considering the scores for movie Westerns, film music collectors often refer to
classics such as Max Steiner's The Searchers, Dimitri Tiomkin's Rio Bravo or Victor
Young's Shane, all of which are, of course, fabulous scores. Monstrous Movie Music
have again, (and in keeping with their refreshing style), ventured into new
territories with the release of Paul Dunlap’s Western score to Hellgate (1952)
(MMM-1972). Rather surprisingly, this CD marks the first full release to
feature Dunlap’s film music. The composer was incredibly prolific throughout
his career scoring diverse projects which spanned from many of The Three
Stooges movies to the cult classic AIP horrors including the Teenage
Frankenstein/Werewolf series of films. For a B movie western, there was something
a little different about Hellgate – it was really rather good! Hellgate was
directed by Charles Marquis Warren, a tough all-rounder who would go on to
produce the popular TV series Rawhide. The film boasted a strong, testosterone
fuelled cast featuring Sterling Hayden, James Arness and Ward Bond.Hayden plays a veterinarian who is wrongly
convicted of guerrilla activities shortly after the Civil War. The prison camp is tough and he has to survive
the sadistic commandant (Bond), a cruel guard (Robert Wilke), and deceitful
prisoners like Arness. Throw in some Pima Indians (who patrol the canyon walls)
in order to catch any escapees for a reward, prisoner punishment that involves
being baked in metal coffins or whipped within an inch of their lives and you
have a Western story that is well above the expected standard of Poverty Row
Lippert Pictures. Dunlap’s music is incredibly dramatic throughout, but it
isn’t your regular western score. His main theme begins with heavy brass and
drums, but slips into a more solemn, string based theme before it builds gently
and provides a sense of hope. It sets the tone perfectly and emphasises the
film’s opposing themes of hatred vs. forgiveness. Tracks such as “Kearne Makes
Lunge at Nye” illustrate Dunlap’s ability to create genuine excitement by
employing his full range of brass and string sections. Quality, for the best
part of this score, is highly acceptable. MMM took the decision to release
Dunlap’s original recordings in place of re-recording his score, which I
believe was the correct option. Whilst there is some minor noise (from the
surviving acetates) evident on a handful of tracks, it does not detract or
spoil the acoustic soundscape and naturally maintains the composer’s original
work. As a bonus, Monstrous movie music has generously included Dunlap’s excellent
score for The Lost Continent (1951). A simple enough story, The Lost Continent
successfully merged two fantasy elements, combining rocket ships with roaming
dinosaurs on a south pacific island. Making good use of an increased budget,
Dunlap was able to employ a 47 piece orchestra, and it was warranted – given
the enormity of aircraft, rockets, natural disasters and battling monsters that
confronted the composer. The result was a highly enjoyable score, and whilst
some of the music has been lost in time, the 28mins of music included here make
this a CD that is hard to ignore. We can only hope that there is a lot more of
Paul Dunlap’s music to come. Included is a great 20 page booklet that covers
just about every aspect of the music, composer and the film, all written (in
exquisite detail) by David Schecter.
its heavy percussion based main title, She Demons (1958) (MMM-1971) opens with
a sense of heart pounding excitement and sets the tone for what is to follow.
Nicholas Carras’s jungle-based score is threaded with dramatic cues of which
the composer makes impressive use of his 22 piece orchestra. Whist She Demons
(as a movie) was never going to attain the title of ‘classic’, Carras’s music,
as is often the case, promotes the film to a higher level. Cues such as Escape
and Nazis in Pursuit make excellent use of the orchestra’s brass and string
section. Carras provides a hopeful, triumphant end title that runs concurrent
with a few lonesome drum beats which provides continuity with the film’s
central themes. For an isolated island movie (occupied by scantily clad girls,
caged mutant women and Nazis) they probably don’t come any better than this.
MMM have previously delighted us with a couple of superb Carras scores such as
Missile to the Moon and Frankenstein’s Daughter. Their commitment to the
composer’s work has proven to be a fruitful decision as She Demons is certainly
one of his most accomplished scores.
Doubling up very nicely with She Demons is
Guenther Kauer’s score to another low budget slice of sci-fi, The Astounding
She-Creature (1957). If Carras’s score for She Demons was impressive, Kauer’s
is simply enlightening. Granted, Kauer’s score was recorded using a 45 piece
orchestra and as a result, the sound is a great deal richer. Perhaps more
remarkably, Kauer sent his 33 minute written score to a friend in Germany who
conducted and recorded the music (performed beautifully by The Stuttgart
Symphony Orchestra) without screening the actual film. Cue timings were sent,
but it often meant that final cues were not always precise. However, what emerged
was a wonderful sounding score. Ronnie Ashcroft’s rather poor film succumbed to
many edits and, as a result, the final music mix suffered. Thankfully, all of
Kauer’s score is delivered here and is an orchestral delight. It is a
beautifully crafted and intelligently written composition that really has no
right to accompany such a lacklustre movie. Like many sci-fi classics, there is
an undeniable ambiance that is certainly Herrmannesque in its delivery, and
that can’t be a bad thing. Included is a super 20 page booklet that covers just
about every aspect of the music, composer and the film, all written (in
exquisite detail) by David Schecter.
