Gert Wilden

I Told You Not to Cry

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A companion to 1996's Schulmädchen Report, a compilation of bandleader/composer Gert Wilden's themes for German softcore sex films, 1997's I Told You Not to Cry collects 20 of Wilden's scores for crime films from the same era. This might be a slightly less enjoyable collection -- the languorous quality of the Schulmädchen Report themes is both kitschier and more musically interesting, and the stills of nearly naked nubiles certainly didn't hurt enjoyment of that collection -- but the more dramatic themes here are testament to Wilden's range as a composer. There's a clear John Barry influence, understandable as most of these films were probably at least partially inspired by the James Bond films, but while the dramatic orchestral stabs and swinging-'60s go-go interludes might sound a bit familiar, Wilden is a more than competent composer, and even the most workmanlike tunes here, like the Easternisms of "Fu Manchu," are executed with panache and good humor. Schulmädchen Report is definitely the better collection, but those who enjoyed it (or any of the similar collections of '60s film music floating around out there) will find much to enjoy here.

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