Archive for the ‘Soundtracks’ Category

Cliff Richard celebrates 50th anniversary of The Young Ones

December 10, 2011

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Exactly 50 years ago today (10 December 1961), Cliff Richard’s third film, The Young Ones, received a start-studded premiere in London’s West End.

Directed by Sidney J Furie, and written by Peter Myers and Ronald Cass (who also wrote most of the songs), the film tells the story of how Cliff and his friends try to save their youth club from an unscrupulous millionaire property developer (played by Robert Morley).

The film was originally intended to feature The Shadows in major acting roles alongside Cliff, Robert Morley and Carole Gray. But Richard O’Sullivan ended up taking the role intended for Hank Marvin and Melvyn Hayes played the part written for Jet Harris. The Shadows mainly appeared in the film as musicians.

The Young Ones soundtrack album went on to reach No. 1 on the UK album chart, while the title song – written by Sid Tepper and Roy Bennett – also topped the charts as a single.

Other classic Cliff songs featured in the film included ‘Living Doll’, ‘Lessons In Love’ and ‘When the Girl in Your Arms is the Girl in Your Heart’. The Shadows also performed a couple of instrumentals – ‘Peace Pipe’ and ‘The Savage’ – and wrote the songs ‘Got A Funny Feeling’ and ‘We Say Yeah’ for the soundtrack.

“When I became a ‘film star’ it was a very exciting time,” Sir Cliff remembers. “Suddenly, when The Shadows and I came onto the set, we’d have our own chairs with our names on the back. We’d have our own dressing rooms – no more sharing.

“If you were late filming on location you had a hotel. You didn’t have to go and find your own digs, which is what we’d been used to in the previous year or two when we were on tour and couldn’t afford hotels. So ‘film stardom’ brought a treatment that was absolutely phenomenal.

“When I look back on it now, I’m so glad we took the attitude of saying let’s just have fun together.”


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James Bond composer John Barry dies aged 77

February 20, 2011

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John Barry – composer of the soundtracks for classic films such as Born Free, Out of Africa, Midnight Cowboy, Somewhere in Time and the James Bond films – has died in New York of a heart attack aged 77. He is understood to have been in poor health for some time.

  Born John Barry Prendergast to a cinema-owning family in York on 3 November 1933, he first found fame as leader of the John Barry Seven. His earliest hits included ‘Hit and Miss’ (1960) which was the theme music for BBC TV’s Juke Box Jury, and a cover version of The Ventures’ ‘Walk Don’t Run’ (1960).

  The first film for which he composed, arranged and conducted the score was Beat Girl, starring Adam Faith, in 1960.

  Barry’s 1962 arrangement of Monty Norman’s James Bond theme led to him composing scores for 11 Bond films, including From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964) and You Only Live Twice (1967). He was regarded as having a huge influence on the ‘coolness’ and distinctive style of the 007 series.

  Awarded an OBE in 1999 for services to music, Barry was renowned for his lush strings, orchestral swells and elegant melodies. He saw himself as much a dramatist as a composer and his music was always inextricably linked to the stories told on the screen.

  Barry was also an innovator. He was one of the first composers to use Moog synthesizers in a film score (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969).

  In a career spanning almost 50 years, Barry was responsible for some of the most memorable and beautiful film scores of all time. He won five Oscars for his film work, including two for Born Free (1967), and one for The Lion in Winter (which also won a BAFTA) in 1969, Out of Africa (1986) and Dances with Wolves (which also won a Grammy Award) in 1991.

  His work for TV included the theme for The Persuaders (1971), while his non-soundtrack work included the albums The Beyondness of Things (1999) and Eternal Echoes (2001).

  Barry’s most recent film score was for the wartime thriller Enigma (2001), while a musical version of Brighton Rock, created with lyricist Don Black, had its London premiere in 2004. He received a BAFTA fellowship in 2005.

  Don Black, 72, who worked with the composer on his Born Free, Thunderball and Diamonds are Forever theme songs, said Barry remained unaffected by his international success. “The thing about John that I will always remember was he never changed,” he said. “He was very much the Yorkshireman, whether he was in Beverly Hills or Manhattan.”

  Barry – who lived in Oyster Bay, Long Island – is survived by Laurie, his wife of 33 years, his four children and five grandchildren.

  According to Don Black, Barry’s widow Laurie is considering staging a major memorial service in London later this year. “She’s talking about the Albert Hall in June or July,” he said. “There will definitely be a big night coming.”


  • From Russia With Love
  • Goldfinger
  • Zulu
  • Born Free
  • You Only Live Twice
  • The Lion in Winter
  • Midnight Cowboy
  • Diamonds are Forever
  • Somewhere in Time
  • Out of Africa
  • Dances with Wolves
  • Chaplin

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Nine To Five turned into a Broadway musical … while hit musical Wicked heads for Hollywood

July 16, 2008

The 1980 film Nine To Five – about three female colleagues who plot to turn the tables on their sexist, lying boss – is to be turned into a musical which will open on Broadway on April 23, 2009.

The musical will feature Dolly Parton’s original score for the film, as well as 20 new songs.


The West Wing‘s Allison Janney will take on the role played by Lily Tomlin in the original film, while Stephanie J. Block will play Jane Fonda’s character, and Megan Hilty will co-star as the sexy executive secretary originally portrayed by Dolly Parton. Marc Kudisch will play their bigoted boss.


It was producer Robert Greenblatt and original screenplay writer Patricia Resnick who persuaded Dolly Parton to work on the stage adaptation.


Although she was unsure about it at first, Dolly Parton, 62, said working on the musical turned out to be the most fun she had ever had as a songwriter. “I don’t know that much about Broadway; it’s a little bit out of my league,” she said. “But when they asked me if I would write the music, I said I would try.”


Meanwhile, the Tony award-winning Broadway musical Wicked is heading in the opposite direction. It’s set to become the latest stage show to be turned into a major film.


Following the success of Chicago, Hairspray and Mamma Mia!, the Wizard of Oz-inspired musical is to be turned into a film by Universal Pictures. It will be produced by Marc Platt and Stephen Schwartz.


However, fans will have to wait some time to see the film, according Wicked author Gregory Maguire. He says it may be four years before it actually hits the big screen.

Mamma Mia! … Meryl and Pierce really can sing

July 9, 2008

The soundtrack to the new Mamma Mia! movie is released this week, featuring some surprisingly good renditions of 18 classic ABBA songs by an all-singing, all-dancing cast led by Meryl Streep. Apparently, all of the actors did their own singing without a stunt double in sight.


Produced by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, the album manages to recapture a lot of the original ABBA magic – with Benny & Björn coaxing some good vocal performances from Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Christina Baranski, Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Walters and Colin Firth (the latter, it seems, used to be in a band).


Meryl Streep will surprise a lot of people with her heartbreaking version of ‘The Winner Takes it All’, while Christina Baranski’s ‘Does Your Mother Know’ is outstanding. Pierce Brosnan delivers some moving vocals alongside Streep on ‘When All Is Said And Done’. And the Meryl Streep/Julie Walters version of ‘Dancing Queen’ is certainly … um … a real collector’s item.


A must-have for ABBA and Meryl Streep fans alike.

Mamma Mia! – The Movie Soundtrack (Polydor).








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