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High Time: Henry Mancini’s Film Music Celebrated On 9-CD, 18-Score Box Set

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Henry Mancini - Classic CollectionIt’s been a good year to be a fan of Henry Mancini. And it’s about to get even better!

The career of the composer, arranger and conductor – the rare artist for whom the word “legendary” is not only apt, but perhaps an understatement – has been recognized on disc in 2014 by labels including Varese Vintage, Vocalion, Intrada and Sony’s Legacy Recordings. Legacy previously marked the 50th anniversary of Mancini’s iconic music of The Pink Panther with a limited edition pink vinyl release for Record Store Day (this author’s top RSD pick!), and promised the release of a deluxe box set culled from Mancini’s long association with RCA Records and beyond. That box set has just been announced, continuing the celebration of what would have been the maestro’s 90th year. The Classic Soundtrack Collection, scheduled for November 19, features 18 of Mancini’s seminal soundtrack albums for RCA, Columbia and Epic Records on nine CDs, spanning the period between 1960’s High Time and 1978’s Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (That latter soundtrack received its first-ever CD reissue earlier this year from Varese.) Even better, bonus material – including Julie Andrews’ previously unreleased vocal version of “Nothing to Lose” from 1968’s The Party and songs from Andy Williams and Johnny Mathis – has been appended.

While eschewing Mancini’s television scores like Peter Gunn and Mr. Lucky as well as his numerous pop albums for RCA, The Classic Soundtrack Collection is the most comprehensive overview yet of the composer’s vintage scores. Many of Mancini’s most beloved themes can be heard here (“Moon River,” “Charade,” “Baby Elephant Walk,” “The Pink Panther”), and for many years, these soundtracks were the only available audio presentations of these scores. Mancini re-recorded his classic music for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Charade, The Pink Panther and more in frequently swinging, pop-friendly LP packages that achieved incredible popularity in the 1960s; only in recent years have a number of his true original film soundtracks (including Tiffany’s, Charade and Hatari!) seen release. Mancini’s lyricists on these many albums include Johnny Mercer, Leslie Bricusse, Rod McKuen and Don Black.

In his career, Mancini received 20 Grammy Awards and four Academy Awards. A master of cinematic scoring, he could turn out expert work for thrillers, romances, dramas, adventures, noirs, westerns, and even science-fiction pictures. In fact, you’ll hear many of those styles on this box set, all filtered through Mancini’s melodic sensibility. But the idiom most associated with Mancini may be comedy. A full ten scores here represent the roughly 35-year collaboration between Henry Mancini and director-screenwriter Blake Edwards. The partnership of the versatile composer and the comic master endured until Mancini’s death. These soundtracks include all-time classics such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Pink Panther, of course, but also the crime adventure Gunn (based on Peter Gunn), the zany Peter Sellers vehicle The Party, the Bing Crosby-starring college romp High Time, and the ambitious musical Darling Lili. The latter film, starring Edwards’ wife Julie Andrews, threatened to derail the Mancini/Edwards team, but the two men were far too in tune to let their collaboration languish for too long. For one of the most unusual works from the Edwards/Mancini team, look no further than the chilling Experiment in Terror. Its vivid score – filled with Mancini’s trademark sixties lounge sound yet with an undercurrent of tension – is included here in its RCA album presentation.

What can you expect to find on this new set? Hit the jump for a full list of included albums, complete rundown of the bonus material, and more!

Though only the Columbia Records LP of Me, Natalie is seeing first-time CD release here, many of these soundtracks are fiendishly difficult to find on CD, with their pricey, out-of-print import editions (many from RCA Spain) commanding high prices. Sweetening the pot, all titles here have been freshly remastered by Mark Wilder.  Here’s the full list of included albums:

  • High Time (1960)
  • Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)
  • Experiment In Terror (1962)
  • Hatari! (1962)
  • Charade (1963)
  • The Pink Panther (1964)
  • The Great Race (1965)
  • Arabesque (1966)
  • What Did You Do In The War, Daddy? (1966)
  • Two For The Road (1967)
  • Gunn (1967)
  • The Party (1968)
  • Me, Natalie (1969)
  • Darling Lili (1970)
  • Visions Of Eight (1973)
  • Oklahoma Crude (1973)
  • The Return Of The Pink Panther (1975)
  • Who Is Killing The Great Chefs Of Europe? (1978)

All titles were originally released on RCA Victor with the exception of Me, Natalie on the Columbia label and Great Chefs on Epic.  You’ll find a total of 17 bonus tracks spread across the nine discs.  Peruse the complete track listing and pre-order links below!  The Classic Soundtrack Collection arrives from RCA Victor and Legacy on November 19 just in time for the holiday gift-giving season!

Mancini - Box Contents

Henry Mancini, The Classic Soundtrack Collection (Legacy Recordings, 2014)

Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

All bonus tracks are indicated in BOLD.

