A beautiful Mancini piece from one of his best-known soundtracks that I had somehow managed to neglect completely. The Pink Panther was never at the top of my wish-list, but after picking up the CD last week for a mere 50p, I was very impressed. The score utilizes the accordian slightly more than I would have liked, but has some fantastic textured tracks, such as this one.
The track opens with a 'Blues in the night' style riff on the piano. The lead is then taken by a blistering muted trumpet sound. I've always thought of Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks work as being heavily Mancini-influenced, but that link has never been more clear to me than on this track, which has a similar moody tone to some of the best tracks on the Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me soundtrack. The classic Mancini string sound is also in evidence, as well as a gentle wordless chorus. About half-way through, legendary tenor saxophonist Plas Johnson takes up the melody. The dreaded accordian gets a brief look-in before the track concludes with some more riffing on the trumpet. Fantastic stuff; Mancini really was an inspirational arranger.
No one talks about this band much. Not in my experience, anyway. It's all instrumental, so I guess they're not for people who are lost without vocals and lyrics. But have a listen - to me they really seem utterly superb. I would love to see them live.
I only have a couple of albums, but they're great. This one was released in 1996 (shit - that was 9 years ago!), but recorded in 1990. Really beautiful twangy surf-pop that fits in perfectly with the whole David Lynch mood that I find so appealing. The album is an intoxicating mix of energetic surf tracks and slower, more atmospheric ones like this. Their recent 'Local Warming' album is great too. Can anyone recommend me any more of their tracks?
from Zero Gravity, available on CD
06 Mar 05 ·olli: Yeah, they're certainly one of the better neo-surf acts out there.
See Laika! Se Laika run! Go laika, go!
My obsession with this band continues. From a CD that failed to sell on ebay for 50 cents comes this amazing cut - a beautiful instrumental with prominent guitar and organ. While it's surf influenced, it goes beyond that. I'm kind of lost for words, but it's one of those 'This is the best track ever' tracks. You know what I mean?
This is one of those mindblowing tracks that occasionally turns up when you least expect it. I bought a generic looking 'Top TV Themes' EP on the Pye Golden Guinea label, mainly because it had a version of the 'Out of this World' theme, which I've recommended elsewhere on this site. But I was disappointed - it turned out that this 'Out of this World' was exactly the same Tony Hatch version that I already had (the EP does not list any track credits).
I listened on, not expecting much, particularly from 'Maigret', a nice enough theme by Ron Grainer, but one that is a kind of accordian waltz!
Imagine my surprise when this turned out to be some kind of trashy, twangy, swampy surf pop masterpiece! It sounds like one of the very best Joe Meek produced instrumentals from the early 60s.
I'm inferring that this is Tony Hatch, since he did the 'Out of this World' and was a staff arranger at Pye in the early 60s. But if anyone else can shed a different light on this recording, I'd be pleased to hear about it!
For someone like me, the strangest thing about getting really into Roxy Music is the overt rockiness of a lot of their material. Even on this track, which is one more of their slower, more mournful numbers, there are a lot of very heavy rocky moments. They work pretty well though, and I'm certainly not complaining.
The atmospheric opening is breathtaking, and Bryan Ferry's vocal as he sings 'I've opened up my heart' is incredibly beautiful. The words and music seem to meld together in a very pretty way, but then before long the track mutates into a stomping, carnival like passage that clearly influenced Nick Cave to a considerable extent. Throughout the song there's this interchange between delicate, melodic verses and the rowdy, discordant section. Like another favorite Roxy track, 'Just like you', this song finishes with a clever chord change.
I'm sure many people would find 'Bitter-Sweet' much too dramatic and serious - perhaps some days I would too - but it does have an incredible elegance and style that makes me keep on listening.