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 Posted:   Feb 19, 2004 - 5:24 PM   
 By:   Jim Lochner   (Member)

Does anyone have a copy of this VERY hard-to-find documentary?


 Posted:   Feb 19, 2004 - 5:49 PM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

No, but, believe it or not, there are TWO copies of the soundtrack LP at a local used record place here in Milwaukee, and neither one looks very used.

 Posted:   Feb 19, 2004 - 6:29 PM   
 By:   Jim Lochner   (Member)

I'm surprised! I didn't even know there WAS an LP of the music.

 Posted:   Feb 19, 2004 - 7:14 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Oops...nope....sorry....I thought this discussion was about "The Birds and the Bees" with George Gobel and Mitzi Gaynor.

 Posted:   Feb 19, 2004 - 11:31 PM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

Here's an "OOPS" on my part. The album I mentioned is actually titled BIRDS DO IT and is by Peter Thomas for a German sex education documentary. It suddenly hit me that you were referring to a U.S. documentary--wasn't this a David Wolpert/Mel Stuart production? I have never caught up with it and seem to remember it not being too widely distributed when it first came out.

 Posted:   Feb 20, 2004 - 7:04 AM   
 By:   Melchior   (Member)

Hey, Gerald Fried was the only composer who achieved an acadamy award nomination for a documentary score.

 Posted:   Jun 6, 2013 - 3:23 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Holy Mackerel!

After 38 years (!!!!) of asking myself what about Gerald Fried's work in this lost documentary warrants being nominated with John Williams (JAWS), Jerry Goldsmith (THE WIND AND THE LION), Alex North (BITE THE BULLET) and Jack Nitzsche (ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST) for an Oscar, I've found out! I've never seen this film about animal reproduction but I always imagined the music being something like the mating section of Lalo Schifrin's THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLES. Hardly, the amount of thematic material here is staggering. And I am talking full blown themes and not the 3 notes wonders that pass for themes today. I guess each species inspired Fried to totally different approaches. And my guess is the "mating rituals and dances" of certain animals inspired some of these very exuberant and extended passages. I can imagine sequences deep underwater or nocturnal, his music is that evocative. AND as much as I love the above scores dearly, this one has more range and variety than any of them.

The orchestrations here are something to marvel at from full blown symphonic majesty to oddball dissonant percussion. And the very selective use of electronics back when it was a welcome addition. There are a couple sequences that sound like pure Americana or borderline pirate music that I couldn't imagine what it might have been coupled with. All I know is this made for the best listen I've had in a long time.

So even though this film and score seems to be buried in obscurity, congrats to Gerald Fried on work that belongs with that group above. This time the Academy got it right. For a guy who scored Stanley Kubrick's first 4 films; who wrote (magnificently) the most successful mini-series themes of all time - ROOTS; who stole the glory for me in that STAR TREK box set and who wrote the theme to DINO, which played constantly, alternately with PETER GUNN and THE WILD ONE, on my record player in my youth - you don't get much attention. But you deserve it!

Unfortunately like those Wolper docs with Elmer Bernstein scores these don't seem to be getting released so my guess is the rights are entangled. And, of course, who wants scores to docs, besides me?

 Posted:   Jun 6, 2013 - 4:35 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

. . . And, of course, who wants scores to docs, besides me?

One for me, please. Sounds as if it rivals the old Disney nature shorts music.

--Except that this film was rated R!

Any use of, or reference to, the Cole Porter song ("Let's Fall in Love") in any of the score?

 Posted:   Jun 6, 2013 - 5:23 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

. . . And, of course, who wants scores to docs, besides me?

One for me, please. Sounds as if it rivals the old Disney nature shorts music.

Exactly, which were the only other docs to win best score nominations. And because they were Disney they had grandeur and playfulness but avoided many of the places this doc seemed to go, both musically and with it's subject matter.

 Posted:   Jun 6, 2013 - 5:26 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

And, of course, who wants scores to docs, besides me?

I count at least two of us.

 Posted:   Jun 6, 2013 - 5:30 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

... but avoided many of the places this doc seemed to go, both musically and with it's subject matter.

Agreed! I remember reading an interview way back when, where Fried described the emotional approach he took for scoring the birth of a kangoroo, musically accompanying the tiny creatures' arrival into the world. That scene had left him understandably misty-eyed.

 Posted:   Jun 6, 2013 - 5:57 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

I wonder was there ever a song called, BIRDS DO IT, BIRDS DO IT, BUT WHY DON'T WE?

