Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2023 - 9:13 AM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

Before I begin like I would normally, I have to make some initial comments. Long-time fans of the series already know most, if not all, of this, but I still feel the need to cover it.

First off: There was no "Columbo" TV series. Like the "Perry Mason" TV movies throughout the 1980's and 1990's, it was just a series of TV movies, which later on, people lumped into seasons. I'm not complaining, I like the idea of lumping TV movies about a character, into a series; like "season one" "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" is not a season, but a few TV movies. Same with "season one" of "Walker, Texas Ranger", or "season eight" of "In the Heat of the Night".

And that brings me to secondly: there is no "Columbo" series' theme music. A cue from an episode was used after-the-fact for television re-runs.

NOTE: Archive.org has a wonky video player. You must wait for the page to fully load, then click on the episode in the list to make the correct episode player, regardless of the link you use. Otherwise the video player will just load the first episode in the list. And if the page doesn't load fully, it will also fail to play or play the wrong episode. Archive.org pages tend to load slowly, so be patient. UPDATE: I have switched to embed links, so hopefully that solves the problem altogether.


INITIAL TV MOVIES:




"Prescription: Murder" (1968)
By: Dave Grusin
https://archive.org/embed/columbo/Columbo.S01E00.1968.Prescription.Murder.720p.BluRay.mkv

This is the only effort by Grusin for the franchise. I assume after several TV movies and being on the air for years, he probably lobbied unsuccessfully to have another go.

Highlights:
  • 0:00 in.^
  • 4:36 in.^(parts)
  • 10:48 in. And the cue after the commercial break.^(both)
  • 13:29 in.^
  • 15:55 in.^
  • 19:07 in.^
  • 22:03 in. Including anklungs. Almost five minutes long.^
  • 29:59 in. And the cue after the commercial break.^(both)
  • 41:44 in.^
  • 51:35 in.^
  • 58:03 in.^
  • 1:05:21 in.
  • 1:15:51 in. And the cue after the commercial break.^(both)
  • 1:26:30 in. And the cue after the commercial break. That cue, if slowed down and played with a noir-style sax', would have made a good theme, had it been a series with a regular opening credits.^(both)
  • 1:31:03 in.^
  • 1:37:22 in.^

    This TV movie was actually a remake of an episode of "Chevy Mystery Show", titled "Enough Rope" (1960). I have no idea who scored that (or even if no composer is credited). The episode was thought to be lost, but in 2021, UCLA streamed live a copy of the episode for a virtual event. Since then when anybody tries to upload it, it gets taken down, so alas ... I cannot cover it, only mention it.

    As I have never seen this TV movie, believe it or not, just the series, I've never seen such a young Lt. Columbo before! And he doesn't wear his trademark trench coat, but a suit.

    In the end, what got the killer was his arrogance and cockiness, and belief that despite what he said, he was smarter than Columbo.

    Some cues share similarities to cues from his replacement score to the film "Tell Them Willie Boy is Here".

    (Note to M e: 0:58 in -- composer credit)



    "Ransom For a Dead Man" (1971)
    By: Billy Goldenberg
    https://archive.org/embed/columbo/Columbo.S01E01.1971.Ransom.for.a.Dead.Man.720p.BluRay.mkv

    Highlights:
  • 0:00 in.
  • 20:20 in.
  • 26:20 in.
  • 41:18 in.
  • 42:26/45:17 in.
  • 1:01:58 in.
  • 1:04:15 in.
  • 1:13:43 in.
  • 1:17:57 in.
  • 1:23:21 in.

    There is an old promo (maybe a bootleg, I really have no idea) with what I assume is most of the score to this TV movie.

    While you can find the whole thing on Youtube, just over ten years ago I made a "best of" short suite:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPsT2G8TMd4

    Am I one of the few people who not only prefers of film look (as opposed to digital recordings), but those rainbow cross reflections on headlights from the recording?

