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 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 5:49 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Hi,

There are already a few old threads about this release, but since this one includes a specific question, well, I started a new thread. Apart from that, I just felt like it.

Firstly, the observations. I must say that this is one of the most pleasurable surprises soundtrack-wise I've had in quite a while. I mean, this came out 13 years ago (!) and although I'd always had it on my wants list it kept getting pushed down. I'm a Goldsmith fan, but I'm not a rabid one, and despite the fact that POLICE STORY comes from the era in the composer's career which I like best (roughly '65 to '79), I always found an excuse to get something else - you know, "I've already got loads of Goldsmiths; it's probably really like a lot of other stuff he's done; I haven't heard much praise for this" etc. But 13 years later I got it.

And it's absolutely terrific. The amount of energy and tension generated with a fairly small ensemble is amazing. It's not as "cerebral" perhaps as something like THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BELL, but it's a totally wonderful listen. Who needs a 100-piece orchestra when you're brimming with talent and ideas? Goldsmith's "bread and water" TV years served him well, because he learned how to do so much with so little. What does it sound like? Well, you all know the theme, so it's like that, but there are also touches of CONTRACT ON CHERRY STREET, SHAMUS, ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES, and particularly the frantically percussive action scenes from PURSUIT. Remember that one? FLINT is curiously, and perhaps thankfully, absent however. Oh, and what a gorgeous Love Theme - as good as anything he ever wrote, and not a drop of syrup in sight.

Then we've got the Richard Shores "Library Cue Variations", which almost duplicate the Goldsmith cues, but with different orchestrations and some extended "legwork", for example. In general, I feel that the Shores adaptations are a shade more generic than the pure Goldsmith originals. I was reminded of some of Morton Stevens' work for TV, and of course Richard Shores' own TV scores, so the observation isn't a negative one really. The way the album plays, it's like an "original soundtrack" followed by the "commercial re-recording" - the kind of re-recording we'd have drooled over 30 years ago - without really caring (or even knowing) that it wasn't the "original". I hope you're following this.

To finish off we have a short suite from MEDICAL STORY. I remember that theme from donkey's years ago. I had it on cassette (didn't we all? - I'm addressing the elderly here). I don't recall all that synth-wash though. Still, it's a great theme. The actual score itself is credited to Arthur Morton, although Goldsmith's Love Theme from POLICE STORY makes a guest appearance midway through. There's not an awful lot of Morton to get a grip on in the brief selection... it's kind of Goldsmithy, but not particularly memorable.

Which brings me to my question. Did Arthur Morton ever have the chance to develop his own compositional style? As a composer his credits are few, although I'm aware of the '50s noir PUSHOVER which I believe he composed - and which sounds like Hugo Friedhofer to me. If that's the real Arthur Morton, composer, he could have gone on to great things. Not to play down his role as orchestrator at all, but you know what I mean. So?

And while I'm at it... Have you got this CD? Do you like it? Why? Why not? (etc)

 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 6:21 AM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

To finish off we have a short suite from MEDICAL STORY. I remember that theme from donkey's years ago. I had it on cassette (didn't we all? - I'm addressing the elderly here). I don't recall all that synth-wash though. Still, it's a great theme. The actual score itself is credited to Arthur Morton, although Goldsmith's Love Theme from POLICE STORY makes a guest appearance midway through. There's not an awful lot of Morton to get a grip on in the brief selection... it's kind of Goldsmithy, but not particularly memorable.

I've always heard Lalo Schifrin credited with the music (and certainly at least the theme) for MEDICAL STORY...

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 7:32 AM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

Dude, Schifrin did MEDICAL CENTER. (Don't worry, I'm doing that a lot lately.)

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 7:54 AM   
 By:   Simon Morris   (Member)



And while I'm at it... Have you got this CD? Do you like it? Why? Why not? (etc)



Yes, I've had this CD for years - another memorable Goldsmith tv theme smile

I must say, (and not being a die-hard Goldsmith enthusiast anyway) that I actually prefer the Richard Shores selections, and they're something to treasure given the lack of his music on CD (apart from UNCLE of course).....

Not so struck by the 'Medical Story' suite, although I remember the theme well enough!

 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 8:36 AM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

...from the era in the composer's career which I like best (roughly '65 to '79)

Hi, Graham.

Do you have any favorite Goldsmith scores from pre-1965 black-&-white films/TV?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 11:11 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Indeed I do, Tone. CITY OF FEAR, LONELY ARE THE BRAVE, THE STRIPPER, SEVEN DAYS IN MAY, IN HARM'S WAY - I think they're all pre-'65. Also his brilliant work on TV's TWILIGHT ZONE and, above all, THRILLER.

