Monday, October 16, 2006

The Prime of Rod McKuen

Probably the closest thing we'll ever have to a rock-star poet, Rod McKuen sold out amphitheaters in the '60s and '70s with his groundbreaking poetry readings and translated many successful European songs into English, including the songs of Jacques Brel and, of course, the most downbeat pop standard ever, "Seasons in the Sun." While working on the musical A Boy Named Charlie Brown, McKuen decided to branch off into film scoring with 1968's Joanna, the first feature by actor-turned-director Michael Sarne (who later combusted spectacularly with Myra Breckinridge). Sort of a mod dramatic musical packed with weird fantasies and narrative tangents, the film follows squeaky-voiced Genevieve Waite through a series of misadventures culminating in a big song-and-dance number at a train station.

Apparently Fox was pleased enough with McKuen's songs and score to recruit him the next year for their big award-courting film, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, starring Maggie Smith in an Oscar-winning turn as the socially and sexually groundbreaking instructor at a prim girls' school. McKuen's theme song, "Jean," was nominated for an Oscar as well, and he also wrote a new overture for the film when it was screened for Queen Elizabeth II. (The daring nudity by co-star Pamela Franklin probably own over a few viewers, too.) Despite the warm reception and the film's continued popularity, the score has never seen the light of CD, and McKuen never scored another feature.

1. Joanna (Vocal)
2. I'll Catch The Sun (Vocal)
3. Run To Me, Fly To Me (Waltz For Joanna)
4. I'm Only Me (Two Girls Bathing)
5. When Am I Ever Going Home
6. Ain't You Glad You're Living Joe (Vocal)
7. Till We're Together Again (Cass's Theme)
8. Joanna And Clyde
9. Peter's Theme (Before I Die)
10. Joanna Hits Town
11. Saturday Night In Knightsbridge
12. Morocco
13. Some August Day
14. Hello Heartaches
15. Harpsichord Concerto (4th Movement)
16. Twenty Four Rue St. Benoit
17. I'll Catch The Sun (Reprise)
18. Joanna (Reprise)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
1. Jean (Vocal)
2. Winter Like My Life Is Passing
3. Flanders Field
4. Bend Down And Touch Me (Vocal)
5. Athletic Supporters
6. The Other Tango
7. A Red, Red Rose (Vocal)
8. Edinburgh Morning & Jean (Vocal)
9. The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie Overture

10. The Ivy That Clings To The Wall
11. Lloyd's Room (Petula In Green Waters)
12. The Favourite Sweet Of Little Princess Margaret Rose
13. Flanders Field (Reprise)
14. Goodbye Jenny (Bend Down And Touch Me)
15. Jean (End Title)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

However, Rod McKuen was involved in several other movies:

I have a score LP of "Scandalous John" and also a double LP of a Russian war documentary called "The Unknown War" scored by him.

Jordan from Germany

3:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh, someone complained and had em both removed. Anyone care to repost?

12:09 PM  
Blogger OldVinyl said...

Could the Brodie album be possibly re-uploaded again please?

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, would love it if someone could repost. Especially the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. I've been looking for that one for years.

- Jason from Toronto, Canada

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually have a very good copy of the Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie on LP

2:05 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

It has always been a major disappointment that this has never been released on CD; I had hoped that it might be included as an extra on the Fox DVD release. Can you please upload again? I have the LP but no longer have a turntable.

7:18 PM  
Blogger rosscompose said...

Saw the (rare) film (JOANNA)at the American Cinematheque in Hollywood awhile back. Sarne was supposed to be there but did not make it. So got McKuen to sign my poster instead. He was quite nice.
Had I known he was going to be there I would have brought my LP.

BTW way to you know Geneviève Waïte's solo album written/produced by John Phillips? A trip.

7:57 PM  

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