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Resources #1 - Doctor Who Magazine

DWM 1984 Summer Special - Doctor Who Records

1984, Doctor Who Magazine released a "Merchandise Special" focusing on all areas of Doctor Who marketting, including a lengthly feature on audio products, from the Genesis of the Daleks LP to the TV theme singles. The article also touched on several tribute releases, reproduced below.

In this section we'll be taking a look at all the singles and albums that have been released to tie in with Doctor Who. I have, it should be noticed, deliberately missed out a couple of things. If I were to try to list all the appalling versions of the theme tune on assorted Geoff Love and his Music type cheap albums that cover lots of TV themes, I could be here until doomsday researching them, let alone finding time to write about them, so I've ignored them. Secondly, there have been records that pick on names or things from the world of Doctor Who that aren't really relevant: had you ever heard of groups such as The Cybermen, K9 Hassle or Dalek i (aka Dalek i Love You) whose first single came out in 1979 and was called Destiny? Possibly the only one of any merit was the "B" Side to a single by The Human League (now you must have heard of them!) called Tom Baker, which came out soon after the announcement of his retirement from the series. The cover featured a photo of Tom's face and there was an inscription around the centre of the record that simply said "Thanks, Tom". Whilst being a fairly jolly bit of music, it isn't actually relevant to the series, but if you want to track it down the single was called Boys and Girls, was on the Virgin label and the number was VS 395.

While we are talking about the "pop" music influence, two records worthy of mention both occurred during Tom Baker's reign as the Doctor. The best known was by a band of session musicians who called themselves Mankind and produced a single called, would you believe it, Doctor Who which was a disco version of the theme tune, and had a few lyrics randomly thrown in to pad it out to the required three minutes. It came in both 7 inch and 12 inch formats, the latter boasting a sleeve that showed a face with the top of the head cut away from which the words "Doctor Who" floated out. The 12 inch also came in either black, blue or green vinyl. It was on the Pinnacle label originally (PIN 71) but was later reissued on Motor Records (MTR 001) and I believe it to still be available. Next up, there was a record by a group called Blood Donor called Doctor...? that appeared on Safari Records (SAFE 29) and is a tribute to the Time Lord which contains such startling lyrics as: And there you are! Whilst not actually falling into the "novelty record" bracket like the Mankind single (this one is almost a good song, musically it is good) it is hardly Duran Duran or Culture Club. The cover shows on the front the TARDIS materialising on top of a hill, whilst the back cover shows it having landed, the sky having turned into dusk, and the door slightly open letting out a shaft of light. Nice art by Bob Suffolk and almost worth buying just for that.

Back to novelty records now - and back to BBC Records briefly for Doctor Who Is Gonna Fix It (RESL 132) released during 1983 by an Australian man/group (who knows?) called Bullamakanka and is a silly little ditty that is worth having because it is so awful (rather like the 60s record I'm Going To Spend Christmas With A Dalek). When you consider how long Australia has had an interest in the programme it is perhaps surprising that this seems to be the first and only record from the country about the series. Who's Who? is the first and only record by Dalek film star (?) Roberta Tovey, who played the movie version of Susan. Released by Polydor (BM 56021), it ranks high in the stakes of most dreadful record ever, but another contender for that title is Who's Doctor Who? by, would you believe, Fraser Hines, whilst his character of Jamie was at its height of popularity in 1968. This was released on the Major Minor record label, number MM579 (does this mean that there were 578 previous records on this label devoted to TV programmes - and were they all as bad as this one?). The last in our list of "novelty" records is the best. It was actually made by Doctor Who himself, Jon Pertwee. Called Who Is The Doctor it was a sort of galactic poem about the Doctor with a background of a version (in its loosest sense) of the theme music. It was released on Purple records (the EMI offshoot originally catering for the heavy rock band Deep Purple) and had the number PUR 111. Needless to say it has long since been deleted, which is a shame.

Text (c) Gary Russell / Doctor Who Magazine 1984. Reprinted without permission.