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Soundtrack Review

Cover Image

Original Television Soundtrack


Composer: Barry Gray
Label: Silva Screen Records
SILCD1622 (CD), SILED1622 (download), SILLP1622 (vinyl)
Release Date: 17 July 2020

The music of Barry Gray is such an integral part of the character, enjoyment and DNA of Thunderbirds that when people think of the show they’ll often hum the theme tune. Now try to imagine the series with a generic TV soundtrack… it doesn’t work, does it?

The fact that it’s taken 55 years for this album to be released is what’s truly shocking, however. But that’s no reason not to enjoy the mix of tracks on offer. Better late than never, eh!

Barry wrote hours of music for the series, so this album is a sort of highlights package. And with so much strong material at hand it’s inevitable that some great material is missed off. The main theme for The Man from MI5 isn’t included – a personal favourite of mine – but other, equally as evocative, music from the episode can be heard so I can’t really complain.

What this collection proves beyond doubt is the skill of its composer – from the Bond-like 'Dangerous Game' to the strident march of the end credits, each track tells a story. Sadly we don’t get the excellent maritime theme from Danger at Ocean Deep or the drum-heavy beat from Day of Disaster but there’s not a duff note across the whole release, a rarity in any genre, especially TV music.

And that’s what makes this all so amazing. No other TV show in the history of British telly has ever been afforded so much original music. Moreover, the quality is exceptional. In fact, every piece delivers a mood, emotion or supporting theme. It is possible to claim that Thunderbirds was as reliant on the work of Barry Gray ever bit as much as it was on the efforts of the special effects team or puppet makers. The fact that the show is still generating merchandise more than 50 years since its arrival clearly says something about its winning formula… a great slice of which inhabits this excellent release.

You can buy this album with total confidence – it’ll rescue you from boredom every time you play it.


Anthony Clark

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