TME > Audio > Tributes Discography

Tribute Albums

Albums whose entire content is devoted to Doctor Who, not just by related lyrics, music and cover art but an overall theme.

1994 – Cybertech

Adrian Pack & Michael Fillis: Cybertech
CD, 1994
Jump Cut CUTUP 005

1.
Cybertech (Voc Mix)
2.
Pull To Open
3.
Doctor Who Theme
4.
Technopolis
5.
Eocene Park
6.
Dreamsnake
7.
These E Devils...
8.
Dead Planet?
9.
We, The Machines
10.
A Dark Infinity
i. The Doppler Experiment
11.
ii. Time Travel
12.
iii. Regeneration
13.
Cybertech (Dumb Mix)
14.
Time Loop (T T 2) / Bonus Track

As Mark Gattiss' sleeve notes remind us, the early 1990s saw a wave of remixed and rerecorded cult TV themes invade the UK Top 40, with dance versions of The X Files, The Saint, The Prisoner, Mission: Impossible and Man in a Suitcase vying for public admiration. Fighting to be the first to bring a refreshed Doctor Who theme to the charts, Adrian Pack and Michael Fillis used 70s synths and analogue sounds harking back to the synthesiser music of the Pertwee era, and experimented further with atmospheric B-sides in the styles of Radiophonic Workshop composers Peter Howell and Malcolm Clarke. Their proposed single of the Doctor Who theme never occurred; instead, they put their finished tracks towards a full-length album of Doctor Who-inspired music, which finally appeared in 1994. By this time, Cybertech (as they named themselves) had become a familiar name for Doctor Who fans, when a series of coincidences and a cassette demo handed to producer JN-T led to the duo's rave arrangement of the theme opening and closing the mini-episodes of the programme made in 3D for Children in Need (Dimensions in Time, 1993).

'Pull to Open', the first atmospheric track of the disc after the same rave theme, is an example of 1980s cliff-hanger music – ascending chords on swirly electronic pads – leading perfectly into a traditional arrangement of the theme tune, including a discordant take on the middle section. Next up, 'Technopolis' could have come from The Caves of Androzani, with its moody African drums and aggressive synthesiser rumblings. It, like so many of the tracks on this album, evokes numerous scores and composers at once – there are hints of Tristram Cary, Malcolm Clarke, Peter Howell and Mark Ayres mixed into the atmospherics here. The effect is very much like listening to a new Doctor Who soundtrack – no recognisable motifs as yet, but familiar noises all round. 'Eocene Park' bucks the trend, featuring only jungle sound effects reminiscent of all those alien planets from the series that used the same backing track of distant roars and bird cries.

'A Dark Infinity' is pure Dominic Glynn, evoking his Trial of a Timelord music with the use of near-identical synths and gothic roars from The Fantasy Factory and Dragonfire. This epic three-part, 15 minute track ranges from moody to romantic, furious to reflective and back again – rather like Peter Howell's highly ambitious Leisure Hive score in miniature – and ends with background music to a dramatic regeneration scene, leading into the instrumental version of their Dimensions in Time theme. Clearly Cybertech were itching to provide not only the theme arrangement but incidental music too for a new Doctor Who project – sad, looking back, that neither Phil Segal, Comic Relief nor BBCi were listening. 'Time Loop (T T 2)' is the only other piece of dance music on the album, and is possibly the best stand-alone track. With swirling wind in the background, a foot-tapping bass motif and more of the Clarke/Glynn atmospherics, it is a mid-90s interpretation of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop's 80s output, rather than a direct imitation of their styles. A few minutes of silence later, and the disc ends with a 'hidden' track – some monstrous heavy breathing complimented with rumbling, dark atmospherics. The 'look-out-it's-behind-you' type of cliff-hanger score that gives an open ending to the disc.

