Bernard Herrmann was often described as being ‘temperamental’ and ‘explosive’
by nature. However, very few could ever criticize his approach and dedication
in regards to his work. His collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock are
today reflected upon as legendary; a clash of personalities which proved that both
fire and gasoline didn’t necessarily have to end in utter devastation.
tie in with Record Store Day UK 2018, Silva Screen Records have released a
strictly limited edition 7” EP showcasing the very best of this turbulent and
tremendous partnership. The Double A Side single (SIL71566) features two tracks
from Vertigo (Prelude / The Nightmare) with the flipside featuring Overture /
Main title from North by Northwest. The music is perfectly executed by the
highly respected City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Paul
crackles with tension as James Stewart’s character Scottie goes through an
emotional wringer. Herrmann blew away the lush melodies that dominated music in
films of previous decades and delivered harsh, stinging, repetitive themes overlaid
on a deceptive symphonic score. The sound is as experimental as the film, which
60 years from release remains one of the milestones of cinematic history. One
year on in North by Northwest, Cary Grant is the man in peril. This time it’s
not mentally but physically as he is pursued by a spy network and the police.
Herrmann ratchets up the tension with an orchestral tour-de-force which
highlighted the thrill of the chase. Herrmann described it as, “a kaleidoscopic
orchestral fandango designed to kick-off the exciting rout which follows."
Screen has produced just 1200 individually numbered copies of this attractively
designed 7” single. Pressed in a transparent Amber coloured vinyl and given the
continuously swelling number of Herrmann devotees, I very much doubt that this
will remain around for too long. So check in with your local participating
Record Store Day UK outlet to avoid any possible disappointment. You’ll find it
to be well worth it.
CLICK HERE TO FIND A RETAILER THAT WILL STOCK THIS ITEM ON RECORD DAY UK, 21 APRIL
some 47 years there is still something about Ron Grainer’s score for The Omega Man (1971)
(SILLP1561) that continues to withstand the test of time. Whilst the film might
arguably appear to be a little dated these days, Grainer’s music lives on to
uphold and support its continuing cult status. It’s perhaps no surprise then
that Silva Screen Records have decided to release its first ever double vinyl
pressing exclusively in time for Record Store Day UK, which is 21 April 2018.
Omega Man is an eclectic mix of styles ranging from mellow jazz, traditional
lounge, and romantic mood setters to excellent dramatic action themes that
feature contemporary, modern instrumentation including synthesisers and
haunting water chimes. Everything is here. It remains a defining example of
just how good film music used to be, full of strong melody and executed with
perfect orchestration. To this day it is arguably regarded as Grainer’s
crowning glory, and rightfully so. Grainer was brave enough to mix the
traditional elements with the contemporary, gently embedding electronic effects
and reverb to produce something highly unique.
Screen's double vinyl album contains the full 18 tracks as previously released
on the FSM CD of 1997. The packaging is superb; both records are contained
within a super heavyweight gatefold sleeve, with a flat spine that is close to
8mm in width. However, if you are interested in this first ever vinyl edition
of the score and particularly by its widely advertised ‘coloured vinyl’, you
may want to check first with participating stores, as my copy is unmistakably a
traditional black vinyl pressing. In regards to its audio, everything sounds
astonishingly good and contains plenty of punch where it counts.
this is a Record Store Day UK exclusive it is worth checking out in advance (with
any participating outlet) if they will be stocking this particular title. Because
of the codes of conduct surrounding Record Store Day UK, any remaining stock will
be available for sale online from 00.01am on the 28th April 2018.
Omega Man is limited to just 1000 (individually numbered) copies. Due to the
popularity of this glorious score, you might want to begin your research in
advance and in order to avoid any possible disappointment. It’s sure to be one
of the outstanding titles of the day.
Click here to find a retail out that will sell this release.
great to see German label All Score Media back on the soundtrack circuit. Their
latest vinyl LP release No Place for a Man (ASM 045) is a fictional homage to
the Italian Spaghetti Western genre of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Performed by the duo
Mondo Sangue (Cristiano Sangueduro and Cristina Casereccia), the score is a
passionate and honest tribute to the iconic genre soundtracks of the past. The
influences are certainly there, from Ennio Morricone to the late great Franco
De Gemini, for whom the album is quietly dedicated. There is a great deal of
tradition to be found within the album tracks. One could perhaps argue it is
almost stereotypical, but never in the negative sense of the word. The Spaghetti
Western score had of course become somewhat ‘formulised’ during its reign, so
expect lovely examples of twanging guitars, harmonica, epic choral vocals and mouth
harps. There are also a couple of vocal tracks such as ‘Somewhere in the West’
performed by Cristina Casereccia and ‘’No Place for a Man’ has Casereccia duet
with Alberto Rocca. All of these tracks work very well and create a comforting sense
of familiarity. Listening to the track ‘Il Portoghese’ and its delicate
whistling motif transports you straight back to Morricone’s ‘A Fistful of
Dynamite” (1971). Overall, fans of the genre should love this piece. There are
not too many labels delivering these retrospective, tribute scores, so they
really should be held dear. Cineploit are another label who produce period
sounding, fictional scores and in many ways offer a sense of continuity, a
linkage to the past and everything that was so appealing about it.
Score Media have produced a delightful sounding and excellent package for this
release. The album sleeve is beautifully illustrated by Sue Elderberry. The 180g
vinyl LPs are limited to just 666 pieces and are all individually hand
numbered. Each LP also comes with an autographed photo card signed by vocal duo
Cristina Casereccia and Alberto Rocca and there’s also a download code so as to
listen when on the move. There is obviously a great deal of love gone into this
release and it clearly shines through. No Place for a Man is an excellent
production that should be both respected and applauded.