La-La Land has released Jerry Goldsmith's original soundtrack score for the 1968 Western Bandolero as a limited edition CD. The release includes the original album originally released on vinyl as well as never-before-released tracks. Curiously, the cover art depicts James Stewart and Dean Martin - though Raquel Welch is not depicted. On the original album, Martin could not be depicted because his image could only be used on Reprise Records during that period. The same thing occurred with the soundtrack for Lady in Cement- which could not depict the film's star Frank Sinatra. To order the album click here
Contributing writer Nick Anez supplies us with the following facts:
Regarding the notice of the new Bandolero CD soundtrack on the Cinema Retro website, I have the original LP album. It is true, as the article states, that Dean Martin is not depicted on the album's cover. But what is even stranger is that his name is not even mentioned. On both the front and back of he album, the cast is listed as "James Stewart, Raquel Welch, George Kennedy in Bandolero." The album has a gatefold cover and opens out. Inside are six photos from the film, none of Martin There is also a complete summary of the story. As each character's name is mentioned, the name of the actor portraying him or her is mentioned afterward in parentheses - except for Martin's character. No actor is listed for his character. It's ridiculous. Dean probably couldn't have have cared less.
Retro Responds: Thanks for the interesting facts, Nick....Sinatra's name wasn't used on the Lady in Cement soundtrack, either, if we recall correctly. Talk about stringent adherence to contractual terms!
Intrada Records has announced the premiere of Jerry Goldsmith original soundtrack scores for two great Frank Sinatra films: Von Ryan's Express and The Detective. Both scores appear on the same special edition CD. For details click here to order from Screen Archives.
The web site SpyVibe informs us that some ultra groovy 60's spy soundtracks from classic TV series are being made available...some in glorious mono! Among them is a repressing of the original soundtrack from The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. Click here for more info
Screen Archives has released Jerry Fielding's Oscar-nominated score for Sam Peckinpah's 1969 classic The Wild Bunch as a 3-CD special edition with the complete score, remastered soundtrack album and collector's booklet.
Click on image above to order from La-La Land Records.
Writer Thomas Vinciguerra pays homage to the legendary themes from the original Star Trek in conjunction with a major boxed set of soundtrack CDs from the series released by La-La Land Records.. Click here to read the Wall Street Journal article.
The 1976 Dino De Laurentiis remake ofKing Kong(starring Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange) was one of the first scores John Barry composed after settling in Los Angeles from his native England. Although the composer was forced to write quickly due to production delays, he provided a powerful score that reflects both the film’s exotic adventure setting and the love story at its emotional center.
An unusual variety of melodic ideas to characterize Kong and a strong romantic theme endow the score with a lush sensuality and emotional poignancy that balances the harsher and more horrific elements. Barry’s music ranges from the primitive dances of island natives to the soft saxophone strains of contemporary romance without missing a beat.
FSM released the 1976 Reprise Records album master of King Kong in 2005 when no additional material was available. But now, with the cooperation of Paramount Pictures, we are able to premiere John Barry’s complete score newly mixed and mastered from the 2" 24- and 16-track masters on the first disc of this 2CD Deluxe Edition. We again present the album master on disc 2, augmenting it with several film alternates to make this the most complete possible representation of Barry’s effort.
Informative notes by John Takis, numerous film stills and dynamic original poster art comprise FSM’s colorful 20-page booklet.
If viewers of King Kong care about the hulking creature, it is in no small part because Barry makes them care. Through his art, painstakingly preserved and lovingly presented on this 2CD set, listeners are able to see past the mask of the monster to the infinitely lonely soul locked within.
The Molly Maguires was director Martin Ritt's gritty look at Irish coal miners working in Pennsylvania in the 19th century. The film was a costly financial flop despite starring Sean Connery and Richard Harris, but that doesn't diminish its merits as an excellent film. One of the best aspects of the movie is Henry Mancini's wonderful score. Click here to listen
WARNING SHOT and other themes composed by
Jerry Goldsmith - SI ZENTNER
Vocalion is a company whose soundtracks feature regularly in our printed
version of Cinema Retro. Just missing the deadline on this occasion are two
superb debut releases, one of which includes Jerry Goldsmith’s excellent score
(performed by Si Zentner) for Warning Shot (1967). Originally released on LP
(LST 7498), Vocalion’s new CD (CDLK 4470) has smartly doubled up the release to
include Si Zentner’s 1964 album From Russia With Love (originally released LP
LST 7353). Warning Shot is a relatively short score, but as with the original
album, it includes some great interpretations of Goldsmith favourites such as
the Von Ryan march, The Prize, A Patch of Blue and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Warning Shot is a film that generally tends to slip under the radar. However,
it’s a neat little thriller starring the ever reliable David Janssen and a host
of other great character performers. Made in the 1967, it came to Janssen
during the same year that his enormously successful TV series The Fugitive
entered its final season. Goldsmith’s music plays perfectly as an accompaniment
to this minor action thriller. The composer’s score in its original form has
never been released on any format, but Zentner’s arrangement does a highly
capable job of capturing the essence of Goldsmith’s composition. As always,
Vocalion have dressed this release to replicate the original album, adapting
the LP artwork to also incorporate Zentner’s From Russia with Love sleeve. From
Russia with Love (as with Warning Shot) contains a straight remastered version
of the album content. Its twelve tracks include a superb array of crime jazz themes
from the day including Burkes Law, Mr Lucky, Dragnet, The Third Man, Peter
Gunn, Charade and the aforementioned The Fugitive. Vocalion’s latest CD
provides a cracking stereo mix and again proves that modern day collectors are
only too eager in welcoming these charismatic crime jazz classics from the
past. Keep ‘em coming!
WAR MOVIE THEMES – GEOFF LOVE and his Orchestra
year Vocalion made the smart move to begin re-releasing the extremely popular
series of MFP albums from the 1970s by Geoff Love and his Orchestra. Recent
releases included Big Terror Movie Themes, Big Suspense Themes and Bond Movies.
