SHOCK stumbles across the greatest musical mystery of the century: Who are “The Great Adventurers”?
While drifting through the vinyl-scented and suffocating bowels of discount stores in my neighborhood and elsewhere, a piece of product caught my eye.
There, screaming at me from the “electronics” section of the local Dollarama was what looked to be the toothy mug of the blue/black Carlo Rambaldi/Rick Baker ape suit from Dino De Laurentiis’ 1976 version of KING KONG, a film care about very much.
Sure enough, to the left of the simian’s mouth was the name KING KONG, stacked against the building he climbed in both the 1933 original masterpiece and the 2005 Peter Jackson remake, New York’s fabled Empire State Building.
Pushing the zombified shoppers out of my way, I rushed to the rack and grabbed the item, a CD of what appeared to be some sort of soundtrack to one or all of those films.
Except it was for none of them.
Closer inspection of the cover’s fine print revealed that this was “Music Inspired by KING KONG”, performed by some class of band calling themselves “The Great Adventurers”.
Flipping the CD over revealed the 15 track listing and further fine print, repeating that this was “Not the Original Soundtrack”.
I paid the princely dollar plus taxes required to remove the item legally from the store and took it home.
And played it.
The album purports to tell the entire tale of KING KONG, from Manhattan to Skull Island and back again, through a series of synth and percussion based cues; low-rent music played on some sort of consumer grade synthesizer.
And while, at first I chalked up the release to the slightly late-from-the-gate cash-in on the Jackson film designed to trick less-savvy Wal-Mart shoppers.
Which it probably was. The label that released the album, Laserlight Digital, has a history of mucking about and making dupe movie “tribute albums”.
But while I wanted to dismiss the disc, after a few tracks…I couldn’t because…some of it is really good!
The tracks “Human Sacrifice”, “Entry of the Mighty Ape” and “Beware, This Animal Bites” sound as if Max Steiner moved to Germany and joined a salad days incarnation of KRAFTWERK.
Some of the tracks, including the opener “The Greatest Show on Earth” sound like, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13-era John Carpenter!
In my mind, I was seeing some kind of demented, underground version of KONG made by George Kuchar.
An unexpected thrill in fact. And yes, I DID “buy that for a dollar”.
I immediately took to the internet to find out the identity of these men or man or women or woman who dubbed themselves “The Great Adventurers”.
And while I found many retail listings from Amazon to Ebay on down, all over the planet, listing the CD for sale (usually for just over a buck), I could find no insight into the origins of the composer(s). Nor did I find one review. Not one blog post. Not one forum post. Nothing!
I looked. And looked. And looked.
So now, obviously, I’m on a quest to find “The Great Adventurers”. And I will.
In the meantime, while I continue my hunt, feel free to buy your own copy HERE.