Finally, Tony Banks's soundtrack album to The Wicked Lady is out on CD officially 31 years after it first appeared on vinyl via the Atlantic label in a different sleeve! Tony's sleeve notes say the film didn't do so well at the time, and it has since appeared on TV - surely a DVD release must be in the offing? It has equally as much boob shots as, say, The Look Of Love, and I'd say it was set in the same era as A Cock & Bull Story (yes, I do wish Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's Tristan Shandy adaptation had had some of Tony's music in it!).
The orchestral settings by Christopher Palmer make it more bona fide film music than the keyboard demoes Tony did, but it's the keyboard versions I like best because they are so much HIM. Caroline's theme and Kit are my standout tracks.
Tony said these tracks were recorded around the same time as The Fugitive, his second more song-based album; and I loved that too. TWL is the more English country garden side of him while The Fugitive is more city based. Love the label logo too - it combines the Fugitive character and Wuluwait from A Curious Feeling in his shadow!
I fully support the comments made by previous reviewers. This album has been a long time in the waiting to come out in CD format but after such a long time (31 years) it has finally been re-released. The album being split into the orchestral and Tony Bank keyboard demos still works although when it was originally released on vinyl this formed two separate sides whereas on CD this is not the case.
I never originally liked the orchestral stuff, as an ardent admirer of Tony Bank's work within Genesis I was always interested to hear what he would produce as a solo artist. His first album "A Curious Feeling" felt very much like a lost Genesis album, so the first time I heard this album I was quite surprised/shocked and didn't necessarily like it. However with subsequent listening realised how clever his music was with his keyboards emulating classical instruments.
Listening now after 30 years the keyboards do sound a bit dated whereas the classical pieces retain their flow. But on the whole this is a good album which few Genesis fans will have heard and like much of his solo work most probably never will. And that is the real shame.
For a modern CD release it is also a shame that Tony couldn't find a little bit more music to have packed into it as bonus tracks to attract the selling price which for such an old album is a little on the steep side.
What was Tony Banks to do when offered this job? The film was always likely to be awful (and was) but I expect he was unaware of the tawdry soft porn asides that really do lower the tone of the film. This soundtrack is pretty good without being spectacular, a bit like Tony Banks' other classical works. Funnily enough, the synthesised versions of the soundtrack work better in some ways - I used to play the synthesised title track on 45 when I had the LP of this, a fact that does not assist in any way with this review. If you are a fan of Tony Banks, it will come as no surprise that he makes a decent job of this, but he reserved his genius for his day job with Genesis.