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  • Special branch tv series

    Just seen an episode of the excellent 70s TV series 'Special Branch' for the first time, starring George Sewell and Patrick Mower. I love that funky big band theme tune by a composer called Robert Earley - I've never heard of him so can anyone offer any info? Was it a pseudonym used by someone we all know?

    Also, someone named Mary Morgan was credited as the music assistant. Who she?

    The series was made by Euston Films, so I'm assuming all the incidental music was library music?

    Many thanks as always for any help you knowledgeable lot can offer!
    Barry Morgan's brother is a driving instructor

  • #2
    Robert Earley is better known as Bob Sharples, resident MD on 'Opportunity Knocks', and also conductor of many of the 1960s Conroy library sessions. The 'Special Branch' theme is actually published by Berry Music, so the optimist in me hopes that it might have originally been a library track - but I don't think it was.

    John Gregory did a cover version on his 'The Detectives' LP, which is well worth picking up if you can find one.

    There wasn't much incidental music in 'Special Branch', but what there was was library - the episode 'Double Exposure' (repeated on Channel 4 a few years back) makes extensive use of Alan Hawkshaw's 'First Affair' from KPM1124 'Friendly Faces', and there's also a flute and electric piano theme that turns up again in 'The Sweeney'.

    A 'Special Branch' DVD is on its way soon - possibly later this month, actually. I'm looking forward to it!

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    • #3
      Many thanks for the information - I thought it might be you Lord Thames who'd have the info!

      I'm not surprised it's Bob Sharples behind the theme - for some strange reason I had a feeling he might be something to do with it. I'll have to check my Johnny Gregory 'Detectives' LP for that cover version.

      The episode I saw was included as an extra on the recently released season one 'Sweeney' DVD box set, and there was no incidental music in at all.

      I'll have to dig out my copy of the KPM LP you mention with the Hawkshaw track - a pretty slushy number if I remember correctly. I'm surprised that a show like that didn't use more of his hard-hitting funky stuff.
      Barry Morgan's brother is a driving instructor

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      • #4
        On the subject of John Gregory's 'Detectives' LP, I picked up the single of 'Cannon/The Streets of San Francisco' over Christmas, and was just wondering who the drummer was on these sessions? He's terrific, whoever it is - doesn't let up for a minute!
        The Pop Music Library

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        • #5
          I think it was Barry Morgan - JG used him a lot.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by [b
            Quote[/b] (Seventies Kid @ Jan. 04 2004,20:35)]The episode I saw was included as an extra on the recently released season one 'Sweeney' DVD box set
            my mother-in-law bought me the wonderful sweeney box set for christmas - such an inspired present. somehow i thought you might have got it too!

            loved the "special branch" episode - great to have these things as extras. thought it was better than the "thick as thieves" one.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by [b
              Quote[/b] (Lord Thames @ Jan. 04 2004,19:24)]the episode 'Double Exposure' (repeated on Channel 4 a few years back) makes extensive use of Alan Hawkshaw's 'First Affair' from KPM1124 'Friendly Faces', and there's also a flute and electric piano theme that turns up again in 'The Sweeney'.
              the wife and i noticed that "first affair" tune on one of the sweeney episodes - a poolside scene, with people throwing beach balls about.

              also - something i noticed, throughout the entire series, there was *heavy* use of a KPM album called "discotheque" (KPM 1135) - basically all the pub scenes and "getting ready to go out" scenes were filled with it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes, aren't those Sweeney DVD's fantastic? The perfect package, really - actually I met the guy who runs Network Video at the launch of the Goodies DVD, and we discussed the Sweeney ones. I offered my services for identifying and tracking down some of the library tracks - unfortunately nothing came of this in the end, but on the other hand they seem to have managed pretty well without me!

                As well as 'Special Branch', the same company are also doing a DVD of another Thames series with a Robert Earley theme tune, 'Public Eye', which is coming out soon - dunno what it's like, but I'll be buying it anyway.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by [b
                  Quote[/b] (Lord Thames @ Jan. 05 2004,22:24)]Yes, aren't those Sweeney DVD's fantastic? The perfect package, really - actually I met the guy who runs Network Video at the launch of the Goodies DVD, and we discussed the Sweeney ones. I offered my services for identifying and tracking down some of the library tracks - unfortunately nothing came of this in the end, but on the other hand they seem to have managed pretty well without me!

