World premiere release of dynamic Lalo Schifrin score for Clint Eastwood actioner!
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Doug's Tech Talk
Intrada soundtrack celebration with Universal of 100 years of great cinema continues with world premiere release of top drawer Lalo Schifrin score for stylish police thriller. Eastwood takes break from his international success doing westerns with Sergio Leone, begins his legendary association with Donald Siegel in this exciting tale of Arizona deputy becoming fish out of water in big New York City, attempting to extradite prisoner back west. Lalo Schifrin scores with terrific meld of outdoor western theme trapped in tempo of urban big city bustle. Architecture of score is noteworthy: western thematic ideas launch, rhythms increase, then big city colors take over. As Coogan searches for prisoner, cool funky ideas play. Then suspense enters, ideas tighten. When action-filled climax arrives, Schifrin brings riveting chase music into spotlight, then finally wraps with return to main theme and dynamic flourish for final coda. Interestingly, for small handful of prints, film opens with Arizona locale, then as Coogan enters in speeding jeep, powerhouse low brass hammer out propulsive rhythmic motif built entirely of fortissimo major chords. Exciting idea! However, most prints (including video releases) drop exciting music altogether, introduce entirely different variant of main theme in subdued fashion, giving totally different feel to Coogan's entrance. Intrada CD proudly presents ALL music Schifrin scored for both versions of movie, including several other unused sequences, delicious source cues plus 1968 radio spots specially composed by Schifrin. Every note of music recorded by composer appears in crisp, dynamic stereo from original 1/2" three-channel stereo session elements vaulted at Universal in beautiful condition. One of Schifrin's most exciting early efforts available at last! Lalo Schifrin conducts. Intrada Special Collection release available as long as quantities and interest remain!
The Album 01. Arizona Desert (1:12) 02. Coogan's Wild Ride (1:15) 03. Capture The Chief (0:49) 04. Main Title Part A (0:48) 05. Main Title Part B (2:40) 06. The Big Apple (1:22) 07. Small Talk (1:07) 08. Song To Julie (2:13) 09. Five Minutes (1:37) 10. Getting Better (3:26) 11. Get Out (2:49) 12. Cartoon Background (0:33) 13. Wrong Number (1:56) 14. Beat Up (1:31) 15. Green Worms (2:27) 16. Tell Me About Arizona (3:53) 17. "Pigeon-Toed Orange Peel" (4:30) 18. "Everybody" (2:52)
The Extras 25. Main Title Part A (Version 1) (Unused) (0:47) 26. Main Title Part B (Version 2) (Unused) (0:49) 27. Song For Julie (Humming) (1:15) 28. Pushie's Pool (Unedited) (0:59) 29. Pool Room Source (Unused) (0:41) 30. Radio Spot I (0:40) 31. Radio Spot II (0:35) 32. Radio Spot III (0:10) Total Extras Time: (6:07)
Tech Talk From The Producer…
The camera pans the arizona
desert. Flute and wind chimes set the idyll ic mood.
A half-dressed Indian squats high in the rocks, eating. Suddenly a cloud of
dust emerges from the distance. What started like a western suddenly changes
gear. A jeep hurtles towards the rocks. Now come powerful trombone
rhythms, a staccato burst of major chords and the appearance of Deputy
Coogan. A flourish of banjos, guitars and percussion leads to a soaring French
horn line—Coogan’s theme, all sturdy motion and tough business.
That’s the way it might have been. But that stunning musical opening
was entirely deleted from the finished film, leaving Coogan’s entrance unscored. (When the film aired for the first time on NBC Television, the
print actually contained the dynamic trombone rhythms and introduction
of Coogan’s theme, but all home video versions have since sadly returned to
the unscored version.) More changes were made as well. As Coogan makes
his initial capture, the credits unfold in two parts over two separate cues
joined by the common “Coogan” theme. Yet the first part was re-scored no
less than three times, each with a different closing cadence, before settling
on version three—which also involved a change of key partway through.
And when the picture returns home for the ending, most of Schifrin’s brief
“End Title” was cut in favor of re-tracking “The Big Apple” in its place, sadly
omitting the return to Coogan’s theme and using only the final bars of
Schifrin’s original close.
The overall shape of Schifrin’s score can be viewed
as one big arch, similar to what takes place on screen. As
such, the music encompasses a variety of idioms from
western to eastern, journeying through outdoor desert
to the urban sprawl of the Big Apple, through jazz-rockfunk
and the underground dance scene right into the
sixties counterculture replete with tabla and sitar. Two
dynamic vocal numbers, composed and conducted
by Schifrin with full big band accompaniment, get
prominent main title credit. Schifrin even wrote tonguein-
cheek music for a cartoon showing on a jailhouse
TV, a brief sequence that was also dropped from the
picture during post-production. Like the film, the score
ultimately comes down to an exciting chase, with Schifrin
bringing his orchestra back in bravura style.
All of these cues are integral parts of the larger whole. In “Coogan’s
Raga,” for example, the composer wrote the sitar source music so that the
rapidly repeating notes at the end would actually carry over to the sustained
violins of the orchestrally scored “Pushie’s Pool,” written in the same key.
We wouldn’t dream of separating these two cues—and experiencing their
musical impact divorced from the picture will probably make Schifrin fans
delirious. But score purists need not worry—we have included “Pushie’s Pool”
as a stand-alone extra.
For our premiere presentation of the complete score
for Coogan’s Bluff, we were given access to the original
1/2˝ three-channel stereo scoring session masters, housed in the Universal
Pictures vaults in mint condition. Happily,
we were able to locate every note of music
recorded by Schifrin—including all of the
aforementioned deletions and alternates
(highlighted by the powerful opening
trombone sequence)—in splendid threetrack
stereo. The session tapes also
included several other exciting discoveries.
The opening portion of “Ringerman’s
Chase” (subtitled “Linny’s Run” in the
cue sheets) was dropped entirely but is
included on this CD for the first time. And
“Green Worms” turns out to be much
longer than what is in the film, including
a tender statement of Coogan’s theme deleted during the production.
This CD also features some exciting extras. Aside from the unedited
“Pushie’s Pool,” these include Susan Clark’s humming of Schifrin’s love
theme—actually recorded during the
scoring sessions—heard while she prepares
spaghetti sauce. In addition to the first
two unused versions of “Main Title Part
A,” listeners will find a brazen “Pool Room
Source” cue that was also dropped from the
The final three extras are truly rare
treats: radio spots used to promote the
picture back in 1968, scored by Schifrin
but recorded in a separate session under
Stanley Wilson’s direction. For these cues,
Schifrin used material from the film score
but reduced his orchestra to trombones,
guitars (electric and acoustic), electric bass
and rhythm section. They make an exciting
finish to one of the composer’s most varied
and flavorful scores.
Coogan’s Bluff proved to be terrific
training ground for Clint Eastwood and Lalo
Schifrin, and both artists could look forward to important collaborations in
the years ahead. How exciting it is now to hear Lalo Schifrin and his orchestra
take us back to those heady early days!
Recorded on March 27, 28 & 29, 1968, at Universal Pictures Scoring Stage, Universal City, California
Clifford E. Shank
Vincent De Rosa