Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Vocalion release SA-CD of Classic Montenegro Album

Music from A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More & The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1968)

There aren’t too many people I know amongst the soundtrack community who don’t enjoy the recordings of Hugo Montenegro. Whilst he was an accomplished composer in his own right (Lady in Cement 1968, The Ambushers 1967 and The Wrecking Crew 1968) he is perhaps remembered more for his unique arrangements – usually of other composers’ music. Vocalion’s new CD treats us to not one, but two of his great albums. Love Theme from The Godfather (1972)/Music from A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More & The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1968) (CDLK 4595) provides the listener with arguably his very best work. Back in 1972, RCA released Love Theme from The Godfather as a quadraphonic LP (APDI-0001). Vocalion have reissued both albums here on CD in the SA-CD format and therefore retaining its multi-channel format (this CD is also Stereo compatible). Love Theme from The Godfather is an album of varied styles containing a mixture of both film music and popular tunes of the time. Ranging from Lennon & McCartney’s Norwegian Wood to Mancini’s Baby Elephant Walk, the content is diverse and eclectic – but all comes together in a quirky and highly enjoyable way. Music from A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More & The Good, the Bad and the Ugly has largely attained widespread recognition over the decades. An extremely popular album, soundtrack collectors continue to hold their vinyl as cherished possessions. Naturally, a completely remastered version of that album is also extremely welcome. Michael J. Dutton has done a fabulous job in providing a crisp freshness to these classic recordings and it appears to be perfectly justified in releasing this twofer by way of a Hybrid CD. Frankly, they have never sounded so good. As well as including the massive single chart hit The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the album also includes the single cut for Hang ‘em high – Clint Eastwood’s first American western made upon his return from Europe after completing Sergio Leone’s Dollar trilogy. It’s perhaps a little disappointing that no new liner notes were produced for this release; instead there is a straight reproduction of the original album notes. Considering the versatility and calibre of Montenegro’s work, it would have been nice to include some form of appreciation of his career in music. However, the proof here is solidly in the music itself, and on that basis, it’s a winner in every respect. 

Order your CD HERE

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Sully Behind the scenes shots of Plane

Here's a couple of terrific behind the scenes shots from Sully which feature the Airbus A320-214 mock up. The US Airways Flight 1549 took off on January 15th 2009. Unable to reach any airport, pilots Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles glided the plane to a ditching in the Hudson River off midtown Manhattan. All 155 people aboard were rescued by nearby boats and there were few serious injuries.
My thanks to Dave Worrall for sending me these great shots.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Celebrating 10 Years in the making…

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year. January 2017 actually marks our 10th Year; it’s hard to figure out where those 10 years went? I was hoping that the Archive would reach the magical landmark One million hits by January, but at a little over 860,000 hits (at the time of writing this), it looks a little unlikely. Nevertheless, I’m still very proud of what has been achieved in those 10 years. I have of course, had a great deal of help along the way with many friends contributing articles, news, images and more importantly, encouragement. I like to think The Clint Eastwood Archive is the best of its kind on the web. Where possible, every image has been restored for detail which, while often time consuming, I believe makes all the difference and makes the Archive what it is. It’s also been a great year for Clint with the success of Sully. It’s always encouraging seeing Clint wasting no time in planning and developing the next project. The man shows no signs of slowing up, and as fans and admirers of his work that can only be a good thing. As well as continuing to bring you all the latest news, there is still an enormous amount of past material and stories to add to the Archive. The real problem is time, pulling out and the scanning of material does take time, but as always I will endeavour to add as much as possible in the coming year.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone who takes the time to visit the Archive, for either educational purposes or just for pleasure. I like to think that the time and effort which goes into this site at least serves a purpose and of course keeps Clint’s incredible legacy fresh, accurate and above all, accessible to future generations. 
Thank you all.

