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This is a comments thread about FSM CD: TV Omnibus: Volume One (1962-1976)
 
 Posted:   Oct 4, 2010 - 5:18 PM   
 By:   Jeff Eldridge   (Member)

Will the online notes be up for the remaining CDs anytime soon?

Yes, sorry about that, I got busy working on some other upcoming FSM releases but we'll have the remaining notes up soon.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 5, 2010 - 3:15 AM   
 By:   Nils   (Member)

I listened to the ASSIGNMENT: VIENNA CD in the car on the way back from the cabin this sunday. Wow, what cool music! What great sound!

Best car trip I've had in months. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 5, 2010 - 11:16 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

Whooo Hooooo!!!!
My package arrived today from Movie Music.
Did you know Thor, it was posted on 7th September by MM and spent 3 WEEKS in a New York sorting house, before finally getting to Liverpool this morning (I know you like to know such things wink)
Anyway, I had no chance to listen to it today, but it's great to have it in my hands.
It looks amazing! I LOVE FSM CD'S!!!!!
The big dilemma is what to play first!
I always figured it would be the Williams, as he is the dude in my world. But the Fielding is mighty tempting. Plus, I've got a real yen to hear Earth II by Schifrin after all the comments I've read here over the years. Then there's the Grusin! Oh, the trauma smile
Fortunately, I also got Hunters Are For Killing in the package too, so I'll probably spin that first while I'm trying to decide.
I'll Be Back!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 6, 2010 - 4:14 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

Just got through disc 1. Here are some random thoughts.
Jerry...yeah yeah, we know, cheeseville song, but a classic!
Nice old style main theme from Sukman for The Eleventh Hour. Gotta love that piano.
Ahhhh, John Williams. Even starting out, his ability to pen a great theme is evident.
Polly's Theme is indeed great! Although the score doesn't sound much like the John Williams of later WORLD WIDE FAME, there are small fragments of his famous sound. I detected bits of his Tom Sawyer tense bits during some of the early cues.
I can usually take about 10-15 minutes, tops, of Rosenman's music in one go.
I must admit, I zoned out quite a bit during the 37 minutes of this one. One for the fans, I think.
Deadly Tower sounded pretty good, on first listen. A cool, chilly suspense score with some neat electronics. I loved the final cue, with the slight attempt at warmth and resolution, that doesn't quite hold that feeling. I will be revisiting this one pretty soon.
I know the Assignment Munich source cue at the end of the disc did play, but I can't remember a thing about it! Oh well, it's always gonna be there.
The disc sounds great! (no surprise there)
The 32 page booklet makes a fine companion while listening to the music. Enough info about the films/TV shows to help you connect, plus all the individual tracks listed at the end.
WOW!!! And that's only Disc One.
I've got 4 more of these babies to go. And the sun is shining as I type. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 7, 2010 - 4:10 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

If I'm honest, I'm not going to be returning to disc 2 that much in the future.
Not that it's bad. It ain't. It just ain't MY bag! It's overkill to me.
Too much Jazz. Too much M-I-style scoring. Too much cimbalom. Overuse of the main theme.
I'm really happy for people who've wanted this stuff though. Fill yer boots.
I prefer the John Parker stuff on disc 3. It's also a bit too much, but it's more accessible to me. It sounds fuller, more like proper film score. As the booklet says, 'more conventional'.
One thing though, I keep singing the song 'Only Fools Rush In' when I play 'There Was An Old Woman' score tracks. Anyone else hearing this? It's driving me crazy!
Shirts/Skins by Fielding is a lot of fun. It's amazing, but I never tire of hearing his snares.
And those Church cues are fantastic. Great emotion in them.
Plus, the Fielding/Horner connection keeps growing, in my mind.
First, there's the obvious re-use of themes/motifs.
Second, the insertion of classical works into their own scores.
Third, their amazing compositional gifts.
Fourth, they both used the same civil war tune in Josey Wales and Glory, respectively.
And fifth, Fielding uses Sweet Georgia Brown in Shirts/Skins, and so does Horner in Cocoon 2.
Amazing, but true! wink
Two more discs to play. This is a great set. It's like Christmas spread over many days.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 7, 2010 - 4:48 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

VERY quick reply to Kev - Yes, I sing that song too (is that the one? "...falling in love. With. You." I hear Elvis crooning). Overall I rather dislike the sound of the Parker scores, but I've found a good way to get thtrough the whole set. DO NOT try to listen to this 5-set jobby as if it were a hugely long film you have to watch in one go! After just blasting through it all in order I'm now revisiting it in a calmer frame of mind, and it's great. I find that if you listen to the Grusin scores as separate entities (ie - by episode) it's all much easier to assimilate. You'll even hear a different approach to each episode rather than just a seemingly unfocussed and massively long jazzy TV thingy. I found that was the only way to handle the Parker scores in particular - I imagined it was an old LP and listened to the first score (Side A), then flipped over to Side B (in my head) for the second score. Fifteen minutes plus fifteen minutes. It didn't make the scores great, but it helped me to get a grip on them.

