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 Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 7:28 AM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

At this distance in time, Mainstream Records seems to be remembered today by the soundtrack collecting community only for its soundtrack LPs which had less-than-satisfactory sound quality.

Rather than focusing on Mainstream's sonic reproduction, I wish, instead, to draw attention to this label's selection criteria, which differed quite a bit from other major labels (such as Columbia and MGM records, to cite only 2).

Created in 1964 by Bob Shad, Mainstream Records released around 20 soundtrack albums over a 2-year period during 1965 and 1966. By 1967, Mainstream apparently shifted its concentration away from soundtrack albums and continued to release jazz music (its core market) well into the 1970s. Bob Shad died in 1985, and his daughter re-issued a number of back-catalogue titles onto CDs by 1991, after which the entire catalogue was purchased by Sony/Legacy.

But what a catalogue it was!

Here's my listing of all the titles I'm aware of, in order by their monaural product ID # :

  • 4000 The Gospel According To Saint Matthew
  • 4001 Gulliver's Travels Beyond The Moon
  • 56053 The Collector
  • 56056 Baby The Rain Must Fall
  • 56057 The Moment Of Truth
  • 56061 King Rat
  • 56062 Juliet Of The Spirits
  • 56064 The Heroes Of Telemark
  • 56067 The Lollipop Cover
  • 56068 A Patch Of Blue
  • 56070 The Square Root Of Zero
  • 56071 The Tenth Victim
  • 56072 That Man In Istanbul
  • 56073 The Trouble With Angels
  • 56077 Stagecoach
  • 56078 Harper
  • 56080 Walk, Don't Run
  • 56081 The Blue Max
  • 56082 The Shop On Main Street
  • 56088 The Wrong Box

    If I've overlooked any title, please feel free to chime in and offer any additional information.

    As small as this group is (in comparison to the number of soundtrack albums released by other American record labels), it reflects eclectic tastes and an impressive international range.

    Interestingly for an American record label, just two-thirds of these soundtracks are from English language movies (and within this subset, the movies are divided between Hollywood, British, and 2 smaller independent films). Of the non-English language titles, 4 of them (one-fifth of this catalogue) are Italian (representing one film apiece from directors Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Francesco Rosi, & Elio Petri). Regarding the others, one is an award-winning film from the Czech Republic, another a B-movie from Spain, plus one from a Japanese animation (English-dubbed, I think).

    As much as we love our specialty labels of today (like FSM, Varese Sarabande, Intrada, etc.), is there any single current soundtrack label that issues albums from across the globe, ranging from grade-A Hollywood productions to international "art" films to children's shows to lower-budget Euro flicks, etc?

    I realize current licensing/copyright situations help determine the releases of indigenous vintage sound recordings (FSM basically works with recordings made in the U.S., Italian labels issue music recorded in Italy, and so forth), but which record label in the 21st century does now what Mainstream Records did during those 2 years? While BSX Records issued a CD from "Coeurs" ("Private Fears In Public Places"), a film directed by Alain Resnais, this was more likely because Mark Snow wrote the music rather than any burning desire by BSX to tap into the French film circuit, I dare say.

    If Mainstream Records had continued to release soundtracks into the late 1960s and early 1970s, one could only wonder what else they would have done. Maybe Mainstream might have issued an LP from another Elio Petri movie with a score by Ennio Morricone (such as "A Quiet Place In The Country" or "Investigation Of A Citizen Above Suspicion")? Perhaps the reason why Mainstream ceased soundtrack production (and this is sheer speculation) may have been because some of the sound recording elements from the type of films they targeted for release remained in mono, and Mainstream may not have wished to deal any longer with electronically enhancing their albums for a public increasingly expecting authentic and good-sounding stereo. American mono LPs were eventually phased out by 1968; however, some film recording sessions in Great Britain and Italy continued to be monaural for some time after that (as was American TV music).
    If anyone out there on the Board can offer additional insight into this, it would be appreciated.

    Next, if one is not yet convinced of the merits of Mainstream's repertoire, consider the composers:

  • No less than 4 titles composed by Jerry Goldsmith (one-fifth of their catalogue)
  • 2 John Barry scores from Bryan Forbes films
  • 2 soundtracks by Piero Piccioni, that, without Mainstream, probably would have never been issued in the U.S.
  • 1 soundtrack apiece from talents like Malcolm Arnold, Elmer Bernstein, Georges Garvarentz, Maurice Jarre, Quincy Jones, Zdenek Liska, John Mandel, Nino Rota, plus others...

