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Surf, Sex and Cycle-Psychos: A Diverse Potpourri of Antediluvian Film Music By Stu Phillips

Stu Phillips

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Album Review

If Stu Phillips had never done anything besides write the gloriously overwrought score for Russ Meyer's masterpiece Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, he'd be a name-dropped by sleaze film enthusiasts to this day, but as it happens, that's only the tip of the Phillips iceberg. Stu's other credits include the iconic biker flick Hell's Angels on Wheels, the bizarre black magic film Simon, King of the Witches, the "bikers go to Vietnam" classic The Losers, and the theme music for both Quincy M.E. and Battlestar Galactica! Phillips' bright, broad style and imaginative sense of orchestration has been helping to make the most of marginal movies since the early '60s, and Surf, Sex and Cycle-Psycho's is a fine collection of great moments from a handful of his scores. The album is dominated by Phillips' bright but dramatic music for the surfing documentary Follow Me, but there are also excerpts from the abovementioned The Losers and Hell's Angels on Wheels," as well as the draft-dodging comedy The Gay Deceivers and the counterculture drama Pickup on 101. The music is dynamic and compelling listening throughout, and Phillips manages to call up a different and absorbing mood on each track; while some might embrace this as kitsch, frankly the work is good enough that it deserves better than that. The liner essay includes a good thumbnail bio of the composer, as well as notes on the individual scores. Too bad lesser-known but well-deserving film composers haven't been feted with anthologies like this.

Biography

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

Composer and producer Stu Phillips enjoyed one of the longest and most far-ranging careers of the rock & roll era, working not just in popular music but also in film and television on his way to amassing a body of work as eclectic as any of his contemporaries. Born September 9, 1929, Phillips studied at New York City's High School of Music and Art, followed by a stint at the Eastman School of Music, where he also moonlighted as an arranger for the Rochester Civic Orchestra. He entered show business...
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Surf, Sex and Cycle-Psychos: A Diverse Potpourri of Antediluvian Film Music By Stu Phillips, Stu Phillips
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