On August 8, Silva Screen Records will release something spy TV fans have been clamoring for forever: a proper soundtrack for The Avengers! It won't be the more famous music of Johnny Dankworth (who composed the catchy theme for the Honor Blackman seasons) or Laurie Johnson (for the Emma Peel era), however, but the equally rousing and too often overlooked music of Howard Blake (Flash Gordon) from the show's sixth season, which paired Patrick Macnee's dapper secret agent John Steed with Tara King (Linda Thorson). Apparently, the tapes containing these master recordings (long thought lost) have recently surfaced, and will form the basis of Silva's 2-CD set The Avengers: Original Tara King Season Score. Here's the label's description:
Brought into the job late in the series in 1967 by Laurie Johnson, and on the recommendation of Bernard Herrmann, Howard Blake scored ten episodes in the sixth and final series starring Linda Thorson as Tara King alongside the stalwart Macnee. From big-band sound with modern jazz inflections and spooky trombone choir, flutes and vibraphones, to bass clarinets, solo piano, timpanis, amplified harpsichord, 'wah-wah' guitar and Fender-Rhodes electric piano, Blake created a rich and relevant score that remains a classic to this day.Among those ten episodes are such Tara classics as "Game" (one of my favorites), "Super Secret Cypher Snatch," "All Done With Mirrors" and "Noon Doomsday." Jaz Wiseman, who produced the fantastic special features on Optimum's recent Region 2 remastered Avengers DVDs, is designing a 16-page booklet "with full colour stills and extensive notes on music and episodes" to accompany the double album. While the CD won't be widely available until August 8, it will be available at the end of this month exclusively through Silva's website. Some of Laurie Johnson's music has made it to CD in inferior new arrangements or original recordings occasionally interrupted with voices listing queue numbers and whatnot (that's still the Johnson release to get), but this will be the first ever straight-forward score release for the series. Clearly, The Avengers: Original Tara King Series Score is the must-have spy soundtrack release of the summer!
Thanks to the astute posters on The Avengers Fan Forum for breaking this exciting news.