As most know, and I never hid it, even if it’s considered by many as a lame b-movie, and a Jaws rip-off, Grizzly (1976) it’s the first horror film I recall seeing, perhaps others existed beforehand, but there’s no memory of them. Now for the first time the music for Grizzly, composed by Robert O. Ragland, earned a compact disc release on September 24, 2018 from Dragon’s Domain Records with only 500 limited pressings. Ragland became attached to the project with his previous compositions for quite few horror and cultist films of the early 70s such as The Touch of Satan (1971) and The Thing with Two Heads (1972).
For those unaware of the film’s history, here’s a little background, Grizzly hatched by director William Girdler, one year after the release of Jaws, and contained a tad more violence, as an avalanche of the producers, director, writers and production houses began the cycle of nature attacking man films. In the past 5-years, the film generated a fond remembrance with fans and those who crave discovering the hidden gems in horror history. A simple story of an 18-foot, 2000-pound grizzly bear begins its own hunting season with humans on the menu. Just one problem, on set was Teddy the bear, occasional didn’t follow all the commands, no reported injuries or deaths, but one can’t outrun a bear and fighting it not good odds. Needless to say, Ragland’s music features orchestrations by Jack Hayes and performed by the National Philharmonic Orchestra of London, ideally sweeping sound of the 1970s, the opening scene of a helicopter flight swooping over the vast dense forest, all of nature, no threats with all dangers hidden away from the viewers, the music works wonderfully to set up a false narrative of safety and happiness. The entire soundtrack works to balance tension filled moments and sheer panic attacks for those who know the movie very well, aware of track 10 – Boy in Yard/Boy Attacked its sound truly providing the moment the film turns. Also, three versions of What Makes a Man a Man Chorus, Instrumental and Vocal which is an interesting song that fits right into the era for this film, but likely lost with the modern sensibilities of today’s listeners and viewers.
What Makes a Man a Man? (Chorus) 2:05
Grizzly Main Title 3:50
The Grizzly Attacks 3:12
Hunting Party 2:28
Kelly’s Love Theme 1:40
Lone Hunter is Attacked 4:32
Scotty’s Ancient Indian Story 1:01
Sunrise On the Tower 1:57
Tower Teardown 2:21
Boy in Yard / Boy Attacked 1:46
Tracking the Grizzly 2:04
Scotty’s Night in the Forest 1:32
Kelly’s Midnight Plan 2:21
Scotty’s Search and Death 5:06
Helicopter Search / Don is Killed / Get the Bazooka 3:56
What Makes a Man a Man? (Instrumental) 1:46
What Makes a Man a Man? (Vocal) 2:59
Total Time: 46:46
Ragland who went to compose for Larry Cohen’s Q: The Winged Serpent (1982) and conducting many of the live award shows including the Oscars and Emmys, passed away in 2012 at the age of 80. Therefore, this makes for a fine addition to your collection, after all a very good mint vinyl record nearly averages $150, hence a CD a relatively lower price and excellent to join the newly limited edition Blu-ray.
Here is an audio sample from this album: