roy grainer’s man in a suitcase

4th January 2015

Title: Man In A Suitcase

Label: Network

Grainer is probably better known to you for two iconic pieces of music: the theme tunes to both Dr Who and The Prisoner. An Aussie by birth, Grainer had played with international singing greats such as Billy Eckstine, Frankie Lane and Guy Mitchell before his rehearsal pianist work at the BBC lead to his scoring of TV series and films. His first foray was the sixties TV adaptation of Simenon’s detective character, Maigret which was known, at the time, for the then little heard harpsichord and clavichord. He became much in demand after that, penning the music for the likes of Comedy Playhouse and Steptoe & Son. A Joe Meek-like period of time in early sixties pop with the British Pye label and The Eagles (no, not them, a British outfit) lead to his interest and practice with experimental, weird sounds and odd arrangements which lead to his legendary work in the recording of the Dr Who theme.

Man In A Suitcase was an effective replacement for Patrick McGoohan’s Danger Man that starred Richard Bradford (the star was initially going to be Jack Lord of Hawaii 5-0 fame) taking the part of a disgraced US Intelligence agent reduced to detective and bounty hunter work across the world (hence the title).

Grainer’s main title theme for the espionage/adventure series Man In A Suitcase was thoroughly in his own style but it also displayed characteristics resembling the Beatles’ Good Day Sunshine and the Tremeloes’ Suddenly You Love Me. The title was later grabbed by BBC DJ, Chris Evans, as the theme for his variety TV show, TFI Friday.

Also look out for another important soundtrack on the Network label, by Edwin Astley for the 1969 TV series, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), also available within a gatefold sleeve.