Now, Vocalion have released one of the most popular titles in the series, BIG
WAR MOVIE THEMES (CDLK 4468). The original 1971 LP (MFP 5171) has arguably
become an iconic image. Culturally, and perhaps because of its original budget
price, the album found its way into thousands of vinyl collections across the
UK. Making its debut on CD, BIG WAR THEMES has lost none of its power to
thrill. Unlike similar cover compilations (which had a tendency to sound either
weak or tipped in comparison), these beautifully recorded themes retain an epic
and sumptuous edge. Love and his Orchestra are clearly on top of their game and
one can only imagine the brisling atmosphere that immersed Studio 1 at the
Abbey road studios. The album offers a generous collection of the most
memorable war themes including Ron Goodwin’s Where Eagles Dare, Battle of
Britain and 633 Squadron, Dimitri Tiomkin’s The Guns of Navarone and Maurice
Jarre’s enigmatic Lawrence of Arabia. A wonderful remastering job provided by
Michael J Dutton helps propel this vintage recording to a worthy high end,
professional standard. As a bonus, Vocalion have also doubled up on this CD and
included Geoff Love’s 1972 album BIG CONCERTO MOVIE THEMES. Originally released
on LP (MFP 5261), the album concentrates on the cinematic use of classical
themes. As one would expect, there is a more serious edge to this collection of
music. However, it remains a glorious reminder of how the influences of
classical composers and their works have lived on through cinema history.
Vocalion’s continued commitment to these long lost classic albums is certainly
worthy of the highest respect. - Darren Allison, Cinema Retro Soundtrack
La La Land Records has issued a 2-CD original soundtrack recording of Dimitri Tiomkin's score for the 1963 epic 55 Days at Peking. The Samuel Bronston film remains woefully underrated in its telling of the rebellion by the Chinese Boxer movement against American and European governments that they perceived had encroaching influence in China. The resulting clash saw the U.S. and European garrisons fighting against overwhelming odds. The film, which mingles the merits of the political stances of both sides with major battle sequences, starred Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner and David Niven. Tiomkin's wonderful score can now be enjoyed in its true glory- but you'd better hurry. This is limited to only 2500 units. Click here to order
The label Buysoundtrax has released James Horner's score for Roger Corman's 1980 sci-fi movie Battle Beyond the Stars as a limited edition CD. The film starred Richard Thomas, Robert Vaughn and George Peppard. Only 1,000 CDs have been pressed. Click here to order from Film Score Monthly,.
Peter Collinson’s directorial career may have been cut
tragically short (he died of cancer at the age of 44), but the British born
director left an indelible mark in cinema during the latter half of the 1960s.
Collinson made a powerful debut with the disturbing The Penthouse (1967), a
film which caused Film Review magazine to comment, ‘quite brilliantly
achieved.’ In 1969 his contribution to cinema would become eternally cemented
with the classic The Italian Job, a film that turned Michael Caine’s popular
Charlie Croker into a movie legend. In between these two projects, Collinson
directed the gritty drama Up the Junction (1968). The film centred on a mixed
class romance between middle-class Polly (Suzy Kendall) and working-class Peter
(Dennis Waterman). Most of Up the Junction’s soundtrack (RPM 189) was written
by Mike Hugg and Manfred Man. It may have been perceived by some as a
bold move on Collinson’s part, but the director was more than happy with the
eventual outcome, ‘The result was incredible’ Collinson said. ‘They had
captured the heart of the picture. Their music belonged to the picture, it was
not superimposed.’ The music has a mellow mix of harmonious songs and
instrumentals which capture perfectly the heady social movement of swinging London. The film’s main
theme, which was also released as a single (Feb 3rd 1968), contained
the B-side track Sleepy Hollow, a song that failed to make it to the original
soundtrack album. However, RPM records have included this rarity on the CD as a
welcome bonus track. The fold out sleeve notes are very informative and contain
a nice selection of tie in memorabilia as well as a choice of both original U.K. and U.S. album art. Up the Junction’s
is a great slice of 60s social history and representative of London’s cultural past. Check it out for
yourself at http://rpmrecords.co.uk
If you like music from vintage spy thrillers, you should check out the Poker / Cherry Red Records release James Bond in Action / Themes for Secret Agents (DeckCD2 007). This is another inspired and excellently produced double CD set. Featuring the great Roland Shaw and his Orchestra, the release is packed with tracks from four of his original Decca / London albums, James Bond in Action (1965), Themes for Secret Agents (1966), World of James Bond Adventure (1971) and Phase 4 World of Spy Thrillers (1971). Shaw had the unique ability to add a certain gloss and excitement to an already established exciting sound. The much respected British orchestral arranger was a prolific worker, with a reputation and passion for high quality music. This new release showcases that passion rather perfectly. For anyone perhaps unfamiliar with Shaw’s important contribution to the genre, this is arguably the finest way of discovering it. The audio reproduction over the CD’s mammoth 37 tracks is nothing short of crisp, clean and clinical. The result of which stands as a testament to Shaw’s experiments in Phase 4 stereo. The CD packaging provides a brief, but informative piece on Shaw and includes a couple of nice full page reproductions of Decca’s original album art. Essential listening for both fans of the genre and soundtrack enthusiasts in general; you’d certainly feel a lot better for adding this set to your collection. For more information check it out at www.cherryred.co.uk
The Monster that challenged the World (Monstrous Movie Music Label #MMM-1961) is a film that refuses to fade away. A firm favourite from the 1950s big monster cycle, (or the big caterpillar variety to be precise), The Monster that Challenged the World (1957) is fondly remembered and continues to find new audiences. Arriving for the first time on CD, the score has remained high on many ‘wanted’ lists. The soundtrack’s composer Heinz Roemheld had won an Academy Award for his work on the James Cagney classic Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). However, his work on Universal classics such as Dracula’s Daughter, The Black Cat, The Invisible Man, The Mole People and The Creature Walks Among Us, would always see him welcomed back to the popular genre with open arms. The score is a good dramatic piece of work, there is little in the way of gentle underscoring, even though the film has more dialogue than most other monster movies. Instead, the music is more purposeful, almost intent on advancing forward. It’s evident that the recording sessions remained free of any real budgetary restraints, and as a result the music attains a level far above its B movie grade. Monstrous Monster Music has again applied their extraordinary dedication in producing an excellent trilogy of essential monster mayhem.
