I Got the Movie Music in Me (and the Sound Effects too)

When I was younger, much younger, I used to listen to LPs (that would be “long-play records” for you youngsters out there, also known as vinyl) and eight tracks (yes, eight tracks) of movie and television shows snippets.  Long before there was such a thing as a VCR  or a Laser Disc player there was… well, nothing actually.  Either you had a projector and a 16 mm print of the movie or tv show in question or you had audio only.  This may seem strange to many but I assure you, it’s true.  Audio only recordings of movies and television shows were sold quite regularly in the seventies and before.  In 1978, I bought the highlights from the first three seasons of Saturday Night Live on eight track and listened to it again and again.   I also had blooper albums, sound effects albums, comedy albums (Richard Pryor and Firesign Theater, mainly) and straight up narrative albums highlighting a murder mystery or a crime thriller story.  As a result, I came to hear the movie (or tv show) and the music together as a kind of multi-instrumented orchestra so that when soundtrack albums started getting a little too polished by the eighties, I lost my feel for them.  Fortunately, I’ve gotten it back.

By the 1980s soundtrack albums didn’t contain much dialogue or ambient foley work from the movie itself.  Mainly, it was just the songs from the movie, maybe a score piece or two, and that’s about it.  They had cleaned up the soundtrack album, turned it into a pop mill and hit the bank ground running.  It all started with cast recordings of Broadway hits back in the fifties where, instead of hearing the piece of music as it was in the movie, the listener got a freshly minted new recording from the studio.  Then, with soundtrack albums like A Hard Day’s Night, the studios put together soundtrack albums that were indistinguishable from a normal studio album.  As great as the selection of songs on A Hard Day’s Night is, and it is a great selection, I wouldn’t mind hearing some snippets of dialogue now and again.  At the very least we could hear about how Paul’s grandfather is a very clean old man.

My solution to this came in the form of a newfangled invention, the VCR (Video Cassette Recorder), specifically, one very early model I had that allowed me to put in a tape, connect the VCR to my stereo cassette player (God this terminology is making me sound old) and record from the videotape to the audiotape.  I cannot overstate how fundamentally life-changing this was for me.   Finally, I could record a movie I loved off of television and then record the sections I wanted to hear again and again onto audio cassette (then, presumably, take a drive in my Model T to the music store where I could make all the kids listening to the Victrola jealous).

I had tape after tape of movie music, sound effects and dialogue and with an even newer invention, the Sony Walkman, I could listen to it wherever I went.  The thing is,  I still record from movies!  I have never, ever liked any studio version of Tubular Bells except the one on the closing credits of The Exorcist but the exact closing credits version isn’t available anywhere!  So, I recorded it, twice.  Once with the opening strings of the closing credits, once without.  I can’t listen to Knocking on Heaven’s Door without L.Q. Jones amazingly rhythmic taunting of James Coburn just prior to the song’s appearance in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, so I don’t.  I made my own version, with Jones’ dialogue in place.  I even made a King Kong ringtone for my friend Andrew last year (he sometimes comments here).  I don’t know if he ever used it but I was just happy to be able to do it.

Fortunately, things changed with soundtrack albums yet again, thanks to digital warehouses practically brimming with decades old content just waiting to find an audience.  Soundtrack albums that were never available when I was a kid now are along with others, long out of print, for purchase from online streamers.  Add to that the amount of people who purged their LP collections and suddenly, buying hard to find vinyl is no longer a frustrating search for a needle in a haystack (or a stylus, perhaps?).   One second-hand store after another has great inventories of LPs for one or two dollars a piece, only going higher for the more famous collections.  But who wants the more famous collections?  Those you can get anywhere.

The point being that suddenly, old timey soundtrack albums are available once again.  Some of my recent favorites were unavailable for years until the digital age made it easy to sell them again since no pressings were required.

One of the first I got was the soundtrack to The Wizard of Oz, featuring the MGM Studio Orchestra, re-released in 2009.  All the original songs are there and not re-recorded renditions for polished release.  No, no, every song on this album is a direct lift from the movie, sound effects, dialogue and all.    And it goes in perfect chronological order from start to finish, meaning at the beginning of the album is Main Title and knowing the credits so well, you can visually place each one of them at the right point in your head when the music cues appear.   But more than that, it even has songs they didn’t use, like the now-famous-for-being-cut Jitterbug sequence.   “Did you just hear what I just heard / That noise don’t come from no ordinary bird.”   The noise comes from the jitterbug and it’s a real pleasure to finally be able to listen to the song in full after all these years.

Next up is the original soundtrack to La Dolce Vita.  My goodness, what a beautiful score and song selection.  The music by Nina Rota takes cues and themes and plays with them for the whole album.  And that’s another thing about soundtrack albums as they used to be and now, finally, are again:  They weren’t afraid to give you seven different versions of the same theme.   Another pleasure is to hear just a few seconds of something before moving on.  That’s how I used to make mine, too.

Speaking of playing with motifs endlessly, I highly recommend Anton Karas Plays The Third Man, the soundtrack album to The Third Man re-released in October, 2011 after years of being out of print.   It does something a little different as well.  The album contains 25 selections, many of which are the theme itself, played at different tempos and recorded at different times.  The first version  is, of course, the one featured in the film, as are most of the other songs on the album.

Another great one is the soundtrack to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, re-released in June of 2010.  It not only contains all the orchestrations, sound effects and every song but boasts plenty of introductory dialogue as well.