    Jerry Goldsmith's discography was meager indeed prior to Mainstream championing his music. Goldsmith had no soundtrack LPs from his films during 1962 & 1964. In 1963, Epic records released "Lilies Of The Field", his first full-length LP; MGM issued only 4 tracks from his score to "The Prize". Mainstream's "A Patch Of Blue" was the only other Goldsmith soundtrack from 1965 besides RCA's "In Harm's Way". Amazingly, Mainstream issued 3 Goldsmith albums in 1966 (one-half of his output that year). After a somewhat disappointing 1967 and no more soundtrack LPs from Mainstream, I find it interesting that some Goldsmith soundtracks from 1968 & '69 were issued on lesser-known labels such as Project 3 and Tetragrammaton, almost as if these labels were carrying on the torch of Goldsmith music that Mainstream had dropped.

    Would ColPix Records have issued Maurice Jarre's "The Collector" or John Barry's "King Rat" if Mainstream hadn't? One wonders.

    Mainstream had introduced Piero Piccioni to the American record-buying public ; would MGM have ever released Piccioni's "More Than A Miracle" without Piccioni's prior exposure on Mainstream?

    While RCA had issued a number of Nino Rota soundtrack LPs ("La Dolce Vita", "Rocco And His Brothers", "8 1/2"), why didn't RCA release Rota's "Juliet Of The Spirits" which, instead, appeared on Mainstream?

    I can think of no other record label that would have the gumption to release Jan Kadar's "The Shop On Main Street", yet Mainstream did it! I doubt very much if Zdenek Liska's music for "Adrift" would have ever appeared on LP if Mainstream did not showcase Liska's score for "The Shop On Main Street" first.

    Notice, also, that Mainstream never had any of the (so-called) "Golden Age" composers on their albums; Miklos Rozsa and Dimitri Tiomkin plus others are nowhere to be found in the Mainstream catalogue. This indicates to me that the decision-making people behind Mainstream records were very much on the cutting edge, featuring scores written by composers who were relatively new to the film industry, like Quincy Jones and Elliot Kaplan.

    I'm sure there are members on the Board here who were born during the 1950s and whose earliest soundtracks they had gotten might have been on the Mainstream label. Please feel free to share your input.
    (Is there anybody out there whose first Goldsmith soundtrack was on Mainstream? Was it one of the 'blues', like "The BLUE Max" or "A Patch Of BLUE"?)

  •  
     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 7:46 AM   
     By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

    I have a number of these. Not the best pressings in the world, especially the stereo versions. The mono LPs sound much better.

    I was thrilled years back to find a pristine copy of "The Tenth Victim" for a dollar!

    Was the label that released all the Elmer Bernstein albums related to Mainstream, or was it totally different?

     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 8:03 AM   
     By:   ToneRow   (Member)

    I have a number of these. Not the best pressings in the world, especially the stereo versions. The mono LPs sound much better.

    I was thrilled years back to find a pristine copy of "The Tenth Victim" for a dollar!

    Was the label that released all the Elmer Bernstein albums related to Mainstream, or was it totally different?


    I own 14 of these!
    Got to have nothing but admiration for an American label which issued Piccioni's "The Tenth Victim"! Can you imagine any other doing that? Perhaps a label like Philips would be the most likely to release a soundtrack from a non-English film, although sometimes labels such as RCA Victor, United Artists, & MGM issued non-Hollywood soundtracks.

    I am not sure of the connection Mainstream had with Ava Records.
    Ava released a number of Elmer Bernstein titles from the early 1960s (like '62 - '64), such as "To Kill A Mockingbird", "Walk On The Wild Side", "The Carpetbaggers", etc.
    It appears that Mainstream may have picked up where Ava left off with his "Baby The Rain Must Fall", which I think appeared on BOTH labels. Perhaps Mainstream purchased the Ava catalogue? Or else Ava simply gave the rights to Mainstream.
    But it does seem like there was a brief interface between the two...

     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 11:34 AM   
     By:   chriss   (Member)

    In 1963, Epic records released "Lilies Of The Field", his first full-length LP

    One can only wonder that "Lilies Of The Field" has not been re-released yet!

     
     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 11:50 AM   
     By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

    In 1963, Epic records released "Lilies Of The Field", his first full-length LP

    One can only wonder that "Lilies Of The Field" has not been re-released yet!


    "Lilies of the Field" appeared on a short-lived 1997 CD from Pendulum Entertainment Group (PEG 009 A28549, UPC 7-0640-40009-2-8).

     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 11:52 AM   
     By:   chriss   (Member)

    Oh, I thought there was only that Tsunami LP-transfer.

    Is the score now a candidate for FSM or Intrada? smile

     
     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 12:08 PM   
     By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

    Oh, I thought there was only that Tsunami LP-transfer.

    Is the score now a candidate for FSM or Intrada? smile


    Epic Records is now owned by Sony, but licensing the Columbia/Epic record catalog seems to be difficult. FSM has issued a few (“The Swimmer,” “Checkmate”). The original tracks to this United Artists film, if they exist, would be with MGM, but any release of those would probably still have to be coordinated with Sony Records, which has the LP rights.

