Movie Wave Home
Reviews by Title | Reviews by Composer

Composed by

* * *

Album running time

Performed by
conducted by

Produced by

Released by
Serial number

Artwork copyright (c) 1964 ITC Entertainment Group Limited; review copyright (c) 2004 James Southall



Fun music for fans of the show


Coinciding with the cinematic release of the live-action Thunderbirds movie (rarely can a motion picture have been so ill-advised) comes this second volume of music from the 1960s tv show, scored by Gerry Anderon's regular composer Barry Gray.  The series is fondly remembered by those who grew up with it at the time, and those who grew up with it in years to come due to the endless repeats; and everyone fond of it will be able to hum you the theme tune.  This album presents music from numerous episodes including various source cues and the main title themes.

Much though music like this is fondly remembered, I do have to wonder whether anyone except the most devout followers of all things Anderson can derive all that much pleasure from actually listening to it.  It is certainly well written and absolutely perfect for the show, but then after all it is for a children's tv series and so flitters and flutters about from one place to another, is frequently very silly, and after the nostalgia effect wears off (which it undoubtedly will, given the two volumes of music now released last over two hours between them) it can become more than a little like a chore, sitting listening to it.

Things begin, as they must, with the main title, this time without the sound effects and narration that appeared both in the show and on the first Thunderbirds album.  After that, the best moments come when Gray plays it straight.  "Taking a Desperate Chance" is a fine piece, with a little nod to the Bernard Herrmann of Cape Fear; "Century 21 March" is a good expansion of the middle section of the main theme; "Dangerous Game" is a cheesy but surprisingly good song performed by Jack Clegg; "San Martino" is a deliciously lovely guitar piece.  Trouble is, I'm not sure exactly who is going to be able to listen to daft little pieces like "New York City" and "The Duchess" without constantly looking around to make sure nobody else is within range of hearing.

Of course, I don't want to be too hard on it!  After all, I've just named almost half a dozen great pieces.  You certainly do need to be in the right mood to listen to it, but should you be in that mood then it's a nice way to spend some time.  Of course, big fans of the show and the composer will just love it, and I'm sure it's them that it's aimed at in the first place.  The album presentation is good - there are lengthy liner notes (which manage to be incredibly detailed about everything but the music, which is barely mentioned, though there is part two of a lengthy and interesting biography of the composer) and the sound is fine for what it is (a little too much reverb perhaps, but then what do I know?)


  1. Main Titles (1:25)
  2. Danger at Ocean Deep (2:17)
  3. Spoke City Jazz (1:39)
  4. Easy Listening Radio Music (1:17)
  5. Drama on the South East Asia Pass (5:22)
  6. Taking a Desperate Chance (3:25)
  7. Thunderbirds to the Rescue (2:40)
  8. Penelope in France (4:02)
  9. Elegance, Charm and Deadly Danger (2:52)
  10. Dangerous Game Jack Clegg (1:39)
  11. Century 21 March (2:01)
  12. Space Observatory 3 (2:02)
  13. San Martino (2:47)
  14. The Noon Day Sun (1:15)
  15. New York City (:56)
  16. The Duchess (:35)
  17. World Exclusive Foiled (1:38)
  18. Moving the Empire State Building (3:31)
  19. The Rescue of Ned Cook (2:33)
  20. Dangerous Game (2:08)
  21. Lady Penelope and the Mouse (1:11)
  22. Journey of the Martian Space Probe (1:32)
  23. Coralville Surprise / The Bank Job (3:41)
  24. Christmas on Tracy Island (4:01)
  25. Sleepy Time (:46)
  26. End Titles (1:07)
  27. Flying High (unused end title) (1:25)