Category Archives: ARTICLES

Articles in this section reflect a personal view of the author only.


Petr Kocanda.

Many thanks to Petr for answering the questions, he is a dedicated film music collector and I have to say has a varied and impeccable taste, he is always the first to alert us all about what is going on when it comes to new  soundtrack releases and I have been very grateful when he has alerted me to soundtracks that I would have probably by passed. He is a modest man, but has a great knowledge of movie music.



Firstly: why film music? And when did first become aware of music in movies?
I first became aware of film music probably in early 90s I remember noticing the music in ALIENS we watched at a friend‘s home on X-th generation VHS copy with muffled sound and voiceover translation. Anyone who has never seen one of those is missing much.  And why? Wish I knew… film music covers all genres and can also be very innovative and switch between genres within a single album. I like it’s variability and although I am not that fond of some musical genres – eg I would probably never listen to some jazz records on their own, Christopher Young’s RUM DIARY is a favourite of mine.


What was your first record purchase. If it was not a soundtrack what was the first film music you went out and paid for?
My first soundtrack was JURASSIC PARK in early 1994, I went to see the movie many times mainly just to listen to the music. I used to have a cassette I got for my birthday, which I played a ton of times. My first actual CD was the old E.T. I got in Summer 1995 followed by STAR WARS TRILOGY around Christmas and THE OMEN, THE MAN WITHOUT A FACE and ALIENS in early 1996. I didn’t have a CD player back then so I kept asking my schoolmates to record CDs to cassettes for me.

Before the arrival of compact discs how many soundtracks did you have in your collection on vinyl?
I started collecting when CDs were norm. Actually few or my earliest purchases were cassettes of  things like, HOOK, CHAPLIN and ALADDIN (horrible version with Czech version of the songs).


What was your most expensive soundtrack purchase?

Probably original releases of LINK and RAGGEDY MAN.


Do you still buy LP.s and which do you prefer: LP, CD or download?
Definitely CDs. I haven’t really started buying LPs until recently. I am still very picky and generally get only stuff from composers that I am most fond of and I still need to get an LP player.

Is there anything that you are looking for that maybe you have not been able to find?
There are a few rare CDs on my wish list. Probably the most elusive one seems to be Frédéric Talgorn’s library music CD CLASSIC DRAMA DOCUMENTARIES. Some others are not that difficult to find but can get pricey: Maurice Jarre’s 3CD collection of Theatre Music or many early releases of Alexandre Desplat, Marco Frisina and Abel Korzeniowski are still missing in my collection.


What composer or Composers would you say dominates your collection?
Easily number one is Jerry Goldsmith. Especially thanks to all the reissues of some of his greatest hits. But there is many others that I am always eager to get even without hearing a single note of their (new) music.


What is your opinion of song scores?
I don’t particularly listen to them or look for them when it comes to my purchases. Some movies can of course benefit from this approach if done well – e.g. Tarantino films or one of my favourite movies from last year I, TONYA, which doesn’t include a single second of original score during its first half. It works amazingly well and some scenes are just unforgettable with the songs (Goodbye Stranger by Super-tramp, Gloria by Laura Branigan, How Can You Mend a Broken Heart by Chris Stills or The Passenger by Siouxie and the Banshees). I still can’t imagine any score that would work in these scenes just as well…

What is your opinion of the state of film music in recent years. compared to the 40.s 50.s 60.s and 70s?
I would say it’s rather a generational thing. People tend to remember masterpieces long after they were released and forget about the rest, which perhaps wasn’t all that great. And of course with composer such as Alfred Newman, Bernard Herrmann, Franz Waxman, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Dimitri Tiomkin or Bronislau Kaper those were the days film music became an art form and many of the best scores belong to their generation. Great scores are still being written every year, but those are rarely done for big budget studio films but rather for Spanish, Skandinavian, French films or smaller independent films or TV projects and might get a bit more difficult to find with so many new scores released every month.


