Mr. Cellophane

In a location adjacent to a place in a city of some significance, what comes out of my head is plastered on the walls of this blog.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

1. Main Titles

As a child of the 1990s, I watched television. A lot of television. (Of course, I wasn't the only one.) Of course, this included the movie channels. Sometimes, I watched the whole movie, but other times, I just caught the opening titles just to hear the music.

As I was, at the time, unaware of the concept of soundtracks on CD, I was pretty much at the mercy of the network scheduling, which I kept up on frequently. Here are some examples of what I watched:

Carbon Copy - In addition to his rousing score for Victory, the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only and his love-hate replacement score for Neighbors, Bill Conti's credits of 1981 also include this film, the feature debut of Denzel Washington. Conti's main title music sounds very much like the "Cagney and Lacey" theme got into a head-on collision with a broken ARP synthesizer...and yet, it's still a neat piece of music all these years later.

Child's Play 2 - Following his percussive debut score for Dead Calm, Graeme Revell composed a lush score for this horror sequel. The music (playing over the entertaining montage of Chucky being rebuilt) is quite beautiful.

Child's Play 3 - USA aired the first three Child's Play movies quite a bit in the 90s, and I caught nearly every airing of 2 and 3 just for the openings (I was too chickenshit to stay for the rest of the movies, even in their edited-for-television forms). 3 was a complete musical departure from the previous film, trading in evocative orchestral scoring for a synthesized, mechanical (but still enjoyable) style, courtesy of Cory Lerios and John D'Andrea, who I knew best as the composers for "Baywatch".

Condorman - Following Disney's death in '66 and prior to the animation renaissance of '89, the studio was trying to find its feet, resulting in a number of cinematic oddballs. This film about a comic book artist who tries to help (and falls for) a Russian defector was scored by none other than Henry Mancini. His lively title music starts the film on a goofily heroic note. Bless Intrada for its release (which I hope to attain someday).
Her Alibi - Around the time I ran across this track, I had no clue who Georges Delerue was. Still, his opening music for the mystery comedy was unfailingly charming and made it worth all the times I turned on HBO just to hear it.
I Love You to Death - No one seems to think of James Horner when comedy scores are talked about. I've always loved this bouncy opening to the dark comedy. Maybe, it's the accordions. (No YouTube clip.)

Life Stinks - Noteworthy as the last collaboration between Mel Brooks and John Morris, the opening march (though a bit repetitive) is a lot of fun. (Nothing on YouTube.)

The Man Who Knew Too Little - Back on the subject of comedy scoring and the composers who don't get to dabble in it too much, Christopher Young's main title cue is a delight, combining female voices, organ and a jazzy orchestra. (Nothing on YouTube, I'm afraid.)

Murder by Death - The elements are said to be MIA for this engaging score to the all-star comedy, which is a shame. Dave Grusin's score ably mixes humor and mystery, especially in the opening credits.
Some Kind of Wonderful - This driving, percussive opening to John Hughes's genderflipped remake of his own Pretty in Pink always got my blood pumping.

There are a number of other examples, but these most readily came to mind. Maybe, if I can remember ten more, I'll do a follow-up post.

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