GET CARTER -Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Deluxe 3 CD Edition. Music by Roy Budd

What a thing of beauty! Yes, I am talking about a soundtrack, one that figures heavily in my Best Of All Time list. This particular beauty is Get Carter – Music By Roy Budd Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Deluxe 3 CD Edition which includes Essays, film & poster images and recording information. Talk about a kid in a sweet shop, where do I start? Cherry Red Records, a British independent record label founded in 1978, released this gem in July of this year. Get Carter, taken from the novel Jack’s Return Home by Ted Lewis, was released in 1971 starring Michael Caine as Jack Carter, a suave and brutal London gangster who returns to his home town in the North to avenge the death of his brother. Director Mike Hodges’ use of the bleak Northern landscape, unrelenting violence and gritty dialogue changed future gangster films forever help along by a powerful performance by Michael Caine and a soundtrack of unbelievable coolness by the late Roy Budd.

CD1 ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
The Get Carter Theme was released as a 7” on composer Budd’s own Pye record label. The original soundtrack LP was only released in Japan on the Odeon label but as the film gained momentum the soundtrack was released in 1998 on the Cinephile label.
I remember this being one of the first soundtracks I listened to which included part of the movie’s dialogue, something which is now hardly done. This alone blew me away let alone the actual music. It made for a totally immersive experience. Track 1, Get Carter Intro, gets you straight into the grimy, unforgiving mood of the story with the now-famous refrain of a set of short notes of steel like sound played on harpsichord and piano that haunt the score. This repeats in track 2 – Carter Takes The Train Main Title which this time begins with a slick bass line enhanced by Budd’s genius jazz organ playing. In the background, a sound effect of a train pulling into the station is mimic by a pounding tabla. Is there an opening track anywhere near this much perfection? This is followed by the first of a number of songs which feature on the soundtrack that are so of their time that they enhance rather than distract from the album as a whole. Looking For Someone was composed by Budd as are all the other songs some of which also have the credit of Budd with Jack Fishman.

What I really like about the track listings to each of the CD’s songs is that it tells you where in the film it was playing, which is such a fabulous idea I feel like getting up a petition to make this legal! For example – Looking For Someone – ‘This track is the song on the jukebox as Jack Carter first walks into the pub near the train station.’ After more dialogue comes further keyboard playing, this time in a slow, relaxed song where the word ‘groovy’ would fit nicely, the title being Something On My Mind. Track 9, to me, is the standout song, entitled Gettin’ Nowhere In A Hurry both in its composition lyrics. The description for this is ‘this track is the second to play on the jukebox in the pub…’ As you can now imagine the next track, Girl In The Car, accompanies one of Carter’s bed partners Glenda as she drives. Towards the end it goes gloriously ‘off-piste’ jazz wise. Hearing these cues you can understand why many of these pieces were well sampled for TV adverts etc.
The refrain returns in Manhunt but this time a little muffled and muted, this is listed as a ‘Cross Cut’ and depicts the scenes of Jack chasing his brothers killer and a woman’s body being dredged up from a lake. You are startled out of the refrain by deep and random piano notes with frantic tablas,of which is highly atmospheric. In a complete change of gear, we have an almost classical piano piece playing as Carter kills his brother’s murderer. The song Hallucinations, complete with dreamy voices and echoes, follows this. It ends with Goodbye Carter a reprise of the Intro and Main Title track. Disc 1 is a replication of the original Japanese release I can’t praise the quality enough, it sounds sharp and new.

CD2 ORIGINAL BONUS MATERIAL
This is the CD I was most excited about, additional tracks not included in the original album including unreleased alternative mixes of the Main Theme. Get Carter Alternative Mix 1 makes you appreciate the basic elements of this iconic theme as it’s stripped of the train effects which focuses you on the bass, tabla etc. There is however a very short and sweet piano flourish dropped in after the first leitmotif. This is followed by Plaything, an alternative vocal version mix of Hallucinations which is slower and more trippy than the original, this is a little gem followed by gem number 2 – an instrumental version of Gettin’ Nowhere In A Hurry. It’s when you listen to the instrumental mix of Hallucinations that you get a sense of the genius of Budd. His dissemblance of time structures lends a more hazy feel making the whole very pleasing. Definitely another stand out track.