    If you listen closely, the background airport source music in the final minutes of the episode, is using the main theme from this episode score. The volume goes up and it continues as the end credits music (about 1:34:12 in).

    Columbo: "With me, I'm a strange guy."

  •  
     Posted:   Jan 3, 2023 - 10:00 AM   
     By:   Mike Esssss   (Member)

    First off: There was no "Columbo" TV series. Like the "Perry Mason" TV movies throughout the 1980's and 1990's, it was just a series of TV movies, which later on, people lumped into seasons.

    Haha I'm slow on the uptake anyway but I literally just discovered this last weekend. The Sundance channel aired a Columbo marathon over the New Year's holiday and the time blocks were each over two hours, which I thought surely must be an error. A little armchair research later and nope, I was the error.

     
     Posted:   Jan 4, 2023 - 8:21 AM   
     By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

    "SEASON 1":




    "Murder By the Book"
    By: Billy Goldenberg
    https://archive.org/embed/columbo/Columbo.S01E02.1971.Murder.by.the.Book.720p.BluRay.mkv

    Highlights:
  • 5:58 in. First cue of the "episode", which seems to harken back to the backing of the car driving cue from "Psycho".^
  • 10:52 in.^
  • 14:41 in.^
  • 22:58 in.^
  • 25:02 in.^
  • 29:27 in.
  • 37:03 in.^
  • 50:29 in. I like the nice touch of a typewriter sounds used in a sort of echo-plex way. In fact, you can hear typewriter sounds in some of the cues in this score, but not in-your-face but rather melded together with the music in a clever way instead of a gimmick-y way.^
  • 51:35 in. Dinner source music. And the cue after the commercial break.^(both; first: parts, second: all)
  • 1:01:37 in.^
  • 1:08:11 in.^
  • 1:14:03 in. And the end credits music that immediately follows.^

    That's nearly the entire score I cited. I skipped one long restaurant source cue. The entire score should be released.

    About 26:50, because of the writing and acting, it was clear Columbo already knew the guy had done it, so his playing dumb was rather amusing. And by the same token, you an see the point where the bad guy realizes Columbo knows and has been playing him. Just brilliantly done all around.

    "You're always 'in the neighborhood'!"

  •  
     
     Posted:   Jan 4, 2023 - 9:35 AM   
     By:   roy phillippe   (Member)

    Before I begin like I would normally, I have to make some initial comments. Long-time fans of the series already know most, if not all, of this, but I still feel the need to cover it.

    First off: There was no "Columbo" TV series. Like the "Perry Mason" TV movies throughout the 1980's and 1990's, it was just a series of TV movies, which later on, people lumped into seasons. I'm not complaining, I like the idea of lumping TV movies about a character, into a series; like "season one" "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" is not a season, but a few TV movies. Same with "season one" of "Walker, Texas Ranger", or "season eight" of "In the Heat of the Night".

    And that brings me to secondly: there is no "Columbo" series' theme music. A cue from an episode was used after-the-fact for television re-runs.

    NOTE: Archive.org has a wonky video player. You must wait for the page to fully load, then click on the episode in the list to make the correct episode player, regardless of the link you use. Otherwise the video player will just load the first episode in the list. And if the page doesn't load fully, it will also fail to play or play the wrong episode. Archive.org pages tend to load slowly, so be patient. UPDATE: I have switched to embed links, so hopefully that solves the problem altogether.


    Does anyone know why Mancini's "Mystery Movie Theme" was replaced by something by Mike Post?
    INITIAL TV MOVIES:




    "Prescription: Murder" (1968)
    By: Dave Grusin
    https://archive.org/embed/columbo/Columbo.S01E00.1968.Prescription.Murder.720p.BluRay.mkv

    This is the only effort by Grusin for the franchise. I assume after several TV movies and being on the air for years, he probably lobbied unsuccessfully to have another go.

