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 Posted:   Oct 24, 2022 - 9:17 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

I played some of the various scores - from their original edition releases - this past weekend to gauge my take on the music.
From THE FLIM FLAM MAN CD, I found A GIRL NAMED SOONER to be quite lovely, in that typical 70s Goldsmith 'homespun Americana' way.
Nice shades of THE WALTONS and A PATCH OF BLUE within (no doubt the harmonica has a lot to do with that).
The sound is decent on the FSM, but I imagine there would be some improvement based on updated technology and techniques.
A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN - from the Varese 20th Fox Box - was also very nice, if somewhat over before it really began.
Again, the sound could be much improved on this one and much more music/tracks would probably help in the development of the score too.
I like ANNA & THE KING, but it's not something that I want to play again and again, certainly when compared to the two scores mentioned above.
I didn't listen to NICK QUARRY, which I have on whatever CD/score it's hiding with.
Then I moved onto stuff like TWILIGHT'S LAST GLEAMING and FIRST GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY and CABLE HOGUE, which always happens when I'm rifling through old Jerry.

 
 Posted:   Oct 24, 2022 - 9:39 AM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

Yavar, I sent you a PM over at JGOnline. Might want to check it out just incase the channel gets deleted.

 
 Posted:   Oct 24, 2022 - 11:23 AM   
 By:   mgh   (Member)

Other than The Homecoming TV movie, A Girl Named Sooner is the closest we'll get to having Goldsmith's Waltons stuff. Rural Americana period music. Later examples, like Raggedy Man and Love Field, didn't have his more simple, direct TV style.

I agree; I really enjoy A Girl Named Sooner. Good down home stuff.

 
 Posted:   Oct 24, 2022 - 4:31 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

I played some of the various scores - from their original edition releases - this past weekend to gauge my take on the music.
From THE FLIM FLAM MAN CD, I found A GIRL NAMED SOONER to be quite lovely, in that typical 70s Goldsmith 'homespun Americana' way.
Nice shades of THE WALTONS and A PATCH OF BLUE within (no doubt the harmonica has a lot to do with that).
The sound is decent on the FSM, but I imagine there would be some improvement based on updated technology and techniques.


Steven above is a big fan of this score, and yeah he commented that the improvement on the new LLL was noticeable... not surprising with Chris Malone on the job revisiting the score over two decades later with new tech!

A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN - from the Varese 20th Fox Box - was also very nice, if somewhat over before it really began.
Again, the sound could be much improved on this one and much more music/tracks would probably help in the development of the score too.


Yes, exactly, BIG time. It feels nice but very slight on the Varese. The LLL doubles the number of cues and adds about 10 minutes to the runtime of this fairly short score (percentage wise it's huge). And the sound is more improved on this than anything else on this set. If you find the time to listen to the Goldsmith Odyssey Soundtrack Spotlight episode, we do some direct before/after comparisons of the Varese and LLL, and it's amazing how much wow/damage Chris was able to repair! A night and day restoration, with both the extra music and improved sound making a big difference in how the score comes across.

I like ANNA & THE KING, but it's not something that I want to play again and again, certainly when compared to the two scores mentioned above.

I'll be very curious if this improves for you in complete form, with over twice and much music and each of Jerry's three scores actually able to play out as its own entity rather than a collection of cues jumbled together into a suite (and that March of the Royal Children highlight horribly cut off, grr...)

I didn't listen to NICK QUARRY, which I have on whatever CD/score it's hiding with.

It's the bonus on FSM's release of The Stripper, if you want to go check it out. This is the one that has the least noticeable sound improvement on the LLL, probably because the FSM already sounded very good indeed.

Then I moved onto stuff like TWILIGHT'S LAST GLEAMING and FIRST GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY and CABLE HOGUE, which always happens when I'm rifling through old Jerry.

Good call! I'd still love to get the few missing minutes of Twilight's Last Gleaming and Cable Hogue some day...

Yavar

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 25, 2022 - 1:01 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

This arrived yesterday, but I won't have the time to listen to it until the weekend, probably. Then I'll do my "first impressions", then gestate some rabbits, then start giving birth over an inordinate amount of posts.

