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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Comedy > Drama > World War II > Counterculture > Soundtrack > Kelly's Heroes (Limited CD)

Kelly’s Heroes (Limited Edition CD Soundtrack)


Sound: B     Music: B



Like The Dirty Dozen, Brian G. Hutton’s Kelly’s Heroes (1970) is one of the War genre films that was really a Professional Western dressed up in fatigues.  That is to say that all the “cowboys” at this point were just in it for the money.  Done with a bit more humor than the Peckinpah classic, the film had the fortune to also be out the same time as Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H and took advantage of both hits.  His hit Where Eagles Dare (contained on FSM CDs reviewed elsewhere on this site) made him an obvious choice to helm this project.


Though we will look at the film down the line, this review is focusing on the limited edition CD soundtrack that includes two versions of Lalo Schifrin’s score.  The feature film’s original music debuts for the first time ever on this FSM label CD, issued at only 3,000 copies by Film Score Monthly’s amazing in-house soundtrack label.  Then, the original vinyl record music is included, along with the usually rich and informative booklet.  The big bonus, besides all the painstaking research to pull this together and running time of 30 tracks at about 80 minutes, are tracks by Schifrin that were never used for the film, though intended as such.  So many of these soundtrack exclusives offer this and you would never hear such material on a DVD release of just about any film.  Especially for a film that is at least a minor classic of several genres, this is a terrific CD release indeed.  The military/Jazz combo is interesting, while the sappy vocal songs are the most aged pieces offered.


The PCM CD 2.0 Stereo comes from the two sources, the first set of tracks off of the ½” 3-track stereo masters, the same source that was also used for the 70mm blow-ups of the film.  That would give the film 5 channels of sound behind the screen, plus an ambience mono surround track, but whether that mix exists or not will only be known when the DVD version is further investigated.  The second set of tracks is from the vinyl record album rerecording issued by MGM Records, but since the master tape is shot in places, FSM had to literally take it from a mint vinyl record copy among other sources.  Good thing they found one, as good vinyl is getting harder to find and a famous store many record companies turned to for their catalog (The Attic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania recently were part of a disastrous flood that destroyed 4 Million + albums!) and lost a big chunk of their collection.  It points to the many levels of crisis our film music heritage that is in jeopardy, but labels like FSM are doing what they can to preserve and issue the best and they succeeded again here.  Go to www.filmscoremonthly.com for more information on this release and how to order it and many other exclusives.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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