Thursday, February 15, 2024

CD: UFO (Gray)

- Original Television Soundtrack -

Music by
Barry Gray

Silva Screen Records


On Tuesday nights during the 1970/71 television season I was there with my parents in front of the Zenith colour set tuned to Canada's CTV network. British husband and wife producing team Gerry and Sylvia Anderson left their "Supermarionation" puppet show empire behind to launch UFO, a live-action science fiction series set on the moon's surface and here on good ol' Earth, principally in England. "U-Fo" was superior in many areas: one being the music department.

Barry Gray had long been the producers' main scorer, and his efforts for this short-lived dramatic programme were top-drawer, injecting just the right amount of funky Hammond organ fun ― dig that wonderfully spot-on opening theme tune ― and otherworldly bizarreness and genuine heartbreak. While the series could be silly at times, with some episodes seemingly asking, "What were we thinking?", when UFO was good, it was more than good. And its background music was no small contributor, certainly in a telly-series out of this world, even when based here on Sol III.

The perfect capper to any UFO episode, especially one ending on a particularly serious note, was the dissonant and creepy end title music ― not only did it reinforce a sense of darkness that tended to pervade the show format, it functioned as a counterpoint to the (then) contemporary feel of the opening title theme.

End note: This CD of a 72-minute total running time is a fine sampling of episode scores; around five hours of music was recorded for UFO.

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