7 November 2011
Reupload - Federation - Blake's 7 Disco
Year of Release: 1979
Yes, another example of a reworked or otherwise tampered television theme finds its way into the "Left and to the Back" archives, although to be frank in this case it's easy to see what the BBC were playing at. They'd already released an approximation of the theme tune in 1978 (rather than the theme itself) and presumably thought that a cult sci-fi hit like "Blake's Seven" was always going to be good for a bit of milking. Hence (presumably) this "disco" version of the theme emerged in 1979 as well. And why did they stop there, you have to wonder? Why not a whole album full of alternate versions of the "Blake's Seven" theme done in a whole wide range of styles?
Perhaps the full stop to any such grand schemes coming into fruition really had to come when this flopped, and I'll be blunt, that might have a lot to do with the fact that it really isn't much cop - even the most desperate sci-fi completist would turn their noses up. Driven by a squeaky synth rendition of the theme which sounds for all the world as if it's being sung by Sweep (now actually, that would have been a version worth hearing) some hideous, half-asleep psuedo-funky basslines, and the irritating and unrealistic "handclap" noise on a drum machine, this could be the demonstration setting on a Rumbelows home MIDI synthesiser unit and nobody would be any the wiser. It sounds like the work of session people who despised what they were being asked to do, and wanted to get the whole exercise over with as swiftly as possible so they could nip down to the pub.
More interesting - and perplexing - is the flipside "Disco Jimmy", which so far as I know appears to have no connections with the programme at all, and just consists of some bagpipes, a disco beat, and a drunken Scotsman sounding off, although I think it's safe to say that the man isn't a native.
Equally confusing is the "Beeb" label, which seemed to run parallel to the BBC label in the seventies, but didn't really have a different release policy at all. You wouldn't get away with that now without the tabloid press running a week of headlines about the Beeb wasting licence payer's money. Nice cheerful picture of a bee in the logo, though.
Update: This blog entry was written in January 1991. I have nothing to add, as nobody responsible for the recording has come forward - wisely, I'd say - but "Here Is A Box" blog author Tim Worthington did correctly point out that "Blake's 7 Disco" does bear a certain resemblance to Pulp's out-take "We Can Dance Again", although the only version of that I can find online is Chevette's cover).
sixties seventies eighties novelty nineties psychedelia The Beatles glam rock one hit wonders northern soul easy listening garage reggae KLF library music comedy Bill Drummond disco ken howard Microdisney eurovision romo/ new romantic cover versions earl brutus mark wirtz Wales animals that swim Morgan Studios dora hall embassy promotional items of a dubious quality synthpop C86 bob morgan creation howard blaikley the bee gees BBC Bam Caruso Beach Boys KPM blessed ethel elton john Inaura Joe Meek Medicine Head brian bennett john pantry noel edmonds peter cook Birdie Peel Sessions Salad The Critters czech rock British Gas Walham Green East Wapping Steam Beating Carpet Cleaning Rodent and Boggit Exterminating Association pete the plate spinning dog