Wednesday, June 10, 2015

"Secret Agent Meets The Saint" Music Composed and Conducted by Edwin Astley

Perhaps the greatest theme song for a TV show I have ever heard is Edwin Astley's "High Wire" (the theme for "Danger Man/Secret Agent").  Even though I watched 'Secret Agent" (starring Patrick McGoohan) as a child I was only familiar with Johnny River's "Secret Agent Man" - later a hit for DEVO.  It was years later, I heard "Hire Wire" I think when I watched the original BritIsh version of "Secret Agent," which is called "Danger Man" in the UK.  It's confusing. I know.  The British/American TV world had their separate standards, but as a connoisseur of everything wonderful, I normally go to the British for the state-of-the-art version.   Today in my six mile walk, I purchased "Secret Agent Meets The Saint."  Issued in 1965, this rare piece of vinyl is ground zero for my interest in British Spy TV soundtrack music.  Ashley was a talented composer/arranger/conductor and his unique way of using the harpsichord as not as a baroque instrument, but something modern sounding was / is excellent. Side one is the "Secret Agent" side and the other is "The Saint."  Both are superb examples of music of that period.  "The Saint" has a fantastic piece of flute/voice with piano scales going up and down.  It sort of reminds me of a British version of a horror Morricone soundtrack.   The thing is Astley likes to swing hard - and basically the whole album is a toe-tapper.

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