Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2011 April 18 • Monday

The 161st Soundtrack of the Week is Hawaii Five-0 by Morton Stevens.

This is the original soundtrack album reissued on CD by Film Score Monthly. Unlike most TV soundtrack albums, the Hawaii Five-0 LP contained music from the original soundtrack recordings, not re-recordings. At only about half an hour in length, it displays an impressive range of material.

First up is the theme, of course. It's one of those themes, like Mission: Impossible or Get Smart, that has to be part of any attempt to remake, reboot or update the original show. Of course, not only was the theme great, but Reza S. Badiyi came up with the brilliant credits sequence to go with it.

"Call to Danger" is a thrilling piece with urgent horn figures on top of a barrage of Hawaiian percussion. "McGarrett's Theme" is, surprisingly, a laid back bossa nova tune with delicate lounge horn playing on top of quiet guitar and percussion.

"Front Street" begins with a tough back beat, and then in come those late-'60s cop-show horns and electric bass. It's pretty awesome. There's some fuzz guitar in there, too, and it eventually builds up and takes off. There's even a drum solo!

"The Long Wait" is a suspense cue with pitched drum and other percussion creating an atmosphere of tense anticipation. "Blues Trip" is more acid rock than blues, no doubt source music for some scene.

The main theme is the template for "The Floater", a successful mutation and variation of the famous piece. "Interlude" has a sombre beginning but becomes a gentle piece for flute with strings plucking arpeggios.

"Operation Smash" is a sort of acid soul jazz groove. Probably you could dance the hully-gully to this. "Beach Trip" mixes a pulsating bass line with some psychedelic percussion and guitar. It takes things down a notch for an organ line played over a bossa nova-like groove

"Up Tight" starts out very much like "Beach Trip" but with a prominent part for the piano. It settles into a different kind of groove, and has more of a serious feel to it.

The record concludes with "The Chase/Hawaii Five-0". You can probably imagine what that sounds like!