This CD ends with 5 more mixes of the main theme -yes 5! We begin with the 7” single version, which again does not include the films train sounds. Dope On A Rope US Mix is bass lead with a much-restrained use of the theme. It takes you to a very different realm where this would not be out of place on the nightclub floor. Just love it! Same could be said of the following De Few 2 Smoking Barrels Remix where the theme hangs in the background under an even deeper bass. It moves far away from the Get Carter theme structure, which is still there but somewhat encased. The Deadly Avenger Mix imports fragments of Hallucinations mixed with the Main Theme but wrapped in drum and bass. The Breakneck Dirtbox Remix is the least imaginative but still a welcome mix with the theme played under a four-note bass and dialogue. Obviously, you benefit more from CD 2 if you know the original score really well but they are still very listenable tracks with some of the changes being oh so subtle.

CD3 A BIT OF BUDD (Highlights from Roy Budd scores.
This is perhaps the most generous disc in this collection as Budd, who died at 46 from a brain haemorrhage, scored over 30 soundtracks most of which are still difficult to get hold of. Disc 3 treats us to tracks taken from his scores.

Mr Funker from FOXBAT 1977
The plotline for this movie is “In Hong Kong, a Chinese cook swallows a microfilm by accident and becomes a target”, obviously an action film of its day and not destined for the awards season. Budd captures the ‘funk’ with a cue mixed with driving drums and bass and a wah-wah guitar rift which was a must in this decade. Saying that this cue could easily slip into a current action movie.

Way Out from THE STONE KILLER 1973
A better known Budd score from a Michael Winner/Charles Bronson action-thriller. With its rousing string start it would be easy to imagine this as an opening to a large scale epic but it quickly goes into Budd mode with those trademark bongos. It’s high 70’s action music.

No Doubt from THE MARSEILLE CONTRACT 1974
A Michael Caine crime-thriller, this is a slowed down, ‘slinky’ cue so cool it makes me want to immediately listen to the rest of the score.

Diamond Fortress from DIAMONDS 1975
A heist film starring Robert Shaw – this is a masterful piece which lulls you in with it’s slow, minimal intro then moves to jazz sax & drum. It’s surrounded by a 7 note strand which builds … then it’s gone! Yet again you are left wanting more.

In The Shadows from THE STONE KILLER
Well just kick off your shoes, pour that cocktail and just give in to this soft jazz piano piece and melt!

Jazz It Up from THE MARSEILLE CONTRACT
A driving jazz piece with a kinda Matrix refrain – sadly too short to really get into.

Free Tarrant from THE BLACK WINDMILL 1973
Another Michael Caine action thriller, which stands out due to the superb tablas playing taking the lead towards the end. This score is again one of Budd’s better-known works.

Cassette Jazz from THE BLACK WINDMILL
Furious and fast piano jazz the speed of which will blow your mind!

For All My Days from KIDNAPPED 1971
This is an altogether different setting for both Budd and yet again Michael Caine. Set in 18th Century Scotland during the Jacobite rebellion. This is a mellow, plaintive Budd with harp, soft brass and strings. It’s quite beautiful.

No Coperation from THE BLACK WINDMILL
Dark and very edgy and I just love the leading jazz bass.

Teacher and Pupil from PAPER TIGER1 975
This adventure/drama has the intriguing casting of David Niven, Toshiro Mifune and Hardy Kruger! It has Budd’s typical percussion, bass and guitar treatment, more of a backing track than thematic.

Main Theme from FEAR IS THE KEY 1972
This is how I discovered Budd’s music. The main score is nothing short of majestic. Taken from the Alistair MacLean novel it’s a tense thriller, which also boasts the film debut of Ben Kingsley. A dramatic kettledrum introduces the proceedings followed by a series of orchestral punctuation. It glides into the most beautiful string-led melody. Strange you might think for a thriller but it so works. Perfection!

Love At First Sight from THE SEA WOLVES 1980
This is a sweet and touching re-arrangement of The Warsaw Concerto.

How Can We Run Away from SOMETHING TO HIDE 1972
This is a crime/thriller starring Peter Finch. With something of a short theatrical start, this is a piano and string-led melodic piece with a romantic feel.

