HERBIE HANCOCK — Death Wish (OST)

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HERBIE HANCOCK - Death Wish (OST) cover
4.26 | 8 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1974

Tracklist

A1.Death Wish (Main Title)(6:11)
A2.Joanna's Theme(4:46)
A3.Do a Thing (2:13)
A4.Paint Her Mouth(2:16)
A5.Rich Country (3:46)
B1.Suite Revenge: A. Striking Back / B. Riverside Park / C. The Alley / D. Last Stop / E. 8th Avenue Station (9:25)
B2.Ochoa Knose (2:07)
B3.Party People (3:32)
B4.Fill Your Hand (6:15)

Line-up/Musicians

Herbie Hancock: piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Hohner D-6 Clavinet, ARP Odyssey, ARP Soloist, ARP 2600, ARP String Ensemble, Vocals

The Headhunters Group
Jerry Peters: conductor, arranger

About this release

Columbia – PC 33199 (US)

Re-released on CD by Columbia (Europe,1996) and One Way Records (US,1996)

Recorded at Burbank Studios, Burbank, California; Western Recorders, Los Angeles, California and Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco, California

Thanks to snobb, silent way for the updates

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HERBIE HANCOCK DEATH WISH (OST) reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
Having just released his amazing psychedelic fusion work with his Sextet, Herbie Hancock was a natural choice to compose the music for this tense gritty movie. This album mixes modern concert hall music with blaxploitation grooves, electronic experimentation, insane psychedelic jazz blow-outs and beautiful pastoral instrumentals into one big funky intellectual tone poem. All the moments you would expect from a crime movie are here, tense scary music that hangs in the air, quick pulsed chases and sweeping panoramic urban views. In his attempt to paint these aural pictures Herbie uses every sound available at the time including extended techniques for string orchestra, synthesizers, echoplexes, and all manner of percussion and noise makers.

For fans of Herbie's Sextet (possibly the finest fusion group ever) there is one track at the end of the album that features that group doing what it does best, playing super intense solos over an impossible syncopated groove while Hancock adds a smorgasbord of electronic colors.

Members reviews

Sean Trane
Well, if Herbie collaborated on some obscure Blaxpoitation flick (Spook That Sat…) in the early 70’s, he was also in demand in “higher” Hollywood circles and was commissioned the Deathwish film soundtrack, the first of three Charles Bronson-led movies. Well Hancock did put all of his classical music science to good effects to compose a vastly different soundscape than his previous Spook effort, but then again, he wasn’t exactly new to this realm, since he’d already done that throughout the 60’s.

Actually the music is probably some of the “proggiest” Hancock ever penned, mixing his torrid JR/F with some symphonic moments, with some ever-present orchestral arrangements nearing the cheesy and kitschy, but never overflowing the bucket of tastelessness. Indeed the Main Theme and its successor Joanna’s Theme are rather impressive fusion of funk-jazz with some lush string section’s delirium. While interesting enough, some tracks obviously lack the visuals for which they were composed for, like Do A Thing and Paint Her Mouth (this one being often dissonant, thus indicating a gory moment in the flick. Some others are almost laughably bucolic, like the ultra-symphonic (and tacky) Rich Country and is really hindering the soundtrack, outside the visual context.

The flipside opens on the 5-movements Suite Revenge, which again dips in the classical genre, beit symphonic or dissonantly modern (it’s obviously not improvised, since purposely written for the images), but again, to really get the music’s genius, it’s better to view the actual movie. But it remains quite a small tour de force anyway. Indeed the music is expressive enough to guess the actual events and action of the movie. At times, the music is grandiose and the Fill Your Hand finale is simply astounding composition mastery.

I was never a fan of original soundtracks of movies, because there is always the missing visual accompaniment lacking, and often it renders parts of the music almost obtusely impenetrable. It’s not that much the case here, as Hancock’s full savoir-faire is often flawless, but still, you’d better own the movie than the soundtrack alone.

Ratings only

  • KK58
  • Vano
  • yair0103
  • darkprinceofjazz
  • richby
  • Moris

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