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Monday, December 19, 2011

Soundtrack (James William Guercio) - Electra Glide In Blue

Name: Soundtrack (James William Guercio)
Album: Electra Glide In Blue
Year: 1973
Style: Soundtrack, Film Dialogue, 70's Jazz-Funk, Doo-Wop, Country
Similar Bands: Chicago, Donald Byrd, Marcels
"One Word" Review: Waaka-Wah-Funk-Conglomorate
Based Out Of: Chicago / L.A.
Label: United Artists
Electra Glide In Blue - Cover & Back
Electra Glide In Blue - Gatefold Picture
Electra Glide In Blue - Sleeve & Record
Electra Glide In Blue - Sleeve Liner Notes & Record

Electra Glide In Blue (1973) [lengths minus dialogue bits]
  1. Morning 1:05
  2. Prelude 4:45
  3. Meadow Mountain Top 2:45
  4. Overture 2:09
  5. Most Of All 2:08
  6. Jolene's Dance 3:11/
  7. Concert / Free From The Devil 1:47
  8. The Chase 3:21
  9. Song Of Sad Bottles 4:05
  10. Monument Valley 1:27
  11. Tell Me 7:43
Album Rating (1-10): 5.0

Members & Other Bands:
James William Guercio -Produced and Directed (Chicago, Buckinghams, Blood, Sweat & Tears)
Ben Benay - Guitars (Chicago, Markettes, Merrell Fankhauser & the Mavi Band )
Larry Carlton - Guitars (Chicago, Fourplay, Wrecking Crew)
Louie Shelton - Guitars (Chicago)
Michael Lang - Pianos
Michael O'Martian - Pianos (Peter Cetera, Crackin')
Terry Kath - Electric Bass (Chicago)
Ross Salomone - Drums (Robert Lamm)
Dale Anderson - Percussion
Sanora Crouch - Percussion
Victor Feldman - Percussion (Fuse One)
Guille Garcia - Percussion (Chicago, REO Speedwagon, Joe Walsh, )
Paul Beaver - Moog & Organ (Beaver & Krause)
Gene Cipriano - Woodwinds
Walter Parazaider - Woodwinds (Chicago)
Johnny Rotella - Woodwinds
Vincent De Rosa - French Horns
David Duke - French Horns
William Hinshaw - French Horns
Richard Perissi - French Horns
Gale Robinson - French Horns (Two Brothers on the Fourth Floor)
Henry Sigismonti - French Horns
Shirlie Matthews - Chorus
Patricia Hall - Chorus
Andra Willis - Chorus
Jackie Allen - Chorus
Bud Brisbois - Trumpets
Conti Candoli - Trumpets (Candoli Brothers)
Chuck Findley - Trumpets (The Imperials)
Lee Loughnane - Trumpets (Chicago)
Oliver Mitchell - Trumpets
Tony Terran - Trumpets
Harold Diner - Trombones
Robert Knight - Trombones
Lew McReary - Trombones
James Pankow - Trombones (Chicago)
Sidney Sharp - Violins
Arnold Belnick - Violins
Assa Drori - Violins
Henry Ferber - Violins
Ronald Folson - Violins
James Getroff - Violins
Bernard Kundell - Violins
William Kurash - Violins
Tibor Zelig - Violins
Wilbert Nuttycombe - Violins
Ralph Schaeffer - Violins
Sam Baghossian - Violas
Allan Harshman - Violas
Harry Hyams - Violas
David Schwartz -Violas
Jesse Erlich - Cellos
Armand Kaproff - Cellos
Raymond Kelley - Cellos
James Bond - String Basses
Abe Luboff - String Basses
Lyle Ritz - String Basses
David Ward - Music copyists
M. Lee Allman - Music copyists
Jeffery Jones - Music copyists
Charles Stern - Orchestra Contractor
Alan Freed - Soundtrack Band: Marcels
Harvey Fuqua - Soundtrack Band: Marcels (Moonglows, Marquees)
Mark Spoelstra - Author, Writer
Alan De Carlo - Film band: Madura: guitar (Robert Lamm)
David "Hawk" Wolinski - Film band: Madura: Organ (Chicago)
Ross Salomone - Film band: Madura: Drums
Armin Steiner - Producer
Jimmie Haskell - Producer
Jim Nelson - Producer

Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of this, but I bought it because I liked the cover design. Later, upon inspection, did I find out that it is a soundtrack to a film I’ve not heard of either. So from there, I really have no idea if it will be rock, orchestral, or something else completely. The one thing I do know is that the liner notes list a slew of names as part of an orchestra, so if I had to guess, I’m leaning toward background music for the film.

