The Sultans of SID: #6, David Whittaker

Our sixth SID sultan of our Advent Calendar

From yesterday, our little clue was:

Take a letter, Lazy Jones.

If you know a thing or two about early Commodore 64 games, you could well be right if you said…

David Whittaker

Born on the 24 April 1957, David Whittaker is a Bury man. His first breakthrough SID score was the in-game music for Lazy Jones. The game itself is unique as you try to avoid wayward trolleys across three levels, and play subgames to boost your score. Mr Whittaker also did the programming. When released in 1984 by Prestwich-based Terminal Software, it was a hit.

Today, he is now at Knutsford-based developers, Travellers’ Tales. He has also written numerous compositions for the C64, Atari 800, and Amiga formats.

Essential Tunes

i. Lazy Jones

As well as snatches of Living on the Ceiling, 99 Luftballons, and Fade to Grey, ironically, the original part of his tune was sample in a global hit single. That of Zombie Nation’s Kernkraft 400. There is also a snatch of the future in-game music for…

ii. Glider Rider

I couldn’t make head to tail of the game when I received it on a Zzap! 64 Megatape, but David Whittaker’s score really nailed it for me. The piece is a firm favourite among C64 fans, though the Spectrum 128k version is equally good.

iii. Shadow of the Beast

In cooperation with Fredrik Segerfalk, The Shadow of the Beast theme is one of David Whittaker’s most fondly remembered pieces. Not only on the Commodore 64 but also on the Amiga. Chris wrote the Amiga music whereas Fredrik ported it to the C64. A fantastic team effort.

Tomorrow’s Sultan of SID…

Once again we shan’t divulge who our next SID legend is, but we can give you a clue. The clue is as follows:

He was big on music for shoot-em-ups, especially Delta and Armalyte.

All will be revealed tomorrow.

S.V., 06 December 2016.

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