The missing piece: The Prisoner

  • Posted on: 1 August 2014
  • By: Csillag Zoltán

Click here for larger imageI've just discovered it by accident, but gladly sharing this interesting video with all of you. For long years I've just heard about it as an existing, but still missing item. Then the CD reissue of the Dr. Strangely Strange album, "Heavy Petting" finally gave us some excerpts from the music (which was recorded in September 1983), but still wasn't that much chance to see the original animated film with the complete soundtrack featuring Gary Moore on acoustic and electric lead guitar.  ...or maybe we've been trying to reach it from the wrong direction. Probably it wasn't that rare for those who are interested in the animted short films and its history. Anyway, around a year ago, Tim Booth (the singer and guitarist of Dr. Strangely Strange) uploaded his film to a video sharing page, so now as I was updating the discography/session pages of our website, I've made some quick research for Dr. Strangely Strange materials as well, and found it!

"The Prisoner was an animated film I made - I drew every frame, some 11.000 - based on W.B. Yeats' poem 'Innisfree', and we recorded the tracks in Dublin with a view to perhaps making it part of some future album. It was produced - to a certain extent - by Jerome Rimson, a lovely man. He was a Detroit bass player from a band called 'The Real Thing' who had been foisted on/suggested to us by Phil Lynott when he was unable to produce us due to work and other commitments. Gary Moore very kindly overdubbed the tracks in London. The tracks were made with the animated image in mind, and as the film was the very first Irish film to have a Dolby Stereo soundtrack, had a great impact when shown in a Dolby cinema. However, when it went on distribution in Ireland, the Idiot Distributors were unable or too incompetent to supply the Dolby prints to Dolby cinemas, so mono prints were shown in Dolby cinemas and vice versa. This did not help its audience perception, and as Dolby cost an arm and a leg back then, gave me a few grey hairs.

The film was invited to the Annecy Animation Festival and also ther Berlin Film Festival, where - I found out later - it was a contender for a prize and because of German love of technology, looked and sounded amazing for its time. It gets shown on TV now and then."

(Tim Booth, 2011 - from the booklet of the CD re-issue of "Heavy Petting" album)


The Lake Isle of Innisfree

By William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.