Review of ‘Television Themes’ album by Matt Berry on Acid Jazz Records

Matt Berry is a British actor, voice-over artist and comedian known for appearing in Toast of London, The IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh and House of Fools amongst others. 

When you see he’s released an album of Television Themes, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s some kind of spoof. But Matt Berry is a serious musician,  having already released four albums on acid jazz records plus a number of other releases. 

For anyone who grew up in eighties Britain, these tunes are likely to be very familiar. The album is a nostalgic trip through your childhood and some programs you’d watch with your parents. For example, the mere sight of ‘Thames Television’ conjures up the image with London monuments emblazened with THAMES in large white letters across the middle and the ‘der-der-der-der-derr-duh-duh-der’ theme. Maybe that’s just me. 

The album tends to largely stay true to covers of the original themes rather than remixing, remaking or reimagining them.  This means they’ve been modernised but still retain the essence of those original tunes. What’s interesting whilst listening to this album is that you realise that even though you heard a lot of these on a weekly basis, you didn’t really listen to them. This highlights the talents of the original composers that are often overlooked and in a way the prowess of Matt Berry and his band the Maypoles preserves this heritage. Viewed in this way the album is a statement and definitely not a novelty offering. 

The included songs are :

Are You Being Served? 

The Good Life 

LWT

Blankety Blank

Top of The Pops

Picture Box

The Liver Birds 

Thames Television

Rainbow

Doctor Who

Wildtrak

World in Action

Sorry

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