John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! is, from the wacky title onwards a
very '60's comedy, transferring a fictionalised version of the Gary Powers U2
spy plane incident to a fabricated middle eastern country and making (American)
football and Shirley Maclaine central to proceedings. A badly reviewed commercial
disaster on release, and barely seen for the last 35 years even on afternoon
television, there's only one reason for the appearance of the soundtrack album
now. John Williams. Or as he was billed back then, Johnny Williams.
During the '60's Williams scored several light comedies of varying quality,
John Goldfarb (1965) pre-dating better, more famous movies such as How
Too Steal A Million (1966) and A Guide For the Married Man (1967).
This current CD's claim to fame is it represents the earliest Williams score
available on CD. However, because the music dates from so far back in Williams
career there is little here to connect it with the Williams music fans have
grown to love. This really is typical zany comedy music of its period, imbued
with the same light jazzy spirit as motivated many a Henry - The Pink Panther
- Mancini score of the time.
Most of this writing is "Mickey Mouse" pastiche music, many
short cues edited together into longer tracks mimicking the rapidly changing
on-screen action. Nothing last for long, often for no more than a few bars,
as moods change from big band jazz and swing to cod-Orientalisms, belly-dances,
gypsy dances, football anthems, mock "silent movie" music
and military marches. The title music is a catchy but deeply irritating "cute"
pop-type song, and from here on in virtually anything goes. Being John Williams
it is all crafted with great skill, but other than the rare lyricism of the
love theme which is featured best in "Sleeping With Asps",
bears no relation to the John Williams who began to emerge around the time of
The Reivers (1969).
This is a Film Score Monthly release, so comes impeccably presented with a
full colour booklet and detailed notes on the cues, score and making of the
film, and offers 17 minutes worth of bonus cues. These are mainly mono cues,
but also include more alternate versions of the main title song than any sane
person could ever wish to hear.
An astonishingly diverse tapestry of musical elements, like extracts from several
scores for entirely different types of films all put in a blender and scattered
onto a silver disc, this is a kaleidoscopic display of aural colour. Making
little sense divorced from its parent movie, John Goldfarb, Please Come Home!
can only really be recommended to those who have to have everything by John
Williams simply because it is by John Williams. For 1964 the recorded sound
Gary S. Dalkin