LP 287: Elizabeth Parker – The Living Planet: A Portrait of The Earth (BBC, 1984)

25 Aug

Side 1
01 The Living Planet (Theme From The Series)
02 The Building Of The Earth
03 The Frozen World
04 The Northern Forests
05 Jungle
06 Seas Of Grass

Side 2
07 The Baking Deserts
08 The Sky Above
09 Sweet Fresh Water
10 The Margins Of The Land
11 Worlds Apart
12 The Open Ocean
13 New Worlds (Closing Theme From The Series)

Elizabeth Parker of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop composed the music for all 12 episodes of the memorable documentary The Living Planet which originally aired during early 1984.

It’s a sparse yet memorable electronic score with a number of genuinely moving pieces – favourites being The Northern Forests, The Margins Of The Land and The Baking Deserts. The Open Ocean is a sparse and fragile creation that drifts by in a sleepy haze – reminding me of Virginia Astley’s From The Gardens Where We Feel Secure album. The brief opening and closing themes from each episode have been logically chosen to start and finish the LP and work well to give the listening experience a circular structure.

Comments and feedback are welcome.



39 Responses to “LP 287: Elizabeth Parker – The Living Planet: A Portrait of The Earth (BBC, 1984)”

  1. nlgbbbblth August 25, 2011 at 7:05 PM #


    • Anonymous October 2, 2011 at 6:32 AM #

      Grew up with this documentary and Love this music. Can I buy a CD-R of it from you?

      Thank you,


  2. Fernando Manuel Rodrigues September 14, 2011 at 7:38 PM #

    I looked for this recording everywhere, but it seems it was only released in LP and only in the UK. Where and when did you get it?

  3. nlgbbbblth September 14, 2011 at 7:47 PM #

    Car boot sale in Kilkenny, Ireland for one euro.

    • Fernando Manuel Rodrigues September 14, 2011 at 8:23 PM #

      Ireland. Near UK. Too bad it isn’t available on CD. I can’t risk ordering an LP blindely, and it will be impossible to find one around (I’m in Portugal). I suppose a recording of it will be out of question?

      • nlgbbbblth September 14, 2011 at 8:29 PM #

        Just sent you an email

  4. Fernando Manuel Rodrigues September 14, 2011 at 8:48 PM #


  5. Lou September 26, 2011 at 4:35 PM #

    This sounds promising.Would you be kind enough to share this album with?Thank you in advance!

  6. Lou September 26, 2011 at 5:54 PM #

    Sorry about that!I worked it out.Thanks very much for your generosity!

  7. Gaz October 18, 2011 at 11:54 AM #

    I’d Love to hear this in its entirety, if anyone can point me in the direction of where I might get a copy. Thanks.

  8. David B November 16, 2012 at 12:36 PM #

    Can I please have a link? And thanks for sharing this


  9. david b November 19, 2012 at 10:09 AM #

    Thanks a lot!

  10. Jon M November 18, 2014 at 6:55 PM #

    link sadly no longer working, used to have this on tape but it scrunched a long time ago. It was one of only two tapes I had as a kid so would love to listen again.Any chance of sending me a link like you did to david B? I notice he did his after a certain file sharing site went down…..

  11. Bob January 24, 2015 at 1:53 AM #

    Please, is there a link to download this anywhere? 🙂

    • nlgbbbblth January 24, 2015 at 12:00 PM #

      Leave your email address Bob and I will be in touch

  12. murtry March 16, 2015 at 5:54 AM #

    This music from the BBC Workshop is so interesting. It’s just the kind of music they don’t make any more. But the actual tunes are great, and the sounds give me a twinge of nostalgia for the 80s.
    Can you perhaps clue me into a link to listen to this once again?

  13. Barbatruco Producciones June 23, 2015 at 5:09 PM #

    hi,this seems interesting can I have some link of this,greetings from Chile

    • nlgbbbblth June 23, 2015 at 6:41 PM #

      A mail has been sent – ELECTRICALLY

  14. mufdivr November 27, 2015 at 1:21 AM #

    Hello, this is my first visit to your blog. I came here from Mrsblucher’s blog from a link. Apparently, the linked copy of the BBC Portrait of the Earth was taken down for whatever reason. But I’m glad I get to explore a new blog, too, especially as I see you have many BBC records to listen to!

    Is there any chance you still have a viable link to that LP after all this time has passed? I would really, really like a copy. If you’ve a link, please forward me a copy @ calichahta@gmail.com

    Thank you!

  15. Anonymous June 8, 2016 at 7:17 PM #

    Hi, nlbbbblth.

    I was introduced to David Attenborough through Life on Earth, which also has a fantastic soundtrack–one which is fortunately available in CD and MP3.

    Unlike Living Planet… If it’s still good, could you please provide me with the link to the LP rip?



    • nlgbbbblth June 8, 2016 at 7:36 PM #

      Check your electric mail.

      • Anonymous June 8, 2016 at 8:04 PM #

        Thank you!

  16. denis July 12, 2016 at 5:41 PM #

    Can you send me the link please?
    And thank you for all sharing

  17. solgrundy July 29, 2016 at 2:32 PM #

    Would love to hear this. Can you please send me the link ? Thank you very much.

  18. Tom Matthews July 30, 2016 at 7:42 PM #

    Thinking of getting the vinyl, but hoping to preview first – any chance you could send me the link? Thanks so much!

  19. coolerking August 2, 2016 at 5:57 AM #

    If I could trouble you for the link I’d greatly appreciate it. thx.

  20. vapormeyer August 8, 2016 at 5:55 PM #

    Would love a complete listen if you’d be so kind?
    All the best,

    • nlgbbbblth August 8, 2016 at 7:02 PM #


    • Anonymous November 27, 2016 at 2:06 AM #

      Would love a copy of this soundtrack. I would gladly trade you for it. Thank you.

      • nlgbbbblth November 27, 2016 at 11:05 AM #

        Email sent.

  21. Alex Carriere August 9, 2016 at 5:30 PM #

    Ahhh, I would love to get a copy of this from you! It’s one of my favorite Attenborough series, and the music has a lot to do with it!

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