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This is a comments thread about FSM CD: The Wreck of the Mary Deare/Twilight of Honor
 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2020 - 4:40 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

This CD was released in 2008 I believe. I shall be the first to comment. I still have to organizize my thoughts, but I thought I'd warn you beforehand that I shall be VERY enthusiastic about this release. In fact, it's one of the best CDs I have ever heard, and I had totally ignored it for twelve years. There must be hundreds, nay thousands more out there that are pure wonders waiting to be discovered by me.

I shall attempt to assemble a rabbit and then post it here later. And I will be doing the same for all the other six old FSM CDs wot I got on the spur of the moment recently, and also Caldera's "Fried Potatoes". Actually, maybe I should go and give them all another proper listen before the rabbit ejaculation, but either way you have been warned.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2020 - 4:49 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

Good for you, Graham.
I like to re-open old cases and add my thoughts and opines, when I've just bought or re-listened to an old CD.
But BEWARE, sometimes people don't read or care, and your eye opening thoughts and mouth watering opines fall on deaf ears!!
Your words were all to NOAH VALE.
I'm listening to THE BIG FIX by Bill Conti RIGHT NOW for the Very First Time and it's pretty groovy man! Especially if it was 1978 right now!

 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2020 - 4:51 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

The thing I remember about 'Wreck' is that mysterious pounding sound resembling sonar. What I think the composer was doing, though, was the musical equivalent of a lighthouse beacon sweep, except that the meaning is inverted in the sense that it's a false light meant to deliberately dash a vessel onto the rocks, which is why it has that menacing sound to it. It's the bad guy motif.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2020 - 5:03 AM   
 By:   Les Jepson   (Member)

I love this one, Graham. I play THE WRECK... quite often, but I haven't listened to TWILIGHT... for quite a while. I must rectify that. For some reason, every time I play THE WRECK... I want to hear David Shire's THE HINDENBURG. I've never figured out why. Anyway, I'll wait to see what you say before I chip in.

 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2020 - 5:05 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

I love this one, Graham. I play THE WRECK... quite often, but I haven't listened to TWILIGHT... for quite a while. I must rectify that. For some reason, every time I play THE WRECK... I want to hear David Shire's THE HINDENBURG. I've never figured out why. Anyway, I'll wait to see what you say before I chip in.

Zat vun iz eezy. While flying over the NY harbor area on the Hindenburg, Gig Young sees the Queen Mary down below, apparently beating him to the chase.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2020 - 5:11 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

As I was saying, this is a pretty terrific release, and it only took me twelve years to get it.

I do love George Duning's work in general. THE WRECK OF THE MARY DEARE sounds spectacular here (the whole CD does). The score may lack the thematic variety of THE DEVIL AT FOUR O'CLOCK, or even his "Star Trek" scores, and my favourite Duning continues to be TOYS IN THE ATTIC, but I'm not downplaying how effective and evocative - even thrilling - THE WRECK is. I love the way Duning creates a kind of simple melody and then bends it in an unexpected way, and THE WRECK is full of that (I think all Duning scores are recognisably "him" for that reason, plus the melodic leaps). I haven't seen the film, but it does conjure up adventurous and mysterious images - some seafaring, but others could be water related or even from outer space. I like Grecchus' description, and possible "meaning", for the sonar ping effect from the Novachord. It's a wonderful sound, but again it also reminds me of outer space, the slowness and difficulty of moving underwater being akin to trying to move around in space. Coincidentally , I think that the opening four notes of the score remind me of Leith Steven's seminal DESTINATION MOON.

It's a darker than usual work from Duning, but a very good one. While I'm on about Duning, I've just remembered that I've seen a biography of his advertised on Spanish websites. The author is Spanish and it might only be available in that language. I'll have to check it out. Meanwhile, anyone know anything about the book I'm referring to?

I was totally surprised by TWILIGHT OF HONOR. I only knew of John(ny) Green through his songs and work as an arranger, so this score was always going to be the bonus score for me tacked onto the Duning. I don't think I've even heard any of RAINTREE COUNTY. Anyway, after I'd ordered the CD I was messing around on YouTube and came across the whole film, in good enough quality that I watched it all. It's a pretty good movie, but what immediately struck me were those fantastic Main Titles! The design (I think LK's liner notes refer to the graphics as being like newspaper cuttings) married to the music is absolute dynamite! I'd love to embed a YouTube link here, but I...can't. I wouldn't feel SUCH a thrill listening to this great opening cue if I hadn't already seen how each part is matched to a change in the title graphics. There's a great little "bum-bam-bum" as we see an animated image of the sexy dance behind "and introducing Joey Heatherton".

So I watched the film and looked forward to getting the CD just to hear those Main Titles. There wasn't much more music in the film so I was delighted to hear the whole score, much of which had gone unused. Apart from the terrific (here extended) Main Titles material, there's also quite a lot of slinky Alex North-type hothouse sultriness, and an unusually ambiguous "love theme". It's immediately odd sounding because the principal instrument is the (electric?) guitar. It's "Americana" enough to sound almost like a "Waltons" episode, but there are some very unusual melodic undercurrents. Part of it almost sounds "wrong" (I was reminded of Maurice Jarre at one point). The opening three notes descend in major key, but it's not completely happy. It's like Michael Small's "happy" music. There's a dark side to it, something dangerous shimmering away under the surface.