Still have to listen to the final disc in the set for the second time. Will do the same as before. The Lalo is 45 mins, so I'll imagine it's a 45-min LP then switch it off. Next day, if I have time, I'll put on the Goldenberg again. Like a 30-min LP. I'll try to figure out an imaginary "End of Side A" and do a mental flip.

When I'm finished, I'll post my thoughts on the entire box right here. Trouble is, it was so long ago that I heard Disc One I can hardly remember it!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 7, 2010 - 5:04 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

Yep, that's the one. "Wise Men Say, Only Fools Rush In...But I, Can't, Help...."
Glad it's not just me goin' loopy!
That's a good idea about the 'smaller bites' thing.
Disc 2 was just jazzy overkill to me, same as the Rosenman, too much of the same.
Looks like you're ahead of me on the settling down period.
I need to not get too over-excited and treat them as a collection of single new scores.
Tell yer what though....fookin ace innit! smile

 
 Posted:   Oct 7, 2010 - 5:41 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I find that if you listen to the Grusin scores as separate entities (ie - by episode) it's all much easier to assimilate. You'll even hear a different approach to each episode rather than just a seemingly unfocussed and massively long jazzy TV thingy.


Emphasis on "seemingly." wink I'm a big jazz buff, so I wince whenever I read about something being "too jazzy." That's like orchestral scores being "too classical sounding." If the music fits the film/TV show it's composed to accompany, it won't matter if it's jazz or not. Jazz. Always bein' kept down by "The Man."

The Grusin is the godsend in this set and I'd love to watch the series.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 7, 2010 - 10:37 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

Guilty, as charged!
I'm always using that term 'too jazzy'.
I'm not a jazz fan at all. My only connection with it is through film music and the film composers I love, drip feeding their take on it to me.
I'm getting better, but I'm never gonna truly love it.
Jerry Fielding is really helping me in that regard. His film score style of it is great.
Even The Gauntlet, which I truly hated years ago when I heard the LP, is growing on me.
I bought the CD a few years ago, thinking I'd matured enough to re-evaluate it.
But I still didn't like it and sold it on again. But then I was in London last month and felt compelled to buy the CD again (for £3) and now there's 4 tracks on my mp3 player that I quite like (one of them, of course, is the big blasting proper film music cue).
Anyway, Jazz ain't for me, but film music Jazz can be quite cool wink

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 9, 2010 - 12:46 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

OK you nutcrackers, here's my take on the whole jobby. I shall be commenting on each disc bit by bit, because always when I write for hours on the computer with a bottle of wine by my side, I press "delete" at the end and all my efforts go down the plughole. SO....

Disc 1 opens with Richard Chamberlain struggling with the DR KILDARE theme. Not the track I would put on if I wanted to show someone how great Jerry Goldsmith was.

Then there's the brief theme to THE ELEVENTH HOUR, by Harry Sukman. Overtly melodramatic (or "overly" melodramatic?), this sounds like it could have come from a 1930s movie, with all those piano flourishes and GONE WITH THE WIND sweep.

The John Williams episode score for THE ELEVENTH HOUR is intriguing. It's not immediately memorable, except for the beautifully haunting "Polly's Theme", but it is fascinating to hear. At first I was struck by how similar some of the tension-building moments were to THE TOWERING INFERNO - I imagined they were made a century apart - but the familiarity isn't too hard to understand, when you consider that there's only eleven years difference between them. Funny how 1963 to 1974 is an eternity in my mind, whereas 1999 seems like yesterday. Oh how one's perception of time changes with age.

THE PHANTOM OF HOLLYWOOD won't make people who hate Leonard Rosenman suddenly love him. It's full of typical Rosenman devices. As a Rosenman fan I think it's great, right up there with the best of his film work. The incorporation of old tunes from MGM musicals is sparingly and tastefully done. It makes for a more-varied-than-usual Rosenman score. That plus his uncharacteristic use of a meandering saxophone and some percussion which is more Jerry PLANET OF THE APES than Rosenman's own BENEATH THE POTA all add to the appeal of the score.

