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In this first part, we will first dissect the body of work coming from the English label Network which restores the television scores of ITC and then we will switch to three decades of film music scores from the 1950's to the 1970's: the summit of compositions.
 
RUNDOWN ON NETWORK CD'S
Last
year, Network gave us six television soundtracks from their ITC catalogue: the top drawer scores for The Prisoner (3-CD set), Danger Man: The Hour Long Series (5-CD set) and Man in the Suitcase (5-CD set) then the minor but good ones: Danger Man: The Half Hour Series (2-CD set), Department S (3-CD set) and Randall and Hopkirk Deceased (3-CD set). In 2009, the first released soundtrack started rather late and the label offered The Champions (3-CD set) from March and it turned out to be an excellent choice which was not the case with the following April title: a deadly dull single CD of Strange Report. Then came the fun, groovy and unpretentious 2-CD set of Jason King (listen carefully to the tonic disc 1) in May and another winner for the Summer (July) The Protectors (5-CD set): the second best title whose first two discs are powerful. In Autumn, Network made a regressive turn and offered five single sets of older titles (The Prisoner, Randall and Hopkirk Deceased, Department S, Man in a Suitcase, Danger Man: The Hour Long Series) and a 2-CD set compilation entitled The Music of ITC (including unreleased themes and cues) for an audience of amateurs and beginners but we learnt in the booklet that many television scores didn’t survive. The last term of 2009 saw no new full television scores releases and Network left us hanging with less music than the year before. I recommend to order The Champions and The Protectors first and get Jason King for the treat! One major flaw from all these sets is that three (Randall and Hopkirk Deceased, Department S, Strange Report) have inferior audio sources for the title themes because they don't come from the original master tapes. Packaging-wise, the CD sets are manufactured as DVD sets and graphic design-wise, the first two releases (The Prisoner and Randall and Hopkirk Deceased) had an original picture disc and, from Man in a Suitcase, they simply decorated the discs with the company logo on a black background and, in 2009, from The Protectors, the discs were entirely black. Is 2009 the swan song for Network? Let's hope 2010 will let us witness The Persuaders and The Adventurer whose themes are by John Barry, Edwin Astley's The Saint and The Baron and Barry Gray's Space: 1999 Year 1.
 
VINTAGE SELECTION PER DECADE
All soundtracks are classified in the alphabetical order of the composers. LN means “Liner Notes” and they include authors dealing with cinema/television and music analysis, track-by-track commentary, technical talk.
 
1. Film Music
 
 
“The main title and the cult cues ‘The Skeleton/Duel with the Skeleton’ are the trade marks of Sinbad.”
 
1950's Soundtracks (4)
Bernstein
God's Little Acre (Kritzerland) (LN: Bruce Kimmel)
Harline
Pickup On South Street (Intrada) (LN: Julie Kirgo)
Herrmann
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (Prometheus) (LN: Jeff Bond)
Waxman
Crime In The Streets (Varèse Sarabande) (LN: John W. Waxman)
 
Notes:
God's Little Acre is an Elmer Bernstein’s typical 50's potpourri: touches of jazz (see “Will’s Blues”, “Poor Old Tuy Ty”, “A Piano Solo”), upbeat country music, rockabilly and chorals. Pickup on South Street is not only a very good Film Noir but a very good slick urban syncopated score with warm and almost jazzy brass whose main title is re-arranged in may ways. At the top of this decade, Herrmann's intense and hypnotic 2-CD set of The 7th Voyage of Sinbad is as good and inspired as Journey to the Center of the Earth and North by Northwest—the main title and the cult cues “The Skeleton/Duel with the Skeleton” are the trade marks of Sinbad; I remember passionately Varèse Sarabande’s vinyl edition which is integrated in the second disc. Oddly enough, the sound texture on some tracks (see “The Fog”) from the Graunke Symphony Orchestra’s performance is similar to their Dominic Frontiere’s A Name for Evil. Waxman’s jazzistic Crime in the Streets along with Three Sketches and Theme, Variations and Fugato are well-oiled, elegant, impeccable: instant pleasure!
 
