Thursday, November 30, 2006


From the late film music board I got these extraordinary Intrada release of music from the TV series Amazing Stories.

Now was this link worth the week of waiting for new posts on my blog or what ??? :)
Enjoy the music by composers like Goldsmith, Williams, Delerue and many others.

Many thanks to the original uploader. If anyone has the link to Vol. 2, please share it.

Vol. 1 (2 CDs):

Jerry Goldsmith's FLIM-FLAM MAN

A great score from 1967 by the late film music master Jerry Goldsmith. "A Girl Named Sooner" is from 1975.

1. The Flim-Flam Man: Main Title (01:41)
2. The Flim-Flam Man: A Good Trick (00:16)
3. The Flim-Flam Man: No Rest for the Wicked (03:46)
4. The Flim-Flam Man: A Little Inspiration (01:38)
5. The Flim-Flam Man: Stolen Property (03:14)
6. The Flim-Flam Man: The Getaway (03:00)
7. The Flim-Flam Man: The Main Line (02:17)
8. The Flim-Flam Man: Times Gone By (01:07)
9. The Flim-Flam Man: The Visitor (03:23)
10. The Flim-Flam Man: Good Night/The Homestead (02:46)
11. The Flim-Flam Man: The Hayseed (01:17)
12. The Flim-Flam Man: A Poor Ending (00:51)
13. The Flim-Flam Man: Run for It (01:08)
14. The Flim-Flam Man: Curly's Plan (02:44)
15. The Flim-Flam Man: Curly's Farewell (01:16)
16. The Flim-Flam Man: The Waiting Game (01:24)
17. The Flim-Flam Man: On the Road Again (01:12)

18. A Girl Named Sooner: Main Title (03:04)
19. A Girl Named Sooner: Sooner Frees the Calf (00:45)
20. A Girl Named Sooner: Into Town (00:29)
21. A Girl Named Sooner: Mac and Elizabeth (02:08)
22. A Girl Named Sooner: Elizabeth Meets Sooner (00:35)
23. A Girl Named Sooner: The Bath/Bird's New Perch (02:49)
24. A Girl Named Sooner: Becoming a Family/Jumping Rope (02:59)
25. A Girl Named Sooner: Isolation (02:19)
26. A Girl Named Sooner: Elizabeth Conforts Sooner (02:37)
27. A Girl Named Sooner: A Kiss Goodnight (00:59)
28. A Girl Named Sooner: Runaway (02:08)
29. A Girl Named Sooner: Second Thoughts (01:24)
30. A Girl Named Sooner: Tears of Regret (00:54)
31. A Girl Named Sooner: Sooner and Granny/Reconciliation (04:19)
32. A Girl Named Sooner: Making a Difference (02:14)
33. A Girl Named Sooner: End Title (01:00)

Total Duration: 01:03:43

(Link deleted due to a reasonable request of Lukas Kendall from Film Score Monthly. Go there and buy his CDs !)

2 new Schifrins

Schifrin's Once a Thief and Other Themes (an LP from 1965) is available here:

And you can get the french pressing of Joy House (aka "Les felins") here:
Compared to the American Aleph release it has 1 bonus track, a vocal cover version of "The Cat". This track is really worth listening, so get it fast.

This blog is not dead...

As with many other film music blogs, there haven't been that much posts the last days. However, the blog is well and alive, it's just that I had very important things to do like watching the new 5th season of "24" and the 4th and 5th of "Curb Your Enthusiasm". I can also praise not high enough the British sketch comedy "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" starring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie in various hilarious roles. It's available at Amazon UK and at least as funny as "Monty Python's Flying Circus".

While I'm writing this I'm uploading Goldsmith's "Flim-Flam Man / A Girl Named Sooner", which I hope hasn't been shared in the last months (at least I didn't see it somewhere). It's a great score, so get it fast when it's there (in about an hour).

Also many thanks for all of you individuals for were so kind leaving comments. I'm sorry that several of the external links do not work anymore, perhaps I will do upload them myself the next days. Herrmann is quite popular, as I note.

Reader Can was so kind and uploaded another version of "Im Kerker zu Tode gemartert" (it's here: ), it's one of the tracks that is on my compilation CD. He was actually the only one who commented on the CD, but over 50 people loaded it down so I will continue the series soon.

