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 Posted:   Feb 6, 2011 - 9:51 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

I just realized I don't have anything by Jerry Fielding.

This is in part because I'm focused on second-hand LPs more than boutique CDs.

So, I'm wondering if there is any consensus on his very best scores - at least the ones that are available on LP or CD.

 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2011 - 9:53 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

I'm going to suggest two scores that are a-typical Fielding because I am not a fan of the his bigger titles. Personally I find Straw Dogs and Black Bird to be wonderful scores but the only two Fieldings I enjoy.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2011 - 9:57 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Thanks.

I should probably say at this point that I'm not into post-Star Wars/Spielberg neo-conservative kitsch, nor am into the moldy old has-beens from the so-called "golden age." So, if it's jazzy, or funky, or dissonant, or experimental, or some combination thereof, it may be right up my alley.

 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2011 - 10:15 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

I just realized I don't have anything by Jerry Fielding.

This is in part because I'm focused on second-hand LPs more than boutique CDs.

So, I'm wondering if there is any consensus on his very best scores - at least the ones that are available on LP or CD.


There's more than 1 straight answer, because over half of the LPs on which Jerry Fielding soundtracks reside were themselves special/limited edition promos.

The 4 major commercial releases on vinyl were:

  • ADVISE AND CONSENT (1962) on RCA Victor
  • THE WILD BUNCH (1969) on Warner Bros. records
  • THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES (1976) on Warner Bros.
  • THE GAUNTLET (1977) also on Warner

    Of these 4, I'd select THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES as the LP which best represented Fielding's use of dissonance for a Western.
    THE GAUNTLET is adequate, if you wish to sample Fielding's urban jazz approach.
    I have a soft spot for ADVISE AND CONSENT which, despite the Samba source cues, is rather descriptive: evocative of Washington DC municipal buildings, offices and corridors, in a sort of early '60s soap-opera mode (like George Duning or Alex North), but a bit eerie as well, with one of the tracks containing a man whistling (for a telephone/blackmail scene) and another track being music for a suicide scene.
    Despite the reputation of THE WILD BUNCH, this has been my least favorite Fielding Western, since much of it is jovial music in Mexican mariachi idioms.

    In 1978, Citadel records released a 2-disc gatefold album containing much of the early '70s masterpieces which were recorded in England at C.T.S. Studio by Richard Lewzy.
    I recommend this 2-LP set overall, but this might be very hard to locate.
    Although Fielding's highly-touted score for Peckinpah's STRAW DOGS is the main attraction in this set, I personally prefer Fielding's music for the films of Michael Winner. THE MECHANIC is the absolute pinnacle of Fielding's modern atonality, sounding at times like a concert work for piano and orchestra by a Witold Lutoslawski or a Toru Takemitsu.
    The Winner/Fielding Western - LAWMAN - is also a breathtakingly great score.
    The other title here is CHATO'S LAND, which is par for the course to me.

    2 other special releases appeared as well: THE NIGHTCOMERS, on a private Tony Thomas pressing, and SCORPIO, which was released on Elmer Bernstein's FSC label.
    I love THE NIGHTCOMERS; though it's written in a late 1800s vein - all stately British in character (think Elgar), the so-called 'waltz' theme is actually based upon a 12-tone technique!
    SCORPIO is more conventional and cosmopolitan, underscoring globe-trotting espionage.

    I have to be honest and say that the Fielding Renaissance on Compact Disc that we've witnessed over the past half-dozen years truly presents Fielding's scores as they should have been done years ago. These expanded and complete CD editions really aid in representing Fielding's music during his 'comeback' in the 21st century. The CDs for LAWMAN and THE MECHANIC and THE NIGHTCOMERS all benefit in their expanded forms, plus we get previously unreleased Fielding such as BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA and DEMON SEED (DEMON SEED is must-have for its atonal strings and experimental electronic music!)

  •  
     Posted:   Feb 6, 2011 - 10:20 PM   
     By:   Josh   (Member)

    ...if it's jazzy, or funky, or dissonant, or experimental, or some combination thereof, it may be right up my alley.

    It's not Fielding, but it fits the description like a glove:



    http://store.intrada.com/s.nl/it.A/id.6742/.f


    And I've yet to meet a Fielding score I didn't love, but within the funky/jazzy realm, THE SUPER COPS is tops!

    http://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/5047/ZIGZAG-THE-SUPER-COPS/

     
     
     Posted:   Feb 6, 2011 - 10:21 PM   
     By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

    Tonerow, your descriptions are exquisite and appreciated.

     
     Posted:   Feb 6, 2011 - 10:31 PM   
     By:   LoriMagno   (Member)

    A second vote for Straw Dogs - it's rich, evocative, mysterious. It will also haunt your dreams.

     
     Posted:   Feb 6, 2011 - 11:24 PM   
     By:   ToneRow   (Member)

    Tonerow, your descriptions are exquisite and appreciated.

    Thanks.

    I agree with you regarding your parameters; my favorite period in the timeline is from around 1956 to about 1974.
    But I also have favorites before '56, and after '74 as well.

    If we share some tastes in music, perhaps then you'll believe me when I tell you that I love a number of 1950s scores by composers such as Hugo Friedhofer, Franz Waxman, Dimitri Tiomkin and Bronislau Kaper. I can't imagine living without my ABOVE AND BEYOND album by Friedhofer. Grim music for the dropping of the bomb over Hiroshima during WW II.
    Not all Golden Age scores are in the Korngold/Max Steiner molds of Germanic Romanticism, which I don't cotton up to (nor those syrupy strings of Frank Skinner).