Darren – The Clint Eastwood Archive

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Clint Eastwood UK visit 1985

I was sorting through a whole case of DVD-r discs earlier today and came across a disc marked Aspel & Co / The Guardian Lecture. Straight away I remembered it was a DVD I had made (probably back in the 90s) which I had transferred over from my VHS tapes (which I still have to this day).  On the disc were TX recordings of 2 programmes that Clint appeared on while he was on his visit to the UK.
I really wasn’t sure if this DVD-r had survived the test of time, the format was always a little unreliable over a long time period. However, slipping it into my Blu-ray player I was quite surprised to find that they were really quite perfect. Yes, of course the old Analog signal was not the best and there is still a little ‘ghosting’ on the title graphics, but apart from that the picture and audio are really nice and solid. I remember buying E-60 tapes especially for these 2 shows, and the tapes were used once for these specific recordings, so there was no wear or drop out problems which would appear on tape that had been overused and recorded on multiple times.   
I can still remember what a great period this was in time, there was so much publicity surrounding Clint’s return as Dirty Harry in Sudden Impact and then there was the teaming of Clint and Burt Reynolds in City Heat. I know City Heat (as a movie) was something of a disappointment to the fans, but it certainly created huge amounts of publicity.
It was a period where Clint was being celebrated and honoured throughout Europe in general. He had just received the ‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ in France and later in 1985 Clint’s return to the western genre would see his film Pale Rider in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

Clint’s would appear on the 2 UK programmes sporting a beard as he explained to Michael Aspel on Aspel & Co he had just finished shooting Pale Rider in Idaho and in the process of filming he had dislocated his shoulder and discontinued shaving due to very little movement in his arm. The Aspel interview (Broadcast by LWT) was much lighter in context, with the show being shared alongside co guest Dennis Waterman. My old friend and former president of The Clint Eastwood Appreciation Society, Dave Turner was also lucky enough to attend this show. The Guardian Lecture show (Broadcast by Ch4) was naturally a little more intellectually shaped and was not particularly helped by the interviewer Lynda Myles who looked a little intimidated in her role.
I was later lucky enough to see Clint at a Guardian Lecture while he was in the UK for Mystic River, and the following evening I was lucky enough to see him at the BBC Parkinson recording, and as close friends will already know, this lead to a meeting with the man himself after the show which for me, also marked another great ‘Eastwood’ period in time.
But the mid-eighties period was really something special, and these 2 TV interviews that Clint gave really are engraved on the mind. The downside for Clint of course was the seemingly endless request for him to quote the line ‘Go ahead, make my day’ – a request that saw him never looking entirely comfortable with. It probably didn’t help that his old friend and then president of the United States Ronald Reagan used it during the 1985 American Business Conference, when he stated "I have my veto pen drawn and ready for any tax increase that Congress might even think of sending up. And I have only one thing to say to the tax increasers. Go ahead—make my day."

On reflection, it was a pretty fabulous time… 

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Clint returns to Carmel as The Man with No Name / Don’t Pave Main Street VHS

Actor-turned director took centre stage at the town's celebrations wearing the same poncho which he made famous as The Man with No Name in spaghetti Westerns. Carmel-By-The-Sea just turned 100 this week meaning the beautiful ocean-side city in California is only 14 years older than the Hollywood star that helped to make it famous.
One-time mayor Clint Eastwood turned out to help celebrate its centennial on Saturday, a few days ahead of its official October 31 incorporation date.

The legendary 86-year-old actor-turned-director dressed as one of his most famous characters, The Man With No Name, from the trilogy of spaghetti Westerns directed by Sergio Leone that kicked off with A Fistful of Dollars in 1964. And he even wore the original poncho from the films as he climbed aboard the stagecoach to ride shotgun and lead the parade as Grand Marshal.

The veteran added to his Western look with a heavy grey shirt (possibly from High Plains Drifter), blue jeans, brown leather boots (from Rawhide) complete with spurs and the cowboy hat (from Unforgien) and of course the Poncho from the Dollar trilogy.
All he was missing from the No Name part was the cigar that he continually chewed throughout the movies. Clint once lived in Carmel and was elected mayor, with a whopping 72.5 per cent majority, when he stood in 1986 on a ticket of reducing bureaucracy. During his tenure he made it easier to build or to renovate property, saved the land around the Mission Ranch which was earmarked for 80 condominiums and opened the library annex dedicated for children's use, according to his website.
Clint served for two years before returning to his film career.

