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Thursday, November 08, 2007


Music by Johnny Keating/Music by Stanley Myers
Film Score Monthly Vol. 10 No.12 (US)
23 Tracks 64:04 mins

Two very different scores from the 1960s, presented here on CD for the first time, and both in stereo. First up, for the 1967 star-studded adaptation of Arthur Hailey's novel, British big band composer/arranger Johnny Keating wrote his most well-known film score and provided the film with a melodic, largely easy-listening sound, which makes for a delightful listening experience on disc. His main theme is quite versatile and can be heard on a number of tracks, including in a vocal rendition by Carmen McRae, with lyrics by John Worth, the same pairing also being responsible for a vocal of the rather melancholy, but still lovely "Love theme," which is first heard instrumentally with trumpet lead. The only real dramatic score track is "Elevator," a tense, jazzy mover, with the rest of the 12 tracks featured here being source music, a romantic piece, plus some Dixieland jazz. All in all though a very pleasant listen.
Paired with this more conventional '60s offering is a much more "hip" and "with it" contribution by another British composer Stanley Myers, best known for his "Cavatina," first written for The Walking Stick, but made famous by its use in The Deer Hunter, and as a mentor for the likes of Hans Zimmer and Harry Gregson-Williams. His music for the 1966 film Kaleidoscope, a mixture of romantic comedy, spy thriller and crime caper, starring Warren Beatty, is very much a period piece, just oozing "swinging sixties" style. The main theme is a bouncy affair with sax lead. This is followed by a quirky pop song, "Kinky Dolly" (!), for vocal group, then an exotic groove, "Shazam!" which makes use of Indian instruments, which was of course very fashionable at the time; then "D.B.6," a breezy, trumpet-lead affair. Another '60s staple follows, a bossa nova, then the theme song with vocals by Romeo Z. Some catchy jazz-pop, "Barney," follows, and then "A Present for Daddy," my favourite piece on the album, of a style heard in countless spy films and TV shows of the period. Another score track ends the 11 selections, with some good jazzy action in the "End Title," before a brief reprise of the main theme.
As always, a splendid booklet accompanies the disc, with artwork and notes from the original LP releases, together with Lukas Kendall's notes on the films and their music, plus the always welcome cue-by-cue guide. Go to for further details and for sound clips.


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