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HERBIE HANCOCK - Blow-Up (OST) cover
3.56 | 7 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1966


A1.Herbie Hancock - Main Title "Blow-Up"(1:35)
A2.Herbie Hancock - Verushka (Part 1)(2:41)
A3.Herbie Hancock - Verushka (Part 2)(2:10)
A4.Herbie Hancock - The Naked Camera(3:22)
A5.Herbie Hancock - Bring Down the Birds(1:50)
A6.Herbie Hancock - Jane's Theme(4:59)
B1.Yardbirds - Stroll On(2:43)
B2.Herbie Hancock - The Thief(3:16)
B3.Herbie Hancock - The Kiss(4:05)
B4.Herbie Hancock - Curiosity(1:29)
B5.Herbie Hancock - Thomas Studies Photos(1:12)
B6.Herbie Hancock - The Bed(2:35)
B7.Herbie Hancock - End Title - "Blow-Up"(0:48)

1996 CD reissue (Rhino Movie Music / Warner Strategic Marketing – 8122 72527-2) track list:
1 Main Title (Blow-Up) 1:33
2 Verushka (Part 1) 2:44
3 Verushka (Part 2) 2:09
4 Butchie's Tune 2:45
5 Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind 2:02
6 Bring Down The Birds (Outtake) 1:46
7 The Naked Camera 3:25
8 Jane's Theme 5:05
9 The Thief 3:13
10 The Kiss 4:16
11 Curiosity 1:31
12 Thomas Studies Photos 1:12
13 The Bed 2:37
14 Stroll On 2:46
15 End Title (Blow-Up) 0:52
16 Am I Glad To See You (Outtake) 4:28
17 Blow-Up (Outtake) 1:53


Herbie Hancock: piano, melodica
Freddie Hubbard: trumpet
Joe Newman: trumpet
Phil Woods: alto sax
Joe Henderson: tenor sax
Jimmy Smith: organ
possibly Paul Griffin: organ
Jim Hall: guitar
Ron Carter: bass
Jack DeJohnette: drums

Except track 7 (B1 on vinyl) performed by the Yardbirds:
Jeff Beck: guitar
Jimmy Page: guitar
Keith Relf: harmonica, vocals
Jim McCarty: drums
Chris Dreja: bass

About this release

MGM Records – SE4447 ST (USA)

The original soundtrack album of the film Blow-up from 1966

Thanks to snobb, silent way, darkshade for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

As a teenager starving for hard-as-nails rock & roll I bought this LP because the Yardbirds had a smash- mouth song included, but Herbie Hancock's high-quality instrumentals that surrounded it went a long way in opening my head up to what was happening in the world of mid-60s jazz/rock. It's a record so amiable that for years I would put this disc on the turntable and let it be the background score for whatever activity I was doing around the house. The liner notes indicate that director Michaelangelo Antonioni, being an avid jazz fan, hand-picked Herbie to compose/assemble the music for his ground-breaking film. Producer Carlo Ponti gave Mr. Hancock a generous budget and free reign to employ whatever musicians he wanted. I'm thinking Herbie was ecstatic to get the opportunity to create his music without having to worry about what the label bigwigs thought. There's no listing of the players involved but you can be sure that he brought in the best he could gather so no telling what big names contributed their skills to this project. The result is a delicious gumbo of jazz styles that have a strong current of relaxed ease running through them from start to finish.

"Main Title - 'Blow Up'" is a tricky little cut. It starts out dated and corny like something out of an Austin Powers flick, then suddenly turns on a dime and becomes a light jazzy deal with a cool trumpet. "Verushka, Pt. 1" is a nondescript bluesy shuffle but Pt. 2, while continuing the same basic feel, is more in the traditional jazz vein with a fine sax ride. Things get much more avant garde on "The Naked Camera" as the muted trumpet maneuvering around the brash saxophone is a treat to hear. "Bring Down the Birds" is nothing more than 60s go-go dancing shtick but "Jane's Theme" features sultry jazz guitar, bass and subdued Hammond organ and it's smooth as new silk.

