I used to watch this Thames Television series every week with my dad, during those war-obsessed years of the 1970s. This was serious television, and I still watch the repeats occasionally.
This vinyl spin-off features Carl Davis’ powerful theme, along with several of his incidental scores, plus a selection of contemporaneous songs from the era by the likes of Vera Lynn, although as the sleeve notes admit, most of the songs actually sung by the troops were simply “too obscene, too irreverent, too vulgar. These songs live on only in old soldiers’ memories”.
Great stuff, but I’m feeling the absence of Sir Laurence Olivier – his arresting, portentous narrative delivery was a big part of the series and it would’ve been nice to hear a few excerpts on the record.