Jason King Music

Peter Wyngarde Album (below)
Jason King Theme Music
Department S Theme Music
The infamous Peter Wyngarde album - an album steeped in myth and controversy!

Front cover

Back cover

The advertising campaign

Peter Wyngarde - When Sex Leers It's Inquisitive Head
RPM187 CD (CD reissue of 'Peter Wyngarde')

This information taken directly (and with permission) from the rpm website

If you've delved this far into the RPM web site you'll know that every so often RPM like to bowl our collectors a googly. Sometimes it's the restoration of a long lost classic such as The Teenage Opera (RPM 165); occasionally it's a barely musical but gloriously kitsch experience along the lines of the 1970 England World Cup Squad album (RPM 805); or it could be a slice of real pop culture like last year's fabulous Janie Jones Singles Collection (RPM 177).

So it should not be a surprise that RPM has again taken on one of pop's more bizarre offerings - Peter Wyngarde's one and only recording venture - an album steeped in myth and controversy, and one which encompasses ALL the categories above. Withdrawn within weeks after it first appeared back in 1970, and mired in contractural complications ever since. The CD was scheduled to appear on Creation's reissue label Rev-Ola, until the powers that be (in the form of Alan McGhee) said "no", and RPM (as a genuine indie label!) were able to offer it a more than suitable home.

Peter Wyngarde's masterful portrayal of Jason King, the TV sleuth masquerading as a crime- writing shag-monster, was so rooted to its rakish era that a revival seemed as likely as the return of the classic Bentley Continental he drove.

Wyngarde, whose Jason King character was first created for ITC's Department S show in 1968, epitomised Easy culture - a decorative hirsute look comprising sideburns, a matching collar-and-tie of raw silk, and a suit that made heads turn right round. For women, most of whom still remained chained to the sink, Jason King was the Romeo who'd come to liberate them from suburban domesticity. For a time in the UK Wyngarde was the countries number one male pin-up, and his fame spread abroad wherever the show was screened - he found himself mobbed in Australia by thousands of females when he arrived there to do some personal appearances.

All of which makes Peter Wyngarde's vinyl love-letter, originally released on RCA Records in 1970 when the actor was at the peak of his prowess, even more bizarre. A collection of contemporary standards it was not. The album included songs which exploded into rampant rages of male sexuality, couched in an aesthetic abandon that set off alarm bells even in those permissive climes.

Jason KingLabels had long been sniffing round hoping to get Wyngarde into a studio; getting a top TV personality to cut an album was a sure-fire way to make a quick buck, regardless of their musical abilities (cf. Patrick McNee trying to sing "Kinky Boots"!). RCA came up with an offer. They told me I could do what I liked. That's what really appealed to me! I saw the record as an entertainment in its own right to be enjoyed tongue-in-cheek.

The central idea was to string the songs together into one long suite and none were more interesting than the opening quartet of "Come In", "You Wonder How These Things Begin" and "Rape". Truly the album's centrepiece, it's this suite which has given the record such cult notoriety that collectors happily shell out up to £400 for a copy. Wyngarde defends the piece on which his musical infamy is based. Is it politically incorrect? I've really no idea. It's about all kinds of rape. There is so much rape going on rape within bureaucracy, rape at so many government levels, rape of countries. You know, even attempting to explain it totally defeats its purpose.

The record's outrageousness often overwhelms what would still be one of the more bizarre episodes in popular music. The listener is unlikely to forget "Hippie And The Skinhead", where Wyngarde reads out a letter written to "The Times" by two Home Counties skinhead girls, or the tale of "Billy the Queer, Pilly Sexy Hippie", sung over an incongruous, Nashville backing. And there's even something for discerning lovers of late Sixties English rock as he takes on the Attack's "Neville Thumbcatch", written by Vic Smith.

Until now, "Peter Wyngarde" has largely circulated on enthusiastically-copied cassettes. That's because the record was quickly snuffed out when RCA realised just what it had on its hands. Over a quarter of a century later, perhaps the rest of the world has finally caught up with Wyngarde's postmodernist bent. As with all RPM's releases, this reissue has been lovingly crafted. Careful sound restoration is coupled with another of our large fold-out inlays, covered in pictures, and carrying detailed notes about the recordings by a well-known Record Collector writer (and Peter Wyngarde fanatic)Christopher Valentine, who has interviewed Wyngarde especially for this project (along with other characters central to the album's production). Wyngarde's original liner notes, which he penned as if they'd been written by Jason King, are also included in full - and provided us with our CD title.

At least two "easy" clubs are lining up to do Peter Wyngarde nights to mark the reissue, so keep an eye open for events like that over the next few months. Meanwhile, savour the CD cover for perhaps the suavest TV detective the world has ever seen!

Peter Wyngarde When Sex Leers It's Inquisitive Head
Track Listing\
1 Come In Peter Wyngarde
2 You Wonder How These Things Began
3 Rape
4 La Ronde De L'Amour
5 Jenny Kissed Me
6 The Way I Cry Over You
7 Unknown Citizen
8 It's When I Touch You
9 Hippie and The Skinhead
10 Try To Remember To Forget (Riviera Cowboy)
11 Jenny Kissed Me And It Was...
12 Widdecombe Fair
13 Neville Thumbcatch
14 Once Again (Flight Number 10)
15 Pay No Attention
LYRICS to the Peter Wyngarde album->

"A master piece of fine, pseudo-psychedelic orchestrations and inpeccable bad taste." - The New Musical Express - 1970

ALBUM: Originally released by RCA Victor (1970) - Catalogue Number: SF 8087.
Produced by: Vic Smith and Hubert Thomas Valverde.
ORIGINAL VALUE: 39 Shillings and 11d (Approximately £2.00).
Current Value: £250.00+.
FORMAT: Gatefold sleeve with portrait photograph on the front and with a
picture of him facing a wall full of graffitti refering to the track 'Rape'.
In the centre, is a full-length photograph of the waxwork dummy of Peter,
which was said to have been displayed at Madam Tussaude's in London.
Recorded at Olympic Sound Studios in Surrey, England.

Peter Wyngarde's personal blend of sophistication and the incurable ability to laugh at himself is epitomised in this album. The outrageous is never far behind and irrepressable when sex leers its inquisitive head as in Rape and the Hippie And The Skinhead. Cynicism has a sneaking glance too and the cruelty of such lyrics as Flight Number 10 and Try To Remember To Forget to Forget are given such a romantic sound that on first hearing they appear disarmingly innocuous which they certainly are not. This was intentional with the invaluable help of Hubert Valverde whose music has the intangiable lyricism that makes a love song that is felt and seen when it is heard.

In Vic Smith they have found a partner who has brought his own cool mastery of connection - blending the two talents into a unique combination without distracting when he subtly injects his own particular sound in the marvellous arrangements. But of course it is Peter Wyngarde's unique and personal magnatism that shines through. I can think of no other album that has brought such continuous pleasure than this outrageously funny, original and versatile one.

SINGLE: 7" La Ronde De L'Amour/The Way I Cry Over You
Released byRCA Victor 1970.
Original Value: 5 Shillings (25 pence).
Current Value: £10.00 - £15.00.