I consider myself to be a pretty big fan of the original Planet of the Apes series. I have all of the original films on Blu-ray. I have a collection of the entire run of the TV series, I even have a full set of the Saturday morning animated series (which, for those of you who haven’t seen it, I actually highly recommend. Yes, the animation is done in a fairly limited 70s style, but it actually hews more closely to the original book than the movies do and provides an interesting alternative to the films). Still, there are times when I run across little items of which I was previously unaware, and this is one of them.
One of the most interesting things for me about the original Planet of the Apes movie has always been its distinctive soundtrack which was composed by Jerry Goldsmith. I’ve always considered it incredibly fitting for the film, setting the tone in such a unique and otherworldly way that it immediately alerts the viewer that they are in for something unique.
However, when it came time for the movies to make the transition to a weekly television show, Goldsmith’s soundtrack and themes were not used, probably because they weren’t really a good fit with the more action-adventure oriented show. Instead, famed soundtrack composer Lalo Schifrin – best known for his iconic theme for the TV series Mission: Impossible – was brought in to write the score for the pilot episode of the new show, which meant that we got much more traditional, but still interesting theme music for the opening and closing of the show.
Of course, we are talking about the year 1974 here, when both disco and funk were at the fore, so I suppose it shouldn’t have been – though I’ll admit that it was – a surprise that Shiffrin also remixed his theme for a 45 release which wound up being called the Ape Shuffle. I’m not even going to try to describe the result, I’ll just let you give it a listen:
Yeah, if that doesn’t just reach out and smack ya right in the 70s, I don’t know what will.
- My top ten film soundtracks (phdavies.co.uk)