The Sultans of SID: #13: Peter Clarke

Our thirteenth SID sultan of our Advent Calendar

From yesterday, our little clue was:

His arcade conversion was the beginning of a fantastic story.

The ‘fantastic story’ refers to the introduction screen on Bubble Bobble. For our ninth fellow, it is…

Peter Clarke

From 1986 to 1988, Peter Clarke was at his most active as a C64 musician. After being at Firebird, he moved to Ocean Software in 1987, where he replaced Martin Galway. Though he stopped doing video game music in the late 1980s, many of his tune are well remembered. Quality not quantity is the maxim for his musical C.V.

For the Commodore 64, he wrote the third and often overlooked version of the Ocean Software loader theme. His most famous work was on Software Creations’ C64 conversion of Bubble Bobble. Published by Firebird, it had excellent reviews by the magazines of the day.

Essential Tunes

i. Bubble Bobble

On the grounds that: 1) we like you; and that 2) some of our younger readers may have missed out, here’s his most famous work. This piece has been responsible for one of many earworms, and one of the most surreal dreams I had ever had. Though not an original composition his SID version is the most vibrant, compared across various formats.

ii. Head Over Heels

Proving to be the master of adaptation, the title music for this isometric adventure game is inspired by Mozart. It is based on Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major. Not only that, the in-game spot music is pretty good: a blast of Greensleeves or How Much is That Doggie in the Window? on entering a new room. When you lose a life, you get a blast of Any Old Iron.

iii. Top Duck

Now for something completely different! Top Duck is a bit like Chuckie Egg, though with ducks. Peter Clarke’s soundtrack is a playful one.

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 composed most of his SID tunes for Zeppelin Games in the early 1990s.

All will be revealed tomorrow.

S.V., 13 December 2016.

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