1995 – Pharos

Cybertech: Pharos
CD, July 1995
Jump Cut CUTUPCD 010

1.
Precipice Episode 2
2.
The Pharos Project
3.
Time's Crucible
4.
Prometheus Bound
5.
Prometheus Unbound
6.
First Frontier
7.
Yeti
8.
Iceberg
9.
Nightshade TV Theme
10.
Trevithick's Monsters
11.
Interstitial Time
12.
Legacy
13.
Type 40
14.
Master Mind
15.
Cyberia
16.
Wavelength

--> Lyrics (Spoken word sections):

Precipice Episode 2 / First Frontier / Iceberg / Nightshade TV Theme / Wavelength

Those who bought their copies of Cybertech (see above) via mail order contributed to more than sales figures, as Adrian Pack and Michael Fillis organised some customer feedback that would help shape their second collaboration. "We'd started doing the second album before we knew how the first one was doing," they told DWM. "The last thing we did on the first CD was the 'Dark Infinity' suite which was much more musical, and we kind of veered off down that path. Fortunately it was the more thematic material that proved the most popular." With the incentive that the first 100 people to pre-order Pharos would be rewarded with their name in the sleeve booklet, buyers were asked to share their favourite moments of incidental music from Doctor Who. Some of those who replied received a short cassette tape showcasing their choices (taken from video) alongside an extended vocal mix of the 'Cybertech Theme', featuring quotes from Planet of the Spiders, Robot, Death to the Daleks and more. The resulting album was perhaps less eclectic than the first, though the tracks offered were considerably more musical – and the absence of the Doctor Who theme from the disc ("we felt there were enough on the first album") merited the following line on the printed slip accompanying mail-order CDs: "Let me just say that there's a surprise in store in November..."

The opening of Pharos takes inspiration from Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds, with Jon Pertwee standing in for Richard Burton and the dance music of 'The Pharos Project' replacing the disco whines of 'The Eve of the War'. Many tracks pay further homage to the varying styles of the Radiophonic Workshop, with 'Time's Crucible' recreating (rather too faithfully) the aggressive scores of season 22, more farts and warbles than tunes and melodies, and the 'Prometheus' tracks, 'Legacy' and the ten-minute genius of 'Master Mind' taking their inspiration from Peter Howell's Leisure Hive, full of swirling chords (you know the type – the ones that go zzzzeeeeeeoooowww in the background) and ploppy noises. 'First Frontier' and 'Yeti' tell their stories in sound effects: crickets are singing, Sophie Aldred asks "Who is that?", we hear a door quietly open.... and then we are on the London Underground, with signalling Yeti on the track. The music that follows recreates the high-pitched strings and haunting melodies of The Web of Fear's stock music, and brings to mind the cosiness of Saturday nights with Patrick Troughton as much as the fictional world of that story. Over nine minutes this music evolves into a style of its own, applying 90s background music to the same situation – an interesting effect that (perhaps unintentionally) provokes much comparison between the pumping tension in the latter half's score and the quaintness of the 50s stock music deemed appropriate in 1968.

'Nightshade' is far more frivolous, though hardly captures the cheesy 50s radio serial of the novel, sounding instead like an alternative theme to The X Files. 'Trevithick's Monsters' continues the theme, sounding so much like a piece of genuine soundtrack music (with dips in volume and occasional stings) that it's hard to believe Cybertech were never invited to provide music for a BBV or Reeltime Pictures drama, and that this isn't the result. Think of Mark Ayres' generic background music for the drama sequences of 30 Years in the TARDIS and you've got the gist of Pharos – tuneful and fun, but only evocative of Doctor Who soundtracks by association. The disc is rounded off by another grand dance track ('Cyberia') and some eerie narration from Caroline John, replacing Pertwee in the Richard Burton role. Despite the promise of the slip note, Pharos would be the last published recording by Cybertech, as Pack and Fillis turned to other projects together. Both their CDs are generally available via specialist stores and second-hand, though Cybertech themselves no longer offer a mail-order service.

1998 – First Class Ticket to Telos

Buckfunk 3000: First Class Ticket to Telos
12" vinyl LP and CD, February 1998
Language Tours WORD D7

1.
Intro
2.
Fried Funk & Microchips
3.
Planet Shock Future Rock
4.
March Of The Cybermen
5.
Panic Button
6.
3000
7.
Goodbye
8.
Funkbwithu
9.
Art Of Cybernetics
10.
For Funk's Sake
11.
I Can't Stop
12.
First Class Ticket To Telos
13.
Feedback

--> Single releases

Simon Begg had also released material as Cabbageboy, Si Begg and Bigfoot before going under the name of Buckfunk 3000 to release this lengthy tribute to the Cybermen. In stark contrast to the two instrumental albums listed above, which avoided copyrighted material but delivered albums hugely evocative of Doctor Who, this LP/CD, which came in a lovely official photograph from The Five Doctors, is completely worthless as a piece of Doctor Who merchandise. The music is simply trance/break beats with no musical homage to the programme whatsoever.

