Doctor Who and Pop Music

With the 50th anniversary fete this weekend, I thought a quick post on Doctor Who and (mainly pop) music was in order.

First, the arrangement–and the signature sound–of the original theme song was performed by none other than the amazing Delia Derbyshire. If you want to read and learn more about her career and her work on the Dr Who theme, check here (for an amazingly well-stocked website full of interviews, work, photos, etc), here, and the latter part of this documentary.

Second, this theme inspired the KLF/JAMMS’s big pop music coup, The Timelords’s hit “Doctorin the Tardis.” Basically, it’s a mash up of Gary Glitter’s “Rock n Roll Part 2” with the melody of the Dr. Who theme. Here’s the video, but these Top of the Pops performance are better. The first one makes the KLF/JAMMs connection pretty visually evident, and even features Gary Glitter. 

The awesome thing about “Doctorin the Tardis” was that it was the conceptual basis for “The Manual,” The KLF/K Foundation’s quasi-satirical philosophical and technical treatise on “how to have a number one the easy way.” It also provided the cash that was set alight in the (again quasi-satirical) performance art piece documented in “The K Foundation Burn A Million Quid”: 

Watch The K Foundation Burn a Million Quid from nils wommelsdorf on Vimeo.

Next, there’s Rotersand’s “Exterminate Annihilate Destroy,” an industrial track that samples Dalek vocals.

And last (but not least–there are plenty of other references to and uses of the Whooniverse in pop music) there’s the reference to Daleks in The Clash’s “Remote Control” (listen at about 2:31–“gonna be a Dalek”):