Oh, I love those jukebox cues! I've NEVER heard music like that come out of a jukebox in all my years of drinking in Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico. Again, it's kind of weird sounding, almost like deliberately distorted melodies. I wonder if it's because it plays behind flashbacks which show two witnesses describing "their" version of "the Joey Heatherton dance"? Nothing is as it seems. Hey, wait - Why does that bit remind me of TAXI DRIVER? Oh, that's Ronny Lang on sax of course!

Few of the bonus tracks interest me. The (unused) car radio cues are like what WOULD have been heard on a jukebox in 1963. I much prefer the stuff presented that would probably never have come out of a real life jukebox. But I just now ignore the bonus cues and I play two consecutive scores one after the other with no need to skip a duff track for a whole hour.

Buy this CD!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2020 - 5:47 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

Did you mean 'Buy This CD' or 'Butt This CD' Mr Graham?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2020 - 5:54 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

BUY it, ya lunk! And while you're at it, embed that YT link. It's easy! Prove to us you have the ability.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2020 - 6:17 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

In a strange twist of fate that could ONLY HAPPEN at the FSM Forum, I'm listening to my Time Tunnel CD right now (from the Irwin Allen Box Set) and it only has two scores on it.
Rendezvous With Yesterday by John Williams and The Death Merchant by George Duning.
And with words I never thought I would speaketh from my own lippage, I enjoy the Duning score more than the Williams. It's more forward motiony and action packed and exciting. The Williams is more of a mood piece.
My God Have Mersey On My Soul.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2020 - 6:20 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

And I couldn't find ANY footage on YT of you drinking in Arizona and New Mexico to link, dimwit!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2020 - 6:23 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

It's okay to say that, Kev, because I agree with you. I prefer the Duning score to the Williams on that Time Tunnel CD.

Now could you post that TWILIGHT OF HONOR film that's on YouTube? I want everyone to see (and hear) the Main Titles. Thanx!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2020 - 6:33 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hvCGPJt20A

Like This?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2020 - 6:44 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hvCGPJt20A

Like This?


Well... Thanks. But I meant "embed". Still, it's great, innit?

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2020 - 6:50 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Something about TOH is making me think 'Spartacus.' The MT imagery is of still images that dissolve into each other. The Spartacus MT used museum statues and latin texts on stone set against a black background, which also dissolved into each other. The North Spartacus score is highly militaristic but does have bridging music between both ends. That is to say, there is much clunky percussion but has a more melodious centre section. The music for Twilight Of Honor, by contrast, doesn't miss a beat. It is even more boisterous than Spartacus! The timing of the imagery from TOH is very critical to the visual cues, as the quick dance reference makes clear.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2020 - 6:59 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

"Still, it's great, innit?"
---------------
I liked the way the music caught the girl doing the twist. Very neat.
Carole said it sounded an-twack though (Scouse phrase for dated/old fashioned).

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2020 - 7:04 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

"Still, it's great, innit?"
---------------
I liked the way the music caught the girl doing the twist. Very neat.
Carole said it sounded an-twack though (Scouse phrase for dated/old fashioned).


An-twack? It's more like the head-banging 'dissonance' that hits you square between the eyes during the MT for The French Connection. Perhaps more like the 'funk' of Shire's Taking Of Pelham 123. So far, I'm seeing Spartacus -> Twilight Of Honor -> Taking Of Pelham 123 -> The French Connection. To reiterate, that's just me.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2020 - 8:20 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Thanks for keeping this going! As I stated in one of my earlier rabbits, I think it's incredibly effective the way the music for ToH is synched to the title design - the aforementioned "bim-bam-bum" for the "and introducing Joey Heatherton" bit, but also the way it moves into a really heavily percussive part (all that slapping on the drums!) with great momentum once the titles move on to images of the open highway. Sometimes it's a blessing not to have seen a film to which a certain score is attached. In this case it's the opposite, at least as far as the title sequence goes. And it's 4:29 long on CD, because the entire opening sequence with the crowds and subsequent segues were originally scored but the last half went unused.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2020 - 4:50 AM   
 By:   Les Jepson   (Member)

Back to THE WRECK... for a second, Graham. Do I hear echoplexed woodwinds now and then? I realise the date of this film and the advent of the echoplex are a bit borderline.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2020 - 5:00 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Back to THE WRECK... for a second, Graham. Do I hear echoplexed woodwinds now and then? I realise the date of this film and the advent of the echoplex are a bit borderline.

Hi Les - I hadn't identified that woodwind sound as echoplexed... I'm not expert enough on the history of these things to be of much help. I've just had quick look at the liner notes - I don't see any mention of echoplex. What I did notice about the overall sound is that it's remarkably gloomy (sometimes), coming from the usually bright-sounding Duning. It's almost as if he tried to create a "hollow" sound, almost reverberating (within the hulk of the ship?). I wonder if the fact that there are no violins in the score make the woodwinds more prominent and "echoey".

I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me will chip in with the facts. At least I hope someone does.

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2020 - 3:26 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

The mysterious qualities in the music could also be an attempt to underscore the state of Patch's mind. There is a clear-cut, blatant fraud that is central to the story, but we don't get to find out exactly what has been going on until the end. It is interesting that the composer uses 'nautical' sounding musical effects throughout to elevate the sea-going mystery with the initially tentative, albeit very real suspicions and concerns that drive Patch to find out what has been going on regarding the Mary Deare.

The use of mystery 'pings' with harpsichord flourishes was press-ganged by Legrand for his score to Ice Station Zebra. I wonder if there is an overall 'coloring' to the way the music in each film is employed?

 
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