Cresta’s Song from SOLDIER BLUE 1970
This movie caused much controversy on its release as it depicted the slaughter of Cheyenne Indians by the US Calvary. Not only did it cause historical controversy, but it’s level of violence was also criticized. It seems strange that this was Budd’s debut score This track does have an element of the west in his jaunty piano playing.

THEME FROM AUNT HARRIET
Unfortunately, I cannot find any information on this piece of music however it’s a lovely piano piece, quite laid back and jazzy and played in Budd’s impressive style.

THE CAREY TREATMENT 1972
A James Coburn thriller in which a doctor turns detective. A steely three-note leitmotif opens this score which sounds slightly more of TV theme than a thriller movie but good all the same.

VERSAILLES EXIT & WHO NEEDS LOVE ANAYWAY
These are previously unissued Budd tracks.

Budd

                                                                    Roy Budd

This set is a soundtrack collectors dream, well packaged and with not only essay’s on the soundtrack but also on writer Ted Lewis, how Budd got to compose the score, the session musicians and more. All accompanied by photos. posters and film stills. This obviously has been a labour of love as the detail is superb especially the original recording track listings with their basic short numeric system. Budd’s music, especially his scores, play well even if you have not seen the film plus they are infused with 1970’s musical influences.

One of the highlights of this year .
Special Thanks to Matt Ingham & Charlie Brigden

 

GLORIA BELL Soundtrack Review

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When is a soundtrack not a soundtrack? This is the age old question asked by many who enjoy film music. I was a resounding ‘no’ when it came to Hans Zimmer’s score to Dunkirk whilst others fiercely supported it. Regarding the structure of  soundscapes we have all had to go on a learning curve. I ask the question as I absolutely love the soundtrack to Gloria Bell by Matthew Herbert but I can’t quite put my finger on why. It’s a sum of its parts,  the whole

creating an ethereal feeling of happiness. I could say it’s  music to a really enjoyable dream! Gloria Bell is played by Juliane  Moore who is in her 50’s, divorced and working. She has 2 grown up children and works in an insurance office but at night she loves to dance and it’s while dancing that she meets Arnold who is recently divorced. Not exactly a plot which drags you in.

The score is my British electronic music composer and DJ Matthew Herbert who also did the score for Disobedience which was released earlier this year and which I also really liked. There is no discernible theme but the opening track called Gloria Bell sets the tone with with an electronic flurry which is somehow childlike and very likeable whilst high note strings flutter in the background. Short but captivating. Strings return in Bell Theme a beautiful but all too short cue. Reunion has a distance about it musically whilst The Joint pushes the theme used in in the opening track, this time on saxophone with a cool electronic beat underneath.

The Whale has all the dream like allure as previous tracks but three quarters of the way in a night club bass is added, a strange juxtaposition but it so works, again short and leaving you wanting more. Get Ready brings us full circle with a richer version of the opening track and it all comes to a close with Waterfall where the main refrain is gently played on piano.

Its’s quirky and it’s a delight and at only 24 minutes and 13 seconds long it’s worth ekeing it out, I can guarantee  it will relax you.

Milan Music Label

Tracklisting

1 Gloria Bell 1:20
2 Zombies 1:11
3 Bell Theme 1:17
4 Reunion 1:27
5 Behind The Door 0:46
6 Gone 1:16
7 The Gnome 0:18
8 The Joint 1:22
9 Airport 1:12
10 Afloat 2:45
11 Up The Stairs 1:36
12 The Whale 1:43
13 By The Pool 2:43
14 Home 2:29
15 Get Ready 1:11
16 Waterfall 1:

 

 

 

Filmic Radio Show August 2019

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Filmic August 2019. Featuring scores by Nino Rota, Akira Ifukube, John Powell, George Fenton, John Powell and more. New releases and Vintage soundtrack music. Plus some classic Godzilla tracks!

