Soundtrack Highlights: Franco Micalizzi’s ‘The Visitor’ and Philip Glass’ ‘Low Symphony’ Get Vinyl Releases This Week

 

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Created to accompany Drafthouse Films’ recent Blu-ray/VOD release, this week marked the unleashing of Franco Micalizzi’s score for the Giulio Paradisi‘s 1979 film, The Visitor.  Pressed by Drafthouse’s merchandising cohorts, Mondo, the album features a deluxe gatefold jacket designed by Jay Shaw and 2 x 180 gram LPs on black vinyl with randomly-inserted sunburst vinyl (pictured above).

Franco Micalizzi is an Italian composer recognized for his early spaghetti western score for They Call Me Trinity; however, he is most well known for his many collaborations with director Umberto Lenzi including The Greatest Battle, Violent Naples (which includes the uber-amazing track Folk and Violence), and Rome Armed to the Teeth, adding to his prolific contributions to the sound of the Poliziotteschi (Italian Crime) genre.

Micalizzi’s talents allow him to glide easily between genres and although The Visitor resides within the Sci-fi/Horror classification, the film’s score can easily replace any Italian action thriller.

Be sure to check out a sample of the main theme below and get your hands on this beauty through Mondo’s website, here.

 

 

 

 

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Due to the number of artists revealing their inspiration regarding the work, it’s becoming far easier to see the scope of influence felt byDavid Bowie and Brian Eno’s landmark album, Low.  The now-legendary side two of the album is comprised of a series of instrumentals that were conceived initially to score the Nicolas Roeg film, The Man Who Fell To Earth.  After Roeg decided against using the music in the film, Bowie added the tracks to the Station to Station follow-up, creating one of the more experimental and ground-breaking moves in electronic music history.

One of the artists moved by the work was experimental composer Philip Glass, who in 1992 chose to court the instrumental pieces of the LPs second side to see how the collaboration could influence his own work.  He explains, “My approach was to treat the themes very much as if they were my own and allow their transformations to follow my own compositional bent when possible. In practice, however, Bowie and Eno’s music certainly influenced how I worked, leading me to sometimes surprising musical conclusions. In the end I think I arrived at something of a real collaboration between my music and theirs.”

This week, the piece was released on vinyl for the first time through music publishers, Music On Vinyl.  The album is pressed on 180 gram vinyl, includes insert and deluxe PVC sleeve.  Be sure to grab a copy while they last, here.

To get a taste for the tone of the piece, check out the video below:

 

Soundtrack Highlights of the Week: Danny Elfman and ‘Music From The Films of Tim Burton’ To Haunt L.A. on Halloween

elfman-2The place to be on Halloween is L.A.’s Nokia Theater where Danny Elfman is set to appear along side conductor John Mauceri’s Hollywood Studio Symphony, in celebrating The Music From The Films of Tim Burton.  This is the second Los Angeles event after last year’s Halloween extravaganza and it comes along after sold-out performances world-wide, even including a brief stay at London’s Royal Albert Hall.  If you caught last year’s performance, no worries my friends, this year’s event boasts “expanded and refined film suites”.

At the moment, there are 16 collaborations between Elfman and Burton including the now classic The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Elfman not only composed the music and lyrics for the project, but he also provided the vocal talent for Jack Skellington’s musical interludes which he is expected to revisit for the upcoming Halloween performance.

Elfman got his start as the lead singer of the Los Angeles based band, Oingo Boingo.  No stranger to film soundtracks, Oingo Boingo got into the action early composing hits for films such as Fast Times at Ridgemont HighBack to School and even John Hughes’ Weird Science.  Under their initial name, The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, the band composed the score and musical numbers for the cult-classic Forbidden Zone directed by Danny’s brother, Richard Elfman.  In the film, Danny performs an awesome rendition of Cab Calloway’s Minnie the Moocher (pictured above) with revised lyrics that are suited to the film’s narrative.