 
 Posted:   Oct 27, 2022 - 5:11 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Can't wait for your thoughts, Graham. I remember really enjoying your posts about LLL's Quinn Martin.

I guess I'd better finish my ranking! Once again, I'm including the fantastic custom cover art by FSM user steffromuk. In fourth place...



4. A GIRL NAMED SOONER (1975) -- This was Goldsmith's second to last TV movie before Contract on Cherry Street (Masada being a miniseries, of course), and frankly I think it's indistinguishable from a feature film score. It's the most substantial single score on this set, in terms of length (Anna and the King is longer but that's technically three different scores). And unlike my friend Schiffy, the more I listen to it the more I seem to enjoy its simple pleasures. Gentle harmonica (the great Tommy Morgan, RIP), lovely delicate woodwind writing, and some soaring strings (in typical Goldsmithian fashion, the cue "There's A Difference" for instance)... it may not *quite* reach the heights of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, for me, but it's still just *gorgeous* and it's nice to hear it sounding better than ever thanks to Chris Malone.

And I think there's a decent amount of variety in this score, honestly! The harmonica gets downright playful at times. There are some lively moments -- "The Town" is just wonderful, if brief. The playful woodwinds in "Jump Rope"! And of course there are some contemplative/pained/sad/melancholy cues too, like "Late Hours" and "No Excuse" and "No Bird". The latter in particular is a little standalone showcase for my favorite element of the score: a super beautiful, super sad secondary theme which runs throughout the score, and eclipses the main theme in my affection. "Everything Changes" is a wonderful conclusion to the score, even though Chris sadly couldn't overcome a moment or two where it gets too "hot". This is a score which perhaps doesn't grab you right away like my top three from my previous post (or its FSM partner, The Flim-Flam Man), but it's really wonderful in its own right if you give it a chance to grow on you.

Next up in fifth place is a dynamite 10.5 minutes!



5. NICK QUARRY (1968) -- It amazes me that Goldsmith wrote something so fun and almost...inspired...sounding, for this throwaway assignment. It wasn't even a full pilot episode! It was a mere "demonstration reel"... a demo for a demo, essentially! The star Tony Scotti had only acted in one thing before (Valley of the Dolls), and didn't act in anything(!) after... but he did go on to create the Scotti Bros. record label which released at least one Goldsmith score, so that's a funny connection! And this score... it's insubstantial, but it holds together as a listen *really* well and it's a lot of fun. If you like the action in the Flint scores you'll love this. It's just not as memorable as my next pick...



6. ROOM 222 (1969) -- Choosing whether to rank this higher or lower than Nick Quarry was honestly tough. I *love* the theme Goldsmith wrote for this hit series -- in all its incarnations (including the new shorter one that's been added to this set which FSM left off!) The problem is that the scores are so insubstantial with such bitty short cues there isn't really room for him to develop his thematic material the way it really deserves. FSM gathered Jerry's two complete scores for the series into suites, which run 4 minutes and 3.5 minutes respectively...and they each contain a bunch of cues! Obviously Jerry did what the series required but to not even have one cue that's more lengthy and developed is frustrating. The theme is catchy and iconic and more memorable than anything in Nick Quarry (or even A Girl Named Sooner) but the score proper doesn't have anything as interesting as those two...hence its ranking near the bottom. Speaking of which...



7. ONLY IN AMERICA (aka THE BEST OF TIMES) (1974) -- I feel bad ranking this exciting premiere so low. I really do! But if I penalized Room 222 for being insubstantial, I *really* can't rank this higher! Once again, the theme is BRILLIANT! Perfectly encapsulates (in under a minute!) the premise of a Jewish immigrant coming to America. You've got trademark Jerry Americana brass, paired deftly with playful klezmer-sounding stuff. And it's wonderful. But alas, unlike every other project on this great set, all that survived in the Fox archives was the combined film audio. So this is a rare case where we can't fairly judge Goldsmith's work, honestly... because this isn't all (or even most) of it! What we have is a 55 second Main Title which is brilliant, a slightly different 41 second End Title (also brilliant, though briefer), and a combined 27 seconds of opening and closing bumper cues. Everything else presumably had dialogue or sound effects along with the music, and was understandably unsuitable for inclusion on this collection. Perhaps one day Leigh Phillips will visit UCLA, view the episode, transcribe the rest of the score by ear, and produce a new recording of the whole thing. But until that day, what exists on this collection (and I'm so grateful to have it, don't get me wrong!) is just a tease, with little weight or development to it.

