main theme from Overload

When I choose to review a new release I usually have some prior knowledge about the film, director, and composer which was not the case with Overlord, a film by Stuart Cooper. I had some prior knowledge of Glass with a film he did for Preminger Bunny Lake is Missing (1965) but even with that I managed to get Paul and Philip mixed up! The film deals with D-Day; with war footage that came from the Imperial War Museum which is overlayed into a story of a British soldier and his involvement in World War II. Glass wasn’t considered a major composer for Hollywood but this score, completely overlooked by practically everyone except Bruce Kimmel, is a strong entry and one that deserves its place with the better material. Glass spent a good part of his life composing his classical music which I’m ashamed to say I have no experience with at all. Something that I certainly need to correct in the near future as there is an impressive list of compositions that Glass has done.

“Premonition” is the opening track and is a dissonant non thematic one that is not twelve tone but makes you feel a certain amount of discord. It is a theme that could also fit into a psychological film quite easily. Even though it displays the discord there is a certain element of structure which makes this one of the more interesting tracks I’ve heard in quite some time. “Tom” the second track begins with an extremely strong melody from the cello which exchanges the melody and harmony with a small string ensemble. The theme is repeated in “Prisoner” and an interesting variation in “The Fall” which adds opening track dissonant. “We Don’t Know Where We’re Going” is the second dominant theme and a period sweet band number with a catchy vocal sung by Nick Curtis with British accent and slang of the times. This is one you hear as an instrumental with the trumpet, clarinet, piano, and alto and tenor sax exchange playing the melody and harmony. I found the tracks on this one to be especially clear with crisp sound from the solo instruments. As the liner notes reveal this was a personal tape that Glass recorded and it must have been a good brand.

Overlord, the first of three soundtracks on this 2 CD release is an outstanding one and my personal favorite of the three likely because of the haunting main melody. I’m including “8M2” as an audio clip for you to enjoy. Highly recommended.

Track Listing:

1… Premonition (2:07)

2… Tom (1:09)

3… A Long Walk (1:17)

4… Prisoner (2:23)

5… The Fall (2:30)

6… “We Don’t Know Where We’re Going” (1:03)

7… Corfe Castle/A Kiss (3:03)

8… “We Don’t Know Where We’re Going” (3:26) vocal

9… Called Away/Waiting to Go (1:46)

10. Preparing the Dead (2:07)

11. Premonition/Sacrifice/End Title (6:48)

12. 3M1 (1:08)

13. 8M3X (2:15)

14. “We Don’t Know Where We’re Going” (3:42)

15. 8M2 (2:49)