and Video Exchange, Camden High Street
Cost: 50p

The always entertaining, never predictable blog "Out on Blue Six" mentioned a perplexing phenomenon in a recent entry, that being the tendency of record labels to release bizarrely souped up versions of TV theme tunes. Whilst this didn't always apply with every release, and as such we were thankfully denied the novelty disco version of the "Minder" theme by the Dennis Waterman Band, people still frequently meddled with perfectly good work where there was no need.

Take the "Tales of the Unexpected" theme tune as an example. Admittedly it would make for a rather short single kept as it stands, but what already exists is a classic atmospheric burst of eeriness which is immediately recognisable to everybody of a certain age. Whereas this, on the other hand... is a slightly chirpy version, replete with early synthesiser noises and funky guitar soundz. I don't know what the majority of people purchasing the theme tune from their local Woolworths were expecting, but by Christ, I'll be betting it wasn't this (which may help to explain why it didn't chart).

The only possible bonus I can see from this arrangement is that some of the synth noises sound slightly like "Separations" era Pulp, so you could, if you so desired, amuse yourself by doing a Jarvis Cocker monologue over the top of the record, softly waffling on about an unexpected night time visit by a shadowy lady, who was probably Martha up the road who worked with Denise at the local outlet of Threshers, and you know because you observed her body under her tight black dress whilst she was walking Joe to school the other day... something like that, probably.

Anyone complaining that I've pissed off and left this blog unattended for a whole week and then just come back with a crap version of a TV theme will be happy to know that there is a more substantial entry I'm working on. Sit tight, why don't you...


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