Also many thanks for over 12.000 clicks by now, I would not have thought that this little blog would be such a success. I will try to be worthy of your continued trust.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Best of Mission: Impossible... Then and Now

We fans had to wait a very long time for the original music from "Mission: Impossible". For over 25 years there were just the re-arranged suites on the 2 old LPs. Finally, GNP Crescendo came up with an CD to the old and the new series from the 90ies, where John E. Davis composed the music.

Here you have OST-underscore to 5 episodes from the 60ies:

As always, many thanks to the original uploader.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Kwai Chang is gone again

Hi readers,

it looks like either Kwai Chan Caine or Jim Helms is surfing these days the whole internet to prohibit the distributing of the "Kung Fu"-LP. I don't understand why anyone cares for this relatively obscure LP (which to my knowledge isn't even available as a CD right now) so much, but I'm not willing to start up a fight with someone who just sends an e-mail to Rapidshare and one hour of my work is gone (uploads with Rapidhare go VERY slowly).

Therefore I recommend all readers to come here often and download everything they want as fast as possible. All links work when they are issued, but I can't guarantee how long they will stay. Perhaps someone can tell me the trick how to hide the link as some blogs do these days.

Herrmann's Gulliver in one downloadable file

Larry requested the Herrmann score of "The 3 Worlds of Gulliver" (Decca re-recording of the 70ies) as one file to ease the download.

So here we go, beloved readers:

There's a whole Schifrinwatch goin' on

You can find the great jazz LP "There's a Whole Lalo Schifrin Goin' on" right here:
As it was composed in 1968 it sounds a lot like the two original "Mission: Impossible"-LPs. When they were issued together on an MCA CD, this CD even contained the "Secret Code" track from the "Goin' On"-LP.

Someone was so nice and posted the original "Kelly's Heroes"-LP (NOT the expanded Film Score Monthly-release):

And here we have the compilation "Mission: Impossible... and more", which has quite some interesting and rare tracks (see tracklisting below):


Finally, a very rare record: a fan was so very nice of sharing "Escape to Athena" (aka "Offside 7") [LINK IS OK NOW, many thanks to Cedric]:
This LP was only issued in Japan and it is quite a good score, so get it before it's gone.
And Luis was so helpful and provided an incredible fake cover designed by him for this release:
It really looks like an official Varese release ! Great work, Luis !!! (and many thanks)

Many thanks to the original uploaders, please leave a comment and I will credit you properly.

If you need further information concerning these releases, just go to

Here are the tracks for "MI... and more":
a. Mission: Impossible (from MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE) - 2:30
b. Jim On The Move (from MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE) - 3:15
c. The Wave (from PIANO, STRINGS & BOSSA NOVA) - 2:38
d. Lalo's Bossa Nova (Samba Para Dos) (from PIANO, STRINGS & BOSSA NOVA) - 2:14
e. Maria (from PIANO, STRINGS & BOSSA NOVA) - 2:27
f. Rio After Dark (from PIANO, STRINGS & BOSSA NOVA) - 2:30
g. The Man From THRUSH (from ONCE A THIEF) - 2:56
h. The Cat (from ONCE A THIEF) - 2:39
i. Bachiana Brasileiras #5 (from NEW FANTASY) - 3:51
j. Anpacondra Soul (previously unissued) - 2:39
k. The 'In' Crowd (previously unissued) - 3:11
l. Venice After Dark (from THE VENETIAN AFFAIR) - 2:43
m. Bullitt (Main Title) (from BULLITT) - 2:03
n. On The Way to San Mateo (from BULLITT) - 2:26
o. Danube Incident (from MORE MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE) - 1:53
p. Dirty Harry - 2:42
q. Theme From "Medical Center" (from MEDICAL CENTER) - 2:45
r. Mission: Impossible - Jimmy Smith - 3:35

Now This is Music, Vol. 1

As I mentioned my 1.000 favorite tracks in the post before, I've compiled three CDs so far for friends with some of these.

For your enjoyment, I've uploaded the first of them. If you like it, please leave a comment and I will continue the series. If you dislike it, tell me why.

