Last night, I stumbled upon Get Carter on the TV. This has always been one of all time favourite films, even after watching it as many times as I have, it always amazes me how bleak and cold it is. So glad I didn’t love in 70’s Newcastle!
However, it wasn’t the film that first got me into the whole Get Carter mood. It was in fact the soundtrack, which was re-released a decade ago, and was one of the first big soundtrack releases that bought new fans to the genre. The Get Carter soundtrack was composed by a bizzarely brilliant jazz pianist by the name of Roy Budd. His work for Get Carter preceded a run of extraordinary soundtracks (I would recommend anyone to go and seek out his soundtracks for Fear Is The Key, The Stone Killer, The Marseille Contract and Diamonds). What was unique for the Get Carter soundtrack was it’s minimal instrumentation, (The whole soundtrack uses just keyboards, double bass and percussion.) the sparsness fits like a glove into the film, and shows just how powerful film music can be. So here’s a great you tube find of Budd soundtracking live the famous opening scene – ‘Jack takes a train’. (Kudos as well on the amazing ginger fro.)
I’ve also included possible Budd’s second greatest soundtrack achievement, the magnum opus of the ‘car chase’ from Fear Is The Key – a decidely average early 70’s thriller illuminated by this astounding 12 minute car chase. The music follows the ebbs and flows of the action perfectly, blending orchestral soundtrack moments with furious blasts of jazz saxophone (from Ronnie Scott no less). Stick with it. It’s fantastic!