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Farewell, My Lovely/Monkey Shines (1975/1988)
Music by David Shire
Farewell, My Lovely/Monkey Shines Farewell, My Lovely/Monkey Shines Farewell, My Lovely/Monkey Shines
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $19.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Silver Age
CD Release: January 2002
Catalog #: Vol. 4, No. 20
# of Discs: 1

From the holdings of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. comes this doubleheader showcasing two great scores by one of film music's brightest voices: David Shire. The album features the premiere CD release of Farewell, My Lovely (1975), a film noir previously on a United Artists LP, and the first-ever release of Monkey Shines (1988), an Orion film directed by horror legend George Romero.

Farewell, My Lovely resurrected the Philip Marlowe detective character—experted played by Robert Mitchum—in a remake of the earlier Murder, My Sweet (1944). At the time, David Shire was in the midst of a remarkable run of brilliant scores as disparate as The Conversation, The Taking of Pelham One-Two-Three, All the President's Men and The Hindenburg. For Farewell, My Lovely, he crafted a wonderful, melancholy main theme which stands with Jerry Goldsmith's Chinatown, Bernard Herrmann's Taxi Driver, and John Barry's Body Heat as one of the best pieces of film jazz of the era. The entire score is permeated with melody—bluesy, haunting, and lovely—merging the Los Angeles of the '40s with the dramatic sensibility of the '70s. The theme for Charlotte Rampling's character is a perfect complement to Marlowe's music, and, much like Chinatown, the suspenseful moments are treated with modern, avant garde effects.

Although we usually reshuffle our albums into film chronological sequence, Farewell, My Lovely was expertly designed by Shire as one of the best LPs of the 1970s. We have therefore retained the LP sequence—adding one track of previously unreleased music—while remixing most of the cues from the 16-track session masters.

Monkey Shines is the suspenseful tale of a young man paralyzed in a freak accident and forced to rely upon a capuchin monkey for household chores—but the animal has been treated with dangerous drugs, and the connection between man and beast soon grows out of control. Shire created memorable themes for the male and female leads—as well as the "mad scientist" involved—but it is the music for Ella the monkey which undergoes the most transformation. Utilizing exotic percussion and a talented flute soloist, Shire wrote a theme which is lovely and tender on the one hand, and psychotic and uncontrollable on the other. The Monkey Shines score—never before released—was recorded by a non-union orchestra in Toronto and has been assembled into this premiere album presentation by the composer.

The CD packaging includes our customary detailed booklet—here 24 pages—with stellar art direction and full recording credits.

David Shire Scores on FSM
About the Composer

David Shire (b. 1937) is responsible for some of the most acclaimed scores of the 1970s, such as The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The Conversation and Farewell, My Lovely. His film and television work extends from the late 1960s to the present day (including 2007's Zodiac), consistently excellent in its subtlety, dramatic sensitivity and musical imagination. He has also, with lyricist partner Richard Maltby, enjoyed a successful career in musical theater. IMDB

Comments (25):Log in or register to post your own comments
FML was a score I had on vinyl ages ago. I played it. It grew on me. Now, David Shire is the voice of Marlowe. Couldn't imagine anyone else taking the lead on this one. If you haven't listened to the main title you've missed the coolest, laid back and smouldering intro to any private eye movie there's ever been. Mr Shire, come out wherever you are!

Fantastic double-feature album (I love the semi-improvised percussion and flute solos on the Monkey Shines portion).

I've listened to Monkey Shines a lot more than Farewell My Lovely. One of my favourite scores.

Can anyone direct me to a early detective or noir score that 'Farewell, My Lovely' is referencing.

I know scores like this, Chinatown, and Body heat are harkening back to earlier scores, but I don't know what or when.

To tell the truth, Chinatown really started the whole mistaken notion that all film noir scores feature sultry saxaphone/trumpet solos in every cue. Most of the classic noir pictures of the 40s and 50s rarely had a heavy jazz influence in the music. But nowadays, every throwback to/parody of classic noir films always feature raspy sax licks.

Most of the classic noir pictures of the 40s and 50s rarely had a heavy jazz influence in the music.[/endquote]

Back then, Miklos Rozsa wrote pounding music that gave Noir its punch.

To tell the truth, Chinatown really started the whole mistaken notion that all film noir scores feature sultry saxaphone/trumpet solos in every cue. Most of the classic noir pictures of the 40s and 50s rarely had a heavy jazz influence in the music. But nowadays, every throwback to/parody of classic noir films always feature raspy sax licks.[/endquote]

That is a great point. But did TV have any influence, Peter Gunn and such?

Lukas

To tell the truth, Chinatown really started the whole mistaken notion that all film noir scores feature sultry saxaphone/trumpet solos in every cue. Most of the classic noir pictures of the 40s and 50s rarely had a heavy jazz influence in the music. But nowadays, every throwback to/parody of classic noir films always feature raspy sax licks.[/endquote]

That is a great point. But did TV have any influence, Peter Gunn and such?

Lukas[/endquote]

Certainly the early 40s noir films didn't use jazz scoring since that didn't become mainstream until the early 50s. For example, Steiner's "The Big Sleep" wasn't jazz oriented. I'll have to go back and listen to Paul Sawtell's efforts for such late 40s classics as "Raw Deal" and "T-Men" (both 1948). But in the 50s, my impression is that jazz idioms became more prevalent in noir scoring. The noir score that sticks out in my mind as being particularly jazzy is David Raksin's "The Big Combo" (1955). Scores for other major 50s noir films haven't registered with me as much as that one. I haven't seen "The Killers" (Gerald Fried) or The Big Heat" recently enough to recall their scores. The latter didn't even have a credited composer. Lukas' point regarding "Peter Gunn" is well taken, but 'Gunn" itself was probably influenced by Mancini's own "Touch of Evil" from earlier the same year.

THE PHANTOM LADY, directed by Robert Siodmak, had practically no score except main and end title. (Hans Salter tells a very funny story about this film and THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF UNCLE HARRY in my Cinefantastique interview, currently reprinted in Tom Weaver's book, "I Talked With a Zombie.") But the story is in large part about the jazz club milieu, so there's an important scene in which jazz is the source music -- with Elisha Cook, Jr. miming the drummer -- and it's very much foreground, not background music.

There's a wonderful couple of CD's whose titles and performers at the moment escape me, playing recent noir themes and 40's classics in the sultry saxophone mode.

To tell the truth, Chinatown really started the whole mistaken notion that all film noir scores feature sultry saxaphone/trumpet solos in every cue. Most of the classic noir pictures of the 40s and 50s rarely had a heavy jazz influence in the music. But nowadays, every throwback to/parody of classic noir films always feature raspy sax licks.[/endquote]

'Tis a curious thing indeed how today's popular perception of the classic forties private eye is colored with moody jazz music. Think "Guy Noir, Private Eye." In fact, I can't recall any such scoring in the classic noirs of the 1940s, as composed by Steiner, Deutsch, Rozsa, Salter, Waxman, Webb, et al. But the association certainly predates Chinatown. Lukas has mentioned sixties television shows. Did the French New Wave have something to do with this? I'm just now watching Le Doulos (1962), an obvious forties hommage that has a lot of slinky lounge jazz (vibraphones and the like). The subject was once raised at the Filmus-L list serve that Lukas is trying to archive. Somebody did point out a few jazz bits from the 1940s. But that style did not come to dominate until much later. It would be interesting to trace its evolution.

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