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Friday, December 01, 2006

CD REVIEW - A Name For Evil/The Unknown

A Name For Evil/The Unknown
Music by Dominic Frontiere
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1051 (U.S.)
19 Tracks 53:55 mins

I have always had a fondness for the music of underrated Hollywood composer Dominic Frontiere and it has been great that some of his music has finally been making it to CD in recent times. This latest offering from La-La Land Records is of music for a rarely seen 1970 horror starring Robert Culp of I Spy fame, which sees his character involved in hauntings and paganism. I can't recall it ever being seen on British TV, and probably it's one that the star would prefer to forget, but I'd nevertheless welcome the chance to experience Frontiere's music on film and am not averse to a bit of female nudity, though the Culp full frontals I could probably do without!
The first eleven tracks feature Frontiere's music for the film, which is fully orchestral and features much eerie writing for strings and flute, and which becomes brassy and quite savage at times; plus a rather stately, almost fanfarish motif for the house that Culp inherits, but which his ghostly great-grandfather won't give up - even in death. There is also an intense and bittersweet love theme for the crumbling relationship between Culp and his wife (Samantha Eggar).
Coupled with this score is music from The Unknown, which was broadcast as the last episode of The Outer Limits TV series, which was an early success for the composer, who not only wrote music for the shows but also co-produced.
The Unknown is again orchestral and features much mystery, drama and menace, with some good shock moments. At times the score is again quite savage and dissonant, but also boasts the lush romance of "Andre's Theme." There's also a mysterious waltz-like tune for the "Toy Dancer."
The CD boasts very good stereo sound and is accompanied by a splendidly illustrated booklet with Randall D. Larson's detailed notes on the productions and their scores.
Now if only La-La Land or some other enterprising label could release Frontiere's music for the John Wayne westerns Chisum and The Train Robbers, that would really make me happy!


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