Les Baxter —
Barbarian ... LP American International/So Far Out (UK), 1960. New Copy (reissue)...
An obscure one from the great Les Baxter – his soundtrack for the film Goliath & The Barbarians, which looks like a b-grade thriller on the level of Jason & The Argonauts! Les mixes exotic touches with fuller orchestrations – a bit in the blood-and-sandals style of the time – and the tracks have sort of a "sabre dance" quality to them, with lots of dancing strings that flare up nicely – next to some moodier moments that recall some of Baxter's other exotica music too. Titles include "Ride Of The Barbarians", "Fire Dance", "Rape Of The Village", and "Barbarian Games", which is subtitled "Noisy Village", perhaps a reference to Les' big hit "Quiet Village". LP, Vinyl record album
An amazing little soundtrack from James William Guercio – music composed for his only cinematic effort as a director – for a film that features Robert Blake as a Native American cop! The score is heavy on jazzy horns with an undercurrent of funk – very similar to Guercio's best modes working with the group Chicago in the early days, and his productions for Blood Sweat & Tears! The depth of the music is quite a surprise – as we never new that James had this ability on his own – and it's recorded with that crystal clear quality that made him a revolutionary talent in the studio, too. Some numbers have a tight cop show sort of funk, while others have an expansive sound that's a nice contrast – and in addition to instrumental tunes "Free From The Devil", "The Chase", "Prelude", "Monument Valley", "Overture", and "Jolene's Dance" – the set also features "Most Of All" by The Marcels, "Meadow Mountain Top" by Mark Spoelstra, and "Tell Me" by Terry Keith of Chicago. LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes all extras. Cover has a small sticker on the back.)
One of the grooviest Henry Mancini soundtracks of the 60s – a wonderful blend of jazzy themes and action moments, and a record that's possibly better-remembered than the film for which it was recorded! The main "Charade" theme is a total gem – performed here in both a guitar-heavy instrumental version and a cool vocal version with a Mancini chorus – but the other tunes are arguably even better, and range from Euro-styled numbers to Latin groovers, to some tenser dramatic moments. The recording quality is wonderful – filled with echo and space – and titles include "Orange Tamoure", "Punch & Judy", "Latin Snowfall", "Bateau Mouche", "Bistro", and "Mambo Parisienne". LP, Vinyl record album
A rarer soundtrack by Ennio Morricone – done in the early 80s, but with a definitely reminiscient of some of his eerier grooves of the 70s! The Link (aka Extrasensorial) is a spooky little horror film – and one that's served up here in some equally dark instrumentation – but which sometimes has that redemptive quality that we love in some of Morricone's best work from the time. There's some great watery arrangements on a few tracks – drifting out isolated instrumentation through larger backings in a really brilliant way – and titles include "Through His Eyes", "Video Telepathy", "The Link", "Mirror", and "Sinister". LP, Vinyl record album
A beautifully mellow soundtrack from Ennio Morricone – and in ways that are a bit different than some of his more familiar scores from the time! The instrumentation here is heavy on strings, often with lighter woodwinds in the front – and all tunes have a slow-building melody that's really lovely – somewhat sweeter than the usual Morricone instrumental, but still with a haunting quality overall. Edda Dell'Orso sings wordless vocals on half of the album's tracks – further helping develop this compelling little tune – and the whole thing moves along at a pace that's even gentler than La Donna Invisible! LP, Vinyl record album