TME > Audio > Tributes Discography

Tribute Songs

1990 - The Theme from Abslom Daak - Dalek Killer

The Slaves of Kane: The Theme from Abslom Daak - Dalek Killer
7" vinyl single, picture sleeve, December 1990
Xenon XEN-2

A. The Theme from Abslom Daak - Dalek Killer (Radio Mix)
B. The Theme from Abslom Daak - Dalek Killer (Voxless)

12" vinyl single, black sleeve, December 1990
Xenon 12XEN-2

A1. The Theme from Abslom Daak - Dalek Killer (Total Extermination Mix)
B1. The Theme from Abslom Daak - Dalek Killer (Radio Mix)
B2. The Theme from Abslom Daak - Dalek Killer (Voxless)

Executive Producer: KANE
Keyboards and Additional Programming: ANDY BOUCHER
Saxophone: BILLY SAX
Voice of Abslom Daak: JOHN E. MACHINE
W.L.C. Associate: ANDY GRANT

--> Lyrics / Fan Video

The idea for this track came from Metro Music, the company who had already released Variations on a Theme. Andy Grant struck a deal with Marvel Comics to record a tribute to their comic creation Abslom Daak, a Dalek hunter from the future; the deal was that Marvel could release the track on a promotional disc free with Doctor Who Magazine, after which DWM would grant a licence for a commercial single. Grant first approached Mark Ayres to record a short instrumental, but Ayres refused. "I really didn't feel it had any 'legs'," he told us, "so [I] declined. And there were other reasons too, but I forget what they were!" Grant's next suggestion was Keff McCulloch, who appears to have been set to record the track until a sudden commission left him without the time, and Dominic Glynn was handed a collection of Daak and Dalek voice samples and asked to hurriedly record a demo for the flexi disc.

These samples had been recorded in Mark Ayres' home studio some time previously, with an ill Nicholas Briggs spouting random Dalek phrases into Ayres' home-made ring modulator. Grant had already heard his "exterminating" from an Audio Visuals play, though Briggs was surprised by the finished track, telling TME that he'd "imagined that there would only be a couple of short Dalek interludes"... (incidentally, the 'Bucket Barry' credit referred to a game show pilot Briggs had recently filmed for Andy Grant's company, in which he'd held a gunge-filled bucket from which contestants had to find their prize. "Andy still calls me Bucket Barry from time to time; never one to let an old joke die, you understand.")

Incorporating the guitar riff from The Stranglerís Peaches, as well as some subtle echoes back to the Doctor Who theme tune, Glynn (and collaborator Martin Smith) created a funky house rhythm with a catchy guitar and synth accompaniment, featuring the voice samples from Grant and Ayres in an amusing combination. ďTo be honest it was quite a fun tongue-in-cheek ideaĒ, Glynn recalled in May 2000, ďand there was no particular reason for using the Peaches riff other than the fact that I liked it and it worked with the track. We wanted it to have a slight "punky" flavour I suppose.Ē As it happened, however, The Stranglers were not oblivious to the release, and we have heard that all proceeds ended up going straight to the band, who had threatened to sue unless they received payment for their copyrighted melody. The flexi disc edit was extended and remixed for a 7" and 12" release the following month (though the latter proved unavailable in some areas). Plans for a CD version (to feature additional remixes) were abandoned due to poor sales.

1991 - Beat 'n' Bop EP

The Bessies: Beat 'n' Bop EP
Cassette EP, 1991
Bessiesongs BES01

1. The Yartek Boogie
2. Silly Song
3. Do The Quark
4. Time Rotor Blues

The Bessies are; Scud Stevens, Rita Gamm, and Chris Taberham
Guitar on tracks 1 & 4; Marrowbone Willie
Additional keyboards; Kurt
Backing vocals; The Lil-Ettes
Mixed and produced by Michael Davis and The Bessies
Basic tracks recorded at Snappy Studios, Gosforth
Guitar and backing vocals recorded at Tabertee Studios

--> Exploded sleeve / Lyrics: The Yartek Boogie / Silly Song / Do the Quark / Time Rotor Blues

Fan-group The Bessies first performed their musical blend of rock 'n' roll and Doctor Who at 'The Dominator's Beach Party', a gathering for the newly formed WANT (Who Appreciation North Tyneside) in 1983. Originally formed by Chris Taberham (vocals), Sid Smith (bass and vocals) and Alec Fox (keyboards), this early performance is remembered by later member Peter Finklestone as owing "more to enthusiasm and alcohol than musical artistry". The response was nonetheless enthusiastic, and the group made further social appearances, including Christmas parties where songs such as the Doctor Who Twelve Days Of Christmas ("ending, of course, with a Pertwee in a Pear Tree!") were played for the first time. Robert Fox and Finklestone joined on bass and acoustic guitar for the 'Another World, Another Sky' convention in 1984, with percussion from an early Yamaha drum machine affectionately known as Rita Gamm.

