D.O.A./Tiomkin

October 15, 2007

 

For many years I had the main theme to this good ‘B’ movie on a cassette. I had recorded the main theme as well as 40 others from VHS tapes I had watched over the years. While not having heard the theme for quite sometime, the minute I listened to the “main title” I recognized it instantly. The 1950 film starring Edmond O’Brien is in the real bargain category these days. Look in these $1.00 bins and don’t be surprised if you don’t see it.

Tiomkin took the main theme he created and effectively used it for much of the score. The “Main Title” is used as a march like music to follow O’Brien as he walks through the different areas of the police department as the credits are played at the beginning of the film. It appears again as a dance band arrangement with sax solo in “Juke Box Theme”. “Phone Call” is a romantic treatment as well as the short cue “Paula’s Love Note”. “D.O.A.”, the end track of the film, is given the full orchestra treatment albiet a small one with the budget Tiomkin had to work with. This track sounds more like the Tiomkin we are use to listening to. There is no information given as to the size of the orchestra, recording dates etc. but it sounds like something in the 30-40 piece size.

Tiomkin creates some excellent source music including “Hotel Rhumba”, “Another Rhumba”, “Fisherman’s Jive”, and “Fisherman’s Blues”. While I am hardly the person to discuss Rhumba music they sound fine to me. The Jive number is a good small group ensemble with sax, drum, and bass playing creating a good tune. In fact if you told me this was a Tiomkin composition I would have told you that you’ve got rocks in your head. It really sounds a lot more like Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker. The Blues track is a Billy Holliday type number sung very nicely. There is no information on who played what or who sang in the numbers. My research ended up with zero information. Both selections could stand on their own merit in any number of jazz compilation material from the 50’s.

“Escape to Nowhere” is one of the better underscore tracks I have heard in a long time. Incorporating Strauss, childrens music, running music, and eerie dream music it tells its own story in 3+ minutes. Even the wolf calls which were done with the slide flute were included in the soundtrack. And yes there is surface noise included at no extra charge! “On The Trail” and “Eddie’s Bar” are the most evident tracks but as explained in the liner notes there was little that could be done. The notes by the way are always excellent. You get a lot of information about the film and the score as well as information about the individual tracks. As I have said before the cd booklets barely fit in the jewel case once you remove them!

Look at this soundtrack as something written for a noir film as opposed to looking for a Tiomkin score. It is not normally what you are use to listening to from Dimitri. While not as radical sounding as The Thing, it is certainly not a lush full orchestra size work. I like it for what it is. A good theme, good source material, and excellent underscore.

Track listing1. Main Title (02:40)

2. Reporting A Murder (01:06)

3. Lover’s Quarrel (01:12)

4. Eddie’s Bar (00:46)

5. Juke Box Theme (01:38)

6. Hotel Rhumba (04:23)

7. Phone Call (01:13)

8. Another Rhumba (01:27)

9. Fisherman’s Jive (03:34)

10. Fisherman’s Blues (02:54)

11. Paula’s Love Note (00:29)

12. Strange Sickness (01:48)

13. Luminous Poison (01:24)

14. Escape To Nowhere (03:25)

15. Don’t Come Paula (02:43)

16. It Was Suicide (00:44)

17. Allison Hotel (02:13)

18. Bill Of Sale (00:52)

19. Tracking Reynolds (00:25)

20. Unknown Assailant (00:56)

21. Assassin Escapes (00:30)

22. Hotel Hoods (00:36)

23. Soft In The Belly (02:24)

24. The Gold Urn (00:48)

25. Taken For A Ride (03:48)

26. Last Farewell (04:08)

27. Stanley’s Confession (01:22)

28. On The Trail (03:21)

29. Retribution (02:13)

30. D.O.A. (01:31)

31. Wolf Calls (00:41)

total time is 57:14

golden scores rating is ***

CD# is SAE-CRS 017

Produced by Faiola and Spaulding

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