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 Posted:   Aug 19, 2010 - 10:37 PM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

Looks like we've got 12 pre-orders.

If "Beach Blanket Bingo" is a viable release, there is no excuse not to do this box set. wink


All I can say is, if you like Les and you like that style, be afraid, be very afraid - we've got something coming that will make at least twelve people happy.


I guess that makes me lucky #13, for both the Kritzergoodies and the proposed box set.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2010 - 6:48 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

My dad hired Les Baxter to score a feature called "The Sacred Idol." Capitol issued themes from the soundtrack on LP in both stereo and mono.

The LP version was recoded in a studio, probably Capitol in Hollywood. The actual soundtrack was done at Goldwyn. For some time I had a 1/4" open reel mono copy of the actual soundtrack, but somehow it got lost. The soundtrack is more dramatic, less album sounding.



Thanks for sharing, Ed. We spoke about this years ago on another forum.

I have "The Mighty Jungle," and without having heard everything that was intended to go into "The Sacred Idol" film, my impression was the album was much more fully developed and orchestrated than the pieces that wound up in the "The Mighty Jungle." Then again, it's been ages since I've seen the latter. I'll have to give it a whirl.

Let us know if you ever find that reel - I'm sure one of these labels would love to release it, if possible from a legal standpoint.

 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2010 - 7:13 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Baxter was a talented composer/arranger of the Martin Denny variety.

I'd say it was the other way around, considering that Denny hit it big with Les' "Quiet Village" composition.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2010 - 12:25 PM   
 By:   lupoprezzo   (Member)

Baxter was a talented composer/arranger of the Martin Denny variety.

I'd say it was the other way around, considering that Denny hit it big with Les' "Quiet Village" composition.


Definately true. This sound like: Elvis Presley was a talented singer/perfomer of the Ricky Nelson variety. wink

Nevertheless, thanks very much Ed for your "behind the scenes" details from "The Sacred Idol". When I read your name on the forum recently, I was thinking: "Nassour... Wasn't that the name of the producer of this strange Mexican film Baxter did the music for..." I knew some footage of "The Sacred Idol" ended in "The Mighty Jungle", but I always wondered what happened to the original film. So this was never released. Do you know if your father was able to complete it as "The Sacred Idol" or was there never a final edit of that version?

@OnyaBirri
I'm #14. A Baxter box of any kind would be most welcome. In fact I'd buy any Baxter at the moment, even these "Beach Party" stuff.

 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2010 - 12:28 PM   
 By:   La La Land Records   (Member)

Looks like we've got 12 pre-orders.

If "Beach Blanket Bingo" is a viable release, there is no excuse not to do this box set. wink


Sadly there is, it's called sales... or lack thereof smile

MV

 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2010 - 12:40 PM   
 By:   shicorp   (Member)

I find it hard to believe that a Baxter soundtrack release would sell better than a re-issue of his commercial albums. Maybe somebody could give it a try -- not a box set, but two albums at a time (similar to the Collectors' Choice or Collectables releases).

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2010 - 12:41 PM   
 By:   lupoprezzo   (Member)

Looks like we've got 12 pre-orders.

If "Beach Blanket Bingo" is a viable release, there is no excuse not to do this box set. wink


Sadly there is, it's called sales... or lack thereof smile

MV


I guess the missing vocals is a dealbreaker for many fans of these Beach Party films. On the other hand these fans aren't the typical soundtrack collector and most of them probably haven't heard of that release yet.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2010 - 12:55 PM   
 By:   Ed Nassour   (Member)

Baxter was a talented composer/arranger of the Martin Denny variety.

I'd say it was the other way around, considering that Denny hit it big with Les' "Quiet Village" composition.


Definately true. This sound like: Elvis Presley was a talented singer/perfomer of the Ricky Nelson variety. wink

Nevertheless, thanks very much Ed for your "behind the scenes" details from "The Sacred Idol". When I read your name on the forum recently, I was thinking: "Nassour... Wasn't that the name of the producer of this strange Mexican film Baxter did the music for..." I knew some footage of "The Sacred Idol" ended in "The Mighty Jungle", but I always wondered what happened to the original film. So this was never released. Do you know if your father was able to complete it as "The Sacred Idol" or was there never a final edit of that version?

@OnyaBirri
I'm #14. A Baxter box of any kind would be most welcome. In fact I'd buy any Baxter at the moment, even these "Beach Party" stuff.


Well, Denny wasn't what I'd call a great film composer. I find his best score which was for "Master of the World" is still lacking. But he did have talent. At one time he was a big band arranger.

The story on "The Sacred Idol" goes as follows.

My father was good friends with actor Jeff Hunter. One day Hunter told my dad about a project he was involved in that was shot in Mexico. So after looking at the edited footage, my father decided to invest money and his time shooting added sequences, getting the film scored so that a finalized print could be run for potential distributers. The end product was sadly lacking. It was a convoluted story about this explorer/adventurer played by real-life explorer/adventurer Dave DaLie who stumbles onto an ancient Mayan temple populated by modern-day Mayans who still sacrifice humans to appease their god. In other words, sheer, unadulterated claptrap.