Best 1950’s Titles: The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Pickup On South Street, Crime in the Streets.
 
Discussions About The 7th Voyage of Sinbad:
 
 
“Needless to assert that In Harm's Way is a masterpiece and the track ‘The Rock’ is a monument of martial tune.”
 
1960's Soundtracks (14)
Bennett
Billion Dollar Brain (Kritzerland) (LN: Bruce Kimmel)
Bernstein
A Walk In The Spring Rain (Varèse Sarabande) (LN: Jerry McCulley)
Gold
Pressure Point (Kritzerland) (LN: Bruce Kimmel)
Goldsmith
Lonely Are the Brave (Varèse Sarabande) (LN: Robert Townson)
Freud (Varèse Sarabande) (LN: Robert Townson)
In Harm's Way (Intrada) (LN: Douglass Fake)
Seconds (La-La Land) (LN: Jeff Bond, David Goldwasser)
Grusin
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Film Score Monthly) (LN: Jeff Bond, Lukas Kendall)
Jones
The Split (Film Score Monthly) (LN: Scott Bettencourt, Alexander Kaplan)
Mandel
The Americanization of Emily/The Sandpiper/Drums of Africa (Film Score Monthly) (LN: Deniz Cordell)
North
The Children’s Hour (Kritzerland) (LN: Bruce Kimmel) (On Order)
Hard Contract (Varèse Sarabande) (LN: Robert Townson)
Schifrin
Bullitt (Film Score Monthly) (LN: John Bender, Alexander Kaplan)
Williams
None but the Brave (Film Score Monthly) (LN: Jeff Eldridge)
 
