1971 - Pink FloydPink Floyd: Meddle
Japanese 7" vinyl single, 1971 (reissued 1978): Toshiba/Odeon Records OR-2935
Japanese 12" vinyl EP, August 1971: EMI/Toshiba/Odeon Records OP-4619
Italian 7" vinyl single, March 1972: Harvest Records 3C 006-05013
1978 - Planet Earth!
Arranged and produced by Richard Hill
Assistant producer: Liz Higgins
Album co-ordination: Jed Kearse
12" vinyl LP / cassette, 1978
Pye Records NSPL / ZCP 18556
1. Rocket Man
2. Space Boogie
3. Across the Universe
1. Doctor Who (from the BBC TV Series)
2. You Are My Starship
3. My Galactic Hero
1978 - Mankind
--> Sleeve Designs
Click here to scroll through the various sleeve designs:
Original 12" / Pinnacle-distributed 12" / Pinnacle Limited Edition 12"s (some multi-coloured vinyls, including red and clear) / Pinnacle 7" / Holland 7" / German 7" / Canadian 12" / Unknown 7" (1984 reissue?)
And click here to view the assorted record labels:
Motor 7" (rejected and undistributed) / Motor 12" / Pinnacle 7" (colour) / Pinnacle 7" (silver) / German 7" / New Zealand 7" / Canadian 12" / Unknown 7" (1984 reissue?)
/ International releases
14th December 1978 edition, presented by Tony Blackburn
(C) Pinnacle Records/Motor Records/BBC 1978, reproduced without permission
/ Compilation releases
Holland: 7" (Fleet 100.264), same track-listing as UK version on a new pressing; side 2 is titled 'Time Travellers'. Credited to D. Gallachar [sic] and 'manufactured and marketed by Ariola Benelux b.v.' The sleeve shows a photograph of the band beneath a unique MANKIND logo.
Germany: 7" (Jupiter Records 100 287), same track-listing as UK version but new pressing. Sleeve credits Motor Records, and uses the same MANKIND logo as the 1979 UK Chain Reaction single. Seems to be official.
New Zealand: 7" (RTS 702), same track-listing as UK version but, again, another new pressing. Credits Pinnacle Records. Possibly unlicensed.
Canada: 12" (RCA Limited KPN1-0314) re-mastered at 33rpm, "from master recordings owned or controlled by RCA Records". Credits Pinnacle; also potentially unlicensed.
This distinctive disco interpretation of the Doctor Who theme - the first to feature lyrics, besides Jon Pertwee's monologue on Who is the Doctor - reached No.25 in the UK charts during its third week within the Top 40. The BBC were evidently quite fond of the track - as well as an infamous Top of the Pops appearance (where the band wore Tom Baker-esque hats and scarves, the audience bopped, and the Beeb mixed in visuals of the Bernard Lodge credit sequence), the record was used on a BBC trailer for The Androids of Tara - the first time that a non-TV arrangement of the Doctor Who theme is known to have been used to advertise the programme (excepting only the Delaware version on a trailer for The Three Doctors in 1973).
The record was conceived and produced by Don Gallacher, a former songwriter and recording engineer who was determined to break into the music industry. “In those days, in the 70s, it became quite democratic,” he told TME in 2007. “If you could find the right song, and the right artist and producer, quite cheaply you could get it out; it’s a bit like it’s becoming now, with iTunes and the like, it was very free. But the one thing I couldn’t afford was radio plugging.” At the suggestion of his 3 year-old son, Gallacher picked Doctor Who as a tune that the radio stations would instantly recognise, with a disco beat in emulation of Meco Monardo’s hit disco version of Star Wars the previous summer (“disco was really big – if it wasn’t disco it was punk, and I couldn’t stand punk”), having discovered that “...a slight tweaking of the beat would make it exactly fit into the disco rhythm” Don worked on the arrangement with keyboard player Mark Stevens, and the pair quickly hired additional session musicians with whom they had worked previously; “we booked a 24-track studio, cheap, above a bingo hall in Clapham... did it all in, I think, about twelve hours. Four days, for three hours a day, did it all.”
The musicians, TME can exclusively reveal, were Graham Jarvis on drums (“Graham was known as ‘The Rhythm Box’ for his time-keeping, it was absolutely spot-on”); Dave Green on bass; Mark Stevens on keyboards; Dave Charlesworth on guitar (“although I didn’t use much guitar on it: right at the beginning, it starts off really loud and then disappears, ‘cause I reached over the fader and went ‘argh, hate that!’“); and Don himself on vocals. “The reason I did that was that Radio One had an absolute anti-instrumental policy: if it didn’t have a voice on it, they wouldn’t play it. That was the only reason I put the words on, and made it up on the day that I had to do it, just literally wrote down whatever came into my head. Interestingly, about fifteen years ago, I actually heard the playback of the multi-track, the original 24-track multi-track, and the stuff I’m saying on there, I’m going ‘... automated biscuit-box’, and absolute garbage. Of course we didn’t use that.”
