THE LIVING PLANET: A PORTRAIT OF THE EARTH (1984)

PrintE-mail Written by Nick Spacek

Silva Screen’s continuing series of reissues from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop has absolutely delighted and amazed us, and the music from the BBC television series The Living Planet continues that trend. This LP is a bit of a departure from the past compilation releases, focusing entirely on the music of Elizabeth Parker for the 1984 documentary series.

Jungle deals in swells of sound, combined with something akin to the tone of a pan flute, evoking the majestic climbing trees and flitting birds in a way which makes one wonder why anyone’s ever tried to top its brilliance. It’s attempted again on Seas of Grass, but doesn’t work quite as well - it seems as though Parker’s attempting a through-line which doesn’t quite connect.

Additionally, it’s one of a few tracks whose high notes were too much for even my hi-fi system, causing quite a bit of red-lining, and leading to a less-than-pleasant listening experience. The blown out nature of these tracks -- which almost, but not quite happens on the likes of The Baking Deserts, as well - removes some of the laconic bliss which the listener would otherwise derive from these Vangelis-like pieces.

Minor pressing issues aside, The Living Planet is very much the sort of album one needs in their home. Elizabeth Parker manages to evoke worldwide landscapes with very simple instrumentation, and her work definitely earns the ‘enthralling’ moniker with which they’ve affixed it on the back cover blurb.

The vinyl comes on arctic white, which looks as it were taken from a slab of ice in the middle of a snowstorm. It looks great, and while the high tones could definitely stand a bit of come-down in the mix, The Living Planet otherwise sounds astounding. The opening and closing themes, despite being composed on different instrumentation, sound just as good as the rest of the music, and maybe even benefit from being a little different than the rest. That story is related in Parker’s newly written sleeve notes for Silva Screen’s reissue, which also includes the original release’s write-up.

THE LIVING PLANET: A PORTRAIT OF THE EARTH (1984) / COMPOSER: ELIZABETH PARKER / LABEL: SILVA SCREEN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

 


Suggested Articles:
After 3 years, 7 boxsets and a grand total of 26 episodes, Big Finish has reached the end of its ada
Building on the momentum provided by last year’s ‘transition’ special Who Killed Toby Kinsella
As consistently entertaining as their own spin-off series or occasional adventures with the Sixth Do
We Release Whatever the Fuck We Want Records has started to gain attention for the interesting thin
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Audio Reviews

THE AVENGERS LOST EPISODES VOL. 7 16 January 2017

THE NEW COUNTER MEASURES SERIES ONE 12 January 2017

DOCTOR WHO: THE BEAST OF KRAVENOS 11 January 2017

AMER 09 January 2017

DOCTOR WHO SHORT TRIPS – FOREVER FALLEN 09 January 2017

LAGRANGE POINT 07 January 2017

BLACK MIRROR: SAN JUNIPERO 06 January 2017

THE DIARY OF RIVER SONG – SERIES 2 04 January 2017

DOCTOR WHO: COLD FUSION 24 December 2016

DOCTOR WHO: THE SONTARANS 24 December 2016

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

      
      
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144