Marvellous Murray

I’ve been wallowing in the new Murray Gold soundtrack album all afternoon (to the detriment of my studies). I was a bit disappointed in the Series 4 one, and the only track from it I ever really listen to is the Song of Freedom, but this is a stunner. What’s interesting about it is that it’s far more of a narrative – in effect, the story of the Specials told through music, and in my opinion Murray does a better job than RTD, somehow being absolutely true to his spirit whilst avoiding his excesses.

Some truly amazing music didn’t make the final cut of EoT and it’s worth purchasing the album for that alone. Other tracks were rather lost in the general sound and fury, not to mention the power of Tennant’s agony on screen. There’s an quiet little piece, Four Knocks, that underscores the moment Ten realises he’s doomed after all, and it’s utterly heartbreaking (Gold says in the sleeve notes he still can’t watch that scene). A desperately sad, slow recapitulation of Song For Ten was intended for the final scene with Rose, but lost out to Rose’s Theme (Julie G’s choice).

Vale Decem is of course the highlight, and the track that follows it, called simply Vale, begins softly with a solo voice, which was as far as it got in the show – but Gold’s original concept is revealed in all its glory here, when it morphs halfway into a full-choir anthem before crashing into the New Doctor’s rockout. The whole thing is a masterpiece and I recommend picking up the CD if possible just to get the usual copious sleeve notes and some gorgeous pictures.

I was inspired to put together a mammoth playlist for Ten’s whole character arc. At first it was going to be 100% Murray Gold but I found that a bit too emotionally draining so I put some of my other favourites in as well. I tried to reflect every stage of his journey, from the cheeky carefree S2 Doctor to the dark and broken man we ended up with, and courtesy of the Proclaimers – DT would approve, I hope – I added a coda that you can interpret as you wish – 14, 10.5 or whatever. It’s called That’s When He Told Her – you can find it on You Tube.

I have no idea how to embed a mix but if anyone’s interested I’ll send a link – it should be on iTunes by tomorrow.


5 thoughts on “Marvellous Murray

  1. I’ve still not had time to listen to both CDs, but I’ve listened to the second one a fair bit and I have to say that that one alone is worth the price!
    The first time I heard the reprise of Song for Ten it had me in tears; it’s so poignant and I really can’t understand why on earth Julie G would have vetoed it. As a musician myself, I do get a bit prissy about “my subject” at times, and this is one of them; when I think that a non-musician didn’t know what she was talking about!
    It’s so great to hear so many of the familiar themes again – Gallifrey, The Doctor Forever, All the Strange, Strange Creatures etc. and Vale is just gorgeous. Mark Chambers has the most astonishing voice, and I have to say that I really like the extended version (despite the rather obvious cuts).

  2. What I’ve enjoyed doing in my mix is inserting some of the earlier pieces from EoT in various points of Ten’s story – The Master’s Suite, for example, just before my LOTTL section – and the fact that they fit so well there shows the value of having one musician handle the whole narrative arc. It gives it a unity that transcends the incarnations; the last big theme in Vale Decem, for example, is a rework of the Bad Wolf Theme we had with Nine in S1.
    I didn’t find anything on the first disc of the Specials set all that inspiring, though there’s some nice haunting stuff for WoM. The second disc is well worth the money alone, though.

  3. I’ve listened to both, and I have to say that the first CD is pretty dull. Other than the first iteration of Vale, there was nothing that really pulled me up sharply enough to want to turn up the volume/put on repeat.
    But Disc 2…! Especially the tracks leading up to the regeneration. From The Clouds Pass to Vale, I’m almost choking up. Sheer brilliance… and then ruined by the final three tracks *g*
    Damnit, I miss Ten! (In fact, I miss loving DW)

  4. I don’t want (him) to go
    Me, too. I’m not even sure I want to watch “Single Father.” Feel I’ve had enough of Tennant emoting to last me a very long time. My primary love is for Ten, not DT. I’m ashamed to admit I still have unwatched Casanova and Blackpool DVDs on my shelves.
    One thing caz pointed out above was that the final three tracks on Disc 2 are marred by some surprisingly inept editing…the end of Vale would have worked better as a fade out. But it seems churlish to complain.

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