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Nominated for four Oscars for his work on Milk, Big Fish, Men in Black and Good Will Hunting, Elfman has also won an Emmy award for the television series, Desperate Housewives, and even snagged a Grammy for Best Instrumental Compostion for his theme from Burton’s Batman back in 1989.  The artist has carved out a long and varied career in the world of film music composing nearly 100 films, such as Burton’s Batman, Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, Burton’s Planet of the Apes and even the forthcoming, Fifty Shades of Grey.

Tickets are on sale now for the Halloween event.  Grab them here: http://www.axs.com/events/250641/danny-elfmanys-music-from-the-films-of-tim-burton-tickets

SIFF Discovery: Quincy Jones’ Score For Sidney Lumet’s ‘The Pawnbroker’

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Sidney Lumet’s 1964 The Pawnbroker, enjoyed a screening at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival earlier this week, as part of a celebration of the life and work of music giant and former Seattle resident, Quincy Jones.

Jones has scored a wide-range of film and television projects including The Out of Towners, The Italian Job (1969), In Cold Blood and In The Heat Of The Night.  Although the score for The Pawnbroker was one of his initial film projects, it is a sophisticated piece of work that could easily stand on it’s own.

The Pawnbroker tells the story of Sol Nazerman (played masterfully by Rod Steiger), a New York City pawnbroker who after surviving the Holocaust and the loss of his family, struggles to reconcile his past with his current reality.  The film’s title piece with vocals by Marc Allen, highlights the potent mix of New York sensibility and the tragic narrative of the film’s lead and his clientele, the neighborhood folks trying to scrape by.

Check it out here:

The score for the rest of the film moves effortlessly between elements of jazz, bossa nova, and soul, succeeding in bridging the gap between the world of New York where Nazerman operates his pawn shop and the intense emotional landscape he can’t escape from.

Here’s a highlight featuring the main theme, Rack ‘Em Up, and the end title:

I highly recommend giving the soundtrack a spin, especially since the release is coupled with another Jones film piece, Deadly Affair.  Also, if you are in Seattle, Quincy Jones events continue this evening with his introduction of the Justin Kauflin Trio at the Triple Door.  Tickets are $25 and show starts at 7 P.M.  Get all the info you desire from the SIFF information page, here.

Luis Bacalov’s Soundtracks ‘Summertime Killer’ & ‘Rebus’ Made Available For Download

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If you are not familiar with Luis Bacalov by name, you would surely recognize his work.  Bacalov is one of the more prolific movie composers, known early in his career for scoring spaghetti westerns, such as Django, and many other later works such as the Oscar-winning composition for Il Postino (The Postman).  His works have also been featured in a couple of Quentin Tarantino’s films, including Kill Bill Vol. 2, which highlighted a track from Summertime Killer, one of the two digital releases made available this week.

A young man witnesses his father’s murder by a gang of mobsters and heads down a bloody trail of vengeance to eliminate all those involved.  A bit folk and a bit rock, the soundtrack has elements of what you would expect from a 70’s revenge flick but also covers some varied dramatic ground with it’s selection of suites.

Originally released in 1972 but now digitally remastered and released by Emergency Music Italy, it’s available for digital download now.  It includes 14 tracks:

Track Listing

1. Run and Run 3:17
2. Like a Play 3:03
3. The Summertime Killer 3:31
4. Motorcycle Circus 3:41
5. Lisboa’s Tram 2:06
6. The House on the Lake 5:22
7. Like a Play – Version 2 3:35
8. Run and Run – Version 2 3:17
9. Suite (Part. 1) 2:09
10. Suite (Part. 2) 0:44
11. Suite (Part. 3) 4:18
12. Suite (Part. 4) 0:45
13. Suite (Part. 5) 6:12
14. Suite (Part. 6) 3:50
Total Album Time: 45:50

Here’s a taste:

 

 

 

 

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Made available on Thursday for digital download by EMI Music Publishing Italia, is the soundtrack for the 1969 heist film Rebus, also known as Appointment in Beirut, starring Lawrence Harvey and featuring the acting and singing talents of Ann-Margret.