Ironically, the title which was most surprising and exciting to me (because I had never heard a note of it) ended up being the biggest disappointment/frustration of the set, through no fault of the producers!

But let's be honest and end on a high note: this entire collection is still wonderful and a must-buy!

Yavar

P.S. Thanks again steffromuk for the awesome individual covers!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 29, 2022 - 8:00 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Right then, I haven't really had time to get into this set properly, but I'm going to set down some first impressions or I'll end up doing nothing at all. By the way, I'm going to immediately admit my numbskullery and "not a film music fan" status by pointing out that this is the first of these LLL "Goldsmith at 20th" CDs that I've bought, and we're on Volume 5 already. And I don't have the earlier "Goldsmith at Fox" thingy. However, the upside of not knowing much about anything is that on many occasions some items will appear which are completely unfamiliar to me. In this case, apart from NICK QUARRY (which I have on the FSM release THE STRIPPER) and the theme from ROOM 222 (which I heard at a Goldsmith concert... in 1989), I hadn't heard ONE SECOND of ANY of the material on the two CDs (ah yes, well, discounting the Odyssey episode). And I hadn't seen EVEN HALF A SECOND of any of the stuff represented on the telly, ever. I don't recall even seeing the shows advertised in the TV guides in Blighty back in the day. So ALL of this was new to me.

After my first (perfunctory) "listen" to check that the discs weren't damaged, I had the overall impression that CD 2 is the stronger one by far. After listening to Disc 1 this morning, I think that that will hold true. I actually did a nutty thing, though it will come as no surprise to those familiar with my rabbits - I played CD 1 as if it were two LPs. ANNA AND THE KING's "Pilot" and "Anna's Romance" were on the A side, with "The Chimes" and Additional Music on Side B of the first LP. My second LP had NICK QUARRY and ONLY IN AMERICA as the A side, and ROOM 222 on the B side. Quite a nice little purchase there. Two LPs of obscure Goldsmith telly scores. Not a waste of money, even including the train ticket.

ANNA AND THE KING - I "like" this score, but at the moment I'm finding it difficult to go beyond the adjectives which the press of the time employed to describe the show itself, namely "charming", pleasant" and "often beguiling". It'll grow on me, but for the time being it seems kind of thin. And I think that the trippy "The Chimes" goes on for a bit long. I do like the descending little cascades throughout that one, but I get the impression that the woozy, wavering effects are a nod to the comedy slant of the show. It's a bit like the music you'd hear in a comedy when a hypnotised person goes into a trance at an inadequate moment. To sum up, ANNA AND THE KING is okay. I've heard worse. And it's (they're) on this very CD.

NICK QUARRY was always a favourite of mine from its release on the FSM CD. I just love that kind of music which Goldsmith was doing throughout the '60s. And although the immediate reaction is to bracket it in with the FLINT scores, I feel that it has more in common with WARNING SHOT (excluding the bits in WARNING SHOT which were more like FLINT than FLINT), and SEBASTIAN. Or even THE MAN FROM UNCLE - and not necessarily a Goldsmith episode, but perhaps something vigorous and fun like a Gerald Fried score. There's a really great groove that starts up in the middle of the last track, "Quarry Cornered". But it's a great ten minutes, probably my favourite on the whole CD.

ONLY IN AMERICA has a really good first seven seconds. Thereafter I'm afraid it's just not my cup of tea at all, although I'm sure it was perfect for the show. The good news is that it's only two minutes long. And the first seven seconds are really good.

ROOM 222 - I do like the theme, but by the end of the 13 minutes you'll hate it. I like how it's played on the recorder, but my favourite parts are when it's taken over by the trumpet. It's almost like a Charles Fox melody, even Burt Bacharach. Unfortunately it ends up sounding increasingly like a lot of short transitional cues spliced together (which I believe is what they are, especially for the episode "The Flu"). It even begins to sound like bumpers. And just when you think it has all come to an end, there's that goddam theme again. And again.