    Highlights:
  • 0:00 in.^
  • 4:36 in.^(parts)
  • 10:48 in. And the cue after the commercial break.^(both)
  • 13:29 in.^
  • 15:55 in.^
  • 19:07 in.^
  • 22:03 in. Including anklungs. Almost five minutes long.^
  • 29:59 in. And the cue after the commercial break.^(both)
  • 41:44 in.^
  • 51:35 in.^
  • 58:03 in.^
  • 1:05:21 in.
  • 1:15:51 in. And the cue after the commercial break.^(both)
  • 1:26:30 in. And the cue after the commercial break. That cue, if slowed down and played with a noir-style sax', would have made a good theme, had it been a series with a regular opening credits.^(both)
  • 1:31:03 in.^
  • 1:37:22 in.^

    This TV movie was actually a remake of an episode of "Chevy Mystery Show", titled "Enough Rope" (1960). I have no idea who scored that (or even if no composer is credited). The episode was thought to be lost, but in 2021, UCLA streamed live a copy of the episode for a virtual event. Since then when anybody tries to upload it, it gets taken down, so alas ... I cannot cover it, only mention it.

    As I have never seen this TV movie, believe it or not, just the series, I've never seen such a young Lt. Columbo before! And he doesn't wear his trademark trench coat, but a suit.

    In the end, what got the killer was his arrogance and cockiness, and belief that despite what he said, he was smarter than Columbo.

    Some cues share similarities to cues from his replacement score to the film "Tell Them Willie Boy is Here".

    (Note to M e: 0:58 in -- composer credit)



    "Ransom For a Dead Man" (1971)
    By: Billy Goldenberg
    https://archive.org/embed/columbo/Columbo.S01E01.1971.Ransom.for.a.Dead.Man.720p.BluRay.mkv

    Highlights:
  • 0:00 in.
  • 20:20 in.
  • 26:20 in.
  • 41:18 in.
  • 42:26/45:17 in.
  • 1:01:58 in.
  • 1:04:15 in.
  • 1:13:43 in.
  • 1:17:57 in.
  • 1:23:21 in.

    There is an old promo (maybe a bootleg, I really have no idea) with what I assume is most of the score to this TV movie.

    While you can find the whole thing on Youtube, just over ten years ago I made a "best of" short suite:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPsT2G8TMd4

    Am I one of the few people who not only prefers of film look (as opposed to digital recordings), but those rainbow cross reflections on headlights from the recording?

    If you listen closely, the background airport source music in the final minutes of the episode, is using the main theme from this episode score. The volume goes up and it continues as the end credits music (about 1:34:12 in).

    Columbo: "With me, I'm a strange guy."

  •  
     Posted:   Jan 4, 2023 - 9:41 AM   
     By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

    Roy, I don't see any comments from you, just quoting my entire first post. What were you going to say?

     
     
     Posted:   Jan 4, 2023 - 2:51 PM   
     By:   roy phillippe   (Member)

    Roy, I don't see any comments from you, just quoting my entire first post. What were you going to say?

    Sorry, my error. I am wondering is anyone knows why Mancini's "Mystery Movie Theme" was replaced by something by Mike Post.

     
     Posted:   Jan 4, 2023 - 4:02 PM   
     By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

    The Columbo score that most caught my ear was "The Greenhouse Jungle" by Oliver Nelson. It's a close precursor, a prequel, to The Six Million Dollar Man. And I knew it was Oliver Nelson long before checking the credits.

     
     
     Posted:   Jan 4, 2023 - 11:18 PM   
     By:   MarkS   (Member)

    Roy, I don't see any comments from you, just quoting my entire first post. What were you going to say?

    Sorry, my error. I am wondering is anyone knows why Mancini's "Mystery Movie Theme" was replaced by something by Mike Post.


    From 1971 to 1978, Columbo was shown as part of the NBC Mystery Movie which used the Mancini theme. In 1989, ABC revived the show as part of their ABC Mystery Movie which used the Mike Post theme. ABC would almost certainly not have been able to use the Mancini theme, even if they wanted to, as it belonged to NBC.