If you’re partial to the music of Jacques Tati movies (I am) then you can do no better than Sonorama!, released March, 2009.  It doesn’t contain any sound effects or dialogue snippets (Ha!  The movie’s really don’t either) but the music covers every single Tati movie and all of their themes and songs, some 39 in all.  It’s a great collection.

Finally, I’m currently enjoying 50 Years of Film Music (1923 – 1973) and it goes a long way to explaining why I love these kinds of albums so much.   Essentially, without the surrounding dialogue or sound effects, the song feels wrong to me.  Odd, I know, but the sad truth nonetheless.  Because of this I’ve never particularly liked any pre-recorded version of As Time Goes By from Casablanca.  50 Years of Film Music corrects that by giving us the full setup of Ingrid Bergman asking Dooley Wilson to play the now iconic song, which he says he can’t remember and then she hums.  Now that I have a copy of the song with that intro, I can finally listen to it and love it.  Of course, there is one difference and it’s one I don’t mind:  The whole song plays.   That’s right, Rick doesn’t walk over and break it up but that’s okay because with the intro, I like listening to the whole song.

The album is a real treasure trove for the classic film music lover.  It has a whopping 45 selections with many including snippets of dialogue from the movies.  There’s musical scores (Robin Hood, Streetcar Named Desire), showtunes (Bosom Buddies from Mame, Selections from Camelot) and some of the greatest of the thirties musical revues (Jeepers Creepers, Lullaby of Broadway, 42nd Street and Hooray for Hollywood, just to name a few) and all sung by the original cast from the original movie soundtrack.  There’s really no substitute for this kind of thing and I’m happy that, finally, the music and movies have merged again on soundtrack albums, leaving behind the bland studio recordings that turned soundtracks into overly-polished collections of songs rather than a celebration of the music, rhythm and cadence of the whole aural cinematic experience.   For me, they will always be tied together and now, at last, I don’t have to do all the mixing myself.   Of course, until they release Mean Streets the way it should be, mixing songs with the sound of Johnny Boy screaming out the car window (and Marty’s “confess your sins” intro to Be My Baby),  I guess I’ll have to.

0 Response I Got the Movie Music in Me (and the Sound Effects too)
Posted By swac44 : May 2, 2012 9:22 am

This post reminds me of a couple of mixtapes that were fun to make (actual tapes, on 90-minute Cr02 cassettes). One was a set of music from blaxploitation films, from Sweet Sweetback to the Avenging Disco Godfather, with songs sourced from either vinyl or VHS copies of the films (this was pre-DVD). I also kept chunks of dialogue from the films, especially the Rudy Ray Moore titles. “He’s gonna turn over every stone in this town to get to the main man, and when he does…all hell is gonna break loose.”

The other was a collection of versions of the Third Man Theme, from the original film version through covers by guitarist Billy Strange, Los Indios Tabalerjos and even the Beatles (an outtake from the Let It Be sessions). I don’t get the urge to listen to that second tape often, but it was certainly fun tracking all those versions down over the years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lepK_qQdHXI

Posted By swac44 : May 2, 2012 9:22 am

This post reminds me of a couple of mixtapes that were fun to make (actual tapes, on 90-minute Cr02 cassettes). One was a set of music from blaxploitation films, from Sweet Sweetback to the Avenging Disco Godfather, with songs sourced from either vinyl or VHS copies of the films (this was pre-DVD). I also kept chunks of dialogue from the films, especially the Rudy Ray Moore titles. “He’s gonna turn over every stone in this town to get to the main man, and when he does…all hell is gonna break loose.”

The other was a collection of versions of the Third Man Theme, from the original film version through covers by guitarist Billy Strange, Los Indios Tabalerjos and even the Beatles (an outtake from the Let It Be sessions). I don’t get the urge to listen to that second tape often, but it was certainly fun tracking all those versions down over the years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lepK_qQdHXI

Posted By swac44 : May 2, 2012 9:24 am

One note about the Third Man Theme, I have sheet music for it that actually includes lyrics, but I have yet to come across a recorded vocal version. There’s gotta be one out there somewhere…

Posted By swac44 : May 2, 2012 9:24 am

One note about the Third Man Theme, I have sheet music for it that actually includes lyrics, but I have yet to come across a recorded vocal version. There’s gotta be one out there somewhere…

Posted By Andrew : May 2, 2012 9:59 am

King Kong was used and very popular with the short people who live in my house.

BTW I have always loved the music from East of Eden. Both when watching the movie and on its own even though it sounds very different to me as stand alone music.

Posted By Andrew : May 2, 2012 9:59 am

King Kong was used and very popular with the short people who live in my house.

BTW I have always loved the music from East of Eden. Both when watching the movie and on its own even though it sounds very different to me as stand alone music.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 10:06 am

I used 90 minutes more than 60 just to get more music on there. The 60 were of higher quality (supposedly, based on tape thickness) but it always sounded more muted to me.

I love that version of The Third Man theme and now that you mention it, I’d love a true soundtrack of LET IT BE released. The one released has some before and after dialogue and such but you could cull a very good double album filled with outtakes and interesting things like the Third Man theme you mention.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 10:06 am

I used 90 minutes more than 60 just to get more music on there. The 60 were of higher quality (supposedly, based on tape thickness) but it always sounded more muted to me.

