Geoff Love (1917-1991)
When a schoolboy I stayed at a good friend’s house. He had an LP record called Star Wars and Other Space Themes (1978), arranged and performed by Geoff Love & his Orchestra. When I heard it I could not stop playing it. I think this may have annoyed my friend. The arrangements of sci-fi TV and film music on there were funked-up and disco-ified in the fashion of the time, by a man who knew exactly what he was doing. I wanted to produce a sound as exciting as that.
Often, in film and television, a composer gets little time to write a piece of music. A skilled arranger, Love knew how to take that tune and turn it into something substantial enough to stand up as an independent piece.
Orchestral disco music fell out of fashion quickly. On the back of Meco Monardo, Love produced something that has stood the test of time. The Star Wars and Other Space Themes LP is available on CD now, but they left out track 5 on side B of that LP: – a soul-lifting arrangement of Leith Stevens’s theme from the 1951 film When Worlds Collide. It’s worth getting the LP to hear that track. Also on the CD is Love’s follow-up LP: Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Other Disco Galactic Themes which includes a wonderful arrangement of Russell Garcia’s music from The Time Machine (1960). Not to everyone’s taste, but I think it’s heaven.
Before going to study composition at university, I studied the structure of Geoff Love’s techniques closely. I still borrow from them occasionally my own musical arrangements.