Project Moon Base (MMM-1960) from the Monstrous Movie Music label is an exciting score and one of the earliest to feature the sci-fi signature sound of the Theremin. Made in 1953, Project Moon Base began life as an intended television series. It wasn’t until about a week into shooting that the decision was made to turn it into a theatrical movie. As a result, the film suffered in terms of the production values, a point accentuated when it was shown on cinema screens. However, composer Herschel Burke Gilbert’s score seemed to sustain a rather better longevity than the film itself. Gilbert was highly inventive when it came to recording the score. Working to a very tight budget, and with very few musicians, Gilbert employed an amplification technique in order to make the sound larger. Gilbert’s use of electronic bass also helped to produce a rather unique and strange sound quality. The composer’s flair for creativity clearly shines through and stands as fine example of brilliance over budget. The CD also includes Gilbert’s powerhouse score for the crime thriller Open Secret. It is also worth mentioning that Gilbert’s score for this movie became so popular, that certain cues were revived for the opening season of George Reeves’ 1950s TV series The Adventures of Superman. Overall, it’s a handsomely produced package that will no doubt appeal to fans of the genre.
Classic sci-fi and horror form the basis of two very popular soundtrack genres. My good friend David Schecter of Monstrous Movie Music recently sent me some of their new releases starting off with It! The Terror from Beyond Space (MMM-1959). The CD is part of their current series of Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtracks. Often cited as the original inspiration behind Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979), Edward L. Cahn’s tautly directed 1958 film, remains a favourite among fans and perceived by some as a minor classic of the genre. Marking its first ever soundtrack release, and in its entirety, the score stands up well as an excellent example of evoking both a sense of threat and foreboding. Composed by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter, the music offers both a subtlety in conveying the isolation of space, and an intense attacking style, reserved for the film’s more dramatic sequences. The score benefits from an array of inventive electronic sounds, courtesy of Jack Cookerly’s delightful ‘magic box’, the history of which, makes for an extremely enjoyable read and included among the extensively detailed 16 page booklet. The disc includes 26 tracks in all, 2 of which come in the form of bonus tracks. Great fun and great to see this score finally released.
With the restrictive nature of deadlines for our printed magazine, it is perhaps inevitable that I often receive some terrific releases after the deadline date. Last month was particularly frustrating, as there were many excellent CDs which I would have clearly wished to feature. Here is a new release that didn't make it into the magazine by deadline time.Themes for Super Heroes / Big Terror Movie Themes (Vocalion CDSML 8476) is a truly wonderful compilation of two classic albums. If the album covers do look familiar, you may spotted them on those rotary stands that were often to be found in the record department of most Woolworth stores. Who knows, like me you may have even paid out your £1.25 in order to own these super pieces of vinyl. First released on the MFP (Music for Pleasure) label in 1976, Big Terror is a magical time capsule of cinema sounds. Including some incredibly funky re-recordings of themes such as Jaws, The Eiger Sanction, Earthquake, Three Days of the Condor and Death Wish to name just a few, the albums proved incredibly popular. Arriving for the first time on CD, the audio quality is both fresh and ageless. The glorious album sleeve is also indicative of a time when cinema art was perceived as works of pure beauty.
Themes for Super Heroes arrived later in 1979, again on the MFP label. Equally, the album focused on popular themes (largely from TV) including The Incredible Hulk, The Six Million Dollar Man, Wonder Woman and a couple of nicely arranged tracks from Superman-The Movie. While the original artwork struggles to match the aesthetics of Big Terror, it is to Vocalion’s credit that they remained loyal to the albums original concept. Personally, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Naturally, much of the albums success was due to Geoff Love and his marvellous interpretations. Recorded at both the world famous Abbey road and Chappell studios in London, these recordings have never sounded better. Oliver Lomax has provided a definitive history behind these two releases in the form of a very well produced booklet. It’s not only a must have, but an incredibly long overdue release. Add this one to your collection and you’ll probably find yourself playing it over and over again.
The late, legendary film composer Maurice Jarre's soundtrack recordings for the Westerns Villa Rides! and El Condor have been released on a single CD. Here is background from the Screen Archives web site:
"A few months after my Oscar for Doctor Zhivago, Columbia contacted me to do The Professionals, and I literally fell off my chair. I thought I was too French to get involved in such a typically American genre as the western. To me, succeeding with this score amounted to getting a Hollywood certificate, proof that I belonged; it was a test, like a ragging in college..." Maurice Jarre was talking about his relationship to westerns, a genre which symbolizes American films, and the composer went on to work on eight full-length features. Among them were two pictures with very rare scores: Villa Rides! (never reissued on CD before now) and El Condor (which has never been available on any record). These are sister-scores, and the composer's taste for South-American rhythms bursts through them: lavish orchestrations and a whole range of wild percussion display the full range of Jarre's considerable imagination on his journey through the folk-music of Mexico and The Andes. Following the release of the boxed-set Le Cinéma de Maurice Jarre, this album contains the complete versions of two original soundtracks which, taken together, provide an accurate reflection of the singular rapport tying the composer of Lawrence of Arabia to the western, a genre where he was one of the great innovators. Maurice Jarre aficionados will love this CD, and so will anyone with nostalgic memories of Lee Van Cleef, Charles Bronson or Robert Mitchum on horseback.