Notes:
Bennett’s Billion Dollar Brain starts very well with a vivid “Main Title” served by a piano fugue in the foreground and the theme is rearranged later in “Skidoo”, “Karnaa”, “Love Scene”, “Anya” with the dominating Ondes Martenot which was in use in many Barry Gray’s scores for Gerry Anderson productions; Film Score Monthly used to provide online notes: http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/notes/billion_dollar_brain.html. A Walk in the Spring Rain is a good Elmer Bernstein score for those who appreciate the lowkey, bucolic and intimistic line of The Gypsy Moths. The music from Pressure Point is done in the crime jazz fashion combined with some retro ragtime music (“Tic-Tac-Toe”) and ethereal passages (see “I’m Off the Case”, “Slipping Down the Drain”, “Imaginary Playmate”, “Gory Fantasies”, “Raw Liver”) and it can be connected to The Twilight Zone because sometimes it reminds Jerry Goldsmith and Rene Garriguenc's "Jazz Theme" (see “Main Title”), Leonard Rosenman’s “And When The Sky Was Opened” and even the electronic work of Nathan Van Cleave. Lonely Are The Brave is a long lament in the western idiom but still contains a fantastic fight track entitled "Barroom Brawl". And now, Freud: this is the very first modernistic score by Goldsmith inspired by the New Vienna School, a must have and a pioneering composition which was influenced by his work on the horror anthology Thriller. Needless to assert that In Harm's Way is a masterpiece and the track "The Rock" is a monument of martial tune. Seconds is a great pessimistic and macabre Goldsmith’s score that is linked to two television anthologies: The Twilight Zone (see the 1961 score for “The Invaders”) and Thriller (see the 1961 scores for “The Poisoner” and “The Grim Reaper”) combined with two feature films: the 1962 Freud (see “Desperate Case”, “Cecilie and the Dancer”, “The First Step”, “Freud’s Awakening”) and the 1964 Shock Treatment; the opening funeral march is like hearing Bartók playing Bach due to the dominant Church organ, some tracks are influenced by chamber music or use a solo of a violin—notice the impressive strings section that the composer exploits—, a harp and a piano as effects in order to reinforce the morbid and desperate nature of the work: in the end, the music is both religious and sentimental but executed by the hand of a modernist who twists notes as the distorted film itself. And the question that comes to mind is why pairing this gem with a third-rate score (I.Q.) from another era? The logical association would have been to select a 1960’s score as Seven Days In May: another Paramount title directed by the late John Frankenheimer. My second disappointment goes to Grusin's Heart which begins with the album including five mainstream songs (pop and country)—that deserve to be tidied up in the Bonus Source section of the CD because they disrupt the mood—and not the original recording from this intimistic, delicate, Baroque and bitter sweet score whose starts of two tracks (“Drop Out” and “Alone Again”) will be re-arranged and injected in the main title of the 1973 Neo-Noir The Friends of Eddie Coyle. The Split is a very good surprise and a staccato organ-oriented composition that is almost Ironsidesque and filled with six soul music songs (two versions of "Main Title", two versions of "It's Just a Game of Love", "Celebration" and "End Title") and one country music song ("A Good Woman's Love") and the action starts with the tough-as-nails "Kifka Car Caper". The cream of the Mandel trio remains the one and only The Sandpiper because of its plush, subtle, smooth and "cool jazz" appeal and I can even sing "The Shadow of Your Smile"—the warm and delicate brassy music arrangments foreshadow Harper and Point Blank. The rare Hard Contract by North is a very interesting, subdued jazzistic and complex score that shows that the 60's was the composer's finest era and one track "Number One Man" has a particular meaning for me because it is a reworking of "Moon Rocket Bus" from the rejected 2001: A Space Odyssey and in a way, the score anticipates Goldsmith's melancolic Chinatown. As The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, the cult classic Bullitt starts with the album version—that I already own from a Japanese CD pressing—but the real McCoy is the original recording—that I’ve dreamt to get for many decades—that is exceptionally dense and some tracks were never heard in their authentic rendition as the "Main Title", the rough rock tune heard in the radio set of star witness Ross’ room (“Hotel Daniels”), the hospital basement chase between hunter Bullitt and silver hair hitman Mike featuring a long pause of abstract sounds before the climax (“Ice Pick Mike”) and the "End Titles" with its solitary dry guitar and supported by a flute, some tracks were never included before as the suspenseful airport showdown between hunter Bullitt and fugitive Ross (“Air Terminal—Main Lobby”) and, above all, some tracks (i.e., characters themes) are unused in the film as “Dr. Willard” and “Ross”; for the anecdote, the original orchestration is by Richard Hazard—who composed for Mannix and Mission: Impossible—and George Del Barrio—who worked on Sol Madrid—and, last but not the least, some of the deep-rooted jazz tracks are related to late 1960's Blue Note artists as vibes player Bobby Hutcherson's band (see album Components) or trumpeteer Donald Byrd's band (see albums Kofi and Fancy Free). After In Harm's Way, find another WWII score entitled Nothing but the Brave but executed by John Williams in his most solid dramatic vein from his classic era and some passages frankly announce The Ghostbreakers.
 
Best 1960’s Titles: Bullitt, In Harm's Way, Freud, Seconds, The Split, The Sandpiper, Pressure Point, Billion Dollar Brain.
Soundtrack Video:
Soundtrackcollector’s Billion Dollar Brain: Main Title
 
 
“I am quite satisfied by Schifrin's action-packed score for Sky Riders which features arrangements in the line of Planet of the Apes: The Series…”
 
1970's Soundtracks (12)
Bernstein
Mr. Majestyk (Intrada) (LN: Elvis Mitchell, Daniel Schweiger, Walter Mirisch, Charles Bernstein)
Fielding
Gray Lady Down (Intrada) (LN : Nick Redman, Douglass Fake)
The Big Sleep (Intrada) (LN : Nick Redman, Douglass Fake)
Goldsmith
Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (Varèse Sarabande) (LN: Julie Kirgo)
One Little Indian (Intrada) (LN: Jeff Bond, Bruce Botnick)
Legrand
Cops and Robbers (Kritzerland) (LN: Bruce Kimmel)
Mancini
The Thief Who Came to Dinner (Film Score Monthly) (LN: Scott Bettencourt, Lukas Kendall)
Rosenthal
The Island of Dr. Moreau (La-La Land) (LN: Randall D. Larson)
Rózsa
Time After Time (Film Score Monthly) (LN: Nicholas Meyer, Jeff Bond, Frank K. DeWald)
Last Embrace (Intrada) (LN: Julie Kirgo, Douglass Fake)
Schifrin
Sky Riders (Aleph) (LN: Julie Kirgo)
Small
The China Syndrome (Intrada) (LN: Kyle Renick, Douglass Fake)
 
