Monday 11 February 2008

Fragment of Fear - Johnny Harris' Movements

Richard C. Sarafian's 1970 creepy psycho drama, Fragment of Fear is based on a novel by John Bingham and adapted by Paul Dehn. It stars David Hemmings as Tim Brett, a reformed drug addict turned writer investigating the death of his Aunt Lucy played by Flora Robson. In between meeting up with the delightful Gayle Hunnicutt, Tim comes into contact with a mysterious organisation called the Stepping Stones. After that things get decidedly nasty.

This cult thriller featured a memorable jazzy score by arranger / composer Johnny Harris and top session men including guitarist Chris Spedding, bassist Herbie Flowers and flautist Harold McNair, whose screaming flute features on the classic club floor filler Stepping Stones. Re-recorded for Harris' legendary 1970 album Movements, Stepping Stones was used as part of Levi Jeans' 1997 ad campaign where it accompanied a Kung Fu themed TV ad.

Movements is one of those truly great LP's that richly deserves its legendary status. Like a good wine it has aged well with its three rerecorded cuts from Fragment of Fear, an interesting selection of cover versions and the filmic Footsteps on the Moon which the BBC used for their moonshot coverage. Included on the CD reissue of Movements is the groovetastic theme to the Lulu show which is a welcome addition and replaces my scratchy old 45 version. Ignore the rather bizarre cover art and investigate the riches within.

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