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 Posted:   May 23, 2019 - 4:32 PM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Funny, Graham, I just got my package of The Sentinel and Quinn Martin, so it's like we're living the same life intercontinentally.

So glad you mentioned Zeitlin's Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I was so taken with that score when I saw the movie on TV around 1980 that it was a must purchase on vinyl, and still a favorite score from that era to this very day.

Right there with you.

 
 
 Posted:   May 25, 2019 - 2:59 PM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Sean - Let us know your thoughts on THE SENTINEL once you've digested it. And the Quinn Martin set. I'm going there soon. I linked to this thread at the offical announcement bit, which is mostly split between the Mellé release and the new one by Bear McCreary. Just to keep things neat. Not that I'm some sort of Gort robot. Both MD and Basil Wrathbone (AKA "Razzle Bathbone") have said good things about the Mellé release on the other thread. Let them expand themselves here. And leagolfer, who has expressed his admiration for the score but hasn't yet got it. People can even be negative about it if they want. Isn't that big of me?

I listened to it again today. Fabulous. Towards the last half, the sheer malevolence conjured up by the Mellé magic is startling. But I also thought that this release might not hit the mark with those who haven't seen the film. It's a controversial movie for many reasons, and a lot of people wish they hadn't seen it ("It's gross!" "It's tasteless!" "It's total crap!"), but I'm finding that in many cases the music is all the more powerful on CD because I'm able to relate it to the film's imagery. The CD wouldn't be the same if I couldn't help but relate it to big-screen memories from 1977 of Fred Stuthman in his underpants (then getting his nose cut off and his eyeball sliced), my ex-girfriend Beverly-something rummaging around in her drawers and provoking a climax for all, and Cristina Raines talking to Ava Gardner and looking back from the car that's taking them away, about John Carradine's blind priest "watching" from the window at the top of the house - "If he's blind, what is he looking at?" (or something) - and Gil comes in with that wondrous overlapping phrase on low woodwinds and deep brass for all of ten seconds. Is it as amazing if you haven't seen the film? The eternal question.

It's also got some of the most unsettling soundtrack music I've ever heard, and in this case it's not because I only associate it with the film. As I mentioned in an earlier rabbit, I think that some of it might have gone unused, or was dialled down to virtual silence. Whatever, I'm scared just thinking about it. What a great talent Gil Mellé was.

After hearing all this again, I went back to more comfy territory with my inauguration to Jolly Queen Martin's double-CD jive party. Give me time to post some garbage there.

 
 
 Posted:   May 31, 2019 - 9:44 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

I rewatched the opening titles of this film the other night (it was shown on the Horror Channel) and - as Graham alludes to above...or in the other thread - some of the music at the beginning actually sounds like/reminded me of Denny Zeitlin's INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. The big dramatic crash/shock bits when nothing is really happening onscreen. I think the 'young couple in love' were buying a magazine or crossing the road to buy some toast when the music unleashed hell!!!!! wink

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 2, 2019 - 4:52 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Kev - I know you're in a prison cell in Madrid at the moment, but my thoughts are with you. You'll see this when you get out - if you get out. What I'm leading to is that I'll take your previous comments as a "thumbs up" for this release, even though I'm sure you didn't buy it. I remember you saying once that you loved scores that go "apeshit" (or "batshit" or something - I don't recall the precise term).

Last Child also gave this one a thumbs up, but unfortunately on the wrong thread despite my clear instructions.

And now it's my turn again. Hey nutmegs! Buy this CD! It's freakin' awesome! I've just heard it yet again, this time doing a really close-scrutiny listen through headphones, and at a really high volume which my neighbours wouldn't appreciate (hence the headphones). I think that this score absolutely needs and deserves to be heard loud. It makes the powerful loud bits even louder and more powerful of course, but it also importantly highlights the wealth of detail in the many quieter interludes. Maybe a casual listener would think, "What a lot of creeping-around music". There is a lot of that, but if you listen closely there's not a wasted second. It's chock-full of absolutely amazing sounds, and overflowing with ideas. I must rely on Jeff Bond's liner notes now - "Mellé's facility with avant-garde techniques provided a great deal of disturbing color throughout the score: unusual percussion effects and use of piano, waterphone roars, string pitch bends and echoplex tape delay add a creepy atmosphere..."

