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The Subterraneans (1960)
Music by Andre Previn
The Subterraneans The Subterraneans
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $19.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Golden Age
CD Release: January 2005
Catalog #: Vol. 7, No. 19
# of Discs: 1

Released by Special Arrangement with Turner Classic Movies Music

The Subterraneans (1960) was an attempt to package the Beat generation for mainstream consumption. Based on the novel by Jack Kerouac, the film was produced by the legendary Arthur Freed and starred George Peppard, Leslie Caron and Roddy McDowall. Its reception was mixed but stellar in one key respect: the progressive jazz soundtrack—one of the all-time best—composed and conducted by André Previn.

Previn was the ideal composer to pull off such a marriage: at once a classically trained musician who scored a bevy of high-profile pictures for M-G-M in the 1950s, he was also a talented jazz pianist who soaked up the atmosphere of the West Coast jazz movement—all at 31 years of age.

Previn assembled a world-class roster of jazz artists: Gerry Mulligan (who also acted in the film), Carmen McRae, Shelly Manne, Red Mitchell, Buddy Clark, Dave Bailey, Art Pepper, Russ Freeman, Bill Perkins, Bob Enevoldsen, and Jack Sheldon. Previn himself appeared on-screen performing with The Andre Previn Trio. Previn composed an underscore that married his jazz source cues with the romantic aesthetic of the Hollywood symphonic style -- the venerated soloists move in and out of Previn's romantic, often modernist sound.

The Subterraneans was released on LP at the time of the film, and in recent years several of the jazz source selections were included on a Rhino compilation. This CD presents the definitive Subterraneans soundtrack running over 79 minutes: the original album program followed a new program of bonus selections, containing all of the previously released music and much more, including the underscore. Unlike most FSM CDs, the selections are not presented in film sequence, because in this case the score—with the jazz source cues—would not play well in literal film order.

The music has been remixed and remastered in stereo from the original 35mm three-track masters, with the exception of certain source cues which were recorded on monaural 17.5mm film. Liner notes are by Jeff Eldridge and Lukas Kendall.

Andre Previn Scores on FSM
About the Composer

André Previn (b. 1929) famously broke into film scoring at M-G-M while still a teenager—he was a child prodigy as a classical and jazz pianist who took to composing and arranging as well. In his twenties and thirties he scored numerous films and acted as music director for famous movie musicals like Gigi, Porgy and Bess and My Fair Lady. He largely retired from film in the late 1960s—fed up with Hollywood—to pursue a career as a classical conductor; he has also written operas and stayed active as a recording artist. Previn's early work as a film composer (much of it on obscure projects) is of startlingly high quality and FSM will continue to release it where possible. IMDB

Comments (14):Log in or register to post your own comments
The cue "Leo and Mardou" captures the mood of Kerouac's novel. Well, that and "Guido's Blackhawk" and "Red Drum Blues"...and quite a few others. Thank the Bop Gods for allowing the actual jazz players on these sessions. I can recognize them easily.

The main title is just way too brash and melodramatic, but I enjoy it in a "Susan Hayward Sure Was Hot!" sort of way. I'd hoped for muted tones from Previn, which we do get in the aforementioned cues. For this film, I've always imagined a Samuel Fuller-style budget and chalky black and white bleakness for a movie like The Subterraneans, not the glossy color of MGM. Plus, whitewashing (pun not intended but indeed accepted) of the interracial love story destroys this thing before it even gets started. Whatever the case, someone get this out on On Demand DVD.

I had the Sony Special Products version of The Subterraneans back around '94 and loved Carmen McRae's "Coffee Time", as my long-ago friends and I used to amuse ourselves with our approximations of Le Carmen's voice.

A hipster's snap of the fingers appreciation to Lukas for once again pleasing this small circle of friends within that small circle of friends with this release. ;)

More thoughts later, because I know this thread will sink like a stone, man. :cool: I'll probably have to bump the Johnny Staccato thread, too...

Does this have album and film tracks? Is it still available?

Does this have album and film tracks? Is it still available?[/endquote]

The record tracks WERE the film tracks - the CD contains the album contents plus much, much more!
And yes, it is still available.


Does this have album and film tracks? Is it still available?[/endquote]

The record tracks WERE the film tracks - the CD contains the album contents plus much, much more!
And yes, it is still available.


Thanks, I've been looking for the previous CD and never knew there was an expanded. I'll add it to my list and buy it if I don't owe income tax.

"So there we were at the Red Drum, a tableful of beers a few that is and all the gangs cutting in and out, paying a dollar quarter at the door, the little hip-pretending weasel there taking tickets, Paddy Cordavan floating in as prophesied (a big tall blond brakeman type subterranean from Eastern Washington cowboy-looking in jeans coming in to a wild generation party all smoky and mad and I yelled, "Paddy Cordavan?" and "Yeah?" and he'd come over)--all sitting together, interesting groups at various tables, Julien, Roxanne (a woman of 25 prophesying the future style of America with short almost crewcut but with curls black snaky hair, snaky walk, pale pale junky anemic face and we say junky when once Dostoevski would have said what? if not ascetic but saintly? but not in the least? but the cold pale booster face of the cold blue girl and wearing a man's white shirt but with the cuffs undone untied at the buttons so I remember her leaning over talking to someone after having been slinked across the floor with flowing propelled shoulders, bending to talk with her hand holding a short butt and the neat little flick she was giving to knock ashes but repeatedly with long long fingernails an inch long and also orient and snake-like)--groups of all kinds, and Ross Wallenstein, the crowd, and up on the stand Bird Parker with solemn eyes who'd been busted fairly recently and had now returned to a kind of bop dead Frisco but had just discovered or been told about the Red Drum, the great new generation gang wailing and gathering there, so here he was on the stand, examining them with his eyes as he blew his now-settled-down-into-regulated-design "crazy" notes--the booming drums, the high ceiling--Adam for my sake dutifully cutting out at about 11 o'clock so he could go to bed and get to work in the morning, after a brief cutout with Paddy and myself for a quick ten-cent beer at roaring Pantera's, where Paddy and I in our first talk and laughter together pulled wrists--now Mardou cut out with me, glee eyed, between sets, for quick beers, but at her insistence at the Mask instead where they were fifteen cents, but she had a few pennies herself and we went there and began earnestly talking and getting hightingled on the beer and now it was the beginning--returning to the Red Drum for sets, to hear Bird, whom I saw distinctly digging Mardou several times also myself directly into my eye looking to search if I was really the great writer I thought myself to be as if he knew my thoughts and ambitions or remembered me from other night clubs and other coasts, other Chicagos--not a challenging look but the king and founder of the bop generation at least the sound of it in digging his audience digging his eyes, the secret eyes him-watching, as he just pursed his lips and let great lungs and immortal fingers work, his eyes separate and interested and humane, the kindest jazz musician there could be while being and therefore naturally the greatest--watching Mardou and me in the infancy of our love..."

This is a great record. I strongly recommend it to any Previn fans. The first half of the album is the original record, the second is additional music from the film. Both are fantastic.

This was a cd I bought as part of the holiday promotion. A film I didn't know, but I sure love the music on this cd.

The thing is, I generally don't care for Andre Previn, but I may make an exception for this album.

The thing is, I generally don't care for Andre Previn, but I may make an exception for this album.[/endquote]

If anything, get it for the Jazzers galore who play on it.

"Gerry Mulligan (who also acted in the film), Carmen McRae, Shelly Manne, Red Mitchell, Buddy Clark, Dave Bailey, Art Pepper, Russ Freeman, Bill Perkins, Bob Enevoldsen, and Jack Sheldon."

I like this one too, very much - the mrs. used to sing along with Coffee Time when
I played it. Those with a passing interest in jazz would do well to dig on this record....

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Track List
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
Andre Previn

Sam Fiedler, Sam Freed, Jr., Werner L. Gebauer, Mort Herbert, George Kast, Bernard Kundell, Dan Lube, Alfred Lustgarten, Joy Lyle (Sharp), Arthur Maebe, Sr., Lisa Minghetti, Irving Prager, Lou Raderman, Sally Raderman (aka Sarah Kreindler), Albert Saparoff, Dorothy M. Wade (Sushel), Byron Williams

Cecil Figelski, Allan Harshman, Maxine Johnson, Virginia Majewski, Reuben Marcus, Robert Ostrowsky

Alexander Borisoff, Julian Kahn, Raphael "Ray" Kramer, Michel Penha

George F. Boujie, Walter "Buddy" Clark, Jr., Keith "Red" Mitchell, Arthur Shapiro

Arnold Koblentz

Gus Bivona, Don Lodice (Logiudice), Hugo Raimondi

Gerry Mulligan, Arthur E. "Art" Pepper, William R. Perkins

French Horn:
John W. "Jack" Cave, Vincent DeRubertis, Herman Lebow

Art Farmer, Jack Sheldon

Robert Enevoldsen, Richard Noel

Russell Freeman

Catherine Gotthoffer (Johnk)

Dave Bailey, Frank L. Carlson, Sheldon "Shelly" Manne

Robert Franklyn, Arthur Morton, Ruby Raksin

Robert Franklyn, Maurice Gerson, Richard Guyette, Donald J. Midgley, Fred Sternberg, Harry Taylor

Jules Megeff

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