                  As well as 'Special Branch', the same company are also doing a DVD of another Thames series with a Robert Earley theme tune, 'Public Eye', which is coming out soon - dunno what it's like, but I'll be buying it anyway.
                  Yes, 'The Sweeney' DVDs are great - if only Contender had applied the same loving care when they re-issued 'The Professionals' TV series on DVD. Even though Laurie Johnson specifically scored that series, some library material still turns up in it, such as some of Alan Parker's early 70s De Wolfe stuff.

                  Still, Vol.2 does contain a fascinating interview with Laurie Johnson and Brian Clemens.
                  Barry Morgan's brother is a driving instructor

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                  • #10
                    Robert Earley also wrote the theme for "Public Eye" which starred Alfred Burke, anyone remember this great theme?
                    why is that cd black?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by [b
                      Quote[/b] (smithy @ Jan. 08 2004,11:35)]Robert Earley also wrote the theme for "Public Eye" which starred Alfred Burke, anyone remember this great theme?
                      Bloody hell, you must be old to remember this! I used to love this when I was kid, but I have no idea what the theme sounds like.
                      http://www.djhistory.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by [b
                        Quote[/b] (ladyboygrimsby @ Jan. 08 2004,12:05)]
                        Originally posted by [b
                        Quote[/b] (smithy @ Jan. 08 2004,11:35)]Robert Earley also wrote the theme for "Public Eye" which starred Alfred Burke, anyone remember this great theme?
                        Bloody hell, you must be old to remember this! I used to love this when I was kid, but I have no idea what the theme sounds like.
                        43, which I suppose is old for this group! that is why I don't post  often as I haven't a clue what you lot are on about half the time    

                        Sparse jazz theme, muted trumpet, piano, bass, drums, been trying to find a copy of this & Special Branch, for years.
                        why is that cd black?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by [b
                          Quote[/b] (smithy @ Jan. 08 2004,14:52)]
                          Originally posted by [b
                          Quote[/b] (ladyboygrimsby @ Jan. 08 2004,12:05)]
                          Originally posted by [b
                          Quote[/b] (smithy @ Jan. 08 2004,11:35)]Robert Earley also wrote the theme for "Public Eye" which starred Alfred Burke, anyone remember this great theme?
                          Bloody hell, you must be old to remember this! I used to love this when I was kid, but I have no idea what the theme sounds like.
                          43, which I suppose is old for this group! that is why I don't post  often as I haven't a clue what you lot are on about half the time    

                          Sparse jazz theme, muted trumpet, piano, bass, drums, been trying to find a copy of this & Special Branch, for years.
                          Ah, now you describe it, I do indeed remember it well. It fitted the ambience of the programme neatly. A sort of early 70s British version of Chandler, as I recall.

                          Oh and don't worry about your age. I'm older than you
                          http://www.djhistory.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by [b
                            Quote[/b] (ladyboygrimsby @ Jan. 08 2004,14:58)]
                            Originally posted by [b
                            Quote[/b] (smithy @ Jan. 08 2004,14:52)]
                            Originally posted by [b
                            Quote[/b] (ladyboygrimsby @ Jan. 08 2004,12:05)]
                            Originally posted by [b
                            Quote[/b] (smithy @ Jan. 08 2004,11:35)]Robert Earley also wrote the theme for "Public Eye" which starred Alfred Burke, anyone remember this great theme?
                            Bloody hell, you must be old to remember this! I used to love this when I was kid, but I have no idea what the theme sounds like.
                            43, which I suppose is old for this group! that is why I don't post  often as I haven't a clue what you lot are on about half the time    

                            Sparse jazz theme, muted trumpet, piano, bass, drums, been trying to find a copy of this & Special Branch, for years.
                            Ah, now you describe it, I do indeed remember it well. It fitted the ambience of the programme neatly. A sort of early 70s British version of Chandler, as I recall.

                            Oh and don't worry about your age. I'm older than you  
                            I can't remember Chandler I'm afraid, yet I am younger than you
                            why is that cd black?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Chandler, as in Raymond Chandler. Even 43-year-olds know him, don't they?
                              http://www.djhistory.com

                              Comment

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