Original Movie Soundtrack Down Tempo Selection

Don Ellis – Bugging Sal and Angie (The French Connection dir. William Friedkin)  

The main theme of this movie still gets a lot of attention, but the incidental music is more interesting
to mix and sample. A proper old school funk edit of the French Connection theme appears on Don
Ellis' 1972 album Connection, but it's far too exuberant for this mix here. Check it out anyway. Killer.

The Barry Gray Orchestra – The Mysterons Theme (Captain Scarlet dir. Gerry Anderson)  

I was never really into the TV series, but this 60s classic has plenty going for it. Barry Gray was
an innovator of early electronic music and this theme mixes an unearthly synthesiser melody with
military drum rolls and tango style.

Ravi Shankar – Pather Panchali (Pather Panchali dir. Satyajit Ray)  

This film score was reputedly composed in a single eleven hour night session. The main theme
here blends traditional Indian raga with folk forms. In several scenes focussing on the village pond,
Ravi Shankar's music contributes to interludes of pure reverie. The movement of raindrops, ripples,
reflections, insects and lotus flowers appear to have been choreographed to the sitar's tune.

Marvin Gaye – Cleo's Apartment (Trouble Man dir. Ivan Dixon )  

Marvin gets his chops around the blues on this one. Sensual, heart-rending, ethereal: it seems
criminal that only two minutes of this got to see the light of day.

Dean Martin – My Rifle, My Pony and Me (Rio Bravo dir. Howard Hawks)  

In the scene where this song is performed, Sheriff John Wayne, drunk Dean Martin and gunslinger
Ricky Nelson are holed up waiting for the onslaught of a violent showdown with ranchers who plan to
spring one of their men from the jailhouse. Isolated, outnumbered and surrounded, this impromptu
jam session tenderly evokes the blithe spirit of life on the open range.

Kazumasa Hashimoto – Main Theme (Tokyo Sonata dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa)  

Set in contemporary Tokyo, this is the story of an ordinary Japanese family whose conventional way
of life suddenly goes pear-shaped. As events progressively unravel, their experiences become ever
more unusual. We are reminded that distinctions between order and chaos can be meaningless and
that notions of normality, like appearances, are illusionary.

The Chieftains – Women of Ireland (Barry Lyndon dir. Stanley Kubrick)  

Kubrick's adaptation of Thackeray's novel is celebrated for scenes that were shot in natural light
to compare with the beauty of 18th Century oil paintings by Watteau and Gainsborough, but the
movie holds two other delights: a brilliant straight performance by Leonard Rossiter and music by the

Heart of Glass (dir. Werner Herzog) – Unknown medieval song  

The official soundtrack album to this film is by Kraut Rocker Popol Vuh, but it doesn't include any of
the folk and medieval music featured to compliment Herzog's expansive 'archetypal' landscape shots.
Here is a taste.

Vladimir Cosma – La Wally (Instrumental) (Diva dir. Jean-Jaques Beineix)  

This is one of those albums that never cease to amaze. It's got everything from Eric Satie with
cheese on top, to ambient, soft rock, classical, and the preeminent aria from the opera, La Wally. The
instrumental version is featured in this mix, but Wilhelmina Wiggins Fernandez's vocal version is
arguably more emotionally charged.

John Barry – Space March (Capsule in Space) (You Only Live Twice dir. Lewis Gilbert)  

If it is felt that there's a need for an English national anthem, the opportunity to commission John
Barry before he recently passed was regretfully missed. Instead of Jerusalem or Land of Hope and
Glory, why not write some words for the James Bond theme instead?

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