Earl Hagen's super hip score for the classic 1960s TV series I Spy starring Robert Culp and Bill Cosby spawned two soundtrack albums back in the day. Those original vinyl masters have formed the basis of a new release from Film Score Monthly which combines them both onto one deluxe CD release- complete with extensive liner notes and rare photos. Click here to order
The good folks at Silva Screen Records have released composer Roy Budd's magnificent score for the 1978 film The Wild Geese on CD. The film, which starred Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris and Hardy Kruger, remains one of the great adventure movies of its era, centering on a mercenary mission into an African nation that results in deceit, double-crosses and some of the best action filmmaking director Andrew V. McGlaglen ever accomplished. Budd's score is integral to the film, and he created the kind of stirring, old-fashioned march music one never gets to hear in major movies today. (One track even includes actor Jack Watson's foul-mouthed insults as he mercilessly trains The Wild Geese for combat.) The CD also includes the wonderful title theme, composed and sung by Joan Armatrading. Silva Screen have outdone themselves with the usual deluxe packaging, in this case a booklet packed to the rafters with fascinating information about the film by Tony Earnshaw, who even gets fresh comments from the movie's producer Euan Lloyd. There are a wealth of rare photos included, as well. They don't make movies like The Wild Geese anymore, and we don't have have many composers the likes of Roy Budd. Kudos to Silva Screen for putting his work back in the spotlight.
The Ventures had a big hit back in the 1960s with their cover version of the title theme from Hawaii 5-0. However, if you long to hear composer Morton Stevens' entire original soundtrack album from the classic TV series, Film Score Monthly has it available for only $12.95. This is the complete album that was issued on vinyl during the show's original run. Click here to order and to listen to sample tracks. These may be in short supply, so book 'em, Dan-O!
The Intrada record label has released a three CD soundtrack of Elmer Bernstein's magnificent score for The Great Escape. Here is the official announcement:
Together in one package at nice price! 3-CD set includes classic original 1963 United Artists re-recorded album prepared by Elmer Bernstein when film was new, plus two-disc presentation of actual soundtrack. John Sturges directs legendary WWII POW classic with Steve McQueen leading cast, solidifying status as iconic loner character on screen. James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, James Coburn amongst fellow POWs. Motorcycle sequence with McQueen outriding pursuers is an action cinema landmark - Bernstein's music throughout sequence is unparalled display of rhythmic orchestral energy! Intrada presents soundtrack from same 1/4" two-track stereo session elements as earlier Varese Sarabande limited release but newly re-masters them to remove annoying tape print-through that plagued loud sections of earlier version. 1963 UA album mastered from original 1/2" three-channel stereo masters. Informative notes from Nick Redman illuminate impact of McQueen on film & audience plus offer details about real escape incident film is based on. A genuine film and score classic back in print for new generations. Elmer Bernstein conducts both recordings. - Douglass Fake, Intrada Producer
Sonny Rollins' classic score for Alfie is among the gems played on the El Diabolik podcast site.
We were just made aware of El Diabolik's World of Psychotronic Soundtracks. We'll let Duncan, who runs the podcast site, describe what they do:
"We play soundtracks from all over the world, mainly from the 60's through to the 80's. Horror, Italian crime, British Cult, French Crime, Blaxploitation, Beat, Giallo, Bollywood, Sexploitation, Fung Fu, and just plain classic soundtracks. The latest show is a German special. We're far from professionals, we do this for fun and hope others enjoy the music with us. I try and play nearly all the music from the original vinyl pressings where possible." Click here to visit site.
The Big Boss (aka The Fists of Fury) was the film which launched Bruce Lee’s international film career. Director Lo Wei’s movie premiered in Hong Kong in 1971, but its international success arrived some time later. The German distributor (Cinerama) tried to subtly adapt the film to western visual habits. This was done mainly through an altered soundtrack. It was supposed that the original score of Chinese composer Wang Fu-ling would would appeal only to Lee's core fans in Asia and would have little appeal in Western nations.
This proved to be the moment when Peter Thomas came into play. He had been commissioned to conceive the new soundtrack. As a result, his music can be heard in the film worldwide with the exception of China and England. So Thomas’ soundtrack virtually became the most identified score of The Big Boss. It is striking the way in which Thomas successfully integrates his music into the oriental cinematic milieu. The snappy main theme alone, with its stunning brass motif, has become eternal in its very essence. Some 37 years on, Chris’ Soundtrack Corner and All Score Media have released this music on CD for the very first time. Spread over 20 razor sharp sounding tracks, Thomas’ music bristles with energy, some of which benefit from the pleasing use of 70’s style electronic sound effects. Like the legend himself, this CD is fast, furious and slicker than slick!
Film Score Monthly have released Leonard Rosenman' score for the 1970 film A Man Called Horse on CD. The new release includes the complete vinyl soundtrack album that was issued in conjunction with the film, as well as bonus tracks and cues. Richard Harris starred as an Englishman captured by an Indian tribe. He manages to survive unspeakable rituals of torture and becomes a full-fledged brave in the tribe. For more click here
released to tie-in with the new big Hollywood 2011 version of The Green Hornet, this soundtrack CD
released by Harkit Records in England
features the music from the original Sixties TV show starring Van Williams and
Bruce Lee. The series, which was produced by William Dozier, the man behind the
hit show Batman, was originally
intended to fill a one-hour time slot, but was eventually aired by Fox as 26
half-hour episodes. Made with the same flair and quality as Batman, The Green Hornet failed to grab the audience’s attention in the
same way the caped crusader did. This was due, in part, to the fact that it
wasn’t so “comic bookish” in its approach, and didn’t have such crazy villains
as its predecessor. That said, the show boasted ‘Black Beauty’, the Hornet’s gadget-laden
car designed by Dean Jeffries, some excellent plot lines, and the talents of
the then unknown martial arts expert, Bruce Lee. Although not a hit back in
1966, the show has a cult following today.