I love that version of The Third Man theme and now that you mention it, I’d love a true soundtrack of LET IT BE released. The one released has some before and after dialogue and such but you could cull a very good double album filled with outtakes and interesting things like the Third Man theme you mention.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 10:11 am

Glad to hear the KING KONG ringtone went over well.

Another one that sounds different in all recorded versions is “Help Me Make it through the Night” by Kris Kristofferson. I literally like no version except the one used to open FAT CITY. It has a long instrumental intro before the song kicks in and then the song is done very softly on acoustic guitar instead of the kind of honky tonk sound the studio and live versions have. It’s excellent and, of course, I have my own copy of it. I’m going to have to listen to EAST OF EDEN again. I remember liking the score very much but I’m not as familiar with it.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 10:11 am

Glad to hear the KING KONG ringtone went over well.

Another one that sounds different in all recorded versions is “Help Me Make it through the Night” by Kris Kristofferson. I literally like no version except the one used to open FAT CITY. It has a long instrumental intro before the song kicks in and then the song is done very softly on acoustic guitar instead of the kind of honky tonk sound the studio and live versions have. It’s excellent and, of course, I have my own copy of it. I’m going to have to listen to EAST OF EDEN again. I remember liking the score very much but I’m not as familiar with it.

Posted By swac44 : May 2, 2012 10:26 am

I think East of Eden was one of the first films I watched with a home surround sound system (on laserdisc, which had great uncompressed audio, compared to most DVDs both then and now, only blu-ray surpasses them), and it was also the first older film I’d seen with a full surround soundtrack (I guess some prints had a 4-track soundtrack), and was also impressed by the Leonard Rosenman score, especially in that format. I love the boldness of those early surround soundtracks, Spartacus and West Side Story also come to mind, and there are dozens more that come to mind.

As for Let It Be, there was that CD Let It Be, Naked that removed the Phil Spector-imposed gloss, and included a second disc of snippets of dialogue and rehearsal audio, but as any Beatle bootleg collector knows, there’s hours of that stuff out there, from the Fab Four playing old rock and roll favourites to early run-throughs of material that would wind up on early solo records (Teddy Boy, All Things Must Pass, Another Day and more). Fascinating stuff, although it doesn’t always show them at their best. As for Let It Be on video, maybe we’ll see it released again after Paul and Ringo take that final golden slumber, but probably not before.

Posted By swac44 : May 2, 2012 10:26 am

I think East of Eden was one of the first films I watched with a home surround sound system (on laserdisc, which had great uncompressed audio, compared to most DVDs both then and now, only blu-ray surpasses them), and it was also the first older film I’d seen with a full surround soundtrack (I guess some prints had a 4-track soundtrack), and was also impressed by the Leonard Rosenman score, especially in that format. I love the boldness of those early surround soundtracks, Spartacus and West Side Story also come to mind, and there are dozens more that come to mind.

As for Let It Be, there was that CD Let It Be, Naked that removed the Phil Spector-imposed gloss, and included a second disc of snippets of dialogue and rehearsal audio, but as any Beatle bootleg collector knows, there’s hours of that stuff out there, from the Fab Four playing old rock and roll favourites to early run-throughs of material that would wind up on early solo records (Teddy Boy, All Things Must Pass, Another Day and more). Fascinating stuff, although it doesn’t always show them at their best. As for Let It Be on video, maybe we’ll see it released again after Paul and Ringo take that final golden slumber, but probably not before.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 10:50 am

That’s too bad because it’s a fine documentary (and Oscar winner for its song score). There are clips from it everywhere but I’d love to sit down to a beautifully restored version of it one day and just take it all in. And there could be a second disc with nothing but edited out clips and songs.

Fascinating stuff, although it doesn’t always show them at their best.

And that’s a good thing. As they are quite polished on their albums, it’s nice to hear them muck about occasionally. I remember getting a tape of recordings from Hamburg and George utterly mangles the guitar intro to Roll Over Beethoven. I mean, it sounded like he was playing with mittens on or something. But in a way, it was great because it was so human and down to earth.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 10:50 am

That’s too bad because it’s a fine documentary (and Oscar winner for its song score). There are clips from it everywhere but I’d love to sit down to a beautifully restored version of it one day and just take it all in. And there could be a second disc with nothing but edited out clips and songs.

Fascinating stuff, although it doesn’t always show them at their best.

And that’s a good thing. As they are quite polished on their albums, it’s nice to hear them muck about occasionally. I remember getting a tape of recordings from Hamburg and George utterly mangles the guitar intro to Roll Over Beethoven. I mean, it sounded like he was playing with mittens on or something. But in a way, it was great because it was so human and down to earth.

Posted By Tom S : May 2, 2012 1:51 pm

David Byrne’s True Stories is an interesting case here- the one thing it doesn’t have is full versions of the songs sans dialog over them, which in that case I would kill for. There’s the studio album with Talking Heads singing instead of the actors- which obviously isn’t the same- and there are some bonus tracks and singles over the years, which means I can at least listen to the Pops Staples verion of Papa Legba. But I want the movie version of Dream Operator, dammit!

There are of course fanrips of the actual sound in the movie- but the song is diagetic and not mixed to be louder than the applause that happens throughout, so it’s not great as a separate mp3. Weirdly, there’s also an album of incidental sounds and music from the movie. Oh, well, it wouldn’t be a David Byrne thing if it weren’t weird.