Notes:
Charles Bernstein’s Mr. Majestyk is a good and short modern rural score—that combines country music and Mexican folklore elements but with a dominant trumpet, harmonica and accompanied by a wah wah guitar as the fast-paced and hyper kinetic “Another One Rides the Bus” and “Chasing the Chase”—that follows a trend initiated by Quincy Jones’ The Getaway (also guest starring the late Al Lettieri) and John Williams’ The Sugarland Express. Gray Lady Down is best-encapsulated by the slow-moving, pulsating, watery, sneaky and invading Navy leitmotiv coming from the “Main Title” that is extremely effective and gripping. This underwater leitmotiv comes back in "Snark Lowered For Mission - #1", "Finding The Sunk Sub", “Zeroing in On Sub - #2” and “They Set the Charge”. It's interesting to notice that you find small traces from earlier scores (Scorpio in “Leaky Hatch” and “Finding the Sub Sunk”, The Outfit in “Control Room of Neptune”, “They Set The Charge”, “Count Down” and “Gates’ Sacrifice”, The Killer Elite in “First Surface”, “DSRV” and “The Launch”) and it's arranged with the electronic veneer of both Kolchak, The Night Stalker and Demon Seed. The second Fielding (The Big Sleep)—which marks the last collaboration with director Michael Winner—is close to the leaning of The Enforcer (see the funk bassline cues as “Tailing Marlowe” and “The Man With The Grey Car” which are a reworking of “Harry’s World”, “Cuffs and Gun”) and this lengthy and detailed presentation really does justice to the score; again, evidences of older scores are present (Straw Dogs in the cues “Meet General Sternwood” and “Marlowe to Sternwood”, Scorpio in the cues “Brody Takes a Bullet and “Cuffs and Guns”, The Super Cops in the cue “Chasing Smut”, The Killer Elite in the cue “The Head Shot”). Let’s focus on a seminal opus: Escape from the Planet of the Apes which is, first of all, an outgrowth of a television score entitled Crosscurrent but re-arranged thoroughly, developed and pushed further and then, the complete soundtrack is more subtle and has a detailed intimistic color that was almost absent from Varèse Sarabande’s 1997 effective action suite. No comments for One Little Indian: another homogenous little gem from Mr. Gee. After The Split in the 60's, Cops and Robbers is another score that illustrates a book by Donald E. Westlake and features songs ("Main Title", "Wall Street" and "The Sleep Song") as well as mellow jazz ("Uptown", "The Lush Life") and funk jazz tracks as "The Sellers" (with a typical Legrand signature), "Downtown", "The Caper" and the two versions of "The Chase". Mancini's Thief score is very laid-back and contains an unusually long versalite track (7:41) entitled "The Really Big Heist". I am quite satisfied by Schifrin's action-packed score for Sky Riders which features arrangements in the line of Planet of the Apes: The Series (see "The Riders", "The Terrorists") and Charley Varrick (see "Copters and Gliders"). Rosenthal’s Dr. Moreau is a bona fide dramatical score in the modernist tradition of Jerry Goldsmith and the main title is reminiscent of the epic arab motif from The Wind and The Lion and the primitivism of Planet of the Apes; the recursive love theme of Maria and one hectic chase cue foreshadow Logan’s Run: The TV Series. Between the two Rózsa, my heart goes instinctively to the energetic, flamboyant and romantic Time After Time which has a "deliciously" wicked music box-like leitmotiv (see "L'aïo dè rotso") also called the watch theme (see "Search for a Victim", "Decision for Murder/Murder", "The Journey's End") culled and arranged from Joseph-Marie Canteloube's Chants d'Auvergne that is used to remind us the Ripper is striking! The rejected score for The China Syndrome is "the" must have of 2009, meaning a rare singularity that continues Small's sneaky paranoid sound line (see "The Plant", "Ticking Time Bomb", "Hot Rods", "The China Syndrome") with some action (see "Meltdown!") and a melancholic and upbeat breath (see "The Truth and The Finale") but orchestrated with typical late 70's synthesizers—sometimes, you think of Laurence Rosenthal and John Carpenter (see the far end of "Meltdown!")—and some unexpected slight "disco funk" arrangements (especially in "News at 11:00" and "Source Suite #2"). To get the rough feeling of the score, listen closely to the double The Star Chamber/Driver.
 
