Marvin Hamlisch, Oscar-winning composer and arranger and the man behind the scores for such movies as “The Way We Were” and “Sophie’s Choice,” and the composer of Broadway’s “A Chorus Line” has died at the age of 68. He passed away in Los Angeles after a brief illness, according to the Associated Press. Here is a playlist in his honor.
Michael Bennett’s 1975 valentine to “gypsies,” the dancers who are often treated as so much mobile scenery in Broadway musicals, is sometimes considered to have broken new ground with its frank portraits of talented but frustrated performers. The score by Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban is a favorite of “theater people” everywhere, but was designed to showcase the abilities of dancers rather than singers. Consequently, only the ballad “What I Did for Love” has had a life outside of the show’s context. – All Music Guide
It is the story of Alexis, a young figure skater, and her rise and fall from super stardom. Tragedy strikes when, following a freak accident, Lexie loses her sight, leaving her to hide away in the privacy of her own despair. She eventually perseveres and begins competing in figure skating again. Its theme song “Through the Eyes of Love.” was made famous by Melissa Manchester and was the Academy Awards 1980 Nominee for Best Original Song.
Hamlisch had great success with The Way We Were in 1974, winning two of his three 1974 Academy Awards. He also won four Grammy Awards in 1974, two for The Way We Were. The soundtrack recording charted for 23 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually sold in excess of one million copies.
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) is the tenth spy film in the James Bond series. The film was highly acclaimed by critics, being widely considered Roger Moore’s best Bond film. The soundtrack, composed by Marvin Hamlisch, also met with success. He co-wrote “Nobody Does It Better” for the James Bond film with his then-girlfriend Carol BayerSager. He also wrote the orchestral/disco score for the film, which was re-recorded for the album. The song went on to be nominated for an Oscar in 1977.
The Sting is a 1973 American caper film set in September 1936 that involves a complicated plot by two professional grifters to con a mob boss. The film is noted for its musical score—particularly its main melody, “The Entertainer”, a ragtime composition by Scott Joplin, which was lightly adapted for the movie by Marvin Hamlisch (and became a top-ten chart single for Hamlisch, when released as a single from the film’s soundtrack). The film’s success encouraged a surge of popularity and critical acclaim for Joplin’s work.