1999 – Yellow Note vs the Daleks



Yellow Note: Yellow Note vs. the Daleks
CD, November 1999
Liquid Sky Music JSK 156

1.
Big Bass Boom
2.
Happily
3.
4 A.M. Already
4.
Joe Naked On The Beach
5.
Socialism NYC (remix)
6.
Neighborhood
7.
This Is War
8.
The Journey Pt. 1
9.
The Journey Pt. 2
10.
Jumped
11.
Gia
12.
Cheap Thrillz
13.
Thumbelina
14.
Dalek

Double 12" vinyl LP, November 1999
Liquid Sky Music JSK 156 LP

1.
Big Bass Boom (The Yellow Action Remix) 164 bpm
2.
4 A.M. Already (Hesitator Remix) 174 bpm
3.
Neighborhood (Free Mumia Remix) by 1.8.7 186 bpm
4.
Cheap Thrillz (Datcyde's Tearout '99) 183 bpm
5.
Dubelina 83 bpm
6.
Jumped (Version) 109 bpm
7.
Dalek (Vinyl) 196 bpm
8.
Sky-Fi 180 bpm

--> Lyrics:

Big Bass Boom / Happily / Socialism NYC Remix / The Neighbourhood / This is War / Thumbellina / Dalek

A sequenced album of rhythm and samples, very much like the work of Fatboy Slim, only without the mass appeal (we think this LP lacks Fatboy's sense of humour, but we can't quite put our finger on it). 'Big Bass Boom' has a Dalek screeching "Exterminate!" from Genesis of The Daleks, and a quick sample of the Derbyshire/Hodgson theme tune from the 1970s opening titles, but these are the only musical references to Doctor Who on the entire album. An interesting CD, with the first track at least proving interesting to Who collectors, but essentially a dance album that has very little to do with the pepperpot opressors it's named after.

2000 – Who is Dr Who



Compiled and Produced by Mark Ayres
Executive Producer Mark Stratford
Mastering by Nick Watson at SRT
Additional Mastering by Mark Ayres
Various Artists: Who Is Dr Who
Compilation CD, October 2000
Cherry Red / RPM Records RPM 200

1.
Doctor Who (Original Theme) BBC Radiophonic Workshop
2.
Dr. Who Eric Winstone and his Orchestra
3.
I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas With a Dalek The Go Go's
4.
Landing Of The Daleks (Original version) The Earthlings
5.
March Of The Robots The Earthlings
6.
Dance Of The Daleks Jack Dorsey and Orchestra
7.
Who's Who Roberta Tovey with Orchestra conducted by Malcolm Lockyer
8.
Not So Old Roberta Tovey with Orchestra conducted by Malcolm Lockyer
9.
The Eccentric Dr. Who Malcolm Lockyer Orchestra
10.
Daleks and Thals Malcolm Lockyer Orchestra
11.
Fugue For Thought Bill McGuffie
12.
Who's Dr Who? Frazer Hines
13.
Punch and Judy Man Frazer Hines
14.
Who Is The Doctor Jon Pertwee
15.
Pure Mystery Jon Pertwee
16.
Dr. Who Don Harper's Homo Electronicus

BONUS TRACKS

17.
Landing Of The Daleks (Broadcast version with scrambled morse code message) The Earthlings
18.
Time Traveller (Previously unreleased) Frazer Hines

--> Exploded sleeve / Sleevenotes / Lyrics ("Time Traveller") / Doctor Who Magazine Review

Includes tracks taken from the following original releases: Sounding better than ever and released alongside a multitude of sleeve images and press cuttings, this collection of early tributes made our year. The sleeve-notes, although smaller in size, are infinitely more accessible and informative than even the 1997 Record Collector article, and highlight every track with anecdotes and detail rarely found outside fan-club releases. The disc's new track, an unreleased Frazer Hines solo from 1968, is a rock-'n'-roll number with full gold trim in the form of tambourine and guitar solos. The lyrics might not be ground-breaking but they have a lot more in common with Doctor Who than 'Who's Dr Who?', and at least there's no kid-chorus. The sound effects that run through the track even make a better attempt to imitate the TARDIS take-off than any other tribute has managed to date. Objectively, however, it is easy to see why the track has not been released until now – the vocals are hard to decipher and the tune rather too traditional to be either a novelty track or a simple chart-effort.