Posted By Tom S : May 2, 2012 1:51 pm

David Byrne’s True Stories is an interesting case here- the one thing it doesn’t have is full versions of the songs sans dialog over them, which in that case I would kill for. There’s the studio album with Talking Heads singing instead of the actors- which obviously isn’t the same- and there are some bonus tracks and singles over the years, which means I can at least listen to the Pops Staples verion of Papa Legba. But I want the movie version of Dream Operator, dammit!

There are of course fanrips of the actual sound in the movie- but the song is diagetic and not mixed to be louder than the applause that happens throughout, so it’s not great as a separate mp3. Weirdly, there’s also an album of incidental sounds and music from the movie. Oh, well, it wouldn’t be a David Byrne thing if it weren’t weird.

Posted By jdhcinehistoryresearch : May 2, 2012 2:33 pm

I had both of those WB 3-record sets and I loved them because they whetted my appetite to actually see those films (although I have yet to really want to see LIGHTS OF NEW YORK after that leaden cut they included), and when I was able to see them on WUAB in Cleveland or WTBS from Atlanta, it was a revelation. UA records also brought out a Busby Berkeley album and there were the Mark56 records that gave us Laurel & Hardy snippets, OF MICE AND MEN and the Grammy winning CITIZEN KANE album, which must have surprised and delighted Orson Welles-winning an award for that masterpiece he had made 30+ years before.

The Rhino CD of the CASABLANCA soundtrack has that complete version of “As Time Goes By.”

Posted By jdhcinehistoryresearch : May 2, 2012 2:33 pm

I had both of those WB 3-record sets and I loved them because they whetted my appetite to actually see those films (although I have yet to really want to see LIGHTS OF NEW YORK after that leaden cut they included), and when I was able to see them on WUAB in Cleveland or WTBS from Atlanta, it was a revelation. UA records also brought out a Busby Berkeley album and there were the Mark56 records that gave us Laurel & Hardy snippets, OF MICE AND MEN and the Grammy winning CITIZEN KANE album, which must have surprised and delighted Orson Welles-winning an award for that masterpiece he had made 30+ years before.

The Rhino CD of the CASABLANCA soundtrack has that complete version of “As Time Goes By.”

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 4:04 pm

Tom – That second album of incidental sounds and music from the movie sounds like something I’d like to hear. I might get it just for that.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 4:04 pm

Tom – That second album of incidental sounds and music from the movie sounds like something I’d like to hear. I might get it just for that.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 4:07 pm

I had both of those WB 3-record sets and I loved them because they whetted my appetite to actually see those films

Yes, they certainly do. I think one of my favorite parts I didn’t mention in the post is how they include the entire 14 minute score Erich Korngold wrote for ROBIN HOOD and at the end of the section where the merry men are capturing the sheriff and his men, they include the sound of Flynn laughing followed by his “Welcome to Sherwood, my lady.” Then it goes right into the next section of music. Love that.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 4:07 pm

I had both of those WB 3-record sets and I loved them because they whetted my appetite to actually see those films

Yes, they certainly do. I think one of my favorite parts I didn’t mention in the post is how they include the entire 14 minute score Erich Korngold wrote for ROBIN HOOD and at the end of the section where the merry men are capturing the sheriff and his men, they include the sound of Flynn laughing followed by his “Welcome to Sherwood, my lady.” Then it goes right into the next section of music. Love that.

Posted By Juana Maria : May 2, 2012 4:33 pm

Greg Ferara: I loved your article! Yes,I too listened to records when I was younger, well I did until the needle broke and we never got it fixed! Drat,any way, not long ago my twin sister & I found another(albeit older and bulkier)record player in the house, we would listen to Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic” album,we don’t know how it got in the house,Aerosmith isn’t even my parents’ taste.OOOOooh! And it is missing the album cover. Strange. What’s strange is my parents’ record collection:Barry Manilow,Hawaiian music,Classical music, square dance music,How to Learn Spanish records, Disney story and music records(for us kids when were little);and then that mysterious Aerosmith record from nowhere! No,Greg,I don’t think you sound ancient at all, it’s everyone else is too young! These kids today have no idea what it meant to live during our era. I wanted to add,that my mom was a Beatles’fan(not a maniac,just a nice little fan)and she went to the theatre and saw “A Hard Day’s Night”. We have watched it together, when I borrowed it from the library on VHS of course. Nowadays you can’t even mention VCRs,VHS,or casettes without getting dirty looks! People are so cruel. I won’t be cruel like that to you. I am overjoyed you said you can’t imagine “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” without L.Q.Jones and James Coburn. I have taped the movie “Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid” on to DVD off of TCM one night. I too can’t imagine it without them, and prefer the Bob Dylan version of the song the best. Though,I have to explain I am something of a Hippie and Bob Dylan’s one of favorite artists. I have a confession or two to make:1.Even though I’m a fan of Dylan, I don’t have any records/CDs of his. I was tempted to buy his 2-Disc set at K-Mart but I didn’t get it. 2.You have to understand how much I love L.Q. Jones and James Coburn. Which I do, I love them and have for a long time and I watch as much of their shows and movies as I can. Please mention them more often. Thanks for the article. I found it well written and my sentiments exactly. I almost forgot to mention in all my rambling, that my brother and sister and myself used to make our own recordings too. My sister and I took it further than you did, we made up our own shows and commericals. We were(and still are) very creative. We made our own newspaper with funnies. I did the weather report and my sister wrote and drew the funnies. There was also when we would use a recorder to tape sounds off TV, one memorable occasion was when my sister taped Spike on “Buffy”(her taste not mine)saying:”My delicous black plum!” Oh, that was great. I had thought of recording more things on to casette tape, but it just as well I didn’t because I can find so much on You Tube that really brings me back to the old days. I still cling to my casettes, even some that don’t play anymore. I have a question are those all your records Greg in the photo? WOW!! I don’t have hardly any records or CDs to compare to all that. Well thanks again and bye!