The composition moves through the dramatic terrain, occasionally classical, at other times influenced by the middle-east but always by way of the Swingin’ 60’s.  Catch a glimpse here in the ultra-psychedelic Take a Chance.

See if you can figure out the headdress, folks.  I’m at a loss.   

 

Track Listing

1. Take a Chance – Main Titles 2:43
2. Seq. 1 3:44
3. Seq. 2 2:17
4. Seq. 3 3:18
5. Seq. 4 2:39
6. Seq. 5 4:23
7. Seq. 6 2:23
8. Take a Chance 2:11
9. Suddenly The Rain 2:36
10. Seq. 7 5:30
11. Seq. 8 1:23
12. Seq. 9 2:02
13. Seq. 10 2:14
14. Seq. 11 2:52
15. Take a Chance – End Title 2:37
Total Album Time: 42:52

Both of these titles are available to stream or download on multiple platforms including iTunes and Amazon.com.

Soundtrack Spotlight: WAR’s 1978 ‘Youngblood’

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Although the poster promises hefty slices of urban drama, 1978’s Youngblood is now more notable for it’s soundtrack, created by the 70’s American funk band WAR, than from the film itself.  Originally released by AIP (American International Pictures) the film features Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs, of Welcome Back Kotter fame, in a story about a inner city youth coming of age in the midst of a drug/gang war.

Trying to nail down a copy of the original film is a bit of a chore these days, some say it’s never received an official MGM DVD release (MGM currently has the distribution rights over most AIP films) because of music copyright issues and others say it’s just not worth the time to distribute because of lack of demand.   However, the same cannot be said for the film’s soundtrack, which has enjoyed vinyl, CD and digital download releases.  WAR utilized the same urban, jazz and Latin influences that they built a career on and produced a strong and unappreciated piece of film history.

Although a substantial chunk of the album is groovy instrumental background music for the film’s integral pieces of dialogue, the film’s self-titled theme, Youngblood (Livin’ In The Streets) is alone worth the price of admission. Give it a listen:

 

Other highlights from the album include Keep On Doin’, a straight-forward soul/funk track, Youngblood & Sybil, the album’s only slow-jam which naturally serves as the love theme, and Flying Machine (The Chase), a seven and a half minute gem where WAR lays down some serious Latin jazz grooves.  Check it out:

 

Whether it’s the reviews or the availability of the film that keep you from engaging with this late 70’s drama, now you can let the soundtrack guide you along the urban landscape.  WAR’s soundtrack is pretty solid and in my opinion, it has far surpassed the label of nostalgia and should be well on it’s way to becoming a classic.

 

A Highlight of This Week’s Soundtrack Releases: Toto’s ‘Dune’ and Adanowsky’s ‘The Dance of Reality’

With the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune still playing in theaters, it’s fitting that the soundtracks for both David Lynch’s Dune and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Dance of Reality were both released this week.  1415_foto1_product_groot

The 1984 film Dune, based on the Frank Herbert science-fiction best-seller, has one of the longest and most interesting histories in cinema and is chronicled in the recent documentary, Jodorowsky’s Dune.

Under the intial direction of Alejandro Jodorowsky, the film was to be scored by Pink Floyd and Magma, which would have provided quite a different feel than the end result; but don’t count this one out, it’s a solid piece of work from the 80’s band Toto, sans lead singer Bobby Kimball.  The score is accompanied by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Volksoper Choir and sadly, remains Toto’s only attempt at film scoring.  The composition is now a classic of the genre and has the rare distinction of being more highly regarded than the film.  

