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David Shire

The Conversation – Original Movie Soundtrack

    This is the first time the complete score to The Conversation has been released on vinyl. The film itself was originally released in 1974 and a 7” demo of the theme was sent out as promotional material by Paramount (PAA-0305), but a USA stock edition was never issued. In Japan the same music was also issued on a 7” at about the same time (JET-2273), with a picture sleeve, but until now nothing else has ever been pressed on vinyl.

    Jonny Trunk’s little obsession with this music began after I’d caught the film, late night, sometime in the mid 1990s. Musically it’s an exceptional example of the “new minimalism” in film music of the period, marking a departure (for some) from big scores to smaller, more economic ensemble sounds.

    The film was written, produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and is still a thrilling journey into sound, mind and murder. Heavily influenced by Antonioni’s Blow-Up (and not, as some thought, by Watergate), Coppola wanted to fuse the concept of Blow-Up with “the world of audio surveillance”. The story centres around Harry Caul (Gene Hackman), a mac-wearing professional wire-tapper and clandestine bugger who gets unusually consumed by a conversation he’s been paid to record. Caul is a loner, an obsessive-compulsive character with numerous neuroses that play out brilliantly throughout the film. And as he slowly pieces together the conversation fragments and forms his own story around it, his world falls apart.

    Sonically this movie – all about sound - is groundbreaking in many ways, with actual “sound design” provided by the legendary Walter Murch - the man who actually invented the term in the first place.

    For the music, Coppola wisely chose a young David Shire, his brother in law. Shire’s deceptively simple piano theme (composed because of no budget for big orchestra) is one of tragic beauty, brilliantly capturing Caul’s loneliness, his slightly disturbed nature and this trip into darkness. The melody has both sweet and sour tones, feeling a little like a slow ragtime, which both develops and retreats throughout the film; there are even trips into avant-garde territory with electro-acoustic flourishes and concrète. The solo, agitated figure of Caul, wearing his distinctive transparent mac, is made all the more raw and poignant by the score - the sparse and curiously emotional compositions are unlike any others I can think of from the period.

    The soundtrack for The Conversation proved to be a major break for Shire, his career really taking off from this musical point. His next score was to be the underground classic Taking Of Pelham 123, followed up later ironically by All The Presidents Men - a thriller about the Watergate scandal.

    The Conversation went on to win several awards and nominations, and has become a classic of the “New Hollywood” movement. Hopefully now this music may become part of the renewed interest in old film soundtracks.


    Various Artists

    Britxotica! Goes Wild!

      Volume five of the killer Britxotica! series, looking this time at 16 super rare and briliantly bonkers latin and percussive pop cues from the wild British Isles!

      HISTORY:
      Britxotica! (pronounced “Britzotica”) neatly describes an odd and yet undocumented pre-Beatles British musical scene where famed UK composers as well as unknown singers and bandleaders threw convention on holiday and went wild wild wild! Put together by Jonny Trunk with DJ / tastemaker and Smashing nighclub legend Martin Green, these groundbreaking new compilations shine new light on lost and forgotten corners of British culture and sound.

      For this, Part Five of our planned Britxotica! series we head to lively latin tinged dancefloors where Brits could cha cha cha to the KIrchin band, “Jump In The Line” with Frank Holder and Mambo with Ido or Don. This killer collection of British dance obscurities brings us lively sounds from the rarest UK record bins, including this time an amazing cover version of the legendary loungecore hit “House Of Bamboo” plus the stunning “Jonny One Note” by Ted Heath, the track that originally introduced John Craven’s Newsround. To sum up, this is another exciting, wild and occasionally bonkers compilation by Jonny Trunk and Martin Green, two of the UKs most wild record collectors. Also, there are men in underpants on the sleeve, What’s not to like?


