Two soundtrack albums from the master of spaghetti western music, on RCA and EMI respectively. The first record needs little introduction, assuming you have similarly fond memories of watching these films as a kid. “This Is..” features highlights from other classics like The Good, the Bad and The Ugly and Death Rides A Horse, but opens each side somewhat jarringly with the main theme from Chi Mai, and the funky groove of Come Maddalena. Still, beggars can’t be choosers.
“20 sensual disco greats, including a selection from the original soundtrack of the exciting new film “Erotica” from the undisputed king of erotic entertainment, Paul Raymond.”
Released by Warwick Records in 1981, this is a nice mixture of Top 40 smasheroos and somewhat less successful but no less charming cuts from the likes of UK Players, Voggue (sic), Debbie Raymond and Bob Saker. They also slipped-in that decidedly pre-disco but no less erotically stimulating classic Je T’aime by Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsburg, even though it’s not on the soundtrack. In fact, a quick look at the small print reveals that only four of these tracks are actually from the soundtrack. But with a sleeve like that, who really cares?
“As advertised on T.V.”, natch.
Sticking with the Sci-fi theme, here’s something else I came across recently…
You could always rely on Pickwick Records to leap on the latest bandwagon, and here’s their 1977 attempt to cash-in on Star Wars mania.
Credited to The Sonic All-Stars conducted by Bruce Baxter, one might get the impression that this was some grand, fully-orchestrated sound spectacular.
It’s difficult to gauge what impression this would’ve made at the time, or how much electronic wizardry might’ve been involved, but to these modern-day ears, this sounds suspiciously like the work of one guy, holed-up in a little bedroom studio, armed with a couple of synths, a drum machine, a multitrack, the sheet music for John Williams’ score and a tight deadline. Cheap ‘n cheerful, in other words.
But therein lies it’s charm.
Following on from my colleague’s post yesterday, it reminded me that I never got around to posting the full double-gatefold album version of Jeff Wayne’s classic which I came across last year, complete with original booklet insert featuring more superb artwork from Geoff Taylor and others…
Back when this was released in 1978, I remember there was a real buzz about it at school. My parents never bought it, unfortunately, so I had to make-do with listening at friends’ houses whenever possible. When I found this copy for a couple of quid, it felt like closure; a resolution of a niggling resentment that had been quietly simmering in my soul since I was nine. At last! I can finally listen to my own copy!!
I still reckon it’s a bloody good listen for about 90% of the time (sorry, I can’t agree with my colleague’s assertion that ‘Horsell Common And The Heat Ray’ ‘sucks’ – it’s wicked, but perhaps best heard in context of the overall narrative) and some of those sound effects still have the power to send a chilly ripple down the spine. In fact, the only other record designed for children’s entertainment that I can think of that makes comparable use of scary electronic sounds is “Dr. Who & the Pescatons” (more on that another time).
Quite possibly Richard Burton’s finest hour…
At £2.99, this is the most expensive record I’ve featured on the blog thus far. That’s Oxfam prices for you. In defence of such an astronomical sum I will say that (a) it’s a double album in gatefold sleeve (b) the vinyl is in immaculate condition (c) it’s an album I’ve been specifically hunting for ever since I heard Jeff Love’s discofied impersonations back here.
With Steely Dan providing the title track and the awesome “Do It Again”, Joe Walsh‘s (full length) “Life’s Been Good”, the spacey grooves of Steve Miller‘s “Fly Like An Eagle”, The Doobie Brothers‘ charming “It Keeps You Runnin'” plus top tunes from Boz Scaggs, Boston, Tom Petty and Foreigner, this is a great cross-section of late-70s A.O.R. at the height of its powers, evoking hazy memories of the days when these songs were on heavy rotation on the FM stations of the time.
Okay so there’s a couple of duffers by Dan Fogelberg and James Taylor, and I’ve heard better from Linda Ronstadt and Bob Seger, and familiarity does tend to breed contempt when talking about Queen‘s “We Will Rock You”, but you gotta admit “Just The Way You Are” is probably the best song Billy Joel ever wrote.
File under ‘Guilty Pleasures’.
Following on from an earlier post, this week I came across yet another soundtrack to a Jackie Collins film, in fact this one is the follow-up to The Stud, and features sister Joan in her prime, returning as lead character Fontaine Khalid. The soundtrack is almost uniformly excellent, title track written by ’70s disco legend Biddu (more on whom another day) with special mention for Quantum Jump‘s highly irreverent tribute to “The Lone Ranger”, which I hadn’t heard for years, and I’m pleased to report that time has not diminished it’s unique flavour.
Back in 1979, this record cost £4.99 in Woolworths. Mine for £1.00 from CLIC Sargent in 2009. Huzzah!
A classic slab of funk-disco-soul comin at yah from 1971…
Not having got a copy of the Issac Hayes orginal double-LP, I am in no position to comment on how this single-sided cover compares. It is however very tasty indeed to these ears – I guess the production is somewhat scaled down due to the ever reliable budget label Hallmark Records having no where near the funds for a full orchestra etc etc. No problem to me – I love my funk/soul stripped back – the tracks are played deep-and dirty with some superb bass/drum workouts in evidence.
Classic stuff ……