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Here’s an interesting film score from all the way back in 1958; Henry Mancini’s soundtrack to Orson Welles’s film noir ‘Touch of Evil’. As the back of the sleeve explains, “‘Touch of Evil’ is unique among motion picture scores. In the parlance of the film it is called ‘source music’, which means that the music comes from a visible source ...

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A Touch Of Evil by Henry Mancini
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9/10 Mike Staff review, 17 July 2013

Here’s an interesting film score from all the way back in 1958; Henry Mancini’s soundtrack to Orson Welles’s film noir ‘Touch of Evil’. As the back of the sleeve explains, “‘Touch of Evil’ is unique among motion picture scores. In the parlance of the film it is called ‘source music’, which means that the music comes from a visible source such as a juke-box, orchestra, radio, or in some cases, a player piano.”

In order to create the feeling of a modern Mexican border town, Welles instructed Mancini to score the film with a mixture of rock’n’roll and Latin jazz, which is mixed in with splashes of Bernard Herrmann-esque chills like ‘Flashing Nuisance’. A colleague who shall remain nameless just complained “I feel like I’m working in the ‘50s!” I’m not sure if that really counts as criticism when you’re listening to music from the ‘50s, though. I think it’s great fun, and I just spotted Phil grabbing himself a copy too. Very much worth picking up if you’re a soundtrack enthusiast.


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