Henry Mancini

Platinum & Gold Collection

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Henry Mancini's entry in BMG Heritage's Platinum & Gold series is a nifty but brief (30 minutes) collection of some of the great composer's most memorable melodies. Any disc that has "The Pink Panther Theme," "Peter Gunn," "Moon River," "A Shot in the Dark," and "Baby Elephant Walk" on it is going to be worth hearing. Throw in a few of his love songs ("Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet"), some moody film music ("Experiment in Terror"), lush film music ("Breakfast at Tiffany's"), a touch of jazzy film music ("Something for Cat" from the Breakfast at Tiffany's soundtrack), and you end up with a disc that throws a bright spotlight on just what an amazing songwriter Mancini was. You also hear how imaginative and unique his arrangements and use of instruments were. He was a master at combining instruments and sounds that on the surface may have seemed wrong but somehow worked perfectly. No doubt people from Brian Wilson to Bob Crewe to Holland-Dozier-Holland heard that too. There are collections out there that have more songs and paint a fuller picture of the man's music, but for a budget collection, Platinum & Gold Collection gets the job done quickly and quite nicely.

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