Various Artists – Thunderbirds Are Go – TV Themes for Grown Up Kids: #866 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Various Artists - Thunderbirds Are Go - TV Themes for Grown Up Kids

Why is Thunderbirds Are Go – TV Themes for Grown Up Kids on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

Bombastic, retro futuristic theme songs of glory. And fun!

What does Thunderbirds Are Go – TV Themes for Grown Up Kids mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

I’ll admit that this is an album that I felt… sheepish is the word, I guess, for including in the best 1,000 albums ever project, and at a plum slot at #866, no less.

I explored why I had that feeling, and I suppose it’s because this is an album with a marionette piloting a retro futuristic rocket on its cover and, what’s more, it has the word Kids in the album title. So, therefore, not serious, right? Which, what’s even more, must mean not important in the Big Grand Musical Scheme of Things or some such, right?

Well, wrong actually.

Check out “Captain Scarlet Theme,” by Barry Gray, and I’ll defend it as an incredible piece of music. It’s a wildly catchy instrumental number and feels very much retro futuristic, horns and sound effects and symphonic drums reaching into the depths of space and technological progress, all of which is will be endlessly positive (shh… don’t tell the retro people that it’s not all endlessly positive!).

But, in the end, this is music that makes me happy, delighted, maybe even a little bit giddy. In short, it rules.

It was the “Captain Scarlet Theme” that helped me to recognize how much I dug composer Barry Gray and his typically bombastic, inherently positive-sounding ultra-lounge style music. Check out, for example, the “Thunderbirds – Main Theme.”

And get a load of “Stingray,” oh heck yes! Beauty and mystery can always be found!

There’s plenty of other glories on this album. “Theme from ‘Return of the Saint’,” for example, by The Saint Orchestra, has got to keep it funky.

I know you’re clamoring to learn more about Thunderbirds the TV show, so here you go:

It was made between 1964 and 1966 using a form of electronic marionette puppetry (dubbed “Supermarionation“) combined with scale model special effects sequences. Two series, totalling thirty-two 50-minute episodes, were filmed; production ended with the completion of the sixth episode of the second series after Lew Grade, the Andersons’ financial backer, failed in his bid to sell the programme to American network television.

And apparently and wildly – at least as of this writing! – the entire Thunderbirds series is available on the YouTube.

And Thunderbirds, of course, was used as a major influence for the 2004 film, Team America: World Police, by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

There’s something about this album that reminds me of the incredibly hilarious and talented comedian, actor, former Simpsons writer, and podcaster Dana Gould. Gould has a huge affinity for weirdo pop culture arcana, particularly old horror movies and all things Planet of the Apes. His great podcast, The Dana Gould Hour, also pulls in hilariously cheerful musical interludes that reminds me quite a bit of this soundtrack album.

Some stats & info about Thunderbirds Are Go – TV Themes for Grown Up Kids

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Compilations, Film Soundtracks, TV Soundtracks, Lounge Music
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – not rated!
  • When was Thunderbirds Are Go – TV Themes for Grown Up Kids released? 1996
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #866 out of 1,000

Thunderbirds Are Go – TV Themes for Grown Up Kids on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.