Posted By Juana Maria : May 2, 2012 4:33 pm

Greg Ferara: I loved your article! Yes,I too listened to records when I was younger, well I did until the needle broke and we never got it fixed! Drat,any way, not long ago my twin sister & I found another(albeit older and bulkier)record player in the house, we would listen to Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic” album,we don’t know how it got in the house,Aerosmith isn’t even my parents’ taste.OOOOooh! And it is missing the album cover. Strange. What’s strange is my parents’ record collection:Barry Manilow,Hawaiian music,Classical music, square dance music,How to Learn Spanish records, Disney story and music records(for us kids when were little);and then that mysterious Aerosmith record from nowhere! No,Greg,I don’t think you sound ancient at all, it’s everyone else is too young! These kids today have no idea what it meant to live during our era. I wanted to add,that my mom was a Beatles’fan(not a maniac,just a nice little fan)and she went to the theatre and saw “A Hard Day’s Night”. We have watched it together, when I borrowed it from the library on VHS of course. Nowadays you can’t even mention VCRs,VHS,or casettes without getting dirty looks! People are so cruel. I won’t be cruel like that to you. I am overjoyed you said you can’t imagine “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” without L.Q.Jones and James Coburn. I have taped the movie “Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid” on to DVD off of TCM one night. I too can’t imagine it without them, and prefer the Bob Dylan version of the song the best. Though,I have to explain I am something of a Hippie and Bob Dylan’s one of favorite artists. I have a confession or two to make:1.Even though I’m a fan of Dylan, I don’t have any records/CDs of his. I was tempted to buy his 2-Disc set at K-Mart but I didn’t get it. 2.You have to understand how much I love L.Q. Jones and James Coburn. Which I do, I love them and have for a long time and I watch as much of their shows and movies as I can. Please mention them more often. Thanks for the article. I found it well written and my sentiments exactly. I almost forgot to mention in all my rambling, that my brother and sister and myself used to make our own recordings too. My sister and I took it further than you did, we made up our own shows and commericals. We were(and still are) very creative. We made our own newspaper with funnies. I did the weather report and my sister wrote and drew the funnies. There was also when we would use a recorder to tape sounds off TV, one memorable occasion was when my sister taped Spike on “Buffy”(her taste not mine)saying:”My delicous black plum!” Oh, that was great. I had thought of recording more things on to casette tape, but it just as well I didn’t because I can find so much on You Tube that really brings me back to the old days. I still cling to my casettes, even some that don’t play anymore. I have a question are those all your records Greg in the photo? WOW!! I don’t have hardly any records or CDs to compare to all that. Well thanks again and bye!

Posted By swac44 : May 2, 2012 4:37 pm

But in a way, it was great because it was so human and down to earth.

I love their BBC sessions for precisely that reason. I see there will soon be a release of the complete Washington D.C. concert that was filmed shortly after the Beatles’ first Ed Sullivan appearance (the original footage was recently located), I wonder if we’ll see the Budokan concert surface as well? I have a decent looking copy of it sourced from a 16mm film print, it was one of their last shows, and they sound a bit tired (and the more polite crowd meant you can actually hear them). They also mangle the harmonies to Paperback Writer (which would have been extremely difficult to reproduce outside of a studio at that point), probably because at other shows they wouldn’t have been able to hear anything anyway.

Posted By swac44 : May 2, 2012 4:37 pm

But in a way, it was great because it was so human and down to earth.

I love their BBC sessions for precisely that reason. I see there will soon be a release of the complete Washington D.C. concert that was filmed shortly after the Beatles’ first Ed Sullivan appearance (the original footage was recently located), I wonder if we’ll see the Budokan concert surface as well? I have a decent looking copy of it sourced from a 16mm film print, it was one of their last shows, and they sound a bit tired (and the more polite crowd meant you can actually hear them). They also mangle the harmonies to Paperback Writer (which would have been extremely difficult to reproduce outside of a studio at that point), probably because at other shows they wouldn’t have been able to hear anything anyway.

Posted By Brian : May 2, 2012 5:16 pm

This isn’t exactly the same, but your mention of recordings with dialogue reminds me that, when I was a kid, I used to have an album called “The Story of STAR WARS,” which had most of the dialogue, music and sound effects from the film (with narration bridging the missing stuff), which in a pre-VCR age was a wonderful way to recreate the film in your head– many a family car trip went faster listening to that on cassette (I also had one for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and, weirdly, TRON– for such a visual film, I always think first of Jeff Bridges’ voice).

