Pete Moore (composer)

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Pete Moore
Pete Moore.JPG
Pete Moore Conducting
Background information
Birth namePete Moore
Also known asPeter Moore
Born(1924-08-20)20 August 1924
Essex, England, UK
Died1 December 2013(2013-12-01) (aged 89)
Acton, London, England
Occupation(s)Composer, Songwriter Music Arranger
Years active1958–2007

Pete Moore, born in Essex, England, was a British composer and arranger for a string of famous artistes since the 1950/60s. He died on 1 December 2013 at the age of 89.[1] He studied composition and arranging privately for approximately ten years with three teachers. These were Alfred Nieman (who was on the staff at the Guildhall School of Music, London), Henry Geehl and a certain "Dr. Cook" who was probably another staff member at one of the London music colleges.[2]

Beginning in 1958, he worked with such greats as Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Peggy Lee, Frankie Laine, Connie Francis and Peter Sellers, amongst others, on all manner of broadcasts and recordings. He frequently collaborated with record producer Ken Barnes. As a composer, he wrote themes for many TV commercials including such famous brands as Coca-Cola and Lux Toilet Soap, numerous songs recorded by such artists as Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, Frankie Laine and Fred Astaire. But it is his composition “Asteroid” – the famous theme for Pearl & Dean’s cinema advertisements – that remains his most familiar and most successful composition. Apart from being heard every day (for the last 45 years) on cinema screens in the U.K., it is constantly featured around the world in commercials and documentaries. For many people,[who?] the very sound of its “pa-papa-pa” fanfare spells “cinema.” It has also been “sampled” by modern-day pop artists and enjoyed chart success on more than one occasion. Pearl & Dean's signature tune is one of the most famous tracks played in British movie houses.[3]

The Pearl & Dean anthem "Asteroid" is just 28 seconds long. The original screen titles featured graphics intended to emulate advertising panels flashing past as if the viewer was being sucked into the very screen. By the early 1990s, commercials and trailers were given the full stereo treatment, but the original "Asteroid" was only ever produced purely as a mono track. Remarkably, not only was the original composer/producer tracked down but Moore was also able to locate two of the three original male singers who could still replicate their vocal parts three decades on.[4]

In 1995, Goldbug (fronted by ex-Beatmasters man, Richard Walmsley) sampled the Pearl & Dean anthem and made the number two singles slot with their version of "Whole Lotta Love".[5] A new 2mins 10secs digital version was recently recorded at the Abbey Road studios by Moore and a 30-piece orchestra.

In retirement, Moore would travel by motorcycle from his home in Ealing to Waterloo each Saturday to assist in directing the famous Morley College Jazz Orchestra. He would bring his own handwritten transcriptions of modern big band repertoire, most often by Rob McConnell.


Quote by Pete Moore: "Many people in the UK music profession have accused me of writing music for the future, and well ahead of its time. Having regard to the longevity of this piece I can only thoroughly agree with that sentiment!" — Pete Moore 10 February 2003.

Quote by Ken Barnes: "A quiet, soft-spoken and unassuming man, cockney-raised and academy-trained, Pete Moore usually declined to do interviews because he was always “too busy.” In fact, it would seem that he never actively sought work, it just came to him. Which is why he was often referred to as “The Invisible Genius.” As a person and as a musician, he was liked and admired by everyone who knew him. While he may not be a household name, Pete Moore’s music remains alive and well. As it has for the past half-century.”[1]


  1. ^ a b "BING magazine". BING Magazine. #166: 48–49. Spring 2014.
  2. ^ As recounted to his own student Nigel Waddington
  3. ^
  4. ^ Day, Julia (28 June 2006). "The Guardian". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  5. ^ "". Retrieved 1 April 2017.

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