CD 1: The Pink Panther / The Return of the Pink Panther

  • The Pink Panther Theme
  • It Had Better Be Tonight
  • Royal Blue
  • Champagne and Quail
  • The Village Inn
  • The Tiber Twist
  • It Had Better Be Tonight
  • Cortina
  • The Lonely Princess
  • Something for Sellers
  • Piano and Strings
  • Shades of Sennett
  • Meglio Stasera (It Had Better Be Tonight) – Fran Jeffries (from the MGM film “The Pink Panther”)
  • The Pink Panther – James Galway & The National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Henry Mancini (from James Galway & Henry Mancini: In the Pink (RCA RCD1-5315, 1984)
  • The Pink Panther Theme    
  • The Greatest Gift
  • Here’s Looking at You, Kid
  • Summer in Gstaad
  • So Smooth
  • The Return of the Pink Panther (Pt. 1 and Pt. 2)
  • The Greatest Gift
  • The Orange Float
  • Dreamy
  • Disco
  • Naval Maneuver
  • Belly Belly Bum Bum
  • The Wet Look

Tracks 1-12 from The Pink Panther, RCA LSP-2795, 1964
Tracks 15-28 from The Return of the Pink Panther, RCA ABL1-0968, 1975

CD 2: Breakfast at Tiffany’s / Charade

  • Moon River
  • Something for Cat
  • Sally’s Tomato
  • Yunioshi
  • The Big Blow Out
  • Hub Caps and Tail Lights
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • Latin Golightly
  • Holly
  • Loose Caboose
  • The Big Heist
  • Moon River Cha Cha
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s – James Galway & The National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Henry Mancini (from James Galway & Henry Mancini: In the Pink (RCA RCD1-5315, 1984)
  • Charade (Main Title)
  • Bistro
  • Bateau Mouche
  • Megeve
  • Bye Bye Charlie
  • The Happy Carousel
  • Charade (Vocal)
  • Orange Tamoure
  • Latin Snowfall
  • The Drip-Dry Waltz
  • Mambo Parisienne
  • Punch and Judy
  • Charade (Carousel)
  • Charade – Henry Mancini (from The Mancini Generation, RCA LSP-4689, 1972)

Tracks 1-12 from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, RCA LSP-2362, 1961
Tracks 14-26 from Charade, RCA LSP-2755, 1963

CD 3: Hatari! / Oklahoma Crude

  • Theme from “Hatari!”
  • Baby Elephant Walk
  • Just for Tonight
  • Your Father’s Feathers
  • Night Side
  • Big Band Bwana
  • The Sounds of Hatari
  • The Soft Touch
  • Crocodile, Go Home
  • Just for Tonight (Vocal) – Henry Mancini and His Orchestra (rec. 12/61)
  • Baby Elephant Walk (from James Galway & Henry Mancini: In the Pink, RCA RCD1-5315, 1984)
  • Oklahoma Crude
  • Lightfinger
  • Cleon and Lena
  • Lena’s Tune
  • Over the Top
  • Send a Little Love My Way (Choral)
  • The Big Climb
  • The Dude of My Dreams
  • On Your Hill
  • In Your Hill
  • Send a Little Love My Way

Tracks 1-9 from Hatari!, RCA LSP-2559, 1962
Tracks 12-22 from Oklahoma Crude, RCA APL1-0271, 1973

CD 4: What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? / High Time

  • The Swing March
  • Tarantella Mozzarella
  • Gina
  • In the Arms of Love
  • The Girls Up-a-Stairs
  • Sicily Forever
  • In the Arms of Love
  • Echoes of Sicily
  • Buon Giorno
  • Wine and Women
  • A Tavern In Valerno
  • The Tender Thieves
  • Fiesta!
  • In the Arms of Love – Andy Williams (from In the Arms of Love, Columbia CS 9333, 1966)
  • High Time
  • Moon Talk
  • So Neat
  • The Old College Try Cha-Cha
  • The Nutty Professor
  • Frish Frosh
  • The Second Time Around
  • A Mild Blast
  • Harv’s Blues
  • New Blood
  • The Dean Speaks
  • Tiger!
  • The Second Time Around – Andy Williams (from Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes, Columbia CS 8609, 1962)

Tracks 1-13 from What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?, RCA LSP-3648, 1966
Tracks 15-26 from High Time, RCA LSP-2314, 1960

CD 5: Experiment in Terror / Darling Lili

  • Fluter’s Ball
  • Tooty Twist
  • Kelly’s Tune
  • Golden Gate Twist
  • The Good Old Days
  • Experiment In Terror Twist
  • Experiment in Terror
  • Nancy
  • Down By the Wharf
  • Teen-Age Hostage
  • White On White
  • Final Out At Candlestick Park
  • Overture
  • Whistling Away the Dark
  • The Little Birds (Les P’tite Oisenux)
  • The Girl In No Man’s Land
  • Gypsy Violin
  • I’ll Give You Three Guesses
  • Darling Lili
  • Smile Away Each Rainy Day
  • The Can-Can Cafe
  • I’ll Give You Three Guesses
  • Skäl (Let’s Have Another On Me)
  • Your Good-Will Ambassador
  • Whistling Away the Dark
  • Whistling Away the Dark – Henry Mancini (from Mancini Plays the Theme from Love Story, RCA LSP-4466, 1971)
  • Darling Lili – Johnny Mathis (from Close To You, Columbia C 30210, 1970)

Tracks 1-12 from Experiment in Terror, RCA LSP-2442, 1962
Tracks 14-27 from Darling Lili, RCA LSPD-1000, 1970

CD 6: Gunn / Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?

