For the New Year, some great new additions to the Library’s large and growing collection of film soundtracks, and Broadway musical cast albums. From classic scores like Chinatown and Mame, to the contemporary sounds of Waitress and Bright Star, there is something for everyone here.
Jerry Goldsmith has composed some of the greatest music in the history of film. Classics like Planet of the Apes, The Omen, Alien are all stamped with his style and sound. The soundtrack for The Red Pony, was composed in 1973 for the television adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novella that starred Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara. The score won Goldsmith his first Emmy award.
A Gathering of Eagles is his soundtrack for the 1963 movie about the US Air Force set during the Cold War. It marks Goldsmith first score for a military story that would later include Patton, The Sand Pebbles and The Boys from Brazil.
But perhaps his most well known music, regarded as one of the greatest movie scores ever written is Chinatown, composed for the 1974 neo-noir style mystery directed by Roman Polanski, that starred Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. The opening love theme track is beautiful in its use of a haunting and jazzy single trumpet solo.
Bright Star is a new musical by Steve Martin and Eddie Brickell, that features bluegrass music to tell a love story set in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina over two different time frames from the 1920s to 1940s. Sun’s Gonna Shine is a large and lively ensemble number and the best track on the album.
Waitress is another new musical, with an original score composed by Sara Bareilles, based on the 2007 film of the same name. It tells of a waitress and pie chef living in the American south, who enters a pie making contest. Opening Up is a showstopper track with lots of Broadway bounce.
The Color Purple is a new Broadway cast recording of the musical based on the landmark 1982 novel by Alice Walker, upon which the Oscar winning 1985 film by Steven Spielberg was also based. The musical was originally produced on Broadway in 2005. This revival production opened in 2015 and recently closed after a long run. The story follows the journey of Celie, an African-American woman in the American south from early to mid-20th century.
Mame is the soundtrack to the 1974 movie adaptation of Jerry Herman’s hit 1960s Broadway musical that starred Angela Lansbury. Released at a time when movie audiences were queuing up see films like The Exorcist and Taxi Driver, Mame did not fare well at the box-office, due in part to shifting audience tastes, but also possibly a miscast Lucille Ball in the leading role. However the album still contains all the great Herman songs and tunes from this iconic show.
Thank God it’s Friday was released in 1978 at the height of the disco music era of Saturday Night Fever, and set in a fictional LA nightclub. It features major performers such as Donna Summer performing the fantastic Oscar and Grammy winning Last Dance, Diana Ross, The Commodores and many others. It is a limited edition release containing black CDs with clear track lines, replicating the vinyl discs of the original release. TGIF is a pulsating and well recorded homage to a colourful dance craze.
Woman of the Year was a 1981 musical written by Fred Ebb and John Kander, composers of hit shows like Cabaret and Chicago, that starred Lauren Bacall. Based on the 1942 Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn movie of the same name, it won Tony Awards including for Best Original Score, and Best Actress in a Musical. Highlights include the comic duet The Grass is Always Greener, and the title track.
Seesaw is a tune-filled 1973 musical based on the play Two for the Seesaw. Directed by Michael Bennett (A Chorus Line), with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields (Sweet Charity), Seesaw had a short run in 1973 and evokes its setting of New York City very well.
Star Trek Beyond, composed by Michael Giacchino, is the orchestral soundtrack from the latest installment in the Star Trek movie saga. But as is customary with some movie soundtracks these days, it does not include the chart topping hit song from the movie, Sledgehammer performed by Rihanna, just as the soundtrack to the James Bond epic Skyfall, did not include Adele’s chart topping title song. Shame!
Absolutely Fabulous is a compilation album from the recent movie adaptation of the hit TV series. Kylie Minogue burns her way through This Wheel’s on Fire, in an exclusive version just for the soundtrack.
These CDs are currently available on the Listening Posts in Arts. The online catalogue indicates which Listening Post the CD is available on. There are eight jukebox listening posts in the Arts Reading Room, where you can listen to CDs from the audiovisual collection.