Ring tones reveal all

Daniel Craig as James Bond in the action adventure film, "Skyfall."
Daniel Craig as James Bond in the action adventure film, "Skyfall."
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If there’s one thing the mobile phone age has laid bare - it’s our inner fantasies when it comes to theme tunes.

Ringtones reveal who we want to be rather than who we actually are.

Just think about it.

There’s the office junior who secretly craves to be a secret agent - the James Bond theme going off each time his mum calls to ask when he will be in for his tea.

There’s the hip old trendie who’s downloaded some obscure Zappa track.

And the ubiquitous Dance of the Sugar Plum Fair for the most fey member of staff - pink phone to boot.

Whether twee, on-trend or just irritating, our inner music has become an outward expression of our individuality.

Now Adele’s brand new take on the new Bond movie Skyfall is likely to take the download-ringtone-iTune market by storm.

It’s become one of the most talked about 007 themes for the last 50 years - a series which spans at least three generations. But does it have what it takes to be a classic?

It’s already shot to the top of the i-Tunes chart - which won’t mean a great deal to those of us who grew up in the John Barry Bond days.

The definitive Bond composer first visited Blackpool as part of then young rising star Cliff Richard’s crew. Barry went on to score 11 Bond soundtracks in all.

This month a survey commemorating half a century of Bond found that Live and Let Die was the most popular Bond theme in Lancashire. Older listeners favour more traditional offerings in a pantheon which includes Goldfinger, Dr No, From Russia With Love, Diamonds are Forever and You Only Live Twice (to which Robbie Williams’ hit Millennium owes more than a nod of thanks).

Another musical milestone has been marked this month with 50 years since the Beatles released Love Me Do - they also played Blackpool and indeed Fleetwood in the early days.

The Beatles lead another set of charts for having produced the song most often referred to within works of literature - Hey Jude.

But, Bond and Beatles apart, what are the favourite theme songs for those of us in the Fylde? Those touchstones to our old selves?

Our snap survey reveals a glimpse of days gone by for some of the locality’s leading lights.

Blackpool based disability consultant Stephen Brookes loves the theme from Taxi, the TV series and, “for sheer daftness, the Muppets.” Fellow disability adviser Alan Reid, a musician who used to work in TV, and who now heads Blackpool’s Disability First, admits: “For me it’s Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, always been a softy.”

Anchorsholme councillor Paul Galley cheers up each time he hears Cheers played. “It just says warmth and friendship, a place where everyone knows your name. I also love the Pink Panther theme, as I used to watch it after Grandstand as a kid.”

Blackpool BID (and town centre) manager Eileen Ormand is a diehard sci fi fan. “It would be Doctor Who, Star Trek and Blakes Seven - although I saw myself as Marina in Stingray!”

Heritage tour guide Neil Measures sides with tradition - and the National Anthem. “It signalled bed time after telly went off. News at Ten, South Bank show, big orchestral ensembles, made me feel relaxed, safe and home.”

Local poet and retired lecturer James Heyworth still adores The Archers. “My mother had the radio as perpetual background as we could not afford a TV. I also liked the Ovalteenies tune from Radio Luxembourg as there was a sci fi series associated with it!”

Public relations guru Pearl Mina has a soft spot for Star Wars. “It was the anthem of my youth and my little brother Luke for obvious reasons. It always reminds me of the first time I experienced my first big screen blockbuster event. Raiders of The Lost Ark comes a close second with Indiana Jones our favourite family hero.”

Blackpool dance tutor Michelle Mimi Ramsey recalls: “Fraggle Rock. The lyrics, brush your cares away, are still so apt today.”

And photo historian Juliette Gregson opts for the decidedly surreal cult BBC 2 series of old: “Monkey Magic.”

But it’s also time to sound just one word of caution. The latest research reveals the mobile ring tone market has become a bit of a racket in every sense.

While adults tend to download themes to reflect a time of their life - kids tend to ring in the changes with ringtones. Some also risk being caught by the small print in contracts and signing up to costly commitments or premium rate messages. Specialist forums set up to deal with complaints claim some ring tone companies coin it in - the penny only dropping with plummeting phone credit. Sir George Young, chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Standards and Privileges, warns: “Regulations that exists are at best inadequate, and there is an urgent need for much tighter control.”

Make sure your theme hits the right note...

* jacqui,morley@blackpoolgazette.co.uk or tweet her @jacquimorley