‘Big Band’ jazz-inspired score was by Billy May, who was also responsible for
the TV shows The Mod Squad, Emergency! and C.H.I.P.S. May worked closely with Al Hirt, the renowned trumpeter,
adapting the Rimsky-Korsakov piece ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ as the Green
Hornet’s theme. This album, which has been available before, comes with sixteen
vibrant musical tracks and now includes an excerpt from the original 1940’s
“Hit and Run” episode from ‘The Green Hornet’ radio show, and a complete
specially adapted episode: “The Canine Culprit”, narrated by Jackson Beck.
is a nice addition to those who love TV shows of the era. Good to see Retro’s
very own Martin Gainsford responsible for writing the very informative liner
For those of you familiar with the British television series Doctor Who, which was rebooted by the BBC and writer Russell T. Davies back in 2004, you will, no doubt, be aware of the huge contribution the music made to the series success. Composed by Murray Gold and ably assisted by conductor Ben Foster and the services of The BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the score to the show has raised the bar in what one expects to hear on a TV show today. To say that Gold’s compositions are good, and perfectly suited to the show, is simply an inadequate description. His music is superb, and far superior to some of the music scores of big Hollywood productions seen on the big screen today.
Previously, Silva Screen Records have released in conjunction with the BBC, four CD’s encompassing the four series made up until 2009, with a fifth – series five – due next. However, this new release features music from the Doctor Who ‘Specials’: ‘The Next Doctor’, ‘Planet of the Dead’, ‘Waters From Mars’ and ‘The End of Time’. And, unlike the single releases, this is a 2-CD set - for the price of one. Well done Silva! There is some wonderful and masterly music on this set, with the tracks ‘Vale’, ‘The Greats of Past Time’, ‘Gallifrey’, ‘Song For Ten (reprise)’ standing out, in what is a brilliant selection of music from these shows. The music is both powerful and moving, can bring a shiver to your spine and a tear to your eyes. Gold really is a terrific and gifted composer. I wonder how long it will be before he gets the call to the big screen and the BBC won’t be able to afford his talents anymore. On a selfish note, I hope not for a long time.
Doctor Who Series 4: The Specials is currently available direct from www.silvascreen.com and Amazon and other good retail outlets.
Note: Silva have also released Series One (with ‘Rose’s Theme’ and the amazing ‘Doomsday’) and Two (which includes tracks from the specials; ‘The Christmas Invasion’ and ‘The Runaway Bride’) on a double-CD set, plus Series Three and Series Four (which includes the brilliant ‘Song of Freedom’ and ‘The Doctor’s Theme’) as single CD releases. All are highly recommended.
Dimitri Tiomkin's rousing score for the 1967 John Wayne/Kirk Douglas Western The War Wagon has finally been released on CD. It's the first time the soundtrack has been available in any format. The score includes Ed Ames singing the title track, The Ballad of the War Wagon. Intrada, which produced the new CD, has limited this to only 2,000 copies. Click here to order
We were saddened to hear that our friends at Movie Grooves, one of the UK's best sources for rare film soundtracks, is going out of business. There are precious few companies that specialize in film scores and Movie Grooves proved to be a terrific source for retro film fans worldwide. We wish them the best. Here is the statement sent by E mail from Movie Grooves:
We're sorry to announce that Movie Grooves will shortly
be closing down - for ever.
IMPORTANT: All pending
orders will be fulfilled before we close.
Please don't cancel any pending
orders or payments. We know that some of you are waiting for Tootsie and Outland
(and items you may have ordered whilst ordering those) and they WILL be sent to
you in due course. Tootsie and Outland are being held by our overseas supplier
and will be shipped to us shortly.
We will no longer be stocking or
taking pre-orders on any new or forthcoming releases or back catalogue items and
we are no longer selling any items full stop (or period, as
they say in the USA).
Movie Grooves is closing because I feel that it's
time for me to move on and do something different with my life. The business has
changed slightly to when I started out and, of course, the global financial
situation - whilst not being a direct reason for closing down - has affected
trading conditions and contributed to me making the decision to close. Yes,
there's a sadness at closing, but I know it's the right decision so I also have
an excitement at what possibilities the future holds (schmaltzy, but
I've had a great eight years or so running Movie Grooves. Movie
Grooves was something that had its gestation years and years ago with my love of
60s and 70s horror, cult and b-movies which then got me into the soundtracks
from those movies which then developed into a successful business during which
time I had the pleasure to meet some great people, gain some new friends and
also attend some fantastic related events. I even had a crack at DJing a few
times in clubs and also on the radio (thanks Jonny!) which was so much fun. I
also had the experience of running a successful business selling products I
loved and that provided a service to many like-minded and friendly people all
around the world.
I hope that I offered a good level of service -
something that was high on my list of priorities when starting out. And I hope
that every customer took pleasure from the CDs and LPs (and DVDs) that they
purchased from Movie Grooves over the years.
Many thanks to each and
every customer for your business and especially to the loyal band of regulars
(you know who you are!) - thanks!
All that's left to say is that as a
final send-off I'll be playing a selection of my favourite soundtrack/library
tracks on Jonny Trunk's 'OST' Radio show on Resonance FM on Saturday 25th
September from 4.30pm - 6.30pm UK time. I may be having a few drinks throughout,
hopefully lots of laughs and perhaps at points even crying like a small child so
it could be quite a funny/harrowing/interesting listen.
