FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY, one of the quintessential ’60s rock & roll soundtrack albums to one the ’60s quintessential biker exploitation moves was released. According to Wikipedia, THE WILD ANGELS movie saw its general release to American theaters on this day. The soundtrack album of the same name was released by Tower Records, an imprint of Capitol Records.
So July 20, 2016, is the fiftieth anniversary of this classic movie and equally classic album!
So Happy Birthday to everyone involved in the making of the movie and the making of the soundtrack music and album—especially Mike Curb and Davie Allan!!!
Produced and directed by Roger Corman for American International Pictures (AIP), the movie starred Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra with Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. The movie was a success: with a budget $360,000, it took in more than $15,000,000 at the box office!
This Spanish language poster is a much tastier—if less dramatic—design than the somewhat garish design on the American poster. Needless to say it was the cheesy American poster that set the tone for the many posters of similar movies that followed.
The soundtrack album, THE WILD ANGELS (Tower T-5043, mono, and DT-5043, duophonic stereo), was a best-seller, reaching #17 on Billboards Top LP’s on October 15 of that year. It set the pattern and the standard for what seemed like an endless string of AIP soundtrack albums produced by Mike Curb’s Sidewalk Productions featuring Davie Allan & The Arrows in some musical capacity. 1
Peter Fonda plays a biker named Blues, and Sidewalk head honcho Mike Curb and buddy Davie Allan wrote a theme song for the character. Allan and his Arrows recored it as part of the soundtrack. It’s a fuzz-toned gem that perfectly fits the opening scene of the movie where we meet Blues and his Harley. 2
Seven months after the premier of the movie, Tower lifted the track from the album and issued it as a single. Except they got the title incorrect: it should be “Blues’ Theme.” The record was reasonable success: it peaked at #33 on Cash Box, where it spend twenty-three weeks on the Top 100. On Billboard, it only reached #37 and spent sixteen weeks on the Hot 100. (PS: They also spelled Davie’s last name incorrectly on some pressings.) 3
FEATURED IMAGE: The image at the top of this page was cropped from the full-sheet poster for the movie. I flipped the image around as it gives a better sense of motion when you open this page up in your browser. Davie Allan has a website you can check out here. Finally, check out “the complete davie allan & the arrows 45 discography and price guide” here on Rather Rare Records.
1 If you’re gonna be shopping for a copy of this album, go for the mono—record made with Capitol’s “Duophonic stereo” should be left to completists collectors and aural masochists.
2 Davie Allan didn’t get his due as songwriter for more than twenty years. All the records and tapes and early CDs credit Mike Curb solely as the son’s writer.
3 Copies of Tower 295 can be found credited to ‘The Arrows Featuring Davie Allen,’ ‘Davie Allan And The Arrows,’ and ‘The Arrows.’
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