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The Button Down Brass - Firedog!

July 13th, 2012

Button Down Brass - FiredogTHE BUTTON DOWN BRASS

  • Firedog!
  • DJM records
  • 1976
  • UK

The Button Down Brass’ Firedog! is somewhat the UK equivalent to the Cop show themes. The sound is quite similar and there’s four songs that appear in both albums. The Button Down Brass was one of the top notch British easy listening / lounge bands. In their 21 active years they released dozens of albums, participated in production library records and other projects. Too bad most of their recordings are very uninteresting lounge cheese. Luckily there are some exceptions to that. The Button Brown Brass was led by one of the foremost musicians in UK, Ray Davies - not to be confused with The Kinks frontman with the same name. Within his over 50 year career, Davies has worked with pretty much everyone worth to mention; The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Liza Minelli, Burt Bacharach, Quincy Jones, Henry Mancini and so on. So when The Button Down Brass were recording all the covers they did, Davies was the man to do the arrangements and he also conducted them. Ravies was of course doing some original compositions too.

The 1976 released album Firedog! is one of the best The Button Down Brass ever recorded, along with the other album from the same period, Funk in hell, it’s also the most funky. Although the slight easy listening cheesiness is creeping in time to time. Albums starts with the “Theme from Police story”, the theme from the NBC crime drama Police story, originally composed by Jerry Goldsmith. With some weird moog sounds and funky horns it’s a nice uptempo detective funk track. Next up is Morton Stevens composition “Hawaii 5-0”, It’s quite similar to original first, but then there’s a funky middle part with a percussion break that makes it interesting. While “Hawaii 5-0” is better than the Henry Mancini version, the next one also on both albums, “Theme from Police woman” is not that banging than the one in Cop show themes. But despite the slight lazyness, the melancholic trumpet and the lack of the opening break, it’s still somehow a little funkier than the Mancini take. Next one is the an original composition of Ray Davies called “Firedog!” and it’s among the best tracks of the album. Funky wah-wah, percussions, horns and a tight break in the middle makes it almost a perfect detective funk track. It’s followed by a little light, but still funky “Theme from the Rockford files”, originally by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter. Last track on side a is “Mc Cloud theme”, an uptempo take of the David Shire original from the NBC police drama McCloud with western styled guitars and nice horn stabs. B-side opens with a nice version of Billy Goldenberg’s “Kojak”. It’s followed by the theme by Harry South from the British television police drama The Sweeney, also ok version. Next comes another standout track, “Quiller”, originally written by Richard Denton and Martin Cook taken from the British drama series Quiller. It starts with a nice break and is overall a very good version. The last three tracks are the ones I like the least. First the Glen Larson written theme from the US detective series Switch, then another Ray Davies composition “Theme from Kiss of blood” and finally the “Columbo theme” originally by Billy Goldenberg. Despite the few weak tracks, Firedog! is one of the best kept secrets of the British detective funk cover albums.


Theme from Police story


Hawaii 5-0


Theme from Police Woman


Firedog!


Theme from the Rockford files


Mc Cloud theme


Kojak theme


The Sweeney


Quiller


Switch theme


Theme from Kiss of blood


Columbo theme

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under cinematic funk, europe, funk, soundtrack | No Comments »

Henry Mancini - Cop Show Themes

July 10th, 2012

Henry Mancini - Cop Show ThemesHENRY MANCINI

  • Cop show themes
  • RCA Victor
  • 1976
  • USA

1994 passed Henry Mancini is one of those composers who don’t need much of an introduction. There’s not that many people who hasn’t heard about him or at least something he has done. The Pink Panther is maybe the best know of his works. Mancini started his career in 1946 at the age of 22 when he joined the newly re-formed Glenn Miller orchestra. There he played piano and did arrangements. In 1952 he moved to work for the Universal Pictures music departments. He stayed there only six years but during that time he contributed music for over 100 movies, for example The Creature from the Black Lagoon, It Came from Outer Space, Tarantula and so on. In 1958 Mancini started to work as an independent composer and arranger composing music for films and television as well as did several other recordings too. While most of his over 90 albums are included in the easy listening, big band or light classical categories, he did of course some funkier albums too.

