This double-CD set is almost 40 years overdue, comprised of the music from the actual scoring sessions from the television episodes. This release is pretty much a salute to composer Jerry Goldsmith, who not only wrote the vast majority of the music represented here, which ended up being tracked into several more shows across the first season. Goldsmith is mostly known as a film composer, but in the early '60s he was working mostly in television and turning in some of the best music ever heard on the small screen -- beyond his original theme for the series, which was possibly the best action series title theme in television history, he scored the pilot episode, which is filled with horn progressions that surge and pulse, swirling strings that add to the sense of excitement, and teasing flute misteriosos; that music, assembled as a complete suite running 14 minutes, is some of the best scoring ever done for American television and worth the price of admission by itself. "The Deadly Games Affair" isn't far behind, containing suspenseful and savage material that holds up as music. The most startling aspect of hearing the music fully exposed is the realization of precisely how diverse the scoring for this series was -- the composers moved freely between classical, pop, jazz, international, and other influences, creating a dazzling array of sounds within an action/suspense context. The two discs give a survey of the music from across the series' four seasons, of which the last part of disc two will be a minor revelation, containing music from the greatly abridged fourth season. There's not a note of music that isn't worth hearing more than once on either of these two discs, and it's all considerably more valuable than the two Hugo Montenegro-arranged LPs that came out on RCA during the series' run in the mid-'60s. The sound is astonishingly good, the tapes evidently having been well preserved and very carefully mastered, and the annotation is extraordinarily detailed, providing biographical sketches not only of Goldsmith but the other half-dozen composers represented as well, and the arrangers. Potential purchasers should be aware, however, that this volume is nowhere near complete without the follow-up second volume.
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