Daily Dose: ‘Fireball XL5’ by Barry Gray

Oh dear, I’ve just realised that due to working in slightly unfamiliar circumstances, spelling mistakes (of which I make plenty when I work) were not being picked up. Sorry! I’ve hopefully gone back and fixed all of them now. Also, there will be some delays getting back to speed due to this.

Do you like 60’s kookiness? I do, in moderation, so when I heard the end theme (the instrumental version, if you are searching for it) for the 1962-3 children’s science fiction telly show Fireball XL5, I was quite taken with it, despite having never seen the series. As you might expect, the show was a Gerry and Sylvia Anderson number, those titans of British television in that period, with this being their last black and white production before moving into exclusively colour. The music was provided by long-time collaborator Barry Grey, whose excellence can also be heard on, among other thing, the thunderbirds theme. He’s noted for his military influences in his music, as well as his clever use of electronic mediums. This, I would argue, is as competent as that, if less stirring, being more of a head bobbing elegant dance number. The title version with lyrics is more obviously dated due the vocal delivery, but is not at all unpleasant, and if you fancy your sixties nostalgia more outright then you may be into it. I like that the end credits theme stands up on its own merits, as well as being a neat slice of history. Have a look for it, it’s not much more than a minute long, and it really is fun sounding.


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