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Herbie Hancock

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Herbie Hancock Death Wish (OST) album cover
3.68 | 28 ratings | 3 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Death Wish (Main Title) (6:11)
2. Joanna's Theme (4:46)
3. Do a Thing (2:13)
4. Paint Her Mouth (2:16)
5. Rich Country (3:46)
6. Suite Revenge (9:25) :
- a) Striking Back
- b) Riverside Park
- c) The Alley
- d) Last Stop
- e) 8th Avenue Station
7. Ochoa Knose (2:07)
8. Party People (3:32)
9. Fill Your Hand (6:15)

Total Time 40:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Herbie Hancock / composer, conductor, performer, co-producer

- Jerry Peters / conductor & arrangements (1,2,5,6b,6c)

Releases information

Soundtrack to the 1974 Michael Winner's film

LP Columbia ‎- PC 33199 (1974, US)

CD One Way Records ‎- A 26659 (1996, US)

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy HERBIE HANCOCK Death Wish (OST) Music

HERBIE HANCOCK Death Wish (OST) ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(64%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

HERBIE HANCOCK Death Wish (OST) reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars I've said it before and I'll say it again, movie soundtracks and progressive rock have a lot in common. Both genres borrow freely from other genres to create new sounds. I especially enjoy so called crime jazz soundtracks, from the early work of Stan Kenton and Henry Mancini and up to 70s masters like Isaac Hayes, crime jazz has a certain menace and air of mystery that is hard to find elsewhere. I have always thought that Fripp was heavily influenced by crime jazz when he created the first three King Crimson albums.

Having just released his amazing psychedelic fusion work with his Sextant, Herbie Hancock was a natural choice to compose the music for this tense gritty movie. This album mixes modern concert hall music with blaxploitation grooves, electronic experimentation, insane psychedelic jazz blow-outs and beautiful pastoral instrumentals into one big funky intellectual tone poem. All the moments you would expect from a crime movie are here, tense scary music that hangs in the air, quick pulsed chases and sweeping panoramic urban views. In his attempt to paint these aural pictures Herbie uses every sound available at the time including extended techniques for string orchestra, synthesizers, echoplexes, and all manner of percussion and noise makers.

For fans of Herbie's Sextant (possibly the finest fusion group ever) there is one track at the end of the album that features that group doing what it does best, playing super intense solos over an impossible syncopated groove while Hancock adds a smorgasbord of electronic colors.

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Well, if Herbie collaborated on some obscure Blaxpoitation flick (Spook That Sat?) in the early 70's, he was also in demand in "higher" Hollywood circles and was commissioned the Deathwish film soundtrack, the first of three Charles Bronson-led movies. Well Hancock did put all of his classical music science to good effects to compose a vastly different soundscape than his previous Spook effort, but then again, he wasn't exactly new to this realm, since he'd already done that throughout the 60's.

Actually the music is probably some of the "proggiest" Hancock ever penned, mixing his torrid JR/F with some symphonic moments, with some ever-present orchestral arrangements nearing the cheesy and kitschy, but never overflowing the bucket of tastelessness. Indeed the Main Theme and its successor Joanna's Theme are rather impressive fusion of funk-jazz with some lush string section's delirium. While interesting enough, some tracks obviously lack the visuals for which they were composed for, like Do A Thing and Paint Her Mouth (this one being often dissonant, thus indicating a gory moment in the flick. Some others are almost laughably bucolic, like the ultra-symphonic (and tacky) Rich Country and is really hindering the soundtrack, outside the visual context.

The flipside opens on the 5-movements Suite Revenge, which again dips in the classical genre, beit symphonic or dissonantly modern (it's obviously not improvised, since purposely written for the images), but again, to really get the music's genius, it's better to view the actual movie. But it remains quite a small tour de force anyway. Indeed the music is expressive enough to guess the actual events and action of the movie. At times, the music is grandiose and the Fill Your Hand finale is simply astounding composition mastery.

I was never a fan of original soundtracks of movies, because there is always the missing visual accompaniment lacking, and often it renders parts of the music almost obtusely impenetrable. It's not that much the case here, as Hancock's full savoir-faire is often flawless, but still, you'd better own the movie than the soundtrack alone.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I remember the TV ads for this movie back in the day, I would have been around 13 or so. This is the soundtrack for that movie called Death Wish starring Charles Bronson. The music here sounds nothing like Herbie Hancock so it's not worth getting for that until we get to that final track and all that orchestral and classical sounding music stops finally. THE HEADHUNTERS are the backing band you could say and that has to be Bennie Maupin then playing the only horn on here on the closer. So good. The song is called "Fill Your Hand" and it's head and shoulders above the rest. Herbie Hancock and Jerry Peters share the conducting duties on the rest of the album.

I'm just not a fan of orchestral music and to make it worse we get these sweeping disco sounds front and centre on the opener and elsewhere. I guess this is what we got with most soundtracks in the 70's, those classical and orchestral sounds. A low 3 stars for me.

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