Tag Archives: Jack Nitzsche

TAPSheet: Vinyl Release Notes – 05/05/2015

Vinyl reissues continue to be the upsurge in new releases. Even if there are no expectations laid out for a CD update of any given title, it seems that a vinyl issue can be had regardless. (Do NOT take bad heart, CD fans, it’s just hard to ignore the cool titles coming to vinyl these days.) And so:

On July 17, Rhino and Parlophone will meet to re-release three great titles that include Vienna (1980) by Ultravox, Space Ritual (1973) by Hawkwind, and Room To Roam (1990) by The Waterboys. All LPs are cut at the 180g weight. Space Ritual will be a 2LP set.

Ultravox Vienna

Curb Records will re-release the soundtrack to the Peter Fonda/Susan Strasberg film from 1968, The Trip, which contained music from The Electric Flag. It’s scheduled for July 10. This issue will contain a download card for the digital files, as well as an insert.

Electric Flag The Trip ST

On June 23, Friday Music will surprise us with a remastered LP of Mr Tambourine Man by The Byrds. It joins their previously reissued vinyl sets for Turn! Turn! Turn!, The Byrds’ Greatest Hits, and The Ballad Of Easy Rider. And like those previous LP reissues, Mr Tambourine Man will be pressed on 180g-weight vinyl. The real cool thing about this one i that it will be issued on clear vinyl.

Byrds Mr Tambourine Man

Friday Music will also reissue a remastered LP set for Heathen, the 2002 David Bowie release. In addition to the usual 180-weight vinyl, the title will be pressed on translucent blue vinyl, and will be housed in a tri-fold jacket. It is set for release on June 23.

David Bowie Heathen

And, as if that wasn’t enough goodness from Friday Music, they plan a reissue of Chicago Transit Authority (1969) by Chicago, scheduling for the same busy June 23 issue date.

On June 16, Partisan Records will release an “Indie Exclusive” issue of the upcoming Restless Ones by Heartless Bastards. It is restricted to only 1000 copies worldwide. My guess is that this will sport only the Partisan Records label without any indication of a Warner Music afiliation. Needless to say, if that is what you want, there will only be 1000. And while that may sound like a lot, you have to remember that Heartless Bastards is now a big name as a band.

Heartless Bastards Restless Ones

One of my all-time favorite sound tracks is One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Jack Nitzsche. The re-released vinyl is coming from its original label, Fantasy Records, planned for June 23.

One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoos-Nest Nitzsche

Ignored Albums: One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (Soundtrack) – Jack Nitzsche

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - Jack Nitzsche OMPSThere are many memorable soundtracks, often by the same composer. Names pop up easily. Names like Morricone, Williams, Mancini, Jarre, Horner, Bernstein, even, these days, Danny Elfman, ex of Oingo Boingo, who has easily enjoyed more success for his soundtracks and scores than he did with that Rock band. But one name goes missing, Jack Nitzsche. Jack Nitzsche has an interesting catalog of music including a series of soundtracks and scores that include Hardcore, some Exorcist inclusions, The Razor’s Edge, Starman, and a host of others, even if he wasn’t the film’s entire score composer.

Jack Nitzsche scored One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and was nominated for both an Emmy Award, and an Academy Award. The music fits the film like a glove. The music within are as key to the film scenes, as the film images are. And that is often not the case. Scores are memorable, but often as a standalone piece, such as the introduction to a film, some interlude, or the ending. On Nitzsche’s score for One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Next, where the scene is, so is the music, and both are richer for it.

The beginning of the soundtrack features the iconic opening song, which ends the film as well. With a shamanic Native American sound, and an eerie whistle-like sound (I don’t know the instrument used to create the sound), Jack Nitzsche begins an unforgettable journey into the heart of the film like few scores and soundtracks can. And yet, there are no loving remembrances of the soundtrack today.

After the opening piece (and before the extended closing track), the music sandwiched between is a beautiful celebration not only of the scenes they were created for, but of the music and instruments that went into their creations. With “Medication Valse” (heard in the film while the boys played cards just prior to receiving their medication), the excellent “Bus Ride To Paradise” (on their way to the boat), “Charmaine” (a previously written track used by Nitzsche to express the underlying sadness of the institution to great effect), and the two beautiful songs, “Play the Game”, and the intensely multi-faceted emotional track, “The Last Dance” (the quiet moments after the party, just prior to the attempted leaving of RP McMurphy, and The Chief, where Billy Bibbitt is dancing with the girl).

To this day, I often have many of those tunes track through my head, often without a trigger. They just…start.  This is some  39 years after the release of the original soundtrack. If there is a crime for ignoring great soundtracks, this is as clear an example as there will ever be.

It should not be ignored. If you’re one who appreciates soundtracks, and have not heard this one, I suggest you give it a listen. If it hasn’t run through your head for some time, give it another listen. It will warm your heart.