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FSM begins a relationship with Sony Music Special Products (home of the Columbia Records catalog) with an expanded CD release of one of the most haunting and unusual symphonic scores of the 1960s, The Swimmer (1968).
The Swimmer starred Burt Lancaster in one of his most challenging and definitive roles, as a narcissistic suburbanite who decides to "swim home" one day through the pools of his wealthy Connecticut neighbors. From this simple premise comes an intriguing and powerful character study, featuring a fine supporting cast and authentic locations, and a shocking twist. The film has endured as a cult favorite, oddly blending "new wave" film techniques with gritty realism.
The Swimmer was the first feature film score of then-24-year-old Marvin Hamlisch, who got the job after a chance meeting with producer Sam Spiegel. Hamlisch would go on to numerous successes in songwriting, film scoring and Broadway shows, with credits including The Sting, The Way We Were and The Spy Who Loved Me, and his strong gifts for melody and drama were evident for the start.
As Hamlisch had never scored a film, he enlisted the help of two veteran Hollywood orchestrators for technical assistance, Leo Shuken and Jack Hayes. Shuken and Hayes most notably orchestrated for Elmer Bernstein, and in their hands Hamlisch's rich themes for The Swimmer are executed with many of the lovely Americana orchestrations of Bernstein's work. The combination of Hamlisch's writing with Shuken and Hayes' orchestrations created a classic symphonic score that has been beloved by those who discovered it.
FSM's premiere CD release of The Swimmer features the complete score (expanded from the LP version, courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment) remixed and remastered from the original 1/2" three-track stereo masters. Liner notes are by album co-producer Jeff Bond.