The Best Of David Whittaker CD. 30 tracks in total. Running time - 74 mins 29 secs
1. Armageddon Man
To start the CD I wanted a track which wasn't too "full on" and this fit the bill perfectly. Armageddon Man begins with a pleasant and light SID lead before adding layers of "wibbles" and some subtle Whittaker-esque (hehe!) backing. The main theme is nice and laid back which makes it a great "background" music for the game and a perfect opener for this CD!
A classic track from David Whittaker here! The eerie start (with those great chuffy-chuff noises) is followed by a superb "relentless" bass-line. You also get an unforgettable lead section and there's even a cool "break" towards the end. This tune features good use of "wibbles" throughout and is definitely one of Davids finest budget game soundtrack outings. I only wish it was a bit longer!
3. The Tube
I LOVE THIS TUNE! During the making of this CD it has totally grown on me and I can't get it out of my head! It's mad, it's frenetic, it's great! I think the driving bass-line is it's main strength - this is definitely a track which knows where it's going! (I think this is the one I was singing along to in the town!) Wicked.
4. Glider Rider
To many people this is one of Davids best C64 soundtracks and I tend to agree with them. It actually has a similar pace to The Tube which is why I put them together although Glider Rider is probably the more polished of the two (and lasts for much longer!) This was an interesting track to record because there's actually two different mixes of the main theme which are triggered depending on your location in the game. For this CD recording I made sure you get both of the main themes and I've tagged the nice "Gliding" mode tune on the end too! Wheeee!
Now it's time for another laid-back track. The game itself was a bold experiment featuring a ridiculous control system which made doing even simple tasks extremely tedious and frustrating! (Ahem). For the music David delivered a cool soundtrack which flows along in a nice and unobtrusive manner (It's actually quite similar to Armageddon Man). As an extra bonus I've tagged the music from the "gripping" combat scenes at the end!
Here we have David Whittaker doing a cover version of his own tune. His Amiga soundtrack from Speedball has converted well onto the SID and is a very catchy track to boot. Good stuff. Not much more I can say about that one really!
I've always liked this track so it was great to give it the "digital recording" treatment. There's an interesting (well, I think it is!) story behind this one too ... The Amstrad version of this game did a clever trick with the music - for the hi-score tune it dropped a channel from the main theme giving you a sort of "instrumental" mix. It doesn't do that on the C64 version - until now! For this CD I have recorded the tune normally and then, when it loops, I did a new recording and made the SID version lose the same channel. I then joined this to the end of the normal recording of the main theme so when it loops you also get the "instrumental" mix!
8. Split Personalities
This bouncy little number sounds ALMOST kind of Hubbard-esque to my SID warped ears! Not the sounds, maybe just the style ... Hmmm, anyway, this is a neat track which is a lot shorter than I remembered. Cool CD fodder though ... Nice, fast and funky!
A spooky start gives way to quite a nice little track with a neat backing section (which is ALMOST Galway-esque!) Could someone please tell me exactly what this shoot 'em up had to with Poltergeists though? I wonder if David was given the title of the game, went off and did the music (complete with the creepy opening section) and THEN found out it was for a horizontal blaster!
"ONE HUNDRED AND EEEEEIGHTEEEY!" goes the speech in this game - and yes, it IS featured on the CD too! You get the speech at the start, the title tune (looped twice as it's so short) and I've also included the "victory" jingle at the end. Much fun!
11. The Island of Dr Destructo
I don't know what it is about this tune but I really like it! It's laid back, surprisingly lengthy and quite pleasant on the ears too! I like the section later in the track where it just plays the backing and wibbles ... Kewl. I actually first heard this tune at a computer show YEARS ago. Someone had the C64's sound cranked really loud and I think must have been hypnotised by this track or something!
12. Beyond the Ice Palace
I couldn't resist recording this one because the start is totally MAD and has a beefy bit of bass going on. The main part of the track is kind of similar to "Poltergeist" and there's some weird descending notes used later in the track which are, erm, interesting!
13. Super Robin Hood
I really like one of the jingles from this game and decided to start this CD with the jingle and then follow it with the main theme which linked very nicely. The track contains some fab wibbles (which remind me of Glider Rider) and is a pretty cool tune. I have one question though ... What exactly is SUPER about a bloke in green tights?!
