This discount-priced two-fer presents all of Dominic Frontiere's recordings for Columbia Records, originally released in 1959 and 1960. Frontiere was beginning to gain a foothold in Hollywood during those years, after making a series of jazz-oriented records for Liberty and organizing the Mighty Accordion Band for a Capitol recording. Pagan Festival was his version of the kind of popular exotica recordings being made by Arthur Lyman and Martin Denny around the same time. Nominally concerned with Inca ritual, it employed an eclectic musical palette that roamed the world from the South Seas to Eastern Europe to create an entertaining soundscape. Love Eyes featured 12 tracks that sounded like cues from movies never made, pieces of program music that embodied titles like "Jealous," "Sultry," and "Innocent." Frontiere betrayed the influence of rising Hollywood composer Henry Mancini, who was also injecting jazz and other contemporary sounds into the music departments of the movie studios. The album concludes with both sides of a one-off single Frontiere recorded in 1960, combining his version of Elmer Bernstein's love theme from the film From the Terrace with his and Edward Powell's theme from One Foot in Hell. These are more traditional movie themes that recall the success of Max Steiner's theme from A Summer Place in Percy Faith's Columbia recording. By 1960, Frontiere had begun to realize his ambition to score films and television shows, and he devoted himself to such work thereafter, leaving behind his career as a recording artist. His Columbia recordings demonstrate that the musical talent responsible for the scores for The Outer Limits, Hang 'Em High, and The Stuntman was already in place years earlier.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann