Thursday, October 22, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Michael Kamen

Artist:Michael Kamen w/L.A. All Star Orchestra f/Dr. John
Song:Cruella De Vil
Album:101 Dalmatians: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack

Michael Kamen started out in rock music in the 60s. But in the 80s got into scoring for films and he was very successful until his 2003 death. He was born Apr. 15, 1948 in New York City. He played the oboe growing up and studied at Juilliard. Then he formed The New York Rock & Roll Ensemble with classmates Martin Fulterman (X Files composer Mark Snow) and Dorian Rudnytsky. The idea was to mix rock with classical music and they performed in tuxedos. Leonard Bernstein spotted them and they appeared on one of his Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. They got a record deal with Columbia and they recorded five albums. Kamen said Bernstein planted the seed of working in films. After the band split up in 1972, Kamen started composing ballets. And he was musical director for David Bowie. For the rest of the 70s, Kamen worked as a session musician most significantly with Pink Floyd doing orchestrations for The Wall. He started composing for films in 1976. But his first significant score was for David Cronenberg's 1983 film The Dead Zone. This was followed by his work on Terry Gilliam's 1985 film Brazil. And he worked steadily on films after that. His significant scores include Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and Mr. Holland's Opus. Cruella De Vil is from the 1996 film 101 Dalmatians. It features Dr. John on vocals. The rest of the album is instrumental music played by studio musicians called the L.A. All Star Orchestra. Kamen was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1997. And then he moved to England. He continued to work on films when he died of a heart attack on Nov. 18, 2003 at age 55. He was working on new music with Kate Bush at the time. And he was still active in films and TV with scores for X-Men and Band Of Brothers. Here's the video for Cruella De Vil by Michael Kamen with the L.A. All Star Orchestra featuring Dr. John.

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