Still, it was nice to get those two Goldsmith LPs at the shop today. The first one's pretty good, the second one has a great A side, and a B side which I will have to listen to again, even if it drives me nuts.

I think my other two LPs (PRUDENCE AND THE CHIEF/ A TREE GROES IN BROOKLYN, and A GIRL NAMED SOONER) will be a bit better. I have a very good impression of them from when I was doing my perfunctory damage test. If I have time to listen over the weekend, I'll ejaculate my rabbits over the screen. You have been warned.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 29, 2022 - 10:36 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Sorry I'm back so soon, but I just pressed ahead with my first "proper" listening to CD 2 in the set and will take the opportunity to spit out my streamofconsciousness rabbit.

Here's a surprise for you all, including me. I had been led to believe that A GIRL NAMED SOONER would be kind of so-so, given the generally lukewarm comments here. I think that it might actually turn out to be my favourite score in the entire set. I was expecting pretty much a homespun WALTONSish score, small-scale, and with the predominance of the harmonica. But it's not really like that at all. It's much fuller-sounding, much more varied thematically than I had imagined, and with many more turbulent, dark and melancholic leanings than I expected. The harmonica doesn't really appear that much, and when it does, half the time it's almost as unsettling as it is in MAGIC. Another thing, not that this makes the score "better than the rest", but I was intrigued by just how many other JG scores it reminded me of, and none of them were THE HOMECOMING. So yes, surprised at the Impressionistic touches which made me think of LOGAN'S RUN and ISLANDS IN THE STREAM. Echoes of the early TWILIGHT ZONE scores. More than a hint of the "Renaissance" theme from THE ILLUSTRATED MAN. Even some disquieting moments which look ahead to THE REINCARNATION OF PETER PROUD. And a (probably unintentional) nod to Bernstein's TO KILL A MOCKINBIRD in the track "Empty Grave". And the Main Theme is hauntingly beautiful. Superb score.

A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN is as beautiful and heartfelt as most of you have said. It really is gorgeous, but never schmaltzy in the least. Absolutely top-notch, but I'm giving it less time here because it's overshadowing A GIRL NAMED SOONER.

PRUDENCE AND THE CHIEF is another great 15-minute listen. There's usage of one of the themes in RIO CONCHOS, and in fact many other JG westerns, but here given a sometimes unexpected modern sound ("badass" was used in an earlier post). One thing that I'd like explained to me is about "liner notes protocol". John Burlinghame mentions just about every JG western score that PRUDENCE references, EXCEPT the most obvious one, RIO LOBO. Would that be because he only wanted to mention the films which came before PRUDENCE? I know, Goldsmith couldn't "reference" a score he hadn't yet written. Even so, it seems odd NOT to mention that much of the material was reworked note for note for RIO LOBO. PRUDENCE has a February 1970 recording date, RIO LOBO being recorded in October 1970 (I think).

Overall I'd say that this is a good set, Disc 2 being much stronger than Disc 1. Sound quality is pretty good throughout (I know how much effort Chris Malone and Mike Matessino put into these things). There are moments when I think it's better to play this on my big music system instead of through headphones, which can be very unforgiving with less than pristine material.

And so, just for the hell of it, my ratings today (which will change when I listen to it the next time) -

1) A GIRL NAMED SOONER
2) A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN
3) NICK QUARRY
4) PRUDENCE AND THE CHIEF
5) ANNA AND THE KING
6) ROOM 222
7) ONLY IN AMERICA

 
 Posted:   Nov 9, 2022 - 10:26 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

ANNA AND THE KING - I "like" this score, but at the moment I'm finding it difficult to go beyond the adjectives which the press of the time employed to describe the show itself, namely "charming", pleasant" and "often beguiling". It'll grow on me, but for the time being it seems kind of thin.

Give my playlist above a try. In the episode and on the original Varese release which I fell in love with, "My Secret" adds some helpful depth in the middle of the pilot score.

And I think that the trippy "The Chimes" goes on for a bit long. I do like the descending little cascades throughout that one, but I get the impression that the woozy, wavering effects are a nod to the comedy slant of the show. It's a bit like the music you'd hear in a comedy when a hypnotised person goes into a trance at an inadequate moment.