Related items:

Don’t Pave Main Street (VHS, 1994) This OOP video is well worth searching out. It is a fascinating feature length documentary narrated by Clint and includes a special appearance by Carmel Resident Doris Day. Through personal interviews and historic photographs, you will come to know the story of Carmel, the jewel of the California Coast. It’s the place that also inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write Treasure Island. Produced by Julian Ludwig and released by Carmel Heritage – it runs for 113 minutes. It can still be found occasionally on outlets such as Ebay and Amazon. This has never had a DVD or Blu-ray release. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Interview with Sully Composers Christian Jacob & Tierney Sutton

Varese Sarabande recently sat down with composer Christian Jacob and Tierney Sutton who worked on and wrote music for the Clint Eastwood directed film starring Tom Hanks about the airline captain who landed a commercial plane on the Hudson River.

1. Describe the SULLY soundtrack on Varese Sarabande.

Christian Jacob: The Tierney Sutton Band (TSB) has been together for over 20 years and has been known for its collaborative process of arranging music. The scoring began with an improvisational approach over several themes written by both the director (Clint Eastwood) and myself. Every member of the band was watching scenes on the screen and improvising their own parts by following a basic lead sheet. We know each other so well, that our musical ideas fell beautifully in place. We each brought something special to the various moments of the music. Director Clint Eastwood was present during the entire recording process and guided us while still allowing us complete freedom. I later added orchestral parts on some of the cues to give them more depth.
2. Which scene did you score first and why?
Tierney Sutton: We scored the film from the first scene to the last. Then spent a few weeks perfecting the cues. We spotted the film again with Clint and decided which cues could be "sweetened" with orchestra and then Christian orchestrated those and wrote the end title suite. While he did that, I worked on lyrics for Clint's theme and one of Christian's.
3. Did the director give you any interesting instructions or feedback to help you create the tonal palate?
Christian Jacob: Being a fan of Tierney's beautiful voice and of the band for the last 10 years, Clint was very familiar with our "sound", and he believed we could bring something interesting to his film. Because Clint had used some of our recordings in the temp music for the film, we had a good idea of what he was looking for. He guided us with a soft touch and was interested to see where we would put a music cue, even when he felt nothing was needed there. He would also give directions by mentioning his preferences like:  "only piano there"; "let’s try one with more space", "have just the bass and voice there", etc.
4. What does it mean to you to have your music released by the pre-eminent soundtrack label?  What is your favorite Varese Sarabande title in your collection?
Tierney Sutton: Having Varese Sarabande release the soundtrack is a singular honor. I am a fan of so many of the composers whose work has appeared in Varese releases -- the modern masters like Michael Giacchino, Alan Silvestri and John Debney as well as the classic film composers like Alex North. This is truly the icing on the cake of the experience of creating the score for "Sully".
5. What kind of ensemble did you use to record the score?  Did you use any interesting or unusual instrumentation or soloists who deserve a shout-out?

Christian Jacob: While some moments in the film were colored by single instruments such as piano, drums or voice, the central nucleus of the soundtrack was the sound of our band: piano, bass, drums and voice. The natural way to expand on the band's personal sound was orchestral.

The first track of the Sully soundtrack is an orchestral Suite with the band being featured. It recapitulates all four themes of the movie and features every member of the band. It was intended for the end credits of the film but we ended up only using part of it. Besides the irreplaceable Tierney Sutton, Trey Henry, Kevin Axt and Ray Brinker, we had the very best musicians in the orchestra and the wonderful Conrad Pope conducting.

(Photo Credit: Dave Alloca) (Christian Jacob & Tierney Sutton at the NY premiere of Sully)
Read here

CITY HEAT to receive world premiere release on CD

CITY HEAT is to receive its world premiere release on CD 
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Lennie Niehaus.
The soundtrack to the 1984 action comedy starring Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds. The score was composed by Lennie Niehaus (Million Dollar Baby, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, The Bridges of Madison County).  The soundtrack also features songs performed by Al Jarreau, Joe Williams, Irene Cara, and Clint Eastwood.
1. Sweets For My Sweet
2. Sugar And Spice
3. Listen To Me
4. Needles & Pins
5. Ain't That Just Like Me
6. Don't Throw Your Love Away
7. Someday We're Gonna Love Again
8. When You Walk In The Room
9. Love Potion Number Nine
10. What Have They Done To The Rain
11. Bumble Bee
12. Goodbye My Love
13. Each Time
14. He's Got No Love
15. Take Me For What I'm Worth
16. When I Get Home
17. Take It Or Leave It
18. Have You Ever Loved Somebody

Release date: 18th November 2016 from Varèse Sarabande Records