Boy, there sure is a lot of spy music coming out in the final months of 2009! And that's a wonderful thing. Due out the second week of December is Ken Thorne's fantastic score to Inspector Clouseau (1968). Yes, Inspector Clouseau is a spy movie. It's basically a Bond parody, moreso than any of the other Clouseau movies. It's also, of course, the only movie of its era not to feature the inimitable Peter Sellers as Clouseau. Instead, Alan Arkin essays the title role. Audiences couldn't accept that, the movie flopped, and now it's the black sheep of the Pink Panther series. In truth, though, there have been much worse entries. Arkin isn't bad, but he suffers the same primary flaw as Steve Martin, Roberto Begnini, Roger Moore and everyone else who's ever tried to play that role: he isn't Sellers. Still, the movie is entertaining enough and worth a watch for spy fans. Clouseau is seconded to British Intelligence and outfitted with various spy gadgets in order to go after a gang of international bank robbers. Composer Ken Thorne (Help!, The Persuaders!) has a task about as thankless as Arkin's: he had to fill the shoes of the legendary Henry Mancini, also absent from this Clouseau outing. He doesn't use the famous Pink Panther Theme, and actually creates a wonderful score that stands well on its own outside of the movie. In fact, it's one of my favorite Sixties spy scores. I've got it on vinyl somewhere, but I thought the closest I'd ever come to having it on CD were the samples on the second Portishead album. But now it's coming out, on the Kritzerland label (the same people who are releasing Billion Dollar Brain), and it's available to order from Buysoundtrax. The first hundred copies ordered will come signed by Ken Thorne.