Neal Hefti

Lord Love a Duck

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The soundtrack to a fine George Axelrod movie, Lord Love a Duck combines the standard, pre-psychedelic rock of bands like the Dave Clark Five or Paul Revere with mod organ and blues. The title track, sung by the Wild Ones and composed by Ernie Sheldon, features the typical Monkees-era "hey hey hey" business and even camp duck quacks. The instrumental "Balboa Blast" is the killer, however. Hinging on the basic tension-and-release trick, the organ, guitar, and drums set up for a deep, funky blues riff in the middle with everything, down to a surf drum roll. The teasing lead-in is not strong enough to make it really great, but a remix could turn out something closer to the level of Lalo Schifrin's "The Bird." From The Liquidator soundtrack, "The Bird" rules the roost of jukebox dirges, flying high above all neat pop, rock, blues, and jazz categorization. It cooks. Apart from "Balboa Blast," the rest of the soundtrack mostly just varies the theme a bit, like the cashmere sweaters in every color from the film itself. "All Night Long, Pt. 2" gets into more blues, and "The Year of the Duck" has some Doors-ish organ.

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