Tag Archives: Laurie Johnson

El diabolik’s World of Psychotronic Soundtracks Episode 21: TV special

01. Denton and Cook – Quiller – 2’51
From the TV Series: ‘Quiller’
(UK, 1975)
Source: 7″ – BBC – (RESL 25)

02. Laurie Johnson – Purdey Attacks Cromwell – 0’21
From the TV Series: ‘The New Avengers’
(UK, 1976)
Source: CD – Edsel – (EDSD 2027/01)

03. Laurie Johnson – Derelict Picture Palace – 1’01
From the TV Series: ‘The New Avengers’
(UK, 1976)
Source: CD – Edsel – (EDSD 2027/01)

04. Laurie Johnson – Pop Fans riot and Vasil is Rescused – 0’34
From the TV Series: ‘The New Avengers’
(UK, 1976)
Source: CD – Edsel – (EDSD 2027/01)

05. Laurie Johnson – The Plot Thickens – 2’17
From the TV Series: ‘The New Avengers’
(UK, 1976)
Source: CD – Edsel – (EDSD 2027/01)

06. Lalo Schifrin – Affair in Madrid – 2’30
From the TV Series: ‘Mission: Impossible’
(USA, 1967)
Source: LP – MCA/Simply Vinyl – (SVLP 0041)

07. Bob Elger and his Orchestra – Tycoon – 2’42
From the TV Series: ‘Tycoon’
(UK, 1978)
Source: 7″ – BBC – (RESL 56)

08. Norrie Paramor & his Orchestra – Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) – 3’02
From the TV Series: ‘Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)’
(UK, 1970)
Source: 7″ – Polydor – (56375)

09. Berto Pisano E La Sua Orchestra – From Left To Right – 4’36
From the TV movie: ‘A Blue Shadow’
(Italy, 1974)
Source: LP – SMRL – (6133)

10. Jugg – Noah’s Castle – 3’16
From the TV Series: ‘Noah’s Castle’
(UK, 1980)
Source: 7″ – (Carrere) – (CAR 145)

11. Johnny Harris – Lulu’s Theme – 2’20
From the TV Series ‘Happening for Lulu’
(UK, 1969)
Source: LP – Warner Brothers – (8122 73602-1)

12. Max Harris – Gurney Slade – 2’09
From the TV Series: ‘The Strange World of Gurney Slade’
(UK, 1960)
Source: 7″ – Fontana – (H.282)

13. Lalo Schifrin – Danube Incident – 1’55
From the TV Series: ‘Mission: Impossible’
(USA, 1967)
Source: LP – MCA/Simply Vinyl – (SVLP 0041)

14. Los Mismos – Jefe Ironside – 2’30
(Spain, 1973)
Source: LP – Belter – (22.709)

15. Lee Hazlewood – Las Vegas – 2’43
From the TV Movie: ‘A House Safe for Tigers’
(Sweden, 1975)
Source: LP – Light In The Attic – (LITA 087)

16. Denton and Cook – Tomorrow’s World – 2’36
From the TV Series: ‘Tomorrow’s World’
(UK, 1980)
Source: 7″ – BBC – (RESL 78)

Advert Break.
17. Jane Relf – Gone Fishing – 2’35
From the Advert for: Strand Cigarettes
Source: 7″ – Sound Department – (SD/DS/T001)

Advert Break.
18. The Johnny Johnston Orchestra – The Galaxy Theme – 2’59
From the Advert for: Findus Frozen Foods
Source: 7″ – Pye – (7N.25056)

Advert Break.
19. The Cliff Adam’s Orchestra – The Lonely Man Theme – 2’25
From the Advert for: Findus Frozen Foods
Source: 7″ – Pye – (7N.25056)

20. John Barry – Orson Wells’ Great Mysteries – 2’14
From the TV Series: ‘Orson Wells’ Great Mysteries’
(UK, 1973)
Source: LP – Polydor – (2383 300)

21. Godiego – Gandhara – 4’01
From the TV Series: ‘Monkey’
(Japan, 1978)
Source: 7″ – Satril – (YK-503-AX)

22. Apologist – Sorry (Dub) – 4’34
Source: 7″ – self press promo

23. Famous 5 – We are the Famous 5 – 2’58
From the TV series: ‘Famous 5’
(UK, 1978)
Source: 7″ – Philips – (6006 604)

24. Laurie Johnson – Foxhole on the Roof part 2 – 1’47
From the TV Series: ‘The Professionals’
(UK, 1977)
Source: CD – Edsel – (EDSD 2021/01)

