Oh Delia

electrosonicIf you don’t know of my love of Delia Derbyshire and the mostly unsung heroes of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, well then start here.

She produced and engineered the famous Dr Who theme (and if you watch the great Alchemists of Sound documentary, Ron Grainer asked  ‘Did I really write that?’ when he heard it, “Most of it” she replied, as she added a lot to his tune and was almost completely unrecognisable) and worked almost purely with tape, not synthesisers. So I’m amazed to find out via many blogs about the tapes she recorded, being catalogued by Manchester University which several excerpts the BBC has posted to hear – including a track which sounds like modern techno:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7512490.stm (someone tell the developers at the BBC of this new technology, it’s called ’embedding’, it’s all the rage at this young whippersnapper upstart called YouTube).

Amazing stuff, so I want to call for this music to be released – either on CD or publically free – Delia deserves better than stuck in some library somewhere for the odd music historian to come across and the odd clip in TV shows. Sort it out! None of the posts or articles I’ve read, with glowing remarks from many people such as Phil Hartnoll from Orbital – mention what will happen to these tapes. In fact there’s been a dire lack of re-releases of all of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop tracks apart from a double CD set a BBC Records CD (which you can now buy for 85-100 quid it was so limited!) and some Warp 10″s which are equally rare in the early 00s – and some very limited re-releases on small labels such as Electrosonic or the Tomorrow’s People OST. No wonder people don’t know about her.

Isn’t it about time there was a full retrospective compilation CD of all her work? Say a Double or Triple CD Best of – surely all these radio plays, plays, tshirts, documentaries, songs and several sites about her should indicate there is a market for that? Add these new rare tapes and you could have a beautiful tribute to one of the most talented electronic musicians this country has produced. (And ignored).

Oh and Firefox 3 can suck my balls – doesn’t work with the editor in LJ and now WP 2.6. Crap. HTML links put in manually? How, err, sweet. Bless. So RETRO. *eyeroll* Sort it out Moz-developers!

Relatio Clash

Tim B Written by:


  1. ok tim time to set the record straight Rephlex have done a Delia Derbyshire retrospective in their

    BBC Radiophonic Workshop – Music From The BBC Radiophonic Workshop

    Label: Rephlex
    Catalog#: CAT 147 LP
    Format: 4 x Vinyl, 10″
    Country: UK
    Released: 08 Nov 2003

    this includes other people form the Radiophonic workshop……. is this related to the cd release that you mentioned….

    see for more details >>>> http://www.discogs.com/release/212869

  2. July 20

    No – I was talking about this CD http://www.discogs.com/release/173394.

    As you can see from Discogs there has been only a few re-releases of Delia’s music. and it tends to be the same few songs if they do, with other people. Suprised there hasn’t been a CD just of her work.

  3. July 23

    I’m with you all the way on this one NoNo, Delia was and always will be an absolute genius, a highly gifted woman who deserves much more recognsition and releases of her work.

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