The group continued to perform throughout the late 80s, with appearances at Doctor Who gatherings and even a Goons convention ("we were never asked back..."), until in 1990 the band decided to record 4 of their most commercial, original songs for single release. Several non-commercial recordings had already been made, including an extended video clip for Do The Quark (Finklestone: "The "DTQ" film featured Chris having his stomach cut open by me and I fished a "Q" symbol out, covered in blood. Then there were the cows and the helicopter.."), and the group had previously gathered at an 8 track studio in Hartlepool only to leave without recording a single note due to minus temperatures, but in 1991 definitive versions of The Yartek Boogie, Silly Song, Do The Quark and Time Rotor Blues were recorded on a 4 track Portastudio, with bass performed on a synth when Sid proved unavailable and with local-legend Dominic Malia on guitar (performing as Marrowbone Willie).

"Originally the intention was to press a few hundred singles and fleece Doctor Who fans for their money," Finklestone recalled in January 2001. "It's always been a regret that we didn't take a chance and press a few vinyl copies as they'd have been so much more collectable." The EP was advertised in the DWAS newsletter and Marvel's Doctor Who Magazine, with the following piece appearing in DWM 179. An address followed in DWM 183. The cassette was sold primarily by word of mouth, and some spoof promo adverts were recorded in 1992/3 - "I think one went "Even the pets will love it" and there was a shot of the tape being dropped into [a] fishbowl!" - but only 200-300 copies were sold, with one reviewer missing the point entirely and (unfavourably) comparing the release with Doctorin' the Tardis. "There's no doubt that (...) we were a bit ahead of our time, in terms of what people might appreciate. Back then, I think people took everything too seriously and maybe found it difficult to see the FUN in what we were doing."

Taberham and Finklestone performed an uncomfortable set at the 30th Anniversary Panoptiocon convention in 1993 (to a room "full of people who would have preferred to watch The Twin Dilemma [while] our natural audience was, very sensibly, ensconced in the hotel bar"), but an appearance in April 1994 at the WANT 10th Anniversary re-union (the group having collapsed in 1989) gained a "superb reception". Since this time, the group have never really split, and rumours have flown concerning new recordings on CD ("mainly because it seems OK for 80s has-been bands to reform!") . Among The Bessies' songs still to be recorded are: "[W]e've been saying for 3 or 4 years that it'd be nice to record new versions of the old songs with better technology," Finklestone concluded, "really just for our own enjoyment, but we may put out a CD as it'll only cost a thousand quid or so to do properly. I fancy the laugh!"

1996 - Doctor Who on a Mission

Cybermen: Doctor Who on a Mission
12" vinyl and CD single, 1996
Academy Street Records D-ACST002

1. Doctor Who on a Mission Radio Edit (Vocal)
2. Doctor Who on a Mission Original
3. Doctor Who on a Mission K9s Happy Mix
4. Doctor Who on a Mission Sonic Screwdriver Remix

--> Lyrics

This splendid track (the only Doctor Who tribute released as a CD single since the 1980s) saw the Doctor Who theme set to a fantastic dance beat and embellished with modulated lyrics, performed - according to the cover art - by silver chaps with buckets over their hands. Brilliant. The synthesised, bouncing bass known as 'happy hardcore' makes the familiar melody come to life better than even The Timelords managed. The radio edit opens with an independent riff before launching into the theme, accompanied by some vocals that are presumably meant to be Cybermen. The repetitive chorus plays twice before the music emulates the middle section of the Who theme, over which a female voice moans "Ooo, Doctor"! The 12" mix is largely instrumental, using only modulated voice samples and making more use of the theme's middle portion, while the K9 and Sonic Screwdriver mixes are proper dance tracks, introducing a deeper bass and harder beats.

These Cybermen are Scottish (so not to be confused with the American, English or Finnish lot), and sadly their record is already out of print.

