The Dreamstone was an animated series broadcast in the Central TV catchment area of the United Kingdom from 1990 to 1995.
Averaging 4 million viewers per episode at its height, the show followed the conflict between two parallel universes. There was the Land of Dreams, where Noops lived, and the Land of Nightmares, where Urpneys did. It was the age-old conflict of good over evil, of Noop versus Urpney.
Ozzy Osbourne, future heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno, and beloved comedian Billy Connolly all strayed into this wonderful world of Noops, Urpneys, Wottles, Argorribles, and Frazznats.
The Wombles’ creator and composer Mike Batt had asked the improbable trio to record a song for the show, and lo and behold, it happened. Released on 7″ vinyl, picture disc, and cassingle, The Urpney Song features the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Incredible as it may seem, it didn’t even make the top 100.
We’re not saying The Urpney Song is fantastic, but it’s not horrible, either. In spite of a distinct creak in Ozzy’s voice as he reaches for the upper notes, it is quite upbeat, with horns that parp royally, strings that soar and swirl, and a trio of singers that play with exuberant gusto. I wouldn’t say it’s on par with the music from Fiddler on the Roof, but it’s certainly more enjoyable than the score to No Bone Movies.
The Urpney Song was renamed The War Song Of The Urpneys for its inclusion on the soundtrack album for the film The Dreamstone, where it shared a track listing with Into the Sunset (performed by Batt and Welsh songstress Bonnie Tyler) and The Vile Bros Mountain Band (including famous “Chirpy Cockney” singer Joe Brown and later-disgraced glam rock icon Gary Glitter) (when the soundtrack was re-released by Batt in 2009, this song was omitted).
However, the Dreamstone name endures. A Kickstarter effort was launched around the end of last year to raise money for a collection of 30th Anniversary miniatures(opens in new tab), which would allow fans to purchase their very own Noops. Just before the holidays, Batt proudly described Ozzy, Bruno, and Connolly as his “temporary bandmates” and uploaded a photo of the four of them together.