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The Essential Henry Mancini

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Henry Mancini 8/24/2010

Review

Henry Mancini’s many movie and television scores and themes were so omnipresent in the 1960s and 1970s that it’s easy to forget why exactly that was so -- he wrote, scored and arranged pieces that were so memorable, sweeping and instantly recognizable that they were able to step out of their cinematic settings and straight on to pop radio. That’s an impressive feat, and Mancini did it several times with absolutely timeless and classic themes like “Moon River,” “The Pink Panther Theme,” “Peter Gunn,” and “Baby Elephant Walk,” each of which is instantly recognizable even if the listener has no clue what film or show it was originally embedded in. In all, Mancini won 20 Grammys, four Oscars and a Golden Globe, and he sold a ton of records, which made him the move score version of a superstar -- he did it by crafting subtly kinetic and rhythmic melodies and then placing them in huge, lush and jazz-inflected settings, but somehow still keeping the gist of it concise and digestible enough that everything came across fresh and alive in a quick two minutes on the radio. It’s difficult to imagine anyone ever doing it as well and pervasively again. Yes, Mancini belonged to a certain era near the close of the 20th century, but the best of his themes have long since escaped that box and entered world culture as musical touchstones. This two-disc, 36 track set features the very best of Mancini’s film and television work, and after listening to it, one will be amazed at how many of these pieces are already deep inside personal memory, even if the films and shows they came from aren’t. It’s the musical equivalent of a hat trick. ~ Steve Leggett
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 The Pink Panther Theme [From the Film the Pink Panther] Henry Mancini 2:36
  3. 2 Mr. Lucky [From the TV Series Mr. Lucky] Henry Mancini 2:11
  4. 3 Dear Heart [From the Film Dear Heart] Henry Mancini 2:40
  5. 4 Charade [From the Film Charade] Henry Mancini 2:34
  6. 5 Baby Elephant Walk [From the Film Hatari!] Henry Mancini 2:41
  7. 6 The Days of Wine and Roses [From the Film Days of Wine and Roses] Henry Mancini 2:6
  8. 7 Experiment in Terror [From the Film Experiment in Terror] Henry Mancini 2:17
  9. 8 Peter Gunn [From the TV Series Peter Gunn] Henry Mancini 2:4
  10. 9 In the Arms of Love [From the Film What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?] Henry Mancini 2:35
  11. 10 Natasha' Theme [From the Film Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?] Henry Mancini 2:13
  12. 11 Darling Lili [From the Film Darling Lili] Henry Mancini 2:47
  13. 12 The Thorn Birds Theme [From the TV Show the Thorn Birds] Henry Mancini 3:2
  14. 13 Two for the Road [From the Film Two for the Road] Henry Mancini 2:39
  15. 14 Candlelight on Crystal [From the Film the Party] Henry Mancini 3:3
  16. 15 The Sweetheart Tree [From the Film the Great Race] Henry Mancini 1:55
  17. 16 Theme from Cade's County [From the TV Series Cade's County] Henry Mancini 2:1
  18. 17 Oklahome Crude [From the Film Oklahoma Crude] Henry Mancini 2:10
  19. 18 It Had Better Be Tonight [From the Film the Pink Panther] Henry Mancini 1:58
  20. 1 Moon River [From the Film Breakfast at Tiffany's] Henry Mancini 2:39
  21. 2 High Time [From the Film High Time] Henry Mancini 2:20
  22. 3 One Eyed Cat [From the TV Series Mr. Lucky] Henry Mancini 3:13
  23. 4 Main Theme from a Shot in the Dark [From the Film A Shot in the Dark] Henry Mancini 2:31
  24. 5 Ludmilla's Theme [From the Film Visions of Eight] Henry Mancini 2:37
  25. 6 Dreamsville [From the TV Series Peter Gunn] Henry Mancini 3:21
  26. 7 Rain Drops in Rio Henry Mancini 2:43
  27. 8 Mystery Movie Theme [From the TV Series the Mystery Movie Theater] Henry Mancini 1:56
  28. 9 A Time for Us [Love Theme from the Film Rome & Juliet] Henry Mancini 2:31
  29. 10 Happy Barefoot Boy [From the Film Tow for the Road] Henry Mancini 2:47
  30. 11 The Great Waldo Pepper March [From the Film the Great Waldo Pepper] Henry Mancini 2:27
  31. 12 A Quiet Happening [From the Film Gunn] Henry Mancini 3:4
  32. 13 Natalie [From the Film Me, Natalie] Henry Mancini 2:43
  33. 14 A Powdered Wig Henry Mancini 2:38
  34. 15 The Hills of Yesterday [Love Theme from the Film The Molly Maguires] Henry Mancini 2:46
  35. 16 Nothing to Lose [From the Film The Party] Henry Mancini 2:21
  36. 17 The Inspector Clouseau Theme [From the Film the Pink Panther Strikes Again] Henry Mancini 2:57
  37. 18 Pie-in-the-Face Polka [From the Film the Great Race] Henry Mancini 2:22

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