So after no distributors would come forward (can you blame them?), the picture was shelved.

Then around 1963 my dad's brother Bill sold the negative to Robert Patrick who shot more footage using actor Marshall Thompson releasing the film in 1964 as "The Mighty Jungle." The story was completely changed making it more into a dull adventure film. The score by Denny was retained.

I remember Denny coming by our home to discuss the music with my dad. All I seem to remember about him was he wore a very bad toupee. I was all of 14 at the time.

 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2010 - 5:46 PM   
 By:   Mark Ford   (Member)

Les Baxter was a much more accomplished composer than many give him credit for. He got stuck early on in the low budget film world and was never really ever able to escape from that arena, which was really too bad. I do find it interesting that some who marginalize his abilities have very little musical knowledge or background and therefore not a whole lot of credibility in quantifying his talent as a composer. Although in all honesty, it must be said his contributions to film music in general don't quite measure up to his exotica work and arrangements for many of the pop singers of the day.

It has been very gratifying to see the many releases of his film music lately. Sadly, the AIP beach movies gave him very little in which to display his talent and are pedestrian at best as would be anyone's contribution to those films musically. Nevertheless, I bought Beach Blanket Bingo for all its inherent short comings to help build my Baxter library which is already overflowing with his exotica work. I thank La-La Land for it even if it looks like a bust for them.

Baxter's Poe scores are arguably the pinnacles of his film scoring output and were very much ahead of their time in applying modernistic sensibilities to film music being filled with experimental uses of electronics and harsh atonalities. Too bad so few of those recordings seem to exist as they really defined how he pushed the envelope in film music beyond such standard fare as his rather status quo, but popular Master of the World.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2010 - 6:52 PM   
 By:   Jameson281   (Member)

Baxter's Poe scores are arguably the pinnacles of his film scoring . . . Too bad so few of those recordings seem to exist

Don't give up hope . . .

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2010 - 7:42 PM   
 By:   Ed Nassour   (Member)

Baxter's Poe scores are arguably the pinnacles of his film scoring . . . Too bad so few of those recordings seem to exist

Don't give up hope . . .


They were mostly scored at Goldwyn. And onto rolls of 35mm full-coat mag. Unless they were stored properly and routinely inspected, I suspect hardly anything survived. Our only hope is if they made 1/4" protection copies for the composer.

When the studio AIP was leasing located at 7950 Santa Monica Boulevard which was next door to Goldwyn was torn down to make way for a strip mall, they discovered lots of stuff still stored there, some from the AIP days. I was told just about all of it went into the trash can.

If you watch the AIP horror flick "How to Make a Monster," you'll see the lot since they shot exteriors all over it.

For a time the lot was known as ZIV. Originally it was the Educational Pictures lot, then the Grand National lot. For a while Eagle Lion ran it. A piece of Hollywood history that was ignored.

 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2010 - 7:52 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

Looks like we've got 12 pre-orders.

If "Beach Blanket Bingo" is a viable release, there is no excuse not to do this box set. wink


Sadly there is, it's called sales... or lack thereof smile

MV


Do you mean to say that this hasn't done well? How could it miss with that incessant theme song? The one that is tattood in my brain and on my psyche for at least 3 more lives?

"BEACH BLANKET, BE-IN-INGO!" big grin

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2010 - 11:02 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Looks like we've got 12 pre-orders.

If "Beach Blanket Bingo" is a viable release, there is no excuse not to do this box set. wink


Sadly there is, it's called sales... or lack thereof smile

MV


I will agree with you that Les Baxter's exotica albums are far too sensuous for many of the basement-dwelling celibates who frequent this site and buy obscure CDs that no one cares about. But when you look beyond this demographic, you will find that Les's music appeals to people who wouldn't waste the hard drive space on 95% of what's discussed around here. So maybe the niche labels need to realize that there is a market that exists beyond their tiny universe. If they don't want to do that, that's fine, they're only screwing themselves and losing sales.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2010 - 11:38 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Looks like we've got 12 pre-orders.

If "Beach Blanket Bingo" is a viable release, there is no excuse not to do this box set. wink


Sadly there is, it's called sales... or lack thereof smile

MV


I will agree with you that Les Baxter's exotica albums are far to sensuous for many of the basement-dwelling celibates who frequent this site and buy obscure CDs that no one cares about. But when you look beyond this demographic, you will find that Les's music appeals to people who wouldn't waste the hard drive space on 95% of what's discussed around here. So maybe the niche labels need to realize that there is a market that exists beyond their tiny universe. If they don't want to do that, that's fine, they're only screwing themselves and losing sales.