      Ted Dicks

      Virgin Witch - The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

      Unreleased baroque jazz horror score to controversial lesbian sex cult witchcraft exploitation drama from 1973, composed by the man who wrote the Catweazle theme! Hell yeah!
      Ted Dicks is not that well known as a composer these days, but back in the mid 1960s he was composing library music as well penning some of the greatest comedy songs of the era, including “Hole In The Ground” and “Right Said Fred”. His work was performed by Kenneth Williams, Petula Clarke, Bernard Cribbins, Topol and more. But until now, little has been known of his brief flirtation with film music.
      Virgin Witch was his first brush with film scoring – one of only two score he wrote. The film was produced by legendary wrestling commentator Ken Walton (under his Sexploitation pseudonym of “Ralph Solomans”), with the help of Hazel Adair, a woman famed for co-creating the long running UK TV soap Crossroads. Virgin Witch was a racey film, turned down at least once for certification by the BBFC, passed uncut with an X for release just in London, then cut and passed for general release shortly afterwards.
      The score itself is a unique and quite beautiful pop baroque work, utilizing the cimbalom, an instrument more than likely played here by “Ipcress file” musician John Leach.
      This is a very limited release of a most unique 1970s pop horror lesbian witch score. Get it before they are all sold and you start moaning you didn’t order it in time. 


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Trunk take us back to the readers' wives vibe of their early days with this strictly limited reissue of Ted Dicks' (Arf) score to softcore lesbo horror froth "Virgin Witch".

      Various Artists

      Spider-Jazz - KPM Cues Used In The Amazing Animated Series - That We Are Not Allowed To Mention For Legal Reasons

      At the good ship Piccadilly we almost always offer our own reviews, but on this occasion I'll leave it to the man himself, Mr. Jonny Trunk.

      'Rare and brilliant music as used in the late 1960s Amazing animated series we are not allowed to mention for legal reasons.

      Way back in 1967, an animated superhero cartoon was released into the world. It was created by Grantray-Lawrence Animation and was based on a web-spinning, crime fighting blue and red dressed character that had originated in1962, in Marvel Comics by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. This amazing series (that we’re not allowed to mention the name of for legal reasons) ran on ABC TV in the USA, then Canada, then a few years later started to spread its web further, running here in the UK throughout summer holidays, after school and possibly early mornings at weekends in the late 1970s. The series then got released on VHS video (and probably Betamax too) in the mid 1980s and still continues to spin its animated magic around the world through further broadcasts, YouTube and DVDs.

      The series was notoriously low budget, with animated errors everywhere and numerous scenes, sequences and backgrounds being re-used all the time, often across the same episode. Even a certain spider logo on a costume would appear with six legs, then eight legs later on, then back to six again in the same show.

      Series One opened with a newly written spider theme, a classic, hooky song all about doing whatever spiders can, and had, as Big George (RIP) once pointed out to me, a set of session singers falling slightly out of time with the backing track after the first verse. Series One also featured background music by jobbing composers Bob Harris and Ray Ellis but these cues and master tapes are now believed to be lost.

      After Series One the company Grantray-Lawrence went bankrupt, so the amazing spider series (that we’re not allowed to mention for legal reasons) was taken on by producer Steve Krantz. He brought in new talent, including animation director Ralph Bakshi who later went on to turn a Robert Crumb strip cartoon into the feature Fritz The Cat. Krantz also slashed the already cripplingly small spider budget, and brought in the idea of using economic library music. Here, thanks possibly to an independent sync agent (it has been suggested that a company called Music Sound Track Services may have been the one) production turned to the KPM catalogue. This was one of the few really established library catalogues around at the time with a modern edge; it was full of fabulous, modern dramatic music tracks – often all on the same LP. But more importantly all the tracks were far longer than the one minute musical cuts that many of the fledgling USA library companies were issuing at the time. Not only would this KPM music be efficient, affordable and very easy to use, it would also mean syndication worldwide would not be held up by any future musical issues. Krantz produced two amazing spider series (that we’re not allowed to mention for legal reasons), and both were smothered with KPM music. In fact barely a spider second goes by without music playing in either the background or foreground.

