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Thursday, January 10, 2008


Well, I didn't get the chance to post yesterday after all, so here it is today:-

My Favorite Martian
Music by George Greeley
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1060 (US)
23 Tracks 71:35 mins

If you were raised in the '60s, you may, like me, still hold that it was a golden age for television, particularly in the States. One the of the shows I can barely remember, but which still fills me with a sense of nostalgia, was My Favorite Martian, in which Ray Walston played the Martian of the title with the retractable antenna, alongside his Earthly companion, Bill Bixby, who I must confess I had forgotten starred in this show, my having remembered him mainly for his later roles in The Incredible Hulk, The Magician and Rich Man, Poor Man.
Music for the show was provided by George Greeley, a name I must confess I haven't come across since my interest in film scoring began - until now, that is. But, I did know his music, albeit unconsciously, as was revealed to me as soon as I put on this limited edition release from La-La Land Records and heard that familiar, catchy, almost march-like main theme, a theme that appears in a number of variations throughout the remainder of the CD.
The music presented here is arranged in a number of excellent episode suites and extracts, often incorporating short cues that were composed for the shows, as is often the nature of TV scoring. The scores often present cartoon-like comedy scoring, as well as much sneakiness and suspense, as well as more easy-going, jaunty moments, with a hint of warmth and romance here and there. Greeley also shows his big band roots, with some tuneful source music and a touch of jazz here and there. But the most memorable part of his scoring is his use of the theremin for scenes involving Walston's displays of his otherwordly powers and in particular the rise and fall of his antenna. This was however no ordinary theremin, but one modified by musician Paul Tanner, who came up with a way of achieving the usual sound of the instrument, but with a higher level of player control. Yet another example of the ingenuity that was displayed in much TV scoring of sci-fi/fantasy shows of this period.
Accompanying the disc is a 12-page booklet, featuring Randall D. Larson's detailed notes on the composer, the show and its music, plus fascinating behind-the-scenes stills, and even a note from the composer, making this a very collectable package indeed.


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