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Welcome to the web home of THE EAGLE SOCIETY.

THE EAGLE SOCIETY is dedicated to the memory of EAGLE - Britain's National Picture Strip Weekly - the leading Boy's magazine of the 1950s and 1960s. We publish a quarterly journal - the Eagle Times.

This weblog has been created to provide an additional, more immediate, forum for news and commentary about the society and EAGLE-related issues. Want to know more? See First Post and Eagle - How it began.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Voyage to Venus - Michael Shipway


Michael Shipway's Voyage To Venus, published by MSL Music, is an electronic music album inspired by the first 'Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future' story (which began in Eagle No. 1 in 1950). It is available on CD and comes  in a standard CD "jewell" case with a 12-page illustrated booklet.

The 10 tracks mix electronic melodies with selections of dialogue from the BBC's 1990 (40th Anniversary) radio serial adaptation, each track representing a key scene from the story. The music was created by use of hardware synthesizers, with occasional electric guitar. The booklet is illustrated with scenes from the original Eagle cartoon strip.

The tracks are listed below. The links are to samples on the MSL website.

01 Kingfisher listen
02 Mekonta
03 Silicon Mass listen
04 The Jungle
05 The Mekon
06 Turning Blue
07 Submariner listen
08 Kargaz
09 Invasion
10 Victory listen

To read more about the creation of the album you can look here.

While I wouldn't claim that electronic music is my "usual cup of tea" I rather enjoyed it, my £10 investment was far from wasted, and I recommend the album to all fans of 'Dan Dare', but suggest you listen to the samples. If you like what you hear, you can order the full CD from the MSL Music Shop. The album is not available for download (since the booklet is seen as an integral part of the product).

Incidentally, the title Voyage to Venus seems to have been first formally appended to the first 'Dan Dare' story when Titan Books began reprinting the series in 2004. Previously it had been known among fans (variously) as "the first adventure", "the first Venus story" or "the first Venus series". Titan's lead in calling it Voyage to Venus was followed when Orion Publishing produced an audiobook version of the first half of the story in 2008. I understand the CD version of that is no longer available, though it is available as an audio download. A sample can be heard here. (Orion, please note: fans are still waiting for the second half!)

The BBC's 1990 adaptation of the story, by Nick McCarty, has been rebroadcast several times on BBC Radio 7 (since renamed Radio 4 Extra), the most recent being, I believe, in December 2007. It has not been officially released on CD, though unofficial copies can be found on the internet.

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