COMEDY OF TERRORS, THE

Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 218
Date: 1963
Time: 0:41:53
Tracks: 15
World premiere release of spooky 'n' kooky Les Baxter score for American International fright picture, directed by esteemed Jacques Tourneur, starring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone. Quartet of iconic stars should be enough to attract attention but add Richard Matheson script, story about undertaker needing fresh "supplies" to keep business afloat and ingredients for fun are built in. Les Baxter keeps that in mind, writes music with equal parts fun, fear. Rare for Baxter/AIP projects, MGM vaults happily contained complete score as recorded in mono, with all rolls in beautiful condition. Baxter writes for orchestra with economy in mind. Everything plays briskly to keep pace with picture, remains transparent in keeping with light touch. For enthusiasts, wacky (intentionally) out-of-tune song "He Is Not Dead" is included where positioned in film as it is integral to musical continuity of score. Feel free to program piece at end of album or...? Fun cover art. Interior of booklet offers complete cue assembly details. Les Baxter conducts. Intrada Special Collection release available while quantities and interest remains! SOLD OUT!

Price: - (Sold Out)

  • More Info
  • Track List
  • Doug's Tech Talk
  • Musicians List
  • World premiere release of spooky 'n' kooky Les Baxter score for American International fright picture, directed by esteemed Jacques Tourneur, starring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone. Quartet of iconic stars should be enough to attract attention but add Richard Matheson script, story about undertaker needing fresh "supplies" to keep business afloat and ingredients for fun are built in. Les Baxter keeps that in mind, writes music with equal parts fun, fear. Rare for Baxter/AIP projects, MGM vaults happily contained complete score as recorded in mono, with all rolls in beautiful condition. Baxter writes for orchestra with economy in mind. Everything plays briskly to keep pace with picture, remains transparent in keeping with light touch. For enthusiasts, wacky (intentionally) out-of-tune song "He Is Not Dead" is included where positioned in film as it is integral to musical continuity of score. Feel free to program piece at end of album or...? Fun cover art. Interior of booklet offers complete cue assembly details. Les Baxter conducts. Intrada Special Collection release available while quantities and interest remains!
  • Play all clips

    01. The Mourners (3:36)
    02. Meet Cleopatra (1:19)
    03. Hearse Of A Different Color (7:44)
    04. Atmospheres (1:44)
    05. Two Birds (1:23)
    06. Up We Go (2:25)
    07. Abra-Cadaver (3:55)
    08. A Tisket A Casket (1:17)

    09. He Is Not Dead (2:19)
    10. Play It Straight (5:38)
    11. The Axe (4:39)
    12. Par For The Corpse (1:30)
    13. Waltzing (1:01)
    14. Never Say Die (0:49)
    15. That's All (2:17)

  • Tech Talk From The CD Producer…

    To present this premiere release of Baxter’s fun score, we were incredibly fortunate to have access to the complete mono session elements stored in MGM’s vaults. Much of the A.I.P. music library has long since been lost to the ages and locating the numerous coveted A.I.P./ Les Baxter/horror film scoring session masters in their entirety is as rare as the proverbial hen’s tooth. With all the tapes in hand, we were able to present everything Baxter recorded for the movie from the opening A.I.P. emblem right down to a closing emblem not used in the finished film. Because Baxter recorded much of the score in small fragments (as was his norm), we were able to assemble many of the small pieces into musically coherent larger ones.

    The session masters were preserved on ¼˝ tape at the slower speed of 7½ ips, so nominal wear and tear (as well as some tape hiss) was evident. That said, the sound quality remains clear and vibrant. As is our custom, we made no attempt to artificially remove the inherent tape hiss, which would otherwise affect the original dynamics of the tapes (especially important considering the flute and piccolo registers in this score). With economy in mind, the entire score was recorded on a single day in November 1963 on the Goldwyn Studios scoring stage. Because of the small acoustics of the room and the dry recording present on the tape, we have added a judicious amount of stereo reverb (courtesy of the state-of-the-art Altiverb system) to provide a degree of two-track ambience and keep the dead-center mono effect to a minimum.

    We present the score in the sequence Baxter originally intended — without any of the musical alterations done editorially during post-production. Since we had all the sessions, we were even able to include the off-key organ music as well as Joyce Jameson’s off-key but important funeral song ("He Is Not Dead"), which is actually based on the main theme and was recorded separately. We also found the lone triangle jingle underlining the closing shot of a "dead" Basil Rathbone, called "Never Say Die" in the scoring session cue sheets. However, for sanity's sake, we have not included the several outtakes and short codas that Jameson recorded for the movie, each drastically out of tune as per her character's less-than-optimal singing voice. The longest, used in the funeral parlor scene, seemed quite enough.

    So get in a ghoulish mood, sprinkle in a spirit of fun, and let Les Baxter and his band keep you awake all night.

    —Douglass Fake
  •         

    The Comedy Of Terrors
    Recorded on November 15, 1963, at The Goldwyn Studios Scoring Stage, Santa Monica, California.

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

    LEADER
    Les Baxter

    MANAGER/SUPERVISOR
    Jack Gruberman
    Al Ciminelli (Simms)

    BASS
    Milton Kestenbaum

    WOODWINDS
    June Russo

    TRUMPET
    Leonard A. Mach
    James Salko
    Manuel Stevens

    TROMBONE
    Harry Betts
    Barrett O'Hara
    Tommy Pederson
    Thomas Shepard

    TUBA
    John Bambridge Jr.

    PIANO
    Caesar Giovannini

    PERCUSSION
    Hugh Anderson

    ARRANGER
    Albert Harris

    COPYIST
    Jack Gruberman
    Priscilla Nemoy