Upon leaving the studio, Don posted cassette copies of the song to all the major record labels, but, fully expecting to hear nothing in return, immediately pressed the first batch of singles himself. “I found this little pressing plant who said ‘we’ll do it all for you,’ and they produced five hundred 7” Dr Who’s for me.” These were custom-printed, high-quality black vinyls [coded Motor Records SRTS 78 CUS 153], but distributing them was not easy. “The label was so awful – I couldn’t bare to look at it, let alone put it out. It had this horrible orange sticker... it looked as if someone had made up an old stamp-printing set, like a kiddie’s printing set – horrible.” And there were further problems: “the only way that a record shop would buy stock from the makers was to have an account. Getting an account with a major was not an easy thing to do.” Luckily, Gallacher was able to locate a wholesaler willing to sell his records onto the retailers, and, on their advice, produced his next batch of records on blue vinyl 12”, manufactured this time at a classical music pressing plant in dazzling, eye-catching colour. On the advice of a supermarket supplier (“who said to me ‘as far as a label is concerned, everything we do in terms of design and labels for products is designed to get the customer to pick it up’“), the cover design did not feature the title: record shop browsers would literally have to pick it up to see what it was!
On 13th November 1978, Gallacher collected the new pressings, delivered half to the wholesalers for retail distribution, and hand-delivered the remainder himself to clubs and smaller shops around London. He was, by this time, well prepared for success. “Before I even recorded it, I got in touch with the BBC – with Graham Williams, the producer – and we got together for a drink. I told him what I was gonna do, and he said ‘so you want our permission?’ I said, ‘I don’t need your permission. But if I get a hit, if I get in the Top 40 and I get onto Top of the Pops, I want swirling Daleks and the TARDIS and stuff like that. I want to clear it in advance.’ And he said, ‘You’re very confident, aren’t you?’ I said ‘Oh no, but if you don’t plan to succeed, you fail, basically; there’s no harm done, is there – if I fail, you won’t get a phone call, if I succeed, you will.’“ Once distributed, the record was an instant hit. Gallacher was soon getting orders from all over the country, and was relieved, after several weeks, to take a phone call from one Pete Waterman, then a writer/reviewer for Record Mirror, suggesting he speak to Pinnacle Records about taking over the record’s distribution and promotion. “Pinnacle were a wholesaler, selling stylus, record decks, electronic stuff and the odd classical record, that’s how they started. I had a meeting with Pinnacle – they were desperate for a hit, having just launched themselves as a label – and I was a bit naïve, I just wanted to get it over and done with.”
The deal was significantly in Pinnacle’s favour, and the Motor Record labels were immediately covered by new Pinnacle-branded stickers with ‘Motor’ written in very plain letters, even smaller than a logo for Firebird. “The guy who signed me up, he had a company called Firebird so he wanted his logo on. I’m sure if I’d dug my heels in and said ‘I want my own label,’ they’d have said ‘OK’; but the thing was already moving, I didn’t want to delay it. Literally: it’s in the charts, I either sign this deal, or I walk out of here.” With Pinnacle’s promotion, a new pressing of the 7”, multi-coloured versions of the 12” (now with a titled sleeve) and the securing of airplay on Radio Luxemburg (though sadly, not on Radio One; the BBC would have seemed biased in playing a remix of one of their own themes), the single climbed to number 24 in one chart and 25 in another, selling, in Gallacher's estimate, over 240,000 singles. The long-planned-for appearance on Top of the Pops was quickly arranged, albeit with a slightly different line-up of musicians. “Mark Stevens was there, with the hat on and the scarf; same bass player, Dave Green; Graham Jarvis couldn’t make it, so we used a guy called Graham Hollingworth, a session drummer; and Dave Charlesworth, the guitarist, he wasn’t good looking enough – that’s how we did things, in those days! – so we got a guy from my old band called Paul Martinelli who did the guitar and mimed the vocal bit.”
Pinnacle asked Gallacher for a follow-up straight away. “I said, ‘there is no follow-up. It’s a one-off, you can’t follow that up.’ They made me do one, that was under duress as I was convinced it wouldn’t work.” Using the musicians who had appeared on Top of the Pops, the result was another 12” and 7" disco record, Chain Reaction. “We spent thousands on it – used 48 tracks, and I was bouncing-down to get more tracks.” It’s certainly a polished recording, and the keyboard jingles and funky bass are unmistakeably twinned with the original Mankind. “But having urged me to make the follow-up, I don’t think they had faith in it. I got it on television, I got it on Cheggers Plays Pop. It could have been a hit in its own right, but that’s the thing about the record business, you’ve got to promote, you’ve got to believe.” The Mankind moniker was resurrected a few years later for a company called Ovation. “That was Dark Star Angel and UFO. And that never did anything.” Yet these rare records could well be made available again soon: “I’m going to clean up the recordings and put them out on iTunes and things like that, see if there’s an interest. I’m going to put out a mini-album – it will be an album, 'cause it’ll have all these 7” versions, 12” versions – and just put it out. That’s my last chance – I’ll put it out on iTunes, but if you want Dr. Who, you gotta buy the album.” Unfortunately, the chance for digital remastering has long-since passed. “I haven’t got any of the masters, all the masters have gone up in fire. I ended up in offices in Carnaby Street in the early 80s, all my master tapes were there and they had a fire. So I can’t remix Dr. Who.”
