Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2018 January 22 • Monday

For the 501st Soundtrack of the Week we're listening to one of the best rock soundtracks ever, The Last Rebel, which has a score by Deep Purple's Jon Lord, several tracks co-composed by Lord and Tony Ashton, with the latter's group Ashton, Gardner & Dyke taking on the performance duties. Oh, yeah, and the Royal Liverpool Symphony Orchestra. Quite a production!

You'll hear straight ahead rock, jazz and classical influenced pieces, weird atmospheres and dramatic underscore. Since Lord and Ashton were both keyboard players, that instrument takes the lead in most of the tracks.

It's all over the map. "Stage Coach Ride" is a wild Latin-jazz mutation freak out of what once might have been a Vince Quaraldi-ish piano trio tune.

"Surrender" is a synth and/or electric piano that veers into Sun Ra/electric Miles territory, sounding like ominous horror movie mood music and then quoting "Oh! Susanna" out of nowhere.

The favorite has got to be the main title theme, though, which is in a rocking 7/4, starting out with the orchestral treatment before shifting into psychedelic rock band mode.

That kind of thing was fine on The Dukes of Hazzard, as it cleared the way for a commercial break, but if it's deployed in the movie out of necessity or convenience, it doesn't bode well for the film itself.

Also on here are deep groove and funk pieces, love themes, a whole lot of different things. It's really one of the most fun and satisfying score CDs I've heard in a while.