A work in progress, which when finished will have covered it all (and the waterfront)

Angels from Hell OST

US: Tower (ST 5128). Canada: Capital (St 6295)
Re-issue CD & LP on Reel Time (RT1001)

 

12 tracks, including 3 from Peanut Butter Conspiracy, 2 from The Lollipop Shoppe, and a fully realised studio version, with band accompaniment, of Ted Markland’s folk stomp. In the film his character, Smiley, sings his “protest” song in a rough and ready way, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, in the gang’s clubhouse. . . the gaps between these three artistes are filled in by Stu Phillips.

It's a fairly diverse set, the vocal numbers separated by Phillip's jazz tinted themes, the title track features flute and vibes, and the superbly named 4 O’Clock Tea (Laudanum) continues the theme but adds sitar and Indian percussive inflections

Lollipop Shoppe’s two songs are toothless social critiques. The band appears playing at a hippy gathering (see lobby card) that is despoiled by the bikers. Their album Just Colour sounds as if Love fell asleep in 1966 and woke up a decade later and worked the studio for Terry Ork, who then released it along with discs from Television, Richard Hell and Alex Chilton . . . which is to say I like it . . .

 

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Run, Angel, Run OST

Epic (BN26474)

Stu Phillips' 3rd biker soundtrack with Joe Solomon and a stand out collaboration due to Tammy Wynette's title song. Country music rarely featured in biker films but it works wcover image (not from the film) ell here with the footage of outlaw William Smith freewheelin' it up Highway 101. The other 3 vocal tracks are from The Windows who were, according to Alec Palao, a man who knows, a slimmed down three-piece The Peanut Butter Conspiracy. That band had history with Phillips and also contributed to his Angels From Hell opus.

The cover image (not from the film) juxtaposes the standard biker movie iconography of Nazi insignia with a stars and bars patch and Indian beads and buckskin over a hirsute gut . . .

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Hell’s Angels on Wheels OST

Smash Records (SRS 67094 stereo) (MGS 27094 mono)
Re-issue CD & LP on Reel Time RT1008
45: Stu Phillips, "Hells Angels on Wheels" b/w "Sunday Art & Football" Smash (S-2114)

The first of 4 collaborations between Stu Phillips and producer Jo Solomon. 10 selections composed and conducted by Phillips, with one vocal cut by The Poor - "Study in Motion #1". There's a solid throwback beatnik vibe to the theme tune, especially with all the dum-de-dos. "Flowers" adds sitars and so brings things slightly more uptodate, but elsewhere the vocal pah-pah-pahs and flute solos driven by bongos would sit better in some rundown cocktail bar on Sunset and Vine. The Poor's contribution neatly summarises the film's theme - moving but going nowhere and is collected along with their handful of 1967/68 45s on a Rev-Ola CD (CR REV 34) 2003.

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The Losers aka Nam Angels

The 4th and final biker movie soundtrack collaboration between Phillips and Solomon was with the Philippine's shot The Losers aka Nam Angels. The story of a gang of bikers attempting to rescue a POW, Dirty Dozen style, from a Cambodian hoosegow never got the usually expected OST release, but in 2005 4 cuts were released on a CD compilation of Phillips' movie music, Surf . . . Sex and Cycle-Psychos . . . A Diverse Potpourri of Antediluvian Film Music. él Cherry Red Records (ACMEM48CD). These are all fully orchestrated with plenty of brass to punch home the militaristic theme. For inspiration, he'd clearly been listening to and absorbing Jerry Fielding's work for Sam Peckinpah.


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The Wild Rebels

45: Steve Alaimo, "You Don’t Know Like I Know" b/w "You Don’t Love Me" ABC Records (45-10917)

The b-side of a Sam & Dave cover was the only released waxing from the Alaimo outlaw biker vehicle, with a score by song writing veteran Al Jacobs. The MC for TV's pop show Where the Action Is played a stock car driver who gets pulled into a heist by a trio of bikers, but not before he's climbed on stage with local Florida band The Birdwatchers. There follows a short set of blue-eyed soul numbers that gets the kids dancing and stays firmly within his repertoire of good time pop grooves. Alaimo produced 3 Mala label 45's for The Birdwatchers in 1966 and 1967.

The film conjoins the titles of the two best known JD movies, but the 45 credit reduces that spark of originality down to the singular "Wild Rebel."

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Rebel Rousers (1970)

Despite a stellar cast, this is truly one of the most hapless films in the cycle. Poorly conceived and ineptly directed by Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd's agent, the film stayed in the can for three years at which point Jack Nicholson's box office pull was enough to generate some guaranteed play dates.

