Wednesday, 30 June 2010

‘The Sounds Of Star Wars’ – The Sonic All-Stars (1977)

“Mission control calling all eathlings. Pickwick International have broken through the inter-cosmic barriers with a new and hitherto unidentified sound.”

Many of the first albums I owned as a kid were soundtracks. In those days (otherwise known as the 70s), there were only two ways to see films: at the cinema or broadcast on telly (three years later). So soundtracks and novelisations were the closest you could get to re-living your favourite films.

I’m quite certain my grandparents bought me this record, as I saw ‘Star Wars’ with them countless times when it came out. And as a 6-year-old, I really wasn’t that worried that instead of the original John Williams score, I was listening to The Sonic All-Stars conducted by Bruce Baxter. As a 39-year-old listening back to it now, I think Pickwick International pretty much nailed it with their description at the top there: there is indeed very little you can identify on here. “Why bother with an orchestra when you can use one of these new synthesizer things?”

The album does immediately take me back though to those days of playing with my Star Wars figures in my room, reading Star Wars comics in the woods, and drawing more Star Wars adventures with my Star Wars pencils from my Star Wars pencil case, before falling asleep on my Star Wars pillow in my Star Wars pyjamas. Of course, at my age, I shouldn’t still be doing those things, but hey.

My Star Wars memories could fill a blog of their own … Watching it at the free cinema at Butlins with the sound two seconds out of synch. Watching ‘Return Of The Jedi’ and the film melting just as the Death Star explodes (oops – spoiler). Watching the original trilogy as an all-dayer with my cousins – and having the cinema almost to ourselves for nine hours. Popping over to Boston to see ‘The Phantom Menace’ the day it came out (three months ahead of the UK). And so on. Have you given up reading yet?

“So today’s song pick was simply an excuse to write about Star Wars?” Yes, it was. May the Force be with you. Always.

Spotify linky (rest easy: Spotify doesn't have the Pickwick version):
London Symphony Orchestra;John Williams – Main Title/Rebel Blockade Runner - Medley

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