HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER

Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 217
Date: 1973
Time: 0:54:27
Tracks: 27
World premiere of complex Dee Barton score for classic Clint Eastwood western!

Price: $19.99

 
  • More Info
  • Track List
  • Doug's Tech Talk
  • Musicians List
  • At long last! World premiere of complex, highly original score for justifiably famous Clint Eastwood western with director as star. Dee Barton scores with unusually strong minor key main theme in western garb, then heads into Lago (the town) with much more under his saddle! Complex, experimental ideas play on strings, guitars, harmonica, percussion, early synths, electric bass, voice... an array of tense, dissonant colors! But there's much more than what has been known up to now: Universal's multi-track scoring session masters revealed numerous orchestral cues in traditional western guise that filmmakers dropped in favor of vivid experimental cues. New ideas like "Dummy Wagon" bring broad, expansive themes into play, action cues such as "Gunfight", "Shooting Stacy" offer intense brass figures amongst chaotic strings, even a sturdy vocal version of main theme with orchestra adds color, all of these being heard for first time ever, illuminating fact that composer intended much longer score than what (admittedly effective) amount remains in finished production. Dee Barton (famed composer/arranger for Stan Kenton as well as uncredited composer on several Dirty Harry films and composer of Eastwood's first directing effort: Play Misty For Me) writes with requisite nod to Morricone in use of rhythm, short motifs to punctuate script lines, so forth, but then takes off in his own direction with extremely challenging music - amongst western genre's most unorthodox ever. Intrada presentation offers every cue recorded by Barton, mixed into dynamic stereo from mint condition complete three-channel scoring session masters. Flipper cover offers dramatic shot of star under "Universal 100th Anniversary" banner on one side, exciting original poster campaign on the other. Take your pick! Dee Barton conducts. Intrada Special Collection release available while quantities and interest remain!
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    The Album
    01. High Plains Drifter (Main Title) (4:20)
    02. Barber Shop Menace (1:43)
    03. Vision Of Marshal (2:25)
    04. Gathering Loot (1:43)
    05. Out Of Prison (2:32)
    06. Dummy Wagon (2:28)
    07. Campfire Murder (2:19)
    08. Target Practice (0:48)
    09. Whipped To Death (4:54)
    10. Callie (5:57)
    11. Hotel Explodes (0:42)
    12. Blood On Log (0:27)
    13. Dynamite (3:41)
    14. Preparations (1:40)
    15. Bell Signal (2:07)
    16. Gunfight In Lago (2:02)

    17. Shooting Stacy (5:12)
    18. Headstone And End Credits (2:08)
    Total Album Time: 47:28

    The Extras
    19. High Plains Drifter (Unused Title Song) (3:10)
    20. Dummy Wagon (Short) (0:14)
    21. Dummy Wagon Stinger (0:09)
    22. Target Practice Stinger (0:13)
    23. R91 Stinger(s) #1 (0:25)
    24. R92 Stinger(s) #1 (0:13)
    25. R92A Stinger(s) #1 (0:44)
    26. R93 Stinger(s) #1 (0:20)
    27. Wild Harmonica Stingers (1:20)
    Total Extras Time: (6:49)

  • Tech Talk From The Producer…

    To present this complete score on CD, we were extremely fortunate that Universal Pictures vaulted every roll of the original three-track stereo session masters in beautiful condition, even though the film itself was only mixed in mono. These multi-channel rolls allowed us to create brand new two-track stereo mixes of every cue. The stereo image is striking, made more so because Barton utilized a degree of creativity with the actual placement of instruments across the three-track stereo field.