If you live in
London you can listen on 104.4 FM or if you live elsewhere on the planet and
have an internet connection you can listen live at http://resonancefm.com/listen - put it in your diary
For old times sake I'll probably be running a silly competition so
you could even win a few CDs, LPs or DVDs.
Film Score Monthly has released a special 2-CD soundtrack of Jerry Goldsmith's score for Peter Hyams' 1981 sci-fi film Outland. The loose remake of High Noon starred Sean Connery. This set includes the original soundtrack album vinyl release along with many unreleased tracks and cues. Click here to order
Movie Grooves, the soundtrack company in the UK, advises that a 4-CD soundtrack from Roger Moore's classic TV series The Saint is due out this month. The boxed set has extensive liner notes and contains Edwin Astley's score for all of the color seasons of the series. (Thanks to reader Bill Parisho for the heads up) For more click here
Quincy Jones has been a legend in the music industry for so long that it is often easy to forget that it was his soundtracks to high profile films that helped him gain his reputation. Among his outstanding achievements: scoring The Pawnbroker, In the Heat of the Night and The Anderson Tapes. Writer Michael Gonzales pays tribute to the master musician in an insightful article. Click here to read
Prometheus Records has released a 3 CD tribute to composer Dimitri Tiomkin's magnificent score for John Wayne's epic The Alamo. The new set is performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Nic Raine. The set will feature performances of Tiomkin's complete score, including previously unreleased material. There is also an abundance of bonus extras. For more info and sample audio tracks click here
The one-season wonder The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. is generally regarded as a bad idea, poorly executed and one that helped speed the demise of its superior big brother series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. However, the series did benefit from a charismatic cast - Stefanie Powers, Noel Harrison and Leo G. Carroll- and a fine musical score. The soundtrack, with music by Dave Grusin, is available on CD - and it features a bonus track: Jerry Goldsmith's Man From U.N.C.L.E. theme. Click here to order from Amazon.
Film Score Monthly has released a 2 CD special edition soundtrack of the MGM Cinerama classic The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm with music by Leigh Harline. As a bonus, the set includes the first ever release of Harline's music from the early Steve McQueen comedy The Honeymoon Machine. Click here to order
Released this week (Feb 8th) in time for this
weekend’s Valentine Day activities, Silva Screen’s My Twisted Valentine (SILED4495) is a superb anti-Valentine
compilation of film music for the more cynical amongst us.
From neurotic Marnie,
blood sucking Dracula and all-out war
of the sexes in Kill Bill to ‘train
wreck’ mentality of Betty Blue and the ‘bunny boiling’ Fatal Attraction, this CD has a great mix of movie themes. What I found most gratifying about this release is that it contains certain themes that I really like - but not quite
enough to make me want to purchase the original soundtrack CD just for the one title
track. Performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
and London Music Works, films featured include: Psycho, La Dolce Vita, Marnie, Eyes Wide Shut, Bram Stoker’s
Dracula, Bonnie and Clyde, Thelma and Louise, Fatal Attraction, Betty Blue,
Lolita, Rosemary’s Baby, Brokeback
Mountain, Vertigo and Twilight.
It’s worth buying just for the themes to Marnie, Rosemary’s Baby, Vertigo
and the La Dolce Vita suite, alone.
Go on, give it to the one you don’t
love on Valentine’s Day – they’ll love
you for doing so!
John Williams' terrific soundtrack to the 1977 classic thriller Black Sunday has been issued as a limited edition CD by Film Score Monthly. The film was directed by John Frankenheimer and starred Robert Shaw, Bruce Dern, Marthe Keller and Fritz Weaver. For more info click here
Kritzerland Records has released a very limited edition (1,000 copies) CD of Ernest Gold's classic soundtrack for It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The CD is a remastering of the original vinyl album along with bonus tracks never released before. This will sell out quickly! To order click here
Clint Eastwood’s son Kyle, a well-respected jazz musician in
his own right, has collaborated with Michael Stevens to produce a terrific
score for Invictus. However, ‘Dad’
lends a hand, and the opening song ‘9,000 Day’s was written by Eastwood Sr
along with Stevens and even has lyrics by Dina Eastwood (Clint’s wife) – talk
about keeping it in the family! The result is a highly impressive CD soundtrack
release. This is a magnificent score, and unlike Eastwood’s previous forays on Million Dollar Baby, Flags of Our Fathers, Changeling and Gran Torino - which were dramatic, dark and moody - this music,
like the film itself, is really uplifting. There are several songs in the film,
all performed by Overtone a South African acapella band that was discovered by
Dina Eastwood, who saw them in a show in Cape Town while her husband was
filming Invictus. The soundtrack is a
blend of traditional South African music mixed with an almost tribal chant/drum
beat sound and orchestral overtures. It’s powerful stuff, with vocalist
Yollandi Nortjie sounding very much (on ‘9,000 Days’) like Jamie Cullum’s song
for Gran Torino , with similar jazzy, bluesy vibes. As in previous
films, Clint Eastwood delivers one of his simplistic piano-based themes but
this time (in ‘Invictus Theme’) it is accompanied by a wonderful trumpet
underscore which, for this writer, is so reminiscent of the legendary Chet
Baker, and is a joy to hear. Kyle Eastwood and composer Michael Stevens have,
once again, produced a great sounding score – this time one that perfectly blends
a beautiful haunting cinematic theme with that of South African traditional
music. Highly recommended – and one of my favourite Eastwood scores to date.
It’s that time of year when everyone seems to have a ‘Ten Best Films of the Year’ list. As
this is the last year of the decade, we can also count on being
deluged with ‘Best Films of the Decade’ lists (mine will be coming; be
patient). Before I started writing about classic films for Cinema Retro, I primarily wrote about motion picture and television music.