Igo Kantor supervised the music and provided the surf guitar interludes, and Paul Sawtell with Bert Shefter provided the rest of the music. They were regular Russ Myer collaborators.

One of the few (the only?) biker movie to use a heavy jazz score under the opening credits, elsewhere a sentimental number plays in scenes between Cameron and Ladd, evoking both ennui and cliché . . . No soundtrack releases listed but I would not be surprised to discover that the music was used elsewhere. Perhaps Meyer's Faster Pussycat?

 

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The Hard Ride OST

Paramount Records (PAS 6005)
Re-issue Reel Time CD & LP (RT1011)
45s: Thelma Camacho "I Came A Long Way to be With You" b/w "Carry Me Home" Aim/MGM (AIM400)
          Bill Medley "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" b/w same Paramount (PAA 0089)
          Junction "Falling in Love with Baby" b/w "Ways of Love Are Strange" MGM (K 14195)
         Bob Moline "Where Am I Going" b/w same Paramount (PAA 0090)
         The Sounds of Harley "The Hard Ride"b/w "Victorville Blues" MGM (K 14248)

One of the last biker films produced by AIP, The Hard Ride, was directed by exploitation regular Burt Topper and starred Robert Fuller, from TV’s Wagon Train and Laramie. The picture yokes together race issues and Vietnam. It tells the story of a returning vet, a white marine, who promises his dying buddy, a black biker, that when he gets back home, he will ride his chopper, find his ol’ lady, and get together with his club. The film’s marketing features one of the longest taglines in the cycle: “They gave him a medal and sent him home for the long hard ride ahead…with a friend’s promise to keep, a friend’s enemy to kill, and a friend’s woman to take. Then he could start living for himself—if he was still alive.” Fuller’s marine finds himself caught between two bike gangs, both of whom want his buddy’s chopper. The film works hard on the interracial friendship (and love—the dead marine’s girlfriend is white).

Partially forsaking the by now familiar overloaded electric guitar soundtrack, the tune that runs alongside the title cards is Righteous Brother Bill Medley’s soul version of the spiritual “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.” Maintaining the theme of racial diversity, the singer in Kenny Roger's First Edition, Thelma Camacho, provides a country-tinge to one tune and some soul to "Carry Me Home," the stand out vocal cut. Journey, Bob Moline, and Bluewater provide a suite of anonymous pop tunes, though the latter's "Shannon's Hook Shop" gets a little funky. Soundtrack producer, Harley Hatcher, chucks out some Duane Eddy twang on a Morricone-esque "Victorville Blues," which is pretty good.  The theme tune harks back to the days of Davie Allen with the promise of a fuzzed out rave up, but cops out - a dud. As far as I can figure out only the Bluewater tracks didn't make it on to a 45

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The Peace Killers

45: Ruthann Friedman "White Dove" b/w "Motorcycle Madness" (Ether 001)

No soundtrack album, but in 2011 two tracks by Ruthann Friedman slipped out on an obscure 45. Kenneth Wannberg receives the music credit and supplies the main theme, which is driven by a wheezing harmonica and jaw harp. He would go from here to become one of the most sought after music editors. Friedman had already found a little fame  with her song "Windy," which  The Association took into the charts in 1967. Her contribution is credited in the main titles, though "Rebel" is recast as "Motorcycle Madness" on the single release. "White Dove" is pure period whimsey on a picked acoustic guitar over which she asks the question, if a fool were to try to shoot down the bird should you take away his gun? The flip is a rock chug, much more to my taste, written to be played over images of  deranged bikers who have spent too long on the road. . . The 45 is worth getting for the sleeve alone.

 

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Outlaw Riders OST

MGM (SE-26ST)

"Grab your bike n' ride on!" growls Simon Stokes, while Lenny McDaniel takes on the always hopeless task of "trying to find the reason for all the things they do." Simon Stokes and the Nighthawks essay six tracks of generic 12 bar blues and heavy boogaloo, which make for a pretty fit with this super low-budget programmer that takes a turn toward the border and never comes back. McDaniel's theme tune and three by Stokes are played in full to help cover the padding used to fill out screen time between rare moments of story progression. 

Stokes had a non-hit on Elektra with "Voodoo Woman" in 1969, which still gets spins today. His later contract with MGM no doubt led to this soundtrack, produced by Michael Lloyd, who worked on the band's other releases for the label, including a cover of Carl Perkins' "Ballad of Little Fauss and Big Halsy." Stokes' story is told in detail in Ugly Things #46, but for all the cult attention he never sounds like anything other than a pretender to me. Alice Cooper (circa 1971) he ain't.

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