Journey of the Sorcerer

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"Journey of the Sorcerer" is an instrumental by the American rock band Eagles. It appeared on their 1975 album One of These Nights and was later used as the theme tune to the BBC comedy/science fiction franchise The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In this latter role, it has been re-recorded several times.


The song was written by group member Bernie Leadon, and based around the banjo. For One of These Nights, the Eagles recorded it as a six-minute instrumental piece featuring an orchestra, with brief fiddle solos.[1][2] The rest of the group, particularly co-founders Don Henley and Glenn Frey, were not keen on it being included on the album, which contributed to the friction in the band and Leadon quitting.[3] It was later described by Rolling Stone as "bluegrass psychedelia".[4]

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Eagles' version of "Journey of the Sorcerer" was used as the theme tune to the original BBC Radio 4 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio series in 1978.[5][6] Creator Douglas Adams was looking for a particular piece of music that would distinctively represent the series, that sounded "spacey" but not serious, such as a banjo. He looked through his collection of LPs, which included One of These Nights, and decided it was ideal, representing a feel of alienation.[7][8]

Tim Souster recorded a new version of the piece for the LP release of the first radio series.[9] Later adaptations featured a recording of the theme by Doctor Who composer Paddy Kingsland.[10] For the 2005 film, a new version was recorded by Joby Talbot.[11] It was used again for the continuation of the radio series in 2018.[12]


  1. ^ "32 Reasons Why the Eagles Are the Best Band in the Universe". Vulture. May 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Earlybird: 14 non-hits that show the Eagles are better than you think". AV Club. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  3. ^ Felder, Don (2008). Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974–2001). John Wiles & Songs. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-470-28906-8.
  4. ^ The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. 2004. p. 267. ISBN 978-0-743-20169-8.
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin. The Encyclopedia of Popular Music: Kollington – Morphine : Volume 5 of The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-195-31373-4.
  6. ^ "12 musicians you didn't know had written famous TV themes". BBC Music. 23 August 2018. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  7. ^ Roberts, Jem (2014). The Frood: The Authorised and Very Official History of Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Random House. p. 95. ISBN 978-1-409-05235-7.
  8. ^ Adams, Douglas (1985). The Original Hitchhiker Radio Scripts. New York: Harmony. p. 32. ISBN 0-517-55950-1.
  9. ^ Simpson, M. J. (2005). Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams. Justin, Charles & Co. p. 143. ISBN 978-1-932-11235-1.
  10. ^ "15 TV theme tunes you didn't know were already songs". Metro. 8 June 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Here are 10 the best movie soundtracks of the 2000s". Happy. 5 November 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  12. ^ "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy returns—with the original cast". Ars Technica. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2020.