Monday, August 23, 2010

If he's good enough for Sally Draper...

I've been wanting to do a little post on this guy for a while, and last night's Mad Men was as good motivation as any.  If you happened to watch it then you may have been mildly surprised (shocked) by the remarkably subtle (and because of it's subtleness actually more shocking) scene where Don's daughter Sally really enjoyed The Man from U.N.C.L.E. at a sleepover.

But what many may not know is that the man who played Russian spy Illya Kurakin, David McCallum (you may know him more recently from NCIS), had a brief musical career as well.

 His work was mainly tied in with David Axelrod, whose "Messiah" I posted about a little while ago, who produced the work and much of it was arranged by H.B. Barnum.  As McCallum doesn't sing I'm kind of at a loss for what he did on these albums.  I know it says he "conducted" but plenty of guys conduct albums and don't get their name on the cover.  Who cares.  It's a great bunch of period music and, for lack of a better word, groovy as a mother fucker.

You'll recognize the song "The Edge" immediately as it is a massively recognizable sample for Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode".  I used to hate the Dr Dre song, but as I've gotten older and mellower I can appreciate it much more.  What really impresses me is when I think of Dr. Dre, essentially some talented punk from the slums of LA, saying "yes, I will pick up this album with this actor on it, and perhaps I can use it somehow"  and then actually using it.

In any case, enjoy these couple of songs which are the big "hits" and one that I just dig for flavor.

The Edge:

House of Mirrors:



Ps.  Bonus Sample Ref from DJ Shadow  Sometimes the man really does wonders with samples, here... it's a bit more straight forward almost a remix.  But whatever.. still entertaining.

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