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Rest In Peace Leslie Bricusse (1931-2021)


Jay
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RIP what a legend.  I've been rehearsing "Pure Imagination" with my community band for the last several weeks.  So many classics to his name.

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My favorite is Star of Bethlehem.  It must be bittersweet to live as long as Williams has, watching all these friends and collaborators die.  

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Here's Jon Burlingame's obituary

 

https://variety.com/2021/music/news/leslie-bricusse-dead-willy-wonka-goldfinger-1235092734/

 

~

 

 

1 hour ago, Ricard said:

7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

 

("Christmas at Hogwarts")

 

I've seen that mentioned often on the internet, but it isn't correct.  The OST album and LLL box set credit "Christmas at Hogwarts" / "Cast a Christmas Spell" to John Williams only, and GEMA agrees

 

image.png

 

 

Something Bricusse worked on looks like this in GEMA

 

image.png

 

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1 minute ago, Jay said:

 

I've seen that mentioned often on the internet, but I don't think it's correct.  The OST album and LLL box set credit "Christmas at Hogwarts" / "Cast a Christmas Spell" to John Williams only

 

Interesting. Can anyone shed more light on this?

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Well, when Mike was going through everything for the LLL expansion, he confirmed that Bricusse did not contribute anything to the project, at least nothing that ever got recorded!

 

The lyrics to both "Cast a Christmas Spell" and "Hogwarts Forever" are by John Williams

 

The lyrics to "Double Trouble" are by William Shakespeare, presumably adapted by John Williams?

 

The lyrics to "A Winter's Spell" from HP3 are by Cynthia Weil and Jamie Richardson

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Is HP the only time JW wrote lyrics himself? Anybody know why he did in that particular case? 

 

RIP Leslie Bricusse, many great memories with his songwriting :heart:

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1 hour ago, mrbellamy said:

Is HP the only time JW wrote lyrics himself?

 

Rosewood and Amistad did not involve a lyricist, though Amistad's is of course based on an existing poem.

 

There's a list of Williams songs here, but I don't know the lyricist for each of them (and the list there is incomplete)

 

1 hour ago, mrbellamy said:

Anybody know why he did in that particular case? 

 

Great question!  I don't know the answer.

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Maybe it was something they decided last minute and they didn't have time and/or Bricusse or whoever was unavailable at short notice. 

 

JW did a nice job, his HP lyrics are cute! "Cast a Christmas Spell" feels like the kind of thing Bricusse would have written for him.

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I don't know when or why the rumor that Bricusse worked on Potter started, but it's persisted on the internet for a long time. It's on a lot of the online obituaries today, on his Wikipedia page, and even on his IMDB page! 

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0241527/fullcredits/

 

I thought IMDB was supposed to replicate what the actual film's end credits say, with any user submissions appended with an "(uncredited)" but I guess not, because Leslie's HP1 entry has no "(uncredited)" market at all.  It's just bogus info!

 

The film definitely doesn't credit him

 

image.png

 

"Cast A Christmas Spell" doesn't even get a listing in the end credits like "A Winter's Spell" does in HP3, I guess because it's just considered part of Williams' original score

 

image.png

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And I still don't own the 3-CD boxset of Mr. Chips.

 

I'll never get over it.

 

Among all the old movies JW scored, Mr.Chips is my favourite.

 

Nice arrangements, nice songs, nice story, nice performances of both Clark and O'Toole, for me it's a great movie.

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Just now, Jay said:

Time for a reissue!

 

I don't want the 3-CD reissue... just the OST and the score... I pray each night!

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It's not my favorite Bricusse song, but I always enjoy this in the film and wonder if JW considered including it on the OST too or not

 

 

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16 hours ago, Ricard said:

 

Interesting. Can anyone shed more light on this?

 

"The recording studio phase of the work is not a place for improvisation. But Williams delights in spontaneous impulse. This time he’s concerned about a brief scene in which three ghosts sing a Christmas carol.

 

This has been set up to “Deck the Halls,” but Williams is not happy with this choice, even though it is a secular carol chosen to avoid giving offense to any religious group.

 

“Why should there be anything from the Muggles world at Hogwarts?” he asked. So at night, he wrote a little tune for a new carol, and then he amused himself by producing the lyrics too.

 

Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, ring the Hogwart bell,

Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, cast a Christmas spell . . .

Find a broomstick in your stocking, see the magic on display.

Join the owls’ joyous flocking on this merry Christmas day.

 

Later he was delighted to learn that his lines would need to be translated into six languages."

 

Source!

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In Berlin (saturday) he said something about muggles to refer to the mages. I think he said the nimbus 2000 was the thing (he forgot it was just a broom) the muggles used to play quiddich.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Luke Skywalker said:

I think he said the nimbus 2000 was the thing (he forgot it was just a broom) the muggles used to play quiddich.

 

Well, it's not just a broom...

 

1 hour ago, Once said:

Source!

 

Who would have thought to look for information at JWFan.com...

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14 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

Is HP the only time JW wrote lyrics himself? Anybody know why he did in that particular case? 

 

Perhaps Joseph was busy with Toto stuff.

 

2 hours ago, Luke Skywalker said:

In Berlin (saturday) he said something about muggles to refer to the mages.

 

He said that Hedwig is a white "bird" and that she delivers the mail to the muggles. Which is not entirely incorrect, because in the first film she's mostly seen delivering letters to the mostly muggle household where Harry lives.

 

2 hours ago, Luke Skywalker said:

I think he said the nimbus 2000 was the thing (he forgot it was just a broom) the muggles used to play quiddich.

 

He said exactly the same thing on Thursday. I think he called it a "stick, or staff". It's as if he's never heard the word "broomstick" in his life.

