If That Machine Can Do What You Say It Can Do, Destroy It, George, Before It Destroys You

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Some New Year’s Resolutions

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At Last! The Avengers Original Soundtrack Music!

I’m an optimist.

Back when there used to be LP stores… back when there used to be CD stores… I would dutifully head to the soundtrack section on every visit and look for certain LP’s and later, CD’s.

I knew I wouldn’t find them, because I knew they didn’t exist. But I kept looking.

Music from the Our Gang and Laurel and Hardy movies? Nah. Wouldn’t ever happen.

The OST from The Time Machine? How many would they sell, maybe three?

And, of course, The Avengers.

For my money, the best TV soundtrack music of all time.

Laurie Johnson had written some of the most memorable “generic” production music, as I found out by accident when “scoring” a corporate video from production LP’s. (It was Laurie Johnson who wrote the wonderful piece Happy Go Lively, heard in John K.’s Ren and Stimpy over and over again). Lo and behold, even the Theme From The Avengers was originally written for use as production music, as I discovered when checking the cuts on an old disc. (It was originally titled The Shake.)

It took decades. Since the original Hal Roach recordings had disappeared, it took an incredible amount of work to piece together complete versions of the songs, but my friend Piet Schreuders did it. And then it took dedicated musicians playing period instruments – The Beau Hunks – to record note-perfect recreations of the LeRoy Shield Tunes.

After a false start – a re-recording of Russ Garcia’s score for The Time Machine – the real thing emerged, just a few years ago.

The new three-CD set of Laurie Johnson music has one disc devoted to The Avengers, with 70 minutes of original music score. I just ordered my copy from Buy Soundtrax.

Now, if someone would only find the original Larry Adler/Muir Matheson soundtrack to Genevieve, I could stop looking for the one album that would never exist that, for some reason, still doesn’t exist.

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MGM’s Technicolor Stills

MGM’s Publicity Department was doing something right in the late 50’s and early 60’s with their 8 by 10 color stills. These appear to have produced them using the same process responsible for true Technicolor… the gorgeous old Technicolor… dye transfer printing. That’s how they look to me, anyway – the color pops, and the consistently elegant tag lines also set the MGM stills from this period apart.

I post these examples for your consideration (and downloading – the files are huge, high-resolution images).

The stars are Julie Christie, Lee Remick, June Thorburn, and Yvette Mimieux. The fact that Alan Young and Rod Taylor, co-stars of The Time Machine, yet another of the hundred movies in my all-time top-ten, appear in the last two FOH (front of house) publicity stills is not a coincidence at all.

And that’s Paul Frees, of course, as the ring that talks.

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