      For many years I – and many nostalgic others - have been thinking about putting this vinyl album together. For many enthusiasts this really is formative music – a junior foray into hip swinging crime jazz and esoteric musical grooviness. I’ve also read on line accounts by DJs from WFMU on the trail of original spider master tapes, and there’s even a whole forum dedicated to “Spidey-Jazz”. Then recently I was looking at an old spider tracklist and realized that several of my favourite KPM cues were there including Syd Dale’s “Hell Raisers” and “Walk And Talk”, both from one of the most elusive and desirable KPM albums of all time (yes, you just try and find yourself a copy of KPM 1002 right now), so I decided to push on and get the album made.

      So, what features on this Spider-Jazz Lp? Well it’s music from the amazing TV series we are not allowed to mention for legal reasons, BUT, not music from Series One. No, but it is all from Series Two and Series Three. From looking at archival cue sheets, over 50 tracks from various early KPM 1000 series albums were used across episodes. I’ve distilled this down into one exciting and enthralling LP, and if this works a further Spider Jazz album may well swing in to production. If you’re interested (and I’m sure you may well be) cues here came from KPM1001, KPM1002, KPM1015, KPM1017, KPM1018 and KPM1043 and were composed by master library composers of the era – Dale, Hawkshaw, Hawksworth, Mansfield etc.

      And if you are listening over there in the USA, you may well recognize many of the cues here not just from the amazing TV series (that we’re not allowed to mention for legal reasons) but also from classic 1960s and 1970s NFL highlight shows that we are allowed to mention. 

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Amazing red vinyl with blue splatter.

      LP Info: Black vinyl edition.

      Zwartjes

      Tapes 1

      This LP represents the first ever sound recordings from the archive of cult Dutch film director Frans Zwartjes. The sound is unlike anything you maye have heard - dream-like, disjointed, peculiar, unexpected and totally unique. Frans Zwartjes is famous for his art-house films (look him up on YouTube). A Dutch underground auteur, his prolific output dates from 1968.

      A unique talent, Zwartjes produced, directed and edited his own films (his last work was in 1991), but more importantly he created and improvised the soundtracks too. Zwartjes is still alive today and his large body of work is only now being recognised by a wider, more international crowd, with screenings at the NFT and other important art-house cinemas across the world. The recordings on Tapes 1 were mixed directly from the Zwartjes soundtrack tape archive.

      They were assembled directly and in real time by Zwartjes archivist Stanley Schtinter and were originally issued three years ago on cassette, in an edition of 50. Don’t bother trying to find one of them. The music, sound and speech have been put together as two long, seamless sequences; they are dreamlike, peculiar, plugged-in, prescient and unlike any other soundtrack we have heard.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Shifting between kosmische synthscapes, abstract tape experiments and experimental jazz, this collection of self composed scores from Dutch auteur Frans Zwartjes is batshit, beautiful and brilliant all at the same time.

      Delia Derbyshire And Elsa Stansfield

      Circle Of Light - Original Electronic Soundtrack

      Mastered by Jon Brooks, AKA The Advisory Circle

      Total running time approx. 33 minutes.

      Full colour single LP sleeve. Single LP in standard black wax. 500 Only.

      A highly important and unreleased soundtrack created in 1972 by musician Delia Derbyshire and artist Elsa Stansfield. A mix of concrete ideas, sound design, tape manipulation, natural environmental sounds and birdsong.

      The recording was originally commissioned by director / producer / art collector Anthony Roland for his 1972 film about the slides of radical stills photographer Pamela Bone. The film is rarely seen.

      The soundtrack has never been released until now. This is the longest known work by Delia Derbyshire - either alone or in association with anyone else and has been licensed by Trunk Records exclusively worldwide from the Anthony Roland archive / collection.

      Full information about the history of both the film and this release can be found at the Trunk Records website. 


      Jose Prates / Miecio Askanasy

      Tam...Tam...Tam...

      In August of 2014 a request was sent out by Gilles Peterson for someone to issue the incredibly rare Brazilian LP 'Tam…Tam…Tam…!'

