Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2014 August 18 • Monday

Les Felins (a.k.a. Joy House), one of Lalo Schifrin's first soundtracks, is the 332nd Soundtrack of the Week. This is a great score for a satisfyingly twisted French thriller starring Alain Delon, Jane Fonda and Lola Albright; directed by René Clément with photography by the great Henri Decäe.

The main title music announces its intentions right away, with the eerie sound of the ondes Martenot, and a slinky and menacing electric bass line. After the orchestra comes in, things get very modern-sounding. This theme, which anticipates Schifrin's music for Mission: Impossible and Enter the Dragon, come back several times.

"Searching and Detecting" starts out with a West Coast jazz feel before flipping into a groovy shake. Schifrin can go from impudently blithe to desperate to survive without blinking, as he does in "Mediterranean Chase".

"Funeral Blues" holds back for a while before busting into full New Orleans style. "Marc Has Company" is extremely tense and features Schifrin's trademark attacking piano lines.

And there's one really spectacular freak-out type of tune, "Melinda", for the big climax at the end of the movie.