Various Artists

ITV 50: Cult TV Themes

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In celebration of the British television network ITV's 50th anniversary, Virgin presents this companion volume to the previous ITV 50: The Album, assembling 50 more classic theme songs from the golden age of broadcasting. The notion of exactly what constitutes "cult TV" certainly rests in the eye of the beholder, however. Not only were ITV-produced thrillers like The Avengers and The Saint enormously popular in their day, but the disc even includes themes from enduring American classics like I Love Lucy, Hill Street Blues, and Hawaii Five-O, all of which enjoyed sufficient mainstream success to guarantee lengthy production runs. Collectors of British sound library recordings and television themes in general will find next to nothing not already included on previous collections, and liner notes are scant, rendering this two-disc set worthwhile almost solely for listeners making their first plunge into the world of TV tunes. But for those select few it's the motherlode, with such classics as Ron Grainer's "Man in a Suitcase," Edwin Astley's "Danger Man," Tony Hatch's "The Champions," and John Barry's "The Persuaders."