Best 1970’s Titles: Escape From The Planet Of The Apes, One Little Indian, Gray Lady Down, The Big Sleep, Time After Time, Mr. Majestyk, The China Syndrome, Sky Riders, The Island of Dr. Moreau.
Soundtrack Videos:
 
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Wow, Thomas! You went all out with this one. Next time, I'd break up segments into paragraphs, though. ;)

The scope and epic sprawl of this past decade--whatever the hell its called and whenever the hell it began or ends--has been the best in terms of how many cherished scores from TV and film have found CD releases. For me, it started in 2002 when Varese did The Sand Pebbles and FSM stunned me with Lust For Life.

Great review! I like that you include virtually every aspect of the score: packaging, notes, sequencing, etc. You should be paid for this.

And I'm glad someone else loves IN HARM'S WAY! ;)

Yes, I agree - a very nice summary of releases that must have taken quite a while to prepare.

As usual, I don't agree with all your views, but I certainly do with a lot of them. Delight with some of the Network soundtracks (The Protectors) and disappointment with some of them too (Strange Report, The Music of ITC), but overall I think it's been a good year!

Again, a great summary (although I do agree with Mr Phelps that it would have been less of an eyestrain had it been spilt up into more paragraphs!)

Wow, Thomas! You went all out with this one. Next time, I'd break up segments into paragraphs, though. ;)

The scope and epic sprawl of this past decade--whatever the hell its called and whenever the hell it began or ends--has been the best in terms of how many cherished scores from TV and film have found CD releases. For me, it started in 2002 when Varese did The Sand Pebbles and FSM stunned me with Lust For Life.

Great review! I like that you include virtually every aspect of the score: packaging, notes, sequencing, etc. You should be paid for this.

And I'm glad someone else loves IN HARM'S WAY! ;)



I read you about the paragraphs.
I try to be alive, sharp, subjective (i.e., personnal) and share my enthusiasm for any details.
"The Rock" is perfect: I wish I could listen to the original recording of "In Harm's Way".
Just received North's "The Children's Hour" and I think I will order "Panic in Year Zero": SAE recently published audio samples and the music is jazz-oriented.
Feel free to post a feedback about Part 2.

Yes, I agree - a very nice summary of releases that must have taken quite a while to prepare.

As usual, I don't agree with all your views, but I certainly do with a lot of them. Delight with some of the Network soundtracks (The Protectors) and disappointment with some of them too (Strange Report, The Music of ITC), but overall I think it's been a good year!

Again, a great summary (although I do agree with Mr Phelps that it would have been less of an eyestrain had it been spilt up into more paragraphs!)



Well, now you can read what I think of Fielding's "The Big Sleep".
"The Champions" and "The Protectors" are the gems of Network all the way: listen to "WAM".

Thanks Thomas Always Enjoy reading your Posts, quite a few you have written about that I would like to check out,My Musical interests are spread fairly widely cannot afford to Buy everything that I would like to.

With so many Titles coming out you have to be more and more Selective about which ones to get,I'm still picking of a number of the older titles that more than likely will soon be OOP.

In Harms Way is One of my Favorites from 09 as well ;)

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