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Soundtrack Review

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The Gerald Fried Collection
The Baby (1973)
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Gerald Fried
Label: Caldera Records
Release Date: 25 January 2019

Caldera Records presents the score for the motion picture The Baby from 1973, directed by Ted Post, featuring music by Gerald Fried. The motion picture, marketed as a horror film, tells the story of a dedicated social worker who takes on a case involving a grown-up man still in diapers. It doesn’t take long for the disturbed social worker to figure out that ‘Baby’s’ family deliberately keeps the retarded man-child from maturing. There are even more disturbing facts to note: the disappearance of previous social worker being the most unsettling. But lo and behold, the new social worker finds herself confronted with the ‘Baby’s’ family who, so it seems, is out to silence her...

Ah, wonderful, wonderful Caldera Records. They never disappoint. Gerald Fried's music for The Baby represents a sublime score and an unusually sweet one, considering the movie was marketed as a horror. While it's a monothematic score, having really only one main theme that is revisited throughout the tracks, Fried has the decency to dress it up and present it in numerous ways so that the listener never tires of it. There are plenty of other minor themes which weave in and out of the tracks too, all of which are worthy of your attention.

It's similar to other composers work of the time, including John Barry and Henry Mancini, without ever sounding like Fried is attempting to emulate them. In addition it has very similar production values and on occasion tends too sound a little flat, as old stereo recordings have a tendency to do. While some may wish that this release had been remixed to be a little more epic in soundscape, like more modern orchestral recordings, personally I love the old charm that these intimate recordings produced. And, if you want to stay true to the original source material why on earth would you remix it?

'The Main Title' sounds thematically Western in origin. But don't think you're in for a Western score. This surprises at every turn. Predominately Jazz based, Fried pours a lot of love and tons of soul over the course of these 24 tracks (45 min, 14 sec). And, in addition, we get an entertaining interview with Fried (7 min, 10 sec).

With this score being released under the "The Gerald Fried Collection" and with Fried himself stating in the interview: "None of these three projects was there a temp track that I had to deal with..." It doesn't take a genius to surmise that Caldera will be gifting us with more Fried in the future (fingers crossed).


Darren Rea