The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for the ‘Lalo Schifrin’ Category

Shaken, Not Stirred: Ace Mines “The Secret Agent Songbook” With “Come Spy with Us”

with 2 comments

Come Spy with UsFor many, the sound of John Barry epitomizes the sound of the spy thriller. It’s no surprise – with 12 James Bond films under his belt, the late, great British composer imbued his melodies with the right amount of adventure, humor, tension, sophistication, and well, sex. It’s fitting that Barry opens Ace Records’ superlatively entertaining new anthology Come Spy with Me: The Secret Agent Songbook, collecting 25 samples of swinging music from spies and secret agents (and even a handful of detectives!) released between 1962 and 1968, the heyday of the genre.

Come Spy with Me opens with “A Man Alone,” Barry’s 1965 instrumental theme to The Ipcress File. Perhaps his second-most recognizable spy theme after his arrangement of Monty Norman’s “The James Bond Theme,” it inventively utilizes the cimbalom, a type of hammered dulcimer, to achieve its singular sound. Matt Monro had sung the first-ever vocal James Bond theme with Lionel Bart’s “From Russia with Love” as heard in the second 007 film, the first for which Barry provided the score. “Wednesday’s Child,” from 1967’s The Quiller Memorandum, is all the evidence one needs of the rich-voiced crooner’s deep affinity with Barry’s absorbing melodies. The lyrics, incidentally, were written by Mack David; his younger brother Hal would later collaborate with Barry on songs including “We Have All the Time in the World” from the Bond adventure On His Majesty’s Secret Service.

It was Barry, serving in the capacity of arranger, who gave shape to Monty Norman’s composition “The James Bond Theme” for Bond’s screen debut in Dr. No. It set the template for all spy music to come. While the original of the track, with Vic Flick’s indelible guitar part, isn’t here, a fine stand-in is Johnny and the Hurricanes’ 1963 surf-inspired version with prominent tenor sax and organ adding new colors. The most famous artist associated with the music of James Bond is Shirley Bassey. While her showstopping “Goldfinger” might be the quintessential spy song, she’s instead featured belting Lalo Schifrin and Peter Callander’s theme to “The Liquidator” in her most divinely bombastic style. Bassey wasn’t the only one to mine the success of “Goldfinger,” however. Susan Maughan’s “Where the Bullets Fly,” from songwriters Ronald Bridges and Robert Kingston, hails from the 1966 film of the same name, and incorporates about as much of “The James Bond Theme” and John Barry sound as the law would allow! This rarely-heard nugget is a fantastic treat.

Scott Walker not only sings, but co-wrote The Walker Brothers’ Barry-inspired “Deadlier than the Male” from the 1967 film of the same name which starred Richard Johnson and Elke Sommer. Walker’s resonant, haunting baritone meshes beautifully with Reg Guest’s evocative arrangement. (Spy music connoisseurs take note: Walker made a rare return both to traditional melody and the spy genre with his understated performance of David Arnold and Don Black’s sad, achingly gorgeous “Only Myself to Blame” in 1999. The song was written and recorded for the Bond film The World Is Not Enough, but was sadly unused in the actual motion picture; it did, however, appear on the soundtrack album.

Keep reading after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Just the Way You Like It: Hits, Videos Compiled on Tabu Box Set

with 4 comments

Tabu boxAfter more than a year of reissues of the Tabu Records catalogue by Edsel – reissues that have been relatively lavish but particularly divisive for their occasional lapses in audio quality – the label has prepped a thorough career-spanning box set.

The Tabu Records Box Set is a 6CD/1DVD affair collecting tracks from all of the label’s major releases between 1977 and 1991. Each disc will be broken down by theme; the first focuses on early soul albums by the likes of The S.O.S. Band and Brainstorm plus more left-of-center instrumental albums by Manfredo Fest and noted composer Lalo Schifrin. (Some of these tracks, particularly those by Schifrin, have not been celebrated with individual reissues, making their inclusion a particular treat.) Disc 2 highlights dance tracks from that early era (“Lovin’ is Really My Game,” “Groovin’ (That’s What We’re Doin’)”) while Disc 3 showcases the romantic side of the label’s roster.

Discs 4 and 5 highlight Tabu’s biggest peak in the ’80s, when producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, formerly of The Time, set up shop as writers/producers for Alexander O’Neal, Cherrelle and The S.O.S. Band. Hits like “Just Be Good to Me,” “Never Knew Love Like This,” “Saturday Love” and “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On” blossomed from this period. The set closes with some of the lesser-known acts from the label’s twilight years, including Demetrius Perry, Kathy Mathis and Rhonda Clark.

