The Wild Bunch
Disc 3, tracks 1–10 recreate the 1969 Warner Bros. Records soundtrack album for The Wild Bunch (WS-1814). Fielding specially recorded tracks 1 and 6 for the LP, here newly mixed from the 1″ eight-track master tapes, with the other eight tracks newly mixed and edited from the film soundtrack recordings to match the LP versions. Tracks 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 consist of recordings also found on discs 1 and 2, with different editing and mixing (so no recording data is included here), but tracks 5 and 10 do feature unique recordings (and thus inlcude approriate annotations below).
1969 Soundtrack Album
- 1. Song From The Wild Bunch
M-17235 tk. 6, 6/12/69
- Fielding wrote and recorded this orchestral arrangement of the song specially for the album. Emphasizing lush strings, it represents the song’s longest continuous development.
- 2. Main Title
- The album abridged the “Main Title” from the film version (disc 1, track 1), primarily excising 1:18 of material (at 2:55), the relatively quiet passage where Pike’s gang finally arrives outside the depot, dismounts, and begins to head inside. The harmonium overlay (2:23–2:33) has greater prominence here (in part to cover an edit).
- 3. Aurora Mi Amor
- This album track begins with the version of “Aurora Mi Amor” (8M2, 5051-4) originally titled “Pike’s Flashback” (disc 1, track 15). At 1:15, the track cuts to material from earlier in the film: the version of “Aurora Mi Amor” (5M1A 2nd revision, 5082-2) originally called “Brother Pike Needs Help” (disc 1, track 7). At 1:50, it cuts again in order to finish with the earlier version of this same passage (5M1A revision, 5050-3, disc 2, track 8). The similar instrumentation and tempi between these three sources affords a smooth and natural listening experience.
- 4. Assault on the Train and Escape
- The music for the stolen locomotive arriving at the bunch’s wagon (disc 1, track 16) kicks off this album track. At 2:14, the track jumps back chronologically to cover much of the sequence where Dutch falls between the cars, including music dialed out of the film. The track segues (at 3:25) to the version of the adventure theme that opens Part 3 of the sequence, but skips ahead 30 seconds at 3:48 to hasten the appearance of the bounty hunter motive. Another skip occurs seamlessly at 4:28. After this point, the cue plays as originally recorded until the final sustained note, which is interrupted (at 5:14) by a transition to the ending of Part 4.
- 5. Drinking Song
10M3, 5057-6, 3/17/69 [3-track] (0:00–0:52)
10M3A, 5058-5, 3/17/69 (0:53–2:01)
- In the film, the introduction (0:00–0:28) to this track principally involved winds (disc 1, track 18)—as in “To Sykes’s Camp,” which it emulated—but this earlier version features strings. The remainder of the track employs the same recording as the film version, although the mix differs and the final passage fades out towards the end.
- 6. Adelita
M-17180 tk. 10, 6/12/69
- This march version of “La Adelita” is the second piece of music specially arranged by Fielding for the album. It begins in similar fashion to the alternate version of “Slow Motion Tumble” (disc 2, track 8), although it quickly moves in a much different direction.
- 7. Adventures on the High Road
- This album track begins with a statement of the adventure theme from the beginning of “Adventures on the High Road, Part 2” (disc 1, track 21). At 0:26, it cuts to a similar passage from Part 1 (disc 1, track 20) and the remainder of that cue plays out in its entirety. At 1:41, the track concludes by cutting to the last 0:50 of Part 3 (yet another reprise of the adventure theme).
- 8. Bodega el Bodega de Baño
- Fielding’s festive music for the wine cellar scene stands alone here, as opposed to breaking out of “Por Favor, I Need Him” (disc 1, track 14). Two brief segments have been excised: first at 1:04 (removing a short repeated section) and second at 2:19 (removing several bars of unaccompanied guitar backing). The percussion mix is also different, most noticeably at 1:04.
- 9. Dirge and Finale
- Apart from the end credits, this is the only complete track of material recorded for the film to be presented in unedited form on the album. Fielding was very passionate about the finale, claiming in Simmons’s book: “I’ve never felt more strongly about a piece of music in my life that I did about that.” Although the composer had to go to the mat with Peckinpah to preserve his favorite moment—when the villagers bear out their dead and Thornton is left alone with the vultures—an earlier portion of the sequence wound up tracked over (see disc 2, track 2), meaning that the album was the first opportunity the public had to hear the piece as Fielding originally intended it to play.
- 10. End Credits (La Golondrina)
16M2, 5065-9, 3/17/69 [3-track]
original title: “End Title”
- The album features Fielding’s original (and most romantic) version of the end title. The “Golondrina” melody begins delicately on solo oboe, with clarinet accompaniment. Strings and guitar enter on the second phrase, eventually joined by harmonium, and the piece drifts along to a gentle conclusion. Peckinpah discarded both this version and Fielding’s revision (see disc 2, track 27, and disc 3, track 19) in favor of a rough, source-music rendition of the song. —