The music featured is not only film music but an eclectic mix of all thinkable styles. But all the tracks have one thing in common: quality. They are the sum of my musical life, most of them I liked upon first hearing ("love at first sound sight").

Now here we go:

01) Michael Kamen: Robin Hood, Price of Thieves - Main Titles (Erich Kunzel Conducting The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra 1994)
02) Gershon Kingsley: Popcorn (Vocal by Antoine)
03) Goblin: Zombi
04) Wojciech Kilar: König der letzten Tage
05) Sir Malcolm Arnold: Nine Hours to Rama - Indian Concert 4 09
06) Hector Berlioz: La marseillaise (1830) (Vocal by Mireille Matthieu Conducted by Roger Boutry) 4 17
07) Marcello Giombini: Sabata - Ehi Amico C'e' Sabata
08) Bill Conti: Falcon Crest (TV)
09) Lalo Schifrin: The Liquidator (Main Title) (Vocal by Shirley Bassey)
10) Maurice Jarre: Witness - Building the Barn 4 32 (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 1987)
11) Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata BWV 201 (Geschwinde geschwinde ihr wirbelnden Winde) Opening Chorus 4 38 (Helmuth Rilling Conducting)
12) Michael Nyman: Water Dances - Stroking (Rec 1985)
13) H. Amann / D. Heskim / W. Scoopen / D. van Stahlschmidt: Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivfuehrer - Eine Insel mit zwei Bergen (Radio Edit) (3:48)
14) Henry Mancini: The Molly Maguires (Conducted by Erich Kunzel) 3 05
15) Trad.: Im Kerker zu Tode gemartert (Vocal by Ernst Busch, Adolf Fritz Guhl Conducting 1966)
16) Akira Ifukube: Godzilla - Main Title
17) Vladimir Vissotzky: Le boxeur 1 20 (Vocal by Vladimir Vissotzky)
18) John Williams: Terminal The Tale of Viktor Navorski (4:12)
19) Ennio Morricone: Vamos a matar companeros
20) Jerry Fielding: The Outlaw Josey Wales - Main Title
21) (unknown): Ringo (Vocal by Lorne Greene)
22) Patrick Williams: The Magician
23) Jerry Goldsmith: The Omen - Ave Satani
24) Trad.: Hava Nagila (Arr. Idelsohn) (Vocal by Harry Belafonte)
25) (unknown): A Satisfied Mind (2:49) (Vocal by Johnny Cash)
26) Gerard Calvi: Asterix et Cleopatre (1968) - La bain de Cleopatre (Excerpt) (Vocal by Micheline Dax) (1:28)

Which is your favorite composer ?

"You don't have to visit" ( started a new thread (see title) and I got carried away writing my oppinion. Here it is again for your enjoyment:

Well, I love 'em all. Each composer wrote at least one great track, and by now I think I have over 1.000 all-time-top-great-fantastic-marvellous favorite tracks.

Counting my whole collection (CDs, LPs, MP3) I have at least 15.000 complete records (including some classical and pop music), so I've listened quite a lot in my life.

However, I don't know ANY great track by James Newton Howard. It's not that I dislike him, it's just that I haven't heard a superior composition by him. Perhaps I have to hear "Falling Down" again.

Also, from Shore I only like the Main Title of "Ed Wood".

Michael Kamen: just the first track of "Robin Hood".

Also no favorites by John Debney or Don Davis.

Very few from the Zimmer factory. First "Backdraft" track (and even there Zimmer gets lost after 2 and a half minutes) and the "Shiver My Timber" song. A good theme in "The Rock" and "Gladiator".

To me all these guys just write underscore music but not really distinctive compositions. For me a great track must have a structured beginning, a middle part and an end. Probably today's cinema is not suited anymore for fine compositions. Most of it today, even the orchestra scores, sounds like Christopher Franke's or Mark Snow's TV synthesizer drones.

Favorite composers are Schifrin and Kilar, and of course Goldsmith (dozens of incredible themes !), Williams and Morricone.

Best Williams composition in the last years: "Duel of the Fates" and the Main Title from "Terminal".