Posted By Brian : May 2, 2012 5:16 pm

This isn’t exactly the same, but your mention of recordings with dialogue reminds me that, when I was a kid, I used to have an album called “The Story of STAR WARS,” which had most of the dialogue, music and sound effects from the film (with narration bridging the missing stuff), which in a pre-VCR age was a wonderful way to recreate the film in your head– many a family car trip went faster listening to that on cassette (I also had one for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and, weirdly, TRON– for such a visual film, I always think first of Jeff Bridges’ voice).

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 7:50 pm

Juana Maria, Dylan has so many great albums. Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde, John Wesley Harding, Blood on the Tracks, Desire and I could go on. My personal recommendation to start with is Highway 61.

Glad to know you love L.Q. Jones and James Coburn, they’re both so great in Pat Garrett and I absolutely love that scene where Coburn and Jones have their shootout. Great moment.

Also, I used to put together all kind of recordings. My brother and I did parody tapes, trying to be our own Firesign Theater and also I’d do documentary like commentaries on songs or movies. I’ve always been obsessed with analyzing film and music.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 7:50 pm

Juana Maria, Dylan has so many great albums. Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde, John Wesley Harding, Blood on the Tracks, Desire and I could go on. My personal recommendation to start with is Highway 61.

Glad to know you love L.Q. Jones and James Coburn, they’re both so great in Pat Garrett and I absolutely love that scene where Coburn and Jones have their shootout. Great moment.

Also, I used to put together all kind of recordings. My brother and I did parody tapes, trying to be our own Firesign Theater and also I’d do documentary like commentaries on songs or movies. I’ve always been obsessed with analyzing film and music.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 7:53 pm

Swac, there’s a lot of good outtakes on the Anthology as well. You can hear how raw they sound in concert because, as they said in the anthology doc, they couldn’t even hear themselves on stage so keeping everything sounding polished was damn near impossible.

The most interesting thing to me about the Anthologies, is how important their song selection was, main due to George Martin’s influence. You’ll hear early versions of songs like Got to Get You into My Life and think, “Thank God they didn’t go with this version. It would’ve been a dud.” So you can kind of see how many of their best songs might not have come off that way had they made the wrong choice, so to speak.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 7:53 pm

Swac, there’s a lot of good outtakes on the Anthology as well. You can hear how raw they sound in concert because, as they said in the anthology doc, they couldn’t even hear themselves on stage so keeping everything sounding polished was damn near impossible.

The most interesting thing to me about the Anthologies, is how important their song selection was, main due to George Martin’s influence. You’ll hear early versions of songs like Got to Get You into My Life and think, “Thank God they didn’t go with this version. It would’ve been a dud.” So you can kind of see how many of their best songs might not have come off that way had they made the wrong choice, so to speak.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 7:57 pm

This isn’t exactly the same, but your mention of recordings with dialogue reminds me that, when I was a kid, I used to have an album called “The Story of STAR WARS,” which had most of the dialogue, music and sound effects from the film

No, Brian, that’s exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about. I mean, obviously I’m focused on the musical soundtracks here but right at the start of the piece I mention movies on LP. I mean, younger people look at me with the confused dog tilted head look when I tell them that. “What do you mean, the movie on record? You can’t see it!” And, no you can’t but I still listened to them. Weird, huh? I never had the Star Wars one but I wish I had, that sounds great. I remember having a Robin Hood one that did the same thing: Narration filling in the story while music and dialogue from the movie did the rest. I loved those things.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 7:57 pm

This isn’t exactly the same, but your mention of recordings with dialogue reminds me that, when I was a kid, I used to have an album called “The Story of STAR WARS,” which had most of the dialogue, music and sound effects from the film

No, Brian, that’s exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about. I mean, obviously I’m focused on the musical soundtracks here but right at the start of the piece I mention movies on LP. I mean, younger people look at me with the confused dog tilted head look when I tell them that. “What do you mean, the movie on record? You can’t see it!” And, no you can’t but I still listened to them. Weird, huh? I never had the Star Wars one but I wish I had, that sounds great. I remember having a Robin Hood one that did the same thing: Narration filling in the story while music and dialogue from the movie did the rest. I loved those things.

Posted By jdhcinehistoryresearch : May 2, 2012 8:39 pm

There used to be albums that were on the Disneyland label that had dialogue, music and sound effects, although not always the actors that were in the film (example-THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER, which starred Guy Madison but not his voice on the album). These were to plug a lot of the live-action films from Disney, and even though I was just a kid, I had seen enough of the films to turn to my dad and say “That does not sound like the person in the movie!”

One of the poignant things about the WB “50 Years of Film” is the excerpt from MY MAN with Fanny Brice singing the title tune-all that exists of the film are the Vitaphone discs-the film is a lost film, sadly.

Posted By jdhcinehistoryresearch : May 2, 2012 8:39 pm

There used to be albums that were on the Disneyland label that had dialogue, music and sound effects, although not always the actors that were in the film (example-THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER, which starred Guy Madison but not his voice on the album). These were to plug a lot of the live-action films from Disney, and even though I was just a kid, I had seen enough of the films to turn to my dad and say “That does not sound like the person in the movie!”

One of the poignant things about the WB “50 Years of Film” is the excerpt from MY MAN with Fanny Brice singing the title tune-all that exists of the film are the Vitaphone discs-the film is a lost film, sadly.

Posted By dukeroberts : May 2, 2012 10:57 pm

I had some cassette story books of both Return of the Jedi and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and an album of Gremlins. They each played the music and snippets of dialogue with additional narration. They were fun stuff.

