November 2003 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Gary S. Dalkin
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings / November /

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Volume 2)  
Music composed by Robert Ambruster, Robert Drasnin, Gerald Fried, Jerry Goldsmith, Nelson Riddle, Lalo Schifrin, Walter Scharf, Richard Shores, and Morton Stevens
  Available on Film Score Golden Age Classics FSM Vol 6 No 17
Limited Edition of 3000 copies

Running Time: 154.23
77’54 (Disc 1)
76’29 (Disc 2)
Film Score Monthly, 8503 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA90232; Tel: 1-888-345-6335; overseas: 310-253-9595; fax: 310-253-9588 e-mail:

man from uncle 2

"Anything new?" asks Robert Vaughan on the CD’s blurb. An appropriate questions as Film Score Monthly’s spy-spoof retrospective reaches a second volume, (see our review of volume one ). Like the first album, also produced by acclaimed journalist and U.N.C.L.E. historian Jon Burlingame, this double-disc set well represents the music of many composers that wrote for M-G-M’s camp pseudo-drama during its four year run.

As well as presenting numerous arrangements of the show’s recognised title theme, this second volume also features unused cues from the series, music from the earliest U.N.C.L.E. films (Providing, perhaps, what is the album’s highlight in Gerald Fried’s main title for "One of Our Spies is Missing"), and twenty-two minutes of music by composer Jerry Goldsmith, continuing the ample selections which can be found on the previous album. Remarkably, Goldsmith scored only three episodes during the series run, including the pilot, and he left an indelible mark which would have a great effect on the show’s popularity and the subsequent approaches that his colleagues would take towards the exploits of Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin.

A worthy addition to the album is a suite of music from Nelson Riddle’s score to "The Concrete Overcoat Affair" which, whilst owing much to the legendary arranger’s work on another cult Sixties phenomenon, Batman, demonstrates talents above and beyond his peers. Other stand-out episode scores on this set include Richard Shores’ frenetic music for the series finale, "The Seven Wonders Of The World Affair", and Morton Steven’s equally-feverish contribution to "The Iowa-Scuba Affair".

Each disc presents suites from individual episodes sequenced chronologically by recording date, seemingly a necessity to lend the album some formal structure, but which does much to outline the principal weakness of the compilation – that when considered as a coherent listening experience, the music suffers from being separated from the visual material that it was crafted to complement. A situation hampered yet more by tight orchestrations which, whilst favourably representing the powers of a small ensemble, are hardly conducive to repeat playings.

This is an album to dip into and one that will find much favour amongst a generation of fans brought up on a diet of diluted espionage adventures. Whether it has the same impact on a younger audience remains to be seen.

Glen Aitken

*** 3

Disc One

  1. First Season End Title (Jerry Goldsmith) 1:16
  2. The Vulcan Affair suite no. 2 (Goldsmith) 9:59
  3. The Iowa-Scuba Affair (Morton Stevens) 6:54
  4. The Shark Affair (Walter Scharf) 7:55
  5. The Deadly Games Affair suite no. 2 (Goldsmith) 8:38
  6. Meet Mr. Solo (Goldsmith) 1:45
  7. The Giuoco Piano Affair (Scharf) 3:23
  8. The King of Knaves Affair suite no. 2 (Goldsmith) 3:40
  9. First Season Main Title, revised (Goldsmith, arr. Stevens) 0:56
  10. The Deadly Decoy Affair (Scharf) 4:32
  11. The Spy With My Face (Stevens) 5:12
  12. Second Season Main Title (Goldsmith, arr. Lalo Schifrin)0:37
  13. Alexander the Greater Affair (Gerald Fried) 1:25
  14. The Ultimate Computer Affair (Schifrin) 5:00
  15. The Very Important Zombie Affair (Fried) 4:10
  16. The Dippy Blonde Affair (Robert Drasnin) 2:01
  17. The Deadly Goddess Affair (Fried) 2:31
  18. The Moonglow Affair (Fried) 7:09
Total Time: 77:54

Disc Two

  1. One of Our Spies Is Missing (Goldsmith, arr. Fried) 3:08
  2. Third Season Main Title (Goldsmith, arr. Fried) 0:31
  3. The Sort of Do-It-Yourself Dreadful Affair (Fried) 6:39
  4. The Galatea Affair (Robert Drasnin) 5:36
  5. The Pop Art Affair (Drasnin) 4:34
  6. The Come With Me to the Casbah Affair (Fried) 4:16
  7. The Off-Broadway Affair (Fried) 7:12
  8. The Concrete Overcoat Affair (Nelson Riddle) 6:48
  9. The Napoleon's Tomb Affair (Fried) 5:17
  10. Alternate Fourth Season Main Title (Goldsmith, arr. Fried) 0:37
  11. Fourth Season End Title (Goldsmith, prob. arr. Robert Armbruster) 0:36
  12. The Test Tube Killer Affair (Fried) 7:05
  13. The Prince of Darkness Affair (Richard Shores) 11:39
  14. The Seven Wonders of the World Affair (Shores) 11:46
Total Time: 76:29

FSM press release:

Released by Special Arrangement with Turner Classic Movies Music

Last December, Film Score Monthly released a 2CD set of music from the classic '60s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Within a matter of weeks, it became one of FSM's fastest-selling, best-reviewed and most popular titles.

Now, by popular demand, FSM has returned to the Turner/Warner Bros. vaults of classic MGM TV music and assembled a second volume of great spy music for agents Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) and their never-ending battle against the bad guys of Thrush.

As with the first volume, this 2CD set draws on music from all four seasons of the series, including nearly a half-hour of previously unreleased Jerry Goldsmith cues from his pilot and episode scores; plus music by Lalo Schifrin, Nelson Riddle, Gerald Fried, Morton Stevens, Walter Scharf, Robert Drasnin and Richard Shores -- most in crisp-sounding mono, but more than a half-hour (fourth-season and theatrical-release music) in stereo.

This volume contains all of the remaining original versions of the music that Hugo Montenegro chose for his two RCA LPs of U.N.C.L.E. themes, plus seven different arrangements of Goldsmith's U.N.C.L.E. theme -- including two (one by Goldsmith, one by Fried) that were recorded but never used on the show! The CD includes detailed liner notes by author Jon Burlingame, whose research for these two volumes has turned into the most exhaustive chronicle ever written of the music of a single television show.

Return to Index

Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers: