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 Posted:   Jun 3, 2012 - 7:59 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

While the time period between 1975 and 1982 is frequently cited as yielding the "best" soundtracks by either John Williams or Jerry Goldsmith, I consider this time span to contain the most fertile film scores by Stanley Myers (whose work is unfairly relegated into the shadows of others due to the lack of availability of much of Myers' sound recordings).

Submitted here are my 'top 5' Stanley Myers scores:

  • THE HOUSE OF MORTAL SIN (1975/'76) is also known as THE CONFESSIONAL and this, for me, represents the pinnacle of Myers' music for Pete Walker movies.



  • TAM LIN (1970). aka THE BALLAD OF TAM LIN, this film was the only one to be directed by actor Roddy McDowall and it had a troubled distribution .



  • INCUBUS (1981/'82), directed by John Hough.

  • ABSOLUTION (1978) is another effort which had distribution problems, but it's a well-written mystery-shocker, scripted by Anthony Shaffer with an anti-clerical bent.



  • THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS (1980) is Disney's occult/sci-fi mish-mash which failed to capture its pre-adolescent demographic, but that musical score is a personal holy grail for me (you hear that, Intrada?).

    Most of Stanley Myers' recording sessions were done in England at C.T.S. studios during the late 1960s, throughout the 1970s & into the early 1980s.
    It's peculiar that none of these have been issued onto CD albums by this time while all of Jerry Fielding's sessions @ C.T.S. have surfaced onto disc (some more than once) ...

  •  
     Posted:   Jun 3, 2012 - 8:15 PM   
     By:   Josh   (Member)







    I'm only familiar with those two but would love to see more Myers on CD.

     
     Posted:   Jun 3, 2012 - 9:25 PM   
     By:   Heath   (Member)

    Not too sure about the Pete Walker stuff, but the Tam Lin music sounds great. Never heard of it before. Thanks for that. Was it ever released I wonder?

    Myers was a highly distinct and recognisable voice in film music, although he did seem to share a musical spirit with Ron Grainer, not just because of Sitting Target's Omega Man like dynamics. His softer film music material took a similarly imaginative, slightly off-centre Grainer-ish approach too. Yet one was distinct from the other.

    Many of the films Myers scored have completely vanished, or have just fallen so far off the cultural radar that they're difficult to trace. That's a pity because they seem to have dragged some fine Myers music with them. Tam Lin case in point.

    I saw A Severed Head years ago. That had some nice Myers moments in it. But again, the film has vanished.

    He wrote some extraordinary music for the films of Nic Roeg - the main title to Eureka is amazing, unique and chilling in every sense. Prick Up Your Ears, for Stephen Frears, is gorgeous too. Myers took a leaf out of Kurt Weill for that one to brilliant effect. Then Elmer Bernstein, in turn, took a leaf from Prick Up Your Ears for The Grifters (also directed by Frears). Thus The Grifters is Bernstein in the style of Myers in the style of Weill. Phew! wink

     
     Posted:   Jun 3, 2012 - 10:07 PM   
     By:   Buscemi   (Member)

    I think the reason why Myers isn't more well-known is just two words: Hans Zimmer. His protege has surpassed him in popularity and with Zimmer having numerous proteges of his own, makes someone like Myers lost in time.

    Also, there's the fact that he passed away while other composers born in the same era (Goldsmith, Williams, etc.) or even earlier (Bernstein) were still doing high-quality work.

     
     Posted:   Jun 3, 2012 - 10:18 PM   
     By:   ToneRow   (Member)

    Not too sure about the Pete Walker stuff, but the Tam Lin music sounds great. Never heard of it before. Thanks for that. Was it ever released I wonder?


    You're welcome.

    Unfortunately, there was never any soundtrack album for TAM LIN - the picture itself had a difficult enough time just trying to get shown that an LP was probably never considered.
    The film was re-christianed THE DEVIL'S WIDOW for its delayed 1972 release.

    The only 35-mm print was Roddy McDowall's own copy, which Martin Scorsese helped to restore for its 1998 VHS home video debut.
    The VHS version is the source of that YouTube clip.

    I have that VHS, too, and it's a very literate film - one of my favorites.

     
     Posted:   Jun 3, 2012 - 10:37 PM   
     By:   ToneRow   (Member)

    I think the reason why Myers isn't more well-known is just two words: Hans Zimmer. His protege has surpassed him in popularity and with Zimmer having numerous proteges of his own, makes someone like Myers lost in time.

    Also, there's the fact that he passed away while other composers born in the same era (Goldsmith, Williams, etc.) or even earlier (Bernstein) were still doing high-quality work.


    This, unfortunately, is probably the case for the under-age-35 crowd - who have been exposed to Hans Zimmer's music first and look back at pre-1980s Stanley Myers as 'archival' material.

    However, speaking for myself, I began (during the mid-'80s) to collect LP soundtracks by Stanley Myers which were around before Hans Zimmer apprenticed under Myers.