Album Review: So the filmmaker is better known for producing some of Chicago’s finest early albums, and most of the members of Chicago appear either in the film as minor roles or on the soundtrack at some capacity; be it in the orchestra or in composition of the music.

“Morning” is an instrumental that summons the feeling of just that: new day, full of possibility and a bright future, as many good-guy-turned-bad plots instill at the outset.“Prelude” starts with dialogue from the film, and an Electra Glide taking off down the road. The instrumental “Prelude” that follows feels rooted in funk that many 70’s films exploited: strong jazzy horns, and a liquid wah-wah guitar effect, recalling Disco-funk. This is smoother and more relaxed than use of hectic / action scene disco funk in most 70’s films. Reminds me the little I know of Donald Byrd.
“Meadow Mountain Top” starts with dialogue from the move of a cop pulling over another cop, and the ensuing argument. The song itself begins with country violins and a soothing country vocal. The beat is that of a waltz. The campfire style song are lazy, calming and non-confrontational.
“Overture” is also separated from the last song with argument dialogue from the police headquarters in the film. A slow piano paralleled with strings starts the actual song, with a native American tribal rhythm. The liquid wah-wah guitar is brought back, adding the 70’s Funk element to the song, changing it into something much more orchestral and bombastic, leading to a grand finale of the final note held.
“Most Of All” is separated by more dialogue of the cops discussing the case, claiming it was murder. An acoustic guitar starts the song, followed by a deep baritone vocal, which kicks off this pure doo-wop slow dance number. I can only assume this number backed some romantic situation in the film. This is the direct version done by the Marcels.
“Jolene's Dance” has a long bit of dialogue at its beginning. Then more funky 70’s wah-wah guitar mixed with a soothing horn section create a relaxed, almost slow-motion sensation of a film situation that could either be a “roof top” chase, or a “building friends” montage. Dialogue ends the track, too.

Right before “Concert/Free From the Devil” is more dialogue. And a drum solo starts the song, with a bouncy bass to back it right up. Waaka-Wah guitar instrumentals are added, making an intense live jam session. At the very end vocals are added just as the song fades out, and a fake audience clapping covers the fade.
“The Chase” begins with dialogue about the cops coming, so that sets up the whole “Chase” instrumental. There is a little more driving pace behind this, mainly with the drums and bass, but the liquid Wah-Wah guitar and funky organ, drop anchor and forever link the music to a smoky, haze filled era of film.
“Song Of Sad Bottles” has dialogue to begin! Then, as expected from the namesake, the song struggles along, soaked in sad, drunken country music style.
“Monument Valley” is an instrumental that kicks in after a gun shot/murder dialogue scene. And with humming strings and a deep bass drum, feels like the preparation for war, or the sun setting on the character who, at the beginning, had an anything’s possible disposition.
“Tell Me” ends the album after a final bit of dialogue, and was apparently also used in the final episode of Miami Vice. This is the one example of 70’s AOR song that could be considered something from Chicago’s catalogue, and was apparently written by the director, and sung by Chicago’s Terry Kath. It is a slow, dawning song that builds in strength and sound. The song becomes passionate and intense as it continues. Elements from the scoring of the film are still identifiable here, including the guitar and horns, but this is an anthemic take on the entire production, even throwing a “god bless America, children, everybody and world” in the female backing chorus, which verges on Gospel.

Stand Out Track: Most Of All


1 comment:

  1. Thankyou for the amount of info - I was still at school when I first saw this amazing movie - Robert Blake was a favorite star at the time because of him being in 'BARETTA' - it wasn't until reading on the www I just found out that some of the Chicago group had bit parts - Will have to see about
    getting a dvd and having a look at this amazing piece of work now I 'm a
    little older (41 years older) as I was 13 the first time I saw it - I saw it once more on TV - I loved these movies - Vanishing point (original) - Two lane black top - My son also like these kinda movies although I did not let him see these sorta movies until he was older - Once again thank you !