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Soundtrack Review

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The Bad News Bears (1976)
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(2019 Vinyl)


Composer: Jerry Fielding
Label: Varèse Sarabande Records
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Release Date: 25 March 2019

Arriving just in time for baseball season, and for the first time ever, The Bad News Bears soundtrack is available via Varèse Sarabande Records, on LP as a limited 1000-unit release on yellow vinyl. Former minor leaguer Morris Buttermaker is a lazy, beer swilling swimming pool cleaner who takes money to coach the Bears, a bunch of disheveled misfits who have virtually no baseball talent. Realizing his dilemma, Coach Buttermaker brings aboard girl pitching ace Amanda Whurlizer, the daughter of a former girlfriend, and Kelly Leak, a motorcycle punk who happens to be the best player around. Brimming with confidence, the Bears look to sweep into the championship game and avenge an earlier loss to their nemesis, the Yankees...

On the first play through of this album, my main impression was that it was peppered too liberally with reworkings of classical music pieces, most notably the 'Carmen Suites' by Georges Bizet. Just goes to show how wrong first thoughts can be, because as I listened to it repeatedly, over the course of several weeks, Jerry Fielding's incredible music started to shine through.

Fielding was a three-time Oscar-nominated and Emmy winning composer known for his work on films in western and crime action genres, including the Sam Peckinpah movies The Wild Bunch (1969) and Straw Dogs (1971), but here he turns in a score that's comical, moving and, in places, could be considered as classical music in its own right.

This is a score that won't just appeal to fans of the film, but will also find a welcome home in lovers of Fielding's work as well as fans of lovingly crafted and beautifully orchestrated soundtracks.

Track listing:

Side One
01. Hang In There (2:04)
02. A Really Fine Thing (1:07)
03. Play Ball (1:18)
04. Beer Cans (:40)
05. First Major Loss (2:32)
06. Amanda’s Theme (:47)
07. Bad News for the Athletics (1:31)
08. Around Them Bases (1:11)
09. Street Pitching (2:30)
10.Cool Karl Karonsky (1:38)
11.Out of Pinball Shop (:28)
12.Second Amanda Theme / Montage #1 (1:51)

Side Two
01. Dancing School Pianos (3:11)
02. Kelly Rebels (1:20)
03. Tiny Tears (1:08)
04. Amanda Gets Spiked (:49)
05. Buttermaker Goes Corrupt (:35)
06. Joe Won’t Throw (1:17)
07. Montage #2 (:40)
08. Lupus’ Big Catch (:35)
09. Cliff Hanger (3:01)
10. Next Year (:56)
11. End Credits (1:07)


Darren Rea

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