There's also the startling use of synths. The synthesized choir is astounding, and it's used also on occasions just as a low groan or something. I listened to all this this morning, a beautiful sunny day, and it was actually fucking scary. But it's so much more too, if you care to wade through my previous rabbits.

I think this might be my favourite score release so far this year. Curiously, I think that COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT, which inaugurated La-La Land's Universal Pictures Film Music Heritage Collection, was my favourite release of 2018.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 2, 2019 - 7:31 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)


I think this might be my favourite score release so far this year. Curiously, I think that COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT, which inaugurated La-La Land's Universal Pictures Film Music Heritage Collection, was my favourite release of 2018.



I agree with you. But don't miss LLL/Universal's next title: Ennio Morricone's Two Mules for Sister Sara,
a release I am eager to get my hand on for so long.
I really love Mellé's voluptuous strings use. The main title for The Sentinel is also a reminder of many scores by the same composer.
Picture if you will a full CD set of selected telefilm scores done by Mellé at Universal TV from the first part of the seventies. It will include:
A Cold Night's Death
Savage
The President's Plane Is Missing
Frankenstein: The True Story
The Questor Tapes

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 2, 2019 - 8:58 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Yes (Member), you mention "Mellé's voluptuous strings". That's an aspect we often forget when talking about his scores, in favour of repeating how he often blended jazz with symphonic with electronics to unique effect. But I think it was Heath, who rarely posts here now (and a composer himself - Heathcliff Blair), who pointed out that what really distinguished Gil Mellé's work in general was his use of strings. That's very evident in THE SENTINEL.

So with THE SENTINEL we've really got everything - the haunting harmonic counterpoint in the strings, the jazz leanings with double bass and piano, the growling low brass, the amazingly freaky use of electronics... it's all in this score. Oh, and those liturgical pieces are beautifully integrated too. He'll go from solemn quasi-religioso liturgy and then bend it into those starkly chilling chords from Hell.

P.S. - In my User Profile I've got "unreleased stuff such as THE SENTINEL" as one of my favourite scores. I'm going to leave it like that as a reminder of those days. I really ought to add COLOSSUS though.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 2, 2019 - 11:45 AM   
 By:   Leo Nicols   (Member)

Yes (Member), you mention "Mellé's voluptuous strings". That's an aspect we often forget when talking about his scores, in favour of repeating how he often blended jazz with symphonic with electronics to unique effect. But I think it was Heath, who rarely posts here now (and a composer himself - Heathcliff Blair), who pointed out that what really distinguished Gil Mellé's work in general was his use of strings. That's very evident in THE SENTINEL.

So with THE SENTINEL we've really got everything - the haunting harmonic counterpoint in the strings, the jazz leanings with double bass and piano, the growling low brass, the amazingly freaky use of electronics... it's all in this score. Oh, and those liturgical pieces are beautifully integrated too. He'll go from solemn quasi-religioso liturgy and then bend it into those starkly chilling chords from Hell.

P.S. - In my User Profile I've got "unreleased stuff such as THE SENTINEL" as one of my favourite scores. I'm going to leave it like that as a reminder of those days. I really ought to add COLOSSUS though.


Graham, your enthusiasm for this score is infectious....I really must check it out.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2019 - 4:25 AM   
 By:   Leo Nicols   (Member)

I've just listened to this score.....it's astounding !
A big thank you to Mr Graham Watt !

I must collect more Gil Melle !

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2019 - 4:42 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

I played this the other day and have to say, it's one of the most inappropriate sounding scores I've ever heard.
With all the bleeps and bloops, married to the huge orchestra, in a modern groove vibe, I could only see the likes of Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland chasing around Washington in their sharp suits.
Gil Melle needs to concentrate on what's on the screen.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2019 - 4:45 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I've just listened to this score.....it's astounding !
A big thank you to Mr Graham Watt !

I must collect more Gil Melle !