Best film score ever (valued by number of extraordinary themes): Ben-Hur.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Terry Gilkyson wanted !!!

The finest composer for heroic songs was probably Dimitri Tiomkin with his great western ballads. But right after him was Terry Gilkyson (1916-1999) (, who also wrote some hits for Walt Disney ("The Bare Necessities", "Thomas O'Malley").

I'm desperately searching songs like the one which is presented here, "Christopher Columbus" (

I also have "The Scarecrow", which was written for a Disney-Patrick McGoohan Zorro-style vehicle from 1964.

So if you have other tracks by him (for example, from the "Windjammer" LP (1958) and "The Legend of Dick Turpin"), please send me a link and I will present them here if you like.

I got the track above from, a great blog where you can find all kinds of music. Lee Hartsfeld has about every record in the world and has a lot of great knowledge on the music he presents on his fine blog.

Expanded KILL BILL music !!!

Everyone will have the regular Kill Bill CD with 22 tracks (great music !!!), but there's also an expanded compilation around which features no less than 16 additional tracks.

Many thanks to Cheap Children's Soundtracks and More ! who compiled it for his great blog:
And by the way, Kill Bill is my favorite movie ever. Go-go Yubari rules !!!

01 Feelin’ Masochistic.wma
02 Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down).wma
03 Ironside.wma
04 I'll Be Waitin'.wma
05 Twisted Nerve.wma
06 Music Box Dancer.wma
07 That Certain Female.wma
08 Don't Ever Wake Up!.wma
09 Seven Notes in Black (Sette Note in Nero).wma
10 Truck Turner (Main Title).mp3
11 The Grand Duel - (Parte Prima).wma
12 The Long Day of Vengeance.wma
13 Big Rats.wma
14 Wound That Heals (Kaifukusuru Kizu).wma
16 Yakuza Oren 1.wma
17 Queen of the Crime Council.wma
18 Run Fay Fun.wma
19 The Green Hornet Theme.wma
20 Battle Without Honor or Humanity.wma
21 I Walk Like Jane Mansfield.wma
22 I'm Blue.wma
23 Woo Hoo.wma
24 Ironside [Excerpt].wma
25 Death Rides a Horse.mp3
26 Crane-White Lightning.wma
27 Axe Throws.wma
28 Nobody But Me.wma
29 Sword Swings.wma
30 Flip Sting.wma
31 Police Check Point.wma
32 Super 16 [Excerpt].wma
33 Banister Fight.wma
34 Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood.wma
35 The Flower of Carnage.wma
36 You're My Wicked Life.wma
37 The Lonely Shepherd.wma
38 Ode to Oren Ishii.mp3

Everyone's favorite composer: Toshiro Mayuzumi

Also from Juergen, here's a little suite (11 min) of Mayuzumi's score for Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967). It has some sound effects, but the music is not available elsewhere and well worth a listen.

Again, many thanks to Juergen !

The Night of Film Music

My friend Juergen sent me files of "The Night of Film Music 2006", a radio program where over three hours several German orchestras played live in Bavaria a lot of soundtrack themes.

It's moderated in German, but there's a lot of music to hear, including music of German productions. It starts with a big band version of the "Tatort"-theme (Klaus Doldinger), the longest running German TV crime series. Featured are short interviews with several composers like Ernst Brandner and Rolf Wilhelm, who are also played with some of their finest symphonic music by the Munich Symphony Orchestra.

On the program I had expected the 5.867.675 version of a badly-played "Star Wars", but instead we get rare and unreleased German symphonic film music. It has quite a compositional level, and hearing the various tracks it's no wonder that Hans Zimmer isn't around here anymore - the music presented is more on par with Newman and Rozsa than with synthesizer drones.

Many thanks to Juergen for providing these great files !!!


Here are three new Schifrin downloads from the net:

Isbum posted on the film music forum Mannix (the original LP that still hasn't been released on CD) (

On the fantastic X-Y-Z-Cosmonaut's CosmoBlog ( there has been a 20 min-Starsky and Hutch suite (including minor dialogue and sound effects):
By the way, this is one of the best film music blogs ever. If you like Japanese anime and British TV and library music, this is the place to go.