Don Ellis' score for THE DEADLY TOWER has touches of the non-jazz bits to THE FRENCH CONNECTION movies. There's a kind of Michael Small-esque "distorted anthem" feel to much of it - lots of changing from major to minor key, which makes the whole thing effectively unnerving. In fact, with the pitch-bending strings and synths and the glissandos, it's almost in subtle horror film territory.

The first CD rounds off with a George Romanis piece from ASSIGNMENT: MUNICH. I was going to say that it's almost infectuously cheerful, but the downtrodden sound of the baritone sax and the classical structure keeps it strangely world-weary. It's still attractive and catchy though.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 9, 2010 - 12:59 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Disc 2 is devoted to the great Dave Grusin and his fine scores for ASSIGNMENT VIENNA. Three episodes in total, plus lots of source. This really is good stuff, but it demands a calm approach. I made the mistake of overdosing on it when the set first came in (didn't I, Kev?), and it all kind of merged into one long, seemingly messy and curiously monothematic jazz concert. It is not like that at all! If anyone has dismissed this great disc, take the trouble to hear it in stages. Each episode actually has a noticeably different sound - one is almost pure jazz, one has a Quincy Jones funky touch etc, but all have splendid moments of real Grusin drama, if you have the patience to listen.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 9, 2010 - 1:18 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

More fine Grusin jazz opens Disc 3, then it's on to the episodes for ASSIGNMENT VIENNA which John Parker composed. First time around it made no impression on me, then I listened to it as if it were an LP (15 minutes each side), which at least gave me an idea as to the geometry of the scores. It didn't make the music any better, but I got a hold on what it sounded like. I was surprised that this was written way back in '73 - it's the closest the whole set comes to watching an episode of THE A-TEAM on the telly without the sound effects. Very anonymous scoring. But it'll have its fans.

The scores for SHIRTS/SKINS may not be what all Jerry Fielding fans would put in their (our) Top 10s, but there's good stuff in here. Even if the whistled version of "Sweet Georgia Brown" annoys a grumpy old git like me, I have to appreciate Fielding's development of it into a real swinging big band number, in which he does that trademark Fielding device of going from Note A to Note B via all the other notes on the scale (or letters in the alphabet). There's also a surprising amount of "unfunny" militaristic drumming (well, not so surprising coming from Fielding) and tense ambient moments which wouldn't be out of place in a Peckinpah or a Winner film.

I'm going to have a break for supper.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 9, 2010 - 2:07 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Right, that was a good bit of pizza.

Disc 4 is all THEN CAME BRONSON. I really must say how absolutely great the pilot movie score is. George Duning was always a favourite of mine, but his work never seems to get the recognition it deserves. This is a beautiful score, immediately appealing and accessible, but not in the least banal nor too cloying. Of all the scores on the entire box set, this is the one that sounds as if it was for the big screen. Gorgeous, and it can't be a bad thing when something is pure George Duning yet reminiscent of the best of Hugo Friedhofer, David Raksin and Alex North.

The two episode scores by Gil Mellé caught me off-guard initially, especially the first one. You all know that I'm amongst the greatest Mellé fans on the planet, but I had a hard time recognizing his signature on this score. The track "Circus of Time" - (sorry, "Circle") is the furthest away from Gil Mellé that I've ever heard, and in other tracks there's a very surprising (almost comic) use of the harmonica. Those parts verge on cheerful, small-scale Goldsmith Americana. Only on second listen did I hear the Mellé sound, particularly in his use of captivating string chord progressions and some heartfelt solos (with "strange" melodic intervals). A curiosity, and it'll soon be brilliant!

Mellé's score for "The Forest Primeval" is more like the stuff of his I'm used to. I had been familiar with his "Waterbirds" album for a few years, in which he adapted some of the thematic material here presented in its original form. It's jazzier than the previous score, and I love the use of keyboards. In his jazz albums, Mellé often substituted keybords for the guitar. Here we've got both, but the electric piano is a welcome element (something he would give greater priority to in his subsequent TV work, plus the big-screen THE ORGANIZATION). And the use of two trombones gives that heavy "growling" sound to some of this score, which again would become one of his trademarks. So here there are plenty of indications of the Mellé sound which was still to come - but really only hints at this stage.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 9, 2010 - 2:34 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

And so to Disc 5.

