The Molly Maguires/Mancini/Strouse

March 6, 2012

 

Written at the halfway point in his composing career, 1970 turned out to be an extremely busy year as Mancini also did soundtracks to Darling Lili, Sunflower, The Hawaiians, Sometimes a Great Notion, and Tajamer. The Martin Ritt produced and directed film starred Richard Harris, Sean Connery, and Samantha Eggar telling the story of the rebellious Irish coal miners in Pennsylvania in 1876. While the eleven million dollar film has stood the test of time it didn’t do well in the theaters as Easy Rider was the in picture to see. Having given you a bit of background all of this has nothing to do with the soundtrack. It has to be good because it’s a Mancini! Many of the tracks are exactly the same as the original Bay Cities release (3029) and are notated in the track listing with an (*). In addition there are 8 additional tracks plus 11 more written by Charles Strouse who had his score rejected that are presented for the first time.

Track Listing for the Henry Mancini material:

1… Theme From The Molly Maguires (Pennsylvania, 1876) (4:18)*. An Irish harp and pennywhistle offer the Molly theme giving it an Irish flavor even though the composer’s orchestration makes it Mancini all the way.

2… The Mollys Strike: (2:45)*. A button accordion and timpani introduce the low woodwinds in the Mancini style in this rather dark track. The theme is the main title.

3… Main Title: (1:44).* The main title is repeated but this time there is a full orchestral arrangement featuring swirling strings with brass followed be staccato strings at a near frantic pace.

4… Sandwiches and Tea: (2:08)* a repeat of the Molly theme but given a lush romantic arrangement from the strings.

5… Room and Board: (1:54)* another repeat of the Molly theme featuring an Irish sound from the button accordion and ocarina.

6… Work Montage: (2:14)* introduces a new theme a dance in a television like style. This is a cue that could fit in a number of different Mancini scores.

7… Pennywhistle Jig: (1:00)* begins with a traditional sounding Irish jig that is quite bright and uplifting. It changes to a darker arrangement of the Molly theme. Also included in this release is the album version (track 34).

8… A Hard Day’s Work: (1:07) not included on the original release is the Molly theme featured on the button accordion.

9… On Your Knees: (0:48) is a never before released track offering a version of the main title.

10… Jaime and Mary (2:44)* is the song “The Hills of Yesterday” in an instrumental version. Lyrics were provided by Paul Webster and if you would like to listen Scott Walker sings it on YouTube. I’ve included an audio clip The Hills of Yesterday

11… Trip to Town (1:45)* offers a new theme offering happiness.

12… Strike Two/Strike Three (2:26) a never before released track of the main title heard in the Mollys Strike.

13… The Hills of Yesterday (1:40)* is another instrumental version of the song which begins with flute and Irish harp and ends as a romantic string orchestration.

14… There’s More (1:01) is yet another variation of the Hills theme.

15… The Mollys Strike Again (2:14)* is similar in sound and orchestration to tracks two and twelve. It changes to a very staccato tempo before the ocarina ends the track in an air of mystery.

16… A Suit for Grandpa (2:11)* is a depressing track that has a similar sound and style to music heard in Experiment in Terror.

17… Kahoe Lights Up/The Last Strike (2:12) a never before released track offers the main title as well as a similar cue to tracks 2 and 12.

18… The End (0:43)* is a very short version of the Molly theme featuring the pennywhistle and Irish harp.

BONUS TRACKS

19… Fiddle and Fife (film) (1:54)* in the film the solo violin offers classic sounding fiddling. According to the liner notes the violin was retuned to give it a folksy sound.

20… A Brew With the Boys (film) (1:38)* this track is somewhat of a variation of the previous fiddling track.

32… Fiddle and Fife (album) (1:54) adds the pennywhistle and the accordion giving it an instrumental feel. The timing is exactly the same.

33… A Brew With the Boys (album) (1:38) adds the pennywhistle and accordion to give it a fuller sound.

34… Pennywhistle Jig (album) (1:00) strings give it a fuller sound.

Track Listing for the Charles Strouse Score:

21… Sabotage (1:37)

22… Fuse (1:02)

23… Work in the Mine (1:21) is an orchestral arrangement with a banjo giving it a Bonnie and Clyde sound.

24… Bleak Street/To Find A Room/To Work the first third of the cue is a melody offered on the accordion with classical guitar providing the harmony. The section two parts of the cue are somewhat atonal featuring accordion and dissonant brass.

25… The Long Walk (1:20) offers the same melody as Bleak Street with guitar and accordion.

26… Window Shopping (0:50)

27… Truant Picnic-ers (1:40) is an upbeat carousel type cue.

28… The Last Rites (1:01) has a definite Spanish flare to it with acoustic guitar.

29… The Company Store (I and II) begins with the same theme as Work in the Mine with more of an emphasis on a fuller arrangement.

30… Arson (1:10) the end of the track features a long dying piano chord.

31… End Title (0:44) repeats the Bleak Street theme.

There is certainly enough difference between this release and the Bay Cities CD to invest in this Kritzerland (20021-3) limited edition of 1500 units. The historical rejected material of Strouse is worth the price and as a bonus you get a lot of nice Mancini. Remember that a lot of the Kritzerland releases do sell out so act sooner rather than later. The transfer is a good clean one with excellent dynamic range. Still not the digital quality we’ve grown accustomed to but very acceptable.

 

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