Years ago, when I was working in radio, I used to use VCR tapes to record snippets of dialogue to use for intros and promos, including my own. My favorite was one that I took from Big Jake. I played some of the introductory music from the video tape, did a little voiceover (For my OWN promo! How egotistical!),”It’s Sunday morning with the Duke” and then played Jim Davis’s line “I uh…heard you were dead” and the Duke’s retort, “Not hardly!” Then, I played a little snippet of the music as an outro. Ah! Radio magic!

I also took some of Elvis’s best lines from his movies to use as interjections: “Don’t push me, Willy. I’m a grease monkey who won’t slide so easily.” And, “Alright, but I’m not bitin’ the heads off any chickens!”

Posted By dukeroberts : May 2, 2012 10:57 pm

I had some cassette story books of both Return of the Jedi and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and an album of Gremlins. They each played the music and snippets of dialogue with additional narration. They were fun stuff.

Years ago, when I was working in radio, I used to use VCR tapes to record snippets of dialogue to use for intros and promos, including my own. My favorite was one that I took from Big Jake. I played some of the introductory music from the video tape, did a little voiceover (For my OWN promo! How egotistical!),”It’s Sunday morning with the Duke” and then played Jim Davis’s line “I uh…heard you were dead” and the Duke’s retort, “Not hardly!” Then, I played a little snippet of the music as an outro. Ah! Radio magic!

I also took some of Elvis’s best lines from his movies to use as interjections: “Don’t push me, Willy. I’m a grease monkey who won’t slide so easily.” And, “Alright, but I’m not bitin’ the heads off any chickens!”

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 11:13 pm

although not always the actors that were in the film

A lot of older recordings did that. I had bloopers albums (the original bloopers albums by Kermit Schaefer) that were kind of infamous for the amount of bloopers that were re-enacted with hired performers or outright fabricated. Plenty are real but there are also many impersonations. One, by Larry King, who no one knew nationally in the sixties, is clearly an actor because we all know what King sounds like now but not as much then so Schaefer figured no one would notice.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 11:13 pm

although not always the actors that were in the film

A lot of older recordings did that. I had bloopers albums (the original bloopers albums by Kermit Schaefer) that were kind of infamous for the amount of bloopers that were re-enacted with hired performers or outright fabricated. Plenty are real but there are also many impersonations. One, by Larry King, who no one knew nationally in the sixties, is clearly an actor because we all know what King sounds like now but not as much then so Schaefer figured no one would notice.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 11:18 pm

Duke, I didn’t know you were in radio. I did promos with a friend in Charleston, SC who was a DJ with one of the top forty stations down there. The station had tons of dialogue grabs from movies and tv and we’d hang out at the station and throw them together for a promo. Then he’d have me play different people saying great things about The Wave (that was the station) where they were all me just doing different voices and accents. Then we’d talk on his show sometimes (he directed me in a play down there years ago) or we’d go to a club where he was introducing an act. Nobody big though. Only one I’d ever even heard of was Tom Cochrane who was a nice enough guy. It was great fun doing that, I wouldn’t mind doing it again.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 2, 2012 11:18 pm

Duke, I didn’t know you were in radio. I did promos with a friend in Charleston, SC who was a DJ with one of the top forty stations down there. The station had tons of dialogue grabs from movies and tv and we’d hang out at the station and throw them together for a promo. Then he’d have me play different people saying great things about The Wave (that was the station) where they were all me just doing different voices and accents. Then we’d talk on his show sometimes (he directed me in a play down there years ago) or we’d go to a club where he was introducing an act. Nobody big though. Only one I’d ever even heard of was Tom Cochrane who was a nice enough guy. It was great fun doing that, I wouldn’t mind doing it again.

Posted By swac44 : May 2, 2012 11:59 pm

Ah, Tom Cochrane, I’ve interviewed him a few times myself. Great guy, indeed, but I never need to hear Life Is a Highway ever again.

Another album that just came to mind, perhaps because of our Beatles detour, is The Monkees’ HEAD, which features dialogue from the Bob Rafelson movie (including dialogue from other movies within the movie, like Bela Lugosi’s “Supernatural, perhaps…baloney, perhaps not!” line from The Black Cat, spoken, incidentally, to my fellow Haligonian, David Manners). Love that album to pieces.

Posted By swac44 : May 2, 2012 11:59 pm

Ah, Tom Cochrane, I’ve interviewed him a few times myself. Great guy, indeed, but I never need to hear Life Is a Highway ever again.

Another album that just came to mind, perhaps because of our Beatles detour, is The Monkees’ HEAD, which features dialogue from the Bob Rafelson movie (including dialogue from other movies within the movie, like Bela Lugosi’s “Supernatural, perhaps…baloney, perhaps not!” line from The Black Cat, spoken, incidentally, to my fellow Haligonian, David Manners). Love that album to pieces.

Posted By John Maddox Roberts : May 3, 2012 12:31 am

Back in ’69-’70, I was so crazy about “The Wild Bunch” that I took a battery cassette recorder to a drive-in and recorded it off the tinny window speaker. I also had an LP of Zeferelli’s “Romeo and Juliet,” complete with dialogue.

Posted By John Maddox Roberts : May 3, 2012 12:31 am

Back in ’69-’70, I was so crazy about “The Wild Bunch” that I took a battery cassette recorder to a drive-in and recorded it off the tinny window speaker. I also had an LP of Zeferelli’s “Romeo and Juliet,” complete with dialogue.

