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 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 2:41 AM   
 By:   Bernd   (Member)

I'm watching COLUMBO on DVD again. As usually I'm not only enchanted by Peter Falk's and the guest star's performances but also by the incredible scores of the series.

In the first season composers like Billy Goldenberg, Gil Melle or Dick De Benedictis did fantastic jobs. I like the experiemental approach of these early scores. During the murder scenes, which start each episode, the composers introduce their themes. And often these themes are quite memorable.

Billy Goldenberg's music to Steven Spielberg's entry "Murder by the Book" is a highlight for me. The movie starts without any music. Just the sole sound of a typewriter can be heard during the first couple of scenes.
Then Goldenberg's theme kicks in, using a kind of typwriter sound, as a rhythm. Brilliant!

During the first season there are several themes for COLUMBO himself. At least there are two. I don't count Mancini's Mystery Movie Theme. It's apparently the theme of the timeslot which was shared by Quincy, Rockford, etc.

In season one there's a wonderful theme for the Lieutenant mostly played on woodwinds with a harpsichord accompaniment. You can hear it for example in the End Credits of the episode "Lady in Waiting".
Another theme which is tied to COLUMBO is a jazzy one which appears in the End Credits of "Blueprint for Murder" for instance.
I'd love to have these scores on CD!

Any thoughts, opinions or comments on these faboulous scores?

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 2:46 AM   
 By:   Bernd   (Member)

Here's Mancini's Mystery Movie Theme:

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 4:41 AM   
 By:   Julian K   (Member)

I'd love to have these scores on CD!

Any thoughts, opinions or comments on these faboulous scores?


I don't have much to contribute - sorry! - but I'd certainly buy a good two-disc set of Columbo scores if some label were sensible enough to release it!

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 7:22 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

The Columbo scores are so good I would prefer complete score releases a la Intrada's superb Amazing Stories sets. I went through my Columbo season 1 set some years ago and wrote down the times (and made up titles) for each and every cue. Since the final episode of season 1 is a tracked score (and less than 5 minutes, too), assuming there isn't any recorded but unused music, the complete scores for season 1 including the two pilot episode scores will barely fit on a two disc set. Here's a post I made at Intrada's board about it (follow the link to see the complete cue breakdowns):
http://www.intrada.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3369

"Know what I just realized from looking at my Columbo cue lists? Assuming that there aren't many unused cues, and assuming the most of the source music isn't really necessary, and since the score to the final episode of season one is tracked music, THEN...

...all of the original scoring for the pilot episodes and first season of Columbo can fit on one two-disc set, neatly dovetailing with the DVD release! How about it, Intrada? I'd sure as hell would buy a Columbo: Season 1 complete scores set with Grusin, Goldenberg, and Mellé, wouldn't you? I'll bet this would sell a lot better than most feature film scores by those three composers.

And I suspect this would even have some appeal beyond regular film score fans (unlike, say, Amazing Stories). Columbo is a long-running show of great stature and critical acclaim, and it would be a great tribute to Peter Falk (while he's still around and *might* understand).

Here's how I would do it:

Disc 1:

Prescription: Murder (Grusin) - 25:32
Ransom for a Dead Man (Goldenberg) - 28:17
Murder by the Book (Goldenberg) - 13:46 (this is the Spielberg episode)
Death Lends a Hand (Mellé) - 13:47

Total Time - 81:22

Now, I'm pretty sure that even with complete scores this will still fit on one CD, because Intrada would tastefully combine shorter cues into each other, and probably with some crossfading (and taking into account that I erred on the side of caution when listing cue lengths, not wanting to cut any off, so I probably included more silence than was necessary). I would estimate the total time would actually end up around 79:40.

Disc 2:

Dead Weight (Mellé) - 20:00 (this is including the most important "semi" source music which I am almost positive was written for the episode by Mellé)
Suitable for Framing (Goldenberg) - 16:48
Lady in Waiting (Goldenberg) - 20:34
Short Fuse (Mellé) - 21:36

Total Time - 78:58

Again, that total time does not take into account editing/crossfading/combining of shorter cues which I am sure would take place. Additionally, as noted I'm almost positive that several cues in Short Fuse are actually tracked from earlier episodes' scores (like was done for the entirety of the short score to Blueprint for Murder, the final episode of season 1 which Falk himself directed). This would leave more space on Disc 2 for some original source music (possibly include original source from Ransom for a Dead Man here, as it was used in many subsequent Columbo episodes).

