Apr 12, 2015

Upcoming Spy Music: The President's Analyst Finally Gets a Soundtrack Release

Quartet Records recently announced the first ever official soundtrack release of Lalo Schifrin's score for Theodore J. Flicker's peerless James Coburn spy satire The President's Analyst—one of my very favorite spy movies. (One day I'll get back to doing that series of reviews of My Favorite Spy Movies, and The President's Analyst and Otley will probably be next.) It's paired with Schifrin's score for the Cliff Robertson suspense drama Man on a Swing. (I've never seen that one.) The President's Analyst follows Coburn as a psychoanalyst selected by the heads of the thinly disguised CEA (Central Enquiry Agency) and FBR (Federal Bureau of Regulation) to be the President's personal analyst. But soon the pressures of the job become too much to bear, and the man with all of the nation's secrets in his head goes on the run, making himself a target for spies of all nations (including Russia and Canada) and, worse than the KGB, the omnipresent Phone Company. It's a hilarious film that deftly treads the line between Pink Panther-style absurdity and smart, prescient satire. Its prescience, in fact, is somewhat scary, as the film neatly predicted our current surveillance culture and willing surrender of our privacy in exchange for the latest communications gizmos. Rather unfortunately, it remains as relevant today as it was when it was made in 1967. Per Quartet's copy, "the terrific Schifrin score, one of his most imaginative from the period (and one of the most desired by his fans), is a kaleidoscope of parodic patriotic music, throbbing spy/suspense sound, pop, jazz, Christmas songs and a catchy 'paranoid' theme." Sadly, the soundtrack appears to be missing the folk epic "Inner Manipulations" by "Eve of Destruction" singer Barry McGuire that scores the movie's best setpiece, as well as The Clear Light's "She's Ready to Be Free." (The latter at least is available elsewhere, but the movie version of the former is the piece of music from this film I, frustratingly, most want to own!)

Rock songs aside, though, Schifrin's score is also terrific and I've long desired it as well, and am very happy I'll finally be able to own it! Quartet does offer connoisseurs a word of warning about their source material, however: "Sadly, the only available source for The President’s Analyst was the mono music stems, but we have made a big effort to restore them as much as possible. We have evened out the up-and-down shifts in volume and minimized the small bits of dialogue that bled into the audio masters. We think the end result is satisfactory—and the music is well worth the effort!" I'm sure it is. I've always been quite happy with Quartet's releases, including their epic, 2-disc, as near-definitive-as-possible version of Burt Bacharach's score for the 1967 Casino Royale. And if that release, which went out of print, started commanding astronomical prices, and eventually earned a rare second printing due to popular demand, is any indication, you may want to get your hands on The President's Analyst sooner rather than later. Like the first printing of Casino Royale, it's limited to just 1,000 copies. And without the juggernaut affiliation of James Bond, I suspect that in this case, when they're gone, they're gone. And if you need one more reason to pull the trigger, the record company promises that "the lavish package includes a 20-page booklet with in-depth liner notes from film music writer Jeff Bond." Man on a Swing/The President's Analyst is available for pre-order from Screen Archives Entertainment for $19.95. You can listen to samples from it on Quartet's website. Here's the complete track list:


1. Maggie’s Theme (0:23)
2. Source Muzak #2 (1:06)
3. Source Muzak #1 (0:34)
4. Maggie’s Theme (0:56)
5. Evelyn Story (1:42)
6. Source Muzak #3 (0:41)
7. Wills’ Trance (5:56)
8. Source Muzak #5 (1:21)
9. Source Muzak #6 (1:41)
10. Source Muzak #7 (0:35)
11. Rosehaven Motel (1:54)
12. Maggie Retraced (1:49)
13. Source Muzak #9 (1:20)
14. Choked Up (1:48)
15. Juke Box Source (1:25)
16. Radio Source (1:39)
17. Dialatone / Empty Porch / Mailman / Phone Voice / A Wet Nothing (3:25)
18. Penultima Trance (4:11)
19. Wills’ Last Trance (1:14)
20. Forest Finale (0:21)
21. End Credits (1:17)


22. Paramount Seal and Opening / Main Title (4:46)
23. Hey Me (2:24)
24. The Long Walk (1:02)
25. The Nest (1:27)
26. On Call (1:58)
27. Lonely Hours (1:29)
28. Paranoid Starts / Cocktail Lounge (3:14)
29. Spies Paranoid / Dream Paranoid / Suspicious Paranoid (0:43)
30. Sidney Plans Escape (1:30)
31. Car Radio / More Car Radio (2:12)
32. Total Sound (1:15)
33. Stinger #1-2-3 / Cooler and Sweater Number (1:10)
34. Sidney’s Flight (2:02)
35. Fast Boat to Moscow (1:40)
36. Telephone Trap (1:09)
37. T. P. C. / Cerebrum Communicator (1:47)
38. End Title (3:05)

No comments: