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Henry Mancini

Mancini in the Sixties: Two Classic Film Soundtracks

Review by Gary Hill

I've always enjoyed Henry Mancini's soundtrack work. Sure, it's often a bit on the light side of the musical spectrum. It still has some great peaks and valleys and classy melodies. Here Cherry Red had put together two of his soundtracks (one from 1967 and the other from 1969) onto one CD. This is dated, and soundtrack music is soundtrack music. It also has some great musical moments.

Track by Track Review
Two For The Road (1967)

                    
Two for the Road (Vocal)

The music on this is quite pretty. The vocal arrangement makes me think of The Association just a bit.  I like the violin section here.

Something for Audrey

This mellower piece is quite pretty. It's a nice slice of old school sound.

The Lovely Life

There is definitely some old world music built into this number. The orchestral arrangement is tasty. There are some great melodies here.

The Chaser

Much more of a jazz number, I love the groove and the vibe on this piece of music. I dig the organ solo on this, too. This is one of my favorite pieces here.

Something Loose

Another that's among the jazzier ones here, the arrangement on this one suffers a bit from some of the dated elements. Still, this is a solid song with some good melodies.

Happy Barefoot Boy

Organ is the primary driving factor of this piece of music. It's very dated sounding because of that, but it's also a lot of fun.

Two for the Road (Main Title - Instrumental)

This is the same musically as the opening cut. I love the violin on it.

Congarocka

With a lot more of a jazz vibe built into it, this has an energy and groove that works so well.

French Provincial

The title to this is appropriate as it feels like you are sitting in a French cafe.

The Donk

The jazz groove on this is so cool and so tasty. This is a fun cut.

Domain St. Juste (Din-Din Music)

We're more in the classical vein on this mellow piece. In fact, I'd consider this to be classical music.

Two for the Road (Instrumental)

Another with a definite symphonic element, this is more pure soundtrack music than real classical stuff. It has melodies from the two earlier versions of the piece, but I don't like this as much as I did the previous one.

Me, Natalie (1969)
                   

Natalie (Vocal - Rod McKuen)

This is more of a folk pop styled number.

Free!

There are some non-lyrical vocals on this thing. It's an energized number that has a real early 60s kind of pop music feel to it.

Sequence for Uncle Harold

This is a very pretty piece of music. It has a lot of classical elements built into it. Yet it has some jazz things here, too.

A Groovy Mood

Organ brings a definite dated, but cool vibe to this energetic piece of music. I love the bass work on it.

Off-Ramp to Nowhere (The Die-Hard Trippers)

Here is a cool rock and roll cut. This is very much 1960s hard rock. It's classy stuff, too. It has vocals.

Theme for Losers

Piano is the key factor here. Some strings are laced over the top for flavoring. This is a potent and quite pretty piece of music.

We (Vocal - Rod McKuen)

A slow moving and mellow cut, this is pretty. The string arrangement is a nice touch.

W.A. Mozart, I Love You

As you might guess from the title, there is a lot of classical music at the heart of this. Yet the arrangement has a more modern twist in a lot of ways.

In and Out of Love Montage

This is a long piece of music, weighing in at almost seven and a half minutes. It's literally a montage of various musical themes. It lands on the mellow end of the spectrum and has some pretty stuff built into it.  Around the six minute mark it gets into some dramatic and powerful territory for a crescendo. Then it comes back even mellower.

Bench Warmer
This is a bouncy pop music styled piece. It has a real late 60s feeling to it, which fits with the time period. There are some non-lyrical vocals.
Dear David
Another extended piece, this has female choral vocals. It also includes some lines from the movie. Although it's not credited like it is in the next cut, those lines are by Patty Duke. This is a mellow track that's pretty and slow moving. This really is a piece of the film because the bulk of it is focused around that speaking.
Natalie (Dialog by Patty Duke)
The music here has a bit more drama and beauty to it than the more lightweight stuff in the previous piece.  Although the "dialog by Patty Duke" label is on this piece, there is no dialog from her here, only on "Dear David."
 
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