Music from TV

Ted just needs a hugComposer Bear McCreary keeps surprising me with his refreshing stylistic fusions and instrumental combinations in film and TV, and La-La Land’s new album features all sorts of giddy cues from the Sci Fi Channel’s Eureka series. This is a long and very fun CD, peppered with plenty of retro eighties sounds reminiscent of vintage synth gear.

Also reviewed is the second Bionic Woman [BW] album from Five Jays Music (limited to 1500 copies), featuring the entire score (plus bonus cuts) from Joe Harnell’s The Return of Bigfoot Part 2. Detractors will likely brand the music as cheesy, but they’re dead wrong about the music by the composer best remembered as the brains who wrote ‘The Lonely Man’ theme from The Incredible Hulk.

Harnell was a very underrated composer who wrote a huge amount of music for TV – and this is one of his best.

There’s a broad generation of ex-kids who watched the Bigfoot episodes (one that aired in 1975 on the Six Million Dollar Man [SMDM], and a 1976 follow-up crossover episode split between SMDM and spinoff series BW) and were totally engrossed in the gripping comic book tale of the famous bionic lovers re-teaming again to A) prove Bigfoot (Ted Cassidy) exists, and B) stop a volcano from exploding and ruining the world.

There’s aliens (Stephanie Powers sporting the biggest hairdo of her career), a magical serum, Lee Majors muttering “Sass…qvatch” while dying, a glowing psychedelic revolving tunnel in a mountain, and a TV remote that saves the world.

How can anyone resist?

Until Universal and the Weinsteins come to terms with the rights of both series, BW and SMDM will still remain unavailable to North American audiences (crappy 2007 BW remake excepted) on DVD.

That leaves us the albums (the first CD being Kill Oscar Parts 1 and 3), and not only is Harnell’s music still immensely evocative of the series, it’s a great fusion of funky orchestral urban jazz. Every theme every fan remembers from BW is here, and the score’s richness certainly leaves one hungry for a third CD (and if they all help convince the lazy parties to coordinate DVD releases of both TV series, even better).


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