Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 146
Date: 1967
Time: 0:43:41
Tracks: 24
Classic 1960's Tiomkin score! SOLD OUT!

Price: - (Sold Out)

  • More Info
  • Track List
  • Doug's Tech Talk
  • Musicians List
  • At last! World premiere release of rousing Dimitri Tiomkin score for action-packed John Wayne western, presented by Universal Pictures, also starring Kirk Douglas, directed by Burt Kennedy. Intrada proudly offers complete score, newly mixed & mastered in full stereo from actual multi-track session masters stored in mint condition in Universal vaults. CD includes terrific opening "Ballad of The War Wagon", sung by Ed Ames. Happily, all "sweetener" elements also survived in perfect condition, allowing Intrada to remix all stereo chorus overdubs for main title, including additional harmonica & piano tracks! Tiomkin creates great main theme for armor-plated gold wagon, then fashions dynamic variations underlining preparations by Wayne & Douglas to destroy it along with villainous owner Bruce Cabot. Latter half of score features several incredible action set-pieces with Tiomkin in spectacular form as he nears end of composing career. Hearing it all in vivid stereo makes for an exciting listen! Great original 1967 artwork campaign plus color stills, text by Julie Kirgo completes this rich package of western music. One of Universal's best previously unreleased 1960's film scores is finally a CD reality. Dimitri Tiomkin conducts.
  • Play all clips

    01. Ballad Of The War Wagon (Sung by Ed Ames) (3:24)
    02. Enter Pierce (1:28)
    03. Dark Street (0:37)
    04. Meeting (1:15)
    05. Lotus Leaf; Fivestone Shaving (1:32)
    06. Livery Stable (1:34)
    07. Lupe (3:00)
    08. Mexican Getaway (0:46)
    09. Bronco Saloon (1:27)
    10. Wading War Wagon (0:42)
    11. Friendly Indians (2:58)
    12. Cuarto Cinco (1:32)

    13. Chores; Knife Talk (2:54)
    14. Indian Trades (1:03)
    15. War Wagon; The Bridge; War Wagon Departs (2:41)
    16. Steady Fingers (2:32)
    17. Spool Of Wire (1:01)
    18. Vantage Point (0:31)
    19. Dust Gag; Ambush (5:09)
    20. The Flour Wagon (1:21)
    21. Tatahey (0:26)
    22. Get That Wagon! (2:06)
    23. A New Life (1:02)
    24. Lomax Hits Bottom And End Cast (1:01)

  • Tech Talk From The Producer…

    Dimitri Tiomkin was near the end of a lengthy and prestigious career when he opted to score Universal Pictures’ rousing 1967 western The War Wagon. Unlike many composers for the silver screen who simply ran out of steam in their twilight years, Tiomkin was flourishing with creative ideas and energetic music as he reached the climax of his composing profession. The War Wagon score is classic Tiomkin, full of outdoor melody, unbridled energy and ripe with orchestral color.

    To present this complete score on CD for the first time, Intrada was given access to all of the original multi-track stereo recording session masters recorded at the Goldwyn Studios and stored in pristine condition in the Universal vaults. These recordings were made in the days when 24-track and similar multi-track recording methods had not yet become available. Typically, when making ambitious recordings requiring a large number of tracks, studios would record on multiple rolls of 35mm magnetic film or tape stock and build layers of recorded material that would require synchronizing several film projectors and tape machines to playback the various tracks simultaneously during the mixing phase. It is worth noting in this score, for example, that the opening “Ballad” alone had three separate channels devoted to the orchestra on one roll (high strings on the left, woodwinds, horns and percussion in the center, low strings and remaining brass on the right), three additional channels on another roll incorporating a rhythm section of guitars, bass and drums and still another roll that included separate channels for harmonica and tack piano, all requiring exact synchronization. And that just covered the instrumentalists! Further rolls featured separate channels for a male chorus on the left, female chorus on the right and soloist Ed Ames appropriately getting center stage. It was tempting to present an array of extras at the end of this CD, offering all manner of mixing gimmicks such as the chorus without the soloist, the soloist without the chorus, the tack piano with the rhythm section alone, then with the harmonica, the back-up orchestra without anyone else… all fun perhaps for a moment but, alas, ultimately not a sound listening experience.

