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Original Soundtrack Blow-Up (1966) review


Original Soundtrack Blow-Up (Music On Vinyl, 1966/2014) review

I won't dwell too much on the film itself other than to say that it's a seriously groovy piece of mid-sixties filmic psychodrama set in swinging London that, amidst other things, features one or two of the beautiful people, some shots of delightfully quaint mews dwelling houses, and the quite wonderful (in real life too) Marion Park an expanse of green nearby the military barracks in Woolwich Arsenal and wherein the flick's plot really begins to thicken. There's also the main starring role of an obsessive photographer, played by David Hemmings, and oh yeah of course there's all this, which is a pretty nifty soundtrack that features swinging jazz and mod-rock style tuneage that comes and goes, which is really where we come in.
Everyone who has seen "Blow-Up" will know that it's The Yardbirds, in a recording made with the rare Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page line-up, who provide the film with its exciting live rock group action cameo, and they are seen, and here heard, blazing through an interpretation of the old Tiny Bradshaw via Johnny Burnette Rock 'N' Roll Trio chestnut 'Train Kept-A-Rollin' - here redesigned as the sharper-titled 'Stroll On' - yet that's only a smidgeon of what's on offer.
This recently-issued reassessment of the soundtrack via the Music on Vinyl outlet presents everything in a vibrant, altogether more alive way for the up to date listener to get their head into. A few of the instrumental pieces - almost all created by the great Herbie Hancock number among the set's most colourful creations, including the highly effective 'Bring Down The Birds'.
Most people who are even just a little bit bothered about those types of fascinating behind-the-scenes insights will know nowadays - well at least since the initial vinyl reissue way back in the late 80s / early 90s - that one of director Michelangelo Antonioni's first choice London groups for the onstage club guitar smasherama scenario was to have been the never less than intriguing, always effortlessly endearing Tomorrow, the British psychedelic pop legends who would later go on to give us such mercurial-sounding underground pop gems as 'My White Bicycle' and 'Revolution'. Here, they can be heard as they transit forward from their more mod-inclined previous incarnation when they operated as the In Crowd, and now giving out with the softly attacking charm of 'Am I Glad To See You'.
As a musical document not only of the film itself but of it's time generally, 1966 pre-hippie rock, this is a well put together, thoroughly inspired and slinky-sounding programme.

Review made by Lenny Helsing/2014
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