Man on a Swing OST

A 30 track film soundtracks album (41m 40s) — released August 11th 2023 on Wewantsounds

By the time Lalo Schifrin composed the soundtrack for Frank Perry's psychological thriller in 1974, starring Cliff Robertson and Joel Gray (who'd just won an Oscar for his role in Bob Fosse's Cabaret) he was Hollywood royalty having worked on such iconic films as Bullitt and Dirty Harry. Perry on his side, had caused a stir with The Swimmer in 1968 starring Burt Lancaster (although he would dismiss the film after being fired from the production) and followed up with a string of great cult movies including 'Last Summer' (1969), Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970) starring Carrie Snodgress - whom Neil Young famously fell in love with upon seeing the film and "Play It as It lays" in 1972, adapted from Joan Didion's eponymous novel.

Breaking from the social dramas from of his previous films, Perry decided to shoot a thriller based on journalist William Arthur Clark's book "The Girl on The Volkswagen Floor." The film follows a police officer investigating a murder with the help of a strange ambiguous clairvoyant played by Gray. For the score Perry went to Lalo Schifrin who'd just come out of a bad experience on The Exorcist working with William Friedkin who'd rejected his music in favour of Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield! The score was recorded in LA with the Wrecking Crew and, although the full line up is not known, it included Emil Richards, Howard Roberts, Bud Shank and of course Schifrin on piano.

'Man on a Swing' is pure undiluted Schifrin from the early 70s. The score plays like a long suite alternating Bossa Nova ("Juke Box Source"), Lounge Jazz ("Trip to LA") and groove ("FM Groove") with superb "suspense" soundscapes like "Rosehaven Hotel". The label has gone back to the Paramount 3-track tape transfers and come up with an updated tracklist (a CD version briefly appeared in the 2010s) - re-sequenced and augmented with a handful of bonus tracks and alternate takes. A highlight is certainly "Radio Source Rhythm" which, losing the guitar and organ, reveal a jaw dropping funk breakbeat that is in the league of Dirty Harry and Enter the Dragon. This and the whole soundtrack, will ravish all the funk diggers and Lalo Schifrin fans around the world.

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