INNERSPACE.

 

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It’s difficult at times to write a review of a score that has been released before, especially when it is by a major composer such as Jerry Goldsmith. INNERSPACE when originally released was a mixture of score and songs, the score being given precedence over the songs but still being an edited version of what we had heard in the actual movie. Which was a shame because Goldsmith’s soundtrack is probably one of his best from this particular period within his career. La-La Land have set the record straight with this expanded release of the score, the compact disc contains 28 tracks and has a lengthy running time of 1 hour and 17 minutes. Goldsmith’s exciting, exhilarating and highly appealing soundtrack is a joy to hear in its entirety with a blend of dramatic orchestral colours that are enhanced and embellished by the use of electronics, giving the symphonic elements of the work more power and dynamics. We experience vibrant and imaginative use of electronics or synths in the opening track, “The Main Titles” are 90 percent synthetic, Goldsmith employing some unworldly sounds that are underlined by threatening almost growling keyboard work, which finally gives way to a short lived flourish of romantic sounding strings that bring the cue to its conclusion. To go into detail about the music I think is probably a mistake as many of you have already experienced this work via the movie etc, I do however recommend this expanded version as it is a worthy addition to any collection, and stands as a testament to the artistry and style that was and still is Jerry Goldsmith. Packaged very well by La-La Land with extensive notes, track by track analysis and eye catching cover art.

“L’INCORRIGIBLE”.

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Composer Georges Delerue was responsible for some of cinemas most romantic and infectious themes, he was one of those composers who had the ability to enhance, support and ingratiate each and every project he worked upon. Since his untimely death his music seems to have become more and more popular if that is at all possible, as the composer  always had a faithful army of followers throughout his illustrious and incredibly creative career. The composer was at ease working within any genre of film and fashioned delicate, melodic and dramatic compositions that fitted each and every situation like the proverbial glove.  Many collectors outside of France were introduced to Delerue’s music fairly late on into the composers career, when he worked upon American movies such as DAY OF THE DOLPHIN, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, CRIMES OF THE HEART and BEACHES. But the composers output was far greater for productions that were filmed by European filmmakers and sadly these were sometimes overlooked. This compact disc is the first release from THE MUSIC BOX RECORDS COMPANY, and is limited to just 1000 pressings. The music on the disc is  taken from two movies. The first is from 1975. L’INCORRIGIBLE, directed by Philippe De Broca and starring the effervescent and charismatic talent of Jean Paul Belmondo. De Broca and Delerue began their creative collaboration in 1960 and  this fruitful partnership  lasted through to the late 1980,s. The composer working on many of the Directors most prestigious and well known examples. L’INCORRIGIBLE is a comedy which has as its central character Victor Gauthier a gentle mannered villain and fairly polite teller of untruths. The second score included on the disc is from the 1976 movie VA VOIR MAMAN PAPA TRAVAILLE,  a little known movie which was directed by Francois Leterrier who himself had very little success as a director of commercial projects.

L’INCORRIGIBLE is typical Delerue, it begins with a short lived but strident sounding piece in the form of the movies main theme, which for me at least sums up perfectly the atmosphere of the films storyline and also the characteristics and personality of the films central figure. Strings, brass and percussion combine to create a rousing fairly brisk sounding piece that is melodic and slightly mischievous, full of light-heartedness and zest.  Track number two is just the opposite TENDRE MARIE-CHARLOTTE, is a tender blissfully melodic and haunting tone poem performed in the central part by piano which is supported by underlying strings that enhance and tenderly underline and caress the central theme, then the composer adds woodwind to the equation further enhancing and delicately carrying the theme forward to the cues conclusion. This type of orchestration can only be Delerue, he was and still remains the master at this creative and pleasing method of bringing emotion and poignancy to the proceedings. Track number three VICTOR TRAITE UNE AFFAIRE, contains the same central theme as track two, but on this occasion the composer arranges it differently and replaces the piano with an accordion creating a typically French ambience to events.  L’INCORRIGIBLE is a score that contains a number of styles within its running time, we are treated to Delerue in richly romantic mood, neo classical flourishes can be heard throughout and there is also an underlying comedic air to the score with roguish interludes, plus a handful of cues that conjure up perfectly an atmosphere that is mysterious and tense at times. One of the highlights of the score is track number 16, THEME D’AMOUR which is performed on piano by the composer, this is a delightfully emotive piece made even more so by the very fact that it is Delerue playing it.

VA VOIR MAMAN, PAPA TRAVAILLE begins at track number 17, this too has the typical sound of Delerue about it, as soon as the track commences one instantly knows what composer is responsible for the music. Lightly struck vibes embellished by a music box effect and harp are further enhanced by underlying strings in the GENERIQUE DEBUT, a pleasing opening to a score that contains compositions that can easily be identified as Delerue through and through, but also a score that contains some up beat examples which have an almost pop persuasion to them as in track number 18, SERGE E MARIANNE, track 21, SURPRISE PARTIE and track 28, FUTURISSIMO, in which Delerue utilises electronic instrumentation effectively but also subtly creating a cue that’s style one would ordinarily associate with composers such as Magne, De Roubaix, Lai or Gainsbourg.