PLAYLIST

Track Title                                 Composer                      Film

Fight Club Ramin Jawadi The Queens Corgi
Malawi Antonio Pinto The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind
Smedley Alberto Ingelasias Yuli
Yuli Alberto Inglelasias Yuli
Via Veneto Nino Rota Plein Soleil
Nice Eyepatch H.Scott Selenas A Very private War
Godzilla Approaches Akira Ifukube Godzilla
Main Title Akira Ifukube Godzilla
Godzilla Main Title Bear McCreary Godzilla King of the Monsters
Bossa Nova Marina Pier Piccioni The Moment of Truth
Midnight Cowboy John Barry Midnight Cowboy
Big Spender Cy Coleman Sweet Charity
Prologus Diego Baldenwag Zwingli
Whirlpool Of Love John Powell X-Men The Last Stand
Red Joan-Prelude George Fenton Red Joan
My Little Comrade George Fenton Red Joan
Main Title – Adonis Mikis Theodorakis Z
South American Getaway Burt Bacharach Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
John Ronald Thomas Newman Tolkein
The TBCS Thomas Newman Tolkein
Tears In the Rain Vangelis Blade Runner

 

 

 

 

 

RED JOAN -George Fenton

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After being somewhat confused with Fenton’s enjoyable score to Cold Pursuit and then seeing the film, which is categorised by IMBD as an action crime drama thriller (missing out the actual black comedy element) – I understood the scores tone and liked it even more. And here we are, after a long Fenton drought, with a second score in the same year.

Red Joan is the true story of Joan Stanley, a Soviet and Communist sympathiser recruited by the KGB in the thirties. She was undetected for many years and was finally charged with treason when a senior citizen.

Much has been written about this being a wide ‘dramatisation’ of the true story but here I want to highlight the score which is masterfully composed by Fenton who has such a sprawling canvas of work including composer and musical director with the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, TV work and of course film soundtracks including The Company of Wolves, Dangerous Liaisons and The Lady In The Van.

Red Joan is an accomplished score, each cue fitting the whole, weaving throughout with emotions of fear, intrigue and pockets of regret. Starting with Red Joan Theme-Prelude which ambles along with a short piano refrain with an added tinge of defiance of what was done, is done. The refrain expands in the following cue You’re Under Arrest slowly but as realisation creeps in low dark notes appear and in Restraining Order there is such a delicate lightness of touch in the composition, it’s quite beautiful.

The swirling refrain is cleverly repeated in most of the short cues but with the slightest of change which never compromises the intensity of the score. It may not soar or have a memorable theme but this is NOT a soundtrack to be underestimated.

“I regard Red Joan as a personal score – by which I mean personal to the character of Joan My aim was to find a tonal language that sat well with the story of Joan in the 1930s but which never lost the sense of the story being told and remembered by the older Joan. A balance between the immediacy of young Joan’s experience and old Joan’s recollections. My hope is that even when heard away from the film that the music evokes the narrative of this extraordinary story.” George Fenton

TRACK LIST

1 Red Joan Theme (Prelude) 0:45
2 You’re Under Arrest 2:47
3 Back to Cambridge 2:45
4 The Ghost of Matter 2:22
5 My Little Comrade 2:01
6 The Tower 1:57
7 Restraining Order 2:16
8 Good at Drawing 2:43
9 Leo’s Arrest 1:13
10 Chadwick’s Arrival 1:58
11 Making Land Tomorrow 1:39
12 Maybe One Day 2:08
13 The University 2:33
14 Hiroshima 2:25
15 Agent Lotto 1:54
16 Inspection 2:27
17 The Locket 1:50
18 Photo Secrets 2:23
19 Leo’s Destiny 2:54
20 Special Branch 1:49
21 Two Copies 1:25
22 I’m Not a Traitor 1:56
23 Max In Jail 2:47
24 End Titles 5:16
25 Red Joan Theme (Postlude) 0:40

Label: Movie Score Media

Filmic Radio Show – June 2019

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Had to miss out  May show due to travelling, so this show is a tad longer than normal.

PLAYLIST – Composer/Track Title/Film

John Barry Moonraker Main Title Moonraker
John Barry Bond Lured To Pyrimid Moonraker
Kasper Kaae Elven Out Stealing Horses
Mike Patton/Lai Di Gola A Perfect Twist A perfect Place
Benjamin Wallfisch The Cousul Of Wizards Shazam
Benjamin Wallfisch Run! Shazam
Michael Abels Anthem Us
Ilan Eshkeri Nureyev The White Crow
Harry Warren/Al Dubin/Doris Day I Only Have Eyes For You Young Man With A Horn
Volmer Bertlemann Landing Ashore Hotel Mumbai
Stuart A Staples/Ropbert Pattinson Willow High Life
John Williams Cinderella Liberty Love Theme Cinderella Liberty
John Williams Maggie Shoots Pool Cinderella Liberty
Nathan Whitehead Days Gone Days Gone
Yves Gourmeur Main Theme The Hummingird Project
Geroge Kallis The Fabric of History Cliffs Of Freedom
Tom Borrowdale Spring Spring
Thomas Newman End Title The Highwaymen
Joe Kraemer The Man Who Killed Hitler The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot
Joe Kraemer Barr’s Theme The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot
Clint Mansell We Are All Stardust Out Of Blue

