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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

CD REVIEW - The Liquidator

The Liquidator
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Film Score Monthly Vol.9 No.16 (U.S.)
24 Tracks 63:04 mins

That we even have this CD is down to engineer Doug Schwartz, whose heroic efforts are duly recognised in the notes accompanying this release, because it's somehow cobbled together from various scources, yet still manages to sound consistently good.
The Liquidator is a spy film spoof from 1966, one of several riding on the back of the successful James Bond series, and starred Rod Taylor and Jill St John (who ironically went on to become a Bond girl in Diamonds Are Forever). It was one of Lalo Schifrin's eary Hollywood assignments, and his experience playing jazz with Dizzy Gillespie was put to good use in coming up with a large number of source cues, which featured on the original LP release. This CD includes the content of the LP, but adds alternate versions and more importantly dramatic scoring from the film.
The source cues include military marches and gypsy violin, alongside the more familiar jazzy music, with "Boysie's Bossa," being the most utilised of the latter compositions.
The dramatic scoring is mostly of the suspenseful variety, but there is some action along the way, including the timpani-driven "767 2274 Tank Corp." And "The Killer" is something of a crossover between source and dramatic score, a fine jazzy mover in the best Man From U.N.C.L.E. traditions.
Framing the score is the corny but very Bond-like title song, which is belted out by several-time Bond songstress Shirley Bassey, who treats it as seriously as if she were performing the fabulous "Goldfinger" or "Diamond Are Forever."
Schifrin went on to write greater things for the spy and whole thriller-type genre in the decade or more that followed, but this is an interesting look at one of the composer's earliest forays.
As always, the disc is accompanied by a splendidly illustrated booklet, with liner notes by Lukas Kendall and interview excerpts with the composer conducted by Jeff Bond. And as a bonus the original LP liner notes are also included.
Go to for clips and to order your copy.


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