Hazelkirk posted a transfer from the LP of Boulevard Nights (1979) (very good sound, and also not available on CD so far), which is half songs and half instrumental (both written by Schifrin). Get it while you can:

And today I got my copy of the french biography of Lalo Schifrin (see the picture above). I ordered it on Wednesday and three days later, voila ! Buy it at Amazon France, too:éma/dp/2915083169/sr=11-1/qid=1163862388/ref=sr_11_1/171-3183050-2056202
Unfortunely, I can't read French so I just can hope that someone in the States will publish it, too, someday. There's a saying in Germany "The prophet is not valued in his own country", that seems to apply here. It's also a shame that there have been glorious Tex Avery and Betty Boop editions in France that still have not seen the light in the U.S.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Here's Kwai Chang Caine again

Many thanks for all the requests. It's appreciated !

Thursday, November 09, 2006


This score from 1968 is one of Ennio Morricone's rarest western soundtracks. It was only released in the 80ies by Cometa on a limited LP (with only 6 tracks on side A) and it took about 20 years to get a complete CD release on Hexacord.

Out of all Morricone westerns now only The Hills Run Red is missing, which we had on a bootleg Poo LP. Does anyone have MP3s of this top rarity ?

1. Main Title (04:24)
2. The Mermaid (01:21)
3. Saloon Piano (02:52)
4. Friends (00:34)
5. Bill & Harry Fight (03:15)
6. Riding Together (00:53)
7. Sandstone (01:57)
8. Insegumento All'Alba (02:14)
9. Banjo (00:56)
10. Street Dance (01:05)
11. Eating Turkey (01:02)
12. Flirting With The Widow MacDonald (00:31)
13. Circus Tricks (03:03)
14. My Friend The Banjo (01:29)
15. Before the Hanging (01:16)
16. Making Plans (00:44)
17. Arrival At The Cantina (00:35)
18. The Well's Fargo Coach (01:35)
19. Miltary Escort (00:50)
20. Harry's Ranch - Main Theme (05:17)
21. Chased! (03:09)
22. Samuel Pratt Arrives (01:38)
23. Around The Ranch Table (00:48)
24. Attack On The Ranch (01:02)
25. Finale & End Titles (04:51)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Blogreader Mel was so very nice of sharing this great Bernard Herrmann music with us. It's the re-recording Herrmann made in the 70ies for Decca. Many thanks to Mel for this fine score !!!

Other readers are invited to send me mp3s of their favorite records as well - just send me the link and I will publish it. And many thanks also to Larry who sent me a Schifrin score missing in my collection. I appreciate it very much getting feedback of readers of this blog !

I don't know why but again I can't upload a picture - happens very often with Blogger. But you find the cover art included in the files. Enjoy Bernie's travels !

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Killer chorus

One of the finest tracks I've discovered in years is the chorus main title of "Les choristes" by Bruno Coulais. It has an unbelievable beauty and proves that it is still possible to compose great film music of the highest level. The other tracks of the score do not match the main theme (which -as we all sadly know- is true for 95 % of all film scores), but still it is very nice and listenable music (several tracks are sung by a boys' chorus).

For the first track alone (I love those pizzicato strings) I highly recommend this score to everyone.

1. Les Choristes (01:32)
2. In Memoriam (03:25)
3. L'Arrivée Ecole (01:32)
4. Pepinot (01:50)
5. Vois sur ton Chemin (02:19)
6. Les Partitions (01:03)
7. Carresse sur l'Océan (02:10)
8. Lueur d'Eté (02:02)
9. Cerf-Volant (00:58)
10.Sous la Pluie (01:05)
11.Compère Guilleri (00:35)
12.La Désillusion (01:22)
13.La Nuit (02:20)
14.L'Incendie (01:23)
15.L'Evocation (01:45)
16.Les Avions en Papier (01:28)
17.Action - Réaction (01:45)
18.Seuls (01:53)
19.Morhange (01:57)
20.In Memorium A Capella (03:19)
21.Nous Sommes de Fond de l'Etang (02:46)

Mancini's Maguires

You Don't Have to Visit This Blog ( brought us these days Henry Mancini's great score to The Molly Maguires (1970).

