Screen Freak - 33 Classic Themes From Maverick Movies & Cult TV
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Truly Eclectic (Verging on the Bizarre) Mix...
There's something to be said for an album that, seemingly indiscriminately, includes the themes to both Universal's schlocker 'The Mole People,' AND Truffaut's 'Les 400 coups'; 'Forbidden Planet' AND 'Vertigo'; 'The Damned Don't Cry' AND 'Hidden Fortress'; 'The Abominable Snowman' AND 'Anatomy of a Murder.' That I'm not entirely sure what this might be, says, I fear, more about me than about the merits of such a wide-ranging and inclusive back-catalogue of 'themes from Maverick Movies and Cult TV.' Perhaps, as the album sub-title suggests, it is the willingness to risk the completely bonkers in pursuit of the sublime (my interpretation of the 'Maverick,' and the 'Cult' in this instance) that, after all, links 'The Deadly Mantis' and Antoine Doinel. Viewed in this light, the rather obscure inspiration behind this particular compilation begins to make a strange kind of sense. Of course, it is equally likely that these particular tracks have all been conveniently cobbled together from their rights-holder's back catalogue--the inclusion of rather more Universal sci-fi/horror themes than absolutely necessary suggests that this is also a not unreasonable conclusion to draw from the eclectic playlist. Still, there is such a curious pleasure to be had from hearing the Bernard Herrman theme to 'North by Northwest' sandwiched between 'Tarantula' and 'Night of the Demon,' that one hopes that there was a more active guiding hand at work somewhere along the line.
At any rate, no matter what the rational for their inclusion, there are some cracking themes here, thankfully, as far as I can make out, all in their original soundtrack versions--rather than frustratingly, four-squaredly Silva-fied as so often the case on soundtrack compilations like this--and all with fairly clean sound. The quality of the Duke Ellington Orchestra's performance of 'Anatomy of a Murder' for example, strikes me as being somewhat clearer even than the version available on Columbia's remastered soundtrack CD from a few years ago, and I don't think I've ever heard 'The Third Man' theme sound more jaunty.
The price isn't amazing, by any means, but the coverage is, especially if you're a fan of classic films and TV. There is truly something for everyone...