A Golden Era – Part 3: Top 75 Murray Gold Tracks (59-50)
David Selby continues counting down the very best of Murray Gold’s music.
Catch-up on other articles in this series:
Last week I sat, quite satisfied, reading over the last part of the article. Purely for the atmosphere and to help pass the time, I had another listen to Baubles and considered that I may have made a mistake. It’s such a brilliant track – atmospheric, unnerving, yet completely magical! And it’s not a new sentiment. I continuously position tracks, and then re-position them. I have a list on my computer which has strict conditions only to reach seventy-five, and it’s harder than you’d think.
It’s actually amazing. Seven complete series’ worth of music, and I struggle to encapsulate the best into seventy-five tracks. That shows you how much new material Murray Gold knocks out. The workload gets bigger, yet, somehow, so does the quality.
Another one of my favourite soundtracks is Broadchurch by Olafur Arnalds. I’d recommend giving Arcade a listen because it accompanies what is essentially one of the defining scenes of the world’s most life-changing drama. But there are five tracks on that soundtrack – five tracks. Five standout tracks, perhaps; yet only five more episodes and Murray Gold manages around seventy tracks. That’s true talent.
[NB: As I never mentioned last time, before I wrote these articles, I had to take the liberty of removing the Torchwood soundtracks in which Gold worked alongside Ben Foster. It’s a painful decision because they more-than rival Who’s own, but it simply wasn’t doable.]
59. Hide the Damage
“When one’s in love with an ageless god -- who insists on the face of a twelve year-old, one does one’s best to hide the damage.”
This one’s to a song that accompanied one of the most beautiful Doctor/River scenes and by far one of the main highlights of The Angels Take Manhattan. It’s often overlooked, and not surprisingly considering the diversity of wonderful tracks for that particular episode – but not on my watch.
58. Loving Isn’t Knowing
Scenes are often sadder because of the track that accompanies them; the combined pathos of both a poignant composition and an even sadder script can make for something truly heart-breaking. But when the song alone manages to deliver the same heavy tragedy, you know that the composer’s done something really right. Loving Isn’t Knowing encompasses a variety of different moments that all have a different, equally heart-breaking impact.
57. Tell Me Who You Are/Melody Pond
It’s one of those rare occasions where I can’t choose between the two. Two me, at least, Tell Me Who You Are and Melody Pond are one track; they tell the story of Melody Pond, an ordinary, innocent girl – recognised in the expressiveness of the piece – but also someone completely impossible; again, the sci-fi motifs are potent throughout. More than anything, Melody Pond is the song of Series Six – as I said in the original article, an identifying song is one of the key features to making a series stand out.
56. Goodbye Pond
Though scoring a scene I’m not fond of, I can’t actually fault Goodbye Pond; it’s a powerful, beautiful piece with emotional resonance. Unlike many of my other choices, this one is hugely recognised among the fandom – and why not? It’s a lovely bit of music.
55. The Vampires of Venice
It’s a Christmas track! But – it isn’t.
The Vampires of Venice came from the titular episode, but perhaps its best use was in the trailer for A Christmas Carol. A really dramatic, powerful track that’s bizarrely reminiscent of the festive season.
54. New York New York/I Am You
With the undertones to this piece, it feels perfectly fitting in jazz-age America. The former is an ominous, foreboding the track; the latter a suspenseful, thrilling one. Together they accompany what is, in my opinion, possibly the best pre-titles sequence in Doctor Who history.
53. River’s Path/A Turbulent Flight
The first was used in the fantastic opening to The Time of Angels; another classic scene. Sadly, a large portion of the track never made it to the soundtrack, but this was made up for when the song was completely transformed in The Bells of Saint John. Try listening to both tracks and seeing if you can spot the similarities.
Although I’m hoping for a new soundtrack for the Capaldi era, I’d be ecstatic if this tune made a comeback.
52. A Noble Girl about Town
Again, this one is a recreation of a track; taking sections from Donna’s Theme and reworking them in a catchy, uplifting piece of music that focuses on the more sassy, ‘awesome’ side of the legendary super-temp.
51. The Doctor Forever
It feels ancient and wise; haunting and mysterious – in many ways, like the Doctor; therefore it feels like the perfect track to accompany the Doctor’s illustrious appearance to Caecilius.
50. The Dream of a Normal Death
I spoke about this one in my first part; it’s the definite highpoint of the magnificent Series Three two-parter, and it follows the Doctor in Series Four as he realises his true self.
On page 2, Honourable Mentions.