TME > Audio > Tributes Discography

Tributes Easter Egg # 4 - TMEAudio

TMEAudio, you cry? That sounds suspiciously like TME the website. Indeed, you are right: we dabbled for a time with our own video and audio productions, though TMEAudio will ultimately produce only Return to Kendal and Woofed & Warped whilst none of the proposed (and, in one case, filmed) TMEVideo productions would ever see the light of day. Here is a terribly self-indulgant page covering the behind-the-scenes stories and promotional/test releases that you never knew existed. (Well, if we didn't write it, no-one would...)

Missing You Like Craze-y

This heart-breaking tribute to Michael Craze was always rather separate from Return to Kendal, the album on which it would eventually appear. It was an original song, composed by Matt on the journey home from Group Four Marketing Services, recorded with the help of guitarists John Rayner and Alan van Loen, and with vocals collected from an assortment of fans we met over the internet to create the impression of a nation in mourning.

On April 23rd 1999 John and Kev squeezed into a rehearsal room at Broomgrove Infant School, Wivenhoe, with Matt in charge of the mixer and minidisc. After recording 10 or 11 takes, mixed live to disc, a composite backing track was edited on PC (taken from two live performances and a separate recording of the introduction). Alan visited a make-shift studio in Kev’s house to add his electric guitar to the base track on Sunday May 2nd, and additional keyboards (Kev again) were dubbed on Tuesday May 4th. Having located people over the internet who would like to perform on the track, Matt emailed each of them snippets of the song, and between June and August four of the sung lines were returned as WAV files, ready to be dubbed onto the instrumental. Other events, such as work on the abandoned TMEVideo project The End of Time, some stage productions, and Matt and Kev moving 300 miles away from each other, saw the production put on hiatus for almost a year; but further contacts were made in the summer of 2000, and the final vocals were returned in early January 2001.

Because of the ridiculously lengthy time it took for the guest vocalists to get back to us, there were many months when we thought that the song would never be completed, and the work-in-progress TME album developed a new track-listing without it. But the album lacked a backbone without it, and ultimately we wouldn't finish Return to Kendal until Craze-y was ready to go.

Promo CD

CRAZE-CD1 limited edition (of 8) 1-track CD-R. The discs were individually numbered in order of the artist’s appearance in the track (John, Matt J, Steve, Matt D, Alan, Rabeca, Gareth and Gwyn). When Craze-y was (practically) completed back in September 2001, we expected Kendal to be compiled and finished almost immediately. But it wasn't. This disc was burnt and posted on 11th February 2002, by which time we'd resigned ourselves to thinking that Kendal wouldn't be ready until the summer holidays.

Proposed Cover designed by Gwyndaf Evans, TME’s first resident designer. That’s his lovely Millennium Effect logo there, once a staple of the site. This sleeve dates from mid-1999, a time when we thought we might distribute Craze-y as a charity ‘single’, with an instrumental version, a stripped-down mix, Tom Baker (Matt) singing “Lalla” to the tune of the Spice Girls’ Mamma (which we never recorded), and “An Open Invitation”, which was a cover of the Cheers theme inviting Paul McGann to a fan convention. The swirly picture was a bit like the late 90s Dr Who VHS sleeve designs.

Return to Kendal

Written, recorded and produced between December 1998 and September 1999, the original mini-album version of Return to Kendal was to have contained 25 minutes of pure, unashamed silliness, from the rousing sound of a musical Dalek assembly to David Banks’ yearning cyber-solo... yet it was very different to the version completed in 2003. The album was originally concieved as a companion to a lengthly video project (a re-mastering of half-a-dozen short films made in 1996/7), and was to have included music from the videos interspersed with specially-recorded Doctor Who tracks. Although many songs were recorded for this first version of the disc, with one track even performed and taped live at a public cabaret, the earlier tracks were eventually sidelined to make the TME album a purely Doctor Who-related affair. For the record, these abandoned tracks were (in no particular order): We Are Nickers, Any Dream Will Do, Timewarp Dreamin', Science Fiction: Double Embaressment, The Millennium Effect, Peter Howell Demo and Underwear (Live), along with suites of music from each of the 6 films, mixed with samples and audio out-takes.

