Tuesday 5 August 1986

…Watched Rainbow, a soppy film and the BBC’s brilliant holiday programmes.
After lunch we went into town.
I bought a 7″ record of the BBC’s Commonwealth Games theme tune, which is the signature tune…

Finally, after saving my pennies for what felt like ages, I had the thing in my hands.

The theme tune, which is the signature tune, was already on one of my homemade cassette compilations of music taped off the TV.

But this was something different. This was the real deal. This was your actual BBC Records and Tapes. This was:

A Hundred Thousand Welcomes

A Hundred Thousand Welcomes? Huh?

Yes, I still have that same copy of the theme tune, which is the signature tune, but I no longer have any of the enthusiasm I had back in 1986.

Because to be honest, it’s a load of rubbish.

Besides being one of the most lacklustre pieces of music ever conceived for a sporting tournament, the melody sounds like it’s being played on a single-octave kiddies Casio keyboard, with occasional use of that wobbly effect to fool stupid people into thinking there’s a real flute involved.

There’s also an underwhelming choir mumbling in the background, a bit more Casio keyboard business at 1:20 (this time with the melody setting on “brass”), some real bagpipes (which always sound dodgy when set against an electronic backing; see Mull of Kintyre for how to make pipes sound properly pop), then a couple more minutes of precisely the same thing with not even a couple of key changes towards the end to pep things up.

The whole record sounds more like a wake than a wake-up call.

I can’t for the life of me remember what the B-side was like. See You In Auckland?

Not bloody likely

Not bloody likely.

All in all it’s an effort that managed to sound dated before the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony had, well, come to a close.

The only thing that really brings me pleasure now is to see again that distinctive BBC Records and Tapes livery:

A reassuring sight, if not necessarily sound

Bad Arrangement, Robertson.

One thought on “Tuesday 5 August 1986

  1. When i was younger one of the first bits of music I bought was a compilation of BBC sporting themes on cassette from Woolies!!!

    I played it to death but only when no-one else was around. 🙂

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