Another superb batch of soundtracks released and ready for you to immerse yourself in, and this time I am pleased to say it is a varied and pretty entertaining collection of titles that we have selected. Fabrizio Mancinelli is a composer who I personally feel is destined for even greater things, he has already written some wonderful music for movies such as The Land of Dreams, The Boat, Jailbird, Scappo a Casa, and Coyote Lake, and I pleased to announce that his most recent soundtrack release is just as entertaining and inventive as thetitles I have already mentioned.
Il Viaggio Leggendario-The Legendary Journey, is a pulsating and richly thematic work, which has to it epic musical proportions, the composer employing a symphonic approach and bolstering the sounds of the orchestra with electronic support throughout. The movie which is a comedy aimed at the younger cinema goers, I think will also appeal to children who are maybe a bit older (like 65).
The music gives driving and superbly lush support to the antics on screen and also acts as slick and precise punctuation to the comedic elements within the storyline. The composer provides us with stirring sting led themes and rousing brass lines that are supported by booming percussive elements, the central themes becoming addictive and haunting as well as thrilling and anthem like. With the lighter thematic material adding touches of romance and melancholy that are just as effective. This is a score that I know you will adore, tantalising themes, relentless action cues and lavish romantic statements adorn this truly affecting soundtrack, available now on digital platforms via Plaza Mayor, please check it out you will not be sorry.
From comedy we move to something that is definitely more serious in the form of the new film on Hulu The Boston Strangler, the music plays an important and vital part within the movie as it not only supportive but has to it a more integral role as in one feels that the music is maybe an unseen character within the storyline watching the plot unfold and commenting upon it as it does, it enhances and heightens the content as well as giving the storyline greater depth and more impact. The composer Paul Leonard Morgan creates a chilling and apprehensive atmosphere, via dark and brooding sounds, that have to them a Herrmann-esque style, this is an interesting at times complex and masterful soundtrack, that effectively adds touches of shadowy virulence to the movie and creates various levels and moods that are filled with a sinister and fearsome ambience.
It is I would say a score that might go un-noticed, because it is so effective and blends in so well with the action, as well as underlining the calmer moments along the way, which is what great movie music is all about. Paul Leonard-Morgan is a BAFTA award-winning, Emmy and Ivor Novello nominated composer and producer. His unique cinematic style of fusing orchestra with electronica has put him in high demand as a score composer & band producer, as well as a performer and artist in his own right.
The score is available now on digital platforms via Hollywood records with the series streaming on Hulu. Check them both out.
Four decades on from the infamous and tragic 1982 Formula One season, the families of Canadian icon Gilles Villeneuve and French superstar Didier Pironi unite for the first time to reveal one of sport’s greatest untold stories. Set in the time of modern racing’s most dangerous era, two intrepid Ferrari teammates were battling for the world championship, but at the San Marino Grand Prix Didier Pironi broke an unwritten agreement and stole victory from his close friend Gilles on the final lap. This act of treachery broke a bond between the two then friends and their once strong relationship soon spiralled into resentful a ruthless rivalry. The two would never talk to each other again, but within a matter of weeks tragedy would strike. For forty years, rumour, bitterness and myth has surrounded that duel in San Marino and its sad aftermath. In a plot that is overflowing with levels of mystery and filled with intrigue, the compelling tale takes us through a series of twists and turns until it reveals the truth behind that unwritten agreement on the last fateful lap. The movie Villeneue Pironi can be described as a contemporary take on Shakespearean epics, the story of two of the fastest racers in history, their brief and violent intertwined lives, and the deep emotional wounds that are still sensed today by their closest family members and friends.
The movie explores tragedy, love and loss, in a sport that is looked upon as one of the most dangerous but exhilarating in the world. It also purveys the participants passion for what they do, and this passion is always put before fear. The movie is helmed by filmmaker Torquil Jones and stars Formula One World Champions Jacques Villeneuve, Alain Prost and Sir Jackie Stewart, alongside the Villeneuve and Pironi families.
Music is by the uber talented and versatile composer Nainita Desai, who over the past few years has caused a stir in the world of film and TV music with her work on films such as The Reason I jump, Darkness Visible, and TV series such as The Tower, Untamed Romania, and Crossfire. She has penned a subtle but affecting soundtrack that is a fusion of conventional instrumentation and synthetic textures and colours, the composer effectively blending these to underline the tense and taught plot with hesitant and edgy sounds that are cleverly intertwined with the narrative. It also has a lighter or more melancholy side which the composer purveys via violin solos that are affecting, delicate and filled with fragility. It’s an accomplished work, and one you should check out, available now on digital platforms.