It's a little bit buried there under all the fine stuff which is offered there, so due to it's quality I like to present it here again. It's one of Mancini's finest scores and features his more dramatic side, which got a little bit buried under all his comedy stuff. Other dramatic Mancini scores are White Dawn (3-part suite available on Mancini sampler "A Concert of Film Music"), Touch of Evil and Lifeforce (get the new double CD).

The Molly Maguires was one of the very few records that Mancini did not release on RCA but originally on a Paramount LP, so this is the reason that it is only available as a long-out-of-print Bay Cities CD.

01 - Theme From The Molly Maguires (Pennsylvania, 1876)
02 - The Mollys Strike
03 - Main Title
04 - Fiddle And Fife
05 - Work Montage
06 - Jamie And Mary (The Hills Of Yesterday)
07 - Room And Board (Theme From The Molly Maguires)
08 - The Hills Of Yesterday
09 - Pennywhistle Jig
10 - Sandwiches And Tea (Theme From The Molly Maguires)
11 - Trip To Town
12 - The Mollys Strike Again
13 - A Brew With The Boys
14 - A Suit For Grandpa
15 - The End (Theme From The Molly Maguires)

pw = youdont

Another fine record from "You Don't": Alex North's The Devil's Brigade, unfortunately just in form of the only thing that was ever available, Leroy Holmes' re-recording. But it is still great music and wakes the wish for the OST:

Monday, November 06, 2006

Film composers go exotica !!!

In the 50ies, exotica was the music to hear. Les Baxter and Martin Denny were king of this musical genre, and there are a lot of fine records that are well worth a listen. What is lesser known (especially in the film music community) is the fact that at least four film composers also had very good one-shot exotica records, these four being Robert Drasnin (Voodoo), Dominic Frontiere (Pagan Festival), Ron Goodwin (Music for an Arabian Night) and Gerald Fried (Orienta, Performed by The Markko Polo Adventurers). All of them feature only compositions by themselves and therefore are quite interesting for us collectors. Also in this group belongs Alfred Newman's Ports of Paradise, but this one does not feature original works and has just Hawaiian-styled easy listening music.

Today I like to present Drasnin's Voodoo (1959), one of the true classics of the exotica genre. It was shared some weeks ago on the excellent Xtabays World blog, and he even filtered the record so that it now sounds better that the original ! I would like to thank Xtabay here for all the great records he shared this year and highly recormmed his great blog ( to everyone. And Xtabay even opened a film music blog called Cellloid Planet right now ! So go there and enjoy some classics:

And here's Robert Drasnin's Voodoo:

01 - Chant Of The Moon
02 - Desiree
03 - Hindara
04 - Orinoco
05 - Warm Night Wind
06 - Mirage
07 - Voodoo
08 - Jardin De La Noche
09 - Tambuku
10 - You
11 - Paradise
12 - Enchantment

How many soundtrack CDs are there ?

Some of us have this desire to have every soundtrack there is, was and ever will be. But how many would that be ?

There are some among us who have a collection of 10.000 +, which seems quite a lot. But is it so much compared to everything there is ?

Let's just make a rough estimation. Let us assume that the six main soundtrack producing countries (USA, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Spain) each issue 5 releases every week. This is not too much if you count in every movie and TV score available. Soundtracks got releases more often since the beginning of the 60ies, so let's start with 1962.

So this would be 6 countries * 44 years * 52 weeks * 5 releases, which makes a total of 68.640 releases. This does not count in game scores and promo releases, which there are more and more the last years. Plus the soundtrack-related things by our favorite composers (John Williams made a hundred of them alone since 1955). Bollywood isn't even counted in !

In total I think we can take a figure of 75.000 LPs and CDs which are interesting for us soundtrack collectors. So if you have 10.000 releases so far, you have 13,33 % of these. Happy collecting !

And let us further assume that you find Aladdin's wonder lamp and wish yourself all these things. How long would it take to hear them ? Let's take 40 min per release, which makes 3.000.000 minutes in total, which are 50.000 hours. If you hear 6 Hours a day, you will need 8.333 days to listen to all the records, which makes up for 22,83 Years.

So if you are a collector like myself who grew up in the silver age, you may just listen to all of them and then say "Hello Jerry, Elmer and Miklos, I've just listened to all of your records."

