Eye Level

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Eye Level is a 1973 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. The work was loosely based on a German/Dutch nursery rhyme called Jan Hinnerk (in German)[1] 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').[2]

The song based on the music, with suitable lyrics added was called "And You Smiled", and was performed by Matt Monro.

The tune became popular with audiences and, in a move which was unusual at the time for both library works and television themes, Columbia Records issued it on 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 and spent 22 weeks in the Top 40, four of them at number one.[2] Total sales were 1,005,500, gaining the award of a platinum disc.[3]

In Ireland, the song was also a big hit, reaching #3 in the charts there.

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).

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ YouTube clip of 'Jan Hinnerk' (in English)
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 417. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 333. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.