 Posted:   Jun 7, 2013 - 5:56 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Been listening to this stuff a lot and can't help to notice the difference in approach to film music then and now. Ideas were more fully developed. You had the new-age-y atmospheric material you hear today plus a lot more.

I also noticed if you eliminate the Disney scores the Oscar nominated films post 40s that were not released in any form could be listed on your hands SEPARATE TABLES, LIMELIGHT, HEAVEN CAN WAIT, this one and a few others. Judging by this one these should be looked into!

 Posted:   Oct 1, 2014 - 9:42 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

This last weekend before the MAN FROM UNCLE concert I got to talk to Gerald Fried and his wife. He told me about sitting there at the Academy awards night in 1976 which he perfunctorily went to. He looked at the competition:

Bite the Bullet -- Alex North
Jaws -- John Williams
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest -- Jack Nitzsche
The Wind and the Lion -- Jerry Goldsmith
...and saw his chances with a David Wolper documentary score to BIRDS DO IT,,,BEES DO IT were nil. And then he got an epiphany! All these other great scores will cancel each other out and he will have the last score standing. For 15 minutes he was on top of the world winning the best score Oscar, but what would he say? He prepared nothing. Finally JAWS was announced and his moment in the sun passed but the emotional high he gave himself was something else.

For me, as top Oscar winner Meryl Streep has said, the nomination is the real honor. You won Gerald.

 Posted:   Oct 1, 2014 - 11:02 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Sounds as if it rivals the old Disney nature shorts music.

--Except that this film was rated R!

After a Cannes Film Festival screening in May 1974, the Motion Picture Association of America initially rated the film "R" (Restricted--no one under 17 admitted) and Wolper Productions appealed the rating, seeking a "PG" (Parental Guidance) rating. Acting chairman of the MPAA's ratings board, Albert E. Van Schmus, refused to remove the "R" rating unless the producers made eight deletions. Wolper refused, and the appeal was denied on 8 August 1974. Demanded deletions included shots of penis exposure following mating in the baboon sequence; shots of the erect penis and penetration in the rhinoceros sequence; two shots of a male chimpanzee with an erect penis; a sequence of a bull mounting a cow-like machine in order to extract semen for artificial insemination; two additional shots of the bull with an erect penis; and a closeup of an erect elephant penis and penetration. However, after Richard D. Heffner was named permanent successor to the former chairman, Dr. Aaron Stern, and Van Schmus was relegated to second in command, Heffner reversed the appeals board decision and gave Wolper a "PG" on condition that the company make only one 10 to 15 second deletion in the elephant sequence. Wolper complied, and the film received the lower rating, opening in Los Angles on 26 February 1975.

 Posted:   Oct 1, 2014 - 2:15 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Morricone, since it sounds from your grand post above like you still haven't actually seen the film, can I assume the tapes for this great score survived somehow and you were able to hear them? Is this releaseable by one of our labels, say Intrada?


 Posted:   Oct 1, 2014 - 2:21 PM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

 Posted:   Oct 1, 2014 - 2:33 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)


That's not mentioned here:

Is that just a fan-made cover?

From Morricone's description this sounds like it could be Fried's magnum opus (well...maybe barring Roots) so I'm pretty excited if there has been a release of some kind.


 Posted:   Oct 1, 2014 - 11:43 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Apparently a promo LP was issued (perhaps in connection with the AMPAS nomination process). Reportedly it contains the following tracks.

01. Aphids
02. Primal Ooze
03. Man Intrudes
04. Trout Eggs
05. Buffalo Birth
06. Cheetah Chase
07. Daphnia
08. Elephants And Lions
09. Fight Aftermath / Growth Of Pepsis / Wasp Embryo
10. Frog Mating
11. Flowers Growing
12. Talking Insects
13. Kangaroos
14. Flowers Opening
15. Lizards
16. Chimp Lullaby
17. Maggots Eating Mouse
18. Mountain Stream
19. Trout
20. Rattlesnake
21. Snails
22. Artificial Insemination
23. More Primal Ooze
24. Tarantula / Pepsis Wasp Fight
25. Flirting Trout
26. Waltz Of The Grebes
27. Wasps
28. Assorted Pick-Ups

 Posted:   Oct 2, 2014 - 7:32 AM   
 By:   mrchriswell   (Member)

I heard this score for the first time just a couple of years ago and was shocked by how good it is. Not because Fried isn't great but it's such an obscure title that I had no sense of what to expect from it. Full of themes -- real ones -- and a great listen. Easy to hear why it impressed his peers enough for a nomination.

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