    While generally following the traditional three-channel norm (high strings on the left, low strings on the right and woodwinds and solo colors in the center), Barton enjoyed assigning the vast array of synthesized sounds on polar opposites of the sound spectrum, sometimes having instruments literally “question and answer” each other with strong stereo effect. That said, everything appears in a mostly straightforward mix with one interesting exception: the aforementioned battle music. In these cases, Barton employs all of his synths and percussion throughout the left, center and right sound fields but relegates his brass and strings only to the right. This, of course, weights those cues to the right. Since the masters are, in fact, the actual session elements, the decision to make that unusual orchestra/ right channel assignment during recording may—just may—have been due to some discussion as to whether any of the orchestral brass and strings would remain. Recorded this way, should the orchestra be dropped, the synth, percussion and other colors could still be retained in a true stereo mix. It’s also possible the entire brass and string section was recorded on one channel so the orchestra could easily be overdubbed into the other colors and faded in and out as need be. All that effort needn’t have been made since not only were the orchestral layers dropped—but everything else was dropped as well. Happily, Universal retained all of those brass and string elements intact, allowing us to add them to the roster of cues being heard on this CD for the first time.

    For the film, Barton recorded a lot of extremely short cues (stingers) for various solo instruments (notably electric guitar and harmonica) that could be dialed in and out quickly and used simply as musical punctuation marks to appear after certain lines of dialog, similar to techniques employed by Morricone for the Leone trilogy mentioned earlier. Only a couple of these were slated for actual use and they appear in the album sequence where intended, albeit ironically they too were mostly dropped from the picture. But Barton also recorded numerous other stingers for Eastwood to choose from and most of them were simply recorded “wild” (not timed to picture). For completists, all of these stingers are included, grouped together with regard to instrumental color and musicality.

    And one last extra: We also found a complete vocal track synchronized to the main title music. Since no session paperwork identifies the male vocalist, it isn’t known whether he is, in fact, simply a studio session singer or not. But the song appears to have been intended for something more then just a demo as the singer is synchronized to and backed by the full orchestra. Enjoy it as track 19… and ride with the mysterious stranger and composer Dee Barton in provocative music that endures.

    —Douglass Fake



  • Composed and Conducted by Dee Barton.

    Recorded on November 19 and 20, 1972, at Universal Studios.

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


    CONTRACTOR
    Sandy DeCrescent

    VIOLIN
    Erno Neufeld
    Israel Baker
    Anatol Kaminsky
    Nathan Kaproff
    George Kast
    Jacob Krachmalnick
    Marvin Limonick
    Alexander Murray
    Lou Raderman
    Gerald Vinci

    VIOLA
    Virginia Majewski
    Cecil Figelski
    Allan Harshman
    Milton Thomas

    CELLO
    Edgar Lustgarten
    Raymond J. Kelley
    Ray Kramer
    Frederick Seykora

    BASS
    Max R. Bennett
    Ray Brown
    Milton Kestenbaum


    FENDER BASS
    Carol Kaye

    WOODWINDS
    C. E. "Bud" Shank
    Allan Beutler

    FRENCH HORN
    Vincent N. DeRosa
    Richard E. Perissi

    TRUMPET
    Jay J. Daversa
    Marion "Buddy" Childers
    Charles B. Findley

    TROMBONE
    Charles C. Loper
    Grover Mitchell
    Lloyd E. Ulyate
    Donald G. Waldrop

    TUBA
    Roger Bobo

    DRUMS
    Nick Ceroli

    PERCUSSION
    Milton Holland
    Emil Radocchia

    MOOG
    Paul Beaver


    ARP
    Clark Spangler

    PIANO
    Michael Melvoin

    HARMONICA
    Tommy Morgan

    GUITAR
    Dennis Budimir
    Michael Deasy
    Al Hendrickson
    Tommy Tedesco

    MUSIC PREP
    ORCHESTRATOR

    DeWells "Dee" Barton

    COPYIST
    Robert Bornstein
    Ralph Fera
    Leonard Gordon
    Jack McTaggart
    Jerome B. Nuzzi

    PROOFREADER
    Fred Sternberg

    LIBRARIAN
    Irwin Coster
    Randolph J. Rayburn (Ass't.)