Why d'you ask?

 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 11:52 AM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

Dude, Schifrin did MEDICAL CENTER. (Don't worry, I'm doing that a lot lately.)

Center, Story...close enough for guv'mint work....

 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 2:36 PM   
 By:   MRAUDIO   (Member)

I have this CD - I do enjoy the Goldsmith portion, buts it's the Richard Shores library cues that really stand out with me - along with the music of Morton Stevens, I find Shores' music so energetic and a delight to listen to.

Anyway, a truly fine CD , indeed...:-)

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 2:52 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

I knew you wouldn't let us down, Mr Audio (you don't mind if I call you Mr Audio, do you?) -

I certainly enjoy the Shores pieces too, but against the original takes by such a distinctive composer as Goldsmith in his prime, they do seem to me a little... anonymous. Still, and as I stated before, it's a treat to have both composers side by side on the same CD doing more or less the same thing - but slightly differently.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 3:03 PM   
 By:   Dorian   (Member)

I also like this CD! Some of my favorite Goldsmith titles are from his TV output (QB VII, Dr. Kildare, etc.). My copy is hand-numbered #2905 and I bought it many years ago, they must have shipped their copies at a random order, otherwise it would have been sold out for a long time.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 3:21 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Dorian, my copy is hand numbered 2883, so there's only a difference of 22 between us, whatever that really means.

Glad you like the score. Yes, I think that Goldsmith's TV scoring was supremely good on the whole. As I implied before (not specifically about Goldsmith or POLICE STORY), give a hack a million dollar camera that can do everything, and he'll produce adequate, even "well-done" photos. Give an itchy young guy with ideas an old single-lens camera, and he'll do wonders.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 7:19 PM   
 By:   Broughtfan   (Member)

Hi,

There are already a few old threads about this release, but since this one includes a specific question, well, I started a new thread. Apart from that, I just felt like it.

Firstly, the observations. I must say that this is one of the most pleasurable surprises soundtrack-wise I've had in quite a while. I mean, this came out 13 years ago (!) and although I'd always had it on my wants list it kept getting pushed down. I'm a Goldsmith fan, but I'm not a rabid one, and despite the fact that POLICE STORY comes from the era in the composer's career which I like best (roughly '65 to '79), I always found an excuse to get something else - you know, "I've already got loads of Goldsmiths; it's probably really like a lot of other stuff he's done; I haven't heard much praise for this" etc. But 13 years later I got it.

And it's absolutely terrific. The amount of energy and tension generated with a fairly small ensemble is amazing. It's not as "cerebral" perhaps as something like THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BELL, but it's a totally wonderful listen. Who needs a 100-piece orchestra when you're brimming with talent and ideas? Goldsmith's "bread and water" TV years served him well, because he learned how to do so much with so little. What does it sound like? Well, you all know the theme, so it's like that, but there are also touches of CONTRACT ON CHERRY STREET, SHAMUS, ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES, and particularly the frantically percussive action scenes from PURSUIT. Remember that one? FLINT is curiously, and perhaps thankfully, absent however. Oh, and what a gorgeous Love Theme - as good as anything he ever wrote, and not a drop of syrup in sight.

Then we've got the Richard Shores "Library Cue Variations", which almost duplicate the Goldsmith cues, but with different orchestrations and some extended "legwork", for example. In general, I feel that the Shores adaptations are a shade more generic than the pure Goldsmith originals. I was reminded of some of Morton Stevens' work for TV, and of course Richard Shores' own TV scores, so the observation isn't a negative one really. The way the album plays, it's like an "original soundtrack" followed by the "commercial re-recording" - the kind of re-recording we'd have drooled over 30 years ago - without really caring (or even knowing) that it wasn't the "original". I hope you're following this.

To finish off we have a short suite from MEDICAL STORY. I remember that theme from donkey's years ago. I had it on cassette (didn't we all? - I'm addressing the elderly here). I don't recall all that synth-wash though. Still, it's a great theme. The actual score itself is credited to Arthur Morton, although Goldsmith's Love Theme from POLICE STORY makes a guest appearance midway through. There's not an awful lot of Morton to get a grip on in the brief selection... it's kind of Goldsmithy, but not particularly memorable.

Which brings me to my question. Did Arthur Morton ever have the chance to develop his own compositional style? As a composer his credits are few, although I'm aware of the '50s noir PUSHOVER which I believe he composed - and which sounds like Hugo Friedhofer to me. If that's the real Arthur Morton, composer, he could have gone on to great things. Not to play down his role as orchestrator at all, but you know what I mean. So?