     
     Posted:   Jan 5, 2023 - 6:18 AM   
     By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

    From 1971 to 1978, Columbo was shown as part of the NBC Mystery Movie which used the Mancini theme. In 1989, ABC revived the show as part of their ABC Mystery Movie which used the Mike Post theme. ABC would almost certainly not have been able to use the Mancini theme, even if they wanted to, as it belonged to NBC.


    That explains it.

    I would only add that, if ABC had offered big money for the theme, NBC would have said "Okay, here ya go!" But ABC would have seen no reason for that.

     
     Posted:   Jan 5, 2023 - 8:37 AM   
     By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

    Continuing "SEASON 1":

    Pleas note: at a certain point I stopped noting the special end credits music. But assume I am counting it as a highlight, unless I state otherwise.



    "Death Lends a Hand"
    By: Gil Mellé
    https://archive.org/embed/columbo/Columbo.S01E03.1971.Death.Lends.a.Hand.720p.BluRay.mkv

    Highlights:
  • 7:38 in. First cue.^
  • 11:02 in. Shortly into the music takes over and has to really drive it from that point onward. For nearly five minutes. And the cue after the commercial break.^(both)
  • 23:02 in.^
  • 43:02 in.^
  • 56:23 in.
  • 1:01:20 in.^
  • 1:05:59 in.^
  • 1:08:27 in.^
  • 1:14:37 in. And the end credits music which immediately follows.^

    I'm surprised after an effective and interesting score like this, that Melle only scored a few episodes and in fact, disappears not too many "episodes" from this one.

    I cited every cue, so I might as well say the entire score should be released.

    Plot hole: How can the cop give him an escort to where Columbo needs to go? Columbo didn't tell him where he's going.

    (Note to Me: 1:15:40 in -- composer credit)

  •  
     Posted:   Jan 6, 2023 - 8:25 AM   
     By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

    Continuing "SEASON 1":




    "Dead Weight"
    By: Gil Mellé
    https://archive.org/embed/columbo/Columbo.S01E04.1971.Dead.Weight.720p.BluRay.mkv

    Highlights:
  • 0:00 in.^
  • 6:37 in.^
  • 10:54 in.^
  • 12:09 in. Short outtro cue (which I like). And the cue after the commercial break.^
  • 23:25 in.^
  • 32:46 in.^
  • 34:00 in.
  • 36:50 in.^
  • 42:48 in.^
  • 51:48 in.^
  • 53:33 in. And the cue after the commercial break.^
  • 56:36 in.^
  • 1:14:52 in. And the end credits music which follows.^

    Aside from one short cue and possible some source music, I cited nearly every single cue. The entire score should be released.

    (NtM: 5:55 / 1:!5:32 in -- composer credit)

  •  
     Posted:   Jan 9, 2023 - 9:13 AM   
     By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

    Continuing "SEASON 1":




    "Suitable For Framing"
    By: Billy Goldenberg
    https://archive.org/embed/columbo/Columbo.S01E05.1971.Suitable.for.Framing.720p.BluRay.mkv

    Highlights:
  • 0:56 in. Pauses for a few short seconds, then continues.^
  • 6:57 in.^
  • 10:08 in. The cue stops when party scenes intercut with it.^
  • 22:16 in.^
  • 34:31 in.^
  • 36:53 in.^
  • 40:40 in. Short outtro cue.^
  • 53:21 in.^
  • 1:02:20 in.^
  • 1:04:48 in.^
  • 1:07:53/1:09:00 in.^
  • 1:14:55 in. Followed by the end credits.^

    I cited all but one short closing cue and probably some source music, so I might as well say the entire score should be released.

    (NtM: 1:15:33 in -- composer credit)

  •  
     Posted:   Jan 9, 2023 - 10:07 AM   
     By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

    That's nearly the entire score I cited. I skipped one long restaurant source cue. The entire score should be released.

    I cited every cue, so I might as well say the entire score should be released.

    Aside from one short cue and possible some source music, I cited nearly every single cue. The entire score should be released.