1997 - Among the Cybermen

Geezer: Black Science
CD, 1997
TVT Records TVT 6020-2

Australian CD (TVT Records) featured the bonus track Beach Skeleton.

Man In A Suitcase
Box Of Six
Department S
Area Code 51
Has To Be
Number 5
Among The Cybermen
Unspeakable Elvis
Northern Wisdom
Trinity Road

--> Lyrics

This heavy rock album features a little-known track whose chorus demands to know who lies dead among the Cybermen. And if you think that lyric sounds a bit oblique and miserable, you're well prepared for the grungy angst of the music! Despite being the most down-beat and angry sounding tribute, the chorus is actually quite catchy and the music is well played. However, there's not much guarantee that the Cybermen mentioned are actually the characters from Doctor Who, as the lyrics don't make a lot of sense; unless you imagine that all the "underground" references are about the tombs of Telos...

1998 - I am the Doctor (Who Are You?)

Brian Ross - vocals, keyboards
Glenn S. Howes - guitars, vocals & bass
Martin Richardson - guitars & bass
Mark Hancock - drums & bass
Keith Nichol - guitar solos
The album was engineered by Keith Nichol and Peter Carr
pre-production by Glenn S. Howes
Produced by Keith Nichol, Peter Carr and Blitzkrieg
Cover concept by Brian Ross. Cover artwork by Barney McParlin
Blitzkrieg: The Mists of Avalon
CD, 1998
Neat Metal Records NM032

The Legend
Tranquil State
I am the Doctor (Who Are You?)
Princess for the World
The Mighty 'A'
Smell of Roses
Love's Too Late
Yesterdays (Hope for the Future)
Another Interview?
Vicious Rumours
I Was Having a Great Time and Stayed Longer Than I Should, So When I Got to the Railway Station, the Last Train Had Gone!

--> Lyrics

An unusual album this - a surprisingly melodic heavy metal band with an interesting sense of humour. Influences include Arthurian legends, Princess Diana, Cozy Powell and, of course, Dr Who. This song has none of the qualities we have come to expect from Who tribs, and as such shocks at first hearing. After that, you'll play it back to check that you weren't imagining the references to the Rani, and then never play it again, because, exciting and novel though it is, the music isn't very interesting and the tune instantly forgettable. Nice try, though.

2002 - Dr. Who Girl

Mitch Benn: Radio Face
CD, October 2002
Laughing Stock LAFFCD131

Imagine You Were Mine
Public Service Announcement
Macbeth (My Name Is)
Baby Iím Sorry
Five One
Everybodyís Elvis
The Apathy Song
Dr. Who Girl
Christmas Single
Tabloid Journalists
My Girlfriend is an Alien
Rock and Roll Hall of Death
Sometimes Love
Steal This Song

--> Lyrics

Mitch Benn began his comedy career in Edinburgh in 1994. He moved to London in 1996 and quickly established himself as a comedy club headliner as well as a favourite on the university circuit. He is now one of the most sought-after comedy performers in Britain and is widely acknowledged as one of the best writer/performers of comic songs in the country. His radio shows, Mitch Benn's Crimes Against Music on BBC Radio 4 and The Mitch Benn Music Show on BBC Radio 7, are a mix of stand-up and comic songs, and he has released several music albums (of which 'Radio Face' was the second), performing since 2003 as Bitch Benn & the Distractions with Kirsty Newton and Tash Baylis.

We knew that Benn was a Doctor Who fan after his radio shows included a rock guitar rendition of the theme tune and a jolly funny song about the Daleks, but Dr. Who Girl is (to date) the only one of his tribute songs to be released. It's a plaintive acoustic guitar ballad, sung with soothing backing vocals, a very lovely melody, and some nicely cutting lyrics that paint the 70s companions in the kind of politically incorrect fashion that Janet Fielding would have you believe they all were!