Filmic Radio Show – March 2019

Here is my latest Filmic Radio Show, including new and vintage soundtracks, some late 2018 releases and I take a look at a really cool 1963 Henry Mancini score.

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PLAYLIST

Valor Sarah Schachner Anthem
The Mirror Dance Rachel Zefirra Elizabeth Harvest
No Words Formed Rachel Zefirra Elizabeth Harvest
The New Kid Mark Mothersbaugh Holmes and Watson
Old Turkey Buzzard Quincy Jones/Freddie Douglas/Jose Feliciano McKenna’s Gold
Earth Out Of Control Roc Chen The Wandering Earth
The Loser Andre Previn Goodbye Charlie
A Rose and the End Andre Previn The Subterraneans
The Auction In Iron Curtain Dai Tai The Gutenberg Project
Somethin’ Like This Brian Tyler What Men Like
Captain Marvel Pinar Toprak Captain Marvel
Learning The Truth Pinar Toprak Captain Marvel
The Tango John Debney Isn’t It Romantic
Main-Title-Morgan’s Ride John Debney Cutthroat Island
Strange People Martin Phipps The Aftermath
The House Martin Phipps The Aftermath
Charade Opening Titles Henry Mancini Charade
Latin Snowfall Henry Mancini Charade
Bud’s Scam Stewart Copeland Wall Street
Main Title-Trinity Infinity Don Davis The Matrix
Bullet Time Don Davis The Matrix

ONE LAST DEAL (Tuntematon Mestari) by Matti Bye – Soundtrack Review

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Elderly art dealer Olavi is about to retire. This is a man who has always put business and art before everything. At an auction, an old painting catches his attention. Olavi suspects it is worth much more than its starting price, which is low because its authenticity hasn’t been confirmed. He decides to make one last deal in order to earn some pension money. At the same time, Olavi’s estranged daughter Lea, whom he hasn’t seen for years, asks him to help her with his teenage grandson Otto (15). Together with Otto, Olavi starts to investigate the history of the painting.  Olavi buys the painting, but when the auction house realises that there has been a mistake with the original pricing, they turn on him.

The film is directed by Finnish director Klaus Haro who is one of his country’s most prolific contemporary filmmakers. The score is by Swedish composer Matti Bye who has scored for both tv and film.

It opens with a soft piano led cue full of wistfulness which gently rolls along into the second cue but at a faster pace, it’s an easy listen even with some scratchy strings underneath. A New Day has a lovely drum brush keeping tempo, something you don’t often hear. Olavi’s Tango continues the relaxed flow with piano and accordion plus double base leading the tango rhythm. It’s a short but pleasing cue.

This is a plaintive score telling of a gentle life suddenly thrust into chaos and emotional disruption at a time in the life of Olavi when he wants to retire. Father and Daughter has a different feel, the same small set of instruments are used but with a slight edge to it’s tone representing the distant relationship with his daughter. The slow tango reappears in The Empty Room in a more developed style. The closing track The Letter is neither sad nor jubilant, just very much in the same vein as the Opener. 

This is a gentle and subtle score with a small selection of instruments, which will most probably have few listens especially as there currently is no UK release date hence why I am highlighting it. It’s a lesson in restraint showing that complex emotional stories don’t have to be fully orchestrated. By using a small group of musicians Bye has created a sweet and expressive score.

PLAYLIST
1. One Last Deal
2. The Art Dealer
3. A New Day
4. The Library
5. Olavi’s Tango
6. The Museum
7. Father and Daughter
8. The Empty Room
9. The Letter
Total Album Time: 20:41

Available on Amazon.com
Streaming on Spotify