This is totally accurate. That's why we're doing one of Les's really wacky exotica soundtracks in the next couple of months. a) I really like it and that style of music, and b) I know exactly where to go to get the word out and there will be a lot of people who know nothing about soundtracks who will snap it up. I've done this several times with our CDs and it works every time. With Earth vs. the Spider, I hit all the sci-fi horror groups, the Bert I. Gordon fans, and the AIP fans - and that's why, I think, that was such a fast seller. Especially in today's insanely competitive soundtrack limited edition world, one must constantly think outside the box. But, for me at least, that's the fun.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2010 - 11:44 PM   
 By:   Ed Nassour   (Member)

Looks like we've got 12 pre-orders.

If "Beach Blanket Bingo" is a viable release, there is no excuse not to do this box set. wink


Sadly there is, it's called sales... or lack thereof smile

MV


I will agree with you that Les Baxter's exotica albums are far to sensuous for many of the basement-dwelling celibates who frequent this site and buy obscure CDs that no one cares about. But when you look beyond this demographic, you will find that Les's music appeals to people who wouldn't waste the hard drive space on 95% of what's discussed around here. So maybe the niche labels need to realize that there is a market that exists beyond their tiny universe. If they don't want to do that, that's fine, they're only screwing themselves and losing sales.


I wonder. Are any of my Les Baxter stereo LPs worth anything? I also have a few Martin Denny LPs. Even a couple of Juan Esquivel stereo LPs. Those are a scream, especially Infinity in Sound Vol 1.

Infinity in Sound:



Love the "zoo zoos."



By the way, Juan Esquivel co-composed with Stanley Wilson the Revue Studios logo that later became the Universal TV logo, albeit slightly truncated.

Here's the original, long version:





 
 Posted:   Aug 21, 2010 - 1:51 AM   
 By:   shicorp   (Member)

Of course, I can only speak for myself, but so far, I've only purchased a single Les Baxter soundtrack album - but I would pick up his Capitol albums if they were available. I've got to confess that there are still some things that I don't understand about the record business. People are telling me constantly that it's not worth re-issueing Mancini because there isn't a sufficient number of people buying those albums. Is this really true? Or is it just, that it's more expensive to licence an album from let's say RCA or Capitol instead of an unreleased score from MGM, Warner, etc.?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 21, 2010 - 6:46 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)



I wonder. Are any of my Les Baxter stereo LPs worth anything? I also have a few Martin Denny LPs. Even a couple of Juan Esquivel stereo LPs. Those are a scream, especially Infinity in Sound Vol 1.


Both Esquivel and Les Baxter sell very well on eBay. Of course, the market fluctuates. Some of the Les Baxter titles are more desirable in mono, because Capitol's mono sessions involved a lot more oversight.

 
 Posted:   Aug 21, 2010 - 7:26 AM   
 By:   shicorp   (Member)

Some of the Les Baxter titles are more desirable in mono, because Capitol's mono sessions involved a lot more oversight.

In some cases, they are literally two different recordings. In the early days of stereo, Capitol used different mic setups for the stereo and mono recording. So, while the performance may be the same, the result is often pretty different. Also, in some cases (the most prominent perhaps being Sinatra's "Autumn Leaves"), the editors used the wrong take or missed a splice when preparing the stereo mix (often years after the release of the mono version).

 
 Posted:   Aug 21, 2010 - 7:38 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Of course, I can only speak for myself, but so far, I've only purchased a single Les Baxter soundtrack album - but I would pick up his Capitol albums if they were available.

If the liner notes to The Exotic Moods of Les Baxter are to be believed, Baxter himself considered his film scores as a way to pay the bills--I believe "lucre" was the term used--and Exotica as his art.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 21, 2010 - 7:40 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Some of the Les Baxter titles are more desirable in mono, because Capitol's mono sessions involved a lot more oversight.

In some cases, they are literally two different recordings. In the early days of stereo, Capitol used different mic setups for the stereo and mono recording. So, while the performance may be the same, the result is often pretty different. Also, in some cases (the most prominent perhaps being Sinatra's "Autumn Leaves"), the editors used the wrong take or missed a splice when preparing the stereo mix (often years after the release of the mono version).


Exactly. Capitol used an 8-channel mixer, with close miking, and mixed on-the-fly to mono, with effects such as reverb being added directly to the master. Total quality control - the great Roy DuNann, later of Contemporary, worked on many of these. For the stereo sessions, they simply strung up two mics over the ensemble and hoped for the best.

Among the Les Baxter albums in this category are Ports of Pleasure, Space Escapade, African Jazz and South Pacific. African Jazz in particular sounds better in mono. Ports of Pleasure in stereo sounds gorgeous, but is missing important overdubs on several of the tracks. It also has two tracks fewer than the mono, presumably because of stereo groove-cramming concerns.

As for Sinatra, "Only the Lonely" sounds like an entirely different album in mono - it is so much better and more intimate.

 
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