      This is because it’s an extraordinary album, only issued once in 1958 as part of Mieco Askanasy’s 1950s touring “Braziliana” show. It’s so rare not even Gilles Peterson has a copy (and let's face it, he doesn't just have a Record Room, he has a whole Record House...).

      The original music was written and produced with José Prates and as an album it stands out as a keystone in the development of the Brazilian sound that was to explode around the world in the decade to follow. This is the first time this landmark LP has been issued since 1958. An original, if you ever found one, would cost you in excess of £1000.

      The reason Gilles Peterson wanted this album reissued is because it is so extraordinary. Musically it works on a number of levels – firstly that the solid blueprint of 1960s Brazilian music runs throughout it. For example, if you listen to Track Three Side One “Nānā Imborô” you will hear “Mas-Que-Nada”.

      Secondly, the infectious rhythms, melodies and exotic sounds that emanate from this album are deep, raw and totally engaging. And the more you listen to 'Tam…Tam…Tam…!' the more you hear its importance and influence.

      This rare reissue comes at a crucial time, when in our connected and information saturated world few important things have escaped attention and reappraisal. Finding anything new and genuinely incredible is a rare feat.



      One of the rarest, weirdest and most brilliantly odd soundtracks of all time, written and performed by one of the most fascinating underground characters ever.

      Described by Jello Biafra as “a disco lounge lizard from hell”, Palmer Rockey and the Palmer Rockey story have to be read to be believed, and even then you might not believe it.

      And this album has to be heard properly to understand the madness, weirdness and total passion brought to the studio sometime in Texas in the mid to late 1970s. Palmer Rockey was a remarkable con-artist. He made this one record, the soundtrack to his one weird movie. It’s incredibly rare, only one copy surfacing in the last decade. Once heard you may fall deeply for Palmer’s charms, it’s strangely moving and all wrong, like something straight out of the world of David Lynch.

      The edited Palmer Rockey story goes something like this: after a difficult childhood but an interesting education, Palmer Rockey became obsessed by the movies. So obsessed that he travelled to the UK and tried to get a film script to Boris Karloff in Shepperton. Unsuccessful, he returned to Texas to make his own film. To do so (according to legend) he conned rich Texan housewives out of money. When he got money, he shot film, then fell out with the cast and crew. He then conned more money from different women, shot more film with different cast and crew, then fell out with them too. This continued for years. The “finished” film, It Happened One Weekend was only shown once (ironically just once, one weekend), at the premier in Canyon Creek, Sunday October 11th,1974. In fact the photo on the front of the album was shot by his wife the night of the premier. The film was written, produced, edited, directed and starred Palmer Rockey (as twin brothers of course), with all music by Palmer Rockey. The plot was apparently demonic and “beyond the room of terrifying evil”. Also included was a “Sunday Surprise Ending”. I believe the surprise that Sunday was that people laughed all the way through, and even walked out. It was a total disaster on every level, apparently nothing in the movie made any sense at all. But undeterred by such poor reaction he continued to tinker with the film – sure that it would eventually bring him an Academy Award. He released it again and again in several different versions over the next few years, firstly with the title It Happened One Sunday, which played briefly in Denver, El Paso and also at drive-in theatres. The film then disappeared, was recut with new scenes and appeared again in 1980, as Rockey’s Style, Scarlet Love and also Scarlet Warning 666. All the while Palmer Rockey was battling debtors, having already been sued in the 1960s by his uncle for non-payment of loans. There’s not a great deal of information about his career and life in the 1980s, but we do know he passed away in 1996, leaving behind very little apart from debt and this unusual self-pressed album. There is no sign or trace of any version of the film anywhere. And boy, are people looking for it.

