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Farewell, My Lovely/Monkey Shines (1975/1988)
Music  Composed by David Shire
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Price: $19.95
Limited #: 3000
Line: Silver Age
CD Release: January 2002
Catalog #: Vol. 4, No. 20
# of Discs: 1

From the holdings of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. comes this doubleheader showcasing two great scores by one of film music's brightest voices: David Shire. The album features the premiere CD release of Farewell, My Lovely (1975), a film noir previously on a United Artists LP, and the first-ever release of Monkey Shines (1988), an Orion film directed by horror legend George Romero.

Farewell, My Lovely resurrected the Philip Marlowe detective character—experted played by Robert Mitchum—in a remake of the earlier Murder, My Sweet (1944). At the time, David Shire was in the midst of a remarkable run of brilliant scores as disparate as The Conversation, The Taking of Pelham One-Two-Three, All the President's Men and The Hindenburg. For Farewell, My Lovely, he crafted a wonderful, melancholy main theme which stands with Jerry Goldsmith's Chinatown, Bernard Herrmann's Taxi Driver, and John Barry's Body Heat as one of the best pieces of film jazz of the era. The entire score is permeated with melody—bluesy, haunting, and lovely—merging the Los Angeles of the '40s with the dramatic sensibility of the '70s. The theme for Charlotte Rampling's character is a perfect complement to Marlowe's music, and, much like Chinatown, the suspenseful moments are treated with modern, avant garde effects.

Although we usually reshuffle our albums into film chronological sequence, Farewell, My Lovely was expertly designed by Shire as one of the best LPs of the 1970s. We have therefore retained the LP sequence—adding one track of previously unreleased music—while remixing most of the cues from the 16-track session masters.

Monkey Shines is the suspenseful tale of a young man paralyzed in a freak accident and forced to rely upon a capuchin monkey for household chores—but the animal has been treated with dangerous drugs, and the connection between man and beast soon grows out of control. Shire created memorable themes for the male and female leads—as well as the "mad scientist" involved—but it is the music for Ella the monkey which undergoes the most transformation. Utilizing exotic percussion and a talented flute soloist, Shire wrote a theme which is lovely and tender on the one hand, and psychotic and uncontrollable on the other. The Monkey Shines score—never before released—was recorded by a non-union orchestra in Toronto and has been assembled into this premiere album presentation by the composer.

The CD packaging includes our customary detailed booklet—here 24 pages—with stellar art direction and full recording credits.

David Shire Scores on FSM
Big Bus, The
Farewell, My Lovely/Monkey Shines
Klute/All the President’s Men
Morituri/Raid on Entebbe
Northwest Passage: Classic Western Scores From M-G-M, Vol. 2
Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The
About the Composer

David Shire (b. 1937) is responsible for some of the most acclaimed scores of the 1970s, such as The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The Conversation and Farewell, My Lovely. His film and television work extends from the late 1960s to the present day (including 2007's Zodiac), consistently excellent in its subtlety, dramatic sensitivity and musical imagination. He has also, with lyricist partner Richard Maltby, enjoyed a successful career in musical theater. IMDB

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