I'm so glad you like it, Leo! But don't thank me, thank the people at LLL who did all the work in getting it released! I only did the incontinent rabbits.

Well, this thread was dead for three weeks. And although Leo has revived it, it's still looking a bit undernourished, sort of like Fred Stuthman in his underpants. Such an amazing score needs more rabbits.

Where is that Sean Nethery chap? We know he bought this, but he has been strangely quiet on the subject. Perhaps he doesn't like it. That would never do, but on the other hand it might start an entertaining fight.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2019 - 4:47 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I played this the other day and have to say, it's one of the most inappropriate sounding scores I've ever heard.
With all the bleeps and bloops, married to the huge orchestra, in a modern groove vibe, I could only see the likes of Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland chasing around Washington in their sharp suits.
Gil Melle needs to concentrate on what's on the screen.


Ah! We were posting at the same time, Kev. I'd start the fight now but I have to make lunch. Back later with the knuckle-dusters.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2019 - 5:04 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

Before the Watt McGann rumble, I just wanted to say that when The Sentinel first came out, there was a publicity picture of Cristina Raines in Film Review magazine that made odd feelings develop in my teenage self. Which was a relief, to be honest.

I'm now off to check the Pay Per View terms for the big fight.

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2019 - 7:26 AM   
 By:   Jeff Bond   (Member)

It's strange reading an FSM thread with people actually talking about the music on a CD release.

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2019 - 7:47 AM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

Yeah, usually it's just ads for prescription drugs. wink

I don't know why Kev criticized this for electronic sounds, better applied to films starring actors Sutherland or Douglas. The score is far from being "Andromeda Strain."

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2019 - 8:49 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Hey Kev, do you really think the score is inappropriate for the film? It was a Michael Winner schlock-fest man! The last thing the film needed was a boringly traditional score. I think it sounds spectacularly audacious with its mind-bending blend of elements. And "scary" is one of those elements, but not in a conventional way - those blips and whooshes you refer to made the lengthy scene of Cristina Raines (knee-weakeningly gorgeous in her nightdress, in that photo in Film Review) searching for... something... AAGHH!! - It's her dead dad in his underpants, so she chops his nose off and stabs his eye in half - absolutely spine-chilling to this very day. I think that it's a truly SURPRISING score, and it's an absolute joy (for me) to be actually surprised by film scores after a lifetime listening to them.

But Kev, you could just listen to it and imagine it actually was for whatsisface chasing whatsisname around the streets in snazzy suits, or just imagine it as a concept album and make up your own pictures to it. If you still don't like it, well I'm afraid it's just not your type of music, and I feel sorry for you for what you're missing out on.

I think I won that round, even if Kev probably felt like he was being mauled by a dead sheep.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2019 - 10:09 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

Okay, I won't be making any more movie score jokes anytime soon.
I was jokingly referring to The Sentinel, as scored by Christophe Beck. The political thriller, set in Washington and starring Douglas and Sutherland.
I played THAT CD the other day and was surprised how good it was. I ain't got the Gil Melle one yet.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2019 - 10:35 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Okay, I won't be making any more movie score jokes anytime soon.
I was jokingly referring to The Sentinel, as scored by Christophe Beck. The political thriller, set in Washington and starring Douglas and Sutherland.
I played THAT CD the other day and was surprised how good it was. I ain't got the Gil Melle one yet.


Ach, yer two clever for us all, mon! I didn't get the other Sentinel connection, so we're quits. Actually, I'm knocking a point off you for the simple reason that you haven't got the correct Sentinel yet.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2019 - 11:19 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

It's strange reading an FSM thread with people actually talking about the music on a CD release.

Amusing …

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2019 - 11:41 AM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

It's strange reading an FSM thread with people actually talking about the music on a CD release.

Yeah. Thank God graham Watt doesn't post more often!

 
 Posted:   Sep 1, 2019 - 9:55 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Well, thanks to a , well deserved and generous tip from a client, and the LLL sale , ordered this.
A.blind buy. Rare.
Graham Watt will have a lot to answer for if I don't like it.
ALOT to answer for.
smile

 
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