Movie soundtracks have a language of their own. The composers and musicians supply a specific allure to support the atmospherics of the script and the photography.
The genre known as “spy movie music” implies intrigue, secrets, living on the edge, cheeky humor, fighting against wickedness in high places, and saving the world from terrible fates. Whether it’s James Bond or old school film noir, you can expect a certain template of chords and orchestrations, whether it’s the ironic zither of THE THIRD MAN, the Anglofied harpsichord bumpers in THE AVENGERS TV show, or the stacatto cello in the BOURNE movies. The genre known as “spy movie music” is often dark but scintillating, exotic but not esoteric, detached but connective on some level to the character, even if you’ve never been “a spy.”
Much of the material has been previously released, but I now present different mixes and edits as well as expansions on the I LIKE THE STREET album of 2011—notably the unedited 20 minute improvisation that was pared down for the (surprisingly popular) segue track “Spying in Barcelona.” Every other song is instrumental so it flows like some of my favorite soundtracks (or one of those old Eno records, take your pick).
Over the years I’ve drawn from the “spy movie music” template, with cross-overs into “surf guitar music,” classical, jazz, psychedelia, techno, and rock music of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. This collection certifies my interests in these sounds. Thanks for listening—and watch your back.
released July 2, 2013
JJB: bass, drums, drum programs, guitars, keyboards, percussion, violins, and all lead & harmony vocals except:
Bret Alexander: lead guitar (1, 9)
John Bechdel: synthesizer and remixing (8)
Cassie Blair: harmony vocals (7)
Bil Bryant: drums (6)
Richard Devletian: bass (10) and guitar (4, 10)
Carmen Estevez: percussion (10)
Felix String Quartet: strings (6)
Frank Hakava: bass and guitar (6)
Davy Jones: guitar (8), narration (6), and samples (8)
Keith C. Kavanaugh: drums (5)
Margot Mazzolla: harmony vocals (7)
Erik Nielsen: chit-chat (7)
Bridge Purifoy: harmony vocals (7)
Rusty Richards: drum program (8)
Dan Rielly: bass, drum programs, guitar, and electric piano (7)
Ron Simasek: drums (1, 9)
Felipe Torres: percussion (4, 10)
Chris von Sneidern: remixing (5)
Produced by Johnny J Blair with Bret Alexander, John Bechdel, Davy Jones, & Chris von Sneidern.
This collection released July 2013 and created via Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco. Some selections previously released with different mixes and edits and were recorded in Pennsylvania, New York City, Stockholm, Moscow (Russia), Kentucky, and California.
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