Library Music, Part 1

The release of the 3-disc set The Prisoner: The Complete Chappell Recorded Music Library Cues pretty much completes the grand quest fans wanting every note of music used in the original 1967 series starring Patrick McGoohan, but it’s also a rare instance where vintage, unedited material from a music library is commercially available for listening purposes.

Stock or library music is what a production buys and can used and reuse within a film or TV show. It’s pre-scored according to themes – shocking music, romantic music, lounge music, etc. – rather than actual film scenes, and some of the most successful series have made use of material that was never written for a specific series.

The Prisoner benefitted from great talent on the production line, McGoohan’s vision for his series, and excellent music editors who edited cues into scenes and made the marriage natural and dramatically functional.

I’ve uploaded a review of the new set (available only from the Unmutual website, and limited to 1000 copies), plus an interview with the set’s producer, Derek Lawton.

In May I’ll have a review of another 3-disc set produced by Britain’s Network label in 2008, which focused on all the original music composed as underscore and source music by the series’ main composers. (That set will be compared with the three volumes released by Silva Screen, which contained original and some of the Chappell library cues.)

I’m still waiting for the day someone obsessive (or crazy) will release the stock music from the animated Rocket Robin Hood and Spider-Man series, and maybe some of the music used in oddball feature films no one particularly remembers except me (like, oh, The Fat Black Pussycat, and Hideout in the Sun. The jazz music in Herschell Gordon Lewis gory Colour Me Blood Red is another, but some of the cues were tracked over the deleted scenes gallery in the Image DVD. See, I pay attention to these things. Ahem).

It has happened before, so don’t laugh.

When opportunity yields some lucky break, you get something like Monstrous Movie Music’s The Blob (and other creepy sounds). Producers David Schecter and Kathleen Mayne dug into the Valentino Production Music Library and assembled cues from The Green Slime, Terror from the Year 5000, and The Brain That Wouldn’t Die.

It’s taken a while to get my hands on those film (Green Slime is STILL unavailable on DVD, but luckily it appeared on TCM, albeit fill frame), so I’ll have reviews of that fine trio of cinematic schlock, plus comments by Schecter regarding the Valentino cues he secured for CD release in Part 2 of this series.

Coming next: three Hollywood-related films that played in the recent Toronto Jewish Film Festival – Cinema’s Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood (2009), The Brothers Warner (2008), and Not Idly By: Peter Bergson, America and the Holocaust (2009).

Mark R. Hasan, Editor


Copyright © mondomark