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Monday, September 04, 2006

CD REVIEW - CHiPs Season Two 1978-79

ChiPs Season Two 1978-79
Music by Alan Silvestri
Film Score Monthly Vol.9 No.10
20 Tracks 79:16 mins

I never thought I'd see the day when music from this disco-generation speed cop drama series would make it to CD, but here it is, and there are indications that there could be more volumes to follow.
This release also represents one of Alan Silvestri's earliest gigs, back when he was a longhaired guitar player (as illustrated by a fascinating picture towards the back of the colourful accompanying booklet, featuring extensive notes by Lukas Kendall). This is not of course the symphonic Silvestri we now are used to hearing. ChiPs was scored for a small ensemble, with ever present rhythm section and brass and strings taking the melodic line in what were basically a series of propulsive tracks accompanying the many on-screen chases.
John Parker wrote the original theme for the show, which Silvestri arranged for the second season, but the majority of the music on this disc was composed by the latter, with the exception of one episode "Trick or Trick," where M-G-M's drama guy Bruce Broughton was brought in. However, it turned out that the episode largely required the same disco treatment Silvestri would have given it, so Broughton's music fits right in, save for a sinister synth tune that runs through the suite presented here.
Anyway, in conclusion, what we have here is a largely relentless series of disco-infused suites of cues from various episodes, which all sound very dated, but will be welcomed by those of you brought up on the series, as I was (it was one of my late mother's favourites - she, like many women of the time, was quite taken by co-star Erik Estrada), so it was always on; but whatever its limitations, it is undoubtedly one of the most energetic foot-tapping CDs you'll hear, and I would certainly enjoy further volumes should they appear.


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