Also included in the box is a DVD featuring promo videos (mostly by O’Neal) and interviews with label founder Clarence Avant as well as Jam & Lewis, and a bonus 7″ single featuring two of the label’s more obscure grooves, “Changin'” by (Ms.) Sharon Ridley and “Jungle Kitten” by Manfredo Fest. A 60-page booklet features notes by box compiler Ralph Tee plus an extensive label discography.

The whole affair is available February 24 and can be ordered after the jump, where you’ll find an exhaustive breakdown of the tracks! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

February 11, 2014 at 10:46

Intrada Premieres Scores to “Joe Kidd,” “Flight of the Intruder”

with one comment

FlightIntruder600This week, Intrada’s shaking off the dust on some little-heard, unreleased scores by two big names in film composing.

We’ve heard and seen composer Basil Poledouris and director John Milius enjoy great success with their movie collaborations, namely Conan The Barbarian and Red Dawn in the early ’80s. For this 1991 Vietnam War flick (a favorite topic of the outspoken Milius), Poledouris was again on hand to create a rousing, militaristic action score. Never before released on CD, this disc presents the complete score to another excellent film music collaboration between friends.

JoeKidd_600aThe label’s next title goes back almost 40 years to Joe Kidd, yet another example of the Western as starring Clint Eastwood. The legendary actor/director, helmed by John Sturges in this picture, plays – what else? – a mysterious, neutral bounty hunter hired to settle a land dispute in New Mexico, that ends up dispensing some justice along the way. Schifrin authorities peg the Joe Kidd score as one of his best and most interesting of the period, and this premiere CD release arguably highlights that fact better than the actual film (which truncates many of the cues heard in full here).

All titles are available to order now; hit the jump to find links to each and full track details.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 24, 2013 at 12:16

Soundtrack Surplus: Varese, Intrada, La-La Land Announce List of Heavyweights

with one comment

Soundtrack fans had a lot of courses to chew on this week, with batches from Intrada and Varese Sarabande landing within mere hours of each other on Monday and Tuesday and a reissue announced for next week by La-La Land Records.

Over at Intrada, fans got to enjoy a new entry in the label’s Special Collection series: Michael Small’s sexy, suspenseful score to The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981). Small’s soundtrack is released in full for the first time anywhere, featuring a handful of alternate cues intended for a soundtrack LP that never materialized.

Intrada’s second release is an interesting one: a reissue of the expanded score to Star Trek V: The Final Frontier by Jerry Goldsmith. As you may recall, La-La Land’s expansion of the album, which combined the complete score with the original soundtrack LP and bonus material, was a sellout not long after its limited release in 2010. Paramount apparently requested it be back in print in perpetuity – now, virtually every classic Trek soundtrack reissue of the past few years is now available in unlimited quantities – and so, with only minor changes in artwork, it can boldly go to your collection once more.

Varese dropped a crazy amount of titles on Tuesday, and you can read all about them after the jump!

Read the rest of this entry »

Lalo Schifrin Score To Gene Roddenberry Flick Arrives From FSM

leave a comment »

Argentinian composer Lalo Schifrin has never been one to be boxed into any single genre.  He created one of the most memorable television themes of all time with his “Mission: Impossible,” recorded jazz albums for labels like Verve and Creed Taylor’s CTI, and scored innumerable films, racking up six Oscar nominations in the process.  Now, after the recent release by Quartet Records of Schifrin’s score to Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You, another one of living legend Schifrin’s most unknown scores is being issued by Film Score Monthly in a new, complete edition.  1971’s Pretty Maids All In A Row was the first theatrical film written and produced by the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry.  But it wasn’t a science-fiction epic.  Always one interested in relevant topics, Roddenberry devised Pretty Maids, based on Francis Pollini’s novel, as a commentary on the then-current sexual revolution.  His choice to direct was inspired.  Acclaimed French filmmaker (and Jane Fonda’s then-husband) Roger Vadim, no stranger to films dealing with sexual mores, made his American directorial debut.  The (very) black comedy took place at a California high school, with Rock Hudson starring as a married guidance counselor and football coach who offers much more than mere guidance.  Hudson’s Michael “Tiger” McDrew also has the habit of sleeping with his students – and oh yeah, he might just be a serial killer, too, when many of his young female charges start turning up dead!

