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Film Music Review (Volumes 1-7)





Hard to Find Orchestral Instrumentals II

20 Tracks (Playing Time = 58:35)

Produced for CD by Bill Buster. Sound produced by Tom Daly and Mark Mathews. Design by George Mattingly.

Eric Records 11518-2

Rating: ***


1. Gonna Fly Now from ROCKY -- Bill Conti (#1, 4/77)
2. Theme from BEN CASEY -- Valjean (#28, 5/62)
3. Theme from THE APARTMENT -- Ferrante & Teicher (#10, 7/60)
4. Theme from THE LONG SHIPS, Part 1 -- Charles Albertine (#112, 8/64)[MONO]
5. The Day the Rains Came -- Raymond Lefevre & His Orchestra (#30, 10/58)[MONO]
6. Beautiful Obsession -- Sir Chauncy & His Exciting Strings (#89, 4/60)
7. Theme from THE SUNDOWNERS -- Felix Slatkin (#70, 9/60)
8. Chariot (I Will Follow Him) -- Frank Pourcel (1961)
9. That's the Way With Love -- Piero Soffici (#59, 4/61)[MONO]
10. Theme from THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS -- Percy Faith (#101, 9/60)
11. Theme from A MAN AND A WOMAN -- Francis Lai (1966)
12. ROUTE 66 Theme -- Nelson Riddle (#30, 5/62)
13. Moonglow and Theme from PICNIC -- George Cates & Orchestra (#4, 3/56)[MONO]
14. Swinging Sweethearts -- Ron Goodwin & His Orchestra (#52, 8/57)[MONO]
15. This Boy (Ringo's Theme from A HARD DAY'S NIGHT) -- George Martin (#53, 7/64)
16. Chanson D'Anna/Song for Anna -- Herb Ohta (#104, 7/74)
17. Nadia's Theme (THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) -- Barry DeVorzon & Perry Botkin (#8, 8/76)
18. Danny Boy -- Sil Austin (#59, 5/59)
19. Trumpeter's Prayer -- Tutti Camarata (1957)
20. One Moment in Time (from 1988 Summer Olympics, Seol, South Korea) -- Vienna Symphonic Orchestra Project (1989)


In the old days of easy listening radio there was a broad segment of music played, including many instrumental themes. This CD compilation reprises some of those vintage themes, including those from TV shows and motion pictures.

As the track listings above show, some of these themes were very popular, like Gonna Fly Now from the first ROCKY film (track 1, with chart listing and date in parenthesis). Others did not get very high on the Billboard chart, such as the theme from THE LONG SHIPS (track 4), composed by Charles Albertine. Still others were played a lot on radio and were million sellers but didn't quite make it to No. 1. One o these was the duo pianists Ferrante & Teicher and their recording of the Theme from THE APARTMENT (track 3), which was originally composed as "The Jealous Lover"by British composer Charles Williams in 1949. It is worth mentioning that this theme was performed on the original soundtrack by a young chap known as Johnny Williams, who is now the world-famous film composer.

One of the finest film themes in this compilation is Max Steiner's THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS (track 10), in a recording by Percy Faith and His Orchestra. Faith's recording of the theme from Steiner's A SUMMER PLACE was the biggest selling recording of 1960. Unfortunately, Steiner's theme from THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS didn't make it so high on the Billboard chart but it remains a charming example of expert and evocative film scoring.

This CD compilation provides both familiar and less familiar themes.

There are five Mono tracks that actually sound quite good. Some of the other "True Stereo" tracks sound less good, tracks 13 & 14 for example, and are on the shrillish side. But considering the age of these tracks, the sound is quite acceptable.

While the orchestral arrangements are sometimes overly fussy, this is still a good listen for nostalgia buffs and collectors.


--Roger Hall, 28 March 2007

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