Archive for May, 2012

Coming soon, the French special!

Posted in News on May 23, 2012 by eldiabolik

Yes, episode 18 will be a French special, we will be recording this in a week or so, so still time to get a request in.

Can you name everyone in this picture?

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Lord Thames on Laurie Johnson and ‘And Soon the Darkness’

Posted in Featured Composer with tags , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2012 by eldiabolik

Although Laurie Johnson’s contribution to And Soon The Darkness is a relatively small one, it does at least provide us with a chance to celebrate a long and distinguished career.


Johnson’s first film score came in 1957, with The Good Companions, with scores for Girls At Sea, The Moonraker and Tiger Bay – as well as hit musical Lock Up Your Daughters – to follow.

By the 1960s, Laurie Johnson’s name started to become much better known thanks to the rise of commercial television. His recording of ‘Sucu Sucu’ for Associated-Rediffusion’s Top Secret was a chart hit in 1961, and as well as other commissions for A-R, he was also writing for the KPM music library. Many of these tracks became well know, as themes for Animal Magic, This Is Your Life, Whicker’s World and World In Action (the latter theme, ‘Private Eye’, is still in use today as the theme for Michael Apted’s 7 Up documentaries, the latest installment of which has started on ITV this month.)

The middle of the decade saw possibly his most important commissions to date – Dr Strangelove (of which Johnson recalls Stanley Kubrick telling him at the end of the recording sessions it was the best soundtrack to any of his films), and of course The Avengers, where Johnson came up with a gloriously decadent string theme which would last till the end of the series in 1969..

And Soon The Darkness followed soon afterwards, and features many familiar Avengers faces behind the camera, like director Robert Fuest and writer Brian Clemens. Johnson’s contribution is limited to the instantly memorable theme, which later had lyrics added by Alan Price and was recorded by pop-soul singer James Royal (with the help of an excellent arrangement by Keith Mansfield) though sadly with limited success.

Johnson continued to write soundtracks through the 1970s, and added another string to his bow – not only did he furnish The New Avengers with a fantastic military funk theme tune, he also became co-producer with Albert Fennel and Brian Clemens. This partnership would continue with LWT’s The Professionals into the 1980s. Johnson continued as a producer with the revived Gainsborough Pictures, as well as scoring their productions.

In 1997, Laurie Johnson would form the London Big Band, with many familiar jazz and session players in the line-up, including old friends from the Ted Heath days, and he even returned to the charts thanks to the theme from The Professionals being used to advertise the Nissan Almera.

Although And Soon The Darkness doesn’t even merit a mention in Johnson’s autobiography, ‘Noises In The Head’, for me it’s among his best work, almost as much for what isn’t there as what is. The lack of incidental music, normally a minus point for me, only adds to the grim and bleak atmosphere of the film, which is almost in contrast to the relatively upbeat theme See what you think!

These words were taken from the programme notes of the Filmbar70 screening of ‘And Soon the Darkness’ London, 17 May 2012.

Episode 17

Posted in News on May 9, 2012 by eldiabolik

Episode 17 Here

Track Listing from Episode 17.

Posted in Track listings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2012 by eldiabolik

01. Stelvio Cipriani (Vocals: Olympia) – Femina Ridens Song – 3’19
From the film: ‘Femina Ridens’ (The Frightened Woman)
(Piero Schivazappa, Italy, 1969)
Source: LP – CAM (Vadim) – (SAG 9017)

02. Roy Budd – The Thief – 1’49
From the film ‘Diamonds’
(Menahem Golan, Israel/USA/Switzerland, 1975)
Source: LP – Cinephile – (CIN LP 03)

03. Shiv-hari – Flute – 3’05
From the Film ‘Silsila’
(Yash Chopra, India, 1981)
Source: LP – EMI – (PEASD 2046)

04. Michiaki Watanabe (Vocals: Yuki Hide) – Kakero! Spider-Man – 3’29
From the TV series ‘Supaidāman’ (Spder-Man)
(Toei TV, Japan, 1978)
Source: CD – Columbia – (COCX-31429)

05. Barry White – Find The Man Bros. – 2’16
From the film ‘Together Brothers’
(William A. Graham, USA, 1974)
Source: LP – 20th Century-Fox Records – (95809)

06. Stelvio Cipriani – Week-end With Mary – 2’00
From the film: ‘Femina Ridens’ (The Frightened Woman)
(Piero Schivazappa, Italy, 1969)
Source: LP – CAM (Vadim) – (SAG 9017)

07. Daniel Balavoine – La Ballade du Marc – 1’13
From the film ‘Alors… Heureux?’
(Claude Barrois, France, 1980)
Source: LP – Barclay – (960.021)

08. Daniel Balavoine – Suspense – 2’50
From the film ‘Alors… Heureux?’
(Claude Barrois, France, 1980)
Source: LP – Barclay – (960.021)

09. Prickly Brothers – Let’s Delay – 2’31
From the film ‘Maschio latino cercasi’
(Giovanni Narzisi, Italy, 1977)
Source: 7″ – Ariston – (AR/00766)

10. Christopher Gunning – Theme for Black Magic – 3’01
From the LP: ‘The Magic of Love’
Source: LP – CBS Records – (LSP 13074)

11. Peter Thomas – Sergeant Berry – 3’02
From the TV Series ‘La Piscine’
(ZDF TV, West Germany, 1974)
Source: 7″ – BASF – (05 11943-7)

12. Ravi – Title Music – 3’51
From the Film ‘Hamraaz’
(B.R. Chopra, India, 1967)
Source: LP – Gramophone Company of India – (3AEX-5159)

