To lead off our final set of CD Club releases for 2004 comes this Deluxe Edition of one of the great historical epic film scores of the 1960s. Twentieth Century-Fox undertook a truly monumental production in order to bring Irving Stone’s epic historical biography to the screen. Starring Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison, and directed by Carol Reed (The Third Man, 1949), the film did an outstanding job of bringing the pageantry of the Renaissance to life while telling the tale of the celebrated ceiling.
Alex North had his roots in the American stage but achieved his greatest fame in the epic film genre: his scores for Spartacus (1960), Cleopatra (1963) and The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) are beloved for their scope and grandeur. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was to be another North epic but ended up with Stanley Kubrick's selections of classical music. Later in 1968 North was able to use some of his 2001 ideas in M-G-M's The Shoes of the Fisherman, a colossal modern-day tale about the first Russian Pope. The Shoes of the Fisherman was based on a novel by Morris L. West and starred Anthony Quinn as Kiril Lakota, a political prisoner who rejoins the Vatican after his release. When the Pope dies, Kiril emerges as an unlikely successor, and must set the course for the Vatican's role in a current world crisis. The film also starred Laurence Olivier as the Soviet Premier, David Janssen as an American journalist, and Oskar Werner as a Jesuit philosopher and friend of Kiril's.
This is one of the most highly acclaimed soul albums of the 1970s. A longtime innovator at Motown, Robinson responded to the Funk revolution in black music (Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Sly Stone, Curtis Mayfield, Al Green) with an effective counterpoint: the stylish and mature album A Quiet Storm. This landmark album spawned and lent its name to the "Quiet Storm" musical programming format, a format still adopted by radio stations across America 40 years later.