Movie score media have released the score for the new British movie Allelujah, which has music by George Fenton. Director Richard Eyre’s movie tells the story of a geriatric ward in a small Yorkshire hospital that is threatened with closure, the hospital its staff and patients decide to fight back by mobilizing support from the local community. They also decide to invite a news crew to film their preparations for a concert in honour of the hospital’s most distinguished nurse.
What could possibly go wrong I hear you shout? Allelujah is a celebration of the determined spirit that the elderly patients possess whilst at the same time paying tribute to the deep humanity and loyalty of the medical staff who are battling with limited resources and ever-growing demands. The score is low key but has to it all the assets that one would expect from a soundtrack as penned by Fenton.
Beautiful, subdued themes frequent the work. Fenton adding touches of emotion, poignancy, and humour as the story develops. The work also has to it several pleasant refrains, that pop into the proceedings here and there, creating affecting tone poems and lilting themes that are easy on the ear and establish links to certain characters on screen. Take a listen it is released digitally and available now.
Also on digital platforms by Fenton is the score for the latest David Attenborough series for the BBC Wild Isles (Our Precious Isles) it is so good to see Fenton back with Attenborough, the series is a stunning and informative look at the wildlife in and around the British isles, and Fenton has scored it sensitively enhancing but never overpowering, underlining but never intruding, his music is understated but at the same time powerful and supportive, a series worth watching and a score you should hear.
Steiner -Das Eiserne Kreuz 2, –Cross of Iron ll, was released in 1979, and is the sequel to the Sam Peckinpah WWll classic Cross of Iron which was released in 1977. The music for Cross of Iron was originally to be written by German composer Peter Thomas, but Peckinpah and Thomas had what are described as artistic differences, which resulted in Thomas being replaced on the project by Ernest Gold. However, Thomas was invited by director Andrew V. McLagen to work on the sequel, which was a British and German co-production. The title melody by the composer was released as a single by Ariola records shortly after the film premiered in 1979. But the film sadly was unable to match the success of the previous chapter, despite having a star-studded cast.
That included: Richard Burton, Robert Mitchum, Rod Steiger, Curd Jürgens, Klaus Löwitsch, Michael Parks, Werner Pochath, Horst Janson, Helmut Griem, Christoph Waltz (uncredited) and many more. Because of this an LP release of the soundtrack was cancelled, and the score remained gathering dust in the archives. Until 1993 when a limited-edition compact disc was released, this was soon deleted and now thanks to All Score Media in Germany we can sample the music that Thomas wrote for the movie, the soundtrack is released on both LP and CD.
The album is the vinyl premiere of the music, supplemented by a previously unreleased track that was not included on that long out-of-print CD release from 1993. This is the third LP/CD release by All Score Media in a series dedicated to composer Peter Thomas, the other two being Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra – Bruce Lee: The Big Boss (CD/LP ASM 048, Allscore 2020) and Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra – Winnetou and his friend Old Firehand (CD/LP ASM 049, Allscore 2021) both of which are highly recommended.
The music for the movie is anthem like in places, with plenty of driving action cues, Thomas providing the film with a dramatic and powerful score that at the same time contains a slightly romantic persona, which is not dissimilar to his work on The Winnetou movie he scored. The composer utilising harmonica and strings within some of the cues, to create a melancholy mood. He also included a sprinkling of jazz or big band sounding cues, which were effective as was his use of a children’s choir, and some rather interesting arrangements of French café music, an energetic rendition of the Can Can and a rousing song.
Thomas fashioned a eclectic array of sounds and styles for the movie, which resulted in a varied and powerful work. The soundtrack is available from All Score Media, on both CD in a digipak and LP which is a gatefold cover presentation with vibrant and colourful artwork by Adrian Keindorf. The LP is in translucent orange colour and is a limited run of just 500, hurry before it goes. And if they do sell out well the score is now available on digital platforms. So, it’s something that everyone can access.
