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Monday, November 23, 2009

Music That Matters: Top 50 Movie Symphonies (#48 Wonkavator/End Titles from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory by Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley)

I love the classic movie Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. But only the first adaptation of the book from 1972 starring Gene Wilder. The other movie that Tim Burton directed in 2005 starring Johnny Depp was a piece of crap and didn't even feature the original score. What drew me to the original movie as a child was the vivid imagery and interesting characters. But most of all it was the wonderful music. Songs like Cheer Up Charlie, The Candy Man, and Pure Imagination are golden, and my friends and I would sing them all of the time. And the actual score of the movie is off the charts. The music was written by Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley, but the music direction belonged to Walter Scharf. The team of Bricusse and Newly composed scores for some other films and also for artists such as Frankie Avalon, Shirley Bassey, and Maureen McGovern. Yet, they will always be best known for the music of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. My personal favorite song is the song at the end of the movie when Wonka tells Charlie about the boy who got everything he wanted and lived happily ever after. Charlie then gives Willy Wonka a big hug and the end credits start rolling. The actual song is simply the instrumental version of Pure Imagination and it makes me giddy every time. Regardless that I've seen the movie about 500 times. You would think that with such a tailor made soundtrack for the stage, Willy Wonka would have hit Broadway by now. It's only a matter of time, I guess. I'd recommend the entire score. If I had to pick one, it would be the tune down below.

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