There is also the rather jaunty  AU PARC DE THOIRY which is performed on piano in nickelodeon mode backed with percussion, this segues into a tango tempo taken on by percussion and piano that act as support to accordion.  But for much of the score we are treated to some archetypal Delerue, demonstrated in emotive and haunting interludes that are touchingly beautiful and mesmerising and the odd near classical sounding piece performed by either piano, harpsichord or strings. All in all this is a delightful compact disc that contains two very different but also in some ways similar examples of the work of Georges Delerue. Music Box Records are to be congratulated on selecting this duo of fine scores and saving them from obscurity. Packaged well with edifying sleeve notes filmographies and other information, the disc has very good production values with nice sound and colour stills.

LO STRANO VIZIO DELLA SIGNORA WARDH/THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF MRS WARDH.

 

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The name of Nora Orlandi is synonymous with Italian film music, She is not only a gifted composer and arranger in her own right but also was responsible for providing many Italian soundtracks with their choral backing tracks along with her vocal group 4+4. She worked predominately with Guido and Maurizio de Angelis but has also at times worked with Stelvio Cipriani, Nico Fidenco, Robby Poitevin and Gianni Marchetti. Plus numerous other composers from Italy that have written for film, including Morricone. Her spaghetti western scores are every bit as infectious and original as her peers work in the genre and in fact the style and sound that she achieved was at times very similar to that of fellow composer Francesco De Masi,especially when a solo trumpet was utilized. This particular score is in my opinion one of her best works for cinema, the composer provides us with a highly listenable and varied collection of themes which at times can be likened to the works of Morricone in films such as LOVE CIRCLE and SEASON OF SENSES. Orlandi has written a work that is melodic and haunting but also contains dramatic undertones that are supported by a jazz orientated style,the composer using Hammond organ to great effect and at times employing harpsichord,electric guitar and solo female vocals to express an atmosphere that is steamy and sensuous. Released in 1970 THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF MRS WARHD, is a murder mystery with slasher tendencies.  This particular edition of the soundtrack was the first time that it was issued on any form of recording and Hexacord records in Italy should be congratulated on bringing this marvelous piece of easy listening/ lounge sounding exotica to the attention of soundtrack collectors. Since its release in 2001 it has been re-issued on other labels on vinyl as well as CD,but the original release in my opinion still remains the best. If I was to draw comparisons between this Orlandi score and other Italian soundtracks, I would say it certainly has affiliations with the aforementioned LOVE CIRCLE and also has some uncanny likeness to Nicolai’s THE INSATIABLES, this is the style and sound that Orlandi has achieved here, so not a bad thing, highly recommended,  it will blow you away…….

WHEN WOMEN HAD TAILS/WHEN WOMEN LOST THEIR TAILS.

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Two soundtracks on one compact disc, that is always an attraction, and when they are great scores it is even more of a temptation to purchase it. The two scores in question are WHEN WOMEN HAD TAILS and it’s sequel WHEN WOMEN LOST THEIR TAILS. These two prehistoric comedies were popular during the 1970,s, the first WHEN WOMEN HAD TAILS was scored by Ennio Morricone and one can only remark that this is Morricone at his best. There is not one track on this score that requires the listener to reach for the skip button on the CD player, it is a score that is brimming with some of the most infectious and vibrantly entertaining music that I have ever come across. The score is bursting with energy and overflowing with many of the trademark sounds and standard writing styles of the Maestro. The choral work which is the work of Alessandro Alessandroni and his excellent IL CANTORI MODERNI is breathtaking and in fact it is this vocalizing that gives the score its wonderful vitality and infectious persona. Eight of the eleven cues from WHEN WOMEN HAD TAILS contains choral accompaniment, the movie which is a kind of comic take on ONE MILLION YEARS BC and a precursor to films like CAVEMAN was successful in a number of European countries as well as its country of origin. An LP record of Morricones soundtrack was available during the 1970,s but this was a bootleg and was soon a very rare and hard to find item. Morricone,s music is wonderful and as well as the stunning choral performances we are treated to must hear cues that include the utilization of cheeky sounding woodwind, seductive harpsichord and the luxurious solo vocals of Edda dell orso. Track number five is a favourite of mine, Morricone parodies the nursery rhyme THREE BLIND MICE, weaving the familiar strains of the song into the framework of the score, this is not just entertaining but also engaging and enchanting. The soundtrack is a triumph of tongue in cheek scoring  and one that is full of numerous WAH, WAH,S a plethora of grunts and an abundance of sighs and over the top vocalizing that is embellished enhanced and ably supported by some highly irreverent orchestration, that includes digaredoo and wooden blocks either announcing or punctuating the proceedings.  The second score is from WHEN WOMEN LOST THEIR TAILS, this was released in 1972,the music which is penned by Bruno Nicolai was never released at the time of the movie being in cinemas, and sat in the CAM archives for many years untouched, although probably not as energetic or thematic as Morricone’s original score this work does have its moments. There are within it a number of references to the original score, but Nicolai as always manages to infuse a degree of originality into the score and places his own musical fingerprint upon proceedings. Nicolai’s score is completely instrumental and contains not choral support, but it still has a zestful and cheeky aura to it. Released as part of the CAM film music encyclopedia series back in 2001,this is a compact disc that should be in every Italian film music fans collection. If you missed it find it and savour a great pairing of soundtracks and some fantastic 70’s film music.