In 1976 was released Cop show themes and it’s not hard to figure by the name what is included in this album. It’s full of Mancini versions of well known detective series, of course there’s few of his own compositions included too. First up is a composition of Mancini himself, “The mystery movie theme” from the The NBC Mystery Movie series. Next is the Mancini’s version of the chase styled theme “The streets of San Francisco” from the police drama of the same name, originally composed by Patrick Williams. It’s followed by “Bumper’s theme” from the crime series The Blue Knight, also composed by Mancini. Then comes a medley of “Kojak” composed by Billy Goldenberg and “Theme from S.W.A.T.” by Barry De Vorzon. Latter being especially nice version. B-side opens with “Baretta’s theme” from the detective series Baretta, originally written by Dave Grusin. Then “The Rockford files” by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter. Last two tracks are originally composed by Morton Stevens; first legendary theme from “Hawaii five-0” and then the reason why people usually search for this record, “Police woman”. The opening break from “Police woman” was included in Cut Chemist’s “Lesson six” (from Jurassic 5’s EP). It’s of course very nice bboy break as well.

 
Henry Mancini - Cop Show Themes
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In the Japanese version of Cop show themes are included three bonus tracks that I want to mention too. Lalo Schifrin’s “Mission impossible theme” originally from The Big Latin Band Of Henry Mancini (1968), Mancini’s own compostion “Peter Gunn” from 1959 and Quincy Jones’ “The Ironside theme” originally from Mancini’s Big Screen Little Screen (1972)


Mystery Movie Theme


The streets of San Francisco


Bumper’s theme


Medley: Kojak / S.W.A.T.


Baretta’s theme (keep your eye on the sparrow)


The Rockford files


Hawaii five-0


Police woman


Mission impossible theme


Peter Gunn


The Ironside theme

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under cinematic funk, north america, soundtrack | No Comments »

Remigio Ducros - La palla é rotonda

July 1st, 2012

Remigio Ducros - La Palla E RotondaREMIGIO DUCROS

  • La palla é rotonda
  • Vroommm
  • early 1970s
  • Italy

There were several small Italian production music library companies that were active some years from late 1960s to maybe mid 1970s and then just faded away. Vroommm was one of those, it was extablished in late 1960s and released small but diverse selection of records. In honor of the ongoing football European championships I bring up one of their records, a concept album by the Italian composer Remigio Ducros, La palla é rotonda (in English ‘the ball is round’). Different styled compositions relating to sports and especially football was the thing in this album.

Musically this album is quite diverse and maybe not funky as could be expected by the composer. There’s weird moog tracks, dark and spacy synth tracks, light and moody vocal tracks and so on. There’s highlights of course too. The downtempo synth track “Calcio al ralenti” is pretty ok as well as the midtempo moogy and funky “Una partita agitata”. There’s however four tracks above the others. “Contropiede”, a guitar heavy latin influenced uptempo groover. A funky midtempo breakbeat track “La rimonta”. A midtempo drum and percussion track “Pressing” and a little similar sounding but funkier “Sgambetto”. This nowadays very rare album is maybe not worth the full price but if seen cheap enough, don’t hesitate to pick it up.


Calcio al ralenti


Una partita agitata


Contropiede


La rimonta


Pressing


Sgambetto

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under cinematic funk, europe, library | No Comments »

Sound Prospect - Hit Man

June 22nd, 2012

Sound Prospect - Hit ManSOUND PROSPECT

  • Hit man
  • Peer International Library Limited
  • 1977
  • UK

Six years after the Bigroup album, Peer released an album called Hit man. It’s credited to a group called Sound Prospect - without a doubt another made up name for some group of session musicians strictly built for a library record.

Hit man starts with the funky uptempo title track “Hit man”, that sounds like it’s taken straight from some blaxploitation soundtracks. It’s actually just what the title says, a great chase funk track with some serious suspence feel and also the best track of the album. Next one is a midtempo track “Catcher” that sounds better by the name than actually is. After some decent and not so decent tracks comes “Even balance”, a funky midtempo jazz jam with some nice organ work. It’s followed by funky downtempo jazz track “Als blues” and more mellow sounding midtempo “Stevie bee”. Mellow but groovy “Mount calme” is also worth to mention aswell as the last track, “Latin -a go-go”. Hit man isn’t maybe one of the best library albums around but it still has it’s moments.