     
     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 12:29 PM   
     By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

    There are listings for two other Mainstream soundtrack LPs, after “The Wrong Box.”

    Although I’ve never seen a copy of it, there is a listing for a Mainstream soundtrack to the compilation film “Chaplin’s Art of Comedy,” which has a score by Elias Breeskin. The catalog number is 56089.

    The film was released in 1966 by Hemisphere Pictures, and is a survey of Charles Chaplin's early career using re-edited footage from: The Tramp (1915), Bank (1915), Champion (1915), His New Job (1915), A Night Out (1915), Police (1916), A Night in the Show (1915), In the Park (1915), and A Woman (1915). The film was narrated by Dave Anderson.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Then there is catalog number 56090 which is listed as the soundtrack to “Gypsy Girl,” also known in the U.K. as “Sky West and Crooked.” This 1966 Hayley Mills drama was directed by John Mills and was released in the U.S. by Continental Distributing. The film had a score by Malcolm Arnold.

     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 12:36 PM   
     By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

    In 1963, Epic records released "Lilies Of The Field", his first full-length LP

    One can only wonder that "Lilies Of The Field" has not been re-released yet!


    "Lilies of the Field" appeared on a short-lived 1997 CD from Pendulum Entertainment Group (PEG 009 A28549, UPC 7-0640-40009-2-8).



    I got a copy of that on ebay in 2004 for $17.00.

     
     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 12:37 PM   
     By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

    Is there anybody out there whose first Goldsmith soundtrack was on Mainstream? Was it one of the 'blues', like "The BLUE Max" or "A Patch Of BLUE"?

    Close. My first soundtrack LP purchase of any kind was Mainsteam's "Stagecoach," first in mono, and then later (as a cut-out) in stereo.

     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 1:20 PM   
     By:   ToneRow   (Member)

    There are listings for two other Mainstream soundtrack LPs, after “The Wrong Box.”

    Although I’ve never seen a copy of it, there is a listing for a Mainstream soundtrack to the compilation film “Chaplin’s Art of Comedy,” which has a score by Elias Breeskin. The catalog number is 56089.

    The film was released in 1966 by Hemisphere Pictures, and is a survey of Charles Chaplin's early career using re-edited footage from: The Tramp (1915), Bank (1915), Champion (1915), His New Job (1915), A Night Out (1915), Police (1916), A Night in the Show (1915), In the Park (1915), and A Woman (1915). The film was narrated by Dave Anderson.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Then there is catalog number 56090 which is listed as the soundtrack to “Gypsy Girl,” also known in the U.K. as “Sky West and Crooked.” This 1966 Hayley Mills drama was directed by John Mills and was released in the U.S. by Continental Distributing. The film had a score by Malcolm Arnold.


    Thank you very much for contributing these 2 additions.
    I have never seen nor heard either of them, and I'm fan of Malcolm Arnold, too! embarrassment

     
     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 1:27 PM   
     By:   haineshisway   (Member)

    There are listings for two other Mainstream soundtrack LPs, after “The Wrong Box.”

    Although I’ve never seen a copy of it, there is a listing for a Mainstream soundtrack to the compilation film “Chaplin’s Art of Comedy,” which has a score by Elias Breeskin. The catalog number is 56089.

    The film was released in 1966 by Hemisphere Pictures, and is a survey of Charles Chaplin's early career using re-edited footage from: The Tramp (1915), Bank (1915), Champion (1915), His New Job (1915), A Night Out (1915), Police (1916), A Night in the Show (1915), In the Park (1915), and A Woman (1915). The film was narrated by Dave Anderson.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Then there is catalog number 56090 which is listed as the soundtrack to “Gypsy Girl,” also known in the U.K. as “Sky West and Crooked.” This 1966 Hayley Mills drama was directed by John Mills and was released in the U.S. by Continental Distributing. The film had a score by Malcolm Arnold.


    Thank you very much for contributing these 2 additions.
    I have never seen nor heard either of them, and I'm fan of Malcolm Arnold, too! embarrassment


    Both the Chaplin and Gypsy Girl were readily available in the cut-out bins of most major record stores right into the 1970s.

     
     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 1:42 PM   
     By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

    There are listings for two other Mainstream soundtrack LPs, after “The Wrong Box.”

    Although I’ve never seen a copy of it, there is a listing for a Mainstream soundtrack to the compilation film “Chaplin’s Art of Comedy,” which has a score by Elias Breeskin. The catalog number is 56089.

