The Music from The Man From Uncle
Razor & Tie
Sixties television had a lot of class and style that’s seemingly lacking in most TV today, the epitome being the spy genre. Shows like I Spy, The Avengers, and Mission Impossible featured exotic locations, British accents, mixed drinks, sexy starlets, hi-tech gadgets and snazzy wardrobes. And let’s not forget the music. With the theme to Peter Gunn, Henry Mancini unwittingly launched a whole movement of spy music that is now suddenly stronger than ever.
Preceding music television, these spy shows coordinated more around style than substance. It was more likely that the directors and writers of these shows decided upon the gadgets, wardrobes, starlets, locations, and the music before they even considered a script. Therefore, these shows have great soundtracks. BMG has seen fit to canonize this brief chapter of music in their Razor and Tie series.
The Saint, the only spy role Roger Moore was truly meant to play, received recent notoriety when Val Kilmer assumed the role in a recent tawdry rendition. The Orb redid the theme song and actuality, beyond upping the production standard, didn’t change it all that much, which is a testament to just how ahead of the time this music was then and how contemporary it is now.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E., arranged by Hugo Montenegro (accredited TV soundtrack guru, I Dream of Jeannie, for one), is full on martini music with bossa nova beats, which plays up the recent upsurge in lounge music, and the spy film and is yet another great temptation to raid the crypt of ’60s kitschy-culture. The Saint, although not as throughout strong as U.N.C.L.E., does offer its theme song which is almost worth the entire price of the disc. Both soundtracks, unlike most soundtracks, are not punctuated and loaded with incidental references to action. It’s easy to soak the music up without having to consider the action of these long-canceled programs. As stated earlier, it’s more likely that this music existed long before there was even a script.
Spy shows such as these epitomize the sleek stylishness of the mid-sixties before the hippie culture started beatin’ on bongos and dressing up like injuns. Razor & Tie Music, P.O. Box 585, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10276