To extend the now rather small album, acoustic songs were demoed at Easter 2002 with the intention of remixing or re-recording them for inclusion on the finished disc. We unexpectedly fell in love with the demos, however, and several tracks were slotted into the running order with only minimal remixing. The sleeve was designed by Max Ellis, and immitated the current range of BBC Audio Collection CDs. And a website was launched to promote and distribute the finished album, promising proceeds would go to the British Heart Foundation (since Michael Craze had died from a heart attack, see).

As an early sales incentive, the first 20 purchasers could choose a character from the CD to adorn the front of their specially numbered and autographed disc, and cartoons depicting scenes from the album were devised to order. In total there were 5 Jon Pertwees, 4 Dalek ACK-Q-231s, 4 William Hartnells, 2 Mary Whitehouses, 2 Whovian Religion Followers, 1 erotic Cyberman, 1 TARDIS and 1 Death Comes to Time illustration. The final 3 'Special Editions' were auctioned at eBay in March 2004, where they reached a collective $225. Ultimately we would raise around £170 for the BHF, and received a very nice letter of thanks from them shortly after we posted our cheque.

Promo CDs

TMECDX1 promo CD-R; around 10-15 copies were produced and sent off to the Craze-y contributors and friends. This was essentially the original TME album with the non-Doctor Who tracks removed: Cyber...? / Janet Street-Porter / Skaro / Missing You Like Craze-y / Erotica + Bonus Track. It only ran to 15 minutes and it was clear that we needed to pad it out a bit.

Preview CD containing the finished version of the album, as well as the following tracks: Hidden Track (reversed version) / Billy's Song (demo) / Punch & Judy Man / I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas With the Go-Go's / An Open Invitation / Missing You Like Craze-y (instrumental) / (Sing-a-long-a) Who is the Doctor. Again, there were around 10 copies of this, sent to friends and reviewers.

Early Covers

One of Kev’s solo attempts to make a cover design; Matt hated this from the off and it was never discussed again. That’s Kev as Sylvester McCoy (with a broken arm), Matt as Jon Pertwee and Janet Street-Porter as an Ice Warrior. The Dapol toys belonged to Kev and the background scarf was knitted by Matt’s mum. Kev still doesn't understand why Matt didn't love this version.

Kev's second attempt, this one ripped-off the David Banks/Silver Fist cassettes, which had in turn ripped-off the poster design for The Ultimate Adventure. That's Gwyndaf's Doctor Who logo in yellow there, though the website wasn't using it by this time. There was a square CD-sized version of this design too, but we've lost it.

Once we had Max Ellis on board – that’s right, the same designer as the BBC Audio Collection – we threw together a mock-up of a very different sleeve before we decided to mimic the BBC CDs entirely.

Demo CDs

A collection of the acoustic tracks recorded at Easter 2002 in order to extend the album: Who is the Doctor, Billy's Song, Punch & Judy Man, Private Universe, I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas With the Go-Go's and An Open Invitation. Finished and instrumental versions of each, plus quotes reels for those featuring samples. Also included two tracks that were never released: a Kids TV Medley (covering The Family Ness, Dogtanian, The Littlest Hobo, Penny Crayon and Gummi Bears) and This Could Happen (a sketch about Daleks whose voices are at the precise same pitch).

One of the work-in-progress versions of the extended Return to Kendal, this one included Punch & Judy Man. The two halves of Silver Fist (Cyber...?/Erotica) were still separate, and Minds Eye (here called Mary Whitehouse) lacks Matt's final verse. The breaks between tracks would be shortened for the finished disc; this one doesn't yet include any of the seagues or interludes, and Private Universe is thus slightly longer.

Another unfinished version, this one was sent to Matt in Cardiff for him to add his vocals to Minds Eye. The track listing has solidified, though Private Universe is positioned earlier in the album (and thus has another alternate ending)!

Woofed & Warped

It was originally intended that this free CD would solely promote Return to Kendal, with Your Show, an acoustic Janet Street-Porter, a shortened and remixed version of Silver Fist and a spoken-word track in the style of a charity donation advertisement, with soothing classical music, excerpts from the album and fast-cut samples featuring Michael Craze. Although recorded, these tracks remain unreleased. These test sleeve designs show our original running order; the charity pledge message would have been an unlisted fourth track.

Another CD produced for Matt to add his vocals to; this one contained the work-in-progress ‘Killer Acoustic Version’ of Janet Street-Porter as well as the Short ‘n’ Sexy edit of Silver Fist.