BBC Radiophonic Workshop – 21

If you’re in need of a compilation containing 21 years of classic BBC recordings then look no further. Andy Jones reports…

This is re-release of a 1979 collection celebrating 21 years of unusual, creative and iconic recordings, straight from the heart of the BBC, an organisation that in 1958 was encouraging creativity by setting up this most fascinating of workshops. Side 1 is mono and covers the years 1958 to 71 with Desmond Briscoe’s Quatermass And The Pit opening it but Delia Derbyshire and Ron Grainer’s Dr Who theme easily steals the glory. The TARDIS sound quickly following and reminds you how creative this workshop was in the 60s armed with a bunch of empty bottles and oscilloscopes.

Things turn more musical and more stereo on side 2 with Peter Howell, Dick Mills and Paddy Kingsland making the all new synthesisers of the time do things first before other people made them more popular. It’s cheesy in places, atmospheric in others and has perhaps dated more than side 1 that could be timeless – well, if a certain time lord has anything to do with it, that is.