Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Thursday, September 25, 2008


There has never been a better time to be a Laurie Johnson fan. The veteran composer is of course best known for his classic theme for the cult TV series The Avengers, but over his lengthy career he has written numerous scores and themes for film and TV, as well as concert works for orchestra and various bands.
One of his most requested film scores, for 1974's Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter, was finally issued on CD by BSX Records last year, and is still available to buy from, where you can also pick up copies of the two tremendous 3-disc sets released last year and this by Edsel in the EU The Music of Laurie Johnson Vols.1 & 2. If you are based in the UK though, you can pick up a copy of each of these very reasonably from, where postage is free.
In addition to all of these great recordings, you might also like to pick up a copy of Johnson's 230-page autobiography Noises In The Head, published by Bank House Books in the UK. The book covers all aspects of his career and is liberally illustrated with fascinating black and white photos. I got mine from
Going back to Captain Kronos, directed by Johnson's long-time friend and collaborator Brian Clemens, the score features a splendidly adventurous, questing "Main Titles" theme, heard first as track 2 on the album, following the tragic events of the opening "Innocent Maidens Drained of Life," and making welcome reappearances, in variations, throughout the score. When Bernard Herrmann moved to London in the '70s, he and Johnson became friends, and the latter of course went on to work with his music in 1978's It Lives Again. The great man's influence can be heard all over the Captain Kronos score, with characteristic Herrmannisms abounding. Johnson's subtle use of zimbalom adds a gypsy feel to some of the music. The BSX recording (BSXCD 8831) features just under an hour of music, including some interesting bonus tracks, some featuring sound effects. A colourful 8-page booklet accompanies the disc, and features Randall. D. Larson's extensive notes on the film and its music. As a real fan bonus, there is also a foreword by the film's female lead, the ever-popular Caroline Munro.
The Edsel box sets are great value for money, with each release featuring 3 CDs absolutely packed with music. The first set is most notable for finally making available a whole disc of music from The Avengers, which makes the release highly desirable in itself, but the second disc also features themes from shows and films such as This Is Your Life, The New Avengers, Animal Magic, The Professionals, Whicker's World, World in Action, First Men in the Moon and Dr. Strangelove; concluding with thJohnson's symphony Synthesis. Disc 3 features a variety of works for military bands.
Volume 2, only recently released, presents a whole disc of music from The Professionals, another popular British TV series; with disc 2 featuring a handful of TV themes, most notably Jason King, some early singles, plus extensive suites from Johnson's scores for the films The First Men in the Moon and Ibsen's Hedda; concluding with the fabulous concert work Concerto for Trumpet, Tenor Sax and Orchestra. The third disc is again a "Royal Military Spectacular," prsenting four pieces, including the splendid The Battle of Waterloo, narrated by Bernard Miles.
Each disc in both sets has its own colourful accompanying booklet, featuring plenty of reading on the works presented.
It only now needs Johnson's splendid score for The Belstone Fox to be issued on CD to make this reviewer fully satiated.

From Costa Communications:




(Hollywood, CA) German-born film composer Marc Streitenfeld reunites with director Ridley Scott to score Scott’s newest film, “Body of Lies.” This is Streitenfeld’s third score in a row and eighth consecutive music collaboration with Scott. Warner Bros. gripping and powerful film, “Body of Lies,” will hit theaters on October 10, 2008.

Streitenfeld traveled to Morocco to collaborate with Scott for this intense and sophisticated film, which required a score to support its strong and urbane style. Streitenfeld used a 90-piece orchestra as well as woods and choir to create this edgy but also moving score. Recording all the elements separately allowed Streitenfeld to have more command over the final sound mix.

“Body of Lies” stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe and is a film adaptation of the 2007 novel by American writer and journalist David Ignatius. The film was shot in the United States and Morocco, North Africa and is about a CIA operative (DiCaprio) that is sent to Jordan to track a high-ranking terrorist. The spy is aided by the head of Jordan's covert operations (Crowe) in an uneasy alliance that leads to a cultural and moral clash between the men.

Born in Munich, Germany, Streitenfeld relocated to Los Angeles at the age of 19, first working briefly as a musical assistant for composer Hans Zimmer, then independently as a music editor and supervisor on several blockbusters. Streitenfeld was nominated for a Golden Reel Award for his work on Ridley Scott’s “Kingdom of Heaven” and was nominated for a BAFTA award for “American Gangster.” Streitenfeld also composed for “A Good Year” by Scott’s request and has had a long relationship with the award-winning filmmaker. “I’ve done quite a few films with him now and every experience has been really good,” Streitenfeld said. Prior to his work as a composer, Streitenfeld had collaborated with Scott as music editor, music supervisor and technical score advisor on several projects, including “Matchstick Men,” “Black Hawk Down” and “Gladiator.”





Score Album Available on Bulletproof October 7th

Film in Theatres October 10th

(Hollywood, CA) Composer Andrew Lockington’s recent score to Walden Media’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth” solidified him scoring their next film “City of Ember,” starring Bill Murray and Tim Robbins. Lockington created an original epic score by incorporating a 90-piece orchestra along with an 85-member choir. “City of Ember” opens October 10th; score album will be released by Bulletproof (through Universal) available on October 7th.

The composer wanted his score to emulate the magnitude of the film. ‘“Moments of incredible beauty and emotion peek through in contrast to the dark landscape that is “City of Ember,”’ Lockington said about the film’s score. Lockington recorded and mixed the score at the legendary Abbey Road. The score features unique percussion elements accented by mystical wind instruments that could only be compared to "whale music." Special features to the brass section include four Wagner Horns that lend their bold signature to the score's main theme.

“City of Ember” tells the story of an ancient city whose existence becomes threatened when a generator keeping the city alive begins to fail. The lamps that light the city start to flicker and the food supplies begin to run out. Two teenagers race against time, to unlock the mystery of the city's existence in attempt to save the city and its people.

Lockington is a protégé of award-winning composer Mychael Danna (Little Miss Sunshine). Lockington’s credits include “Skinwalkers,” “Saint Ralph,” “Touch of Pink,” and the scores for the HBO features “Xchange” and “Stranger Inside.” More recently, Lockington scored the indie film “One Week,” which premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival.


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