Also available from All Score Media is Giallo Come il Giorno by Mondo Sangue. Amnesiac Barbara finds herself in the picturesque streets of Hamburg, unaware of her mental illness or the mayhem she has caused before. A shady hypnosis session and a local lover unearth what hides behind her innocent beauty. Once again, the urge to wreak further havoc becomes irresistible …
Only the daylight exposes the true horror. Giallo Come il Giorno is the fifth genre album (music for a film that does not exist) from Mondo Sangue which picks up where the acclaimed giallo LP Rosso Come La Notte left off in 2021. Mondo Sangue and their passion for the music and cinema of Italy during the 1960/70s shines through within this work again. Wonderfully illustrated by Adrian Keindorf and limited to 444 copies all of which are hand-numbered, including coloured insert, lyrics and download code. What are you waiting for? Also, on digital platforms.
New releases coming soon on Kronos records include, Kurt Neumann`s 1959 crime drama Counterplot which featured Forrest Tucker, Allison Hayes and Gerald Milton. Telling the story of Brock Miller (Tucker) a man in hiding in 1959 Puerto Rico, his glamorous girlfriend Connie Lane and their young friend Manuel. The film at the time got mixed reviews but honestly it is a very enjoyable one made even more enjoyable by a very eclectic and colourful musical score that is undoubtedly an example of the composers skill and craftmanship! This soundtrack was composed and conducted by one of tinsel towns most dynamic composing duo of their generation, namely Bert Shefter and Paul Sawtell, who put together a rousing and adventurous sounding score which evokes the work of the Golden age giants Miklos Rozsa and Alfred Newman.
The work boasts fully orchestral themes along with more intimate pieces for woodwind and smaller ensembles, which work well with source music cues that the composing duo penned for this crime drama. The score is presented as a premiere as it has never been available before in any format.
The label will also release in their Kronos Gold Collection, The Music of Gunther Kauer, which contains the music from two Science Fiction films from the latter part of the golden age of cinema. Monstrosity was released in 1963 and is a horror/sci-fi tale. That focuses upon a rich, unscrupulous old woman who plots with a scientist to have her brain implanted in the body of a sexy young woman. Starring Marjorie Eaton, Frank Gerstle and Frank Fowler. The film is something of an oddity but has its pluses. The musical score composed Kauer is an eerie one that fulfils all the needs that this quirky piece of sixties cinema has. The music was written for a small ensemble, which is probably because the movie was a low budget affair. But the composer’s talent and versatility shines though as he displays that his creativity was not limited because of this. The other score on the release is also from a 1960’s sci-fi horror that was in cinema’s in 1960. Cape Canaveral Monsters was directed by Phil Tucker, and stars Scott Peters, Linda Connel and Jason Johnson. When a couple are killed in an auto accident their bodies are immediately inhabited by extra-terrestrial beings. Taking refuge in an underground cave, the aliens attempt to sabotage the U. S. space program. The score for Cape Canaveral Monsters is filled with driving action leaning towards big themes and a strong rhythmic pieces that was recorded by a large symphony orchestra. The music was a collaborative effort between Kauer and Douglas M. Lackey who worked together many times on movie scores. Both this and Counterpoint are limited editions of just 300 copies.
As is the third release The Big Caper which is a 1957 crime-thriller film starring Rory Calhoun, Mary Costa and James Gregory. Frank Harper (Calhoun), a down on his luck and deep in debt conman comes up with what he thinks is the perfect heist. He manages to convince Flood (Gregory), a vicious crime boss and his men to bankroll his scheme, but later starts having second thoughts about the whole operation. The music was written by prolific composer Albert Glasser composer of Viking Women and The Sea Serpent, Motorcycle Gang, The Monster Maker, The Cisco Kid Returns, The Gay Amigo, Grand Canyon and numerous others. Check out the Kronos website for release dates etc. www.kronosrecords.com – Home Of Soundtracks And More
Two television scores now from the brilliant Norwegian composer Raymond Enoksen, the first is from the TV series De Siste Dodsdomte, which is a documentary mini-series, the music sounding ethereal at times, radiating an hypnotic air which commands ones attention, the composer crafting alluring thematic material that oozes chilling but attractive qualities. It’s a score that I have to say I like very much, there is just something about the score that generates moods and atmospheres that are impossible to ignore. It is mostly low key, but there are at key points more robust sounding passages which are surprising and entertaining.
The composer fashioning affecting pieces via electronic elements which are supporting and being supported by more conventional instrumentation as well as voices. There is a darkness and fearsome air being purveyed here, and one that at times becomes unsettling but remains inventive and irresistible. Certainly, one to check out, available on all digital platforms now.