The single certainly provided Gallacher with an entrée to the business, but perhaps not in the way he intended. “If you have a hit record, no-one asks if it was good, bad or indifferent: you’ve had a hit record, you’re a player. Unfortunately, as a record producer, my fate was sealed, ‘cause the only requests I ever got was ‘can you do a disco version of...?’ I started to try to launch quality stuff – rock ‘n’ roll, and stuff I really wanted to – but of course it was just as hard, even though I’d got the connections, it was just as hard as anyone else trying to.” Don eventually ended up in the music-for-film industry, and is now a successful and established music licenser. “I do actually submit my own songs to directors, amongst others, but they never now. That’s a hit and miss thing.”
There are at least three variations of the scratches around the centre of the 12 inch records: the original Motor pressing, the blue vinyl Pinnacles and the multi-coloured Pinnacles.
All of them have the same typings in the centre of each side – MTR 001-12 A/B-1 and 2931 – though Pinnacle multi-colours have PIN+71+A/B hand-scratched as well. MARK STEVENS IS A DALEK [A-side] and YOU MAY THINK SO WE DID BEWARE [B-side] are hand-scratched on all versions, with ‘II’ above them on multi-colours. EG (both sides) and A PORKY PRIME CUT [A] are the only other markings present on all discs.
Exclusive to the blue vinyl Pinnacles are IIIX GREN HERE [A]; HI I’M CALLED B. REYNOLDS [B]; SEX PISTOLS OK MATE [B]; IVX [B]; and a picture of a grinning face [B].
COSTA [B on Motor, both sides on blue Pinnacle] and VIII [Motor] are replaced with OREX on multi-colour discs.
The 7 inch records do not feature any amusing scratchings, but the markings do indicate their order of production. The orange-labelled Motor Records discs (which were later covered in 'advance copy only - not for resale' stamps) read SRTS +78+CUS+153+A/B in neat handwriting; this is dimly-visable on all later UK pressings, too, suggesting the promos were used as the master discs for all later versions. The Pinnacles have MTR 001 written in large handwriting close to the centre, with VR 08-102467-1A/B-1 typed close to the edge; this type is replaced on later Motor Records discs (the ones that we presume to have been distributed alongside Dr Who (The Sequel) in 1984) with LYN 615 7 [A] / 8 [B], PIN 71-A-35 [A] and MAX [A].
The international 7 inches are completely re-pressed and feature none of the above; the German discs have 100287 A/B-1/79S in large type and Made in Germany in small type, whilst the New Zealand discs have RTS 702 A/B 5884 [A] / 5883 [B] 700 hand-scratched.
Sleeves & Vinyls
The original Motor picture sleeves are noticeably thicker, with an end-spine and inner sleeve (both blank) that make the overall sleeve a little larger, and protect the record better than the Pinnacle facsimiles. The back sleeve spells Chappell with only one ‘l’, a mistake corrected on Pinnacle reprints, and MOTOR RECORDS (top left) and MTR 001/12 (top right) were initially covered-up with small stickers (reading ‘Pinnacle Records’ in the company font, and ‘Pinnacle/Firebird PIN 71’ in a plain font, respectively) then changed to simply the latter code on the reprints. The Pinnacle logo, Pinnacle’s contact details and the name of the printer were also added to the bottom of the sleeves.
The blue vinyl Pinnacles appear to be the same shade of blue as the original Motor vinyls, although they are somewhat thinner and thus more transparent.
Such was the prominence and popularity of the record that the 1964 Chappell sheet music was re-issued to tie-in with the Mankind single, even though the piano score remained unchanged from its 1964 version (i.e., it wasn't disco!). “Chappell were very pleased, they were very, very pleased,” rememberes producer Don Gallacher. “Ron Grainer’s manager was able to go into Chappell and renew his contract for a big wodge of money; Chappell were able to say to Ron Grainer, ‘look at what a good job we’re doing for you’!”
1979 - Pea Green Philharmonic Pullover SetPea Green Philharmonic Pullover Set: [EP]
1979 - Ron Grainer (Disco Version)
The Exciting Television Music of Ron Grainer US 12" vinyl LP, 1979 (STET Records DS 15018)
Doctor Who and Other Classic Ron Grainer Themes - CD (with additional tracks), 1994 (Play It Again PLAY 008)
Play It Again 1998 reissue