Opposite Hudson was bombshell Angie Dickinson as a substitute teacher at Oceanfront High, and Telly Savalas of Kojak fame as the police captain investigating the murders.  Keenan Wynn portrayed another member of the police force while James Doohan, forever Star Trek’s Scotty, was beamed up for an appearance, too.  Schifrin’s score was intense and moody, prominently employing Fender Rhodes piano and cimbalom.  However, the film also called for a large amount of source music which gave him the chance to compose in a groovy pop style.  He even co-wrote “Chilly Winds” with lyricist Mike Curb for the main title, and the song was performed by The Osmonds!

Film Score Monthly’s limited edition of 1,000 copies contains Schifrin’s complete score including music not actually heard in the film’s final cut.  Jeff Bond and Alexander Kaplan contribute liner notes including track-by-track annotations.  It is available for order now at Screen Archives for $19.95 plus shipping.  Hit the jump for the complete track listing and order link!  Track samples are available at the link. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 7, 2011 at 10:17

What’s New, Pussycat? Classic Burt Bacharach and Lalo Schifrin Soundtracks Reissued

leave a comment »

Burt Bacharach turns 83 today on May 12, 2011, and we’ve got some news to celebrate!

“Pussycat, pussycat, I love you…” Chances are you can sing along to the hip-swiveling melody of those lyrics, sung by Tom Jones and written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the 1965 film comedy What’s New Pussycat?. But raise your hand now if you remember the sequel! Five years after the success of the original film, United Artists released Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You, a half-sequel, half-remake moving the locale to Rome and more or less telling the same story with different characters portrayed by a decidedly lesser-caliber cast. With Bacharach declining to reprise his duties as composer, the filmmakers turned to Lalo Schifrin (Mission: Impossible, Bullitt, Cool Hand Luke), who wrote one of the least-known scores in his canon for the film. Spain’s enterprising Quartet Records label has just announced a surprise for fans of both Bacharach’s original score and the Schifrin ouevre. The label will release a two-for-one CD containing both the original soundtracks to What’s New Pussycat? and Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You, and more excitingly, both soundtracks will be presented as they’ve never been heard before.

The original 1965 film may be best remembered for Bacharach’s title song, although it also introduced “My Little Red Book” (performed by Manfred Mann and later covered by Love) and “Here I Am,” recorded by Dionne Warwick. The film also launched Woody Allen’s screen career as both an actor and screenwriter. Clive Donner directed a stellar cast led by Peter Sellers, at the height of his fame.  He delivers one of his most underrated madcap performances as psychoanalyst Dr. Fritz Fassbender, equal parts Clare Quilty (Lolita) and Inspector Clouseau (The Pink Panther). Sellers was joined by Peter O’Toole as the womanizing Michael James, and Capucine as Fassbender’s patient Renee Lefebvre, stalked by the doctor but actually longing for Michael’s affections. Paula Prentiss (the American tourist in France) and Romy Schneider (Michael’s fiancee) are, of course, also both in love with Michael. Though Allen has distanced himself from the film, its a perfect example of the mid-sixties sex comedy, and his screenplay still has its share of deft, farcical moments.  He shines onscreen as well in the role of Victor Shakapopulis, a nebbish with dreams of being a ladies’ man himself.

The comedy also marked Burt Bacharach’s debut as not only songwriter, but score composer. What’s New Pussycat can be seen as the first of a Bacharach trilogy continuing with After the Fox (1966) and concluding with Casino Royale (1967). All three scores have a similar compositional signature, with Bacharach approaching film scoring much like he did songs, with quirky chord changes and time signature shifts but an unerring sense of melody. His music echoes the wacky action onscreen, employing kazoos, tubas, pianos and horns with nods to waltzes, polkas and jazz.  Following Kritzerland’s definitive remaster of Casino Royale earlier this year, Quartet takes a page from that label’s playbook and will present Bacharach’s score in two versions. First is the original album version, which was released on CD in 1998 by Rykodisc (RCD 10740) but is remastered here.  Following that version, Quartet debuts a version in film score order. This was accomplished by removing some of the soundtrack’s edits to create standalone cues. In either version, though, you’ll delight not only to the three songs, but to instantly memorable, humorous cues like “Downhill and Shady” and “Marriage, French Style.” Both are as catchy as anything the maestro has ever written. In addition to Jones’ “Pussycat” and Manfred Mann’s rocking, piano-pounding “My Little Red Book,” Dionne Warwick’s gorgeous “Here I Am” is a criminally unknown ballad that could qualify as an art song.

Hit the jump to join Lalo Schifrin in 1970 as he follows in Bacharach’s footsteps for Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 12, 2011 at 10:22