  • Peter Gunn
  • A Quiet Happening
  • Dreamsville
  • Sky Watch
  • A Bluish Bag
  • Theme for Sam
  • The Monkey Farm
  • A Lovely Sound
  • I LIke the Look
  • Silver Tears
  • Sweet!
  • Night Owl
  • Bye Bye
  • A Bluish Bag – Henry Mancini (from The Mancini Generation, RCA LSP-4689, 1972)
  • Dreamsville – Lola Albright with orchestra conducted by Henry Mancini (from Dreamsville, Columbia CS 8133, 1959)
  • Theme from Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?
  • Well Done Louis
  • Pesce!
  • Bombe Richelieu
  • Italian Soup
  • They Hang Chefs, Don’t They?
  • Bombes Away / Natasha In Venice (Natasha’s Theme)
  • Natasha’s Theme (Piano Solo – Henry Mancini)
  • The Movable Feast
  • Late Night Call / The Gathering (Theme from Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?)
  • Fiery Finale (Theme from Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?)
  • The Final Feast / The Confession
  • Natasha’s Theme (End Title)

Tracks 1-13 from Gunn…Number One!, RCA LSP-3840, 1967
Tracks 16-28 from Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?, Epic SE 35692, 1978

CD 7: Two for the Road / Arabesque

  • Two for the Road
  • Something for Audrey
  • The Lovely Life (From “Two for the Road”)
  • The Chaser
  • Something Loose
  • Happy Barefoot Boy
  • Two for the Road
  • Congarocka
  • French Provincial
  • The Donk
  • Domain St. Juste (Din-Din Music)
  • Two for the Road (Instrumental)
  • Two for the Road – Henry Mancini and His Orchestra (from Six Hours Past Sunset, RCA LSP-4239, 1969)
  • Arabesque
  • We’ve Loved Before (Yasmin’s Theme) (Instrumental)
  • Ascot
  • Dream Street
  • Facade
  • Something for Sophia
  • We’ve Loved Before (Yasmin’s Theme) (Vocal)
  • Shower of Paradise
  • The Zoo Chase
  • Bagdad on Thames

Tracks 1-12 from Two for the Road, RCA LSP-3802, 1967
Tracks 14-23 from Arabesque, RCA LSP-3623, 1966

CD 8: The Great Race / Me, Natalie

  • Overture
  • Push the Button, Max!
  • The Royal Waltz
  • Night, Night Sweet Prince
  • They’re Off!
  • The Sweetheart Tree
  • The Great Race March (A Patriotic Medley)
  • He Shouldn’t-A, Hadn’t-A, Oughtn’t-A Swang On Me
  • Music to Become King By
  • Cold Finger
  • Pie in the Face Polka
  • Pie in the Face Polka (from James Galway & Henry Mancini: In the Pink, RCA RCD1-5315, 1984)
  • The Sweetheart Tree- Johnny Mathis (from The Sweetheart Tree, Mercury SR 21041, 1965)
  • Natalie
  • Free!
  • Sequence for Uncle Harold
  • A Groovy Mood
  • Off-Ramp to Nowhere
  • Theme for Losers
  • We
  • A. Mozart, I Love You
  • In and Out of Love Montage
  • Bench Warmer
  • Dear David
  • Natalie – Henry Mancini (from Six Hours Past Sunset, RCA LSP-4239, 1969)

Tracks 1-11 from The Great Race, RCA LSP-3402, 1965
Tracks 14-24 from Me, Natalie, Columbia OS 2080, 1969

CD 9 – The Party / Visions of Eight

  • The Party
  • Brunette In Yellow
  • Nothing to Lose (Instrumental)
  • Chicken Little Was Right
  • Candlelight on Crystal
  • Birdie Num-Num
  • Nothing To Lose
  • The Happy Pipers
  • Party Poop
  • Elegant
  • Wiggy
  • The Party (Instrumental)
  • Nothing to Lose – Julie Andrews (recorded 1969, previously unreleased)
  • Ludmilla’s Theme
  • Pretty Girls
  • Spaced Out
  • Warm Up
  • Soft Flight
  • The Race
  • Salute to the Olympians
  • Olympic Village
  • Ludmilla’s Theme (Reprise)
  • Hurdles and Girdles
  • Theme for the Losers
  • Salute to the Olympians (Finale)

Tracks 1-12 from The Party, RCA LPM-3997, 196
Tracks 14-25 from Visions of Eight, RCA ABL1-0231, 1973

Written by Joe Marchese

September 5, 2014 at 13:41

2 Responses

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  1. Probably the first major box set that I’ve been REALLY excited for in a while. Mainly because this came out of nowhere, whoa! Can’t wait (seriously, I can’t!)!

    Victor Dang

    September 5, 2014 at 22:55

  2. A fascinating conversation with Mancini from 1985 is available on NPR: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94772943 During this broadcast he also plays several of his best known themes on solo piano.

    Mike

    September 11, 2014 at 16:16


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