      Palmer wrote all the music for the film(s), and there are, as far as we know two private issues of the soundtrack from the same period - 1980. There’s Scarlet Love, which was followed (or it’s possibly the other way around) days or weeks later as he’d decided to change the name of the film again, to Rockey’s Style. Both have the same original catalogue number and subtitle of “Movie Album”, and both have track titles that do not match the albums. You will observe we have kept the original and incorrect tracklisting on the album sleeve, but kept the correct ones on the album and CD labels.

      Musically it’s beautifully played and oddly performed, with a bizarre sense of passion and surprising honesty. It’s an unusual album in that once heard it sticks like glue to your brain. You may well find your self getting slightly obsessed by it. We certainly have. Sleevenotes include an intro by Jon Brooks of Ghostbox, who not only remastered the album but also quickly became consumed by the music and the Palmer Rockey story. And now this incredible and unique outsider album is released we have to wonder if anyone will ever find the missing Palmer Rockey movie…


      There’s no one quite like Bob Chance. He’s a Californian man who makes his own music. 'It's Broken' is his privately pressed album that has become a cult item in recent years. DJ Shadow calls it “hairy forearm disco”, I think it walks a fine line between the dancefloor and the asylum.

      History: Originally recorded and issued by himself in 1980, “It’s Broken” represents Bob Chance’s creative juices flowing and then possibly overflowing all over the place. He’s a muliti-talented multi instrumentalist who writes his own songs. He has an unusual and unexpected flow of ideas that maybe shouldn’t work together but actually do in a most unorthodox and functional way. A touch of Giorgio Moroder, a bit of the Beach Boys and a sprinkle of Glen Campbell - it's a match made in Cali.

      Jonny Trunk says: "Whilst writing about the album a couple of years ago I had it on repeat for at least a day, and found myself singing the songs, really enjoying the harmonies, in fact reveling in the musical ideas present. How can you not love a nine minute post-disco oddity called “It’s Broken”? Why would you not want to thrill at a five minute instrumental journey into Bob’s jungle? And how about a short trip inside a stalker’s van? Exactly, it’s all irresistible. And now, thanks to this reissue more of us can enjoy the genius that is Bob Chance and his very unique music."


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Philippa says: Trunk reissue this rare, privately pressed 1980 oddball disco-rock album.

      Various Artists

      Dawn Of The Dead - Unreleased Soundtrack Music From George A Romero's...

      This is a truly fascinating record, the holy grail for any self-respecting horror movie buff; the never-before-released soundtrack music from George Romero's classic 1978 zombie flick. Apart from the original score by Italy's Goblin, the film included many pieces of incidental cues and muzak moments. These were collated by Italian director Dario Argento and culled from various sources, concentrating on European music libraries and passing off some as the muzak of the Monroeville Mall in Pittsburgh where the movie was shot. Jonny Trunk and Joel Martin have sourced many of these rare pieces and issued them for the first time here. From the quirky march of Herbert Chappell's "The Gonk" to the Kinks-ish beat stylings of "Cause I'm A Man" by Electric Banana (AKA The Pretty Things!), this comp provides all the "Dawn Of The Dead" music you could possibly ask for. The perfect soundtrack for mall roaming, Zombies ice-skating, rednecks a-hunting and motorbike gangs getting eaten!

      Vernon Elliot

      Clangers - Original TV Music

        As a TV obsessed child, the Clangers was my favourite programme on the box, so you can imagine how excited I was when this came in!

        What an unbelievable recording. The entire unreleased score for the entire Clangers TV series - that's music for all 26 episodes. It grows organically (as does the series) from small and simple phrases to complex passages of pure pastoral space music. It all climaxes with the awesome "Harmony Of The Spheres". The running order is exactly as it ran with all 26 episodes and includes some SFX, Tiny Clanger and Oliver Postgate's timeless introduction. This CD also comes with the unique and sweet "Clangers Opera" compiled by Oliver Postgate, an adventure on the Clangers planet starring the Iron Chicken. The CD booklet includes rare photos, early Clangers Sketches and a Libretto for the Clangers Opera written by Oliver Postgate. 

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        CD Info: The CD comes with a 12 page booklet of original drawings and photos.


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