Monday, August 26, 2013

The Music Of Film Noir

After swilling cheap booze, furtively chain-smoking cigarettes and reading The Best Of NOIR CITY Magazine cover-to-cover, one requires some apropo music to stay in that chiaroscuro mood.

And whenever watching vintage film noir, I'm invariably positively dumbstruck by the superb soundtrack music surrounding the netherworld of gumshoes, hoodlums and femme fatales.

The Burt Bacharach-Hal David song "The Desperate Hours", recorded for the hard-boiled movie of the same name by the great Mel Tormé, remains my all-time favorite noir tune.

For those craving distinctively corrosive amalgamations of quarter-notes, straight out of 1947, many good choices can be found deep within the asphalt jungle of film music. Some can be found via the Soundtrack Collector website.

Others that are not quite noir but have soundtracks with similarities to those of hardboiled thrillers, for example, Bad Day At Black Rock, I Want To Live and The Subterraneans, can be ordered from Amazon.

To recommend just a few albums close to Philip Marlowe's heart:

Carlos Franzetti & The Prague Philharmonic: Film Noir
Chansons Et Musiques Des Films Noirs
Classic Noir Themes - Royalty Free Music Library
Crime Scene USA: Classic Film Noir Themes & Jazz Tracks
Film Noir
Film Noir To Accompany Your Sleepless Nights- Angelo Badalamenti
Jazz On Film: Film Noir
Legendary Film Noir Movies
Murder Is My Beat: Classic Film Noir Themes And Scenes
Rare Film Noir Music Of The 1940's (download)
White Heat - Film Noir

For further info, check out Robert Cumbow's article on the origins and development of film noir music, The Sound of Film Noir.

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