How do you store your cds?
I used to have part of my collection arranged based on the series of releases they belong to (ISC, ISE, FSM, VCL grouped together). Since they could no longer fit on their shelves I switched to grouping them by composers.

If you were asked by a soundtrack label to choose ten soundtracks to be released for first time or re released in a complete version what would be on your list?

Hmmm… this is a very difficult questions. If it was supposed to be more recent scores I could chose I would start with Marco Beltrami’s MATILDA – quite amazing score featuring one of his most beautiful themes. Dario Marianelli’s PANDAEMONIUM and more recent ALI AND NINO are two scores I would love to hear. I was very disappointed when Alex Heffes‘ ROOTS didn’t get released although initially announced, so that one would be another candidate. Fernando Velázquez’s OUT OF THE DARK as well as any of his many unreleased works. Guy Farley’s I KNOW YOU KNOW, IL BENE E IL MALE or L’AMORE E LA GUERRA are three very beautiful scores as well. Theodore Shapiro’s MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH or ARTHUR are two very good scores as well. THE ORVILLE would also make a great set, which will hopefully happen sooner or later. It would be also nice to see more ALIAS music released as well as UNDERCOVERS by Michael Giacchino and Chris Tilton or finally David Arnold’s pilot score for THE VISITOR.
Another option would be some of the scores that were released digitally: Daniel Pemberton’s Ivor Novello winning score for DESPERATE ROMANTICS is simply brilliant as well as UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS (SEASON 1), Marco Beltrami’s DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK and THE EYE, Theodore Shapiro’s ZOOLANDER NO. 2 and CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS. Gaute Storaas‘ A MAN CALLED OVE was a very pleasant surprise, which is sadly available as download only.

Speaking of expansions CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: THE DISCOVERY, IRON WILL, SCREAM 3, BLADE 2, TERMINATOR 3, SPHERE, ATONEMENT, ERAGON or STARDUST come to mind first and would be certainly very interesting. With older scores two at the top of my list were both composed by late great Luboš Fišer – NA KOMETĚ („On the Comet“ directed by Karel Zeman) and DOTEK MOTÝLA („Touch of a Butterfly“ directed by Juraj Herz). Perhaps there will be a chance to see them happen in not too distant future. When it comes to more well-known titles I would be certainly very interested in something like complete versions of DRACULA (the one by John Williams), STORY OF A WOMAN, SPIRIT OF ST. LUIS, THAT HAMILTON WOMAN, CAPTAINS AND THE KINGS, TENDRE POULET, YOUNG DOCTORS IN LOVE, ONE OF OUR DINOSAURS IS MISSING, YOUNG INDIANA JONES CHRONICLES and many more.
And there is also a couple of rejected works that would be certainly very interesting to hear – although would need to be recorded first: Dario Marianelli’s PAN, Jerry Goldsmith’s BABE (the pig movie), Marco Betrami’s TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, John Debney’s HACKSAW RIDGE and of course James Horner’s ROMEO AND JULIET.
I am sure I forgot many very interesting scores and I severely exceeded your 10 scores limit but some of these would be a great way to start.










I consider Tom to be the man when it comes to music from Spaghetti westerns, he has a vast knowledge of the music and the movies and is never selfish with his knowledge.


1.Why film music? And when did first become aware of music in movies?

Like all music it creates a picture in your mind and a feeling in your heart and body. It creates a mood and the really great film music can be played and enjoyed without watching the film it comes from. I guess I became aware of film music more from the late 1950s TV series and then as I got older the film music I became aware of was from Rock n Roll and Beach films.



2.What was your first record purchase, if it was not a soundtrack what was the first film music you went out and paid for?

The first record I purchased with my own money was a 45rpm of Duane Eddy’s “Rebel Rouser”. The first film score I bought was, I’m guessing “How the West Was Won” as it was a huge record in its day.




3.Before the arrival of CDs how many soundtracks did you have in your collection on vinyl records.

