Geoff Love (1917-1991)
I annoyed a school friend once when I went to stay at his house, by spending the whole afternoon playing one of his LPs repeatedly. He had a copy of Star Wars and Other Space Themes (1978) arranged and performed by Geoff Love & his Orchestra. 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 arrangements closely. They still occasionally leak into to my musical arrangements today.