Available Now on Streaming, FLAC/MP3, CD and Vinyl.
Class will be remembered by most sci fi fans and BBC viewers as a short-lived 8 episode romp that was fleetingly available on BBC3 online before having late night showings on BBC1. Despite positive reviews, the show was undone by lacklustre viewing figures and an unwillingness by the higher ups at the BBC to provide another chance.
This album comes two years after the final transmission of Class on mainstream TV and is a veritable goldmine of musical atmosphere.
I can happily report that not only does this CD meet expectations, it also goes on to exceed them. From the rousing opening of The Shadow Kin, to the hauntingly chilling cliffhanger of Governors Revealed, the forty-plus collection of music forms a very compelling and re-playable primary CD in the set.
Along the way comes the 'weird but wonderful' Strands From The Rift, the crowd pleasing Here She Comes in a Ruddy Great Bus, and the especially exciting (and unsettling) Asteroid track - which would hold its head high in an X Files or Outer Limits soundtrack collection.
Furthermore, the final brace of audio wonderment for the season conclusion (and sadly the series proper) cover all the necessary emotions, thoughts, and attachments to the core characters one can hope for. The CD culminates in Fight till your Last Breath and Souls Released with the auditory skill of Blair Mowat living up to such notable titles.
Many other tracks are worth the listener's time. These include:
Rhodia; with the use of the first modern 'Doctor's Theme' from the parent show that Murray Gold used to such striking effect.
Time Has Looked At Your Faces; containing good multiple instruments and vocals 'as instruments' in a manner reminiscent of Enya.
Chasing The Dragon; here be rock vibes that evoke many a teenager's choice of allegiance when it comes to musical taste.
Dragon Attack has a sense of real adventure and character growth, as Charlie, April, Ram and Tanya all come under threat.
April's Past; adding further emotive pull to a character of much good writing and acting (such that she is my personal favourite of the teenage gang.
Heavy Petal; a chilling and foreboding concoction, made further memorable still by the pounding drum backbeat as it comes to its conclusion.
To Share A Heart; this fits the bizarre but brilliant premise of the show's mid-season two- parter.
(And Finally) Charlie's Angry, Charlie's Winning; a multilayered effort from Mowat that helped with Detained being so intense and compelling.
The only drawback is the lack of opening credits music, especially as the closing riffs of Track 43 are there to round off the album. But any such disappointment is somewhat negated by the [Song For] The Lost , which would not be out of place at a mediaeval monarch's court, and easily is one of the top 3 tracks.
These tunes are not to be dismissed as mere 'best of the rest' but can be enjoyed repeatedly on their own, or even as part of a specific playlist to get the best possible reminder of given episodes. The darkness and creepiness factor is ratcheted up to a great degree in many of these tracks, so for those that enjoyed Class for its horror aspects there is much to enjoy here.
At the same time a welcome change of pace comes in the form of several songs:
Nightvisitors – Tanya's Dad is a full-on song (as compared to the other CD's subtler vocals) that uses guitar and a male solo to intriguingly tell the 'point of view' of the alien visitors to various class mates in the show's third episode.
Black Is the Colour works as a good song in its own right, which also perfectly fit the overall feel of Class. It concerns fraught emotions, and unlike the track immediately analysed has a number of different singers to help give extra gravitas to the show's poignant endgame.
Previews of Episodes 3,4,5,6,7 and 8 form the tail end of this bonus disc and convincingly remind us how they added punch to viewers' initial desire to see further episodes.
To recap then, this release provides a solid couple of hours of arrestingly emotive and memorable music, and reminds the listener that Class (while surviving on through Big Finish) should have been allowed a couple more 'terms' at school at the very least.