Probably 300-400.

4. What was your most expensive soundtrack purchase?

My most expensive soundtrack purchase was the Japanese Spaghetti Western Encyclopedia. I bought the entire set at one time, knowing it contained vocals I had never heard and weren’t on the LPs I had. That was a real bummer in the early days of soundtracks, that most of the time the vocal you sang and hummed along with was not on the LP. A huge disappointment to collectors.


5. Do you still buy LPs. and which do you or download?

I no longer buy LPs. I don’t even have a record player anymore. After a while you get tired of buying the same scores over and over again because of a new re-release, an added track or an additional 15 seconds of music. I came to the realization I wasn’t going to buy my collection over and over again in different formats. I download material I can’t get on CD but CDs are my choice for soundtracks. I like the size and the extras as far as pictures and informative booklets. My disappointment there is little information about the composer and musicians but plenty of info on the film. I buy the CD for the music so tell me more about the music than the film.

6. Is there anything that you are looking for that maybe you have not been able to find.

Probably, but nothing I have been dying to get my hands on. There are probably some DeMasi western scores I would to get a hold of, especially the early Spanish / Italian co-productions he did with Manuel Parada.


7. What composer would you say dominates your collection?

Only two: Morricone and De Masi.





I always remember reading material by Stephen, and also remember his enthusiasm for the music in Hammer films, James Bond and John Williams and for his passion for the music of John Barry.



1. Firstly, Why film music?  And when did first become aware of music in movies?

I was born in a northern coal mining town and as a boy I was a dreamer, looking to the horizon for a life more cleaner and more glamorous than coal mining. I became attracted to escapism and fell quickly in love with science fiction shows like Star Trek and Doctor Who; and when ITV started showing the James Bond films in 1975, I fell in love with them too. Then Star Wars happened. I was seven when that film happened and I was completely thrilled by it. All these films and shows have very distinctive music, of course. I didn’t know names like John Barry or Alexander Courage or John Williams then, but while other kids wanted to listen to pop music, I wanted to listen to this music, because they took me right back to these fantasy times and places I so loved to escape to. From this, I developed my taste for film music.

2.What was your first record purchase. If it was not a soundtrack what was the first film music you went out and paid for?


The first two records I owned were Geoff Love’s Big Bond Movie Themes on the budget Music For Pleasure label and a budget label recording of the Star Wars soundtrack. Although my childhood was hardly a story of poverty (we had a roof over our heads, three square meals a day, a TV and perfectly good presents at Christmas), my parents were nevertheless at the lower end of the income spectrum, so buying the official Star Wars double LP or a proper Bond soundtrack was out of the question. I played these budget label recordings to death and loved them, but they did make me crave for the ‘proper’ recordings.


However, I wasn’t a collector yet. I did that thing of holding up a cassette recorder to the TV speaker to capture themes and incidental music I liked. But when I saw The Omen on TV, that was the first time I felt I just had to get that music and only the original would do. This was in the mid-1980s, when I was about 14. The search for that album led me to specialist retailers like Movie Boulevard (Discount Soundtracks as it was then) and when I realised all this stuff I’d loved was out there, I saved my pennies and started buying.



3. Before the arrival of the compact disc how many soundtracks did you have in your collection on vinyl?

Not that many. I got my first CD player in 1988 and my first CD was Silva Screen’s Damien Omen II. I’d only been collecting for about four years and it took me weeks to save up for LPs. I probably had about forty.




4. What was your most expensive soundtrack purchase?

The most expensive was the Star Trek Original Series box set from La-La-Land records, but the one that was most painful to buy in terms of how much it cost versus how much money I owned was probably John Barry’s Game of Death, well before the Silva Screen CD. I paid £45 for that LP whilst earning just £5 a week on a Saturday job at Barnsley Market. In fact, I had to share the LP with my friend.



5. Do you still buy lps, and which do you or download?

I prefer CDs. I do still buy LPs.