As is the second score from this composer, Saving the *!*!*!* World, which contains an electronic score with a scattering of songs which are too interesting. Considering this is totally realised via synthetic sounds it is surprisingly effective and emotional. The composer penning up tempo cues, chilling reflective moods and mixing these with shadowy colours and uneasy textures. I recommend that you take a listen, refreshing and entertaining.
A twelve-year-old girl in the foster care system is struggling with the bigger, more complicated questions in life, as she attempts to navigate her way the various trials and battles that one can encounter in life. She feels that she is alone with no-one to turn to but is surrounded by people who do care. Something to Believe in, is a heart melting tale, that also has the power to inspire and give hope.
Touching on love, loss, survival and perseverance through misery and grief. The girl always thinking if she will ever be settled or in a permanent home. Music is by composer Frank Dormani, who has scored the movie with sensitivity and care, the composer providing the movie with delicate themes and nuances that are filled with fragility, which he achieves via utilising piano, stings, and synthetic elements. It is a wonderfully emotive score, that successfully adds depth and poignancy to the storyline.
A short score, but well worth listening too, available now on digital platforms. (watch out for a new interview with the composer on his recent scores-coming soon to MMI).
The addition of vintage Italian soundtracks to digital platforms continues I am glad to say, this week I notice that Stanza 17-17 palazzo delle tasse, ufficio Imposte is available to stream music is by Armando Trovajoli, and as always the music is superb. Released in 1971 this heist comedy focuses upon an architect Giambattista Manteghin, Prince Pantegani, and an inventor Leonardo Rossi who meet while trying to bribe a tax official out of paying exorbitant taxes. The four get together and conspire to rob the taxation office building, which happens to have been designed by Manteghin.
The music is I have to say far superior to the movie, but maybe the comedy was lost in the translation? Trovajoli wrote an up-beat and pop orientated score for the movie, which includes light and easy-going melodies as well as songs and infectious sounding jazz interpretations, and features the whistling talents of Alessandro Alessandroni, this is a joy to listen to and a more than welcome addition to the Trovajoli library on the likes of Spotify. Take a listen you will be hooked.
Another Italian score from the sixties to now be available digitally is Le Ora Nude-The Naked Hours which has a score by Riz Ortolani, released in 1964, the movie is a drama and a sex-charged character study, it focuses upon a woman who’s husband persuades her to share in his predilection for group sex
. Later, she meets a student and has a one-day affair with him. The music is unmistakable Ortolani, with luscious themes and sweeping romantic strings that are combined with jazz led pieces performed on Piano, double bass, trumpet, organ etc.
But it is the romantic content of the score that is the main attraction, Ortolani is just so good at creating those surging love themes, and he surpasses himself on this occasion. Another one for you consideration, recommended.
An airport employee switches a pack of drugs for baking soda and absconds to Barcelona, meanwhile the drug-runners are on his trail. That’s the plot for the 1975 Italian poliziottesco, L’uomo che sfidò l’organizzazione, which is really not a good movie, the plot being quite predictable and the acting coming across as slightly wooden, it’s a case of yet another fading American star (Stephen Boyd) attempting to cling on to a career that is in its last moments.
But its movies such as this that make us recall why these stars disappeared. The one saving grace from the movie is the pulsating and inventive score which is by Luis Bacalov.
The score was issued onto CD back in 2015 by BEAT records in Rome but has been out of print now for a while, the CD release contained seventeen cues this digital edition has nineteen, so I am pleased that this soundtrack has resurfaced for all to hear. Lots of the composer’s trademarks are present throughout, but it is essentially a very good score and if you have not heard it then its time you did.
Other Italian scores now on digital platforms include Carlo Rustichelli’s varied and pop/shake styled score for the comedy Letti Sbagliati which is a light-hearted work and very different from the composer’s classical approach which he employed at times;
I think possibly one of his most entertaining soundtracks.
Whilst discussing vintage scores that are now available on digital platforms, it might be an idea to mention that the music for the Winnetou movies as penned by Martin Bottcher are available now and have been for a while, unlike the Italian western score the German western soundtracks were a lot lighter and melodic in their content with composers such as Bottcher and Peter Thomas creating easy going melodies which were probably more like the Hollywood western film score because of the use of stings and also the inclusion of square dance or ho down sounding tacks. But saying that they also had to them a more dramatic side with the composers putting to effective use percussion and brass in the many action scenes.
