A weird little record from John Barry – the soundtrack to a 1963 television special recorded by Elizabeth Taylor at the height of her early popularity, and featuring Taylor reciting a variety of poems and speeches over music by Barry! There's a relatively high concept feel to the album – as Barry's backings are fairly string-laden and serious, penned to match the mood of Taylor's presentation of material written by William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Pitt, Winston Churchill, and Queen Victoria. And although Taylor speaks on about half the record, the best tracks here are actually the instrumental ones – which have more of the depth of Barry's serious soundtrack work from the time, and manage to have their own sense of presence apart from the star quality of Liz on the set. Arrangements are by Johnnie Spence, and titles include "Elizabeth", "London Theme Jazz Waltz", "Queen Elizabeth At Tilbury", "Queen Victoria", "English Garden", "The Fire Of London", "Lovers & Browning", and "London At Dawn". LP, Vinyl record album
(Sealed 60s pressing!)
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 x-rated horror film from the team of Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey, but one that gets a surprisingly classic sort of soundtrack from the great Claudio Gizzi! Right from the start, Gizzi's music is filled with a sensitivity that's quite striking – this beautiful, poetic quality that often comes from stark woodwind passages that are interspersed with darker strings, or some oddly-tuned piano – creating a sonic pastiche that's almost narrative enough on its own, away from the film – and which definitely stands strongly on its own, maybe even more so than its use in the movie. This deluxe 2LP package features a huge amount of tracks – 35 in all – with titles that include "Frankenstein's Theme", "Castle Gardens", "Secret Passage", "Experiments In Laboratory", "Death Of The Baron", "Dream Is Over", and "Love & Death". 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.)
An overlooked 50s soundtrack from the legendary Bernard Herrmann – one of his lesser-remembered collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock – but one that's every bit as wonderful as his more famous scores! The songs here are relatively short, but extremely evocative – these powerful scene-setters that really get at the spirit of the film's dark narrative of mistaken identity – often brooding with an acoustic bassline that has this slow, plodding quality that's quite different than usual for Herrmann. Other passages sparkle with a few jazzy touches – again a bit different, almost Elmer Bernstein in feel – and together, the music works to create a picture that's almost as vivid as the images on the screen! Titles include "Hitchcock", "The Car", "The Store", "Fingerprints", "Alibi", "The Mirror", and "Stork Club". LP, Vinyl record album
(Pressed on 140 gram virgin vinyl!)
Henry Mancini —
Charade ... LP RCA, 1963. Near Mint- ...
Just Sold Out!
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