And while I'm at it... Have you got this CD? Do you like it? Why? Why not? (etc)


Arthur Morton did a fair bit of composing for episodic TV while at Fox, mostly alternating with Sandy Courage on the series "Peyton Place." He did some lovely, well-crafted scores for first and second season "Waltons" episodes, four episodes that stand out being "The Journey" (especially the beautiful seascape music underscoring John Boy's and Mrs. MacKenzie's day at the beach), "The Roots", The Air Mail Man," and "The Triangle," all written in season two when he was the series' primary composer. A fine musician...and much more than Jerry Goldsmith's and George Duning's orchestrator.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2013 - 3:57 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Thanks for that, Broughtfan. I was vaguely aware of Arthur Morton's scores for episodic TV, although I'm not sure I ever saw/ heard any... It's interesting that you mention Alexander Courage too. His scores for STAR TREK were absolutely excellent, and yet outside that series I find it difficult to hear his own "style" on the few other projects he worked on as composer.

As you say, both were much more than "mere" orchestrators. I just wonder if they made a conscious decision NOT to follow a career in composition... because on the basis of PUSHOVER (Morton) and TREK (Courage) they could have formed part of the A-list.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2013 - 8:01 AM   
 By:   Broughtfan   (Member)

Oh, these guys were real pros and musical chameleons. Both Sandy Courage and Fred Steiner were working on Daniel Boone at Fox at the same time they were scoring their respective first season episodes of "Star Trek," with the scores for the two series sounding very different. In fact, and this blows my mind thinking about it, Fred was on the FOX stage at 8AM July 14, 1967 recording his substantial Daniel Boone score "The Spanish Horse," only TWO DAYS after recording Trek's "Who Mourns for Adonais" at Desilu (interestingly, and by sheer coincidence, Arthur Morton recorded partial scores for three Peyton Place segments later that day). Both "Adonais" and "Spanish Horse" scores are august and exciting...and almost nothing alike. These guys were not only chameleon-like, but fast (and good) with the pencils.

 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2013 - 1:38 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Love this CD (mine's #1370) for all the reasons Graham so thoroughly described, plus it's also got the Screen Gems logo which I guess is a Goldsmith composition?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2013 - 2:44 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Now Jim, I have had wine, so I am not very coherent - but I'd be VERY surprised if that little logo tag was a Goldsmith composition...But thanks for liking the CD for the same reasons that I do. It makes me feel less alone in the universe.

Now onto the more profound observations and questions staed in my original post... We can do that tomorrow or next week.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2013 - 5:33 PM   
 By:   Broughtfan   (Member)

Now Jim, I have had wine, so I am not very coherent - but I'd be VERY surprised if that little logo tag was a Goldsmith composition...But thanks for liking the CD for the same reasons that I do. It makes me feel less alone in the universe.

Now onto the more profound observations and questions staed in my original post... We can do that tomorrow or next week.


No, not Goldsmith, not even an American composer. The Screen Gems logo was composed by a British electroacoustic composer named Eric Siday. Up to 1965, the time the new logo was first seen, Screen Gems had an animated logo (occasionally referred to as "Dancing Sticks"), which included the voice-over 'A Screen Gems Presentation/Production' and featured an orchestral backing (beginning with a distinctive, echoing fanfare) composed by Frank DeVol in either 1962 or 1963. Returning to Siday, he also composed the somewhat eerie-sounding logo tune for National Educational Television (NET), the precursor to PBS.

 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2013 - 5:49 PM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

Oops. The poster above me did a much better job of answering than I did!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2013 - 8:59 PM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

From an otherwise useful post:

No, not Goldsmith, not even an American composer.

I fail to see how Eric Siday's nationality matters.

 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2013 - 9:07 PM   
 By:   Krakatoa   (Member)

Love this CD (mine's #1370) for all the reasons Graham so thoroughly described, plus it's also got the Screen Gems logo which I guess is a Goldsmith composition?



The "Police Story" album is such fun and having the apparently non-Goldsmith Screen Gems logo on it is such a treat add-on. No viewing of a "Bewitched" episode should be without it. Wish the later editions of episodes of "The World at War" left in the opening eight-note Thames logo music. It appears as it did on TV in the first US edition of the series when it came out on VHS but is missing from later DVD versions. I don't know if it appears in the latest Blu-ray version.

It is Also great to have the Goldsmith musical Bumpers for Goldsmith's "The Homecoming: A Christmas Story" on the FSM CD that was the Bumper sound around all the commercial breaks on the first CBS-TV airings of this TV-Movie in the US. Someone here reported that these bumpers are not on DVD or VHS releases of the movie so that makes it especially lovely to have that 17 second little treasure at the end of the FSM CD.

 
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