Beach Blanket Bingo/Les Baxter

August 26, 2010

 

In the last 18 months this is the seventh soundtrack release of Les Baxter and this reviewer for one is quite happy with the attention that Les has received of late. Releases include Master of the World (sold out), Goliath and the Barbarians (sold out), Cervantes (sold out), The Beast Within, all from Intrada Records and Dunwich Horror (sold out), Panic in the Year Zero (on special for $9.98 at www. Lalalandrecords.com), and now Beach Blanket Bingo from La-La Land Records, one of many scores that Les Baxter did for American International Pictures in the 1960’s. These were aimed at teenagers of the era, this reviewer being one of them, and the major attraction were the girls and the fact they typically showed up at the drive in theater was an added bonus. Yes, I can remember stories not appropriate for this review but ah the memories have returned to the days of the 57 Chevy, A white and aquamarine two tone with a 283, dual exhausts, four barrel carburetor, and baby moon hubcaps. And the girls!!! You knew you were going to make-out if the girl agreed to go to the drive in with you.

A word of caution!!! This soundtrack doesn’t contain any of the many vocals sung by Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, and others but only the instrumental soundtrack material written by Les Baxter. Highlights include a five minute cartoon style slapstick track “The Big Chase” containing honky tonk piano, great percussion, and well placed brass. According to the nicely written Randall Larson notes there was some serious repair to this track but to my ear it heard nothing which means that James Nelson of Digital Outland did his usual great editing and mastering. “Beach Blanket Bingo,” the instrumental was very typical of the era with the sax, piano, and a nice harmony from the brass. This was not typical in the respect that there was little or no guitar. “These Are the Good Times” is the instrumental version of the Frankie Avalon vocal and again is a typical sounding love song of the beach era. “Opening” offers the main theme as well as strong percussion and that famous Baxter sound from the brass. Some of the material in the score sounds like it could have very easily come from anyone of several situation comedies like Bewitched. Bright and bouncy with an effective use of the bongo were strong points of Baxter when he wasn’t writing horror music.

Baxter fans rejoice and add this to your collection of ever-growing soundtrack material available from this fine composer.

https://sdtom.wordpress.com/2009/05/02/master-of-the-world-goliath-and-the-barbariansles-baxter/

https://sdtom.wordpress.com/2009/12/18/panic-in-year-zerobaxter/

Track listing

1. Opening (03:24)

2. Erich Von Zipper (01:39)

3. Parachute Jump (03:06)

4. Stop House Band (03:39)

5. Beach Walk (01:14)

6. Frankie’s Parachute Jump (02:55)

7. Von Zipper Bit (02:46)

8. Bonehead Hears The Music (04:55)

9. The Big Chase (04:55)

10. Bonehead’s New Love (01:28)

BACKING TRACKS:

11. Beach Blanket Bingo (02:07)

12. Fly Boy (02:00)

13. I Think, You Think (02:07)

14. I’ll Never Change Him (02:21)

15. It Only Hurts When I Cry (02:16)

16. New Love (02:06)

17. I Am My Ideal (01:34)

18. These Are The Good Times (02:22)

Total Duration: 00:46:54

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