Actually, having watched the episode itself (albeit with German audio) -- it's not like that at all! It seems to be a legitimately eerie episode of the series, with very little if any of the typical series sitcom humor throughout the main body of the episode. Goldsmith's score is radically different from his first two for the series because the episode itself is a radically different one for the series. I don't think he was going for comedy with his score at all, and I must say this score never struck me as comedic.

ONLY IN AMERICA has a really good first seven seconds. Thereafter I'm afraid it's just not my cup of tea at all, although I'm sure it was perfect for the show. The good news is that it's only two minutes long. And the first seven seconds are really good.

But...but... that exact Americana material returns briefly at the *end* of the Main Title too...and at the end of "Close", and at the end of the End Title. wink So there are a few more seconds for you, at least. I have a feeling if we had the full score, that Americana theme would have been further developed on its own in the underscore. I really wish we could hear the full work.

ROOM 222 - I do like the theme, but by the end of the 13 minutes you'll hate it. I like how it's played on the recorder, but my favourite parts are when it's taken over by the trumpet. It's almost like a Charles Fox melody, even Burt Bacharach. Unfortunately it ends up sounding increasingly like a lot of short transitional cues spliced together (which I believe is what they are, especially for the episode "The Flu"). It even begins to sound like bumpers. And just when you think it has all come to an end, there's that goddam theme again. And again.

I didn't tire of the theme but I agree the whole affair is very bitty and feels like largely bumpers, which is why I also rated it low on the whole. I think Bacharach was definitely an influence on this and its FSM pairing, Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies (BTW especially if you don't have the FSM, you should pick up the LLL edition of that which is a big improvement...I went from disliking the score to liking it, thanks to Chris Malone's restoration work.)

I do share your general enthusiasm and preference for Disc 2 on this set, and am reminded that Steven was the first to chime in with that notion:

I haven't had a lot of time for music lately, nor even for a full discussion right now; yet as it happens, Yavar and Schiffy, A GIRL NAMED SOONER (especially with the improved sound which I had hoped this LLL release would offer over the older FSM issue) is my own #1 pick out of this splendid new Goldsmith set, while the sublime and delicate A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN is in solid second place.

PRUDENCE AND THE CHIEF I still find a bit disorienting, with the excellent theme and material so familiar from the later RIO LOBO heard here in such different dramatic contexts. But collectively, those three scores are why I have returned to this set's disc 2 multiple times while unfairly limiting the first disc to a single play so far.

Forgive me, Yavar, but later this weekend I'll try to apply specifics to my enthusiasm.


Steven, any further thoughts?

Yavar

 
 Posted:   Nov 12, 2022 - 12:59 AM   
 By:   chriss   (Member)

ONLY IN AMERICA has a really good first seven seconds. Thereafter I'm afraid it's just not my cup of tea at all, although I'm sure it was perfect for the show. The good news is that it's only two minutes long. And the first seven seconds are really good.

But...but... that exact Americana material returns briefly at the *end* of the Main Title too...and at the end of "Close", and at the end of the End Title. wink So there are a few more seconds for you, at least. I have a feeling if we had the full score, that Americana theme would have been further developed on its own in the underscore. I really wish we could hear the full work.


When I first heard that brief score I was surprised about that strong Americana material. I enjoy the music very much, the contrast between the Americana and jewish themes works wonderfully.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 12, 2022 - 2:59 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

ONLY IN AMERICA has a really good first seven seconds.

Could you be a bit more precise, please. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 13, 2022 - 7:37 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Calling Steven, calling Steven - Please report to your post to report further on your post.

Yavar, I get where you're coming from about ANNA AND THE KING, but I think I'll continue listening to it as it is on the disc. I don't like fannying around. Interesting to know that the woozy woo-woo music which I found slightly comical was actually done straight, for an unfunny weird episode. I suppose I'd been conditioned into thinking it was comical simply because I "knew" (thanks to you guys) that the show was a sitcom.

This needs more repeat listens. Meanwhile, calling Steven, callling Steven - Please report to your post to report further on your post. Thank you. You're welcome.

 
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