6. Is there anything that you are looking for that maybe you have not been able to find?

The one title I wish I had but eluded me was the Japanese CD release of Fist of Fury, the Bruce Lee film. However, those Bruce Lee releases were music, dialogue and effects albums. I really wish that stuff would come out as pure music.



7. What composer would you say dominates your collection?

John Barry. John was always my favourite. I know that Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams are better composers on a technical level, in that they both display greater technical prowess in the medium of music for orchestra; and John’s music for orchestra is relatively simple, but his music got under my skin more than anybody else’s. It was the unusual colour and texture of it, coupled with it’s unerring emotional clarity. John had the greatest gift for melody, a wonderful gift for colouration, but perhaps his greatest attribute was simply that his music spoke so clearly.


The way I sometimes put it is that if John was a public speaker, he might not use complex words or long, flowery Shakespearean prose, but it would be a wonderfully soothing baritone voice speaking simple but captivating poetry. Whereas many modern composers would just sound like a crowd shouting.

Jerry Goldsmith, Bernard Herrmann, Ennio Morricone, John Williams and Lalo Schifrin all feature very large in my collection too. Barry and Herrmann are the only composers I’m completest for, though.

8. What is your opinion of the state of film music in recent years. compared to the 40.s 50.s 60.s and 70s?

I’m no longer a film score fan, it’s that simple. Only John Williams and Ennio Morricone do it for me now. I feel that film music has become more and more generic. Themes seem to be a thing of the past. Some people protest at me that the Marvel films have great themes. Well, okay, so there’s a two-bar fanfare for Spider-Man that you can remember. Big wow. The thing is, the only way to use that theme is to keep repeating those two bars. Compare that with something like the James Bond theme where you’ve got a dozen ways you can quote from that theme, all of which are different but all still very much say, “James Bond”. You can quote the opening line. You can quote the guitar riff. You can quote the bebop middle section. You can quote the punchy bridge to the final verse. You can quote the lead-out. You can even half-quote the opening line and it still says James Bond. You can even quote inversions, like in the opening manhunt sequence of Diamonds Are Forever, which quotes an inversion of the famous gun barrel opening. Now that’s a theme.


9. How do you store your compact discs?

I know what it’s like to be burgled and lose all your CDs, so I don’t have them out. I rip all my CDs to iTunes using the Apple Lossless Encoder and then I create a 320kbps AAC copy. The lossless versions are effectively the back-ups of my CDs and the AAC copy goes on my iPod. The CDs then get boxed and packed away. I listen mostly from my iPod away from home, but listen to my CDs at home. I just pull the boxes out, pull a CD and play it.

10. If you were asked by a soundtrack label to choose ten soundtracks to be released for first time or re released in a complete version what would be on your list?

I know that some of these are not possible, and my list probably changes with my mood. But right now, the ten things I want most are:

1. The complete original Deadfall

2. The John Barry James Bond scores re-done as double disc editions, with the re-mastered album programmes on disc one and the complete, chronological score on disc two. For Thunderball and OHMSS where the complete original score is too big for one disc, maybe some of the source cues would have to be on the album disc.

3. The original trilogy Star Wars scores re-done as a new special edition, with the album programmes and also the complete score programmes but edited differently to the prior complete score releases. I don’t like having about ten scenes crunched together in a fourteen-minute long track.


4. Joseph Koo’s Bruce Lee scores done as music only scores.

5. Herrmann’s Fahrenheit 451 and The Bride Wore Black. The Tribute recording of Fahrenheit 451 is perfect but I’d still love the original recording and The Bride Wore Black is simply a must.

6. Any Hammer soundtrack, especially the original Hammer DRACULA.

That must be way more than ten soundtracks by now.







Fellow collector Steve Matthewman, I know has been a massive fan of all things Hammer Films, and Sci Fi, for many years. He is an enthusiastic and knowledgable collector.

