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Two Warner Bros. Records LPs come to CD from the era of the "swinging sixties" sex comedy—and drama. Sex and the Single Girl and The Chapman Report were Warner Bros. films adapted from popular books about the once-taboo subject of sex.
Sex and the Single Girl (1964) was inspired by Helen Gurley Brown's 1962 best seller, an advice book for young women to help them enjoy their single lives. As the book was essentially plotless, the film concocted a story about a fictional "Helen Brown" psychologist (Natalie Wood) whose hit book makes her a target for a sleazy tabloid editor (Tony Curtis). Mistaken identities and slapstick give way to true love in the classic screwball-comedy tradition.
Sex and the Single Girl marked the feature debut of Neal Hefti, best-known today for his memorable TV themes to Batman and The Odd Couple. Hefti made a lasting mark in the Mancini era of sophisticated adult comedy, and Sex and the Single Girl is chock-full of delightful pop confections with jazzy grooves and irresistible melodies. The re-recorded Warner Bros. album includes Hefti's vocal and instrumental arrangements of the film's title theme composed by director Richard Quine.
The Chapman Report (1962) was adapted from a 1960 novel by Irving Wallace inspired by the Kinsey Reports, academic works about human sexuality (by Dr. Alfred Kinsey) which caused a stir in conservative 1950s society. The film features a group of "Chapman" researchers who survey the sex lives of upscale Southern California suburban women, including troubled characters played by Jane Fonda, Shelley Winters, Claire Bloom and Glynis Johns. Legendary "women's director" George Cukor helmed the picture.
Scoring The Chapman Report was the excellent symphonic composer Leonard Rosenman, who blended his usual expertise with modern atonality (for the psychological aspects of the characters' neuroses) with driving jazz (as if a nod to the conventional association of jazz with sex), particularly for the driving main title and a terrifying gang-rape of Bloom at the hands of jazz musicians. Rosenman wrote distinct themes for the four women, ranging from pathos to comedy to atonality, and blended jazz, melody and avant garde expressionism with his usual panache. It is a terrific score.
Both of these works were re-recorded by the composers for the LPs, maintaining the integrity of the orchestrations while adapting many cues for record presentation. The albums have been remixed from the original three-track 1/2" masters for optimal stereo sound quality. The LP for The Chapman Report concluded with Rosenman's pop arrangements of his themes to the James Dean films East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause; these have been retained, placed after a newly discovered alternate edit of his record version of the Chapman Report main title. Liner notes are by Lukas Kendall.