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John O'Connor (musician): Wikis


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John O'Connor (born ca. 1949[1]) is a television composer and recording artist from London, of Irish descent, who lives and works in California since 1987.



Early years (1970s and 1980s)

John started in the 1970s by setting up his own recording studio in Walthamstow, North London, called Bark Studios[2]. After 10 years he became more interested in playing music then simply recording it, so he became a session musician and played guitar for artists like Maddy Prior, Rick Kemp, Isla St Clair and Bucks Fizz.[3]


The Firm (1982/87)

But his biggest success stories in the 1980s were two television-themed novelty songs that no record label wanted to release, that he subsequently published on his own label and that eventually became hits.

Early in the 1980s he wrote a song based on the Minder character Arthur Daley, but no record label wanted it, so he printed the single himself under the name The Firm and Arthur Daley 'E's Alright) made the Top Ten in the UK in 1982.

Later he wrote with Graham Lister a song about Star Trek, yet again no record company wanted it, but he felt confident enough about the song, so he used the name of his studio, Bark, again as his label and put out Star Trekkin' on his own. The single went on to spend two weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart[4] and became the ninth best-selling single of 1987 in the UK, selling more than a million copies worldwide.[3]

All singles and more songs were later released on an album called Serious Fun.[5]

Eko (1989/96)

The success allowed him to move to California, where he started recording again, this time in the new age direction under the name Eko, making four albums for Higher Octave Music between 1989 and 1996. The first album, Future Primitive (1989), reached the Billboard Top Ten of New Age Albums and sold about 75000 copies. The following albums (Logikal in 1992, Alter Eko in 1994 and Celtica in 1996) each sold significantly less, about 30000 copies each.[3]

King of the Hill (since 1997)

Eventually, in January 1997, Judgemental Films invited him and several other composers to create the music for a new animated television series, King of the Hill. After the first season he became one of three composers that write all music for the hit show and he continues to do that to this day.[3] In 1998 he won the BMI TV Music Award, together with Roger Neill and Lance Rubin for their work on King of the Hill.[6]


  1. ^ Tingen, Paul (December 1998). "John O'Connor: From 'Star Treking' to King of the Hill". Sound on Sound. SOS Publications Group. Retrieved 2009-10-17. "Here I am at 49..."  
  2. ^ Bark Studio continues to operate, now as base for producer Brian O'Shaughnessy. See Retrieved 2009-10-17.
  3. ^ a b c d Tingen, Paul (December 1998). "John O'Connor: From 'Star Treking' to King of the Hill". Sound on Sound. SOS Publications Group. Retrieved 2009-10-17.  
  4. ^ "Chart Stats - The Firm - Star Trekkin'". Retrieved 2009-10-17.  
  5. ^ "Firm, The - Serious Fun (master release)". Discogs. Retrieved 2009-10-17.  
  6. ^ "BMI Film/TV Awards: 1998". 1998. Retrieved 2009-10-17.  

External links


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