"Stroll On" is a killer track and highly significant in its own right. I get the feeling that the Yardbirds got the same memo as Herbie did in that they were instructed to do as they pleased as long as they delivered an in-your-face rave-up that was over-the-top outrageous and feedback-laden heavy to the extreme. If there's such a thing as proto-metal then this is the poster child for it and, in 1966, THIS was the brand of wild abandon we young rebels were yearning to hear. Simply rewriting the words to "Train Kept a' Rollin'" so they could receive royalties, this song may be the only studio recording by that terrific band that has both Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck in the line-up and you'll be hard pressed to find anything as balls-to-the-wall in the history of rock. No thin, tinny fuzz-tone effects were allowed, either. Both guitarists cranked their amps to the max, unleashed a furious duel that few (if any) have ever equaled and tacked on a throw-down finale that'll rip your head clean off. It resides permanently in my top five of pure, unadulterated rock & roll numbers and that's saying a lot.

Hancock takes over once more and impresses with his Jimmy Smith-styled Hammond organisms on "The Thief," a song that also features a slinky upright bass solo. "The Kiss" is a moody, laid-back ditty where the guitar and saxophone create a soothing aura to bathe in, followed by "Curiosity," a Miles Davis-ish horn ensemble thriller. "Thomas Studies Photos" has a conga-led groove with densely- packed horns blaring and "The Bed" is an acoustic piano/bass/drums piece that makes you feel like you're sitting in a smoky lounge. "End Title" is a fast-paced jazz orchestra work that's over in less than a minute.

Too many of these cuts are way, way too brief in duration and I'd love to hear the longer studio out- takes that these snippets were culled from. But that's just wishful thinking, I'm sure. "Blow Up" is a great sampling of the spirit of musical freedom that was starting to blossom in the mid-sixties for two reasons. The jazz included is a superb blend of old and new school and the rip-roarin' tune from the Yardbirds was one of the first to truly blow the roof off the sucker. This is one of those vinyl platters that brings back nothing but good memories for me.

Members reviews

Sean Trane
When all of the focus of the jazz purists’ hatred was focusing on Miles Davis, it seems that most of those “specialists” couldn’t have cared less of what Hancock was doing. Already with Watermelon Man in the early 60’s, then the present soundtrack of Antonioni’s mega-important and seminal movie Blow-UP, a sort of testimony of the Swinging London’s revolution

Much of the (sometimes very short) tracks are pulled from moments where there were images that needed sound illustrations, like the main theme opening up the soundtrack. There are some fairly standard jazz like Verushka, Jane’s Theme (although electric guitar and organs are used, it’s standard jazz), The Kiss, Curiosity or The Bed and more. Other tracks are avant-garde like the tremendous Naked Camera and its poignant piano/sax interplay. Some more tracks are much less “jazz” like the R’nB Bring Down The Birds and The Thief.

Not of Herbie’s doing are three tracks from then-young artistes, like The Yardbirds with Stroll On, (you can see the group in the movie playing, with both Beck and Page) which resembles Train Kept a Rollin All Night Long, with screaming buzzing guitars, but also Steve Howe’s then group Tomorrow (not seen or heard in the movie, but commissioned for it) with two closing tracks.: Am I glad To See You and the Blow-Up “title track, tat was not to be”.

A very important and somehow often overlooked Hancock album (although this soundtrack holds three tracks from different artistes, it is just as essential to progheads as the movie is. Indeed, Antonioni’s movie is one of counter-culture most important statement to movie-making as well, following on the French “Nouvelle Vague” and preceding many more films about drugs and hippydom, including Antonioni’s next movie Zabriskie Point, holding music from Floyd and The Dead. If you’re looking at more names of such type of movies, you’ll have Barbet Shroeder’s More and La Vallée (both holding Floyd music as soundtrack and respective albums, but Peter Fonda’s The Trip and Easy Rider, and some years later Nicholson’s Cuckoo’s Nest.. In the meantime, Hancock’s Blow-Up soundtrack is excellent.

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