    One of the most mind-bending LPs I have is the 1967 adaptation of James Joyce's ULYSSES:



    There's also Bryan Forbes' THE RAGING MOON:



    Plus a European-only LP of 1981's LADY CHATTERLY'S LOVER (on which Myers' collaborator for electronics was Richard Harvey, before Hans Zimmer entered into any mentorship with Myers)

     
     
     Posted:   Jun 3, 2012 - 11:26 PM   
     By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)

    The Witches...



    I actually just watched this film again the other day, and I must say Myers' score sits proudly among the best fantasy scores of the past 30 years -- which is saying a lot.

    I'd love to have heard what he might have come-up with for one of the Harry Potter movies.

     
     Posted:   Jun 4, 2012 - 7:58 AM   
     By:   Julian K   (Member)

    I saw A Severed Head years ago. That had some nice Myers moments in it. But again, the film has vanished.

    A Severed Head was recently released on DVD-R by Warners in the US, as part of their Archives series.

     
     
     Posted:   Jun 4, 2012 - 8:35 AM   
     By:   Thor   (Member)

    I have to go very conventional here and pick THE DEER HUNTER. Overused or not, "Cavatina" is an iconic piece of music. Funny how it often causes DOUBLE misunderstandings -- first when people say it was COMPOSED by John Williams, and then when they think it's the STAR WARS John Williams.

    I also love THE WITCHES. I remember seeing the movie with my mother (of all people) when I was a kid.

    I'm not terribly familiar with him beyond that. Of course, there's MOONLIGHTING. I've always wanted to check out more, but never got around to it.

     
     Posted:   Jun 4, 2012 - 9:39 AM   
     By:   SBD   (Member)

    I figure that, for people of a certain age, THE WITCHES is the first thing that comes to mind when they hear Stanley Myers. That main title is such a spellbinding piece of music.

     
     Posted:   Jun 4, 2012 - 10:14 AM   
     By:   David Kessler   (Member)

    ZERO BOYS

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=Smo_yptBNSY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuQ34wQKefk&feature=related

    co-composed by Hans Zimmer

     
     Posted:   Jun 4, 2012 - 11:50 AM   
     By:   First Breath   (Member)

    ZERO BOYS

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=Smo_yptBNSY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuQ34wQKefk&feature=related

    co-composed by Hans Zimmer


    That's one hell of a cool theme! Zimmer receives first credit, so I guess he did pretty much of it.

    I also like the following Myers-scores, all of them together with Zimmer:

    Paperhouse
    Taffin
    Castaway
    The Lightship
    Insignificance
    The Story Of O Part 2
    Deer Hunter (not with Zimmer)

     
     
     Posted:   Jun 4, 2012 - 1:19 PM   
     By:   Redokt64   (Member)

    Two of my favorites have not been released (as far as I know)... both were for director John Hough. Watcher in the Woods... and Incubus.

     
     
     Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 9:47 AM   
     By:   TruPretender   (Member)

    Watcher in the Woods, Incubus, and The Witches. Stanley Meyers was terrific. I can't believe more of his work hasn't been released, let alone recognized.

     
     Posted:   Jun 7, 2012 - 3:23 PM   
     By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

    I don't have a lot of his work in my collection, but I am a proud owner of 'The Martian Chronicals'.

     
     
     Posted:   Jun 7, 2012 - 6:37 PM   
     By:   Morricone   (Member)

    Even though it wasn't written for DEER HUNTER "Cavatina" was written by Myers and is memorable in the film.
    Personally I discovered Myers with KALEIDOSCOPE, my first LP of his:








     
     Posted:   Jan 30, 2013 - 4:23 PM   
     By:   pooter   (Member)

    I've just finished watching the Pete Walker DVD Box Set that has so many great Stanley Myers scores in it.

    Is there ANY chance of a release of stuff like Frightmare, House of Mortal Sin or The Comeback?

     
     
     Posted:   Jan 30, 2013 - 4:37 PM   
     By:   regis.j.nowicki   (Member)

    Let us not forget "Kaleidoscope", a delightfully good listening experience and a perfect match for the tongue-in-cheek caper film. Aa usual a marvelous job on the titles by Maurice Binder which meshed well with the music.

     
     
     Posted:   Jan 30, 2013 - 7:08 PM   
     By:   dan the man   (Member)

    Could somebody tell me who actually composed CAVATINA- WAS IT JOHN WILLIAMS, STANLEY MYERS or somebody else? I once heard a opera singer , sing that piece , it was one of the most touching songs i ever heard.

     
     Posted:   Jan 30, 2013 - 8:01 PM   
     By:   ToneRow   (Member)

    The "Cavatina" was originally written by Stanley Myers for THE WALKING STICK (1970)



    John Williams (the guitarist John Williams, not the film composer) was the performer, which is why his name is usually attached to the "Cavatina" (which became better known from its recycling by Myers into THE DEER HUNTER).

     
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