John Wayne At Fox: The Westerns/The Comancheros/Bernstein
January 4, 2014
LIMITED EDITION 1000 UNITS
If you’re a long time collector of soundtracks like I am you’ve likely acquired these scores as they were previously released by FSM and Intrada. However, if you haven’t, here is a golden opportunity to acquire all three for $19.95 a third of what I paid for mine as I purchased them separately.
The 1961 film The Comancheros co-starred Stuart Whitman, Ina Balin, Nehemiah Persoff, and Lee Marvin. The Michael Curtiz directed film, his last, told a typical tale of gambler wanted for murder who joins forces with Texas Ranger John Wayne to battle gun running rustlers with the hopes of getting a pardon.
The “Prologue” begins with seven triads from the lower register, all the same, followed by another triad played more slowly in the upper scale, a harmony for the much quicker initial one. This leads to a snare drum/timpani statement which leads to the main title without any pause. The main theme is carried by the brass with the strings and reeds answering the call. It is a memorable theme with a style that is similar sounding to many westerns of the day. It is a theme that is nicely interwoven into the 20 tracks. It is one that you won’t get tired of listening to but this isn’t a monothematic score. “Riverboat Capture” is underscore that hints of Indians lurking in the background. “Regrets” begins with a bittersweet beginning that segues into a softer laid back version of the main theme. “The Wide Open” is a perfect title for this expansive bold arrangement of the main title. “Attack” is underscore with the Indian sound again but the track is filled with the Bernstein sound. “campfire” is a square dance featuring harmonica and banjo as harmony. “Tobe’s Death” begins with a string statement and then Bernstein cleverly brings the main theme into the track. “Texas Rangers” is a track that shifts back and forth with dissonant brass phrases and a somewhat distorted main theme. Two of the bonus tracks are vocals sung by Claude King one of which is a vocal of Comancheros that doesn’t have the same melody as the main title. The other vocal You Walked Away is a straight country western song. The mono mix of the Main Title is included as an audio clip. It is a good example of the theme.
While this soundtrack will unlikely not make too many top 10 lists it is a solid score that deserves a new release. Keep in mind this is only one of three soundtracks and at $19.95 it is a real bargain.