The Music of The Avengers

One of the things I fell in love with in The Avengers was the music – specifically Laurie Johnson’s incredible musical scores, and the wonderful theme The Shake. I love Johnny Dankworth’s original theme too, and the music in the early episodes is good though very little is new it seems to me (unlike the audio reconstructions, which have a more varied original score). Recently I discovered a third composer had worked on the series – Howard Blake, scoring 10 of the Tara King episodes – and a double CD of this music has been released. It’s an excellent CD, with the music presented suites for each of the episodes, spread across two discs. There’s a beautiful booklet to go with it. But it’s made me wish, as I often have before, that more of Laurie Johnson’s music was available.

The theme ‘The Shake’ is widely available. As is the theme to The New Avengers.

I’ve also got a three CD set ‘The Music of Laurie Johnson’ volume 1 which has an entire disc of his stuff from The Avengers. But only 1 disc for all the shows he did? Several of the colour episodes are represented here, with one or two cues – including the haunting theme from Joker. But few of the black and white episodes. No music from Castle De’ath, for example, which I’d love to get hold of. Still, it’s an excellent CD and I’d recommend buying the box to get hold of it (it’s also go Symphony Synthesis on it, which is my favourite of Johnson’s non-Avengers work – written for combined jazz and symphony orchestra).

The third entry in this series has a disc devoted to The New Avengers but it gets terrible reviews. It seems the sound quality is poor, and the selection of cues very narrow. I’m waiting, hoping for something better.

The other Avengers disc I have has a couple of themes from each of The Avengers and New Avengers re-recorded with the London Studio Orchestra. Again, they’re good, but not enough music.

I love my new Howard Blake CD. Now how about a few double-disc sets for Laurie Johnson’s scores from the various seasons of The Avengers and The New Avengers…?

Meanwhile, this seems to be an unmissable opportunity to repost the awesome Kinky Boots, the one piece of Avengers music that was successfully re-released, making it to No 5 in the singles chart in 1990…

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See for more...

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