The idea behind the sound of the theme song of Red Dwarf is to emulate the ‘wall of sound’ studio style of the great 60s American pop producer Phil Spector. The singer was Jenna Russell, who first appeared in Howard’s West End Musical ‘GIRLFRIENDS’, and who went on to do many TV and theatre roles. In 2005 she appeared opposite Ewan McGregor as Sarah Brown in the West End revival of Guys and Dolls.
The theme was recorded at Angel Studios in Islington, north London, and the now-legendary guitar solo was played by Tom Blades. The solo was even transcribed and reproduced by TOTAL GUITAR magazine/CD/CD-Rom in April 1997.
There have been various songs written into the series along the way, notably Tongue-Tied and the Arnold Rimmer Song. Danny John-Jules did a cover of Tongue-Tied in 1993 which had a brief flirtation with the charts. The theme is also featured in a somewhat crap cover version on a Polygram CD “The No.1 Sci-Fi Album”(1997), and in a less crap repro called “This is Science Fiction – an epic album of adventure and exploration!” (1999)
On October 30th 2004 Manchester’s world-famous Halle Orchestra gave the world premiere of Howard’s Red Dwarf Space Suite.
The tenth series of Red Dwarf – with Howard back working on the music – was first broadcast on Dave from 4th October to 8th November 2012. Two piano fantasies which Howard composed as part of his involvement as composer for Red Dwarf X are available to buy as downloads through amazon or itunes.
LIST OF MUSICIANS AND SINGERS WHO PLAYED OR SANG ON RED DWARF THEMES [Lots of people ask for this information, so here it is!]
Singer Jenna Russell, organ Alastair Ross, percussion Richard Marcangelo & Nigel Shipway, guitars Ian Lawes & Tom Blades, bass Robbie Burns, keyboards Howard Goodall & Mark Stephens, trumpets Graham Russell & Martin Etheridge, trombone Richard Edwards, saxes Dave Roach & Somin Clarke, clarinet Lyn Hollman, violins Joyce Fraser & Rachel Upson, banjo & mandolin Nigel Woodhouse, viola Sally Parfitt, cello Lesley Shrigley-Jones and Dinah Beamish, oboe Sandra Mackay, double bass Lucy Hare, trombone (series 3) Lindsay Shilling.