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Monday, November 28, 2005

CD REVIEWS - Two from Intrada

Planet of the Apes - The TV Series
Music by Lalo Schifrin and Earle Hagen
Intrada Special Collection Vol. 25
31 Tracks 68:46 mins.

I remember as if only yesterday watching this TV spin-off from the successful series of Planet of the Apes feature films. Hard to believe then that it's been more than 30 years. Finally, we have a soundtrack release, thanks to Intrada, which presents music from all Lalo Schifrin's episodes, including of course his splendid main title theme; together with an episode score by Earle Hagen (of I Spy fame), which in fact utilises Schifrin's theme rather more than the composer does in his own scores.
The music for the features was scored by a small handful of composers and was largely highly inventive and challenging music. To his credit, Schifrin's scores, though obviously on a slightly smaller scale, bear favourable comparison. You won't find melodies here, but if you enjoyed the scores for the features, you'll certainly enjoy Schifrin's efforts. It is every bit as challenging, otherwordly and downright barbaric when it needs to be, and Hagen does a creditable job of following suit.
Author of Planet of the Apes as American Myth: Race, Politics and Popular Culture, Eric Greene, provides the accompanying liner notes and there's plenty of full-colour artwork and stills to complete this excellent package.

Last Flight Out
Music by Bruce Broughton
Intrada Signature Editions ISE1005
17 Tracks 50:35 mins.

Somehow this small independent movie eluded my radar, but as we hear so little of Bruce Broughton's music on disc these days, I just had to check it out. As befits a dramatic tale set in South America, the composer provides a suitable "jungle" sound, with Latin percussion and flutes and guitar, reinforced though by synths (well, this is a low-budget picture, after all). The synths do slightly spoil things, particularly in the exciting action moments, where one can imagine live instruments sounding oh so much better, but the music still manages to grab you. Quieter moments tend to emphasise the live instruments more and there are some emotional moments to enjoy. The main theme, voiced mainly by guitar is particularly nice and makes a welcome return from time to time. Two essentially country ballads by Aaron Barker, once a big Nashville hopeful, who seems to have gone the way of so many these days, round out the disc.
Bravo, Intrada, for continuing to put out CDs of this underrated composer's work. Now if only you could release all these Emmy-winning TV scores he keeps coming up with.
Check out Intrada's range of releases at and, in case you didn't already know, they also sell current soundtrack releases on other labels.


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