As you can see, it's uncanny how well all of these complete scores would fit on two CDs, in chronological airing order and without having to be broken up!

Yavar"

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 7:34 AM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)


In season one there's a wonderful theme for the Lieutenant mostly played on woodwinds with a harpsichord accompaniment. You can hear it for example in the End Credits of the episode "Lady in Waiting".


That theme is one of my favorites of all time. Many times I've played those end credits or watched that episode to hear that theme. I want it. Now.

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 8:15 AM   
 By:   Bernd   (Member)



As you can see, it's uncanny how well all of these complete scores would fit on two CDs, in chronological airing order and without having to be broken up!

Yavar"



Yavar, that's an amazing work you did! Wow!
I had the feeling, that the episodes don't feature much music and that it would fit on two discs, but I didn't write down the times of the different tracks. Thanks for doing so!
This could be a very nice release. I can already see the artwork of this release in the mind's eye...

It's great to see, that I'm not the only one longing for this music!


Allardyce, it's also good to know, that I'm not the only one playing those terribly short DVD end titles on loop just to listen to this great theme.

This theme has something monotonous about it, something simple and linear. The chords shifts transform it from mysterious straight back to somethng friendly and congenial. It describes the Lieutenant perfectly.
Oh, I love this theme ...

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 8:20 AM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)


Allardyce, it's also good to know, that I'm not the only one playing those terribly short DVD end titles on loop just to listen to this great theme.





"Pardon me, I'm sorry to bother you, but there's just one more thing. When do you think a soundtrack might come out, 'cause gee, my wife, sir, oh my wife just loves that music."

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 8:27 AM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

And I suspect this would even have some appeal beyond regular film score fans (unlike, say, Amazing Stories). Columbo is a long-running show of great stature and critical acclaim, and it would be a great tribute to Peter Falk (while he's still around and *might* understand).

It's never too late to get an interest in film scores, though when I suggest it to some people, they just don't get it. Similarly, while music might exist universally, its specific appeal is cultural. Alot of 1970s TVmusic has a definite style or sound to it, and I suspect if I hadn't grown up with it, I'm not sure I'd like it now.
There's a Columbo LP which has made the rounds, digitally. Love Goldenberg, Melle, etc.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 8:39 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Don't make me go and repeat myself again!!!

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 8:55 AM   
 By:   Ebab   (Member)

I would buy it, and if it came with a selection of 83 assorted Bulgarian polka versions.

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 8:55 AM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

I would kill for some of Billy Goldenberg's music from Columbo and in doing so become the killer of the week for an episode entitled "Music to Live For, Music to Die For, Music to Kill For".

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 9:30 AM   
 By:   Bernd   (Member)



"Gee ... I'd buy one of these new ... compact discs, even if they came in these oversized Blue-Ray cases, M'am!"

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 9:42 AM   
 By:   barryfan1   (Member)

I'm watching COLUMBO on DVD again. As ususally I'm not only enchanted by Peter Falk's and the guest star's performances but also by the incredible scores of the series.

In the first season composers like Billy Goldenberg, Gil Melle or Dick De Benedictis did fantastic jobs. I like the experiemental approach of these early scores. During the murder scenes, which start each episode, the composers introduce their themes. And often these themes are quite memorable.

Billy Goldenberg's music to Steven Spielberg's entry "Murder by the Book" is a highlight for me. The movie starts without any music. Just the sole sound of a typewriter can be heard during the first couple of scenes.
Then Goldenberg's theme kicks in, using a kind of typwriter sound, as a rhythm. Brilliant!

During the first season there are several themes for COLUMBO himself. At least there are two. I don't count Mancini's Mystery Movie Theme. It's apparently the theme of the timeslot which was shared by Quincy, Rockford, etc.

In season one there's a wonderful theme for the Lieutenant mostly played on woodwinds with a harpsichord accompaniment. You can hear it for example in the End Credits of the episode "Lady in Waiting".
Another theme which is tied to COLUMBO is a jazzy one which appears in the End Credits of "Blueprint for Murder" for instance.
I'd love to have these scores on CD!

Any thoughts, opinions or comments on these faboulous scores?