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Jim Helms' TV score for KUNG FU

From the time when TV scores were not wall-to-wall synthesizer drones.

"I seek not to know all the answers, but to understand the questions."

Schifrin's rejected THE EXORCIST score

On the 25th anniversary edition of the Exorcist soundtrack there were for the first time three tracks of Lalo Schifrin's rejected score for the movie. This CD was posted these days on a film music blog, many thanks to the original uploader.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Song and Dance Man

In 1976 there was a fine record by Sammy Davis, jr., which focused on film and TV themes. Especially great are the vocal versions of Kojak and Hawai 5-O.

1 Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow (Theme From Baretta)
2 Love Is All Around (Theme From Mary Tyler-Moore Show)
3 We'll Make It This Time (Theme From Kojak)
4 Mary Hartman (Theme From Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman)
5 You Can Count On Me (Theme From Hawaii 5-O)
6 Song And Dance Man
7 I Heard A Song
8 A Legend In My Time (I'd Be)
9 Snap Your Fingers
10 Chico And The Man

Thursday, November 02, 2006

New Lalo Schifrin downloads from other blogs

There were some Schifrin records available the last days on the net:

"La leyenda de los soundtracks"( shared Bullitt (original 1968 recording,, The Fox (original 1968 recording, and The Cincinnati Kid (original 1965 recording, already available on this blog,

In the now defunct film music forum someone was so kind and posted Hitchcock: Master of Mayhem (, which includes Schifrin-conducted Hitchcock film music (including Rear Window !) and also some themes of his own (Dirty Harry, Mission: Impossible and Rollercoaster).

Finally, on "you don't have to visit this blog" ( there was Sol Madrid (, the spy thriller starring David McCallum.

Other news: Film Score Monthly issued a great new CD for The Liquidator (, containing both the film score and the tracks previously available on LP (see my October posting of this LP). Buy it at Screen Archives !

If you want further info concerning these (and all other) Schifrin releases, just go to

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Fantasy Film World of Bernard Herrmann

Bernard Herrmann was undoubtedly one of the greatest film composers of the 20th century. From all the accounts I've ever read of him, it seems like he stepped out of an Ayn Rand novel. A fiery and outspoken character, but when it came to his work completely surefooted and unwilling to compromise: "I count myself an individual. I hate all cults, fads and circles. I believe that only music that springs out of genuine personal emotion and inspiration is alive and important." As Alfred Hitchcock, the film director for whom Herrmann is most often associated with, would ignore film producer David O. Selznick's wishes on how to improve his films, so too would Herrmann veto Hitchcock's occasional suggestions when it came to how to score his movie. However, while Herrmann was confident and unwavering with his own work, his cantankerous temperament and unabashed criticism of his peers' work were qualities that probably didn't make him a social darling. Friend and fellow film composer David Raskind once described him as "a virtuoso of unspecific anger, which he bestowed so impartially upon friend or enemy that I often wondered whether he knew the difference." Nor did Herrmann's personal qualities likely easily earn him assignments once Hollywood's golden age came to an end, perhaps prompting his move to London in the latter years of his life. Yet, cranky or not, the bottom line is that he had the artistic genius to back it all up, a truly remarkable ability for unlocking a film's essence and translating it to music. Whoever has watched a Hitchcock film is not likely to forget the jumping and lurching fandango overture that perfectly complements the action-adventure of North By Northwest, the genuinely hypnotic harp cycles and sedated, piercing brass lines of Vertigo, or the slashing strings of Psycho.