26230636_10212845412103946_5842255201900608354_n                                            Steve with composer Christopher Young.




Firstly, Why film music? and when did you first become aware of music in movies?

Since being child I have loved watching science fiction films , tv series, especially Star Trek, Doctor Who etc and even as a teenager although I used to watch Top Of The Pops and listen to the radio, I was never a kid to latch onto any specific singer or group . Yes, I used to enjoy ABBA ( who didn’t in the 1970/80’s )but I never used to buy ‘pop’ records specifically. I think the first single( soundtrack) i bought was the Doctor Who theme released by BBC records in 1973/1974 and I  bought every record single release as the Doctor’s changed over the years. So my love of science fiction shows/films I think introduced me to film music. I recall watching Escape From The Planet Of The Apes on tv as a child, loving the whole APES saga , it was at that time I started to notice the music within the film. Also in the 70/80’s BBC 2 used to show late night horror films on a friday or saturday night, and my love of horror films started with those late night viewings. I recall watching my first Hammer Film on those horror double bills and of course the wonderful music for Hammer films just grabbed your attention.Also watching films like Jason and the Argonauts on tv as a kid, the whole Sinbad/ Ray Harrhausen films just grabbed your attention with the incredible effects and music, they all instilled the seed i think for what was to become my passion and love of film /tv music.


What was your first record, if not a soundtrack, what was the first film music you purchased?


As mentioned in my earlier answer the single of the Doctor Who theme ! However, my first full-blown soundtrack would have to be John Williams Star Wars.It was the big event of the 70’s and i started to hunt down other John Williams soundtracks and when i heard Star Trek was coming back to the big screen i read everything i could about the new film and who was doing the music. At that time i was ‘dipping my toe’ into the whole film music genre and i had not heard of Jerry Goldsmith ( not realising he had composed the music for my two favourite Apes films )So i bought the soundtrack to Capricorn One to hear what this composer could do and i liked what i heard and from then on especially with the release of Star Trek The Motion Picture and Alien i was hooked on film soundtracks, especially those of Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams and i devoured all of their soundtracks as quick as Silva Screen records could deliver them.

Before the arrival of the compact disc, how many LP records did you have in your collection?


I would say about 100 or just over on Vinyl. Once i had got the soundtrack ‘bug’ i used to visit my local record shop Hudsons In Chesterfield and look through the rack of soundtracks every saturday. I first noticed John Williams, Jaws in there and could not wait to save up to buy that ! I also used to get a soundtrack catalog from Silva Screen and used to love reading that to see what releases of Jerry Goldsmith I could save up for.

What has been your most expensive soundtrack purchase?



I think it would have to be two items, Jerry Goldsmith at 20th Century Fox , the epic release by Varese Sarabande , which i just HAD to have regardless of cost. I think it was just over £200 at the time if i remember correctly. even now , I think it is a stunning release. More recently the Star Trek Original Tv Series box set from La La Land Records, i must have as i grew up watching those original episodes and can recall every note of music so it was a must have purchase.



Do you still buy LP,s ?and what format do you prefer, LP,CD or download?


Yes, i still buy LP’s. I have recently bought various ones, some Hammer Film related Vinyl releases, Doctor Who re-issues ( even though i still have the original vinyl releases Doctor Who &The Pescatons !). I still love Vinyl, especially the ‘coloured ‘vinyl variants that are issued these days are glorious to look at and behold, really beautiful. I love the vinyl releases to Candyman and Candyman 2 especially.However i prefer cd, as it is just easier to listen to, you can play your soundtracks in the car everyday on the way to and from work. I think Vinyl is something that holds fond memories of growing up for me and i still enjoy slipping that Vinyl out of its sleeve and picking that record stylus onto the LP and hearing those clicks and bumps as it plays.

I don’t do downloads at all to be honest, just something that has never interested me, i would rather have a physical CD/LP to hold and look at !




