All posts under 9 on the 9th

9 Favorite Film Scores of Michel Legrand


Over the past year I had the privilege of exploring the music of Michel Legrand in more depth. Between writing the liner notes for Intrada’s releases of THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT and SUMMER OF ’42/THE PICASSO SUMMER, and delving into Criterion’s Blu-ray box set of The Essential Jacques Demy, 2014 turned into a wonderful year of further discovery of Legrand’s music. And with the release of LA RANÇON DE LA GLOIRE in January, at nearly 83, Legrand’s talent is as strong as ever. As Legrand’s film career enters its seventh decade, now seemed the perfect time to celebrate the music of…

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9 Favorite Henry Mancini Scores


Before there was John Williams or Hans Zimmer, there was Henry Mancini—the first film music superstar. Through a string of chart-topping studio albums, Mancini’s indelible tunes were played on hi-fi’s around the world, and his songs and themes were sung and recorded by the top artists of his era. But that popularity came at a price. “A problem arose from the re-recording of those scores,” Mancini said in his autobiography, Did They Mention the Music?  “The albums were made up of the most melodic material from the films. A lot of…

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9 Favorite Main Titles

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Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, movies used to have main titles that were scored. For two minutes, the composer laid the musical groundwork and set the tone for the film to follow. Then along came main title songs, sometimes written by the score composers, sometimes not. If not, the composer usually weaved that song melody (a la “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing,” “Three Coins in the Fountain,” etc.) into the fabric of the score. Come the ’80s and ’90s, it was all about marketing the soundtrack…

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9 Purple Cows of Film Music


In his excellent 2002 book, Purple Cow: Transform Your Business By Being Remarkable, Seth Godin tells the story of a trip he took to France with his family. He describes driving around the French countryside, “enchanted by the hundreds of storybook cows grazing on picturesque pastures…For dozens of kilometers, we all gazed out the windows, marveling about how beautiful everything was.” But after the first 20 minutes, he started ignoring the cows. “The new cows were just like the old cows, and what once was amazing was now common. Worse than…

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9 Favorite FSM CDs


With the release of Jerry Fielding’s THE WILD BUNCH last month, it’s the end of the line for the Film Score Monthly label. With a roster of 250 releases since 1996, FSM filled a very important void in the soundtrack business. With its primary concentration on the MGM library (which later incorporated other studios), producer Lukas Kendall had access to one of the richest veins of Silver and Golden Age film music. FSM had its share of heavy-hitters—the Newman’s, Goldsmith’s, Williams’s, Barry’s, Morricone’s, North’s, Waxman’s, Herrmann’s, Bernstein’s, and basically the…

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9 Most Influential Film Composers

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Every film composer brings his or her talent to a project. They carve out a career path for themselves in which they (hopefully) can make a living through the art and craft of creating music. But some film composers change the face of the art form. In the course of doing their jobs, they leave a lasting impression on the industry that reaches far beyond a fan’s favorite score or film. The list below contains an alphabetized list of what I consider to be the most influential film composers. These…

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9 Tired Topics in Film Music


We film music fans sure do love to argue. No matter the topic or time of day—on Facebook and Twitter, over brunch and over cocktails, in person or hiding behind some lame screen name—we love to air our opinions. I’m all for passion. It’s sure a helluva lot better than apathy. But some of the arguments surrounding film music have been going on for so long they’ve completely lost their effectiveness, if they ever had any to begin with. I wish message boards and comments came with an expiration date because…

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The Ten Commandments of Film Music


Holy Moses! Ten items in a “9 on the 9th” post? I decided to shake things up a bit in the new year. I have the utmost respect for the Bible—at least as source material for entertaining, pompous 1950s costume dramas—but something within me urged me to adapt these into something hopefully we all can understand. (Some may argue it was the work of Satan, which might be appropriate given my love for THE OMEN.) If I were to write MY personal ten commandments, it would be a very different…

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9 Favorite Film Music Moments of 2012

John Carter

For this month’s “9 on the 9th” post, I wanted to focus on the smaller moments from this past year, those momentary thrills that can only be experienced by hearing film music in context of the film. While we all enjoy listening to film music on its own, I believe you have to hear it in its original context to truly understand the intent behind the music. This list does not necessarily represent the “best” scores of the year—I’ll give my take on that in a few weeks—and the scores…

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9 Favorite Presidential Film Scores

Presidential Seal

For all our real-time fascination with the Presidency, audiences usually show very little interest in cinematic portrayals of the Commander in Chief. Perhaps because we have either lived through the period and don’t want to watch it all play out again onscreen, or maybe the era is so far removed that we just don’t care. Whatever the reason(s), these film and TV portraits  provide meaty roles for actors and dramatic stories composers can sink their musical chops into. For this month’s “9 on the 9th,” we visit the Oval Office—real…

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