Legacy Recordings to be released November 18th 2014
Music Review by Joseph Timmons: Xombiewoof Magazine
The 9-CD box set features 18 of Mancini’s most celebrated soundtrack albums with rare bonus tracks. Scores feature jazz and pop standards, including “The Pink Panther Theme,” “Moon River” (from Breakfast At Tiffany’s) and “Baby Elephant Walk” (from Hatari!)
If you have ever seen a movie filmed from 1950 to 1980, odds are it had the brilliant work of Henry Mancini, or was inspired by it. A name synonymous with the brilliance and comedy, mystery and romance, Mancini’s touch gave life to them all. And now, all of his work is available in one unique boxed set that will be the pick for the avid music collector as well as cinema authority.
Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release the Henry Mancini’s The Classic Soundtrack Collection on Tuesday, November 18th. In a career that spanned nearly half a century, Henry Mancini became synonymous with catchy, jazzy, romantic music for film and television soundtracks. The Classic Soundtrack Collection, showcases all of Mancini’s soundtrack albums for the RCA, Epic and Columbia labels, including several of his most iconic and beloved scores.
The Classic Soundtrack Collection features 18 original Mancini soundtrack albums on 9 discs plus rare bonus tracks, including a never-before-heard version of “Nothing To Lose” from writer-director Blake Edwards’ 1968 comedy The Party performed by Julie Andrews. Taken together, the albums in this collection underline the enduring popularity of Henry Mancini and his unique ability to create movie music that pop audiences could also embrace.
From 1952 to 1958, Mancini was contracted to create soundtracks for films for Universal-International Studios, including the Oscar-nominated The Glenn Miller Story and the brassy, suspenseful score to Orson Welles’ Touch Of Evil. From there, Mancini gained widespread acclaim as an independent composer and arranger, winning four Oscars and 20 Grammy Awards during his career.
Mancini’s greatest collaboration may have been with Blake Edwards; they first worked together on Edwards’ 1959 television series Peter Gunn. The iconic jazz theme was an international hit and winner of two Grammy Awards and an Emmy Award. The duo would collaborate on such films as Breakfast At Tiffany’s (featuring the immortal pop standard “Moon River,” written by Mancini with lyricist Johnny Mercer) and the Pink Panther series of comedies (the slinky, saxophone-driven instrumental theme remains one of cinema’s most recognizable standards).
Elsewhere in Hollywood, Mancini earned critical and commercial acclaim with scores to films like Hatari! Starring John Wayne and featuring the playful “Baby Elephant Walk”; the Cary Grant/Audrey Hepburn mystery Charade, and the comedy-drama Two for the Road, Mancini’s personal favorite of the many themes he composed.
In most of my reviews when it comes to multi-album collections or greatest hits, I try to pick out the best of the best, with the Henry Mancini’s The Classic Soundtrack Collection it is just not possible, each album is a masterpiece unto itself, worth of attention and praise, but together you have what is the most remarkable music ever created for the cinema but one who understood the connection between imagery and sound and could with a wave of his hand conduct an ensemble to make you laugh, cry or shout in joy. The Henry Mancini’s The Classic Soundtrack Collection is the brightest jewel of the upcoming holiday gift selections.
But don’t tell the Pink Panther that….
- High Time (1960)
- Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)
- Experiment In Terror (1962)
- Hatari! (1962)
- Charade (1963)
- The Pink Panther (1964)
- The Great Race (1965)
- Arabesque (1966)
- What Did You Do In The War, Daddy? (1966)
- Two For The Road (1967)
- Gunn (1967)
- The Party (1968)
- Me, Natalie (1969)
- Darling Lili (1970)
- Visions Of Eight (1973)
- Oklahoma Crude (1973)
- The Return Of The Pink Panther (1975)
- Who Is Killing The Great Chefs Of Europe? (1978)