13. Michiaki Watanabe – Under the light of Daybreak – 3’29
From the TV series ‘Supaidāman’ (Spder-Man)
(Toei TV, Japan, 1978)
Source: CD – Columbia – (COCX-31429)

Cover Version Corner.
14. The Many Moogs of Killer Watts – Man of Mystery – 2’18
From the LP: ‘The Golden Hour of Golden Instrumental Hits’ – 1974
Source: LP – Golden Hour – (GH 578)

Cover Version Corner.
15. Harold Winkler and the Norman Candler Orchestra – Live and Let Die – 3’45
From the LP: ‘Film Festival’ – 1973
Source: LP – Telefunken – (SLE 14743-P)

16. Daniel Balavoine – Le Chanteur – 1’14
From the film ‘Alors… Heureux?’
(Claude Barrois, France, 1980)
Source: LP – Barclay – (960.021)

17. Stelvio Cipriani – Mary’s Theme – 2’05
From the film: ‘Femina Ridens’ (The Frightened Woman)
(Piero Schivazappa, Italy, 1969)
Source: LP – CAM (Vadim) – (SAG 9017)

18. Barry White – Alive and Well – 1’11
From the film ‘Together Brothers’
(William A. Graham, USA, 1974)
Source: LP – 20th Century-Fox Records – (95809)

19. Prickly Brothers – Latin Lover – 2’34
From the film ‘Maschio latino cercasi’
(Giovanni Narzisi, Italy, 1977)
Source: 7″ – Ariston – (AR/00766)

Simon’s Library Choice.
20. R. Dero – Whirling – 2’42
From the LP ‘After Eight’ – 1980
Source: LP – RKM – (RKM 03)

Simon’s Library Choice.
20. Willy Albimoor – The Weed – 1’16
From the LP ‘After Eight’ – 1980
Source: LP – RKM – (RKM 03)

22.Simon’s Library Choice.
20. Francis Weyer – No Lady – 2’27
From the LP ‘After Eight’ – 1980
Source: LP – RKM – (RKM 03)

23. The Modern Jazz Orchestra – The Golden Striker – 3’33
From the Film ‘No Sun in Venice’ (Sait-on jamais…)
(Roger Vadim, France/Italy, 1957)
Source: LP – London Records – (LTZ-K.15140)

24. Daniel Balavoine – Strip-tease Ministeriel – 1’04
From the film ‘Alors… Heureux?’
(Claude Barrois, France, 1980)
Source: LP – Barclay – (960.021)

25. Stelvio Cipriani – Fight of Love – 3’18
From the film: ‘Femina Ridens’ (The Frightened Woman)
(Piero Schivazappa, Italy, 1969)
Source: LP – CAM (Vadim) – (SAG 9017)

26. Barry White – You Got a Case – 1’31
From the film ‘Together Brothers’
(William A. Graham, USA, 1974)
Source: LP – 20th Century-Fox Records – (95809)

Record Sleeves from Episode 17.

Posted in Record Sleeves with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2012 by eldiabolik

Filmbar70 presents And Soon the Darkness: Brit thrillers of the ’70s

Posted in Events. on May 9, 2012 by eldiabolik

Filmbar70 is proud to fly the flag as we celebrate the British Thriller of the Seventies. We’ll be screening the original ‘And Soon the Darkness’ (’70), and guiding you through this long neglected aspect of our cinematic heritage with our very own top ten Brit Thrills of …the ‘70s. Also on hand will be Mr El diabolik himself – bringing his World of Psychotronic Soundtracks to bear on the best of British film grooves from the decade.

Facebook event page.
Buy tickets here.

With the glory days of the sixties fading fast, British genre filmmakers looked to the contemporary concerns infusing American generic cinema and further back to the rich vein of psychological dramas peppering the British celluloid landscape. Uncertain outcomes, social entropy and a pervading sense of nihilistic despair came to inform the results – our (and indeed, Europe’s) last wave of concerted genre filmmaking. Since consigned to nocturnal cathode ray emissions, the British thrillers of the ‘70s have been largely ignored or dismissed by our cultural commentators. But we at Filmbar70 love these smouldering embers of the British film industry. And what better way to celebrate than to screen one of the best examples – Robert Fuest’s tightly weaved ‘And Soon the Darkness’…
When two young female nurses (Filmbar fave Pamela Franklin and Michele – “oh Frank” – Dotrice) embark on a cycling holiday around southern France, nothing had prepared them for the sheer monotony of their trip. As tempers are tried and bickering flares, the couple decide to split – an action that leaves them more vulnerable than they could have ever imagined. For this alien, expansive landscape has a dark history, a history involving the unsolved abductions of a number of young women…
An excursion into the very, very eerie, ‘And Soon the Darkness’ wrings incredible suspense from its minimal resources. Dearly departed arch stylist Robert Fuest imbues the wide, sunny spaces of the French countryside with palatable dread and cloying claustrophobia, tightening the screws of tension to breaking point.
We’ll also be sharing with you our top ten Brit Thrills of the ‘70s. Prepare to have memories jogged and opinions outraged as we count down our very favourite films of our very favourite decade…
And finally, what would a Filmbar be these days without the (cloven) hoof tappings courtesy of El diabolik and his World of Psychotronic soundtracks? He’ll be spinning his platters of Brit goodness to round the evening off on a suitably funky note.
So pop on down, and get you patriotism on for some truly great home grown suspense…
Doors open 7pm
Programme begins 7.30pm
Psychotronic party commences 9.45pm

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