Latest reviews of new albums:
The Big Fix
  • Composed by Bill Conti
  • Varèse Sarabande / 51m

The Big Fix stars Richard Dreyfuss as a private eye hired by an old girlfriend to investigate a smear campaign against someone running for governor of California – with (to quote Wikipedia) deadly results. The versatile Bill Conti was still riding the crest of the Rocky wave at the time – this score couldn’t be much more different, focusing in on a light classical pastiche theme but veering off in numerous directions over its relatively brief running time. That main theme is heard in light jazz mode in the opening title but Conti soon settles down and presents it in straighter arrangements, featuring harpsichord. It dominates the score’s early sections before there’s an abrupt change of pace in the jazzy “Moses to Lila’s” – which also features some disco (just in case the cover had somehow not convinced you we were in 1978, this cue will leave you in no doubt).

There’s emotion in “Moses Fights Tears” with a lovely piano solo before it becomes more like a disco instrumental later on. “Exchange of Envelopes” is a straight-up baroque pastiche which is really lovely. A final change of style comes with a pair of excellent action/suspense cues late on. “Hiding the Boys” uses disco as a starting point for the action – those string runs! – and is very entertaining; the lengthier “Moses Driving Through Town” is a starker piece, with 1970s conspiracy thriller-style left-hand piano and synth effects (it is the best track – and the closest the score gets to Rocky). The score only runs about half an hour – the balance of the album is taken up with alternative takes. The Big Fix is an unusual score in the sense that it goes through several different styles, but Conti manages to keep it all cohesive. It is very much a product of its time and over four decades later sounds delightfully cheesy – it’s entertaining and tuneful though and had never previously been released in any form, so Conti fans will love it I’m sure.

Rating: *** | |

Tags: , , ,

  1. LUC VAN DER EEKEN (Reply) on Sunday 17 May, 2020 at 14:27

    What a nice surprise this is! I had never seen the movie or heard the score but I absolutely love it. The cheesyness is part of the appeal and Conti is/was a versatile composer who manages to give his main theme various interpretations and in different styles. Cool stuff!