Is there anything that you have been looking for, but have not been able to find?


I cannot think of anything specific, there are loads of soundtracks i would still love, for example the Fanderson Space 1999 releases but i cannot justify spending the amount they cost , even though they are well produced.



What composer or composers dominate your collection?


No doubt at all, Jerry Goldsmith. Since hearing those very first purchases on Vinyl, i was a Goldsmith convert. His music touched me in no other way other composers did. Don’t get me wrong , i still adore John Williams, John Barry, Basil Poledouris, James Horner etc but for me, Goldsmith was never afraid to ‘push the envelope’ a bit more than other composers. He was never afraid to experiment with new sounds, textures for his scores and i think he was the most innovative composer of all time.His action scoring was THE best. Every score had something that made it stand out, that special Goldsmith ‘touch’.


What is your opinion of the state of film music today, compared with the movie music of the 1940’s through to the late 1970’s?


I think the last few years have been on the whole terrible for film scores. I cannot recall that many recent visits to the cinema where a film score has stood out for me, with the exception of John Williams music to The Book Thief and BFG, both which were just beautiful. I do think there are some good composers still out there working today , the always reliable Debbie Wiseman and Rachel Portman always deliver and Daniel Pemberton is one of my favourites scoring today, it is just unfortunate some of the films he scores don’t seem to do that well critically, for example The Man From Uncle, King Arthur both of which were outstanding scores as was his score to The Awakening. At last September’s Fans Of Music From The Movies event in London at Angel Recording studios, i think the whole panel and audience agreed on the problem of current film scoring, that of no themes ! There is the problem, it has to change in Hollywood at producer/ Director level for people to say ‘write me a beautiful theme for this picture’ instead of all the wham, bam drivel that is instantly forgettable in current films.





If you were asked by a record company to compile a list of scores that should be released what would be on your list?


1,The Hound Of The Baskervilles by Michael J Lewis , he is composer who writes beautiful themes and action material and is under represented on CD at the moment.

2. North Sea Hijack – Michael J Lewis again !

3. The Passage – Michael J Lewis ( superb!)

4. The Gorgon , James Bernard . One of Hammer Films most gorgeous films and one of Bernard’s best films.

5, The Hound Of The Baskervilles , James Bernard. I love all of his Hammer scores !

6.Hammer House Of Horror , tv series, again some nice scores in these episodes including James Bernard !

7.The Curse Of Frankenstein, Hammer films first film and James Bernard.

8.Dracula by James Bernard, a must have !

9.Battle Beyond the Stars , James Horner, one of his most enjoyable scores.


10. Brainstorm , James Horner, badly in need of a re-issue/ expansion .







I have known Stephen for many years now and I have always been impressed by his varied taste in music.  He introduced me to a number of composers and also bands that I would have probably by passed. His knowledge on film music is wonderful and he is never selfish with his knowledge. He has contributed to MMI on occasion, and is a stalwart supporter of the site and always has been.




1. Firstly, why film music? And when did first become aware of music in movies?

Film was the first art form that grabbed me as a youngster, so immediate and powerful. The first films I remember seeing were Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and the Harryhausen Sinbad films. I loved them. And then of course came Star Wars and that was it for me. Back then, the only way to relive the film was comic books, novelizations, the soundtrack album and action figures. I grabbed onto them all. It kept the film alive in the mind, gave it a great power, something I think we lost when films became quickly and easily accessible following their cinema run. The films don’t develop in your imagination and have that extra life, at least not in the same way.

2.What was your first record purchase, if it was not a soundtrack what was the first film music you went out and paid for?

My first purchase was David Soul’s (Starsky & Hutch) eponymous lp. Can still remember it, carried the track Blackbean Soup. I think I was about 7 or 8. Bought from Woolworth’s if I remember correctly. Not the most auspicious start but I still smile thinking about that track. I think the first film score purchases were the Star Wars scores, followed later by Brazil, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, Hellraiser, Casualties of War and Frantic.


