It is no secret that Space: 1999 merchandise has a pretty unique history for a long ago 2-year science fiction television show. There is no exception with regarding the number original soundtracks that were released over time. Two very different compositions by two very different composers with two very different goals of the show. Season 1 and Season 2 are very different. Most of us fans that were following the show from its inception were pretty surprised how different the show turned out. What happened to the main characters? What happened to the lavish sets? What happened to the music and the format? For better or for worse, the show had two very different styles to it and the music was included in the overall production show revamp. Over 40 yeas of discussions and debates focusing on the differences of the styles of music. Some fans love the first season whilst others love the second season. One thing is for sure, there were a great many years that we only had a very small portion of the original soundtrack at our fingertips. The RCA LP Soundtrack from 1976 (mainly for the American/Canadian/Turkish/Spanish markets only) was the only thing made available up until the 90’s.
CD’s have actually been around for many years by then, but we fans didn’t really get a taste of any original soundtrack material until the 1996 timeframe. David Hirsch of Starlog/MBA Tech Notebook fame had professionally produced a promotional CD edition of some of Derek Wadsworth’s 1999 S2 library. The packaging was very well done and some of us fans got rather lucky to obtain a copy. It was the very first time anything 1999 related was produced in the CD format. It was also the very first time to actually obtain and hear these amazing tracks from season 2 ever! The downside is that the numbers produced were around the 1000 mark and it was a “promotional CD” which limited its availability. Nowadays, they command a pretty penny.
Fast forward to 1998 and 2000 timeframe, Fanderson was busy working on their lavish soundtrack sets. Accompanied with very nice booklets, much work had gone into them with linear notes and some information of the show itself. It’s the first time we, as fans, got to see and hear the level of detail that actually went into the production of the soundtracks in the first place. Hats off to Fanderson for producing these sets. Those numbers were limited to membership purchase and the numbers were around 1000 per season. They sold out pretty fast. Also commanding a very high amount of money on the collector’s market.
Around the 2004 timeframe, Silva Screen UK produced a Season 1 single CD for the masses (which, believe it or not, is still available today via MP3). The accompanying booklets were not bad, but didn’t compare to the member’s only Fanderson edition. But it was nice to have. Especially since this was the very first time a Space: 1999 soundtrack of any kind was produced for the public since the RCA LP from the seventies. A couple of odd things to note is that there was a Japanese variant produced leveraging the same photos but the overall layout was quite different. It even came with the standard OBI as most Japanese media items do.
We fans had to wait a long five years later in 2009 before Silva Screen released a Season 2 single CD edition. By this time, the tracks were remastered with serious improved technology incorporated. Both Silva Screen editions left out photos of the Commander and Doctor due to licensing and legal reasons. Both Silva editions were very well produced and were intended for the masses. It is unknown why they didn’t produce a Japanese edition Season 2 but would speculate that they didn’t believe the sales would be that great or might cause confusion. Wouldn’t be the first time one of these Japanese companies made the conscience decision not to produce a Year 2 item (the LDs come to mind).
As time went on, the folks at Fanderson were busy coming up with an even better set to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Space: 1999. Season 1 edition came out in 2014 and was highlighted at the Alpha: 2014 Convention at Peterborough UK. This was, by far, the most complete library of Season 1 ever produced. A lavish 3 CD set, a thicker more comprehensive booklet, each track meticulously remastered for even better sound quality and all encompassed slipcover. In 2016, Fanderson upped the ante and produced a 4 CD set with all of the same other improvements and additional tracks. There has never been a more complete Space: 1999 soundtrack library than with these two editions. Season 1 immediately sold out and as of this writing, season 2 sold out rather later. They both command a high premium on the secondary market if you can even find them.
Later in 2016 we fans were rather surprised to see yet another Space: 1999 CD, but found out it wasn’t the Barry Gray or Derek Wadsworth soundtracks, but rather the soundtrack used for the Italian compilation film that was (believe it or not) released January of ’75 which was prior to the UK/American premier of Space: 1999 later in September. Most fans never really cared for the soundtrack nor was it followed as anything in the canon universe of Space: 1999, it is still part of the library that was used by Penta Music. Later in 2017, there was also a vinyl edition released that was out of this world. The CD edition had a very nice booklet added to the package mainly contributed by Nick Williams of Fanderson. Both are worth collecting just to show off the packaging alone.
Mondo did a great job packaging a mixed color vinyl 2 LP set of the Ennio Morricone OST. Limited run of 1000, these didn’t take long to sell out. And not necessarily to “listen to”, but more so to display the ultra cool gatefold and discs.
In 2021 and on sale now, we fans are once again blessed with yet another mass market edition from Silva Screen. This time they combined the seasons into one 2 CD package and this time they were able to include the main characters from the show across the board. These sets are part of the greater Gerry Anderson OST lineup from about all of his shows across the range. The included 28-page booklet is written and designed by Mike Jones. Includes short articles on the series as well as the making of the show. The music track listings are short episode summaries with quotes. There are also lists of the musicians and the episodes. The overall packaging is the best edition for the masses and is available through the Official Gerry Anderson Store. There are individual 2 LP sets of each seasons with gatefold covers and white vinyl that compliment the CD set.
Currently you can order the Silva Screen LPs or CD OSTs here. Don’t be surprised to see Fanderson come up with a 50th Anniversary set in the coming years and wouldn’t it be awesome to add the non-1999 tracks that were used on the RCA soundtrack? I suppose we’ll just wait and see.