    The film was released in 1966 by Hemisphere Pictures, and is a survey of Charles Chaplin's early career using re-edited footage from: The Tramp (1915), Bank (1915), Champion (1915), His New Job (1915), A Night Out (1915), Police (1916), A Night in the Show (1915), In the Park (1915), and A Woman (1915). The film was narrated by Dave Anderson.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Then there is catalog number 56090 which is listed as the soundtrack to “Gypsy Girl,” also known in the U.K. as “Sky West and Crooked.” This 1966 Hayley Mills drama was directed by John Mills and was released in the U.S. by Continental Distributing. The film had a score by Malcolm Arnold.


    Thank you very much for contributing these 2 additions.
    I have never seen nor heard either of them, and I'm fan of Malcolm Arnold, too! embarrassment


    Both the Chaplin and Gypsy Girl were readily available in the cut-out bins of most major record stores right into the 1970s.


    By the way, "The Heroes Of Telemark" is one of Sir Malcolm Arnold's worst sounding soundtrack albums (it sounds like it was recorded through a drainpipe), while "The Square Root Of Zero" was Eliot Kaplan's only film score that was ever put on an album.

     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 1:53 PM   
     By:   ToneRow   (Member)


    Both the Chaplin and Gypsy Girl were readily available in the cut-out bins of most major record stores right into the 1970s.


    This is interesting to hear about.
    By the time I started collecting LPs during the 1980s, none of the used book stores (at least those here in Philadelphia, anyway) I frequented in search of soundtracks had either of those titles, though I did encounter a clean copy of "The Trouble With Angels" once, I never owned it...

     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 1:55 PM   
     By:   ToneRow   (Member)


    By the way, "The Heroes Of Telemark" is one of Sir Malcolm Arnold's worst sounding soundtrack albums (it sounds like it was recorded through a drainpipe), while "The Square Root Of Zero" was Eliot Kaplan's only film score that was ever put on an album.


    That is ... until some label issues Kaplan's "Food Of The Gods" for us someday! big grin

     
     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 2:24 PM   
     By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

    "The Square Root Of Zero" was Eliot Kaplan's only film score that was ever put on an album.



    There was also an RCA LP for the little-seen 1967 film "Finnegans Wake" for which Kaplan wrote the score. I've never heard the album, but I imagine that it is more of a spoken word album, with Kaplan's score heard only under the readings, if at all.

     
     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 2:49 PM   
     By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

    I find it interesting that some Goldsmith soundtracks from 1968 & '69 were issued on lesser-known labels such as Project 3 and Tetragrammaton, almost as if these labels were carrying on the torch of Goldsmith music that Mainstream had dropped.


    Don't forget Goldsmith's score for 1969's "Justine," which was issued on the Monument label. Monument issued only three soundtracks of which I am aware, the others being Harry Sukman's "Around the World Under the Sea" and Toshirô Mayuzumi's "Tokyo Olympiad."

     
     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 3:06 PM   
     By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

    Mainstream had introduced Piero Piccioni to the American record-buying public ; would MGM have ever released Piccioni's "More Than A Miracle" without Piccioni's prior exposure on Mainstream?


    I believe that the first Piccioni score to be released in the U.S. was from the Italian film "Il Diavolo," which was released in 1963 on London Records under the film's U.S. title "To Bed or Not To Bed."

     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 3:47 PM   
     By:   MusicUnite   (Member)

    >> which is listed as the soundtrack to “Gypsy Girl,” also known in the U.K. as “Sky West and >>Crooked.” This 1966 Hayley Mills drama was directed by John Mills and was released in the >>U.S. by Continental Distributing. The film had a score by Malcolm Arnold.

    'Sky West & Crooked' must be one of the most deceptive 'soundtrack' albums ever....there is not a single note of Arnold's music on it. All of the so-called music is by Milton & Anne Delugg (...and we all know what house-hold names they are).

    Think of this Mainstream album as the first 'music inspired by' soundtrack.

    Arnold should have sued.

    Jay

     
     Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 4:14 PM   
     By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

    >> which is listed as the soundtrack to “Gypsy Girl,” also known in the U.K. as “Sky West and >>Crooked.” This 1966 Hayley Mills drama was directed by John Mills and was released in the >>U.S. by Continental Distributing. The film had a score by Malcolm Arnold.

    'Sky West & Crooked' must be one of the most deceptive 'soundtrack' albums ever....there is not a single note of Arnold's music on it. All of the so-called music is by Milton & Anne Delugg (...and we all know what house-hold names they are).

    Think of this Mainstream album as the first 'music inspired by' soundtrack.

    Arnold should have sued.

    Jay


    Milton Delugg, as any long-time tv watcher knows, was the music director for Ed Sullivan, Perry Como, Herb Shriner, "What's My Line?" and yes, even Chuck Barris (to name but a few) in a prolific tv career.

    Long time no see, Jay!

     
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