3. Before the arrival of CDs how many soundtracks did you have in your collection on vinyl?

Not that many really. I had the Star Wars trilogy lp’s and a few Morricone’s. Also, Hellraiser and Hellraiser 2 by Christopher Young. I bought scores on cassette for a while, choosing this over vinyl. Why I don’t know, but there you have it. I had more scores on cassette than lp’s.

4. What was your most expensive soundtrack purchase?

There are a few imports I can think of that cost a lot, box sets. The three Toho sets of scores to Kurosawa’s films (very lovely items) and the 10-cd boxset The Ennio Morricone Chronicles. That one was pre-online ordering, had to contact the seller via mail and send a money order.


5. Do you still buy lps and which do you or download?

I’ve gone back to vinyl over the last year. I prefer having vinyl and/or cd over downloads. Recently bought the 40th Anniversary release of Star Wars on vinyl and a lovely thing it is. I’d say a good vinyl release tops my Wish-list but there are so many top-notch releases on cd that I’m happy with either. Downloads are a last resort for me and only if I can’t find a hard copy release. For example, I bought Robert Carli’s Murdoch Mysteries as downloads but only because they are unavailable any other way.



6. Is there anything that you are looking for that maybe you have not been able to find?

There are definite holy grail releases that I would love to have in my collection. Probably top of the list is a complete version of Morricone’s For A Few Dollars More, given the love it deserves, full liner notes and top-notch artwork. Whilst I’m dreaming, a complete release of his Novecento would also be welcome, along with unreleased gems like Roma Come Chicago and Diabolic (the release we have just now I find painful). Other notables are Christopher Young’s Murder At 1600 (great promo disc but deserves a complete release) and Williams’ Star Wars prequel scores given the proper treatment. Also, it would be great to have Kamen’s Dead Zone expanded and given the deluxe treatment.

7. What composer would you say dominates your collection?

That’s an easy one. Morricone for definite. I believe I have somewhere in the region of 450 cd’s by him and perhaps 20 lp’s, as well as other bits and pieces. I’m fairly completist with other composers, notably Christopher Young who I regard as one of today’s greats. Other notables are Williams, Bacalov and Schifrin.


What is your opinion of the state of film music in recent years. Compared to the 40.s 50. s 60.s and 70s?

I would say a cursory glance at today’s mainstream scores would suggest homogeny has crept in, but I try to remind myself that fashions are always in place in music and if I’m being fair then it is just that I prefer the fashions of the 60’s into the early 70’s. For me the jazz idiom that drove so much of that era’s music was a great form to drive the scores of the day. I love electronic music and I’m the last person to decry music created in the digital realm, but I don’t hear the same kind of individuality and idiosyncratic output these days. That is not to suggest it is not out there, I’m just not hearing it as much. There are certainly still great composers out there doing great work (I know you champion and highlight many of them John) but I do wonder if there is more constraint on them these days, perhaps a more corporate mind-set to appease? For instance, I loved the work of French composer Pascal Esteve, who composed for several films by Patrice Leconte, but he seems to have absented himself from the field of film scoring, before he really got to develop.


How do you store your CDs?

Ikea bookcases. Alphabetical by composer and then by the company releasing them. I can locate stuff relatively easily so am quite happy with that system.

OK, you are asked by a record company to choose ten titles which you think deserve a release or a re-release, what would these be?

Christopher Young – Murder At 1600 (complete)
Michael Kamen – The Dead Zone (complete)
Francois De Roubaix – Daughters of Darkness
Lalo Schifrin – Cool Hand Luke (complete, original)
Ennio Morricone – For A Few Dollars More (complete from masters)
Elmer Bernstein – The Magnificent Seven (complete from masters)
Ennio Morricone – Novecento (complete from masters)
Ennio Morricone – Roma Come Chicago
John Williams – Dracula (complete)
John Williams – Star Wars prequels box – (complete)