Eye Level

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"Eye Level"
Single by Simon Park Orchestra
from the album Eye Level[1]
B-side "Distant Hills"
Released 3 November 1972
Format 7"
Genre Orchestral
Length 2:20
Label Columbia Records
Writer(s) Jack Trombey
Producer(s) Simon Park
Certification Platinum

Eye Level is a 1972 single by the Simon Park Orchestra. It was produced originally for the De Wolfe Music Library and selected by Thames Television to be the theme tune for their Netherlands based detective series, Van der Valk.

Overview[edit]

The work was loosely based on a German/Dutch nursery rhyme called Jan Hinnerk (in German)[2] or Catootje (in Dutch), which in its turn took a melody line from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. Dutch composer Jan Stoeckart adapted the original tune and wrote a new top line under the name of Jack Trombey, while Simon Park arranged it for his own orchestra and conducted the recording. The track was fully entitled "Eye Level (Theme from the TV series 'Van Der Valk').[3] A song based on the music with lyrics added was called "And You Smiled", performed by Matt Monro.

The tune became popular with audiences and Columbia Records issued it as a single (catalogue number DB 8946) with the theme to Granada Television's drama series Crown Court, entitled "Distant Hills", on the b-side. The record entered the UK chart in 1972 for just two weeks in late 1972. Almost a year later, the record was re-issued and in September 1973 it became a massive hit, reaching No.1 for four weeks, spending a further 20 weeks in the top 50.[4] Total sales were 1,005,500, gaining the award of a platinum disc, thus becoming one of the 12 best-selling singles of the 1970s.[5] In Ireland, the song was also a hit, reaching #3 in the charts there.[6] In 1974, Stoeckart released his own version under the name Jack Trombey's Brass.[7]

In the US, it was used as theme music in 1970s TV and radio commercials for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. It was also used for TV adverts for Alton Towers, in its pre-Lunar Park mode of gardens, fronted by Frank Muir and in the 1980s for Oranjeboom lager using "tulips" for "your lips" as "wrap tulips around a pint today". "Eye Level" was issued as a single stateside on Vanguard Records (catalog #35175), though it failed to chart. In South Africa, the tune was used as the theme music for the 1974 feature film Boland! with added Afrikaans lyrics and is generally known there as "Die Lied Van Die Boland" (The Highland Song).

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Eye Level (Theme from the TV series Van Der Valk)" (Trombey) 2:20
  2. "Distant Hills (Theme from the TV series Crown Court)" (Reno / Haseley) 3:02

References[edit]

  1. ^ Discogs - Eye Level album
  2. ^ YouTube clip of 'Jan Hinnerk' (in English)
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 417. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ Official Singles Chart - Simon Park Orchestra
  5. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 333. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  6. ^ Irish Charts database
  7. ^ Jack Trombey's Brass - "Eye Level"

Chart precedence[edit]

Preceded by
"Angel Fingers" by Wizzard
UK number one single
29 September 1973 for four weeks
Succeeded by
"Daydreamer"/"The Puppy Song" by David Cassidy