2003 - Dr Qui

All songs written and performed by Bill Bailey
except "The Leg of Time" co-written by Sean Lock and Bill Bailey
Produced by Bill Bailey & Simon "Wall of Sound" Gresswell
Engineered by Jim Lowe
Assistant Engineer Rich "Radar" Hinton
Recorded Live at Sanctuary Studios October 2000 (in 12 hours)
Bill Bailey: The Ultimate Collection... Ever!
CD/Cassette, 2003
Sound Entertainment Ltd TLCD 35

Insect Nation
Gwydion & the Druid - Chapter 1
Richard Clayderman plays Three Blind Mice
Unisex Chip Shop (tribute to Billy Bragg)
Scooby Doo
Jean Michel Jarre
Hats off to the Zebras
Phillip Glass plays Pop Goes the Weasel
Tom Waits plays Three Blind Mice
Leg of Time
Classical Cockney
Chaucer Pubbe Gagge
Medieval Porn
Gwydion & The Druid - Chapter 2
Dr. Qui
Cockney Medley
Beautiful Ladies (in honour of Chris de Burgh)
Gwydion & The Druid - Chapter 47
Drum 'n' Bush

Bristol-born comedian Bill Bailey (star of Channel 4 sitcom Black Books, and BBC2 quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks) is recognised as a champion of all things cult - from Chris de Burgh to Doctor Who - and his live shows and television appearances are a combination of stand-up and live music often celebrating these 'uncool' things. In a February 1999 edition of his early solo series 'Is This Bill Bailey?' on BBC2, Bailey closed the show with a 5-minute homage to Doctor Who. He began by introducing the 60s practise whereby one man would produce the entire musical and atmospheric score for an episode (almost entirely accurate - Brian Hodgson and later Dick Mills single-handedly produced the sound effects for every episode of the series, with just a handful of musicians at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop providing the musical scores, often at staggeringly short notice). Stood behind his keyboard, Bailey talked us through a typical episode, providing sound effects and exageratted dramatic music as he went; the TARDIS lands (vworping noise) on a mysterious planet (howling wind); it's a bit creepy (twinkly music); but what's that? (scary chord); argh, it's the Daleks! (dum-dah-DUM!); before crashing into the theme tune - a gloriously floor-thumping synthesiser version, sadly never released!

He then made the comment that, when listening to the theme tune now, it sounded rather more like Belgium jazz - and proceeded to perform a version of the theme with jazz piano, a gentle hi-hat beat and a syntheised double bass, with dialogue in cod-GCSE French: "el voyage don la tardis... avec la dalek... l'docteur est superior... 'exterminivous! exterminivous encore!'" The programme was repeated over the next week, and Bailey continued to play the jazz version of the theme - popularly referred to as Dr. Qui - in his live shows. In 2000, he recorded a 3'36" version of the track, and this CD of his 'greatest hits' - a mixture of sketches, songs, and specially-written musical parodies - was released in 2003. The track 'Scooby Doo', although less than 10-seconds long, is clearly a later incarnation of the first half of Bailey's 1998 Doctor Who sketch, with the one-man sound effects and music now being provided for Scooby Doo...

2004 - Her Daddy Was a Dalek, Her Mummy Was a Non-Stick Frying Pan

Martin Gordon: The Joy of More Hogwash
CD, July 2004
Radiant Future RFVP006CD

(Oh No What Shall We Do?) Daddy Lost His Head In A Coup
Fuss Me
Plug 'n' Play
Land Of Nod
Love Power
She Still Thinks (That We're In Love)
The Joy of More Hogwash
Everybody Is Very Nice (The Future's Positively Radiant)
Every Little Thing She Does
Cheap Trick
Round And Round We Go
Her Daddy Was A Dalek, Her Mummy Was A Non-Stick Frying Pan
It's Elementary
Stop The World (I Want To Get Off)

--> Lyrics / Compilation Releases

Martin Gordon, a highly creative and idiosyncratic British post-Glam songwriter based in Germany, re-emerged with a series of fantastic pop CDs in the early 21st Century after nearly 20 years away from his solo music career. After making his name writing songs for other artists and performing well-received cover-versions, Gordon's own albums came armed with catchy melodies, some of the oddest lyrics ever written, and a lead vocalist (Pelle Almgren) with a considerable range of octaves, and his (fleeting) tribute to Doctor Who is as weird as they come - just read the lyrics (what we can make out of them, anyway) to see what we mean!

"Now I that think of it," Gordon revealed to one interviewer, "the words to part of the chorus of 'Daddy Was a Dalek...' come from an S'Express song that I co-wrote. I tried to get a bit of wit into that production, to almost no avail, and so I've stolen my own couplet back again." Indeed, 'I met a girl from Sirius B, she was seriously in love with me' can be found on Supersonic Lover, sung by young Sonique; but Gordon's reinvention of the couplet in his own song is much more entertaining.