In the UK, the Mancini Mystery Movie theme (and accompanying sequence with that guy with the lantern) was not shown much (at least not in the South East), and only went out before the first series of Columbo, McCloud, and my favourite (largely because of Jerry Fielding's theme/scores) McMillan and Wife. Those along with later additions like Banacek, Cool Million, and others, were the mystry movies, but Jim Rockford was never lumped in with them, probably because it was shown on BBC1 and the others were all on ITV, back in the days when we only had two channels.

I have suggested before that a box set of music from all the mystry movies might be a viable product. There was so much good music written for TV in the 60's and 70's, and not just for Columbo and his mates. A box set representing each studio, Universal, Warner Bros, etc., would be really cool!

Cheers,

Mike

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 2:45 PM   
 By:   WesllDeckers   (Member)

the music to the first seasons was GREAT!! indeed, experimental, often well spotted and used quite sparingly.
I'd love to see them released one day!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 3:39 PM   
 By:   Doctor Plesman   (Member)

If there would be only one TV series I could choose for its unforgettable, uniquely different, jazzy, funky, experimental, suspenseful and simply plain brilliant scores to be released, the answer would still be the same as it has been thirty-five years ago: COLUMBO!

Thanks for bringing this topic up again - I seriously have hope that someday - finally - FSM or someone else is going to do them, preferrably in the same style as FSM's fantastic MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. anthologies...

NP: COLUMBO - SHORT FUSE (Gil Mellé), DVD Rip

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 10:09 PM   
 By:   Bernd   (Member)

Well, I'm impressed how many other guys would like to have such a Columbo disc(set) in their shelfes.
An encouraging thought! Let's hope someone from the labels has some releasing plans in the drawer ...

As with Star Trek TNG (without comparing the two series at all of course!!!) the first season of Columbo seems to have outstanding musical scores.
As far as I remember they become less thematic and experimental in the course of time, although there are other great examples during the following seasons.

Any thoughts about the revival of the series in the early 90's?

Although the structure stays the same and although some of the guest stars reappear ( Patrick McGoohan, William Shatner, ..) the "new" series has another spirit. Well, the times were different.

They concentrated on what has been established in the 70's without beeing experimental at all. But since the "new" episodes are part of my youth I'm not so critical with them as perhaps I should be.

Those episodes and their musical scores have a different, more straight-forward approaches. First of all, there's much more music in each episode. O.K. they are a bit longer than the ones of the 70's.

The music is composed in the mainstream TV style of the aera. Matlock, Diagnosis Murder, etc. come to my mind.

Surely the theme Columbo whistles ("This old man") becomes sort of a "leitmotif" in some of the "new" scores. The theme('s) he got in the 70's sadly never reappeared.

Columbo's first appearance in the new season ("Columbo Goes to the Guillotine") features a nice catchy tuba theme though.

But all this cannot compete with the magical mysterious moments of the early 70's music as we described above!!! *sigh*

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 10:16 PM   
 By:   Bernd   (Member)

I seriously have hope that someday - finally - FSM or someone else is going to do them, preferrably in the same style as FSM's fantastic MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. anthologies...

Exactly!
This is a nice example how a Columbo set could look like.

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2010 - 11:47 PM   
 By:   Stephan   (Member)

Great great music!!
(And now compare this music to the music heard in modern television series... or no, better leave it...)

My favourite score is MURDER BY BOOK - it's just brilliant how Goldenberg took the typewriter and let it play to the melody! Grand cinema!

 
 Posted:   Jul 2, 2010 - 12:13 AM   
 By:   Heath   (Member)

Don't forget Patrick Williams who wrote some lovely music for Columbo too. His "How To Dial A Murder" for low strings, piano, harp, percussion and wind instruments is a favourite of mine.

 
 Posted:   Jul 2, 2010 - 12:54 AM   
 By:   Bernd   (Member)

Great great music!!
(And now compare this music to the music heard in modern television series... or no, better leave it...)

My favourite score is MURDER BY BOOK - it's just brilliant how Goldenberg took the typewriter and let it play to the melody! Grand cinema!



Billy Goldenberg also scored "Duel" for Steven Spielberg with the same kind of expressive music he used for several Columbo episodes. There's very few music too.
Both are from 1971. I wonder which one was the first?

 
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