25. Laurie Johnson – Theme part 2 – 2’01
From the TV Series: ‘The Professionals’
(UK, 1977)
Source: CD – Edsel – (EDSD 2021/01)

26. Laurie Johnson – Hijack Part 1 – 2’49
From the TV Series: ‘The Professionals’
(UK, 1977)
Source: CD – Edsel – (EDSD 2021/01)

27. Berto Pisano E La Sua Orchestra – Tema di Katherine – 3’53
From the TV movie: ‘A Blue Shadow’
(Italy, 1974)
Source: LP – SMRL – (6133)

28. Vince Hill – Mickey Dunne – 2’06
From the TV Series: ‘Mickey Dunne’
(UK, 1967)
Source: 7″ – Columbia – (DB 8185)

29. Henry Mancini – Mystery Movie Theme – 1’59
From the TV Series: ‘NBC Mystery Movie Theme’
(USA, 1971)
Source: LP – RCA – (SF 8257)

30. Lalo Schifrin – The Plot – 2’25
From the TV Series: ‘Mission: Impossible’
(USA, 1967)
Source: LP – MCA/Simply Vinyl – (SVLP 0041)

31. Zokko’s Band – Zokko – 2’01
From the TV Series: ‘Zokko’
(UK, 1977)
Source: CD – Edsel – (EDSD 2021/01)

32. Lee Hazlewood – Souls Island – 6.27
From the TV Movie: ‘A House Safe for Tigers’
(Sweden, 1975)
Source: LP – Light In The Attic – (LITA 087)

Lord Thames on Laurie Johnson and ‘And Soon the Darkness’

Although Laurie Johnson’s contribution to And Soon The Darkness is a relatively small one, it does at least provide us with a chance to celebrate a long and distinguished career.


Johnson’s first film score came in 1957, with The Good Companions, with scores for Girls At Sea, The Moonraker and Tiger Bay – as well as hit musical Lock Up Your Daughters – to follow.

By the 1960s, Laurie Johnson’s name started to become much better known thanks to the rise of commercial television. His recording of ‘Sucu Sucu’ for Associated-Rediffusion’s Top Secret was a chart hit in 1961, and as well as other commissions for A-R, he was also writing for the KPM music library. Many of these tracks became well know, as themes for Animal Magic, This Is Your Life, Whicker’s World and World In Action (the latter theme, ‘Private Eye’, is still in use today as the theme for Michael Apted’s 7 Up documentaries, the latest installment of which has started on ITV this month.)

The middle of the decade saw possibly his most important commissions to date – Dr Strangelove (of which Johnson recalls Stanley Kubrick telling him at the end of the recording sessions it was the best soundtrack to any of his films), and of course The Avengers, where Johnson came up with a gloriously decadent string theme which would last till the end of the series in 1969..

And Soon The Darkness followed soon afterwards, and features many familiar Avengers faces behind the camera, like director Robert Fuest and writer Brian Clemens. Johnson’s contribution is limited to the instantly memorable theme, which later had lyrics added by Alan Price and was recorded by pop-soul singer James Royal (with the help of an excellent arrangement by Keith Mansfield) though sadly with limited success.

Johnson continued to write soundtracks through the 1970s, and added another string to his bow – not only did he furnish The New Avengers with a fantastic military funk theme tune, he also became co-producer with Albert Fennel and Brian Clemens. This partnership would continue with LWT’s The Professionals into the 1980s. Johnson continued as a producer with the revived Gainsborough Pictures, as well as scoring their productions.

In 1997, Laurie Johnson would form the London Big Band, with many familiar jazz and session players in the line-up, including old friends from the Ted Heath days, and he even returned to the charts thanks to the theme from The Professionals being used to advertise the Nissan Almera.

Although And Soon The Darkness doesn’t even merit a mention in Johnson’s autobiography, ‘Noises In The Head’, for me it’s among his best work, almost as much for what isn’t there as what is. The lack of incidental music, normally a minus point for me, only adds to the grim and bleak atmosphere of the film, which is almost in contrast to the relatively upbeat theme See what you think!

These words were taken from the programme notes of the Filmbar70 screening of ‘And Soon the Darkness’ London, 17 May 2012.