BRUNO NICOLAI MOVIE SONGS BOOK.

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I have for a number of years been one of the many people that championed the creative talents of Maestro Bruno Nicolai, his scores have at times rivaled and even in certain cases outshone the work of fellow Italian composer Ennio Morricone, and in the early days many collectors were convinced that Nicolai was an alias for Morricone or even vice versa because the styles that each composer employed were in many instances identical.. This collection of Nicolai songs from movies is certainly entertaining in its own unique way, not being a great fan of vocals on soundtracks, I suppose I approached this CD with a little apprehension, but saying that I could see a few familiar titles within its track listing, so that made me feel a little more comfortable. The CD opens with ARIZONA GUN from the soundtrack ARIZONA SI SCATENO E IL FECE FUORI TUTTI, performed by IL CANTORI MODERNI under the direction of Alessandroni, this spaghetti western score is probably not one of the greatest examples of Nicolai,s work for the genre, but the title song still remains a light, catchy, rhythmic if not predictable example of the Italian western sound. Ie; “I GUESS I GOTTA GET MY GUN, I GUESS I GOTTA SHOOT SOMEONE”. So predictable but entertaining, in a corny sort of way. Track two is taken from the score, AMERICA COSE NUDA COSI VIOLENTA, LOOK AWAY is performed by an unidentified studio singer, who has a very strong and vibrant vocal talent, she carries the vocals well and this cue is for me anyway one of the more attractive cues within the compilation. 100,OOO DOLLARI POUR RINGO is up next and vocalist Bobby Solo performs flawlessly the title song RINGO CAME TO FIGHT. Again maybe the lyrics are a little predictable, but this I am sure you will agree was something that occurred within many Italian western songs, the composers and lyricists attempting to imitate the sound of the American cowboy movies but at the same time trying to create a sound and style of their own. The cue gets a second airing fourteen tracks on in the collection, but this time we are treated to the Italian vocal version, somehow they always sound better in Italian ?

bruno 3Track four is a real classic, I WANT IT ALL. from FEMMINE INSAZIABILI, this is Nicolai at his best, an enthusiastic and energetic opening for percussion, strings combined with brass and female vocal is followed by a great performance by vocalist Laura saint Paul, I remember when I first heard this on the original Ariete LP many years ago, it’s a track that one will return to constantly and each time you will hear something or get something out of the recording that you did not get before, and evergreen in the Italian soundtrack song book department. This cue is repeated later in the compilation in Italian. Now track five, is a little bit of a puzzle for me, GO GIDDY GO, is from THE DAY OF THE LANDGRABBER or LANDRAIDERS, at least the music is from the score anyway, this is rather clumsy sounding saloon track from the soundtrack, the lyrics this time are ultra cheesy as we say in the U.K. By this I mean a little over the top, and somewhat annoying but in a nice way, its one of those songs that will probably drive you mad, as it will keep going around in your head for days after the initial listen, I found myself trying to separate the vocal from the music, as I had been so used to hearing the instrumental version on the score which I hold dear as one of Nicolai,s best. I am not sure if it spoilt my opinion of LANDRAIDERS or not, but having seen the movie I honestly cannot remember hearing this on the soundtrack? Maybe it was something that was cut from the score, or maybe even not used the movie was cut to shreds when I saw it back in the mid seventies so that might explain why I do not recall it, there is also another vocal from the movie on the compilation which is track number 13, this time it is a vocal rendition of the LANDRAIDERS theme, under the title of SWEET LOVE SONG, surprisingly the lyrics kind of work, performed again by an unidentified studio singer, who sounds rather like Matt Monroe, maybe its because the LANDRAIDERS theme in its original form has an urgent and raw sound to it, when heard within this compilation it is arranged as a love song, so again after hearing the original for so many years it takes some getting used to. One of the more easy sounding and entertaining tracks on the collection has to be CIAO CIAO from CIAO ITALIA with typically Italian sounding vocals courtesy of the one and only Fred Bongusto, it just posses the sound and style that is the epitome of everything Italian, warm, easy going and friendly. Overall I would say that this is a compilation that collectors should have, it shows us another part of Nicolai,s creativity, and underlines what a great talent the maestro was. It is also an entertaining collection that will probably become a firm favourite.