So, for a change of pace I humbly offer ....
“Bruce’s Baker’s Dozen of Great Film Music: 2000-2009”.
1. A Scanner Darkly – Graham Reynolds
best score of the decade is a dazzling, haunting work from newcomer
Reynolds. The Austin based composer/performer brings all his
considerable skills to bear– he performs and composes jazz, rock, and
classical music- in this wholly original score. To date this is his
only major Hollywood assignment. If it were up to me, Reynolds would
be getting plum assignments like
Watchmen , The Incredible Hulk and 2012 instead of the bland , faceless composers who seem to score film after film. Wake Up Hollywood!
2. The Road To Perdition – Thomas Newman 3. Milk – Danny Elfman
4. & 5. A.I. - Artificial Intelligence & Minority Report John
Williams earns ‘Composer of the Decade’ for these two rich, evocative
scores. Director Steven Spielberg and Williams also teamed up
successfully for yet another science- fiction epic, the spectacular War of the Worlds. Incredibly, John Williams is still producing great music in his mid seventies!
6. Lassie - Adrian Johnston This
faithful and moving adaptation of the children’s classic barely
received a theatrical release in the UK or USA. Just as shameful, is
the lack of a soundtrack album. A beautiful score.
7. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron – Hans Zimmer This
overlooked and underrated animated film from DreamWorks is as good as
anything Disney or Pixar released (with the possible exception of Wall-E ). Along with the terrific score, it also contains the ‘Best Song of the Decade’, “ Sound the Bugle” performed Bryan Adams.
8. Miracle – Mark Isham This
inspiring and exciting sports film contains ‘The Most Memorable Musical
Moment of the Decade’ ; the walk to the ice by the USA Olympic hockey
team for their momentous match with the USSR. If this doesn’t give you
goosebumps, see a doctor!
9. Cast Away - Alan Silvestri The
score for this amazing film totals only 15 minutes yet makes a powerful
impact. Just goes to show you do not have to plaster wall-to-wall music
on every film.
10. A Beautiful Mind - James Horner 11. Thirteen Days - Trevor Jones 12. Rabbit Proof Fence - Peter Gabriel 13. Cold Mountain- Gabriel Yared
Intrada has released Jerry Goldsmith's score for the 1966 WWI epic The Blue Max as a 2500 limited edition CD for $19.95. The company gained access to elements of the score not previously released. For sample tracks and to order, click here. (Thanks to subscriber Rory Monteith for the head's up!)
For the first time ever, Alex North's soundtrack from William Wyler's 1961 film The Children's Hour has been released. The film starred Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn in one of the first major movies to deal overtly with the subject of lesbianism and the consequences of intolerance. To order the limited edition CD and read about the interesting way it finally came to be released, click here
La-La Land Records has released Les Baxter's score for Ray Milland's 1962 Cold War thriller Panic in the Year Zero. Milland directed and starred in the low-budget, but effectively made look at how one family takes desperate measures to survive after nuclear conflict has broken out between America and its enemies. This is a limited edition CD. Look for an article about this film in a future issue of Cinema Retro. Click here to order the CD and to play sample tracks.
fans familiar with Ernest Gold’s magnificent music from Otto Preminger’s film Exodus (1960) will be pleased to hear
that the entire score, which has never been released before, has been
re-recorded and is now available as a Special Limited Collectors Edition 2-CD
set. Although the original RCA soundtrack album was a huge success in its day,
and won a Grammy Award for “Best Soundtrack”, it was not complete, and suffered
from poor sound quality. This CD by Tadlow Music is the first to feature Gold’s
entire score, reconstructed from his original sketches (including unused cues
and bonus tracks). Recorded with The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and
conducted by Nic Raine, it really is (pardon the pun) “music to my ears” as I
listen to it over and over again whilst designing the next issue of Retro
magazine here in my office. The reason why it is a 2-disc set was because
producer James Fitzpatrick realized there was too much for one CD, but not
enough to fill two, so he added tracks (by Gold) from It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Ship of Fools, and Judith. There are also Bonus sections,
including a suite from the hit TV mini-series QB VII (Jerry Goldsmith), two tracks from Schindler’s List (John Williams), and two tracks from Cast A Giant Shadow (Elmer Bernstein).
All are re-recordings. Another bonus is two video sequences showing the
orchestra during the recording sessions! Distributed by our good friends at
Silva Screen Records, this CD is available in all good music stores now, or go
to www.tadlowmusic.com who will ship
it anywhere in the world post free for just £16.95!
Composer Lalo Schifrin is releasing his soundtrack to the 1976 adventure film Sky Riders on his own label, Aleph Records on July 28. The movie is a largely forgotten, but very under-rated, top-notch action saga with Robert Culp as an American industrialist living in Greece, whose wife (Susannah York) and young children are kidnapped by terrorists who hold them in a virtually inaccessible mountaintop retreat. When police efforts to rescue them fail, Culp turns to his wife's eccentric former husband, a soldier-of-fortune played by James Coburn, who devises an audacious plot to penetrate the terrorist lair using his team of hang-gliders. The film affords some spectacular aerial photography over Greece, and the action is complimented by one of Schifrin's best (but least-heard) scores of the 1970s. The Maestro combines invigorating action themes with traditional Greek music to give the CD a unique quality. Now if we can just convince Fox to finally release this worthy movie on DVD...To order the soundtrack, click here
La-La Land Records has released Elmer Bernstein's immortal score for the classic comedy hit Airplane! The CD comes complete with a 20 page collectible booklet containing comments from the filmmakers. Click here for more details and to hear sample tracks - and don't call me Shirley!