Tracks include:

1. SIDE A: Prologue
2. Main Title
3. Robot Fight
4. Leto S Theme
5. Box
6. Floating Fat Man (The Baron)
7. Trip To Arrakis
8. First Attack
9. Prophecy Theme #
10. SIDE B: Dune (Desert Theme)
11. Paul Meets Chani
12. Prelude (Take My Hand)”
13. Paul Takes The Water Of Life
14. Big Battle
15. Paul Kills Feyd
16. Final Dream
17. Take My Hand

This 180 gram vinyl only release hit shelves on May 19th from the Music on Vinyl label, which specializes on distributing titles from a wide range of record labels both re-issues and vinyl accompaniments to CD/DVD releases.

Be sure to check out Music on Vinyl’s website here for purchasing details.

 

 

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After the failed attempt at bringing his intricate and dedicated vision of Dune to life, Alejandro Jodorowsky retreated from the film industry only to resurface 23 years later with this film, The Dance of Reality.  Scored by his son, Adan Jodorowsky or “Adanowsky”, the composition required 33 musicians and 3 months to complete with recording in both Paris and Macedonia.

Although Adanowsky is Alejandro’s son, he is no stranger to film scoring, he also worked with Julie Delphy to score 2 Days in Paris.

The soundtrack hit stores on May 19th from the ABKCO Records label and is available now on numerous digital platforms and formats, so getting your hands on a copy should prove to be one of the easiest tasks you’ll have all day.

Soundtrack Releases For Both Cannibal Ferox and Dan Curtis’ Dracula

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Released on Wednesday, One Way Static Records unleashed their extremely limited edition (300 total) cassette soundtrack for Umberto Lenzi‘s notorious Cannibal Ferox A.K.A. Make Them Die Slowly, which remains the benchmark film for Italian flesh-eating jungle horror.

Composed by Roberto Donati, the score ranges from funk to tribal to kooky at times but don’t let that fool you, it’s well worth snagging.

The first 100 folks who purchased the item received the limited edition Vomit Bag along with the cassette that includes 4 bonus tracks, radio ads, mystery tracks and a trailer exclusive.

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Tracks include:

01. NYC Main title
02. Cannibal Ferox Theme
03. Killing 2 Parrots
04. Into The Bush
05. Jungle Jive
06. Jaywalkin’ Iguana
07. Piranhas
08. NYC Brass

09. Kettle Of Doom
10. Mike Flips Out
11. NYC Aftermath
12. Man Hunting
13. Chase
14. On The Trail
15. Evil Rising

For ordering information, check out One Way Static Records’ site here.

 

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Robert Cobert‘s score for 1974’s Dracula was released on May 13th to coordinate with the 40th anniversary Blu-ray hitting stores.

Those who enjoy Cobert’s other film compositions, namely Dark Shadows, The Winds of War, War and Rememberance and The Night Stalker, will definitely want to get their hands on this release.

Broadcast on American television screens but released theatrically world-wide, this particular film adaptation was brought to life by Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis and starred Jack Palance as the blood-thirsty count.

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Tracks include:

1. Dracula At Dusk (Opening Theme)
2. Letter From The Count 
3. Dracula Main Title 
4. Carriage To Castle Dracula
5. The Brides Of Dracula / A Letter To Mina
6. Harker’s Dilemma
7. Dracula’s Coffin
8. The Brides Attack
9. The Carfax Estate
10. Attack On Lucy/Transfusion 
11. Boat Ride
12. Wild Dog
13. The Death Of Lucy 
14. Lucy Reappears 
15. Staking Lucy
16. Peace/Rage
17. Attack At The Inn
18. Dracula At The Door
19. Charred Coffins
20. Van Helsing Hypnotizes Mina
21. Protecting Mina 
22. Horseback Ride To Castle Dracula
23. Staking The Brides
24. Harker’s Fate
25. Dracula At Dawn
26. Impaling 
27. Epigraph
28. Dracula End Title (Music Box Theme)

Get your hands on a copy at the Varese Sarabande website here.