Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2023 January 09 • Monday

We have several movie theme collections just sitting around so we're going to give them some attention. First up is Leroy Holmes and His Orchestra with For a Few Dollars more and Other Motion Picture Themes, the 760th Soundtrack of the Week.

The whole first side is devoted to Ennio Morricone's music from A Few Dollars More and the cues are faithful to the original, complete with chorus, strings, jaw harp, etc.

In "Sixty Seconds to Killing (La Resa Dei Conti)" the rhythmic intensity is increased and the guitar sound is especially good. There's a bit more attention give to the organ as well.

"The Vice of Killing (Il Vizio di Uccidere)" throws xylophone into the mix with great effect while "Aces High (Poker d'Assi)" is given a lilting 12/8 feel.

The B side opens with the main title theme from A Fistful of Dollars, again faithful to the original, complete with whistling, but some nice touches in the orchestral backing, particularly harp and flute, with more great electric guitar playing and a brisker tempo than the original.

Next is the "Theme from Zorba the Greek", taken at fairly high speed and with what sounds like electric harpsichord.

The Topkapitheme is next and it's more relaxed, swaying sort of piece, breezy, gentle and lyrical.

Then there's the theme from Viva Maria, a Spanish waltz with horns, castanets and acoustic and electric guitars.

The next piece is surprising, Maurice Jarre's theme from The Train That's a really good movie but it's not really known for its score and we wouldn't expect to find it on this kind of record. But here it is and it's a very jaunty sort of jazz march with some unfortunate choral parts and just a generally strange feel. It sounds more like it should be from the soundtrack to Stripes.

Finally we get the title theme for Tom Jones, another odd one, sort of like slapstick cartoon classical music, featuring the harpsichord and some sprightly electric guitar picking.

All in all this is one of the better records of this sort. Certainly interesting and creative!