Posted By jdhcinehistoryresearch : May 3, 2012 12:55 am

I used an old reel-to-reel tape recorder my parents owned to record soundtracks off the TV-got STAGECOACH and used to listen to that and follow it in the Richard Anobile frame blow-up book. Did the same with CASABLANCA and MALTESE FALCON.

Also recorded Marx Bros. and W. C. Fields movies the same way to follow the Anobile books, as well.

Posted By jdhcinehistoryresearch : May 3, 2012 12:55 am

I used an old reel-to-reel tape recorder my parents owned to record soundtracks off the TV-got STAGECOACH and used to listen to that and follow it in the Richard Anobile frame blow-up book. Did the same with CASABLANCA and MALTESE FALCON.

Also recorded Marx Bros. and W. C. Fields movies the same way to follow the Anobile books, as well.

Posted By Willie Bilder : May 3, 2012 2:27 am

* All through my life I’ve felt disappointed more often than not by soundtrack albums — with of course notable exceptions like the Dylan PG&Btk album, because that was in fact a “real Dylan album” … Or obviously with earth-shaking pop scores like (love it or hate it) Saturday Night Fever, which had true coherence …

* But hodgepodge albums of various artists rarely prove satisfactory for a second or third listen — once again with some rare exceptions like the Scorsese and Tarantino soundtrack albums — where you’re actually dealing with an auteur-level selection — & of course Tarantino has made a big point of including lots of “snippets” — many of which however are so disturbing that I don’t really want them on my iTunes anyhow …

* Lynch soundtracks are wonderful also, if you dig Badalamenti that is … But I’m still eternally fuming about Connie Stevens’ “Sixteen Reasons” being left off of the Mulholland Drive soundtrack even though it’s totally pivotal in the film … That’s one of the most annoying things about soundtracks in general — you have to check very carefully at the store as it’s often the case that the songs you most crave aren’t on there for legal/ clearance reasons or whatever …

* But other than these few cult directors, one rarely finds a pop soundtrack worthy of purchase at an album level … Thinking of recent years, about the only thing that springs to my mind is Fincher’s stupendous Zodiac assemblage — everything from the full version of “Sky Pilot” to “Hurdy Gurdy Man” on one disc — & of course that’s a wonderful film as well …

* Oh & seek out the wonderful MOJO disc from a few years back: “The Score” — which has tons of great stuff on it including Morricone, blaxploitation, sixties pop, etc.

* Thinking about scores and classic films would be a whole different post of course … Right now what I’d most love is to get my hands on the stupendous Dietrich songs from Wilder’s “A Foreign Affair” which must be out there somewhere no doubt …

* The single most important thing to keep in mind is seeking out the BEST versions as many have noted above … I feel the greatest pity for people who purchased soundtracks to Broadway or film versions of “Mama Mia” for example … Try listening to the versions on your albums & then listening to the superlative original ABBA recordings … There’s a vast world of difference — & that’s the name of the game!

Posted By Willie Bilder : May 3, 2012 2:27 am

* All through my life I’ve felt disappointed more often than not by soundtrack albums — with of course notable exceptions like the Dylan PG&Btk album, because that was in fact a “real Dylan album” … Or obviously with earth-shaking pop scores like (love it or hate it) Saturday Night Fever, which had true coherence …

* But hodgepodge albums of various artists rarely prove satisfactory for a second or third listen — once again with some rare exceptions like the Scorsese and Tarantino soundtrack albums — where you’re actually dealing with an auteur-level selection — & of course Tarantino has made a big point of including lots of “snippets” — many of which however are so disturbing that I don’t really want them on my iTunes anyhow …

* Lynch soundtracks are wonderful also, if you dig Badalamenti that is … But I’m still eternally fuming about Connie Stevens’ “Sixteen Reasons” being left off of the Mulholland Drive soundtrack even though it’s totally pivotal in the film … That’s one of the most annoying things about soundtracks in general — you have to check very carefully at the store as it’s often the case that the songs you most crave aren’t on there for legal/ clearance reasons or whatever …

* But other than these few cult directors, one rarely finds a pop soundtrack worthy of purchase at an album level … Thinking of recent years, about the only thing that springs to my mind is Fincher’s stupendous Zodiac assemblage — everything from the full version of “Sky Pilot” to “Hurdy Gurdy Man” on one disc — & of course that’s a wonderful film as well …

* Oh & seek out the wonderful MOJO disc from a few years back: “The Score” — which has tons of great stuff on it including Morricone, blaxploitation, sixties pop, etc.

* Thinking about scores and classic films would be a whole different post of course … Right now what I’d most love is to get my hands on the stupendous Dietrich songs from Wilder’s “A Foreign Affair” which must be out there somewhere no doubt …

* The single most important thing to keep in mind is seeking out the BEST versions as many have noted above … I feel the greatest pity for people who purchased soundtracks to Broadway or film versions of “Mama Mia” for example … Try listening to the versions on your albums & then listening to the superlative original ABBA recordings … There’s a vast world of difference — & that’s the name of the game!

Posted By Brian : May 3, 2012 5:24 am

Greg,
Ah, ok– I misread that at the beginning. Cool!

Posted By Brian : May 3, 2012 5:24 am

Greg,
Ah, ok– I misread that at the beginning. Cool!

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