This album, available on CD as one of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab's Ultradisc-II gold discs, was made as a series of albums released by Decca/London Records that featured Herrmann's film scores in suite form. This third entry of the series was recorded in 1974 just one year before Herrmann's untimely death, and features him conducting the National Philharmonic Orchestra in suites for four of his scores taken from fantasy or sci-fi films.One of the excellent things about Herrmann was his bold experimental leaps with the traditional orchestral format. This would include drastically altering the traditional orchestra composition and by incorporating some very atypical instruments, including electronic ones. For example, the first piece, "Journey to the Center of the Earth," completely eliminates the string section, includes not one but five organs (one Cathedral and four electronic), several harps, and brings back from the grave the 'serpent,' an antiquated medieval instrument that definitely was not a staple on the modern orchestral instrument roster. The results are fifteen minutes of musical joy: the organs, crashing cymbals, and lithe harps flooding over the listener with an unadulterated sense of majesty and mystery. Utopia did a rock version of the first segment of this suite on their album Ra, and fans of Danny Elfman (an acknowledged Herrmann devotee) who listen closely may be able to discern where he got his famed Batman motif. Herrmann's score for Ray Harryhausen's "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad" is the most conventional offering on here (yes, even Herrmann played it straight every now and then), but still the "Overture" is lively and fun. Unfortunately, the piece is diminished somewhat by the now-cliched xylophone characterization ("Duel with the Skeleton") that comprises its middle.

And then we get to "The Day the Earth Stood Still," his score for the classic 1951 sci-fi movie. Here, he does away with woodwinds and instead bolsters the orchestra with a full-fledged electronic section consisting of two theremins, electric violin, bass, and guitar. The main portion of the piece ("Outer Space") single-handedly paired the 'spooky' sound of the theremin with the science fiction movies of the 50s, so often copied and parodied ever since. But with its all-engulfing intensity, swelling dynamics, kaleidoscopic ostinati (foreshadowing the overture of Vertigo) and chord changes that morph from sweet to sinister and back again... this piece is classic, classic, classic Herrmann. If you can't hear in "Outer Space" what made him such a great composer, then you never will. The album wraps up with Herrmann's music from François Truffaut's "Fahrenheit 451," once again making heavy use of strings to convey a sense of fragility, and a mood that conveys intense emotions bubbling under a repressed surface.This disc is a great treasure, made even sweeter that it's on Mobile Fidelity, with excellent sound all around. If you are a symphonic prog fan who wants to look into something different, try to get a hold of this and you'll be hooked...


Again, thanks to Johannes for providing the link.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth - Suite 14'58
1. Mountain Top and Sunrise
2. Prelude
3. The Grotto
4. Salt Slides
5. Atlantis
6. The Giant Chameleon and the Fight
7. The Shaft and Finale

The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad - Suite 8'23
1. Overture
2. The Duel with the Skeleton
3. Baghdad

The Day the Earth Stood Still - Suite 11'39
1. Outer Space
2. Radar
3. Gort
4. The Robot
5. Space Control
6. Terror
7. Farewell and Finale

Fahrenheit 451 - Suite 10'44
1. Prelude
2. Fire Engine
3. The Bedroom
4. Flowers of Fire
5. The Road and Finale

Cover for NUNZIO available !!!

Reader Larry was so kind and designed a cover for the Nunzio posting some days ago. Load it down and design your own CDR !

Many thanks to Larry.

Four Faces of Jazz - Bernard Herrmann Conducting

When there were less composing commitments in the end of the sixties and beginning seventies, Bernard Herrmann recorded several albums for Decca. These included re-recordings of his film scores, premieres by his classical works and even some classical music by other composers.

Among the last group was "Four Faces of Jazz" from 1973, which has four great jazz compositions by Stravinsky, Milhaud and others: (cover)

Password is

This is the MFSL CD edition, which has exceptional sound quality.

Bernard Herrmann conducts The London Festival Recording Ensemble on this album containing four intriguing orchestral arrangements - each a different face of the jazz genre. Known as Alfred Hitchcock's favorite composer, Herrmann wields the baton on famous jazz compositions of Darius Milhaud, Kurt Weill, George Gershwin, and Igor Stravinsky. The Four Faces Of Jazz was produced by Raymond Few in 1973 and released on London Records. Mobile Fidelity mastered this album from the original master tape using our proprietary Gain System technology.

1. Songs From Three Penny Opera (Kurt Weill)
1a. Mack the Knife
1b. Instead of
1c. The Good Life-Foxtrot
1d. Polly's Song
1e. Tango
1f. The Big Shots- Charelston

2. Variations For Piano & Orchestra On (I Got Rthym) (George Gershwin)
3. Ragtime (Igor Stravinsky)
4. The Creation Of The World (Darius Milhaud)