Crimes of Passion

Rick Wakeman

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Crimes of Passion Review

by Andy Kellman

For the score to Ken Russell's 1984 erotic thriller Crimes of Passion, Rick Wakeman enlisted a couple of his usual co-conspirators in Strawbs members Tony Fernandez (drums) and Charles Cronk (bass). Guitarist Rick Fenn (Mike Oldfield, 10cc) and session saxophonist Bimbo Acock are also given a fair amount of work. Incorporating Dvorák's ninth symphony throughout -- rather misleadingly, neither the sleeve notes nor writing credits do anything to indicate this -- the score to Crimes of Passion is generally upbeat synth rock without a great deal of flashy showmanship from the composer. The main selling point for non-Wakeman fanatics is "It's a Lovely Life," a driving hard rock song featuring Scottish belter Maggie Bell. She's also featured on the closing "Dangerous Woman," a relatively contemporary pop song with surprisingly little of Wakeman's imprint. As with most synth-based scores to '80s films, the disc doesn't translate very well outside of the context of the film. The only track that doesn't sound completely weighed down by '80s production values is "Stax," a slow-motion instrumental with overt indebtedness to the label of the same name. If you can picture some of those wildly surrealistic (and occasionally silly) scenes while merely listening to the score, you're all the better for it.

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