ROBBIE ROBERTSON & ALEX NORTH
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 3:47PM
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Robbie Robertson & Alex North: Carny—Sound Track from the Motion Picture. CD

Though he was one of the three acting leads (along with Jodie Foster and Gary Busey) in the 1980 film Carny, it’s debatable how many fans of Robbie Robertson and his work with and without The Band are aware of this key release in his discography. That’s because, despite the pedigree of its cast and the colorful setting of a traveling carnival, the film bombed at the box office, weighed down by a weak script and questionable directorial choices. But the score—half composed by Robertson and half by the great Alex North (Cleopatra, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf et al.) remains a wonderful oddity. Robertson had himself spent two years working at a carnival in his teens, so it was a subject near and dear to his heart (witness The Band’s “Life Is a Carnival”); he also reached out to friends like Dr. John and Randall Bramlett to create sonic settings alternately sleazy, strutting and funky (and don’t miss his guitar solo on “Garden of Earthly Delights”). North, for his part, seemed affected by what Robertson in Rob Bowman’s liner notes to this Real Gone reissue terms the “insane” nature of the film shoot, particularly on the closing “Carny Theme,” which Robertson calls “like Nina Rota on acid.” Right after the film wrapped, Robertson went to New York to serve as musical supervisor for Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull, which began a long string of collaborations with Scorsese and other film directors; thus, as his first involvement with dramatic film, Carny really heralded a new artistic avenue in Robertson’s career. Worldwide debut on CD, with liner notes featuring copious quotes from the actor/composer himself!

Tracks:

“MIDWAY MUSIC”

1.   Garden of Earthly Delights

2.   Pagan Knight

3.   The Fat Man

4.   Freaks’ Lament

5.   Sawdust and G-Strings

6.   Rained Out

"THEMES & VARIATIONS”

7.   Carnival Bozo

8.   Remember to Forget

9.   Lust

10. I’m a Bad Girl

11. Rednecks Rumble

12. Fear and Revelation

13. Carny Theme

Article originally appeared on Real Gone Music (http://www.realgonemusic.com/).
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