The Crime Scene

CD Cover Ultra-Lounge Compilation -- Volume Seven

Review by Rodney Gitzel

This disc has been in our 'neglected' pile for probably a year, and I just pulled it on a whim. And? It's cool!

What we have on this CD are 19 crime show/movie themes and songs, all recorded by genuine big bands (Count Basie, Spike Jones, Elmer Bernstein, Nelson Riddle... ) between 1953 and 1967. All the favourites are here: Dragnet, Peter Gunn, a number of James Bond themes, Mission: Impossible, along with a bunch of ones I don't recognize (if the liner notes were in a more legible font I might know what they are). Aside from some Alfred Hitchcock in "Music to Be Murdered By" (eeg!) and a sultry Vicki Carr in "The Silencers" ("I don't use a knife, don't need a gun. My equipment is a lot more deadly, son."), it's all instrumental. And where, other than from K-Tel, would you otherwise find them all together?

It's a fun record. It beats out other recent retro compilations with the familiarity of a lot of the material. And the arrangements -- in the James Bond theme, for instance -- are so typically 50's, but they still sound so good. The odd trombone blasts, strangely-reverbed toms, squealing trumpets, disembodied do-wops... it's no wonder 'lounge' has been such a movement: there's a whole interesting musical world back there in movieland, obscured now by Mike Post and, worse still, by all those dreadful rock music compilation 'soundtracks.'

Put it in rotation with your Morphine discs and settle on back with a good stiff drink...

First published in Drop-D Magazine on November 17, 1997

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