Ten Tracks Today – A 1960s Special – 1st September 2011


01 – “Concert Overture” – ExodusErnest Gold

For years I only had the Buddha Records release of the original and, although I love the theme, it was a struggle to listen to any of the cues because of the quality of the audio. Then came along Tadlow’s re-recording and the old release could be consigned to the back of the cupboard. This suite is a nice summary of the score.

02 – “Shook Up Fuzz / Mac Let’s Talk” – The SplitQuincy Jones

What a cool track this is! It’s almost musical doodling but it retains a suspenseful dynamic the film score demands. Reminds me a lot of Lalo Schifrin’s early Dirty Harry scores. The latter half of the track picks up a sense of urgency and features some funky rhythms and electric guitar.

03 – “Overture” – The 4 Horsemen of The ApocalypseAndré Previn

A very raw and edgy start to this suite before it features the obligatory romantic theme. I wouldn’t say the themes have remained particularly popular but are nice to be reminded of when listening to this. The strings of the romantic theme reminds me somehow of Hugo Friedhofer.

04 – “Titles” – YojimboMasaru Satō

After a bit of a preamble we hear a grand fanfare as we see “Yojimbo” and this is followed by one of the finest themes composed for film. Played on strings with a jaunty rhythm backing we see the Samurai (but only from the back). It’s a great way to introduce a character, a large extent through the music.

05 – “First Pair” – SpartacusAlex North

This is from the recent remarkable release of North’s score. A sombre drum beat paces slowly with snare drums and a mournful theme on strings. Not the usual bombast that can be associated with this score. To my mind, beautiful stuff indeed.

06 – “News of The Massacre / Rorke’s Drift Threatened” – ZuluJohn Barry

Any track that has the theme for this movie in it is bound to make onto my “favourites” playlist and this cue contains a strong and bold version followed by a more subdued itteration.

07 – “Finale” – Curse of The WerewolfBenjamin Frankel

I find this track exciting, frenetic but also quite difficult to listen to. It seems to me to be quite a modern piece of music and not the usual kind of film music. Perhaps a reflection on Hammer’s confidence in the composer they used and their confidence on their own style rather than pleasing the audience (at least when it comes to music used in their films.) A great version this one from Carl Davis and the RLPO on the Naxos label.

08 – Excerpt from The Twilight Zone: DustJerry Goldsmith

Quite a spare tracks this with strumming guitar and what sounds like a harmonica (but not quite sounding like one!) An atmospheric track that doesn’t really develop, it just is.

09 – “Viens, Le Chien!” – Alexandre et BienheureuxVladimir Cosma

The recent releases of two boxed sets of many of Cosma’s scores for a very reasonable price (at least as a digital purchase) has led to the discovery of numerous scores of his that are worth hearing. This is a lush little cue that would brighten any dull mood.

10 – “Honorable Batman” – BatmanNeal Hefti

The car horn blaring horns and the whole rhythm spell out the Batman theme without being too explicit. A funky track this one that plays as a independent instrumental song – probably the objective as I think this was re-recorded for release as an LP.

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