Favourite Soundtracks


Alex NorthSpartacus (1960)


Savage and primitivistic.

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Bernard Herrmann – Psycho (1960)


Lyrical and twisted. Fabulously imaginative string composition.

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Alex NorthCleopatra (1963)


Shimmering, artificial music for a musically-unknown era. North pulls out all the stops to make a super-colossal, emotive modern ‘take’ on Roman and Egyptian music. Extraordinary.

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John BarryFrom Russia With Love (1963)

From Russie with Love

This was the beginning of a dream come true for John Barry Prendergast. You can hear his excitement as he begins to form his million-dollar Mickey Mouse music. Check out the fabulous Lowrey organ accompaniments by Alan Haven. Dark, princely music.

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John BarryGoldfinger (1964)


Barry on his dais. Metals and orchestra collide in a dazzling, brassy score.

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Ennio MorriconeA Fistful of Dollars (1964)

A Fistful of Dollars

The first of a trilogy. Too much to explain, except that this is animalistic, almost folky music, with contemporary modernist composition techniques always in the background. Full of humour, originality and spike.

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Ennio MorriconeFor a Few Dollars More (1965)

For a Few Dollars More

See above.

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Jerry GoldsmithThe Satan Bug (1965)

The Satan Bug

An extraordinary 12-note modernist score, teasing with menace.

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John BarryThe IPCRESS File (1965)


Mesmerising music as our hero almost loses his mind from the incongruous, painful intrusions of the world around him. The cimbalom takes us through the iron curtain.

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Ennio MorriconeThe Good, the Bad & the Ugly (1966)

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Operatic score with Morricone’s unique compositional techniques.

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Leonard Rosenmann – Fantastic Voyage (1966)

Fantastic Voyahe

A 12-note score preceded by an extraordinary, musique concrète title sequence. Only at the very end is there relief as the score transitions to tonality. Fantastically-imaginative music.

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(Title music concrète collage not by Rosenmann)


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Rosenmann’s opening music – play from 00:35 seconds in.

Lalo SchifrinMission Impossible (1966)

Mission Impossible

Pumping with South American influence in a suave, jazz score full of informed inner variation. Fusion without compromise.

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John BarryYou Only Live Twice (1967)

You Only Live Twice

Probably Barry’s most beautiful score, tasteful Japanese influence with a breathtakingly alluring title sequence. This is the varied instrumental version ‘Mountains and Sunsets’:

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Tristram Carey – Quatermass & the Pit (1967)


The quirky sound of British sci-fi. Early electronics and chamber ensemble mix.

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Barry GrayCaptain Scarlet & the Mysterons (1967)

Captain Scralet

Deeply colourful, strong, pungeant. Gray combines unusual musical instruments in small formation with home-made electronic tones to produce other-worldly sounds, without letting you know it’s a small ensemble. Unique.

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Sol Kaplan – The Doomsday Machine (from Star Trek TV series) (1967)

Star Trek

Some of the most exciting science fiction music ever composed for television. So good was Kaplan’s music that it was re-used many times.

Documentary video on Sol Kaplan’s music for Star Trek: The Doomsday Machine.

John BarryDeadfall (1968)


A captivatingly-unforgettable title song blasted by Shirley Bassey, and that continuous Romance for Guitar and Orchestra in the middle, cleverly composed to underscore inter-cutting between a burglary and a concert hall performance.

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Jerry GoldsmithPlanet of the Apes (1968)

Planet of the Apes

The best primitivistic score ever composed. Goldsmith adopts Schönberg’s serial technique, with strange instruments played in strange ways. ‘The Hunt’ sequence is unforgettable. Disturbing and savage.

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Ron Goodwin – Where Eagles Dare (1968)

Where Eagles Dare

Searing music. The film features a fugal main title that starts just with militaristic snare drums. There are some delightfully queasy vertiginous musical sequences. The action cues are terrific.

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In this scene, the music is so frightening, it’s almost unwatchable:

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John BarryOn Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Possibly the best Bond score ever written. Moog meets orchestra without compromise. The cues for the ski chase sequences will have the hairs on the back of your neck standing up. Listen on a good sound system and play loudly!

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