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 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 9:29 AM   
 By:   Arch Stanton   (Member)

EYE OF THE DEVIL SCORE CD IS A MAGNIFICENT UNKNOWN!

Film Score Monthly releases an obscure yet hauntingly captivating soundtrack by lauded jazz composer Gary McFarland

Linden, VA – March 13, 2008 – Great film scores have come from several composers whose careers ended much too soon, such as Christopher Komeda, Roy Budd and... Gary McFarland.

Yes, Film Score Monthly kicks off its 11th year of “Classics” releases with a score as excellent as it is virtually unknown: McFarland’s Eye of the Devil.

Gary McFarland (1933-1971) was a jazz composer, arranger and performer whose light shined bright during his brief career in the 1960s; he died very young in semi-mysterious circumstances. McFarland was lauded for his melodic gifts and imaginative jazz orchestrations, and he possessed the affinity for mood and simplicity of expression that marks most great film composers. So it was no surprise when he tackled his first film score in 1966 for Eye of the Devil (also known as 13).

Eye of the Devil was a troubled horror film directed by J. Lee Thompson and starring David Niven as the patriarch of a wine estate in rural France. When the fortunes of the vineyard go bad, Niven is summoned to die in ritualistic sacrifice – the destiny of all male heads of the family. This is discovered slowly by Deborah Kerr as his sympathetic wife, and the film’s telling from her point of view allowed McFarland to write a beautiful, melancholy and expressive melody that aches with her loss and heartbreak. The theme is utterly captivating and worthy of other Silver Age greats like John Barry, Henry Mancini or Ennio Morricone – though it is crafted in McFarland’s own style.

The film features a component of witchcraft – David Hemmings and Sharon Tate co-star as a brother-and-sister warlock and witch – and McFarland uses haunting wordless vocals to express the mystery and horror of the European gothic setting. For the film’s climax, as the ritual suicide is carried out, McFarland creates a kind of “bolero of death” for the fateful procession; here, as in the rest of the score, the dynamic arrangements are infused with the best symphonic jazz of the era, not simply of film music.

After being announced on LP in 1967 but never released (a master was prepared for Verve Records – all of its music is included here, and more), Eye of the Devil comes to CD at last, remixed and remastered from the original three-track 35mm stereo masters recorded in London. Liner notes are by John Bender and Lukas Kendall. Special thanks are due to McFarland archivist Douglas Payne.

FSM is well aware that Eye of the Devil is a film score few people have heard of, but please sample the music clips at Screen Archives Entertainment (www.screenarchives.com) and find that McFarland was a major talent whose career was tragically cut short (he scored only one subsequent film) – and this is a truly magnificent work.

Check it out at: http://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm?ID=8950

 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 9:37 AM   
 By:   Wedge   (Member)

And conducted by Jack Parnell, famed leader of the Muppet Show Orchestra! smile

 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 9:46 AM   
 By:   Lukas Kendall   (Member)


This is a really great score. We were worried that people would overlook it because it's so obscure. I hope people check it out.

Lukas

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 9:49 AM   
 By:   Squiddybop   (Member)

As soon as I can get to a computer with speakers I'll be checking out the samples. It certainly looks like the kind of score I'm likely to enjoy.

 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 9:50 AM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

I'm not familiar with the film but those samples sound beautiful, and that cover...WOW! I'm definitely going to be getting this one.




EDIT, 11:22 am: Ordered! smile

 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 9:51 AM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

I agree about that cover- it's a looker.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 9:53 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

I remember seeing this! I know the music didn't sound this good in the film, which indeed was bad, considering it reunited Niven and Kerr for the umpteenth time. I really like the variety in the samples and I am taken by the purity in the writing. I guess I'm going for it since I have a few extra bucks after my two holy grail purchases, COMES A HORSEMAN and HEAVY METAL.

 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 9:55 AM   
 By:   Michael_McMahan   (Member)

I get pretty much any pre-90's horror score I can. I'll order this. Samples sound great.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 10:08 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

I just posted about it in the other thread - who would have EVER thought this would come to CD? Frankly, for me this is more interesting than Heavy Metal smile

Gary McFarland made several classic albums in the 60s for Verve that are amongst my faves. This is really worth getting, and, for me, the film is even a bit of a guilty pleasure (I think I have it on my TIVO - I"ll have to go look).

 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 10:09 AM   
 By:   JackBlu78   (Member)

Cover art grabbed me plus I Like scores like this.. believe me there are other CDs I should be buying that have been in print longer but I grabbed this one and Heavy Metal.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 10:19 AM   
 By:   Odlicno   (Member)

The cover art is great, i'll have a listen to the samples. Looks cool.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 10:22 AM   
 By:   Timmer   (Member)

This is a really great score. We were worried that people would overlook it because it's so obscure. I hope people check it out.

Lukas


Thanks a lot Lukas.

I've ordered this along with Bernstein's great score!

Timsmile

 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 10:56 AM   
 By:   wayoutwest   (Member)

Cover Art Superb sounds pretty good as well

 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 11:06 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I just finished a book about the Impulse! Jazz label and there was a piece on McFarland and his work with guitarist Gabor Szabo and pianist Steve Kuhn...McFarland's even forgotten in many Jazz circles...This release will be interesting to hear!

I also posted the SAE link about the album's release on a Jazz website I post regularly on...

 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 11:19 AM   
 By:   Ed   (Member)

The write up made me want to see the film. Netflix doesn't have it. Anyone know if it's available in the states?

 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 11:26 AM   
 By:   Kenneth English   (Member)

ORDERED!

Never even heard of this movie (or this composer) but, as Mr. McMahan said above, I'm all-in for any pre-90's horror music. The samples sound fantastic. I just love discovering completely new and obscure stuff.

 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 11:30 AM   
 By:   JackBlu78   (Member)

This film does show up on TCM from time to time. Currently it is not on their schedule to be shown, but it was just on TCM about 2 months or less ago cause I had a friend who was supposed to have it recorded from her digital cable and she forgot!

Maybe Turner and WB will release a DVD of it for this Halloween season they usually gather up some classic titles like this for release.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 11:39 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

I just finished a book about the Impulse! Jazz label and there was a piece on McFarland and his work with guitarist Gabor Szabo and pianist Steve Kuhn...McFarland's even forgotten in many Jazz circles...This release will be interesting to hear!

I also posted the SAE link about the album's release on a Jazz website I post regularly on...


If many in jazz circles have forgotten McFarland then they're not worthy of being in jazz circles.

 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 11:43 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I just finished a book about the Impulse! Jazz label and there was a piece on McFarland and his work with guitarist Gabor Szabo and pianist Steve Kuhn...McFarland's even forgotten in many Jazz circles...This release will be interesting to hear!

I also posted the SAE link about the album's release on a Jazz website I post regularly on...


If many in jazz circles have forgotten McFarland then they're not worthy of being in jazz circles.


One could stuff the Grand Canyon with the Jazz (and film score) composers they've forgotten, unfortunately.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 13, 2008 - 12:23 PM   
 By:   Dorian   (Member)

I hope to learn more about the mentioned "semi-mysterious circumstances".

 
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