Another frenzied and mad little track here. There's several variations of this track on the C64 (featured in Defcom and Red Max etc) so I thought I'd better have at least one of them on this CD somewhere! I think if David was stuck for a tune he must have thought "time for a remix of Red Max then!"
I really liked the music from this game on the Amiga as it sounded like one of the "lost" tracks from Davids excellent "Shadow of the Beast" soundtracks (it used the same samples). The tune was nice and relaxing and this version on the C64 works almost as well - despite not having the same brilliant sampled instruments.
16. Grand Prix Simulator
THREE! TWO! ONE! GO! Yep, this another track which features sampled speech from the game. I've shortened the gap between each sample which works well as an intro for the music from the game. This track isn't as dinky as the same tune was on the Amstrad but it's still listenable.
The in-game music on the Amstrad version of this game is one of my all-time favourite David Whittaker tracks and although the SID version doesn't work as well (*SHOCK!*) I still like the tune and thought it was worth including on the CD.
Whee! Whee! Whee! Blibbleblibbleblibble! etc. I originally only intended on recording the music from the end sequence for this CD but I thought fans of the game might miss the ODD title track! As it's so short I've done both the title tune and the far superior end tune. ("My Brother is Bob!" - went our weird lyric for the end tune!)
19. BMX Simulator.
I think just about EVERYONE owned this classic budget game so the CD wouldn't have been complete without the short but memorable title tune from the game. This is one of the shortest tracks on the whole CD (although I didn't have room on the CD to loop it twice, but the idea crossed my mind)!
This game was a gigantic pile of ARSE on the C64 but the soundtracks in the game were totally LUSH! The CD features the in-game music from the game (an almost EPIC theme from Mr Whittaker!) and the music includes some clever effects including almost "insect-esque" sounds and an effect which invokes visions of searing sunshine. (It does to me anyway!)
21. Knight Games (Title).
This set of soundtracks were actually the inspiration for doing this CD in the first place! There's some real gems in this set of themes although this title tune isn't one of the best. I guess you could call it a sort of "call to arms" type tune.
22. Knight Games (Swordfight 1).
But this is more like it! A wonderfully catchy medieval tune which locks itself in your brain and refuses to be let out. Classic! (How come the best tracks always have the smallest write-ups?!)
23. Knight Games (Archery).
Another superb medieval track here which features an inspired use of a beepy type sound (which it would seem I am rubbish at describing!) Truly great stuff.
24. Knight Games (Quarterstaff).
Quite a noisy piece this one but it had me shifting around in my chair doing bizarre "up and down" motions in time with the music! Really! (Nurse, my pills please).
25. Knight Games (Ball & Chain).
This tune kicks off with a nice multichannel lead section and delivers a nice "whirling" effect (which you will know when you hear it - er, I think!) David is bang on with the wibbles in this one too which are used sparingly but effectively.
26. Knight Games (Swordfight 2).
This isn't one of the better tunes from this set of soundtracks. But I guess there's a bad apple in every barrel (although I don't personally keep my apples in a barrel). This is a sort of in-gamey-fighty type tune (which is fortunate as that's the environment in which it was used). Next!
27. Knight Games (Pikestaff).
Ah, now we are getting back on track! Nice "clattery" backing and BRILLIANT bass in this one! Totally over-the-top for a medieval track but it works! Tip for musicians to get my attention - devote two channels to just the bass in places! Hehe!
28. Knight Games (Crossbow).
More great medieval music!! There's a nice "chime" which dings away throughout this one and those Whittaker wibbles work well too. (Less is more and all that). Cool!
29. Knight Games (Axeman).
And here we have the final track in the set ... From the very start this tune has great use of bass and there's a nice subtle "flute" type voice in there too. The lead is catchy and the nice "clattery" backing is put to good use once again. A good way to round things off methinks. (Yea and verily!)
30. RedZoid (Bonus Track).
Here's a real treat to end this CD with! FeekZoid has allowed me to use his excellent cover of "Red Max" on the CD so now's your chance to hear what FeekZoid has been up to with his MIDI toys! This cover features great use of the original SID version along with some nice and cosmic synth chords. There's almost a "dance" feel to this remix with the drums and bass etc. and there's also tons of reverb for that full on "spatial" feeling. What a way to end this CD!
The Best Of David Whittaker
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