    I cited all but one short closing cue and probably some source music, so I might as well say the entire score should be released.

    Hey, I've got a wild and crazy idea... how about a 2CD set including the complete scores for season 1? Since the final episode of the season is just 5 minutes of tracked music, they *all* fit neatly on 2 CDs, *including* both of the lengthier pilot scores!

    Of course I’d also happily purchase a 10 CD box set with all of the scores for the original run, in complete form. One of the few unreleased TV series scores I would be willing to shell out bigs bucks for, to get every note… the quality of scoring was just that consistent (until the series was revived in the late 80s…then some scores ranged from very good to quite mediocre).

    Yavar

     
     Posted:   Jan 9, 2023 - 10:12 AM   
     By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

    Re Suitable for Framing, here is a cool musical note (ahem): The Chopin etude "Tristesse" played at the beginning by the victim is woven through Godlenberg's score, but very subtly. Midway through the piece, it changes and almost sounds like then-current piano suspense music - that is a particularly noticeable moment, but I believe there is more.

    In this recording, starting at 2:15.

    Chopin Etude Op 10 No.3 Valentina Lisitsa

     
     Posted:   Jan 9, 2023 - 10:14 AM   
     By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

    Fish Man has a bunch of videos of ripped score from the series:
    https://www.youtube.com/@fishman3786/videos

    So it looks like I probably won't need to make any suites.

     
     Posted:   Jan 9, 2023 - 10:18 AM   
     By:   chriss   (Member)

    One of the source music pieces in Suitable for Framing is an adaption of "Pictures at an Exhibition" by Mussorgsky.

     
     Posted:   Jan 9, 2023 - 10:48 AM   
     By:   Jeyl   (Member)

    I must confess. I always liked this attempt at a Colombo theme from the episode ‘Columbo and the Guillotine’.

    @4:23

    https://youtu.be/fWBF_EG1Cr8

    I’d love to have that music from its source.

     
     Posted:   Jan 10, 2023 - 8:17 AM   
     By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

    Continuing "SEASON 1":




    "Lady in Waiting"
    By: Billy Goldenberg
    https://archive.org/embed/columbo/Columbo.S01E06.1971.Lady.in.Waiting.720p.BluRay.mkv

    Highlights:
  • 0:00 in.^ [2:33]
  • 5:28 in.
  • 15:22 in.^
  • 25:57 in.^
  • 42:51 in.^
  • 44:45 in.^
  • 53:49 in.^
  • 1:09:35 in.
  • 1:13:19 in. And the end credits music which follows.^

    This score was a hit and miss, for me. I don't think the full score needs to be released, but small selections.

    Leslie Nielsen also guest stars.

    Out-of-context quote...
    Columbo: "I had to wait for your fiancé to give it to me."

  •  
     
     Posted:   Jan 10, 2023 - 9:35 AM   
     By:   Thierry Schreurs   (Member)

    The Columbo score that most caught my ear was "The Greenhouse Jungle" by Oliver Nelson. It's a close precursor, a prequel, to The Six Million Dollar Man. And I knew it was Oliver Nelson long before checking the credits.

    Yes, absolutely, and this is my all-time favorite COLUMBO music score.
    Fishman did assemble a nice pseudo-stereo suite of this thing:

     
     
     Posted:   Jan 10, 2023 - 11:12 AM   
     By:   townerbarry   (Member)

    My favorites are Patrick Williams …wish someone would tackles these scores of Columbo!

    Try and Catch Me…Beautiful Score and Nominated..One of truly favorites..
    Make Me a Perfect ..another great score ..love the music cue when Kay is on her way to kill Mark, and when Kay is running back to the Projection Booth..Williams score is tense!!
    The Conspirators..Excellent Music
    How to Dial a Murder

    and Steven Spielberg’s Murder By the Book…wonderful score by Billy Goldenberg

     
    You must log in or register to post.
      Go to page:    
    © 2023 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.
    Website maintained and powered by Veraprise and Matrimont.