Wednesday 7 November 2007

Bedazzled - Moore than meets the eye

Released in 1967, Stanley Donen's Bedazzled was one of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's first faustian filmic foray. A far cry from their familiar Pete 'n' Dud TV personas, Bedazzled cast Moore as a short order cook enlisting the help of the devil played Peter Cook to win the hand of the comely Eleanor Bron.
Infinitely better than Liz Hurley's diabolical remake, Bedazzled was only a moderate success at the box-office (even with the help of Raquel Welch!). However Dudley Moore's jazzy soundtrack has become a much sought after collectible.

The Bedazzled soundtrack certainly deserves its fame - the classico/jazz main title theme, Lillian Lust, The Millionaire and the Ying and Yang pop of Love Me and Bedazzled fill me with enertia.

The diminutive Dud was so much more that the cuddly and cute comedic foil for genius satirist Peter Cook's acerbic wit. Classically trained Moore was an established name in the London jazz scene with the Dudley Moore trio comprising Moore on piano, Chris Karan on Drums and Pete McGurk on Bass. Evidently Moore taught himself the rudiments of jazz in about 30 minutes after attending an Errol Garner concert.

In addition to a regular jazz gigs, the Dudley Moore trio provided the musical interludes on Cook and Moore's hugely popular Not Only But Also TV Show. In 1965, Decca released The Other Side of Dudley Moore a stunning debut with a profound Oscar Peterson / Errol Garner influence and featured many of the compositions performed on the show including the melancholic Sad One For George, the stormy Sooz Blooz and a slinky My Blue Heaven. The album was issued on CD with two extra tracks under the title Authentic Dud Vol.2 which was unfortunately withdrawn due to copyright issues.

Without doubt, it was his partnership with Peter Cook that put Dudley Moore's name on the map followed by his lucrative career in Hollywood culminating in a sad demise in his latter years. However, there was more to Dud and thankfully his musical legacy lives on in the Bedazzled soundtrack and on the BBC Radio Four panel game Quote Unquote where his Duddly Dell composition provides the theme music.


tony said...

Brilliant! This is a true gem.

I've always loved Dudley Moores' two scores, and this is without a doubt, icing on the cake.

Thank you so much for sharing this :)

Crispy32 said...

Hi Tony

I'm really happy that this post is appreciated. When I was a kid I loved the music played the vinyl to destruction. So it's good to know my obession wasn't a solo one!

tony said...

Speaking of obsession, now I'm on a quest to find the recording he did in 1969 I believe, that has all original material. I think it was called simply The Dudley Moore Trio?