    The joy of our master tape discovery was that every track had been preserved in beautiful condition, from the most imposing orchestral flourish to the tiniest piano sweetener on each and every roll. Finding every roll complete, and in perfect condition (especially with recordings more than four decades old), is no small feat.

    One other note about these recording sessions bears attention. Listeners familiar with such classic Tiomkin albums as The Old Man And The Sea, The Fall Of The Roman Empire, The Guns Of Navarone and 55 Days At Peking probably noticed an unusual amount of room noise included in the recordings. The sessions for The War Wagon are no different. I’m shooting from the hip but I suspect it had to do with Tiomkin’s unique gift as an orchestral conductor with tremendous artistic flair. From the session conversations recorded on these masters it appears Tiomkin sought florid, over-the-top playing over clinical, exact interpretation. Add to this his own singularly unique writing style with numerous bowed, plucked and pizzicato effects from the strings and busy running figures from all the players, not to mention an enormous amount of tongued (staccato) figures, trilling passages and mordants (very brief trills) in woodwinds that literally invited the excessive rattling of keys. He also required generous amounts of flutter-tonguing from his brass players as well as having them constantly change mutes, inviting extra noise. But the orchestral fury Tiomkin unleashed in his action music and the ever-changing myriad solo colors he delivered from his woodwinds and brass was without peer and far outweighed any instrumental noises also generated.

    Every cue from Tiomkin’s score is included here, including several sequences not heard in the finished film. Certain cues were truncated in the picture during post-production and still others were repeated two or three times in fragments as needed. For our release, we have included the entire score as originally conceived and recorded by the composer. It’s rousing music, tuneful, rowdy and chock full of rip-roaring western fun, John Wayne style. Grab those reins and hang on!

    —Douglass Fake

  • Composed and Conducted by Dimitri Tiomkin.
    Recorded at Goldwyn Studios, Los Angeles, California.

    This soundtrack was produced in cooperation with the
    American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada.

    Dimitri Tiomkin
    Don Costa


    Kurt E. Wolff

    Victor Arno
    Harry Bluestone
    Samuel Cytron
    Baldassare Ferlazzo
    Noumi Fischer
    Dan Franklin
    Howard Griffin
    William Hymanson
    Davida G. Jackson
    George Kast
    Murray Kellner
    Maurice Keltz
    Marvin Limonick
    Alexander Murray
    Jerome J. Reisler
    Sam Ross
    Leon Trebacz
    Harry Zagon
    Tibor Zelig

    Naoum Benditzky
    Elizabeth Greenschpoon
    Irving Lipschultz
    Emmet Sargeant
    Joseph Saxon
    Eleanor Slatkin

    Donald M. Bagley
    Milton Kestenbaum
    Peter Mercurio

    Richard H. Anderson
    William Criss
    Charles T. Gentry
    Arthur Gleghorn
    Arnold Koblentz
    Jack Marsh
    Ray Nowlin
    Leonard Posella
    Hugo Raimondi

    James Decker
    William Hinshaw
    Sinclair Lott
    Richard E. Perissi

    Hoyt Bohannon
    Karl De Karske
    Harold Diner
    Francis L. Howard
    Edward Kusby
    Larry Sullivan
    Bill Williams

    Irving R. Bush
    Robert L. DiVall

    S. J. Bambridge


    Irving Cottler
    Frank J. Flynn
    Walter L. Goodwin
    William Kraft
    Chet Ricord

    Robert Bain
    Joseph R. Gibbons
    Alton Hendrickson
    Vincent Terri

    Tommy Morgan

    Denzil Gail Laughton

    Pearl Kaufman
    Michel Rubini
    Raymond Turner

    David Tamkin
    Leonid Raab
    Gil Grau

    Dan Franklin
    Dorothy Sanders
    Art Grier
    Bill Williams