Classic election theme music returns!

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Brock
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Classic election theme music returns!

Post by Brock »

I listened to Radio 5 Live's transmission of the BBC1 election debate last night and was pleasantly surprised to hear a version of Rick Wakeman's classic theme music at the start, which I don't think has been used since 2005 - see here. It was a different arrangement of the version used from 1979 to 1997 (not sure about 2005), but it was unmistakable. A different theme was used in 2010, 2015 and 2017.

I checked with the BBC Media Centre and they said:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/lates ... 9/election
BBC wrote:The BBC Election 2019 programme will also feature the return of classic election theme tune, Rick Wakeman’s 'Arthur', in a newly remixed version.
I can't tell you how delighted I am about this!

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Paul Hayes
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Re: Classic election theme music returns!

Post by Paul Hayes »

I was fortunate enough to have been able to have a chat with Rick about this when it was announced:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07sy2jl

Brock
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Re: Classic election theme music returns!

Post by Brock »

Many thanks for that, Paul. I confess that I would have preferred the original version of the music to be used, with that dramatic drum-roll heralding the start of proceedings, but it seems as though the new version has Rick Wakeman's blessing.

I wasn't surprised when I heard that the BBC had received its second-highest number of complaints on this issue! It really must be one of the best-recognized BBC theme tunes, and I couldn't understand why it was dropped in 2010 - especially since they'd made one attempt to drop it before, in 2001, and then brought it back. Although I feel a little sorry for Richard Blair Oliphant, who composed the 2010 theme; it's a fine piece of music but it really didn't need to be commissioned in the first place.

Oddly enough, the election coverage on Radio 4's Broadcasting House on Sunday morning used Oliphant's theme rather than Wakeman's. Perhaps they didn't realize the theme had been changed back?

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Paul Hayes
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Re: Classic election theme music returns!

Post by Paul Hayes »

Glad you found it interesting!

I must confess I did use the original Arthur on a couple of pieces I made for our overnight coverage. I do like that drumroll you mentioned as an intro!

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