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 Posted:   Apr 10, 2014 - 10:26 AM   
 By:   Heath   (Member)

Farnon's title music for this movie is, in my opinion, as good as they get. Whenever I catch it, I am, as we say in England, gobsmacked.

Here's a taste I found on Youtube. Sound quality's not too good, but you get the point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox4g2Xko_Fc

Isn't it time some label looked into a release? A full Shalako too.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 10, 2014 - 12:24 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Isn't it time some label looked into a release? A full Shalako too.


I'll second both of those. But if we can't get the BEAR ISLAND score, can we at least get a Region 1 DVD of the film so we can listen that way? And if we can't get the full SHALAKO score, can we at least get the LP on CD?

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 10, 2014 - 2:58 PM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

I would also enjoy hearing Farnon's score for BEAR ISLAND on CD. And, I would also enjoy seeing the film on DVD in it's original aspect ratio and in Dolby Stereo, as the lowly VHS release was only a mono version of this early Canadian produced Dolby Stereo film. (Don't recall if HBO or Cinemax even ran this one in stereo back in the day.)

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 11, 2014 - 1:00 AM   
 By:   bobbengan   (Member)

The main title to BEAR ISLAND is included on an old Edel album called "Best of Adventure", a rare compilation that also includes excerpts from some unexpected gems: NATE AND HAYES, ARACHNOPHOBIA, THE DUELIST, RIDDLE OF THE SAND, THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS, SHOOT TO KILL and lengthy suites from REMO, JAWS: THE REVENGE and THE GOONIES, in addition to some of the more expected stuff from related genres (Indy, Cliffhanger, Jurassic Park etc.).

This was a very early Nic Raine / City of Prague Philharmonic project and is a neat little album.

I'd be interested to hear more of BEAR ISLAND for sure. I've literally just discovered Farnon as a composer last week with his score to SHALAKO, which blew me away, cheesy male chorus/lyrics aside. Excellent main theme and symphonic writing in that one!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 11, 2014 - 2:13 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

I've literally just discovered Farnon as a composer last week with his score to SHALAKO, which blew me away, cheesy male chorus/lyrics aside. Excellent main theme and symphonic writing in that one!

Here's a suite of SHALAKO's music. I remember when I originally found the LP in a bargain bin. I had never even heard of the film, let alone the composer and the music. But I've been a fan ever since, and 45 years after the film's release, still await the score CD.

 
 Posted:   Apr 11, 2014 - 2:39 PM   
 By:   judy the hutt   (Member)

I would love a C D of Captain Horatio Hornblower music by Mr. Farnon

 
 Posted:   Apr 11, 2014 - 2:41 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

Barry was offered "Shalako", but:
"I was offered one with Sean Connery and Brigitte Bardot, Shalako, which I thought I might like to do. Then I saw the film and decided I didn't."

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 27, 2016 - 8:00 AM   
 By:   The Wanderer   (Member)

I'd somehow never even heard of this film. Good cast and I like a snowy setting. I like the film okay, especially the look of it and the actual outdoors stuff. The music is really good, I'd pick it up if it was available.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 27, 2016 - 6:36 PM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

I would love a C D of Captain Horatio Hornblower music by Mr. Farnon

There was already a rerecording.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 27, 2016 - 10:13 PM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Barry was offered "Shalako", but:
"I was offered one with Sean Connery and Brigitte Bardot, Shalako, which I thought I might like to do. Then I saw the film and decided I didn't."


Snd yet he went on to do Starcrash...

 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2022 - 5:15 PM   
 By:   Sir David of Barkeley   (Member)

There's no Robert Farnon thread, so here will have to do....


Andre Previn said that he gave John Williams (a young, studio pianist at the time) a Robert Farnon album, "telling him to take it home and listen to it." This was in answer to JW's questions about string writing.

Gene Lees asked, years later, if the story is true. JW replied, "I don't remember, but say it is anyway. I'd be honored merely to be mentioned in the same breath with Robert Farnon."

 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2022 - 3:01 AM   
 By:   PollyAnna   (Member)

He also composed a very atmospheric score for the 1977 movie "The Disappearance". It was released on a CD with the score to "Overlord" & "Hustle" by Paul Glass.

 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2022 - 6:31 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

I watched Bear Island (1979) ... for the last time? about a month ago and commented: Back in 1979 I disliked Robert Farnon's score ... now I assess it as a major plus. It adds gravitas to the on-screen idiocies and whilst the main title isn't a catchy tune it does mirror the bleakness of the setting.

This was a wonderful Film 4 broadcast from 2008 (burned to DVDr) which included the abseiling scene at the start, often omitted. The full w/s image in good colours was a definite plus!


The film is (rather) poor but it does have some redeeming features.

As for Mr. Farnon: one of those names I've known most of my life but usually as an arranger/performer. When I first saw the film and his name appeared I was surprised as I hadn't thought of him as a composer, let alone a film composer. I suppose it was a few years later I found he'd scored Shalako (dreadful film, IMHO)

In recent years I've developed a taste for his easy-listening repertoire and purchased a few CDs covering his early days: 1947 ... 1967 (this last work being a cue from The Prisoner ... maybe a library recording). Given he was 50 then, I still find it strange he was invited to score the 1979 film. Perhaps it was the Canadian connection?

The last albums I have of his are his recordings with Frank Sinatra (Sings Great Songs from Great Britain (1962) ... not a favourite) and arrangements of songs by Sinatra (1965) - not yet played! - and Johnny Mathis (1964).

But his prominence in the British music scene during the late 1940s - mid 50s cannot be overstated: his own compositions Jumping Bean, Portrait of a Flirt, Journey Into Melody and Peanut Polka (Popcorn Polka), amongst many others, had regular airplay and were covered by other easy-listening orchestras. My newest recordings of his compositions are from 1995 - 2004 with Jumping Bean, Portrait of a Flirt and Westminster Waltz now available in crystal clear stereo: Barry Wordsworth/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Ronald Corp/New London Orchestra.

Would I bother with a release of either film score mentioned? I don't know ...

 
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