There is a great compilation on Spotify which was originally issued on a recording back in 1984 Karl May Melodien, and includes themes and tracks from a number of movies which featured the characters Old Shatterhand, Old Surehand and Winnetou.
The compilation also features a driving theme for the Bandit characters in the movies, which is performed by proud and expansive brass that is underlined by mid-tempo percussion and harmonious strings. Simply put Winnetou into the search bar and they will all come up. If you have not listened to this scores before, you are in for a treat.
Back to recent releases now with Nolly which has a delightful and joyous sounding score by Blair Mowat, the two-part story which stars Helena Bohan Carter in the title role is about actress Noele Gordon of predominantly Crossroads (The UK Soap) fame, is available on ITV X and the soundtrack is out now on digital platforms via Silva Screen. Mowat’s music is charming and energetic and makes for an uplifting listen.
Another TV score is from the BBC series The Gold, which is about the Brinks Matt gold bullion robbery, music for this tense and dramatic series is the work of composer Simon Goff, with taught and harrowing sounds underlining the storyline as it unfolds, released via Viacom under license to Silva Screen this is also available on all digital platforms. There are numerous layers of sound involved here, with the composer crafting a brooding and uneasy sounding work that is wonderfully supporting.
The Ghost Within is one of those uber scary and jumpy affairs and focuses upon a young woman Margot who decides to revisit her family home looking for clues as to who murdered her sister Evie some twenty years previous. After a series of terrifying encounters with Evie’s ghost which all take place at 09:09pm,
Margot knows she must dig deep and fight to learn the truth once and for all. The score is important to this virulent plot the composer Christoph Allerstorfer (The Jack in the Box) has produced a soundtrack that has to it a bottomless pit of atonal, guttural, and sinister sounds, the chilling and at times shocking music works brilliantly with the images and the atmospherics that are created on screen, consolidating a sense of terror and torment that is already present in the movie.
This is a volatile and scary work, which I would say is not for the easily affected. Its creepy, and superbly traumatic tones underlining and elevating each scene, if you like horror scores this is certainly one for you. Available on digital platforms.
Staying with horror and to Bloodthirsty which is a Canadian horror film, directed by Amelia Moses and released into the film festivals back in 2020, and then released commercially in 2021. It stars Lauren Beatty as Grey, an indie singer-songwriter who begins to transform into a werewolf while working at a remote wilderness recording studio with producer Vaughn. The film premiered on October 1st, 2020 at the Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, and was released on video-on-demand on April 23, 2021.
The score by Brian Wherry has just made its way onto digital streaming sites, and is a pulsating and tense affair, the composer building levels of unsettling electronic soundscape to fashion an effective work that has affiliations with the style of scoring that we hear from the likes of Hans Zimmer, in movies such as The Dark Knight, and The Last Samurai. Bloodthirsty is mostly atonal with a hint of a theme introduced and touched upon from time to time, as in the cue You’re a Mutant.
Wherry adds tension to the storyline via a gradual build-up of murky and mysterious musical textures and colours, that convey an unsettling sense of dread. It’s a short score with just five tracks and a running time of just over eleven minutes. Worth a listen.
Dead for a Dollar, has a fantastic cast, and is a case of filmmaker Walter Hill being himself and producing a movie that is both gritty, and realistic. Actor Christoph Waltz plays the part of a bounty hunter who runs into his sworn enemy, a professional gambler and outlaw that he had sent to prison years before.
Rachel Brosnahan is the strong female character, and we also have Willem Dafoe as Joe Cribbins. The movie I though had similarities to classics such as The Wild Bunch and The Professionals, with the film looking good, being well photographed and typical of Hill, if there is anything typical about this accomplished veteran director. Music is by Zander Rodzinski, who recently worked on the Disney TV series Willow.
There are definite Italian western influences within the score, solo trumpet and whistling for example, and even a gentle nod to Dee Barton’s haunting central theme for High Plains Drifter, but there are also fresh and vibrant ideas present the composer flawlessly combining these with the more established sound of the western film, as in guitar solos.
Bringing to fruition an inventive soundtrack that draws on the musical heritage from both America and European movies and soundtracks. For me the musical style evoked, Morricone, Goldsmith and even Ry Cooder, an entertaining work, which I think you will enjoy. Available on the likes of Spotify. And that’s it for now, until next time….