Barry Gray Orchestra

No Strings Attached: Themes from ATV Television Series (Original Soundtrack Recordings)

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Fans of Gerry Anderson's 1960s marionette-populated sci-fi/adventure series, such as The Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, and Stingray, will devour this 21-minute CD, and others are likely to enjoy it as well, because even if you don't know the shows, the music is fun. All of the music in question was written by Barry Gray, a brilliant and innovative composer whose work in electronic scoring in the 1950s prefigured that of rock legend Joe Meek (who actually had one of his groups record a Gray composition or two). The music itself is a meld of slick '60s instrumental pop, similar in character to John Barry's work for the James Bond movies of the decade, with some influence of Edwin Astley also showing. The version of the Stingray theme is even adapted into a James Bond-type theme song with lyrics sung by Gary Miller and the Mike Sammes Singers, and "The Mysterons Theme" is turned into a strange, otherworldly pop music interlude that would have brightened up any "space music" collection of the late '50s or early '60s; one track, "Parker, Well Done," in essentially an audio version of a Thunderbirds adventure acted and sung by Sylvia Anderson, David Graham, and Peter Dyneley. Originally released as an EP, the CD doesn't add any material, hence the short running time, but it is a delight regardless -- material such as this is best taken in small portions to be properly appreciated, and the sound is superb.

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