Back in 2011, DC Thomson took Commando comic further than ever before, granting EMI a license to release a compilation of classic war film themes with the title Commando War Themes – and copies are still available, along with the follow up, Commando Rocks.
First mentioned on downthetubes in an article by Jeremy Briggs back in 2011, the album featured cover art by Ian Kennedy from an issue of Commando first published in 1992, the compilation album should prove a particular delight for fans of Geoff Love and his Orchestra, drawing on performances of his first released on the Big War Movies Themes album released by MFP in 1971.
Tracks include the theme from The Great Escape, The River Kwai March, the theme from Where Eagles Dare and many more.
Geoffrey Love, known as Geoff Love, was a prolific British arranger and composer of easy listening and pop versions of film themes. He became famous in the late 1950s.
During the 1960s and into the 1970s, Love recorded many albums for MFP, often featuring film or television themes such as Big Western Movie Themes (1969), Big War Movie Themes (1971), Big Terror Movie Themes (1976) and Big Bond Movie Themes (1975), which has since become one of Love’s most sought after MFP albums.
A second Commando-themed collection, Commando Rocks, followed this release in 2012, featuring more art by Ian Kennedy, utilising they cover of Commando 1621, released in 1982. This album featured hits from bands such The Buzzcocks, Meatloaf, The Stranglers and Whitesnake, and was also released as an MP3.
1) Theme from Lawrence of Arabia – Geoff Love and His Orchestra (4.31)
2) The Great Escape March – Geoff Love and His Orchestra (2.14)
3) Band of Brothers – New World Orchestra (3.51)
4) 633 Squadron – Ron Goodwin and His Orchestra (2.59)
5) Cavatina (Deer Hunter) – Geoff Love and His Orchestra (2.58)
6) Schindler’s List – New World Orchestra (4.12)
7) Cockleshell Heroes – The Band Of The Royal Military School Of Music (4.03)
8) The River Kwai March – The Band Of The Royal Military School Of Music (2.50)
9) A Bridge Too Far – The Band Of The Royal Military School Of Music (2.14)
10) St. Louis Blues – The Band Of The Royal Military School Of Music (3.25)
11) Braveheart – New World Orchestra (5.23)
12) Aces High – The Band of the Royal Marines School of Music (3.39)
13) The Guns of Navarone – Geoff Love and His Orchestra (3.04)
14) Theme from Where Eagles Dare – Geoff Love and His Orchestra (2.45)
15) The Colditz March – Geoff Love and His Orchestra (2.51)
16) The Dambusters March – Geoff Love and His Orchestra (4.02)
17) Reach for the Sky – Geoff Love and His Orchestra (3.47)
18) The Battle of the River Plate – The Band of the Royal Marines School of Music (3.55)
19) The Battle of Britain March – The Band Of The Royal Military School Of Music (2.21)
20) The Longest Day – The Band Of The Royal Military School Of Music (2.07)
21) Beneath the Southern Cross (Victory at Sea) – Geoff Love and His Orchestra (1.32)
22) Sink the Bismarck! – Geoff Love and His Orchestra (4.26)
23) Gunfight at the O.K. Corral – Geoff Love (1.49)
24) True Grit – Geoff Love (3.02)
With thanks to Colin Noble, and Jeremy Briggs for information on the second album