At the beginning of the month, Jimmy Page’s website made their daily update with information about the soundtrack for A Degree of Murder, a soundtrack that not only included Jimmy Page, but was also composed entirely by Brian Jones whose, then, girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg, starred as the film’s lead role.
Completed in 1967, the soundtrack also incorporated the talents of Nicky Hopkins on piano. However, Brian Jones held dominance over the project by not only composing the music, but also by playing most of the instruments, which included sitar, organ, dulcimer, harmonica, autoharp, flute, jazzy piano, violin, banjo and sax. The director who commissioned Brian for the score, Volker Schlöndorff, was quite pleased with the final piece.
And it wasn’t just that his music was special, it was that the score was so spontaneous, vital. Only Brian could’ve done it. He had a tremendous feeling for the lyrical parts and knew perfectly the recording and mixing techniques required to achieve the best sound for drums, his guitar or flute, etc.
Despite its praise, the soundtrack was not released to the public, and it is currently quite difficult to find a majority of the material. This is an unfortunate outcome for many reasons, but most of all because Brian was not known to have written and recorded a great deal of original music. Whether or not he had the capacity to has been argued against, namely by Keith Richards. Yet this film score begs to differ, and thus it is tragic that so little of it can salvaged these days.