Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

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"Go ahead. Make my day."



At one point early in my tenure at Tower Records, we got the opportunity to order a few Japanese CDs of albums that weren't in print in the United States. Among these were such albums as John Barry's The Ipcress File (which has since been reissued by Silva Screen) and The Exorcist. Among these was an album that caught my eye because I had heard Lukas Kendall mentioning it in an early issue of Film Score Monthly — Lalo Schifrin's 1968 album recording of Bullitt (which I still prefer, both for the performance and the 60s style hard-panning stereo spread, to the 2000 recording. I then sought out a few other Schifrin albums, which were not that common at the time, but I did love his section of GNP Crescendo's The Best of Mission Impossible: Then and Now and also managed to score one of the Enter the Dragon VHS box sets that had the expanded remaster of the exciting score for Enter the Dragon. Not long afterward, the dearth of his music on CD was rectified by Schifrin himself on his own label Aleph Records.

My first contact with any Dirty Harry music outside of the films themselves was with the release of The Dirty Harry Anthology, which featured music from Dirty Harry, Magnum Force and Sudden Impact. My first reaction was actually shock. Up until that point I had associated Schifrin's urban scores with a very cool sound and slick sound. Schifrin's music for the exploits of Harry Callahan, while still recognizably the work of the same musical voice, was a different animal altogether: harsh, dissonant and challenging, as befits both the series' rough-edged anti-hero as well as the moral void of the world he inhabits.

It took me quite a while to warm up to that blistering soundscape, but over the years I developed more of a taste for that sort of thing, and so when Aleph began releasing the original soundtrack recording for Dirty Harry complete and in stereo, I was very eager to snap it up. The score was dark and brooding with sudden bursts of violence but Schifrin's characteristic grooves grounding the whole thing. The composer would use a similar approach, but somewhat amped up Magnum Force. If Dirty Harry and Magnum Force were of a piece, then so are both Sudden Impact, Schifrin's return to the series a full decade later, and The Dead Pool; the grooves are still there, but they're darker and more jaded. It really wasn't until I started compiling this mix and realized how much thematic continuity there was between the two pairs of scores that I really began to appreciate the music from the latter two films.


Lalo Schifrin was unavailable to score The Enforcer, and so Clint Eastwood brought on Jerry Fielding. The transition to a new composer actually ended up working quite well as Fielding managed to write music that was unmistakably his own, but which fit perfectly into the idiom from the previous two movies. In a rather classy move, Schifrin used his relationship to Malpaso to release the music from The Enforcer as part of the Dirty Harry series, and as soon as I heard the score I realized not only that I wanted to make a Dirty Harry mix, but that I wanted to include this score as well as the four Schifrin entries.

I had compiled the original version of my Urban Danger compilation when only the first two scores had been released. Shortly after I created Just Talkin' About Shaft, I began work on a revised edition that slightly reconceptualized that album to replace the cuts from Dirty Harry and Magnum Force with new material to make way for a dedicated Dirty Harry compilation.

I wasn't originally planning on having any sort of overture for this disc (though I did make a specific choice not to open with "Dirty Harry's Creed" from The Dirty Harry Anthology to help differentiate this disc from that compilation), but I did start the album off with a sort of three-track essay of Harry himself, the Dirty Harry main title (track 1) presenting his main theme for the title character, Jerry Fielding's introduction to Harry in The Enforcer (track 2) to establish his voice up front, and two Sudden Impact cues in "The Road To San Paolo," (track 3) a 'driving' arrangement of Schifrin's secondary theme, heard here on trumpet with the electric piano that is often used for Harry; this theme usually accompanies the end titles. That secondary theme will return in various guises throughout this compilation (it is heard on trumpet in Sudden Impact and saxophone in The Dead Pool) although most devastatingly in "Dawn Discovery" from Dirty Harry (track 17), finally returning in its simplest, most intimate form for the end credits of that film (track 28) to close off the score portion of the album.

Schifrin's meandering main theme for Harry returns often, as one of the interesting things about these scores is hearing how Schifrin managed to keep it both consistent with its original form but updated to the rock idioms of the day; an example of this is the excerpt from The Dead Pool entitled "The Pool" (track 11) which features many very familiar elements from the two 70s scores, but presented in an 80s arrangement. Perhaps the most dated track would be samples and drum-machine cacophony of the main title from Sudden Impact (track 16), but it perfectly captures the zeitgeist of the period, and it has a great fat bass line. Another theme I followed the development of was that for Scorpio (Andy Robinson) which is often heard as a breathy solo for female vocalist. Its gradual introduction in "Scorpio's View" (track 6) culminates its most violent rendition featuring brass, but it also has a strong rock component that gives it a forward momentum (one of these tracks, "The School Bus" (track 21) had been featured on the original version of Urban Danger along with "Liquor Store Holdup," which was dropped from this compilation).

