20 June 2011

Bill, The Galactic Hero

I was more fond of Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series myself, but I practically wore out my original cassette copy of Bill. This rip is from the vinyl that replaced it thanks to a lucky charity shop find a few years back. Produced by Paul Mayhew-Archer and told by Kerry Shale, Bill still sounds great despite being heavily abridged to fit on an LP. Music and effects are courtesy of The BBC Radiophonic Workshop (natch) and there are some cues that may sound familiar from other places. The sleeve art deserves special mention as it is truly vile in a way that only sleeve art from 1984 can be.


14 June 2011

"The Road Goes Ever On"

The '78 Ralph Bakshi animated movie was my gateway into Middle Earth but until Peter Jackson blew my mind at the end of 2001 the 1981 BBC radio drama was where it was at for me. The books are quite good too.

Stephen Oliver's music is by turns dark, pastoral and noble, weaving itself in and out the drama perfectly. It should be said however this soundtrack album stands very well on it's own apart from the surrounding dialogue. Compared to the epic film scores the sound here is smaller, but there is more variety, more use of Tolkien's own words as song lyrics. Yet there is still plenty of room for the imagination to fill in the gaps.  Bizarrely enough yes, the Oz Clarke singing on this album is the very same imbiber you might know from off of the telly.


5 June 2011

Book Club

Programme originally from 2000AD:

"In a special edition of the programme, James Naughtie and a group of readers talk to author Douglas Adams about his classic world-wide best-seller The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.