LONDON PHASE 4 STEREO - PART 4

HIT THEMES FROM FOREIGN FILMS - International All Stars, London Phase 4 Stereo SP 44020

This set of foreign film themes can hardly be faulted for song selection: "La Dolce Vita," "La Strada," "Black Orpheus," "Never On Sunday," plus lesser known themes such as "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning," and "Anna." This is a typical Phase 4 recording, crisp, clear precise, and in some cases a significant improvement, technically speaking, over the original soundtrack recordings. Beware, though, as uncredited parties have taken liberties with some of the arrangements. Pleasant enough to listen to, but soundtrack purists may wince more than once.


THE RETURN OF JAMES BOND IN "DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER" ...AND OTHER SECRET AGENT THEMES - Roland Shaw and His Orchestra, London Phase 4 Stereo, 2 BSP 24

Spy jazz heaven! This two LP set from 1971 features one disc of theme music from early James Bond films and one disc with ten other spy themes of the era including "The Avengers," "The Saint," "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold," "Mission Impossible," "Peter Gunn" and "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." While some of the arrangements are changed a little, the performances have the style and energy to do the music justice (could have done without the generic vocals on "You Only Live Twice"and "The Look of Love," though). Produced by Tony D'Amato and engineered by by Arthur Lilley & Arthur Bannister. This album is also notorious for its politically incorrect inside gatefold and back covers (with bullet-holed covered bikini clad gals), which are not reproduced here.

 


MUSIC FROM THE FILM BEN HUR - Miklos Rozsa & the Rozsa National Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus, London Phase 4 Stereo SPC21166

This late (1977) Phase 4 release features Miklos Rozsa re-recording his classic score from the 1958 film Ben-Hur. In comparison, the sound of the original MGM soundtrack is very good, but not surprisingly the Phase 4 recording has more low end punch and a better defined soundstage. There are subtle differences between the new and old recordings, however. The classic "The Rowing of the Galley Slaves" just seems more dramatic and tension filled on the original. And the emotional "The Mother's Love" seems to be missing a tad something on the remake. Also of note is that the two are not identical: "Naval Battle" on the original is missing here, and there are a few cuts on the re-recording not on the original. In sum, recommended for anyone who enjoys this music, whether you have the original or not.

 

LONDON PHASE 4 - PART 1 - PART 2 - PART 3
PART 4 - PART 5 - PART 6 - PART 7