I included both of Jerry Fielding's takes on the end title for The Enforcer; the more emotional film version is heard here by its subtitle "Elegy for Inspector Moore" (track 13), while the darker original version is simply titled "Finale" (track 27), and heads off the Dirty Harry end titles in this disc's endgame. The disc closes with "Welcome To the Jungle" (track 29) which was used in The Dead Pool (the band is featured in a cameo in the movie) and figured prominently in the promotion of that film. While quite a stylistic departure from the rest of the material on the disc, its nihilistic vision of urban life certainly fits Harry's own.

I was expecting this disc to be much more difficult to put together than it ended up being. Fielding's score didn't present any tonal problems at all, slipping perfectly in with the Schifrin tracks, and while the pair of Schifrin scores from the 70s sound rather different from the pair from the 80s, he ingeniously adapts his thematic material for the newer era's pop sensibilities. I found that the two composers did a fine job themselves of balancing out the more abrasive passages with jazz and funk elements (if anything, Fielding's take on Harry is even more funky than Schifrin's), and so it was mostly a matter of deciding how to present the material in an entertaining, flowing manner. This album is a companion piece to both Urban Danger and Just Talkin' About Shaft.



29 Tracks • 81:27

  1. MAIN TITLE from DIRTY HARRY by LALO SCHIFRIN 3:27

  2. HARRY’S WORLD from THE ENFORCER by JERRY FIELDING 0:50

  3. THE ROAD TO SAN PAOLO from SUDDEN IMPACT by LALO SCHIFRIN 1:38

  4. THE PIMP from MAGNUM FORCE by LALO SCHIFRIN 2:40

  5. SAN FRANCISCO NIGHT from THE DEAD POOL by LALO SCHIFRIN 3:36

  6. SCORPIO’S VIEW from DIRTY HARRY by LALO SCHIFRIN 2:32

  7. ALCATRAZ ENCOUNTER from THE ENFORCER by JERRY FIELDING 4:22

  8. COCKTAILS OF FIRE from SUDDEN IMPACT by LALO SCHIFRIN 2:15

  9. SCORPIO TAKES THE BAIT from DIRTY HARRY by LALO SCHIFRIN 3:27

  10. STAKEOUT and THE CROOKS from MAGNUM FORCE by LALO SCHIFRIN 3:59

  11. THE POOL from THE DEAD POOL by LALO SCHIFRIN 2:37

  12. CITY HALL from DIRTY HARRY by LALO SCHIFRIN 1:07

  13. ELEGY FOR INSPECTOR MOORE from THE ENFORCER by JERRY FIELDING 2:48

  14. MAILBOX from MAGNUM FORCE by LALO SCHIFRIN 1:34

  15. SOMETHING IN RETURN from THE DEAD POOL by LALO SCHIFRIN 2:15

  16. MAIN TITLE from SUDDEN IMPACT by LALO SCHIFRIN 2:48

  17. DAWN DISCOVERY from DIRTY HARRY by LALO SCHIFRIN 0:54

  18. PALANCIO from MAGNUM FORCE by LALO SCHIFRIN 4:17

  19. ROOFTOP CHASE from THE ENFORCER by JERRY FIELDING 5:59

  20. THE PIER, THE BRIDGE AND THE CITY from THE DEAD POOL by LALO SCHIFRIN 3:37

  21. THE SCHOOL BUS from DIRTY HARRY by LALO SCHIFRIN 1:53

  22. MAIN TITLE from MAGNUM FORCE by LALO SCHIFRIN 2:08

  23. YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY from SUDDEN IMPACT by LALO SCHIFRIN 3:42

  24. POTRERO HILL from MAGNUM FORCE by LALO SCHIFRIN 3:04

  25. RESCUE from THE DEAD POOL by LALO SCHIFRIN 1:43

  26. SAN FRANCISCO AFTER DARK from SUDDEN IMPACT by LALO SCHIFRIN 3:20

  27. FINALE from THE ENFORCER by JERRY FIELDING 2:45

  28. END TITLES from DIRTY HARRY by LALO SCHIFRIN 1:18

  29. WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE from THE DEAD POOL by GUNS N’ ROSES 4:33

Music Score from Dirty Harry
Composed and Conducted by Lalo Schifrin
(Aleph 030)

Music Score from Magnum Force
Composed and Conducted by Lalo Schifrin
(Aleph 033)

Music Score from The Enforcer
Composed and Conducted by Jerry Fielding
(Aleph 038)

Music Score from Sudden Impact
Composed and Conducted by Lalo Schifrin
(Aleph 040)

Music Score from The Dead Pool
Composed and Conducted by Lalo Schifrin
(Aleph 042)

"Welcome To the Jungle" from Appetite For Destruction
Written by Axl Rose and Slash • Performed by Guns N' Roses
(Geffen GEFMD 24148)



Tags: film music, jazz, lalo schifrin, my mixes, rock
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