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Monte Walsh (1970)
Music by John Barry
Monte Walsh Monte Walsh
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $39.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Silver Age
CD Release: June 1999
Catalog #: Vol. 2, No. 4
# of Discs: 1

Two decades before Dances with Wolves, John Barry scored Monte Walsh (1970), a character study of aging cowboys (Lee Marvin and Jack Palance) who face the end of their way of life in the 1880s. Directed by William A. Fraker, for whom Barry later scored The Legend of the Lone Ranger, the film features authentic locations and production design to go with the sterling cast, which also includes Jeanne Moreau in her American debut.

John Barry's score is the bittersweet heart of the film and centers around his title song, "The Good Times Are Comin'," with lyrics by Hal David. "The Good Times" is performed by the late Mama Cass in the opening and closing credits, and also once in the body of the film; in its instrumental form, it becomes the love music for Marvin and Moreau's characters.

For the rest of the score, Barry adopted a European approach (despite the American subject matter) in that he wrote several distinct themes, repeated as appropriate, rather than a great deal of connective tissue. No less than three themes pertain to the movie's cowboy protagonists: a bold, brassy and purposeful theme which shines in a mustang round-up sequence; a goofy theme with harmonica and guitar for the cowboys' lighter moments of tomfoolery; and a haunting, bittersweet theme (often for solo oboe or harmonica) which reflects upon their uncertain future. Additionally, there are two major setpieces: a beautiful, Midnight Cowboy-meets-American folk theme for a poignant exchange between Monte and Chet ("Old Friends") and a 007-styled climax, complete with minor brass chords and clanging marimbas ("Sit Him High").

The first 31 minutes of this hour-long disc features the best selections of the Monte Walsh score as might have been assembled for an LP, had one been released. The back half features source cues (including 15 minutes of Barry honkytonk), two additional renditions of "The Good Times Are Comin'" (an extended version and the 45rpm single recording), and a suite of score outtakes. The disc has been mastered from mono reel-to-reel elements located at the CBS Inc. Collection, courtesy of UCLA Music Library Special Collections, in clean and vibrant sound; track 24 is in stereo. The 16-page booklet features liner notes by Pete Walker & Geoff Leonard and track notes by Lukas Kendall.

John Barry Scores on FSM
About the Composer

John Barry (1933-2011) is a five-time Oscar winner and one of the most successful and beloved composers ever to write for the movies. His career encompasses everything from the James Bond films to Hollywood epics like Out of Africa and Dances With Wolves. His style is marked foremost by melody but also by a thoughtful economy of gesture that has always added a great sense of style and scope to his projects.FSM has released on CD as many of his scores as possible, from intimate dramas like Petulia to the classic Born Free, the 1976 King Kong and the obscure 1968 gem Deadfall. IMDB

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Track List
Instruments/Musicians
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
John Barry (Prendergast)

Violin:
Israel Baker, Arnold Belnick, George Berres, Harry Bluestone, Sam Freed, Jr., David Frisina, Jacques Gasselin, James Getzoff, Nathan Kaproff, George Kast, Marvin Limonick, Alexander Murray, Irma W. Neumann, Stanley Plummer, Nathan Ross, Ralph Schaeffer, Paul C. Shure, Gerald Vinci, Gerald A. White

Viola:
Rollice Dale, Allan Harshman, Louis Kievman, Virginia Majewski, Robert Ostrowsky, Gerald A. White

Cello:
Jesse Ehrlich, Marie Fera, Igor Horoshevsky, Armand Kaproff, Kurt Reher, Gloria Strassner

Bass:
Suzanne Ailman (Stokes), James E. Bond, Jr., Raymond M. "Ray" Brown, George "Red" Callender, Milton Kestenbaum, Joseph Mondragon, Joe Osborn, William "Louie" Shelton

Flute:
Louise M. DiTullio (Dissman), Arthur Gleghorn, Arthur Hoberman, Sheridon W. Stokes

Oboe:
Arnold Koblentz

Clarinet:
Herman Berardinelli

French Horn:
Vincent N. DeRosa, William A. Hinshaw

Trumpet:
Emanuel "Manny" Klein

Trombone:
Richard Noel

Piano:
Ben Benay, Lincoln Mayorga, Don Randi, Ray Sherman

Guitar:
Alvin W. Casey, Larry Knechtel, Larry McNeely, William "Louie" Shelton, Thomas "Tommy" Tedesco

Harmonica:
Tommy Morgan

Drums:
Hal Blaine, Larry Bunker, Victor Feldman, Frank J. Flynn, Milton Holland, Emil Radocchia (Richards), Louis Singer

Copyist:
Janet Guy, Jerrold E. Immel, Edward E. Ocnoff

© 2014 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.