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18 hours ago, Jay said:

https://deadline.com/2021/10/leslie-bricusse-dead-goldfinger-willy-wonka-doctor-dolittle-songwriter-was-90-1234858373/

 

Bricusse and Williams collaborated on :

  1. A Guide for the Married Man (1967)
  2. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969)
  3. Superman (1978)
  4. Home Alone (1990)
  5. Hook (1991)
  6. Home Alone 2 (1992)


I’ll be listening to these now. May he Rest In Peace.

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It's too bad so much of my favorite Bricusse work is Christmas music (the Home Alone songs, his underrated Scrooge musical) because I don't particularly want to listen to them in October :lol:

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5 hours ago, TownerFan said:

I was in touch with Mike Matessino to get Leslie for an interview for the Legacy of JW podcast, but alas that didn't happen.

 

Oh, man!  That would have been stellar!

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I was just thinking about Williams' other notable songwriting collaborators, and of course thought of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, with whom he worked on Fitzwilly, Sabrina, Yes Giorgio, and America the Dream Goes On.  Amazingly, Alan and Marilyn are both still living, born in 1925 and 1929 respectively.

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On 19/10/21 at 3:14 PM, Jay said:

Bricusse and Williams collaborated on :

  1. How To Steal A Million (1962)


I think this should be 1966.

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47 minutes ago, jojoju2000 said:

JW is probably the only old school composer left.

 

Morricone died last year. Mancini died in the 90s. Barry died in 2010.  

And also Goldsmith and Elmer Bernstein, which both died in 2004 :( 

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David Shire

Lalo Schifrin

 

(granted, I'm not sure how much they're still working)

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Schifrin, Q. Jones, Shire, Doldinger, Grusin, Fried, Sherman, Scott, Rosenthal etc. etc. There are actually quite a few "old school" film composers still around -- several even older than Williams -- but not all of them are still active. Here's a useful thread I did over on FSM that tries to chart some of the 85+ ones:

 

https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=135027&forumID=1&archive=0

 

The oldest living film composers I've been able to find are Johnny Pate and William Kraft, who turn 100 in two years, good fortune willing.

 

As for Bricusse, sorry to hear about his passing, even though 90 is very good innings. I'll revisit some of the JW collabs soon.

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On 27/10/2021 at 2:50 PM, Jay said:

Howard Shore?

 

I guess Shore being born in 1946 puts him right at that beginning edge for the Boomers, as opposed to Williams's Silent Generation/"Lucky Few" born during the Depression and WWII, and a little bit into the Greatest Gen before like Elmer, the composers we really associate with the Silver Age. Shore started his film career later. Of course, he still counts as "old school" in methodology. 

 

Then again we often rope Horner into these "old school" discussions and he was def a Boomer. But he should still be here. Fuck. 

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2 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

 

I guess Shore being born in 1946 puts him right at that beginning edge for the Boomers, as opposed to Williams's Silent Generation/"Lucky Few" born during the Depression and WWII, and a little bit into the Greatest Gen before like Elmer, the composers we really associate with the Silver Age. Shore started his film career later. Of course, he still counts as "old school" in methodology. 

 

Then again we often rope Horner into these "old school" discussions and he was def a Boomer. But he should still be here. Fuck. 


I guess the “Bronze Age” composers are those mostly born in the 1940s.  Those that started their film careers in the mid-to-late 70s/early 80s.  Randy Newman, Shore, Silvestri, Poledouris, Broughton, Conti, etc.  Then there’s a distinct shift with the next generation born in the 50s (Zimmer, Elfman, JNH, Thomas Newman, etc.).

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But in this context, those are all “kids”. See my earlier post for PROPER old people.

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Shift from Silvestri to Elfman? They both had the height of their careers at the exact same time

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Silvestri had been writing for TV and film for like 10 years before Elfman’s first movie.  Anyway I know they’re pretty close in age, they’ve just always felt like they’re in different cohorts to me.

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Huh.  That's an interesting take.  To me they are absolutely peers, with all their biggest hits coming from the mid 80s through mid 90s

 

Just looked it up, SIlvestri is only 3 years older than Elfman!

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I've always loved the score to Willy Wonka and the song Pure Imagination. 

 

I think Leslie had a gift for melody, I really enjoy many of the songs in Goodbye, Mr. Chips with my favorite being the "Walk through the World" song which appears a few times in the movie:

 

There's something simple and beautiful about the melody. 

 

 

On another note, just last Christmas I found the 1970 version of Scrooge and we watched it. Part way through, I realized similarities in the melodies I was hearing (it's a musical), and guessed correctly that it was Leslie Bricusse. You can hear his melodic style in this, and some similarities to Mr. Chips since they were composed one after the other. 

 

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When I heard that he had passed away my first thought was the he wrote Can You Read My Mind and Pure Imagination. This week I realized that he wrote the Oompa Loompa songs and I Want it Now!

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25 minutes ago, MrJosh said:

On another note, just last Christmas I found the 1970 version of Scrooge and we watched it. Part way through, I realized similarities in the melodies I was hearing (it's a musical), and guessed correctly that it was Leslie Bricusse. You can hear his melodic style in this, and some similarities to Mr. Chips since they were composed one after the other. 

 

I like Scrooge quite a bit, but I must admit I don't think Finney was the right choice for the lead.

 

The re-recording with Robert Picardo as Scrooge is an interesting listen.

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5 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

 

I like Scrooge quite a bit, but I must admit I don't think Finney was the right choice for the lead.

 

The re-recording with Robert Picardo as Scrooge is an interesting listen.

Yeah, I enjoyed the movie but I agree about Finney. I didn't know there was a re-recording, I will seek that out, thanks!

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