November 1, 2013

SPY SOUNDTRACKS ON VINYL

The UK distributor, Network (the "Criterion Collection" of retro TV/Film), has been tempting us for some time with news of upcoming remastered vinyl soundtracks from spy shows like The Prisoner, Department S, and The Saint. Some lucky collectors in Britain even had a chance to pick up a limited-edition EP of spy tunes during the last Record Store Day. Network has announced a number of upcoming record titles and- at last- two are finally available in their on-line catalog: Man in a Suitcase and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)


From Network's On Air newsletter: "It’s a measure of the quality of the music from these series that it can be enjoyed outside of the context of the programmes themselves, as our previous soundtrack releases on CD have demonstrated. Now, with the resurgence of interest in that formerly archaic artefact the LP record, we’re proud to present the first in a series of brand-new audiophile releases on 180g virgin vinyl. Although high-quality masters were already available from the CD releases, we have returned to the original analogue tapes which have been mastered afresh for vinyl to take advantage of the format’s more subtle dynamic range. Mastering and vinyl cutting have been supervised by one of the very best in the business – Ray Staff of AIR Studios – ensuring that these tracks have never sounded so good since they went down onto tape in the late 1960s.


Even those already familiar with the soundtracks will immediately notice the differences here: the depth, the texture and the striking separation between the instruments: levels of subtlety that are glossed over by the shiny, hard edges of digital reproduction. This is the total analogue experience: living, breathing music, the sound of air in motion as opposed to a processed bitstream of data." (Martin Cater)


From Network: "Featuring new transfers from original analogue tape elements, mastering/vinyl cutting by Ray Staff (one of the best audio engineers in the world) and high quality pressing by the renowned Pallas pressing plant in Germany, this range of audiophile-level albums is presented on 180g virgin vinyl and gives superb sound reproduction.

A discredited ex-CIA agent reduced to working as a private investigator, McGill travels the world as a ‘gun for hire’. In place of the glitz and glamour of sixties private eyes, his world is one of uncertainty, tough decisions and a constant struggle to survive. Richard Bradford’s astonishing method acting gives Man in a Suitcase a genuine edge and intensity that’s reflected in Ron Grainer’s driving, relentless main title, a dynamic theme employing strident piano and brass that has become a genre classic. Against this dynamic signature tune, Albert Elms’ incidental cues provide contrasting moods throughout the series, reflecting a diverse range of global settings and following every pitfall on the rocky career path of the outsider known only as McGill."


From Network: "Featuring new transfers from original analogue tape elements, mastering/vinyl cutting by Ray Staff (one of the best audio engineers in the world) and high quality pressing by the renowned Pallas pressing plant in Germany, this range of audiophile-level albums is presented on 180g virgin vinyl and gives superb sound reproduction.

Working from a shabby suite of offices in Central London, Jeff Randall and Marty Hopkirk are two private detectives with a twist - one of them's a ghost! With both theme and incidental music supplied by the versatile Edwin Astley, he returns here to the harpsichord - an instrument he had previously employed to great effect in the theme for the hour-long Danger Man series. Astley furnished Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) with a minor key main title theme, the lead instrument intoning a plaintive melody over an upbeat, rhythmic brass section - perfectly matching the series’ balance of drama and humour. The harpsichord recurs throughout the incidental cues, as well as providing a memorable ‘sting’ whenever the ghostly Marty pops in and out of the action." 

Below: Man in a Suitcase theme segment. 



Recent Spy Vibe posts: Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist Editions, David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, The Prisoner & Captain ScarletHMV returns to Oxford st w Beatles promo, Diego Fortunato & Verner Panton,  Saturday Morning CartoonsAssassination Bureau on DVD, new Young Bond series,  Peter AsherGerry Marsden tour, Elio Petri on Blu-ray, Sophia Loren, new Beatles BBC album, new Hercule Poirot novel, Beatles fall 2013 releasesA Hard Days Night cinematographer diesMagic Christian on Blu-ray, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Erno GoldfingerIan Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address

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