Hit man


Catcher


Even balance


Al’s blues


Stevie bee


Mount calme


Latin a go-go

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under cinematic funk, europe, funk, library | No Comments »

Takayuki Inoue Band - Sunrise: “Suite” Taiyō Ni Hoero! ‘76

April 20th, 2012

Takayuki Inoue Band - SunriseTAKAYUKI INOUE BAND

  • Sunrise: “Suite” Taiyō Ni Hoero! ‘76
  • Polydor K.K.
  • 1976
  • Japan

Another well known detective drama soundtrack composer is 1941 born Takayuki Inoue (井上堯之). He started his career in rock bands The Spiders and PYG before forming his own combo, the Takayuki Inoue Band (井上 堯之バンド), a band that would propably follow him for the rest of his life. Among some various soundtracks and regular albums, Takayuki Inoue Band got a job in 1972 of the theme song for the new Toho produced detective drama series called Taiyō ni Hoero! (literally Bark at the Sun). The series immediately become really popular. It ran 15 years from 1972 to 1986 and it’s one of the longest running detective series in Japan within its 718 episodes. It even spawned a sequel simply called Taiyō ni Hoero! Part 2 that ran from 1986 to 1987. But that’s enough for the series, let’s get back to the music. As said Takayuki Inoue got the job for the title theme and that along the series became extremely popular. As was the case with most of the other detective series, there was quite a big amount of different soundtrack albums released. And almost all of them were by Takayuki Inoue Band. Some of those were specially themed releases from different years and some were so called BGM Best -albums, that contained tracks from several episodes. One of these themed albums was called Sunrise. It was released in 1977 and it’s one of the best of the series.

There’s a lot of funky tracks on this album. Of course they are funky in a Japanese detective series way, so they do have that certain feel, but that’s only a positive thing. The a-side of the album is basically one suite, but still separated to different tracks. It’s better this way, since it’s always a pain in the ass trying to find the start of that one good song in the middle of a 24 minute track. And here the fourth part of “組曲 「太陽にほえろ!」” (Suite ‘Taiyō ni hoero!’ ) called “逃走と追跡” (Tōsō to tsuiseki) is the killer. It’s a three and half minute drum break with some horn stabs time to time. And it’s the getaway track of the album. There’s of course some other goodies her too among the basic dramatic mellow stuff. “スコッチ刑事のテーマ” (Sukotchi keiji no tēma) is a distant variation of the Taiyō ni hoero! main theme with all the basic elements. The third good one is “華麗なる情熱” (Kareinaru jōnetsu). Both are midtempo detective theme type of tracks and the latter being the better one. As a whole this is indeed one of the best albums of the series, but of course some of the other ones have good moments too. We’ll have to get back to them on some point later…


Tōsō to tsuiseki


Sukotchi keiji no tēma


Kareinaru jōnetsu

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under asia, cinematic funk, soundtrack | No Comments »

Goblin - Profondo rosso

October 3rd, 2011

Goblin - Profondo RossoGOBLIN

  • Profondo rosso
  • Cinevox
  • 1975
  • Italy

Inspired by the last weekend’s Goblin gig in Helsinki, I just had to make this post. Although their heavy-prog’ish live sound, the music is really amusing with it’s weird synthesizer sounds and cinematic beats.

After several phases and bands in their early career, Claudio Simonetti and Massimo Morante formed the Goblin band in 1973. During the years they have profiled as one of the top class horror soundtrack scorers in the world. Goblin’s first release was a soundtrack in 1975 to a Dario Argento film called Profondo rosso. Or Deep red as the English title is.

A musician witnesses the murder of a famous psychic, and then teams up with a fiesty reporter to find the killer while evading attempts on their lives by the unseen killer bent on keeping a dark secret buried. (IMDB)

The music in Profondo rosso is clearly divided in two different types. There’s dramatic scoring just perfect for the suspense and horror of the movie. And then there’s jazzy and funky Italian style soundtrack tracks. “Mad puppet” with it’s weird and slightly kaotic start is a little stagnant suspence theme, but rather good one. “Wild session” starts with a long dramatic intro turning to a jazzy cinematic funk track with creeping synths and horns. The title track “Profondo rosso” also starts with some haunting synths and then turns into another cinematic funk meets dramatic soundscapes track. However, in my opinion the best track is the uptempo drum frenzy “Death dies”, although the album version is missing the percussions that appear on the movie version. Profondo rosso sold over million copies within a year and remained in the charts for 52 weeks in a row. So it’s not that hard to find. The single release from the album, “Profondo rosso” / “Death dies” hit #1 on the charts and remained there 16 weeks and that’s a record that is yet to be broken. Overall this is my favorite album from Goblin - along with another great Dario Argento soundtrack, Tenebre.


Profondo rosso


Mad puppet


Wild session


Death dies

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under cinematic funk, drama, europe, jazz, soundtrack | No Comments »
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