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Book Review:

 

The Soundtracks of Woody Allen:
A Complete Guide to the Songs and Music
in Every Film, 1969-2005

by Adam Harvey

Foreword by Dick Hyman

Jefferson, North Carolina and London:
McFarland & Company, Inc., Softcover,2007.
218 pages + ix.

 

 

 

 

One of the musically astute film directors working today is Woody Allen, and he is a jazz musician as well. One of his most reliable musician assosciates over the years has been Dick Hyman, who offers complimentary remarks about Allen and Harvey in his brief Foreword in this book.

The author, Adam Harvey, has worked in music publishing and resides in Bury Sy. Edmunds, England. He has done an admirable job in compiling this very detailed reference guide.

Every single film that Allen has made which made ample use of source music.With so much music used, there has been a need to have a listing of it all for reference purposes. And that is what Adam Harvey has done with his extensive listing of all the music from thirty-six of Woody Allen's films from TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN (1969) to MATCH POINT (2005). But this guide is more than just a simple reference book.

Each of the films is listed in a variety of ways. First, the films are listed chronologically (page ix). Then after his well written Introduction explaining how Woody Allen values the choices of music for his films, Harvey lists the Allen films in alphabetical sequence, from ALICE (1990) to ZELIG (1983) - pages 13 - 156. With each of these film descriptions there is first an overview of the film, then all the songs and music used, along with a listing of the songwriters or composers and the performers.

In addition to the list of all the Woody Allen films until 2005, Harvey has added a series of further tabulations and references at the back of book (pages 157-87).
They are:

Appendix 1:Soundtracks on Record or CD
Appendix 2: Most Popular Songwriters
Appendix 3: Most Popular Performers
Appendix 4: Most Popular Sons and Jazz
Appendix 5: List of Songs and Jazz
Appendix 6: Classical Music by Composers

Following these extremely useful lists are the Notes and a Select Bibliography.

Even without any illustrations, this is essential for any fan in search of the music used in Woody Allen films.

It is a model of what a reference guide should contain to assist the film viewer or listener.

Highly recommended.

 

-- Roger L. Hall, 22 January 2008

Comments regarding this review can be sent to: Film Music Review

To order this The Soundtracks of Woody Allen, go to this web address:

www.mcfarlandpub.com

Or call this order line phone number:

800-253-2187


 

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