Song Of The Week - Lalo Schifrin - Ape Shuffle
Lalo Schifrin hails from Argentina and began his career as a classical musician, before effectively switching to jazz and then finding great success in composing music for film and TV. An initial alliance with spies, saw him rearrange Jerry Goldsmith’s classic Man from U.N.C.L.E. theme, accompany Dean Martin’s Matt Helm in Murderers’ Row, before composing one of the greatest TV themes of all time with Mission:Impossible.
Schifrin has been nominated six times for an Oscar (no wins sadly) and his film work includes the likes of Cool Hand Luke, Dirty Harry, Charley Varrick, Enter The Dragon, Lucas’ THX 1138, Bullitt, Hell In The Pacific, The President’s Analyst AND The President’s Mistress (not connected), The Amityville Horror, Ringo Starr’s Caveman, Billy Wilder’s Buddy Buddy, and The Cat From Outer Space, amongst many, many others.
His score for The Exorcist was famously thrown out (literally) by William Friedkin who replaced it with Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells.
In 1974, 20th Century Fox commissioned him to write the theme for what turned out to be their short lived (only 13 episodes) Planet of the Apes TV spin-off. It was not Schifrin’s best work but, undeterred, the studio conspired to make it a chart hit, with this funked up remix (to be fair it sounds nothing like the original.) Fox tried the same idea three years later with Meco’s disco version of the Star Wars theme to far greater success.
But this isn’t disco Star Wars – this is Ape Shuffle, offered here to coincide with and celebrate the Apes’ global dominance at the worldwide box office this week.
Listen to it once – you won’t be able to listen to it a second time.