If you play a few minutes of Lalo Schifrin's EARTH II at random, it could be from a brilliant experimental score such as THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLE. But you'd be fooled, because this is probably the laziest Lalo I've ever heard. There are good bits - that octave jumping double bass never fails, and there's some nice mysterious woodwind stuff - but on the whole I find it a perfect cure for my insomnia. The Main Theme (which really ought to grab the viewer/listener) is neither heroic nor awe-inspiring - it's like a decaffeinated CHARLIE'S ANGELS (and that means it's REALLY insipid), but what totally kills it are the mammothly lengthy and incredibly boring suspense cues. Lalo Schifrin in 1971 was at the peak of his powers, but I don't think this is any good at all.

BUT - the final disc ends with the absolutely terrific HIGH RISK, by Billy Goldenberg. This is the Goldenberg sound we all know and love (COLUMBO; any number of spooky TV series/movies of the era), with the now-familiar chords and key changes. The best stuff actually lies on either side of the lengthy "heist" cue (which is "fucking-around" music, but it's consistently interesting). All in all, a great score to round off a great set.

Final words - this is a tremendous release. Thanks to Lukas and the gang. At more than six hours it won't please all of the people all of the time - but that's impossible anyway. A hearty thumbs-up for the whole thing!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 12, 2010 - 4:01 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

Just got through reading Graham's opinions of each disc, and I'm looking forward to his completely different takes on them when he goes through it all again wink
I had a busy weekend, so I didn't have the chance to hit Discs 4 & 5.
But, I just finished listening to Then Came Bronson by George Duning.
It's strange, but it sounds like it straddles the Golden Age and Silver Age sound (much like parts of Diamond Head, which is another score that sounds like it came from two eras to me).
The main theme is certainly catchy and enjoyable, and there is some really nice tender scoring. I was reminded of some of Williams' disaster scores when listening to it, notably Earthquake and Towering Inferno. Not copies or lifts, just the overall style/make-up of the sound.
It's not something I'll play often, but I did like what I heard and it will get some revisits.
Following Graham's advice, I switched off after the Duning, to avoid another overkill of the same series.
So the Melle stuff will follow....another time.

 
 Posted:   Oct 12, 2010 - 9:47 AM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

Thanks Graham for posting your thorough thoughts on this set. I still can't afford to buy it yet, but I've been salivating over it since its announcement being a big fan of TV music of the era represented. I've been really looking forward to hearing Billy Goldenberg's score, especially after hearing you say that it is in his Columbo/mystery mode. Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to write so much!

Mark

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 12, 2010 - 10:45 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

And thank you chaps for the kind comments! Mark - don't hold off too long. I don't think it'll suddenly disappear, but in my experience if you don't just go ahead and purchase, the thing will be forever on your wish list, but newer things will displace it when it comes down to actually buying.. And it IS a gorgeous set.

Well Kev, I had a thorough listen to everything twice. It needs more spins but if I waited any longer before posting a few off-the-top-of-my-head reactions, it would be next year. You're right of course - my opinions will change as I become further acqainted with the set. The good stuff will get even better and... I wonder if the lacklustre Schifrin and the annoying Parker will ever become great.

 
 Posted:   Oct 12, 2010 - 6:18 PM   
 By:   ajhfsm   (Member)

Just got through reading Graham's opinions of each disc, and I'm looking forward to his completely different takes on them when he goes through it all again wink
I had a busy weekend, so I didn't have the chance to hit Discs 4 & 5.
But, I just finished listening to Then Came Bronson by George Duning.
It's strange, but it sounds like it straddles the Golden Age and Silver Age sound (much like parts of Diamond Head, which is another score that sounds like it came from two eras to me).
The main theme is certainly catchy and enjoyable, and there is some really nice tender scoring. I was reminded of some of Williams' disaster scores when listening to it, notably Earthquake and Towering Inferno. Not copies or lifts, just the overall style/make-up of the sound.
It's not something I'll play often, but I did like what I heard and it will get some revisits.
Following Graham's advice, I switched off after the Duning, to avoid another overkill of the same series.
So the Melle stuff will follow....another time.


The George Duning effort is the star in the whole set, reminded me that 3:10 TO YUMA is out there, somewhere.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 13, 2010 - 11:55 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

The George Duning effort is the star in the whole set, reminded me that 3:10 TO YUMA is out there, somewhere.

A new release would be welcome, as the Prometheus is rather pricey.

 
 Posted:   Oct 13, 2010 - 12:03 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

The George Duning effort is the star in the whole set, reminded me that 3:10 TO YUMA is out there, somewhere.

A new release would be welcome, as the Prometheus is rather pricey.



I have that. Was it released by Promethus? I thought it was "one of Those". big grin

 
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