    And while I don't care for the major mode heroic marches of John Williams, there are some great late '70s and early '80s scores, too, such as the Australian thrillers of Brian May and Philippe Sarde's primordial QUEST FOR FIRE - performed by 2(!) orchestras, a chorus and a percussion ensemble! Check out DANTON by Jean Prodromides if you love challenging dissonance!

     
     Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 2:50 AM   
     By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

    Thanks.

    I should probably say at this point that I'm not into post-Star Wars/Spielberg neo-conservative kitsch, nor am into the moldy old has-beens from the so-called "golden age." So, if it's jazzy, or funky, or dissonant, or experimental, or some combination thereof, it may be right up my alley.


    "I'm not into post-Star Wars/Spielberg neo-conservative kitsch..." Love that description! LOL

    Do check out HUNTERS ARE FOR KILLING (1970), it has all the elements you describe and even better, it's still available right here from our friends at FSM. Lounge source, jazzy travelling, psychedelic trippy cues, and a tremendous main title for a forgotten TV movie featuring a bad ass, 'stacheless Burt Reynolds. You're gonna love it.

     
     
     Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 5:20 AM   
     By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

    Thanks all. I should add that my previous golden age comment was in jest, but the later cutoff point was not. wink

     
     Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 6:04 AM   
     By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

    A second vote for Straw Dogs - it's rich, evocative, mysterious. It will also haunt your dreams.


    ...and in your case, for free!

     
     Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 6:21 AM   
     By:   Loren   (Member)

    ...there are some great late '70s and early '80s scores, too, such as the Australian thrillers of Brian May and Philippe Sarde's primordial QUEST FOR FIRE - performed by 2(!) orchestras, a chorus and a percussion ensemble!...

    I totally agree. Maybe QUEST FOR FIRE (aka GUERRE DU FEU) is the best French soundtrack ever written.

    Back to Fielding: I would start with THE GAUNTLET and SUPERCORPS, really enjoyable.

     
     Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 12:47 PM   
     By:   Grecchus   (Member)

    I've been eyeing up Gray Lady Down for a while but . . . Fielding is not my number one choice. Still, I do want that score because for some reason I associate with it. What I find fascinating is why hasn't anyone else made a mention? Does the score not cut it in any particular way?

     
     Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 12:52 PM   
     By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

    I've been eyeing up Gray Lady Down for a while but . . . Fielding is not my number one choice. Still, I do want that score because for some reason I associate with it. What I find fascinating is why hasn't anyone else made a mention? Does the score not cut it in any particular way?

    It doesn't have the jazzy, funky, and experimental feel that onya prefers. It does have a few "Killer Elite"-sounding things in it but as far as Fielding the "bold experimenter" goes, it's not up there with the other titles mentioned.

     
     
     Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 1:34 PM   
     By:   KeV McG   (Member)

    I would suggest OUTLAW JOSEY WALES (the LP is a perfect programme - althought the rare expanded CD has some cool extra music) and SUPERCOPS, which will help you decide if you dig the music of Jerry Fielding.
    OUTLAW was my first exposure to his coolness, althought it's only been the last few years that his magnificence has been truly revealed to me.

     
     Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 2:36 PM   
     By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

    althought it's only been the last few years that his magnificence has been truly revealed to me.

    Same here. Reconnecting with the Kolchak TV series upon that show's release on DVD got me to appreciate Jerry's brilliance.

    Any '70s film music admirer should give Fielding a try. I found it best to begin listening in context with the movie or show his scores accompany, but I know the majority(?) here only listen to the music by itself; a bizarre "lifestyle choice", for sure. wink

     
     
     Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 2:54 PM   
     By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

    Any '70s film music admirer should give Fielding a try. I found it best to begin listening in context with the movie or show his scores accompany, but I know the majority(?) here only listen to the music by itself; a bizarre "lifestyle choice", for sure. wink

    It doesn't help that his work was not as readily and inexpensively available as that of his contemporaries - at least that I'm aware.

     
     Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 2:54 PM   
     By:   Ray Worley   (Member)

    I would highly recommend both THE WILD BUNCH and OUTLAW JOSEY WALES...they are the two scores that brought me to my appreciation of Fielding (and both on LP, though not common).
    Fair warning, this...

    Despite the reputation of THE WILD BUNCH, this has been my least favorite Fielding Western, since much of it is jovial music in Mexican mariachi idioms.



    ...is a wild mis-characterization of THE WILD BUNCH. Granted, the score draws heavily on Mexican melody, but there are only a couple of cues which could credibly be described as "jovial [mariachi] music". Unfortunately they are all on the LP, so the CD gives a much better representation of the score as a whole. Some of the most complex and exciting action music ever written is to be found in the cues "Adventures on the High Road" and "The Assault on the Train and Escape"

     
     Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 3:06 PM   
     By:   RR Aitken   (Member)

    I say get hooked on Jery Fielding any way you can.
    Straw Dogs, The Mechanic, Nightcomers, Hunters are For Killing, The Wild Bunch, The Black Bird. Seeing Straw Dogs for the first time at a repertory cinema made me a Fielding fan, and I was thrilled to be able to buy the score on the first Bay Cities Film Music cd. I hope we will see more Fielding scores released on cd. He is one of the greatest composers and I love his work.

     
     Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 3:50 PM   
     By:   wayoutwest   (Member)

    My favorites

    The Mechanic
    Lawman
    The Wild Bunch (Expanded)
    Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
    Scorpio

     
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